Published:

 Johnson refuses to apologise for scandal as he ‘goes behind in polls’…

“Squirming Boris Johnson today refused to apologise for his botched bid to save sleaze-mired Owen Paterson – as he fell behind in the polls. Speaking for the first time since abandoning a controversial plan to protect the now departed Tory MP, the PM tried to draw a line under the row. On a hospital visit to Northumberland he said: “Frankly I don’t think there’s much more to be said about that particular case, I really don’t.” He declined multiple times to say sorry for attempting to support Mr Paterson by overhauling Parliament’s entire standards system with a Tory-stacked panel. Mr Paterson was found in breach on rules by using his position as an MP to benefit two companies that paid him more than £100,000 a year.” – The Sun

  • Anger as Prime Minister skips sleaze showdown in Commons – The Times
  • Tory frustration explodes as MPs launch furious attacks on each other – Daily Express
  • Red-wall Conservatives turn on Paterson’s backers in Commons – The Times

More:

  • Minister ‘regrets’ bid to change standards rules to spare MP – The Guardian
  • Counter-terror police will be ‘urged to investigate’ vandal attacks targeting Tory MPs – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

…and leaves door open for ban on MPs taking second jobs as consultants

“Boris Johnson has left open the door to a ban on MPs taking second jobs as political consultants under proposed reforms to Commons rules. The Prime Minister was quizzed on Monday about whether the House should block its members conducting consultancy jobs on the side. “I think all those kinds of things are issues that the Speaker’s panel, or whatever he sets up, is going to have a look at,” he said, hinting that the Government could be open to the move. His intervention came after a Cabinet minister indicated her support for the proposal. Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Sky News that the “question of MPs who have jobs that involve lobbying should be looked at again”. The International Trade Secretary stressed that she was opposed to a blanket ban on MPs having additional roles altogether, however…” – Daily Telegraph

  • At least a quarter of Tory MPs have second jobs, earning £5m a year – The Guardian
  • Cox voted from Caribbean island 4,000 miles away – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Voters would be repulsed by more of the same medicine – full-time politicians – which already leaves them retching

Now ‘Paterson ally’ faces ban after ‘insincere’ apology to MPs

“Another disgraced Tory MP is facing a Commons ban over a clash with the sleaze watchdog. Daniel Kawczynski – a parliamentary neighbour and political ally of scandal-hit Owen Paterson – was ordered to say sorry after Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone found him guilty of bullying. He had ranted at parliamentary staffers when he could not join a virtual meeting, then made baseless complaints about them when drunk. But he admitted on the same day as his apology that he did not mean it and was only going through the motions to avoid being suspended from the House. As a result of his insincere speech in the Commons chamber in June, Mr Kawczynski is under investigation again by Miss Stone for the second time in five months.” – Daily Mail

  • Tory MP faces bankruptcy over unpaid taxes and may have to step down – The Guardian

>Today: Tina Stowell in Comment: Arrogance is every MP and peer’s biggest enemy

Controversial housebuilding targets to be ‘torn up’ by Gove

“Michael Gove has indicated that he is preparing to rip up controversial housing targets that have triggered a backlash from Tory backbench MPs and grassroots supporters. The Housing Secretary said that he is looking at how “housing need” is calculated, amid fears it is based on out-of-date assumptions. In September, more than 60 Tory MPs signed a letter to Mr Gove and the Prime Minister asking that the upcoming Planning Bill be given pre-legislative scrutiny, so it can attract the widest possible support. Backbenchers, led by Bob Seely and Theresa Villiers, have been warning about the impact of large scale housing targets on communities where there is not enough infrastructure or land to cope. The news comes after Boris Johnson signalled an about-turn on the Government’s planning reforms, saying that “beautiful” homes should in future only be built “on brownfield sites in places where homes make sense”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Housing Secretary aims to scrap need for leaseholders to foot cladding bill – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Who needs cars, hey?

Delay mandatory vaccines for care home staff or face ‘mass exodus’, ministers told

“Care home bosses are calling on the Government to issue an “11th-hour reprieve” to delay mandatory Covid-19 vaccines, amid fears 60,000 staff will be sacked this week. The grace period for care home staff receiving their second Covid-19 jab ends on Thursday. From then on, unvaccinated employees will be unable to work without a medical exemption, meaning that managers will be forced to sack them. In contrast, a mandatory vaccination policy for NHS staff will not come into force until April 2022. According to data released last week by NHS England, it is estimated that around 58,000 care home staff will not have been vaccinated by this week’s deadline… The recent NHS England data shows that around 89.4 per cent of staff working in older age care homes had received two vaccine doses as of October 31.” – Daily Telegraph

  • All frontline NHS England workers must get both Covid jabs by next spring, the Government is to announce – Daily Mail

More:

  • NHS chief ridiculed over claims of ‘14 times as many Covid admissions as last year’ – Daily Telegraph

Ministers ‘kept in dark’ on Stonewall diversity scheme

“Officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office signed off its membership of the Stonewall workplace diversity scheme during the summer behind ministers’ backs. The department joined the Diversity Champions scheme in July, without ministerial approval. Stonewall says that its scheme offers employers guidance on topics such as LGBT pronouns and gender-neutral spaces, to improve workplace diversity. Critics argue that it is used as a lobbying vehicle. Several departments and public bodies, including the media regulator Ofcom, have quit the scheme in recent months over concerns about impartiality and value for money. It is understood that senior officials at the Foreign Office signed off a decision to join the scheme in July without consulting Dominic Raab, then the foreign secretary, or other ministers.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • The curse of the tiny fridge – Henry Hill, The Critic
  • There is no spiking epidemic – Tom Chivers, UnHerd
  • Welsh GCSE reforms amount to educational vandalism on an epic scale – David James, CapX
  • The problem with the ‘Kathleen Stock’ amendment – Andrew Tettenborn, The Spectator