6.30pm WATCH: The situation would have to change "very significantly", says Philip Hammond, for there to be a second Syria vote

5.30pm On Comment, Andrew Lilico says that, for constitutional reasons, William Hague should resign over the Syria vote: "The government lost the vote on its Syria policy.  That military action was clearly a foreign policy, rather than defence policy matter, so Hague should resign.  Not because he did anything wrong, but because he was not supported."

Syria3.45pm On Comment, a pair of views about Syria:

1.45pm In our special ConHome Jury, Douglas Carswell, Max Wind-Cowie and others answer the question: In the aftermath of the Syria vote, what should David Cameron do next?

12.30pm On ThinkTankCentral, Sam Bowman outlines the trouble with Help to Buy: It's a demand-side solution to a supply-side problem

10am LeftWatch (revived): Blair is finished in Britain. He should move to America.

ToryDiary: There should be no second Commons vote on Syria. We must stay out of its civil war

UK Aid 2

On Comment, Jessica Epsey writes the first in our new series debating the case for and against UK Aid: Smart aid policies mean we can conquer age-old evils, to all our benefit

Our columnist Jesse Norman MP, who abstained from last week's vote on Syria, explores how Blair's actions on Iraq have plunged Syria – and all of us – into a Greek tragedy

Tim Montgomerie reports from Australia on the election campaign: It turns out that Kevin Rudd is not Australian Labor's messiah

Cllr Tony Devenish on Local Government: To shrink the state councillors must be held to account

The Deep End: What’s so special about chemical weapons?

There will be no second Syria vote, says Osborne

GO"Britain will not launch military strikes against Syria, even if the regime carries out further nerve gas attacks on its own people, ministers said yesterday. … George Osborne and William Hague rejected growing calls for a second Commons vote. … They said last week’s vote had ruled out British military intervention in the crisis for the foreseeable future." – Daily Mail

  • "Tests have shown sarin nerve gas was fired at rebel-held areas near Damascus, it was declared yesterday." – The Sun (£)
  • Ministers face questions over licensing of chemical exports to Syria – The Guardian
  • GCHQ will still help Americans, despite Commons vote – The Times (£)

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Hague attacks Miliband's stance on the matter (not all of Miliband's MPs are happy, either)

"Deep splits were appearing in Labour’s position on Syria last night, as it emerged world leaders have voiced ‘serious concerns’ about Ed Miliband’s stance. … William Hague claimed that the Labour leader’s politicking on Syria had caused consternation around  the world." – Daily Mail

  • "Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy yesterday admitted to swearing at Tory Michael Gove after the Syria vote." – The Sun (£)

And Boris joins others in suggesting that Parliament might reconsider military intervention

Boris"If there is new and better evidence that inculpates Assad, I see no reason why the Government should not lay a new motion before Parliament, inviting British participation – and then it is Ed Miliband, not David Cameron, who will face embarrassment. The Labour leader has been capering around pretending to have stopped an attack on Syria – when his real position has been more weaselly." – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

  • "Calls for a rethink were led by the former Tory leader Lord Howard of Lympne; the London Mayor Boris Johnson; the former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon; and the former Tory Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind." – The Times (£)

Further comment on Syria:

  • "Our reputation is in your hands, Mr Miliband" – Sir Malcolm Rifkind, The Times (£)
  • "Thursday’s vote in the UK House of Commons has been misrepresented. It was less a rejection of action in Syria, more a rejection of the inadequacy of strategic planning that should have underpinned it." – Jonathan Shaw, Financial Times
  • "Barack Obama risks more than just his credibility on Syria" – Edward Luce, Financial Times
  • "Our Westminster elite isn't up to dealing with Syria's crisis" – John Harris, The Guardian
  • "How could Dave trust a man who knifed his own brother?" – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)
  • "Is there no end to Blair's hypocrisy?" – Daily Mail editorial

The Chancellor describes his passion for HS2

HS2"George Osborne vowed yesterday that the controversial High Speed 2 rail project will go ahead despite fears over soaring costs. … The Chancellor said he was ‘passionate’ about the planned high-speed rail line which will link London to the North of England and West Midlands." – Daily Mail 

A 'Yes' vote would cost Scotland £billions, claims a Treasury report

"An independent Scotland could be 4 per cent poorer in 30 years’ time than if it stayed in the UK, a Treasury report to be published this week argues. … The report is the latest volley in a 'battle of the briefs' – a flurry of reports between London and Edinburgh as well as from independent researchers on the legal and economic consequences of Scottish independence." – Financial Times

Succeed at GCSE Maths and English, or carry on studying them – Gove to announce new regime today

"Teenagers who fail to score good grades in their English and maths GCSEs must continue studying  the subjects until they are 18, ministers will announce today. … Education Secretary Michael Gove says the move will help ensure that young people have a good grasp of the key subjects that employers ‘demand above all others’." – Daily Mail

Michael Gove attacks universities’ stance on maths – Financial Times

  • "This education C change is long overdue" – Alison Wolf, The Times (£)
  • "Ministers are right to want to push towards higher educational standards; but no one should underestimate the challenge" – Daily Telegraph editorial

