McVey wants more school pupils to take on Saturday jobs to help develop a work ethic

“British teenagers should be encouraged to take up Saturday and after-school jobs to prepare them for the world of work, the Work and Pensions Secretary has said. In her first interview since being promoted earlier this year, Esther McVey says that teenage employment is important if Britain is to provide more resilient home-grown workers after Brexit. Ms McVey made the comments after official research from the Government’s immigration advisers claimed earlier this week that Britons were perceived to be less hard-working than European immigrants and had far higher levels of absenteeism. Some employers are concerned that young British workers are not ambitious or resilient enough to take over jobs after Brexit which are currently filled by European immigrants.” –

Williamson battles against GKN deal

“Theresa May is facing a battle between two key cabinet allies over the hostile takeover of a British engineering company as her defence secretary puts up last-minute objections to the deal. Gavin Williamson is to provide an “evidence pack” to Greg Clark, the business secretary, over potential concerns with the £8.1 billion takeover of GKN by Melrose Industries, an investment firm. Mr Clark has already demanded that the bidder for GKN gives Whitehall a veto over the future of the 259-year-old engineer’s defence business. Melrose has made a series of commitments.” – The Times

  • Clark defends speculators – The Times
  • Williamson held a secret summit with I’m a Celeb winner Georgia Toffolo in a bid to boost his popularity – The Sun

Gove to announce an ivory ban

“Michael Gove is to announce a complete UK ban on the ivory trade next week. The Environment Secretary will unveil the crackdown after 60,000 people responded to a government consultation exercise. He is expected to close a loophole which allows the sale of antique items made from ivory before 1947 amid fears it is being exploited by dealers. His officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs may leave in place an exemption to let musical instrument dealers to buy and sell antique pianos.” – The Sun

Anti-Semitism 1) Labour “must do better” says Corbyn..

“Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour must “do better” as a row continues over how the party deals with hostility to Jews. In a Passover message, he said it was easy to denounce anti-Semitism abroad but sometimes harder to see it closer to home. It came as Jewish Labour peer Lord Winston said Mr Corbyn had “encouraged and endorsed” anti-Semites. Dozens of Labour politicians are urging him to suspend a senior Momentum figure amid further anti-Semitism claims.” – BBC

Anti-Semitism 2) Labour members believe the claims are exaggerated

“Nearly eight out of ten Labour members believe that accusations of antisemitism are being exaggerated to damage Jeremy Corbyn and stifle legitimate criticism of Israel, according to a YouGov poll for The Times. The leader was still overwhelmingly backed by members, with 80 per cent saying that he was doing a good job and 61 per cent saying he was handling the antisemitism crisis well. Some 69 per cent supported his response to the Salisbury poisoning, after he seemed reluctant to blame the Kremlin.” – The Times

Anti-Semitism 3) Sugar depicts the Labour leader with Hitler

“John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has urged businessman Alan Sugar to delete a tweet depicting Jeremy Corbyn sitting next to Adolf Hitler. The Twitter spat is the latest fallout from an increasingly heated debate over anti-semitism in the Labour Party. A close ally of Mr Corbyn who was forced to resign over a Holocaust row has claimed that Labour’s anti-Semitism problem was a ruse “stirred up to attack” the Labour leader.” – Daily Telegraph

Anti-Semitism 4) Frank Field’s constituency party smears Jewish group

“Labour has begun an investigation into senior figures in Frank Field’s local constituency association who turned down diversity training from the Jewish Labour Group (JLG), falsely claiming that it had links to the Israeli government and Islamic State. Minutes of a meeting, passed to The Times, recorded a discussion among senior figures in the Birkenhead Labour Party as they decided to reject the offer of training by the JLG made by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC).” – The Times

Anti-Semitism 5) Further revelations are likely as more old Facebook posts emerge

“As to where the scandal now leads, Labour would dearly like to put the row behind it. But that seems a huge challenge. Last night, Corbyn’s senior Labour aide son Seb was still listed as a Facebook ‘friend’ of Elleanne Green, who is supposedly suspended from the party. (Meanwhile, his youngest son, Tommy, was revealed by the Mail yesterday as having endorsed a series of vile anti-Semitic Facebook sites.) In cyberspace, our mistakes, of course, tend to live on forever. So only a fool would bet against this being the last time Jeremy Corbyn’s old dalliances with anti-Semites and other extremists comes back to haunt him.” – Guy Adams, Daily Mail

