May flies to China for her G20 summit as PM – but no deal on Hinkley Point

Theresa May 25-07-16“Theresa May will this weekend refuse to give reassurances to her Chinese hosts about a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point amid mounting concern that she is poised to block a deal. The Prime Minister is expected to tell President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit during their first meeting that she will not reach a final decision on whether to go-ahead with the £18 billion plant until later this month.” – Daily Telegraph

  • She is expected to tell them the UK is “open for business” following the referendum vote to leave the EU – BBC
  • May’s first one on one meeting with Putin – The Sun
  • Referendum casts a shadow over visit – FT
  • What does China really think of Britain – Independent

>Today: Alexandra Jones on Think Tanks May can build an economy for all by harnessing our cities

Strip Tory members of power to choose Leader says Tyrie

“Tory grassroots members face being stripped of their right to choose a new leader when the party is in power under plans to be considered by Conservative officials. Senior MPs, including the Tory chairman of the Treasury select committee, have called on the party to review its rules that allow members the final say in choosing who should lead the party when it is in government. Some have warned that this summer’s leadership election could have resulted in the party electing a “Jeremy Corbyn of the right” who did not command the support of the parliamentary party.” – The Times(£)

>Today: ToryDiary:  The Conservatives should retain the right of Party members to choose the leader

Leadsom pledges ban on toxic microbeads from cosmetic products

Leadsom“Toxic plastic microbeads will be banned from cosmetic products within months, ministers announced last night. In a major victory for the Daily Mail’s ‘Ban the Beads Now’ campaign launched only nine days ago, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom pledged to ‘bring an end to these harmful plastics clogging up our oceans’.” – Daily Mail

  • A victory for the Mail – and our fragile planet – Leader Daily Mail

Brexit 1): Boris calls for a “partnership” with a “strong EU”…

“Britain will help the European Union tackle the migration crisiseven after Brexit, Boris Johnson has said. The Foreign Secretary insisted the UK wants to see a “strong” EU and had a “vision” for a new European “partnership.” Mr Johnson said migration was “affecting every country in the European Union” and that leaders needed to work alongside one another to tackle the growing crisis.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Andrew Mitchell on Comment: Nigeria offers huge opportunities to post-Brexit Britain

Brexit 2):…but he says there must be no more compulsory EU budget contributions

Boris Johnson“Boris Johnson has privately warned Theresa May that she must reject calls for Britain to stay in the single market and veto any Brexit deal that requires the country to pay into EU budgets. The foreign secretary set out his red lines for a Brexit deal in a personal letter to Mrs May weeks after she rescued his political career by appointing him to her cabinet. The correspondence is the first substantive leak from Mrs May’s administration.” – The Times(£)

  • Staycation boom in Brexit Britain – Daily Mail

Brexit 3): Russian Deputy PM warns of uncertainty

“Brexit has weakened Europe and created uncertainties about its future, Russia’s deputy prime minister has said. Arkady Dvorkovich explained to BBC Newsnight: “For Russia it’s important that Europe is strong. We need strong partners to go forward, and the British decision to leave Europe made Europe a little bit weaker at this point”. Mr Dvorkovich, who oversees economic policy for his government, argues that “the whole process [of Brexit]… creates uncertainties”.” – BBC

Brexit 4): Parris concedes that we must leave the Single Market

PARRIS Mathhew“There is therefore (and it hurts to say this) a deep logic to the hardline Brexiteers’ insistence that Britain did not vote to hang on to the single market, or bits of it. Whether or not all the Leave voters understood this, the journey, once started, cannot be to a half-way destination without the implicit recognition that we should never have started it because half-way is worse than staying put. That’s what we always said.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

Brexit 5): Now we can complete the Thatcher revolution says Lawson

“I was a member of the Thatcher government of the 1980s that transformed the British economy, an achievement acknowledged throughout the world at the time. It was done by a thoroughgoing programme of supply side reform, of which judicious deregulation was a critically important part. But it was only indigenous UK regulation that we could repeal or reform. And increasingly we are bound by a growing corpus of EU regulation which, so long as we remain in the bloc, we cannot touch. Brexit gives us the opportunity to address this; to make the UK the most dynamic and freest country in the whole of Europe: in a word, to finish the job that Margaret Thatcher started.” Nigel Lawson Financial Times

