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Newslinks for Sunday 22nd September 2013

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10pm Update German Elections: Andrew Marshall's Live Blog: MERKEL WINS THIRD TERM: "Whether it’s a CDU government or a grand coalition, Merkel’s success probably gives her government more wiggle room in terms of any renegotiation with the UK...But there’s a huge gap between CDU and Conservative positions on much of the EU issue."

9pm Update German Elections: Andrew Marshall's Live Blog: MERKEL RULES OUT MINORITY GOVERNMENT: "The CDU is very, very close to an overall majority – but might still be a seat or so short. Merkel has ruled out a minority government, even if she’s only one seat short.

7.30pm Update German Elections: Andrew Marshall's Live Blog: MERKEL MAY WIN OUTRIGHT: "In federal election, CDU/CSU is a seat or so in range of an absolute majority - but its spokespeople being very careful what they say."

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at German Elections: Andrew Marshall's Live Blog: AFD ON THE EDGE OF POLLING FIVE PER CENT


1pm International: Andrew Marshall offers some facts and figures from Germany while we wait for the results...

ToryDiary: Watch Sajid Javid

International: Andrew Marshall previews his live blog on ConservativeHome this evening of Germany's election results - Bundestagswahlen for beginners

Miliband's Labour: Socialism's back!

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 08.16.30"Taking part in an open-air Q&A session in Brighton,Mr Miliband was asked when he would 'bring back socialism'. The son of Marxist thinker Ralph Miliband replied: 'That's what we are doing, sir. 'It is about fighting the battle for economic equality, for social equality and for gender equality too. 'That is a battle that is not yet won in our country.' " - Mail on Sunday 

Socialism 1) Labour to increase minimum wage fines tenfold

"Ed Miliband has announced plans for a tenfold increase in fines – from £5,000 to £50,000 – for any company that fails to pay the minimum wage as part of a radical manifesto to end exploitation and drive up the skills of millions of British workers. In an interview with the Observer as the Labour conference opens in Brighton, he also pledges a new immigration law to ensure that medium and large companies can only take on a skilled worker from outside the EU if they pay to train a British worker in return." - The Observer

Socialism 2) CBI warns against Miliband moves

Miliband Red Ed"The Labour moves were criticised by business groups. The CBI and the Institute of Directors warned that the minimum wage plans would hit growth and increase the burden on business. John Cridland, the director general of the CBI, writes in The Sunday Telegraph’s business section today that “growth must come first” and warns that if businesses are not allowed to grow, they cannot raise wages. In another policy announcement, Mr Miliband said that large firms would have to train a British apprentice for every worker that they bring from overseas." - Sunday Telegraph

Labour Conference

  • Labour leader will pledge to curb energy bills - Sun on Sunday
  • Labour leader's conference message: standard of living, standard of living, standard of living - Mail on Sunday
  • Miliband interview: "You've got to learn to take the rough with the smooth" - The Observer
  • Miliband interview: My voyage round my father - Mehdi Hasan, Sunday Times Magazine (£)
  • Miliband family Boden-style pictures - Mail on Sunday
  • Jim Murphy: Labour to put education of troops at the heart of defence policy - Sunday Express
  • "It'll be a vile, aggressive election", says Chuka Umunna - Sunday Times (£)
  • Labour to create new offence of disability hate crime - The Observer
  • Fresh allegations of financial irregularity in Falkirk - Sunday Times (£)
  • Kate Hoey presses EU referendum - Sun on Sunday
  • Alan Milburn, Government mobility Tsar, presses for companies to reveal highest and lowest wages - Sunday Times (£)
  • It’s Ed 'Ryanair’ Miliband v David 'Business Class' Cameron - Matthew D'Ancona, Sunday Telegraph

But...Yvette Cooper says "I just want to be the next Home Secretary". Watch your back, Ed!

