Newslinks for Sunday 16th June 2019

Pressure gathers on Johnson over Brexit policy – but his bandwagon rolls on. Gove and Javid pitch for posts under him as Mundell declares for him…

“Two of Boris Johnson’s rivals — Michael Gove and Sajid Javid — used interviews with The Sunday Times to issue coded job applications…Last night he won the backing of the Scottish secretary, David Mundell, who voted for Hancock in the first round. In a third interview, Dominic Raab, the former Brexit secretary, outlined his plans to slash immigration with an Australian-style points-based system. He insisted was not angling for a job but promoting an immigration plan similar to Johnson’s. It will be seen by some as a pitch for the role of home secretary.” – Sunday Times

…And so does McVey…

“These are the policies we need if we are to win back the voters we lost in droves at the EU elections. That’s why I am delighted that Boris Johnson has today committed to this Blue Collar Conservatism agenda. I will wholeheartedly support him in his bid to become the leader of our great party and country, and I look forward to working with him to deliver for Blue Collar Conservatives all over the country. He has promised to deliver Brexit on October 31, deal or no deal, and has shown time and time again that he is a dynamic leader, capable of building a strong team around him that will deliver on his promises.” – Sunday Telegraph

Johnson campaign under scrutiny

“The former Tory Chief Whip faced claims that he was resorting to ‘threats’ against fellow MPs to force them to back Mr Johnson. That allegedly included telling former Ministers there was no way back into office unless they backed Boris in the first round of voting. Mr Williamson was also accused of trying to scare colleagues into the Johnson camp by showing them dire polling figures showing they would lose their seats at the next General Election unless Boris was their leader. He also warned MPs not backing Boris that they will ‘crash against a wave of inevitability.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • Other contenders line up against Johnson “coronation”… – Observer
  • …As does the man himself – Sunday Telegraph
  • Brexit Party still leads the polls – Sun on Sunday
  • Channel 4 debate looms this evening, but without the front-runner – Sunday Express
  • Observer claims national despair, while Johnson surges – Observer
  • Pro-No Deal Tories prepare to bring him down if Britain isn’t out of the EU by October 31 – Sun on Sunday
  • Anti-No Deal Tories prepare to bring him down if Britain is out of the EU by October 31 Sunday Express
  • Clarke threatens to vote to bring the Government down if necessary – The Guardian
  • Poll: Johnson most likely to win an election for the Conservatives – Sunday Times
  • Varadkar pitches in against Johnson and others on the backstop – Observer
  • 30 Conservative peers threaten to quit if Johnson contrives a No Deal Brexit – Sunday Times
  • Team Johnson 1) Lister, Walden, Crosby prepare to return – Sunday Times
  • Team Johnson 2) It flouts the Curse of Portillo as it bunkers down in Lord North Street – Mail on Sunday
  • And here are those Johnsons in full, as his half-sister says that “I have steered clear of any professional comparisons with my xanthic-haired, Roman-nosed, Latin-spouting relations” – Sunday Times
  • Positively-briefed “Who is Carrie Symonds?” mini-profile – Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson defended by estranged spokesman over 7/7 families claim – Mail on Sunday
  • Symonds style makeover – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Why a brief membership stage of this leadership contest is right for the country and the Conservatives

Sun on Sunday: How would Johnson negotiate a successful EU deal by October 31?

“The former Foreign Secretary has himself acknowledged that the very survival of the Tory party depends on Britain quitting by October 31, deal or no deal. n his own catch phrase, “If you kick the can, you kick the bucket”. But he has also assured Remainer supporters that he believes that he can secure a bold new deal that will command sufficient support in the House. Meanwhile, EU negotiators believe that there is not enough time for Britain to hit the deadline and are planning for yet another extension. If Boris wins he will enter Downing Street on July 22, exactly 100 days before we are due to leave Europe. So how will he reshape Theresa May’s failed deal and resolve the row over the Northern Ireland backstop in a time-frame which is tighter than his waistband used to be? His answer to this question in Tuesday’s leadership debate will be fascinating. Over to you, Boris. No pressure! – Sun on Sunday Editorial

  • Make Rees-Mogg Party Chairman: we want more Old Etonians now – Andrew Gimson, Sun on Sunday
  • Make Gove Health Secretary, Javid Chancellor, Stewart Culture Secretary, and send Rudd back to the Home Office – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson must win over the blue collar brigade – Brendan O’Neill, Sun on Sunday
  • He must see his No Deal Brexit pledge through – Liam Halligan, Sunday Telegraph
  • The pluses and minuses of Johnson: he was an effective London Mayor, but he hates confrontation – Andrew Gilligan, Sunday Times
  • His tax cuts will work – Tom Welsh, Sunday Telegraph
  • Ditch dignity, Tories, and back Boris – Camilla Long, Sunday Times
  • Every brickbat boosts him – Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times
  • Yes, trust him to deliver Brexit – Priti Patel, Sunday Express
  • No, don’t trust him to deliver Brexit – Nigel Farage, Sunday Express
  • He is seducing Conservative MPs – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • Johnson is the favourite, but he may be three years too late – Sunday Times

Hunt works to keep his place as the main challenger to Johnson. He announces a new policy – help for families with elderly relatives

“The Foreign Secretary, who came second to Mr Johnson in last week’s ballot of Tory MPs, announces an eye-catching policy of offering financial incentives to families who build accommodation for elderly relatives – to help ease the growing social care and childcare burden on the taxpayer. With Mr Johnson dominating the contest ahead of the next round of voting on Tuesday, Environment Secretary Michael Gove – who came third last week – unveiled a policy to seize dormant bank account assets and use the funds to help communities take over their local football teams.” – Mail on Sunday

  • We must not stick two fingers up to the rest of the world – Jeremy Hunt, Mail on Sunday
  • Mrs Hunt on “Mr Big Rice”, i.e: Hunt himself – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday: Hunt interview – “I’m clearly second-placed now to Boris, and ready to argue that we have better choices as a country than he is offering.”

