Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

David Cameron is talking about immigration today, delivering a speech – which we have splashed on – in which he will pledge that illegal immigrants working in Britain will have their wages seized by police and face deportation without appeal.

Why is Cameron suddenly unveiling a “migrant crackdown” (as the i newspaper bills it)? The Office for National Statistics’ latest numbers – out today – are set to show that the Prime Minister has still not managed to get net migration down below 100,000 every year, and so by promising action, he hopes to take the sting out of the awkward headlines. Although some may wonder, isn’t the Prime Minister just promising to make illegal immigration illegal?

Downing Street has been bracing itself for today’s figures, with the Sun reporting that the Prime Minister has “read his top ministers the riot act on immigration”, telling them it was “every single department’s responsibility” to help get net migration down. The Tories are still committed to the target, even though they failed to meet it over the last Parliament, with the most recent figures putting net migration at 298,000. The pledge will still be a struggle to keep, as my colleague Laurence Dodds concluded: “It is going to be very difficult – at least so long as Britain cannot directly control the number of EU nationals who can enter the country.”

Immigration also feeds into the Prime Minister’s fight to renegotiate a better deal with Brussels, where he is hoping to change EU laws to restrict migrants’ access to benefits in the UK. Once a leader who warned his party to stop “banging on about Europe”, he’ll be doing plenty more of that at a major EU summit in Riga on Friday, while his Europe minister has suggested that he could secure a referendum before 2017. Dangling some Eurosceptic red meat that will leave many Tory MPs salivating, David Lidington said his boss would “welcome” an earlier referendum. The SNP would back him on this, with Alex Salmond telling Newsnight that the vote should happen “as soon as it can be democratically and properly arranged”.

Lidington also said that the government was pushing for “serious reform” in EU talks that were “picking up pace”. Such rhetoric will ramp up expectations over what Cameron can get out of Brussels, which may be risky, as a Tory MP mused to me recently: “If he presents us with a fig leaf, he will quickly be found out.” Cameron isn’t getting much support from his Eeyore-ish former business secretary, Vince Cable, who has written in the New Statesman that “the chances of things going badly wrong are endless”.
Potential Conservative rebels have so far been well-behaved so far, reportedly pledging their “undying loyalty” to the Prime Minister. But for how long will this remain? Peter Bone has already predicted that Cameron will “fail to get the British people want”, so he will need to manage expectations if he wants to impress voters and backbenchers.


Members of the public can see original copies of MPs’ expenses receipts for the first time in six years after the Parliamentary expenses watchdog dropped a £187,000 legal case, Chris Hope reports. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Watchdog said it was dropping a legal challenge dating from 2010 to a request from The Sunday Telegraph under Freedom of Information laws to see MPs’ original receipts.


The idea of Labour electing an interim leader, who would be “reaffirmed” in 2018 ahead of the general election, is gathering pace. Tristram Hunt floated the idea of a “break clause” on Wednesday, and now the Guardian has backed the idea. In a leader column on the “daft” and “absurd” leadership contest, the newspaper argued: “Labour should put its thinking head on before it is too late. It should have agreed on an experienced interim leader who commands general confidence…while preparing Labour – and its electoral system – for a proper contest between its next generation of leadership candidates in time for 2020. Ideally it should still do this.”

Meanwhile, the shadow education secretary has said he would not stand for the leadership, endorsing Liz Kendall for the job. He said he had been “surprised” by how many MPs had been signed up to back just two candidates within five days of the election, and wanted to make sure there was a chance for outsiders like Kendall to get on the ballot paper. “Nobody called Tristram Hunt could ever have been Labour leader,” says Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Others are even more scathing about the leadership contest. “Labour seem destined to chew on the same issues, extracting precious little nourishment,” warns Allison Pearson. “Extinction seems inevitable”.


George Osborne has told the Ministry of Defence and other Whitehall departments that they still need to find billions of pounds worth of cuts this year to help Britain go into “that extra gear” and secure the economic recovery, Steven Swinford reports. Speaking to the Confederation of British Industry in London, the Chancellor declared that “the more you can do early, the smoother the ride”, as he said that unprotected departments will be expected to find £13 billion worth of departmental savings.


The head of Airbus in the UK has said the aerospace and defence giant would reconsider future investment in the UK were it to leave the European Union, James Quinn reports. Paul Kahn, president of Airbus UK, has used a speech in London to make a strong stand in favour of Britain’s EU membership.


