Osborne appointment “harms trust” says Downey

Osborne“George Osborne’s appointment as editor of the Evening Standard is a step too far that risks undermining trust in both parliament and the press, a former parliamentary commissioner for standards warns today. Sir Gordon Downey says that the appointment could compromise his position as a former chancellor “privy to all the secrets of Whitehall and Westminster”. He has been backed by Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, who said that Mr Osborne’s new job represented a “serious conflict of interest”. He called for the rules on approving ministers’ appointments when they left office to be reviewed to ensure that they were “fit for purpose”.” – The Times(£)

  • Much too much – Leader, The Times(£)
  • Hostile questioning expected at Tatton Conservatives AGM – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne’s firm has Business Rates cut – The Sun
  • MPs should have second (or third or sixth) jobs – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

May to propose stricter rules to end “abuse” of self employed

“Firms that use self-employed workers to avoid paying sickness, pension and maternity benefits are facing a government crackdown. A review commissioned by Theresa May is expected to conclude later this year that a growing number of companies are abusing the law by taking on supposedly self-employed workers for jobs previously carried out by salaried staff. The stricter measures will be a second attempt to reform employment rules after the government announced a U-turn on changes to national insurance contributions this month.” – The Times(£)

Brexit 1) Little time for other Parliamentary legislation says think tank

PARLIAMENT“Parliament could be tasked with scrutinising up to 15 new bills to deliver Brexit, leaving little time for other unrelated legislation, the Institute for Government has warned…In its report, Legislating Brexit, the IFG says that with the average Queen’s Speech announcing only 20 new bills, the introduction of 15 Brexit bills before the UK even exits the EU “will leave very little space for non-Brexit related legislation”.” – BBC

  • Lib Dems back allowing opt in to EU citizenship – Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Coming soon – at least seven Brexit Bills. Leaving the EU will define May’s Government – a fate she should embrace.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The EU referendum’s winners and losers are still struggling to adapt to their role reversal

Brexit 2) Divorce bill “take it or leave it” says Juncker

“Britain’s divorce bill from the European Union will be a take-it-or-leave-it demand and if Theresa May does not like it she will have to walk away, Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday. Using unusually uncompromising language, the president of the European Commission said that Britain faced “the choice to eat what’s on the table or not come to the table at all”.” – The Times(£)

Brexit 3) City calls for lower tax to “sugar the pill”

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“Finance chiefs in London are preparing a fresh round of lobbying for lower taxes and looser regulation to sugar the pill of Brexit and maintain Britain’s appeal in the global competition between financial centres. ..“The challenge for the UK is not to assume it’s unassailable,” said John McFarlane, chairman of Barclays and TheCity UK lobby group, in an interview with the Financial Times. “Advantage needs to be renewed.” Mark Hoban, a former Treasury minister, has been asked by TheCityUK to work with his former employers PwC to produce a report entitled “Vision 2025” examining ways to enhance the UK financial services industry after Brexit.” – Financial Times

Brexit 4) Norcott: My role as a comedian who voted Leave

“In the midst of my current show coming together, Brexit happened. Prior to the vote I wrote an opinion piece on comedy industry website Chortle stating my likely intention to vote Leave. The first two weeks after the result were unsettling. I‘d just had a son and the Facebook noise was that voting Leave was somewhere between naive and collecting Nazi memorabilia. ..One comedic consequence of my politics is that people make a lot of mistaken assumptions about me. Because I’m Conservative, they think I’m selfish; with being a Leaver, the stereotyping is even more malignant.” – Geoff Norcott, Daily Telegraph

Hunt protects NHS whistleblowers

Jeremy Hunt 19-06-15“NHS whistleblowers could be protected against discrimination if they apply to work for the health service again. Government plans would give applicants a right to complain to an employment tribunal if they believed they had suffered discrimination. Jeremy Hunt said he wanted to create “a culture of openness” where staff feel they can speak up about patient safety. Barrister Sir Robert Francis recommended the measure after a public inquiry into Stafford Hospital deaths.” – BBC

Patel to divert aid spending to smaller charities

“International Development Secretary Priti Patel will announce plans to divert foreign aid money after criticising how large charity organisations operate. Grants of up to £50,000 each will be offered through a new fund to boost family-run charities working overseas. Miss Patel has previously hit out at ‘profiteering’ bosses of big charities who receive six-figure salaries while spending foreign aid money.” – Daily Mail

  • Where Britain leads the world must follow – Priti Patel, Daily Telegraph

Judges should get used to more scrutiny says Truss

Truss“The justice secretary has urged Britain’s top judges to launch a media offensive to explain the importance of an independent judiciary, saying they will face tougher public scrutiny after Brexit. Liz Truss, who was criticised last year for failing to stand up for High Court judges after the Daily Mail labelled them “enemies of the people”, warned the judiciary that the attack by the media was a sign of things to come. She said that once the UK left the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, the Supreme Court would become the final court of appeal and its judgments would receive “even greater attention”.” – Financial Times

Military housing cits will cause exodus warns Brazier

“Moving service personnel out of subsidised housing will hasten an exodus from the military, a former defence minister warns today. Sir Julian Brazier, who worked in the Ministry of Defence until last year, says that a failure to improve conditions for those in the army and RAF will leave Britain with tanks and fighter jets manned by “a diminishing and unhappy pool of people”. “Our military personnel deserve better,” Sir Julian says in a report released today.” – The Times(£)

Scots don’t want a second referendum says Davidson…

Ruth Davidson“The Scottish Conservative leader has said the majority of Scots do not want a second independence referendum. Ruth Davidson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Nicola Sturgeon’s call for such a vote was “not the will of the Scottish people”. She said: “The SNP is not Scotland, they are acting against the majority wishes of the people of Scotland.” – BBC

>Today: Nadhim Zahawi on Comment: An independence referendum on the SNP’s timetable wouldn’t be fair to Scotland. But they don’t care.


