Number Ten accused of pressuring Tory MPs to join pro-EU group

CAMERON Remain“The Tory ceasefire on Europe was crumbling yesterday as MPs attacked the Prime Minister for trying to strong-arm them into the referendum ‘In’ campaign and being too feeble in his EU renegotiation demands. They accused No 10 of pressuring MPs to join the pro-EU Conservatives for Reform in Europe group, led by ex-minister Nick Herbert.” – Daily Mail

  • Goldsmith dismisses eurosceptic ‘headbangers’ – The Guardian
  • ‘One of the biggest names in the British hotel industry’ backs Brexit… – The Times (£)
  • …but global pharmaceutical leaders warn it would be a mistake – FT
  • Sturgeon claims June vote would be a “big mistake” – The Sun
  • Dublin urges UK to stay – FT
  • UK should send troops to defend Europe’s borders, EU leaders say – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister ‘considering’ plans to admit thousands of migrant children – Daily Telegraph

Comment on Cameron:

  • Attending Davos should be as shameful as running a sweat shop – Steve Hilton, The Guardian
  • The Prime Minister must curb the free market in gambling – Clare Foges, The Times (£)

>Today: Steve Moore in Comment: Farewell, Steve Hilton. Hello, Christian Guy – and Cameron’s new social interventionism


Trevor Kavanagh: Remain or Leave, the game is up for the EU

“The “Grand Project” is crumbling under pressure from mass immigration, economic and political paralysis and – to complete a perfect storm – a looming global slowdown. By a stroke of sheer good luck – plus the English Channel – Britain stands alone among its 28 member states with the option to defend itself from catastrophe. The tide has turned against Brussels with quite astonishing speed, leaving David Cameron scrambling to find a last-minute deal to keep us in.” – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: How will Britain vote in the EU referendum? And how will you vote?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: If Conservative MPs want real EU change, they must now back Brexit

Chancellor and billionaire team up to cure malaria

OSBORNE non-broken sword“British taxpayers are to fund the bulk of a £3 billion pledge delivered today by George Osborne and Bill Gates to wipe out malaria within decades. The Microsoft tycoon will travel to Liverpool with the chancellor to see groundbreaking scientific research into drugs, diagnostics and insecticides as Mr Osborne locks in support from Britain’s aid budget until at least 2020.” – The Times (£)

George Osborne and Bill Gates: It’s a fight we can win together

“Today we will be travelling together to the front line of the battle against the world’s deadliest killer. A front line that is not far away, but right here in the UK, in the northern powerhouse, in Liverpool. When it comes to human tragedy, no creature comes close to the devastation caused by the mosquito.” – The Times (£)

  • Chancellor’s powerhouse puzzle grows – FT

MPs criticise Osborne’s deal with Google

Tax Take“George Osborne faced mounting anger last night over a so-called sweetheart deal with Google that allowed it to pay just £130million in taxes dating back a decade… But the amount was branded ‘derisory’ in light of the fact that the firm racked up sales of £4.5billion in Britain in 2014 alone.” – Daily Mail

  • Anger mounts at tax bargain – The Times (£)
  • Experts ‘slam’ deal as hugely under-valued – The Sun
  • Osborne faces calls to squeeze more tax from big business – Daily Telegraph

More Osborne:

  • Chancellor plots fresh ‘raid’ on pensions – Daily Mail
  • Opposition want explanation for off-the-record meetings with media bosses – The Guardian

May under pressure over Met Commissioner contract

“The Home Secretary was last night facing calls to block a contract extension for the head of Scotland Yard amid growing fury over his refusal to apologise to ‘hounded’ 92-year-old war hero Lord Bramall. As a Cabinet minister joined calls for a ‘proper apology’ to the ex-Army chief over the Met’s child sex abuse ‘witch-hunt’, it emerged Theresa May wants Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to be Commissioner for at least two more years.” – Daily Mail

MPs criticise 38 Degrees for hijacking BBC consultation

House of Commons logo“A survey on the public’s opinion of the BBC was so hijacked by a Left-wing campaign group that the Government has decided to hold a second one. Some 192,000 responses were received during the first consultation asking about possible changes to the size and role of the Corporation ahead of charter renewal. But 177,000 of them – 92 per cent – were whipped up by campaign group 38 Degrees, which sent a series of leading emails to its members encouraging them to take part.” – Daily Mail

  • BBC will encourage well-off pensioners to forgo free TV licences – The Times (£)
  • BT chief faces committee grilling over slow broadband speeds – Daily Telegraph

Fundraising scandal:

  • Charity bosses are on ‘last chance’ over harassment of the elderly – Daily Mail
  • Leaders were “incompetent or willingly blind” over fundraising scandal – Daily Telegraph
  • Trustees to blame, MPs report – FT
  • Do charity heads deserve this reprieve? – Daily Mail editorial

