May: will she reshuffle the Foreign Secretary?

“In her first interview since her party conference speech disaster last week, the prime minister told The Sunday Times she was preparing to shake up her top team to ensure she has “the best people in my cabinet”. Tory sources say May is planning a reshuffle after the European Council meeting on October 19-20.”  It can also be revealed thay –


On Thursday evening three cabinet ministers discussed forcing May to quit by Christmas

  • Others want an “orderly transition” to a new leader.
  • Half the cabinet wants her to stand down in the next two years.
  • Her husband, Philip, has told friends in the City that he is concerned about her welfare.

Signalling that Johnson could be moved from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to a new post, a senior figure with knowledge of the prime minister’s thinking said: “There is not a binary choice between keeping Boris and sacking Boris.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Prime Minister’s interview in full – Sunday Times
  • Three Cabinet Ministers said May’s time was up; Philip May is “worried about her health – Sunday Times
  • Victoria Atkins, Brandon Lewis, Nusrat Ghani, James Cleverly, Tom Tugendhat and Dominic Raab could be promoted to the Cabinet – Sun on Sunday
  • Leadsom may be axed – Sunday Express
  • Most voters want May to carry on – Sun on Sunday

Johnson-moves-to-head-off-trouble 1): He takes to the Sunday Borisgraph to quote Horace…

“Are we really going to be stampeded myopically over the edge of the gorge, with an election that no one wants? “Quo quo scelesti ruitis?” as Horace put it at the beginning of a fresh bout of Rome’s ghastly civil wars, and which roughly translates as: “What do you think you are doing you nutters?” From what I can see the Tory herd has refused to be so goaded. We have sniffed the air and turned sensibly away from the cliff. Let’s get on with it, get behind the Prime Minister, and govern as dynamic one nation conservatives in the interests of the whole country.” – Sunday Telegraph

Johnson-moves-to-head-off-trouble 2): …And supports the Prime Minister via What’s App…

“ ‘We have just had an election and people are fed up with this malarkey. Get behind the PM. Ordinary punters I have spoken to thought her speech was good and anyone can have a cold.’ He told Tories to ‘circle the wagons, turn the fire on Corbyn and talk about nothing except our great policies and what we can do for the country’ – Mail on Sunday

  • Claim that Davis wants Foreign Secretary sacked – Mail on Sunday
  • Brexit Secretary-Johnson alliance urged – Observer
  • Johnson fears losing Number Ten to young rival (and Davis, Greening, Javid, Raab and Tugendhat are also contenders – Sunday Times
  • Adonis claims he only backed Brexit to spite Cameron – Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson sister defends other Johnson brother – Mail on Sunday
  • Davidson urges rebels to “put up or shut up” – Mail on Sunday

…As Conservative MPs wage civil war via social media…

  • Cleverly defends May, describes leadership plot as “political masterbation”, tells colleagues not to be “wankers”…
  • (…but is accused of being an early plotter who was bought off with a PPS job).
  • Dorries names Duddridge, Neill and Paterson as plotters (they deny it).
  • Mordaunt tries to calm tempers.
  • Scully calls for “mind bleach”.
  • (Other conspirators allegedly include Jones, Mitchell, and Morgan) – Mail on Sunday

…Shapps is verbally abused…

Mr Shapps’ media assault continued on Friday telling breakfast television: “The writing is on the wall for May. We can’t just carry on.  I think having lost an election the party must look for a new leader to take us forward”, adding: “’One or two Cabinet members privately agree.  But – as Mrs May’s allies might have hoped when they leaked his name to The Times – the reaction to Mr Shapps’ outburst from Conservative MPs in their encrypted WhatsApp group was brutal.  One said “There are fewer signatures on your list than files sent to the CPS after the election campaign you ran as chairman.” Another wrote: “Do yourself a favour and wind your neck in.” – Sunday Telegraph

…And the after-effects of May’s conference speech linger on

“Writing on ConservativeHome, the website’s editor, Paul Goodman, a former MP, said: “The key problem with the speech was that for all its content it lacked clarity – and so failed to point a coherent way ahead either for the Conservatives or, especially, for May herself. You cannot adapt to the Corbyn challenge by making a stirring defence of free markets … and then carry on as usual by stressing energy price caps and more council houses.” Some donors were annoyed by the content on council housing and energy caps, which they regarded as “Labour-lite” and not Conservative.” – Observer

