Ministers 1) Davis demands to see legal justification for EU ‘divorce bill’

“David Davis will provoke a huge row with Brussels next week by calling a halt to negotiations on the Brexit divorce bill unless the EU provides a legal basis for its hefty demands. The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that Britain must be ready to set out what it is willing to pay when the next round of talks begin on Monday in Brussels. But Brexit Secretary Mr Davis will snub his request and refuse further discussions on the demand, thought to be for around £74billion, until the EU shows the legal justification for it.” – Daily Mail

  • Brexit Secretary ‘raises stakes’ over Irish border – The Times
  • EU accuses Britain of ‘magical thinking’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Expert warns that Brussels feels too strong to make concessions – Daily Express


  • Blair accused of ‘interfering’ with Brexit after meeting Juncker – Daily Mail
  • Paisley berates those trying to ‘thwart’ Brexit – Daily Express
  • Law Society of Scotland calls for borders clarity – The Scotsman


  • Barnier is stubborn, but Davis can be the better man – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Realism has broken out in Britain – James Blitz, FT
  • We can be a great trading nation outside the Customs Union – Leo McKinstry, Daily Telegraph


Ministers 2) Gauke to press on with Universal Credit

The work and pensions secretary has signalled that the government will press ahead with controversial welfare changes, insisting the system of universal credit is “making work pay and transforming lives”. Responding to a letter signed by 30 Labour MPs and the Green co-leader Caroline Lucas, expressing concerns about UC and calling for its implementation to be paused, David Gauke underlined his commitment to the policy. “Getting UC right is a priority for me,” he said.” – The Guardian

Ministers 3) Johnson risks confrontation with May on overseas students

“Boris Johnson has risked a new row with Downing Street over immigration data after refusing to support the Prime Minister’s long-standing position on overseas students. The Foreign Secretary was repeatedly asked in an interview if he agreed with Theresa May that the number of overseas students should be counted in net migration data, but failed to back her. The interview followed the revelation that ministers may have based their policies on data that vastly overestimated the number of foreign students staying in the UK after studies.” – The Independent


  • Number of EU nationals applying for British citizenship doubled after Brexit vote – Daily Mail
  • Brussels threatens aid cut to states which won’t take back migrants – The Times


  • A shortage of workers may be a good problem to have – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Johnson is right to question our rush to democracy after overseas interventions

MPs 1) Ross apologies for travellers remark

“A Conservative MP has apologised for saying his priority as prime minister would be to bring in ‘’tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers’’. Douglas Ross made the comments in an online interview when asked what he would do if he was prime minister for the day. He was criticised by opposition parties and human rights groups but said it was an issue within his Moray constituency, where land owners have faced court action and clean-up costs from camp sites.” – The Scotsman

  • Collins demands end to loophole BBC uses to hide pay – The Times
  • Clarke speaks up against statue removal – The Times

>Today: Rebecca Pow MP in Comment: Managed decline isn’t enough – we must leave the environment in a better state than we found it

MPs 2) Freeman warns against Tory ‘hostility to business’

“A “creeping sense of hostility to business” has taken hold in the Conservative party which is also “flirting with anti-capitalism”, the former head of the No 10 policy unit has warned ahead of a crackdown on executive pay. George Freeman, a Tory MP, criticised the party’s “woeful” failure to champion business during the snap general election campaign and warned ministers must now back “insurgent capitalism” and convince a new generation of its benefits. His comments came ahead of a Government announcement planned for next week which will see nearly 1,000 listed companies forced to disclose how much their chief executive is paid compared to the average worker and justify the difference.” – Daily Telegraph

  • We Conservatives must embrace entrepreneurial capitalism – George Freeman, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Ministers should make a show of ensuring driverless vehicles are safe

Police investigate Tory call centre

“The Conservative Party faced a new police investigation of ‘scale and significance’ into its election tactics today. South Wales Police has confirmed it is probing the use of a call centre in Wales to see if electoral law was broken. The new investigation – which comes just weeks after one MP was charged and scores of others were investigated – was triggered by secret footage revealed by Channel 4 News. The film suggests the Tories may have broken data protection and election laws by using Blue Telecoms to directly contact voters in marginal seats.” – Daily Mail

Tim Montgomerie: May needs to rebuild the Conservative activist base

“Large numbers of voters don’t respect politicians or big business or the output of the advertising industry in the way they once did. When so many people no longer even read a newspaper, the recommendation of a fellow student at university, or of a teacher at a child’s school, or what someone from your church tells you about politics – these are the new political weapons. And they are weapons that money cannot buy. Can Theresa May do what other Tory leaders have failed to do and build a Blue Army to win this battle of people-to-people politics?” – The Sun

  • The task of choosing Tory leaders should return to MPs – Matthew Parris, The Times

Corbyn ‘fails to deliver’ on benefits freeze pledge

“Labour’s stance on whether it would scrap the benefits freeze was plunged into deeper confusion when Jeremy Corbyn failed to announce a pledge that the party had briefed he would make. The party’s position on the issue was murky during the general election campaign as senior party figures set out conflicting views. Labour returned to the subject yesterday, briefing reporters that the party leader would tell a rally in Coatbridge, near Glasgow, that he would increase spending on benefits. But he did not make the expected comments, or mention the freeze.” – The Times

  • Labour leader calls for halt to Job Centre closures at Scottish rally – The Guardian
  • Field wants answers from universities on pensions – FT
  • Google and Microsoft return to Labour conference – The Sun
  • Scottish voters worried by Corbyn’s Brexit stance – The Guardian


  • Corbyn shows you can have too much authenticity – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Why Thornberry is being tipped as the next Labour leader – Marie Le Conte, The Guardian
  • Corbyn’s great, if you don’t want to grow up – Nigel Farndale, The Times
  • What to do if you meet a Tory: a Corbynista guide – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph


  • It’s hardly surprising that tech giants want to cosy up to Corbyn – The Sun

Labour councillor who defended Champion is sacked

“A Labour councillor has been sacked by the party just a week after she spoke out to support sexually abused children. Amina Lone, a councillor in Manchester, defended Sarah Champion after the MP wrote an article for The Sun pointing the finger at gangs of Asian-origin rapists in northern towns… She also slammed fundamentalist Muslims who want to impose the headscarf on young children. Now Labour have told her she cannot stand for re-election – saying they are worried that she does not attend enough meetings.” – The Sun

  • Hard-left leadership of Labour feels like being ‘locked out of my home’, says Phillips – The Times
  • Momentum slammed for ‘xenophobic’ advert – The Sun


  • Phillips is right to question her leader’s moral relativism – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Two officers injured by knife-wielding man outside Buckingham Palace – Daily Mail
  • Assad ‘here to stay’, West tells Syrian opposition – The Times
  • Machete-wielding man shot dead in Brussels – Daily Telegraph
  • Texas braced for ‘catastrophic’ hurricane flooding – FT
  • Number of illegal migrants entering UK via ferry soars by 50 per cent – The Sun
  • British paramedics start carrying nerve gas antidote – Daily Mail
  • North West named ‘sickness scam capital of the UK’ – The Times