Arms Folded in Unity

Actually not a bad ad lib from Corbyn pointing out that Amber Rudd was keeping Boris and Hammond apart at PMQs.

Positive body language… sorta.

Boris on Labour: “You Supine Protoplasmic Invertebrate Jellies!”

A repeat but the old ones are the best…

Boris Locked Out of Number 10

Write your own jokes…

Boris and Gove Back PM Statement

Boris and Gove on board at the moment but expect Brexiter backbenchers to oppose the ECJ and new EU rules during the transition. As Guido reported back in June, most Leavers are ok with a two year interim period so long as the end state is a full, clean Brexit outside of all the institutions of the EU. That remains the case tonight…

Livid Boris Vents Fury at “Allies” Briefing Press

Today’s Telegraph and Sun run quotes from anonymous “allies” of Boris calling for Philip Hammond to be sacked and claiming BoJo will “just say no” if Theresa May attempts to demote him. Boris is livid about these stories and says they have not been sanctioned by him and do not represent his views. In a furious tirade on the Tory MPs’ WhatsApp group last night, Johnson said he is “fed up to the back teeth” with anonymous “allies” briefing the press purportedly on his behalf:

“I do not know who these people are. I do not know if they are really my friends and allies or if they represent some sinister band of imposters. I heartily disagree with the sense, tone and spirit of what they are quoted as saying. Whoever they are they do not speak for me”

MPs who aren’t in the room with Boris are often appearing in print as his “allies”, claiming to speak for him. More often than not recently they are landing him in hot water, hence his frustration vented on WhatsApp. His declaration that “they do not speak for me” is as much as anything a plea to the Lobby not to report the views of excitable backbenchers as his own. Boris needs to take back control of his supporters…

Peston Labelled “Fake News” By Minister Over Boris Smears

Another ‘interesting’ take from Robert Peston, who writes: “the life-or-death question for May is whether Shapps and Johnson are in cahoots”. He claims Shapps met with Boris’ team a few weeks ago to “discuss matters”. A Tory source says this is “totally fabricated, an obvious smear”. Jake Berry, who is named in Peston’s story, says it is “fake news”. Senior May allies say Boris is not plotting any challenge with Shapps. Who briefed Pesto?

As anyone who has read a newspaper or spoken to a Tory MP recently knows, a more pertinent question would be whether Shapps has “discussed matters” with supporters of David Davis since the election…

Stanley Johnson Backs Brexit “The Time Has Come to Bail Out”

Boris has managed to win over one of the most ardent remain camapigners – his father Stanley. The former Tory MEP who once headed the European Commission’s Environmental Action Programme has been won over by his son’s arguments and Juncker’s over the top speech outling his vision for a pan-European government. Writing for BrexitCentral he says

For me the critical moment came a couple of weeks ago when EU Commission President Juncker gave his State of the Union address to the European Parliament. The vision he presented of an EU with a single government, and with directly-elected EU ministers with EU-wide responsibilities, including finance and defence, was quite simply – it seemed to me – totally over the top.

Up until then, I was still ready to argue that if you wanted to steer the ship in a different direction, the best thing surely was to stay on board and try to seize control of the steering wheel. In other words, fight from within for change.

But the ship metaphor doesn’t really work. The train metaphor is a better reflection of reality. Mr Juncker’s Federal Express is heading down the track at an ever-increasing speed in a direction we really don’t want to go. Even if Britain stayed on board, I doubt if we would be able to change the points on the track ahead, or even slow the train down.

Boris, I have to say (but I would, wouldn’t I?), wrote a brilliant 4,200-word article in the Daily Telegraph pointing all this out at more or less the same time that Mr Juncker was giving that unfortunate speech. Boris argued that for 40 years Britain has been trying to nudge the EU towards a different destiny and on the whole we have not had much luck.

The time has come to bail out, he asserted. I agree. We may argue about the length of the transition or ‘implementation’ period but there cannot surely be any longer any doubt what the ‘end-state’must be.

So that just leaves his sister Rachel, who has swung her vote to the LibDems, to be won over by the famously persuasive powers of Boris…

Rudd Tells Boris to Stand

Great spot of an awkward audience moment…

Boris Speech Full Text

As our hearts go out to Las Vegas today we are reminded once again of the attack that took place here only a few months ago, on innocent and music-loving young people. And if there is a message to our American friends it is this: that they will come through it and they will come back from it stronger.

Because this city has shown that nothing and no one can bow the indomitable spirit of the people of Manchester, which in recent years has reinvented itself as the great thrumming engine of the northern powerhouse.

With its vast potential to generate jobs in finance, in academia, in journalism and the arts – and that’s just the ones held by George Osborne Continue reading

Davis’ Jibe at Boris

“We train the best diplomats and put them to the test by sending them to work for the Foreign Secretary.”

