A warning for Cameron 2): emergency laws are now the only way to block a pay rise for MPs

PAY RISE“Emergency laws are now the only way to block a pay rise for MPs that is set to plunge Parliament into a new row with voters, David Cameron has been warned. .. All three party leaders have indicated that they are not in favour of a large increase … But they are powerless to head it off after handing sole power for setting MPs’ pay to the Commons expenses watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.” – The Times (£)

“A committee of senior MPs led by the Speaker has taken urgent legal advice over whether it could block a £10,000 pay rise for politicians” – Daily Telegraph

  • “Any MP accepting a 15 per cent pay rise might as well write voters a resignation note.” – Suneditorial
  • “These are hard times, and MPs have done relatively well on pay recently.” – Guardian editorial
  • MPs can’t take a big rise and cut other people’s pay – Paul Staines, The Times (£)
  • “Ipsa was a colossal mistake: MPs should take back control of our pay” – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • “Keep the rot from the system – give MPs a rise” – Jack Straw, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday:

Cameron said to be concerned about extremism in Libya – British troops could be dispatched to train the local army

LIBYA“Prime Minister David Cameron is deeply concerned that Libyan could quickly become a failed state and a haven for al-Qaeda sympathisers. … More than 2,000 Libyan infantrymen would be given lessons in basic soldiering skills to prevent militants securing a foothold in the war-ravaged country.” – Daily Mail

  • “The Treasury has raided millions of pounds from the defence budget in a move that raises doubts about funding future military operations, MPs have found.” – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday on the The Deep End: Afghanistan and Syria: actually, it’s not all about us

Jeremy Hunt to announce an “NHS entry fee” for immigrants

Jh“All foreigners arriving in Britain will face a fee of up to thousands of pounds to pay for their healthcare. … The levy will be mandatory for everyone except tourists for any stay longer than six months in a new Government plan.” – The Sun

Theresa May versus pointless stop-and-search checks

“In a statement to MPs, the Home Secretary will promise to restrict the use of controversial ‘sus’ laws. … Mrs May fears that, as well as devouring huge amounts of police time, overuse of the powers is harming community relations, with young black men seven times more likely to be targeted than whites.” – Daily Mail

  • “We still need stop and search on the streets” – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

Eric Pickles versus gyspy caravan sites

“Travellers will be barred from settling on green belt land to prevent a re-run of battles such as the £7million eviction of the Dale Farm travellers. … Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has acted because his advice to councils to only allow green belt developments in ‘very special circumstances’ is not being followed. … He also took the axe to politically correct planning rules – which required councils to consider the ‘diversity’ of the area when allowing developments.” – Daily Mail

Another freedom for schools, courtesy of Michael Gove

MG“Hard-up parents may avoid being clobbered by holiday firms’ hiked costs after all schools were given the power to set their own term dates. … A DfE spokesman said: ‘It is heads and teachers who know their parents and pupils best, not local authorities, so it’s right that all schools are free to set their own term dates in the interests of parents and pupils.'” – The Sun

  • “Academies and free schools should become profit-making businesses using hedge funds and venture capitalists to raise money, according to private plans being drawn up by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.” – Independent

> Yesterday on Local Government: All schools to be allowed to set school term dates

“Chris Grayling made a surprise U-turn on Monday night over his controversial plan to deny defendants on legal aid the right to choose their solicitor”

– The Independent

Welcome to your new job, Mr Carney – here’s some disheartening economic news…

Downturn“Mark Carney’s tenure as Bank of England governor began yesterday with a triple dose of bleak economic news. … A sharp fall in business lending, huge job losses in the financial sector and record unemployment in the eurozone overshadowed encouraging mortgage and manufacturing figures.” – Daily Mail

  • “We’d be wise not to put too much faith in Carney” – Dominic Lawson, The Independent
  • “[Carney] should make sure that any new unconventional monetary policy comes with a credible, low-risk exit strategy, set out in advance.” – John Taylor, Financial Times
  • “Mark Carney is hailed as a saviour – but what do we really know about him?” – Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian

> Yesterday, by Mark Field MP on Comment: Don’t expect miracles from the new man at the Bank. What’s most likely is more of the same.

