Ministers back voter ID proposals as pilot schemes are planned for 2018 local elections

ballot_box‘The Cabinet Office will pilot the use of ID for votes at local elections in 2018 after government anti-corruption tsar Sir Eric Pickles found local authorities were “turning a blind eye” to electoral fraud. Authorities will trial different forms of ID including driving licences and passports. They will also try using formal correspondence like utilities bills to verify voters’ addresses. Constitution minister Chris Skidmore dismissed concerns that the plans could disenfranchise poor people who don’t have ID.’ – The Sun

  • Livingstone calls pilot schemes an ‘overreaction’ – Daily Express
  • Electoral Reform Society criticises ‘sledgehammer’ proposals – FT



  • Look at America to see how voter ID disenfranchises people – Dawn Foster, Independent

Home Office reveals operation against nail bar trafficking

GOODWILL Robert headshot‘Nail bars have been targeted by immigration officers, leading to dozens of arrests as part of an operation last month, the Home Office has announced. Robert Goodwill, an immigration minister, revealed there has been a week-long operation that saw 97 people held, 68 businesses warned they could face fines and 14 people identified as potentially at risk of modern slavery. The majority of the people arrested were Vietnamese nationals, but there were also people from Mongolia, Ghana, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and India. The Home Office said those who are potential victims of trafficking will be offered support, while those who have no right to be in the UK will be removed.’ – Guardian

Armed forces ‘preparing for cuts’

‘The armed forces are secretly preparing for further defence cuts, despite David Cameron’s pledge to meet Nato spending figures. “Very tough” savings are going to have to be made to fulfil spending commitments, a senior source told The Daily Telegraph. In July David Cameron pledged to increase defence spending to the equivalent of 2 per cent of GDP in line with Nato recommendations. However, the Commons defence committee found that this was intended to cover extra expenditure such as pension payments. Orders placed for American-sourced equipment have also increased in cost because of the fall in the value of sterling compared with the dollar. As a result, last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which fixed defence plans for the rest of the decade, may have to be reopened.’ – The Times (£)


  • No Government spending is more important than wounded hero help – The Sun


  • Germany should take on more military responsibility – Elisabeth Braw, The Times (£)

May could face legal challenge over Lords Brexit vote

EU Exit brexit‘Theresa May will face a new Brexit legal challenge if she fails to give the House of Lords a vote before triggering the process of leaving the European Union. Gina Miller, the businesswoman leading a Supreme Court case to prevent the Prime Minister from triggering Article 50 without parliamentary approval, said that there must be a “proper debate” in the Lords. She said that if she wins her case then the Government must introduce legislation that will have to pass through both the Commons and the Lords.’ – Daily Telegraph

More Brexit


  • Europe must give national institutions ‘more of a voice’ – The Times (£)


  • Christmas reminds us we need to talk about things other than Brexit – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph


  • The Queen understands her people – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Daniel Hannan tops our survey as the Conservative politician who did most to achieve Brexit

Iain Martin: May’s enigmatic approach is increasingly less attractive

theresa-may-21-11-16‘What worked when she became prime minister might not work next year when circumstances will require much more than calming balm. In other words, Mrs May’s taciturn approach on the important questions might have been a boon in phase one, with Britain processing the referendum result, but it is of much less use as the country enters phase two. (…) The charitable explanation is that a new leader is taking time to adjust to the requirements of her role. But another less comforting thought forms. An enigmatic front in a leader does not always mask great depth. Is there less to Mrs May than her supporters assume? Is the emperor wearing any clothes?’ – The Times (£)

More Government

  • Lord Bew committee ‘interested in higher safeguards’ for peer selections – Daily Telegraph 
  • Tory MP calls on May to copy Obama and outlaw ticket ‘bots’ – The Sun 
  • Councils to gain power after measures to counter 24-hour drinking fail – Daily Mail
  • Ministers to introduce rules to make electric cars cheaper to run – The Times (£)
  • Burnham criticises Government bailout plan for social care services – Guardian
  • DWP investigates nuclear regulator – The Times (£)
  • A profile of Greg Clark – FT
  • Osborne is 2016’s highest- earning MP – Daily Mail


>Today: Local Government: Police are constrained from chasing moped thieves in London

More revelations about plan to ‘topple McCluskey’. And how it could ‘weaken Corbyn’

Corbyn‘Fresh details of the plan being hatched to bring down Jeremy Corbyn’s chief power broker Len McCluskey, have come to light in a document obtained by The Independent. It shows Mr McCluskey’s opponents believe they can topple him as general secretary – a result that could fatally weaken Mr Corbyn as Labour leader – if turnout in the forthcoming Unite election rises above 20 per cent and union members are reminded of his “excesses” at the top.’ – Independent

Ambassador says May and Trump have vowed to build on Thatcher-Reagan legacy

donald-trump-09-10-16‘Donald Trump and Theresa May have vowed in phone calls to “build on the legacy of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher,” according to Britain’s ambassador in Washington. Sir Kim Darroch praised Mr Trump’s election victory as “a historic and impressive win like no other in history”. He added: “In their phone calls so far, Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have made clear that the special relationship between Britain and the United States is stronger than ever. “They will work together closely, building on the legacy of previous leaders such as President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.”’ – Daily Telegraph

More America

  • Trump selects counter-terrorism advisor – Independent
  • Kerry to lay out framework for Israeli-Palestinian agreement – Guardian
  • Trump Tower evacuated over bag of toys – Daily Telegraph 
  • Suggestions that Kissinger is working on US-Russia ‘rapprochement’ – Independent
  • Farage speaks about Trump – Daily Telegraph


  • Obama is right about Corbyn – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Obama wasn’t interested in talking about Corbyn – Kate Maltby, Independent
  • If Trump revives industry, I’ll embrace populism – Tim Newark, Daily Express

>Yesterday: Ted Yarbrough in Comment: The Anglosphere is the perfect launchpad for a global Britain

News in Brief

  • Former President of Argentina indicted – FT
  • Abe’s historic visit to Pearl Harbor – Daily Telegraph
  • Romanian President rejects Muslim Prime Minster candidate – Daily Express
  • Record NHS carpark charge – Independent
  • Carrie Fisher dies after Christmas in intensive care – The Times (£)
  • Most middle-aged people are unhealthy – Daily Mail
  • Secret Instagram profile for Hammond’s dogs – Daily Telegraph