The two main parties issue new sex allegation rules. The Conservatives also publish a code of conduct.  Next, May will move to put pressure on the Speaker over what the Commons itself will do.

“The Tories and Labour both rushed out tough new rules to investigate sex allegations in a bid to get control of the Westminster scandal. Tory leader Theresa May also published her party’s new code of conduct last night for how all members must behave. It included a strident new definition of harassment to leave no room for pervy behaviour. Any minister, MP or activist will be guilty of it if their actions have the effect of “violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive situation or environment for them”. A single incident of this behaviour would also amount to harassment, it also states.” – The Sun

James Forsyth: Why did Williamson leave the Whips Office?

“Two explanations are doing the rounds in Tory circles for why Williamson has chosen to leave the Whips’ Office at such a vital time. The first is he has decided it was time to get out. He has never lost a vote on Government business but with hundreds of amendments put down to the EU Withdrawal Bill, it was getting harder and harder to keep hold of that record…The more intriguing explanation is that Williamson has decided he needs to start building a public profile for his leadership bid now — and there is no time to waste. This is making ministers and MPs wonder if Williamson has concluded the Prime Minister might not have as long left as some people think.” – The Sun

  • Williamson’s “Alan Partridge-style Instagram account” revealed that he hadn’t paid road tax – Daily Mail
  • New Defence Secretary “helped derail Ministry of Defence plans to allow a US radar base to upgrade missile defences in Yorkshire as a young campaigner” – The Sun
  • In defence of Williamson: there are worse things than a novice – Financial Times

Soubry claims that there was a further complaint against Fallon.  He denies the allegation and says that it is libellous.

“Michael Fallon had to resign because of his behaviour towards women. One person with great courage made a complaint to No 10 of sexual assault. Theresa May made it very clear she took these allegations seriously and within hours he had gone,” Ms Soubry said. Sir Michael said that the claim was not true and was libellous. “I’ve already accepted that I have behaved inappropriately in the past but I have never physically assaulted anybody,” he said. He added that no specific allegation was put to him. No 10 declined to comment. There has been no formal report of any alleged misconduct to the police.” – The Times (£)

  • Soubry interview in full – The Times (£)
  • “Leadsom shopped Fallon to make her unsackable in a reshuffle” – Daily Mail
  • The Commons leader: deluded, out of her depth, cynical – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Fallon doesn’t blame me for his downfall – Julia Hartley-Brewer, Daily Telegraph
  • Former Defence Secretary out and about at the opening of a new girls’ school – The Sun
  • Sleaze returns to haunt the Tories – Financial Times
  • The sex predators of yesteryear – Daily Mail

Elphicke is suspended from the Parliamentary Party after a woman makes “serious allegations” against him. He denies any wrongdoing.

“It is understood that Conservative Party whips contacted the police after being told of the allegations. They also contacted the woman concerned to say that they were co-operating with the police. Mr Elphicke said that he was unaware that he had been suspended until after the statement had been released to the media. “The party tipped off the press before telling me of my suspension,” he said. “I am not aware of what the alleged claims are and deny any wrongdoing.” – The Times (£)

  • What whips do – The Times (£)
  • (Bradshaw reports Baker to Standards watchdog over Constitutional Research Council donation) – The Times (£)

Corbyn’s judgment questioned over Hopkins’ promotion

“Mr Hopkins was appointed shadow culture secretary in June 2016 following a rebellion by Labour MPs that left Mr Corbyn desperate to fill holes in his frontbench team. Rosie Winterton, then Labour chief whip, is understood to have verbally raised the allegation of sexual harassment against Mr Hopkins with Mr Corbyn’s office soon after his appointment to the shadow cabinet. She did not raise formal concerns about the 76-year-old MP for Luton North.” – Financial Times

  • Lewis under investigation by Labour for giving a woman’s bottom “a big squeeze” –
  • Daily Express
  • Labour’s Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children suspended after unknown allegation – Wales Online
  • Thousands join Scottish Labour to vote in leadership race – Herald Scotland
  • Corbyn appears on Gogglebox – Daily Mail
  • What was Corbyn thinking when he promoted Hopkins? – Sun Editorial
  • Was was Harman thinking when she started repeating anti-semitic jokes? – Daily Express Editorial
  • Jewish group calls on Harman to apologise – The Guardian


Labour’s Jewish wing produces shocking dossier of party anti-semitism. Quotes include support for the Holocaust.

