Published:

Ministers plan legal action to stop Insulate Britain disrupting motorways

“Priti Patel and Grant Shapps are seeking a court injunction to stop environmental protesters from targeting major motorways after five days of tailbacks and damaging headlines for the government. The home secretary and the transport secretary have asked National Highways and the Government Legal Service to submit an application later this week. Protesters from the group Insulate Britain have targeted the M25 five times in just over a week. They are calling for government action on home insulation. Thirty-eight people were arrested after the climate activists held another protest on Tuesday, police have confirmed. They stopped traffic on both carriageways of the motorway between junctions 9 and 10, near Cobham in Surrey.” – The Guardian

  • Home Secretary  vows to lock up the eco mob – Daily Mail
  • Police tackling M25 protesters set to be given more powers – The Times

Priti Patel and Grant Shapps: We will use jail to end this motorway chaos

“Transport is so crucial to that recovery. With every day that passes, our roads and railways are helping more businesses to grow, and more people to find jobs. Punishing motorists to make a point about home insulation makes absolutely no sense at all. As one van driver caught up in the chaos told a protester: ‘You are making people hate you.’ The police have our full support to take decisive action and we’re working with National Highways to take legal action against the protesters to ensure they cannot keep disrupting and endangering people’s lives in this way. We are giving them powers to better manage such guerrilla tactics in future. In the medium-term, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will put public nuisance on a statutory footing, ensuring there are appropriate sentences for the harm caused.” – Daily Mail

Johnson vows ‘Christmas is on’ as he dubs gas crisis and supermarket shortages a ‘short-term problem’

“Boris Johnson last night insisted supermarket shortages and sky-high fuel costs are a “short-term problem” amid fears of a cost of living crisis. The PM promised families they will not have to go without this December as he vowed: “Christmas is on.” But gloomy experts warned inflation will run at three per cent next year — the highest rate of the major advanced economies. Figures last week revealed inflation has hit 3.2 per cent — its highest level in nearly a decade. Speaking in New York yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “We will do whatever we can to address the supply issues, but this is a short-term problem.” He said it was caused by the “world economy waking up after a long time in this suspended animation caused by Covid”.” – The Sun

  • Green energy firm on brink as Kwarteng says price cap stays – The Times
  • UK forced to borrow more than expected as soaring inflation bites – The Guardian

More:

  • Ministers reach deal on CO2 production to ease food supply fears – The Guardian
  • Britain to pay millions of taxpayers’ cash to US firm – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Abroad, Johnson calls for fewer emissions. Here, Kwarteng aims to keep some going.

>Yesterday:

UN: Grow up and take responsibility for our planet, Johnson tells world

“It is time for humanity to “grow up” and address climate change, Boris Johnson will tell world leaders tonight. In an address to the United Nations general assembly in New York, the prime minister will cast himself as a teller of hard truths about the climate. With under six weeks to go until the Cop26 climate conference is held in Glasgow, the prime minister will tell the world to leave behind its “infantile” approach to the climate. “Of our allotted lifespan of a million, humanity has been around for about 200,000. In other words, we are still collectively a youngster,” Johnson is expected to say. “In terms of the life of our species, we are about 16. We have come to that fateful age when we know roughly how to drive and we know how to unlock the drinks cabinet and to engage in all sorts of activity that is not only potentially embarrassing but also terminal.” – The Times

  • UK’s debut ‘green gilt’ sale draws blockbuster demand – FT

UK pins hope on joining US, Mexico and Canada trade pact

“The UK hopes to join a trade pact between the US, Mexico and Canada as expectations fade for an imminent bilateral agreement with Washington.  The USMCA trade pact was signed by Donald Trump, then US president, with Canada and Mexico last year after a long renegotiation of the existing 1994 Nafta deal between the three countries.  The agreement, which was widely backed by Democrats on Capitol Hill, included tightened environmental and labour standards, a new digital chapter and strict rules of origin requirements for the automotive industry. British officials said on Tuesday shortly before Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, was to meet President Joe Biden that the UK was considering applying to join USMCA.” – FT

  • Booby-prize pact that would put British firms on a par with Mexican ones – Daily Mail

More:

  • President sinks hopes of quick trade deal with US… – The Times
  • …as the Prime Minister defends his bungled Afghan withdrawal – The Sun

