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Election 1) Johnson considers Lib Dems and SNP offer of December 9th…

“Boris Johnson is increasingly confident of forcing a December general election after signalling he would accept a Brexit compromise put forward by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP. The Prime Minister will on Monday night ask MPs to vote for an election on Dec 12, with the promise of more time to scrutinise his Brexit divorce Bill, but opposition parties are refusing to back him, meaning he is unlikely to get the majority he needs. On Sunday, however, he was handed a lifeline by the Lib Dems and SNP, who proposed holding a general election on Dec 9 if the EU extends Article 50 until Jan 31 and Mr Johnson promises to adhere to the extension. It would mean Mr Johnson’s deal being put on hold until after an election, but Downing Street hinted the plan put forward by Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader, was likely to become the Government’s plan B if it lost Monday’s vote in the face of Labour opposition.” – Daily Telegraph

  • An A-Z of the lies, absurdies, and hypocrisies of this rotten Parliament – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • MPs should vote to stop this Brexit agony – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • It is time to sweep away these moaning MPs – Leader, Daily Express
  • This will be much more than an election about EU membership – Christian May, City AM

>Today: Columnist David Gauke: When your bell rings in December, you expect to be sung a carol – not asked how you’re going to vote

>Yesterday:

Election 2) …but Cleverly says “it’s a gimmick”

“Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Cleverly said of the Lib Dem-SNP bill: “It’s clearly a gimmick. Their bill moves the election date by three days, takes the withdrawal agreement completely off the table.” He argued the government had put forward proposals for a general election first. “What we’re not going to do is, we’re not going to listen to two parties who have explicitly said they want to stop Brexit from happening,” he said. Mr Cleverly also said he was “cynical” as the bill would be amendable, meaning MPs can suggest changes to it arguably prompting further delays.” – BBC

>Yesterday: WATCH: Cleverly – “Unless and until we get an extension from the EU, 31 Oct remains our exit date”.

Election 3) Ministers hope a new Speaker wil make it easier to fix a date

“Ministers are pinning their hopes on the election of a new Speaker to force Britain to the polls, The Times has been told. John Bercow retires this Thursday, the day that Britain was supposed to leave the EU. The government believes his successor will be much less likely to allow backbenchers to seize control of the order paper again to pass legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Ministers believe it will leave Britain facing a no-deal departure on January 31, leaving Labour with no choice but to back an election. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, is expected this week to reject Boris Johnson’s call for a general election on December 12.” – The Times

  • Parliament needs an honest, self-effacing Speaker to repair the damage wrought by Bercow – Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
  • Hopefully we will soon be treated to fool Bercow’s long overdue departure – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • Attention-seeking and vain, the new Speaker cannot be a Bercow 2.0 – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

Election 4) Gove: Labour are running away from democracy

“Every day that Brexit is delayed again, every day Labour contort a new Brexit position to avoid taking a decision is another day where time is wasted on parliamentary procedure, time which could be being used to focus on people’s priorities….Someone once said Labour had more Brexit positions than the Kama Sutra, but now it looks more like 50 shades of delay. Jeremy Corbyn cannot, in conscience, keep running away from democracy. He must let the people decide so we can break this deadlock and move on as a proud and united country.” – Michael Gove, Daily Telegraph

  • Turkeys won’t be voting for Christmas – John Curtice, The Times
  • Ignore the gloomsters, our democracy is thriving – Edward Lucas, The Times
  • Corbyn risks being outflanked – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Abbott – “We’re waiting to see what the EU says but…the Labour Party is up for an election”.

