Osborne signs off £2bn nuclear scheme

OSBORNE red and blue“George Osborne last night signed off a £2billion government subsidy for a new nuclear power station. The Chancellor said the new nuclear station at Hinkley Point in Somerset was needed to keep the lights on as ageing power plants go out of action. He made the announcement on a trade visit to China, which is part funding the project.” – Daily Mail

George Osborne and Neil Macgregor: The importance of Britain and China getting to know each other

“When people exchange goods, they exchange ideas. Trade brings us not just new products, but new discoveries, ways of thinking and understanding the world around us. Commerce and culture go hand in hand. So as the UK and China broaden and develop their commercial ties it’s natural that the cultural links between the two countries should also grow closer and stronger.” –, Daily Telegraph

Greening won’t say how many refugees Britain will take this week

Justine Greening“Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, has refused to reveal how many Syrian refugees the UK will take in next week, as part the government’s pledge to take “up to 20,000” over the next five years. Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, Miss Greening admitted the government didn’t have the “exact numbers yet” and declined to give any “precise numbers.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Our moral duty to migrants is to make Syria a safe place to live again – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • Border crisis shows the EU dream is over – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Greening – We’re not going to be part of the quota system

Lord Ashcroft’s explosive biography of Cameron unveiled

“Today we lift the lid on the extraordinary feud between David Cameron and a billionaire Tory donor that has triggered the most explosive political biography of the decade. In the dynamite book, former party treasurer Lord Ashcroft makes allegations of drug taking and debauchery by a young Mr Cameron. The book also claims the Conservative leader was aware as early as 2009 that Lord Ashcroft was a controversial ‘non dom’ who did not pay UK tax on his overseas earnings.” – Daily Mail

  • Drugs, debauchery and the making of an extraordinary Prime Minister – Daily Mail
  • The outrageous Bullingdon initiation ceremony involving a dead pig – Daily Mail
  • How Cameron’s own spin doctor called him a posh t***er – Daily Mail
  • The tragic child who made Dave human – Daily Mail


  • The Prime Minister’s decadent past laid bare – The Times (£)
  • Peer reignites bitter feud with Cameron – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory peer’s bizarre claim about the Prime Minister’s “ham dunk” – The Sun (£)


  • Cameron will wonder why he alienated Lord Ashcroft – Richard Kay, Daily Mail
  • How I went from a supporter of the Prime Minister to a critic – Lord Ashcroft, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Revenge! says the Mail, amidst claims of “drugs and debauchery”. Its serialisation of Lord Ashcroft’s biography of the Prime Minister begins.

Boles pledges to crack down on bogus apprenticeships

Building shield“Dodgy apprenticeships are to be outlawed under plans to make proper training courses as prestigious as degrees. Ministers vowed to prosecute firms offering fake training courses which fail to live up to the standards of an official apprenticeship… Skills minister Nick Boles said: ‘Everyone knows what a university degree means. It’s an official title. Young people doing apprenticeships should get the same level of distinction.’” – Daily Mail

  • Minister leads charge against dodgy firms – The Sun (£)

MPs demand CCHQ takes neutral stance on EU poll

“David Cameron is facing a new row over Europe as Tory MPs demand that the party remains strictly neutral in the EU referendum campaign. The calls for Conservative Campaign Headquarters to stay out of the campaign could be made by Eurosceptics at a meeting of the party’s ruling board today. Forcing the party machine to remain neutral would be a blow to the campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, which is keen to make use of the Conservative HQ data goldmine, documenting the views and concerns of thousands of voters.” – The Times (£)

>Today: Chris Heaton-Harris MP in Comment: The EU referendum date? My best bet is 15th September 2016

>Yesterday: Gareth Knight in Comment: It’s time for CCHQ to have a majority seats unit

Former watchdog urges reform of system that cleared Straw and Rifkind

PARLIAMENT“The system that cleared two former foreign secretaries over a “cash-for-access” scandal needs urgent reform, according to a former Westminster sleaze watchdog. Sir Alistair Graham, the ex-chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said that the committee which largely exonerated Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw should be changed to ensure it “genuinely represents the broader public interest”.” – Daily Telegraph

Government confident of winning over enough Labour rebels to deploy RAF in Syria

“Enough opposition MPs would support military action in Syria for the British government to scrape narrow approval in parliament for the expansion of RAF air strikes against Isis, ministers believe. A senior government source said they were “cautiously optimistic” the votes of Labour MPs in the House of Commons would outweigh those of Conservative rebels, who helped defeat David Cameron on military action in Syria two years ago.” – Financial Times

  • Corbyn under pressure to reconsider position on air strikes – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A Commons vote on air strikes. What will count is the Tory backbench view – and not just Labour’s.

