Cameron offered compromise to pass four year benefit ban

CAMERON EU fence“Mr Cameron insisted in Budapest his idea would remain on the table until something equally as ‘important’ was suggested which would achieve similar ends. Now EU sources have told the Daily Telegraph a deal is on offer which would involve Britain imposing a four year ban on in-work benefits for 18 to 22 year olds in return for stopping migrants claiming for four years. But the Government would be allowed to create a new ‘social payment’ for young British adults to ensure nobody here was left out of pocket.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister could extend tax credits ban to British expats – The Guardian
  • Hammond ‘can’t envisage’ campaigning to leave – Daily Telegraph
  • The political sitcom which may determine the referendum outcome – The Independent


  • Watson claims key data on migrant benefit claimants is being hidden – The Guardian

John Redwood: We Tories are all Eurosceptic now

“If Tory party leaders decide at the last minute to side with the majority of the party and make the case to leave, they will unite the party rapidly and increase their own popularity. If they wish to argue the case to stay in they will be opposing most of the Conservative membership. Still, after the referendum, it should be possible for the party to reunite.” – FT

  • Cameron is turning up the pressure to prevent MPs declaring for ‘Out’ – James Forsyth, The Sun

>Yesterday: Syed Kamall MEP’s column: 2015 was a bad year for the EU. Will 2016 really be any better?

Osborne under fire over pensions tax relief reforms

OSBORNE red and blue“George Osborne has come under fire for his changes to pension tax reliefs which experts have dubbed a £6 billion stealth tax on Middle England. The chancellor’s measures, which come into effect on April 6, will hit more than 300,000 higher-rate taxpayers, net the Treasury £5.9 billion over five years and threaten the future of company pension schemes as senior executives consider pulling out of them, they claim.” – The Times (£)

  • Chancellor accused of leaning on City of London watchdog – FT


  • We can’t ignore the economic cycle – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

Ministers 1) Hammond accused of condoning Saudi mass executions

“Philip Hammond was condemned today for being ‘alarmingly misinformed’ and for ‘coming dangerously close to condoning’ Saudi Arabia’s execution of almost 50 people on new year’s day. The Foreign Secretary, who is Japan today on the latest leg of a diplomatic tour, said all those killed were ‘convicted terrorists’ despite one being a prominent cleric whose death has sparked protests around the world.” – Daily Mail

  • Foreign Secretary challenged over Saudis and Sharia claims – The Times (£)

Ministers 2) May criticised by Government-appointed information watchdog

MAY Warhol“The Government-appointed information watchdog has criticised Theresa May’s spying plans, arguing that they could lead to the exposure of personal information and are of “real concern”… The Government has claimed that the law is written to keep people safe and that the powers are limited and safeguarded. But the Government’s own appointed figure has said that the powers could be damaging.” – The Independent

Laing in the spotlight for criticising pregnant Labour MP

“A heavily pregnant Labour MP was allegedly told not to ‘play the pregnancy card’ by the Commons’ female Deputy Speaker after leaving a debate to grab a snack. Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing, 57, has today been accused of telling Tulip Siddiq she had ‘made women look bad’ and warned her: ‘You’re bringing down the whole of womankind’… The Deputy Speaker was angry the new MP did not stay in the chamber for long enough after she had spoken – a Commons convention.” – Daily Mail

Dugher claims Livingstone is running Labour…

LABOUR dead rose“The most high-profile casualty of Jeremy Corbyn’s purge of moderates from Labour’s shadow cabinet has launched a savage attack on the party’s leadership. Michael Dugher condemned Mr Corbyn’s closest aides as a “bunch of far-left, antiwar former communists” in thrall to Ken Livingstone, their previous employer at City Hall, London.” – The Times (£)

  • Saturday Interview: Michael Dugher – The Times (£)
  • Moderates plot to remove Corbyn ally from Labour NEC – The Times (£)
  • Deputy leader not warned of reshuffle in advance – The Independent
  • Phillips accuses Labour leader of giving women a ‘pat on the head’ – Daily Telegraph
  • BBC denies arranging live Doughty resignation after Labour complaint – Daily Telegraph


  • Corbyn’s fans are making Labour look like a cult – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

…as Jarvis suggests he would be uncomfortable standing for a unilateralist party

“The former Labour frontbencher Dan Jarvis has indicated he may not stand for the party at the next general election if Jeremy Corbyn succeeds in changing policy to oppose the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons programme. Jarvis said on Friday he would feel “deeply uncomfortable” standing as a Labour candidate on a manifesto committed to unilateral nuclear disarmament.” – The Guardian

  • Saturday Interview: Dan Jarvis – The Guardian
  • Thornberry confesses she doesn’t know why she got shadow defence brief – Daily Mail

Dan Hodges: Watson’s power is waning, and soon he must pick a side

Tom Watson“When Watson was elected many people saw him as acting as an important counterweight to the Corbynites. But when he chose to run for the deputy leadership it never occurred to him he would be serving under Jeremy Corbyn. And while he has remained publically loyal, he has told friends he has found the experience very difficult to manage.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Is Unite going to nuke Corbyn’s Trident-free utopia? – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
  • The leader’s fans need to let go of their media obsession – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • Labour voters are losing faith in Corbyn – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • I’ve sat across from enough weak candidates to know Khan is one – Baroness Brady, The Sun
  • The hypocrisy of the Labour right – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Far left activists are trying to push the BMA to illegal action

News in Brief:

  • Hundreds of Iraq veterans hounded by investigators in ‘witch hunt’ – Daily Mail
  • Calls to shut German borders after rape arrests – The Times (£)
  • EU crisis over migrant sex attacks – Daily Telegraph
  • Worst start to market year in two decades – FT
  • Jihadi gunmen open fire at Egyptian resort – The Sun
  • Drug lord ‘El Chapo’ captured – The Guardian
  • BNP deregistered as political party after failing to file paperwork – Daily Mail

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