Tories turn the screws on tax credit peers

Lords“The House of Lords is under mounting pressure to drop its resistance to the government’s planned tax credits cuts amid claims of Conservative bullying and warnings of a constitutional crisis. The Lords will vote on Monday on two attempts to either kill off or water down legislation introducing the cuts, which the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said will save the exchequer £4.6bn next year but make 3m families about £1,000 worse off.” – Financial Times

  • Opposition peers threaten constitutional crisis – Daily Mail
  • Lords have no place blocking money bills, claims former top civil servant – The Guardian
  • Bishops attempt to difuse Lords row over tax credits – Daily Telegraph
  • Another Labour lord resigns the whip – The Times (£)
  • Oakeshott returns to the red benches – The Guardian
  • Opposition suspend ‘pauper’ Lord Mayor – The Times (£)


MPs hint that worst off will receive help to offset tax credit cuts

“George Osborne is expected to offer extra help for workers worst affected by tax credit changes, cabinet ministers and senior Tories said last night. Despite resolute public denials of a U-turn, the Treasury refused to disown claims from leading MPs that those most likely to suffer a cut in take-home pay might be helped by changes to national insurance, tax allowances or childcare benefits.” – The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister faces defeat in both houses – The Sun (£)


  • Osborne won’t blink on this, but might give critics a wink – Andrew Grice, The Independent
  • Don’t be young in Cameron’s Britain – Janice Turner, The Times (£)
  • The dangerous love-in between Mandelson and Osborne – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Chancellor unveils two devolution deals for the North East

OSBORNE of the north“George Osborne’s push for greater devolution of powers to England’s regions gained fresh impetus on Friday when the chancellor signed two deals for north-east England. The additional powers — transferring £1.35bn of government money over the next 30 years — cover employment and skills, transport, planning and business activity, and are intended to drive economic growth in the UK region with the highest unemployment rate.” – Financial Times (£)

  • The real Northern Powerhouse should be in Newcastle – David Skelton, Daily Telegraph

EVEL – or at least an English Veto – passes into law

“Scottish MPs’ powers over English laws were finally watered down last night in a move that the government claimed would save the Union. English MPs will now have a final veto over laws that affect their own constituents, although Scottish nationalists said the move had made MPs from their country ‘second class citizens’.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: EVEL shows how we can reform on a small majority

Chinese media continue to laud UK visit

Chinese flag“Chinese state media continued to laud relations between London and Beijing on Friday, claiming that the divide between the West and China has been narrowed on the back of President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK. Chinese media also said other countries could receive “benefits” if they followed Britain’s example in building closer relations with China, in comments likely to be aimed at the UK’s traditional western allies who have raised eyebrows at London’s warming relations with Beijing.” – Daily Telegraph


  • The fading of an ageing world order – Michael Fullilove, Financial Times
  • Cameron is right to schmooze the Chinese – Niall Ferguson, The Times (£)
  • A national humiliation we’ll get nothing out of – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
  • Perhaps India ought to be the target of our charm offensive – Ian Jack, The Guardian
  • Don’t believe everything you read about China this week – Ben Chu, The Independent

Truss announces largest ever National Park

“Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: ‘The Dales and the Lakes have some of our country’s finest landscapes, beautiful vistas and exciting wildlife. They are part of our national identity’… She added: ‘National parks are fabulous national assets that welcome over 90 million tourists and contribute to our vibrant rural economy – we are committed to helping them thrive.’” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Liz Truss MP in Comment: My announcement about two National Parks – and how expansion will make them even better

Minister calls for pension fees reform

MANIFESTO money“Pension companies should cancel “exit” penalties that trap savers in rip-off policies, the pensions ministers has indicated as watchdogs plan to stop companies profiting from the charges. In an interview with The Telegraph, Baroness Altmann called on pension providers to “write off” charges levied on savers who access their funds.” – Daily Telegraph

Morris asks police to investigate Watson’s role in investigations

“Tom Waton is facing calls for police to investigate his role in the decision to question Leon Brittan over an historic rape allegation. David Morris, a Conservative MP, wrote yesterday to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, asking him to investigate whether Mr Watson wasted police time by making allegations about Lord Brittan, who died in January.” – Daily Telegraph

Former health secretary urges Cameron to rethink on sugar tax

Sweets“A Conservative former health secretary has urged David Cameron to rethink his opposition to a sugar tax, predicting that anti-obesity measures will become as widely accepted as the smoking ban. Stephen Dorrell, who chairs the NHS Confederation of health service managers, said that a tax must be considered in the face of a “profound” threat from overeating.” – The Times (£)

  • Interview with Stephen Dorrell – The Times (£)
  • Food industry given ‘unprecedented access’ to Government under Cameron – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: There is no reason in principle not to have a sugar tax

Matthew Parris: Enough reform – give us certainty

“Certainty is the great unsung virtue in public administration. By now, David Cameron must surely be learning about the particular intensity of the rage that politics can arouse by chopping and changing… “Whoever said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel,” a US congressman once said, “had not considered the boundless possibilities of the word ‘reform’.”” – The Times (£)

Labour commits to spending two per cent of GDP on defence

Armed Forces“Labour is committed to the principle of spending two per cent of Britain’s GDP on the defence budget, in line with a Nato target, the party has said. Shadow defence minister Rachael Maskell revealed the party’s policy in a parliamentary debate on defence expenditure in the House of Commons.” – The Independent

Corbyn communications director sent his children to grammar school

“When it came to educating his children, Jeremy Corbyn was so uncompromising that his refusal to send them to a grammar school cost him his second marriage. If his new ultra left-wing spin doctor had a similar row with his own wife, it appears he must have backed down, as The Telegraph can disclose that Seumas Milne sent his children to two of the best grammar schools in the country.” – Daily Telegraph

Far Left 1) Leaked memo reveals threat to Labour moderates

labour-rose“A secret document seen by the Evening Standard shows top figures including former deputy leader Harriet Harman, Labour star Chuka Umunna and ex-mayoral hopeful David Lammy are at risk. It reveals activist numbers spiking in a string of London seats, where fears are rising that they will overrun local branches and oust moderate MPs.” – Evening Standard


Far Left 2) Unite attempts to block expulsion of Trotskyists

“Labour is facing serious questions about the role of of hard-left activists within Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots movement after the party’s decision to expel four alleged Trotskyists was challenged by Britain’s biggest trade union. The most senior political figure in the Unite union, Jennie Formby, intervened after Labour’s national executive this week recommended that four members of the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) be barred from party membership.” – The Guardian

Frontbencher warns of UKIP threat in Oldham by-election

UKIP logo“Labour must not make the mistake of under-estimating the electoral threat it faces from Ukip, a senior frontbencher warned ahead of the first major test of Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity. A by-election is set to be called in Oldham West and Royton following the death of the veteran MP Michael Meacher on 21 October. Ukip, who came second in the constituency at the general election, have said they will pour resources into the contest in an attempt to capture the seat.” – The Independent

Charles Moore: We must reign in our over-mighty judiciary

“One Supreme Court judge, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, held that the court had the power not only to review whether the Home Secretary’s argument was “tenable” according to the rules, but whether it was “right”. He did not mean legally right: he meant just, well, right in the broadest possible sense. He thought that, because he was a top judge, he now had that power.” – Daily Telegraph

SNP fight off plans to cut Remembrance ceremony

SNP logo white background“Plans to shorten the Remembrance Sunday service for the Queen and ageing veterans were abandoned last night after complaints by Scottish nationalists. Royal aides wanted to cut the Cenotaph ceremony next month to limit standing time for the 89-year-old monarch. But a Westminster row broke out when the revised schedule meant that the four opposition leaders would have to lay wreaths together to save time.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Taliban gains in Helmand make ‘moral case’ for British return, claims commander – Daily Mail
  • Backlash after police arrest China protester – The Times (£)
  • Farmers forced to erect EU billboards – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Worst hurricane ever’ hits Mexico – Financial Times
  • Faslane staff raise safety concerns after budget cuts – The Guardian
  • TalkTalk hackers start raiding bank accounts – Daily Mail

And finally… Parliament to debate abandoning vellum

“The thousand-year-old tradition of printing acts of parliament on vellum is set to come to an end under proposals from the Commons administration committee — all to save £80,000 a year. Vellum, which is made from the hide of a calf, has traditionally been used for its durability, but a spokesman for the House of Lords said that it could be replaced with archival paper, which was “deemed to be sufficiently durable to meet parliament’s needs”.” – The Times (£)