Johnson draws up plan for early election…

“Boris Johnson is drawing up early election plans as part of his preparations for No 10 as a poll suggests that almost two thirds of Tory members would support a pact with the Brexit Party. The latest YouGov poll for The Times, which was taken before news broke of the police being called to the home of Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson’s girlfriend, after a row between the two, shows that Mr Johnson is supported by 74 per cent of Tory members… Preparations for Mr Johnson going to No 10, however, include putting the Tory party on an election footing in the event that parliament refuses to accept an October 31 Brexit. Allies stress that an election is not his preferred option but say that it may be forced on the country this year.” – The Times

  • Police called to his flat after domestic argument – Daily Telegraph
  • Carney dismisses Johnson’s Brexit claims – FT
  • Osborne u-turns to back favourite – Daily Express
  • Prospect of Johnson premiership casts shadow over Sedwill – FT
  • EU leaders say he’ll make Brexit more ‘exciting’ – The Sun
  • Gove and Javid prepare for top jobs with congratulatory tweets – The Guardian


  • His record in office, and the truth behind his achievements – Camilla Tominey, Daily Telegraph
  • Who is whispering in Johnson’s ear? – Francis Elliott, The Times
  • Can Hunt stop the inevitable? – Sebastian Payne, FT

>ToryDiary: Comment: The story of a banker, an industrialist, and Brexit


…as his campaign is overshadowed by a domestic dispute

“Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging. The argument could be heard outside the property where the potential future prime minister is living with Symonds, a former Conservative party head of press. A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”. The neighbour said that after becoming concerned they knocked on the door but received no response. “I [was] hoping that someone would answer the door and say ‘We’re okay’. I knocked three times and no one came to the door.”” – The Guardian

  • How complicated love life took centre stage – Sam Greenhill, Daily Mail


…and Hunt brands him a ‘bottler’

Jeremy Hunt today accuses Boris Johnson of being a “bottler” as he fires the opening salvo in part two of the Tory leadership race. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary accuses his rival of dodging public debates until after many Conservative Party members have cast their votes, claiming he is afraid of being exposed to scrutiny. Mr Hunt throws down the gauntlet to Mr Johnson to go toe to toe with him in a series of open hustings events and television debates to make it “a proper British competition”. He also denies being the beneficiary of a “dirty tricks” campaign in the vote among Tory MPs, in which he narrowly beat Mr Johnson’s arch-rival Michael Gove.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He throws down a TV debate challenge to the front-runner – The Times
  • Victims of blood scandal accuse Hunt of breaking promises – The Guardian
  • ‘I like to prove people wrong’ – Interview, Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: Comment: ConHome’s leadership election panel. “Boris could learn from his almost-rival.”

Charles Moore: Challenger has a mountain to climb

“The Conservative Party electorate is now the only group which can uphold the 2016 result. The question is whether you want Brexit actually to happen. It is not that the deadline day of October 31 is sacred in itself. It is not even that achieving Brexit is a guarantee of victory at the next general election: it is that failing to win Brexit, deal or no deal, by that date, is a guarantee of defeat. So Mr Hunt is at a tremendous disadvantage. Much more than almost all other leading Remainers, he has genuinely internalised the idea that people are entitled to get what they voted for. My impression is that the grass roots respect him more than anyone else on his side of the Brexit fence: he has never shown the contemptuous animus against Brexit voters which colours the otherwise colourless utterances of Mr Hammond.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Hunt should play the man, not the ball – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Brexiteers risk a ‘Boris betrayal’ unless they play a ferocious final hand – Sherelle Jacobs, Daily Telegraph
  • Contenders are doomed to self-harm – Camilla Cavendish, FT
  • Hunt is the one who probably won’t slip on a banana skin – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • To defeat Johnson, learn the lessons of Trump – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian


Field suspended from ministerial role over confrontation with protester

“A close ally of Jeremy Hunt was suspended from his ministerial job yesterday after a video showed him forcibly removing a climate change protester from a black tie dinner. Mark Field was captured on camera intercepting Janet Barker, a Greenpeace activist, as she tried to approach Philip Hammond, the chancellor, who was making a speech to senior City workers. The footage showed him pushing her against a pillar before grabbing the back of her neck and frogmarching her out of Mansion House. A number of Greenpeace members disrupted the event to demand urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.” – The Times

  • Tory chiefs face calls to fire him – The Sun
  • Defender brands critics ‘ridiculous’ – Daily Express
  • Tories launch inquiry into threats to female MP by male colleague – Daily Telegraph

Madeline Grant: Your reaction to the video says more about you than him

“Progressives were, predictably, appalled. “This is Tory Britain”, wrote The Guardian’s Owen Jones, seeing Field’s behaviour as a sinister omen of things to come. Some leapt to brand Field a misogynist wife-beater. “If he does this in public”, the logic went, “just think what he must get up to behind closed doors.’’ Others drew broader conclusions… Right-wingers were far more sympathetic. Many praised his quick-thinking and resourcefulness. Some, concerned with how the protesters had entered the venue, defended Field, arguing that he could not have known if his victim was armed. Others simply saw an irritating eco-warrior breaching security and heading towards Philip Hammond, three years after an MP’s murder.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Field’s rage is a litmus test for our divided society – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
  • Real scandal is that Greenpeace were allowed to perpetrate this stunt – Ross Clark, Daily Telegraph

Mordaunt accuses Hammond of failing to grasp the value of defence

Penny Mordaunt, the Defence Secretary, has accused her predecessor Philip Hammond’s department of not understanding “the full value of defence to the nation.” She urged the Chancellor to loosen the purse strings for defence in the upcoming spending review and revealed that she had called on the Brexit ministry to make  it a “red line” in negotiations with the EU that the Ministry of Defence be able to award shipbuilding contracts to UK firms after Brexit. She also disclosed that the Queen has promoted her to the rank of Commander with an honorary commission in the Royal Navy… She said that after Brexit it was important that the UK should be able to have the choice about reserving its ability to build ships and other capabilities.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Chancellor fears May will bypass him to sign off billions in new spending – The Sun


  • Tories must revolt against her bid to buy herself a legacy – The Sun

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: “A paramount duty of Government is to ensure Britain’s prosperity”. Hammond’s Mansion House speech – full text

Tories face Welsh by-election as MP recalled over expenses

“The Conservatives face a tricky by-election in a Welsh constituency after almost 20 per cent of the constituents signed a “recall petition” over the conviction of incumbent MP Chris Davies for a false expenses claim. If the Tories lose Brecon & Radnorshire it will leave the UK government with a working majority of three in the House of Commons – even with the support of the Democratic Unionist party – given the loss of other MPs in recent months. On Friday, it was announced at Powys County Hall that the petition had reached 10,005 votes, almost double the 10 per cent of the electorate threshold for success. Recall petitions were introduced in 2015 to clean up politics after the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal.” – FT

  • Immediate electoral test for the new Prime Minister – Daily Telegraph
  • Tories engulfed by English nationalism – FT

Speaker has spent quarter of a million on flights

“For someone whose job is to sit in a chair and keep quiet, John Bercow has spent rather a lot of his tenure as Commons Speaker jetting around the world and speaking his mind. As he marks a decade in the job today, new analysis reveals the extent of his globe-trotting, which has cost £250,000. Since 2009 the Speaker has flown almost 207,000 miles — about four times farther than the Queen and the equivalent of circumnavigating the earth eight times. Add in his staff who travelled with him and together their air miles total 457,000, equivalent to flying to the moon and back. As well as his travel, he has pocketed more than £157,000 in gifts and political donations since becoming Speaker, the equivalent of his yearly salary.” – The Times

  • He should set a departure date and stick to it – The Times