Cameron will fight to stay in Europe
The Sunday Express reports on an exclusive interview with David Cameron in which he is quoted as saying UKIP wants to give up on our membership of the EU but he will fight to continue membership of the EU.
With polls showing Ukip’s ‘out of Europe’ message in front at 38 per cent, Labour’s ‘stay in and don’t change anything’ plan second with 27 per cent and the Tories’ ‘stay in but change things’ at 18 per cent, Mr Cameron conceded the Euro elections would be tough. Throwing down the gauntlet to Brussels, he said: ‘Other members do not want to see us leave because we bring an enormous amount to the EU. ‘I’m saying to them that if you want Britain to stay, there are changes we are going to have to make because, frankly, consent for membership of this organisation is wafer thin.
Mr Farage is also running neck-and-neck with Labour leader Ed Miliband on 21% as the leader most in touch with ordinary people.
Tory plot into £5bn deal to be probed
The Mail on Sunday reports on a probe into disgraced Conservatives Iain Corby and Tony Caplin who aimed to cash into a huge investment project.
A senior Tory MP is to study a dossier of secret emails in an investigation into a £5 billion deal plotted by two disgraced Conservatives on the public payroll. The inquiry has been ordered by former Tory Minister Henry Bellingham, who is responsible for the Policy Research Unit (PRU), which advises Conservative MPs and is funded by their Parliamentary expenses. Mr Bellingham acted after The Mail on Sunday revealed PRU boss Iain Corby emailed Tony Caplin, a crony of David Cameron, from his official Parliamentary account, suggesting they could both make money from a £5 billion investment project. Iain Corby and Tony Caplin are accused of suggesting they could make money from a £5bn government deal. Mr Corby, who ran the PRU for six years, was fired on the orders of No 10 last month after claims he was guilty of misconduct over a sex texts scandal. Mr Caplin was sacked as the head of a £60 billion Treasury quango after a separate investigation by this newspaper revealed how the Prime Minister gave him the job despite the fact he had been declared bankrupt for not paying his taxes.
‘Islamification’ of schools identified
The takeover of schools by Muslim extremists continues to make the news. The Sunday Telegraph reports that six Birmingham schools face Ofsted special measures for favouring Islamic pupils.
The six schools are implicated in the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by extremists to ‘Islamise’ secular state education in Birmingham which has allegedly seen the illegal segregation of pupils and discrimination against non-Muslim pupils. The Telegraph understands the six will be rated ‘inadequate’ by the schools inspectorate after a series of snap inspections over the past few weeks. The label usually leads to ‘special measures’, which in turn give Ofsted the power to remove senior managers or even close the schools.
Pension pots plundered
The Sunday Express reports on a row which could drain workers’ retirement savings.
Anger erupted last night after a new Brussels tax that threatens to ravage pensions was given the green light by European Union judges. The European Court of Justice rejected a legal challenge by Chancellor George Osborne against the proposed financial transaction tax on share and bond deals. The ruling effectively gave the go-ahead to the levy that City experts fear could wipe £3.6billion from British firms and dramatically shrink private pension pots. Chris Cummings, chief executive of financial services industry campaign group City UK, branded it a ‘tax on savings’ and a ‘disincentive’ to save. Mr Osborne was seeking to halt plans for the tax proposed by 11 eurozone countries including France and Germany and claimed it would breach EU single market rules. But the Strasbourg-based court, the EU’s highest, dismissed his challenge as ‘premature’ because the tax had not yet been launched. Critics of the ruling included Tory London mayor Boris Johnson who said rival financial centres would be ‘licking their lips’ at the prospect of taking trade away from the City.
The Guardian reports that food and drink are being targeted by criminal gangs who create counterfeit goods and pass them off as the genuine article.
A rise in criminal targeting of the food and drink sector is being blamed on the huge mark-ups that can be made by passing off inferior products as premium goods, coupled with the fact that there is little oversight and lenient penalties for those caught. Concerns about the role organised crime is playing in the endemic diluting of virgin olive oil has seen the UK government appoint a specialist testing company to establish if the grade declared on the label is genuine. Olive oil is recognised by the EU committee on the environment, public health and food safety as the product most at risk of fraud by gangs, in particular Italian crime syndicates. Other foods attracting the interest of organised crime, according to the committee, include fish, milk, honey and rare spices such as saffron.
You vill get fit
Labour plans to force residents to increase their fitness levels by cutting drinking, smoking and eating unhealthy foods, reports the Mail on Sunday.
In a move that could also hit sponsorship of sporting events, the party is planning to stop smoking in cars in which children are riding, ban supermarkets from putting sweets near the checkouts and get the adult population to take more exercise. Leaked documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday show the Labour leader is proposing sweeping new laws to force people to live healthier lives if he wins next year’s General Election. They include banning cheap beer and wine, flying in the face of Mr Miliband’s campaign to cut the cost of living. And it will mean tough new curbs on food and drinks firms, television and sport – which would lose £300 million from the outlawing of alcohol sponsorship. Labour leader Ed Miliband is working on the plan which will dramatically change society by restricting what can be sold in shops. He believes his policies will be a vote-winner in an increasingly health-conscious nation.
A Scottish ‘yes’ vote?
Mail on Sunday’s columnist Allan Massie comments on the likely scenarios following a Scottish vote for independence in September.
In the steely grey of dawn, a bitter wind clatters empty beer cans through Edinburgh’s New Town, where a few brave souls remain outside Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence in Charlotte Square. They have come to see history made. The first results, seeming to show the Scottish nationalists sweeping all before them, had prompted wild street celebrations. But, agonisingly, Scotland, England and this clutch of Tartan diehards are forced to wait. Results from Orkney and Shetland and other outlying constituencies won’t be in until the afternoon. Exit polls say the result is on a knife edge. What could be: If the Scottish vote yes in the September referendum, it spells the end of the United Kingdom and Great Britain and the Union Flag will be no more ‘Too close to call,’ was the last phrase David Cameron heard before snatching a few hours sleep. Nothing has changed. The shirtsleeved Prime Minister leans, head in hands, on the kitchen table. There’s an awkward silence. Everyone knows the PM has made mistakes. He’d never wanted a TV debate with Alex Salmond.