May expected to reintroduce grammar schools…

School‘Theresa May is planning to launch a new generation of grammar schools by scrapping the ban on them imposed almost 20 years ago, The Telegraph has learnt. In a move that will be cheered by Tory grassroots, the Prime Minister intends to pave the way for a new wave of selective schools. Mrs May is understood to see the reintroduction of grammar schools – banned by Tony Blair in 1998 – as a key part of her social cohesion agenda. The historic shift in education policy is expected to be announced by the end of the year, possibly as early as the Conservatives’ annual party conference in October.’ Sunday Telegraph 

…to pass fracking profits on to local neighbourhoods…

‘Under the new proposal, a percentage of profits from fracking, potentially up to £10,000, would be paid directly into the bank account of those living in neighbourhoods where the drilling technique is approved. As part of her stated aim to deliver an economy that works for all, the new Prime Minister’s plan could see up to £10million given to each eligible community, turning northern towns such as Blackpool into the UK equivalents of ­oil-rich communities in the Middle East. Plans for a Shale Wealth Fund were first announced during last year’s Autumn Statement… But the new Government has changed the emphasis of the scheme, with a focus on direct benefits for local communities – including proposals to transfer funds directly to households’ bank accounts rather than to local authorities.’ Sunday Express

…and to ‘refuse’ her own honours list when she leaves

MAY Theresa first PMQs‘Theresa May will refuse to issue a David Cameron-style resignation honours list when she leaves Downing St, it emerged last night. Instead of Cameron’s 59 gongs for allies and cronies, she will award no more than around half a dozen to longstanding public servants or ‘substantial’ individuals. The Prime Minister has been careful to avoid any public criticism of her predecessor’s highly controversial awards. But privately, well-placed sources say Mrs May believes they were ‘excessive’ and ‘an unfortunate lapse of judgment’.’ – Mail on Sunday


  • Meritocracy needs to extend to the political scene – Dominic Raab, The Sunday Times (£)
  • Cameron’s ‘cronyism’ shows that we must reform the Lords – Vince Cable, Mail on Sunday
  • The hypocrisy of the ‘Chakrabarti affair’ – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday


> Yesterday: ToryDiary – An elected upper house is an abysmal idea

More May

  • May’s policy chief suggests OAPs should sell property to pay for care – The Observer
  • May: our ‘first security prime minister’ since Churchill – Adam Boulton, The Sunday Times (£)

> Today: Caroline Squire in Comment: Joe Chamberlain. Inspiration to Theresa May, founder of a dynasty – and my great-great-grandfather

Lowell Goddard was ’sacked’

‘Dame Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge who resigned on Thursday as chair of the £100 million Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), did not leave her post voluntarily but was effectively fired, The Mail on Sunday has learned. Dame Lowell, appointed by then-Home Secretary Theresa May just over a year ago, had already lost the confidence of senior staff and members of the inquiry panel, according to two well-placed legal sources. After she gave a stumbling performance at a preliminary hearing on the case of former Labour politician Greville Janner, when she appeared not to understand her own legal powers, this was picked up by Mrs May’s successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and her advisers.’ – Mail on Sunday

Universities ‘poised to slash grades’ in post-referendum ‘uncertainty’

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 08.59.03‘Some of Britain’s top universities are offering thousands of degree places through clearing — the system that matches students with unfilled places on courses — even though A-level results are not announced for 11 days. Many universities, some of which have drawn up ambitious expansion plans, are poised to slash A-level grade offers when teenagers get their results and will accept students who may have underperformed in the exams. Sir Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of Exeter University, which lists 225 degree options in clearing, said: “People are nervous and universities are being defensive; if EU students do not turn up, universities want to make sure they fill their places. There is a lot of uncertainty post-Brexit. Students will have a lot of choice this summer.”’ – The Sunday Times (£)

The benefits payment-council tax poverty circle

‘Hundreds of thousands of the poorest households in England are having their benefits cut every week because they are unable to pay their council tax bill, the Observer can reveal. Families are stacking up such arrears, spanning years in some cases, that they are having their benefits slashed, which is driving them further into poverty. Until 2013, those on small or no incomes had some protection from paying the full tax under a national support scheme. Since then, councils in England have had to administer their own, locally devised schemes, with reduced funding from the government. The result has been mass failure to pay council tax by those who would previously have been exempt, and a surge in cases where benefits are docked to make good on arrears. Data released under the Freedom of Information Act from 133 local authorities reveals that 190,198 households currently have money deducted from their benefits in this way.’  – The Observer

Mandelson’s Brexit documentary to reveal Remain’s ‘incompetence’

EU Exit brexit‘Labour grandee Peter Mandelson is set to reveal the shambles behind the scenes of the Remain campaign, as he accused David Cameron of “taking a spoon to a knife fight”. He also savages Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who he blames for sabotaging the campaign to keep Britain in the EU. Mr Mandelson’s revelations come in a BBC Two programme to be shown tomorrow night. Brexit: The Battle For Britain seeks to explain how Mr Cameron’s huge political gamble to hold a referendum went wrong.’  Sunday Express

  • The film features Clegg accusing Gove of leaking Queen’s remarks – Daily Telegraph

More Brexit


  • Juncker’s ‘little black book’ enemies revealed – Oliver Pritchett, Sunday Telegraph
  • Was Fox’s Azerbaijani ‘publishing deal’ acceptable? – Nick Cohen, The Observer
  • The ‘plight’ of the savers – Becky Barrow, The Sunday Times (£)

> Today: ToryDiary – Almost three in four of our Party member survey respondents want a Hard Brexit – not the soft version

Johnson overturns rule forbidding rainbow flag from flying at embassies

‘Philip Hammond, the previous Foreign Secretary, had insisted as recently as July only the union flag and a handful of others should fly. A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson told PinkNews: “The Foreign Secretary has agreed that FCO buildings, including at diplomatic missions overseas, can fly the rainbow flag in order to mark relevant international days such as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) and locally relevant events, such as local Pride celebrations.” It will be the choice of the ambassador or high commissioner to fly the flag. Local circumstances will also be taken into account.’ – Independent on Sunday

  • And there are calls for him to help in Amina al-Jeffery case – The Observer 

Jeremy Corbyn: If you’re feeling let down by Britain, come and join me!

Jeremy Corbyn 16-06-16‘What kind of country do you want to live in? One where you don’t have to raid your savings to pay for your children’s university education? Or perhaps you’d like to live in a country where the care for your elderly parents was based on their needs. You might even be one of the thousands of Southern Rail passengers who only wants to get on a train, find a seat and arrive on time. If you’re one of those people, or the countless others who have been let down in the last six years by the devastation of our public services, then let me tell you why the Labour Party is the party for you. Over the last six years you’ve been deceived on a scale not seen since Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme. Time and again you’ve been told that to build a strong economy we had to tighten our belts and cut public funding. Today we have the utterly self-defeating reality of rapidly declining public services while our debt is going up.’ Sunday Telegraph 

More Corbyn:


More Labour:

The week of the ‘Trumpocalypse’

TRUMP Donald‘As Donald Trump took to the stage at the KI Convention Centre in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Friday night there was one face notably missing from the crowd. Scott Walker, the popular state governor and an early rival for the Republican nomination, had found an excuse to be elsewhere; he was visiting victims of a flood that had taken place further north in the small rural state. It was more than just a passing snub. The Trump campaign has just had its worst week to date, with the pugnacious billionaire having created so many problems for himself that some Republican establishment figures are begging him to drop out of the race.’ The Sunday Times (£)

News in Brief