Bercow prepares to ‘defy advice’ again to give MPs chance to oppose the Government…

“John Bercow is on course for a “collision” with his most senior advisers as he prepares to give MPs the power to thwart Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans, Westminster insiders have said. The Speaker, who had already repeatedly stated his determination to give the Commons a chance to block no-deal, is furious with the prime minister’s decision to prorogue parliament. Mr Bercow is expected to grant an emergency debate next Tuesday to enable MPs to wrestle control of the order paper from the government. This would give them, and subsequently members of the Lords too, a few sitting days until prorogation to pass legislation seeking to delay or block Brexit.” – The Times


  • Where was Remainers’ outrage when the Speaker broke the rules? – Eliot Wilson, Daily Telegraph


  • Synthetic fury is no match for our decisive Prime Minister – Daily Telegraph
  • It is wrong, and hysterical, to speak of a coup – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Johnson’s critics are confronted by the dreadful possibility that he will make a success of Brexit

…as Clarke says he’d install Corbyn in Downing Street…

Kenneth Clarke, the former Tory Chancellor, has said he would support Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister if it was “the only way” to stop a no-deal Brexit. Speaking on Sky News, he said: “So long as we were absolutely certain we could keep Jeremy under control and he would not have any chance of implementing any bits of his manifesto, I hate to tell you that I probably would [back him as Prime Minister]. “I don’t think it’s going to happen because I must be one of a tiny number of Conservatives prepared to contemplate that…he is about the least suitable person of all to maximise support in the House of Commons.” He confirmed that he would vote down the Government if “it was the only way of avoiding a no deal catastrophe.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tory rebels plan for Parliament to sit at weekends to resist Johnson – The Times
  • Preparations made for ‘showdown’ with the Prime Minister – FT
  • Senior Conservatives ‘ready to move’ – The Guardian
  • Harrington plans to step down and vows to block No Deal – The Sun
  • Grieve threatened with deselection, again – Daily Express


  • Tories must back Johnson or unleash Marxist chaos on the economy – The Sun

>Yesterday: Chris White in Comment: The Government has pitched Remainer MPs into a race against time

…and Labour leader calls for hard left to ‘shut down the streets’…

“Jeremy Corbyn has endorsed a plot by his hard-left supporters to “shut down the streets” by whipping up the biggest act of civil disobedience in decades to protest at Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans. The Labour leader urged his MPs to join protesters planning to “occupy bridges and blockade roads” in 10 major cities in what some activists have already likened to the 1990 Poll Tax riots. The demonstrations have been organised by Momentum, the campaign group formed to propel Mr Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party. It came as John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, compared Mr Johnson to Adolf Hitler and the author Sir Philip Pullman hinted the Prime Minister should be hanged amid an increasingly hysterical response to Mr Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Momentum rabble-rouser calling for blockades – Daily Mail
  • Remainers ‘storm’ Tory MP’s office – The Sun
  • Corbyn wants ‘rapid legislation’ to avert No Deal – FT


  • Left could seize this chance to stage a poll tax-style revolt – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Dr Lee Rotherham in Comment: What would life look like in Corbyn’s Britain?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: ‘Words have consequences.’ Unless, it seems, you’re a hardcore Remainer.

…and doubt is cast over legal challenge

“Opponents of Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend parliament for five weeks will face an uphill struggle to defeat his plans in the courts with lawyers raising doubts over whether the prime minister’s move is even open to legal challenge. As Europhile MPs race to find a way to prevent Mr Johnson from taking the UK out of the EU on October 31 without a deal, campaigners have launched three separate legal cases aimed at blocking the decision to prorogue parliament. Although Mr Johnson has said the move, which provoked a constitutional uproar on Wednesday, was aimed at laying out his legislative priorities, his opponents say it is a bid to thwart parliamentary efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit.” – FT

Bernard Jenkin: Prorogation is a consequence of reforms driven through by those outraged now

“So Mr Johnson’s decision to send parliament home for five weeks while his government prepares a new legislative programme is presented by his supporters as a perfectly normal decision, while his opponents claim it is “a constitutional outrage”. In truth, it is neither, but it does represent a further evolution of the relationship between parliament, government and the people. The irony in this instance is that so many of those now most constitutionally outraged voted again and again for the laws and decisions that have facilitated this result… Parliamentary democracy has been served. Some are still refusing to live with the consequences, but their motives are diverse. Many thought they could undo what they had done, but in the end they will have to come to terms with what they voted for.” – FT

