Downing Street ‘prepares for Trump victory’

America“Donald Trump’s foreign advisers say they have held constructive discussions with British diplomats as No 10 prepares for a Republican victory in next week’s US presidential election. The tightening of the race for the White House has coincided with a flurry of British diplomatic activity in Washington. One of Mr Trump’s foreign advisers – George Papadopoulos, a London based-lawyer – told The Times that he had had “very productive talks with representatives of the Foreign Office”. Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the US, has meetings scheduled with senior members of Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton’s teams. One minister said there had been a “period of complacency” when it appeared nearly certain that the Democratic candidate would win last month.” – The Times (£)

  • Candidates dash for the finish as polls show it going to the wire – Daily Telegraph
  • Obama attacks Trump as Democrats try to ‘shore up black support’ – FT

Tim Montgomerie: The ‘alt-Left’ are a much more serious threat than Trump’s ageing fans

“Many Trump supporters are old. Young evangelicals, for example, have rejected him in large numbers. The Republican nightmare may begin to die out. But inside the Democrats the march away from the mainstream is being led by a gathering number of young Americans. Hillary Clinton might be the last of the “New Democrats”, as her husband christened them, for some time.” – The Times (£)

  • Whoever wins next week will be a one-term President – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph
  • The US won’t keep subsidising European security – Iain Martin, The Times (£)
  • If the West is weak, Putin’s Russia is a much greater threat – Natalie Nougayrède, The Guardian

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Erdogan’s crackdown is turning Turkey into a second Russia


May urged to scrap ‘unfair’ state pension

MAY Theresa menacing“Theresa May was last night urged to scrap the £90billion-a-year State Pension – as it’s “unfair” on millions of poorer Brits. A think tank claimed that as well as the huge cost, it’s the wealthy who benefit the most from the current system as they live longer, the prime minister was told. Centre for Policy Studies expert Michael Johnson said: “Chelsea Man can be expected to live until 88 whereas someone in the ward of Tottenham Green may die at 71. “So Chelsea Man gets 23 years’ worth of state pension and Tottenham Green gets five – but they both pay in the same amount of National Insurance during their working lives.”” – The Sun

  • Prime Minister approves £20 million funding boost for women’s refuges – The Guardian


  • Hammond needs a bonfire of taxes to start growth: here’s a list – Ryan Bourne, Daily Telegraph
  • Britain’s lack of housebuilding has come home to roost – Liam Halligan, The Spectator


Ministers 1) Truss announces ‘biggest prison shakeup for a generation’

“Justice Secretary Liz Truss will today declare that prison is ‘not working’ as she unveils plans to sack failing governors and hire thousands of extra guards. In a scathing article, she blasts a failing system that is causing ‘incalculable’ harm to the British public – and costing every family £630 a year on reoffenders. She pledges to finally hold prison bosses to account if they fail to tackle drug abuse, violence and extremism behind bars.” – Daily Mail

  • Cuts to prison officers to be reversed – Daily Telegraph
  • Justice Secretary admits prisons are at ‘breaking point’ – The Sun

More law enforcement:

  • Government stages ‘try-outs’ to find 50 anti-hackers – Daily Mail
  • Pension cold-calling could be banned within weeks – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) Rudd bans health tourists

NHS_Logo“Thousands of foreigners fleecing the NHS will be barred from Britain under a new crackdown on rampant ‘health tourism’ by the Home Secretary today. Amber Rudd will unveil plans to stop a migrant’s partner or spouse coming to the UK from outside the EU if they have an outstanding debt of just £500 with the National Health Service. Those already in the UK will also face the threat of being refused ‘leave to remain’ if they have run-up a debt- effectively meaning they will be booted out of the country. The move comes just a week after the National Audit Office (NAO) said the Government’s attempts to recover £500million lost every year to health tourism have proved a complete flop.” – The Sun

  • Pay your NHS bill or you won’t get a visa – Daily Mail

More migration:

  • Osborne claims immigrants aren’t taking British jobs – The Guardian
  • Former chancellor rebuked for migration comments – Daily Express


  • Rudd was right to leave Orgreave in the past – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

Ministers 3) Hayes claims that philistines have ‘met their David’ and promises return of beauty to rail

“It caused an almighty row when it was pulled down in the 1960s as part of a brutal reconstruction of one of London’s busiest railway stations. Now the Euston Arch may be on the verge of rising again as part of a grand plan to combat a “cult of ugliness” on the public transport network. John Hayes, the transport minister, suggested this week that the arch would be rebuilt as part of a major upgrade of Euston to be completed at the same time as the launch of high-speed rail services from the station in 2026.” – The Times (£)

