May plans to force new compromise on the Cabinet – keeping the UK in an ‘effective customs union’

‘Theresa May is preparing to bind her cabinet into further compromises to her Brexit blueprint before European leaders meet next week. The prime minister will hold an extended discussion on Brexit at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the eve of her trip to Brussels, where she hopes to outline a compromise deal on the Irish border. The discussion is expected to include a commitment to keep the whole of the UK in an effective customs union with the EU after Brexit, but with a “clear process” of steps to exit.- The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: How the Monster of the Berlaymont could become the Monster of No Deal

Raab faces truculent Brexiteers in the Commons

‘Brexiteers today lined up to lash the PM’s Chequers plan in a stormy parliamentary session after David Davis warned the Tories could lose the next election unless it is ditched. Tory Eurosceptics demanded Theresa May abandon her under-fire proposal and strike a Canada-style free trade deal instead. They accused ministers of keeping Britain locked up in the ‘prison’ of protracted Brexit talks. And they urged them to accept that Chequers is dead and to allow Britain to pursue a new era of global free trade by cleanly cutting ties with the Brussels bloc.They piled on the pressure as Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab appeared in the Commons to give an update on the talks, which are reaching their final, crucial stages.’ – Daily Mail


Sturgeon seeks to persuade her party faithful that they need to win over new voters

‘Faced with a conference hall full of delegates thirsting for Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon was faced with a delicate balancing act. On one side of the equation was the need to assure them that action on indyref2 is imminent. On the other side was the more pragmatic and less appealing (for her audience) task of telling them that more has to be done to persuade Scotland to vote for independence…The applause was more muted for her appeal for “pragmatism, perseverance and patience” when it came to a second independence referendum. Praising the passion demonstrated by independence marchers on the streets of Edinburgh at the weekend, she said: “Our job is to take that passion and blend it with pragmatism, perseverance and patience to persuade those not yet persuaded.” – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: WATCH: Sturgeon on Brexit – “Never has so much been lost by so many to satisfy so few”

Hunt demands answers from Saudi Arabia about alleged murder of journalist

‘Jeremy Hunt called on Saudi Arabia yesterday to explain the fate of the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning that Britain’s relationship with the country could be at stake if reports of his murder are true. The foreign secretary summoned the Saudi ambassador and demanded “urgent answers” about the disappearance of the country’s best-known journalist after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Later Mr Hunt phoned his Saudi counterpart, Adel al-Jubeir, to repeat the same warning. “Violence against journalists worldwide is going up and is a grave threat to freedom of expression,” Mr Hunt said on Twitter. “If media reports prove correct, we will treat the incident seriously — friendships depend on shared values.”’ – The Times

Hammond considers breaching manifesto pledge on income tax

‘A flagship Tory pledge to cut income tax for millions of working people could be ditched to help pay for the NHS. Chancellor Philip Hammond is poised to postpone or even scrap the manifesto promise to raise the starting threshold for both the basic and 40p rates of income tax in this month’s Budget. A senior Tory source said the pledge was ‘up for grabs’ following Theresa May’s decision to announce a £20billion-a-year funding boost for the NHS. Freezing income tax thresholds could raise £2billion a year. ‘Everything is on the table now,’ the source said. ‘If you are looking for guidance on tax policy I would not look to the manifesto.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Robert Halfon’s column: No to Ted Clubberlang Conservatism, no to Deliveroo Conservatism, yes to Workers’ Conservatism

>Yesterday: The Moggcast. Universal Credit – “You would save money if you funded it properly”.

‘No clear benefit’ of low-skilled migration

‘The influx of low-skilled migrants from the EU has brought ‘no clear benefit’ to Britain, the Government’s immigration tsar said last night. Professor Alan Manning, chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee, argued it had cost taxpayers’ money as overall they cost more in benefits and public services than they paid in taxes. Appearing before MPs, he said low-skilled migration since 2004, when Labour threw open the doors to Eastern Europeans, ‘hasn’t really had positive effects and has had negative effects’. Prof Manning added: ‘Our view is for that lower-skilled migration, there is no clear benefit for UK residents.’ He also rejected claims from big business that cuts to migrants would damage the economy.’ – Daily Mail

  • Experts keep ‘open mind’ on relaxing cannabis laws – Daily Mail
  • Medical cannabis should be legalised – Daily Telegraph

Britain appoints the world’s first minister for suicide prevention

‘Pupils are to be given routine mental health checks, Theresa May said tonight. Primary and secondary schools will carry out ‘wellbeing’ assessments to spot potential issues. Mental health problems among the young have increased six-fold over the past two decades and one in ten children now has a diagnosable condition…The new checks are part of a £1.9billion plan to transform mental health services in schools. The Prime Minister also announced: The appointment of the world’s first minister for suicide prevention; £1.8million to allow the Samaritans’ helpline to remain free for the next four years.’ – Daily Mail

