WAB

Does the Prime Minister really understand his own agreement?  The Independent asks the question.

Boris Johnson has been accused of planning to renege on the terms of his own Brexit deal, after telling Northern Irish businesses that he will not enforce checks arising from the proposed customs border in the Irish Sea.
Mr Johnson also sparked controversy by telling Tory members that Northern Ireland had a “great” Brexit deal as it retains access to the single market and freedom of movement – something that the rest of the UK will lose under his EU withdrawal plan.

The Guardian says he’s misleading on purpose.

Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading the public about his own Brexit deal, after footage emerged of him telling exporters in Northern Ireland they will not need to fill in extra paperwork.
After a rocky start to the general election campaign in which Jacob Rees-Mogg had to apologise for his comments about victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, and the Welsh secretary, Alun Cairns, resigned, footage emerged of the prime minister regaling businesses with the benefits of his deal.

BBC News also says he didn’t know what the Bill says.

Boris Johnson has been accused of not understanding his Brexit deal or what it means for businesses in Northern Ireland.
Labour criticised him after he briefed Conservative members on Thursday.
The prime minister said companies could “bin” customs forms because there would be “no barriers of any kind” to trade crossing the Irish Sea.
But that contradicts what Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said last month about customs declarations for goods.

And the Mail says he’s at odds with his Brexit secretary.

Boris Johnson has promised Northern Irish businesses they will not have to fill out customs declarations to send goods to the rest of the UK once Britain has left the EU as he appeared to contradict Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay.
The Prime Minister told business leaders in Ulster last night that if anyone asked them in future to fill out paperwork they should tell them to call Number 10 and he would tell them to ‘throw that form in the bin’.

Leave alliance

At last, it seems that Brexiteers are starting to work together, reports the Express.

BREXITEERS are clubbing together to vote tactfully in the upcoming general election to ensure the UK’s departure from the EU actually gets delivered.
In an exclusive poll by Express.co.uk, up to 56 percent of participants declared they would absolutely vote tactfully to avoid spitting the Leave vote and allowing for Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn to get into No10. The percentage amounts to 3,054 of the vote. A total of 39 percent said they would vote the typical way, ignoring advice from the Tories, which amounts to 2,176 of the ballot.

Breitbart reports that such an alliance would benefit Leavers.

A poll has revealed that a significant majority of both Conservative and Brexit Party voters back a Leave alliance.
A poll by YouGov released on Thursday revealed that 70 per cent of Conservative voters and 81 per cent of those who back Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party support the two parties agreeing on a pact for the December 12th election. Just eight and six per cent respectively are opposed.
Such a pact would involve each party standing down and endorsing the other in specific seats in order to avoid splitting the Brexit vote and handing constituencies to Remain-backing candidates.

Conservative Party

The Telegraph reports the Prime Minister is on course for a landslide.

Boris Johnson is on course to win an overall majority of 96, polling suggests, as Labour has fallen behind the Tories in all but two English regions.
Analysis of opinion polls over the past fortnight by Electoral Calculus shows the Conservatives on course to win 373 seats, with Labour on 182, the Liberal Democrats on 25 and SNP on 48.
It shows the Conservatives up three per cent on last week to 38.2 per cent with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party falling to 10.2 per cent with no seats. It suggests the Prime Minister is so far holding Mr Farage at bay and maintaining a unified Brexit vote.

The Times covers some of the party’s policies.

The Conservatives are poised to abandon proposals to increase the threshold at which people start to pay the 40p income tax rate, with their manifesto instead focusing on cuts for lower earners.
During the Tory leadership campaign Boris Johnson announced plans to increase the threshold from £50,000 to £80,000.

And the Times also reports on plans for GP appointments.

Boris Johnson will promise today to increase by 50 million the number of GP appointments available each year in the Conservatives’ first big election offer on public services.
Mr Johnson identified access to family doctors as a big issue during his leadership campaign and said in his first speech as prime minister that patients should not have to “wait three weeks to see your GP”.

Labour Party

Labour’s in trouble, reports the Mail.

Labour was embroiled in an extraordinary crisis yesterday after a string of its election candidates found themselves caught in controversy.
In the space of 24 hours, three have been forced to quit while nine others came under pressure to step down after controversial remarks they had made in the past were exposed.
The row is highly embarrassing for leader Jeremy Corbyn at the end of the first week of the election campaign.

A senior Labour Jew has said the party is still anti-semitic says the Sun.

MARAGARET Hodge today refused to endorse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as PM — as the number of his candidates embroiled in slur scandals rose to 12.
Dame Margaret, one of the party’s most prominent Jewish figures, dropped the bombshell in an interview.
Asked on BBC 4’s Today programme whether she would prefer Mr Corbyn or Boris Johnson in Downing Street, she replied: “I want a Labour government.”

The Telegraph also covers the anti-semitism.

Lord Blunkett has described his “despair” at the “anti-Semitism and thuggery” in the Labour Party and suggested Jeremy Corbyn is on course for a 1983-style drubbing at the polls.
The former Labour home secretary said the party is “plagued by intolerance and division” which made the chances of a Corbyn majority “extraordinarily slim”.
He suggested the best Labour could hope for was another hung parliament, and urged moderates within the party to “stay and fight” to make sure “the voice of reason” prevailed.

