Johnson’s attack on sin taxes sparks controversy…

“Boris Johnson faced allegations of hypocrisy over his plans to review so-called sin taxes after having backed a sugar levy when he was London mayor. The frontrunner for the Tory leadership was accused of putting “dog-whistle politics” before public health over his proposal to look again at taxes on sugary drinks. In 2015 he warned that “overwhelmingly” those affected by obesity were those on the lowest incomes and that London should be leading the way on sugar taxes. In 2016 Mr Johnson introduced a 10p levy on added-sugar soft drinks in the City Hall café. On Tuesday, however, he said that the taxes “clobber those who can least afford it”.” – The Times

  • Colleagues turn on him over the plan and vow to block repeal – Daily Mail
  • Downing Street defends levy – The Guardian


  • Scrapping the sugar tax will help the poorest – Christopher Snowdon, Daily Telegraph
  • He should stop pandering to big food firms – Jenni Russell, The Times


  • Johnson should weigh the evidence – Daily Telegraph
  • Devil is in the detail – FT
  • He is right to scrap taxes which hit the poor hardest – The Sun

>Yesterday: Robert Halfon MP’s column: Old Etonian Johnson now drives a white van

…as his campaign is referred to campaign watchdog over ‘spam emails’…

“Boris Johnson’s campaign was reported to the data protection watchdog by a government minister yesterday after Jeremy Hunt supporters were “spammed” with unsolicited emails asking for their support. Harriett Baldwin, the international development minister, was among dozens of Conservative members backing Mr Hunt to receive a personalised email signed by Mr Johnson. One was even sent to Mr Hunt at a personal email address that campaign sources said was not in the public domain. The email urged recipients to join Mr Johnson’s campaign to be the next Tory leader, pledging to “deliver Brexit” and “unite the whole of our country”.” – The Times

  • Front-runner’s half-million pound warchest revealed – Daily Express


  • Electoral Commission in row with Metropolitan Police over documents – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: ‘Scammer’ targeting Tory members in leadership election

…and he unveils ‘£1 billion plan to put bobbies back on the beat’

Boris Johnson has pledged to find £1.1 billion to hire an extra 20,000 police officers as he portrayed himself as the candidate of law and order in the Tory leadership race. Mr Johnson said he will put bobbies back on the beat if he becomes prime minister because “more police on our streets means more people are kept safe”. He promised to reverse the cuts to policing numbers made while Theresa May was home secretary and concentrate resources on rural areas, which have seen the biggest reductions in police funding. The policy flies in the face of Mrs May’s insistence that rising crime is not linked to the reduction in police numbers that has happened on her watch.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He ‘lays down the law’ to those jockeying for position in his Cabinet – The Times
  • North faces ‘massive’ funding cuts after Brexit – FT

Is he up to the job of being Prime Minister?

“Johnson has told mainstream Tory MPs that if he becomes prime minister he will again become the popular, socially liberal figure who defied the odds by winning the London mayoralty in a Labour city in 2008 — the man who won plaudits for promoting an amnesty for illegal immigrants, cheap travel and a “living wage” for Londoners, set against the warm glow of the 2012 Olympics. His critics see instead the hard Brexiter who harnessed populist anti-immigrant messages to win the vote to get Britain out of the EU. Johnson now presents himself as the man to sort out Brexit and “pitchfork this incubus off our back”. One Tory MP sighs: “He’s the one who put it there.”” – FT

  • Johnson refuses to rule out quitting if he hasn’t delivered Brexit by Halloween – The Sun
  • Blow for Fox as Canada refuses to roll over EU trade terms – Daily Express

Boris Johnson: How I will heal our United Kingdom

“If the Brexit vote taught us anything, it is that too many parts of the UK feel left behind — that they do not get the chance to compete or to show off their potential. They don’t get the investment they need, and if you are a young kid growing up in a left-behind town you may have all the talent in the world — but you don’t have the opportunities you deserve. We need to close that opportunity gap. And the reason I am standing for the post of leader of the Conservative Party — and therefore Prime Minister — is that I have a unique plan to bring this country together, and to unite our society in the way that I was able to unite London.” – The Sun

  • Johnson has the strength of character to take us out of the EU – Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Times Red Box

Foreign Secretary wants to revive bid to repeal the hunting ban…

Foxhunting is part of the countryside’s “heritage” and should be legalised, Jeremy Hunt has said as he promised that he would give Boris Johnson a “very important Cabinet job” if he wins the Tory leadership election. Mr Hunt also warned that, if he became Prime Minister, MPs might be forced to cancel their summer holidays  to pass the necessary laws next month to allow Britain to leave the European Union without a deal in October. Speaking to today’s Chopper’s Brexit Podcast – which you can listen to easily by logging in or subscribing below – Mr Hunt said that leaving the EU can be “a terrific success”… The ban on hunting and other wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales was implemented in the Hunting Act 2004 legislation. Tony Blair, the then prime minister behind the ban, has since said he regrets it.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He also refuses to act on Northern Irish abortion law – The Times
  • Mordaunt’s call for change sparks clash with DUP – Daily Telegraph

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

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: “We will explore ways to ensure that gender stereotypes do not limit the choices of girls or boys.” Mordaunt’s equalities speech. Full text.

