Cameron continued 1) MPs criticise him over Libya

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-07-54-34‘David Cameron’s “ill-conceived” military intervention in Libya led to the rise of Islamic State in North Africa according to a scathing report from MPs. The former Prime Minister took the country to war against Col Muammar Gaddafi on a series of “erroneous assumptions” and then drifted into an “opportunistic” policy of regime change that left Libya in chaos. Attacking Mr Cameron’s leadership, MPs accuse him of misunderstanding what was happening on the ground, and doing too little to find a political way to get the dictator to stand down.’ – Daily Telegraph 

  • Parliamentary enquiry finds him ‘opportunistic’, and the intervention ‘botched’ – The Times (£)
  • He is deemed ‘responsible for its failures’ – Guardian
  • He faces blame for rise of IS – Daily Mail
  • He ‘defied military advice’ and refused to accept Blair’s help – The Times (£)
  • Cabinet ministers were ‘denied opportunity to make informed decisions’ – FT



  • I saw the effects of the intervention – Kim Sengupta – Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Ten ways in which May is rejecting Cameron’s legacy

Cameron continued 2) Rona Fairhead steps down after May overturns the former prime minister’s decision on need for her BBC chair reapplication

David Cameron 27-12-15‘Rona Fairhead is to stand down as chair of the BBC after Theresa May ordered a re-run of the process to find a head for the UK broadcaster. In a U-turn by the new prime minister, Ms Fairhead was told on Tuesday afternoon that she would have to reapply for the role handed to her by former premier David Cameron in May. In a statement to the Financial Times, Ms Fairhead said that after “much thought” she had decided not to re-enter the process. She will remain in post as chair of the BBC Trust until the body is scrapped in early 2017 and replaced by a new unitary board — part of the government’s charter review.’ – FT

  • Select committee criticised him for offering her the role without proper process – The Times (£) 
  • This is the latest in the ‘cull of Cameron’s cronies’ – Daily Mail

Cameron continued 3) He engages ‘star literary agent’ to monetarise memoirs 

‘David Cameron has engaged the star literary agent Ed Victor to sell his memoirs as he seeks to beat Tony Blair’s £4.6 million advance. Mr Victor, who has secured lucrative deals for Alastair Campbell and David Blunkett, confirmed he was representing the former prime minister. “He’s going to write a wonderful memoir and get a great deal but that’s all I’m going to say,” said the veteran agent. “I’ve been characteristically discreet.” Mr Cameron, who announced on Monday that he was standing down as MP for Witney, has told friends that his memoirs will be his “main project” as he eschews offers from the private sector, including one said to have come from the US tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk.’ – The Times (£)

More Cameron comment:

  • Cameron was a ‘recklessly courageous’ prime minister – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)
  • We can’t blame former prime ministers for wanting to ‘live on Civvy Street’ – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • He ‘knows what he did’ – Matthew Norman, Independent

‘Nothing to fear’: Davis offers ‘philosophical approach’ to Brexit negotiations

DAVIS David‘Quizzed by fellow Tory MP John Baron over whether Britain should ditch membership of the EU single market if access cannot be agreed on terms that suit the UK – even if that included tariffs being placed on British exports – Mr Davis signalled he would not be alarmed by such a scenario. He told the MP: “Firstly, let me offer a philosophical approach to negotiation. “I think it’s a very bad idea to go into a negotiation fearing any of the outcomes. Because that weakens you in one respect or another.” He added: “We will assess not just what the costs, if you like, of a given stratagem is but also what the policies that go with it are. “So people might say ‘oh, it’s going to cost this, or cost that, or cost that’. They haven’t necessarily taken on board what we might do to mitigate the cost. “So I see nothing to fear in any outcome.”’- Daily Express


  • Davis keeps to the ‘letter of the letter’ during committee questions – John Crace, Guardian


  • Davis is enjoying his huge mandate – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph 
  • He’s ‘setting up a battalion from scratch’ – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)

Lords committee calls for bicameral vote on Article 50

EU Exit brexit‘A Lords committee has warned it would be ‘constitutionally inappropriate’ and set a ‘disturbing precedent’ for Theresa May to invoke Article 50 without votes in both Houses. The report from the cross-party Lords Constitution Committee came as Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was possible the UK could leave without any trade deal – although he stressed that was not a ‘likely’ outcome. The committee argued that Parliament must ‘play a central role’ in the decision to launch negotiations. That would either mean passing legislation or approving resolutions tabled in both Commons and Lords. The committee said MPs and peers should also have a key role in scrutinising the Brexit negotiations – due to take two years – and approving the final deal reached between the UK and the remaining 27 EU states.’ – Daily Mail

  • Downing Street says ‘no’ – Daily Express
  • And Davis says ‘no need’ — for another referendum, an election, or a vote – Daily Express
  • Although he ‘admits’ Lords could ‘scupper full Brexit’ – Independent 
  • ‘Dumping’ the Communities Act is key, he reiterates – The Sun (£)


  • Lords needs ‘cutting down to size’ – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

More Brexit


  • Brexit offers the ‘splendid opportunity’ of CANZUK – Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph

Priti Patel: my pledge to reform aid spending

PATEL Priti preferred‘And at its best, the global aid system does fantastic, life-saving work – for example through the global funds that deliver vaccines for children and that fight deadly diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis. These are successes, of which we can all be proud. And these achievements also make us safer. Disasters, conflicts and diseases don’t pay attention to national borders. We need to act before problems grow and threaten the UK. But we need to face facts. Too much aid doesn’t find its way through to those who really need it. And too often, money is spent without a proper focus on results and outcomes that allow the poorest to stand on their own two feet.’ – Daily Mail

  • Patel warns that some of it is being ‘stolen or wasted’ – The Times (£)
  • She will focus on ‘core Conservative principles’ – Guardian
  • And wants to ‘reduce pressure for mass migration’ – The Sun (£)


  • This is a ‘commendable start’, but we shouldn’t be ‘naive’ about it – Daily Mail

May to meet with Suu Kyi at Downing Street today

‘Mrs May will host the Nobel Peace Prize laureate at Downing Street the day after she met Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London’s Lancaster House. The Prime Minister’s official spokeswoman said: “It will be an opportunity to talk about bilateral relations between the two countries, the process that’s under way in Burma and what we can do to support reconciliation and democracy and respect for human rights there.” … Mrs May could raise the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, who have suffered institutional discrimination by the authorities and in wider society.’ – Daily Express

More government

  • Greg Clark suggests ‘lighter’ criteria for Hinkley decision – The Times (£)
  • And criticises Fox’s ‘lazy and fat’ line – The Sun (£)
  • MPs’ concern over HS2 delays – The Times (£)
  • Immigration minister hints at passport colour change – The Times (£)
  • BMA to hold talks today to consider calling off more strikes – Daily Telegraph 
  • Union delegates tell May to change her shoes – Daily Telegraph
  • And Clegg claims she’s in an ‘impossible position’ over Brexit – Independent
  • Four in five heads oppose new grammars – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: Far from Notting Hill: Boosting high-level apprenticeships would change more lives than a few new selective schools


Sean O’Grady: How boundary changes could be advantageous to Labour 

Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)‘The lesson of all this, then, is perfectly clear for Labour. Stop sounding like bad losers and start to reach out to the Tory, Ukip, Scottish Nationalist and Lib Dem voters you are about to inherit in what were once solid seats. Hopefully, we will see many more marginals created by these changes which will enfranchise voters in rotten boroughs and, in due course, force Labour back to the centre ground and a competitive position. We will have fewer places where you can pin a Labour rosette on a labradoodle, lead it up the High Street, and have it in the Commons after enjoying a 22,000 vote majority a few weeks later. (And probably in the shadow cabinet too). Even if it bites.’ – Independent

  • Though the party could be left with ‘fewer than 200 MPs’ – The Sun (£)
  • A ‘bonfire of the left is set to ignite’ – The Sun (£)
  • Here’s how your constituency could be affected – Daily Express
  • ‘Independent’ Electoral Reform boss wanted to be Labour candidate – Daily Mail


  • The review represents ‘grotesque gerrymandering’ – Tristram Hunt, Guardian
  • It is ‘the last thing’ MPs need – Rafael Behr, Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The boundary proposals are just the beginning of what could be a painful process for all involved

Osborne ‘vows to protect’ the Powerhouse while ‘running new think tank’ 

OSBORNE George official‘George Osborne last night vowed to protect his Northern Powerhouse policy vision after fears it could be scrapped by Theresa May. The former Chancellor – who is on the brink of setting up a new think-tank – told The Sun: “I care passionately about the north of England and will be setting out my plans to support the Northern Powerhouse in the near future”. Mr Osborne’s plans to boost the Northern economy were the central plank of his last years in the Treasury before he was sacked in July. Unlike David Cameron, pals of Mr Osborne say he won’t quit the Commons but “stick around to see what happens next”. Sources tell The Sun he has “been touring the North drumming up support from business leaders for his new project.”’ –   The Sun (£)

  • Former civil service head ‘warns’ May against desisting from devolution – FT

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – No defence for Osborne, but Osborne for Defence?

Clinton to resume campaign on Thursday

Hillary Clinton‘Hillary Clinton will return to the campaign trail on Thursday, six days after being diagnosed with pneumonia and four days after fainting while departing a 9/11 commemoration ceremony in New York. Mrs Clinton’s near-collapse on Sunday and the revelation that she was suffering from pneumonia prompted intense speculation about her status in the race. She cancelled a trip to the west coast, instead spending the time recovering in New York. Some anticipated a prolonged recovery that would limit her public appearances, others even predicted that she would be forced to drop from the race. The Clinton campaign sought to dispel those rumours in announcing on Tuesday that her break from campaigning would end on Thursday. She is scheduled to speak at an awards gala in Washington hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday night.’ – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Services plan for ‘Great British Firewall’ – FT
  • Peres stable after stroke – Independent
  • Unborn baby died in mosque attack – The Times (£)
  • Chakrabarti makes Lords debut – The Sun (£)
  • Corbyn’s Labour-activist ‘academies’ – Guardian
  • Yesterday was hottest day of year so far – Daily Telegraph 
  • Is the new fiver indestructible? – Daily Mail
  • Doctor suggests Putin or Trump might have poisoned Hillary… – Daily Express