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Corbyn shared stage with female plane hijacker…

“Jeremy Corbyn last night faced fresh questions about his links to terrorists as it emerged he shared a platform with the world’s first female plane hijacker. The Labour leader spoke at a 2002 pro-Palestine rally in London with Leila Khaled, who took part in two attacks on airliners. Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), blew up one passenger jet on the runway in 1969.  She then underwent plastic surgery to disguise herself and joined a second hostage-taking the next year as part of the Black September attacks. Mr Corbyn and Khaled were both speakers at an event in May 2002 where the Labour leader called for a boycott of all goods from Israel. On the same stage, Khaled called for a ‘victory’ over the Jewish state and argued that Zionism had ‘exceeded Nazism’.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader says he didn’t know Palestinian leader was a terrorist – The Times
  • Opposition complain to press regulator about coverage of cemetery visit – The Guardian
  • McCluskey blames ‘hostile’ Jewish leaders for ‘exaggerating’ scandal – Daily Mail

…amidst reports that he is preparing to back down on antisemitism definition

“Jeremy Corbyn is poised to make a major U-turn and accept the international definition of anti-Semitism in a bid to finally end the row tearing his party apart. But the Labour leader is facing a fresh backlash as he is reportedly insisting that extra clauses are added to allow criticism of Israel. Labour has been plunged into a bitter civil war over how to tackle the racist abuse which has festered among some of its members. Mr Corbyn had refused to accept the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition – sparking fury from his own MPs and Jewish leaders. But under mounting pressure from his powerful backers in trade unions and the Momentum group, he is set to accept it.” – Daily Mail

  • Star Trek star abandons Labour due to Corbyn – The Times

Brexit 1) Johnson ‘in talks with allies’ about pro-Brexit bus tour

“Boris Johnson is in talks with his closest allies about leading a pro-Brexit nationwide bus tour. Sources last night claimed he would be joined by other Eurosceptic Tories who share his anger at Theresa May’s soft Brexit Chequers compromise. The tour would stir memories of the Brexit campaign and the infamous red Vote Leave bus – which carried the £350 million a week of the NHS slogan. Last night’s revelation in left-leaning website Huffington Post came after The Sun revealed the ex-Foreign Secretary was planning to spearhead a pro-Brexit push at Tory conference in Birmingham next month. One insider said: “There’s a lot going on, people are trying to work out what can be done without tearing the party in two.”” – The Sun

  • Anonymous account accuses Jenkyns of being a Russian agent – The Sun

More:

  • Ex-Foreign Secretary’s Afghan trip cost taxpayers £20,000 – The Sun

Comment:

  • It’s time to relaunch the Brexit campaign – John Longworth and Richard Tice, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: In defence of Brandon Lewis

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The gathering wait for a Johnson burka inquiry decision

Brexit 2) Hunt sparks row with Brexiteers with comments on no deal

“Jeremy Hunt sparked a row with Brexiteers last night after warning that ‘no deal’ would be a ‘messy, ugly divorce’ that the country would ‘regret for generations’. Brexiteers responded to the Foreign Secretary’s comments with fury, insisting that no deal with the EU would be a positive prospect for the UK. In a TV interview, Mr Hunt warned against leaving the EU without a deal, saying: ‘It would be a mistake that we would regret for generations if we were to have a messy, ugly divorce and that’s what we all want to avoid.’ … Last night Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, said: ‘This is not Government policy and I would expect Downing Street to contradict him. The Prime Minister has consistently said that no deal is better than a bad deal. Mr Hunt appears not to agree.’” – Daily Mail

  • Raab to publish 80 technical notices preparing for no-deal Brexit – The Sun
  • UK’s chances of disorderly Brexit rising, Fitch warns – FT

Comment:

  • We should applaud politicians who admit Brexit is difficult – Max Hastings, The Times

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column: Gove is setting himself up as Brexit’s Michael Collins

Brexit 3) Clark warns Brussels against killing off the Chequers plan

“The European Commission will cause significant and lasting economic harm to millions of families across the continent if it rejects Britain’s Brexit plan, Greg Clark, the business secretary, has said. In a significant escalation of the government’s rhetoric Mr Clark used a meeting with his Austrian and Finnish counterparts to express dismay at what the government regards as EU intransigence to its proposals. His comments come after reports that the commission was about to publish a presentation dismissing the government’s plans to remain in the EU single market for goods before they had been agreed by the cabinet. The presentation was made to EU ambassadors early last month but publication was stopped after representations from London.” – The Times

  • Doctors step up warnings over no-deal Brexit – FT
  • Khan says London planners must prepare for departure without agreement – The Guardian
  • Leavers turn on the Prime Minister – Daily Express
  • Europhile MP ignored May’s ban on Russian World Cup – The Sun

Comment:

  • If the EU is such a liberal paradgon, why can’t it keep the far right at bay? – Michael Fabricant, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Lockwood Smith in Comment: Britain has a golden chance to join the biggest free trade agreement in history. But Chequers is likely to wreck it.

