Cameron: My remarks about ministers and Europe were “over-interpreted”…

CAMERON EU fence“The Prime Minister said on Sunday that rebels would be ordered to toe the line in the vote on Britain’s membership of the EU. … It meant any minister who disagreed with his position of hoping to remain in the EU after his renegotiation would be forced to quit. But the Prime Minister’s comments provoked fury from Tory MPs, with former chief whip Andrew Mitchell warning the ‘lid could blow off’ the party. … Within hours of his remarks, Downing Street was forced into retreat, with sources claiming they had been ‘over-interpreted’.” – Daily Mail

  • “…some Conservative MPs were not inclined to give Mr Cameron the benefit of the doubt. ‘Cameron tried to flex his muscles and it has backfired,” said one backbencher. “He has made lots of people unhappy.'” – Financial Times
  • “Which members of the Tory cabinet might quit over Europe?” – Independent
  • “The European parliament will block a secretive trade pact unless it guarantees states’ rights to regulate over climate, health and social laws, a key parliamentary leader has warned just days before a related crunch vote on trade liberalisation with the US.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • Newspaper mastheads“Careless talk can cost friends, Mr Cameron.” – Daily Mail editorial
  • “Wanted: a vision for Europe.” – Daily Telegraph editorial
  • “If voters suspect they are being stitched up over the looming EU referendum, they won’t let David Cameron get away with it.” – Sun editorial (£)
  • “The prime minister needs to take a tougher line in EU negotiations.” – Times editorial (£)
  • “Cameron must avoid a re-run of Maastricht.” – Financial Times editorial
  • “A mere four weeks have passed since the election, and already the Tories are at one another’s throats in a way that will dismay their supporters and delight their opponents.” – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • “Then there is Europe, which has the potential to leave the Conservatives not merely in tatters but in tatters that are themselves burnt and ragged.” – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
  • “When push comes to shove, Cameron will have to let Tory eurosceptics off the leash.” – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • “It couldn’t be clearer – David Cameron’s in a muddle.” – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • “Yeah but no but yeah but: Conservative Eurosceptics are behaving like Vicky Pollard.” – Paola Buonadonna, Daily Telegraph
  • “Euroshambles could undo the Tories.” – David Maddox, The Scotsman

> Today:

> Yesterday:

…and, by the way, “Britain is not shrinking”

growth flag“David Cameron defended his stance on military spending yesterday – as he accused critics who say Britain is retreating from the world of talking ‘nonsense’. … The Prime Minister bridled at reports that American diplomats have started referring to the UK as ‘great shrinking Britain’ following years of defence cuts. … Mr Cameron said: ‘We are not shrinking. Britain is a serious global player in the world with a budget to back it up. We have to make decisions in a spending round. When we’ve done that we’ll make an announcement in the proper way.’” – Daily Mail

  • “The Group of Seven countries on Monday threatened Russian president Vladimir Putin with new economic sanctions if Moscow escalated military backing for the separatists in eastern Ukraine.” – Financial Times

And comment:

  • “The madness of reducing our Armed Forces to a ferry service for migrants.” – Max Hastings, Daily Mail

Clare Foges, the Prime Minister’s former speechwriter, on how the Tories can improve their image

“So to change the record, we need more than quiet, practical measures. We need stories that are clear, that cut through, that paint the words “one nation” in primary colours. Ideas on a postcard, but here are some suggestions. … Bring in a ‘no tax, no honours’ rule. One nation must mean everyone playing by the same rules — not giving knighthoods and other honours to those who park all their money in tax havens. … Move on from the bedroom tax. It is not working as had been hoped and will remain a fly in the one-nation ointment. Have a principled mea culpa moment and move on.” – Clare Foges, The Times (£)

Fox lambasts the Government for putting pensioners first

FOX Liam new“A former Cabinet minister last night hit out at Tory plans to raise pensions at a time when working families were struggling. … David Cameron has pledged a ‘triple lock’ on the state pension, which sees it increase annually by either inflation, average earnings, or 2.5 per cent – whichever is the higher. … But Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, said he found it ‘difficult to explain’ the policy to hard-working families who could not ‘make ends meet’.” – Daily Mail

  • “The divorce rate among pensioners has doubled in a decade.” – Daily Mail
  • “Tens of thousands of families are shunning care homes to look after elderly relatives themselves instead.” – Daily Mail

Will Osborne sell off Channel 4 as well?

