Johnson pleads with Russians to seek out ‘the truth’ of the war in Ukraine…

“Boris Johnson last night urged the Russian people to bypass Kremlin internet censors and learn the truth about war crimes in Ukraine for themselves. In a hard-hitting address partly spoken in Russian, the PM attempted to drive a wedge between Moscow tyrant Vladimir Putin and his people. He warned: “Your president stands accused of committing war crimes. But I cannot believe he’s acting in your name.” And Mr Johnson urged Putin’s population to download a VPN app on their phones to get around strict controls on the Russian internet, saying: “Don’t just take my word for it.”All you need is VPN connection to access independent information from anywhere in the world.  And when you find the truth, share it.”” – The Sun

  • Western anger over the killing of civilian grows – The Guardian
  • Zelensky calls for new Nuremburg Trials – The Daily Telegraph 
  • Russia’s behaviour prove they are animals – Douglas Murray, The Sun
  • Putin must be treated as a war criminal – Editorial, Daily Express
  • Ukraine’s President was right to highlight the UN’s systematic failings – Editorial, The Times 

Truss suggests sanctions on Russia are ‘crippling’ it, as she pushes for more…

“’Crippling’ Western sanctions are returning the Russian economy to a mess last seen in the communist era, Liz Truss said today as she urged the allies to tighten the screw on the Putin regime. The Foreign Secretary spoke after meeting the Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau and PM Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw as she pushes for ‘maximum’ sanctions. Ms Truss is expected to push for harder action at a G7 meeting on Thursday, while Boris Johnson will encourage Germany to set a date for phasing out Russian gas when he meets Chancellor Scholz in Downing Street on Friday.” – The Daily Mail

  • Sanctions wipe ‘£266 billion’ from ‘Putin’s war chest’ – Daily Express
  • Putin’s daughters are added to list of sanctioned – The Daily Mail
  • Truss applies pressure to the EU… – Daily Express
  • …as the bloc edges towards Russian coal ban – The Daily Mail

…and argues with Patel over Ukrainian refugee visas

“Priti Patel has locked horns with Liz Truss over clearing the visa backlog for Ukrainian refugees, a report has claimed. The Brexit-backing Home Secretary clashed with the Foreign Secretary after Ms Patel was said to have asked Ms Truss’ team for staff to help process visas. Two Government sources said Ms Patel requested extra “manpower” from Ms Truss’ ranks. According to the Times, the Foreign Office said it was fully stretched as it has been trying to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and declined to offer staff to support the Home Office. However, it has reportedly offered more specialised computer terminals used to process migrants.” – Daily Express

  • Peers demand a veto on a plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda – The Times
  • The shambolic Home Office is shaming Britain – Editorial, The Sun

The UK will partner with the US and Australia in developing hypersonic missiles

“Britain, the US and Australia will work together on the development of hypersonic weapons and the technology to shoot them down after Russia claimed to have tested the weapons in Ukraine. The landmark Aukus security pact will be expanded to include co-operation on the advanced high speed weapons, and the sharing of electronic warfare and cyber capabilities. Hiding key targets and the development of laser weapons, which could disrupt the missile’s flight path, could form part of the plans for anti-hypersonic weaponry, British officials said.” – The Times

The Prime Minister announces a doubling of hydrogen targets

“Boris Johnson will announce plans tomorrow to double the government’s target for low-carbon hydrogen as it seeks an alternative to gas fuel. The prime minister will place a “big bet” on hydrogen in the government’s energy strategy by increasing the target from 5GW capacity to 10GW by 2030. Ministers hope hydrogen can be used to heat a third of UK homes by 2050. The government is expected to take a decision on whether hydrogen is safe to use for heating homes in 2026, with it being used for industry and public transport in the meantime.” – The Times

  • Ministers refuse to disclose Partygate pictures taken by Downing Street photographers – The Guardian
  • It is time to curb imports of Russia’s gas – Martin Wolf, The Financial Times

