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Javid: I’m holding a speedy Spending Review next week to ‘clear the decks’

‘The Prime Minister has already set out our plans to support our public services in a few crucial areas. We’ll recruit 20,000 more police officers. £1.8 billion more to improve our hospitals. And we’ll deliver on those promises quickly. So I’m announcing today that we’ll set out our plans to do just that in a Spending Round statement to Parliament next Wednesday.That Spending Round will give Whitehall departments certainty over their budgets for next year, and will confirm our plans to fund the nation’s priorities. But at a time when the government is completely focused on planning for Brexit, it would be a distraction to start debating every line of government funding. We need to focus relentlessly on making sure we’re ready to leave the EU on 31st of October, whatever happens. So next week’s Spending Round will be about clearing the decks to allow us to focus on Brexit. Thanks to the hard work of the British people over the last decade, we can afford to spend more on the people’s priorities – without breaking the rules around what the government should spend – and we’ll do that in a few key areas like schools, hospitals and police.’ – Sajid Javid, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: How long will the snap ‘one-year’ Spending Round really last?

Ministers to propose Queen’s Speech – and attendant prorogation – today

‘Senior sources said a privy council of senior ministers was preparing to meet the Queen at Balmoral this week… Leaked emails revealed at the weekend that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, had sought legal advice about proroguing parliament for five weeks from early September, when MPs are already expected to break briefly for party conferences. A new session of parliament would then begin with a fresh Queen’s speech packed with manifesto-friendly measures on or around 14 October. Such a move would have to be approved by the privy council. It would give MPs little chance for parliamentary manoeuvring, but could just about allow time for a vote on any reworked deal Johnson manages to strike with the EU27, before the crucial European council meeting on 17 October. On Wednesday morning Conservative chairman James Cleverly confirmed the move on Twitter, saying that moving to hold a Queen’s Speech was something that “all new Governments do.”’ – The Guardian

  • It could force the Opposition’s hand on a confidence vote – FT
  • This follows election speculation after Javid cancelled what was meant to be his debut speech today – Daily Mail
  • The Opposition claim the Prime Minister is a threat to ‘the very nature of democracy’ – The Guardian

Johnson accuses Corbyn and other Remainers of attempt to ‘sabotage’ the talks

‘Boris Johnson has accused opposition MPs of attempting to “sabotage” Britain’s negotiations with the European Union after they announced plans to thwart a no-deal Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn, backed by other opposition leaders, vowed yesterday to use legislation to bind the prime minister’s hands and stop him fulfilling his pledge to take Britain out of the EU at the end of October “come what may”. The decision to prioritise a strategy with a “legal edge” over Mr Corbyn’s initial plan for a caretaker government means that Mr Johnson is likely to avoid facing a confidence vote when MPs return to the Commons next week. After chairing a cross-party meeting, the Labour leader said that he would table a motion of no-confidence “at an appropriate time” but it would “obviously not [be] the first item next Tuesday”.’ – The Times

‘Wriggle room’ for renegotiation emerges as the Government’s Brexit point-man goes to Brussels

‘David Frost, Mr Johnson’s Brexit “sherpa”, will discuss potential “wriggle room” on changes to the Theresa May-era Withdrawal Agreement with his EU counterparts, such as tweaking or even removing the controversial Irish backstop… Meanwhile, Mr Johnson says he has grown “marginally more optimistic” about a deal, even though the EU has repeatedly warned that it cannot accept any such changes. So why this understated sense of buoyancy all of a sudden? The Telegraph understands there was a positive reaction from Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron at last week’s Biarritz summit, because it changed their view that Mr Johnson’s priority is leaving the EU with no deal. Instead, they now feel that a last minute EU leaders’ summit in Brussels mid-October is the true landing zone for an agreement, even if both sides push on with aggressive public rhetoric in the weeks to come.’ – Daily Telegraph

Farage tells the Prime Minister the Brexit Party can be his ‘best friend or worst enemy’

‘Nigel Farage today unveiled a 635-strong army of Brexit Party MP candidates as he warned Boris Johnson not to ‘sell out’ Leave voters. Mr Farage claimed the Tories and Brexit Party would be ‘unstoppable’ if they worked together at a general election and Mr Johnson would win a ‘very big majority’. But he suggested such an alliance was unlikely because of fears the Prime Minister will not deliver a clean split from Brussels and is poised to ‘sell out’ Brexiteers… He added: ‘We are standing and we will stand in every seat in this election. We say to Boris Johnson, if you sell us out on Brexit with this awful withdrawal treaty we will fight you in every seat.’ The Eurosceptic MEP also poured cold water on the suggestion that the Brexit Party had peaked and was now heading down hill.’ – Daily Mail