A huge increase in spending may not be good for the country, reports the Mail.

Economists warned that Labour could ‘bankrupt Britain’ last night after the party unveiled plans to increase spending by an extraordinary £55billion a year.
In a major election rally yesterday, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell vowed that Labour would unleash levels of spending ‘on a scale never seen before’.
He pledged £250billion of spending over the next ten years for a green fund to invest in clean energy and insulation.

Labour’s northern heartlands are in danger of falling to the Tories, says the Express.

BORIS Johnson has appeared to have achieved the impossible by taking back Labour heartlands as early general elections polls revealed voting intentions for the north west of England have shifted to Tory paving the way for a landslide win thanks to support from the south and the Midlands.
Pollster YouGov showed Labour support is collapsing in the north, with prominent industrial counties – some of which that have voted Labour for decades – Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside now jumping ship to Tory in a spectacular show of support for the Brexiteer Prime Minister.

The Mail says the situation is being reflected across the country.

Support for Labour is collapsing across the country as Jeremy Corbyn lurches from ones crisis to the next, a new poll has revealed at the end of a disastrous few days for the party.
The new YouGov poll shows the Conservatives are pulling ahead in almost every region in the country, including many traditionally leave-voting Labour heartlands.

Even the pro-Labour Independent admits the party is weakening.

A slump in Labour support since the last election has seen Jeremy Corbyn’s party fall behind the Tories in its northern strongholds, a massive new poll of more than 11,000 people has found.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have lost ground in all regions of Britain since the 2017 vote, as Liberal Democrat and Brexit Party support surges in an election dominated by relations with the EU.
But the YouGov findings make the grimmest reading for Mr Corbyn, who sees Boris Johnson’s Conservatives establish a lead in the northwest and Yorkshire and Humber regions and challenge Labour for supremacy in the northeast.

The Sun calls it a ‘bombshell’.

JEREMY Corbyn is on course to lead Labour to its worst election result in Scotland and Wales for more than a century, a bombshell poll revealed.
The left-wing party is trailing the Tories in every English region apart from London and the North East and has shed more than 40 percent of its support in its Northern heartlands in just two years.
It has nosedived to just 12 per cent in Scotland and 29 per cent in Wales – once electoral strongholds – while its backing has almost halved across the Midlands and East of England since 2017.

The party could be led by two people, says Huffington Post.

Jeremy Corbyn could be succeeded by two “co-leaders” if he loses the general election, HuffPost UK has learned.
Under a confidential plan backed by senior party figures, the new job-share would feature one MP from a Leave-backing town and the other from a Remain-backing big city.
The aim would be to unite not just the party but also represent the country’s disparate areas, while underscoring Labour’s progressive values on shared roles in the workplace.

Some of the party’s policies are emerging.  The Mirror says more children’s facilities are planned.

Labour would open 1,000 Sure Start centres to boost young families, Jeremy Corbyn has announced.
Some 1,000 of the vital community centres were shut under Tory cuts, despite young parents hailing them as a lifeline as they raised their children.
Labour would also boost free childcare to 30 hours a week for all children aged 2 to 4 – far more than the Tories offer. The Tories only offer it for working parents of those aged 3 or 4, and some others.

Sky News also has the story.

Labour is promising to open 1,000 new Sure Start children’s centres in England.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he would invest £1bn in the early years centres, as part of a package of childcare support.
The Lib Dems will promise subsidised childcare for working families from when children are nine months old.
The Conservatives say they are already “investing record amounts in high-quality childcare”.
Childcare providers have expressed scepticism at the lack of funding details and warned of an “electoral arms race” on childcare promises.

The Brexit Party

Nigel’s party has suffered a defection, reports the Telegraph.

The ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ are no more after Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore parted company with Nigel Farage and started working with the Tories to help deliver Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, The Telegraph can disclose.
The trio spent 2016 campaigning for first Brexit and then Donald Trump and wrote a diary of their year  titled ‘The Bad Boys of Brexit’.
But now it seems that they have fallen out over how to deliver the result of that referendum at the Dec 12 election. Mr Banks, an insurance tycoon, and his aide Mr Wigmore support Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal and want to help deliver it; Mr Farage does not.

But Nigel will appear in a televised debate, reports the Mail.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is set to appear in two election shows announced by the BBC yesterday.
He is expected be one of the ‘leaders or senior figures’ from the major parties in a seven-way debate and is also being lined up for a 30-minute Question Time special to be broadcast in the run up to polling day on December 12.
The appearances will give Mr Farage the opportunity to make his case to Brexit supporters.
Both the Tories and Labour fear his decision to stand hundreds of candidates will deprive them of votes.

Scotland

The little Scot has laid out her plans for another independence referendum in the Mail.

