Brexit

The Brexit secretary is talking tough in Westmonster.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has laid out how some in the European Union want to punish the UK for daring to leave the bloc – but that the UK isn’t a “minnow” and the government wouldn’t “crawl back cap in hand for this deal”.
Speaking to The Sun, Raab said: “If you walk around the corridors in Brussels, you hear all sorts of mutterings about how the UK must be ­penalised for leaving the EU, and the politicisation of Northern ­Ireland is part of that.
“There are some out there in the Commission who see it as a lever beyond the substantive issue.

Breitbart also reports Raab’s comments.

David Davis’s successor as Brexit Secretary,  Dominic Raab, claims some in the EU want Britain “penalised” — but warns the country will not “crawl” for a deal.
“If you walk around the corridors in Brussels, you hear all sorts of mutterings about how the UK must be ­penalised for leaving the EU, and the politicisation of Northern ­Ireland is part of that,” the Tory MP told 
The Sun, echoing  similar comments by Boris Johnson, a possible rival for Theresa May’s premiership who Raab once backed as Tory leader.
“There are some out there in the [European] Commission who see it as a lever beyond the substantive issue [of maintaining a customs-free border],” he explained.

The Prime Minister is talking about a celebration of Brexit in the Independent.

The UK will host a major new festival to celebrate culture, sports and innovation in 2022, in an attempt to showcase its post-Brexit future, Theresa May has announced.
Ministers will pour £120m into preparations for The Festival, a nationwide celebration inspired by the 1851 Great Exhibition during Queen Victoria’s reign and the post-war Festival of Britain some 70 years ago.
The prime minister said the event would come at a moment of “national renewal” as the nation seeks to establish itself outside the European Union, and will coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

In an exclusive interview with the Sun, the Prime Minister claims she’s ‘not bluffing’.

DEFIANT Theresa May has told of her determination to deliver Brexit with or without a deal and vowed: “I’m not bluffing.”
In an exclusive interview with The Sun on Sunday, the PM warned stubborn EU chiefs she will do everything in her power to get her Chequers blueprint agreed.
She blasted saboteurs at home for “playing politics” with Britain’s future by trying to derail her plan for their own ambitions.
But she insisted she won’t flinch from quitting  empty-handed if her efforts are blocked by any of the forces lined up against her. Mrs May declared: “I’m serious about it when I say No Deal is better than a bad deal.
“It is very important that people realise I am not bluffing about this.

The former Brexit secretary has been unable to hold his fury in any longer and has attacked the PM in the Telegraph.

When David Davis resigned from the Government in July, he was careful not to attack Theresa May personally over her handling of the EU negotiations.
While furious with the way her Chequers plan was foisted on him as Brexit secretary, his quarrel, he has repeatedly said, is with the policy itself rather than the Prime Minister.
Now he has unleashed a previously pent-up stream of criticism of Mrs May’s advisers, describing a failure to adequately grasp the “practicalities” of the negotiations, and tendencies to believe EU claims “that are simply exaggerations” and “quail” in front of arguments from Brussels.

The Independent also reports his attack.

Boris Johnson has launched an eve of conference attack at Theresa May‘s Brexit  proposals, branding them a national humiliation for Britain and accusing her of seeking to “cheat the electorate”.
In a bid to fend off claims he has no ideas of his own he wrote a sprawling 4,600 word newspaper column setting out his six-point plan to what he claimed would be a better  Brexit.
It included a call to agree a “super Canada” free trade deal and refusing the EU’s plans for the Irish border, with Mr Johnson simply insisting Brussels will agree to something else if pushed.

The Mirror claims Mrs May will lose her job if she calls a General Election.

Tory MPs will tell Theresa May this week they will oust her if she tries to force a General Election to save her skin.
But Boris Johnson’s hopes of replacing her are fast slipping away.
As Tories gathered for the Birmingham conference last night, rumours spread of a possible snap November poll.
No 10 rubbished this, but if the PM’s Chequers Brexit plan is sunk in the Commons she will have to resign or call an election in a bid to restore her authority.
Many Tories are terrified that could let Jeremy Corbyn in. They will warn Mrs May such a decision will trigger the remaining 48 letters from MPs needed for a no confidence vote. It is believed 40 are already in.

Foreign investment

A plan to stop foreign buyers coming into our housing market has been launched, says the Times.

Theresa May has launched a concerted campaign to keep her job, announcing a crackdown on foreigners buying homes in the UK and revealing plans for a “historic” festival to celebrate Brexit Britain.
In an interview with The Sunday Times on the eve of her party conference, the prime minister confronted her critics, accusing those who refuse to back her Chequers blueprint for Brexit of “playing politics” with Britain’s future and undermining the national interest.
In an attempt to show that she has ideas beyond Brexit, May announced that foreign buyers will face a higher stamp duty rate to stop them driving up house prices.

The Telegraph has picked up the story.