…but it’s not all bad

“While economists have predicted that Mr Carney will push for a new round of stimulus, yesterday’s data pointed to improvements both in the housing market and in manufacturing that could complicate the debate on the Monetary Policy Committee.” – The Times (£)

The economic benefits of HS2 are likely to be revised downwards

THUMBS DOWN“The cost-benefit analysis for the rail scheme assumes that faster trains will produce £21bn of economic benefits simply because passengers will spend less unproductive time. … Philip Rutnam, permanent secretary at the Department for Transport, admitted that the modelling was based on a survey that was now ‘a decade old’ – before the era of handheld devices.” – Financial Times

Yesterday’s summit on payday loans ends without a cap on interest rates

“A summit on payday loans broke up yesterday without any commitment on reining in crippling interest rates. … The new financial regulator said only that it would consider banning advertisements that target students or the unemployed. … Treasury Minister Sajid Javid said the takeover by the FCA would mark a ‘step change’ in the regulation of the industry.” – Daily Mail

Boris calls for fracking in London


“Boris Johnson has said he is willing to offer up the streets of London to companies hoping to solve Britain’s energy crisis by drilling for shale gas. … in a sign that he wanted to play a part in encouraging the advent of fracking in Britain, the London Mayor said that energy companies ‘should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked” in his city.” – The Times (£)

Ed Davey warned against softening over climate change goals

“Lord Deben, chairman of the committee on climate change, wrote to Ed Davey, energy secretary, on Monday saying that failed efforts to toughen EU-wide climate targets were not a reason to change UK goals. … This is unlikely to be accepted by some ministers, who think they make the UK uncompetitive.” –Financial Times

Labour’s spenDing worked, claims Polly Tonbee – why don’t they defend it?

PT“…the Tory myth has taken hold: Labour squandered vast sums on wasteful programmes that didn’t work. Benefits were ‘thrown at’ the idle instead of changing lives. All this is refuted by a wealth of statistics from Professors John Hills and Ruth Lupton and others in their reports on health, education and inequality.” – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

Even the British left is turning against Europe, notes Janan Ganesh

“For the keen-eyed, there are already some flashes of the eurosceptic party that Labour might become. Supporters of a referendum are thought to include senior party figures such as Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, and Jon Cruddas, the MP overseeing a policy review for Mr Miliband.” – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

News in brief

  • MPs attack “nonsense” pay deal by which NHS consultants get £200-an-hour to work evenings and weekends – Daily Mail
  • Claims that Apple avoided UK corporation tax by handing its staff £40 million in bonuses – Daily Mail
  • Putin offers asylum to Edward Snowden, on one condition… – Daily Mail
  • …as Snowden makes multiple asylum requests – Financial Times
  • National Audit Office criticises BBC pay-offs – Financial Times
  • Channel 4 to screen a Muslim call to prayer every day during Ramadan – The Sun
  • Parliamentary intelligence and security committee “too busy” to question intelligence agencies before summer recess – Guardian
  • President Morsi stands firm against the Egyptian Army’s ultimatum – Guardian
  • Almost one-in-five pupils in primary education have English as a second language – Daily Telegraph

And finally 1)… will the unions sue Ed Miliband?

EDM“Labour’s paymaster Unite – the union provides a fifth of its donations – is threatening to sue Ed Miliband and Co over the selection of a new candidate for Falkirk. … Unite leader Len McCluskey wants a union candidate in his place but thinks they’re being blocked from taking part.” – Ephraim Hardcastle column,Daily Mail

  • “Does McCluskey or Miliband run Labour?” – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • “Who really runs Labour?” – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph

And finally 2)… after Jonah Brown, the curse of Cameron?

Cameron“The ‘Curse of Cameron’ struck yet again yesterday as Laura Robson crashed out of Wimbledon – hours after the Prime Minister sent her a message of support. … The trend began when he was opposition leader and reached its peak last summer, when he watched Andy Murray lose in the final at Wimbledon and followed that up with string of visits to Olympic events at which our medal hopes lost.” – Daily Mail

  • “David Cameron has compared himself to heroic Harry Potter — but admitted Brits may think he’s more like evil wizard Lord Voldemort.” – The Sun

And finally 3)… Richard Littlejohn previews this week’s meeting between Cameron and the Queen

“Sometimes I think that Mirren woman makes more out of playing the Queen than one does out of being the Queen. Philip says I’m in the wrong job. Should have been an actress. He fancies her, you know.” – Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail