News digest 15 March 2013

News digest 15 March 2013

15 March 2013

The top story in many of the papers is the breakdown of cross party discussions over implementing the Leveson report. Prime minister David Cameron is backed by many of the papers for throwing down the gauntlet and saying he was curtailing months of talks on press regulation and would instead put his proposals to a Commons vote on Monday. Labour and the Lib Dems have announced they would both table separate amendments so it could be a chasm opening in the Con-Dem coalition and the potential of a Lib-Lab alliance (let’s hope not). The Mail attacks most forcefully with a front page saying ‘the coalition is torn apart’ and speculating on close Labour Lib Dem links, but the real issue will be if Cameron goes down to a harsh Commons defeat, is DVD Dave getting close to throwing in the towel?

Well there’s no shortage of people lining up to take his job, as well as the Labour leader Ed Miliband with a spring in his step after a good week – and a Mori poll showing Labour’s lead is now 13 per cent although the party is stubbornly stuck at 40 per cent – home secretary Theresa May has been slapped down by London’s Tory mayor Boris Johnson, could he be trying to stop her amateur campaign getting off the ground?

And still on that poll and evidence of the real reason for the Tory party’s troubles is that the public in part has signed up to the cuts agenda, but as soon as chancellor George Osborne’s name is mentioned backing for the plans plunges 15 per cent from over half (52 per cent) to 37 per cent of voters. So no matter what he says on Wednesday expect voters to remember the omnishambles and its goodbye to his hopes of becoming first lord of the treasury. Sadly he continues to cut workers’ wages with the latest announcement yesterday that public sector workers will see a one per cent rise in pay, with inflation remaining close to three per cent that remains a real terms pay cut. Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Yet again, nurses, health visitors, prison officers and the soldiers serving in Afghanistan are bearing the brunt for the financial chaos caused by the greedy City elite. Public sector workers contribute greatly to their local economies, so if their pay packets are further squeezed this has an adverse knock-on effect in the local high street – and this will hinder economic recovery. Chancellor George Osborne is continuing his socially and economically divisive policies in the run-up to next week’s budget.”

And even before the budget the bedroom tax debate rolls on. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey is quoted in the Mirror as condemning the latest supposed amendments which are anything but. And from bedroom tax to social division and pay, the front page of the Mirror is taken over to a story from the House of Lords which sees wealthy peers pitted against the staff. Peers have been under threat of losing their subsidised food and drink and in order to accommodate their demands bosses have suggesting the best thing is to cut staff pay. Waiters, cooks and check out workers will lose 50 per cent of their overtime so Lords can keep their discount dinners, one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us, they just don’t get it…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror



  • Crunch vote looms over press freedom (p2)
  • Osborne poised to axe fuel tax rise (p4)
  • Rise in A&E waiting times (p18)
  • POLL: Make foreign aid top target for cuts (p21) [LAB40%; CON27%; LIB11%; Ukip13%]
  • Morrisons reaching out for online arm (p74)
  • Switch to web fires up Argos (p75)


 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Commons showdown on future of the press (p1/12-13)
  • Hunt wants managers from private sector to help run the NHS (p10)
  • Wealthy find new tax loophole (p19)
  • With this mess labour should be miles ahead – Philip Collins (p27)
  • Banker defies RBS debacle (p47)
  • Osborne to help smaller banks raise (p47)
  • Tablet sales Argos into overdrive (p48)
  • Morrisons finds more reasons to look at online shopping (p51)
  • Blackberry stops slide by landing biggest order (p52)
  • Lufthansa profits slide (p53)


  • Hacking scandal into new territory (p1/4-6)
  • We’re for austerity – unless its Osborne’s idea (P13)
  • Recovery in sight, says King (p49)
  • Tablets and fridges help Argos (p51)
  • Plan to close 281 HMRC centres (p53)



 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • JPMorgan slated over ‘London whale’ losses (p1)
  • King calls halt to fall in value of sterling (p1)
  • D-Day on press regulation (p2)
  • Osborne tests opinion for monetary activism (p3)
  • HMRC to close support centres (p4)
  • Britain: No Plan B (p11)
  • VW pins growth on ‘modular assembly’ (p20)
  • Morrisons late to online party (p23)
  • Tablet sales lift Home Retail Group (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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