Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is featured in many of the media.  The Guardian claims his critics fear for their jobs following the party’s win in the recent by-election.

The shadow cabinet is bracing itself for a “revenge reshuffle” in the aftermath of Labour’s victory in the Oldham by-election, with key senior figures voicing fears they will be sacrificed by Jeremy Corbyn to kill dissent.

Labour’s surprisingly emphatic win on Thursday has given Corbyn and his supporters renewed confidence, leaving some of his most high-ranking critics in the party uneasy about their futures. One shadow cabinet minister told friends: “I am expecting a busy Christmas, and a very quiet new year.”

Sources at the top of the party said there were fears that an emboldened Corbyn would now try to stamp his authority on the party and “pick off” dissenters. Frontbenchers have already been emailed with a reminder of their duty to respect the leadership’s wishes, it is understood. Corbyn’s office has also made it clear to the shadow cabinet that they “know who has been briefing” against the leader.

Meanwhile, in a sign of continuing tension following a tumultuous past week that saw the party split over airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria only to bounce back in the by-election, senior figures say chief whip Rosie Winterton is coming in for most private criticism from Corbyn allies.

Shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher, shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker and shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle are also considered vulnerable if Corbyn makes changes. Sources close to the leadership suggested that they believed Corbyn would conduct a reshuffle in the new year, having allowed sufficient time to elapse from last week’s row over Syria, in order to avoid deepening divisions.

And his allies claim some MPs are lying about the elderly leader’s health, says the Express.

JEREMY Corbyn’s allies have sensationally accused Labour MPs of “spreading lies” about the embattled leader’s health.

Mr Corbyn has come under huge criticism from Labour’s moderate wing since replacing election flop Ed Miliband just three months ago.

And the veteran socialist has reportedly been forced to deny he is set to quit – despite a series of “smears” about his health.

Sources “categorically” denied the allegation that the 66-year-old briefly “passed out” under stress in his office.

A member of the Shadow Cabinet said anti-Corbyn MPs were “prepared to spread lies about Jeremy’s health in order to assist them in their aim” of destroying his leadership.

He added: “You can’t get much lower than spreading lies about someone’s health to undermine them and their ideas.

“It’s about time Labour MPs showed respect, not only to the elected leader but to the members of the Labour Party and also to the people around them.”

Last week Mr Corbyn gave in to demands by his MPs to offer them a free vote on British bombing raids on Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

The anti-war campaigner initially claimed he would choose the party’s position, saying: “It’s the leader who decides.”

But he backed down after a two-hour Shadow Cabinet meeting – with the likes of deputy leader Tom Watson and shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn backing airstrikes.

The story is also in the Independent.

Labour’s increasingly bitter civil war has deepened after allies of Jeremy Corbyn accused MPs of “spreading lies” about the 66-year-old’s health in an attempt to destabilise his leadership.

After a week of acrimony over the decision to authorise air strikes on Syria, Mr Corbyn emerged emboldened after Labour won a resounding victory in the Oldham by-election on Thursday.

But The Independent on Sunday can reveal that Mr Corbyn’s team has been left incensed by continuing attacks on his leadership by moderate Labour MPs and has decided to break its silence on the abuse.

Sources close to the Labour leader have revealed that he has been forced to reassure MPs in private that he is not going to quit after being made aware of “smears” circulating Parliament about his fitness for the job – including the “categorically untrue” allegation that he briefly “passed out” under stress in his office last month.

The Telegraph claims Corbyn is about to sack those members of the shadow cabinet who disagree with his anti-war policies.

Jeremy Corbyn’s close associates are secretly planning to purge the shadow cabinet of moderate MPs who disagree with his radical, anti-war policies, as he seeks to impose his will on the Labour Party.

In the aftermath of the Commons vote on bombing Syria last week, allies of the Labour leader warned that he would reshuffle his senior team to remove his enemies from positions of power.

The clear-out of the moderates could come as soon as next month, in a New Year reshuffle, as part of a four-pronged strategy to strengthen the Labour leader’s grip on his MPs.

Critics warned the leadership’s revenge mission would lead to “permanent war” inside Labour.

One moderate front-bench MP said: “We are on a war footing now. We know they are coming for us and we’re ready for them.”

