Cameron promises a seven-day NHS…

NHS“David Cameron will today pledge to hire thousands more GPs to make England’s NHS the world’s first fully seven-day health service. In his first major speech since the Tories’ Election victory, the Prime Minister will promise that the NHS is ‘safe in our hands’. But his plans for a seven-day NHS, with people able to see their GP and have tests in hospital at weekends, will face opposition from the unions. The British Medical Association says many parts of the Health Service will struggle to expand their services without significant extra funding.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister promises thousands more GPs for a world-class service – Daily Telegraph
  • NHS chiefs claim that £8bn Tory election pledge is not enough – The Times (£)
  • Nurses may strike over seven day service – The Independent

…as Sturgeon warns that second referendum would be his fault

“Nicola Sturgeon has warned David Cameron he would be personally responsible for a second independence referendum if he blocks her demands for an extra swathe of powers being transferred to Scotland, it has emerged. Sources close to the First Minister confirmed that she used a private meeting, before their official talks in Edinburgh last Friday, to tell the Prime Minister that his response would determine whether Scots demand another vote on leaving the UK. In an attempt to ramp up the pressure on Mr Cameron, she told him “the ball is in your court” over delivering more powers than those agreed by the cross-party Smith Commission and warned the consequence of refusal would be another referendum within the next few years.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Iain Anderson in Comment: Cameron should offer Sturgeon full fiscal autonomy with transitional relief

Whitehall braces for 100,000 job cuts as Osborne sets to work

OSBORNE non-broken sword“Whitehall is braced for up to 100,000 job losses over the next five years as George Osborne aims to squeeze billions of savings out of the civil service. The appointment of Mr Osborne’s key ally, Matthew Hancock, as Cabinet Office minister reflects a determination to strengthen links between the department and the Treasury, which have been strained. Mr Hancock is a former economic adviser and chief of staff to Mr Osborne, underlining the importance that the chancellor attaches to meeting a government target of £10bn of Whitehall cuts by 2017-18. The reductions are a crucial element of the Conservative promise to eliminate the deficit by 2018, which requires £30bn of spending cuts and clamping down on tax avoidance.” – Financial Times

  • Union warns of tens of thousands of job losses – The Guardian
  • Osborne ally Hancock tasked with continuing civil service reform – Financial Times

Grieve warns against Human Rights Act reform

“The former attorney-general has questioned the purpose of the government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and called for a pause in the process. Dominic Grieve, QC, a Conservative MP, warned that abolishing the act and replacing it with a British bill of rights would have “very considerable” repercussions for Britain’s reputation on the world stage and in the EU. The Tories included the proposal in their manifesto and David Cameron has prioritised the issue as one he will deal with during the first 100 days of this government.” – The Times (£)

Melanie Phillips: Gove faces his next Herculean task

michael-gove“The impending battle facing Mr Gove has echoes of his struggle as education secretary against the teaching profession. There he was dealing with an entire professional establishment in thrall to ideas inimical to the very essence of education. Now he is up against a legal establishment for which human rights law, deployed as a weapon against sovereignty, national defence and common sense, is almost a secular religion. To listen to its defenders you would think that freedom only arrived in the UK in 1998 when the Human Rights Act incorporated the European Human Rights Convention (ECHR) into domestic law.” – The Times (£)

Penny sets her sights on ‘tank chasing’ lawyers

“Britain’s first female Armed Forces Minister yesterday declared war on tank-chasing lawyers making “torture” slurs against our troops. Penny Mordaunt said her top priority will be to halt spurious human rights claims which cost taxpayers millions — and give brave servicemen and women a bad name. She said: “Some lawyers pursue our troops on unjustified grounds. “There is an appalling amount of unwarranted litigation against people serving our country. I want to make sure they can do their jobs without any concerns on that front.”” – The Sun (£)

Rudd unveils plans to allow locals to veto windfarms

Wind turbine“The new Energy Secretary has insisted she ‘quite enjoys seeing’ onshore wind farms. Amber Rudd dismissed the idea that turbines are an ‘eyesore’ as she set out plans for people to have the power to veto large wind farms near where they live. There will also be an end to public money subsidising onshore wind developments, under plans to stop them ‘irritating and upsetting local communities’. During the election campaign, the Conservatives promised to ‘halt the spread of onshore wind farms’.” – Daily Mail

Tory MPs 1) Eurosceptics will work with UKIP… but not Farage

“Eurosceptic Tory MPs are looking to side with Ukip before the EU referendum but have warned that Nigel Farage must not play a leading role in the campaign for Britain to leave. A senior Ukip figure claimed that he had been approached by a Tory backbencher in the nascent “out” campaign to talk about joining forces. The source said that he was warned by the Conservative MP that Mr Farage’s involvement as a leading spokesman would be a red line to a joint operation. Ukip’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, who became embroiled in a public row with Mr Farage last week, and Godfrey Bloom, a former Ukip MEP, also spoke out yesterday in opposition to the Ukip leader spearheading the campaign for Britain to leave the EU.” – The Times (£)

  • UKIP leader spurns call from Carswell to move towards the centre – Daily Telegraph
  • Manifesto author Evans also calls for centre move – The Guardian
  • Farage too ‘toxic’ to lead Out campaign – The Sun (£)
  • Brexit won’t hurt trade, claims JCB boss – Daily Mail

