TV debate 1) Johnson attacks ‘defeatism’

‘The foreign secretary repeatedly tried to portray Mr Johnson as evasive and “a peddler of optimism” on Brexit, unwilling to face the facts of the cost of a no-deal exit. Mr Johnson said the country had had “a bellyful of defeatism”… The leadership frontrunner claimed that Britain would have £39bn to spend — the so-called EU divorce bill — if it left the bloc without a deal. He said that Mr Hunt viewed October 31 as a “papier-mâché” deadline… And ultimately Mr Johnson, who offered to take the country off the “hamster wheel of doom”, seemed to have convinced many audience members; it suggested it may take more than a tough one hour of live television to stop his onward march to Downing Street.’ – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: “The forthcoming election”

TV debate 2) Hunt stings his rival with claim he cares about power rather than Brexit

‘Mr Hunt, who had earlier admitted that tonight’s debate was his last chance to overtake the runaway favourite, wasted no time in confronting Mr Johnson head-on about Brexit, tax and his grasp of detail. Mr Hunt, who had spent weeks goading Mr Johnson for turning down other chances to debate with him, challenged him on his promise to get Britain out of the EU by October 31 “do or die”, asking him whether he would resign if it did not happen. When Mr Johnson refused to say he would quit, Mr Hunt rounded on him, saying: “It’s not do or die that matters, it’s Boris in Number 10.” Mr Johnson hit back by asking Mr Hunt how long he would delay Brexit if a deal was not ready by October 31. “How about Christmas?” he said. “Christmas any good??”’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: WATCH: Britain’s Next Prime Minister. Yesterday evening’s ITV debate.

The Foreign Secretary criticises Trump and pledges to keep the Washington ambassador in post

‘Jeremy Hunt has demanded Donald Trump treat the UK ‘with respect’ as he criticised the US President for attacking Theresa May and vowed to keep the UK’s ambassador in Washington in post if he becomes prime minister. The Foreign Secretary said Mr Trump was ‘disrespectful and wrong’ to have called Mrs May a ‘disaster’ and Sir Kim Darroch a ‘pompous fool’ as he upped the stakes in a worsening row over leaked diplomatic memos. The US President had described Sir Kim as a ‘very stupid guy’ who had been ‘foisted upon the United States’ and labelled Mrs May’s handling of Brexit a ‘mess’ before then calling her ‘foolish’… Mr Hunt’s leadership rival Boris Johnson previously dodged the question until Tuesday night’s leadership debate where he refused to guarantee that he would keep Sir Kim Darroch as the UK’s ambassador to the US if he becomes the next prime minister. Mr Johnson said he would not be so ‘presumptuous’ as to talk about decisions he may make if he wins the race for Number 10.’ – Daily Mail

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

Barclay warns the EU that No Deal would hurt Ireland more than the UK

‘Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, warned on Tuesday that a no deal exit would hurt Ireland more than Britain and that Brussels should listen to the UK’s demands to renegotiate the deal taking the country out of the EU. He risked enraging his European counterparts by threatening the Irish economy with disaster after meeting Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, and Phil Hogan, Ireland’s EU commissioner in Brussels. Mr Barclay, who is backing Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership race, said the fact that Mr Johnson had voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal at the third time of asking proved he wanted an agreement with Brussels. “The EU also recognised No Deal is in no side’s interests. No deal, If you look at it, has an asymmetric impact in Europe,” he said, “The impact is greater to the Irish economy than the UK, so they want to avoid no deal just as the UK wants to avoid no deal.” Earlier on Tuesday, Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, published Dublin’s emergency no deal Brexit plans. They made clear there would have to be new checks on goods and animals cross the border from Northern Ireland and mainland Britain into Ireland.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • We must be ready to do it – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
  • Lidington’s warning about the Union is leaked – FT
  • We don’t want a hard border. The Republic doesn’t want one. Why would the EU insist on one? – The Sun Says
  • Suddenly Ireland says checks can take place away from the border after all – The Sun
  • Our straightforward plans can keep cross-border trade flowing – Greg Hands, Daily Telegraph
  • The DUP puts support for veterans on their list of demands for a new agreement – The Sun

>Today: Daniel Hannan’s column: For Brexit to work, power must be stripped from the quangorats – and returned to people we elect

Commons votes to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland

‘MPs tonight voted to make same-sex marriage and abortion legal in Northern Ireland – despite fury that they are ‘driving a coach and horses’ through the devolution settlement. By a margin of 383 to 73 the Commons backed an amendment demanding the province be brought into line with the rest of the UK by October 21 – unless Stormont returns and decides otherwise. The House also endorsed a move to liberalise abortion laws by 352 to 99 in another crucial vote. The dramatic results came after MPs ‘hijacked’ a government Bill in a bid to force the changes in Northern Ireland.’ – Daily Mail

