Dave Lee Travis arrested as part of Jimmy Savile sex abuse probe

The 67-year-old DJ was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree at his home in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, at 7.45am on suspicion of sexual offences.

He is the fourth person to be arrested as part of the investigation which began after scores of allegations were made against the late presenter Jimmy Savile.

Scotland Yard’s investigation is looking at three categories of alleged offences; those involving Jimmy Savile, those involving Savile and others and those involving others.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police would not confirm the identity of the person arrested, but said they came under the ‘others’ strand of the investigation.

A neighbour of the former disc jockey confirmed that the broadcaster is being held in Aylesbury Police Station, Bucks.

More….

Speedy Justice

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph).

Nick Herbert is getting tough on crime, tough on the handling of crime. In a speech at 9am today on Buckingham Palace Road (no, not at Telegraph Towers), he’ll launch a White Paper on criminal justice. The proposals, drawn up in the wake of the riots, aim to make sentencing swifter and more robust. He’s after a system that could see shoplifting cases resolved in under two weeks, introducing Neighbourhood Justice Panels, where offenders can make amends to their victims.

He was just on the Today programme, stressing that while these measures focus on low-level crimes, serious crimes will still go to court. He explained: “We’re not going to go back to bobbies giving someone a clip round the ear, but if things can be resolved on a local level, there is no reason why we need to tolerate unnecessarily delays… We must start thinking about victims of crime.”

We carry an op-ed by Mr Herbert today where he says “Justice delayed is indeed justice denied, especially to the victims of crime.” It’s a bold statement – but he makes a good case. Also, he has picked a good day to launch this. A survey of youth service providers, released today, shows that volunteers have managed to keep youth centres open despite the cuts. Could the Big Society be working?

SENDING IN THE TROOPS

Theresa May is sending in the troops – literally. There will 3,500 of them to fill in for the private contractor, G4S, which hasn’t trained enough staff to handle the Olympic security. Mrs May announced this in the Commons yesterday, where she was quick to point out that the shoddy contract is held between the Olympic Organising Committee and G4S, not the Home Office. Her face-off with Yvette Cooper was cold. So cold, in fact, that Michael Deacon said “the temperature drops 40 degrees” and that the speakers interventions were drowned out by “the chatter of MPs’ teeth”.

On the Today programme, Nick Herbert was challenged on why the Government has allowed the security shambles to happen. He didn’t answer directly, but said they “took action as soon as they realised there was a problem”.

The Mail’s leader is disgusted that troops returning from Afghanistan will not be “ enjoying treasured time with their families” this summer, but will instead “spend most of August searching the bags of spectators to make sure they are not sneaking ‘excessive food’ or soft drinks into the Olympic venues”. Don’t worry, though. Mrs May’s making amends – she’s promised them tickets. Will they be joining the DCMS Select Committee at the mens’ 100m final, though?

With two weeks to go, the pressure is mounting on the Government. The Guardian’s leader is shocked that this has happened at such a late stage: “home secretaries can sometimes be cut a bit of slack about something unforeseen like a prison escape for which they are nominally responsible. But the Olympics has been front and centre in Whitehall planning for years. To let this happen at such a late stage in the process is simply negligent.” Quite.

But, characteristically, Boris Johnson isn’t fazed. He defended the quick fix as the inevitable consequence of “slamming down the remaining loose nails”. Let’s hope that this, the M4 saga, and the O2 network failure are the last of those nails, then.

FREE SCHOOLS

And another win for Michael Gove - the BBC reports that 102 more free schools will be opened in England next year. If he keeps this up, the “Gove for leader” talk might start again.

ABORTION BREACHES

Following our investigation into potentially illegal abortion practices earlier this year, 14 NHS hospitals are being formally censured by regulators (you can read the story here ). But the Tory backbencher Amber Rudd is not happy. The Guardian reports that she’s worried that the inquiry will be “hijacked” by anti-abortion advocates in her party. Will we see a Nadine Dorries/Amber Rudd showdown?

A LIFE OF OPPRESSION

And finally, Ephraim Hardcastle reports that Ed Miliband found something in common with Aung San Suu Kyi when she visited last month. Mr Miliband said:

“We talked about years under a brutal dictatorship, oppressed day and night, and then she said to me, ‘That’s enough about your time under Gordon’.”

