Cameron orders firms to cut energy bills

Tax Take“David Cameron fired a shot across the bows of energy suppliers yesterday for failing to cut the cost of household bills despite falling wholesale prices. His comments follow a story in The Times yesterday which revealed that almost five million pensioners will have to ration heating this winter because they cannot afford their energy bills.” – The Times (£)

Ministers 1) Praise for Mundell as he becomes first openly gay Conservative cabinet minister

“His son Oliver said he ‘admires dad as much today as yesterday’ in a heartfelt message praising his father’s ‘brave decision’ to become the first openly gay Conservative member of the Cabinet in history. David Cameron was said to be ‘very pleased and delighted’ at Mr Mundell’s decision to open up about his sexuality, while a number of other politicians including Nicola Sturgeon praised his announcement.” – Daily Mail

  • In a country famously hostile to Tories, he commands respect – Severin Carrell, The Guardian


Ministers 2) Grayling lines up to lead ‘Leave’ campaign

EU Exit“Eurosceptic MP Chris Grayling has positioned himself at the forefront of the campaign to leave – declaring that the European Union is ‘disastrous’ for Britain. The Leader of the Commons had already played a key role in securing the Government’s guarantee that once the negotiations are complete, ministers will be free to campaign to leave.” – Daily Mail

  • …as Boris rules himself out – Daily Mail
  • Obama lined up to boost EU vote on farewell visit to the UK – Daily Mail
  • Anger grows over eurocrat’s secret evidence to the Lords – Daily Mail


  • If only our politicians could give a speech like Obama – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph



>Today: ToryDiary: Re-unite the right? Uniting eurosceptics against the EU is hard enough

Ministers 3) Duncan Smith reveals Jobcentre outreach to schools

“Jobcentre staff are to set up shop in schools to target children as young as 12 to prevent them slipping into a life on the dole… Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said: ‘Extending Jobcentre support into schools will have a dramatic and enormously positive impact on young people’s prospects – helping to ensure that the transition from school to their next pursuit is a smooth and positive one.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 4) Hayes rebuffs committee’s bid to extent scrutiny of draft ‘snooping’ legislation

HAYES John“The government has been accused of trying to “steamroll” radical surveillance laws through parliament by refusing to give MPs and peers more time to scrutinise its proposals. The chairman of the joint committee on the draft investigatory powers bill asked the Home Office to reconsider the time given to his committee, but his approach was rebuffed, sources said.” – The Times (£)

  • May denies need for sunset clause in investigatory powers bill – Daily Telegraph


  • This sneaky assault on Freedom of Information must stop – Bob Kerslake, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Vaizey, Gauke, Lidington, Brokenshire – Ministerial survivors of the Cameron era

The informal stage of the Conservative succession race has begun

“In private, the first phase of the Conservative leadership race is now well under way, The Times has learnt. At least ten Tory MPs of all ranks are considering running to succeed David Cameron. Yet Theresa May, the home secretary, has done almost nothing, prompting speculation by MPs that her only hope is a “shock and awe last-minute surge”.” – The Times (£)

Tim Montgomerie: What sort of leader – and Prime Minister – will Tory members choose?

Rosette shield“Winning really matters to Tory members. Ten years ago David Davis’ politics were probably closer to those of the average Conservative member but 67 per cent of them backed David Cameron; the candidate who emphasised modernisation. Interestingly, a higher proportion of Tory MPs backed right-wing candidates in the 2005 Tory leadership race than Tory members. Party members may be the more “moderate” wing of the party.” – The Times (£)

Labour 1) Cameron and Corbyn clash on housing

“But the Tories have not set out what will happen to the people who have bought their homes on these estates through Right To Buy. If they are unwilling to sell up their homes may be compulsorily purchased in order to be demolished. Mr Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn clashed over the fate of homeowners on rundown council estates in the House of Commons on Wednesday.” – FT

  • The Labour leader walked right into the Prime Minister’s trap – The Sun
  • Corbyn lashes out at ‘half baked’ plan for sink estates – The Guardian
  • Butler attacks Prime Minister in foul-mouthed tweet – The Independent

>Yesterday: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Cameron takes against small-c conservatives

Labour 2) MPs demand leader release ‘hidden’ report into party’s defeat

LABOUR dead rose“Labour figures called last night for the release of a suppressed report into the party’s election defeat in May.
Baroness Jowell, a former cabinet minister, Dan Jarvis, a backbencher, and one of Ed Miliband’s most senior advisers all called for the immediate release of the study into the crushing result.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour plan to challenge Tory bid to restrict union funding – The Guardian
  • Miliband’s wife calls for Government to be sued over emissions – Daily Mail

Labour 3) Corbyn accused of trying to stitch up Welsh by-election

“Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of plotting to “stitch up” an upcoming by-election in Wales to ensure that one of his hard-Left allies is selected. The Telegraph has been told that Mr Corbyn’s office wants to ensure that Katy Clark, the Labour leader’s political secretary, is able to contest the Ogmore by-election when Huw Irranca-Davies steps down.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Opposition plan to ‘fast track’ Trident decision – Daily Telegraph
  • Milne takes on Corbyn’s foes amidst Labour’s tempest – FT

>Today: Dr Dan Boucher in Comment: It’s time for real change in Wales

Labour 4) How the new leadership has reshaped the Party

Jeremy Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn’s hopes of remoulding Labour have been boosted by a detailed Guardian survey into the party at grassroots level that shows overwhelming support for him, a decisive shift to the left and unhappiness with squabbling among MPs… Almost every constituency party across the country we contacted reported doubling, trebling, quadrupling or even quintupling membership, and a revival of branches that had been moribund for years and close to folding.” – The Guardian

  • Labour supporters raise money to buy Corbyn his ‘dream bike’ – The Independent

Labour 5) Perkins pushes for English anthem

“England teams should run out to a new national anthem, a Labour MP has claimed today. Toby Perkins told Parliament God Save the Queen was the British national anthem and England competed in its own right – meaning it should get its own song. As MPs arrived for work at the Commons today a van was repeatedly blasting Jerusalem out over Parliament Square – a favoured choice and the anthem used by the England and Wales cricket team.” – Daily Mail

  • MPs tortured with endless Jerusalem hymn as they debate anthem – The Sun


  • Rees-Mogg speaks up for God Save the Queen – Patrick Kidd’s sketch, The Times (£)
  • Want an English anthem? Time to boo God Save the Queen – Alex Marshall, Daily Telegraph
  • This is a constitutional mid-life crisis – Rupert Myers, The Guardian


Clegg criticised for low Commons attendance whilst he makes lucrative speeches

CLEGG Bird“Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg was paid £22,500 by bankers Goldman Sachs for a two and a half hour key note speech and Q&A, it emerged today… Mr Clegg has not spoken in the House of Commons since asking a question of Theresa May in November. His previous appearance before that was in a debate on investigatory powers in June.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Viewers want BBC to stop building an empire and focus on existing services – Daily Mail
  • Pollsters blame election error on poor sampling – FT
  • Petrol to be cheaper than water – Daily Telegraph
  • Schools turn down pupils who live 100 metres away – The Times (£)
  • Danish Government compared to Nazis for confiscating migrant assets – The Sun
  • Germany’s right-wing AfD party surges to new heights – The Independent
  • Bosses reading your emails are not breaching your privacy – FT
  • Suicide bombers launch multiple attacks in Jakarta – Daily Mail

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