Ministers unveil watered down plans for corporate reforms

‘Ordinary workers will get a voice on executive boards in a crackdown on corporate excess, ministers will announce today. But Theresa May was last night accused of watering down her original plans, having promised that staff would actually get to sit on company boards. The Prime Minister told the Tory conference last October she would force companies to accept workers’ representatives. However, firms will now merely have to show they have listened to employees’ concerns, either by assigning a non-executive director to represent staff, or creating a workers’ advisory council. Mrs May’s pledge last year to give shareholders more frequent votes on executive pay was also dropped. Instead, Business Secretary Greg Clark will unveil plans to force all listed firms to give the pay ratio between bosses and staff – and justify the difference.’ – Daily Mail

Party review hears CCHQ ignored warnings from MPs during the election campaign

‘The review is being carried out by former Cabinet minister Sir Eric Pickles and backbench chief Graham Brady, and will be discussed at the party conference in October. Candidates have been urged to contribute as Number 10 tries desperately to show to angry party members that they have learned the lessons of June’s disaster. Sir Eric is understood to have received complaints that the Conservatives lacked a convincing political narrative, meaning candidates could not effectively argue against Labour’s popular manifesto on the doorstep. Mrs May’s policies on social care and fox hunting proved particularly unpopular, the review has been told. The review has also heard that Tory headquarters ignored early warning signs from MPs in the south of England that they were being outgunned on the ground by Labour for the first time in years.’ – Daily Mail

  • Fewer than a third of Conservative MPs had prior local links to their constituency – The Times
  • Shapps criticises dismantling of the ground campaign – The Guardian

Barnier and Davis exchange shots over the Brexit bill

‘The European Union’s chief negotiator has warned Britain to start “negotiating seriously” as the stand-off over the Brexit divorce bill intensified. Speaking before the latest round of talks began in Brussels today, Michel Barnier voiced frustration at the government’s “ambiguity” and the failure of ministers to publish a position paper on the UK’s potential financial liabilities. As the rhetoric on both sides escalated, a senior government source described Mr Barnier’s attack as “ill-considered and unhelpful”, while David Davis, the Brexit secretary, pointedly called on the European Commission to show “flexibility and imagination” in this week’s discussions. British sources made clear that the lack of a position paper was deliberate and that the government was not prepared to commit to a financial settlement without the EU agreeing to discuss a transition package.’ – The Times

  • Britain will be vulnerable to terrorism, warns Barnier – Daily Mail
  • Davis urges him to discuss ‘all the issues’, not just the money – The Sun
  • France breaks the line by pressing for speedy trade talks – Daily Telegraph
  • Merkel criticises asylum seekers who take holidays to their countries of origin – Daily Mail
  • Europol boss says poor intelligence sharing in the EU is costing lives – The Sun



May sails into choppy waters in Japan

‘Theresa May is set for disappointment on her visit to Tokyo this week after Japanese officials signalled they would not rush into free trade talks with Britain. The British prime minister, who is hungry for new trade agreements to show the benefits of Brexit, is expected to discuss a UK-Japan version of the deal Tokyo agreed in principle with the EU last month when she meets her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. But Japanese officials say their priority is completing the deal with Brussels, while negotiations with Britain will be difficult until there is clarity about its future relationship with the EU. “I don’t think there will be substantial progress,” said one Japanese trade official. “We haven’t finished [free trade] negotiations with the EU, just agreed at the political level, and many issues still remain.”’ – FT

Nine per cent of renters get help from their parents

‘The Bank of Mum and Dad is often called upon for help with buying a property. But now parents are having to assist their children in the rental market too, experts have found. Research shows that parents will fund £2.3billion for rent for their offspring in 2017 – paying out £415 for each rental payment on average. The Bank of Mum and Dad now helps 9 per cent of renters across the UK with their financial commitments to their landlords on nearly 460,000 properties, research from Legal & General revealed. Unsurprisingly, the parents’ payments to the rental sector are highest in London and the South East, lending £626million and £604million in these areas respectively. Mothers and fathers will also fund £175million of rental payments in the North West and £369million in Yorkshire and the Humber this year.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: What happens when the Bank of Mum and Dad goes bust?