Tories can engineer snap election to crush Labour

“The legislation, known as the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, allows any party with a straight majority in the Commons to force an election if it loses two confidence votes in a row. This was impossible in the last parliament because the Tories were in a minority. They now have an overall majority, meaning that the party could all but ensure that a vote of no confidence is passed, triggering an early dissolution of parliament.” – The Times (£)

  • Opposition risk electoral ‘walloping’, warns Field – The Guardian

Corbyn 1) Labour leader urges UK to ‘follow Germany’ and let Calais migrants in

IMMIGRATION mat“Jeremy Corbyn has called for asylum-seekers waiting in makeshift camps in Calais to be welcomed into Britain, triggering anger among his MPs. The Labour leader concluded a two-day visit to France by urging the British government to follow the example of Germany, which has allowed in a million migrants in a year.” – The Times (£)

  • Corbyn claims Government is ‘not doing anything’ about the refugee crisis – The Times (£)
  • Argentine ambassador confirms his plan to ‘share’ Falklands – Daily Mail
  • Livingstone hints at Commons return – The Independent


  • Why do mates of Corbyn keep insisting we respect scum like ISIS? – Kelvin Mackenzie, The Sun

David Goodhart: What is the key to integrating newcomers?

“The law – everything from anti-discrimination law to rules governing marriage visas or the outlawing of FGM – can act as a weak integrationist force. But there are at least three other tools to promote it: nudge; the power of good examples; and public approval/disapproval.” – Daily Telegraph

Corbyn 2) Opponents divided over ‘suicide’ coup

LABOUR dead rose“Moderate Labour MPs are divided over whether to attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn after the May local elections, with senior party figures trying to cool talk of an early coup. Some Labour figures want Michael Dugher, who was sacked from the shadow cabinet on January 5, or another big name to mount a “suicide” challenge to make clear their unhappiness at Mr Corbyn’s leadership.” – The Times (£)

  • Leader’s Trident position shared by less than a quarter of the Shadow Cabinet – Daily Telegraph
  • MPs must improve on Beckett’s inadequate report – The Times (£) editorial
  • Danczuk faces expenses investigation – Daily Telegraph
  • Four shadow ministers enjoy £430,000 windfall after selling homes – The Sun
  • Labour ructions echo the SDP’s 1981 breakaway – FT

Corbyn 3) Sturgeon claims Labour government is ‘not credible’

“Nicola Sturgeon has said a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government is not a “credible notion”. The Scottish First Minister made the comments while discussing the Trident nuclear weapons program on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. She told Marr: “I don’t think Labour as a government right now is a credible notion in any sense, but that’s not for me to sort out, I’m afraid it’s for Labour.”” – The Independent

  • SNP on course to win 73 seats according to new poll – The Scotsman
  • Nationalists must not take Holyrood victory for granted, warns deputy leader – The Independent


  • The SNP has 100 days to earn the right to keep Scotland moving forward – John Swinney, The Independent
  • Could Labour struggle to fend off the Tories for second place? – The Scotsman editorial

Welsh Labour refuse to repeat 2011 tuition fees pledge

Wales flag“Opposition parties have described current arrangements – under which the Welsh Government pays £5,190 a year towards undergraduates’ £9,000 tuition fees wherever in the UK they study – as unsustainable. Now Labour has confirmed it will not be able to set out the details of any future commitment on funding until a review panel chaired by Professor Sir Ian Diamond publishes its final report in Autumn 2016.” – Wales Online

  • Ofsted chief’s comments cause anger in Wales – Wales Online
  • Record numbers apply for Ulster grammar schools despite Sinn Fein opposition – Belfast Telegraph

Straw accused of advising clients how to dodge FoI

“Jack Straw, who sits on the panel reviewing freedom of information laws, is accused of advising a paying client on how to avoid them. The former cabinet minister worked as a consultant for ED&F Man, one of Britain’ s largest commodity traders, for which he was paid £60,000 a year.” – Daily Mail

  • Restricting freedom of information betrays all of us – Jonathan Isaby, The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • Pro-gun activist vows to release plans for 3D-printed semi-automatic rifle online – Daily Mail
  • ISIS threatens UK in new beheading video featuring Paris attackers – Daily Telegraph
  • US East Coast in deep freeze after blizzard deaths – The Times (£)
  • Port Talbot broken by decline of steel industry – FT
  • Oil crash may have killed off Welsh fracking for decades – Wales Online
  • Sir Jeremy’s department criticised for failing to reveal how it spends public money – Daily Mail
  • First Minister of Northern Ireland attends memorial for Kingsmill massacre – Belfast Telegraph

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