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Iran seizes tankers in Gulf

“Iran last night seized a British oil tanker in the Gulf – edging the world closer to the brink of conflict. In a major escalation of tensions, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard launched a guerilla-style attack to confiscate the Stena Impero as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. It was a deliberate act of provocation because the UK-flagged ship was in international waters. None of the 23 crew on board is understood to be British, and there were no reported injuries. Donald Trump last night called Iran ‘nothing but trouble’, adding: ‘It goes to show I was right about Iran.’ The action prompted a late night meeting of the COBRA emergency security committee chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May. Following the meeting, security officials have warned UK shipping to stay clear of the Strait of Hormuz ‘for an interim period’. Iran claims the British-flagged tanker was in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat and ignored its distress call, ‘violating international maritime rules’.” Daily Mail

  • Two British tankers seized by Iran – Daily Express
  • Hijack terror: UK warns of serious consequences – The Sun
  • Trump sends troops to Saudi Arabia – The Sun
  • Tensions rise in the Gulf – The Times
  • British shipping warned to avoid area in Gulf – Daily Telegraph

Johnson set to promote Morgan and Truss

“Boris Johnson will promote Liz Truss and bring back former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan in an attempt to confront his ‘women problem’, allies believe. The Tory leadership frontrunner is finalising his top team over the weekend in anticipation of defeating Jeremy Hunt when the result is announced on Tuesday. Mr Johnson is understood to be determined to promote ‘talented’ Conservative women to replace female allies of Mrs May’s who are likely to leave Cabinet. Miss Morgan, who was Education Secretary under David Cameron before she was sacked by Theresa May, is in the running for a ministerial post. The chairman of the Commons Treasury select committee was a leading supporter of Michael Gove. She also backed Remain in 2016 and earlier this year signed up with a group of moderates opposed to a No Deal Brexit. However, she is well liked and respected by Tory Brexiteers following her work on ‘Alternative arrangements’ to deal with the Northern Ireland border.” – Daily Mail

  • Trump backs Johnson in phone call – Daily Mail
  • Carrie Symonds set to move into Downing Street but not to see Queen – Daily Mail
  • Tory grandees to prevent Johnson being kicked out in first year – The Sun
  • David Davis set for major cabinet role under Johnson – The Sun
  • Rees-Mogg being considered for Chief Secretary to Treasury role – The Times
  • Johnson cabinet looks male but a little less pale – The Times
  • But his real battle may be to keep his seat – The Times
  • Stamp duty may be halved on homes worth over £500k – Daily Telegraph

Comment

>Today:
ToryDiary:
Audio:
Columnist:
Comment:

Matthew Parris: There can be no Johnson honeymoon for Remainers

“Prepare yourself for the Boris Bounce next week. It won’t last but a bounce of sorts there will be. A temporary ceasefire if not a honeymoon is on the cards. Already one can hear the coo, anticipate the columns, see the leading articles. “Give the chap a chance”, “a new PM deserves a fair wind”, “suspend judgment”, “at least let him try”. Plus, of course, the “come together” chorus. Boris Johnson himself was at it during the final leadership hustings I watched in east London on Wednesday, with a come-on-folks-let’s all-pull-together theme: a classic, generous and hilarious entertainment leading to a standing ovation with the thought bubble “We just hope he’s actually any good as prime minister” hanging over London Tories’ heads. His challenger, Jeremy Hunt, went further in an intelligent speech, making clear he’d be proud to serve in a Johnson administration. Both men, of course, have a selfish interest in unity: Mr Johnson because, as the presumed next prime minister, the unity would be behind himself; Mr Hunt because he’d like a job. But the feeling that it’s time to end the fighting goes wider than that.” – The Times

  • Brussels set offer Johnson no-deal Brexit extension – The Guardian
  • Johnson’s first 36 hours could destroy his Brexit dreams – Daily Telegraph
  • Immediate confidence vote unlikely – The Guardian
  • How a Johnson cabinet could shape up – The Guardian
  • Voters just want Brexit over and done with – Daily Mail
  • Johnson ‘doesn’t believe in Brexit and is mimicking Theresa May’ – Daily Express
  • And he woos Labour Leave MPs – The Times
  • Swayne furious at another example of MPs undermining Brexit – Daily Express
  • Brexiteer makes prediction on how Johnson can deliver Brexit – Daily Express
  • May interview – PM’s bitter regret over Brexit failure – Daily Express
Comment
>Yesterday:
MPs ETC:

