Conservative Home

« June 2013 | Main | August 2013 »

27 Jul 2013 08:13:57

Newslinks for Saturday 27th July 2013

12.15pm Francis Davis on Comment: How Archbishop Welby can make a truly radical response to Wonga

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

Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP on Comment: A year on, we can be proud of the legacy of the Olympics

Immigration clampdown 1) UK to press on with £3,000 tourist bond

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 06.53.39"Britain is pressing ahead with its trial of a scheme to make visitors from six countries pay a £3,000 bond, despite an international backlash and complaints from businesses. The government said it would begin a pilot in November to impose visa restrictions on six Commonwealth nations, including India and Nigeria, even though David Cameron poured cold water on the scheme in June after it provoked uproar in Delhi." - Financial Times

Immigration clampdown 2) Doctors could be forced to carry out immigration checks on patients

"A consultation document released by the Department of Health makes clear that frontline NHS staff could “clearly have a role in identifying chargeable patients”. Despite assurances from Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, that the new measures will not affect patient care, the consultation only makes it clear that doctors will not be “diverted wholesale” from looking after patients under the controversial plans." - Daily Telegraph

Immigration letdown 1) Matthew Hancock tells employers to employ Britons, but EU website advertising jobs to foreign workers

HANCOCK MATT"Almost six in every 10 vacancies on a taxpayer-funded EU ­website are in the UK, raising questions about the Government’s approach to unemployment. Germany, the economy of which is the EU’s largest, is second with 267,517 job advertisements, a third fewer. The total number of vacancies on EURES, the European job mobility portal, as of yesterday was 1,450,490 – so UK jobs up for grabs total more than those in other EU states put together." - Daily Express

Immigration letdown 2) 500,000 immigrants have been given social housing in last decade

"The national census statistics, which were released yesterday, highlight fears about increased pressure on public services when Romanians and Bulgarians win free access to jobs in this country in January. The figures also show the effects of the large-scale immigration encouraged by the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown governments.  According to the census, 105,506 of the immigrants who found social housing after 2001 were from Eastern European states that joined the EU in 2004, most of them Poles." - Daily Mail

Clegg attacks Home Office illegal immigrants poster campaign…

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 06.54.53"The Deputy Prime Minister’s office called Mark Harper, the Conservative Immigration Minister, earlier this week to protest at the campaign targeting racially mixed London suburbs as coalition tensions on immigration worsen. Two vans touring Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Brent and Redbridge carried billboards advertising how many illegal migrants were arrested in the areas in the previous week." - The Times (£)

  • Go Home ads face court challenge - The Guardian
  • Stunts won't ease the immigration burden - Daily Mail
  • This Tory immigration campaign is cynical and distasteful. But the Left's response sucks - Tom Harris MP, Daily Telegraph

…As Cameron drops plan to recruit foreign pupils for state schools...

"A leaked letter from the office of the Prime Minister, dated July 1, had suggested that Britain should be encouraging large numbers of foreign pupils to attend state schools, a move likely to mean the introduction of charges worth thousands of pounds. Faced with anger that the idea was ever allowed to surface, Mr Cameron has now agreed to drop the suggestion. The Liberal Democrats said it was inconceivable that the coalition could support such a proposal." - The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister's critics have no sense of history - Max Hastings, Financial Times

Yesterday: The Deep End - Heresy of the week - David Cameron is not on the left of the Conservative Party

…And he prepares to broadcast once a week on radio

Cameron interviewed radio"The Prime Minister has decided to follow in the footsteps of his deputy, Nick Clegg, and embrace a campaigning radio revolution, broadcasting to voters once a week. Aides to Mr Cameron have installed a broadcast studio in No 10 to make it easier for the Prime Minister to host phone-ins and engage in banter with local radio presenters the length of the country. The innovation has been kept quiet until now." - The Times (£)

We’ll make life mean life for worst killers, says Grayling

"The Justice Secretary’s pledge comes two weeks after the European Court of Human Rights sparked outrage by banning British courts from handing out “life means life” sentences to the worst killers. The bombshell decision could see monsters such as Moors murderer Ian Brady and Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe launch bids for freedom. But Mr Grayling told The Sun he and Home Secretary Theresa May would not be cowed by the Strasbourg ruling." - The Sun

Andrew Grice: Nice photo op, George, but it’ll take more to win in 2015

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 06.58.49"George Osborne looked tired as he gave interviews about the figures announced on Thursday showing the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the second quarter of this year. But it was a price worth paying for staying up until 2am to join night shift workers in the Midlands at a bakery, a road scheme and Tesco’s distribution centre. It was a very clever photo opportunity, the perfect backdrop to welcome signs of recovery while insisting there is still a long way to go." - The Independent

> Yesterday:

Nick Boles: "‘I am not going to start lecturing consenting adults about their private enjoyment of legal pornography.’ (But he backs Cameron's plans for action.)

