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9pm WATCH: Cameron and Obama join children to paint a picture at the G8‬

5pm ToryDiary: "There is the prospect of millions of new shareholders between now and the next election." Economics and politics both justify George Osborne getting a move on with bank privatisation

4.15pm LeftWatch: Stephen Twigg, the cack-handed beautician, offers education an incoherent makeover

3.15pm Peter Smith on Comment: The Comprehensive Spending Review – and why government should target the targets

Screen shot 2013-06-17 at 15.16.312.30pm ToryDiary: "When I was waiting for my first daughter to be born in Queen Charlotte's
Hospital I spent a lot of time looking out of the window at Wormwood
Scrubs Prison – I reflected on its fine architecture but also on the
poor asset management of having a prison so close to central London."
Why does one prison cost £108,000 a place while another £26,000?

11.30am Matthew Elliott on Comment offers Five language rules for the Right

11am WATCH: Cameron and Putin press conference

10.15am ToryDiary "Obama and Cameron are doubtless gambling that arming those factions – or
threatening to – will drag Assad to the peace table, but how likely is
this to happen?  Even if it did, would British troops not be called upon
to play a part in policing an unstable and fissile settlement (at a
time when they are more stretched than ever)?" 
There is no British national interest in being dragged into Syria's sectarian war

ToryDiary: Caveat emptor – Boris is not a standard issue Conservative

Columnist Marina Kim: My vision of Gove with a whip and my view of how schools could be better

Nick Herbert MP on Comment: The civil service reform we need

Majority hook 2
On Majority Conservatism, Sunder Katawala kicks off a series on the challenges to the Party of winning an election in a Britain that's more diverse than ever: The Future Majority challenge to the Conservatives

Local Government: Trevor Ringland says Northern Ireland Conservatives will fight culture of over-government, waste and bureaucracy in Town Halls

The Deep End: The world’s most inconsistent political position: anti-austerity and pro-EU


IndependentputinPutin warns Cameron against arming Syrian rebels…

"The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, rounded on Britain on Sunday, accusing David Cameron of betraying humanitarian values by supporting Syrian rebels with “blood on their hands”. In harsh and undiplomatic language, Mr Putin accused the UK and other Western powers of attempting to arm rebels who “kill their enemies and eat their organs”. He insisted that Russia would continue to arm what he said was the recognised “legitimate government” in Syria and called on other countries to respect the same rules." – The Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Cameron: No "moral equivalence" between Assad regime and the Free Syrian Army

…as does Clegg..

"Clegg told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "At this point we're not providing arms. If we wanted to, we would do it. We clearly don't think it is the right thing to do now or else we would have decided to do it"….he added he did not want to get embroiled in a military conflict, saying: "Such a move would not be acceptable to the British people."" – The Guardian


Telegraphboris…as does Boris…

"How is it supposed to work? How are we meant to furnish machine guns and anti-tank weapons to one set of opposition forces, without them ending up in the hands of men like the al-Qaeda-affiliated thugs who executed a child for telling a joke? The answer is that we have no means of preventing such a disaster, any more than we can control what kind of “government” the rebels — if they were successful — would form in Damascus." – Boris Johnson Daily Telegraph

…as does former army chief Lord Dannatt….

"General Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, said ministers must not forget the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan when the UK became bogged down in bloody conflicts. He warned: 'If we have learned anything from the last few years it is that we don't get involved in another intervention without having a very clear idea of what we're going to do, who we're going to help, what the plan is and what the exit strategy is. Surely we've not forgotten the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan so quickly.' – Daily Mail

…as does the Daily Mail

"Such was the scale of the opposition that, by last night, the Prime Minister appeared resigned to abandoning the idea. This may be an embarrassment for the Foreign Office, which was desperate to offer support to the pro-intervention President Obama. But make no mistake: it is the right decision for Britain. Ramping up the violence in Syria – and potentially arming our enemies in the process – risked becoming a mistake of truly catastrophic proportions." – Leader Daily Mail


MailchildPM's concern for his children over internet porn

"David Cameron yesterday admitted he fears online porn could harm his children. The Prime Minister says he worries when any of his three children ‘grab hold of the iPad’ because they risk seeing obscene images. ‘The world has changed so fundamentally with the internet that we’ve got some real threats there to our children and also from this appalling scourge of child pornography,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to take a lot of action.’ " – Daily Mail


Hospitals that fail to respect patients' rights will be take over

"Doctors and nurses are to be issued with eight “commandments of care” in a radical overhaul of standards, to ensure they treat patients properly. Patients will be told to kick up a fuss if the new minimum standards — to be displayed in every ward and GP surgery — are ignored. Hospitals will be taken over by outside experts, bosses will be sacked or units shut down if the new charter of rights is consistently breached, the health inspectorate will warn." – The Times (£)


Sir George Young "to stay as Chief Whip"

Young George"David Cameron is to spring a surprise in his forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle by keeping his 71-year-old Chief Whip. Many Tory MPs and ministers had thought the Prime Minister would ask fellow Old Etonian Sir George Young to return to the backbenches, creating an opening for a senior figure from the Right of the party. But friends of Sir George, affectionately known as the “bicycling baronet”, said he was expected to stay put." – The Times (£)


