A year on, Cameron and Sturgeon cross swords over Scottish independence

Scottish Independence‘One year after Scots rejected independence, David Cameron will say it is “time to move on” from the vote, while Nicola Sturgeon will warn that the country will “inevitably ask about the possibility of another referendum”. The exchange highlights the failure of the supposed “once in a generation” independence referendum to settle the issue.’ – FT

MI5 chief warns of high terror threat

‘In the first ever interview by a serving MI5 chief, Andrew Parker, director general of the British security services, warned the terror threat level in Britain is at its highest for 32 years. In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Mr Parker, 53, backed new powers to monitor communications and said social media companies have an ‘ethical responsibility’ to expose terrorists.’ – Daily Mail

Whittell: Ministers should be shouting about the shrinking state

growth flag‘A key subset of the public sector, the civil service, is smaller now than it was in 1939. David Cameron should have gone on the Today programme and talked excitedly about doing more for less; about wages for the vast majority who now work in the private or voluntary sectors rising faster than since 2008. He should have said that as a Conservative he couldn’t be prouder. He didn’t, for fear of being seen to gloat about public sector job cuts.’ – Giles Whittell, The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Forget Corbyn. The Government should turn its attention to the unreformed state.

All public-facing public sector workers must speak English

‘All state workers who deal directly with the public – including policemen, social workers, teachers and council officials – will have to have the equivalent of a C in GCSE English. The requirement will apply to both applicants and existing staff, who could be moved to a different job if they cannot reach the required level. Ministers said speaking English was a ‘fundamental part of integrating into society’.’ – Daily Mail

BBC DG wants a levy on every household – whether you have a TV or not

BBC Money Funnel‘Instead of an increased licence fee, he said the Government should introduce a levy paid by everyone regardless of whether they use BBC services. ‘By itself … the [licence fee] agreement won’t restore the fall in original British content, let alone allow it to grow,’ Lord Hall said last night. ‘That’s why we think the Government’s option for a household fee merits further consideration.’ – Daily Mail

  • Rein in the BBC empire – Daily Mail Leader
  • Yentob attacks Whittingdale – Daily Mail
  • The Corporation wants to launch its own Netflix competitor – FT
  • They aren’t meant to chase ratings – The Sun Says (£)

Fox: London must not have a veto on Heathrow expansion

‘The airport debate cannot be allowed to become London-centric. While the benefits to the South West are significant, they merely reflect of the benefits that expanding our best-connected airport will bring to the entire country. The commission, moreover, is clear in its recommendation of Heathrow over Gatwick. True, both airports are equally convenient from the capital, but London is not a city-state. We must ensure that all corners of Britain are included in this decision.’ – Liam Fox MP, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Boff is the star of this selection show. But we should choose to win. And that means Goldsmith as Mayoral candidate.

Tories in talks with three unhappy Labour MPs

LABOUR dead rose‘Top Tories have begun talks with depressed Labour MPs to try to persuade them to defect, The Sun can reveal. Just days after Jeremy Corbyn’s shock win, informal conversations have started with at least three former Labour frontbenchers…One has ruled it out for now, saying he is “Labour through and through”. But two others are pondering the offer, with one telling a Tory MP: “I haven’t left my party, Labour has left me.” – The Sun (£)

  • Farron’s public flirtation with disgruntled Labour MPs – The Times (£)

Labour 1) McDonnell’s egotistical non-apology for praising the IRA

‘Shadow chancellor John McDonnell was accused of making a ‘qualified apology’ last night after he said sorry for saying that IRA thugs should be ‘honoured’ for their ‘bravery’. After saying he regretted the remarks he immediately appeared to suggest his comments were designed to help the peace process and, astonishingly, that they might even have saved lives…He also said sorry for saying that if he could go back in time he would ‘assassinate’ Margaret Thatcher, insisting it was an ‘appalling joke’.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Mike Freer MP on Comment: Labour’s upper echelons can now be considered to be overwhelmingly hostile to Britain’s Jewish community

Labour 2) Corbyn: We’ll vote to stay in the EU – to help us tax and regulate more

EU FLag‘Europe is the only forum in which we can address key challenges for our country, like climate change, terrorism, tax havens and, most recently, the mass movement of refugees from the violence in Syria seeking sanctuary and hope in Europe. We will not win friends and influence in Europe if we refuse to pull our weight. Labour wants to see change in Europe that delivers for Europe’s people. We want to be better partners, and put our demands to make Europe better. We will make the case through Labour MEPs in the European Parliament, and our relationships with sister social democratic parties, trade unions and other social movements.’ – Jeremy Corbyn MP, FT

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: What Corbyn thinks about foreign policy

Labour 3) Collins: Corbyn loves authenticity, but isn’t that keen on Britain

‘He has already, under duress, proclaimed his love of the those parts of the country he regards as just. He is happier, though, lamenting that it is too class-bound, not far enough along the Marxist historical trajectory for his liking. It must be hard for him to be confronted with choices after so long in the comfort zone. Can you really govern a nation whose anthem you would rather not sing?’ – Philip Collins, The Times (£)

  • He should refuse to kneel before the Queen – The Times Leader (£)
  • He wanted to scrap the Privy Council – The Times (£)
  • His new spinner is Boris’ Latin sparring partner – The Times (£)


Straw and Rifkind cleared

malcolm_rifkind_750_1‘Tory and Labour bigwigs Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw have been cleared in an official cash sleaze probe. The former Foreign Secretaries had been forced to step down from their seats after an undercover TV sting. The footage showed them apparently offering to help a Chinese firm in exchange for money. But a Commons watchdog has found they did not break lobbying rules.’ – The Sun (£)

Lord Ashcroft donates to Marine A’s legal fund

‘The fund to finance Alexander Blackman’s legal campaign in his fight for justice has been boosted by a £50,000 gift from businessman, pollster and philanthropist Lord Ashcroft. Amid an extraordinary outpouring of public generosity, the donation from the former Conservative Party deputy chairman and treasurer is the largest single contribution to the campaign yet…Lord Ashcroft said: ‘It is important that justice is allowed to run its full course, and I am pleased therefore to help Sergeant Blackman make his case.’ – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • We may be too stupid to spot signals from alien life – Daily Mail
  • The rugby world cup starts tonight – The Times (£)
  • Fans fear the ‘curse of Cameron’ – The Sun (£)
  • The Fed holds interest rates – FT
  • I fought ISIS – and I know they can be beaten – Macer Gifford, Daily Telegraph
  • Judge rules Asian children suffer more when abused than white children – Daily Mail
  • Might Trump actually end up as US President? – The Sun (£)