PM to seek opt out from EU employment laws

timesoptout“David Cameron is calling for the return of Sir John Major’s opt-out from EU employment laws as part of his renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with Brussels. The prime minister has held secret talks to claw back the 1992 opt-out that was surrendered by Tony Blair when Labour came to office. Mr Cameron is also pressing for a binding promise that sovereignty over employment laws will permanently return to the House of Commons, sources in Brussels have told The Times. As a minimum demand the Tory leader will call for Britain to be exempt from two key EU directives on working time and equal rights for temporary workers, a move that will anger many trade unions and pro-European Labour voters. The prime minister is seeking to reform Britain’s membership of the EU before a planned referendum by the end of 2017” – The Times(£)

  • Cameron’s playing a risky game – Bruno Waterfield The Times(£)

Javid: Living Wage will not be “magnet for migrants”

“Business Secretary Sajid Javid has hit back at claims the National Living Wage will act as a “magnet” for migrants. He said other EU countries have higher minimum wages and most migrants claimed in-work benefits, which are being cut. The National Living Wage, unveiled by George Osborne in his Budget, will start at £7.20 and rise to £9 by 2020. The Office for Budget Responsibility said this will put the UK near the top of the global minimum wage league table, relative to median earnings. Some commentators have suggested this will make it even harder for the government to achieve its aim of cutting net migration to the “tens of thousands”.” – BBC

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Right’s mounting backlash against the new National Living Wage

Cameron to prohibit aggressive fundraising by charities

mailcharity“David Cameron today dramatically announces a new law to curb the shameful tactics of charity fundraisers. The Prime Minister vowed to act after the Daily Mail revealed how ‘boiler room’ call centres targeted the elderly and vulnerable and took money from people admitting to dementia. Mr Cameron said the practices were ‘unacceptable’ and were harming the reputation of all charities. Under tough measures to be introduced in Parliament next week, charities will be forced to have legally binding agreements with their fundraisers committing them to showing how they will protect the vulnerable.” – Daily Mail

  • “David Cameron said the actions of some fundraisers were damaging the reputation of the charity sector. The changes will be introduced in amendments to the Charities Bill.” – BBC
  • The life of a charity cold caller – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Restoring trust in charities is key to the Big Society

Boris backs selective schools

“David Cameron is “very peculiar” to deny poor children the benefits of “ruthlessly” academic selective education that helped to power him to Downing Street, Boris Johnson has said. In an interview with The Times, Mr Johnson came close to urging Britain to vote “no” in the referendum on EU membership saying Greece was going to “get exactly what they want” because its people defied Brussels.” – The Times(£)

  • ‘We must help the have-nots and not just the have-yachts’ – Boris Johnson interview – The Times(£)

Boundary changes to be revealed to Tory MPs next week

“Conservative MPs will find out next week whether they will be at risk of losing their seats under plans to abolish 50 constituencies. Some Tory MPs are being called to private meetings to talk through the controversial changes, which could mean high-profile figures losing out. The meetings, starting on Monday, confirm that the government wants to push through the plans, which are sure to cause unrest on the Tory benches.”- The Times(£)

Wharton calls for North East powerhouse

WHARTON James headshot“James Wharton, the new northern powerhouse minister, warned yesterday that the northeast, which has the highest rate of unemployment in England, would be permanently left behind unless it shelved its hostilities and signed up to a deal — and a mayor. “It is up to local leaders to put aside their differences, come together and come to us with a clear plan,” Mr Wharton, MP for Stockton South, said. “If they don’t, there is a very real risk they will be left behind, not just by London but by other parts of the north too.”- The Times(£)

Gove drops plan for mega borstal

“MINISTERS have ditched plans to build an £85million mega-borstal. In a major U-turn, the Government said the scheme was too expensive “when resources are so tight”. Former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling unveiled the plans for a 320-bed “secure college” for child criminals before the election. But his successor Michael Gove ordered a review of the scheme, which has already cost £5million, and decided to pull the plug. Announcing the climbdown yesterday, prisons minister Andrew Selous said: “The nature of the challenge has changed. The youth custody population has fallen from 1,349 in January 2013 to 999 in April 2015 — a fall of 26 per cent.” – The Sun(£)

