Osborne ‘turns screws’ on IDS as he reveals other departments’ reductions…

OSBORNE non-broken sword“George Osborne last night piled pressure on Iain Duncan Smith to drop his resistance to further welfare cuts – as he revealed four other departments have already agreed to slash 30 per cent from their budgets to help balance Britain’s books. Mr Duncan Smith is digging in over attempts by the Chancellor to raid £1.5billion from Universal Credit in this month’s comprehensive spending review.” – Daily Mail

  • Tax credit row deepens as the Chancellor gets tough – The Times (£)
  • Osborne strikes deals with four departments to pressure IDS and May – Daily Telegraph
  • Chancellor says UK must not ‘lose its nerve’ on cuts – The Independent
  • Labour attack Universal Credit cuts – The Guardian
  • Paterson backs the Work and Pensions Secretary – Daily Mail
  • Hammond fails to deny Cabinet split – Daily Telegraph
  • Foreign Secretary hints at divisions – The Sun (£)
  • Low interest rates give Osborne an alternative to deeper cuts – Financial Times

Science cuts:

  • Lower science spending ‘threatens our future’, MPs warn – The Times (£)
  • British MPs counsel against research funding cuts – Financial Times
  • Double spending to remain a ‘science superpower’, advise MPs – The Independent


>Today: ToryDiary: So you think Tory party members oppose all international aid? Read our poll and think again

…and prepares to ‘rein in’ excesses of public sector bosses

“The chancellor promised to rein in “unacceptable” pay and perks in the public sector after it was disclosed yesterday that thousands of council chiefs were charging taxpayers for private medical insurance. George Osborne indicated that he would issue new guidance to public sector employers after saying that data released under the Freedom of Information Act showed scope for savings.” – The Times

  • The extraordinary greed of public sector bosses – Daily Mail
  • Chancellor sets his sights on ‘unacceptable’ pay and perks – The Guardian
  • Farron denounces living wage as a ‘con job’ – The Independent

>Today: Jonathan Isaby in Comment: The public sector rich list: how you fund nearly 3,500 council staff enjoying remuneration of more than £100,000

Cameron hopes to renew bonds with India during Modi visit…

Cameron1“David Cameron is hoping to use a three-day visit by Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, to reboot Britain’s economic relationship this week after falling well short of a previous aim to double the amount of trade with the emerging giant. The latest trade statistics from Delhi show that aspiration in tatters, with overall trade barely up on the 2010 figure and Britain’s share of imports actually falling almost 17 per cent last year.” – The Times (£)

…as he ‘gambles on June referendum’

“David Cameron is ready to hold the EU referendum in June if other leaders agree to the bulk of his reform package at a summit next month, Whitehall officials have said. The prime minister will counter tomorrow the key arguments made by those campaigning for a Brexit as he effectively launches his effort to keep Britain in the EU.” – The Times (£)

  • Premier warns that quitting the EU risks Britain’s national security – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister prepares for summer poll – Daily Mail
  • Cameron’s letter to the EU will not mention ‘specific legislative changes’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Fretting over Brussels relations hamstrings British diplomacy, warn senior figures – The Guardian
  • The £5bn cost of Brussels pensions – The Times (£)


Boris Johnson: The Prime Minister is right to show some steel

boris-johnson“No longer to sacrifice parliamentary democracy for diplomatic “influence”; no longer the subset of a superstate; no longer the unwilling component of a unique and unprecedented attempt at political unification, but independent, standing or falling on our own merits. David Cameron is making it clear, in his long-awaited speech, that if he doesn’t get a satisfactory result in those negotiations, then he could lead the Out campaign; and in that great release of pent-up Eurosceptic energy there can be little doubt that he would be victorious.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron will threaten to leave the EU if his demands are not met – Financial Times
  • We can thrive outside the EU, warns the Prime Minister – The Sun (£)

Javid accused of hiding behind the EU over steel industry woes

“The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, has been accused of “hiding behind” the EU rather than taking urgent action to save tens of thousands of jobs, as he leads a delegation to Brussels in a crisis meeting to save the British steel industry. The warning, from union leaders, came as thousands of workers from the UK, Belgium and France are expected to demonstrate outside the EU’s Competitiveness Council, where Mr Javid will meet his EU counterparts and Commission officials to discuss the crisis engulfing steel industries across Europe.” – The Independent

Hammond warns that cosmetic EU renegotiation will not do…

HAMMOND Philip white background“The British people will not be ‘fobbed off’ with minor changes to the European Union, Philip Hammond warned today. The Foreign Secretary insisted that David Cameron must get more than ‘cosmetic alterations’ to the UK’s relationship with Brussels.” – Daily Mail

  • Police face deluge of requests if UK joins EU DNA database – Daily Telegraph

…and of increased flight delays in the Middle East

“Passengers face delays as part of a global shake-up in airport security after Egypt said it was almost certain that a bomb brought down a Russian jet over the Sinai desert. Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, said that officials would consider boosting security in regions where Islamic State was known to be operating, but also indicated that “airport security everywhere” would be placed under review.” – The Times (£)

  • Foreign Secretary hints at tougher security for planes across region – Daily Mail


  • Rash Putin is putting us all at risk from ISIS – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)
  • Metrojet disaster most ominous development for air travel since 9/11 – The Times (£) editorial

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Hammond on Egypt, British holidaymakers, and terror

