Rochester and Strood by-election
The Express claims an exclusive story that six MPs are about to defect to UKIP if the Mark Reckless, as expected, wins this week’s Rochester and Strood by-election.
Insiders claim Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron is the most likely to cross the floor.
Five others could also make the switch in the coming weeks, according to sources. Last night Mr Baron refused to rule out joining Ukip and would refer only to earlier comments he made on BBC’s Newsnight last month.
When he was asked on the programme whether he would defect, he replied: “You should never say never in politics.” However, he added: “My very strong preference is to stay within the Conservative Party.”
Ukip is on course for victory in the Kent constituency of Rochester and Strood on Thursday. One opinion poll gave the party a 12-point lead.
Last night Mark Reckless, the former Tory MP who sparked the by-election by defecting to Ukip, told the Sunday Express that victory could result in a realignment of British politics of the sort not witnessed since the collapse of the Liberal Party in 1922.
He said: “I don’t know what the result will be next Thursday and obviously I will be fighting for every vote but if Ukip can win here then Ukip can win across the country.
“I don’t know whether it is an earthquake or a tsunami but we are seeing the potential realignment of our political system and it is conceivable that, as the political system changed in the 1920s with Labour replacing the Liberals, we may see a similar change over the next decade.”
And according to the Guardian, the Conservatives have thrown in the towel
The Tories have written off their chances of winning – or even coming close to winning – in this week’s crucial Rochester and Strood byelection, saying the best they could now hope for is to cut Ukip’s victory margin to less than 10 points.
The admission – designed to limit the shock to Tory MPs of a thumping defeat on the night – is nonetheless a humiliation for David Cameron and his party, which said a few weeks ago that it was confident of victory and would “throw the kitchen sink” at defending the seat. With Ukip leader Nigel Farage predicting more defections in coming weeks, the Tories are now claiming they are not unduly worried by a second byelection loss to the anti-EU party, because they also expect Labour to suffer a meltdown in its vote.
Asked whether the Conservatives still believed they could win in the Kent seat, which they took from Labour with a 9,953 majority at the 2010 general election, a Tory cabinet source told the Observer: “We have got no reason to think the published polls are not true. They have shown a 12- or 13-point Ukip lead. If we were able to squeeze it to single digits, then great.”
The source added: “Our vote is holding up OK. We are at 30%, maybe even 33%. It is not bad. Ukip are in the 40s. But Labour have absolutely capitulated and collapsed in a seat that they held until 2010. There are at least as many questions for Ed Miliband as for us. We are fairly relaxed about the whole thing, as I think it is priced in at this stage.”
The Conservatives are taking comfort from a poll last week by former Tory vice-chairman Lord Ashcroft that suggested that voters were likely to use the byelection to voice a protest and then return to them in the general election, ousting the defector Mark Reckless after just six months as a Ukip MP.
On Saturday, as the fast-growing far-right group Britain First, which has invaded mosques dressed in paramilitary-style uniforms, staged a march through Rochester, the Conservatives said there were clear links between the group and Ukip – a claim rejected outright by Ukip.
Violence erupted when the BNP splinter group clashed with a larger group of anti-fascist protesters. Punches were thrown and placards were used as batons before police stepped in. Britain First – whose members dress in dark green hoodies – split with the BNP in 2011 and claims it has more Facebook “likes” than any other political party.
The Guardian reports a poll in which few people see Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.
The proportion of people who said they could see Ed Miliband as prime minister has fallen to only one in five.
Labour has extended its poll lead to four points but just one in five people can imagine Ed Miliband as prime minister, according to a poll.
The survey put Labour on 34%, unchanged from last month despite infighting within the opposition ranks and speculation about Miliband’s leadership, with the Tories down one point on 30%.
The ComRes study for the Sunday Mirror and Independent on Sunday put Ukip on 19%, the Liberal Democrats up one point on 8% and the Green Party down one point on 3%.
The proportion of people who said they could imagine Miliband in No 10 has fallen to 20%, down from 25% 12 months ago, with those disagreeing up six points on 59%.
Only 50% of Labour voters said they could imagine Miliband as prime minister, a fall of nine points compared to November 2013.
Almost a quarter (24%) of Lib Dem voters said they could imagine Miliband in No 10.
Only 29% of those asked trusted Miliband to stand up for working people, compared with 22% for David Cameron.
And half of those surveyed expect Cameron to make deep cuts to public services if he is in No 10 after the 2015 election, compared with 24% for Miliband.
For Sky News, politics reporter Darren McCaffrey suggests five things Labour must do to win the General Election.
After a miserable couple of weeks, Ed Miliband has begun his fightback – with a speech in which said he had the resilience and fight as Labour leader.
He hasn’t got long to turn things around – there are now just under six months until the next General Election. And adding to the depressing news for Mr Miliband is a new poll showing he’s the most unpopular party leader since records began in the 1970s.
So here are five things I think Labour need to look at if they are to win the next election:
MAKE PEOPLE LIKE ED:
EXTEND BEYOND THE CORE VOTE:
TACKLE THE UKIP SURGE:
WIN THE ECONOMIC ARGUMENT:
In the growing showdown between Putin and Cameron, the Independent reports the hard talking between the two leaders.
David Cameron warned Vladimir Putin, face to face, that Russia’s whole post-Cold War relationship with the West is at a “fork in the road” over Ukraine.
