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Hammond warns both contestants that they risk losing the Tories’ ‘reputation for fiscal responsibility’

‘Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned the free-spending Tory leadership contenders to ‘be honest’ about the cost of their bold plans for power, saying they risk destroying the party’s reputation for economic competence. The frugal chancellor hit out at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt after they both pledged billions of pounds for their favoured policies. They have unveiled plans to pump cash into areas including education as well as for No-Deal planning, prompting a rebuke from the top money man. But he hit out at the scale of the plans, saying they risked the Government’s ‘reputation for fiscal responsibility’.’ – Daily Mail

  • What exactly have they each pledged? – Daily Mail
  • The IFS says the candidates’ promises are ‘extraordinary’ – The Times
  • The Government must address the council funding gap – Lord Porter, The Times
  • One in three local authorities fears running out of money by 2022 – Daily Mail
  • One in five face drastic measures in mere months – The Guardian
  • We must rediscover radical devolution – Andy Street, Daily Telegraph
  • Give mayors more power, Heseltine urges – FT
  • The cost of the new Museum of London leaps by a third – The Times
  • The US enjoys longest period of growth since 1945 – The Times
  • The manufacturing sector is ‘essentially in recession’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Credit card debt soars – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Javid. Sometimes when you lose, you win?

Johnson ‘could merge departments’ to slim down Cabinet and save billions

‘Boris Johnson is considering proposals to shrink the size of the Cabinet after key backers urged him to slim down the Government if he becomes prime minister. Mr Johnson has already voiced a desire to merge the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office, but supporters are encouraging him to go further by reviewing the future of seven or more other departments to save billions of pounds. The departments for Justice, Business, Culture, International Trade, Work and Pensions, Transport, and Brexit could all be abolished or merged with other departments under plans being championed by members of Mr Johnson’s team. Among those backing Mr Johnson’s campaign who are in favour of cutting the number of departments are Dominic Raab, the former Brexit secretary, Andrea Leadsom, the former leader of the house, Chris Heaton-Harris, the former Brexit minister, Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and Priti Patel, the former international development secretary.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: David Davis on Comment: Johnson represents the Conservatives’ last chance. Here’s why I’m voting for him.

Hunt says he would cancel civil service leave in August to ensure readiness for No Deal

‘Jeremy Hunt was accused of “spouting macho nonsense” yesterday after he threatened to cancel civil service leave next month if Whitehall cannot convince him that it is prepared for a no-deal Brexit. The Tory leadership contender and foreign secretary said that, if elected, on his first day in office he would order government departments to present their plans for leaving the EU without an agreement on October 31. He warned that all August leave would be cancelled unless permanent secretaries confirmed to him in writing that their department’s plans were “on time and on track”. The proposal forms part of Mr Hunt’s wider no-deal Brexit preparation plan, which he outlined yesterday to counter claims by Boris Johnson that he cannot be trusted to leave the EU by Hallowe’en. It was met with fury by civil service union leaders, who described the plan as being divorced from reality.’ – The Times

>Today: Jason Aldiss on Comment: Conservatives can only win from the centre ground. Which means Hunt as leader – not a lurch to the right under Johnson.

>Yesterday: MPsETC: “United we will win. United we will prosper.” Hunt’s Brexit plan – full text

Bercow rejects Grieve and Beckett’s disruption amendment

‘Margaret Beckett, the former Labour foreign secretary, and Dominic Grieve, the Conservative former attorney-general, had laid amendments to Commons votes due today or tomorrow on the so-called estimates which provide parliamentary approval for government spending. If successful they would have constrained the next prime minister from delivering a no-deal Brexit, a threat both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt insist is necessary to reach a better agreement with Brussels. Under the amendments, funding to the affected departments would only continue after Brexit if parliament has ratified a deal with Brussels or MPs voted to leave with no deal… Jeremy Corbyn refused to say that he would whip Labour MPs to back it. Yesterday John Bercow did not select the controversial amendment for today’s vote approving cash for international development and education. He is therefore unlikely to give MPs a chance to vote on the second amendment targeting cash for pensions and local government tabled for tomorrow.’ – The Times

