Published:

Corbyn embroiled deeper in Labour’s antisemitism scandal…

“Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal deepened last night after it emerged Jeremy Corbyn had hosted an event comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis. On Holocaust Memorial Day in 2010, the Labour leader spoke at the meeting at the House of Commons. The disclosure that Mr Corbyn attended the event led him to issue an extraordinary apology last night. During the event a speech was delivered by Hajo Meyer, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz who became a passionate anti-Zionist. Mr Meyer, who died in 2014, repeatedly made the comparison between the Nazi regime and Israeli policy, the Times reported. The event was part of a UK tour called Never Again for Anyone – Auschwitz to Gaza. Last night Mr Corbyn issued an apology for in the past attending events attended by people whose views he now rejects.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader issues ‘personal apology’ as row boils over – Daily Telegraph
  • Fury as Willsman, who hinted row is a conspiracy, is ‘let off’ – The Sun
  • Watson says activist ‘disgusts’ him – Daily Mail
  • Willsman, the antisemitism denier who ‘advised Corbyn’ – The Times
  • Corbyn silent amidst calls for ally’s expulsion – Daily Mail
  • Fife councillor suspended by Labour in antisemitism row – The Scotsman

…as he prepares to pass yet more power to activists

“Labour is planning to introduce electronic voting for annual conferences, local constituency ballots and decisions over policy, a review of internal democracy has concluded. As part of Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to give power back to members, they would be able to participate remotely without having to attend meetings in person or vote on paper. The development is part of a package of measures approved by the ruling national executive committee (NEC), which is expected to approve the changes in September before the party conference in Liverpool votes on the recommendations later that month. Led by the Corbyn aide Katy Clark and the NEC member Claudia Webbe, the e-vote proposal means grassroots activists would be able to have a say on controversial national policies such as the renewal of Trident, which is backed by the big unions but opposed by many peace activists including Corbyn.” – The Guardian

  • Willsman’s rant points to a Labour party still blind to antisemitism – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
  • A hard-left zealot who embarrasses his own side – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • The greatest threat facing Corbyn is McDonnell – Sebastian Payne, FT

Editorial:

  • Corbyn must be held to account – The Sun

Johnson leads our next Tory leader survey

“Boris Johnson has re-emerged as the Conservative faithful’s favourite to succeed Theresa May since his resignation over the government’s Brexit plans. In a marked reversal of fortunes, the former foreign secretary is now supported by nearly a third of party members as the next leader. A month ago, when he was still in government, he was backed by only 8 per cent of members, according to a monthly poll of more than 1,000 Tories by the website ConservativeHome. He is nearly ten points ahead of his nearest rival, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, while the biggest loser is his fellow Brexiteer Michael Gove. Mr Gove’s failure to quit in the aftermath of Mrs May’s Chequers plan has led to his poll ratings slumping to 7 per cent. Supporters of Mr Johnson suggested that the figures justified his decision to resign over his opposition to the Chequers deal.” – The Times

  • Nearly half of members want the Prime Minister to quit – Daily Mail
  • How ‘ministeral flop’ Javid became favourite to succeed May – FT

Analysis:

  • The Conservative Party is abandoning Theresa May – Patrick Maguire, New Statesman

>Today: ToryDiary: Our Survey. Next Tory Leader. Johnson more than triples his score to come top – for the first time since 2016

Paul Goodman: The challenges he would face were he to succeed the Prime Minister

“So Mr Johnson becomes Conservative leader and prime minister. But what would he do then? His Brexit policy would presumably be to junk the Chequers plan and champion a Canada-type deal. Remainer Tory MPs would revolt. And there doesn’t seem to be a majority for any plan at all in the Commons. Mr Johnson would be stalemated before he had started. There would be only one practicable solution, whatever the Fixed-term Parliaments Act might say: a general election. But Tory MPs – Remainer and Leaver alike – are scarred by last summer’s experience. They fear that a poll would cost them seats and result in a Marxist government. This elemental terror, plus the effect that a leadership election would have on the Brexit negotiations, helps to explain why Mrs May is still in place.” – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey finds a record fall of confidence in May. Over two in five Party members want her out now.

May to interrupt her holiday to try to sell Chequers to Macron…

“Emmanuel Macron today invited Theresa May to his holiday home in the south of France in a fresh attempt to end the Brexit deadlock. The French President’s surprise invitation emerged just hours after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt held talks on Brexit in Paris. An Elysee Palace source said Mr Macron and Mrs May would meet at Fort Bregancon near Toulon on Friday evening. The meeting will be followed by a private dinner between Macron and his wife Brigitte and May and her husband Philip… The leaders will focus on Mrs May’s Brexit blueprint agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers earlier this month. The controversial plan almost brought down her Government as Boris Johnson and David Davis both resigned in protest. Mrs May make the stop in France on her way home from her holiday in Italy.” – Daily Mail

