7.45pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday
5.45pm Tim Knox on Comment: Who is in charge of education policy?
4pm Local government: Pilgrims face having to work for a living with plan to slash union "facility time"
2.30pm Tory Diary: The Coalition tries to make lending easier — but to what end?
ToryDiary: Don't count on an Olympics bounce (or bust)
Columnist Bruce Anderson: These Lords reforms should be allowed to rot
Quentin Langley on Comment: How could a referendum on Europe be won?
- Martin Callanan MEP: Europe's vacillation in the face of crisis
- Politics.co.uk names best MPs on Twitter (including Nadine Dorries and Louise Mensch) and shames the worst
Government caught up in Olympic storm
- "The Army is searching for land to set up a military camp after being called in at the last minute to provide emergency security for the Olympic Games. … One thousand troops who recently returned from Afghanistan will be flown from Germany to go on duty at the Olympic Village because the private security firm G4S failed to recruit enough guards. The full extent of the security fiasco emerged yesterday as a Whitehall source described G4S’s operation as a 'picture of chaotic co-ordination'. … The Times has also been told that two dummy explosive devices were smuggled through G4S checkpoints at the Olympic Park during security exercises in recent weeks." – The Times
- "Hundreds of A-level students have been hired as front-line security guards at the Olympics. … They are among 3,300 teenagers recruited from colleges around Britain to help form a ring of steel at Games venues. … Security experts expressed alarm that youngsters aged 18 and 19 had been entrusted with searching spectators and bags. … A whistleblower told the Mail: 'They are children. And believe me, they behaved like children during the training exercises.'" – Daily Mail
- "Confidential Home Office documents seen by The Daily Telegraph show that G4S has had its fee for managing civilian security staff for the Games rise from £7.3 million to £60 million. … The fee the company takes for running its Olympic office has risen more than 10 times faster than its spending on recruitment, the documents show." – Daily Telegraph
- "A perfect storm of Olympic transport chaos erupted last night as Downing Street sought to cope with the closure of the M4 into London and long queues at Heathrow." – Daily Mail
- Surrey police shelve privatisation plan after G4S Olympic failure – Guardian
- Photographs of the anti-aircraft guns being deployed around London – Daily Mail
- "When it comes to ‘security’, those responsible have managed to make Eddie the Eagle look like an Olympic legend right up there with Usain Bolt, Steve Redgrave and Jesse Owens." – Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
- "In truth, until the shambles of recent days, the London 2012 organisers had undoubtedly been doing a good job. … The magnificent stadiums were finished on time. The Games enjoy overwhelming support. Almost all events are sold out. … Which is why it is so vital that ministers and officials get a grip on the last-minute problems." – Daily Mail editorial
- "Thank goodness for our magnificent, long-suffering troops. Where would we be without them? … And doesn’t this prove once again the folly of cutting the Army by 20,000 soldiers?" – Sun editorial
Nick Clegg "may ditch Lords reform plans"…
- "Nick Clegg will not continue to push his plans to overhaul the Lords if Tory rebels persist in opposing them later this year, it has emerged. … It is understood that the Deputy Prime Minister will not allow his quest to replace the Lords with a mainly elected second chamber to waste weeks of parliamentary time if there is no hope of success. … Senior Liberal Democrat sources said that Mr Clegg knew that the public would not understand if he repeatedly attempted to railroad his reforms through the Commons." – The Times
- "The Lib Dems are becoming less hostile to the idea of a referendum to win over the Labour party and a sizeable proportion of the 91 Tory MPs who rebelled against the bill on Tuesday." – Guardian
- "Reform will profoundly change Britain’s political system—not something that should be done without popular approval, especially at a time when European democracy is in such a shoddy state. Let the people break the deadlock." – The Economist
- "MPs who faithfully defend unpopular policies are ever more frustrated as they are made to look silly when their leaders perform another U-turn. If Mr Cameron isn’t careful, more Tories will start looking for their own 'Jesse Norman moment'." – Anushka Asthana, The Times
- ToryDiary: That Cameron-Jesse Norman clash. What really happened. Role of Prufrock revealed.
- Columnist Andrew Lilico: Can the Coalition last until 2015 and should we care if it can't?
