Newslinks for Monday 17th June 2019

Hancock backs Johnson…

“Matt Hancock endorses Boris Johnson’s campaign for Downing Street today, pledging to be a “voice of moderation” for the man who will “almost certainly” become prime minister. The health secretary dropped out of the race on Friday having won 20 votes in the first ballot of MPs and accepting that the Conservative Party was not looking for a “fresh face”. After spending the weekend choosing between Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, Mr Hancock endorsed the front-runner, insisting that he “will hold him” to his promises to govern as a One Nation Conservative and to support business as “the engine of prosperity”.” – The Times

  • He reportedly has his sights on the Chancellorship – The Times
  • Johnson pledges fast internet to every home by 2025… – Daily Telegraph
  • …and rejects ‘secret coronation’ plan – The Sun

Comment:

  • Let’s reboot ‘left-behind Britain’ with a broadband revolution – Boris Johnson MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Boris and I have our differences, but he’s the one to unite us – Matt Hancock MP, Times Red Box
  • Johnson supports my blue-collar agenda, so I’m backing him – Esther McVey MP, Daily Telegraph

>Today:

…as Cox blocks his Brexit strategy…

“Boris Johnson will have to over-rule existing government legal advice if he wants to make good on his promise to withhold the £39bn Brexit bill in order to win a better deal from the EU, The Telegraph can reveal. Mr Johnson, who is now hot favourite to win the Tory leadership contest, has threatened to “retain” the promised financial settlement until the European Union has provided “greater clarity” about the future EU-UK trading relationship. However several Whitehall sources have confirmed that on-record internal legal advice from Geoffrey Cox, the attorney-general, has warned that linking Brexit bill payments to the progress of any trade talks would be illegal. The advice sets up a potential clash between Mr Johnson and Mr Cox who last week backed the former foreign secretary for the Tory leadership.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Although EU chief admits Brussels can’t force payments – The Sun

More:

  • Rudd: there are enough anti-no deal Tories to bring down the Government… – The Sun
  • …and Clarke says he’ll bring down the ‘idiot’ who tries to force one – Daily Express
  • Johnson faces uphill task to secure any tweaks to the deal – FT
  • Farage says front-runner won’t deliver on his promises – The Sun

>Yesterday: Richard Kelly in Comment: A lesson from May’s departure – and from history. So often, it’s Tory activists, not MPs, who bring down their leader.

…and Channel 4 is accused of ‘sidelining’ Raab

“Channel 4 was accused by Tory MPs of attempting to “sideline” Dominic Raab, the one ‘hard’ Brexiteer, in the first television debate of the party’s leadership race on Sunday. Tory MPs complained that the debate had been “geared up” to encourage the leadership candidates to “knock chunks out of each other”. The complaints appeared to vindicate the decision by Boris Johnson, the runaway favourite, not to attend the 90 minute long primetime hustings, saying last week it would be “cacophonous”. One of the camps also claimed the 120-strong audience – which had meant to be split 47 per cent for and against Brexit, and 6 per cent ‘don’t know’ – had been biased against leaving the EU.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He claims Party is ‘toast’ if Brexit is delayed again… – The Sun
  • …and clashes with Gove over the ‘will of Parliament’ – Daily Express
  • Contenders clash over no-deal exit – The Times

More:

  • Hopefuls go beyond Brexit with their pitches – The Times
  • Javid says UK is ready for first British-Pakistani leader – The Sun
  • Front-runner ’empty-chaired’ – FT
  • Stewart scoops two anti-no deal ministers – The Sun
  • What the rivals said about key issues – The Times

>Today:

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Raab insists that Britain must leave the EU by the end of October

Trevor Kavanagh: Only Johnson can win a Brexit election for the Tories

“Boris’s only option, which he cannot reveal and his closest pals will not discuss, is the biggest second referendum of all… a final, conclusive once-and-for-all Brexit general election. A new Prime Minister faced with extinction by Nigel Farage’s irregulars has no option but to stand by the 2016 Referendum verdict and fight. And only Boris can win that fight for the Tories. As this column has frequently pointed out, more than half the country — 17.4million voters — backed Leave in 2016. They have not gone away. They have simply been driven by Theresa May into the arms of Nigel Farage. Most of those who switched to his Brexit Party in last month’s EU elections were angry Tories. Boris can win them back.” – The Sun

  • Why the threat of an early election makes MPs double down on Boris – Katy Balls, The Guardian
  • How the next Prime Minister can solve the backstop – Sir Graham Brady MP, Times Red Box
  • Only one candidate established themselves as leader of the chasers – Iain Dale, Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron has helped ‘old pal’ Johnson’s path to Number 10 – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Hopefuls must be straight with their Brexit Plan B – Sam Gyimah MP, Times Red Box
  • EU leaders risk no-deal exit by sitting on the fence – Wolfgang Münchau, FT
  • The real winner was Corbyn – Henry Zeffman, The Times