The EU struggles to select a successor to Juncker

‘Leaders will gather in the Belgian capital again tomorrow to see if they can make a breakthrough in replacing controversial EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker – with Theresa May poised to make the casting vote. The Prime Minister could hold the balance of power when they reconvene at 10am tomorrow, in one of her last – and Britain’s last – major EU interventions before Brexit. Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans has been proposed to succeed Mr Juncker as EU Commission president and oversee the talks with the UK after it leaves on October 31. EU leaders were said to have agreed on Mr Timmermans as part of a potential compromise package last night. But strong opposition from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic and Italy meant they dodged a vote as wrangling continued. Under the rules, 72 per cent of EU member states, representing at least 65 per cent of the EU’s population, must vote in favour of the proposal – which means that Mrs May could have the key say.’ – Daily Mail

  • They are unsure of how best to handle a new British Prime Minister – The Times
  • Macron criticises the ‘tainted’ process – Daily Telegraph
  • This farce reminds us why we voted Leave – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
  • Widdecombe eyes return to Westminster – The Times
  • Farage offers to half foreign aid, write off student debt and give free wi-fi – The Sun
  • Relations between the EU and Switzerland deteriorate – Daily Telegraph

Wallace: The new Prime Minister should scrap May’s wrong-headed ‘porn block’

‘Trying to freeze the nation in time – by taxing or banning change, by erecting protectionist barriers against trade and competition, or by pouring taxpayers’ money into subsidies to shore up the old in defiance of the new – is doomed to failure… There is a glaring gap in British politics for a party which embraces and champions the positive opportunities that these changes offer. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the Conservatives ought to be well-positioned to become that party… Theresa May’s ‘porn block’ was meant to be introduced this month, but is currently on hold… Not only can the ‘block’ be easily evaded, defeating its purpose, but it risks what the Open Rights Group call a “privacy timebomb”, creating a honeypot of highly sensitive personal data in an age riven with criminal and state hacking threats. What’s more, it betrays a clumsy, archaic and fundamentally negative attitude to the modern age. Scrapping it would save the new Prime Minister a headache and serve as a signal that they are willing to govern with a more nuanced understanding of the state’s capacity and the nature of the 21st Century.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

  • Newspaper industry warns that government plans to regulate social media threaten free expression – The Times
  • Limits may be well-intentioned but they are also dangerous – The Times Leader
  • MPs want social media company bosses to be thrown in jail – Daily Mail
  • And they’ve debated making online homophobia a specific criminal offence – Daily Mail
  • Cyber-bullying takes a toll on politicians’ mental health – Daily Mail
  • Wikipedia founder urges social media strike – Daily Mail
  • Hinds urges parents to get off their phones and talk to their children – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Howard Flight’s column: Why the time has come for drug legalisation

‘Hong Kong is not China’ – protesters storm the city’s parliament

‘Riot police fired tear gas at hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong last night as they fought to evict activists who had stormed the former British colony’s parliament building. In an unprecedented challenge to China’s Communist rulers, several hundred protesters managed to break into Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco) building before tearing down portraits of the territory’s leaders and hoisting the Union Jack in the main chamber. A core group of protesters — most of whom were students in yellow hard hats and masks — used metal trolleys and scaffolding poles to charge at the compound’s reinforced glass doors, which eventually gave way. They rampaged through the parliamentary offices, close to Chinese army barracks and in the heart of the financial district, and spray-painted walls, desks and CCTV cameras. Protesters raised banners, one of which read “Hong Kong is not China”.’ – The Times

