Macron outlines tough conditions for City access to EU markets…

“Britain’s financial sector won’t get full access to the single market unless the UK pays billions to Brussels and follows EU laws forever, Emmanuel Macron has said. At a joint Press conference with Theresa May, the French President spoke warmly about relations between Britain and France, saying they were ‘making a new tapestry together’. But he adopted a tough line on Brexit, suggesting the UK will be offered only a limited trade deal unless it agrees to be bound by the rules of the single market – which Mrs May has already ruled out. He said Britain could ‘be my guest’ if it wanted to retain full access to the single market, but warned it would come with onerous conditions.” – Daily Mail

  • President rejects ‘special access’ – FT
  • Calais migrants will be fast-tracked – Daily Mail
  • Ministers, executives, and Bank worried about French bid to tighten rules – FT


  • Foreign Secretary proposes ‘channel bridge’ – The Times
  • Portillo says Osborne should be ‘called out’ for Remain campaign claims – Daily Express
  • UK will have to keep ‘tampon tax’ for years – Daily Telegraph
  • Welsh peers pushing for second referendum – Wales Online
  • Whisky industry sees danger in Sturgeon’s plans – Daily Telegraph


  • France is having a Tony Blair moment – Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Daily Telegraph
  • Focus on trade, not a second referendum – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • The one thing which could make me a Brexiteer – Brian Wilson, The Scotsman
  • A welcome visit but an unusual gift – John Redwood, Times Red Box


  • Macron should heed the case for a grand bargain on Brexit – The Times
  • Visit offers a post-Brexit vision – Daily Telegraph
  • The clock is ticking and the Cabinet must act – The Sun

>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: No matter how much Tusk might wish it, there will be no second referendum, and no cancellation of Brexit

…as Trump prepares to ‘snub May at Davos’

“Donald Trump is poised to snub Theresa May for the second time this month after it emerged he has no plans to meet her at next week’s World Economic Forum in Davos. The Prime Minister had been hoping for a “clear the air” meeting with Mr Trump at the Swiss resort after the US president unexpectedly cancelled plans for a visit to Britain. Presidents and prime ministers do not usually attend the Davos summit, where chancellors and finance ministers take centre stage, but Whitehall sources had previously revealed plans to “engineer an encounter” between Mrs May and Mr Trump after they both announced they would be attending. However, the White House has been lukewarm on the idea, saying Mr Trump has no time to meet Mrs May, even though he will meet Emmanuel Macron, the French president. Downing Street has now all but given up hope of a meeting taking place.” – Daily Telegraph

  • President doesn’t want to distract Prime Minister from Brexit, ally claims – The Sun

>Today: Ben Rochelle in Comment: Why May will still be Prime Minister in a year’s time

Ministers 1) Gyimah open-minded about fees reform

“Tuition fees could be cut after the new universities minister last night signalled a review of student finance. Sam Gyimah said officials would investigate whether the higher annual charge of £9,250 ‘works across the system’. His predecessor, Jo Johnson, and former Education Secretary Justine Greening are alleged to have blocked previous attempts at reform. But in his first public appearance since taking office last week, Mr Gyimah yesterday indicated he was open to change and confirmed he will oversee a review on the issue. He said an examination of the fee system and student loans would form part of a wider inquiry into tertiary education – which includes universities and colleges.” – Daily Mail

  • Universities minister must put students first – Shakira Martin, Times Red Box

>Today: ToryDiary: Gyimah is not enough

Ministers 2) Hinds urges older people to retrain as teachers

“Teaching will be opened up to all generations and not just new graduates, the education secretary has pledged. Damian Hinds said he would also “crack” the problem of excessive workload to make teaching a more manageable and attractive job. Writing for The Times, below, he praises grammar schools for playing a key role in England’s “rich, diverse system”. This will cheer Conservative MPs who want to see an expansion of selective schools, despite the ban on new schools remaining in place. The latest figures show teacher recruitment in free-fall, with applications from 2017 university leavers down by a third on the previous year… Mr Hinds says he is pleased that teacher recruitment is targeting “established professionals”. Teach First, the biggest graduate recruiter, has said that it will shift its focus to older trainees.” – The Times

  • Children are being let down by breadth and depth of education – Damian Hinds, Times Red Box

Ministers 3) Northern Irish Secretary rebuked by DUP over cash

“The new Northern Ireland secretary has admitted she was “clumsy” for saying that the Government had not yet started spending the £1billion agreed under the confidence and supply arrangement. The comments by Karen Bradley infuriated Nigel Dodds, the Westminster leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, who wrote on Twitter: “”Oh dear…some already released. Rest on way. This is not correct.” Mrs Bradley is just over a week into the job. She replaced James Brokenshire after he resigned from the Government on health grounds last week. The Cabinet minster was forced to clarify remarks she made in a sit-down round of questions with the print media about the DUP’s confidence and supply deal with her minority government at Westminster.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ulster parties to meet for fresh talks… – FT
  • …but urge caution about expectations – Belfast Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: May resists DUP calls for direct rule as Bradley calls for yet more talks

Badenoch suggests puritanical attitudes may be ‘passing fad’

