Lister prepares the Party for an early election ‘while Corbyn is still around’

‘Sources said that the party had been left in “dire financial straits” under Theresa May after donors abandoned it amid concerns over Brexit. Sir Edward Lister, who is charged with overseeing Mr Johnson’s first 100 days in power if he wins the leadership, is planning to ramp up recruitment and pump more money into Conservative headquarters to ensure that the party is on an “election footing”…Sir Edward’s team is said to be preparing for a general election either being forced on the party in a vote of no confidence or Mr Johnson having to call a snap election once Brexit was delivered. One senior member of Mr Johnson’s team told The Times: “There’s a desire to get this done while Corbyn is still around. Labour is utterly divided — Brexit is killing them. Labour is in no fit state to fight a general election.” There is concern among Mr Johnson’s team that the Labour leader could be forced to stand down after bruising rows within the party over Brexit and antisemitism.’ – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Johnson’s August 3) Delivering campaign pledges – in so far as he can without a durable majority

The Sun Says: Make Johnson Prime Minister (but give Hunt a top job in his government)

‘The Tory Party now has three immediate tasks. To deliver Brexit, with a better deal or none, to unite our divided country and to save our ­economy from the wrecking ball of ­Corbyn’s Marxism. After that it must capitalise on our new independence outside the EU by striking trade deals worldwide and ­lowering taxes to create a more dynamic economy. That will turbo-charge growth, raise our standard of living, attract huge amounts of foreign investment, create jobs and generate billions more for public services. Boris is best placed to do all of it. Better placed than Mr Hunt, a former Remainer and Theresa May loyalist who is unlikely to appeal much to Brexit voters.But it would be madness to demote or sideline Mr Hunt. His own ideas to benefit Sun readers — lower taxes, a huge house building programme and major investment in defence — were right on the money.’ – The Sun Says

>Yesterday: The Moggcast. The Foreign Secretary’s “personal attacks” on Johnson “make it harder” for him to continue serve in top Cabinet roles.

Von der Leyen is narrowly confirmed as EU Commission President

‘Ursula von der Leyen has been confirmed as Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor as president of the European Commission after scraping home by nine votes tonight. The German nominee won the vote by 383 to 327, needing the support of 374 MEPs for an absolute majority. There were 22 abstentions and one blank vote in the secret ballot, the speaker of the European Parliament said. Mrs von der Leyen, who has previously spoken of her desire to create a ‘United States of Europe’ and was heckled by the Brexit Party earlier today, will succeed Mr Juncker on November 1 – the day after Britain is currently due to leave the EU… She said: ‘The trust you placed in me is confidence you placed in Europe. Your confidence in a united and strong Europe, from east to west, from south to north.” – Daily Mail

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