Government to protect soldiers from vexatious legal claims

timesfallon“British troops will be free to take “difficult decisions” on the battlefield without fear of legal action when they come home, Theresa May will say today. Britain plans to opt out of international human rights law when it goes to war, under proposals put forward by the prime minister. …Under the proposals, Britain will temporarily withdraw from parts of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) before future military action, to prevent it from being used to bring cases against soldiers.” – The Times(£)

  • Soldiers victory over legal vultures – Daily Mail
  • Our forces will gain protection from unscrupulous lawsuits – Leader Daily Telegraph
  • Victory for the Mail…and common sense – Leader Daily Mail
  • At last a PM who stands up for our boys – Richard Kemp Daily Mail

Ashcroft to resume donations to the Conservative Party

“Ex-Conservative Party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft says he will start donating to the party again. The tycoon told the BBC he would probably join a club for party donors called the Leader’s Group. This club requires an annual membership fee of £50,000. Lord Ashcroft – also a former party treasurer – donated millions of pounds to the Conservatives, often targeted at marginal seats, but fell out with ex-prime minister David Cameron in 2010. Speaking to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, the peer praised Mr Cameron’s replacement, Theresa May, for her speech on Brexit to the Conservative conference on Sunday.” – BBC

Rudd 1) We will change the law to deport EU criminals

Amber Rudd“Britain is to change the law within months to make it easier to boot out rapists, killers and other criminals from the EU, the Home Secretary reveals today. In an exclusive Daily Mail interview, Amber Rudd said the public had spoken and she was not going to ‘wait’ until Brexit to act. The crackdown will order the UK’s courts to start treating the thousands of EU convicts living in the UK in the same way as offenders from the rest of the world.” – Daily Mail

  • Boris “wrong” to suggest more immigration from Australia says Rudd – Independent

Rudd 2) Home Secretary defends record on child migrants

“Home Secretary Amber Rudd has insisted the government is doing all it can to help child migrants in Calais after Tory MPs demanded ministers do more….“Do not think for a minute that this government is in any way slack with trying to help these children,” she said. “These children are in France, so we can’t just, as some people say, just drive in and get them.” She said the government was meeting its obligations to take children with family in the UK and those who would be better off in the UK.” – BBC

Rudd 3) Backlash over blue passports

EU countries and stars“Home Secretary Amber Rudd faced a Tory backlash yesterday after questioning whether the return of the iconic Blue passport really mattered. Furious backbenchers branded the pro-EU campaigner “haughty” as she insisted she was sure there were bigger issues. Asked whether the Blue passport could return when Britain leaves the EU in 2019, she laughed: “Is that the most pressing, inciting question about passports?” She then signalled she may be willing to launch a passport design competition – but that she didn’t want the same outcome as the notorious Boaty McBoatface ship naming contest earlier this year.” – The Sun

  • Business will be consulted on immigration plans – City AM

Brexit 1) Hammond warns of business confidence “rollercoaster”

hammondspeech“Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he will prioritise spending on new homes and transport rather than following his predecessor George Osborne’s aim to balance the books by 2020. He told the Conservative conference the deficit was still too large and would need to be tackled “in due course”. But he said the Brexit vote may cause “turbulence” and business confidence would be on a “bit of a rollercoaster”.” – BBC

  • Two years of turbulence – FT
  • The clunker droned on – as animated as an undertaker – Quentin Letts Daily Mail
  • Why I fear Hammond is the new Ed Balls – Peter Oborne Daily Mail
  • Does Hammond think we’ve forgotten what he said about Brexit? – Michael Deacon Daily Telegraph
  • Voice of Reason – Leader The Times(£)
  • Hammond is right to ditch Osborne’s targets – The Sun Says



Brexit 2) Don’t fritter away “golden opportunity” says Fox

“Britain must seize the “golden opportunity” provided by Brexit and not “fritter it away”, Liam Fox has told the Conservative conference. The UK was synonymous with free trade for centuries and must be so again, the international trade secretary said. But he said British firms need to raise their game when it came to selling their goods and services abroad.” – BBC

>Yesterday: MPsETC: “Let’s rise to this challenge, to our golden opportunity” of Brexit. Fox’s Conference speech: full text

Brexit 3) Davidson opposes hard Brexit

Ruth Davidson 07-07-16“Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, is on a collision course with Theresa May after the prime minister implied that the UK would choose ending freedom of movement over special access to the single market. Ms Davidson said yesterday that staying in the single market, even if it meant no control over immigration, was still her “preferred choice”….Ms Davidson is not Mrs May’s only concern: two former cabinet ministers, a peer and several MPs have also criticised her approach.” – The Times(£)


Brexit 4) Britain’s counter terrorism skill to boost negotiating strength

“Theresa May will put Britain’s world beating counter-terrorism expertise on the table during Brexit negotiations, Downing Street has confirmed. In a little noticed line in her Tory conference speech on Sunday, the PM included GCHQ, MI5 and MI6’s world beating intelligence as part of the UK’s potential exit deal. The fleeting reference was intended to be a strong message to Europe’s capitals – many of whom rely heavily on our spy networks to warn them of impending terror attacks.” – The Sun

Brexit 5) Grieve says Article 50 can’t be triggered unless Parliament agrees

GRIEVE DOMINIC NW“I worry at the continued insistence that the government has the right to trigger the Article 50 Brexit process without the approval of the House of Commons. This statement is entirely contrary to the constitutional principles that have evolved in the last century on major changes to international treaties. Irrespective of the outcome of the legal challenges to the lawfulness of such a process, it is a flagrant breach of an established constitutional convention, which in a country with no written constitution Conservatives have always stressed the importance of observing.” – Dominic Grieve The Times(£)

Brexit 6) Newsnight challenged over pro EU panel

“Newsnight viewers have accused the programme of adopting a pro-EU stance after it appeared to use a panel of Remain voters to discuss Brexit. Furious viewers took to Twitter to label the BBC show “laughable” for its choices at the Tory party conference in Birmingham. The panel was made up of columnist Jenni Russell, Remainer Tory MP Heidi Allen, Conservative peer Lord Daniel Finkelstein and journalist Andrew Rawnsley.” – Daily Express

Brexit 7) Hague calls for a Goldilocks approach

William Hague 14-01-16“Introduce work permits for nationals of EU countries – yes, this is bureaucratic, but other countries manage perfectly well to monitor who is working within their borders. Make clear, however, that any of them who get a job here will be given such a permit, unless they have a criminal record, or are on a terror watch list. Say we will not help them look for work, we will not pay them out-of-work benefits, we will not give them social housing and they will have to earn the right to any in-work benefits over time, but if they find work here they can come.” – William Hague Daily Telegraph

Hunt to pledge NHS in England to be “self sufficient” with doctors

guardianhunt“Jeremy Hunt is to pledge that the NHS in England will be “self sufficient” in doctors after Britain leaves the European Union as he sets out a package of measures aimed at reducing its reliance on foreign-trained medics. The health secretary will use his speech to the Conservative party conference on Tuesday to promise that medical schools in the UK will be allowed to offer up to 1,500 extra training places a year, and released figures that said that one in four NHS doctors have been trained abroad.” – The Guardian

  • Stop plundering the world for medics – Roy Lilley Daily Telegraph
  • An extra 1,500 doctors by expanding medical school places –Daily Mail
  • We need more home grown doctors – Leader Daily Telegraph
  • Doctors may have to pay back training costs if they quit the NHS early – The Times(£)
  • At last Britons get a fair chance – Leader Daily Express

Javid attacks nimbyism

“Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has attacked “nimbyism” as he called for a million new homes to be built by 2020. While everyone agreed on the need for new homes, “too many” opposed them in their own community, Mr Javid told the Conservative Party conference. While there were valid reasons for stopping developments, on grounds of size and taste, he said the UK couldn’t afford to build so few homes.” – BBC

  • Critical shortage of rental homes says RICS – BBC

Truss to launch recruitment drive for ex armed forces prison officers

s216_Elizabeth-Truss“An extra £14m is to be spent on 10 of the “most challenging” prisons and a campaign launched to recruit ex-armed forces staff as prison officers, the justice secretary is to announce. Liz Truss is to tell the Conservative party conference on Tuesday that the extra funds will be used to recruit more staff to combat drugs and violence behind bars. She is also to confirm that she will publish a new prison safety and reform plan “within weeks”, which will detail “the most far-reaching reforms of our prisons in a generation”.” The Guardian

