Brexit Books 1) Shipman: May and Hammond killed off the immigration emergency brake

MAY EU T-shirt‘The decisive intervention that killed off an emergency brake on migrant numbers, a policy that many Cameroons believed later might have been enough for them to win the referendum, was made by Theresa May and Philip Hammond…Cameron made clear that, despite Merkel’s opposition, he was considering demanding the emergency brake anyway. “The PM told them what the Germans had said, and asked for their view on whether we should go ahead and announce in any case,” a Downing Street source said. “Hammond spoke first, and argued that we just couldn’t announce something that would receive an immediate raspberry in Europe. It wouldn’t be seen as credible domestically, and it would set us on the path towards Brexit. Theresa simply said that we just couldn’t go against Merkel.”’ – Tim Shipman, Sunday Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: A day to stand back from the fray, and marvel at the stupendous fact of Brexit

Brexit Books 2) Oliver reveals Cameron’s battle to get May to campaign in the referendum

‘In his vivid and searingly honest eyewitness account, Oliver admits Cameron made mistakes in the referendum. But he says he was badly let down by ‘submarine’ May. Oliver writes: ‘It’s the biggest thing the PM has faced and he doesn’t even know if the Home Secretary is backing him.’ The book solves the mystery of May’s sudden and strangely muted public declaration of support for Cameron over the referendum. He effectively held a gun to her head after she declined to back him at EU talks, claiming she was away for the weekend with her husband. When Cameron heard the next day that she was threatening to back Brexit, he phoned her and demanded she back him – and ‘hung up,’ satisfied he had ‘made an impact on her’. A chastened May rushed out a statement offering modest support – then went back to stonewalling.’ – Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Article 50 cannot wait until next autumn

Hammond plans a regional stimulus strategy

HAMMOND Philip white background‘The prime minister is understood to have instructed the chancellor to upgrade the Northern Powerhouse project, launched by his predecessor George Osborne, with similar schemes across the country. The initiative, still in embryonic form, will see Philip Hammond bring forward spending on road and rail improvements — widely considered one of the quickest ways to boost the economy. Downing Street has already smoothed the way by ditching the target of achieving a budget surplus by 2020. Officials at No 10 have held talks with leading companies in recent weeks to guide the plan and help form a new industrial strategy. Ministers are believed to be mulling an injection of funds into the automotive sector, which could accelerate the development of electric car technology, including construction of a battery factory in the West Midlands.’ – Sunday Times (£)

  • Tata enters new round of Port Talbot talks – Sunday Times (£)

Davidson: The Scottish Conservatives will appeal to the voters Labour now rejects

‘Mr Corbyn’s re-election will leave thousands of people — moderate, centre-ground voters — feeling utterly disenfranchised. Many of those voters are here in Scotland. And the big question now is: who will speak for these decent, moderate Scottish voters who once looked to Labour for leadership, but who no longer recognise the party they once knew?…I am therefore determined to build a moderate Scottish Conservative party that appeals to the same people who supported Brown and Blair: one which knows that economic growth only has value if it works in tandem with social progress. Labour may be increasingly divorced from its traditional support, but under my leadership the Scottish Conservatives will be there to speak up for those decent, moderate voters.’ – Ruth Davidson, Sunday Times (£)

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Corbyn’s re-election: Labour confirms itself as a fashion statement party – no longer fixed on winning

Khan: A Corbynite purge would kill the Labour Party

LABOUR dead rose‘The Labour Party risks extinction unless Jeremy Corbyn drops plans to take revenge on his critics following his landslide win in the leadership election, Sadiq Khan has warned. The London mayor said bitter divisions between Corbynistas and moderates meant his party was in “more serious” danger of splitting and then dying out than in the early 1980s, when the Gang of Four broke away to form the SDP. Khan, the party’s most senior elected official, issued his warning as Corbyn secured an emphatic ­victory over his challenger, Owen Smith. He won nearly 62% of the vote, increasing his mandate and his stranglehold on the party.’ – Sunday Times (£)




Blair condemns ‘witch hunt’ against Iraq veterans

‘In a dramatic intervention into the growing row over the treatment of veterans, Mr Blair said it was wrong to put troops through the “ordeal” of a criminal investigation for events in a war zone as long as 13 years ago. Mr Blair, speaking publicly on the matter for the first time, told The Telegraph: “I do not think this process should ever have been put in place. I am very sorry that our soldiers and their families have been put through this ordeal.”’ – Sunday Telegraph

The BMA concedes its strikes would endanger patients

NHS_Logo‘A series of five-day strikes by junior doctors was suspended by the British Medical Association (BMA) last night because of concerns about patient safety. The climbdown is the latest twist in the long dispute between the BMA and the government over plans to turn the NHS into a seven-day operation. The BMA said it decided to call off the strikes, planned for October, November and December, after discussions with NHS managers about how to provide safe cover raised fears over the service’s ability to cope. The first of the three walkouts had been planned for October 5.’ – Sunday Times (£)

>Yesterday: Tony Hockley on Comment: It’s time for Hammond to stand up to this cynical campaign for more hospital spending

Teaching union warns against grammars…because teachers would be too keen to work at them

‘Teacher recruitment at non-selective schools may be hit by the expansion of Grammars, according to a leading teachers’ body. Pupils may even be affected by schools not running a full complement of A Level courses if teachers gravitated towards new grammars, it’s been claimed…Malcolm Trobe, Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We are concerned that opening new grammar schools might worsen the teacher recruitment crisis. “Teachers like to teach across the full ability range and some may feel they do not want to lose the opportunity to teach the most highly able pupils.” – The Sun on Sunday (£)

  • Private schools meet with government to plan selective state schools – Sunday Times (£)

>Today: Martin Parsons: We must end the prejudice against secondary modern schools

GCHQ fought off Russian hacking attack on last year’s election

Putin hunting‘Russian hackers threatened to cause massive disruption to British government departments and TV broadcasters in the run-up to last year’s general election, security sources have revealed. The “imminent threat” by Fancy Bears, a cyber-warfare group thought to be linked to the Russian state, was thwarted by GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping agency. The disclosure comes amid concerns that Russian hackers are attempting to disrupt the US presidential election. Last week DC Leaks, a Russian-linked website, hacked White House servers to obtain what appeared to be Michelle Obama’s passport.’ – Sunday Times (£)

  • Fancy Bears operate under the sponsorship of the Kremlin – Sunday Times (£)
  • Putin’s giant firebombs torch Aleppo – Sunday Times (£)

Hollande pledges to dismantle The Jungle

‘French president Francois Hollande has vowed to dismantle the ‘Jungle’ in Calais and relocate the 9,000 migrants to reception centres across the country. Mr Hollande said conditions in the Calais camp were ‘not acceptable’ and ‘extremely difficult’, especially for those who fled war to get there. Mr Hollande, who will visit the camp on Monday, insisted that ‘we cannot have such camps in France’. He said his country must show it is ‘capable of being dignified, humane and responsible.’ The ‘Jungle’ has become a symbol of his government’s failure to tackle Europe’s migrant crisis.’ – Mail on Sunday

Syrian activist’s passport seized by the UK at Assad’s request

Syria‘British authorities have confiscated the passport of a prominent Syrian critic of Bashar al-Assad at the request of the government in Damascus, effectively preventing her from travelling and blocking her work as an activist. Zaina Erhaim, an award-winning journalist and campaigner based in Turkey, had her passport taken away by UK border officials when she landed at Heathrow airport. After more than an hour of questioning, they told her that the document had been reported stolen. The complaint came from the government she has been campaigning against for years. “I expect to be harassed inside my country,’ Erhaim told the Observer. “I know that if I went home I would be killed, but now I find that Assad’s arm can even reach to the UK.’ – The Observer

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