Johnson heads to Scotland, with new growth funds and a Unionist rallying cry…

‘Boris Johnson will today vow to “unleash the productive power” of every corner of the UK in a speech in Scotland with the promise to spend £300m backing new projects away from London. The Prime Minister will promise to put the Union at the heart of his decision making, ahead of further scheduled trips to Wales and Northern Ireland later this week. Mr Johnson’s visit north of the border will mark his third visit outside of the capital since taking office, fueling further speculation that a general election is on the horizon. Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Johnson said: “Our Union is the most successful political and economic union in history. We are a global brand and together we are safer, stronger and more prosperous. So as we prepare for our bright future after Brexit, it’s vital we renew the ties that bind our United Kingdom.” The Prime Minister, who has also taken Minister for the Union as part of his official title, added: “I am a passionate believer in our great Union, and I look forward to visiting Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that every decision I make as Prime Minister promotes and strengthens our Union”… As part of Mr Johnson’s latest announcement some £300million from a growth fund will be spent in Falkirk, the Islands, Argyll & Bute, Mid South West Northern Ireland and Causeway Coast and Glens as well as North Wales, Mid Wales, Londonderry and Moray.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Sunak insists the Conservatives are not planning for an election

…where he faces a tricky meeting with Davidson

‘Writing in her regular column for the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Davidson said: “When I was debating against the pro-Brexit side in 2016, I don’t remember anybody saying we should crash out of the EU with no arrangements in place to help maintain the vital trade that flows uninterrupted between Britain and the European Union. “I don’t think the government should pursue a no-deal Brexit and, if it comes to it, I won’t support it.” Saying she had confirmed her position to Johnson when the pair spoke by telephone last week following his election as UK Conservative leader, Davidson added: “As leader of the party in Scotland, my position exists independently of government. I don’t have to sign a no-deal pledge to continue to serve.” Davidson’s public defiance – just as the Brexit planning minister Michael Gove confirmed that the government was operating on the assumption that the UK would leave the EU without a deal on 31 October – will further test her already strained relationship with Johnson. She was reported to be “livid” after the prime minister sacked her ally, the Scottish secretary, David Mundell, and appointed Alister Jack in his place.’ – The Guardian

  • He also has a difficult meeting with Sturgeon – Daily Mail
  • The Conservatives must unite behind Johnson, or risk letting Corbyn in – The Sun Says
  • Keeping the UK together could be his hardest challenge – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Johnson must deliver on his promise to preserve the Union – Kirstene Hair MP, Times Red Box
  • He faces ‘cowardice’ jibe over refusal to confirm he’ll campaign in Welsh by-election – The Times
  • The new Prime Minister dominates the airwaves and headlines – The Times
  • It is Varadkar, and not the UK, who disregards the Good Friday Agreement and risks a hard border – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels furious at threat to ‘divorce bill’ – Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Boris bounce: where are the votes coming from, and where might more be available?

New Whitehall machine convenes to deliver Brexit

‘Boris Johnson will hand responsibility for the countdown to a no-deal Brexit to a stripped-down Whitehall machine tomorrow as business chiefs fall into line behind the “daunting new reality”. Tomorrow Michael Gove will chair the first of his daily meetings to oversee preparations for leaving the European Union without an agreement. The new “daily operations committee”, in Whitehall’s Cobra suite, will decide all but the most important issues. The new prime minister said Theresa May’s administration “had not moved quickly enough” and that its “parallel structures” had undermined progress and accountability. Briefing the cabinet on a new chain of command, he said that the overall Brexit policy would be decided by an “exit strategy committee” that will meet twice weekly, chaired by him with “a small cast list”. There is also an exit, economy and trade committee that will focus primarily on “Britain’s future relationship around the world”.’ – The Times

  • Javid ‘set to unlock an extra £1 billion’ for No Deal preparation – The Sun
  • There’ll be a national leaflet and TV advertising campaign to inform people – The Sun
  • Raab promises a “no more weakness” attitude – Daily Express
  • We’re pragmatists at the CBI, let’s get this done – Carolyn Fairbairn, The Times
  • MPs opposed to No Deal must decide if they’re willing to vote against tariffs intended to protect farmers – Daily Telegraph
  • Davis demands end to ‘doom and gloom’ – Daily Express
  • CBI says the EU is not ready for the scenario – FT
  • EU leaders have failed to accurately assess the risk of No Deal – Wolfgang Munchau, FT
  • Institute for Government says there is ‘no such thing as a managed no deal’ – The Guardian
  • Bank of England becomes an outlier as other central banks prepare stimulus packages for their slowing economies – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Changing Prime Minister turns out to change quite a lot

>Saturday: Henry Newman: Cummings understands the need to drastically reform Whitehall

Cummings tells SpAds of ‘one strike’ policy on leaking – and plans a Budget immediately after Party Conference

‘Dominic Cummings has told ministerial aides that he will fire any of them who leaked Cabinet papers in a new “one strike policy”. Mr Cummings told aides at meeting that there is a new “one strike policy” on leaks from Government. “He was firm – if you leak you are gone,” one aide said… Mr Cummings did not return a call from The Telegraph on Sunday afternoon… Mr Cummings also told the meeting to prepare an emergency budget in the week starting October 7, just days after the end of the Conservative party conference. The proximity of the budget will mean that this week’s gathering in Manchester will be a rally to prepare party members for the challenges of leaving the European Union without a deal. The annual gathering of the Tory faithful, to be held in Manchester this year, finishes just 29 days before the Government’s planned EU departure on October 31. One source said: “He said we are going to have a budget in the first week of October. The party conference will be a no deal rally – it is not about the speeches.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

