Newslinks for Thursday 14th November 2019

Policy 1) Patel pledges that Tories will bring down immigration

“The Conservatives have committed to cutting net migration if Boris Johnson wins the election. Priti Patel, the home secretary, said that the Tories would “reduce immigration overall” by placing strict limits on the number of low-skilled migrants allowed into Britain after Brexit. It represents a significant shift by Mr Johnson, who axed the Conservative Party’s pledge to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands” in one of his first acts as prime minister. He will introduce an Australian-style points-based system. While the Tories will not recommit to a target for cutting net migration in their manifesto, reducing the number of immigrants is seen as an “inevitable consequence” of the measure.” – The Times

  • Labour’s plan could see it treble to 840,000 a year, she warns – Daily Telegraph
  • McCluskey’s tough line on free movement sparks Labour backlash – The Guardian

More:

  • Britain has the most illegal immigrants in the EU – The Times
  • Home Office app for EU citizens ‘easy to hack’ – FT
  • Clinton says UK is on ‘the path to Fascism’ – The Times

Comment:

  • Gove is peddling the same old immigration myths – Maya Goodfellow, The Guardian

Policy 2) Johnson goes green

“Boris Johnson has promised to ensure that no one is ever more than 30 miles from an electric car charging point as part of efforts to energise the economy after Brexit. In his first big speech of the campaign Mr Johnson said he would double government research and development spending to £18 billion within five years as part of a “new wave of economic growth”. Specific commitments included making sure everyone in England and Wales was within 30 miles of an electric vehicle charge point by spending £500 million to expand the network. There was also a pledge to increase the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind from 30GW to 40GW by 2030, creating 9,000 jobs.” – The Times

  • He promises ‘large-scale’ investments – FT
  • Prime Minister faces anger from flood-hit Yorkshire residents – The Times

Sketch:

  • Johnson cleans up his act to hail a green future – Quentin Letts, The Times

Hopes of deal to unite Leave vote fading as nominations close today

“The Conservatives have offered an electoral pact to Nigel Farage that would mean the Brexit Party targeting just 40 key seats, The Telegraph can disclose. Boris Johnson was prepared to put up “paper candidates” in the Labour-held constituencies, meaning the Tories would carry out only minimal campaigning in order to give an advantage to Brexit Party rivals. However, the deal was turned down by Mr Farage, who had insisted on the Tories withdrawing their candidates altogether from the seats, because he was worried that the Conservative candidates would still attract votes. Talks finally broke down late on Tuesday but as the deadline for nominations approaches at 4pm on Thursday, Mr Farage remains under intense pressure to make further concessions…” – Daily Telegraph

  • I won’t vote Conservative, says Farage – The Times
  • He refuses to stand down candidates in Labour seats… – FT
  • …and says the Tories ‘don’t want a Brexit majority’ – Daily Mail
  • Apprentice star to be Brexit Party candidate – The Sun

Comment:

  • Nigel, please extend your generosity to sixty extra seats – Rod Liddle, The Sun
  • Farage is now the main threat to his own legacy – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Candidates: Griffiths’ wife rejects his support in struggle for Burton candidacy…

“The estranged wife of a disgraced former minister spoke out against him last night as claims emerged that he had tried to flood his local association with new members in an attempt to be re-adopted as its Conservative candidate. Kate Griffiths, who was instead chosen to contest Burton for the party, said she neither wanted nor accepted an endorsement from Andrew Griffiths, whom she is divorcing. Mr Griffiths, who has represented Burton since 2010, resigned as a business minister last year after revelations that he sent thousands of sexual text messages to two constituents. Earlier this week he narrowly missed being chosen again after a tied vote at his local party but vowed to seek the nomination anyway by adding his name to the selection shortlist.” – The Times

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

…as Johnson pitches for a ‘new-look’ Conservative Party

“With 40 of its MPs standing down ahead of the election on December 12 — many of them from the governing party’s moderate wing — the Tories are undergoing a generational shift. Boris Johnson, prime minister and party leader, has insisted the Tories must not morph into a sect of predominantly hardline male Brexiters — with selection officials ordered to choose its most diverse contingent of MPs to date… Mark Wallace, executive editor of the website ConservativeHome, which has closely tracked shortlists and profiled the successful contenders, said there was optimism within the party that it will defy stereotypes. “There hasn’t been a unified conspiracy to put lots of Johnsonites or Brexiters on the list, nor has the centre forced these seats to select its favoured people,” said Mr Wallace.” – FT

  • Poll suggests Tories doing better with working-class than well-off voters – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: What Johnson said about an independent enquiry into Conservative anti-Muslim hatred

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Election Battlegrounds 4) East of England

Labour split on four-day week for the NHS…

“Labour’s leadership has split over whether NHS staff would be included in the party’s four-day week policy during a chaotic period of campaigning in which Jeremy Corbyn also stumbled over his position on the Union. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, rebuked Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, for saying that doctors and nurses would not have their hours cut. Mr McDonnell said everyone would benefit… Mr McDonnell promised at the party’s conference in September that a Labour government would reduce the average working week to 32 hours over a decade with no loss of pay. The Tories said that this would swallow up Labour’s promises of extra NHS cash. Mr Ashworth dismissed as “nonsense” the prospect of health service workers having their hours cut. ” – The Times

  • Health Service would need 40 new hospitals if private sector were barred – FT

More policy:

  • Party threatens huge fines to close gender pay gap… – Daily Telegraph
  • …and to raise the ‘living wage’ – FT

Comment:

  • We need to scare capitalists as much as communism did – Aditya Chakraborrty, The Guardian
  • Tories must defeat not just Corbyn but his Marxist ideas – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Richard Short in Comment: Corbyn rails against the super-rich, but it’s ordinary workers who would bear the cost of his ideas

