The Telegraph reports on a significant diplomatic development at the D-Day celebrations: “Vladimir Putin discusses ceasefire with Ukraine president-elect Petro Poroshenko at D-Day ceremonies

Russia used the D-Day commemorations to signal an apparent détente over the Ukraine conflict, as Vladimir Putin met the country’s new leader for the first time and called for an end to fighting on both sides.

On the sidelines of ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, President Putin held what aides described as a brief but significant meeting with Petro Poroshenko, the victor in last month’s Ukrainian presidential elections.

The 15-minute conversation was the first time the two men had spoken since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in February. Back then, Mr Poroshenko was chased from the peninsula by a pro-Russian mob while attempting a peacemaking mission.

Also in The Guardian.


The BBC seems to make up its own rules as to what is and what isn’t acceptable public behaviour, as reported in “BBC criticised for ‘obscene’ comedy making fun of the murder of Lord Mountbatten

The BBC has come under criticism after broadcasting an “obscene” comedy which appears to make fun of the murder of Lord Mountbatten, the Queen’s cousin killed by the IRA in 1979.

Norman Tebbit, the former Conservative Party chairman, said Radio 4’s sitcom Blocked, which was aired on the eve of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, were “typical” of the “profanity, obscenity and sheer bad taste” of the corporation.

Listeners have also complained about the show, co-written by the comedian Frankie Boyle and starring the actor and presenter David Mitchell.

Meanwhile, the Express, Mirror and Mail report on how many staff the BBC needs to cover Glastonbury. None of these papers have much real news, so no scandals to report from them today.

Liberal Democrats

The Telegraph’s James Kirkup observes on the collapse of the Liberal Democrats: ‘Zulu tactics’: the Lib Dems have given up the pretence of being a national party

Away from Conservative jubilation over what Tories see as the end of the Ukip earthquake, the result from the Newark by-election raises some interesting questions about the other political parties.

If you listen to the Conservative spin, Newark was a disaster for Labour…As for the Lib Dems, the misery continues. Once, the party would have fancied its chances in a seat like Newark: it pulled off bigger shocks in Eastleigh and Christchurch, remember. But that was long ago, before the Coalition, before the loss of lots of grassroots members and councillors, and – whisper it – before the loss of a certain Lord Rennard, whose campaign-running skills are acknowledged even by those who despise him.

However, looking at the local election results, the Liberal Democrats still retain strong local pockets with vote shares of between 40% and 50%, including retaining complete control of Eastleigh (40 from 44 seats) and UKIP not winning a single seat.


Dan Hodges of the Telegraph continues his vendetta against UKIP: “Newark by-election: Can we drop this ludicrous fiction that Ukip is a real political force?

I don’t want to say I told you so. Actually, I do. The Ukip revolution is over.  Let’s remember where we were a month ago – the morning after the resignation of Patrick Mercer. It was a crisis for the Tories. A gift for Nigel Farage. Senior Conservatives were briefing it was a nailed-on cert that the People’s Army would secure their first MP.

Hell, let’s only go back as far as last night. A few hours ago, before the result, was announced, Nigel Farage was on TV boasting that Ukip were going to run the Tories a close second and secure their best ever by-election performance. None of these things happened. Not one. Ukip lost. Again. In fact they didn’t lose, they were crushed.

The commenters do not agree with Dan though! Lord Livid gets highest up-ticks with:

Hodges you really are a loser. The UKIP revolution is just beginning .

In Newark we have just witnessed a safe Tory seat retained by the Tories, however with a much reduced majority. In fact more than halved…

Meanwhile, The Independent observes on a real problem that UKIP has in attracting female voters: “Newark by-election: Does Nigel Farage have a woman problem?

Nigel Farage’s lack of appeal to women could have cost Ukip dear in the Newark by-election, the final poll before votes were cast has suggested. The outcome could have been decided by a striking gender gap among voters in Newark, according to the Survation survey.

