7.45pm Gazette: Joe Wilding, aged 7, takes over from David Cameron and becomes Prime Minister… for a few minutes… well almost

4.30pm Parliament: Is the European Parliament more sensible about climate change than the House of Commons?

2.30pm Local government: Narey calls for a "dramatic increase" in adoptions

2.30pm Parliament: Tory MPs debate 4,500% interest rates charged by legal lenders

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 13.31.371.30pm WATCH:

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and US political news

11.30am ToryDiary: Eurosceptic Hammond seeks way of giving UK manufacturers a better chance of winning UK government contracts

10.45am WATCH: Cameron says Millie Dowler hacking claims are "dreadful"

ToryDiary: Cameron condemns alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's voicemail as "truly dreadful act"

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Also on ToryDiary: Osborne tops Cabinet league table but Tory members prefer Boris

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David Davis MP: Labour's mass immigration policy inflated growth figures and depressed the wages of unskilled workers

Parliament: Conservative MPs rebelling more against Cameron than Major

Local government: The Scottish Labour Party is planning to demand their councillors undertake a minimum level of canvassing…


Cable and Hammond voice concern that other EU nations do more to protect domestic manufacturers in tender competitions

Hammond "In a carefully worded letter to the prime minister, the business secretary, Vince Cable, and transport secretary, Philip Hammond, indicate that other European Union states are more protective of their interests. "There is a perception that other EU countries appear to manage their public procurement processes with a sharper focus on domestic supply than we have hitherto," says the letter, in a veiled reference to the impact on workers at Bombardier in Derby after a Thameslink train deal went to Germany and not to their factory." – Guardian

Cameron agrees to slower Afghanistan pull out after bowing to generals' demands

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"Defence chiefs have won a crunch battle over troop numbers in Afghanistan after David Cameron agreed to make only a ‘modest’ cut before the end of next year. On his visit to Afghanistan yesterday, the Prime Minister made clear that British frontline troops will be gone by the end of 2014. But he bowed to demands from generals not to reduce dramatically the 9,500 ground forces battling the Taliban before the end of next year’s summer fighting season." – Daily Mail | Express

Two warnings not to quit quickly:

  • The Sun Says: "By quitting too quickly, the West risks taking all the pain for too little gain. Smaller forces will struggle to hold on to the progress already made."
  • "The Prime Minister's walkabout in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gar, to show how safe the place has become, is likely to be cancelled over security concerns. But this will not stop him from announcing that the task force will be reduced by another 500 by the end of 2012… The mantra hitherto used – that the pullout would be "conditions based" – is not heard now. Mr Cameron says repeatedly that all combat missions will end in 2015." – Kim Sengupta in the Independent

Government question cost of Andrew Dilnot's £1.7bn long-term care planGuardian

LANSLEY ANDREW NW "Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, gave a cautious government response in the Commons, adding: “In the current public spending environment, we have to consider carefully the additional cost to the taxpayer of the commission’s proposals against other funding priorities.”" – Times (£)

  • "Obvious possible funding streams, such as abolishing universal winter fuel payments, free buses and television licenses for pensioners (which together cost £4 billion), appear to have been ruled out by No 10 for political reasons, even though Mr Dilnot emphasised yesterday that the elderly should be expected to contribute to the cost of his plan." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)
  • "52% believe that the Government should cover all care costs for the elderly, 51% disagree that they should pay higher taxes to fund social care, while 56% say that they would be unwilling to sell their home to cover costs." – ComRes
  • I want to work with the Tories on long-term care says Emily Thornberry MP, Labour’s healthcare spokeswoman – Daily Mail
  • Mary Riddell urges Cameron to embrace both Graham Allen MP's report on early intervention and Andrew Dilnot's report on long-term care – Telegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: "Dead on arrival": The Dilnot Commission presents problems for the Coalition
> Andrew Lilico on Comment: "Why shouldn't the state demand assistance – if not financial, then as carers – from children and grandchildren, if they are wealthy enough to provide it?"

