Farage unveils candidates to fight every seat at election…….as 20 quit

“On Monday night a Brexit Party source confirmed that more than 20 Brexit Party candidates had stood down over concern about Mr Farage’s dismissal of Mr Johnson’s deal and other factors. A defiant Mr Farage said he was determined to win the backing of millions of disaffected Labour Leave voters. The Brexit Party leader said he would intensify efforts to win over five million “vulnerable voters” in Labour constituencies this week, starting with rallies in Yorkshire and the east Midlands on Tuesday. Mr Farage said “Labour seats offer us our best opportunity” adding: “When you go out to these Labour constituencies that voted leave and are now represented by Remain MPs there is more anger there about the lack of representation than in any other part of the country.” A Survation poll of voters in Portsmouth South found that the Brexit Party’s decision to stand will take 14 per cent of the vote, from the Tories and Labour, and hand the seat to the Liberal Democrats. Yet Mr Farage dismissed claims that fielding hundreds of Brexit Party candidates would take away support from the Tories and hand power to Labour or the LibDems. He pointed out that in 2015 the party “did far more harm to the Labour party than we did to the Conservative party indeed – David Cameron would never have got a majority had it not been for nearly 4 million votes cast for Ukip in that election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Farage attacks ‘arrogance’ of senior Eurosceptic Tories – FT
  • Three candidates quit and donor backs Johnson – The Sun
  • PM vows to leave EU by end of January – FT
  • Three pro-EU parties set to unveil Remain pact – FT
  • Johnson orders bonfire of red tape – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory ads target Leavers on Facebook – The Times
  • Candidate called for poor people to ‘be put down’ – The Times
  • Swinson fights for her place in debates – The Times
  • BBC election coverage will not be hosted by David Dimbleby for first time in 40 years – Daily Telegraph
  • Tebbit says May doomed from start as PM and leader – Daily Express

PM accused of cover-up over report on Russian meddling in UK politics

“Boris Johnson was on Monday night accused of presiding over a cover-up after it emerged that No 10 refused to clear the publication of a potentially incendiary report examining Russian infiltration in British politics, including the Conservative party. Downing Street indicated on Monday that it would not allow a 50-page dossier from the intelligence and security committee to be published before the election, prompting a string of complaints over its suppression. The committee’s chairman, Dominic Grieve, called the decision “jaw dropping”, saying no reason for the refusal had been given, while Labour and Scottish National Party politicians accused No 10 of refusing to recognise the scale of Russian meddling. Fresh evidence has also emerged of attempts by the Kremlin to infiltrate the Conservatives by a senior Russian diplomat suspected of espionage, who spent five years in London cultivating leading Tories including Johnson himself. It can now be revealed that Sergey Nalobin – who once described the future prime minister as “our good friend” – lives in a Moscow apartment block known as the “FSB house” because it houses so many employees from the Kremlin’s main spy agency.” – The Guardian

New Speaker vows to shake off ‘tarnished legacy’ of Bercow

“Sir Lindsay, 62, was dragged to the chair in the traditional ceremony to become the 159th Speaker after four rounds of voting. He beat Chris Bryant, a fellow Labour MP, by 325 votes to 213 in a run-off between the two remaining candidates from an initial field of seven. Both had promised to draw a line under Mr Bercow’s increasingly controversial tenure and allegations of bias and bullying. Sir Lindsay prevailed, however, after establishing a commanding lead in the opening ballot. In an emotional acceptance speech the new Speaker promised to remove the tarnish of recent years and restore the reputation of the Commons — an explicit criticism of his predecessor. “I stand by what I said, I stand firm, that I hope this House will be once again a great respected House, not just in here but across the world,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that tarnish is polished away, that the respect and tolerance that we expect from everyone who works in here will be shown and we’ll keep that in order.” – The Times

