Biography claims Osborne tried to block the EU referendum…

CAMERON EU fence“George Osborne pleaded with David Cameron not to hold an in/out referendum on the European Union, it emerged last night. Senior Tory sources revealed the Chancellor had repeatedly warned against the move in the run-up to the Prime Minister’s referendum pledge in 2013. Meanwhile a major new biography of Mr Cameron said the issue had opened up a ‘rare schism’ between the two men. The revelation that the Chancellor tried to block the referendum will raise eyebrows among Eurosceptic Tories, given his role as Mr Cameron’s lead negotiator in talks to secure a new deal with the EU. A spokesman for the Chancellor last night said it was ‘nonsense’ to suggest he had ever opposed holding an in/out vote.” – Daily Mail

  • Chancellor denies claims he lobbied against plebiscite – The Independent
  • Cameron’s ambitions for renegotiation ‘not ambitious enough’ warn ministers – Daily Telegraph
  • Migration on agenda in Prime Minister’s EU quest – Financial Times
  • Brussels rejects Britain’s bid for border control – The Times (£)
  • Downing Street plays down talk of split with May – The Independent


>Today: Lord Flight’s column: EU regulation is damaging British businesses

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The twin immigration issues – legal and illegal – are set to get even more painful

…and reveals MI6 opposition to Cameron on Libya

“The head of MI6 told David Cameron that British military action in Libya had nothing to do with “the national interest”, according to an extraordinary account of the run-up to the intervention. Sir John Sawers, who was head of the secret intelligence service, is said to have contradicted the prime minister during a tense exchange over motives for British involvement in the campaign against Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. The claim is one of a series of revelations about Mr Cameron’s bruising experiences with foreign policy in his first term as prime minister. They are laid bare in Cameron at 10, a new biography by the historian Sir Anthony Seldon.” – The Times (£)

>Today: James Gray MP in Comment: How the Prime Minister should be allowed to take Britain to war

Clare Foges: Let’s wait until 2040 before judging the Prime Minister

Cameron1“In an age of un-deferred gratification, we don’t like to wait for the verdict on our politicians. There is a rush to pass judgment and weigh up whether the first five years in government have been a success or failure. Yet, while Seldon is a peerless biographer, this is not the “definitive” account of Cameron’s first term — it cannot be. The truly definitive account will come 20 or 30 years down the line, when its author can analyse not just the seeds that have been sown but the way they have bloomed or withered in the long term. History has delivered a contrary verdict on many political decisions that seemed good or bad at the time.” – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Healey’s birthday, Seldon’s book – and the challenges of modern political biography

Chancellor decries Corbyn for anti-nuclear stance

“A Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn would pose a threat to national security by undermining the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, according to the chancellor, George Osborne. The chancellor said “an unholy alliance of Labour’s leftwing insurgents and the Scottish nationalists” would shatter decades of near-unbroken Westminster consensus in favour of maintaining a nuclear capability. Both Corbyn, the favourite to succeed Ed Miliband, and the SNP oppose the renewal of the Trident missile system being pursued by the Conservative government. Osborne said that would be disastrous.” – The Guardian

  • Osborne invests £500 million in Trident base ahead of renewal decision – The Independent
  • IPPR claims Osborne can be more generous than expected… if he levies stealth taxes – Financial Times

Ministers 1) Javid to investigate abuse of tips by restaurants

JAVID Sajid black background“The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced a new investigation into how restaurants use the tips left by customers and whether a new code of practice is required. It comes after it was revealed in The Independent that some restaurant chains were using some or all of the service charge attached to bills for “administrative costs”. “When a diner leaves a tip, they rightly expect it to go to staff. In full,” Mr Javid said. “I’m concerned about recent reports suggesting some restaurants pocket tips for themselves. That’s just not right.”” – The Independent

Ministers 2) Clark leads crackdown on travellers’ building privileges

“Travellers could be barred from using special dispensation to build settlements in rural sites unless they can prove they spend extended periods on the road under a wider government crackdown on illegal encampments. Unauthorised settlements in the countryside and green belt will also be targeted by the tougher new rules, with councils told they will no longer have to rehouse travellers in protected areas. The new rules will also remove councils’ obligations to provide sites for people evicted from large-scale unauthorised encampments. Greg Clark, the communities secretary, said: “I’m determined to ensure fairness in the planning system, so everyone abides by the same rules.”” – The Times (£)