Labour will “rue the day” it ordered the party’s manifesto pledges to be carved in rock, the man who made the eight-foot stone plinth has said, Peter Dominiczak reports. Ed Miliband faced criticism after in the final week of the general election campaign after unveiling a huge limestone block with the party’s key manifesto pledges carved into it. Steve Vanhinsbergh, director of Stone Circle, which carved the plinth – dubbed the “EdStone” – said it was was full of “vague” promises and that are “not worth what they are written on”.


Nigel Farage plotted against himself, Ukip’s deputy chairman Suzanne Evans has claimed, denying that she or others planned a coup for the party leadership, Emily Gosden reports. This comes as the Ukip leader returned to Brussels, and was branded a “big loser” by MEPs. “Nigel Farage is the Europhile’s greatest weapon,” says Dan Hodges. “Hooray for Ukip!”

Meanwhile, Ukip’s former deputy leader Mike Natrass has claimed that Farage wanted “total power” over the party and adapted the constitution to ensure that he had control over everything. Natrass, who resigned from the party in 2013, told LBC: “He’s always been like that. Absolute monarchy? I used to call him the dictator.”


Theresa May has a revealed the police service is to face more cuts as she warned rank and file leaders to stop “scaremongering” and “crying wolf”, Tom Whitehead reports. In a hard-hitting speech, the Home Secretary said there was “no ducking the fact” that police spending will have to come down again as the Government’s austerity drive continues. She also pledged to free up police officers from having to care for people with mental health issues with millions of pounds to provide beds.


SNP MPs have been urged to start behaving like “adults” in the Commons as senior party figures fear they are developing a lightweight reputation, Ben Riley-Smith reports. New MPs have been told not to take “selfies” in Parliament by staff of the chief whip, Mike Weir, following a backlash when one party member posed at the Dispatch Box.


Ministers must stop their “surreal obsession” with wanting to see GPs’ surgeries opening seven days a week, one of the UK’s most senior doctors is set to warn today. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the British Medical Association’s (BMA) GP committee chairman, will highlight how its recent survey revealed a “potential catastrophic time bomb ready to explode”, with one in three GPs intending to retire in the next five years.

This comes as health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has vowed to make tackling the “great scandal” of childhood obesity one of the main priorities of this Parliament. Laura Donnelly has more. It has also been found that MPs and peers accepted gifts from the tobacco industry, such as tickets to the men’s final at Wimbledon and the opera at Glyndebourne, before voting against plain packaging.


Landowners’ rights to use their property as they wish are to be watered down for the public good, a senior SNP minister has warned as she unveiled a Left-wing agenda to create a socialist society over the next century, Simon Johnson reports. This comes as new figures reveal house prices have skyrocketed in Scotland at twice the rate of England partly thanks to a stampede from buyers to avoid the SNP’s new tax on purchasing a home.

Meanwhile, David Cameron’s father-in-law has said he may have to put on a “Rob Roy-style Scottish accent” to stop the Scottish National Party launching a “Mugabe-style” raid on his family’s estate in Scotland. Viscount Astor, writing in this week’s edition of The Spectator magazine, said he was worried the SNP was planning land reforms to take away estates from large landowners north of the Border.

Erdogan’s Dream: The Sultan Rules

Erdogan is not happy with the powers the Turkish constitution grants him. He wants more.

Once he has given orders, there should not be judicial, constitutional or parliamentary checks and balances. He will become the first ballot-box Sultan of the Turkish Empire of his dreams.


Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

Labour’s leadership contest continues to grip Westminster, as Lord Mandelson has waded in to warn that his party is “headed downward” as the contenders are “unwilling to make hard policy choices” and break with the past. The former business secretary’s warning to his party, to flip around the Blair-era mantra, is basically “things can only get worse”.

The Labour peer has rounded on him in the New York Times for attempting an “unconvincing ideological crusade” and “class war”. His potential successors have been setting out their stalls, but Lord Mandelson is not impressed, writing that their talk of “party unity” sounds like “continuity…a luxury that is not open to them – not if they want to win.”

