guardianhuntHunt makes offer to junior doctors to avert strike

“Jeremy Hunt is to offer junior doctors an 11% rise in basic pay in a last-minute bid to stop them going on strike just as the NHS is preparing for its most pressured time of year. The health secretary’s dramatic move – part of a package of new concessions he will announce on Wednesday – is intended to persuade England’s 45,000 trainee doctors, who are furious at his threat to impose a punitive new contract on them, to vote against strike action when their ballot begins on Thursday.” – The Guardian

  • “The pay rise will not cost or save the NHS money.” – Daily Express
  • “Mr Hunt will also give new powers to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS regulator, to ensure that junior doctors are not overworked.” – The Independent
  • Consultants warn of A&E staff crisis – Daily Mail
  • A deal that doctors should not dismiss – Leader Daily Mail

>Today: Jeremy Hunt MP on Comment: Protected pay. Reduced maximum hours. It’s time to put the record straight on our offer to junior doctors

Surveillance 1) Bill would require internet storage records to be kept

“Internet firms will have to store details of people’s online activity for 12 months under a new surveillance law. The requirement is included in the government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill, to be published later. The government is promising strict safeguards including a ban on councils accessing people’s internet records and a new offence of misuse of the data.” – BBC

Surveillance 2) Council jobsworths face jail for snooping over trivial matters

townhall“Town Hall busybodies who spy on the public for ‘trivial’ offences face two years in jail under laws unveiled today. Councils also face an outright ban on accessing the public’s internet browsing history amid fears they could misuse sweeping new State surveillance powers.” – Daily Mail

Surveillance 3) Judges will have right to veto anti terror spying operations

“A handful of judges will get the power to veto ministers’ decisions on all top-level antiterrorism spying operations under proposals being put forward by the home secretary today. The panel of specially trained judges — expected to number at least ten — should review thousands of national security warrants each year and hold the intelligence agencies to account, according to draft surveillance laws to be presented to parliament.” – The Times(£)

>Yesterday: Mark Field MP on Comment: Judicial consent for surveillance should satisfy all but the most privacy-obsessed libertarians

Osborne promises “best of both worlds” from EU renegotiation…

Osborne“George Osborne has insisted Britain can get the “best of both worlds” out of its EU renegotiation, in an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. He said the UK could get the benefits of the single market but not the “burdens” of bailing out the eurozone. The chancellor is in Berlin to set out the UK’s economic demands ahead of a planned in/out referendum.” – BBC

  • Osborne avoids leadership question – BBC
  • European Games – Leader The Times(£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Next Tory leader poll. The tax credits row hits Osborne. His vote slumps as Boris’s soars.

…as Merkel promises to do “all she can” to stop us leaving

“Angela Merkel yesterday pledged to ‘do what we can’ to keep Britain in the European Union. With George Osborne warning that benefit curbs for migrants are essential to any deal, the German chancellor urged Britain not to leave the EU…But Mrs Merkel gave no indication that she would back David Cameron’s call for EU migrants to be barred from claiming benefits in Britain for four years.” – Daily Mail

Hands off Universal Credit cash says IDS

IDS on Marr“George Osborne and his cabinet colleague Iain Duncan Smith are at loggerheads over attempts by the Treasury to raid the budget for universal credit, the welfare reform programme. The chancellor is searching for cash to soften the impact of the tax credit cuts after the Lords blocked the present plan for savings of £4.4 billion last week. He has pledged to announce help for the worst affected in the autumn statement, which will allow him to press ahead with the original cuts plan.” – The Times(£)

>Today: Columnist Henry Hill: Grayling and Duncan Smith exchange fire with SNP

Boles to launch ban on online Union bullying

“Union bullies who try to intimidate strike breakers online will face a police investigation as part of a crackdown on picketing, ministers said last night. Business minister Nick Boles said the code of conduct on picketing would be updated to ban intimidation on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Sources said militants who posted pictures of strike-breakers online, or used derogatory terms such as ‘scab’ on social media faced investigation by the police under harassment laws.” – Daily Mail

Penning hits back at police critics

PENNING Mike ruins“Ministers have hit back at police chiefs’ doomsday warnings on planned cutbacks. Ex-Met Police Commissioner Lord Stevens yesterday urged “drastic” budget cuts would end neighbourhood cops and “put the public at risk”. But policing minister Mike Penning said crime has fallen “to its lowest level” in recent years despite a budgets squeeze. He said: “Public confidence in the police has gone up and cutting red tape has made it easier for them to do their job. There is no question that the police still have the resources to do their important work.” – The Sun(£)

Morgan attacks Labour snobs who encouraged poor to take worthless courses

“In her first major policy speech since the election, Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, said youngsters had been failed for two decades by the ‘snobbery’ of the Left. She pointed out that Labour encouraged deprived children to take so-called Mickey Mouse subjects in a ‘down-grading’ of qualifications to the ‘lowest common denominator’. Meanwhile, these politicians and policymakers ensured their own children focused on ‘key academic subjects’ to set them up for good careers, she said.” – Daily Mail

>Today: John Bald on Local Government: Ofsted inspectors need to be subject specialists to have credibility

Freer: Ban “gay cure” therapies

FREER Mike“The Government should introduce regulation to ban so-called “gay cure therapies” that purport to be able to change someone’s sexual orientation, an MP has said. Mike Freer, a Conservative, said the psychotherapy industry was thus far not regulated by statue and that the Government needed to “go further” to ensure that “quack” therapies were rooted out.” – The Independent

