Europe 1) A boost for the Prime Minister’s renegotiation plans

EU Exit“The European Commission is expected to announce within weeks plans for new restrictions on migrants’ access to benefits, a move that will be a boost to Mr Cameron’s hopes of renegotiating Britain’s relations with the EU. … Insiders say it offers Mr Cameron his best chance of achieving by far his most difficult demand – denying EU migrants in-work benefits for four years. He also wants to ensure parents only receive payments if their children live with them in Britain.” – Sunday Telegraph

Europe 2) Cameron is upping the temperature on the in/out debate, reports Andrew Rawnsley

“It had been a fear among pro-Europeans that the prime minister would not campaign enthusiastically for an In vote or he would leave it late to start making the case for continued membership. As I reported to you last month, there was a period when some at Number 10 were even pressing the notion that he ought to present whatever he manages to renegotiate on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis. Mr Cameron and his inner circle now seem to grasp that he is going to have to start taking on the Outers himself and he can’t let them make all the running in the many months between here and the moment of national decision.” – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer

  • Newspaper mastheads“David Cameron takes us for fools over his EU ‘renegotiations’.” – Simon Heffer, Sunday Telegraph
  • “The European Union has come an awful long way in the last 25 years – all of it downhill.” – Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday (£)
  • “The Brexit camp feels it is winning, but struggles to say what the prize will be.” – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Britain Stronger in Europe, the campaign which aims to convince voters to remain in the EU, got very upset when their unfortunate BSE acronym drew unwanted attention. … BSE are so worried about the name sticking that they are only cooperating with journalists if they promise not to use the embarrassing abbreviation in their stories. Oops!” – Guido Fawkes, Sun on Sunday (£)

Europe 3) Former ambassadors unite to warn against Brexit

“Thirteen former ambassadors have warned that billions of pounds in trade deals and millions of jobs are at risk if Britain leaves the EU. … In a letter to The Sunday Times, they say those who want to leave have ‘no credibility’ and are ‘naive’ if they think Britain will be able to quickly strike a better free trade deal with the EU or new ones with countries such as America and China. … ‘Neither argument holds water,’ they say.” – Sunday Times (£)

Morgan wants schools to go back to basics

School“Schools will be forced to focus on traditional lessons in a back-to-basics standards crusade to be launched this week. … Every secondary school pupil will have to study five key subjects up to GCSE — English, maths, science, a language plus geography or history. … And children who leave primary school without a grasp of the three Rs will have to resit their tests the following year. … Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will signal the end of ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses by insisting that the youngsters work towards ‘worthwhile’ qualifications.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • “Children as young as four are receiving lessons from transgender campaigners – including a man who revealed to primary school classes that he is a ‘trans man’ and was ‘assigned female’ at birth.” – Mail on Sunday

And comment:

  • “It’s no use reforming courses without also tackling teachers who can’t teach.” – Sun on Sunday editorial (£)

May abandons plans to access to everyone’s browsing history…

MAY Warhol“Highly controversial plans to allow the police and security services full access to everyone’s internet browsing history have been abandoned by ministers in what is being presented as a dramatic climbdown over online surveillance. … Amid fears in government that it would be unable to force new laws through parliament because of concerns over civil liberties, the Home Office said it had dropped several contentious proposals from the investigatory powers bill, which will be published in draft form on Wednesday.” – The Observer

  • “As we reveal today the government is preparing to concede to judges the power to veto surveillance requests by our intelligence agencies. This may give an extra layer of oversight and separation of powers.” – Sunday Times editorial (£)
  • “The so-called snooper’s charter is controversial, but it responds to a serious problem – the rise in online crime and terrorism.” – Sunday Telegraph editorial
  • “Don’t be fooled by spook propaganda. The state still wants licence to pry.” – Henry Porter, The Observer
  • “Safety or privacy: the dilemma that is taking Britain back to 1939.” – Andrew Marr, Sunday Times (£)

…moves to protect the identities of whistleblowers and confidential sources…

“Journalists across Britain will be able to protect the identities of whistleblowers and confidential sources from the police under a new law to be unveiled this week, in a victory for The Mail on Sunday’s campaign for press freedom. … The legislation, which will be announced by Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday, comes after this newspaper exposed how police used controversial anti-terrorism powers to hack the phone records of MoS journalists and other media organisations.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “The Metropolitan Police’s attempt to identify the officer who leaked personal details of an alleged victim of child abuse to the media has run into difficulties.” – Independent on Sunday

 …and blocks nosy town halls…

CCTV“Town halls are to be banned from using new anti-terror laws to snoop on staff and the public. … Home Secretary Theresa May is set to impose tough curbs on who can access phone, email and internet records and will create an offence of ‘misusing investigatory powers’. … This will make snooping illegal unless used against terrorists, paedophiles or dangerous criminals.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

… but could she still clash with Grieve over snooping?

“Mrs May is widely expected to reject calls to require the intelligence services to seek authorisation from an independent judge before they can listen to private phone calls, or read the contents of emails and text messages. … On Saturday night, Dominic Grieve, the new chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, suggested that judges may be better placed than ministers to authorise the interception of communications.” – Sunday Telegraph

Penning meets acid attack victim Adele Bellis

“Acid attack victim Adele Bellis has been to Parliament and urged ministers to help her defeat the sick craze. … She told Victims’ Minister Mike Penning: ‘The bloke who threw acid in my face was jailed for four years and four months. What sort of a message does that send out? We need to be much tougher.’ … Mr Penning called her ‘the bravest girl he’d ever met” and vowed: ‘I’m determined to do everything I can.'” – Sun on Sunday (£)

Hunt urges junior doctors to defy the BMA over strikes

HUNT Doctor Carla Millar“Jeremy Hunt is urging junior doctors to step back from the ‘barricades’ and vote against strike action over new contracts, warning that a walk-out would put patients at risk. … As medics are balloted on industrial action this week, the Health Secretary pays tribute to the junior doctors who do ‘one of the toughest jobs in Britain’, working long hours to keep the NHS going.” – Sunday Telegraph

Read Jeremy Hunt’s Sunday Telegraph article in full

  • “Thousands of infertile couples are being denied IVF because NHS bosses are frittering away cash on rip-off fertility clinics, says a leading doctor.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “The price paid by the NHS for at least 30 drugs has been hiked by up to 8,000% after they were debranded and sold as generic products.” – Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday: Raffy Marshall on Comment – To be a real One Nation party, we must overhaul this Trade Union Bill

What Wollaston wants from the Autumn Statement: more money for elderly care

“Ministers are under mounting pressure to pump more money into care for the elderly as investigations by the Observer reveal how some of the largest providers may have to pull out of supplying services because of an escalating financial crisis. … Before chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement on 25 November, Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative chair of the all-party Commons select committee on health, is calling for the government to act, saying that social care providers are reeling from rising costs and declining fees from cash-strapped local authorities.” – The Observer

The size of Osborne’s power base

OSBORNE octupus“George Osborne, the Chancellor, has been accused of building a power base at the Treasury to support his ambition to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister. The annual list of special advisers, to be published this month, is expected to confirm that he employs eight special advisers – political appointees paid from public funds. The normal limit for a cabinet minister is two, but Mr Osborne has been given permission by Mr Cameron to hire an extra six.” – Independent on Sunday

  • “Cameron’s ambition to leave monuments and to prolong his tenure is likely to conflict eventually with Osborne’s determination to seize the leadership while he is still ahead in polls of Conservative Party members.” – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday

Rudd encourages households to switch energy providers

“Households across Britain could save a total of £2.2billion by switching energy suppliers. … Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘My number one priority is keeping energy bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses. … The real power is in the hands of consumers who should take advantage of the estimated £2.2billion savings on offer.'” – Sun on Sunday (£)

“Questionable use of money…” Loughton on the latest Kids Company revelations

LOUGHTON Tim Commons“Scandal-hit Kids Company spent tens of thousands of pounds sending staff and clients to a £240-an-hour Harley Street hypnotherapist. … Former Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said: ‘This is further evidence of the questionable use of money and raises serious questions about whether damaged young people should have been referred to therapists with proper qualifications rather than to a hypnotherapist on Batmanghelidjh’s list of favoured practitioners.’” – Mail on Sunday

