Cameron faces grilling over Kids Company letters…

Cameron1“David Cameron faces a grilling by MPs after it emerged Kids Company boss Camila Batmanghelidjh boasted of blackmailing politicians into giving the charity more cash. The Prime Minister is accused of overriding ministerial advice and handing millions in public funds to the failed charity after receiving ‘Dear David’ letters.” – Daily Mail


  • Ministers feared the PR fallout of turning off the tap – Toby Young, Daily Telegraph

Fraser Nelson: Why Kids Company kept bringing in the money

“Ministers were so dazzled by its goals, its celebrity backers and its charismatic, turban-clad founder that it seemed almost rude to ask if the money was being well spent. Word filtered down through the Civil Service: don’t ask too many hard questions of Kids Company. As the National Audit Office report reveals, it was declared important to Mr Cameron’s “wider agenda”. It had become too fashionable to fail.” – Daily Telegraph

…as EU leaders claim his reform demands are unclear

EU FLag“David Cameron was again accused of lacking a firm plan to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU yesterday. The Prime Minister was described by the leaders of Finland and Estonia of being ‘short on detail’ in his demands to repatriate powers from the European Union.” – Daily Mail

  • UK pushes for ‘emergency break’ on EU policy votes – Financial Times
  • Prime Minister to set out EU demands in days – The Guardian
  • Britain warned of threat to credit rating in event of Brexit – Daily Mail
  • Leaving warned that AAA rating is under threat – The Times (£)
  • Leave campaign mistakenly claimed Labour MP Ann Clwyd as a backer – Wales Online


  • At last, Cameron brings something back from Europe… a Lego duck – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

The Sun follows ConHome’s story yesterday: Cameron sacks EU rebels

“David Cameron is axing three Tory rebels in revenge for them trying to scupper his EU referendum plans. Ex-Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan and senior backbenchers Sir Edward Leigh and Christopher Chope will lose their roles on the Council of Europe. They had all been against the PM’s bid to limit the purdah, the blackout on Government announcements which could influence the In/Out vote.” – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Cameron’s revenge on purdah rebels – he sacks them from the Council of Europe

Philip Collins: The Prime Minister’s army of apathy will win it for ‘In’

Britain Stronger In Europe logo“The prime minister pretends that he might yet advocate British withdrawal if Europe does not yield to his demands, a process made more difficult by the fact that nobody, perhaps not even Mr Cameron himself, seems to know what his demands are. In Iceland for the Northern Future Forum, the Finnish and Estonian prime ministers expressed willingness to help but said they had little idea what Mr Cameron wanted.” – The Times (£)


Cameron disappointed by Chilcot delay

“David Cameron has expressed disappointment after Sir John Chilcot said he would not be able to publish the Iraq inquiry report until next summer. The prime minister said families of those who had served in Iraq would also be disappointed by the further delay to the report.” – Financial Times

  • Sir John under pressure to accelerate report’s release – The Independent


  • Report delayed by need to nail down criticisms of Blair and co – Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian

Prime Minister urged to cancel visits by authoritarian regimes

International shield“Preparations are entering the final stages for the arrival of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to arrive in London next week, despite concerns from campaigners that Britain is sending the “wrong signal” to the rest of the world after Cairo’s orders for mass executions. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev is also due to visit to the UK shortly, amid concerns from Amnesty International that there has been no improvement in reports of human rights violations in the former Soviet state.” – The Independent

  • Prime Minister launches secret Saudi diplomatic offensive – Daily Telegraph

Osborne prepared to rule out Gatwick expansion

“The chancellor is preparing to rule out an expansion of Gatwick airport in a move that would help the case for a third runway at Heathrow, The Times has learnt. George Osborne is ready to advocate a “Heathrow or nothing” approach to the problem of extra aviation capacity in the southeast, it is understood.” – The Times (£)

  • Chancellor tries to allay fears of infrastructure spending cuts – Financial Times
  • Durham council puts North East devo deal to public ballot – Financial Times


  • The north awaits its own SNP – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

Twenty Tories rebel on tax credits

MANIFESTO money“Twenty Tory MPs last night rebelled against their party in the Commons over George Osborne’s cuts to working tax credits. In a sign of backbench discontent over the controversial cuts, they backed a cross-party motion calling for mitigation of the measures.” – Daily Mail


  • Nothing Osborne does with tax credits will make Corbyn Prime Minister – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • Looks like bottler Boris is joining the awkward squad – Quentin Letts’ sketch, Daily Mail

>Today: MPs Etc.: 20 Conservative MPs revolt over tax credits. Five of them are 2015 intake members.


