Cameron plans to use Bill of Rights to boost ‘In’ vote…

EU Exit“David Cameron is planning to push through his British Bill of Rights next year ahead of an in-out referendum on UK membership of the EU in the hope that asserting the power of domestic courts over Strasbourg will boost the Yes camp. The prime minister has asked Michael Gove, the justice secretary, to publish a consultation on replacing Labour’s Human Rights Act — which enshrines European human rights legislation — with a British Bill of Rights this autumn. Senior Conservative figures said Number 10 wants to introduce the legislation in the early weeks of the next parliamentary session, which starts in May.  “There is a political point. If the government gets it through next year — in the Commons at least — a lot of people will have something to show on the European front,” said one figure familiar with the plans.” – Financial Times

…as Paterson blasts Obama’s EU intervention

“President Obama‘s call for the UK to remain in the EU has been met with fury after campaigners warned that British people – not world leaders – should decide. Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told The Sun the American president’s comments show he doesn’t “fully understand the reality of the European Union” and blasted “interference” from politicians overseas. Mr Paterson said: “Mr Obama set out the usual old state department consensus view clearly not fully understanding what the European Union is about.”” – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: The Deep End: Heresy of the Week: Britain is the most important country in the world

Prime Minister criticised for visiting Malaysia at height of corruption scandal

David Cameron 07-06-15“Politicians in Malaysia have criticised David Cameron for his decision to visit the country in the midst of a national scandal over alleged corruption. The UK prime minister will lead a business delegation next week to south-east Asia, the first of a series of high-profile meetings with Asian political leaders designed to promote British trade outside Europe. President Xi Jinping of China is due to visit Britain in October, while Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, will do so the following month. But next week’s trip has already run into trouble, with opposition MPs in Malaysia saying Mr Cameron’s visit could damage Britain’s reputation in that part of the world.” – Financial Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: We need an outcomes-based aid target

Court overrules May to free prisoner

“A man believed by police to pose a threat to the UK is to be released from prison after Theresa May lost a court case to keep him in jail until he can be deported. The man, a foreign national, has spent years in behind bars on terror-related offences and is still believed to pose a threat to the public. But a judge has now overruled the Home Secretary’s argument that the man, known in court as N2, should be remanded in custody because he is a threat to national security.” – The Independent

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Early release for Michael Gove

Nationalist mob harasses Scottish Conservative MP

david_mundell_small“An angry mob jeered Scotland’s only Conservative MP as he opened a food bank today in his own constituency. David Mundell was forced to flee through a back door and escape in a waiting car after anti-austerity activists including Scottish Nationalists chanted ‘shame on you’. The MP looked visibly shaken after his visit to the Trussell Trust foodbank was hijacked by demonstrators. As he left, the crowd could be seen aggressively pressing their faces to the windows of his car and yelling at him.” – Daily Mail

Bercow’s grossly excessive expenses claims revealed

“John Bercow was today accused of ‘obscene waste’ and ‘appalling judgement’ after racking up a £172 bill being chauffeur-driven to a conference just 0.7 miles from Parliament. The Commons Speaker’s journey would have taken a mere 14 minutes to walk and he had a choice of five buses taking him to his destination. Taking public transport would have cost no more than £1.50 on the bus or £2.30 on the Tube with an Oyster card. Mr Bercow also spent £367 taking a car to Luton to deliver a speech on how MPs were restoring their reputation after the expenses scandal.” – Daily Mail

Graham has driving award withdrawn after speeding conviction

GRAHAM Richard MP“Tory MP Richard Graham has been banned from driving for six months and had a road safety award withdrawn after he admitted to speeding. The Gloucester MP was caught driving at 90mph in a 70mph speed limit on the A417 near Cirencester, in the Cotswolds, in December 2014. Mr Graham won an award from road safety charity Brake last year but the accolade was withdrawn by the organisation yesterday. He had been praised as one of the charity’s ‘Parliamentarians of the Year’ for his campaign for tougher sentencing for uninsured drivers who cause serious injury or death.” – Daily Telegraph

Matthew Parris: Labour knows its heart, Blair does not

“Mr Blair has set back the evolution of the Labour party by 20 years; and it may be too late. He said last week that if the party’s heart was with the left as represented by Mr Corbyn, it should get a heart transplant. Again, the interesting truth was the one he may not have meant to imply. Heart transplants are tricky because the host body tends to reject the alien organ. The story of New Labour is the story of a heart transplant gone horribly wrong. How horribly, we are only learning this summer.” – The Times (£)

Unions bankroll 39 Labour welfare rebels

On strike“Labour welfare bill rebels are bankrolled by more than half a million pounds by union bosses, figures show. Of the 48 MPs who ignored interim party leader Harriet Harman to vote against the bill, 39 were handed cash donations. London Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan took nearly £60,000 while Kelvin Hopkins was given £40,000 by trade union bosses, according to the Electoral Commission statistics. New MP Richard Burgon was handed £3,000 while another new MP, former BBC journalist Clive Lewis, was given more than £24,000.” – The Sun (£)

  • Tories approve of Harman’s performance as interim leader – The Sun (£)

