4pm Peter Smith on Comment: Two books, one conclusion. Immigration has been and is too high

2.45pm WATCH: Nadine Dorries MP – IPSA should never have been brought in

2pm Tory Diary: The wit and wisdom of Boris Johnson 

Tory Diary: UKIP at record high with Opinium. (But is their method a good one?)

Charles Hendry MP on Comment: Why we shouldn't put a decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill this week

A morning of
scandal is led by a report of a love affair at 10 Downing Street…

“David Cameron
has held crisis talks at Downing Street after being told of allegations of a
sensational love affair which has potentially significant political
implications for him. For legal reasons, The Mail on Sunday cannot disclose the
identities of the people involved or any details of the relationship – even its
duration – other than that they are middle-aged figures. The affair has now
concluded. But this newspaper can report that when aides told Mr Cameron the
identities of the alleged lovers he was ‘stunned’, and, according to sources,
‘immediately realised the importance of the story’.” – Mail
on Sunday

  • Cameron forgot passport. Police dashed back to Downing Street. Ibiza visit saved – Sun on Sunday
  • Nigel Evans faces fourth sexual assault claim – Mail on Sunday

…while three
peers are drawn in to the cash for access affair…

Screen shot 2013-06-02 at 08.17.13“Three were secretly filmed by reporters
revealing their willingness to flout rules banning them from using their power
and influence in parliament for paying clients. Lord Cunningham, Lord Mackenzie
of Framwellgate and Lord Laird offered to become paid advocates for a firm
pushing for new laws to benefit its business” – The
Sunday Times (£)

Patrick Mercer could face police questioning…

“Scotland Yard could launch an investigation into
potential breaches of the 2010 Bribery Act by Tory MP Patrick Mercer. The Observer
understands that at least one MP is preparing a complaint that could spark a
Met probe into whether Mercer has broken the law, amid allegations that he
tabled parliamentary questions on behalf of a lobbying firm paying him
thousands of pounds …if police were to launch an inquiry, it would raise
questions about whether Mercer could remain in office until the next election”

Downing Street hopes Newark MP will be seen as an isolated case

Mercer Patrick Feb 2012“No 10 is quietly bracing itself for a by-election brought about
by Mercer’s resignation as an MP… It is essential for Downing Street that
Mercer can be credibly presented as a rogue operator, rather than one of many
MPs trading their parliamentary services for cash. The PM’s allies insist that
his case is singular and regrettable…Anything else would be a disaster for
Cameron and the Conservatives.” – Matthew d’Ancona, Sunday

  • Too
    many MPs are wrapped in the tentacles of the lobbyists – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
  • Is
    Boris Johnson fit to be PM? Andrew Gimson versus Sonia Purnell –  Independent
    on Sunday
  • Nigel
    Evans faces fourth sexual abuse claim – Mail
    on Sunday
  • Mercer
    “humbled but resilient” – Sunday

> Yesterday:

Miller plans to offer parents guide to boosting girls' ambitions

MILLER-MARIA"Ministers are planning to produce information packs for the parents
of daughters to help them to bring up "aspirational" young women. The
packs will offer advice on how to guide daughters through subject and
career choices, amid concerns that many people feel they lack key
parenting skills at such crucial times." – Observer

Conservative Grassroots urges Lords to reject same-sex marriage when they debate it on Monday and

“Bob Woollard, the chairman of Conservative Grassroots, said: ‘The Prime
Minister believes that enabling same-sex couples to get married will strengthen
— not weaken — family ties. In fact, all the evidence from countries that have introduced
this legislation over the last 10 years shows that marriage is further devalued
in the eyes of all and the tie between marriage and bringing up of children is
seriously weakened’” – Sunday

Francis Maude
accuses civil servants of a “bias to inertia”

“Maude will argue that a two-tier civil
service exists, made up of motivated, hard-working officials who are being held
back by those who are ‘inefficient’ and guilty of ‘risk aversion’. His speech
to Policy Exchange, a Tory think tank, will be interpreted as a thinly veiled
criticism of permanent secretaries who are opposed to modernising working
practices in Whitehall. ‘There are areas where the civil service is not
operating at the top of its game,’ Maude is expected to say. ‘There is too
often a bias to inertia. People are not encouraged to try new things’ – Sunday
Times (£)

  • Government departments waste £8 billion a year – Sun
    on Sunday
  • Grayling: only high earners will be denied legal aid – Sunday
  • A & E crisis leads to surge in cancelled ops – Observer

Have Clegg and Alexander targeted money at LibDem constituencies?

