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New Prime Minister makes his Dispatch Box debut

He was at the Dispatch Box for a blistering two and a half hours, taking 129 questions from MPs keen to find out his ambitious plans for Brexit, Britain and beyond. In a bravura House of Commons debut as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson set out his optimistic vision for making the UK “the greatest place on earth”, with a gusto that won plaudits among delighted Conservative colleagues. Delivering his first government statement to a packed chamber on the hottest day of the year, Mr Johnson mixed policy with impassioned political fervour as he declared the start of a “new approach” to Brexit… But he also produced a series of domestic pledges as he wasted no time outing longtime Eurosceptic Jeremy Corbyn as a remainer and putting the boot into Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell in a question and answer session overflowing with trademark hyperbole.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He goes on the offensive against both Brussels and Corbyn – The Sun
  • Hint that Johnson may reverse Heathrow expansion – The Sun
  • Throws down gauntlet to Corbyn on dementia care – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

Johnson abandons Cameron’s ‘tens of thousands’ immigration pledge

“Boris Johnson today appeared to drop a Tory pledge to reduce annual net migration to below six figures as he promised to introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system. Mr Johnson said during the 2016 EU referendum campaign that the UK should seek to imitate the Australian system which assesses people on different criteria like age, qualifications and language skills. Today he told the House of Commons that he would finally deliver the long-promised major overhaul of British border control. But the decision to seemingly drop the Conservative Party’s commitment to reduce net migration to the UK to the ‘tens of thousands’ is likely to spark controversy among some Leave voters.” – Daily Mail

  • He vows to back amnesty for illegal immigrants… – The Times
  • …eyes a points-based immigration system… – FT
  • …and promises to let EU nationals stay for good – The Sun

ERG’s anger over Cummings sees Baker refuse government role

“Boris Johnson’s attempts to lock in the support of hardline Tory Eurosceptics suffered a serious blow last night after one of the most senior Brexiteer MPs angrily turned down a ministerial role. In the first rift between the new prime minister and the faction that backed him for the leadership, Steve Baker told Mr Johnson that a job in the Brexit department would have left him “powerless”. Tory Eurosceptics accused Mr Johnson of “binning off” the European Research Group of Brexiteers now that he was in power. They blamed Dominic Cummings, the former head of Vote Leave, who has been appointed the most senior adviser in Downing Street. Mr Cummings has made little secret of his disdain for some members of the ERG, describing them as a “narcissist delusional subset” and a “metastasising tumour” that needs to be “excised”.” – The Times

  • Adviser thinks the Civil Service should learn from the Manhattan Project – Daily Telegraph
  • Secret plan to ‘revolutionise’ Whitehall revealed – Daily Express
  • Farage savages decision to hire Vote Leave veteran – Daily Mail

More:

  • Westley faces calls to quit over praise for far-right activist – The Times
  • Rees-Mogg quits investment firm after taking Government job – FT

Comment:

  • Cummings’ appointment will prove an inspired choice – Henry Newman, Daily Telegraph
  • Gove can go from ‘frenemy’ to Tory hero – Iain Martin, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Baker and Cummings, the rare honest men

>Yesterday:

New Cabinet is the youngest and most diverse in British history

Boris Johnson has assembled the youngest and most ethnically diverse Cabinet in history and one of the most female friendly, according to a Telegraph analysis compiled by the newspaper’s data team. Mr Johnson’s front bench team met for the first time yesterday in Downing Street, the photograph captured for posterity showing a relatively youthful, multi-cultural set of ministers. It was also a jumbo-sized cabinet with 33 attendees – the biggest since Gordon Brown’s – requiring officials to bring in a side table because the main Cabinet table could not fit them all. Almost one-in-five are from ethnic minority backgrounds including two ministers whose families hail from the Indian sub-Continent in two of the highest offices of state – Chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid and Home Secretary Priti Patel.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Business welcomes a united front – FT
  • Attorney General told to apologise for ‘errors’ in declaring income – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • It exemplifies the global spirit behind the Leave vote – Dia Chakravarty, Daily Telegraph
  • How can the left call Johnson racist now? – Rakib Eshan, The Sun
  • The best thing is that its ‘diversity’ is irrelevant – Rosa Prince, Daily Telegraph
  • A Cabinet of the libertarian comeback kids – Kate Andrews, Times Red Box
  • Not a Government, but a perpetual campaigning machine – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: This Cabinet is the most right-of-centre in modern times. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

>Yesterday:

