Economy 1) Fastest growth for a decade

growth flag‘The UK economy is growing at its fastest pace in more than a decade amid rising consumer and business confidence, according to a respected survey. The Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) said the retail, manufacturing and service sectors registered record growth in May in a sign that the recovery is broadening. In a triple boost for the Chancellor George Osborne, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) upgraded its UK growth forecasts last night, while a report by GfK, Germany’s largest market research institute, showed that all five measures of consumer confidence surged in May.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Caution urged on rate rises – The Scotsman
  • 130,000 ‘jobless’ reject work experience, lose dole – The Sun (£)
  • Debt collectors pursue people for overpaid tax credits – The Independent

Economy 2) Boris: Exempt over-65s from taxes to free up housing

‘Older people who sell up their family home to downsize would be exempt from paying inheritance tax on their profits under plans being put forward by Boris Johnson. The London Mayor wants the over-65s to free up large houses and move to smaller retirement flats or homes to help solve a critical housing shortage in the capital.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: WATCH: Cameron – Help to Buy is a success

Economy 3) Shadow Minister confirms Labour won’t reverse cuts

Labour holes‘A future Labour government should expect to be unpopular because it will have even less money to spend than the current one, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury will say today. Chris Leslie is likely to disappoint some on his own side when he tells the Institute for Chartered Accountants that Labour is “not arguing with the government about the scale of the challenge”.’ – The Times (£)

  • Gove spots errors in Hunt’s new history book – The Times (£)

Theresa May: Change EU rules to restrict free movement

‘Home Secretary Theresa May has signalled a tough new line on EU migrants – amid reports of a major Tory split over how to respond to Ukip’s election triumph. Mrs May last night indicated ministers want to radically rein in free movement rules. But aides furiously denied a spat between her and Foreign Secretary William Hague over immigration.’ – Daily Mail

Newark poll: Eight point lead for the Conservatives

Opinion Poll graphic‘The Tories are on course to win the all-important Newark by-election next week with some ease – delivering a hammer blow to Ukip, an exclusive poll has revealed. The survey for The Sun by pollster Survation gave David Cameron’s party a big EIGHT point lead over Nigel Farage’s anti-EU campaign. In the first opinion poll of the race, the Tories are on 36%, Ukip 28%, Labour just one point behind them on 27% and the Lib Dems in a distant fourth on 5%.’ – The Sun (£)



Labour MP calls Gillian Duffy a ‘bigot’…again

‘A Labour MP has been forced to apologise after calling Gillian Duffy, the Rochdale pensioner who was insulted by Gordon Brown in the run up to the 2010 election, a bigot…Mr Cunningham repeated the insult at a £100 a ticket “Labour and the Media” fundraiser in a central London hotel this month. During a panel discussion on whether Labour had been too apologetic over the Gillian Duffy affair, Alex Cunningham MP said to a fellow guest: “She was a bigoted woman and that’s all there is to it”.’ – Daily Telegraph

Rennard apologises – sort of

LibDemDead‘Nick Clegg’s woes deepened last night after an apology by the Liberal Democrat peer accused of harassment was turned down by the women he allegedly targeted. Lord Rennard, the party’s former chief executive and one of its best-connected figures, sought to end a 15-month saga with a limited admission that he “may well have encroached upon the personal space” of four alleged victims, inadvertently causing them distress. The move was rejected for failing to go far enough, and one woman urged Mr Clegg to kick the peer out of the party.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Iain Dale’s Friday Diary: The idiocy of Lord Oakeshott

>Yesterday: WATCH: A special Nick Clegg double-bill

Iraq war ‘whitewash’

‘The Iraq War inquiry was condemned as a whitewash last night after more than 150 crucial messages from Tony Blair to George W Bush were censored. Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has vetoed the release of the letters and phone calls in the run-up to the 2003 conflict, officials revealed. In them, Mr Blair is said to have promised the US President: ‘You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I’m with you.’’ – Daily Mail

Salmond’s economic claims in question

SALMOND on Marr ‘Scotland’s economic standard of living may rank 20th among rich countries rather than the 14th suggested by gross national income data published by the Scottish government, according to an analysis by University of Glasgow academics commissioned by the Guardian newspaper. The finding highlights the difference between the overall size of Scotland’s economy and the wealth shared among its people. The gap is largely caused by high levels of non-Scottish ownership of key industries such as oil and whisky.’ – FT

  • Splitting the Union is for life, not just for Christmas – Martin Wolf, FT
  • Yes campaign claims to be biggest movement in Scottish history – The Independent

>Today: Peter Duncan on Comment: The Strathclyde Commission – a chance to right 40 years of missed chances for Scotland’s Conservatives

>Yesterday: Brian Monteith’s column: UKIP’s new MEP in Scotland is a blow for Salmond, and a chance for the Tories

London preacher praises Boko Haram

‘An Islamic hate preacher was tonight being investigated by police after a video showed him praising the terrorists who kidnapped more than 300 Nigerian schoolgirls. Mizanur Rahman, 31, of Palmers Green, north London, claimed in his recorded rant posted online that killing non-Muslims was ‘not necessarily a bad thing’ – and praised terror group Boko Haram.’ – Daily Mail

NHS boss: We need smaller hospitals

NHS_Logo‘The NHS must stop closing cottage-style hospitals and return to treating more patients in their local communities, the new head of the health service has said in his first interview. In a marked reversal of current policy, Simon Stevens said the NHS must expand its local services.’ – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Thousands attend vigil for Stephen Sutton – Daily Mail
  • In-fighting breaks out in Donetsk – FT
  • Britons drinking less – The Times (£)
  • Sex and drugs worth more to the economy than rock ’n’ roll – City AM
  • Sudanese Christian woman gives birth in shackles – The Times (£)
  • John Kerry: Snowden should ‘man up’ – The Sun (£)
  • Scientists successfully teleport matter – Daily Mail
  • Google bows to EU censorship ruling – FT

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