Cameron leaves the Commons

Cameron1‘David Cameron’s spectacular fall was complete last night when he quit as an MP rather than clash with Theresa May over grammar schools. The former prime minister, who just 16 months ago won the first outright Tory majority in 23 years, claimed he did not want to be a ‘distraction’ to his successor. Friends said they expected him to duck next month’s party conference. Last year he was cheered to the rafters for his election victory…Announcing his resignation, he repeatedly refused to say that he agreed with her plan to open new grammar schools, saying only the proposal had ‘some merit’. ‘I have my own views about certain issues,’ he said.’ – Daily Mail


>Today: ToryDiary: No defence for Osborne, but Osborne for Defence?

>Yesterday: MPsETC: “The Commons needs Cameron as a not-so-much-elder statesman”

Hague: The country gave him no choice but to leave

‘For someone still in the prime of life, there is a natural urge to get on with new ideas and challenges. It is not in David Cameron’s nature to be a Ted Heath or a David Lloyd George, hanging on in the hope the world will see that they should be restored to power. It is also no longer as easy as it was for anyone who has held high office to pursue new interests while still coming back into the Commons to give the benefit of their experience. The price of professionalising politics and creating full time MPs is that former prime ministers leave the House more quickly. So I find David Cameron’s decision wholly understandable. I am sure it is the right thing for him, and it is probably best for his party, even though he has served it so well. It will not be the end of his career and achievements’ – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Brexit 1) Negotiations must be kept secret, argues Davis

DAVIS David‘Leaving the EU will involve the most complex negotiations of modern times, the Brexit secretary David Davis said yesterday. He also warned that parliament could be kept in the dark about the progress of the talks. Giving evidence for the first time in his new role, Mr Davis told peers that unravelling Britain’s relationship with the bloc and creating a new one would pose huge challenges across government. He insisted that reaching a settlement was still possible within the two-year timeframe set out under Article 50, even though it would be “very difficult”. “This is likely to be the most complicated negotiation of modern times,” he told the House of Lords EU select committee.’ – The Times (£)

  • They could take decades, warns Davidson – Daily Telegraph
  • Leaving must help blue collar workers, says IDS – Daily Mail
  • Hard Brexiteers are filling the gap left by Remainers – FT
  • TUC boss concedes Leave voters aren’t racist – The Sun (£)
  • Britain’s last EU commissioner promises to represent Brussels’ interests, not ours – The Guardian
  • The Midlands seeks more powers – FT

>Today: Jake Berry on Comment: Let’s get this great exhibition to Manchester – and show that Brexit Britain is open for business

Brexit 2) Rudd mulls strict work permit system

‘Only high skilled EU workers who have well-paid job offers would be allowed into Britain after Brexit, under a new plan being studied by the Home Secretary. The Sun can reveal that Amber Rudd is looking at adopting a tough work permit system that would dramatically slash new arrivals from the rest of Europe. Drawn up by campaign group Migration Watch UK, it sets a high bar on both salary and skills for newcomers – matching the test for immigrants who come to the UK to work from the rest of the world now. Experts estimate the system would slash immigration to Britain by EU job seekers by as much as four fifths. A total of 80% of all who came to the UK in the last 10 years to work were low skilled.’ – The Sun (£)

  • 75,000 temporary visas planned for agricultural workers – The Times (£)
  • The rules have got to be flexible, to wean us off cheap migrant labour – The Sun Says (£)
  • This could be an opportunity for the EU to reform itself – Gideon Rachman, FT

>Today: Douglas Hansen-Luke on Comment: Three ways for Fox to secure the best trade deals

Greening presents school reform plans

School‘Ms Greening told the House of Commons that selective state schools benefited pupils who attended them, especially the most disadvantaged, and made clear that new grammars would have to reserve a proportion of their places for children from less wealthy backgrounds.However, the plans came under fire from a number of backbenchers including former education secretaries Nicky Morgan and Ken Clarke, as well as ex-ministers from David Cameron’s government such as Anna Soubry and Theresa Villiers.’ – FT

