Europe 1) Plans to corral the payroll vote in EU vote

CAMERON EU fence“Ministers must quit if they want to campaign for Britain to leave the EU, David Cameron warned last night. In a provocative intervention, the Prime Minister said there was no place in government for those unwilling to back him on Europe. Mr Cameron insisted his 100-plus paid ministers would not have a free hand in the In/Out referendum expected as early as next May. ‘If you want to be part of the Government you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome,’ he said. Asked at the G7 Summit in Bavaria whether rebel ministers would have to quit, he replied: ‘Everyone in government has signed up to the programme set out in the Conservative manifesto.’” – Daily Mail

  • Pro-Brexit ministers face ultimatum – Financial Times
  • Back me or resign, Prime Minister tells EU rebels – Daily Telegraph
  • New war over the referendum as Cameron gets tough – Daily Express
  • The six senior Conservatives who may resign over Europe – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory leader tells rebels to toe his line on Europe – The Sun (£)
  • Cameron takes on Tory MPs favouring Brexit – Financial Times
  • Sceptics cry foul as Prime Minister raises EU cash limit – The Times (£)
  • Sugar giant Tate & Lyle call for Brexit if reform cannot be achieved – Daily Express
  • Peers to challenge EU bill and demand concessions – The Times (£)


  • The big question for the Euro referendum – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph


  • The Prime Minister must play fair on the referendum – Daily Mail comment
  • Conservative division over the EU could strengthen Cameron’s hand in Brussels – The Times (£)

Europe 2) Hammond takes on MPs demanding national veto in Brussels

“Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has set the stage for a showdown with a new group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs by dismissing their central demand to assert the supremacy of parliament over the EU. As the Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall accused David Cameron of showing a profound lack of leadership over the EU, the foreign secretary said it would be impossible to give parliament a unilateral veto over EU laws. Hammond spoke out after a new group of Tory MPs, Conservatives for Britain, said they would campaign for a no vote in the EU referendum unless parliament was able to assert its supremacy over the EU. This would mean repealing the legislation that paved the way for the UK to join the EEC in 1973, which asserts the primacy of EU law.” – The Guardian

  • One in three Tory MPs expected to join new anti-EU group – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister warned over 100 Tory MPs will back exit if reforms not achieved – The Independent

Europe 3) Boris Johnson: The Prime Minister must press on with EU reform

BORIS blue and red“You can’t begin talks by telling our friends in the rest of Europe we hate the whole Brussels caboodle, and are determined to recommend a No. Why, in the face of such fundamental negativity, should they make any concessions to Britain? And symmetrically it would be ludicrous to tell them that whatever happens we will want to stay in the club, and can therefore be counted on supinely to vote Yes to continued membership. That would rightly be seen as hopeless tactic, and, again, unlikely to produce reforms or concessions of any substance. There is only one way forward, and that is to enter the negotiations in good faith, but to make clear that if we don’t see progress then we must be prepared to walk away.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: John Redwood MP in Comment: The TTIP – another reason why the EU lets us down


Cameron: Plan to cut number of MPs will go ahead…

“David Cameron has vowed to stick to a promise to slash the size of parliament, paving the way for a major confrontation with his backbenchers. Asked whether he remained committed to a manifesto pledge to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 as part of a review of Westminster boundaries, he said: “On the manifesto commitment we have to cutting the cost of politics, I remain completely committed to that. I think it’s the right approach and very important.” The prime minister was last month warned by Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 committee of backbench Conservatives, that he should consider dropping the promise. “I think it would be easier and simpler to maintain the House at its current size at the moment,” he said.” – The Times (£)

…whilst Obama told UK will not commit to NATO’s two per cent defence floor

Army“David Cameron has refused to meet demands by Barack Obama that Britain commits to spending 2 per cent of its national income on defence for the next five years. The Prime Minister used a meeting with the American President at the G7 summit in Germany to make clear that no decisions will be taken on Britain’s funding of the Armed Forces ahead of the spending review in the Autumn. He insisted that despite further cuts to the defence budget of £500million, Britain will this year meet the two per cent per cent Nato target. It comes amid growing criticism at home and abroad of the Government’s failure to pledge to increase defence spending.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Obama threatens Britain’s standing in NATO if two per cent target not met – Daily Mail
  • The President’s stern warning to Cameron – The Sun (£)
  • Prime Minister deploys more British troops against ISIL in Iraq – Daily Telegraph
  • US missiles may return to UK soil over Russian threat – Daily Mail
  • Moscowards! UK and US attack countries who want to ease sanctions on Putin – The Sun (£)
  • You must free Shaker Aamer, Cameron tells Obama – Daily Mail

