ConHome Johnson interview 1) His Cabinet members must be committed to Brexit on October 31

“A Boris Johnson cabinet will be made up of people who are committed to leaving the EU on Hallowe’en, the Tory leader hopeful has said. In an interview with Conservative Home, the front-runner for the Tory leadership, said those who work under him if he is elected Prime Minister would “have to be reconciled” to leaving the EU on October 31, with or without a deal. “I want obviously to have a broad range of talent in my Government, the Government that I will lead, but clearly people must be reconciled to the very, very, very small possibility, and I stress it will be a very, very small possibility, that we would have to leave on those terms,” he said. Pressed on whether it is the case that “every member of your cabinet, when you appoint them, must be committed to leaving on 31st October, deal or no deal,” Mr Johnson said: “Yes, that will be the policy of the Government.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Leadsom predicts it will be “fairly seamless” – Daily Telegraph
  • Juncker could stay on after a “hard Brexit” – The Times
  • Do or Die – Leader, The Times

>Today: Mark Harper on Comment: We need a date for Britain to leave the EU. But here’s why it can’t be October 31st – much as I’d like it to be.

>Yesterday: Interview. Johnson says that every member of his Cabinet must sign up to Britain leaving the EU on 31st October – deal or no deal

ConHome Johnson interview 2) He backs off an Islamophobia-only inquiry

“A promised independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative party has been downgraded to a “general investigation” into all types of prejudice, Boris Johnson has said, going back on what was seemingly agreed in a recent BBC debate. The move was condemned by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which said it demonstrated an “unwillingness to deal with bigotry seriously”, while Labour said Johnson had “broken his promise in less than two weeks”. In an interview with the ConservativeHome website, the Tory leadership frontrunner said he had agreed with Sajid Javid, the home secretary, who pushed for the Islamophobia inquiry, that it should instead have a broader focus.” – The Guardian

ConHome Johnson interview 3) Johnson v Hunt mud-wrestling contest

“Boris Johnson has bet he could beat Jeremy Hunt in a mud wrestling fight. In a hilarious intervention today the Tory frontrunner boasted he would definitely come out of such a fight with his head held high, but Mr Hunt strongly disagreed. Boris was asked whether he felt “compelled to challenge him to a nude mud wrestling contest”. And he told ConservativeHome today: “I would defeat anybody in such a contest, were I obliged to do so, but that’s not how I propose to win this”. Mr Hunt hit back, tweeting: “absolutely not.” – The Sun

Leadership 1) Hunt sends reply to rival, with swipe at “getting facts wrong”

“Jeremy Hunt has accused Boris Johnson of getting important facts wrong in a searing attack on his Conservative leadership rival. The foreign secretary has sent a letter to Johnson accusing him of not being straight with people over Brexit, and reiterated his challenge of a head-to-head debate before ballot members in the leadership contest go out to Conservative members. Hunt’s missive is a response to a letter from Johnson last week asking him to rule out extending the UK’s EU membership past 31 October. In his reply, Hunt said: “I believe with a trusted negotiator and the right team we should get a deal by 31 October. “If however, there was no prospect of delivering Brexit with a better deal I would leave without one.” – City AM

  • “Folly” to rule out extending Parliament – The Times

Leadership 2) Johnson “proposes to cut Stamp Duty”

“Boris Johnson is preparing an emergency budget for a no-deal Brexit, including aggressive tax cuts, an overhaul of stamp duty and an assault on regulation if he becomes prime minister, The Times can reveal. His team wants a series of measures to ensure that the economy is “going gangbusters” by October 31, putting Britain in the best position to leave the EU with or without a deal. Under the plan, the budget, which is usually held in October or November, is likely to be brought forward to September. Allies of Mr Johnson said that he had offered Sajid Javid, the home secretary, the job of chancellor during a phone call at the weekend. Mr Johnson told a hustings last night, however, that he had yet to offer any posts. Mr Javid, who is expected to endorse Mr Johnson formally within the next fortnight, outlined his own plans for an emergency “no-deal budget” during the Tory leadership campaign.” – The Times

  • 100 days to save the Tories – Iain Martin, The Times

Leadership 3) Hunt: We need to “be straight with people” about the risks of “no deal”

“Jeremy Hunt has urged Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson to “be straight with people” about what a no-deal Brexit would mean. The foreign secretary said Mr Johnson’s “million to one” claim about the chance of a no-deal “flies in the face of reality”. Mr Johnson said any suggestion Brexit could be delayed again would “end up eroding trust in politics”. Both men have said they would try to renegotiate a deal with the EU. But Mr Johnson says the UK must leave the EU on 31 October, “do or die”, with or without a deal.” – BBC

>Today: Columnist Iain Dale: If you’re coming to a hustings I’m chairing, draft an original question – and I’ll try to call you.

