The Chief Rabbi warns ‘the soul of our nation is at stake’ due to Labour antisemitism

‘The Jewish community has watched with incredulity as supporters of the Labour leadership have hounded parliamentarians, members and even staff out of the party for challenging anti-Jewish racism. Even as they received threats, the response of the Labour leadership was utterly inadequate. We have endured quibbling and prevarication over whether the party should adopt the most widely accepted definition of antisemitism. Now we await the outcome of a formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into whether discrimination by the party against Jews has become an institutional problem. And all of this while in opposition. What should we expect of them in government?…It is not my place to tell any person how they should vote. I regret being in this situation at all. I simply pose the question: What will the result of this election say about the moral compass of our country? When December 12 arrives, I ask every person to vote with their conscience. Be in no doubt, the very soul of our nation is at stake.’ – Ephraim Mirvis, The Times

  • He brands the Labour leader as ‘unfit for high office’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Mirvis describes the intervention as ‘amongst the most painful moments’ of his career – The Times
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury effectively backs him – The Guardian
  • It’s meant to be racial equality day in Labour’s campaign grid – The Times
  • Corbyn pledges that school children will be taught about the sins of the British Empire – Daily Telegraph
  • Oddly they aren’t proposing to teach the sins of communism – Daily Mail
  • The Opposition’s abortion plans are troubling – Melanie McDonagh, Daily Mail
  • Labour must collapse to be rebuilt – Stewart Jackson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The Chief Rabbi’s statement on Labour and anti-semitism. What kind of people are we?

If Johnson wins a majority, Parliament will vote on the Brexit deal before Christmas

‘MPs will vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal before Christmas if the Conservatives win a majority at the general election. The Prime Minister wants to give the country an early Christmas present by asking Parliament to approve his deal on the last weekend before the festive break. It would mean Britain would be all but guaranteed to leave the EU by Jan 31, giving Mr Johnson 11 months to agree a trade deal with Brussels. The Conservatives are so keen to get on with holding a vote that if they win a majority they will bring forward a fast-tracked Queen’s Speech on Dec 19, less than a week before Christmas.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Stephen Booth’s column: The strict time limit will steer the next phase of Brexit towards a clear choice

Wallace: A large poll lead can be dangerous for the Conservatives

‘In the race to turn out your vote, the last thing you want is for your supporters to relax. If they decide you’ll win comfortably without them bothering to traipse down to the polling station, or that their vote can safely be used to register a protest with the Brexit Party, then that could do real damage. The flipside of that effect is if the numbers panic the anti-Tory vote into turning out. In 1992, the expectation that Labour was about to take power, and the fear that provoked among “quiet Tories”, was widely credited with helping John Major to secure his surprise victory. Momentum is already using messages about the risk of a big Tory majority to try to motivate its support base.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

Manifesto 1) This is the second largest spending pledge of any Tory Prime Minister since 1945

‘His pledge to spend billions more on the NHS, schools, police and transport will see him grow the Government’s pot by 1.1 per cent of the nation’s annual income. The Resolution Foundation found only Harold Macmillan in the 1950s blew more — on a massive nationwide house-building programme. He expanded the state by 1.4 per cent of GDP. Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May reduced the Government by 1.1 per cent. And David Cameron, slashed the size of the state by 5.4 per cent.’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Conservatives are accused of being fiscally reckless and fiscally over-cautious. Which is it?

Manifesto 2) The IFS criticises Labour for instantly breaking last week’s spending promises

‘Labour faced a furious backlash over its £58billion promise to compensate more than three million female pensioners yesterday as economists warned it would require tax rises. Jeremy Corbyn pledged at the weekend to reimburse the so-called ‘Waspi’ women who lost out on years of state pension payments when their retirement age was raised… Yesterday, Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said many of the Waspi women are ‘actually quite well off’ and that Labour has shown a ‘decisive lack of priorities’. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Mr Johnson said the policy’s estimated cost of £58billion is ‘a very, very large sum of money indeed’. He added: ‘I think there are two interesting things about that – one is the sheer scale of it, and of course it immediately breaks the promises they made in their manifesto just last week only to borrow to invest. So, they would need even more than their £80billion tax rises if they wanted to cover that.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: An idea for McDonnell. Pledge £1 million to every voter in Britain.

