Johnson and Gove ‘bury the hatchet’ as Cabinet plans are laid…

“Boris Johnson secretly met Michael Gove and Sajid Javid this week as senior members of his team firm up plans for his cabinet. Mr Johnson took time out of his campaign schedule to meet his former leadership rival Mr Gove, the environment secretary, in his office yesterday morning. He met Mr Javid, the home secretary, the day before. All sides declined to comment, describing the meetings as private. However, The Times has also been told that senior members of Mr Johnson’s team are drawing up plans for all 109 ministerial roles. Sources said that any animosity between Mr Johnson and Mr Gove during the campaign has dissipated amid suggestions Mr Gove, who has declined to endorse either candidate, will retain his role as environment secretary.” – The Times

  • He aims to ‘turbo-charge’ the economy post-Brexit – Daily Telegraph


  • Farage donor puts money behind front-runner – The Times
  • Spy chiefs kept secrets from Johnson as he ‘couldn’t be trusted’ – The Sun

>Today: Ben Houchen in Local Government: Which candidate will show leadership on free ports?

…and he sets out ambition to make the UK ‘the greatest place on earth’

“Boris Johnson has vowed to make Britain “the greatest place on Earth” as he says he will unite the country by delivering Brexit. Mr Johnson says he is “taking nothing for granted” in the Tory leadership race and will “fight for every vote” as Conservative Party members receive their ballot papers this weekend. The former foreign secretary told The Telegraph it was time for opponents of Brexit to stop seeing it as “a plague of boils” and instead embrace the “fantastic” opportunities it brings for Britain’s future. By taking back control from Brussels, he says, a Tory government can “improve the quality of life for everybody”, unlock the industrial potential of the whole of the UK and “heal divisions” in society. It comes as more than 1,000 Conservative councillors endorse Mr Johnson as leader in what his team describe as “an unprecedented move”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson says he will hit Corbyn ‘out of the park’ – Daily Mail
  • …as he blasts ‘ludicrous’ rules banning rare burgers… – The Sun
  • …and attacks May’s ‘dithering’ leadership style – Daily Express
  • Tories sell £300,000 dinner with new Prime Minister before they’re chosen – The Sun

>Today: Suella Braverman MP in Comment: What Johnson learned from a London school amidst deprived communities

An unsurprising endorsement: the Daily Telegraph backs Johnson

“In 1989, this newspaper sent a 24-year-old Boris Johnson to Brussels as a correspondent, and readers were able to follow his progress as he grew bemused, frustrated and exasperated with an EU bureaucracy hell-bent on wrapping Britain in red tape. Finally, he concluded that the UK was better off out. Most of our readers have, down the years, come to the same realisation. Mr Johnson is Mr Brexit. He put his finger on the problem; he led the campaign to leave; he won the 2016 referendum. And now he has a chance to wrest the project back from the politicians who have nearly destroyed it with their opposition or ineptitude.” – Daily Telegraph

  • By taking us out on time he will jump-start a US trade deal – Iain Duncan Smith, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Our final Next Tory Leader survey before ballot papers arrive finds Johnson on 67 per cent and Hunt on 29 per cent

Hunt proposes tax breaks for families who care for relatives…

“Jeremy Hunt has proposed tax breaks for families who are prepared to look after their elderly relatives at home rather than putting them in care, as he unveils his plan to fix Britain’s social care crisis. The Foreign Secretary has proposed new financial support to help families who choose to take on the burden of care rather than passing it onto the state. Under his four-point plan, Mr Hunt intends to give carers a greater stake in the system, with families able to apply for tax relief if they choose to adapt or extend their homes to accommodate their relatives’ needs. The Tory leadership contender intends to establish a 10-year funding plan for the social care system, building on the financial settlement he secured for the NHS, which saw the health service receive an additional £20.5bn in funding annually.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson demands BBC ‘cough up’ for free TV licences – The Sun
  • Social care green paper held up by ‘partisan politics’, says Hancock – The Guardian


  • Why do we pay for dementia care when cancer is treated free? – Will Heaven, The Sun

>Yesterday: Damian Green MP in Comment: The state pension offers us a model for reforming social care

…as he outlines plans to build over a million homes to woo the young…

“Jeremy Hunt today champions his new plan to build 1.5million extra homes for the young in a manifesto for Sun readers. He insists that “giving a whole generation a leg up on to the housing ladder” is the best way to keep Jeremy Corbyn from power. The masterplan, dubbed Right To Own, is his  answer to Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson, who shared his vision for Brits here yesterday. It is based on denying greedy property developers vast profits from hoovering up cheap land. Mr Hunt would change the law to let councils and watchdog Homes England buy up land and then commission building work. That will deliver the 1.5 million cheaper properties said to be needed over the next 10 years.” – The Sun

  • He performs a hasty u-turn on the hunting ban – The Sun


  • Contest is closer than you think as members switch – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph


  • His vision is fine, but he has a mountain to climb – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Hunt bends every sinew to make this contest a two-horse race

…and he refuses to back down over Hong Kong

“Jeremy Hunt has refused to back down in his row with China, repeating his threat that there would be “serious consequences” if the agreement guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong is breached. Mr Hunt, UK foreign secretary, said he would not “just gulp and move on” if there was a breach in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. “It’s very important that the one country, two systems approach is honoured,” he told the BBC Today programme. “China is a country that has benefited massively from the application of a rules-based international system . . . to not honour this very important agreement between the UK and China of course would have consequences for China as well as for the UK.” – FT

  • Someone tell Hunt we no longer rule the waves – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • Protests could end as clash between east and west – Ronald Chiu, FT

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column: How Britain can fight for Hong Kongers’ rights

Gauke says that Parliament will ‘find a way’ to block a no-deal exit…

“A senior Cabinet Minister told Boris Johnson that Parliament “will find a way” to block No Deal. In a searing intervention Justice Secretary David Gauke said there was a clear majority in the Commons against a World Trade Organisation rules exit. And he warned there was no way the Tory frontrunner would win an election without a negotiated agreement with Brussels. Mr Gauke said MPs should lose their three-week holiday over the party conference season later this September to create more time to thrash out a deal. He’s the most senior Tory yet to warn of the mutiny facing Boris if he pursues his policy of a ‘Do or Die’ Brexit on October 31 if he beats Jeremy Hunt in the race for No.10.” – The Sun

  • A thinly-veiled attack on Johnson as he predicts his own sacking – PoliticsHome


  • If rebels bring down a no-deal Prime Minister, he could still laugh last – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

…as Cox suggests Parliament could be prorogued to see it through

“Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has once again floated the controversial possibility of temporarily suspending Parliament to force through a no deal Brexit. Mr Cox told the Commons the circumstances for prorogation were a matter for the prime minister and the Queen, before also insisting he believes Brexit must take place on October 31, as well as confirming his view that Article 24 of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) could not be invoked unilaterally. MPs challenged Mr Cox over the constitutional impact of proroguing Parliament, given his role as the Government’s chief legal adviser and support for Boris Johnson as the next Tory leader. Mr Johnson last week said he neither wanted nor expected to prorogue Parliament – but has kept the option on the table.” – Daily Express

  • Johnson insists lavish spending plans would work after such an exit – The Guardian
  • Barclays insists no-deal preparations must be ‘turbo-charged’ – Daily Express

Lidington warns against English ‘indifference’ to the Union

“Theresa May’s deputy has warned that English “indifference” to its union with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland risks breaking up the country in a no-deal Brexit. David Lidington said that Britain was “under greater pressure” than he had “ever known it to be” and warned English voters not to take the UK for granted. He added that if Britain crashed out of the European Union without a deal there was a very real prospect of Irish reunification and Scottish independence. “It’s a very delicate situation where two nations of the UK voted to leave the European Union and two nations voted to remain,” he said… Mr Lidington, who has played a key role across Whitehall co-ordinating the government’s Brexit preparations, said he believed that “overnight” a no-deal exit would place huge strain on the Union. “I think no-deal will be very bad for the Union both economically and politically,” he said.” – The Times

