Labour and SNP ‘hint at pact to oust Johnson’

“Labour and the SNP moved towards a pact last night that would seek to oust Boris Johnson as the parties prepared for an autumn election. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said that Labour would not block a second referendum on Scottish independence, in a significant shift of policy. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister and SNP leader, opened the door to a “progressive alliance” with Labour if the two parties were able to form a majority after a general election. Ms Sturgeon said she was “no great fan” of Jeremy Corbyn, especially on Brexit, but that she would sign up to a pact that “could lock the Tories out of government”. Westminster is on high alert for Labour to table a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson when MPs return next month.” – The Times

  • May’s ‘coalition of chaos’ warning ‘could come true’ – Daily Express
  • Remainers ‘hatch plot calling on Queen to sack the Prime Minister’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory europhiles have ‘long-shot’ chance of stopping Johnson – The Sun


  • Rifkind urges Johnson to ignore Cummings’ advice – The Times
  • Miller threatens to take the Government to court if it won’t resign – Daily Telegraph
  • Peston explains why Johnson’s plan ‘won’t be scrapped’ – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Osborne – Brexit’s saviour?

Fury at Labour’s ‘betrayal of the Union’

“Labour has been accused of betraying the Union after John McDonnell declared the party will not block a fresh Scottish independence referendum – in a naked pitch for a pact with the SNP. The shadow chancellor is facing a massive backlash after making the huge concession to pave the way for a deal with Nicola Sturgeon that could see his party sneak into power after a snap election. The blatant offer came hours after the Scottish First Minister floated a ‘progressive alliance’ with Jeremy Corbyn to ‘lock the Tories out of government’ and block Brexit. But the intervention sparked fury among Labour MPs, who accused Mr McDonnell of ‘betrayal’ by ‘appeasing nationalists’, and ‘dumping’ on the party’s existing policy.” – Daily Mail

  • Shadow Chancellor ‘rules out coalition to block No Deal’ – FT
  • Prime Minister warned his stance could break up the UK – The Sun


  • If Johnson can’t win, prepare for Prime Minister Clarke – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • The growing dread of a Scots unionist – Robert Wright, FT


  • Remainers hypocritical to insist Johnson play by the rules – The Sun

Davidson warns him that ‘millions can’t afford a no-deal exit’

“Ruth Davidson has urged Boris Johnson and EU leaders to end their standoff and compromise, warning a no-deal Brexit jeopardises the livelihoods of millions of people. The Scottish Tory leader said even a “very mild economic shock” in the short term would be enough to inflict serious privation on those without savings or who rely on their overdrafts to make ends meet. She lamented how compromise has become a “dirty word” or “sell-out” in politics, with both sides of the Brexit talks becoming increasingly “strident” in their refusal to back down over the Northern Irish backstop. Challenged at an Edinburgh Fringe event over whether she and Mr Johnson were at loggerheads over his Brexit strategy, she insisted they were “not that opposed” as they both want a deal.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Gove says Brussels is blocking the path to a solution – The Times
  • EU stands firm as No Deal looms – FT
  • Varadkar ‘says another delay is coming’ – Daily Express
  • Cummings ‘accuses Hammond’ of refusing to prepare for No Deal – The Sun
  • Senior officer warns it would ‘harm security’ – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The tartan Quebec?

Daniel Finkelstein: My forecast for what such a Brexit will mean

“These are the most important things I learnt from Popper: a worthwhile statement should be capable of being falsified. And that we only make intellectual progress by testing our theories and adapting them. We should not be afraid of being wrong but we should be afraid of persisting in error. These lessons seem pertinent as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit draws near. What do those of us who worry about no-deal really think will happen after October 31? What arguments are we putting forward that can be tested or falsified when the outcome becomes clear? Let me set out some predictions that can be judged, and either vindicated or repudiated, by events.” – The Times

  • Why I fear our country is now in Cummings’ hands – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • Nothing undemocratic about the backstop – Mark Durkan, Daily Telegraph

Raab leads trade push overseas

“Dominic Raab said the UK is at an “important historic crossroads” and the country wants to take its friendship with Canada to the “next level” on trade post-Brexit. The Foreign Secretary added the government’s desire to leave the EU on October 31 – deal or no deal – while he was in Toronto… The news comes after Mr Johnson welcomed his first world leader to Downing Street since becoming Prime Minister. He shook hands with counterpart Juri Ratas in the street before heading in to Number 10. Earlier, it emerged EU chiefs are now in “full no deal preparations” after giving up on Mr Johnson’s ability to deliver an agreement.” – Daily Express

  • Trade Secretary says Brexit offers ‘huge series of upsides’ – The Guardian


  • Summers claims UK is ‘delusional’ over prospects of US trade deal – The Times
  • Duncan Smith hits back: Democrats ‘aren’t in control’ – Daily Express

>Today: Dominic Walsh in Comment: What would No Deal mean for trade beyond the EU?

Javid and Hancock pledge to overhaul doctors’ pensions

“Doctors will be given more control over their pensions in an attempt to end a crisis that is said to be creating longer waiting lists. Sajid Javid, the chancellor, and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, plan to overhaul the pensions system for high-earning GPs and consultants after they complained they were being hit with punitive tax bills for working overtime. Boris Johnson vowed to fix the issue after it emerged that about three quarters of GPs and consultants had cut or planned to cut their hours because they said they were being penalised financially the more they worked.” – The Times

  • Move could see complex tax rules lifted for all workers – Daily Telegraph


  • Tinkering won’t stop doctors being forced out of the NHS – Chaand Nagpaul, Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: Tania Mathias in Comment: This new Government brings good news for the NHS – and Johnson is proving it

Sturgeon accused of ‘shameful complacency’ over exam results

“Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “shameful complacency” over the state of the Scottish education system after Higher pass rates dropped for the fourth year in a row. More than 136,000 pupils across Scotland received their results on Tuesday, with pass rates declining for every qualification except National 5. Higher pass rates dropped to 74.8 per cent, a fall of two points compared to the previous year and a decline of 4.4 points compared to 2015 when new exams were introduced. Pass rates for English, maths and all three main science subjects all declined, while there was an astonishing drop of almost 10 points for history.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Capable leaders would admit what has gone wrong in Scottish education – Jim Scott, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • It’s not just the Tories who should worry about the Brexit Party – Harry Phibbs, Reaction
  • The right must cross divides to defeat the danger of Corbyn – James Bickerton, 1828
  • Brexiteers should be careful about setting fire to the constitution – James Kirkup, The Spectator