The public support us paying Lineker and co a fortune, the BBC argues

‘Licence-fee payers support the BBC paying a seven-figure salary to Gary Lineker, the director-general has claimed, as he said the public wants the corporation to retain “talented and entertaining” stars. As the BBC publishes its annual report on Tuesday, Lord Hall of Birkenhead defended its high salaries. Lineker will head the list of top earners once again, with a salary of £1.75-1.76 million per year. “There’s a regular debate about whether we should pay what we do for the biggest stars like Gary Lineker, Graham Norton or Zoe Ball. I accept they get big salaries – in total around one per cent of our content spend. But they also front some of the biggest shows on TV and radio: programmes that account for 40 per cent of viewing and listening to the BBC,” Lord Hall said.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Scrutiny is intensified by the decision to scrap ‘free’ licences for over-75s – The Times
  • There are still too many barriers to women’s football – Tracey Crouch, The Times

Labour mulls restrictions on landlords – including stripping them of the right to sell their property

‘Labour is considering restrictions on the owners of buy-to-let properties to try to rein in house prices. The party said it was looking at capping rent rises at inflation – with the abolition of tax breaks for those charging ‘excessively’. And it wants to see tighter controls on the ability of landlords to evict renters ‘on spurious grounds’. This could include ending a property owner’s automatic right to sell. The ideas are contained in a radical report, commissioned by the party, which calls on Labour to try to stabilise house prices.’ – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn’s nationalisation plan will clobber 300,000 coal and steel pensioners – The Sun
  • Their politics of envy will hurt all classes – The Sun Says
  • Rudd rejects demands for a leak inquiry into claims about Corbyn’s health – The Times
  • May calls the leak ‘unacceptable’ – The Sun
  • McDonnell denies plot to oust the Labour leader – Daily Mail
  • It’s idiocy, not infirmity, that makes him unfit to be Prime Minister – Joe Haines, Daily Mail
  • Williamson’s suspension will protect him from deselection – The Sun
  • We want proportional representation – Stephen Kinnock, The Times
  • The Woodford investment scandal strikes at savers’ confidence – Ruth Sunderland, Daily Mail
  • Energy firms going bust shows the market is working – Tim Worstall, The Times

Cliff Richard launches campaign demanding anonymity for those accused of sexual offences

‘Sir Cliff Richard and DJ Paul Gambaccini today called for a ‘re-balancing of the legal system’ as they helped launch a petition to try to force a change in the law to give those accused of sexual offences anonymity until they are charged. Sir Cliff said today that he did not sleep properly for four years, came out in shingles all over his face and head, and felt like he had been hung out to dry by the BBC. The petition attracted more than 3,000 signatures by the time it was officially launched in Westminster on Monday. Speaking to reporters at the launch event in Victoria Tower Gardens, Sir Cliff said he did not sleep properly for four years, came out in shingles all over his face and head, and felt like he had been ‘hung out to dry’. He said ‘no smoke without fire’ was a ‘stupid saying’, adding: ‘People can be evil enough to tell a lie about an innocent person.” – Daily Mail

Iran exceeds enriched uranium limit

‘Iran has breached internationally-agreed limits on its enriched uranium stocks in a further blow to a landmark nuclear deal that President Donald Trump abandoned last year. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, revealed on Monday that the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium had expanded, a development the International Atomic Energy Agency later said it had investigated and confirmed. In May Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic republic would exceed limits on the nuclear deal within 60 days unless the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal took steps to counter the impact of US sanctions. That deadline expires on July 7. The development on Monday ratchets up the brinkmanship between Tehran and Washington and leaves France, Germany and the UK struggling to save the accord amid security fears in the Gulf region.’ – FT

  • Israel urges Europe to impose sanctions in response – Daily Mail
  • Attack us, and Israel will be destroyed in 30 minutes, Iranian politician threatens – Daily Mail
  • US airstrike in Syria kills al-Qaeda leaders – The Times
  • Laser will allow special forces to identify targets by heart signature – The Times
  • Only Pompeo knows what Trump promised Kim – Daily Mail
  • Turkey and the US head for a crisis – FT Leader

News in Brief

  • The Tories must shut down the Brexit Party or be obliterated – Reaction
  • Is there really a robots versus jobs problem? – CapX
  • ‘Unwanted Ivanka’ meme takes off – Huffington Post
  • The hypocrisy of GoFundMe – The Spectator
  • The importance of relationship education – Mel B, 1828

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