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|Cameron threatens to act against newspapers publishing security
It would be "very difficult" not to take action against newspapers that continue to publish "damaging" security leaks, David Cameron has said.
In the Commons, the prime minister said it was "better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility".
But the government could take out injunctions against further publication of intelligence data, he suggested.
The Guardian has insisted that its coverage of intelligence leaks prompted a necessary and overdue debate.
The British newspaper has been the primary UK outlet for stories based on data leaked by whistleblower and ex-US security analyst Edward Snowden.
Conservative MP Julian Smith asked Mr Cameron: "Is it not time that any newspaper that may have crossed the line on national security comes forward and voluntarily works with the government to mitigate further risks to our citizens?"
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has said the paper was right to report on the leaked files.
But the PM argued: "We have a free press, it's very important the press feels it is not pre-censored from what it writes and all the rest of it.
"The approach we have taken is to try to talk to the press and explain how damaging some of these things can be."
He referred to the Guardian's decision to accede to a request from the government to destroy some of the leaked files. The newspaper maintained at the time that it had other copies.
The PM added: "But they've now gone on and printed further material which is damaging.
"I don't want to have to use injunctions or D notices [issued when the UK government wants to prevent the media from reporting something for national security reasons] or the other tougher measures.
"I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility.
"But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."
Mr Cameron was taking questions after delivering a Commons statement on the recent EU summit.
During the exchanges, Labour leader Ed Miliband urged the government to ensure "proper oversight" of the security services, following claims the US listened to phone calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Labour leader told MPs there were "deep concerns" over the allegations.
But Mr Cameron said the UK intelligence services worked "under the law" and had foiled dozens of terrorist threats in recent years.
German media say the US has been tapping Ms Merkel's phone since 2002.
The White House insists Mr Cameron's communications have not been monitored.
Allegations that US agencies engaged in widespread tapping of phone calls by prominent European politicians dominated the two-day European Council summit in Brussels.
Mr Cameron signed up to a statement from all 28 EU leaders calling for the rebuilding of trust with the United States.
He said the UK and US had "a relationship based on trust".
He added: "In terms of our own intelligence services... we don't comment on their work, but they have parliamentary scrutiny."
Mr Cameron also said: "Our agencies work under the law."
He added: "Of course, as technology develops, the threats we face evolve... But we have every reason to be proud of our intelligence agencies and the work they do."
The prime minister told MPs that 330 people had been convicted of terror offences in British courts since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
He said: "Our intelligence officers serve our country without any public recognition. Some have given their lives in this service and yet their names are not known. Their loved ones must mourn in secret.
"We owe them and every intelligence officer in our country an enormous debt of gratitude. They are silent heroes and heroines keeping our country safe. They deserve our support."
Mr Miliband joined Mr Cameron in endorsing the work of the intelligence services.
He said: "It is vital. It keeps us safe, and, as you said, by its very nature it goes unrecognised."
But he added: "I also support the summit statement on this issue - we can all understand the deep concerns recent reports have caused in some European countries, especially Germany.
"So as well as providing that support for intelligence services, it is right every country ensures proper oversight of those activities."
US President Barack Obama is reported to have told Mrs Merkel that he knew nothing of the operation when the two leaders spoke.
Germany is sending intelligence chiefs to Washington in the coming week to "push forward" an investigation into the spying allegations.
St Jude's Day storm brings hurricane-strength winds to UK
by Ben Farmer
Trains and flights cancelled as Met Office warns of 80mph winds across large parts of UK as St Jude's Day storm hits.
Millions of commuters faced chaos on Monday morning as rail services across large parts of the country were cancelled after warnings that Britain will be battered by the most severe storm in a decade.
Most train operators in the south of England cancelled services before 9am. Disruptions were expected throughout the day.
Network Rail said there will be no rush hour commuter trains into London from the south because of the risk of fallen power lines or trees and debris on the track from the expected hurricane-force winds.
Air passengers also faced disruption as airlines cancelled dozens of flights and airports warned of long delays.
On the roads drivers were told to think carefully before venturing out. Baroness Kramer, the transport minister, advised people not to use their cars.
People were warned to stay away from seafronts, particularly on the South Coast, where the winds were expected to be strongest.
The Severn Bridge and Sheppey Crossing were closed to traffic in the early hours of Monday morning while the Dartford Crossing was also shut.
On Sunday night a 14-year-old boy was feared drowned after he was swept away in heavy seas off East Sussex while playing with friends on a beach.
The Met Office warned that the storm — named after St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day falls on Monday — would hit the Bristol Channel at 2am before sweeping north-eastwards across England and southern Wales.
It was expected to hit the South East at rush hour causing misery for London-bound commuters in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.
Darron Burness, the head of the AA’s flood rescue team, said the timing of the storm “couldn’t really be worse”.
The high winds would cause “significant travel disruption” throughout the morning — “one of the busiest times on the roads”.
He said: “Strong winds and torrential rain is an unpredictable and hazardous combination, which can be quite overwhelming when you’re driving.”
By 11am the storm, with winds of up to 80mph in some areas, was expected to have moved into the North Sea at The Wash.
Forecasters said it would dump up to 4cm or 1.5in of rain in eight hours. Four flood warnings were in place on Sunday along with 144 flood alerts.
The Met Office, who will be acutely aware of the consequences of an incorrect forecast, issued an amber warning, meaning “be prepared”, for the southern half of England and the southern half of Wales. The warning means there is a risk of structural damage and power cuts.