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 07.00.21Mr Boles said the internet had ‘expanded the horizons of young people to an almost unimaginable degree’. However, it had also  exposed them to ‘appalling risks and horrors’. He added: ‘Both intentionally and by mistake, children can be exposed to pornographic images at an age when they are much too young to understand what sex can involve." - Daily Mail

  • Power to the communities threatens solutions to housing crisis, warns Lord Young - The Independent

Grieve under fire over Serious Fraud Office oversight

"The Attorney-General was under scrutiny last night about his oversight of the Serious Fraud Office. Questions were raised after it emerged that he had “serious concerns” about the agency at least a year before it was plunged into a succession of costly blunders. Dominic Grieve clashed with Richard Alderman, the head of the fraud agency at the time, after discovering that the SFO had flouted controls on government spending on external suppliers, according to documents obtained by The Times." - The Times (£)

Madeleine McCann family spokesman is the Conservative candidate for the Green Party’s Brighton seat

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 07.01.21"Clarence Mitchell, the BBC reporter turned spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann, will try to take the Green Party’s only seat at the next general election for the Conservatives. Mr Mitchell has been selected as the Tory candidate for Brighton Pavillion. The seat is held by Caroline Lucas, a former leader of the Green Party and Britain’s first MP for the party, who won it with a majority of 1,252 at the last general election." - The Times (£)

Matthew Parris: Don't apologise - just say you were wrong

"Apology adds less than we think. It involves the passions more than the intellect. Saying sorry (if sincerely) demands self-humiliation, may give pain (or even relief) to the speaker, may give satisfaction (or “closure”) to the hearer, may provoke the very occasional dramatic resignation and provides the element of theatre much beloved by the media and, therefore, politicians. Act I: error; Act II: apology; Act III: forgiveness. This is more like the entertainment industry than political analysis. It adds little to our knowledge and is the mark of a rather self-indulgent age." - The Times (£)

Daniel Hannan: We celebrate the Royal family because it symbolises our liberty

HANNAN DAN"Over many centuries, as we have watched our neighbours traumatised by dictators and revolutions, we have been able to feel as you might feel when, warm in your house, you hear the storm shake your windows. We developed and exported the sublime idea that taxes ought not to be raised, nor laws passed, save by our own representatives. That idea was not dreamt up, as in most European constitutions, by a recent convention of bigwigs: it is a birthright inherent in each of us, which the new prince happens to symbolise. That, surely, is something worth cheering." - Daily Telegraph

Police probe claims of London Unite fraud

"In Ilford North Unite is said to have offered free Labour membership in exchange for meeting its boss Len McCluskey. An “orchestrated” campaign was also allegedly mounted in Lewisham Deptford. Tory vice-chairman Bob Neill wrote to the Met’s boss asking about suspected “fraudulent behaviour”. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told him “possible offences” would be taken seriously. Unite denied wrongdoing. Labour accused the Tories of “wasting police time”." - The Sun

  • Ed’s all right, Len. You’re helping his cause - Ann McElvoy, The Times (£)
  • "Confessions of Gordon Brown" will move to West End - The Independent

Yesterday: LeftWatch - Small wonder Labour are enthusiastic tax-avoiders - the party is in dire financial straits

Stella Creasey, the Labour MP who took on the loan sharks pre-Welby

Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 07.03.12"The Labour MP for Walthamstow has made a name for herself with her work on the loan sharks that have flourished in the wake of the recession. The intervention from Justin, as she calls the leader of the Church of England, with a promise of “competing them out of the market”, is a welcome one. She would like to take him for a cup of tea in return for getting God on her side. But she says that his plan for boosting credit unions and depriving payday lenders of their business can only be one prong of the attack." - The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, Zimbabwe's biggest landowner - Daily Mail
  • High water bills & exec pay rapped - The Sun
  • Nine dead as rival rallies grip Egypt - Daily Telegraph
  • Britain faces week of monsoons - Daily Express
  • NHS embarking on single biggest outsourcing of services so far - The Guardian
  • Stuart Hall's sentence doubled - The Times (£)
  • Cameron takes holiday, flies Easyjet, visits Portugal, buys squid, holds hands with Sam & doesn't wear black shoes: read all about it - Daily Mail
  • (Prime Minister urged to restore green credentials with return to Arctic) - The Independent


