Minister who lost brother in Bali bombing takes charge of Tunisia response

ISIS“A minister who once criticised the Foreign Office over its response to a terrorist attack in Bali that killed his brother is leading the challenge to identify British victims of the Tunisia atrocity. Tobias Ellwood, a minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, previously told how it took three days for his family to find out that his brother, Jonathan, a teacher, had died in bomb blasts that ripped through a nightclub area in Kuta in 2002. Yesterday, Mr Ellwood was on the receiving end of criticism from families who were experiencing the same kind of grief and horror as well as frustration at the lack of information about their loved ones more than 48 hours after the gunman struck.” – The Times (£)

  • Families of Britons still missing criticise the Foreign Office – Daily Mail
  • Prime Minister calls for fightback – Daily Telegraph
  • Terror police on alert amidst fears of UK attack – The Times (£)
  • Labour candidate get out his selfie stick in Tunisia – Daily Mail
  • May urges Muslims to report radicalised children to the police – The Sun (£)
  • Opposition backs online snooping powers – The Times (£)


  • GCHQ are our best bet to beat these evil butchers – Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • Islam is not a ‘religion of peace’ – Melanie Phillips, The Times
  • What turns young men into such barbarians? – Max Pemberton, Daily Mail


David Cameron: We must not tolerate ISIL’s intolerance

“Across the world, we must do more to work together and build our capacity to deal with terrorism. ISIL may use ancient barbarism in its methods of killing, but it is modern in its propaganda techniques, using social media as its primary weapon. That is why we must give our police and security services the tools they need to root out this poison. And we must look at how we can work with countries like Tunisia to counter this online propaganda. We must also deal with it at its source, in places like Syria, Iraq and Libya, from where ISIL is peddling and plotting its death cult.” – Daily Telegraph

  • With Tunisia, Cameron faces his first real test on terror – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Decline and terror – Europe is failing

Osborne faces mounting pressure from Tory MPs to restore 40p top rate

OSBORNE non-broken sword“Up to 160 Conservative MPs want the top rate of income tax cut to 40p in the next Budget, senior Tory MPs have said as George Osborne faces mounting pressure to make the move. Liam Fox, the former cabinet minister, and Steve Baker, the influential backbencher, became the latest voices to publicly call for the cut in comments to The Telegraph. Senior Conservatives hope Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, will lead the push in Cabinet for the top rate of tax to be dropped in the Budget on July 8. It comes despite fears that giving a tax cut to the wealthiest at a time when Britain faces fresh waves of austerity cuts will undermine David Cameron’s new “blue collar” Conservatism message.” – Daily Telegraph

Tim Montgomerie: The Chancellor must make the case for a lower rate

“Mr Osborne will never convince the 69 per cent of Labour voters who want higher taxes on the wealthy even if those taxes raise no money. Most voters, though, are not believers in the politics of envy and will be open to the change if he can prove that revenues will rise. To persuade this reasonable middle he should set up a new “affordable housing fund” that would earmark, say, 2 per cent of all revenues paid by super-earners for new social housing. If, as he believes, the 280,000 top earners will pay more tax at a 40p rate the fund will provide an explicit proof. He will educate the nation in the significant social benefits of lower tax rates and that will be a very big intellectual as well as political victory.” – The Times (£)

Mundell offers ultimatum to the SNP on powers

Scottish flag“David Mundell has delivered an ultimatum to the SNP to make clear whether they support the UK Government’s plans to transfer a swathe of new powers to Holyrood by warning they are facing a “deal or no deal moment”. The Scottish Secretary said MPs will be faced with a “no-brainer” decision in the Commons today when they choose between the Scotland Bill devolving £15 billion of tax powers or Nationalist plans for full fiscal autonomy (FFA) that would cost Scotland £10 billion a year. Speaking ahead of the second day of the legislation’s committee stage, during which MPs will focus on the new tax powers, he warned the Nationalists’ proposals to cut financial ties with the UK would leave a financial black hole in Scotland equivalent to all spending on education and justice.” – Daily Telegraph

  • SNP Westminster leader suggests Scotland could go independent before 2020 – Daily Telegraph

Gatwick likely favourite for airport expansion as senior Tories oppose Heathrow

“Gatwick Airport has emerged as favourite to get a new runway amid fears Heathrow expansion faces too much opposition from senior Tories. Industry sources expect the Airports Commission to recommend expansion at Heathrow Airport as the best option for the British economy when it finally reports to ministers this week. But they predict that commission chairman Sir Howard Davies will leave the door open to Gatwick – south of London – by warning that growth at Heathrow would risk serious air pollution, road congestion and noise problems.” – Daily Mail

  • Ministers ready to back Gatwick as Airports Commission expected to ‘fudge’ decision – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 1) Cameron keeps leash short to capitalise on poll win

Camerons thinking copy“Downing Street has put ministers and civil servants on a tight rein since the general election as David Cameron seeks to capitalise on his election victory. “You have to hit the ground running when you have the goodwill of the public and Labour is in chaos,” says an aide familiar with the strategy. “We have a real opportunity to set the narrative and get on the front foot. We are trying to keep everyone very ‘on message’.” Co-ordinating the domestic political agenda and its dissemination is Craig Oliver, the prime minister’s former media chief… Mr Oliver is vetting all new government special advisers, according to one government figure, and granting ministers little leeway: some complain that lunches with journalists have to be approved by Downing Street, while others are asking to meet reporters “off the precinct” in an attempt to keep their encounters below the radar.” – Financial Times