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 08.25.31"With three children, the youngest then aged five, she said: "This isn't the right time for me" – but ended the article with a tantalising pay-off: "As for future leadership contests, who knows …"  But [now] Cooper is blunt: "No. I want to be the Home Secretary." And that is that. No coy, 'there's no vacancy' or even that she has 'no ambition to be leader'. Just a flat, outright No." - Independent on Sunday

Attack dog Grayling tears into Labour tax-and-spend

"So, what do Labour want? To penalise the wealth creators. Higher taxes for the rich. To pay for what Labour really desires – an ever bigger welfare state. The Lib Dems do, too. One of the big themes of last week’s conference was higher taxes. They too want to penalise the wealth creators. Both say it’s a red line for any future government. Conservatives want to support wealth and job creators. That’s a red line for us." - Sunday Telegraph

  • Sajid Javid's pre-emptive strike: Labour spending plans leave a £28 billion "black hole" - Sunday Times (£)
  • "How will they fund [these plans]? Ah, yes. The same bankers' bonus tax which miraculously funds their every brainwave." - Sun on Sunday
  • Don't be fooled by Labour's giveaways - Sunday Times (£)

McBride memoirs fall-out: Did Miliband smear Tory opponents?...

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 08.33.00"On the eve of his party’s conference in Brighton, it was claimed Mr Miliband sent “damaging” e-mails in a plot to attack senior Tories. Former spin doctor Damian McBride suggests Mr Miliband could “have problems” if any e-mails to Labour smear website editor Derek Draper become public. The claim is one of many in Mr McBride’s memoir Power Trip. He was forced to resign as Gordon Brown’s head of strategy in 2009 after he sent Mr Draper e-mails containing lies about Tory MPs." - Sunday Express

...And Tessa Jowell speaks out: Brown's Labour's was tainted by a "corrupt" culture. "It is inconceivable he did not know what Damian was doing."

" 'There was a corrupt culture which had nothing to do with serving the British people but was about personal ambition. I feel sickened it was not just tolerated but encouraged at the heart of government.’ Ms Jowell scoffed at Mr McBride’s claim that Mr Brown was in the dark about his special adviser’s promiscuous use of the dark arts. ‘Whitehall’s ministerial code is absolutely clear – Ministers are responsible for the actions of their special advisers,’ she said." - Mail on Sunday

Twice as many people now back the Conservatives than Labour on the economy

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"In a major blow for Labour leader Ed Miliband on the eve of his party conference, the survey found just one in five voters think he has the best policies to manage the recovery. By contrast David Cameron and George Osborne are backed by almost twice as many voters, amid increasing signs that growth is gaining momentum. The surprise surge in support for the Tories comes after two successive quarters of growth, leading Mr Osborne to boast that the economy has ‘turned a corner’." - Mail on Sunday

  • Labour leads Tories in polls, but Miliband's own ratings still in the doldrums - The Observer

UKIP conference: "The best farcical comedy I have seen in years"

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 08.40.03"Nigel Farage, the party leader, admitted on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday morning that he was still feeling “pretty hacked off” with Bloom’s behaviour. He added: “On the one hand I want us to be a party of free thinking, I want us to push the boundaries of debate and we’ve been good at that on several issues. “But at the same time I don’t want people saying things that are deeply offensive.” One Conservative MP described the conference at Methodist Central Hall as “the best farcical comedy I have seen in years”. - Sunday Times (£)

Liberal Democrats: It's war! (1) Cabinet Secretary called in to calm Paterson/Davey wind-farm scrap

"Liberal Democrat sources say that Sir Jeremy Heywood was called in after a series of blazing rows between Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey and Tory Environment Secretary Owen Paterson over Mr Davey’s controversial ‘green’ technology. Sources close to the Lib Dem Minister accused Mr Paterson of ‘lying’ over claims that Mr Davey had blocked publication of a report showing that on-shore wind farms can harm rural areas." - Mail on Sunday

Liberal Democrats: It's war! (2) Cable forces enquiry into LibDem conference "dirty tricks" against him

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 08.41.08"Nick Clegg has launched an inquiry into claims that aides have been involved in a "dirty tricks" campaign against his leadership rival Vince Cable. The Liberal Democrat leader is investigating an allegation that members of the media have been briefed with erroneous information damaging Cable's position in the party. The move followed an angry complaint from an MP during a meeting of the parliamentary party at last week's Lib Dem conference in Glasgow."

