Published:

Corbyn allies accused of ‘interfering’ in antisemitism cases…

“Former Labour Party officials defied gagging orders last night to accuse Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies of interfering in antisemitism cases. Eight former party officials, four of whom had previously signed non-disclosure agreements, went on camera in a BBC Panorama documentary to accuse Mr Corbyn’s top team of undermining their efforts to combat antisemitism. Seumas Milne, the Labour leader’s communications chief, was accused of telling officials that their processes were “muddling up political disputes with racism”, while Jennie Formby, the general secretary, was accused of trying to influence the party’s chief disciplinary body while it considered a major antisemitism case, before telling colleagues that she had “deleted all trace of the email”.” – The Times

  • Party questions whether ‘ report meets BBC obligations of fairness – FT
  • Momentum accuses Corporation of bias over Panorama – The Times
  • Top aide ‘laughed at official’ suggesting ways to tackle problem – Daily Mail

…as Starmer calls for tough new action

“Sir Keir Starmer says he wants to see Labour’s rulebook changed so that in a clear case of antisemitism a member is automatically expelled. The shadow Brexit secretary’s comments, which follow a similar call earlier this week from Gordon Brown, come as the party braces itself for Wednesday night’s broadcast of a potentially damaging BBC Panorama investigation into its handling of the issue. Starmer also said the party should “throw open the books” to the investigation by the equalities watchdog into whether the party has unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.” – The Guardian

  • Party ‘at war’ as Watson brands documentary ‘chilling’ – Daily Mail
  • Labour’s Twitter account ‘hacked’ to say party is racist – The Sun
  • Thornberry ‘dodges’ questions on antisemitism – Daily Express

Analysis:

  • Key players in Labour’s antisemitism crisis – Eleni Courea, The Times
  • Who are the ‘Four Ms’ influencing Corbyn? – Jim Pickard, FT

Davidson lashes out at Labour for letting unions dictate its Brexit policy

“Ruth Davidson has lashed out at the Labour Party for adopting more than three years after the EU Referendum a “suitably obtuse” Brexit policy dictated by the trade unions. The leader of the Scottish Conservative Party branded “utterly outrageous” that trade unions are “pulling Labour’s strings” and deciding which approach the party should have over Brexit. She said: “The Labour Party finally has a position on Brexit. It wasn’t decided by the party leader, or the shadow Brexit Secretary. The shadow cabinet didn’t drive a collective decision on the biggest issue facing the country, nor did the parliamentary Labour party take a vote, nor even delegates at the Labour Party conference.” – Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: PMQs sketch: May denounces Corbyn as a Groucho Marxist

May warned against ‘interfering’ in US ambassador replacement

“Boris Johnson’s allies have warned Theresa May that she must not “tie the hands” of her successor by appointing a new ambassador to the United States as one of her final acts in Downing Street. Sir Kim Darroch resigned as Britain’s ambassador to Washington yesterday, saying that it was impossible for him to stay on after President Trump severed relations and described him as stupid, wacky and pompous. Friends of Sir Kim told The Times that Mr Johnson’s refusal to say whether he would keep the diplomat in office had been a factor in his decision to quit.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister keeps open option of choosing Darroch’s successor – FT
  • Johnson must be free to fill post, say allies… – Daily Telegraph
  • …as he risks a ‘Whitehall backlash’ – FT
  • Johnson slams ‘bizarre’ criticism that he threw ambassador under the bus – The Sun
  • Was Sir Kim victim of a ‘Brexiteer plot’? – Daily Mail
  • Trump’s snub is a first, says diplomatic chief – The Times
  • Resignation may have ‘chilling effect’ – The Guardian

More:

>Yesterday:

Sir Michael Fallon: Johnson’s seriousness can help Britain walk tall

“How can we repair the diplomatic relationship with the United States after the leaking of cables so soon after President Trump’s successful state visit? As it happens, Boris Johnson already has the strongest relationship with the president. I first saw them working together at the Nato summit back in 2017, right at the start of the Trump presidency. Boris is particularly well-placed to develop the warm, personal relationship that will be needed as our countries prepare to move even closer with a post-Brexit trading agreement. He has equally strong relationships around the world, with countries as far apart as Australia and Japan.” – Times Red Box

  • Darroch’s resignation shames Johnson – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • True leadership was not backing compromised ambassador – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Principles of public service are at risk if Johnson won’t defend them – Bronwen Maddox, Times Red Box
  • Whitehall must find the sneak who betrayed Sir Kim – Mark Almond, Daily Telegraph
  • Britain risks becoming a US vassal – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • Our ambassadors should be more partisan – Gerard Baker, The Times
  • Trump knows he’s the man to get Brexit done – Nile Gardner, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • Departure was necessary to save ties to our closest ally – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: “The forthcoming election”

Johnson promises £160 million in payments to Scottish farmers

“Boris Johnson has pledged that Scottish farmers will get £160 million in “back payments” they claim should have been handed to them instead of distributed across the UK. If he becomes Prime Minister, the Tory leadership frontrunner said they will receive an amount equivalent to the total amount of the “convergence” funding that was allocated to the UK in 2013. Mr Johnson also pledged the Scottish Government will be consulted on ways to deliver this funding to Scottish farmers as quickly as possible. The European Commission announced the extra money six years ago as a “gesture of goodwill” because of the low area payments made to Scottish farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).” – Daily Telegraph

  • England progressing twice as fast as Scotland at getting poor children to university, Tories claim – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Next Tory Leader. Johnson 72 per cent, Hunt 28 per cent. 77 per cent have voted. On these figures, Johnson has already won.

