If the Government leaves a news gap, the media will fill it.

Proof One: Morgan barred from Downing Street meeting by May’s Co-Chief of Staff Fiona Hill after she criticises Prime Minister’s £995 brown leather trousers

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-08-43-00“The ‘Trousergate’ clash came after Hill met Morgan and Tory pro-European cheerleader Alistair Burt at No 10 and invited them to put their case to the PM this week. But after subsequently reading Morgan’s jibe about May’s trousers, a furious Hill texted Burt: ‘Don’t bring that woman to Downing Street again.’ Morgan texted Hill: ‘If you don’t like something I have said or done, please tell me directly. No man brings me to any meeting. Your team invites me. If you don’t want my views in future meetings you need to tell them.’ Hill texted back to Morgan: ‘Well, he just did. So there!’ – believed to be a reference to Burt having taken her to the previous meeting.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Minister says: if necessary, curb Timothy and sack Hill – Sunday Telegraph
  • Brussels briefs that May will get cold shoulder at EU summit this week (as our Government and the Commission both manoeuvre for position) – Sunday Telegraph
  • Downing Street “ponders early general election” – Mail on Sunday
  • Brexit Legal News 1) Gina Millar says that Supreme Court judges will split 7-4 against the Government in Parliament vote case claim is Government spin – Independent on Sunday
  • Brexit Legal News 2) British Influence to take Government to court so that MPs can vote on staying in Single Market – Sun on Sunday
  • Brexit Legal News 3) Remain campaigners take Article 50 case to Irish courts – Mail on Sunday
  • Brexit Legal News 4) All the lawyers on all sides have ignored the real point, which I can explain if anyone bothers to ask – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
  • The Morgan ban: “This is an odd way to conduct a government when you have a majority of 15 and one of the toughest international negotiations in modern history to handle.” – Mail on Sunday

Proof Two: Cronus-backed Chief Whip acts as minder to Osborne, Morgan Soubry

“Gavin Williamson, the Tory chief whip, is acting as personal whip to Morgan, Anna Soubry and George Osborne, the former chancellor. Whips are usually assigned to MPs based on where their ­constituencies are located. George Hollingbery, May’s parliamentary aide, has been given the task of liaising with a group that her allies are calling “the new bastards”, as “remain” supporters begin to mobilise to rein in their own government as it draws up plans for Brexit.” – Sunday Times (£)

Proof Three: May v Johnson, latest round. Friends of the Foreign Secretary speak.

BORIS angel devil“Not all these comments are authorised by the PM herself. There are people who appear to have it in for him. Some of the people in No 10 think he’s a threat but he’s not,” one friend said. “He wants to do the job with a degree of freedom. If they don’t want him, they shouldn’t have appointed him. They didn’t handle it well this week. They have been shocked by the way people came out to defend him, but if this continues, Boris will defend himself. Imagine, if he had to come out and say something, how much worse that would be.” A source who worked closely with Johnson on the Brexit campaign said: “It’s time to call off the dogs or Boris will snap.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • May “would ask Iain Duncan Smith to replace Johnson or Fox if necessary” (and, meanwhile, she bans Ministers from tweeting ) – Mail on Sunday
  • Clarke says that May Tory Conference speech made the pound crash – Mail on Sunday
  • Gove says May was right to sack him but suggests he wants to return – Independent on Sunday
  • Don’t listen to the gloom-mongering doomathon-poppers: Global Britain is ready for take-off – Boris Johnson, Sun on Sunday
  • Listen, Boris and Donald: the best place to browbeat a foreign power is in private – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)

Niall Ferguson: I opposed Brexit to keep faith with my friends.  I was wrong.  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-08-52-48“Why? The answer is partly that 14 years of living in the United States had taken their toll. Americans since the 1960s have wanted the Brits inside the EU to counterbalance the French, whom they do not trust. Writing Henry Kissinger’s biography, I had started to think that way. But a bigger factor – I must admit it – was my personal friendship with Cameron and George Osborne. For the first time in my career I wrote things about which I had my doubts in order to help my friends stay in power. That was wrong and I am sorry I did it.” – Sunday Times (£)

> Today: Peter Wilding on Comment: We at British Influence are not wreckers. Rather, we seek a Brexit middle way between two extremes.

