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Newslinks for Sunday 28th July 2013

Cameron fence5.15pm ToryDiary: Saying "Better Off Out" was once enough to kill a career, but now the taboo is shattered

11.45am Stephen Goss on Comment: Marching season still brings rioting to Northern Ireland; how can we resolve the issue?

ToryDiary: "The Government's pledge to reduce net migration is a key plank of the next election campaign - CCHQ regularly issues infographics and updates reminding everyone that the Coalition's record starkly contrasts with Labour's incompetence in border control. If real doubt can be cast on those claims then it would be politically disastrous." Dodgy migration statistics prove doubters right - and pose a serious threat at the next election

LeftWatch: Republicanism has collapsed in Britain - and the anti-monarchists have only themselves to blame

Immigration statistics are little better than guesswork 

"Bernard Jenkin, the Tory chairman of the committee, said: “Most people would be utterly astonished to learn that there is no attempt to count people as they enter and leave the UK. They are amazed when they are told the government merely estimates that there are half a million immigrants coming to the UK each year. This is based on random interviews of around 800,000 people interviewed at ports and airports each year. Only around 5,000 of those are actual migrants, many of whom may be reticent to give full and frank answers, to say the least,” he said." - Sunday Times (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - Dodgy migration statistics prove doubters right - and pose a serious threat at the next election

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - How can Theresa May persuade voters that net immigration really has been cut by a third?

CCHQ bets on a 2010 intake poll bounce to destroy Labour's lead

Labour Rose Wilting"Private polling for the Conservative party suggests that a tendency among voters to back their sitting MP, particularly if the MP has served only one term, could wipe out Labour’s five to six point lead in national opinion polls. The phenomenon known as “incumbency advantage” would particularly benefit the Conservatives, who had 148 new MPs in 2010, compared with Labour’s 67. Polling for the Tories suggests that incumbency advantage is worth up to five points, in effect wiping out Labour’s lead." - Sunday Times (£) 

Theresa May reveals Type 1 diabetes diagnosis

"Mrs May, 56, said: ‘It was a real shock and, yes, it took me a while  to come to terms with it.’ But she is determined to soldier on in her gruelling routine as Home Secretary, working up to 18 hours  a day.  The diabetes doesn’t affect how I do the job or what I do. It’s just part of life... so it’s a case of head down and getting on with it.’" - Mail on Sunday 

Good times for Osborne, but he mustn't relax

"For the chancellor, who has taken huge criticism during his time at 11 Downing Street, the turnaround is cheering. A year ago Mr Osborne was the chump presiding over a flatlining economy with a budget unravelling faster than a pound shop cardigan. Now, although he has some way to go, he is in danger of looking more like a champ." - Sunday Times (£)  

Disraeli was a great PM despite being "an unprincipled adventurer of dubious sexual tastes", says Boris

"The Victorian Prime Minister was a bed-hopping chancer who deployed his flamboyant wit to charm his way out of trouble and exert a hypnotic hold over the Tories. Now London Mayor Mr Johnson has fuelled the debate – by ruggedly defending the flawed leader. His remarks come in a review of the book that first drew the comparison between him and Disraeli.  In his article Mr Johnson brushes aside the statesman’s personal failings, insisting they do nothing to diminish his ‘phenomenal’ achievements." - Mail on Sunday 

  • Ban packed lunches, says London Mayor - Sunday Times (£) 

Hammond sends troops back to Sangin

"Britain has sent troops back into Sangin, scene of the deadliest combat of the Afghan war, on a secret mission to suppress the Taliban. Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, personally authorised the return to the isolated area where 106 British lives were lost in fierce fighting between 2006 and 2010." - Sunday Times (£) 

  • Junior officers being forced out of the Army - Sunday Times (£) 

EU Exit
Helena Morrissey: The EU does not fit us - we'd be better off out

"I am not afraid that all will be lost. Indeed, I am confident we have much more to gain from the outward-looking, entrepreneurial spirit that has long defined us, than if we stay bickering, fighting and losing within a passé political structure that is wholly unnatural to us." - Helena Morrissey, Sunday Telegraph 

Confidence in monarchy reaches an all-time high 

"More than half (53 per cent) of those questioned today think that Britain would be worse off without the Royal family while only 14 per cent believe we would be better off without them. The poll suggests that republicans doubt that the abolition of the monarchy will happen this century." - Sunday Telegraph 

>Today: LeftWatch - Republicanism has collapsed in Britain - and the anti-monarchists have only themselves to blame

Civil service go-slow attempt to undermine Pickles' drive to open up Whitehall

Eric Pickles"He’s determined that every vacancy in his department should be publicly advertised. Pickles hopes that will bring much-needed real-world experience into the department and  stop it from succumbing to the idea that the man in Whitehall knows best about everything…But Pickles is having to contend with every delaying tactic known to Sir Humphrey – and there are more than a few of those. I’m told that the Government ‘machine is going as slowly as possible’ on Pickles’s request." - James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday  

Large NHS maternity units have "potentially unsafe" consultant cover

"EVERY large NHS maternity unit has a potentially unsafe level of consultant cover, new figures from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) reveal. Since 2010, having a consultant obstetrician on the labour wards 24 hours a day has been recommended for the 57 maternity units across the country that handle more than 5,000 births a year. However, not one has reached that staffing level, with the majority providing cover for only between 60 and 98 hours a week." - Sunday Times (£) 

News in brief


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