Brexit

Parliamentary Remainers are still looking for ways to stop Brexit, reports the Express.

REBEL Remainers could stage a sensational “sit in” protest if the next Prime Minister tries to prorogue Parliament to force through no deal.
The idea originally mooted by former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab before his elimination from the leadership contest would see the Parliamentary session ended so no deal can be forced through without Commons MPs able to stop it.  Frontrunner Boris Johnson has played down the suggestion but has refused to take it off the table.

And in the upper House they’re plotting too, reports the Independent.

Peers in the House of Lords have launched a fresh bid to stop Boris Johnson suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.
An amendment to Northern Ireland legislation put forward by a cross-party group of peers for debate next week would force Theresa May’s successor as prime minister to provide MPs with an opportunity to vote in the Commons in the days running up to the Brexit deadline of 31 October.
Those votes could be used by MPs to try to stop Mr Johnson – or his rival for the Tory leadership Jeremy Hunt – from crashing the UK out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

The Express also reports on the HoL plans.

A CROSS-PARTY group of peers have launched a fresh bid to block the next prime minister shutting down Parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit, according to reports.
The group in the House of Lords have put forward an amendment to legislation on Northern Ireland in a move designed to stop Theresa May’s replacement taking the UK out of the EU without a deal on October 31 by proroguing Parliament. The proposal builds on the change to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill by arch-Remainer Dominic Grieve which was passed by the Commons earlier this week, Politico reported.

Tory leadership

Following Andrew Neil’s grilling of the two contenders last night, the Telegraph claims one of them is blaming the BBC.

Boris Johnson has attacked the BBC for “conditioning” the public with “gloom and negativity” about the chances of a successful no-deal Brexit.
The Tory leadership front-runner was accused by the BBC’s Andrew Neil of pursuing “mission impossible” in saying the UK could still trade tariff-free with the EU if it left without a deal on October 31.
He responded by accusing the BBC of bias in controlling the “mindset of people in this country” as he clashed repeatedly with the corporation’s most feared political interviewer.

The Times claims Boris is talking to Labour leavers.

Boris Johnson has begun talks with Labour MPs in Leave seats over his plans for a new Brexit deal.
His allies believe that he can win the support of up to 40 Labour MPs after Jeremy Corbyn’s decision this week to back Remain in a second referendum. “This couldn’t have worked out better for us,” an ally said. “We have Labour MPs in Leave seats who have been left completely isolated by Corbyn. Labour has become the party of Remain.”

The Express also carries the report.

BORIS JOHNSON has reportedly held secret talks with Labour MPs over plans for a Brexit deal as a growing number of parliamentarians become disillusioned at Jeremy Corbyn’s EU strategy.
The Tory frontrunner to succeed Theresa May and defeat Jeremy Hunt is looking to grasp vote of up to 40 Labour MPs following a shock u-turn by Mr Corbyn. Mr Corbyn has stated Labour is now the “party of choice” and would support Remaining in the EU over a no deal or Tory Brexit. Allies of the former Mayor of London are now looking to seize the opportunity, a source close to Mr Johnson told The Times: “This couldn’t have worked out better for us.”

And the other contender refused to confirm we’d be out by the end of the year, says the Telegraph.

Jeremy Hunt has refused to commit to taking Britain out of the EU before Christmas if he is prime minister.
The Foreign Secretary said he believed it was possible to get a revised deal by the end of September. But when pressed in a BBC interview with Andrew Neil, he would not guarantee that the UK would be out by Christmas because of the risk that Parliament could block a no-deal Brexit on Oct 31.
“I’m not going to give you those commitments. It’s because prime ministers should only make promises they know they can deliver. And there’s another reason why we have to be careful about this Oct 31 date,” he told Mr Neil.

The Times also reports his comment.

Jeremy Hunt has refused to pledge to take Britain out of the European Union before Christmas and said that prime ministers should “only make promises they know they can deliver”.
The foreign secretary said Theresa May made a mistake in promising to leave the EU by March 29 only to fail to deliver. “I’m not going to make that mistake,” he told the BBC last night.
Mr Hunt criticised Boris Johnson’s “do or die” pledge to leave on October 31 but denied a claim by Andrew Neil, the presenter, that he was “Theresa May in trousers”.

Boris could have a further look at women’s pensions says the Mirror.

Boris Johnson tonight offered a tiny glimmer of hope to millions of women hit by a rise to their state pension age.
The Prime Ministerial favourite said he will “commit to doing everything I possibly can to sorting out” the issue if he enters No10.
While he made no firm commitment at all, Mr Johnson may have raised campaigners hopes.
And crucially, he said he was “not convinced” government forecasts about the costs of helping the women are “necessarily true”.

Project Fear

The business secretary is still talking down Brexit, reports Sky News.

Many thousands of jobs will be lost across the UK if Theresa May’s successor triggers a no-deal Brexit, the business secretary has warned.
Greg Clark told Sky News in an exclusive interview he was certain jobs would go in no-deal as he implored colleagues to “strain every sinew to avoid that”.
Asked how many jobs could be lost, he replied: “It’s many thousands of jobs. Everyone knows that”.
“I think that every person who considers the evidence that companies have given, whether it’s in the automotive sector, whether it’s in the food sector, whether it’s in aerospace, whether it’s in industries up and down the country.

