Johnson pledges 50 million extra GP appointments…

“Boris Johnson will promise today to increase by 50 million the number of GP appointments available each year in the Conservatives’ first big election offer on public services. Mr Johnson identified access to family doctors as a big issue during his leadership campaign and said in his first speech as prime minister that patients should not have to “wait three weeks to see your GP”. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, will lay out plans today to train and recruit 6,000 more GPs as well as 6,000 more nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists for NHS England over the next four years.” – The Times


  • If the Health Service is under threat, it’s not from the Tories – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Is the Conservative campaign about to run headlong into an NHS winter crisis?

…as he drops tax cut for high earners…

“The Conservatives are poised to abandon proposals to increase the threshold at which people start to pay the 40p income tax rate, with their manifesto instead focusing on cuts for lower earners. During the Tory leadership campaign Boris Johnson announced plans to increase the threshold from £50,000 to £80,000. However, The Times has been told that the pledge will not appear in the manifesto after Sajid Javid, the chancellor, promised to balancing the budget within three years. The scale of the spending commitments already made by Mr Johnson — including 20,000 extra police officers, reversing cuts to school budgets and a multibillion-pound package for the NHS — means that there is little room for manoeuvre.” – The Times

  • Plan runs up against Tories’ own budget rules  – FT
  • UK debt outlook cut to negative over political chaos – The Times


  • Wincott’s general election lessons – Geoffrey Owen, FT
  • Key for Johnson is winning just nine more seats – Robbie Gibb, Daily Mail


…and ‘sparks outcry’ over Northern Irish claim

“Boris Johnson has sparked a furious reaction from campaigners who want to keep the UK in the EU after he claimed that his Brexit plan gave Northern Ireland “a great deal” because the region would continue to enjoy free movement and access to the bloc’s single market. The prime minister’s critics were quick to attack his comments, captured on video on Thursday night, since his Brexit plan would end free movement and free single market access for the rest of the UK. In a rambling speech, Mr Johnson said: “Northern Ireland has a great deal. You keep free movement and access to the single market but you also have unfettered access to GB.”” – FT

  • Prime Minister accused of ‘ignorance or deceit’ on trade barriers – The Times


  • Tories are now singing Boris’ tune – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • Voters are turned off by pantomime politics – Matthew Parris, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The campaign, week one. “Listen to me, we’re going to lose this f*cking election.”

Elphicke’s wife to contest his Dover seat

“The former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke will not stand as the party’s candidate in Dover at the general election, but his wife will contest the seat. Elphicke, 48, who has represented the Kent constituency since 2010, lost the Tory whip in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault – which he denies – were referred to the police. He was readmitted to the party last December before a confidence vote in then-prime minister Theresa May, but was again suspended when he was formally charged in July this year. His wife, Natalie, was formally selected as the Conservative candidate for the seat in a vote by local members on Friday.” – The Guardian

  • Tory candidates in key constituencies are mostly white men – The Times


  • Johnson joins flood clean-up operation – Daily Mail
  • Inside the Conservative campaign – The Times

>Today: Book Reviews: The poor bloody infantry: why people join political parties

Blunkett says the Opposition is ‘beset by antisemitism and thuggery’

“Lord Blunkett has described his “despair” at the “anti-Semitism and thuggery” in the Labour Party and suggested Jeremy Corbyn is on course for a 1983-style drubbing at the polls. The former Labour home secretary said the party is “plagued by intolerance and division” which made the chances of a Corbyn majority “extraordinarily slim”. He suggested the best Labour could hope for was another hung parliament, and urged moderates within the party to “stay and fight” to make sure “the voice of reason” prevailed. It came as Mr Corbyn was accused of a “shocking” lack of leadership as 11 Labour parliamentary candidates came under pressure to quit over anti-Semitic comments or past behaviour.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Now it’s 12 wannabe Labour MPs embroiled in scandal… – The Sun
  • …and all in just 24 hours – Daily Mail
  • Party warned unsuitable candidates ‘slipping through the net’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Candidate pulls out over ‘Shylock’ remarks – The Guardian

David Blunkett: I despair at the behaviour of Labour’s hard left

“The behaviour of the hard-Left within the Labour Party – the anti-Semitism, the thuggery, the irrational views on security and international issues, and the lack of realisation that you have to embrace a big tent of people in order to win – certainly makes me despair. Perversely it also makes the likelihood of an all-out Labour majority in this general election extraordinarily slim. The political landscape right now is completely different to what the hard-Left would have you believe. We are in a 1983 situation here, not a 2017 one – with not only the Lib Dems and the Greens, but the Brexit Party, the Tories and the SNP all seriously vying for traditional Labour votes.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Many Jews want Johnson out, but how can we vote for Corbyn? – Jonathen Freedland, The Guardian
  • A personal plea to voters – Rabbi Jonathan Romain, Daily Mail
  • Labour is in moral freefall: how can its MPs defend the indefensible? – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

