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Queen’s Speech 1) Labour’s Brexit divisions exposed as Corbyn sacks Europhile rebels

“Labour’s Brexit policy was exposed as a shambles last night as the party’s divisions were laid bare. Jeremy Corbyn was forced to sack three shadow ministers after they defied his orders not to back a ‘soft’ Brexit. The Labour leader has been accused of cynically trying to face both ways on Europe. He is desperate to keep the support of both the party’s Brexit-backing Northern heartlands and pro-Remain cities such as London. But he suffered a humiliating rebellion yesterday as nearly 50 Labour MPs – a fifth of his party – supported an amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for Britain to remain in the EU single market and the customs union. Shadow ministers Andy Slaughter, Ruth Cadbury and Catherine West were fired for joining the revolt. Shadow transport minister Daniel Zeichner quit before the vote.” – Daily Mail

  • Six peers ‘punished’ for their votes on Article 50 – The Times (£)
  • Corbyn is a Brexit bystander – FT
  • Labour MEP warned that Barnier will resist ID cards for EU nationals – Daily Express
  • All the MPs who defied Corbyn over Brexit – The Independent

More EU:

  • UK firms ‘failing to prepare’ for post-Brexit regulation changes – Daily Telegraph
  • May ‘caught between Merkel and Trump’ – The Times (£)
  • Patten claims UK will change its mind at the last minute – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Labour needs to come clean on Brexit – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Why I’ve come round to the idea of ID cards – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • Why there will never be a Trump in Europe – Simon Kuper, FT

>Today: LeftWatch: Slaughter slaughtered. Corbyn sacks him – and two other frontbenchers for joining a 50 Labour MP-strong anti-Brexit revolt

>Yesterday:

Queen’s Speech 2) May forced into new abortion policy to stave off Tory rebellion

“Theresa May was forced into a new policy on abortion to halt a rebellion by Conservative backbenchers yesterday. In a move that was seized on as a sign of the government’s weak grip on power, the prime minister caved in to pressure to pay for abortions in England for Northern Irish women. A Labour amendment to the Queen’s Speech called on ministers to provide “adequate funding” for free terminations for women from the province, who must pay for them at present. Many Tory MPs also expressed concerns about the issue, prompting fears of a revolt in a vote last night on the Queen’s Speech.” – The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister wins vote by slender majority – FT
  • Who is Stella Creasy, the Labour MP who won free abortions for Ulsterwomen? – The Sun

Comment:

  • The real Brexit negotiations are inside the Conservative Party – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • Tories caving at the first sign of trouble? It’s enough to make McDonnell smile – Michael Deacon’s sketch, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Gary Porter in Local Government: A disappointing Queen’s Speech for local government

Downing Street ‘secretly agrees to end public sector pay cap’

“Theresa May has secretly agreed to end the public sector pay cap after 20 senior Tory MPs marched on No10, The Sun can reveal. Amid a bitter Cabinet row, the PM and her Chancellor have publicly insisted the 1% cap on state wage rises until 2019 will stay. But during a secret meeting with Mrs May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell, the posse of senior Conservatives were told the duo will end it to give five million state workers’ pay a decent hike. They were also told the announcement will come later in the year, so the PM is not seen to be giving in to “Comrade Corbyn”. The delegation – which included at least three ex-ministers and a former party chairman – demanded the showdown on Wednesday afternoon.” – The Sun

  • Fox says Britain must ‘live within its means’ – The Independent
  • Tax rises inevitable if austerity abandoned, warns ex-Treasury chief – Daily Mail
  • Pressure on May’s energy policy – The Sun
  • Scottish Government u-turn to lift pay cap too – The Scotsman

Osborne:

  • Former Chancellor came within weeks of scrapping the penny – The Guardian
  • Osborne crams sixth job into busy schedule – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • The case for Conservatism is strong, if only the Tories would make it – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Which party can reach beyond its comfort zone? Roger Harding, Times Red Box

Editorial:

  • A new, better balance of power between Government and Parliament – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Voter satisfaction with public services – higher under the Conservatives than Labour

>Yesterday:

‘Dozens’ of MPs urge Leadsom to stand for leader a second time

“Andrea Leadsom is being urged by “dozens of Tory MPs” to run for party leader again and oust Theresa May, it is being reported. The Prime Minister defeated her Cabinet colleague in last year’s leadership contest but she is under serious pressure after losing her Commons majority. According to BusinessInsider, friends of the Leader of the House want her to put her name forward a second tilt at the top job. She is the latest figure in the frame as a possible successor to Mrs May, who has faced calls after the disastrous election campaign. Allies of David Davis and Boris Johnosn have both accused each other of positioning themselves to make a leadership challenge. The Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd have also been named as potential runners.” – The Sun

Ministers 1) Patel imposes controls on those who abuse aid funding

“Priti Patel has declared war on UN agencies, charities and fat cat suppliers squandering Britain’s bloated £13 billion foreign aid budget by pledging to crackdown on consultants’ perks. The International Development Secretary promised to impose stricter controls on daily allowances and travel expenses run up by organisations and firms contracted to run our aid programmes in a bid to protect taxpayers’ money. Daily pay rates for consultants working on foreign aid schemes in Africa’s poorest areas can run up to £600 a day – equivalent to a £150,000 salary. This comes on top of other expenses. And all UN agencies that spend Britain’s foreign aid cash take a seven per cent slice to pay for “overheads”.” – The Sun

