Election 1) PM drops Brexit bill in last bid for election

“Boris Johnson will make one last effort today to send Britain to the polls before Christmas but could be thwarted by a squabble over the exact election date. The prime minister last night took up an offer by the Liberal Democrats and SNP of an early election in return for a promise to abandon efforts to get his Brexit deal through parliament. The two parties offered yesterday to vote for legislation amending the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, meaning that Mr Johnson would need only a simple Commons majority to secure an election. He had failed for the third time to secure an election using the act as it requires a two-thirds majority. Speaking after the defeat, Mr Johnson said that he was tabling a “short” bill setting aside the act’s provisions for an election on December 12. That, and a commitment to abandon efforts to pass his Brexit bill before an election, the key condition set by the Lib Dems and SNP, appeared to clear the path for a December election. The two parties revealed at the weekend that they had drafted a bill similar to the one Mr Johnson is proposing.” – The Times

  • Johnson puts deal on ice to force election – Daily Telegraph
  • And he begins election plan B – Daily Express
  • But he faces Tory protests over his plan to force a general election – the i
  • ‘Baffling’ decision to carry on with No Deal motorway plan – Daily Telegraph
  • Leave campaign ditches ‘betrayal’ rally as Farage seeks electoral pact – The Times

Election 2) As he asks EU to rule out further extension

“In a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, Mr Johnson asked EU leaders to make clear that a delay beyond January 31 was “not possible”. He said it would further “corrode” public trust in British politics and distract from the “good conduct of the business of the EU”. European ambassadors agreed the extension to the Article 50 process under the terms of the Benn act, the legislation that forced the prime minister to request a delay when MPs blocked his Brexit deal this month. It meant that Mr Johnson’s last hope of keeping his “do or die” pledge to leave the European Union by October 31 has been extinguished. He had said that he would rather “die in a ditch” than request an extension. Mr Johnson will now have to suggest a candidate for Britain’s European commissioner. Britain can leave before January 31 if Mr Johnson’s withdrawal agreement is ratified before November 30 or December 31. Last night in the Commons the prime minister failed for a third time to secure an election. With 299 MPs voting in favour, he was 135 short of the two-thirds majority required under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act.” – The Times

Election 3) And Corbyn keeps door open to December election

“The Labour leader said he will consider Boris Johnson’s fresh proposal of an election on 12 December and scrutinise his new short bill when it is introduced on Tuesday. It came after MPs voted down Johnson’s original plan for a 12 December election through the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, which required the support of two-thirds of MPs. Johnson’s new plan only requires a simple majority to pass and he is hoping to get the support of the Liberal Democrats and SNP, who proposed something similar on Sunday. “We will obviously look [at] and scrutinise that bill and we look forward to a clear, definitive decision that no deal is absolutely off the table and there is no danger of this prime minister not sticking to his word,” Corbyn told the Commons, before adding: “Because he has some form on these matters.” He warned against taking the country out of the EU without any deal whatsoever, “knowing the damage it will do to jobs and industries all across this country”. There was speculation about Labour’s desire to back a December election after Abbott was reported to have said in a fiery meeting of the shadow cabinet that Labour MPs who stand in its way should “go f*** themselves”. – The Guardian

  • Labour MP Peter Kyle reveals struggle with dyslexia – The Times

May offered Johnson’s job to Davis

“Theresa May offered Boris Johnson’s post of foreign secretary to David Davis in a last-ditch attempt to stop him resigning from the cabinet over Brexit, it has been revealed. When Mr Johnson quit as foreign secretary after Mr Davis’s resignation, Mrs May was “livid”, a new book discloses. May at 10 by Sir Anthony Seldon, serialised in The Times, describes the fallout from a summit when Mrs May tried to secure cabinet backing for her approach to EU negotiations. Gavin Barwell, Mrs May’s chief of staff, recalled: “We were left with a contrast between David Davis leaving over a genuine difference that we respected, and Boris Johnson leaving thinking not about the country but about his own narrow position.” Before the meeting Mrs May’s aides made “intensive” efforts to win over Mr Davis, who was Brexit secretary, and Michael Gove, then environment secretary, but did not to try to convince Mr Johnson, the “unguided missile”. – The Times

Patel to combat threat from 4,500 organised crime gangs

“Britain is facing a growing threat from more than 4,500 organised crime gangs, said Priti Patel, as she unveiled a wide-ranging review to overhaul the police response. The Home Secretary said the review, headed by a former senior Met Police chief, would identify ways to bolster the UK’s response to threats including county lines, people trafficking, drugs, child sexual exploitation, fraud and illicit finance. The 4,500 serious and organised crime groups in the UK cost the economy an estimated £37 billion a year, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA). But Ms Patel said: “The threat is growing, and offenders are becoming more sophisticated. Serious and organised criminals exploit children and ruthlessly target the most vulnerable in our society, ruining lives and blighting communities. “This review will help strengthen our response to these sickening crimes, building on the existing success of the NCA.” The review, to be headed by Sir Craig Mackey, former Met Police deputy commissioner, follows criticism by the National Audit Office (NAO) of Britain’s overly bureaucratic efforts to combat organised crime.” – Daily Telegraph

Civil war and walkouts hit campaign for People’s Vote

“The campaign for a second referendum on EU membership descended into disarray yesterday amid a battle over who controls the organisation. Tom Baldwin, head of communications at People’s Vote, and the campaign director James McGrory were dismissed by Roland Rudd, the chairman, in an email on Sunday night. They refused to step down and accused Mr Rudd of “putting a wrecking ball” through the group. They were backed by Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former spin doctor and a supporter of the campaign, who described Mr Rudd’s move as “madness” and a “deliberate act of sabotage and destabilisation”. A meeting of People’s Vote staff, called by Mr Rudd yesterday morning, was hastily cancelled after it emerged that many in the campaign were planning a symbolic walkout. Sources close to Mr Rudd, who is chairman of the public relations firm Finsbury, said that he had been forced to act because the two men had frozen out supporters who disagreed with their strategy. Some in People’s Vote wanted it to shift its focus to become an explicitly pro-Remain group. Others, led by Mr McGrory and Mr Baldwin, argued that it needed to retain its clear focus on winning a second referendum.” – The Times

  • Maddening tactics of the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign may soon be at an end, Charles Moore – Daily Telegraph

Vaz faces losing his seat over cocaine and rent-boy scandal

“Keith Vaz is facing the end of his parliamentary career after he was found to have misled the Commons standards watchdog about allegedly paying for sex with male escorts and offering to buy cocaine. The veteran Labour MP broke the members’ code of conduct and should face a six-month ban from the Commons, a cross-party committee said after a three-year investigation by Kathryn Stone, the standards commissioner. He will automatically face a recall petition, which could lead to him losing his seat, if MPs approve the suspension. Mr Vaz, 62, is expected to face a separate investigation for allegedly bullying staff, which he denies, after the parliamentary complaints system opened to historical cases last week. The Times understands that evidence against him has been submitted under the independent complaints and grievance scheme. The report published yesterday focused on a recording of Mr Vaz, released by the Sunday Mirror in 2016, in which he appears to suggest to two sex workers that he could procure cocaine. Ms Stone found that this was a “disregard for the law” and “disrespectful to the House and fellow members, who collectively are responsible for making those laws”. – The Times

  • How Keith Vaz tried to avoid punishment by claiming male escorts were ‘decorators’ – The Spectator
  • Fire brigade condemned for ‘systemic failures’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Lorry driver ‘part of global trafficking ring’ – The Times
  • BBC facing ‘a dozen equal pay claims’ in wake of Samira Ahmed case – The Times
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