Published:

6pm Richard Royal on International: "Mark Twain once said that “martyrdom covers a multitude of sins” and it is evident that with this verdict the Kremlin has assisted Navalny in his rebirth from sinner to saint." – Putin's Navalny misjudgement may have created a monster

5.15pm Local Government: Lib Dems call for new tax on the family weekly shop

2.15pm MPsEtc: Brandon Lewis sums up good government in a sentence

11.30am Sir Andrew Green on Comment: What does immigration mean for public debt?

ToryDiary: Falling crime statistics are an essential proof of concept for the Coalition - and a triumph for Theresa May

ThatCheToryDiary: Three positive trade union campaigns for Conservatives

Charlie Elphicke MP on Comment: "When it comes to encouraging and supporting new business start-ups, the Government should leave no stone unturned. Burdens such as corporation tax payments, national insurance should be scaled back to help start-up businesses get established and then grow." – We need a "Get set and grow" scheme for business start-ups

John Bald on Local Government: Grammar is not enough

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: Labour is still on course to win the next general election

Crime is down – and the pessimists have been proved wrong

Police"It has been possible to reduce crime even as police numbers have been falling. Tougher sentencing, earlier intervention, greater police efficiency — the fall in crime must be seen as a vindication of these ideas. The defeatists were wrong. The revolution in crime policy is working and it should carry on." – The Times Leader (£) 

>Today: ToryDiary - Falling crime statistics are an essential proof of concept for the Coalition - and a triumph for Theresa May

Chancellor to announce tax breaks to kick off a shale gas boom

Growth ConHome"Mr Osborne is today expected to tell Parliament he is creating a shale gas allowance, based on successful oil production tax breaks. It will slash the tax on shale production income from 62 per cent to just 30 per cent.  The Treasury believes this will support investment in shale of £14billion a year. 'Shale gas is a resource with huge potential to broaden the UK’s energy mix,’ Mr Osborne is expected to say. ‘We want to create the right conditions for industry to explore and unlock that potential in a way that allows communities to share in the benefits." – Daily Mail 

  • Fracking firms to offer community benefits in return for drilling – FT (£) 
  • The Treasury has clawed back £1 billion in tax  from large companies this year – Daily Mail 
  • The UK needs a sovereign wealth fund – FT (£) 

Crosby due to give up other clients and work full-time for the Conservatives 

"Mr Crosby is due to become a full time adviser to David Cameron in January and is likely to stop acting for other private firms until after the May 2015 general election. Senior Conservatives said this week that this was their “working assumption” although it had not been formally agreed with Mr Crosby. It is understood that the strategist is “not averse” to working exclusively for Mr Cameron in the 15 months before the next general election." – Daily Telegraph 

>Tuesday: ToryDiary - First drop Crosby's other clients. Then put him completely in charge.

Hammond keeps slim chance of Syrian intervention open

Hammond"Hundreds of British soldiers could be sent to Syria to prevent a chemical threat to the West, the Defence Secretary hinted. Philip Hammond refused to rule out ordering troops to the war zone to rein in President Bashar al-Assad’s regime or seize stockpiles of illegal weapons. He said it was ‘unlikely’ but no option was ‘off the table’ – in the most serious warning yet that the UK could deploy forces to Syria." – Daily Mail  

The Tory tribe is more united than in a long time

"While it seemed possible in the aftermath of the May local elections and the gay marriage saga that the party might pull itself apart, the Tory tribe was now coming back together. Christopher Chope, a eurosceptic Tory MP, said: “There seems to be more of an understanding that we are all part of the same team and we have to work together.”" – FT (£) 

An even lower benefit cap? Bring it on, says Littlejohn

"Many of you wonder how the Government decided to cap payments at £26,000 per household, which is considerably more than millions of people have to live on each year. The figure is supposed to be based on the notional after-tax income of an average family. But plenty of readers have written to say that even with two breadwinners in  their family, they don’t make anything like that amount. No doubt the usual suspects will be screaming about the proposals to restrict child benefit to two offspring. But why should women expect to go on having babies they can’t afford to support?" – Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail  

