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New Prime Minister 1) Johnson wins by a two to one margin – and inherits a state in crisis

‘Boris claimed to be “undaunted” by the scale of the task facing him in his “dream job”. Defeated rival Jeremy Hunt said today: “It’s a challenging moment for our country — this is perhaps the most difficult legacy that a prime minister has inherited in peacetime. It’s going to be very challenging.” Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said it was the toughest task facing any incoming PM since Winston Churchill. Paul Goodman, of website Conservative Home, said he feared that for all the optimism, Boris had not yet worked out how he may tackle the crisis he faces. He told The Sun: “I think he faces the worst political inheritance of any Conservative leader post-war — and possibly ever. Why? He has ‘Remainers’ to the left of him, ‘Spartans’ or arch Brexiteers to the right of him and a working majority of only three and perhaps soon to be one. The party is riven by Brexit and if I know Boris, it’s not at all clear that he has a plan. Welcome to hell.”’ – The Sun

  • Inside the meticulously organised campaign that put him over the line – Daily Telegraph
  • The Parliamentary arithmetic is unchanged – The Times
  • He plans a unifying approach, looking beyond Brexit – The Guardian
  • He has the DUP’s backing – FT
  • Scottish Tories still worry about his impact on the Union – The Guardian
  • Symonds stayed away from the event – The Times

Opinion

Editorials

>Today: ToryDiary: Today, Johnson will be reincarnated as an olive

>Yesterday:

New Prime Minister 2) ‘Cabinet for modern Britain’ will feature record number of ethnic minority politicians

‘Boris Johnson will promote Priti Patel to the top of government today as he builds a cabinet to sell an optimistic vision of Brexit to “modern Britain”. Ms Patel, a 47-year-old hardline Brexiteer, was on course to be made home secretary as the new prime minister started to fill his top team. She was forced to quit as international development secretary by Theresa May in November 2017 and is one of only 28 Tory MPs who voted against her deal all three times that it was put to the Commons… Mr Johnson will seek to build “a cabinet for modern Britain”, according to aides. They said that he intended to increase the number of women attending as full cabinet members and his wider team would contain a record number of non-white MPs, implying at least four… Alok Sharma, a minister for employment, is all but certain to join the cabinet. Sajid Javid will remain in a top job but faces competition from Liz Truss for the role of chancellor. Outside the top team Mr Johnson will promote Rishi Sunak, Oliver Dowden, Tracey Crouch and Robert Jenrick as he seeks to reward supporters.’ – The Times

  • Team Javid are ‘confident’ he has got Chancellor – The Sun
  • Rees-Mogg, Raab and Leadsom all stand to gain – The Sun
  • Is Williamson coming back? – Daily Mail
  • It might be a Brexiteer majority Cabinet – Daily Telegraph
  • Expect a new age of fiscal populism – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Senior Sky executive will head up his business unit – The Times
  • Vote Leave veterans expected to join the Downing Street team – The Times

>Today: Adam Honeysett-Watts on Comment: After three years of gloom under May, it’s time for fun with Johnson

New Prime Minister 3) Stand-off as Hunt refuses ‘demotion’

‘Boris Johnson yesterday offered Jeremy Hunt the job of Defence Secretary in his new Cabinet, The Sun can reveal. But Mr Hunt turned the offer down because he saw it as a demotion. And he told the new PM he would accept nothing apart from his current job of Foreign Secretary. The pair are now in a stand-off, with Mr Hunt defying Boris to sack him from the Cabinet altogether. An insider told The Sun: “He told Boris it’s Foreign Secretary of nothing.” Another source close to Mr Hunt said: “He won’t accept a demotion.” They pointed to historical precedent – noting that David Cameron offered Davis the top job of Shadow Home Secretary after beating him in the 2005 leadership contest by a bigger margin than Boris beat Mr Hunt.’ – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Johnson’s reshuffle. Live Blog. What will happen to Hunt?

New Prime Minister 4) Opponents are gathering on the backbenches

‘While Brussels will resist any rewriting of Mrs May’s exit deal, a formidable group of Tory MPs is amassing on the backbenches to prevent Mr Johnson leading the country out of the EU without a deal. David Gauke, justice secretary, Rory Stewart, international aid secretary, and Anne Milton, education minister, all stepped down from their roles rather than serve under Mr Johnson. Alan Duncan quit as a Foreign Office minister on Monday. Philip Hammond, chancellor, will also quit on Wednesday afternoon, pre-empting the inevitable sacking that awaited him a few hours later. He is a firm opponent of a no deal exit.’ – FT

>Today:

New Prime Minister 5) Johnson will meet Trump early and often

‘Boris Johnson is poised to meet the US President three times before the UK leaves the EU in exactly 100 days time…The newly elected Tory leader, who will become Prime Minister on Wednesday after Theresa May tenders her resignation to the Queen, is not going to take any summer holiday to prepare for delivering Brexit “do or die” on October 31. In a bid to beef up the so-called “special relationship”, he will make a visit to the US one of his first foreign policy priorities after the President said he will be a “great” Prime Minister. He later told a conservative youth rally in Washington DC: “We have a really good man who’s going to be the prime minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson. Good man. He’s tough and he’s smart.”’ – Daily Telegraph

