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Johnson to target Labour seats in final blitz…

“Boris Johnson will spend the final 72 hours of the election campaign on a tour of marginal seats in Labour’s heartlands as he returns to the core messages of the Vote Leave campaign on migration and Brexit. The prime minister will visit a succession of target seats in the “red wall” of constituencies that have historically voted Labour but are now crucial to the Conservative Party’s hopes of winning the election. Mr Johnson will warn voters that they face a “great betrayal” under Jeremy Corbyn as he says that Labour MPs won their seats on a “false prospectus” of securing Brexit but subsequently “stuck two fingers up to the public”. In a last push before polling day on Thursday, today Mr Johnson will visit five Labour marginals that voted for Brexit…” – The Times

  • ‘Brexit fatigue’ undermines Labour support in key marginal – FT
  • Prime Minister warns of anti-Brexit tactical voting – The Sun
  • Labour leader will ‘betray Brexit’, Tory leader warns – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson woos voters in Grimsby – Daily Mail
  • Opposition’s fight for the North East – The Times

Analysis:

  • Bridging the class divide will deliver a Conservative victory – Sir John Curtice, The Times
  • Corbyn can’t win, but Johnson could lose to tactical votes – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: We placed our trust in Johnson. Whatever happens on Thursday, he has kept faith with us – and with Britain.

>Yesterday: James Cleverly in Comment: We need one last push, with your help, to deliver Brexit, stop Corbyn – and win

…as he talks tough on immigration…

“EU migrants have been able to “treat the UK as if it’s part of their own country” for too long, Boris Johnson said yesterday as he reprised the core message of Vote Leave’s 2016 EU referendum campaign. The prime minister guaranteed that migration would fall under his plan for an Australian-style points-based system after Britain left the European Union. The focus on migration, in stronger language, in the last days of the election campaign is intended to appeal to undecided Eurosceptic voters in Labour marginals… Mr Johnson gave more details of Conservative plans. Migrants would be issued with one of three visas. He said that those with “exceptional talents” such as “violinists, nuclear physicists, prima ballerinas” would be allowed to come to the UK “simply because of what they contribute”.” – The Times

  • Employers seek clarity on the Conservatives’ proposals – FT
  • Critics attack plan for ‘Australian-style’ system – The Guardian

Comment:

  • The task for the Tories is making sure voters are focused on Brexit and Corbyn – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “I can make sure that numbers come down,” Johnson promises on immigration

…and doubles down on claims about Northern Ireland

“Boris Johnson has again claimed that there will be no checks on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland after Brexit. The prime minister dismissed a leaked document brandished by Jeremy Corbyn last week which suggested that some checks would take place. Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has also indicated there will be checks, and fears of a ‘border in the Irish Sea’ were among the reasons which led the DUP to vote against Mr Johnson’s deal. However, the prime minister told Sky News today that the leaked documents are wrong and that there was ‘no question’ of checks taking place unless goods were moving on to the Republic of Ireland.” – Daily Mail

  • Johnson’s plan for deal by end of 2020 in doubt – FT
  • Northern Ireland customs protocol could thwart Brexit plans – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Will the real Johnson please stand up? – George Parker, FT

>Today: David Gauke’s column: An election won. But a year on: “You promised us you’d get Brexit done, but all we hear about is Brexit”

Patel claims a Corbyn win would increase violent crime

“Jeremy Corbyn Government would lead to 52 more murders a year and a violent crime epidemic, the Tories have claimed. In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Priti Patel, Home Secretary, claims Labour’s opposition to police use of stop and search would lead to fewer criminals being caught and more weapons on the streets. Citing an analysis by the Conservative research department, she said the increase in weapons could mean up to 4,000 extra violent assaults a year, nearly 150 more sex assaults and 52 more murders, equivalent to one a week. Police, she claimed, would also be at greater risk of assault from Labour’s opposition to wider use of tasers while thousands fewer knife offenders could be jailed if Labour ditched mandatory jail sentences for repeat criminals – a crackdown Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell voted against.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ‘Soft stance’ on stop-and-search could lead to ‘extra killing a week’ – The Sun
  • Conservative candidate claims he was assaulted – Daily Mail

Priti Patel: We will do what it takes to keep Britain safe

“On Thursday, voters have a very clear choice. A choice between a functioning Conservative majority which will turbocharge the recruitment of 20,000 additional police officers and increase sentences for serious and violent criminals. Or a Labour-SNP coalition who support automatic release of those convicted or terrorist offences. But, they also have a very clear choice as to who they want as their Home Secretary. Someone who will always back our police and security services to do their jobs – or Diane Abbott who has spent her entire career denigrating them and calling for their abolition. A Conservative Party which wants to put serious criminals behind bars for longer or a Labour party that supports the discredited approach of soft sentencing that puts the wellbeing of criminals ahead of that of the law-abiding majority.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The Tory campaign is treating voters with disdain – Clare Foges, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our last pre-election Cabinet League Table. It’s a near-tie at the top: Javid, Gove, Johnson, in that order.