Operation Overhaul Hunt 1) “I get knocked down, but I get up again / You are never going to keep me down.” Gove declares himself the Chumbawamba Candidate. Can he overhaul Hunt on Tuesday?

“The environment secretary sought to channel Bill Clinton’s claim to be “the Comeback Kid” as he laid out plans to revive his campaign after his admission that he used cocaine 20 years ago. Gove argued that he, rather than Jeremy Hunt or Sajid Javid, is best qualified to take on Boris Johnson for the Tory crown. But he also sought to build bridges with Johnson and reassure Tory MPs that a contest between the two old Vote Leave rivals would not descend into a damaging psychodrama. And in a move that will be seen as a job application, Gove offered himself as the man who can solve Britain’s housing crisis, a key issue for Tory re-election hopes but not one that demands a great office of state to accomplish.” – Sunday Times

Operation Overhaul Hunt 2) Raab says: put me up against Johnson in the final

“Raab, who finished fourth in the first round of voting for the Tory party leadership, is privately warning MPs that Boris Johnson might implode in the glare of publicity. He said an “insurance policy” is needed in the form of a second hard Brexiteer so that neither Jeremy Hunt nor Sajid Javid sneaks through to win. Today Raab unveils an Australian-style points system that would assess migrants by their skills, qualifications, education, experience and salary. Those achieving the required number of points would enter a pool from which employers would select workers…Targeting Hunt, Michael Gove, Javid and Rory Stewart, he said: “They have all one way or another flirted with the idea of an extension.” – Sunday Times

Operation Overhaul Hunt 3) Javid says: put me up against Johnson in the final

“Sajid Javid has turned his guns on Jeremy Hunt, arguing that the foreign secretary cannot “look the public in the eye” and that it would be better if he himself took on Boris Johnson for the Tory leadership. Javid, the home secretary, said that because of the “incompetence” of Theresa May’s government in failing to deliver Brexit, voters were looking for a “change”, and that only he and Johnson — for different reasons — could represent them. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Javid said Hunt was “an asset to the party” but added: “I don’t think he represents change. He set out his store and I don’t think it represents a real choice for the party and doesn’t represent a choice for the country.” – Sunday Times

  • He will reach the voters that others can’t – Ruth Davidson and Matthew Elliott, Sunday Telegraph

Stewart says he could serve in a Johnson Cabinet after all

“Today, Mr Stewart rowed back on his previous fierce criticism of Mr Johnson.    Asked if he would allow Boris Johnson to serve in his cabinet, Mr Stewart said: ‘That would very much be a decision for him but I would be honoured to have him.  ‘He is an amazing communicator.’ Mr Stewart, an outsider, previously said he would not serve under Mr Johnson before apparently backtracking to announce he would.” – Mail on Sunday

  • May “voted for Stewart not Hunt, and will team up with Hammond to block a No Deal Brexit” – Mail on Sunday
  • Meet Mrs Stewart, his campaign organiser – Sunday Telegraph
  • When Stewart borrowed £300 in a war zone, and said that “mummy will pay you back” (she did) – Mail on Sunday
  • Britain needs Stewart – Bryony Gordon, Sunday Telegraph

> Today:

> Yesterday: LISTEN: ConHome’s Tory leadership election podcast. Will Tuesday’s BBC debate see Stewart confront Johnson?

Dominic Lawson: May is ripping off taxpapers, stuffing her own Spending Review, and ruining her successor’s prospects by spending, spending, spending to create an vainglorious legacy

“In a previous column, I gave readers the impression that Theresa May, whatever her faults, was at least not guilty of vanity. How wrong I was: in her last weeks as prime minister she has been single-mindedly determined, as it is described by those around her, to secure her “legacy”. Who, but the PM herself, cares about that? Certainly not voters, none of whom minds which politician gets the credit for what. Worse, in her haste before her exit from Downing Street next month, May has attempted to sideline the chancellor, who has reasonable concerns about the costs of satisfying her vanity. That is why the Treasury has been frantically leaking the costs of all these various legacy measures, coming up with a figure of more than a trillion pounds.” – Sunday Times

  • May sprays cash, wrecks spending review – Sun on Sunday
  • Ministers accused of reintroducing consumer subsidies for onshore wind turbines ‘by the back door’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Contenders turn on the civil service – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
  • Heseltine says he’ll be remembered not for his career, but for his trees – Mail on Sunday

“Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee. Thou art translated!”

“Chuka Umunna has been appointed Treasury and business spokesman for the Liberal Democrats just days after the former Labour and Change UK MP joined the party. Umunna announced his decision to join the Liberal Democrats on Thursday, 10 days after leaving Change UK and four months after leaving the Labour party. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable, announced this weekend that he was appointing Umunna as the party’s Treasury and business spokesman. “Chuka has agreed to work in the Commons with our business and economy team, alongside Susan Kramer and Chris Fox who speak on these issues in the House of Lords,” said Cable. “His experience as shadow business secretary will be invaluable to the party in pursuing our shared values.” – Observer

Meanwhile, marines are sent to the Gulf as tensions threaten between America and Iran

“Military sources said that 100 marines from 42 Commando, based near Plymouth, would form a rapid reaction force, Special Purpose Task Group 19. They will operate from navy ships patrolling the region from Britain’s new naval base in Bahrain. Their deployment comes as British military and intelligence officials join an international investigation into last week’s events involving oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, which America and Britain blamed on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Britain’s role in the crisis will be discussed tomorrow by military and national security officials at an emergency Cobra meeting.” – Sunday Times

Other Labour news

 

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