London Playbook: By-election day — Boris in Rwanda — Strikes Round 2 – POLITICO

LOBBY SCOOP: The Sunday Telegraph has poached Will Hazell, the i paper’s training correspondent, to beef up its Lobby workforce. Hazell, who has been on the i since 2019, is shifting to the Tel on the finish of July as a political correspondent and will probably be No. 2 to Sunday Telegraph Political Editor Edward Malnick.

Good Thursday morning. This is Eleni Courea. I’m in the Playbook scorching seat till Tuesday so ship me your suggestions.

DRIVING THE DAY

FACING THE HEAT: Voters head to the polls in Wakefield and in Tiverton and Honiton right this moment for probably the most important by-election check of Boris Johnson’s premiership, simply because the temperature is forecast to hit a balmy 27 levels.

Meanwhile close to the equator: That’s the identical temperature as in Kigali, the place the PM and a bleary-eyed Lobby press pack landed minutes in the past. Johnson is spending the following three days in Rwanda for the Commonwealth leaders’ assembly earlier than jetting off to Berlin for the G7 and Madrid for the NATO leaders’ summit.

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What to count on right this moment: The PM will go to the Rwanda Genocide Memorial early on Thursday morning … report a broadcast clip mid-morning … and tackle the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at lunchtime.

Conveniently: He’ll be greater than 4,000 miles away from the political fallout when the by-election outcomes are introduced in the early hours of Friday.

Boris vs. Charles: POLITICO’s personal Esther Webber filed a scene-setting piece earlier than boarding the flight final evening. She predicts “weapons-grade awkwardness” because the PM meets Prince Charles, who is claimed to have privately described the coverage of sending migrants to Rwanda as “appalling.” Johnson alluded to this at Cabinet last week by saying ministers had faced criticism from “slightly unexpected quarters.” “The pair will come face to face at the summit in Kigali for their first high-profile meeting since last year’s COP26 conference in Glasgow,” Esther writes. “It will be a test of diplomatic tact for two men not exactly known for holding back.” They’re attributable to meet for tea on Friday.

Squaring up: Asked whether or not he can be elevating the matter with Prince Charles, Johnson advised the touring Lobby press pack earlier than they took off: “All I can say is that I think that the policy is sensible, measured, and it’s a plan to deal with the grotesque abuse of people crossing the Channel.” The Telegraph’s Ben Riley-Smith says Johnson will inform Charles he’s “proud” of the Rwanda coverage. The FT’s Jim Pickard hears related, with one official telling him: “If and when the immigration policy is raised then you can expect the prime minister to defend it vigorously.”

Out of hassle: Worth noting that Johnson will probably be overseas for a complete of eight consecutive days from now — and, as one political insider of 25 years identified to Playbook yesterday, it’s extremely uncommon for a primary minister to be in another country for that lengthy (as a scan of the Wikipedia lists of Johnson’s predecessors’ international journeys confirms).

Leadership menace: Could this week of excessive drama see the defenestration of an more and more unpopular and underperforming chief who’s been the topic of months of vicious briefings? If we’re speaking about Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth secretary normal, then it’s wanting probably. The British authorities — which brazenly opposes her management — is more and more assured she will probably be ousted, the Times’ Henry Zeffman stories.

BY-ELECTION SPECIAL

TO THE POLLS: As the strike-induced journey chaos hits its third day, political celebration campaigners will probably be feverishly knocking on doorways to get out the vote in two reverse sides of England. Playbook will shortly run you thru the 2 contests going down:

— Wakefield: 3,358 Tory majority, 63 % Leave vote. Red wall seat received off Labour in 2019. Its final MP Imran Ahmad Khan was jailed for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008. Labour will certainly take this seat again (if it doesn’t, one thing has gone very, very badly unsuitable) — the query is how large the swing will probably be.

Tiverton and Honiton: 24,239 Tory majority, 58 % Leave vote. Devon seat which has stayed blue because it was created in 1997. Fell vacant when its MP Neil Parish resigned after admitting watching porn on his cellphone in the Commons. Far extra unpredictable than Wakefield, although the Lib Dems are anticipated to win. Playbook picked up whispers earlier this week that Tory figures are privately hopeful they’ll nearly grasp on, nevertheless. The FT’s Seb Payne has heard related from some MPs however has a Tory strategist saying the celebration will lose with a “substantial” majority. A Lib Dem supply advised Playbook final evening that issues had been “neck and neck” and that the celebration is in a stronger place that it was on the finish of final week. “We’ve definitely seen a bit of a shift towards us in the last few days,” they mentioned.

Fun reality: If the Lib Dems do take Tiverton and Honiton, it is going to be the largest majority ever overturned in a by-election (in phrases of uncooked vote numbers, not proportion swing).

When will we get the outcomes? Local authorities in each constituencies count on to announce the outcome between 4 and 6 a.m. — relying on turnout. Wakefield is prone to come first as a result of its inhabitants is extra concentrated.