Lord Mandelson isn’t alone in his concerns, as new Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer has backed his remarks, telling Newsnight: “There is no point in a quick fix which presents itself as unity but isn’t unity and to find ourselves in a position where in 2020 we haven’t won an election. We need to have that debate.” Starmer’s intervention is significant, coming from a star who is rising so fast that he was forced to rule out standing for the top job, pointing out he had been elected only two weeks ago.

All of the leadership contenders have rounded on Ed Miliband’s agenda, despite loyally defending it in the past. Jon Trickett remains of Miliband’s few allies, insisting: “I don’t believe for a minute our policies were vote losers.” Spare a thought for the former Labour leader – who has just flown back from Ibiza. “He was in the bad seats, even I had a better seat than him,” a passenger told the Morning Star. The newly-tanned Miliband returned to Westminster yesterday as Labour holds his funeral, and the eulogies have been far from flattering.

The emerging consensus among Labour’s leadership hopefuls is that Miliband didn’t speak to – in Tristram Hunt’s words – “families who want to shop at John Lewis”. And so they have plundered New Labour’s vocabulary. Tony Blair, who earlier this month wanted Labour to stand “for ambition and aspiration”, should be pleased. Andy Burnham says Labour must support the “aspirations of everyone”, Yvette Cooper is promising “hope”, while both Mary Creagh and Liz Kendall want their party to understand “aspirations”. But some Labourites are far from enthused. “If one of them goes on about ‘aspiration’ again, I’ll shoot them,” one exasperated Labour MP told me recently, “What do they mean – breathing in and out? Give us a vision.”

It may seem bemusing that two weeks after the Tories secured a shock majority, Labour is making the headlines. MPs are busy swearing their oaths this week before formally taking office, with these formalities set to last until Tuesday. When the Queen announces the day after what her ministers are planning to do, the business of government can begin in earnest.


If royal duty is defined by selflessness, the Prince of Wales was the very embodiment of putting his country first as he met the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams on Tuesday, Gordon Rayner reports. Thirty-six years ago, when the IRA murdered the Prince’s beloved great-uncle Earl Mountbatten, it was Adams who cruelly suggested Mountbatten would not have “objected to dying” as a casualty of “war”. “There are sure to be mixed emotions when the Prince of Wales sets eyes on Mullaghmore,” says Rosa Prince.


Patrick O’Flynn has stood down as the party’s economic spokesman and apologised to Nigel Farage after calling him “snarling, thin skinned and aggressive”, Steven Swinford reports. Suzanne Evans, Ukip’s deputy chairman, is being set to be replaced by former Tory MP Mark Reckless as part of Nigel Farage’s purge of alleged plotters. “Ukip is an absolute monarchy and King Nigel has crushed the Peasants’ Revolt,” James Kirkup has concluded.

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s former flatmate Godfrey Bloom said he would have been a “better” leader if he had played more rugby at school. The former Ukip MEP told Christopher Hope that Farage “hates rugby” and is “physically very shy”, adding: “I think it would have done him good… rugby is better because you are relying on the other guy – it is hard and physical”.


Britain faces the prospect of general strike this autumn as trade unions plan co-ordinated industrial action to fight the Government’s austerity drive. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union which represents hundreds of thousands public sector workers, said the movement needed to be “determined and inspired”.


The wife of Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary and favourite to become Labour leader, has been using Twitter to take on her husband’s political enemies, Steven Swinford reports. Marie-France van Heel, who is Dutch, has used Twitter to describe Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, as an “idiot”, and attack Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, for looking “bloody awful”. Michael Wilkinson has rounded up 24 things you won’t know about the leadership contender.

Meanwhile, Andy Burnham is facing claims that some of his supporters have been “bullying” MPs into supporting him. A senior Labour MP told The Sun: “There is a very big push-back against the fact that Andy’s team want a Gordon Brown-style coronation and that anyone who doesn’t buy into that could be looked on badly if he becomes leader.”


Ed Miliband’s “timid” rejection of radical ideas lost Labour the election, potential leadership contender Tristram Hunt is set to say in a speech. The shadow education secretary, who is expected to reveal whether he will stand for the leadership or not, will say Labour needed a “100% strategy” that was “broad-based” and “forward-looking”.


A complaint against George Galloway has been passed to the police over allegations that he asked his taxpayer-funded assistant to buy him underpants and sort his laundry, Camilla Turner reports. The former MP for Bradford West was reported to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) earlier this year by his former parliamentary assistant Aisha Ali Khan, who claimed that she spent more time running personal errands for Galloway than on official work.


