Parsons Green 1) Another terror attack may be imminent warns May

“Armed police have flooded London’s streets as the terror threat level was raised to critical amid fears the Parsons Green bomber could strike again. The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols. Scotland Yard said last night it is making ‘excellent’ progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London on Friday… Mrs May said in a statement from Number 10: ‘The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has now decided to raise the threat level from severe to critical – this means their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.’ “- Daily Mail

Parsons Green 2) Trump criticised for “unhelpful” speculation

“British Prime Minister Theresa May has rebuked US President Donald Trump for suggesting suspects in Friday’s London train blast were known to police. “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” she said. In a tweet, Mr Trump described the attackers as “loser terrorists” and “sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard”.” – BBC

Boris sets out his vision for a bold Brexit – including more funding for the NHS…

“Yes – once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week. It would be a fine thing, as many of us have pointed out, if a lot of that money went on the NHS, provided we use that cash injection to modernise and make the most of new technology. The NHS is one of the great unifying institutions of our country. It is the top political priority of the British people and, under the leadership of Jeremy Hunt, it is indeed the top priority of the Conservative Party. Coming out of the EU will give us an opportunity to drive that message home.” – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

…it’s a leadership bid says Moore

“Boris’s words are so written that the Prime Minister cannot sack him, discipline him or probably even have him denounced behind the hand. He does not trespass, except supportively, on any sensitive question in the negotiations which belong to the Brexit Secretary, David Davis (another possible leadership contender). He argues strongly, for example, for our right in the matter which obsesses the EU above all – the 14 billion euro we pay in each year. How can Mrs May attack him for asserting that? Yet he may be circumscribing her room for political manoeuvre by doing so. This, then, is Boris’ leadership bid, couched in such a way that he need not unsay anything if it goes wrong.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

  • At last a bold, positive plan – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Is this the start of a leadership bid? – Daily Mail
  • Pound hits highest since Brexit vote – BBC
  • Leave backing super group – The Sun
  • He must challenge May – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: With the terror threat level at critical, Johnson launches a leadership bid – or so his critics say

The Conservatives need to re-establish a youth wing says Pickles

“The Conservative party needs to re-establish its youth wing, which was shut down after a bullying scandal, as part of its attempts to engage with younger voters, according to an official review of the election result. The review, conducted by the former Tory chairman Sir Eric Pickles, will suggest reviving a group for young Conservatives as it makes more than 60 recommendations before the party’s autumn conference, the Guardian has learned. Pickles presented a report of his findings to a meeting of Conservative MPs on the backbench 1922 Committee this week, amid anxiety within the party about the level of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour among people under 40.” – The Guardian

Voters could be asked for ID at polling stations says Skidmore

“Voters could be asked to show identification before they cast their ballots in a bid to beat voter fraud, the Government has said as it announced a trial of the proposed changes.  Residents in five local authority areas will have to show ID before being allowed to vote in council elections scheduled for May next year…Chris Skidmore, the Minister for the Constitution, said: “For people to have confidence in our democratic processes we need to ensure that our elections are safeguarded against any threat or perception of electoral fraud. The current situation of people simply pointing out their name without having to prove who they are feels out of date when considering other safeguards to protect people’s identity.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The scheme will be piloted in Woking, Gosport, Bromley, Watford and Slough – The Sun

Patel asks for change in aid rules to help Hurricane Irma victims

“Britain is demanding changes to an international agreement governing foreign aid spending so that it can use its £13 billion development budget to rebuild overseas territories devastated by Hurricane Irma. Under definitions agreed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and enshrined in British law, Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands are considered too wealthy to qualify for assistance…Priti Patel, the international development secretary, has written to the OECD demanding an urgent review.” – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Government would be right to ‘take back control’ of our aid budget

Mundell says SNP claims of a “power grab” will be disproved

“David Mundell is “relaxed” about the SNP publishing a list of Brexit powers at the centre of a major dispute between the UK and Scottish governments because it will undermine claims that it threatens devolution, insiders have said. The Scottish Secretary is understood to be content that Mike Russell, the SNP’s Brexit Minister, will publish the list ahead of his appearance at a Holyrood inquiry this week.” – Daily Telegraph

Arab ambassadors cancel event at Labour Party Conference

“Jeremy Corbyn faced humiliation after it emerged that the League of Arab States will boycott Labour party conference later this month. The group has cancelled a reception of Arab state ambassadors at the party’s gathering in Brighton because Labour rejected Saudi Arabia and Sudan’s application to attend.” – The Sun

Birmingham bin strike “could last into next year”

“Every day looks like bin day in Birmingham. The trouble is, refuse collections are few and far between. The city has been in the grip of a strike by bin collectors since June and mountains of rotting rubbish bags litter the streets. Some areas have had one collection in six weeks. The rat population has exploded and maggots writhe where flies have laid their eggs…Unite will go to the High Court on Monday to try to block the council from ending the bin workers’ roles and the city has been warned that the strike could last into next year. Collections by agency workers are costing more than £300,000 a week. An agency driver clearing one street said that locals were “getting more and more disgusted with the service”. The driver, a GMB union member, said: “Some streets you go down and the bin bags are just piled head high.” – The Times

NHS workers demand a 3.9 per cent pay rise

“More than one million NHS workers have demanded an inflation-busting pay rise as pressure mounts on ministers to abandon the public sector pay cap altogether. Leaders of 14 health unions have written to Philip Hammond to demand staff get a 3.9 per cent hike and an £800 bonus in a which would cost around £2.5billion. The move piles further pressure on the Government to scrap the one per cent pay cap, which they have already abandoned for police and prison officers.” – Daily Mail