Crackdown threatened for pension firms stymieing reforms

“David Cameron has threatened a Government crackdown on pension providers that are failing to offer all of the freedoms promised by the Conservatives ahead of the general election. The Prime Minister pledged to keep a “careful eye” on the companies after The Daily Telegraph disclosed that most over-55s were unlikely to be able to access their retirement funds as easily and cheaply as George Osborne, the Chancellor, had promised. Mr Cameron said that the pensions providers must not use the reforms simply to find “a new way of charging people”.” – Daily Telegraph


Government faces Parliamentary resistance to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’

OSBORNE of the north“Many devolution enthusiasts are adamant the system cannot work unless the proposed new elected mayors are allowed to borrow from the markets to fund their plans. Instead, they will have to go to the Treasury. The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill is scheduled for debate in the House of Lords on 8 June. Clive Betts, who chaired the Communities and Local Government committee in the last parliament, told The Independent on Sunday that he planned to table an amendment to the bill. This would delete a line that states the “power conferred on a mayor may not include a power to borrow money”… Although Mr Betts is a Labour MP, he can expect some support from Conservative backbenchers who believe that mayors would need greater clout than the current proposals suggest.” – The Independent

  • Mandelson decries Labour’s ‘huge mistake’ of lacking an alternative to Chancellor’s scheme – The Independent

Javid keeps business guessing over industrial policy review

“Britain’s industrial policy is facing a fundamental review, as Sajid Javid — under the watchful eye of his political heroine Margaret Thatcher — asks afresh what role a cash-strapped state should play in the modern economy. Although the Conservatives’ manifesto committed the government to supporting areas such as life sciences, the motor industry, robotics and nanotechnology, Mr Javid has yet to set out his own approach. Industrial policy fell out of favour during the Thatcher era, and the former prime minister’s portrait, which hangs on the wall of the new business secretary’s office, is a reminder of Mr Javid’s free-market instincts.” – Financial Times

Afriyie attacks populist posing over pay rise or MPs

AFRIYIE Adam looking right“Party leaders are “lazily” pandering to populist opinion by attacking a 10 per cent pay rise for MPs, a Conservative backbencher has said. Adam Afriyie claimed that failing to boost the incomes of MPs risked creating a parliament “stuffed full of career politicians” or those with “wealthy spouses, trust funds, inherited homes and unearned income”. Mr Afriyie, who chaired the Commons committee on MPs’ expenses during the last parliament, also attacked the Westminster pay watchdog for having “dragged out this pay review for years, to the extent that people believe MPs have already received a massive pay rise”. He pointed out that, thanks to changes to pensions and benefits, the overall cost of MPs to the taxpayer is expected to be cut.” – The Times (£)

  • Cameron urges salary watchdog to ‘think again’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister’s plea over pay rise after huge backlash – The Sun (£)

Campbell seeks Tory nomination for London mayor

“Sol Cambell today officially throws his hat in the ring for the race to be London Mayor – telling the Sun: “I’m in it to win it.” The former Arsenal and Spurs star has decided to try and be the Tory candidate to succeed Boris Johnson in 2016. The Sun can reveal he has signed up for his first hustings – a Question Time-style debate between party contenders on July 4. In an interview, the ex-England defender said he wanted to give something back to London – where he was born, in Plaistow, Newham, in 1974. He told the Sun: “I’m going in with my eyes wide open. I know I’m not going to be a frontrunner.”” – The Sun (£)

Libby Purves: Blame poor administration, not IDS’ reforms, for welfare delays

Red Tape Britain“So the IDS project is not perfect. But I believe that the minister himself is genuinely, evangelically distressed by cycles of dependency, has researched it well, and was shocked at the old benefits trap in which working made some poorer. There are successes: only 2.1 per cent of the working-age population are on unemployment benefit, the lowest since 1979. But injustices remain rife, because of maladministered, eye-catching innovations rashly launched by people who personally have never managed the proverbial whelk stall.” – The Times (£)

  • Study calls for overhaul of Universal Credit to avoid it becoming a ‘stealth cut’ – The Independent