Ministers 4) Fox divides nations into ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ trading partners

EU Brexit“Tensions at the top of government have increased after a secret cabinet committee paper revealed that Liam Fox’s department has divided countries he wants Britain to trade with into “gold” and “silver” categories. The international trade secretary has provoked irritation by listing the countries he considers ripe for a deal, but risks offending others ranked as lower priority. The paper also recommends taking preparatory steps for future trade deals, even though no decision has been made to leave the customs union. There are understood to be a few “eyebrow raising” entries among the countries listed. Yesterday Dr Fox called for deeper trade relations with Iran.” – The Times (£)

  • Compensating car tariffs could cost £1 billion per year – The Times (£)
  • City should welcome escape from EU red tape, argues report – FT
  • Fresh pressure on May as credit agency threatens ratings cut if UK leaves single market – The Sun
  • Prime Minister seeks to divide EU leaders in meeting with Orban – Daily Express


  • Fox’s ill-founded optimism will hurt British manufacturing – Helen Goodman, The Times (£)
  • We need to know a lot more about May’s plan, if she has one – Ed Miliband, Daily Telegraph
  • Has Brexit made the DUP more British? – Henry Hill, Brexit Central
  • The Brexit war can still be won, but we must start fighting back – Will Hutton, The Guardian
  • Labour can’t ignore hard questions over Britain’s future – Lisa Nandy, The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Brexit’s new Irish question. Or British question, if you prefer.


‘Brexit bitterness’ on display as May and Osborne meet at Spectator awards

“Theresa May has been named The Spectator’s politician of the year at a remarkable awards ceremony dripping with acid-laden jokes that laid bare the tensions, betrayals and bitterness of Brexit. Mrs May was presented with her award by George Osborne, the man she sacked as chancellor, and took to the stage wearing a hard hat and high-vis jacket – poking fun at Mr Osborne’s tendency to dress as a construction worker. But the prime minister, not normally noted for her sense of humour, then launched into a series of risqué remarks, including a suggestion that Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary and a former leadership rival, was being lined up for political euthanasia.” – FT

  • Judges rule today on ‘pivotal’ legal challenge – Daily Express
  • Law chief urges May not to abandon the European Arrest Warrant – The Times (£)
  • Pro-Leave curry sector angry over ‘visa betrayal’ – FT
  • Rosindell wants BBC to mark Brexit by bringing back the National Anthem – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Wise men’ urge Merkel to block Britain from leaving – The Times (£)
  • SNP donor says damage of leaving is being over-estimated – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Brexit’ is the Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year – Daily Mail
  • Irish prime minister warns of ‘vicious’ EU response – The Sun

Labour distances itself from Vaz after Tories get him onto Justice Committee

Labour holes“Labour distanced itself from Keith Vaz yesterday as a frontbench shadow minister suggested the MP should never have stood for election to the Justice Committee. Mr Vaz is facing a possible police inquiry and a Commons standards investigation into an alleged sex and drugs controversy… More than 150 Tory MPs, including ten Cabinet ministers, lined up to back Mr Vaz for the job, claiming they were simply trying to uphold Parliamentary convention, which allows political parties to nominate their own MPs for committee roles. But Labour appeared to desert Mr Vaz last night.” – Daily Mail

  • MP’s ‘insulting the public’ by backing disgraced MP – The Times (£)

More Labour:

More Parliament:

  • Bercow’s trip to Japan cost taxpayers’ £17,500 – The Times (£)


  • No wonder Britons hold the ruling class in such contempt – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail


  • Vaz no longer deserves his place in the Parliamentary limelight – The Times (£)

UKIP could be ‘about to die’, warns Banks

“Ukip’s biggest donor Arron Banks has warned the party could be about to “die or fade into the background”. The tycoon also said his close ally Nigel Farage could return again as leader to stabilise the party. Asked if Ukip was finished, Mr Banks told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It could be, it’s at a crossroads.” He expressed his doubts over whether Ukip has a future as he warned the “pressure cooker” has exploded.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Academics call for bussing to end de facto school segreation – Daily Mail
  • Green gets final demand in BHS pensions scandal – The Times (£)
  • English and Scottish players to wear poppy armbands as FAs defy ban – Daily Telegraph
  • Facebook shares drop eight per cent after revenue warning – FT
  • Tory MP quizzed by police over sexual assault claims – Daily Mail
  • Conservative councillor suspended for five months – Wales Online
  • SNP defeated in vote on Offensive Behaviour at Football Act – The Scotsman