Liam Fox: The Prime Minister deserves our support

“Whichever side we campaigned for, there is an unavoidable truth for Conservative MPs to face. Whether we like it or not, we are the Brexit government. We will be judged on whether or not we deliver a successful outcome for our country. Any self-indulgence during this most crucial period will send a signal that we are more concerned with personal or party interests than with achieving the right result for Britain. We must not allow the behaviour of a small number to tarnish the reputation of a party which has always stood for Britain’s well-being before its own. The Prime Minister has shown how to deal with adversity by deploying a calm and unselfish resolve and she deserves our support.” – Sunday Express

Brexit 1) May prepares for No Deal

“Theresa May has decided to commit billions of pounds on preparing Britain to leave the European Union without a deal in a bid to save her premiership. The spending, which will be “unlocked” in the new year if no progress is made with Brussels, is intended to send a signal to pro-Brexit MPs that she is serious about regaining the upper hand in the negotiations. It came as rebel MPs gave Mrs May until Christmas to make real progress on Brexit to avoid another attempt to oust her…The Telegraph can disclose that Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, is planning to sanction the Brexit spending in the new year to prepare the UK for leaving in March 2019 without a deal with the EU.” – Sunday Telegraph

Brexit 2) Ashworth and Girling stripped of whip, Davis challenges Corbyn

“Brexit Secretary David Davis has now written to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urging him to remove the whip from 18 Labour MEPs who also backed the European Parliament’s vote to block the Brexit process. He has also written to Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable. In his letter to Mr Corbyn, Mr Davis said: “This non-binding vote by the European Parliament sends a signal about the importance each side attaches to agreeing a future partnership. The Conservative Party therefore instructed our MEPs to vote against the motion and in favour of the UK’s national interest, and have removed the whip from those who refused to do so.” – Sunday Express

  • Merkel and Macron crush May’s hopes for quick transitional deal – Sunday Express

Dominic Lawson: Is David Icke running Wiltshire’s police?

“Hoskins was commissioned by Wiltshire police. He had himself been a victim of child sexual abuse, for which someone had been imprisoned. Yet he was scandalised by the approach of Operation Conifer: “They believed from the outset that Edward Heath was guilty. That is all they wanted me to prove. When I appeared to question their position, they pressured me about this. Never before in 200 criminal investigations has this happened to me as an independent expert witness.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Growing evidence that the £1.5m inquiry was deeply flawed – Sunday Times (£)
  • Prejudicial Heath enquiry to be referred to watchdog – Sunday Telegraph
  • Beleagered Wiltshire police chief makes sweeping claims that Westminster child sex-ring was “covered up” by establishment (but without producing any evidence) – Mail on Sunday

Field warns over Universal Credit

“Thousands of tenants are falling behind with their rent because a benefits shake-up is causing a delay in payments. Up to 85 per cent of those on the new Universal Credit are behind. Some housing providers fear the debts, running into millions, will double as it goes nationwide. And one in four tenants is at risk of eviction. Some housing providers fear the debts, running into millions, will double as it goes nationwide. And one in four tenants is at risk of eviction.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Hammond urged to scrap benefit cap as a million face homelessness – Observer
  • Prince Charles lobbied Blair to call off the hunting ban – Mail on Sunday

Rajoy may sack Catalan government

“The wealthy northeastern region of Catalonia, with its own language and culture, held a referendum on Oct. 1 on independence, in defiance of the Spanish constitutional court which had ruled the vote illegal. Until now, Rajoy has remained vague on whether he would use article 155, the so-called nuclear option, of the constitution which enables him to sack the regional government and call a fresh local election. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais on Saturday Rajoy was asked if he was ready to trigger the article 155 of the constitution, and said: “I don’t rule out absolutely anything that is within the law … Ideally, it shouldn’t be necessary to implement extreme solutions but for that not to happen things would have to be changed.”

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