>Yesterday:

BBC accused of bias as Hunt tweet on cancelled debate ‘misfires’

“The Tory leadership took another unexpected turn on Wednesday as the BBC announced the cancellation of a proposed debate. Contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were scheduled to go head to head on BBC Question Time next Tuesday following their recent ITV contest this week… According to the BBC, one of the candidates admitted concerns about the format whereby half of the audience would be Tory supporters and the other would represent alternative political views. Quickly responding to the claim, Mr Hunt insisted that he was “not said candidate”. Although Mr Hunt’s tweet may have appealed to some voters, the Foreign Secretary was savaged on Twitter following the remark and with some even attacking the BBC’s supposed bias.” – Daily Express

  • Contest proves that Osbornomics is finally dead – Larry Elliott, The Guardian

>Today: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: My choice for the next Prime Minister

>Yesterday: Don Porter in Comment: Now is the time for both Hunt and Johnson to pledge more powers for Party members

Mordaunt announces new sexual harassment legislation

New laws will protect sexual harassment victims in “Presidents’ Club” style cases, a minister has announced. Interns and volunteers will also get the same protection as full-time workers under new plans unveiled by Penny Mordaunt, minister for Women and Equalities. Employers will also have a “proactive duty” to prevent sexual harassment under new plans to change the law. Ms Mordaunt said she wants to protect employees  from “vile and degrading behaviour” and will set out the plans to expand the law to victims who suffer sexual harassment at work through “third parties”, such as the guests in the Presidents Club event.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Rudd recalls Gill’s death in vow to help terminally ill – The Times

Whip who ‘forgot to vote’ blamed for no-deal defeat…

“A Tory whip who forgot to vote is being blamed for a key defeat that rebels hope will pave the way for parliament to block a no-deal Brexit. Jo Churchill, the MP for Bury St Edmunds, does not appear on division lists for the vote on Dominic Grieve’s amendment on Monday night, which passed by a single vote. The defeat could help MPs to prevent a future prime minister from suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit, a move Boris Johnson has refused to rule out. Colleagues said that Ms Churchill, 55, had agreed to act as a proxy for Chloe Smith, the MP for Norwich North, and that although she cast Ms Smith’s vote she had forgotten to cast her own.” – The Times

  • EU’s chief-in-waiting snubs Johnson’s backstop plans – The Times
  • Poll shows Brexit Party would collapse if Brexit happens in October – Daily Telegraph
  • Major branded ‘bonkers’ over plan to sue Johnson – The Sun
  • Will ex-Mayor’s bluster collide with reality? – Big Read, FT
  • No-deal warnings set alarm bells ringing in Ireland and Germany – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Johnson is positively not a man with a plan – David Aaronovitch, The Times
  • Do Remainer MPs really have the power to block no deal? – Nikki da Costa, Daily Telegraph

…as ‘Remain alliance’ mooted to block Brexiteers from the Commons

“Remainers have begun yet another plot to stop Brexit by forming a “Remain alliance” in an attempt to limit the number of leaver supporters elected into the House of Commons. The Pro-EU group, led by former Tory MP Heidi Allen, has outlined a plan to work with all Remain-supporting parties and Independent MPs to boost the Remain vote at parliamentary elections. Independent MP, Mrs Allen, said the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party all want to stay in the bloc and insisted people have been “crying out” for Remain parties to work together following the EU elections. The first test of the pact will be played out in just over three weeks time in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.” – Daily Express

  • Change UK exiles rebrand as ‘The Independents’ – The Guardian

Treasury refuses to protect rural banking

“The government has refused to intervene to protect access to banking services in small towns and rural areas, despite pressure from a high-profile group of MPs. The Treasury dismissed several proposals designed to help older and more vulnerable customers who are unable to use digital banking services, arguing that “it would be inappropriate for the government to intervene in the commercial decisions of banks”. Banks have closed thousands of branches to cut costs, leaving some smaller towns and rural areas with no local banks. The companies have justified the closures as a response to the growing number of customers who bank online, but the trend has raised concerns that many people, particularly older or vulnerable individuals, will be unable to access basic services.” – FT

Iranian vessels attempt to seize British tanker

“Three Iranian ships unsuccessfully tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday, the UK government has confirmed. Armed vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps tried to capture the British Heritage tanker while it was sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic bottleneck that sits partially in Iranian waters. Iran’s ships reportedly ordered UK vessel British Heritage to divert its course and stop before Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose, which was escorting the tanker, trained its guns on the Iranian ships and ordered them to back off. The Iranian boats complied without a shot being fired.” – Daily Mail

  • Trump turns up the heat on Tehran – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • How the Darroch scandal damages Johnson – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Can the favourite make Anglo-American relations great again? – Freddy Gray, The Spectator
  • Some advice on ministerial appointments for the new Prime Minister – Jonathan Isaby, Brexit Central
  • Don’t be fooled, big business is an ally of the nanny state – Henry Hill, CapX
  • Why Truss must be Britain’s next Chancellor – Jack Powell, 1828

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