Gove’s plan for new British Bill of Rights leaked

michael-gove“Britain is to remain signed-up to the controversial European Court of Human Rights – but will no longer slavishly abide by the rulings of Strasbourg judges. Under the new British Bill of Rights, the UK’s own courts would have the final say where there is a clash between the Government and Europe. The plans, which were leaked today, would also give greater protection from human rights lawyers to journalists and British soldiers fighting overseas.” – Daily Mail

  • Justice Secretary to tell judges they can ignore ECHR rulings – The Independent
  • Soldiers to be shielded from legal claims – The Times (£)
  • Human Rights Act cited in an increasing number of UK legal cases – Financial Times
  • No appetite for scrapping HRA, allege Amnesty – The Guardian

Scottish Secretary demands SNP set out welfare plans

“The SNP must spell out the cost to taxpayers of their plans to increase welfare, the Scottish Secretary said today ahead of a “historic” Commons vote on transferring a swathe of new powers to Holyrood. David Mundell said that even SNP ministers have belatedly been forced to accept they will have “substantial new powers over benefits” thanks to the Scotland Bill and they have “run out of excuses” for not revealing their proposals.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Salmond’s MPs demand Holyrood have power to call referendum – The Independent


  • Nationalists try to hide policy failures with constitutional smokescreen – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Davis claims British are ‘intellectually lazy’ about defending liberty

David Davis“Mobilising opposition to the government’s surveillance legislation is difficult because the British have become intellectually lazy about defending liberty, the Conservative MP David Davis has said. Davis said it was astonishing how cavalier people were about liberty, citing the fact that Britons have no recent experience of living under a police state as an explanation.” – The Guardian

Hard-left militants in Momentum plotting ‘civil war’

“Key organisers in Momentum, the new Jeremy Corbyn supporters’ group inside the Labour Party, are explicitly plotting “civil war” to get rid of moderate Labour MPs, despite repeated denials, a Telegraph investigation has found… The south London borough of Lewisham can be revealed as a key target for Momentum, with the group likely to challenge at least two of the area’s moderate Labour MPs. Concerted efforts have also begun to get moderate Labour incumbents pushed down the rankings of the party’s candidates for next year’s Welsh and Scottish elections, putting them at great risk of losing their seats.” – Andrew Gilligan, Daily Telegraph

Corbyn at war with military top brass over nukes

Jeremy Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn has accused Britain’s most senior military officer of flouting the constitution by saying he would be worried if the Labour leader became prime minister. General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the outgoing chief of the defence staff, said Mr Corbyn’s statement that he would categorically rule out the use of nuclear weapons if he were elected to No 10 risked undermining the country’s defence.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour accuse military chief of breaching constitutional duty – Financial Times
  • General Sir Nicholas Houghton goes to war with Jez – The Sun (£)
  • How defence cuts have loosened military tongues – The Independent



  • Why did he barely his head move during his Remembrance Sunday debut? – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail

Leader’s aide supported the Greens

“A key aide to Jeremy Corbyn who was suspended last week as a member of the Labour party is under fresh scrutiny after it emerged that he urged voters to back the Greens at a general election. Andrew Fisher, Mr Corbyn’s head of policy, was excluded by party officials on Friday over allegations that he endorsed the campaign of the Class War party at the election in May.” – The Times (£)

Isabel Hardman: Corbyn can’t afford to let the PLP push out his staff

LABOUR dead rose“The leader cannot afford to lose his aide, partly because it would suggest his opponents in the party were winning their briefing war, and because it would leave him further exposed on policy. This isn’t a fight about Mr Fisher: it’s about who is in control of the party.” – The Times (£)

  • Shadow ministers ditch ‘barmy’ women-only train carriages plan – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Peter Cuthbertson in Comment: What we can learn from Miliband’s failure

Labour MPs 1) Lewis accuses BBC of racism

“A Labour MP has accused the BBC of refusing to give him a job as a presenter on racist grounds. Left-wing Norwich MP Clive Lewis, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, claimed a ‘glass ceiling’ held back black staff and that he had experienced racism from a manager while working for the BBC’s Look East in East Anglia.” – Daily Mail

Labour MPs 2) Rayner reprimands shoe shop on Commons paper

Labour-Party-Red-Rose-logo“A Labour MP was accused last night of misusing Commons notepaper to reprimand the manager of a shoe shop for failing to reserve her a £195 pair of four-inch novelty Star Wars shoes. Angela Rayner wrote the letter warning the manager of the Brighton branch of Irregular Choice that his “poor customer service” would “cost him” after missing out on buying the shoes which have little models of the robot R2-D2 in the heels.” – The Times (£)

  • MP with shoe addiction bullies shopkeeper – The Sun (£)

UKIP facing financial ruin after general election flop

“Ukip is facing financial ruin following a slump in membership and the loss of key donors in the wake of the party’s disappointing General Election performance, The Mail on Sunday has learned. Insiders say the situation has become so desperate that many staff wages went unpaid last month, and leader Nigel Farage has been forced to ring round backers begging for a financial lifeline.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Hackers steal passwords – The Sun (£)
  • Burmese voters sense dawn of a new era – The Times (£)
  • NHS accused of ‘scandalous’ 999 response time policy – Daily Telegraph
  • EU steelmakers call for tougher action against Chinese imports – Financial Times
  • Bradby claims BBC is acting like ‘Imperial Rome’ toward rivals – Daily Mail
  • Cyprus migrants told there’s no way to the UK – The Sun (£)