  • May warns successor that Sturgeon cannot be trusted to act in good faith… – Daily Telegraph
  • …as she urges them to safeguard the UK… – FT
  • …and makes the case for the backstop – Daily Mail


  • Real threat to the Union is giving in to Nationalist demands – Lord Forsyth, Daily Telegraph
  • Neither candidate cares about Northern Ireland – Séamas O’Reilly, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Johnson and Hunt woo DUP as leadership roadshow hits Belfast

Pro-Remain pact could ‘cut Government’s majority to three’

“Pro-Remain parties will unite behind a single candidate for the first time at next month’s parliamentary by-election in an attempt to reduce the Tories’ working majority to three. Plaid Cymru and the Green Party will not stand in Brecon & Radnorshire to help Jane Dodds, the Liberal Democrat leader in Wales, to secure the seat. The vote, to be held on August 1, will be the first electoral test for either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt as prime minister. Plaid, which advocates Welsh independence, will actively endorse Ms Dodds, 55. She described the pact as a “historic and courageous decision” in the interests of opposing Brexit. Sir Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, said that victory would send a message to the incoming prime minister that “the Conservative Party is in desperate trouble”.” – The Times

  • Tory MPs ready themselves for snap autumn election – FT


  • A post-Brexit election looks like Johnson’s best bet – Peter Kellner, The Guardian

Dire polling would put Labour 100 short of a majority

Labour have fallen so far in the polls that, despite being marginally ahead, they would still fall 100 seats short of a majority in a fractured new Parliament if a general election were called today. The latest polling average has Jeremy Corbyn’s party on 22.8 per cent, slightly higher than a new individual YouGov poll which had Labour on a historic low of 18 per cent. Labour’s 10-poll average is nearly a record low for the party, beaten only by the level seen in June 2009, when the party slumped to 21.8 per cent while dealing with the financial crisis and the fallout from the MPs’ expenses scandal. However, on current form their average – a more stable measure than individual polling – is likely to go lower than this in the coming weeks.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Shadow Cabinet member says Corbyn is at the ‘end of the road’ – Daily Mail
  • Watson urges Labour members to sign Remain declaration – The Guardian


  • Burnham says northerners are ‘discriminated against’ – Daily Mail


  • Ousting Corbyn would be a catastrophe for Labour – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Why his loyalists cling to their doomed leader – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Widdecombe blasts Brussels for treating UK like ‘slaves’

“New Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe has blasted the EU for treating us like “slaves” and insisted Britain is right to be quitting the bloc. She used her maiden speech in the European Parliament to give a furious defence of Brexit and tell Brussels bosses just why we’re leaving on October 31. The ex-Tory minister said it was a “great honour” to speak on behalf of the single largest party in the Parliament, just days after they turned their backs on other MEPs in the Parliament. And she slammed them for the way they elect the president of the European Parliament and Council – only voted on after a recommendation from other EU leaders the day before… Her remark about colonies turning on empires was a dig at the parliament’s Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt.” – The Sun

  • It’s time for the Brexit Party to shut up shop – Iain Martin, The Times

News in Brief:

  • Johnson doesn’t have the stomach to take on the public health lobby – Henry Hill, CapX
  • How far are Tory MPs prepared to go to block no deal? – Sebastian Whale, The House
  • ‘Politics is broken’: Fiona Hill breaks her silence – Giles Whittell, Tortoise Media
  • Only Johnson can unite the party, deliver Brexit, and beat Corbyn – Andrea Leadsom MP, Reaction
  • Don’t scorn the front-runner’s ambition – Mary Dejevsky, UnHerd