The BBC licence fee “clearly can’t last” and is becoming “harder to justify”, Jeremy Paxman has said. The former Newsnight presenter said the £145.50 fee was unsustainable in the long term, but said there was currently no alternative funding model and people should ask themselves “would the world be a better place without the BBC?”


Britain has tipped into deflation for the first time in more than half a century, Szu Ping Chan reports. Prices, as measured by the consumer prices index (CPI), fell by 0.1pc in the year to April, following zero inflation in February and March.


Geoffrey Howe, the man credited with ending Margaret Thatcher’s political career with a dramatic resignation, has retired from the House of Lords with immediate effect, Ben Riley-Smith reports. Lord Howe of Aberavon said the “advent of a new Parliament” was the “appropriate” time to bring to an end a political career that has stretched more than half a century.


A Christian-owned bakery that refused to make a cake carrying a pro-gay marriage slogan has been found guilty of discrimination after a landmark legal action. The Northern Ireland Equality Commission brought the case against Ashers Baking Company on behalf of Gareth Lee, the gay rights activist whose order was declined.  The ruling “could lead to even more discrimination”, according to Padraig Reidy.

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Turkey: Muslims shoot 19-year-old woman in the head for appearing on a televised song contest

A Turkish woman who has been competing in a national televised song contest is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the head, according to reports.

Mutlu Kaya, 19, from the conservative region of Diyarbakir in the Kurdish-majority south-east of of the country, had reportedly received death threats after appearing on the show.

Kaya was attacked at her home in Ergani district in the early hours of Monday, Dogan news agency reported. The assailant reportedly fired a bullet into the house through a back window in the garden.


Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning.

The Labour leadership contest rolls on, with the Burnham bandwagon gathering pace after Dan Jarvis – the Action Man leadership candidate that wasn’t to be – threw his weight behind the shadow health secretary. Jarvis, the ex-paratrooper whose prospective candidacy made some Tories feel jittery, wrote in the Daily Mirror that Andy Burnham was a “decent man”, who could be a “unifying leader with the broad appeal to win those people back” Labour had lost.

Election fever has gripped Labour. “My phone has been ringing non-stop,” one MP told me. “It’s either someone wanting my backing for the leadership, deputy leadership or London Mayoralty.” But is the contest already over before it has begun? Concern is mounting in Labour’s ranks that the race has been “hijacked by unions” in order to keep modernisers off the ballot paper, as the Independent reports, and leave the contest a two-horse race between unions’ favourite Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

A candidate needs the backing of 35 MPs, 15% of Labour’s 232 MPs, to stand, and both leadership contenders are said to have more than 100 backers between them. Burnham’s rivals have been stunned by the scale of his campaign, with one suggesting that he may have started it before the election, fuming: “He has got a lot of numbers, it’s quite hard to start that from nothing.”

Meanwhile, Yvette Cooper is promising to be nicer to business, using a speech today to bemoan how Labour sounded “anti-business, anti-growth and ultimately anti-worker” under Ed Miliband. Cooper urging her party to “build business up, not knock them down” may appeal to the mainstream, but others may wonder if she spoke about it with Miliband when she was in his shadow cabinet, or her husband – then shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

So if outsiders don’t make headway, will Labour have to pick Burnham or Cooper and stick with them for five years? The idea is gathering pace of having a temporary leader, as my colleague James Kirkup floated, who could be “reaffirmed” in 2018 ahead of the next election in 2020. Shadow cabinet member Baroness Royall told Newsnight: “It would be very good if whoever puts themselves forward were to say, ‘look in three years time it would be really good if you could reaffirm that I’m the right person to take us forward’.” Could that moment be an ideal time for Labour to give alternatives like Dan Jarvis or Chuka Umunna a second look?

Others fear a temporary leader’s authority would be weakened, with one MP suggesting to me: “If we knew the leader was only there until 2018, how would you stop people plotting?” Labour’s next leader will be announced on September 12, so the party has months to fight over these questions.


Scottish National Party MPs are threatening to keep occupying the row behind the Labour frontbench in the Commons, Christopher Hope reports. The SNP MPs earlier today defied convention to sit directly behind Labour, as they took their seats in Parliament for the first time.