Maude welcomes a report on digitising Whitehall

MC"Ministers could save a staggering £70 billion by 2020 if they ditched paper and moved all activities online, it was claimed yesterday. … Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude welcomed the report. He said: 'We estimate shifting Government transactions to digital channels can save £1.2billion by 2015.'" – The Sun (£)

  • Internet survey could replace UK census to save money – Financial Times

Despite May's warnings, the number of foreign criminals avoiding deportation has risen

"Home Office stats show 299 'foreign national offenders' won appeals citing Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights — right to a family life. Over the previous 12 months, 177 succeeded. … In February, Home Secretary Theresa May warned Britain’s streets were being made more dangerous by immigration judges failing to kick out criminals." – The Sun (£)

  • "Now for Labour’s lies about immigration" – Jeff Randall, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday, by Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Conservative policies to cut immigration are popular – but people don't believe they are happening

Clegg: The number of two-year-olds entitled to free childcare will double next year

NC"From today, 130,000 youngsters – 20 per cent of two-year-olds – will be eligible for funding because their families qualify for Free School Meals or they are looked after by their local authority. … Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed that next September, the number will rise to 260,000, or 40 per cent of the cohort." – Daily Mail

The Lib Dems' Paul Burstow highlights regional variations in elderly care

"Mr Burstow, a former health minister, and campaigners say the variations are so marked they can only be caused by age discrimination in some areas. The figures show that women aged 75 in Mid Devon are almost six times more likely to have surgery to remove breast cancer than those living  in Birmingham." – Daily Mail

  • NHS to offer shingles jab for patients in their 70s – Daily Mail
  • "One in eight GP practices has admitted they are letting receptionists decide which patients need urgent treatment" – Daily Telegraph

The Blairite Broadcasting Corporation

BBC"Godric Smith – Tony Blair’s official spokesman between 2001 and 2004 – was handed a contract thought to be worth at least £100,000 by former Labour minister James Purnell, who himself joined the BBC in February. … prompting one Tory MP to brand the BBC the ‘Blairite Broadcasting Corporation’." – Daily Mail

Will Straw selected to fight for Rossendale and Darwen

"Will Straw, the 32-year-old son of the former Foreign Secretary, will try to win back Rossendale and Darwen in East Lancashire, which neighbours his father’s Blackburn seat. …It was a Labour seat before the 2010 general election when the Tories’ Jake Berry won it with a majority of 4,493." – Daily Mail

Britain is now the "addiction capital of Europe", warns the Centre for Social Justice

"Rampant drink and drug abuse makes Britain the ‘addiction capital of Europe’, a think-tank warned last night. … The Centre for Social Justice said alcohol and drugs are now costing the nation a staggering £36billion a year, causing ‘family breakdown, crime, debt and worklessness’." – Daily Mail

Er… "you" top the Guardian's media power list

"The digital consumer – listed as 'you' – tops MediaGuardian's annual ranking of the UK's 100 most powerful industry figures this year, reflecting the extent to which mobile and social media are transforming an industry traditionally dominated by moguls, editors and celebrities. … Rupert Murdoch returns to the top 10" – The Guardian

The Lobbying Bill will crush democratic protest, reckons Owen Jones

OJ"Because the Bill is so open to interpretation, it will have a chilling effect. Trustees of charities will fear anything that invites criminal investigation, shutting down scrutiny of government or campaigns for changes in policy. It will entangle organisations in a bureaucratic nightmare, forcing them to account for all of their spending." – Owen Jones, Independent

  • Lobbying bill threatens free speech for charities, says top lawyer - The Guardian

Ahead of her Radio 4 series on the subject, Anne McElvoy argues that British conservatism was forged in the industrial North

"Many of the big ideas we associate with conservatism today were forged not in the sleepy, rural, hide-bound South, but in the North of England, crucible of noisy arguments about conservatism and its responses to economic change. … Whether we are naturally inclined to conservatism in its political clothing or suspicious of it, the country we live in has been shaped by the power of centre-Right ideas" – Anne McElvoy, Daily Telegraph

David Frost, RIP


"Sir David died on Saturday while on the Queen Elizabeth heading out on a ten-day cruise. … Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'Sir David was an extraordinary man — with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure. He made a huge impact on television and politics.'" – The Sun (£)

  • "What the bully boys of broadcasting today could learn from Frost" – Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail
  • "David Frost changed TV and Britain for ever" – Greg Dyke, The Times (£)

> Yesterday's video to WATCH: The late Sir David Frost interviews Baroness Thatcher, 1995

News in brief

  • Councils sold electoral register data for £250,000 – Independent
  • Foreign Office civil servants have spent £40 million in three years, using Government-issue bank cards – including at Osborne's family firm – Independent
  • Britain "giving in to sharia councils", says Norway's anti-immigration leader – Daily Telegraph

And finally… a Major honour

"Former PM John Major has unveiled a street named after him in a small Spanish town – and claimed British tourists who flock to the Costas miss out on the 'real Spain'. … He admitted his Spanish was limited to ‘gracias’ because like most Brits he was an 'idle, lazy linguist.'" – Daily Mail


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