Oldham by-election

The Telegraph claims UKIP leader Nigel Farage will urge Tory voters to ‘lend’ him their vote to defeat Labour.

Nigel Farage will urge Conservative supporters to “lend” him their votes in order to defeat Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party at a key by-election this week.

New polling suggests the UK Independence Party has dramatically cut Labour’s lead in the previously safe seat of Oldham West and Royton, which became vacant when the former minister Michael Meacher died last month.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Farage, the Ukip leader, said the contest was now so “close” that he would be throwing all the party’s available campaign resources at winning, in the final few days before Thursday’s vote.

Labour sources fear that they could lose if Ukip’s surge continues – and defeat would intensify pressure on Mr Corbyn’s already embattled leadership.

According to both Labour and Ukip insiders, the Labour leader’s opposition to a “shoot-to-kill” policy against terrorist gunmen in the aftermath of the Paris attacks has been particularly damaging to Labour’s standing in the constituency.

Europe

A suggestion that the UK should cede its place on the Security Council to the EU has provoked outrage, claims the Express.

BRITAIN and France are being pressured to give up their seats on the UN Security Council and hand them over to the EU instead.

The “preposterously impertinent” declaration from the European Parliament followed a vote by MEPs last week that saw nearly 500 of them declare that the UK and France do not represent European views enough to warrant their place.

It comes as Eurocrats try to bolster the EU’s position as a global player amid criticisms that the Paris terror attacks and the migrant crisis prove that the open borders is a failing concept.

It also emerged that Europeans face having their fingerprints checked every time they travel to Britain under new security proposals confirmed by the Home Office.

Paris attacks

Defence secretary Michael Fallon has warned that similar attacks could happen in the UK, reports Sky News.

The terror attacks in Paris could “easily” happen in London, the Defence Secretary has warned and insisted the only way to deal with Islamic State extremists was by force.

Michael Fallon said the threat to Britain from the militants, also known as ISIL, was as “potent” in the UK as it was in the French capital where 130 people were killed in the recent massacre.

While the security forces were working hard to tackle the terror risk, an attack like that in Paris and the threat in Brussels that sparked a security lockdown, could not be ruled out in the UK’s major cities, Mr Fallon told the Sunday Telegraph.

He said: “What happened in Paris and Brussels could easily happen in London.”

Mr Fallon added: “The threat from ISIL is as potent here as it was real in Paris and Brussels.”

The BBC also reports the Defence Secretary’s comments.

Paris-style attacks could “easily” happen in UK cities such as London, Manchester or Glasgow, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has warned.

Mr Fallon stepped up efforts to win MPs’ backing for air strikes against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria.

In a Sunday Telegraph interview, he said IS could only be beaten by force.

But he admitted it would be harder to get the support of the Commons if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to vote against air strikes.

BBC political correspondent Carole Walker said Mr Fallon had been encouraged by his conversations with Labour MPs over the weekend, with many suggesting they would vote on the merits of any government motion whatever the party line.

A government source had said a vote in the Commons this week looked increasingly likely, she added.

ITV has the same story.

A Paris-style attack could “easily” happen in London or other major UK cities, Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, has warned.

Mr Fallon told The Sunday Telegraph that security forces in the UK are working hard to combat the terrorist threat, but said an attack like that seen in Paris, in which 130 people were killed, cannot be ruled out.

“What happened in Paris and Brussels could easily happen in London,” he told the paper.

“The threat from Isil [also known as Isis] is as potent here as it was real in Paris and Brussels.”

He also said that the way to deal with jihadists from Isis, the so-called Islamic State group, would only be defeated by force.

The defence secretary’s comments come as divisions widen between senior Labour MPs and their leader over possible airstrikes on Syria.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made clear he cannot support RAF air strikes in Syria.

His party members want a free vote on the issue if it is brought before parliament by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Airstrikes

John McDonnell, Labour’s no. 2 in Parliament, is calling for a free vote on Isis airstrikes, reports the Guardian.

MPs should use their own judgment on whether to support airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, the shadow chancellor has said in the latest sign the Labour leadership will allow a free vote on the issue.

John McDonnell, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, denied the party was divided over the issue, saying many were struggling to get used to the new politics where people could “honestly express their views”.

But he went on to endorse the idea of giving Labour MPs a free vote, adding that the “horrendous mistake” of the Iraq war had been partly due to MPs being “whipped and threatened and pushed” into supporting “something many of them did not believe in”.

McDonnell said on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions: “I don’t believe that is acceptable. There are some issues, like going to war, that should be above party politics, and I think we are moving to a situation where, hopefully, in all parties on issues like this, a moral conscience should be above the whip as well.

