EU 1) Cameron presents his renegotiation demands to the German people

EU FLag‘These changes would make a big difference in persuading the British people to vote to remain in the EU. Britain and Germany are key allies in creating a prosperous and secure EU. Whether it is our shared belief in free trade and sound finances, our major contribution to the EU budget, our aid to reduce the suffering that drives refugees into Europe, or our military and intelligence services working together against terrorism, we do vital work together. Securing these changes will mean we can continue our EU partnership into the future.’ – David Cameron, Bild

>Yesterday: Sunder Katwala on Comment: Four EU referendum futures – a look into a crystal ball

EU 2) Montgomerie: Will eurosceptic ministers please stand up?

‘Will they and their Eurosceptic colleagues nail their colours to the mast in five weeks’ time, in the 72 hours after Cameron’s trivial, irrelevant renegotiation is complete? Because it is trivial. Even if all four of his residual unambitious ambitions are met in full they amount to very little and may only be secured by back-room horse-trading…There’s little doubt as to what the average Tory member wants. According to ConservativeHome 71 per cent of the grassroots party is inclined to vote for Brexit. Even if Tory members can’t decide the outcome of the EU referendum they will choose Mr Cameron’s successor.’ – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Might Grayling end up leading the Conservative Leave campaign?

Osborne warns of risks to the recovery

Osborne‘The Chancellor will identify a ‘dangerous cocktail’ of global risks to the recovery, including a sharp fall in stock markets since the start of the year. His warning that it is by no means ‘mission accomplished’ comes after the pound slumped yesterday to a nine-month low against the dollar. At the same time, a report by the research group Markit said the economy grew by only 2.2 per cent in 2015 – down from 2.9 per cent in 2014. Speaking to business leaders in Cardiff, Mr Osborne will say the British economy has performed ‘better than almost anyone dared to hope’ – but if spending cuts are not completed things could unravel. He will warn: ‘Anyone who thinks it’s mission accomplished with the economy is making a grave mistake.’ – Daily Mail

Ministers are considering a sugar tax (again)

‘A tax on sugary drinks is being considered by ministers in a U-turn after evidence showed that the measure would help to tackle the obesity crisis, The Times has learnt. In a softening of a previous stance that firmly ruled out any form of sugar tax, government sources now suggest that senior ministers are studying the option closely…However, David Cameron could yet come down against any financial measures, with many in Downing Street uneasy that a tax could increase costs for the poorest families. – The Times (£)

  • New report to warn of red wine dangers – The Sun (£)

The Government takes up ConHome proposal to extend FOI to charities

Camila Batmanghelidjh 04-07-15‘Proposals to charge more for requests and to make it easier to refuse requests on costs grounds, are likely to be scrapped. Ministers are also going cold on extending the exemptions to make it easier to rule out the disclosure of internal cabinet discussions…The government is instead planning to extend the act to cover charities, which are exempt from the laws despite receiving tens of millions of pounds in grants funded by the taxpayer…Ministers are also considering whether the powers could be extended to private contractors working on public sector projects, but they face difficulties over which companies should be included in the laws. In return for extending the laws to cover more bodies and dropping other areas under review, the government is thought to remain intent on tightening up the ministerial veto.’ – The Times (£)

>August: ToryDiary: Kids Company shows why Freedom of Information should apply to anyone taking taxpayers’ money

Environment Agency boss doesn’t feel guilty for staying in Barbados while floods raged

‘Embattled Environment Agency chairman Sir Philip Dilley today said he did not feel guilty about not immediately returning to Britain to tackle the Christmas floods as he feels at home in Barbados. Sir Philip, appearing before MPs with a warm sun tan, said his second home on the Caribbean island is a regular base for him and told MPs on the environment, food and affairs committee he did not ‘feel away’ while he was there. The agency chairman has been heavily criticised for not visiting the scene of the flooding disaster as soon as he could.’ – Daily Mail

  • Israel sends assistance to flooding victims – Daily Mail

Trotskyite BMA negotiatior demands that ‘the Conservative Government must fall’