…as he steps up to Beijing over Hong Kong

“Furious Jeremy Hunt ordered the Chinese ambassador be given a dressing-down as a row over Hong Kong spiralled into a diplomatic crisis. The Foreign Secretary got his top diplomat to summon Beijing’s man in London for a showdown over “unacceptable and inaccurate” allegations. Sir Simon McDonald told Liu Xiaoming to end the public war of words. It erupted after Tory leadership contender Mr Hunt threatened China with “serious consequences” if it broke a decades-old treaty to protect citizens’ rights in the former British colony. And he warned that the storming of a parliament building by protestors should not spark “repression”.” – The Sun

  • China accuses Britain of ‘gross interference’ in Hong Kong – FT

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

Jeremy Hunt: I am best placed to see off the danger of a Corbyn premiership

“The Labour Party is offering a candidate for Prime Minister who is a profound and real danger not just to that office but to everything our country stands for. And that is the risk we take if we fail to deliver Brexit, as the British people have told us to do – opening the door to the most anti-Western, anti-British leader this country has ever seen. Because I will negotiate a deal to get us out of the EU without triggering an election, I am the best person to avert that real and present danger. Don’t just take my word for it – when members of the public are asked which candidate they want to be the next Prime Minister, the latest YouGov poll puts me 12 per cent ahead – rising to 30 per cent in cities like London with large numbers of young people.” – Daily Telegraph


May urges successor to protect the Union

“Theresa May is to urge her successor as Prime Minister to prioritise defending the Union as Nicola Sturgeon claimed Scottish independence will be her legacy. In what is expected to be the final speech of her premiership in Scotland, Mrs May will argue that strengthening the UK must be the “first and greatest” responsbility for Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt. The Prime Minister will express confidence the victor in the Tory leadership contest will heed her advice, but urge future policy makers to think creatively about how to safeguard the Union for generations to come. Mrs May is expected to formally announce a review of how the UK Government can work better in the devolved nations.” – Daily Telegraph

  • She says both Johnson and Hunt should ‘strengthen the bonds’ of the UK… – The Sun
  • …and denies she’s ‘running scared’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Moving to a fully federal system is the only way to save the UK – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

Gauke claims populist politicians are ‘poisoning’ the UK

“The justice secretary, David Gauke, has launched an impassioned attack on “populist politicians” who deceive the public by telling them what they think they want to hear. In a speech to the annual judges’ dinner in the City of London on Wednesday, Gauke, a forthright opponent of a no-deal Brexit, anticipated his imminent removal from office and contrasted the fact-finding diligence of the judiciary with his political colleagues who “pour poison into our national conversation”. Adopting gallows humour, the Conservative MP who has survived no-confidence votes in his south-west Hertfordshire constituency, began by telling his legal audience that he was “a veteran” compared with recent justice secretaries, who have not lasted long in the job.” – The Guardian

Corbyn takes Labour to joint-lowest poll rating in history

“Jeremy Corbyn has taken the Labour Party to its lowest level of support in polling history, with fewer than one in five voters planning to back him at the next election, according to a survey. Labour are fourth for the first time, with only 18 per cent saying that they would vote for the party if an election were held today, the Times/YouGov poll shows. The only previous occasion when Labour have scored 18 per cent since polling began in the 1940s was in May 2009 as Gordon Brown’s government grappled with the financial crisis. Labour have fallen two points since last week, a drop in support that will intensify doubts among the party’s MPs about Mr Corbyn’s leadership. It bolsters claims that his Brexit strategy and failure to quell the antisemitism row are harming the party with the general public.” – The Times

  • Party slump to fourth place – Daily Mail
  • Up to 70 MPs face sack in Labour ‘purge’ – Daily Express
  • Williamson ditches bid to deselect pregnant MP – The Sun
  • Labour leader appears to back second referendum – Daily Telegraph


  • Corbynism is rotting from the head down – David Aaronovitch, The Times
  • From Brown to Corbyn, purges are how Labour keeps order – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: PMQs – “Labour want to block Brexit, and that would be a betrayal of the many by the few”

‘Relief’ in London at new EU leadership

“Britain’s Brexit-scarred politicians on Wednesday surveyed the new constellation of EU leaders who will soon face them across the negotiating table in Brussels and drew one simple conclusion: it could have been worse. “It could have been Leo Varadkar or Michel Barnier,” said one British official, referring to the Irish prime minister and chief EU Brexit negotiator, respectively, who had at various times been tipped for the European Commission presidency. Instead the nomination of German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, a former student at the London School of Economics and fluent English speaker, to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker was seen as something of a relief.” – FT

  • Von der Leyen blasts Johnson in ‘scathing’ interview – Daily Mail


  • Brussels’ high command unfazed by threat of no-deal exit – Bruno Waterfield, The Times
  • New leadership won’t produce a breakthrough – Anand Menon, The Guardian

Osborne eyeing IMF bid

“George Osborne is preparing a campaign to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund. The former chancellor has told friends that he is considering a bid to replace Christine Lagarde and become the fund’s first British managing director in Washington. The IMF, jointly governed by 189 countries, was set up to co-ordinate global financial policy after the Second World War. It provides bailouts and policy advice to member states and acts as a global financial policeman. Alongside the World Bank it is home to the “Washington consensus”, an attempt to spread liberal market doctrines. Mr Osborne will need the nomination of Britain’s next prime minister to succeed.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Johnson on his plan to unite Britain – James Forsyth and Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • Hammond’s last hurrah deserves at least one cheer – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • Tory party membership hits 180,000 – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • If Labour wants to survive morally, it should expel Williamson – Tanya Gold, UnHerd
  • A determined Prime Minister can ensure we are out by 31st October – John Redwood MP, Brexit Central