Morgan hits out at abuse from gay rights activists

MORGAN Nicky headshot“The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has hit out at gay rights campaigners for the “vitriol” she has received on social media. The Conservative opposed same-sex marriage reforms two years ago but since being given the additional role of equalities minister has said she “probably would” back the law if the vote was held now. Morgan said politicians had to “stand and be counted” for their decisions but admitted she had found the level of abuse she received difficult and warned that hectoring people on Twitter risked alienating them.” – The Guardian

Yet more budget reaction

“This might have been the week in which the meaning of “Conservative majority” finally became clear. After a period of cautious austerity under the Coalition, George Osborne intends to take the measures needed to improve Britain’s position in the long-term. Tory realism is the order of the day.” – Leader Daily Telegraph

  • Osborne “took much more from the poor” – The Guardian
  • 43 per cent say budget was fair, 33 per cent say unfair – The Independent
  • Osborne’s too clever by half – Brian Wilson The Scotsman
  • Chancellor  acted in the nation’s wider interests – Wales Online

Corbyn 1) Warning he would “destory Labour’s chances”…

CORBYN Jeremy“A Labour pressure group has asked party members to vote against Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership contest. Labour First said Mr Corbyn – who is seen as the most left-wing candidate in the race – would “destroy Labour’s chances of electability”. The group has urged members to vote for other candidates to prevent Mr Corbyn winning Constituency Labour Party nominations, known as CLPs.” – BBC

  • Just how good are Jeremy Corbyn’s chances? – New Statesman
  • “The Sun revealed last week how Mr Corbyn could be handed a plum job in the Labour frontbench if, as expected, he performs well in the leadership election. Labour insiders believe the anti-Trident MP has his eye on shadow defence.” – The Sun(£)

Corbyn 2) Boost as 30,000 Unite members register

“Jeremy Corbyn’s prospects in the Labour leadership election were boosted when it was confirmed that about 30,000 Unite members have signed up as registered party supporters, making them eligible to vote in the contest. The trade union has been supporting the leftwing candidate. He was initially seen as on the fringes of the four-way race, but he is gaining so much support that he is being taken more seriously.” – The Guardian

Corbyn 3) Poll shows him leaping into second place

FIST Red“The latest returns from constituency Labour Party branches show that Mr Corbyn has the support of 28 constituencies, just behind Mr Burnham who has the support of 33. He is now ahead of Yvette Cooper, the shadow health secretary, while Liz Kendall, the Blairite shadow health minister, has the support of just four branches. Mr Corbyn, whose priorities include the introduction of a Soviet-style “planned economy”, was only included in the race at he last minute after MPs decided there should be a “broad debate”.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Go Jeremy go! Corbyn smashes into the lead in our next Labour leader poll

Labour challenge Osborne over defence spending pledge

“George Osborne will have to resort to “creative accounting” to fulfil his pledge of spending 2% of national income on defence, Labour says. Tory MPs welcomed the chancellor’s commitment meet the Nato target for defence spending. But Labour said it was unclear how this would be achieved and reports that intelligence budgets would be included in the total would “cross the line”. Officials said Nato decided what was classified as defence spending.” – BBC

Lib Dem election campaign insulted voters say leadership candidates

LibDemDead“The Liberal Democrat election campaign was “poorly conceived”, failing to communicate the party’s own values by defining itself against the opposition, the party’s two leadership hopefuls have said. Speaking at a hustings organised for Guardian members in Bristol, Norman Lamb and Tim Farron agreed that, while it was easy to criticise in hindsight, the decision to promote the party as a moderating force in a future coalition government was ill-judged.” – The Guardian

