Published:

6pm ToryDiary: CCHQ initiative on course to recruit 10,000 new members and £300,000 of extra annual income

5.30pm John Stevenson MP on Comment: Let's prove we're not the party of the privileged and reform the House of Lords… before Labour does on its own terms

5pm ToryDiary: British people would increasingly prefer to be run by experts than "dishonest" MPs…  "Although most voters who have an opinion think their local MP is doing a good job a clear majority think MPs in general are out-of-touch and dishonest. They are so disillusioned with the political parties that they'd rather big decisions were taken by referenda. Almost as many voters would rather Britain was governed by non-political experts than elected ministers. Not that it matters much. More and voters think the British government has lost its power to control Britain's destiny."

4.30pm WATCH: Nicholas Watt and Iain Martin contribute to the Daily Politics' four minute profile of Cameron's No.10 operation

Clegg Nick July 20113.45pm LeftWatch: Lembit Opik calls for Clegg to stay as Deputy PM… but for a new Lib Dem leader to be elected

3.15pm Columnist Andrew Lilico: Half a dozen thoughts in advance of the Budget

12.15pm Tim Knox on Comment: A mansion tax is unfair, unconservative and wouldn't raise much money

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Noon ConHomeUSA links: Romney at highest level of support in GOP nomination process

ToryDiary: Your monthly opportunity to rate the Cabinet

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Building A Majority: The Tory masterplan to win 36 seats from Labour and 14 from the Liberal Democrats

Columnist Bruce Anderson: Steve Hilton will be back – with 43 ideas that he picked up in California – all for immediate implementation

Toby Fenwick on Comment: Retire Trident now and reinvest the savings in conventional forces

CutsGift
Andrew Haldenby on ThinkTankCentral begins a week long ConservativeHome focus on how George Osborne can deliver further reductions in the size of the state: The Government should cut spending rather than raise taxes. Here's how to save £7 billion from health and education.

MPsETC: Tory MPs, MEPs and activists join Baroness Warsi on latest Project Maja in Bosnia

Local government: Councils failing to cut their debt mountains

Tory MP Mark Reckless says rumoured concessions on child benefit for 40p taxpayers not enough to stop rebellion

Osborne George Union Jack "George Osborne is to preparing to water down plans to strip middle class families of child benefit in an attempt to head off a back-bench rebellion… Last night Mark Reckless MP, one of the leading Tory opponents of the move, said he was unimpressed by the possible changes and warned that the plans were likely to be voted down in the House of Commons." – Telegraph | Independent

"Last night there were indications that the earnings threshold for removing it could be raised as high as £80,000 – almost double the level at which the higher rate 40 per cent tax is first levied" – Daily Mail | Express

  • Are Lib Dems softening stance on 50p tax rate? – Daily Mail
  • Travel by car is eating into the wages of those working in rural areas on the minimum wage – Ross Clark in The Times (£)
  • "We're in this black hole for a decade" warns The Sun if Osborne doesn't cut taxes
  • IoD calls for deeper spending cuts – FT

Johnson Boris CloseBoris Johnson: Stamp duty avoidance by the super-rich is a scandal that is costing the country a fortuneTelegraph

> Watch Boris Johnson set out his three top Budget priorities.

  • "Introducing a punitive property tax that was designed by Lib Dems as an act of political violence against the wealthy will be like an electro-shock to the Tory heart" – Benedict Brogan
  • "The challenge in Britain today is to cut spending and taxes – not to dream up new taxes to hit homeowners and chase away the investors who help prop up London." – Allister Heath in City AM
  • "A big wealth tax initiative would be risky with the mass of Conservative MPs, whose silence to date on the subject is eloquent. Mr Osborne may fiddle with stamp duty avoidance by the rich here or UK non-resident exemptions from capital gains tax there. He may even find room for some raising of tax thresholds, which would please the Lib Dems. But he will ultimately be mindful of his own party, which is no less suspicious of slapping taxes on wealth and property than in the days of Heath." – Paul Goodman in the FT (£)

Cameron welcomes "fantastic news" that Tesco is creating 20,000 jobsExpress

  • The unemployment statistic matters more than GDP or inflation – Mehdi Hasan for The Guardian

Chris Grayling admits that some couples would be £728 a year better off on benefits than in work as a result of cuts to working tax creditsTimes (£)

Lansley.ashxHealth in Brief:

  • Councils given public health funds by Lansley will spend it on potholes instead, experts warn – Telegraph
  • Cameron is facing a Cabinet backlash after overruling colleagues to introduce a minimum pricing for alcohol – Daily Mail
  • Nick Clegg's proposed amendments do not safeguard the NHS against privatisation – Guardian leader

More on Steve Hilton

  • Unlike Hilton, Cameron seems more interested in manipulating public opinion than good govt – Melanike Phillips in the Daily Mail
  • Day after day Hilton's vision and strategy is being replaced by headline-management and tactic – Jackie Ashley in The Guardian
  • Cameron will badly need Hilton to inject some passion, energy and modernity into the next manifesto – Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent
  • "The departure of Steve Hilton should not be taken by the government as a watershed, allowing them the luxury of no more serious reform. The economy is crying out for less regulation, for lower taxes on enterprise, for more working banks, for more realistic energy bills, for more competition in several areas. Ultimately the government will be judged by whehher it has turned the economy round or not. It is requires more reform to bring about that task." – John Redwood
  • "Hilton is right to feel an acute sense of disappointment over the lack of rigorous, challenging conservatism in the Government. At times it almost feels like Labour won the last election as ministers boast of their enthusiasm for gay marriage or the expansion of foreign aid or minimum alcohol prices or the spread of wind turbines." – Leo McKinstry in The Express

Association of Chief Police Officers says only radical change including privatisation will allow forces to cope with cuts and protect the publicGuardian

Davidson Ruth SeriousRuth Davidson could prove her independence from Cameron by attacking Alex Salmond's "hare-brained scheme" for windfarms – Brian Monteith for The Scotsman

Furious MPs last night rounded on a leading Catholic for blasting plans to legalise gay marriagesThe Sun

  • The Daily Telegraph comes out AGAINST gay marriage: "the existing system is a classic but effective British compromise, managing to offer the substance of marriage, in the shape of civil partnerships, without offending the many who believe that the ceremony itself must be reserved for men and women only." – Telegraph leader
  • The Times (£) backs gay marriage: "Allowing same-sex couples to marry would enrich the institution and expand the sum of human happiness"

> Yesterday's Peter Bone MP Comment piece: Redefining marriage threatens the liberties of Christians, teachers and parents

Nick Clegg will launch campaign to raise sex abuse awarenessBBC

Give terror suspects MORE human rights says £53m Govt quango funded by YOUThe Sun

Whitehall 'needs radical reform' to avoid a crisis, says Institute for GovernmentIndependent

  • "A confident and effective Civil Service remains essential to the success of government and the public services" – Peter Riddell in The Telegraph

Centre Forum think tank calls for scrapping Trident and ploughing £25 billion savings into revitalising armed forcesBBC

BAA is signalling it could take legal action to ensure the government considers the case for expanding Heathrow as part of its aviation reviewFT (£)

And finally… Politicians 'lie all the time', says poll

"Nearly two-thirds of voters (62 per cent) believe politicians lie "all the time and you can't believe a word they say", a survey suggests today. Only 24 per cent of the 5,000 people questioned by YouGov believed that Parliament had done a good job in recent years debating issues in a "sensible and considered way"." – Independent

Six out of ten disillusioned voters believe it no longer matters who wins on election day – Trevor Kavanagh for The Sun

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