Leadership 1) Trump declares that Johnson would be an “excellent” choice

“Donald Trump today throws his weight behind Boris Johnson to be Britain’s next PM — and reveals other Tory leadership hopefuls have also begged for his backing. The US President spoke glowingly of the ex-Foreign Secretary in a world exclusive interview with The Sun ahead of his three-day state visit to London, starting on Monday. His bombshell intervention into the Conservatives’ contest — just a few days before MPs start voting — is a major breach of protocol. It risks sparking a full-blown diplomatic rift between London and Washington if the mop-haired former London mayor fails to take the Tory crown.” – The Sun

  • This bromance could hinder leadership chances – Daily Telegraph
  • May was too soft in EU negotiations, claims the US President – The Sun
  • The visit is a reason for celebration – Leader, The Sun
  • Trump threatens tariffs on Mexico – The Times
  • The President’s State Visit is a welcome opportunity – Leader, The Times
  • Downing Street ban any meeting with Farage – Daily Express
  • Protesters will be kept away – The Guardian
  • Compromise dies in the age of outrage – Tim Harford, Financial Times


Leadership 2) Hunt warns against a “hardline stance” in EU negotiations

“Tory leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt has warned against taking a “very hard-line approach” in future Brexit talks. The foreign secretary told the BBC this would provoke a “very hard-line response” from Brussels and would not resolve the current crisis. He added that the UK had “made mistakes” in the negotiations with the EU so far….Mr Hunt told the BBC’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast: “I don’t think this leadership campaign is ultimately going to be decided by personalities. It is going to be decided by solutions.” – BBC

  • Foreign Secretary denies “flip flopping” over “no deal” –Daily Mail
  • My advice to the next Tory leader is this – ditch the deal, and pursue a free trade agreement to unite our party – Mark Francois, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 3) Javid pledges to take us out of the EU with or without a deal

“Echoing Margaret Thatcher, Sajid Javid vows today that he is ready to take Britain out of the EU without a deal if he cannot win concessions from Brussels. Setting out his Brexit plan in an article for the Daily Mail, the Tory leadership contender rules out holding another referendum, an early general election or revoking Article 50. ‘In the words of a great British prime minister who knew how to get what she wanted from the European Commission: No, no, no,’ he writes….He says he would immediately ramp up preparations for No Deal if he becomes prime minister to show he is serious about walking away. This would include holding an emergency Budget to lay out for the first time details of the tax cuts the Government would introduce if the EU continues to play hardball.” – Daily Mail

  • No Tory leader can win the next election without delivering Brexit, warns Zahawi – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Edward Argar on Comment: Why I am voting for Javid

Leadership 4) Truss “will back Johnson”…

“Boris Johnson’s hopes of winning the keys to No10 have been given a major boost after winning the backing of popular Tory Liz Truss. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Philip Hammond’s deputy – will become the first Cabinet-level minister to publicly endorse his leadership bid.Ms Truss will become the second Cabinet minister to declare who they are backing after Commons Leader Mel Stride, who is Michael Gove’s campaign manager.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: Neil O’Brien on Think Tanks: How our new leader should use our fiscal firepower to promote Tory values

Leadership 5) …but Rudd won’t

“One MP who won’t be endorsing him, though, is Amber Rudd. She and Boris sat down on Thursday. But ultimately the differences between them over Brexit policy are too great to make any kind of dream ticket work. I understand that Rudd pushed the former Foreign Secretary to budge on his commitment that the UK would leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. Johnson would not. Rudd felt that she could not support someone holding this position. Another complication was that Johnson and Rudd’s differences on Brexit made it very hard for them to agree on a joint governing agenda. Johnson, though, should still have more votes in the first round than any other Brexiteer candidate.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

