Did Merkel let Cameron down over Juncker?

Cameron & Merkel

“The German leader promised Britain’s PM she would help him block the Euro-fanatic from becoming the next commission president. But she was forced to U-turn on the agreement after coming under huge pressure from German MPs in Berlin who accused her of sucking up to Britain. Mr Cameron yesterday conceded he had all but lost the battle to stop Juncker. But the imminent defeat is also reigniting bitter Tory splits, leading senior party figures to heap pressure on the Premier to toughen up tactics ahead of his pledged 2017 referendum as the only way to get Britain a good deal.” – The Sun

Today: ToryDiary – Conservatives need to learn once more to speak the language of patriotism

Iraq: Cameron claims ISIS preparing to attack Britain

“The people in that regime, as well as trying to take territory, are also planning to attack us here at home in the United Kingdom,” said Mr Cameron. “I think it would be a mistake to believe that the only answer to these problems is the hard attack of direct intervention – we know that that can create problems of itself. “But I’d also disagree with those people who think this is nothing to do with us, and if they want to have some sort of extreme Islamist regime in the middle of Iraq that won’t affect us – it will.” – The Times (£)

> Yesterday:

Russia: Typhoon jets scrambled over Baltic states (for the sixth time)

Vladimir Putin“A Russian bomber, four fighters, a command and control plane and a transport plane were taking part in exercises in international air space over the Baltic Sea. The two Typhoons, sent from Siauliai air base in Lithuania, escorted them away on Tuesday. Britain sent four Typhoon fighters to Lithuania, a Nato ally, in April as tensions rose over Russia’s annexation of the Crimea from the Ukraine. Nato carries out Baltic air policing because Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania do not have their own fighters.” – Daily Express

Osborne and Chinese Prime Minister swap compliments

“In carefully scripted remarks Mr Li and George Osborne talked up the potential for growing economic co-operation between the two countries. “China and the UK should view each other’s development as an opportunity,” the Chinese leader said in a speech to the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Chatham House think-tanks at Mansion House, in London. Mr Osborne hailed a deal that will see the China Construction Bank set up the first clearing bank for the renminbi currency outside Asia in London.” – The Times (£)

  • Chinese Communist Party paper attacks Britain as an “old and declining empire” – Daily Mail
  • Bank of England: We may raise rates – Daily Express
  • Cable to Bank: Don’t raise rates – Daily Telegraph

> Today: Ben Southwood on Comment –  Monetary policy has to change – here’s how

Stephen Glover: We will rue the day our naive leaders recklessly gave control of the economy to a ruthless Chinese regime

Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 08.39.05“China’s undemocratic and ruthless leaders understand the nature of power. They know that to suborn us, they do not have to scale the White Cliffs of Dover. They merely have to control the commanding heights of our economy. Do I overstate the case? I fervently hope so. I hope our grandchildren will not rue the day on which, largely unnoticed by the media, our politicians agreed that the Chinese should be the masters of our nuclear power supply. I hope our descendants won’t see our leaders as naive men who craved money but didn’t grasp the rudiments of statecraft.” – Daily Mail

  • Beijing should not overstate its strength. A rising power that displays arrogance will alienate potential friends – The Times (£)

Montgomerie on the CPS Conference: Thatcher’s ideal wasn’t liberty

“Thatcher transformed Britain, largely for the good, but I’m not convinced that many of today’s Thatcherites accurately remember the pragmatism that lived alongside her boldness. The title of yesterday’s 40th anniversary conference of the Centre for Policy Studies — the superb think-tank she founded with Sir Keith Joseph — was “liberty”, but she didn’t just use the power of the state to fight the Cold War and the anti-democratic enemies within.” – The Times (£)

  • Osborne at the CPS Conference: Thatcher’s politics weren’t pessimistic – Daily Mail
  • CPS Conference: Pessimism about Cameron – The Independent
  • The West will pay for losing its backbone – Lord Powell, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: Matthew Sinclair on Comment – “The Policy” is a Terrible Idea

May apologises for passport backlog

MAY Commons Ellison“She also revealed that the number of people waiting for their travel documents is now some 25,000 higher than what David Cameron admitted last week. Mrs May said 11 per cent of applications are not being processed within three weeks. With the backlog at 493,289 – this means some 54,262 are now at risk of missing their holiday. The Tory minister told MPs that the figure was around 50,000.  Mrs May said: ‘Her Majesty’s passport office is dealing with the highest demand for passports for 12 years while the surge in demand usually experienced during the summer months started much earlier in the year.” – Daily Mail

