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Cabinet 1) The Prime Minister is urged to sack ‘donkeys’

‘Theresa May is being urged by cabinet ministers to sack testosterone-fuelled “donkeys” and “indulgent safe-seat kids” behind a series of hostile leaks against the chancellor. She will tell warring colleagues that they are ushering Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, into Downing Street as she seeks to reimpose discipline at a cabinet meeting today. Her intervention comes after three days of leaks and briefings, including claims that Philip Hammond told the cabinet last week that public sector workers were overpaid. It can be revealed that the chancellor is examining a compromise on public sector remuneration under which the lowest-paid workers could receive a bigger annual rise than higher-earning colleagues without increasing overall staff budgets.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: The backers of Davis, Johnson, and Hammond are blighting their candidates’ prospects – and feeding an appetite for fresh leadership

Cabinet 2) She will lay down the law today…

‘Theresa May will warn her feuding cabinet on Tuesday to stop briefing against each other in the media as she tries to draw a line under a Brexit row that threatens to consume her government. Mrs May will tell the final cabinet before the Commons summer recess that recent leaks of conversations, aimed at damaging Chancellor Philip Hammond, were “unhelpful” and had to stop. Some Conservative MPs want the prime minister to go much further and discipline any ministers behaving in a disloyal fashion or stirring up trouble to further their leadership ambitions. Her lack of authority since the June 8 election has been evident as cabinet ministers jockey for position in anticipation of a possible Tory leadership contest in the autumn.’ – FT

Cabinet 3) …and has sought Cameron’s advice

‘Theresa May has been forced to seek the advice of David Cameron in a bid to heal the rifts between senior Conservatives and deliver Brexit. The Prime Minister held a private meeting with her predecessor at Downing Street amid growing divides within her cabinet. Mrs May is understood to have pleaded for senior ministers to settle their disputes privately after a wave of briefing against Philip Hammond. The Chancellor issued an extraordinary public rebuke to colleagues at the weekend after coming under heavy fire in a slew of stories.’ – Daily Mail

  • He recommends strapping troublemakers to a raft on a dangerous river – The Times (£)
  • Profile: Gavin Barwell – The Times (£)
  • Social media witch-hunters don’t care if stories are true – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)

Greening raids Free School budget to soften impact of new funding formula

‘The government’s free schools policy faces swingeing cuts to pay for a £1.3 billion “softener” for all schools. Justine Greening, the education secretary, announced that the funding will come from “efficiencies and savings” across the Department for Education. Ms Greening said that the money — to offset the effects of a new funding formula for schools — proved that the government was “determined to listen” after the proposed new formula proved hugely unpopular during the general election campaign. She said that the boost will ensure that the basic amount of funding for every pupil will increase over the next two years..She has insisted that she “remains committed” to the flagship programme but the cuts are another defeat for the Theresa May, who has also been forced to park her plans for new grammar schools. The budget for new free schools is to be cut by £280 million — equivalent to 30 fewer new schools.’ – The Times (£)

  • Using existing money, not new debt, is the sane approach – The Sun Says
  • We must make sure the money isn’t wasted – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • The Government delays controversial votes to avoid the DUP’s marching season – The Sun
  • Cameron urges ‘inspiring vision’ – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 1) Davis meets Barnier to kick-off negotiations

‘The Brexit secretary met his opposite number Michel Barnier briefly, declaring it was time to “get down to business” before catching the Eurostar to London. He is due to return on Thursday to review progress with the chief European negotiator. His seemingly hasty departure was compounded when the European Commission released pictures of Mr Davis and Mr Barnier sitting opposite each other with their respective teams. While commission negotiators each sat with a pile of briefing papers, the UK delegation had none. British diplomats said the documents were in Mr Davis’s bag at the time the photo was taken. A spokesman for Mr Davis said it had always been intended that he would not stay in Brussels for the duration of the talks, overseeing negotiations from London.’ – The Times (£)

