Conservative retreat? 1) Gove signals the lifting of the public sector pay cap

“Gove said ministers needed to keep control of the public finances because “we need to maintain progress in dealing with the deficit”. However, he added: “You’ve got to listen to the public sector pay review bodies. When they made recommendations on school teachers’ pay I think I always accepted them. My colleagues who deal with these pay review bodies would want to respect the integrity of that process.” – Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday: Richard Short on Comment – There is a way to lift the pay cap – without caving in to Labour’s plan and putting jobs at risk

Conservative retreat? 2) Greening pushes to cull school funding per pupil cut

“Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, has informed the Prime Minister that she wants the Tories to abandon plans to cut per pupil funding over the coming years.  It is understood she wants a public statement within weeks making clear the change in direction so schools know where they stand before the summer holidays.  It would mean spending £1.2 billion more than the Tories promised at the election by 2022, according to a respected think tank. Government sources accept the figure.” – Sunday Telegraph

> Today: Scott Kelly on Comment – For jobs and prosperity, young people need better technical eduction, not more higher education

Conservative retreat? 3) Green floats lower tuition fees and higher taxes

“After delivering his speech to the Bright Blue think-tank, which campaigns for the Conservative Party to adopt liberal policies, Mr Green was asked about his message for students who backed Labour in anger about tuition fees. He replied: ‘This is clearly a huge issue.’ He added that the only way to cut fees and maintain standards and student numbers would be by raising taxes, ‘and it may well be that this is a national debate that we need to have’.” – Mail on Sunday

  • The rise of the First Secretary of State, May’s trusted friend – Sunday Telegraph

CCHQ “to set up Conservative momentum”. Bridgen calls for Elliott to lead fightback.

“In the face of a furious backlash from MPs, the party will seek to “broaden its appeal” and quadruple the number of staff engaged in social media campaigns, according to a leaked memo being circulated at Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ). The plans, which include a digital-first strategy, have been hastily drafted as part of the post-mortem of June’s disastrous election results…Last night Andrew Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, called on the party to lead the fightback by recruiting Matthew Elliott, who was chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign, to oversee the running of the action group machinery.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • A mixed picture from the polls: Survation shows Conservatives ahead by a point – Independent
  • May says internet giants aren’t taking hate rants down quickly enough – Sunday Telegraph
  • Labour claims she is backing down over hospital closure plans – Independent
  • Will Northern Ireland’s £1 billion be wasted? – Sunday Times (£)
  • Seamus Heaney will rotate in grave as money pays for road through Lough Beg wetlands – Sunday Times (£)
  • Health tourism Tory pledge axed – Sunday Express
  • Gummer blamed for manifesto failure – Sunday Express
  • Constitutional Research Council DUP “loophole” – Observer
  • Davidson accused of sexism as she tweets photo of Gillian Anderson in stilettos and seamed stockings – Mail on Sunday

Sunday Times: Tories – pull yourselves together

“Having fought a terrible election campaign, the Tories are in danger of losing its aftermath just as badly. Mrs May’s loss of confidence is infecting the party. Even in the party’s disastrous manifesto, there was a pledge to “restore the public finances”, though it was combined with the extraordinary statement that “the government’s agenda will not be allowed to drift to the right”. It is certainly drifting…One thing is clear: a Conservative Party that stands for nothing, including fiscal discipline, will founder. People will not vote for the Tories because they feel warm and fuzzy about them.” – Editorial

> Today: Our survey. Party member confidence in a Consevative majority at the next election plummets

Fallon signs warships deal

“Work on the Type 26 global combat ships will start on the River Clyde in Glasgow this summer.  The project at BAE Systems’ yards will create 1,700 jobs in Scotland and a further 1,700 in the supply chain across the UK, the Ministry of Defence said. In total eight ships are set to be built. The contract for the second batch of five ships will be negotiated in the early 2020s.” – Mail on Sunday

  • An aircraft carrier with no planes – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • Conservatives booked and paid for RAF flight for Foster to cement DUP deal – Sun on Sunday

Corbyn moves to spook Tories. Targets Rudd’s Hastings seat.

