Hunt proposes limiting the four hour A&E target to serious cases

mailhunt“Jeremy Hunt last night begged patients to stay away from crisis-hit hospitals. Announcing drastic measures to ease pressures on the NHS, the Health Secretary claimed 30 per cent of people using casualty units did not need to be there. Some had trivial issues such as broken fingernails, drunkenness and back ache…Directly asking the public for help, he said drunks who clogged up casualty units were selfish and irresponsible. On waiting times, he said: ‘This Government is committed to maintaining and delivering that vital four-hour commitment to patients. ‘But since it was announced in 2000, there are nearly nine million more visits to our A&Es, up to 30 per cent of whom NHS England estimate do not need to be there. And the tide is continuing to rise.’ ” – Daily Mail

UK will be in the “front seat” for a US trade deal Boris told

“Britain will be in the “front seat” to negotiate a new trade deal with the incoming Trump administration, a top Republican in the US Senate has said. A US-UK trade deal would be a priority, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said after meeting Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Barack Obama warned in April that the UK would be at the back of the queue for trade deals if voters chose Brexit. Mr Johnson has been meeting with top Republicans on Capitol Hill.” – BBC

  • Talks “positive but frank” – BBC
  • Demand for teachers to convert pupils away from Brexit and Trump “lies” – Daily Express
  • Democrats challenge job for Trump son-in-law – BBC
  • Merkel snubs May – Daily Express

>Today: Christopher Howarth’s Guide to Brexit: EEA membership is incompatible with running our own migration policy

May warns ignoring voters concerns would help the rise of the far-right…

theresa-may-09-01-17“Theresa May yesterday issued a coded attack on David Cameron and Tony Blair for ‘ignoring the legitimate concerns of ordinary people’ on subjects such as immigration. The Prime Minister warned that parties on the far-Right and far-Left in Europe were ‘standing on the shoulders’ of the failures of mainstream politicians. In a speech setting out her plans for a fairer Britain – including improving attitudes to mental health and giving more help for families who are ‘just about managing’ – Mrs May said the political class is now facing ‘a once-in-a-generation’ moment in which they must begin responding to the public’s concerns or see divisions worsen.” – Daily Mail

…and outlines new priority for mental health

“A promise by Theresa May to overhaul mental health services has been met with scepticism, with campaigners and hospitals warning of the difficulties of ensuring earmarked cash reaches the front line at a time of unprecedented pressure on the NHS budget. Mrs May said on Monday she wanted “to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society” and that she wanted the health service to allocate an extra £15m from within its budget to that area. For too long, she said, mental illness had been “a hidden injustice in our country, shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health”.” – Financial Times(£)

  • Theresa May is right to talk about mental health – both morally and economically – Andy Silvester Daily Telegraph
  • Pledges don’t roll back the years of Tory cuts – Hannah Jane Parkinson The Guardian
  • When my mind stopped, working I realised just how badly we treat mental health – Isabel Hardman Daily Telegraph
  • May’s focus is too narrow – Rachel Sylvester The Times(£)


Greening boosts nursery schools

Greening“THOUSANDS of new childcare places will be created under a new £50 million grant scheme unveiled today. Education Secretary Justine Greening said almost 200 nurseries and pre-schools will get a funding boost to improve facilities, expand and upgrade buildings. At least 9,000 places will be created for three and four year olds with £2m going to England’s “black spots” in Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Scarborough and West Somerset. Education Secretary Justine Greening said ministers wanted to make more free places available for hard-working families.” – The Sun

Corbyn abandons support for free movement with the EU

“Jeremy Corbyn will use his first speech of 2017 to claim that Britain can be better off outside the EU and insist that the Labour party has no principled objection to ending the free movement of European workers in the UK. Setting out his party’s pitch on Brexit in the year that Theresa May will trigger article 50, the Labour leader will also reach for the language of leave campaigners by promising to deliver on a pledge to spend millions of pounds extra on the NHS every week.” – The Guardian

  • Relaunch aims to turn round dire ratings – Daily Mail
  • Immigrants should be told when to put the rubbish out and when to queue days Casey – The Guardian
  • Re-election blow for Corbyn’s union ally – The Times(£)
  • Corbyn to copy Donald Trump – Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Corbyn will find it hard to cope in Copeland and risks humiliation

