Boris 1) Churchillian message rouses  the Conservatives

“Boris Johnson today invoked his hero Sir Winston Churchill as he told the Conservative Party to “be bold” and to “let the lion roar” in a party conference speech designed to rally Tory supporters.  The Foreign Secretary insisted Britain can “win the future” in an address that received a standing ovation from cheering party members. Theresa May was not among them in an apparent snub to her potential leadership rival that aides said was caused by a diary clash. Mr Johnson swore his loyalty to the Prime Minister, saying “the whole country owes her a debt for her steadfastness in taking Britain forward” and that she will secure “a great Brexit deal”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Anger over Libya “dead bodies” comment – BBC
  • Sack Boris demands Manfred Weber – The Guardian


Boris 2) Oborne: A brilliant speech that proved his loyalty

“The Foreign Secretary produced one of the best speeches of his political career, at a time when it has never been more urgently needed. This was not, however, quite the speech Mr Johnson’s fans had been expecting. Those hoping that he would try to topple the Prime Minister were deeply disappointed. Mr Johnson was loyal – a quality with which he is not usually associated. His well-crafted, genuinely funny and at times brilliant speech did not contain a word out of place. It was even full of praise for the poisonous Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, whose own speech hours earlier had been full of sneering barbs at the Foreign Secretary. And the attack on Jeremy Corbyn was conducted with a humour and finesse that put to shame Chancellor Hammond’s leaden oratory.” Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Other comment:

  • At ruddy last, a volley to end the glumbucktry – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Toothless turn – Patrick Kidd, The Times
  • A dose of much needed optimism – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Is Boris set to be the next Conservative leader? – The Sun Says
  • BoJo’s MoJo – Leader, The Times
  • Boris is electoral gold dust and May needs him – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express

PM to announce big house building drive

“Theresa May will announce the first major government council house building programme in decades. In a second popular move, Mrs May will also announce in her speech that she is enforcing her long promised energy price cap. Under the PM’s housing plan, ministers will join forces with housing associations to build hundreds of thousands of new homes, The Sun has learned. Significantly increasing the stock of council houses is also intended to drive down rents across the private sector too, making housing more affordable for all struggling Brits. Mrs May will champion the move as delivering for angry voters who have been failed by Britain’s chronic housing crisis, especially young people.” – The Sun

“Let’s shape up,” to be May’s Conference message

“Theresa May will tell the Conservatives to “shape up” and “go forward together” as she closes her annual party conference on Wednesday. The PM, who has faced repeated questions about her leadership during the Manchester conference, will vow not to “retreat in the face of difficulty”. And she will tell colleagues not to worry about their own jobs, but about those of “ordinary working people”. They must look to “do our duty by Britain”, she will say.” – BBC

  • May must stay on to deliver a true Brexit – Leader, Daily Express


Davis denies he plans to quit in 2019

“David Davis has vowed to fight for a successful Brexit as he defied reports he will quit in 2019.  The Brexit Secretary told the Conservative conference he would not be diverted by lurid headlines about a deadlock in Brussels. He insisted the prospects of a deal were growing and told activists he was working hard to ‘forge’ Britain’s new future.  Prime Minister Theresa May was earlier forced to laugh off as a joke claims Mr Davis wanted to quit as Brexit Secretary as soon as the Article 50 talks end in March 2019.” – Daily Mail


IDS: We need to promote marriage

“Britain is facing a broken families ‘crisis’ and ministers are afraid of talking about marriage, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The former Work and Pensions Secretary said the Government should challenge the view – widely held by the middle classes – that marriage was a ‘lifestyle choice’. He argued that the country needed a marriage ‘revolution’ and called for tax cuts for couples who tie the knot and an end to the ‘couple penalty’ for low-income families in the tax and benefit system.” – Daily Mail

“Tantrum” over immigration led to Brexit vote claims Duncan

“One of the reasons for the Brexit vote was working class voters throwing “a bit of a tantrum” over immigration, a government minister has claimed. Speaking in the United States, Sir Alan Duncan said the campaign had “stirred up a lot of sentiment” about migration among people who do not usually vote. The foreign office minister campaigned for Remain in last year’s referendum. During a Q&A at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he was asked if the Brexit vote had surprised him.” – BBC

