EU 1) Osborne seeks to curb Eurozone bullies

OSBORNE non-broken sword“The chancellor is seeking a legally binding agreement from European Union member states to stop eurozone countries ganging up on Britain, as he prepares to travel to Germany for the latest round of negotiations. George Osborne is keen on securing an agreement, effective immediately in law, that nothing the eurozone does should damage the single market.” – The Times (£)

  • Chancellor claims UK and German economies are ‘beating heart of Europe’ – The Guardian
  • Mitchell joins call urging Osborne to boost mental health support – The Independent

EU 2) May won’t rule out leading Leave campaign

“Theresa May has not ruled out leading the campaign to quit Europe in the wake of Nigel Farage’s comments that he would be ‘delighted’ if she did so. The Home Secretary insisted she is focused on renegotiating Britain’s relationship with Brussels but did not say whether she instinctively backed leaving or remaining in the EU.” – Daily Mail

Trevor Kavanagh: Home Secretary could be the one to lead us out

MAY Warhol“Theresa May laid claim to the title in her dramatic warning at last month’s Tory conference on the risk of social meltdown from mass immigration. She upset critics but struck a chord with millions… The super-cautious Home Secretary is too canny to commit herself now. She has plenty of time while the PM goes through the misery of negotiation. But if he returns home empty-handed, watch her go.” – The Sun (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Our poll. Over two thirds of Party members ready to vote to leave the EU.

May under pressure over surveillance powers

“However Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is likely to face significant opposition if she refuses to give judges, rather than ministers, the power to sign off interception warrants. According to reports, Mrs May is considering a “two stage” approval process in which ministers are responsible for the initial decision to sign off surveillance warrants, a decision which then has to be approved by a senior judge.” – Daily Telegraph


  • State surveillance and why I trust our spies – Max Hastings, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May – As criminals move into the digital age, so should their pursuers

Ministers 1) Hunt defends delay to care cost cap

Jeremy Hunt portrait“The Conservatives pledged in their manifesto to bring in a cap of £72,000 on the amount people have to pay towards their care in old age. It was due to be introduced in April 2016. But in July, the Department of Health revealed the introduction of the cap would be delayed until April 2020 – a move that was savaged by critics… Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt insists the cap will be introduced a month before the 2020 election – but many in the sector are sceptical that it will ever be brought in.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 2) Morgan reviews Gove’s exam reforms

“Nicky Morgan has caved in to pressure from teaching unions and ordered a review of tough new tests for primary school children. The Education Secretary is expected to announce the move tomorrow in a speech to a centre-Right think-tank.” – Daily Mail


Ministers 3) …as Gove reviews Grayling’s court fees

michael-gove“The new fees were introduced in the closing days of the last parliament by Chris Grayling, the former justice secretary — and have been described as “outrageous” by Andrew Caplen, president of the Law Society. Michael Gove, the new justice secretary, has begun a review of the so-called “tax on justice” amid complaints that the new charge has prompted some defendants to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit to avoid the fee.” – Financial Times

Ministers 4) Javid advised against payout to steel apprentices

“Martin Donnelly, permanent secretary at the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, issued a written warning to ministers that the support for apprentices at the SSI steelworks in Redcar could fail Whitehall’s value for money tests. “I am also concerned that spending at this level would be repercussive, and might create an unhelpful precedent,” he told Sajid Javid, business secretary.” – Financial Times

Ministers 5) Mundell seeks to give Scotland welfare powers

Scottish flag“David Mundell is to propose changes to the Scotland Bill this week, as the Scottish secretary attempts to rebut criticism from opposition parties that the latest wave of devolution from London to Edinburgh does not go far enough. Mr Mundell will on Monday table amendments to the bill to ensure that Holyrood has control over various social security benefits, including the carer’s allowance, which the ruling Scottish National party has vowed to increase. The bill already grants Scotland substantial new tax powers.” – Financial Times

