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Britain could get seven new nuclear power stations by 2050

“Britain could build up to seven new nuclear power stations as part of a radical expansion of homegrown energy following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the Business Secretary has said. In an interview with The Telegraph, Kwasi Kwarteng said “there is a world where we have six or seven sites in the UK” by 2050 as part of a push for self-reliance. Ministers have agreed to set up a development vehicle, Great British Nuclear, to identify sites, cut through red tape to speed up the planning process and bring together private firms to run each site. As a first step, Boris Johnson is preparing to announce plans to significantly expand the existing commitment to back one new large-scale nuclear power station by 2024.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Lego style nuclear plant made by module – Mail on Sunday
  • Government in talks to build ‘hundreds’ of mini-reactors across UK – Sunday Telegraph
  • Prime Minister wants ‘colossal’ wind farm in Irish Sea – Sunday Times
  • Fracking ban set to be reviewed after pressure from Tory MPs – Sunday Telegraph
  • Protesters continue to block UK oil terminals despite more than 100 arrests – The Observer

Johnson rows back on planning and courts in effort to avoid Tory split…

“Boris Johnson is to drop key parts of his legislative programme as he attempts to hold his party together. The prime minister is expected to confirm in next month’s Queen’s Speech that a bill to overhaul planning rules and another on rights to challenge government policy in court are no longer on the legislative timetable. Although he will go ahead with five bills “to deliver on the opportunities of Brexit”, Whitehall sources say key proposals have been stripped out due to wrangling between government departments. Other plans expected to be postponed include giving workers a right to flexible employment. Government insiders say the changes are necessary because the timetable for passing laws has slipped since ministers’ focus has been diverted to the pandemic.” – Sunday Times

  • Prime Minister feeling the heat as he tries to save his domestic agenda – Sunday Times
  • Johnson is an asset in the local elections, but on rival parties’ leaflets – The Observer

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. It’s a thumbs down to Sunak’s Spring Statement, and a thumbs up to Johnson’s war handling.

…as he’s urged to appoint ex-Chancellors as advisers to tackle cost of living crisis

“Boris Johnson wants to set up a task force to tackle the scourge of rising prices. The PM is taking advice from experts old enough to recall the last time Britain was in the grip of raging inflation. Senior Tories have urged him to appoint ex-Chancellors Norman Lamont, Ken Clarke and Nigel Lawson as advisers. The “three wise men” have a combined age of 250 and first-hand experience of inflation-busting measures that work. No 10 risks being seen to undermine Rishi Sunak by seeking external advice. But aides have pointed out that the Chancellor was still at school when Britain last faced an inflation crisis more than 30 years ago. And as the average age of Treasury officials is 27, there are few in his office who were alive at the time.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Tories fear poll disaster over high taxes – The Observer
  • Fruit and veg prices could rise by 30 per cent – Sun on Sunday
  • Protests over soaring energy prices take place across UK – The Observer
  • Agnew: Seize back billions stolen in fraudulent Covid loans to reduce cost-of-living burden – Sunday Express

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Cummings accuses Prime Minister of encouraging attacks on junior staff over No 10 parties

“Dominic Cummings has accused Boris Johnson of encouraging attacks on junior civil servants over the “partygate” scandal in order to protect himself and his wife, Carrie. The prime minister’s onetime senior aide said senior officials had “turned a blind eye” to his behaviour. He referred to briefing against one No 10 private secretary, Hannah Young. It has emerged that her leaving party on 18 June led to the first fines announced this week. Reports after some of the parties involving civil servants included a staff member breaking a swing in the garden belonging to the Johnsons’ son Wilfred, a suitcase of alcohol being purchased from a nearby Co-op and one staff member acting as a DJ. A total of 20 fixed-penalty notices have been issued to staff who broke lockdown rules.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Party on Commons terrace at the same time as Downing Street – Sunday Times

Patel has ‘torn strips’ off her senior civil servants over Ukrainian visa scheme chaos

“Furious Priti Patel is said to have ‘torn strips’ off her civil servants over the slow progress of the visa scheme for Ukrainian refugees hoping to come to the UK. Relations between the Home Secretary and her team are said to be at an ‘all-time low’ following a recent meeting in which she is understood to have given an excoriating assessment of her team’s delivery of the scheme so far. The Home Office initially predicted it would hand out 10,000 visas in the first week of the Homes For Ukraine scheme, but fewer than 5,000 visas have so far been granted since it began on March 14. ‘The Home Secretary has torn strips off the senior team,’ said a source. But sources close to Ms Patel said last night they and others who were at the board meeting did not ‘recognise the characterisation’ of the event.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Harrington promises those fleeing Ukraine won’t wait longer than two days – Sunday  Times

