Newslinks for Monday 11th November 2019

Johnson vows action on prosecution of Ulster veterans…

“The Conservatives will pledge today to end the “unfair trials” of soldiers accused of murders in Northern Ireland by banning inquests from returning verdicts of illegal killings for deaths during the Troubles. The party will pledge to amend the Human Rights Act to exclude any death in Northern Ireland that took place before the act came into force in October 2000. The act has been the key legal route by which families have sought to prove British state involvement in killings that took place during the Troubles. However, veterans’ groups have said that many of the claims are vexatious and that the law is being abused to hound retired servicemen years after the events in question took place.” – The Times

  • Manifesto promise to alter the Human Rights Act – Daily Telegraph
  • Parties vie for soldiers’ votes – The Guardian
  • Veterans will also get their own railcard – The Sun

Comment:

  • We must protect our service personnel in recognition of their service – Johnny Mercer, The Sun
  • Let’s encourage all employers to champion our veterans – Lee Holloway, Times Red Box

Editorial:

  • A victory for veterans and common sense – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: How to halt the vexatious legal pursuit of our brave servicemen and women

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Fox on Remembrance Sunday. “Extremism and fanaticism always has a price. Lest we forget.”

…as Kwarteng backs Johnson’s contradictory remarks on Northern Ireland

“One of Boris Johnson’s business ministers has insisted the prime minister was correct in arguing that businesses in Northern Ireland will not have to fill in forms to export goods to the rest of the UK after Brexit, despite this being an obvious part of the departure deal. Kwasi Kwarteng said Johnson was “absolutely on the money” when he told Northern Irish exporters last week that they would not need to fill in extra paperwork, prompting accusations the prime minister was misleading the public. In a video shot in Northern Ireland on Thursday night, Johnson told exporters they would not need to fill in customs declarations when they sent goods across the Irish Sea, adding that if firms were asked to they should call him “and I will direct them to throw that form in the bin”.” – The Guardian

  • Four in ten Britons prepared to sacrifice Ulster – Daily Express

Shapps denies Grieve’s claims about Russia report

“A cabinet minister has denied that the government is deliberately sitting on a report on Russian influence in British politics that names nine Conservative Party donors. Yesterday Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, blamed the “machinery of government” for the delay in publishing the findings of an inquiry by parliament’s intelligence and security committee. Mr Shapps said that during general election campaigns the government was “not allowed to publish things which are seen as controversial in any way”. Dominic Grieve, chairman of the committee, has accused ministers of “sitting on the report” which was sent to the prime minister last month.” – The Times

Anger as Arcuri investigation is delayed

“The scandal over Boris Johnson’s friendship with technology entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri was reignited on Saturday after the Observer revealed that the independent police watchdog has delayed its announcement on whether the PM should face an investigation into possible criminal misconduct until after the election. The decision prompted fury from Westminster politicians and London assembly members who said it appeared that a ruling had been “suppressed” in order to protect Johnson from potentially damaging headlines at a crucial stage of the election campaign.” – The Guardian

Davies accused of making ‘chicken run’ to a safer seat

“A Conservative minister who stood down as an MP in a Liberal Democrat target area has been accused of going on a “chicken run” after she was selected to fight a safer seat. Mims Davies will be the Tory candidate in Mid Sussex, where Sir Nicholas Soames had a 19,000 majority in 2017. She had been the MP for Eastleigh since 2015 but announced last month that she was standing down because she could no longer juggle her responsibilities as a mother with her duties as an MP and employment minister. Eastleigh had been held by the Liberal Democrats for 20 years and is considered a key target for the general election, although Ms Davies had built up a 14,000 majority.” – The Times

  • The campaign teams behind Corbyn and Johnson – FT

>Today: MPs Etc.: Meet the candidates hoping to form the 2019 Conservative Parliamentary intake

Parties clash over cost of Labour’s spending plans…

“Britain will be in an economic crisis “within months” of Labour taking office, Sajid Javid warned yesterday as he defended Conservative claims that Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would cost the country £1.2 trillion. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, rejected the analysis of Labour’s spending plans as a “ludicrous piece of fake news”. The party said that it included plans that had never been part of its policy and others that had been double-counted or misrepresented. Mr Javid, the chancellor, said that the figures were a “reasonable” assessment of Labour’s commitments to date, which he described as “eye-watering”.” – The Times

