7pm ToryDiary Update: David Cameron spoke to Angela Merkel and George Osborne today… but John Prescott is still annoyed

4.45pm ToryDiary: Are you as shocked as John Prescott about ministers going on holiday?

3.45pm WATCH: Justine Greening MP: "We have to stick to Plan A"

2.15pm Local government: Council byelection result from yesterday

2pm ToryDiary: Tory members divided on death penalty, challenging hang 'em and flog 'em caricature

1.45pm WATCH: Francis Maude: "We're absolutely determined that the British government will continue to be the world leader" in transparency

HagueEuroiv 1.15pm WATCH: William Hague: Britain is "not in the firing line" of the €urozone crisis, thanks to the government's fiscal responsibility

Noon ConHomeUSA: Top story on today's US newslinks concerns the Democrat plan to paint Republicans as extreme

10.30am WATCH: Europe has an "enormous debt mountain and politicians don't seem to be able to get a grip"

ToryDiary: This is no time for half-measures. The €uro crisis gives George Osborne a great opportunity to reset the Coalition's economic policy. He needs to relaunch the Government with a ten year growth mission.

ToryDiary: Tory members give Sayeeda Warsi a big thumbs down


Tim Loughton MP on Comment: National Citizen Service – the power to transform our nation’s young people

Local government: Eric Pickles publishes local councils' assets map

Parliament: Lord Heseltine and Baron Moore are two Tory peers never to have given a speech in the Upper House

Bleak economic news dominates the headlines

  • Eurozone crisis and fears over U.S. economy trigger worst day of trading in three years – Daily Mail
  • Eurozone may cripple global recovery – City AM
  • "The first thing is to get off the beach." – The Economist's advice to Eurozone leaders
  • Take-home pay has fallen by more than £1,200 in two years since the bank crash – Daily Mail
  • "George Osborne faces fresh pressure over the pace of economic recovery after the head of the UK's tax and spending watchdog conceded its growth forecasts for this year were expected to be missed." – Scotsman
  • We need three big reforms to get Britain growing, focusing on labour, land and capital – Neil O'Brien in The Telegraph

16044098 But The Mirror attacks the holidaying Government: On his luxury LA holiday, how much thought will George Osborne give to the victims of his failed policies back home?

"Chancellor Boy George is living it up in Beverly Hills, home of the Hollywood stars. He’s staying with his family in the sumptuous £1,000 a night Mr C hotel, the latest venture of posh restaurateurs the Cipriani brothers. He can afford to. He’s the millionaire heir to a family fortune." – Mirror

PM and Chancellor plan to cut top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p

"Treasury analysis shows that Labour’s decision to raise the top rate of tax from 40 per cent to 50 per cent on those earning £150,000 a year or more has generated up to £2.4billion a year. But in an illustration of the way high tax rates encourage the better-off to dodge tax altogether, officials found that 70 per cent of that money, around £1.65billion, would be collected anyway if the top rate was 45p in the pound." – Daily Mail

But, notes The Times (£): "Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said yesterday that the tax “would need to be replaced with something else — primarily something associated with wealth or high-value property”. Nick Clegg has suggested that he wants to look at the way council tax and stamp duty are structured."

The ringfence to be put around Britain’s retail banking operations will be far stricter than many bankers had anticipatedFT (£)

Coalition's 'Green Growth' paper announces intentions on environmental taxes

"A paper published today by the environment, energy and business secretaries makes it clear the government intends green taxes to grow as a percentage of overall revenues. “The government will increase the proportion of tax revenue accounted for by environmental taxes targeting measures to maximise opportunities for green growth in the UK,” says the paper, titled “Enabling the transition to a green economy”." – FT (£)

  • Green taxes to pay subsidies 'will cost up to 30,000 jobs' – Daily Mail

Labour ridicules David Cameron's NHS structureGuardian


More on the FT blog.

Councils must publish lists of their assets to show which ones can be sold instead of cutting servicesBBC

What's on the Coalition's new petitions site?

"Early frontrunners included the legalisation of cannabis, the continued broadcast of Formula One on terrestrial television, the absolute right to self-defence within one's home, and an end to the ban on gay men giving blood. Other petitions launched yesterday proposed policies such as restricting food for prisoners to just bread and water, the re-nationalisation of the railways, and for Britons to be forced to drive on the right-hand side of the road." – Independent

  • "The Mail is not in favour of government by referendums or Twitter campaigns, but nor are we in favour of a political class, the great majority of whom have never held jobs in the real world, continually turning a deaf ear to the general concerns of the wider public." – Daily Mail leader
  • The Express pushes its petition for a referendum on EU membership
  • Anti-capital punishment petition getting most support.

> WATCH: Sir George Young talks to the BBC about the new parliamentary petitions web initiative

The Cameron government "has gleefully torn up the regulations in place down the years to "protect and cherish"" the English countryside – Terence Blacker in The Independent

  • On the Huffington Post Greg Clark sets out his ambitions for the new, streamlined national planning guidelines.

Michael Gove is "too interesting to reach the top"

The Economist's Bagehot: "Mr Gove paints on a vast canvas. Some cabinet members lack strong views even on their own portfolios. Mr Gove has them on education but also on foreign policy, where he is an out-and-proud neoconservative and the Tories’ biggest supporter of Israel; and on home affairs, where he is diamond-hard on crime and terrorism—though liberal on immigration. Hawkishness was his motif as a newspaper columnist: he is the most successful scribbler-turned-politician since Nigel Lawson, a former chancellor."

Daily Mail welcomes Boris Johnson's pledge to end free plastic carrier bags in LondonDaily Mail leader (scroll down page)

LAWS DAVID David Laws may be back in government by the autumn, as a cabinet office ministerThe Sun

Britain covered up our involvement in torture; now we must expose it – Peter Oborne in The Telegraph

Our defence budget is more than adequate for a medium-sized European country – John Kampfner in The Independent

Hugo Rifkind meets Kwasi Kwarteng MP to discuss his new book, Ghosts of EmpireTimes (£)

Liberal Democrats to debate decriminalisation of drugs at their party conferenceBBC

"The call for the inquiry serves a wider purpose for the Liberal Democrats who need to restore their radical credentials with younger voters alienated by the party's support for trebling of tuition fees. The motion states: "Individuals, especially young people, can be damaged both by the imposition of criminal records and a drug habit and that the priority for those addicted to all substances must be health, education and rehabilitation"." – Guardian

Labour bigwigs will stay at budget hotel during their Liverpool party conferenceThe Sun

Alex Salmond sent Rupert Murdoch a series of admiring letters offering him free theatre tickets and, at one point, referred to him as “Sir Rupert”Times (£)

71% of Britons say there are too many migrantsExpress




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