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ConHome survey fuels concerns about Johnson’s leadership…

“Johnson’s mood on Monday would hardly have been improved by the monthly survey conducted by ConservativeHome, a website that measures the views of party members. After a month in which he was forced into a U-turn over isolating and presided over chaotic Covid travel rules, Johnson plummeted 36 points to a net positive rating of just 3 per cent. Only Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, Amanda Milling, the party chairman, and Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, are below him. Sunak was second on plus 74 per cent, behind only Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, who has won plaudits with the Tory grassroots for getting on with post-Brexit trade deals. Asked who should be the next leader, 31 per cent of those polled named Sunak.” – Sunday Times

  • Prime Minister’s approval rating slips to lowest level since he became prime minister – The Observer

>Today: ToryDiary: Snap guide to this session’s Government legislation 7) Elections Bill

…as push for net zero ‘plunged into chaos’

“Boris Johnson’s green agenda has been plunged into chaos amid fears that the costs of reaching “net zero” could cripple working class families in newly-won Tory seats. A Treasury review of the costs of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 has been delayed since the spring. There are concerns the analysis highlights that the poorest households will be hit the hardest by the ambition, which will involve policies such as stripping out gas boilers and switching to electric or hydrogen cars. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is said to be increasingly concerned about a looming crisis over the cost of living for British households, as the country faces the triple threat of rocketing energy bills, the potential for rising prices as a result of inflation, and an as-yet unspecified suite of policies to enable the country to meet the net zero target.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • We’re on the brink of catastrophe, warns Tory climate chief – The Observer
  • ‘Don’t go green and red at same time!’ McVey clashes with ex-Labour MP over climate – Sunday Express

Travel:

  • Sharma sparks fury for ignoring Covid rule by jetting around world – Sunday Express
  • Johnson will not isolate after staff member aboard his flight to Scotland tests positive for Covid – Mail on Sunday

Liam Fox and Robert McFarlane: China wants to get a stranglehold on our vital energy supplies

“Influential figures in the West want us to treat the Chinese as if they were equally responsible members of the global community, ignoring the serious threat to our way of life they already represent. But we must not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security about China’s world agenda. For example, it is aiming for a stranglehold not just on essential minerals, but the energy supplies upon which our day-to-day existence depends. Despite its green rhetoric, china remains the world’s top polluter, reckless at home and irresponsible abroad. Meanwhile, our democratic institutions are under threat from the authoritarian ‘state capitalism’ that it actively promotes around the world. All this must be challenged.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Thatcher isn’t solely responsible for the death of coal mining – Ross Clark, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Sorry, Prime Minister – Thatcher was not even responsible for shuttering most of Scotland’s coal mines

Dog and cat-nappers face up to five years in jail under new laws

“Dog and cat-nappers will face up to five years’ jail under new laws to tackle the big rise in pet theft. Animal abduction will become a criminal offence which officially recognises domestic creatures as more than just property. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland is set to announce tougher sentences later this month. It comes after high demand for pets during lockdown sent the cost of some breeds rocketing — and organised criminals began stealing them to sell on the black market. Mr Buckland is expected to add the new offence to the Police and Crime Bill which is going through Parliament. The law will classify pets as more than property, by recognising their theft as “abduction”. Courts will be able to take into account the anxiety suffered by the owner and the welfare of the animal when deciding the length of sentences.” – Sun on Sunday

Eustice defends decision to cull alpaca Geronimo as ‘arduous but necessary

“Environment secretary George Eustice said it is an “arduous but necessary endeavour” to cull animals that test positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB), as he defended the decision to put down Geronimo the alpaca. Helen Macdonald’s animal has been ordered for destruction after twice testing positive for the disease, but she has repeatedly questioned the tests used to condemn him. Eustice said his own farming family had suffered the “soul destroying” slaughter of a cherished cow, Rose, due to bTB but he underlined the need to prevent the spread of the “insidious” disease… Eustice said he first looked at Geronimo’s case more than three years ago and has examined it several times since.” – The Observer

Prime Minister vows to see off plans to revive European Super League

“Boris Johnson is preparing to deliver on his threat of a “legislative bomb” to kill off revived plans for the proposed European Super League, amid claims of a “concerted push” underway to rekindle the proposals. The Telegraph understands that officials are working up plans to change the law in order to protect the right of UK football authorities to take firmer action against clubs that join the league “if they try to resurrect it”. The Government has already changed work permit rules to effectively prevent foreign players from joining any English clubs that play in a future super league, in a move intended to act as a deterrent to a future breakaway. Ministers are now accelerating plans for a legal change which would effectively disapply existing provisions in competition law to allow the Football Association and Premier League to take punitive action against English clubs that join a breakaway league.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: Michael Goode in Comment: How to close the inspiration gap in schools between students’ ability and their outcomes

Hammond accused of breaching ministerial code over seeking access for bank

“Lord Hammond of Runnymede, the former chancellor, has been accused of breaching the ministerial code after writing to one of his former senior officials to advocate on behalf of a bank he was paid to advise. In an email sent in July 2020, Lord Hammond told Charles Roxburgh, the Treasury’s second most senior civil servant, that OakNorth Bank wanted to offer the Government the use of a “toolkit” it had developed to assess potential borrowers. He attached the company’s pitch to the Treasury in the email, obtained by The Telegraph, and asked Mr Roxburgh to “pass it to anyone else who might be appropriate”. Labour said the intervention by Lord Hammond, who became a paid adviser to OakNorth after leaving the Government in July 2019, flouted an explicit ban by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments on contacting officials and ministers on behalf of the company to influence policy or secure business.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Tories paid funds to company owned by the party’s chairman – Sunday Times

Comment:

  • A torrent of donors’ cash is washing away trust in politics – James Kirkup, Sunday Times

Support for independence drops significantly if Scotland were to join Euro

“Almost 40 per cent of Scottish voters would be less likely to support independence if the nation appeared on course to adopt the euro after leaving the UK, in line with the requirements of EU membership, according to a poll. A survey of 1,000 Scottish adults found that 39 per cent would be less likely to back the country’s departure from the union if it would then be required to replace the pound with the euro. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, has said that an independent Scotland would rejoin the EU “relatively quickly”. But senior EU officials have privately made clear that the country would then be required to join the euro.  “If you join the club, you have to wear the tie,” said one EU official. “You cannot wear your own tie.”” – Sunday Telegraph

  • How the SNP sank tens of millions into an unwanted airport it is now struggling to sell – Sunday Telegraph

Interpreters living under Taliban death sentences ‘cry with joy’ as major breakthroughs are secured to let them live in Britain

“Former British forces interpreters living under Taliban death sentences wept with joy last night after the Daily Mail secured crucial new breakthroughs from the Defence Secretary to let them live in Britain. In an exclusive interview, Ben Wallace confirmed that ex-Special Forces translators trapped in so-called ‘third countries’ were cleared to come here. They had been expected to return to Afghanistan to submit their applications – a requirement that could prove fatal given their previous employment. Last night, translators and campaigners welcomed the breakthroughs, which came as the Defence Secretary is poised to personally adjudicate in 88 highly contentious cases under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme. This caseload includes interpreters facing reprisals from the Taliban who were previously rejected under ARAP, and some who were ‘terminated’ by British forces for minor offences.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Migrant website set up by Home Office decried as ‘unethical’ – The Observer
  • EU accused of playing politics with migrant crisis by impeding deal with France – Sunday Telegraph

Relaunched Brexit Party has bank account shut down

“The re-launched Brexit Party, which now campaigns against Covid-19 restrictions, has been told that its bank account is being shut down. In a move that Richard Tice, who leads the Reform Party, described as “grim” and “outrageous”, Metro Bank issued a letter out of the blue stating that “after careful consideration, we are unable to continue to act as your bankers”. A letter dated July 27 said that the party’s accounts would be closed in 60 days. Mr Tice claimed that the decision was “based on politics” and “the difficulty for banks of being involved with politically exposed persons and political parties”. Metro Bank, however, insisted that it was “politically neutral” and suggested that it believed that the account was not “commercially viable”. Mr Tice said the party, which he launched with Nigel Farage and was renamed in January, was now left with the prospect of being unable to operate because it would be unable to pay bills without a bank account.” – Sunday Telegraph

Labour MP accepted £20,000 in donations from developer shamed over its failure to remove dangerous cladding

“A Labour frontbencher accepted £20,000 in donations from a property developer shamed over its failure to remove dangerous cladding. Rosena Allin-Khan has received three large donations from Henley Homes since January last year – including £5,000 for her failed bid to be deputy leader of the party. The property developer was listed among 10 firms responsible for cladding remediation works that had failed to begin as recently as June, although it appears to have since been removed. Ministers have started naming and shaming building owners who are responsible for the remediation of unsafe cladding if works have not begun on at least one of their properties… Henley Homes was also criticised in 2019 over a wall preventing poorer children from playing with their more privileged neighbours on one of its developments.” – Mail on Sunday

  • I’ll fight for right to work from home, says Unite candidate Coyne – Sunday Times

‘No more lockdowns’ after fall in Covid cases

“Lockdowns are unlikely to be needed again, government scientific advisers have said, as official figures showed a clear fall in coronavirus cases. Data from the Office for National Statistics, considered the gold standard for infection rates, confirmed the first clear drop outside of lockdown. Even normally cautious scientists said that the time of draconian restrictions had probably passed. An increase in cases in September is widely expected as workers return to offices and school and university terms begin, but there is growing confidence that this can be managed without a return to compulsory social distancing… Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) are also optimistic. Professor John Edmunds of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a notable voice for caution last summer, said the next few months could be managed without restrictions.” – Sunday Times

  • People are still mixing 75 per cent less than they did before the pandemic – Mail on Sunday
  • Not going out: the young have been scared into submission – Sunday Times

More:

  • NHS could face influx of 10m ‘missing patients’ – Sunday Times
  • Universities refuse to end online lessons – Sunday Times

Comment:

  • Calling Covid experts arrogant and wrong doesn’t make you a nutjob – John Glancy, Sunday Times

>Yesterday: Danny Bowman in Comment: Suicide isn’t the only test of whether there’s a mental health crisis. There is – not least among young people.

News in Brief:

  • University entrance exams will be a welcome response to schools’ failures – Henry Hill, CapX
  • Did the New York Times stifle lab leak debate? – Ashley Rindsberg, UnHerd
  • No, Johnson didn’t ‘snub’ Sturgeon – Henry Hill, The Spectator
  • Angels, demons and videotape – Ian Leslie, The Critic