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News digest 2 June 2014

News digest 2 June 2014

02 June 2014

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

·                Qatar World Cup scandal - Mirror

·                Queen's speech: Infrastructure bill to let developers off zero-carbon pledge - Guardian

·                Labour plans big rise in NHS spending – Indie

·                Clarke set for axe in reshuffle – Mail

There’s no single story dominating the headlines today with the papers covering animal testing (Mirror), pensions (Express), health (Mail and Indie), HS2 (Telegraph) and Scottish independence (the FT). One story does appear in almost all papers and that is the scandal surrounding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, although that is not down to the scandalous number of deaths of construction workers building the sites, but to concerns about corruption. The best line comes from the Mirror’s Martin Lipton: “Time to stay they stink, it‘s all over” and if Qatar is stripped of the competition then it could go to the US, Australia or even the UK.

And from Qatar to the Queen’s speech which is coming up on Wednesday and a number of papers trail what may be in the final speech before the general election. A few of the papers trumpet the plans for pensions, but there are also expected to be bills on childcare, infrastructure, the recall of MPs and community heroes. Doesn’t really sound like a recipe for success, or a programme for government, but maybe a couple of rabbits will be pulled out of the hat?

There is also a noticeable omission with no mention of the NHS. The FT has a piece on the different prices charged for the same treatment across the NHS, which seems to be a move to shift to tighter spending, while the Indie reports on a pledge by the Labour party to make a big increase in health spending to help save the NHS. For that you do need money, and Labour is looking at a targeted rise in national insurance. With the Telegraph reporting that the poorest are suffering in a GP postcode lottery, the choice is getting starker either prepare for private healthcare with the Tories (and their Ukip clones) or invest in our NHS with Labour.

And finally there seems to be some political manoeuvring going on, not just on the European stage where prime minister David Cameron is keen to veto having a federalist as new Commission president (that’s a non to Jean Claude Juncker), while ex-prime minister Tony Blair is all of a sudden pontificating on all matters Europe (is he angling for the presidency some papers ask? – let’s hope not) and Cameron is also looking closer to home as he is expected to hold his final cabinet reshuffle this month, pro-European Ken Clarke is expected to be given the chop to be replaced with ministers Morgan and McVey as Cameron looks to expand the number of women in his cabinet (and his share of the women’s vote), won’t make any difference unless you change the policies which have hit women hardest, and there’s no sign of that changing…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun  (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • PM defiant on EU top job (p2)
  • Ukip wants 30 MPs (p8)
  • Tory row over MP’s racist jibe (p10)
  • Kick out Qatar (p10)

  Express

  Mail

  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Blair tells Europe to wake up (p1)
  • Farage: Cut taxes by slashing foreign aid (p2)
  • World Cup bribery storm (p6-7)
  • We’re taking Cable at his word, says Ashdown (p17)
  • Bill promises to increase pension pots (p17)
  • TSB handed £450 million gift to increase IT options (p41)

  Indie

  Guardian

  Telegraph

  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Tories to offer Scots control of income tax (p1)
  • NHS cost gaps fuel ringfence debate (p1)(p)
  • Queen’s speech trail (p2)
  • IMF should keep quiet on austerity, says Tyrie (p3/11)
  • GSK in $350 million oncology deal (p17)
  • Astra chief hits back in pay spat (p18)
  • Mini plant gets max out of automation (p19)
  • Manchester Airport still gaining altitude (p21)

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