Cameron accused of being “out of touch” with his own party…

CAMERON EU fence“David Cameron was branded ‘absolutely out of touch’ with the Tory party last night after he dismissed calls to give Parliament a veto over EU law. The Prime Minister was told he risked causing disastrous divisions in the party, including a Cabinet split…Eurosceptics reacted furiously last night, saying the Prime Minister would be ‘bonkers’ to ignore their views and warning that Tory high command was heading for an ‘almighty smash-up’ with the rest of the party” – Daily Mail

  • Cameron’s preferred option is a second Tory-Lib Dem coalition – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)

 …but Hague condemns Tory rebels for being “unrealistic” on Europe

“Tory rebels demanding the power to veto every aspect of EU law are not being ‘realistic’…William Hague, the foreign secretary, warned: ‘If national parliaments all around the European Union were regularly and unilaterally just able to chose which bits of EU law they would apply and which bits they wouldn’t well then the European single market wouldn’t work’” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary – Half of Conservative backbenchers want to leave the EU (or so their action suggests)

Johnson: we can only get EU reform by holding a referendum

“Our friends and partners in Brussels need to understand that they are not just negotiating with the namby-pamby elites of this country. In offering new terms of membership, they must understand that they are dealing with the people – the British electorate, cussed and suspicious, who will pronounce in a referendum…Get the EU to stare down the barrel of a British referendum – or forget about any chance of reform”  – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson demands serious study of estuary airport plan – Financial Times
  • Contempt of the Euromaniacs for British democracy – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

Clarke rejects talk of “vast migrations”

Ken Clarke“David Cameron’s claim that the EU’s free-movement rules have led to ‘vast migrations’ and unacceptable levels of immigration to Britain have been flatly rejected by a senior cabinet minister…Ken Clarke said migrants made ‘a positive contribution to our economy’ and had contributed to a ‘far more exciting and healthier’ society’” – Financial Times

  • Labour toughens stance on EU benefit restrictions – Guardian
  • Poland must remember Britain is a friend – Daniel Kawczynski, Financial Times
  • Eurozone economy needs nurture not neglect – Wolfgang Münchau, Financial Times

Duncan Smith says child benefit should be restricted to first two children

“Families should only be able to claim child benefit for their first two offspring, Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday…The plan, expected to slash £5 billion from the benefits bill, is being studied as a key policy for the Conservative election manifesto in 2015. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday said it would penalise the young and dismissed it as a ‘Chinese-style’ crackdown” – Daily Mail

Hunt wants doctors and nurses to say sorry

HUNT Jeremy open neck“Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, told The Telegraph: ‘We want to see an open NHS culture…Saying sorry and supporting patients and their families when they have experienced harm is a really important part of this…Sadly, under the last Government a closed and defensive culture developed in parts of the NHS’” – Daily Telegraph

Halfon calls for increase in minimum wage

“David Cameron must increase the Minimum Wage because many poor voters no longer believe in capitalism…the Conservative group Renewal, which campaigns for the Tories to broaden their appeal with working class voters, today warns the Prime Minister that he must do more for the North or risk losing the next election. Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow, calls for the National Minimum Wage, currently £6.31 an hour for the over 21s, to be raised” – Daily Mail

>Today: Comment by David Skelton – To make the market work for everyone, we must confront vested interests

Prime Minister pledges cash for councils which allow fracking

Fracking“David Cameron will today seek to quell unrest in Conservative heartlands about the impact of fracking by promising a business rates windfall to councils that approve shale gas projects. The move will coincide with an announcement by France’s Total SA that it will spend about $50m on exploring for shale gas in the East Midlands, making it the first oil major to invest in the UK’s fledgling sector” – Financial Times

Osborne demands EU reform to aid economic recovery

“Europe’s struggling economies are still threatening Britain’s recovery and need more reform, George Osborne will argue this week…This week Mr Osborne will argue in a speech to a conference of European think tanks and Conservative MPs that by embracing his free-market policies, the rest of the EU can follow Britain into a strong recovery” – Daily Telegraph

Treasury gives debt pledge on Scotland

“The UK Treasury will on Monday assume full responsibility for Britain’s £1.2tn debt stock in the event of Scottish independence, in an attempt to head off market jitters ahead of September’s referendum. Danny Alexander, Treasury chief secretary, fears gilt investors could start demanding a risk premium in the coming months on the grounds that some UK debt could be transferred to a newly-independent Scotland with no credit history” – Financial Times

  • Alistair Carmichael unveils top 20 reasons to keep the Union – Glasgow Herald
  • Ministry of Defence pays 80 officials over £100,000 – Daily Telegraph

Davis warns that snooping could drive internet business abroad

David Davis“If we do not act to make our intelligence-gathering systems as focused and accountable as the Americans have, the shadow of distrust could shift from them to us. That means that fewer IT-based companies will come here, and some will migrate abroad” – David Davis, The Times (£)

News in brief

  • Iran agrees to daily inspections as it moves towards nuclear deal – Independent
  • Trierweiler recovers in hospital after learning of Hollande’s alleged affair – Daily Telegraph
  • National Obesity Forum says fatness must be confronted like tobacco – The Times (£)
  • Alexander the Great may have died after drinking toxic wine – Independent
  • Dublin man stabbed to death in row over a game of chess – Daily Mail
  • Southern England warned to prepare for more flooding – The Times (£)
  • Sherlock accused of left-wing bias – Daily Mail

And finally…

Clegg jokes that he could beat up Balls

“They say politics is a contact sport but Nick Clegg took it a step further yesterday by boasting that he could beat up Ed Balls, one of Westminster’s most notorious political bruisers. Mr Clegg said that he has been practising kickboxing and fancies his chances of bettering the Shadow Chancellor. The Lib Dem leader spoke out amid reports – denied by Mr Balls – that he nearly got into a brawl with Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander over Labour’s European policy” – Daily Mail