Johnson ‘defies Wallace’ to press ahead with Huawei deal

“Boris Johnson faced down opposition from his defence secretary yesterday as he allowed Huawei to help to build Britain’s 5G network in a decision that drew fierce criticism from US politicians. Ben Wallace told colleagues on the National Security Council to heed the warnings of America as its strongest ally on defence and security, The Times can reveal. He is said to have described China, by contrast, as a “friend of no one” during the 90-minute meeting. A source described Mr Wallace as a “lonely voice” in the discussion that preceded the formal announcement. Priti Patel, the other cabinet minister previously opposed to Huawei, made a limited contribution. Mr Wallace is understood to have accepted the decision to allow Huawei to build “non-core” parts of the telecoms network under the terms of cabinet collective responsibility.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister moves to heal rift with the US – Daily Telegraph
  • Pompeo flies to UK for talks amidst Huawei concern – BBC
  • ‘Risk is limited’, says spy chief – The Times
  • Decision attacked by America and MPs – The Sun


Ben Wallace: With a ban, cap and a cut we can have secure 5G

“The government is not naive about China. We have consistently called out acts of hacking and cybertheft. We have stood up for human rights in Hong Kong and will continue to work with our Five Eyes partners to uphold international rules based systems. In this century we will work to show China that joining the nations of the developed world means more than just trade. It means mutual respect for international law. The decision we have made this week means the ball is now in Huawei’s and the Chinese government’s court. As defence secretary I am committed to the defence of this nation and that is why I support our decision.” – The Times

  • If I had any doubts about Huawei I would not have supported it – Priti Patel MP, Daily Telegraph
  • HS2 and Huawei are vital to keep pace with future – David Willetts, The Times
  • Fudge can’t keep both China and the US happy – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph
  • The real decision about Huawei was made years ago – Alex Hern, The Guardian
  • May’s stare could have turned an elephant into a lump of stone – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail


  • Why let a branch of China’s Communist Party loose on a vital network? – The Sun

‘Points-based’ migration system dismissed as ‘soundbite’

“Ministers are to press ahead with an Australian-style immigration points system after effectively sacking their key adviser who described it as “soundbite” politics. Professor Alan Manning, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), revealed on Tuesday that the Home Office had rebuffed his offer to stay on for a second three-year term and that he will step down next month. It came as he launched the MAC’s blueprint for a post-Brexit immigration system for skilled workers saying the Government’s desire for an Australian points-based system was simply a “soundbite” for politicians to summarise their policy. “You would make [the system] more complex, it’s not really clear what purpose it would serve,” he said. “A points based system is just wrapping around a policy – it’s what’s inside the tin that is really important.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • UK urged to lower migrant pay threshold after Brexit – FT
  • Skilled migrants should be allowed to come even without a job – The Sun


  • Britain needs a balanced policy on immigration – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: The claim that the UK has become a more xenophobic country since the referendum is a damaging myth

Peer warns that HS2 is not ‘shovel-ready’

“HS2 is not “shovel ready” despite claims to the contrary, the peer tasked by Boris Johnson with reviewing the project has said. On Tuesday Lord Berkeley presented the House of Lords with a list of alternative infrastructure projects which would cost “significantly less”. The work on some of the alternatives could begin in a “few weeks’ time”, according to the peer, who is the deputy chairman of the HS2 review commissioned by Mr Johnson. Lord Berkeley also challenged HS2 Ltd’s recent claims that alternatives would “cause wide disruption”. Instead he raised “worrying” examples of disruption which would be caused by HS2 on motorways and existing rail networks.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Costs spiralled because chiefs wanted to make trains ‘too fast’ – The Sun
  • ‘Worst operator’ Northern Rail loses franchise five years early – The Times


  • It’s time to bring back Beeching’s lost lines – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Reverse rail cuts to reconnect the regions – Alice Thomson, The Times

>Yesterday: Andy Street’s column: The Government is providing the investment we need to make our communities safer

Scottish Conservative leadership contest ‘descends into infighting’

“The Scottish Tory leadership contest has descended into infighting over the party’s general election losses, with Jackson Carlaw’s campaign accusing Michelle Ballantyne of insulting candidates and lacking political nous. Ms Ballantyne launched a thinly-veiled attack on Mr Carlaw, the favourite in the contest, saying the Tories lacked “vision and ambition” during the election campaign he spearheaded. They lost seven of their 13 seats. Writing in the Telegraph, she said Tory activists were “desperate” to talk to voters about something other than stopping a second independence referendum but the party had no “credible policies” for improving public services. In contrast, Ms Ballantyne said the Scottish Conservatives would “stand for something” under her leadership and outlined five policy pledges she would introduce after next year’s Holyrood election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon ‘red faced’ as Patel rejects Scottish visa proposal – Daily Express


  • Holyrood accused of lack of transparency over use of PFI – FT
  • Wales to ban parents smacking their children from 2022 – The Guardian

Jones warns Johnson over role for EU judges

“Boris Johnson must walk away from trade talks with Brussels if it lets EU judges police a deal with the UK, a former Brexit minister said yesterday. Insisting the European Court of Justice (ECJ) settles disputes on areas covered by a trading pact would mean there is no point continuing negotiations, argues David Jones. He said: “You would be having disputes arbitrated by the court of one of the parties and it is a court that has got a political function, which is to advance the interests of the European Union. “The EU has to realise it would be completely unacceptable and if they want to press that then there is no purpose in continuing the negotiations.”” – Daily Express

  • Business checks on Irish Sea trade loom as next flashpoint – FT


  • The abuse my family has faced means Brexit has never felt like a victory – Sarah Vine, Daily Mail

>Today: Mark Wallace in Comment: How Eurosceptics survived the wilderness years, and returned to win the day

>Yesterday: Philip Davies MP in Comment: Better Off Out – the campaign that shattered Westminster’s taboo about leaving the EU

Labour post-mortem report branded ‘whitewash’…

“Labour’s post-election “period of reflection” has been branded a whitewash after an internal report praised a community organisers unit set up under Jeremy Corbyn. Despite Labour suffering its worst performance since 1935, an official briefing given to the party’s National Executive Committee on Tuesday said the unit, which was created to rebuild support in the party’s heartlands, had “held the line”. The meeting included a presentation by Mr Corbyn’s senior adviser Karie Murphy, who produced a document claiming that the role of community organisers was “directly attributable” to winning Putney, Labour’s only electoral gain. Officials and shadow cabinet ministers present were also addressed by Labour’s chairman Ian Lavery, who blamed the election disaster on the party’s Brexit policy, media hostility and factional disputes between MPs.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Leadership criticised over letter to defeated candidatesThe Times

…and Labour MPs claim party not being even-handed in leadership contest

“MPs supporting Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy in Labour’s leadership battle have accused the party’s hierarchy of handing fellow candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey an advantage by preventing parliamentarians from contacting constituency members. All Labour MPs have been told they are not allowed to contact their members using Labour party data; but an outside organisation, such as the grassroots group Momentum, can contact theirs – even though there is much overlap. While Long-Bailey’s campaign is backed by Momentum with its large database of Labour members, Starmer and Nandy’s supporters in parliament say they cannot send literature to members explaining who they will support.” – The Guardian

  • Thornberry criticised for defending Corbyn’s record on racism – The Sun
  • Long-Bailey claims Scot independence vote ‘democratically right’ – Daily Express


  • As deputy leader, I’d back policies rooted in people’s day-to-day lives – Angela Rayner MP, The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • The Chinese state is already deeply embedded in Britain – Robert Fox, Reaction
  • Journalism is being eaten alive by opinion – Jesse Singhal, UnHerd
  • The problem with the big ‘cost of Brexit’ numbers – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • Why Varadkar’s Brexit bashing is falling flat – Finn McRedmond, The Spectator
  • Flight shaming won’t save the planet – Bill Wirtz, 1828