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8.15pm WATCH: David Cameron says to those considering striking that such action would be wrong for them and the people they serve

7.45pm ToryDiary: David Cameron sets out the three central arguments in the public sector pensions debate

Lords chamber7.30pm Parliament: Tory MPs voiced their scepticism about an elected second chamber during yesterday's debate in the Commons

6pm Ben Howlett on Comment: Conservative Future welcomes today's Higher Education reforms which will make universities more accountable and transparent

4.30pm David Willetts MP on Comment: How this Government is putting students at the heart of our university system

4.15pm Local government: Prime Minister's speech to the Local Government Association conference

2.45pm Parliament: Which former Foreign Secretary got slapped down by David Cameron yesterday for declaring a Greek default to be "inevitable"?

Ruth Porter1.15pm Ruth Porter on Comment: Teachers should be passing knowledge to the next generation – not the cost of their unreformed pensions

12.15pm LISTEN: Justice ministerJonathan Djanogly on the compensation culture: The insurance system currently "gives a perverse incentive for people to ramp up their claims"

12pm ConHome USA: Today's Republican and American political news

11.30am After the leaking of the Christopher Shale memo, Paul Goodman on ToryDiary suggests: How to boost party membership: "If the leadership really wants to increase membership, it will have to take some risks. These should include: the right of local parties to select their Parliamentary candidates – with no repetition of the imposition of shortlists."

Picture 1811am Parliament: Conor Burns castigates "disgraceful" Lord Heseltine for a decade of silence in the House of Lords

10.15am Parliament: Two Conservatives among the six candidates to be the next Speaker of the House of Lords

ToryDiary: Tory MPs, Fleet Street and TaxPayers' Alliance launch pre-emptive strike on trade unions ahead of "summer of discontent"

MartinParsons
Martin Parsons on Comment: Why I will NOT be joining the teachers' strike on Thursday

LeftWatch: 37 fat cat trade union leaders earn more than £100,000

WATCH: Talks aimed at averting Thursday's public sector strikes collapse

Also ToryDiary: ConHome's latest monthly survey is online

Also on Comment, Lord Risby: Universal Jurisdiction is being abused, so its operation must be changed in order to stop it being exploited for political purposes

Local Government: Red tape cut planned to reduce number of empty shops

Parliament: House of Lords approves proposal to allow peers to retire "with honour and dignity" from the Upper House

European Parliament: The six Tory MEPs first elected in 2009 reflect on their first two years in Brussels

Cameron to urge rethink on strikes

David Cameron speaking 2010 "David Cameron is to call on public sector unions to halt planned industrial action and accept that their pension packages are unsustainable and must be reformed. The Prime Minister will insist the present arrangements are "not fair to the taxpayer" two days before a mass walkout of teachers, lecturers and civil servants. The Government is finalising contingency plans to deal with the biggest outbreak of industrial action since the coalition was formed, with up to 750,000 workers set to stage a 24-hour walkout on Thursday." – Press Association

"Teaching unions have been accused of bullying head teachers into shutting their schools during this week’s national strike as it emerged that nine in ten will close in some areas." – Daily Telegraph

"Schools don't exist for teachers; and while in a free society workers are entitled to withdraw their labour, this does not have to mean that classrooms shut. Heads, governors and parents should be entitled to observe a moral duty to children that the NUT has clearly forgotten." – Telegraph editorial

  • Public sector pensions: An issue that can no longer be avoided – Steve Richards in The Independent

Today's Higher Education White Paper to propose more competition between universities and expose courses with poor employment prospects

"A planned shake-up of higher education in England is being set out later, with the aim of creating more competition and giving students greater powers. Universities could compete for places, including with the private sector, and be held accountable for the quality of their teaching. A White Paper is promising to ensure "students get their money's worth" as they face paying higher tuition fees." – BBC

Willetts D DP "University courses with a poor track record of employment will be "named and shamed" under government proposals to give students a clearer choice of degree and curb the costs of tuition fee loans. In a higher education white paper, ministers will ask for the publication of detailed information about the employment and earning outcomes of specific degrees. David Willetts, the universities minister, believes too many courses are not valued by employers." – The Guardian

Tory backbenchers call for recognition of marriage in tax system…

"Backbenchers have tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill that would allow spouses who do not work to transfer their unused personal allowance to a working partner, cutting their tax bill. The amendment could be debated in the Commons as soon as today. The move will put pressure on David Cameron to deliver on a Conservative manifesto pledge to introduce the measure. So far, 10 Conservative MPs have backed the amendment, which was tabled by Fiona Bruce, the MP for Congleton." – Daily Telegraph

…as Labour table amendment seeking a VAT cut 

"Labour is to call on Chancellor George Osborne to make an emergency VAT cut as MPs brace themselves for a late Commons sitting… Shadow treasury minister David Hanson said Labour had tabled an amendment to the legislation calling for a temporary VAT cut to "get the stalled economy moving again". – Press Association

Office for Tax Simplification considering how to simplify pensioners' taxes FT (£)

UK will be forced to double its IMF payment to £20billion… and guess where the money is going?