Cameron Dark
Cameron and Clegg join Maria Miller's attack on men-only golf clubs

"The Prime Minister's spokesman said Mr Cameron was not attending the Open and 'entirely understands' why Mrs Miller was not going. Asked about all-male clubs, he added: 'The Prime Minister has a great deal of sympathy with the view that exclusive memberships of this sort look more to the past than they do to the future.' Mr Clegg used his LBC 97.3 phone-in to voice his opposition to the male-only policy: 'I was just dismayed and incredibly surprised to hear this still goes on in this day and age." – Daily Mail  

  • BBC refuses to sack John Inverdale – Daily Mail 
  • Miller has no place dictating editorial decisions – The Times Leader (£) 
  • Broadcast bosses broke payoff rules – The Times (£) 
  • Golden handshakes cost £2.7 billion a year – The Sun 

20-year fight to deliver Olympic legacy, warns Coe

"He fears that future governments will be tempted to take their foot off the gas. “If we do this the way we started, there’s no reason we shouldn’t still be reaping dividends in five years’ time. If we don’t, it won’t happen. That would be a regret, clearly,” he said. “My challenge to politicians of all political persuasions is that this is a 20-year mission. It has to survive beyond a generation of people who have delivered the Games. Where will all this be when I’m 70?" – The Times (£) 

  • Olympics boosted the economy by £10 billion – The Sun 


EU Exit
EU referendum bill faces filibustering

"Tory MP James Wharton, who introduced the Referendum Bill, said: “Labour and the Lib Dems appear to be set on making the progress of this bill as difficult and frustrating as they possibly can. But they will have seen the determination of my Tory colleagues.”" - Daily Express 

>Yesterday: James Wharton MP on Comment - How Labour and the LibDems filibustered my EU referendum bill last night

Wean the UK off immigration

"Those in favour of immigration – myself included – have to accept that it has diverted attention from deeper problems. When I was a business reporter in the mid-1990s, I covered a bus company so short of drivers that it was advertising in homeless shelters and trying to rehabilitate likely candidates. It was argued then that unless the dependency culture was tackled, the British economy would never grow properly. Mass immigration offered a third way: skilled, cheerful labour without having to fix schools or welfare. It was, and still is, a dangerously tempting offer." – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph 

City regulator welcomes jail threat for bankers

"Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, welcomed the deterrence value of George Osborne’s new plan to criminalise reckless misconduct by senior bankers. It was, however, “an interesting question” whether it would lead to successful prosecutions, he said. When asked how likely the FCA would be to secure a scalp, he said: “It’s complex, very complex. If it works as a deterrent, we wouldn’t get scalps because people won’t behave badly.”" – The Times (£) 

  • Warnings over Funding for Lending scheme – The Times (£) 

Fears over petrol price jump

"Fuel prices are one of the biggest components of the cost of living. Not only do rises hit motorists directly when they fill up but they also push up the price of goods in the shops. And the high-mileage motorists who are hit hardest when prices at the pumps go up tend to be the most economically active people. A huge number of miles are done going to and from work or during the course of a working day. The Chancellor in particular must keep faith with motorists as another surge in petrol prices looms." - Daily Express Leader 

Security chiefs investigate threat of Chinese spying through BT

"The report said China could ‘intercept covertly or disrupt traffic passing through Huawei-supplied networks’,  adding that oversight of the firm in the UK is ‘feeble’ and suffers from the ‘absence of any strategy’. Yesterday the Cabinet Office announced a review of the site would be carried out by the national security adviser, Sir Kim Darroch.He will report to David Cameron later this year. It will consider whether GCHQ should play a bigger role in the centre’s management or even supply all of its employees." – Daily Mail   

News in brief

  • Miliband's union inquiry is run by a classic dinosaur – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail 
  • How will little Emily cope with being ranked at school? – Gaby Hinsliff, The Times (£) 
  • David Ward MP loses Lib Dem Whip – but only for the holidays  – Daily Mail 
  • Five rail chiefs to pocket £11m between them – Daily Mail 
  • Farage predicts a UKIP victory in 2014 – Daily Express 
  • Ed Miliband's business guru wants holograms instead of HS2 – Daily Mail 
  • Name the Royal Baby Boris, no matter the gender…says Boris – Daily Telegraph 
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