Published:

Jewish groups dismayed after Corbyn is let back into Labour Party

“Sir Keir Starmer admitted that yesterday was “another painful day for the Jewish community” as Jeremy Corbyn was readmitted to the Labour Party after a 19-day suspension. The Labour leader now faces a decision over whether to restore his predecessor to the party whip. Last night Sir Keir said that he would “not allow a focus on one individual to prevent us from doing the vital work of tackling antisemitism” and vowed to make Labour “a safe place for Jewish people”. Mr Corbyn was left in limbo after a panel of the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) decided to lift his suspension over antisemitism, but the leadership refrained from taking a decision over whether to readmit him to the parliamentary party.” – The Times

  • Starmer under fire – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour peer booted out of Lords after sexually assaulting vulnerable woman – The Sun

Editorial:

  • If Labour wants to rehabilitate its reputation, it should eject him for good – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Rakhia Ismail in Local Government: I was a Labour Councillor in Islington for nine years. Here’s why I’ve joined the Conservatives.

Prime Minister seeks Downing St reset with ‘green industrial revolution’

“Boris Johnson will set out details on Wednesday of a £12bn “green industrial revolution”, insisting to Conservative critics that a new environmental focus will not cost the party votes in former Labour heartlands. Mr Johnson, writing in the Financial Times, said the push for nuclear, hydrogen, electric cars and offshore wind power amounted to “one of the most innovative and ambitious programmes of job creation we have known”. The prime minister’s 10-point green plan is central to his government “reset”, as he tries to map a future beyond the Covid-19 crisis — and to move on after the chaotic infighting in Downing Street in recent days. Allies of Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser, who quit last week, have argued in public and private that a shift towards a green agenda would lose the party votes in former industrial areas.” – FT

  • Prime Minister promises revolution in homes, roads and industry… – The Times
  • …via a 10-point green plan with 250,000 jobs – The Guardian

Cars:

  • ‘Minuscule’ benefit from fuel duty rise – Daily Mail
  • Johnson to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars after 2030 – The Sun
  • Warning ban will punish motorists who can’t afford electric cars – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

Boris Johnson: Now is the time to plan our green recovery

“Slowly but surely humanity is taking the upper hand in the fight against the virus. We have not won yet. There are still hard weeks and months to come. But with better drugs, testing and a range of vaccines, we know in our hearts that next year we will succeed. We will use science to rout the virus, and we must use the same extraordinary powers of invention to repair the economic damage from Covid-19, and to build back better. Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with high-skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener and more beautiful. Imagine Britain when a Green Industrial Revolution has helped to level up the country. You cook breakfast using hydrogen power before getting in your electric car, having charged it overnight from batteries made in the Midlands. Around you the air is cleaner; trucks, trains, ships and planes run on hydrogen or synthetic fuel.” – FT

>Today:

Spending 1) Prime Minister and Chancellor to ‘slash foreign aid budget’ to fill Covid black hole

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will slash the UK’s bloated foreign aid budget to fill the Covid blackhole, No10 all but confirmed today. As The Sun revealed in August, the Chancellor has his eyes on the hallowed cash  — up to £15billion a year — to help plug the budget black hole caused by the virus. Britain is legally bound to spend 0.7 per cent of output on foreign giveaways, but on Tuesday Downing Street said the law allows that pledge to be suspended in extreme times. Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “There may be circumstances in which the government is not able to meet 0.7 per cent commitment – if that happens a Secretary of State has to lay a statement in parliament.” The massive hint came after Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick said the Covid crisis meant that “there is a legitimate question for us to ask at this moment in time whether or not it would be wise to spend somewhat less in light of the fact public finances are in a really challenging situation.”” – The Sun

  • Downing St refusal to guarantee UK aid budget prompts backbench ire – FT
  • Development budget facing billions in cuts – The Guardian
  • Cameron joins top Tories in attack on cuts to foreign aid – The Times

Editorial:

  • Suspending the target for spending on overseas assistance is urgent and justified – The Times

Spending 2) Number Ten wins battle with Treasury over military funding

“Downing Street last night won its battle with the Treasury to agree a multi-year funding settlement for the armed forces. After intense discussions between the prime minister and chancellor yesterday, a four-year financial deal for the Ministry of Defence was agreed, it is understood. The Treasury had been resisting demands to give defence a settlement beyond the one-year deal awarded to the rest of Whitehall that will be announced next Wednesday, but ultimately lost the battle. The government’s “integrated review”, an overhaul of foreign, defence and security policy, is to be delayed until the end of January, according to Whitehall sources. Defence insiders expected the Treasury to agree to about £14.5 billion extra for the MoD over four years. The budget this year is £41.5 billion. Boris Johnson has been pushing for a multi-year settlement as he plans to make an intervention tomorrow on his post-Brexit ambitions for “Global Britain”. He is poised to highlight plans for the armed forces to acquire state-of-the-art drones.” – The Times

  • Defence chiefs warn of threat to vital satellites – The Times

Johnson’s ‘union task force’ to boost case for UK unity

“Boris Johnson is to launch a “union task force” to boost the social and cultural case for the UK following a series of missteps by the prime minister that are seen as weakening the bonds between England and Scotland. Scottish Conservatives on Tuesday scrambled to limit the damage from Mr Johnson’s comments to northern English Tory MPs on Monday that devolution had been a “disaster north of the border” and the Scottish parliament was the “greatest mistake” of former prime minister Tony Blair. More than a dozen opinion polls in recent months have suggested for the first time that a sustained majority of voters in Scotland would back independence after three centuries of the union with England, a rise in support that has sparked alarm in Downing Street. Supporters of the prime minister say Mr Johnson, who last year added “minister for the union” to his title, is acutely aware that Scotland’s breakaway from the UK would likely result in the end of his premiership.” – FT

  • Scottish Tories ‘could be forced to look again at UK party split’ if the Prime Minister won’t change – Daily Telegraph
  • Jenrick brands Sturgeon ‘frankly mad’ after plea for independence referendum – The Sun
  • Welsh Government calls Johnson’s devolution remarks ‘shocking’ – The Guardian
  • Do you agree with the Prime Minister on devolution? – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Like it or not, debate about the Scottish constitution can now go only one way – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • The SNP has failed those who needed help the most – Andrew Neil, Daily Mail
  • Comments are a gift to Scottish nationalists – Ruth Wishart, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • Johnson may have had a point with his criticism – The Times

Downing Street charm offensive to placate MPs…

“The prime minister’s new chief of staff and press secretary will hold regular video conferences with Tory MPs as part of an effort to improve relations with backbenchers. On Monday the prime minister met members of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs as he sought to reassure them he was committed to the levelling-up agenda. Lord Udny-Lister, the interim chief of staff, addressed MPs on Zoom last night. Allegra Stratton, Mr Johnson’s press secretary, is expected to hold talks with them soon. The prime minister is also expected to hold a series of “virtual caucuses” with Tory MPs, including the One Nation group and the Blue Collar Conservatism group, as well as one-to-one meetings with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers. Downing Street has been attacked by Conservative MPs on multiple fronts in recent months including on the issues of free school meals, exam results, Huawei and Brexit. There is a brewing row over the prospect of a third lockdown.” – The Times

  • Johnson ‘will hand back control of special advisers to ministers’ as maverick aide’s legacy is dramatically torched – Daily Mail

>Today: Robert Halfon MP’s column: Who’s up for a Southern Research Group?

…as Rees-Mogg defends Symonds in the Moggcast

“Jacob Rees-Mogg today waded into the Downing Street briefing war slamming ‘cowardly and disgraceful’ attacks on Carrie Symonds. The Commons Leader praised the PM’s fiancee as ‘formidably able’ but insisted the idea she was manipulating him was ‘ridiculous’. The intervention comes after Ms Symonds was seemingly at the heart of an extraordinary power struggling in No10 that saw maverick chief aide Dominic Cummings ousted. Speaking on his regular ‘Moggcast’ for the ConservativeHome website, Mr Rees-Mogg said the off-record barbs at Ms Symonds were ‘ungentlemanly’ and critics should focus their fire on the PM instead. Mr Rees-Mogg admitted he was ‘a terrible humbug’ because he had not thought the same way when Tony Blair’s wife was targeted.” – Daily Mail

  • Five tips for finding a Downing Street chief of staff – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

>Yesterday:

Covid-19 1) Households to be banned from mixing after lockdown in bid to save Christmas

“Households across the country are set to be banned from mixing when lockdown ends under Government plans to rescue Christmas, The Telegraph understands. Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised that the national lockdown will be replaced with a “regional tiered approach” when it ends on December 2. But Government sources say default restrictions across the country are likely to include a ban on mixing with other households until close to Christmas. Ministers intend to announce an “end of lockdown package” next week, including a schedule for Britain’s vaccination programme and an expansion of mass testing, which they hope will soften the blow of further restrictions. The plans aim to allow a loosening of restrictions for Christmas, with scientists suggesting a number of households might be allowed to “bubble” together for a short period. Christmas bubbles could last for five days.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Government plans five days of household mixing indoors – The Sun
  • Coronavirus deaths in England and Wales rise 40 per cent in a week – The Times
  • Alcohol sales could be banned after 9pm – The Sun
  • School attendance plunges into chaos – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Government is up against the clock to justify its next set of restrictions – as the Covid Recovery Group grows

Covid-19 2) ‘Devastating’ PPE report exposes chronic bungling and ‘jobs for pals’

“A devastating report today lifts the lid on the cronyism and ineptitude that has characterised the Government’s £18billion rush to source PPE and other equipment during the coronavirus crisis. Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings were both drawn into the debacle after the spending watchdog said officials failed to consider potential conflicts of interests involving companies linked to them. The National Audit Office revealed that officials had signed contracts for hundreds of thousands of facemasks which turned out to be unusable – wasting hundreds of millions of pounds. But today Business Secretary Alok Sharma refused to apologise for the huge spending and allegations of cronyism, claiming there was ‘huge pressure’ to get PPE for the NHS at the start of the pandemic.” – Daily Mail

  • Watchdog criticises government over awarding of £17bn Covid contracts – FT
  • Cummings’s ‘links with two of the four companies’ detailed in damning PPE report – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • This is not how public procurement in Britain is meant to work – David Rose, Daily Mail
  • Covid class divide threatens Johnson’s hopes – Alice Thomson, The Times

‘Landing zones’ for Brexit trade deal are in sight, says Irish prime minister

“Brexit trade deal could be just days away after the Irish prime minister said “landing zones” for an agreement are now in sight. France is understood to have accepted that its fishing rights in UK waters will be reduced after the transition period ends on December 31, lowering one of the biggest hurdles in the path of a deal. The trade agreement could be announced as early as Monday, sources in Brussels suggested – but only if both sides made compromises on issues such as fishing and subsidy law. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has called foreign ministers to a meeting on Friday at which he is expected to update them on the progress of the talks, increasing speculation that a deal is close. But sources in the UK urged caution, saying that while it might be clear by next week whether a deal is achievable, the deal itself was unlikely to be signed by then.” – Daily Telegraph

  •  Johnson vows ‘not to give in’ to last minute fishing plot from Macron – Daily Express
  • Failure to seal post-Brexit deal would more than halve UK growth, says KPMG – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Union is doomed if Boris fails to secure a Brexit trade agreement – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Johnson is right about the devolution disaster – Henry Hill, CapX
  • It’s time to prepare for English independence – Aris Roussinos, UnHerd
  • Corbyn’s suspension lifted after just 19 days – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • The strategy behind the Covid Recovery Group – David Scullion, The Critic

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.