  • Pupils on Clegg’s £600m free school meals are no healthier, Government pilot scheme - reveals - Mail on Sunday
  • Mike Hancock MP held over sex claim that ‘broke code of conduct’ - Sunday Express

Hague: British nationals caught up in Kenya terror attack

"British nationals have undoubtedly been caught up in a "callous and cowardly and brutal" Nairobi terror attack which left at least 39 people dead, the foreign secretary said on Saturday evening. William Hague said "we should be ready for that and aware of that" as he revealed a rapid deployment team is being sent to Kenya to help in the aftermath of the atrocity at an upmarket shopping centre in the capital." - The Observer

Cut benefits cap and save £1.2 billion a year, says Chris Skidmore

Skidmore Chris"A fresh benefits crackdown could slash £1.2billion a year off the welfare bill, figures reveal. The saving would come from cutting the £26,000 benefit cap to £17,000 — about the pay a rookie soldier gets before tax. Lowering it to £20,000 would net £735million — four times as much as the £185million a year saved by the current cap. A list of potential savings was uncovered by Tory MP Chris Skidmore." - The Sun on Sunday

  • Philip Davies digs out lags-on-the-run figure - 998 - and labels it a ‘disgrace’ - Sun on Sunday

> Yesterday: ToryDiary - Politics is about more than maths - Conservatives must make the moral case for welfare reform

"Whoever Goved that Goved not at first sight": Education Secretary - send love poems - not sexts 

"Michael Gove, the education secretary, has urged teenagers to stop “sexting” and instead start using a new app to send each other love poems. In backing the initiative, Gove, who read English at Oxford, revealed that his own favourite love poems are Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold and Love by George Herbert. Less romantically he said he also “adored Wendy Cope’s Variation on a Lennon and McCartney Song” to be read or sung to the Beatles tune." - Sunday Times (£)

Salmond tells rally: There's a natural majority for independence

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 08.50.11"The Scottish first minister told thousands of pro-independence marchers in Edinburgh that there is a natural majority for Scottish independence. Alex Salmond said: "There is now in this country a natural majority for a Yes vote. The people want a parliament that makes decisions for the people of Scotland." He said he would keep Royal Mail in public hands and ban the bedroom tax in an independent Scotland that he led." - The Observer

Dominic Lawson: If justice is blind, let’s make all defendants wear the veil

"Although I hesitate to challenge such a learned member of the judiciary — and the former justice secretary is also highly experienced in such matters — I find both men guilty of piffle in the first degree. It is simply not true that people require full sight of a person to establish an accurate opinion of her (or his) truthfulness. More, to the extent we base our judgment on observation of a defendant’s physical appearance and mannerisms, we are at best superficial and at worst unjust." - Sunday Times (£)

Merkel "on course for third term"

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 09.08.35"If, as widely expected, the 59-year old German leader is re-elected for a third term, she will be on course to become Europe's longest-serving female leader, outstripping Margaret Thatcher's claim to the title. Since first coming to power in 2005, Merkel has rejected the comparisons between herself and Britain's "Iron Lady". Indeed, apart from a few biographical details, the similarities between the conservative social democrat and the free marketeer are few and far between. Germans, at least, have long stopped making the comparison." - The Observer

  • A victory for Merkel will only mask Germany's long-term economic problems - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Sunday Telegraph

News in Brief

And finally: President Mensch?

"Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP, has revealed that she has applied for American citizenship, sparking speculation that she may be considering a foray into American politics. Mensch stepped down as MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire in August last year and moved to New York to be with her husband Peter Mensch, the American rock band manager…Asked whether it was part of a plan to enter American politics, she replied: 'I wouldn’t say ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ but I’ve got no plans to do that at the moment. Nobody needs to be panicking about that just yet.' " - Sunday Times (£)


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