Fraser Nelson: Cameron’s university reforms have been a progressive triumph

“In other words, he’d introduce some market reforms, saying it would make the system better and fairer. This idea destroyed Nick Clegg, his coalition partner, and left many of his fellow Tories so traumatised that they hardly dare to mention university fees now. But no one seems to be asking: has the overhaul actually worked? The A-level results yesterday help give the answer. Never has a larger share of students been offered university places and nowhere has progress been greater than among those in the most deprived communities. The supply of places in the best courses has increased, and less-popular universities are shrinking. More people who can afford to pay for their fees are doing so. Loans have not deterred teenagers because they’re not really loans: under the system, perhaps only one in five will repay the money in full. All told, it looks very much like a progressive triumph.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Government accused of ‘total failure’ to widen elite university access – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Welcome back, Britain’s annual A-Level neurosis – Miranda Green, FT

>Yesterday:

Health ministers considering new inheritance-based insurance to pay for elderly care

Shield“Health ministers are considering radical plans for “inheritance insurance” so OAPs in care don’t ever lose their home to pay the bills. The Sun can reveal the Government is looking at proposals that would significantly reduce the growing burden on cash-strapped councils from Brits living longer. It could form a key part of new Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s delayed social care ‘green paper’. Under the move, elderly Brits would take out money from their pension pot in a tax-free lump sum – and buy a new insurance product. The insurer would take on the responsibility for paying for their care – and guarantee to protect their home so it can be passed onto the kids.” – The Sun

Rail minister condemned for ‘fleeing country’ during fare hike announcement

“Rail Minister Jo Johnson was branded “Mr Invisible” yesterday after fleeing the country during the rail hike announcement. Tory MPs slammed Boris’ brother – while Labour accused him of “being in denial about the state of the railways”. Millions of commuters found out on Wednesday that they face an eye-watering 3.2 per cent in ticket prices in January. The huge hikes come despite a year of cancellations and delays on key routes from Northern Rail to Southern. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was forced to demand both rail operators launch compensation schemes after timetabling chaos earlier in the summer… Mr Grayling led the Government’s response when the inflation figures – which trigger the rail fare hike – were released on Wednesday. The Department for Transport refused to comment and Mr Johnson was unavailable.” – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Grayling needs to show he is not just in charge of the clattering train, but is modernising it

Sheikh hits back at ‘politically motivated’ attacks

“Lord Sheikh accused Tory MPs today of lodging ‘politically motivated’ complaints against him over his attendance of a controversial conference in Tunisia. The Conservative peer said he believed supporters of Boris Johnson were taking revenge after he criticised the former Foreign Secretary over his comments about Burkas. Lord Sheikh went to the event in Tunis in 2014, which was also attended by Jeremy Corbyn – although he did not go to the same wreath-laying for masterminds behind the Munich Olympics terror attack. The gathering featured speeches by terror chiefs who called violence ‘magnificent’ and compared Israel to ISIS. The peer has denied meeting anyone from extremist group Hamas, and today insisted he did not even know the event was titled ‘International Conference On Monitoring The Palestinian Political And Legal Situation In The Light Of Israeli Aggression’.” – Daily Mail

Calls for major reform after new apprenticeships drop by a third

“The UK government’s goal of creating 3m apprenticeships by 2020 slipped further from view on Thursday, as the latest official figures showed a further 31 per cent drop in the number of people starting training schemes while in work. Between August last year and May of this year, the number of new apprenticeship starts fell by 141,300, to 315,900. The figures, published on Thursday by the Department for Education, were seized upon by business groups, who said they showed that the current apprenticeship system was in need of major reforms. Edwin Morgan, director of policy at the Institute of Directors, said the government‘s apprenticeship target was “sinking below the horizon” and that the apprenticeship levy scheme needed to change to help fill current skills gaps.” – FT

Outcry over MPs’ call to relax rules on e-cigarettes

“A row erupted last night over a hugely controversial call by MPs to relax rules surrounding e-cigarettes. They said ministers should conduct an urgent review to make it easier to get the devices on prescription. And they said bans on vaping in public places – such as in hospitals, restaurants or on buses – should be reconsidered. However, leading scientists called the report by the Commons science and technology committee ‘one-sided’. They accused the MPs of largely taking evidence from researchers who had published studies positive to e-cigarettes and of ignoring evidence highlighting health risks. The MPs also want the tobacco industry to be given greater freedom to advertise the devices as a less harmful option for smokers.” – Daily Mail

  • UK will need to replace gory images on cigarette packets after ‘no deal’ Brexit – The Sun

Swinney denies morale crisis amongst Scottish teachers amidst talk of strike

“John Swinney has insisted Scotland there is no “crisis in morale” among Scottish teachers as he faced a grilling over punishing workloads and low pay. The education secretary was today told by one retiring head teacher that the profession is “haemorrhaging” staff with questions raised over his ability to deal with the situation.
Mr Swinney also played down the prospect of a strike over pay as he appeared on the BBC Radio Scotland phone-in with Stephen Jardine today. But he admitted there were “challenges” in the profession as he was grilled by one retiring Primary teacher, identified as Susan, who has worked in the profession for the past 39 years.” – The Scotsman

  • Education Secretary accused of hypocrisy over private schools – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Scottish Tories on the offensive as SNP come under pressure on education

News in Brief:

  • Why are 27,000 fewer boys going to university than girls? – Cindy Yu, The Spectator
  • How a land value tax could speed up the regeneration of our cities – Peter Franklin, UnHerd
  • Another looming tragedy in Syria – James Snell, CapX
  • Hard Brexiteers don’t understand the consequences of a WTO deal Brexit – Ben Kelly, Reaction

9 comments for: Newslinks for Friday 17th August 2018

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