  • Parliament failed on Brexit long before this – Vernon Bogdanor, The Guardian

Johnson seeks to ‘avert defeat’ by upping tempo of Brexit talks

Boris Johnson has ordered his chief Brexit negotiator to “step up the tempo” in talks over a new deal with Brussels as a senior EU minister said an agreement was still possible before Halloween. David Frost will meet his counterparts twice a week in Brussels, starting next week, as the Prime Minister said the pace needed to be ramped up to ensure an October 31 exit “no ifs, no buts”. Mr Johnson said he had been “encouraged” by his talks with individual EU leaders since last month “that there is a willingness to talk about alternatives to the anti-democratic backstop”. A Government spokesman said that although the UK and the EU “remain some distance apart on key issues…both sides are willing to work hard to find a way through”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ‘Get ready for No Deal’, says £100 million ad campaign – The Times
  • Treasury adviser sacked for allegedly leaking no-deal planning documents – The Sun
  • Government plans to ‘skewer’ rebels with aggressive tactics – Daily Mail


  • Brussels now knows Johnson means business – Iain Martin, The Sun
  • Only the Prime Minister can avert No Deal – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

Davidson steps down, citing family and Brexit

“Ruth Davidson has delivered a heavy blow to Boris Johnson by quitting as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, admitting that one reason for her resignation was “the conflict I have felt on Brexit”. Ms Davidson, a staunchly pro-EU Tory who has clashed repeatedly with Mr Johnson over Europe, has been credited with reviving the Scottish Conservatives, helping to deliver 13 Tory MPs to Westminster at the last election. Announcing her resignation at a press conference, Ms Davidson said her decision to step down after eight years was based on “professional and personal” changes in her life. She will continue as a member of the Scottish parliament.” – FT

  • She urges MPs to back a Brexit deal if Johnson brings one back – The Times
  • Depature a ‘hammer blow’ to the Scottish Conservatives – FT
  • Even as she stepped down, she stood behind the Prime Minister – Daily Mail


  • Hard-to-replace personality which gained the landscape – Kieran Andrews, The Times
  • Departure threatens Scottish Conservatives and the Union – Libby Brooks, The Guardian
  • Could the Tories’ loss be unionism’s gain? – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: I hope this isn’t the last we see of Ruth Davidson


‘Election fever’ sparks surge of Tory donations

“The Conservatives have recorded a surge in donations before a possible autumn general election. Donors were said to be on “strike” at the start of this year in protest at Theresa May’s leadership, but figures from the Electoral Commission show that the party’s war chest swelled by £5.3 million in the three months to July, £2.4 million of which was donated after Mrs May announced that she was quitting. The figures also show that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party took in £1 million in the same period, more than half of which was from former Tory backers. Overall, political parties received £15 million in donations between April 1 and June 30, £8 million more than in the previous quarter.” – The Times

  • Corbyn’s support amongst students halves – The Times

Patel pledges tougher action on Channel crossings

“Britain and France have promised to intensify joint efforts to tackle Channel migrant boat crossings after several hours of talks in Paris last night. Priti Patel, the home secretary, and her French counterpart, Christophe Castaner, agreed that tougher action was needed to slow the surge in migrants making the perilous crossing in small boats. However, there were no significant announcements from the talks, which came after the home secretary was said to have told her officials to come up with ways to stop the crossings…It is understood that the government will look at whether it will provide more cash to the French authorities to help with practical measures to stop migrants setting out on the journey.” – The Times


  • More must be done to deter people from this perilous journey – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Davidson’s successor must show the courage that is her hallmark – Tom Harris, CapX
  • Johnson might have a point, but it doesn’t mean he’s right – Allan Massie, Reaction
  • What will the Tory and Labour election campaigns look like? – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • The Brexit endgame begins – Freddie Sayers, UnHerd
  • We must reject the Withdrawal Agreement, with or without the backstop – Prof David Collins, Brexit Central