Brexit 1) Britain has become more racist claims UN inspector

“Brexit and Theresa May’s immigration policies have made Britain a more racist country, the United Nations has claimed. A UN inspector provoked a backlash yesterday after arguing that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union had left racial and ethnic minorities “more vulnerable to racial discrimination and intolerance”. Tendayi Achiume, the UN’s special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia, said that hate crimes had risen starkly since the EU referendum in 2016 and that anti-migrant and anti-foreigner rhetoric had become “normalised” even among high-ranking civil servants. Ms Achiume, 36, a law professor at the University of California, also blamed Mrs May for introducing a hostile environment policy for immigrants while home secretary.” – The Times

  • The same UN envoy called for jails to be abolished – Daily Mail

Brexit 2) Leave.EU fined £70,000 for breaking spending rules during the referendum

“Campaign group Leave.EU has been fined £70,000 for breaches of election law in the 2016 EU referendum. The Electoral Commission said the group – which was separate from the official pro-Brexit group Vote Leave – failed to report “at least” £77,380 it spent. It has also referred Leave.EU chief executive Liz Bilney to the police following its investigation into what it calls “serious offences”. Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks called it a “politically motivated attack”. Responding to the Electoral Commission’s findings, he said: “What a shambles, we will see them in court.” – BBC

Brexit 3) Grieve calls on the Foreign Secretary to resign

“There is an obvious irony, therefore, in the context of our meeting this week, after Boris Johnson’s denouncement of Theresa May’s “crazy” customs partnership proposal. “I feel greater loyalty to the prime minister than, apparently, some members of her cabinet may have,” observes Grieve drily, before spelling out his contempt for Johnson’s disloyalty. “The prime minister has a difficult task and I don’t think it’s helped by this tendency of the foreign secretary to express himself. If you are making policies through speeches that are contradicting some of the policy development your colleagues are embarked on, you are destroying collective responsibility. And, ultimately, you will utterly undermine the ability to provide democratic governance. That’s what he’s doing – and he shouldn’t do it. If he continues doing it, what he does is make government impossible. I think it’s a profound mistake and hugely damaging. If you don’t like a policy, you leave the government. That’s what you should do. If there are problems, you either accept them or you have to go. That’s your choice.” It sounds as if he is calling on Johnson to resign. “He should resign. Yes.” – Interview with Dominic Grieve, The Guardian

Brexit 4) “Customs partnership” wouldn’t work warns HMRC

“Theresa May’s plan for a customs partnership with the EU is “unviable”, HM Revenue & Customs believes, as it emerged Mrs May is prepared to accept the Brexiteers’ favoured “Max Fac” option. HMRC believes the customs partnership idea is “incredibly complicated” and impractical, Whitehall sources have told The Telegraph, and the idea it could be used to solve the Irish border problem is “for the birds”. A customs partnership with Brussels – which involves collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU – is opposed by a 6-5 majority of Mrs May’s Brexit “war Cabinet”. Leave campaigners including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove prefer the alternative “Max Fac” option – short for maximum facilitation – which relies on new technology and trusted trader schemes to avoid a hard border with the EU. In a clear softening of her opposition to Max Fac, Mrs May has made it clear to senior Cabinet ministers that if it is the best way to reach an agreement “then so be it”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Boris Johnson’s customs option is the only one that achieves a meaningful Brexit – The Sun Says
  • Standoff could go on for another week – The Guardian
  • Theresa May could use the Art of the Deal with Brussels – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Brexit 5) Whitehall “power grab” condemned by Corbyn despite Welsh Labour’s agreement

“Jeremy Corbyn has condemned as a “power grab” the UK government’s plans to share powers between Whitehall and the devolved administrations after Brexit, despite Welsh Labour agreeing to the deal two weeks ago. On a visit to Glasgow on Friday afternoon, the UK Labour leader echoed the phrase used consistently by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, during the long-running dispute over how to jointly manage areas such as genetically modified crops, fishing quotas and farm payments after Brexit.” – The Guardian

Brexit 6) We remainers need to find our Mogg declares Parris

“It may surprise you to know that MPs in a big political party don’t chew the fat in informal conclaves or gather in the canteen to thrash out directions and strategy. One said to me last week, “I don’t know what my colleagues think. We don’t talk to each other all that much, you know.” So, though leadership is sorely needed among the huge rump of vaguely worried and mildly Remain Tory MPs, it won’t happen organically. Yet faced by the Mogg, we desperately need the Anti-Mogg. She or he should be no Joan of Arc, but a centrist figure, “safe”, careful, boring, even: the Tories used to do such characters well. We don’t know who or where you are, Anti-Mogg, but hear our call.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