Anti-Semitism 6) Those around Corbyn can’t see it’s a problem says Blair

“Tony Blair has hit out at Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party as “ugly and really quite disgusting” over the anti-Semitism scandal and has claimed the problem did not exist during his time as leader, it has been revealed. Jeremy Corbyn has been under intense pressure over his handling of the anti-Semitism row within his Party. Mr Blair said: “If anyone had been engaged in it, we would have acted to root it out immediately. “It’s a horrible thing. It’s an ugly and really quite disgusting thing.”…Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster, Mr Blair added: “It has become a problem because I’m afraid the people around Jeremy Corbyn, maybe even himself, don’t really think it’s a problem.” – Daily Express

Anti-Semitism 7) Jewish success means the far left regard them as the enemy says Charles Moore

“Jews are a minority everywhere but Israel, often a persecuted minority, so they might be expected to enlist in Jeremy’s ragged army. But no, they have a theory and practice of living successfully in modern Western democracies. Instead of forming a rainbow alliance of grievance to humiliate the dominant indigenous culture, they flourish within it. In the Corbyn mindset, this makes them collaborators with the enemy. By the same logic, modern Israel – a democratic, Western state, with the rule of law, surrounded by autocracies, dictatorships and semi-governed spaces – is an affront to his doctrine of victimhood.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

  • Jews are the canary in the coalmine – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

Anti-Semitism 8) Corbyn will be ousted predicts Oborne

“Boldly, I shall make a set of predictions. First, morally decent MPs such as Keir Starmer and the ambitious Emily Thornberry will soon conclude that they cannot serve under Corbyn. If that happens, I expect very many others to follow. Then, regardless of the iron-like grip Momentum has on the party machine, I predict that Corbyn will be removed as leader of the parliamentary party. Inevitably, the party will then be engulfed in a bloody civil war, ending in a formal split. A similar rupture happened in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when one section of the party supported the austere economic policies of the Conservatives while the other rejected them and broke away to set up Independent Labour under George Lansbury.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

  • May is in her strongest position since the General Election, and Corbyn in his weakest – James Forsyth, The Sun

Momentum candidate defeated in National Union of Students elections

“Splits in the National Union of Students were exposed this week as its president fought off a challenge from a member of Momentum, Jeremy Corbyn’s cheerleaders. Shakira Martin, who has said that she would welcome Tories, was comfortably re-elected as leader of the organisation that represents seven million students. Sahaya James, a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and a member of Momentum’s ruling national co-ordinating group, had made a pitch for the leadership.” – The Times

Britain threatens to close down “den of spies” Russian trade mission

“Britain has threatened to shut down the Russian trade mission in north London, describing it as a “den of spies” as diplomatic tensions between the two countries reached a new height. London escalated the row between the two countries after Moscow said more British embassy staff would have to be expelled from Russia as the fallout from the Salisbury poisoning intensified. That came after Russian officials accused Britain of “provocation” following an enhanced search by a “rummage team” of UK border officials of an Aeroflot flight from Moscow.” – Daily Telegraph

Teaching union challenges Ofsted’s hijab guidance

“Teachers have condemned Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector, for suggesting young Muslim girls should not wear the hijab to school. The union said that her statements could lead to violence against women who cover their heads. Members of the National Education Union (NEU) are due to debate an emergency motion at their annual conference criticising Ms Spielman’s views and saying that she must be “robustly challenged”. Kevin Courtney, the joint head of the union, said that he believed Ms Spielman had overstepped the remit Ofsted should have by suggesting inspectors would speak to young girls under the age of eight wearing a head covering and ask them why they were doing so.” – The Times

