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EU countries’ bid to woo Johnson and avoid ‘no deal’

“EU countries are secretly wooing Boris Johnson in a bid to thrash out a new Brexit plan that would avoid a no-deal disaster as he prepares to take over as prime minister this week. Senior Irish politicians and diplomats have held peace talks with two of Johnson’s cabinet allies in recent days. German and French figures, as well as the Dutch and Belgian governments, have also established contacts with Johnson’s team and signalled an intention to do a deal. In an article today for The Sunday Times, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs, indicates that Dublin is prepared to compromise.” – Sunday Times

  • Chancellor gives Home Secretary £12 million to boost border staff – Sun on Sunday
  • Brussels offer an extension – The Observer
  • Barclay says firms have a ‘go-slow mentality’ over no-deal preparations – Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • A no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for us all – Simon Coveney, Sunday Times
  • Johnson approaches the moment of decision – James Forsyth, Sun on Sunday
  • Braggadocio will come back to haunt him at Number 10 – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • Remainers make No Deal more likely with their bids to block it – Martin Howe, Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson needs more than May’s deal if he wants an election – Rod Liddle, Sunday Times

>Yesterday:

Rudd urges Hammond to get behind favourite to beat Corbyn…

“Amber Rudd today warns Philip Hammond to support Boris Johnson or face Labour winning a general election by Christmas. Writing in The Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who backed Jeremy Hunt in the leadership contest, describes Mr Johnson as a “friend” and declares that he is “ready for Number 10”. She urges MPs to now “come together again no matter who wins.” Ms Rudd’s warning comes as Mr Johnson prepares to demonstrate his own credentials as a “unity” prime minister by retaining Michael Gove in the Cabinet despite a bitter history between the pair. The former foreign secretary is believed to have decided to promote Mr Gove if, as expected, he is announced as the winner of the contest on Tuesday morning.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • How Tories have changed their tune on Johnson – Sunday Times
  • Survey suggests former Mayor could in by landslide – Sun on Sunday
  • Johnson ‘determined’ to promote Truss and Morgan – Sunday Express

Comment:

  • Choosing a job for Gove, and Johnson’s other big decisions – Tim Shipman, Sunday Times
  • Corbyn poses a once-in-a-generation threat – Amber Rudd, Sunday Telegraph
  • The new Prime Minister must peddle optimism – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sun on Sunday

Editorial:

  • Leader must know this could be a sprint, not a marathon – Sunday Times
  • Johnson must lift the country with his trademark optimism – Sun on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary: Our final Next Tory Leader survey. Johnson 73 per cent, Hunt 27 per cent, say those members who have voted.

>Yesterday: Nick Hargrave’s column: How Downing Street should adapt to the new premiership – if either is to work at all

…as up to six Tory MPs ‘could defect to the Liberal Democrats’

“As many as six Conservative MPs are due to hold talks with the Liberal Democrats this week with the aim of derailing Brexit and Boris Johnson’s premiership. Sources close to the talks say the discussions will include the possibility of a vote of no confidence in Johnson or even the option of Tory MPs defecting to the anti-Brexit party. If only two were to switch, it would immediately deny Boris Johnson a parliamentary majority if, as expected, he is named Conservative leader on Tuesday. Sir Ed Davey, who served as Lib Dem energy minister in the coalition cabinet with leading Tory remainers, is understood to have been approached by Conservatives desperate to stop Johnson.” – Sunday Times

  • Starmer seeks alliance with Conservative ex-ministers – The Observer
  • Gauke prefers to resign than see UK ‘humiliated’ by no-deal Brexit – Sunday Times
  • Front-runner faces ‘Remainer revolt’ – Sunday Express

More:

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: An autumn election on Brexit risks either resolving nothing or splitting the Conservatives

Johnson could scrap southern half of High Speed 2

“Boris Johnson is considering plans to put the southern half of High Speed 2 on ice amid mounting concerns about the costs of the scheme. The Tory leadership contender, who is expected to enter Downing Street on Wednesday, has been studying proposals to begin building the railway line in the North, rather than London, as part of a set of policy changes designed to demonstrate a focus on “left behind” regions and towns. The plans, discussed as part of his team’s “transition” work in readiness for taking office, would involve pushing back construction of the southern half of the line, between London and Birmingham, and giving the green light to the phase connecting the West Midlands with Leeds and Manchester.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: Nick Herbert MP in Comment: A ten point plan for the new government

Hunt to freeze Iranian assets over tanker seizure

“Ministers are drawing up plans to target the Iranian regime with sanctions after its forces seized a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf. Jeremy Hunt is expected to use a Commons statement on Sunday to announce a package of diplomatic and economic measures, including possible asset freezes, in response to the capture of the Stena Impero. The UK could also push for European Union and United Nations sanctions to be reimposed on the regime after they were lifted in 2016 as part of a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme, which saw billions of dollars of assets unfrozen and allowed the country’s oil to be sold internationally.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Foreign Secretary seeks EU and UN backing for new sanctions… – Mail on Sunday
  • …but rules out military options… – FT
  • …as military chiefs call for the Marines to be sent in – Mail on Sunday
  • Nuclear submarine may be despatched – Sun on Sunday
  • Ministers ‘took eye off the ball’ in Straits of Hormuz – Sunday Times
  • Johnson told to focus on the crisis or risk war – The Observer
  • Corbyn blames Trump – Sunday Express

Comment:

  • The Government faces an Iran crisis of its own making – Con Coughlin, Sunday Telegraph
  • How to understand the growing crisis – Jack Straw, Mail on Sunday

>Today: Martin Parsons in Comment: The new Prime Minister should implement Hunt’s review on persecuted Christians

Mordaunt to attend Troubles commemoration

“Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt will attend the 50th anniversary of the start of the Troubles – in a victory for The Sun on Sunday. Top brass will join her to pay tribute to the 300,000 members of the Armed Forces deployed and the 1,441 personnel who lost their lives. A commemoration of Operation Banner in Northern Ireland which lasted 38 years will be held next month. Her attendance comes just a week after we told how Ministers were yet to sign up to the Royal British Legion event. Funding for the event will come from a £1.5 million pot given to the charity to mark national events.” – Sun on Sunday

Teenage Brexit Party staffer claims responsibility for diplomatic leaks

“A teen Brexit Party staffer has revealed he’s responsible for the bombshell leaks that toppled the UK’s ambassador to the US. Steven Edginton, 19, uncovered the scathing diplomatic cables from Sir Kim Darroch that branded President Trump inept – and his White House “dysfunctional”. The shattering revelations led to Sir Kim being forced to resign after Mr Trump described him as a “pompous fool” and a “stupid guy”. Mr Edginton is a freelance journalist and digital strategist for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. But he insists that his actions in unearthing the damning secret notes were not part of a “Brexiteer plot” to unseat Sir Kim.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Journalist comes forward with his motivations and fears – Mail on Sunday

David Davis: We need a new Official Secrets Act to protect press freedom

“Press freedom is the most vital freedom because it underpins all the others. When governments allow that freedom to be corroded they undermine the very foundations of our democracy. For that reason we need a new Official Secrets Act, and a general protection for press freedom against the rapidly developing intrusive powers of the modern State. The events of the past few weeks have demonstrated only too clearly why this is necessary. Indeed, when The Mail on Sunday published extracts of diplomatic telegrams from our ambassador in Washington criticising President Trump, it was threatened by the Metropolitan Police with an investigation using ‘the full force of the State’.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Failure to stand up for conservative thinking heralds a cultural dark age – Sir Roger Scruton, Sunday Telegraph

Fresh crisis for Corbyn over adviser who ‘dismissed racism allegations’…

“Jeremy Corbyn faced a fresh crisis last night after it emerged that one of his closest allies had declined to suspend a Labour member accused of anti-semitism and racially abusing a mixed-race employee. Thomas Gardiner, Labour’s head of governance and legal, is also the subject of a complaint by a party employee about his management style. The news comes on the eve of an emergency meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party, where MPs will challenge Corbyn over his personal failure to tackle discrimination against Jews and tell him the issue could cost him his leadership. Leaked emails reveal that in January, Gardiner chose not to sanction a Corbyn supporter who allegedly said Labour MPs had a phone app that sent instructions from the Israeli government.” – Sunday Times

  • Jewish leaders accuse party of ‘letting off’ anti-Semites – The Observer
  • Experts warn that crisis won’t bar Opposition from power – Sunday Express
  • Corbyn fails to lodge complaint with BBC over Panorama exposé – Sun on Sunday
  • Police called to fight at Labour branch meeting – Sunday Times

…as Labour adopt position of abolishing private schools

“Hundreds of councillors back a new campaign today to abolish all Britain’s 2,500 private schools as sources close to Jeremy Corbyn said Labour was determined to strip the “unfair privileges” of fee-paying schools. Sources close to the Labour leader, who went to a private preparatory school followed by a grammar, told this newspaper: “Private schools are clearly central to the stranglehold that the Establishment has over Britain and the perpetuation of the privilege of a lucky few.” … More than 250 Labour councillors from across England have signed a letter in today’s newspaper saying that “class segregation of schools is a burning injustice that must end”.” – Sunday Times

Home Office faces cash-for-passports scandal

“Russian and Chinese millionaires can buy access to British passports by exploiting a flawed Home Office scheme fast-tracking the super-rich, an investigation has revealed. Legal and financial advisers were filmed boasting about their role in securing scores of “golden visas for millionaire foreign clients and offering to omit sensitive details from immigration officials, such as links to the inner circle of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and to the Chinese military. The advisers told an undercover reporter they had helped secure golden visas for a member of the Gadaffi family, the son of a corrupt Thai government minister, an Egyptian charged with corruption, an Eritrean with possible links to military deals in Angola and millionaires from Iran and Iraq whose businesses were affected by sanctions.” – Sunday Times