Home secretary forced to “water down” immigration speech

The Financial Times reports today that home secretary Teresa May was forced to “water down” her first major speech on immigration last week, after an intervention from Downing Street and business secretary Vince Cable. Unnamed sources within the government told the FT that May’s original speech was “over the top” – with particular objections to passages which attacked the level of Tier 1 visas.

38 Degrees show the way with grassroots fundraising

The chief executive of a fledgling progressive grass-roots movement sent an email out to its membership thanking them for their engagement and highlighting its success – proving that President Obama’s crowdsourcing funding model can work in the UK.

Another Tory poll fall in wake of spending review

For the second week running, a poll series has put Labour ahead of the Conservatives for the first time in three years. Just like last week’s Times/Populus poll, a ComRes poll for today’s Independent gives Labour a narrow lead, up three points on 37 per cent, with the Conservatives down five points on 35 per cent and the Liberal Democrats up two points on 16 per cent.

Coalition’s “transparency trailblazer” Pickles refuses FoI request

The Coalition’s self-appointed champion of governmental transparency, Eric Pickles, has been criticised for failing to release information over potentially defamatory comments made about chair of the Electoral Commission, Jenny Watson, who his Department of Community and Local Government (DCLG) accused of building her “career on incompetence” and “milking the taxpayer”.

Boris takes aim at Cameron with talk of “Kosovo-style social cleansing”

London’s Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson today criticised the coalition government’s plans for housing benefit, labelling it a “Kosovo-style social cleansing of London”. Johnson’s criticisms mark another dispute in the space of a week between the London Mayor and the prime minister – after David Cameron vowed to block any moves for London estuary airport.