Reshuffle 1) Cameron moves to tackle Tory image as party of the rich

Cameron shuffle 1“David Cameron will today tell the first all-Conservative Cabinet for 18 years that they represent ‘the real party of working people’. After years of being accused of running a privately-educated ‘chumocracy’, the Prime Minister more than doubled the number of comprehensive-educated ministers at his top table. In a ‘blue collar reshuffle’ he promoted figures who have championed policies aimed at the working class, blue-collar voters that gave Margaret Thatcher three election victories. The Prime Minister will also today try to eat into traditional Labour support by unveiling plans for two million new jobs, to push more off welfare and into work and help working families with childcare costs.” – Daily Mail

  • A reshuffle with the manifesto in hand – Financial Times
  • Boris insists political cabinet post won’t interfere with mayoralty – The Guardian
  • Shapps out of Cabinet as Feldman becomes full Chairman – Daily Mail
  • Stanley Johnson doesn’t think Jo knows much about science – Daily Telegraph

For workers:

For women:

  • How Cameron solved his ‘woman problem’ overnight – Daily Telegraph
  • More women and ethnic minorities in a house that better represents Britain – The Times (£)

For minorities:


  • Now Cameron can detoxify the Tories for a generation – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph
  • The Prime Minister must make sense of an unclear mandate – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times


>Today: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: We have a chance to build a party no-one need feel shy about supporting

Reshuffle 2) Whittingdale appointment sees talk of war with BBC

“David Cameron and the BBC were at loggerheads yesterday after the Prime Minister named a hard-line critic of the corporation as the new Culture Secretary. Tory MP John Whittingdale, who has produced a string of damning reports on the BBC as chair of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee over the last decade, was called to Downing Street yesterday morning in the most surprising announcement of the Cabinet reshuffle. But the appointment of Mr Whittingdale, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher who has described the licence fee as ‘worse than the poll tax’, is likely to spark concern at the BBC. The corporation’s press office retweeted – and then quickly deleted – a message slamming Mr Whittingdale’s voting record on gay rights, the hunting ban and a host of other unrelated issues to his new brief as Culture Secretary.” – Daily Mail

  • Cameron’s shot across the bows of the BBC – The Times (£)
  • ‘Threat’ to broadcaster as Whittingdale appointed Culture Secretary – The Sun (£)
  • Tories ‘infuriated’ by election coverage – Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Live Blog: Reshuffle 2015

Rachel Sylvester: Will the real Cameron please stand up?

Cameron_Thatcher1“As head of a coalition, Mr Cameron’s identity was deliberately confused — he could blame the Lib Dems for thwarting his true Conservative instincts when talking to his rightwingers, while boosting his compassionate credentials by allowing Mr Clegg to temper the Tory traditionalists’ demands. Now that he is the leader of a majority administration he is liberated, but there is also nowhere to hide. The contradictions will be revealed to be internal, rather than imposed on him from outside — and as the pressure builds it will become clear where the balance of power within him lies. The real Mr Cameron will gradually be exposed. The reshuffle was the prime minister’s first chance to stamp his own character on the government, before events and rebellions force his hand.” – The Times (£)

  • No more excuses from Osborne the axeman, either – Ed Conway, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Guy Opperman MP in Comment: How Cameron’s mainstream, moderate, middle-ground politics delivered us a famous victory

Benefits cap will feature in first Queen’s Speech

“David Cameron will today put two bills at the heart of his Queen’s Speech to push the principle of work. The PM will tell his new Cabinet he plans to fast-track the lowering of the Benefits Cap to £23,000 to pay for more apprentices. Under the “earn or learn” push, claimants will lose benefits if they refuse to take up training posts. The second bill is to increase free childcare to 30 hours a week for working families with three to four-year-olds. The PM will say: “I call it being the real party for working people. We’re here to give everyone in this country a chance.”” – The Sun (£)

EU: Ministers stand firm against EU demands on Mediterranean migrants…

EU FLag“Tory ministers were last night refusing demands for Britain to take a quota of 60,000 asylum seekers in their first post-election battle with the EU. The European Commission wants member states to take a share of the migrants who are pouring into Europe after making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. The idea is backed by Germany, the key Brussels power broker which received 200,000 asylum applications last year. Italy, Malta, Austria and Greece, where large numbers of migrants arrive by boat, also argue that Britain is not taking its fair share. But ministers, led by Home Secretary Theresa May, are refusing to agree to the request, which will be formally made by Brussels tomorrow.” – Daily Mail

  • Cameron resists Brussels over boats – The Times (£)
  • Home Secretary hardens refusal of EU resettlement programme – The Guardian

…as Barroso warns that the Prime Minister’s planned benefit restrictions will be difficult to agree

“David Cameron’s plan to restrict access to benefits for European Union migrants will be “extremely difficult” to secure approval for, Jose Manuel Barroso, the former European Commission president has said. Mr Cameron’s plan to deny in-work benefits to EU migrants for four years is likely to be incompatible with European law, Mr Barroso warned. However, David Cameron’s chances of keeping Britain in the EU are now greater because he has won “much greater authority” and rendered Ukip “almost irrelevant”. Under plans set out by Mr Cameron, European migrants will be subject to a four-year qualifying period before they will be eligible for in-work support such as tax credits and housing benefit, in effect ending a state subsidy for work.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tory MPs cheer as Cameron vows to fight for a better EU deal – Financial Times
  • Prime Minister may bring vote forward to 2016 – The Guardian
  • New Conservatives show a shift in attitudes to Brussels – Financial Times


>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Five steps to fix foreign policy

