‘Johnson to defy vote of no confidence’

“Johnson would refuse to resign even after losing a confidence vote so he could force through a no-deal Brexit on October 31, under plans being considered by Downing Street. Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s most senior aide, told colleagues last week that Mr Johnson would not quit if Tory Remainers voted with Labour to bring down the government. The Times has been told that Mr Johnson could stay on as prime minister even if Tory MPs were able to form a “government of national unity” opposed to a no-deal Brexit. Mr Johnson would ignore the result of the confidence vote and call a “people v politicians” general election to be held shortly after Britain had left the EU. Ministers said that there was an emphasis on “getting stuff out the door” by bringing forward policy announcements before a possible election this year. Constitutional experts confirmed yesterday that Mr Johnson would technically be under no legal obligation to quit if he lost a confidence vote. They warned that it risked the Queen being “dragged into politics” and put in the “invidious position” of facing calls to remove the prime minister herself. Tory Remainers have conceded that there is no “absolutely foolproof” parliamentary mechanism to stop a no-deal Brexit.” – The Times

And No Deal Brexit now expected, as EU accepts Johnson isn’t bluffing

“Brussels believes that Britain will leave the EU without a deal after accepting that Boris Johnson “isn’t bluffing”, the Telegraph understands. EU leaders are now working on “a working hypothesis of no deal” following a meeting on Monday between Commission officials and Brexit diplomats from each of the 27 EU countries, amid mounting speculation Mr Johnson will call a general election after October 31. It comes as all government departments in Whitehall were given a 48-hour deadline to prove their readiness for no deal. The EU-27 is understood to be shaken by reports that Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s chief strategist, has said it is too late for MPs to prevent a no deal exit on Halloween.EU officials had been confident that Mr Johnson would not force Britain out without a deal, but meetings with his senior adviser David Frost last week have changed their minds along with newspaper articles including a confrontational opinion piece written by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay. “Our working hypothesis is now no deal,” said an EU source after the meeting, where diplomats agreed they could not rely on MPs to prevent a disorderly withdrawal.” – Daily Telegraph

  • EU told Johnson has no intention of renegotiating deal – The Guardian
  • Diplomats say PM will not negotiate new deal – Daily Mail
  • EU accepts No Deal fate – Daily Express
  • No Deal Brexit odds: latest predictions – Daily Telegraph
  • Cummings warns Whitehall it must be ready for No Deal – Daily Mail
  • Hammond deliberately blocked No Deal plans, says Cummings – The Times
  • Vandals target pro-Remain couple’s house – Daily Mail
  • Expect shortage of fruit and veg under No Deal, expert warns – The Times
  • Lorries with wrong paperwork will be barred from ports – The Times
  • Pro-Remain MPs eye national government of unity – FT
  • Documents reveal depth of Irish Brexit crisis – Daily Express

He says ‘last thing he wants’ is snap general election

Speaking on a visit to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, following his announcement of a £1.8billion funding boost for the NHS, the Prime Minister said “the answer is no” when asked if he would be preparing to fight a general election if Labour were to win a vote of no confidence. “The people of the UK voted in the election in 2015, they had a referendum in 2016 and another election in 2017,” he said. “They want us to deliver what they asked for- and that is for us to leave the EU. “The last thing I want to do is call another election.” It comes as Matt Hancock warned MPs they cannot block a no-deal Brexit on Hallowe’en. The Health Secretary, who accompanied Mr Johnson to the hospital in Lincolnshire, told the Today programme that while the “best way” to “deliver on the result of the referendum” was with a deal, he now believed it was not possible that no deal could be blocked by parliament, as he previously thought. “I now don’t think it can,” he said. Mr Hancock said his view had changed due to votes in parliament regarding stopping no deal, just before they rose for the summer, were defeated. “I thought that it could and the votes went differently to how I anticipated, and when the facts changed sometimes even as a politician you have to change your mind.” – Daily Telegraph


Paul Goodman: March north can only take Tories so far

“Friends of Dominic Cummings (and, yes, he has some) insist on the following: Boris Johnson will not seek a general election when the Commons returns next month. And if MPs vote that they have no confidence in the government, no general election will take place until after October 31, by which time Britain will have left the EU. Brexit will happen on time. The prime minister’s main adviser may be wrong. It could be that the Commons, empowered by the Speaker, finds new ways to a further extension, or even revocation of Article 50. Perhaps an election will take place before the end of October after all. Or it may be that Downing Street plans a snap poll and is trying a bit of misdirection. Who can tell? But perhaps the question should be less when the election will happen than where it will happen — in other words, which constituency contests will have the most effect on the overall result.” – The Times