Mercer becomes Veterans Minister

‘Boris Johnson announces the first Government office to care for our forces’ vets — in a huge victory for The Sun. The PM has created a powerful new Office for Veterans Affairs in his administration. It means, for the first time, our forces personnel have a dedicated cross-Government champion with the clout to push through real change and ensure “world-class” care. It will sit inside the Cabinet Office and be jointly run by the new Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer and Paymaster General Oliver Dowden, who attends Cabinet. The move fulfils Mr Johnson’s promise to The Sun three weeks ago when he signed up to the Veterans Pledge, drawn up by us and forces charities.’ – The Sun

  • Second Royal Navy ship arrives in Gulf as a ‘safeguard’ – FT
  • Iran to restart weapons-grade plutonium plant – The Times

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Johnson’s ministerial appointments

Will the new Prime Minister hold an inquiry into racial prejudice within the Conservative Party?

‘Asked on Sky News when Johnson would be launching an inquiry, Rishi Sunak, the new financial secretary to the Treasury, said the prime minister was “committed very firmly to rooting it out in the party wherever it is”. But he declined to commit to saying that Johnson would be holding an independent inquiry. “Obviously how that gets implemented is a question for the brand new party chairman,” he said. James Cleverly, who is the new Tory chair, has said he disagrees deeply with the idea that the Conservatives are institutionally Islamophobic. During the campaign, Johnson at one point appeared to water down the idea of an inquiry. He told ConservativeHome: “Well, I took it up with Saj afterwards and he said that actually, if I understand it correctly, what we’ve committed to is a general investigation into all types of prejudice and discrimination, including antisemitism.” Asked if this would be an independent investigation, Johnson replied: “Yup.” He added: “So yes, we’ll have to study exactly what Saj has in mind, but it sounded like a sensible idea when he mentioned it.”’ – The Guardian

  • MigrationWatch attacks the idea of an illegal immigration amnesty – The Sun

Kavanagh: Patel’s big job must be to sort out our politicised police

‘Once Boris has sorted out Brexit and won the next general election, his priority must be to clean up Britain’s politically-motivated cops and prosecutors. Redoubtable new Home Secretary Priti Patel has a momentous job on her hands. She won’t need much encouragement… We have become a country where crime is just another way of life, where police do not patrol certain streets, investigate offences or prosecute cases of rape, violence or burglary. They turn a blind eye to drugs and clown along with anarchist students who paralyse our capital city. Politically correct cops stay indoors while knife crime explodes and sex slave gangs run riot because chief constables are terrified of being branded racist. But they come down like a brick wall on often-innocent men and women suspected of stepping over an imaginary line drawn by left-wing lynch mobs. Innocent non-political folk such as Cliff Richard or DJ Paul Gambaccini. Or ex-MP Harvey Proctor. Ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Ex-PM Ted Heath.’ – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun

  • Pampered millennials struggle to adapt to police work – The Times
  • They must toughen up – The Times Leader
  • Tom Watson still hasn’t apologised for what he did to Bramall and others – The Sun Says
  • Ministers accused of ‘bullying’ justice watchdog – The Times
  • Visa system for international students is malfunctioning – FT
  • MP samples cannabis oil to highlight failing law – The Times

Mandelson calls for Corbyn to go

‘Lord Mandelson has called on Jeremy Corbyn to quit after the Labour leader said the party would seek a Brexit deal with the EU after an election victory. The former business secretary said that Mr Corbyn’s support had collapsed since the 2017 election as voters had realised how “weak and half-hearted he was on the subject of Brexit”. The arrival of Boris Johnson at No 10 demanded “an alternative” prepared to lead a campaign to remain in the EU, he said. “Corbyn is not the leader that Labour needs at this time. He cannot deliver. Even his supporters are realising this. We need an alternative who can stand up to Johnson and lead the country against the disaster which is in the making,” he said in an interview in La Stampa, an Italian newspaper. His intervention, the first time he has called for the leader to go, comes as a new poll suggested that Labour under a different leader would convert a five-point deficit into a six-point lead over the Tories led by Mr Johnson.’ – The Times

  • The Labour leader is mocked for his ‘fanciful’ claim that he could beat Johnson in an election – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: “We have to get into power first” – Corbyn hedges on how Labour would negotiate Brexit

China is losing patience with persistent pro-freedom protests in Hong Kong

‘Hong Kong police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at anti-government protesters in a second consecutive night of violence after they defied an official ban and marched through the territory’s central shopping district, blocking roads and throwing projectiles. This was the eighth weekend of demonstrations against Carrie Lam, the territory’s chief executive, and her political masters in Beijing. Ominously, the department of the Chinese government responsible for Hong Kong announced that it would hold its first press conference today to address the political unrest, which is increasingly being directed towards the Hong Kong police and the central government in Beijing. Last night tear gas drifted into homes and restaurants close to the Chinese liaison office — the target of vandalism in previous marches — as people were sitting down to their evening meal.’ – The Times

  • The pro-democracy protesters deserve our support – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Russian police arrest 1,400 opposition protesters – FT
  • There’s no stability in beating critics – The Times Leader
  • Navalny may have been poisoned – The Times
  • Germany sees a rise in extremist violence on left and right – FT

>Today: Ben Rogers on Comment: Raab should stand up for Hong Kong’s endangered freedom