Fallon: The two per cent defence spending target should be increased

“Britain must increase spending on the Armed Forces in the face of growing threats from terrorism and states such as Russia and North Korea, the Defence Secretary has said. In comments apparently aimed at putting pressure on the Treasury, Sir Michael Fallon said the Government should “aim to do better” than its current target of spending two per cent of GDP on the military. His remarks came as a former senior general warned that meagre defence spending meant Britain would be reliant on American protection to defend against North Korean missiles.” – Daily Telegraph

Davidson leadership “would be great” says Villiers…

“Former minister Theresa Villiers has appeared to back Ruth Davidson as the next Conservative leader. She was taking part in a debate on the Conservative Party fringe about how the party can win the next election. Panel chairman Tom Kibasi, of the IPPR think tank, listed Tory MPs, such as James Cleverly and Johnny Mercer, who have been tipped as future leaders. An audience member shouted “or Ruth Davidson”, to which Ms Villiers replied: “Oh that would be great.” – BBC

…and Finkelstein agrees

“Most people attending this conference believe the party has a winner in Ruth Davidson…If the Conservative Party is still the great election-winning machine it prides itself on being, if it still has will, it cannot just stand there accepting that the obvious solution is impossible. So let me give an example. The Conservative Party changes its rules to allow its Scottish leader to stand in the contest to be the overall party leader. And it delays any such contest until after the Scottish election in 2021. If Ms Davidson were successful she would stand for Westminster and as leader for the next term in 2022 while Mrs May finishes the term as prime minister.” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

Fox joins call for optimism

“Liam Fox and David Davis have called for an end to pessimism over Brexit and for the British public to “keep their eyes on the prize” on offer. The international trade secretary hit out at “negative” attitudes in certain quarters and urged people to be more upbeat about the UK’s prospects. “We are not passengers in our own destiny,” he told the Tory conference.” – BBC

>Today: Lord Ashcroft’s Conference Diary: The attempt to bribe Fox with a lifetime’s supply of free sugar

Leadership pitch from Patel

“Priti Patel appeared to step up her own leadership bid today in her main address to the Tory conference. The Aid Secretary – standing atop a box to help her reach the podium – joked that short politicians made the best leaders. After her box was placed behind the podium, Ms Patel opened by telling Tory members in Manchester: ‘Thank you for the step up.  Some of our most successful leaders have of course been the smallest.’ In her speech, Ms Patel drew upon Britain’s historic role in ending the slave trade and its involvement in global efforts to end poverty, help refugees and eradicate diseases as she sought to paint the UK as a ‘bold and confident’ nation.” – Daily Mail

  • New aid rules will stop fat cats – The Times

Rudd to ban sales of acid to under 18s

“Under 18s will be banned from buying acid, Amber Rudd has announced, in a bid to crack down on the “revolting” trend of acid attacks on members of the public.  In a speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester the Home Secretary vowed to do more to curb the sale of sulphuric acid, used in the production of so-called “mother of Satan” homemade explosives.” – Daily Telegraph


Jenkin urges free movement deal for musicians

“Eurosceptic Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin has urged the UK government to guarantee free movement for top EU musicians after Brexit. Mr Jenkin, who trained as an opera singer before entering politics, warned the music world was facing “paralysis” over the issue. He said the UK did not have to wait for a deal with the EU to set up a visa system for visiting musicians. He was quizzing minister Matt Hancock at a Tory conference fringe meeting.” – BBC

Jo Johnson says students can choose to be “frugal”

“Universities Minister Jo Johnson sparked fury last night after suggesting cash-strapped students tighten their belts to cope with the cost of doing a degree. The Eton-educated Cabinet Minister told a conference fringe undergraduates could tackle their money worries by “living very modestly and having a frugal existence”. In a panel discussion with MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis he said it was up to students to work out how to keep their living costs down and manage their Government loans. He said they could work, save or “borrow from their parents if they wish”. He added: “Students have many different choices about the kind of lifestyle they want at university.” – The Sun

End the control freakery pleads Rees-Mogg

“Control-freak Tory bosses are so strict they are like Kim Jong Un, cult MP Jacob Rees-Mogg joked. The popular backbencher said party leaders used North Korean tactics when they banned Tory members from speaking or voting at the annual party conference. And he called for the Conservatives to build a grassroots movement which could compete with the hard-left Momentum faction. Speaking to activists at a conference fringe event in Manchester, Mr Rees-Mogg called for the Tory leadership to stop ignoring ordinary members. He said: “It’s now turned into an American presidential convention where you’re expected to just turn up and cheer the great and the good – not even American, more like Kim Jong Un.” – The Sun