Ministers 1) McLoughlin calls for VW customers to be compensated for resale losses

“Volkswagen should compensate motorists who lose money as a result of the emissions scandal when they sell their car, the Transport Secretary suggested yesterday. Patrick McLoughlin was asked what effect the scandal would have on the resale value of VW and Audi cars during transport questions in the House of Commons.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 2) Grayling criticises journalists’ use of Freedom of Information law

Grayling470“A Cabinet minister sparked fury last night by saying it ‘isn’t acceptable’ to use Freedom of Information laws to find news stories. Chris Grayling accused journalists and campaigners of ‘misusing’ the law by using it as a research tool to uncover stories.” – Daily Mail

  • Justice Secretary demands SNP curb ‘faux-outrage’ over devolution – The Scotsman


Ministers 3) Doctors angry at Hunt for ‘danger money’ term

“Junior doctors have expressed their anger at the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for claiming they are paid “danger money” when they work more than the legal limits. Doctors took to social media to say they had never heard the phrase used in the NHS and about 30 contacted the Guardian saying they objected to his characterisation of them being paid to do unsafe work.” – The Guardian

Ministers 4) Morgan suggests change in gender law to permit self-definition

MORGAN Nicky officiall version“Ministers are looking at whether people should be able to “self-declare” they have changed sex without any go-ahead from doctors or shrinks. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan revealed the radical change pushed for by transgender campaigners is on the cards. They insist deciding a person’s sex is every individual’s right as it is a mental rather than physical state.” – The Sun (£)

Davis hits out at police call for power to spy on internet histories

“But the police proposal has led to claims officers are ‘overreaching’ their position. Tory MP David Davis, a former shadow home secretary, said: ‘It’s extraordinary they are asking for this again, they are overreaching and there is no proven need to retain such data for a year.’” – Daily Mail

Corbyn 1) Labour leader to go to China to campaign for British steel

Woolfie Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn was mobbed by supporters today as he visited 900 steelworkers at risk of redundancy and told them he would go to China to save their jobs. Wearing a hard hat and high-viz jacket the Labour Leader pledged to travel to Beijing to confront the Chinese government over the mothballing of the Tata works in Scunthorpe.” – Daily Mail

  • Leader’s policy chief apologises for tweeting against Labour – The Guardian

Corbyn 2) Ally urges Scottish Labour to debate Trident

“Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally north of the Border has urged delegates at Labour’s Scottish conference to approve a debate on Trident by warning the nuclear deterrent was “too important an issue to duck”. Neil Findlay MSP, who ran Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign in Scotland, argued that avoiding a debate would be a “head-in-the-sand approach” that the SNP would exploit.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Corbyn backs calls for Scots to vote against renewal – The Guardian
  • Scottish Labour hopes conference will boost prospects – Financial Times

Sturgeon accused of breaking promise on student debt

Scottish flag“Nicola Sturgeon has come under fire over “broken promises” on ditching student debt in Scotland as it emerged this now stands at £2.7 billion. This makes it the Scottish Government’s single biggest financial asset, Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said yesterday, and comes after it emerged this week that grants and bursaries have been slashed in recent years.” – The Scotsman

  • Glasgow Caledonian university’s New York campus has no students – The Scotsman

News in Brief:

And finally… why do Tories dominate the Westminster Dog of the Year?

“Despite The Kennel Club’s assertion that proceedings are “strictly apolitical”, the 23-year-old contest has become dominated by Tories. This year saw 15 Conservative MPs enter the fray alongside only three Labour MPs and one cross-bench peer. Indeed, the past eight years have seen only one Labour victor, Rob Flello, who won last year with his German shepherd, Diesel, after a long run of Tory winners (Noodle, Star, Wilberforce, Charlie, Molly and Fozzy Bear).” – The Independent