  • Money meant for children’s mental health care may have been mis-spent – The Times
  • Clinical waste firm stripped of contract after allowing body parts backlog to build up – The Times
  • Regulators are making a dangerous mistake by attacking vaping – John Gapper, FT
  • Almost 30 per cent of young people do not drink – The Guardian
  • The hidden homeless are extremely vulnerable – Will Quince and Neil Coyle, The Times

Clash expected between Tory rebels and DUP over abortion in Northern Ireland

‘Theresa May is facing a potential clash with the Democratic Unionist Party as four Conservative MPs prepare to vote in support of allowing abortion in Northern Ireland. Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen, Huw Merriman and Nicky Morgan have made public their support for a ten-minute rule bill by the Labour MP Diana Johnson, which proposes removing the law that makes abortion a crime in Northern Ireland. There are concerns about Westminster being seen to impose a solution on Northern Ireland when the Stormont Assembly is not sitting. There is also nervousness because the DUP, whose MPs prop up the Westminster government by supporting legislation, opposes liberalisation. Healthcare is a devolved issue, which means the Northern Ireland Assembly forms its own laws.’ – The Times

Soldiers investigated after cheering far-right figurehead Yaxley-Lennon

‘Two dozen young soldiers are being investigated by the army after cheering Tommy Robinson during a chance meeting with him in a car park. The privates bumped into the former leader of the anti-Muslim English Defence League at a service station near Watford while travelling from Catterick in North Yorkshire on Monday. Robinson, 35, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, posted a video of the meeting on his Facebook page and wrote: “Today I met real British heroes.” The short clip shows the soldiers , one clutching a half-eaten burger, cheering “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy Robinson” and punching the air. Mr Robinson comments during the clip: “Class eh? Makes it all worth it. An honour.” The clip received 18,000 “likes” and generated more than 1,000 comments on the social media site.’ – The Times

  • Nazi-themed anti-traveller posters appear in West Sussex – The Times
  • Couple accused of joining banned extremist group named their baby Adolf – The Times

Drop historic Troubles inquiries, former Northern Ireland secretaries tell May

‘Investigations into The Troubles should be dropped and the money instead spent on victims, four former Northern Ireland secretaries say today. The Telegraph has learnt that of 1,615 cases investigated by the previous inquiry into deaths at the hands of soldiers and paramilitaries, just 17 were referred to Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service, resulting in three murder convictions. Now a group of eight politicians who were involved in Northern Ireland is calling on the Government to abandon plans for a second inquiry. In a letter to Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland Secretary, the cross-party group of peers questioned whether a new inquiry was “the best possible use of £150 million” when there was “little or no likelihood” of convictions. Lord Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary from 2005-2007, is leading the intervention.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Terrorists ‘marching closer’ to a chemical attack – The Times
  • Courts ordered to provide information on trials after GDPR row – The Times
  • Amazon supports church that backs gay ‘conversion’ – The Times
  • Stop giving money to extremists – The Times Leader

Labour staffer exposes poor pay and conditions experienced by the Party’s workforce

‘A Labour staffer has lifted the lid on hypocrisy in the party – saying many of its workers on short-term contracts are so badly paid they have to use food banks. Employees have been forced to turn to payday lenders and are ‘working to survive’ despite the party taking a high moral stance on rights. The damning assessment of the ‘unacceptable’ conditions came in an article written anonymously by a worker at Labour’s National Communications Centre in Newcastle. They pointed out that Jeremy Corbyn and deputy Tom Watson are demanding the ‘highest standards’, but the reality inside the party is very different – even comparing the situation to retailer Sports Direct.’ – Daily Mail

Haley resigns as US ambassador to the UN

‘President Trump has lost one of the most senior women in his administration after Nikki Haley gave her resignation as US ambassador to the United Nations. Ms Haley, 46, said that she would leave at the end of the year in the seventh cabinet-level change under the president. The move surprised Washington and UN headquarters in New York. She and the president put on a show of unity at a White House press conference despite rumours of clashes behind the scenes and the awkward timing of her announcement, four weeks before midterm elections when polls indicate that women voters will turn against Republicans…Previously the Republican governor of South Carolina, she is regarded as a potential presidential candidate but insisted yesterday that she was not leaving to run in the 2020 election and would campaign for Mr Trump.’ – The Times

  • Swift urges fans to register as Democrats – Daily Mail

News in Brief