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Cameron criticises ‘selfish’ ministers who advocate lifting the pay cap

‘David Cameron waded into the Tory austerity row today with a stinging rebuke to ‘selfish’ politicians who put the nation’s finances at risk. The former Prime Minister spoke out amid a raging spat within the government over how to fund an easing of the public sector pay cap and more spending on services. Over the past week, a string of Cabinet ministers have lined up to demand the 1 per cent limit – which has been in place since 2012 – is lifted. Boris Johnson and Michael Gove joined the clamour over the weekend, suggesting that taxes might not need to go up in order to underwrite the move…’Giving up on sound finances isn’t being generous, it’s being selfish: spending money today that you may need tomorrow.” – Daily Mail

  • He mounted his defence of austerity on a trip to South Korea – FT
  • Firefighters say they have already been offered two per cent – Daily Mail
  • Grayling acknowledges Cabinet ‘debate’ over pay – Daily Telegraph
  • Gauke rules out changes to pensions tax relief – FT
  • MPs’ pay could be set to rise again – The Sun
  • Public sector campaigning should not be allowed – The Sun Says

>Yesterday:

May suffers record fall in ConservativeHome cabinet rankings

‘Theresa May suffered more woe today after it emerged she has endured a record slump in popularity among Tory activists. The Prime Minister has gone from the darling of the party’s grass roots before the election debacle to the second least popular Cabinet member, with a net satisfaction rating of minus 26.1 per cent. Brexit Secretary David Davis is top of the rankings in the survey by website Conservative Home. But Boris Johnson’s star seems to be waning. The Foreign Secretary is languishing in mid-table, and will be frustrated to see his former rival Michael Gove is placed third. Outperforming them all is Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who has a score of 84.5 per cent. However, she is not currently an MP – meaning she cannot lead the party.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Next Tory leader. Davis leads our survey – but is outscored by “none of the above”

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our Cabinet League Table. May endures a record fall – from top to second bottom.

Top BBC figures in the running for Downing Street Head of Communications

‘Two senior figures from the BBC are in the race to become Theresa May’s new head of communications, including its high-profile diplomatic editor. James Landale, who was previously the corporation’s deputy political editor, has been interviewed for the role as well as Robbie Gibb, who heads the BBC’s operations at Westminster, according to Downing Street sources. May’s press team is currently short-staffed. Katie Perrior, the last director of communications, quit before the election. The strained atmosphere at Downing Street before the election also saw May’s press secretary, Lizzie Loudon, depart, although she has been replaced…Landale, a former newspaper journalist, is an Etonian near-contemporary of the former prime minister David Cameron…Gibb leads the BBC’s politics operations at Westminster, editing the Daily and Sunday Politics programmes.’ – The Guardian

  • Tests lie ahead with rising Cabinet indiscipline – FT

Scope of Grenfell inquiry could be widened

‘The government has defended the appointment of a retired appeal court judge to lead the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire and hinted that his remit could be widened, after he faced calls to resign from two Labour MPs. Five days after the appointment of Sir Martin Moore-Bick as head of the inquiry, the MP for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, and the new shadow fire minister, Chris Williamson, called for him to resign, citing scepticism about him from survivors and frustration at the apparently narrow remit of the inquiry. The justice secretary and lord chancellor, David Lidington, defended Moore-Bick’s appointment and insisted he would consult residents before agreeing the scope of the inquiry.’ – The Guardian

  • Three NHS Trusts fail cladding safety tests – Daily Mail
  • Javid says new rules will get more homes built – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Sajid Javid: We, as a country, failed the victims of the Grenfell fire

Grayling’s £1 billion road plan

‘Scores of new bypasses are to be built under a £1 billion-a-year plan to combat congestion in towns and cities, the transport secretary will say today. Chris Grayling will announce the road-building scheme after a sharp rise in traffic and slowing average speeds. Funding will be ringfenced from the £6 billion raised annually from vehicle excise duty, he said, creating the first direct link between road tax and upkeep of major highways in 80 years. It will be spent upgrading about 3,800 miles of A-roads that are maintained by local authorities beyond the remit of Highways England, the government-owned agency that deals with motorways and main carriageways.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Prospects for the economy 2) Andy Silvester: The fundamentals are strong. But confidence is in shorter supply.

