Published:

6pm WATCH: Does austerity kill people? Mark Littlewood and David Stuckler debate

3.45pm LeftWatch: The NUT – the union that loves to say "Never"

12.45pm Local Government: Boris says London's growth can drive economic revival nationally

11.45am MPsETC: Candidate applications open for 10 more seats

ToryDiary: "We should embrace variation by postcode, or even more locally than that. We should encourage the state to recognise and act in response to our individuality rather than have it dish out what it believes the average family, street or town needs."Should we object so much to the "postcode lottery"?

ChinaIn his foreign policy column, Garvan Walshe argues: Don’t make the so-called surveillance scandal a propaganda coup for Beijing

Steve Midgley on Comment: Help to Buy may have its critics. But as a small builder, I'm all in favour 

MPsETC: The Mitchell investigation involved 30 police officers, cost almost £150,000, taken 8 months…and got nowhere 

Local Government: The Reach Academy Feltham – an all through free school

The Deep End: Let's stop wasting money on social science research that never gets used

Gove raises the bar on GCSEs

GoveFlag'Today we’re going farther with both those principles by reforming GCSE exams. For years our exam system has been designed to serve the interests of one group of adults: ministers. Under Labour, they boasted about ever increasing numbers of passes and took the credit for themselves. But children have been let down. They’ve been working harder than ever. But the exam system hasn’t worked for them.' – Michael Gove in The Times (£) 

  • Rote learning is fine, there's just too much to teach – Daily Telegraph 

Tim Yeo stands aside from committee chairmanship

'Tim Yeo has stepped down from chairing the Commons energy committee as a Parliamentary watchdog examines accusations of using his position for financial gain. Mr Yeo, a former Tory minister under John Major in the 1990s, said he would stand aside “temporarily” while the parliamentary standards commissioner looks at the claims.' – FT (£) 

New premature deaths league table unveiled

'Jeremy Hunt said the website will "spur action" to improve public health by naming and shaming the councils with the highest premature mortality rates, he said. The "radical new piece of information" will allow users to compare rates of premature death, including those from four major diseases, across all local authorities in the UK and identify how more lives could be saved. "If we did as well as Switzerland in terms of premature mortality rates, 29,000 fewer people would be dying every year in England, and that's a pretty significant change," Mr Hunt said.' – Daily Telegraph 

  • Is the Coalition successfully rebalancing the regional economies? – Brian Groom, FT (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - Should we object so much to the "postcode lottery"?

GCHQ intelligence prevented an attack on the Olympics, claims Hague

Police'Mr Hague told the Commons yesterday all intelligence obtained from America is subject to British law with approvals from a Cabinet minister, overseen by the Intelligence Commissioner. In a robust defence of British spy chiefs, Mr Hague described ties between GCHQ and the NSA as ‘a relationship that is unique in the world’. ‘This relationship has been and remains essential to the security of both nations, has stopped many terrorist and espionage plots against this country, and has saved many lives,’ he told MPs.' – Daily Mail 

  • Cameron rejects claims that GCHQ broke the law – FT (£) 
  • Will it take another 7/7 to stop the hand-wringing? – The Sun Says
  • Keir Starmer warns Clegg over risk of blocking snoopers' charter – The Sun
  • If we have nothing to hide, why should we prove it? asks Richard Littlejohn – Daily Mail
  • PRISM is sinister and it can't go on – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£) 
  • David Blunkett calls for more oversight of security services 'skirting the law' – The Guardian

>Today: Garvan Walshe's Foreign Policy column - Don’t make the so-called surveillance scandal a propaganda coup for Beijing

Beyond the EU, what is Cameron's policy approach?

'One Tory minister says: “With Thatcher you knew exactly where her loyalties lay; when Blair was in No 10 there was a clear agenda. On many international issues it’s hard to know what Cameron’s view really is. He is convivial and likeable on the diplomatic circuit — but to what purpose?” At the G8 summit this weekend, the Prime Minister has a chance to show his idealism as well as his pragmatism on the global stage.' – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£) 

  • The PM chairs a muted G8 – FT (£) 
  • Cameron is right about the global race. Let's start running – Janan Ganesh, FT (£) 
  • I won't cut aid, says Cameron – The Sun 
  • It's right that effort should be rewarded – Daily Telegraph Leader 

Grayling launches new trial for vulnerable witnesses to give evidence before trial

Grayling'A series of pilots will see vulnerable victims given the chance to give evidence out of court with the footage played to the jury. The announcement will please victims’ groups who have warned that children have been ‘thrown to the wolves’ in court. But the move could raise concerns among lawyers over whether defendants are getting a fair trial – and whether the evidence used against them is properly scrutinised.' – Daily Mail 

  • Ministry of Justice spends £4.3m on taxis for prison contractors – Daily Express 

MPs attack Met chief over plebgate

'In a deliberate show of strength, Conservative allies  of the ex-chief whip said Sir Bernard, Britain’s most senior police officer, ‘has a lot of questions to answer’ after he admitted discussing the case with journalists and breaking his own rules by not keeping a note of what was said Labour MP Tom Watson said: ‘What now seems apparent is he [Mr Mitchell] was the victim of media spin at the highest level of the Metropolitan Police.’ – Daily Mail 

>Today: MPsETC - The Mitchell investigation involved 30 police officers, cost almost £150,000, taken 8 months…and got nowhere 

Hammond establishes 'OfCom for defence' to reform procurement

Hammond'“We owe it to the men and women of our Armed Forces and to the long- suffering taxpayer to do better,” Mr Hammond told MPs. The creation of a £4 million-a-year SSRO with a secretariat of 25 executives is aimed at ending decades of the big contractors running rings round civil servants and military personnel untutored in the arts of military procurement.' – The Times (£)

Dominic Grieve to appear in court to reject votes for prisoners

'In his first appearance in the Supreme Court Attorney General Dominic Grieve will oppose two murderers who say a ban on them voting is a breach of their human rights. If he is successful in this case ministers will use it as ammunition to challenge the European Court of Human Rights.' – Daily Express 

  • Legal aid bill for child-killer who wants the vote – Daily Mail
  • Backbench anger at Cameron's support for EU membership – Daily Express
  • Cameron is wrong about the EU – Daily Express Leader
  • No special treatment for the UK, warns foreign affairs committee  – FT (£) 
  • Britain is the EU's biggest migrant magnet – Daily Mail
  • Survey claims small business wants to stay in the EU – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Seven ministries have gone to war with the EU in the last fortnight

CSJ: There will be two million single parent families by 2015

'Christian Guy, director of the CSJ, said the human, social and financial costs were “devastating” for children. “For children growing up in some of the poorest parts of the country, men are rarely encountered in the home or in the classroom. There are ‘men deserts’ in many parts of our towns and cities and we urgently need to wake up to what is going wrong,” he said. He called the response of politicians “feeble”.' – The Times (£) 

  • Government must stop contributing to family breakdown – The Times Leader (£) 

>Yesterday: ThinkTankCentral: The Prime Minister must deliver on his pledge to tackle family breakdown

News in brief 

  • Up to 300 Mid-Staffs NHS staff facing criminal investigation – Daily Mail 
  • Man arrested over explosion at Nick Boles' office – The Times (£) 
  • World War One commemoration must not upset the Germans, says Pickles  – The Times (£) 
  • US may be close to arming Syrian rebels – Daily Mail 
  • NAO set to criticise rural broadband failures – FT (£) 
  • British shale gas could power the country for 10 years – Daily Telegraph 
  • Ex-BBC Director General accused of misleading Parliament – Daily Mail 
  • Build to Let scheme falls at the first hurdle – FT (£) 
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