Migrant crisis 1) UN wants European countries to share the burden equally

Border“Migrants will continue to arrive in southern Europe at the rate of 3,000 a day until November, the UN’s refugee agency has predicted, as record numbers of people crossed into Hungary. … The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said all EU member states should share the burden of Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the second world war, with an ‘equitable redistribution’ of families seeking asylum.” – The Guardian

  • “Dozens of Afghan asylum seekers have been saved from being forcibly returned to their native country after last ditch legal efforts proved successful.” – The Independent
  • “A hunter-killer Navy submarine has conducted secret spying missions on Libya before a combat mission to smash smuggling gangs.” – The Sun (£)
  • “Ethiopia, which is receiving £300 million in British aid this year and is one of the world’s poorest nations, is launching its own space programme.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “Fence-building in Hungary, razor wire in Calais, prison in the UK: none of these are real solutions to either the economic or political challenges of this era of mass migration.” – Guardian editorial
  • “No solution will be simple or cost free but it must be clear and practical and it must involve Britain. The debate on what it should be has barely begun.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “We didn’t cause refugee crisis by going to war… but by not finishing it.” – Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun (£)

Migrant crisis 2) Britain’s foreign-born population rises above 8 million

IMMIGRATION mat“Britain’s foreign-born population has risen above eight million for the first time, University of Oxford experts said today. … The independent Migration Observatory said official figures set to be released on Thursday would almost certainly confirm the landmark figure had been surpassed. … It also warned that net migration into Britain may have hit a record high last year, despite David Cameron’s set-piece election pledge to slash the number of foreign workers moving to Britain.” – Daily Mail

  • “But even if the new powers are widely enforced – a mighty big if – they will have precious little impact on the biggest demographic upheaval in our history.” – Daily Mail editorial

Rafael Behr: How the EU Referendum will be decided

“It is those head-over-hearters who will decide the referendum. They are unsusceptible to persuasion by politicians whose pro-Europeanism reeks of a frequent-flier global elite. They respond badly to the pious, schoolmasterly tone of the Nick Cleggs and Peter Mandelsons, who admonish Euroscepticism as a tiresome mental fidget of the politically immature. At the best of times that tone is counter-productive. It is deadly in a climate where voters need little incentive to lash out against ‘Westminster’.” – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

Isabel Hardman: The Tories should be careful of going too far, too fast

Rosette shield“While impatience for change is admirable when government can so easily chug along without achieving very much, Cameron must beware of pushing his ministers too far, too fast. One reforming secretary of state worries that Cameron’s impatience to see quick results could become a liability. ‘Giving up on stuff because there is too little fruit may not be best if the course is the right one. He has four years to make a legacy but some of what we are trying to do will take a generation.’” – Isabel Hardman, The Times (£)

Proctor speaks out against Scotland Yard’s investigation into alleged Establishment abuse ring

“The inquiry into a VIP paedophile ring at Westminster is a police witch-hunt, an ex-MP said yesterday. … Harvey Proctor, 69, spoke out because Scotland Yard is investigating whether he was part of the alleged Westminster VIP paedophile ring said to have abused children in the 1970s and 1980s. … He said police had handed him a list of names of nine high profile VIPs alleged to have been part of the ‘gang’, including former prime minister Sir Edward Heath and former home secretary Lord Brittan.” – Daily Mail

  • “After months of police refusing to name key figures involved in the inquiry, the public statement by the former Conservative MP has ended the anonymity for potential suspects, some of whom are dead.” – The Independent
  • “A disabled paedophile made legal history when his case was held in open air because his wheelchair couldn’t get up the steps of a historic crown court.” – Daily Mail

> Today: ToryDiary – The abuse of Harvey Proctor

Pickles attacks “absurd” petition for Netanyahu’s arrest

PICKLES Eric 2009“An 80,000-strong petition calling for the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes has been dismissed as “absurd” by a senior Tory MP. … The petition, published earlier this month, urged the government to arrest the Israeli prime minister upon his arrival in the UK next month. … If the petition reach 100,000 signatures it could be debated in the House of Commons – but the Conservative MP Sir Eric Pickles has already dismissed it as ‘completely absurd.’” – Daily Telegraph

  • “When does anti-zionism become antisemitic?” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

The Government rejects calls for the legalisation of cannabis

“The Government has issued a firm response to a parliamentary petition calling for the legalisation of cannabis, that reached over 200,000 signatures and will be considered for debate in parliament. … Despite the petition’s popularity, the Government has shut the door on the prospect of legalisation with their response. … It says: ‘The latest evidence from the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is that the use of cannabis is a significant public health issue.’” – The Independent

