News digest 13 May 2014

News digest 13 May 2014

13 May 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                Pfizer's proposed takeover of AstraZeneca: questions MPs should ask - Guardian

·                Pfizer lets it slip: Takeover could cost thousands of jobs - Mail

·                Ukip MPs miss third of votes – Mail

·                Cop call over Ukip tweets - Mirror

Today’s digest opens with the latest on Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Unite’s Tony Burke gave evidence to the BIS select committee this morning outlining Unite’s case against the proposed hostile takeover saying simply that the company had not even bothered to contact then workforce and that Pfizer’s assurances about keeping R&D and jobs were “worthless”. It comes on the back of a poll commissioned by Unite that found just 14 per cent of people think that Pfizer’s proposed takeover of AstraZeneca is in the UK’s interests with just 19 per cent confident that the government is doing enough to safeguard UK jobs and skills – even the Mail says thousands of jobs could be at risk. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey quoted in the Morning Star, Mirror, Mail, Times and Guardian said: “The British public isn’t being fooled by Pfizer’s proposed takeover of AstraZeneca and has a complete lack of confidence that the government has British interests at heart. Pfizer’s track record is one of slashing jobs and cutting costs and its ‘guarantees’ could evaporate at any moment. As it stands it’s the wrong prescription for Britain … it’s time for Cameron to listen to his own supporters and the rest of public opinion to apply a’ public interest’ test on the takeover and stand up for British manufacturing.” Will he listen? Don’t bank on it…

Elsewhere the main focus remains on next week’s local and European elections. A couple of the papers report on the latest Guardian poll which has put the Tories ahead of Labour for the first time in two years after a sharp fall in Labour support, however, many caution on relying on one poll, what it does show is that the polls and the elections are tighter than ever and that every vote will count.

Unless that is a Ukip vote. The Times highlights how Ukip’s lazy MEPs have frequently missed crucial votes that could have acted in the ‘national interest’, it seems Farage and co prefer the restaurants and boozers in Brussels rather than turning up in parliament.

And Ukip also seem to getting an easy ride. A number of papers report on a local election candidate who took Ukip’s policies to task, but was then visited by the police and told to take down his tweets. The Guardian has the best headline of: “Boys in blue see green after Ukip sees red” however the worrying factor is that the comments were legitimate and true as they outlined how Ukip wants to cuts taxes for the richest, abolish maternity pay, scrap holidays and more, if there’s one lesson it’s not just don’t trust the Tories, but if you value your rights at work then never vote Ukip…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Free speech under threat (p1)
  • Cameron still loves tax avoider Barlow (p2)
  • Disabled people besiege DWP  (3p)
  • Unions urge Cable to step in over Pfizer takeover (p3) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Ucatt conference: Blacklisting inquiry as vital as ever (p4)
  • Time for a general strike? – Steve Gillan (p8)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Cameron tax rap over Barlow (p2)
  • Labour at poll low (p2)
  • Jailed peer banned in fiddle no 2 (p8)
  • Cops grill Barclays’ chief (p40)
  • Pfizer to keep UK jobs (p40)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Stars shamed into paying tax (p1)
  • Tories jump ahead in polls (p1)
  • Patients will see GPs in 48 hours (p4)
  • Ukip’s lazy MEPs miss crucial votes that would help Britons (p6)
  • Police tell political blogger not to criticise Ukip (p13)
  • Look in the Mirror, Gary. You  did a bad thing (p33)
  • Business leaders echo public distrust of Pfizer’s £63 billion bid (p43/45) – Unite cited
  • Co-op reform plan gets big backer (p46)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • MPs seek ‘cast iron’ pledge on Astra jobs (p1)
  • Rail chief warns on cost of upgrades (p2)
  • London luxury house market slows (p4)
  • Pfizer’s approach undergoes lab tests (p17)
  • Nissan rallies (p18)
  • Capita puts FG4S and Serco in shade (p20)

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