The Conservative Party has hired the Australian campaign manager who masterminded Boris Johnson's successful mayoral bids. Lynton Crosby, known as the 'Wizard of Oz', will start work early next year on a part-time basis before stepping-up his role when the next election is called. Johnson had told the party it would be "mad" not to hire Crosby.
TORIES HIRE BORIS 'ATTACK DOG' CROSBY
ISRAEL CONTINUES GAZA STRIKES
Israel has continued to strike targets in the Gaza strip as the latest escalation of the conflict with Hamas terrorists reaches its fifth day. Predictions of a ground assault by Israeli forces are growing, though The Daily Beast quotes a US official as saying that Israel has assured the White House it will not order a full-scale invasion unless Hamas steps up rocket fire.
MPS 'DEMONISING' PUBLIC SCHOOLS
"Malicious" politicians are "demonising" fee-paying education, says the leader of Britain's public schools. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference Dr Christopher Ray says there has been a “wilful mischaracterisation” of fee-paying schools by political leaders.
UK TOPS 'SOFT POWER' TABLE
Britain has for the first time finished top of the survey of global 'soft power'. Monocle magazine's annual survey measures how countries use 'the rules of attraction', rather than intimidation or payment, to build influence. With 22 number one albums overseas and the success of the London Olympics, Britain has knocked the US off its top spot.
GRIEVING DAD URGES ABORTION REFORM
The father of Savita Halappanavar, the young woman who died after being refused an emergency abortion in Ireland, has appealed to prime minister Enda Kenny to update the country's abortion laws. Speaking to The Observer, Andanappa Yalagi said reform would "save the lives of so many women in the future." Thousands marched in Dublin yesterday in memory of Halappanavar.
MCALPINE COULD SUE THOUSANDS
Thousands of Twitter users could face legal action from Lord McAlpine after he was wrongly linked to child abuse allegations. Lawyers predict that the action could make history by involving the largest number of defendants in a British case. Comedian Alan Davies is among those who could be targeted for comments made on the social networking website.
MOST BRITS WANT TO LEAVE EU
Over half of Britain's voters want to leave the European Union, according to a poll published in The Observer. The survey found that 56% of respondents would probably or definitely vote for the UK to leave the EU if they were given the chance to vote in a referendum on the question. The result will trouble the three main parties, but delight Ukip.
TWO MORE BONDS NET £31M FOR CRAIG
Daniel Craig will be paid more than £31m to appear in the next two James Bond films, making him the highest paid 007. The figure constitutes a significant pay rise for the actor, who was handed a joint fee of £10m for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and takes him near the top of the Hollywood pay structure. The next Bond film is expected in the autumn of 2014.
MPS TO RULE ON PRISONER VOTES
MPs are to be given another chance to rule on whether prisoners should be allowed to vote, reports the BBC. A draft bill will be presented on Thursday, giving MPs the chance to choose whether to give the vote to prisoners serving four years or less, or six months or less, or for no prisoners to get the vote at all.
CANARIES SWEEP UNITED OFF PERCH
Manchester United have dropped to second place in the Premier League after losing 1-0 at Norwich. Anthony Pilkington's second-half header gave the Canaries only their second win over United in 15 league matches. Meanwhile, Arsenal fans had plenty to cheer as their team beat rivals Tottenham 5-2 at Emirates Stadium.