Streatham Attack 1) More terrorists due for early release

“More than a dozen jihadi terrorists are due to be freed early from jail within months, as ministers scramble to introduce emergency legislation to keep them behind bars. The Government has promised new laws in the wake of the broad daylight attack on a south London high street by Sudesh Amman, a convicted terrorist who has been released half way through his sentence just days before. It was the second terrorist onslaught on London by a freed prisoner in just two months. Those set for early release include Jamshed Javeed, a science teacher jailed for six years for trying to join the Islamic State in Syria, to fight for the Islamic State in Syria, and Moinul Abedin, who was described as Britain’s first al-Qaeda inspired terrorist after being convicted of making detonators at his home in Birmingham. The analysis by the think tank Henry Jackson Society also identifies Mohammed Ghani as due for imminent release.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The Government must go much further – Leader, The Sun
  • Britain is losing the fight against extremism – Melanie Phillips, The Times
  • There is an urgent need to step up deradicalisation programmes – Leader, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: “The shocking influence of lawyers on policy”

Streatham Attack 2) Buckland plans emergency law…

“Ministers and officials will consider the return of indeterminate sentences for terrorists as part of a review of sentencing laws announced by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland on Monday. Separately, he announced an emergency law will be rushed through Parliament within days to end automatic early release of some 220 prisoners currently serving terror sentences. They will only be considered for early release when they are two-thirds of the way through their sentence.” – The Sun

  • 220 terrorists will stay locked up longer – Daily Mail
  • Sudesh Amman told inmates he wanted to murder an MP – The Times
  • Stop jails breeding fanatics who want to kill us – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express

Streatham Attack 3) …but the crackdown will face a legal challenge

“Ministers face a legal battle over their plans to make terror offenders serve longer in prison, a former government adviser has warned. Under the changes, such prisoners would no longer be automatically freed at the halfway point of their sentences. But ex-independent reviewer of terror legislation Lord Carlile said the plans “may be in breach of the law”. The emergency legislation follows two attacks by men convicted of terror offences in London in recent months.” – BBC

  • Grieve: “I don’t think that retrospectively you can change the law for prisoners already in jail. It is rather problematic.” – Daily Telegraph
  • Our legal regime has no answer for today’s terror dilemma – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Brexit 1) Barnier insists divergence on EU rules would mean no trade deal

“Boris Johnson on Monday said he was prepared to sever links with the EU without a trade deal if Brussels insisted on tying the UK closely to its standards, in spite of the government’s own estimates that it could inflict long-term damage on the economy. Mr Johnson insisted Britain favoured a “Canada-style” trade deal, removing tariffs and quotas on trade with the EU…The pound fell by as much as 1.4 per cent against the dollar to $1.3011, and also slipped against the euro, after the prime minister said his government was ready to walk away from talks with the EU without a deal on a future trading relationship. His opening salvo in the negotiations came as the European Commission warned that the UK would not secure an extensive trade deal if it insisted on diverging from EU standards on issues such as state aid, the environment and workers’ rights. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said: “The UK answer will be fundamental to the level of ambition of our future relationship and the UK must know this,” he said. “It will be up to the UK to decide.” – Financial Times

  • Will it be a Canadian or an Australian ending? – Laura Kuenssberg, BBC

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Danny Kruger: “Leaving the EU is about more than Global Britain. It is a response to the call of home.”

Brexit 2) Johnson denounces anti-American “mumbo-jumbo”

“Boris Johnson has slammed ‘mumbo-jumbo’ fears about US food standards and NHS interference – as he insisted Britain will be the superhero of free trade. The PM shrugged off ‘hysteria’ over issues like chlorinated chicken, joking that he thought Americans looked ‘pretty well nourished’…Hailing Britain’s proud history of pushing for more competition, he said it would emerge with ‘cape flowing’ to fight those who were ‘letting the air out of the tyres’ of the global economy. Condemning anti-Americanism and ‘conspiracy theories’ that Donald Trump wants to take over the NHS, Mr Johnson told the audience in Greenwich:  ‘It goes without saying that the NHS is not on the table…’We will not accept any diminution on food or animal welfare standards. But I must say to the America bashers, when doing free trade deals we will be guided by science, not mumbo-jumbo, because the potential is enormous.” – Daily Mail

  • “No need to follow EU rules” – BBC
  • Business groups not invited – The Times
  • PM allies say CBI still ‘fighting past battles’ – Financial Times
  • PM goes for baroque in vanquishing tyrants – Quentin Letts, The Times
  • Barnier offers a competing vision – The Times

>Today: Greg Hands on Comment: Trade policy is back, so it’s time MPs mastered the topic

>Yesterday: WATCH: The next stage of Brexit. Johnson says that the UK has “embarked on a great voyage”

Ban on sale of new petrol and diesal cars by 2035…

“Boris Johnson will today vow to ban new petrol and diesel car sales by 2035 in a green crackdown. The PM is teaming up with Sir David Attenborough in a pledge to “turn the tide on global warming” with a host of eco measures.Launching the UN’s COP26 summit, taking place in Glasgow later this year, Boris will urge world leaders to “step up” in the fight against climate change. Bojo will bring forward plans to outlaw the sale of new gas-guzzling cars by 2035, first revealed by The Sun on Sunday. This is five years earlier than planned and the ban will include hybrids for the first time.” – The Sun

>Today: Ted Christie-Miller on Comment: Forget net-zero – if China doesn’t step up on climate change, it’s all for nothing

…but O’Neill accuses the PM of a lack of leadership

“Claire O’Neill, sacked by Boris Johnson last week from her role running a major UN climate summit in November, has accused the prime minister in a scathing letter of failing to provide leadership on the issue. Ms O’Neill, a former energy minister, told Mr Johnson the government was “miles off track” in setting a positive agenda for the UN summit in Glasgow, called COP26, and that promises of action “are not close to being met”. Ms O’Neill, who was president of COP26, urged Mr Johnson and his government to reset its priorities and move climate change to the “top of the Premier League of their priorities from where it is now — stuck currently somewhere around the middle of League One”.” – Financial Times

  • Sacked climate chief ‘may sue government’ – BBC

Sinn Fein takes the poll lead for Ireland’s General Election

“Sinn Féin has surged into first place in the general election race, with a quarter of all likely voters now saying they intend to vote for the party, according to the final Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll of the campaign. The poll puts Fine Gael back in third place at 20 per cent, behind Fianna Fáil on 23 per cent and Sinn Féin on 25 per cent. The findings of the poll, which was taken on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week, will shock the Government party and suggest that Ireland is on the brink of an historic general election result on Saturday.” – Irish Times

  • TV debate to include Sinn Fein – BBC
  • Varadkar on the brink – Daily Express

Quince announces delay to Universal Credit rollout

“The rollout of universal credit has been delayed by another nine months at a cost of £500 million, ministers have acknowledged…Originally due to be completed by 2017, it had slipped to December 2023. Now the government says that the deadline has been pushed back to September 2024…Will Quince, minister for welfare delivery, said: “It is right that we revisit our forecasts and plan, and re-plan accordingly, ensuring that the process is working well for people on benefits. Claimants will not lose money due to this forecasting change.” – The Times

Journalists boycott Downing Street briefing

“Political journalists boycotted a Downing Street briefing in protest yesterday after reporters from certain titles were banned from attending. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, ITV’s Robert Peston and the political editors of national newspapers were among those who walked out of the briefing in solidarity with excluded rivals. They acted after Lee Cain, the prime minister’s director of communications, refused access to representatives of publications including The Daily Mirror, HuffPost, The Independent and the i newspaper. The row came as the government continued to boycott Today on BBC Radio 4 and ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Downing Street has also been criticised for altering the long-standing lobby system by which political journalists are briefed.” – The Times

Long-Bailey promises reform after Party ‘mismanagement’

“Rebecca Long-Bailey has blamed “mismanagement and a bad organisational culture” for contributing to Labour’s general election defeat, promising to “professionalise” the party if she becomes its next leader. In what appeared to be a veiled criticism of cronyism under Jeremy Corbyn, Long-Bailey promised that under her leadership, “promotions will be based on what you know, not who you know”. “I don’t care which wing of the party you’re from. If you’re competent, professional and get the job done, I want you working for Labour,” she added. She said the party needed to be prepared to “go toe to toe with Dominic Cummings” – Boris Johnson’s key adviser.” – The Guardian

Increased support for Scottish independence

“A new threat to the union has been found in Scotland, as the nation divides over whether to leave the UK and become an independent state. It comes as Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, makes renewed efforts to push for a new referendum vote in Westminster in the wake of Brexit.For the first time since 2015 – a year after the 2014 independence vote – last week, a YouGov poll recorded a slim majority in favour of leaving the union. It found that 51 percent would support independence. A Survation poll, which discounts undecided voters, is the latest to show just how split the country is. It found that voters were split down the middle at 50/50.” – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Michelle Ballantyne on Comment: Why I’m standing to lead the Scottish Conservatives

Extra welfare payments for Northern Ireland

“Plans for an extension of welfare mitigations to the so-called bedroom tax have been announced by the minister for communities. The scheme currently provides financial support to people who would otherwise have faced welfare cuts. But it was due to run out on 31 March. About 38,000 households in Northern Ireland are in receipt of supplementary payments, which protect them from the tax, the Department for Communities said. The minister Deirdre Hargey said the proposal would cost £23m per annum.” – BBC

Iowa caucuses off to disastrous start as results delayed due to ‘inconsistencies’

“The Democratic presidential primary contest got off to a disastrous start on Monday after results from the highly anticipated Iowa Democratic caucuses were dramatically delayed due to “inconsistencies” in the reporting of the data. The state’s Democratic party said it was performing “quality control” on the numbers “out of an abundance of caution” following reports of problems with a phone app used to relay vote tallies…Eleven Democratic candidates are competing to be the candidate to take on Trump. Recent polls have showed four of the 11 remaining candidates knotted together at the top – the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, the former vice-president Joe Biden, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg…Sanders, who appeared to have a narrow lead heading into Iowa, predicted he would do “very, very well” once results are finally released.” – The Guardian

Moore: Stewart was punished for being old

“ITV has pushed Alastair Stewart out, alleging racism. Many have rightly pointed out that what he said was not racist. But I belive there may have been another, quite different, reason behind the distinguished broadcaster’s fall: his age. Mr Stewart is 67…Twitter vigilantes are the online equivalent of teenage gangs who go round beating up oldies at bus stops. They resent the old, and exploit their vulnerabilities. One vulnerability is the tendency of older people to be unfamiliar with the woke dialect.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • How the deadlock can be broken in trade talks with the EU – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • How the UK can regain control – and get a good deal with Brussels – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • Our left-dominated University sector needs urgent reform – James Bembridge, Free Market Conservatives
  • Instead of letting one candidate lose at the Iowa caucus, the entire Democratic Party decided to lose instead – Holly Baxter, Independent
  • After Streatham, Britain needs a new counter-radicalisation policy – Alexander Woolfson, The Article