6.30pm LISTEN: David Cameron: "I was on the phone to Obama the other day…" – The Prime Minister tells Test Match Special how he boasted to Barack Obama about England's number one Test cricket ranking

4.30pm Local Government: Council by-election result from yesterday - Updated with the rest of the by-elections from yesterday

3.15pm WATCH: Boris Johnson gets styling advice from 89-year-old Tottenham hairdresser

CashFiscalUnion2.45pm Bill Cash MP on Comment: Fiscal union WILL affect Britain – and we must now have a referendum

Cameron IV on green 1.15pm WATCH: David Cameron: Kabul attack was "a particularly vicious and cowardly attack"

1pm Local Government: Council by-election result from yesterday

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news

11.45am ToryDiary: New borrowing figures, and companies creation statistics - two bits of good news for George Osborne

10am LISTEN: Andrew Tyrie MP: PFI means the taxpayer is "getting ripped off"

ToryDiary: Sally Bercow's not the only one in the family who could be evicted

Screen shot 2011-08-19 at 07.42.47
James Clappison MP on Comment: The withdrawal of benefits might help deter future rioters

Local Government: York Council plan to scrap vital car park

Alexandra Crossley on Think Tank Central: Alexandra Crossley: Disrupting the gangs that feed the conveyor belt to crime

Also on Think Tank Central: Ruth Porter – It’s time for a sea change – only radical change stands any chance of delivering the thriving economy we need

WATCH: 20,000 people attend the funeral of Tahir Jahan's son and two other young men in Birmingham

Conservative MPs demand tougher punishment as eight out of ten voters back riot sentences…

DAVIES Philip "Tory MP Priti Patel told The Sun: "I totally welcome everything the PM has said on exemplary tough sentences. "He can use his authority on this to ensure tougher punishment to deter ALL criminal acts." Mr Clarke is on holiday amid a liberal backlash over the sentences for rioters. Conservative MP Philip Davies said: "The Prime Minister should take advantage of Ken Clarke's holidaying to get as many robust justice policies through as possible. When Ken gets back, the chances of that will be remote." – The Sun

…And every jail centre cell could be filled within weeks

"The number behind bars has shot up by nearly 700 in seven days, prompting a warning that the pressures on the justice system are at their highest since the miner’s strike. Inmate numbers now stand at a record high of more than 86,600 across England and Wales, thanks to recently jailed rioters and looters.That leaves fewer than 1,500 places before prisons hit their operating capacity and emergency measures are needed." – Daily Mail

The Guardian peers at the figures

"According to the data collected so far, 66% of those who have appeared in court are aged under 25 – with 17% aged between 11 and 17. Only a very small number in our data were aged over 30. More than 90% are male. More than two-thirds…were remanded in prison, with 39% being passed to crown courts for trial or sentencing.  Less than 10% of cases collated by the Guardian were given a sentence after their first appearance and there have only been a handful of cases where bail has been granted." – The Guardian

> Yesterday:

Deaths as terrorists rampage through British Council in Kabul

"A suicide squad stormed the offices of the British Council in Kabul this morning killing at least eight people, setting off a wave of explosions and triggering a gun battle inside the building that is still ongoing. British forces are among those battling to take control of the situation, which began at approximately 5.45am local time (0115 GMT), amid reports one of the gunmen is still at large. A spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry who was at the scene, said: “Eight people, mostly police, are killed and 10 others injured." – The Times (£)

The Taliban fears governance, not garrisons – Bill Harris, Financial Times (£)

Cameron, Sarkozy and Merkel join Obama in demanding that Assad resign

Screen shot 2011-08-19 at 09.04.51 "Cameron issued a joint statement with Sarkozy and Merkel that noted Assad had ignored appeals from other Middle East states, the Arab League and the United Nations security council to end the violent crackdown: "Our three countries believe that President Assad, who is resorting to brutal military force against his own people and who is responsible for the situation, has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead the country." – The Guardian

Nearly 10 per cent of Syria's banking deposits disappeared in the first four months of 2011 – Robert Fisk, The Independent

> Yesterday in ToryDiary: Will Syria's Assad "step aside" now the world's leaders have told him to?

At least seven killed in terror attack on Israel and six in reprisal raid on Gaza

"In the first attack, a bus carrying both civilians and soldiers from Beersheba to the tourist resort of Eilat came under heavy gunfire as it travelled along Highway 12, close to the Egyptian border. Then, three terrorists disguised as members of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) opened fire on a second bus, using rifles and rocket propelled grenades. Last night, the Israeli military responded with bombing raids on the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave of Gaza, from where it said the attacks originated." – Daily Telegraph

With Gaddafi on his last legs, we must prepare for what comes next in Libya – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: Gazette – Conservative Friends of Israel statement on terrorist attacks in southern Israel