“Channel 4 could be sold off for £1billion as the Government looks for new ways to raise money, it emerged last night. … The broadcaster, which launched in 1982 and is still owned by the taxpayer, has escaped repeated calls for privatisation in the past. … But a source said that proposals to sell it are back on the agenda now that the Coalition has been replaced by a Tory government. … [The Conservative] party drew up proposals to sell Channel 4 last year but they were blocked by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and other Lib Dem MPs.” – Daily Mail

  • “George Osborne, his former Labour rival Ed Balls and BBC Trust chairman Rona Cameron are to attend the secretive Bilderberg Group conference, it emerged today.” – Daily Mail

Review of financial regulation to be published tomorrow

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“New laws banning manipulation of markets such as foreign exchange and the creation of a market standards body to oversee conduct are expected to figure in a big review of UK financial regulation to be published on Wednesday. … The Fair and Effective Markets Review is designed to close the legal loopholes and regulatory gaps that allowed scandals like foreign exchange manipulation and the Libor rate-rigging scandal to happen.” – Financial Times

  • “Business is mad not to embrace flexible working.” – Steve Varley, The Times (£)

Fallon argues that aid spending should be part of the defence budget

“Foreign aid spending should be part of the defence budget so Britain can meet its 2 per cent Nato obligation, the Defence Secretary has indicated. … Michael Fallon said money spent on preventing wars and stabilising countries which currently falls under the international development budget could be recatagorised. … The suggestion sparked controversy as it would allow the UK to mask deeper cuts in more essential parts of the defence budget while appearing to hit its 2 per cent obligation.” – Daily Telegraph

Government warned over its plans to recruit more GPs

NHS“The government will fail to meet its target to recruit 5,000 new GPs unless it changes immigration rules to recruit more doctors from overseas, a large recruiter has warned. … ManpowerGroup Solutions UK, one of the five biggest recruiters of GPs, said that even if the number of medical school graduates doubled, prime minister David Cameron would still fall short of his goal to recruit more GPs and make surgeries stay open seven days a week.” – Financial Times

  • “A £1bn government contract to provide emergency service communications has been thrown into disarray after one of only two bidders left in a year-long tender to provide network services withdrew.” – Financial Times
  • “Electronic cigarettes are to be banned in enclosed public spaces and workplaces as part of a raft of radical health plans announced by the Welsh government.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “The NHS needs savings of £22bn? Only a magician could find that.” – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

Brokenshire moves to deport immigrants found in trucks

“Fifteen of the 68 migrants found locked in the cargo containers of four lorries at an east coast port last week have been deported from Britain. … While some of those discovered at Harwich International Port in Essex inside trucks carrying Polish washing machines have claimed asylum, the authorities are seeking to remove those who have not, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said.” – Daily Mail

Shapps’s Wikipedia accuser faces reprimands

SHAPPS Carla head“Wikipedia’s ‘high court’ looks likely to reprimand one of its senior administrators over the way he investigated claims that the former Conservative party co-chairman Grant Shapps used an account to edit his own page and those of rival Tories. … The site’s arbitration committee – a group of volunteers chosen by the community to adjudicate on controversial decisions – looks certain to strip Richard Symonds of the right to unearth the IP addresses of Wikipedia users and also the ability to hide certain key edits.” – The Guardian

