Dozens of Tory MPs ‘scupper plot against May’…

“A plot to oust Theresa May collapsed into a shambles yesterday as Tory MPs and ministers united to condemn the betrayal of rivals seeking revenge. Shortly before midnight on Thursday, former Tory chairman Grant Shapps publicly kicked off his challenge to the Prime Minister in a radio phone-in, claiming he had ‘around 30 names’ of MPs who wanted her resignation. But within hours he faced humiliation and isolation as his promised support failed to materialise. Dozens of his colleagues lined up to ridicule the ‘embittered’ ex-minister – with some accusing him of seeking to topple Mrs May in a bid to thwart Brexit. A Sky News survey of 103 Tory MPs last night found only three who wanted the Prime Minister to go.” – Daily Mail

  • Tory leader fights to retain grip on her party – The Times
  • Prime Minister prepares speech to halt rebellion – Daily Telegraph
  • Voters still prefer May to Corbyn – Daily Mail
  • Furious MPs accuse conspirators of trying to ‘destroy Brexit’ – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: How not to topple a Conservative leader

…as plotters insist they were spurred on by a Cabinet minister

“A Cabinet minister encouraged a plot by up to 30 Tory MPs to oust Theresa May by the end of the year, a former Conservative Party chairman has claimed. Grant Shapps was named by Government whips as the leader of a group that wants to pressure the Prime Minister into resigning after her disastrous election performance. Tory MPs today lined up to criticise Mr Shapps, telling him that he should “shut up” and saying that his “botched” coup was doomed to failure. However Mr Shapps accused Tory MPs of “burying their heads in the sand” and told The Telegraph that the revolt over Mrs May’s leadership “will not go away”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Shapps branded ‘delusional’ – The Sun
  • Ministers close ranks so the Prime Minister can breathe – The Times
  • Senior Tories tell May to sack Johnson and reshuffle the Cabinet – The Guardian
  • Green criticises conference ‘prankster’ – Daily Mail


  • Profile of Shapps: a sharp-elbowed plotter from outside the Eton set – The Times
  • Just the latest in a long line of Tory plotters – The Guardian
  • What is the 1922 Committee and why does it matter? – The Sun

>Yesterday: Iain Dale’s column: One more squeak out of Johnson will be proof that he isn’t fit to lead the Conservatives

Damian Green: Forget plots, we Tories need to get on with the job

“In my 20 years as an MP, almost 30 years in professional politics, I’ve seen many a plot come and go. Rarely if ever do they succeed. For the simple reason that – as Members of Parliament – the voters have elected us to look out for their interests, not our own. The ups and downs of Westminster might be of endless fascination to colleagues and the political press, but outside of SW1 the public couldn’t be less impressed by the nonsense and false intrigue created by a few disgruntled individuals. There was an election a few months ago. Theresa May and the Conservatives won the most votes and the most seats. We formed a Government and now we need to get on with the job. And what a job we have.” – The Sun

  • Shapps is a second-rater driven by vainglorious self-promotion – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • May is undergoing a vote of no confidence by stealth – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • The terrible truth is May’s Strepsils advert is as good as she gets – Matt Chorley, The Times
  • Now May must axe treacherous Cabinet deadbeats – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • A more consensual leader would have secured a majority – Henry Mance, FT
  • Three ways May can show her party who’s boss – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • A Tory tale of feuds and farce – Marina Hyde, The Guardian
  • How I tried and failed to speak up for the Prime Minister – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • May could survive a Remainer plot, but not if Brexiteers join – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph


  • The Prime Minister should deliver Brexit, then stand aside – The Times
  • May must get a grip on her feuding party – FT
  • This plot is a miserably destructive waste of energy – The Sun

>Today: Eddie Hughes MP in Comment: Are the Conservatives dying? No, we’re undergoing a second spring.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: And now for 15 items of good news

Downing Street denies claim that May delayed China trip due to Trump

“Downing Street is denying reports Theresa May has had to postpone a trip to China because she has been snubbed in favour of Donald Trump. Number 10 say the reports Beijing has knocked back the long-awaited visit by the Prime Minister so they can accommodate the US President instead was “nonsense”. A trade mission was allegedly being set up for Parliament’s recess week in November, with businesses being contacted about joining Mrs May. Sky News reported this morning that the firms were then told by officials that China’s government said it would not be able to accommodate her so close to Mr Trump’s Asian tour.” – The Sun

  • Beijing rolls out the red carpet for the United States – The Times

Ministers 1) Hammond faces Budget ‘headache’