EU “prepares to grant UK three-month extension”

“The EU is preparing to sign off on a Brexit extension to 31 January 2020 with an option for the UK to leave earlier if a deal is ratified, according to a leaked draft of the agreement seen by the Guardian. Despite objections raised by the French government, a paper to be agreed on Monday circulated among member states suggests the EU will accede to the UK’s request for a further delay. The UK would be able to leave on the first day of the month after a deal is ratified, according to the paper. The draft paper suggests a no-deal Brexit on 31 October is off the table as demanded by opposition party leaders as a prerequisite for a general election.” – The Guardian

  • EU set to dash last hope of quick exit – The Times
  • The long Brexit ordeal will finish off the break-up of Britain – Neal Ascherson, The Guardian
  • Macron caves in – Daily Express

>Today:

Power struggle in “People’s Vote” campaign

“The power struggle within the People’s Vote campaign for a second EU referendum has intensified with two of the group’s most senior figures forced out. On Sunday night James McGrory, the director, and Tom Baldwin, the head of communications, were asked to leave with immediate effect. Patrick Heneghan, the former head of campaigns for the Labour party, was appointed temporarily as People’s Vote’s acting chief executive. The changes were made by Roland Rudd, the outgoing chairman of Open Britain, according to a report in the Financial Times. Open Britain is one the five organisations that make up People’s Vote. It follows reports of a power struggle within the campaign for a second referendum, with PR executive Rudd forming a new company to oversee a remain campaign in the case of a second referendum.” – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Why the second referendum campaign is failing

Corbyn allies missing out in key selection battles…

“Jeremy Corbyn’s allies were snubbed for a series of plum seats yesterday, further undermining the Labour leader caught in the crossfire of a furious internal battle over the next election. Mr Corbyn is being pressed by a group of ultra-loyalists to commit Labour to an early vote — even if it means agreeing to Boris Johnson’s timetable — because they fear he faces another coup attempt. Those concerns are likely to be stoked by a series of selection battles fought over the weekend in which candidates of the left lost out. Among those rejected was Katy Clark, Mr Corbyn’s former political secretary, who was defeated by Florence Eshalomi in the race to be Labour’s candidate in Vauxhall. Kate Osborne failed to be selected as the candidate in Blythe Valley despite the backing of Unite and Momentum. The seat was won by Susan Dungworth, a local councillor. Although Momentum-backed candidates won in Liverpool Wavertree and elsewhere the slew of selections brings into question the Labour leadership’s grip on the party machinery.” – The Times

Argentina chooses a new President

“In a dramatic comeback, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, one of Argentina’s most popular presidents during her two terms in 2007-2015, has been voted back into office as vice president. A large crowd of supporters burst into a roar outside the Frente de Todos (Everybody’s Front) party bunker in the Chacarita neighbourhood of the capital city of Buenos Aires at 9pm when preliminary official results gave the victory to presidential candidate Alberto Fernández and Fernández de Kirchner. Incumbent Mauricio Macri conceded defeat on Sunday night, telling supporters at his headquarters that he had called Fernández to congratulate him and invited him for a breakfast chat on Monday at the Pink Presidential Palace.” – The Guardian

  • East German state Thuringia faces political stalemate after election – Financial Times

IS leader has killed himself after US raid in Syria

“The fugitive leader of the Islamic State (IS) group killed himself during a US military operation in north-west Syria, President Donald Trump has said. Speaking from the White House, Mr Trump said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest after fleeing into a tunnel, chased by US military dogs. Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria. IS carried out multiple atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths…In an unusual Sunday morning statement, Mr Trump described the night-time operation in extraordinary detail, saying Baghdadi ran into a dead-end tunnel, “whimpering and crying and screaming”, while being chased by military dogs.” – BBC

  • Chance for Trump to regain the initiative – The Times
  • Unholy Warrior – Leader, The Times

Frazer plans to tackle use of smart phones by priosoners to make drug deals

“The Ministry of Justice is setting up a special digital forensics lab not only to track down illicit smartphones – which now account for a third of the 20,000 phones seized in jails each year – but also to unlock the encrypted messages prisoners are using to run criminal enterprises from inside jail. The prison service says the unit is vital because of the increasing number of phone seizures revealing offenders using smart devices to continue to run criminal operations from inside jail and to harness the dark web…Officials say it could unlock a treasure trove of intelligence on criminal gangs operating both inside and outside prison. Lucy Frazer, the prisons minister, told The Daily Telegraph: “We know that the ways in which criminals conduct their business is advancing – with prisoners harnessing new technology and the dark web to further their operations behind bars.” – Daily Telegraph