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

26 Jul 2013 08:31:14

Newslinks for Friday 26th July 2013

Labour Rose5.45pm LeftWatch: Small wonder Labour are enthusiastic tax-avoiders - the party is in dire financial straits

5.15pm Local Government:

4.15pm Benedict Rogers on Comment: "Britain has a proud history of going to the assistance of those who are suffering, whether it is campaigning to abolish slavery in the nineteenth century, the fight against fascism in the twentieth century, or 'making poverty history' in the twenty-first century." Why aid matters - a review of Andrew Mitchell's new paper

Noon: Nick Faith on Comment: So Osborne wants to boost the north. Good. But he needs policies that will do the job.

9.45am Local Government: Liverpool Council want to demolish 440 houses - Pickles should give them a PROD to sell instead

ToryDiary: "Is any growth, regardless of narrowness of base or sustainability, desirable? Or does George Osborne still seek a rebalancing of the economy by region and by sector - preferring expansion in the North and the Midlands to another South East boom, and favouring new manufacturing jobs over those in financial services?" What type of growth does George Osborne want? The risky hare, or the reliable tortoise?

ToryDiary: Will there be another ConLib Coalition? The reasons to think not outweigh those to think so

DaleIain Dale's Friday Diary: Could Rudd pip Abbott to the post in September?

Graeme Leach on Comment: "The UK has the smallest, most expensive and densely populated housing stock in Europe. This is a market screaming out for radical supply-side reform. Help to Buy may provide a temporary feel good factor over the 2014-15 period as house values pick-up, but there will be a price to pay. There always is." We need help to supply - not Help to Buy

Local Government: Councils should not get in the way of good, affordable childcare

The Deep End: Heresy of the week - David Cameron is not on the left of the Conservative Party

Osborne: The recovery must reach the North and the low-paid

Growth ConHome"Growth of 0.6 per cent in the second quarter of the year confirms that our economy is on the mend. In difficult conditions it has grown by 1.4 per cent in the past 12 months. But the damage done by the financial crisis runs deep and there is still a long way to go. We’ve had to take tough decisions to deal with our deficit and get back on track, but we’ve done it in a way that sticks to my pledge that we are all in this together. The richest have paid the most, but all have made sacrifices. Now we need to make sure that we’re still all in this together as the recovery takes hold. We will do that by building an economy that backs aspiration and supports every part of our country." - George Osborne, The Times (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - What type of growth does George Osborne want? The risky hare, or the reliable tortoise?

>Today: Graeme Leach on Comment - We need help to supply - not Help to Buy

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - 0.6% growth is good news - but we should be careful about how we use it politically

>Yesterday: WATCH: As growth figures are released, Osborne joins the night shift

Lib Dem members want coalition with Labour, not the Conservatives

"Three times as many Liberal Democrat members want their party to form an alliance with Labour than the Conservatives after the next general election. A survey of the party’s grassroots showed that 55 per cent favour a post-2015 deal with Ed Miliband while just 18 per cent want Nick Clegg to work with David Cameron." - Daily Mail 

>Today: ToryDiary - Will there be another ConLib Coalition? The reasons to think not outweigh those to think so

>Yesterday: LeftWatch - A reality check - most LibDem members prefer a post-2015 coalition with Labour to one with the Conservatives

Matthew Hancock calls on firms to hire Brits, not immigrants

Hancock"Mr Hancock rejected a claim from the independent Office of Budget Responsibility that 60,000 foreign workers are needed annually to keep national debt at sustainable levels… ‘Immigration without support for people who are here masks problems.  'It doesn’t solve them. The jobs are increasingly there – we’ve got record numbers of jobs. ‘What we are talking about is making sure local people have a chance to get them. ‘It is sometimes harder to take on a young unemployed local person but, in the long term, it’s better for the business and it’s better for the whole economy." - Daily Mail 

