Cameron heads for defeat on Juncker’s appointment…

Juncker“Britain’s failure to block the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker began a ‘blame game’ in earnest last night, with Anglo-German relations described as the ‘dialogue of the deaf’ and signs of a bloody tussle in Whitehall to avoid responsibility. Barring a last-minute coup, Britain is heading for defeat today in its efforts to block Mr Juncker as the next European Commission president after a trial of strength for David Cameron that has weakened relations with European allies and unnerved Tory MPs who want to stay in the EU” – The Times (£)

  • Petulance will get you nowhere, Mr Cameron – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • By making the campaign so personal, Cameron strengthened Juncker’s chances – Quentin Peel, Financial Times
  • High-level talks held over Juncker’s drinking habits – Daily Telegraph

…but Merkel tries to avoid isolating Cameron…

“Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has sought to prevent the diplomatic isolation of David Cameron on Friday – over the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker – turning into a major crisis in Britain’s relations with Europe. Mrs Merkel urged fellow centre-right European leaders not to push Mr Cameron further to the margins of the EU, as they prepared to approve the appointment of Mr Juncker as president of the European Commission” – Financial Times

…while Cameron warns of “consequences” if Juncker gets the job

CAMERON EU flag“As Germany and France brushed aside British threats to call a vote on the Juncker nomination at a Brussels lunch on Friday and amid signs that EU leaders will offer overwhelming support for the former Luxembourg prime minister, Cameron warned of ‘consequences’ if Juncker is endorsed. The prime minister declared that EU leaders were wrong to support Juncker. ‘This is the wrong person, the wrong approach, the wrong principle,’ he said” – Guardian

  • Cameron is the only leader with the courage to take on Europe – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron is right to fight the mighty EU – Macer Hall, Daily Express
  • Cameron is right to make a stand – The Sun Says (£)
  • Cameron’s weaknesses are his greatest strength – Rafael Behr, Guardian
  • Blair backs Albania’s attempt to join EU – The Times (£)
  • Chilcot report unlikely to be published until next year – Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: With Cameron under threat, Tory MPs close ranks behind him

Brown: Britain might be better off holding EU referendum now

“Britain may be better off holding a referendum on our EU membership now to ‘get it sorted out’, Gordon Brown has suggested. For the first time, the former Labour Prime Minister said a nationwide vote as soon as possible would ‘get the issue out of the road’. His intervention heaps fresh pressure on embattled Ed Miliband. Only two months ago, the current Labour leader drew fury from lots of his MPs when he ruled out matching David Cameron’s pledge to finally put the Euro question to the nation no matter what” – The Sun (£)

Miliband urges Scots to vote No to oppose Tory tax cuts

MILIBAND party broadcast“A No vote against Scottish independence will be a vote against Tory tax-cutting policies and in favour of ‘big change’, Labour leader Ed Miliband claims today in a major speech in Edinburgh. In an attempt to take on the Yes campaign’s argument that an independent Scotland will be rid of Conservative rule, he will argue that the only way to achieve radical change is to reject independence and vote Labour in 2015’s general election” – Scotsman

Nicky Morgan floats all-women shortlists.  CCHQ slaps down the idea.

“Morgan said the party was taking the issue of women’s representation very seriously, but not enough female candidates were coming forward. In answer to a question about her views on all-women shortlists, she said: “I think we need to see where we end up in 2015 and if we are still struggling to get more women MPs then no option is off the table.” – The Guardian

> Today: ToryDiary – The atom bomb option of all women shortlists

Currie expresses shock at Savile’s reign of abuse

CURRIE Edwina“The minister in charge when Jimmy Savile was appointed to work at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital said she was ‘shocked, surprised, startled, disgusted’, as details of his catalogue of abuse within the NHS was exposed. Edwina Currie said: ‘I wish we had never seen hide nor hair from him’, 26 years after she rubber-stamped his appointment by a civil servant to a taskforce aimed at improving the high security hospital’s governance” – Guardian

Javid: civil partners can convert to marriage from December

“Same-sex couples will be able to convert their civil partnerships to marriages from December this year, the culture secretary has said. Sajid Javid added that married transgender people will be able to change their legal gender without ending their marriage, provided their partner agrees. He made the announcements after a consultation on what should happen to civil partnerships now same-sex couples have been allowed to marry since March” – Guardian

NAO attacks ministers over green energy contracts

gas-energy“A parliamentary spending watchdog warns today that the government may have handed benefits to corporate power providers at the expense of consumers by awarding £16.6 billion of renewable energy contracts without putting them out to competitive tender. The criticism from the National Audit Office came as statistics released by the Department of Energy and Climate change showed that a fifth of all electricity was generated in Britain by solar, wind and other green technologies in the first three months of the year” – Guardian

Carney says Bank will not yet act on rising house prices

“The Bank of England signalled that it would not impose draconian measures to cool the housing market unless house prices rise by more than 20% over the next three years. Governor Mark Carney announced the first limits on the mortgage market in 30 years – restricting the amount that homeowners can borrow relative to their income and tightening the affordability tests would-be homeowners face when applying for a mortgage – but he acknowledged there would be no immediate impact on fast-rising property values” – Guardian

  • Stop meddling, Carney, and bite the bullet on interest rates – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Boris Johnson struggles to find takers for affordable homes cash – Guardian

Richards: cost cuts will lead to banana republic armed forces

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 08.44.43“Britain’s armed forces will be little better than that of a banana republic unless the Ministry of Defence stops cutting costs, the former chief of defence staff has said. Lord Richards of Herstmonceux attacked the ‘bean counters’ at the Ministry of Defence who stripped his successors of being allowed to live in Kensington Palace. The peer – who as General Sir David Richards was chief of the defence staff from October 2010 to July last year – also said defence secretary Philip Hammond would never be a good soldier” – Daily Telegraph

Richards interview in full – The House Magazine

Paxman says he is a one-nation Tory

“The BBC’s flagship politics programme Newsnight is made by ‘13-year-olds’, its former host Jeremy Paxman has said, as he suggests his Conservative leanings made him a lone voice on the show. Paxman, who made his last appearance on the flagship BBC programme earlier this month, said the makers of the programme were still young idealists, wanting to ‘change the world’. He added his experience in politics had led him to be a ‘one-nation Tory’, with youthful idealism being a ‘fools’ errand’” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Maliki hails Syrian air raids on Isis in Iraq – Guardian
  • Ukraine rebels release four OSCE hostages – Guardian
  • Passengers on Flight MH370 probably suffocated, Australia says – Reuters
  • Population surge in Britain is fastest in EU – The Times (£)
  • Rebekah Brooks says she feels vindicated – Independent
  • Luis Suarez gets four-month ban for biting – Guardian
  • German princess gets drunk at St Andrews – Daily Mail

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