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Tory manifesto 1) Johnson promises not to raise taxes

“Boris Johnson today pledges in the Tory manifesto that his government will not raise the rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT, setting up a dramatic economic showdown with Labour over tax and spending. In a blueprint for a post-Brexit Britain, the Tory manifesto outlines measures to tackle the cost of living, including £1bn for extra childcare, and a pledge to maintain the triple lock on pensions as well as free bus passes for the elderly. The 60-page manifesto, entitled Get Brexit Done, Unleash Britain’s Potential, will be launched today in Telford, a marginal seat the Tories won by just 720 votes in 2017. It will pump new money into the NHS, police and schools. Plans to cut inheritance tax are understood to have been junked because they would seem too beneficial to the better off, and Tory sources were divided about whether plans to remove stamp duty on properties under £500,000 had made the cut. Doubling down on his pledge to “get Brexit done by the end of January, Johnson last night vowed to bring back the withdrawal agreement bill before Christmas. He said: “As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive season free from the seemingly unending Brexit box-set drama. That’s why my early Christmas present to the nation will be to bring the Brexit bill back before the festive break, and get parliament working for the people.” – Sunday Times

  • New Tory deal — Brexit, big spending and a tax freeze – Sunday Times
  • Johnson’s triple tax lock – Mail on Sunday
  • Women behind Johnson’s blueprint- Sunday Times
  • And Johnson’s pledges to make the UK ‘Corbyn neutral by 2020’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Lib Dems target ‘soft Tories’ with focus on PM’s false claims – Sunday Times
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Tory manifesto 2) Tories to axe hospital car parking fees for millions

“The Conservative manifesto will pledge to introduce free car parking at hospitals for the two million “blue badge” disabled drivers and passengers, as well as frequent outpatients, gravely ill patients, visitors to relatives in hospital for extended periods, and staff on night shifts who cannot use public transport. The proposals will be funded with a £78 million-a-year pledge for hospitals in England and £216 million in capital funding for 19 hospitals to build multi-storey car parks. The move is one of Mr Johnson’s most significant offers since promising to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers. It is intended to help the Conservatives take on Labour on the key battleground of the NHS. The party is also expected to reinstate a maintenance grant for nurses in training. Mr Corbyn vowed to abolish hospital car parking fees altogether, but a Conservative source insisted that lifting charges for everyone would leave “fewer spaces” for people visiting sick relatives because car parks would fill up with additional vehicles, including those of local residents.” – Sunday Telegraph

Tory manifesto 3) Gove: Corbyn’s plan has one virtue: it makes clear why the Tories must win

“Never in the field of economics has so much damage been directed at so many by so few. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s plans for the economy will hit workers, pensioners, savers, borrowers, Aberdonians, Mancunians, apprentices, professionals, young, old, those waiting for NHS treatment and those hoping to acquire their own home. It is an access-all-areas, full-spectrum, take-no-prisoners, will-the-last-person- leaving-please-switch-off-the-lights assault on growth and prosperity which seems designed to demonstrate just how quickly you can take down an economy in five easy pieces. Their plan does, however, have one virtue. It throws into even starker relief the importance of securing a majority Conservative government on December 12. Boris Johnson will unveil a programme today which offers us a chance to avoid not just the deadlock of the last three years but the depression Labour would visit on our economy. Instead of a stalemate on Brexit and a war of attrition against our prosperity, Boris offers us a great escape to a brighter, freer, more prosperous future.” – Sunday Times

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Tory manifesto 4) Polling suggests Johnson set to win 64-seat majority

“The Conservatives are currently polling at 42.8 per cent support, which looks set to deliver the party 357 seats. The poll of polls by Electoral Calculus found that the election seems to be split down Leave and Remain lines, taking in research from five different surveys from Nov 14 to 19, polling over 7,500 people. Martin Baxter, managing director of the political forecasting website, said: “On the Leave side, the Conservatives have successfully squeezed the Brexit party, notably after the stand-down of Brexit candidates in Conservative-held seats.” However, the research seems to suggest that Labour are “finding the going a bit harder on the Remain side”. Jeremy Corbyn’s party are currently polling at 30 per cent support, 11 points down from the 2017 election, losing them a predicted 55 seats. The Brexit Party are polling at just four per cent, and are not expected to pick up any seats according to the analysis. Meanwhile, the research shows the Liberal Democrats have doubled their support since the last election, when they secured 7.6 per cent of the vote. They are now polling at 14.8 per cent and look set to gain seven seats, taking their Commons total to 19.” – Sunday Telegraph

Tory manifesto 5) But seven Brexiteers including Raab, ‘at risk of losing seats’

“Analysis of nearly 270,000 voter interviews, by the modelling firm Datapraxis, has found that the Tories are on course for a comfortable majority but some of the party’s biggest Eurosceptic names could lose out, even in seats that would usually be safe. The report predicts a potentially “historic, career-ending nightmare” on a par with Michael Portillo’s loss in 1992 for Raab, Iain Duncan Smith, Steve Baker, John Redwood, Philip Davies and Zac Goldsmith. Even Boris Johnson is not guaranteed to win his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat if his opponents vote tactically against him, according to the report. Tory strategists and fellow cabinet ministers are concerned about Raab, who has a majority of 23,298 in his Esher and Walton seat but is predicted to win by fewer than 3,000 votes. The Conservatives have held the seat since 1910 but it voted 58% remain in the 2016 referendum and Raab is a hardcore Brexiteer. Datapraxis says that tactical voting by Labour supporters, or a higher turnout among the under-40s, could hand the seat to the Liberal Democrats.” – Sunday Times

Labour pledges £58bn for women caught in pension trap

“More than 3 million women who believe they have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after steep increases to the state pension age are being promised compensation by Labour as part of a £58bn scheme designed to end a “historic injustice”. In the party’s latest major policy announcement, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that a “debt of honour” was owed to women born in the 1950s who say they were given insufficient notice of big changes to the state pension age. In an interview with the Observer, he said that Labour would introduce a universal scheme that would see the women affected given a maximum payment of £31,300, with an average payment of £15,380. “We’re recognising this is a historic injustice that we think we have a debt of honour to address,” McDonnell said. “I think there is a rightful sense of injustice that’s been built up by these women about how they were treated. Most of them felt they had a contract between them and the government on their pension.” – The Observer

  • McDonnell: ‘I believe in miracles, but we don’t need one to win this’ – The Observer
  • Blackford hints at secret alliance with Labour – Sunday Express
  • Brown to claim UK is torn apart by Brexit and divisive nationalism- The Scotsman

Farage could rename Brexit Party after election

“Nigel Farage has revealed plans to rebrand the Brexit Party as the Reform Party with an agenda of “draining the swamp” of Westminster politics. The Brexit Party leader has warned the political establishment that getting Brexit done is just the beginning and that his party’s long term future will be about reforming Britain’s broken political system. But in the short term, the veteran anti-Brussels campaigner has not ruled out taking on a role as an EU commissioner if asked by Boris Johnson. Mr Farage was speaking to the Sunday Express on a visit to the key battleground seat of Dagenham and Rainham traditionally held by Labour but now a target for both the Brexit Party and Tories. He predicted that pollsters have overestimated the Labour vote in the election and many Labour voters will stay at home in what could be the lowest overall turnout in decades. He said: “Labour have collapsed [in Scotland]. The question is, are they going to collapse in England? I think the story of this election is Labour abstentionism. There could be a collapse in the Labour vote.” He insisted that the Brexit Party can pick up seats despite only fielding 275 candidates.” – Sunday Express

Prince Andrew looks to Eugenie and Beatrice to take over his royal duties

“Nothing has gone right for the Duke of York since his disastrous television interview last weekend, but Andrew is determined that his behaviour should not be blamed on his daughters. He wants Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to take over many of the royal patronages he is being forced to surrender. A source close to Andrew said yesterday it was a “logical next step” for his daughters to replace him as patrons of a range of the organisations he has supported. Although some of them may welcome a continuing connection with the duke’s family, one of the most influential charity leaders has warned that Andrew should not treat patronages as a “dowry” for his daughters. Andrew’s hopes of protecting his daughters from the fallout of the Jeffrey Epstein affair follow a bruising week of public revulsion at his performance in his BBC interview with Emily Maitlis. Instead of clearing the air about his involvement with a convicted American paedophile, he succeeded mainly in embarrassing the royal family and in fanning demands for his removal from public responsibilities. His failure to express a word of sympathy for Epstein’s victims earned him contempt on both sides of the Atlantic.” – Sunday Times

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