Charities condemn refusal to change Lobbying Act

“Charities have condemned ministers for rejecting changes to the Lobbying Act which were made by a government-commissioned review body. Campaign groups say they will be left unable to speak out for vulnerable and marginalised people in society because the law has a chilling effect on freedom of speech. The Lobbying Act restricts what non-governmental organisations can say in the year before a general election. As a result of an outcry from the charities sector, the government commissioned a review of the recommended amendments. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts called for the scope of the act to be reduced to include only activity intended to influence how the public vote. The Conservative peer also called for the period during which its rules apply to be reduced from a year. But the Cabinet Office has said in a statement it would make no changes to the law.” – The Guardian

Cable attacks “appalling” treatment of EU nationals

“Britain’s “appalling” treatment of EU nationals could lead to labour shortages and higher inflation, the Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has warned. Sir Vince, the former business secretary, said there was “bags of evidence that a lot of Europeans are leaving”, starting to affect sectors such as construction, hospitality and the health service. “We are going to get an exodus,” he said. “These are traditional labour-intensive services, so if the people aren’t there, you either don’t get the service or the prices go up.” – Financial Times

Campbell pleads with TV chiefs to block Brexit

“Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell encouraged an audience of TV executives to help block Brexit after they all refused to say they were optimistic about leaving the EU. Mr Campbell, while addressing the Royal Television Society conference, asked an audience of nearly 280 to raise their hands if they were “optimistic” about Brexit. However, not a single person in the audience raised their hand. In response, referring to Brexit, Mr Campbell said: “It has got to be stopped. “Anything you can do to help stop it, as citizens, as business directors, well frankly do it.” – Daily Express

Osborne “humiliated” May in cabinet clash

“George Osborne humiliated Theresa May in a “scathing attack” in front of the whole cabinet when they were in government, a new book reveals. In an inside account of the longstanding hostility between the two, Mrs May was said to have been left “seething” after the “full frontal” attack on her stewardship of the home office by the former chancellor. The revelation, in a book by David Laws, the former Liberal Democrat minister, helps explain the depth of animosity between the two, which led to Mr Osborne’s brutal sacking when Mrs May took power and his recent attacks on her.” – The Times

  • David Laws Coalition Diaries extract – The Times

Negative poll ratings for the Prince of Wales

“Prince Charles is facing unprecedented challenges both in Britain and abroad to win the support of the public should he become king, polling shows. In the days before the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death last month, a YouGov poll revealed that only one third of Britons believe the Prince of Wales has been beneficial for the royal family, down from nearly two thirds four years ago. A quarter believed that Charles had had a negative impact on the royal family, compared with only a sixth in 2013. Less than a tenth thought his influence very positive, down from just over a fifth.” – The Times

SNP support falling

“The SNP is set to lose their pro-independence majority at the Scottish Parliament at the next election as Labour make up ground, according to a new poll. Support for Nicola Sturgeon’s party has dropped by 4.5 per cent on the constituency vote and 11 per cent on the regional list vote since last year, the Survation study for the Daily Mail found. The figures suggest that the SNP is set to lose nine seats at the next election in 2021. With the Greens set to win eight, this means that the current pro-independence majority would be lost.” – The Scotsman

Forsyth: Juncker’s speech was a gift for May

“Theresa May received an early birthday present on Wednesday – and from a most unlikely source. Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech setting out his vision for ever more European integration was a gift to her. The Commission President’s speech made clear that the EU is going to be a place that most Brits cannot accept. (And it is worth noting how warmly his speech has been received by the EU’s big three — France, Germany and Italy). For that reason, as one Downing Street source points out, “It kills the second referendum. “There were people who wanted to remain on the status quo. But it is not on offer.” Juncker has also teed up May’s big Brexit speech in Florence. By showing where he wants the EU to go, he has demonstrated why Britain is leaving.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

Glover: Question Time has had its day

“Under the chairmanship of the late Robin Day during its first decade, Question Time really did succeed in enhancing democratic debate. It was always spirited but seldom petty or rancorous. Courtesy was usually maintained…No longer. In recent years it has, frankly, become a bear pit, characterised by baying audiences that don’t politically or culturally reflect the general public, and often third-rate panellists who can’t be relied on to know anything about politics, or for that matter, much else.” Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Parris: Watch out for a Lib Dem revival

“I think it unlikely that the Conservative Party is going to stay airborne, and likely that the Lib Dems will be beneficiaries of Tory disarray and Labour madness. In their hearts, have even the ever-optimistic Liberal Democrats yet understood that for them things really can only get better, and must, and will? True, it will be from a low point in 2015, and a treading water in 2017. They’ve dropped from more than 20 per cent support to less than eight. So why should we fancy their chances of improving rapidly on that, from now on? Three reasons: fear of Labour; contempt for the Conservatives; and Vince Cable.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

News in brief

  • Ministers told to “think carefully” about Tory Conference – Katy Balls, Spectator Coffee House
  • How human is the world of risk and return? – Oliver Wiseman, CapX
  • Team May hoped to fire Boris. That’s why he decided to take the initiative – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Tory MPs call for Henry VIII powers to lapse after two years – Independent
  • The political centre is not where liberals think it is – Peter Franklin, Unherd
  • How the Tories can help the young – Will Tanner, I-news
  • The Flaws Of Aung San Suu Kyi – Robin Lustig, Huffington Post