Conservatives take the lead with working-class voters

“Boris Johnson has extended his lead over Jeremy Corbyn as he strengthens the Tories’ grip on working-class voters. This week’s Deltapoll survey for The Mail on Sunday gives the Conservatives a 15-point lead, up from 12 points last week, with the governing party on 45 per cent and Labour on 30. Tory strategists will be encouraged by the slump in Liberal Democrat support – down five to 11 per cent – given the attempts by its leader Jo Swinson to form a pro-Remain tactical voting pact against the Conservatives. Mr Johnson will need to pick up a string of Labour-held seats in northern working-class areas if he is to return to Downing Street with a healthy majority. The poll suggests that his clear pro-Brexit policy – unlike Mr Corbyn’s contortions on the issue – are winning him support in Leave-backing areas.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Government ‘surges to 17-point lead’ – Sun on Sunday
  • Corbyn ‘counting on TV debates’ to close gap – The Observer
  • Election ‘could be won or lost in the next ten days’ – Sunday Times
  • Hastings is key test of Labour’s ‘anything but Brexit’ strategy’ – Sunday Telegraph


  • And the voice of the workers is… Johnson – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
  • When miners in Mansfield aren’t voting Labour, you know Corbyn is the pits – Ian Austin, Sun on Sunday
  • Here’s why the working class are deserting Labour – John Gray, Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson’s charm can win over Wales but voters still mistrust his party – Guto Harri, Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The Prince, the poll and the people

Brexit 1) Johnson says every Tory candidate has backed his deal

“Boris Johnson today reveals that every Conservative parliamentary candidate has personally pledged to vote his Brexit deal through the House of Commons if he wins a majority. In his first newspaper interview of the election campaign, the Prime Minister told The Telegraph that the promises would allow voters to be “100 per cent sure” that a Tory government would “unblock” Parliament. The highly unusual decision is designed to help convince Leave voters that the Tories will deliver Brexit if they return to government. A series of MPs who stood as Tories at the last election helped to thwart the Prime Minister’s plans last month, despite their 2017 manifesto pledging to take the UK out of the EU.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Barclay accuses ‘EU machine’ of siding with Labour – Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Selections. How activists find themselves crushed by the attritional, grinding juggernaut of the Party machine.

Brexit 2) Prosecutors investigate Farage’s bribery claims

“Britain’s top prosecutor is pressing for a full police inquiry into claims that senior Tories offered peerages and other jobs to persuade members of the Brexit Party to stand down at the general election. Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, is taking a personal interest in an investigation begun by a special unit at Scotland Yard last week. The Metropolitan police confirmed yesterday that they were investigating two complaints alleging that senior Tories made inappropriate offers to get Nigel Farage’s party to back down. The Brexit Party is drawing up a dossier of evidence of promises issued by allies of the prime minister and is prepared to submit them to police.” – Sunday Times

  • Lewis denies Widdecombe et al were offered deals – Mail on Sunday
  • Brexit Party leader pulls out of rally to attend emergency meeting – Sunday Express


  • Farage is being driven more by rage than electoral reality – Matthew Goodwin, Sunday Times

Tories pledge work requirements for EU migrants…

“EU migrants will need a job offer before they can come to Britain under a post-Brexit crackdown. They will also be banned from claiming benefits for five years — slashing up to £800million a year off the bloated welfare bill. Boris Johnson has decided EU citizens will be subject to the same rules as the rest of the world when free movement ends in January 2021. It will mean serious criminals from other European countries can be refused entry into Britain and those who break the law while here can be deported. The PM has vowed to bring in an Aussie-style points based system to let those with higher skills jump to the front of the queue.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Buoyant Johnson ‘plays immigration card’ – Sunday Times

…as Corbyn shelves freedom of movement pledge

“Labour has shelved its party conference promise to maintain and extend freedom of movement, instead saying it will renegotiate migration policy with the EU if Britain votes to leave in a second referendum. The position was finalised at yesterday’s crunch “Clause V” summit, where Jeremy Corbyn, senior Labour officials and union representatives met for six hours to debate and sign off the party’s manifesto. Immigration was one of the most contentious topics ahead of the meeting, pitting Corbyn allies who want to increase migration against pro-Brexit union barons who have long argued that freedom of movement must end. At this year’s party conference, Labour members approved a radical motion to “maintain and extend” free movement, close all detention centres and award equal voting rights to all UK residents.” – Sunday Times

  • Labour plans would ‘flood prisons’ with foreign criminals – Sun on Sunday


  • Uncontrolled immigration must be consigned to the dustbin – Sun on Sunday

>Yesterday: Nick Hargrave’s column: Wanted. A Too Difficult Department to help tackle intractable post-election problems.

Patel ‘blocked rescue of ISIS children’

“Home secretary Priti Patel intervened to block a recent rescue operation to bring British orphans and unaccompanied minors home from Syria, sources have revealed. During National Security Council meetings last month and internal discussions, Patel, backed by several other ministers including defence secretary Ben Wallace, objected to the extraction of British children from the war-ravaged country, sources say. Their opposition meant that a discussed late October rescue operation was abandoned at the last minute because Patel, Wallace and chancellor Sajid Javid felt the children posed “security concerns”… It has also emerged that not only had the extraction plan been prepared but that a number of councils in the UK had offered the care package and reintegration programme necessary for the children following their arrival in the UK.” – The Observer

  • Patel says Labour leader is a ‘chilling’ threat to national security – Sunday Express

>Yesterday: Shabnam Nasimi in Comment: The Conservative Manifesto must include measures to grapple with online extremism