Gove ‘tipped for trade job’ if Tories win

“Boris Johnson is preparing a post-Brexit reshuffle that could give Michael Gove a leading role in trade negotiations. Senior Tory sources said that it was inevitable that the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) would be merged with the Department for International Trade to create a super-department. “Dexeu has already been hollowed out. By the time we leave, it will be completely pointless. The focus will be on securing trade deals with the EU, the US and other nations,” one source said. A cabinet minister said: “If Boris wins [the election] with a significant majority he can do whatever he likes. There’s been no No 2 during this election campaign, no other power base.” Mr Gove’s role as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is likely to be significantly diminished after the election if the Conservatives win.” – The Times

Now Patten urges voters not to back the Tories

“Chris Patten has joined Sir John Major and other ex-tory Remainers, including Michael Heseltine, in urging the UK public to vote against the Conservatives in a desperate last minute bid to block Brexit. Lord Patten and former Prime Minister Sir John are supporting three independent candidates who had the Tory whip removed for rebelling on Brexit. These Remainer former-tories are now contesting their old party on December 12. They gave former ministers Anne Milton and Dominic Grieve their backing, along with David Gauke, who was yesterday campaigning in Rickmansworth with the help of independent London mayoral candidate Rory Stewart. Former Conservative deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine also backed the independents and urged voters to place their mark beside the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats.” – Daily Express

  • How anti-Brexit bigwigs turned themselves into a laughing stock – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

NHS leader attacks both Labour and the Conservatives

“An NHS leader has berated both main parties for misleading voters with election promises that are not enough to improve the health service. Boris Johnson would need to double his planned cash injection to truly transform the NHS and make up for a “lost decade” of funding squeezes, says Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, the hospitals’ membership group. Neither Mr Johnson nor Jeremy Corbyn has offered “credible answers” to the problems facing the health service, Mr Hopson complains. The extra money offered by Conservatives and Labour will do little more than stop woeful hospital performance getting any worse, he concludes in an article for The Times Red Box.” – The Times

  • Johnson’s hospitals pledge costed at up to £24 billion – The Guardian
  • Russian link to Corbyn’s NHS files ‘extremely serious’ – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Politicians ignored our call to be straight on the Health Service – Chris Hopson, Times Red Box

Editorial:

  • Voters deserve to be told the truth – The Times

Anti-Semitism will get worse in Labour if it loses election, warn former Labour MPs

“Anti-Semitism in Labour will get worse as Jews are blamed for any general election defeat, a prominent former Labour MP has warned. Dame Louise Ellman, a Jewish MP who resigned from Labour in October, cited comments on Sunday by shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who suggested the party’s electoral chances had been damaged by the row over anti-semitism. “We are now preparing for a situation where the Jews are the scapegoat,” Ms Ellman said at the launch of Forced Out, a film on anti-Semitism in Labour… It came after Mr McDonnell was asked on Andrew Marr’s BBC show if anti-Semitism could be a factor if Labour lost the election. “I worry this has had its effect,” he said.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Row ‘may affect result’, says McDonnell – The Guardian
  • It took just five minutes for delegates to decide Jews were ‘subhuman’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Party’s own report lays bare its members’ vile anti-Semetic slurs – Daily Mail
  • Brexit Party leader ‘appeared with antisemitic pastor’ – The Guardian

Comment:

  • I have studied the Holocaust but never understood how it could happen… until now – Tanya Gold, Daily Telegraph
  • Fleeing the country would be an entirely rational response to a Labour victory – Tom Welsh, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Left Watch: Read the Jewish Labour Movement’s submission on anti-semitism in their party

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: McDonnell is worried anti-semitism issue will have impact on Labour vote

McDonnell sets out plan for workers on boards

“Labour will on Monday set out radical plans to put workers on the boards of nationalised industries. John McDonnell will unveil plans to begin the process of nationalising water and energy companies within the first 100 days of a Labour government. The Shadow Chancellor will outline how each nationalised company will be governed by a board containing four elected worker representatives. The boards will also consist of elected politicians, four ‘citizen representatives’ and just three non-executive directors chosen by the company itself… As well as water and energy firms, Labour has outlined plans to nationalise rail companies, the Royal Mail and Openreach, the broadband arm of British Telecom.” – Daily Mail

  • Experts’ damning verdict on Labour’s Britain – The Sun

>Today: John O’Connell in Comment: The tax choice ahead. Johnson, and the highest burden since Attlee. Or Corbyn, and…the highest ever.

