MEPs threaten to throw out Cameron’s deal

CAMERON EU fence“The European Parliament has emerged as the biggest threat to David Cameron’s renegotation deal with the EU – with MEPs threatening to block any plans that could lead to an ‘à la carte’ Europe. Martin Schulz, the Parliament’s president, warned many MEPs now wanted Britain out of the EU and said that Britain was ‘testing the patience’ of his colleagues with its ‘continuous demands’.” – Daily Mail

  • Tory leader claims deal will be legally binding – The Guardian
  • EU president tells Prime Minister: ‘dilute reforms or we’ll reverse them’ – The Sun
  • Nothing is irreversible, Brussels tells Britain – The Times (£)
  • Cameron wins Poland over to welfare curbs – FT
  • Polish Prime Minister backs parts of renegotiation – The Guardian
  • Almost half of Conservative voters want to quit Europe – The Times (£)
  • Fox insists Prime Minister must set out ‘consequences’ of negotiation in debate – Daily Telegraph
  • EU membership prevents us cutting migrant benefits further, states Tomlinson – The Independent


  • New poll puts ‘Out’ at 45 per cent – The Sun
  • Brexit campaign surges to nine point lead – Daily Mail
  • Vote Leave clings to Cummings in hope of tempting Gove – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn’s involvement could swing the vote and boost his popularity – The Independent
  • Leading ‘Leave’ campaign hit by infighting and bullying claims – The Sun
  • EU campaign feuds could lead to no official Brexit group – The Guardian


  • Cameron’s contempt for the grassroots could drive them to Farage – Daily Telegraph
  • Party could be rebranded or disbanded after EU vote, warns donor… – The Times (£)
  • …as he claims Farage would have been a terrible MP – The Times (£)


  • Britain will only be free of EU law if it leaves, warns senior judge – Daily Telegraph
  • Criminals with EU-born children cannot be deported, court rules – Daily Mail
  • Davies reveals would-be deportee is Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law – Daily Telegraph

Radek Sikorski: Let’s be frank, Cameron was never going to fundamentally restructure Europe

“With this crafty compromise, the EU has thrown Britain a lifeline, and it should be firmly grasped. Mr Cameron secured a better offer than many, myself included, would have predicted. I doubt it can be improved upon, even after another self-inflicted British wound in the form of a lost referendum.” – FT

  • The Prime Minister got a good deal, just look at the fine print – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • The flaw at the heart of the campaign for Brexit – FT editorial
  • Why the Tories could soon elect their own Corbyn – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Special survey: Now that there are draft proposals published, how do you intend to vote in the EU referendum?


Ministers 1) Osborne mulls raid on middle-class pensions

Osborne-Headshot3“Middle-class workers face having £100 stripped from their take-home pay to fund a Government tax raid on pensions, the Mail can reveal. Officials are considering drastic cuts to savers’ pension tax breaks, and could act in next month’s Budget.” – Daily Mail

  • Four million retiring in April could get the wrong state pension – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) May fears she has ‘created a monster’ with PCCs

“Theresa May has admitted she feared she had “created a monster” in Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales. The Home Secretary admitted a number of instances had given PCCs a “bad name”, but revealed the government intends to extend after May’s election. The posts were introduced by Ms May in 2012 in an attempt to increase accountability in policing and give the public a say in how forces are run.” – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 3) Hancock to ban charities from lobbying with public money

Tax Take“Charities in receipt of Government grants will be banned from using these taxpayer funds to engage in political lobbying, The Telegraph can disclose. A new clause to be inserted into all new and renewed grant agreements will make sure that taxpayer funds are spent on improving people’s lives and good causes, rather than covering lobbying for new regulation or using taxpayers’ money to lobby for more government funding.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Charity sector ‘out of control’, warn experts – Daily Telegraph
  • O’Donnell says charities must produce evidence of results – FT

William Shawcross: Charities must not abuse this country’s great generosity

“The new Act will enable us to tackle abuses more effectively. It will also close absurd loopholes such as the fact that, until now, people with terrorist convictions have in theory been able to run charities. The law will help us in our crucial counter-terrorism work, along with countering fraud and protecting the vulnerable.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Hancock needs a plan to enforce the spirit of new charity rules

Adam Bienkov: Mayoral debate showed a Goldsmith who wanted to win

Zac Goldsmith 04-02-16“There were no knock out blows, but for the first time we saw how Goldsmith can still win this race. As things stand Khan remains the favourite, but if the Tories can successfully portray Khan as untrustworthy and dishonest, while portraying their own man as principled and honest about the problems facing London, then there’s still a chance they can edge this contest.” –

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Goldsmith and Khan clash in TV debate

McDonnell touted as next Labour leader by left-wing allies

“Jeremy Corbyn’s allies are touting John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, as Labour’s next leader in the event of a snap leadership contest before the next election. Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor, said that Mr McDonnell, 64, was the obvious candidate to take over should the current Labour leader be “pushed under a bus”. It is a sign that the left of the party is already considering its options should Mr Corbyn not lead the party into the next election.” – The Times (£)

Labour accused of overlooking bar on female candidates

LABOUR dead rose“Muslim women say that they were blocked from standing for the Labour party and accused officials of turning a blind eye to discrimination. They claim that male Muslim Labour members in Peterborough and Birmingham prevented local women from representing the party at council elections.” – The Times (£)

  • Male councillors prevented Muslim women seeking office – The Independent
  • They’re finally listening on immigration, and here’s the proof – Michael Deacon’s sketch, Daily Telegraph

Senior Labour MSPs set to lose their seats

“A host of Labour MSPs, including several senior figures, are likely to lose their seats in May’s Scottish elections after being stripped of their protected status on the party’s regional lists. About eight sitting MSPs could lose their seats after the Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, forced through an open selection process to replace underperforming MSPs and make others defend their seats.” – The Guardian

  • Setback for Scottish Labour’s bid to find fresh blood for May election – The Scotsman
  • Poll suggests Tories are narrowly beating Labour in Scotland – The Independent
  • Fans reject Bryant’s demand to abandon rugby anthem – Wales Online
  • Labour must embrace Englishness – Tristram Hunt, The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What a good Scottish Tory result looks like

News in Brief:

  • Assange claims vindication after UN ruling – Daily Mail
  • Private schools in crisis as state sector ups its game – The Times (£)
  • Thatcher’s £30 million home goes on sale – Daily Telegraph
  • Argentina’s multi-billion offer to end ‘trial of the century’ – FT
  • Tube strike called off but RMT details seven walkouts – The Sun

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