The Prime Minister and Party Chairman demand that Johnson apologise…

‘Theresa May has led calls for Boris Johnson to apologise after he compared Muslim women in face-covering veils to bank robbers. Mr Johnson caused anger with an article in which he said that women in burkas looked like letterboxes. Brandon Lewis, the Tory chairman, also told him to say sorry and the former foreign secretary was accused of bigotry by Baroness Warsi, the Muslim Tory peer. Lord Sheikh, founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum, went further to call for Mr Johnson to have the whip withdrawn. The comments have generated a complaint to the police for “spreading a hate crime” and could also be investigated under the party’s code of conduct, which demands members “lead by example to encourage and foster respect and tolerance”.’ – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: “Difficult, and often embarrassing, conversations”

…but he pointedly refuses to do so

‘Boris fought back with a source close to him saying: “It is ridiculous that these views are being attacked – we must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on difficult issues. “We have to call it out. If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we are simply yielding ground to reactionaries and extremists.” The Brexit chief’s allies also piled in to accuse Mr Lewis – who is also seen as a potential future Tory leader – of carrying out a hatchet job to discredit Boris. A senior Tory MP close to Boris attacked Mr Lewis by branding him “Mr Windrush” and claiming he only acted because of “his own ambitions”. Eurosceptic MP Andrew Bridgen slammed the Tory chairman and accused him of “indulging in Boris bashing”.’ – The Sun

Even most Remain voters now just want the Government to get on with Brexit

‘The majority of voters – including those who backed Remain – now want ministers to just get on with Brexit, a poll has shown. Some 60 per cent said they no longer care how or when we leave the European Union, but ‘just want it all over and done with’. The survey by Deltapoll found that even 48 per cent of Remainers agreed, compared to 47 per cent who did not.’ – Daily Mail

  • Hargreaves bets his £3 billion fortune on free trade with the EU – The Times
  • Expert warns that Chequers would harm the chance of trade deals (and possibly breach WTO rules) – The Sun
  • The EU wants more concessions – The Sun
  • May must not allow her Chequers fudge to be eroded any further – The Sun Says
  • It’s naive to think No Deal wouldn’t be a shock to the system – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Holiday ban for border staff – The Sun
  • Rail industry seeks inland customs depots – FT
  • Sturgeon demands Plan B – Daily Mail
  • Brussels’ distrust of innovation helps nobody – Warwick Lightfoot, The Times
  • Merkel is mishandling Trump – Roger Boyes, The Times


A quarter of HS2 staff are on £100,000 pay packets

‘Britain’s new high-speed railway employs a quarter of its staff on six-figure pay packets, The Times can reveal. HS2 paid 318 officials at least £100,000 in salary and perks last year, up from 155 in 2015-16. It also spent more than £600 million on consultants, well over double the figure of a year earlier. The scale of pay has triggered alarm bells at the top of government. Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, wrote to Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, in the spring warning him that salaries were worryingly high. HS2 Ltd, the taxpayer-owned company behind the project, has 1,346 staff, meaning that 24 per cent of employees now enjoy a six-figure remuneration package including salary, bonus and any pension contributions from the company. Four years ago, the proportion stood at 4 per cent, while two years ago it was less than 17 per cent.’ – The Times

  • The scheme has had a reputation for profligacy since the outset – Christian Wolmar, The Times
  • Whitehall departments fail to publish parental leave information – FT
  • TfL loses millions due to ‘junk food’ advertising ban – FT

Truss’s NIMBY neighbours dislike her call for more homes

‘The Cabinet minister who called for more greenfield sites to be built on was criticised for being ‘out of touch’ yesterday by residents fighting developers in her own constituency. Liz Truss warned that the Tories needed to allow homes to go up on undeveloped land – or face frustrated voters unable to get on the property ladder handing power to Jeremy Corbyn. The chief secretary to the Treasury also accused those who stand in the way of new homes being erected in fields of being Nimbys…Former minister Crispin Blunt predicted electoral ‘catastrophe’ if the green lungs are not protected.’ – Daily Mail

  • One in ten houses still don’t have internet – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Truss cuts the Gordian Knot on housing

Zahawi urges more private schools to offer boarding places to children in care

‘Private schools should give boarding places to thousands of children in care, a Tory minister says. Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said it was a way to prevent Jeremy Corbyn ever stripping the schools of their charitable status. He said Labour “would never be able to abolish” private schools if they helped to improve the life chances of vulnerable children. Mr Zahawi praised 40 independent schools for taking part in a government-backed scheme that provides places for children in care. The education minister told BBC Newsnight that hundreds of other private schools should also join the Boarding School Partnership if they wanted to survive in a hostile political environment. Campaigners have urged Ministers to strip private schools of their charitable status which grants them tax breaks.’ – The Sun

