5.15pm ToryDiary: If Michael Gove wants to stop the party leadership talk…

3.30pm ToryDiary: Special ConHome poll: Almost three in four Tory members would vote to leave the EU now

12.30pm Local Government:

Noon Alistair Thompson on Comment: Cowardly Clegg – and his attempt to distract attention from his own links to the Murdochs

Tory Diary: The Government is wrong to U-turn on the pasty tax

Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 12.12.40Dr Eamonn Butler on Comment: It's Tax Freedom Day today. Yes, for almost five months you've been working just to pay taxes.

Local Government: 

The Deep End: How the internet eats the economy


George Osborne backs down on pasty (and caravan) tax

Sun_290512"Pasties and other bakery items will no longer attract Vat if they are “cooling down” after being removed from the oven. The Chancellor controversially proposed in the budget that any food served above ambient temperature would be taxed at 20 percent to address an “anomaly” in the system. … He also said that plans to tax static caravans at 20 percent will be altered. They will now attract Vat at a reduced rate of five percent from next April. Static caravans do not currently attract any Vat." – Daily Telegraph

  • "Pasty la vista, taxman" – The Sun
  • "The pasty rollover is a start. But the Government needs more bright ideas to regain voters’ trust. So as they are in the mood to listen to The Sun, here’s another bit of advice. Slash fuel duty." – The Sun Says
  • Pasty tax: U-turn 'a shambles' says Labour – BBC
  • A brief history of the pasty tax – Guardian
  • Osborne's got it wrong on the economy, warns public – Independent

Cameron in Eurozone contingency talks – Theresa May ready to suspend EU free movement rules if crisis causes migration

Cameron-eu"In the City, banks have been told to work out the legal and financial implications of various scenarios – ranging from a Greek exit from the eurozone to larger government defaults… [M]inisters are drawing up their own contingency plans; the Foreign Office is considering how it would help British tourists in Greece if the cashpoints ran dry and if disruption to ferry services left them stranded on Greek islands. Theresa May… has not ruled out some kind of suspension of the EU’s free movement rules if a crisis spreads across the eurozone triggering large-scale migration" - FT (£)

  • Cameron demands proof UK is ready for eurozone collapse as he summons Bank chief for crisis talks – Daily Mail

U-turn on secret court hearings

Clarke ken_small.ashx"Plans to introduce closed inquests with evidence heard in private have been dropped from the government's "secret justice" bill to be published on Tuesday following a dispute between David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Government officials heralded the move as the main concession in one of the most controversial pieces of legislation contained in the Queen's speech. It follows a well-publicised row behind the scenes which delayed publication of the bill for almost a week." – Guardian

  • Lib Dems force Tory retreat in plan for private courts – Independent
  • "Victory for the Mail's campaign as Clarke says inquests WON'T be held behind closed doors" – Daily Mail
  • My plans were too broad. The Mail has done a service to the public interest – Ken Clarke for the Daily Mail
  • Government has made a move in the right direction – Sir Malcolm Rifkind for the Times (£)

Michael Gove and Theresa May to appear before Leveson

"Home Secretary Theresa May and Education Secretary Michael Gove are to appear before the Leveson Inquiry into media standards later. Mrs May faces questions over Scotland Yard's phone-hacking probe, and the closeness between the press and police. Mr Gove will be asked about his relationship with Rupert and James Murdoch, and other News Corps staff." – BBC

Warsi fights back over expenses

Warsi Cardiff"Baroness Warsi has asked the Lords Commissioner for Standards to examine allegations she claimed for accommodation while staying rent free with a party colleague. … “I take these allegations very seriously," Warsi said yesterday in Malaysia, where she was on an official visit. “It’s why I said right at the outset that I would fully cooperate with any investigation,” she told ITV, denying that she had done anything wrong." – City AM

  • Charges with a whiff of a witch-hunt – Independent editorial

> From yesterday - WATCH: Baroness Warsi's landlord says he never charged rent

Bowing to Murdoch turned politics rotten, says Clegg as he launches attack on senior Tories

Clegg on Marr"Nick Clegg will today launch an attack on David Cameron and other senior Tories for their decision to ‘bow and scrape’ before Rupert Murdoch. The Deputy Prime Minister will condemn the behaviour of the Prime Minister and successive Labour leaders in what he terms Britain’s ‘broken establishment’.  He will condemn the ‘sordid spectacle of phone hacking’ and say cosying up to the media baron is evidence of the death of ‘clean politics’." – Daily Mail

  • Clegg: we must reform our broken establishment – Independent
  • "The deputy prime minister’s team dismissed as “absolute madness” speculation that the party could bail out of the coalition months before the 2015 election and leave a minority Conservative government to struggle on until polling day." – FT (£)
  • Tax plastic bags across UK, Liberal Democrats say Daily Telegraph

Blair denies striking deal with Murdoch

BLAIR Tony"Tony Blair defended his “working relationship” with Rupert Murdoch on Monday, insisting that it was a bond based on power but denying he had struck any deal with the media mogul. … Mr Blair started his evidence by saying he had taken a strategic decision to “manage” but not confront a powerful media." – FT (£)

  • Leveson protester calls Tony Blair a 'war criminal' – The Sun
  • 'War criminal' protest makes mockery of courts' security system – Independent

> From yesterday - Blair confronted by heckler during Leveson evidence in security breach

Leveson comment

  • Blair Heckler Leveson"Blair at Leveson provided no revelations, and anyone who was expecting news should have known better" – John Rentoul for the Independent
  • "Labour's all-time winner stopped trashing his own legacy at the Leveson inquiry and reminded us of his great talents" – Polly Toynbee for the Guardian
  • "A political generation grew up in Tony Blair’s shadow. But both Left and Right misunderstand what made him special" – Rachel Sylvester for the Times (£)
  • "Pull the other one, Tony. You let Murdoch shape policy" – Lance Price for the Independent
  • "Kid gloves and the damning questions Mr Blair WASN'T asked" – Stephen Glover for the Daily Mail

CSJ: scrap child poverty targets Daily Telegraph

Richer pensioners should lose some benefits, says thinktank - Guardian

Teachers to strike again – after summer holidaysThe Sun

Waltham Forest council scraps plans to relocate residents to WalsallIndependent

Male-dominated boards will fall behind rivals, says reportDaily Telegraph

Fifteen more university technical colleges to open in next two years Guardian

  • At last, schools for getting your hands dirty – Lord (Kenneth) Baker for the Times (£)

Queen's-Speech-processionPoll says Britain has changed for the worse under Elizabeth IIReuters

  • Our public service Queen has a lot to teach her failing politicians – Mary Riddell for the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday - Columnist Bruce Anderson: The Diamond Jubilee is a time for rejoicing and gratitude

Spain says help not needed to save banksFT (£)

  • Whatever Rajoy says, more Spanish banks will need bailing out - Alistair Osborne for the Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday:


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