Rees-Mogg: The Prime Minister’s fine words don’t make a bad plan good

‘This glorious, widely praised performance showed the Prime Minister at her best. Polite and conciliatory though she is in normal times, when treated rudely there is an inner steel. Not that this should blind people to the problems with her Chequers plan. Her stirring speech does not make a bad plan good, but it does show that she has the willpower to deliver something better. The EU is blind to have turned down the Chequers proposal – it offers Europe almost all it wants, but in its greed it asks for more. As proposed it would leave the UK a vassal state, chained to rules it could not alter and denied the liberty it voted for. That, in its overbearing arrogance, the EU has rejected this has saved the United Kingdom from a bad deal, but a good solution has always been partly on offer.’ – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mail on Sunday


Downing Street advisers consider November election

‘Theresa May’s aides have secretly begun contingency planning for a snap election in November to save the Brexit talks and her job after EU leaders rebuffed the prime minister’s Chequers plan. Two senior members of May’s Downing Street political operation responded to her summit humiliation in Salzburg last week by “war-gaming” an autumn vote to win public backing for a new plan. In a telephone conversation on Thursday evening one of them said to another Tory strategist: “What are you doing in November — because I think we are going to need an election.” With May’s position in peril, The Sunday Times can also reveal that another member of her inner circle has told cabinet ministers she is likely to stand down next summer — a move designed to stop them resigning now to replace her.’ – Sunday Times

Mitchell: Now Chequers has been rebuffed, it’s time to properly develop the Canada proposal

‘The Chequers proposals were welcomed at least, in answering the European Union’s increasingly frustrated question “what do you Brits actually want?”. It was put together by the Civil Service and imposed, humiliatingly, on the Cabinet (“if you don’t like it you can walk home”) as the least worst common denominator. The Prime Minister shows courage in stubbornly defending it as the only practical solution. But it is far from clear that the House of Commons will accept it. Increasingly attractive to colleagues is The “Canada plus plus” scheme championed by the former Brexit secretary. This proposal must at least be worked up so that the “pluses” are properly fleshed out.’ – Andrew Mitchell, Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Is May pivoting to Canada?

Corbyn: I will back a second referendum if Party members vote for one

‘Jeremy Corbyn has said he would support another Brexit referendum – if Labour members at the annual party conference call for it. The Labour leader said that he would prefer to have a general election to settle the issue, but admitted he could not ignore calls for a second referendum if party members demand it. It comes after Tom Watson also in a newspaper interview the party should not ignore party members if they make their voices for another referendum heard loud enough. Speaking to the Mirror, Corbyn said: ‘What comes out of conference I will adhere to. But I’m not calling for a second referendum. I hope we will agree that the best way of resolving this is a General Election.’ – Mail on Sunday

Defence cuts risk repeating the mistakes of the Falklands, former commanders warn

‘Britain is repeating mistakes made before the Falklands War as defence cuts leave warships vulnerable to being destroyed by sea-skimming missiles, it was claimed this weekend. The Royal Navy last week retired the last of its 13 Sea King Mk7 helicopters, which have powerful radar designed to give ships early warning of an attack. A replacement radar system called Crowsnest, to be fitted to up to 10 of the navy’s Merlin helicopters, will not be operational for another 18 months. Former commanders and military experts warned this weekend that the lack of an airborne early warning system is among “capability gaps” that leave the navy exposed to a resurgent Russia and China. They drew a parallel with 1978, four years before the Falklands conflict, when the Fairey Gannet, an early warning aircraft, was taken out of service.’ – Sunday Times

Sunday Telegraph: The Conservatives have surrendered in the battle of ideas

‘We are all for fairness and paying to the Exchequer what one is obliged to, but the Tories are wrong to indulge in the politics of envy and the munificent welfare state. Whatever happened to public sector reform? Much of it remains inefficient and wasteful. The Conservatives have played Labour’s game by rolling out an unfunded commitment to a £20  billion budget boost for the NHS. Labour, predictably, has promised just enough extra to appear more compassionate. When the Right embraces socialist economics, it triggers a bidding war that the Tories can never win because Labour will always go further – and at this week’s conference it will promise voters the moon. It’s time the Conservatives replied with a different, compelling message.’ – Sunday Telegraph Leader