…as May goes on tour to back the Union

“Prime Minister Theresa May will kick off a nation-wide tour with a visit to Wales this week as part of a move to “strengthen and sustain the precious Union.” Details of the trip were announced as Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon doubled down on her commitment to holding a second independence referendum. Dates for May’s visit to Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to be announced, but in Wales today, the PM will announce will announce a total of £1.3bn in funding for projects including a new Swansea waterfront “digital district” and a partnership with indian industrial giant Tata to establish an “innovation and knowledge centre” for the steel industry.” – City AM

  • Carwyn Jones warns of “looming battle” – The Guardian

Heath abuse inquiry to be closed for lack of evidence

HEATH Edward“THE £1million child abuse probe by police against former PM Ted Heath is set to be ditched. Last night it was claimed the cops will close it after finding no evidence. Detectives are investigating the former Tory leader accused of being part of a group which stabbed, tortured and maimed 16 children in churches before gorging on their blood.” – The Sun

Former British ambassador attacks Trump

“The former British ambassador to Washington, Sir Peter Westmacott, has issued a withering criticism of Donald Trump and his inner circle, accusing them of making absurd, unthinkable and nonsensical claims about the UK’s involvement in alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower that he warns could damage close ties between the two countries. Writing in the Guardian, Westmacott accuses the White House of not only “peddling falsehoods” that the British intelligence agency GCHQ assisted then president Barack Obama in tapping Trump’s New York phones, but of potentially harming intelligence cooperation across the Atlantic.” – The Guardian

Labour “on early election footing”…

ballot_box“Labour claimed last night that it was on an “early election footing” amid speculation that Theresa May might decide to call a snap poll as early as May. Downing Street has consistently and strongly denied any plan to capitalise on the Tories’ high poll ratings and go to the country for a new mandate before Brexit negotiations begin. But privately some Conservative MPs are pressing the chief whip to change Mrs May’s mind while the party’s headquarters is strengthening its resources to fight an campaign.” – The Times(£)

  • May 4th being “discussed” – The Sun
  • It’s nonsense says Downing Street – Independent

…as Watson warns of Corbynista plotting

“Labour’s deputy leader has warned that supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are secretly plotting a deal with the Unite boss Len McCluskey to ensure that the party continues to be run by the left. Tom Watson made the claim after a recording emerged of the founder of Momentum, the grassroots group that helped Mr Corbyn to the leadership, discussing gaining Unite’s backing.” – The Times(£)

Blair says he didn’t know how many immigrants would come

BLAIR Marr May 2016“Tony Blair has admitted he had no idea how many people would move to Britain when the EU expanded in 2004. And the ex-Prime Minister appeared to get wrong the facts of what happened to immigration numbers in a major interview to launch his new policy institute. He said the surge in immigration to Britain did not happen until after 2008 and that Britain could only have imposed controls for four years.” – Daily Mail

Citizens UK hosted extremist at their rally

“A taxpayer-funded charity gave a platform to an extremist imam, The Times has learnt. Citizens UK, which receives hundreds of thousands of pounds in public grants, invited Shakeel Begg to speak at its demonstration on child refugees outside parliament in October. He spoke alongside MPs including Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader. His appearance came only six weeks after a High Court judge ruled that Mr Begg, an imam in Lewisham, south London, espoused extremist views and promoted religious violence.” – The Times(£)

Tax burden on the wealthy has trebled

tax“The tax burden shouldered by Britain’s wealthiest has almost trebled since the 1970s, analysis of historic data reveals – further undermining the Conservative’s reputation as a “low tax” party. Daily Telegraph analysis of nearly four decades of tax and income records shows high earners are now responsible for paying a higher proportion of Britain’s total income tax bill than they have done under any Labour government. Today the top 1pc of income taxpayers, who earn in excess of £162,000 a year, now pay nearly a third (27pc) of all income tax.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ‘Progressive’ taxation is bad for everyone. The Tories must not fall into that trap – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Ridley: We need a close friendship with India

“After 1947, despite having a language rich in Indian words, from shampoo to hullabaloo, from juggernaut to jamboree, Britain all but forgot about India, turned its back on empire, rewrote its story as that of a plucky underdog standing up to the Nazi bully, and eventually reached out to Europe instead. Brexit could be another turning point. More than almost any other country, India will matter to Britain in the coming years: as a market, an ally, an innovator, a source of talent and — despite everything — a friend.” Matt Ridley, The Times(£)

Lawson: Facebook and Google must stop promoting racial hatred

domlawson“Money talks. And, not before time, it is telling the internet behemoths: clean up your act. Over the past few days, advertising companies representing the country’s biggest consumer brands and banks have suspended their contracts with Google, as it has become clear the company has failed to prevent those advertisements attaching to disgusting videos preaching race hatred and virulent anti-Semitism. The BBC has also found itself unwittingly linked commercially (via its advertising contract with Google) to some of the most poisonous people on the planet.” – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Lords Leader Baroness Evans stopped National Insurance hike – Daily Telegraph
  • Police to use drones to chase criminals – Daily Mail
  • Former Head Master if Eton attacks grammar school revival – The Times(£)
  • Threats against MPs reported – BBC
  • New roads “cause more traffic” – Financial Times
  • Porn restrictions watered down – Daily Mail
  • 6,400 extra train services each week promised by 2021 – BBC
  • Uber President quits – City AM
  • Mansfield to represent Livingstone at appeal to rejoin Labour Party – Daily Mail
  • 95 councils have had home care contracts cancelled – The Guardian
  • Two and half years in a care home can cost half the value of a pensioner’s home – The Sun
  • Call for debate on child tax credits – Independent