The Telegraph leads with “Health Service care watchdog head warns of ‘alarming’ culture”. This opens by saying:

The NHS will “go bust” without radical change to drive up standards and rid hospitals of a “toxic” bullying culture that damages patient care, the head of its official regulator has warned.

David Prior, the chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), says the safety of the most vulnerable patients is being jeopardised by a “dysfunctional” rift between NHS managers and clinical staff.

The Guardian also covers this story. The People (Mirror) covers one of root causes of the financial difficulties with a story on “Fatcats making millions from NHS by charging up to £1,000 a shift for agency doctors and nurses.” This claims that:

Private firms that supply agency nurses to understaffed hospitals have pocketed millions in profits over the past year. They have netted record sums by offering nurses to wards that need staff at the last minute to stay open.

Many hospitals had been forced to axe hundreds of their own workers under the Tories’ shake-up. Some bosses behind the firms are earning around £2million a year. They are charging up to £1,000 to supply a doctor, nurse, midwife or specialist for a single shift, but the worker often pockets just £300 of that. Adverts yesterday were offering agency nurses £25 to £45 an hour.


The Telegraph reveals there is a “Home Office dossier on abuse and fraud by EU migrants”. The facts of the case are summarised thus:

Migrants from the European Union are defrauding Britain of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money through false welfare claims, sham marriages and organised crime, according to a secret government dossier.

The unpublished Home Office report details for the first time the full scale of documented abuse of the EU’s immigration rules and the depth of ministers’ concerns over the impact on Britain.

The same paper also has a leader from the insightful British-American Janet Daley titled: Fudge is more of a threat than Dominic Raab’s rebellion over the MPs attempt to get foreign criminals deported. She goes right to the nub of it:

Here and, as it happens, in the United States, there is quite unprecedented public alienation from the democratic process itself and the institutions that have traditionally been seen as the mainstays of liberty and national identity.

The political cynicism that has become epidemic in both countries centres on the notion that the voice of real people is routinely ignored by professional politicians

The Mail on Sunday also has a story reporting that “A foreign criminal applies for asylum in Britain EVERY DAY: More than 800 convicts applied for residency in the past two years despite having offences to their name” The opening detail on this is:

One foreign criminal applies for asylum in Britain every day – raising concern that convicts from overseas are trying to take advantage of the system. More than 800 crooks applied for residency in this country over the last two years, despite committing offences either in this country or abroad.

The statistics released by the Home Office show how convicts from overseas are looking for refuge in this country by taking advantage of human rights laws.


The Independent leads with “Battered Britain: More wet weather… and still no sign of leadership” This is turning more from a freak weather story into a political story of incompetence in the Environment Agency:

The PM promised dredging just hours after his Environment Secretary and the Environment Agency said it wasn’t necessary while troops were pledged seemingly without any consultation with the council. Those facing flooded homes lost business, had lengthy journeys to work and school deserve better,” she said.

Ian Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater, who spent yesterday at the Somerset Levels, speaking to what he called “scared” residents, took aim squarely at the Environment Agency, saying that officials at the top of the organisation were “idiotic” and that they needed to sanction £5m for river dredging, a process that he said would help with the flooding.

The floods are also covered by most papers: Telegraph and Express for example.


The dispute over Baroness Morgan is turning into a real pot calling kettle black story with the headline Lib Dem fury at Tory plan to ‘politicise’ classrooms in the Independent which says:

Baroness Morgan of Huyton has been forced to step aside by Mr Gove, and there were rumours sweeping Whitehall last night that he wants to impose a Conservative donor in her place ahead of the 2015 election.

David Laws, the Lib Dem Schools minister who was previously close to Mr Gove, let it be known that he is “absolutely furious at the blatant attempts by the Tories to politicise Ofsted”. Lady Morgan also expressed anger at her sacking, accusing Downing Street of being involved in a party-political attempt to oust her.

Most other papers cover it with different takes including the Telegraph and Guardian.