Banks pass higher interest rate on to borrowers but not savers

‘Banks will each rake in as much as £300 million from last week’s rate rise as they try to wriggle out of passing on the boost to savers. Money Mail can reveal that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) expects its income to soar by £300 million by 2020 as a result of the Bank of England’s announcement. Other banks are also expected to make millions more as they squeeze cash from loyal borrowers and current account customers. Four major banks and building societies – Lloyds, Barclays, Nationwide and TSB – have said they will pass on the interest rate rise to mortgage customers. On top of this, in the past few months firms have slashed perks on current accounts and hiked credit card rates.’ – Daily Mail

Britain ‘watered down’ criticism of Zimbabwe violence

‘Britain insisted on a “watered down” version of a joint statement that condemned “the eruption of violence” after last week’s Zimbabwean elections but stopped short of describing it as excessive or disproportionate, sources familiar with the negotiations have told The Times. The statement, released yesterday, failed to attribute the deaths of six civilians to the army, which turned live fire on unarmed demonstrators after the disputed ballot. Instead, the heads of missions of EU states in Zimbabwe and those of the US, Canada and Switzerland urged President Mnangagwa’s government to respect the rights of citizens and to ensure that the defence forces “act with restraint”…Some western diplomats have been frustrated at the UK’s “indecent haste” to accept Mr Mnangagwa as a reformed character.’ – The Times

  • Why is Hain helping a tycoon who cuts deals with the regime? – Daily Mail

Williamson pledges the UK “always will be a tier-one power”

‘Addressing the Atlantic Council think tank, Mr Williamson said: “Britain is a major global actor. We have always been a tier-one military power and we always will be a tier-one military power.” He pointed to the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent, “world-class” special forces and cyber capabilities, and “exceptional” conventional forces “able to deploy independently around the globe”. Mr Williamson said attempts by the US and the UK to persuade allies that they needed to spend more on defence were paying off.’ – The Times

  • It was effectively a public challenge to the Prime Minister – Daily Telegraph
  • NATO must not expand beyond its willingness to honour Article 5 – The Times Leader
  • Russian warships pass through the Channel – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Daniel Hamilton on Comment: Ten years on from Putin’s invasion of Georgia, the West must learn the lesson of its failure

Police accused of backing cannabis clubs

‘Police have been accused of giving tacit support to ‘cannabis clubs’ where paying members can meet and take the drug without fear of prosecution. At least two Police and Crime Commissioners have visited or endorsed the clubs, of which there are 160 across the UK. Despite the fact possession of cannabis remains illegal and can result in a maximum five year prison sentence, many forces no longer treat the offence as a priority, with some police leaders even calling for the law to be relaxed. Cannabis Clubs first appeared in Britain around seven years ago with the first groups launched by people who used the drug to treat a variety of medical conditions. But the failure of police to investigate and prosecute members led to an explosion in the number of clubs opening.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Javid should experiment with drug decriminalisation – The Sun Says
  • Dawn raids target violent dealing network in London – The Guardian
  • Steak is being smuggled into one prison – The Times
  • The era you grew up in defines your most feared crimes – The Times

Leak reveals the scale of Labour’s anti-semitism scandal

‘The paperwork, seen by the Guardian, was sent to national executive committee (NEC) members on 3 July, ahead of a meeting of the governing body’s disputes panel, which can refer members for expulsion. The papers for the disputes panel, which all members of the ruling body can attend, lay out the party’s case against suspended members, compiled by party officers who then recommend sanctions to take. Around 70 cases are believed to be pending. However, the papers reveal only a minority were considered by the NEC because of time constraints. At least three of the most serious cases of antisemitism were referred to Labour’s highest disciplinary body for possible expulsion.’ – The Guardian

UKIP suspends three members after raid on left-wing bookshop

‘Ukip has suspended three party members including a former leadership candidate after protesters raided a socialist bookshop in central London. The party’s chairman, Tony McIntyre, announced that Elizabeth Jones, Luke Nash-Jones and Martin Costello had been suspended pending an investigation after being involved in the incident at Bookmarks in Bloomsbury. Ms Jones, a member of Ukip’s national executive committee, stood in the first of the party’s two 2016 leadership elections, finishing last of the five candidates with 1,203 votes. “It is understood that the three members were involved in an incident at the Bookmarks bookshop in London on Saturday,” a Ukip statement said.’ – The Times