Cameron “on borrowed time” on kepping Scotland in the UK says Sturgeon

STURGEON debate“Scotland’s first minister has said that Prime Minister David Cameron is “living on borrowed time” as he seeks to prevent Scotland leaving the UK. Nicola Sturgeon made the claim in a speech to mark the first anniversary of the independence referendum. It came as Mr Cameron outlined plans to guarantee the permanence of the devolved Scottish Parliament.” – BBC

Hammond to hold talks with Kerry on destroying ISIL

“The US Secretary of State John Kerry is to hold talks with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on the crisis in Syria during his visit to the UK. Mr Kerry, who is on a three-day trip to the UK, is to discuss the fight against Islamic State militants. Ahead of the meeting he said Russia and America “share the same goals” in the battle against the militant group.” – BBC

Rifkind “helped pick” watchdog that cleared him

RIFKIND Marr“Sir Malcolm Rifkind interviewed and helped to appoint the woman who cleared him of wrongdoing over a cash-for-access scandal, it emerged yesterday. The former foreign secretary was part of a five-person panel which recommended Kathryn Hudson to the £108,000-a-year position of Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Miss Hudson’s report found there was ‘no breach of the rules on paid lobbying’ by Sir Malcolm and Jack Straw, who were accused earlier this year of telling undercover reporters they would be prepared to use their positions to benefit a private firm. Her verdict, which criticised Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Daily Telegraph for their sting, paves the way for the pair to be given seats in the Lords.” – Daily Mail

  • “Martin Bell, a former independent MP and anti-sleaze campaigner, said: “Parliament regulating itself has run its course. On the face of it there appears to have been a conflict of interest.”- Daily Telegraph

Osborne visits China to promote trade

“UK Chancellor George Osborne is to embark on a week-long visit to China to boost commercial and political ties with the country. Mr Osborne, who will be accompanied by business leaders and ministers, wants to “foster a new era in UK-China relations”, the Treasury said. His visit, beginning on Sunday, takes him to Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. China is the world’s second largest economy, but there is growing evidence that it is losing steam. Speaking ahead of the seven-day trip, the chancellor said the delegation was about “exploring new opportunities to open up new markets”.” – BBC

Gove plans early release to cut prison population

GOVE Legatum“Thousands of criminals could be spared jail to save millions from the Ministry of Justice budget, senior Tories warn. Justice Secretary Michael Gove is under pressure to cut the size of the prison population, sources claim. Experts say Treasury savings demands could see more crooks handed community service, early release or having shorter sentences axed. Campaigners urged Chancellor George Osborne to slash the jail population by at least a quarter, 22,000 lags, claiming it would make “massive” savings.” – The Sun(£)

>Yesterday: Nick de Bois on Comment: We need early intervention as well as tough sentencing to cut knife crime

Corbyn 1): A convicted arsonist appointed as education spokesman

CORBYN Citizen cap“Jeremy Corbyn has finalised his frontbench line-up, appointing a peer jailed for arson to his education team. Lord Watson – a former MP and MSP – was given a 16-month jail sentence in 2005 for starting a fire at an Edinburgh hotel. He was suspended from the party, but regained the whip in 2012. The SNP said his appointment as an education spokesman was “bizarre”.” – BBC

  • “Hardline union firebrand Ian Lavery, who received a public order offence rap following a football match, has landed a Shadow Cabinet Office role” – The Sun(£)
  • The threat of mutiny hangs in the air – The Times(£)
  • Educating Jeremy – Leader The Times(£)
  • Corbyn’s first week – The Guardian
  • Confusion and errors – The Independent


Corbyn 2): Is he backing down on Trident?

“Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to back down over his fierce opposition to Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The veteran anti-war campaigner just this week said he did not want Labour to vote for the renwal of Trident in order to ‘fulfil our obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’. However, Mr Corbyn has now accepted that Labour MPs will not unite against the government’s plan to renew Trident in a vote next year.” – Daily Mail

Corbyn 3): Darling says “no silver lining” in new leadership

Alistair Darling“Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling has said he is struggling to “see a silver lining” in Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader. Mr Corbyn would find it hard to “get off the ground” unless he set out very clearly where he stood on key issues. “So far this week I do not know where he is going, what he stands for,” he told Radio 4’s Today. Asked whether he could see shadow chancellor John McDonnell in the Treasury, he said it was “difficult”.” – BBC

Corbyn 4); Scepticism over McDonnell apology

Johnmcdonnellmp“Shamelessly, McDonnell tried to defend himself on BBC1’s Question Time on Thursday by explaining that it had been ‘a mistake to use those words’ and that ‘if I have caused offence, and I clearly have, from the bottom of my heart I apologise’. In a further objectionable justification for praising the IRA, McDonnell said he wanted to enable terrorists ‘to stand down with dignity’. But why on earth should such thugs, who have killed more than 2,000 people during the Troubles, be considered worthy of ‘dignity’? Most egregiously, he arrogantly argued that his support for Irish republicanism was part of an effort to achieve ‘dialogue’ in Northern Ireland. But there is no evidence that he ever opened ‘dialogue’ with the other side (Unionists or Loyalists).” – Leo McInstry Daily Mail

