Hague: SNP will hold us to ransom if Labour blocks English votes

Scottish flag“England risks being held to ransom by Scottish Nationalists unless Labour agrees to implement a system of ‘English votes for English laws’ at Westminster, William Hague said yesterday. The Leader of the Commons said Ed Miliband was refusing to back a veto for English MPs over legislation that applies only to their constituents, to keep open the possibility of a Labour-SNP coalition. The Conservatives said they planned to strip Scottish MPs of the power to impose tax changes, education and health reforms on England, given the Scottish Parliament will soon have control of all these issues” – Daily Mail

  • Cameron could kill off the UK – Gordon Brown, Guardian
  • Hague has a balanced plan to save the Union – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • Commons staff prepare for a possible surge in Nationalist MPs – Herald



Finkelstein: Don’t let minor parties hold us to ransom

“A government propped up by ad hoc votes from UKIP would be a disaster. Only a coalition can offer us true stability…it is wrong to talk airily about ‘confidence and supply’ as if it was a real thing that is quite similar to coalition. It is not. It is radically less stable” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Duncan Smith: welfare reforms have saved £50 billion

DUNCAN SMITH AITW“Britain’s benefits system is growing at the slowest rate since the inception of the welfare state, Iain Duncan Smith will say today. The Work and Pensions Secretary will point to almost £50 billion of savings for the taxpayer thanks to government reforms. He will hail a ‘momentous reversal of Labour’s reckless spending’ and claim that the lives of hundreds of thousands of people have been ‘transformed’ by pushing them into work” – Daily Mail

Clark: tuition fees only cost a “posh coffee” a day to repay

“A Tory minister has insisted £9,000-a-year tuition fees are not too expensive – because it only costs the same as a ‘posh coffee’ to pay them back every day. Universities Minister Greg Clark said if graduates earn £30,000 a year they have to pay back £2.22 a day, which he claimed was a ‘phenomenal investment’. Labour said the Cambridge graduate’s ‘bizarre’ remarks showed the Government was out of touch with public concern over the cost of university” – Daily Mail

Politicians and police “abused girls” in Rotherham

“A corrupt police officer and two councillors have been accused of having sex with victims of one of Britain’s worst child abuse scandals, The Times can reveal. The claims relate to politicians and a constable in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where an estimated 1,400 girls were subjected to serious sexual offences over 16 years. The explosive allegations are revealed by The Times on the day that long-awaited findings from an independent inspection of the local authority are due to be published” – The Times (£)

  • Thatcher “stopped officials naming Hayman as a paedophile” – Independent

Miliband faces fresh onslaught over “anti-business mood music”

Miliband coffee“The anti-business ‘mood music’ from Labour risks deterring overseas investors from Britain, one of Gordon Brown’s former ministers has warned. Lord Jones of Birmingham, who served as trade minister under Mr Brown, said that he had not yet heard Ed Miliband utter ‘one word about why it’s good to make profit in Britain’. It came as a series of business figures raised concerns about Labour’s view of the corporate world after its bust-up with the billionaire boss of Boots” – The Times (£)

  • Labour warns business critics of risks – Financial Times
  • Balls forgets names of Labour’s business backer: “Bill…somebody” – The Sun (£)
  • Going back to the 1970s would be a disaster – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
  • Ed Miliband needs to find his inner Rocky – Matthew Norman, Independent
  • Pizza Express founder blasts Miliband – The Sun (£)
  • Labour plans sex education for five-year-olds to counter homophobic bullying – Daily Mail
  • John Mills, Labour backer, says EU must bend immigration rules – The Sun (£)
  • Tower Hamlets Mayor compared Labour rival to Oswald Mosley – Daily Mail

Commons approves “three-parent” babies

“The first ‘three-parent’ babies could be born in Britain next year after MPs approved lifting a ban on a genetic technique. The UK will become the first country in the world to allow clinical trials of mitochondrial donation, commonly known as three-person IVF, as early as October if the technology passes through the House of Lords and a series of regulatory hurdles. Families afflicted by genetic diseases gave out a resounding cheer from a gallery over the Commons chamber after MPs voted to change the law by a margin of 382 to 128” – The Times (£)

  • I look at my daughter and welcome this vote – Ian Birrell, Daily Mail

Jordon executes two in revenge for pilot’s brutal murder

ISIS“Jordan has executed two ISIS-linked prisoners, including a would-be female suicide bomber, it has been revealed this morning. The executions, at about 4am local time today, came just hours after Islamic State militants released a sickening video showing a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive in a cage. Jordan had vowed a swift and lethal response and government officials this morning revealed that two prisoners, Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli, have already been hanged” – Daily Mail

  • Winston Churchill would get rid of Islamic State – Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express

News in brief

  • ECB resists latest Greek bailout plan – Financial Times
  • Greek finance minister denounces eurozone threats – Daily Telegraph
  • Passenger jet seen crashing into river in Taiwan – Daily Mail
  • Seven killed as train hits car at New York level crossing – The Times (£)
  • Cancer to hit half of Britons, but healthy eating can help – Daily Express
  • Lance Armstrong charged after letting partner take blame for car crash – Guardian
  • Detroit man walks 21 miles to work each day – The Times (£)
  • Disgraced Huhne returns to Parliament with pass – The Times (£)
  • Al Murray calls on North and South Thanet to walk in harmony together – Daily Mail