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Red Wall MPs stage lockdown revolt

“Boris Johnson has been warned by 54 Conservative MPs in northern seats that their constituencies risk being left behind unless there is a clear strategy for exiting lockdown restrictions. The MPs said in a letter to the prime minister that his pledge to “level up” the nation was being undermined by the disproportionate impact of restrictions in northern England. They have urged Mr Johnson to create a route back down the system of tiers for areas at the highest level and urged him to give priority to infrastructure projects in the north. The letter was written by members of the newly founded Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, which includes many of those who won traditionally Labour seats at the last election and is led by Jake Berry, a former minister and close ally of the prime minister”. – The Times

  • 50 Tory MPs warn PM about lockdown effects – Daily Mail
  • MPs demand ‘clear roadmap out of lockdown’ – Daily Telegraph
  • More than 900,000 people moved into tighter restrictions – The Times
  • Hancock breaks facemask rules during hospital visit – Daily Mail
  • Johnson has ‘full confidence’ in Harding despite test and trace failings – Daily Mail
  • Derbyshire backtracks on Xmas rule-breaking comments – Daily Telegraph
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Free school meals 1) Row after ‘school meals cash’ spent on mortuaries and PPE

“Cabinet ministers have criticised the government’s handling of the free school meals row as it emerged that a £63 million grant for vulnerable families highlighted by the prime minister yesterday had already been spent. Boris Johnson suggested that councils draw on the fund after a campaign by Marcus Rashford, the England and Manchester United footballer, to provide free meals during holidays. However, Tory council leaders told The Times yesterday that they had already spent most of the money on other coronavirus priorities such as buying PPE. The guidance at the launch of the scheme on July 10 said that the money should be spent within 12 weeks and was not ringfenced for feeding vulnerable children.” – The Times

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Free school meals 2) Sunak and Williamson clash in blame game

“Rishi Sunak was locked in a bitter blame game with Gavin Williamson over the row on free school meals last night. Allies of the Chancellor furiously hit out at suggestions that Mr Sunak was responsible for blocking the extension of the scheme to the October half term holidays. Instead, they pointed the finger at Mr Williamson, the Education Secretary, who they insisted had not put forward a spending proposal for approval. It came as Mr Sunak became the target of online attack adverts which blamed him for the Government’s refusal to perform a U-turn. A group headed by a former Labour campaign chief used a slick campaign video to denounce the Chancellor’s family wealth.” – Daily Mail

  • Sunak clashes with Williamson over blame for food voucher row – FT
  • Treasury rejects claims it refused extra £150m for free school meals – The Guardian
  • Chancellor refuses to extend VAT holiday on PPE – Daily Telegraph

Free school meals 3) Pierce: Attacked by all sides, Sunak is paying price of popularity

“From the tour de force of his first ‘coronavirus Budget’ last March to his ruthless determination to save jobs and revitalise what’s left of the economy post-pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is accustomed to winning plaudits. The events of the past 48 hours and the brutal attacks unleashed on social media will have bemused the former Goldman Sachs banker – but they certainly won’t have fazed him. If anything, they add yet more lustre to the legend that Sunak and his team are nurturing. Few voters had heard of Sunak when Boris Johnson promoted him to the second most powerful job in Government last February.” – Daily Mail

  • Sunak faces demands to reveal contents of ‘blind trust’ – Daily Mail
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Starmer in road collision with cyclist

“Police were last night investigating a road accident involving Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer which left a cyclist injured in North West London. An onlooker described hearing “a loud bang” and then seeing a cyclist on the ground “in a lot of pain” after an accident involving the Labour leader. Police are probing the collision, which resulted in the rider being taken to hospital clutching an injured left arm. Sir Keir, 58, exchanged insurance details with the cyclist before leaving him in the care of paramedics. By the time two police cars arrived at the scene in Kentish Town, North West London, on Sunday lunchtime Sir Keir had left.” – The Sun

Lords claim £300k for Zoom debates from home

“Peers were paid £300,000 over 15 days of virtual proceedings from their own homes in the April and May lockdown. A handful of Lords did attend the chamber, but most claims were for remote working. Lords received £1,254 in car expenses and £350 for public transport, despite the Government urging people to work from home where possible. Records show Labour’s Lord Foulkes claimed £9 for stamps, despite racking up £2,900 in allowances over both months. Lord Kilclooney of Northern Ireland — worth around £23million — charged the taxpayer £205 for air travel and £50 for petrol. And former deputy PM Lord Prescott claimed £71 for postage, but did not attend.” – The Sun

And finally, Trump mocks Biden for calling him ‘George’

“Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden for mistakenly calling him “George” during a televised campaign event and accused the US media of helping his Democratic rival “get through” interviews. Mr Biden was speaking at a virtual concert on Sunday night when he said: “Four more years of George, er, George, er, he – we’re going to find ourselves in a position where, if Trump gets elected, we’re going to be in a different world.” As Mr Biden spoke, his wife Jill appeared to be trying to prompt the presidential candidate with some spectators suggesting she was muttering “Trump” under her breath as her husband fumbled his words. Mr Biden’s critics suggested he may have been confusing Mr Trump with President George W Bush”. – Daily Telegraph

Today:

ToryDiary: The case for Trump turns out to be stronger than you may think

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