No decision yet on Single Market says Hammond

philip-hammond-20-11-16“Britain has not made any decision on whether or not to stay in the European single market after Brexit, says the UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond. The chancellor made his comments in an interview with the Irish broadcaster RTE. “We haven’t made any decision on which structures would best support our aspirations,” he said. “Whether it is being in or out of the customs union, in or out of the single market,” he added.” – BBC

Legal challenge over leaving Single Market

“The barrister who helped win a case against the government’s plan for Brexit will lead a fresh legal challenge to force Theresa May to get parliament’s approval for leaving the single market. The government’s position that Britain would automatically leave the single market when it exits the EU is to be disputed in the High Court next week. Among those bringing the action is Peter Wilding, founder of the pro-single market British Influence, who is credited with inventing the word Brexit in a 2012 blog.” – The Times(£)

Hague: EU Workers yes. Benefits, no

William Hague 14-01-16“If you are from the EU and you get a job in Britain you are welcome to take it up. Large parts of our economy, from agriculture to the City, need you. That’s clarity. But we will not pay you any benefits when you’re working or out of work, or provide you with social housing. We will need to know you’re here, and if you commit a crime you will have to leave and never come back. That’s fairness. ” – William Hague Daily Telegraph

McGuinness resigns as Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister

“Martin McGuinness has resigned as Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister in protest against the handling of a botched energy scheme that could cost taxpayers £490m. He cited the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) conduct over the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme scandal as the main reason. The Sinn Féin MLA’s decision to quit is likely to lead to a snap election. Outgoing First Minister Arlene Foster said his move was “not principled”.” – BBC

  • Fresh elections unless compromise reached in seven days – Daily Mail
  • Talk not walk urges Brokenshire – BBC

Tube strike caused misery for Londoners

FIST Red“Millions of commuters cycled, trudged and waited in snaking bus queues on Monday as a strike by London Underground station staff shut down much of the city’s subway network through to Tuesday morning. There was a 149 per cent increase in Santander cycle hires while commuters opting for buses have complained of overcrowding. “It is really scary out there, cyclists are taking huge chances,” doctor Simon Quantrill said. “The traffic is mad.” – Daily Telegraph

  • When will Ministers take on the unions? – Leader Daily Mail
  • Pointless misery – Leader The Times(£)
  • Sadiq Khan forgets who he works for by letting the tube unions run riot – Asa Bennett Daily Telegraph

New grammar schools a “distraction” says Ofsted chief

“The new chief inspector of schools in England has said that education risks slipping down the political agenda as a result of the national preoccupation with Brexit. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Amanda Spielman said the next few years were not going to be easy and that the political focus was likely to shift away from education as the government’s time and attention were consumed by the process of Britain leaving the EU….Asked for her thoughts on the grammar school plan, Spielman said: “For me it’s a distraction from our work. I don’t see it as something that has much to do with making the most of every school, of Ofsted making the most of its work and contributing to system improvement.” – The Guardian

Section 40 was a mistake says Vaizey

VAIZEY Ed“David Cameron was wrong to try to enforce the first press laws in 300 years, his own former media minister has admitted. Senior Tory MP Ed Vaizey – who helped draw up the legislation four years ago – revealed he has U-turned after newspapers proved they can regulate themselves with a tough new watchdog. The intervention comes as government consultation closes today on whether to implement the bitterly criticised ‘Section 40’ plan. Under it, newspapers will be have to pay the libel costs of any accuser even if they win – driving many to ruin – if they refuse to sign up to a state-backed regulator. Mr Vaizey told The Sun last night: “In retrospect, Section 40 was a mistake. At the time, everybody agreed that press self-regulation needed to be strengthened. We need to find a way forward that does not penalise the press with libel costs which will in effect shut down attempts to hold the powerful to account.” – The Sun

  • Damian Collins suggests press regulation alternative – The Times(£)

News in brief

  • Nigel Farage launches LBC phone in – The Guardian
  • Fine political parties that don’t increase number of MPs says Commons Committee – BBC
  • RBS faces fine – BBC
  • US special forces swoop on ISIS leaders – The Times(£)
  • Leather trousers remarks were “too personal” concedes Nicky Morgan – Daily Telegraph
  • Overhaul of HMRC costing £600 million more than thought – The Sun
  • Truss to stop domestic abusers cross examining their victims – Independent