EU referendum 1) Lawson urges Cameron to allow ministers to campaign for Leave

ConHome EU shirt Cameron‘With eight of the Prime Minister’s top team ready to campaign for Britain to quit the EU, the Tory peer raised the pressure on him to let them do so without them needing to quit. Lord Lawson urged Mr Cameron to follow Harold Wilson’s precedent set during the EU referendum of 1975…‘It would clearly be sensible in terms of party management to allow Cabinet ministers to speak out on both sides – once the date for the referendum is set – not least to enable the Conservative party to reunite easily once the referendum is over, whatever the result. That is what Wilson decided in 1975 and he was right. He may have been a bad prime minister, but he knew about party management.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Pro-EU propaganda: what the Government promised in June, and what it plans to do now

EU referendum 2) Baker: Lord Feldman is referring donors to the Remain campaign

‘Lord Feldman, our Chairman, has confirmed to me that he has directed donors to give money to the pro- EU BSE campaign in a personal capacity and in his spare time. He also tells me that he will point people in the direction of the Vote Leave campaign, but they are yet to receive a referral from our Party Chairman. Lord Feldman is a member of the political cabinet. His fundraising for BSE undermines the Government’s policy of seeking real reform before deciding how to vote. Now he has admitted this new part time role, shouldn’t the Prime Minster allow other cabinet members to help Vote Leave in their spare time?’ – Steve Baker MP, Daily Telegraph

  • Tebbit criticises ‘subservient’ renegotiation – The Sun (£)

EU referendum 3) New report measures cost of immigration to low-paid workers

Border‘Mass immigration has knocked hundreds of pounds off the take-home pay of cleaners, bar workers and waitresses, a bombshell report claims. The open borders policy on EU migrants has also made the situation worse for blue-collar staff in “low-skill” jobs due to the sheer numbers arriving. The report by a former Bank of England policymaker claims for the first time there is a clear link between mass migration and take-home pay of “native” British workers.’ – The Sun (£)

  • We must regain control of our borders, not slash benefits for Brits – The Sun Says (£)
  • UKIP to get three party political broadcasts a year – The Independent
  • Spain shows the centre is being eaten by radical left and nationalist right – Paul Mason, The Guardian

Truss leads drive to put rural concerns at the forefront of policy-making

‘People who live in the countryside will be put at the centre of Government policy making, with every department forced be forced to justify how their policies help the countryside. A new rural ambassador and a ministerial task force will work across Whitehall to ensure that departments are putting the countryside first, the Government said. Liz Truss, the Environment secretary, said she wanted the impact on countryside life to be “routine policy consideration” for officials in Whitehall…”I want to see rural areas full connected to the wider economy, with strong conditions for rural growth and a highly skilled rural workforce.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Who is the Conservative Minister of the Year? What was the Political Event of the Year? Which was the worst gaffe?

The minister in charge of FoI opposes Government moves to restrict access

HANCOCK, Matthew‘The minister in charge of Freedom of Information is opposed to any changes to the legislation that could make it more difficult to obtain data, The Times has learnt. Matthew Hancock, the minister for the Cabinet Office and a close ally of the chancellor, is against introducing fees for FoI requests or restricting access to government information any further…“If the inquiry came back with no changes, Matthew would be very happy,” one senior source said.’ – The Times (£)

Allan posts apology over bullying allegations…then deletes it

‘In the statement posted yesterday, Ms Allan says she was not informed that Ms Plumby “had any kind of ‘condition’.” Adding: “She attributed her regular absences to minor ailments like sunburn and nausea.” In the deleted statement the MP said: “Whilst it was certainly human to be frustrated and exasperated by Arianne’s conduct, it was wrong to express that frustration as I did, and I have apologised for this.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Feldman took personal charge of a bullying inquiry that failed to move swiftly enough – The Times (£)

Morgan wants every school to be conscious of online safety

Computer‘Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has published a consultation looking at closing loopholes to ensure schools and colleges are keeping pupils safe when they use the internet. Parents have also been offered a handbook on social media detailing “conversation prompts” for how to bring up the topic of cyberbullying and other online dangers with their children…Another proposal is to make schools put internet filters on all computers and create a system of monitoring which will ensure inappropriate online content cannot be seen by pupils.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Judy Terry on Local Government: Let’s bring in managers to run schools and get the heads back in the classrooms

Families will run up £40 billion in debt this year

‘Families are expected to run up £40bn of debt this year, sparking fears about Britain’s economic recovery. Labour raised concerns that millions of households would face “serious hardship” if interest rates rise and warned the borrowing trend could harm the economy. The latest Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts have found that households have moved from a surplus of £67bn in 2010, the year the coalition took power, to a £40bn deficit this year. Unsustainable borrowing is on course to near the levels reached in the run-up to the 2008 financial crash, according to Labour.’ – The Guardian

Ganesh: Don’t pity Labour moderates – they brought Corbyn on themselves

LABOUR dead rose‘What they do not deserve is sympathy. For too long, people in the Labour mainstream connived in the style of politics that now engulfs them. They impugned the motives of Conservatives, often reading malevolence into policies even as they grudgingly copied them (there is no hatred like self-hatred). They seethe when they are called Tory because, to them, the name really does connote inherent vice. Many of them despised Margaret Thatcher (“The point at which all snobberies meet,” as the historian John Vincent described her) in ways that scraped the outer limits of taste. They summoned the same poison for Michael Gove as education secretary in the last parliament.’ – Janan Ganesh, FT

>Yesterday: Left Watch: Corbyn proposes to make policy by echo

The SAS battle to defend Sangin from the Taliban

‘British troops have been deployed to Afghanistan to help local forces as they fight to retake control of a key town in Helmand after it was overrun by Taliban fighters. The deployment reportedly includes at least one SAS unit of around 30 soldiers who were operating alongside American special forces and the Afghan National Army. It marks the first return of British troops to the restive province since last year.’ – Daily Telegraph

Ofcom challenges parliamentary commissioner’s judgement on the Rifkind and Straw scandal

RIFKIND Marr‘The parliamentary standards commissioner Kathryn Hudson is facing questions for criticising the media sting on Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw, after regulator Ofcom found the reporting was of significant public interest and did not unfairly represent the MPs. Ofcom opened an investigation into the programme in question, a joint operation between Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph, after Rifkind and Straw were cleared of cash-for-access allegations by Hudson and the standards committee of MPs in September…After exonerating the MPs of breaching parliamentary standards, Hudson said the damage done to the former MPs could have been avoided if Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Daily Telegraph had accurately reported the exchanges they had filmed…Ofcom took a different view on Monday, saying there was a “significant public interest” in exploring the conduct of the MPs and that in the circumstances undercover filming was “proportionate and warranted”.’ – The Guardian

Beard: Leave Rhodes alone

‘I really don’t think that you can have your cake and eat it here: I mean you can’t whitewash Rhodes out of history, but go on using his cash. And his cash has done a huge amount of good in bringing foreign students to this country…Wouldn’t it be better to celebrate what we have managed to achieve with Rhodes’s money, whatever his views. If he was bad, then we have certainly turned his cash to the better…and maybe, to give him for a moment the benefit of the doubt, if he had been born a hundred years later even he would have thought differently. Cliché of the evening: it’s not the job of the present to tick the past off, but to get off its backside and do better!’ – Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement

News in Brief

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