Published:

Johnson urged to ‘hold firm’ on July 19 unlocking

“Boris Johnson is being urged by Tory MPs to “hold firm” with plans to bin most Covid restrictions next week – in the face of warnings from gloomy scientists. But lockdown-hating backbenchers are increasingly afraid Freedom Day is being watered down by strict guidance to keep wearing masks after July 19. The PM will use a 5pm press conference to announce whether he is ploughing ahead with the end of his roadmap next Monday. He is expected to confirm that legal restrictions on mask-wearing, gatherings and social distancing will all be scrapped. Labour has accused the Government of “recklessness” because daily infections are soaring, while hospitalisations are creeping up.” – The Sun

  • Prime Minister urges use of Covid vaccine passports – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson shifts onus on to companies and individuals – FT
  • UK could be locked down again within 11 weeks – Daily Mail
  • Javid says ‘self-isolation’ pilot scheme used by Gove is not yet ready for the public – Daily Telegraph
  • Whitty fears ‘exit wave’ – The Sun
  • Irish leader accuses UK Government of ‘let it rip’ approach – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

William Hague: Want to get ahead? Get back to the office

“The most ambitious among them will sense a great opportunity. Here comes a period of extraordinary innovation and change, in which millions of people are very attached to the idea of not coming to the office very much. It does not take the ruthless mind many minutes to work out what to do, once allowed: to turn up physically all day and every day, to be present to get the coffees and still there to turn off the lights, to be willing, cheerful and sociable. Soon, this hypothetical 25-year-old will be invited to join that office brainstorming, and then to write a report, and shortly to present it to the boss, and before long, despite the best will in the world to be fair on the part of the management, the omnipresent young worker will be promoted ahead of contemporaries who elected to work mainly from home.” – The Times

  • A significant minority of British people revel in authoritarianism for its own sake – Daniel Hannan, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Audio: The Moggcast: “I will not be wearing a mask. What would be the point?”

No day off to mark England reaching Euro 2020 final

“There will be no bank holiday to celebrate England reaching the Euro 2020 final after their crushing defeat to Italy, but ministers will talk to the Football Association about how to recognise the team’s achievements. Downing Street said last night that a bank holiday was not being considered after the team lost in a penalty shootout, but that it was seeking an appropriate way for Boris Johnson to say thank you. The prime minister’s spokesman said: “We’ll be talking to the FA to identify a suitable way for the prime minister to thank the players and coaching staff for their efforts.” Johnson refused last week to rule out a bank holiday if England won the final to become the European champions. “I think that would be tempting fate,” he said. “Let’s see what happens.”” – The Times

  • Ministers to order social media firms to hand over details of anonymous racist trolls – Daily Mail
  • Johnson and Patel accused of hypocrisy over racist abuse of England footballers – The Guardian
  • Patel warned over ‘dog whistle’ attacks as ex-party chair rages – Daily Express

More:

  • Home Secretary bans US white supremacist group The Base – Daily Mail
  • Free speech bill gives legal protection to hate speech, says Labour – The Guardian

>Today: Nick Vaughan in Comment: Racist abuse, football and Wembley violence. The Government must act now.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: England whose England?

Call for manufacturing tax breaks to level up country

“Conservative red-wall MPs have called on Boris Johnson to offer tax breaks for manufacturing as part of plans to deliver on “levelling up” the country. Before a speech by the prime minister this week, 65 MPs have backed a think-tank report that calls on the government to set up a national plan for manufacturing. This should include tax breaks for factories and extra investment in technology in an attempt to expand a sector known for higher wages. The report by Onward says that the move is important because outside the capital, those working in the manufacturing sector tend to earn more than the average employee.” – The Times

Ministers offer Tory rebels vote on foreign aid spending

“Britain’s aid budget will be reinstated as soon as borrowing is brought under control, ministers will pledge today in an attempt to see off Tory rebels. In a surprise move, MPs will be given a vote on a compromise that would resurrect the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid. Government sources suggested they had the numbers to reduce a rebellion of up to 50 Tories, including Theresa May, the former prime minister, who have demanded the aid budget be reinstated in full from next year. It follows an intensive lobbying campaign by Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, who held one-to-one talks with concerned MPs over the weekend.” – The Times

  • MPs who accept foreign aid double lock are being ‘hoodwinked’, warns former minister – Daily Telegraph
  • Chancellor springs vote on rebels – The Sun
  • MPs will be given a ‘take it or leave it’ vote on the plans today – Daily Telegraph
  • Rebels granted Commons vote as Treasury says the move may not be reversed until next parliament – FT

Comment:

  • Why I’m voting for a path back to 0.7 per cent aid target – Ben Everitt MP, Times Red Box
  • Benefit cuts focus debate on shape of post-Covid safety net – Sarah O’Connor, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: The Government’s aid retreat. Sunak retreats to advance – as he sends a signal about the future control of spending.

>Yesterday: Bim Afolami MP in Comment: The big question facing Johnson. What does fiscal conservatism mean in an age of the big state?

