Published:

Sharma in tears at Cop26 as India and China dilute pledge to phase out coal

“A historic United Nations deal to end the use of coal power was watered down last night after a dramatic last-minute intervention from China and India. Alok Sharma, the president of Cop26, was reduced to tears as he apologised to delegates for the way the late change was made. The deal, dubbed the Glasgow climate pact, had been set to include a pledge to accelerate the “phase-out” of coal power but this was switched late on to “phase-down”. The change in wording lessens the urgency with which countries are required to reduce the use of coal, the world’s strongest driver of climate change. Before he banged down the gavel on the pact, the tearful Sharma told delegates: “I apologise for the way this process has unfolded. I am deeply sorry.”” – Sunday Times

  • Power struggle over Sharma department pledge – Sunday Times

Analysis:

  • 40,000 attendees, 15 days — but was it all a waste of time? – Sunday Times

Truss tells Vladimir Putin to end ‘shameful’ migrant crisis

“Liz Truss has told Vladimir Putin he must end the “shameful manufactured migrant crisis” being stoked at Europe’s eastern borders. In her first public intervention since tensions erupted this week, the Foreign Secretary said the Kremlin had a “clear responsibility” to end Belarus’s attempt to use “desperate migrants as pawns” to destabilise the region. Writing for The Telegraph, Ms Truss added that Britain would “not look away” while its European allies were forced to “bear the brunt” of a “carefully crafted crisis” designed to distract from a “litany of abhorrent acts and human rights violations” carried out by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime. UK officials fear that the crisis at Poland’s border could soon reach closer to home, with many of the migrants seeking entry into Europe expected to travel through France in order to try to cross the Channel to reach Britain.” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

Outgoing UK Border Force boss triggers political row by saying borders are ‘just a pain in the a***’ as anger grows among PM’s backbenchers over the migrant crisis

“The outgoing head of the UK Border Force has triggered a political row by describing ‘bloody borders’ as ‘just such a pain in the bloody a***’. Paul Lincoln’s incendiary remarks – made in a speech to mark his departure as director general of the Border Force – comes amid growing anger among Boris Johnson’s backbenchers over the migrant crisis.Last week, the number of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats hit a new daily record of 1,185. More than 23,500 have made the crossing from France so far this year, a sharp rise on the 8,404 in 2020. Mr Lincoln, who left his position last month as part of a shake-up by Home Secretary Priti Patel, ended his speech by quoting lines from rock star Shane MacGowan, of The Pogues, saying: ‘People are talking about immigration, emigration and the rest of the bloody thing. It’s all bloody crap.'” – Mail on Sunday

Tugendhat: A human catastrophe is unfolding and Britain’s response has been woeful

“Record numbers of migrants are crossing the Channel to Britain. There were 2,449 in the week to Friday, taking the number this year to more than 23,500, almost three times as many as last year’s total of 8,420, itself then a record. Everyone on those boats wants a new, better life in the United Kingdom and that’s understandable, as this is the best country in the world. But what they are doing is both wrong and illegal. Also, they are risking their lives and keeping criminal people- traffickers in business. This isn’t just a story about human lives. It raises very important issues about Britain – about its borders and how the country’s infrastructure and services cope with the seeming inexorable daily increase in numbers of people wanting to live here. Our politicians and border police need to fight much harder to stamp out this illegal trade. We need to identify and prosecute those driving it.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Border controls are a necessary part of any civilised state – Mail on Sunday

New lobbying rules may block foreign governments from funding parliamentary groups

“Foreign governments could be blocked from funding parliamentary groups and lobbyists stopped from running them under plans to clean up Westminster in the wake of the latest sleaze row. The Telegraph has learnt that Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker, has joined forces with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader, and Chris Bryant, the chair of Parliament’s standards watchdog, to tackle what they believe risks becoming the “next lobbying scandal”. The trio are said to be increasingly alarmed at the lack of transparency over the funding and management of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs), which are made up of MPs and peers from across the political spectrum. The APPGs, which comprise hundreds of MPs and peers, are pressure groups set up to advance specific interests and causes, covering everything from sport, gambling and health to dozens of individual countries.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • MPs have been using taxpayers’ money to learn a foreign language that has questionable relevance to their constituents or parliamentary duties – Mail on Sunday
  • Starmer, his Lords ally and their silence over second jobs – Sunday Times
  • Rees-Mogg may have broken rules by ‘not declaring £6million in cheap loans from his Cayman Islands-linked company’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Shapps, the minister for private jets, is ‘lobbying against his own government’ – Sunday Times

Analysis:

  • Will Boris Johnson get away with sleaze scandal? – Sunday Times

Comment:

>Yesterday:

Coronavirus 1) Javid hires ‘war room’ tsar to tackle NHS backlog

“Sajid Javid will ramp up efforts to tackle NHS backlogs and ensure taxpayers’ money is spent properly as he prepares to unveil a new “war room” headed by Tony Blair’s former delivery tsar. The Telegraph has learnt that Sir Michael Barber, the first head of the former Labour prime minister’s delivery unit, has been drafted in to help the Health Secretary drive down the waiting lists. Under the plans, Sir Michael will head up the first delivery unit run jointly by the NHS and the Department for Health (DHSC), which will focus on recovery and raising the performance of the health service after the pandemic. The unit is seen as a central part of Mr Javid’s strategy and comes alongside a delivery plan to deal with the backlog of people waiting for routine operations and procedures. The new blueprint will be set out later this month.” – Sunday Telegraph

Coronavirus 2) Has PM’s early ‘Freedom Day’ gamble paid off? Ministers privately believe that falling UK Covid cases – and rising cases on the continent – are down to decision to release lockdown rules earlier than other European countries

“Ministers privately believe that falling Covid infection levels in the UK – and rising cases on the continent – amount to a vindication of Boris Johnson’s decision to release lockdown restrictions earlier than European countries. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that about one in 60 people in England had Covid in the week to November 6 – down from one in 50 the previous week. Government sources are pointing to the contrast with Germany, which is in the grip of a devastating fourth wave with the number of confirmed daily cases quadrupling in a month. The Netherlands has returned to a three-week partial lockdown after its prime minister, Mark Rutte, said: ‘The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated everywhere.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • Testing firm can profit from sale of Covid swabs – Sunday Times

Comment:

Coronavirus 3) Millions to be offered booster jabs earlier to protect NHS over winter

“The government is to allow people to have their Covid booster jab after five months, a month sooner than under the current policy, in an effort to help stop the NHS becoming overwhelmed this winter. This major change to the vaccination programme could see ministers flouting the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which recommends that people wait until six months after their second dose before having their top-up in order to maximise protection. It is unclear whether the policy would apply only in England or across the four home nations. It means millions of Britons will be able to have their booster sooner than expected to reduce the risk of hospitals failing to cope with large numbers of people becoming seriously ill with Covid during the winter months, when they always come under intense pressure.” – The Observer

Red wall commuters to get rail revolution

“Nearly £100 billion will be spent on England’s railways outside London, including the construction of three new high-speed lines that will cut journey times in half. The investment, due to be announced later this week, is intended to make good on Boris Johnson’s “levelling-up” pledge — despite confirmation that the 120-mile eastern leg of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds will be scrapped. Rather than focusing on quicker links from northern England to the capital, a 20-year programme of new lines and upgrades will halve journey times between cities such as Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield. For example, it will take 27 minutes, rather than 72 minutes, to travel from Birmingham to Nottingham. To get to Birmingham from Manchester will take 40 minutes, rather than 90 minutes.” – Sunday Times

Zahawi: Hounding out of Kathleen Stock over transphobia row is ‘terrible stain’ on Sussex university

“The resignation of a professor amid a row with trans activists was a “terrible stain” on the history of Sussex University, the Education Secretary has said. Nadhim Zahawi said that the treatment of Prof Kathleen Stock, an expert in analytic philosophy who quit her university after facing death threats and accusations of transphobia, was “horrific”. Speaking for the first time about the row that has engulfed the university, he said: “It was unacceptable that a scholar of her calibre should be hounded out of university. For me that was just a terrible stain on the history of that great university.” Last month, Prof Stock announced that she was leaving Sussex University, explaining that it had been a “very difficult few years” and she hoped other institutions in similar situations could learn from this. Mr Zahawi said vice-chancellors must ensure that academics were supported by their institutions.” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

Ministers plan official account of the Troubles amid fears IRA supporters are rewriting history

“An official history of The Troubles will be commissioned under government plans, amid fears the narrative of the conflict is being distorted by republicans. The Telegraph has learnt that Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, has drawn up proposals that would establish a new historical record spanning from the Sixties through to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. According to multiple sources, the plans, which are being discussed with Downing Street, would help to guard against what some ministers believe to be creeping revisionism around the role of the IRA and the atrocities it committed. It would also focus on the role of the British Government and Armed Forces in the 30-year sectarian conflict, including the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972, when 13 civilians were shot dead by troops.” – Sunday Telegraph

Fran Unsworth tells BBC staff: Get used to hearing views you don’t like

“The BBC’s head of news told LGBT staff that they must get used to hearing views they disagreed with as the corporation faced accusations from its own employees that it was “institutionally transphobic”. Fran Unsworth, who is due to leave the corporation in January, was speaking on an often-hostile Zoom call with the BBC’s Pride network on Friday morning. The meeting, in which Tim Davie, the director-general, also tried to reassure staff that he was concerned about LGBT inclusivity, was held in the wake of the corporation’s departure from Stonewall’s diversity champions scheme, under which it paid for advice and assessment from the charity. Critics of the BBC’s participation in the scheme argued that it ran contrary to its commitment to impartiality because of Stonewall’s lobbying on transgender issues.” – Sunday Times

Home Office chiefs spark anger after ordering staff to celebrate ‘Transgender Parents Day’

“Home Office chiefs have sparked anger by sending out an email reminding staff to celebrate Transgender Parents Day. Shocked workers were informed that November 7 was the day ‘we celebrate all parents of transgender children’ – an event first marked in 2009 in the US as an alternative to the traditional Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. The lengthy email, sent across the Government department’s computer system on November 5, also included a personal account by a mother whose son transitioned from male to female at 22. It was sent by Caroline Wild, co-deputy chairwoman of the Home Office’s Spectrum Committee, which was set up to support the department’s LGBT+ staff. She is both transgender and a parent.” – Sunday Telegraph

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