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Corbyn writes to Tory MPs asking them to make him caretaker PM

“In an extraordinary letter to rebel Tories and opposition parties, Mr Corbyn said he was ready to lead a ‘strictly time-limited’ government to secure an extension to Article 50. Mr Corbyn pleaded for support to bring down Boris Johnson with a Commons vote of no confidence, saying he would then stop No Deal before ultimately calling a general election – and campaigning for a new referendum. Embarrassingly for the Labour leader, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson rejected the plea out of hand, saying it was not a ‘serious attempt’ to stop No Deal. In his letter, Mr Corbyn also said there was no mandate for No Deal, and he wanted a confidence motion ‘at the earliest opportunity’. He vowed that Labour would campaign in the ensuing general election for another public vote on Brexit – which would include the option to Remain. Tory MPs reacted with fury to Mr Corbyn’s gambit last night, while Downing Street said it was clear the Labour leader would ‘over-rule the referendum and wreck the economy’.‘This Government believes the people are the masters and votes should be respected, Jeremy Corbyn believes that the people are the servants and politicians can cancel public votes they don’t like,’ a spokesman said. Clear signs that Britain is heading for political turmoil this autumn.” – Daily Mail

  • He writes to MPs in a bid to stop No Deal – Daily Telegraph
  • He calls for opposition pact to topple Johnson – FT
  • He hatches plot to seize power – Daily Express
  • Labour leader urges opposition leaders and Tory MPs to oust Johnson – The Guardian
  • Jez give me No 10 – The Sun
  • Labour MPs plan to back withdrawal agreement – The Guardian
  • Tugendhat 10-day exit plan dismissed by No 10 – The Guardian
  • EU diplomats savage Johnson’s anti-Brexit MP claims – Daily Express
  • Half of UK farms could fail after No Deal, report warns – The Guardian
  • Emergency medical supplies could be airlifted into UK after Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Darren Grimes lashes out at Remainers’ ‘misleading’ questions – Daily Express
  • Kezia Dugdale says Labour can’t win General Election – The Scotsman
Comment
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Hammond used time as Chancellor to block No Deal ‘at every turn’

“Philip Hammond discussed seeking advice from the Electoral Commission to help the government prepare for a second referendum while he was Chancellor, a senior cabinet source has claimed. The former Treasury chief was on Wednesday night accused of failing to prepare Britain for no deal as claims emerged he canvassed opinion on overturning the referendum result last September. Six months later, during a cabinet meeting on April 2, Mr Hammond suggested that the government should make a ‘big offer’ of a second referendum to Labour in a bid to push through Theresa May’s beleaguered Withdrawal Agreement. A senior cabinet source told The Telegraph: “When Philip discussed this he was already making the case for delaying the exit date to other cabinet ministers. He didn’t make this plain at cabinet but behind the scenes he was telling ministers that he was looking into the option of a second referendum very seriously.”- Daily Telegraph

  • He plotted No Deal downfall behind scenes – Daily Express
  • Johnson accuses Hammond of collaborating with EU – FT
  • PM says Hammond is collaborating with EU – Daily Mail
  • Revealed: The 20 Tory MPs ganging up with Hammond to take down No Deal – Daily Express
  • Moment Hammond made shock No Deal admission in 2016 – Daily Express
  • Brexiteer MP launches astonishing attack on Remoaner Hammond – Daily Express
  • Poppy Trowbridge on her work as a special adviser in the Treasury – The Guardian
Comment
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Wollaston joins Liberal Democrats

“Sarah Wollaston has joined the Liberal Democrats as Jo Swinson, the party’s leader, dismissed Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to take charge of efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit. Dr Wollaston, 57, who was elected as a Tory MP in 2010, takes the Lib Dems’ tally to 14 after its victory at the Brecon & Radnorshire by-election this month and the arrival of Chuka Umunna, the former Labour MP, in June. She had, like Mr Umunna, initially joined a new outfit, the Independent Group, before it split after a drubbing at the European elections in May. The former GP said that her desire not to split the Remain vote at a general election was behind her decision to move again. She said: “The new Liberal Democrats under Jo Swinson are leading the charge on unequivocally making the case for Britain to remain in the heart of Europe.” She also supported the party’s wider policies and values, particularly on the NHS and social care, she added” – The Times

  • Totnes MP joins Lib Dems – The Guardian
  • MP Sarah Wollaston joins Lib Dems – her third party in a year – Daily Mail
  • Sarah Wollaston joins Lib Dems in coup for Jo Swinson – New Statesman
  • Yo-yo ex-Tory MP and Change UK MP joins Lib Dems – The Sun
  • Lib Dems eye Tory seat in St Albans – FT

Defence Secretary rejects amnesty for veterans of Troubles

“The defence secretary yesterday rejected the idea of an amnesty for parties involved in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, arguing it could let terrorists “off the hook”. Ben Wallace said veterans should be given “the very best legal advice and support” in the face of criminal investigations, but rejected an amnesty as a solution to protect them as it would have to apply to paramilitary forces as well. The amnesty proposal had been backed by Gavin Williamson, a predecessor at the Ministry of Defence, as a way to prevent former troops in their seventies and eighties from facing renewed inquiries. However, Mr Wallace’s misgivings echoed those of the former prime minister Theresa May. He said: “I don’t support an amnesty for terrorists, I don’t support an amnesty for people who went out and killed many of these young men and women who went out to defend us. I don’t think that is a solution. What I do think is that there is a place for reconciliation but . . . we must make sure we don’t let off the hook the murderers that are still out there and need to be hunted down and convicted of the killings that they took part in.” – The Times

US speaker issues trade deal warning

“Britain has no chance of securing a post-Brexit trade agreement with the US if its departure jeopardises the Good Friday agreement, the most senior Democrat in the US has warned. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said that the party would block the deal in Congress if the UK’s departure from the European Union undermined the peace accord in Northern Ireland. Ms Pelosi, whose party controls the House, was reaffirming her commitment after President Trump’s national security adviser said during a visit to London that the UK would be “first in line” for a deal. The chances of the UK’s departure without a deal have been seen as increasingly likely after Boris Johnson made his “do or die” pledge to leave by the October 31 deadline. The US is one of the guarantors of the Good Friday agreement. Ms Pelosi said: “Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. Especially now, as the first generation born into the hope of Good Friday 21 years ago comes into adulthood. We cannot go back.” – The Times

Remember how Jo Cox died, Tory tells Johnson

“Boris Johnson was accused yesterday of jeopardising MPs’ safety after he claimed they were “collaborating” with Brussels to prevent Britain’s departure from the European Union. The prime minister used a Facebook question-and-answer session to say that parliament was making it harder for him to secure a good Brexit deal. He said it was a “terrible kind of collaboration” and the longer it continued the more likely it was that “we will be forced to leave with a no-deal Brexit”. The comments were met with dismay in Westminster and Brussels where European diplomats said it was the prime minister’s unacceptable demands that stood in the way of a deal, not the House of Commons. Guto Bebb, a Tory MP, called the remarks “absolutely disgraceful”and said it could lead to an increase in threats against MPs. “I knew Jo Cox. Boris Johnson should reflect very carefully on the fact he is using language about us collaborating with the EU when he knows full well of the threats people are facing,” he said. Ms Cox, a Labour MP, was murdered a week before the EU referendum outside a library in West Yorkshire.” – The Times

Dick Braine makes Ukip leadership debut

“He has been relentlessly mocked over his name but Ukip’s new leader says that actually he enjoys being teased. Richard Braine, known also as Dick Braine, is Ukip’s sixth leader in three years. He told journalists at his first press conference that he would always respond with good humour to the needling. “Because you know, you have to if your name is Dick Braine,” he said. Mr Braine has been ridiculed since he was elected on Sunday. Among his detractors was George Osborne, the former chancellor, who tweeted: “The new leader of Ukip is called Mr Dick Braine — really.” Mr Braine said: “I have had to go through my life dealing with all sorts of situations.” He likened himself to Giles Corey, an American farmer who was crushed to death with stones during the Salem witch trials: “Before he finally died his last words were, ‘More stones, more stones’. So there’s no amount of throwing that sort of stuff at me is going to put me down. I actually enjoy it.” Ukip lost all its MEPs in the European elections this year and is polling at less than 1 per cent, compared with 15 per cent for its former leader Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.” – The Times

Fraud victims misled and mocked as police fail to investigate

“Call handlers working for the police insult victims of fraud and have been trained to mislead them into thinking their cases will be investigated when most are never looked at again. An undercover Times reporter was among staff who were banned from telling victims that the overwhelming majority of their cases are dismissed, either by low-wage employees at an outsourced call centre or a computer algorithm. Managers in charge of collating police fraud reports also mocked those who lost money as “morons”, “screwballs” and “psychos”. As online and cold calling-scams surge, increasing numbers of people are losing money to fraud. Last year there were an estimated 3.6 million incidents, more than a third of all crimes in England and Wales. Victims are often distraught and have in some cases lost their life savings. However, as few as one in 50 fraud reports lead to a suspect being caught and forces have been criticised for failing to investigate.” – The Times

More
  • Carrie Symonds to carry out first solo event – Daily Telegraph
  • Rail fare increases push cost of average annual ticket to £3,000 – The Times
  • Thames could heat radiators in Parliament – The Times
  • Trump backs China’s Xi Jinping to resolve Hong Kong crisis ‘humanely’ – Daily Telegraph
  • National Grid feels heat after power cuts – FT
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