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  • Johnson wants to give Ukraine anti-ship missiles to target and destroy Russian warships – Mail on Sunday
  • Starmer ally said he’d be ‘quite happy’ for Russia to sabotage our nukes – Mail on Sunday

Javid ‘backtracks’ on private hospitals’ role in clearing Covid backlog

“Sajid Javid has been accused of backtracking on a pledge to give private hospital chiefs a formal role in discussions about how to deal with the Covid backlog throughout the country. Senior private health sector sources said the Government was “all over the place” in its approach to independent hospitals, warning that the about-turn raised fresh questions about whether the NHS would provide value for money for the National Insurance increase taking effect this week. It risked “undermining” the Health Secretary’s pledge that private hospitals would play a key role in reducing waiting lists resulting from the pandemic, a source said. The official NHS plan for tackling the backlog, published in February, said elective care boards had been established across the country “to bring together local providers, including the independent sector, to agree priorities and solve operational challenges”.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • We must challenge our leaders when they lazily deify the NHS – Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

Women whose husbands transition will not be trapped in same-sex partnerships, Truss pledges

“Women whose husbands want to become transgender will retain the right to veto their partner’s transition so they are not trapped in same-sex marriages, Liz Truss has pledged. Ministers have faced growing pressure to amend divorce laws to allow a husband freely to switch gender without their wife’s consent and stay married. The current law demands a new marriage contract is put in place if one partner legally changes gender and also requires the non-transitioning spouse to agree to continuing the marriage before their partner can be granted a Gender Recognition Certificate. Trans activists have branded the process akin to a ‘spousal veto’ to someone transitioning. But Ms Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities, has guaranteed wives would continue to be able to veto their husband’s gender reassignment, to save women from being locked into a non-consensual same-sex marriage.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Starmer is doomed if he listens to woke advisers over legions of female voters – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

Tory MP suspended after sex and drugs allegations

“The picture instantly conveys the mismatch between his public persona and his behaviour behind closed doors. David Warburton, the Conservative MP for Somerton and Frome, sits in a dimly lit room with a whisky on the rocks, his eyes dazed and his chin resting on his fist. In the foreground sitting atop an upturned baking tray: four lines of cocaine. He is said to have snorted “line after line after line” of the drug at the London home of a younger woman in the early hours of February 1. He had met her through politics and allegedly insisted on coming over, despite evidence that she was drunk. Hours earlier Warburton, a 56-year-old married father of two and former businessman, had asked the woman to order the class A drugs on his behalf, telling her he would pay for them.” – Sunday Times

  • Disgraced ex-Commons Speaker Bercow earns £25k from video greetings – Sun on Sunday
  • Former mayor found guilty of electoral fraud is caught up in new vote-rigging storm – Mail on Sunday

Cronyism fears as businessman is named head of Channel 4

Shield“Ministers have been accused of another case of cronyism over the appointment of the new Channel 4 chair. Veteran businessman Sir Ian Cheshire has been chosen to oversee the broadcaster, which has been beset with rumours that it faces privatisation. Cheshire, former chief executive of Kingfisher, the B&Q owner, served on a business taskforce for former prime minister David Cameron. He also oversaw the selection process under which Tory donor Ben Goldsmith was appointed to the board of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He is chairman of Goldsmith’s investment firm. Cheshire’s appointment was greeted with surprise and concern from leading broadcasting figures. Two acclaimed former Channel 4 names, news anchor Jon Snow and Dorothy Byrne, the former head of news and current affairs, were among those to call on the new chair to protect the public-service remit of the 40-year-old commercial channel.” – The Observer

  • BBC Three’s £80m re-launch sees less than 50,000 tune in for flagship shows – Mail on Sunday

Lord Levy fundraising again to help fill Labour’s coffers

“Sir Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser is helping to tap up donors as he seeks to fill the Labour Party’s coffers in time for the next election. Lord Levy, who became known as “Lord Cashpoint” after raising so much money for the party under Blair’s tenure as prime minister, is helping to build the party’s election war chest amid fears that the Conservatives will outspend Labour. The Labour peer, 77, who stepped back from his fundraising activities in 2007 when Blair left Downing Street, said he wanted to help Labour to “level the playing field” with the Conservatives. Levy raised more than £100 million for the Labour Party between 1994 and 2007, but not without controversy. He secured a £1 million donation to Labour from the Formula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, although the money was later repaid to avoid accusations that it had been used to “buy” policies.” – Sunday Times