Javid plans to boost police stop and search powers

“Sajid Javid is planning a significant extension of stop-and-search powers in his latest challenge to Theresa May and her legacy as home secretary. Mr Javid wants officers to be able to stop anyone suspected of carrying acid without a good reason. At present police can do so only when they have evidence that a person is about to cause an injury. The home secretary is also pushing for police to be able to stop and search people carrying laser pointers or drones. The changes expand powers that Mrs May sought to curb before she became prime minister. The move is likely to boost Mr Javid’s law and order credentials and marks his latest departure from Mrs May’s policies in the Home Office. Since his promotion in April he has rejected her immigration cap for doctors and nurses and lifted the ban on the medicinal use of cannabis oil.” – The Times

  • Merseyside Police chief: stop and search is not racist, it is our greatest power – The Times
  • Police Federation welcomes a “positive step” – The Sun
  • Drug gangs should be treated the same way as terrorism, ministers told by John Woodcock MP – The Sun

Labour’s NEC to decide on anti-semitism definition…..

“Labour’s ruling body will meet later to discuss whether to adopt in full an international definition of anti-Semitism following months of acrimony. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition was incorporated into Labour’s code of conduct in July – but not all its examples were included. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he hoped the party’s National Executive Committee would adopt all the examples. It comes amid a row over activist Peter Willsman’s re-election to the NEC. Earlier this year, he suggested Jewish “Trump fanatics” were behind accusations of anti-Semitism in Labour ranks – remarks which were widely condemned and saw him disowned by the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group Momentum.” – BBC

  • Corbyn’s Anti-semitism is a threat to all of us – Stephen Harper and David Trimble, Daily Telegraph
  • Anti-semitism Defined – Leader, The Times

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Why this week is crunch time for the Labour anti-semitism scandal

…as more video footage emerges of Corbyn praising Hamas

“Jeremy Corbyn’s claim he cannot remember having a takeaway with terrorists is in tatters after a video emerged of him heaping praise on Hamas and thanking them for the grub. Two weeks ago the embattled Labour chief said he had no memory of breaking bread with the bloodthirsty antisemitic militants in Gaza eight years ago. The Sun revealed that Mr Corbyn had boasted of a sharing dinner with Hamas in 2010 – despite their violence against Jews and denial of the Holocaust. But the veteran lefty, fighting off an antisemitism storm engulfing his party, tried to distance himself from the controversy by claiming he did not remember the meal.” – The Sun

Ryan faces deselection threat

“A leading pro-Israel MP has been targeted for deselection by members of her local party. Joan Ryan, the chairwoman of Labour Friends of Israel, faces a motion of no-confidence in her Enfield North constituency. The motion, which has been tabled by local activists, complains about her criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn over the antisemitism allegations that have dogged Labour over the summer, says: “Our MP has smeared his character without him having the right to a fair and balanced defence.” It accuses Ms Ryan of behaving like “an independent MP in all but name”, adding that she “has fuelled and indeed inflamed trial by media” of the Labour leader.” – The Times

Brexit 1) Polling in Tory marginals shows opposition to Chequers plan

“The majority of voters in the Conservatives’ most marginal constituencies believe Theresa May’s Chequers plan is “bad for Britain”, a new poll has found as critics warned it is now more hated than the poll tax. A survey of 22,000 voters in the Conservatives’ 44 most marginal seats found that three-quarters of people are “dissatisfied” with the Government’s handling of Brexit negotiations.  Over half of those polled believe the policy is “bad” for Britain, while just 21 per cent believe it is “good”. The poll found that Brexit is considered more important in the marginal constituencies than the NHS and the economy.” – Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Opposing Chequers is not enough

Brexit 2) Greening joins the attack

“Tory Remainers joined Boris Johnson in launching a searing attack on Theresa May’s Brexit strategy today. The Prime Minister is facing a pincer movement from both wings of her party after the former foreign secretary accused her of flying the ‘white flag’ in negotiations with the EU. Europhile former minister Justine Greening piled in to jibe that the Chequers plan was ‘more unpopular than the poll tax’. However, Downing Street hit back that critics of the premier’s blueprint – which would see the UK follow EU rules on goods and collect some taxes for the bloc in order to avoid friction at the borders – had ‘no new ideas’.” – Daily Mail

