Cameron offered a Brussels-discretion ‘brake’ on migrant welfare

CAMERON EU fence“The EU will offer Britain an ’emergency brake’ on migration as an alternative to David Cameron’s proposed four year ban on migrants claiming in work benefits, it emerged today… The ‘brake’ would allow an EU country to suspend migrants’ access to in work benefits for four years – but only once the country had persuaded the EU Commission their welfare state was under too much pressure.” – Daily Mail

  • Number Ten fears EU might force hard-to-sell deal on Britain – The Times (£)
  • Plans to scupper UK’s migrant welfare curbs – The Sun
  • Draft Brexit deal hangs on emergency brake – FT


  • Prime Minister refuses to apologise for ‘bunch of migrants’ line – Daily Mail
  • Bryant claims we’re all migrants – The Independent
  • Phillips claims Birmingham sees Cologne-style sex attacks by migrants – Daily Mail
  • Sweden’s mass deportations could ‘strengthen EU policy’ – The Independent


  • Barclays suggests Britain could benefit from leaving the EU – Daily Mail
  • How Brexit will put extra pressure on the pound – FT editorial


  • Cameron summons ministers for ‘loyalty tests’ on the EU – The Independent
  • Grayling supported attempted coup at Vote Leave – The Times (£)
  • Vote Leave board member quits over infighting – The Independent
  • Eurosceptics are squandering their chance by squabbling – The Times (£) editorial
  • Race on to find British expats in Europe ahead of vote – FT
  • Nationalists may vote ‘Leave’ to hasten Scottish independence – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: What happened to all the Conservative backbench anger?


Fraser Nelson: Sweden is a stark example of how not to handle the Great Migration

“A visit to Stockholm has always seemed like a trip to the future – a glimpse of how things might look in Britain, in a decade or two, if all goes well. But right now, Sweden is sending another message: how quickly crisis can engulf even a strong country if it gets immigration wrong.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Stop dehumanising migrants

Ministers 1) Gove scraps Grayling’s legal aid reforms

michael-gove“Justice Secretary Michael Gove has today announced he is abandoning the Government’s controversial £100million legal aid reforms that caused the first ever strike by barristers… It is the latest in a series of announcements in which Mr Gove has scrapped policies introduced by his predecessor, Chris Grayling.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 2) Duncan Smith criticised for ducking housing subsidy debate

“Iain Duncan Smith has been criticised for remaining silent during a parliamentary debate of recent court ruling on his “bedroom tax” policy. The Work and Pensions Secretary was called to the House of Commons to answer an urgent question about the Court of Appeal ruling the bedroom tax unlawful and discriminatory. Mr Duncan Smith however did not speak during the session and instead let his junior minister Justin Tomlinson answer all questions put by MPs on the subject.” – The Independent


  • Labour put up a terrific honking and shrieking – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • How the bedroom tax protects the vulnerable – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Silent treatment from the Quiet Man – Tom Peck, The Independent

Ministers 3) Gauke accused of offering firms ‘cosy’ tax relations

Tax Take“A Treasury minister has flown round the world to woo global corporations with promises of cosy arrangements with the taxman, it emerged last night. David Gauke, the third most senior figure in George Osborne’s department, told US firms that it was not up to politicians to decide what is a ‘fair amount’ of tax.” – Daily Mail

  • Osborne’s ‘Google tax’ doesn’t tax Google – The Times (£)
  • Chancellor insists tax deal is a success – The Guardian
  • Company should pay more in future, claims McLoughlin – Daily Telegraph
  • Senior MPs tell Google to cooperate with the security services against terrorism – The Times (£)


  • Chancellor blames market volatility for delayed Lloyds sell-off – FT
  • Middle classes may face fresh tax raids as growth slows – Daily Mail


  • These deals are so toxic for the Tories – Daily Mail

Ministers 4) Ellwood claims rebels could have misled UN over Saudi Arabia’s Yemeni campaign

“Evidence of attacks on civilians by Saudi Arabia during its military campaign in Yemen may have been fabricated by “media savvy” Houthi rebels, a government minister has said. Tobias Ellwood, the Minister for the Middle East, made the claim in the House of Commons as he answered questions about a leaked UN report which suggests the Saudi-led bombing campaign has specifically targeted civilians.” – The Independent

Ruth Davidson: I won’t stop speaking up for the Union until the SNP stop threatening it

Ruth Davidson“…it was a “once in a generation” event. I have challenged her again and again to simply repeat those words and let Scotland move on. She has refused. If and when the First Minister makes that promise, I’ll gladly put the constitutional question behind me. Until she does so, however, I believe it would be a dereliction of duty to do so. For as long as the SNP actively try and bring independence closer, I will stand up for Scotland’s place in our United Kingdom.” – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: Garven Walshe’s column: Why Catalonia’s luxury nationalism is failing

Semple steps aside from bullying probe

“A Conservative official has stepped aside from the investigation into the death of Elliott Johnson and the youth wing of the party following pressure from the Tory activist’s parents. Rob Semple, chair of the Tory volunteers’ organisation, the National Convention, was on the board which was due to consider a report by the law firm Clifford Chance. However Semple had been named by up to 15 potential witnesses as the reason why they would not give evidence.” – The Guardian

Tories take record poll lead over Labour

Opinion Poll graphic“Jeremy Corbyn has left Labour an extraordinary 27 per cent behind when voters are asked who has the best team to solve the country’s problems – the biggest gap ever. Pollster Ipsos Mori said it had been asking the same question since 1989 and never found such a large gap. The new poll put the Tories on 43 per cent compared to just 16 per cent for Labour.” – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn’s team is least equipped to tackle country’s problems since records began – The Sun


  • If the Labour leader were a serious politician he’d say this about Trident – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph

McDonnell tries to reassure business

“Britain’s shadow chancellor, who once listed “fomenting the overthrow of capitalism” as his hobby in Who’s Who, is often seen these days hosting suited corporate types at The Despatch Box, a House of Commons coffee bar… As shadow chancellor, however, the 64-year-old MP for Hayes and Harlington has developed the demeanour of a bank manager and is combining it with a conciliatory message for the business world. The new persona leaves visitors reassured, yet bemused.” – FT

News in Brief:

  • Could the Zika virus threaten this year’s Olympics? – Daily Mail
  • Students in crisis over poor maths and English – The Times (£)
  • Rhodes statue shall stand at Oxford after alumni threaten to withdraw millions – Daily Telegraph
  • Republican rivals emerge from Trump’s shadow – FT
  • Gun sales in Germany up three-fold after sex attacks – The Sun
  • NHS to start offering hand transplants in April – The Guardian
  • Teacher amongst first ‘state guardians’ is struck off – The Scotsman
  • DUP and Sinn Fein accused of teaming up to kill organ donation reform – Belfast Telegraph
  • UK Government and Welsh Assembly face ‘constitutional crisis’ over strike reform – Wales Online

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