MPs 1) Conservatives back the US against North Korea

“A British MP today warned the UK could join a war against North Korea if the dictatorship attacks the American territory of Guam. Jack Lopresti said Britain would be under an obligation to step in and defend its Nato ally by force if necessary if Kim Jong-un follows through on his threat to launch a missile strike. And fellow Tory MP Dr Julian Lewis, chairman-elect of the defence select committee, warned that an attack would be seen as a modern-day Pearl Harbor and would trigger a ferocious response by the Americans.” – Daily Mail


  • Will the President’s war of words go nuclear? – Jacob Heilbrunn, The Spectator
  • North Korea can be disarmed, if Washington will pay the price – Tim Willasey-Wilsey, Daily Telegraph
  • We must pray for the wisdom of Trump’s generals – Max Hastings, Daily Mail


  • China must join the US in dissuading North Korea from war – The Times (£)

MPs 2) Elphicke joins critics of Amazon over tax

“Furious  MPs last night urged Brits to boycott Amazon after its UK delivery business paid just £7.4 million in tax – despite sales of £1.4 billion. Politicians and campaigners rounded on the US giant for coughing up “peanuts” to the Taxman as it rakes in a fortune from shoppers. Accounts filed by Amazon UK Services reveal it paid £7.4 million of corporation tax in 2016 – less than half the amount paid in 2015. Tory campaigner Charlie Elphicke said: “It’s peanuts.”People will say it’s high time Amazon paid their fair share.”” – The Sun

  • Just two of 99 councils have paid out from Hammond’s business rate relief fund – The Sun

‘Other’ leads the race to succeed May

“Tory leadership favourites David Davis and Boris Johnson have been beaten by ‘other’ in a poll asking members who should be the next party boss. Speculation about who will succeed Theresa May if she is ousted as leader has been rampant following her humiliation in the General Election. But a new survey of Conservatives has found that most are fed-up with the same old faces and want to skip a generation in the leadership race. The poll by ConservativeHome found that 34 per cent of those surveyed picked ‘other’ when asked who they wanted to be the next part leader.” – Daily Mail

  • Sun executive says Tory campaign offered nothing to their readers – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. Next Tory leader. “None of the above” leads the field. Many party members want to skip a generation.

Nick Timothy: Tories can’t win as free market fundamentalists

“As Theresa May has observed, modern Britain is simply not a country that works for everyone. But to get that diagnosis right is not enough. We need solutions, and to find the right solutions we need a deep and coherent understanding of the problems. For the Conservatives, that requires going back to the party’s philosophical roots. Economic liberals may find capitalism’s “creative winds of destruction” exhilarating, but conservatives worry about the effects on families and communities. Libertarians may say they have no responsibility to others, but conservatives know that society functions only if we respect our obligations to one another.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Race audit will give May a chance to build a legacy – Francis Elliott, The Times (£)
  • Cameron’s legacy is soaring child poverty – Frances Ryan, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: The crash didn’t “change everything”

>Yesterday: Alex Morton’s column: A modest proposal. Quotas to help another disadvantaged minority – Conservatives

Ex-Davis aide revives calls for ‘Democratic Party’ to derail Brexit

“James Chapman, who ran the Brexit secretary’s office from his appointment last year until the general election, urged “sensible” figures from Labour and the Conservatives to form a new pro-EU party called “the Democrats” in a bid to keep Britain inside the bloc after a second referendum in 2019. In tweets posted on Tuesday Mr Chapman, also a former chief of staff to George Osborne, said Brexit was the “biggest calamity for our country since WW2” and suggested Tory Remainers such as Anna Soubry and Grant Shapps had “more in common” with Labour moderates such as Rachel Reeves, chairwoman of the business committee, than with Brexiteers in their party.” – The Times (£)

  • Johnson should be jailed over referendum claims, suggests Chapman – The Guardian
  • British negotiators denied water by Brussels, civil servant claims – Daily Telegraph
  • What’s at stake in the debate on the customs union – FT
  • Juncker aide says its ‘essential’ UK maintains EU privacy rules – Daily Express
  • Sturgeon’s Brexit minister demands overhaul of Repeal Bill – Daily Telegraph


  • There are whispers in Whitehall about a ‘soft landing’ Brexit – Andrew Grice, The Independent
  • Might eurocrats at least pretend to care what the public think? – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Charlie Elphicke in Comment: Ready on Day One for lower, fairer, simpler taxes to boost jobs and growth


Ministers 1) Grayling calls for ‘positive vision’ if Tories are to win the next election

“Jeremy Corbyn’s election pledges will melt like “ice cream in the heat of the sun”, claims a senior Cabinet minister as he defended Tory attacks on the Labour leader. Chris Grayling admitted the Conservatives also need a more “positive vision” to win the next election. But the Transport Secretary said the party should still highlight the dangers of the opposition getting into government. Mr Grayling, who ran Theresa May’s leadership campaign last summer, wrote for ConservativeHome about what his party had learned from its disastrous election result.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: Chris Grayling MP’s column: We need a positive vision to win the next election

Ministers 2) Rudd hits out at teachers ‘sabotaging’ anti-extremism programme

“The Home Secretary has blasted teachers for trying to sabotage the Government’s anti-terror ‘Prevent’ programme – saying it’s vital to saving lives. Writing in the Sun, Amber Rudd urges sneering critics to stop trying to “actively seek to undermine” efforts to stamp out radicalisation in the communities. And she insists the scheme, which asks the public and key workers to spot early signs of radicalisation, has helped dozens of British kids escape the clutches of Daesh. She adds it will remain in place regardless of the outcome of the Government’s counter-extremism review.” – The Sun

  • Tip-offs to counter-terror scheme double after London and Manchester attacks – Daily Mail
  • Home Secretary tricked by internet prankster- Daily Telegraph


  • Safeguarding young people should not be a controversial goal – Amber Rudd, The Sun
  • Prevent needs reforms but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – Usama Hasan, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Sir John Jenkins in Comment: The Government must rethink its policy of engagement with Islamists

MacAskill questions SNP centralisation

“Nicola Sturgeon appeared more concerned with “protecting” herself than the wider interests of the SNP in her handling of the Michelle Thomson affair, a former Nationalist Cabinet secretary has suggested. Kenny MacAskill said the episode raises fresh questions about “centralisation of power” within the party, indicating Ms Sturgeon’s “perspective” was affected by her husband Peter’s Murrell’s role as party chief executive.” – The Scotsman

  • Lessons to be learned from Michelle Thomson’s case – Kenny MacAskill, The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • More than a million pensioners ‘likely’ to downsize if stamp duty lifted – Daily Telegraph
  • Healthcare company sues NHS over rogue surgeon – The Times (£)
  • Kenyan election official hacked to death amidst allegations of ballot meddling – Daily Mail
  • BBC’s Salford move had ‘negligible’ effect on local jobs – FT
  • US expels Cuban diplomats – The Guardian