The Prime Minister orders review to toughen sentences for violent and sexual offences

‘Violent and sexual offenders could serve more of their sentences behind bars following an urgent review of sentencing policy ordered by Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments ‘truly fit the crime’ if the public was to have confidence in the justice system. The move follows a series of announcements over the weekend in which Mr Johnson promised to ‘come down hard’ on crime… The sentencing review has been instructed to start work immediately and to report back to No 10 in the autumn, just as the country may be going to the polls. Its remit is to look at the rules governing how and when violent and sexual offenders are released from prison.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: So we’ve had NHS, policing and immigration plans from Johnson. Stand ready for a schools spending pledge.

>Yesterday: WATCH: “We need to get the numbers back up”, says Malthouse

Johnson and Varadkar to meet for Brexit and border talks in September

‘Boris Johnson will hold showdown Brexit talks with Leo Varadkar – but the Irish PM insists he will not budge on the backstop. The two leaders will discuss the Brexit row and the Irish border issue during the crunch meeting scheduled in Dublin in early September. Boris has demanded the controversial Irish backstop is torn up before doing any new Brexit deal. And he is braced for a furious row at the showdown after Mr Varadkar’s spokesman last night insisted the backstop is not up for renegotiation. A spokesman for the Irish PM – known as the Taoiseach – said: “The Taoiseach has invited the British Prime Minister to Dublin for talks on Northern Ireland and Brexit. Their offices are in contact to agree a date for these talks in the coming weeks. Such a meeting would give both sides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of their respective positions. As has repeatedly been made clear, the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop are not up for negotiation.”‘ – The Sun

Poll suggests Remain alliance could hurt the Conservatives in Lib Dem marginals

‘A Remain alliance will cause issues for Boris Johnson as polls suggest he is failing to pick up support in key marginal seats. The Conservatives could lose more than half the constituencies they need to defend against the resurgent Liberal Democrats. A YouGov poll of 1,200 voters in 20 constituencies with small Tory leads, where the Lib Dems came second in 2017, shows a 14.1 per cent slump for the Conservatives. It suggests the ‘Boris bounce’ is falling flat in those seats which helped deliver a majority for David Cameron in 2015.’ – Daily Mail

ISIS fighters’ children will not be repatriated

‘Children of British foreign fighters stuck in warzones will be left to their fate, the government has ruled. Sajid Javid made the decision in one of his last acts as home secretary before his promotion to chancellor last month, The Times has learnt. He concluded that it was too dangerous to dispatch military or civilian personnel to rescue babies and minors who have British citizenship from camps in northern Syria. The decision, made after a cross departmental review, is likely to be criticised by children’s charities and opposition politicians, who have put pressure on the government to protect innocent British citizens in Syria. Mr Javid also sought advice about the legal implications of repatriating the British children of jihadists and Isis brides, it is understood. Concerns had abounded that such a move could provide a legal route for parents who have had their citizenship revoked to return under human rights laws.’ – The Times

  • Heroic worshipper tackles gunman at Oslo mosque – Daily Mail
  • The Home Office profits from immigration fees – The Times

Leadsom launches power cut probe

‘The Government plans to launch an investigation into the major power cut that affected almost one million people in England and Wales. The blackout on Friday afternoon brought travel chaos to the rail network, and affected the power supply to Newcastle Airport and Ipswich Hospital. Power had to be restored to more than 900,000 customers after what National Grid Electricity System Operator said was the almost simultaneous loss of two large generators. Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said Friday’s power outage had caused ‘enormous disruption’. She added: ‘National Grid must urgently review and report to Ofgem. I will also be commissioning the Government’s Energy Emergencies Executive Committee to consider the incident.” – Daily Mail

  • National Grid says the incident was beyond its control – FT
  • Shapps doubles funding for electric car charging – Daily Mail
  • BrightBlue proposes public bounties for informing on drivers of idling cars – The Times
  • Rail union bosses accused of hypocrisy – Daily Mail

