Cameron dragged into row with high-profile charity boss…

Camerons thinking copy“Camila Batmanghelidjh confirmed this morning that she was standing down as chief executive of the charity Kids Company after the government allegedly refused to hand over any more public money until she quit. The charity has suffered severe financial problems and is reliant on taxpayers for around 20 per cent of its £20million funding. Government officials have become increasingly alarmed at the state of the charity and refused to sign off any more cash until she was replaced… Mr Cameron, who has shared a platform with Ms Batmanghelidjh in the past, has previously defended the charity’s funding against efforts by ministers and officials in the Cabinet Office and Department for Education to cut it or intervene”. – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister overruled concerns to fund poster girl for the ‘Big Society’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Fears that charity had become personal fiefdom – Daily Mail
  • Kids Company chief to step down over ‘unprecedented financial strain’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Batmanghelidjh claims she’s being forced out to hide child abuse – The Times (£)


  • Charities need scrutiny as much as public support – Harriet Sergeant, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The perils of lionising charities

…as Feldman confirms the Prime Minister’s intentions on when to resign

“David Cameron made clear to colleagues that he would not fight the 2020 election before he said it publicly, one of his closest friends has said. Lord Feldman of Elstree, Conservative chairman and a Cameron ally since the University of Oxford days, became the first senior Tory figure to confirm after the election that the prime minister has no intention of fighting the next vote. The peer suggested that Mr Cameron’s public remark, made apparently casually to a BBC journalist, was not the first time he had thought about the subject. In an interview with The Times, Lord Feldman revealed: “He said publicly what he had said privately – that he wouldn’t go on for ever. Ten years is a long time.” – The Times (£)

Allister Heath: Today’s Greek vote may make the EU more amenable to real change

Euro meltdown“For all of those deluded Europhiles who believed that enforcing an artificial, imperfect currency on 19 different, divergent nations was a good idea that would help bring about peace, friendship and prosperity, the events of the past few weeks have surely been devastating. The Eurosceptics were right; the problem now is that in the best case scenario the region will undergo years of painful convulsions, precipitating a new treaty that imposes greater centralisation and restrictions on the fiscal independence of nation states. Such a move would outrage Eurosceptics, needless to say, and could lead to a collapse of the whole project if it is rejected by voters… Reopening treaties properly would create a major opportunity for the UK, albeit one that may come too late for David Cameron’s renegotiation.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Michael Fabricant MP in Comment: Just who is betraying whom in the Greek crisis, Mr Juncker?

Osborne 1) Inheritance tax break for homeowners planned

“David Cameron and George Osborne are to raise the inheritance tax threshold for couples who want to pass on their family home to their children to £1 million. They have also fired the opening salvo in the political battle over home ownership, saying they will “take on” opponents of planning reforms and council house and housing association sell-offs. In a joint article in The Times before Wednesday’s budget, the prime minister and chancellor make housing benefit a clear option for welfare cuts, insisting that Britain must build its way out of spiralling social rents.” – The Times (£)


  • Forget new tax promises, try reviving these old ones – Matthew Lynn, Daily Telegraph
  • Beware the hubris that stalks every Chancellor – Paul Johnson, The Times (£)
  • The biggest raid on benefits you’ve never heard of – Juliette Jowit, The Guardian


>Yesterday: Ben Caldecott in Comment: How to build Green and Responsible Conservatism in next week’s budget – and more widely

Cameron and Osborne: Here’s how to build a homeowning Britain

HOMES Manifesto“In the past five years, we got builders building, lenders lending, and government-backed schemes alone helped more than 200,000 people on to the property ladder. The next five will be about going much further. We will help people to reach their dreams by keeping Help to Buy until 2020 and extending the Right to Buy to 1.3 million housing association tenants. They will get a discount of up to 70 per cent to buy their own home, and we will open a register of interest so that thousands can sign up in the first year. And once you’ve got your home, you’ll be able to pass it on. As we promised in our manifesto, we’ll take the family home out of inheritance tax for all but the richest — and it’s a promise we will keep.” – The Times (£)

