Patel ‘stands by quarantine plan’ despite Conservative rebellion

“The home secretary will today confront rebellious Conservative MPs, warning them that their opposition to the government’s overseas quarantine plans risks alienating the public and throwing away the progress in fighting Covid-19. In a defiant stance, Priti Patel will round on Tory opponents who have warned that the two-week compulsory quarantine scheme for people arriving in Britain from Monday will damage the country’s economic recovery. She will say that the government “owes it” to the thousands of people who have lost their lives to the virus to do nothing that could risk a second peak. However, The Times understands that Sage, the government’s scientific advisory group, was not asked before the announcement for its advice on whether the two-week quarantine would have a meaningful effect on restricting future transmission.” – The Times

  • ‘We owe it to the victims of Covid-19 to impose quarantine’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Patel’s rules ‘full of loopholes’ – The Sun
  • Critics round on No 10 over ‘ridiculous’ rules for 14-day quarantine – The Guardian
  • Johnson ‘plans to ease controversial quarantine plan with air bridges’ – Daily Mail


  • Travellers self-isolating for 14 days will help to keep us safe – Priti Patel and Grant Shapps, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Sir Graham Brady MP in Comment: As it stands, the quarantine plan won’t work, will wreck holidays, damage aviation – and lose jobs

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: On the 14-day quarantine, the Government has got it right

Johnson ‘takes back control’ of crisis with Downing Street shake-up

“Boris Johnson is to take “direct control” of the Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis after a chaotic fortnight in which his chief aide was accused of breaking the lockdown rules and the Government’s test and trace plans were hit by setbacks. A shake-up in Downing Street will see the Government’s entire approach to the pandemic run by two centrally-run committees, covering strategy and operational delivery. Tory MPs said the changes could weaken the influence of chief adviser Dominic Cummings – who was heavily criticised for a 260-mile trip during lockdown – and allow Mr Johnson to tighten his grip on the fight against the pandemic after being treated in intensive care for the virus.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Unrest as Johnson’s ‘Potemkin cabinet no longer takes decisions’ – FT
  •  England’s lockdown rules will now be reviewed every 28 days – The Sun


  • Johnson ‘failed to take coronavirus threat seriously’ – The Times
  • Hancock criticised by regulator over UK coronavirus testing figures – FT
  • Thousands have been ordered to stay at home under scheme – The Sun
  • New figures cast doubt on Covid-19 test and trace success rate – The Times
  • Calls mount for public inquiry into UK BAME Covid-19 death rate – The Guardian


  • The Prime Minister’s team is squandering public trust – Alex Massie, The Times
  • This one-size-fits-all lockdown must come to an end – Professor Karol Sikora, Daily Mail



Anger as MPs vote to scrap virtual Commons

“MPs voted to scrap the UK’s “virtual” parliament on Tuesday, triggering protests from some parliamentarians who argued that the temporary online voting measures set up to deal with the coronavirus lockdown should have been extended. In order to observe social distancing measures, MPs joined a 1km queue which ran from the House of Commons chamber into Westminster Hall and out through New Palace Yard and into Portcullis House. MPs stood for almost an hour for the first of a series of votes, with some disgruntled politicians describing the decision to restore physical voting as “absurd” and a “waste of time”. Although the government’s majority was cut from 80 to 57 in one of the votes, the House of Commons will return to physical voting with social distancing requirements that require MPs to line up two metres apart.” – FT

  • Rees-Mogg forces MPs into line for Commons voting – The Times
  • Queuing MPs got a taste of life for us commoners – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory rebellion as ‘frustrated’ MPs slam ‘absurd’ new plan – Daily Express


  • Forcing MPs back betrays the government’s real view of Parliament – Hannah White, The Guardian


  • The government should reconsider its decision so that MPs can be treated equally – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: When it comes to dealing with its own MPs, this Government is out of its depth

Prime Minister offers hope of refuge to three million Hong Kong people

“Britain will not walk away from the people of Hong Kong and will have “no choice” but to offer them a route to UK citizenship if China strips them of their freedom, Boris Johnson has warned. The prime minister has made offering the island’s residents “an alternative” to Chinese repression a matter of national honour in a dramatic escalation of the confrontation with Beijing. Writing in The Times today, Mr Johnson says that the Chinese imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong would “dramatically erode its autonomy” and breach the terms of its treaty with the UK.” – The Times

  • Huge rise in renewals of British passports among Hongkongers – The Times
  • Raab calls for alliance to force China to step back – The Guardian
  • Ugandan Asians offer golden example – The Times


  • Ellwood warns of Chinese bid to exploit Covid-19 vaccine – Daily Express
  • Huawei may force American jets out of UK, senator warns – The Times

>Yesterday: Audio: The Moggcast: “Our relationship with China is currently very much in the hands of the Chinese”

Boris Johnson: We will meet our obligations to Hong Kong, not walk away

“Today, about 350,000 of the territory’s people hold British National (Overseas) passports and another 2.5 million would be eligible to apply for them. At present, these passports allow visa-free access to the United Kingdom for up to six months. If China imposes its national security law, the British government will change our immigration rules and allow any holder of these passports from Hong Kong to come to the UK for a renewable period of 12 months and be given further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship. This would amount to one of the biggest changes in our visa system in history. If it proves necessary, the British government will take this step and take it willingly.” – The Times

  • We should greet Hongkongers with open arms – Roger Boyes, The Times

>Yesterday: Tom Tugendhat MP in Comment: China. The five actions that the Government must take to defend our interests.

President ‘threatens to send soldiers on to the streets’ to quell unrest

“Donald Trump demanded a military-led crackdown against protests over the killing of George Floyd as demonstrators in US cities continued to defy curfews. Authorities across the country, from New York to Atlanta and Los Angeles, had imposed curfews in a bid to manage the most widespread unrest since the civil-rights era. The protests over the death of Floyd, the latest black man to be killed by police, continued but clashes with police appeared to slow. In Washington, protesters gathered near Lafayette Park, a square in front of the White House, which had been fortified with fences to keep the crowds further away from the presidential residence.” – FT

  • 82nd airborne lands in Washington as George Floyd protests continue – The Times
  • Demonstrators defy curfews as protests rage for eighth day – The Guardian
  • Troops armed with bayonets deployed in Washington – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Trump’s brutal response to the riots puts him closer to the people than his liberal opponents

Sunak wants ‘green new jobs’ for laid-off workers

“Rishi Sunak is planning a “green industrial revolution” to help to create jobs for people who are made redundant because of the pandemic. The chancellor is preparing to bolster the government’s investment in clean energy as part of an economic stimulus package next month. There could also be a fund to help to “reskill” workers so they can get green jobs in areas such as insulation upgrades, offshore wind and carbon capture. The measures are understood to go significantly beyond the Conservative’s manifesto commitment to create two million jobs in clean energy within the next decade. The Tories have promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions to “net-zero” by 2050.” – The Times

  • Greater protection urged for UK’s lowest paid workers – FT

British troops ‘unlikely’ to be prosecuted over Iraq abuse allegations

“Defence chiefs should apologise to soldiers for failing to “stand behind their own” against thousands of false war crimes allegations, a leading lawyer said, as it was announced that further prosecutions were unlikely. Andrew Cayley, QC, director of the Service Prosecuting Authority, said that an independent investigation into thousands of allegations from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 would probably produce no prosecutions. He told the BBC that the “low level” of offending and lack of credible evidence had led most cases to be dismissed. Only one remains outstanding, while more than a thousand war crime accusations tabled against troops in the Middle East have been dismissed.” – The Times

  • Shameful witch-hunt against our troops has left the Armed Forces devastated – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph


  • Iraq veterans are due an apology for more than a decade of legal hounding – The Times

Corbyn claims human rights watchdog investigating Labour party over anti-Semitism is biased

“Jeremy Corbyn has sparked a fresh Labour anti-Semitism furore by slamming a human rights watchdog that is investigating the party. Mr Corbyn was accused of letting Labour become a cesspit of Jew hate while he was party leader. And he triggered new fury last night by claiming the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has become “part of the government machine”. He told the Middle East Eye: “I think it’s quite significant that the Conservative government has underfunded the Equality and Human Rights Commission… and for some reason, which I don’t fully understand…decided to take away its independent status and make it part of the government machine.” The EHRC is investigating claims Labour became institutionally anti-Semitic under Mr Corbyn’s watch.” – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • Why is the Government being so cruel to medically vulnerable MPs? – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • We’re all China hawks now – David Scullion, The Critic
  • Is living without risk really living at all? – Lionel Shriver, The Spectator
  • SpaceX showed the universe what private enterprise can do – Ian Silvera, 1828
  • Putin has colonised Syria, while ‘anti-imperialists’ cheered – Charles Lawley, CapX