  • France growing ‘isolated’ over its hardline stance – The Sun
  • Why the Prime Minister’s plan isn’t quite dead yet – Daily Telegraph
  • Japan backs UK joining trans-Pacific trade group – Daily Mail
  • Merkel ally backs second referendum – Daily Telegraph
  • May must push for even softer Brexit, urges think-tank – The Guardian

…as she overrules Javid to insist on UK-only passport lanes…

“Theresa May is to overrule her Home Secretary to insist there must be special lanes for British passport holders in airports after Brexit. Sajid Javid has torn up plans for UK-only channels in arrivals lounges to insist Brits will still have to queue alongside EU visitors. His order came after Home Office research found separate lines would cost too much and could also create longer waiting times. But The Sun can reveal that the PM will intervene to insist on them to produce another visual symbol of Brexit in practice. The big footing move risks deepening the already tense relationship between Mrs May and Mr Javid, who is now seen as her most likely successor… Research by the Home Office concluded that while UK-only lines would be popular, they would come at “considerable additional cost” as extra border staff would be needed to check passports. It was also discovered that as the overwhelming number of people coming in are Brits, the UK only queue at peak periods in the day would be longer than all the others put together.” – The Sun

  • Hunt ‘pleads’ with France and Germany to overrule the EU – Daily Mail
  • Finally, our Foreign Secretary is talking tough – Daily Express
  • Raab runs low on credibility over stockpiling – FT

More:

  • Britain’s EU budget bill rises again – Daily Mail
  • Temporary ‘no deal’ lorry park could last four years – The Sun

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

>Yesterday: James Arnell in Comment: No Deal 2) Trade and regulations

…and warns MPs that Labour could block Brexit

“Theresa May has reportedly warned Tories of a Labour plot to stop Brexit if MPs vote down the deal she gets back from Brussels with an ancient Parliamentary procedure. Ministers say Number 10 have instructed them to warn colleagues the opposition plan to use a “humble address” in the Commons. This would block the UK leaving without a deal, thereby tying the UK to bloc if the Prime Minister cannot get her agreement with the EU approved. The warning, reported in the FT, is intended to pressure Eurosceptic Tory MPs to support Mrs May’s Chequers compromise. It has been blasted as the latest aspect of a new version of “Project Fear” – the dire warnings the Government under David Cameron put out about voting to the leave the EU – and labelled “scaremongering” by Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg… Labour has twice used the archaic procedure in the past few months in an attempt to embarrass the Government.” – The Sun

  • May’s proposal is the best route to Brexit – Martin Sandbu, FT
  • Brexit Britain remains divided as ever – Ian Montagu, Times Red Box
  • Time to demand to take back control of Brexit – Gina Miller, The Guardian
  • Remain lost, deal with it – Brian Monteith, The Scotsman
  • We should ban political ads on social media – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Ministers 1) Mundell says SNP need to ‘pull together’ to make most of Brexit

“David Mundell is to warn that Scotland will miss out on Brexit’s trade opportunities unless SNP and Tory ministers stop fighting and “pull together.” Speaking on a trade mission to New Zealand, the Scottish Secretary is expected to say the UK Government wants to deliver a “fundamental and transformative step-change” in trade policy. But he will argue that the Scottish and UK governments need to start working together following a series of high-profile rows that have seen their relations hit rock bottom. Mr Mundell will state that UK-wide frameworks are needed for some powers being repatriated from Brussels to safeguard the Government’s ability to sign trade deals. Ministers fear that allowing SNP ministers to set different rules and standards north of the Border in some areas would make signing deals more difficult.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Nationalist health minister under pressure over cancer detection rates – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) Hammond orders Whitehall to prepare for more cuts

“Philip Hammond has told Whitehall to plan for another round of cuts before next year’s spending review, putting him on a collision course with some cabinet colleagues who want tax rises instead of austerity. The chancellor wants ministries without protected budgets, including public health, further education, local government and transport, to work with the Treasury in the summer to identify potential areas for savings. Some departments believe that these budgets could be cut by as much as 5 per cent. The letter calling for work to start on the savings, sent by Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, last week, does not contain a specific target. Spending totals have been set until the spring of 2020. Mr Hammond will allocate individual budgets, traditionally for the following four years, in a comprehensive review after next spring.” – The Times

  • May’s envoy has tough task rebuilding bridges with the City – FT

Comment:

  • Carney’s ‘go for it’ message may have come too late – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

>Today:

Ministers 3) Hinds wants more ‘middle class’ pupils taking apprenticeships

“More middle-class pupils should consider shunning university for alternatives such as high-quality apprenticeships, says the Education Secretary. Damian Hinds said youngsters – including the most affluent – should think twice about whether a ‘traditional degree’ is the right option for them. He said he is determined to make technical routes as prestigious as academic ones so that they are no longer seen as ‘second best’. And he said the Government’s new T-levels and degree apprenticeships in jobs such as engineering and accounting will provide fast-track routes to ‘highly-skilled work’. His comments come amid growing debate over whether studying for a non-vocational degree really is the best option for people who just want to get stuck into a career.” – Daily Mail

