Honours 1): Cameron “in retreat” over peerage for Spencer

timesspence“David Cameron is set to abandon his battle to secure a peerage for a Tory donor who gave £4 million to the party. With the row over his resignation honours list intensifying, it is understood that the former prime minister will not seek to push through a place in the House of Lords for Michael Spencer, the former Tory treasurer. The move is the first sign that Mr Cameron will compromise over an extensive list of honours that has led to accusations of cronyism. A leaked list suggested that he was planning to hand dozens of honours to friends, aides and donors.” – The Times(£)

  • It’s not like the Lavender List says ex-Wilson aide – BBC
  • Billionaire crony humiliated – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Will Straw CBE-McStrawFace. Isabel Spearman OBE-McSpearmanFace. Daniel Korski MBE-McKorskiFace…

Honours 2): May will reform the system

“Theresa May plans to shake up the way Downing Street hands out honours following the controversy over David Cameron’s resignation list. Colleagues said she was keen to avoid the mistakes of her predecessor, who had allowed the impression to be given that awards were being given to cronies. One MP close to the Prime Minister criticised the way her predecessor had drawn up his resignation list, and pledged that Mrs May would do things differently, adding: ‘You certainly won’t see Theresa doing something like this. ‘She certainly wouldn’t be abusing the honours system in this way.’ ” – Daily Mail

Honours 3): Tebbit joins the revolt at Remain honours

Norman Tebbit“Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative Party chairman, said yesterday that Mr Cameron should think again about his “disproportionate” demands for honours. Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, questioned the “peculiar” decision to hand an honour to the Labour-supporting director of the Remain campaign. It is now likely that the version of the resignation honours list that is finally approved will be refined from the draft leaked to The Sunday Times.” – The Times(£)

Honours 4): Ian Taylor refuses knighthood

“A Conservative Party donor who was reportedly recommended for a knighthood in David Cameron’s resignation honours list has said he will refuse it. Ian Taylor, who gave an estimated £300,000 to the Remain campaign in the lead up to the EU referendum, said he would write to Cameron and Theresa May requesting that his name is not put forward.  The proposed knighthood for Taylor – who is one of the most powerful figures in the oil industry – had infuriated Eurosceptic MPs.” – Daily Mail

PM aims for Britain to be at least £150 billion richer

Theresa May 25-07-16“THERESA May yesterday ordered a complete overhaul of George Osborne‘s economy to make Britain at least £150 billion richer. She tasked ministers with closing the gap between the powerhouse South East and other regions that are lagging behind by forging “an economy that works for all”. The pointed phrase was seen as a clear dig that David Cameron and George Osborne’s six years in charge of the economy has failed to deliver for hard-working Brits nationwide. The first meeting of her 11-strong economic mini-Cabinet heard even halving the chasm would make the economy nine per cent bigger.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May’s mission. Not so much social justice or even social mobility as social reform.

EU security brief for King…

“Britain’s new European Commissioner will spearhead EU efforts to tackle terrorism, organised crime and cyber-security, it has been announced. Sir Julian King, a career diplomat, was nominated by ex-UK PM David Cameron to replace Lord Hill, who resigned after the Brexit vote. Lord Hill had been in charge of the financial services portfolio. Downing Street said it welcomed the commission’s decision, saying security was a “vital issue” for the EU.” – BBC

More Brexit news

  • 50/50 chance of recession says NIESR – BBC
  • Student was allocated £625,000 for Vote Leave campaigning – The Times(£)
  • Brexit means Brexit? Not for Cornwall – Ben Chu Independent
  • If every EU citizen wants to stay in Britain it will take 140 to process them all – The Sun
  • British tourist industry set to benefit – The Guardian
  • EU trade deal with Canada could collapse – Daily Express
  • City of London can remain Europe’s financial capital – FT

>Today: Nigel Evans on Comment: A message to Lady Wheatcroft. Brexit means lump it!

>Yesterday: Luke Coffey on Comment: May must protect Gibraltar from Spain during Brexit

….as battle looms over who will pay for the pensions of British Eurocrats

money“Britain will be expected to pay its share of a rocketing €56 billion bill for the generous publicly-funded pensions of retired Brussels officials, even after leaving the European Union. Diplomats are gearing up for a battle over the EU’s budget liabilities, including pensions, which totalled €226 billion last year alone, and to which Britain will be expected to contribute. One of the most heated fights will be the pension costs of retired eurocrats. The bill hit €56.4 billion in 2015, an increase of €4.2bn or more than 8 per cent, as the cost of funding retirement continues to soar.” – The Times(£)

Government scraps funding for Malawi “cult”

“The UK government is to stop giving money to a charity in Malawi following a BBC investigation which found it was under the control of a cult-like group. Dapp, which runs education and health projects in the African country, has received millions of pounds in the last decade from the UK, EU and Unicef. It is connected to the Teachers Group, whose leaders are wanted by Interpol over fraud allegations. British officials have suspended funding and launched an investigation.” – BBC

Lords is far too big says Carrington

carrington“The oldest and longest-serving member of the House of Lords has criticised the size of the chamber’s membership. Former Conservative Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington said: “It is much too big, far too big – I don’t think there are enough seats for people to sit on.” There are about 800 peers in the upper house – and more appointments expected. The peer said there were arguments for and against both an appointed and an elected House of Lords, but he was “not entirely sure” about the best model.” – BBC