“Up to 3,000 people packed Warrior Square Gardens in Hastings, East Sussex, to see the Labour leader. His adoring supporters chanted ‘oh Jeremy Corbyn’ and held up signs emblazoned with his name and red hearts. A number of middle aged women were seen taking selfies with the Opposition leader in the background. Mr Corbyn highlighted the electoral vulnerability of Ms Rudd, touted as a potential successor to embattled Theresa May, who won with a majority of just 346 votes.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Labour moderates plot new party as Momentum targets Kendall, Phillips, Kinnock and Leslei for deselection… – Sunday Times (£)
  • (The new centre party is already in office) – John Rentoul, Independent
  • …As Lavery warns Labour MPs that they may be deselected – Sunday Express
  • Labour’s right fights back – Independent
  • Corbyn secure as Labour leader, says Watson – Observer
  • Jo Johnson counter-attacks Corbyn over his false University entry claims – Sunday Express

Jess Phillips: Why I voted against the whip on the Single Market

“We live in a time when the way I tie my shoelaces can somehow be misconstrued as an attack on Jeremy Corbyn. Let me be clear, nobody press-ganged me to vote for or against it on either side. Those who wrote the amendment didn’t even tell me about it. I sat in my office with the day’s debate on in the background, I listened to the arguments and made my decision as I got more and more infuriated by what was being said on the government benches. What a novel approach, listening to the debate and deciding on the strength of argument – it’ll never catch on.” – Observer

  • Tory has-beens are playing into his hands – Simon Heffer, Sunday Telegraph
  • One more heave may not work for him – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
  • His return to the 1970s won’t work – David Smith, Sunday Times (£)

Cable praises oldies – and hints at policy change over freedom of movement

“Sir Vince Cable has vowed to slay the “irrational cult of youth” as he makes his bid to take charge of the Liberal Democrats.  The 74-year-old favourite to become Lib Dem leader would be the oldest to lead a big party since Sir Winston Churchill, who turned 80 in office, if he succeeds Tim Farron. But far from seeing age as his enemy, Cable believes he will benefit from a new sober mood in politics that has seen Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, respectively aged 68 and 60, rise to the top. Cable, who until three weeks ago was enjoying his retirement and putting the final touches to his new novel — Open Arms, a post-Brexit political thriller — is now working on his vision for the party.” – Sunday Times (£)

Farage: UKIP’s main committee is hopeless…but I’m not ruling out an eventual return

“As Ukip grew from a tiny party to winning the European elections of 2014, I found myself increasingly frustrated with this governing body. Time and again I was outvoted on important decisions and could not take the party in the direction I wanted. The thought of going back to a job I may not be allowed to do, if, again, I’m held back by totally unqualified people is not something I’m prepared to contemplate. I hope the new leader takes on the battle for major constitutional change or the party will return to being an amateur shambles.” – Sunday Telegraph

Grenfell. Field says that London councils are too small, calls for bigger local authorities

“Mark Field, a Foreign Office minister who was a Kensington councillor until 2012, said the capital’s 33 unitary authorities were too small to cope with a challenge on the scale of the fire, which killed at least 80 people. He called for the creation of bigger local authorities better able to handle a crisis. “I doubt that K&C, or any London authority, has the critical mass to deal with something like this. It raises questions about whether the model of London governance, with 33 unitary authorities, is really a sustainable model. Thirty-three does seem too many.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Javid warns that K & C may be taken over by commissioners – Sunday Telegraph
  • PFI hospitals given substandard protection – Sunday Times (£)
  • McDonnell refuses to apologise over murder claims – Sunday Express
  • Fire risk assessor responsible for tower “conspired with council housing chiefs to hide safety failings” – Mail on Sunday
  • British-Moroccans top death toll – Sunday Times (£)

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Paget-Brown was right to resign

News in Brief

  • Green watchdogs running fleet of 4,500 ‘dirty’ diesel motors, prompting calls to clean up their act – Sun on Sunday
  • China tears up promises over Hong Kong – Observer
  • Britain ‘on the brink of the worst house price collapse since 1990s’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Rogue SAS unit accused of executing civilians in Afghanistan – Sunday Times (£)
  • North Korean defector boat stopped as it sails into South Korean waters – Sunday Express
  • MPs warned not to use public wi-fi over cyber attacks – Sunday Telegraph
  • Glastonbury accused of exploiting European workers on zero hours contracts – Independent