Corbyn “knew” he was supplying information to a Czech spy during the Cold War

“The Czechoslovak secret agent who met Jeremy Corbyn during the Eighties claimed last night that the Labour leader knew he was a spy and said the MP had supplied information to the Communist regime. Speaking for the first time since it emerged that he had met Mr Corbyn, Jan Sarkocy on Friday dismissed the suggestion that the Islington North MP believed he was simply a diplomat. “Everybody knew that ‘diplomat’ was just a cover for spy,” he said. “It was a conscious cooperation. Diplomat and agent were the same thing.” Mr Corbyn has denied being an agent or informer, but Mr Sarkocy, who was expelled from the UK by Margaret Thatcher and now lives in Bratislava, said that the information revealed by the MP – whose codename was Agent Cob – was “rated in Moscow as the number one”. He also said that more meetings – in addition to the three disclosed earlier this week – took place between the pair.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Allegations “like a bad Bond film” – The Times
  • How Corbyn helped two Cuban spies come to UK – Daily Mail
  • The Corbyn Files – The Sun

Moore: These Communist links should be taken seriously

“The media jocularity is interesting. Suppose it could be shown that the young Theresa May had attended a rally of the British National Front (now the BNP) or had been entertained by the South African secret service BOSS. We should never hear the end of it – until it was the end of her. Yet the case against Mr Corbyn is worse than the false one I have just imagined about Mrs May, because the organisations I have mentioned – nasty though they were – were not enemies of the British state.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

May will warn the EU not to block security deal…

“Theresa May will warn EU leaders that public safety will suffer if they allow “political doctrine and ideology” to hamper post-Brexit security arrangements. The prime minister will say she wants a new partnership of unprecedented “depth and breadth” when the UK leaves the EU. In a speech to the Munich Security Conference she will urge countries to show “real political will”. New security arrangements have yet to be negotiated for after Brexit. During talks with Angela Merkel on Friday, Mrs May said both sides need to be “bold and ambitious” in framing their future relations.” – BBC

  • PM is pushing at an open door – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • May in Munich – Leader, The Times
  • Lives could be put at risk – Daily Telegraph
  • Merkel insists she isn’t ‘frustrated’ at lack of Brexit clarity – The Sun
  • Hope for bespoke deal on financial services – Daily Telegraph

…as Wollaston claims disorderly Brexit could put patient care at risk

“A delay in agreeing a Brexit transition deal could harm NHS patients, a senior MP has warned. In a letter to the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the Commons health committee, Sarah Wollaston, said that any holdups could put patient care at risk. Wollaston said it would mean more health businesses diverting money towards contingency planning for a “disorderly” withdrawal from the European Union. “Patient care, both in the UK and Europe, is at risk of being compromised in the event of a disorderly Brexit. Businesses and services – like government – need to plan for all outcomes to avoid any disruption to the supply of medical products,” she said.” – The Guardian

>Today: David Campbell Bannerman on Comment: Why EFTA wouldn’t work for Britain

Mordaunt bars Oxfam from receiving further taxpayer funding…

“Oxfam has been barred from receiving new government funding unless it reforms, the international development secretary announced last night. Penny Mordaunt said that the charity, which was given £31.7 million last year, would stop getting public money until her department was “satisfied that they can meet the high standards we expect”. The ministry is the first large donor to withdraw funds from Oxfam since The Times revealed eight days ago that the charity had covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers in Haiti.” – The Times

  • “It’s not like we murdered babies’: Oxfam’s UK chief – Daily Mail
  • This charity is a bloated giant on life support – Katie Perrior, The Times
  • Rees-Mogg’s niece backs overseas aid spending – The Sun
  • 20 press officers but only four safeguarding staff – The Times
  • “Oxfam has been found wanting on every level. The CEO must go” – Interview with Priti Patel, The Times

…as Oborne declares that our foreign aid civil servants are complicit in the scandal

“The Department for International Development (DfID), which has given hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to these charities, is also in the dock. We now know its officials were aware of the shocking culture of sexual abuse, exploitation and paedophilia that exists in Oxfam and in much of the rest of the aid sector that DfID oversees.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Bradley to “consider all options” after talks break down

“The Northern Ireland Secretary has said she will consider all options over the weekend following the collapse of power-sharing talks. Karen Bradley is due to update MPs at Westminster on Tuesday. Speaking during a walkabout in Belfast, she said it had been a difficult week but she believed the political will was still there to restore devolution. DUP leader Arlene Foster said talks collapsed because of disagreement with Sinn Féin over the Irish language.” – BBC

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why Northern Ireland’s talks collapsed. Sinn Fein’s red line was too green for the DUP.

Tuition fees could be cut in university funding review

Tuition fees could be cut and interest rates for student loan repayments slashed under a major review of higher education funding unveiled by the Prime Minister next week. Theresa May and Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, will announce an independent review into higher education in a bid to ensure it delivers value for money for students. The review, which is expected to last for up to a year, will consider whether the amount that universities can charge students in tuition fees should be tied to job prospects and earnings after they graduate.” – Daily Telegraph

Gove considers foie gras ban after Brexit

“Michael Gove is considering a ban on foie gras as he tries to avoid being outflanked by Labour in the drive to improve animal welfare. Imports of the delicacy, which is made from the livers of force-fed geese and ducks, could be barred as a way of illustrating the benefits of Brexit. EU single market rules mean that a ban on foie gras by Britain is not legally possible to impose, nor are restrictions on the export of live animals for slaughter. Mr Gove will challenge Labour, which last week mooted a ban, to say whether it, too, was prepared to support diverging from European law.” – The Times

Rudd hints that captured members of the ISIS ‘Beatles’ gang could be tried abroad

“The two captured jihadist Brits from the beheading “Beatles” gang should face trial abroad, the Home Secretary indicated yesterday. It came as top counter-terror cop Neil Basu said up to 100 ISIS fighters could try to return to the UK. Amber Rudd said of the pair: “They will absolutely need to face justice. “Those alternatives exist. Above all I’ll make sure the British people are kept safe.” – The Sun

UKIP members gather to decide Bolton’s fate

“UKIP members will vote later on whether to back or sack leader Henry Bolton. An extraordinary general meeting in Birmingham will decide the fate of the former army officer, who has been in the job for less than six months. He has faced calls to quit since it emerged his partner Jo Marney sent racist messages about Meghan Markle. But he has won the backing of ex-leader Nigel Farage who said “for all his faults”, removing Mr Bolton would hasten UKIP’s path to “irrelevance”. Mr Farage has warned the party – which won 12.6% of the vote in the 2015 general election but has been in a tailspin ever since – was in danger of “collapsing” and it might be “too late to save it”. – BBC

17,000 email the Labour Party to demand a “clear” stance on Brexit…

“Labour has received 17,000 emails over five days from people lobbying for a clearer party policy on Brexit. The emails, coordinated by Labour MPs and campaigners, call on Labour to give supporters “their say” by setting up a new policy commission on Brexit. They say there is a “pressing need” for the party to set out an alternative approach to government Brexit plans. Labour said its national policy forum, which meets in Leeds this weekend, plans to discuss the impact of Brexit.” – BBC

  • Is it possible to reverse Brexit? – Anand Menon, The Guardian

…as Malloch-Brown says most Brexiteers will “die off”

“A leading Remain campaigner has been accused of peddling a “myth” by suggesting his side will have a majority soon once the older people who backed Brexit “die off”. Former government minister and United Nations official Lord Malloch-Brown chairs the Best for Britain campaign part-funded by billionaire financier George Soros. The peer said he was “profoundly” motivated by the feelings of his children, their friends and the youth groups his campaign was working with. He said: ”They are all really angry with older people.”…He agreed with a Telegraph podcast interviewer that this would happen “as all the Brexiteers die off … because under 55 there was a huge majority in this country [for Remain], tailing off as you got to 55″.” – Daily Express

  • Soros “the billionaire who can’t stop interfering in other nations’ affairs” – Guy Adams, Daily Mail

Labour leader embroiled in another race row

“A YouTube star who teamed up with Jeremy Corbyn for an anti-racism campaign has sent offensive tweets about other races, it emerged today. David Vujanic, 25, joked about Hitler and mocked black people on his Twitter account. He also repeatedly quoted other tweeters using the N-word, and used derogatory language about Jewish people. Mr Vujanic this week released a video interview with the Labour leader where Mr Corbyn vowed to stamp out racism in football.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Corbyn walks into yet another racism scandal, but can the Tories make anything of it?

Romney plans return to the Senate

“Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced he is running for a US Senate seat in Utah, while taking a dig at President Donald Trump. In a Facebook campaign video, he lamented that Washington was sending “a message of exclusion” to immigrants. A vocal critic of Mr Trump, Mr Romney is seen as a shoo-in for outgoing Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s seat.” – BBC

  • Russians charged over election plot to help Trump – The Times

Council proposes to ban ‘annoying’ tree climbing and kite flying

“Climbing a tree, flying a kite or a family game of cricket are activities that are synonymous with a trip to the local park on long, hot summer days. They might not be for much longer, however, with one local authority threatening to clamp down on the traditional pastimes. Wandsworth council in southwest London is overhauling park rules for the first time in nearly a century, with penalties including fines of up to £500 and being ejected by the “park police” for children who cannot provide a “reasonable excuse” for anything that could be regarded as a transgression.” – The Times

Johnson: How we will help to save the pangolin

“We cannot let this cretinous slaughter continue. We must save the pangolin – and the UK government is doing its bit. This week I was proud to see the work of UK border force in Thailand as they help the Royal Thai Customs to detect the smuggled pangolins and put the traffickers behind bars…You may never have heard of a pangolin. But do you want to deprive your children and grandchildren of the chance of discovering it for themselves?” – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • The British Chinese should take more part in public life – Alan Mak, Evening Standard
  • There is no reason why Brexit should prevent the security services sharing information – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Staying in the European Arrest Warrant is a compromise too far – Steven Woolfe MEP, Brexit Central
  • Corbyn may not have been a spy, but he always opposed the West – Alex Massie, CapX
  • Is Donald Trump heading for his Monica Lewinsky moment? – Jacob Heilbrunn, Coffee House
  • Raab ” was a member of British Ultra Liberal Youth” – Independent