And Westmonster claims he’s trying to stop a WTO Brexit.

The Conservative government’s Business Secretary, Greg Clark, has attacked a No Deal Brexit again today as he and other pro-EU colleagues seek to stop the WTO Brexit favoured by two-thirds of Tory members.
Cranking up Project Fear yet again in an interview with Sky News, Clark has warned of “thousands of jobs” going if there’s a No Deal whilst insisting that “everyone knows that”. Err, do they?
It is more rhetoric that harks back to the 2016 referendum when the Treasury warned of a recession and 500,000 job losses if the UK voted to Leave – and was then followed by the lowest rate of unemployment since 1975.

Social injustice

She’s absolutely desperate for a legacy and the Independent carries her latest plans.

Theresa May has announced plans for a new government body to tackle “deep-seated societal injustices” as she tries to salvage a legacy before leaving office later this month.
The prime minister said she was setting up an Office for Tackling Injustices (OfTI) that will work independently to encourage future governments to focus on addressing inequalities.
She said the new body would use data-driven analysis to hold ministers to account. It will adopt a similar approach to the Race Disparity Audit, which uses data on different ethnicities’ experiences to shine a light on racial inequalities in the UK.

And if BBC News carries it, the plan can’t be some sort of a joke … can it?

Theresa May has announced plans for a new body to monitor government efforts to tackle “deep-seated societal injustice”.
The outgoing prime minister said an Office for Tackling Injustices (OfTI) would use data to “provide the catalyst” for better policies.
The pledge to combat “burning injustices” was one she made during her first speech as PM in 2016.

Guido says it’s a new quango.

Theresa May’s last-minute attempts to create some sort of political legacy have taken another predictably tedious turn today. In between hobbling the economy with a trillion pound bill and desperately trying to get Phil Hammond to turn on the spending taps, she’s now identified another integral piece of her legacy that was missing. A new quango.
She’s even managed to come up with a classic Thick of It-style name, the “Office for Tackling Injustices” (OfTI)It won’t actually be doing any tackling or even recommending policy, its purpose is just to “collect evidence” on various demographic discrepancies.

TBP

Nigel’s up for a fight says the Telegraph.

Nigel Farage, speaking exclusively to the Telegraph as he laid down a challenge to the Conservative party, has warned, “Boris says he wants to put me back in my box. So if he wants a fight – hold my jacket.”
The Brexit Party leader puts the chance of a general election by autumn at 50/50, whether the next prime minister takes Britain out of the EU with a deal or without one, and is gearing up for the battle.

EU

The Greens have a black MEP who is finding life in Brussels a bit of a challenge reports Euro Guido.

They say you should never meet your heroes, new Green Party MEP Magid Magid appears to be having exactly this experience in Brussels after discovering that the EU that he was passionately in favour of just a few weeks ago is actually a bureaucratic hellhole dominated by stale old white men stitching everything up behind closed doors. Brexiteers did try to warn him…
Magid even suffered the indignity of being asked to leave the Strasbourg Parliament by someone who assumed he wasn’t meant to be there because of the colour of his skin – the UK remains the only country to send ethnically diverse MEPs to the European Parliament in any significant numbers. He’s written a refreshingly honest account of what he actually found in Strasbourg and Brussels:

Labour Party

Corbyn’s party is heading towards a civil war, reports the Times.

Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet allies have turned on Tom Watson as the Labour Party struggles to cope with deep divisions over the allegations of antisemitism within its ranks.
Mr Watson, the Labour deputy leader, was attacked by John McDonnell and Diane Abbott after he criticised the party’s top official after Wednesday’s BBC Panorama documentary on the controversy.

And it’s all over anti-semitism, says the Mail.

Tom Watson ignited Labour’s civil war last night as he accused one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest aides of going back on a vow not to delete evidence about anti-Semitism cases.
A bombshell Panorama documentary on Wednesday revealed that an email about a disciplinary case from Labour general secretary Jennie Formby had been deleted.
Mr Watson, the party’s deputy leader, accused senior Labour figures of ‘smearing’ former staffers who broke gagging orders to tell the BBC programme that Mr Corbyn’s aides had intervened in disciplinary cases.

The Guardian reports on a potential lurch to the left.

Momentum is to launch a nationwide campaign to encourage members to begin deselection processes for Labour MPs, arguing it can open the door for more diverse, younger, working-class MPs.
The grassroots group said it would support rank-and-file members across the country to begin the process of challenging their sitting MP under Labour’s trigger ballot system.
The system, which was changed last September to make it easier for local party members to challenge MPs, allows members to vote on whether they would like their sitting MP to face a full selection process or be automatically reselected.

Diplomatic leaks

The leaking of diplomatic notes is reverberating around London.  The Times reports the start of a police investigation.

