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Trump says Johnson’s deal could jeopardise US trade

“President Trump has said that Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal could prevent Britain from trading with the US in an intervention that threatens to undermine a key element of the prime minister’s election campaign. Over the next six weeks, Mr Johnson must sell his deal to the Brexit voters who largely rejected Theresa May’s plans. He insists a key difference is that his version will give Britain more scope to strike free trade deals with America, which is touted as the main prospective new partner. In his interview last night with Nigel Farage, however, Mr Trump said that the revised agreement would still limit new trade between the two economies and could even stop it.” – The Times

  • Tory leader insists deal is ‘oven-ready’ – The Sun
  • Johnson’s ‘fury’ at Trump’s intervention – Daily Mail

More:

  • President tells Prime Minister to join forces with the Brexit Party – Daily Telegraph
  • Trump brands Corbyn ‘bad’ for Britain – FT

Comment:

  • The NHS is not, and will never be, for sale – Liz Truss, The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Just over half of Party members agree with Trump – and want a Conservative/Brexit Party pact

Prime Minister pledges to pour billions into towns

“Boris Johnson will today pledge to pour billions of pounds into a swathe of left-behind towns in a bid to win over their pro-Brexit Labour voters. A three pronged package to turbo charge redevelopment away from the big cities is being unveiled by the Tories. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today publishes a pathway for councils to unlock a £3.6billion windfall – dubbed the Towns Fund – to revitalise scores of the neglected areas. The jumbo pot is being shared by 100 of the forgotten towns, who will each get at least £25m to spend how they want… Many of the beneficiaries picked are constituencies that feature high up on the Tories’ list of key Northern targets that they must gain from Labour to win a Commons majority.” – The Sun

  • ‘Family-first’ manifesto with extra ten weeks of free childcare – The Times
  • Sources suggest Johnson will rule out new fracking – The Guardian

Comment:

  • He will only ‘get Brexit done’ by winning back a lost Tory generation – Liam Halligan, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Farage prepares to run in hundreds of seats

“Nigel Farage is expected to announce plans today for hundreds of Brexit Party candidates to stand across the country in the general election. Senior party figures have suggested that the party should instead focus on fighting 20 seats to ensure that it does not undermine Brexit. However, The Times has been told that the party, which was formed this year, will still contest hundreds of seats amid concerns that it risks being “no-platformed” at the election. There are concerns that the party will be denied the right to make party political broadcasts and barred from taking part in televised leadership debates. However, it is expected to avoid standing candidates against hardline Eurosceptic Conservatives.” – The Times

  • Move could help Tories by siphoning off Labour’s Leave voters – Daily Telegraph
  • Conservative MPs urge Farage to run candidates against them… – The Sun
  • …or does CCHQ fear missing out on 90 seats with a split vote? – Daily Mail
  • Leader to unveil Brexit Party strategy this morning – Daily Express

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: If Johnson loses, we’ll have a fourth Conservative leader in five years. Goodness knows who that would be.

Government review signs off Arcuri grant

A £100,000 grant awarded to a business run by Jennifer Arcuri has been described “appropriate” by a Government review. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) found Hacker House, Ms Arcuri’s company, did not meet “at least one of the requirements” of the grant – including that its value should not exceed half of the company’s annual income. However, it said it was correct to reduce the amount from the £273,000 Ms Arcuri initially applied for in October 2018. It also concluded the work which Hacker House proposed was in line with the grant’s objectives. Nicky Morgan, the Culture Secretary, said: “This review has identified no impropriety in the awarding of the grant.”” – Daily Telegraph

New rules restrict leaders’ ability to boost individual seats

“Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson face an effective ban on directly campaigning for their candidates in key marginal seats under new rules that will change the face of British elections. Following a Supreme Court ruling, political parties have been warned by the Electoral Commission that they will need to apply strict spending limits to national campaigns that boost the prospects of local candidates. The rules will curtail the freedom of political parties to target voters in key constituencies using social media advertising. Party headquarters will also be prevented from parachuting in campaigners to “must-win” seats in the way that helped the Tories to win the ground war with Labour in the 2015 general election.” – The Times

