May to seek Party unity with an upbeat vision of Britain’s future….

“Theresa May will insist that Britain’s “best days lie ahead” as she seeks to rally her divided party and country today before the final weeks of Brexit talks. The prime minister will offer a “future full of promise” as she outlines an upbeat vision in her speech at the Conservative Party conference. With the European Commission due to give its final verdict on her Chequers proposals a week today, Mrs May will appeal to her party to seize “this moment of opportunity”. She will also urge Conservatives to honour their history as the party of Unionism and support a plan that keeps Northern Ireland fully in the UK.” – The Times

  •  She will accuse Jeremy Corbyn of alienating millions of “decent, moderate and patriotic” Britons – Daily Express
  • PM will say we must be comfortable with diversity – Daily Telegraph
  • Regulatory checks in the Irish Sea are a ‘complete non-starter’ insists Foster – Daily Telegraph
  • All she’s asking for is a little respect – Katie Perrior, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The Minister who only just became a Conservative

…and a pledge to freeze fuel duty for another year

“Theresa May will freeze fuel duty again in a bid to persuade Britain to stick with her as PM. She will reveal Chancellor Philip Hammond is to scrap a scheduled 2p-a-litre rise at the pumps in his October 29 Budget.The freeze, for the ninth year in a row, is a huge victory for The Sun’s long-running Keep It Down campaign — and for our readers. We have persuaded successive Chancellors to halt the annual tax raids on motorists, allowing them to keep almost £1,000 now in total since 2010.” – The Sun

ConservativeHome’s Boris Johnson event dominates the conference…

“Theresa May must ditch her “outrageous” Chequers plan or the Tories will be “punished” by voters, Boris Johnson has warned. The former foreign secretary accused the Prime Minister of trying to “cheat the electorate” as he said that her plan will lead to the rise of the far Right and far Left. He rejected claims that Chequers could be changed by a future Prime Minister as a “fantasy”, and even suggested could face prosecution under 14th century law for giving a foreign power jurisdiction in the UK. The speech at a fringe event in Birmingham was attended by more than 1,400 Tory activists and received a rapturous standing ovation at the start and the end. A leaked document suggested that 23 Tory MPs had signed up to attend.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He has brightened a boring Tory conference with his radical energy – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • A belting speech – Leader, The Sun
  • Boris rocks! – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • He was incoherent and glib – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • Tory members cheered every word – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson is back, but with a soft edge – Patrick Kidd, The Times
  • A pitch for the top job – The Guardian
  • Mundell savages ‘selfish attention seeker’ – Daily Telegraph
  • David Cameron’s sister-in-law blasts Johnson – Daily Mail
  • Boris Johnson is a ‘man of the moment’, but his moment may, tragically, have passed – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • Election guru gives support – The Times
  • Bittersweet speech will be a comfort to many – Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph


…but he is rebuked by the Prime Minister

“Theresa May has told the BBC she is “cross” with Boris Johnson after the former foreign secretary launched a fresh attack on her plan for Brexit. The PM said Mr Johnson, who addressed an audience of more than 1,000 people at the Tory conference, could always be relied upon to put on a “good show”. But she said parts of his speech about Northern Ireland angered her. “He wanted to tear up our guarantee to the people of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the UK.” – BBC

  • Hunt is also slapped down – The Sun

Ministers’ speech 1) Javid says immigrants must follow British values – not just pass a ‘pub quiz’

“Immigrants to Britain must understand the UK’s values and in future will have to pass a new citizenship test, Sajid Javid announced today. The Home Secretary said the current Life in the UK test was useful for a pub quiz but did little to help people integrate into British society. Mr Javid told Tory activists in Birmingham new arrivals needed to understand Britain was a ‘liberal, democratic’ country. He said an important part of the new test would be tougher exams of speaking English.” – Daily Mail

  • Firms must wean themselves off cheap foreign labour – Daily Mail
  • Britain may finally be taking back control of its borders – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • At long last! Real action on migration — so why do I still have concerns? – Andrew Green, Daily Mail
  • Welcome to Britain – Leader, The Times


Ministers’ speech 2) Hancock pledges to end closure of cottage hospitals

“The Health Secretary has promised to end the closure of community hospitals to ensure patients can be treated near their homes. Matt Hancock said it was time to end the era of moving medical departments to large regional hospitals while smaller ones were closed. He wants more patients to be cared for locally, particularly for routine procedures such as scans, physiotherapy and treatment for minor injuries. Set up 150 years ago as cottage hospitals with just a few beds, Britain now has around 500 community hospitals that provide a broad range of services for local patients, including end-of-life care, rehabilitation for the elderly, scans, X-rays and minor injury units.” – Daily Mail

  • Health Secretary’s battle against dyslexia – The Sun

Ministers’ speech 3) Gove suggests Government could launch crackdown on disposable nappies – but rules out ban

“Michael Gove has suggested the Government could launch a crackdown on disposable nappies – but was forced to deny that they could be banned. The Environment Secretary had hinted Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, could be poised to outlaw non-biodegradable nappies when he delivers the Budget on October 29. Mr Gove had also suggested people would have to wean themselves off products like disposable ballpoint pens and disposable razors which are difficult to recycle as he addressed a fringe event at Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.” – Daily Telegraph