Leadership 4) Nelson: Conditions are ripe for a settlement with the EU

“Most of all, Boris can make the case for European diplomatic heft. He did so as Foreign Secretary, promising foreign audiences that Britain would be a flying buttress to the European cathedral (an analogy that was often lost in his audience as it stumped translators – one expressed it as a “flying bucket”). A no-deal Brexit, he can say, could poison European relations at precisely the time the continent is trying to stand together. Britain could act as one with the EU on Russia, China, terrorism and more – perhaps even join the EU in standing up to America and against Google and Facebook. With a deal, such co-operation would be easy to do. Without one, far, far harder.” – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 5) Johnson produces three-point plan to save the high street

“Boris Johnson has pledged to “save the Great British High Street” with a three-stage plan to help retailers combat the rise of online shopping. The Tory leadership front-runner will make it easier for shoppers to withdraw cash and will cut the number of empty premises by making it simpler for new businesses to set up shop if he becomes prime minister…..Mr Johnson’s latest policy announcement is primarily aimed at saving high streets in rural areas so that they “remain places where people want to go, meet and spend their money”, he said. After Brexit the Government would be able to make “bold changes” to revive communities, he said, and he would begin by scrapping business rates on free-to-use cash machines…Mr Johnson believes that by scrapping business rates on all machines that are free to use, he would encourage more banks and ATM firms to drop charges and install extra machines.” – Daily Telegraph

Leadership 6) Verhofstadt: Talk of Global Britain is ridiculous

“As is often the case with populists, reality does not square with Johnson’s enticing combination of false promises, pseudo-patriotism and foreigner-bashing. He and his fellow Brexiteers speak of a “global Britain” that will trade freely with the rest of the world, even as they drag their country down a path strewn with uprooted trade ties and substantial new barriers to commerce. The real global trading power, of course, is the EU, which has recently concluded trade deals with Japan, South Korea and Canada.” – Guy Verhofstadt, The Guardian

Leadership 7) Peston criticised for “aggressive” questioning of Hunt over sister’s death

“Robert Peston was accused on Thursday night of “persistent and aggressive” questioning of Jeremy Hunt  about the death of his baby sister 50 years ago. ITV’s political editor accepted he may have been “clumsy” and even “wrong” in asking Mr Hunt, who was aged just two at the time, about his sister’s death. Mr Hunt described the incident as a “terrible accident” but was reluctant to go further when pressed while on air. In the television interview, Mr Hunt said he was too young to “ever remember” what had happened but accepted that deep down it may have helped him empathise with bereaved parents whom he met during his six-year stint as Health Secretary.” – Daily Telegraph

Leadership 8) Davidson warns of threat to the Union

“Ruth Davidson has  challenged Boris Johnson to show he will prioritise the UK’s integrity over Brexit if he becomes Prime Minister by telling him: “It’s the Union do or die.”  The Scottish Tory leader demanded assurances from the Tory leadership frontrunner over his promise this week to “do or die” on Brexit by getting the UK out of Europe by October 31, no matter what. She said Mr Johnson’s unequivocal “do or die” pledge should instead apply to preserving the Union, and contrasted this with Jeremy Hunt’s promise to prioritise the latter “every time.” In a rebuke to Mr Johnson, she said that was why she had decided to back Mr Hunt in the contest after MPs whittled down the candidates to two.” – Daily Telegraph

Leadership 9) BBC censored insult to the French

“The BBC covered up a Boris Johnson outburst in which he accused the French of being ‘turds’ over Brexit. The crude remark, made when he was foreign secretary, was supposed to feature in a fly-on-the-wall TV documentary. But the Foreign Office successfully begged for it to be cut, according to insiders. The claim is corroborated by a leaked Whitehall memo seen by the Mail. It said the gaffe would make Anglo-French relations ‘awkward’. Senior diplomats went further and privately said it would enrage French president Emmanuel Macron and make it even harder for the UK to achieve a good Brexit deal.” – Daily Mail

Leadership 10) Poll surge for Hunt in ConHome survey

“The number of Jeremy Hunt’s supporters has surged in a new poll.Mr Johnson remains the favourite choice of Tory members to replace Theresa May, but his rival Mr Hunt have been steadily gaining ground since the beginning of the second phase of the Tory leadership contest, a ConservativeHome poll shows. The latest ConservativeHome survey, which analysed the voting intention of Conservative members, found Mr Johnson was backed by 65 percent and Mr Hunt 30 per cent. In a similar poll taken last week and included also Michael Gove and Sajid Javid, Mr Hunt had gathered only 11 percent of the votes.  Mr Hunt’s popularity is also growing among the general public, according to an Ipsos Mori poll for the Evening Standard.” – Daily Express

