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Rudd: We don’t want to ban encryption, but we do want to see people’s messages

‘Encryption plays a fundamental role in protecting us all online. It is key to growing the digital economy, and delivering public services online. But, like many powerful technologies, encrypted services are used and abused by a small minority of people. The particular challenge is around so called “end-to-end” encryption, where even the service provider cannot see the content of a communication. To be very clear – Government supports strong encryption and has no intention of banning end-to-end encryption. But the inability to gain access to encrypted data in specific and targeted instances – even with a warrant signed by a Secretary of State and a senior judge – is right now severely limiting our agencies’ ability to stop terrorist attacks and bring criminals to justice.’ – Amber Rudd, Daily Telegraph

  • She has flown to the US for talks in Silicon Valley – The Sun
  • Sweden’s cautionary tale on privacy – The Guardian Leader
  • China appears to be trying to cut itself off from the global internet – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: To find out why people value WhatsApp encryption, Rudd should talk to her own colleagues

Number 10 issues half-rebuke to Hammond over off-the-shelf Brexit

‘Theresa May slapped down Philip Hammond yesterday as senior Tories accused the Chancellor of “talking down Britain”. The PM’s official spokesman insisted the Government was not seeking an “off the shelf” transition deal with the EU – in direct contrast to the Chancellor’s reported claims to business leaders a week ago. And he said that it would be “wrong to speculate” what post-Brexit immigration would look like during a transitional phase after 2019. The comment came four days after the Chancellor incensed Brexit-backers by insisting “literally nobody” wanted an immediate fall in EU migration after we leave the EU in March 2019. The PM’s spokesman said free movement was ending and “it would be wrong to suggest free movement will continue as it is now”.’ – The Sun

  • The Chancellor keeps putting his foot in it – he should be told to belt up – The Sun Says
  • He says there won’t be any Brexit delays – Daily Telegraph
  • Concern that in-fighting is delaying key decisions – The Times (£)
  • Leaked emails show France believes British defence capability makes us ‘too important’ to sideline – Daily Telegraph
  • Airlines complain of delays caused by new Schengen border checks – Daily Mail
  • Morgan requests information on City’s Brexit readiness – The Guardian

Opinion

Food prices will fall outside the EU, Policy Exchange finds

‘Essentials such as bread, milk and meat will be almost 20 per cent cheaper after Brexit, a major study suggests. A new British Agriculture Policy to replace mountains of EU red tape could see the UK “unilaterally” slash import tariffs that increase consumer prices according to the Policy Exchange think tank. And they recommend giving sweeping new powers to the Food Standards Agency to review scientific evidence on sensitive issues like washing chicken in chlorine. If the FSA approves them, Policy Exchange’s report suggests British farmers could choose whether to meet EU standards after Brexit if they wish to keep selling products into the bloc, or instead match British standards and those in international markets outside the EU…And they recommend giving sweeping new powers to the Food Standards Agency to review scientific evidence on sensitive issues like washing chicken in chlorine. If the FSA approves them, Policy Exchange’s report suggests British farmers could choose whether to meet EU standards after Brexit if they wish to keep selling products into the bloc, or instead match British standards and those in international markets outside the EU.’ – The Sun

  • The report calls for lower subsidies – FT
  • The quango state is set to grow – The Times (£)

>Today: Warwick Lightfoot on Comment: The right post-Brexit farming policy could unleash agricultural innovation and lighten the load on consumers

The Chancellor prepares to push back abolishing the deficit yet again

‘Philip Hammond is preparing to use the autumn budget to acknowledge that the public finances may not be balanced before 2027. At the election the Tories committed to ensuring that the balance sheet was in surplus by 2025. The date is set out in government documents, although in interviews Mr Hammond was more vague, preferring to call this the “middle of the next parliament”. The chancellor may have to acknowledge in the budget that the landmark may not be reached before 2026 or 2027, the end of the next parliament under the current timetable. This is a recognition of the unique spending pressures facing the Treasury, coupled with the lack of a majority in the Commons after the Tories’ disappointment at the general election. Mr Hammond remains a fiscal hawk, and will stick by George Osborne’s target to achieve an overall surplus, allowing public sector net debt, 87 per cent of GDP, to start to fall. However the chancellor is understood to be “flexible” about the year the target is achieved.’ – The Times (£)

Hunt: We can’t fix the NHS by simply throwing money at it

‘Jeremy Hunt admitted yesterday that throwing money at the NHS could fail and that his own plans to rescue the health service had resulted in ballooning costs for the taxpayer. The Health Secretary said different parties had ‘made the mistake too often’ of trying to solve problems with a big injection of cash, but without a proper strategy for how it should be spent. He acknowledged that he too had made the same error, and that his efforts to deal with the fallout of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal had resulted in costly agency nurses being used to plug gaps. In frank comments, he said his lack of a proper workforce plan ended up with a ‘ballooning of the agency bill, costing the NHS a fortune’. He told Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘In the past we have made the mistake too often of saying the way you solve these problems is with a big injection of money.” – Daily Mail

