Monday News Review

Tory Lib Dem clash over civil liberties

The home secretary, Theresa May, today rebuked the man she appointed as the external supervisor of the review of counter-terrorism laws amid reports that David Cameron fears it is heading for a “car crash”. May made it clear that the role of Lord Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions and now a Liberal Democrat peer, in overseeing the internal Home Office review was restricted to ensuring that it was being done properly, saying decisions on the outcome were for ministers alone. Macdonald is believed to have written to the home secretary, warning that he would publicly denounce any decision to retain control orders for terror suspects when the review is finally published. “Ken [Lord Macdonald] will go ballistic if the government decides to keep control orders,” one source said. Macdonald’s intervention is acutely embarrassing for coalition ministers. As DPP, he was a leading critic of the campaign by police and security services to raise the period of pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 90 days. – The Guardian

Cabinet Minister’s conduct to be investigated

A cabinet minister faces a parliamentary inquiry into his links with a cocoa magnate who donated £40,000 to his political office. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, denied any wrongdoing by intervening on behalf of Anthony Ward, a wealthy businessman nicknamed “Chocfinger” who was seeking to get a trade ban lifted. Sources close to the minister insisted that proper procedures were followed. But a Labour MP last night referred the case to the Commons standards watchdog, claiming the contacts between the two men raised serious questions about the minister’s conduct. – The Independent

Boris & Dave

Sources close to David Cameron were profoundly irritated by the Mayor’s words, which they saw as intended to cause trouble for the Prime Minister on a sensitive issue. The same sources said that any further “unhelpful interventions from Boris” over housing would spark a “rethink” over plans to put him in sole charge of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in London, which distributes billions of pounds every year in its role as the funding body for affordable homes. Mr Johnson asked for – and is set to be granted under a deal with the government – sole command of the HCA in the capital as part of the Coalition’s “localism” drive – which aims devolve more powers down to communities. The law is set to be changed under the Localism Bill shortly to be introduced to parliament. Currently the Mayor jointly runs the HCA in London with the organisation’s chief executive. A Coalition source said: “Any more unhelpful interventions from Boris on this issue and we will certainly look again at this agreement, at the very least.”We can’t have him going around shooting his mouth off in this way.” – The Telegraph

Gordon returns

Gordon Brown will go back to basics today, arguing as a Fife backbencher on a constituency issue as he makes a plea for Rosyth dockyard. His return to the political fray will see the former prime minister and chancellor demand that future maintenance on the two new aircraft carriers should be carried out at Rosyth rather than in France, as has been suggested. The last time Mr Brown addressed the House was April, before the General Election, since when he has concentrated on writing a book about the financial crisis. – The Herald

Gordon Brown will on Monday make a plea to bring more aircraft carrier maintenance work to Scotland as he makes his first speech in the Commons since leaving Downing Street. The former prime minister has since the election largely kept out of the spotlight, making only rare interventions in relation to the global economy and the interests of his constituency, which neighbours the Rosyth shipyard. While he has returned to the Commons, Mr Brown will make his first intervention to back the 50-year carrier maintenance contracts being awarded to Rosyth rather than the French dry-dock in Brest. – The FT

The class of ’09: 1/12 unemployed

Unemployment among Britain’s graduates is at its highest level for 17 years, according to figures released today. They show that more than one in 12 (just over 21,000 or 8.9 per cent) of those who left university in the summer of 2009 were still unemployed six months later. In addition, more than one in three of those who found work – 48,000 – are in stopgap rather than graduate jobs. In all, 70,000 of the 224,495 graduates surveyed were either on the dole, or pulling pints or waiting tables. The figures emerged as ministers are on the verge of announcing they will raise the £3,290-a-year cap on student tuition fees to as much as £9,000 a year. An announcement is likely within the next fortnight. – The Independent

One Response to “Monday News Review”

  1. Skiamakhos says:

    Ah crap… Can we at least get rid of the stupid shoe searches? Apparently although Reid failed to kill anyone the amount of time wasted by these shoe searches at airports amounts to 14 person-*lives* per year. So by performing these searches airport authorities have turned his bungling into a success that’s done the equivalent of killing 112 people. Crazy.

Leave a Reply