Hammond under pressure to slash tax and delay VAT

MANIFESTO money“The chancellor is facing growing pressure to unleash a package of tax cuts to boost the economy, as he said that he would take “any necessary steps” to avoid a damaging downturn. Philip Hammond has already been urged to cut VAT, bring forward a major investment spending programme and delay a plan to force employers to pay a new levy to fund apprenticeships.” – The Times (£)

  • May tries to soothe small businesses over EU funding – FT
  • Prime Minister pledges to help ‘backbone of Britain’ make the most of Brexit – The Sun
  • Open University to train apprentices – The Times (£)
  • Manchester frets over loss of powerhouse status – FT

Bank of England:

  • Carney issues stark warning with package to ease Brexit downturn – FT
  • Britain will succeed after leaving the EU, insists Bank chief – Daily Express
  • Savers lose out as Bank cuts interest rates to 0.25 per cent – The Times (£)
  • Governor says banks have ‘no excuse’ not to pass on cut to mortgage customers – Daily Telegraph
  • Pound regains some ground after post-BoE fall – FT


  • Carney’s sledgehammer won’t crack a thing – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • We’re all Keynesians now, so let’s get fiscal – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph
  • If peers apply the brakes to Brexit, we’ll be doing our job – Patience Wheatcroft, The Guardian



>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What’s your view of May’s new Cabinet? Please take our monthly survey.

Duncan Smith’s reforms have cut ‘at least’ 23,000 households from worklessness

“The benefits cap has directly encouraged at least 23,000 households into work, new figures from the Department from Work and Pensions show. The figures appear to show that the cap of £500 a week for households with children – and £350 for single claimants – is making work pay.” – Daily Mail

May urged to reinforce Gibraltar

COFFEY Luke“Royal Navy warships should be sent to Gibraltar to “protect it from Spain” during Brexit negotiations, Theresa May has been advised. The warning has come from former Ministry of Defence special adviser Luke Coffey who says it is a necessary step to take as part of measures to fend off Spain’s bid for joint sovereignty… Writing on the Conservative Home website, Mr Coffey said Britain needs to take action to safeguard Gibraltar’s interests and reassure the people living in the region which is known as The Rock.” – The Sun

Honours 1) Outcry as Cameron finally unveils resignation honours

“David Cameron sparked an outcry last night with a crony-filled resignation honours list that ‘would embarrass a medieval court’. As he finally unveiled the ‘toxic’ nominations, the ex-prime minister gave out 13 Tory peerages and 46 honours to allies, aides, Remainers and party donors.” – Daily Mail

  • The list in full – The Times (£)
  • Former Prime Minister ‘packs Lords with donors, aides, and allies’ – The Times (£)
  • Cameron faces MPs’ enquiry over ’embarassing’ honours – Daily Telegraph
  • Parliament to ivnestigate ‘medieval cronyism’ – Daily Express
  • Anger as Osborne given rare and prestigious Companion of Honour – Daily Mail
  • Hammond and Lidington’s honours disappear – The Sun
  • Surprise knighthood for gaffe-prone Letwin – The Times (£)
  • Prime Minister drawn into row – Daily Telegraph
  • May took money from donors on Cameron’s list – The Times (£)

Philip Collins: If you don’t like the Establishment, change it

CAMERON grown-up“At least, though, a Theresa has replaced a David in Downing Street, whose last act was to try to push through a grubby mates-rates honours list that will feed the cynical idea, voiced by A J P Taylor, that “there is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the establishment and nothing more corrupting”. Mr Cameron’s cavalier attitude to preferment is irresponsible because there is a risk that Taylor’s unthinking dismissal could harden into a consensus. Sixty four per cent of British people polled told YouGov that conventional politics is failing.” – The Times (£)

  • Cameron has cynically devalued the honours system – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Cameron’s resignation peerages and honours list

Honours 2) Chakrabarti accepts peerage after inquiry condemned as ‘whitewash’

“The Labour leader has broken a pledge not to nominate people for peerages by handing the lawyer and human rights campaigner a seat in the Lords. Her appointment drew fury from Jewish leaders, with the Community Security Trust, an anti-Semitism charity, saying it was a ‘shameless kick in the teeth for all who put hope in her now wholly compromised inquiry.’” – Daily Mail


  • So why did the Priestess of High Principle sell out? – Geoffrey Levy, Daily Mail

Corbyn admits leadership contest is damaging Labour

Labour holes“But he insisted his second leadership election in 12 months was ‘preparation’ for election victory – despite grim polling today putting Labour 14 points behind Theresa May’s Conservative Party. Mr Corbyn’s speech came hours after his close ally John McDonnell accused Mr Smith of an attempt to ‘blackmail’ Labour activists by threatening a split in the party if the left-wing veteran wins a second time.” – Daily Mail

  • Leader claims nobody would ‘dream’ of splitting but challenger warns it ‘likely’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Gloves come off in fight to lead the Opposition – The Times (£)
  • Polls predict defeat no matter who wins – The Sun
  • Corbyn pledges £500bn investment programme – FT
  • Who won the first debate? Our writers’ verdicts – The Guardian


  • Labour made £10 million more than the Tories last year after membership surge – Daily Telegraph
  • Party paid no Corporation Tax last year despite banking £4.3 million – The Sun


  • Smith criticised Corbyn, and his fans were furious – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

Tom Harris: Corbyn and Smith battle in arena abandoned by the ‘big beasts’

“The professionalisaton of politics has given us plenty talent and intellect, but precious few genuine Big Beasts. And most of the Big Beasts that are around can more accurately be described as scaredy cats, given their reluctance to get their hands dirty by standing for the leadership themselves. So give Smith a break.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: As a card-carrying Conservative, I’m alarmed by Labour’s collapse.

News in Brief:

  • Child abuse inquiry in crisis after judge quits – The Times (£)
  • Coe hit by death threats over hard line on Russian athletics cheats – Daily Mail
  • Victims and suspect of Russell Square stabbings are named – Daily Telegraph
  • Obama rebukes Trump’s claims of rigged election – FT
  • ANC in retreat as South African cities fall to ‘white man’s party’ – The Times (£)