  • Lib Dems and UKIP team up to oppose "Go home" vans - Daily Mail 

Crosby is under attack because he's good at his job

"Labour’s attacks on Crosby are not about his ethics, his politics or his client list. They are about his effectiveness. Consider the thread that connects the revival in Tory fortunes. It’s not better policy, or a stronger economy. It’s sharper messaging, a strong narrative and message discipline." - John McTernan, Daily Telegraph

Ageing population keeps welfare bill high 

"In a report released tonight, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that the proportion of GDP spent on jobseekers’ allowance, pensions and other “public social spending” stood at 23.8 per cent — the same as it was in 2010. The Paris-based think tank warned that unless action was taken to cut the cost to the state of Britain’s rapidly rising elderly population, the health and pensions systems could collapse." - Daily Telegraph

Cameron Long Wide
PM backs food lessons for children

"The Prime Minister said that as a father of three he took a personal interest in how young people could be “fitter and healthier”. Giving them the ability to cook and make informed choices on what to eat was key to improving the nation’s diet. His call for the return of old-fashioned home economics in schools came in a response to the winners of a letter-writing competition for 13-year-olds run by the Anne Frank Trust." - The Times (£) 

Two Stafford nurses become the first to be struck off in scandal investigation

NHS_Logo"Two senior nurses at the centre of one of the worst hospital scandals in living memory have been struck off. Sharon Turner, 48, and Tracy White, 52, stood accused of ruling the A&E unit at Mid Staffordshire ‘with fear’ by bullying other nurses into covering-up the appalling neglect of patients. They are the first two nurses from the trust to be struck off. Up to 1,200 patients are feared to have died there unnecessarily between 2005 and 2009." - Daily Mail

  • GPs want to charge for appointments - Daily Mail 

GM eco-warriors go over the top attacking "fascist" Owen Paterson

"Gently suggest, as the Environment Secretary did recently, that the West has a moral obligation to share GM technology with developing countries and you are apparently little more than a fascist bootboy. It is a bit rich coming from the Soil Association, which was co-founded by a genuine fascist, Jorian Jenks, who began his crusade as agricultural adviser to the British Union of Fascists and advocated a highly nationalistic food policy." - Ross Clark, The Times (£) 

  • Fracking battle intensifies in the Weald - Daily Mail  
  • Fuel duty raised £2bn last month - The Sun 

CofE's Wonga plan undermined by pension investment revelation

ABC"The Archbishop of Canterbury ordered an urgent review of the Church of England’s investments last night after it emerged that its pension fund helped to bankroll the payday lender Wonga. The discovery undermined the Most Rev Justin Welby’s high-profile pledge to destroy the loan company by throwing open a network of parish churches to promote non-profit credit unions." - The Times (£) 

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Archbishop Welby's Wonga plans show a welcome change in the Church of England's politics

Grayling explores more efficient ways to run the courts

"The government is considering setting up an independent public interest corporation to take control of courts and tribunals as it mulls options for radical reform of the court service in England and Wales. In a letter, Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, and Sir Jeremy Sullivan, senior president of tribunals, outline the development of proposals to cut costs and reform HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), but deny there are plans to sell off the court service." - FT (£) 

Labour reduces its Corporation Tax bill to zero, despite surplus

Red Ed"Labour paid no corporation tax last year despite being in surplus for its sixth year, the party’s annual accounts revealed yesterday. Three months after Ed Miliband criticised irresponsible tax avoidance, it has emerged that his party reduced its corporation tax bill from £561,000 to zero by offsetting expenses and tax losses held over from 2011. Both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats paid tax in 2012, although the corporation tax bill for the Lib Dems was only £15." - The Times (£) 

Jan Moir: I never signed up to porn in my house

"I am on Cameron's side. As he said himself, it is not going to be easy. Mistakes will be made, problems abound - but we have got to start somewhere.  How on earth did it happen that a river of pornography merrily flows into every house in the country via a laptop? When did hard core become so . . . normalised? I didn't sign up to a national porn programme. Did you?" - Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - Is Cameron's internet porn offensive right? Is his charm offensive working? Would you welcome a second Coalition? Take our monthly survey 

News in brief

  • Being rude to Sarkozy is now legal - Daily Mail 
  • BBC Queen scandal exec pocketed £500,000 - Daily Mail 
  • Clegg and Cameron are on holiday, so who's in charge? - Daily Mail 
  • Treasury told to up its game over Equitable compensation - FT (£) 
  • Crackdown on uninsured drivers - Daily Mail 
  • Danny Nightingale walks free, but with a reputation in tatters - Daily Express 