Time for some consultants: James Johnson of JL Partners, who used to run polling in No. 10 for Theresa May, has despatched Playbook a helpful rundown of what can be a great and dangerous evening for the primary events.

WAKEFIELD: “The seat only needs a swing of 4.2 percent to Labour for them to win it,” Johnson texts in.

Under 6 %: “A very good result for the Conservatives and means Labour face serious issues in terms of their chances of persuading the public they are fit for government in a seat like Wakefield — note the Tories could lose the seat and that still be a good result for a by-election in this part of a parliament.”

6-10 %: “An OK result.”

10-16 %: “Bad and indicative of heading towards a hung parliament or a close election result in line with where the polls currently are. Nudging above 12.7 percent (Corby) would be the biggest swing to Labour for a sitting Conservative government since Major vs. Blair.”

16 %+: “Very dangerous for the Conservatives and suggests Labour is in a extra aggressive state than the polls recommend.”

TIVERTON AND HONITON: “The seat needs a swing of 22.7 percent to the Lib Dems for them to win it,” Johnson texts.

Under 10 %: “Good for the Conservatives and shows their vote holding up considerably in a setting ripe for a protest vote.”

10-16 %: “An OK result.”

16-25 %: “A bad result for the Conservatives — even a hold like this would still be a bad result in swing terms. This would be indicative of an erosion in the South of the Conservative vote and a mobilization of Labour/Lib Dem votes against it that could well be replicated at a general election.”

25 %+: “Very bad result for the Conservatives and it could signify a structural weakness and potential wipe-out in the south.”

Time for some consultants II: Chris Curtis, head of political polling at Opinium, factors out: “There are only 40 Tory seats that have larger majorities than Tiverton and Honiton, so it shows just how low expectations of a Tory performance have become that winning it would now been seen as a good result … There are no fewer than 284 Tory MPs who have leads over the Lib Dems that are smaller than what Neil Parish achieved in 2019. If the Lib Dems can pull off that miracle, then a good few of them will be starting to feel incredibly nervous.”

Orange pact: The Telegraph’s Tony Diver has run an evaluation estimating that Labour and the Lib Dems might get pleasure from a 20-point enhance on polling day by working collectively towards the Tories.

Now learn this: John Curtice unpicks what’s at stake with an op-ed for the Indy. “As Lady Bracknell might observe, for the Conservatives to lose one by-election on Thursday might be regarded as unfortunate. However, to lose two might look like much more than carelessness — but a sign of a government that is at risk of losing its electoral footing,” he writes.

LABOUR LAND

UNHAPPY UNION: No busy information week is full with out the Labour Party being consumed by a vicious insular row on the sidelines. And this week isn’t any totally different, with the fallout from the Labour management’s place on the RMT strikes — first revealed by PoliticsHouse’s Sienna Rodgers on Monday — threatening to eclipse no matter message the celebration is eager to place out.

Escalation of tensions: Shadow Cabinet ministers are pressuring chief Keir Starmer drop the specter of disciplinary motion towards frontbenchers who be a part of the picket strains, the Guardian’s Heather Stewart stories. She says frontbenchers who defied LOTO’s orders to help putting RMT staff have been requested to difficulty statements explaining their attendance.

One for the whips’ listing: Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock — who’s hardly on the onerous left — advised Sky’s Sophy Ridge final evening that he’d have backed strike motion if he was an RMT member. “We believe in working people getting a good deal in terms of pay, terms and conditions. A strike is a last resort for getting that but sometimes that’s what you have to do,” he mentioned (but additionally claimed that Starmer had “got it absolutely right” on the problem).

All-time Tulo: Aslef’s Mike Whelan, who chairs the commerce union and Labour Party liaison group (Tulo), tweeted final evening that Starmer’s dealing with of the problem “may end the party.” He was responding to Simon Fletcher, a former member of Starmer’s workforce, telling LBC’s Andrew Marr that the Labour chief had received issues “quite badly wrong” and was inflicting “a very bad feeling.”

Now learn this: The Times’ Henry Zeffman has an attention-grabbing evaluation of Starmer’s relationship with the unions. (*2*); he writes.

Over in Poplar: MP Apsana Begum has mentioned she is taking break day due to “misogynistic abuse and harassment” linked to makes an attempt to deselect her from her seat in Poplar and Limehouse. The Guardian has a write-up.

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TODAY IN WESTMINSTER

STRIKING BACK: Rail staff will stroll out for his or her second day of strike motion right this moment, leaving simply one-fifth of prepare companies working and half the community closed. Check the newest updates earlier than you journey.

Commons motion: Kwasi Kwarteng will unveil laws to finish the ban on utilizing company workers to exchange putting staff. Here’s the Mail’s write-up.

Struck down: Ministers are drawing up plans to curb time beyond regulation and relaxation days for putting staff to restrict their skill to claw again pay, Sky’s Sam Coates reveals in what might escalate hostilities with the RMT.

