8.15pm WATCH: Labour leadership contender Diane Abbott tells the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that she would like to introduce new taxes on wealth, financial transactions and banking

6pm Latest on CentreRight:

Picture 74pm Seats and Candidates: The Isle of Wight should be allowed to remain a single parliamentary constituency

2.30pm WATCH: Boris Johnson welcomes ruling that Parliament Square squatters can be evicted

Noon ToryDiary:

HUNT JEREMY OPEN NECKED SHIRTToryDiary: Jeremy Hunt puts the BBC on notice that it should expect the licence fee to be cut next year

Rowan Cole on Platform: Britain cannot abandon Afghanistan to the Taleban

Local Government: Greg Clark dumps regional plan weighing two stone

Seats and Candidates: Jamie McGrigor selected to contest Argyll and Bute in the Scottish Parliament

International: Australian Liberal leader Tony Abbott welomes the calling of a general election with a number of messages which will not be unfamiliar to British Conservatives

LeftWatch: Labour leadership contenders turn on Mandelson

Hague labels Lockerbie bomber’s release a "mistake"…

"Foreign Secretary William Hague has called the decision to free the Lockerbie bomber ‘a mistake’, it was reported last night. His views were revealed amid growing pressure in the U.S. over Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi’s release, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding to know whether oil company BP had any behind-the-scenes role." – Daily Mail

…As Obama concerns over the incident overshadows Cameron's U.S visit

"The growing controversy over BP's role in the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber is threatening to overshadow David Cameron's first visit to Washington as Prime Minister. It comes just days after a powerful senate committee announced it wants to question BP executives at a hearing into the affair in 10 days' time. Mr Cameron is set to reiterate that BP's Libyan oil contracts were not behind the release of Abdulbaset al-Megrahi by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds." – Daily Telegraph

Blair "held secret talks with Gaddafi"

"Tony Blair was flown to Libya for secret talks with Colonel Gaddafi just days after denying he was an adviser to the dictator. Mr Blair was 'entertained as a brother', a senior Libyan government source has revealed. He told the Daily Mail that the former prime minister had offered Gaddafi, with whom he is on first-name terms, 'a great deal of invaluable advice'." – Daily Mail

Clinton asks Government to explain bomber's release The Times

Clegg: We'll make Britain a liberal nation

"The Deputy Prime Minister claimed that his power-sharing deal with the Conservatives will entrench his Liberal Democrats' values by the time of the next election. The Coalition’s policies are “liberalism in action,” Mr Clegg told a London think thank. The speech was intended to reassure wavering Lib Dem voters, but risked angering Conservatives who believe the Lib Dems are exerting too much influence over the government's agenda. Mr Clegg said: "Now that the Liberal Democrats are in government, liberal ideas are being deployed directly. What you are seeing is liberalism in action." – Daily Telegraph

Willetts to graduates: if you can't get a job, start a business

Students leaving university this summer should cast off "old-fashioned" ideas about what constitutes a graduate job and instead consider starting a business, a government minister has said.  David Willetts, the universities minister, told the Guardian that thousands of young people leaving higher education this summer to compete for jobs should rethink what they consider to be a graduate career. He said: "I think one of the interesting pieces of evidence is that, although graduates don't always start in a so-called graduate job, they then have a good chance of moving on to one." – Guardian

Conservatives break up Parliament early "to stop Clegg strutting his stuff two weeks in a row"

Screen shot 2010-07-17 at 08.29.33 "Next week, David Cameron is making his first trip to Washington, so Nick Clegg was to stand in for him at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday…But the following week, Cameron is off to India, which would have meant Clegg strutting his stuff for two weeks in a row. Suddenly, the Tory high command was nervous. What if Clegg turned out to be good at it? What impression would it give if Cameron is seen travelling the globe leaving a Liberal Democrat in charge for two weeks running? Rather than risk it, they are closing Parliament down on a Tuesday" – Andy McSmith in the Independent

Legal Aid faces "brutal" cuts

Officials working for Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, have drawn up plans to cut “hundreds of millions” of pounds from the £2.2 billion budget for Legal Aid. The plan is among blueprints for cuts in public spending worth more than £40 billion handed to the Treasury. Whitehall departments yesterday submitted plans for deep spending cuts that will lead to many public services being scaled back or even scrapped. The Whitehall cuts could amount to £32 billion over four years. Spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could be cut by another £12." – Daily Telegraph

Maude confirms two-week cancer guarantee on "Question Time" BBC

Vanessa Feltz quizzes Boris over his private life…

Boris Johnson messy hair "Boris Johnson dodged a relentless barrage of questions about his private life during a radio interview yesterday. Vanessa Feltz quizzed the Mayor of London over reports that he was at the centre of a row over the paternity of a wealthy socialite’s baby. He refused to discuss reports that Helen Macintyre, 36, split from her long-term partner Pierre Rolin after a bitter bust-up involving Mr Johnson." – Daily Express

…As Daily Mail keeps up its pressure on the Mayor

"I realise that we live in a world where an extra-marital affair does not prevent a man or woman from reaching high office (just as well or we’d have precious few politicians left).

But Boris’s sexual antics display the sort of reckless selfishness and contempt for women we’d expect from some ‘babyfather’ thug on the worst inner London sink estates — not from the Mayor of our capital city." – Daily Mail

Boris clashed with Hammond over free bus pass cut proposalChannel 4 News.

Government can learn from EasyJet, says Cameron (to EasyJet workers) Politics Home

Parliament Square protestors lose legal challenge against evictionGuardian

I'll bar my constituency surgery to veil-wearing women, says HolloboneIndependent

>Parliament: Phillip Hollobone explains why he wants to ban the burqa

Peter Oborne: How Vince Cable has positioned himself as the Coalition's rebel leader – Daily Mail

Charles Moore: Lord Mandelson is flawed, but he does have a salutary tale to tell Daily Telegraph

Anthony Seldon: Our education system is collapsing into a form of mass indoctrination – Independent


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