MPs upend the Government’s authority by backing the Letwin amendment

‘Parliament seized control of Brexit last night as three government ministers quit to give MPs the power to tear up Theresa May’s deal. The business minister Richard Harrington joined Alistair Burt and Steve Brine in effectively resigning as they joined 29 Tory MPs defying a three-line whip to defeat the government. The move means that MPs will take control of the Commons agenda tomorrow to begin a process that could result in parliament backing a softer Brexit. In a resignation letter Mr Harrington accused Mrs May of “playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to rule out a no-deal exit. MPs backed by 329 to 302 the process of indicative votes set out in an amendment led by Sir Oliver Letwin, the former cabinet minister.’ – The Times


May discusses resigning in return for Eurosceptics passing her deal

‘Mrs May has indicated for the first time that she would consider resigning in exchange for MPs passing her Brexit deal. The major admission came in a private conversation with senior Tory Eurosceptics at her Chequers country retreat on Sunday evening. But Mrs May also made it clear she would first need to know if the numbers were there for any resignation pact before she agrees to ponder it any further. One of the Brexiteers that Mrs May had the key conversation with was ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith, a long-standing close ally of hers. He is now leading delicate behind the scenes efforts to try to talk round diehard Brexiteers to agree to the deal that could end the four month Brexit logjam that has paralysed Westminster. It also emerged that IDS, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have all privately told friends they are ready to vote for the divorce deal if the PM sets a date to quit.’ – The Sun

>Today: The Moggcast. Deal-or-No-Brexit “becomes the choice eventually…May’s deal is better than not leaving at all”

Wallace: May’s failure shows why the next Tory leader must be chosen by a contested ballot

‘It’s all too common to hear the assertion that Tory members simply cannot be trusted with a choice of who should lead their Party: that they are idiots, or extremists, or both. But consider the recent record. In 2005, presented with David Davis and David Cameron, everyone assumed they would opt for the candidate they knew better, whose views were more in tune with their own, and who offered some comfortable continuity. Instead, they listened, weighed up both offers, and decided they preferred to be challenged in order to get back to winning elections. And, by and large, it worked. By contrast, the 2016 contest to choose Cameron’s successor was decided in Westminster without a sniff of a serious contest. And we are all paying the price three years on. Imagine if Conservative MPs had compelled May to actually campaign for the top job against a viable alternative candidate… How many of her flaws which were so brutally exposed in 2017 would have come to light earlier, when the stakes were lower for all involved and there was a chance to either resolve them or reject her?’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

Bercow issues non-apology after insulting Hands from the chair

‘Divisive Speaker John Bercow sparked uproar in the Commons after tonight’s votes after clashing with a former Tory whip. MPs demanded an apology after accusing Mr Bercow of ‘insulting’ Greg Hands after appearing to insult him over his skills in the disciplinary roll. Tory Mr Hands, who was deputy chief whip under David Cameron between 2013 and 2015, had attempted to interrupt Mr Bercow, prompting the Speaker to react badly. Mr Bercow said: ‘I don’t require any help from the right honourable gentleman for Chelsea and Fulham. I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea where to start. He was once a whip, he wasn’t a very good whip.’ There was uproar in the chamber as MPs clamoured for an apology, with former Tory chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin making a point of order accusing the Speaker of a lack of respect.’ – Daily Mail

New internet restrictions are ‘a gift for scammers’, the ASI warns

‘Campaigners today launched a bid to scrap tough new laws which will force Brits to hand over personal info to access online porn. The new rules come into effect next week and are intended to stop children stumbling across explicit pics and video. But a think-tank warned that the heavy-handed law will end up destroying web users’ privacy and making them vulnerable to cyber criminals… The ASI called the law “a gift to scammers”, adding: “Requiring those who visit pornography websites to upload credit card details or identity documents in order to access explicit material will significantly increase credit card fraud and identity theft.” And they warned that teenagers will easily be able to get round the filters by using VPNs which make it look like you’re browsing from outside the UK.’ – The Sun

  • New technology replaces worse jobs with better ones – The Times Leader
  • Companies cannot ignore older workers – FT
  • Faced with labour shortages, businesses relocate to areas of higher unemployment – FT
  • VED stealth tax on the way – Daily Mail

Bereaved parents gain the right to an inquest following stillbirth

‘Fewer than a dozen inquests a year are held to discover why and how babies die at full-term even though research suggests as many as eight in 10 are linked to inadequate care before or during the birth. The plan will mean all the estimated 900 full-term stillbirths will be investigated by a coroner under the proposals to be put out for consultation by the Ministry of Justice today, enabling any mistakes to be identified to help prevent future deaths. Justice Minister Edward Argar said: “These proposals would ensure that bereaved parents have their voices heard in the investigation, and allow lessons to be learnt which would help to prevent future stillbirths.”’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Man with Down’s Syndrome was starved by hospital – Daily Mail
  • 94-year-old patient was moved 13 times in his final ten weeks of life – Daily Mail
  • SNP MSP calls for crackdown on online health and beauty adverts – The Scotsman
  • Too much sitting down is deadly – The Guardian

>Today: Matt Hancock on Comment: 75 years on, let’s celebrate how we Conservatives were the original Party of the NHS. And are still serving it today.

