Published:

May gives warning over defence pact with the US and Australia

“Boris Johnson was challenged yesterday over fears that a new defence pact could lead to Britain being dragged into war with China. Theresa May asked the prime minister in the Commons about the “implications” of the partnership in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The new alliance, between Britain, the US and Australia, also led to diplomatic rows with allies and adversaries. France said that it had been “stabbed in the back” and China accused the three powers of intensifying an arms race and having a “Cold War mentality”. The pact, described by the prime minister’s national security adviser as a “profound, strategic shift”, involves Britain and the US helping Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines.” – The Times

  • Ex-PM asks Boris Johnson what UK’s obligations would be under deal if China attempted to invade Taiwan – The Guardian
  • How AUKUS submarine deal was sealed in Cornwall – Daily Mail
  • Billions could be pumped into Cumbrian industrial town – Daily Mail
  • Security pact seen as boost for ‘Global Britain’ agenda – FT

Reaction:

  • France rages it’s been ‘stabbed in back’ – The Sun
  • UK and US battle to contain international backlash – The Guardian
  • Dutch leader will invite Britain to join security deal with EU – The Times

>Today: Terry Barnes in Comment: The significance of this new U.S-UK-Australia security pact – and Johnson’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific

Sunak to set out new fiscal rules to rein in UK borrowing

“UK chancellor Rishi Sunak is planning to use next month’s Budget to set out new rules to rein in government borrowing, amid Treasury fears that any rise in interest rates could blow a hole in the heavily-indebted public finances. Sunak’s new rules will commit him to stop borrowing to fund day-to-day spending within three years — a move intended to illustrate Tory fiscal discipline ahead of the next election. While the government’s current spending plans fit within the new rules, they allow little room for extra giveaways to be unveiled at the Budget. According to people briefed on the chancellor’s thinking, Sunak’s fiscal rules will also require underlying debt to start falling by 2024-25; it currently stands at about 100 per cent of gross domestic product.” – FT

  • MPs accuse HMRC of ‘sweetheart’ tax settlement with GE – FT

Reshuffle 1) Johnson axes slew of white men in sweeping reshuffle

“Boris Johnson axed a slew of white men from the lower ministerial ranks on day two of his sweeping reshuffle — to promote rising-star women. Living up to a promise to do more for government gender balance, the PM fuelled speculation of an early election by adding fresh female talent to his team. Lucy Frazer, and Helen Whately were promoted to powerful roles at the Treasury. And anti-woke warrior Kemi Badenoch was handed the key position as Michael Gove’s deputy in charge of levelling up. Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt is the new No2 at the Trade Department and Gillian Keegan gets a top job at Health. Old-guard ministers John Whittingdale, Nick Gibb and James Duddridge were sacked along with Luke Hall, Justin Tomlinson and Matt Warman.” – The Sun

  • Prime Minister continues to appoint new ministers – The Sun
  • He reshuffles pack with eye on next UK general election – FT
  • Johnson won’t call an early general election, say allies – The Times

More:

  • Truss’s Foreign Office move complicates leadership hopes – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour condemns new trade secretary for tweets rejecting climate science – The Guardian
  • New minister’s online dig at global warming ‘fanatics’ – Daily Mail
  • Dorries will stop woke art projects being funded by taxpayers – The Sun
  • BBC braced for licence fee clash with Culture Secretary – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • As Dowden steps up, is it time to return to the all-powerful party chairman? – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Government Reshuffle Live Blog. The shuffle nears its ends as the Under-Secretary appointments begin

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: “He looked more than ever like Genghis Khan meditating a purge of his captains”

Reshuffle 2) Gove ‘shelved planning shake-up just hours after being named as new Housing Secretary’

“Michael Gove last night put on ice controversial planning reforms just hours after he became Housing Secretary. Legislation to bring about the biggest shake-up of housebuilding rules for more than 70 years was due to be published next week. But Mr Gove yesterday shelved the proposals and pledged to conduct a review into how they can be improved. The minister will consult with Tory MPs who had threatened to block the plans over fears it will lead to the concreting of swathes of southern England. Mr Gove has been tasked by Boris Johnson to deliver on the Tory manifesto promise to start building 300,000 new homes each year. The Prime Minister is understood to believe that getting the younger generation on to the property ladder is critical to winning the next election.” – Daily Mail

  • He’s urged to fix building safety crisis – The Guardian
  • Plans to rename MHCLG as ‘Department for the Union and Levelling Up’ has hit the skids – Twitter
  • Gove faces calls to return £100k in donations from property developer – The Guardian

>Today: Local Government: More radical planning reform is needed to increase choice and reduce delays

>Yesterday: David Orr in Sponsored: The pandemic has shown that now is the time to bring England’s homes up to scratch

James Forsyth: Communities Secretary should empower mayors to help level up

“The most intriguing move, though, is that of the man who forced Johnson to pull out of the 2016 leadership race, Michael Gove. Housing, communities and local government is hardly a great office of state. Most people with ten years’ cabinet service would have expected a rather more distinguished berth. But don’t be fooled by the rather mundane job title. Gove is now in charge of one of the government’s biggest short-term problems: what to do about its proposed planning reform, which is facing huge opposition from Tory backbenchers, and levelling up, the government’s long-term aim.” – The Times

  • This could be the end of Gove, or the moment he redefines Toryism forever – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Profiles: Michael Gove – denied a great office of state once again. But given work on which Johnson’s future now depends.