Brexit 3) Rees-Mogg says Eurosceptics agree more with Barnier than May

“British Eurosceptics agree more with Michel Barnier when it comes to Brexit than they do with Theresa May and her government, Jacob Rees-Mogg said after meeting the EU’s chief negotiator in Brussels for the first time. Mr Rees-Mogg, the influential leader of a group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, attacked Mrs May’s Chequers plan on Monday, which was earlier strongly criticised by Boris Johnson, her former foreign secretary. He was in the Belgian capital as part of the House of Commons Brexit Committee. “Mr Barnier is, as you would expect, extraordinarily charming,” said Mr Rees-Mogg after meeting with Mr Barnier, who had warned that Chequers  could destroy the European project in a German newspaper article on Sunday. “We found ourselves in considerable agreement that Chequers is absolute rubbish and we should chuck it and have a Canada style trade agreement instead,” he said.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 4) Timothy warns the Chequers plan would not stop free movement

“Few ministers care about reducing immigration, and the Chequers white paper is remarkably open about the options. It proposes, for example, a “youth mobility scheme” that would give young Europeans the right to live and work in Britain for fixed periods. Without strict limits, this alone could destroy meaningful immigration control, because most people who want to migrate are young. Around 64 per cent of EU migrants to Britain are under 30, while 86 per cent are younger than 40. The white paper suggests “other specific mobility areas”, without giving further details. It proposes “social security coordination” which might allow migrants to claim benefits for children living back home in countries like Poland. And it says nothing about our ability to deport or bar European criminals from Britain.” – Nick Timothy,  The Sun

Brexit 5) Budget to take place early to avoid a clash

“Philip Hammond is preparing to unveil his budget as early as next month to avoid clashing with the final stages of Brexit talks. The Treasury had expected the budget to be held towards the end of November and Downing Street had wanted to strike a Brexit deal at October’s meeting of the European Council. Mr Hammond has told officials to work to produce a budget in late October as it becomes clear that Brexit talks will drag on through the autumn. Treasury sources said last night that no final decision had been taken and that it remained possible that the budget could take place later than originally planned, potentially in December.” – The Times

Banks has his Tory membership application accepted locally…

“Millionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks has had his application to join the Conservative Party accepted by a local association, the Mail can reveal. Mr Banks, who bankrolled Leave.EU, and his business partner Andy Wigmore, applied to join the North West Leicestershire association of Tory MP Andrew Bridgen. He has also booked a table for a fundraising event in two weeks, which makes him a party donor. Mr Banks, a former Ukip donor and close ally of Nigel Farage, has urged Brexit supporters to join the Conservatives to try to influence the direction of Brexit and any future leadership contest. But this has sparked accusations of ‘entryism’ from Remain-supporting MPs.” – Daily Mail

…but it is then rescinded by Lewis

“Arron Banks, the former Ukip donor, was blocked from a further attempt to rejoin the Conservative Party after finding a Tory association keen to help him become a member. Brandon Lewis, the Tory chairman, moved to rescind Mr Banks’s membership hours after the Brexit campaigner was told that he had been readmitted. Mr Banks had been provisionally accepted by North West Leicestershire constituency association and had been welcomed by Mark Evans, the constituency chairman, and the local MP Andrew Bridgen. His friend and fellow Brexiteer Andy Wigmore also applied.” – The Times

The Government faces legal challenge over fracking

“The government is facing a legal challenge over its new planning policy, which campaigners say was illegally adopted because the government failed to assess its environmental impact. The revised National Planning Policy Framework, published in July, informs local policies across England, from planning permission to town and country planning and land use…A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is required by EU law for public plans relating to land use and planning, among other things. It is required wherever policies are likely to have a significant impact on the environment. Friends of the Earth wants to force the government to undertake an SEA, consult the public and modify the framework based on those findings. The NGO has filed a claim at the high court, saying the NPPF makes it “virtually impossible” for councils to refuse local fracking schemes.” – The Guardian