Cracks – sorry, ‘red lines’ – emerge in the Shadow Cabinet

Labour holes“In an extraordinary intervention this afternoon Lord Faulkner, a former flat mate of Mr Blair’s, also listed a series of red-lines which he would resign over – including renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent, remaining in Nato and maintaining the independent of the Bank of England. The former Cabinet minister also said he had ‘no idea’ if Mr Corbyn could become Prime Minister, attacked the new shadow chancellor John McDonnell and called for airstrikes on Syria.” – Daily Mail


  • Labour are no longer united on Europe – Brian Monteith, The Scotsman

Ministry of Defence condemn serving general who warned of mutiny against pacifist Labour leader

“The Ministry of Defence moved to condemn a serving army general who warned that Jeremy Corbyn could face “a mutiny” from the military if he became Prime Minister. In highly contentious remarks, the unnamed army commander said any attempt by Mr Corbyn to take Britain out of Nato, scrap Trident or cut the size of Britain’s forces would be fought by means “fair or foul”.” – The Independent

Melanie Phillips: Corbyn is only a symptom of the real problem

LABOUR dead rose“The “moderate” left are howling as if they have been taken over by an alien. How can the Labour movement possibly have elected as leader, they wail, a man who supports Hamas and Hezbollah, wouldn’t sing the national anthem and has appointed as shadow chancellor someone who consults Das Kapital for economic guidance? The answer is simple. The “moderate” left themselves made this happen.” – The Times (£)

  • Nervous City begins ‘voyage of discovery’ with Labour leadership – Financial Times


Corbyn pledges ‘line by line’ renationalisation of the railway network

“Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to renationalise the entire rail network ‘line by line’. In his first pledge since storming to victory in last week’s leadership election, Mr Corbyn vowed to create a ‘people’s railway’ under government control. His pledge was attacked by rail chiefs and government ministers today, amid warnings it will cost ‘billions of pounds’.” – Daily Mail

  • Leave the railways alone, pleads former minister – The Times (£)
  • Conservatives warn that nationalisation will cost taxpayers billions – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Paul Abbott’s column: Voters can judge Corbyn by the gallery of wrong’uns who cheered his victory

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: In defence of Corbyn

Dugdale makes space for separatists in Scottish Labour

Scottish flag“Labour MSPs and MPs will be free to campaign for Scottish independence if there is another referendum, party leader Kezia Dugdale has said. The Lothians MSP said she wants people who voted Yes to Scotland leaving the UK last year to feel they have “a home” in the Labour party. The surprise move represents a major shift for the party that was at the heart of the pro-union Better Together campaign during the referendum.” – The Scotsman

Cable argues Liberal Democrats could join with anti-Corbyn Labour MPs in new party

“The Liberal Democrats are already split over whether they should join with disaffected Labour MPs to form a new party. Sir Vince Cable, the former business secretary, has called for new centre-left grouping of Lib Dems, Labour ‘moderates’ who are horrified by Jeremy Corbyn’s lurch to the left, and even some centrist Conservatives – in an echo of the SDP in the 1980s. The former Business Secretary wrote in a newspaper article that the only way the left could defeat the Conservatives was to band together on certain issues, and this could eventually lead to a new political party being formed.” – Daily Mail


  • How they love being the saintly losers – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Lovestruck leader is finally king – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)


Farron urges conference to reject motion to abandon Trident

Lib Dem Logo“Tim Farron faces a test of his authority in his first conference as Liberal Democrat leader after urging activists to oppose a motion on scrapping Trident. The Lib Dem leader has acknowledged that the proposal due to voted on at the gathering in Bournemouth was “seductive” but the party had to consider the implications for the UK’s global standing if it abandoned the nuclear deterrent.” – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Former Northern Irish leader Robinson hospitalised after medicine reaction – The Independent
  • Archbishop of Canterbury opens Lambeth Palace to refugees – Daily Mail
  • Health and safety means few Britons can offer homes to refugees – The Times (£)
  • Trump renews attacks on Muslims – Daily Telegraph
  • Low price jeopardises trillions of dollars’ worth of oil industry projects – Financial Times
  • Syriza wins re-election – Daily Mail
  • Tsipras back but with no majority – The Independent
  • Man arrested over West Belfast Semtex haul – Belfast Telegraph