Osborne suggests vote on strikes in Syria may be held even if Corbyn wins…

Syria“The government could call a new vote authorising military strikes against Syria even if Labour’s new leader refuses to support action, George Osborne revealed this morning. Mr Osborne said the 2013 decision to block airstrikes was ‘one of the worst decisions the House of Commons has ever made’ but insisted there was no point returning for a new vote without the support of MPs across the Commons. However, the Chancellor said the government did not need ‘every member of every party’ to back military action and claimed there were ‘plenty’ of Labour MPs who supported the government.” – Daily Mail

  • Cowards! Not one Labour leadership hopeful says they’ll back strikes – The Sun (£)
  • Chancellor claims Government doesn’t need support of every MP – Daily Telegraph
  • Our boys await the order to destroy ISIS in Syria – The Sun (£)
  • UK defence deals face sweeping review – Financial Times

…as aid funds diverted to help with costs of housing migrants in Britain

“Millions of pounds from the foreign aid budget will be spent in Britain to pay the costs of supporting Syrian migrants here, George Osborne said yesterday. The decision marks a major change in how the controversial budget will be used. Critics have long claimed that huge sums of aid cash are being squandered – especially as the Government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid means the money available will keep rising as the economy thrives. However, Chancellor said part of the budget will now go to town halls to ‘ease’ the pressure on public services of the new arrivals instead of going into development projects abroad.” – Daily Mail

  • Cameron claims new aid funding will be for projects which serve the national interest – Daily Telegraph
  • Cooper and Sturgeon join those offering shelter – The Times (£)


Boris Johnson: The false pieties of the Britain-bashers won’t solve this crisis

aidgraphic“First, the UK is by a long way the number one European donor of humanitarian aid to Syria; and having seen at first-hand what Department for International Development staff are doing to help those fleeing from Daesh, in the camps of northern Iraq, I can assure you that their work would make you weep with pride. The second point is that the UK was just about the only EU country willing even to contemplate direct military action to protect the Syrians – at that precarious moment when the leadership of the Syrian opposition had not been lost to the maniacs… And the third point in defence of the UK is that this has been a collective EU failure, and there is one key respect in which you could argue the confused response of some European capitals has made matters worse.” – Daily Telegraph


Cameron denounced opponents of gay marriage as ‘Neanderthals’

“Opponents of gay marriage were privately branded ‘Neanderthals’ by David Cameron, his biographer has revealed. The Prime Minister defied opposition from his own advisers and hostility from the party to push through same sex marriage in 2013. In ‘Cameron at 10’, Sir Anthony Seldon described the atmosphere at the 2011 Tory conference when Mr Cameron made the surprise announcement that he was consulting on legalising same sex marriage: ‘A bomb detonates in the party’, the academic wrote. Few issues were as divisive in the party, Mr Seldon wrote, with some seeing it as ‘authentic Cameron’ pursuing his ideals while others thought it was a ‘self-inflicted wound’.” – Daily Mail

Paterson warns that the Prime Minister faces Commons defeat over ‘rigging’ EU poll

EU Exit“David Cameron will suffer an embarrassing Commons defeat when MPs return to the House today unless he halts the “dirty dealing” over the EU referendum, a former cabinet minister has warned. Owen Paterson, a former environment secretary and a leading Eurosceptic, said that ministers were attempting to rush through laws that risked rigging the vote in favour of those hoping to keep Britain in the EU. The comment signals that Tory rebels will unite with Labour to defeat the government over how the EU referendum campaign is conducted. Mr Paterson, an influential figure within the party, said that Mr Cameron’s current renegotiation of Britain’s relationship of the EU “was a very long way” from enough to convince him to back staying in.” – The Times (£)

  • Referendum result not ‘legitimate’ without purdah, former minister argues – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister braces for Eurosceptic revolt – Financial Times
  • Cameron faces rebellion over EU snap poll – The Sun (£)
  • Tory MPs could join Labour and SNP to defeat proposals – The Independent
  • Pro-EU businesses told to ‘shut up’ to avoid hinderingrenegotiation – Financial Times

Comment and Editorial:

>Today: David Lidington MP in Comment: Our plans for purdah – and why the Commons should vote for them today

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Conservatives for Britain announce their supporters

Villiers: Government might intervene directly to end Ulster standoff

“The prospect of Westminster legislating for welfare reform could be the “game changer” that prevents the collapse of the assembly, Peter Robinson has said. On Saturday night, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers announced the UK Government would step in “as a last resort” if the NI Executive could not reach agreement. Both the DUP and Sinn Fein have been at loggerheads over the issue for months and the devolved administration in Belfast has been plunged into financial peril as a result. Unionists support a package of cuts they have described as the best deal possible in the current financial climate, while Sinn Fein MLA have vehemently opposed “austerity” measures they claim will hurt the most vulnerable.” – Belfast News Letter

