Published:

Cabinet rift over business row

“Boris Johnson is facing a Cabinet backlash over his war with business. Five Cabinet ministers have told the Mail they want the Prime Minister to adopt a more ‘pragmatic’ approach to helping firms cope with staff shortages this winter. Mr Johnson warned business this week there was ‘no alternative’ to his plan to train up British workers to fill staff shortages rather than relying on cheap labour from abroad. Home Secretary Priti Patel and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are also opposed to any further easing of visa rules, arguing that firms have to adapt to the post-Brexit reality that free movement has ended. But a string of other senior ministers fear this ‘ideological’ approach will lead to empty shelves in the run-up to Christmas, for which the Government will get the blame.” – Daily Mail

  • Johnson under fire after Tories lose reputation as low-tax party – The Times

Comment:

  • The backlash to Boris isn’t confined to just business – Patrick Maguire, Times Red Box

>Today: ToryDiary: What lower immigration?

Ministers criticised for ‘haphazard’ Covid jab rollout for teenagers in England

“Ministers have been accused of losing a grip on the Covid vaccination programme for teenagers with headteachers and parents describing a “haphazard” and “incredibly slow” rollout that is causing disruption in schools in England. They raised the alarm as Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, admitted he had no idea how many 12- to 15-year-olds had had their jabs, with early figures suggesting the government has little hope of hitting its target of vaccinating them all by half-term. New data has shown that fewer than one in 10 (9%) in the age group had been vaccinated by last Sunday, but this includes those who are either clinically vulnerable or living with people who are vulnerable and who were prioritised for vaccination earlier in the summer.” – The Guardian

  • Masks face returning to schools this winter to tackle Covid surge – The Sun

>Today: Sir Bernard Jenkin MP: Four lessons for government from the fuel shortages

Axe planning permission for nearly 200,000 homes on greenfield sites, demand MPs

“Ministers are under pressure to tell councils to withdraw planning permission for nearly 200,000 homes on greenfield sites after Boris Johnson announced that new homes will be built on previously developed land. The Prime Minister announced in his party conference speech that “beautiful homes” should in future be built only “on brownfield sites in places where homes make sense”. Glenigan, the construction industry experts, said that nearly half of the 408,000 undeveloped plots of land which had planning permission in England in August – 187,000 homes – were planned for greenfield land where work is yet to start. On Thursday night, Tory MP Bob Seely, who led a backbench rebellion against the planning reforms, told The Telegraph that the Government should now ensure that uneconomic developments on greenfield sites should now be pulled.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson’s housing U-turn will cost the Tories – James Forsyth, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Churchill, walking with destiny. Johnson, winking at destiny.

Royal Navy Admiral named as next head of the armed forces

“The head of the navy who brought in the submarine deal with Australia and America has been chosen by the prime minister as the next head of the armed forces. Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, 55, will take over from General Sir Nick Carter, 62, as chief of the defence staff when he steps down at the end of November… His appointment was widely expected in recent weeks despite strong competition from other chiefs, including General Sir Patrick Sanders, the chief of strategic command, who was well-liked across the forces. Announcing the decision, Boris Johnson said Radakin had proven himself as an “outstanding military leader” and under his command there were more sailors on the front line, warships at sea — including two aircraft carriers — and the UK was leading a “shipbuilding renaissance” protecting lives around the UK.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister appoints high-profile sea lord despite reservations of defence establishment – FT

Police:

  • Met police chief given three targets to keep job – The Times

Starmer: universal credit cut is an attack on the poorest

“Boris Johnson has been accused by Keir Starmer of “turning on the poorest” as Britain eases out of the Covid crisis by scrapping the £20 universal credit uplift, which the Labour leader committed to replacing. Backing a call by the footballer Marcus Rashford for the government to abandon plans to cut the uplift, which was introduced during the pandemic, Starmer said the reduction came “at the worst possible time because prices are going up”. “Whether that’s fuel or food, or energy prices, and this is going to drive families and children into poverty and for the government to turn on the poorest as we come out of the pandemic is just so wrong,” the Labour leader told BBC Breakfast.” – The Guardian

  • Labour leader on spot over who will pay £6bn tax bill for Labour plan – Daily Express

London’s Night Tube could reopen within weeks, Khan hints

“London’s Night Tube could reopen within weeks following a clamour to reinstate the service in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder. Sadiq Khan today said he’d be making an announcement soon and recognised its importance for women afraid to walk the streets after dark. Underground trains currently run until 1am after the 24-hour service was ditched during the pandemic in March last year. The Mayor is under pressure to bring it back after thousands signed a petition citing Everard’s kidnap by Wayne Couzens while walking home. Conservatives in London have accused Mr Khan of “dither and delay”… The Labour Mayor said he’d been working “incredibly hard” to reinstate the service but was hamstrung by cash-strapped TfL’s lack of profits.” – The Sun

Sturgeon accused of waiting for older Unionists to die

“Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of trying to win Scottish independence by waiting for older Unionists to die off after she said “demographics” meant that delaying another referendum would increase her chances of victory. The First Minister warned Boris Johnson that she had “time on my side” if he wanted to postpone a second separation vote by “playing a waiting game”. She told the Financial Times: “You look at the demographics of the support for independence – well, I’m not sure that’s going to get you out of this conundrum.” A series of polls have shown more than two-thirds of young Scots support independence, but pensioners overwhelmingly back remaining in the UK. Ms Sturgeon’s official spokesman on Thursday refused to clarify whether she was referring to young independence supporters joining the electoral roll, older Unionists dying off, or both factors combined.” – Daily Telegraph