10pm ToryDiary: Prime Minister issues statement on resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson

6pm Melanchthon on Comment: No, Mr Cameron, we're not all in this together this time

5.45pm WATCH: Nick Clegg tells Andrew Marr that the press follow the banks and politicians as a profession in disgrace

2.15pm ToryDiary: Are these David Cameron's ten biggest mistakes?

2pm ConHomeUSA: Today's American political highlights

Screen shot 2011-07-17 at 12.14.2612.15pm WATCH: Rowan Atkinson plays Miliband; Hugh Grant is Cameron; Peter Kay as Tom Watson; and Mick Hucknall plays Rebekah Brooks in Hackgate the movie…

11am VIDEO:

ToryDiary: Despite Hackgate, Cameron still seen as best party leader

LeftWatch: News International should sell some newspapers says Ed Miliband, in bid to kill wounded Murdoch

Azeem Ibrahim on Comment: Christine Lagarde was the Wrong Choice


Parliament: Tory MPs twice as likely to be "Bollocked By Bercow" than Labour MPs

Local government: Lib Dem councillor defects to Greens

WATCH: Andrew Mitchell describes the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Horn of Africa

Culture Select Committee Chairman John Whittingdale accused of close links with Murdoch empireIndependent on Sunday

Tim Montgomerie: "One of the links highlighted by the Independent on Sunday is that Mr Whittingdale and Rebekah brooks are Facebook friends. I have many Labour Facebook friends. Does this mean I'm in league with the Labour Party? Does the independent on Sunday understand Facebook?"

  • "A senior Scotland Yard officer has told The Sunday Telegraph that News International executives – including Mr Murdoch’s son James – are being investigated for any alleged role in covering up the extent of “industrial scale” phone hacking."
  • Sir Paul Stephenson accepted luxury hospitality at a hotel linked to Neil Wallis, a suspect in the Met's phone hacking inquiry – The Sunday Times (£)
  • The New York Times details Scotland Yard's connections with News International.

Andrew Rawnsley: Cameron has suffered "third-degree burns" from firestorm surrounding News International…

Rawnsley Andrew "Among the politicians, the big loser is David Cameron. It is self-revealing that he describes it as a "firestorm". The prime minister feels he has been engulfed by an explosion of all-consuming heat that he did not understand and could not control. The flames were licking around his trousers before he finally woke up to the gravity of the situation. The conservative press has turned on him and its fury about the prospect of stricter regulation will create lasting complications for the Tories' relationship with their papers. "He has displayed an alarming lack of judgment that has allowed the Labour party to seize the political agenda," complains the Daily Telegraph. "The whole media may now find themselves facing new curbs to help cover his political embarrassment." The prime minister has avoided incineration, but his reputation has suffered third-degree burns, at least." – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer

"Inattention to detail let down Cameron over his health service reforms; insufficient preparation allowed Miliband his first significant victory 10 days ago at prime minister’s questions over the media scandal. The PM’s political intelligence is sometimes undone by lack of preparation." – Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times (£)

…And the damage to Osborne?

"Osborne has been doing the old Macavity routine, about which the Tories used to enjoy taunting Brown when he was Chancellor. Osborne has even been rather quiet, I am told, in the series of crisis meetings in Downing Street. Out of embarrassment, no one has pointed out that it was his genius idea to hire Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, as Cameron's head of communications in the first place. But everyone knows it." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

…And the damage to the Conservative Party?


…Headline public opinion unmoved – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary.

Other Hackgate Commentary:

  • How accurate is Downing Street's list of media executives hosted at Chequers? – Matthew d'Ancona readers tells Sunday Telegraph readers that he was missed off the list | Friday's Gazette
  • Cameron to preturn to pre-2007 days when he didn't woo media executives – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
  • Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday says governments are much worse than newspapers and need scrutinising: "Newspapers don’t bomb Belgrade or Baghdad or Tripoli, or invade Afghanistan and then forget why they did it. Newspapers don’t waterboard people, or bundle them off to clandestine prisons. Newspapers don’t release hundreds of convicted terrorists on to the streets nor thousands of convicted ordinary criminals either. Newspapers don’t open our frontiers to hundreds of thousands of unchecked migrants."

HAGUE WILLIAM NW Hague defends Britain's EU membership but notes situation in €urozone is "very serious" – The Foreign Secretary in The Sunday Telegraph

"The eurozone cannot continue in its present form. Some countries will have to leave, including Greece. Others will need to reschedule — in effect, partly default on — their debts. Europe’s task should be to ensure this is done in a way that minimises the damage to the wider financial system. So far EU leaders are barely at first base." – Sunday Times leader (£)

  • Why Christine Legarde is the right woman for the IMF – Alistair Darling in The Observer

"Britain's coastguards would be replaced by a new pan- European fleet under 'harmonisation' plans which would see their life-saving work being taken over by an EU coastguard corps emblazoned with the Brussels logo." – Mail on Sunday

Defence Select Committee warns that speedy withdrawals from Afghanistan could jeopardise UK lives

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 13.31.37 "James Arbuthnot, the chairman of the defence committee, said: "The Government's clear determination to withdraw combat forces should not undermine the military strategy by causing the Afghan population to fear that the international coalition might abandon them or by allowing the Taliban and others to think that all they have to do is to bide their time until the Isaf [International Security Assistance Force] withdraws." More in the Independent on Sunday and at the BBC.

The real scandal is not hacking but Helmand, says The Sunday Telegraph: "The 75-page report by the Parliamentary Defence Committee, the details of which we reveal today, is a precise and shocking exposé of how British troops on duty in Helmand, Afghanistan, from 2006 onwards were routinely failed by their senior officers and government ministers. As scandals go, it is among the very worst."

Planned changes to electoral law which pave the way for Coalition candidates to stand at the next election have been quietly slipped out by ministersThe Sunday Telegraph

HELMER ROGER Roger Helmer MEP upsets animal rights activists after praising shaving brushes made from badger hair

"A Tory politician has sparked outrage after saying he supported a cull of badgers because it would 'bring down the exorbitant price of shaving brushes'. Roger Helmer, an MEP for the East Midlands, enraged animal rights activists after posting his views about the luxury shaving brushes, which are made from badger hair, on Twitter." – Mail on Sunday

Luke Johnson fears red tape is stifling mid-sized companies – the 'unsung heroes' of the economy

"Relieving entrepreneurs of the complication of the tax system and some of the employment legislation could be a major boost to taking on people and investing. Companies with fewer than 100 staff should have a different type of employment legislation – fewer protections, but faster growth with more room for promotion.” – Entrepreneur Luke Johnson quoted in The Sunday Telegraph

The Big Society will fail unless people can make money out of it,  says Phillip BlondSunday Times (£)

Swiss-based property millionaire Andrew Rosenfeld donates £1m to Labour to fight marginal seatsThe Sunday Times (£)

And finally… Fifty years of Prime Ministers' Question Time

"Ultimately, PMQs are a theatre of morale. Victories consolidate a leader's authority; failures undermine it. Yet this is entertainment, not government. PMQs are a showbusiness element of the constitution, not an efficient one. But 50 years on, they have become a permanent fixture." – Bruce Anderson in The Sunday Telegraph

The Independent on Sunday offers a fifty point history of PMQs (scroll down the page) including this: "Harold Macmillan was reportedly enjoying one bibulous lunch so much he refused to attend. Confronted by an agitated official he said: "Tell Rab Butler to do it, and send up another port.""



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