EU 1) Cameron accused of scaremongering over Norway claims

CAMERON EU fence“David Cameron triggered a major row over Europe last night by insisting the UK would suffer if it follows Norway and establishes a looser relationship with Brussels. The Prime Minister told MPs that the ‘Norway model’ could see the UK handing over just as much money to the EU, would not cut migration and would leave Britain with ‘no seat at the table’ for negotiations.” – Daily Mail

  • Tory leader warns against Norwegian settlement – Financial Times
  • Clegg says keeping EU at arm’s length would be a disaster – The Independent
  • I may vote to leave – honest! Prime Minister blasted by ‘Out’ supporters – The Sun (£)


  • Cameron pledges funds for steel industry… once EU approves – Financial Times
  • Prime Minister protects UK porn filters from EU rules – Daily Mail
  • Britain will be able to negotiate end of tampon tax, official vows – The Times (£)
  • Top US trade official warns against Brexit – Financial Times
  • British pig farmers lose out as EU fails to enforce high welfare standards on the continent – Daily Telegraph


  • I don’t want a Norwegian solution, Prime Minister – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph


EU 2) Leadsom says UK could be ‘very good place’ outside EU

“Britain could be in a “very good place” if it leaves the European Union, a Conservative government minister has said ahead of the In/Out referendum. Andrea Leadsom, the energy minister, also indicated on BBC Radio 4’s World At One that she could “imagine” voting to the leave the EU but was yet to decide.” – Daily Telegraph

EU 3) Tyrie calls for Tory leader to seek power overhaul in Europe

TYRIE Andrew“David Cameron needs to set more ambitious goals in his European Union renegotiations or risk watching the EU tear itself apart as its governing institutions become increasingly detached from the public, a senior Conservative MP has warned. Andrew Tyrie, the chair of the Treasury select committee, called for an overhaul of the EU to hand greater power back to member states at a time when the prime minister is preparing to step up his negotiations with the EU.” – The Guardian

  • MEPs vote to hike Union’s budget and demand £384m from Britain – Daily Mail

Andrew Tyrie: British renegotiation should be the tip of the spear for European reform

“Over the 40 years of our EU membership, British governments have shown little interest in institutional reform. This needs to change. As I set out in my paper Ending the Ratchet, published by the Centre for Policy Studies, reform of the process of lawmaking (and unmaking) is now at least as important as any one-off repatriation of powers. The legislative ratchet, embodied in the commitment to ever-closer union, must be ended.” – The Guardian


Prime Minister blasts alliance of ‘unelected and unelectable’ for blocking tax credit cuts

LORDS logo“David Cameron today blamed a ‘new alliance’ between ‘unelectable’ Jeremy Corbyn and ‘unelected’ peers for sinking his tax-credit reforms. But the Prime Minister came under fire as he refused to answer the Labour leader six times when asked if millions will be worse off under his proposals.” – Daily Mail


  • At last, Tiny Tim Farron gets a chance to be heard – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)
  • Cameron has all the answers, save to the question he’s asked – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph


Tim Montgomerie: You can’t cut welfare and remain popular

“Every cut in the welfare bill is going to be tough from now on because it is going to hurt people who are either doing the right thing — poorly paid workers in receipt of tax credits, for example — or disabled people, the retired and families in receipt of child benefit. Given that pensioners are now better off than the average person, it would be fair for them to share in the next phase of austerity, but the prime minister has promised to increase their incomes by at least 2.5 per cent in each year of this parliament — even though prices are falling.” – The Times (£)


Hunt to introduce Ofsted-style ratings for the NHS…

Hunt Jeremy 15“Cancer, maternity and dementia care are to be given Ofsted-style ratings under Tory plans to root out the worst performing areas of the country. From next summer, all 211 local health groups will be given grades of ‘outstanding’ through to ‘inadequate’ for six services, in a similar system to school inspections. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also vowed to slash GPs’ bureaucracy to such an extent that they will have an extra two hours a week to see patients.” – Daily Mail