TWEETS AND TWITS

Labour’s Jim Murphy proves you need to be an irrational optimist to cope with life as an MP:

“@JayMack18: @jimmurphymp You’re a pathetic sponge!” << I get a sense I’ve not convinced you of my argument…yet.”

POLL WATCH

Latest YouGov/The Sun results: Conservatives 34%, Labour 42%, Lib Dems 9%, UKIP 7%

Overall government approval rating: -38

TOP COMMENT

In The Telegraph

Fraser Nelson: The Connors family case shows why Britain must fight the slave trade

Matthew Norman: The London Olympics: hold your breath and start praying

Nick Herbert: The victims of crime deserve swift justice

Leader: A dispiriting response to the abortion inquiry

Best of the rest

Anushka Asthana in the Times: Tory malcontents need careers, not canapés

Mary Dejevsky in the Independent: What is the role of our armed forces if it’s not to defend us?

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: Cool, assured Ed Miliband must now boldly define himself

Philip Stephens in the Financial Times: London serves up the good, the bad and the ugly

THE AGENDA

9am: Nick Herbert launches the “swift and sure justice” White Paper. PA Consulting, 123 Buckingham Palace Road London

10am: Boris Johnson opens the Hippodrome Casino. Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, London

11am: The Bank of England and Treasury announce details of the Funding for Lending scheme.

Taxing Times

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph).

BREAKING: David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, was just on the Today programme talking about aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

He said it was immoral for wealthy people to avoid tax when so many people on middle incomes were struggling, adding that “in these circumstances, it’s perfectly reasonable” for politicians to comment on tax affairs.

He also suggested that those who had have used the K2 schemes to avoid tax should not presume that they will not be required to pay some of it back – since it may not be “an effective” shelter under the current set up.

But has David Cameron thought through the consequences of his attack on Jimmy Carr? He’s described the comedian’s tax avoidance wheeze as ‘morally wrong’ and no doubt most people will say ‘hear hear’. As Robert Colvile argues, the humiliation of this smug leftie is a cause for national celebration. But the Prime Minister may find that his intervention invites some searching questions about the tax morality of others, in particular those in his social circle.

It also defies the principle that the Government should defend taxpayer confidentiality: it shouldn’t be for a minister to comment on the tax affairs of a citizen doing something that may not delight everyone, but which is perfectly legal.

Then there’s the very issue of morality and taxes: the Tories have talked about it before, but in the sense of deploring as immoral the enormous amounts of money the state takes off each of us. Is he changing course? The cheers he might get for mouthing populist sentiment might not last long.

NO PINK SHORTS

Craig Oliver’s threat to publish pictures of Lobby journalists relaxing in Mexico clearly got to one hack. A rumour reaches me that a prominent member of the Lobby may have tried to nick Dr Dre’s camera to get hold of certain photos that may have showed, among other things, another big man of the Lobby lounging in pink shorts.

RETURN OF THE O-LEVEL

That aside, the big policy news today is the Mail’s splash: “Return of the O-Level: Gove plans to scrap dumbed-down GCSEs and National Curriculum in the biggest revolution in education for 30 years”

Leaked documents reveal that Mr Gove has drawn up a blueprint which would tear up the current exam system as well as abolishing the National Curriculum. From September 2014, it suggests, pupils will begin studying for ‘explicitly harder’ exams in English, maths, physics, chemistry and biology.

Another step in the Gove progress towards true voice of muscular conservatism. Will we hear more calls for Mr Gove to become PM?

Stephen Twigg MP are out suggesting that this could divide children at fourteen into winners and losers, saying: “When the Tories abolished O-levels and introduced GCSEs in the 1980s they said standards would rise. Now they say they’ve fallen.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Truss MP has called on the the Government to make maths a required subject to the age of 18 by 2015 to address the “strategic weakness the UK”.

A DECADE OF CUTS

And, of course, we still don’t have any money – and won’t for a long time. We report that Sir Jeremy Heywood has warned that we face decade of spending cuts last night.

Apparently we’re only a quarter of the way through balancing the books. He said: “We are 25 per cent through fiscal adjustment. Spending cuts could last seven, eight, 10 years,” keeping us squeezed until 2020.