Foreign buyers are to be targeted by a new tax on the purchase of new homes, as Theresa May says it “cannot be right” that those who don’t live in the UK can buy properties as easily as British residents.
The Prime Minister will announce plans to levy a new stamp duty of up to three per cent on individuals and companies not paying tax in this country.
The proceeds of the tax, which will be applied on top of existing rates, have been earmarked for schemes in the government’s rough sleeping strategy.

The Independent says the new tax will come in the form of stamp duty.

Foreign buyers of UK homes will be hit with higher stamp duty, as Theresa May  seeks to counter criticism that her “mission” to tackle the housing crisis is a flop.
The one per cent hike – possibly rising to three per cent – will raise tens of millions of pounds to cut the number of rough sleepers, the prime minister will announce.
The government believes there is evidence that allowing foreign buyers to snap up homes while paying the same duty as British residents “is inflating house prices”.
Now the surcharge will be levied on top of existing higher levels of stamp duty, introduced in 2016, on second home and buy-to-let purchases.

Conservative Party

There has been a serious data breach by the Tories. The Telegraph says:

The Conservative Party faces a ­potential fine of up to £2m after its software for conference delegates exposed the personal details of thousands of MPs and attendees, including Cabinet ­ministers.
As the Prime Minister arrived in ­Birmingham for the annual conference last night, her party headquarters was scrambling to lock down a function on its mobile phone application that ­allowed anyone to log in as an MP or a speaker, exposing their private contact details.

The Mirror also has the story.

Top Tory cabinet ministers’ personal details, including what appear to be their mobile phone numbers, were exposed to the world today thanks to a major security flaw in the party’s own app.
The serious blunder allowed anyone to access details of hundreds of MPs including Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary  Gavin Williamson – who have police protection and warn regularly of the hacking threat from Russia.

Sky News points out the breach.

The personal details of ministers and other MPs could be accessed by anyone after a major security flaw in the Conservative Party’s official conference app.
The mobile phone numbers of Chancellor Philip Hammond and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson were among those which could be accessed without a password.
Several ministers, including those with top-ranking security clearance, were reported to have received nuisance calls from the public after the breach.
Anybody could type in an attendee’s email address – those of MPs are available on parliament’s website – to access their profile.

The Times reports that the chancellor’s avatar was changed to Eeyore.

The personal details of senior cabinet ministers, including their mobile phone numbers, were accidentally leaked following a security flaw in this year’s Conservative Party conference app.
The party eventually blocked a function on the app, which allowed anyone to log in as an MP or a speaker by inputting their email addresses.
Reporters at The Sunday Times were able to log into the app as Philip Hammond, the chancellor, using his parliamentary email, which gave them access to his phone number and the ability to message other conference attendees.
They were able to alter his profile picture to an image of Eeyore, the gloomy donkey in the Winnie-the-Pooh books he is commonly compared to, before changing it back.

But it seems the Tory grassroots are revolting, says the Independent.

Grassroots Tories pushing for a fresh  Brexit  referendum have attacked their party’s “intolerance”, after a conference debate on the campaign was obstructed.
The Conservatives have been accused of an “extraordinary” attempt to undermine discussion on the most crucial issue facing Britain, by refusing to allow a meeting to publicised.
In an interview with 
The Independent, the head of the group Conservatives for a People’s Vote  said the stance was part of a shift to the right as Theresa May tried to carry out her form of Brexit.
And he made the explosive claim that the situation was similar to “what happened in the  Labour party with Militant in the 1980s” – the benchmark for an attempt by extremists to take over a major party.

But the Prime Minister is fighting back, says the Express.

THERESA MAY has set out her blueprint to build a better Britain as MPs warned that Brexit alone “will not win the next election”. Taking the fight to Labour, the Prime Minister will set about tackling the country’s “broken housing market” by introducing higher duty for house buyers who do not pay tax in the UK.
Her government has also drawn up plans to get Britain moving, overhauling the country’s damaged road network.
And the Prime Minister has announced a new festival of Britain in 2022, which will showcase the country’s “dazzling” array of talent. 

Labour Party

How would you like to work for just four days in the week – and get paid for five? That’s proposed by the Labour Party, says the Times.

Everybody in Britain would work a four-day week — but get paid for the full five days under radical proposals being explored by the Labour Party.
Company bosses would pass on efficiency savings from new technology to workers by offering them an extra day at home, according to a well-placed source.
Under the plans, employees would be able to enjoy a three-day weekend, but still get paid the same.
The proposal builds on last year’s manifesto commitment to introduce four new bank holidays to mark the patron saints of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

The Express also cover the announcement.

LABOUR is preparing to back calls for a four-day working week. An announcement could be made within weeks.
Supporters say that advances in technology have made the traditional five-day week outdated and claim that new ways of working should allow staff more time off to spend on hobbies and with loved ones.
But critics have claimed that a four-day week would be dangerous and could hurt the economy.
Union leaders have already backed the case for a four-day working week. 

A no-confidence vote has been lost by an MP, reports ITV News.