“The scale of anti-semitism within Labour has prompted training sessions for 1,200 party members in a drive to stamp out the vile online abuse. Labour’s Jewish wing is holding the events that use a slide show of hate-filled messages posted on the internet by the party’s own activists. The Daily Mail has chosen to reproduce the comments despite their shocking content in order to highlight the enormity of the problem.” – Daily Mail

Charles Moore: This scandal shows that women are now on top. I pray they share power with men, not crush us

“My generation of men is the first in human history in which male physical strength – either in war or in ordinary labour – is not at a premium. In many ways, this is an emancipation for both sexes. It has helped bring about a genuine, unforced equality which gives less scope for male boorishness. It benefits both home life and the workplace. It enhances civilisation. The emerging solution to Ruth Davidson’s point with which I began is surely power-sharing. I am sorry if this sounds rather wet and middle-of-the-road, but the alternative which we are currently witnessing is detestable.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “I am both delighted that women have seized the moral power and anxious that they use it responsibly and humanely.” – Janice Turner, The Times (£)
  • The problem isn’t women, it’s us – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian
  • May needs to get a grip – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • Few MPs are sex pests, many are bullies – Katie Perrior, The Times (£)
  • The Tory benches are fizzing with talent – Nadhim Zahawi, Daily Telegraph
  • The Government’s behaviour defies common sense – Daily Telegraph Editorial

The Budget. Hammond believes too much investment is concentrated on housing

“He is also due to publish the recommendations of the Treasury’s patient capital review, which seeks to find new ways to find finance for innovative ideas and businesses. Economists want money that goes into housing speculation and inflates prices to be diverted into investment in growing businesses. However, there is concern that drastic action when the economy is slowing could cause problems for property owners. The Treasury, No 10 and the Department for Communities and Local Government are struggling to put together a package on housing in the budget.” – The Times

  • He may hike Insurance premium tax – The Sun
  • Hammond and May rowed over the Budget and housing. “It was like he felt he had to explain everything to her like a child.” –The Sun
  • Adrift on housing – Times Editorial

Ministerial conduct. Patel accused of breaking protocol over meetings with Israeli politicians.

“Priti Patel met the leader of one of Israel’s main political parties and made visits to several organisations where official departmental business was reportedly discussed. According to one source, at least one of the meetings was held at the suggestion of the Israeli ambassador to London. In contrast, British diplomats in Israel were not informed about Ms Patel’s plans. Ministers are by convention supposed to tell the Foreign Office when they are conducting official business overseas.” – BBC

NUT chief attacks Prevent alongside banned teacher who allegedly led the “Trojan Horse plot” to further hardline Islamism in schools

“At a packed debate in Birmingham, Mr Courtney shared a platform alongside Tahir Alam, the former chair of governors accused of being the ringleader of the Trojan Horse plot aimed at orchestrating a plan to promote hard-line Islamist religious teaching in schools. Speakers told 300 local people at the meeting, condemned by Birmingham City Council amid fears it would defend those said to have promoted hardline Islamist beliefs, that reports finding there had been an attempt to wrest control of some schools was the “Trojan Horse Hoax”.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • We need a culture change to stop sexual harassment in journalism – Hannah Riding, New Statesman
  • It’s like the 1990s, but so much worse – Alex Massie, CapX
  • What to do about returning jihadis? – James Forsyth, Spectator
  • Confessions of a bottom-squeezer – Jane Kelly, The Conservative Woman