The Coalition said they’d clear the structural deficit in five years in 2010. Then last year George admitted he’d need two more – and some tax rises. And since then, the economy has slipped back into recession, eroding the tax take and pushing up welfare spending. Guess they were wrong.

George could keep trying to blame the eurozone though. Particularly as progress towards a solution is as slow as ever. Last night Angela Merkel let us know that her support for a bond buying plan to ease euro debts is only ‘theoretical’. You can read more about that here.

STATE OF THE TORIES

Mr Gove’s O-level announcement might cheer Tories today, but the mood is fractious. The Guardian’s Nick Watt reports that the Chief Whip has told the PM to expect a heavy defeat on House of Lords reform if it goes ahead. More than 100 Tory MPs have indicated that they are prepared to rebel (this would dwarf the rebellion of last October on the EU referendum).

It reports that one well-placed Tory said: “If the programme motion does not go through the government’s whole legislative business will be gummed up for the rest of the parliament. Colleagues do feel very strongly about it. A few PPSs [parliamentary private secretaries] will resign.”

Lord Ashcroft doesn’t have good news for the Blues either. In a column for the Guardian he warns against the Tories attacking Ed Miliband, explaining that polling shows people support the Labour Party despite Ed Miliband, whereas people were initially drawn into voting Tory because of David Cameron. They need to be careful not to emphasis this:

“Deteriorating opinions of Cameron will therefore have a bigger impact on the Conservatives’ vote share than worsening views of Miliband would have on Labour’s.”

George Osborne will not like Peter Oborne’s view on how to fix this mess. In his column today, he argues that No 10′s many troubles can be traced back to the Chancellor, suggesting that he should be forced to choose between his two jobs at the coming reshuffle.

GAY MARRIAGE

And on the other major bone of contention for the Coalition, Nick Clegg and Andrew Mitchell soldier on. Both gave their whole-hearted support for gay marriage yesterday. Nick Clegg recorded a video for Out4Marriage campaign yesterday, saying it was “a fundamental right in a liberal society” (you can watch the video here) and Andrew Mitchell said only OAPs oppose it. You can read more about this in the Mail .

LESSON LEARNED

Yvette Cooper, however, is in a softer mood. She has a column in the Times today, saying Labour’s learned its lesson on immigration:

“This isn’t the easiest subject for the Labour Party. In government we didn’t do enough to address people’s concerns on immigration. By the election, we had lost the argument — people felt that the system was unfair and politicians weren’t listening.We need to change.”

She does, of course, take a pop at the Tories solutions though.

PETROL TAX

Dave dampened hopes that he’d scrap the 3p increase in petrol tax planned for this autumn on Sky News yesterday (after all he only agreed to “look at” it).

He warned that the Government “does not have a bottomless pit of money” and would need to find an additional £1.5 billion per year if it were to ditch the increase.

BEECROFT’S BACK

And if you thought you’d seen the last of Adrian Beecroft, you’d be mistaken. Today he’ll take part on the first in a series of Telegraph workplace debates. He’ll be sat alongside Brendan Barber, answering readers’ questions in a video debate.

He’ll be appearing before the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill Committee at 1.15pm. But that is not before

TWEETS AND TWITS

Tory MP Peter Mannion isn’t subtle:

“@PeterMannionMP: I hope someone gives Dave a tape of William Hague’s performance at #PMQs today. #pmq”

POLL WATCH

Latest YouGov/The Sun results: Conservatives 34%, Labour 41%, Lib Dems 10%, UKIP 8%

Overall government approval rating: -32

TOP COMMENT

In The Telegraph

Sue Cameron: Who will find David Cameron a pro-gay marriage archbishop?

Peter Oborne: No 10′s many troubles can be traced back to George Osborne

James Delingpole: Drugs: let’s be softer on our youngsters

Leader: Pump action

Best of the rest

Dominic Raab in the Financial Times: How bankers and unions can get their just deserts

Steve Richards in the Independent: Forcing peers to face the voters will make them obey the rules

Yvette Cooper in the Times: Labour has learnt its lesson on immigration

Michael Ashcroft in the Guardian: Why a Tory onslaught on Ed Miliband could backfire

THE AGENDA

Today: Nick Clegg attends a “high-level fringe discussion” on food security and the environment at the Rio+20 Conference. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Today: Alastair Campbell diaries vol. 4 published covering 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq

1.15pm: Adrian Beecroft appears before the the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill Committee. Boothroyd Room. Westminster

3pm: Aung San Suu Kyi addresses both houses of UK Parliament. Westminster Hall, London

4pm: Eurozone finance ministers meet in Luxembourg amid ongoing debt crisis

10.35pm: ‘Question Time’ from West Bromwich. The panel will include Ken Clarke, Andy Burnham, general secretary of the Unite trade union Len McCluskey, economist Ruth Lea and Midlands businesswoman of the year Julie White.

