Cameron waters down EU employment demands

EU Exit“David Cameron has scrapped demands for full British exclusion from EU employment laws ahead of his planned Brexit referendum, in a move that could help keep trade unions and Jeremy Corbyn, the leftwing Labour leadership candidate, in the Yes camp. The prime minister was reported in July to be fighting to exclude Britain from the full range of EU employment and social laws, but instead he is pushing for more limited protection for the UK’s flexible labour market. The prime minister, who will travel to Spain and Portugal this week for talks on his renegotiation, was advised that France and the European parliament would strongly oppose exempting British employers from EU labour rules.” – Financial Times

  • Prime Minister walks tightrope as EU renegotiation looms – Financial Times
  • Brexit would increase number of refugees entering UK, warns Green – The Independent



Prime Minister to punish low-pay employers

“Company bosses face tough new fines and disqualification under plans by David Cameron to force businesses to pay the national living wage. Writing in The Times today, the prime minister says that the new, higher minimum wage, which will reach £9 an hour by the end of the decade, will work only if it is properly enforced. Fines for non-payment will double, hitting employers with a penalty worth 200 per cent of upaid wages, up to a maximum of £20,000. Bosses who fail to pay face disqualification as company directors for up to 15 years.” – The Times (£)

  • Firms which fail to pay minimum wage face £20,000 fine – Daily Telegraph

David Cameron: The Conservatives are the true party for working people

Cameron1“The national living wage will be introduced in April, giving low-paid workers a £20 a week pay rise. By the end of the decade, it will reach at least £9 an hour. Combine that with an increase in the personal allowance to £12,500 and you can see the power of the modern Conservative party’s One Nation message. We back work. We promote well-paid work. We want you to keep more of your own money. That’s why we can say: we are the true party of working people in Britain today. But the national living wage will only work if it is properly enforced. Businesses are responsible for making that happen, and today I’m announcing how we will make sure they do.” – The Times (£)

  • Unforced errors, not the Opposition, are the Prime Minister’s biggest problem – Iain Martin, Financial Times
  • The Prime Minister’s wellies highlight the ridiculousness of our obsession with class – Libby Purves, Daily Mail

Close confidante warned Clinton that Cameron was no friend of the US

“Hillary Clinton was warned by a close confidant that David Cameron would be “no partner” to the US on the global economy and that William Hague would be “disingenuous” in his dealings with her. Newly disclosed emails show Mrs Clinton received a stream of warnings about senior Conservative figures in the days after they took power in the 2010 election. Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend of Mrs Clinton’s and a Labour ally, told the then-US secretary of state to be wary of Mr Cameron’s new government. “On economic policy, the UK is no partner and no bridge to Europe,” Mr Blumenthal wrote six weeks after the British election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • New emails reveal David Miliband’s heartache at leadership defeat – The Guardian

Osborne 1) Sturgeon attacks Osborne for pre-empting vote to renew Trident

OSBORNE non-broken sword“George Osborne was embroiled in a bitter row with the SNP last night after he announced a £500 million investment in the Royal Navy’s submarine base in Faslane. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon accused the Chancellor of ‘arrogance’ for ‘pre-empting’ a parliamentary vote on whether to renew Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent, which is due to be held next year. She said the money could have been better spent on health, education, or increasing state benefits.” – Daily Mail

Comment and Editorial:

Osborne 2) Councils will be told to use reserves in spending review

“George Osborne will attempt to force councils to spend their reserves as part of his Spending Review in a bid to dramatically cut the cost of local government. Treasury officials want to force local authorities to lessen the impact of budget cuts by tapping into their huge reserve pots. One measure being looked at by Government officials is to create a new law which impose a cap on councils’ reserves. The Treasury last night played down the possibility of this happening in the coming months but conceded that councils’ “large reserves” must be looked at when the Government is looking at making significant savings.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: For the second month running, Osborne has a big lead in our future leader survey

>Yesterday: Judy Terry in Local Government: How effective are council-run “youth rehabilitation” programmes?