Walden: The knife crime crisis can be answered with ID cards

‘As someone who was born in France and has lived abroad, I’ve always felt that the anonymity in Britain must be at once enticing and liberating for young criminals: it’s a virtual ‘hoodie’ they can wear as they go about their vicious business. And although the identity cards I’ve long supported wouldn’t be a stand-alone solution to that or any of our major societal problems today, I’m convinced that sense of anonymity is what’s allowing these youngsters to commit acts of violence with such impunity – on our streets and in broad daylight. Besides which, surely any personal privacy mewlings and invoking of Gestapo methods (“Papiere, bitte!”) are now redundant, what with people putting every last intimate detail of their lives online, and CCTV cameras following us from one end of the street to the other.’ – Celia Walden, Daily Telegraph

  • Tougher policing and prisons – The Sun Says
  • Neo-Nazis on trial for alleged involvement in banned group – Daily Mail
  • Man accused of false Grenfell claim – Daily Mail

Proposal to target British aid at poorer parts of the developing world

‘The world’s poorest people are missing out on a £1.8 billion injection into the British aid budget because it is going to wealthier parts of the developing world, an official watchdog says. Most new investments by the CDC, formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation, are made in places such as Pakistan, Kenya and Nigeria. Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, has been urged to halt proposals to hand billions more to the state-owned institution until it can prove that it helps the most needy. The CDC was told in 2010 to be “more pro-poor” than its other western counterparts, “doing the hardest things in the hardest places”.’ – The Times

  • MPs demand curbs on FTSE bosses’ pay – Daily Mail

The bulk of Scotland’s best schools are in the richest areas

‘More than half of Scotland’s best state schools are sited in the wealthiest communities, according to a report warning the concentration is “more pronounced” than in England or Wales. The Sutton Trust found that 54 per cent of Scotland’s top-performing schools are in the richest 20 per cent of areas, compared to 45 per cent south of the Border. This means the majority of the 70 best Scottish schools “are concentrated at the top of the socio-economic spectrum”, its report said, amid low levels of social mobility for those from deprived families. Sir Peter Lampl, the educational charity’s chairman, said “the bottom line” was that Scottish children’s life chances depend on whether their parents can afford a home in the catchment area of a good school.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Universities teach the suppression of ideas – Melanie Phillips, The Times
  • Cambridge dropped Peterson over ‘casual endorsement by association’ of ‘Islamophobe’ t-shirt – The Times
  • Wales is banning parents from smacking their children – WalesOnline

McDonnell insists Treasury officials must be re-educated in the left’s ‘economic theories’

‘John McDonnell will order Treasury officials to be retrained in Left-wing ‘economic theories and approaches’ if Labour wins power, it emerged last night. Under the Shadow Chancellor’s plans, officials would also have to consult the public and trade unions in ‘listening exercises’ around the country. His words suggest Labour would take greater control immediately if it won the next election… The Conservatives said the plans exposed the impact a potential Labour government would have on the economy. Party chairman Brandon Lewis said: ‘This adds to the mounting evidence of the damage Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would do if they ever got near the country’s finances.’ – Daily Mail

  • These Marxists would lay waste to Britain – Giles Udy, Daily Mail
  • Yob jailed for smashing egg into Corbyn’s face – The Sun
  • Galloway breached broadcasting rules in discussion on anti-semitism scandal – Daily Mail

Trump demands inquiry into ‘treasonous’ critics

‘President Trump is pushing for an investigation into the “treasonous” behaviour of those behind the two-year-long special counsel “witch-hunt” after being cleared of liaising with Russia. Mr Trump, 72, may have had senior former security officials in mind yesterday, accusing them of “so many evil things”, but he also expressed his anger at the media’s role in fuelling the “false narrative”. He spoke out as the Democrats clamoured for the full report by Robert Mueller to be released and launched an attack on William Barr, the attorney-general, for deciding that the president should face no charges for obstructing justice.’ – The Times

  • This was a disgraceful witch hunt founded on a hoax – Piers Morgan, Daily Mail
  • Democrats set a deadline for full disclosure – FT
  • Now Trump’s critics must confront the uncomfortable truth about his victory – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
  • And focus on policy not just personality – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • The President would be rash to squander this news by getting closer to Putin – The Times Leader
  • His erratic Middle East policy does not amount to a strategy – FT Leader
  • Moscow flies troops and equipment from Syria to Venezuela – The Times
  • Pakistan fears further military confrontation with India – FT

News in Brief