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Corbyn accused of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, again…

“Jeremy Corbyn was today accused of making a direct comparison between the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Nazi takeover of Europe. A video has surfaced of him making the ‘appalling’ comment at an event in 2013, when he was still a backbencher. The statement appears to flout the globally-accepted definition of anti-Semitism which says it is anti-Semitic to compare the Israeli government with the Nazis. But Labour said Mr Corbyn was referring to all occupations in the Second World War, not just that of Adolf Hitler’s regime. The Labour leader is facing mounting pressure to come back from his summer holiday to get a grip on the scandal tearing his party apart. The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Mr Corbyn must stop being ‘invisible’ and  ‘come out of hiding’ and get back to Westminster.” – Daily Mail

  • Greens drawn into antisemitism row – The Times
  • Second union chief calls on Corbyn to adopt full antisemitism definition – The Guardian
  • Ex-Scottish Labour leader launches scathing attack – The Scotsman

…and of laying a wreath at memorial to perpetrators of the Munich massacre

“A memorial wreath in his hand, Jeremy Corbyn stands feet from the graves of terror leaders linked to the Munich Massacre. The picture was among a number taken during a service to honour Palestinian ‘martyrs’. Buried in the cemetery in Tunisia are members of Black September, the terror group which massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. One picture places Mr Corbyn close to the grave of another terrorist, Atef Bseiso, intelligence chief of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Bseiso has also been linked to the Munich atrocity. Another image shows the Labour leader apparently joining in an Islamic prayer while by the graves. Last night sources close to Mr Corbyn insisted he was at the service in 2014 to commemorate 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985.” – Daily Mail

  • May doubles personal poll lead over Corbyn after revelations – Daily Mail

Rees-Mogg warns May against using Labour’s Brexit votes

“Jacob Rees-Mogg, the head of a large group of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs, has warned Theresa May not to try to pass a Brexit deal with votes from opposition parties. In an interview, the MP for north-east Somerset said it would be “very dangerous” if his party’s leadership attempted to work around those opposed to a compromise deal with the EU. “The most divisive thing for a party is to push through a policy which is opposed by a large number of your supporters on the back of opposition votes,” said Mr Rees-Mogg. “I wouldn’t have thought it was in the interests of the leadership of the party to be so divisive.” With the Conservative party split on whether to support Mrs May’s Chequers proposals for a softer Brexit, speculation is mounting that Downing Street will have to rely on the votes of moderate Labour MPs to pass any deal through the House of Commons this autumn.” – FT

  • Hammond backs ‘fair and sensible’ Chequers deal – The Sun
  • Grassroots Tories express fury at Prime Minister’s plan – Daily Express
  • SNP calls on Government to scrap migration targets – The Scotsman

Comment:

  • May and the EU hope to dupe Brussels with their next fudge – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Dr Philip Lee in Comment: Dear Sophie – don’t quit the Conservative Party, stay and fight against Brextremism

Johnson, Day 6: Ex-Foreign Secretary could be sent for diversity training

“Tory grandees yesterday demanded that the party halt disciplinary proceedings against Boris Johnson over his burka comments, amid claims he could be sent for diversity training. Supporters of the former foreign secretary have rushed to his defence, with Jacob Rees-Mogg saying the fallout is making the Conservative Party look foolish and claiming there is nothing to investigate. Lord Tebbit, a former Tory chairman, accused party chiefs of inflaming the row and allowing Jeremy Corbyn to escape scrutiny over allegations of anti-Semitism. His intervention came as allies of the former foreign secretary expressed fresh concerns last night about how the matter has been handled so far by party chairman Brandon Lewis. They accused Mr Lewis of discussing the case with Tory MPs, which they said breaches a requirement for complaints to be handled confidentially.” – Daily Mail

  • Rees-Mogg says May is setting up a ‘show trial’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Senior Tories insist he ought not to apologise – Daily Mail
  • Rant risks ‘vilifying Muslims’, warns watchdog – The Sun

>Yesterday: Munira Mirza in Comment: Critiquing Islamist fundamentalist practice is not an ‘attack on Muslim women’

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Johnson’s leadership potential terrifies the Party establishment