The Labour Party is no longer a broad church and does not tolerate people with differing views, MP Chris Leslie has said after losing a no-confidence vote brought by local party members.
Mr Leslie, a vocal critic of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, became the latest parliamentarian to be censured on Friday, and the first since the party’s annual conference in Liverpool.
Similar action has been taken against Labour Friends of Israel chairwoman Joan Ryan, Luton South MP Gavin Shuker and the Labour Brexiteers Kate Hoey and Frank Field.

House of Lords

In an exclusive report, the Sun claims we’re subsidising peers’ food and drink.

LAVISH dining and watering holes in the House of Lords receive thousands of pounds every day in taxpayer subsidies.
Eight bars and restaurants at Westminster got £1.3million last year for meals and drinks.
The facilities clocked up a £6.6million bill over the past five years — around £8,000 for each sitting day.
The Peers’ Dining Room spent £801,000 more than it collected for 2017/18, figures from the House of Lords administration committee show.
The Barry Room lost £260,000 and the River Restaurant was in the red by £442,000.

Ireland

The Brexit secretary has claimed the EU is trying to punish the UK for leaving by focussing on the Irish border, says Express.

DOMINIC Raab has said EU politicians in Brussels are “exploiting” the hard border issue in Northern Ireland to “punish” Britain, in his most explosive interview since becoming Brexit Secretary in July.
In scathing remarks, certain to infuriate key figures in the bloc, Mr Raab speaks out against those who “rely” on the stall in Brexit negotiations to further their own political agenda and punish Britain.
Speaking to the Sun, Mr Raab said: “If you walk around the corridors in Brussels, you hear all sorts of mutterings about how the UK must be penalised for leaving the EU, and the politicisation of Northern Ireland is part of that.

EU

But it looks like the bloc is finally accepting there may be no deal, reports the Times.

EU diplomats are accelerating plans for managing the potential chaos of a no-deal Brexit amid fears that the summits planned for October and November to hammer out and endorse an agreement with Britain could be fruitless and negotiations could run on into next year.
Over breakfast on Wednesday, Martin Selmayr, the EU’s top civil servant, briefed ambassadors from the 27 other EU countries on back-up plans to keep planes flying and essential supplies moving if Brexit talks — which are deadlocked over the Irish border question — fail.

And the German Chancellor is refusing to quit, reports the Express.

ANGELA Merkel has sparked anger after vowing to stand for re-election as leader of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.
The German Chancellor, now in her third term, had been urged to step down from her role in the CDU amid plunging approval ratings.
The 64-year-old engaged her critics yesterday after saying she would run for re-election at the party congress in December.

The Guardian claims the party conferences are being studied across the Channel.

The general rule in Brussels is that what goes on at a party conference stays at the party conference. Rhetorical fireworks from politicians playing to the crowd are regarded as part and parcel of the political cycle, to be safely disregarded as a bit of theatre. But with six months to go until Brexit, the normal rules do not apply. Every cough and spit in the British debate at this stage is attracting the closest attention, and much of it is causing great anxiety in the EU quarter of the Belgian capital.
Jeremy Corbyn was first up, with his leader’s speech in Liverpool. To say it was forensically examined and discussed by EU officials and diplomats does not do it justice. EU officials liked bits of it. They chortled in the European commission at Corbyn’s line that the government envisioned a “Britannia that both rules the waves and waives the rules”.

It seems the EU is still being profligate with our money, says the Telegraph.

They were showered with millions of euros in EU funding to restore the crumbling walls and archways to their former glory.
But Bulgaria’s ancient castles and fortresses have become a laughing stock after shoddy reconstruction work left the sites looking like they were made of “cheese and cardboard” and drove away tourists.
Conservationists have poured scorn on efforts to rebuild the medieval fort of Krakra and the Roman fort of Trayanovi Vrata , among others, after they were rebuilt using polymer concrete.
The ill-fated project was overseen by the Bulgarian government, drawing on its own funds and around 90 million euros (£80m) from the EU’s Regional Development Fund.

NHS

The Morning Star claims the Royal College of Nursing is in chaos after a meeting.

THE council of the Royal College of Nursing is likely to stand down after it lost a no confidence vote at an extraordinary general meeting in Birmingham today.
The motion “We have no confidence in the current leadership of the RCN” passed with 78 per cent of respondents’ votes. Anger had been running high in the union following admissions in the summer that information given to members being balloted on a pay offer was misleading, with suggestions that staff would receive rises of at least 3 per cent not being accurate.
The backlash forced chief executive Janet Davies to stand down in August.

Child grooming

Grooming gangs are still operating in some towns, says the Sun.

A GIRL raped by up to 70 Telford grooming gang members from the age of 12 saw just ONE of the men convicted over the vile crimes.
The victim was pregnant at 13 and suffered four years of abuse and faced death threats from the network of paedophiles in the town.
The girl – whose ordeal only ended when she fled Telford aged 16 – told The Sunday Mirror  the men ‘stole her childhood’ and said all she wants “is justice”.
She added: “All I want is justice, because the men who raped me are walking around scot free.
“I am terrified they’re doing what they did to me to other innocent young girls in Telford.
The now 19-year-old said she bumps into her abusers ‘every time she goes home’.

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