Cameron opens the door to admitting thousands of refugees

Camerons thinking copy“Britain will take in thousands more people fleeing Syria’s civil war as David Cameron bows to a wave of pressure triggered by images of a three-year-old boy found drowned on a Turkish beach. Downing Street spent yesterday scrambling to match public outrage and calls, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for Britain to do more to alleviate the human cost of Europe’s gravest postwar migration crisis… Aides said that Mr Cameron had not seen the photographs when he said on Wednesday that the crisis would not be solved by accepting “more and more refugees”. Their publication — and the reaction of the public — forced Downing Street into full-scale retreat, senior government figures acknowledged.” – The Times (£)

Opposition response

  • David Miliband slams Britain’s failure to shoulder responsibility for crisis – Daily Mail
  • Burnham accused to seeking political advantage from refugees – Daily Telegraph
  • Cooper’s boldness on the issue defies cautious image – Financial Times
  • Sturgeon announces Scotland will take 1,000 refugees – The Scotsman
  • Alliance Party tables motion calling on UK to take in more – Belfast Telegraph

International reaction

  • Juncker may split Europe with migrant quotas – The Times (£)
  • Abbott claims image proves necessity of firm policies to ‘stop the boats’ – Daily Mail


  • The great migration will be with us for decades – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Factor in our aid spending and the UK does more than the rest of the EU together – James Slack, Daily Mail
  • Cameron is placing himself on the wrong side of history – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • This crisis was a test, and the Prime Minister flunked it – John Harris, The Guardian

Crispin Blunt MP: The Prime must change aid rules to tackle roots of crisis…

“People are asking what we are doing to relieve this suffering. The answer is much more than all other EU countries, particularly when it comes to helping pay for Syrian refugees to be accommodated in countries bordering their own. The UK spends as much on this as the rest of the EU put together. We must, of course, play our part in addressing the symptoms of the crisis. But Britain should also seize the moment to ensure the EU makes a greater commitment to global security and development. Sharing the burden is not just a question of evenly distributing refugees across Europe. The UK meets the UN’s target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on international development and Nato’s target of spending 2 per cent on defence. That puts us ahead of any other European country.” – The Times (£)



…as he considers forcing companies to publish more details on gender pay gap…

Building shield“Firms could be told to publish how much more they pay men than women across different pay grades, it emerged yesterday. The move is expected as part of a major push by David Cameron to tackle Britain’s gender pay gap, under which the average wage of men is higher than the average wage of women. The Prime Minister announced two months ago that companies with more than 250 employees will be required to publish figures laying out how much the average woman in their firm is paid as a percentage of the average man’s earnings.” – Daily Mail

…and he’s invited to address the European Parliament over renegotiation…

“David Cameron is to be invited to address the European Parliament to set out his renegotiation plans in detail, it is understood. Martin Schulz, the German president of the parliament, is to write to the Prime Minister urging him to go to Strasbourg to set out his plans for reform. It comes amid mounting frustration from politicians in Brussels who argue that the negotiation is taking place behind closed doors. British diplomats are locked in six months of talks with senior European Union officials and lawyers to establish what legal and technical devices could be employed to rewire Britain’s relationship with the EU.” – Daily Telegraph

  • EU attacks Government over Human Rights Act repeal – Daily Mail
  • Ministers warn Labour referendum proposals could gag MPs but not ministers – Daily Telegraph
  • Europe deals below to SNP plans for minimum alcohol pricing – Daily Telegraph

Whittingdale urges BBC to correct distorting EU coverage

BBC“The BBC could undermine the EU referendum if complaints about its “distorted” coverage are not speedily addressed, the Culture Secretary has said in a warning over impartiality. John Whittingdale has written to Rona Fairhead, chair of the BBC Trust, saying that the Corporation’s coverage of Europe has not been “faultless” in the past. He indicated complaints about the BBC’s referendum coverage should be adjudicated on within 24 hours amid fears “partial” coverage could misled voters. Failure to do so could increase the chance that public trust in the referendum process and the BBC would be eroded, Mr Whittingdale warned. He also sent a similar letter to Ofcom, the media regulator.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Government’s purdah amendments are an unacceptable fudge – weak, ill-defined, and open to abuse

Osborne warned that devolution plan has £60bn price tag

“Up to 30 regions of England are due to submit bids for devolved powers in a move that marks the start of the biggest shake-up of local government in a generation. It could see town hall leaders up and down the country gain control over services including transport, housing, health and social care. George Osborne has been warned by local council leaders, however, that he must hand over control of £60bn of central Government spending as they rush to sign up for his devolution agenda. And the Chancellor’s bid to use devolution to build the Northern Powerhouse could yet be derailed by his insistence that city-regions have directly elected mayors.” – The Independent

>Today: David Skelton and Paul Goldsmith in Comment: The North East needs a directly-elected mayor – or it will miss out on the Northern Powerhouse

Villiers to oversee crisis talks to save Northern Ireland Assembly

Northern Ireland“Emergency talks are to begin next week to resolve the growing crisis engulfing Northern Ireland’s assembly, Downing Street revealed last night. The decision to begin the “urgent, intensive and focused cross-party talks” in Stormont comes after fears that more unionist parties could walk out of the parliament over accusations that the IRA is still operational. The Ulster Unionist party quit the assembly after the Provisional IRA was accused of involvement in the murder of a former republican prisoner, Kevin McGuigan, last month. The talks will begin in Belfast’s Stormont House next week and will be overseen by Theresa Villiers, the Northern Ireland Secretary. It comes after David Cameron held talks with Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister.” – The Times (£)

Fox warns against a nuclear Iran

“In an outspoken speech in the US, the former Defence Secretary raised serious concerns about a diplomatic deal between Iran and the West to allow President Hassan Rouhani’s regime to develop civil nuclear power. He insisted Iran remained a “sponsor of state terrorism” with a leadership that did not hide “contempt” for Israel. And he feared that an agreed 10-year ban on Iran developing atomic weapons was a “doomed gamble”. Dr Fox launched his scathing attack on the deal in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a think tank in Washington DC.” – Daily Express

Jenkin to lead inquisition into charities trading donor details

Charity“Charity bosses will be hauled before MPs to explain themselves following shocking revelations about their fundraising practices. Chiefs at Oxfam and Save the Children will be made to give evidence in parliament following a string of damaging exposés in the Mail. The executives will be expected to publicly defend the way they use supporters’ personal information… Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, committee chairman, said Mr Rae’s case will be used as evidence. He added that charities found to have sold Mr Rae’s details to scammers should pay him back for the money he lost. Oxfam and Save the Children were not among those that sold Mr Rae’s information.”-  Daily Mail

Ministers use post-it notes to evade Freedom of Information requests

“Ministers and mandarins are covering up internal bungles and Whitehall rows by communicating by Post-it notes, The Sun can reveal. Reprimands and disagreements are scribbled on to the small yellow squares which are then slapped on to draft documents and passed from office to office. Large piles of the notes can build up if the debate gets heated, a senior Whitehall source has revealed. They are then ripped off and thrown away, leaving no trace — unlike emails or formal letters, which can be disclosed under Freedom of Information requests and or leaked to journalists.” – The Sun (£)

Labour leadership 1) Corbyn hints at huge defence cuts

corbynleader“Jeremy Corbyn has hinted he would make huge cuts to the UK’s armed forces – as he admitted he ‘couldn’t think’ of a situation in which he would deploy troops. The Labour leadership frontrunner was asked by Blairite candidate Liz Kendall whether there were ‘any circumstances in which you would deploy Britain’s military forces?’ He replied: ‘I’m sure there are some but I can’t think of them at the moment.’… Speaking in the last debate of the Labour leadership campaign, on Sky News, Mr Corbyn said Britain was ‘quite a small country’ and questioned whether it could afford its current ‘global reach’.” – Daily Mail

  • Front runner can’t imagine scenario where he’d deploy troops – The Guardian
  • Favourite would make military history – The Sun (£)
  • Opponents fail to land blows in final TV hustings – The Independent
  • Hamas praise Islington MP for ‘sympathetic’ stance – Daily Telegraph
  • Ed won’t take post as shadow foreign secretary – The Times (£)
  • Miliband ‘won’t serve under Corbyn’ – Daily Mail


  • Handy excuses for why Corbyn eventually loses, in case he wins – Robert Shrimsley, Financial Times
  • Prepare for Labour’s ‘zombie years’: too weak to work, too strong to die – Phil Collins, The Times (£)
  • Join me, Jeremy, in saying No to the EU’s corporatist bullying – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph
  • Corbynomics may not sound subversive for long – Tom Clark, The Guardian
  • A radical and rational plan for a post-crisis Labour Party – Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Labour leadership 2) Unite accused of signing members up without consent

“Members of the Unite trade union have been signed up to vote in the Labour leadership election without their consent, it has been claimed. Party officials conducted an inquiry into an allegation from a member of the trade union that he was registered for the ballot without his permission. Another Unite member has told The Times that he has been signed up without being asked, which is against the Labour party contest rules. Party figures have raised fears that the union may have tried to enrol blocks of members automatically to try to increase its influence in the contest. Unite has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing frontrunner, and is canvassing members who have ballots to vote for him.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour members complain about missing leadership ballots – The Guardian

>Yesterday: To The Point: The dilution of the trades unions

John McTernan: The Parliamentary Labour Party can save Labour from itself

LABOUR dead rose“At the moment MPs are coming under pressure to say whether or not they would serve in a Corbyn shadow team. The answer should be “not under any circumstances”. The reason is straightforward – every day under Corbyn as Labour leader is a day lost, and damage done to the party, so his reign has to be short… Creating a coherent shadow team is Corbyn’s problem and it needs to remain his problem. Anyone who joins him is not just risking their own personal integrity, they are lending him their political integrity. And that is a currency they cannot afford to waste.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Profile: Tom Watson, the man who might yet save the Labour Party

Umunna and Cable join forces against Javid

“Labour’s Chuka Umunna and veteran Liberal Democrat Vince Cable have united to criticise the Business Secretary Sajid Javid for failing to promote British industry. In a rare display of cross-party unity, Mr Cable, Business Secretary in the Tory-led coalition government, and Mr Umunna, his Labour ‘shadow’ – say they are deeply concerned about the Government’s apparent unwillingness to set out what they propose to do to stimulate industrial growth. They warn that Mr Javid appears to have fallen back on the Thatcherite doctrine that the market can solve the problems of long term industrial development without any help from government.” – The Independent

Farron backs term-time holidays

Lib Dem Logo“Families should be able to take children out of school during term-time to avoid crippling holiday costs, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said today. The party warns that the ban on missing lessons is ‘socially divisive’ because it forces poorer families to break the rules out miss out on holidays altogether. Mr Farron backed the ‘fundamental liberal principle of individual choice’ for parents to spend time with their children, ahead of a vote on the plan at his party conference later this month.” – Daily Mail

  • ‘Scandalous’ number of schools demanding illegal contributions from parents – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • BBC accused of undermining local press in order to justify expansion – Daily Mail
  • Spies and SAS pinpoint ISIS for drone strikes – The Times (£)
  • Cambridge claims watching TV damages GCSE results – Daily Telegraph
  • House prices soar near top schools – Financial Times
  • Campaigners continue to resist SNP’s ‘state guardian’ proposals – The Scotsman
  • NUS under fire for inviting Islamist speaker – Daily Mail