Hammond does not rule out voting to bring down government

“Mr Hammond, who is expected to step down or be sacked next week, has emerged in recent days as the effective leader of a group of Tory MPs determined to stop the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. The chancellor told Le Monde and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the French and German newspapers, that he would do “everything in my power” to stop a future prime minister from suspending parliament to achieve no deal. Asked if he was prepared to back a motion of no-confidence in the government — which would collapse the administration — he said he would “not exclude anything” in the coming weeks. Mr Hammond’s comments are striking because only a couple of MPs have openly acknowledged that they could help bring down their own government — given it could pave the way for Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left Labour party to win an ensuing general election.” – FT

  • Johnson allies condemn threats to topple no-deal Brexit government – The Times
  • Hammond and rebels may bring down government in interests of country – Daily Telegraph
  • Hammond hints at rebellion to bring government down –The Times
  • And he signals he could vote to bring down government – The Guardian
  • Hammond and rebels could bring the government down – Daily Mail
  • Worsening public finances will give next PM sharp reality check – The Guardian
Comment
>Yesterday:
ToryDiary:

Women more likely than men to find Johnson dishonest

“Women are more likely than men to view Boris Johnson as dishonest, xenophobic and politically calculating, according to a sample of more than 70,000 Guardian readers. Analysis of participants’ answers to a quiz on the character of the likely next prime minister revealed a consistent gender divide in how respondents viewed him. The quiz presented readers with a set of contradictory statements about the Conservative leadership frontrunner and asked to choose where on a scale between the two he should be placed. The results should not be understood as a scientific poll, since they are unlikely to represent, for example, enthusiastic Conservative voters. But they did appear to show that among users of the Guardian website, those who declared themselves women before answering the questions were far less likely to perceive Johnson as “genuinely gaffe-prone”. Some 70% of female readers viewed Johnson’s behaviour as part of a dishonest political act, against 55% of men.” The Guardian

  • Johnson uses Sky executive’s townhouse as campaign HQ – The Guardian
  • My friend Johnson, the great pretender – Daily Mail
  • Johnson ‘barred’ from 2014 Scottish referendum campaign – Glasgow Herald
Comment
>Yesterday:
Comment:
Public Appointments:

Pro-Brexit campaigner wins appeal against Electoral Commission fine

“The pro-Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes has succeeded in his attempt to overturn a £20,000 fine for electoral spending offences during the EU referendum. In a two-hour judgment delivered at the Central London county court, Judge Marc Dight said the Electoral Commission had set too high a threshold for determining whether Grimes’s campaign group, BeLeave, was a genuine organisation for the purposes of electoral law. Dight ruled that the commission’s notice imposing the fine should be withdrawn. He added that even if Grimes had committed the offence, it would not have justified the fine of £20,000, the maximum possible under current law. After the ruling, Grimes said: “I am delighted and relieved that the court has found me innocent. This case has taken a huge toll on myself and my family, and I’m thankful it’s now over. I will be eternally grateful to all those people who have supported me – your generosity and kind words of encouragement have kept me going.” On Twitter Grimes attacked the Electoral Commission’s handling of the case, which he said had been based on an “incorrectly ticked box on an application form”. He said the case “raises serious questions about its conduct both during and after the referendum”. – The Guardian

Javid praises Farage for leaving Ukip

“Home Secretary Sajid Javid heaped praise on Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party yesterday – defiantly insisting that they were not extremist. In a keynote speech in London, he said Mr Farage ‘deserved credit’ for leaving Ukip as it lurched to the far-Right when taken over by Gerard Batten and Tommy Robinson. Mr Javid made the surprise intervention as he outlined his plans to tackle those who spread extremist ‘poison’. His remarks will be seen by some in Westminster as the Tories extending an olive branch to the Brexit Party ahead of a possible general election in the autumn. In May’s European elections, the Brexit Party helped to condemn the Conservatives to their worst result at the ballot box for nearly 200 years. Mr Farage’s troops polled 31 per cent, leaving the Tories in fifth place on just nine per cent as voters punished Theresa May for her failure to leave the EU. Boris Johnson, who is hot favourite to be crowned Tory leader on Tuesday, has ruled out an electoral pact with the Brexit Party as he promises to restore the Conservatives’ battered fortunes. But if he fails to keep his pledge to deliver Brexit by October 31, the Tories risk being consigned to history by voters flocking to Mr Farage in a subsequent election.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:
Local Government:

New European Commission president gives up on idea of ‘United States of Europe’

“Ursula von der Leyen, the next president of the European Commission, has claimed she no longer supports the creation of a United States of Europe. Mrs von der Leyen was accused of being a fanatical federalist by Brexiteers after her appointment was confirmed on Tuesday. “My goal is the United States of Europe, based on the model of the federal states of Switzerland, Germany or the US,” she said in 2011. But in an interview with a group of European newspapers published today, she said her dream “has become more mature and more realistic.” “In the European Union we have unity in diversity. That is something different to federalism. I think that is the right path,” Mrs von der Leyen said. The former German defence minister repeated the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would never be renegotiated and warned a no deal Brexit would be a “bad outcome” for both sides.” – Daily Telegraph

Less than a quarter of Labour voters want Corbyn to deliver Brexit and run country

“Just 22 per cent of people who backed Labour in the 2017 election wanted the current leader to take a lead role in leaving the EU and its fallout, YouGov found. It came as the opposition party continues to be divided over Brexit, with plans to try to block a No Deal departure or a Conservative deal with Brussels while leaving its options open if it takes power. More than four in ten Labour voters (42 per cent) do not want Mr Corbyn to handle either responsibility. This could be a sign of how strongly Labour voters want to Remain or a lack of support in him personally. And in another sign that Jeremy Hunt’s bid to become Tory leader and prime minister is doomed he lagged far behind Boris Johnson in a similar analysis of Conservative voters. It found that 21 per cent wanted him to lead the country into and through Brexit, compared with 42 per cent for Mr Johnson, the favourite. He was also the favourite candidate to separately handle Brexit, on 57 per cent, but only 46 per cent of Tories wanted him to run the country. This suggests there are a small amount of Tories who want Mr Johnson to take the UK out of Europe and then stand aside for another prime minister.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour will bring billions of pounds of public services back in-house – Daily Telegraph
  • McDonnell’s bid to squeeze out private firms – Daily Mail
  • Leaked emails show top Corbyn aides plotted challenge to party’s disciplinary body – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn has allowed evil to flourish say Jewish leaders – The Times

……..and Labour MP and former TV star quits

“Labour moderate MP Gloria de Piero quit last night – accusing the party under Jeremy Corbyn of lacking tolerance of different viewpoints. The former TV presenter stepped down from her role as shadow justice minister, and will not stand in her Ashfield seat at the next election. Ms de Piero said she had faced online abuse from Remain supporters who opposed her support for Brexit. And she found it ‘utterly offensive’ when the hard-Left called her and people like her ‘Right-wing’ just because they were centrist. Ms de Piero joins around half a dozen other Labour MPs who will not stand at the next election, whenever it comes. Mr Corbyn was accused of ‘cover-up and conspiracy’ last night after it emerged that his most senior aide sought to overturn rulings of Labour’s highest disciplinary body. Leaked emails show chief of staff Karie Murphy said it was ‘absurd’ that the independent National Constitutional Committee (NCC) could ‘overrule’ concerns raised by the leadership. During a speech to Labour members in Ashfield, Ms de Piero said she had made ‘lifelong friends’ in the party, saying she had been ‘inspired’ by the younger members and ‘learned so much’ from the veterans.” – Daily Mail

More
Comment
News in Brief
  • For Boris Johnson all likely roads lead to a general election, Stephen Maguire – New Statesman
  • Can America’s national conservatives reunite a nation? Oliver Wiseman – UnHerd
  • Labour’s soft-left MPs cower in the face of tough decisions, Alan Lockey – Cap X
  • How sexism stopped a woman from setting foot on the moon, Tanya Gold – Spectator
  • A giant leap for womankind, Dava Sobel – UnHerd

4 comments for: Newslinks for Saturday 20th July 2019

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