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

25 Jul 2013 08:30:00

Newslinks for Thursday 25th July 2013

6.30pm ToryDiary: "It seems Justin Welby, unlike his predecessor, actually understands how markets work - and has retired the jerky knee Williams used so regularly. For instead of demanding state intervention, he is using the Church's financial might to go into competition with payday lenders." Archbishop Welby's Wonga plans show a welcome change in the Church of England's politics

4pm LeftWatch: The Blairites who predicted disaster if we didn't join the Euro are back - to repeat their mistakes

2.45pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: How significant a player could a CANZUK Federation be?

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 14.02.012pm WATCH: As growth figures are released, Osborne joins the night shift

Noon ToryDiary: "If all continues to go well, over the next two years the Government will have built up an economic story to shout about in time for the election. For now, the good news blunts any attempts by Labour to go on a "Plan B" offensive - and that is welcome in itself." 0.6% growth is good news - but we should be careful about how we use it politically

11.30am LeftWatch: A reality check - most LibDem members prefer a post-2015 coalition with Labour to one with the Conservatives

9.45am Local Government: Unions protest at Pickles no longer collecting their subs for them


Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 07.53.35In this week's Culture Column, Mike Weatherley MP is out and loud about his love of heavy metal: “Screaming Guitar is music to my ears”

Binita Mehta On Comment: Another royally pride-worthy British summer – how about a British Pride Day to sustain its effects?

Local Government: Cutting the spare room subsidy is reducing overcrowding in Bedford

The Deep End: There’s a good reason why people don’t trust the Government on planning 

Royal baby is named George Alexander Louis…

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 07.54.55
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embraced 300 years of royal tradition yesterday when they named their son George Alexander Louis. The third in line to the Crown will be formally known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, setting him up to become King George VII when he finally accedes to the throne. The name is the most popular for British monarchs in the modern era, and a tribute to the Queen’s late father George VI, the baby’s great-great-grandfather” – The Times (£)

…and the Royal Family has successfully modernised itself

“For more than a week there have been reporters and photographers outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital and eventually they were rewarded with a story so ordinary as to be banal — a mother and father left a maternity wing with their new baby carried in a car seat, climbed into a car and drove off. Yet what they were reporting was worth the wait, because they can claim to have witnessed a small part of one of the big stories of the past 30 years — the gradual but nonetheless significant transformation of the British monarchy as it turns to face the modern world” – Times Comment (£)

> Today: Binita Mehta On Comment - Another royally pride-worthy British summer – how about a British Pride Day to sustain its effects?

The Economy 1) Return of the feelgood factor

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.33.34“Confidence in the British economy is at its highest level since the Coalition came to power amid signs the recovery is gathering pace. A report published today by polling experts YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research think tank shows the mood among UK households is the most optimistic since April 2010” – Daily Mail

The Economy 2) Archbishop vows to put Wonga out of business

“The Archbishop of Canterbury  has vowed to put payday lenders  out of business by using the Church to build up Britain’s network of credit unions… In an interview with Total Politics magazine, he said: ‘I’ve met the head of Wonga and we had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly “we’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence.” He’s a businessman, he took that well’” - Independent

The Economy 3) Jane Austen confirmed as face of new £10 note

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.34.47“Confirming the central bank’s decision to select Jane Austen as the next historical character on the £10 note, Mark Carney, the new Governor, said the Bank will reconsider the criteria it uses to select characters to ensure banknotes ‘celebrate the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields’” – The Times (£)

Blue chip dirty tricks “bigger than phone hacking”

“Banks and pharmaceutical companies are on a secret list of blue-chip firms that hired private investigators who break the law, The Independent has learned. The revelation that firms from two of this country’s biggest industries may have commissioned corrupt PIs – without facing prosecution – will fuel concerns that corporations potentially involved in the unlawful trade in private information have so far escaped proper investigation” – Independent

  • Why aren’t there dawn raids on these blue-chip firms? – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Bercow wants to recall MPs if Mandela dies during recess

