Downing Street ‘abandons’ vote on Syria bombing

Syria‘David Cameron has abandoned plans to push for British airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria after being foiled by the opposition of Labour MPs for the second time in two years, The Times has learnt. A Commons vote on extending military action over the border from Iraq — widely expected before the end of the year — will not go ahead, Whitehall sources said. The prime minister was unable to persuade enough of Jeremy Corbyn’s MPs to defy their leader on the issue, and failed to quell a Tory rebellion.’ – The Times (£)

EU 1) ConHome survey: 71 per cent of Tories would vote to leave

‘Over two thirds of Conservative party members are likely vote for Britain to leave the EU, a new Conservative Home poll has found. The poll has revealed 71 percent of members would vote for Brexit, whilst just 24 percent say they would prefer to remain in the Europe Union. It comes as David Cameron insists the pace of Britain’s renegotiation in Europe will “quicken” this month, as he faces pressure to make his demands for reform public.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • We don’t want ever-closer union, and we won’t fund the Euro, Osborne warns Germany – The Times (£)
  • Brussels tells Cameron: take more migrants or pay up – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our poll. Over two thirds of Party members ready to vote to leave the EU

EU 2) Osborne sets out plans for a two-tier Union

OSBORNE non-broken sword‘George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, will on Tuesday set out for the first time the UK’s demands for EU treaty change to protect its economy, taxpayers and the City of London in a two-speed Europe. After months of diplomatic shadow boxing, Mr Osborne will use a speech in Berlin to set out in detail how Britain wants a new EU settlement to enshrine the rights of non-eurozone countries in the 28-member club.’ – FT

EU 3) IDS: Leave campaigners ‘may well’ win

‘Eurosceptics who want British to leave the European Union ‘may well carry the day’ in the forthcoming referendum, Iain Duncan Smith admitted today. The Work and Pensions Secretary, seen as one of the most strident opponents of Brussels in the Cabinet, said there was a ‘powerful argument’ about leaving the EU. The remarks will be seized on by those opponents of David Cameron’s plan to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership before holding an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.’ – Daily Mail

EU 4) ‘Dodgy’ CBI poll under investigation

Opinion Poll graphic‘Britain’s leading business organisation was facing an investigation last night into claims that a survey showing eight out of 10 firms supported staying in the EU was “fiddled”. Vote Leave, one of the pressure groups campaigning for the UK to quit the EU, yesterday wrote to the British Polling Council to complain about the survey published by the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) in 2013. Vote Leave alleged that the research carried out by the polling firm YouGov for the CBI “caused the public to be misled about the views of British businesses on the EU for nearly two years.”’ – Daily Express

  • We can’t trust what the CBI says – Daily Mail Leader
  • Polling Council accidentally emails ‘odious’ Cummings – The Times (£)
  • Cridland attacks Osborne – The Times (£)
  • Corbyn turns down their invitation to speak – FT

Ganesh: Nobody listens to civil libertarians

‘Judged by the depth of its imprint on popular sentiment, civil libertarianism is an almost uniquely unsuccessful political movement. Only campaigners for a British republic have had much less purchase on the national mood over the decades, and even they have the excuse of not really bothering. The jurists, celebrities and campaigners who make up the liberal lobby do exert themselves. They can coin a pejorative like “snooper’s charter” and make it stick in columns such as this.’ – Janan Ganesh, FT

>Today: Mark Field MP on Comment: Judicial consent for surveillance should satisfy all but the most privacy-obsessed libertarians


Tebbit: The tax credit fiasco wouldn’t have happened under Thatcher

TEBBIT Lord‘I find it hard to believe that if the Treasury had put up a proposal like Mr Osborne’s tax credit reforms to the Thatcher cabinet it would not have been referred for further consideration to a cabinet committee. There eight or ten cabinet ministers, whose civil servants would have pored over the paper to advise them, would have spent a couple of hours looking at its effects on the most vulnerable claimants. Willie Whitelaw would have been in the chair and would have summed up by saying: “There seem to be some unresolved questions here, so perhaps the Treasury would bring back a revised paper in two weeks’ time.” In other words, the tax credit issue would have been defused in private.’ – Lord Tebbit, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nick Timothy’s column: Dividing lines and binary choices: how the tax credit changes went wrong

The Treasury considers a Right to Part-Buy

‘Four million council and housing association tenants will be given help to part-purchase their homes. At present just a lucky few can get shared ownership, in which they buy up to 75 per cent of a place if they cannot afford the lot. But ministers could extend it so all families in social housing can climb on to the property ladder.’ – The Sun (£)