Counterterrorism officers are investigating the leak of comments by the British ambassador about President Trump. The decision to call in the Metropolitan Police after Whitehall spent a week searching for the source suggests the government believes that the Official Secrets Act has been breached.
Sir Kim Darroch quit as the ambassador in Washington on Wednesday after his diplomatic dispatches had been published in The Mail on Sunday.

The Mail says counter-terrorism police are involved.

Police are investigating the alleged leaking of diplomatic emails concerning Sir Kim Darroch’s comments about Donald Trump.
Scotland Yard say its counter-terrorism command is leading an investigation into the incident, concerning the outgoing ambassador to Washington.
It had emerged Sir Kim had described the US President’s administration as ‘inept’ in secret assessments for ministers, leading to Trump branding Sir Kim a ‘pompous fool’ and banning him from the White House.

And the Guardian claims police have asked the culprits to surrender.

Police have opened an investigation into the alleged leaking of diplomatic cables involving the outgoing UK ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, and asked that those responsible hand themselves in.
Scotland Yard said its counter-terrorism command, which takes national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, was leading the investigation.

The Telegraph says the police are threatening to prosecute any further publications.

Scotland Yard is threatening to prosecute anyone who publishes leaked diplomatic cables in a move that MPs said risked turning Britain into a “police state”.
Counter-terrorism police began an investigation into the leak of diplomatic cables and warned newspapers and social media users that they would be committing a criminal offence by publishing further secrets.
Scotland Yard said it was probing alleged “criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act” following the leak which led to the resignation of Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, this week.

BBC News reports that prosecutions will be in the public interest.

The Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leak of diplomatic emails from the UK ambassador in the US, which were critical of the Trump administration.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said there was a “clear public interest” in bringing those responsible to justice.
Sir Kim Darroch stepped down as ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was “impossible” for him to continue.

Breitbart quotes Nigel Farage.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said Sir Kim Darroch is a “fanatical” Europhile and a “globalist” who should have been replaced after the Trump victory.
Mr Farage described his first meeting with Sir Kim in 2005 whilst the diplomat was serving as the UK’s ambassador to the European Union, saying within “a few minutes into the conversation, I realised that a civil servant who ought to be politically neutral was a fanatic for building the European Project and the new global order.”

HS2

Looks like the high speed train is still heading for a missed target, reports the Times.

HS2 is at risk of missing its 2026 opening date because of government delays in signing off contracts for building work, according to MPs.
Repeated delays to the start of the main works programme would put huge pressure on the project over the next seven years, the Commons public accounts committee said. Meg Hillier, its chairwoman, called for a “thorough review” to ensure that the timetable was realistic.
It was announced this week that HS2 Ltd had failed to find a winning bidder for the £435 million contract to design and build a flagship station in central Birmingham.

Air travel

Flying out of Heathrow this summer?  Better check with your airline following a warning in the Telegraph.

A trade union has threatened to disrupt the summer holidays of millions of Britons with plans to “shut down” Heathrow.
As many as 4,000 staff are planning to hold strikes on two of the airport’s busiest weekends of the year, which will lead to cancelled flights and huge queues. Ministers have called on the organisers to “think twice” before ruining people’s breaks.
The strikes, planned by Unite following a pay dispute with airport bosses, will take place on the first weekend of the holidays for most schools and across the August bank holiday weekend.

ITV News also carries the warning.

Heathrow Airport could be “shut down” this summer owing to a series of strikes over a pay dispute, union Unite said.
More than 4,000 workers including security guards, engineers and drivers will walk out on July 26 and 27, and August 5, 6, 23 and 24.
It comes after workers backed strike action in eight ballots.
Unite said the action follows the rejection of an 18-month pay offer amounting to £3.75 extra a day for the lowest paid.

The Mail says the shutdown could last six days.

Heathrow Airport could be shut for six days over the summer after Unite announced a series of 48-hour walkouts.
Unite, which is run by Jeremy Corbyn’s chief backer Len McCluskey, balloted more than 4,000 members of staff at the airport having rejected an offer of a pay rise.
The union, who represent security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers at the airport are planning to walk out on Friday July 26 for 48 hours.

Education

Private education is being targeted says the Mail.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is among MPs throwing their support behind a new drive to outlaw private schools.
Mr Miliband is backing the Labour Against Private Schools campaign, which is using the Twitter handle @AbolishEton.
The group, which was launched this week, is pushing the party to commit to removing fee-charging schools’ privileges and to integrate them into the state system.
It is trying to win support for policies including ensuring universities admit the same proportion of private school students as there are in the wider population – seven per cent – and the withdrawal of charitable status and tax breaks from private schools.

Sleep

Do you get enough sleep?  The nanny state could take a hand says the Times.

Official guidance on how many hours people should sleep each night is set to be introduced by ministers.
The suggested minimum amount will vary according to age group and will come with advice on “sleep hygiene”, according to government-backed proposals to improve public health. The move will resemble recommendations on weekly alcohol consumption.
However, the guidelines are expected to state that regularly getting less than seven hours’ sleep a night could damage most people’s health.

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