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7.15pm WATCH Alistair Burt calls for the release of ‪Gilad Shalit‬ on the fifth anniversary of his capture

5.45pm Gazette: Lady Thatcher hopes to make first public appearance for many months, at unveiling of Ronald Reagan statue

4.45pm Local government: Council byelection results from yesterday

Griffiths Andrew 4.30pm Parliament :Andrew Griffiths exposes how public spending watchdogs have been lunching each other with taxpayers' money

3.45pm Frank Manning on Comment: Should Ed Miliband be using the terminally ill and victims of serious crimes to score political points at PMQs?

2.45pm WATCH: David Cameron says he got assurances at the European Council that the UK will not be drawn into the European element of any Greek bailout

2.15pm ToryDiary: George Osborne's four laws of political success… as chosen by William Hague

Picture 161.15pm WATCH: John Redwood tells BBC's Question Time that the Government is doing too many U-turns

12.45pm Parliament update: David Cameron denies Pritchard bullying claim: "There is no slabbering rottweiler sat by my desk"

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and US political news

11.30am Parliament: The Lords debates Lords Reform, Day Two: More Tory hostility to an elected second chamber

10.30am Mats Persson: The UK should push EU leaders to plan for an orderly restructuring of Greece’s debt, not another bail-out

ToryDiary: Coalition delivers 103,000 extra apprenticeships

Sarah Ingham on Comment: When it comes to defence, Britain is Greece to America’s Germany

Lewisgraph
Also on Comment: Brandon Lewis MP writes that The time is right for reforming the House of Lords – but the majority of its members should remain appointees

LeftWatch: No wonder Miliband wants to scrap shadow cabinet elections – the same electorate wanted his brother as leader

Parliament: The substance of yesterday's debate about banning wild animals from circuses

Local Government:

Rob Hayward in Seats and Candidates: Casting further doubt on Democratic Audit's proposals for the new constituency boundaries

ThinkTankCentral: The TaxPayers' Alliance publishes four popular spending cuts

WATCH: Herman van Rompuy confirms new assistance for Greece from eurozone countries

Cameron wins fight to limit aid UK will give Greece

"David Cameron has won his battle to limit the amount of money the UK will have to contribute towards a second financial bail-out for Greece. The current 110bn euros ($156bn; £98bn) Greek rescue package is a combination of funds from fellow eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund. With a second bail-out due in the autumn, there had been a suggestion cash from EU-wide funds may be used. This will now not happen, but the UK will still contribute via the IMF." – BBC

  • Dan Hannan MEP:  When it comes to the bailouts, the hard Left is dead right – Daily Telegraph
  • Martin Kettle: It's time to admit the European dream is over – The Guardian

Baroness Warsi says Pakistan's treatment of women fails Islam

Baroness Warsi 2010 "Pakistan is failing to live up to one of the tenets of Islam which guarantees rights to all women, according to Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative party co-chairman and minister without portfolio, who is the first Muslim to sit as a full member of the cabinet. In a sign of Britain's impatience with Pakistan, Lady Warsi said the world's first Islamic republic is denying rights granted 1,400 years ago in the Qur'an. As she prepares to become the first British minister to address the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) next week, Warsi said in a Guardian interview that, in a "nutshell", Pakistan is not living up to the ideals of its founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah." – The Guardian

Warsi also brands Melanie Phillips "Mad Mel"The Guardian

Gove says headteachers have a "moral duty" to break strikes

Michael Gove 2010 "Secretary Michael Gove yesterday called on heads to keep schools open during next week's teachers' strike. Mr Gove said they had a "strong moral duty" to continue teaching despite the walkout on June 30… He said: "The public and parents will expect all of us to put the interests of pupils first. We all have a strong moral duty to pupils and parents to keep schools open, and the Government wants to help you achieve that." – The Sun

  • Gove accused of killing off Religious Education – Church Times

Victory in the campaign to ban circus animals

"MPs voted to ban wild animals in circuses last night after David Cameron's attempts to bully Conservative backbenchers into voting against the measure backfired and ended in a humiliating public defeat… In an act of desperation, Conservative whips had warned they would impose the most serious parliamentary voting sanction, a three-line whip, to bring recalcitrant backbenchers to heel and get them to support the Government's alternative proposal of a licensing system." – The Independent

> Yesterday in Parliament: On the floor of the Commons, Mark Pritchard accuses the Prime Minister and Conservative whips of bullying

The Sun's campaign against Ken Clarke continues as it exposes his spending on "Kensultants"…