  • Surge in young people registering to vote – The Guardian
  • Tough restrictions on data profiling too – The Times

Comment:

  • Do the Conservatives have an answer to Labour’s dirty digital war? – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

Ex-Tories 1) Grieve accuses Johnson of ‘sitting on’ report into Russian interference

“Boris Johnson has been accused of sitting on a key report assessing the threat posed by Russia to Britain’s democratic processes. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve argued voters must have access to the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, which he chairs, given an election has been called for December 12. He said it was ‘unacceptable’ for the Prime Minister to ‘sit on it’, informing the Commons that Mr Johnson should have confirmed on Thursday that no classified matters were remaining in the report. MPs heard the report was sent to the PM on October 17 and Mr Grieve hopes to publish it on Monday, noting no explanation for the ‘apparent delay’ has been offered.” – Daily Mail

Ex-Tories 2) Sandbach defects to the Liberal Democrats

“A former Conservative MP has defected to the Liberal Democrats, boosting Jo Swinson’s party on the first full day of campaigning in the general election. Antoinette Sandbach, who represents the Cheshire seat of Eddisbury, is the fifth former Tory to join the Lib Dems in recent months. It means that the party, which returned 12 MPs at the 2017 election, will have at least 20 when the Commons breaks up next week. Ms Sandbach, 50, who was stripped of the Tory whip by Boris Johnson last month, will fight to retain her seat, where the Lib Dems came third two years ago with fewer than 3,000 votes. She said that she felt “excited and almost liberated” to be joining the party.” – The Times

  • Party targets up to 70 seats for ‘pro-Remain pacts’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Lib Dems call for ‘Remain Alliance’ to topple Rees-Mogg – Daily Mail

More:

  • Swinson hopes for powerful role as kingmaker – FT
  • Lib Dems to unveil ‘Stop Brexit’ pledge – The Sun
  • Moran booed on Question Time – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Why I, a Lib Dem, am standing aside for Grieve – Rob Castell, Times Red Box
  • Why I want another hung parliament – Martin Wolf, FT

Ex-Tories 3) Alistair Burt: A conscious, but respectful, uncoupling from my Party

“That threat of losing the whip after so long hurt a bit, but it prompted a more positive determination that my wife and I wanted the choice of another life ahead, and also that my Conservative backers in North East Bedfordshire… deserved a candidate unencumbered by my baggage on this issue. For while I accept as a democrat the country’s decision, I cannot pretend to like it, and in truth it has robbed me of so much of what I believed and pursued in politics, from my joining the Conservatives under Edward Heath in 1970… But that is politics. The country is entitled to its view, and Conservative MPs and activists have hardly been secretive in moving the party’s position towards leaving the EU. So I can attach no blame towards them for their persistence, but I am entitled to disagree and believe that our views are irreconcilable.” – Times Red Box

  • Spare me the sobs of Remainer Tory MPs – Iain Martin, The Times

Business hits out at Corbyn over speech…

“Some of Britain’s most prominent business leaders branded Jeremy Corbyn “clueless” and said he has led “a narrow life” after the Labour leader attacked them in an election campaign speech. Financier Crispin Odey and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley hit back at the Labour leader when he accused them of taking advantage of the UK’s “corrupt system” in a blistering attack on capitalism. In his first campaign speech ahead of the Dec 12 election, Mr Corbyn promised to go after some of Britain’s richest people in a bid to position the Labour Party as being on the side of the “many not the few”. It came as the Labour leadership appeared to endorse a call to effectively outlaw billionaires.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ashley brands Labour leader a ‘liar’ and ‘clueless’ – FT

Comment:

  • Attacking easy targets won’t win credibility – Nils Pratley, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • Corbyn wants to ride a wave of envy and hatred into power – The Sun
  • Rob-the-rich ruse won’t distract from Brexit betrayal – Daily Telegraph