Labour leadership 1) Owen warns ditching Corbyn would deepen divisions

“An immediate attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour leadership would only make an SDP-style split more likely Lord Owen has warned. The peer, who was among the senior Labour figures to set up the Social Democratic party in the early 1980s, said it would be “very divisive” for MPs to topple the left-wing backbencher should he win the party’s leadership contest. He said MPs were to blame for allowing Mr Corbyn to run by handing him the 35 nominations required. “My own instinct would be they’ll only make a split a little bit more likely if they move precipitously,” he said.” – The Times (£)


  • What Labour’s greatest leader can teach these squabbling pygmies – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
  • It’s not hard to work out why Corbyn is popular – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour will be a mere pressure group if Corbyn is leader – Andrew Grice, The Independent
  • His tribe cares about identity, not power – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian


  • Leadership crisis turns into Game of Clones – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 2) Burnham boosted by endorsement from marginal candidates

Labour holes“Andy Burnham’s prospects in the Labour leadership race have been boosted by an endorsement from 15 candidates who stood at the May general election in seats the party needs to win next time to regain power. The candidates, who include the former minister Mike O’Brien, said in an open letter to Labour members: “Andy has what so many leaders lack – he’s authentic, he’s real and people instantly warm to him… he is the leader the public want Labour to have and the leader best placed to win the public’s support. Andy will speak most clearly to the millions of voters who wanted change but didn’t trust Labour with their vote this time.” The Burnham camp claims their candidate as the only one who can beat Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing contender.” – The Independent

  • Cooper accuses Burnham supporters of sexism – Daily Telegraph
  • Candidate attacks ‘retro’ campaign with Fifties attitude to women – The Guardian
  • Kendall denounces Falconer’s ‘gross insult’ to female candidates – Daily Mail


  • Interview with Liz Kendall: ‘Tory voters are decent people’ – The Times (£)
  • Interview with Yvette Cooper: ‘Andy’s campaign seem to want Liz and me to leave it to the boys’ – The Guardian


  • This slur on my opinion is wrong on every level – Lord Falconer, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Kendall defends her bid for party leader

Tristram Hunt: Labour must resist Corbyn’s siren song

“But Corbyn’s siren calls need to be resisted on grounds of political principle as well as political pragmatism… This is not a retreat from our values. It is a question of putting our philosophy into practice. So it would be well for some socialist firebrands to remember that Labour was founded to be a governing party, not a Left-wing debating society. The politics of Jeremy Corbyn will never deliver – either for the mainstream British majority, or this great Labour movement of ours.” – Daily Telegraph

Stephen Kinnock moots a 35p top rate

MANIFESTO money“As Labour leader in 1992, his father pushed for a 50p top rate of tax. But Neil Kinnock’s MP son has shown he has not inherited his father’s penchant for soaking the rich – after suggesting the top rate could be slashed to 35p. Stephen Kinnock, who was elected for the seat of Aberavon in May, also called for lower inheritance taxes and an immediate £10 minimum wage to be paid for by a levy on the biggest firms. He said Labour should ‘look seriously’ at a reduction in the top rate of tax and did not rule out lowering it to 35p, saying: ‘What matters is what works.’” – Daily Mail

Khan to pledge quotas for black officers

“A senior Labour figure will back the introduction of a quota system for black officers in the Metropolitan Police if he becomes the Mayor of London. Sadiq Khan will argue that dramatic action is needed to reduce the disparity between the capital’s ethnic complexion and the make-up of its police force. Only one in six (16 per cent) new recruits to the force were from black and ethnic minority communities last year – down from 20 per cent the year before. By contrast, 44 per cent of London’s residents are from ethnic minorities.” – The Independent

Sturgeon joins row over monitoring politicians

SNP logo white background“A longstanding convention preventing the tapping of MPs’ phone calls and emails is not compatible with modern surveillance methods, a government lawyer has said. A leading QC acting on behalf of ministers told a tribunal that the “Wilson doctrine” could not work sensibly in the age of bulk interception of communications and had no force in law. The revelation will alarm MPs, who believed their correspondence and conversations had protection. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minster, wrote to David Cameron yesterday demanding clarification after it was said that GCHQ, the government’s communications headquarters in Cheltenham, had abandoned guidelines preventing it from monitoring members of devolved parliaments.” – The Times (£)

Lamb attacks delay in care cost cap introduction

“Tens of thousands of families have been left at the mercy of council loan schemes after the Government’s ‘betrayal’ on elderly care, it emerged last night. Ministers provoked outrage last week when it was announced the flagship manifesto promise to bring in a cap of £72,000 on care home costs by next April was being delayed until 2020… Last night critics said the delay in the care cap would mean thousands of families will lose out. Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP who as care minister introduced the policy, added: ‘It is naïve to see this delay as anything other than an abandonment.’” – Daily Mail

  • Farron apologises for ‘hacked’ tweet comparing gay people to fish – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Where Conservatives and Lib Dems can still find common cause

News in Brief:

And finally… Cameron steps in to save Britain’s public loos

“David Cameron has pledged to do more to save Britain’s dwindling number of public lavatories. The Prime Minister said he would examine the case for lifting thousands of pounds of taxes from them every year to try to save them from closure. The search for public toilets in towns and cities has become more and more desperate in recent years because the number of lavatories has fallen markedly.” – Daily Telegraph