Greek MPs back new bailout plan

“Greece’s parliament has backed a government package of economic reforms aimed at ending the country’s debt crisis and securing a new bailout. After winning cross-party support in a late-night vote, PM Alexis Tsipras said he had a “strong mandate” to complete negotiations with Greece’s creditors. However, some of his own MPs withheld their support in protest at austerity measures contained in the new package.” – BBC

>Yesterday: Mark Field MP on Comment: Grexit may solve nothing and cost Britain dearly

Son of Tory MP Victoria Borwick attacked

“Strapped to his hospital bed, this is the son of a high ranking Tory MP who was beaten unconscious by a violent girl gang after being attacked in KFC as security guards just ‘looked on’. Tom Borwick whose mother is newly elected Kensington MP Victoria Borwick, suffered repeated blows to the head as he desperately tried to protect his girlfriend. The 27-year-old was set upon initially as he queued for food with friends before the clash with three women spilled out onto the pavement outside the eatery in London’s Leicester Square and the 27-year-old was knocked out.” – Daily Mail

Heath: The Tories should not blame business

HEATH Allister“We are increasingly told that companies are “failing to deliver higher wages”, that business has proved itself unable to boost productivity, that the market isn’t building enough homes and so on – all astonishing claims given that the reasons for these blockages and problems are almost always either insurmountable economic reality to which nobody has the answer, or government failure. We are even being told by some on the Right that there are too many rich foreigners around or that it is wrong, supposedly, for bosses to earn more than an arbitrary multiple of workers’ pay, even when performance has been good. The Left-wing Kool-Aid has been swallowed, and brains lobotomised.” – Allister Heath Daily Telegraph

Moore: Britain must lead Europe – outside the EU

“The best leaders can establish in the public mind the link between what happens here and what happens everywhere else. Nowadays, this shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Driving home from the airport on Thursday, I found the M25 blocked both ways for 20 minutes because some “illegals” had jumped out of a lorry. This small event almost certainly has something to do with state failing somewhere in North Africa or the Middle East. In a similar way, David Cameron has given us a referendum on EU membership without, so far, a geopolitical exposition of what he wants. As the eurozone is consumed with its own woes, isn’t this the moment to work for a new European community outside that structure – a freer zone in which Britain could lead?” – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

Parris: Mayor Zac would be a disaster

PARRIS Mathhew“As the broadcaster and former Tory parliamentary candidate Iain Dale wrote on the ConservativeHome website yesterday, “it’s outrageous . . . Why shouldn’t Londoners have a much wider choice?” Labour is offering a shortlist of six….Zac Goldsmith would prove a dangerous partner to tango with. His selection would generate a real sense of injustice among good would-be candidates who have worked hard for Conservative government in London. Sit this one out, Mr Cameron.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

News in brief

  • Huge phone masts won’t need planning permission – Daily Mail
  • Pensions error means pay out for es police and fire fighters – The Times(£)
  • Tunisian anger at British advise for tourists to leave – Daily Telegraph
  • Lame duck BBC chairman should go says Bryant – The Guardian
  • Patients at risk as ambulance sat navs not kept up to date – Daily Telegraph
  • Academics attack deradicalisation strategy – The Independent

And finally…Johnny Mercer MP on life as a political hottie

MERCER Johnny“THAT clip of half-naked MP Johnny Mercer in the shower, lathering soap over his ripped, hairless torso, has got everyone steamed up. Thanks to his shower gel advert, the newly-elected Tory boy is the nation’s latest political pin-up — and the butt of jokes in the Commons. Johnny, a former Army captain, only did the 15-second TV advert for Dove Men+Care for “a bit of fun”, and is a bit embarrassed that his torso is the talk of the town. And after dealing with constant ridicule from his fellow MPs all week, he is relieved to be back in his family home on the outskirts of his constituency in Plymouth. Speaking exclusively to The Sun in the kitchen of his country cottage, Johnny opens up about the week he became a political hottie.” – The Sun(£)