7.15pm ToryDiary: Mail and Sun prove that newspapers can still matter

6.30pm Local Government: Green Party's misguided attack on estate redevelopment

Prentis5.45pm LeftWatch: Introducing… the Arthur Scargill of 2011… Dave Prentis of Unison

5.15pm WATCH: David Cameron says he wishes his Generals would stick to the fighting, and let him do the talking

5.15pm Parliament: Iain Duncan Smith sets out and defends the Government's pensions legislation

3pm WATCH: David Davis on sentencing policy change: "It's a good u-turn" and "the Prime Minister's done the right thing"

2pm JP Floru on Comment: Time to defeat Bob Crow: will Cameron or Boris grab this Thatcher Moment?

12.15pm ToryDiary: Cameron's take giant steps towards re-establishing his law and order credentials


12.15pm Local government: Boris has 7% lead over Ken Livingstone

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and American political news

11am WATCH: Pensions Bill passed in the Commons

10.30am Brian Binley MP on Comment: How to stimulate the housing market 

ToryDiary: It's time to end the Tory war on multiculturalism: "Don't be against multiculturalism – be for integration.  Be for teaching English history in schools.  Be for teaching migrants English (even at this time of tight budgets).  Be for cutting immigration to the tens of thousands.  Be for a national holiday to celebrate the Queen's Birthday.  I should have seen before the Munich speech that a single word in it would compromise the effectiveness of all the others."


Matthew Sinclair on Comment: Why are the Government taxing ordinary motorists to pay for a rich man's high-speed train?

Also on Comment: Lord Ashcroft: How the restored St Paul's Cathedral was saved by brave bomb disposal experts during WWII

Parliament: Conservative MPs urge Greece to leave the €uro but Treasury minister Mark Hoban declines to agree

Also on Parliament: After fighting against endless coalition, for intervention in Libya, the irrepressible Mark Pritchard turns his attention to circus animals

John Moss on the Local Government Blog: Labour's plans to strangle the private rented sector

Bruce Anderson: Why Steve Hilton is Thatcher’s heir in No 10 rows
Hilton&CameronMr Anderson paints Steve Hilton as the true heir to Mrs Thatcher in Downing Street in his impatience with the status quo. He then paints this picture of a meeting in Downing Streeet:

"Imagine a Downing Street meeting. Mr Hilton is demanding the impossible, by yesterday. Mr Osborne is considering the political and fiscal implications. Oliver Letwin, the cabinet office minister, and Jeremy Heywood are working out the legislative consequences. Ed Llewellyn, the chief of staff, is organising the paperwork while also ready to ply the fire-hoses if – when – Mr Hilton boils over. Mr Cameron is there to take the decisions. It is a formidable way to run government." – The Financial Times (£)

> Yesterday on Comment - David T Breaker: Steve Hilton – traditionalist in disguise and Paul Goodman explained why Hilton is likely to stay

Ken Clarke (and Nick Clegg) defeated by Cameron (and Sun and Mail) over proposal to cut sentences by 50%


"David Cameron will use today’s announcement of the long-delayed sentencing reforms to insist that he has not gone soft on crime. He is expected to announce a new category of knife crime and plans for tougher remission rules for those accused of serious crimes. Mr Cameron will say that the compromise — hailed by Mr Clarke’s camp as a score draw — strikes the right balance between punishment and rehabilitation." – The Times (£)

"Proposals to allow criminals to serve only half their sentences if they plead guilty at an early stage are set to be dropped entirely, the BBC understands. The idea was attacked by many Tory MPs and victims' groups – especially after it emerged it might apply to rapists. Government sources ruled that out earlier this month, but the policy was expected to be retained for a number of lesser crimes." – BBC

  • "Yes, he has put Mr Clegg in his place on sentencing, and we applaud him for it. Now he must do the same across the rest of Whitehall – starting with much tougher controls on the current unsustainable levels of immigration, and reform of the Human Rights Act. Mr Cameron is a Tory premier. It’s time he grasped the opportunity to govern as one." – Daily Mail editorial
  • "We wait to see how many other idiotic notions – like cutting prison numbers by 6,000 – survive in Mr Clarke's proposals Governing by U-turn is becoming a habit for the Coalition. This time we welcome the change of heart, and if there are still dangerous ideas left in Mr Clarke's plans we will campaign to get them stopped too. But how much better it would have been if Ken Clarke's deluded nonsense had never seen the light of day." – The Sun editorial