Dave in Mexico

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph).

David Cameron is in Mexico today. He’s given his big speech, saying that the crisis in the eurozone may rumble on “for some time”. He urged the parties involved move “decisively and swiftly” to form a new administration.

Of course, he did this to the backdrop of a dull blue banner, disguising spectacular beach views (check out the Sun’s pictures here ). The Sun has suggested that No 10 staff put it there deliberately

And that wasn’t the only headline worthy moment – he also said he’d “roll out the red carpet” for French businesses if they wanted to flee an “uncompetitive top rate of tax”.

Ed Miliband has a different approach to the French though. In Mary Riddell’s column today, she says he’s “hitching” himself to Francois Hollande. They’re planning an an anti-austerity summit for the autumn apparently. Mr Miliband’s adviser Lord Wood and the shadow Europe minister, Emma Reynolds, are all travelling to Paris to discuss details of the growth summit with them soon.

Meanwhile, Vince Cable has his own ideas. In a speech to the Centre Forum think tank, he suggested it was time for the Government to move to a ‘Plan A+’, urging ministers to accelerate plans for kick-starting growth, including a multi-billion scheme that could pave the way for the construction of tens of thousands of new homes. Of course, Downing Street insists there’s been no shift in policy. You can read more in the Mail’s report.

REFORMING THE SERVICE

Today Francis Maude sets out plan for a slimmer Whitehall – it’s a story for the connoisseurs, though ministers say if they get this right it will help over time the drive to a leaner, more effective and therefore more conducive to growth Government. It has taken months of a fraught process that had to survive Steve Hilton’s attempts to take the Civil Service through a Year Zero cull.

The FT has the full details, along with a helpful profile of Sir Jeremy Heywood, the essential force at the centre of Whitehall (according to this, friends say his key qualities are ‘an incredible work ethic and intellectual rigour’; enemies call him ‘windsock’ and ‘snake’).

This won’t be as exciting as first thought. The Mail says Steve Hilton’s plans for paring down the Civil Service have been ‘ditched’. And we carry an outline of the plans in a joint piece by Francis Maude and Sir Bob Kerslake.

The pair say: “This is a joint plan. The two of us will be overseeing it together and we are responding to an organisation that is hungry for change.” They have suggested that they will address the slow-moving culture, manage poor performers better and ensure that policy is rigorously scrutinised.

U-TURN AGAIN AND AGAIN

Meanwhile, the papers are having fun with another U-turn. This time on plans for regional pay. Introducing regional pay for the public services was one of George Osborne’s big structural reform plans in the Budget. He thought it was a vital way of restoring the public sector north of the Wash to some sort of
competitiveness.

But he’s faced a rearguard action from northern Lib Dems – and even Tories – who worry about their seats. Today’s headlines tell us it’s been dumped. The Mail’s called it a “cave-in” , the FT says it’s “on its way out”, while we’ve said it’s “under review”. The Times’ headline is striking though – “No 10 rethinks local pay plans after fierce opposition”: we don’t usually see No 10 making a decision on behalf of the Treasury.

The Mailand the FTalso point out another U-turn on the Beecroft’s ‘fire at will’ proposals. It appears to have been buried by a “call for evidence”. And instead, implementing a new law that will allow firms to offer a voluntary pay-off to workers they wish to dismiss.

UNFINKING

Dave’s chief treasurer Lord Fink is facing calls for his resignation after booking a room in the House of Lords for paying American Express card-holders.

The Independent and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism have found that Lord Fink arranged the event, which was part of a $10,000-per-head “Wimbledon Championships” package available to AmEx Platinum and Centurion card-holders.