Cabinet ministers “urge May to agree date when she will resign”

“Theresa May is under pressure to set out a timetable for her departure after Cabinet ministers said it was now a question of “when, not if” she stands down as Prime Minister. The Telegraph has been told discussions have begun about when Mrs May should be ousted if she refuses to leave Number 10 before the next general election. Several Cabinet ministers want her to go immediately after Brexit day in March next year, but others are prepared to give her until 2020 if she uses the next Conservative Party Conference to announce her departure date. They are agreed that Mrs May’s disastrous performance in last year’s election means she cannot be allowed to lead the party into the 2022 poll, and that a “new and fresh” leader is needed to rejuvenate the Party and kill off the threat of Jeremy Corbyn.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brady says some of the claims about the number of letters sent in are false – The Times
  • Who are the frontrunners to be the next Tory leader? – Financial Times

>Today: Columnist Lord Ashcroft: The Tory MPs who say “they have sent in letters they haven’t”. Or “withdrawn letters they never sent”.

Give Party members a greater say in policy, proposes Rees-Mogg

“The Tories need to be more like Labour and allow their activists to debate and help to decide policies at the party’s annual conference, Jacob Rees-Mogg has said. The MP, who is tipped as a future Conservative leader, said he wanted the grassroots engaging in “real and exciting debates” rather than being forced to listen to “pre-packaged speeches”. The idea could lead to members influencing party policy, with ministers being forced to respond, just as Labour gives its members a greater role over deciding policy.” – Daily Telegraph

Heterosexual couples to be allowed to choose civil partnership

“Heterosexual couples will be able to enter into a civil partnership after Theresa May announced her intention to change the law. The Prime Minister said opening up civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples in England and Wales was necessary because some people “want to formalise their relationship but don’t necessarily want to get married”. Human rights activists welcomed the news but some Christian campaigners said it risked further undermining marriage.” – Daily Telegraph

May has stopped reading newspapers

“Theresa May has stopped reading newspapers in the morning to preserve her “wellbeing”, it has emerged. The PM instead now relies on a daily summary from aides at her regular 8.30am meeting in No10 with them.A senior Downing Street figure told The Sun the decision for Mrs May not to plough through the newsprint is “to protect her from a daily diatribe of woes”. The source added: “None of that is any good for her self belief or wellbeing. Occasionally she might dip into The Times, but she’s stopped reading the others”. – The Sun

FBI “have not yet interviewed Ford”

“The FBI team examining sexual misconduct claims against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not yet interviewed his main accuser, her lawyers have said. Writing to the FBI, attorneys for Professor Christine Blasey Ford said it was “inconceivable” that the agency could conduct a thorough investigation without interviewing her. Prof Ford has testified that Mr Kavanaugh assaulted her as a teenager. The judge vehemently denies that.” – BBC

  • My sinister battle with Brett Kavanaugh over the truth – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Columnist Daniel Hannan: Kavanaugh might be guilty. But justice demands that his confirmation should take place.

Birrell: May still has everything to play with

“May might deliver a shock. For inside Downing Street, there is belief they can pull off Brexit and then cling to power. After all, there is no favourite – let alone a unifying figure –pulling clear of the field to take over. One MP asked 60 activists in his constituency for their preferred choice of candidate: three went for Johnson, two for Hunt and one plumped for Rees-Mogg – but the other 54 picked no one. If Brexit is achieved, party members might be in the mood to let her clear out the fractious old guard behind this toxic mess before turning to a new generation to revive the party.” – Ian Birrell, The Guardian

O’Neill: Danger of the clapping ban

“The Safe Space is spreading. Like a B-movie blob, it is rolling off university campuses and into society. It is swallowing up more and more areas of public life, turning them into student-style zones in which certain ideas must never be expressed in case snowflakes feel offended. Just this week, Manchester University’s student union banned clapping on the basis that it is bad for people with “sensory issues”. Students who want to show their approval of a speech or lecture will have to do “jazz hands” — raise their hands and wave them silently.” – Brendan O’Neill, The Sun

Finkelstein: The second referendum could still happen

“I’ve talked to lots of MPs and advisers this week and they mostly shrug and says it’s a mess, but think it’ll work out all right in the end. Mrs May will bring back a deal and the dissenters will look calamity in the face and vote with her. Or a handful of Labour defectors will save the day. But they really may not. A second referendum may be a horrendous thought — it might produce the same result as last time, it might produce a hideous stalemate with a narrow Remain victory — but, honestly, it might happen.” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

News in brief

  • Chequers doesn’t address basic concerns about democratic control and accountability – Robert Courts MP, Brexit Central
  • Liberals must show the courage of their convictions on migration – John Ashmore, CapX
  • Soubry attacks young Tories – The Spectator
  • Boris Johnson’s speech in Birmingham: What he said – and what he really meant – John Rentoul, The Independent
  • Johnson energises the Tories – Finn McRedmond, Reaction