“Philip Hammond must fill an £8 billion hole in his autumn budget after the government accumulated significant bills over the past seven months. The chancellor is facing one of the most difficult budgets of recent times amid a productivity downgrade, tight fiscal rules and a string of unpaid bills. The Treasury is unable to raise any meaningful tax rates because of the absence of a parliamentary majority and likelihood of a rebellion after an election where the Tories promised to be a low tax party. Theresa May has promised not to cut welfare and securing support for further cuts will be difficult after Mr Hammond admitted people were weary of austerity. Officials are still denying there are plans for a spending review.” – The Times

  • Chancellor left facing a ‘£17 billion Budget bloodbath’ – The Sun
  • Tories line up giveaways for millenials – FT
  • Pensions raid on the horizon as tax relief passes £50 billion – The Times
  • Ministers ‘refuse to pay for fire safety’ post-Grenfell – The Guardian


  • Don’t expect Hammond to mention the productivity crisis – Duncan Weldon, The Guardian


Ministers 2) Davis ‘outflanked by Whitehall’ over the Brexit talks

“David Davis has been outflanked by Whitehall and has lost direct political control over the officials negotiating Brexit, it was claimed yesterday. The Brexit secretary last month asked for Oliver Robbins to be moved from his job as permanent secretary in the Department for Exiting the European Union, which he combined with his role as the prime minister’s chief Europe adviser. His request followed disagreements with Mr Robbins about the government’s approach to the talks and the decision to publish detailed position papers on its strategy. At the time, the Brexit department said that it remained responsible for the UK’s overall negotiating strategy. They said that Mr Robbins would have a “small team” of staff to support him. But it has now emerged that the scope of Mr Robbins’s new job will be larger than was suggested.” – The Times

  • Pro-Brexit MPs urge May to appoint a ‘no deal’ minister – Daily Express
  • Downing Street under pressure to make big concessions to Brussels – The Sun
  • Berlin rejects May’s transition hopes – FT
  • Member states could overrule Barnier and start talks – Daily Express
  • EU steps up Brexit talks with Labour – Daily Telegraph
  • Leadsom may be demoted for criticising the Florence speech – Daily Express


  • May’s leadership crisis could destroy our Brexit deal – Laurence Dodds, Daily Telegraph



Ministers 3) Online push to help Rudd retain Hastings

“Amber Rudd kept her seat by the narrowest of margins in June’s snap election, but the battle for Hastings in 2022 has already begun. The home secretary’s majority in Hastings & Rye fell from 4,796 in 2015 to less than 350 this year, making it one of the most marginal seats. The next general election is due in 2022, but the fight between Labour and the Conservatives for the East Sussex constituency has already begun in earnest. A new push to improve Ms Rudd’s profile online has emerged. Three social media accounts under the banner “Vote For Rudd”, all claiming to be grassroots-led, have been created on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They feature memes and photographs, including mocked up pictures of Ms Rudd in diving gear with a great white shark, below the slogan “Fearless”.” – The Times

No under-performing schools have been forced to become academies

“No ‘coasting’ schools have been forced to become academies despite a Tory manifesto pledge two years ago, new figures show. In the run up to the 2015 election, the Conservatives promised to take over every school not considered to be pushing its pupils hard enough. Hundreds of schools were thought have to been in this category – but new data released under the Freedom of Information Act suggests none have become academies as a result. The Department for Education said that forced academisation was only ever intended for ‘a small minority of cases’.” – Daily Mail

Separatists may lose Scottish Parliament majority

“Nicola Sturgeon may be on course to lose her pro-independence majority in the Scottish parliament. A poll by YouGov for The Times still shows that the SNP is likely to win the next Scottish election, but suggests that the first minister would have to try to run a minority government with even fewer MSPs than she does now. Crucially, the poll reveals that the Greens, who support independence, are also likely to lose seats. The combined effect of SNP and Green losses would leave Ms Sturgeon unable to call a second referendum, which she has said she wants to do after the Brexit outcome becomes clear.” – The Times

  • First Minister braced for activists’ anger over SNP strategy – FT
  • Veteran nationalist accuses Sturgeon of ‘monumental misjudgement’ over Brexit – Daily Telegraph


  • Scottish councils face £1 billion in budget cuts – The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • May’s speech was a dud because Conservatives can’t do rhetoric – Philip Collins, The Spectator
  • These are the frontrunners in a Tory leadership contest – Andrew Grice, The Independent
  • Young people need to start shaping Britain’s post-Brexit future – Blair Spowart, BrexitCentral
  • Britain looks buggered – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • We need to save our NHS from the lawyers – Paul Goldsmith, CapX