“I hunted for the face of Mhairi Black – who, at the age of 20, is the youngest MP since the 17th century,” says our sketchwriter Michael Deacon. “She didn’t seem to be anywhere on the SNP benches. That was because she was slap-bang in the middle of the Labour benches, directly behind Harriet Harman, Labour’s stand-in leader. Afterwards she claimed she’d only sat there by mistake, because she “didnae see any signs”. Yes, and I expect the dog ate her homework, too.”


MPs gathered in the House of Commons on Monday and re-elected John Bercow as Speaker for the new parliament. As part of ceremonial tradition, Black Rod, a senior officer in the House of Lords, entered the Commons during the proceedings. He carried his cerimonial mace and nearly hit the Prime Minister in the face by accident when he turned to his side. You can watch the moment David Cameron has to duck out of the way in the House of Commons.


Douglas Carswell, Ukip’s only MP, has said that it is “a very good thing” that Nigel Farage’s chief aide has resigned as the two men made an attempted show of unity after a week of civil war within the party, Steve Swinford reports. Carswell made his first appearance with Mr Farage in Westminster as the pair attempted to play down suggestions of a feud after Ukip descended into civil war last week.


Fat parents who smoke and live “couch potato lifestyles” by eating snacks have been told to get their act together or “face the music” by the head of the National Health Service, Christopher Hope reports. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said so many parents were overweight they were “normalising obesity”, with a third of parents unable to spot that their own children were fat.


Ministers have come under fire for admitting that the defence budget could have to be cut in order to balance the nation’s books. Lord Dannatt, the former Chief of the General Staff, told the Sun: “This is a not a time for a country like ours, in a leadership position, to be seen by any of our potential opponents to be weak.”

Meanwhile, defence secretary Michael Fallon has said the world is an “equally dangerous place” as it was 70 years ago. The Defence Secretary also said that he would keep fighting for the defence budget when spending negotiations begin, the Daily Mail reports. “It is critical for us to remain ready to respond to concurrent crises on multiple fronts in the future,” he said.


Royal Air Force spy planes could be deployed to north Africa to track trafficking gangs sending migrants to their deaths in the Mediterranean, Ben Farmer reports. The European Union yesterday agreed to set up a naval mission off the Libya coast to capture and destroy boats to tackle the rising number of migrant fleeing war.


SNP ministers have admitted they do not know if their controversial land reform plans will damage food production despite warnings they risk breaking up family farms, Simon Johnson reports. The Scottish Government confirmed it has conducted no analysis of the impact of their radical proposals on the output of the country’s food sector despite stating it is worth £790 million per year.


A politician has retracted claims that primary school pupils were “politically indoctrinated” by teachers in the run-up to the General Election, David Barrett reports. Fran Oborski, a Liberal county councillor in Worcestershire, last week called for a formal investigation after alleging that pupils were told to encourage their parents to vote Labour.


Ruth Davidson has said she would like the chance to marry her partner in Ireland if gay marriage is legalised there in a referendum being staged later this week, Simon Johnson reports. The Scottish Tory leader said it would be preferable if Jen Wilson, her Irish girlfriend, could “go home” for their wedding and that her partner is “desperate” for a Yes vote on Friday.

These new theories on how to poo may mean you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life

These new theories on how to poo may change your life.

We’ve all got a toilet in our homes (hopefully) – but it might not be helping us have the healthiest bowels we can, according to an author who is an expert in bowel movements.

In fact, she says we should ditch the humble loo and squat down for a number two.

Currently studying for her doctorate in microbiology in Frankfurt, Giulia Enders’s debut book, Darm mit Charme, which translates as Charming Bowels, has sold 200,000 copies in her native Germany.

People are gripped by her descriptions -and diagrams – of how we should be pooing.


Palestinians’ Anti-Peace Campaign

Protestors chanted slogans condemning the Palestinians who hold meetings with Israelis as traitors.

The “anti-normalization” and Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements are, in fact, anti-Palestinian, anti-Israel and anti-peace campaigns that cause more damage to the people they claim they are trying to help. They have much in common with Hamas and other terror groups working to destroy any chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinians need to distance themselves from those who seek to impose their will on them through intimidation and terror. Boycotting Israelis, especially those Israelis who support Palestinians, is not in the Palestinians’ interest.