Cabinet tensions as May backs Hammond

HAMMOND Philip white background‘Theresa May has expressed “full confidence” in Philip Hammond after he angered eurosceptic ministers by calling for a delay on migration curbs. The chancellor has irritated some colleagues over recent interventions, including his suggestion that the government postpone agreement of a new visa regime. … Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, tried to play down reports of tension, suggesting that proper discussion was a necessary part of dealing with Brexit. … The chancellor’s move irritated leading Brexit supporters, even though other cabinet ministers, including Ms Rudd, made similar points during the discussion and there was no open dissent around the table about the need to keep looking at options.’ – The Times (£)

  • Brexit cabinet committee ‘altercation’ – FT
  • Senior Tories ‘increasingly angry’ with Hammond – Daily Express
  • They ‘accuse’ him of ‘undermining’ Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Rudd and Hammond: the ’soft Brexit duo’ – The Sun (£)
  • Clark and Green believed to back Hammond – Guardian


  • Hammond has become ‘pivotal figure’ – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • He’s a ‘brave man’. He’s wrong – Tom Peck, Independent 

>Today: ToryDiary: Sympathy for Hammond

More Brexit

  • High Court challenge continues – FT
  • Fox critic ‘lined up’ to oversee him – The Times (£)
  • Wallonia may prevent EU trade deal with Canada – Daily Telegraph
  • Cable: May is ‘obsessed with controlling immigration’ – Guardian
  • Claims arise that government vowed ‘referendums can’t be binding’ – Independent

>Today: Christopher Howarth’s Column: My Guide to Brexit: Why we have to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Johnson’s pro-Remain article demonstrates that he had come to truly believe in Leave

Questions over age of children arriving from Calais Jungle

dover-970349__180‘The Home Office has no way of verifying the age of child refugees being brought to the UK, it has emerged amid concerns that adults are posing as minors to gain access to Britain. Fourteen “teenagers” on Monday arrived in the UK from Calais as a fast-track system was launched to transfer youngsters from the “Jungle” camp before it is demolished. The Home Office insisted it had “verified” the ages of all the refugees and that all of those who were brought to the UK were aged between 14 and 17.’Daily Telegraph 

  • They are the first fourteen of a hundred this week – Daily Mail
  • The children have relatives here – The Times (£)
  • Rowan Williams warns about ‘risks’ of government ‘foot-dragging’ – Guardian


  • ‘Our moral duty is bigger than ten children’ – Suzanne Moore, Guardian

Prime Minister to be asked ‘when and what’ she knew of Goddard concerns

MAY Marr October 2016‘Theresa May will be challenged tomorrow to reveal whether she was involved in a cover-up to hide alleged failings by the head of the national child abuse inquiry. The prime minister is under mounting pressure to say when and what she was told of serious concerns about the conduct and competence of Dame Lowell Goddard, who quit abruptly in August. Amber Rudd, her successor as home secretary, was dragged to the Commons to account for her claim last month that her “only information” about the New Zealand judge’s resignation was that she was lonely and far from home. The Times revealed last week that concerns within the inquiry that Dame Lowell was unfit to continue in her £500,000 role were shared over many months with senior Home Office officials and advisers.’ The Times (£)


  • Rudd said she would answer questions. Then ignored them – Patrick Kidd, The Times

More Westminster

  • Downing Street refuses Johnson his chosen aide – The Times (£)
  • Backbencher tells Fallon to show care for troops – The Sun (£)
  • Tsar for older workers criticises lack of jobs flexibility – Daily Telegraph
  • Troubled Families scheme has had ‘no measurable impact’ – The Times (£)
  • Parliamentary security advisor role created – The Sun (£)
  • University Technical Colleges ‘can’t recruit enough students’ – The Times (£)


  • Ten ‘serious drawbacks’ to current monetary policy – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Ranj Alaaldin: What will come next in Iraq?

