Labour plots return of ‘1970s strike laws’

“Labour frontbenchers have been accused of plotting to take Britain back to the days of flying pickets and strikes in the 1970s. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has backed a radical pro-strike manifesto which would leave key public services vulnerable to industrial action. The ‘blueprint’ for workers’ rights, set out by a Left-wing think-tank, calls for current anti-strike laws to be ripped up and unions to be given more powers. Several of the most senior members of Labour’s shadow cabinet have said the party would adopt manifesto policies of the Institute of Employment Rights.” – Daily Mail

  • McDonnell backs flying pickets – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn plotting to rip up all trades union law passed since 1979 – The Sun


  • Labour leader insists he will contest the next election in-post – The Guardian
  • Pidcock claims to help more people than Churchill would have – Daily Mail


  • A nastier, more divisive Labour emerged from the ashes of Grenfell – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Support for May leading the Conservatives into the next election hits its highest total yet.

Brexit 1) Dozens of Labour councillors urge Corbyn to offer a second vote

“Jeremy Corbyn faces a fresh Brexit headache after dozens of Labour councillors called on him to offer voters a second referendum. Some 70 pro-EU locally elected representatives in Labour’s Europhile heartlands in south London have written to Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer setting out demands for a rethink. In the letter – revealed by PoliticsHome – they call for a change of policy on Brexit – saying the party should be “committed to providing the opportunity for people to change their mind”. And exposing the deep divisions tearing the Labour party apart and the concerns over Mr Corbyn’s leadership, the councillors say that offering voters a second choice would show “bravery, maturity and the principled leadership the country so desperately needs”.” – The Sun

Brexit 2) Davis ‘sidelined’ as Robbins fronts negotiation

“The EU’s lead negotiator has held face-to-face talks with David Davis’s former chief official in a breach of protocol that is regarded in Brussels as evidence of the Brexit secretary being sidelined. Mr Davis has been the public face of the talks, but sources say that Oliver Robbins, his former permanent secretary, is in effect running the negotiations. They add that Mr Robbins is dealing directly with Michel Barnier as well as Sabine Weyand, his opposite number in the European Commission. The Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) described the idea of Mr Davis being sidelined as “wholly inaccurate” but did not deny that Mr Robbins had held talks with Mr Barnier without Mr Davis being present.” – The Times

  • Fox moves to take trade disputes power from the EU – FT


  • A Brexiteer’s quandry: should I claim my Irish passport? – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. If anything, Party member support for May’s EU deal has strengthened

Brexit 3) Brussels preparing to play ‘hardball’ to keep the EU27 united

“EU officials are planning to hold the lucrative City of London hostage in the looming Brexit trade negotiations, it has been reported. Brussels is scared the next stage of talks will expose deep divisions among the 27 member states as countries will not want their trade harmed in order to punish Britain. Eurocrats are said to be desperately plotting to maintain the bloc’s unity in the face of these competing national interests. Under one plan they will try to block talks on access to the single market for Britain’s financial services until the eleventh hour – with one official warning a ‘high price’ will have to be paid. And under another strategy the EU are expected to demand the UK is tied in to EU rules and regulations in return for access to the single market.” – Daily Mail

  • Ministers seek sector-by-sector deal to avoid ‘Swiss trap’ – The Times
  • German foreign minister calls for ‘bespoke’ arrangement – The Sun
  • France to make ‘absurd’ demands on Calais border – Daily Telegraph


  • Brexit legislation set for intense scrutiny in the Lords – FT

>Today: Brandon Lewis MP in Comment: We will return foreign criminals to their home country at the earliest opportunity.

Brexit 4) Eurosceptics call for Heseltine to lose the whip

“Lord Tebbit last night led a growing Tory backlash against Lord Heseltine for suggesting Brexit could be more damaging than a Corbyn government. Senior Tories are calling for the former deputy prime minister to lose the party whip for claiming leaving the EU could have a worse long-term effect than Labour taking power. Yesterday the Bow Group think-tank, whose patrons include Lord Tebbit, Lord Lamont, John Redwood and Ann Widdecombe, slammed his comments. Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said: ‘Heseltine has made clear it is his aim to prevent Brexit at all costs, including the sabotage of his own party and nation.” – Daily Mail

  • Pressure piles up on May to take action against Thatcher-era giant – The Sun


  • I hate to say it, but Lord Heseltine is a bigot on Brexit – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail


  • He has allowed his passion for the EU to get the better of his judgement – Daily Telegraph
  • Lord Heseltine is very wrong – The Sun

Government to press ahead with crackdown on ‘rogue landlords’

“The government is to press ahead with new measures intended to crack down on rogue landlords, as it tries to win over younger voters in rented accommodation. Under the government’s proposals, people with certain criminal convictions will be banned from renting out property. Landlords will also need a licence to rent out homes to five or more people unless they are a single family. The government is also planning to introduce a fine of up to £30,000 for letting out unsafe or substandard accommodation, and will create a database of “serious and prolific offenders”. The proposals will be presented to MPs next month. “Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home,” said Alok Sharma, housing and planning minister.” – FT

