Cameron ‘open’ to time-limiting peers

Lords“Growing calls for the House of Lords to be slashed to around 400 peers have received a boost as David Cameron is said to be “open” to time-limits in the upper chamber. It follows calls from Lord Winston and other well-known peers to shrink the chamber to half its current size and restrict political appointments. The PM, who appointed 45 new peers yesterday, is said to be open to the idea of restricted terms for Lords sitting in the over-crowded chamber, if his Conservative colleagues on the red benches put through a rule change. But he has warned there would be “no point” in trying to reform the Lords after previous attempts failed.” – The Sun (£)

  • Committee which oversees Lords appointments claims chamber is too big – Daily Telegraph
  • Ban donors and bag carriers from the red benches, says peeress – Daily Telegraph


>Today: ToryDiary: The challenge of shrinking the Lords

Boris plans autumn political relaunch to rejuvenate leadership ambitions

“Boris Johnson is planning a political relaunch this autumn to put behind him a dismal summer and to convince sceptical Tory MPs he has the gravitas to win the “long game” to succeed David Cameron. Mr Johnson’s team want to reposition the London mayor as a serious, unifying, “one nation” politician, a move aimed at arresting a slide in his standing among Conservative MPs at Westminster. The sell-off in Johnson stocks by Tory MPs in recent weeks has been of an almost Chinese intensity. One Tory MP said: “It’s over for Boris: nobody is talking about him as leader now.” The Conservative election victory in May suddenly turned the Cameron/Osborne team into winners, while Mr Johnson has struggled to make an impact on his return to Westminster as an MP.” – Financial Times

Javid seeks to soften impact of anti-money laundering regime on legitimate business

Javid Sajid“Ministers are looking to cut red tape in the government’s anti-money laundering regime, weeks after David Cameron promised Britain would not be a haven for “dirty money”. Sajid Javid, business secretary, announced a review on Friday to reduce complexity in the system to ensure the rules were not “unintentionally holding back” British business. Companies and banks have complained to ministers that rules intended to stop black money flowing into Britain have also imposed extra costs and time burdens on innocent companies and individuals. Critics also say that the crackdown carries an unintended humanitarian cost by adding charities and non-governmental organisations to the ranks of the “de-banked”.” – Financial Times

Eustice backs badger cull expansion

“Animal rights activists, including the rock guitarist Brian May, claim that the evidence against badgers is vague and there are more effective ways of dealing with bovine TB, including vaccination. Despite the failure to meet targets, Natural England issued licences in the trial areas yesterday for a third year and approved the start of a cull in Dorset. More than 600 badgers will be shot in the county during a six-week period this year. George Eustice, the farming minister, insisted that “strong action” was needed to eradicate the disease.” – The Times (£)

Jenkin to question Yentob over Kids Company collapse

JENKIN Bernard“The BBC creative director Alan Yentob is to face scrutiny by parliament over his personal role in failing to recognise the financial crisis that forced Kids Company to close. MPs want to question him about the charity’s decision not to build up cash reserves and claims of misspending and financial impropriety… Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative MP and committee chairman, said: “We’re interested in how such a high-profile charity could finish up being so badly managed. We want to understand, has there been a regulatory failure and has there been undue political interference in the grant support?”” – The Times (£)

Teresa Gorman, one of John Major’s ‘Bastards’, dies

“Mrs Gorman brought to the Commons a belief in “the right of everyone to go to hell in their own way”. Enoch Powell was her hero, and she reckoned herself a close ally of Norman Tebbit. She bore with pride the accolade of “most Right-wing member of Parliament” bestowed by the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee. Stridently feminist, she personified her belief that women were “active, productive and seductive members of society”. She pressed for tax relief for working mothers’ child care costs, and her speech in April 1990 opposing David Alton’s bill to curb abortions – advocating a woman’s right to control her own body – was rated by some a parliamentary classic.” – Daily Telegraph

Davies urges Sturgeon to ‘calm down’ and stop trying to control BBC Scotland

BBC logo“Nicola Sturgeon needs to “calm down” following her demands that Scotland must get a dedicated BBC television channel, a Tory MP has said. The comment made by backbencher Philip Davies is reminiscent of a remark made by David Cameron in 2011. At a Question Time session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, when the panel was discussing Scotland and the BBC, the morning after a speech by Sturgeon, Davies said: “I think people are getting rather, sort of, overwhelmed by this, and Nicola Sturgeon needs to just calm down a second, and remember people in Scotland did actually vote …”” – The Guardian

Government sets up Twitter account to highlight anti-ISIS efforts

“The Government launched on Thursday a new Twitter account @UKagainstISIL, which the Foreign Office have confirmed is genuine. It comes as speculation surfaces of another vote in the Commons on the possibility of carrying out military action against Syria. David Cameron has been warned to wait until after the Chilcot inquiry is published, before calling on MPs to vote again on committing to airstrikes. The new twitter account sets out to provide updates on how the “UK Government’s ongoing work to defeat ISIL.”” – Daily Telegraph

Ex-Livingstone advisors accused of being a Marxist cabal rally round Corbyn

Miliband Labour Left“A group of former advisers to Ken Livingstone who have been accused of forming a secret Marxist cell have rallied around Jeremy Corbyn. The hard-left Labour leadership candidate has won the backing of a group of aides to the former mayor of London who allegedly dreamed of turning the capital into a beacon of socialism. The group was accused in a 2008 documentary of being part of the Trotskyist clique Socialist Action. A spokesman for City Hall refuted the allegations at the time, but others on the left maintained the existence of the secretive entryist group.” – The Times (£)

  • Jewish group demand Corbyn reject Hamas and Hezbollah – Daily Telegraph
  • Left winger’s supporters more working class than those of other candidates – The Independent
  • The five pillars of Corbyn’s bid to run Britain – Daily Telegraph
  • Miliband aide urges people to stop blaming his boss for rise of Corbyn – The Guardian


  • Don’t blame Miliband for this mess, Labour needed electoral reform – Tom Baldwin, The Guardian
  • Corbyn’s supporters are preparing a ‘purge’ of their own – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore: Corbyn’s madness may appeal in a crisis

“…saving has become profitless, private pensions have weakened, ownership has shrunk, house-building has stagnated, and personal and government debt remain huge. Ageing populations undercut the expectations of future prosperity. Deflation subverts confidence. Will our moderate and sane government really know what to do or say when the next jolt to the system comes? If not, there will be an electoral market for the immoderate and insane politics offered by the bearded Bourbon of Bolshevism.” – Daily Telegraph

BBC focus group compares Cooper to Thatcher

Yvette Cooper 13-08-15“Jeremy Corbyn was labelled a “divisive” politician who is “very bitter and jealous of richer people”, as a focus group gave the Labour leadership front-runner short shrift last night. Yvette Cooper emerged as the surprise favourite, deemed “positive” and “addressing the issues with working-class people” among the Newsnight/Ipsos Mori focus group. She was compared to Margaret Thatcher in terms of strength. However, she was accused by one panel member of “dumbing herself down” to avoid drawing attention to her economic background and her husband, Ed Balls, the former shadow chancellor.” – The Times (£)

  • Islington MP’s ‘bitching and moaning’ turns off voters – The Sun (£)
  • Labour did too little, too late to defend civil liberties, argues Yvette – The Guardian
  • Cooper offers “humane” alternative to Government migration targets – The Independent

>Yesterday: Dr Simon Clarke in Comment: Why we need more students from overseas to stay on and work here

Hugo Rifkind: Help! The Labour thought police are after me

“For the past few months, as everybody now knows, the Labour party has been letting people pay £3 to register to vote in its leadership contest. So I did. To be honest, if my friend Jeremy Hardy — a fairly far-left comedian, now banned from voting in the contest because he previously supported the Green party — hadn’t mentioned it on the radio, I probably wouldn’t even be writing about it. But he did, so I am. “Hang on,” you might be thinking. “Are you really Labour?” Which is a fair question with an easy answer, and that answer would be “no”. The thing is — and I swear I’m not being facetious here — I really don’t see why that’s my fault. If anything, it’s Labour’s fault. And surely the whole point of this £3 madness — and I do, by the way, think it’s been madness, but that’s not my fault, either — is to allow people who don’t necessarily want to join Labour to have a vote anyway.” – The Times (£)

Starmer supports the right to die

Aid shield“Sir Keir Starmer was responsible for drawing up guidelines that spelt out how people who acted with compassion might avoid prosecution for assisting a suicide. He is now convinced that it is time for a new law to save dozens of Britons every year from making their way to the Zurich clinics of Dignitas to end their lives. Sir Keir, who became Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras this year, has always declined to give his view of the law, but he has decided to go public before the Assisted Dying Bill returns to parliament next month.” – The Times (£)

Farage fans move to block Evans’ mayoral bid

“UKIP deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans is facing a bid to block her as candidate for Mayor of London by fans of Nigel Farage who think she is a threat. The party is unlikely to win the Mayor’s job but could bag two London Assembly seats — which come with a £55,000 taxpayer-funded salary. If Ms Evans becomes Mayoral candidate she would also land the top slot on the assembly list — giving her a power base.” – The Sun (£)

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