Teachers’ pay is the latest battleground in May’s search for a legacy

‘A bumper teachers’ pay deal is being lined up as part of the PM’s multi-billion-pound school splurge. The wage settlement is under discussion in last-minute talks over Theresa May’s legacy plan. It is being pushed by education officials as they battle to prise cash from the Treasury. A draft deal, worth £3billion a year, is believed to have been agreed but is being held up by the pay settlement talks. A source said: “The Treasury is saying, ‘Take it or leave it’. The feeling is this is why the Department for Education now want to add in pay as it gets the total overall package up for No10.” Last month, Mrs May was said to want a three-year, £27billion deal to boost school spending as part of her legacy deal.’ – The Sun

  • Corbyn’s nationalisation threats undermine energy investment – FT
  • Labour campaign group presses to abolish private schools and seize their property – The Guardian

Labour switches to back a second referendum and support Remain

‘Labour has confirmed it will betray millions of leave voters and campaign for a second referendum, and to Remain in the EU. In a bombshell announcement Jeremy Corbyn said today that his party will back another divisive vote to stop Brexit – as long as the Tories are still in power. After years of flip-flopping on the issue, he said that no matter what Brexit deal the next PM gets with the EU, they should put it back to the people for another say. Remain should be on the ballot paper, and the party will campaign for us to stay against the wishes of five million of his own voters. He told the BBC this afternoon: “Any deal that goes before Parliament – no-deal or a Tory deal – should be put to a put to a public vote so the people can decide whether they wish to accept that position or there’s an alternative to remain in the EU.”…But the leftie Labour boss has refused to say what he will do in the event that his party wins a general election. Labour sources said today that their election manifesto policy – which could be needed in a matter of weeks – has yet to be decided. He told the Beeb: “We’ll decide our policy when the election comes.”‘ – The Sun

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Labour’s latest Brexit policy pleases Shadow Cabinet Remainers, but will it actually win over voters?

Labour peers quit the ‘institutionally anti-semitic’ party

‘Labour’s racism row escalated on Tuesday evening as three prominent peers resigned the whip over its handling of anti-Semitism, with at least one other indicating they could follow in the coming days. Lord Triesman, Labour’s former general secretary, has accused Jeremy Corbyn of presiding over a party that is no longer a “safe environment” for Jewish people and “very plainly institutionally anti-Semitic”. He was joined by former health minister Lord Darzi and Lord Turnberg, the former president of the Royal College of Physicians, who warned that anti-Jewish hatred now “permeates the Party machine”. A party official said they knew of one other peer who had been expected to quit, admitting that the mood in the Lords had darkened in recent days.’ – Daily Telegraph

Lam claims the Hong Kong Extradition Bill is ‘dead’…but still won’t formally withdraw it

‘Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday an extradition bill which sparked the territory’s biggest political crisis in decades was ‘dead’, admitting the government’s work had been a ‘total failure.’ But she stopped short of saying the legislation had been withdrawn completely, prompting activists to dismiss her comments as ‘another ridiculous lie’ and call for more mass rallies. The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial, sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into turmoil. In mid-June Lam responded by suspending the bill, but that move failed to mollify critics, who began calling for her resignation.’ – Daily Mail

  • Hong Kong is Xi’s moment of truth – Gideon Rachman, FT
  • Trump softened US stance on the protests to ease trade talks – FT
  • A kidnap in Vanuatu shows that China is becoming a bully – The Times Leader
  • The US sells $2.2 billion of weapons to Taiwan – The Times
  • Chinese buy English private schools – The Times
  • Royal Navy escorts British-flagged tanker as it passes near Iran – Daily Mail
  • Russian government accused of trying to conceal price rises – The Times

Hospitals open on-site vaping shops

‘Two hospitals in the Midlands have become the first in Britain to open shops selling e-cigarettes to patients and visitors as part of efforts to eradicate smoking. Somewhere between the X-ray department and the blood testing centre at Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich the shop sells products with names such as Jubbly Bubbly, Wizard’s Leaf and Simply Tobacco. Its sister outlet, also run by Ecigwizard, operates at City Hospital, Birmingham. The shops were given approval to run from within the hospitals by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust as part of its mission to deter all patients, visitors and staff from smoking.’ – The Times

  • Check NHS advice using your Alexa – Daily Mail
  • The Home Office admits bureaucratic excesses hobble the police – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief