Published:

Johnson reverses his standards overhaul after Paterson scandal…

“Downing Street has bowed to pressure and will completely reverse an overhaul of the standards system voted for by MPs last week. It confirmed the U-turn last night after Boris Johnson attempted to spare Owen Paterson from a 30-day suspension for paid lobbying. Paterson was forced to resign amid public outcry after the prime minister set up a new committee with a Tory majority in an attempt to quash the MP for North Shropshire’s suspension. The government said that it would lay a motion on Monday that would rescind the formation of the new committee, rubber-stamp the original report into Paterson’s lobbying and acknowledge his resignation. It is expected to pass without a vote.” – The Times

  • Laurence Robertson: Tory MP paid by betting group spoke out on gambling reforms – The Times
  • Daniel Kawczynski: MP who intimidated staff faces new sanctions – The Times

Comment:

Political sketch:

>Today:

… as Cox is accused of flouting Commons rules

“A Conservative grandee has been referred to the Commons anti-sleaze watchdog after appearing to use his parliamentary office to defend the British Virgin Islands in a corruption case brought by the UK government. Sir Geoffrey Cox QC, the former attorney-general, has been paid more than £1 million in the past 12 months to work as a lawyer for clients including the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in a legal inquiry started by the Foreign Office. Cox, the highest-earning MP, was in the Caribbean to defend BVI ministers in April, May and June this year, using procedures introduced during the pandemic to cast his ballot in the Commons by proxy while abroad. Amid outrage at that arrangement, video of a hearing in September has emerged showing him participating remotely, from what appears to be his Commons office.” – The Times

  • Rayner seeks investigation into Covid tests contract – The Times

Cop26: PM implores leaders to pull out all the stops to settle on deal

“Boris Johnson will today urge international negotiators to “pull out all the stops” in an attempt to reach an ambitious climate change agreement in the final days of the Cop26 conference. The prime minister is due to travel to Glasgow for the second time today, where he will hold meetings with environment ministers from some of the key delegations at the meeting. He will be joined by António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, in a last-ditch attempt to get countries to make concessions on the key sticking points in the talks. China and Saudi Arabia have been blocking attempts to beef up the transparency and inspection regime designed to provide independent assurances that countries are meeting the pledges that they make.” – The Times

  • We should not feel guilty about using aircraft, says Shapps – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘I’ll get the train home’: Green council leader apologises for Cop26 flight – The Times

Comment:

>Today:

Henry Hill: The Government will pay at the ballot box for watering down planning reform

“The United Kingdom needs millions of houses and it needs them in London and the South East. The Conservatives’ efforts to try to convince themselves this isn’t the case are getting desperate. When Michael Gove told the Housing Select Committee that the Government needs to look again at how the numbers behind its planning targets were devised, he wasn’t responding to any new data or evidence. No, it was simply the ship of state tacking to the political imperative of appeasing backbench Tory MPs whose constituents think their leafy towns and villages are full. As bargains go, it is a horribly short-sighted one. The demographic trends being driven by the housing crisis put the future of the Conservatives’ coalition in serious danger. Young professionals who a generation ago would have been acquiring property and having children – taking on the responsibilities that typically put people rightwards – are unable to do so across much of the country.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Mandatory Coronavirus vaccines could cause exodus of healthcare workers

“Mandatory coronavirus vaccines could cause 123,000 staff to leave health and social care, government analysis has revealed – amid calls for patients to be told their medic’s jab status. The Health Secretary announced on Tuesday that Covid jabs will become mandatory for NHS frontline staff, but not until April. An impact report estimates that even then, around 88,000 health workers – including 73,000 NHS staff – are likely to remain unvaccinated, along with 35,000 social care workers. The government analysis said this could “may lead to reduced or delayed services”, with the system “currently stretched with an elective waiting list of 5.72 million and high levels of vacancies”. Campaigners for the elderly warned on Tuesday that delaying the move until April could cost untold lives, by allowing the virus to spread through hospitals this winter.” – Daily Telegraph

