David Cameron is continuing to reshape how the EU referendum will run, after agreeing to change the planned “Yes/No” choice to a question of whether to “stay” or “remain” in the political bloc [or leave]. The Prime Minister is still listening to Eurosceptics, with our leader today urging him to allay fears that he is trying to “slant the process”, as the government prepares to unveil “significant” changes to the so-called “purdah” rules, which stop ministers using public money to campaign for one side just before a referendum.
The amendments have to be published today, BBC News reports, in order to give MPs enough time to consider them before the Commons returns next week, and are expected to restore the restrictions on ministers with “some exceptions”. Will this be enough for Eurosceptics? Sir Bill Cash was far from gruntled on the Today programme this morning, insisting “there is a strong case for not having any exemptions.” He also pointed to another issue with the referendum rules, calling for ministers who want to campaign for a Brexit to be given free rein to do so without losing their jobs.
David Cameron isn’t just facing pressure at home, with Austria and Germany threatening to torpedo his EU renegotiation bid in response to Britain’s refusal to accept thousands of migrants. Stephan Mayer, a spokesman on home affairs for Angela Merkel’s Conservative MPs, told the Times that “this huge challenge could mean a lot of shifts in the EU in bilateral relationships” in the coming months. The Prime Minister will know that taking in more migrants is a potentially controversial idea, as Yvette Cooper showed when she called Britain to take 10,000 refugees. But Eurosceptics will keep pushing for a fair and free referendum. David Cameron is having to be acutely aware of his backbenchers’ concerns in order to protect his slim majority and keep the show on the road.
Jeremy Corbyn continues to dominate Labour’s leadership election, writing in today’s Telegraph about his pension plans and why manual workers in “physically demanding jobs” should be allowed to retire early. Others are more sceptical about his agenda, like our great new columnist William Hague, who writes in today’s paper that Corbyn is only gaining popularity as Labourites seek “something, anything that seems authentic, passionate, and consistent.” The former Foreign Secretary adds: “This is the first election of a Labour leader in which none of the candidates look like they could be prime minister five years later.”
This comes as the Labour Party was accused of secretly campaigning against Corbyn after its chief whip allegedly moved against the hard-Left front-runner. Rosie Winterton raised concerns that Andy Burnham was not taking a more critical stance towards him with a senior figure in party, Ben Riley-Smith reports. Arch moderniser Chuka Umunna has held out an olive branch to Corbyn and his followers, calling for the right of the party to “accept the result” of the contest and “support our new leader” whoever wins. The latest remarks by the Shadow Business Secretary, who supports Liz Kendall in the contest, are significantly warmer than his last intervention, when he warned his party against behaving “like a petulant child”.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn’s rivals have launched a series of attacks over his defence of Hamas, refusal to back bombing Isil in Syria and “excuses for Putin” in a bruising TV debate on Channel 4 yesterday. It has also emerged that Jeremy Corbyn led a campaign for the release of two convicted terrorists who were jailed for their part in the car bombing of the Israeli embassy in London and a Jewish charity building. Steve Swinford has more.
COOPER: LET BRITAIN BE GREAT
Britain must take 10,000 refugees Yvette Cooper says as she accuses David Cameron of an “immoral” response to the migrant crisis, Laura Hughes reports. The Labour leadership candidate blamed ministers of “political cowardice” and described Britain’s net migration target which includes refugees as “cowardly” and “not the British way”. “Labour’s leadership election is nearly over, and Yvette Cooper is currently on course to lose it,” says Dan Hodges. “But the speech she’s just given on the refugee crisis is not just one of the best she’s delivered. It’s one of the best any British politician has delivered, period.”
“Critics would have to concede that Ms Cooper’s speech was bold – bold because of the inevitable opposition from critics like them,” writes our sketchwriter Michael Deacon. “If you’re a politician in this country seeking to make yourself more popular, you don’t give a speech calling for a greater influx of foreigners.”
This comes as rail services between Britain and France were suspended after migrants clambered onto the Eurostar track outside Calais. In all five trains had to be held while police cleared the migrants from the track, David Millward reports.
FOR HILLARY’S EYES ONLY?
Hillary Clinton may have broken US secrecy rules by handling classified information from Tony Blair and the British government on her personal email account, Raf Sanchez reports. Newly disclosed emails from Mrs Clinton’s time as US secretary of state show she regularly received sensitive details from Mr Blair and UK officials on an email server based in her home in New York. Here are the 10 key things we have learned from the latest tranche of emails, rounded up by James Rothwell and David Hodari.
THE MURDOCH MYSTERY
Nicola Sturgeon met Rupert Murdoch during an official visit to New York but did not mention it in her list of engagements, Simon Johnson reports. The First Minister met the News Corporation chairman during a visit to the offices of the Wall Street Journal on June 9 after holding talks with the editor-in-chief. This comes as Sturgeon announced an overhaul of the way Scotland’s beleaguered national police force is run only two-and-a-half years after it was set up.
OSBORNE SUPREMACY PT87
George Osborne will be the frontrunner in any future bid to replace David Cameron as Conservative leader, new polling has suggested. For the second month running, a poll of Conservative members by the ConservativeHome website has found the Chancellor well ahead of his nearest rival Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary.
TALKIN’ ABOUT OUR EDUCATION
Coasting state schools should “up their game”, Nicky Morgan has said, as the Government set out plans to open 500 new free schools between now and 2020, Chris Hope reports. The Education Secretary and David Cameron, the Prime Minister, restated their commitment to the free school programme as 18 new projects were given the go-ahead.