Whittingdale takes first step towards end of the licence fee in ‘watered-down’ White Paper

Culture shield“The death knell was sounded for the licence fee yesterday as sweeping changes to the BBC were announced. Batting off ‘hysterical speculation’, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale launched a White Paper that secured the corporation’s future for the next 11 years. Marking a step towards subscription funding, viewers will now have to pay for some content and there will be a trial of new ‘top-up’ services to existing programmes.” – Daily Mail

  • New charter demands innovation rather than dependence on long-running shows – The Sun
  • Former chair of trust claims Corporation may have shown ‘anti-Corbyn bias’ – The Guardian

Philip Collins: To call the BBC biased is dangerously wrong

“The very absence of bias in British broadcasting is one of the ways in which the British political culture is superior to that in America. The BBC is one of those public sector institutions — the monarchy, the army and the NHS being others — through which Britishness is embodied. Strange that it takes a Conservative secretary of state to get that so wrong.” – The Times (£)

  • The Tories’ BBC haters have been halted, now to Europe – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • We at the Corporation must never be complacent – Lord Hall, Daily Telegraph
  • It’s so maddening Auntie’s escaped unscathed – Tom Utley, Daily Mail
  • A reasonable compromise on the Corporation – Roy Greenslade, The Guardian
  • The Tories haven’t destroyed the BBC, but Labour are still raging – Michael Deacon’s sketch, Daily Telegraph


  • Cameron pulls back from war with the Corporation – FT
  • A wasted opportunity to rein in the BBC – Daily Mail
  • Round one to the BBC – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Norman Fowler in Comment: The Government’s plans for the BBC risk its indepedence and reputation

Cameron under fire for ducking debate with Vote Leave

Vote LEave“David Cameron was accused yesterday of running scared of a TV debate on the EU referendum after refusing to go head-to-head with Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson vowed to debate with ‘anybody’ as he continued his tour of the country to promote Brexit.” – Daily Mail

  • Leave factions in furious row over TV debate – FT
  • Cracks appear at top of Vote Leave as it ‘declares war’ on ITV – The Times (£)
  • Why Vote Leave want UKIP’s Farage off the TV – FT
  • Senior anti-EU Tories clash on Vote Leave’s attack on ITV – The Sun
  • Farage claims the Prime Minister will be ‘utterly discredited’ – Daily Express
  • Boris rejects campaign’s claim that Cameron could be forced out after Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory referendum infighting escalates – FT
  • Cameron prepares to give Fox plum job to heal Brexit divisions – The Sun


  • Bank of England governor warns of post-Brexit recession – Daily Mail
  • Central bank moves from caution to candour – FT
  • Duncan Smith calls Treasury ‘worst thing in Britain’ after BoE recession warning – Daily Telegraph
  • Former Work and Pensions Secretary wants Treasury broken up – The Sun
  • Thousands of Edinburgh financial jobs face axe after Brexit – The Scotsman
  • In or out of the EU, the economy’s a mess – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • Britain post-Brexit would sacrifice sacrifice access for independence – Martin Wolf, FT


  • Major claims Brexit Tories are ‘fuelling fear and prejudice’ – The Times (£)
  • Former Prime Minister claimes Leave supporters are ‘morphing into UKIP’ – Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Vote Leave are justifiably annoyed at ITV’s double-dealing on the referendum debate

EU immigration was more than double official figures

“The original data excluded people coming for less than a year. The Office for National Statistics has now combined long-term and short-term migration to produce estimates of the numbers who have arrived from the EU for business or to work or study. Statisticians produced the new migrant figures in response to pressure to explain a gulf between numbers coming for more than a year and the number of national insurance numbers issued to people from the EU.” – The Times (£)

  • Farce as 1.5 million more migrants revealed to have come than officials admitted – Daily Express
  • ONS say short-term entrants only stay a few months – FT


  • Finally, they admit we have not been told the truth – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • The gap between ONS figures and reality means we’re owed an apology – Alison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexiteers are peddling untruths about immigration – Oliver Kamm, The Times (£)
  • We’ve coped with immigration very well, it’s the state that failed – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

Nigel Dodds: The country is suffering whilst the Government obsesses about Europe

UNION FLAG torn“Earlier this year the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all recommended that the EU Referendum shouldn’t be held too close to the elections we have just had. This advice was ignored, the Referendum was called for June 23, and the Government’s riposte was basically that voters can walk and chew gum at the same time. Unfortunately, while the Government credits voters with being able to multitask as the In-Out vote looms, it doesn’t appear to be capable of the same.” – Daily Telegraph