…although he might also block the repatriation of powers from Europe
"Nick Clegg is mounting a direct challenge to David Cameron by ruling out any moves to repatriate powers to Britain from the EU while eurozone leaders are struggling to save the single currency. As William Hague outlined plans for a fundamental review of Britain's relations with the EU, Clegg made clear that Britain should not attempt to exploit forthcoming EU negotiations. … 'The idea that at the time when there is a crisis in the eurozone that you go to Brussels and demand a sackload of powers and bring them back on the Eurostar is for the birds,' one Liberal Democrat source said." – Guardian
> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Hague to launch comprehensive audit of how EU affects British life
Reaction to yesterday's Office for Budget Responsibility report
- "The long term outlook for Britain’s finances over the next half-century looks somewhat better than it did at this time last year, but without more tax increases or spending cuts, the trend remains unsustainable, according to the Treasury’s independent watchdog." – Financial Times
- "It also showed that if annual immigration were to remain at present levels of 260,000 the economy would grow more quickly. The OBR said that higher immigration would raise the annual growth rate over the next five decades from 2.4 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Under these circumstances the size of the fiscal consolidation needed to bring down the public debt to 40 per cent of GDP would be three times smaller, at just £4.6bn." – Independent
- "Whether we like it or not, individuals will have to save more for their own retirement and in most cases also contribute more to their own healthcare costs. The sooner we accept that the current model is broken the better." – Allister Heath, City AM
> Yesterday on ToryDiary: The OBR goes all Jetsons — and to George Osborne’s benefit
Andrew Lansley to announce a raised cap on NHS foundation trusts' private earnings
"The cap that sets a limit on how much free-standing “foundation trust” NHS hospitals can earn from private sources will be lifted from October 1, the health secretary will announce on Friday. … A decision to allow hospitals to earn up to 49 per cent of their income from non-NHS work was among the more controversial parts of the health and social care bill, which became law this year. It fuelled critics’ claims that the reforms would 'privatise' the health service. … But Andrew Lansley, health secretary, will say that the cap 'prevents foundation trusts from pursuing the kind of innovations that will both benefit patients in the future, and put more of our hospitals on the map internationally as world leaders in their field.'" – Financial Times
Lansley's inquiry into abortion clinics finds evidence of malpractice
"For his pains, Mr Lansley came under fire from Labour for “chasing headlines” while the chairman of the CQC, Dame Jo Williams, complained that the investigation had forced her to divert staff from inspecting care homes for the elderly and would make it difficult for the CQC to “deliver our annual targets”. That spoke volumes about the box-ticking mentality of this bloated and poorly led regulator. Mr Lansley was fully vindicated yesterday, as the CQC reported that there was “clear evidence” that 14 NHS trusts have used pre-signed abortion authorisations and are now facing criminal investigation." – Daily Telegraph editorial
Ministers questioned over the export of "sensitive equipment"
"On the face of it, and in light of the widespread condemnation of Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, it might seem odd that the UK is still granting licences for the export of armoured 4×4 vehicles to Syria. Odder still that the UK government has permitted the sale of certain hazardous chemicals to Syria, too. … These licences have been questioned in the latest report by the committees on arms export controls (CAEC), along with scores of others involving equipment sold to countries involved in the Arab spring, as well as China and Argentina." – Guardian
Nick Herbert plans to speed up the administration of justice
- "Criminals could be dealt with in days or even hours under Government plans to bring in 'swift and sure justice', ministers are to reveal. … Court hours will be more flexible, technology will enable police officers to give evidence remotely and video links for defendants and witnesses will become routine, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said. … Policing and criminal justice minister Nick Herbert will say: 'It is a basic principle of justice that it should be delivered without delay, yet straightforward cases that could be dealt with in days or even hours are taking weeks and months. Justice delayed is justice denied, and victims are the biggest losers.'" – Daily Express
- "It is a basic principle of justice that it should be delivered without delay. Magna Carta asserted that 'to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice'. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied, especially to the victims of crime." – Nick Herbert, writing for the Daily Telegraph
Philip Collins: The slow death of liberal Conservatism
"The original appeal of David Cameron’s leadership of the party was that he would break with its past. But, after two years in office, death notices are being read for the process of modernisation, for which he was the spokesman, if never the cheerleader. The Prime Minister appears not to be in control of his party, but to be falling on its mercy. Mr Cameron is heading for a pivotal choice. Does he allow the assumption that modernisation was a temporary revolution to solidify into a fact? Or does he fight back?" – Philip Collins, The Times
> Yesterday on ToryDiary: David Laws steps in as the coalition’s marriage counsellor
Fraser Nelson: Britain must fight its own slave trade
"It says much about British society that a man can disappear, be kept as a slave in Bedfordshire for 15 years and have no one inquire about him. But as the Connors family knew, it is appallingly easy to find vulnerable adults in this country who can be kept in servitude and starvation. The couple’s sentencing yesterday, for 'brutally manipulating and exploiting' the destitute and desperate by promising them work then using them as forced labour, was the first slavery conviction for two centuries, for a crime that most people had thought extinct." – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
Head of Mi6 claims that Iran is likely to develop a nuclear bomb by 2014, although they have been hampered by covert British efforts so far – Telegraph
Ed Miliband: End the scandal of hidden pension fees – Daily Telegraph
Red Ed and the Durham Miners gala – The Sun
204 innocent people were wrongly given a criminal record last year – Daily Telegraph
11 more banks may be penalised over Libor rate-rigging – Financial Times
Pensions gap between state and private sector staff – Daily Mail