  • A victory almost 10 years in making – The Times

Labour 1) Corbyn targets Tory seats

“Jeremy Corbyn will visit a 10th Tory-held target seat since the general election was called last Tuesday in a deliberate signal that Labour is determined to fight an attacking campaign despite the anxieties of some of its MPs. He will give a speech about Brexit in Harlow, Essex, following visits to a string of other areas including Putney, Milton Keynes and Crawley. He will head north later in the week, when parliament has been dissolved. Party strategists claim to have drawn up a list of almost 100 seats that could be within their sights, notwithstanding the Conservatives’ comfortable poll lead. Since the 2017 general election, which he fought just months after seeing off a leadership challenge from Owen Smith, Corbyn’s allies have taken every key decision-making position in the Labour party. As parliament rises for the election on Tuesday, staff usually based in Corbyn’s office will finish the job of decamping to the party’s Southside HQ in Victoria. They have been in campaign mode from the moment Corbyn announced that Labour would back a general election, and for veterans of 2017 the routine is already familiar.” – The Guardian

  • Johnson challenges Corbyn to come clean over Brexit – The Sun
  • And PM says a Labour win would delay Brexit ‘for years’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn claims Brexit will lead to maggots in orange juice – Daily Express

Labour 2) Four-day week ‘to cost £17bn’

“Research by the Centre for Policy Studies, a centre-right think tank, has found that reducing the hours of public sector employees, including doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers, would impose a significant extra burden on the Treasury because the workforce would have to expand. “At the very least this shift to a 32-hour working week would mean a £17 billion hit to the public sector, even making the most optimistic assumptions,” the study says. “It could at worst mean a possible £45 billion hit to the public sector, assuming a fall from 42.5 hours to 32 hours and no increase in productivity.” The CBI has said that the plan could push “many businesses into loss”. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “It’s impossible to put a precise number on the long-run costs to the public sector of reducing full-time hours to 32 hours a week with no loss of pay. However, with a public sector pay bill approaching £200 billion a year and with such a policy reducing hours of most full-timers by 10 per cent or more, this could easily add £15 billion.” – The Times

Labour 3) McDonnell gets ready for revolution at Treasury

“When Jeremy Corbyn stood for the Labour leadership in 2015 he never expected to win. His closest ally, John McDonnell, was so surprised when he made the shortlist that he burst into tears. Now a leader who has spent a lifetime protesting from the sidelines is contemplating the prospect of becoming prime minister, and a shadow chancellor who once described his hobby as fomenting the overthrow of capitalism is preparing to move into the Treasury. Mr Corbyn’s personal ratings are the lowest for any leader, and he is already said to be struggling under the pressure, but politics is so volatile and the party tribes so fractured that he could end up in No 10. A YouGov poll at the weekend found that Labour had enjoyed a bounce in support since the start of the election campaign and the decision by Nigel Farage to stand Brexit Party candidates in every seat could also harm the Conservatives’ chances. Last month, the Labour leader was given permission to brief the civil service on his policies in anticipation of the general election. Shadow cabinet ministers have been holding talks with the permanent secretaries in departments they hope to run. Mr McDonnell, who is masterminding the party’s preparations for power, met Sir Tom Scholar, permanent secretary to the Treasury, in his Commons office a fortnight ago.” – The Times

  • The Corbyn blueprint – The Times
  • Party to consider ban on private jets – The Times
  • It’s a world away from Blair’s vision – The Times
  • ‘Thatcherism on steroids is Tories’ goal’ – The Times
  • Frontbencher omits Corbyn from her campaign – The Times
Northern Ireland
  • Northern Ireland’s nationalists agree election pact – FT
  • SDLP denies pact with Sinn Fein – Belfast Telegraph
  • Sinn Fein will not contest three seats – Irish News
  • Paramilitaries accused of threats to help DUP – The Times
  • UK terror threat at five-year low, says Patel – FT
  • Rees-Mogg suggests Grenfell residents ‘lacked common sense’ – Daily Mail
  • Starter home scheme delivers no new houses – FT
  • Firms linked to Innovate UK chiefs win millions in taxpayer grants – The Times
News in Brief