Scaramucci fired by Trump after ten days

‘President Trump abruptly fired his communications director last night as he battled to impose order on a White House beset by infighting. Anthony Scaramucci, a brash former Wall Street financier nicknamed “The Mooch”, was yet to even start the job. Appointed ten days ago, he was due to take up his new role on August 15. He was brought in to reset relations with the media but shocked Washington last week with a foul-mouthed tirade against two senior West Wing colleagues. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said yesterday that Mr Trump felt that the remarks were “inappropriate”. Hours before Mr Scaramucci was sacked, the president had insisted on Twitter that there was “no White House chaos!”’ – The Times (£)

Labour MP hit in the face with brick by thugs

‘Labour MP Steve McCabe has been left with facial injuries after being hit with a brick by an attacker on a motorcycle. The member for Birmingham Selly Oak said he was suffering from a “very sore & swollen face” following the incident and that he had given a statement to police. On Monday evening McCabe, 61, posted photos on Twitter showing two individuals wearing full-face helmets and riding motorbikes. He said: “Tonight nursing a very sore & swollen face. I was struck with a brick by a motorbike thug in Greenford Rd. Have given full statement to police.” The MP urged locals to help track the motorbike riders down, tweeting: “Sure somebody recognises these two. All I need are names & addresses. Send them to me anonymously & I’ll do the rest with the police.”’ – The Guardian

  • Shadow Minister attacks her own party’s policies by accident – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour councillor suspended after gay pride rant – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn and Abbott stay silent on Venezuela now it has descended into tyranny – The Sun
  • Livingstone backs Maduro and blames the United States – The Times (£)
  • Venezuela shows the reality of socialism – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Corbyn initially thought the ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ chant was booing – The Times (£)
  • Serving MP registers as a lobbyist – The Guardian

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: The Corbynites have mistaken Tory failure for Labour success, and are set on a new purge

Statistics watchdog challenges the inflation measure used for rail fares and student debts

‘The inflation measure used to calculate interest on student tuition fees and rail fares has been condemned as ‘flawed’ by the statistics watchdog. The RPI rate has ‘serious shortcomings’ and should not be used, the Office for National Statistics has warned. The damning verdict will fuel consumer fury about the prospect of big price rises on goods that are pegged to the measure – and up the pressure on ministers to step in. RPI includes increases in housing costs such as mortgage payments, and typically comes in significantly higher than the more commonly used CPI rate. Interest on student debt is set to rocket from 4.6 per cent to 6.1 per cent in September, as is it is linked to RPI plus three percentage points. There are also warning that rail season tickets could go up by an average of 3.5 per cent next year, as they will rise in line with next month’s RPI figure.’ – Daily Mail

  • British Gas raises prices by 12.5 per cent – The Times (£)

Terrorist Royal Marine jailed for 18 years

‘A terrorist who infiltrated the British military has been jailed for 18 years for supplying bombs to dissident Irish republicans. Former Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell stashed anti-personnel mines, mortars, ammunition and 14 pipe bombs – four of which were later used – in 43 purpose-built woodland hides at eight locations in Northern Ireland and England. Bomb-making materials were found in barrels and buckets buried in the ground as well as an adapted Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) pass card, a PSNI uniform and a police stab-proof vest…Questions have now been raised as to how someone with a background of Republican sympathies passed vetting for the Marines – as police admit it is likely that more of his bombs remain in the hands of senior Continuity IRA members.’ – Daily Mail

Riot teams deployed to seize back control of Hertfordshire prison

”Tornado’ riots teams have taken back control of a prison after two wings were taken over by furious inmates who had gone weeks without a shower or change of clothes, an expert has revealed. Specially-trained officers were dispatched to HMP The Mount, in Hertfordshire, where some prisoners have been shut inside their cells non-stop for more than a fortnight. The Mount’s H Wing and L Wing, which house 110 and 117 inmates respectively, have both been taken over by prisoners, with ambulance crews now also on the scene. And a text purportedly from someone inside the Category C prison claims ‘we had the screws running scared’ and promising further trouble tomorrow. But a Ministry of Justice spokesman said the incident had been ‘resolved’.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Local Government: Welsh Government proposes allowing votes for prisoners in council elections

News in Brief

  • Selfridges has opened its Christmas store – Daily Mail
  • British family ‘ordered out of pool’ in Portugal because they wore burkinis – The Sun
  • Batmanghelidjh and Yentob face boardroom ban – The Times (£)
  • Yacht-owning university vice-chancellor defends high pay – FT
  • North Korea carries out ‘unprecedented’ submarine missile tests – Daily Telegraph

…and finally

Young Tory gets ‘Moggmentum’ tattoo

‘A young Tory activist has got a tattoo on his chest in support of the eccentric backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg. 24-year-old Doncaster man Ross Atkinson posted a snap online today of the ‘Moggmentum’ logo sprawled across his chest. He told followers he paid just £50 for the ink to rally behind of Mr Rees-Mogg. The backbencher soared to online fame after posting a series of hilarious photos on Instagram…He told followers he paid just £50 for the ink to rally behind of Mr Rees-Mogg. The backbencher soared to online fame after posting a series of hilarious photos on Instagram.’ – The Sun

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