Newslinks for Monday 22nd July 2019

Ellwood says Iran crisis proves Royal Navy is too small…

“The Royal Navy is now too small to fulfil its global role, a defence minister admitted last night as it emerged that Iran had ignored warnings from a British warship against seizing a UK-flagged tanker in the Gulf. The Stena Impero and her 23 crew members are being held by Iranian forces after they were taken on Friday while passing through the Strait of Hormuz. This was despite the Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose, which is patrolling the Gulf to protect shipping, ordering the Iranian authorities to leave the vessel alone. Tobias Ellwood urged the incoming prime minister to tackle the need for a significant increase in the Ministry of Defence budget immediately.” – The Times

  • May accused of ‘major miscalculation’ by turning down US support – Daily Telegraph
  • Shipping grapples with threat in the Strait of Hormuz – FT
  • Tehran-backed terror cells ‘ready to strike’ the UK – Daily Telegraph
  • Iran claims to have arrested 17 CIA spies – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: The Ayatollahs of August

…as Hunt comes under ‘intense pressure’ to back a taskforce

“The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is under intense pressure to join US-led plans for an international maritime protection force in the Gulf as signs grow that Iran is preparing for a long standoff over the British-flagged tanker it has detained. As Tehran signalled it would refuse to release the Steno Impero until the UK released an Iranian-flagged ship seized off the coast of Gibraltar a fortnight ago, the British government faced accusations it had failed to sufficiently guard its shipping in the Gulf… Theresa May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra at 10.30am BST. As well as receiving the latest updates from ministers and officials, the meeting will discuss the maintenance of the security of shipping in the Gulf.” – The Guardian

  • Our feeble response is rooted in decades of neglect – Ross Clark, Daily Telegraph
  • Foreign policy all at sea in the Gulf – Richard Spencer, The Times

Editorial:

  • Tanker dispute is not purely Britain’s problem – FT
  • A gulf in policy – The Times
  • Make no excuses for Iran, this is pure piracy – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Johnson says optimism is the key to unlocking Brexit…

“The front-runner to succeed Theresa May said that if man could find a way to get to the moon and back 50 years ago, “we certainly have the technology” to solve the Northern Irish border problem – the one thing standing in the way of a Brexit deal. Writing in Monday’s Telegraph, he says: “It is time this country recovered some its can-do spirit. We can come out of the EU on October 31, and yes, we certainly have the technology to do so. What we need now is the will and the drive.” He railed against “pessimists” in comments which appeared to be aimed squarely at Philip Hammond, who said on Sunday that it is impossible to thrash out a deal in time to leave before the current Halloween deadline, and who has again made it clear that he will stop at nothing to prevent Mr Johnson pursuing a no deal Brexit.” – Daily Telegraph

  • EU believes there is ‘an 80 per cent chance’ he will go for no-deal exit – The Sun
  • Brexit plans under threat from resignations – The Guardian

Comment:

  • We must summon up the can-do spirit of 1960s America – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson should hold another EU referendum – Tony Blair, The Times
  • He invites parallels with Churchill, let’s see if he has what it takes – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • MPs must find the courage to block a no-deal exit – Gordon Brown, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Barclay says that small businesses are behind on no-deal planning

…as Hammond announces he will resign to block no-deal plans…

“Philip Hammond has warned Boris Johnson it will be impossible to strike a new Brexit deal by the end of October as he announced that he would resign rather than be sacked by the new prime minister. The chancellor became the second cabinet minister to announce he will quit the government if Mr Johnson wins the ballot, saying he intended to step down on Wednesday afternoon before Theresa May hands in her own resignation and would campaign against Mr Johnson’s Brexit plans from the backbenches. He also refused again to rule out voting against his own government in a confidence motion if that was the only way to prevent a no-deal departure from the European Union against the will of parliament.” – The Times

  • Clark says orderly withdrawal could bring ‘big rewards’ – FT
  • Blair warns that no-deal exit would be ‘catastrophic’ – Daily Mail
  • EU prepares huge aid package for Ireland – The Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “I am going to resign” – Hammond confirms his departure from Cabinet

…and amidst mounting speculation as to Johnson’s first Cabinet

“But after a drawn out and at times fractious Tory leadership contest, Mr Johnson and his team of supporters will not have much time to play with when the former London mayor crosses the threshold of No 10. For the past few months, while the majority of the Johnson campaign team has been focused on guiding him to victory over the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, a smaller coterie of advisers has been preparing a plan for power, lining up senior cabinet appointments and key policy announcements. While some of his allies have described the team as a “presidential-style transition operation”, others say it has been “very chaotic” adding that the warring factions of Johnson supporters vying for jobs is making it difficult to form a cohesive operation.” – FT

  • Eurosceptics fear there may not be enough spaces for them – The Sun
  • Rumour he may sack Hunt after a big win – Daily Express
  • He is likely to appoint ‘highest-ever’ number of BME ministers – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our final Next Tory Leader survey. Johnson 73 per cent, Hunt 27 per cent, say those members who have voted.

