Labour leadership goes to war on Syria

Tory anti-Corbyn 1“After a fraught meeting with the shadow cabinet, Mr Corbyn announced the Prime Minister had failed to make a ‘convincing case’ that military action would improve rather than damage national security. It puts him on a collision course with his own MPs, with shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn leading calls for Labour to support the government in a crunch vote expected as early as next week. If Mr Corbyn tried to force all Labour MPs to vote military action, he faces the prospect of mass resignations from his frontbench.” – Daily Mail

Other parties:

  • Prime Minister challenged over ‘magical’ claim of 70,000 moderate fighters – The Independent
  • Salmond misses debate to unveil portrait of himself in Edinburgh – Daily Mail

Tom Tugendhat MP: We cannot leave it to our allies to eradicate this death cult

“The Prime Minister is right in setting out his thoughts to Parliament, explaining why the United Nations voted in favour of military action, and why we must work with allies in the region and even sometime rivals like Russia. He is right too to say that Assad is not the main threat and that we must use the ground forces available to destroy the enemy’s strongholds. But most of all he is right that we must act.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Syria will be the spark for open rebellion in Labour – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • Debate shows MPs have learned the lessons of war – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • The case for bombing Syria exists, but is not as clear as Cameron suggests – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • We can’t beat ISIS with one hand tied behind our back – Melanie Philips, The Times (£)
  • Cameron’s strategy can only repeat the mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan – Patrick Cockburn, The Independent
  • Action on Syria could restore Britain’s global credibility – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph


  • At last, an outbreak of dignity and honour – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Cameron must really want to bomb Syria, he’s being polite to Corbyn – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Cameron makes the case for air strikes in Syria

Labour and terrorists: As Ken says 7/7 bombers ‘gave their lives’ on Question Time…

Labour holes“Former London mayor Ken Livingstone sparked outrage last night after claiming the 7/7 suicide bombers who killed 52 people in the capital ‘gave their lives’ in protest at Britain’s invasion of Iraq. The veteran politician, co-convenor of Labour’s defence review, was debating the proposed bombing of Islamic State terrorists in Syria as a panel member on BBC’s Question Time.” – Daily Mail

  • Former Mayor of London blames Blair for terrorist attack – Daily Telegraph

…fresh evidence suggests McDonnell backed IRA campaign

“John McDonnell called for the “ballot, the bullet and the bomb” to unite Ireland at the height of the IRA’s terrorism campaign against Britain, The Times can reveal. The shadow chancellor also suggested, with black humour, that Labour councillors who refused to meet the IRA’s political wing should have their knee-caps shot off.” – The Times (£)

  • Left-winger urged talks after blast which killed two – The Times (£)

On his last gaffe:

On doing his job:

IFS warns Osborne may need to raise taxes to pay for spending plans…

MANIFESTO money“George Osborne could be forced to raise taxes before the next General Election to keep his budget plans on track, experts warned yesterday. The Chancellor used his Autumn Statement to confirm that he will aim for a budget surplus of £10.1billion in 2019-20 – the first for nearly 20 years.” – Daily Mail

  • Spending review will leave poor families worse off, claim experts – The Guardian
  • Tax credit u-turn only slows squeeze on working poor – The Independent
  • Families ‘will lose £1600 a year’ after welfare changes – The Times (£)
  • Council tax will be £25 a year higher, Chancellor concedes – Daily Telegraph
  • Colleagues kept in the dark about Osborne’s plans – The Times (£)
  • Chancellor shows an artistic side – Financial Times

…as he mounts stealth raid on departmental budgets with rent plan

“George Osborne has staged a billion-pound stealth raid on his Cabinet colleagues’ budgets by seizing government departments’ buildings and charging them rent. The chancellor is setting up a body to take over ownership of government properties and act as the landlord to Whitehall departments, charging the market rate. The Treasury said the move was aimed at encouraging ministers to become more efficient.” – Financial Times

  • Mills condemns level of aid spending – Daily Mail
  • Blunder has given Scots £600m extra a year – Daily Mail

Philip Collins: Osborne’s class in getting away with murder

OSBORNE red and blue“Political credibility is always relative. Next to the comedians running the Labour party, Mr Osborne could do the autumn statement in a spinning bow tie and a pair of long shoes and still sound credible. He is in a position, and he knows it, where he can change course. He did it in the last parliament when he changed his deficit plans and he is doing it again, cutting more slowly than anticipated.” – The Times (£)

  • Osborne slipped social housing’s obituary into the Autumn Statement – Dawn Foster, The Guardian


>Today: Cllr Joel Davidson in Local Government: The Chancellor has defied Labour Brent’s miserablism


Feldman accused of dismissing Clarke concerns

“Lord Feldman of Elstree, the Conservative chairman and one of David Cameron’s closest allies, was last night dragged into the centre of the sex, blackmail and bullying scandal engulfing the party. The peer dismissed claims by a senior Conservative aide about the extreme behaviour of the Tory activist Mark Clarke, The Times has learnt.” – The Times (£)


Ministers: Duncan Smith suffers court defeat over benefit cap…

CONSERVATIVE tree“Iain Duncan Smith has suffered a major defeat after a High Court judge ruled that his decision to include unpaid family carers in the benefit cap is unlawful. In a highly significant judgement the High Court ruled that the Work and Pensions Secretary had discriminated on the grounds of disability against unpaid carers who look after severely disabled people for more than 35 hours a week.” – The Independent

…as Lord Prior queries link between cuts and food banks

“A Tory health minister came under fire today after saying it was ‘strange’ that people use food banks because they are hungry but the country is in the grip of an obesity crisis. Former investment banker Lord Prior of Brampton was challenged in parliament after he claimed there was no link between benefit cuts and people turning to charity to feed their families.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Bloody Sunday Paras claim arrest could put their lives at risk – Daily Mail
  • ‘Leafy’ middle England stagnating as life improves for poorest – Daily Telegraph
  • Immigration surges to new record – The Sun (£)
  • Refugee influx threatens fall of the EU, warns Dutch PM – Financial Times
  • Outbreak of civility as Britain wakes to Black Friday – The Guardian
  • The best political books of 2015 – The Independent
  • Moscow expels Turks after warplane downed – The Times (£)
  • Turkey refuses to apologise to Russia – Daily Mail
  • Buy-to-let stampede ahead of stamp duty hikes – Daily Telegraph
  • Cautious optimism after nine hours of talks to resolve junior doctors’ dispute – The Guardian