IMF chief Lagarde concedes it was wrong to criticise Osborne’s austerity strategy

Screen shot 2014-06-07 at 08.51.59“Last year the Fund said the Chancellor’s cuts in public spending were acting as a ‘drag on growth’ – adding that the UK was a long way from recovery. But yesterday chief Christine Lagarde said the IMF had ‘underestimated the growth of the economy’ and the UK would actually be the fastest-growing economy in the advanced world in 2014. Miss Lagarde said: ‘I’m happy to come back yet again and say clearly we underestimated the growth of the UK economy in our growth forecast a year ago.”  Daily Mail

  • IMF deem UK plan ‘appropriate’ – Financial Times
  • Lack of available housing is causing ‘social instability’, warns IMF – Independent
  • Banks slash rates ahead of Chancellor’s flagship ‘super-ISA’ – Daily Mail

Gove’s job “in doubt” over row with May

“David Cameron’s warning that he will “sort out” the sulphurous cabinet row over Islamic extremism has sent a frisson through Whitehall and raised renewed questions over the future of Michael Gove as education secretary. Mr Gove is an ally and confidant of the prime minister, but his behaviour in recent weeks is viewed in Downing Street as “erratic” and his public spat this week with Theresa May, home secretary, infuriated Mr Cameron.” – Financial Times

  • May vows to protect advisor implicated in ‘escalating’ fight with Gove – Daily Mail
  • Labour accuse Education Secretary of “gross negligence” over Trojan Horse scandal – The Sun (£)
  • Opposing views in Tory ranks as general election looms – Macer Hall, Daily Express

Charles Moore: Politicians are so busy squabbling over extremism they are failing to tackle it

MOORE Charles blue background“Mr Gove was worried, the paper reported, that Home Office officials did not take the roots of Islamist extremism seriously, preferring to concentrate only on its violent manifestations. Mrs May has recently emerged as a possible contender for the Tory leadership, and is even spoken of as a new Margaret Thatcher. Obviously revelations of her un-Thatcher-like tendency to be dominated by the views of officials in her department are unwelcome to her.” – Daily Telegraph

Conservatives pledge to wipe out illiteracy in a generation

“A commitment in the party’s manifesto would ensure that all children leave school with strong reading and maths skills. It comes after pressure from Michael Gove, the education secretary. In a speech today Mr Gove will frame his plan as a moral crusade to “save lives which are currently wasted”. The move could bolster attempts to widen the Tories’ appeal and counter-balance more robust stances on immigration and Europe before the general election next year.” – The Times (£)

Grayling to ban personal injury lawyers offering incentives to sue

Grayling470“Injury lawyers will be banned from offering clients gifts such as iPads or cash under Government plans to tackle bogus insurance claims. No-win no-fee claims firms will be barred from offering presents in order to entice customers into making dubious claims, under measures intended to cut the car insurance premiums of honest drivers and businesses.” – Daily Telegraph

Javid: The arts must be more accessible to working class people and ethnic minority members

“Setting out his credentials for the job, Mr Javid quoted Virginia Woolf and referenced recent visits to the British Museum, Shakespeare’s Globe, Birmingham Rep and the Royal Festival Hall. But he was also unafraid to discuss his passion for less highbrow forms of culture and to out himself as a Trekkie with a seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of Star Trek: The Next Generation.” – Daily Telegraph

Pickles accused of illegally blocking traveller sites

“Eric Pickles is acting illegally by repeatedly overruling the decisions of his own department’s planning inspectors to prevent the creation of Traveller sites across the country, the High Court will hear next week. On Tuesday the actions of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will be challenged during a three-day judicial review hearing brought by one Romany Gypsy and three Irish Traveller families.” – Independent

Newark Aftermath 1) Cameron says Tories must do more to woo back UKIP voters despite by-election win