Mr Corbyn was offered some respite on Friday when Labour held the seat of Oldham West and Royton at a by-election, with an increased share of the vote.

But his aides and allies have vowed to act after he suffered a damaging revolt from 66 Labour MPs who defied his call to oppose air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, voting instead with the Tories to back military action.

Brexit

In other news, the Express claims Eurosceptics want Boris Johnson to back Brexit.

A EUROSCEPTIC campaign group has hit back at David Cameron, saying they would rather have Boris Johnson on their side.

The Prime Minister has reportedly admitted he will join the ‘leave’ campaign if he fails to secure reforms of Britain’s membership of the European Union.

His proposals to set up a new welfare system for EU migrants has been knocked down by a string of Brussels officials – with one claiming it “breaches” EU principles.

Failure to secure the welfare reform could see Mr Cameron reverse his opinion and support leaving the Union, according to insiders.

But the group Vote Leave, who are campaigning for a ’Brexit’ in the upcoming referendum, blasted Mr Cameron and said they would prefer the backing of London’s mayor.

A senior source at the group said: “If Cameron thinks we’d want him leading the “leave” campaign he’s deluded. He’s toxic on this issue and he would undermine the campaign.

“No one believes him on the EU any more. If there was a choice between who to put up in a television debate between Cameron and Boris, you’d want Boris every time.”

Mr Johnson has been approached by officials from both pro- and anti-EU groups, but is yet to reveal which side he is on.

He still has six months left in his role as the Mayor of London – but the support will add strength to his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

A poll in October suggested Mr Johnson is currently the people’s popular choice for future leader, with Theresa May an George Osbourne lagging behind.

Last month student Vote Leave supporters shouted down Mr Cameron during a speech just last month.

The conference was ground to a halt while the Prime Minister accused one protestor of making “a fool of yourself”.

Jihadis’ attacks on Britain

The Star claims security services are looking for white jihadis who are plotting attacks on Britain.

SPOOKS reckon up to 10 Islamic State terrorist cells that include a large number of white jihadi converts are planning to carry out attacks in Britain.

The terrorist group is believed to have established so called “active-service units” in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, Luton and Leicester.

Several of the cells are believed to be exclusively manned by white Christian converts to Islam, who were trained by terrorists in Syria and Iraq.

The Prime Minister has been warned that the IS cells may strike at any time but an attack before or during the Christmas period is now highly likely.

Armed police units across the country have been placed on high alert, while MI5 is now working 24/7 monitoring the activities of suspected Jihadis.

The SAS’s counter-terrorist team has also be told that it troops can “shoot to kill” if they encounter armed terrorists or suicide bombers.

Army bomb disposal teams have also been placed on “immediate notice to move”.

The Prime Minister was warned last week during a National Security Council briefing that an attack before Christmas was likely if the House of Commons voted for air strikes against Syria.

Intelligence sources have said that the terror plots could range from very basic, such as lone wolf attacks like the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, to highly sophisticated gun and bomb operations Spooks have also warned the cabinet that suicide attacks using home made and commercial grade explosives are probable.

Referendum

The Independent reports that the House of Lords could prevent the Prime Minister holding the Remain/Leave referendum next summer.

Labour and Liberal Democrat peers are refusing to drop their plans to give 16- and 17-year-olds the vote, despite warnings it could scupper the prospect of David Cameron holding an EU referendum in the summer.

The Government is expected to set up a fresh showdown with the  House of Lords this week by throwing out an upper house amendment to the EU Referendum Bill which would lower the voting age to 16.

But peers have vowed to defy the Government and reinstate the controversial amendment when it returns to the upper house.

The constitutional face-off threatens to leave the Bill in limbo, delaying the point at which Mr Cameron could call a vote.

It comes after the Prime Minister was forced to admit that he will not be able to strike a deal on his EU reform plan at this month’s summit of European leaders. The European Council President, Donald Tusk, claimed this would “pave the way for a deal in February”, giving Mr Cameron just enough time to call a vote for the summer.

The Prime Minister has promised an in/out vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union by the end of 2017, but he is widely expected to move more quickly.

If Mr Cameron strikes a deal in February and calls an election immediately, anti-EU campaigners believe the vote could take place as early as Thursday 14 July. This is because a date for the referendum would take six weeks to be signed off by Parliament, followed by at least 10 weeks of campaigning. However, the date could still be delayed by the House of Lords’ refusal to drop plans to extend the franchise.

