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News digest 6 August 2014

News digest 6 August 2014

06 August 2014

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

·                PM rocked as Warsi quits - Mirror

·                Unions ‘helped to undermine bullying review’ – Telegraph [hatchet job]

·                Bernie Ecclestone: 'I'm an idiot' for paying £60m to settle F1 bribery trial - Guardian

Well it was not a happy start to prime minister David Cameron’s holidays as foreign office minister Lady Warsi yesterday announced her resignation and described the government's approach and language over Gaza as ”morally indefensible”. Warsi announced her departure on Twitter saying: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the prime minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support govt policy on #Gaza.” That was met by some flippant comments asking ‘what the government’s policy was?’ but more importantly it was a blow to the prime minister’s prestige from a woman who had backed his leadership campaign and was made a co-chair of the Tory party, and subsequently became the first Muslim to sit in the cabinet before being demoted in 2012. Even worse, Warsi has been keeping a diary raising fears she will publish before the election to expose what Cameron’s cronies and upper class inner circle has been up to.

And another Cameron catastrophe is his blinkered attack on trade unions. Yesterday, it was also announced that a supposedly independent review into laws on industrial action has been dramatically scaled back after Bruce Carr – who had been asked to review the strike laws – said he objected to statements by cabinet office minister Francis Maude and others on the issue. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The Tories have spectacularly shot themselves in the foot on this. They have embarrassed their own appointee, Bruce Carr, into accepting this report for what it was all along – a desperate pre-election stunt to smear democratic trades unions and their members. This was always a purely political exercise with neither the CBI nor the TUC prepared to get involved. Now Bruce Carr has moved to distance himself from what was nothing more than a pre-meditated effort by the Tory party to get a QC to sanction laws further restricting the rights of unions.” Let’s hope the plans remain dead in the water, but beware the Tory election manifesto and the plans to restrict rights further…

In other political news a number of the papers report on the televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling on Scottish independence [Darling was viewed as the victor], although many were not able to see it as the online broadcast went down, coming further south chancellor George Osborne [perhaps manoeuvring for the post-Cameron crown] has been lauding his plans to boost the ‘North’ with a £15 billion investment programme, but Osborne then went on to say the funds should come from cuts to welfare, back to typical Tory mode. Another challenger to the Tory leadership sees Boris Johnson today make a major speech on Europe, where he considers a UK exit [oddly the Mail seems to be lending him support], and also facing a bit of trouble is shadow chancellor Ed Balls who has been fined £900 for a bump and run car crash, but it’s even worse news for Clegg after a victim from the ‘Lord Grope’ scandal speaks out [again in the Mail], and speaking of Lords, the Mirror reports that expenses by the noble ones have risen by an extra £4 million under the Tories, so we’re back to Cameron stuffing the chamber with his cronies at the taxpayers’ costs…

And talking of costs, on the economic front the recovery continues to look a bit shaky. While the services sector is seeing a boom, many papers report that shop prices – especially for food – are falling, while the Times reports that lack of skilled workers is putting the recovery at risk. The Indie notes that UK banks have had their credit ratings downgraded and Boots looks like it will be swallowed up by a US pharma giant [will that help it to continue to avoid taxes?], but the biggest biscuit belongs to Bernie Ecclestone who has managed to arrange a $100 million payment to so that he can walk free from a German court over bribery charges, the man Mr Ecclestone was supposed to have blackmailed was jailed for over eight years for corruption, let’s hope our own justice ministry doesn’t get similar ideas…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Warsi walkout rocks PM (p1-2)
  • £2bn tax credit rise (p2)
  • Darling pounds Salmond (p4)
  • PM bully boy row (p4) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited [Carr report]
  • F1 law for the rich (p6)
  • BoJo tells cam to cut migrants (p14)
  • Early bank rate rise tipped (p41)
  • Boots sold off (p41) 

Express

Mail

Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Tory war over Gaza (p1)
  • Energy bosses that rig prices could be jailed for two years (p2)
  • Darling mounts sterling defence of the Union (p9)
  • Inquiry into unions strikes abandoned (p19) – Unite cited
  • Lack of skilled workers puts recovery at risk (p19)
  • Boots swallowed by US pharma giant (p35) – Unite cited
  • IHG refuses to put hotels up for grabs (p38)
  • Defence cuts hit Meggitt (p42)
  • Worst overt says Blackberry (p43)
  • 58 jobs go at RBS (p46) – Unite/Rob MacGregor cited 

Indie

Guardian

Telegraph

FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Ecclestone’s payment sparks German outrage (p1)
  • Warsi’s exit fuels unease (p2)
  • Loans to business shake up revealed (p3)
  • The inequality debate avoids asking who is harmed – Adam Posen (p9)
  • Samsung U-turn on child labour company (p15)
  • Meggitt hit (p17)

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