Davidson: How you spend aid is more important than how much you spend

‘While it is right that we meet our 0.7 per cent aid target, that does not mean we should think the job is done. We don’t just sign the cheque, tick a box and go home. When it is the tax receipts of British workers funding our work abroad, we cannot be complacent about how that money is spent. Nor should we fall into the trap of believing that spending money is the same as achieving results. It’s not about inputs, it’s about outcomes. It’s not the size of your aid budget, but what you do with it that matters. With lurid headlines about the merits of individual projects or the behaviour of questionable regimes in countries where projects are run, it is understandable that the case for aid must be continuously remade. We know from the World Giving Index that British people are the most generous in Europe when it comes to private charitable giving. But they want to ensure that state aid is spent well – in terms of transparency, value for money and reassurances it won’t fuel corruption or fall prey to graft.’ – Ruth Davidson, The Times (£)

Hunt ‘accidentally’ flashes note warning Brexit will lead people to ‘flee’ the country

‘Jeremy Hunt has been photographed holding a briefing note that says a “hard Brexit means people fleeing UK”. The health secretary was on his way to a cabinet meeting in Downing Street when he was pictured with the folded note, written in large type, which appeared to be preparation for health questions in the House of Commons. In response to an opening question from the Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael, it reads: “The 150,000 EU nationals working in our health and care services do a brilliant job and we want them to continue doing it. I am in regular talks with cabinet colleagues to inform both domestic workforce plans and the government negotiations with the EU.” Further down, it adds: “Hard Brexit means people fleeing UK.”‘ – The Guardian

  • Doctors are sending scans by Snapchat to bypass backward NHS IT systems – The Times (£)
  • Brexit will boost the legal profession, says Neuberger – The Times (£)
  • The Prime Minister is urged to rebuild business bridges for Brexit – FT
  • Labour wants May to allow the ECJ to retain power over British laws – FT
  • Cable’s strawberry story revealed as fake news – The Sun

Austria deploys troops and armoured vehicles to control border with Italy

‘Austria has moved four armoured vehicles close to its border with Italy to guard against migrants and will likely set up controls on a key trade crossing ‘very soon’, defence ministry officials said on Tuesday. The planned controls will include the busy Alpine Brenner pass, a defence ministry spokesman said – a move that Italy warned last year would break EU rules on free movement. ‘I expect border controls will be introduced very soon,’ Defence Minister Peter Doskozil told daily newspaper Kronenzeitung in an interview published on Tuesday.’ – Daily Mail

  • The EU wants Britain to take more Mediterranean migrants – Daily Mail
  • Dark forces are stirring in Italy – Sarah Vine, Daily Mail
  • Juncker says the European Parliament is ‘ridiculous’ – Daily Mail
  • Rupert Matthews becomes new Conservative MEP – The Times (£)

Three quarters of graduates will never repay their student debt

‘Three quarters of graduates will never repay their student loans and the poorest face the biggest debt, according to a comprehensive analysis. The trebling of tuition fees in 2012 means students now finish university with average debts of £50,000, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. They are liable for repayments once they earn more than £21,000. After 30 years, the balance is written off. Some 77.4 per cent were not expected to repay their debt including interest, the IFS said, compared with 41.5 per cent before 2012.’ – The Times (£)

Senior Labour figures clash over how to represent working class voters

‘Senior Labour figures have clashed over whether the party is giving enough attention to the concerns of core working-class voters to beat the Tories at the next general election. Gloria De Piero, the newly appointed shadow justice minister, and former whip Graham Jones have told the Guardian that Labour’s leadership must reach out to the party’s heartlands to form a majority government. But their concerns have been dismissed by Dennis Skinner who said that fellow Labour MPs should realise that working-class voters will be ready to support Jeremy Corbyn after the “near victory” in the general election.’ – The Guardian

Trump calls UN crisis meeting after North Korea launches intercontinental missile

‘The United States requested a closed meeting of the United Nations security council last night after North Korea claimed to have tested an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time. President Trump would be asked to approve a “measured response”, an official told CNN, as Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, appeared to confirm that the missile was an ICBM. It could mean navy ships in the Pacific and missile defence systems in South Korea and Japan moving to full readiness. Further sanctions and a bolstering of the US military in the area would also be options for Mr Trump. António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, said that the launch was “yet another brazen violation of security council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation”.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Rebecca Lowe Coulson’s column: Why the case for nuclear deterrence needs to be made all over again

Criminals on probation have killed almost 400 people

‘Criminals have been charged with nearly 400 murders while under official supervision. Damning figures reveal the public is being put in danger by offenders who commit chilling crimes despite being on probation. They are meant to be monitored closely, but 76 a year are being hauled before the courts for killing in cold blood. Offenders on probation were charged with 382 murders between 2012 and 2016, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice’ – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Craig Mackinlay’s trial has started – The Times (£)
  • Sister of London Bridge attacker sacked from airport job – Daily Mail
  • More evidence of Mike Ashley’s unusual management style emerges – The Times (£)
  • All new Volvo cars will be electric by 2019 – FT
  • The BBC only spends 47 per cent of its budget on programmes – Daily Mail
  • Aide to the Welsh Conservatives dies after stag trip accident – The Times (£)
  • Brake reveals he planned Commons tieless stunt with Bercow in advance – Daily Mail
  • Hayes refuses questions from ‘sartorially challenged’ MPs – Daily Telegraph

45 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 5th July 2017

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