Cameron’s plan for us to remain in Europe…

CAMERON Europe fenceAmong the concessions Cameron expects to secure at a meeting in Brussels on February 19 are: An agreement signed by the other 27 leaders rebranding Britain as a different sort of member state in the outer circle of a two-tier Europe … An ’emergency brake’ on EU migration to Britain, enabling the government to block new arrivals if public services become overwhelmed — a proposal that Downing Street previously said it had dropped. … After the deal with fellow EU leaders is concluded, Cameron will reveal that he is changing domestic law to make clear that parliament is sovereign and Britain’s courts are not bound by Europe’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • “David Cameron has delayed a flagship overhaul of human rights laws to bolster his hand in the EU referendum. … Ministers are ready to unveil a blueprint for change but have been told to wait until after the PM’s renegotiations. … They believe he will use the new Bill of Rights to beef up the powers he claws back from Brussels in talks next month.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “An extra European summit could be held in late February to finalise a deal on David Cameron’s EU reforms, which would allow the UK prime minister to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership in June.” – The Observer

…is bolstered by Morgan in the Observer…

MORGAN Nicky headshot“The depth of cabinet divisions over Europe has been laid bare as the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, warns that a UK exit would cut the country off from the rest of the world and limit the freedom of young people to study and find jobs in the European Union. … Writing in Sunday’s Observer, Morgan hits back at anti-EU cabinet colleagues who are preparing to campaign for ‘Brexit’, saying the next generation should not have to live in a country in which their prospects and opportunities ‘end at our shores’.” – The Observer

Read Nicky Morgan’s Observer article in full

  • “Mr Cameron received an additional boost last night after it emerged that Eurosceptic Minister Michael Gove is to snub the ‘Out’ campaign, known as ‘Leave,’ and back Mr Cameron’s vow to ‘Remain’.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “Ten million homes will be posted a leaflet this week outlining why Britain must stay in the EU. … In it Apprentice star Baroness Karren Brady will warn voters that jobs would be ‘at risk’ if we left.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Some of Britain’s leading historians have attacked Downing Street’s attempts to ‘scare’ voters into staying in the European Union.” – Sunday Telegraph

…and by the launch of a new Tory campaign group…

HERBERT Nick“The Conservative Party’s war over Europe has dramatically escalated as senior Tories launch a new campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. … A new group, Conservatives for Reform in Europe, has been created to lead the fightback against Eurosceptics with a warning to voters that leaving the EU would be a leap into the void. … The group will be run by Nick Herbert, a former minister, and was set up with the full knowledge of David Cameron, who is expected to welcome its formation.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “Our aim is to give a voice to the thousands of Party members and supporters who believe that change in Europe is vital, want the Prime Minister to succeed, and if he does will vote to stay in a reformed EU.” – Nick Herbert MP, Sunday Telegraph

…but: Out takes a six-point lead in Mail on Sunday poll

EU Exit“The number of voters who want Britain to pull out of the EU has risen to its highest point since the General Election. … A shock Mail on Sunday poll today shows the ‘Out’ campaign has opened up a six-point lead in the wake of the Paris massacre, Cologne sex attacks and Syrian migrant crisis. And if London Mayor Boris Johnson were to throw his weight behind an exit, as its supporters hope, the gap would widen to eight points.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “The poll, carried out by ComRes, finds that 84 per cent of voters support the Prime Minister’s plan to require people who come to the UK from the EU to pay taxes for four years before they can claim tax credits and other benefits.” – Independent on Sunday

And comment:

  • “We will have to choose between being submerged in ever closer union or being set free to determine our own destiny.” – Liam Fox MP, Sun on Sunday
  • “Oddly quiet on the Brexit front as the Tory sceptics stay low.” – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)
  • “The British public can overthrow the Brussels machine.” – Kathrine Kleveland, Sunday Telegraph
  • “Now if only I had followed my own advice about opinion polls…” – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer

> Today: ToryDiary – Where are Labour’s Eurosceptics?

The Prime Minister wants more Muslim women to learn English

England flag“David Cameron will tomorrow launch a new drive to counter Islamic extremism by calling on more Muslim women to learn English – in the hope that they will turn into more powerful moderating forces. … The Prime Minister has privately argued that one of the main reasons why young Muslim males fall under the spell of fanatics is because their mothers have too much of a subordinate role within their communities to argue against the influence of the extremists.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “At least one American and six Canadians are among the 28 people from 18 different countries were killed during a 15-hour terror attack by four jihadists at a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “A British woman was personally urged by David Cameron to seek compensation over last year’s Paris attacks – only to be turned down because the Government had not declared them an act of terrorism.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “As many as 100 British jihadists have been killed in Syria and Iraq fighting with Isis or other terrorist groups, The Sunday Times can reveal.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Victims of IRA terrorist atrocities are stepping up their campaign for compensation as ministers pledge to take up their case.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “Tens of thousands of Indians have settled in Britain using an astonishing immigration loophole – by becoming citizens of Portugal, even though they’ve never set foot there.” – Mail on Sunday

And comment:

  • “The targeting of western foreigners by Islamist terrorists — as much as attacks in our own cities — changes the way we behave.” – Sunday Times editorial (£)
  • “The Kurds should not be denied our support.” – Nick Cohen, The Observer
  • “It appears that the BBC chauffeured the Islamic extremist “Jihadi Sid” to a series of interviews so he could spout his pro-ISIS views on national TV.” – Guido Fawkes, Sun on Sunday

> Today: Nicholas Mazzei on Comment – We will fail in Syria for the same reason that we failed in Sanguin

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Starvation as a weapon of war. Does Biafra offer lessons for Syria?