“A female Tory vice-chairman has compared ‘puritanical’ attitudes to sexual harassment with passing ‘fads’ such as fashionable wristbands. Kemi Badenoch, who was appointed last week, said there had been a generational change in what is seen as appropriate behaviour. Her comments come after Westminster has been rocked by the sexual harassment scandal that saw Sir Michael Fallon and Damian Green forced out of their Cabinet jobs… Brexit-supporting Mrs Badenoch said: ‘I’ve seen these sort of fits and seizures where everybody is interested in something and then they move on. When I first got into politics, this is 2005, there was Live Aid… and that was what everybody was talking about.'” – Daily Mail

  • Rising Tory star ‘blasts snowflakes’ – The Sun


  • Millenial politicians face up to a past online – Sebastian Payne, FT

Soubry attacks prosecutions chief

“The director of public prosecutions was criticised by politicians and lawyers yesterday after insisting that innocent people were not in jail despite admitting there were “systemic issues” in disclosing evidence. Alison Saunders was described as “part of the problem” by one Tory MP and “complacent” by a part-time judge after saying that the justice system was working despite failures with evidence leading to a string of trials collapsing. She met senior police officers, senior representatives of the judiciary and legal professionals yesterday to discuss concerns that vital material is not being disclosed… Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP and former minister, said she was “appalled at the ill informed comments” of Ms Saunders. “Have been longstanding problems with disclosure,” she wrote on Twitter. “Those duties extend to investigation of all allegations not just a few serious offences. I fear Alison Saunders is part of the problem.”” – The Times

  • Police and CPS must take responsibility for collapsed trials – Daily Telegraph

John Whittingdale: Web giants have a duty to save local newspapers

In the last 12 years, around 200 local and regional newspaper titles have closed. Those that have managed to keep going have done so by shedding staff, with the number employed in local and regional press having halved in the last 10 years. Much of the traditional role of the local press – the reporting of local public institutions such as council chambers and courts – has been abandoned. This is bad for democracy. With central government devolving powers to locally-elected mayors, councils and police commissioners, voters are no longer being given the information on which to judge their performance… I understand the unwillingness of Google and Facebook to become publishers or to finance content providers directly. But they could contribute funding to help local news organisations to employ journalists just as the BBC are now doing. It is very much in their interests to do so.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour chief under investigation by Commons authorities

“The chairman of the Labour Party is under investigation by the Commons authorities for using parliamentary notepaper to threaten constituents with legal action. Ian Lavery, a senior ally of Jeremy Corbyn, told administrators of Facebook groups in his constituency that they could face legal action if they did not remove posts about him that he claimed were defamatory. The parliamentary commissioner for standards yesterday confirmed that it was investigating whether the MP for Wansbeck had breached the code of conduct by sending the letters on official notepaper and in pre-paid parliamentary envelopes. The use of parliamentary stationery is strictly regulated. MPs must use taxpayer-funded material only “in support of their parliamentary duties”, not for financial gain.” – The Times

  • Corbyn pledges to end outsourcing ‘racket’ – The Guardian
  • Woman ‘abused by O’Mara’ slams Labour – The Sun


  • Momentum being beaten at Labour grassroots is no moderate victory – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • This is not a coup, but a mandate for a radical agenda – Gary Younge, The Guardian
  • Opposition moderates must show they’ve got guts – Philip Collins, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Carillion. Don’t say that Jesse Norman didn’t warn us (in a manner of speaking)

Bercow ‘overruled fire safety advice’

“John Bercow went against official advice and kept a policy that prevents fire alarms from sounding at Westminster despite increasing fears of a serious blaze, leaked documents reveal. The Commons Speaker maintained the system – described by one senior MP as staggering – that if an alarm is triggered it is investigated before any evacuation is ordered. The leak comes after Andrea Leadsom confirmed that the government is to delay the restoration and repair of the parliament building… Sixty incidents could have resulted in a serious fire at Westminster since 2008 and insiders say there are about five fires a week on the parliamentary estate. Despite the seriousness of the threat, the House of Commons Commission, chaired by Mr Bercow, last year ignored the findings of its internal audit committee on improving fire safety.” – The Times

  • May accused of cowardice after banning amendments to refurbishment bill – The Sun

SNP councillors rebrand as ‘Government of Glasgow’

“Older residents may recall a time when a local authority was known simply as the corporation or town council. But the ruling administration in Glasgow has chosen a new name for itself – City Government. The SNP ended four decades of continuous Labour rule at the ornate City Chambers in George Square at last year’s local elections, pledging to offer a new vision for Scotland’s most populous council area. While the name City Government refers only to the ruling group of councillors – Glasgow City Council remains the official name of the organisation as a whole – some have questioned whether such a title is appropriate, with one MSP suggesting it smacked of “delusions of grandeur”.” – The Scotsman

  • Getting back to real left-versus-right politics in Scotland – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Neil Stock in Local Government: Councils need to help the police defeat crime

>Yesterday: Cllr Meghan Gallacher in Local Government: How the Conservatives changed the political landscape in North Lanarkshire

News in Brief:

  • US and UK have been subsidising Europe’s security for years – James Rogers, CapX
  • It’s time for Britain to toughen up in the negotiations – Austin Mitchell, Brexit Central
  • Transport geeks need to start speaking ‘economese’ – Benjamin Clayton, Reaction
  • What to proper communists really think about Corbyn? – Tom Ball, The Spectator