The Labour leader endorses striking university lecturers

‘Jeremy Corbyn yesterday backed a wave of university strikes that will disrupt the education of around a million students. Supporting up to 43,000 lecturers and other staff who have walked out of institutions for eight days, the Labour leader vowed: ‘I stand with them.’ He endorsed the industrial action over pensions, pay and conditions as lectures were cancelled across 60 universities… Critics accused Mr Corbyn of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ in a ‘desperate bid to revive a flagging election campaign’. Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said the Labour leader ‘wants the country to live beyond its means’.’ – Daily Mail

Kerslake hints that Corbyn could go as the price of a coalition

‘Lord Kerslake, a former head of the civil service who is advising Mr Corbyn on his potential transition to power, admitted in an interview that to form a minority government Labour would have to make concessions. He suggested that these could include an early independence referendum and Mr Corbyn’s position as prime minister. “Labour . . . will seek to govern as a minority Labour government,” he told Sky News. “But to be able to do that, you would need support from other parties. “We don’t yet know in truth how that would play out, although the Liberal Democrats have said they could not support a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government and the SNP have said they would want a second referendum. All of that would form part of the conversation that Labour would be having informally with those two parties.” Labour immediately distanced itself from Lord Kerslake’s comments. A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said that “neither of the two issues would be on the table” in talks.’ – The Times

  • Sturgeon tells Neil that an independent Scotland would join the EU – The Times
  • The rise of the SNP has driven the English to learn about Scotland – Hugo Rifkind, The Times
  • Johnson’s Stop Sturgeon message is gaining traction north of the border – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph
  • Two Labour canvassers are attacked – Daily Mail
  • Duncan Smith’s office vandalised by masked attacker – The Sun

>Today: David Shiels on Comment: The Conservative Party needs a new plan to defend the Union

Harry Dunn’s father confronts Raab over the handling of his son’s case

‘The father of Harry Dunn has confronted the foreign secretary in his constituency, where he is encouraging people to vote Dominic Raab out. Raab was heckled during his final address at a hustings in East Molesey, Surrey, on Monday evening, with one woman standing up to ask him about Dunn, whose family and friends were kept outside for the duration of the event due to purported concerns about overcrowding. Raab was later confronted by Tim Dunn, Harry’s father, and friends of the late 19-year-old as he left the building and was ushered into his official car. Police officers and security staff were stopping people from blocking the exit, while the crowd booed Raab and shouted “coward” as he drove away.’ – The Guardian

  • ‘I’m happy to see you any time, you’ve got my number,’ the Foreign Secretary replies – Daily Mail

Hong Kongers in the UK are threatened by pro-China thugs

‘Ulysses Chow, a law student at Cambridge, said that he had received hundreds of menacing emails after he organised a demonstration against an honorary fellowship granted to Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive. Before the protest on November 16 Mr Chow, 23, was sent an anonymous message to his university email address that said in simplified Chinese characters: “Your mum will die.” Another said: “Want this nightmare to end?” His details had been shared on the Chinese chat forum Zhihu by someone claiming to be a PhD student at Wolfson College, where Mr Chow studies. Mr Chow reported the threats to his college but said he was told it would not be possible to identify the person. He believes they could be traced via their wifi use but that Cambridge was reluctant for reasons of “politics or money”.’ – The Times

  • Pro-democracy forces score a huge election victory in Hong Kong – FT
  • Lam’s future is in doubt – The Times
  • China attempted to buy an Australian MP – The Times
  • We want more influence over British universities – Liu Xiaoming, FT

Uber faces a new ban by Khan’s Transport for London

‘On Monday, Uber was denied a licence to operate in the capital by Transport for London, a heavy blow which jeopardises its position in one of its largest markets. Uber has 45,000 drivers and 3.5 million users in the city. In the immediate future, the app will not vanish. Uber has a 21-day grace period to appeal and can continue to operate until the legal process has run its course, which could take months. Christmas shoppers trawling Oxford Street or catching a West End show will still be able to hail a car through its app – for the time being at least. But it will be feeling like déjà vu for Londoners and Uber’s legal team. It is the second time the app has been effectively banned by the regulator in a little over two years.’ – The Times

In Brief