Major to tell Supreme Court that Johnson had ‘ulterior motives’ for prorogation

“Sir John Major will compare Boris Johnson to a dishonest estate agent today, saying that he had “ulterior motives” when he prorogued parliament. The former Tory prime minister, whose lawyers will intervene at the Supreme Court, has said in written submissions that Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament was “unlawful”. He argued that Mr Johnson’s justification for prorogation to bring forward a new legislative programme “makes no sense and cannot be the true explanation”. In a clear suggestion that Mr Johnson should not be believed, Sir John wrote that it would be “artificially naive” for the court to accept the prime minister’s stated reasons for the prorogation.” – The Times

  • Ex-Prime Minister defends Court’s right to rule on issue – FT
  • Did Major use prorogation for political advantage himself? – FullFact
  • Top Tories fear judges will ‘rewrite the constitution’ – The Sun


  • Government’s fightback was effective, but missing statements rankled – Adam Cygan, Daily Telegraph
  • If judges foil Brexit, our democracy will be crippled – Rod Liddle, The Sun
  • Johnson’s lies plunge Britain into a dark morass – Philip Stephens, FT
  • We need a new constitution to replace the shattered old order – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Richard Ritchie in Comment: It is futile to ask where political giants of old would have stood in today’s chaos

…and Cameron lands his own blows as memoir is published today

“David Cameron’s highly-anticipated memoir For The Record is due to hit shelves today, with striking details about his professional and personal life revealed. Here is what we can expect from from the former PM’s book… Cameron tore into Boris Johnson saying he “didn’t believe in” Brexit – and backed it to boost his career. The ex-Tory leader says BoJo threw his weight behind the campaign even though he was “certain the Brexit side would lose”. The former PM says Boris wanted to “become the darling of the party” using the referendum to ensure others, including Michael Gove, did not “win that crown”.” – The Sun

  • ‘Death knows no privilege’ attack on Guardian editorial – Daily Mail
  • He says May ignored his advice on Brexit… – The Times
  • …and admits asking the Queen to make her 2014 Scottish intervention – BBC
  • Osborne blames Cameron for Brexit – Daily Mail

>Today: Rachel Wolf’s column: In defence of Cameron

>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan’s column: Cameron maligns Brexiteers because he misunderstands them

Hopes for deal rise as DUP ‘soften stance’ on Ulster-only solutions

“Boris Johnson’s hopes of striking a new Brexit deal received a boost after Democratic Unionists softened their stance over Northern Ireland — but the UK prime minister came under fresh EU pressure to table a written plan to break the deadlock. Arlene Foster, DUP leader, signalled her willingness to accept Northern Irish-only solutions to the future of the border with the Irish Republic, provided they did not infringe the region’s constitutional status within the UK. Her remarks, at a business event in Dublin, mark a subtle change of approach to Brexit as she has insisted for many months that Northern Ireland must leave the EU on exactly the same terms as the rest of the UK.” – FT

  • UK and Ireland meet for ‘secret backstop talks’ – Daily Mail
  • Macron gives Johnson 11 days to spell out his plan or risk No Deal – The Sun

More Northern Ireland:

  • Police chief claims hard Brexit would put officers’ lives at risk – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “The risk of a no-deal is palpable”, says Juncker

Prime Minister praises NATO ahead of Trump meeting…

“Boris Johnson has praised Nato as the world’s most successful military alliance just days after Donald Trump was accused of weakening the organisation. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary general of the transatlantic alliance from 2009 to 2014, accused the US President of “damaging” Nato with his repeated criticism of the 29-state coalition. President Trump has repeatedly hit out at how Nato is funded, arguing that not enough member states are hitting the target of spending two per cent of GDP on defence. It was reported earlier this year the US President had even privately discussed withdrawing the US from the organisation entirely – a move which would severely weaken the alliance.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He tries to talk the President ‘out of war with Iran’ – The Sun

>Today: Bob Seely MP in Comment: How Iran is seeking to hit the West where it hurts – at the petrol pumps

…and is confronted by angry father on hospital visit…

“Boris Johnson has been confronted by an angry parent over waiting times during a visit to a hospital in North London today. Omar Salem took the Prime Minister to task, saying the NHS was being “destroyed” while his little girl was being treated at the children’s unit in Whipps Cross Hospital. The dad – who describes himself as a Labour activist – claimed there had been “years and years and years of the NHS being destroyed”… Mr Johnson said “there’s no press here” but the parent gestured to cameras filming the confrontation and said: “What do you mean there’s no press here, who are these people?”” – The Sun

  • Corbynistas demand BBC sack Kuenssberg for revealing man to be Labour activist – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Do voters distrust Johnson on the healthcare? Sure. But Labour is no longer seen as “the party of the NHS”, either.