Welsh Conservatives must not be “armchair generals” says Davies

“Conservatives must cease to be seen as an “angry” party of “armchair generals” but grasp a unique opportunity to capture the centre ground of British politics and reach beyond their traditional support base, the Welsh Tory leader will argue today. Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies will take the stage at the Conservative conference and reflect on the lessons learned after a bruising Assembly election which saw the party pushed into third place behind Labour and Plaid Cymru.” – Wales Online

Learn from Corbyn says Halfon

Halfon“EDUCATION minister Robert Halfon called on his party to learn from Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election – and develop “an ethical moral mission” to attract voters. Mr Halfon, who described his party as the “modern trade union movement for the working classes”, argued his party needed to push this message on doorsteps in order to attract voters. Speaking during a fringe event at the Conservative conference in Birmingham, the Harlow MP said: “When Jeremy Corbyn got re-elected, many Conservatives implied it was a walk in the park until the next General Election. But I don’t think that is the case. “Now the reason why that is wrong – is that we are not looking at how they are getting people to join the Labour Party.” – The Sun

  • Halfon “is Marx to Theresa May’s Lenin” – Independent

Blunt told “not to ask difficult questions” over drugs

“A former Conservative justice minister has revealed that he was discouraged from asking difficult questions about drugs policy – for fear that looking at evidence could “unpick” the status quo. Crispin Blunt, who was in charge of prisons and probations at the Ministry of Justice from 2010 until 2012, said he was told during ministerial discussions that it would politically unwise to ask how much the prohibition of drugs was costing the UK prison system. “It always had occurred to me that drugs misuse was obviously a major driver of demand in the criminal justice system,” he told a fringe event at the Conservative annual conference in Birmingham.” – Independent

>Today: Nickie Aiken on Local Government: Spice – the new drug epidemic sweeping the streets of London

Jenkin: Women feel more at home in the Conservative Party

JENKIN Anne“As we welcomed our co-founder and now Britain’s second woman Prime Minister Theresa May to our annual Women2Win party conference event on Sunday night, you can imagine the pride and enthusiasm filling the room to bursting point. The successes of May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, also at the event, are helping inspire a whole new generation of women to come forward.” – Anne Jenkin Daily Telegraph

Sylvester: The PM must follow Jane Austen

“Theresa May’s favourite book is Pride and Prejudice but it is Jane Austen’s other classic Sense and Sensibility that provides a better template for the Conservatives who are meeting in Birmingham this week. This is a party divided between pragmatism and ideology, or head and heart. It is the clash that is going to define and dominate the next two years of politics after the Brexit vote.” – Rachel Sylvester The Times(£)

Momentum vice chair sacked

“The vice-chairwoman of the Labour left-wing grassroots group Momentum has been sacked from the role amid a row over comments she made about anti-Semitism. The organisation said it viewed Jackie Walker’s behaviour as “irresponsible”. It said remarks on Holocaust Memorial Day and Jewish school security at a party training event were “ill-judged and offensive” but overall she did not appear to be anti-Semitic.” – BBC

Health fears ended Heseltine’s leadership hopes

HESELTINE Michael“Michael Heseltine failed to take his best chance of seizing the Conservative Party leadership after being warned off by his doctor, Ken Clarke reveals today. Mr Clarke, a serial Tory leadership candidate himself, details his repeated rejection by Tory MPs and grassroots members of the party in his memoir Kind of Blue, serialised in The Times. He said that he regarded himself as the “obvious choice” to succeed John Major after the Tories’ crushing election defeat in 1997. “The problem was that the party in defeat was even more consumed with European passions than it had been in government, and the Eurosceptics were convinced that now was the time to seize control.” – The Times(£)

News in brief

  • Schools consider a four day week – Independent
  • UK manufacturing growth “best for two years” – BBC
  • SNP to impose billion pound tax surcharge – Daily Telegraph
  • US and Russia halt talks over Syria – BBC
  • The pound falls on strong US data and Brexit timetable – The Times(£)
  • Clinton challenges Trump over taxes – BBC
  • Bradley to boost Commonwealth athletes – The Sun

And finally…May visits building site without hard hat or high-vis jacket

hardhat“First came the sackings, then the U-turns on grammar schools and balancing the books. Now Theresa May has given her clearest signal yet of her determination to bury the previous regime, by visiting a building site without being dressed head-to-toe in fluorescent yellow.” – The Times(£)