  • Britain launches ‘line-by-line’ challenge of the EU’s financial demands – The Sun
  • EU negotiators drop opposition to discussing trade – The Sun
  • Paris and Frankfurt co-operate to undermine the City – The Times (£)
  • PwC forecasts continued rise in house prices – Daily Mail

>Today: Henry Newman on Comment: A major update of the Government’s Brexit programme is overdue

>Yesterday: WATCH: Davis in Brussels – “For us its incredibly important we now make good progress”

Brexit 2) Morgan warns of economic pain

‘Britain will be unable to achieve a “pain-free Brexit” and should brace itself for the possibility of a big hit to the economy and household finances, according to Nicky Morgan, the new chair of an influential committee of MPs. Ms Morgan was one of the most outspoken pro-Remain Tory MPs in the run-up to the referendum. She was elected to lead the high-profile Treasury select committee last week, beating the Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg. “Whatever side of the debate you were on last year, everybody accepted that it was going to have an impact on the country for decades to come,” she told the Financial Times. “Regardless of my personal view on Brexit, it is adding to the mix of great uncertainty for business and for others.” A former City lawyer, she said she fully understood the obligation for any committee chair to be “impartial and independent” and to put aside her personal views to reach consensus positions.’ – FT

  • Failure to deliver risks riots, warns Halfon – The Sun
  • Soft Brexit is just a euphemism for staying in the EU – Lord Tebbit, Daily Telegraph
  • Article 50 author wants the referendum result ignored – FT
  • A second referendum won’t stop Brexit – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • The Lords demands more detail on data-sharing – FT

>Today: Majority: 42 per cent and no majority 6) Use leaving the EU to deliver lower food prices

The aid target is ‘hit’ through IOUs, leaving billions sitting unspent

‘Billions of pounds of British aid is lying unused by international development organisations, a public spending watchdog says. The amount of money pledged by Britain to overseas bodies but left uncashed has doubled to £8.7 billion in two years, the National Audit Office (NAO) has discovered. The auditors warn that the growing trend risks undermining the credibility of the government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid, a figure now exceeding £13 billion. Lord Lipsey, a Labour peer, said yesterday: “These tales, now with the authoritative backing of the NAO, discredit Britain’s aid spending and hand yet more live ammunition to the anti-aid brigade.” Nearly a fifth of aid spending is done through “promissory notes”, a form of IOU that provides a legally binding commitment by Britain to pay an international organisation in the future.’ – The Times (£)

  • Rush to spend the money in the last three months of each year – The Sun

Rudd launches new knife clampdown

‘Sickening street weapons such as zombie knives and knuckledusters are to face a complete ban, under a dramatic new crackdown. Home Secretary Amber Rudd will today propose to make possessing them illegal everywhere, whether in public or at home. A long list of dangerous weapons that glamorise violence will also be included in the total ban, putting them on the same legal footing as unlicensed firearms. They include sword sticks, butterfly knives and blowpipes, as well as a range of martial arts weapons such as deathstars and handclaws. Ms Rudd is also looking at making it compulsory to buy all knives in person rather than ordering for delivery to keep them out of children’s hands. A new offence could be created of delivering them to private property.’ – The Sun

Grayling defends HS2 changes

‘Chris Grayling, the UK transport secretary, fended off criticisms of the projected £56bn cost of the HS2 high-speed rail line in an unusual late-night ministerial statement sparked by MPs’ disquiet over the government’s handling of the project. Mr Grayling was forced to come to the House of Commons after 10pm to make a formal announcement about the route of the northern sections of the high-speed rail project and the award of an initial £6.6bn of contracts for the southern, London to Birmingham section. The secretary of state made the statement after MPs complained about the government issuing details of the plans, including a change that will bring trains capable of 250mph into Sheffield city centre, without addressing parliament. Mr Grayling attributed his failure to provide a statement at the normal time in the afternoon to “cock-up, not conspiracy” and stressed the vital significance of the project.’ – FT

