Poll finds majority for Brexit…

CAMERON EU fence“A majority of British people would vote to leave the European Union in the wake of the migrant crisis engulfing the continent, a shock new Mail on Sunday poll has found. If a referendum were to be held tomorrow on whether to remain a member of the EU, 51 per cent of British people would vote ‘No’. It follows a string of polls over recent years which have given comfortable leads to the pro-European camp. Significantly, it is the first measure of public opinion since the Government changed the wording of the referendum question, lending weight to claims that the new phrasing boosts the chances of victory for the ‘Out’ campaign.” – Mail on Sunday

…but Cameron faces revolt over plans for snap poll

“DAVID CAMERON is facing a new rebellion tomorrow after Eurosceptics warned he was trying to change the law so he could ram through a new EU deal with Brussels without full scrutiny. Ministers were accused last night of seeking to smuggle in a rule change to allow a snap referendum involving a four-week campaign rather than the 10-week contest that is usual for such a vote. The government has tabled an amendment to the referendum bill — to be debated in parliament tomorrow — that would let it force the Electoral Commission to decide who will run the official “yes” and “no” campaigns long before Cameron names the date of the referendum. It had previously been expected that would happen at the start of the campaign.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • A hundred Tories demand the EU be barred from campaigning – Sunday Telegraph
  • Eurosceptic Conservatives won’t let Brits be ‘brainwashed’ – Sun on Sunday (£)
  • Merkel told Cameron he was too forceful in arguing for concessions – Mail on Sunday
  • Cameron’s ‘moral failure’ on migrants will hinder EU renegotiation, claims former EC president – The Observer


  • The madness behind the rules governing EU referendum spending – Norman Lamont, Mail on Sunday

Osborne hints at military action to stem refugee flow

OSBORNE non-broken sword“George Osborne has given a strong signal that Britain will take part in military action in Syria as he warned that dealing with the escalating refugee crisis meant tackling President Bashar al-Assad’s “evil” regime. The Chancellor’s hawkish comments coincided with reports that French President François Hollande is also considering military strikes in Syria and will announce further details in Paris this week. There was speculation mounting in Whitehall that the Prime Minister could ask MPs to back enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria, as a way to protect ordinary citizens, rather than all-out strikes against Damascus.” – Independent on Sunday


  • Britain has a duty to rescue Syria’s Christians – Lord Carey, Sunday Telegraph

Crispin Blunt: Removing Assad is not the solution in Syria

“The Government cannot expect Parliament to vote for extending airstrikes to Syria without answering some basic questions. The legal basis for airstrikes and their military utility have to be addressed. But there are more profound concerns that stretch far beyond the mandate of a few British aircraft. Parliament should not tolerate a debate that ignores the wider international political strategy.” – Sunday Telegraph



  • The more we ‘feel’ for the refugees, the worse their plight will be – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)
  • We won’t save refugees by destroying our own country – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • The EU needs a new treaty which revises freedom of movement – Daniel Johnson, The Observer
  • Without borders in Europe there’s no hope of ending this crisis – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • Amidst the tears, a very British Good Samaritan – Ian Birrell, Mail on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary: The Syrian refugee crisis reinforces the case for international aid

>Yesterday: Johnny Mercer MP in Comment: First, let refugees in – and then let’s take the fight to ISIS in Syria

Boris warns Osborne Heathrow expansion would harm the Northern Powerhouse

OSBORNE of the north“Boris Johnson and Justine Greening have launched an outspoken attack on plans to expand Heathrow, warning that a third runway would reduce the number of destinations served by Britain’s hub airport. The mayor of London and Greening, the international development secretary, have joined forces to complain that the recent report from the Airports Commission was flawed. In a letter to David Cameron and about 1,500 MPs and peers, Johnson says it shows the number of domestic routes served by Heathrow would drop from seven to four in 2030. He says that support for a third runway would harm attempts by George Osborne, the chancellor and Johnson’s leadership rival, to build a “northern powerhouse”.” – Sunday Times (£)