…as senior rabbi launches campaign against him…

“A senior rabbi has launched a Stop Jeremy Corbyn campaign – warning he would “pose a danger to Jewish life as we know it” if he becomes PM. Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain has written to his congregation urging to them to vote tactically to keep Labour out of power. He said he was taking the unprecedented step because the hard-left boss had allowed vile anti-Semitic hate infect his party. The explosive intervention comes as the Jewish Labour Movement – the party’s official Jewish wing – said it will refuse to campaign nationally for Labour for the first time in its 100 year history. In a letter to the 823 families in his congregation in Berkshire, Rabbi Romain warned them not to stand back and let Mr Corbyn seize power.” – The Sun

  • Labour’s Jewish wing refuses to back Corbyn for Prime Minister – Daily Mail
  • BBC to dismiss Labour complaint against antisemitism Panorama episode – The Guardian

More:

  • Watson tells broadcasters to expose Johnson’s ‘fake news’ – The Times
  • Corbyn declines to say if he’ll quit should the election be lost – The Guardian

…and McDonnell pledges to campaign for ‘as much freedom of movement as possible’

“John McDonnell will campaign for “as much freedom of movement as possible”, John McDonnel has said ahead of Labour’s campaign launch today. The Shadow Chancellor pledged to advocate for open doors immigration forever as leftie boss Jeremy Corbyn prepared to kick off the election. He said: “We’re going to have an immigration policy which has as much freedom of movement as possible.” He also told the BBC last night he thought Labour would win the upcoming December 12 poll. “I think we’ll have a majority government by Christmas, so I can’t think of a better Christmas present.” Immigration was thought to be one of the reasons many Brits voted to leave the EU back in 2016, saying their areas had been left behind as the population of the country grew.” – The Sun

  • Labour isn’t working for Workington Man – The Times

>Yesterday: Clark Vasey in Comment: Workington Man could make the dream of a Northern county without a single Labour seat a reality

On last day, Bercow mired in row over Vaz

“John Bercow was engulfed by an angry row over the suspension of sleaze-shame Labour MP Keith Vaz on his final day in the Speaker’s Chair yesterday. The Commons Speaker, stepping down after nearly a decade in his role was accused of “defending the indefensible” during a debate over the political future of the backbencher. MPs yesterday voted in favour of a recommendation from the Commons Standards Commission for Mr Vaz to be suspended from Parliament for six months following its report finding “compelling evidence” he had offered to buy cocaine for male prostitutes… Anger flared in the Commons when Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, a frequent critic of Mr Bercow, accused the Speaker of failing to investigate Mr Vaz four years ago.” – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: When Leadsom burnt Bercow

‘Alarm’ at number of female MPs stepping down

“Women’s organisations have expressed alarm at the number of female MPs standing down at the upcoming general election who have cited the abuse they face in public office. Figures suggest female MPs are retiring from parliament prematurely. Of the 58 politicians who have announced they will not stand again, 18 are women and 41 are men, which is roughly proportional to the current makeup of parliament. However, since cohorts of retiring MPs usually reflect historical intakes, the expectation would be that the number of outgoing female parliamentarians would be lower. Among Tory ranks, the female MPs stepping down are on average 10 years younger and have spent a decade less in parliament than retiring male MPs.” – The Guardian

  • The problem is that no sane person would be an MP now – Isabel Hardman, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nadine Dorries in Comment: Thuggery. Abuse. Threats. Unacceptable everywhere. But no-one came to Brexiteers’ defence when we were victims.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The MPs we deserve

News in Brief:

  • How the Tories plan to ramp up their digital operation – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • Devolution must be at the heart of levelling up Britain – Eamonn Ives, CapX
  • Trump and Farage show demonstrates the Brexit party’s dilemma – Jack Dickens, Reaction
  • What will survive this seismic election? – Matthew Goodwin, UnHerd
  • Johnson should let Farage wreak havoc in Labour heartlands – Jack Walters, Brexit Central

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