>Today: Nicky Morgan MP’s column: My colleagues are asking the wrong question about this leadership contest

Conservatives may strike seat pact with the Brexit Party

“Conservatives could reportedly be set to do a deal with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party which would see Tories pull out of fighting certain seats at the next general election. Farage confirmed he had been approached by Tory party donors but added his party is currently planning to contest every seat… A snap election could be on the cards, if Tory leader frontrunner Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister next month. The Brexit Party is leading the polls with 24 per cent according to a recent poll. The Tories and Labour are three points behind in joint second place. But with Boris still clearly leading the leadership race, hardline Brexiteers issued a strong warning, pressing him to deliver on Brexit.” – The Sun

  • Donors open secret talks with Farage – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit Party leader lashes out over Labour’s Peterborough campaign – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • To save Britain from Corbyn, a deal must be found – Johnny Leavesley, Daily Telegraph

May pushes for more legacy spending

“Theresa May will announce plans today to ban the use of police cells to hold people with a mental illness. Under the plans teachers, healthcare staff, social workers and local authority staff will be offered training to identify signs of mental illness and help young people at risk of self-harm or suicide. The announcement is a further sign that, after her failure to deliver Brexit, Mrs May intends to use her remaining weeks in Downing Street to leave a legacy that addresses the “burning injustices” she identified when she became prime minister in 2016. Last week she committed Britain to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, making it the first major country to commit to such a target.” – The Times

  • All new teachers will be trained to spot mental ill-health – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister runs into budget pressures – FT
  • She’s accused of trying to tie her successor’s hands – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • We should never accept a rise in mental health problems – Theresa May MP, The Sun

Hunt warns of risk of war with Iran

“Jeremy Hunt has warned of the “great risk” of a drift to war with Iran following the attacks last week in the Gulf on two oil tankers. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has joined Britain and the United States in blaming the Iranians for the attacks – a claim which Tehran has strongly denied. His alert followed attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The incidents caused oil prices to soar amid heightened fears of a conflict in the region causing major disruption to world supplies. The UK Foreign Secretary said Britain was urging all sides in the dispute to “de-escalate” in order to avoid a slide into armed conflict.” – The Sun

  • UK defends envoy after Tehran claims – The Times

More:

  • Britain and Russia consider summit to thaw relations – The Guardian

Labour 1) Chope says Khan should take Trump’s criticisms on board

“Sadiq Khan should take on board Donald Trump’s criticisms and get a grip of the violent crime crisis in London, say MPs and campaigners. After the murder of three people in separate attacks in less than 24 hours in the capital, they warned knife crime would continue to spiral unless the London mayor took a tougher stance on stop and search, secured more police officers and backed heavier sentences for repeat knife offenders. President Trump tweeted that Mr Khan was a “disaster” whose policies in failing to tackle violent crime were “destroying London,” saying he should be replaced with a new mayor “ASAP.” Sir Christopher Chope, a member of the Home Affairs Committee, said Mr Trump’s attack appeared  “fair comment” in light of events, though he would not personally want the President to advise on law and order in London.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour 2) Corbyn plots ‘vicious’ raid on parents’ gifts to children

“Jeremy Corbyn is planning a huge tax raid on children who inherit homes from their parents. The Labour leader’s proposal replaces inheritance tax with a “lifetime gift tax”, The Sunday Telegraph reported. The tax will apply to property or cash given to individuals during the course of their lives. The report, Land for the Many, claims it would help “the better sharing out” of “unearned windfalls”. Labour hopes the tax would add £9billion a year to the Treasury. The current system allows parents to avoid inheritance tax if they gift their children more than seven years before their death. Duncan Simpson, Research Director at the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), referred to the “very common method” known as the seven year rule.” – Daily Express

  • Britain is headed for what we thought impossible: a Marxist government – Daniel Hannan MEP, Daily Telegraph

Labour 3) Watson pushes Labour towards second EU vote

“Labour must argue strongly to remain in the EU, Tom Watson will say today as the shadow cabinet considers hardening its support of a second referendum. Mr Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, will make the case this morning for the party to take a “proudly Remain” stance. His speech had been designed to take place immediately before a meeting of Jeremy Corbyn’s top team amid pressure on the Labour leader to full-throatedly back a new vote. But last night, barely more than 12 hours before the meeting, shadow cabinet ministers were told that it had been “postponed as a number of colleagues are unable to attend”. Tuesday’s regular shadow cabinet meeting will go ahead, but climate change will be its central subject.” – The Times

  • Grassroots and Shadow Cabinet ‘add to pressure’ – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • How I’ll get us out of the EU by October 31st – Sajid Javid MP, Brexit Central
  • The case for a sovereign wealth fund – John Penrose MP, CapX
  • Why the new political divide is culture – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • My Boris story – Jeremy Vine, The Spectator
  • Can Europe learn from communism? – Sir Roger Scruton, UnHerd

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Author: Conservative Home


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