  • UN reignites conflict with UK Government over welfare reform – Daily Mail

Baroness Stowell defends the Lords

LORDS logo“Although the size of the House is important, it’s not where any debate concerning the Lords should start. The more important question for me is how, in a modern world and as an unelected House, we can best continue to serve our core purpose: is to complement the work of the House of Commons and give the public confidence in what Parliament decides. This means continuing to do what we as a House do best: scrutinising draft legislation, suggesting improvements and sometimes asking the Government to think again.” – Daily Telegraph

Boris Johnson: If we don’t address the reasons people flee Syria, they’ll keep coming here

“The number one political problem in Europe this summer is the movement of migrants, and there are many potential solutions. The Home Secretary has bravely proposed a fundamental reform to the EU – that we should disallow free movement of labour, unless the migrant worker has a clearly defined job to go to. I believe many people in this country would support such a reform, though the devil, as ever, would be in the detail. But we must also tackle the reasons why people flee their homes – and we cannot let Isil destroy sites that are not only emblems of our civilisation, but which offer hope for the Syrian economy. If the Syrians are deprived of their past, they will have no future.” – Daily Telegraph

Brown accuses Cameron of jeopardising the Union

UNION FLAG torn“Gordon Brown has claimed the next 12 months will decide whether the United Kingdom survives as he accused the Tories of stoking a “dangerous and insidious” English nationalism that is pulling the Union apart. The former Prime Minister said the fate of the UK will be decided by events in England rather than Scotland and blamed the Conservatives for being willing to “turn on the tap” of English nationalism. He said the Conservatives should have played the “British unity card” in their general election, but instead chose to portray Scots as a “menace and a danger”.” – Daily Telegraph

Footage emerges of Corbyn lamenting ‘tragedy’ of Bin Laden’s death…

“Jeremy Corbyn described the assassination of Osama bin Laden as a ‘tragedy upon a tragedy’ that would make the world a more dangerous place. In TV footage which emerged online for the first time last week, the Labour leadership frontrunner criticised the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist in a raid by US special forces. He told Iranian national television, shortly after bin Laden was shot four years ago, that the 9/11 mastermind should not have received the ‘death penalty’, but should have been put on trial. Failure to do so, Mr Corbyn said, was ‘a tragedy upon a tragedy’, after the World Trade Center attacks, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” – Daily Mail

  • MP’s vile views on 9/11 mastermind – The Sun (£)
  • Islington MP would start assembling his shadow cabinet ‘within days’ of winning – Daily Telegraph
  • Front runner dresses for success – The Times (£)


  • Corbyn’s rise is inspiring, even if his opponents are right – David Edgar, The Guardian

…as Seldon claims Blair tried to save Gaddafi

BLAIR demon eyes“Tony Blair attempted to broker a deal with Colonel Gadaffi before the dictator was ousted, it was claimed last night. According to a new book, Mr Blair phoned Downing Street in 2011 on behalf of ‘a key individual’ close to the Libyan leader, suggesting he wanted to sue for peace. The former prime minister allegedly told No 10 that the dictator hoped to ‘cut a deal’, but then did not follow up on the call. The biography – Cameron at 10 by Sir Anthony Seldon – claims Mr Blair wanted to avoid ‘doing anything which might be seen to give the Libyan leader succour’. Yesterday, senior MPs called for him to face questions over the affair. Nadhim Zahawi, a Tory MP who sits on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, told The Times that Mr Blair ‘clearly felt that it was an important thing to communicate to No 10’.” – Daily Mail

  • Former Prime Minister faces enquiry over Libyan intervention – The Times (£)

Burnham u-turns (again) and urges party to heed warnings of former leader

“Mr Burnham, once seen as the frontrunner before a surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn, heaped praise on Mr Blair for a last-ditch bid to stop the hard-left candidate from winning. Earlier this month, when the former Labour leader argued that the party was in danger of “walking eyes shut, arms outstretched over the cliff’s edge”, Mr Burnham criticised “dire predictions” by party grandees as unhelpful. Yesterday, however, he said that he agreed with Mr Blair’s call to reject Mr Corbyn’s “Alice in Wonderland” politics or face years in the wilderness. He told Sky News: “Tony Blair won three general elections… If we have got to a point now where the Labour party says it doesn’t want to listen to him, then I would think we have lost the plot.”” – The Times (£)

UKIP returns to Doncaster as it gears up for anti-Labour offensive

UKIP glass“The UK Independence party is returning to Doncaster this autumn for its annual conference as it seeks to seize ground from Labour in northern England. The election result on May 7 seemed an anticlimax for Ukip: it secured just one seat in Clacton and leader Nigel Farage failed to become an MP. But it finished second across the north of England and damaged Labour in countless seats. It took nearly a quarter of the votes in the Doncaster North constituency of Labour’s then leader Ed Miliband.” – Financial Times

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