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Labour: David Cameron has failed on immigration

David Cameron has failed to fulfil his promise to get net migration down to tens of thousands, the shadow Home Secretary has said.

Yvette Cooper says Labour has been calling for tougher restrictions for 18 months.
Yvette Cooper says Labour has been calling for tougher restrictions for 18 months. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Speaking following the Prime Minister's announcement of fresh curbs on benefits for migrants, Yvette Cooper said Labour called for tougher benefit restrictions nearly 18 months ago.

"We need less talk from the Prime Minister on immigration and more action," she said.

"The Government should get a grip and finally implement Labour's proposals to stop the undercutting of wages and jobs for local workers by the exploitation of low-skilled migrant labour, including banning recruitment agencies that only hire foreign workers and pressing for stronger controls in Europe."

Read: Cameron to limit migrant benefits to three months

Lord Coe 'pulls out' of race to chair BBC Trust

Sebastian Coe has signalled he has pulled out of the race to become the next chairman of the BBC Trust.

Seb Coe suggested he doesn't have the "capacity" to chair the BBC Trust.
Seb Coe suggested he doesn't have the "capacity" to chair the BBC Trust. Credit: PA

The London 2012 supremo, who is chairman of the British Olympic Association, was at one point the Government's preferred candidate for the role but told the Daily Mail he did not have the "capacity" for the job.

He said: "I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyse whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities.

"On reflection, I haven't the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) election."

Other names mentioned in relation to the role at the BBC's governing body include Dame Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of the company behind the Financial Times, and Channel 4 chairman Lord Burns.

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Labour 'run in a totally dysfunctional way'

Damian McBride, who was forced to resign as former prime minister Gordon Brown's adviser in 2009 after being linked to a plot to smear Tory MPs on a gossip website, said:

Labour currently has no clear idea who its target audience is, no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.

– Damian McBride

The former spin doctor urged Labour to acknowledge its mistakes in government and to better communicate a coherent plan for the country. He wrote:

If Labour currently has central, underlying messages that it is trying to communicate to the electorate about itself, its policies, and its leader, the best you could say at present is that it's not quite coming across.

If the message is 'We're not the Tories or the Lib Dems, and you hate them', that may work up to a point, but it won't do much for those people who would happily express their antipathy by voting for Ukip or just staying at home, let alone those who hate Labour as well.

– Damian McBride

McBride: Labour policies 'are a steaming pile of fudge'

Ed Balls and Ed Miliband come under attack from Gordon Brown's former adviser.
Ed Balls and Ed Miliband come under attack from Gordon Brown's former adviser. Credit: PA

The Labour Party is being run in a "totally dysfunctional" way with policies that amount to "a great steaming pile of fudge", according to a former party spin doctor.

In an apparent attack on Ed Miliband's leadership, Damian McBride warned that the party has a problem in communicating positive messages to voters and that its policies either do not stand up to scrutiny or "go unnoticed in the pub".

In an updated version of his memoirs, serialised in the Daily Mail, Mr McBride said Mr Miliband should position himself as an outsider like Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage rather than an establishment politician directed by PR advisers.

PM: You can't come to UK to get something for nothing

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, David Cameron said:

We changed the rules so that no-one can come to this country and expect to get out-of-work benefits immediately; they must wait at least three months.

And we are announcing today that we are cutting the time people can claim these benefits for.

It used to be that European jobseekers could claim JSA (jobseeker's allowance) or child benefit for a maximum of six months before their benefits would be cut off, unless they had very clear job prospects... we will be reducing that cut-off point to three months, saying very clearly: you cannot expect to come to Britain and get something for nothing.

Taken together, this is about building a different kind of Britain - a country that is not a soft touch, but a place to play your part; a nation where those who work hard can get on.

– David Cameron

PM to limit migrant benefits to three months

European immigrants will only be able to claim benefits for three months unless they have serious job prospects under plans outlined by David Cameron.

The Prime Minister insisted the change would make it clear to migrants that they cannot get "something for nothing" in Britain and further address what he claims is the "magnetic pull" of the benefits system.

The PM says he wants to get rid of a "something for nothing" culture.
The PM says he wants to get rid of a "something for nothing" culture. Credit: PA

The plans will build on changes announced in January that mean European migrants have to wait three months after arriving in Britain before claiming out-of-work benefits.

After that three months, migrants will now only be able to claim benefits for three months unless they have "very clear job prospects" - a cut from the six months of claiming announced in January.

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Union: Tribunal fees 'are victory for UK's worst bosses'

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said:

Employment tribunal fees have been a huge victory for Britain's worst bosses.

By charging up-front fees for harassment and abuse claims the Government has made it easier for bad employers to get away with the most appalling behaviour.

Tribunal fees are part of a wider campaign to get rid of workers' basic rights. The consequence has been to price low-paid and vulnerable people out of justice.

– Frances O'Grady

Employment tribunal fees see claims drop 80%

Introducing fees for employment tribunals has been a "huge victory" for the country's worst bosses and has led to a collapse in the number of claims, according to a new report.

The TUC said women and low-paid workers had been worst affected since the Government brought in fees of up to £1,200 last year.

The total number of claims had fallen by 79%, but there had been an 80% cut in sex discrimination claims, while cases of unpaid wages and holiday pay were down by 85%, a study found.

TUC boss Frances O'Grady said the introduction of tribunal fees were a victory for bad bosses.
TUC boss Frances O'Grady said the introduction of tribunal fees were a victory for bad bosses. Credit: PA

Tories: Burnham 'posturing' over NHS privatisation

A Conservative Party spokesman accused Labour of posturing:

This speech is all about politics - it's not a serious plan for the future of the NHS.

Use of the private sector by the NHS doubled in the last four years of Labour, a far bigger increase than under this Government.

Andy Burnham himself signed off the privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital during Labour's final year so it is pure political posturing to try to interfere with doctors making the best clinical judgments for patients.

The most important thing with NHS care is that it is high quality and free at the point of delivery.

Because of the realistic assessments this Government has made on public spending, we've been able to do exactly that.

We've increased health spending, increased the number of doctors and reduced the number of managers.

– Conservative party spokesman

Burnham: NHS privatised 'without public permission'

Andy Burnham is due to say in his speech today:

Labour publishes new analysis today which shows that NHS forced privatisation is entering new territory and becoming harder to reverse.

Contracts are being signed that will run for the five years of the next Parliament, and beyond. This is not acceptable. Contracts like this will tie the hands of the next Government in a crucial area of public policy.

But, even worse, they are being signed without a mandate from the public. The Prime Minister was not up front about these plans at the last election.

He needs to be reminded that he has never been given the permission of the public to put the NHS up for sale in this way.

– Andy Burnham, shadow health secretary
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