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.35.50 1“Commons Speaker John Bercow is ‘pushing hard’ to recall MPs from their summer holidays if Nelson Mandela dies this August - at a cost to taxpayers of more than £40,000…But his enthusiasm for a recall - which would be unprecedented for a foreign leader - has irritated some MPs. They believe Mr Bercow is seeking ‘penitence’ for his membership, in the 1980s, of the ultra-right wing Conservative Monday Club and the Federation of Conservative students which both disparaged Mr Mandela’s fight for freedom” – Daily Mail

Cameron wants to export gay marriage round the world

“David Cameron vowed last night to ‘export’ gay marriage around the world as he held a party to celebrate the passage of legislation in Britain. The Prime Minister told a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender reception in Downing Street of his personal pride at legalising gay marriage. Addressing an audience that included BBC presenter Clare Balding and her partner, the former newsreader Alice Arnold, Mr Cameron boasted that Britain was now ‘the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe’ – Daily Mail

Pickles is going to ban spitting in the street

Pickles Eric Close Up“Spitting in the street will be made an offence punishable with an £80 fine. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has backed a council that wants to pass a bylaw banning the habit. Anyone caught spitting ‘without reasonable excuse’ would be committing an offence. The change will come into force in Enfield, North London, from early September…Mr Pickles called spitting ‘deeply unpleasant’, adding: ‘Spitting on Britain’s streets is not socially acceptable" – Daily Mail

Doctors demand double pay to work evenings in A&E

“Casualty doctors say they must be paid double to work evenings and weekends. It follows concern that there are too few staff to cope with the soaring numbers turning up in A&E. But the demand drew an angry response from patients’ groups, one of which said: ‘It’s not a part-time business they’re working in, it’s a full-time job’” – Daily Mail

Why Cameron would prefer not to win outright in 2015…

Cameron LibCon“Privately, some senior Tories think a small overall majority might be worse than another coalition because it would leave Mr Cameron dependent on the Commons votes of Bone & Co – crucially, at a time when Europe would top the agenda in the run-up to the in/out referendum Mr Cameron has promised in 2017. ‘Imagine picking up the phone to Peter Bone and asking him what he wanted in return for supporting the Government,’ one Cabinet minister sighed” – Andrew Grice, Independent

…but Gove predicts Tory victory in 2015

“Speaking at an event organised by the polling firm, Populus, Mr Gove said Labour should be further ahead with less than two years before the next election…‘I am convinced that the next government will be a majority Conservative government with David Cameron as Prime Minister,’ he said” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - New polling shows the public back Gove, not the NUT, over strikes and paying teachers by performance

Paul Goodman calls for Lynton Crosby to go on Tory payroll full-time to end “infection”

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.38.04"David Cameron risks a damaging "infection" over the business links of the Tory party's general election strategist unless Lynton Crosby is appointed on a full-time basis to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest, the influential ConservativeHome website has warned. As Crosby's business partner accused the Guardian of launching a ‘vile mini jihad’ against him, the editor of ConservativeHome challenged a ruling by the cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, that the ‘letter and spirit’ of rules have been observed.” - Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - Yesterday's statements won't quell the Crosby controversy

Peter Oborne: Cameron’s empty referendum gesture could spark a British rebirth...

“What gives Mr Cameron his opportunity is the crisis in the Eurozone…negotiating for ourselves a much looser, trading relationship...would have the advantage of allowing us to re-emerge as a global trading nation…Our independence would be restored – a welcome side-effect – and the Conservative Party reborn” – Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph

...but lobbyists are waging a propaganda war to keep Britain in Europe

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.39.10“A group of businessmen and retired mandarins are waging a behind-the-scenes propaganda war aimed at derailing moves to take Britain out of the EU. Appalled by the prospect of a vote to withdraw, they have formed ‘Business For New Europe’ to fight a public and private campaign to keep Britain in the union…Roland Rudd, an arch networker and lobbyist who runs the successful City PR company Finsbury, is the driving force behind the group” – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: MPsETC - Sajjad Karim, Tory MEP, labels eurosceptics a "Taliban"

Clegg’s new election pledge: to keep tuition fees

“Nick Clegg plans to fight the next election on a pledge to stick to the Coalition’s controversial decision to raise university tuition fees to a maximum £9,000 a year. A Liberal Democrat policy paper, seen by The Independent, rejects calls by some of the party’s activists for fees to be cut to a maximum £6,000 a year or replaced by a graduate tax. The report by a Lib Dem working group proposes that the £9,000 limit be retained” - Independent

