Hammond criticised for calling the EU the “enemy”….

“Philip Hammond’s political fightback unravelled today after he was forced to apologise for describing the EU as “the enemy” ahead of crucial talks in Brussels next week. Following days of accusations that he was seeking to block Brexit, the Chancellor gave a round of television interviews yesterday in which he sought to reach out to eurosceptics by criticising the EU. However, within minutes he was forced to apologise after Downing Street was informed of the “enemy” comment. The Prime Minister is now facing growing calls to fire her Chancellor amid fears his repeated interventions over Brexit have helped throw the government into disarray.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today:  ToryDiary: A “No Deal” Brexit is looking ever more likely and more attractive

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Now that Baker is named as Contingency Minister, Downing Street must back him up

 ….and for “plotting” with Osborne

“Philip Hammond and George Osborne were last night accused of plotting to thwart Brexit over a lobster lunch. The pair were spotted at a Chelsea restaurant before the Chancellor angered Cabinet colleagues by refusing to release cash to prepare for Brexit. Mr Hammond agreed to the ‘lobster plot’ meeting despite his Treasury predecessor’s vendetta against Theresa May. Mr Osborne, who now edits the London Evening Standard, is said to have told friends he would not rest until the Prime Minister was ‘chopped up in bags in my freezer’.” – Daily Mail

Forsyth: Lack of Brexit clarity means Ministers pushing in different directions

“The Government is split between those who are prepared to shadow EU regulations to maintain maximum market access and the Brexiteers who would accept making trade with the EU being less smooth than it is now so this country is free to become more globally competitive….So what is the way out of this impasse? Well, Theresa May should invite the whole Cabinet to Chequers. She should tell them to arrive on Friday night and that they won’t be leaving until they have come to a collective decision on what the policy should be.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

“You must pay” is the message from Juncker

“Jean-Claude Juncker sparked fury today by praising Britain for saving Europe during WW2 – but saying it was now “time to pay” for a Brexit divorce bill. The famously thirsty EU boss also compared Brexit to “ordering 28 beers” in a bar and then walking out without paying in a bizarre rant. Comparing UK contributions to the EU budget as a bar bill, the loathed Eurocrat added: “if you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly one of your colleagues is leaving and he’s not paying, that’s not feasible.” And he claimed that Brexit “will “take longer than initially thought” — opening a fresh rift on the continent after EU Council chief Donald Tusk declared “considerable progress” had been made in exit talks.” – The Sun

  • EU’s new museum ignores Britain – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail
  • What would we get for the divorce bill? – The Sun Says

Goodman: Could Osborne start his own party?

“George Osborne knows that the emergence of a British version of En Marche is improbable. But he was probing the possibility before that party took wing. It has not been denied that his friends pitched the idea of a new party called the Democrats to Tim Farron after the referendum, or that Mr Osborne has discussed the idea with centrist Labour MPs. …All this may explain why he reminded his audience this week that he remains a Conservative Party member while simultaneously referring to the Tories as “your party” in response to a questioner, before saying that the Tories have “moved away” from him. The claim that your party has left you, and not vice versa, is the cry of defectors down the ages.” – Paul Goodman, The Times

Legatum Institute head championing backing deregulation to help Brexit plans

“As executives and business figures filed into Chevening House over the summer for a meeting with Brexit ministers, one in their number stood out. Among the captains of industry and powerful lobbyists meeting David Davis and his fellow ministers at the Foreign Office’s country seat in Kent was Shanker Singham, a senior figure at the Legatum Institute, a once obscure but increasingly influential think tank. He was the sole think-tank representative present, a fact that did not go unnoticed among bosses who strongly disagreed with his view that Britain should deregulate to make it easier to cut trade deals outside the EU.” – The Times

Boris to visit Moscow

“Boris Johnson is to visit Moscow later this year as part of efforts to build a more constructive dialogue with Russia on global security issues. The foreign secretary has been invited by his counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Items on the agenda are likely to include North Korea, Iran and security for next year’s football World Cup. The Foreign Office said the UK had “deep differences” with Russia but the visit was part of a policy of “sustained and robust engagement”.” – BBC

Iran carried out cyber attack on Parliament

“Iran carried out a “brute force” cyberattack on parliament that hit dozens of MPs this summer, according to a secret intelligence assessment. Some 9,000 email accounts, including those belonging to Theresa May and other cabinet ministers, were subjected to a sustained attack on June 23. Ninety accounts were compromised. Russia was initially blamed but investigators have traced the attack to the Tehran regime, The Times can reveal. It is believed to be Iran’s first significant act of cyberwarfare on Britain and underlines its emergence as one of the world’s biggest cyberpowers. The timing of the revelation is awkward for Mrs May as she seeks to persuade President Trump not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal.” – The Times

  • The west should retaliate – Leader, The Times

>Yesterday: John Baron on Comment: Trump’s Iran decision has an alarming North Korean dimension

Raab tackles bogus holiday sickness claims

“Efforts to crack down on UK tourists making fake claims for holiday sickness are being stepped up by the government. It is proposing rules that would limit payouts by travel companies, which it hopes will deter bogus claims…Industry experts have been to submit evidence to the Ministry of Justice. It is proposing rules that would mean there would be a maximum amount travel companies would pay for personal injury claims abroad. At the moment, the law only specifies maximum amounts paid out for personal injuries sustained on UK soil… Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: “Bogus claims against tour operators risk driving up the price of summer holidays abroad for hard-working families who have earned a break.” – BBC

