Letwin apologises “unreservedly” for comments on 1985 riots

LETWIN Oliver“David Cameron’s chief policy adviser has apologised after he helped to ward off cabinet pleas for assistance for black unemployed youth following the 1985 inner-city riots with the argument that any help would only end up in the ‘disco and drug trade’. Oliver Letwin, then a young adviser in Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street policy unit, played a decisive role… in rejecting demands… that assistance schemes be introduced in the aftermath of the Tottenham and Handsworth riots in 1985. On Tuesday night he said he apologised ‘unreservedly’ for any offence caused by his comments” – Guardian

  • Thatcher attempted to block AIDS public information campaign – Daily Mail
  • Willetts told Thatcher that “pampered Scots” should face deep cuts – Guardian

Floods chief breaks promise to work “seven days a week”

“The chairman of the Environment Agency has been holidaying in Barbados for the past fortnight despite telling MPs he would work ‘seven days a week’ if there was a flooding crisis. Sir Philip Dilley said his job was to ‘turn up in your wellingtons’ and criticised his predecessor Lord (Chris) Smith for taking six weeks to visit the Somerset Levels when they flooded in 2013. But instead of working round the clock as he said he would, he has been basking in 30C sunshine in the Caribbean” – Daily Telegraph

Report says the old suffer in silence

NHS“Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are suffering in silence because they are too afraid to complain about their treatment in hospitals and care homes, a government watchdog says. A third of over-65s who had experienced substandard care did not raise the issue because they worried that their future treatment would be compromised, according to a report published today. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman said that it received far fewer complaints than it would expect from older people” – The Times (£)

  • Being rude to doctors leads to worse care, study finds – Daily Mail
  • Junior doctors likely to strike – Guardian

Hancock says Crosby deserves a knighthood

“The expected award of a knighthood to Lynton Crosby, David Cameron’s general election strategist, has been defended by a government minister. Matthew Hancock, the Cabinet Office minister, described Mr Crosby as a great public servant and said it was right that such people were recognised” – The Times (£)

  • Dithering Cameron must allow ministers a free vote – Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express

ConHome columnist tells Cumberbatch to shut up

TIMOTHY Nick Barrie“A former top aide to Theresa May has told ‘pompous, hypocritical, self-obsessed’ celebrities to shut up about politics. Nick Timothy, now director of the New Schools Network, lamented the trend for stars to pontificate about politics and asked if there was ‘anybody in Britain more annoying than Benedict Cumberbatch?’” – The Times (£)



CBI chief warns Osborne about rising costs

“Britain’s economic recovery could be derailed by the rising burden of taxes and red tape faced by business, a leading industry group believes. The new director-general of the CBI is warning that some of the Chancellor’s policies, such as the living wage and apprenticeship levy, threaten jobs and growth. In a New Year message on behalf of 190,000 firms, Carolyn Fairbairn urges ministers ‘not to let short-term politics triumph over’ creating a more successful nation” – Daily Mail


MPs to lobby Rolls-Royce over job cuts

“Legislators are to meet Warren East to discuss his restructuring plans for Rolls-Royce, underlining the political sensitivities the new chief executive will have to navigate as he attempts to stabilise the UK’s flagship engineering group after five profit warnings. More than 20 Labour and Conservative MPs wrote to Mr East earlier this month to request a meeting, highlighting concerns for the future for the group’s 21,300 employees in the UK and plans to shift more production to low-cost countries” – Financial Times

Momentum hit by bullying claims

Jeremy Corbyn 16-11-15“Momentum, the grassroots network of Jeremy Corbyn supporters, was hit last night by claims of bullying and abuse between its supporters. Backers have fled from the organisation, which grew out of Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign, amid the row over bullying allegations” – The Times (£)

  • Corbyn could face front-bench resignations if he sacks Benn – Independent
  • McDonnell refuses to back Benn – Guardian
  • Corbyn can get rid of his shadow cabinet critics, but it won’t help much – John Rentoul, Independent
  • Labour voters blast Corbyn’s no-show in flood-ravaged north – Daily Express

News in brief

  • Couple guilty of plotting London attack on 7/7 anniversary – Financial Times
  • Husband charged with woman’s murder at Essex care home – Independent
  • Boys who admitted stealing Auschwitz items on school trip face trial – Daily Telegraph
  • Priest suspended after delivering Christmas sermon from a Hoverboard – Daily Express
  • Guru Josh, rave star, dies aged 51 – Guardian

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