>Yesterday: Jack Airey in Think Tanks: The next Government should revitalise Key Worker Housing

…and in ‘complete disarray’ over a Scottish referendum

“Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of being in “complete disarray” over whether he would give Nicola Sturgeon a second independence referendum after shifting his stance three times within a matter of hours. Speaking at the start of a two-day election tour of Scotland, the Labour leader pledged to deny Ms Sturgeon the power to stage another separation vote for the entire five years of the next parliament if he becomes Prime Minister. But within minutes, Mr Corbyn’s aides backtracked to say the position could change if the SNP wins the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election. Five hours later Mr Corbyn held a press briefing at which he repeatedly refused to repeat his five-year pledge, merely saying there would be no referendum in the “early years” of a Labour Government.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Critics round on Corbyn over u-turn – FT
  • He dismisses SNP calls for a ‘progressive alliance’ – The Guardian
  • Ex-Labour minister urges voters to back the Tories – The Sun
  • The four fiascos of Corbyn – Daily Mail

>Today: Fraser Raleigh in Comment: We must continue to campaign for the Union – and shun loose talk of trading off Scottish votes for English ones

Tom Harris: Why I, a former Labour minister, am urging people to vote Conservative

“I don’t even want to be involved in this campaign: I’m out of politics and glad to be so. I just want to write my commentaries and then sit at home on the night of polling, glass of whisky in hand, and enjoy the results as they come in. Or not. I have better things to do than get involved in a campaign where I’m not even standing as a candidate. But it’s just too big a risk. If MPs refuse to follow their own (former) arguments to their logical conclusion, then allow me: it’s not enough to criticise Jeremy Corbyn for his woeful and dangerous policies. It’s not enough to criticise him when he promises to discard Scots’ views of independence by agreeing to hold another independence referendum in order to overturn the last one.” – Daily Telegraph

Corbyn warned over lack of Indian candidates

“Jeremy Corbyn has been warned that he risks losing the support of thousands of Indian voters in key constituencies over Labour’s policy on Kashmir and its failure to select Indian candidates. The party is facing a backlash after it passed a motion at its annual conference attacking India’s crackdown in the disputed territory. It has been exacerbated by Labour’s failure to select a single candidate of Indian heritage in a target seat and only one in a seat where a sitting Labour MP has stood down. This week Labour’s ruling national executive committee selected Claudia Webbe, an Islington councillor and long-time friend of Mr Corbyn, to contest Leicester East that was previously held by Keith Vaz.” – The Times

  • Leader criticised for comments on ISIS chief – The Times

Comment:

  • Labour is on the brink of the most seismic wipeout in history – Sherelle Jacobs, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: Castro. Chávez – and now Morales. That these tyrants are Corbyn’s heroes should make us very, very frightened.

Swinson denies she is ‘losing control of her candidates’…

“Jo Swinson has denied that she is losing control of her candidates despite a growing revolt among those who want the party to stand aside in favour of Labour Remainers. The LibDem leader declared that she would stand candidates in both Canterbury, where the LibDems stood down to avoid splitting the Remainer vote with Labour – and in Remainer David Gauke’s south west Hertfordshire constituency where the former Justice Secretary is standing as an independent. Tim Walker, a former journalist, announced on Tuesday that he would not stand in the Canterbury seat in order to avoid the “nightmare” of handing the constituency back to the Conservatives.” – Daily Telegraph

  • She rules out helping Corbyn into Downing Street – FT
  • Manifesto features soaring taxes and scrapping Brexit – Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Vox pub: Cornish voters wonder whether they can trust the Prime Minister more than the Lib Dems

…as the Liberal Democrats are criticised for not backing ex-Tory minister

“Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats came under fierce attack from Remain supporters, after the party insisted on standing a candidate against the former Conservative MP David Gauke, because he was not “remain enough”. The party leadership was accused of spouting “hogwash” and becoming a ‘laughing stock” by indignant Remainers. The former Lord Chancellor is the MP for South West Hertfordshire and at the last election in 2017 he won the constituency with a huge 19,550 majority over Labour. The Liberal Democrats came a distant third, taking just under 12 percent of the total vote… Remain voters believe that he has the best chance of defeating the Tories and are absolutely furious that the Liberal Democrats have refused to stand down their candidate.” – Daily Express

  • Liberal Democrats ‘ignore Gauke’s plea’ not to split Remain vote – The Times
  • ‘Don’t give up’, Tusk tells Remainers – The Sun

Comment:

  • Lib Dems must mind the credibility gap – David Cutts, Times Red Box
  • Will Gauke and his fellow ‘moderates’ be able to forgive themselves for Prime Minister Corbyn? – Benedict Spence, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • Gauke has been driven mad by bitterness – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • Why are the polls telling such different stories? – Matt Singh, CapX
  • Can Farage take the Tories to victory? – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Sturgeon’s IndyRef gamble will play into Johnson’s hands – Graham Stewart, The Critic
  • Johnson’s clever communication drives his opponents mad – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Don’t give in to the transbullies – Graham Linehan, UnHerd

And finally… judge rules to block Christmas postal strike

“Royal Mail today sensationally won a High Court injunction to block proposed strikes in the run up to the general election and before Christmas because the union ‘subverted’ the ballot process. Mr Justice Swift granted an injunction after agreeing nationwide industrial action could stop voters casting ballots by post before December 12 – and even swing results in marginal constituencies. The Communication Workers Union (CWU), whose members voted to back walkouts by 97 per cent on a turnout of 76 per cent, allowed postal workers to pick up their ballot papers from work rather than have it sent to their homes. Royal Mail also produced social media posts showing that some members broke the rules by filling them in at sorting offices or post offices and using the post boxes outside to send them back to CWU.” – Daily Mail

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