Badger David Cameron is expected to back badger cull after scientists concluded that slaughtering hundreds of the animals could curb cattle tuberculosisFT (£)

Tory MEPs to vote against Cameron's climate plan

"Many if not most of the 26 Brussels Tories are likely to vote against the proposal that the European Union should tighten its climate policy from a proposed 20 per cent cut in CO2 emissions by 2020, to a 30 per cent cut." – Independent

Sun urges Cameron to stick with benefits cap

"Coalition Lib Dems are trying to wreck the policy after claims that 40,000 families may lose their homes. But the cap makes sense. The Government is not putting benefit families on the streets. It is saying they can no longer live in mansions paid for by working families who have no hope of such luxury themselves. As ministers say, these families should have no problem finding somewhere cheaper with a benefits income of up to £26,000 – more than the average wage." – The Sun Says

Philip Stephens attacks Cameron's "inattentiveness" and lack of focus on paperwork


"There is one big area of policy where the government can claim to have set a firm strategic course. Ironically, the Treasury’s deficit-reduction plan could be described as a strategy lacking sufficient tactical flexibility – if the economy stalls, a temporary swerve could well be the intelligent response. Economic policy, though, belongs to George Osborne. No-one accuses the chancellor of taking his eye off today’s politics, but he is gaining a reputation in Whitehall as the figure at the centre who also thinks ahead. As for Mr Cameron, it will take more than a few mishaps to dent his breezy self-confidence. But the gap between his personal enjoyment of the role and the government’s performance is widening. People are starting to notice." – Philip Stephens in the FT (£)

Coalition in Brief:

  • Defence Select Committee finds that Ministry of Defence 'loses' assets worth £6.3bn – BBC
  • Adopting children to be made faster and easier – Telegraph
  • Many families now need to earn at least 20 per cent more than last year to achieve a minimum acceptable standard of living – FT (£)

MAY-THERESA Theresa May accuses chief constables of failure in the war on red tape Daily Mail | Video

Philip Johnston defends Coalition reforms to police accountability: "Policing needs to be reconnected to the people, not further estranged from them. It is no good top cops like Lord Blair and Sir Hugh asking the public to say what they want from the police if they just keep ignoring the answer." – Telegraph

PM David Cameron starts to use a tele-prompter for his speechesTelegraph

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: A Prime Minister's speech should be an occasion

After nine months as Labour leader, Ed Miliband is more unpopular than IDS at the same stage of his leadership… but more popular than Hague or HowardIndependent

PoliticsHome's Political Pulse examines the slide in Ed Miliband's support among Labour members…


Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting finds some positivity in Ed Miliband's numbers: "If you look just at the “satisfied” figures in the chart Miliband is doing relatively well. With a 34% positive he’s ahead of all the Conservatives in the list including David Cameron."

Labour MPs likely to endorse abolition of shadow cabinet elections in vote todayBBC

Daily Mail: Abortion statistics for under 16s show Labour failed on sex education

Sanctity "Labour poured hundreds of millions of pounds into the relentless expansion  of sex education classes and handing out contraceptives to children under 16. Yesterday the grim legacy of this disastrously misguided policy was confirmed with the news that, since 2002, 40,000 abortions have been carried out on underage girls including 10,000 below the age of 14. By bombarding children with explicit sexual messages, Labour was not being kind or wise — it was brainwashing and betraying a generation." – Daily Mail leader

Sir Philip Holland: Conservative politician who conducted a relentless campaign against quangosIndependent obituary

By 48% to 36%, the English want Scotland to stay part of UKTimes (£)

"Various polls since the SNP's election win have shown support for independence in Scotland standing at between 29 per cent and 38 per cent, with opposition ranging from 57% to 46%." – Scotsman

And finally…

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 08.40.46 "Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice unveiled the 10ft bronze figure at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square to mark the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth. Paying tribute to Mr Reagan at the unveiling, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “He joins the ranks of great men and women whose statues adorn our London streets – Nelson, Wellington, Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt, Edith Cavell and Nelson Mandela.”" – Express

"Britain needs to discover its very own Ronald Reagan, a hopeful, optimistic, pro-individual liberty, pro-growth politician with an uncanny ability to communicate. Any takers?" – Allister Heath for City AM

> Yesterday's Gazette: William Hague reads Thatcher's tribute to Reagan at London ceremony to unveil the former President's Grosvenor Square statue