  • Opposition deride costings as ‘work of fiction’ – The Guardian
  • Johnson’s latest promises to older voters – The Sun

More:

  • Economy to escape recession scare in pre-election boost for the Prime Minister – Daily Telegraph
  • CBI chief urges parties to reconnect with business – FT

Analysis:

  • How credible are the Tories’ numbers on Labour spending? – Oliver Wright, The Times
  • Conservatives must grasp that Workington Man wants tax cuts – John O’Connell, Daily Telegraph

>Today: David Gauke’s column: A traditional southern Conservative supporter ponders how best to vote

>Yesterday:

…as Javid and McDonnell could go head-to-head

“Sajid Javid and John McDonnell could go head-to-head in a television debate amid a row over Labour’s reported £1.2 trillion in spending promises. The Conservatives have published a dossier which Mr Javid said showed the “true cost of Corbyn”, including taxes set at the “highest level we’ve ever seen in peacetime”. The Chancellor went further yesterday, warning that Labour will lead the UK into economic crisis “within months, not years”. Mr Javid said he is ready to face Mr McDonnell in a live debate. It is understood shadow Chancellor yesterday said he has agreed to appear in debates proposed by two broadcasters.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Javid to snub ‘biased’ Channel 4 – The Times

Comment:

  • Tories and Labour are both trying to hoodwink the public on borrowing – Tony Blair, Times Red Box
  • It’s a clear choice: Brexit with Boris, or going bust with Corbyn – Liam Fox, Daily Telegraph
  • Conservative party’s treatment of business leaves me aghast – Margot James, FT
  • A question of who voters trust to splash the cash – Sir John Curtice, The Times
  • Crossrail signals a new era of profligate politics – Tom Welsh, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nat Wei in Comment: The key to seeing off Corbynism is the mass ownership of assets

Vaz to stand down from Parliament

“Keith Vaz is to stand down from parliament weeks after the Commons standards watchdog found that he breached the MPs’ code by showing “disregard for the law” in allegedly offering to buy cocaine for male escorts. The Labour politician was reselected as a candidate before his six-month suspension, imposed because he expressed a willingness to buy the drugs. Last week Labour’s national executive committee delayed a decision on whether he would contest Leicester East, the seat he has held since 1987, after Mr Vaz was admitted to hospital. Last night, he resigned.” – The Times

  • Labour candidates dismiss antisemitism charges and attack the Poppy Appeal – Daily Telegraph
  • Shadow Minister under growing pressure over antisemitic song – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn suspends hopeful who made ‘vile joke’ about domestic abuse – The Sun

Comment:

  • Did Watson quit to avoid facing Proctor on the stump? – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

Opposition’s campaign chief won’t rule out freedom of movement

“Labour’s campaign chief has refused to rule out the party will keep free movement after Brexit, despite its 2017 pledge. The party’s last general election manifesto said “freedom of movement will end when we leave the EU”. However, shadow cabinet minister Andrew Gwynne would not be drawn this morning on whether the pledge will be included in the 2019 manifesto. He said only that he would be “able to answer more clearly this time next week” after the party’s Clause V meeting to “hammer out” their manifesto. Last week Mr Corbyn told a campaign event in Telford that free movement “enriches the lives of all of us”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Gove ‘rails at Labour’s open-borders policy’ – The Times
  • Corbyn ally ‘crumbles’ when grilled over plans – Daily Express

Michael Gove: Labour want a second leader, and her name will be Sturgeon

“Labour now says that after the election it will have two leaders. Buy one leader who wants drift, division and paralysis and get another one free. Indeed we don’t really need to speculate on who that other leader would be — Nicola Sturgeon. Labour has made it crystal clear that it will give the SNP a referendum on independence if the Nationalists support it in government. And only last week, Ms Sturgeon confirmed that she would support a Corbyn premiership if she got that referendum. So under a Corbyn-Sturgeon government, 2020 would see not one but two referendums: on Brexit and on Scottish independence. And a Corbyn-Sturgeon government would see an alliance on another issue. They are both committed to a policy of unlimited and uncontrolled immigration.” – The Times

