Crouch resigns over betting terminals as Government faces rebellion

Theresa May has suffered the resignation of her sports minister and been warned that she now faces a rebellion from up to 35 of her MPs over the Government’s decision to delay curbs on “crack cocaine” gambling machines. Tracey Crouch quit in protest at the “unjustifiable” decision to delay cutting the stakes on fixed odds machines by six months and warned the Prime Minister that the failure to act will cost lives. As first disclosed by The Telegraph, Ms Crouch was left furious after the Treasury announced in the Budget that the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals will not fall from £100 to £2 until October 2019. In her resignation letter, Ms Crouch said the delay means that £1.6 billion will be “lost to these machines” in some of the most deprived areas of the country, including her own constituency. It represents a blow to Mrs May’s pledge to tackle the “burning injustices” of society, which she made outside 10 Downing Street upon becoming Prime Minister.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Chancellor lambasted over decision to delay reform – Daily Express


  • Politicians must learn from Trump that voters care about more than the economy – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph


  • Tense times as odds-on favourite resigns – Patrick Kidd, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A popular minister resigns

Home Office 1) Rudd was ‘failed by officials’ over Windrush

“Home Office officials failed Amber Rudd before, during and after the Windrush scandal that led to her resignation, a report concludes. Ms Rudd resigned as the home secretary in April after wrongly telling MPs that there were no targets for the removal of illegal immigrants. In her resignation letter she said that she took full responsibility for “inadvertently” misleading parliament because she should have known the true position. In fact, officials repeatedly gave her wrong information and then failed to clear up the problem in time to allow her to correct the record, according to the internal report. Despite the failings, the two leading officials criticised in the leaked report have been moved to senior jobs elsewhere in Whitehall. The criticism will fuel suggestions of a department in chaos, with rising levels of mistrust between politicians and officials. It also helps to explain the apparent willingness of Sajid Javid, Ms Rudd’s successor, to defy senior officials at the Home Office and expose past practice.” – The Times

  • Internal report raises questions about competence – The Times


  • Javid vowed to ‘do right’ by the Windrush generation. He hasn’t – Kimberly McIntosh, The Guardian

Home Office 2) Police in revolt against Javid over hate crimes

Sajid Javid is at the centre of a police revolt over moves to expand hate crimes as five chief constables warned it could prevent forces from solving violent crime and burglaries. One revealed his force had decided against recording misogyny because of the danger of being swamped with bureaucracy. Another said forces were in crisis in face of rising crime and reduced resources. The police chiefs weighed in behind a warning by Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), that while logging and investigating complaints of misogynist abuse might be “desirable,” police did not have the time or resources. It comes as the Home Secretary faces increasing pressure over police funding with the NPCC warning they could have to axe another 10,000 officers to cover a pension shortfall unless he can extract extra money from the Treasury. Francis Habgood, chief constable of Thames Valley, said his force decided a few weeks ago not to record misogyny as a crime because of internal opposition. The Law Commission is considering if it should become a hate crime.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Met chief backs call for ‘traditional’ focus on violent crime – The Times


  • Mobsters to be stripped of UK citizenship, says Wallace – The Sun
  • Aid budget ends up in pockets of crime bosses – Daily Mail


  • Javid’s honeymoon is over, he needs to step up – John Apter, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: ConHome’s survey. Next Tory leader. Johnson leads Javid by less than a point – after Davis tears a chunk off his support.

Bradley taken to task by Ulster parties over ’embarassing’ visit

“Karen Bradley faced fierce criticism last night after a meeting with the local parties was described as “embarrassing”. The Secretary of State made a quick getaway to catch a flight after spending just 45 minutes with representatives of the DUP, Sinn Fein, Alliance and the SDLP. She said that the session was simply a briefing on new legislation passing through Parliament to allow civil servants to take decisions in the absence of the Executive, but some parties called the gathering a waste of time. Alliance Party leader Naomi Long warned that the relationships between the parties and with Mrs Bradley are now in a worse state than ever… Voicing his frustration at the outcome of the meeting, Ulster Unionist Leader Robin Swann MLA called on the Government to reintroduce direct rule if it cannot get political agreement to restore devolution at Stormont.” – Belfast Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Cox agrees to meet Tory MPs campaigning for troops who served in Northern Ireland

Banks faces investigation over referendum role

“The multimillionaire Brexit campaigner Arron Banks is under criminal investigation over claims that he hid the source of illegal overseas donations used to fund the referendum campaign. The National Crime Agency is also investigating Better for the Country, the organisation that ran the Leave.EU referendum campaign, Leave.EU itself, and Elizabeth Bilney, the Leave.EU chief executive. The investigation will focus on £2 million reported to have been lent to Better for the Country by Mr Banks and his group of insurance companies and a further £6 million reported to have been given to the organisation, on behalf of Leave.EU, by Mr Banks alone. According to the Electoral Commission, £2.9 million of this money was used to fund referendum spending on behalf of Leave.EU and donations to other campaign groups in the middle of the EU referendum campaign.” – The Times

  • We’re innocent, insists Leave.EU boss – The Times


  • Why did May block an investigation before the referendum? – Richard Pendlebury, Daily Mail

May offers Scottish Tories assurances on fishing…

“Theresa May has bowed to demands from her Scottish MPs that the UK will be out of the hated Common Fisheries Policy by end of 2020 even if the Brexit transition period is extended, David Mundell has said. The Scottish Secretary said the Prime Minister had been “very clear” in their private conversations that any extension to the transition period would have no impact on the deadline for leaving the CFP. He said the UK would be an “independent coastal state” negotiating at the annual fisheries negotiations in December 2020 “regardless of what else happens.” Scotland’s fishing leaders reacted with delight to the unconditional pledge, saying it was “much needed and welcome news.” It followed a threatened Scottish Tory rebellion last month after the Prime Minister repeatedly refused to confirm that extending the transition period beyond 2020 would have no impact on leaving the CFP. The 13 Scottish Tory MPs signalled they were ready to vote down a Brexit deal if fishermen remain at the mercy of EU fishing quotas any longer.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Fishing row may snag customs union plan – The Guardian
  • Brussels floats a compromise on the backstop… – FT
  • …but wants fishing access as the price – The Sun
  • Compromise offers fresh hope of reaching a deal – Belfast Telegraph
  • Ireland ‘riding roughshod’ over Belfast Agreement, warns Trimble – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Cox is hoisted shoulder-high to the top of our Cabinet League Table

>Yesterday: George Trefgarne in Comment: Why Norway-to-Canada is practical and legal – and offers the UK and EU a way out of a Brexit crash

…as Javid suggests freedom of movement will continue in the event of no deal

Freedom of movement will continue in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Sajid Javid has suggested. The Home Secretary said a “sensible transition period” will be needed on the issue of EU immigration if the UK crashed out of the bloc without a divorce agreement. Downing Street did not reject Mr Javid’s comments and refused to confirm freedom of movement would come to an end immediately after March 2019 if there was no deal. Mr Javid’s intervention appeared to contradict remarks made by a senior Home Office official who told the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday that the intention was for free movement to be “turned off” the day after Brexit in a no-deal scenario. It came as Theresa May’s official spokesman said the Prime Minister had full confidence in Caroline Nokes, the Immigration Minister, after she told the same committee employers would be expected to check whether EU nationals had the right to work in the UK if there was no deal.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Leadsom angers Remainers with hint Government will ‘ignore amendments’ – The Sun
  • Hospitals to cover cost of EU staff visas – The Times
  • EU leaders ‘pile pressure on Barnier’ as no-deal fears mount – Daily Mail


  • Pound rises on hope of deal – The Sun
  • MPs claim HMRC is struggling with BrexitThe Times
  • Both sides pour cold water on talk of financial deal – FT
  • No-deal departure could force rate rise – The Times
  • Brexit poses a challenge even to those who are ready – FT

>Today: George Freeman MP in Comment: There was much to cheer in the Budget. But now we need an inspiring programme for growth.

Liam Fox: We thrive when we speak for ourselves, and the WTO is no exception

“The objections we have received were therefore neither unexpected, nor a failure of our strategy. We have always been open to having more detailed discussions with partners once we had established our own schedule. That is why I have announced our intention to launch negotiations on these objections. This process is unlikely to be fully complete by the time we leave the EU. But objecting WTO members cannot veto the UK trading on our uncertified goods, or services, schedules after next March. In the unlikely event of a “no deal” between the UK and EU, we will be able to take full control of our trade policy in March 2019 based on the schedule we have set out. As the Director General of the WTO has said, the consequences of no deal would not be a walk in the park but nor would it be the end of the world. There will be difficult moments, but the UK will be ready to take back full control in the WTO from next March.” – Daily Telegraph