  • Holyrood has all it was promised, Scottish Secretary claims – The Guardian

Lewis justifies loosening of planning constraints on greenfield sites

“Tens of thousands of new homes in greenfield areas in England will be given automatic planning permission amid fears that communities will have inappropriate developments forced on them. Ministers have quietly given developers the right to be granted “planning in principle” in areas that are earmarked for new housing schemes… Brandon Lewis, the Housing Minister, said: “Our planning reforms have put an end to the top-down system of the past that pitted neighbours against developers, and instead put power back in the hands of local people.” – Daily Telegraph

Lord Strathclyde previously endorsed scrapping conventions he has been asked to uphold

LORDS logo“In a long-forgotten lecture in 1999, two years after the first Blair landslide election victory, the then Shadow Lords Leader Strathclyde told the Politeia think-tank: ‘The convention on political regulations first arose as a political convenience. But it has become a serious obstacle to the liberty of Parliament… the tide of secondary legislation has become a torrent.’” – The Independent

MPs 1) Davies claims to have been ‘speaking up for carers’ whilst filibustering boon

“A Conservative MP has insisted he was “speaking up for carers” when he deliberately blocked a new law that would have scrapped car parking charges at hospitals for carers. Philip Davies spoke for 90 minutes during a debate on the proposed law, deliberately preventing it from coming to a vote and ensuring it would not be passed.” – The Independent

MPs 2) Cleverly admits to smoking pot in quick-fire interview

CLEVERLY James“When the radio interview started, newly-elected MP James Cleverly wondered aloud: ‘Am I about to kiss my political career goodbye?’ Moments later, the Tory had confessed to watching porn and taking illegal drugs – although he stressed that the latter was a waste of money.” – Daily Mail

Corbyn stuns opponents by praising Scottish rebels

“Almost half the shadow cabinet publicly support the renewal of Trident, including Tom Watson, the deputy leader, Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary, Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary and Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the shadow justice secretary. Yet Mr Corbyn cheered the defiance of Scottish members, with his spokesman saying it was “a clear sign that Labour’s democracy has opened up” and that their views would be taken into account in a defence policy review.” – The Times (£)


Unions veto leadership critic from Oldham shortlist

Jeremy Corbyn“Kate Godfrey, who was a parliamentary candidate at the last election and has attacked Mr Corbyn’s choice of aides, was rejected within hours of applying to run in Oldham West and Royton. The revelation will increase concerns that Mr Corbyn and his hard-Left backers are attempting to rig the selection process to ensure a supporter wins the safe Labour seat.” – Daily Telegraph

Hunt claims hard left could turn Labour into a ‘sect’

“Labour will become “a sect rather than a party” if hard-left supporters of Jeremy Corbyn believe that all voters share their world view, Tristram Hunt has warned. In a frank assessment of the state of the party’s appeal after the previous election, the former shadow education secretary said Labour was “in the s***”.” – The Times (£)

Simon Danczuk: Labour is the ‘nasty party’ now

LABOUR dead rose“But no one should get carried away as Labour remains very much in the danger zone and any short-term boost masks a much bigger problem. Because while the attention is rightly on George Osborne taking money out of workers’ pay packets, behind the scenes there’s a worrying virus spreading through Labour’s structures that could wipe out our last remaining Election-winning asset.” – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn colouring book goes on sale – Daily Mail

>Today: Paul Abbott’s column: Starvation. Cannibalism. Millions dead. The horror of the communism which Corbyn’s spin master praised.

News in Brief:

  • Royal British Legion under fire for changes to Festival of Remembrance – Daily Mail
  • Erdogan secures long-term rule in Turkey with fresh majority – The Times (£)
  • Fears for British industry as Chinese economy stumbles – Daily Telegraph
  • New Australian Prime Minister scraps knights and dames – Financial Times
  • Sarkozy’s phones seized by investigation into cocaine smuggling ring – Daily Mail
  • ‘Toxic’ RSPCA continues 21-month hunt for head – The Times (£)