May’s last days: Mann appointed to advise the Government on anti-semitism

‘Theresa May has appointed a fierce critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as an independent adviser on anti-Semitism in one of her final acts as Prime Minister. Labour MP John Mann, who chairs a cross-party group of MPs tackling racism against Jewish people, was described by Mrs May as a ‘key voice’ on the issue. Mr Mann was famously filmed confronting former London mayor Ken Livingstone over comments he made about Hitler supporting Zionism in 2016. The MP for Basselaw has frequently called out Mr Corbyn for failing to address anti-Semitism in the Labour party. He was also critical of suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson, who claimed the party had been too apologetic over anti-Semitism.’ – Daily Mail

Mordaunt: We must build more ships, more often

‘This short-changing of our forces must stop. To see the full benefit of defence spending, we must commit to a ten-year balance sheet. This will allow the enormous benefits of defence spending to be seen on education, industry, science, training and infrastructure. We must do more to maximise the full value of defence making it the beating heart of our prosperity agenda. And we need to develop U.K. industry’s competitiveness, building exportability in as standard to deliver faster.I want to create a virtuous circle where long order books and a steady drumbeat in our construction yards strengthens our supply chain and bring down long-term costs. That means a closer partnership with industry, giving them the confidence to invest and build. That is how you drive down costs per ship.’ – Penny Mordaunt, Daily Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/23/must-invest-building-warships-face-caught-gulf/

  • Almost half of the Royal Navy’s destroyers and frigates are out of action – The Times
  • Give up the Nice Guy European coalition and side with America – Roger Boyes, The Times
  • North Korea’s ‘new submarine’ is a 1950s Soviet ship – Daily Mail
  • Johnson promises to stop persecution of Northern Ireland veterans – The Times

Watson tries to paint himself as a ‘victim’ of the fantasist whose allegations he publicised

‘Tom Watson insisted on Tuesday he too was a victim of the fantasist Carl Beech in what a falsely accused former MP branded an “outrageous” attempt to gain sympathy for his mistaken support for the convicted paedophile. Mr Watson also admitted for the first time he had been quoting Beech when he accused Lord Brittan of being “as close to evil as a human being could get” in a vicious attack on the former home secretary just four days after his death. In an official statement, Mr Watson insisted Beech had never named any VIPs in their only face-to-face meeting. But Mr Watson omitted to mention a series of email exchanges with Beech or that the convicted fantasist had spoken to him in the wake of Lord Brittan’s death. Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP who was falsely accused of murder, child torture and rape by Beech, demanded Mr Watson resign as deputy party leader and said he was no longer fit to remain in Parliament. He called on Mr Watson to disclose all dealings with Beech and said the Home Affairs select committee should now investigate… Mr Proctor said: “Tom Watson should not be in parliament. He is a grandstander out for himself.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Left Watch: “Nick” – and why no-one, even in the Labour Party, will trust Watson’s judgement again

Swinson: I’d vote against Brexit even if Leave won a second referendum

‘Ms Swinson, who beat Ed Davey to the leadership of the Liberal Democrats on Monday, said a further vote in favour of leaving would not “change my fundamental beliefs.” Asked if she would vote for Brexit in Parliament if a second referendum confirmed the original result, she said: “No, because I was elected on a firm manifesto pledge to fight for Scotland’s place in the UK and the UK’s place in the EU. That’s what Lib Dems are here to do. That’s the mandate we have.” Asked a second time on the BBC, she replied: “I am going to do what I was sent here to do which is to stand up for things I believe in and stand up for the principles of working internationally with other countries.”’ – Daily Telegraph

O’Mara’s comms officer resigns in spectacular fashion

‘Gareth Arnold, the communications officer for Jared O’Mara, MP for Sheffield Hallam, signed off using the MP’s Twitter account yesterday with a torrent of expletives directed at his former employer. Mr O’Mara, who was warned by Labour over offensive social media comments, resigned from the party last year to sit as an independent. He has refused to call a by-election. “Jared, you are the most disgustingly morally bankrupt person I have ever had the displeasure of working with,” the tweets coming from the account @jaredomaramp began, before going on to describe him as a “selfish, degenerate prick”. It was reported in April that Mr O’Mara had shut his office for a month after all his staff either quit or were sacked. Mr Arnold added: “My fear is that now (as I quit) the rest of the staff will leave and once again you will close your office and stop helping anyone but still take your wages until you have the decency to call a by-election.’ – The Times

  • The MP is yet to respond – Daily Mail
  • Watson withdraws proposal for an independent complaints system to handle anti-semitism – The Times

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