EU:

Judge rules that Hancock must have his private WhatsApp and emails searched

“Former health secretary Matt Hancock will have his personal WhatsApp and emails searched as part of a High Court battle over millions of pounds’ worth of antibody test contracts. The Good Law Project has brought legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), claiming that more than £80million in contracts for antibody tests were awarded unlawfully. The bid covers three contracts awarded to Abingdon Health which the group claims were given in April, June and August 2020 but were not published until October 2020. ‘The contracts were awarded directly, and secretly, without any advertisement or competition,’ the Good Law Project’s barrister Joseph Barrett said in written arguments.” – Daily Mail

Cost of UK’s HS2 railway line has ‘no clear end in sight’, MPs warn

“The cost of the UK’s new HS2 high-speed railway line from London to the north of England, which has already risen from £55.7bn in 2015 to about £100bn, has “no clear end in sight”, a cross-party committee of MPs has warned. Cost pressures from Covid-19, little progress over plans for the new terminal at London’s Euston station, and a lack of clarity on other parts of the programme had left MPs “increasingly alarmed”, the House of Commons public accounts committee said. It added that this “raised uncertainty over the promised benefits” of the planned 250mph railway. Concerns are growing within the Treasury over the cost pressures on the UK’s most expensive infrastructure project ahead of the multi-year spending review next month.” – FT

  • Rising costs ‘could push bill over £98bn’ – The Times

>Today: Ryan Bourne’s column: Housing. Gove is poised to dump radical supply side reform. And subsidise younger peoples’ mortgages instead.

Labour targets those facing bill rises and £20 cut to universal credit…

“Sir Keir Starmer is targeting Conservative MPs in red wall seats with attack advertisements as Labour seeks to exploit the cost of living crisis to regain support in its former heartlands. Labour has released Facebook adverts in northern and Midlands constituencies to highlight the government’s impending £20 cut to universal credit. Among the seats targeted are Burnley, Blyth Valley, North West Durham and Gedling, all of which switched from Labour to the Conservatives in 2019. The adverts identify the area’s local MP with a warning about the number of families in the constituency who will see their income drop when the temporary uplift to the benefit comes to an end on October 6. Four in ten households on universal credit face a 13 per cent rise in their energy bills in the same month as their income goes down by £20 a week, analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank has found.” – The Times

  • Ministers explore ways to cut soaring energy bills for poorest households – The Guardian

…as Starmer takes on left over leadership contest rules

“Sir Keir Starmer is seeking to prevent a repeat of the UK Labour party’s Corbyn era with a proposal to scrap its one-member-one-vote approach to leadership elections and give MPs a bigger role in the process. The move by the leader of Britain’s biggest opposition party would seek to lock out the “hard left” because most Labour MPs are more centrist and is likely to enrage many grassroots members. Ed Miliband, the former leader, scrapped the party’s old “election college” system in favour of an entirely democratic approach in 2014. That led to the surprise election of Jeremy Corbyn, a radical leftwinger who had spent decades protesting from the backbenches, to the horror of many MPs.” – FT

  • Attempt to ensure candidates in future contests will need more support from unions and MPs – Daily Telegraph
  • Move to put proposals to vote at party conference comes under fire – The Guardian

More:

  • Unite leader won’t attend Labour party conference – The Times

Macron may offer up UN seat in push for EU army

“France’s seat on the United Nations Security Council could be put “at the disposal of the European Union” if its governments back Emmanuel Macron’s plans for an EU army, a close ally of the French president has said. Paris is spearheading a diplomatic push for closer EU military integration after Australia pulled out of a £45 billion contract for diesel-powered French submarines and signed the Aukus security pact with the US and UK instead. A traditional standing EU army remains a distant prospect, but Mr Macron – on the cusp of becoming the EU’s most influential leader as Angela Merkel prepares to bow out of politics after Sunday’s German elections – is determined to lay its foundations.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Forget gas prices, the UK’s real cost-of-living crisis is elsewhere – Henry Hill, CapX
  • The new Ireland dislikes Unionists as much as the old one – Owen Polley, The Critic
  • How feminism ate itself – Kat Rosenfeld, UnHerd
  • Another stupid, redundant, dismal Canadian election – Conrad Black, The Spectator