7.45 ToryDiary: Why is every Conservative Secretary of State who's a woman being tipped for the sack? (Bar one.)

Screen shot 2013-06-08 at WATCH: Patrick O'Flynn: Why I want to be a UKIP MEP

3.45pm ToryDiary: Now the good news…. the orange-fleshed sweet potato

1pm WATCH: David Cameron: Britain will play its part in fighting malnutrition

Noon: ToryDiary An average worker spends £367.78p a year of their Income Tax on interest on the National Debt

ToryDiary: Now that it is no longer secret is the Bilderberg Group losing its cachet?

David TC Davies on Comment: It's time to stand up to the bullying green hypocrites

GuardianspiesCameron urged to investigate GCHQ internet snooping claims

"Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged to launch an investigation into allegations that Britain's electronic listening post GCHQ has been gathering data through a secret US spy programme." – BBC

  • "The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year. The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK." – The Guardian

Douglas-Carswell-001Prime Minister criticised by Carswell for attending Bilderberg Conference

"David Cameron has been accused of joining the "unaccountable clique of Davos men" after he attended the secretive Bilderberg group meeting at the luxury Grove hotel in Watford, a move that raised questions about his pledge to lead Britain's most transparent government. Douglas Carswell, the Tory MP who campaigns for transparency in government, said the prime minister was taking part in a "cliche fest" whose participants had helped crash the global financial system. Davos is the town in Switzerland that hosts an annual meeting of global political and business leaders." – The Guardian

  • "David Cameron is to attend a behind-closed-doors meeting of global business leaders, politicians and academics that critics say is too secretive. Downing Street said the prime minister had been invited to the Bilderberg meeting in Hertfordshire in his role as head of the government hosting it." – BBC

TelegraphbenefitsMiddle class professionals typically pay £200,000 towards Britain's welfare bill during their working lives

"A person who earns an average salary of £50,000 over a 43-year career will contribute £219,039 to state welfare and pension spending. They would have to receive the state pension for 38 years to become a net beneficiary. The same person would also make a lifetime contribution of nearly £110,000 to the health service. Someone earning an average of £100,000 annually would contribute almost £550,000 to the welfare system. HM Revenue and Customs is preparing to send detailed statements to millions of Britons next year showing how their tax is spent. Today’s analysis by The Daily Telegraph, the first of its kind, is based on the formulas that will be used to compile the statements." – Daily Telegraph

PicklesericPickles to become Chief Whip?

"A re-arrangement of the junior ministerial ranks is expected in July followed by a Cabinet reshuffle in September. There is even talk of a third reshuffle next year. The news has set off inevitable speculation about the possible winners and losers. One Whitehall source said that Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, was in line to become the party’s new chief whip in an attempt to restore some discipline on the Tory benches." – The Times (£)

Fox….Or Fox? Or Hayes?

"A new Chief Whip is top of the list in his shake-up, pencilled in for the week starting July 15. Sir George Young is set to stand down, having taken the job last year after Andrew Mitchell quit over Plebgate. Ex-Defence Secretary Liam Fox or former energy minister John Hayes are tipped to take over….Ministers under threat include Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who has angered No10 by speaking out against cuts, Minister without portfolio Oliver Letwin, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Culture Secretary Maria Miller. A revamp of junior ministers is also expected. Armed Forces minister Andrew Robathan, Northern Ireland minister Theresa Villiers and justice minister Helen Grant are at risk. But constitutional reform minister Mark Harper could be promoted." – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: "It could be that Miller already has a sense of how the
endgame for her department will play out, and that the Treasury intends
to turn from it to others that offer bigger savings.  But on the face of
it, her defiance is a throw of the dice."
Will Maria Miller's case for the arts win over George Osborne?

GovemGove warns Scottish children could fall behind…

"Michael Gove has delivered a stark warning that Scottish schoolchildren risk falling behind their peers in England in the ‘3Rs’ thanks to the refusal of SNP ministers to reform the education system.
 The Education Secretary in England lambasted the failure of Mike Russell, his Scottish equivalent, to implement any meaningful changes to state schools north of the Border, arguing that they are “stuck in a rut”. Mr Gove, who was raised and schooled in Aberdeen, said the Scottish system is not fit for purpose in the 21st century and schools are drifting away from the required “rigour” in both numeracy and literacy." – Daily Telegraph

  • "Of course there's a good state education – if you can afford it. " Graeme Archer Daily Telegraph

…and makes personal case for the Union

"Michael Gove made a highly personal case yesterday for Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom, saying that he did not want his children, who live in London, to view their grandparents in Aberdeen as “foreigners”. The Education Secretary at Westminster, who is Scottish, said he also
did not want his son and daughter growing up thinking that he was from a different country." – The Times (£)

Cameron less popular than the Conservatives

"David Cameron is now less popular than the Conservative party for the first time since he assumed its leadership seven years ago, according to an opinion poll. The survey on behalf of Lord Ashcroft, former Tory treasurer, found a “noticeable shift” towards dissatisfaction with the prime minister. At
the same time the party has lost ground over key issues including the economy, welfare, immigration and crime. Some 22 per cent of those quizzed said they were more favourably disposed to the Conservative party than its leader – against 18 per cent saying the opposite. That is a reversal of a consistent trend seen in the Ashcroft surveys over several years." – FT

 >Yesterday: On Comment, Lord Ashcroft presents new polling: Why we can't afford to waste another six months

DorriesNadine Dorries faces inquiry over "I'm a Celebrity…" fee

"Tory MP Nadine Dorries is facing a inquiry from the parliamentary commissioner for standards. The probe is understood to concern her fee for her autumn appearance on ITV's I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here…Ms Dorries, who recently suggested she had not yet received an appearance fee and would obey Commons rules if she did, said she was being "hounded"." – BBC

ExpresseuHalf of UK's exports go outside the EU

"Sales of British goods to the world’s fast-growing countries rocketed by more than 11 per cent over the last year. At the same time, British exports to the 26 European Union nations fell by 1.5 per cent. Official data showed that half the UK’s exports now go outside the EU and trade with China, India and the US is soaring. Tory minister Matthew Hancock said the figures were “really extraordinary” while anti-Brussels campaigners seized on them as confirmation that Britain would be better off outside the EU." – Daily Express

DavidsonPrime Minister backs Ruth Davidson's call for more devolution

"David Cameron gave his full backing to Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson yesterday in an attempt to head off a growing divide in the party over more powers for the Scottish Parliament. The Prime Minister said he backed Ms Davidson “every step of the way” as he attempted to boost the embattled leader. He said Ms Davidson was the “ideal leader” for the Scottish Tories when he addressed their conference in Stirling. With Ms Davidson facing internal criticism for her about-turn on devolving more powers to Holyrood, Mr Cameron also signalled his support for her new position on the constitution." – The Scotsman

  • "Ms Davidson came under fierce public criticism from the vice-chairman of Stirling Tories who said the fact the issue that most cried out for debate was being debated in fringe meetings in hotels rather than in the conference chamber "spoke volumes for the fear and alarm that this issue raises in the party hierarchy". Alastair Orr, who has stood as a Westminster candidate, said the lack of debate was unhealthy and contrasted with other parties, making Ms Davidson look weak. He said he had been unhappy about her performance as leader generally and savaged the conference's "lacklustre agenda" comprising "playschool type sessions of question-and-answer panels" instead of forthright debate." – The Herald

>Yesterday ToryDiary: The PM sets out his stall for the Scottish referendum – and the run-up to the General Election

OwenpatersonOwen Paterson says wind farms "regarded as a complete scam"

"Wind farms have been branded a ‘complete scam’ by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, reigniting coalition battle over green power. As the government unveiled new powers for local residents to block turbines blighting their villages, Mr Paterson condemned many planned schemes as ‘deeply unpopular’ and causing ‘huge unhappiness’ across the country." – Daily Mail

Yesterday: Columnists: Iain Dale's Friday Diary: The climate change industry must stop trying to silence its critics

Lobbyists prepare human rights challenge against register

"Lobbyists are preparing to launch a campaign claiming that their human rights will be damaged by government attempts to clamp down on the industry. In a show of unity, Britain’s three main industry bodies are to commission legal advice over the proposed statutory register of lobbyists. They believe it will show that the proposed register falls foul of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guards against “discrimination on any ground”." – The Times (£)

Baroness Knight stands by "gays good at antiques" claim

"Baroness Knight, the Tory peer and opponent of same-sex marriage who caused a stir this week by saying that gays were “good at antiques” is not remotely bothered by the fuss her remarks caused." – The Independent

News in brief

  • UKIP now official opposition in South Tyneside – The Guardian
  • UKIP "laziest party in Brussels" – Daily Mail
  • Vodaphone pays no Corporation Tax – The Guardian
  • Austerity "may last until 2020" – BBC
  • Labour councils rally to defend the spare room subsidy – ITV

And finally…The Queen shows how to deal with John Humphrys

"Hoping to obtain the latest news on the Duke of Edinburgh’s health, Mr Humphrys tentatively asked the Queen about it, only to be told: “I’ve no idea, he’s only just gone in.” The Today programme presenter pressed on: “Well, he was looking well yesterday.” The Queen replied: “That’s because he’s not ill.” Humphrys, who has always said that the person he would most like to interview is the Queen, then presented her with a Children in Need digital radio, for which she thanked him but admitted: “I don’t get an awful lot of chance to listen to the radio.” – Daily Telegraph


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