Election 1) Johnson compares Corbyn to Stalin as he launches campaign

“The Prime Minister says that the Labour leader demonises billionaires with a “relish and a vindictiveness” not seen since the former Soviet leader persecuted landowners in the 1930s. Writing in The Telegraph as he officially launches the Conservatives’ general election campaign, Mr Johnson says Brexit will unlock “hundreds of billions” of investment into the UK, but Labour would deliver nothing but further delay which would “hold the country back”. He also sets out the domestic priorities that will be at the heart of the Tory manifesto, such as closing the “opportunity gap” by making sure every child has the same chance to make the most of their talents. The NHS, education and policing will loom large in the Tory campaign, as Mr Johnson promises to build 40 new hospitals, increase funding for every school and make the streets safer with more beat bobbies and a greater use of stop and search. Mr Johnson will kick off his campaign with a rally in the West Midlands on Wednesday evening, where he will tell activists the time has come to “change the dismal pattern of the last three years and to get out of our rut.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Farage in secret talks with Eurosceptics to stand down candidates – Daily Telegraph
  • As he loses another candidate over bid to challenge Tories – The Times
  • Johnson delay on Russia dossier helps Putin, says Litvinenko widow – The Guardian
  • PM urges Trump to life Scotch whisky tariffs – Daily Telegraph
  • And he plans to hand police new stop and search powers – Daily Mail
  • Don’t sign pledges on NHS or climate, Tory HQ tells candidates – The Guardian
  • Tories to drop pledge to cut tuition fees – the i
  • Funding pledge to avoid polling stations ruining nativities – Daily Telegraph

Election 2) Javid furious as civil service chief refuses to reveal cost of Labour’s plans

“Sajid Javid was left furious after Britain’s most senior civil servant blocked the publication of official costings of Labour’s policies. The chancellor told cabinet on Tuesday that the Treasury would publish a budget-style “scorecard” detailing the cost of Jeremy Corbyn’s pledges. He said that the Tories would establish their reputation for “fiscal responsibility” with a “clear economic narrative” during the election campaign. However he faced embarrassment after Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary, pulled the official assessment of Labour’s economic plans on Tuesday afternoon amid concerns they were too political. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, had raised concerns about the costings with Sir Tom Scholar, the Treasury’s permanent secretary. Labour subsequently raised the issue with Sir Mark’s office, which responded: “To confirm our conversation, these costings will not be published.” The decision infuriated Mr Javid, who informed the Cabinet Office two weeks ago of the Treasury’s intention to publish the costings.” – The Times

  • May’s new role as inspirational speaker – The Times
  • Samantha Cameron says husband’s political career has dented her business – Daily Telegraph

Election 3) Lib Dems rule out coalition as Swinson claims she can be PM

“The Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, made an all-out pitch for Remainer votes by pledging to stop Brexit and boost public services with the proceeds of a stronger economy inside the EU. Launching the party’s election campaign in Westminster, she said she was a serious candidate for prime minister, arguing: “When you look at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn I’m absolutely certain I could do a better job than either of them.” Framing the general election as a campaign “about who we are as a country”, she said that the Brexit debate was about “open versus closed” and “whether we are generous or selfish”. She said that in normal times she would be looking merely to double her party’s 20 MPs, but that this was not a normal election and that “stranger things have happened” recently than her becoming prime minister. She pointed to the SNP surge from six to 56 seats in the 2015 election, in which she lost her seat before regaining it in 2017.” – The Times

  • Umunna undermines Swinson in Labour pledge – Daily Express
  • Ex-Labour MP who defected to Lib Dems complains she will miss out on parachute payment – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour accuses Swinson of failings over Commons racism row – The Guardian
  • How a misleading story about Lib Dem leader went viral – BBC News

Election 4) Hammond to quit Parliament

“Former Chancellor Philip Hammond, who was kicked out of the parliamentary Conservative party for opposing Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy, announced he will stand down as an MP. Faced with the option of standing as an independent MP or leaving politics, Hammond chose the latter. He announced his decision in a resignation letter. “The Conservative Party that I have served has always had room for a wide range of opinions and has been tolerant of measured dissent … I remain a Conservative and I cannot, therefore, embark upon a course of action that would represent a direct challenge in a general election to the party I have supported all my adult life,” he wrote. Hammond said he felt “saddened” at the decision after representing Runnymede and Weybridge for 22 years, but pledged to remain an “active party member” and continue to make the case for a close relationship between the UK and the EU on security and trade. He joins a list of over 60 MPs who will not fight for a seat in the December 12 general election. They include heavyweights such as ex-Chancellor Ken Clarke and former Home Secretary Amber Rudd.” – Politico


Election 5) Security services fear Corbyn would torpedo Trident

“One of the first tasks of a new prime minister is to send “letters of last resort” to the commanders of Britain’s submarines that carry the Trident nuclear deterrent. They contain orders on what action to take in the event that an enemy nuclear strike has destroyed the government. Jeremy Corbyn has spent his life campaigning for unilateral disarmament and made it clear as recently as 2015 that he would not use nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Senior figures in the military are concerned that if he gets to No 10 he would write memos insisting that the missiles should never be fired. Although Labour’s policy is to retain the nuclear deterrent, Lord West of Spithead, a former first sea lord and Labour peer, sums up a concern shared by others. “Mr Corbyn has put Britain in the extraordinary and dangerous position of keeping a nuclear deterrent, but saying ‘of course if all the British people are obliterated I would not dream of responding’,” he said. “He doesn’t understand what deterrence means. That does not deter; another country might take the risk.” – The Times

  • Ex‑Labour ministers fear Corbyn is threat to national security – The Times
  • Labour risks ‘Ed Stone’ moment – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour MP accused of ‘bending the rules’ – Daily Telegraph

Rees‑Mogg sorry for saying Grenfell victims lacked sense

“Jacob Rees-Mogg was urged last night to meet the families of Grenfell victims in a deepening row over his claims that they should have used their common sense and ignored official advice to “stay put” in the building. The leader of the Commons apologised after victims’ groups said that his comments were “beyond disrespectful” to the 72 people who died in the London tower block fire in June 2017. However, Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, intensified the controversy by saying that Mr Rees-Mogg would have made a “better decision” than following the guidance issued by the fire service. When challenged that this comment suggested Mr Rees-Mogg was cleverer than those who died, Mr Bridgen said: “We want very clever people running the country, don’t we?” Mr Rees-Mogg said in an interview with LBC radio on Monday that while cladding was the principal cause of the tragedy, it was compounded by the official “stay put” advice. He told the programme’s host, Nick Ferrari: “I think if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense thing to do, and it is such a tragedy that that didn’t happen.” – The Times

  • Rape victim tells ‘lying’ minister to quit – The Times
  • Watchdog bans DWP’s ‘misleading’ Universal Credit ads – The Guardian
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