This is an embarrassing one for Mr Cameron because Stanley Fink is his chief fundraiser, and it comes after the self-defenestration of Peter Cruddas in not dissimilar circumstances. Lord Fink conceded something wasn’t right when he cancelled the booking last night after being ‘made aware’ it might break the rules. But his swift action won’t be enough to head off calls for his resignation today.

DOCTOR, DOCTOR

The Mail’s splashed on the doctors’ strike. Apparently, they will still be paid despite the fact that 1.25 millions appointments are cancelled. Daniel Poulter, a Tory MP who is also a hospital doctor, has said: “A doctors primary duty is to look after patients, and yet a strike will see operations cancelled, and patients lives being potentially put at risk”.

CALL IN THE RED POLICE

Labour has launched its police commissioners campaign yesterday, featuring a large number of ex-Labour MPs, including Lord Prescott, Vera Baird (previously solicitor-general); Jane Kennedy (who was environment minister) and James Plaskitt (a former work and pensions minister). Where’s the Tory campaign for its own policy? You can read more in the FT report.

DEFENDING PENSIONS

We’ve splashed on the fact that Armed Forces personnel face having to serve for another five years before qualifying for their pensions. The result would be that the effective minimum age for leaving the Services with an immediate pension would increase from 40 to 45.

LONDON FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE

Boris Johnson couldn’t have gone to New York without making a few interesting remarks. In an interview with New York magazine, he said that he wanted to “assume supreme power in England” to get London a new airport and that the “number one” reason people come to London is “greater range of girls at the bar, of

PARLIAMENTARY POUNDS

Nadine Dorries, however, can do no right. We’ve featured a story on her paying her law student daughter “up to £39,000” to be her office manager. Will this revive the row over MPs employing relatives?

Other parliamentarians seems to be shedding pounds though. The Timesreports that politicians tend to gain a stone in weight – known as the “Parliamentary stone”- in their first five years. Apparently this has sparked a new rivalry in the corridors of power – that of Slimming World vs Weight Watchers.

TWEETS AND TWITS

Another MP double jobbing…

“@stellacreasy: in response to tweets- yes my dj’ing skills are available 4 weddings/bar mitvahs etc -only rule is no arguing back from the dancefloor….”

POLL WATCH

Latest YouGov/The Sun results: Conservatives 33%, Labour 44%, Lib Dems 7%, UKIP 8%

Overall government approval rating: -39

TOP COMMENT

In The Telegraph

Mary Riddell: Labour leader Ed Miliband’s anti-austerity alliance will fight for the European dream

Philip Johnston: Doctors get a nasty taste of Gordon Brown’s pension medicine

Niall Ferguson: Reith Lecture: ‘We’re mortgaging the future of the younger generation’

Leader: Political timidity stops airport plans taking off

Best of the rest

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian: To end this impasse, let us tap Europe’s vast wealth

Max Hastings in the Daily Mail: Europe’s on the brink of probably the gravest and most frightening tumult of our lifetime

Rachel Sylvester in the Times: All politicians can do now is hold our hands

Dominic Lawson in the Independent: Greed is the reason your doctor won’t see you on Thursday

THE AGENDA

Today: David Cameron attends G20 summit. Mexico
Today: Sarah Teather gives a speech to the Early Years 2012 conference. QEII Conference Centre, London

Today: Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in UK

Today: General Secretary Dave Prentis gives a speech at Unison’s Annual National Delegate Conference

9.30am: UK monthly inflation figures

10.15am: Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State for Human Rights and FCO officials, appears before the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. Committee Room 16, House of Commons, London

11am: Policing Minister Nick Herbert speaks at a conference on police and crime commissioners. Deloitte, 2 New Street Square, London

11.30am: Liberty to stage a protest against the Justice and Security Bill, as it receives its second reading in the House of Lords. The Supreme Court, Parliament Square, London

2.30pm: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions

3.30pm: Debate on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Britain on 67th birthday

The Nobel laureate will meet Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague during her stay, before addressing Parliament on Thursday.

Ms Suu Kyi will spend today, her 67th birthday, in London and Oxford, the city where she lived in the early 1980s with her late husband, academic Michael Aris and their sons Alexander and Kim,

Tomorrow the Burmese opposition leader, who spent much of the last 21 years under house arrest in her native country, will be presented with an honorary degree by Oxford University and is due to address the Oxford Union.