  • Sinn Fein prepares for fresh stand-off with London over cuts – The Guardian

Tories abandon pledge to return weekly bin collections

Wheelie bin“Despite years of promises and a £250million investment, ministers have concluded their bin promise cannot be met. The costly scheme was supposed to encourage town halls to reverse the trend toward fortnightly collections. But none has reinstated weekly rounds and a number have scrapped them. A Government source confirmed last night there would be ‘no new initiatives’ aimed at restoring weekly collections. In opposition, the Conservatives made a high-profile pledge to restore the ‘fundamental right’ of families to have their bins emptied every seven days.” – Daily Mail

Corbyn argued taxpayers should opt out of funding Armed Forces

“Jeremy Corbyn is under fire after it emerged he said taxpayers should be allowed to opt out of funding the Armed Forces. The Labour leadership front-runner suggested voters should be able to act with their ‘conscience’ and not have their taxes spent on defence – a stance described by a former First Sea Lord as ‘stark staring bonkers’. Mr Corbyn said: ‘British taxpayers have a right of conscience not to participate in the Armed Forces in time of conscription and should have a similar right in time of peace to ensure that part of their tax goes to peace, not war.’… Mr Corbyn, who made his comments on defence in a parliamentary debate in 1999, is also facing a backlash for saying he wanted to ‘end’ the 11-plus entrance exam used by grammars to select pupils.” – Daily Mail

  • Watson warns Corbyn supporters may be ‘destabilising’ – The Guardian
  • Burnham best placed to beat front-runner, claims Kendall camp – The Times (£)
  • Half of Labour supporters have yet to vote, claims Cooper – Daily Telegraph
  • Thousands yet to vote in Labour poll – The Times (£)
  • Days before contest ends many have yet to receive ballot papers – Daily Telegraph
  • Row breaks out over who signed off on new membership rules – Financial Times
  • Blair talks candidly about New Labour, devolution, and winning elections – The Independent


  • Corbyn on the ropes in the final round – Patrick Kidd’s sketch, The Times (£)

Oliver Kamm: If Corbyn wins, Labour moderate must fight him

LABOUR dead rose“It’s admirable to refuse to be pushed out of the party by a motley array of entryists who (to coin a phrase of Norman Thomas, the US socialist) can’t distinguish socialism, communism and rheumatism. There’s even something heroically ambitious in planning for Labour to become a contender for government again one day after electoral annihilation under Mr Corbyn. Yet the only chance of salvaging the position and reputation of the moderate left is to tell the truth. Labour under Mr Corbyn is a party in intellectual chaos and disrepute. It’s a danger to national security. And it’s a betrayal of the party’s own values and traditions.” – The Times (£)

  • Harman urges party to unite behind new leader – The Guardian

>Today: Paul Abbott’s column: How Churchill can inspire us to take on Corbyn – and the rest of them

Labour’s race for London mayoral nominee too close to call

“Tens of thousands of new Labour members and supporters will take part in the election of the party’s candidate for mayor of London, which will be decided this week. At the time of the general election in May, 41,000 Labour members in the capital were eligible to vote. But four months later, thanks to the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn, the number able to take part has almost trebled and now stands at 114,000 – 63,000 members, 21,000 trade union affiliates and 28,000 supporters. The sharp increase in the electorate, sparked by Corbyn’s campaign to be Labour leader, has thrown the outcome of the mayoral contest into doubt.” – The Guardian

Plaid attack Labour’s government record in Wales

Wales flag“Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood claims Labour’s 16 years in charge of the National Assembly represents the biggest missed opportunity in recent Welsh history. Her attack on the party that has run Wales without interruption since the National Assembly was set up goes further than she has before and questions what has been achieved since devolution. Ms Wood is due to launch a nationwide roadshow in Cardiff which will see Plaid consult on policies it will put forward in the run-up to next May’s Assembly election.” – Wales Online

Only a third of pupils have taken up Clegg’s free meals because they ‘don’t like them’

“Only a third of children in some schools have taken up free meals because many ‘don’t like them’, head teachers have revealed. The scheme to provide all primary pupils with free lunches during their first three years in education was championed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg under the last government. But officials are understood to be considering scrapping the project, which would save around £600million a year. And it has emerged that many schools are struggling to provide meals that children want to eat, with members of the National Association of Head Teachers saying some still do not have the necessary facilities.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Faith leaders call on MPs to reject assisted dying – The Times (£)
  • HMRC accused of bullying for charging families for visits by inspectors – Daily Mail
  • Refugees receive war heroes’ welcome in Germany – Daily Telegraph
  • North Sea oil areas at ‘serious risk’ of shutdown – Financial Times
  • Yes Scotland board ‘wanted alternative to pound’ – The Scotsman
  • Civil liberties groups attack potential new strike regulations – The Times (£)