  • Corbyn would be a hammer blow to Britain’s national security – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun

Now SNP could make scrapping Trident the price of a Corbyn government

“Scrapping Britain’s nuclear capacity could be the price Jeremy Corbyn has to pay for a coalition with the SNP. The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has signalled that getting rid of Trident would be a key issue on the negotiating table in the case of a hung parliament. Mr Blackford said his party have been “pretty consistent” that they “don’t wish to see nuclear weapons” on their soil. “To waste up to £200 billion on these weapons of mass destruction that can never be used is a fallacy,” he said. He added that the SNP will “come up with a wish list” of policies they want to secure for a potential coalition government to be formed.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Labour defence chief ‘won’t say’ if leader would launch nuclear strikes – The Sun

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary claims Corbyn is committed to keeping Trident

Banks breaks with Farage to back the Tories

“Nigel Farage is under pressure to pull out of hundreds of seats at the general election after a former ally told voters in three key Leave constituencies to forget him and back the Conservatives instead. In a warning shot, Arron Banks, who along with Mr Farage was one of the self-styled “Bad Boys of Brexit”, told residents of three constituencies in Stoke-on-Trent to vote Tory. Unless the Brexit Party leader stands down in most constituencies before Friday, Mr Banks’s Leave.EU group will release a tactical voting app showing Brexiteers who they should back in every seat. A spokesman for Leave.EU, which accuses Mr Farage of risking Brexit by splitting the Leave vote, said: “This app is ‘back Brexit, back Boris’.” – The Times

  • Brexit Party could ‘decide election’ by denying the Conservatives 90 seats – Daily Telegraph
  • Thousands of our readers write to Brexit Party candidates urging them to pull out – Daily Mail

Conservatives:

  • Johnson offers ‘olive branch’ with pledge not to extend past 2020 – The  Sun
  • Kwarteng says Farage should ‘step aside’ – Daily Telegraph
  • How Brexit could turn Bishop Auckland Tory – The Sun

>Yesterday:

Nick Timothy: Tragically, Farage has turned into the Frodo Baggins of Brexit

“In Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins undertakes an epic journey and battles all as he seeks to destroy the One Ring, which gives absolute power to whoever wears it. When Frodo finally reaches the Fire of Mount Doom, he succumbs to temptation and chooses not to destroy the ring, but keep it for himself. Recently, friends of Nigel Farage have taken to comparing him to Frodo. Mr Farage has spent a lifetime campaigning to get Britain out of the European Union. He overcame incredible odds to become one of the few who can say they made Brexit happen. But now Britain has the opportunity to leave the EU, he risks upending all he has worked to achieve.” – Daily Telegraph

  • If he’s a true patriot, Farage needs to make a sacrifice – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Editorial:

People’s Vote staff refuse to return to work

“People’s Vote workers are refusing to return to work even after its chief executive stepped down pending an inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment. Patrick Heneghan, Labour’s former elections chief, is reported to have faced accusations of misconduct from three female staff members. The organisation is still understood to be stuck in a stand-off with workers, who say they have concerns about the governance of the campaign. On Saturday, People’s Vote launched a tactical voting app for Remain voters keen to get as many pro-EU MPs as possible returned to parliament in December. Mr Heneghan was installed as chief executive last month in what some staff have denounced as a “coup” by senior management.” – The Times

  • Now Blair wades into feud – Daily Express
  • Pro-EU politicians warned of ‘misunderstanding’ if UK doesn’t leave – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Remainers must work together to outfox the Brexiteers – Layla Moran, The Times
  • In the Tory heartlands of the commuter belt, remainers may revolt – John Harris, The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Why are English schools so expensive to run? – Fiona Bulmer, CapX
  • Don’t underestimate the appeal of Johnson – Ben Kelly, Reaction
  • The UK’s property taxes expose the failings of the political class – Tom Worstall, 1828
  • Young, urban graduates — the real ‘left-behinds’ – Mary Harrington, UnHerd
  • The fracking debate was lost long ago – Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator

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