Cameron: We cannot afford a Greek bailout

TimesEuro "Asked if Britain could afford to help the bailout, or if it could afford not to, Mr Cameron said: “I absolutely don’t believe we should. I don’t believe that we will and I shall be fighting very hard to achieve that at the European Council this week.”" – The Times (£)

"Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, broke protocol by declining to say the single currency would continue to exist. "I am not going to comment on whether the eurozone will remain intact or not. Clearly this crisis demonstrates the huge strain the eurozone in under. That is why it was right for us to stay out of the eurozone," he said." – The Guardian

Cameron: A majority Conservative government would have been more radical on immigration and welfare…

Clegg Cameron

"Mr Cameron has been under fire from Tory backbenchers over compromises with the Lib Dems over NHS reforms. And he has been criticised for being too "liberal" on sentencing policy. But he chose not to get into those areas when he questioned by DJ Steve Wright about what difference being in coalition with the Lib Dems had made." – BBC

"'If I was running a Conservative-only Government I think we would be making further steps on things like immigration control or making sure that our welfare reforms were absolutely making sure that if you're not prepared to work you can't go on welfare." – Daily Mail

…as the Coalition looks set to miss immigration targets

"Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May have pledged to reduce net migration from the current 242,000 to less than 100,000 people. But immigration system reforms will leave net migration at about 165,000 by 2015, according to analysis by Oxford University's Migration Observatory." – BBC

Government sticks to pensions plans, but moves to ease women's pension fears

Duncan Smith On Marr "The government will press ahead with plans to raise the state pension age for women but ministers have promised to look at "transitional" arrangements. The coalition wants to raise the pension age for women from 60 to 65 by 2018 as a prelude to both female and male pension ages rising to 66 in 2020. Critics say 330,000 women face working up to two years longer before retiring as a result of the proposals." – BBC

"Despite Mr Duncan Smith insistence that ministers were committed to the plans, his officials have started to look at other options in order to prevent women in their late 50s seeing their retirement plans disrupted by the change. But the Treasury is insisting that any alternative proposal should not cost extra money, and one option is to bring forward the state pension age for both men and women." – The Independent

Michael Gove could reduce school Summer holidays to four weeks

"The Education Secretary called for a shake-up of primary and secondary education at his flagship academies and free schools, including a more flexible, month-long summer recess. State-educated children have traditionally enjoyed a six-week break between the end of July and the first week of September – but Mr Gove’s reforms could lead to the shortest summer holiday in Europe." – Daily Mail

Ministers move to block debate on circus animals

"The Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, is being urged by MPs not to allow the Government to block demands for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. Ministers plan to head off calls for the practice to be outlawed in a Commons debate on Thursday by tabling a counter-motion which stops short of a ban. There is now a risk that MPs will be able to vote only with the Government motion rather than the backbench call for a ban." – The Independent

Steve Richards: The roads to reform are paved with good intentions

"Competition can and should be used to shake up complacent public services, but the reformers apply their faith too indiscriminately, without any proper analysis of whether markets can work effectively in services that are a monopoly, such as the railways, or in health, where demand is different and less predictable than weekly shopping. They assume always that the private sector is more efficient than the public alternative, although evidence suggests that the reality is much more mixed." – The Independent

Other political news and comment in brief:

  • Unison public sector union preparing for strike vote – BBC
  • Sound and fury will get the unions nothing – Rachel Sylvester in the Times (£)
  • MPs could ring-fence pensions as public sector asked to pay more – The Times (£)
  • RAF chief Sir Simon Bryant in warning over Libya – BBC
  • Corporate chiefs hungry to dine with Lib Dems – The FT (£)
  • The alchemists of liberalism have left their parties behind – Julian Astle in the Guardian
  • If you want to rebuild Britain, the family is a good place to start – Mary Riddell in the Daily Telegraph
  • It's grimmer up North than it needs to be - Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph

Mandelson: Ed Miliband must stand up to the unions

"…Lord Mandelson said: 'We need to take a few risks; talk more directly to the country; be more innovative and courageous.' At the moment to some in the country we appear almost too tactical, we appear too afraid that what we say might suddenly trigger some disagreement in our party.' He added: 'A leader has got to speak in national terms, he’s got to speak in a way that reflects the national interest not sectional interests, not party interests, not simply trade union interests.'" – Daily Mail

And finally… the Daily Mirror calls Cameron "Dastardly Dave"


David Cameron's coalition sabotages futures of millions of women with pension plans – Daily Mirror