Expansion of weight-loss surgery on the NHS

NHS‘The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Niice) has ruled that all obese people who have been given a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in the past decade should be considered for stomach bands and bypasses. Tackling the high diabetes rates in Britain, which are being pushed up by the increasing numbers of overweight and obese people, was a “major issue for the health service”, the NHS rationing body said.’ – The Times (£)

Strikes fall flat

‘A wave of strike action billed as the biggest co-ordinated walkout in 90 years by public sector unions was yesterday branded a damp squib. Official estimates put overall turnout at less than half a million, well below the number claimed by unions.  In the Civil Service, the Cabinet Office said just 18 per cent of staff had taken part – the smallest number ever to join a national strike.’ – Daily Mail


Emergency snooping powers pushed through

Police‘Ministers have invoked controversial emergency powers to fast-track new data laws through parliament after claims that some internet companies have warned that they are preparing to end ­co-operation with the police and anti-terrorism agencies. New internet and phone surveillance laws are due to be passed within a week after smaller foreign internet comp­anies said that they could no longer help police because of allegedly illegal snooping by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), as revealed by Edward Snowden, the US whistleblower, last year.’ – The Times (£)

  • Cameron: We will need more snooping in future – The Sun (£)


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: More spies, less snooping

MPs: Royal Mail was underpriced

‘Taxpayers have lost out on as much as £1 billion as a result of the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail, say MPs. In damning findings that will heap pressure on Vince Cable, the business secretary, a parliamentary inquiry into the sale of Royal Mail shares found that ministers were overly cautious in setting a price and were given poor advice.’ – The Times (£)

Top Jobs 1) The reshuffle won’t affect Cameron’s coterie

downingst‘No doubt the sashays up Downing Street and cheery waves from the front door will, like a spray of air freshener, mask the dog days of this administration’s final summer. Deep inside No 10, however, years of accumulated dust will be undisturbed by the faintest zephyr of change. For if there is one team Mr Cameron won’t reshuffle — but probably should — it is his own.’ – Francis Elliott, The Times (£)

  • Lawson leaps to Paterson’s defence – The Times (£)
  • Judges attack Grayling – The Times (£)
  • Fracking ‘better for the North than HS2’ – The Sun (£)

>Today: Iain Dale’s Friday Diary: Watch out for Osborne’s stamp on the coming reshuffle

Top Jobs 2) Michael Howard in the running for EU Commissioner

‘Michael Howard was named yesterday as a candidate to be Britain’s next EU Commissioner. The former Tory leader, 73, is understood not to have been ruled out as David Cameron prepares to name his choice for the job following months of speculation.’ – Daily Mail

Top Jobs 3) Coe ‘a shoo-in’ for BBC Chairman

Coe‘Olympics boss Sebastian Coe is a ‘virtual shoo-in’ to become the next chairman of the BBC, it was claimed yesterday. The former track star and head of the London 2012 Games is expected to replace Lord Patten, who stood down after heart surgery in May…writing in his online blog, the BBC’s economics editor Robert Peston said he had learned from a ‘senior government source’ that Lord Coe was the clear favourite.’ – Daily Mail

Is this a voteless recovery?

‘“The Conservatives are left wondering why the recovery in economic optimism is continuing to prove a voteless one for the party,” said John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, who compiled the poll of polls. Although Labour’s three-point lead is its lowest since February 2012, Prof Curtice said this was “not an indication of any restoration of Conservative fortunes, merely a weakening of Labour’s.”’ – The Independent

May defies eurosceptics over Arrest Warrant

EU FLag‘Theresa May, home secretary, has faced down criticism from Conservative MPs and confirmed plans to readopt 35 EU justice and policing laws – including the European arrest warrant – as part of the fight against international crime. Tory eurosceptics lined up in the Commons on Thursday to denounce the surrender of sovereignty to “a foreign power”, arguing that Britain could effectively counter cross-border crime through a bilateral treaty with the EU.’ – FT

  • Rees-Mogg compares Cameron to a jellyfish – The Sun (£)
  • The Right gives the Government an easy ride…for now – The Guardian Leader
  • Lawson: Cameron can’t get anything back from the EU – Daily Mail
  • EU pledges to protect NHS from US trade deal – FT
  • Lack of trust threatens the Euro – Philip Stephens, FT

>Yesterday: Rory Broomfield on Comment: Replace the European Arrest Warrant with a system that benefits Britain

OBR: Work longer to clear Britain’s debts

‘Future generations will have to work longer to pay off Britain’s debts because of the pressure that Britain’s ageing population is putting on public finances, the independent financial watchdog has warned. The Office for Budget Responsibility said that Coalition policies such as raising the state pension age and further cuts will reduce Britain’s debt as a proportion of national income by two thirds.’ – Daily Telegraph

Labour tight-lipped over big money fundraiser

MILIBAND Ed red background‘Labour has declined to comment on the details of the event at the Roundhouse, a music venue near Camden Town, north London, which featured an auction presided over by Nick Finch, director at Christie’s. But one bidder is understood to have pledged more than £105,000 for Sir Antony’s “Small Turn III”, a 106cm pillar of blocks made of cast iron. A ceramic lion with the words “Vote Labour”, made by Mr Perry, the cross-dressing artist, went for £42,000, according to one Labour MP at the event.’ – FT

>Today: David Rutley MP on Comment: Labour is failing to fail well

Perry: “Chumocracy” protected paedophiles

‘A Westminster “chumocracy” has “protected their own” and prevented investigations into allegations of paedophilia, David Cameron’s child abuse adviser has said. Claire Perry, a Government whip, said that Westminster still consists of “too many people with the same interests and the same out-of-touch sense of entitlement coming together to protect their own”.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Profile: Simon Danczuk, the tough Rochdale MP unafraid to ask the difficult questions on child sex abuse

Gaza tit-for-tat intensifies

Israel flag‘What makes this latest outbreak so terrifying in the endless tragedy of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the extraordinary intensity of both the provocation from Hamas, and the response from Israel. Hamas, for the first time in years, has been targeting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. As a result, nearly three million people in these cities were forced into bomb-shelters during that very same World Cup semi-final. In the past week, Hamas rockets have also been fired at targets as far away as Hadera and Haifa in northern Israel, and at the heavily-protected Dimona plant where Israel’s nuclear warheads are made.’ – Daily Mail

And finally…Cameron will support Germany on Sunday

‘Sunday’s World Cup final between Germany and Argentina has left many England fans struggling to know who to support – if any team at all. The two football giants have grown to be England’s greatest rivals on the international stage – inflicting a series of bitter World Cup defeats on the country’s finest since 1966. But for David Cameron the choice is easy. The Prime Minister will cheer on the old enemy over the Argentines this weekend.’ – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Will same sex couples be banned from ballroom dancing competitions? – Daily Mail
  • Latest MPs’ expenses released – The Times (£)
  • Research suggests vasectomies may increase prostate cancer risk – Daily Telegraph
  • Troops to Teachers scheme in trouble – The Sun (£)
  • My brush with Waynetta Slob – Daily Mail
  • Church sells Wonga shares – The Times (£)
  • Boys fall behind girls in university access – Daily Mail
  • New row over Northern Ireland marches – FT
  • Socialists mock boy killed by polar bear – Daily Telegraph