May’s first Christmas message as Prime Minister

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-08-25-33“As we leave the European Union we must seize an historic opportunity to forge a bold new role for ourselves in the world and to unite our country as we move forward into the future. And, with our international partners, we must work together to promote trade, increase prosperity and face the challenges to peace and security around the world. “As we gather with our friends and families at this time of year we proudly celebrate the birth of Christ and the message of forgiveness, love and hope that He brings.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Business leaders report warmer relations with Prime Minister – Financial Times
  • May meets Father Christmas outside local Waitrose – Daily Mail
  • Johnson bags Chevening… – The Guardian
  • …While Camerons jet off for Caribbean – The Sun
  • John Redwood’s Lord of the Rings Christmas fairy story – Daily Express
  • Times follows up Queen, Prime Minister and Brexit claims
  • Prime Minister keeps Maam on Brexit – Matthew D’Ancona, The Guardian
  • May needs to show that Brexit is good for Britain – Isabel Hardman, The Sun
  • A great year and time for goodwill – Daily Mail Editorial
  • “Theresa, darling,” my mother would ask, “what’s on your list to Father Christmas?” “I’m very clear about this,” I would say. “I will be releasing my list in plenty of time to enable full parental scrutiny, no later than Boxing Day.” – Michael Deacon’s Christmas messages, Daily Telegraph

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Paterson calls for Brexit next year

“He said: “The UK has taken a massive step forward in the past year, 2016 was the year the British people voted to get their country back.However, to take back control we must repeal the 1972 Act and 2017 is the year this must be delivered.” He praised the thousands of campaigners across Britain who delivered the vote which has won the country’s freedom from Brussels rule. He added: “This commitment will not go unrewarded as there are so many benefits the country will see because of the Brexit vote.” – Daily Express

Peter Oborne: Labour at the crossroads over immigration

Woolfie Corbyn“And Labour’s deliberate, yet secretive, policy of mass immigration is one of the main reasons that Copeland, even though it contains far fewer migrants than many northern constituencies, voted by a large majority to leave the EU in June’s referendum. It is also why so many traditional Labour voters have deserted the party in recent elections — many of them to Ukip. As a result, Labour is at a crucial crossroads. It can either allow itself to wither in the north of England in the same way it has in Scotland. Or it can seize the moment and try to regain its position as the champion of Britain’s working classes.” – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn: Trump blames Mexicans, Muslims and women – Independent
  • Labour leader “has not spoken to the party’s only Scottish MP in months” – Herald Scotland
  • Chakrabarti says Labour is no longer in the arms race for prisons – The Independent
  • Families and disabled people hit by rising homelessness – The Guardian
  • McDonnell pays hard-left militant £47,000 for guidance on economic policy… – Daily Mail
  • …And he finds £2.6 billion black hole in Treasury avoidance measures – The Guardian
  • Balls rules out standing in Copeland by-election, prepares for Strictly Come Dancing tour – Daily Telegraph
  • Left is as guilty of hate speech as the Right – Janice Turner, The Times (£)

Farron’s Christmas message: we should take more child refugees

“In a Christmas video message, the Lib Dem leader said the Christian message should encourage the UK to welcome refugees. Mr Farron said: “As a Christian, I think Christmas is about a God who gave himself up for us and came to Earth in order to do that and urges us to follow him and to believe we should do to others what we would have them do to us. “Imagine the UK was a war-torn and terrible place to live and imagine that Eritrea, Sudan or Syria were peaceful places.” – Daily Express

A seasonal message of goodwill from Farage to his colleagues

  • FARAGE eatingCarswell –  “Doesn’t fit in anywhere”.
  • James – “Selfish”.
  • Evans – “Overinflated opinion of herself:”

– The Times (£)

Latest blow to post-referendum economy panic forecasts

“Official figures on Friday showed that the spending splurge was strong enough to revise up growth in the third quarter and boost imports, pushing the trade and current account deficits further into the red.
The data show that the UK economy was much stronger than expected after the vote to leave the EU. However, the spending was not backed by rising incomes, raising concerns about the sustainability of this next year. While the Treasury and the Bank of England had expected a vote for Brexit to slow the economy to close to zero growth in the third quarter, the official figures now show growth of 0.6 per cent, revised up by 0.1 percentage point from the previous estimate.” – Financial Times

