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The ‘other Johnson’ quits Government over Brexit

“Boris Johnson’s brother yesterday became the first member of his cabinet to quit the government, saying that he could no longer resolve the tensions between family loyalty and the national interest. Jo Johnson said he was resigning as universities minister — a post that meant he attended cabinet meetings — and would also stand down as an MP. He is understood to have told friends that the sacking by his brother of 21 Conservative opponents of a no-deal Brexit had brought matters to a head. He had previously been a key member of the rebel group, having resigned under Theresa May to push for a second referendum. He campaigned for Remain in 2016.” – The Times

  • The inside story of a schism – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Agony’ before knocking big brother for six – The Times
  • Leader ‘begged’ brother not to do it… – The Sun
  • …but pays tribute to ‘fantastic’ sibling – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Friends bombarded him with calls to resign – John Kampfner, Times Red Box
  • Betrayal is a heavy blow to the Prime Minister – Rosa Prince, Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson needs to consider an olive branch – Sebastian Payne and George Parker, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: The Jo Johnson resignation: not fratricide, but the most logical and honourable response to an intolerable conflict of interest

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: The other Johnson resigns

The Prime Minister vows to fight for a general election…

Boris Johnson will continue campaigning for an election he is yet to successfully call, after a torrid day in which his brother resigned from Government while describing being torn between family and “the national interest”. The Prime Minister will visit a farm in Aberdeenshire on Friday, to drum up support among voters, as opposition leaders continue their talks over how to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31. Labour and the SNP could again on Monday refuse to back the PM’s renewed attempt to get an early election, because of concerns the poll should be delayed until a Brexit deadline extension has been secured.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Poll shows decisive loss of support if Brexit is delayed – Daily Mail
  • He ruled out early election in Cabinet just days before seeking one – The Times
  • Downing Street secretly testing ‘trust the people’ as slogan – The Sun
  • Johnson and Farage could ‘crush’ Labour, poll suggests – Daily Express

More:

  • Johnson insists he would rather ‘die in a ditch’ than delay – Daily Telegraph
  • Government will not seek changes to extension bill – The Times
  • Prime Minister criticised for use of police for ‘political speech’ – The Guardian

Comment:

  • A speech to forget from a put-upon Johnson – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

…as Tory rebels gear up to stand as independents…

“A series of Tory rebels are preparing to stand as independents in a snap general election in a fresh blow to Boris Johnson’s plan for a majority. At least 12 of the former Conservative MPs are contemplating a run in their seats against any official new party candidate, The Sun has been told. They are Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Dominic Grieve, Ed Vaizey, Sam Gyimah, Alistair Burt, Steve Brine, Caroline Nokes, Antoinette Sandbach, Rory Stewart, Margot James and Stephen Hammond. Even if the rebels fail to win them, the move could split the Tory vote and hand the seats to opposition parties, diminishing the PM’s chances of a majority. It came as Sir John Major last night demanded the PM reinstate the 21 rebels – and sack controversial aide Dominic Cummings in an extraordinary attack.” – The Sun

  • Javid wants rebels re-admitted ‘at some point’ – The Times

More Major:

  • Ex-Prime Minister urges Johnson to sack ‘anarchist’ Cummings – The Times
  • Tory MPs blame aide, not leader – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • My colleagues should not have been sacked, their constituents should judge – Lord Young, Times Red Box

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: My profound sense of unease at the withdrawal of the whip from 21 Conservative MPs.

