Ireland

Express
LOYALIST paramilitaries could blow up ports in Northern Ireland and Britain if Boris Johnson takes the UK out of the EU under the terms of his deal, Len McCluskey has warned. The Unite general secretary, who is one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, claimed the withdrawal agreement stands to put communities in an “unbelievably dangerous” position. Mr McCluskey, 69, echoed DUP leader Arlene Foster’s insistence the deal “puts a border down the Irish Sea” and said dissident groups in Northern Ireland could jump on it as an excuse to wage terror. Unionists say the prime minister’s proposals would effectively create a division between Britain and Northern Ireland and have refused to support the deal.

Scotland

Sky News
Nicola Sturgeon has expressed confidence that she will be able to come to an agreement with Jeremy Corbyn in the event of a hung parliament. The SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister said it would be “odd” for the Labour leader to “give up his chance at government” in order to “veto Scotland’s right to self-determination”. Ms Sturgeon is pressing ahead with her push for a second Scottish independence referendum, arguing that the vote to leave the EU has made it necessary for Scotland to choose its own future.

Conservative Party

Telegraph
Boris Johnson has pledged that no-one will have to sell their house to pay for social care under a Conservative government, as he announced a £5 billion cash injection to ease the current funding crisis. The Prime Minister will “end the injustice” of people having to sell their family home by seeking a cross-party agreement on how to pay for the soaring costs of caring for the elderly and disabled.

Times
Boris Johnson has pledged to give 31 million workers a tax cut by increasing the threshold at which they start paying national insurance to £12,500. The prime minister inadvertently revealed the pledge, which is likely to form the centrepiece of the Conservative manifesto when it is launched on Sunday, at an engineering company in Teesside yesterday. The move would bring national insurance in line with the threshold at which people start paying the basic rate of income tax, pulling 2.4 million people out of the tax system altogether.

Times
The Conservatives have pledged to introduce “lifetime” fixed-rate mortgages requiring deposits of only 5 per cent to help renters “realise their dream of owning a home”. Boris Johnson has announced that the Tories would create a “new market” in long-term fixed-rate mortgages by bringing in investors such as pension funds that want a stable source of income. At present fixed-rate mortgage deals can last for as little as one year before homeowners are moved on to the higher variable rate.

Times
One of the country’s biggest road building schemes could be scrapped under a Conservative government amid fears that its cost could more than double. The £3.5 billion Oxford to Cambridge expressway will be reviewed if the party wins the election, with the strong expectation that it will be axed. The dual carriageway was due to be built by 2030 to combat worsening congestion and provide a fast road link between the university cities. It is the country’s second most expensive road-building scheme after the proposed £6 billion tunnel under the Thames east of Dartford.

Sun
FEARS of mass election fraud were growing last night after worried parents said their student sons and daughters are being illegally registered without their knowledge all over the country. The Sun yesterday revealed that Labour-controlled Plymouth Council broke the law by registering 850 students without their permission. That included 247 17-year-olds, who are too young to vote. But it emerged tonight that the shady practice that Tories think is a bid to boost the leftwing vote could be taking place nationwide. Multiple reports were made to The Sun today by concerned parents.

Labour Party

Telegraph
Labour will promise to sweep aside anti-strike laws and reverse Margaret Thatcher’s flagship right to buy policy as Jeremy Corbyn launches the party’s manifesto. The Telegraph understands that a “major” focus of Labour’s prospectus for government due to be announced on Thursday will be employment rights and repealing Conservative laws. Having vowed to repeal the Trade Union Act within 100 days of taking power, Labour is expected to set out details plans to reduce voting thresholds for strike action as well as introducing electronic and workplace ballots.

Independent
Jeremy Corbyn will say on Thursday that he welcomes the hatred of the rich and powerful, as he unveils a Labour general election manifesto filled with radical plans including £75bn for the largest council house building programme in three generations. In a defiant message to critics of his left-wing platform, the Labour leader will say that “ferocious” attacks on him are a sign that the powerful elite are scared of his determination to change a system rigged in their favour.

Express
THE Labour Party has been brutally accused of “bribing voters with a shopping list of rotten promises”, with enraged critics warning of Jeremy Corbyn’s “hogwash” spending plans. Both the Labour Party and Conservative Party have made a number of multi-billion pound pledges as Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson draw the battle lines in the lead up to the general election on December 12.

Times
Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest manifesto pledges, including a promise of free broadband for all, have been rejected by sceptical voters. Two new polls show public doubts about his ability to deliver the goods; a significant blow as Labour searches for a way to reduce the Conservatives’ lead. The plan to nationalise part of BT and provide free broadband is opposed by 41 per cent of voters, according to a YouGov survey for The Times, with only 29 per cent in favour.

Express
BRITONS have vented their fury at a plan proposed by Jeremy Corbyn that could see a Labour Party government cripple pensioners with council tax hikes if they get the keys to No10. Nearly three million pensioners could face council tax hikes averaging more than £300 a year under Labour plans to scrap discounts for single people. Tory analysis of proposals for a local “progressive property tax” floated by a Labour policy discussion group showed retired households would be hardest hit by the levy.

Morning Star
LABOUR will outline plans for a “housing revolution” today, promising the biggest council-house-building programme in more than 50 years. At the party’s manifesto launch in Birmingham, Jeremy Corbyn will express the party’s determination to see more “working-class and young people” living in social housing. The party, if elected into government on December 12, intends to build 100,000 council homes a year and 50,000 housing association homes a year by the end of the next parliament.

Mail
Jewish campaigners tore into Jeremy Corbyn today after he mis-pronounced the name of notorious society paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in front of millions of people on live television. The Labour leader was accused of trying to make the American child abuser – who killed himself in prison earlier this year – sound ‘more Jewish’ in the ITV leaders’ debate. During the prime time show last night he called the convicted sex offender ‘Epschteen’, sparking fury on social media – after Boris Johnson pronounced Epstein correctly.

Telegraph
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of “lying” about Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism after he claimed that the party had “investigated every single case” raised by complainants.  The Labour leader also faced criticism from Jewish groups after he mispronounced the name of the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and was accused of highlighting his “Jewishness”.

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn will launch an assault on Britain’s billionaires today as he unveils an astonishing pledge to spend £75billion on new council houses. Launching his manifesto, the Labour leader will say he is ready for attacks by the rich and powerful as he makes it clear he is on the side of the ‘people’. The centrepiece of his ‘class-war’ election blueprint will be the largest council housebuilding programme since the days of Clement Attlee just after the Second World War.

Mirror
Thousands of homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme could be bought back from private landlords by councils under Labour  plans. A future Labour government would set up a fund for town halls to purchase at least 5,000 ex-council homes a year. Launching its manifesto today, the party will pledge to put tackling Britain’s housing crisis at the heart of its election offering. It would start by building 150,000 affordable homes a year.

LibDems

Times
Jo Swinson pledged to tax frequent flyers, launch a £130 billion capital investment programme and legalise cannabis as she set out the policies she hopes will halt the Liberal Democrats’ slide in the polls. Publishing the party’s manifesto yesterday, Ms Swinson said that her party would invest £18 billion in health and education while boosting the economy by revoking Article 50 and ending the “uncertainty” of Brexit.

Mirror
Jo Swinson’s party confirmed they would create a regulated cannabis market if they won the election – as they slammed Labour and the Tories’ “prohibitionist attitude to drug use.” The  Liberal Democrats ‘ manifesto, launched today, says the party would draw on emerging evidence on models from the US and Canada. The Department of Health would lead on drugs policy, rather than the Home Office – and the party pledged to invest more cash in addiction services and support for drug users.

BBC News
The Lib Dems’ deputy leader says the party can stop Boris Johnson from winning the general election “and through that we can stop Brexit”. Sir Ed Davey told the BBC the most likely outcome on 12 December was a “minority Tory government”. He suggested the Lib Dems would support them, along with other parties, if they agreed to another EU referendum.

Guardian
The Liberal Democrats have promised to extend the scope of free school meals, increase schools spending by more than £10bn a year within the next parliament, and recruit 20,000 more teachers as key pledges in the party’s manifesto. The investment plan comes as Jo Swinson attempts to inject new impetus into the party’s election campaign, which has seen it slip from close to 20% in the polls to about 15%, with a manifesto launch in London on Wednesday.

Mail
Jo Swinson today tried to stop her party’s sliding poll ratings as she unveiled the Liberal Democrats’ general election manifesto with key pledges to stop Brexit and legalise cannabis.  The Lib Dems were riding high on 23 per cent in a YouGov poll at the start of October but the party has been sinking ever since with the latest survey giving it a support rating of just 15 per cent. Ms Swinson attempted to get her party back on track as she unveiled her 100-page blueprint for Britain and launched a stinging attack on Boris Johnson.

Independent
Jo Swinson has been criticised for trying to pass a “virility test” after saying she would be willing to press the nuclear button if she becomes prime minister. The Liberal Democrat leader was asked if she would “ever be prepared to use a nuclear weapon”, answering with a single word: “Yes.” The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament attacked the “disgraceful response”, saying: “Not even a moment’s hesitation about the prospect of killing millions of people. We need better than this.”

Guardian
Jo Swinson has told voters that the Conservatives and Labour are “gambling with your future” over Brexit, as she launched a Liberal Democrat manifesto featuring significant spending and investment pledges, financed by what the party says would be an economic boost from staying in the EU. Speaking at a launch event in a nightclub in north London, Swinson sought to present the Lib Dems as a clear alternative to the two main parties with a promise of more than £60bn extra spending a year in the next parliament, focused on areas such as schools, mental health and childcare.

Bercow

Times
John Bercow cancelled an interview with the BBC after producers refused to accept his demands that he would not be asked questions about allegations that he had bullied staff. Mr Bercow’s agent from JLA, the corporate speaking agency, tried to set restrictions on questions before an interview with Hardtalk, on the BBC World News channel. An email obtained by Buzzfeed News said: “I have only one comment about the proposed subject matter.

Buzzfeed
Former House of Commons speaker John Bercow cancelled a sit-down interview with the BBC after producers refused his demand for written assurances that the interviewer wouldn’t ask questions about allegations he bullied his staff. According to emails seen by BuzzFeed News, Bercow’s agent from the corporate speaking company JLA attempted to set restrictions on the questions a day before the former speaker was due to sit down with the BBC News Channel’s feature interview programme “HardTalk”, presented by Stephen Sackur.

EU

Telegraph
The European Central Bank has admitted that its own record-low interest rates are destroying banks’ profits and pose a “key” threat to the ailing region’s financial stability. Profitability in the eurozone’s banking industry has fallen further, the organisation (ECB) warned in its financial stability report, as negative rates squeeze savers across the eurozone and make it impossible for them to earn inflation-beating returns.

NHS

Independent
Voters are now more likely to base their vote on the state of the NHS than they are about Brexit with less than a month to go before election day, a new poll has found. In a major boost for Labour the long-running Ipsos MORI tracker recorded large jumps in concern about the NHS and public services generally over recent weeks. The NHS is now solidly ahead of Brexit as a concern, with 60 per cent of voters citing the issue in the poll conducted 15-18 November, up 6 per cent compared to a similar poll conducted 8-11 November.

Social care

Guardian
At least 74,000 older people in England have died, or will die, waiting for care between the 2017 and 2019 general elections. A total of 81 older people are dying every day, equating to about three an hour, research by Age UK has found. In the 18 months between the last election and the forthcoming one, 1,725,000 unanswered calls for help for care and support will have been made by older people.

HS2

ITV News
Boris Johnson said he wants to reduce the bill for HS2 but that he would “hesitate before simply scrapping” the rail project. The prime minister said the government would check the money invested in the multi-billion pound scheme was being spent efficiently, before simply cancelling the project. Mr Johnson told reporters: “You have to look at the size of the bill – it’s huge. “You have to consider whether the thick end of £100 billion is being properly spent.

iNews
High Speed 2 rail could be cancelled if the Conservatives are re-elected, Boris Johnson said. The Prime Minister suggested the “huge” bill must be reduced if the project is to go ahead. But he admitted his “instincts” would be to support the infrastructure plan. On taking office, Mr Johnson ordered a review into HS2 which would help decide whether or not to cancel it. The rail line, which would run from London to Birmingham and then to Manchester and Leeds, is controversial among Tory MPs.

Air travel

Mail
Thousands of British Airways passengers are stranded this morning after a computer system crash left planes unable to take off. Flights across the Atlantic from the US, Canada and Mexico appeared worst-hit, with the Heathrow arrivals board showing almost all inbound planes delayed by several hours. BA said a ‘small number’ of flights were affected, however passengers from airports between Cancun in Mexico and Chicago are complaining they have been stuck on the ground and receiving little information from staff.

Education

Times
One million students face disruption next week as more than 43,000 tutors and staff start an eight-day strike. The action at 60 universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, is a rerun of last spring’s and could last until April. Third-year undergraduates will have had the disruption twice and those on modular courses will be badly hit because it will coincide with deadlines for this term’s assessments.

Mail
Up to a million students face chaos from Monday when university staff begin an eight-day strike over pay and pensions. Lectures will be cancelled at 60 universities and key segments of courses will be lost as academics refuse to reschedule. Students will also be denied tutorials and revision sessions at a time when many are working on end-of-term essays and preparing for January exams.

Maternity

Telegraph
The head of the hospital which had what is likely to be the NHS’ worst ever maternity scandal said families seeking answers were full of “venom,” leaked emails reveal. The disclosures came as more families came forward to say they had suffered harm at the hands of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS trust. On Tuesday, a leaked report revealed that a “toxic” culture saw the death of 45 mothers and babies, with more than 50 children suffering brain damage linked to alleged failings in care.

Andrew

Telegraph
The Duke of York is preparing to give formal evidence to a US criminal investigation into the disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, The Telegraph can disclose. In an unprecedented move, the Duke announced on Wednesday evening that he was stepping back from public life in the wake of a BBC interview over his friendship with Epstein that backfired in spectacular fashion.

Times
The Duke of York has stepped down from public duties after crisis talks with the Queen and the Prince of Wales following his television interview over his relationship with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew said he was withdrawing from his official life because the controversy had become “a major disruption” to the work of the royal family. The duke’s decision to become the first member of the royal family to in effect resign from duty because of his growing unpopularity came after he talked with the Queen, Prince Charles, who is on tour in New Zealand, and other family members.

Sun
THE Queen put on a brave face tonight after ­summoning sex scandal-hit Prince Andrew to Buckingham Palace to strip him of all royal duties. Her Majesty’s extraordinary intervention this afternoon came following intense lobbying from Prince Charles. The Duke of York, under fire after claims he bedded a 17-year-old and for his friendship with ­billionaire US paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, will conduct no royal or public duties and will step back from all patronages.

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