  • HMRC needs to step up its preparations for Brexit – Caroline Flint, Times Red Box
  • Make no mistake, the EU depends on the City – Iain Martin, The Times
  • A Norway-style Brexit would sell Britain short – Steve Baker, Daily Telegraph


  • Britain faces bumpy road at the WTO – FT

>Yesterday: Bob Seely MP in Comment: Hunt must face up to the harsh strategic realities facing Britain

Rowley warns that Tory MPs are turning against fracking

“A growing number of Tory MPs are turning against fracking, according to one MP with a drilling site in his constituency. Lee Rowley, who chairs the new all-party parliamentary group looking into the impact of shale gas, told the Guardian he was seeing increasing numbers of colleagues with worries about hydraulic fracturing. “I think there are more Conservative MPs than perhaps assumed who have concerns about this,” said Rowley, who became the first Conservative MP for North East Derbyshire for 80 years when he won the seat from Labour in 2015. “There are more and more colleagues who are coming up to me and saying, ‘I have concerns about this and I have concerns about the policies.’ “A lot of colleagues start from the position as I did a few months ago: that we have to have a sensible energy policy and we have to look at all options and see what we can do. But when they go through the detail many are coming to the conclusion that fracking is probably not the way forward,” he said.” – The Guardian

Scottish Tories attack Sturgeon over failure to pass on tax cuts

“Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of refusing to help middle income earners like nurses, police officers and teachers by not passing on UK Government income tax breaks. The First Minister came under fire at Holyrood when the Scottish Conservatives tackled her on the Scottish Government’s tax plans. At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon signalled that the Scottish Government will not tollow the lead of the Chancellor Philip Hammond, who announced tax cuts for the rest of the UK in his recent budget. Stand-in Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw called on the the First Minister to give some “glimmer of hope of tax relief to people like senior teachers, nurses and police officers”. Pressing her on the issue at First Minister’s Questions he said failure to pass on the cut would mean middle earning Scots facing paying a ”bill of £1,000 extra in income tax compared to those doing exactly the same job elsewhere in the UK”.” – The Scotsman

  • Tory MSP faces five-day suspension over prisoner voting row – The Scotsman

Labour rebels defy McDonnell to oppose tax cuts

“Twenty Labour MPs rebelled against the party leadership and opposed Philip Hammond’s changes to income tax last night. Yvette Cooper, Dame Margaret Hodge and David Lammy were among the Labour MPs who voted against a budget resolution to raise the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate income tax threshold to £50,000 from April next year. The party had been whipped to abstain. Labour’s own amendment, seeking an increase in income tax for those earning more than £80,000, was comfortably defeated. It followed a week of discord in Labour ranks over how to respond to the chancellor’s tax cut, announced in Monday’s budget. Jeremy Corbyn criticised a tax cut for 32 million people the day after John McDonnell, his shadow chancellor, said the party would support it. Since Monday several prominent Labour MPs have said the party should oppose the changes on the ground that they disproportionately benefit the better-off.” – The Times

  • Opposition pledge to tighten up anti-hunting law – The Guardian


  • Don’t sneer at McDonnell backing tax cuts, its part of the plan – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Crouch’s resignation is a big blow to the Tories – James Kirkup, The Spectator
  • O’Brien’s ‘How To Be Right’ gets it all wrong – John Ashmore, CapX
  • Tired Macron looks like an ex-president-in-waiting – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • If it’s tainted by Trump, Republicans won’t touch it – Jennifer Walsh, UnHerd
  • Why I’m launching Leavers of Britain – Lucy Harris, Brexit Central

And finally… Cameron mulls return to front-line politics

“David Cameron has told friends he is mulling a return to frontline politics, and fancies being Foreign Secretary. The former PM is hoping for a Cabinet recall after a new Tory leader succeeds Theresa May. Mr Cameron knows any return to Westminster would have to wait until some time after the publication of his memoirs, which are now expected next Spring. He is expected to use his biography to brutally settle scores with some serving senior ministers – especially former friend the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who lead the EU referendum’s Leave campaign that eventually saw him toppled. The friend who the ex-PM confided in said he is now “bored s***less”, two years on from walking out of No10 and then resigning as an MP. A source close to Mr Cameron would also not rule out the move one day if a future Tory leader call on him to return.” – The Sun

  • Rumour dismays Labour – The Guardian
  • Anti-press activists secretly recorded Cameron at confidential meeting – Daily Mail

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