>Today: Liz Truss on Comment: As Labour’s Conference opens, think long and hard about the damage they would wreak on jobs, wages and tax

No holograms or fuzzy felt letters, in “safety-first” plan for Tory conference

‘Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, has axed plans to give his speech to the Conservative Party conference as a hologram. The idea was hatched by his predecessor at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock, before he was promoted to health secretary. Wright, a reputed technophobe, initially considered the idea but has now ruled it out amid fears it could so easily become “an embarrassing fiasco”. A Conservative Party insider said: “Last year we couldn’t even manage to keep letters in place on a backdrop behind the prime minister as she gave her speech to conference, so there was absolutely no bloody way we were going to allow a relatively new minister appearing as a hologram to take centre stage. It had disaster written all over it.”’ – Sunday Times

Labour urges Hancock to give the NHS £500 million to avoid a winter crisis

‘The NHS needs an urgent £500million bailout to head off a winter beds crisis, it was claimed last night. Labour warned of cancelled ops and patients stuck on trolleys without a fresh cash booster. Health Secretary Matt Hancock was urged to “take his head out of the sand” and face up to the looming problem. Last year the government gave hospitals a £355million winter pressure fund – but critics say it came too late to protect patients from bed shortages, longer waiting times and ambulance queues. More than 22,800 operations were postponed during a one-month freeze on non-urgent procedures in January. NHS chiefs also ordered commissioners to relax the rules banning mixed-sex wards. This resulted in 18,000 “breaches” in the past year.’ – The Sun on Sunday

  • Major and five former Health Secretaries under pressure to give evidence in infected blood inquiry – Sunday Times
  • Hancock urges better support for NHS staff who witness traumatic events – Sunday Telegraph
  • Politically correct health chiefs are hiding obesity crisis among ethnic minority children – Mail on Sunday
  • Suicide of NHS chief facing fraud scandal – Sunday Times

Labour frontbencher praises the actions of Militant in Liverpool

‘A member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet provoked criticism last night after she praised a Militant-led council for setting an illegal budget in the 1980s. Dawn Butler, the shadow women and equalities minister, quoted the faction’s slogan “better to break the law than break the poor” in a speech to the Labour Party conference in Liverpool yesterday. In 1985, Liverpool’s Labour council, which was run by the party’s far-left Militant wing, defied local government spending cuts imposed by the Conservative government. Their tactics were condemned by Labour’s leader at the time, Neil Kinnock, who accused the council of inflicting “grotesque chaos” on the city and being forced to sack their own workers after running out of money… Last night a source close to Kinnock said: “Dawn’s remarks are so far from what we should be standing for as a party that I’ve decided I’d rather not dignify them with a comment.”’ – Sunday Times

  • My mum almost lost her job thanks to Hatton – Sunday Times
  • Andrew Murray argued for a “Soviet Britain” – Sunday Times
  • Labour MP seeks 24-hour armed guard – Mail on Sunday
  • They have learned nothing from the past, Lewis says – The Sun on Sunday
  • NEC votes to make deselection easier – Sunday Times
  • Rail nationalisation would require a £176 billion ‘borrowing binge’ – The Sun on Sunday
  • Corbyn wants to require boards to give a third of seats to workers – Sunday Times
  • Anti-semitism could cost Labour almost a million votes – Sunday Times
  • Left-wing trolls try to get Lipman sacked – Mail on Sunday



>Yesterday: Jack Brereton on Comment: It isn’t too late to save the railway from the disaster of re-nationalisation

Teenager shot dead in London’s 108th murder this year

‘Police have launched a murder investigation after a teenager was gunned down in east London. The 19-year-old victim was shot at 11pm on Saturday on Vallentin Road, E17 in Walthamstow. Police said the man was bundled into a car by his friends after being shot and rushed to hospital in north-east London. The man was pronounced dead at 11.38. He is the 108th murder victim in London so far in 2018.’ – Mail on Sunday

  • Chinese firms wrap knives in foil to smuggle them through customs scans – The Sun on Sunday
  • End the flow of weapons into the UK – The Sun on Sunday Says
  • Anti-corruption police were ordered to stop investigation into Russian money-laundering – Sunday Telegraph
  • Police chiefs say soft judges are encouraging criminals to keep on offending – Mail on Sunday
  • Prison chaplain suspended after warning about Islamist extremists – Mail on Sunday