Osborne to raid Universal Credit to soften tax credit impact

OSBORNE penknife“George Osborne is preparing to fund plans to soften the impact of tax credit cuts by making Universal Credit recipients forgo as much as 75p of every extra pound they earn. Mr Osborne is expected to raid Universal Credit, Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship welfare reform programme, in an attempt to reduce the scale of tax credit cuts.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Chancellor can find £4.4 billion without tax credit cuts, claims think tank – The Guardian
  • Benefit fraud leaps to £1.3 billion – The Sun (£)
  • Tyrie urges competition watchdog to review new bank tax – Financial Times

Fraser Nelson: Why does the Chancellor have it in for the workers?

The Chancellor has run out of good options. He must now either abandon his plans to find £12 billion of savings by targeting the working poor – or stick to his guns, and destroy the Conservatives’ claim to being the new “workers’ party”. Like all of the worst political messes, it was created by a pile-up of accidents.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Reforming child benefit – and other alternatives to the tax credit cuts

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: For the betterment of capitalism: Osborne and Montgomerie at the Legatum Institute

Has the Prime Minister promised the BBC a higher licence fee after Osborne dealmaking?

BBC“David Cameron has told the BBC that the licence fee will not be scrapped and will instead rise by inflation from 2017, The Daily Telegraph understands. Lord Hall, the BBC director-general, received an assurance from the Prime Minister’s office earlier this week that the government does not plan to use the current review of the broadcaster’s Royal Charter to scrap the licence fee or impose further cuts on the corporation, according to a senior figure involved in the ongoing negotiations.” – Daily Telegraph

Cameron under fire over Egyptian bomb response

“In what is already said to be the largest counter-terror operation between the two counties since the September 11 attacks, military and intelligence experts from both sides have formed a coalition in what is now an international manhunt. Despite that, Prime Minister David Cameron still faced a furious backlash from both Russia and Egypt over his own handling of the Sharm El Sheikh crisis, as it emerged British spies uncovered intelligence that the plane crash was caused by an Islamic State bomb.” – Daily Mail

  • Spies think ISIS destroyed plane with bag bomb – The Times (£)
  • Prime Minister leaves crisis talks to accept award – Daily Mail
  • Cameron and Putin row over flight ban – The Sun (£)
  • Blunt criticises Prime Minister’s invitation of Egyptian president to the UK – The Independent


  • Is the crazed Speaker on a mission to thwart the Prime Minister? – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


>Yesterday: Leo Docherty in Comment: Sisi is a far better option for Egypt than the Muslim Brotherhood

Parliament may have to debate no confidence motion in the Prime Minister

  • “MPs could be forced to debate a no-confidence vote in the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. A petition, which accuses him of causing “devastation for the poorest in society for the last 5 years”, is closing in on the 100,000 signatures required for a parliamentary debate.” – The Independent

Ministers 1) Johnson sets out plan for higher tuition fees

MANIFESTO money“Fees, currently capped at £9,000 a year, will be set at four levels under the plans. Institutions that show evidence of excellent teaching would be allowed to charge the most, while universities whose standards are found to have slipped could be forced to cut fees for new recruits. A regulator to champion students’ interests would also be set up… Jo Johnson, the universities minister, wants to enact the legislation next year after a ten-week consultation.” – The Times (£)

  • Student champion to make sure undergrads get value for money – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) McLoughlin slams breaks on speed camera plan

“The furious Transport Secretary vowed last night to block plans for a speed camera blitz on the M1 — in a huge victory for The Sun. Patrick McLoughlin called the threat by Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to permanently turn on Gatsos to raise £1million a “crystal clear” breach of Government guidelines. And he accused Labour PCC Olly Martins, who this week announced the scheme to MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee, of playing politics.” – The Sun (£)

Ministers 3) Morgan claims free schools would help Scotland

MORGAN Nicky officiall version“Nicky Morgan has outlined how freeing schools from local authority control in England has driven up standards there as startling new figures suggested the gulf between the best and worst state schools in Scotland is widening. Speaking to the Telegraph following talks with her SNP counterpart in Edinburgh, the Education Secretary in England said that “putting teachers and parents in the driving seat” there had demonstrated that a world-class education was not “the preserve of the rich or the lucky”.” – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 4) Gove branded ‘soft’ by Tory MPs over prison reforms