Soubry claims Whittingdale was appointed to be tough on the BBC

BBC“David Cameron refused to give the job of Culture Secretary to anybody who would be “soft on the BBC”, a minister has suggested. Anna Soubry, the minister for small business who attends Cabinet meetings, indicated that the Prime Minister appointed John Whittingdale as Culture Secretary in his post-election reshuffle because he knew that he would be tough on the BBC. Mrs Soubry was asked in an interview after becoming a business minister whether she had wanted the job of Culture Secretary. She said: “[I thought] that would have been fun. I could be in charge of the BBC. But John Whittingdale was absolutely inspired as the choice so there wasn’t that feeling of ‘I wish I’d had it, not him’ because actually him doing it is brilliant.”” – Daily Telegraph

Willetts takes aim at May over international student figures

“Home Secretary Theresa May has been criticised by a former colleague for using ‘unreliable’ statistics to call for tougher restrictions on students coming to Britain. Ex-universities minister David Willetts took aim at Mrs May’s suggestion that 96,000 more students were arriving in the country each year than were leaving. The Home Office is believed to be considering making places on courses contingent on people demonstrating they have significant independent financial means.” – Daily Mail

  • Home Secretary’s student figures don’t add up – The Sun (£)

New research vindicates Hunt and highlights risk of needing the NHS at weekends

NHS_Logo“People who have a heart attack are up to 20 per cent more likely to die if admitted to an NHS hospital at the weekend, according to research. Scientists said the study highlighted the ‘stark’ discrepancy between NHS care during the week and treatment offered out of hours. The findings are likely to inflame a bitter row between Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, and the doctors’ union over his plans for a seven-day NHS. He has repeatedly pointed to unacceptable mortality rates at weekends and night, but doctors accuse him of cherry picking figures and ‘playing games’ to make a political point.” – Daily Mail

  • A&E has half as many consultants on weekends – Daily Mail

The Sun picks up Gray’s ConHome piece on Cameron, bombing and ISIS

“David Cameron should decide whether to bomb IS rather than wait for Parliament’s approval, a senior Tory MP says. James Gray pointed out that a Commons debate on air strikes against the fanatics in Syria would “ruin the element of surprise”. Mr Gray, who sits on the Commons defence committee, said the PM had the right to ignore “niceties of Parliamentary procedure” in making a decision on military action.” – The Sun (£)

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

Caulfield attacks council plan for Ho Chi Minh monument

Maria Caulfield MP“Council bosses have been blasted for planning to spend taxpayers’ cash on a statue of communist dictator Ho Chi Minh who massacred more than 200,000 of his Vietnamese countrymen. Officials launched a competition inviting designs for a tribute to the dictator who allegedly worked as a pastry chef on the ferry between Newhaven and Dieppe after the First World War. The MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, has criticised the council’s decision to launch the competition. She wrote to council bosses after hearing from several residents who are ‘hostile’ to the idea.” – Daily Mail

Corbyn faces mounting backlash over Bin Laden remarks…

“Jeremy Corbyn faced a furious backlash yesterday after he described Osama Bin Laden’s death as a ‘tragedy’. Jack Straw questioned the Labour leadership candidate’s suitability to run the country after details of the remarks emerged. Mr Straw, a former Labour foreign secretary, said comparing Bin Laden’s killing to the suffering of 9/11 victims was ‘absurd’. Meanwhile former Tory defence secretary Liam Fox accused Mr Corbyn of lacking a ‘moral compass’. In an interview with Iranian TV, unearthed last week, the hard-Left MP compared the killing of the Al Qaeda leader to the other ‘tragedies’ of 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan.” – Daily Mail

  • Left winger accused of turning blind eye to Putin’s crimes – The Times (£)
  • Former Liberal Democrat leader said exact same thing about Bin Laden – The Independent

