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Brexit 1) Rees-Mogg ‘marches on May’ over hard Brexit

“Tory Brexit cheerleader Jacob Rees-Mogg last night warned Theresa May she would be making a ‘grave error’ if she failed to deliver the ‘hard Brexit’ he favours. And he failed to kill off claims that he could replace her in No 10 if she defies his hard-line stance by saying he was ‘flattered’ by claims he had overtaken Boris Johnson as the leadership frontrunner. He also compared himself to Michael Heseltine, who famously denied planning to challenge Margaret Thatcher – before doing precisely that. According to bookmakers, City tycoon and devout Catholic Mr Rees-Mogg is strong favourite to be the next Tory leader, with his reputation enhanced by his cool response to protesters who disrupted his speech in Bristol.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Prime Minister told not to let Hammond ruin Brexit – Sunday Telegraph
  • MP repeats claim that the Treasury is ‘fiddling the figures’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Attacks on civil service ‘worthy of 1930s Germany’ – The Observer
  • Sticking with EU regulations could cost £240 billion per year – Sun on Sunday

My experience tells me we need to leave the Customs Union

want to be clear; I voted to remain in the referendum. But having spent the best part of the last two years travelling the world as Minister of State for Trade and Investment and then Trade Policy, I am in little doubt that the UK can have a bright future if we steer in the right direction. That future is not as a member, full or associate, of the single market. The EU’s message is that in order to have free movement of goods, services and capital we must accept free movement of people, the supremacy of the European Court of Justice, and pay our dues. This is not consistent with a vote to leave the EU. The previous chancellor, the Bank of England and big business all warned of the economic consequences of such a move. The majority of voters were not swayed from another course.” – Mark Price, Sunday Telegraph

  • When Brexit fails to deliver it won’t be the fault of the Tory right – Nick Cohen, The Observer

Editorial:

>Today:

>Yesterday: Henry Newman in Comment: Enough! May must make up her mind on Brexit – or risk the collapse of her negotiating position.

Brexit 3) Johnson says he’s ‘ready for a contest’…

“Theresa May will face a coup that would install a “dream team” of “three Brexiteers” if she persists with plans to keep Britain in a customs union with the European Union, Tory MPs warned last night. Eurosceptics contacted Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, on Friday and urged him to agree a pact that would see Michael Gove, the environment secretary, become his deputy prime minister and Jacob Rees-Mogg – the shop steward of the backbench Brexiteers – appointed chancellor if the prime minister is forced out. While encouraging MPs to “rally round” May, Johnson also told one of the plotters that he would be “ready” for a future contest. He vowed that the “cavalry is coming” to block the customs union plan when May’s Brexit “war cabinet” meets to discuss Britain’s future relations with Brussels this week.” – Sunday Times

  • Taking their knives to May’s toga won’t end Conservative woes – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • Corbyn waits for the drop as Tories push May to the edge – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Hard lessons for May from leadership contests of the past

Brexit 4) Wallace denies being at the centre of resignation rumours

“An ally of Boris Johnson last night denied claims at Westminster that he was considering resigning to trigger a leadership contest against Theresa May. Security Minister Ben Wallace, a former officer in the Scots Guards, was named by a senior party source as being ‘on a watch list’ held by Tory whips. But last night Mr Wallace protested his loyalty to the Prime Minister, saying: ‘I am doing the job I love. Which in politics is rare. The rows are something I couldn’t be less interested in.’ When asked about the ‘watch list’, he said: ‘It isn’t the whips who believe that, I know for a fact. It is others.’ Another Minister on the whips’ watch list is Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood, who is understood to be frustrated at not being promoted to the Cabinet in Mrs May’s botched reshuffle last month.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Jenkin urges May to channel Thatcher to achieve a clean Brexit – Sun on Sunday
  • Dorries thinks female voters would ‘take revenge’ if May is toppled – Mail on Sunday

Comment:

  • Thatcher’s not for spurning on Women’s Day – Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times

 

May pledges new law against intimidating a Parliamentary candidate…

Public life is under threat from growing levels of bullying, intimidation and abuse, the Prime Minister will warn this week as she announces a new criminal offence of intimidating a parliamentary candidate. In a speech this week, Theresa May will tell politicians on all sides to “take a stand for decency, tolerance and respect”, urging MPs “it is time we asked ourselves seriously whether we really want it to be like this.” She will announce a consultation on a new offence in electoral law of intimidating parliamentary candidates and their campaigners. The current offence of electoral intimidation relates to undue influence on voters.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Prime Minister demands an end to abuse of MPs – Sunday Express
  • The naked truth about the Rees-Mogg heckler – Sunday Times
  • Tory youth movement ‘plunged into chaos’ by assault allegation against activist – Mail on Sunday

Comment:

  • Masked protesters harmed their cause and changed no minds – Jess Phillips MP, Sun on Sunday

Editorial:

  • Balaclavas have no place in politics, the hard left must be stopped – Sun on Sunday

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Student hosts of the Rees-Mogg event give their account of the violence

…as she mulls ‘home hubs’ to revive domestic agenda

Parents at risk of separation could be offered free counselling at a new network of “family hubs” across the country, under plans being considered by Downing Street. The Prime Minister’s aides are working on proposals to help set up specialised centres offering services from breastfeeding advice to relationship support for couples. The hubs are already being pioneered by a handful of councils and dozens of Tory MPs have called on Theresa May to provide funding to help create similar units across the country. The disclosure comes as Mrs May’s aides battle to defy claims that the Prime Minister is failing to set out bold domestic policies amid turmoil over the Government’s approach to Brexit.” – Sunday Telegraph

Boles urges ministers to loosen planning rules

Ministers have been warned not to “cop out” of a major reform to encourage building and ease the pressure on the housing market, as the Government announced a scaled-back version of a plan pushed by senior Conservatives. Nick Boles, the former planning minister, said proposals to help developers and home owners to extend the height of properties in major cities were “not enough” without new powers for the extensions to be built without formal planning permission. On Sunday, Sajid Javid, the Housing Secretary, will announce plans to amend planning guidance to encourage councils to look favourably on upward development in densely populated areas.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Anger over glut of ‘posh ghost towers’ planned for London – The Observer
  • Greening says Tories cannot ignore the young – Sunday Times

MPs warn against cuts to Royal Marines

“Britain’s renowned Special Forces are under threat from controversial cuts to the Royal Marines, MPs warn today. They fear that reducing the elite infantry corps will weaken the SAS and other Special Forces that recruit heavily from the Marines. In a scathing verdict, the powerful Commons Defence Committee says it would be ‘militarily illiterate’ to axe up to 2,000 Marines and two amphibious assault ships. The cuts are understood to be under consideration as part of a major review of national military capability… MPs also say that talk of major cuts will hit Marines’ morale and suggest they are being ‘sacrificed’ by Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Treasury. New Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is fighting the cuts.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Cuts ‘will also damage special forces’ – Sunday Times

More:

  • Ministry of Defence ‘in chaos’ over use of drones outside war zones – The Observer
  • Senior Tories did not know about Williamson’s ‘fling’ when he bid to be an MP – Sun on Sunday

Labour 1) Momentum plan to ‘hijack democracy review’

“Hard-left activists are demanding “all-member” votes to elect council leaders in a move that could usher in a wave of Haringey-style purges of traditional Labour councillors in favour of Momentum candidates. Supporters of the hard-left campaign group Momentum are plotting to hijack Labour’s “democracy review” to tighten their stranglehold on the party. Its members say the review is an opportunity to “fundamentally remake” the party by making it more “accountable” to its hard-left base. A document circulating among Momentum members online calls for co-ordinated submissions to the review demanding “all-member” votes to elect council leaders and deputy leaders.” – Sunday Times

  • Corbyn pledges rebirth of ‘municipal socialism’ in the UK – The Observer

Comment:

  • Far left’s hounding of a council leader brings back bad memories – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Labour 2) Harman ‘launching a bid’ to replace Bercow as Speaker

“Veteran MP Harriet Harman is hoping to capitalise on the ‘Pankhurst factor’ by making a bid to become Commons Speaker, Labour sources say. Amid reports that John Bercow may signal later this year when he will stand down, Labour’s former deputy leader is understood to be planning to enter the race to succeed him. In the year when Westminster is preparing to mark the centenary of the Suffragette triumph over voting rights for women, feminist Harman would be well placed to win support on both sides of the House. The former Cabinet Minister would be only the second woman to be Speaker, following in the footsteps of Betty Boothroyd who held the post between 1992 and 2000.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Former Labour MP offers to help Chinese firm cash in on Brexit – Sunday Times

Robertson declines as SNP ‘Depute’

“Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to Angus Robertson after he resigned as SNP deputy leader today. She thanked him for his friendship and service after he said he can no longer ‘fully discharge his mandate’ after losing his Westminster seat of Moray in a Tory surge eight months ago. Robertson today tweeted: ‘Thanks to all colleagues and constituents over 17 years of public life. It’s been a tremendous honour to serve as deputy of Nicola Sturgeon and help transform Scottish politics… Robertson said he had a ‘fantastic time’ moving his country ‘closer to independence’ and that it was time to look for new opportunities.” – Mail on Sunday

News in Brief:

  • Rees-Mogg is the Corbyn of the Conservatives – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • The best way to avoid a Tory split is decisive leadership – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Labour must have a positive post-Brexit vision or be damned by workers – Fawzi Ibrahim, Brexit Central
  • How do you solve a problem like Facebook? – Oliver Wiseman, CapX

6 comments for: News for Sunday 4th February 2018

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