Patel orders police to get tough on climate activists after M25 protests

“Priti Patel has told police to take “decisive action” against climate change activists as video footage emerged showing officers facilitating the motorway protests that caused major traffic disruption. The Home Secretary condemned as “completely unacceptable” the traffic chaos caused by the guerilla tactics of Insulate Britain, a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion, which blocked off motorway junctions at rush hour twice this week. The protests on Wednesday morning led to questions over why police failed to remove the activists from the road sooner. Now The Telegraph has been passed footage which shows a Metropolitan Police officer allowing protesters to walk in front of cars and take their places at junction 25 on the M25 where they sat down and blocked the road.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Activists face jail under new law, warns Home Secretary – The Times

More:

  • ‘Hotspot policing’ rolled out to more forces after violent crime fell by 70 per cent in pilot scheme – Daily Telegraph

Backlog in mental health must be addressed, says Javid

“The UK faces not only rising NHS waiting lists but also a “social backlog” in mental and public health, Sajid Javid has said. Calling for a “levelling up in health”, the health secretary said that passing the peak of the pandemic “has been a bit like a receding tide, revealing the underlying health of our nation”. The new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will have a “relentless focus” on tackling health inequalities, he promised, working with both the private and public sector on issues including tobacco, obesity, poor diet, and alcohol and drug use. Over the past year and a half “it looks like healthy people were getting healthier, while unhealthy people were becoming unhealthier still”, Javid said. “We need to reverse that trend and we need to do it fast.”” – The Times

  • Health Secretary promises health shake-up to fight ‘disease of disparity’ – The Guardian

Covid-19:

  • Britain will be plunged back into ‘another full lockdown’ if vaccine-busting Covid arrives – The Sun
  • Lockdown sceptics hail Barclay’s promotion as ‘antidote to Michael Gove’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Green and Amber travel rules scrapped for double jabbed – Daily Express
  • PCR tests will be axed – Daily Mail
  • Turkey to come off Covid red list in time for half-term – The Times

Rules on GM farming and cars to be top of UK bonfire of EU laws

“Rules on genetically modified farming, medical devices and vehicle standards will be top of a bonfire of laws inherited from the EU as the government seeks to change legislation automatically transferred to the UK after Brexit. Thousands of laws and regulations are to be reviewed, modified or repealed under a new programme aimed at cementing the UK’s independence and “Brexit opportunities”, David Frost has announced. Measures include permitting the voluntary printing of the crown stamp on pint glasses and reviewing the EU ban on markings and sales in pounds and ounces – with legislation “in due course”. The Brexit minister told peers the government had a “mammoth task” ahead to improve or remove laws inherited through 50 years of the “legislative sausage machine” in Brussels.” – The Guardian

  • Crown Stamp returns to pint glasses – Daily Telegraph
  • Pounds and ounces return in victory for metric martyrs – The Times

>Yesterday: David Skelton in Comment: Why a lack of dogma is Johnson’s strength, not a weakness

Lib Dem leader rules out propping up future Conservative government

“Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey will use his conference speech on Sunday to position the party as an unambiguously anti-Tory force, vowing that he would never help to put Boris Johnson back into Downing Street. Davey claims his party poses a “big threat” to the prime minister, particularly in southern so-called “blue wall” Conservative constituencies, following the shock Lib Dem by-election win in Chesham and Amersham, in south-east England, in June. Under former party leader Sir Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems formed a coalition government with David Cameron’s Conservatives in 2010, but when asked if the Lib Dems would facilitate a Tory government at the next election, Davey replied: “No.” Earlier this year, he ruled out formal alliances with the left-leaning Labour and Green parties.” – FT

Army called in to support Scottish paramedics

“The British Army is set to be drafted in to support Scottish ambulance workers as huge backlogs led to a patient dying after waiting 40 hours for paramedics. Nicola Sturgeon has apologised for the “unacceptably long wait” and said she would be seeking “targeted military assistance” to help cope with pressure points. The first minister has been questioned about the death of Gerald Brown, a 65-year-old from Glasgow who died waiting almost two days for an ambulance following a fall. His GP, Dr Patrick O’Neill, a partner at Cardonald Medical Practice, repeatedly warned 999 call handlers that the patient’s status was critical and allegedly told Brown’s family that he would still be alive if paramedics had reached him.” – The Times

  • SNP nightmare as economists raise alarm over indy Scotland’s currency – Daily Express

Morgan signs TV deal with News Corp

Shield“Piers Morgan has signed a deal with News Corp and Fox News to launch a global TV show and become a columnist for The Sun and New York Post. Morgan has been teasing news of his next television job for weeks after quitting Good Morning Britain in March amid controversy over remarks he made about the Duchess of Sussex’s mental health. Under his deal with News Corp, he will present a topical television show that will be broadcast on talkTV in the UK, a new service from The Times’s parent company, News UK. The same show, which begins early next year, will be broadcast on Sky News Australia and Fox Nation, Fox News’s subscription streaming service. Morgan will also host true-crime documentaries, having previously made films for ITV including Crime and Punishment: Psychopath with Piers Morgan.” – The Times

  • He turned down 20 jobs before signing historic deal with The Sun – The Sun
  • Morgan hits back at ITV boss – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Will GB News turn out to just be a very expensive way to launch a YouTube channel?

News in Brief:

  • Biden’s new world order – Tom McTague, The Atlantic
  • What’s behind the Boris reshuffle? – Tim Bale, UnHerd
  • Who wants to rule forever? – Henry Hill, The Critic
  • Macron’s ambitions have been torpedoed by Aukus – John Keiger, The Spectator
  • Zahawi and the perils of playing identity Top Trumps – David James, CapX
  • Merkel era was not Germany’s golden age – Katja Hoyer, UnHerd