The Government faces another battle with the Lords – this time over housing

“The government is facing a fresh confrontation with the House of Lords amid new warnings that its housing policies will deprive rural communities of affordable homes and make them the ‘exclusive preserve of the affluent’. … With many peers already uneasy about the effects of extending right-to-buy to housing associations, leading peers are now raising concerns about the impact of the policies on country areas where low-cost properties to buy or rent are in short supply.” – The Observer

  • “A staggering £225 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent buying more than 300 properties to make way for the controversial HS2 rail project – creating a swathe of ghost houses along the route.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “Rail passengers face misery this Christmas and new year as a result of a £150m programme of engineering works that will lead to station closures, delays and overcrowding.” – Sunday Times (£)

Peter Hitchens: Real conservatives are in favour of unelected power

Lords“Real conservatives are in favour of all kinds of unelected power and authority. … As well as the Monarchy, there’s the Church, the judges, not to mention the chiefs of the Armed Forces, parents, privately owned media companies, the BBC, school heads – and the thousands of strivers who have won the freedom to hire and fire through hard work and business success. … Democracy plays little part in these things, and a good thing too. To say that you are an elected politician in modern Britain isn’t much of a boast.” – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

  • “Peers who sparked a constitutional crisis over tax credit cuts are today exposed for their shocking attendance records. … Our investigation reveals one member who voted down the measure approved by MPs attended barely one in ten House of Lords sittings.” – The Sun (£)
  • “Thousands of struggling families who have been overpaid tax credits in error could face demands for repayment from private debt collectors.” – Independent on Sunday

And further comment:

  • “Whatever else last week’s vote in the House of Lords leads to, it ought to prompt a fundamental rethink of how the upper chamber operates.” – Sun on Sunday editorial (£)
  • “Raging Dave wants his stormtroopers to invade the Lords.” – Anne McElvoy, Mail on Sunday
  • “There’s a strong moral case against tax credits – why didn’t George Osborne make it?” – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Labour is the nasty party now, says Danczuk

“If Corbyn wanted to stop the nastiness, surely he’d lead by example and not appoint divisive and hateful people to his top table. Appointing Andrew Fisher as Labour’s head of policy shows appallingly bad judgment and has given Corbynista trolls carte blanche to carry on abusing people. … It’s not just nastiness, though, that Corbyn seems to be unwittingly incubating – it’s offensive views light years away from mainstream opinion. His new director of communications, Seumas Milne, for example, appears to hate America, cheerlead for communism, and act as an apologist for terrorism.” – Simon Danczuk, Mail on Sunday

  • “New evidence of the close links between Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-Kremlin aide and Vladimir Putin have emerged with a photograph of the pair together.” – Mail on Sunday

The first by-election of Corbyn’s leadership

Corbyn speech“The byelection caused by the death of veteran MP Michael Meacher will be held on 3 December, providing the first electoral test of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, party sources have confirmed Labour is expected to move a writ in the House of Commons on Monday, formally triggering the byelection process in Meacher’s Oldham West and Royton constituency. … One senior Labour MP said that he was surprised at the haste with which the byelection was being called.” – The Observer

  • “Jeremy Corbyn has said he can’t see the point of commemorating the First World War.” – Sunday Times (£)

Hunt attacks Cameron over housing for migrants

“Thousands of homes could be bought cheap by migrants after just three years under right-to-buy, an MP warned yesterday. … PM David Cameron plans to offer 1.3million housing association tenants the chance to buy their home with a 70 per cent discount. … But there are fears EU citizens will move here to take advantage of the deal. Labour MP Tristram Hunt said British families in his Stoke constituency are enraged.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • “A gangster who bragged he could supply 100 bogus passports and was linked to a double murder walked free after a botched Home Office probe.” – Sun on Sunday (£)
  • “Campaigners hope a private sponsorship scheme being considered by the government will allow thousands of extra Syrian refugees to come to Britain.” – Sunday Times (£)

Scottish Labour expected to vote against Trident renewal

Scottish flag“The future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent could be thrown into doubt on 1 November when the Scottish Labour Party conference is expected to vote against the renewal of the Trident missile system. … In a move that will highlight the struggle between the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters and the party’s centre-right, the Scottish branch of the party is set to have the debate that the UK Labour conference at Brighton in September conspicuously avoided.” – Independent on Sunday