Shots fired at his rival…

Hammond and Rudd Satisfaction Ratings Plunge

At the weekend Hammond and Rudd bombed in a focus group of Tory voters. Now their net satisfaction ratings on ConHome have taken a plunge – Hammond is down 14 points to minus 37 and Rudd is down a huge 20 points to minus 9. Crystal clear what Tory members think of their attempts to water down Brexit.

May Won’t Say If Boris is Unsackable

Theresa May declined to say that Boris is unsackable on Marr this morning. It would be just as relevant to ask if Philip Hammond is unsackable – the Chancellor has consistently been more at odds with government policy than Boris. Hammond wants a five year transition, May and Boris want two years. Hammond wants an EEA minus model, May and Boris don’t. Is it really Boris who is out of line with policy, or is it Hammond?

Boris Reciting Kipling’s “Mandalay”

Full credit to Boris for recalling a Kipling poem, Guido has long struggled trying to recall “If” at appropriate moments. The ambassador was unamused and considered the moment inappropriate. Channel 4 and The Guardian are trying to work it up into a full international gaffe. Here’s Charles Dance giving it full justice at the memorial to commemorate VJ Day on the seventieth anniversary of the country’s final victory in World War II:

Makes you proud…

YouGov Tory Member Poll: Borismania Back, Rudd Bombs

For all the attacks on him in the media and among Remainers over the last few weeks, YouGov finds Boris is the choice of Tory members to be the next leader. Ruth Davidson is in second place and Jacob Rees-Mogg is in third. Notably David Davis is some way behind on just 11%, while the Cameroon choice Amber Rudd is completely out of it on just 6%. Hammond is on a meagre 5%. Sobering for the Remain hope Rudd, and a reminder that the anti-Boris Remain media narrative does not reflect the views of Tory members…

H/T Sam Coates

Thornberry on Boris’ Paternity Test

The set-piece gag in Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry’s speech was a joke about Boris Johnson not liking maternity tests. Miaow…

Davis: Boris Didn’t Change May Speech

David Davis has slapped down this morning’s claims by Team Boris that their man “saved Brexit” and toughened up May’s Florence speech. DD insisted government policy hasn’t changed for some time, he also backed Amber Rudd’s drive-by on Boris on Marr last weekend and confirmed he is halfway between the EEA light and CETA plus models, as Guido reported last week. This DD slap down has to be viewed through the prism of their rivalry, this morning’s Sunday Times reports Davis vetoed an election night plan by Boris and Hammond to oust May…

May Rejects Norway: Boris Happy

Theresa May strongly rejected the EEA option – it will be tough for her to go with Hammond’s EEA light plan given these words:

“European Economic Area membership would mean the UK having to adopt at home – automatically and in their entirety – new EU rules. Rules over which, in future, we will have little influence and no vote. Such a loss of democratic control could not work for the British people. I fear it would inevitably lead to friction and then a damaging re-opening of the nature of our relationship in the near future: the very last thing that anyone on either side of the Channel wants.”

May also stressed the need for Britain to be able to make changes to EU rules and regulations. This is what Cabinet Leavers mean when they say they want Britain to be able to go its own way in the world:

“So the question for us now in building a new economic partnership is not how we bring our rules and regulations closer together, but what we do when one of us wants to make changes.”

Boris happy:

A senior Leaver tells Guido:

“Remainers have been outgunned. They were telling us EEA was nailed on and Spreadsheet Phil was going to get a 5 year transition.”

Boris might be happier than Hammond but May still didn’t explicitly say what Brexit Britain will look like, can kicked down the road…

UPDATE: The speech is also reopening the old Leaver splits from the referendum, with the Leave Means Leave crowd (which includes more hardline Tory Brexiter backbenchers) saying:

“We are deeply concerned that her proposals could lead to nothing changing either during or after the implementation period – which will go on for an undefined amount of time. There is no reference to being able to deregulate, sign our own trade deals or control our borders. This is a rebadging of the status quo and is Brexit in name only. In reality, this means we are still members. The Prime Minister should have explicitly committed to a no deal option and the Government should be planning for it. She has fallen for the trap laid by senior civil servants, the Treasury and the CBI.”

All Smiles After Cabinet

Boris and Hammond clearly made to walk out together from this morning’s two and a half hour Cabinet as some show of unity. “Is he your new best friend?” heckles the BBC’s Chris Mason…

Nadine Complains to Civil Service Chief About Statto’s Boris Blunder

Click to enlarge

Nads is right, Sir David Norgrove cocked up

Telegraph’s Boris Story Back From the Brink

The Telegraph went all in with the claim that Boris Johnson was set to resign at 1pm yesterday, something both Boris and his team denied within minutes of the story being published. The original copy was swiftly and quietly deleted and replaced with the news that Boris was in fact staying and had “dismissed suggestions” he was about to quit.[…] Read the rest


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Quote of the Day

Chuka Umunna on Seumas Milne re Russia:

“Have read the comments of the Leader of the Opposition’s spokesperson. Mr Milne’s comments do not represent the views of the majority of our voters, members or MPs. We’ll get abuse for saying so but where British lives have been put at risk it is important to be clear about this.”


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