Unite boss warns Miliband funding for Labour is conditional

Screen shot 2013-07-25 at 08.40.32“One of Labour’s biggest union backers has issued a warning to the party, urging Ed Miliband to drop his support for austerity. Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, told his members that he was willing to cut the organisation’s political funding for the Labour party, if it continues to back coalition cuts. Mr McCluskey said that continued Unite backing for the party would depend on “a Labour party that our members want to support…Not a party that is a pinkish shadow of the present coalition” – Financial Times

News in brief

  • Mysterious rise in British death rate – The Times (£)
  • Up to 56 dead in Spanish rail crash - Independent
  • Man charged with killing PC Keith Blakelock – Daily Telegraph
  • Bo Xilai to face corruption charges – Financial Times
  • British scientists plan manned mission to Mars – Daily Telegraph
  • High fluoride levels in cheap tea bags could make you ill – Daily Mail
  • Anthony Weiner’s wife stands by him in New York “sext” scandal - Independent
  • American journalist apologises for “terrible” mistake of describing Irish President as homosexual - Independent


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.


24 Jul 2013 08:30:29

Newslinks for Wednesday 24th July 2013

4.45pm ToryDiary: Exclusive: "Some officers of Conservative Associations in East London have been in negotiations with anti-Heathrow campaigners, who have asked them to oppose any expansion or greater use of City Airport, too....The policy implications would be serious - the last thing we need is any repeat of the current Heathrow fiasco."Local Tories in talks about opposing City Airport risk repeating the damaging Heathrow mistake

12.15pm Local Government: Labour councillors demand (taxpayer funded) legal fight to defend (taxpayer funded) council pensions

Noon, MPsETC: Sajjad Karim, Tory MEP, labels eurosceptics a "Taliban"

10am LeftWatch: New polling shows the public back Gove, not the NUT, over strikes and paying teachers by performance

ToryDiary: "This site has argued from the start that the strategist isn't the man to have acted improperly, and it can be argued that since he hasn't, the controversy should now end.  Unfortunately, however, it won't."Yesterday's statements won't quell the Crosby controversy

Garvan Walshe's weekly foreign affairs column: Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are back - don’t let a boycott ruin them

Royal Baby
Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column: Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales welcome their future sovereign

Conservative Renewal
Councillor George Bathurst on Comment: The Conservative Renewal Conference offers a chance to honestly debate immigration

Local Government: Councils should allow more cash machines to help revive high streets

The Deep End: Pornography, cathedrals and the conservative case for common ownership

Lynton Crosby
Crosby and the Cabinet Secretary reject tobacco lobbying allegations

"Mr Crosby himself denied that he had "any conversation or discussion" with the Prime Minister over tobacco or “sought to improperly use my position as part-time campaign adviser”. That went farther than Mr Cameron, who has thus far said only that he has not been “lobbied by” the strategist and that he did not “intervene” in the decision to shelve the plans. A Downing Street source said that Mr Cameron had made a decision not to say explicitly that he had never discussed tobacco regulation because he did not want to set a precedent." - The Times (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - Yesterday's statements won't quell the Crosby controversy

Help to Buy is "mad", say business leaders 

IoD Logo"Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: ‘The housing market needs help to supply, not Help to Buy, and the extension of this scheme is very dangerous.’ A Help to Buy scheme already exists which helps people with a small deposit of 5 per cent to buy, and gives them a five-year interest-free loan for up 20 per cent of the property price. However, it applies only to newly built properties, whereas the new scheme is for both old and new properties. Mr Leach added: ‘The world must have gone mad for us to now be discussing endless taxpayer guarantees for mortgages." - Daily Mail 

  • Osborne extends the scheme - FT (£) 
  • Stop driving up prices, start boosting supply - The Times Leader (£) 
  • EU migrants get access to the taxpayer-funded scheme - Daily Mail 
  • Laudable intent, risky results - Daily Express Leader 
  • Treasury urges housebuilders to construct more homes - FT (£) 
  • Ministers must plan how to turn off the tap - Daily Telegraph Leader 

Cameron launches new critique of immigration 

"The Prime Minister said Britain had suffered a ‘frightening’ decade of ‘completely lax’ border policies, which had placed huge strain on communities. And he hinted at further measures to cut the number of people arriving in the UK. His comments come after the Office for Budget Responsibility warned Britain would need millions more immigrants in the coming decades to offset the effects of an ageing population." - Daily Mail  