>Yesterday: Jenny Jackson in Comment: A winning Conservative NHS manifesto would focus on life’s first thousand days

…amidst claims he is ‘hamstrung’ by rift with Javid

“The rift between Boris Johnson’s team and Sajid Javid is widening, government sources have said, with growing concerns in Whitehall that disagreements are harming the effectiveness of the Downing Street operation. Two government sources said there was frustration in No 10 and other departments that the chancellor was trying to water down big spending announcements Boris Johnson wants to make at the Conservative party conference. They said No 10 was becoming increasingly annoyed by what it regarded as Javid’s intransigence, and was sidelining him in favour of Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary to the Treasury, with departments being directed to talk to him rather than the chancellor.” – The Guardian

  • Chancellor urged to explain delay in recruiting Bank of England governor – The Times


  • Johnson must choose between Gove and Cummings – Jenni Russell, The Times

Rees-Mogg speaks of Brexiteers’ ‘debt’ to Farage but urges voters to back Tories

“Jacob Rees-Mogg praised Nigel Farage on Wednesday night as he urged Brexiteers to come back to the Conservative Party after Britain left the EU. The Leader of the House of Commons said the Brexit Party leader was the most important political figure outside Parliament in the past 30 years and that Brexiteers “owe him a great debt”. However, speaking at a Telegraph subscriber event, he warned Tory and Brexit Party supporters that they “all want the same thing … to leave the EU”, but risked enabling Labour to win a general election. He said that a vote for the Brexit Party would be “a vote effectively for Jeremy Corbyn”. Mr Rees-Mogg declared “we must deliver Brexit” and acknowledged that it would be “full steam ahead” for the Brexit Party if the Conservatives failed to do so.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He rules out any formal alliance with the Brexit Party – Daily Mail
  • Leader of the House admits lying down in Parliament was an error – The Times

>Today: Holly Whitbread in Local Government: The experience of doorstep campaigning for the Conservatives has dramatically improved

Morgan urges broadcasters to boost female sport

“The Culture Secretary has urged BBC, ITV and C4 to give women’s sporting events equal screen time to men’s. Nicky Morgan said it would mean “future generations of female sporting talent can be inspired by who they see on their screens”. She wants top women’s competitions to be shown alongside the “crown jewels” of men’s events that must be broadcast live. These include the Champions League final, Rugby World Cup final and all football World Cup games. The new rules would also see Manchester City’s Steph Houghton getting the same airtime as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.” – The Sun

Labour ‘starts to reverse Clause 4 reforms’…

“Labour has begun the process of reversing Tony Blair’s reform of Clause 4, the totemic section of the party’s constitution. Mr Blair ditched the old statement of his party’s aims and values, regarded as a commitment to widespread nationalisation, in 1995. The decision was viewed as a significant moment in the party’s history. Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), controlled by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, agreed on Tuesday to set up a working group to examine changing the document. The development comes as a new poll shows that the Liberal Democrats have overtaken Labour after Jo Swinson promised to halt Brexit without a referendum.” – The Times

…as Labour Students vows to resist shutdown attempt

“Labour’s 40-year-old student wing has vowed to fight the party’s decision to wind the organisation down, amid speculation that a general election may be coming within weeks. The chair of Labour Students wrote to the party’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, on Wednesday to say the decision taken by the national executive committee (NEC) has no justification and will be ignored. Jon Lansman, the Momentum chair who sits on the NEC and is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, was behind the move. He claims the group needs reforming and had not paid its affiliation fees. However, critics suggested the move is a cynical attempt to shut down a “moderate” wing of the party.” – The Guardian

Tom Harris: Labour moderates are attacking hard left for the wrong thing

“Fresh from the NEC’s decision to wind up the Labour Students group on the basis that it is terminally moderate and not at all pro-Jeremy Corbyn, another spat has emerged – this time between deputy leader Tom Watson and Jon Lansman, founder of Momentum and a strong Corbyn supporter. The source of the latest squabble is Salma Yaqoob, the former leader of George Galloway’s Respect party, who was recently admitted to the Labour Party after years of campaigning against it. It is this point that irks Watson… But once again, they are focusing on the wrong things. Ordinary voters could not care less about a candidate’s record of standing against this or that party in the past; they want to know about their beliefs. So Watson could have asked Yaqoob to justify describing the actions of Islamist terrorists who took the lives of 52 commuters on July 7, 2005, as “reprisal events”.” – Daily Telegraph

Greens attack Lib Dems for ‘arrogant’ new Brexit policy

“The Green party’s Caroline Lucas has branded the Liberal Democrat revoke Brexit position as arrogant and says it risks inflaming further political tension. In a video for the Guardian the MP warned against revocation – which in effect cancels Brexit – suggesting it was “very dangerous” for the country. “I certainly think that the Lib Dem way out is arrogant, self-indulgent, cynical and very dangerous. I think that will put fuel on the fire,” she said. The Lib Dems’ new policy, announced by the party’s leader, Jo Swinson, is to back a second referendum but in the case of their party winning a majority at a general election they would implement the cancellation of article 50.” – The Guardian

  • Labour will be ‘flattened’ if they dither on EU policy, Corbyn warned – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Here comes Harold Corbyn

Scottish universities warn SNP to end austerity

Scotland’s universities, their staff and students have issued an unprecedented joint warning to SNP ministers to stop their funding cuts or risk a “significant and long-term decline” in higher education. Universities Scotland, the National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU) said the Nationalist government has cut higher education funding by 11.6 per cent in real terms in only five years. They warned this means there is now £127.6 million less invested each year into universities, the equivalent of almost £700 per student in 2019/20. Professor Andrea Nolan, University Scotland’s convener, said any further decline would result in “buckets underneath our leaky roofs”, outdated technology and fewer lecturers per student.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • The Lib Dems embrace the polarisation they claim to decry – Alan Lockey, CapX
  • Danger of the courts taking over politics – Richard Ekins, The Spectator
  • Johnson should beware reviving May’s deal, backstop or none – Christopher Howarth, Brexit Central
  • Tories must make the general election a referendum on Corbyn – James Bickerton, Reaction
  • Environmentalism need not be anti-capitalism in disguise – Chris Bullivant, 1828

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