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Gove makes Cabinet power grab with ‘colossus of a department’

“Michael Gove has dramatically expanded his Whitehall empire, emerging as the biggest winner of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle. The full scale of the former Cabinet Office minister’s new domain became clear on Saturday night as Downing Street announced the appointment of Andy Haldane, the former Bank of England chief economist, as a new permanent secretary in Mr Gove’s former department. Unusually, Mr Haldane will report jointly to the Prime Minister and Mr Gove, despite the Prime Minister’s ambitious former leadership rival now leading a separate, rebranded Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Mr Gove will also, said No 10, said “drive cross-Whitehall efforts to deliver a programme of tangible improvements in every part of the UK”, effectively giving him jurisdiction for the levelling-up agenda across government.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Solve cladding scandal, Johnson tells Housing Secretary – Sunday Times
  • Ministers lose half a million pounds over sale of flats with Grenfell-style cladding – Sunday Telegraph

Levelling Up:

  • Secretary of State for Levelling Up: what does it actually mean? – Sunday Express
  • Former Bank of England chief economist to lead ‘levelling up’ agenda – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Meet the Gove-rnment. Five takeaways from the reshuffle.

Johnson gives hint he plans early general election with ‘half-time pep talk’

“Boris Johnson has given the biggest hint yet he plans an early general election — after giving ministers a “half-time pep talk”. The PM told his reshuffled cabinet it was time to “spit out the orange peel” and work to deliver. The last general election was in December 2019, so talk of half time would put the next one firmly in 2023. Mr Johnson cracked jokes to ministers yesterday, and poked fun at his own growing brood. The PM, who has at least six kids and another one on the way, rallied ministers to “think about delivery”… He urged ministers to “get out on to the pitch as a team” and pull together to deliver on more police, better broadband, cutting crime, and slashing NHS waiting.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Time for Tiggers: reshuffle delivers ‘boosters’ – Sunday Times
  • Peer who used personal email for work sacked – Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • The all-powerful king shuffles his courtiers around as if he hasn’t a care in the world – Rob Colvile, Sunday Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why headlines about ‘axing a slew of white men’ might come back to bite the Prime Minister

Foreign Secretary defies EU backlash over submarine pact

“The new Foreign Secretary has waded into a major diplomatic row over Britain’s new security pact with the US and Australia, insisting that “freedoms need to be defended”. Writing in The Telegraph, Liz Truss states that the Aukus agreement “shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts”, in a thinly veiled reference to China’s growing military prowess and aggressive approach to trade. The intervention, Ms Truss’s first as Foreign Secretary, came amidst a fierce EU backlash against the trilateral partnership, which France described as “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners”, as Emmanuel Macron withdrew the country’s ambassadors from Washington DC and Canberra.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Baptism of fire as Truss heads to US amid submarine row – The Observer
  • Submarine ‘treason’ shows Britain is vassal state of US, say fuming French – Sunday Times
  • How UK’s secret nuclear pact blindsided Europe’s elites – Sunday Telegraph

More:

  • Johnson’s National Security Council blasted by MPs – Sunday Express
  • Prime Minister flies to New York to tighten transatlantic ties after strained summer – The Observer

Liz Truss: Global Britain is planting its flag on the world stage

“But freedoms need to be defended, so we are also building strong security ties around the world. That is why last week the Prime Minister announced, alongside our friends President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison, the creation of a new security partnership called AUKUS. We will be working closer together to use a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, from nuclear-powered submarines at first and then looking at artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts. It also shows our commitment to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • The submarine deal is a real downer for China – Lawrence Freedman, Sunday Times
  • France is not a reliable partner to the English-speaking defenders of freedom – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: Book Reviews: Payne journeys through the Red Wall seats to discover how Labour lost them and Johnson won

Zahawi: School supremo who turned Tory after abuse from socialists

“A former children’s minister, Zahawi already knows the education department. When he went in via the back entrance last week to avoid anti-vax protesters outside the front, staff lined up to welcome him back. A friend says that Zahawi’s long-held ambition — at least in the medium term — is to become foreign secretary. For now, he has to juggle his new cabinet role with being secretary of state for Stratford-upon-Avon. On his first full day as education secretary, he was meant to be the guest of honour at the state-funded King Edward VI School’s prize-giving in his constituency, but didn’t turn up. After a long wait, the headmaster gave out the prizes himself before the head boy stole the show by reading out his prepared vote of thanks with fine comic timing. Must try harder.” – Sunday Times

  • Williamson tipped for knighthood to stop him spilling beans in revenge – Sun on Sunday

More:

  • Blair: cut university tuition fees for the poorest students – Sunday Times
  • Cost of university courses has tripled over the last decade – Mail on Sunday

Business minister bids to calm crisis fears as UK gas prices soar

“The government was scrambling on Saturday night to reassure Britons that rising gas prices would not plunge the country into an energy crisis, as ministers held a series of emergency meetings with energy companies and regulators to establish whether the nation could keep the lights and central heating on this winter. A senior industry insider likened the meetings held between the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, and energy industry leaders to the early crisis talks held following the outbreak of Covid-19. Gas prices surged by more than 70% in August alone, and the shock has sent energy companies and heavy industrial firms out of business. Households could see energy bills jump by as much as £400 in a year, according to some estimates.” – The Observer

  • Meat producers have warned of shortages in two weeks due to a lack of CO2 – Mail on Sunday

EU: Rutte boasts Johnson ‘willing’ to cave after crisis talks

“Boris Johnson has displayed a “willingness” to find a solution to the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol, the Dutch PM has said. Mark Rutte said if both the EU and UK can avoid “heavy language” during negotiations and focus on “practical questions”, then it would be possible to find a solution to the post-Brexit trading arrangements. The UK wants to rewrite the protocol, which avoids a hard border with Ireland by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the European Union’s single market for goods. The post-Brexit rules have led to trade barriers for goods crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain, even with grace periods in place to help goods such as chilled meats continue to be exchanged.” – Sunday Express

Prime Minister warns world leaders they have just 1,000 hours to tackle climate change

“World leaders have just 1,000 hours to tackle climate change, Boris Johnson said. He told them they face “the most important period in the history of the planet” as he prepares to get them to thrash out an agreement to save the world. The PM faces an uphill struggle ahead of his summit as India, the US, China and dozens of our own allies are still failing to do enough to tackle climate change – or cough up enough cash to stop it. Top experts slammed big beasts for dragging their heels in setting tough emissions targets to stop the planet changing beyond all recognition. Mr Johnson turned his fire on his own pals in the G20, urging them “show the leadership the world needs” and “do our duty by others less fortunate than ourselves” to make his COP26 summit a roaring success.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Starmer will address green new deal plans at conference, say team – The Observer

Speaker’s anger as extremists terrorise Labour MP

“The Speaker of the House of Commons has made an unprecedented intervention over the security of politicians after a female MP was forced to pull out of the Labour Party conference later this week after receiving online threats from militant transgender activists. Sir Lindsay Hoyle said elected representatives should be able to appear publicly “without fear of harm” after Rosie Duffield revealed she would miss the conference, which begins in Brighton on Saturday. The MP, who won Canterbury for Labour in 2017, ending its century-long run as a Tory seat, has decided to stay away after receiving advice that her safety and security could be at risk if she chose to attend. Duffield, 50, claims she has been branded transphobic for “knowing that only women have a cervix”. She has also pointed out that it might not be appropriate for people with male bodies who identify as women to enter female-only spaces.” – Sunday Times