Leadership 6) Goodwill backs Hunt

“Michael Gove’s campaign for the Conservative Party leadership suffered a setback yesterday after his ministerial deputy backed Jeremy Hunt, saying that the foreign secretary was the only candidate to be trusted. Mr Hunt had been losing support to Mr Gove, the environment secretary, over the first week of the campaign because some MPs believed that he was flip-flopping over a no-deal Brexit. Having previously said that he would choose no-deal over no Brexit, he warned on Tuesday that pursuing a policy of leaving the EU without a deal would be “political suicide” for the Tories. This infuriated some MPs who had considered backing him. However, yesterday he won the support of Robert Goodwill, an environment minister who is in effect Mr Gove’s No 2. It marks a significant boost for Mr Hunt as he battles with Mr Gove for moderate Conservative votes.” – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: This week’s winner in the Tory leadership contest is…Gove

Leadership 7) Raab recruits Vote Leave video expert

“Dominic Raab has enlisted the man behind some of Vote Leave’s most controversial videos to boost his push for the Tory leadership. The former Brexit secretary has launched his campaign with two slick, crisply edited videos designed to introduce him to voters. In the first, a minute-long monologue on “fairness” filmed in Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Palace of Westminster, Mr Raab argues that the “driving conviction that things can and will be fairer should be at the heart of what the future of the Conservative Party is all about”. It has been viewed 300,000 times on Twitter. The second, longer and more personal video uses family pictures interspersed with clips of Jeremy Corbyn, and tells the story of how Mr Raab’s Czech Jewish father, Peter, fled the Holocaust, and attacks Labour for its antisemitism crisis. They were made by Alexander Thompson, 28, head of film for Vote Leave.” – The Times

  • Three cheers for Dominic Raab – politics would be better off without virtue-signalling fauxminism – Angela Epstein, Daily Telegraph
  • Priority of the One Nation group is to “stop Raab” – The Guardian

Leadership 8) Oborne: Stewart is a human being

“Voters have seen through the Blair/Mandelson approach and they’re screaming for something different…This readiness to be frank with voters explains in part the great success of Nigel Farage. I dislike many of the things Mr Farage says and does, but I take off my hat to his passion and distinctiveness. This brings me to Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary. Almost alone among the leadership candidates, I believe he has learned from the success of Farage and Corbyn. While all the other candidates are still in thrall to the politics of manipulation — I’d even suggest that some had their personality surgically removed at an earlier point in their career — Mr Stewart is a human being. Over this past week he has been travelling around Britain talking to voters. He’s genuinely interested in what they have to say.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

  • Me, a suicide bomber? I’ve been near them and I find that a bit offensive – Interview with Rory Stewart, The Times
  • Stewart: Scottish independence would “break my heart” – The Scotsman
  • Leadership race is providing rich entertainment – Marina Hyde, The Guardian

Leadership 9) Parris: Leadership hopefuls are dodging the key question

“On a chart rescaled for the passage of political time, October 31 is about two months away. Yet one by one, and with few exceptions, the Tory contenders for the leadership of our country hum and hah about what they’ll do, or what they’ll even try for, if we can’t get a deal. I’ve been watching that magnificent BBC documentary series about the Thatcher years, A Very British Revolution, struck by how little we knew in 1979, how little your columnist, an about-to-be Tory backbencher knew, how little even Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet knew, about what her government was going to do. But she had, if not a plan, then at least instincts. We stare, again, into a void. What are the instincts of the two men I take to be the frontrunners: Boris Johnson and Michael Gove? I haven’t the least idea.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

>Today: Owen Paterson on Comment: This fudged contest simply isn’t up to the existential challenge facing our Party. It needs a candidate cull.

Bolton welcomes Brexit as “a triumph for democracy”

“Brexit offers the opportunity for Britain to become a “strong and independent country” that will have a positive impact on the rest of the world and play a vital role in Nato. That is the considered view of John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor, and a committed advocate of Britain leaving the European Union. Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph on the eve of US President Donald Trump’s state visit next week, Mr Bolton said the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum represented a “triumph of democracy”. And he backed Mr Trump’s pledge that Washington will negotiate a trade deal that is mutually beneficial to the US and Britain.” – Daily Telegraph

Lee faces “no confidence” motion from his constituency association

“Rebel Remainer Philip Lee faces becoming the second Tory MP to lose a no confidence vote by his local party today. The result of the confidence vote isn’t binding but it would effectively deselect him because the local party association can refuse to adopt him as a candidate for the next General Election.The outspoken Bracknell MP would be the second Tory to lose a no confidence this year following former Attorney General Dominic Grieve. Fellow Remainer Nick Boles quit the party before his local association held a similar vote. Last night Mr Lee sent a letter to all Tory members in his constituency begging them not to deselect him.” – The Sun

Cameron hired by artificial intelligence firm

“Former Prime Minister David Cameron has been hired by a US artificial intelligence company. Mr Cameron, who quit UK politics in the wake of the 2016 EU Referendum, will lead Afiniti’s advisory board. The firm said his “experience of political leadership through periods of complexity” would be invaluable. Mr Cameron has kept a relatively low profile since leaving UK politics – his autobiography is due to be published in September. He is also president of Alzheimer’s Research UK and chairs the board of patrons at National Citizen Service. In 2017 he took charge of a UK-government backed investment initiative between Britain and China.” – BBC

  • Former PM will used his memoirs to settle scores with ‘backstabbing’ Gove – Daily Telegraph

Bradley criticised for “snubbing the media”

“The Northern Ireland secretary has been criticised by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) for refusing to take questions from the media. After political talks at Stormont on Thursday, Karen Bradley spoke to the press for one minute and declined to take any questions from journalists. It is the latest occasion on which she has refused to take questions. But the government said on Friday that Mrs Bradley had the “utmost respect for the media”. After Mrs Bradley’s appearance at the media microphones on Thursday, Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney spoke to reporters for 10 minutes and took questions.” – BBC

Labour suspends NEC member over anti-Semitism remarks

“A member of Labour’s ruling body, the NEC, has been suspended over remarks he reportedly made about the party’s anti-Semitism row. LBC radio reported that Peter Willsman was recorded saying the Israeli embassy was “almost certainly” behind the row. Various Labour MPs, including deputy leader Tom Watson, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have condemned the remarks. The BBC has approached Mr Willsman for comment about the recording. He is accused of saying: “This is off the record. It’s almost certain who is behind all this anti-Semitism against Jeremy [Corbyn], almost certainly it’s the Israeli embassy.”  – BBC

  • Labour must act to save itself from the clutches of Corbynism before it is too late – David Blunkett, Daily Telegraph

Bercow’s expenses claims revealed

“John Bercow has splurged £13,000 on a trip to Canada, as well as £70 on photos to send to ‘fans’ and £113 a month on a Sky sports package for his grace-and-favour residence. More details of the Commons Speaker’s use of public money have emerged after a breakdown of his official spending was released to MailOnline under freedom of information rules. The list shows Mr Bercow spent thousands of pounds on ‘entertainment’ last year, including £235 on drinks at a dinner for senior MPs. Meanwhile, there were foreign jaunts to Canada, Switzerland, and Latvia. There were also significant costs for Mr Bercow’s opulent apartment at Parliament, where he lives rent-free with wife Sally and their children. The Arsenal fan’s Sky subscription – which includes the sports package – was around £113 a month.” – Daily Mail

Murray:The intellectually barren Tories are losing the battle of ideas against the Left

“Anybody aspiring to lead the Conservative Party should work out how to absorb that huge eruption of feeling – not least a feeling of legitimate frustration – that the Brexit Party has tapped into. Naturally, like the candidates and supporters of the Brexit Party, they will be bombarded with every smear and insult remaining in the Left’s aggressive toolbox. But if they manage it then they find themselves holding the most powerful tools that the Right – and perhaps any political side – has any hope of wielding. Not just the desire to belong, but the right to draw and hold specific boundaries and form communities of meaning. Rather than succumbing to the Left’s skilful anathematising, anyone hoping to lead the Conservative Party should not just wish to encompass mainstream Right-wing opinion but be willing – for the first time in a generation – to actually stand up for it.” – Douglas Murray, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Here’s how I would deliver Brexit as Prime Minister – Mark Harper MP, Brexit Central
  • What Rory Stewart and Donald Trump have in common – Jamie Bartlett, The Spectator
  • Tory leadership hopefuls are piling into social media but mostly their campaigns have fallen flat – Buzzfeed
  • A harmless prime minister – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • Pro-Corbyn MPs are considering life without their leader – Andrew Grice, Independent