Cameron suggests May used reshuffle to ‘ensure she fights the next election’…

“Theresa May used the reshuffle “to help ensure she fights the next election”, senior Conservative sources said as friends of David Cameron suggested that he compared her approach to staying in power to that of Gordon Brown. Mr Cameron was said to believe that his successor was unlikely to leave office voluntarily, in an echo of Mr Brown after he lost his Commons majority in 2010. Friends said that after the botched election in June Mr Cameron suggested that while Tony Blair and he left of their own volition when they felt their time was up he expected Mrs May to try to stay in post. “David was suggesting the idea she retires voluntarily seemed implausible”, they said.” – The Times


… as Tory peer dismisses Prime Minister’s green drive

“Theresa May’s plans to deal with plastic waste are little more than “jaw jaw”, according to the Tory peer who led a green revolution at Marks & Spencer. Lord Rose of Monewden, 68, says the prime minister needed to give big corporations a “kick up the arse” if she was serious about the environment and dealing with the scourge of waste. The former chief executive of Marks & Spencer described Mrs May’s plan to encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles as “too simplistic”, saying it may lead to a rise in food waste – which is worse for the environment – because packaging protects and extends the shelf life of produce.” – The Times

  • Critics say plan ignores dumping at sea – Daily Mail

Ministers 1) Johnson attacks Khan for threatening the ‘special relationship’

“Boris Johnson today tore into Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan as he blamed the Labour leadership for Donald Trump cancelling his trip to London. The Foreign Secretary said Labour’s leadership appears ‘determined’ to damage the special relationship and imperil America’s investment in Britain. And in a colourful dig at Mr Khan, he pledged that the Government will not let the UK’s relationship with its closest ally ‘by some puffed up pompous popinjay in City Hall’. His remarks come after the Labour London Mayor celebrated news that the US President had pulled out of his planned trip next month saying he had ‘got the message’.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary clash over cancellation – The Times
  • Trump ‘not invited to the royal wedding’ – Daily Mail
  • President ‘took offence at slights from the British’ – The Times


  • Labour have rolled out the red carpet for worse monster – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail


Ministers 2) Chancellor criticised by ex-Army chief…

“A former head of the army has told the chancellor not to allow more cuts to the military and accused him of overseeing a “catastrophic reduction” when he was the defence secretary. In a letter to The Times General Lord Dannatt says that a series of options, reported yesterday, to reduce manpower by at least a further 14,000 and cut the number of warships and helicopters would be disastrous. “I wish Gavin Williamson [the defence secretary] all the very best as [he] fights in our best national interests in this vital battle with Philip Hammond and his Treasury officials,” the former chief of the general staff says. “Mr Hammond, as a previous defence secretary, oversaw a catastrophic reduction in defence capability during his tenure at the MoD – he must not be allowed to do it a second time. History would not judge him kindly.”” – The Times

  • Thousands of UK jobs ‘at risk’ after £3bn MoD order with German firm – Daily Express


  • What good is an Army which appears ashamed of its own existence? – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Ministers 3) …as he accuses Brussels of ‘paranoia’ over Brexit

“Philip Hammond has described EU fears that a soft Brexit could encourage other countries to leave the trading bloc as “paranoia”, saying Brussels should be doing more to keep existing members rather than “punish” Britain. The Chancellor made the comments in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag in which he branded the EU’s approach to trade talks as “backward-looking”. Mr Hammond visited Berlin this week to call for clarity on what the EU wants from future relations and to make the case for a wide-ranging Brexit deal. Responding to the interviewer’s suggestion that a soft Brexit might offer an incentive for the people in other countries to leave, Mr Hammond said: “I can understand that paranoia. But imagine you are running a successful, thriving club. If one member leaves, you don’t immediately panic that all the other members might leave, but are confident they will want to remain.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ‘Schism in Brexit team’ as new talks loom – FT
  • Davidson ‘frustrated’ by Government delay on Withdrawal Bill amendments – The Herald
  • Fox backs plan for commemorative stamps to mark Brexit – The Sun


  • Brussels would ‘target British rebate and opt-outs’ if we re-enter the bloc – Daily Telegraph
  • Spain is latest country to come out in favour of a good deal for Britain – Daily Express
  • Norway backs EU fishing policies remaining during transition – The Guardian


  • May must bend Macron’s ear at the Brexit table next week – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • Brexiteers won the battle but have lost the war – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Foreign students should be welcomed by Brexit Britain – Daniel Pryor, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: A new grand coalition in Germany may be a boon for AfD

