6.30pm LeftWatch: Labour grandee Lord Whitty rejected a role in Miliband's "unworkable" trade union reforms

UKIP_mag 33.45pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: What will and won't appeal to UKIPpers

3pm ToryDiary: In the light of the decision, Downing Street's charm offensive, capped
with a barbecue at Number 10 recently, was described to me as "offensive
and patronising".
Summer of Tory love soured by European Arrest Warrant stance

1.45pm LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's union speech – the main points and the key questions

Four pieces on parties and democracy lead ConservativeHome today:

1) ToryDiary: At root, Miliband's Party problem is our problem too

2) In the second piece in this week's series on Majority Conservatism, Gavin Barwell MP presents a long-term plan to modernise the Party on the ground: "Organisational strength matters.  We can’t afford to ignore the decline in our organisation any longer.  Alongside the strategy Lynton Crosby is developing to win the next Election, we need to think about a long-term plan to rebuild our Party."

Ed Miliband Wordle

3) LeftWatch: Leaked documents show the scale of Miliband's union problem – but how might he solve it?

4) The second post in Local Government's Unite Week reports on Cllr West, Unite's choice for Hornsey

Also on Local Government: John Bald – The National Curriculum is ambitious for our children – good

Egypt FlagGarvan Walshe's Foreign Policy column: Fear and Loathing on Cairo’s Bloody Monday

Andrea Leadsom MP continues her series of articles about European Reform on Comment: The EU – we need reform and better regulation

The Deep End: "The need to live within our means is shaping a new political dynamic. On one issue after another, realists will line up against romantics. Conservatives will need to make a choice – not between realism and romanticism – because, with some grumbling, we’ll opt for reality. Rather, what we need to decide is how we go about shrinking the state."Austerity is real and is changing this country forever

Miliband set to announce trade union reforms…

Red Ed"Ed Miliband will today take one of the biggest gambles of his political career by placing at risk £9million of annual union funding to his party. The Labour leader, who is under intense pressure over his links to union paymasters, wants to tear up rules on their political levy. In what is billed as the most significant reform of his party for a generation, he will say union members will have to ‘opt in’ to hand over an annual £3 donation to Labour, which they currently pay automatically." – Daily Mail 

>Today: ToryDiary - At root, Miliband's Party problem is our problem too

>Yesterday: Local Government - Labour councillors forced to be union members

…but McCluskey rejects the key change to an opt-in system

"Let's learn lessons from the failed schemes of the past, and find proposals that engage ordinary people and have transparent integrity. Switching to an "opt-in" for the political levy wouldn't work – it would require Labour to unite with the Tories to change the law, would debilitate unions' ability to speak for our members and would further undermine unions' status as voluntary, and self-governing, organisations." – Len McCluskey, The Guardian

>Today: LeftWatch - Leaked documents show the scale of Miliband's union problem – but how might he solve it?

May: Qatada is gone…now let's look at the ECHR

Theresa May"Mrs May reserved her fiercest criticism for the European Court of Human Rights, which she accused of ‘moving the goalposts’. ‘We must also consider our relationship with the European Court very carefully, and I believe that all options – including withdrawing from the Convention altogether – should remain on the table,’ she said. Mrs May had been criticised by some Conservative MPs for deferring to European Court judgments. Yesterday she affirmed she had been right to do so, but acknowledged Qatada would have been deported ‘long ago’ had the court not established ‘new, unprecedented legal grounds’ to block it." – Daily Mail

  • Terror suspects face benefits cuts – The Sun
  • Congratulations to Theresa May – FT Leader (£) 
  • European arrest warrant up for reform – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Tory Diary - "What do they do all day?" Theresa May's struggle to make the Home Office fit for purpose

Maude unveils civil service reform plans – amid opposition from mandarins

"Francis Maude will today present his proposals to Cabinet for a radical shake-up of the Civil Service to speed up policy delivery and turn round failing projects. These will include allowing ministers to hand-pick up to 15 staff for their private offices, marking a significant step towards politicising the Civil Service. Mr Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, will also propose that permanent secretaries are put on fixed-term contracts for four or five years, and would be chosen by either ministers or the Prime Minister." – The Times (£)