The Independent also covers the effects of cutting council tax benefits with “‘Poll tax mark II’ pushes Britain’s poorest into debt” which reports:

The country’s poorest people, who qualify for means-tested council tax benefit, have seen their annual bills rise after the Government imposed a 10 per cent reduction in funding for the handout last April.

New figures revealed by Freedom of Information requests show that 400,000 people have had liability orders imposed by the courts, while 70,000 of these have had letters from bailiffs.

The Express digs further into the benefits issue with its story “Beyond Benefits Street: Ghettos with 70% unemployment and no future.”

A detailed analysis of every street in England and Wales broke down neighbourhoods into areas of about 1,500 people. These 35,000 areas were then cross-referenced with benefit claim statistics to identify the nation’s most “workless” areas.

…the most startling figures came from an area of Blackburn where 71.9 per cent of the working-age population claims benefits. According to the data, 730 of the 1,015 potential workforce in a neighbourhood known as The Wrangling sit idle. More than half of the jobless are on incapacity-style benefits because they are unable to work, while the area is home to more than 50 jobless single mothers.

Last night one local politician described the findings as “frightening”,


The Observer reports that a right-wing think tank has proposed to “Stop rich overseas investors from buying up UK homes.” This says:

Radical plans to stop rich overseas residents who live outside the EU buying British houses – as well as tight restrictions on them acquiring “newbuild” properties as investments – will be published in a report by a leading rightwing thinktank on Monday.

Free-market organisation Civitas castigates government ministers for allowing wealthy foreign investors to stoke a property boom that it says is driving up prices and locking millions of UK citizens out of the housing market.

Opinion Polls

The Observer/Opinium poll is reported with “Labour lead hits seven points as Tories slip to 29% and Ukip holds steady” the nub of which is:

Labour has a seven-point lead over the Tories, with Ukip continuing to hold on to a strong level of support, according to the latest Opinium/Observer poll.

Ed Miliband’s party is unchanged on 36%, compared with a fortnight ago, while the Tories are down 1 percentage point on 29%. Ukip and the Liberal Democrats are also both unchanged on 17% and 8% respectively.


Interesting that it is The Observer reporting on a poll by ConservativeHome which showed that a Ukip pact is backed by nearly half of Conservative activists. This reports:

Almost half of Conservative activists now want David Cameron to forge some sort of pact with Ukip before the 2015 general election, in a sign of mounting nervousness over the threat they face from Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party.

A poll of more than 1,000 activists taken by the ConservativeHome website and obtained by the Observer found that 41% favour a pact, while 54% reject the idea. The number in favour has risen by 7% compared with last May, when the same questions were last asked.

UKIP’s answer has already been shown with a number of branch ballots strongly against any form of pact.


The Mail on Sunday highlights a case where a “Magistrate attacks soft touch justice system that allows criminals to walk free with a ‘slapped wrist’ after burglars ransack his home

A magistrate has warned that Britain’s ‘soft touch’ justice system will turn householders into vigilantes after his own home was torn apart by burglars. Abid Sharif, 36, said ‘every man should have the right to defend his castle’ after he returned home from picking up a pair of airline tickets to discover it had been broken into, trashed and looted of valuables including his wedding ring.

Labour and the Unions

The Express reports that “Trade Union reforms to cost Labour £5million” over this change:

Under Labour’s current electoral college system, MPs and MEPs get a third of the votes to select a new leader, trade unions get a third and party members another third.

The reforms will see party decisions taken on a one-member, one-vote basis, which Mr Miliband says is “completing unfinished business from the past 20 years and creating a One Nation Labour Party”.

Dan Hodges in the Telegraph also observes on this, and The Observer also runs the story, costed at £4 million.

Champagne Socialists

And we’ll end with a beauty from the Mirror on how shamed banker Paul Flowers ‘is planning to become £5,000-a-time after dinner speaker

He hopes for fees of up to £5,000 to tell business conferences about his lurid life as a vicar who blew a fortune on rent boys.  A friend told the Sunday People: “He always gave amazing sermons and people will pay a lot to hear him talk of his troubles.”

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