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Osborne asks the MoD to make £1 billion of further cuts

DEFENCE cuts‘George Osborne is seeking to cut the budgets of most government departments this year by an extra 5 per cent in a move that raises the chances of Britain missing a crucial Nato target for defence spending. The Treasury has told each ministry, with the exception of health, education and international development, to find savings amounting to £3 billion or more before the budget on July 8. The Ministry of Defence has been asked to find £1 billion of the savings.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Why meeting the NATO two per cent defence target matters

Cameron’s EU tour hits choppy waters in France

‘David Cameron held a difficult meeting with President Hollande last night where they agreed that there was still “a lot to work through” before agreement was reached on the European Union…Mr Cameron said before the meal at the Élysée Palace: “My priority is to reform the EU to make it more competitive, and to address the concerns of the British people about our membership. The status quo is not good enough”…[Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius] said Britain would undoubtedly suffer more than Europe from a “Brexit”. The British must understand that they could not change the “club” rules at whim, he went on. “They joined a football club and you can’t say in the middle of the match, ‘Well, now we’re going to play rugby’. It’s one or the other.”’ – The Times (£)

Whittingdale and the Prime Minister call for Blatter to resign over FIFA corruption scandal

ball‘David Cameron and FA chief Greg Dyke backed calls for Mr Blatter to resign and voiced their support for his rival…Culture, Media and Sport Secretary John Whittingdale said a change in leadership was ‘very badly needed’ and urged sponsors to review their relationships with the troubled body. He said a boycott of the 2018 World Cup in Russia was the ‘nuclear option’ as it would hit fans.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

Duncan Smith: We’re changing lives for the better, as well as saving money

‘Already more than 14,000 households affected by the cap have taken the positive step into work. What’s crucial about this fact is that these are now homes where children can see their parents going to work, and perhaps for the first time understand the value of work and the feelings of self-worth it brings. This is social justice in action, welfare reform that improves individual lives, not that just generates savings.’ – Iain Duncan Smith MP, Daily Telegraph

  • Thousands of children miss out on food because their parents buy tobacco instead – The Sun (£)
  • No sympathy for such bad priorities – The Sun Says (£)
  • The UN suggests Britain should ration healthcare – Daily Telegraph
  • NAO attacks welfare reforms – FT

>Yesterday: John Higginson on Comment: Compassionate conservatism can reach parts of the country that have traditionally rejected our party Continue to all today’s Newslinks