Brexit 7) Moore: Parliamentary privilege should not be abused

“In the House of Commons last week, Bob Seely, a Conservative MP, used parliamentary privilege to name Christopher Chandler, the founder and largest funder of a think-tank called the Legatum Institute. He accused Mr Chandler of having links, according to exciting secret files from Monaco, to the Russian intelligence services and to money-laundering. The main source seems to have been a renegade Monégasque who liked to be known as “Agent 001”….I do worry about the abuse of privilege. It matters that MPs preserve this right, but if it is deployed to fight the Brexit war by other means, infecting Parliament’s important Russian investigations, it becomes degraded.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Tory MPs given training session on using Instagram

“Conservative MPs have been encouraged to show they are “real people” by being “playful” on Instagram, according to a document leaked to the BBC. Earlier this year, party chairman Brandon Lewis arranged sessions teaching MPs how to set up an account and project their personality on the video and picture sharing app, following criticism of the Conservatives’ social media strategy. MPs from all parties have tried to use Instagram to show a more relaxed, human side.” – BBC

Zahawi calls for more disadvantaged children to be sent to boarding school

“More children from disadvantaged backgrounds should be sent to boarding schools to “vastly improve their outcomes” and “turn their lives around”, an Education minister will say today. The comments came after a Government study found  that giving vulnerable children a boarding school place can dramatically improve their future. Nadhim Zahawi, who is in charge of helping disadvantaged children, will tell a Tory conference on Saturday: “The key to getting these children to achieve the outcomes they deserve is stability, support and an excellent education. And I believe our independent schools need to do their share to help out. Evidence shows that when children in need go to state run boarding schools, they are able to turn their lives around and vastly improve their outcomes.” – Daily Telegraph

May agrees to make Grenfell panel more diverse

“Theresa May bowed to pressure from survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy yesterday by granting their demands for the inquiry’s panel to be more diverse. The major climb-down came after the PM repeatedly rejected victims’ calls for additional panel members to be added to the investigation into last June’s blaze amid fears of a cover-up into the tragedy that killed 71 people.” – The Sun

Hancock urged to tackle rural “not spots”

“Dozens of MPs are urging ministers to force mobile phone operators to plug so-called ‘not-spots’ in rural areas. Fifty-two MPs from all parties have sent a letter to Matt Hancock, the Digital and Culture secretary, urging him to challenge the speed and roll out of 4G coverage to help communities living in the countryside get a clear signal. The MPs are calling for a legally binding coverage obligation imposed on all four major operators to deliver mobile coverage to 95 per cent of UK geographic landmass by the end of 2022.” – Daily Telegraph

PM rejects amnesty for troops over Ulster killings…

“Theresa May has faced down the defence secretary and other senior cabinet ministers and forced through a public consultation on investigating killings in Northern Ireland without special protections for British soldiers. The prime minister sided with Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland secretary, against Gavin Williamson, Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, respectively the defence, foreign, Brexit and international trade secretaries, who wanted an amnesty for British forces deployed during the Troubles.” – The Times

…as Lewis says a Truth and Reconciliation process is needed

“Historic killings from the Troubles in Northern Ireland should be dealt with through a truth and reconciliation commission rather than “trials and denials”, the chairman of the Commons defence select committee has said. In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, Dr Julian Lewis suggests that the families of soldiers, civilians and terrorists are “more likely to find closure” if those involved in the killings were able to speak freely without fear of prosecution. A similar process was pioneered in South Africa by Nelson Mandela to heal the wounds of apartheid in the 1990s. Dr Lewis spoke out as the Government launched a public consultation process on the legacy of the Troubles which has led to a Cabinet spliton how to proceed.” – Daily Telegraph

Hinds previously said that grammar schools “not the answer”

“Education Secretary Damian Hinds once slated grammar schools as “not the answer” to helping the poorest kids climb the ladder. The newly promoted Cabinet minister, touted as a future PM, made the declaration while working as a whip under David Cameron’s government. But yesterday he unveiled a £50 million grammar expansion plan. A senior Tory branded the ambitious former Catholic grammar schoolboy a “shapeshifter”.” – The Sun

  • Grammar schools queue up to get hands on £50 million funds – The Times
  • Let’s grow the grammars – Leader, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Daniel Coughlan on Comment: Faith schools. What evidence is there to justify Hinds breaking a manifesto commitment?

Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Government has lost momentum on free schools, faith schools, and grammars

Labour contender for Lewisham East by-election likened the Israel-Palestine conflict to the Holocaust

“Labour was hit with a fresh anti-semitism storm last night after it emerged the party’s leading candidate for next month’s Lewisham East by-election likened the Israel-Palestine conflict to the Holocaust. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, odds-on favourite to be the next Labour MP for the South East London seat, claimed Palestinians were victims of a “genocide”. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day last year she wrote on Facebook: “Today is the day when we remember all those affected by the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur – I’m adding Palestinian to the list”.” – The Sun

Build all navy ships in the UK says Corbyn

“Jeremy Corbyn has called for navy shipbuilding contracts to stay in the UK in a speech in Glasgow. There has been speculation that a £1bn contract for three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ships could go to a foreign shipyard. The vessels will provide ammunition, equipment and food to Royal Navy warships. The Labour leader claimed that building them abroad would “trash” the UK’s shipbuilding tradition.” – BBC

  • Plan to tax robots would harm the economy – The Sun

Lords launch another attempt to control the press

“Lords have launched another attempt to muzzle the free Press just days after a bid was defeated in the Commons. They demanded that the Leveson Inquiry into Press standards be reopened, despite MPs warning it would be ‘a blow to democracy’. On Wednesday, MPs voted by 304 to 295 to block the establishment of a new inquiry, known as Leveson 2. But yesterday, crossbench peer Baroness Hollins made fresh demands that a new inquiry be held.” – Daily Mail

  • Time to reform the Lords from top to bottom – Ross Clark, Daily Express

MPs back legal right to paid leave for bereaved parents

“A bill to ensure bereaved parents have the legal right to paid time off has moved a step closer to becoming law. The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill would mean parents who lose a child would be entitled to at least two weeks’ paid leave. MP Kevin Hollinrake, who tabled the bill, said he hoped employers would always offer more than two weeks. A number of MPs who had lost children spoke about their experiences during the four hour debate.” – BBC

Sharp rise in housing benefits bill predicted unless supply of new homes increases

“Taxpayers are facing a multibillion-pound bill to support renters in retirement because the proportion of middle-aged workers who do not own a home has doubled in a decade. Runaway house prices have left many forty and fiftysomethings unable to afford a first home or as “accidental renters” after a break-up. The proportion of people in the 35-44 age group privately renting has doubled from 13 per cent in 2007 to 26 per cent last year, the Office for National Statistics said. The percentage of 45 to 54-year-olds renting rose from 8 per cent to 14 per cent over the same period. The Resolution Foundation estimates the housing benefit bill for pensioners will rise from £6 billion today to £16 billion by 2060 if the government fails to tackle the housing crisis.” – The Times

Oborne: Blair’s legacy is that we still can’t trust MI6

“More than ten years have passed since Tony Blair stepped down as prime minister but his malign influence persists. Among the great institutions of state that he cynically prostituted for squalid partisan advantage were the Civil Service, the monarchy, the Secret Services, the judiciary, Parliament and sections of the Press. Even now, the neutrality of these institutions has not been fully restored. This week’s shameful story about the Blair government’s complicity in the kidnap and torture of an anti-Gaddafi Libyan dissident and his pregnant wife were shocking in the way we were told how Britain’s foreign intelligence service, MI6, was suborned by Labour ministers.” Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Forsyth: Plans for big increase in NHS funding

“For their 70th birthday, most people get a family photo album. But Theresa May is determined to give the NHS billions and billions of pounds….This long-term funding plan will have to be worth tens of billions of pounds in total because, for it to work politically, it needs to be publicly backed by NHS management: And they won’t settle for less than that. But more interesting than just how large this funding boost will be, is how is it going to be paid for? I understand the Treasury view is that the increase should be fully funded, ie it should be clear what taxes will be raised to pay for it. While those around Mrs May are more prepared to hope that growth, and the subsequent increase in tax revenues, can take most of the strain.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

News in brief

  • Replacing inheritance tax is easier said than done – Tom Clougherty, CapX
  • Conservatives are complacent to assume we have passed “Peak Corbyn” – George Eaton, New Statesman
  • The future of grammar schools – John Redwood
  • If Europhile peers keep obstructing Brexit, they should expect the abolition of the House of Lords – Stephen Mitchell, Brexit Central
  • Trump is right to ditch the Iran nuclear deal now, before it’s too late – Campbell Campbell-Jack, The Conservative Woman