Questions over new naval ship-building strategy

‘Royal Navy top brass flew to the Toulouse headquarters of Airbus earlier this year to pick up pointers about how the European commercial aircraft maker manages its complex passenger jet programmes. When they left at the end of the day, the officers were deflated. They had seen the possibilities for cutting costs on Britain’s multibillion-pound naval shipbuilding programmes. But they realised, in the words of one attendee, “we simply don’t need as many ships as it would take to achieve such economies of scale”. The government is expected early next month to unveil a new national shipbuilding strategy, designed to ensure the UK can continue to produce warships now that a £6bn programme to build two new aircraft carriers nears its end. Yet even before the strategy is unveiled, questions are emerging about what many expect will be a key tenet of the new policy: the introduction of competition into a naval shipbuilding sector that for years had been dominated by Britain’s biggest defence contractor, BAE Systems.’ – FT

  • Britain can only deport terrorists to two countries at a time – Daily Telegraph
  • Gow’s widow criticises investigations into Northern Ireland veterans – Daily Telegraph

In-fighting engulfs Labour over latest Brexit policy

‘Labour was at war over Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit U-turn last night as pro-EU MPs boasted it could be used to keep Britain tied to Brussels forever. Eurosceptics warned the plan to stay in the customs union and single market for years after leaving the EU could lead to an exodus of the party’s voters and the revival of Ukip. But Remain-supporting MPs crowed that the new policy, which includes continuing hefty payments to Brussels and accepting open borders, could become a permanent arrangement…Yesterday, veteran Eurosceptic Kate Hoey dismissed the plan as ignoring the will of voters in the referendum. The Labour MP for Vauxhall told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘It is very worrying to those of us that want to support the view of the British public, which was overwhelmingly to vote to leave…Graham Stringer, the Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, branded the party’s new Brexit stance as chaos…He said…‘The Labour Party’s position should be to honour the decision made in the referendum and try to support the Government in getting the best deal we can. I think there is a real risk for democracy if we do not come out of the EU.’ – Daily Mail

  • Shadow minister openly considers the possibility of permanently staying in the Single Market and Customs Union – The Sun
  • Rank opportunism – The Sun Says
  • No certainty or clarity, just yet more muddle – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • MPs fear a backlash in Leave-voting heartlands – FT
  • Corbyn forgets that Scotland has its own legal system – The Sun
  • Hard Left shadow minister argues that MPs should have no say in picking Corbyn’s successor – The Guardian
  • As in the 1930s, modern fascism comes from the left – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Wallace debates Labour’s cynical Brexit about-turn on Good Morning Britain

250,000 Scottish children lack access to mental health support in school

‘More than 250,000 children in Scotland have no access to school-based counselling services, according to new research. An investigation by BBC Scotland also found that 14 of Scotland’s 32 councils have no on-site counsellors, while provision by other councils is not consistent. There are now fresh calls for the Scottish Government to show greater ambition in tackling mental health problems among youngsters after a spate of recent reports which set out shortcomings. Labour inequalities spokesperson Monica Lennon said: “Access to school-based counselling should be available to all pupils and Scottish Labour has been challenging the 
Scottish Government to implement our proposals for over a year. “There is a growing child mental health crisis in Scotland and a lack of ambition on the part of the Scottish Government to respond, so we share the frustration of charities, parents and teachers.”’ – The Scotsman

North Korea fires missile over Japan

‘North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan today in the most serious escalation yet of its nuclear stand-off with the West. Millions of Japanese citizens were woken with texts urging them to move to a ‘sturdy building or basement’ as the missile passed over its territory at around 6am local time. The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the rocket, which broke into three pieces off the coast of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles east of Cape Erimo, after travelling 1,700m in eight minutes. Dictator Kim Jong-Un is believed to have fired his rocket over Japan because it is the path towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, which he threatened to attack two weeks ago.’ – Daily Mail

  • South Korea bombs the border in show of force – The Sun
  • Trump and Abe vow to increase pressure – The Guardian
  • Putin deploys two submarines to join his force helping Assad – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • ‘Drunk’ lorry driver had stopped on the motorway before deadly crash – Daily Mail
  • British family rescued from shipwreck on South Pacific reef – Daily Telegraph
  • Man left the UK on his girlfriend’s passport – The Times
  • Acid attack at Notting Hill carnival – Daily Mail
  • Middle class cocaine users fund slavery and murder – The Times
  • The new Bake Off starts tonight – Daily Telegraph