Osborne finds an extra £3.8 billion for the NHS…

OsborneGeorge Osborne will hand the NHS in England an urgent £3.8 billion increase in funding to help it contend with the pressures caused by staff shortages, an ageing population and growing health demands. The financial injection will form part of the chancellor’s spending review due on Wednesday, and represents a front-loading of the £8.4bn previously promised by 2021 after weeks of intense arguments between the Treasury and Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive” – Guardian

…but has “mastered the sub-radar fiscal raid”

“George Osborne used to be a stern critic of Gordon Brown’s habit of raising taxes through the ‘small print’. In 2007, he admonished the Labour chancellor for his ‘addiction to stealth taxes’. But after more than five years at the helm of the Treasury, Mr Osborne has become no less a master of the sub-radar fiscal raid” – Financial Times

  • The public sector should be smarter, not just smaller – Martha Lane Fox, The Times (£)
  • Why the Chancellor’s figures don’t add up – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • As reality bites, revulsion could yet sink Osborne and Cameron – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • Spending review is a well-choreographed sham – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times


Defence review is no bonanza for armed forces

“Despite impressive-sounding commitments to expensive new military hardware, Britain’s defence review is far from a bonanza for stretched armed forces that have endured years of cuts. The review was intended to put flesh on David Cameron’s commitment in July to maintain UK defence spending at two per cent of gross domestic product — a promise by the prime minister that came as a huge relief to Washington, but that was only achieved with considerable creative accounting” – Financial Times

  • This review won’t leave IS or Putin quaking in their boots – Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • Cost of Trident replacement to rise by at least £6 billion – Financial Times

Majority of public now want Brexit

EU Exit“More than half of the public now want to leave the European Union, according to an opinion poll for The Independent – the first time our monthly survey has shown a majority for ‘Brexit’. The survey of 2,000 people by ORB, conducted last Wednesday and Thursday in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, will be seen as a reflection of public anxiety about the EU’s migration crisis… Some 52 per cent of people say Britain should leave the EU, while 48 per cent want to remain” – Independent

Banks launches bid to merge with rival Vote Leave

“One of the two anti-European Union referendum campaigns has started merger talks aimed at creating a single campaign ahead of the in/out vote on Britain’s EU membership. The talks were initiated late last week by Arron Banks, the millionaire founder of the Leave.EU campaign, in a letter to Matthew Elliott, the campaign director of the Vote Leave campaign” – Daily Telegraph


Friends of Shapps say Cameron allies must share blame for Clarke

“The minister blamed for a Tory sex, bullying and blackmail scandal hit back yesterday as a Downing Street aide launched an extraordinary personal attack on him. Friends of Grant Shapps said three of David Cameron’s closest allies should share the blame for giving a key role to Mark Clarke, a leading figure of the Tory youth wing who was expelled by the party last week after complaints about his behaviour towards young activists” – The Times (£)

  • Clarke wanted to pay for love nest with his wife’s money – Sun
  • Conservatives warned five years ago about “aggressive” Clarke – Daily Telegraph
  • Total transparency about Clarke scandal is the only disinfectant that will work – The Times editorial (£)

Labour party members back Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn 16-11-15“Labour party members back Jeremy Corbyn by a two-thirds margin, The Times can reveal, making it all but impossible for the leader’s detractors to mount a successful putsch. The hard-left party leader was elected in September with 59 per cent of the vote. Now 66 per cent of Labour members believe that he is doing ‘well’, according to an exclusive poll” – The Times (£)

  • Corbyn is dragging Labour down into the abyss – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • My five tests for backing military action in Syria – Dan Jarvis MP, Guardian
  • Corbyn on defence is like Sooty and Sweep on physics – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Sylvester: Labour’s battle to the death is about to begin

“It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ but ‘how’, not of ‘whether’ but ‘when’. There has been such a fundamental breakdown of trust between Jeremy Corbyn and his MPs that it can be only a matter of time before they move against him. One backbencher says: ‘It’s always been the case that we need to get rid of him as quickly as we can. The only question now is how soon can that be’” – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

  • Hard Left’s plot to seize control of Labour – Daily Mail

British women exposed as ISIS supporters

ISIS“A group of British women have been exposed as ISIS sympathisers who are promoting extremist ideology in the UK and encouraging ‘impressionable young girls’ to travel to Syria. Their behaviour came to light following a 12-month undercover investigation which saw a team of Muslim reporters infiltrate the group’s inner circle. The three ISIS supporters are seen glorifying jihadis…ISIS: The British Women Supporters Unveiled was shown on Channel 4 on Monday evening” – Daily Mail

  • Sun front page on British Muslims’ “sympathy for jihadis” attracts record complaints – Independent
  • Why the Sun’s “jihadi” poll is dubious, and its headline dangerous – Miqdaad Versi, Guardian
  • Britain could begin bombing Syria as early as next week – Daily Mail
  • Suicide bomber’s belt found in Paris – did he get cold feet? – Daily Mail
  • Suspects in London bomb plot tested explosives in garden – Daily Mail



SNP MP investigated over missing £30,000

snplogo“Nationalist MP Natalie McGarry was at the centre of a police investigation last night after thousands of pounds went missing from the accounts of a pro-independence group. Bosses at Women for Independence spent months trying to contact her over £30,000 that they estimate has disappeared, the Scottish Daily Mail can reveal… She is the second Nationalist MP to become embroiled in a criminal investigation” – Daily Mail

  • McGarry denies involvement – Scotsman


News in brief

  • Jaguar Land Rover doubles size of Midland engine factory – Financial Times
  • VW admits second illegal device in 85,000 Audi engines – Financial Times
  • Up to 85 per cent of child abuse in England goes undetected – Guardian
  • Pilot’s eyes damaged in Heathrow laser attack – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory councillor “broke her UKIP rival’s teeth” – Daily Mail
  • Teenage boy solves Rubik’s cube in less than five seconds – Guardian