Tories set their sights on the Human Rights Act

ARREST WARRANT European“When the Conservatives return to parliament next week unshackled from coalition government, they will immediately fire their first salvo at Europe: scrapping the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a bill of rights that gives priority to UK sovereignty over Strasbourg’s judges. This move, to be overseen by Michael Gove, the new justice secretary, will herald a significant change to the way the European Convention on Human Rights is interpreted in the UK. After five years of Tory ministers battling against legal decisions made on the continent — such as the series of appeals against deporting the Islamist cleric Abu Qatada and the opposition to Strasbourg’s demands that Britain give prisoners the vote — David Cameron, prime minister, is determined to regain control.” – Financial Times

  • Gove’s quest is formidably complex and difficult (if he lets it be) – Matthew Scott, Daily Telegraph

Philip Johnston: Cameron must beware rebels in the shadows

“Like the triumphant Roman general, Mr Cameron needs someone whispering in his ear: “Memento mori: remember you are mortal.” He also needs reminding of the old maxim that your opponents sit on the benches across the floor of the Commons while your enemies sit behind you. Indeed, few know this better than he does. After all, as a young Tory researcher and Whitehall special adviser he witnessed at close quarters the fate that befell the last Conservative leader to win an overall majority, also against all expectations. John Major’s post-election honeymoon in 1992 was short-lived.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tory rebels pledge ‘undying loyalty’ to Cameron the conquerer – Daily Telegraph
  • How much trouble might rebels cause Cameron? – Philip Cowley, Daily Telegraph

David Miliband hits out at brother’s campaign

David Miliband“David Miliband tonight ripped into his brother’s leadership of the Labour Party in his first interview since last week’s disastrous election defeat. The former foreign secretary said Ed, like Gordon Brown before him, looked like he wanted to take the country ‘backwards’ and said the election result proved people ‘did not want what was being offered’. He said his younger brother, who resigned as Labour leader on Friday morning, had failed to appeal to the aspirational middle classes and had instead tried to ‘divide’ the country into the rich and poor. Mr Miliband’s intervention comes after his brother guided Labour to its worst election defeat in almost 30 years – finishing 99 seats behind the Conservatives, with 26 fewer MPs than even Gordon Brown managed in 2010.” – Daily Mail

  • Ed and Justine jet off to Ibiza – Daily Mail
  • Cruddas steps down from shadow cabinet to lead review into defeat – The Independent
  • Unions race to sign up members to influence succession battle – Financial Times
  • Cameron enjoying the fight to succeed Miliband – The Independent

Comment and Editorial:

Labour NEC member suspended for ongoing support of Rahman

“A member of Labour’s national executive committee has been suspended from the party for publicly supporting the disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman. Christine Shawcroft, a left-leaning Labour veteran who has been on the party’s ruling body for 15 years, is facing disciplinary procedures after defending Rahman both before and after he was found guilty of electoral fraud. The move shows that party officials have taken a hard line against members supporting the independent mayor, who was kicked out of office by an election court ruling last month. Another NEC member, the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who has also supported Rahman, said he is not subject to any disciplinary procedures.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Two pieces of bad news for Labour: Lord Sugar quits the party, and Chris Leslie becomes Shadow Chancellor

Last Scottish MP standing gets Scottish brief… but agrees with SNP on Trident

Scottish flag“Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, has been appointed Labour’s shadow Secretary of State for Scotland. That is no surprise. Harriet Harman could hardly have appointed anyone else – Murray being the only Labour MP left in Scotland. But he is not the obvious person to defend Labour’s policy of renewing Trident. On that issue, Murray is in complete agreement with the SNP. He thinks renewing Trident would be a vast waste of money and a potential threat to world peace.” – The Independent

Liberal Democrats could revert to ‘The Liberals’ under Farron

“The frontrunner in the battle to lead the Liberal Democrats is looking at changing the party’s name back to the Liberals. Tim Farron, a former party president and foreign affairs spokesman, is tipped to throw his hat into the ring on Wednesday when nominations close. Mr Farron, one of the party’s only eight MPs, is considering running his leadership campaign on a ticket of making a clean break from the recent past. He was one of the few who held onto his seat in last week’s election, while the rest of his party lost almost 50 seats. Any decision to drop the “Democrats” from the party’s name would draw a line under the party’s links with the Social Democratic Party which dates from the late 1980s. One source said: “The Liberal party has a long history and it is important to capitalise on that. We are the party of Gladstone, Lloyd George and Beveridge and we should be proud of that.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Six ways Clegg steered my party to disaster – Lord Steel, The Guardian

Farage remains UKIP leader after party rejects resignation

farageharl“Nigel Farage today ‘withdrew’ his resignation as Ukip leader – just four days after quitting in the wake of his election defeat to the Tories. The controversial MEP had promised to step aside if he did not succeed in becoming the MP for South Thanet. After his defeat was confirmed on Friday morning, Mr Farage announced that he was keeping to his word and was tendering his resignation. But Ukip’s chairman Steve Crowther revealed this afternoon that the party had rejected the resignation. In a statement he added: ‘On that basis Mr Farage withdrew his resignation and will remain leader of UKIP.’” – Daily Mail


  • Exclusive: Why I felt I had to stay on – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph
  • UKIP condemns itself to life as a one man band – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Colombia deploys 600 special forces troops against illegal Amazon mines – Daily Mail
  • Foreign Office permit a peek at secret files – The Times (£)
  • Hollande jets off to communist Cuba in race for new trade – Daily Telegraph
  • Picasso painting sold for record $179 million – Financial Times
  • Scale of UK attacks on ISIS in Iraq revealed – The Guardian
  • Fault line in the Middle East as regional powers back anti-Assad jihadists – The Independent