Green denies accusations of ‘inappropriate advances’ on Tory activist…

“Damian Green, the first secretary of state, was referred to the cabinet secretary by Downing Street after it was claimed he sent the woman a text message about how he had admired her in a corset. Kate Maltby, a critic and academic involved in Conservative politics, revealed the message and described a meeting between them in a bar where they discussed sexual affairs within parliament. The revelations came after Mr Green was named as being on the Westminster sexual harassment dossier over highly disputed historical claims he used an adultery website.” – Daily Mail

  • Hartley-Brewer scorns suggestion she is Fallon’s ‘victim’… – Daily Mail
  • …but May fails to back her Defence Secretary – FT
  • Westminster staffer accuses MP of sexual assault – Daily Mail


  • He probably has no idea how awkward I felt – Kate Maltby, The Times

…as Conservative MPs named in ‘dirty dossier’ threaten to sue…

“Conservative MPs who claim they were wrongly named on a spreadsheet containing allegations of sexual harassment at Westminster are discussing legal action against its authors – but have been unable to identify them. A list of 40 Tory MPs alleged to have behaved improperly or to have had sexual relations with colleagues has been published online… The dossier, compiled by a small number of Tory researchers and other party members, contains some allegations that have already been in the public domain. Some of the claims are unverified or contain no supporting evidence, and a number of people on the list have said the allegations are not true. A senior Tory said “legal action is being discussed” but admitted that the people behind the list had not been identified.” – The Times

  • Fabricant warns that lies could ruin careers – Daily Mail
  • Miller warns that scandal could devolve into ‘naval-gazing’ – The Sun
  • Some MPs included for already-public relationships – Daily Telegraph

…and Labour activist says her party tried to suppress her rape allegation

“A senior Labour official tried to cover up the alleged rape of a member of staff at a party event, it was claimed yesterday as the Westminster sex scandal deepened. Bex Bailey, 25, a former member of the national executive committee, waived her right to anonymity to reveal that she had been raped during a party event in 2011 when she was 19. When she tried to report the incident two years later she claimed that the official tried to dissuade her because it could damage her career. The allegation is the most serious yet in a growing storm over sexual misconduct in politics. In a separate claim made yesterday, a parliamentary staff member said that she had been sexually assaulted by an MP during a business trip in Europe.”The Times

  • Veteran warns that Corbyn could be pulled into ‘cover up’ – The Sun
  • What we know about Bailey’s allegations – The Sun


  • Sturgeon tells SNP politicians to ‘review their actions’ as scandal rages – Daily Telegraph
  • Nationalists investigating two cases of harassment – The Scotsman

Sarah Vine: Leadsom must not follow McCarthy’s lead when handling allegations

“Touching a colleague’s knee in a taxi after a boozy dinner is not the same as drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl. Fancying a work colleague is not a crime (for many of us, it’s the start of a happy marriage). Nor is having an affair, or else half the population would be in jail. Even having ‘odd’ sexual preferences is not illegal, so long as all parties are consensual. If the puritans at parliament have their way, and are given powers to sack MPs or demote ministers purely on the basis of allegations and without any actual evidence of assault, then we might as well be living in Communist China or North Korea, where you never know when that knock on the door is going to come. No one person or political party should ever have that kind of power; that is why the position of the judiciary is so vital in our democracy.” – Daily Mail

  • Must every come-on now be classified as harassment? – Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
  • Westminster is not full of sex pests, it’s much duller than that – Julia Hartley-Brewer, The Sun
  • Male politicians are hooked on risk – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • I exposed ‘Sexminster’ three years ago, it mustn’t get brushed under the carpet – Cathy Newman, Daily Telegraph


  • The Government is right to adopt a zero-tolerance approach – The Times
  • We must not let innocent MPs get caught up in this storm – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Bullying, harassment and abuse at Westminster. How the Speaker and the party leaders can get a grip.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Fifteen snapshots of the Westminster abuse and harassment story

May sends message of support after New York terrorist attack

“Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the New York terror attack and told the American people ‘together we will defeat terrorism’. Eight people were killed and 11 injured after a truck mounted a bicycle path in lower Manhattan this afternoon. The attacker was heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he ploughed into cyclists and runners. Responding to the atrocity in Manhattan, Mrs May tweeted: ‘Appalled by this cowardly attack, my thoughts are with all affected. ‘Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism. UK stands with #NYC.’ US President Donald Trump tweeted a similar message of defiance.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 1) Four more join Brexit planning committee

“Four more ministers have been added to the cabinet committee in charge of setting Britain’s Brexit negotiating strategy as it was announced that the latest round of talks will be in Brussels next week. In a clear signal that Theresa May is attempting to bind Brexiteers to her strategy, Michael Gove and Liam Fox are joining the group of ministers who will sign off any concessions made to Brussels in the talks. They will be alongside the former Remain supporters Sir Michael Fallon and Greg Clark on the cabinet’s Brexit strategy and negotiations sub-committee, which will be chaired by the prime minister. One of the first jobs of the committee will be to authorise a common position on what the UK is prepared to pay the European Union as part of the so-called divorce settlement.” – The Times

  • Brexit Secretary says deal will ‘favour the EU on money’ – FT
  • Preparing for a deal to cost £1 million per day – The Times
  • ‘No deal’ would require 5,000 new customs staff – FT
  • Tory MPs blast Bank of England jobs warning – The Sun
  • FCA chief says banks need a deal by year’s end – The Guardian


  • Anger that EU is costing Britain ‘£267 million a week’ – Daily Express
  • Leave vote has ‘cost each household more than £600 a year’ – The Guardian


  • A year of Remainer warnings hasn’t dented Leaver’s belief in Brexit – Matthew Smith, Times Red Box
  • As a haven of sensible regulation, the City may gain by Brexit – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph


  • Davis charms peers with the patience of a martyr – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Today: James Arnell in Comment: Ready on Day One for Brexit. 3) Urgent transition issues.