  • “Labour’s new Scottish leader has announced wide-ranging plans to spend more on schools, student grants and state benefits by putting up taxes on the rich.” – Sunday Telegraph

Police to speak with Shaker Aamer over torture claims

“Scotland Yard detectives are ready to interview the last British resident released from Guantanamo Bay over claims he was subjected to human rights abuses with the complicity of UK officials. … The Metropolitan Police are understood to be prepared to speak to Shaker Aamer following his release from the US detention camp and his return to Britain on Friday. … At the same time Mr Aamer is to be monitored by the security services to assess whether his release poses any threat to national security.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “Britain’s last Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer finally embraced the teenaged son he had never seen yesterday in a tearful meeting on his first full day of freedom in 14 years.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “Shaker Aamer, the final British resident to be released from Guantanamo Bay, is a charismatic figure with the ‘sheer power’ to ‘clearly be a danger’ now he is back on British soil, according to the US prison’s former commander.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Muslim inmates in some of Britain’s top security prisons are forcing non-Muslims to pay a ‘protection tax’ if they do not follow Islam, a government-appointed team investigating extremism in jails has been told.” – Sunday Times (£)

And comment:

  • “…disturbing evidence suggesting the complicity of Labour ministers and British security service officials in illegal US abduction and rendition programmes must not be ignored any longer. It should be thoroughly examined.” – Observer editorial
  • “Torture is not acceptable in any circumstances. It is always wrong.” – Paul Vallely, Independent on Sunday

“Burn it. Destroy it.” Blair faces new accusations about the Iraq War

tony-blair“Tony Blair was rocked last night by a new crisis over Iraq after it was revealed that Ministers were told to ‘burn’ a secret document which said the war was illegal. … The Mail on Sunday has learned how Downing Street descended into panic on the eve of the war when Attorney General Lord Goldsmith told Mr Blair the conflict could be challenged under international law. … The Prime Minister was horrified, and Ministers and officials who had a copy of Goldsmith’s written opinion were told: ‘Burn it. Destroy it.’ … Ten days later, with the invasion just days away, Goldsmith did a U-turn and said an attack could be justified.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Extraordinary details of Tony Blair’s involvement with Colonel Gaddafi’s tottering Libyan regime are revealed in the latest of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the US State Department. … Mr Blair repeatedly spoke to the dictator on the phone in an attempt to broker peace after civil war erupted in 2011.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “A Scotland Yard detective at the heart of the 7/7 bombings inquiry says he believes the attacks were originally planned to stop London winning the right to host the Olympics.” – Sunday Telegraph

And comment:

  • “Chilcot delay betrays Our Boys and Girls… again.” – Louise Mensch, Sun on Sunday (£)

Nick Cohen: Who will defend the BBC?

“The BBC remains one of the most trusted institutions in Britain. The trust has been earned by providing serious, accurate news for generations. … This is precisely why it is so politically isolated. In good times, many mainstream politicians would have defended the BBC. But our rolling constitutional and economic crises are, unsurprisingly, producing ideological movements that cannot bear to have their ‘solutions’ questioned or ‘facts’ challenged.” – Nick Cohen, The Observer

  • “The British Museum, the country’s top attraction with nearly 7m visitors a year, is considering a charge for overseas tourists.” – Sunday Times (£)

News in brief

And finally 1) Free to those that can afford it…

Cameron“Mr Cameron has joined a new London club – and for free. He has accepted honorary membership of Mark’s Club in Mayfair – described as a ‘haven of exclusivity’. … Membership of Mark’s Club is believed to cost in the region of £2,000 a year. There’s also a one-off joining fee of £1,000 – coincidentally the amount millions of families would stand to lose every year due to the proposed cuts.” – Mail on Sunday

And finally 2) The long-awaited second album

“[Norman Baker], who lost his seat at the general election, will release a second album in January with his band, The Reform Club. On Never Yesterday, Mr Baker uses his music to take pot-shots at Tony Blair and tabloid journalism, although most of the 12 tracks are a sardonic take on aspects of everyday life, such as shopping.” – Independent on Sunday