  • Education Secretary reveals ‘social mobility gap’ – The Sun
  • Elite universities must improve access, says Hinds – The Guardian

Ministers 4) Gove tells water companies to do more to fix leaks

“Water companies have promised to do more to fix leaks this summer and cut the three billion litres they lose each day. Chief executives and directors of eight companies that have missed their targets for repairing leaks or have very high leakage rates met Michael Gove, the environment secretary, yesterday. They included Steve Mogford, chief executive of United Utilities, which is planning to impose a hosepipe ban in northwest England from Sunday. Only Thames Water lost more water than United Utilities last year… Mr Gove told the companies that they needed to take more action to cope with extreme weather such as this summer’s heatwave and lack of rain because such events could become more frequent with climate change. He said: “We all agreed water companies must do more to adapt and prepare for changing weather patterns.”” – The Times

Davidson and Mundell pay tribute to MSP

Tributes have been paid across the political spectrum following the death of Sir Alex Fergusson, the Scottish Parliament’s third presiding officer and a universally-respected former Tory MSP. Sir Alex, 69, died at home after a short illness, surrounded by his family. He served as an MSP between 1999 and 2016, latterly representing the constituency of Galloway and West Dumfries. The farmer, who was educated at Eton College and the Scottish Agricultural College, served as Holyrood’s presiding officer between 2007 and 2011. He returned to the Tory benches at Holyrood following the 2011 election and retired in 2016. Sir Alex was knighted in that year’s Queen’s birthday honours for services to politics, the Scottish Parliamentary process and public life in Scotland. Ruth Davidson and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, led tributes to their party colleague and Holyrood’s flags were lowered to half mast.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Politicians from across the political spectrum remember former Presiding Officer – The Scotsman

Field warns that Universal Credit threatens women’s equality

“The UK government’s flagship social security reform, universal credit, is reversing decades of hard-won equality for women, according to Frank Field, who chairs the Commons work and pensions committee. The committee published a report on Wednesday warning that the way universal credit is paid out to most recipients — in a single payment made to one member of the family — risked exacerbating domestic abuse. The committee said the system could give an abusive partner control over a large monthly sum that was some families’ only source of income. Universal credit, which merges six previous benefits, was intended to improve the incentives for welfare recipients to work. But the rollout of the benefit has been bedevilled by long delays and sharp criticisms. In June, the National Audit Office said the system was costing more to deliver than the benefits it replaced, concluding it was uncertain whether the system would ever represent value for money.” – FT

  • Committee calls for men and women to have independent income – The Sun

More:

  • McDonnell says Labour could trial universal basic income – Daily Express

International Development Committee savages aid sector over Oxfam abuse

“The aid sector was accused of ‘complacency verging on complicity’ today after a damning report into the Oxfam scandal was published three years after the Charity Commission was first told. The International Development committee said only superficial action was taken to tackle abuse carried out by Oxfam staff in disaster zones. The limited actions were despite it now being public knowledge reports were passed to the charities watchdog as early as 2015. The scandal burst into public view earlier this year after an expose on Roland van Hauwermeiren, head of the Oxfam’s Haiti mission, who was accused of paying teenage girls between £70 and £140 a time for sex at his hilltop villa known as the Eagle’s Nest. Committee chairman Stephen Twigg has set out how abuse remains ‘endemic’ and the sector ‘deluded’ in its denial of ‘the horror of sexual exploitation and abuse’ (SEA).” – Daily Mail

  • Charities more concerned about reputations than victims – The Times

Foster warns Sinn Fein against Ulster referendum

“Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster has accused Sinn Fein of rowing back on suggesting an Irish unity poll should not be held during Brexit uncertainty. Mrs Foster’s was speaking after Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald insisted her party wanted a referendum “as soon as possible”, claiming the “chaos of the Tory Brexit” should not delay a vote on Northern Ireland’s constitutional status. Mrs McDonald’s remarks came less than 24 hours after she said she would prefer not to hold a unity vote in the context of a “crash or very hard Brexit”, arguing it would be the wrong “climate” for such a debate. Claiming the republican party had changed stance overnight, Mrs Foster insisted people in Northern Ireland were more interested in seeing powersharing restored than participating in a referendum on reunification.” – The Scotsman

  • Adonis’ Brexit claims about Northern Ireland branded ‘delusional and arrogant’ – News Letter

News in Brief:

  • Councils are playing a risky property game with taxpayers’ money – Ben Ramanauskas, CapX
  • Labour’s anti-Semitism problem is really Corbyn’s – Alastair Benn, Reaction
  • Why Boris Johnson is now the favourite to succeed Theresa May – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • Could Macron prove more dangerous than Trump? – John Lichfield, UnHerd

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