…and Labour agrees ‘secret pact’ with the SNP to block poll before exit postponed

“Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Blackford held a secret meeting over an election strategy yesterday with growing signs of a pact between Westminster’s two largest opposition parties. The Labour leader and the leader of the Scottish National Party at Westminster agreed that any snap election must not take place until after Britain had secured another Brexit delay from Brussels, ruling out Boris Johnson’s plan for a contest on October 15. The SNP is no longer demanding that an election be agreed by the end of next week. Mr Corbyn, meanwhile, appeared to have bowed to pressure from his shadow cabinet and backbench MPs not to sign up to Mr Johnson’s schedule.” – The Times

  • Plot to ‘trap’ Johnson into extending Article 50 – Daily Telegraph
  • Opposition will block election until Brexit is delayed – The Times
  • Union boss says Labour should back poll once bill is passed – The Guardian
  • Thornberry ‘ridiculed’ over Opposition’s Brexit position – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • However you cut it, an election would not be good for Labour – Martin Baxter, Daily Telegraph
  • Rebels should say no to an election at any time – Philip Collins, The Times
  • Election early, or late? Dilemma will decide future of Labour and Brexit – Sir John Curtice, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • Remainer MPs have broken politics more than the expenses scandal – The Sun

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Scottish Nationalists, Democratic Unionists, and Sinn Fein put themselves on a war footing

France warns that it might veto further extension as it ‘would not solve the problem’

“France has warned the Commons that President Macron could veto another delay to Brexit because the demand for a new extension “would not solve the problem”. MPs have seized control of Brexit by voting for legislation forbidding Boris Johnson to meet his “do or die” deadline for leaving the EU on October 31. The legislation requires the prime minister to ask for a new delay at an EU summit on October 17 by extending the Article 50 withdrawal process until February next year. Amélie de Montchalin, the French European affairs minister and lead negotiator on Brexit, said the plan would be rejected if it simply continued the parliamentary deadlock and political chaos in Britain.” – The Times

  • EU warns Johnson plan on rules will hinder talks – FT

Fraser Nelson: Johnson’s agenda isn’t ‘hard right’, and the public know it

“The Tories have been “taken over by the hard-Right”, they say, indulge in “tub-thumping populism”, thuggery and even dictatorship. They lament that the once-broad Conservative clan has mutated into a cult that expels genteel types like Kenneth Clarke and Rory Stewart. And who could possibly re-elect a party now so visibly and embarrassingly captured by fanatics? But in the wider country, things look different. A great many people see in all of this a leader finally determined to act and break free of Parliament’s traps. The House of Commons may be revered by its members, but not by the public. A recent European poll shows just one in five Brits saying they “tend to trust” Parliament. Only the Bulgarians and Croats have less faith in their legislature.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He’ll need the Brexit Party to get his agenda through – Iain Martin, The Times

>Today: Tobias Ellwood MP in Comment: To flourish, our Party must stay in the centre ground – not march off to the right

Gove to meet Irish Government

“Michael Gove is to meet Ireland’s deputy prime minister at the weekend for talks as tensions mount over Brexit and the Irish border. The chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster’s meeting with Simon Coveney in Cambridge will take place just before Boris Johnson’s visit to Dublin on Monday, when he will meet the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, for the first time since becoming prime minister. Both meetings come as the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said he was deeply concerned about reports that the UK was backsliding in Brussels talks regarding commitments on Irish matters in the joint report signed by Theresa May and the EU in December 2017.” – The Guardian

  • He says he would now vote for May’s Withdrawal Agreement – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Would the Withdrawal Agreement be acceptable without the backstop? 3) Redwood’s response to Barclay

Miller in court with legal challenge to prorogation

“Desperate lawyer Gina Miller and ex-PM John Major have launched their last-ditch court battle to stop Boris Johnson shutting down Parliament. The Remainer pair had their case heard at the High Court this morning where judges were told the PM’s decision to stop MPs sitting was an “unlawful abuse of power”. Miller, who challenged the Government at the High Court in 2016 over the triggering of the Article 50, joined forces with Tory grandee Major last week. Their case is being fought by Bo-Jo whose lawyers will argue that the advice given to the Queen was not unlawful. The PM previously warned the case could cause “catastrophic damage” to politics if it succeeded in stopping Brexit.” – The Sun

  • Government forced to reveal controversial memos – The Guardian

Williamson says free schools should ‘focus on troublemakers’