Class sizes increase to record level

“A recoprd 400,000 secondary school kids are taught in super-sized classes of over 30 pupils, new figures revealed. While average secondary classes in England have also ballooned to their biggest size in over a decade – hitting 22 kids, new figures show. Opposition MPs furiously accused ministers of cramming children into classes “Godzilla-sized classes” to save cash. They said the numbers must be a wake-up call for ministers to urgently tackle the teacher shortage crisis. The Department for Education revealed 13 per cent of secondary school pupils were in the giant classes – the equivalent of 401,765 – in January 2019. This if the highest since current records began in 2006.” – The Sun

Grieve attacked for threat to block spending

“Downing Street accused a former cabinet minister of gross irresponsibility for an attempt to shut down government funding in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general, and Dame Margaret Beckett, the former Labour foreign secretary, have tabled an amendment to government expenditure plans that have to be approved by parliament on Tuesday. The amendment would deny funding to key departments, including money to pay benefits, if a prime minister triggered a no-deal Brexit without parliamentary approval.” – The Times

121 Labour MPs and peers challenge decision to readmit Williamson

“More than 100 Labour MPs and peers have criticised the decision to readmit MP Chris Williamson into the party. They expressed “hurt and anger” at the ruling and said Jeremy Corbyn must withdraw the party whip. The Derby North MP was suspended after saying Labour had “given too much ground” in the face of criticism over anti-Semitism in the party. Eleven frontbenchers, including deputy leader Tom Watson, are among those criticising the ruling. A statement signed by 121 Labour parliamentarians says that, as Labour is being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission over allegations of anti-Semitism, the case is “particularly important”…Mr Watson told the BBC he was “bewildered by the decision” to readmit Mr Williamson.” – BBC

Corbyn “could grant a second independence referendum” in return for backing from SNP MPs

“The former leader of Scottish Labour has said there is a “serious prospect” that Jeremy Corbyn would agree to hold a second independence referendum in return for SNP support of his government in Westminster. Kezia Dugdale said she believes Mr Corbyn would agree to a referendum if it meant getting the keys to Downing Street, but that he would likely “make a Socialist case for the United Kingdom” in any campaign. Ms Dugdale, who will finish her career as a Lothians MSP next month to take up a new role, also predicted Boris Johnson could “gamble” by holding an independence referendum if he becomes prime minister…A Labour Party source last night downplayed the prospect of Mr Corbyn agreeing to another referendum.” – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: Columnist Henry Hill: Hunt pulls Foreign Office support to Sturgeon’s separatist excursions

May: Salisbury poisoning suspects must face justice

“The suspects in the Salisbury Novichok attack should be “brought to justice”, Theresa May has said ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit. The PM told the BBC that Russia needs to stop its “destabilising activities”. The UK believes two officers from Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU, were behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March 2018. The Kremlin denies any involvement.” – BBC

Liberal idea is “obsolete” declares Putin

“Vladimir Putin has trumpeted the growth of national populist movements in Europe and America, crowing that liberalism is spent as an ideological force. In an FT interview in the Kremlin on the eve of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the Russian president said “the liberal idea” had “outlived its purpose” as the public turned against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism. Mr Putin’s evisceration of liberalism — the dominant western ideology since the end of the second world war in 1945 — chimes with anti-establishment leaders from US president Donald Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Matteo Salvini in Italy, and the Brexit insurgency in the UK. “[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades,” he said.” – Financial Times

>Yesterday: WATCH: “I have a lot of respect for the President… I don’t agree with him on everything.” Hunt on Trump.

Democrat rivals turn on Biden

“Joe Biden was told to “pass the torch” of Democratic leadership by a younger rival on Thursday as he was repeatedly pinned back by other candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.  The former US vice president was forced to explain his past work with segregationist Republicans and support for the Iraq War as Democrats directly challenged him during their first debate of the campaign. Many of the attempts to put the spotlight on Mr Biden, who consistently enjoys a substantial lead over the rest of the pack in opinion polls, appeared to be premeditated.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A tough night for the front runner – The Times

News in brief

  • How Johnson is plotting his path to No.10 – and his first 100 days as PM – Paul Waugh, Huffington Post
  • Johnson will make us long for May’s return – Bruce Anderson, The Spectator
  • What chance of a Brexit renegotiation? – Kai Weiss, CapX
  • The chilling silence about our money to the EU – John Redwood
  • Facebook and YouTube must do more to stop terrorists live streaming atrocities, May to tell G20 – Independent