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Telegraph daily briefing

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Telegraph daily briefing

Post  Panda on Wed 29 Jan - 16:25


Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Viewing on a mobile?


The Telegraph


Eveningbriefing

James Kirkup JAMES KIRKUP
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NOT THE ECONOMY, STUPID

A FIGHT ON TWO FRONTS
The recovery continues. ONS data confirmed the UK economy grew 1.9 per cent last year, the best since 2007.


The Conservatives (and the Lib Dems, who are fighting furiously to claim the recovery as their own, though not many people have noticed) are jubilant. The economy’s the most important thing around, and if it’s improving, their prospects must be good, right? And indeed, the ComRes/Indy and YouGov/Sun polls overnight gladdened Tory hearts, showing the Labour lead is slipping.


Ipsos MORI today released polling showing that “race relations/immigration” has now equalled “economy” as the most important issue identified by British voters. It’s the first time the issue has ever topped the list: a year ago, 52 per cent of voters put the economy top, and only 22 per cent said immigration.


The trend is fascinating for any number of reasons, not least what it suggests about the effectiveness of Conservative rhetoric on migration.


Since Ukip’s gains in last May’s local elections, David Cameron has been taking an ever harder line on immigration, in an effort to answer public concerns. Today’s figures raise the intriguing question of whether he has answered those concerns or boosted them.


More immediately, the data are a rude reminder that the Conservatives are fighting on two fronts: they may feel they’re winning on the economic battlefield where Labour is the main foe, but there remains another fight to be had over immigration, where Ukip are also a significant force.


In short, the figures are a reminder that there is more to the political game than the economy. The conventional wisdom at Westminster is that a sound economy is a prerequisite for a Tory win in 2015. That’s true, but shouldn’t be over-read: it’s a necessary condition, but not sufficient one. It’s not just the economy, stupid.

PHONE HACKING TRIAL


Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World (and David Cameron's former communications chief), demanded to hear a hacked voicemail which revealed the affair between Sienna Miller and Daniel Craig before orchestrating a cover-up, a court heard today. Mr Coulson became "animated" after hearing a recording of the voicemail in which Miller, who was in a relationship with Jude Law at the time, told James Bond actor Craig "I love you", the court heard. Read the full story here.

SYRIA REFUGEE CRISIS

An announcement is expected shortly on whether Britain will take in some of the most vulnerable refugees from the Syrian civil war. It's a divisive issue. By 47% to 39%, a recent poll showed that Britons are opposed to admitting a few hundred Syrian refugees to the country. More than half of Conservative voters oppose the idea (54%) and 71% per cent of Ukip voters oppose it, even though Nigel Farage - along with Nick Clegg - has been among those increasing pressure on the Government over its response to the crisis.

ARNIE GRAF'S VISA


Tory MP Priti Patel asked immigration officials urgently to investigate whether Ed Miliband's American campaigning guru, Arnie Graf, is working illegally in the UK. Labour insisted their man has the correct visa for his activities and isn't paid for his work - but have acknowledged he is reimbursed for expenses and loss of earnings during his UK visits. Miss Patel wonders if those payments breach the terms of his business visa. "As you know, paying individuals to work in the UK who do not have the appropriate visa is a serious criminal offence," she wrote in a letter to the head of immigration enforcement. It's a bit early for election campaign mischief-making, but this could cause red faces at Labour HQ.

**PRESS CONFERENCE WATCH**


It has now been 224 days since David Cameron gave a full press conference in the UK.

POLICE vs LOUGHTON


A police force has been accused of threatening the principle of parliamentary free speech by sending a notice to an MP warning him not to harass a constituent. East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said the police information notice (PIN) was issued by the Sussex force after he sent Kieran Francis a copy of Hansard - the record of parliamentary proceedings - containing a speech he made to the House of Commons about a long-running dispute between them. Full details here.

MYSTIC GEORGE


“What they need on the other side of the House is a new Crystal Balls.” - George Osborne sledges the shadow chancellor earlier today.


POLL OF THE DAY


61% support increasing the top rate of tax to 50p. (YouGov





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