GP waiting times hit record high

‘Average waiting times to see a GP have breached two weeks for the first time on record, a poll of GPs has revealed. The average wait in England has increased by two days in the past two years to 14.8 days, the research found. It comes amid an NHS staffing crisis that has led to warnings that the entire GP system is ‘beginning to collapse’. One fifth of GPs said waiting lists have soared to over three weeks, while thousands more patients are unable to get an appointment within a month – some even have to wait as long as six weeks.’ – Daily Mail

Trump’s national security adviser is in London for talks on Iran and Huawei

‘Bolton arrived on Sunday night and will hold talks on Monday and Tuesday. They will include a heavy focus on Brexit, reflecting the Trump White House’s attempts to solidify ties with Boris Johnson’s new government after Trump’s strained relationship with his predecessor Theresa May. The hardliner is expected to urge British officials to align policy on Iran more closely with that of Washington, which has pressured Tehran with an increase in sanctions after the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Britain has so far backed the European Union in sticking with the nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but the seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last month put pressure on London to consider a tougher stance.’ – The Guardian

  • Businesses must start taking cyber threats seriously – Henry Crumpton, FT
  • The President ‘mocked the voices’ of South Korean and Japanese allies – Daily Mail
  • Vengeful and resentful, Putin is an obstacle to reconciliation – Angus Roxburgh, The Guardian
  • AfD struggles with internal disunity – FT
  • Salvini suggests Gere can take migrants home to Hollywood – Daily Mail
  • Italy’s instability – The Times Leader
  • Undercover police agents beat Hong Kong protesters – The Times

May’s resignation honours: Barwell tipped for a peerage, but Hammond ‘to get nothing’

‘Theresa May is set to snub her chancellor, Philip Hammond, by leaving him off her resignation honours list, while handing a peerage to her chief of staff, Gavin Barwell. The former prime minister is finalising the names on her list, which is expected to see several senior members of her staff elevated to the House of Lords. She is also considering handing honours to some of her closest political allies. As one of her most senior and longest serving ministers, Mr Hammond – a former foreign secretary and defence secretary – would have been eligible for an honour. But in a sign of how their relationship soured during her time in office, he is understood to have missed out entirely.’ – Daily Mail

  • She is more popular than Churchill (in Toby Jug sales) – Daily Mail
  • Farage mocks Royals for right-on views – The Guardian

Labour ‘would ban grouse shooting’

‘Jeremy Corbyn could ban grouse shooting if he comes to power as Labour declares a fresh war on toffs. As the four-month grouse shooting season kicks off today, the party is demanding an “urgent review” into the practice. Labour’s shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said the practice is bad for the environment and cruel to animals. She wants landowners should look at using their grounds for clay pigeon shooting instead. Ms Hayman: “The costs of grouse shooting on our environment and wildlife needs to be to properly weighed up against the benefit of land owners profiting from shooting parties. For too long the Tories have bent the knee to land owners and it’s our environment and our people who pay the price.”‘ – The Sun

  • Shooting estates say they are being unfairly targeted – FT
  • Khan supports proposal for a London slavery museum – The Guardian
  • Worrying political polarisation – Alex Massie, The Times

Falling bond yields warn of global recession

‘Debt markets are flashing recession warning signs as sovereign bond yields slide at their fastest pace in years and the value of those in negative territory climbs to record highs. The benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield – the return on American government debt – is already on course for its biggest annual slide in eight years after last week’s surge in trade tensions between the US and China. The yields on UK gilts and German bunds are also dropping faster than at any time since 2014, dragged down by expectations of interest rate cuts by central banks to prop up growth and by investors seeking safety from market volatility… “The extraordinary moves we have seen in bond markets have driven many to speculate that there are a number of hidden messages about an impending credit crisis in China, potential economic recession in the US and a Japanification of Europe,” said Paul Brain, head of fixed income at Newton Investment Management.” Bond yields have been driven lower by rising expectations of central bank stimulus as global growth stutters.’ – Daily Telegraph

In Brief