Nicola Sturgeon named her price today for putting Jeremy Corbyn in power: a Scottish independence referendum next year.
The SNP leader and Scottish First Minister warned Boris Johnson not to stand in the way of a new separatist vote as she suggested she would be prepared to help the Labour leader become prime minister.
The Scottish First Minister said she would not do any deals with the current prime minister if the there was a hung parliament but was open to an informal arrangement with Labour.

The Guardian claims she has told the Labour leader her terms.

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Jeremy Corbyn she would demand a second independence referendum next year as her price to support a minority Labour government at Westminster.
She confirmed the Scottish National party’s (SNP’s) priority at this election was staging a fresh vote on independence next year, even if Labour was able to win a new deal from the EU and put that to a second European referendum.

And Sky News says she will team up with other opposition parties against the Tories.

The SNP will form a progressive alliance with other parties to “lock the Tories out of government” if they win enough seats to become kingmakers, the party’s leader said.
Nicola Sturgeon said other parties would need to have the same level of commitment to the NHS should the Scottish Nationals be in a position to decide who could get the keys to Downing Street.

Immigration

Following Brexit, the Tories intend to fast track doctors and nurses from abroad, says the Mail.

Plans for an ‘NHS Visa’ to fast track doctors and nurses from abroad into vacancies in the health service have been unveiled by the Tories today.
Medical staff hoping to work here will have a decision on their applications within two weeks, and the visa fee will be half the normal price.
The proposal is part of the Conservative Party’s plans to introduce a post-Brexit Australian-style points system which will prioritise migrants with much-needed skills.

The Independent calls is an ‘NHS visa’.

Boris Johnson is promising a new “NHS visa” making it easier for doctors and nurses from around the world to work in the UK.
The new visa will ultimately form part of the Conservatives’ planned points-based  immigration  system after Britain leaves the EU.

The plans will be part of the points-based immigration system says the Express.

BORIS Johnson is promising a new “NHS visa” making it easier for doctors and nurses from around the world to work in the UK.
The new visa will ultimately form part of the Conservatives’ planned points-based immigration system after Britain leaves the EU. The move reflects concern within the NHS that it will struggle to attract the staff it needs after Brexit. Under the scheme, the cost of a visa for health professionals would be halved from £928 to £464, while applicants would be guaranteed a decision within two weeks.

Education

A qualification suspected of cheating is to be scrapped, says the Telegraph.

Private schools tests that were at the centre of a “cheating” scandal exposed by The Daily Telegraph have been abolished by their exam board.
The Cambridge Pre-U, which was introduced a decade ago, is favoured by some of the country’s leading public schools such as Eton, Charterhouse and Winchester who see it as more testing than A-levels.
But Cambridge International announced on Friday that it plans to axe the qualification completely by 2024.

The Times says it was an alternative to A levels.

Pre-Us, the alternative to A levels created and used by many English public schools, are to be scrapped.
The last Pre-U qualifications will be taken in 2023, with resits in June 2024, Cambridge Assessment International Education said. The small number of pupils taking the qualification had made it unsustainable, the exam board added.
This was despite the number having risen steadily in recent years, from 5,038 in 2014-15 to 7,850 this year.

And the Guardian reports on next year’s education funding.

Schools in the vast majority of constituencies in England will be worse off next year than they were in 2015, despite the Conservatives’ promise of additional funding, according to research.
The National Education Union (NEU) said just 18 out of 533 constituencies would receive real terms per pupil funding increases next April, compared with 2015, even with the extra £2.6bn announced by Boris Johnson. Of those, 13 are Conservative-held and include Jacob Rees-Mogg’s North East Somerset constituency.

Post

Post early for Christmas – or your cards and letters might not get there, says the Times.

Royal Mail is seeking a High Court injunction to prevent a nationwide postal strike next month that would disrupt both the festive season and the general election.
The first national strike by Royal Mail workers in a decade was backed in a ballot by 97 per cent of members of the Communication Workers Union, on a 76 per cent turnout.

The Morning Star says posties will fight to stop an injunction.

POSTAL WORKERS have vowed to fight a “desperate and sinister move” by Royal Mail to invalidate a strike ballot overwhelmingly supported by postal workers.
Royal Mail bosses are seeking an injunction to block the planned strike, which could disrupt Christmas post as well as postal voting in the run-up to the general election.
The company sought an interim order in the High Court against the Communication Workers Union (CWU), claiming there are “potential irregularities in the ballot” making the vote unlawful.

Social care

Age UK says there are lots of people not getting the care they’re entitled to, says the Mail.

The number of older people who do not receive sufficient care to allow them to live at home has reached 1.5million, analysis suggests.
Age UK said the total will rise to 2.1million by 2030 without urgent reforms to the care system.
The figures come from large-scale surveys and official population estimates, and cover over-65s who need help with daily tasks – such as getting out of bed, going to the bathroom and getting dressed – but receive either too little or none at all.

And the numbers are going up, says ITV News.

Around 1.5 million older people in England have an unmet need for social care, a charity has warned.
Age UK estimates that one in seven people aged 65 and over struggles with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet, washing and getting dressed.
By 2030, some 2.1 million could be in need of help but will not be receiving it, the charity said.

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