Latest junior doctors strike would be illegal under new trade union rules…

NHS“The doctors’ union came under intense pressure to hold a fresh strike ballot last night – as it emerged that the latest damaging walkouts would be illegal under new industrial relations laws. The British Medical Association insists it has a mandate for the industrial action following a strike ballot last November that has already resulted in a series of shorter walkouts. But Government sources pointed out that the mandate would have expired under the terms of the Trades Union Act, which became law in July.” – Daily Mail

  • Doctor leading strikes had praised “fair” new contract – The Times(£)
  • The hard left doctors more concerned with bashing Tories than your health – Daily Mail
  • This fraudulent strike – Leader Daily Mail

…as the obese face ban from routine surgery

“Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale. Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.” – Daily Telegraph

£1.5 million police bill for Conservative Party Conference

Police helmet“A police force is facing a £1.5m bill to plan safety operations for the next three Conservative Party conferences, its crime commissioner has said. PCC David Jamieson said it would cost West Midlands Police about £500,000 a time when the Tories meet in Birmingham in October and return in 2018 and 2020, He has written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd to ask for a discussion about a “fairer arrangement”. The Home Office said the funding had been reviewed as “fairer” than before.” – BBC

Army has fewest soldiers for two centuries

“The army has fallen below the symbolic threshold of 80,000 full-time soldiers for the first time in more than two centuries. The Royal Navy and RAF are also shrinking when both services need to expand to man new warships, nuclear submarines and fighter planes. A wave of cash-saving redundancies over the past five years coupled with the absence of a war to fight — a significant factor in attracting recruits — has caused numbers to contract across the forces. The rebounding economy after the banking crisis has also put people off joining the military. The latest figures show that the number of regular trained soldiers was 79,550 as of July 1, well short of a target of 82,500.” – The Times(£)

Corbyn defends his £20,000 Press TV fees

CORBYN Jeremy Marr June 2016“Jeremy Corbyn has defended taking £20,000 from an Iranian state-run TV channel which was banned from broadcasting in the UK. Press TV paid the Labour leader thousands of pounds for just a handful of appearances – but Mr Corbyn said the sum ‘wasn’t an enormous amount’. He claimed that he used his Press TV role to address ‘human rights issues’ and challenge the repressive regime in Tehran.” – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn’s tainted cash – Leader Daily Mail
  • 15 boys named Corbyn last year – The Sun
  • Labour leader pledges billions for seaside towns – Independent
  • Corbyn distances himself from death threats to Labour MP – The Sun

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Corbyn stays silent as a million march against the “achievements” of Venezuelan socialism

Betts demands Shadow Cabinet elections

“A Labour MP has told the BBC his bid to bring back elections to the shadow cabinet is part of efforts to unite the party – not to undermine its leader. Clive Betts said it was “absolutely ridiculous” to suggest his motion was part of a plot against Jeremy Corbyn. His motion is likely to be debated on Monday – at the first meeting of Labour MPs and MEPs since recess.” – BBC

  • “Deep wedge” dividing party says Welsh MP – BBC

Clegg attacks “very cynical” Osborne

Clegg 28-04-15“Nick Clegg has accused the former chancellor George Osborne of casually cutting the benefits of the poorest people in society because he believed taking the austerity axe to welfare would boost Conservative popularity. In a candid interview looking back on his five years as deputy prime minister in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, Clegg said he found the behaviour of his senior Conservative partner “very unattractive, very cynical”.” – The Guardian

Green Party recycle Lucas as Leader

green20party (1)“Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley have been elected co-leaders of the Green Party of England and Wales in a job-sharing arrangement. They saw off competition from five others to succeed Natalie Bennett, who is stepping down after four years. Ms Lucas, the Greens’ only MP, was leader of the party between 2008 and 2012 while Mr Bartley is the party’s work and pensions spokesman. The two said the joint election showed the party was not bound by tradition.” – BBC

News in brief

  • Wilshaw says councils blocked closure of illegal Muslim schools – The Sun
  • Blair will only be remembered for Iraq failure says Balls – Daily Express
  • Take 400 children from Calais urge campaigners – BBC
  • The Bishop of Grantham is gay – The Times(£)
  • Construction industry shows signs of recovery – BBC
  • Sturgeon launches Independence consultation – Guardian
  • Transport delays worsening says Rifkind – The Times(£)
  • Call to extend FOI to private contractors spending public money – Independent