Ken Clarke 2011 "Ken Clarke spent £27million on consultants in one year – while trying to free lags early to save cash. The Justice Secretary shelled out huge sums while planning to halve jail terms for criminals pleading guilty. Nearly £4million was spent on outside experts last October alone, with costs totalling £27,140,365 between May 2010 and March this year. The shocking waste at the Ministry of Justice was exposed in figures obtained by The Sun in a Freedom of Information request." – The Sun

…as new figures show coalition has enacted biggest Whitehall jobs cull ever

"There has been a 20% year-on-year reduction in the number of civil servants earning more than the prime minister as the government has enacted the biggest jobs cull in Whitehall ever, new figures show." – The Guardian

Tory "derision" at Nick Clegg's free shares in banks call

"A Coalition row erupted yesterday as senior Tories poured scorn on a call by Nick Clegg for voters to be given free shares in state-owned banks. The Deputy Prime Minister backed a suggestion that all 45 million registered electors should be handed a stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group." – The Independent

> Yesterday in ThinkTankCentral: Nick Clegg recommends the Centre for Policy Studies plan for bank re-privatisation

Department for Work and Pensions needs 'robust' plan or will miss £19.6bn cost cuts

"The National Audit Office has warned that unless the Department for Work and Pensions makes "rapid progress" in reorganising the way it runs it will fail to meet its cost-cutting targets by 2014-15." – Daily Telegraph

Baroness Eaton warns of chaos of pension reform

EATON MARGARET "The Conservatives' leader in local government has warned that the coalition risks disruption to the stock markets should a mass opt-out of the local government pension scheme jeopardise councils' £140bn investment funds. Lady Eaton used her final interview as chair of the Local Government Association to press the government to reconsider applying a proposed 3.2% increase in pension contributions to the local government scheme, arguing that low-paid workers in the scheme should be given incentives not to leave." – The Guardian

Sidelined, military chiefs who dared to question CameronDaily Mail

Patrick Mercer MP: Ignore the generals. It’s right to withdraw from Afghanistan

"There can be no doubt that we had an opportunity to quash the Taleban in 2002-03 but we made a nonsense of it because of poor analysis, lack of understanding for the people with whom we were dealing and the distractions of Iraq and other world events. So, our enemies regrouped and counterattacked and that has cost us dear." – Patrick Mercer in The Times (£)

Peter Oborne: In fleeing Afghanistan, the West relinquishes its grip on the world

"Let’s throw the clock forward to 2014, the year Obama and Cameron say combat operations must end. This much is certain: the Taliban will return to power, conceivably with Mullah Omar (still topping the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list) coming down from the mountains to resume his old position, so rudely interrupted, as Head of the Supreme Council and effective head of state." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph

  • Correlli Barnett: What has the West got to show for ten bloody years of war? – Daily Mail
  • William Hague: 'no ifs, no buts' on 2015 Afghanistan withdrawal – Daily Telegraph

> WATCH: Liam Fox: "Any reductions in British forces will be dependent on the conditions on the ground … and fully based on military advice"

Edwina Currie on the Pickles/Spelman spat

"I’m on Pickles’s side in this. He’s an old-time town hall tub-thumper; Spelman’s morphed into one of her civil servants. “Listen to the voters!” is his cry; “Compost everything!” is hers (I paraphrase). One feels that the row is not only about recycling: an element of mutual loathing has crept in. Allegedly." – Edwina Currie in the Daily Telegraph

Other Comment

  • WIlliam Rees-Mogg: In praise of grammar schools – The Times (£)
  • Simon Jenkins: Cameron mugging Ken Clarke was about fear of the tabloids, not consultation – The Guardian
  • Philip Collins: Miliband should make the moral case for 50p tax – The Times (£)

News in brief

  • Tim Loughton says Asian communities have ignored sex grooming – Daily Mail
  • Jesse Norman threatens to "name and shame" PFI companies refusing to offer a rebate – FT (£)
  • Government names eight new sites for nuclear power plants – The Independent
  • Lib Dems resurrect mansion supertax – Daily Mail
  • Unite union "is making unsustainable financial and membership losses" – The Times (£)

And finally… Returning from Brazil, Jeremy Hunt flies economy as Clegg goes business class

HUNT JEREMY NW "Respect to Jeremy Hunt, the Culture secretary, who has just flown economy class all the way back from Brazil (an 11-hour flight), where he was on a three-day trade visit with his Cabinet colleague Nick Clegg. The Deputy Prime Minister and some of his Downing Street team chose to fly business class from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, before catching a connecting flight to London." – Daily Telegraph

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