It gave a lesser yellow warning, meaning “be aware”, for the rest of Wales and England up to the border with Scotland.
Downing Street said the storm could have a “widespread impact” across the country.
David Cameron chaired a phone conference on Sunday with heads of departments during which he was briefed on the contingency plans.
The Local Government Association (LGA) said authorities would divert staff from their normal duties to help out with emergency relief efforts if required.
They have found emergency accommodation should families be evacuated from their homes, and highways teams were on standby to rescue stranded motorists and clear debris from roads.
Rail passengers trying to get into London are likely to bear the brunt of Monday's disruption with train companies warning of cancelled services and speed restrictions on most lines in the South.
While many train operators said they hoped to be running services again by midmorning there were fears disruptions would last throughout the day.
South West Trains advised passengers not to travel and said many of its services would not run before 8am.
Trains would also cut their speed to 50mph amid fears of fallen trees or debris on the track.
First Capital Connect said no services were likely to run before 9am and Southern said services would be cancelled until tracks had been declared safe.
East Coast said it was running a special timetable and South Eastern also said it was likely trains would not run on several routes until at least 9am.
A spokesman for Network Rail, which is responsible for the track, said: “We need to be very, very clear for people living south of London. There will be no trains first thing in the morning.”
He said it was “likely to be 9am before we can even consider running trains again”.
Transport for London said there would be no service on the Overground line until 9am.
Eurostar announced that it would be unable to run any cross-Channel rail services until 7am after the high-speed train lines were inspected.
The 5.40am and 6.50am services from London will set off at least an hour late and will be subject to 50mph speed restrictions.
All other services until noon will be subject to about 20-minute delays.
All passengers were advised to follow updates from rail companies or National Rail Enquiries.
Air passengers faced similar difficulties, with Heathrow cancelling about 60 flights, both arrivals and departures. Stansted and Gatwick predicted they would also see flights scrapped.
British Airways (BA) said it had cancelled a number of short-haul flights at the request of Heathrow. A spokesman was unable to confirm the number of cancellations but said there would be a 20 per cent reduction in its schedule from 6-11am, 10 per cent from 11am-4pm and five per cent from 4pm to 10.30pm.
The airline said it hoped to operate long-haul flights in and out of the airport as normal, but there could be some delays due to the storm.
Aer Lingus also cancelled services with eight flights between Ireland and Heathrow affected.
Airports advised travellers to check with their airline before setting out.
Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports urged passengers to keep up to date with the status of their flights, while train services running into the airports were suspended until 9am on Monday morning.
Trains to Southend airport were also cancelled.
Michael Fish, the forecaster who famously failed to predict the 1987 storm, advised that people should delay going into work if hurricane-force winds hit their area.
People should take “two or three hours” off work on Monday morning if the predicted storm hits their area, he suggested.
The Met Office said the winds would not be as high as the 1987 storm that buffeted southern England, but it was not one “you would see every year”.
Forecasters said they expected winds to be as powerful as those seen in October 2000.
Gusts of 115mph were recorded during the Great Storm of 1987, when 18 people died and thousands of homes were without power for several days.
A major search was underway on Sunday for the teenager who was apparently dragged out to sea by the onset of stormy weather preceding St Jude.
The boy was thought to have been with friends on the shoreline at Newhaven, East Sussex, when he was overcome by the waves.
Rescuers braved strengthening storm-force winds as they tried to find him off the coast near Newhaven.
Rescue services, including a helicopter, were involved in the search.
The youngster was in the water at West Beach about 10 yards offshore, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.
Solent Coastguard was alerted to the missing boy through 999 calls.
High winds had already begun on Sunday to cause damage in the South West. An 89ft tall wind turbine blew over in a field at Higher Rixdale Farm, near Teignmouth in Devon.
In Cornwall, a family of four escaped unhurt after a tree hit their house. Two children and their parents were sleeping when the tree crashed through the roof of their house in Camborne.
David Cameron's recovery vow after economy hits a three-year high
by Macer Hall and Alison Little
BRITAIN is “on the path to prosperity”, David Cameron declared yesterday after official figures showed the economy growing at its fastest rate for three years.
The Prime Minister vowed to ensure a “recovery for all”, shared by every region and all groups.
The Tories sought to avoid accusations of complacency, warning there was still much hard work ahead.
But the figures were a source of satisfaction for the Government as ministers suggested Labour was wrong to claim the Coalition’s “Plan A” to save the economy was doomed.
Gross Domestic Product grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter – July to September – said the Office for National Statistics.
That was the best performance since 2010’s second quarter and the first time in three years that growth had risen for nine months in a row.
It included a 2.5 per cent surge in construction, boosted by Government schemes such as Help To Buy.
The economy is still 2.5 per cent smaller than its pre-recession peak of early 2008 and some economists warned growth could slow again as the wages squeeze and soaring energy bills curb spending. But Mr Cameron hailed the “good news”.
At an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, he said: “The figures show our economy has real momentum, that we are on a path to prosperity.”
Admitting “a huge amount more to do”, he added: “Above all, our work here in Europe and at home is about making sure it is a recovery for all; a recovery for North and South, rich and poor, people who have been excluded from our economy.”
His comments echoed Chancellor George Osborne, who also stressed “difficult decisions” still lay ahead.
Deputy PM Nick Clegg said the new figures were “encouraging and show that we are firmly on the road to economic recovery”.
However, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: “For millions still seeing prices rising faster than their wages this is no recovery at all.” He refused to admit being wrong last year in forecasting a “lost decade” of slow growth and high unemployment.
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