She arrived in the UK last night from the Republic of Ireland, where she met the president, Michael D Higgins, and U2 singer Bono, who presented her with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award.

Read more….

Aung San Suu Kyi cuts short news conference after vomiting

Ms Suu Kyi, on her first visit to Europe in 24 years, apologised after vomiting, saying she was “totally exhausted” from travelling.

“I am not used to the time difference,” she said in Bern after holding talks with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

Earlier, the woman known as Burma’s steel butterfly used her first speech on the continent to assert her determination to lead her country.

Speaking to a UN-sponsored conference in Geneva on the first working day of her trip, the 67-year old drew applause as she made a pointed correction on her role while travelling abroad.

She said she did not represent the government of Burma, which has faced allegations of using conscript labour in the armed forces and state industries.

Read more….

Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to take seat in Burma’s parliament

Suu Kyi’s party has refused to swear to “safeguard” an army-created constitution in the first sign of tension with the government since a landmark by-election this month saw the democracy icon win a parliamentary seat.

The spat comes as European Union nations are preparing to suspend most sanctions against the impoverished nation for one year to reward a series of dramatic reforms since direct army rule ended last year.

Burma, long-isolated under military dictatorship, has seen a rapid improvement in relations with the international community after the Nobel Peace Prize winner and her party achieved a decisive win in the April 1 polls.

Suu Kyi has shown increased confidence in the reformist government of President Thein Sein in recent weeks, calling for the EU sanctions suspension and planning her first international trip in 24 years.

Thein Sein, who is currently on a visit to Japan, on Monday vowed that he would not backtrack on the country’s democratisation.

Read more….

This charities row may be the least of the Coalition’s worries

To practise politics at its very apex, you have to be amphibious. On Friday, David Willetts, the Universities Minister, was with the Prime Minister in Rangoon, listening to Aung San Suu Kyi speak in the old-fashioned, strictly grammatical English that is the hallmark of many former political prisoners. The Burmese opposition leader is friendly with Ed Llewellyn, the PM’s chief of staff, and the gracious welcome she extended at her modest lakeside home moved and inspired the UK entourage.

Then yesterday, Willetts returned to the domestic fray and the row over charitable donations – a row that embraces the higher education sector for which he is responsible. Universities are among the most clamorous of the many organisations and institutions claiming – as 46 such charities do in a letter to today’s Sunday Telegraph – that the £50,000 cap on donations which can be written off against tax will be “a brake on philanthropy that may deter future donors” and “is confusing and dispiriting”.

Read more….

David Cameron: I was proud to promote Britain to the world

Some people think Britain’s best days are behind us. I completely disagree. I think they are ahead of us. But only if we really get out there, fly the flag, promote the best of Britain and sell our great British brands to the world’s fastest growing markets.

With the eurozone producing sluggish growth, we simply can’t rely on trade with Europe to generate the jobs and growth we need. We need to look south and east and do a much better job of winning business in places such as China, India, the Gulf, Africa and South America.

That’s why I have been leading trade missions to some of the fastest growing parts of the world, including last week’s visit to Japan and south-east Asia.

Today Japan is the fourth biggest trading country in the world. But it is only our 14th biggest export market. Indonesia and Malaysia have growth rates 10 times those of Europe. But our exports to them account for barely a 1 per cent share of their import markets. These are some of the powerhouses of the modern global economy. And they are great friends of Britain, eager to do business with us. You only have to look at the Malaysians already investing in British companies as diverse as Wessex Water and Queens Park Rangers football club.

Read more….

David Cameron: I was right to fly the flag for Britain on Asian trip

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister says the UK ignored key trading partners such as Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia for too long, and that he needed to “put things right.”

His trip – which also saw him become the first Western leader to meet Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma since her release by the country’s ruling military regime – has attracted charges of travelling out of personal vanity.

Mr Cameron has been likened to Tony Blair amid claims he is spending too long out of the country chasing photo-opportunities while voters face a series of problems back home, many of them traced back to last month’s Budget.

However, the Prime Minister describes the countries he visited as “powerhouses of the world economy” and insists he was right to lead the “most high-powered British business delegation ever to visit the region”.

“I’ve not been afraid to put myself on the front line of the sales pitch for British business and encouraging investment into the UK,” he writes, citing a number of deals done with Asian companies that will boost jobs at home.

Read more….