The Prime Minister will chair Corbra tomorrow on the Coronavirus as a public information blitz is planned

“Boris Johnson conceded the virus could destabilise the UK for “months”, but said he had “no doubt” that the country “will get through it — and beat it”. He will chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee tomorrow, but faces criticism from Labour, which says he should have “got a grip” earlier. A cross-government “war room” of experts and scientists will begin meeting this week ahead of a “public information blitz” designed to remind Britons how to protect themselves and others. Ministers are working on the assumption that worker absences could be “significantly higher” than normal; eventually, half the population could be off work because of fear of infection, suspected infection, quarantine and school and transport closures.” – Sunday Times

  • Parliament could close – Mail on Sunday
  • Dad’s army of doctors may be called up – Observer
  • Ship where first Brit died of the virus still in isolation – Mail on Sunday
  • Goverment drops Today ban as Argar appears on it over the virus – Mail on Sunday
  • I saw in Kettering how our NHS staff are preparing – Boris Johnson, Sun on Sunday
  • He must be seen to be leading – Sunday Times Editorial
  • The lack of a co-ordinated response is proving costly – Sunday Telegraph
  • What’s most contagious is panic – Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday
  • “A Covid-19 outbreak in one or more large American cities would inflict a September 11-level hit on the US economy and a Hurricane Katrina-level hit on Trump’s popular approval” – Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times
  • (P.S: Trump didn’t invent fake news – Lord Ashcroft, Mail on Sunday)
  • If there is a substantial reduction in consumer confidence, there will be those who argue for a short-term fiscal stimulus. The Treasury will, I suspect, urge caution – David Gauke, Observer
  • Latest advice – H.M.Government

The Home Office’s Permanent Secretary quits – claiming Patel is a bully who ran a “vicious” campaign against him. He will sue for constructive dismissal.

“The most senior civil servant at the Home Office quit yesterday and launched an astonishing broadside against Priti Patel. After months of Whitehall warfare spilled over into a lurid public briefing war, Sir Philip Rutnam – dubbed ‘Sir Calamity’ – dramatically summoned the BBC to announce his walkout and vowed to sue the Government.  He accused the Home Secretary of orchestrating a ‘vicious’ campaign against him and claimed Civil Service chiefs had tried to buy him off in return for his silence.  He went on to directly accuse Ms Patel of involvement in plots to oust him and of creating a climate of fear in her department by ‘shouting and swearing’ – Mail on Sunday

  • Civil servants turn on Sedwill for bungling the resignation – Sunday Telegraph
  • Starmer calls for statement – Observer
  • From Windrush through West Coast Rail to police tasers: the trouble-strewn record of “Sir Calamity” – Mail on Sunday
  • The unflappable civil servant – Observer
  • Rudd believes he was to blame for the Windrush debacle on her watch – Sunday Telegraph
  • Mixed views on Patel – Observer
  • Harry Dunn’s mother claims Raab is using bankruptcy threat against them – Mail on Sunday

Dan Hodges: The Left hates Patel because she is an ethnic minority child of immigrants – and a Conservative

“As The Guardian demonstrates, you can dismiss hundreds of thousands of first and second generation migrants as John Bull’s patsies just for daring to support a party that isn’t Labour. And this is what actually lies at the heart of the attacks being launched against Priti Patel. Yes, much of it is underpinned by racism or sexism. But even more, it’s the product of liberal Britain’s seething resentment at anyone of colour who makes a success of themselves without asking permission first.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Sir Philip is a bleating bureaucrat – Sun Editorial
  • I wasn’t a bully but I think Cummings is – Alastair Campbell, Sunday Times

> Today: ToryDiary – The behaviours of the civil service

Symonds announces that she is pregnant.  And she and Johnson are to marry.

“In a private post to friends on Instagram, Symonds, who is 32 later this month, wrote: “I wouldn’t normally post this kind of thing on here but I wanted my friends to find out from me. “Many of you already know but for my friends that still don’t, we got engaged at the end of last year and we’ve got a baby hatching early summer.” She added: “Feel incredibly blessed”…The baby, who will be at least Johnson’s sixth child, will be just the third born in Downing Street in 150 years. Johnson will be the first prime minister in history to score a hat-trick of a divorce, a wedding and a baby while living in Downing Street.” – Sundau Times

  • Johnson’s tangled love life – Mail on Sunday
  • Labour MPs say the timing is designed to get the Patel row off the front pages – Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson’s £4 million divorce settlement with Marina Wheeler – Mail on Sunday
  • Rise of the Duchess of Downing Street – Sun on Sunday
  • “He has always loved having children, the more the better as far as he is concerned – Andrew Gimson, Sun on Sunday

> Yesterday: MPsETC – Johnson and Symonds to marry. She is pregnant. Oh, and the former Home Office Permanent Secretary is suing the Government.

Sunak “plans to abolish entrepreneurs’ tax relief in his first Budget”

“The plan to abolish entrepreneurs’ relief is part of a ‘tax and spend’ statement which is likely to cause unease among the more fiscally hawkish Tory backbenchers. They have already signalled that they will rebel against any measures in the Budget which single out higher earners. Lobbying by the backbenchers has already forced the Treasury to ditch plans to cut pension tax relief from 40 to 20 per cent for high earners, while the possibility of a mansion tax on expensive homes was strangled at birth in Downing Street amid fury from MPs.” – Mail on Sunday

First, Heathrow. Next, roads. Could the judges strike down the Prime Minister’s infrastructure plan?

“The revelation came a day after judges ruled that plans for Heathrow’s third runway are unlawful because ministers did not consider the 2016 Paris climate deal. It means No10 could face a lengthy and expensive court battle to deliver on their promise to beef up Britain’s infrastructure. Tory MP and ex Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt said it was “bonkers” all major infrastructure projects are now being thrown into doubt. He told The Sun: “Every single major piece of national infrastructure is going to have some relationship with the delivery of our overall climate change policy.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Fox criticises Johnson for not appealing against the decision – Mail on Sunday
  • Hs2 conservation measures could be sacrificed to cut costs – Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday: Sanjoy Sen on Comment: The Boris Bridge oposal deserves to be taken seriously

Gove: Our trade talks strategy. Make no mistake, we are taking back control.

Clearly and emphatically, the British people decided the next chapter in our island story meant taking back control. This new era requires politicians to bring power home and to ensure the rules governing countries are made by those who are directly accountable to the electorate. That is the way to ensure every citizen’s voice is given equal weight, and which allows us to adapt most nimbly and flexibly to technological change. That is what we are delivering in ways that will benefit the whole of the UK.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Johnson is turning security into Brexit trade talks bargaining chip” – Observer
  • “Johnson is preparing to reject demands that the UK be bound to European human rights laws” – Sunday Telegraph
  • Gove is bringing clarity – Patrick O’Flynn


And finally…Long-Bailey wants to go “toe-to-toe” against Cummings

“Rebecca Long-Bailey has said she would employ “ruthless” campaign tactics to lead the Labour party to election victory against Boris Johnson and his special adviser Dominic Cummings. At a Labour leadership hustings in Brighton on Saturday, the shadow business secretary promised to “go toe to toe with the likes of Dominic Cummings”. She said this would involve establishing a media rebuttal unit to fight back against “smears” and placing greater emphasis on digital campaigning.” – Observer

  • (And Finally 2: Corbyn wants Long-Bailey to make him Shadow Foreign Secretary – Mail on Sunday)