After a tense build-up to the meeting over the past week, when the Prime Minister has repeatedly compared Russia’s interventions in Ukraine with the actions of Nazi Germany, the pair gave no quarter in talks lasting nearly an hour.
As they shook hands for the cameras at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, the two men barely made eye contact, and Downing Street sources described the private talks that followed as “robust” and “frank”. There were reports that Mr Putin decided to leave the meeting early today, missing the official lunch, following this meeting and a tense encounter with the French President, François Hollande.
Canada’s Prime Minister ,Stephen Harper, made clear his frustration as he met Mr Putin, telling him: “Well, I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine.”
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he had told Mr Putin that “Russia would be so much more attractive if it was aspiring to be a superpower for peace and prosperity, if it was trying to be a superpower for ideas and for values, instead of trying to recreate the lost glories of tsarism or the old Soviet Union”.
The alleged child abuse at a high level within the establishment still rumbles on, with the Mail claiming an MP strangled a child to death.
A victim of the VIP paedophile abuse scandal claims he saw a Conservative MP murder a young boy at one of their sick orgies.
Detectives are investigating three murders linked to the child sex ring, it was reported last night, days after the Metropolitan Police revealed they had launched a probe into a killing connected to the historical abuse.
A victim of the sickening sex parties says he was in the same room as a boy, aged 12, was strangled by a Tory MP.
The boy, known as Nick, told the Sunday People: ‘I watched while that happened. I am not sure how I got out of that. Whether I will ever know why I survived, I am not sure.’
Now a grown man, he has also told detectives that he saw a 10 or 11-year-old deliberately run over by a car.
As well as this, Nick claims he saw two unknown men murder a third boy in front of another MP 18 months later.
The story is also covered in the Mirror.
A victim of the Westminster paedophile abuse scandal has claimed he saw a Conservative MP murder a young boy during a depraved sex party.
And the Sunday People can reveal that detectives are investigating THREE murders allegedly linked to a network of VIP perverts.
The horrifying account comes days after Scotland Yard confirmed they have launched a murder probe connected to allegations of sex abuse from the 1970s and 80s.
Today the Sunday People and Exaro investigations agency expose the full extent of shocking events the witness, known as Nick, has described to the Metropolitan Police paedophile unit.
Nick claims the first death was of a boy aged ten or 11 who was deliberately run down by a car.
Another chilling allegation is that he was in the same room in the 1980s when a 12-year-old boy was strangled by a Tory MP.
Nick said: “I watched while that happened. I am not sure how I got out of that. Whether I will ever know why I survived, I am not sure.”
Eighteen months later, he claims a third boy was killed by two unknown men in front of another MP.
And in the Express
DETECTIVES examining claims of historic sex abuse involving politicians have launched a new investigation into “possible homicide”.
Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Fairbank, which is looking into claims of a pedophile ring with links to the government, have in recent weeks been made aware of allegations concerning “serious non-recent sexual abuse” said to have occured over 30 years ago.
The force said the detectives from the investigation are now working with homicide officers as part of a new investigation called Operation Midland.
Scotland Yard said in a statement: “Over the past month, detectives working on Operation Fairbank within the Met’s specialist crime and operations have been made aware of allegations concerning serious non-recent sexual abuse, said to have occurred over 30 years ago.
“Our inquiries into this, over subsequent weeks, have revealed further information regarding possible homicide.
“Based on our current knowledge, this is the first time that this specific information has been passed to the Met.
“At this early stage in this inquiry, with much work still to do, it is not appropriate to issue appeals or reveal more information.
“Detectives from the Child Abuse Investigation Command are working closely with colleagues from the Homicide and Major Crime Command concerning this information, which is being looked at under the name of Operation Midland.”
Fairbank was launched in 2012 after Labour MP Tom Watson used the Prime Minister’s Questions to air claims that there was a pedophile ring with links to Number 10.
Two more inquiries were also spawned from Fairbank.
Paedophile Information Exchange
The Mail reveals how former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was duped into aiding the founder of this group.
Gordon Brown was duped into backing an event where a paedophile group secretly planned to launch its vile campaign, it emerged last night.
Mr Brown and former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook were among several key figures on the intellectual Left who sponsored a conference, unaware the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) was seeking to piggy-back its way into a legitimate movement.
Both men believed they were simply supporting a gay rights congress and, on that basis, agreed to lend their names to it.
But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that it was organised by the founder of PIE, the sinister 1970s lobby group dedicated to legalising sex with children.
Publicly available documents show:
- PIE planned to use the congress to push its own disturbing agenda.
- Paedophiles from all over the world were secretly invited and assured the event would take ‘paedophilia in its stride’.
- PIE was mentioned in a congress programme as a ‘new Scottish-based group of paedophiles’.
- Delegates were invited to attend a planned ‘workshop’ on paedophilia.
PIE would later use similar tactics to infiltrate the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) when it moved its powerbase to London a few years later.
Earlier this year, shocking links were exposed between PIE and Labour grandees Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt, who all held key roles in the NCCL.
Ms Harman belatedly expressed ‘regret’ that the group – which police suspect of abusing children on an ‘industrial scale’ – was allowed to forge links with the council. However, she refused to apologise.
The International Gay Rights Congress was held over four days in Edinburgh in December 1974 and organised by Ian Dunn, who had set up PIE a few months earlier.