£1bn of NHS boost ‘not new money’


“Downing Street was forced on to the defensive after health experts pointed out that £1 billion of the additional funding would be money that was previously allocated to the health service. It comes from cash surpluses that had been saved by NHS trusts, which had already planned to spend the funds on vital maintenance and repairs — but had been blocked from doing so by the Treasury. This block has now been lifted by Mr Johnson but health experts said that it could not reasonably be classified as new money. “It’s the equivalent of giving someone cash then banning them from spending it, only to expect cheers when you later decide they can spend it after all,” Sally Gainsbury, a senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust, said. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, went further, accusing Mr Johnson of deliberately trying to hide where the money had come from. “Boris Johnson has misled the public and our NHS staff,” he said. “It is now clear this is not new money but funds already earmarked for hospitals which ministers previously blocked. With 4.4 million patients waiting for operations and over 20,000 cancer patients waiting longer for treatment it is a disgrace that Mr Johnson is trying to treat people like fools.” – The Times

  • Experts doubt PM’s NHS funding promise – FT
  • How a young Johnson bonded with NHS chief – The Times

Ashcroft poll finds Scottish independence lead

“Nicola Sturgeon has warned Boris Johnson against blocking a fresh referendum on Scottish independence after a poll found a majority would now vote yes. The first minister said it would be “undemocratic and unsustainable” for the Conservatives to oppose one after the poll by Lord Ashcroft put the yes vote at 52%, once don’t knows and non-voters were excluded. The poll, the first since Johnson’s visit to Scotland last week, also found that most Scots want a fresh independence referendum by 2021, once undecideds were excluded. Previous polls had shown only a minority of Scots wanted a second referendum that soon. In a further blow to pro-UK parties, it also found that a majority (52%) believed the yes campaign was likely to win, including a third of voters who rejected independence in the first referendum in 2014. Only 30% believed Scotland would now vote to remain within the UK after Brexit, and 18% did not know.” – The Guardian

  • Majority of Scots back independence as No Deal Brexit looms – The Times
  • Sturgeon gloats over poll backing independence – Daily Mail
  • Johnson warned No Deal risks union – The Sun
  • Sturgeon talks of pain and anguish at separation from Alex Salmond – Daily Telegraph
  • Why Scotland leaving union would not solve anything, Pamela Nash – The Scotsman

ToryDiary: The tartan Quebec?

Indiscreet aides will be fired on spot, says Cummings

“The prime minister’s most senior aide told special advisers at a 7.55am meeting yesterday that he would easily be able to get journalists to reveal their sources. He said: “My worth to journalists is far greater than yours. For the right story they will rat you out. You have no rights.” Mr Cummings has previously told aides that there is a “one-strike” policy on government leaks. According to one source he said that if any of them tried to take him to an employment tribunal, “you will be dead to me”. The former chief executive of Vote Leave, who was an adviser to Michael Gove when he was education secretary, told advisers that his own experience meant that he knew “how it worked”. Theresa May’s government was damaged by repeated leaks from cabinet as ministers feuded over Brexit.” – The Times

  • Johnson ushers in new era of special advisers – The Guardian

Farage lashes out at calls to stand aside in election

“The risk of Eurosceptic support being divided was shown as Jane Dodds, the Liberal Democrat candidate won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election. Remain-supporting parties including the Greens, Plaid Cymru, Change UK and the Renew Party, stood aside and supported Ms Dodds. The combined Tory-Brexit vote exceeded the vote of Ms Dodds, and was only 350 votes behind the tally of Ms Dodds combined with fourth-placed Labour, fifth-placed Monster Raving Loony and sixth-placed Ukip. Calls for the Brexit Party to stand aside in the seats of firm Tory Brexiteers and for the Tories to do the same in the traditional Labour heartlands in northern England. As reported by Mail Online, Tory MPs have told Mr Farage he has a choice of delivering Brexit or destroying the Tories as he cannot do both. Mr Farage tweeted: “As Claire Fox says, it is arrogant for the Conservatives to say we should stand aside. They are the very reason we exist. We simply do not trust them to deliver.” Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group, Wycombe MP Steve Baker said: “It is becoming obvious to all now that the Brexit Party standing against the Conservative Party would produce a massive own goal.” – Daily Express

