May to ‘press ahead’ with grammars in face of cabinet split

School‘Theresa May is to press ahead with plans to bring back grammar schools despite a cabinet split over the pace and scale of the reform. Justine Greening, the education secretary, has raised concerns about the prime minister’s plan to lift an 18-year ban on new grammars, according to a confidential document. The proposal should be downgraded to one of several options for reform, Ms Greening believes, and help for disadvantaged pupils should be guaranteed. A senior official from her department also voiced fears that it would be blocked by parliament. Mrs May is determined to allow new state schools to select some pupils by academic ability, a senior government figure told The Times, and will continue with the reforms. Expanding selective education is to be presented as central to her push to improve social mobility, with details to be announced next week.’ – The Times (£)

  • Photo of memo refers to ‘various conditions’ – Guardian
  • May and Timothy back grammars thanks to ‘own experiences’ – The Times (£)
  • Grammar schools are too late: disadvantaged children ‘play catch-up at nursery’ – Melissa Benn, Guardian

>Today: John Glen MP in Comment: Grammar Schools. If you back streaming within schools, why oppose streaming between them?

Questions arise after May’s ‘correction’ of Davis over single market ‘improbability’ claim

DAVIS David‘Theresa May has slapped down one of her most senior Cabinet ministers after he said it is “very improbable” that the UK will remain a member of the single market if the country is to regain control of its borders. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said it is not right to be “putting all your cards on the table” and claimed David Davis was setting out “his opinion”, not government policy, when he spoke in Parliament yesterday. Mr Davis told the House of Commons that it is “a simple truth” that if the UK was forced to accept free movement of people it would be unlikely that the country could remain in the single market.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • His remarks were ‘not government policy’ – Guardian
  • And ‘nothing is probable or improbable’ for now – FT
  • May to face MPs’ questions over trade deals, as Australia suggests possible three-year wait – Independent
  • Economists upgrade forecasts – Independent



  • We don’t have a clue what Brexit means – Matthew Norman, Independent
  • We need to move on from points plans – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Over three-quarters of Party members support the Hard Brexit option recently backed by Davis

Immigration minister confirms Britain to fund Calais wall

‘Construction is soon to begin on a “big new wall” in Calais following a surge in the number migrants trying to get across the Channel, the Government has announced. The 13ft (4m) high concrete barrier will be funded by Britain at a cost of £2m, and will stretch over a half a mile (1km) along the main dual carriageway approaching the ferry port. Work is expected to begin as soon as this month. The measure was confirmed on Tuesday by the immigration minister Robert Goodwill, who said: “The security that we are putting in at the port is being stepped up with better equipment. “We are going to start building this big new wall very soon. We’ve done the fence, now we are doing a wall.”’- Daily Telegraph

  • It will form part of joint Anglo-French security package – Guardian
  • And aim to stop Jungle migrants jumping on lorries – The Times (£)

Boris Johnson: We must – and can – stop Assad. With Russia’s help

Boris Johnson 30-06-16‘There is no way that the opposition forces, moderate or otherwise, will end their struggle, because they fear that by laying down their weapons they could leave Assad in charge. Assad is the single most effective recruiting sergeant for Sunni militias of every kind. It is Assad who has stoked and exploited the hideous death cult of Daesh. That is why the entire international community is committed, at least in principle, to getting rid of the Syrian dictator. Even the Russians have accepted that there must be political transition. But then the Russians are also employing their military muscle to prevent him from losing and to keep him in power. When the Russians are asked to explain this seemingly indefensible conduct they reply with one stubborn question — the question with which we began: What then? What follows Assad? It is a question whose potency derives from the Iraq war, and the total failure of the West to prepare for the consequences of removing Saddam. We unseated a Baathist strongman, and chaos ensued.’ – The Times (£)

  • Johnson asks Putin to ‘help oust’ Assad – The Times (£)
  • The Foreign Secretary will be there when ’moderate opposition alliance’ reveal Syrian transition plan – Guardian
  • Security services expecting influx of jihadist fighters returning home to Europe – Independent
  • Choudary jailed for IS support – Daily Telegraph
  • But could be free in two years – The Times (£)
  • He ate at McDonald’s while on bail – Daily Mail
  • Draft report calls for ‘end’ to selling arms to Saudi – Independent

More Government

  • Rudd to answer committee questions on ’impossible’ child abuse inquiry – Guardian
  • Transport department announces compensation rights for delayed rail commuters – The Times (£)
  • Sarah Wollaston says doctors shouldn’t strike without fresh ballot – Daily Telegraph
  • Fabricant backs calls for blue passport – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Child Abuse inquiry may yet need to be redrawn

More Conservative Party

  • John Lewis director chosen as Conservative mayoral candidate for West Midlands – FT
  • The party conference agenda – Daily Telegraph

Sturgeon drawing up ‘accessible’ plans for second independence referendum

Sturgeon‘Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of placing a “lead weight” on Scotland’s economy after announcing her government will draw up plans for a second independence referendum that are ready for “immediate introduction”. Unveiling her programme for government for the coming year, the First Minister announced a £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme to help companies cope with the fallout of the Brexit vote. She said the three-year scheme represented “an exceptional response to an exceptional economic challenge” but then confirmed she will also consult on a draft Referendum Bill that can be tabled instantly if she concludes independence is Scotland’s best option.’- Daily Telegraph

  • But they’ll only be used if in Scotland’s ‘interests’ – Guardian
  • Her plans for the year focus on welfare and educational inequality – FT
  • Gove claims she’s failing to focus on making devolution work – Daily Express

>Today: Henry Hill’s Column: Davidson attacks as Labour and Lib Dems withdraw support for SNP

>Today: Alex Morton’s Column: The Left builds third party support. If May can’t do so too, her government will fail

Labour backbenchers ‘turn’ on Vaz

Keith Vaz‘Keith Vaz is facing further humiliation after the Labour Party turned on him in the wake of the sex scandal which led to him resigning as chairman of the Home Affairs select committee. Mr Vaz, a Labour MP, on Tuesday stepped down from the paid Parliamentary position after a Sunday tabloid claimed that he paid male prostitutes for sex and offered to take poppers and pay for cocaine. However, Jeremy Corbyn then cast doubt on whether Mr Vaz will be allowed to continue as an elected member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee. Mr Vaz has insisted he will remain a member of the NEC. However, when asked about the scandal surrounding Mr Vaz, the Labour leader said his position will be “discussed next week”. A number of backbenchers, including Labour members, are also privately calling for Mr Vaz to resign as a Labour MP.’ –  Daily Telegraph


  • Unless he has, we should ‘mind our business’ – Katie Hopkins, Daily Mail
  • He thought he’d ‘get away with it’ – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)

More Labour:

  • Corbyn mocked for splitting UB40 – Daily Telegraph
  • Cornyn’s pop press conference proves that 2016 politics is surreal – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • No Labour conference vote on reselection – Guardian


  • Elected shadow cabinet would be a ‘neat solution’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Another split is opening among Labour MPs – this time over Brexit

News in Brief

  • Criticisms after white protesters campaign against airport under Black Lives Matter banner – The Times (£)
  • Headmaster sent ‘half the school’ home for wearing ‘wrong uniform’ – The Sun (£)
  • Footage of Aleppo ‘chlorine attack’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Orban and Kaczynski unite over post-Brexit ‘cultural counter-revolution’ – FT
  • Bad-news poll for Hollande – Guardian
  • First face transplant patient dies – Independent
  • Prince Charles laments the decline of the letter – Daily Mail
  • Fish flew at May and Merkel during summit – Daily Express