Sunak blocks ‘green homes plan’ designed to lower energy bills

“Plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to reduce bills by making homes more energy efficient have been blocked by the Treasury. The Telegraph can reveal that Number 10 and the Business Secretary’s team were pushing for an expansion of the Energy Company Obligation (Eco) scheme to be included in Thursday’s energy security strategy. The Eco scheme uses money raised from a levy on energy bills to pay for home energy efficiency improvements for the poorest households. The proposal was for the Treasury to put in about £200 million a year extra of taxpayer money, so that the £1 billion scheme could be expanded beyond people receiving benefits.” – The Daily Telegraph

  • World may be entering a ‘new inflationary era’ – The Guardian

>Today: Ryan Bourne’s Column: Fiscal drag remains the Tories’ stealth tax of choice 

Kwarteng argues Putin has proved the need for fracking, as he announces a review

“The UK government has ordered a scientific review into fracking just over two years after imposing an effective ban on the controversial technique, as it insisted that “all possible” methods of producing energy domestically should be kept on the table following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, on Tuesday said he had asked the British Geological Survey (BGS) to assess whether there had been any new developments in the method used to extract shale gas that might lead to the lifting of a moratorium in England, imposed in 2019 on safety grounds.” – The Financial Times

  • Polling suggests almost half of voters are in favour of lifting the fracking ban – The Sun
  • Fracking ‘unlikely’ to be major earthquake risk, expert claims – Daily Express
  • Energy prices to remain high into 2023 – The I
  • UK food industry may face ‘permanent shrinkage’ – The Financial Times
  • New nuclear power stations could be built on the sites of old ones – The I

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Fracking? No thanks. Onshore wind? Certainly not. Nuclear power? We’ll get back to you. Why energy security is hard to deliver.

LGBT conference ‘to be cancelled’ after more than 100 groups pull out

“Plans for London to host an international conference on LGBT issues were in tatters last night amid the row over transgender conversion therapy. A government source said the Safe To be Me summit, originally scheduled for June, is set to be scrapped after more than 100 LGBT and HIV groups pulled out over ministers’ failure to ban trans conversion therapy. The admission came as Boris Johnson’s LGBT business champion Iain Anderson quit his post over the issue. His resignation follows attempts to introduce a legal ban on the abhorrent practice of claiming to ‘convert’ gay people to heterosexuality.” – The Daily Mail

  • Trans MP Jamie Wallis ‘bitterly disappointed’ with the Government over conversion therapy row – The I

ITV ‘plotting takeover’ of Channel 4

“ITV is poised to launch a takeover bid for Channel 4 as it attempts to forge a British super-broadcaster capable of competing with the might of Netflix. Britain’s biggest commercial station is understood to have told ministers that it would be interested in making an offer for its state-backed rival, which is to be privatised by 2024 with an estimated price tag of around £1bn. ITV is understood to have taken advice from its bankers Credit Suisse and Robey Warshaw in preparation for the start of a formal sale process. No bid has been officially made and the company could yet decide it does not want to go ahead.” – The Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson warned the plans are ‘opposite to levelling up’ – The I
  • Knight asks whether privatisation is ‘revenge’ for Brexit – The Times
  • Hunt ‘uneasy’ about the privatisation – The Sun
  • What’s the point of the Government’s move? – The Financial Times

>Yesterday: Tory Diary: The sale of Channel 4 is yet another missed opportunity to drive real change 

Almost 3,000 ‘council fat cats’ earning more than £100,000 a year

“Shock figures showed 739 officials were on pay and perks of more than £150,000 in 2020, up by 46 on the previous year. Some 234 were on a salary alone that topped Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s £157,372 for the year. Research showed the number of officials who received more than £100,000 increased during the first year of the pandemic by 119, taking the total to 2,921. The outgoing boss of a failing London council was given a £613,895 package despite the authority being effectively declared bankrupt soon after. Almost all council tax bills have risen across the UK this year despite the soaring cost of living pressures families are facing.” – Daily Express

News in Brief:

  • Putin, Bucha, and the tale of two Russias – Nigel Jones, The Spectator 
  • The resurrection of Marine Le Pen – Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, UnHerd 
  • A privatised Channel 4 will flourish – Matthew Lesh, Cap X 
  • Playing pipeline politics – Pieter Cleppe, The Critic 
  • Privatising Channel 4 is bad Conservatism – James Ball, The New Statesman