Halfon calls for fuel duty freeze to be maintained

“More than a dozen worried Tory MPs are demanding the Chancellor freeze fuel duty in the Budget, the Sun can reveal. Campaigning Tory Rob Halfon said Philip Hammond would be guilty of the “economics of the madhouse” if he ups the tax for the first time in seven years. The Tories include rising star Kemi Badenoch, former NATO commander Bob Stewart and three of Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Tory MPs….In the letter, Mr Halfon writes: “Motorists are truly grateful for fuel duty being kept at the same level since 2011. But UK diesel drivers remain the highest taxed in the world with those using petrol, third.” – The Sun

Morgan to head student loan inquiry

“An influential committee of MPs has announced it will investigate the student loan system and the impact of tuition fees. The Treasury Committee will scrutinise changes to the student loan system, including the repayment threshold and interest rates. It will also examine the impact of higher education on the public finances. The UK’s leading universities have welcomed the move. Nicky Morgan MP, who chairs the Treasury Committee, said: “Student loan debt is projected to be around £160bn within six years, and the government has announced that it will review the whole student finance system. ” – BBC

>Today: Richard Short on Comment: Student loans – change the title, change the narrative

May summons the house builders to Downing Street

“Theresa May is demanding  Britain’s ­biggest housebuilders construct more homes. The PM will hold a No10 summit with  their bosses next week, we can reveal… Senior Cabinet ministers admit the Tories will not win the next election unless they can solve the housebuilding crisis. One told The Sun: “We have to get more homes built, it’s as simple as that. If we can’t get more people owning homes by 2022 we’ve lost.” – The Sun

Hunt could ban walk-in patients from A&E

“Patients could be banned from going to accident and emergency departments unless they have been sent there by a GP or the NHS 111 helpline, a senior health official has suggested. Helen Thomas, national medical director for integrated emergency care at NHS England, said she had discussed piloting the idea with some hospitals…Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has discussed such a “talk before you walk” scheme, Dr Thomas told a conference. “It’s been done in other countries where they’ve actually said you can’t come into [A&E] until you’ve talked on referral or you have to have that sort of docket that you’re given by having talked on the phone that you do need to come,” she said.” – The Times(£)

Rudd to announce mandatory sentences for attackers using acid

“Gang members who are caught carrying acid will be given a mandatory jail sentence under a new “two strikes” law. Under the crackdown unveiled by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, a second conviction for possession would mean a minimum term of at least six months, in line with a similar move to tackle knife crime a year ago. It is hoped the proposal — along with a ban on selling acid to under-18s — will help stop attacks that soared from 261 in 2015 to 454 last year in London.” – The Sun

McPartland urges a lower “taper rate” for Universal Credit

“The Conservative MP who led the rebellion against tax credit cuts is calling on Philip Hammond to rethink the tax rate on universal credit in the budget to help claimants keep more of what they earn. Stephen McPartland, the MP for Stevenage, said he was urging Hammond to lower the “taper rate” on universal credit again to encourage people receiving in-work benefits to increase their hours without seeing so much of their additional pay taken away.” – The Guardian

Fashion loving PM’s gifts

“The PM’s love of fashion has been reflected in gifts she received from designers such as Stella McCartney, government transparency data shows. But under Whitehall rules, Theresa May paid with her own money to keep the clothes from Ms McCartney – and a £495 pair of shoes from Charlotte Olympia. She also bought a £160 necklace from Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Under the Ministerial Code of Conduct, gifts received by ministers worth more than £140 become government property.” – BBC

Corbyn demands worker control over robots

“Robots in the workplace should be owned and controlled by workers rather than bosses, Jeremy Corbyn will suggest. The Labour leader, who has previously warned of the risk to jobs of automation, will say new technology has led to “a more rapacious and exploitative form of capitalism”. He will also suggest “gig economy” firms like Uber could be replaced by co-operatives. Drivers would collectively agree their own pay and conditions, he will say.” – BBC

Communist advisors to the Labour leader were once monitored by MI5

“Communists who were once monitored by MI5 are now among Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior advisers, the spy agency’s former director-general said yesterday. Dame Stella Rimington claimed that some of those close to the Labour leader had been watched over fears they could seek to subvert British democracy. But she refused to name names, saying only that the advisers were ‘familiar’ and part of the far-Left Momentum grassroots group. Dame Stella, who was the first female director-general of MI5, said: ‘I see in Momentum some of the people who we were looking at in the Trotskyist organisations of the 1980s.” – Daily Mail

  • The White Widow’s death shows just how far Corbyn has silenced the voices of reason in his own party – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Foster speaks about her father being shot during “the Troubles”

“On January 4, 1979, the IRA came for Arlene Foster’s protestant father on their farm in Co Fermanagh. “He was a police officer and had gone to put the livestock to bed when they shot him in the head.” She was eight and in the kitchen when her father crawled in, trailing blood. “We had the police outside for six weeks but I remember going to bed terrified they’d come back and shoot me too, so I would pull the covers over my head,” the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party says.” – Interview with Arlene Foster, The Times

Moore: Flawed thinking behind May’s “burning injustices” agenda

“According to the latest figures, there are 86,337 men and only 4,014 women in prison in England and Wales. How should one react to these statistics? Surely most people would explain them by saying that many more men than women commit crimes – adding, perhaps, that judges are justifiably reluctant to send women with young children to jail. I doubt if this disparity is seen as what Theresa May calls a “burning injustice”. Few would argue that the number of male prisoners should be reduced by 90 per cent to gain equality with women, let alone that far more women should be thrown into jail to achieve the same outcome.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Is Conservatism in crisis? – David Hardy, Comment Central
  • Another reason to sack Hammond – Fraser Nelson, Spectator Coffee House
  • Trump can’t handle the truth. Can you? – Alex Massie, CapX
  • The Tories are split – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • I’m even more convinced now that the referendum outcome was the right one – Tim Clark, Brexit Central
  • May agrees concessions on “Henry VIII powers” – Independent