Ministers 4) Hinds accused of ‘conflict of interest’ over faith schools

“The new education secretary may have a conflict of interest when making policy on faith schools, secular campaigners have claimed, pointing to a £5,000 donation from the Catholic church to fund an intern in his office. Damian Hinds, a Catholic who attended a Catholic grammar school, has previously spoken in favour of scrapping a 50 per cent cap on how many places at faith-based free schools can be reserved for pupils who practise that particular faith. Catholic bishops have called on the government to lift this cap, insisting that it prevents the Catholic church from opening any new free schools because they would have to turn away Catholic pupils once the 50 per cent quota was reached.” – The Times

  • Culture wars are coarsening British politics – Helen Lewis, FT

Ministers 5) Fresh drive to resolve Stormont impasse

“The Irish foreign affairs minister, Simon Coveney, and the new Northern Ireland secretary have held their first meeting in an attempt to resolve the deadlock over the collapse of the Stormont executive. Mr Coveney said that discussions with Karen Bradley had been “very good”. They will meet again next week. Ms Bradley took up her post this week on the first anniversary of Northern Ireland’s institutions collapsing after the resignation of Martin McGuinness. Talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein on restoring power have proved fruitless. Mr Coveney said yesterday that there were “significant challenges” but the Irish and British governments were committed to resolving the standoff.” – The Times

  • Bradley and Coveney to meet again soon after ‘very good’ talks – News Letter

May to bolster ranks of Conservative peers

“Theresa May will next week bolster Tory numbers in the House of Lords with ten more loyalists ahead of months of “bloody” Brexit battles. Long-serving former Cabinet ministers Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley lead a list put forward by the PM to get new life peerages. Other Conservative grandees being considered for ennoblement include ex- MPs Edward Garnier, Julian Brazier and Andrew Tyrie. All either stood down or lost their seats at the general election in June last year. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is also appointing three new peers.” – The Sun

  • Government preparing for ‘street fight’ in the upper house – Daily Express
  • Opposition challenge May to shrink the Lords – FT

Labour accused of ‘failing moral duty’ over sexist MP…

“Labour has been accused of failing in its moral duty to tackle abusive behaviour amid uncertainty over the fate of an MP it suspended for making sexist and homophobic slurs. Jared O’Mara, 36, the MP for Sheffield Hallam, was suspended by the party in October after misogynistic social media posts from his twenties were discovered. He was also accused of calling a constituent an “ugly bitch” weeks before his election and voters in his seat, formerly held by Sir Nick Clegg, called this week for Labour to sack him. Yesterday, Labour refused to say when the investigation by its national executive committee into Mr O’Mara’s conduct would conclude.” – The Times

  • Alleged victim of Labour MP was ‘fobbed off’ for two years – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour ‘steps up’ inquiry into complaints against Hopkins – The Guardian
  • Harassment case MPs face full hearings – The Times


  • Revamped code won’t end abuse – Kate Maltby, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Lewis Baston’s column: How the Tories delivered true equal votes for women in 1928

…as Corbyn promotes Lewis and Pidcock to the Shadow Cabinet

“Clive Lewis has returned to Labour’s front bench after he quit last year to defy the party whip over triggering Brexit. Last night the left-wing MP for Norwich South was appointed a shadow Treasury minister as part of a reshuffle of Jeremy Corbyn’s lower ranks. He was cleared last month of allegations that he had groped a woman at the party’s conference. Laura Pidcock, 30, who once suggested that she could not be friends with Conservatives, was also promoted, becoming shadow minister for labour… Karen Lee, a former nurse, will become shadow fire minister, replacing Chris Williamson.” – The Times

  • Labour leader accused of ‘sacking’ Williamson out of self-interest – The Times


  • Party hopeful backs press curb after unhelpful coverage – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Left Watch: The new Corbynite council tax plan is an attempt to overcome the fundamental unpopularity of higher taxes

Farage’s salary docked over ‘misuse of funds’

“Nigel Farage raged at ‘vindictive’ Eurocrats after it emerged he is being docked £35,000 from his salary in a row over staffing costs. The former UKIP leader, who recently complained that he was ’53, separated and skint’, is being punished after EU parliament watchdogs concluded he had misused funds. He has been accused of using official budgets to pay assistant Christopher Adams, even though he was not working on parliamentary business. Mr Adams’ contract was suspended last year… Mr Farage confirmed to MailOnline that his pay was being witheld but insisted he ‘absolutely rejected’ any suggestion of wrongdoing.” – Daily Mail

  • Parliamentary authorities chasing £17k owed by MPs – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Sir Nigel Farage, prince of self-indulgence, would like your attention

News in Brief:

  • Timothy, May, and the weird plot to make Williamson Prime Minister – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Germany’s ‘grand coalition’ looks set to return – William Cook, The Spectator
  • The Brexit negotiations are a vindication of the Leave vote – Robert Bates, CapX
  • Our meeting with Barnier confirmed that Britain must prepare for no deal – Stephen Woolfe MEP, Brexit Central