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Carney accused of talking down the pound

“Mark Carney’s gloomy predictions about Brexit have been blamed for a slump in the pound that has upped the cost of foreign holidays. The Governor of the Bank of England was described as the “high priest of project fear” after he warned that Britain faced an “uncomfortably high” risk of a no deal Brexit, which he said would lead to higher prices. He said banks had “done the stockpiling” and could survive a recession that meant property prices falling by a third, interest rates increasing by four percentage points and unemployment rocketing to 9 per cent. Sterling lost a cent against the dollar after he made the comments and approached its weakest level for 11 months…Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leading Eurosceptic MP said: “Mark Carney has long been the high priest of project fear whose reputation for inaccurate and politically-motivated forecasting has damaged the reputation of the Bank of England.” – Daily Telegraph

  • We will all pay the price for his loose talk – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail

Macron expected to rebuff May

“There is little secret about Theresa May’s pitch to Emmanuel Macron when she interrupts his summer holiday later today for an off-site Brexit meeting in the presidential hideaway of Fort Brégançon. As is her wont in private meetings, Mrs May can be expected to repeat her public pronouncement that the UK has made a substantial Brexit offer – and now it is time for Europe to reciprocate. Mrs May believes the only way for that to happen is to shift the talks from the technical track run by the European Commission (whose pure raison d’être is the defence of the EU rules) to a political track, where the EU “chiefs” make real-world decisions. Mr Macron is key to that. So, freed from the flummeries that accompany an official visit, it is hoped that the two leaders will be able to engage in some straight-talking – but that cuts both ways.”- Daily Telegraph

Calls to sack Anne-Marie Trevelyan as a PPS for backing amendments to Chequers plan

“The UK government is facing calls to sack an aide after it emerged she pressured Tory MPs into voting for four amendments designed to harden Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating stance. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed and parliamentary private secretary to defence secretary Gavin Williamson, last month asked MPs to confirm whether they were “with us” in voting for amendments to the Brexit plan agreed by the cabinet at Chequers. She is understood to have been speaking on behalf of the party’s European Research Group of Eurosceptic MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg , who tabled the amendments….Tory MPs have questioned whether its appropriate for a PPS to push for votes intended to undermine Mrs May’s “softer” Brexit strategy.” – Financial Times

Forsyth: Once the UK has agreed to pay the money to the EU our leverage in trade negotiations is reduced

“The leaders of the member states will be more understanding of Mrs May’s political predicament. There are also several countries becoming increasingly concerned about what happens if the UK crashes out without a deal. But this will mean they will be polite about Chequers, rather than accepting it with only a few tweaks. Instead, they will try to give Mrs May cover to make further concessions. Or enable her to delay making these concessions until Parliament has voted through the withdrawal agreement, guaranteeing a transition until the end of 2020 in exchange for the UK paying the EU a £39 billion divorce bill. Mrs May, though, must be careful. Tempting as it may be to put off difficult issues, once the UK has agreed to pay the money, its leverage in these negotiations is severely reduced. She should want the political declaration that will accompany the withdrawal agreement to be as clear as possible about the future trading relationship.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

Mundell benefited from “dark money”

“Scottish Secretary David Mundell directly benefited from the group at the heart of row over so-called Tory ‘dark money’, electoral records have revealed. The secretive Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT) helped pay the salary of Mr Mundell’s campaign managers at the last two general elections. Mr Mundell’s campaign manager costs were £3,488 in 2015 and £2,400 in 2017, however his official candidate return did not mention the SUAT partly bankrolled the posts. The SUAT, which has given the Tories £319,000 since 2001 but does not publish accounts, is currently under investigation by the Electoral Commission over its status as a donor.” – Herald Scotland

Javid promises to act to end forced marriages

“Sajid Javid has begun an investigation into his department’s handling of forced marriages after The Times revealed that abusers are being handed visas to travel to Britain. The home secretary described it as a despicable, inhumane, uncivilised practice that had no place whatsoever in Britain. He praised this newspaper for being “absolutely right to highlight that more needs to be done”. In a series of tweets yesterday Mr Javid added: “We will be doing more to combat it and support victims. Those who force British women into marriage, be warned that we are redoubling our efforts to make sure you pay for your crimes.” – The Times

Collins calls for investigation into Russian meddling in British democracy

“Britain needs a criminal inquiry like the Mueller investigation in the United States to establish the extent of Russian efforts to meddle in democracy in this country, a Tory MP has said. Only a police investigation with the power to seize documents could get to the bottom of any Kremlin plot to sway the EU referendum and ensure that future elections were protected from attack, Damian Collins said. Last week a parliamentary inquiry into fake news led by Mr Collins, chairman of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, said that Russian disinformation campaigns were an active threat to democracy, and highlighted links between Moscow and Arron Banks, the founder of Leave.EU.” – The Times

Government considering a tax rise on buy to let properties

“Treasury chiefs are planning to hike the extra levy on buy-to-let purchases in a fresh bid to ease the housing crisis. The stamp duty premium to curb the purchase of second homes as money makers was established two years ago by then Chancellor George Osborne. It means buy-to-let purchasers have to pay an additional 3% of the property’s value in tax, on top of stamp duty…A government source said: “Increasing the buy-to-let levy is something the Treasury are looking at doing in the Budget. It will be sold as a measure to ease the housing crisis but it’s more about raising money.” – The Sun

  • George Osborne’s stamp duty rise backfires as Treasury’s tax yield declines – The Times

>Yesterday:ToryDiary:A vaping tax would kill people

Corbyn declares that Labour is not a threat to Jewish life in Britain

“Jeremy Corbyn has broken his silence over the antisemitism row engulfing Labour, acknowledging the party has “a real problem” over the issue but strongly rejecting the idea that it poses any threat to the Jewish community in the UK. Writing in the Guardian following increasing calls for him to take a lead and address the concerns of many Jewish groups, the Labour leader accepted that the party’s incomplete adoption of an internationally recognised definition of antisemitism had caused genuine worries. “People who dish out antisemitic poison need to understand: you do not do it in my name,” he wrote.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Columnist Iain Dale: Anti-semitism – and how Corbyn is vanishing into the deep pit he has dug for himself

Shadow Equalities Minister urged to resign over “dyke” slur

“The deputy leader of Welsh Labour is facing calls to quit her frontbench Westminster role after being accused of using a homophobic insult against a former aide. Carolyn Harris, 57, who is also the party’s shadow equalities minister, allegedly “outed” her former constituency office manager Jenny Lee Clarke, who is gay, to colleagues. Ms Clarke, who was giving evidence at a crown court trial this week, said that the MP for Swansea East referred to her “dyke boots” when they worked together for another MP.” – The Times

Zimbabwe elections “tainted”

“Zimbabwe’s triumphant president has defended his tainted victory, calling the first ballot since the military coup that ousted Robert Mugabe “a festival of unfettered freedom”. Speaking for the first time since his win was declared against a backdrop of military violence and accusations of vote-rigging, Emmerson Mnangagwa insisted yesterday that the ballot was “fair, free and credible” and “a celebration of democracy”. The ballot had been “open to the world”, Mr Mnangagwa said only hours after a hotel hosting observers from the Commonwealth and international journalists was stormed by 30 riot police, many of them armed, backed up by trucks mounted with water cannon.” – The Times

Unionists split over prospect of border referendum

“A row between two high-profile Democratic Unionists over a poll on Irish unity has deepened. Peter Robinson, the former party leader and first minister, and Sammy Wilson, the East Antrim MP, are at odds over Mr Robinson’s suggestion last week that Unionists should make preparations in case a border referendum were called in the future. Mr Wilson accused him of giving encouragement to the republican cause by even countenancing the possibility of a vote. Mr Robinson responded in robust terms yesterday. While not mentioning Mr Wilson by name, he said that Unionists who maintained that the issue should not be discussed were talking “claptrap” and were guilty of “crass folly”. “These people have not just buried their heads in the sand, only the soles of their feet are visible above the surface,” he said.” – The Times

Parris: Conservative Home is “required reading” – though its surveys are wide of my experience of Tory membes

“I have doubts about these ConHome surveys. Or, rather, about their presentation as snapshots of the whole Conservative membership. ConHome, a website set up by and for Tory activists but most emphatically not part of the party machine, is a ginger group — though it might resist that description. Run by a former Tory MP I respect, Paul Goodman, it’s a buzzily professional outfit, reasonably discriminating in its judgment, and generally fair to the other side. It’s required reading for all students of Conservatism. But let’s make no bones about this: ConHome is a haven for Brexit enthusiasts, dominated by the younger and more ideological kind of Tory, and pretty male. “Activist” is the right word for the ConHome community. “Activist” is, however, the wrong word for the party’s national membership. “Grassroots” is better because Tory members are mostly anchored, unmoving, silent, subterranean and largely invisible.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary :Inside the minds of the Conservative grassroots

Oborne: When will Boris strike?

“Polls now confirm my report last week that Boris Johnson has emerged as leader of the Brexiteer Tories. So when will he strike at the Prime Minister? Expect the former foreign secretary to wait until the eve of Tory Conference, when he will set out his own vision of Brexit. Mr Johnson will not move in for the kill, however, until late autumn. And only if Theresa May persists with the Chequers deal.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Moore: There are no Etonians in the cabinet – but they will be back

“In the intervening gap, expect Etonians to re-emerge in Conservative politics. One of the unexpected gifts the school bestows on some of its pupils is populism. “All the world over,” declared William Gladstone – known as “the People’s William” despite early 19th-century Eton and Oxford and his great wealth from trade and land – “I shall back the masses against the classes”. His fellow Etonian, Lord Randolph Churchill invented “Tory democracy”, despite being the son of a duke. Today the most popular Tory speakers are Boris, and another Etonian, Jacob Rees-Mogg. I once saw Mr Rees-Mogg on television facing the accusation that his poshness made him disdain the people. “Oh no,” he replied, quick as a flash, “Vox populi, vox dei”. (Google it if your Latin is rusty.) ” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • There is a much better welfare fix than Universal Basic Income – Cian Hussey, CapX
  • I disapprove of what Sarah Jeong says, but I will defend her right to say it – Toby Young, The Spectator
  • How did Labour lose the trust of Britain’s Jews? – Patrick  Maguire, New Statesman
  • The political landscape of Zimbabwe has not changed all that much – Cheryl Hendricks, Reaction
  • Boxer Conor McGregor and Jacob Rees-Mogg pass in the street – but don’t recognise each other – Independent

And finally…Trump denies being late to see The Queen

“Speaking at a passionate rally in Pennsylvania last night, the president – who visited Britain in July – said the ‘fake, fake, disgusting news’ was responsible for lying about his encounter with Elizabeth II. He said: ‘I was asked to have tea with the Queen, who is incredible by the way. Incredible.  ‘I landed [and] I’m on the ground and I’m waiting with the King’s and the Queen’s guards, wonderful people. I’m waiting. I was about 15 minutes early and I’m waiting with my wife and that’s fine. Hey, it’s the Queen, right? We can wait. But I’m a little early.’ He added: ‘So, I then go up and meet the Queen and she is fantastic. We then go up and we have tea. And I didn’t know this – it was supposed to last 15 minutes but it lasted like an hour. Because we got along. And she liked our first lady and our first lady liked her. But we got along fantastically well. But the time went by – you know, sometimes you get along and the time goes by. So here was the story by the fake news: The president was 15 minutes late for the Queen. Wrong.” – Daily Mail

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