Ministers 2) Crouch and Raab join new anti-fox hunting group

“Three rising-star Tory Ministers have joined forces with anti-badger-cull rocker Brian May to stop the ban on fox hunting being scrapped. The move follows reports that David Cameron is not opposed to moves by pro-blood sports Conservative MPs to revive the practice. The three ministers, who include Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, are expected to attend the Commons launch on Tuesday of May’s new anti-hunting group, Team Fox.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 3) Greening warned about questionable aid spending but was ignored

Greening Justine Feb 2012“Ministers were warned 18 months ago that the Foreign Office was wasting cash on “daft” aid projects, it has emerged. International Development Secretary Justine Greening raised her fears in a letter to her colleagues in 2013. But despite her misgivings, the spending of taxpayer money on potty projects continued. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond only announced a review into the matter last week after The Sun exposed the scandal.” – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: Mark Field MP in Comment: How to reform our international aid department

Branson backs EU as Boris faces backlash from Europhiles

“However when asked if he was willing to lead the campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, Sir Richard said he had stayed out of politics all his life and was not about to change that decision. It came as Boris Johnson faced a backlash from pro-EU Tories amid reports he is preparing to vote Out in the EU referendum to increase the chances of real reform. The London Mayor is said to be backing a two-referendum strategy that would see Britain vote for exit only to support re-entering the EU in another vote after European leaders agreed more substantial reforms.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson warms to the idea of voting No – The Guardian
  • Virgin founder claims Britain would have been better off in the Euro – The Times (£)
  • EU has more to fear from Brexit than UK, claims one of world’s largest asset managers – Financial Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Richard Branson tells Marr that he still thinks we should be in the Euro

Trevor Kavanagh: Cameron needs the balls to sort out Europe

EU Exit“Voters gave the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt in last month’s election in return for his promise to deal with immigration in the referendum. Now it seems he was never prepared to seek more than the minimum required to keep us sweet. That will not do. There are genuine, pressing arguments for Britain to be given back real sovereignty over, and within, its own borders. London Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday warned it is “time to play hardball”. He wants us to vote NO first time, if only to win a better deal in a second referendum. “We have to be bold and show them you are serious,” he says. Boris has made a career out of having it both ways. Once we’ve voted to get out, he thinks, we can get down to the serious business of staying in… on our terms.” – The Sun (£)

>Today: Bernard Jenkin MP in Comment: The EU crisis. An opportunity for a fundamental renegotiation – or should we just start the No campaign now?

Labour 1) Umunna claims Labour is at ‘first base’ on road to economic credibility

“Labour must embrace the need to run surpluses, rebuild its tattered relations with corporate Britain and mend fences with the rich, according to Chuka Umunna, the party’s business spokesman. Mr Umunna admitted Labour was at “first base” in a long journey back to regaining economic credibility, and that Ed Miliband’s strategy of denying the party’s past mistakes in government had cost the party dearly. In his first big newspaper interview since deciding not to contest the Labour leadership, Mr Umunna said: “We are starting from square one. We are at first base on a journey to win back people’s trust in us to rebuild the economy.”” – Financial Times

Labour 2) Burnham and Cooper branded ‘continuity Labour’ by team Kendall

LABOUR holes“Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper have been branded “continuity Miliband” by a leading supporter of Liz Kendall, in a sign that the Labour leadership contest is turning sour. John Woodcock, the Barrow and Furness MP and a leading figure in the Kendall campaign, said he was prompted to speak out by two “heart-sinking” moments in a Labour leadership hustings on Sunday. In a blog, he said Burnham and Cooper – the two favourites to succeed Ed Miliband – were “offering only superficial modifications to the Miliband approach that just consigned us to one of the worst defeats in our history”.” – The Guardian

Labour 3) Hillier strikes new tone for Public Accounts Committee

“Parliament’s public accounts committee, for years the scourge of big business, is set to change direction under its new, lower-profile chairwoman who is taking over from the combative Margaret Hodge. Ms Hodge’s aggressive grilling of top business figures and multiple inquiries into tax avoidance made her a household name until she stepped down before the last election — although some critics questioned what they saw as an unhelpful tarring and feathering of business. Her successor, Labour MP Meg Hillier, has signalled she will lead the committee on a different route, taking it back to its roots as a watchdog of public expenditure.” – Financial Times

Labour 4) Pressure on prosecution chief as Lord Janner faces legal proceedings

“The country’s top prosecutor will face a fight to stay in her job after the U-turn in the Lord Janner case is announced on Monday. As revealed by the Daily Mail on Saturday, an independent inquiry has found that Alison Saunders was wrong not to charge the Labour peer with child sex offences. The Crown Prosecution Service will officially announce legal proceedings against him today. It is expected there will be a ‘trial of the facts’, a procedure in which a jury can hear the evidence against an individual considered too ill to stand trial, and decide whether they committed the offences.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Shutters remain on Greek banks as country prepares for capital controls – Daily Mail
  • Can Greece still avoid Grexit? – Financial Times
  • Britain sends fencing to France to keep out migrants – The Times (£)
  • Best front pages from 160 years of the Telegraph – Daily Telegraph
  • UK banks lose ground to global rivals – The Guardian
  • TUC claims two child families will feel cost of benefit freeze – The Independent
  • Business wants more money for North – Financial Times
  • EU tries to ban pictures of public buildings – Daily Mail