Williamson to penalise schools with head teachers earning over £100,000

“Schools face missing out on Government cash if their heads are on fatcat salaries. Ministers yesterday announced plans for a £400million boost to school and college funding for new facilities and improved buildings. All academies and sixth-form colleges in England can bid for a slice of the cash – but they will be penalised if they pay their headteachers and senior staff more than £100,000. It is the latest attempt by the Government to rein in excessive pay after it emerged last year that the number of academy trusts paying salaries of £150,000 or more had risen to 125. The new funding, which was announced last night by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, can be used to expand classrooms, upgrade facilities such as sports halls and science labs, and address issues with general wear and tear.” – Daily Mail

May “regretted appointing Hammond as Chancellor”

“May appointed Philip Hammond as chancellor of the exchequer but very quickly came to regret it. Both May and Hammond shoulder responsibility for the distance between No 10 and No 11 during her premiership. The chancellor traditionally has his House of Commons office next door to the prime minister’s, indicating the importance of their relationship. After his appointment, Hammond chose to remain in the foreign secretary’s room he had had under David Cameron, around the corner. He told the party chairman, Patrick McLoughlin, that “it’s not worth my while moving. If you think you can have a drink with Theresa and chew the cud, you can forget it.” May’s team speculated that he harboured a grudge against her dating back to the time that they both competed to become MP for Maidenhead, and he never forgot he lost out against her.” – Extract from Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell’s May at 10, The Times

  • May “in tears after referendum result” – The Times

>Yesterday: WATCH: Hammond claims that Johnson’s deal ‘was available to Theresa May 15 months ago’.

Cochrane: Where have all the Scottish Tories gone?

“In spite of there being 13 Tory MPs at Westminster and 31 in the Scottish Parliament, they’ve been conspicuous only by their silence. It’s true that there is a vacancy at the very top of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party thanks to Ruth Davidson giving up the leadership. However, it appears to be a vacancy that’s become a vacuum as the party appears to be in no hurry to elect a new leader, with the result that there is now an embarrassing hole in Scottish politics where the Scottish Tory voice should be. Jackson Carlaw has been installed as interim leader, pending an election of a permanent replacement, but nobody knows when that vote of party members might take place…Nevertheless, it is not Mr Carlaw who’s the main target in the firing line of some Tory supporters. That role is reserved for Alister Jack, who was appointed Scottish Secretary by Boris Johnson in July – replacing the long serving David Mundell.” – Daily Telegraph

Lawson: Welby should pipe down

“As if Boris Johnson didn’t have enough critics to contend with, now God has joined their number. Well, not God exactly, but the Archbishop of Canterbury — in effect the spiritual leader of the established Church of England. That is the message of the front page headline in yesterday’s Sunday Times: ‘Archbishop: Boris pouring petrol on divided Britain’. In a recent interview, Archbishop Justin Welby warned that ‘inflammatory’ language risked pouring ‘petrol’ on Britain’s burning division over Brexit…One Labour MP told me that Parliament is ‘suffering from a form of Brexit-related post-traumatic stress disorder. The atmosphere is so unhealthy and poisonous, it can no longer do its job’. I don’t wish to seem insensitive (though I am), but the best way to release that Brexit-induced stress would indeed be to get the thing done, rather than continue to agonise over it. Or have a general election, which at least would clear the fetid fumes of a parliament in a state resembling rigor mortis.” – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

News in brief

  • SNP and Lib Dems join forces to pursue 9 December election – Robert Peston, The Spectator
  • Anyone for an election? – John Redwood
  • The absurdity of Labour’s enthusiasm for the European project – Austin Mitchell, Brexit Central
  • Mandelson ridicules Labour’s election plans – Independent
  • Whoever controls the suburbs, controls America – Oliver Wiseman, Unherd

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