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Pickles claims political correctness let electoral fraud flourish

PICKLES Eric smiling“A culture of political correctness has led to a blind eye being turned to widespread voting fraud in Muslim communities, a devastating government report reveals today. Ex-Cabinet minister Sir Eric Pickles lambasts the police, election watchdogs and town halls for ignoring evidence of electoral abuse because of ‘over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion’.” – Daily Mail

  • Voter ID checks demanded – The Times (£)
  • Poll fraud ‘ignored’ for fear of giving offence – The Sun

Eric Pickles: Fraud is a problem across the political spectrum

“We like to boast that Britain is home to the “mother of Parliaments”, but this country’s democratic foundation is being systematically undermined, and further weakened by a reluctance to tackle the problem. The decision of the election court last year to disqualify the Mayor of Tower Hamlets for a litany of corruption and illegal practices should be a wake-up call.” – Daily Telegraph

May urged to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible…

EU Brexit“Theresa May has been urged to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as soon as possible amid fears it could be reversed at a later date by pro-EU MPs… The warning to Mrs May to hurry up and get on with the process of exit negotiations comes amid concerns the two-year waiting period could be allowed to straddle a general election.” – Daily Express

  • Smith demands second EU vote – Daily Express
  • Is the Prime Minister’s poll honeymoon over? – The Sun

Home Office:

Comment:

  • May should cut taxes if she wants to drive growth – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • There won’t be an early general election, and here’s why – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • The Prime Minister is right to go on holiday: she is not ‘running the country’ – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

…and to abandon Hinkley Point nuclear deal over spying allegations

“Theresa May is being urged to pull the plug on the controversial Hinkley Point C project immediately, after new allegations of spying in the US by a consultant working for the Chinese co-investor in the planned nuclear plant. The new government is currently in the middle of a review of the £18.5bn Hinkley scheme following a final investment decision by the developers, EDF of France and its Beijing-based partner China General Nuclear Power (CGN).” – The Guardian

  • Australia rejects energy deal with China over security fears – The Times (£)

Foreign affairs:

  • May offers olive branch to Argentina, which insists Falklands are theirs – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Britain cannot afford to upset the Chinese – Stephen King, The Times (£)
  • Merkel can teach May about realpolitik with China – FT

Editorial:

  • It’s about how and when, not whether, we do business with Beijing – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Rebalancing the economy requires a new monetary policy

Ministers 1) Junior doctors prepare for further strike action after rejecting Hunt’s contract

On strike“Junior doctors are poised to mount further strikes after rejecting Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposed contract. Ministers had hoped to end the dispute over the changes by agreeing to a reformed contract with British Medical Association officials, but 58 per cent of the 37,000 junior doctors who took part in a ballot had rejected it.” – Daily Mail

  • NHS crisis deepens as bed blocking costs £6 billion – The Times (£)
  • OAPs’ hospital bed hell – The Sun
  • Charity tells Health Secretary to end rationing of cataract operations – Daily Mail

More strikes:

  • Driver-only trains are safer, watchdog tells rail strikers – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • Train strikes are about union power, not safety – Sebastian Payne, FT

Ministers 2) Johnson talks peace with Putin

“Boris Johnson, who once described President Putin as a ruthless and manipulative tyrant, spoke with his Russian counterpart for the first time yesterday in a sign of Britain’s desire to rebuild its relationship with the country. In a phone call the foreign secretary and Sergei Lavrov “expressed hope for the normalisation of Russian-British ties”, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. Mr Lavrov and Mr Johnson also discussed the conflict in Syria.” – The Times (£)

  • Former mayor tries to salvage relations before Putin ‘sparks war’ – Daily Express
  • Foreign Secretary blasted for not being tough on tyrant – The Sun
  • Turkey urges Russia to join anti-ISIS operations one day after threatening to quit NATO – Daily Mail

Editorial:

  • NATO should be nervous as Ankara grows close to Moscow – The Times (£)

Soubry casts doubt on superfast broadband figures

SOUBRY profile“Official government figures claiming that nine out of ten households have access to superfast broadband are meaningless and flawed, a former business minister has claimed. Anna Soubry said that she became suspicious about the statistic, based on data from BT, after talking to people in the real world who struggled with slow internet speeds.” – Daily Mail

Head of John Lewis poised to be chosen as Conservative candidate for Birmingham mayoralty

“The head of John Lewis is poised to be chosen as the Conservative candidate for mayor of Birmingham. Andy Street is in the running to be the official Tory candidate, according to two sources. The decision on whether he will be selected… for next year’s contest to be the first “metro mayor” for the area is expected before the Conservative Party conference in October. – The Times (£)

Far-left figures ready to rejoin Labour

LABOUR dead rose“Leading former figures in Militant have said that they want to rejoin Labour and form a new alliance if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected as leader. Dave Nellist, the former MP expelled from Labour in 1991 due to his support for the hard-left 1980s faction, said that he hoped to return to the party but added: “Not the Labour it is now but the Labour I hope it will become if Jeremy is re-elected.”” – The Times (£)

  • Polls show Labour set for disaster after far-left takeover – Daily Express
  • Party awaits verdict on voting rights of 130,000 new members – The Sun
  • Candidates clash over the future of Labour – The Guardian

More Labour:

  • Unison leader warns that Labour risks becoming new ‘nasty party’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Vile abuse is toxifying party, warns union boss – The Sun
  • Moderates fear Corbynista-led ‘purge’ – FT
  • Ex-head of policy unit mounts scathing attack on Corbyn – The Sun

Philip Collins: A split is awful, but still the best remaining solution to the Labour farce

“If Mr Corbyn sees off Owen Smith and is reconfirmed as leader of the Labour Party he will be appointed as its grim reaper. Things have fallen apart. The left cannot hold. It is not that the case for a new party in British politics has suddenly become good. It is that the case for all the other options is worse. – The Times (£)

  • If the Trotskyists are on the march, there’s chaos ahead – John Harris, The Guardian
  • I stumbled into a Corbynista pub meeting and stared Labour’s wreckers in the face – Tom Utley, Daily Mail
  • It’s not the 1980s: Labour must unite to fight the Tories – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • Politics is ugly enough without MPs calling train drivers ‘scabs’ – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Sketches:

  • Corbyn fans jeer Smith on Labour’s darkest day… literally – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Four dead in Thai resort bombings – The Times (£)
  • Southern Rail warns of more delays and cancellations – Daily Mail
  • Yorkshire Ripper moved to normal prison after being ruled ‘not insane’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Regulator wants new powers to prevent repeat of BHS pensions crisis – FT
  • Deutsche Bank shares plunge as investors lose faith – Daily Express
  • Schoolgirl who joined ISIS is ‘killed by airstrike’ – The Times (£)

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