“This makes the howls of outrage suspect and the motivations dubious. Why would senior Conservatives want to attack so popular a figure for saying something that had been said before, and which they had not objected to? Could it be that there is a nervousness that a once and probably future leadership contender is becoming too popular and needs to be stopped? This may explain the attempt to use the Conservative Party’s disciplinary procedures, but it has been handled so ham-fistedly that it brings only sympathy and support for Mr Johnson. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has already said that no crime has been committed so the words of the Code of Conduct introduced with a degree of urgency last December come to the fore. These are reasonable and it is hard to see how Boris could have broken any of them.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The right to ridicule is essential to free speech – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Row reveals how idiotic the political class has become – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • End of days feeling in a Westminster crying out for strong leadership – Sam Coates, The Times
  • Antisemitism and Islamophobia are just the phony war – Marina Hyde, The Guardian
  • We need a real debate about the burka, but Boris Johnson is not the man to start it – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Iain Dale’s column: Silly error, or malevolent ploy? Either way, Johnson has done himself no favours among Tory MPs.

Hammond threatens ‘Amazon tax’ to boost online retailers

Philip Hammond has raised the prospect of an “Amazon tax” for online retailers amid fears that high street shops are being put out of business, as House of Fraser was rescued in a last-ditch deal on Friday. The Chancellor said the tax system had to be fairer to traditional retailers and that the EU was looking at imposing revenue-based taxes on online firms, but that Britain would introduce its own levies if progress was too slow. Mr Hammond spoke on a visit to Coventry, hours after House of Fraser called in administrators. The department store was bought up by Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, in a £90 million deal… The Chancellor is examining proposals for a tax on the turnover of retailers rather than just the profit.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Chancellor urges tax on revenues – FT
  • Company is to be banned from saying it offers guaranteed overnight delivery – The Times

Comment:

  • Retailers like House of Fraser were radical once, and could be again – Matthew Lynn, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • Hammond must slash business rates crippling the high street – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: There’s a case for an ‘Amazon tax’, but it isn’t saving the high street

Perry wants energy companies to print profits on bills

Energy companies should spell out to customers how much of their bill amounts to profit, a minister has suggested as she condemned “completely unacceptable” price rises. Claire Perry, the energy minister, that energy companies should include more detail on their bills to help “nudge” customers into getting better details. In an interview with The Telegraph Ms Perry called for the end of the dominance of the Big Six energy suppliers and said she ultimately wants to see as many as 20 major players in the market. It comes after British Gas announced this week that 3.5million households on its standard variable tariff will face average price hikes of £44, the second rise in six months. Ms Perry accused the company of attempting to maximise its profit margins ahead of the introduction of the Government’s price cap at the end of this year.” – Daily Telegraph

Davis leads calls for torture inquiry

“Theresa May must order a public inquiry into Britain’s complicity in torture, a cross-party group of former soldiers has demanded. David Davis, Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, Andrew Mitchell, Dan Jarvis and Crispin Blunt said in a letter to the prime minister that they had “proudly served in this country’s armed forces” but that “only through an independent judge-led inquiry will we learn the lessons of the past and decisively demonstrate our commitment to the values for which we served”. Their call comes two months after a report by parliament’s intelligence and security committee (ISC) concluded that Britain had tolerated “inexcusable” mistreatment by America of suspects during the war on terror. The government has agreed to give “careful consideration” to the possibility of a judge-led inquiry and must make a decision by the end of this month.” – The Times

  • Fury as Government lawyers probe Cyprus veterans – Daily Mail
  • Bloody Sunday investigation ‘legally required’ – The Times

Inspector urges Gauke to take action on HMP Birmingam

“Prison inspectors have highlighted serious failings at a jail that was rocked by the worst rioting in decades. Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke is calling on the Justice Secretary for immediate action at HMP Birmingham after it failed all the key tests. The exact concerns have not yet been revealed but the G4S-run prison was graded ‘poor’ on all four categories – safety, respect, activity and resettlement. The prison made headlines this week after nine cars were torched in the staff car park… In a statement, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons said an urgent notification would be issued to outline the problems. The letter will be sent in the next week and the Justice Secretary will have 28 days to respond with a plan of action.” – Daily Mail