  • Beds in cupboards and sheds to be banned – The Sun

>Today: Local Government: Councils must do more to encourage flats above shops

Nick Boles: How to stop universities ripping off students

“As institutions of learning that depend on the generosity of the British taxpayer for their livelihoods, you might expect our universities to be frugal custodians of public money and doughty defenders of intellectual freedom. Yet in recent months we have been subject to a grotesque parade of greed and political correctness. Grim though they are, however, I fear that these scandals are a distraction, disguising a more fundamental flaw in our overall approach to higher education – one that is tantamount to government-sponsored mis-selling… No-one has stopped to ask if these courses will bring students benefits that outweigh their cost. Ministers reassure themselves that, in aggregate, graduates earn more than non-graduates, and this is clearly true. But for many of them the advantage is slight, and not enough to justify the enormous cost of a degree.” – Daily Mail

  • Some millennials are snowflakes, but most just need our help – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph


  • Academics accused of ‘stirring up mob’ in free speech row – The Times
  • Race campaigner likens Biggar’s critics to Stalinists – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gove is our panel’s Minister of the Year

Prince Harry quotes Burke as he speaks up against defence cuts

“Prince Harry has weighed into the spiralling row on military cuts to say there are “not a huge amount” of troops left in the forces. The 33-year-old Royal issued the biting criticism while guest editing BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme today. The former Army officer for 10 years chose Britain’s military as one of a handful of key subjects to focus his three hour programme on. Calling for Brits to “show respect” to their dwindling forces, Harry dubbed the role of the military as “a topic I think really needs to be talked about”. He argued: “We have a huge amount – well, not a huge amount – we’ve got some people within the services who are ready to serve. As Edmund Burke once said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”” – The Sun

MPs 1) Conservatives and DUP back using lottery funds on new royal yacht

“Ministers are being urged to launch a lottery game to raise funds for a new £120 million Royal Yacht Britannia to “showcase post-Brexit Britain and bring trade to our shores”. Fifty Tory MPs have written to three of Theresa May’s most senior Cabinet ministers urging them to help “right the wrong” of the Labour government’s decision in 1997 to decommission Britannia. Using funds from a new national lottery game to pay for a new Britannia would allow ordinary Britons “the pride of having a stake” in helping to fund the new yacht which would “showcase the best of British business and project our humanitarian role across the globe”, the MPs said.” – Daily Telegraph

MPs 2) Parliamentarians hit out at Governor’s comparison of Churchill and Trump

“British MPs have torn into a former US governor for comparing Donald Trump to Sir Winston Churchill – branding the comments ‘absurd’. Mike Huckabee sent a tweet saying the great wartime leader was ‘hated by his own party, opposition party and press’ just like the US leader. And he compared Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain who pursued a policy of appeasement with the Nazis. The politician turned Fox News pundit wrote: ‘Churchill was hated by his own party, opposition party, and press. Feared by King as reckless, and despised for his bluntness. But unlike Neville Chamberlain, he didn’t retreat. We had a Chamberlain for 8 yrs; in @realDonaldTrump we have a Churchill.'” – Daily Mail

  • Obama’s right: hashtags can’t change the world – David Aaronovitch, The Times

Social media: Twitter ‘boasts’ of how it boosted Labour in June

“Twitter has boasted of how it helped Labour win the social media battle as Britons went out to vote in June’s general election which nearly resulted in Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. The news came after Facebook, another US social media company, told how it helped the Scottish National Party “achieve an overwhelming victory” at the 2015 election after it set up an obscure government and politics team to help political parties win campaigns. Labour’s successful exploitation of Twitter will further draw unflattering comparisons with the Conservatives’ lacklustre social media presence ahead of polling day.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Facebook takes credit for the SNP’s 2015 landslide – The Sun


  • Thatcher offered voters a Ferrari. Today’s Tories are a VW Passat – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph

Liberal Democrats face ‘fight for political future’ in 2018

“The Liberal Democrats face being squeezed even further in 2018, with the party likely to struggle to make itself heard in the debate beyond Brexit and real fears for its future as a political force, former party staffers and academics have warned. Several key members of staff have left over the past few months, and the party’s poll position is stuck rigidly at about seven per cent. One departed party staff member said there was “a genuine fear for the future of the party”, pointing out many of its 12 MPs have small majorities, including former leader Tim Farron, the new education spokeswoman, Layla Moran, and the work and pensions spokesman, Stephen Lloyd.” – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • A great tragedy is not always proof of great wickedness – Daniel Hannan MEP, CapX
  • Happy Brexmas, Chris Grayling – Brexit Central
  • Russian fake news is causing trouble in Latvia – William Cook, The Spectator
  • Downing Street is scuppering its negotiating position – Bruce Newsome, Comment Central