Hunt battles £2 billion NHS black hole

“Health experts predict that soaring costs will outstrip NHS funding from April 2015 – amid a growing, ageing population and higher pension costs for staff. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has insisted the £100bn budget next year will be enough to cover costs – and there is no need to rush out extra cash. But pressure groups have urged him to get a grip before it is too late. Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, warned that “substandard, unsafe and undignified care” was just around the corner.” – The Sun (£)

Pickles takes aim at “Stalinist” free speech restrictions

Eric Pickles“Mr Pickles wrote to the NALC last night to call for the guidelines, which he condemned as “completely inappropriate”, to be scrapped. He said: “Freedom of speech is a vital part of local democracy. Councillors must be able to challenge waste and inefficiency, and should not have to get permission from state officials to speak to the press. “I am concerned this stalinist guidance will have a chilling effect on public life.” – The Independent

Ban revenge porn, says Maria Miller

“The former Tory cabinet minister is campaigning for the Government to ban the rising tide of ‘revenge porn’ ruining women’s lives. Campaigners say it is a fast-growing trend with up to 30 websites in the UK already being used by former boyfriends and husbands to post humiliating pictures of their one-time lovers. Mrs Miller said they ‘can destroy somebody’s career, destroy their relationships and the recourse is very patchy indeed’.” – Daily Mail

Hancock court apology for sexual harassment: will the LibDems expel him?

Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 08.43.58“Mike Hancock, who had the Liberal Democrat whip suspended in January over the sexual misconduct claims, told the High Court he “crossed the line” with the woman, known only as “Annie”. In the written statement the 68-year-old said: “I understand that you felt degraded. “I did not treat you with sufficient respect.” Mr Hancock, who now sits as an independent for Portsmouth South, was not present at the High Court in London but his written statement was issued by Annie’s solicitors, who described it as an “extensive and profound apology”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Clegg “ignored Portsmouth MP’s conduct” – The Guardian
  • Pupils should be taught about mutilation of girls, says Llynn Featherstone, Daily Mail
  • Cummings latest 1): Clegg and Alexander manufactured fake row over free schools – The Times (£)
  • Cummings latest 2) Cameron hits out at “career psychopath” SPAD career path – The Guardian

> Yesterday: LeftWatch – What would happen if Clegg backed an EU Referendum?

Voters to Miliband: You’re not up to the job

“A YouGov survey for Prospect magazine published today found that 60 per cent of voters believe that he is “not up to the job” of being prime minister. It also revealed that more people believe that Mr Miliband’s brother, David, the former foreign secretary he defeated to become Labour leader, would make a better prime minister. Research by Ipsos MORI published yesterday found that 49 per cent of voters think that Mr Miliband should be replaced, with 43 per cent of Labour supporters agreeing.” – The Times (£)

…As he fights back with a benefit cut plan for the young jobless

Miliband coffee“The move is designed to symbolise Labour’s determination to reform welfare, making it more closely linked to what people pay in, as well as cutting the benefits bill. “Britain’s young people who do not have the skills they need for work should be in training, not on benefits,” the Labour leader will say. It is essential to reform welfare to bring down a “wall of scepticism” among voters who don’t believe that politicians will make the system fairer, he will argue.” – The Guardian

News in Brief

  • The Queen mounts the Iron Throne – Daily Telegraph
  • Genocide warlord claims his right to a family life – Daily Mail
  • TV crew banned from filming MPs eating and drinking – Daily Mail
  • Goodwill admits HS2 rail depot will cost hundreds of jobs – Birmingham Post
  • Ministers “abandoning the working poor” – The Sun
  • Life still grim in the valleys – Wales Online
  • Swinney claims that a No vote will mean years of austerity – Scotsman
  • Holland: only gays in the village – The Independent
  • Five year-olds urged to set up businesses – Financial Times
  • School head warning on grammar education – Newsletter
  • Generation Rent scheme for first-time buyers – The Times (£)
  • Woman killed in Colchester attack “wore hijab” – The Guardian
  • Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe – Daily Telegraph
  • Britain is one of the happiest countries in Europe – Daily Express
  • Spain’s team bows out – The Times (£)
  • Spain’s monarch bows out – Daily Mail
  • Paxman bows out – Quentin Letts, BBC

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