  • France to make Covid booster mandatory for over-65s to access public spaces – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • The idea that the Covid vaccine has been developed to turn us into zombie slaves for Bill Gates is highly unlikely… I won’t clap for anti-vaxx carers, Sarah Vine – Daily Mail

Dublin preparing emergency plans for EU-UK trade war

“Dublin is preparing emergency plans for a UK-EU trade war sparked by Britain overriding the Northern Ireland Protocol, Leo Varadkar has warned, The Tánaiste, or deputy prime minister, of Ireland said his government was dusting down no deal Brexit plans prepared in case the UK left the EU without a withdrawal agreement or trade deal. “We’re making preparations. We had a meeting yesterday of the Cabinet sub committee on Brexit essentially to dust down and restart our contingency preparations should we get into difficulty,” Mr Varadkar told the RTE broadcaster. There is building expectation that the UK will trigger Article 16 of the protocol and unilaterally override parts of the treaty imposing checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Germany vows to prevent trade war between Britain and the EU – The Sun

Fourth by-election looms as Afriyie faces bankruptcy

“A Conservative MP is facing bankruptcy proceedings over unpaid taxes, prompting concern among the party that it could face a fourth by-election. HMRC has filed a petition for bankruptcy against Adam Afriyie relating to his past business interests, according to court records seen by The Guardian. Afriyie, who has represented Windsor since 2005, said that he is working towards reaching a settlement with HMRC and will pay any tax that is due. MPs who are declared bankrupt have to step aside if a bankruptcy restrictions order is made against them. These can be imposed if someone refuses to co-operate or had hidden assets. Afriyie, 56, was brought up on a council estate in south London. He set up Connect Support Services, an IT firm, and gained a reputation as a successful entrepreneur.” – The Times

Universities 1) Explain to Jewish students why you took money from the Mosley family fortune, Zahawi tells Oxford bosses

“Oxford should explain to Jewish students why it accepted money from the Mosley family fortune, the Education Secretary has said. Nadhim Zahawi warned that antisemitism is a ‘present danger’ and ‘not simply a historic debate’. The university was given £6 million from a charitable trust set up by motor-racing tycoon Max Mosley from the inheritance he received from his father, Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, the Telegraph reported. The newspaper also revealed two colleges, St Peter’s College and Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) previously accepted more than £6.3 million from the Mosley family trust. The Sunday Telegraph added Imperial College was given almost £2.5 million from the trust, and University College London £500,000.” – Daily Mail

Universities 2) Kathleen Stock: Exiled academic joins free-speech college The University of Austin

“A playwright, historian and academics are founding a “free-speech” university that has recruited Professor Kathleen Stock. The University of Austin in Texas is being created by Professor Niall Ferguson, the historian, and David Mamet, author of Glengarry Glen Ross, with advisers including Professor Steven Pinker, the Harvard cognitive scientist, and Professor Larry Summers, former president of the university. Stock, a philosopher who was last month forced to quit her job at Sussex University by protesters who accused her of transphobia, said this week that she would join the university but would not be moving to America. The university hopes to launch a “forbidden courses” summer schedule followed by its first graduate programme next year in entrepreneurship and leadership, with undergraduate courses starting in 2024.” – The Times

Comment:

Criminals escape deportation flight after last-minute appeals

“Dozens of foreign criminals due to be deported to Jamaica today were removed from a chartered flight at the last minute after last-ditch appeals from human rights lawyers. A father of four who swallowed razor blades to avoid being deported on a similar flight in August was one of 50 offenders who the Home Office originally booked on the flight. The man, in his thirties, was convicted of actual bodily harm (ABH) but claimed he would die of destitution if he was removed to Jamaica because he does not know anyone there, having come to the UK as a child. He was one of four individuals still due to be deported last night who migrated to the UK before they were 12 years old. Another arrived when he was aged just three months and faced being deported to a country that he had no memory of.” – The Times

News in brief: