At the UN, May announces aid and troop deployments to stem the migration crisis

Army‘Theresa May is to send hundreds of British troops to Somalia and spend £100 million in aid to stem the flow of migrants from Africa. In her first troop deployment as prime minister, military trainers will boost efforts to hold back al-Shabaab, the Islamist militant group. Mrs May is also spending £20 million to help Somalia to take back families from refugee camps in Kenya and another £80 million to help Ethiopia to provide jobs for migrants from Eritrea. In her first speech at the UN general assembly Mrs May presented the deployment and aid package as part of moves to tackle the migration crisis at source. Although it is an extension of David Cameron’s approach to dealing with Syrian migrants, Mrs May’s allies suggested that it showed her determination to ensure that Britain’s foreign policy served national interests.’ – The Times (£)

  • The Prime Minister warned world leaders that millions feel left behind by globalisation… – The Sun (£)
  • …and pledged to ratify the Paris climate change agreement… – The Guardian
  • …and dismissed the threat of a Brexit deal being vetoed – The Guardian
  • Merkel’s mismanagement of the crisis has reawakened her country’s dark past – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
  • Germany’s leader is losing her power fast – Sophy Ridge, Daily Telegraph
  • This year could be the most deadly yet for migrants crossing the Med – The Sun (£)
  • We need answers, not life jacket stunts – Max Hastings, Daily Mail


>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Patel’s best possible aid policy – access to universal contraception

UK air strikes against ISIS fall to six a month

‘The UK has carried out only 65 air strikes against Isis fighters in Syria since December, raising questions about whether its military intervention marks more than a token effort. A parliamentary report found that the frequency of UK air strikes had declined sharply, from 20 missions in January to an average of six in July and August…“[O]nly a minority of the 65 UK air strikes in Syria appear to be in support of opposition forces on the ground,” they said in a report. The lack of official disclosure “may tend to undermine the government’s assertion that the bombing campaign in Syria is in support of credible moderate ground forces (apart from the Kurds).”’ – FT

Switzerland explores ‘locals first’ jobs rule in EU talks

EU Exit brexit‘A policy of “locals first for jobs” and work permits could unlock a Brexit deal on free movement and access to the single market after the European Union hailed “constructive” talks with Switzerland yesterday. Switzerland, which is not an EU member, is seeking to keep access to the single market while restricting the number of European migrant workers after the country’s referendum vote against free movement in 2014. Talks have been complicated by the Brexit vote and Switzerland has been forced to retreat on demands for a cap on the number of migrants once a threshold or level of influx has been reached. In a potential breakthrough, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, approved a proposal that would allow Swiss residents to be offered all new jobs in the country first.’ – The Times (£)


Wolf: We are heading for Hard Brexit

‘Continued membership of the customs union or the single market, from outside the EU, would deprive the UK of legislative autonomy. The former would mean it could not adopt its own trade policy. The latter would mean accepting all regulations relating to the single market, without possessing any say on them, continuing with free movement of labour, and, probably, paying budget contributions. A country that has rejected membership is not going to accept so humiliating an alternative. It would be a state of dependence far worse than continued EU membership. The only reasonable alternative to hard Brexit would be to stay inside the EU. Parliament is constitutionally entitled to ignore the vote result. The people could also be asked if they wanted to change their minds. But the Conservatives would surely follow Labour into ruin if they tried to reverse the outcome.’ – Martin Wolf, FT

  • Fox plans stronger Gulf ties – FT
  • May woos Wall Street – FT
  • Hayes expresses interest in royal yacht – Daily Telegraph
  • Moody’s says banks will be able to succeed without the financial passport – Daily Mail
  • But Tyrie fears the impact – The Times (£)
  • Expect a huge stock market correction when QE ends – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Profile: Guy Verhofstadt – not the devil, but an imp (and a European federalist)

>Yesterday: Alexandra Phillips on Comment: Why I left UKIP and joined May’s Conservative Party

Hunt accelerates fairer cataract treatment

NHS_Logo‘A postcode lottery that deprives cataract sufferers of vital surgery is to end. The rationing body NICE has been given until April to draw up fairer rules that will apply nationwide. The official guidance will stipulate that patients everywhere must get the best treatment as early as possible…The shake-up was not due before 2018 but Jeremy Hunt has rushed it forward following a Daily Mail campaign. The Health Secretary said: ‘For too long, as the Mail has highlighted, some patients with cataracts have had to endure lengthy waits for treatment and unacceptable variations in care. I am taking steps to end this.” – Daily Mail

  • Some patients were having to wait 15 months – The Times (£)
  • Care homes are using ‘chemical cosh’ to keep dementia sufferers quiet – The Sun (£)
  • UN pledge to tackle antibiotic resistance – The Times (£)

