Labour on ‘brink of civil war’ over antisemitism…

“Labour was on the brink of civil war last night over anti-Semitism. The party endured a fevered day of briefing and counter-briefing following the revelation that Jeremy Corbyn hosted an event comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis. And last night two new pieces of footage surfaced of the Labour leader making controversial comments, both praising the release of Hamas terrorists on Iranian TV in 2012, and two years earlier comparing Israel’s blockade of Gaza to Nazi atrocities. It comes amid the fall-out from Mr Corbyn’s refusal to sign up to the full internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism – which might be explained by fears that he knows he has fallen foul of it himself. Likening the actions of Israel to the Nazis, as Mr Corbyn did in the video that emerged yesterday, is a specific example of anti-Semitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).” – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn ‘raised Nazi crimes’ to describe Israel in Gaza – The Times
  • Labour leader ‘silenced Holocaust survivor’ – Daily Telegraph
  • McDonnell demands issue is ‘sorted out’, but Corbyn is silent – Daily Mail
  • Willsman dropped from NEC re-election list – The Guardian
  • Event leaflet accuses Israel of ‘lies’ – The Times

…as Mann claims that Jews believe Labour has ‘declared war’

“The Jewish community believes Labour has “declared war” on it, one of the party’s MPs has claimed, as Jeremy Corbyn faced increasing pressure for hosting an event comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis on Holocaust Memorial Day. Mr Corbyn issued a personal apology on Tuesday evening after it emerged he spoke at and opened a meeting in the House of Commons in 2010 which was part of a UK tour called “Never Again for Anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza”. John Mann, the Labour MP and chairman of the all party parliamentary group on anti-Semitism, said it was “extraordinary” Mr Corbyn had taken part in a “counter, if you like a protest event” on Holocaust Memorial Day. The Campaign Against Antisemitism has lodged a formal complaint against Mr Corbyn with the Labour Party and demanded disciplinary action over his attendance at the event when he was a backbench MP.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Party ‘shaken to the core’ by claims – FT


  • Labour’s refusal to tackle antisemitism is a stain on Britain – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
  • As Corbyn’s leadership wavers, McDonnell edges closer to power – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Holocaust survivor’s anger as Corbyn shuts down dissent – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail


  • Labour is failing a profound moral test – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn must go after vicious prejudice exposed – The Sun

>Yesterday: Joe Carlebach in Comment: Labour’s tolerance of antisemitism is a danger to all of us

Hunt denies claims that Britain is trying to ‘bypass’ Brussels

“Jeremy Hunt denied that Britain was seeking to bypass Brussels as it lobbies governments to soften the European Commission’s tough line on Brexit negotiations. The foreign secretary warned against the “real risk of a messy divorce” that could poison future relations between the UK and the Continent after meeting his Austrian counterpart, Karin Kneissl, in Vienna. “We are very concerned that as things stand at the moment we are heading for ‘no deal’ by accident — a ‘no deal’ situation which would have a profound impact on the relations between Britain and the EU countries for a generation,” he said. “There is a real risk of a messy divorce, which would be a huge geo-strategic mistake.” Mr Hunt was speaking a day after meeting his French counterpart as part of a British diplomatic push to win the support of individual national leaders for its Brexit proposals.” – The Times

  • Foreign Secretary warns that unfair deal will be mistake rued for decades – The Sun
  • Gove ‘discussing plan to stay in single market’ – FT


  • May told WTO exit will turn UK into ‘powerhouse’ – Daily Express
  • City expected to lose just 5,000 jobs due to Brexit – Daily Mail
  • ‘Look out for Gove’ as May’s successor – Daily Express
  • EU concedes that it will need to ‘fudge’ negotiations – Daily Express
  • German sources deny Brexit deal offer – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Our Cabinet League Table. The Chequers effect blitzes everyone. They’re all down. And May dives to her lowest rating ever.

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Ici Londres – Hannan sets out the advantages of mutual recognition over common standards

Allister Heath: The Government’s kamikaze strategy beggars belief

What is wrong with this government? Its incompetence in its handling of the greatest question of our times is now so extraordinary, so mind-boggling, that it is at times hard to believe that any of this is actually happening. Did we all drop off to sleep the day after the referendum, and have yet to awaken? Tragically, dear readers, it’s all too real. We have ended up with a kamikaze government that appears to have – deliberately or inadvertently – put itself in a situation where the only way it thinks it can convince us to buy its ridiculous Chequers plan is to highlight all the problems, real, inflated or imaginary, that a no deal with zero preparations would entail. Never mind that it is actually this government’s job to ensure such preparations are made, and to identify and implement policies to eliminate or minimise disruption from a no deal outcome: it is in effect campaigning against itself, exposing or even exaggerating its own failings. All governments are two-faced, but this one would make Janus blush.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A no-deal Brexit will not happen. Here’s why – Jonathan Lis, The Guardian
  • UK takes heart at Angela Merkel’s rethink on Brexit – Alex Barker, FT
  • Brexit’s new ‘Project Fear’ threatens liberal democracy – Bill Jamieson, The Scotsman

>Today: James Arnell in Comment: No Deal 4) An outward-looking, global UK

>Yesterday: James Arnell in Comment: No Deal 3) Contingency planning

Is Hammond preparing to levy ‘sin tax’ on vaping?

“Britain’s 2.9million vapers could be taxed as Treasury bean counters try to find ways of funding the extra £20billion pledged to the NHS. Whitehall sources say so-called “sin taxes” will see increases in this autumn’s Budget. One told The Sun: “Vapers are likely to be hit as they are not taxed at all.” Users typically spend around £275 a year on vaping fluid. A five per cent tax would cost them £13.75 a year and raise almost £40million. But last night Chris Snowdon, of think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said a vaping tax would harm the nation’s health. He said: “The UK’s liberal approach to vaping has become a model for the rest of the world.” Vaping supporters say it helps people quit smoking and cuts cigarette consumption. It is believed to be 95 per cent safer than cigarette smoking.” – The Sun

Davis demands inquiry into British use of torture

“David Davis today presses the Prime Minister to order a judge-led inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the mistreatment of terror suspects – or face the prospect of a legal challenge. In a major intervention, the former Brexit Secretary calls on Theresa May to set up an independent probe to investigate UK complicity in ‘wicked’ torture and rendition during the so-called ‘war on terror’. Failing to fulfil the Tory party’s pledge to hold an inquiry, chaired by a senior judge, into the abuse of captives will mean never discovering the truth about some of Britain’s ‘darkest days’, he says. Mr Davis has backed a hard-hitting letter to Downing Street on torture signed by senior MPs. It comes just weeks after he quit the Cabinet in disgust at Mrs May’s Chequers blueprint for leaving the EU.” – Daily Mail

  • We must finally tell the truth about our darkest days – David Davis MP, Daily Mail

Shapps resigns from firm after allegations of ‘secret’ pay deal

“Former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps resigned from a technology company yesterday following claims he failed to declare a ‘secret pay deal’. Mr Shapps, who denies any wrongdoing, quit from the management board of tech firm OpenBrix after it was reported that a ‘secret’ bonus scheme could see him receive a payment of up to £700,000 for his work. In Parliament’s register of MPs’ interests, Mr Shapps’s involvement with the firm is recorded as ‘unpaid’. But he had been in line for a major bonus after it floats later this year, the Financial Times claimed. The firm aims to bring the ‘blockchain’ technology behind the Bitcoin phenomenon to the property market. Later this year it will make what is known as an ‘initial coin offering’ – when it effectively sells shares on the market. Mr Shapps was allegedly due to share in a bonus pool with three other board members after the sale.” – Daily Mail

Councils urge Government to divert funds away from Cameron’s youth programme

“Councils have urged ministers to shift funds from David Cameron’s residential youth scheme to their own year-round schemes after it emerged his project used 95% of all government spending on youth services despite reaching relatively few teenagers. The Local Government Association said some of the £634m allocated to the National Citizen Service (NCS) over the past few years would make up for some of the cuts to council schemes. More than 600 youth centres had closed. Financial doubts surface over Cameron’s ‘big society’ youth programme. The NCS was one of Cameron’s early announcements as prime minister in 2010 – part of his “big society” policy. It offers three to four-week programmes where 15- to 17-year-olds work in teams on projects connected to skills and the community. The scheme, which was allocated £1.5bn in funding overall, has faced criticism for lax spending controls and poor management.” – The Guardian

Bridgen scorns McDonnell’s proposals for Universal Basic Income

“John McDonnell was ridiculed for backing a universal basic income today after Canada and Finland axed trials that showed it was too expensive. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said the policy was an example of the ‘economics of the madhouse’ after the shadow chancellor said he wanted to pilot the scheme. Mr McDonnell said the idea of replacing the current benefits system with a flat rate handout to everyone was an idea that ‘a lot of people are pressing for’ despite the eye-watering costs of introducing it. The Green Party campaigned for a minimum payment of £72 a week before the 2015 election, but dropped the idea from its manifesto because of the ruinous cost, which was estimated at £280billion a year.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour’s ‘radical’ new benefits policy is a neo-Marxist dud – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

‘Invisible’ Shadow Cabinet face the sack

“Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbenchers have been told to up their game or risk being dismissed amid complaints that a handful of the Labour leader’s closest allies are “doing all the heavy lifting”. New spin doctors have been hired, in part to raise the shadow cabinet’s profile. Analysis by The Times shows that two thirds of national newspaper coverage of Mr Corbyn’s top team mentions only five members. There is unease in the leadership at the lack of impact that the holders of many key briefs are making. There are also concerns at the prospect of a reshuffle in which Mr Corbyn would have to sack colleagues who took on senior roles after dozens of Labour MPs quit in protest at his leadership. The walkout in summer 2016, after the EU referendum, deprived the frontbench of almost all MPs with experience of being in government. It also led to an exodus of experienced media advisers. As a result, reaction to events or embargoed committee reports often arrived too late.” – The Times

Cooper attacks ministers over forced marriages

“Visas are being granted to men who took girls as young as 15 abroad and forced them to marry, it was reported last night. Figures revealed 88 women in forced marriages appealed to block visa applications last year, but almost half were still accepted by the Home Office. Last night ministers were accused of ignoring the problem, amid claims the department was afraid of being labelled racist. It is believed most teenagers who are forced into such marriages are taken to South Asia, where they are raped as families think having children will make it easier for the husband to obtain a visa… The revelations came after Yvette Cooper yesterday told a home affairs select committee: ‘Despite being warned to do more to help victims of forced marriage, it looks as though the Home Office has failed and put victims at risk.’” – Daily Mail

  • Labour MP ‘duped’ into helping family secure visa for groom – The Times


Reeves demands extension of controversial gender pay audits

“Controversial gender pay audits should be extended to all firms with more than 50 staff, MPs will say today. New laws forced all organisations with at least 250 staff to report on their pay structures this year. But the Commons business committee today urges ministers to go further – saying the audit revealed ‘obscene’ gaps of more than 40 per cent at some organisations. It said almost four out of five large firms have gender pay gaps in favour of men. Rachel Reeves, the committee’s Labour chairman, said the biggest gender pay gaps were ‘obscene and entirely unacceptable’. She said transparency about pay should be extended to smaller firms, and further action to close the gap was needed… But critics have warned the audit is meaningless, as it takes no account of the fact men and women may be doing different jobs – and said extending it would place an unfair financial burden for small firms.” – Daily Mail

  • The pay gap and Brexit illustrate that, as a nation, we’re terrible negotiators – Zoe Strimpel, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: To win back young voters, the Conservative Party should make feminism central to its platform

Vaz ‘relentlessly bullied’ Commons clerk

“Keith Vaz relentlessly bullied a clerk after she blew the whistle on his alleged ‘opulent’ dining with mystery men on a trip to Ukraine, it was claimed last night. On another taxpayer-funded trip, the Labour MP invited a group of curry restaurateur lobbyists, an investigation by the BBC’s Newsnight alleged. When House of Commons clerk Jenny McCullough complained, she claimed Mr Vaz responded by ‘haranguing’ her about her fertility status, the BBC said. She later quit her job – blaming the stress caused by the confrontations and the failure of Commons authorities to take her complaints seriously. Last night Leicester East MP Mr Vaz, 61, strenuously denied the accusations. They relate to 2007 and 2008 when he was chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee. He stood down in 2016 when a newspaper sting exposed his liaison with male prostitutes, during which he discussed buying cocaine.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • The ‘Norway Option’ is a realistic, quickly achievable Brexit solution – George Yarrow, CapX
  • May nailed it at Lancaster House, so how did we end up with the disastrous Chequers plan? – Ross Thomson MP, Brexit Central
  • Who wins when everyone is in crisis? – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • The Tories need to dump May – James Cullimore, Reaction
  • Elitist Britain is a closed shop – Paul Embery, UnHerd