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Manifesto Breach 1) Johnson to defy rebels over tax rise for social care

“Boris Johnson is in “invincible mode” and will push through a tax rise to fund social care despite “considerable” opposition within his cabinet. Several cabinet ministers are known to oppose plans to raise national insurance to increase health and social care spending, which would breach a promise in the Conservative manifesto. However, amid speculation about a reshuffle, no minister is expected to fight the plans tomorrow, when Johnson is due to present proposals for Britain’s social care system at his first cabinet meeting since the summer break. A public announcement could be made tomorrow or on Wednesday. A YouGov poll for The Times suggests that the prime minister will have strong public support to raise national insurance to fund extra health and social care spending, with two thirds backing the move.” – The Times

  • Range of opponents hit at plan to raise national insurance rates, with TUC arguing for wealth taxes – FT
  • Starmer raises prospect of Commons defeat by vowing he won’t back the plan – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Social care reform – and why we can’t simply tax our way to better public services

Manifesto Breach 2) Bonfire of pledges as ‘triple lock’ faces the axe

“Pensioners will lose a £16-a-month boost if ministers press ahead with plans to suspend the state pension triple lock, experts said last night. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely expected to break the manifesto commitment to avoid giving pensioners an 8 per cent rise – with an announcement possible this week. The triple lock guarantees that the state pension will increase in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. However, due to the coronavirus crisis, a distortion to wages would have seen pensioners’ payments rise by as much as 8 per cent from next April. To head off this anomaly, the Chancellor is expected to announce a new double lock system – which would cut out the wages element. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said pensioners would receive £4 a week more with an 8 per cent increase, compared with a rise in line with underlying earnings growth of 5 per cent.” – Daily Mail

  • Sunak must act to avoid ‘baked-in’ inequalities in UK society, reports warn – FT

Tory party grandees join National Insurance tax rise revolt

“Plans to raise National Insurance to pay for social care have been criticised by three former Conservative chancellors as Boris Johnson faces a growing backlash over the proposal. The PM is expected to outline his plan on Monday but is facing growing consternation from within his party over a move that would breach his 2019 election pledge not to raise the tax. On Sunday, Philip Hammond, Ken Clarke and Norman Lamont added their voices to the disquiet which already includes several cabinet ministers, backbench MPs, business leaders and the Labour party. They said it would unfairly hit young workers, leave wealthier pensioners unscathed and could lead to a voter backlash. Such is the level of concern around the plan, Mr Johnson is expected to address the powerful 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs in a bid to quell growing rebellion.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Rees-Mogg fires warning shot – Sky News

Comment:

  • Tax rises will trigger a historic Tory rage – Matthew Lesh, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Zahawi refuses to comment on reports that National Insurance will be increased

Zahawi hints Javid will make full vaccination a condition of employment for all NHS workers

“Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi today hinted Sajid Javid is going to press ahead with plans to make full vaccination a condition of employment for all NHS staff. Reports suggest that Mr Javid, the Health Secretary, will proceed with the change as part of a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Mr Zahawi did not deny the move is on the table as he said ‘it is only right and responsible that we look at the duty of care for healthcare workers on the frontline and across the NHS’ who are looking after vulnerable people. The Government is set to launch a consultation on the issue, potentially as soon as this week, according to the Sunday Telegraph. However, there are fears that a vaccination requirement could spark an exodus of NHS staff.” – Daily Mail

  • Covid vaccine passports needed to avoid another lockdown, he claims – The Times
  • Teenagers can overrule their parents to take Covid vaccine, says minister – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Vaccines Minister “looking at” vaccine passports for entry to large venues

Millions of pupils return to school amid Covid spike concern

“Millions of pupils are returning to classrooms in England and Wales, amid fears of a spike in Covid cases. Pre-term Covid testing is being used to limit infection, but rules on social distancing and face masks have gone. Scientists have warned of a rapid rise in school cases without such measures and experts have not recommended jabs for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds. Ministers want a return to normality, but cases are more than 30 times higher among children compared with last year. In the week to 28 August, there were more than 300 Covid cases per 100,000 among five to 15-year-olds. This compares with less than 10 per 100,000 in the same week of 2020. Head teachers are hoping for a much smoother term but also want school safety measures to be kept under review.” – BBC

  • Britain will ‘go down the plughole’ without major push to get staff back in offices, says Duncan Smith – The Sun

>Today: Bim Afolami MP’s column: Working from home means a radical culture shift – and it’s here to stay. Here are some of the consequences.

Johnson to pledge extra £5m for military veterans

“Boris Johnson will on Monday pledge an extra £5 million for military veterans, as he praises the “courage and ingenuity” of the forces who helped rescue 15,000 Britons and Afghans from Kabul. In a statement to Parliament on Monday on the Afghan crisis, the Prime Minister will say the aid, including support for mental health, is aimed to ensure “no veteran’s request for help will go unanswered”. Military chiefs have already spoken of the trauma and pressures on those involved in the evacuation that saw 15,000 Britons and Afghans, including families and young children, evacuated in two weeks after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. In his statement, Mr Johnson will vow to “use every economic, political and diplomatic lever to protect our country from harm and help the Afghan people”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Honour troops who took part in the Afghanistan evacuation, ministers urged – The Sun

>Yesterday: David Richards in Comment: Offer a single point of contact and overhaul the National Security Council. How to help the Afghans we left behind.

Raab wrong to blame military intelligence for Afghanistan failure, says General

“Dominic Raab was wrong to blame military intelligence failures for the West’s humiliation in Afghanistan, the chief of the defence staff has said. In an escalation of the bitter blame game at the top of government, General Sir Nick Carter said it was “a much broader thing than just strictly military intelligence”. He added: “Everybody got it wrong.” The military chief said the Taliban were suffering from “catastrophic success” as even they “didn’t expect things to change as quickly as they did”. Carter’s intervention directly contradicts the foreign secretary, who said last week that the Ministry of Defence’s assessment of the speed of the Taliban takeover was “clearly wrong”. He said many assessments suggested Kabul would fall this year, despite Raab having said that intelligence put this as “unlikely”.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister looks to defend UK role in Kabul withdrawal – FT

>Today: John Baron MP in Comment: We need a new defence alliance with other allies as well as the United States

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Chief of the Defence Staff denies that the military intelligence on Afghanistan was wrong

Our survey sees Foreign Secretary’s popularity plunge as ‘reshuffle looms’

“Dominic Raab’s approval rating has plummeted among Conservatives as rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle loom this week. The Foreign Secretary, who has faced criticism for his handling of the Afghanistan crisis, fell from third place to 24th in a league table of Cabinet ministers – four ranks from the bottom. The survey, by the Conservative Home website, gave Mr Raab a net satisfaction rating of just 6 per cent – down from 73 per cent last month. Meanwhile Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, with whom Mr Raab has been engaged in a public war of words, climbed from ninth position to fourth. Boris Johnson, who was fourth from bottom last month, moved up to 21st place in the 27-strong league – with a satisfaction rating of 13 per cent. The party members’ poll is the latest blow to the beleaguered Foreign Secretary, who was on holiday when Kabul fell last month.” – Daily Mail

  • Tory MPs asked to spy on randy colleagues to stop another Hancock scandal – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our Cabinet League Table. Raab plummets from third from top in July to fourth from bottom last month.

Patel backs ads accusing Facebook of ‘blindfolding’ police

“Priti Patel is backing an advertising campaign that will accuse Facebook of “blindfolding” police in their investigations into child sex abuse, The Times can reveal. The home secretary will step up her efforts to prevent the social media company rolling out encrypted messaging to all its platforms by giving support to a series of aggressive advertisements. The ads, to be run in newspapers and on radio and television within weeks, are aimed at winning over public opinion against end-to-end encryption. They will say that officials will be blocked from catching paedophiles. The ads are being drawn up by M&C Saatchi, the advertising agency, and a coalition of charities. They are designed to counter a campaign promoting encryption on Facebook’s WhatsApp platform.” – The Times

Irish Sea row risks damaging UK-EU relations long-term, warns Frost

“The UK will not “sweep away” the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol, despite renewed calls for its abolition by the Democratic Unionist party, the Brexit minister has said. However, David Frost renewed his demands for fundamental changes on its implementation, warning the row could have a long-term chilling effect on wider EU-UK relations unless it was resolved. “I worry that if we didn’t solve this issue, it is capable of generating the sorts of cold mistrust which will last between us and the European Union, and [the mistrust] will spread across the whole relationship [and] will hold back the potential for a new era of cooperation between us in a world which does need us to work together,” he said at the British-Irish Association conference in Oxford on Saturday.” – The Guardian

  • Biden risks ‘causing civil unrest’ over Northern Ireland Protocol, says Lord Trimble – Daily Telegraph

Scottish independence will be ‘Brexit times 10’, warns Sturgeon’s economic advisor

“One of Nicola Sturgeon’s new hand-picked economic advisors has warned independence would be “Brexit times 10” thanks to the much deeper economic ties between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Prof Mark Blyth, who was appointed to the First Minister’s new economic advisory council in July, said that “pulling apart” more than three centuries of economic integration would “hurt a lot.” In an interview given only days before his appointment was announced by the Scottish Government in July, he said adopting a different currency and economic policy from the remainder of the UK would mean “significant short to medium-term costs.” In particular, he said it would mean erecting trade barriers with the English market, which is the destination for 60 per cent of Scottish exports.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon’s ‘plot to use ‘Queens speech’ to force second independence referendum’ – Daily Express

News in Brief:

  • Our shrinking military leaves us vulnerable – Tobias Ellwood MP, CapX
  • Why the “special relationship” needs to end – Sebastian Millbank, The Critic
  • The West is being played by the Taliban – David Loyn, The Spectator
  • The dying art of the hatchet job – Dorian Lynskey, UnHerd