“On certain issues, the ones really above party politics, we have got to have mature politics in our democracy now. This is a matter of conscience. You are sending people out possibly to die. There shouldn’t be any party discipline on matters like this. You should follow your own judgment on what you think is best for the constituency and the country.”

Scotland

Scottish Secretary David Mundell claims that even talking about a second referendum will damage Scotland’s economy, says the Independent.

Scotland’s economy will be badly damaged if the SNP keeps talking up the chances of a second independence referendum, the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, has claimed.

Mr Mundell, who is the only Conservative MP in Scotland, said the SNP should learn from problems seen in Quebec. He said the province had suffered after a plebiscite in 1980, when nearly 60 per cent of voters decided to remain part of Canada, which was followed by years of speculation over another poll that eventually followed, with the same result, in 1995.

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has irritated her most nationalist supporters by saying there will not be an immediate re-run. But independence remains her ultimate ambition: she argues a second referendum is likely should there be “a fundamental change of circumstances”, such the UK voting to leave the EU, or there is “a strong indication” that the no voters have changed their minds.

Tory scandal

The Mail reports that following the resignation of Grant Shapps, attention is now turning to the party chairman Lord Feldman.

Conservative Party chairman Lord Feldman was fighting for his political life last night after Grant Shapps was forced to resign over the ‘Tatler Tory’ scandal.

Baroness Emma Pidding was also in the firing line as pressure mounted over the party’s failure to control sex pest and bully Mark Clarke. She has long been a vocal cheerleader of the disgraced aide.

Friends of Feldman say he is terrified the row will force him to follow Shapps and quit the Government. Speaking days before Shapps’s dramatic exit as International Development Minister yesterday, the peer told a close friend: ‘My life has been a nightmare in the last two months.’

Feldman’s ‘nightmare’ started on September 15 when Tory activist Elliott Johnson took his own life after being bullied by Clarke. The pressure grew as this newspaper established that:

  • Feldman’s officials launched an inquiry to find out whether Baroness Pidding – who is accused of leaking to Clarke the names of his accusers – had an improper relationship with the shamed aide.
  • Feldman banned married Clarke and his mistress, Tory aide India Brummitt, from an Election night VIP bash because he was ‘horrified’ by their conduct – but weeks later still gave Clarke a new top Tory job.
  • Mr Johnson sobbed after being assaulted by Clarke in a pub, and blamed Feldman for failing to curb the activist.
  • Feldman was surprised by how many people were caught up in the scandal, telling one friend: ‘Every time I open The Mail on Sunday ten more crawl out of the woodwork’.

Sham weddings

The Express claims an exclusive by reporting that Immigration officers raiding SEVEN sham weddings a day.

IMMIGRATION officers are raiding almost seven “sham weddings” a day as the number of people arrested over bogus ceremonies has doubled for the second year in a row.

Statistics reveal that despite raiding more and more ceremonies officials are in danger of being swamped by a huge rise in bogus unions.

Last year there were a total of 3,210 reports from registrars concerned they were being asked to preside over a marriage of convenience.

The number of these suspicious marriages reported by officials is almost double the number it was just three years ago.

Critics of the current system say criminal immigrants are making a mockery of our legal system by tying the knot in fake marriages so they can legally live and work in the UK.

Muslim threat

The Express reports a backlash against ISIS by a group claiming to be Christians and threatening to kill Muslims.

A MENACING group who use “similar terminology” as Islamic State (ISIS) militants has sent a chilling letter threatening to kill Muslims.

The terrifying threat was sent to a mosque by a previously unheard of group who call themselves the ‘Christian State’.

It warned “no mosque and none of your businesses will be safe” as it threatened that “brothers [Muslims] will be slaughtered like pigs and crucified as our Lord converts their souls”.

The document was delivered to the Attadamoune Mosque in Molenbeek, Belgium, and found by Jamal Habbachich, one of the areas Muslim leaders and president of a local mosque association.

The mosque is considered a key Muslim institute in Molenbeek, an area which was thrust into international spotlight after it was reported that it may have been the place where the Paris attacks were orchestrated.

Migrant crisis

Gulf States should take more migrants, says the French Prime Minister, reports Breitbart.

The French Prime Minister has called on the Arab Gulf States to take in Syrian refugees, warning that a “humanitarian disaster” could erupt in the Balkans if Europe is not able to gain control of her borders.

“I’ll say it again, Europe cannot accept all the refugees coming from Syria. That’s why we need a diplomatic, military and political solution in Syria,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday evening, according to The Local.

“Every country must play its part; I’m thinking particularly of the Gulf States,” he added.

Of the more than four million Syrians who have fled their country since civil war broke out four years ago, the vast majority have taken refuge in neighbouring countries, either assimilating into local populations or sheltering in refugee camps.

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