NHS_Logo‘Dr Gourtsoyannis is a regular speaker at events organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, an alliance of mostly leftwing groups. On one of the assembly’s videos taken at a demonstration in Westminster, he announced that he was officially representing the BMA. “Jeremy Hunt himself must fall,” he told cheering protesters. “Of course in time, the Conservative government must fall. Lives depend on it.”’ – The Times (£)

Corbyn chaos 1) Three shadow ministers quit over reshuffle

‘Jeremy Corbyn was hit by three senior resignations yesterday over a reshuffle that took Labour a step closer to abandoning its support for Britain’s nuclear weapons. One shadow minister resigned on live television while the others issued damning statements about the party leadership, leaving Mr Corbyn with new and unexpected holes to plug. Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow rail minister, Kevan Jones, a shadow defence minister, and Stephen Doughty, a shadow foreign affairs minister, all quit amid allegations that the Labour leader’s team had lied over the reasons for sacking colleagues.’ – The Times (£)


>Today: ToryDiary: Can we have an Opposition, please?

>Yesterday: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Cameron treats Corbyn with superfluous rudeness

Corbyn chaos 2) New Shadow Defence Secretary took donation from lawyers who ‘hound’ British troops

Emily_Thornberry_2111‘Top military figures let rip last night as Emily Thornberry was crowned Labour’s Defence chief — despite taking donations from a law firm hounding Our Boys…Before Christmas it emerged Ms Thornberry hired a £14,500 researcher paid for by Leigh Day, a law firm accused of pursuing false torture claims against British soldiers in Iraq. The firm was this week referred to a tribunal after an inquiry found that some allegations were “deliberate lies”. Ms Thornberry yesterday insisted Leigh Day — branded “ambulance chasers par excellence” by Tory MP Bob Stewart — were a “great firm”.’ – The Sun (£)

  • She defends the firm as ‘outstanding’ – The Times (£)
  • Her appointment is due to one thing: loyalty to the Dear Leader – The Sun Says (£)
  • Don’t worry, I was made an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, Thornberry explains – BBC News
  • The first unilateral disarmer in the post for decades – FT

UN pushes for more sanctions on North Korea after bomb test

‘The United Nations security council pushed to tighten restrictions against North Korea last night after the country’s latest nuclear test. The explosion in the early hours of the morning defied international sanctions, plunged Asia into a new diplomatic crisis and sparked global condemnation. China, North Korea’s most powerful ally, was part of the 15-member council that strongly condemned the test, describing it as a threat to international peace and security. Beijing is now likely to determine the severity of the response.’ – The Times (£)

Trump threatens to cancel UK spending if he is banned from the country

TRUMP hair‘Donald Trump has threatened to withhold £700m of investment in Scotland if he is banned from entering the UK. The Trump Organisation has given the warning after it emerged MPs are to debate calls for the controversial US presidential candidate to be banned from the UK. It followed his controversial comments about Muslims, after more than half a million people signed a petition.’ – Daily Telegraph


More extremists evade authorities to fight in Syria

‘At least five prominent British Islamists linked to the same extremist group frequented by the man suspected of being the new “Jihadi John” executioner left the UK in the last 20 months despite being on bail or subject to travel bans. Records show that the five men, three of whom have since been killed in drone or air strikes in Syria and Pakistan, all succeeded in evading exit checks despite being on watch lists or having surrendered their passports to the authorities.’ – The Independent

  • ISIS in crisis – The Spectator
  • Teacher at ‘Trojan Horse’ school told pupils Christians and Jews were ‘ignorant’ – Daily Mail
  • Step-grandfather of little boy in ISIS video says he is glad about it – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • The gender revolution is on the way – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)
  • How did police fail to find the bodies of missing actress and her children? – The Sun (£)
  • Vaz suddenly deletes social media profiles – Daily Mail
  • Prince George starts nursery school – The Times (£)
  • M&S boss to retire – FT

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