Screen shot 2013-06-02 at 08.57.03
"According to claims made by a Coalition whistleblower, Deputy Prime
Minister Mr Clegg and his right-hand man, Chief Secretary to the
Treasury Danny Alexander, have used their influence over public spending
decisions to covertly boost the re-election chances of Lib Dem MPs. The
source also claimed that public subsidies to reduce water bills in the
South West were agreed by Chancellor George Osborne after pressure from
Mr Clegg’s officials." – Mail on Sunday

Labour for a referendum to launch this week

"In a sign of growing unease with his leadership, a group of Miliband's backbenchers have signed up to a new campaign, Labour
for a Referendum, to be launched this week. They want to force Miliband
to do a U-turn on his refusal to offer the British people an in-out
referendum. Labour's policy is to only offer a vote to the public if
there is a significant treaty change that transfers further sovereignty
to the EU." – Observer

Second Woolwich suspect charged with murder

Screen shot 2013-06-02 at 08.21.01"Michael
Adebolajo, 28, has been charged with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby who was
killed in front of horrified onlookers in Woolwich last month. Scotland Yard
said Adebolajo, of Romford, Essex, has also
been charged with the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of
a firearm. He has been remanded in custody and will
appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday." – Mail
on Sunday

Other comment 1) Lord Kalms says we must renegotiate our EU membership or leave…

“The European Union is no longer fit for purpose. Like Michael
Gove and Philip Hammond, if there were a referendum held tomorrow I would vote
to leave. But it isn’t up to me, or our more free-thinking Cabinet ministers,
and nor should it be. The British people deserve a referendum on our continued
relationship with Brussels and, the way the politics is going on this issue, we
should get one…I was proud to serve as Treasurer of the Conservative Party, and
I have been dismayed to watch as party members have been driven from the fold
while we sidestep and skirt around the critical issue of Europe” – Sunday

Other Comment 2) Liam Fox says the
Tories can win in 2015…

have a temptation to talk too much about themselves…The Conservative Party
should break out of this luxury of self-indulgence and recognise the need to
stand up for those whose values we most admire and ensure the country is not
saddled with a Labour government. The economy is emerging from the financial
pit Labour left behind…Voters disaffected with the Coalition Government are
not defecting to the Labour Party under its current leadership, which should
give their union paymasters something to think about.” – Mail
on Sunday

Other Comment 3) Nick Boles wants British pupils to swear American-style oath of allegiance

“Nick Boles, a close friend of Prime Minister David
Cameron and Education Secretary Michael Gove, said the changing face of Britain
meant the common bonds that united previous generations had weakened after
years of large-scale immigration. He said it was time to learn from America
which has, since 1892, encouraged children to start the school day with a
pledge upholding the values of patriotism, liberty and justice.” – Sunday

Andrew Gimson and Sonia Purnell: The arguments for and against putting Boris in Downing Street

Screen shot 2013-06-02 at 09.00.48"Gimson: 'As for the question of whether there is "a coherent corpus
of Johnsonian
ideas" on subjects such as Europe: Boris is certainly less coherent
than Enoch Powell, but David Cameron and Ed Miliband fail that test
too…Boris believes in fierce competition, but not in grinding the
faces of the poor. He is a Merry England Conservative: an elitist who is
not an ideologue and who possesses an unexpected gift for connecting
with people and sharing their vulnerabilities.' " – Independent on Sunday

News in brief


> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. Read our comments policy here.