Johnson and Patel mull treating Extinction Rebellion as an organised crime group

“Extinction Rebellion could be treated as an organised crime group as part of a major crackdown on its activities that may also include new protections for MPs, judges and the press, The Telegraph can disclose. Whitehall sources said Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have asked officials to take a “fresh look” at how the group is classified under the law, after the Prime Minister described its blockading of major printing presses as “completely unacceptable”. ..Ministers are also considering new powers making it easier for police to stop demonstrators from entering particular areas, bolstering protections for parts of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, and explicitly outlawing disruption to “tenets of democracy”, such as MPs voting in Parliament, judges attending court, and the printing and distribution of the free press.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Activists accused of attacking free press – Observer
  • Anarchists v communists: the battle for control of Extinction Rebellion – Sunday Telegraph
  • Patel orders police to protect print plants – Mail on Sunday
  • Dawn Butler sends and deletes tweeted praise for Extinction Rebellion’s “excellent work” – Sunday Telegraph
  • Telegraph scraps its paywall for the weekend – Sunday Telegraph
  • Anti-migration protestors clash with police in dover – Mail on Sunday
  • Shapps tells councils to stop abusing £250 million green transport fund – Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson’s private praise for Trump – Sunday Telegraph
  • My admiration for White Van Man was quite unfashionable at the Today Programme – Sarah Sands interview, Sunday Times
  • Anti-lockdown protests in Glasgow – Mail on Sunday


> Today: ToryDiary –Operation shut-down-the-right. Extinction Rebellion’s target isn’t so much what’s said as who says it.

Coronavirus 1) Will Ministers probe option for eighth day travel tests – paving the way for fewer quarantine restrictions

“It comes after MPs and business chiefs told the Prime Minister that the current 14-day self-isolation rules are pushing travel companies and airlines to the brink, crippling trade and tourism, and jeopardising the recovery. The Mail on Sunday understands that officials are now looking at the option of testing people for coronavirus eight days after they arrive at UK airports and ports – although Government sources stressed no decision has yet been taken…Last week, the Prime Minister surprised Tory backbench MPs at a meeting of the influential 1922 Committee by evoking the possibility of a so-called ‘infectiousness test’ – something the Government believes may be key to a return to some sort of normality.” – Mail on Sunday

Coronavirus 2) Will Dowden bring in a “seat out to help out” scheme to save theatres?

“The prime minister and Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, last week ordered officials to “move at extreme pace” to encourage crowds back into large venues. The team behind the “eat out to help out” restaurant scheme has been reformed to draw up a “seat out to help out” plan to persuade people to attend cultural events once the restrictions are lifted. One idea being looked at would see theatres and restaurants encouraged to team up to offer cut-price deals on Mondays, so those with a ticket that day could save on the cost of their pre or post-theatre meal.” – Sunday Times

  • My plan to get the theatres open by xmas – Oliver Dowden, Mail on Sunday
  • New Bolton restrictions after spike – Sun on Sunday
  • Threat of Covid strikes by University staff – Sunday Times
  • Hospitals will miss target for restoring pre-covid services – Observer
  • Whitehall mandarin union rejects return to work – Sun on Sunday
  • Civil service advertises work from home only jobs – Mail on Sunday

Frost interview on EU talks. He says: we won’t blink

‘We are not going to be a client state. We are not going to compromise on the fundamentals of having control over our own laws. We are not going to accept level playing field provisions that lock us in to the way the EU do things; we are not going to accept provisions that give them control over our money or the way we can organise things here in the UK and that should not be controversial – that’s what being an independent country is about, that’s what the British people voted for and that’s what will happen at the end of the year, come what may.’ – Mail on Sunday

The three Cs: Case, Cummings, Cain – and their coming revolution. Starring new combined local authorities, more elected Mayors, more local police control…and civil service reform

“Case takes his place at the heart of a triumvirate of powerful aides — known as “the three Cs” — who have the task of transforming the way Britain is run at every level — a “big bang” for the British state that others see as “blowing up” the way things have been done for decades. The chief bomb-maker is Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s most senior aide, who last week took up his place in a new “mission control centre” in the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall. The third revolutionary is Lee Cain, the director of communications, who is overseeing a new press centre next door at No 9 Downing Street that will, from November, be the stage for Johnson’s soon-to-be-appointed press secretary to lead daily televised press conferences” – Sunday Times

  • “Johnson-Sunak have reached raise-taxes-now-cut-them-later deal” – Sunday Times
  • Planned minimum wage “unaffordable” – Sunday Telegraph
  • Jenrick gave affluent seat 25million from hardship fund claim – Sunday Times
  • ConHome survey shows Johnson’s rating with activists falling – The Guardian

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Johnson plummets into the bottom third of our Cabinet League table

Wallace warns: defence is changing – so we need fewer tanks and more drones

“In a warning shot at service chiefs, Ben Wallace today signals a shift away from static ground forces towards aerospace equipment such as drones. In an article for The Sunday Times website, Wallace also says the government needs to build products that can be sold to other countries to generate cash to help pay for Britain’s troops. He writes: “We desperately need to reform and modernise our armed forces if we are to be able to meet emerging threats. For too long we have had a sentimental attachment to a static, armoured-centric force structure anchored in Europe, while our competition has nimbly spread out across the globe.” – Sunday Times

Buckland writes: I will prevent criminal suspects being released from prison because of trial delays

“Some dangerous criminal suspects – including alleged sex offenders and violent thugs – could reach the point where courts might have to release them from prison because of unavoidable delays to their trials.This cannot happen and I’m taking steps to stop it. So today I’m announcing a change to the law to extend the length of time they can spend in custody from 182 days to 238 days. Anyone remanded after this law comes in could spend eight months behind bars before their trial, or longer if a judge chooses to extend it. This government makes no apologies for ensuring the public is kept safe. This necessary step will give peace of mind to many victims until the courts are back up to capacity again.” – Sunday Express

Peter Hitchens: Double standards flaunted and civil liberties crushed as the police seize Piers Corbyn…but let statues fall

“But there was not even the pretence of a trial, which in my view is a blatant breach of the Bill of Rights of 1689.  The police just grabbed Mr Corbyn, Belarus-style, and held him for hours before presenting him with an enormous bill. Yet months of mostly Left-wing protest by Black Lives Matter, or against politically incorrect statues, went by with hardly a whisper of action. For it is one of the features of our new State of Fear that it acts with ferocity against anyone who suggests the fear is misplaced.  If you refuse to be afraid of a not-very-severe outbreak of disease which is largely over, you’ll have to be afraid of the heavy hand of the law.” – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday: Andrew Bowie on Comment – We need to rediscover the quiet strength of British patriotism