Clarke warns Cameron against “hysterical” focus on Europe and immigration

Ken Clarke“David Cameron’s government risks becoming dominated by ‘hysterical high-pressure campaigning’ and losing sight of important long-term issues, Kenneth Clarke says today. In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Clarke warns that the Conservative focus on issues such as Europe and immigration could cost the party seats next year. Instead, the Prime Minister should give more attention to the Government’s ‘extremely impressive’ work on the economy and public service reform, he argues” – Sunday Telegraph


ToryDiary – McVey demonstrates that the Conservatives are also a party of the poor

Comment – We must ensure Our Long-Term Economic Plan survives the next crash

Tory women warn Crosby against ridiculing Miliband

Red Ed Miliband“A group of prominent women in the Tory party have warned election strategist Lynton Crosby that personal attacks on Ed Miliband will backfire and put female voters off the Conservatives at the general election. The MPs and peers, backed by women at grassroots level, believe that attempts to exploit the Labour leader’s presentational difficulties in the run-up to the election will ‘turn off’ the public and reinforce the Tories’ image as the ‘nasty party’” – Observer

  • Former Labour minister tells the two Eds to apologise for leaving the economy in a mess – Digby Jones, Mail on Sunday
  • Miliband’s big problem is that voters don’t think he’s tough enough – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
  • Want to look like a leader, Ed? Ditch the Gromit jokes – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday
  • Has Ed Miliband hired a voice coach? – Mail on Sunday


ToryDiary – Focus on agitprop rather than services to their members mean unions are on the decline

The Tory leadership: will Paterson back Johnson?

BORIS angel devil“Advantage, Boris – at least for now. But he will soon have to worry about a new rival building a claim to the top job. George Osborne is not a natural party leader… On growth, the Chancellor has been totally vindicated, however…Then there was the baffling sacking of another leading figure of the Right, former environment secretary Owen Paterson, which stores up further trouble. Elements of the Right may hook up with Mr Johnson to best Mr Cameron and stop the Chancellor” – Iain Martin, Sunday Telegraph

British lawyers take on Putin over MH17

“Vladimir Putin is facing a multi-million-pound legal action for his alleged role in the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose. British lawyers are preparing a class action against the Russian president through the American courts. Senior Russian military commanders and politicians close to Mr Putin are also likely to become embroiled in the legal claim” – Sunday Telegraph

Hancock: fast-track shale to protect us from Russia

HANCOCK Mathhew“Fracking for shale gas is to be fast-tracked because it will give Britain greater energy security and protect it from Russian aggression, the new Tory energy minister has revealed. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Matthew Hancock said the government would make it ‘much quicker’ for companies to get approval to drill for shale gas. At present firms that want to frack have to wait about six months for permission through a 15-stage process. Hancock hopes to slash that in half” – Sunday Times

Clegg: strip Russia of the World Cup

“Nick Clegg has demanded that Russia be stripped of the right to host the 2018 World Cup following the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines jet by Moscow-backed rebels. In an interview with The Sunday Times, the deputy prime minister said it would be ‘unthinkable’ for Putin to enjoy the prestige of hosting the global football tournament… ‘After this terrible, terrible downing of that jet, it is essential that the European Union gets tough on Vladimir Putin,’ said Clegg” – Sunday Times

  • Litvinenko’s widow calls on Cameron to return tennis donation – Sunday Times
  • Clegg says it must be a “nightmare” for Charles to wait so long to be King – Mail on Sunday
  • An “EU foreign policy” is a total nonsense – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Scots threaten exodus if there is a “yes” vote

Scottish Independence“Almost three-quarters of a million Scots would consider leaving the country if it became independent, a poll conducted for The Sunday Times has found. One in six adults (17%), the equivalent of 697,000 voters, said they would think about emigrating in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in September’s referendum…The findings have renewed fears of an exodus of young people from an independent Scotland” – Sunday Times

  • Crabb: talks begin on devolution for whole of UK – Scotland on Sunday
  • How unnecessarily divisive this referendum is – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

And a little light reading for Cameron on holiday

“The prime minister chose three of his books from a reading list compiled by the Tory MP Keith Simpson. They include the colourful memoirs of the Conservative peer Baroness Trumpington, a book on Gavrilo Princip, the assassin who sparked the First World War, and A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre, which chronicles Kim Philby’s betrayal of his closest friend. ‘It’s all about friendship and deception,’ said Simpson. ‘Whether he’s trying to get a message to George Osborne and Boris Johnson, I don’t know’” – Sunday Times

News in brief

  • Gaza death toll exceeds 1,000 as ceasefire reveals horrors – Sunday Telegraph
  • Blair throws surprise birthday party for Cherie – Mail on Sunday
  • Police officer warned Thatcher about Morrison child abuse rumours – Sun on Sunday
  • Mordaunt hopes to rescue ailing town centres – Sun on Sunday
  • First female warship commander sent home after claim of affair with crewmate – Daily Telegraph
  • Jailed ex-minister MacShane complains he was sent to “Bedlam” – Mail on Sunday
  • Laser could allow on-the-spot cancer diagnosis – Sunday Express
  • Zoe Smith wins weightlifting gold at Commonwealth Games – Sunday Telegraph
  • Fallon accused of calling Bryony Gordon a slut – Mail on Sunday