Priti Patel: The next Chancellor must embrace a tax-cutting agenda

“The politics of economic growth must take centre stage in a renewed Conservative Government. There is a clear need for a radical and pro-growth Budget this Autumn, and this report shows makes the case for serious change and a new economic vision that builds upon stabilisation of the economy post 2010 without accepting the creeping economic stagnation that has taken root. The outgoing government failed to grasp the basic facts, that this country is sleeping walking toward economic stagnation as taxes drift higher and higher, along with the costs of complying with this labyrinthine system of taxation. The incoming government must break away from the flawed orthodoxies which have dominated economic thinking for decades.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today:

Rees-Mogg calls for homes to be built on the Green Belt

“Developers must be allowed to build on sections of the green belt or a whole generation will be barred from home ownership, Jacob Rees-Mogg has said. The prominent backbencher suggested that a million homes could be built around London alone if rules on 3.9 per cent of the city’s green belt were relaxed. Mr Rees-Mogg has been an influential supporter of Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign and is widely expected to be given a job in the new administration. Mr Johnson has said he that is not in favour of relaxing green belt planning rules but has pledged to make tackling Britain’s housing crisis a central part of his manifesto.” – The Times

  • Call for Stamp Duty to be scrapped on £500,000 homes – The Sun

Comment:

  • Freedom is the answer to our housing crisis – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Paul James in Local Government: I’m proud of what we achieving in Gloucester. But more incentives are needed for new housing.

Mordaunt announces new protections for soldiers

“Soldiers will get new protection against being tried for murder on the battlefield, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt pledges today. The minister is looking at ways the crime could be reduced to manslaughter in certain circumstances. Miss Mordaunt also promises greater legal protection to military personnel facing allegations of offences committed abroad more than ten years ago. The proposals came as MPs demanded that ministers should legislate to end the ‘witch-hunt’ of forces veterans. The Commons defence committee said a ‘resolute and determined’ Government would bring in a statute of limitations to protect troops from endless vexatious investigations.” – Daily Mail

  • Defence committee calls for statute of limitations for prosecuting soldiers – The Guardian

Hinds tells pupils to confront parents over car fumes

“Pupils should confront parents who leave their cars running outside school gates, the education secretary has said. Drivers who leave their engines idling are damaging children’s health with the exhaust fumes, Damian Hinds said. He was alarmed by the number of parents who continue to sit with cars running despite overwhelming evidence of the impact on young children. He called on schools to challenge parents in cars outside the gates and said councils should be encouraged to issue spot fines to those who refuse to switch off their engines.” – The Times

  • Those on the school run must do their bit to fight air pollution – Damian Hinds, Times Red Box

Javid urged to back drug ‘shooting galleries’

“‘Shooting galleries’ work, MPs have told Sajid Javid, as they urge him to adopt a policy to cut down deaths and public disorder. Following the decision to trial a gallery, also known as an Overdose Prevention Centres (OPC), in Cleveland in the north-east of England, a group of MPs and seven Police and Crime Commissioners have written to the Home Secretary urging him to allow local authorities to proceed with pilot schemes… The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform, which is co-chaired by Crispin Blunt, the former Conservative minister, Labour’s Jeff Smith and crossbench peer Baroness Meacher, said in the letter that OPCs have been established in many countries with “good public health results” and an “absence of the feared negative consequences”.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour fears Hoey could defect to the Brexit Party

“The Brexit Party could be about to announce its first MP as fear it could be one of their former ministers according to reports. Led by Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party is widely expected to claim seats the next time the UK goes to the polls as worries surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU continue to fester. And now, Labour sources have grown increasingly worried that veteran politician Kate Hoey could join the Brexit Party after she announced she was standing down from Jeremy Corbyn’s party. According to the Mirror, Labour peers believe that she could make the move after she spent 30 years representing Vauxhall, in Central London.” – Daily Express

  • Party activist claims responsibility for leaking Darroch cables – The Guardian

Poll suggests Corbyn is losing grassroots support

“Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity among Labour Party members has plummeted, with two fifths wanting him to stand down as leader before the next general election, polling for The Times has found. Amid growing dissatisfaction at his handling of Brexit and the antisemitism crisis that has engulfed Labour, confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership has fallen by 24 points since March last year, with 43 per cent of Labour Party members saying he is doing a bad job. More than half are dissatisfied with the way in which the Labour leader has handled Brexit and one in four wants him to step down immediately, the YouGov poll found. Seventy per cent say that antisemitism is a “genuine” problem.” – The Times

  • North-East MPs rage at bid to deselect former Blair-era chief whip – Daily Express
  • Labour website tells members how to avoid being antisemitic – The Times

Comment:

  • We must act to stop Labour becoming the Nasty Party – Lord Harris, Times Red Box

Editorial:

  • Labour antisemitism disfigures British politics – FT
  • A party divided – The Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Burgon pressed on Labour’s support for another antisemitic candidate

Change UK sacks all but one staff member

“Change UK has been humiliated after sacking all but one member of staff following their poor performance in the European elections. Party bosses said that the group, which is now called The Independent Group for Change, had undergone “restructuring” and now only employs one member of staff, compared to the ten they used to have, according to The Sunday Telegraph. Some of the party’s 11 MPs abandoned the group after the party’s shocking results in the European elections in May where not a single one of the party’s candidates was elected. Heidi Allen, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith broke away to form a new co-operative called The Independents.” – Daily Express

News in Brief:

  • Johnson has prepared his entire life for this… is he ready? – Tom McTague, The Atlantic
  • He is ‘toxic’ with Scottish and Liberal Democrat voters – Emilio Casalicchio, Politico
  • Johnson could be the first Prime Minister to lose his seat – Emily Ashton, Buzzfeed
  • Anti-Semites face ‘fast-track’ expulsion from Labour – Paul Waugh, Huffington Post
  • Giving back control – John Ashmore, CapX

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