>Today: MPsETC: Greening’s grammar school plans get a warm welcome from Tory MPs – and only a little grumbling

Vaizey on the arts, being sacked and adjusting to life as a backbencher

‘Vaizey is sanguine about his demotion. “I’ve perfected an after-dinner speech about all my political catastrophes going back 20 years, and I will certainly add my sacking by Theresa May to it,” he says. “I was driving in Oxfordshire when I took the call — I hasten to add on a hands-free phone. It was someone from Downing Street saying that the prime minister would call me in 15 minutes. As I carried on driving I realised that I’d lost my mobile signal. I thought that would be the final irony: the PM not being able to sack her telecoms minister because he can’t get a signal on his mobile. Eventually I pulled up in Henley and waited for the call.”’ – The Times (£)

  • He argues the arts deserve a reward for absorbing cuts – The Times (£)

The Boundary Review is published

commons‘Jeremy Corbyn and George Osborne face a fight to stay in the Commons after an official review suggested scrapping their seats. Ministers Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and David Davis, along with Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, could also see their constituencies erased or radically altered. The changes come as part of proposals to cut the number of Westminster constituencies from 650 to 600 and to make them roughly equal in population for the first time…Elections expert Lord Hayward said that, using voting figures from 2015, the redrawing of the electoral map would give Theresa May a majority of at least 44 in the 2020 election rather than the current 12. ‘This is largely because the areas where the population rose most rapidly are in Conservative-leaning counties,’ he said. ‘Conversely, the areas of decline are in traditional Labour areas.’’ – Daily Mail

  • Painful for politicians, but badly needed for our democracy – The Times Leader (£)
  • Alan Johnson and David Davis could end up facing each other – The Times (£)
  • This is the perfect weapon for Corbyn to purge his enemies – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

Another Labour MP gets a brick through their office window

‘Police have launched an investigation after a brick was thrown through the window of the office of Wakefield MP Mary Creagh. The Labour MP took to Twitter to condemn the attack, which she said had left staff ‘distressed’. West Yorkshire Police said they were called to the office, on Cheapside in Wakefield, following the incident. A force spokesman said the building was empty at the time the brick was thrown.’  – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: The nine biggest achievements of Corbyn’s first year

Only a minority of American voters believe Hillary’s pneumonia explanation

Hillary Clinton‘Less than half of American voters believe Hillary Clinton’s explanation of the illness that led to her apparently fainting on Sunday, a poll by YouGov for The Times shows — a trust deficit that highlights the vulnerability of her presidential campaign. Mrs Clinton, 68, abandoned plans to travel to a fundraising event in Silicon Valley, California, last night after coming down with pneumonia.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Clinton’s illness, ageing countries, older leaders

MPs urge the legalisation of medical cannabis

‘Following a seven month inquiry, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform found cannabis worked as “medicine for a number of medical conditions”. Campaigning MP Frank Field said Britain was failing to keep pace with other countries by failing to grant very sick patients legal access to cannabis. He said: “Hundreds of thousands of people in our country are forced to decide between putting up with unbearable pain, chronic nausea or alternatively, breaking the law. Compassion demands that we grant those people legal access to prescribed cannabis if their doctor feels it will make life more bearable. Such a change has got to be rigorously enforced so it is not seen as a move to general legalisation. But there is no one better to introduce and enforce this measure than Mrs May.”’ – The Sun (£)

News in Brief

  • The Great British Bake Off moves to Channel 4 – Daily Mail
  • Whittingdale apologises for failing to declare trip – The Sun (£)
  • Germany has at least 520 potential ‘lone wolf’ terrorists – Daily Mail
  • Stephen Lawrence police overlooked key evidence for 20 years – Daily Telegraph
  • Blunt prepares to reignite debate about Saudi arms sales – The Guardian