Before  the expected showdown, the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has cleared space in the Commons diary for a vote on Tuesday, in which MPs are expected to kick out the Lords’ amendment. It had been suggested that some Tory Eurosceptics are prepared to back the peers’ amendment in an attempt to delay the referendum even further.

European Court of Justice

Despite Britain’s opposition to extra judges in the European Court of Justice, we will still have to pay a million pounds for more to be appointed, reports the Mail.

Britain must pay £1 million to double the number of judges at a European court in another blow to David Cameron’s hopes of reining in the EU.

The UK had tried to block the ‘disproportionate’ plan to increase the number of judges at the European Court of Justice’s General Court from 28 to 56 over the next four years.

Ministers argued there was no need to put so many more judges – who are each paid £158,000 a year – on the bench in Luxembourg to deal with a backlog of cases.

But Britain was left isolated at a meeting of the European Council last Thursday as the only country to vote against the plan – which will begin to come into force next month.

It will cost £9.7 million a year overall to pay for the extra judges, with the UK contributing £935,750 towards this. It is not yet clear if the cash will come from Britain’s existing contribution to the court as ministers hope, or if it will require extra funding.

And Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash said last night: ‘This vast increase in the number of judges is because the system is out of control, far too complex and undemocratic.

‘Our Government doesn’t have the will to stop the system, and when we are working with the system we have no influence.’

A Foreign Office spokesman told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This decision to double the number of judges is disproportionate, which is why we’ve been arguing against the proposal.’

The European Council said there were an ‘unprecedented’ 1,270 pending cases before the General Court in November, up from just 600 in 2010.

It said the plans would save money in the long run, as there are outstanding damages claims worth £19.3 million from those who say their judgments have been delayed.

French election

The Mail reports that following the attacks in Paris, nationalists are on course for massive gains in today’s regional elections.

France’s far right National Front party is expected to make huge gains in Sunday’s regional elections after seizing upon the Paris terror attacks and Europe’s migrant crisis.

The anti immigration, anti EU party will lead the first round of votes in six out of 13 regions, a survey by Ipsos pollsters predicted.

National Front, which does not currently govern any regions, has become increasingly popular since controversial politician Marine Le Pen, 47, took over as leader from her father in 2011.

Every party that attracts at least 10 per cent of votes on Sunday will qualify for the ‘run off’ elections on December 13.

While National Front does not govern any regions currently, several opinion polls have predicted they will win at least one, maybe more, by the run offs on December 13.

Many opinion polls see them as show them as making the run offs in most regions, along with the Republicans and Socialists.

‘What was once a ceiling for FN [National Front] votes has become a floor after Charlie [Hebdo attacks], said Jerome Fourquet, an analyst for pollster Ifop.

He added: ‘The FN building is getting taller and taller now thanks to the migrant crisis and the terrorist attacks.

‘Everything is adding up for the National Front to make an unprecedented score.’

If three parties all contest the second round, National Front is predicted to win the north and south east, and possibly two or three more regions.

It means President Francois Hollande’s party, who govern most regions as well as the nation, may be ousted.

Le Pen is predicted to win in northern France while her niece Marion has a ‘good chance’ of taking over the south eastern region.

Seizing the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, France’s third biggest with a population of six million, would give the party a platform to show they can rule the country.

Last July, Le Pen was charged with ‘inciting hatred’ after she compared Muslim street prayers to Nazi occupation.

The story is also reported by the BBC.

The far-right National Front (FN) is hoping to make gains and the centre-right Les Republicains party led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to win a majority of regions.

The second round is on 13 December.

Polls open at 08:00 (07:00 GMT) and close at 20:00 (19:00 GMT), with some 44 million people eligible to vote.

The FN leader, Marine Le Pen, is likely to win in the northern region of Nord-Pas-De-Calais-Picardie, while her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen is a leading contender in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur.

It would be the first time the National Front has captured any of France’s regions.

Both Les Republicains and the National Front are heading for around 30% of votes, according to opinion polls, but President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party is trailing on around 22% and looks likely to lose control of some regions.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls made an “appeal to patriotism” on Thursday in an effort to rally the Socialist vote in elections which usually see a low turnout because of the relatively limited powers enjoyed by regional administrations.

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