Osborne 2) Devolution drive will herald revolution in England

“George Osborne will next week signal a sweeping transfer of powers to the regions, from Cornwall to Yorkshire, presaging the biggest shake-up for decades in the way England is run. The chancellor will use his Budget speech to maintain momentum from last year’s devolution of powers to Manchester, as he aims to redraw the boundaries of the historically centralised UK state, the Financial Times understands. Cornwall is in discussions over gaining powers to shape its own economic destiny, with sway over transport, energy and housing, according to people involved in the talks. This breaks new ground, extending the devolution agenda for the first time to one of Britain’s most rural counties.” – Financial Times

NHS: Chancellor challenged to plug NHS funding shortfall…

NHS_Logo“Nine in ten hospitals are in the red and patients will suffer unless the Government finds more money, a report warns. The number of trusts in financial crisis has increased four-fold in the last year and experts say the problem is ‘endemic’ across the health service. A report by the Kings Fund urges the Government to invest more money into the NHS as part of next week’s Budget, warning that patient care will deteriorate otherwise. Although ministers have promised to stump up an extra £8 billion by 2020, the think-tank says this is the ‘bare minimum’ which the health service needs.” – Daily Mail

…as Health Secretary slapped down over GP fines hint

“The Health Secretary was slapped down by No10 yesterday — after signalling Brits may be charged for missing NHS appointments. Jeremy Hunt said he didn’t have a problem “with the idea” in a bid to recoup the £160 million that no-shows cost the health service each year. The widely respected Minister also let slip that the Government intended to tell people how much not turning up had cost the NHS. He mistakenly said he’d mentioned the plan in a speech earlier this week. The comments came during an appearance on BBC Question Time.” – The Sun (£)

  • Hunt has no problem with charging for missed GP appointments – Daily Mail
  • Cameron does, however – The Guardian

Hunt claims failing to fight ISIS in Syria would be a sign of weakness

ISIS“Failing to take on ISIS in Syria will be seen as a sign of ‘weakness’ by the Islamist fanatics, top Tory Jeremy Hunt has warned. The Health Secretary said the Government wanted to re-examine the case for a bombing campaign in Syria, following last week’s massacre in Tunisia. It comes after the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon set out the evidence yesterday for extending RAF air strikes from Iraq into Syria – telling MPs that was where ISIS organised and directed its terror operations.” – Daily Mail

  • BBC chief likely to be quizzed by MPs over ‘impartiality’ row – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour candidate sparks fury with comment over ‘military treatment’ of Tunisia victims – Daily Mail


  • Islamists want only one thing, we cannot appease them – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Spies are more effective than bombs abroad for defending Britain from ISIS

Secretaries of State 1) Catholics write to IDS

“More than 70 leading Catholics have written to Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, who is Catholic, to tell him they fear the impact of his welfare reform policies. In an open letter the group, led by the thinktanks Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform, calls on Duncan Smith to redraft his policies “in a way that is more compatible with Catholic and Christian values.” They highlight benefit sanctions, work capability assessments, the benefits cap and the scheme to incorporate all benefits in a single system of universal credit as policies that are worsening the situation of poor families up and down the country.” – The Guardian

Secretaries of State 2) May is ‘internet’s villain of the year’

MAY Warhol“The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has been named the UK internet industry’s villain of the year for pursuing “snooper’s charter” legislation without fully consulting the sector. The gong, part of the annual ISPA awards, was given for “forging ahead with communications data legislation that would significantly increase capabilities without adequate consultation with industry and civil society”. “With an investigatory powers bill due before parliament in the coming months, it is essential that ISPs are consulted,” the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) added.” – The Guardian

  • Home Secretary’s ban on legal highs savaged as ‘impossible’ by her advisors – The Independent

Secretaries of State 3) Morgan strikes different note to Gove with focus on happiness

“Happiness is just as important as a string of top grades, according to the education secretary, who said she did not want her legacy to be academically able students who are miserable and stressed out. In her first interview since the election, Nicky Morgan said children’s emotional wellbeing, resilience and good mental health would be a priority now that she is back at the Department for Education. Her comments mark a clean break with the era of Michael Gove, her predecessor and now justice secretary, who focused exclusively on boosting academic standards when he was in the job. He was suspicious that a focus on wellbeing would be used as an excuse for underachievement.” – The Times (£)

  • NUT claims exams put children in ‘complete meltdown’ – The Guardian

>Today: Simon Clarke in Comment: Will Jo Johnson’s new teaching plan raise standards, or just tick boxes?