  • Justice Secretary ‘pushed parole board chief to quit’ – The Times

Calls for Gove to give evidence over school abuse claims

“Lawyers representing child abuse survivors have called for the environment secretary, Michael Gove, to be called before a public inquiry over an allegation he intervened in a sexual abuse investigation at a boarding school. Two child abuse professionals have testified at the ongoing independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) that while he was the education secretary, Gove intervened to find out about an investigation into a priest suspected of abuse at Downside Abbey school in Somerset. Gove has denied the allegation, adding that there are no official records of such an intervention. The inquiry into child sexual abuse published a damning report on Downside and another leading Catholic school, Ampleforth, on Thursday, saying the true scale of sexual abuse at the schools over a period of 40 years was likely to have been far greater than had been proved in the courts.” – The Guardian

Javid intervenes to let chess prodigy’s family stay in Britain

“An Indian chess prodigy and his family will be allowed to stay in Britain after the Home Office had a sudden change of heart over whether to recognise his exceptional talent. The father of Shreyas Royal, nine, said that the boy was jumping for joy on the family’s sofa after an official contacted them yesterday. Jitendra Singh expected to have to take his family back to India as his five-year work visa was due to expire next month without any prospect of renewal. Shreyas had been distraught at having to leave the country where he had grown up and where his chess talent had been nurtured. Mr Singh said that he understood that the change was ordered by Sajid Javid, the home secretary, after press coverage, including a leader in The Times.” – The Times

  • Home Office plan for Ulster ‘stop and search zones’ sparks border fears – Daily Telegraph
  • Sinn Fein concerns dismissed by former RUC officer – News Letter

Tory MPs reluctant to declare allegiance on Twitter

“After the Conservative Party’s surprise victory in the 2015 election pollsters coined the phrase “shy Tory” to explain why they had got their predictions of the result so badly wrong. Now it appears the epithet could just as aptly apply to the party’s own MPs as to their voters. An analysis of the social media output of Britain’s MPs has found that Conservatives are far less likely to admit their affiliation on Twitter than their Labour counterparts. The technology website Gizmodo found that, although about 90 per cent of MPs from all the other parties declared their allegiance on Twitter, only 42 per cent of the 262 Conservative MPs who have a presence on the website highlighted theirs on their profile. Instead they highlight their constituencies, ministerial careers and, in the case of the foreign office minister Alan Duncan, his dog, Noodle.” – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A bigger, more vocal grassroots presence at Conservative Party Conference

Private school pupils appeal results three times as often after SNP introduce fees

“Private school pupils in Scotland are officially appealing their exam results at almost three times the rate of state-educated youngsters, according to a new analysis blaming the SNP’s decision to impose charges. Scottish Labour published figures showing 7.4 per cent of eligible exam entries in independent schools were appealed last year compared to only 2.5 per cent of those in state institutions. The gap of 4.9 percentage points has more than doubled from the 2.1 points recorded in 2014, the year the SNP government introduced charges. Before then, exam appeals costs were met by government and rates of appeal were similar in the state and independent sectors.” – Daily Telegraph

Northern Irish Attorney General appeals judgement against civil service rule

“The attorney general has made an unusual intervention into the Stormont decision-making crisis by asking the Supreme Court to examine a constraint on Stormont civil servants which they had been prepared to accept. Last month, the Northern Ireland Civil Service decided not to appeal a Court of Appeal judgment which drastically limited their ability to govern Northern Ireland in the absence of either devolved or direct rule ministers. The judgment, which upheld an earlier ruling of the High Court, stated that a senior civil servant did not have the power to decide to grant planning permission for a huge and controversial incinerator on the outskirts of Mallusk. The implications of that decision reached across every Stormont department because contained within the judgment by the Lord Chief Justice and two Appeal Court judges were the words: “Any decision which as a matter of convention or otherwise would normally go before the minister for approval lies beyond the competence of a senior civil servant in the absence of a minister”.” – News Letter

News in Brief:

  • The affordability fallacy is only making the housing crisis worse – Kristian Niemietz, CapX
  • How the 2017 election looked from Labour’s perspective – Mark Fox, Reaction
  • Merkel sacrifices her principles to make a migration deal – Daniel R DePetris, The Spectator
  • ‘Nazi hunts’ are a sign of our hyperventilating times – Douglas Murray, UnHerd

6 comments for: Newslinks for Saturday 11th August 2018

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