…as he calls for Royal Prerogative to be diminished

Jeremy Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn has called for the Queen’s powers to be weakened as he said that the Royal Prerogative should be subject to parliamentary veto. In comments that were described as an “assault on the monarchy”, Mr Corbyn said that in future the Royal Prerogative should be subject to parliamentary vote and veto”. Royal Prerogatives are a series of powers officially held by the Queen that have been passed to the government of the day. They enable decisions to be taken without the backing of, or consultation with, Parliament.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Corbyn’s sympathy for the devil is sadly misplaced – Oliver Kamm, The Times (£)
  • The Corbyn victory scenario: cooperation, or confrontation? – Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

Dan Hodges: Labour will soon cease to count as a proper political party

“The British people have registered his comments on Bin Laden. His links with those who welcomed the killing of men and women who laid down their lives serving their country. His statement that “paying tax is not a burden”. Or if they haven’t, they will when the Conservative campaign machine cranks into gear. Corbyn’s tribunes know all this. But they don’t care. They’re aware his statements and stances make him unelectable. They couldn’t give a monkey’s. Corbyn hasn’t miraculously cleared a hurdle other mere politicians would find insurmountable. He’s run round it. He’ll be disqualified as a result, and his supporters know he’ll be disqualified. But they just want to see him run.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Will a Corbyn victory be the end of Labour? – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • His first move as leader should be to abolish the whip – Julian Baggini, The Guardian

>Today: Local Government: Islington Council has not embraced Corbynism

Burnham pivots again to make unabashed pitch to Corbyn supporters

Andy Burnham“Andy Burnham has made an unabashed pitch for the leftwing Jeremy Corbyn vote in the Labour leadership contest, saying that the party has been “dancing to the tune of the Tories for too long”. The shadow health secretary offered five commitments intended to appeal to Labour members and supporters who are still undecided or minded to support Corbyn, the backbencher and serial party rebel who has become the surprise favourite in the contest. Burnham claimed that the election, which will end next week with the result to be announced on 12 September, had come down to a “straight choice” between Corbyn and himself and that he understood why his rival’s supporters were so desperate for radicalism.” – The Guardian

  • Let’s imagine how Burnham might tackle more mundane problems – Craig Brown, Daily Mail

Scottish retailers warn Sturgeon against raising taxes

“Scotland’s shopkeepers have warned Nicola Sturgeon that increasing income tax would backfire on the public purse as she promised to start spelling out how she intends to use Holyrood’s new powers in her programme for government today. The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said increasing the levy would reduce Scots’ disposable incomes and cast a “pall” over consumer confidence, thereby reducing their spending levels and damaging the Scottish economy. The trade body argued that this would frustrate any attempt by the SNP administration to achieve a “substantial” overall increase in tax revenues, with any rise in income tax receipts offset by a reduction in the money raked in from the sales tax VAT.” – Daily Telegraph

  • First Minister to record shareable ‘people’s message’ on YouTube – The Independent
  • Police Scotland blasted for Gaelic rebrand of their helicopter – Daily Mail


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why Northern Ireland’s government could collapse

Farage worries Tory Eurosceptics by pledging to put immigration at heart of Brexit case

Nigel Farage“Nigel Farage last night vowed to put immigration at the heart of the campaign to get Britain out of the European Union. The Ukip leader will seek to exploit Tory discomfort over rising immigration this week with the launch of a national speaking tour aimed at highlighting the difficulty of controlling the UK’s borders while in the EU. Some strategists in the Tory-led ‘No’ campaign to get Britain out of the EU are nervous about making immigration the central issue in the referendum campaign.” – Daily Mail

  • Conservative councillor apologises for ‘If Carling did illegal immigrants’ naked women picture – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Think tank calls for more British troops in Eastern Europe – Daily Mail
  • North scores over South as best place for families – The Times (£)
  • Merkel warns that the EU may bring back border controls – Daily Telegraph
  • Clinton faces fresh scrutiny over emails – Financial Times
  • Every hospital patient to receive a barcode to create ‘paper free’ NHS – The Independent
  • BBC delays Panorama report into VIP paedophiles due to tension between news teams – Daily Mail