Javid ordered to review Government’s borrowing rules

“Sajid Javid, the new chancellor, has been instructed to review the government’s borrowing rules as Downing Street looks to increase spending for a potential no-deal Brexit. Boris Johnson’s spokesman confirmed yesterday that the Treasury was looking again at Philip Hammond’s commitment not to let net public sector borrowing exceed 2 per cent of GDP. The “fiscal rule” was contained in the Conservatives’ 2017 election manifesto but Downing Street said that the new prime minister was not bound to this. Mr Johnson also announced that Mr Javid would make £4.2 billion available immediately to boost no-deal preparations under the control of Michael Gove, the new Cabinet Office minister.” – The Times

  • Five priorities for the new Chancellor – FT
  • Controversial ‘Help to Buy’ scheme may be extended – The Times
  • Plans for 20,000 extra police – The Sun

Comment:

  • Johnson unlikely to be tough on the economic causes of Brexit – Larry Elliott, The Guardian

Davidson ‘livid’ over Mundell sacking

“Boris Johnson faces a bitter new row with a “livid” Ruth Davidson after booting out her choice for Scottish Secretary. Sources yesterday claimed the Scottish Tory leader was furious after Boris ignored her request to keep David Mundell in place. Mr Mundell was one of 11 Cabinet Ministers axed in the biggest reshuffle in modern political history. He was replaced by Alister Jack. It sets up a difficult meeting on Monday when the new PM is expected to meet Ms Davidson on a visit to Glasgow… Friends of Ms Davidson – seen as a future leader for her transformation of the Tory fortunes in Scotland – played down talk of a row last night.” – The Sun

  • Sturgeon letter plays up Brexit ‘strain’ on the Union – FT

Comment:

  • By remaining pro-Union, Johnson may yet unravel the backstop – Ruth Dudley-Edwards, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • He’s right to make preserving the Union a priority – The Times

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: What Johnson’s reshuffle means for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Johnson holds his tough line on Brexit…

In recent weeks, as Boris Johnson campaigned for the leadership of the Tory Party, the European Union were at pains to keep an open mind about his true intentions… He laid this plan out clearly, but still European diplomats waited and watched to see if – once in office – Mr Johnson would be less unequivocal, preserving just a little wriggle-room for negotiation when everyone’s ears had stopped ringing from the rhetorical fireworks. But on Thursday they received the clearest possible answer as Mr Johnson called simply for the “abolition” of the backstop, which Brexiteers see not as an “insurance policy” to preserve Northern Ireland’s invisible border but an unequal treaty no self-respecting country could sign.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tusk’s 12-word letter to the Prime Minister sets tone for battle ahead – The Times
  • Barnier rejects Johnson’s ‘unacceptable’ plan – Daily Telegraph
  • EU fears no-deal exit will lock both sides into a ‘cold war’ – The Times
  • Brussels ‘repels’ Johnson’s bid for a new deal – The Guardian

…as the ‘Gaukeward Squad’ gear up for battle

“Boris Johnson will have a brief honeymoon period to convince Tory MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit that he can reach an agreement with Brussels. Sources indicated, however, that the breathing space would last only a matter of weeks. Dozens of Tory MPs have been plotting to prevent Mr Johnson crashing Britain out of the EU. The prime minister has alarmed moderate Tory MPs by saying that the country will leave on October 31 with or without a deal. He has said that the chances of a no-deal Brexit are a “million to one against”. But he has also pledged that the UK will be out by the end of October, “do or die”. The potential rebels include David Gauke, the former justice secretary, who resigned hours before Mr Johnson took office. The ex-ministers opposed to a no-deal Brexit also include Philip Hammond, who resigned as chancellor on Wednesday.” – The Times

  • Hard Brexit fears cloud upbeat holiday message – FT
  • Prime Minister has to salvage flaws in May’s no-deal planning… – Daily Express
  • …as he’s urged to abandon plan over lack of ferries for medicine – The Sun
  • Johnson’s £300 million pledge to avoid chaos at ports – The Times
  • Gove ordered to speed up no-deal preparations – The Sun
  • Australia seeks swift post-Brexit trade deal – FT

Comment:

  • Remainers should welcome his premiership – John Kampfner, The Times

>Yesterday: Andrew Sharpe and Pamela Hall in Comment: Now is the time to back our new leader and unite our party

Navy will escort British ships in the Strait of Hormuz

“The Royal Navy will accompany British-flagged vessels through the strait of Hormuz to defend freedom of navigation after Iran seized a tanker this month, the Ministry of Defence has said. “The Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage,” a British government spokesman said. “Freedom of navigation is crucial for the global trading system and world economy and we will do all we can to defend it.” It is an interim move before discussions about the development of an international maritime protection force in the Gulf either led by Europe in coordination but separate from the US or jointly with the US. The US is calling a conference on the issue on Thursday.” – The Guardian

  • More ships promised for the Royal Navy – The Sun

Election 1) CCHQ launches online messaging blitz

“The Conservatives have mounted an online blitz of hundreds of political adverts to promote Boris Johnson, test election messages and profile voters. An estimated 500-plus versions of the adverts began appearing on the day he was elected Conservative party leader on Tuesday. Some asked voters to identify the issues they were most concerned about and register details including email addresses and postcodes so the party could direct mail them and contact them with further ads. Mike Harris, chief executive of 89up, a communications agency specialising in online campaigns, said it had all the hallmarks of message testing adverts for an election, each with minor differences to establish which were the most effective.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Team Johnson is on a constant war footing – The Times
  • Duncan Smith says Party must be ready to go to the polls – Daily Mail
  • Election in view as Prime Minister shows off Brexit resolve – FT
  • He will take ‘do or die’ message to Labour voters – The Times

>Today: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: Will voters still give Johnson the benefit of the doubt? We’re about to find out.

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Who will take over the running of CCHQ? Look out for Cruddas and Elliot

Election 2) Labour fear leader’s allies will be parachuted into safe seats

“Labour MPs fear that allies of Jeremy Corbyn will be parachuted in to fight safe Commons seats at the last minute if a snap general election is called. The Labour leader has been warned by his MPs of “unacceptable” delays in selecting candidates to stand in a number of constituencies that the party should win. Last night Mr Corbyn called for an election as he addressed a Labour rally outside parliament. He has repeatedly called for a snap election and the party insists that it is prepared if voters are asked to go to the polls. It has yet to fill vacancies, however, that were created by the defection of a swathe of Labour MPs more than five months ago. The seats include Enfield North and Ilford South where the sitting MPs, Joan Ryan and Mike Gapes, resigned from Labour to join the Independent Group of MPs in February.” – The Times

  • Corbyn fatigue? Abysmal turnout at ‘anti-Boris’ rally – Daily Express
  • Party and Momentum activists put on election footing – The Guardian

Labour and Liberal Democrats clash over no-confidence vote

“Labour and the Liberal Democrats were embroiled in a row last night over calls for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson to be tabled. Jo Swinson, the Lib Dems’ new leader, urged Jeremy Corbyn to push for an immediate no-confidence vote in the new prime minister. But Labour rejected this, saying that it would not try to bring down Mr Johnson’s government until it was sure that it had enough support from Conservative MPs to succeed. The party also accused the Lib Dems of “childish and irresponsible game-playing” that showed they were more interested in attacking Labour than in stopping a no-deal Brexit.” – The Times

  • Johnson could thwart bid to force an election – Oliver Wright, The Times

O’Mara accused of sexually harassing staff

“An MP has been accused by a junior member of his staff of waging a persistent campaign of sexual harassment that has left her feeling “intimidated and degraded”. Jared O’Mara sent a series of messages to the 20-year-old woman, often late at night or early in the morning, in which he repeatedly declared his feelings for her and commented on her appearance. She claims that he also regularly made “sexist, misogynistic and lewd comments” about other women including female politicians, creating an “increasingly toxic” environment in his office. Mr O’Mara, 37, who represents Sheffield Hallam, said yesterday that he would be “taking time out” to receive professional help with “mental health and personal issues”.” – The Times

  • Sleaze watchdog blasts rules which prevent her naming and shaming – The Sun

Farage looks to the US to raise Brexit warchest

“Brexit party leader Nigel Farage has joined forces with a group of Donald Trump-supporting Americans to form a new lobbying body to raise money for the UK’s fight to leave the European Union. The New York launch event for the new group – called World4Brexit – was attended by a string of the US president’s supporters and included figures such as Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager, and Phil Bryant, the governor of Mississippi. Details of the event emerged as Boris Johnson, the UK’s new prime minister, took office this week vowing to take Britain out of the EU by October 31 with or without a deal with Brussels.” – FT

News in Brief:

  • Splitting off the Scottish Conservatives will not serve the Union – Henry Hill, CapX
  • There’s another option beyond no deal or May’s deal – and Boris knows it – Martin Howe QC, The Spectator
  • Johnson must capture the reforming zeal of Lloyd George – Matt Gillow, 1828
  • The Prime Minister’s new cabinet wins plaudits from the City – Maggie Pagano, Reaction
  • How our first Asian MP shaped the Brexit debate – Ian Birrell, UnHerd

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