Poll suggests Labour could get worst Scottish and Welsh result in a century…

“Jeremy Corbyn is on course to lead Labour to its worst election result in Scotland and Wales for more than a century, a bombshell poll revealed. The left-wing party is trailing the Tories in every English region apart from London and the North East and has shed more than 40 per cent of its support in its Northern heartlands in just two years. It has nosedived to just 12 per cent in Scotland and 29 per cent in Wales – once electoral strongholds – while its backing has almost halved across the Midlands and East of England since 2017. The explosive figures were revealed in a massive survey conducted by pollsters YouGov, who asked 11,590 people across Great Britain who they’ll be voting for on December 12.” – The Sun

  • Horror for Corbyn as support crumbles nationwide – Daily Express
  • Labour in crisis as scandals mount – Daily Mail


  • Party draws up plan for ‘co-leaders’ if it loses next month – The Sun

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: The Election Battlegrounds 3) North West

…as Sturgeon vows to ‘drive a hard bargain’ on independence

“The Scottish National party would make a second independence referendum the price of its support for a minority Labour government if next month’s UK general election results in a hung parliament, Nicola Sturgeon declared on Friday. Formally launching the SNP’s election campaign, the party’s leader and first minister said they would seek “a progressive alliance” to lock the Conservatives out of UK government if the election resulted in a hung parliament, but warned that it would drive a “hard bargain”. “The SNP is not going to be giving support to parties that do not recognise the central principle of the right of the people of Scotland to choose their own future,” Ms Sturgeon said.” – FT

  • 2020 referendum is her price for putting Corbyn in Downing Street – The Sun


  • Sturgeon will back him even as Labour moderates don’t – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Brexit Party 1) Low-income voters ‘abandoning Labour’

“Labour is losing support from low income voters who are switching to the Brexit Party for the upcoming general election, a new poll has shown. The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) found Labour have lost 10 percent of their support from voters with a household income of lower than £17,000 since April. These means just 36 percent of these voters are backing Jeremy Corbyn’s party. As reported by The Telegraph, 18 percent of these voters will vote for the Brexit Party, accounting for 1.4 million votes. The Tories have increased by four percent in the same period, enjoying 23 percent whilst 13 percent say they would back the Liberal Democrats, an increase of three percent.” – Daily Express

  • Corbyn losing ‘breadline battlegrounds’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Could the ‘Beast of Bolsover’ be beaten by Brexit? – FT


Brexit Party 2) Farage ‘softens demands’ in fresh bid for understanding with the Tories

“Nigel Farage has pulled back on his “drop the deal” threat to Boris Johnson in an attempt to get the prime minister to sign an election pact with the Brexit party. Farage began the party’s election campaign last week saying he would put up candidates across the country unless Johnson abandoned his Brexit deal and formed a leave alliance. He said Conservatives had approached him to say they wanted to see a “compromise” between their party and the Brexit party, which is threatening to take both Labour and Tory votes in key marginals at the general election… Speaking to the Guardian in Blackwood, South Wales, Farage said he would be willing to do a deal with the Tories if they accepted two principles.” – The Guardian

  • Brexit Party leader to appear in two TV debates – The Times
  • ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ fall out over election strategy – Daily Telegraph
  • Calls for Brexit Party to stand aside lest it cost the Tories seats – The Sun
  • Brexiteers voting tactically to ‘weed out’ pro-EU MPs – Daily Express

Liberal Democrats promise 35 hours’ free childcare

“Working parents would receive 35 hours a week free childcare from the day their baby turns nine months old under plans to be announced by the Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, as the opposition parties battle to win over female voters. The Lib Dems will make a dramatic increase in the availability of free childcare the centrepiece of the party’s manifesto, saying it would boost the economy by enabling more parents to return to the workforce earlier… Swinson is keen to show that stopping Brexit is not her party’s only preoccupation, as she tries to convince voters the 12 December general election is not a two-horse race between Labour and the Tories.” – The Guardian

  • The challenge for Swinson – James Blitz, FT

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: My focus groups in three heavily remain-voting Liberal Democrat targets

News in Brief:

  • Why the Tories remain optimistic after a shaky campaign start – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • Britain’s rules-based system is under threat – Tom Tugendhat, Reaction
  • The true scale of Labour’s fiscal recklessness – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • How to humanise Westminster – Various, UnHerd
  • Johnson should be the one to finally legalise cannabis – Liz McCulloch, 1828