Cummings broke rules by failing to seek permission for his blog, says watchdog

“Dominic Cummings breached government rules by failing to seek permission to launch a blog after leaving Whitehall, a watchdog has suggested. Lord Pickles, the chairman of the advisory committee on business appointments (Acoba), said Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser failed to notify the panel of the paid-for blog he launched on the Substack website. Acoba is supposed to vet any appointment taken by ministers or senior officials within two years of leaving office for possible conflicts of interest. Mr Cummings has used the blog to launch attacks on Mr Johnson and his handling of the Covid pandemic… The blog’s launch followed Mr Cummings’s acrimonious departure from Number 10 in November after an internal power struggle.” – Daily Telegraph

No reason for ministers to be politicians, insists Michael Gove

“Michael Gove has accused Whitehall of operating like a “medieval guild” as he suggested that figures from the world of business could be appointed as ministers even if they do not sit as MPs. Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, said that it was “absolutely right” that private-sector employees could be brought into government. He cited the example of Dame Kate Bingham, former chairwoman of the vaccines taskforce, as someone who showed the importance of needing to hire people with experiences outside of politics. He said that she had performed “heroically” during the pandemic… Gove was speaking at the launch of a new report by the Commission for Smart Government, which has made a number of recommendations on Whitehall reform.” – The Times

  • No 10 supports Gibb over claims he blocked BBC appointment – The Times

Care of people with learning disabilities is a scandal, MPs say

“The failure to address poor treatment of people with autism and learning disabilities is a scandal, according to MPs calling for a ban on new long-term admissions to inpatient units. A report by the Commons health and social care select committee highlighted that more than 2,000 people with such conditions are in mental health inpatient units in England. The average length of stay is six years. People with the conditions in secure units are “unable to live fulfilled lives and are too often subject to treatment that is an affront to a civilised society”, the MPs said. Their inquiry had heard that this was frequently because of a lack of community provision, they said.” – The Times

  • Hospital chiefs angry after losing promised cash to cut care waits – The Times

Rennie to stand down as Scottish Lib Dem leader

“Willie Rennie saved the Scottish Liberal Democrats “from oblivion” in his decade as leader, it has been claimed after he announced he will stand down. Mr Rennie said he had decided to quit after fighting “11 elections and referendums over 10 years and a global pandemic”. He said it was “time for a fresh face to lead our party forward” but he would continue as MSP for North East Fife after holding his seat in the recent Holyrood election. Alex Cole-Hamilton is the front-runner to replace him and the Edinburgh Western MSP last night paid tribute to his “charm and relentless positivity”… Mr Rennie took over the leadership following the party’s disastrous 2011 election, when the party’s vote collapsed and it lost 11 of its 16 seats following a voter backlash against Nick Clegg’s decision to enter the coalition with the Tories at Westminster.” – Daily Telegraph

  • SNP’s unrecorded meetings ‘expose culture of sleaze’ – Daily Express

Wales launches surprise plot to ‘change new UK trade’

“The Welsh Government have written to the UK Government claiming Wales is being ignored when it comes to the UK policy on post-Brexit freeports. The Labour-led administration has written to Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay and the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart calling for a joint approach on setting up a freeport in Wales in a bid to encourage economic activity after Brexit. However, despite Welsh Ministers setting out the conditions where a joint approach could be taken, Cardiff says no formal offer has been presented by the UK Government to the Welsh Government on a proposed Freeport in Wales. Ministers say the Welsh Government cannot accept a proposal where a Welsh Freeport would receive less financial support than the £25m made available for Freeports in England.” – Daily Express

  • Devolved regional powers are chance to make a difference to net zero – Andy Street, Times Red Box

Hundreds of Orange Order July 12 parades take place amid anger among Unionists over trade barriers

“Thousands of Orange Order members have taken to the streets across Northern Ireland today to mark the ‘Glorious Twelfth’ of July amid continuing anger over post-Brexit trade arrangements in the province. The Twelfth parades mark the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne, north of Dublin, in 1690 – a triumph that secured a Protestant line of succession to the British Crown. This year’s parades were smaller than usual and locally based due to public health concerns after organisers stuck to plans to have parades of no more than 500 people, even though the limit on public gatherings imposed due to Covid-19 has now been removed. The normal 18 main events were replaced by more than 100 local parades which took place in a number of cities, towns and villages.” – Daily Mail

  • Sinn Fein leader urges calm before loyalist parades – The Guardian

More trade:

  • UK will not ‘bend over backwards’ as EU border row erupts – Daily Express

News in Brief:

  • Why won’t Labour stand in Northern Ireland? – Henry Hill, UnHerd
  • Could Sturgeon ‘do a Kinnock’ and go to Europe on a huge salary? – Ian Mitchell, CapX
  • The Government needs to fix what the courts have done to the Union – Henry Hill, The Critic
  • A quiet revolution for our times may have begun – Winston Marshall, The Spectator