Hunt tells NHS trust to sort out cataracts “mess”…

“Jeremy Hunt has ordered NHS trusts to provide life-changing cataract surgery to elderly patients ‘without delay’. The Health Secretary said it was down to doctors or eye specialists to decide when patients needed the operations, not cost-cutting managers. A Daily Mail investigation last week revealed how three quarters of hospitals deny surgery unless patients’ vision is extremely poor.  We then exposed how NHS hospitals are charging the elderly four times the standard price and encouraging them to pay privately to jump the queue.” – Daily Mail

  • Common sense over NHS funding needed – Leader Daily Mail
  • The NHS must show it cares about gay men’s lives – Owen Jones The Guardian
  • Prevention or cure – Leader The Times(£)

…as NHS manager is paid £60,000 a month

NHS“A cash-strapped NHS trust has paid a temporary manager at rates of £60,000 a month – the highest in the history of the health service. The payment is revealed in a  Telegraph investigation which shows soaring numbers of health service bureaucrats are being paid “off payroll” – despite repeated Government pledges to clamp down on the practice.” – Daily Telegraph

Nationalise Southern Rail says Corbyn

“Ministers should renationalise the Southern rail service, following weeks of disruption for passengers, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader said the “misery” that those travelling to London had faced made a “very good case” for a change of ownership. Southern passengers have faced delays, cancellations and a reduced timetable amid staff shortages and strikes. The operator is in a dispute with the RMT union over the role of guards.” – BBC

A quarter of new members could be barred from voting in Labour leadership contest

CORBYN Jeremy Marr June 2016“The battle for the Labour leadership was becoming increasingly fraught yesterday as allies of Jeremy Corbyn expressed concerns that more than a quarter of new supporters who signed up to the party could be prevented from voting. Backers of the Labour leader, who faces a challenge from Owen Smith, say 40,000 of the 183,000 people who joined as registered supporters in recent weeks, paying £25 for the chance to vote, have been disqualified by Labour, with another 10,000 referred to a scrutiny committee.” – The Guardian

  • Corbyn’s failure to tackle bigotry has tarnished Labour says Eagle – The Guardian
  • Smith woos the Left with minimum wage pledge – The Times(£)
  • Left wing insurgencies won’t go away – Diane Abbott The Guardian]
  • Labour donor savages Smith – Daily Express
  • Old style public meetings are the new big thing – Steve Richards The Guardian

Diane James the “new favourite” for UKIP leader

“Ukip will announce its list of candidates to succeed Nigel Farage as party leader on Wednesday, after the party’s vetting committee has met to assess the candidates. Diane James, a Ukip MEP, is fast becoming the new favourite after the campaign of the frontrunner Steven Woolfe ran into difficulties. James, the justice and home affairs spokeswoman, has not formally declared she has applied but shot to the top of the bookmakers’ odds on Tuesday.” – The Guardian

Khan promises more armed police on London’s streets

khan“More armed police will be seen on London’s streets from now on, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have said. Sir Bernard said there would be more armed officers at well-known landmarks following terrorist attacks in Europe. He said the aim was to reassure the public and deter would-be attackers. The Met has already announced it will increase the number of armed officers by 600, bringing the total to 2,800.” – BBC

SNP call for Scotland to hold a referendum on the monarchy

“An independent Scotland should hold a referendum on whether to abolish the monarchy, an SNP MEP has said as he attempted to win over the party’s republican base in the contest to become Nicola Sturgeon’s deputy. Alyn Smith said the Scottish people should decide in a separate vote after the break-up of the UK whether the nation continues as a monarchy or gets rid of the Queen and her successors.” – Daily Telegraph

Trump refuses to back Ryan and McCain for reelection

TRUMP Live“Donald Trump has refused to support the re-election of two leading Republicans, Paul Ryan and John McCain, in an unprecedented move that has reopened huge divisions within the party. The latest controversy erupted as Barack Obama called Mr Trump “unfit” to be president and Francois Hollande described the Republican nominee as “sickening” for attacking the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Obama says Trump is “unfit to be President – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Clinton or Trump? Please take our monthly survey.

Hannan: Bring back our passports

“We want to work with our European neighbours as friends and allies, not as fellow citizens. Bringing back the old blue passport will show we have made that change. While we will want to work with the EU on border security and the like, we’ll be doing so as a sovereign nation.” – Daniel Hannan The Sun

Mitchell: Britain must stop Assad from starving his own people

Andrew Mitchell 16-06-16“Aleppo, a city that was formerly home to 2.3 million Syrians, is now under siege, the country’s own government tightening a noose around its neck. This was a beautiful, ancient city, continuously inhabited for the last 6,000 years. Today Syrian and Russian forces are pummeling the city and deliberately starving its people…Humanitarian airdrops must remain on the table as long as the regime continues to use starvation as a weapon of war. And the UK should be ready to join its international partners in establishing No Bombing Zones to deter continued Syrian war crimes.” – Andrew Mitchell Daily Telegraph

  • Most councils have yet to accept a single Syrian refugee – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Public Interest Lawyers banned from taking legal aid – Daily Mail
  • Home Office wins appeal against Calais refugees – BBC
  • British jets bomb ISIS training centre in Iraq – The Guardian
  • Briton killed fighting ISIS – The Times(£)
  • HSBC profits down – BBC
  • 32 fake universities in the UK closed – The Guardian

And finally…Ed Balls to compete on Come Dancing

BALLS Ed looking left“His wife described the prospect of Ed Balls competing on Strictly Come Dancing as “terrifying”, knowing all too well what a reputation he has carved for himself at party conference discos. Rumours that the former shadow chancellor could appear on the show, which have swirled ever since he was kicked out by his constituents in May 2015, have been confirmed. The man known more for his political “thuggery” will have to convince a different kind of electorate that he is a graceful figure worthy of their vote.” – The Times(£)