Cameron aide did put pressure on Longworth

Snip20160308_4“A senior aide to David Cameron gave a telephone dressing-down to the business chief who dared to speak out in favour of Brexit. Daniel Korski, who is paid £93,000 a year, rang John Longworth just hours before the British Chambers of Commerce sensationally suspended him from his post as director general… Number 10 had repeatedly insisted no pressure was brought to bear, and the BCC claimed no politician had influenced its decision” – Daily Mail

  • Korski the PM’s shadowy hitman – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Why Dave has unleashed the Number 10 attack dogs – Isabel Oakeshott, Daily Mail

Longworth: We must leave the EU now

“I have chosen to resign from my position at the British Chambers of Commerce so I can speak freely on the matter of our membership of the EU… I had always considered that the best place for Britain to be was inside a reformed EU, but considerable research and insight over the past years, coupled with the prime minister’s renegotiation with Europe which fell far short of expectations, has led me to believe that the EU is incapable of meaningful reform… We will have a much brighter future if we leave, but we must make this move now, before it too late” – John Longworth, The Times (£)

  • Patel says women who campaign for Brexit are like suffragettes – Daily Telegraph
  • Longworth’s exit leaves businesses more reluctant to take sides – Sarah Gordon, Financial Times


Ganesh: The Leavers failed to prepare their case

Janan Ganesh“Leavers and Scottish nationalists deny any likeness, but the parallels between the two movements increasingly insist on being noticed. Both sides spent so much time and energy securing a referendum that none was left over to hone their arguments when it came. They bonded among themselves during those years in a way that cloaked material disagreements on basic questions of detail” – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

  • Bank of England makes contingency plans for Brexit – The Times (£)
  • Vote Leave attacks “pro-EU scaremongering” by Bank – Sun
  • Don’t think Brexit will solve the migrant crisis – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)


Boris tells staff to toe his EU line

“Boris Johnson’s office has warned senior officials at London’s City Hall not to speak out in favour of staying in the European Union. An email from his chief of staff, Edward Lister, seen by the BBC, tells deputy mayors and senior advisers to ‘either advocate the mayor’s position or otherwise not openly contradict it’. The Mayor of London has accused pro-EU campaigners of trying to gag opponents” – BBC

  • Osborne is better placed than Boris to become the next PM – Steve Richards, Independent


Turkey and Germany close in on EU migrant deal

Angela Merkel“Turkey and Germany have negotiated a groundbreaking deal to systematically turn back all Syrians and economic migrants reaching Greek islands in exchange for sweeteners for Ankara, including early access to European visas and billions in extra funding. Other EU leaders were blindsided by the bold Turco-German text, unexpectedly presented shortly before their summit on Monday, but emerged after 12 hours of difficult discussions with the outline of a deal they hope to finalise next week” – Financial Times

  • EU and Turkey agree outline of “one in, one out” refugee pact – Guardian
  • Britain pays extra £250 million to Turkey in migrant “blackmail” – The Times (£)
  • Britain to pay £500 million under EU’s grand migrant swap plan for Turkey – Daily Telegraph
  • Erdogan uses terror laws to gag critics – The Times (£)
  • Will Turkey’s EU relationship be a model for sceptical Britain? – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Eurozone seeks to break Greek deadlock

“Eurozone finance ministers have moved to break a deadlock between Greece’s warring creditors by sending bailout negotiators back to Athens to agree a new set of economic reforms. Despite continued disagreement over how long the list of reforms must be, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chaired the eurogroup meeting of his 16 counterparts, insisted there was ‘enough common ground’ between the EU and the IMF to restart the negotiations” – Financial Times

Osborne to support fast Leeds-Manchester railway

OSBORNE builder“George Osborne is set to back a fast rail line between Manchester and Leeds in next week’s Budget as part of his ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plan to rebalance the economy away from London. David Brown, head of Transport for the North (TfN), which is drawing up a blueprint for a ‘transformation’ of northern roads and railways, said it was ‘a matter of time’ before the link got the go-ahead” – Financial Times

  • Frustrated Osborne still wants cut in top rate of tax – The Times (£)
  • Screeching U-turns never hurt this Chancellor – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • Osborne’s pensions U-turn shows the Treasury has been hijacked – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • Tory MPs mobilise against hike in fuel duty – Sun
  • Legalising cannabis would raise a billion pounds in taxes – Independent
  • Osborne’s Sunday trading laws face defeat as SNP join Tory rebels – Daily Telegraph
  • Next Scottish government faces budget dilemma – Herald

Gender pay gap remains for over-40s, says Miller

“David Cameron will fail to deliver on a pledge to close the gender pay gap within a generation, according to a senior Conservative MP who used to be the Cabinet minister for women and equalities. Maria Miller, chair of a parliamentary select committee that scrutinises gender equality, told the Guardian: ‘The government thinks the issue has been resolved, and it has for women working full-time under the age of 35 but not for thousands of others’” – Guardian

  • “The right sort of female chap”: the story of women in Whitehall – Catherine Haddon, Guardian
  • UKIP calls for Burka ban – Daily Express


Head of GCHQ seeks “co-operation” with tech groups

Phone“The head of GCHQ, the UK’s electronic eavesdropping agency, has moved to defuse the row between security services and technology companies with a call for ‘very practical co-operation’. Robert Hannigan’s speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday came ahead of a proposed new public-private forum in the UK, set to be announced by the prime minister this summer, designed to avoid stand-offs such as the US government’s legal fight with Apple” – Financial Times

  • Police warn ISIS is planning Paris-style attack in London – Daily Mail
  • Man raped by Libyan soldiers stationed in Cambridgeshire sues MoD – Daily Mail

France and Britain seek to quash EDF rebellion

“The French and British governments on Monday redoubled their support for a nuclear project in the UK, attempting to quash an internal rebellion at project-leader EDF just weeks before a final investment decision. The Paris-based utility was thrown into turmoil when chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal resigned, saying that he felt that plans for the £18bn Hinkley Point project in Somerset threatened the group’s entire future” – Financial Times

  • Analysts call for “worst ever” nuclear deal to be scrapped – The Times (£)
  • Hinkley Point is too big, too expensive and unproven – The Times editorial (£)
  • Don’t ever rely on the French when it comes to nuclear power – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail

Corbyn asks Labour MPs to stop “sniping”

Jeremy Corbyn 16-11-15“Jeremy Corbyn begged Labour MPs to stop their ‘sniping’ and ‘name calling’ as aides refused to rule out that he feared plotters wanted to oust him. The Labour leader was also harangued over his call to decriminalise prostitution, as he faced a gloomy meeting of his parliamentary party. A source close to the leader said: ‘Jeremy faced down his critics and made clear that the sniping and name calling was counterproductive for the whole party’” – Daily Mail


Bloomberg quits, denouncing Trump

“Michael Bloomberg has decided against launching a run for the US presidency, citing fears that he would end up handing the White House to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz… ‘[Mr Trump] has run the most divisive, demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears. Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our “better angels”. Trump appeals to our worst impulses,’ Mr Bloomberg wrote” – Financial Times

  • Trump declares war on the Isle of Wight – Craig Brown, Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Troubles flare ahead of Easter Rising centenary – Financial Times
  • Fatal mistakes that allowed schoolboy to kill Bailey – Daily Mail
  • Sturgeon loans press chief to Police Scotland – Daily Telegraph
  • Hall fears BBC independence is under threat – Financial Times
  • Crocodile attacks handler in Australian animal sanctuary – Daily Telegraph
  • Sharapova suspended from tennis after failing drug test – Daily Mail