Boris’s blueprint for 2,000 homes and a new railway station

“The last main piece of London owned by City Hall is to be turned into 2,000 homes and a new railway station under plans to be announced by Boris Johnson, the city’s mayor, on Tuesday. … The 29-hectare Beam Park site in Dagenham, east London, is empty former industrial land alongside the Beam river. There is scope for 5,000 homes in the wider area, according to estimates by the Greater London Authority.” – Financial Times

Steve Richards: Why Miliband wasn’t ousted

Ed Miliband stare“It also raises the question as to why Harman and others did not remove someone who was navigating them towards an election defeat. … Part of the answer is that there was an attempt to remove Miliband last November. The moves were deadly serious, instigated by some who were not part of the permanently discontented Blairite faction. It was not sentimentality that kept Miliband in place. The iron laws protected him. The insurrectionists had no alternative candidate.” – Steve Richards, The Independent

Healey urges Labour to adopt radical welfare reform…

“Labour is being urged to embrace radical welfare reform in an attempt to stop George Osborne laying another ‘political trap’ for the party by challenging it to support his £12bn of benefit cuts. … John Healey, a candidate in the election for Labour’s deputy leader, has proposed that the party reduces the welfare budget by switching part of the £24bn-a-year housing benefit bill to housebuilding.” – Independent

Read Healey’s Independent article in full

  • “Universal credit, the government’s flagship welfare programme, is facing significant design problems and needs serious reform if it is to meet its original goal of making work pay for most claimants, the most thorough expert review of the scheme has found.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “David Cameron, a champion of disabled people? Try telling Paula Peters.” – Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian

…whilst Mann says that the party must address voters’ concerns about Europe and immigration…

LABOUR dead rose“Labour will never regain power again unless they address white working class voters’ concerns about immigration and Europe, according to one of their own MPs. … John Mann spoke out after a survey of his own constituents showed the tinder-box issues – plus Ed Miliband’s hopeless leadership – were the main reasons why they turned their backs on the party. … The Bassetlaw MP says whoever wins the Labour leadership race must address those concerns if they are to stand any chance of being PM.” – The Sun (£)

…but which way will they go over the EU Referendum?

“Splits within the Labour party over how to deal with the EU referendum campaign broke out into the open as the candidates to succeed Ed Miliband battled each other at their first hustings before the party’s MPs. … Liz Kendall, the Blairite candidate for the Labour leadership, told the hustings it would be a ‘profound mistake’ for the party to ‘somehow boycott’ the EU Yes campaign. That was an implicit criticism of Andy Burnham, the bookies’ favourite for the leadership, who has called for a greater emphasis on a separate pro-EU Labour group.” – Financial Times

  • “Andy Burnham, the favourite for the Labour leadership, warned that the party should be careful not to distance itself from everything it has stood for in the last five years, as the candidates addressed a hustings for the parliamentary party.” – The Guardian
  • “Liz Kendall, an outside contender for the Labour leadership, has won a place on the ballot after securing the support of 35 MPs, her campaign has announced.” – The Guardian

And comment:

  • “The Labour leadership contest is being conducted in a strange language all of its own, a kind of Esperanto of the left.” – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • “Will Labour choose a Tony Blair or a Neil Kinnock?” – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph

Kendall encourages the unions to change their ways

Liz Kendall Leader“Liz Kendall has warned Britain’s biggest unions that they risk becoming irrelevant unless they reach out to the millions working for private companies. … In her latest attempt to cast herself as the ‘change’ candidate in the Labour leadership race, the shadow care minister said that unions needed to become ‘relevant to all workers and not just to the public sector’ if they were to help to protect vulnerable employees.” – The Times (£)

The GMB backs fracking

“A powerful union has become the first in the UK to back controversial shale gas fracking. … GMB members agreed Britain has a ‘moral duty’ to drill instead of importing oil from dodgy regimes. … Delegates backed a call to support the budding industry at the union’s annual conference. Gary Smith, the union’s national secretary for energy and utilities, said: ‘It would be easy to come out against fracking, but it would be wrong for the union, and for the country.'” – The Sun (£)

  • “The other unions — and their Labour Party lackeys — should take note.” – Sun editorial (£)

Sturgeon insists that Scotland could handle fiscal autonomy

Scottish flag“Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that Scotland could ‘shoulder’ the burden of her plan to cut financial ties with the UK despite one of her MPs warning it would be a ‘disaster’ if it was introduced straightaway. … Speaking during a trip to New York, the First Minister told a US television programme that ‘of course’ Scotland could afford full fiscal autonomy, meaning all spending would have to be funded from taxes raised north of the Border.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “John Swinney has admitted he is ‘considering’ increasing income tax in Scotland next year to fill the gap in public spending from cuts by the Tory UK government.” – The Scotsman
  • “Donald Trump swept defiantly into Scotland yesterday, vowing to continue his fight against an offshore wind farm development in Aberdeenshire and accusing Alex Salmond of ‘destroying’ the country.” – The Scotsman

And comment:

  • “Scotland Bill, Second Reading – and there, in flesh and bone, sat the imbalance. … A few English and Welsh MPs were present but that did not disguise the bodily wallop of the SNP’s gains in last month’s election.” – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • “Unsackable minister David Mundell is calm under SNP fire.” – Donald Macintyre, The Independent

> Yesterday: LeftWatch – Dugdale is right to reject a separate Scottish Labour Party

Paddick attacks the Government’s plan to ban legal highs

“A senior Lib Dem peer has blasted the government’s plan to ban legal highs as ‘unworkable, confusing and likely to cause more harm than good’. … Lord Brian Paddick warned the reforms to ban legal highs – or psychoactive substances – haven’t been thought through and will force people looking for party drugs into the hands of dangerous street dealers instead.” – The Sun (£)

The DVLA’s technical problems

Pothole“Family holiday plans are under threat after a new DVLA web service needed to hire a car was hit by chaos. … Drivers reacted with fury after the DVLA yesterday scrapped the paper driving licence in favour of an online system which proved to be confusing and slow. … The move is part of a wider cost-cutting programme that also brought the end of the traditional car tax disc last autumn.” – Daily Mail

Kennedy’s funeral will take place on Friday

“The funeral of Charles Kennedy will take place on Friday, the ex-Liberal Democrat leader’s family said. … Large numbers are expected to gather for mass at noon at St John’s Church in Caol, near his Fort William home, to pay their last respects. … The service will be led by Father Roddy McAuley, who has described Mr Kennedy as ‘a much loved and respected parishioner’.” – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • HSBC to cut up to 25,000 jobs around the world – Financial Times
  • Apple launches new music-streaming service – Financial Times
  • Police launch a new investigation into Lord Janner – Daily Mail
  • Judge unseals letter of support for David Petraeus, including one from Tony Blair – Daily Mail
  • US Army website shut down by cyber-attack – The Sun (£)
  • Clarkson’s final two Top Gear episodes to be shown – The Sun (£)
  • Supermarkets engage in another price war – Daily Telegraph
  • Alton Towers victim has her leg amputated… – Daily Telegraph
  • …as the theme park’s owners accept responsibility – Independent
  • The world’s oldest cat passes away – Independent

And finally 1) No jags

John Prescott“John Prescott has been banned from driving after being caught speeding at 60mph in a 50 zone. … The former Deputy Prime Minister was helping his son move house late at night when he was picked up by a police speed gun in Hull. … The 77-year-old will not be allowed behind the wheel of his Jaguar again until November.” – Daily Mail

And finally 2) Obama’s great deception

“Barack Obama’s macho morning boozing at the G7 summit has been exposed as a sham after it emerged his pint was non-alcoholic. … The US president delighted locals by knocking back a beer at 11am alongside his host, German boss Angela Merkel, in the Bavarian Alps on Sunday.” – The Sun (£)