Tim Montgomerie backs Boris as the next Tory leader

"The mayoral and parliamentary calendars don’t make a Boris Johnson leadership likely in the near term but at some point it would be a good bet for his party to embrace its only proven vote-winner. His record as Mayor is mixed and his politics are complex but Boris reaches voters that no other Tory has reached in 20 years." – Tim Montgomerie The Times (£)

> Today: ToryDiary – Caveat emptor – Boris is not a standard issue Conservative


Halve the number of Government departments says Raab

RAAB"Next week, the Chancellor will announce the outcome of the public spending review. Still hunting for savings, the Treasury could find £10billion per year by halving the number of government departments and strictly enforcing its 1% public sector pay cap. That would enable us to pay down the deficit faster and cut business taxes to boost growth." – Dominic Raab Daily Telegraph 

>Yesterday:

Telegraph asks: Why no more open primaries?  

"Open primaries have been good for the constituents of Totnes and Gosport but made trouble for David Cameron – and not just in Parliament. Another Conservative office-holder who was selected in a primary open to all was one Mayor Boris Johnson." – Leader Daily Telegraph


Maude_1813216cMaude planning "hire and fire" for civil service and more Ministerial appointments

"Civil Service mandarins are to be put on fixed-term contracts and ministers given the power to hire teams of political advisers paid for by the taxpayer, in the biggest shake-up of how Britain is governed
for decades. Under proposals, expected to be announced next month, Cabinet Ministers will be able to personally appoint teams of external experts, political advisers and seconded civil servants to run new expanded private offices." – Independent

  • Another proposal, that permanent secretaries should serve fixed terms that are renewable on the basis of performance, is also likely to be supported, the Financial Times understands, when ministers make a further announcement in July. Mr Maude praised the IPPR’s recommendations as going “with the grain of our Westminster system”. The report was also welcomed by Sir Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary, and Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the civil service." – Financial Times


FallonFallon hands out £25 million aerospace subsidies

"The government will vow to help Britain capitalise on fast-growing global demand for new aerospace technologies when it unveils plans for up to £25m of research funding at the Paris air show. ..Business and energy minister Michael Fallon will use the biggest event in the industry calendar, where manufacturers hope to secure billions of pounds worth of orders, to outline how companies can compete for funds." – The Guardian


UK "spied on allies" at G20

"Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic. The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying." – The Guardian


DavisDavid Davis says failed Co-op bid for Lloyds shows cost of political meddling

"The Treasury must now come clean about the extent of its influence over how these banks are run. There are suggestions that the RBS board wanted to keep Stephen Hester in charge but was overruled by the Treasury. The circumstances surrounding the Co-op bid point to the invisible hand of HMT. The Treasury should explain its role in the branches bidding process." – David Davis The Times (£)

Labour "will allow more free schools"

"Labour is preparing to drop its blanket opposition to free schools in a further major change in policy. Labour will say that parents should be allowed to set up their own schools provided that there is a strong demand for places in their area….In a speech today, Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, will also set out plans to extend to all schools the freedoms currently enjoyed only by academies and free schools." – Daily Telegraph

  • "Under Labour's plans some 5,300 unqualified teachers will be given two years to take their qualifications or face the sack. A Department for Education source said the move would lead to the loss of many 'brilliant teachers' as well as falling foul of the courts. The source said 'it would be stupid to stop brilliant teachers who want to be able to switch from private to state schools from doing so'." – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Twigg would ban "unqualified" teachers from free schools – but not from Eton

Policy Exchange report says larger prisons would save £600 million a year

"Britain is wasting £600million a year by not replacing old prisons with new mega jails. Brixton, Wormwood Scrubs, Pentonville and Dartmoor are among 30 that should close for good, a report today insists. Housing lags in modern Titan prisons is revealed to typically cost half as much — meaning the jails budget can be slashed by a fifth. A dozen of them would be needed — at a cost of £3.75billion — but the study says they would pay for themselves in just seven years." – The Sun

News in brief

  • Councils spend £262 million on gagging clause pay offs – Daily Mail
  • Lloyds closer to privatisation that RBS – Financial Times
  • Councils threaten to turn off the lights -  Daily Mail
  • Lord Rennard quizzed – BBC
  • Cut Credit Union red tape says Civitas – Guardian
  • Czech Prime Minister resigns – BBC
  • Google Chairman calls for simpler corporate taxes – Financial Times

And finally…Cameron leaves  £50 tip for £45 meal

"For a man once criticised for  not leaving a tip, David Cameron was leaving nothing to chance  on one of his ‘date nights’ with wife Samantha. After the couple shared a meal costing about £45, Mr Cameron  left £50 for staff at a pizza restaurant in a show of generosity that left fellow diners wondering whether  he had saved on his bill with a discount voucher. The Prime Minister was dining in Soho after watching a portrayal of himself  in the West End play The Audience, and happily posed for a photograph with two women diners." – Daily Mail 

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