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Cameron dragged into row with high-profile charity boss…

Camerons thinking copy“Camila Batmanghelidjh confirmed this morning that she was standing down as chief executive of the charity Kids Company after the government allegedly refused to hand over any more public money until she quit. The charity has suffered severe financial problems and is reliant on taxpayers for around 20 per cent of its £20million funding. Government officials have become increasingly alarmed at the state of the charity and refused to sign off any more cash until she was replaced… Mr Cameron, who has shared a platform with Ms Batmanghelidjh in the past, has previously defended the charity’s funding against efforts by ministers and officials in the Cabinet Office and Department for Education to cut it or intervene”. – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister overruled concerns to fund poster girl for the ‘Big Society’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Fears that charity had become personal fiefdom – Daily Mail
  • Kids Company chief to step down over ‘unprecedented financial strain’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Batmanghelidjh claims she’s being forced out to hide child abuse – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • Charities need scrutiny as much as public support – Harriet Sergeant, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The perils of lionising charities

…as Feldman confirms the Prime Minister’s intentions on when to resign

“David Cameron made clear to colleagues that he would not fight the 2020 election before he said it publicly, one of his closest friends has said. Lord Feldman of Elstree, Conservative chairman and a Cameron ally since the University of Oxford days, became the first senior Tory figure to confirm after the election that the prime minister has no intention of fighting the next vote. The peer suggested that Mr Cameron’s public remark, made apparently casually to a BBC journalist, was not the first time he had thought about the subject. In an interview with The Times, Lord Feldman revealed: “He said publicly what he had said privately – that he wouldn’t go on for ever. Ten years is a long time.” – The Times (£)

Allister Heath: Today’s Greek vote may make the EU more amenable to real change

Euro meltdown“For all of those deluded Europhiles who believed that enforcing an artificial, imperfect currency on 19 different, divergent nations was a good idea that would help bring about peace, friendship and prosperity, the events of the past few weeks have surely been devastating. The Eurosceptics were right; the problem now is that in the best case scenario the region will undergo years of painful convulsions, precipitating a new treaty that imposes greater centralisation and restrictions on the fiscal independence of nation states. Such a move would outrage Eurosceptics, needless to say, and could lead to a collapse of the whole project if it is rejected by voters… Reopening treaties properly would create a major opportunity for the UK, albeit one that may come too late for David Cameron’s renegotiation.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Michael Fabricant MP in Comment: Just who is betraying whom in the Greek crisis, Mr Juncker?

Osborne 1) Inheritance tax break for homeowners planned

“David Cameron and George Osborne are to raise the inheritance tax threshold for couples who want to pass on their family home to their children to £1 million. They have also fired the opening salvo in the political battle over home ownership, saying they will “take on” opponents of planning reforms and council house and housing association sell-offs. In a joint article in The Times before Wednesday’s budget, the prime minister and chancellor make housing benefit a clear option for welfare cuts, insisting that Britain must build its way out of spiralling social rents.” – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • Forget new tax promises, try reviving these old ones – Matthew Lynn, Daily Telegraph
  • Beware the hubris that stalks every Chancellor – Paul Johnson, The Times (£)
  • The biggest raid on benefits you’ve never heard of – Juliette Jowit, The Guardian

Editorial:

>Yesterday: Ben Caldecott in Comment: How to build Green and Responsible Conservatism in next week’s budget – and more widely

Cameron and Osborne: Here’s how to build a homeowning Britain

HOMES Manifesto“In the past five years, we got builders building, lenders lending, and government-backed schemes alone helped more than 200,000 people on to the property ladder. The next five will be about going much further. We will help people to reach their dreams by keeping Help to Buy until 2020 and extending the Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants. They will get a discount of up to 70 per cent to buy their own home, and we will open a register of interest so that thousands can sign up in the first year. And once you’ve got your home, you’ll be able to pass it on. As we promised in our manifesto, we’ll take the family home out of inheritance tax for all but the richest — and it’s a promise we will keep.” – The Times (£)

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