Ministers 2) Johnson hits out at excessive pay for university leaders

“A university has been criticised for increasing the salary of its vice-chancellor by 55 per cent over six years, taking it £352,000 to a year. Southampton University, currently led by Sir Christopher Snowden, was singled out by universities minister Jo Johnson as an example of the ‘endless upward ratchet’ of fat cat pay since tuition fees started. Mr Johnson hit out at the ‘sharp increase’ handed out over six years and called for restraint. He warned that students have been raising concerns about high wage packets for senior staff after paying up to £9,250 a year for their course.” – Daily Mail

  • Academies help ‘low-achieving poor pupils’ most – FT

Ministers 3) Brokenshire extends deadline for Northern Irish talks, again

“The deadline for power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland has been extended until Monday, after no agreement was reached by 4pm today. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said it would provide “space and time” for both sides to come to an agreement. Earlier in the day, senior Democratic Unionist politician Edwin Poots had warned that the deadline would be missed. If a deal cannot be struck, Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire could give Westminster a greater say in making decisions in Northern Ireland. Alternatively, he has the option of calling another Northern Ireland Assembly election or giving the parties more time to negotiate.” – The Independent

Tories’ hunt for campaign chiefs sparks talk of new election

“The Conservatives are advertising for new campaign managers, fuelling speculation that the party is manoeuvring to a war footing for a possible second snap election. An advert for party campaign leaders in England and Wales was posted on the “Working for an MP” website and stated that recruitment would continue “until further notice”. It is understood that the Conservatives are seeking a marketing director. The recruitment drive at this period in the electoral cycle has triggered speculation among senior Tories that Theresa May’s minority government, which depends on the support of ten DUP MPs to survive, is so weak that another election could be in the offing this year or next year.” – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Francis Maude in Comment: To win, we must modernise all over again

Shapps spurns Channel 4 News over presenter bias

“A Tory MP refused to appear on Channel 4 News last night, saying he ‘couldn’t be sure’ of its impartiality because of presenter Jon Snow’s alleged political leanings. Former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps’ comments came after Snow was accused of joining in a chant of ‘f*** the Tories’ whilst at Glastonbury last week. The 69-year-old journalist, who is one of Channel 4’s biggest names, is alleged to have told festival-goers: ‘I’m supposed to be neutral,’ after making the remarks. Snow later claimed he has ‘no recollection’ of the event, but he has since faced accusations of political bias.” – Daily Mail

  • Snow caught up in fresh row – The Sun

Comment:

  • I was interviewed by Snow, he must stop pretending he isn’t biased – Matt Kilcoyne, Daily Telegraph

Too many people classified as poor, argues Field

“A new definition of destitution that would significantly reduce the number of people considered to be among society’s poorest has been proposed by a senior Labour MP. Frank Field, a former work and pensions select committee chairman, will call for the government to establish an accurate figure for the number of people living in destitution in a speech today. This should be defined not by income, he argues, but by three factors: hunger, lack of access to gas and electricity and homelessness. Mr Field, who was appointed to lead a review of child poverty by David Cameron in 2010, is a longstanding critic of the present definition of poverty — households with less than 60 per cent of that year’s median income.” – The Times (£)

  • Let’s target welfare spending at those who really need it – Frank Field, The Times (£)

Sturgeon urged to bar English troops from voting in indyref2

Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to bar English students, armed forces personnel and second-home owners based in Scotland from voting in a second independence referendum, the responses to an official consultation have disclosed. A Scottish Government report analysing the responses to the SNP government’s draft Referendum Bill raised concerns by some who had submitted their views that those who has been “resident for a temporary or short period of time” would get a vote. These include “students from England or other countries”, members of the British armed forces based north of the Border and those “who own holiday homes in Scotland.” Some responses argued that personnel in the Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy based at one of Scotland’s many military bases should only get a vote if they were born in Scotland or their families were based there.” – Daily Telegraph

  • SNP blasted for ‘snubbing’ new aircraft carrier – Daily Express
  • Scottish school budgets cut by £1.2 billion since 2010 – The Scotsman

Comment:

  • Sturgeon is losing her grip on government, party, and country – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Panic in Paris as man arrested for trying to drive into crowds outside mosque – Daily Mail
  • Keep costs down, Grenfell experts told – The Times (£)
  • Kensington council leader faces calls to resign – Daily Telegraph
  • Trump to act against Chinese bank over North Korea – FT
  • Parliament launches new investigation into opinion polls – The Sun
  • Germany legalises gay marriage but Merkel votes against – The Independent
  • Union overtime ban brings one in four Southern trains to a halt – Daily Mail
  • Forces’ failure to tackle cybercrime costs £144 billion – The Times (£)

And finally… Bercow lifts Commons’ tie requirement

“Commons Speaker John Bercow scandalised traditionalists today when he ditched the tradition that male MPs have to be wearing a tie to speak in the chamber. Mr Bercow outlined a break with the long-standing dress code by saying it was enough for politicians to be dressed in ‘business-like attire’… It marks the latest move by Mr Bercow to modernise proceedings in the Commons. On taking the Speaker’s chair in 2009 he dropped the previous tradition of Speakers wearing full ceremonial dress – including breeches – in the chamber. Instead Mr Bercow wears an ordinary business suit and black gown. Earlier this year he dropped the requirement for clerks to wear wigs earlier this year.” – Daily Mail

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