90,000 applicants won't get to University

Screen shot 2011-08-19 at 06.02.22 "Universities closed their doors within hours of A-level results being published yesterday as two in three people seeking a place through clearing were predicted to fail. The head of the University and College Admissions Service (Ucas) said that 136,500 people were chasing just 46,000 places in the fiercest competition in clearing yet. Mary Curnock Cook added that there were about 84,500 more candidates looking for spare places this year as competition was driven by the urgency of beating tuition fee rises in 2012." – The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

British bank shares fall to lowest levels in more than two years

"The fall in bank shares came as more than £62bn was wiped off the value of the UK's leading companies in the most savage one-day stockmarket crash since the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Shares in Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) led the collapse, falling to levels last seen in early 2009. The falls mean the combined market value of Britain's four major banks is just £154bn, only £16bn more than the market capitalisation of China's largest bank, ICBC, which is valued at £138bn." – Daily Telegraph

Centre for Policy Studies report says basic rate taxpayers stump up as much as 40p in the pound

"Headline rates of income tax are hiding the real amount that hard-working Britons hand over to the Chancellor, it claims. When National Insurance contributions are added in, the top rate of tax paid by basic rate payers is 40.2 per cent – double the rate of 20p in the pound. Those who pay the higher rate of income tax, levied at 40p in the pound, actually lose 49 per cent." – Daily Mail

Taxpayers forced to pick up Labour's PFI bill

"Labour’s private finance initiative provides extremely poor value for money and needs substantial reform, MPs warn today. A damning report by the Treasury Select Committee said the cost of the badly negotiated deals had rocketed, leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill. The MPs found that the annual interest rate on capital for a typical PFI project has hit eight per cent – double the rate of other government borrowing methods." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: Sam Bowman on ThinkTankCentral: A Tobin tax would be an economic disaster

Public Accounts Committee says that frontline troops could run out of kit in 30 days Daily Express

Cameron contests claims of favour for South

Screen shot 2011-08-19 at 06.03.18 "The Prime Minister, speaking exclusively to the Yorkshire Post in response to our Fair Deal for Yorkshire campaign, said the Government was working to rebalance the economy and that the region had done well out of policies such as enterprise zones and transport funding. Mr Cameron has come under fire from business leaders, transport groups and local authorities who have argued more affluent areas of the South are enjoying preferential treatment." – Yorkshire Post

Samantha Cameron's father nets £350,000 a year from subsidised wind farmDaily Mail

Labour alarm at Livingstone's Boris Hitler jibe

"Senior Labour frontbenchers responded by urging party leader Ed Miliband to replace the Left-wing firebrand with a more credible figure. Tory MPs and friends of Mr Johnson said Mr Livingstone's comments were crass and in 'incredibly poor taste'. A spokesman for Mr Livingstone, who lost the mayorship to Mr Johnson three years ago, insisted he had spoken in jest." – Daily Mail

David Miliband to head youth unemployment task force – The Times (£)

> Yesterday: LeftWatch – Livingstone says that Boris is like Hitler. Vote for him and go to hell – where "your skin will be flayed for all eternity"

Can British political parties be saved from extinction?

"Most people don't use politics for socialising in the way they might have done in the fifties and sixties, when you had a realistic chance of meeting your future husband or wife at a party dinner or dance. "There may be the odd exception, but that really isn't the case any more," says Jonathan Isaby, former co-editor of Conservative Home, a popular website for Tory supporters." – BBC

Phillip Hammond £5000 furniture billThe Independent

Sally Bercow says that she wants to "put two fingers up to the establishment"

Screen shot 2011-08-19 at 08.46.51
"The 41-year-old wife of the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, said her husband did not learn until two days ago that she was entering the house. 'He does know now, he's not exactly chuffed about it,' she said. 'He wasn't very pleased at the time, but he does know what I'm like, we've been married almost nine years and I do my own thing." – Daily Mail

Sally Bercow's sexy big brother secret – Daily Express

Use overseas aid money at home, say ToriesFinancial Times (£)

Syrian sufi sheikh leads 20,000-strong funeral for Tariq Jahan's son in BirminghamDaily Mail

John Major wanted two-party alliance to take on Rupert MurdochThe Guardian

Equality Commission backs Christians wanting to wear crosses at work (though not those refusing to conduct civil partnership ceremonies)Daily Mail

Conservative councillor who called rioters jungle bunnies on Facebook is suspendedDaily Mail

News and Comment in Brief

  • Liam Fox's friend set up crucial legal meeting – The Guardian
  • Mulcaire to sue News International – Press Association
  • Labour launches campaign against Government badger cull – Politics Home (£)
  • A three-way division could cure Europe’s ills – William Rees-Mogg, The Times (£)
  • US voters are not mad. Our stereotype of them is patronising and wrong – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • Can the Church work with David Cameron? – Paul Goodman, Catholic Herald
  • Researchers at Nasa and Pennsylvania State University claim that aliens observing global warming could launch a pre-emptive attack against us to protect themselves and other civilisations – Daily Mail


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