  • “Five million Britons are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes because people are increasingly overweight and live sedentary lifestyles, according to a fresh warning from the NHS.” – The Guardian
  • “The number of people abusing medication doled out by doctors to someone else has reached almost two million.” – Daily Mail
  • “Death rates for heart disease in Britain have dropped by more than 40 per cent in a decade, UK scientists will report today.” – Daily Mail

Yentob warned ministers that communities would “descend into savagery” without Kids Company

Camila Batmanghelidjh 04-07-15“Alan Yentob warned ministers that parts of Britain would ‘descend into savagery’ unless they gave Kids Company £3million, it was claimed last night. … An email he allegedly signed also said there was a ‘high risk of arson attacks’ on government buildings if the grant was not approved. … The message was sent to the Cabinet Office as the troubled charity – set up to help vulnerable children – was trying to negotiate more state funding in the weeks before its collapse.” – Daily Mail

  • “The BBC has been accused of wasting taxpayer’s cash on a ‘pointless’ survey to prove people feel ‘a sense of loss’ without it. … The public service broadcaster asked a private company to cut off seventy households who said they would prefer not to pay the licence fee for nine days, and then ask if they had changed their minds.” – The Sun (£)
  • “BBC director general Tony Hall has warned that further cuts to the corporation’s funding and remit could result in more than 30,000 job losses across the TV industry.” – The Guardian

Davidson: Scotland should use its tax powers to attract the wealthy

“Scotland must use its new financial powers to ‘roll out the red carpet’ to wealthy English taxpayers and encourage 10,000 more of them to move north of the Border, Ruth Davidson has said. … The Scottish Tory leader urged SNP ministers to set a target to hugely increase the number of additional rate taxpayers who live in Scotland in order to increase revenues from income tax, which is being devolved to Holyrood.” – Daily Telegraph

> Today: Henry Hill’s Red, White and Blue column – Davidson predicts best Tory result in Holyrood history

Labour leadership 1) 40,000 union activists prevented from voting twice

LABOUR dead rose“More than 40,000 union activists have had their ballots cancelled in the Labour leadership race after signing up to vote twice – raising fresh fears about the validity of the contest. … Labour said yesterday the number of ‘affiliated members’ entitled to vote in the race to succeed Ed Miliband had been slashed from 190,000 to fewer than 150,000 after audit checks found they already qualified for votes as party members.” – Daily Mail

  • “Almost one in 10 of the 610,000 registered to vote for the new Labour leader have been struck off for being dodgy, the party has admitted.” – The Sun (£)
  • “Mark Serwortka, the leader of one of the UK’s biggest trade unions, has been banned from voting in the Labour leadership election.” – The Guardian
  • “Some 400 people who applied to vote in the Labour leadership election have been found to be Tory members or supporters, the party revealed today.” – The Times (£)
  • “Labour has been asked by the campaigns of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall to conduct extra checks on those eligible to vote in its leadership election, amid continuing concerns about the integrity of the ballot.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “If Jeremy Corbyn were not a candidate for the Labour leadership, and thousands of new members and supporters had signed up to vote for the three other hopefuls, would there be a fuss about infiltration?” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “The result looks unlikely to be close enough to be decided by disputed votes. It has rather been decided by the short Miliband years in which Labour forgot the lessons it learnt with such difficulty over decades.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “When is a supporter not a supporter? The new Labour leader’s first job is to sort out the Trotskyist dilemma.” – Independent editorial

Labour leadership 2) Letts watches Burnham struggle in yesterday’s hustings

“Campbell enquired of Andy Burnham: ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a female leader?’ Shadow Health Secretary Burnham stalled mid-air. Eek. … ‘Er, er, er, when the time is right, when the right candidate comes along,’ said Mr Burnham.  … A meritocrat could argue with Mr Burnham’s reply. But today’s Labour is not the party of meritocrats. … It is a party of minority-positive-action-tokenism loonies. A cloud of militant-feminist biting insects will be swarming round Andy Burnham for weeks.” – Daily Mail

  • “The Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham has declared he would not be able to serve in a frontbench team led by Jeremy Corbyn if his government wanted the UK to withdraw from Nato or scrap Trident.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “…if Andy Burnham is the party’s best hope of avoiding Corbyn, it really is curtains for Labour.” – Sun editorial (£)
  • “If Andy Burnham’s ‘never been a Westminster politician’… what on earth is he?” – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • “They may despise each other, but Corbyn is the true heir to Blair.” – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 3) Corbyn plans women-only train carriages to curb harrassment

corbynleader“Jeremy Corbyn is calling for women-only rail carriages to curb sexual harassment on public transport. … The hard-Left leadership challenger believes the restriction should be imposed on trains travelling at night. … He also called for the establishment of a 24-hour police hotline for reporting harassment and assaults. … Mr Corbyn wants to establish a ‘women’s safety’ cabinet position on local councils if he wins the leadership contest.” – Daily Mail