Christmas market suspect is shot dead in Italy – exposing failure of German security and Schengen borders

“The fact that a man whose terrorist leanings were known to German spy agencies had dropped off their radar before the attack and managed to evade police while travelling at least 1,000 miles around the continent in spite of a European arrest warrant raised difficult questions for security agencies and politicians across Europe. Paris-based web portal Monde Afrique on Friday claimed the Moroccan intelligence agency had twice alerted German authorities to Amri’s “fervent” support for Islamic State and his contact with two of their representatives in advance of Monday’s attack, once on 19 September and again on 11 October.” – The Guardian

  • German flagCrowds defy terror by returning to Christmas market – The Independent
  • Germany: A nation looks over its shoulder – Financial Times
  • Berlin terror attack proves that open borders have been a boon for jihadis – Daily Express Editorial
  • Free movement was an indulgent security risk even before this terror attack – Sun Editorial

Charles Moore: We must stand up for Christianity, and recognise who its enemies are

“We in the West should recognise that the Islamists are, perversely, right to identify Christianity as more central to our civilisation than we nowadays tend to admit. It is particular fun for jihadis to drive a death-dealing lorry into a German Christmas market, or murder a priest in France while he is saying Mass: by doing so, they strike at what they believe is their greatest foe. They often shout “God is great!” when they are about to kill. The religion which, at Christmas, proclaims God’s greatness in a birth is the very opposite of their death cult.” –

Matthew Parris: I stand up for Christianity, even though I don’t believe in it

Church shield“I don’t believe in the equivalence of all faiths; I don’t (unlike the prince in Thursday’s broadcast) see all faiths as paths to the same destination; I think modern Christianity tends in a better direction. I’ve seen at close hand the work of missionaries in Africa and have no doubt that the church, especially the Protestant church, with its emphasis on the individual’s unmediated relationship with a deity, does more to liberate from superstition than it does to impose (though it does) superstitions of its own…I feel (sometimes) respect and (often) admiration and (always) tolerance towards Islam, but I cannot warm to militancy, exclusivity or intolerance. I am cool, too, towards the exceptionalism of some Judaic belief. Christianity has over the past two centuries moved decisively away from the making of differences, and towards the brotherhood of man.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Trump repeats his “let there be an arms race” call… – The Independent
  • …And casts future of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers into serious doubt by beginning moves to scrap their F-35 stealth jets – The Sun
  • Departing Obama breaks with America’s tradition of standing with Israel at UN – Daily Mail
  • Just 13 out of 100 road schemes finished in five years – The Sun
  • Boss of troubled Marie Stopes was paid £420,000 – The Times (£)
  • Top Brexit players post-referendum role – Financial Times
  • Renewable heat initiative scandal: cost to Northern Ireland could be 50 per cent higher than thought – Newsletter
  • Chunk of English fishing quotas transferred to Scotland amidst claims of appeasement of Sturgeon – Daily Express
  • Teachers who have affairs should be protected by law, equalities watchdog says – Daily Telegraph
  • Conservative Welsh Assembly member’s anger as her father, 91, is kept in hospital over Christmas due to a shortage of home carers – Daily Mail
  • Former UK Ambassador to Syria says that British policy has made it worse – The Guardian
  • Carrie Fisher ‘goes into cardiac arrest’ on flight to Los Angeles – Independent
  • Farmers should be proud of what they do for Wales, NFU president says – Wales Online

Christmas News in Brief

  • screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-08-57-29Philippines braces itself for Christmas Day typhoon – The Guardian
  • Strikes to disrupt Christmas journeys – The Sun
  • A drone is not just for Christmas but for life – Financial Times
  • Archbishop of York’s Christmas message… – Yorkshire Post
  • As the bells of York Minster ring out again – The Times (£)
  • The good things Muslims will be doing in your community this Christmas – The Independent
  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to break with Sandringham tradition by spending Christmas Day with her parents – Daily Mail
  • How to get to sleep on Christmas Eve – Daily Express
  • Boxing Day sales start now – Daily Mail