New press watchdog launched by industry

"The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) will have the power to impose fines of up to £1million for systemic wrongdoing and require editors to publish upfront corrections ‘whether editors like it or not’. Culture Secretary Maria Miller yesterday said she was ‘glad’ that progress is being made following months in which talks on Press regulation have stalled." – Daily Mail

Andrew Tyrie says Osborne's bank reforms "fall short"

Osborne"Today, MPs will vote on earlier commission proposals to ensure taxpayers do not have to rescue banks. These include forcing them to separate – or ‘ringfence’ – casino banking from high street lending.  But last night Mr Tyrie accused the Government of trying to water down this key reform by tweaking the Banking Reform Bill.  The Government says the Bank of England should have to consult the Treasury on five occasions before it can split up a bank.  Mr Tyrie said: ‘The amendment . . . renders this power so weak as to be virtually useless.’" – Daily Mail

Royal Mail privatisation takes a step closer

"Vince Cable, the business secretary, will make a statement to the House of Commons formally kickstarting the sale of the 497-year-old postal service. Cable's statement – which is expected on Wednesday but could be delayed until next week – will set out details of the sale, expected to come via a £2-3bn flotation on the London Stock Exchange this autumn. The statement will set out the terms under which 10% of the shares will be granted to postal workers. The public will also be encouraged to buy shares." – The Guardian 

A mansion tax? No, no, no

"Given the long list of objections, it’s impossible not to conclude that this tax is little more than a political gesture, uniting two left-leaning parties because of the bash-the-rich populism underlying it. But all taxes start this way. Taxes on the few inevitably become taxes on the many, given governments’ insatiable appetite for spending. Ultimately we must remember that our current fiscal problems stem not from taxing too little, but spending too much." – Ryan Bourne, The Times (£) 

Police should be more polite – Damian Green

Police"In a speech to the Reform think tank on Monday, Mr Green said officers should learn that friendliness builds relationships with communities, as seen during last year's London Olympics. He said that "public faith in policing" had been "undermined" by recent revelations about the police spying on the family and friends of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence and the use of dead babies' identities to provide undercover false names.He said: “The public reaction to the friendliness and openness of police at the Olympic Games shows how important relationship-building can be."" – Daily Telegraph

  • A quarter of stop and searches are illegal – Daily Mail 

The EU is tired of negative coverage…so it's launching its own Pravda

"Bids are being sought for an “online media on EU affairs” that will offer “quality journalism” to remedy what the Commission calls inadequate and shallow reporting by conventional media. The scheme, in at least ten languages, sparked anger and disbelief last night. API, the Brussels press corps association, said that it was a “breach of the principle of freedom of the press”. Richard Ashworth, the leader of Britain’s Conservative MEPs, branded it “Brussels Pravda”." – The Times (£) 

SNP preach hatred against their fellow Scots

"Andy Murray has been cagey on independence, only saying so far that Scots should think about the economics. No wonder. Sir Chris Hoy spoke out against independence on Radio 5, albeit from a sport-funding perspective. “Chris Hoy called a traitor to Scotland by nationalists,” read one newspaper headline afterwards." – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: WATCH - Anyone for tennis? Andy Murray drops into Downing Street

News in brief

  • Anne Widdecombe rejects the idea of sexism in politics – Daily Telegraph
  • Poll points to UKIP policy appeal – Daily Telegraph
  • Green Deal firm fined for nuisance calls – Daily Mail 
  • Balls, Miliband and Stephanie Flanders, an unusual dating story – The Independent
  • Future of offshore wind power in doubt – The Guardian
  • MPs exempt raccoons and reindeers from circus animal ban – The Independent
  • Robert Halfon catches the eye in a tangerine suit – BBC News 

And finally…

  • Murray wins, the sun shines and it's ta-ta Qatada: 50 reasons to be cheerful this summer – The Sun 

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