Sturgeon sets out Holyrood plans

“First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to set out her plans for the coming year as MSPs return to Holyrood after recess. Ms Sturgeon will open the new year at the Scottish Parliament with a speech detailing her programme for government. She will announce a dozen new pieces of legislation, with focus expected to be on mental health, the environment and sustainable growth in the economy. MSPs will spend the rest of the week debating the plans, with other parties also setting out their own priorities.” – BBC

Analysis suggests the SNP has more members than the Conservatives

“The SNP have overtaken the Conservatives to become the second largest political party in the United Kingdom, new analysis suggests. Data collated by the House of Commons Library estimated the Nationalists have just under 125,500 members, compared to the Tories’ 124,000. However the latest Tory figures are from March this year, and so will not take into account any recent membership changes. The Library’s analysis noted: “The latest available data shows that SNP membership has surpassed the latest reported Conservative membership figure. “SNP membership rose from 118,162 in April 2018 to 125,482 in August 2018, according to information provided by the party’s headquarters. It worth noting, however, that the latest Conservative membership figure (124,000) was reported in March 2018. This therefore does not account for any possible changes since then.” – The Herald

Trump warns Russia and Iran against Syria offensive

“US President Donald Trump has warned the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies against “recklessly” attacking rebel-held Idlib province. In a tweet he warned of “a grave humanitarian mistake” in which hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Syrian government forces are said to be preparing a huge offensive on the last major rebel stronghold in the country. The UN says such a campaign could have disastrous consequences for thousands of civilians.” – BBC

MPs to debate making misogyny a hate crime

“Misogyny could become a hate crime for the first time under new proposals to be voted on by MPs tomorrow. Labour’s Stella Creasy has put forward an amendment to the Voyeurism Bill that would make hatred of women a factor in “upskirting” cases. If passed, courts would be expected to take that into account as an aggravating factor when sentencing somebody for the offence.” – The Sun

Redwood: There’s no such thing as an independent central bank

“Let me shock you. There is no such thing as an independent central bank. In an authoritarian regime, the ruler will influence or control the central bank as he or she sees fit. In a democracy, the political process will demand changes of decisions or personnel where the existing policies become too damaging to jobs or insensitive to political priorities. Let’s take the case of the Bank of England. Successive governments have changed the role and powers of the bank through primary legislation. Former prime minister Gordon Brown claimed to make the BoE independent, yet he stripped it of its powers to supervise the commercial banks — a crucial part of money management. He also cut its role in financing government. The central bank said to be famously independent and successful was the German central bank in the postwar period. It is true that for a long time it suited all the political forces to back the central bank, which earned support by keeping inflation low whilst allowing growth. As soon as politically divisive issues came up, the bank had to take instruction from the government.” – John Redwood, Financial Times

  • Bank of England governor Mark Carney to face grilling on future after Downing Street intervention – City AM

Hague: For Britain to be governable politicians have to compromise

“Compromising when necessary is a fundamental attribute of leadership. Margaret Thatcher was highly skilled at giving ground or biding her time so that she got most of what she wanted in the end. The tributes last week to John McCain focused on his ability to work with senators of different views and still find common cause. Churchill in the war made daily, unpalatable choices to enable an alliance with Roosevelt and Stalin to work. History does not belong to leaders who say they must have their way whatever the consequences, at least not in the democratic world. For British parties to work effectively, Labour’s leader would have to recognise the value of all the traditions and views in his party and become a bridge between them, and Conservative rebels against Theresa May would have to back her making the best deal she can before they judge it. Neither now seems remotely likely. It is a bleak thought, that a wonderful and entirely governable country is not far from being unable to enjoy effective government.” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Labour’s original sin – Graeme Archer, CapX
  • Tory MPs declare Chequers plan dead – Alex Wickham, Buzzfeed
  • The more backbench Tories battle against Theresa May, the more I admire her – Will Gore, The Independent
  • Conservatives beware: the Chequers plan would sweep the party out of power – Ewen Stewart, Brexit Central
  • Labour NEC results: when will Corbyn’s opponents accept it’s over? – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator