Brussels tells Cameron limits on migrant benefits must apply to British recipients, too

EU FLag‘David Cameron’s clampdown on migrant benefits was in chaos last night as it emerged thousands of Britons could also lose out in a bid to keep Brussels happy. Making EU migrants wait four years to get tax credits and housing benefits was a red line in the Prime Minister’s referendum negotiations. But Whitehall lawyers say that to satisfy Brussels’ anti-discrimination edicts the rules must apply to people born in the UK too.’ – Daily Mail

  • The Prime Minister should just ignore this ridiculous rule – Daily Mail Leader
  • The EU is in the wrong – The Sun Says (£)
  • Minister promises to meet NHS loophole whistleblowers – Daily Mail
  • ‘English mafia’ running migrant camp – The Times (£)
  • Yarl’s Wood detention centre concerns grow – Daily Telegraph
  • Mayor of Kos warns of ‘bloodshed’ – Daily Mail

Cameron 2020) He should stay

‘The public don’t mind a politician who alters his decision, so long as it is done honestly and for good reason. Politicians who hold dogmatically to an opinion, or who switch horses on the basis of some insincere ruse are the problem. Leaders with the intellectual flexibility and the humility to admit an error should be forgiven – even praised – for having not only the courage of their convictions but the honesty to reappraise their application from time to time. It is in this context that David Cameron should be encouraged to stay on as Conservative leader until after 2020.’ – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Special survey: Should Cameron remain as Tory leader for the 2020 election?

Cameron 2020) He should go

cameron-face‘Mr Cameron should resist the siren voices urging him to stay in power. His decency and normality is a weakness in some respects for a politician, since he lacks the intensity and obsession that drove the likes of Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair, but it makes him a less flawed human being and is worth retaining. Instead of declaring the intention to go on and on, let alone ending up in a civil war with his chancellor, much better to quit with dignity rather than be dragged out clawing at the Downing Street carpet.’ – Ian Birrell, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Labour’s next leader. Cameron’s successor. And why both will fail without the support of their parties’ MPs

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Cameron shouldn’t fight the 2020 election as Prime Minister – because he’s promised not to do so

Gauke intervenes over airport VAT scam

‘Treasury ministers have demanded an end to rip-off VAT charges by some airport stores as the grassroots passenger rebellion against the racket gathers pace. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, told The Independent he was concerned and disappointed that some of Britain’s top retailers were pocketing millions of pounds in VAT discounts without passing the savings to customers.’ – The Independent

Whittingdale: We are making progress on rural broadband

Whittingdale‘Every week around 40,000 more homes and businesses are hooked up, and with more than four out of five homes and businesses already enjoying superfast speeds, 95 per cent of the UK is expected to have access by 2017. We have a determined focus on closing that final five per cent gap, as we want to make sure no one is left behind. We’re spending up to £8 million in our pilot programme, which is looking at taking superfast broadband to these hard to reach areas.’ – John Whittingdale, Daily Telegraph

>Today: The Deep End: A licence fee fit for the 21st century

Finkelstein: All hail humanity’s true achievements – bourgeois peace, suburban capitalism and ring roads

‘The HR department of a children’s shoe brand has never launched a war. Nobody dies in the creation of advertisements for Kumquat Surprise. Surely the reason our ancestors struggled so hard and even fought wars is so that we, their children, could live happily on the commuter line to King’s Cross, heading into work on the 8.17. I always sigh when I hear people attack consumerism. All that hunger, and war and pestilence, all that dictatorship and torture and tragedy and they want to attack shopping?’ – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Russia is ‘preparing for war with NATO’

Putin hunting‘Russia is preparing for war with Britain and its Nato allies, according to an analysis of Russian military exercises. The alert, from a European think tank, comes after Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, warned yesterday that the conflict in Ukraine was “red hot” and Russian-backed separatists could yet take more territory. He said he saw no end in sight to the hostilities, which this week involved the rebels launching their heaviest artillery attacks on government positions in six months, according to Ukraine.’ – The Times (£)