Willetts: The affluent generation need to be fair to the young

“The Conservative Party can’t just be the party of possession. We have to be the party of opportunity, too. That means getting more houses built…It also means boosting pension saving. We have the vehicle in auto-enrolment – how about a government savings top-up for the under-40s? It means a boost for adult training with public support for part- time students and for “returnships”. And, yes, it should mean the affluent older generations accepting we use some of our wealth to pay for our own social care. We cannot transfer the cost to younger taxpayers, many earning less than we did.” David Willetts, Daily Telegraph

  • Absence of young people rattles Conservatives – Financial Times
  • The Tories have an age problem – Rachel Cunliffe, City AM

Business leaders must also challenge socialism warns Hammond

“The Chancellor has called on big business to help defend the market economy from the “existential challenge” posed by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Philip Hammond demanded action from business leaders at a private dinner at the Conservative Party Conference that the Government. Attendees told The Telegraph that Mr Hammond was clear that the Government views the rising popularity of Mr Corbyn’s left-wing policies of large scale renationalisation and intervention as a threat to which business leaders must react.” – Daily Telegraph

Prove we are ready for no Brexit deal, Heywood told

“Sir Jeremy Heywood is under pressure from cabinet members to show that Britain is preparing properly for Theresa May being unable to strike a deal with the European Union. Senior government figures are concerned that the cabinet secretary is not doing enough to ensure ports, trading links and airlines can continue to operate if the UK were forced to rely on World Trade Organisation rules in its dealings with the EU after March 2019. The Times understands that it would take years to set up a fully functioning customs system if the UK left the EU without a deal and there would be many months of delays at the border.” – The Times

Denys: Give power to the workers

“The workplace is one of the least democratic environments in our society. Yet workers have a huge stake in the success of an organisation, and often see what is really happening on the shopfloor. They should be trusted with as much control over a business as shareholders. A quick way to increase their influence would be to introduce Matthew Taylor’s proposal to lower the threshold for introducing works councils so that only 2% rather than 10% of the workforce need to make the request. Staff should also have the same rights as shareholders to have their say on executive pay awards.” Nick Denys, The Guardian

Post strike threatened for Christmas

“Christmas shopping could be thrown into chaos after union bosses threatened a postal strike. Royal Mail workers voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in a dispute over pensions, pay and working conditions. Dates for the first national strike since the company was privatised in October 2013 have not been confirmed. But sources suggest the Communication Workers Union could walk out on November 24 and 25 to coincide with the ‘Black Friday’ sales when many families start their Christmas shopping.” – Daily Mail

  • Tube strike called off – City AM

Fracking ban means Scotland will miss out on new jobs

“The decision to ban shale extraction in Scotland has signalled the Scottish Government “turning its back on a potential manufacturing and jobs renaissance”, according to Ineos Shale. Operations director Tom Pickering warned that Scotland will miss out on economic and employment benefits, including an estimated 3,100 jobs. It comes after the Scottish Government said that fracking “cannot and will not take place in Scotland”.” – The Herald

Catalonia’s independence “days away”

“Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC. In his first interview since Sunday’s referendum, Carles Puigdemont said his government would “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next”. Meanwhile, Spain’s King Felipe VI said organisers of the vote put themselves “outside the law”. He said the situation in Spain was “extremely serious”, calling for unity.” – BBC

News in brief

  • Boris Johnson shows what it means to be an upbeat Conservative – Isabel Hardman, Spectator Coffee House
  • Brexit provides an opportunity for the UK to become the global leader in tech innovation – Syed Kamall, Brexit Central
  • Here is the speech that Theresa May should deliver today – Robert Colville, CapX
  • The lion retreats: Boris Johnson plays it safe in underwhelming speech – George Easton, New Statesman
  • Past his peak Boris will be done in by Tory MPs at this rate – Iain Martin, Reaction
  •  We have come a long way on mental health. But real parity of esteem remains some way off – Johnny Mercer, The House Magazine 
  • Inside the Tory effort to win back the young – Independent