Corbyn 5): Labour abandons support for Heathrow third runway

“Labour has dropped its support for a third runway at Heathrow in a move that risks another split among Jeremy Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet. The party had backed the recommendation in the summer by Sir Howard Davies, provided noise and air pollution conditions were met. The move had wrong-footed David Cameron, who faces a split over the issue within his party and is yet to rule on whether to back Heathrow expansion” – The Times(£)

Corbyn 6):Parris urges the Blairites to break free

PARRIS Mathhew“It is time for these moderates to vacate their tenancy and cast off Labour’s shell. Fate, in the guise of Jeremy Corbyn, has given them a better excuse for making the leap than any could have dared hope. If they go they will say they have not left their party: their party has left them. They need to believe this, but it isn’t wholly true.The Labour party is much the same old beast it was when I first entered the Commons 36 years ago. If it were capable of reimagining itself, then three successive election victories under Tony Blair would have cemented the new self-image. Labour moderates who suppose they can return to that battle and this time win, should be warned that this time it will be war not only within Westminster but with the massed ranks of the party beyond Westminster, and all its registered supporters.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

Corbyn 7): Poll shows public can’t see him as PM

“Almost three in four people do not believe that Jeremy Corbyn looks like a prime minister-in-waiting, according to a poll for The Independent. A survey of 2,000 people found that Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader has made one in five people who voted for his party at the May general election more likely to vote Conservative next time. Some 37 per cent of Labour voters say they are less likely to back the party at the next election.” – The Independent

Corbyn 8): Cable calls for centre left to “come together”

CABLE Dr Evil“The progressive centre-left politicians from Labour and the Liberal Democrats need to “come together” to stop the Conservatives monopolising power in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory, Sir Vince Cable has said. The former Lib Dem business secretary who lost his seat to the Conservatives in May said his party was facing fundamental questions about how it relates to moderate Labour MPs unhappy with Corbyn’s leftwing leadership.” – The Guardian

  • Lib Dem MP to skip Party Conference to play guitar – The Sun(£)

Corbyn 9): Labour leader gave £45 to fraudster who claimed to be IRA bomber

“JEREMY Corbyn gave £45 to a man in the Commons who said he was an IRA bomber on the run. Sean O’Regan claimed he had planted bombs in London with an IRA unit and needed to flee cops. Mr Corbyn thought he was funding his escape but later found he had been tricked by a fraudster, The Sun can reveal. O’Regan, then 29, was convicted of fraud for the 1987 con.” – The Sun(£)

Javid backs Jeb on putting Thatcher on the $10 note

Sajid Javid 24-05-15“Presidential wannabe Jeb Bush has said he wants Margaret Thatcher to appear on $10 bank notes in the US….”I would go with Ronald Reagan’s partner, Margaret Thatcher. Probably illegal, but what the heck?” he said noting that it was unlikely to happen. “A strong leader is what we need in the White House, and she certainly was a strong leader that restored the United Kingdom into greatness.”…Bush’s choice has got one supporter this side of the pond – business secretary Sajid Javid.” – City AM

Four out of five asylum seekers in the EU are not from Syria

“Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria. The EU logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war. Campaigners and left-wing MPs have suggested the vast majority of migrants are from the war-torn state, accusing the Government of doing too little to help them. ‘This exposes the lie peddled in some quarters that vast numbers of those reaching Europe are from Syria,’ said David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth. ‘Most people who are escaping the war will go to camps in Lebanon or Jordan. Many of those who have opted to risk their lives to come to Europe have done so for economic reasons.’ ” – Daily Mail

Junior doctors threaten to strike

NHS“Junior doctors are threatening to strike over new contracts which they say could see their pay cut by up to a third. The British Medical Association (BMA) will meet next weekend to decide what action to recommend, after ministers said a new deal will be imposed on thousands of trainees next August. Under current proposals, trainees would lose pay boosts they receive for working evenings and Saturdays, which will be treated as regular hours. Other pay supplements could be axed from some specialities. The rows follow a Government pledge to ensure the NHS offers a “proper 7 day service” with more doctors working weekends.” – Daily Telegraph

British workers a third less productive than the Germans

“British workers were a third less productive than their German and French counterparts last year as the gap with leading nations reached a record. The UK lost ground to France, Germany, the United States and Canada last year, official figures showed. The country produced 20 per cent less per hour than other members of the G7 group of advanced economies — the worst result since records began in 1991, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)” – The Times(£)

Moore: Police “child abuse” investigations are undermining justice

MOORE Charles blue background“It is time to challenge the accusers. Operation Fairbank and many related rumours spring from the decision of Tom Watson MP, now the new deputy leader of the Labour Party, to use parliamentary privilege in 2012 to talk of “a powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10”. In January, Mr Watson repeated allegations against Lord Brittan within days of his death and said that those who made them were “sincere”. Does he have factual reason to think such accusations are true? If so, what are his facts? If Operation Midland fails, please will he tell us the whole truth as he sees it, with the evidence. If he does not, he should admit that he should never have spread these horrible claims in the first place.” – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • BT brings India call centres back to UK – Daily Mail
  • Drunk flyers face air ban – The Times(£)
  • Peter Robinson to sue Irish politician for libel – The Guardian
  • Andrew Litchell on the struggle to pay his legal bills – Interview The Times(£)
  • “Imagine him naked” syggested Tory councillor to nervous colleague – The Independent