The five things you need to know on Thursday 21 November 2013...
1) 'GET RID OF THE GREEN CRAP'
Dave definitely doesn't hug huskies any more. From the Sun:
"David Cameron has made a huge U-turn on eco policies by ordering aides to "get rid of all the green crap" pushing up energy costs... A senior Tory source said yesterday: 'The Prime Minister is going round Number 10 saying, 'We've got to get rid of all this green crap'. He is totally focused on it. We used to say, 'Vote Blue, Go Green'. Now it's 'Vote Blue, Get Real'.'"
Downing Street has issued a denial of the 'crap' quote to the PoliticsHome website: "We do not recognise this at all". Well, of course, that's not actually an explicit denial, is it?
2) PAUL WHO?
From the Guardian:
"Labour leader Ed Miliband has said his party acted with 'utmost integrity' in its dealings with the Co-op Bank and its disgraced former chairman Rev Paul Flowers.
Miliband spoke out after David Cameron, the prime minister, announced an inquiry into the bank's ailing finances and decision to appoint Flowers, a former Labour councillor who faces police questioning over allegations that he bought illegal drugs.
"... The Labour leader told ITV News: 'Paul Flowers was somebody who I met with on one occasion and had meetings with a wider group on a couple of other occasions. He was never my close adviser.'"
Fresh allegations against Flowers have been published in today's Mail:
"The Methodist minister – under police investigation for buying crystal meth and crack cocaine – was suspended by the Lifeline Project after allegedly lodging ‘significant’ false claims between 1992 and 2004... The revelations will only reinforce concerns that City regulators, the Co-op board and Labour failed to adequately investigate the past of the drug-taking minister who was once invited to Ed Miliband’s office for private talks."
Meanwhile, the Tories may not have clean hands on this. The FT reports on its front page:
"George Osborne pressed Brussels last year to spare the Co-operative Bank from tougher capital rules, a revelation that complicates Conservative attempts to drag Ed Miliband into the scandal engulfing the bank and its former chairman.
"The chancellor's bid to win more lenient capital treatment for the Co-op came at a 2am negotiating session between finance ministers in May, shortly after he angrily criticised special carveouts, according to several people present.
"His intervention provides further evidence that Tory politicians - as well as Labour - pulled out the stops to help the bank."
3) WE WON'T BE OVERRUN, SAYS MINISTER
From the Mail:
"Britain will not face a flood of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria when border controls lapse in the New Year, the immigration minister insisted last night. Mark Harper played down fears of a mass influx from the Eastern European countries and ruled out extending the restrictions on migrant workers.
"Ministers have come under pressure from Tory backbenchers to defy the EU and protect British jobs by keeping controls in place.
"... Mr Harper said there was a 'big difference' between now and 2004 because eight other EU countries will also be forced to drop restrictions on January 1. He said migrants would be lured to Germany by jobs and to other countries with larger Romanian and Bulgarian populations."
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...
Watch this video of a Nottingham University student smashing his head through a wooden table. It's astonishing...
4) HEY DAVE, DID YOU JUST FOLLOW AN ESCORT AGENCY?
From the Huffington Post UK:
"David Cameron's Twitter account started following a high-class escort agency on Wednesday, one that offered the 'finest London escorts to gentlemen of distinction'.
"It could be that Dave's account, which is run by a team, was meaning to follow the Carlton Club, a private members club for Tory supporters. At least that was the speculation of The Register, who first spotted the social faux pas. Or it could be that the PM just likes the look of the girls...
"Either way, the 'follow' was quickly rescinded, with CCHQ rather wittily tweeting that the mistake was due to 'Gordon Brown setting the No.10 account to auto-follow-back when he ran it'.
Dave's motto: when in doubt, blame Gordo...
5) NO MORE 'MOONING'
From the Mirror:
"A Tory peer wants a clampdown on mooning after schoolkids exposed their backsides to him and his wife from a coach.
"Lord James of Blackheath said his horrified wife - who is a youth justice officer - wanted boys who mooned at passers-by locked up for a year.
"Businessman Lord James, 75, said the incident happened on the roads leading to Twickenham as they travelled to watch England play rugby union."
The Mirror adds:
"Home Office minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach joked that Lord James had 'sought to get to the bottom of several issues' but did not comment further on his remarks."
PUBLIC OPINION WATCH
From the Sun/YouGov poll:
Lib Dems 9
That would give Labour a majority of 92.
900 WORDS OR MORE
Max Hastings, writing in the Daily Mail, says: "Trying to be all nice and liberal won't save the Tories - it will destroy them."
Rafael Behr, writing in the New Statesman, says: "Generation Ed: Is Labour winning the battle of ideas?"
Martin Kettle, writing in the Guardian, says: "Every generation has its Kennedy moments. From 9/11 to Iraq, history moves on."
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