CAMERON Popular“Mr Cameron hailed the victory, announced early yesterday, as “a very good result” for the Tories… “The job isn’t finished yet but we are on the right track, let’s stick at it,” the Prime Minister said. Asked about how his party could win back support from Ukip, he said: “We need to work between now and the next election to say very clearly we have got a long-term plan, we are getting Britain back to work, we are cutting people’s taxes, we are helping hard-working people.” – Daily Express

  • Newark win ‘should end lurch towards UKIP lite’ – The Times (£)
  • Stay positive: Newark provides the blueprint for beating UKIP, claim Tories – Daily Mail
  • A munity against insurgents – Guardian editorial
  • Not a single Lib Dem MP went to campaign for their candidate – The Sun (£)
  • Lib Dems join the ranks of historic by-election humiliations – Independent

Newark Aftermath 2): Tories mustn’t follow Farage, says Damian Green

“The policing minister, is to use a speech at the Tory Reform Group to urge David Cameron to stand firm against calls for a lurch to the right. “What Newark tells us is that the temptation to become Ukip lite should be firmly resisted,” he will say. “The political battle of our times is between optimists and pessimists. “Conservatives should be optimists, believing that free markets and a strong society are the basis for a successful country in this century.” – The Times (£)

Newark Aftermath 3) Did the result show that Farage that has a woman problem?

Farage Nigel Eating Cakes“Nigel Farage’s lack of appeal to women could have cost Ukip dear in the Newark by-election, the final poll before votes were cast has suggested. Ukip’s hopes of winning their first parliamentary seat were dashed early today when the Conservatives won a comfortable majority of more than 7,000 in the Nottinghamshire by-election. The outcome could have been decided by a striking gender gap among voters in Newark, according to the Survation survey.” – Independent

  • Newark puts the breaks on UKIP juggernaut – The Guardian

> Today: ToryDiary – The weakness of the Conservative brand v the weakness of Ed Miliband

> Yesterday:

Matthew Parris: Beneath Cameron’s waffle is a man of steel

In Newark on Thursday a Tory majority of some 16,000 was cut to some 7,000 on a negative swing of 8.8 per cent. This is extraordinarily good. By no stretch of even the most optimistic imagination can a governing party have hoped to do better. Nor is it a flash in the pan. Not only does this reward a vigorous Tory fightback, but it is a personal victory for David Cameron. In Newark there has been telling evidence from the doorstep of voters switching to the Conservatives out of a wish to stop the advance of Ukip.” – The Times (£)

  • Cameron stalls the UKIP bandwagon – Financial Times
  • Dave’s arrogance is handing No. 10 to Red Ed – Simon Heffer, Daily Mail

Miliband urged to shake-up Labour as he gets ‘shirty’ about Newark performance

MILIBAND party broadcastThe Labour leader refused to comment when quizzed in Normandy about the party’s disastrous result in the Notts by-election. Labour came a distant third on 18 per cent. ‘Red Ed’ said “it’s not a question for today” when pressed about Ukip’s success in nabbing Labour’s working class support. But backbenchers called for changes to the shadow cabinet and advisory team. Simon Danczuk MP told the Sun: “We need to be stronger on some policies and shake up the team around him.” – The Sun (£)

Hain to step down as Labour MP

“The former Cabinet minister said he had “decided to draw stumps” on his Commons career following a series of discussions with Ed Miliband. Mr Hain, who was one of the Labour leader’s earliest backers in the battle for the party’s top job, indicated that he may take on a new role away from Westminster.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • Will Juncker withdraw his bid? – Daily Telegraph
  • Barclays M & A chief quits – Financial Times (£)
  • Sikh and destroy: swordfight breaks out in Golden Temple of Amritsar – The Sun (£)
  • Putin suggests that Stalingrad may return – The Times (£)
  • Man detained after causing ‘traffic chaos’ by running across M8 in tartan underpants – Independent
  • Diesel prices slashed in supermarket price war – Daily Express
  • Rising seas wash Japanese from Marshall Islands war graves – The Guardian
  • Government row with LEGO over Scottish independence – Daily Mail

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