British Overseas Territories accuse the Prime Minister of tax rules hypocrisy

“David Cameron has been accused of double standards in trying to impose stringent financial rules on Britain’s overseas tax havens while letting bigger countries off the hook. Leaders of Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man used the global anti-corruption summit in London yesterday to hit back at critics of their offshore finance industries.” – The Times (£)

  • Setback for Number 10 as British Virgin Islands rebuff transparency call – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron embarassed at corruption summit with news aid spending is making things worse – The Sun
  • Afghan official’s stinging rebuke to Tory leader’s corruption gaffe – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: The Social Justice Queen’s Speech 5) Countering crony capitalism

MPs warn that pension reforms could lead to ‘mass mis-selling’ scandal

MANIFESTO money“The chancellor’s pensions reforms could ‘trigger mass mis-selling’ MPs have warned today. In a damning report, the commons Public Accounts Committee warned there is a ‘substantial’ risk of another mis-selling scandal and accused regulators and government of not doing enough to protect the public. It singled out scams targeting savers who have cashed in their pensions since new laws came into force as the biggest facing savers today.” – Daily Mail

  • Javid’s plan to revamp steel pensions runs into resistance – FT

Mordaunt waives residency rules to bring in Commonwealth soldiers

“Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt has waived the residency requirements to allow 200 Commonwealth citizens to fill roles in regular forces every year. They will fill the gap in troops with specialist skills, such as engineering. The u-turn comes as staggering statistics published yesterday revealed there had been a drop in the regular armed forces of 3,680 troops since April last year.” – Daily Mail

  • Navy mission in Mediterranean actually helping smugglers, claim peers – Daily Mail

SNP accused of Holyrood power grab

SNP logo white background“The SNP has been accused of a “calculated” move to grab two powerful posts at Holyrood that are traditionally split between different parties, in the first major row of the new parliament. Experienced opposition MSPs expressed outrage that Nationalist MSPs were selected to fill both Deputy Presiding Officer (DPOs) position, the Scottish Parliament’s equivalent of the Commons Deputy Speakers.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Macintosh elected as Presiding Officer – The Scotsman
  • Sturgeon claims Scots are sovereign – Daily Telegraph
  • Sillars savages EU leaders for federalist ambitions – Daily Express
  • Forsyth says Nationalist dream of independence in Europe is a ‘cruel lie’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Rankin wants investigation into SNP politician’s suicide – The Times (£)

>Today: Lewis Baston’s column: The Scottish Conservatives – fragile, but enduring and adaptable. A history.

Welsh Assembly stand-off leaves voters baffled

“In Cardiff, Welsh assembly politicians and their aides were hammering out deals, exchanging insults in the press and attempting to compromise on a deadlock that has prevented the creation of a new government. Twenty miles down the road, at the Lion Inn in Treorchy, high in the Rhondda valley, drinkers were frankly baffled that their new constituency member, the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, had very nearly become first minister despite only having a fifth of the assembly in her party.” – The Guardian

  • Latest as Labour and Plaid hold formal talks to break Assembly deadlock – Wales Online
  • Wood says she’ll ‘never’ do deal with UKIP or Tories – Wales Online


Ulster Unionists become Stormont’s first opposition since 1972

ulsterunionist“The Ulster Unionist Party is to form the first official Opposition within the Northern Ireland Assembly. Party Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, announced the decision to the Assembly as it sat for the first time since the elections on May 5 where they returned 16 MLAs. It came moments after DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein veteran Martin McGuinness were re-appointed First and Deputy First Minister respectively.” – Belfast Telegraph

  • McCallister calls on SDLP to follow UUP across the floor – News Letter


  • This could benefit the UUP – but also the DUP and Sinn Fein – Sam McBride, News Letter

News in Brief:

  • Leak piles pressure on Facebook over anti-conservative political bias – The Times (£)
  • Social network launches conservative censorship probe – FT
  • Firms could be banned from using characters and celebrities to promote unhealthy food – Daily Mail
  • Russian court ‘seizes’ Britain’s most expensive home – Daily Telegraph
  • RBS bosses face no charges after five-year enquiry – The Times (£)
  • China’s secret plan to build two Hinckley Points – Daily Mail
  • Discontent amongst teachers sparks ‘recruitment crisis’ – FT
  • Newcastle becomes first Russell Group university to leave NUS – The Times (£)