News digest 4 April 2014

News digest 4 April 2014

29 August 2012

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

·                A good day to bury bad news - Telegraph

·                MPs conspire to save Miller Telegraph & Miller: A poor excuse - Mirror

·                RBS closes 14 last branches in town – Mail

·                Labour may repeal ‘lobbying’ Act - Indie

·                Ed Miliband: Labour may take rail franchises back into public ownership - Guardian

Today’s digest starts with a damning indictment of the Con-Dem government from of all places the front page of the Telegraph. The paper splashes with the main headline of culture secretary Maria Miller  who was yesterday forced to apologise to the Commons over her expenses claims. As well as castigating the fact that Miller effectively got off scot-free, it highlights how the government also used her apology as cover for three key announcements, namely U-turns on badger culls and tobacco packaging as well as the publication of a new register of lots of companies that have bought NHS patient data. With friends like these…

And it looks like Maria Miller will stay in position despite having to repay £5,800 in over-claimed allowances and being castigated of her ‘attitude’ during the inquiry. Showing her overall contempt for the process and for parliament her ‘forced’ apology amounted to just 31 seconds or shorter than the time it will take her to write the cheque repaying her over-claimed allowances, shocking that prime minister David Cameron could allow her to stay in the cabinet, but then he has trouble finding any Tory women to promote. Seems that sanctions only exist for those at the bottom, while those at the top get away with ignoring the rules…

And from ignoring rules to ignoring pledges and the government was strangely silent on the fact that the state-backed bank RBS has announced the closure of 44 bank branches including many considered as ‘the last bank in town’ contrary to a previous pledge. So much for local services, Unite national officer Rob Macgregor said: “This is a stealth attack on local communities by bailed out RBS. Taxpayers have a right to be angry that RBS has quietly embarked on a major programme of branch closures. While RBS senior executives get millions of pounds in payouts, there are communities up and down the country being denied access to a local bank. George Osborne whose own constituency is affected, should intervene and demand that RBS rethinks these decisions.” Don’t bank on that happening…

One pledge you can bank on, subject to Labour getting elected, is the repeal of the so-called gagging bill or the Lobbying Act that restricts charities and other bodies from campaigning during elections. Labour made a pledge to repeal it yesterday. It follows previous Labour announcements to repeal the Health and Social Care Act and to abolish the bedroom tax. The Times and Guardian also report that Labour leader Ed Miliband is considering taking back the railways into government hands, another policy that will get the electorate on side. It’s still a year before the election, plenty of  time for the Con-Dem coalition to cause more havoc, although the Sun has an interview with London mayor Boris Johnson which states that because he was born in New York he could actually be both the UK prime minister and president of the United States, perish the thought…

Edited by Mik Sabiers


Morning Star

  • Miller told to quit (p1)
  • 44 RBS branches to close (p2) – Unite/Rob Macgregor cited
  • Faslane workers’ strike wins ‘improved offer’ (p3) – Unite Ian Waddell cited
  • Anti-cuts activists occupy youth centre (p4) – Unite/Brett Sparks cited
  • Private firms sold NHS data (p5)
  • Who pays the privateers’ peer - Solomon Hughes (p8)


Daily Mirror


Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Miller rapped over expenses probe (p2)
  • Is the housing bubble trouble? (p8)
  • Boris Johnson interviewed (p24-25)
  • Plain cigarette packs (p26)
  • Anger as RBS cuts 44 branches (p45) – Unite cited






Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Fury as expenses minister clings to job (p1)
  • Miliband could take back railways (p3) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Call for top rate tax cut after Treasury £9 billion bonus (p6)
  • Keep Farage out of election debates, Miliband demands (p9)
  • Salaries still soaring for uni chiefs (p12)
  • Badger cull delayed [again] (p17)
  • Tesco finance chief to quit (p41)








FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Tesco finance chief to check out (p1)
  • RBS breaks pledge to save ‘last bank in town’ (p2) – Unite/Rob Macgregor cited
  • Farage and the leader’s debates (p3)
  • Cameron bags criticism over praise of Waitrose shoppers (p3)
  • Miller apologises (p4)


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