Rural residents short-changed by public services

"MPs say that reduced cash for rural areas is “deeply unfair” and warn that current policies do not reflect the difficulties of providing services spread far apart with inadequate transport and support. They point out, too, that broadband is very slow and that large parts of the country have no mobile phone signal. A quarter of the population — about 12.7 million people — live in rural areas, which make up 86 per cent of England." - The Times (£) 

EU Exit
Taliban 1: Tory MEP Sajjad Karim attacks "Anti-EU Taliban" in his own party

"Writing on Twitter during a debate on Europe, he said: 'It seems the anti-EU taliban find it difficult to accept a different point of view!' He added: 'The ANTI-EU TALIBAN don't want an informed British public or an informed debate. Bring it on!' Mr Karim later insisted he had not used the term lightly, adding: 'That's exactly what they are.' 'You are no longer allowed to hold a view unless it's the same view as them,' he told Huffington Post." - Daily Mail 

  • Britain extends lead as Europe's top investment destination - The Times (£) 
  • Export activity at highest level since 2007 - FT (£) 

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Full list of Conservative would-be MEP candidates in all regions - there's still time to use your vote

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - If it carries on like this, the review of EU powers is set to fail - and here are four reasons why

Taliban 2: Cable pummels the "capital Taliban" rebalancing the banks

"Vince Cable, business secretary, has lifted the lid on tensions between the government and the Bank of England criticising its “capital Taliban” whom he accuses of holding back the recovery by imposing excessive financial burdens on the banks. Mr Cable believes the BoE has held back small business lending by demanding banks hold onerous levels of capital as a cushion against further shocks, a view shared by George Osborne, chancellor." - FT (£) 

Revolution in Whitehall buying policy seeks to save £1bn

"In a challenge to departmental autonomy, the purchase of “common services” – from travel to energy – will be delivered by a new executive agency, to be called the Crown Commercial Service. A prominent private sector figure is being sought to chair the organisation, which will start work in the autumn." - FT (£) 

What is the Royal baby's economic impact? 

Royal Crest"Will the royal baby boy buoy the economy? This question was on almost no one’s lips as the third in line to the throne was born on Monday. But on the day the Prince of Cambridge emerged into the world, some economists could not restrain themselves…" - FT (£) 

>Today: Henry Hill's Red, White and Blue column - Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales welcome their future sovereign

>Yesterday: ToryDiary - The royal baby may be crowned King as this century grows old - testament to the monarchy's enduring power

>Yesterday: WATCH - First public viewing of royal baby

Gove polling reveals public opposition to teachers' strikes

"Most Brits oppose the upcoming teacher strikes — with a third believing they should be banned from walking out EVER. And nearly two-thirds support Government plans for pay based on performance. Of 1,700 voters polled about the strikes by NUT and NASUWT members over pay and conditions, just 29 per cent were in support." - The Sun

Stafford nurses falsified hospital records to hit targets

"Two nurses faked patient records to meet targets at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital - with one also found to have used foul mouthed language about patients. Sharon Turner and Tracy White falsified accident and emergency discharge times to avoid missing a government goal for patients to be dealt with within four hours. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) also found that nurse Sharon Turner used foul mouthed language about patients and threatened to make her colleague’s life 'hell'." - Daily Mail  

Anne Widdecombe - end state meddling, but hooray for porn filters

"There is something else Conservatives always promise and which now needs to be made a reality: a smaller, less intervention-prone State. So let us begin with a slap on the wrist for Maria Miller who thinks it her job to act as arbiter of sexism. This interfering busybody grandstands about a men-only golf club but says nothing about women-only clubs such as the WI and the University Women’s Club…Tell me, Maria, do you think David Cameron’s candidates’ A-list is sexist? If so will you please write to him in the same terms that you wrote to the BBC?" - Anne Widdecombe, Daily Express 

News in brief

  • Ministers launch new assault on paedophile gangs - The Sun 
  • 5,000 patients can't be discharged due to lack of home care - Daily Mail 
  • How the American left murdered Detroit - Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£) 
  • Prince William's foreign policy adviser controversially joins pro-EU camp - Daily Mail 
  • Paul Gambaccini reveals BBC labelled his personnel file with a "Camp as Christmas" symbol - Daily Mail 
  • Has David Cameron lost a front tooth? - Daily Mail 


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.

Conservative Intelligence