Climate change problems 1) Hybrid car fiasco ‘a kick in the face’ for drivers

“Hybrid car owners have been given a “kick in the face” by ministers, motoring bodies have said, as they warned that the surprise decision to ban the vehicles from sale in 2035 will “backfire”. Tens of thousands of motorists who were incentivised by the government to buy hybrid cars believing they were an environmentally friendly option now fear their resale value will slump as the ban approaches. Friends of the Earth accused ministers of “greenwashing” the public into believing they should buy hybrids, even though some models can produce higher CO2 emissions than new diesel cars. The move was compared to the “knee jerk” New Labour policy of tax breaks for diesel cars, which was later discredited and severely damaged the market for second-hand diesels. Labour’s subsidies fuelled a rise in diesel cars, increasing air pollution.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Gove refuses to answer question on cost of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars ban eight times – The Sun

ToryDiary: Climate change. Ministers must explain how they will meet May’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.

Climate change problems 2) Cameron and Hague both reject top job at UN conference

“The former prime minister and Lord Hague of Richmond turned down the offer to serve as the figurehead of the COP26 event in November. Mr Johnson has identified hosting the UN conference — secured last year with the backing of France and Germany — as a key part of his diplomatic drive to present Britain as a world leader after Brexit. Some 90,000 people, including world leaders, are expected at the summit, the biggest event hosted by the British government since the 2012 Olympics. The role would involve extensive travel to cajole national governments and institutions such as the EU. Concerns over the summit’s leadership came to light last week when Mr Johnson sacked the former energy minister Claire O’Neill as its president. Michael Gove, the chancellor the Duchy of Lancaster, has been identified as a possible replacement since he already has ministerial oversight.” – The Times

Climate change problems 3) He doesn’t get it … Tory savages PM

“Boris Johnson’s announcement of a defining year of action on climate change was overshadowed by a former Tory energy minister’s claim that he had admitted he didn’t really “get” the issue. Claire O’Neill, who was sacked by the prime minister seven months after he appointed her to lead the UN climate summit in November, said there had been a “huge lack of leadership”. She spoke out shortly before Mr Johnson joined Sir David Attenborough, 93, at the Science Museum in London for the launch of the UK’s plans for COP26 summit in Glasgow. Mr Johnson made two announcements, promising to bring forward to 2035 the date Britain would “end the sale” of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and by one year to October 2024 the date when it would stop burning coal to generate power.” – The Times

  • Britain has a ‘responsibility’ to lead charge on climate change, Johnson says – Daily Telegraph
  • PM vows new drive to help the disabled with better access to jobs and services – The Sun

Glover: Denying journalists access to briefings is outrageous censorship

“On Monday afternoon, journalists at No 10 who were expecting a briefing on EU trade were asked to line up on one side of the entrance hall while a security officer checked them off against a list. Those acceptable to the powers-that-be were asked to cross over to the other side of the room. The remaining journalists – mostly, though not entirely, from organisations disliked by No 10 – were told to leave. In the event, everyone present walked out in protest at what was considered an almost unprecedented act of censorship on the part of Downing Street. It is part of a misguided attempt, largely orchestrated by the Prime Minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, to seize control of the news agenda in a way reminiscent of Donald Trump.” – Daily Mail

  • Tensions between Javid and Cummings rise ahead of Budget – FT
  • Has Cummings overplayed his hand? – The Times

Morgan: My plan to decriminalise non-payment of the TV levy

“Twenty years ago Blockbuster, the then heavyweight of video rentals, turned down a £38million merger offer from Netflix. Today Netflix is worth £50billion, 1,300 times its offer to Blockbuster – which has gone from 3,000 stores to a museum in Oregon, for people who want to remember what video cassettes look like. Netflix now competes with the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple for dominance of the multi-billion-dollar streaming market. The result is that people now spend three times as much time watching subscription services such as Netflix than they do BBC iPlayer. More children now recognise the names Netflix and YouTube than they do the BBC.” – Daily Mail

  • Not paying TV licence could no longer be a criminal offence – The Sun
  • BBC faces £200m shortfall if licence fee prosecutions end – The Times

Long-Bailey causes ‘massive row’ over claims of nepotism

“Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey has insisted she was not seeking to criticise senior members of Jeremy Corbyn’s team after suggesting that nepotism and “mismanagement” had contributed to the party’s election defeat. Sky News understands the leading left-wing candidate has made private phone calls to both Seb Corbyn, son of the Labour leader, and Laura Murray, daughter of senior Labour adviser Andrew Murray, to assure them she was not referring to them when she told The Guardian that under her leadership “promotions will be based on what you know, not who you know”. Seb Corbyn previously worked as an adviser to shadow chancellor John McDonnell, while Laura Murray is the Labour Party’s head of complaints.” – Sky News

Cameron bodyguard sparks panic on flight by leaving loaded gun in toilets

“A terrified passenger found the weapon and handed it to flight attendants on the British Airways scheduled service from New York to London. Take-off was delayed by an hour because of the commotion. The pilot announced that close-protection officers were allowed to carry guns on board but one passenger refused to accept the situation. The stand-off ended with the weapon being removed from the plane. Believed to have been a 9mm Glock 17 pistol, it had been found along with Mr Cameron’s passport and that of his bodyguard. A source said: “Fortunately it was found by a law-abiding member of the public who did the right thing.” – Daily Mail

Trump and Pelosi snub each other as President addresses Congress

“A bitter feud between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi boiled over at his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, with Trump snubbing her outstretched hand and Pelosi ripping apart a copy of his remarks behind his back. Trump delivered the astonishing snub to Pelosi as he started his speech by ignoring her as she offered him a handshake, which set the tone for a full-throated condemnation of his political enemies and his presidential predecessors in front of a divided Congress. He simply turned away as the Speaker took her copy of his speech, then stood in front of a chamber which echoed with cries of ‘four more years’ from Republicans.” – Daily Mail

  • Jailed surgeon’s 11,000 patients face checks – The Times
  • Nursery teacher stabbed as she unlocked bike – The Times
  • Cruise ship quarantined as ‘multiple’ passengers rushed to hospital with coronavirus – Daily Express
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