MPs call for courts to treat Asian grooming gangs as racist criminals

“Britain’s courts should treat Asian Muslim grooming gangs behind the abuse of hundreds of white teenage girls as racially aggravated criminals, leading MPs and campaigners have demanded. The demand was issued as senior politicians and prosecutors admitted that political correctness may have stopped the gangs being properly pursued and punished after another ring of Asian mainly muslim sex offenders was convicted in Newcastle.” – Daily Telegraph

  • They want the crimes to be classed as “racially aggravated” – The Sun
  • More than 700 potential North Eastern victims – Independent
  • Sarah Champion says people “are more afraid to be called a racist than to be wrong about child sexual abuse” – Independent
  • MoJ figures show slavery and trafficking prosecutions fell last year – The Times (£)



  • These gang members are “cynical cruel animals” – Trevor Phillips, Daily Telegraph
  • There’s a “disturbing pattern” – Andrew Norfolk, The Times (£)
  • The Newcastle case is “tragically familiar” – Sonia Sodha, Guardian
  • Don’t ask racist questions. Blame liberals – Julie Bindel, Independent
  • Political correctness has led to the “import of brutal values” – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
  • The cries of racism I faced – Ann Cryer, Daily Mail

Gove proposes CCTV in slaughterhouses

“ll slaughterhouses in England will be forced to install CCTV under Government plans to crackdown on cruelty amid concerns about the mistreatment of animals at some halal abattoirs. Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has proposed that CCTV will be required in all areas where live animals are present with official vets given unrestricted access to the footage It comes after charities and Tory MPs raised concerns about the treatment of animals in halal abattoirs after secret filming showed workers hacking and sawing at sheeps’ throats with firms facing allegations of animal cruelty.” – Daily Telegraph

  • FSA officials will have unrestricted access to footage – The Times (£)
  • Gove says proposals will “cement Britain as leader on animal welfare” – The Sun
  • He also tells Sheffield council to stop destroying trees – The Times (£)

Ministers urge Hammond to cut stamp duty

“Stamp duty is putting the economy at risk because the owners of more expensive properties now pay so much tax, the Office for Budget Responsibility has said. Ministers, peers and think tanks are urging the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to cut the duty – dubbed a “tax on moving” – in his Autumn Budget, amid fears that it is stifling the housing market. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the official economic watchdog, said that revenues from stamp duty are now “highly concentrated” on the sale of more expensive homes.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: How Hammond could raise his ratings

Brexit 1) Repeal bill plan to “ban individuals and companies from bringing compensation claims against Whitehall”

“Britons will lose their right to sue the government for breaking the law under Brexit plans that could allow ministers to escape censure over air pollution. Legislation to ban individuals and companies from bringing compensation claims against Whitehall after Brexit is being drawn up, The Times has learnt. Swathes of the law covering areas such as the environment, workers’ rights and business regulation will no longer be subject to financial redress through the courts.” – The Times (£) 

Brexit 2) Cabinet in tripartite transition split

“International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is leading the ‘hard’ Brexit group with Boris Johnson, Chris Grayling, Priti Patel and Andrea Leadsom. At the other end of the scale, Chancellor Philip Hammond is leading the largest group of cabinet members which include Jeremy Hunt, Justine Greening, Amber Rudd and Greg Clark who all want a ‘soft’ Brexit – and a long transition period. In the middle, Mrs May and her de facto deputy Damian Green, are leading a group who believe the complexity of leaving the EU means Britain needs to negotiate transitional arrangements to ensure a smooth exit, according to analysis.” – Daily Express

  • There’s Hammond, there’s Fox, and there are the in-betweeners – FT

More Brexit

  • Complaints grow over MEP and EU-staff tax break – Daily Express
  • Egg standards boss blames supermarkets over import scandal – Daily Telegraph
  • Salmond calls for post-Brexit independence referendum – Independent


  • Cabinet minister told me referendum teams are still rerunning battle – Andrew Grice, Independent
  • The post-Brexit research opportunities – Paul Feldman, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Charlie Elphicke in Comment: Ready on Day One to trade with the world

Video of migrants landing on Spanish beach provokes European immigration debate

“It was not an image that holidaymakers sunning themselves on a beach in southern Spain had expected. A large dinghy carrying 30 African migrants approached the shore of Cadiz and landed, letting them disembark on to the Playa de los Alemanes. They immediately ran away. The boat is the latest evidence that a new migrant route has opened up between north Africa and mainland Europe for refugees fleeing poverty and, in fewer cases, war. Juan Ignacio Zoido, the Spanish interior minister, vowed: “We will continue fighting against the mafias who traffic people even if they employ new modes of transport.”” – The Times (£)

  • German socialist leader calls on EU leaders to act – Daily Express


Green criticises Davidson for questioning immigration target

“Theresa May’s second-in-command has slapped down Ruth Davidson for questioning the Government’s immigration target. Damian Green said the Scottish Tory leader is “quite right we need a rational debate” on the issue but he defended the pledge to reduce it to the “tens of thousands”. he First Secretary of State Damian Green was speaking after Scottish Conservative leader questioned the figure – which has never been achieved since the Government announced it in 2010.” – The Sun

Corbyn to “resume campaigning” today with NHS focus

“The Labour leader is expected to use a visit to Cornwall to highlight new official data on how the health service has performed during Theresa May’s premiership, including key sticking points such as cancelled operations, waiting times in A&E and delayed transfers of care. He will visit the Royal Cornwall Hospital in one of Labour’s target constituencies of Truro and Falmouth, before joining a rally of supporters as the party seeks to target scores of marginal seats across the country to keep up the momentum from the General Election in June.” – Daily Express

  • NHS waiting lists at decade high – FT

Nelson: Kim needs a US president “to play along”. But Trump’s behaviour is “fairly coherent strategy”

Kim seems delighted. His psychotic regime is based on the idea of being on the brink of war with America and he badly needs a US president willing to play along. So he is now promising to fire missiles towards (but landing short of) the US island of Guam, daring the Donald to retaliate. To those who have long suspected that Trump’s short temper and strange machismo could lead America into war, the nightmare seems to be starting. But this time, it was not just a tantrum. Trump’s “fire and fury” language was crude and unnecessarily provocative – this is, alas, his trademark – but it is part of a fairly coherent government strategy.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “Government insiders” claim May won’t play part in action – The Sun
  • Analysts doubt Japan could intercept missiles fired at Guam – Daily Telegraph
  • Trump doubles down on “fire and fury” rhetoric – Daily Telegraph
  • He says US is “ready to attack” – Independent
  • And tells Pyongyang to “get its act together” – FT
  • Global “anxiety and speculation” grows – Guardian
  • Here are some possible scenarios – Independent
  • And China’s plans – Daily Mail

More Comment:

  • The end of the world could be caused by “the two most ridiculous people” – Mark Steel, Independent
  • We had a good run, though – Jack Bernhardt, Guardian


>Today: Iain Dale’s column: I never thought I’d compare an American President to a North Korean dictator. But here I go.

News in Brief

  • Three injured in “non-terrorist” substance attack at Borough Market – Evening Standard
  • Man arrested over jogger bus pusher attack – Independent
  • SDLP calls for constitution to rule out violent attempts at uniting Ireland – Belfast News Letter
  • Anger over delayed opening of Scottish children’ hospital – Herald
  • Iranian footballers banned for playing against Israel – Daily Telegraph
  • Gove and Osborne’s Wagner trip – Guardian
  • May in clay – Daily Mail