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Election run-in 1) Johnson pens letter to voters

“Very occasionally, a historic Election takes place that changes not just the following few years, but shapes future decades. In 1906, the Liberal government won a majority and the balance of power crucially tipped towards democracy. In 1945, the Conservative Party had lost its way and the Attlee government created the NHS – one of the great achievements in British politics in the 20th Century. And in 1979 the Thatcher government dragged Britain out of the nightmare of the 1970s. Now, in 2019, we face another of these historic Elections. Like 1906, 1945 and 1979, the impact of this Election will be felt for decades to come. But unlike those Elections, in 2019 it is not a single party that has lost its way, but the entire Parliament. Three years ago, this country voted to leave the EU with the biggest democratic verdict ever passed down in British politics. Yet ever since that vote, those MPs who campaigned to Remain in the EU have paid lip service to leaving while doing everything in their power to delay, obstruct, and block Britain’s exit. This election is happening because Parliament refused to honour the will of the British people and respect the democratic result of the referendum. We need to break the gridlock in Parliament, end the uncertainty that has held this country back, and get Brexit done to restore trust in democracy in this country.” – Mail on Sunday

  • And PM says voters can have £150bn in investment for Christmas – Sun on Sunday
  • Tories down to 8-point lead – Sunday Telegraph
  • But they hold 15-point lead – Observer
  • Tactical voters could deny Johnson majority – Sunday Times
  • Calls grow to stop Johnson with tactical voting as race tightens – Observer
  • ‘You are the 120th interview I’ve done, and I’m proud to be doing it’ – Sunday Times
  • Johnson and Corbyn to disappoint supporters – FT
  • Punters stake £1m on Johnson winning with 47-seat majority – Sun on Sunday
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Election run-in 2) Patel: We will bring immigration figures down

“The Conservatives’ new immigration system will be set up to attract the brightest and the best from around the globe to Britain. But crucially, the points-based system will stem the flow of unskilled migrants to Britain and will end their right to permanent residence with time-limited visas. It comes amid revelations that Labour will keep the door wide open for uncontrolled immigration by continuing with free movement with the EU. Home Secretary Priti Patel, whose family came to Britain from Uganda, said: “The vote to leave the EU was a vote to take back control of our borders, and that is exactly what a Conservative majority government will do by getting Brexit done and ending freedom of movement. “Immigration will finally be subject to democratic control. “We will be able to create a fairer system, which will attract the brightest and the best from around the world to come here and contribute to our society and economy, while getting overall immigration down. “Labour want uncontrolled and unlimited immigration, placing huge strain on public services like our NHS.” – Sunday Express

Election run-in 3) Gove: Stakes could hardly be higher

“Every election matters. Our democracy is precious. But in some elections we are faced with historic choices that will define our future for many years to come. In the post-war era, the 1945 and 1979 elections charted the country’s course for decades to come. Through the creation of the welfare state and the reversal of our national decline, they still shape our politics today. This election in 2019 is also era-defining. There are two, starkly different, possible paths the country could take on Thursday, each with far-reaching consequences. The first leads to another hung parliament. The democratic impasse which has defined Westminster for the last three years would continue. Trust in our democracy would erode further. Jeremy Corbyn could engineer his way into Downing Street with the votes of SNP and Lib Dem MPs. Instead of getting Brexit done, we would face two referendums next year – one on Brexit and one on Scottish independence. Jeremy Corbyn wants to hold another Brexit referendum. Ludicrously, he says he would negotiate a new deal with the EU and then decline to support it in the referendum he is so determined to secure. Even more alarmingly, he would call the legitimacy of the whole exercise into question by changing the rules – extending the franchise to 2 million EU citizens who are overwhelmingly likely to vote Remain.” – Sunday Telegraph

Election run-in 4) PM predicts baby boom if Conservatives win

“For a man with a colourful private life, it is a bold boast. Boris Johnson has claimed there will be a bonking bonanza across Britain if he stays in No 10. The prime minister predicted a post-Brexit baby boom to mirror 2012, the year of the London Olympics. He said: “Cupid’s darts will fly once we get Brexit done. Romance will bloom across the whole nation.” Johnson said: “There was one after the Olympics, as I correctly prophesied in a speech in 2012, it was quite amazing. There was a big baby boom.” His comments will lead to speculation that he might start a family with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, 31. Asked about that prospect, he said: “I am not going to make any demographic projections.” Pressed on whether the patter of tiny feet might be heard in No 10, Johnson — whose Wikipedia entry says he has “at least five” children — added: “I don’t comment about that sort of thing.” While 2012 did see the biggest baby boom for 40 years, the cause was said to be the release of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey rather than the Olympics.” – Sunday Times

Election run-in 5) Tories investigate three candidates over anti-semitism claims

“The Conservative Party is investigating three parliamentary candidates over allegations of anti-semitism. Sally-Ann Hart, standing as a Tory candidate in Amber Rudd’s former Hastings and Rye seat, shared a video in 2017 that implied that the Jewish philanthropist George Soros controlled the EU. She also “liked” a Nazi slogan on Facebook. St Helens South and Whiston candidate Richard Short queried in a 2013 tweet whether journalist Melanie Phillips’s allegiance was to the UK or Israel, while Lee Anderson, who is running in Ashfield, is said to be an active member of a Facebook group where Soros conspiracies are promoted. A Conservative Party spokeswoman said: “These matters are being investigated. Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong, and the Conservative Party takes decisive action to deal with any incidents of hatred, abuse or intimidation. Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one, but there are a wide range of sanctions to challenge and change behaviour, including conditions to undertake training, periods of suspension and expulsion, and these are applied on a case-by-case basis.” – Sunday Times

Davidson: I can get between 100 and 1,000 abusive tweets a day

“She was the new kid on the block who reversed the Scottish Conservatives’ fortunes and was hailed as a future PM. But in August, Ruth Davidson shocked the political world by announcing her resignation. Here, she talks to Kate Bussmann about life after politics and becoming a mother. It’s a grey, drizzly morning in Edinburgh, but Ruth Davidson is sunshine personified. She bounces into the Stella photo shoot, cheerily informing the photographer that he has a choice: either she smiles for the camera, or he gets her resting bitch face. When we meet it’s just over three months since Ruth resigned as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, having turned what was once described as ‘the worst job in politics’ into one of the most unexpected success stories of our time. That was evidently a lifetime ago, when this fizzing bubble of energy was, she says, so very, very tired. She quit, citing dual conflicts: the impossibility of being a Remainer in a pro-Brexit party, being from a country where 62 per cent voted to stay in the EU; and of being the mother of a young baby in a job that barely allowed her to see him.” – Sunday Telegraph

Labour 1) Anti-semitism: ‘secret files of shame’ exposed

“Labour’s failure to stamp out rampant anti-semitism in the party can be exposed today in a massive leak of documents from its own disciplinary department. The secret files, seen by The Sunday Times, reveal the party is still overwhelmed with complaints about anti-Jewish racism that have been left unresolved for months or years. Most have resulted in lenient punishments or no sanctions, according to the documents, despite Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign claims of zero tolerance. They provide the first comprehensive insight into how Labour has handled the anti-semitism scandal over the past 18 months. In a leaked audio recording from the party’s disciplinary committee in late October, a Labour official complains that more than 130 cases remain outstanding even though the “vast majority” were reported to the party 18 months ago. One unresolved case had been on Labour’s books for more than three years, according to the recording. Some of the cases in the files are disturbing, with Labour members likening Jewish people to killer viruses, labelling them “bent nose manipulative liars” and calling for the “extermination of every Jew on the planet”. – Sunday Times

  • Corbyn’s Labour is the biggest threat to Jews, Simon Wiesenthal Centre warns – Sun on Sunday
  • There is a ‘powerful case’ that Corbyn could be anti-Semitic, says former most senior civil judge – Sunday Telegraph
  • Labour ‘not trying to win’ – Sunday Times

Labour 2) GCHQ investigates Kremlin link to NHS leak

“British spies are investigating the Kremlin’s alleged role in a sophisticated leak of government trade documents that bears the “hallmarks” of Russian interference. GCHQ officials have been called on by the Cabinet Office to “attribute” the origin of leaked UK-US documents, which have been used by Jeremy Corbyn as “proof” that the Conservatives want to include the NHS in future trade deals. The investigation into the leaked Department for International Trade (DIT) documents, which were disseminated on the social news site Reddit, will examine whether state-backed hackers were responsible and explore the likelihood of disgruntled civil servants being involved. The documents were circulated on Reddit, three German-language websites and a Twitter account. They had a similar dissemination pattern — including grammatical errors — used by Secondary Infektion, a Russian operation exposed this year by Facebook. Last week Reddit said it had banned 61 accounts linked to the release of DIT documents because it believed the leak was “part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia”. – Sunday Times

  • Spy chiefs sit Corbyn down for chat – Sunday Times
  • Rayner refuses to rule herself out if Corbyn steps down – Sunday Telegraph
  • Corbyn allies warn leadership challengers to rein in ambition – FT
  • Labour donor defended Livingstone’s Hitler comments – Sunday Telegraph
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Liberal Democrats
  • Lib Dems dream of a ‘Portillo moment’ to unseat unloved Raab – Sunday Times
  • MP who quit Labour describes how she received rape and death threats – Sunday Times
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  • Patient data from GP surgeries sold to US companies – Observer
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