Ministers ban foreigners from using legal aid to sue soldiers

CAMERON soldiers“Foreigners will be banned from claiming legal aid to sue soldiers in UK courts. … The crackdown will save taxpayers £1million a year. … Illegal immigrants will also be barred from waging endless appeals to avoid deportation. … Instead, a residence test will restrict civil legal aid to people who have lived in the UK for 12 months. It means failed asylum seekers, illegals and foreign residents will have to fund cases themselves.” – Sun on Sunday

  • “Army reservists do not feel ‘valued’ by their full-time counterparts, the defence secretary has admitted.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “Lord Bramall, the former head of the army who has been cleared of historic child sex abuse allegations, said yesterday that police should now investigate the man who made false claims against him.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “The army is to wage a campaign of reverse psychology in an effort to solve its recruitment crisis — by ordering young people not to join up.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “One of Britain’s most eminent former diplomats has described the country as a fading power, saying that cuts to the Foreign Office have undermined its standing on the world stage.” – The Observer
  • “The UK taxpayer has given millions of pounds to help Pakistan’s counter-narcotics force target and arrest drug traffickers, at least five of whom have been sentenced to death.” – The Observer
  • “Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has urged Britain to “respect” his country’s use of the death penalty, two weeks after the oil-rich kingdom executed 47 people in one day.” – Independent on Sunday

And comment:

  • “[Cameron] should now go one step further and pull the plug on the shameful farce that is the Iraq Historic Allegations Team.” – Sun on Sunday editorial

Hunt tipped for the sack after doctors’ strike

HUNT Doctor Carla Millar“Jeremy Hunt has been tipped for the sack by cabinet colleagues in David Cameron’s next reshuffle after failing to head off the junior doctors’ strike. … Senior Tories say George Osborne, the chancellor, wants Boris Johnson to take over as health secretary in what allies of the London mayor view as ‘literally a hospital pass’ designed to dent his leadership hopes.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • “Hundreds of lives are lost and hundreds of thousands more are blighted each year as a result of ‘critical gaps’ in mental health treatment that will require £1.2bn annually to plug, according to a report by a government taskforce.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “A political deal which led to a 45-year cover-up of the true risks of thalidomide has been revealed with the discovery of documents showing the involvement of the president of West Germany.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Locum agencies are facing restrictions on the amounts that they can cream off fees paid by the NHS for temporary staff.” – Sunday Telegraph

And comment:

  • “The one sex change on the NHS that nobody has been talking about.” – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday: Bill Morgan on Comment – Yes, we campaigned against it. None the less, we need a new inheritance tax to fund social care.

Howarth wants the head of Ofsted to go

School“Ministers should sack the chief schools inspector over a threat to raid Sunday schools, a senior Tory MP has said. … Sir Gerald Howarth said Sir Michael should resign. He said: ‘He has flatly contradicted ministers who have assured us that there is no intention of investigating Sunday schools, and he has used as justificaiton the very criticism that we have made that he wants to be even handed.'” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “Only about a third of teenagers in England are expected to reach the standard achieved by an average student in countries at the top of world education rankings, according to new research.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “A free school in one of the poorest parts of Britain is sending eight pupils to Oxbridge, putting it on a par with some of the most famous public schools.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “A comprehensive school serving one of the most deprived areas of the country has been officially designated the kindest school in the UK.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “Public schools could lose hundreds of millions of pounds of tax breaks unless they show how they are sharing their faciliites with children from state schools.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “Schools across Britain are insisting that pupils take part in PE lessons – even if they have a sick note from their parents.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “David Blunkett, who studied for his O-levels at evening classes at Shrewsbury Technical College before going to university, entering politics and eventually becoming a cabinet minister, said adult education had been hard hit.” – The Observer

Are the Conservatives set for a membership boost?