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-08-31-49‘After years of training and preparation, the operation to liberate Mosul, the last remaining stronghold of Isis in Iraq, has begun. Over the coming weeks, if not months, the western-led coalition both on the ground and in the skies will almost certainly signal the end of Isis’s control of territory in Iraq and will be the death knell of the so-called caliphate. But what comes next? Iraq lacks the resources and the capacity to rebuild the towns and cities that have been destroyed since the campaign against Isis was launched two years ago. The Iraqi state is a fragile, if not failed, state and in some areas (including those outside Isis-controlled territory) it is no longer the principal provider of basic services and security.’Guardian

  • We must keep up pressure on IS – Raffaello Pantucci, Daily Telegraph
  • IS will move to Syria, when Mosul falls – Independent 


  • ‘Most pressing worry’ is how much to trust Iraqi Prime Minister – The Times (£)
  • Treatment of veterans has ‘moved far beyond common sense’ – Daily Telegraph

Russia blames British government over NatWest decision to close RT accounts

Vladimir Putin‘The UK arm of Russia’s state-owned international broadcaster RT is to have its British bank accounts shut down, prompting accusations from Moscow that London was attacking free speech. Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of RT — which broadcasts a pro-Kremlin alternative to “mainstream” media in the UK and other countries — said it had been told by NatWest Bank that all its British accounts would be frozen in December.’ – FT

  • Then Natwest ‘caves in’ and changes its mind – The Times
  • Government denies involvement – Guardian


  • RT has ‘long exploited’ Britain’s tolerance – Oliver Kamm, The Times (£)

Tory councillor suspended for Brexit treason petition

’Christian Holliday suggested that the ancient law covering betrayal of the state should be amended to include support for Britain’s EU membership. Anyone guilty of the crime could face life imprisonment under his proposed change in the statute. By yesterday evening 2,000 signatures were on the petition on the official Parliament website. As news of Mr Holliday’s action spread people were signing up at the rate of 100 every 10 minutes. But his move triggered disciplinary action from his local Tory party and he was relieved of the Conservative whip on Guildford Council pending a meeting next month.’ – Daily Express

Woolfe: I quit Ukip

WOOLF Steven‘I could not possibly have foreseen the events that would follow. What happened in Strasbourg, when fellow Ukip MEP Mike Hookem landed a blow on my face, combined with ongoing toxicity since the summer, have demonstrated to me one cold, hard fact. Ukip without Nigel Farage leading it and the Brexit cause to unify it has resorted to damaging infighting. … Ukip is in trouble – and I won’t lead it. It is with a huge amount of sorrow and regret that I am therefore abandoning my leadership bid and resigning from the party with immediate effect.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Chris Wood in Comment: In UKIP, I was a conservative. Now I believe that I should join the Conservative Party

Hugo Rifkind: ‘Antisemitism has surged in Britain for same reasons that Corbyn was elected’

Jeremy Corbyn 16-06-16‘Not so long ago, Jeremy Corbyn seemed incapable of uttering the word “antisemitism” without adding “and other forms of racism” immediately afterwards. On Sunday, though, responding to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on antisemitism, he tried a new tack. It was wrong, he said, for so much of the report to have focused on the Labour Party, when three quarters of antisemitic incidents came from the far right. In other words, “antisemitism and other forms of racism,” has become “Labour supporters and other sorts of racists”. Which, I suppose, is progress. Although not great progress. “But we’re not as nasty as the BNP!” is not a great defence for the leader of Britain’s second party. Fairly low bar, there, Jez. And yet, in a way, the Labour leader was right.’ – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Eight Rotherham men found guilty of sexual exploitation – Guardian
  • Police say Ben Needham died in accident – The Times (£)
  • Judges rule that security services collected data unlawfully – Guardian
  • MP’s chief of staff arrested for alleged rape in Parliament – The Sun (£)
  • Drones to attack jets in tests – Daily Mail
  • Archaeoiogy A-level to be ditched – The Times (£)
  • Will Trump TV be how he keeps his fans if he loses? – Independent