Education

Several of the media cover an announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May on the question of grammar schools.

The Telegraph reports:

Theresa May is planning to launch a new generation of grammar schools by scrapping the ban on them imposed almost 20 years ago, The Telegraph has learnt.

In a move that will be cheered by Tory grassroots, the Prime Minister intends to pave the way for a new wave of selective schools.

Mrs May is understood to see the reintroduction of grammar schools – banned by Tony Blair in 1998 – as a key part of her social cohesion agenda.

The historic shift in education policy is expected to be announced by the end of the year, possibly as early as the Conservatives’ annual party conference in October.

The Mail points out that May herself is grammar educated:

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to reintroduce grammar schools by scrapping an 18-year ban which was imposed by former Labour Party leader Tony Blair.

The new move, which will ‘make sure people have the opportunity to excel’, will feature as a key part of the new Tory leader’s social cohesion agenda.

Mrs May, 59 – who is grammar school educated – is expected to announce the new policy at the Conservatives’ party conference in October, reports the Telegraph.

The policy to bring back selective state schools is likely to satisfy Conservative MPs who have spent years campaigning for this announcement.

The Times claims the measure will be introduced later this year:

Theresa May is set to reverse an 18-year ban on new grammar schools.

It is understood the prime minister sees the reintroduction of a new wave of selective schools as a key part of her social cohesion agenda.

Tony Blair put a stop to the creation of any new grammar schools in 1998. Since then successive governments have focused on academies, with David Cameron refusing to bow to backbench pressure to restart the grammar school programme.

The policy shift could be announced as early as the Conservative Party conference in October.

Sky News claims teachers will object.

Theresa May is said to be planning to allow a new wave of grammar schools for the first time in 20 years.

A government source suggested bringing back academic selection in state schools would be part of her agenda to increase social mobility.

But lifting the ban on new grammar schools, imposed by Labour in 1998, would be highly controversial and put her on a collision course with the teaching establishment.

Mrs May attended a grammar school and recently allowed a new “annex” for one in her Maidenhead constituency, which is permitted within the law.

In other education news, the Times reports on university education.

Some of Britain’s top universities are offering thousands of degree places through clearing — the system that matches students with unfilled places on courses — even though A-level results are not announced for 11 days.

Many universities, some of which have drawn up ambitious expansion plans, are poised to slash A-level grade offers when teenagers get their results and will accept students who may have underperformed in the exams.

Brexit

The consequences of the referendum vote are still reverberating.

The Express quotes a businessman who supported the result:

BRITAIN will be billions of pounds better off within a year of leaving the EU, a leading businessman who sacrificed his job for Brexit has said.

John Longworth, the “Brexit martyr” who quit as director general of the British Chambers of Commerce after being suspended for publicly recommending leaving the EU, said the “Armageddon” predictions of the Remain campaign had all proved false.

Instead, he said the UK could begin to reap “huge benefits” just one year after quitting the EU.

Mr Longworth claims at least £50billion a year in contributions to Brussels would be saved and cutting EU red tape would reduce costs for business.

He said the windfall will come even before the UK re-enters global markets, and lead long term to even lower inflation, cheaper goods and a lower cost of living.

And, at last, the government is making plans, says the Telegraph.

The Government has begun considering leaving the single market for the first time, as the Treasury and the newly created Brexit department hold detailed talks with finance leaders over the best way to pull out of the EU.

A series of discussions have been held between the Chancellor Philip Hammond and top business lobby groups including the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and City of London Corporation to determine the value of the single market and whether so-called passporting rights are worth “fighting for”.

Officials say the talks have revealed a willingness among some top figures to scrap passporting despite early calls to stay in the single market from some quarters.

Passporting allows UK-based banks to set up branches in any part of the European Economic Area, which includes the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, without having to be separately authorised by each nation.

But the Independent is claiming again that Scottish MPs could block the deal.

SNP MPs could block any UK Government plan for Brexit unless it contained “special arrangements” for Scotland, a candidate for the party’s depute leadership has said.

Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard said the party’s 56 MPs could vote down any proposal that did not reflect the fact that 62% of Scots voted to Remain in June’s referendum.

He was speaking as he formally launched his campaign for the deputy leader post left vacant by Stewart Hosie with a pitch to overhaul the party in readiness for a second independence referendum.

This is also reported by the Express:

Meddling SNP MPs want to stop the entire UK from carrying out the result of the Brexit vote unless the Government writes “special arrangements” for Scotland into any exit deal with Brussels.

Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard, who is running to become Ms Sturgeon’s second-in-command, said the party’s 56 MPs in Westminster could vote down any proposal that did not reflect the fact that 62 per cent of Scots backed Remain.

And he warned new PM Mrs May: “We are not completely powerless in this game, we do have some influence.”

He was speaking as he formally launched his campaign for the deputy leader post with a pitch to overhaul the party in readiness for a second independence referendum.

And the Independent claims Jeremy Corbyn was a closet leaver:

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by Tony Blair’s former right-hand man of “undermining” and “sabotaging” the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union.

The accusation by Peter Mandelson will infuriate Mr Corbyn’s supporters, who have repeatedly pointing out that a higher number of Labour voters than Tory voters, including a majority in Mr Corbyn’s own Islington North constituency, backed the unsuccessful Remain campaign – evidence, they say, that Mr Corbyn delivered.

However, the Labour leader is a long-standing opponent of EU membership, who is thought to have changed his mind on the issue relatively recently, and who refused to share a platform with David Cameron or other pro-Remain Tories during the referendum.

Parliament

The renowned ability of MPs to down the alcohol is under threat, according to the Mail.

MPs face a six-year drinking ban after a committee decided they will move to an office block operating under Islamic laws while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished.

Their new home, Richmond House in Whitehall, was transferred to finance an Islamic bond scheme in 2014.

The building, currently the offices of the Department of Health, will house MPs when a multi-billion-pound refurbishment of Parliament begins in 2020.

The Sun has a similar story.

THIRSTY MPs face a six-year drinking ban after being told they must move into an office block run under Islamic laws while their Commons gets a facelift.

A report recommends they move into a nearby office block to speed up and cut the cost of the refurb which runs into billions of pounds.

Urgent repairs are needed to the Palace of Westminster to repair leaking roofs, crumbling stonework, faulty cabling and straighten the Big Ben clock tower which is tilting by 18 inches.

If they stay put while work is done in stages, it would take 32 years and cost of £5.7billion.

Moving out in stages while sections are fixed would take 11 years and cost £4.4billion.

As does Sky News.

Politicians are set to be relocated for six years while urgent renovation work is carried out at the 19th century Palace of Westminster, according to a leaked report.

Papers seen by The Times reveal a committee looking at options for the work has ruled out doing it while the MPs are still working there – which would take five times as long.

Instead, they will relocate to the Department of Health where staff have already been told to vacate their offices. The building could even contain a makeshift chamber, the newspaper reports.

The Guardian claims a solution is in the offing.

MPs considered nationalising a Whitehall pub to avoid a drinking ban while they are relocated to the Department of Health’s offices for the duration of refurbishment works at the Palace of Westminster.

Richmond House, which hosts the department, is one of three government buildings owned by Middle East financiers who have bought into an Islamic bond issued by the government. One of its stipulations is that no alcohol will be sold on the premises.

To get around the restriction, some MPs proposed taking the Red Lion pub, located between parliament and Richmond house, into public ownership and banning entry to the general public. However, according to the Times, the move was opposed by Fuller’s Inns, the Red Lion’s owners, and a parliamentary subcommittee eventually ruled out the proposal.

Labour leadership

The Independent reports that the challenger, Owen Smith, is being backed by a major trades union.

Owen Smith has won the backing of a trade union for the first time since he challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the steelworkers’ union Community – which is engaged in a battle to save 15,000 at the threatened Port Talbot steel works – described Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as a “significant barrier” to getting a Laboiur government elected.

And the Morning Star claims he has the support of the younger members of the party.

YOUNG Labour swung behind Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to be re-elected as Labour leader with an overwhelming majority at the national committee’s meeting on Thursday night.

Mr Corbyn won the backing of youth wing’s national committee with 15 votes for and 8 against.

The vote is a significant triumph for the Labour left as there was a pro-Kendall majority on the national committee during last year’s contest.

Young Labour’s chairwoman, primary school teacher Caroline Hill, said she supported Mr Corbyn “because he is the only Labour leader in my lifetime who has a serious plan to fight for young people.”

Junior doctors

The Mirror reports on the battle between the health secretary and the doctors.

Jeremy Hunt recently charged a group of junior doctors £150,000 to take him to court over the ­increasingly bitter contracts dispute.

This junior doctor, now an MP, can’t be charged, won’t be silenced and is determined to speak out and spread the word.

As an A&E doctor at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London, I, like many others, left my young children to work nights and ­weekends. My department operated seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Despite claims to the contrary, the Tories never had the best ­interests of patients or doctors at heart.

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