Corbyn ‘tried to gag’ paper which called him ‘pro-IRA’

“Jeremy Corbyn tried to gag the press by asking a judge to ban the printing of a newspaper article which described him as “pro-IRA”. The exclusive story in the now-defunct News of the World disclosed that Mr Corbyn had hired as an assistant Ronan Bennett, a former inmate from Northern Ireland’s paramilitary Maze prison. Mr Bennett had been charged with the murder of a Royal Ulster Constabulary inspector, but was cleared on appeal. The article caused uproar in parliament. The Speaker barred Mr Bennett from the Commons, the Labour chief whip Derek Foster was reported to have summoned Mr Corbyn, and a vote was held in which left-wing MPs were heavily defeated in trying to get the ban overturned.” – The Times

  • The most dangerous man ever to contend for high office in Britain – The Sun

Swinson denies plans to resign…

“Jo Swinson has insisted she will not resign from her position as Liberal Democrat leader, even if the party sees a reduction in the number of its MPs in this week’s election. Ms Swinson said she was “here to stay” for the Lib Dems, despite their floundering position in the polls and her low personal approval rating. “I’m technically still a candidate to be prime minister, I’m the Liberal Democrat candidate to be prime minister,” she said. “But clearly things have changed since the beginning of the campaign. “What we’ve seen in the intervening weeks is a cosy stitch up between Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.” Ms Swinson said the Lib Dems had succeeded in attracting nine more MPs since the 2017 election, some of whom joined from the Labour splinter party Change UK, and some who crossed the floor after the Tory whip was withdrawn from them earlier this year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Leader smoked ‘a fair bit of cannabis’ – Daily Mail

More:

  • Why Gyimah is running for the Liberal Democrats – FT
  • Curtice: polling news better for Labour than for the Lib Dems – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “Some people don’t like the way I talk,” Swinson admits

…as Umunna hits out at ‘politicisation’ of London Bridge attack

“Chuka Umunna has hit out at the “stupid political point-scoring” attempted by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack as he slammed the politicisation of the deadly stabbings. In veiled digs at both party leaders, the Liberal Democrats’ spokesman on foreign affairs sought to distance his own group from the laws which saw jihadist Usman Khan released from prison early. Shortly after Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, were killed on November 29 the Prime Minister blamed “a lefty government” for the convicted terrorist being allowed to roam the streets of Britain and was accused of turning the tragedy into a political debate. Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand claimed the UK’s military interventions had “exacerbated rather than resolved” homegrown terrorism.” – Daily Express

  • Starmer accused of ‘sweetheart deal’ for terrorist – Daily Telegraph

Farage to rename Brexit Party if UK leaves by January 31

“Nigel Farage has said he will rename the Brexit Party the Reform Party if the UK leaves the EU on January 31 as planned. The Brexit Party leader said he had already registered the name for his new party, which would “have to campaign to change politics for good”. Mr Farage’s election strategy has been to support a Conservative majority and give way to Boris Johnson in Tory target seats, while promising to exert pressure on the Prime Minister to pursue a “Canada-plus style” trade deal with the EU. Yesterday he predicted his candidates could win a “handful” of seats on Thursday, telling Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “I think we will get some in, I genuinely do.” But Mr Farage also said the Brexit Party would “have to reform into the ‘Reform Party’” if Britain left with Mr Johnson’s deal on January 31.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Confusion and tactical errors put campaign on life support – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Farage – “There are a handful of seats we have a seriously good chance of winning”

Sturgeon pressed on her deal with Corbyn

“Nicola Sturgeon  lost her temper with Piers Morgan on today’s edition of Good Morning Britain as she was probed about the support the SNP would be willing to give to Labour if the latter party secured a minority in the upcoming general election. As discussion turned to the deal breaker being the renewal of Trident, the Scottish First Minister hit back she wasn’t going to form a coalition with the opposition… Asked whether Labour’s stance on the renewal of the Trident Nuclear programme would be a deal breaker, the Scottish First Minister stated she had made her point very clear. The SNP’s view on the divisive issue is they would not be willing to make the same move as the opposition as Sturgeon said if “chemical weapons” are no longer allowed, than neither should “nuclear”.” – Daily Express

  • There’s only one way to keep our country together – Ruth Davidson, The Times
  • The choice is simpler than many are making out – vote tactically, stop Sturgeon – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Sturgeon – Labour must accept a referendum is for Scottish people to decide

News in Brief:

  • Can Raab cling on to Esher? – Ian Birrell, UnHerd
  • SNP embroiled in its own antisemitism scandal – John Macleod, Reaction
  • The 15 Scottish seats that could decide the general election – Stephen Daisley, The Spectator
  • Labour’s tax raid on the self-employed – Dr Rosalind Beck, CapX
  • Johnson’s statist policies will hurt the economy – Ben Ramanauskas, 1828

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