Election 1) Lib Dems offer Johnson route to December election

“Boris Johnson has been offered a route to securing the pre-Christmas election that he has been seeking, through a plan that would only require the support of a simple majority of MPs. With most Labour MPs still against the idea of a snap election, the prime minister looks set to lose his bid to secure a December poll on Monday in a vote that requires the backing of two-thirds of MPs. Other parties are also opposing an election until the EU has granted a three-month Brexit delay, although the DUP hinted on Saturday it could back the move. However, in a sign that the coalition opposed to an election is under strain, the Liberal Democrats have drawn up a plan allowing Johnson to secure a December poll with a simple majority of MPs, with the support of Jo Swinson’s party and the SNP. Under the one-page Lib Dem bill, the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act would be amended to state that the next election would take place on Monday 9 December, three days earlier than under Johnson’s plans. It states that the new election date would be cancelled should the EU fail to grant a three-month Brexit extension.” – Observer

  • Remainers in disarray – Sunday Express
  • A December poll is Johnson’s biggest gamble yet – Sunday Times
  • On your marks for a Christmas election – Sunday Times
  • DUP to oppose PM’s pre-Xmas election plans – FT
  • And DUP will continue to vote against deal – Sunday Times
  • Foster urges Johnson to reopen Brexit negotiations – Belfast Telegraph
  • Minister admits Halloween Brexit ‘very difficult’ – The Scotsman
  • Abandoned Budget cast cloud over pre-election debate – FT

Election 2) And PM will target 40 marginal seats in General Election

“The Conservatives’ battle plan for a snap election centres on a closely-guarded list of between 30 and 40 target seats. The constituencies include Bishop Auckland, in County Durham, which Labour hold with a 502 majority, and Stockton South, near Middlesbrough, where Jeremy Corbyn’s party have an 888 majority. The Tories’ list of targets is mainly focused on seats in the Midlands and the North with large working class populations. On Saturday night Boris Johnson said an election was needed to break the parliamentary deadlock if MPs refused to sign off his Brexit deal. But he claimed: “Nobody wants a general election – I would much rather be continuing the work we have already begun on building more new hospitals, making our streets safer by putting 20,000 more police officers on our streets and increasing the national living wage to £10.50 an hour.” On Saturday night an Opinium poll for the Observer gave the Conservatives a 16 point lead nationally, with the party on 40 per cent compared to Labour’s 24 per cent and 15 per cent for the Lib Dems. The Brexit Party slipped by two points to 10 per cent. A Tory source said the Conservatives’ “offensive” list for a snap poll was “very targeted” and aimed at “sweeping up Leave-voting towns in the North and the Midlands”. – Sunday Telegraph

  • How young Tory activists are helping party prepare for election – Sunday Telegraph
  • The young female candidate in Tory battle to win Labour heartland – Sunday Telegraph
  • Not enough time to add 16-year-olds to electoral roll, say officials – Sunday Telegraph
  • With such volatile voters, all poll bets are off for a snap election – Observer
  • Brexit referendum should never have been called, say majority of voters – Observer
  • English Tories have lost the slightest reason to care about the union, Kevin McKenna

Election 3) Corbyn’s inner circle at war over early election

“In a fresh sign of turmoil in Labour high command, a leaked recording of a briefing last week reveals that Karie Murphy, Corbyn’s new elections chief, rejected the idea that Labour should draw up a list of target seats — a stance that has caused despair among party staff. Instead, Murphy is advocating a “99% strategy” in which Corbyn is sent around the country to try to win votes and seats everywhere. Murphy, a pro-Brexit union ally, told staff to ignore “private” discussions about strategy and declared: “We ripped up those rules.” She also dismayed those in the meeting by admitting: “I don’t know much about [polling]. I hear about it all the time, though.” Murphy added that the party had to move the debate on from Brexit and focus on questions that “actually matter”. The Sunday Times has also obtained Labour’s draft election grid — a day-to-day list of themes for a campaign — which refers to Brexit just twice and crime once. The party will instead focus on boosting public spending, including extending free dental care and nationalising energy.” – Sunday Times

  • We must axe Corbyn to save Labour, insist plotters – Mail on Sunday
  • Corbyn fuels up on porridge – Sunday Times
  • Labour leader in fresh anti-semitism row over selection of candidate for West Midlands Mayor – Mail on Sunday
  • MP at work despite sex inquiry – Sunday Times
  • The fearsome data targeting machine that will power Labour’s next election campaign – and why it might be illegal – Sunday Telegraph

Archbishop tells Johnson: You’re pouring petrol on divided Britain

“In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said Britain had become consumed by “an abusive and binary approach to political decisions” in which Brexit rivals treated their opponents as “my total enemy”. The archbishop warned that social media meant it had become “extraordinarily dangerous to use careless comments” in a society that was “polarised and volatile”. He was “shocked” by Johnson’s recent dismissal of warnings about extreme language encouraging death threats against politicians as “humbug”. Welby’s intervention comes as two cabinet ministers revealed that at Thursday’s cabinet meeting Johnson launched an outspoken attack on Labour MPs refusing to back his plans for a general election. “There they are sitting on their arses, luxuriating in their salaries,” he said. Unveiling plans to hold a vote on an election each day from Monday to Thursday, Johnson promised to implement a “battering-ram strategy” to force Labour’s hand. “We will hammer them day after day after day,” he pledged.” – Sunday Times

Speaker to quit this week and take job as…..a speaker

“John Bercow is in great demand to be a guest on the lucrative after-dinner circuit by VIPs keen to hear the inside story of his ten years umpiring Commons debates. In the past month he has received more than £5,000 for speeches in Zurich, Amsterdam, Boston and New York. But he has insisted: “I don’t think I want to milk anything. I am entitled to make a living.” Mr Bercow has irked Brexiteer Tories so much he could become the first Speaker in 200 years to be denied a peerage when he steps down. Ministers have been frustrated by his behaviour and say he is partly to blame for three years of Brexit turmoil. Bottles of “Speaker Bercow’s whisky” were selling fast in the Commons gift shop last week by politicians out to secure a bit of history. Thursday will be Mr Bercow’s last full day in the chair before he hands over to one of nine candidates – to be elected in a secret ballot of MPs the following Monday.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Bercow’s former private secretary considers bullying complaint – Sunday Times
  • And Speaker in row over bullying ‘stitch-up’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Plus Bercow starts to profit from his time as Speaker – Sunday Times
  • Minister ‘told mother to flout cannabis law’ for epileptic son – Observer
  • Tories pledge more grammar school places – Sunday Times
  • Driver charged with 39 counts of manslaughter – Sunday Telegraph
  • Grenfell inquiry report to slam fire brigade – Sunday Times
  • Isis leader killed in US raid, according to unconfirmed reports – Sunday Express
  • Raise stamp duty threshold to £500k, says CPS thinktank – Sunday Times
News in Brief