Adam Boulton: Even in the North, Labour isn’t the only show in town

“As Labour’s collective nervous breakdown over Blair’s warring in the Middle East deepens, Corbyn’s style of opposition to the Tories is proving an inspiration. As they were leaving the debate, one of Corbyn’s key aides, a Newcastle city councillor, turned back to tell me that his council had just become the first in the country to pass a motion against the ¬government’s new trade union bill. But even in this heartland, the leadership contest is not the only story. George Osborne also visited Tyneside last week, to celebrate Nissan’s new model securing thousands of jobs and the ¬extension of the “northern powerhouse’s” directly elected mayors to cities including Newcastle. That’s what led the local TV news and press for two days running.” – Sunday Times (£)

Davidson blames SNP police policy for rising sick leave costs

DAVIDSON Ruth new“Police Scotland has lost almost 400,000 working days to sickness among staff since being established, it has emerged. The number of individual officers going on sick leave is also rising, according to figures obtained by the Conservatives under Freedom of Information. It follows concerns over absence rates at the force’s under-fire call centres in the aftermath of the recent M9 double fatality… Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “The difficulties of Scotland’s new single police force are well documented and, in the case of the M9 crash, have had tragic consequences. Now it seems the strain of these difficulties is having an effect on rank and file officers with 400,000 working days lost to staff sickness over the last two years.”” – Scotland on Sunday

Ministers 1) Fate of Northern Ireland Assembly could hinge on Villiers’ speech

“The future of the Executive will hinge on a speech delivered by Theresa Villiers in the House of Commons on Monday. If she does not move to suspend the Assembly or to punish Sinn Fein in some way then the DUP will take action itself. Last night the party was remaining tight-lipped – it has the weekend to consider it – but it is understood the DUP told Ms Villiers it could involve withdrawal from the Assembly. That would cause it to collapse. Other options are not attending Assembly events or the Executive itself. When the DUP unsuccessfully proposed a motion to adjourn the Assembly it specified that there could be emergency meetings.” – Sunday Life

Ministers 2) Labour attack May for high cost of failed enquiry

Theresa May 14-04-15“Experts in a child abuse probe shared £150,000 — despite it ending in farce after seven months. Home Secretary Theresa May set it up last July to examine how state bodies failed to protect children from paedophiles such as Jimmy Savile. Its eight panellists, paid £565 a day when they met, were disbanded after two chairwomen — Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf — quit over links to establishment figures. Their findings were kept secret and passed to a new inquiry. But Shadow Home Office minister Diana Johnson, who uncovered the figures, blasted: “Large payments were made to panel members when little appears to have happened.”” – Sun on Sunday

Ministers abandon Clegg’s school meals programme

“Ministers are poised to scrap Nick Clegg’s controversial free school meals programme, it emerged last night. The flagship Lib Dem policy was supposed to ensure all primary school children were given free lunches in their first three years of education. But it was condemned as a ‘total car crash’, with schools reporting they were forced to dip into their core education budgets to subsidise the programme. The scheme was rushed through in the year before the election by the then coalition government, despite fears among officials and senior Conservatives about a lack of proper planning.” – Mail on Sunday

Cooper warns of just four days to save the Labour Party

Labour holes“Surging Yvette Cooper today warns Labour members they have four days to save the party from a decade in the electoral wilderness under Jeremy Corbyn. The mum-of-three has issued a last-ditch plea for support ahead of Thursday’s voting deadline in the race to replace Ed Miliband. Ms Cooper has the vital momentum in the final days of the Labour leadership election after her brave call for Britain to open its arms to more Syrian refugees caught the public mood. It has boosted her chances of stopping socialist firebrand Mr Corbyn from pulling off a shock victory.” – Sun on Sunday (£)


  • Labour’s moderates start their long, dark night of the soul – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • Chuka wants to cuddle up to Corbyn, then kill him off – Anne McElvoy, Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: As Labour prepare to implode the Conservatives must seize the chance of a breakthrough in the socialist heartlands

News in Brief: