Queen’s Speech 1) Brexit Bill has been ‘Miller-proofed’

“Boris Johnson’s new Brexit Bill has been beefed up to stop campaigners trying to scupper its progress in the courts ahead of the UK’s expected exit from the European Union in six weeks’ time. Conservative MPs cheered as the House of Commons agreed to sit on Friday to consider legislation required to implement the Prime Minister’s deal that he hammered out with EU leaders last October. The news came as the Government confirmed that the Department for Exiting the European Union will be disbanded at the end of next month as Brexit happens. The announcement prompted speculation that Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove will be given a new role running an enlarged Department for International Trade in February’s expected Cabinet reshuffle.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Legal protections for refugee children ‘reduced in new draft’ – The Times
  • Parliament’s role in talks reduced – The Guardian


  • Johnson snubs Corbyn in tribute to Labour Leavers – Daily Express


  • The hard left has a problem with patriotism – Philip Collins, The Times
  • Labour must embrace Brexit – Larry Elliott, The Guardian


Queen’s Speech 2) Treason laws set for overhaul

“Britain’s archaic treason laws could be updated to enable the prosecution of those who leak secrets to “hostile states”. The move comes amid concern about the activities of Russia and China in the West. The government announced in the Queen’s Speech that it was “considering the case” for updating Britain’s 650-year-old treason laws as part of a new espionage bill. Revising the Treason Act of 1351, which has not been used since 1945, would enable the government to prosecute anyone who participates in “harmful activity” with a foreign state. The legislation is being drawn up after the poisoning last year in Salisbury of a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia. Ministers blamed Russia for attacking the pair with a powerful nerve agent.” – The Times

  • New law will compass ‘hackers and saboteurs’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: MPs Etc: “My Government will embark on an ambitious programme of domestic reform”. The Queen’s Speech – full text

Queen’s Speech 3) NHS pledge to be ‘enshrined in law’

“Boris Johnson has taken the bold step of writing his massive NHS spending promise into law. It was among a bonanza of  new laws to beef up Britain’s NHS packed into the Queen’s Speech. A triumphant Mr Johnson took the unprecedented step of enshrining his promise in law to shore up any doubters that he was determined to strengthen the health service. The move, announced last week, was a cornerstone of the policy promises made in the Queen’s Speech this morning. It is the first time any government has made a spending promise a legal requirement. The sweeping requirement will mean Mr Johnson will have a legal duty to provide £33.9 billion for the NHS by 2023-4.” – The Sun

  • NHS staff without flu vaccinations may be banned from going to work – The Times
  • Leak inquiry focuses on personal Gmail accounts – The Guardian


  • Affordable homes for locals in ‘golden age’ of renewal – The Times
  • Johnson pledges to deliver ‘golden age’ with vision for decade in Downing St – Daily Telegraph
  • No-fault divorce bill revived to make splitting less painful – The Times

>Today: Andrew Wood in Local Government: Understanding why we lost in East London

Fraser Nelson: This Blue Labour Government risks repeating New Labour’s mistakes

“So his Queen’s Speech wasn’t just a cynical ploy to bribe northerners. It does what he has always wanted to do: borrow money, lots of it, and see if he can bring to the north of England the opportunities that he thinks decent infrastructure has brought to London. Javid is quite right to say that the markets, relieved at the absence of Marxists in the Treasury, are still keen to lend at ridiculously cheap rates of interest. Just how long those rates will stay cheap for, however, is another matter. And this is the problem. If you can borrow money for the next decade at rock-bottom interest rates, and get more than your money back on investments that speed up the economy, then it does make sense. But what if rates rise? And anyway, can government be trusted to spend wisely?” – Daily Telegraph

  • This was the Queen’s speech… as written by Cummings – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian


  • Johnson is a blizzard of good ideas – The Sun

>Today: Lee Rowley MP in Comment: North East Derbyshire was a forerunner of this election victory. Here’s what we did to win again.


Prime Minister ‘rejects Sturgeon’s demands’ for referendum

Nicola Sturgeon has launched a “neverendum” campaign for independence as her official request to Boris Johnson for the powers to hold another separation vote next year was rejected. The First Minister said the UK Government has a “democratic duty” to hand her the powers for another vote on breaking up Britain after the SNP won 48 out of 59 Scottish seats in last week’s general election. Although Mr Johnson and Michael Gove later rejected her demand, she argued this could not be sustained and challenged the UK Government to explain how this would tally with Scotland being in a voluntary Union. But she repeatedly refused to rule out a third vote if she lost, or to repeat the promise she made before the 2014 referendum that it would settle the matter for a generation or a lifetime.” – Daily Telegraph

  • First Minister ‘makes case’ for re-run of 214 vote – FT
  • SNP claim Brussels will offer Scotland an easy route back – Daily Express
  • Bridge to Northern Ireland floated again – The Times


  • Johnson can’t put off a showdown on the Union forever – Peter Geoghegan, The Guardian
  • The Tories must save the DUP from themselves – Shane Greer, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: What the election tells us about the Tory position in Wales and Scotland

Javid appoints new Bank of England Governor

“Andrew Bailey will become the 121st governor of the Bank of England in February, chancellor Sajid Javid announced on Friday, capping his long career at the central bank and in financial regulation with the top job. Mr Bailey won the race to succeed Mark Carney and embark on an eight-year term at the helm of the BoE after a selection process that has dragged on for almost two years and been overshadowed by Brexit. Mr Javid said Mr Bailey was the “standout candidate” for governor who “emerged fromm the financial crisis with his reputation enhanced”. The 60-year-old is highly respected by staff at the BoE, having previously served as deputy governor for prudential regulation, chief cashier and private secretary to Eddie George, a previous governor.” – Daily Express

  • Boss of ‘soft-touch’ City watchdog replaces Carney – Daily Mail

Lewis throws hat into Labour leadership race

“Clive Lewis became the second declared candidate for the Labour leadership last night, pledging to give members more say than Jeremy Corbyn has. The shadow Treasury minister said Mr Corbyn’s “first promise” was not fulfilled because “the party was never democratised on the scale or to the extent that members were led to expect”. He said Labour members had not been “empowered to campaign, select candidates or determine policy on the scale that was always required”. Mr Lewis’s candidacy could pose a challenge to Rebecca Long Bailey, who is widely expected to run with the backing of left-wing unions and activist groups.” – The Times

  • He promises to build on Corbyn’s ‘enormous achievements’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Thornberry says senior advisers should ‘pay price of defeat’ – The Guardian


  • I’m standing to be Labour leader so the truth can be heard – Clive Lewis MP, The Guardian

McCluskey ‘humiliated’ by ex-MP’s court win

“Hard-left firebrand Len McCluskey was left humiliated last night after his union was found guilty of smearing a moderate ex-Labour MP. His Unite union and the Corbynista blog Skwawkbox suggested in a 2017 article that Anna Turley had acted dishonestly by joining Unite via a scheme aimed at the unemployed, in a bid to oust Mr McCluskey. The row kicked off in December 2016 when Ms Turley and several other Labour moderates joined Unite so they could vote to kick ‘Red Len’ out as leader. She signed up via the Community membership part of the union, which is aimed at the unemployed and costs just 50p a week. The High Court heard the Skwarkbox story contained a press statement from Unite which suggested she acted dishonestly when signing up.” – The Sun

Independent Group for Change to be disbanded

“The Independent Group for Change, the party established by centrist MPs defecting from the two main parties, is being closed down, with its leader saying it was “better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all”. The party, started by disillusioned Labour MPs in February, unsuccessfully stood three candidates in the general election, with all losing out to their previous parties. In a letter to members on Thursday, the party’s leader, the former Tory MP Anna Soubry, said the group had been formed “in response to the broken state of British politics”. She said they had hoped “more Labour and Conservative MPs would share our courage and leave their respective political parties”.” – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Three big questions hang over Johnson’s radical housing reforms – John Myers, CapX
  • The ‘green crap’ lessons of 2013 – James Kirkup, UnHerd
  • Indyref2 could be the biggest headache of Johnson’s premiership – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • Power-sharing deal could contain seeds of Ulster’s next crisis – Owen Polley, Reaction
  • Johnson has won the war – now he must win the peace – Matthew Lesh, 1828

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