Granting the vote for 16 and 17-year-olds would delay the EU referendum

“The government may be forced to delay the EU referendum until 2017 if it loses a parliamentary vote on the electoral franchise later this month. David Cameron has said the in-out vote will take place by the end of 2017 but is thought to prefer a date in 2016. But the Electoral Commission told the BBC if 16 and 17 year-olds are given the vote, the poll should be delayed by as much as 12 months to register them.” – BBC

Stroud calls for Tax Credits cuts to be phased

STROUD Philippa“George Osborne will today be urged to radically rethink his tax credit cuts by the architect of the Tory welfare reforms. Philippa Stroud, a former senior adviser to Iain Duncan Smith, warns that the Chancellor’s current plans could discourage the low-paid from seeking work. Now a Tory peer, she has sent him a policy paper setting out ways he could soften the cuts while still making substantial savings.” – Daily Mail

Foreign Affairs Select Committee warns against air strikes in Syria…

“An influential Commons committee has urged David Cameron not to press ahead with a vote on UK air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria. The Foreign Affairs Committee – which has a Conservative majority – said the prime minister should instead focus on efforts to end Syria’s civil war. It also raised concerns about the legal basis for any UK action. Downing Street has strongly denied reports Mr Cameron has abandoned plans for a vote altogether.” – BBC

  • Corbyn wants the airstrikes in Iraq called off – Daily Mail
  • Fixing Libya would help the case for intervention in Syria – Leader Daily Telegraph

…but Mercer says their view is “mad”

MERCER Johnny“It was a disappointing trudge to work this morning with the media dominated by news that a vote in Syria will now not be forthcoming. Apparently, we must accept our mad position of pursuing IS to a line in the sand recognised only by us, barely half-heartedly committing to destroying this abhorrent cult. It is bad enough we find ourselves in an intellectually indefensible position. But we must not underestimate what this tells the world of Britain in 2015 and our willingness to play our role on the global stage.” – Johnny Mercer MP The Sun(£)

>Today: Columnist Rebecca Coulson: Why we have to find a way to intervene

Antoinette Sandbach speaks of grief at the death of baby son

“Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach choked back tears as she told MPs about losing her five-day-old son to sudden infant death syndrome. In a moving Commons debate on support for grieving parents, she described her harrowing experience rushing Sam to hospital in an ambulance and realising it was ‘too late’. After almost breaking down in her speech, she argued that support for grieving parents is more important than help for people who have healthy children.” – Daily Mail

McDonnell linked to Trotskyist sect

McDonnell Conference Speech“The shadow chancellor John McDonnell has been exposed as a star guest of the far-left Trotskyite Workers Revolutionary party (WRP) in the 1980s. Mr McDonnell, who denied to The Times that he had any relationship with the sinister defunct sect, showed brazen disloyalty to Labour by telling the extremists that his leaders at the time, Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley, were scabs. He was such a darling of the faction that at one stage he appeared on the front page of its propaganda sheet, The News Line, twice in 11 days.” – The Times(£)

Byrne calls for revised Clause 4 to make explicit reference to fighting inequality

“Labour should rewrite Clause IV of its constitution to make explicit its commitment to reducing inequality, a former Cabinet minister has said. Liam Byrne said different wings of the party could unite around the idea and it could win support from business “frustrated” the UK was too unequal. Jeremy Corbyn has suggested revisiting Clause IV to reinsert a commitment to public ownership dropped in 1994.” – BBC

Corbyn denies CBI “snub”

CORBYN Citizen cap“Jeremy Corbyn has turned down an invitation to speak at next week’s CBI annual conference of business leaders. The BBC’s Norman Smith said Labour’s leader cited “prior arrangements” and the party had offered shadow business secretary Angela Eagle instead. Labour denied it was a snub but one ex-minister said it was a missed chance for Mr Corbyn to engage with business.” – BBC

  • “Jeremy Corbyn won’t talk to the CBI. But he will talk to Stop The War.” – The Sun Says(£)
  • Labour moderates should stop moaning – Mary Riddell Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn condemns Kaufman’s “Jewish money” attack – The Guardian

Farage: Oldham West and Royston by-election is a referendum on Corbyn

FARAGE big laugh“A forthcoming byelection in a safe Labour seat in Greater Manchester will be a referendum on Jeremy Corbyn’s “north London, trendy hard-left” politics, according to the Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Endorsing his party’s candidate in the Oldham West and Royton poll – the businessman and Ukip byelection veteran John Bickley – Farage questioned Corbyn’s patriotism, making jibes about the Labour leader’s failure to sing the national anthem or show the Queen due reverence, and the fact he prefers fizzy water over a good honest pint.” – The Guardian

  • Voters appalled by Corbyn’s stance on the IRA says Farage – The Times(£)

News in brief

  • Delays on volunteer scheme to fill potholes – Daily Mail
  • Cameron attends Charles Kennedy’s memorial service – BBC
  • Watson wrote to two DPPs in sexual abuse cases – The Guardian
  • Pollution around Heathrow at twice the legal limit – The Times(£)
  • Police commissioners challenge new funding formula – BBC
  • Tax and Revenue customer service “appalling” say MPs – The Times(£)
  • Further hint from Gove at scrapping criminal courts charge – The Guardian
  • Prince of Wales arrives in New Zealand – BBC
  • Passport Office accused of sexism – The Times(£)

And finally…Thatcher clothes and memorabilia goes to auction

thatchertank“Enthusiasts behind a planned centre dedicated to the life of Margaret Thatcher hope to raise up to £500,000 to buy more than 300 items that belonged to the Conservative prime minister to save them for the nation. A collection of Thatcher’s clothes, jewellery and political memorabilia is to be sold at auction by Christie’s next month after the Victoria and Albert museum declined the chance to exhibit it. The Margaret Thatcher Centre is due to open in 2019 at the University of Buckingham.” – The Times(£)