Williamson plans new wave of free schools – and a crackdown on disruptive behaviour

‘Teachers could be told to use ‘reasonable force’ when dealing with unruly pupils, leaked education papers reveal. The documents advocated a new wave of free schools in the country for the benefit of excluded students. Schools could also be given billions of pounds in new funding and more help to crack down on bad behaviour, according to the proposals leaked yesterday. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson wants to hand out an extra £3.5billion and also provide additional support for teachers to ban mobile phones and exclude poorly-behaved pupils. The proposals, contained in a briefing document marked ‘official-sensitive’ and dated August 22, would be subject to negotiation between No10 and the Treasury.’ – Daily Mail

Immigration officers urge Patel to return illegal migrants to France more swiftly

‘Four small vessels carrying 32 migrants were intercepted in the Channel yesterday as the home secretary was warned the numbers will rise unless more are sent back to Europe. The head of an immigration officers’ union said migrants arriving in Britain must be removed swiftly to act as a deterrent to others seeking to make the journey. Lucy Moreton, general secretary of the Immigration Services Union, which represents border officials, said the problem would remain “intractable” as long as migrants believed they would never be returned to Europe. In the past six days 151 migrants have successfully crossed the Channel to Britain. The latest group all said they were nationals of Iraq and Iran. Priti Patel, the home secretary, is to travel to France tomorrow for talks with her counterpart Christophe Castaner, the interior minister, with officials saying the migrants are a British rather than French problem.’ – The Times

  • Nearly 40,000 failed asylum seekers are still in the UK – Daily Mail
  • The Bedfordshire drugs market is bigger than the local police budget – The Times
  • More must be done to battle addiction – Iain Duncan Smith, Daily Mail
  • Home Office advert banned for ‘misleading’ EU nationals – The Sun
  • Surveillance camera commissioner warns of the dangers of new monitoring technology – The Times

First-time buyers to get 20 per cent discount in their local area

‘Boris Johnson has identified getting young people on the housing ladder as “one of the great challenges of this generation”, in a marked shift from Theresa May’s focus on renters. Plans to overhaul shared ownership are being announced today but The Times understands that the government is also planning to offer price reductions on new developments, potentially as much as 20 per cent, to local residents. The cost would be borne by developers. Writing in The Times today, Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, says: “I want young people . . . to be able to stay in their communities. It’s not right that people on low incomes risk being forced out.’ – The Times

Lefties are less tolerant of those with different opinions, poll finds

‘A third of Labour supporters say they would be “upset” if their child married a Tory, according to a YouGov poll. The findings for Labour are twice as many as the reverse situation. The YouGov poll of 2,380 people found that a third of those who identify themselves as Labour supporters would be “upset” to some extent if their child married a Conservative, with a tenth saying they would be “very upset”. The percentage of Labour parents who would be upset by a Conservative son or daughter-in-law has risen six percentage points since January, when 28 percent told YouGov they would be “upset” in the same situation. This compares to just 13 percent of Conservatives who say they would be “upset” to some extent if their child married a Labour supporter, with 2 percent of Conservative parents saying such a marriage would leave them very upset. The findings also showed that some 28 percent of Labour supporters and 17 percent of Tories said they “would not consider” dating someone from the other political party.’ – Daily Telegraph

Putin offers to supply Russian jets to Erdogan

‘President Putin confirmed yesterday that Russia is ready to sell Turkey its Su-57 stealth fighters, which could push relations between the buyer and its fellow Nato members to breaking point. Mr Putin made the comment while accompanying President Erdogan to the Maks-2019 international air show near Moscow. The leaders inspected the cockpit of a fifth generation Su-57, after which Mr Erdogan inquired if the aircraft were available for purchase. “You can buy,” a smiling Mr Putin replied. The Russian president later hailed what he said were growing opportunities for arms sales to Turkey, which has also expressed an interest in Russia’s Su-35 fighter jets. Mr Erdogan’s visit came after the United States last month cancelled Turkey’s purchase of its F-35 stealth fighters over Ankara’s decision to buy S-400 anti-aircraft systems from the Kremlin, saying that the $2.5 billion arms deal was inappropriate for a Nato member.’ – The Times

>Today: Luke de Pulford on Comment: We must stand with Hong Kong, even if it harms trade with China

News in Brief

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