Reshuffle 1) Cameron’s ‘Downing Street detox’

downingst‘Mr Cameron said: “This is a fresh team with the ideas, the energy, the policy and the ability to take this country forward, to complete the long-term economic plan and secure our future. “I think it is a team that reflects modern Britain and it is by reflecting all of modern Britain that we will get the best for our country. I am proud of the fact that great talent has come through the Conservative ranks and we now see Conservative women occupying posts like home secretary, education secretary, agriculture secretary, development secretary — vital jobs with really good people.’ – The Times (£)



>Yesterday: MPs ETC: Live blog: Reshuffle 2014

Reshuffle 2) Crosby’s role in Gove’s going

‘Michael Gove was demoted yesterday as David Cameron’s election guru Lynton Crosby engineered a ruthless elevation of women and Eurosceptics. The Education Secretary, a hero for the Tory Right, paid the price for his ‘toxic’ public image…The populist hand of Mr Crosby, the Tories’ Australian chief election strategist, was detected across yesterday’s reshuffle. Designed to turn the Tory top team into an ‘election-winning machine’, it was by far the most extensive shake-up Mr Cameron has carried out in his nine years as party leader.’ – Daily Mail

  • ‘It was a wrench’ to leave – The Sun (£)
  • Crosby, Llewellyn, Oliver – the three assassins – The Times (£)
  • NUT glee – The Times (£)
  • Morgan seeks to make peace with teachers – FT


>Today: ToryDiary: The new Chief Whip hears the confession of J Alfred Prufrock MP

>Yesterday: MPs ETC: A wacky move as Gove feels the lash

Reshuffle 3) The most eurosceptic Foreign Secretary in living memory?

EU Exit‘Mr Hammond, 58, is one of the few senior Tories to publicly state he would vote to leave the European Union unless it reforms. Other prominent Eurosceptics receiving promotions included Mr Hammond’s  successor as Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, and new Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss. The appointment of Mr Hammond, who is close to Home Secretary Theresa May, will also make him a major player in the eventual contest to replace Mr Cameron as Tory leader.’ – Daily Mail

  • Fallon: Britain is a eurosceptic nation – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron to pledge withdrawal from the ECHR? – Daily Telegraph
  • Clarke may try to block referendum – The Times (£)
  • Juncker voted in – FT
  • UK seeks top economic portfolio for Lord Hill – FT
  • Lord who? – The Sun (£)



Reshuffle 4) All change at the Civil Service

‘Of all the departures from the various corridors in and around Whitehall yesterday the least noticed, though one of the more important, was that of Sir Bob Kerslake. He will be clearing his desk on his final day as the head of the civil service.’ – The Times Leader (£)

  • Heywood expands powerbase – FT

Reshuffle 5) Finkelstein: Hague embodies Conservatism’s contradictions

HAGUE William looking right‘The populist “right-wing” Hague who said of his policy document that “if The Common Sense Revolution could walk and talk, it would look like Ann Widdecombe”. Then there is the other William Hague, the Hague with a first from Oxford, who worked for the blue-riband management consultant McKinsey’s and went to Insead, one of the world’s top business schools. The Insead Hague is a cool pragmatist.’ – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: MPs ETC: Hague, Willetts, Lansley: their decision to leave the Commons shows how much it has diminished

Reshuffle 6) But should Cameron have sacked more?

‘There was particular anger that not one existing woman minister was axed in Mr Cameron’s biggest clear-out since becoming party leader. MPs had expected Helen Grant, the sports minister, who has made a series of gaffes, to be dismissed, and there were question marks over the future of Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi after she poked fun at the Prime Minister’s Eton schooling. ‘What do you have to do as a woman to get sacked by Cameron?’ asked one ousted minister.’ – Daily Mail

Hunt: Four failing hospitals still aren’t safe

NHS_Logo‘At least four hospitals are still not safe enough for patients — a year after hit squads were ordered in, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will announce today. Eleven NHS trusts were put into “special measures” last July amid thousands of excess deaths and warnings of devastating care and neglect. But tough Ofsted-style inspections have revealed that four of these have failed to turn themselves around.’ – The Sun (£)

Snooping law passed in a hurry

‘Controversial emergency surveillance legislation has cleared the Commons after an extended sitting and angry exchanges alleging an abuse of parliament. A hard core of up to 56 MPs opposed the deal between the three main parties after the frontbenches agreed on the urgent need for new laws. The data retention and investigatory powers bill was agreed at third reading by an overwhelming majority of 416.’ – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Emma Carr on Comment: DRIP, DRIP, DRIP – the Government enters murky waters

Boris seeks land grab for housing

Homes For All Big‘London mayor Boris Johnson is set to be given the power to acquire land owned by all public bodies in the capital in order to sell it to housing developers, after coalition government peers tabled an amendment to parliamentary legislation. City Hall has already disposed of nearly 90 per cent of its own 700-hectare holdings and is now targeting other public sector landowners in London.’ – FT

Sites named for UK Spaceport

‘Space has become the final frontier in the battle for Scottish independence, following a UK government announcement that six of the eight leading contenders for the country’s first “spaceport” are north of the border. Campbeltown, Prestwick and Stornoway join Leuchars, Lossiemouth and Kinloss as potential venues for the launchpad, which could be commissioned within four years.’ – The Times (£)

Main faith leaders declare opposition to Right to Die

Church shield‘The leaders of all the major faiths in Britain are issuing an unprecedented joint attack on Lord Falconer’s assisted dying Bill, condemning it as a “grave error” which would change British society forever. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, and the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, are among 23 religious leaders issuing a direct plea to Parliament on the eve of the Bill’s first hearing.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Most believers support assisted dying, despite their leaders – The Times (£)
  • Leading doctors back the law – The Guardian

Barbara Castle drew up her own paedophilia dossier

‘Special Branch officers seized a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures drawn up by Labour peer Barbara Castle in the 1980s, it was claimed yesterday. Officers citing ‘national security’ confiscated the file which listed 16 MPs along with senior policemen, headteachers and clergy, it was said.’ – Daily Mail

  • Detective claims to have been moved after trying to investigate politicians – Daily Telegraph
  • Police delay Rochdale report again – The Times (£)
  • St Helena review gathers shocking evidence – Daily Mail

Plan to double the points for using a mobile while driving

Police helmet‘The penalty for drivers who use a mobile phone at the wheel could be doubled to six points. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said yesterday that the high death toll from accidents caused by motorists texting or making calls had prompted him to consider a fresh crackdown. ‘The amount of casualties has been absolutely appalling,’ he said.’ – Daily Mail

Clegg attacks Tories over Hong Kong democracy

‘Nick Clegg has criticised his Conservative coalition partners for failing to provide backing for democratic reforms in Hong Kong. After a meeting on Tuesday with two of the former British colony’s leading democracy activists, the deputy prime minister reiterated his backing for a transition to universal suffrage in the city.’ – FT

News in brief

  • Holy Grail stolen from house in Herefordshire – Daily Mail
  • Defeat Hamas by bringing prosperity to Gaza – Roger Boyes, The Times (£)
  • Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence displayed alongside Magna Carta – Daily Mail
  • ‘Racist’ positive discrimination plan at the Beeb – Daily Telegraph
  • BBC bans e-cigarettes indoors – Daily Mail
  • Secret sausage price-fixing ring stuffed – The Times (£)
  • Jeremy Kyle pepper sprayed by Magaluf bouncer – The Independent
  • Proof: greens are hypocrites – Daily Mail