Ministers 2) Johnson confirms student loan sell-off

“Ministers have announced they plan to sell off a large portion of the student loan book by the end of the year – accounting for £3.7billion worth of debt. It may mean these loans effectively transfer into private hands, although the government has said borrowers will not notice any changes. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said the move would have no impact on graduates paying off loans, as terms and conditions would remain the same after the sale was completed. Critics, however, were sceptical of the minister’s assurances, noting that the government had already moved the goalposts once on student loan repayments.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 3) Hunt urges Facebook to ‘raise the alarm’ if children spend too long online

“Jeremy Hunt is to urge Facebook to raise the alarm when children spend too long glued to social media, in a bid to “turn the tide” on damage caused by overexposure to the internet. Warning of links between social networks and a steep rise in self-harm, the Health Secretary will ask technology giants to help tackle growing mental health problems among Britain’s youth. Mr Hunt will on Wednesday meet executives from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google and Microsoft, and  ask them to become “part of the solution” to growing levels of mental distress. Social media giants will be asked to attempt to identify young users with “unhealthy online behaviour” including long periods online, and use at unsocial hours.” – Daily Telegraph

  • NHS chief accuses Health Secretary of ‘own goal’ over pay rises – The Guardian

New report suggests cutting the House of Lords by a quarter

“New peers should only be appointed if two others have died or retired, according to a major report on shrinking the size of the House of Lords. A review by the Lord Speaker said the size of the upper chamber must be cut by a quarter if it is to earn the public’s confidence. This would mean that, for the first time, the size of the House would be capped at 600 – and all new peers would have to retire after 15 years. All new political peers would be appointed in proportion to the previous election result – meaning that the number of Liberal Democrat peers will gradually fall if their poor electoral fortunes continue.” – Daily Mail


  • Lords must be active to keep their seats – Norman Fowler, The Times


Bookmakers’ shares climb after ‘fudged’ crackdown

“Investors took their chances with Britain’s two biggest bookmakers yesterday as they bet that a government review of gambling rules will ultimately prove a let-off for the industry. Shares in William Hill rose by 2.34 per cent while the value of Ladbrokes Coral jumped 1.68 per cent after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published its long-awaited recommendations on fixed-odds betting terminals. City analysts said the government had “fudged” a decision to cut the maximum stake by outlining four possible options ranging from £50 to £2.” – The Times

  • We’re working with the industry to protect the vulnerable – Tracey Crouch, Times Red Box

Budget 1) Rees-Mogg backs press campaign to slash aid spending

“Tory Party grandee Jacob Rees-Mogg has given his backing to the Daily Express crusade to Stop The Foreign Aid Madness. The Brexit-supporting MP, tipped as a future party leader and Prime Minister, said spending a set percentage of our national income overseas was political posturing. His intervention comes as support for our campaign grows by the day with 30,000 postal coupons arriving at our headquarters while thousands more sign our online petition. Mr Rees-Mogg, 48, said: “I fully support the Daily Express campaign. “The [foreign aid] target was a piece of political showmanship from David Cameron and George Osborne. We should help in emergencies, and by facilitating investment and trade, but beyond that it is fundamentally wasteful.”” – Daily Express

  • Rules change means budget can now be spent in Overseas Territories – The Sun

Budget 2) Osborne’s raid on buy-to-let landlords rakes in twice what was expected

“George Osborne’s stamp duty raid on buy-to-let properties has hauled in more than £2.7 billion to the government’s coffers. The tax raid is more than twice as much as officials were expecting to collect when the government slapped higher stamp duty rates on landlords and second home owners in April last year. The government had expected to raise £1.3 billion from the tax increase in the first two years. However, new figures from HM Revenue & Customs show it has raised more than double that in the first 18 months alone. Mr Osborne, the former Chancellor, introduced the so-called ‘landlord tax’ to cool the booming buy-to-let market and to free up housing for first-time buyers.” – Daily Mail

  • Over a third of councils have yet to pay into Hammond’s hardship fund – The Sun
  • HMRC to stop accepting credit cards – Daily Telegraph


  • Businesses need a Budget which encourages investment in growth – Jamie Kerr, Times Red Box
  • Motorists pay billions in taxes but so little goes on the roads – Quentin Willson, The Sun

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Hammond must use his Budget to fix our broken housing system

News in Brief:

  • A Westminster witch-hunt is in nobody’s interests – James Kirkup, The Spectator
  • Robinson and Hartley-Brewer haven’t made it easier for women – Glosswitch, The Independent
  • The Bank of England’s latest warning is Project Fear reheated – Charlie Elphicke MP, Brexit Central
  • How the Left lost its way – Geoffrey Hodgson, CapX
  • There’s nothing the EU can do about Spain – Allan Massie, Reaction