Friday, 9 January 2015

What happens next..

The Charlie Hebdo killers are still at large - the latest developments will appear here - and it's the focus of much of today's papers. "Hunted down" is the Indy's splash, "Killers elude manhunt"is the Times, "The Last Stand" says the Sun's frontpage, and "Manhunt for the Paris killers" is the Guardian's take, while "M15 reveals Syria-linked terror plots as French step up manhunt" is the FT's. 

It's the warning from MI5's Andrew Parker that the intelligence services "cannot hope to stop" every attack on Britain that dominates the rest of the papers and the minds of many. "Al Qaeda 'plotting UK attack" is our splash, "We Could Be Next Target" is the Mail's, "MI5 Boss: Britain Is A Target" is the Mirror's take, "We Can't Stop Attacks" is the Express' line.  

It doesn't "change the terms of the debate" as far as surveillance is concerned, Sir Malcolm Rifkind argued on Today this morning, but merely "added weight" to the case already being made by those who favour greater powers for the security services. Others, however,  will find more to agree with in Nick Clegg's column in today's Telegraph: "we will win this struggle not by increasing our security but by protecting our liberty". Meanwhile, Nigel Farage is under fire for using the term "fifth column" and blaming the attacks on a "gross policy" of multiculturalism. Both those debates will now have a rather greater prominence than suits either of the parties in the dying days of the Parliament. 


David Cameron will refuse to take place in the leaders' debates if the Green party's Natalie Bennet is not included, Chris Hope reports, after Ofcom said that both Ukip and the Liberal Democrats would be characterised as a "major party" at the election, but not the Greens. "I don't think the current proposals work," the PM told ITV News. Mr Cameron is "running scared", says Ed Miliband, and "scared to debate with me" according to Nigel Farage, while Nick Clegg called for Mr Cameron to "stop making excuses". 


Further developments in Labour's ongoing row over the proposed mansion tax. Tom Newton Dunn reports in the Sun that party grandees have warned that the tax could cost Labour up to ten seats, including the seat of Ed Miliband's PPS, Karen Buck. In the Times, Michael Savage reports on a ComRes poll for the British Property Foundation showing that 69% of MPs would prefer the use of additional council tax bands rather than  a mansion tax, including two out of five Labour MPs. (The downside from a Labour perspective is the additional revenue would then partially fall into the hands of local government, rather than funding Labour's promised extra investment in the Health Service.) 


Ed Miliband knocked off 25 conversations off Labour's four million yesterday at his first Q&A of the election campaign. Elsewhere, Labour MP John Woodcock has the nine Coalition MPs in Labour's target seats who have quit their posts after one term in his sights - he says that the eight Conservatives have "very little faith in David Cameron or his ability to win this year's general election". Progress, of which Mr Woodcock is the chair, will target those nine seats as part of "Operation Flight" this weekend


George Osborne has confirmed that the Conservatives' plans for a £23 billion surplus by the end of the decade will give them the breathing space to deliver their promised £7 billion tax cut, Nick Watt reports in the Guardian


Chuka Umunna has accused Eurosceptic Conservatives of "trying to muzzle the voice of businesses" and will seek to woo that community todaywith a speech on Britain's role in Europe. He will say that the In-Out debate is a choice between "a country hankering for the past or a Britain preparing the future", and will contrast the PM's "risky" approach to the EU with the Opposition's gradualist approach. 


The government's reforms to lobbying could affect campaign activity by the trade unions, ranging form phone banks to public events organised by affliated unions for Labour, Jim Pickard reports in the FT.


Jim Murphy has hired John McTernan, former aide to Tony Blair and Mr Murphy's SpAd in the last two years of Gordon Brown's government, as his chief of staff, the Herald reports

You can get in touch with me by pressing "reply" or on Twitter. Our cartoon is the work of Christian Adams - a gallery of his work is available here. 


YouGov:  Conservatives 33% Labour 33% Liberal Democrat 8% Ukip 13% Green 7%


@JamieRoss7: I hope Nick Clegg calls David Cameron "David Cameron" every time they speak. "Can you pass the stapler, David Cameron?"


From the Telegraph 

Dan Hodges - We can't leave the debate on Islam to Islamophobes

Fraser Nelson - Jihadists are attacking the West, and moderate Muslims, too

Nick Clegg - We must always have the freedom to offend

From elsewhere

Dave Brown - We need to keep finding ways to laugh at these people(Independent)

Gaby Hinsliff - The resentment between London and the rest of Britain is turning into a poisonous politicla debate (Guardian)


1100 DURHAM: Archbishop of Canterbury receives an honorary degree from Durham University.



COMMONS - 0930:

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality Bill) - report stage.

Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Bill - report stage.

European Parliament Elections Bill - second reading.

UK Borders Control Bill - second reading.

Defence Expenditure (Nato Target) Bill - second reading.

Pavement Parking Bill - Second reading.

Railways Bill - second reading.

Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill - second reading.

Carers Bedroom Entitlement (Social Housing Sector) Bill - second reading.

Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill - second reading.

Dogs (Registration) Bill - Second reading.

Mental Health Act 1983 (Amendment) Bill - second reading.

Buses (Audio Announcements) Bill - second reading.

Convicted Prisoners Voting Bill - second reading (Day 2).

Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill - second reading.

Road Traffic Regulation (Temporary Closure for Filming) Bill - second reading (Day 2).

Illegal Immigrants (Criminal Sanctions) Bill - second reading (Day 2).

House of Lords (Maximum Membership) Bill - second reading.

EU Membership (Audit of Costs and Benefits) Bill - second reading.

Wild Animals in Circuses Bill - second reading.

Local Planning and Housing Bill - second reading.

Mutuals' Redeemable and Deferred Shares Bill (HL) - second reading.

Health service provision in Lewes constituency - second reading.

LORDS: Not sitting.