The refugee crisis continues to dominate the front pages, with many papers reporting on the grief of Abdullah Kurdi, who has described how his sons Aylan and Galip “slipped from my hands” as they tried to cling to their capsized dinghy in the Mediterranean before their bodies were washed up on the shore of a Turkish holiday resort. “We want the world’s attention on us, so that they can prevent the same from happening to others,” he said. “Let this be the last.”
The world has taken notice, with the British government preparing to accept thousands more Syrian asylum seekers in response to the migration crisis. This comes as a marked change of direction by David Cameron, who previously insisted that Britain would not accept “more and more” migrants. Politicians have expressed horror over the boys’ deaths, with the Independent’s front page showing the likes of Sadiq Khan, Tim Farron and Yvette Cooper holding up signs saying “refugees welcome”. “The slogan “Refugees Welcome” may make Twitter users feel better about themselves,” we say in our leader, “but as a policy it risks condemning more families like Aylan’s to a potentially fatal choice”.
Others have taken a more political tack, with Hungarian premier Viktor Orban saying the migration crisis was a “German problem”. Andy Burnham raised eyebrows after appearing to claim credit for being the first of the Labour leadership contenders to call for Britain to take more Syrian refugees. But doing so won’t be enough to stop the crisis, Fraser Nelson has written in today’s paper. “The Great Migration is a 21st century problem, far bigger than Syria and bigger than the authorities in Brussels seem able to comprehend,” he says. “The solutions of the last century – refugee camps, or the notion that you can stem the flow of migrants with foreign aid – need to be abandoned, and a new agenda needs to be forged. Europe, in short, needs to begin a new conversation.”
PURDAH MOST FOUL
Conservative MPs could prevent themselves from campaigning during the European Union referendum if they support a Labour-backed amendment on the purdah rules, ministers have warned. Their warning comes after ministers agreed this week to keep in place ‘purdah’ rules, which block public money being used to back one side in the referendum, but there are concerns that the new plans would allow ministers to still intervene without breaking the law.
Meanwhile, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale warned the BBC that it could undermine the EU referendum if complaints about its “distorted” coverage are not speedily addressed. David Cameron is continuing on with his renegotiation bid, with the European Parliament inviting him to address MEPs about his plans in detail. Matthew Holehouse has more.
Survation has some new polling out that will worry Eurosceptics, as it suggests that Nigel Farage could scupper the “Out” campaign’s prospects in the EU referendum by focusing on immigration and driving away undecided voters. The Ukip leader, who has provocatively called for Jeremy Corbyn to campaign with him in today’s Telegraph, has said he will put free movement, and the risk of terrorists entering the UK, at the heart of his campaign to leave the EU.
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell has slapped down a former election candidate’s “grotesque” remarks about the drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi. Peter Bucklitsch, who stood as a candidate in Wimbledon in May, caused outrage on Twitter when he wrote that the refugee’s parents were to blame, as they were “greedy for the good life in Europe”, adding: “Queue jumping costs.” Carswell told the BBC: “Most reasonable people who see that image will saw we have a duty to act.”
Jeremy Corbyn has won the final Labour leadership hustings, televised by Sky News, with a poll finding that 80% of those watching thought he had come out on top. During the debate, he clashed with rival Yvette Cooper on his economic plans and said he “can’t think” of any circumstances in which he would back the deployment of British troops abroad.
This comes as Hamas have hailed Jeremy Corbyn for his “sympathetic” stance on the Israel-Palestinian conflict after learning that he is front-runner to become the next Labour leader. “I find that he has very good sympathy and support for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian struggle and he is frankly against the occupation, against the racist policy of Israel, against settlements,” deputy foreign minister Ghazi Hamad told Robert Tait.
Meanwhile, Ed Miliband is reportedly preparing to rule out a return to frontline politics, dashing hopes among Corbynistas that he could return as shadow foreign secretary. According to the Times, Labour’s former leader is expected to say within days that he will stick to campaigning on inequality and environmental issues as a backbench MP. Sources close to Miliband have told Laura Hughes that reports of his departure are “all speculation”. John McTernan thinks it is wise for MPs to stay away from a prospective Corbyn shadow cabinet. “Anyone who joins him is not just risking their own personal integrity, they are lending him their political integrity. And that is a currency they cannot afford to waste,” he writes.
SPARE US THE CUTTER
Ministers have to hand in their proposals to George Osborne today about how they plan to cut their departmental budgets by 25% or 40%, marking the start of negotiations about how the government will slash £20bn in central government spending. The cuts will affect all departments except health, spending on education per pupil, national security and international development, the Guardian reports.
PLAYING WITH FOIA
Ministers and civil servants are communicating by Post-It notes to avoid their messages being exposed by Freedom of Information requests, the Sun’s Tom Newton-Dunn reports. A Whitehall source told the paper: “Someone worked they were a clever way of avoiding any public disclosure and they swiftly caught on.” The revelation has sparked fury, with Tory MP David Davis branding it a “disgraceful abuse of public office”.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is campaigning for the government to tax sugary drinks, making a documentary “Jamie’s Sugar Rush” to push his message, but critics have accused him of a lack of transparency regarding sugar content in his own restaurants. Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum charity, told the FT’s Scheherazade Daneshkhu: “He can’t on the one hand make all this fuss about the amount of sugar we consume, without giving as much information as possible about the sugar that goes into his meals.”
EU BOOZE, EU LOSE
Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to introduce a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland has suffered a potentially fatal blow after the European Court’s most senior legal official ruled it risked infringing the EU’s free trade rules, Simon Johnson reports. Advocate General Yves Bot found that fixing a legal price for alcoholic beverages could only be justified if the Scottish Government could prove that alternative means, such as increasing taxation, would not be a “suitable means of curbing excessive consumption”.
PAY OFF THE RAILS
A London Underground manager earned nearly as much as the Prime Minister last year, after overtime payments almost doubled his salary, Lexi Finnigan reports. In 2014, staff on London’s transport network were paid £41million for extra work, most of which went to Tube workers. Richard Tracey, the Greater London Authority transport spokesman for the Conservatives, said: “It’s a bit hypocritical of union bosses to strike over pay disputes when staff are sneakily doubling their salaries through overtime.”