“Justice Secretary Michael Gove was branded “soft” by livid Tories last night after vowing to review sentencing and cut prison numbers. He wants a “more sensitive” regime with greater emphasis on rehabilitation. In a speech to leftie think tank the Howard League for Penal Reform, Mr Gove said while he had not reached any conclusions, “We do need to look at our whole sentencing framework”.” – The Sun (£)

Ministers 5) Stewart aims to highlight food waste

Food bank“A government Minister has said he would be “delighted” to be seen “eating a wobbly banana”, in an effort to highlight the levels of food waste. Rory Stewart, the minister for food and rural affairs, said he “absolutely agreed” supermarkets need to play a larger role in reducing food waste in Britain.” – Daily Telegraph

Peeress admits state cannot stop children accessing explicit material

“The minister in charge of internet safety has admitted that children will find a way around online porn filters and access explicit material. Baroness Shields – formerly an executive at Google, Aol and Facebook – told peers that ‘we will never be able to solve this problem completely’.” – Daily Mail

  • Children may be too clever, concedes Baroness Shields – Daily Telegraph

Offord claims British should not lecture Chinese on eating dog

Chinese flag“Britain should not lecture the Chinese about eating dogs when we glorify the eating of turkey testicles in shows such as I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, a Tory MP has said. Matthew Offord, the MP for Hendon and a vegetarian of 30 years, made his intervention during a Commons’ debate on the dog meat trade.” – Daily Mail

Setback for Corbyn as moderates seize all posts in Labour’s backbench committees…

“Jeremy Corbyn’s hopes of overhauling Labour’s policies on defence, foreign affairs and the economy have been dealt a blow after some of his leading critics seized key party posts. In the surest sign to date that MPs are organising to stop Mr Corbyn from shifting the party to the left, Labour moderates and vocal Blairites took all 17 posts available as chairmen and women of the party’s backbench committees.” – The Times (£)

Tom Harris: The PLP has given Corbyn a kicking

Labour holes“The first thing to grab your attention is that almost every new committee chair is a staunch and high-profile critic of the new Corbynite regime. Sensible, sound chaps and chapettes, each one. The second thing to notice is that the cast list is arguably more impressive than the current Shadow Cabinet, and indeed features some who refused to serve under Corbyn.” – Daily Telegraph

…and their frontbench sympathisers plot to oust him

“Jeremy Corbyn could be hit by a wave of resignations by moderate frontbenchers in an attempt to destabilise his leadership and pave the way for a coup aimed at ousting him. Some Labour frontbenchers who agreed to serve under left-wing party leader are determined to topple him well before the 2020 general election and have begun private talks about their tactics.” – The Independent

  • Dugher and Jones slam party’s attitude to Trident and the election – The Independent

McDonnell lead campaign to ‘terrorise’ moderate MP in 1970s

McDonnell Conference Speech“His first action on joining the party in the 1970s was to lead a cabal conniving to remove his sitting MP, Neville Sandelson. In a disclosure that undermines the new party hierarchy’s demands for loyalty, the MP claimed that Mr McDonnell was among militants who visited the House of Commons to make threats and force him to vote against the policies of the Labour government.” – The Times (£)


  • If people won’t protest peacefully, they lose the right – Dan Hodges, Dailfy Telegraph

Oldham council leader sees off left-wingers for by-election nomination

“The leader of Oldham council, Jim McMahon, has defeated a challenge from Labour leftwingers to be selected as the party’s candidate in December’s parliamentary byelection. McMahon, 35, is the Labour leader of the Local Government Association and was once billed as a possible directly elected mayor for Greater Manchester in 2017.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Cllr James Daly selected to fight the Oldham West and Royton by-election

Clegg claims only a ‘handful’ of ministers knew about mass surveillance

CLEGG Bird“Only a “tiny handful” of senior cabinet ministers were aware of secret mass surveillance, Nick Clegg has said. The former deputy prime minister said he was “astonished” the extent of MI5’s ability to access UK communications data.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The State – not Big Brother, but Little Brother

News in Brief:

  • ‘Overworked’ junior doctors leader has photography firm – The Times (£)
  • Anarchist march turns violent – Daily Mail
  • World first against cancer as British baby receives genetically-edited cells – Daily Telegraph
  • US drive ISIS from northern Syria – The Times (£)
  • TalkTalk hack “more limited” than feared – Financial Times
  • Officials rule out Israel deal before Obama leaves office – The Guardian
  • Glasgow University makes 200 years of Westminster speeches available online – The Independent
  • Only 400 speakers, but six figure sum spent on Cornish language revival – Daily Telegraph