  • It’s an important project, but the price is far too high – The Times Leader (£)
  • New homes will be demolished – Daily Telegraph
  • How long can the Government defend its cost estimates? – The Times (£)
  • Ten-minute late trains will no longer be called ‘on time’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Paul Carter on Local Government: Infrastructure spending in England is unbalanced

Electoral Commission investigates allegations of students voting twice

‘Thousands of students may have voted twice to try to put Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street. The Electoral Commission yesterday said it was investigating ‘troubling’ evidence of illegality on polling day. The watchdog warned a change in the law might be needed to catch offenders. By having term-time and home addresses, students can register to vote in more than one place. Tory MPs believe thousands may have taken advantage of this opportunity – lured by Labour’s promise to scrap tuition fees and cancel their debts. After the election a number boasted on social media of multiple voting.’ – Daily Mail

  • Hart calls for social media sites to be forced to take down abuse – The Sun

Labour MPs urge their party to woo England

‘Labour lags behind among voters who identify as English rather than British, according to a group of MPs, councillors and activists who say their party must urgently attract voters across England. The group, which includes the former cabinet secretary John Denham and MPs Jon Cruddas, Liam Byrne and Shabana Mahmood, are launching the English Labour Network to try to address what they claim is a major problem for the party. They are calling for Labour to be much firmer about celebrating English patriotism, and have criticised the party for being proud to label some issues Scottish or Welsh, but describing England-only policies as British. The group crosses Labour’s political spectrum and its structures with the founding members including Sam Tarry – who was co-director of Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election campaign, Judith Blake, leader of Leeds city council, and Alice Perry, a London councillor who sits on the party’s national executive committee.’ – The Guardian

  • Corbyn faces rebellion as membership opposes Brexit manifesto pledges – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: The housing crisis demands a revolutionary new approach

A teacher gives an insight into left-wing bias in schools

”How any teacher could vote Tory is beyond me,’ said my colleague sanctimoniously to general approval. The pressure towards Left-wing conformity is chilling. Schools are meant to be places of learning and intellectual exploration, but there is now a real danger that they are turning into arenas of political indoctrination. In place of open discussion, there is aggressive propaganda…A classic example of this pattern was a teaching aid for pupils at a Kent school, asking them the difference between the Left and the Right. Like something issued by the Politburo at the height of the Soviet Empire, this document told students that Left-wing meant ‘the NHS’, ‘helping people’ and the theory that ‘everyone should be equal’. Right-wing meant ‘Hitler’, ‘less help for people’ and a rejection of equality — a patent nonsense given that Britain’s only two female Prime Ministers have been Tories. But this kind of bias is now just part of the fabric of modern British schooling.’ – Calvin Robinson, Daily Mail

Khan: London shouldn’t roll out the red carpet for Trump

‘Sadiq Khan has warned Donald Trump that there will be ‘no red carpet’ should he visit the United Kingdom. The Mayor of London renewed his war of words with the U.S. President ahead of a proposed state visit to the capital. Theresa May had officially invited Trump to the UK in January but the trip was left out of the Queen’s Speech last month, ending hopes it would happen this year. Despite an invite from the UK government, both sides have failed to arrange a date amid reports that Mr Trump has been put off by the threat of large-scale protests.’ – Daily Mail

  • France hosted him successfully – we should do the same – Lord Hague, Daily Telegraph
  • Fire authority asking for more money underspent by £10 million and has £37 million reserves – The Times (£)
  • Trump’s health reforms collapse – FT

News in Brief

  • Manchester mosque damaged in ‘suspicious’ fire – The Times (£)
  • Quango refuses to compensate child abuse victims because they ‘consented’ – Daily Mail
  • Middle-class dementia deaths slow rise in life expectancy – The Times (£)
  • Adverts that use gender stereotypes will be banned – FT
  • Flood warning – The Guardian

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