Rosette shield“The Conservatives will be boosted by ‘tens of thousands’ of registered members following the completion of a review of the party’s structure, The Independent on Sunday has been told. … the review, led by party chairman Lord Feldman and minister without portfolio Robert Halfon, is understood to propose creating a central membership base at Conservative HQ. Many Tory MPs believe the local associations understate their membership to avoid paying the registration fees.” – Independent on Sunday

John Rentoul announces Tyrie as the Leader of the Opposition

“For much of the New Labour period, the Leader of the Opposition was, in effect, Gordon Brown – although opinions differ on how constructive his manoeuvring was, especially later on. For the last government, the Liberal Democrats provided an internal check and balance. But now, if visitors from another planet asked me to take them to my Leader of the Opposition, I would bring them to Andrew Tyrie.” – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday

Dugher lays into Corybn

Jeremy Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn has been warned he is leading the party to ‘electoral disaster’ – by a former frontbencher he sacked in his recent reshuffle. … Michael Dugher, who is tipped as a future party leadership challenger, launched a lacerating attack on the Labour leader for mounting a ‘divisive and self-indulgent’ review of Trident, accusing him of ditching ‘four-star generals’ as advisers in favour of those who read the Communist newspaper Morning Star.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Jeremy Corbyn is considering a new law to force companies to share their profits with workers.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “Labour is being torn apart by a new split over whether to back the junior doctors’ strike. … Lefties are joining picket lines but moderates want negotiations.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Outspoken Left-wing Labour MP Dawn Butler was in hot water again yesterday after claiming that a black Tory MP preferred the company of white people.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “While some appear to be plotting Ms Creasy’s political demise, others are sharpening their knives for Mr Corbyn.” – Independent on Sunday

And comment:

  • “Labour must heed its doubters to regain trust and seize political power.” – Gloria de Piero, Sun on Sunday
  • “The bearded pacifists are right… Trident IS a waste of money.” – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

“There will be occasions when I disagree with Jeremy.” Sadiq Khan speaks to the Sunday Telegraph

“He is the Left-leaning son of a bus driver who grew up on a council estate and nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader. … But Sadiq Khan has used an interview with the Telegraph to make a direct pitch to Conservative voters to pick him as the next Mayor of London over Tory Zac Goldsmith. … In an attempt to reach for the centre ground, Mr Khan promises to stand up for London over airport expansion and oppose attempts impose a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ on the banks.” – Sunday Telegraph

Obama has “pencilled in” a meeting with the Labour leader

OBAMA sad“It promises to be one of the most awkward diplomatic exchanges since Ronald Reagan snubbed Neil Kinnock in the Oval Office – a planned encounter later this year between Barack Obama and Jeremy Corbyn. … The ‘summit’ with the Labour leader – pencilled in by Obama’s advisers as part of his farewell visit to the UK – raises the bizarre prospect of the American president sweeping into London in his armed motorcade to hold talks with a bicycle-riding pacifist who wants to scrap Trident.” – Mail on Sunday

Danczuk to argue against being thrown out of the Labour Party

“Disgraced Labour MP Simon Danczuk is set to deploy the ‘John Prescott’ defence to stop his party expelling him over his ‘sex-text’ messages to a teenage girl. ,,, Mr Danczuk will argue party bosses have no right to kick him out because they took no such action against Mr Prescott over his infamous affair with his diary secretary Tracey Temple when he was Deputy Prime Minister.” – Mail on Sunday

Lib Dem peers to back Labour over the Trade Union Bill

Lib Dem Logo“Liberal Democrat peers are to help Labour water down the Trade Union Bill, which will dramatically reduce the party’s funding, in an amendment on Wednesday. … The support should give Labour enough votes to pass an amendment that would mean parts of the Bill that relate to political funding will be separated out and examined by a cross-party committee of peers.” – Independent on Sunday

Report highlights the prevalence of “poverty wages”

“One in four new jobs created over the past five years pays “poverty wages”, a report will reveal tomorrow. … More than 640,000 people moving off benefits and into work are still living on the breadline, it will say. … Labour MP Frank Field, who carried out the study, will claim it leaves Tory plans to lift strivers out of poverty in tatters.” – Sun on Sunday

  • “For decades, it has been an accepted fact of British economics that the English earn more than the Scots. But that longstanding record has finally been overturned, according to newly-published research which shows that workers north of the border are now being paid more than their English counterparts.” – Independent on Sunday

And comment:

  • “Scots shouldn’t be fooled by the oil-price naysayers.” – Kevin McKenna, The Observer

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – The Conservatives need to switch the debate from equality to poverty

News in brief

  • US lifts sanctions on Iran, after the latter complies with nuclear deal – Mail on Sunday
  • “Women are treated differently.” An interview with UKIP’s Annabelle Fuller – Mail on Sunday
  • Baroness D’Souza’s portrait will cost taxpayers £12,000 – Sun on Sunday
  • World Health Organisation issues warning about pollution levels in major cities – The Observer
  • Number of England’s marine conservation zones nearly doubles – The Observer
  • Human traffickers made up to £4 billion last year – Independent on Sunday
  • The majority of Britons now say they have no religion – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Come and have a go at Cecil’s statue if you think you’re hard enough.” – Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times (£)

And finally: Cameron’s toilet role

David Cameron white tie“David Cameron has been dragged into an embarrassing row over the future of the beachside lavatories near his favourite Cornish holiday spot. … Campaigners claim the Prime Minister is backing their fight to keep open the facilities at Daymer Bay, where the Camerons have spent several summer holidays – even though his own ‘Tory spending cuts’ are being blamed for their potential closure.” – Mail on Sunday

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