  • Grandson of icon set to be Brexit Party candidate – Daily Express
  • Evelyn Waugh’s grandson to stand for Brexit Party – Daily Mail

Trump blames ‘glorification of violence’ but not guns

“In his first public remarks on the pair of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Trump also condemned white supremacy as authorities said they were investigating an anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant manifesto allegedly tied to the El Paso suspect. “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate,” Trump said. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.” “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.” “Noticeably absent from the president’s remarks was any mention of new restrictions on guns, despite the fact that just hours earlier Trump had urged the US Congress in a tweet to pass some form of background checks. Congress has proven unable to pass substantial gun violence legislation this session, despite the frequency of mass shootings, in large part because of resistance from Republicans, particularly in the Republican-controlled Senate. That political dynamic shows no signs of changing. Shortly after Trump spoke, authorities said another person had died from injuries sustained during the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday, raising the death toll in that attack to 22. Speaking from the White House, Trump called for “real bipartisan solutions” but pointedly attempted to steer the dialogue away from firearms.” – The Guardian

  • Social media and video games to blame for mass shootings, says Trump – The Sun
  • Trump barely mentions guns – Daily Mail
  • Piers Morgan challenges Trump to ban guns – Daily Mail
  • Trump to visit El Paso and Dayton – Daily Mail
  • Obama attacks Trump’s rhetoric – Daily Mail

Labour questions Javid’s fitness for office

“Labour has accused Sajid Javid, the chancellor, of being unfit to hold high office over allegations that he avoided taxes and grew rich as a millionaire banker selling toxic assets that caused the financial crisis. In a letter to Boris Johnson, the shadow chancellor said the allegations raised questions about Mr Javid’s “suitability and integrity”, and called for investigations into his past behaviour. “I urge you to reconsider the fitness of Mr Javid to serve in the role of chancellor,” John McDonnell wrote. Mr Javid, 49, was an investment banker at Deutsche Bank between 2000 and 2009, the industry’s go-getting years of huge bonuses before the financial crash led to state bailouts and a global recession. “It will not be lost on those that suffered the consequence of the last nine years of austerity that the newly appointed chancellor profited from the greed that contributed to it,” Mr McDonnell said. Labour’s allegations were drawn from two newspaper investigations into Mr Javid published several years ago. Euromoney reported that the chancellor was responsible for “structuring an emerging market synthetic CDO [collateralised debt obligation] that incurred millions of dollars’ worth of losses for investors”. He told the publication that such arrangements were “very appropriate” as long as investors understood the risk.” – The Times

  • Activists push for people’s vote before conference – The Guardian
  • Corbyn wants to call no confidence vote – The Sun
  • 30 Labour MPs set to ditch Corbyn and back Johnson over Brexit – Daily Express
  • Up to 30 Labour MPs set to vote for new deal with Brussels – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour MPs fatally distracted by internal squabbles, Tom Harris – Daily Telegraph
  • Harland and Wolff set to file for bankruptcy – FT
  • No ‘viable’ options to save shipyard says UK government – Belfast Telegraph
  • Record number of adults paying no tax – Daily Telegraph
  • Border poll question heightened, says Shadow Chancellor – Irish Times
  • Royal Navy joins US mission to protect ships – The Sun
  • Jon Snow cleared over ‘white Brexit’ remark – The Times
  • Let fat people die, says presenter – The Times
  • Retiring police could be offered incentive to stay on to help hit target – Daily Telegraph
  • Health secretary rejects calls for her to resign – The Scotsman
News in Brief
  • Could Boris Johnson be the last PM of the UK? Stephen Daisley – Spectator
  • Can a vote of no confidence prevent No Deal? Katy Balls – Spectator
  • How Spain could rule the Eurozone, Peter Franklin – New Statesman
  • If you want Brexit, you must back Boris Johnson, Douglas Carswell – Cap X
  • The Hong Kong protestors have turned militant – and this unnerves Beijing, Amanda Tattersall – Reaction