Homeowners should expect flooding, ministers will say

“Homeowners should no longer automatically expect to be protected from major floods, ministers will announce in the coming weeks. Under a radical policy shift drawn up by the Environment Agency, flooding will be seen as inevitable due to the predicted effects of climate change. Instead of spending millions on “limitlessly high walls” and barriers, the government will help people to rebuild their water-damaged homes or to move away from flood-risk areas. It comes after the Environment Agency was accused of leaving parts of the country at the mercy of Storm Dennis, which continued to cause devastation on Monday. The death toll from the storm rose to five, while emergency service workers in boats had to rescue residents in Hereford as the River Wye rose to its highest level on record. People also had to be rescued in Shrewsbury after the River Severn burst its banks.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson put your wellies on, Leader – The Sun

UK Brexit chief rejects EU’s ‘level playing field’ approach

“Britain’s top negotiator with Brussels insisted last night the UK would never agree to EU oversight of its rulemaking in exchange for a post-Brexit trade deal, even as France sought to toughen the bloc’s stance in the talks. David Frost, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, used a speech in Brussels to reject the kinds of “level playing field” conditions that Paris and other capitals insist must form the backbone of any future-relationship agreement. “To think that we might accept EU supervision on so-called level playing field issues simply fails to see the point of what we are doing,” he said in a lecture to the Université Libre de Bruxelles. “It isn’t a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure — it is the point of the whole project.” – FT


Johnson adviser quits over race and eugenics controversy

“A controversial new adviser to Boris Johnson resigned on Monday night after MPs and experts accused No 10 of condoning his controversial claims that intelligence is linked to race. Andrew Sabisky, who was brought into Downing Street by Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings as part of his appeal for “misfits and weirdos”, became the subject of intense media scrutiny after details emerged of his views on subjects ranging from black people’s IQs to whether benefits claimants should be encouraged to have fewer children. But amid mounting criticism within the Conservative party after No 10 stood by the appointment, Sabisky said that he would be stepping down as a “contractor” to No 10. He tweeted: “The media hysteria about my old stuff online is mad but I wanted to help [the government] not be a distraction. Accordingly I’ve decided to resign as a contractor. I hope No 10 hires more [people with] good geopolitical forecasting track records and that media learn to stop selective quoting.” – The Guardian

  • Cummings ‘misfit’ quits after row over eugenics and race – The Times
  • Downing Street ‘super-forecaster’ quits – Daily Telegraph

Johnson at odds with Cummings over BBC licence fee

“Boris Johnson is at odds with his senior Downing Street advisers, including Dominic Cummings, over plans to scrap the BBC licence fee and replace it with a voluntary subscription system, The Times has learnt. The prime minister favours “reform rather than revolution” and is significantly less gung ho about abandoning the licence fee than Mr Cummings, his chief special adviser, who is said to be “ideological” about the issue. It has also emerged that John Whittingdale, a minister appointed last week to help to oversee the reforms, said that moving to a subscription model was “politically utterly impossible”. The culture minister said in an interview the day before he was appointed that the only way to move to a subscription system would be to “turn off Freeview and move it all online”. However, Freeview, Britain’s largest television platform, used by 18 million homes, does not have the technology to switch off particular stations for non-subscribers.” – The Times


Javid hints taxes should be lowered amid concerns of a Budget hike

“Sajid Javid has suggested taxes should be lowered, as MPs fear a raid on the middle classes in the upcoming Budget. The former Chancellor, who resigned in last week’s reshuffle, ‘liked’ a tweet that warned Britain is “over-taxed” and facing the highest tax burden “for a generation”. It comes amid fears his successor Rishi Sunak is planning a tax raid in order to pay for the Government’s plans to “level up” the economy. A source close to Mr Javid said that he had been “on the record many, many times as being a low-tax Chancellor”. It is understood that Boris Johnson has been considering several wealth taxes, including a squeeze on savings tax relief and the creation of new council tax bands for expensive homes.” – Daily Telegraph


Bercow says bullying accusers are ‘snobs and bigots’

“The former Commons Speaker John Bercow has described parliamentary staff members who allege that he bullied people as “snobs and bigots”, and claimed he is the victim of a concerted campaign to destroy his reputation. In conversation with Owen Jones at a Guardian Live event in Sloane Square in central London, he mocked those who have complained about him and denied all the allegations surrounding his behaviour. The former Conservative MP said: “I was astonished when those allegations first surfaced on Newsnight nearly two years ago and for the best part of two years I’ve had to put up with this issue being weaponised against me.” Robert Rogers, who was clerk of the Commons for three years during Bercow’s tenure before becoming a crossbench peer in 2014 as Lord Lisvane, has filed a formal complaint about the former Speaker to the parliamentary commissioner for standards.” – The Guardian

More than half of BAME MPs have experienced racism in Parliament

“More than half of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) MPs say they have experienced racism, racial profiling and prejudice from fellow MPs, an ITV News investigation has found. In an anonymous survey sent by ITV News to all 65 BAME MPs, 62% of the 37 respondents said they had experienced racism from staff in the Houses of Parliament while 51% said they had dealt with racism from fellow MPs. Of the respondents – which include MPs from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – several spoke of what they had experienced throughout their careers. Labour’s Tulip Siddiq told ITV News that when she told a fellow MP in the chamber of the House of Commons she was pregnant, her colleague said she was surprised doctors had told her she was having a daughter, as she believed that people from an Asian background are more likely to abort baby girls.” – ITV News

Name your favourite leader, Labour rivals asked

“Rebecca Long Bailey’s efforts to dodge a tricky question over which Labour leader she most admired ended in a muddle last night. She chose Clement Attlee when asked to name the best Labour prime minister in the past 50 years during Channel 4’s leadership hustings. Attlee’s last year in Downing Street was 1951 and he stood down as party leader in 1955. Sir Keir Starmer chose Harold Wilson on the grounds that he had brought together a fractured party, while Lisa Nandy nominated Barbara Castle as the “best PM Labour never had”. All three answers underlined how toxic Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown continue to be among many of the Labour members and registered supporters voting in the race that gets under way on Friday.”– The Times


Commons spends £27,000 on MPs’ designer sofas

“The work and pensions secretary has criticised the Commons authorities for spending more than £27,700 on armchairs and sofas. A suite of furniture was installed over the weekend in Portcullis House, the glass-covered atrium that houses cafés, canteens and MPs’ offices. Three blue leather sofas, which can be bought online for £3,425 each, were obtained from Frovi, a high-end British brand. Six tan leather armchairs, at £1,795 each, and seven oak-framed blue armchairs, costing more than £1,000 apiece, were bought from Orangebox, another UK-based brand. Thérèse Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, tweeted: “I see House authorities have brought in sofas and luxury armchairs . . . I’m not a skinflint but really?” – The Times

  • Sturgeon replaces disgraced Mackay with two ministers – Daily Telegraph
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