“Disruptive, troubled children thrown out of school or on the brink of expulsion are to be the new focus of the government’s free schools programme, the education secretary has said. Announcing a dramatic change of direction for the flagship policy, Gavin Williamson said that the alternative schools for these children were not good enough and “perpetuated a cycle” of underachievement which simply “shored up problems” for the future. The free school movement, with its emphasis on innovation and doing things completely differently, was ideally placed to provide better options for this neglected group, Mr Williamson said.” – The Times

  • Girls are getting further ahead of boys in key tests – The Sun

Comment:

  • A society which writes children off is not solving anything – Gavin Williamson, Times Red Box

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Meanwhile, back in the real world, Johnson is doing better than his critics like to suggest

Osborne ‘gives up’ on bid to be IMF chief

“George Osborne has abandoned his attempt to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund. Boris Johnson lobbied President Trump personally for the former chancellor in a phone call before the G7 summit last month. Mr Johnson was apparently still willing to nominate the editor of the Evening Standard but Mr Osborne threw in the towel. “The US administration was supportive and the UK was willing to nominate him but the feedback was that the European process was too far down the track,” a friend of Mr Osborne said. “He was pleased to get a lot of positive support including from the US and China but in the end it wasn’t going to be enough.”” – The Times

  • Economists claim banks’ no-deal warnings were ‘propaganda’ – Daily Telegraph

Liberal Democrats to announce two more defections this week

“Lib Dem chief Jo Swinson is poised to announce two more defections – after revealing ex-Labour MP Luciana Berger as the party’s latest recruit on Thursday. The Sun understands that ex-Labour backbencher Angela Smith and ex-Tory Heidi Allen will join over the coming week. All three were part of the breakaway Change UK party that formed in February but collapsed just months later.  Ms Smith could be unveiled as a Lib Dem MP as early as today. Ms Berger became the second MP to defect to the Lib Dems this week andMs Swinson boasted she was close to persuading Tory rebels on board too… Ms Swinson said she was in “conversations” with the 21 Tory rebels who Boris Johnson kicked out of the party for backing moves to delay Brexit.” – The Sun

  • Berger insists joining party is in the ‘national interest’ – The Times

Comment:

  • Conservative split could spark Gladstonian revival for Lib Dems – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • The old two-party politics is broken – Luciana Berger MP, Times Red Box

Pence talks up UK-US trade deal

“US Vice President Mike Pence gave Boris Johnson a much needed pre-election boost as said a bumper trade deal would quadruple business between the two countries. Donald Trump’s right-hand man met the PM for talks in No10 yesterday in a sign of the strengthening ties between Mr Johnson and the US President’s administration… In the meeting Mr Johnson again warned Washintgon Trump’s administration the NHS is “not on the table” during any post-Brexit trade deal with the US. The PM said he would not allow the health service to be carved up in trade talks with America and added that Britain was “not too keen on that chlorinated chicken”.” – The Sun

  • NHS not on the table, Vice-President told – The Times

Mugabe dies

“Brutal dictator Robert Mugabe has died aged 95 after battling ill health, it has been confirmed today. The former Zimbabwe president was remembered as a brave liberation hero who became a ruthless ruler and crippled his own country under a bloody reign of terror that lasted almost four decades. It was confirmed today that Mugabe had died while in Singapore with his family including wife Grace by his side. It is believed he had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness since April, with reports in November last year that he had been unable to walk. And as news of his death broke across the world, mixed tributes flowed for the man once feted as an African liberation hero and champion of racial reconciliation.” – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • Parliament drags us back to a pre-democratic age – Robert Tombs, Reaction
  • Johnson’s path to an early election – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • All the ways Brexit could now go – Alex Wickham and Mark Di Stefano, Buzzfeed
  • Has the Chancellor put an end to austerity? – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • Are breakaway parties always doomed? – Peter Franklin, UnHerd

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