News links for Monday, July 3, 2023 – News Block

Conservative MPs ‘piling more pressure’ on Sunak over migration

“More than two dozen Conservative MPs have tabled a 12-point plan to cut immigration by hundreds of thousands before the election in a new challenge to Rishi Sunak’s authority. The New Conservatives, a group of right-wing MPs from the 2017 and 2019 elections, warned the prime minister that he risked “eroding public trust” unless he agreed to take urgent and sweeping action to slash immigration. MPs, who include Lee Anderson, vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, believe their plans will reduce net migration to less than 226,000 by the next election, in line with the 2019 election programme. In December 2019, net migration was 270,000, but by the end of last year it had reached a record of 606,000.” – The times

  • Six months later, the Prime Minister may fail on his five promises: The Times
  • Biden to visit UK a month after meeting Sunak in Washington – The Daily Telegraph
  • Public blames Sunak government and corporate profits for inflation, poll suggests – The I
  • Just one to back government timeline to move to EVs, another poll suggests – The Daily Mail

Hunt to ‘advise’ banks to protect free speech

“Ministers should advise banks to protect free speech as increasing numbers of clients are having their accounts closed for allegedly holding controversial opinions. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is reportedly “deeply concerned” that lenders are blacklisting customers deemed to have contrary political beliefs and social values. Controversy erupted last week after Nigel Farage revealed his longstanding account had been closed by his bank, while another lender fired a vicar for questioning why his branches were displaying Pride flags. The results of a government consultation on the matter will be published in the coming weeks. Treasury may recommend a stiffer notice period…” – The Daily Mail


Braverman ‘at war’ with Baker over British-Pakistani men and grooming gangs

“Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been sacked by one of her closest political allies for claiming that child sexual harassment gangs are ‘predominantly’ made up of British-Pakistani men. Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister who ran Ms Braverman’s Tory leadership campaign last year, is believed to have withdrawn his personal support for her following highly criticized comments from her in April. Allies of Baker, a senior Eurosceptic, said he was unhappy with the targeting of a specific ethnic minority group when official figures say white Britons are responsible for most child abuse cases. Ms Braverman… spoke out in the wake of cases in towns like Rotherham and Rochdale that were downplayed by local officials fearful of being branded racist.” – The Daily Mail

  • Said to ‘oppose her singling out British-Pakistani men’ – The Guardian
  • Home Secretary demands to know why the Met ‘banned its Pride officers from wearing Thin Blue Line badges’ – The Daily Mail

Barclay suggests he is willing to offer doctors a raise

“The health secretary is reportedly keen to offer doctors a bigger pay rise, having asked consultants to cancel their planned strikes in July. There must be “movement on both sides” of the dispute, Steve Barclay said in an interview with The Times, urging leading doctors to resume negotiations. Young doctors will go on strike across all services, including Accident and Emergency, from 7am on July 13 to 7am on July 18, in the biggest strike in NHS history. Consultants will be doing reduced “Christmas Day” assignments on July 20 and 21. Mr Barclay said: “I don’t think a demand for 35 per cent payment, which they refuse to walk away from, is reasonable given the headwinds we face from inflation.” But he suggested he would be willing to increase his offer , the newspaper reported – The Daily Telegraph

  • ‘Strikes to blame’ for 650,000 hospital cancellations – The Daily Mail
  • NHS to ‘cut red tape’ by recruiting doctors and nurses instead of ‘pushers’ – The Daily Telegraph

Shapps ‘demands new gasoline price comparison website’ in ‘speculation crackdown’

“Motorists must be told where they can buy the cheapest gasoline under government plans to crack down on gas station gouging. Grant Shapps, the Secretary for Energy Security, is expected to signal the move Monday for a comparison website that would make it easier for motorists to find the best prices at gas stations in their local area. Ministers believe that the transparency provided by an online “pumpwatch” service could also drive down prices, as well as expose any possible speculation. In Northern Ireland, the public has access to a fuel price checker, which has been partly credited with keeping fuel costs down. The announcement is expected to coincide with the publication on Monday of a major report by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)…- The Daily Telegraph

Frazer: Youth centers closure ‘necessary’ before £3m raise for anti-social hotspots

“The closure of hundreds of youth centers and the loss of more than 4,500 youth workers were necessary to manage the economy, the Ministry of Culture has denounced. Lucy Frazer has announced a new £3m cash funding fund to provide young people living in areas plagued by anti-social behavior with access to sport, drama and skills training this summer to increase their opportunities. The policy forms part of Rishi Sunak’s anti-social behavior action plan and is backed by a £500m funding package for youth services over the next three years. But it comes against the backdrop of a nearly £1bn decline in spending on youth services between 2010 and 2019, according to the YMCA, resulting in the closure of 760 youth centers and 4,500 jobs for young workers. – The I

Coffey ‘fights plans’ for a 112-mile line of new pylons through the countryside

“Therese Coffey is campaigning against new pylons in her constituency, as ministers prepare to break planning laws to speed up their construction across the country. The Environment Secretary is fighting proposals to build a 112-mile-long line of steel pylons that will span the countryside of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. She has organized a petition calling on the Government to reroute power cables from offshore wind farms in the North Sea to run ashore in Kent. Cabinet colleague Kemi Badenoch, the Business Secretary, is also among six Conservative MPs from the three counties who have come together to urge a rethink… Grant Shapps, the Energy Secretary, wants to halve the amount of time it takes to deliver such projects…” – The Daily Telegraph

Khan ‘is sexist and has a problem with women,’ says Tory Mayoral favorite

“The grassroots favorite to become the conservative mayoral candidate has lashed out at Sadiq Khan as a sexist who has a problem with women. New favorite Susan Hall tells The Sun how she thinks the current mayor of London can’t stand her, she seems to ignore her in public and seems to have issues with women at the top of politics. It comes after Daniel Korski was forced to drop out of the race last week after Daisy Goodwin accused him of groping her when he was an assistant at number 10. Now only two candidates remain to face Sadiq in the mayoral race of the next year. Assemblywoman Ms Hall has called on Korski to face an investigation into the “serious allegations” and questions have been piling up for Tory HQ about how he was allowed to become a candidate.” – The Sun


Starmer faces Labor riots over ‘witch hunt’ to quell dissent

“Sir Keir Starmer faces accusations that he is engaged in a ‘witch hunt’ aimed at shutting down dissenting or independent voices within Labour, as the leader tightens his grip on the UK’s main opposition party. John McDonnell, who was shadow chancellor under left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2015-20, criticized “factional behaviour”. He told the Financial Times that some at the top of the party were looking for an excuse to suspend him. McDonnell will vote on Monday against legislation that aims to bar local councils from imposing boycotts on foreign regimes, such as Israel, defying an edict by Starmer that Labor MPs must abstain at their second reading… Starmer faces criticism for a party move that could result in the expulsion of Labor veteran Neal Lawson…” – The Financial Times

  • You’re Creating a ‘Culture of Fear’ – The Self
  • Starmer accused of ‘double standards’ when it emerges that she will hire Gray despite an investigation expected to find her ‘guilty’ of violating civil service rules – The Daily Mail
  • Labour’s lead falls ‘despite public disagreement with Tories’ handling of cost-of-living crisis’ – The I
  • Phillipson criticizes ‘disastrous’ drop in number of young builders – The Sun
  • Labor could investigate any allegations of ‘racism’ by Phillips, says shadow minister – The Guardian
  • Party says its plan to strip private schools of their charity status would be used to fund payments to prevent teachers from leaving the profession – The Daily Mail

Lib Dems believe middle-aged women “hold the key to winning the next election”

“Middle-aged women hold the key to winning the upcoming election, the major political parties believe, as campaigns target the ‘National Trusters’, ‘Take A Break-ers’ and the Women’s Institute (WI). Women between the ages of 45 and 65 are increasingly viewed by strategists as having a significant amount of power at the ballot box. The Liberal Democrats have identified two groups they believe will decide the so-called blue wall seats, traditional Conservative constituencies in the south. The first they called “Surrey Shufflers”: couples aged 25 to 40, often with young children, who moved out of London. They may have voted Labor in the capital, but now they are in constituencies where the fight is between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.” – The times

News in Brief:

  • Unrest in France is fueling division over Europe’s migrant crisis – Gavin Mortimer, The Spectator
  • Why I’ve Quit Conservatives – Aris Roussinos, UnHerd
  • Men are not mothers – Jean Hatchet, The Critic
  • Unhappy Birthday, NHS – John Ashmore, CapX
  • Can we give former politicians something to do besides podcast? – Marie Le Conte, The New Statesman

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