It found that more than twice as many men as women were planning to vote for Ukip. If women had backed the party in similar numbers, Mr Farage would today be celebrating his party’s first Westminster election victory.


The Guardian reports on “Trojan horse school damned in Ofsted report” as does the The Mail

Park View academy, the Birmingham secondary school at the centre of the alleged Islamist plot known as Trojan horse, will be told next week that it has failed to adequately warn its pupils about extremism and that staff are intimidated by the school’s leadership.

A controversial Ofsted report ordered by Michael Gove and leaked to the Guardian will highlight that one of the reasons why the school – previously rated outstanding – will be downgraded to inadequate is that teachers have not received enough training in the government’s anti-extremism Prevent programme.

Ofsted’s report, due to be published with those into a further 20 Birmingham schools on Monday, says: “The academy is not doing enough to keep students safe, including raising students’ awareness of the risks of extremism.”

The Independent focuses on Michael Gove’s reforms in “Michael Gove promises to plough ahead with controversial school reforms

The Education Secretary Michael Gove will attack those who oppose his school reforms saying they are allowing working class children to be sent to school “without daring to think they might be intellectually curious and capable of greatness”.

He will accuse them of “denying them access to anything stretching or ambitious”, and claim that his opponents are “feeding them a diet of dumbed-down courses and easy-to-acquire qualifications, lowering pass marks and inflating grades to give the illusion of progress, shying away from anything which might require grit, application, hard work and perseverance, and then sending these poor children into the adult world without the knowledge, skills, character and accomplishments they need, and deserve, to flourish”.


The Guardian tells us that “IMF sounds alarm on UK house prices but changes its tune on austerity” and also in The Independent and The Mail.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a housing bubble could derail the UK’s economic recovery, as it urged the government to consider reining in the Help to Buy scheme and called on the Bank of England to clamp down on risky mortgages…

But in the same week that the European commission expressed concerns over the domestic housing market, Lagarde added to the chorus of concern over the role of property in Britain’s economic revival. Presenting the report in London on Friday, she said the UK needed to restrict high loan-to-income mortgages and reconsider the Help to Buy mortgage subsidy programme to prevent families becoming vulnerable to a collapse in house values or a surprise interest rate rise.


The Guardian’s Marina Hyde discusses the “Vodafone Surveillance” debacle: Vodafone’s law: mass surveillance = mass apathy

I kept my mobile provider despite its tax avoidance, and many of us tolerate intrusion by the NSA and GCHQ. It’s madness…

There is no unignorable public revulsion over mass surveillance, however righteously irate the comment sections of some newspapers, including this one, may appear. The story has never found – to use the questionable phrase of the times – its Milly Dowler moment.

Scottish Independence

OK, voters in England and Wales don’t get to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum (which is about dissolving the Union, after all) but they can respond to opinion polls. The Independent reports on such a poll: “Scottish independence: Poll finds English and Welsh are ‘backing Union’

68 per cent of those polled in England and 59 per cent in Wales were opposed to an independent Scotland

The Financial Times poll found that 55 per cent of those who expressed a strong preference want Scotland to stay while 15 per cent support a split. The other 30 per cent had no strong opinion.


The Express’ Macer Hall considers Tory strategy in the run-up to the General Election: “Opposing views in Tory ranks as the general election approaches

But the gentle glide into summer has been disturbed by the Cabinet spat between Home Secretary Theresa May and Education Secretary Michael Gove. A simmering dispute over the differing approaches to tackling Muslim extremists at their two departments exploded into a furious and very public row.

The clash was striking because until now the coalition has largely avoided the kind of vicious feuding that paralysed the Labour government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Unlike those grim days there does appear to be a genuine ideological difference rather than personal spite and jealousy at the root of the rift.

Yet the Cabinet row also gives a glimpse of opposing camps coalescing around separate visions of the party’s future direction. Mr Gove is a close ally of Mr Osborne and expected to be an important lieutenant for the Chancellor in a future Tory leadership contest. Mrs May is shaping up to be the most threatening rival in the chase for the Tory crown.

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