Johnson: £1.8 billion more for the NHS – and social care is next

‘I am so determined to deliver now on the promises of that 2016 referendum campaign: not just to honour the will of the people, but to increase the cash available for this amazing national institution. It is great that the last Conservative government found another £34bn, and it is the immediate task of this new government to make sure that this cash makes a real difference to the lives of doctors and nurses and above all of patients… It is clear that something has gone badly wrong in the taxation of doctors’ pensions. So this government is listening. We are fixing it… It is thanks to this country’s strong economic performance that we are now able to announce £1.8bn more for the NHS to buy vital new kit and confirm new upgrades for 20 hospitals across the country.’ – Boris Johnson, Sunday Times 

>Today: ToryDiary: Is Johnson aiming for a snap election?

Election 1) No confidence us, and we’ll call an election for after 31st October, Cummings warns

‘In one meeting, Mr Cummings warned that EU leaders such as Emmanuel Macron, the French president, “think we’re bluffing” or believe that “MPs will cancel the referendum”, ­according to two sources familiar with the discussion. “They don’t realise that if there is a no-confidence vote in September or October, we’ll call an election for after the 31st and leave anyway,” he said. Mr Cummings instructed staff to prepare for a no-deal exit on the basis that EU leaders “won’t realise the Prime Minister is not bluffing until ­October” when it could be “too late”. He is understood to have said that meetings of the new “XO” daily ­operations committee had made him “less worried” about a no-deal ­outcome than before his arrival in Downing Street 11 days ago. The remarks indicate that while leaving the EU with a deal is still Mr Johnson’s preferred option, he is ­confident that Parliament cannot ­prevent him from fulfilling his promise to deliver Brexit by Oct 31 “by any means necessary”.’ – Sunday Telegraph


Election 2) The Conservatives plan a high-stakes campaign to crush Labour

‘In the past year Cummings has conducted numerous polling and focus groups. His intention was to relaunch Vote Leave, the campaign group that won the 2016 referendum, if remainer MPs forced a second referendum. On March 27, Cummings wrote a blog announcing his plan and urging former staff to collect “crucial data” including “name, email, postcode, mobile (full address if possible)” so he could “plug this straight into new data infrastructure’… He will start thinking about how to make the Tory data and digital operation battle ready in the next fortnight. One source predicted that would be the “worst nightmare” for their opponents. It is understood that bosses at Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) have also begun talking to pollsters and data experts who might tender for business. “They’re on a war footing. They’re going out to market,” said one source. Co-chairmen James Cleverly MP and Ben Elliot are seeking to “tool up” for an election by recruiting new officials… Conversations with pollsters have convinced his team there is a path to a majority. A source familiar with some of Cummings’s thinking said: “It’s a two-pronged strategy, which is underpinned by two assumptions, the first of which is that they can kill the Brexit Party, which they are in the process of doing. The second thing, which is not in their gift but determines the success of the strategy, is that by [the Tories] becoming the Brexit party, the Liberal Democrats become the remain party, which takes votes principally from the Labour Party. I think Dom is prepared to give up 20 or 30 existing Tory seats [to the Lib Dems] on the basis that the Labour vote collapses…”‘ – Sunday Times

Election 3) The second referendum campaign draws up plans for tactical voting in 100 seats

‘A leaked document shows the People’s Vote (PV) campaign is mobilising for the biggest campaign of tactical voting ever planned in an attempt to prevent a no-deal Brexit and secure a second referendum. Tories to be targeted include the former leader Iain Duncan Smith, the environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, and Zac Goldsmith — all sitting on small majorities… The leaked strategy paper, drawn up by James McGrory, a former aide to Nick Clegg, details plans to tell voters whom to back in 100 crunch contests… The campaign has identified 133 marginal seats where “a small difference can have a huge impact” from which a final “PV100” hitlist will be finalised… Around half of the PV100 will be “attack” seats where Brexiteer Tories might be ousted, and half “defensive” seats where referendum supporters are at risk from Brexiteers. These will include Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran and Labour’s Rosie Duffield.’ – Sunday Times

Gove redeploys 2,000 civil servants for Brexit preparations

‘Michael Gove will move two thousand staff across Whitehall to aid leaving the EU in October, we can reveal. Senior Cabinet Ministers are re-deploying civil servants from ‘donor’ departments such as education and international aid to ensure a smooth Halloween exit. There are currently already 16,000 government workers working on the UK’s exit from the EU with plans discussed daily. Vital roles need to be filled in Transport, environment and Brexit departments along with HMRC. A similar pattern of staff moves happened into the botched exit day in March. Mr Gove will lead the discussions as part of the Daily Operations Committee – known as XO – who are meeting every weekday in the Cabinet Office.’ – The Sun on Sunday

>Yesterday: Book Review: The life of Gove, Cameron’s Jeeves and Johnson’s stooge

Labour frontbencher funded by campaigner who wants less economic growth

‘The activist handed Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis the cash declaring he was “thankful” there has been a dip in growth. His ideal strategy outlines how some industrial sectors need to decline to meet social justice and climate change “goals”. He wrote: “While the rates of economic growth, as traditionally measured by GDP, have thankfully been declining in most parts of the world over the last 10 or more years…” He adds that: “most governments still claim growth is necessary for the equitable and just society we need”…Manser also laments the transformation from “walking and the horse and cart to car and plane” as a result of “ever growing consumer aspirations”.’ – The Sun on Sunday

Lawson: For Bramall’s sake, we must hold the police to account

‘On Monday I was called by Field Marshal Lord Bramall. The 95-year-old D-Day veteran said how pleased he was that The Sunday Times had devoted such space last week to my interview with him about his appalling experiences at the hands of the Metropolitan police, while they purported to “believe” as “credible and true” the grotesque claims by Carl Beech that Bramall was one of a gang of “VIP paedophiles” who had abused, tortured and murdered young boys in the 1970s. “Please don’t stop now,” Bramall told me: “You must continue to hold the police to account.” He repeated his assertion that the Met had perverted the course of justice and added that Steve Rodhouse, the “gold commander” of Operation Midland (the investigation based solely on Beech’s fantastical accusations) was the man he holds primarily responsible. I told the field marshal I would obey his command, but wondered what more could possibly emerge to galvanise the hopeless Home Office into action.’ – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

Hannan: Harry and Meghan have got it wrong – we should be worrying about depopulation

‘Today, in rich countries, most of us live as if in Eden, enjoying distractions and luxuries beyond the imagination of previous generations. Sure enough, the birth rate in developed states is far below replacement level: Chile 1.7, Germany 1.6, Canada 1.5, Luxembourg 1.4, Japan 1.3, Singapore 1.2, South Korea 1.1. Even those figures are often pushed up by immigrant mothers, who retain the cultural habits of poorer societies. One in three babies in Britain is born to a woman from overseas. There are plenty of arguments against having children. No one should feel pressured one way or the other. But it no longer makes sense to present small families as a wholly altruistic choice. The challenges the next generation will face have to do with depopulation: unfunded pensions, decaying towns and intergenerational tensions.’ – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

Hong Kong enters third day of mass protests

‘Demonstrators in Hong Kong have clashed with riot police as the city entered its third consecutive day of mass protests. On Sunday, the police said they had arrested 20 people during Saturday’s clashes for offences including unlawful assembly and assault. Police fired teargas and pepper spray, and pinned protesters to the ground after tense standoffs in at least four locations throughout the city on Saturday evening, following a peaceful march earlier in the day. Thousands of protesters attending an anti-government march in Mong Kok deviated from a pre-approved route and occupied main roads in Kowloon, where they built barricades out of dismantled metal traffic barriers, handed out gas masks and helmets, and prepared to face off against police.’ – The Observer

Dozens killed or injured in latest US gun attack by ‘white supremacist’

‘At least 20 people were slaughtered and a further 26 injured after a twisted gunman opened fire at a Texas supermarket last night. The “white supremacist” attacker – reportedly identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius – mowed down adults and children aisle-by-aisle in a packed Walmart in El Paso using an AK47-type weapon. The suspect, from Allen, Texas – 20 miles north of Dallas – did not put up a fight as he was arrested. He is suspected of posting a sick race-hate manifesto online hours earlier that railed against “race mixing” and called on the deportation of immigrants – urging authorities to “send them back”.’ – The Sun on Sunday