…and insists no junior doctor will have their pay cut

“Jeremy Hunt has guaranteed that no junior doctor will suffer a pay cut, in a significant concession over a new contract that has prompted strike threats. The health secretary made the promise as he urged the British Medical Association to return to the negotiating table as it prepares to ballot members next week on industrial action. The union’s leaders said that the promise was a “step in the right” direction.” – The Times (£)

  • Shadow Health Secretary admits Labour doesn’t know how to fund extra spending – Daily Telegraph

May blocks plans to give judges power over spies

MAY Theresa menacing“Theresa May will refuse to allow judges to sign off spying warrants after the Government’s top lawyer warned they could paralyse the intelligence agencies. The major reform has been called for by civil liberty campaigners. But the Home Secretary has been told by the Attorney General that all judges’ spying decisions could be judicially reviewed under human rights laws.” – The Sun (£)

Duncan Smith deploys jobcentre staff to help foodbank users

“Jobcentre Plus staff are to be sent to food banks to advise users on how to find a job or to chase up late benefit payments, Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said yesterday. He said that he was “getting very strong feedback” from a trial at a food bank in Manchester and planned to extend the scheme across the country.” – The Times (£)

  • Benefit sanctions working as intended, says Work and Pensions Secretary – The Independent

Hammond praises Saudis for releasing Briton

HAMMOND Philip white background“Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has praised the UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia after Riyadh announced the release of a British grandfather who had been threatened with flogging for possession of alcohol. The move comes at a tense time for diplomacy between the two countries after Britain cancelled a prison training contract over criticism of Riyadh’s human rights record, triggering the wrath of the Saudi ambassador.” – Financial Times

Corbyn dons the red poppy…

“Jeremy Corbyn bowed to convention and wore a red poppy at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. In previous years, the anti-war MP wore a white poppy as a symbol of political protest… Mr Corbyn’s deputy, Tom Watson, did not wear a poppy while sitting next to the leader during PMQs.” – Daily Mail

…as critic seeks nomination for Oldham by-election

Labour-Party-Red-Rose-logo“A former Labour general election candidate who has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn has challenged her party to put her on the shortlist to fight the Oldham West and Royton byelection as a “disabled, working class woman”. Kate Godfrey, who has worked for the UN and stood for Labour in Stafford at the election, said Corbyn does not represent “effective opposition” and criticised the appointment of Guardian journalist Seumas Milne as his director of strategy.” – The Guardian

Watson’s witch hunt has cost more than £2 million in salaries

“The controversial probe into claims that a VIP ring of paedophiles murdered three boys has cost £2million so far in police salaries alone, The Sun can reveal. Staffing costs on Operation Midland, set up in the wake of comments by MP Tom Watson that a “powerful paedophile network” was linked to Parliament, run at about £165,000 a month.” – The Sun (£)

Field leads criticism of pension reforms

FIELD Frank grey“The Commons work and pensions committee will investigate whether the new deal has been explained in an ‘adequate, consistent and accurate’ way and whether the Government is fully prepared to bring in the reforms. Frank Field, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: ‘There is a sense that Government has somewhat moved the goalposts in retirement savings, without providing enough information and a risk that some people may face a shock when they come to claim their pension.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Ministers spent £46m on Kids Company despite fears – Daily Mail
  • Austria builds fence to curb migrants – The Times (£)
  • ITV attacks BBC for spending licence fee on Bargain Hunt – Daily Telegraph
  • EU waters down tough new post-VW car emissions tests – Financial Times
  • Terror threat highest I’ve seen, says MI5 chief – Daily Mail

And finally… MPs demand money back after FIFA admit World Cup bid was doomed

“England’s bid to host the football World Cup in 2018 was always doomed because of a secret deal to award the tournament to Russia, the disgraced head of Fifa admitted yesterday… MPs called yesterday for the Football Association to demand the repayment by Fifa of taxpayers’ money used to help to fund the £21 million bid. The FA said that its lawyers were reviewing whether the vote had been “fixed”.” – The Times (£)