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Leavers should welcome Brussels’s offer of opt-in EU citizenship for Brits

Truss to ‘bring back Borstal”

“Two secure schools will be opened under a drive to ensure kids who go off the rails get education and training towards a fresh start…The secure schools will be monitored by inspectors for progress in English, maths, health and behaviour. Each will house up to 70 youngsters beh­ind fences and focus on preparing them for life back outside. The shake-up aims to address fears that young offender institutions are becoming “academies” for career villains. An extra £15million will be spent hiring frontline staff to improve security.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • Government will use education to offer hope to young offenders – Liz Truss, Observer

Fallon to lead push to drive ISIS out of Iraq

Fallon “Mr Fallon will announce that 500 British troops are now training local fighters at al Asad – double the number there last summer. And the deployment of Royal Engineers working to improve training facilities will be extended for a further six months. More than 1,350 British men and women have committed to the operation – helping to train 31,000 Iraqi and Peshmerga forces. The RAF is operating at its highest intensity in a single war zone for 25 years. New figures show that in the past year, our planes have flown two-and-a-half times more hours than the busiest 12 months of operations in Afghanistan.” – Sun on Sunday

Millions face £100 council tax raise as Government tries to fix social care

“Town halls are already allowed to put up bills by two per cent a year without seeking the approval of residents.  But last year the then chancellor George Osborne urged them to impose further increases on top of this of up to another two per cent, making a total four per cent rise, to help plug a funding shortfall. However, council bosses have said the additional tax is still not enough to cover the cost of caring for older people and keeping services running. Now the Government is considering increasing the precept, which sources say could put up bills next year by a total of up to seven per cent.” – Sunday Express

  • The crisis for care for the elderly – Observer

Tatchell ambushes Corbyn over Syria

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-06-28-15As protesters held posters in front of television cameras demanding “actions not words”, Mr Tatchell said: “What’s happening in Aleppo is a modern day Guernica. We haven’t heard the leader of Labour party speak out enough to demand UK air drops. “Hundreds of thousands of life are at risk. We expect the leader of the Labour party to speak out.” Mr Corbyn remained at the podium, appealing with the demonstrators to leave their comments to a question session scheduled at the end of his speech.” – Independent on Sunday

Trump set to appoint Friend of the Kremlin as U.S Secretary of State

“US media reported last night that Tillerson, 64, chief executive of Exxon Mobil, was about to be given the job, with the announcement expected this week. He and Trump spent more than two hours talking at Trump Tower yesterday. Tillerson’s appointment, if confirmed, will fuel concerns about the extent of the incoming Trump administration’s links with the Kremlin. In 2011, Exxon Mobil signed a deal with Rosneft, Russia’s largest state-owned oil company, for joint oil exploration and production.” – Sunday Times (£)

> Today: ToryDiary – Under half of Tory members are pleased at Trump’s win

News in Brief

  • Terrorists kill at least 29 in Istanbul attack on Turkish riot police – Mail on Sunday
  • Aleppo faces destruction – Independent on Sunday
  • Howarth demands compensation for Proctor and defends Heath – Sunday Express
  • Orgreave files to be made public – Sunday Telegraph
  • Ex-BBC chief calls on May to resist Murdoch’s Sky bid – Observer
  • Patti Smith forgets lines to Dylan lyrics in Nobel Prize tribute – Sunday Express
  • Children at risk in ‘rotten borough’ Birmingham, says outgoing Chief Inspector of Schools – Sunday Times (£)
  • Aid 1) budget will fall if growth falls as expected – Sun on Sunday
  • Aid 2) Adam Smith International faces DfID investigation over aid abuse – Mail on Sunday
  • LibDems bid to widen law on revenge porn – Observer
  • A.A.Gill is dead – Sunday Times (£)
  • Britain heads for hottest Christmas Day on record – Sun on Sunday