  • It would help to repair the tax credit damage – The Sun Says (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: More house-building requires consent, not force

Crack team of teachers to target under-performing schools

School‘An elite group of 1,500 teachers will be parachuted into weak schools as part of a new drive on standards, Nicky Morgan will announce today. The National Teaching Service will target poor performing schools – many of which are in white working-class areas – with teams of talented teachers and heads. It is part of a determined push to create opportunities for children from poorer backgrounds, whom the Education Secretary says have been written off in the past.’ – Daily Mail

  • Semi-literate teachers are holding back pupils’ English – Daily Mail

Truss: Eat food after the best before date

‘The Cabinet Minister and mother of two revealed she applied the sniff test to work out whether food was indeed off before binning or eating it. Asked whether she ate food that was past its best before date, she said: ‘Definitely. I will just see if it smells OK and eat it. Absolutely.’ She added: ‘I’m of the school that if the cheese has got mould on it just cut the end off and eat the rest of the cheese.’’ – Daily Mail

Ministers gave failing Kids Company £3m of taxpayers’ money as a ‘punt’

Camila Batmanghelidjh 04-07-15‘Ministers gave £3million to Kids Company just days before its collapse because they thought it was worth taking ‘a punt’ on its future, a senior civil servant has claimed. Richard Heaton, former permanent secretary of the Cabinet Office, advised ministers not to back the failing charity after it asked for the emergency funding in June – just six weeks after pocketing a £4.3million grant.’ – Daily Mail

The V&A rejected an offer of Thatcher’s clothes and handbags

‘A collection of Margaret Thatcher’s clothes, jewellery and personal effects including her handbags are to be sold after the Victoria and Albert museum declined to exhibit them. Sir Mark and Carol Thatcher, the late prime minister’s children, are selling off their mother’s collection, including a red dispatch box, her wedding outfit and power suits, at a Christie’s auction next month. The museum said that it tended to focus on acquiring items of “outstanding” aesthetic or technical quality.’ – The Times (£)

Unite helps Corbyn ally secure by-election nomination

Woolfie Corbyn‘Chris Williamson, a leftwing former MP, has been handed a place on the shortlist. Mr Williamson, who lost the seat of Derby North in May, travelled the country to champion Mr Corbyn’s leadership bid. Labour MPs said that they believed it was unusual for a former MP to be handed a place on a by-election shortlist. Some suspected that an exception had been made because of Mr Williamson’s support for Mr Corbyn. There has already been some unease among MPs that a key role was given to the Unite union, which backed Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign. Jennie Formby, the union’s political director, was on the panel of three that drew up the shortlist for the seat.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Paul Abbott’s column: Starvation. Cannibalism. Millions dead. The horror of the communism which Corbyn’s spin master praised

Labour’s divisions over Trident grow more bitter

‘Further splits have emerged within the trade union movement over the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet faced more division yesterday, with his allies suggesting Scottish Labour’s vote to oppose the renewal of Trident would pave the way for the UK party to follow suit. However, Maria Eagle, Labour’s defence spokeswoman, said: “This does not change our policy. Defence isn’t a devolved matter, so Labour party policy has to be set at a national party level.”’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Left Watch: Trident, and why Corbyn’s leftward lurch won’t help Scottish Labour

News in Brief

  • Mystery of crashed Russian jet deepens – Daily Mail
  • Candy Crush maker is sold for $5.9 billion – FT
  • Australia scraps knighthoods – The Times (£)
  • New security features in passports – Daily Telegraph
  • Soubry’s anger over ‘filthy’ train – The Independent
  • Beer goggles: man wakes up to find glasses tattooed on his face – Daily Mail
  • Rotherham care home put children at risk – The Times (£)
  • Lambeth council re-opens garden bridge talks – FT
  • The BBC’s Peter Donaldson has died – Daily Telegraph

And finally…

Downing Street’s photoshop poppy blunder

Poppy‘David Cameron has been ridiculed online after Downing Street was caught photoshopping a fake over-sized poppy onto a picture of the Prime Minister and using it as an official Facebook picture. Hilarious memes poking fun at the Downing Street blunder swamped the internet this evening after eagle-eyed Facebook users noticed the picture on Number 10’s official page appeared doctored. The image, originally posted online without a poppy two years ago, was manipulated using computer trickery to add the Remembrance symbol onto the left lapel of the Prime Minister’s navy blue suit.’ – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn to abandon white poppy – The Sun (£)