May steps in to protect British troops from ‘vexatious’ lawsuits

Armed Forces“Theresa May is ordering sweeping changes to stop lawyers targeting British troops. The Prime Minister said proposals would be announced within days to bring an end to legal firms ‘trying to impugn the name’ of the Armed Forces. The blitz is expected to focus on making it no longer worthwhile for ambulance-chasing lawyers to bring ‘vexatious’ cases. It is likely to include a crackdown on no-win, no-fee agreements and a time limit on claims.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister urged to consider election if MPs revolt over schools – The Times (£)
  • Ministers finally sign Hinkley Point deal in low-key ceremony – Daily Mail
  • Birmingham basks in the favour of the Tory elite – FT

Abuse Inquiry:

  • Victims lose faith in investigation ‘run by Whitehall’ – The Times (£)
  • Rising costs could push final bill over £100 million – The Times (£)
  • We’ll learn much about May as she tries to stop this inquiry unravelling – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

More military:

  • The awe-inspiring story of the first Muslim VC – Lord Ashcroft, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: After years of dithering, the Government is set to take the plunge on Heathrow expansion

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The child abuse inquiry has become unworkable. The only practical solution is to pull it.

Prime Minister reaches out to national governments amidst fears of ‘chaotic’ Brexit

“The prime minister is reaching out to governments across Europe to try to ensure that Britain’s negotiating position is not rebuffed out of hand when the government triggers Article 50. Amid growing nervousness in Whitehall over the potential for a disorderly exit from the EU, British diplomats have been charged with sounding out other European governments over what kind of future deal is feasible.” – The Times (£)

  • Morgan attacks May for Brexit ‘dithering’ – The Sun
  • Prime Minister has yet to convince voters she’s handling EU negotiations well – The Times (£)
  • May demands ‘mountains of paperwork’ to swot up on detail – The Sun
  • Europhiles under fire for ‘undermining’ the Government – Daily Express

More Brexit:

  • Health Minister e says Vote Leave pledge to NHS may not happen – The Sun
  • Lawyers gear up to sue Government over Brexit process – FT
  • ‘Once in a lifetime’ chance to fix damage caused by immigration, report claims – Daily Express
  • More ‘high flyers’ wanted to handle life outside the EU – The Times (£)
  • Planning to leave could cost £65 million a year – Daily Telegraph
  • Every social group except the rich voted for Brexit – Daily Mail


  • Hard Brexit makes Scottish independence ‘more difficult’, warns MEP – Daily Telegraph
  • Scotland should use Brexit to demand ‘home rule’, urge Labour figures – The Scotsman


  • Theresa May: Taking control – The Big Read, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: When should Article 50 be moved? Have your say in our monthly survey

Ministers 1) Fox says companies must embrace ‘glorious joy’ of free trade

Building shield“More British companies must export to help Britain fully exploit the ‘glorious joy’ of free trade after Brexit, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has claimed. Mr Fox said 11 per cent of UK firms currently sold abroad and put in a ‘stellar’ performance on behalf of the country. But he said it was a ‘sad fact’ that British exports were ‘well below’ those of European neighbours. Mr Fox said as a ‘newly independent’ member of the World Trade Organisation, Britain could pioneer a new generation of free trade – signalling Britain will take a ‘hard Brexit’, leaving the single market and signing a new trade deal with the EU.” – Daily Mail

  • UK entering ‘post-geography trading world’, claims Trade Secretary – FT
  • Fox looks to the WTO – The Guardian
  • May faces fight over plans to reform business – FT


  • German industry chief warns against ‘fudge’ Brexit – FT
  • Why is Deutsche Bank now the biggest worry in the financial world? – Daily Telegraph
  • Short-sellers increase pressure on Deutsche shares – FT



  • UKIP is now the real Opposition, and we’ll hold the Government’s feet to the fire – Diane James, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: My one worry about Brexit – if we mess things up, we could harm relations with Ireland

Ministers 2) Hammond scraps Help to Buy

“The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme has been scrapped – in a blow to millions of aspiring first time buyers. In a letter to Bank of England governor Mark Carney, chancellor Philip Hammond said the scheme set up by his predecessor George Osborne had a ‘specific purpose that had now been achieved’. But last night one industry expert warned the decision ‘will make life more difficult’ for anyone wanting to get on the property ladder, with lenders likely to pull deals and increase their rates.” – Daily Mail

  • Housebuilders feel mortgage approval pain – FT
  • Buy-to-let borrowers to face increased scrutiny – FT
  • Taxpayers’ £100m legal bill to defend ex-RBS bosses – Daily Mail


  • ‘Boring’ Hammond could prove one of our more competent Chancellors – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

Ministers 3) Hunt orders restaurants to shrink puddings

HUNT Doctor Carla Millar“Restaurants, cafés and pubs will be named and shamed unless they make food portions smaller or less sweet, the government has said. Chains such as Pizza Express, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen have been told to “step up” by cutting sugar from food and reducing the size of desserts, cakes and croissants. Calorie-reduction targets for fatty, savoury foods will also be set. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, told a private meeting of more than 100 food companies yesterday that “going out to eat is no longer a treat” because it is so common.” – The Times (£)

  • Takeaways ordered to cut sugar too – The Sun

John Lewis boss confirme as Conservative candidate for West Midlands mayor

“The boss of John Lewis had been confirmed as the Conservative mayoral candidate for the West Midlands. Andy Street will step down as managing director of the department store chain after being chosen by the Tories to compete for the region’s newly created role of metropolitan mayor. He joined the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership in 1985 as a graduate trainee and has been running the John Lewis chain for nine years.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Richard Short in Comment: We Tories must renew our efforts to win the industrial north

Corbyn’s ’21st-Century Socialism’ would bankrupt Britain

Labour holes“Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to spend more than £100billion a year creating a socialist state was condemned yesterday as a blueprint to bankrupt the nation. The hard-Left Labour leader outlined his vision of ‘21st-century socialism’ in a conference speech to the party faithful, pledging to spend more on everything fromeducation to housing. But analysis by the Conservatives suggests it would increase costs for taxpayers and businesses, and John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, warned: ‘This is a plan to bankrupt Britain.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader ‘close to approving’ Shadow Cabinet elections – The Times (£)
  • Tebbit attacks decision to appoint McDonnell to the Privy Council – Daily Mail
  • Labour MPs will get a free vote on Heathrow – The Times (£)
  • Question Time audience member brands Labour MPs ‘mentally ill’ – Daily Express
  • Two Welsh councillors resign from Labour over ‘unelectable’ leader – Wales Online


  • Khan shows the Met Commissioner the door – The Sun
  • Mayor launches inquiry into foreign property ownership – The Guardian

Philip Collins: Momentum could be Labour’s unlikely saviour

“Labour MPs will regale you for hours with their gothic plans but the upshot of all the talk is that nobody has a viable plan for getting the party back. They are not so much waiting for something to turn up as hoping something will go away, namely the new members of the party. They are precisely wrong about that. It is time to stop being so miserable. Time to embrace the membership because, if any recovery is conceivable, here is where it starts.” – The Times (£)

  • A Labour Party of the future was taking shape at Momentum’s conference – John Harris, The Guardian
  • Angela Rayner should have the Tories running scared – Cathy Newman, Daily Telegraph
  • A warning to Corbyn: the centre hasn’t disappeared, May is reshaping it – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: May’s conference speech should aim to destroy Labour

Sturgeon stands by third SNP MP under police investigation

SNP logo white background“Nicola Sturgeon has backed a third SNP MP whose financial dealings are the subject of a police investigation, indicating she expects he will be cleared of wrongdoing. The First Minister said Chris Law, the Dundee West MP, had not resigned the party whip as he was confident he could resolve the matter when he provides the inquiry with more information. She said the case was separate to the “serious criminal charges” facing Natalie McGarry, the Glasgow East MP, who earlier this week was charged with fraud and embezzlement.” – Daily Telegraph

More Nationalists:

  • First Minister warned that Scotland will depend on English energy without fracking – Daily Telegraph
  • SNP get farm loan sums wrong as payment descent into farce – Daily Telegraph


  • UKIP AM Reckless criticised for ‘moonlighting’ as MP’s researcher – Wales Online

News in Brief:

  • Republicans convicted of Omagh bombing fail to get European Court to clear them – Daily Mail
  • Former admiral considered for top police job – The Times (£)
  • US seeks pre-election settlement of bank mis-selling claims – FT
  • Adams’ lawyers write to BBC over Donaldson allegations – News Letter