2.30pm Conor Burns MP on Comment: Now is not the time to turn our backs on Bahrain
1.30pm Jill Kirby on Comment: Martin Narey – Dangerous anti-family ideologue or inspired reformer?
Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's Republican and US political news
10.30am WATCH: Conservative group leader Martin Callanan MEP responds to Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt's attack on the UK Government: "The public have long since stopped believing more Europe is the answer"
ToryDiary: Afghanistan mustn't be left to the generals
Harriett Baldwin MP on Comment: Why it is high time we abolished the gender gap in the State Pension age
Gavin Poole on ThinkTankCentral: Generating jobs for people with limited experience, education or skills
- "News international has uncovered e-mails that indicate payments were made to the police by the News of the World, during the editorship from 2003-7 of Andy Coulson. The e-mails, which appear to show that Mr Coulson authorised the payments, have been passed to the police." – Peston's blog
- "In a move likely to put further pressure on David Cameron to open an inquiry into allegations of phone hacking, News International, publishers of the Sunday tabloid, confirmed that it had passed information to Scotland Yard about payments made by the paper to police officers." – Times (£)
Ed Miliband has said Rebekah Brooks must "consider her position" over claims Milly Dowler's phone was hacked – BBC
Daily Mail attacks Cameron for links to Brooks and Coulson
"The personal judgment of the Prime Minister must again be called into question, given his close friendship with Rebekah Brooks, who was NotW editor when Milly Dowler's phone was being hacked and who is now chief executive of its parent company, News International. This is the same David Cameron who, of course, in a disastrous misjudgment, made the disgraced NotW editor Andy Coulson his press officer." – Daily Mail leader
- "Questions will again be asked about [Cameron's] judgement in hiring Coulson in the first place, then bringing him into government and then initially urging him to reconsider his resignation." – James Forsyth at The Spectator
"The Prime Minister urged the Taliban to give up violence for politics and held out Sinn Fein’s role in the devolved Belfast administration as an example of the possible rewards. Britain has confirmed that officials are in direct contact with some Taliban members seeking a peace deal. However, Mr Cameron’s explicit offer of power-sharing to a group that has killed hundreds of British service personnel may raise eyebrows." – Telegraph
"Sitting alongside Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, he yesterday repeated that all UK combat forces would be pulled out of the country by the end of 2014, insisting Britain was "on track" to meet that deadline." – Independent
Cameron defends £700 million aid to Afghanistan
"To people who are hard-headed about aid and possibly even hard-hearted about aid, I would say the programme we have in Afghanistan – trying to help the people and government of Afghanistan to have a stronger, more secure, more stable country – is not just good to people in Afghanistan, it's good for people back home in Britain." – The Prime Minister quoted in the Daily Mail
John Redwood: "Miss Moyo [author of “Dead Aid”] charts how aid is misdirected, funds the wrong projects, sustains conspicuous consumption by rich elites, fuels repressive regimes and stimulates conflicts. She quotes liberally from World Bank and other international research to show how much money has been watsed and why the results have in many cases been so disappointing."
David Cameron to cut business class flights for ministers and civil servants
"The prime minister will announce that his ministers have met the goal of cutting emissions from the government's estate by at least 10% since the beginning of 2010… But he will go further by setting a goal of cutting emissions by 25% over the expected five-year term of the current parliament – a goal to be known as 25:5." – Guardian
"Conservative MEPs yesterday defied Prime Minister David Cameron and narrowly swung a vote against tougher European climate change targets" – Independent
> Yesterday's Partliament: Is the European Parliament more sensible about climate change than the House of Commons?
The Treasury is to examine whether Britain is making the best use of European procurement rules
- [The Treasury] "will review whether the government could do more to support domestic business vying for government contracts and will report its findings in the autumn as part of George Osborne’s “growth review”." – FT (£)
- The Sun Says: "British jobs for a British railway have been awarded by the British Government to Germany.
So much for the Government's vow to put British workers first."
- By awarding the Thameslink contract to a German firm, the government has delivered a mortal blow to Britain's train industry – Christian Wolmar in The Guardian
- Schools will ignore gifted pupils and those with special needs, warns Graham Stuart MP, as a result of a new government target for all schools to get 50% of their pupils to obtain five A* to C grades at GCSE – Independent
- Britain MUST bring back our grammar schools, or risk a generation that fails in life, says biggest study yet on education – Daily Mail
George Osborne backs down over regulatory appointment following dispute with Treasury Select Committee – FT (£)
- "Home Office policies that aim to reduce net migration by restricting the entry of skilled workers bring “significant risks to UK businesses”, a cross-party panel of MPs has warned." – FT (£)
- "A poll has shown 42% of NHS chairmen and chief executives in England consider the financial situation facing their organisation to be the "worst they had ever experienced" with a further 47% saying that it was "very serious"." – Express
- "The average hourly pay of someone in the public sector is 7.8% higher than the equivalent worker in the private sector, according to the Office for National Statistics." – Telegraph
- "For the first time, the Office for National Statistics compared workers who do the same job, are the same age and sex, and live in the same region. They found the difference in pay was an average of 7.8 per cent." – Daily Mail
Jeremy Hunt: UK can learn from America in giving to the arts – The Culture Secretary writes for the launch day of HuffingtonPostUK
What can provoke Cameron to greatness?
"Triumph against the odds is the story of Comeback Cameron’s time as leader. The nation first came to know him in 2005 when he beat the front-runner, David Davis, for the Tory crown. His greatest escape was in the autumn of 2007, when Gordon Brown was riding high in the polls and planning a honeymoon election. After months of drift Mr Cameron found something deep inside and launched a fightback that saved the Conservatives from a fourth successive defeat. We know that Mr Cameron is capable of greatness but it takes real and present danger to provoke it. His default setting is “make do”. One of his closest aides told me that the Prime Minister is not one of life’s “maximisers”; but a natural “satisfier”. He will accept an average speech or briefing. Unless he faces a crisis he doesn’t demand excellence from the chummy team that he has chosen to surround him." – Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£)
Guardian apologises to Tory donor, Ayman Asfari.
Labour MPs back Ed Miliband on scrapping shadow cabinet elections by 196 to 41 – BBC
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