Documentary offers fresh details on Arcuri relationship

“Boris Johnson’s love affair with a pole-dancing US model who was handed thousands of pounds in public money lasted for four years, an explosive TV documentary claims tonight. In it, Jennifer Arcuri says he told her he knew their relationship was a conflict of interest but was ‘worried’ about declaring it because he was married at the time. She scolds Mr Johnson for refusing to speak to her after the scandal broke over their affair, claiming she has been ‘brushed off as if I was one of Kennedy’s girlfriends.’ It is also claimed she boasted of having him ‘wrapped around my little finger’… Ms Arcuri refused to go as far as saying she had an affair with Mr Johnson, telling ITV Exposure: ‘It’s no one’s business if we were in a relationship or not.’” – Mail on Sunday

Tories will ‘ban councils from boycotting Israel’

“The Conservative Party will pledge to ban public bodies from boycotting or sanctioning foreign states in its manifesto, arguing that action by local councils against Israel have “undermined community cohesion”. The policy will cover boycotts of products or divestment from pension funds connected to foreign states. The BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction) movement encourages local councils to take action against Israel in support of Palestine. The pledge is designed to contrast the party with Jeremy Corbyn, who has said banning BDS by councils is an “attack on local democracy”. The Labour leader is not a supporter of blanket boycotts on Israeli goods but does back targeted action against settlements in the West Bank.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Corbynism is a shameful betrayal of Labour’s heritage – Michael Gove, Mail on Sunday
  • As a historian of England’s shameful anti-Semitic past, I dread the idea of Prime Minister Corbyn – Tom Holland, Sunday Telegraph

Labour pledge free dental check-ups for all

“Labour is due to announce free dental check ups for all adults in England in a move expected to cost up to £450 million per year. Jeremy Corbyn is set to waive charges for routine check ups if Labour wins power, in the first step towards returning to a dental service free at the point of use. The proposals are expected to include scrapping payments for band one treatments, which currently cost £22.70, as well as introducing free checks for oral cancer. Band one treatments include examinations, a scale and polish and X-rays. The British Dental Association (BDA) estimated that the policy would cost between £400 and £450 million annually.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Plus immediate compensation for ‘tainted blood’ victims – Sunday Times
  • Corbyn pledges to protect NHS from US drug firms – The Observer
  • Manifesto is threat to the pensions of millions – Sunday Express
  • Corbyn ‘gathers far-left allies’ to sign of radical document – Mail on Sunday
  • Pidcock ‘wouldn’t even have a pint’ with a Tory – Sunday Times

Andrew Rawnsley: Free stuff for absolutely everyone. What could possibly go wrong with that?

“Labour’s election offer contains a bundle of free stuff, including more free childcare and free prescriptions for all. It will likely be tempted to add to them when the party next needs a diversionary headline. Very often, these promises poll well when tested individually. Why then, when the party appears to have lots of policies that many find appealing, is Labour trailing in the headline polls? Probably because it is an old and usually reliable law of election campaigns that it is not enough to have policies that are popular. Commitments also have to be credible. You may like me more if I promise everyone in Britain a month’s free holiday on my super-yacht, but you will trust me less when you realise that I don’t have a super-yacht.” – The Observer

  • The bigger the promise, the bigger the let-down: just ask Clegg – Charlotte Lytton, Sunday Telegraph
  • Beware the grizzled Marxists bearing gifts – Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times
  • Here’s what Labour’s free broadband could look like – Toby Young, Sun on Sunday


  • Voters smell a rat in McDonnell’s unlimited ambition – Sunday Times

>Today: Chris Whiteside in Comment: I’ve worked for BT for over 30 years. Here’s my take on why Labour’s broadband plan would destroy the industy.

Swinson accused of digging herself into a hole over ‘fake news’ leaflets

“Jo Swinson was accused of digging herself into a hole at the start of the election campaign by defending a Liberal Democrat leaflet that overstated her party’s polling. She was soon drawn into a second “fake news” row, after Lib Dem leaflets quoted The Guardian as saying her party was “winning and on the up”. The words were hers, not the newspaper’s. Now a fact-checking charity has warned that such literature could undermine voters’ trust. “Honesty in politics matters,” said Will Moy, chief of Full Fact. “The words of our future MPs shouldn’t be undermined by misleading use of graphs or polls.” Swinson, 39, the Lib Dem leader — pictured campaigning yesterday in Kensal Green, northwest London — has hit back, saying she is a victim of bias.” – Sunday Times

Watson urged to lead ‘People’s Vote’ splinter group

“Tom Watson, who is standing down as Labour’s deputy leader, has been approached to lead a breakaway group of the People’s Vote campaign after weeks of rancour in the pro-remain organisation. Watson, an ardent remainer who will not run as a candidate for parliament in next month’s election, is understood to have been in talks about leading a new operation to mobilise young people to vote tactically in marginal seats. The aim is to boost the chances of a second referendum. The approach comes as two youth organisations involved in the troubled second-referendum campaign — For our Future’s Sake (FFS) and the staff at Our Future Our Choice (OFOC) — severed links with People’s Vote. They will join forces as part of the splinter group.” – Sunday Times

Boles claims ‘dozens’ were involved in plans for new centrist party

“Advanced plans for another centrist political party to be launched after Brexit were developed by MPs earlier this year, it has emerged. Dozens of figures from inside and outside Westminster were involved in the project, designed to go public once a second Brexit referendum was no longer possible. Nick Boles, the former Conservative minister who quit the party over Brexit in April, said he had been “constantly” in talks about a possible new party and had at one point been confident it would happen. An earlier failed attempt to launch a new party, Brexit delays and the tantalising prospect of a second referendum had stopped it… Boles, who is standing down as an MP at this election, said the project could only have succeeded if Brexit had been secured, allowing those wanting a soft Brexit and those wanting a second referendum to unite.” – The Observer

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why the scattered ex-Conservative rebels pose little threat to Johnson’s campaign