Tory MPs 2) Hunting ban vote demanded

fox“Tory MPs are demanding a Commons vote to scrap the controversial hunting ban within weeks – despite fears the move could be blocked by the SNP. David Cameron pledged that MPs would be given a free vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act if the Conservatives won the election. Senior Tories want the move to be included in this month’s Queen’s Speech, despite concerns in Downing Street that it would send out the wrong message.” – Daily Mail

Former Conservative MP Sir Peter Fry dies aged 83

“Sir Peter Fry, Conservative MP for Wellingborough for 28 years, has died at 83. He won the seat in a 1969 by-election and held it until 1997, when he lost by 187 votes, blaming his defeat on Ukip, which polled 1,192 votes. Peter Bone, current Tory MP for Wellingborough & Rushden, said that Sir Peter remained highly regarded by voters and constituents, even though he had been out of the public eye for some time and ill for a year. “He was extremely well thought of. When I was canvassing in the last election people were still talking about him. They absolutely loved how he helped them and he was a highly-regarded local MP,” he said.” – The Times (£)

Lord Heseltine: Why our reforms mean England’s future is bright

Manchester Town Hall“The strength of one nation lies precisely in its recognition of diversity of talent, energy, opinion and background. Setting free such strengths produces the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that creates the wealth and the explosion of culture upon which the strength of that one nation depends. Creating a Northern Powerhouse is a central part of such a vision. Linking the great eighteenth century cities provides a scale of human and economic resource equal to the world competition we face. Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Hull each have talent and expertise that can be enriched by improved communications with each other.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Christopher Pincher MP in Comment: The Conservative chance to seal the deal with voters in the Midlands and North

Labour leadership 1) Red Len holds Labour to ransom

“Len McCluskey last night threatened to withdraw his union’s funding from Labour if it chooses a leader who seeks to move the party to the right. The hardline general secretary of Unite even said its affiliation to the party could be reconsidered unless it showed it was the ‘voice of ordinary working people’. Amid warnings that the union’s ‘heavies’ are putting pressure on MPs over which candidate to support, Mr McCluskey said it was ‘essential the correct leader emerged’. Andy Burnham, who is the front runner and Unite’s favoured candidate, yesterday admitted he had spoken to Mr McCluskey within the past week. The Labour health spokesman, who has the support of almost 100 MPs, also denied he was the ‘union candidate’ – even though Mr McCluskey has said that Mr Burnham is the person who ‘impresses me most’.” – Daily Mail

  • Union threat: choose correctly, or the cash stops – The Times (£)
  • McCluskey could back SNP if new leader ignores unions – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour in turmoil as it tries to prophecy its future from its past – The Guardian

Labour leadership 2) Bonfire of the policies as candidates queue to ditch Miliband’s legacy

Labour holes“Candidates for the Labour leadership have denounced Ed Miliband’s manifesto. Opposition to the EU referendum, the mansion tax and a defence of Gordon Brown’s deficits were cast aside in what the Tories hailed as a “bonfire of the policies”. Jon Cruddas, the co-author of the manifesto that led to Labour winning just 232 MPs and 30 per cent of the vote, said it was the worst crisis for the party since 1918.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Generational split as old guard refuse to admit Labour overspent – Daily Mail
  • The candidates have one thing in common: they all went to Oxbridge – The Independent
  • Umunna plots a comeback as Shadow Foreign Secretary – Daily Mail
  • Dugdale favourite to take over Scottish Labour – The Guardian

The Favorite:


  • Labour needs two leaders with one vision: freeing it from the dead, red hand of the unions – Chris Deerin, Daily Mail
  • Calls for Labour unity completely miss the point – Pat McFadden, The Times (£)
  • None of the current candidates seem to stand for the underdog – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Unless Labour learns to love the family it hasn’t a hope – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail


>Today: ToryDiary: How to use, and extend, this window of opportunity

Farron suggests rehabilitation for Clegg…

“Nick Clegg could seek political rehabilitation in the way that William Hague, the former Tory leader, did by taking up a frontbench role, Tim Farron has said. Mr Farron, the former Liberal Democrat president who is the frontrunner to succeed Mr Clegg as the party’s leader, said that there would be a place in his team for the former deputy prime minister should he want a prominent role. Mr Hague, who stepped down as Tory leader in 2001, was appointed shadow foreign secretary by David Cameron after four years away from frontline politics. He took time out to write a book and give speeches on the after-dinner circuit.” – The Times (£)

…as Lamb attacks him over his gay marriage voting record

Norman Lamb“Lib Dem leadership candidate Norman Lamb pounced on rival Tim Farron’s voting record on gay marriage yesterday. Front-runner Mr Farron has apologised for not backing same-sex weddings and Mr Lamb said: “That for me is a fundamental principle of liberalism, that you should be able to love and marry whoever you want. There were votes where Tim took a different view, that is up to him.” The two are battling to lead their devastated party after it lost 49 seats in the election, triggering Nick Clegg’s resignation.” – The Sun (£)

  • Farron regrets abstaining on gay marriage – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Top brass echo Prince Harry’s call for a return to national service – Daily Mail
  • Unions warn that cuts could lead to ‘paramilitary’ policing – The Independent
  • UK takes key role in combating Mediterranean traffickers – The Times (£)
  • Church of Scotland plan for gay ministers offers blueprint to Anglicans – Daily Telegraph
  • Restaurant turnover up 39 per cent since 2010 – Financial Times
  • Trident whistleblower claims British nuclear security is incredibly lax – The Independent
  • Working parents and elderly must now set up pensions for carers and cleaners – Daily Mail