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6pm VIDEO: My message to kidnappers is that Britain doesn't pay ransoms, says David Cameron, and they may meet "swift and brutal" ends

6pm Local government update: Sir Merrick Cockell, Tory leader of the LGA doesn't quite understand Eric Pickles' announcement – thinking that granny flats are already exempt from council tax

9.30am MPsETC update: Tobias Ellwood's campaign to rename Parliament's Clock Tower after the Queen almost certain to succeed after it wins backing of majority of MPs

ToryDiary: Most EU leaders would give their eye teeth to be in Cameron's shoes, claims Matthew Parris

Mark Field MP on Comment: Christians are being ethnically-cleansed from the Middle East's hollow new democracies

On Local government Harry Phibbs welcomes Eric Pickles' plan to end council tax on granny flats

Major John June 2012VIDEO: John Major tells Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy that The Queen meets more ordinary people than TV news presenters

VIDEO: David Cameron celebrates Queen's "incredible service" in video message for the Jubilee weekend

LISTEN: After a week of U-turns, Lord Oakeshott urges Osborne to become a full-time Chancelllor and stop trying to be in involved in every aspect of government

Tobias Ellwood's campaign to rename the tower housing Big Ben for the Queen has received the backing of the majority of MPsBBC

  • She will never, never abdicate: Queen will serve the country for the rest of her life, confidantes tell the Daily Mail
  • "Most of Queen Elizabeth’s subjects want her to reign for ever, partly because they cherish the continuity she represents in a turbulent age, and partly because of unease about what might follow if her son succeeds her. The Prince of Wales conspicuously lacks his mother’s discipline and discretion; he pursues eccentric causes with messianic zeal. Courtiers assert soothingly that if he assumes the crown he will relapse into Trappist silence, accepting its constraints. But there seem grounds for doubt whether, as a sexagenarian, he will suddenly acquire the prudence that characterises his mother." – Max Hastings in the FT (£)
  • Thanks, Ma’am. You’re a marvel – The Sun Says

The Bishop of London has warned, however, that Britain should use the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as an opportunity to reflect and reassess values, claiming that Britain is suffering from an epidemic of promiscuity, divorce and separation – Daily Mail

Hundreds of thousands of families will be offered tax breaks on “granny flats” under plans to ease the housing crisisTelegraph

Screen Shot 2012-06-02 at 08.16.06Government makes FIFTH tax U-turn in a week by abandoning 'skip tax'

"It is the Coalition’s 29th U-turn since coming to office two years ago and the fifth this week after climbdowns on pasties, caravans, charities and buzzard nests. The Sun highlighted the damaging effect of the skip tax earlier this week. Last month the taxman insisted that landfill tax on crumbled rubble, concrete, brick or clay would have to rise from £2.50 a ton to an eye-watering £64." – The Sun

The Government has made an incredible 29 reversals so far and they all plot a rightwards path – Tom Clark in The Guardian

"The chancellor and the Treasury have been held up to ridicule, as they embarked on an apparent bid to set a record for u-turns conducted in a 72-hour period" – FT (£)

  • Reflecting on the U-turns Simon Heffer calls for Cameron's "yes-men" advisers to be replaced by people of real talent and weight – Daily Mail

Osborne April 2012Andrew Grice: Osborne should have U-turned on 50p

"Despite all the fuss, the revisions to the Budget were at the margins. A real U-turn would have seen Mr Osborne admit the private sector recovery on which his economic strategy is based had failed to materialise, and announce a stimulus to start the economy… Crucially, a U-turning Chancellor would have abandoned the Budget's cut in the 50p top rate of tax, which advertised the Government's biggest weakness – that, in the words of the Tory MP Nadine Dorries, it is run by "two arrogant posh boys". The tax cut for those earning more than £150,000 a year will be a lasting symbol of this Government, remembered long after the pasty tax." – Andrew Grice in The Independent

Matthew Parris: Britain isn't in crisis. The Coalition is actually doing quite well.

After cataloguing Britain's relatively good economic record The Times' Matthew Parris (£) writes: "Outside economics, we have a Government that in two short years has been incredibly productive. They have bitten the bullet on university financing and in schools policy turned an evolution into a revolution. Changes to social welfare, with universal credit, will prove a bigger revolution. A massive, Lib Dem-inspired hike in the threshold at which the lower-paid pay tax is an underpraised triumph. An almost untold story is the measured and modest way spending is being curbed, ministers showing steadiness under fire from the proponents both of the axe and the splurge. Almost as a sideline our Armed Forces and diplomatists have saved a revolution in Libya and planned an orderly withdrawal from a futile war in Afghanistan."

Taxes in Britain and Europe are much higher than in Japan and USAJohn Redwood

Cameron and Osborne can and will be persuaded of case for In/Out referendum – Patrick O'Flynn in The Express

MAY-THERESATheresa May has ordered an independent review into allegations that police corruption shielded the killers of Stephen LawrenceGuardian

  • Top officials responsible for a catalogue of failures at the Border Agency have received £3.25million in bonuses – Express

William Hague has warned that al-Qaeda is taking advantage of Syria's slide into all-out civil warSun | BBC

In rescue operation authorised by David Cameron four kidnapped aid workers are freed in AfghanistanBBC

Lord Lawson says a separate Scotland would not have a seat on the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, the body that sets interest ratesScotsman

Chris Huhne forced his wife to take a speeding penalty for him, a court heard yesterdayThe Sun

Alan Milburn: Independent schools should be stripped of charitable status if they refuse to sponsor an academyTimes (£)

Alan Milburn embodies the phenomenon of social mobility and he is determined that the next decade should be an era of opportunity for all – Times (£)

It's time to shut down the diversity industry; Whoever we are, we are not reducible to a single, wretched label – Graeme Archer in The Telegraph

The contradictions of UKIP

"The history of UKIP indicates that it will need to overcome its propensity to be bedevilled by its own internal contradictions – a libertarian party with authoritarian policies, an anti-EU party with its strongest representation in the EU, a populist party with an upper-class leadership, a naturally conservative party that despises the Conservative party, an avowedly non-racist party that needs to attract the support of racists." – Adam Carter for Searchlight

Tatler magazine profiles Tim Montgomerie, Editor of ConHome

Screen Shot 2012-06-02 at 07.03.49"My first political memory,' says Montgomerie, 'was probably the debate about the stationing of cruise missiles in Britain, about 30 years ago, when I was 11 years old. My father, who was in the Army, talked to me about the importance of deterrence – and it made a lot of sense. I soon became interested in someone else who was making similar arguments – a woman with big hair on the TV.' That 'woman with big hair on the TV' was, of course, Margaret Thatcher." – Pete Hoskin's Tatler magazine profile

And finally… Illinois legislator loses temper during debate (big time)VIDEO


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