  • “Up to three million potential ‘death trap’ vehicles are on the roads after being wrongly passed in MOT inspections.” – Daily Mail

And comment:

  • “Women-only train carriages? Here’s a Corbyn policy I can’t get on board with.” – Holly Baxter, The Independent
  • “Smart taxis will free us from cost of car ownership.” – Ross Clark, The Times (£)

> Today: The Deep End – The routine harassment of women is a daily offence against liberty

Labour leadership 4) Umunna calls for calm

Umunna on Marr“Chuka Umunna has called for ‘calm’ after Lord Prescott accused him and his Labour party colleague Tristram Hunt of creating a ‘Gang of Two’ in the style of the 1980s SDP. … The shadow business secretary told the Financial Times on Tuesday there would be no split in the party, saying it was ‘completely out of the question’ and would be ‘totally counter-productive’.” – Financial Times

  • “If Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader on September 12 it will be the biggest test of party discipline since the ‘Gang of Four’ formed a breakaway group in 1981.” – Financial Times

Straw accused over Freedom of Information

“Labour have accused Jack Straw of working with the Tories to dismantle the Freedom of Information Act, used to expose Government scandals. … A panel of former ministers and civil servants is reviewing the Act, which helped uncover the MP’s expenses scandals and other revelations about waste and incompetence. … But party sources claim Mr Straw, the former home secretary, had been asked not to join the five-strong committee yet he insisted on doing so anyway – even if it had to be in a ‘personal capacity’.” – Daily Mail

Chilcot will spread the blame beyond just Blair

tony-blair“It has been assumed that Chilcot would concentrate on Blair and his closest advisers in Downing Street. However, the Guardian understands the inquiry intends to criticise a much bigger circle of ministers and officials, including Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time of the Iraq invasion in 2003. … Others in focus are Sir Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee, Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, Clare Short, the international development secretary, and senior officials in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Office.” – The Guardian

  • “The families of soldiers killed in Iraq have said they will directly confront Sir John Chilcot after it emerged he will not set out a timetable for publishing his inquiry.” – Daily Telegraph
  • “Soldiers who served in Afghanistan last night flocked to back a campaign calling on David Cameron to save their former translators from the Taliban.” – Daily Mail
  • “A British hostage who has been freed after being held in Yemen for over a year by al Qaeda says he is relieved to be reunited with his family.” – Daily Mail
  • “Saudi Arabia has executed at least 175 people in the past year, at a rate of one every two days, according to a report by Amnesty International.” – The Independent

And comment:

  • “If the Chilcot Inquiry finds that the Iraq War was illegal, I’ll personally return my medal to Tony Blair.” – James Wharton, The Independent
  • “We can’t always rely on Captain America to get us out of trouble.” – Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
  • “MPs must seize this chance to bomb Isis.” – Roger Boyes, The Times (£)

> Today: Kwasi Kwarteng MP on Comment – The alternative to el-Sisi in Egypt is worse than a nightmare

China’s woes could keep Britain’s interest rates low

Chinese flag“Interest rates could remain at rock bottom for another year or more amid worries about China’s slowing growth, experts predicted last night. … The FTSE 100 index of leading shares rallied yesterday after suffering a huge fall the previous day on Black Monday. … It bounced back above the 6,000 mark, rising more than 182 points – just over 3 per cent – after slumping to its lowest level for nearly three years.” – Daily Mail

  • “World trade recorded its biggest contraction since the financial crisis in the first half of this year, according to figures that will fuel a debate over whether globalisation has peaked.” – Financial Times

And comment:

  • “…it would be deeply foolish to dismiss the week’s wild fluctuations as a freak interruption to Britain’s steady return to economic health.” – Daily Mail editorial
  • “Why worries about China make sense.” – Martin Wolf, Financial Times

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Turmoil in China and in the markets. In praise of Mark Field, who last year saw trouble coming

News in brief

  • Big Ben’s chimes are out-of-sync by up to six seconds – The Sun (£)
  • Hattersley slams age limit for peers – The Times (£)
  • Abolish safe seats, says think-tank – The Independent
  • Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking – The Independent
  • US to deploy stealth fighter jets to Europe in response to Russia’s aggression – Daily Mail
  • Cumberbatch as Hamlet, the opening night reviews – Daily Mail

And finally: Surf’s up!

“The Camerons have enjoyed another session bodyboarding in Cornwall as they relax on their annual holiday to the West Country. … Prime Minister David Cameron, 48, has been spotted two days in a row wearing a shortie wetsuit and taking to the waves at Polzeath. … And his 44-year-old wife Samantha joined him today as well, as they enjoyed a dip in the cool waters of the Cornish resort while rain lashed Britain.” – Daily Mail

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