May warns that EU leaders risk having ‘blood on their hands’…

“EU leaders risk having blood on their hands if they continue stalling on Brexit, Theresa May warned last night. The PM said Europe’s ability to tackle terrorism and serious crime was being ‘put at risk’ by the lack of agreement on a security deal. Ministers are furious at the insistence by Brussels that the UK must be treated like any other ‘third country’ after Brexit and should no longer be trusted with sensitive security information. British sources accused the EU of placing ‘obstacles’ in the way of security co-operation. Mrs May last night said the stance would make it impossible to continue co-operation on security at the existing level, potentially putting lives at risk.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister to set out her vision in ‘landmark speech’ – The Sun
  • Britain demands ‘acceleration’ of talks – Daily Express
  • Varadkar warns May that she is ‘outnumbered’ in the talks – Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels tells the Prime Minister to ‘get a grip’ on her Cabinet – Daily Mail



  • Will May finally decide which Brexit she wants? – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Irremediable folly of ‘no deal’ Brexit – Martin Wolf, FT

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: A betrayal, a contortion, a rash, a shambles, a schism, a squabble. What’s the best collective noun for Cabinet ministers?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: “When each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground”

…as she seeks support for a tough line against Russia…

“Theresa May will seek to gain support from EU leaders to maintain a tough line against Russia at the EU summit in Brussels today and tomorrow. Since 2014 the EU has imposed a series of economic sanctions and other measures against Russia, including asset freezes and travel restrictions, over its illegal occupation of Crimea and destabilisation of Ukraine. The Prime Minister is hoping to convince the leaders of the 27 other EU members states to back the continuation of sanctions. Today, at the first working session of the summit she is expected to tell her counterparts: “Russia and other actors seem to be trying to sow disunity, destabilise our democracies and test our resolve. We must adapt our current defences to the ‘new normal’ and take responsibility for protecting international norms and institutions.”” – Daily Express

  • Britain has won the battle to name chemical weapons culprits – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit-poisoned UK has boosted Europe’s mini-Trumps – Guy Verhofstadt, The Guardian

…and Eurosceptic MPs accuse Brexit committee of pushing ‘Remain propaganda’

Eurosceptic MPs have accused the Brexit Select Committee of publishing Remain “propaganda” after it suggested delaying Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and rubbished the prospect of the UK leaving without a deal. The committee said a “limited extension to Article 50 may be required to prevent the UK leaving the EU in March 2019 without an agreement”. It also suggested the Government should make it possible for the transition period, which under current terms would finish at the end of 2020, to be extended. Such a mechanism would be triggered “if there is insufficient time” during transition to finalise a legally binding text on the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU. Brexiteers on the committee opposed many of the elements of the report but the Remain-backing majority overruled them.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Committee calls for extra time to strike departure deal – The Sun
  • Rees-Mogg says Davis has a ‘titanium-plated spine’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Australia call on UK to join forces against ‘protectionist’ Trump – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexiteer Ashcroft writes on ConHome that UK firms should co-locate to Malta – FT


  • Businesses are right to raise the alarm, but should target Brussels too – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • The real Brexit dividend is stashed in the bank – Ed Conway, The Times


  • Europhiles need to twig that the EU will go down – The Sun

>Today: John Stevenson, Jeremy Lefroy, and Paul Masterton in Comment: There’s a better way for the Government on Europe – joining EFTA

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: Special Report – Malta makes a strong case to host the EU outposts of British companies after Brexit

Rob Wilson: The Wets and Dries are back, and fighting for the soul of the Tory Party

“So what happens in the coming Spending Review when the immovable object, in this case Truss, meets the irresistible forces of big spending departments? In the past, the result has been in most cases a fudge, often with late deals cobbled together that pacify Secretaries of State or ameliorate departmental pain. That’s not to say the situation hasn’t been painful – it has – but it could have been much much worse. This time it feels different, more entrenched. That’s not to say compromises are out of the question: the Department for Local Government might look at the uncapping of Council Tax, for example. But this time the differences are ideological… That Conservatives are once again categorised in groups as wets and drys demonstrates the depth of the antipathy that has developed.” – Daily Telegraph

  • It’s not just the Tories sullied by the tawdry jostling to succeed May – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Alex Morton’s column: A win for those spending Ministers would be a defeat for the taxpayer – not just Hammond and Truss

Tories take on ‘US-style opposition research firm’

“A US-style “opposition research” firm with links to Republican party figures and a controversial American campaign group has been hired by the Conservatives. UK Policy Group was founded last year by Matt Rhoades, Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign manager, and Joe Pounder, a former research director for the Republican National Committee. The pair also run a Washington-based public affairs company. Their British firm, known as UKPG, is providing research services for the Tories, building up files on left-wing politicians that could potentially be deployed in attack campaigns ahead of elections. While both the Conservatives and Labour party have in-house research units and media monitoring capabilities, the move to outsource these tasks signals an escalation in aggressive negative campaigning.” – The Times

Ministers 1) Peers urge Hammond to accelerate curb on gambling machines

“Ten peers yesterday called on the Chancellor to urgently bring forward the clampdown on ‘crack cocaine’ high-stakes betting machines after the Daily Mail highlighted their devastating consequences. They told Philip Hammond there was no ‘moral and ethical’ justification for a planned two-year delay before the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) is slashed from £100 to £2. The peers cited a harrowing article in this week’s newspaper which described the terrible toll caused to families of gambling-related suicides, often of young people who were first hooked by the machines found in most high street bookmakers. Gamblers can bet £100 every 20 seconds on FOBTs – which offer casino-style games such as roulette – meaning they can end up losing thousands of pounds in a single session.” – Daily Mail

Ministers 2) Williamson welcomes BAE’s naval ‘deal of the decade’

“Experts said that winning the contract was particularly good news for BAE Systems because it would boost its chances of winning further contracts, including potentially in Canada. It is also a boost for the UK defence industry as the contract is the first international order for a new high-tech British-designed warship in decades. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, said that the BAE contract was the biggest naval defence deal of the decade anywhere in the world… BAE Systems has struggled to win overseas contracts after the vote to quit the EU, which some commentators have argued risks Britain being frozen out of international business projects in favour of other member states.” – The Times

  • Defence Secretary clashes with Downing Street over defence review – The Guardian
  • EU leaders discuss the potential break-up of NATO – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Two in three Party members back Williamson’s push for higher defence spending.

Ministers 3) Stewart to introduce ‘airport-style’ anti-drugs screening in prisons

“New airport style body scanners are being put into ten of Britain’s most notorious prisons in a desperate bid to stem the booming drugs trade. After months of dithering, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart is spending £1.5million on the hi-tech kit – which pick up banned items concealed in clothing or inside bodies. It follows a successful trial in HMP Belmarsh earlier this year. Prison officers will also be armed with hand held “wave” scanners as Ministers finally get tough on drugs blamed for fuelling record levels of violence behind bars. Governors blame the spread of illicit drugs such as Spice for a blood curdling rise in violence behind bars… Mr Stewart said: “There is no question that mobile phones and drugs like Spice have had a destabilizing effect across the prison estate and led to unacceptable levels of violence and deaths. As part of our crackdown, we know we need to stop them getting in in the first place. This will stop any attempts to smuggle in drugs while boosting security for staff.”” – The Sun

  • Experts begin work of looking at medical cannabis restrictions – The Scotsman


  • Outdated rules come second to compassion for those who need medical cannabis – Nick Hurd, Times Red Box

Blair Government made ‘payments for illegal rendition’

“Britain paid for other nations to carry out illegal rendition operations during the US war on terror, it was revealed today. In three individual cases British spooks paid, or offered to pay, a share of the costs for transferring prisoners to another country – despite the likelihood they would be tortured. The cases are among hundreds of examples of UK ‘tolerance’ of extraordinary rendition and torture in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The Intelligence and Security Committee poured over thousands of documents and took evidence from spy chiefs in private before publishing today’s two reports. But it was barred by the Government from interviewing spies who worked on the front lines and chose to publish its inquiry rather than take partial evidence only from former politicians, including Tony Blair and Jack Straw.” – Daily Mail

  • MOD officer ‘approved hooding and torture of prisoners’ – The Times
  • Ex-spy boss slams report – The Sun


  • Only a judge-led inquiry will restore confidence – Roger Boyes, The Times
  • A wicked betrayal of everything we stand for – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail


  • Far too many questions remain unanswered – The Times

Carney faces grilling over lack of women at Bank of England

“Mark Carney will be hauled before Parliament to explain why there are so few women in top jobs at the Bank of England. The 53-year-old governor faces a grilling from MPs on the Treasury Select Committee over what he plans to do to increase diversity. The Bank has not had a female governor in its 324-year history, and its four deputy governors are men.  There is just one woman on the nine-strong monetary policy committee, which sets interest rates. The last to be appointed, economist Jonathan Haskel, was the only man on a shortlist of five candidates for the job. In a letter to Carney, Tory MP Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Treasury committee, said it was concerned about diversity in the Bank’s appointments.” – Daily Mail

  • MP breaks Parliamentary taboo by discussing her period – The Guardian
  • Commons debates VAT on sanitary products – Daily Mail

Sturgeon forced to axe newly-appointed minister

“Nicola Sturgeon was today forced to axe a newly-appointed minister for branding transgender students ‘hairy-knuckled Laydees’ and complaining that black Americans ‘don’t tip’ waiters. The SNP leader dropped Gillian Martin after the comments, which date from 2007, surfaced. Ms Martin, MSP for Aberdeenshire East, was only promoted to education minister in a reshuffly carried out by Ms Sturgeon yesterday. But her name has now been removed from a list of appointments after The Times highlighted remarks from a blog apparently written while she was still a college lecturer. Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament today that the remarks do not ‘reflect the views of the person that I know in Gillian Martin’.” – Daily Mail

  • Double embarrassment over education cave-in and would-be appointee – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Leadership contest puts spotlight on Welsh Tories’ un-renewed Assembly group

Foster defends stance on gay marriage at LGBT event

“It stopped short of hugs and kisses as Arlene Foster followed up her GAA groundbreaker at the weekend by going to a gay event in Belfast last night – but the DUP leader’s embracing of the LGBT community was still hailed as a hugely significant stride away from her party’s past. A summer love-in it was not. But any thoughts that the PinkNews summer reception at Stormont would be nothing more than an informal meet-and-greet icebreaker were quickly dispelled as Mrs Foster refused to back down from her opposition to same-sex marriage, and she and the DUP came under fire from other politicians at the event in the Great Hall. Several observers described Mrs Foster’s speech to the several hundred guests as a “missed opportunity” because it contained no surprises and no apologies for the party’s stance on marriage equality.” – Belfast Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • A changing Supreme Court could herald the end of big-state liberalism – Dominic Green, CapX
  • Kaliningrad: the World Cup city that has tried to erase its past – Jamie Freeman, Reaction
  • Mass immigration has destroyed hopes of a borderless society – Tim Marshall, The Spectator
  • My constituents would still vote Leave and want the Government to get on with the job – Andrea Jenkyns, Brexit Central
  • Heathrow’s third runway is not only necessary, but desirable – Thomas Maidment, 1828