Miliband’s early comeback ‘harms Labour’…

MILIBAND Red Ed“Ed Miliband is coming under increasing fire from other Labour MPs for re-entering the political fray without having acknowledged the reasons for the party’s election failure. The former leader, who took Labour to a catastrophic defeat eight weeks ago, is causing consternation by seeking political rehabilitation so soon. The Doncaster MP has made it clear that he will continue to campaign on inequality and has been seeking a role ready for the Paris climate-change talks in December.” – The Times (£)

…as unions back Corbyn to defend his legacy

“Two of Britain’s biggest unions who donate millions to the Labour party are set to endorse far-Left candidate Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader to “teach the party a lesson” for backing spending cuts. Senior union sources have told The Telegraph that Unite is expected to back Mr Corbyn when its executive council meets on Sunday, with GMB predicted to do the same. The move is designed to “nail our colours to the mast” in opposition to austerity cuts and ensure the Labour Party does not tack right, one source said. There is frustration among some senior union figures that many of Labour’s leadership candidates have heavily criticised Ed Miliband’s economic policy.” – Daily Telegraph

Kendall urges Labour to embrace English votes

Liz Kendall Leader“Liz Kendall has urged Labour to do a U-turn by embracing “English votes for English laws” even though the move is opposed by many of the party’s MPs. The Blairite candidate in Labour’s leadership race parted company with her three rivals after Labour condemned the Conservatives’ plans to give English MPs a veto over legislation affecting only England. The Opposition will vote against the proposals, which will be fast-tracked through Parliament this month. Ms Kendall said: “It is time for the Labour Party to stop swimming against the tide and back the idea that English voters should have the right to determine things that solely affect England.”” – The Independent


Mayoralty: Khan pledges to block all all fracking applications in the capital

“One of the favourites to be chosen as Labour’s candidate in next year’s London Mayor election has pledged to block all fracking applications in London. Sadiq Khan said he would instead throw his support behind community energy production if he is elected to replace Boris Johnson in next year’s mayoral election, promising to do “everything in my power to stop fracking in the capital”… Mr Khan has pledged to follow the example of New York, which has recently passed a moratorium on fracking despite the United States’ booming shale gas industry.” – The Independent

  • Will David Lammy’s ‘rootedness’ help him win the Labour nomination? – The Independent
  • Campbell pulls out of Tory hustings – The Sun (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Who should be the Tory candidate for London’s mayoral election? >Yesterday: Bob Neill MP in Comment: Syed Kamall is the mayoral candidate who can complete the success story Boris began

Umunna calls for Parliament to be turned into a museum

PARLIAMENT“The Houses of Parliament should be turned into a museum, Labour’s Chuka Umunna said yesterday. The Shadow Business Secretary said a report revealing up to £7 billion of work is needed to repair the building meant there was a “wonderful opportunity” to go. He added MPs should sit in regional groups in a new building to reduce tribalism. “How in 2015 is it that we are carrying on with a Commons that cannot even seat all its members?” he said.” – The Sun (£)

Carswell says UK should have more power to be ‘selective’ with migrants due to popularity as destination

“The OECD study also found the UK is attracting a higher number of well-qualified migrants, with almost half holding a degree, double the proportion six years ago. It also reveals that children of low-income migrants are more likely to become high-achievers in a British school than they would in any other schooling system in the EU. UKIP MP Douglas Carswell told the Daily Telegraph: ‘This suggests that, if we are such an attractive place to come to, we should be able to be more selective.’” – Daily Mail

  • Haulage boss calls for troops to protect British lorries in Calais – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Plans to privatise Channel 4 re-emerge – Financial Times
  • If Lancashire won’t frack we will, say Yorkshire residents – The Times (£)
  • RAC demands 5p cut in ‘rip-off’ diesel charge – Daily Mail
  • Pope Francis claim Church should have no leaders for life – Daily Telegraph
  • Korean Navy officer arrested as Chinese spy – The Guardian
  • Study finds more young people think weed should be legal than tobacco – The Independent
  • Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits – Financial Times
  • Young Greeks prepare to reject austerity – The Times (£)