A “Dirty tricks” campaign against Labour staff? – Media and blog round up: February 6th 2013

February 6, 2013 10:25 am

Subscribers to our email list have been receiving our new morning daily email since Monday – including the following Media and blog round up. If you were on our email list you’d have received this an hour ago – you can sign up here.

Did News International launch “dirty tricks” campaign against Labour staff?

“News International is accused of having engaged in systematic political dirty tricks against the former Labour government by hacking the phones of party workers inside key offices. The publisher has recently settled a hacking claim with Amanda Ramsay, who was targeted at a time she worked in the office of Labour whip Graham Stringer MP. The agreement follows other settlements with other Labour party workers Hilary Perrin, the former regional organiser for London, and Joan Hammell, who was targeted while working as a special adviser to John Prescott.” – The Independent

Mid Staffordshire NHS report due – and Cameron will lead the attack

“Hundreds of hospital patients died in the biggest NHS scandal in living memory because of a box-ticking culture and a failure of compassion, a damning official report will say today. David Cameron is appalled by the findings of a long-awaited report into the deaths of up to 1,200 people between 2005 and 2008 because of poor care in hospitals run by the Mid Staffordshire trust. It is expected to blame managers who cut costs and reduced staffing levels in an attempt to hit Labour’s ‘efficiency’ targets and win foundation status.” – Daily Mail

“David Cameron is to deliver the government’s response in the House of Commons on Wednesday to the Francis inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal. In a sign of the gravity of the inquiry, Downing Street confirmed that the prime minister would take the rare step of delivering the government’s statement after briefing the cabinet about the report on Tuesday. The relevant secretary of state would usually make such a statement. But the prime minister occasionally delivers the government’s response to major inquiries, as he did on the Bloody Sunday inquiry and in the Pat Finucane case, when he believes it is important to acknowledge the gravity of the issue.” – The Guardian

“That leaves Andy Burnham, the former health secretary and Mr Hunt’s shadow, open to attack from Mr Cameron. If the PM is spoiling for a political scrap over the Francis report, he may be disappointed in an opponent who holds Mr Cameron in some regard. As a Catholic whose decision to back Mr Miliband on gay marriage was not lightly taken, he is said to admire Mr Cameron’s courage on that issue as well as expecting the PM’s “regard for people” to be reflected in his Francis response. Mr Burnham is also thought to believe Labour will have lessons to learn over the target culture and the market reforms driven through by Tony Blair and Alan Milburn.” – Mary Riddell, Telegraph

Other highlights

  • Lords Speaker urges Cameron to slash number of peers – The Times(£)
  • UK could face Human Rights court over rendition – Guardian
  • “Shambolic” privatisation of translation services slammed – The Guardian
  • Can Cameron heal his divided party? – ConHome
  • Cameron sells access to Justin Bieber (this not not a joke, sadly) – The Sun 

Latest

  • News Watson criticises changes to parliamentary selections, as making it “more likely special advisers will be selected”

    Watson criticises changes to parliamentary selections, as making it “more likely special advisers will be selected”

    Tom Watson has criticised Ed Miliband’s decision to take responsibility for choosing the shortlists for Labour parliamentary selections as of 11th December. The reform  was signed off by the Labour national executive committee (NEC) earlier in the week – and it gives an NEC selection panel the power to choose the shortlist that is then put to the local party in question. Watson, who was previously Labour’s campaign co-ordinator said: “It is remarkably early for the leader’s office to take […]

    Read more →
  • News Commons pass vote on Clive Efford’s NHS bill

    Commons pass vote on Clive Efford’s NHS bill

    The Private Member’s Bill brought forward by backbencher Clive Efford passed its first vote in the Commons today, by 241 votes to 18. While the opposition benches were almost full, there were a distinct lack of Government MPs in Westminster for the debate: The Labour MPs who turned out in force were joined by ex-Conservatives UKIP MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, who were both voted in favour of the bill – which would repeal aspects of the 2012 Health […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Here’s our opportunity: the policies people want are real Labour policies

    Here’s our opportunity: the policies people want are real Labour policies

    There are a couple of very basic facts that underpin Scottish politics at the moment. Simply put, people are fed up and they’re angry. They’re fed up of business as usual in politics and of a system that means they work hard for very little while those who already have the most get more. They’re angry with a political establishment that’s seen as out of touch and just not listening as people on the ground struggle. The question we have […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Carswell, Farage and Reckless – stock brokers and merchant bankers, not champions of the working class

    Carswell, Farage and Reckless – stock brokers and merchant bankers, not champions of the working class

    We knew Mark Reckless had a brass neck. You’d have to have one to show your face again after you fell over blind drunk in the Commons on practically your first week in the job. Which, by the way, doesn’t bode well for him when it comes to keeping up with Nige in the pub after work. But I didn’t think even the Rochester rebel would have the nerve to claim the Chartists (and the Levellers, and the Suffragettes) for […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Gordon Brown outlines proposals for a stronger Scottish Parliament

    Gordon Brown outlines proposals for a stronger Scottish Parliament

    Today Gordon Brown will give a speech to the 17th State Of The City Economy Conference in Glasgow where he will propose his plans for a stronger Scottish Parliament Brown, who was widely heralded as one of the strongest voices in the Scottish referendum campaign, will say that this plans will not just mimic the SNP’s one-dimensional focus on constitutional change but will unite the people of Scotland. He will propose using 17 new powers to the Scottish Parliament, which […]

    Read more →