Picture 17 "Britain will be forced to pour extra billions into propping up the Greek economy 'by the back door' through a massively increased contribution to the International Monetary Fund, senior Tories warned yesterday. Because of an agreement signed under Labour, the UK is about to double its IMF payment from just over £10billion a year to almost £20billion, a significant proportion of which will be used to service Greek debt." – Daily Mail

  • 48-hour general strike underway in Greece – BBC

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Britain's growing commitment to the Greek bailout

Christopher Shale had No 10 backing for party membership plan

"No 10 and Conservative headquarters had been deeply involved and supported the radical plans to transform Tory party membership drawn up by Christopher Shale and leaked hours before he died in unexplained circumstances at the Glastonbury festival." – The Guardian

"I am told that Stephen Gilbert, the political secretary at No 10, and Andrew Feldman, co-chairman of the Tory party, had helped him with his memo." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

> WATCH: David Cameron and Ed Miliband pay tribute to Christopher Shale 

William Hague hails Gaddafi arrest warrant

"An international arrest warrant was issued against Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi yesterday… Foreign Secretary William Hague said it showed he had 'lost all legitimacy'. He insisted the move should act as a warning to Gaddafi's circle that they would be held to account for crimes against civilians." – Daily Mail

Liam Fox reprimands commanders on Libya…

Liam Fox on Politics Show "Liam Fox yesterday claimed that concerns about the Libyan mission expressed by "off message" military commanders were putting lives at risk… He said: "We must be very careful, those of us who have authority in defence, when discussing the sustainability of a mission." – The Independent

…as his plans for a joint forces command at the MoD win approval

"This will start to blur the boundaries between services, though ministers should not underestimate the institutional resistance they will face. But in an age where flexibility and swiftness of response are paramount, traditional service rivalries look anachronistic. Dr Fox is to be applauded for challenging his department so boldly, but he knows he has a fight on his hands. It is one he must win." – Telegraph editorial

"The reforms at the heart of Monday's statement – reduction in the numbers of commanders, better co-ordination through a slimmed-down decision-making structure, and service accountability for spending decisions – all make eminent sense… But, as the Libya arguments have shown, these good intentions struggle to survive big new commitments or shocks." – Guardian editorial

Chinese Premier Wen rails at Cameron's criticism

Picture 16 "Wen Jiabao, China’s premier, has sharply rebuked the UK government of David Cameron over its criticisms of China’s lack of human rights, warning that the London should stop its “finger-pointing” at Beijing. Amid growing signs of anger in the Chinese leadership at the emphasis Mr Cameron has been putting on the need for greater political freedoms in China, Mr Wen indicated that the UK should cease ”lecturing” Beijng over the issue." – FT (£)

"People’s democracy is the soul of socialism. Without democracy, there is no socialism. Without freedom, there is no real democracy. Without a guarantee of economic and political rights, there is no real freedom." – Wen Jiabao writing in the Daily Telegraph

> WATCH: David Cameron announces £1.4billion trade deal with China

Lib Dem President Tim Farron orders investigation into AV referendum defeat

"The Liberal Democrats have launched an official inquiry into the disastrous Yes to AV campaign, examining how money was misspent, staff demoralised and political capital misplaced in what campaign staff have described as a "living nightmare". – The Guardian

> Earlier this month on LeftWatch: Lib Dem recriminations continue over defeat in the AV referendum

Richard Littlejohn rages at the EU's latest cross-border regionalisation plan

Picture 14 "As a general rule of thumb, I always assume that anything dismissed by the EU as a 'myth' is almost certainly true… So perhaps Brussels would care to explain away the latest evidence, uncovered by local government secretary Eric Pickles, about the amount of money being spent on promoting the 'Arc Manche' project. This is the precise scheme, which would amalgamate vast swathes of both countries from Normandy to Land's End, that official EU spokesmen insist doesn't exist." – Daily Mail

Other Comment

  • The EU must step forward toward fiscal and political union – Lord Mandelson in the FT (£)
  • The way to save the NHS: close hospitals – Philip Stephens in the FT (£)
  • In praise of… senior backbenchers – The Guardian

News in brief

  • Watchdog to audit political appointments to the civil service – The Guardian
  • Government grants funds for two wave power projects – Reuters
  • Log jam over London sparks airport capacity crisis – The Times (£)
  • Bank chief warns of wave of home repossessions if rates rise – The Guardian
  • Fatcat bags new quango job months after £250,000 payout from council – Daily Mail
  • Poll strengthens Lagarde’s case to lead the IMF – The Times (£)

And finally… Margaret Thatcher's Asprey handbag raises 'just' £25,000

Picture 10 "A handbag once owned by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has raised £25,000 at a charity auction. The Asprey handbag had been expected to attract up to £100,000 during sales at Christie's organised by ex-Conservative Party deputy chairman Jeffrey Archer. Baroness Thatcher was famously pictured with the bag as she stood with then US President Ronald Reagan in 1985." – BBC

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