Thomson: May will revitalise Britain’s towns

‘While Maidenhead is thriving, most other towns and their inhabitants have been ignored at best and ridiculed at worst by writers such as JK Rowling, with her curtain-twitching Dursleys. Their schools and hospitals are being outperformed by the inner cities and they look increasingly shabby and unkempt…The prime minister now has a chance to focus on them. In her first speech outside Downing Street she made it clear that housing will be a major priority. She understands the British desire to own your own home and furnish it with John Lewis scatter cushions.’ – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)

Ministers plan tougher restrictions on ivory antiques

Taken by Schuyler Shepherd‘Britain is preparing to ban the sale of ivory unless it can be proved to date back more than 70 years. The trade in ivory antiques without official authentication will be barred under new rules to help to protect elephants by closing a loophole that benefits poachers. It is already illegal to sell post-1947 ivory in the UK but antique dealers exploit the difficulty of determining the age of an ornament. They can simply say they believe an item was crafted before 1947, with few checks carried out. Under the rules to be announced by ministers, dealers will be told to prove the age of items or face having them confiscated and destroyed. Without documentary proof, they may be forced to use costly radiocarbon dating.’ – The Times (£)

Labour will introduce a code of conduct for its members

‘Labour is to try to stop a “tsunami of abuse” by making all existing and new members sign a pledge about online behaviour or face being barred from the party. The national executive committee (NEC) agreed to toughen up Labour’s stance on internet abuse during a crucial meeting on Tuesday, which comes as the party’s acrimonious leadership battle draws to a close. During a session that stretched over eight hours, Jeremy Corbyn expressed disappointment and sadness about the way in which a flood of Labour MPs resigned from the frontbench in protest at his performance earlier in the summer.’ – The Guardian

  • MPs are taking security with them to Labour conference – The Sun (£)
  • Labour still hasn’t properly addressed its anti-semitism problem – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)
  • Anti-Corbyn group raises over £330,000 – The Times (£)

Blair: Corbyn is turning Britain into a one party state

BLAIR Europe‘Tony Blair has accused Jeremy Corbyn of turning Britain into a ‘one party state’ because he is so unelectable. The former Prime Minister complained that Labour was turning into a ‘party of protest’ as he voiced fears about a wave of populist politics in Western democracies. He said the structures that dictated the way the country was run since the 19th century could be breaking down altogether.’ – Daily Mail

  • The former Prime Minister dismantles his consultancy business – The Times (£)
  • Eight-hour discussion fails to settle shadow cabinet dispute – Daily Mail
  • Watson fights back – The Sun (£)
  • Scottish Labour to become autonomous – Daily Telegraph
  • Carwyn Jones won’t deny that Welsh Labour’s flagship poverty programme faces the axe – WalesOnline

BBC journalists’ salaries are 40 per cent higher than their commercial rivals

‘Thousands of BBC journalists are paid up to 40 per cent more than their peers at commercial broadcasters, according to a leaked review of salaries. The report, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, warns that 7,000 staff in its news department received pay packets that are “higher than the market median”. They found that among 1,125 senior broadcast journalists, who include many junior reporters and producers, the average pay was £49,000, 40 per cent more than the average of £35,000 earned by those in similar roles at ITV and Sky News. The 1,781 broadcast journalists, who are mainly researchers and junior producers, were paid an average of £37,500, 34 per cent more than their counterparts at commercial rivals.’ – The Times (£)

Farron lavishes praise on Blairism in pitch for Labour voters

LibDemDead‘Tim Farron made a determined attempt to win over Blairites yesterday, hours after his party’s activists sang a song denouncing Tony Blair. The Liberal Democrat leader used his keynote speech to his party’s conference to reveal his admiration for Mr Blair as he encouraged disillusioned Labour voters to switch allegiance and stop the Conservatives ruling for a generation…Mr Farron said that hard-left supporters of Mr Corbyn were now “throwing around the word Blairite as if it’s the world’s most offensive insult”. “Tony Blair’s government gave us the national minimum wage. It gave us working tax credits. It gave us NHS investment and a massive school building programme,” Mr Farron said. “I disagree with him a lot, but I will not criticise him for those things. I admire him for those things.”’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Farron’s hostage to fortune: “Liberal Democrats will raise taxes”

News in Brief

  • LSE lecturer to divorce actor husband – CityAM
  • Sarkozy attacks burkinis – Daily Mail
  • European Jews fear synagogue attacks on religious holidays – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn wants to nationalise the Bake Off – Daily Telegraph
  • New concerns over Scottish children’s health – The Scotsman
  • English Heritage plans more blue plaques for ethnic minority historical figures – FT
  • Family judge warns rise in child abuse cases risks a crisis in the court system – The Times (£)