Spending Review 1) Cameron puts terror at heart of defence overhaul

CAMERON-PENSIVE“David Cameron will vow to place the fight against Islamic State-style terrorism at the heart of Britain’s £178 billion defence overhaul today, amid firm signs that parliament is ready to sanction airstrikes against the militants in Syria. In a move that could allow the prime minister to order bombing raids within weeks, senior Labour figures indicated yesterday that the party’s MPs would be free to back strikes against Isis in its Syrian strongholds.” – The Times (£)

  • Number 10 sets out five year defence reboot – Financial Times
  • Prime Minister pledges 10,000 fresh troops in defence review – Daily Mail
  • Armed Forces get £12bn boost – The Sun (£)
  • Government fortifies Britain against ISIS and Russia – Financial Times


  • The Prime Minister has guns, bombs, a plane… and not one good idea – Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail
  • Cameron should spell out his anti-ISIS strategy in full – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)

David Cameron: We shall defeat terrorism, and the ideology which fuels it

“As the murders on the streets of Paris reminded us so starkly, Islamic State (Isil) is not some remote problem thousands of miles away; it is a direct threat to our security. So I want the British people to know they have a government that understands the importance of our national security and that we will take whatever actions are necessary to keep our country safe.” – Daily Telegraph

  • One fifth of British Muslims have sympathy for jihadis in our poll – The Sun (£)
  • Chancellor suggests UK could join airstrikes on Syria within weeks – The Guardian


  • It’s time to tackle the extremists – Sadiq Khan, The Sun (£)

Spending Review 2) Osborne refuses to rule out police cuts but pledges more anti-terror cash

OSBORNE scissors“The budget for fighting terrorism in Britain is to rise by 30 per cent over the next five years, George Osborne said today. But the Chancellor refused to rule out cuts to police numbers despite dire warnings about the threat to security in the wake of the Paris attacks.” – Daily Mail

  • Police cuts on agenda despite terror threat – The Times (£)
  • Fears rise over police reductions – Financial Times
  • Police squander money on ‘groundless’ historic sex abuse cases, claims Lawson – Daily Mail
  • Osborne prepares to backtrack on surplus – The Independent
  • Millions face council tax rises to plug social care funding crisis – Daily Telegraph
  • Welfare cuts to offset retreat on tax credits – The Sun (£)
  • Student nurse bursaries could be scrapped – The Independent


>Today: David Burrowes MP in Comment: Why I want Wednesday’s Spending Review to have families at its heart


Hunt warns that doctors are putting patients at risk by striking

“Patients could die as a result of junior doctors being led out on strike by “militant” union bosses, Jeremy Hunt has warned. The Health Secretary said three days of walkouts would be a “very high-risk period” in hospitals as he urged docs to think again. In a worrying admission, Mr Hunt said he could not guarantee emergency cover across the NHS when doctors take industrial action in a bitter dispute over changes to weekend working.” – The Sun (£)

  • Junior doctors call for talks with Health Secretary – The Guardian
  • NHS set for ‘down payment’ on additional funding pledged by Cameron – Financial Times

>Today: Local Government: Council spending on public health is being largely wasted

Police investigate Clarke blackmail allegations

Police shield“Police have been contacted about an alleged plot to blackmail a Conservative activist who was due to speak out about an election candidate accused of bullying. The blackmail attempt was allegedly made as the activist was preparing to give evidence about Mark Clarke to Conservative campaign headquarters.” – The Times (£)

  • ‘Tatler Tory’ gets away from it all in Barbados as Shapps fights against being the fall guy – Daily Mail
  •  ‘Lost night’ of 22-year-old activist who woke up with MP – Daily Telegraph
  • Halfon claimed stays at East India Club, where he met CF mistress, on expenses – Daily Mail

Mercer explains why he’s never taken drugs

“A Conservative MP has said ‘you don’t put diesel in a Ferrari’ when asked if he had ever taken drugs. Johnny Mercer, a former British Army captain, joked with presenter John Pienaar while taking part in the quick-fire ‘Backbencher’s Questions’ on his show.” – Daily Mail

Isabel Hardman: Giggling MPs are playing into Corbyn’s hands

CONSERVATIVE tree“Some Tories think Mr Corbyn is already so unpopular with the electorate that it doesn’t matter what they do in the chamber. But they shouldn’t be so complacent. The Conservatives should use the current weak Labour leadership not to get away with whatever they want but as an opportunity to confound voters’ lingering suspicions about their own brand.” – The Times (£)

Labour leader authorises scathing attack on internal critics…

“Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has authorised a scathing attack on his internal critics accusing them of creating an “atmosphere of chaos” in the party through “constant sniping” and “bitter attacks”. In the first public response to the criticisms of his leadership, Mr Corbyn’s team has used his official Facebook page to lambast MPs and “New Labour grandees” for attempting to destabilise his leadership.” – The Independent

…as he faces retreat and u-turn on Syria…

Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)“Jeremy Corbyn is on the brink of a retreat over air strikes in Syria after his shadow chancellor indicated that the party could hold a free vote on the issue. Mr Corbyn, a life-long pacifist, last week ruled out a free vote on air strikes in a move which left him facing a rebellion from his shadow cabinet and up to 60 Labour MPs.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Growing number of MPs signal that they will back airstrikes – The Guardian


  • The case for British airstrikes makes even less sense now – Mary Dejevsky, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: How much worse would bombing Syria make the terror threat in Britain?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Two years on, a Syria vote Cameron could win

…and his Shadow First Secretary of State refuses to endorse him

“One of the most senior members of Labour’s shadow cabinet repeatedly refused to say that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are suited to the “highest offices in the land”. Angela Eagle, who is Mr Corbyn’s first secretary of state, would only say that she was committed to working with the pair because Mr Corbyn had been elected leader by the party’s members and supporters.” – The Times (£)

Miliband tells MP: ‘I bet you didn’t think things would actually get worse’

MILIBAND Red Ed“Ed Miliband’s feelings about Jeremy Corbyn, his successor as Labour leader, have been revealed after he suggested that the party was in direr straits than when he was at the helm. Miliband had previously kept his opinion about Corbyn close to his chest, but he told Graham Stringer, the Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton: “I bet you didn’t think things would actually get worse.”” – The Guardian

  • Former leader urges UK to set zero emissions target in law – The Guardian
  • Nandy claims UK climate policies are going in the wrong direction – The Independent


  • Yes, the Paris climate talks can save the planet – Ed Miliband, The Guardian

How Farage went to war with his only MP

“Nigel Farage accused his party’s sole MP Douglas Carswell of being “preachy”, not “true Ukip” and affecting a fake image, according to a new book. The Ukip leader launched a blistering attack on the parliamentarian, claiming that he projected a “carefully cultivated image, him being the ordinary man, but it’s bollocks”.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • BBC boss criticises politicians for eroding its independence – Daily Mail
  • Britain calls in French assistance to hunt for Russian submarine – Daily Telegraph
  • Belgian police arrest 16 suspects in raids – The Times (£)
  • Brussels faces third day of lockdown over terror fears – Financial Times
  • Crimean power sabotaged by Ukrainian activists – The Sun (£)
  • Critics of Schengen ‘exploiting’ Paris, cries Juncker – Daily Mail
  • Argentina changes course as Conservative wins the presidency – Daily Telegraph