Met chief calls for more stop and search

“Cressida Dick has had a gruelling first year as Metropolitan Police commissioner…Many police officers believe that the knife crime increase is linked to a reduction in stop-and-search after reforms introduced by Theresa May as home secretary amid concerns that young black men were being targeted. “I do think that some officers probably did slightly lose confidence. They were fearful that they might get into trouble, or they might not be supported if they had a complaint,” she says. She wants to see more stop-and-search. “When I talk to the parents of knife crime victims they all say ‘get out there and do more’ so that’s one of the things you will be seeing in the next year. I’m not going to criticise the past I’m just going to say that my officers know that I fully support them in using the stop-search professionally. It will be done fairly and irrespective of race.” – Interview with Cressida Dick, The Times

Unionists condemn vote to ban British Army recruitment

“Unionists have slammed a motion put forward by a former dissident republican seeking to ‘ban’ the British Army from recruiting in schools. Gary Donnelly, who is now a councillor on Derry City and Strabane District Council, put forward a motion calling on educational facilities in the area to refuse British Armed Forces access to pupils. The motion passed with 24 councillors, including Sinn Fein and the independents, voting in favour.” – Belfast Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Twenty years on, the Belfast Agreement’s devolution model isn’t working

Business warns against Scottish tax rises

“Two of Scotland’s most valuable industries warned Nicola Sturgeon that hiking income tax would damage their ability to attract the highly skilled workers they need to flourish, it has emerged ahead of a rise being implemented next week. The Scottish Lifesciences Association (SLA), which represents 140 firms that export medical technologies, diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and pharmaceutical services globally, said the move could undermine a target of doubling turnover to £8 billion. In a letter to the First Minister, disclosed under Freedom of Information laws, it warned a hike would hit the sector particularly hard as higher wages are required to attract and retain the staff with specialist skills it requires.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Jonathan Clark on Comment: How should we reform our tax system after Brexit?

Public sector gender pay gap revealed

“Groundbreaking legislation forcing companies to disclose their gender pay gap for the first time has revealed that almost nine out of 10 public sector organisations pay men more than women. As government departments, councils, NHS trusts, universities, schools and other public bodies with more than 250 employees scrambled to report their gender pay gap before the midnight deadline on Friday, reported figures revealed that women in the public sector are paid on average 14% less than their male colleagues.” – The Guardian

Schwarzenegger ‘stable’ after heart surgery

“Arnold Schwarzenegger has undergone heart surgery in Los Angeles. The Austrian-American film star and former California governor, 70, had a scheduled procedure to replace a valve at Cedars-Sinai hospital on Thursday. The device was installed to repair a defective aortic valve in 1997. Thursday’s operation lasted several hours, TMZ website reports. Schwarzenegger is said to be recovering well and reportedly commented after waking from surgery: “I’m back.” – BBC

France hit by strikes protesting at Macron’s reforms

“Fear of nationwide protests before the anniversary of the May 1968 uprising is gripping the Élysée Palace with strikes spreading across the public and private sectors as President Macron seeks to reform the French economy. Workers at Air France, the national carrier, downed tools yesterday, and unions called a strike today at Carrefour, the country’s biggest private employer and largest supermarket chain. French rail workers will walk out on Monday in the first of several strikes planned over the next three months, while workers at the national television broadcaster will go on strike next week, as will public utilities staff.” – The Times

Parris: Hardwick has been scapegoated

“Only one individual comes out well from the Parole Board affair this week, and he has been sacked. Nick Hardwick, the board’s chairman, had nothing to do with the flawed decision-making of a panel who recommended the black cab rapist John Worboys (now known as John Radford) be released early. It was not his fault the Ministry of Justice failed to supply the panel with all the information it needed to make a proper assessment of Worboys’ suitability for parole, nor his fault the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service looked away from allegations they should have pursued. Mr Hardwick has been scapegoated.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

News in brief

  • UK investment is at a record high. So why has almost no one reported it? – Ross Clark, The Spectator
  • Nicola Sturgeon will soon have to confront Scotland’s sluggish economy – Chris Deerin, New Statesman
  • NEC member says Party members “exaggerating” anti-Semitism to harm Corbyn – Paul Waugh, Huffington Post
  • Dozens of Labour MPs call for Shawcroft to be suspended – Independent
  • The meaning of happiness – Marian L. Tupy, CapX