Labour’s infighting intensifies…

‘Labour’s civil war over Jeremy Corbyn’s shock surge in support exploded into the open today after Alastair Campbell and Diane Abbott threw insults at each other in a furious online slanging match. Mr Campbell, Tony Blair’s Downing Street spin chief, accused the Labour mayoral candidate of ‘talking crap’ and accused her of trying to turn the party in a protest movement by backing Mr Corbyn. It came after Ms Abbott, a prominent supporter of Mr Corbyn’s hard-left rhetoric, attacked Mr Campbell over his outspoken plea for Labour activists to vote for ‘anyone but Corbyn’ to stop the party ‘falling off a cliff’.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Dr Andrew Murrison MP on Comment: Corbyn might just be the lifeline the Lib Dems are grasping for

>Yesterday: Rob Leitch on Comment: Don’t underestimate Jeremy Corbyn

…as Brown is urged to intervene…

BROWN Scotland‘Labour MPs are calling on Gordon Brown to come out against Jeremy Corbyn as supporters of the other three candidates for the party’s leadership look for ways to turn the contest round with only a month to go. A string of Blairites in the party, including John McTernan, Tony Blair’s former political secretary, and Alastair Campbell, his former communications chief, have led calls for Labour to reject Mr Corbyn’s bid to become leader.’ – FT

  • Who are Team Corbyn? – FT
  • He wants to bring back the Ministry of Labour – FT
  • MPs will refuse to serve in his Shadow Cabinet – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Chris Grayling MP’s column: It’s Groundhog Day in the Labour Party

…and 88,000 leadership voters still haven’t been vetted

‘Labour revealed yesterday that 88,000 people registered to vote in the party’s leadership contest had not been vetted, as trade union sources questioned the safeguards in place to prevent fraud. With the first ballot papers due to be sent out on Friday, concerns have also been raised that unions deliberately withheld the names and details of thousands of new voters until the final fortnight of the sign-up period.’ – The Times (£)

  • While a mere 1,200 have been barred – The Independent
  • Optimistic Kendall bids for votes in the, er,  Morning Star
  • Alan Johnson compares Jowell to Kylie – The Sun (£)

Labour’s claims of being wildly outspent in the election were nonsense

money‘Britain’s political parties spent more than £100m last year as they prepared for the general election, figures from the Electoral Commission have disclosed. Between them the Conservatives (£36.9m) and Labour (£35.3m) accounted for nearly three-quarters of political spending in 2014 as they attempted to gain the upper hand in the pre-election skirmishes.’ – The Independent

Unions plan a week of strike chaos on the tube

‘Commuters are facing an unprecedented shutdown on the London Underground after unions announced plans for a strike that would cripple the network for almost a whole working week. In a dramatic escalation of the row dogging the capital’s transport system, it emerged that Tube staff will walk out over four days at the end of the month.’ – The Times (£)

Brothel madam: Heath was shy and gay, not a paedophile

HEATH Edward‘Forde, 67, now a born-again Christian who works voluntarily as a church cleaner, said: “I knew Edward Heath in the early ’90s and provided young men for him. “But he was not into sex with children. He was just a very secretive and shy gay man. It was impossible for someone in his position to be openly gay at the time, so he came to me.”’ – The Sun (£)

  • Innocent until proven guilty, please – The Sun Says (£)

Judge tells Janner: no more trying to avoid court

‘Lord Janner was yesterday threatened with arrest if he refuses to appear in court over child sex charges. His lawyers have used the Human Rights Act to claim that appearing before a judge would cause ‘considerable stress and harm’ both to Greville Janner – who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – and his family.’ – Daily Mail

  • The Human Rights Act has got to go – Daily Mail Leader
  • Magistrate quits over having to let serial convicts go on bail – Daily Mail
  • Police refuse to name fugitives…to protect their privacy – Daily Mail

News in Brief