Kendall supports EU welfare restrictions

Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall has indicated her support for removing tax credits from EU migrant workers. Miss Kendall said the Tory proposal was ‘definitely something we should look at’. She also refused to condemn billions of pounds of spending cuts announced by Chancellor George Osborne, and said ‘fiscal credibility’ should be central to Labour’s policies. Miss Kendall is seen as the main Blairite challenger and her comments place her firmly on the party’s right flank. She told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘We do have to deal with the issue of people who come here to work.’” – Daily Mail

  • Six in ten Labour voters back Tory plans on strikes and welfare – Daily Mail
  • Kendall accuses Cooper of ‘machine politics’ – The Guardian


  • Tim Montgomerie: Vote-grabbing MPs can learn from Kendall’s approach – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: People didn’t trust us with their money, says Kendall

Harman reveals that even Labour voters were relieved they lost

LABOUR dead rose“Even people who supported Labour at last month’s election were privately relieved afterwards that the party did not win power, Harriet Harman has admitted. In a candid interview with The Independent, Labour’s interim leader admitted the widespread doubts about the party’s leadership and economic credibility cost it dearly.  She said Labour’s much-trumpeted 6m conversations with voters counted for little because the party had the “wrong message.”  Many people felt Labour was not talking to them because it raised issues such as zero hours contracts, the living wage and food banks,  she said.” – The Independent

  • Campbell warns that embattled party could slump further yet – The Times (£)
  • Former spin chief’s dire prognosis – The Guardian

Vaz faces sleaze probe over help for Indian tycoon

“Labour’s Keith Vaz has been reported to the parliamentary sleaze watchdog after he intervened successfully on behalf of a controversial Indian tycoon making an immigration application. The veteran MP wrote to UK visas and immigration director general Sarah Rapson to support IPL cricket league founder Lalit Modi. Mr Vaz was at the time chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, which was responsible for scrutinising the department, and is currently seeking re-election to the role. He insisted last night that there was no conflict of interest between his intervention, which he did not declare publicly, and his chairmanship as he had ‘no personal interest in this case and received no benefit from it’.” – Daily Mail

Scotland 1) Dugdale rejects calls for an independent Scottish Labour Party

Scottish flag“Scottish Labour leadership candidate Kezia Dugdale has said she does not support calls to break away from the UK party. Ms Dugdale, who is competing with Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh for the top job, backed greater autonomy for Scottish Labour as well as a move to a ‘one member, one vote’ model for electing its leaders. The current deputy leader dismissed a suggestion from Cowdenbeath Labour MSP Alex Rowley that the party should free itself from the “constraints” of the UK party in order to rebuild after May’s electoral defeat. “I favour a much more autonomous Scottish Labour party, I’d like to see us set our own policy here but I don’t support an independent party, I think that’s wrong,” she said.” – The Scotsman

Scotland 2) Labour and Nationalists call for Scottish control over welfare

“Labour is set to join forces with the Scottish National Party by demanding more powers for the Scottish Parliament over welfare than the Conservative Government is proposing. Only a month after the SNP tide swept away all but one of Labour’s 41 seats in Scotland, Labour and the SNP will both table amendments to the Scotland Bill calling for Holyrood to have more say over state benefits.  Both parties agree that the Scotland Bill, which implements the all-party Smith Commission report last November, does not go far enough. Labour’s proposed changes include giving the Scottish Parliament the final say on benefit rates, with a power to create new state payments and the right to top-up existing ones. It wants full devolution of housing benefit.” – The Independent

>Today: The Deep End: True power sharing is about decentralisation, not proportional representation

Scotland 3) SNP urged to rein in cybernats who hounded Kennedy

SNP logo white background“The SNP has been urged to rein in so-called cybernats after it emerged that the final weeks of Charles Kennedy’s life were blighted by a hate campaign. Alastair Campbell – the former spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair who has written movingly about his close friend’s battle with alcohol – said it was time for the party to take action. His comments were echoed by Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie who warned that good people will increasingly be bullied out of politics by a nasty minority. Mr Kennedy, 55, endured a tumultuous election campaign during which he was abused on doorsteps in what colleagues described as the worst aggression they had ever seen in politics.” – Daily Mail

New in Brief:

  • Erdogan loses majority in Turkish election – Daily Mail
  • Fresh poll looms as Turkish leader snubbed by voters – The Guardian
  • Aid to be diverted to stem the flow of migrants – The Times (£)
  • CBI cuts growth forecast and warns over EU – Financial Times
  • Boozy MPs rack up £11k bar bill in just seven days – The Sun (£)
  • Agency doctor paid £460k in one year by the NHS – Daily Telegraph
  • BMA chiefs get salary hikes of up to 137 per cent – Daily Mail