When will it finish? There may very well be extra strikes as quickly as July 9 if rail trade chiefs and unions fail to succeed in settlement, the Telegraph says. The Times’ Ben Clatworthy splashes on unions piling on the stress after Merseyside, which operates trains in Liverpool with out authorities cash, agreed a 7.1 % pay rise for staff.  

Taking the Mick: It’s no secret that RMT gen sec Mick Lynch has acquired one thing of a cult following on-line. His newest broadcast outing final evening noticed him tackle Robert Jenrick on the ITV Peston couch. The Times’ Mario Ledwith has rounded up his greatest moments for the paper.

Teachers subsequent: A lecturers’ strike in the wake of the disruption to education brought on by the coronavirus pandemic can be “unforgivable,” Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi says in an op-ed that splashes the Telegraph. The NEU has threatened an autumn poll on strike motion if ministers don’t agree a considerable pay rise for lecturers.

PAY PACKET SQUEEZE: The Treasury has advised Cabinet ministers that any pay rises for public sector staff should come from their current budgets, in response to the Times’ Steve Swinford. He stories that David Canzini advised authorities aides final week that there needs to be no appeals for brand new spending.

Defense enhance: Boris Johnson might use subsequent week’s NATO summit to unveil a lift in the U.Ok.’s protection spending, the Sun’s Harry Cole and Jerome Starkey report. Would be a victory for Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who has been lobbying No. 10 very publicly for extra cash.

THE COST OF POWER: Business and vitality sec Kwasi Kwarteng is addressing a Chatham House occasion at 9 a.m. on vitality safety this winter and past. He is because of communicate for round quarter-hour and take questions for one more 20 — register to observe right here.

LOBBYING PROBE: David Warburton MP — who was suspended from the Tory whip over medicine and sexual harassment claims — now faces an inquiry by the parliamentary requirements commissioner into claims he broke lobbying guidelines. Read Gabriel Pogrund’s unique story in the Sunday Times right here.

CHINA ROW: The PM’s father Stanley Johnson has advised the South China Morning Post that he desires the U.Ok. parliament to overturn its ban on receiving visits from the Chinese ambassador. Earlier this 12 months Johnson snr. revealed he had hosted the Chinese ambo Zheng Zeguang for lunch at his home.

BREXIT BONFIRE: What’s your most-hated EU regulation? Answers on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s on-line dashboard. The FT’s Peter Foster has a write-up when you’ve got no thought what Playbook is speaking about.

TORY DONOR PROBE: Tory donor Paul Borrow-Longain — full identify Paul Edwin Lancelot Thomas Borrow-Longain, previously referred to as Paul Langan — is being investigated by CCHQ for a attainable breach of the celebration’s conduct, a few weeks on from Cat Neilan’s unique investigation into the donor accused of pressuring individuals to take out loans. More right here.

SCIENCE SPAT: Senior scientists have written to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to induce her to not exclude Britain from the Horizon Europe R&D program, Playbook’s colleague Cristina Gallardo stories. Former SAGE adviser Jeremy Farrar advised POLITICO {that a} lack of participation in the scheme will nonetheless be felt in 10 a decade. Brussels has beforehand mentioned Britain received’t be capable to participate in this system as a result of Northern Ireland protocol row.

TRUSSED UP LIKE A TURKEY: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss touched down in Turkey — lately rebranded as Türkiye — final evening for a two-day journey the place she’s going to focus on methods to restart Ukraine grain exports with senior politicians. Truss met Vice President Fuat Oktay final evening and can meet the Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu this morning, with a joint press convention at 8 a.m. Truss will communicate concerning the “urgency” of discovering an answer to getting the grain out and focus on the talks with Ankara, which can maintain the important thing to this due to passage by means of the Bosporus. The presser will probably be streamed lived in English right here and on Twitter. A FCDO supply mentioned: “Finding a solution is very difficult — don’t expect major breakthroughs from this trip — but Liz wants to leave no stone unturned and for the U.K. to help lead the way on this issue.”

SUNAK IN SCOTLAND: Rishi Sunak is up in Aberdeen, the place he will probably be assembly with oil and gasoline firms. In pre-released remarks the chancellor mentioned “it’s vital we encourage continued investment” from the trade, because the Tories attempt to drive a wedge between the SNP and their anti-oil and gasoline Green authorities colleagues. North east SNP MP Stephen Flynn mentioned Sunak “has a cheek” to say he champions the sector after “failing to invest” since its 2020 downturn.

JUST WHAT WE NEEDED: Polio virus — which has been eradicated in massive components of the world — has been detected in a regarding variety of sewage samples in London, the U.Ok. Health Service Authority mentioned yesterday. The story splashes the Mail, Metro and the i.

HOUSE OF COMMONS: Sits from 9.30 a.m. with Defra questions, adopted by any UQs … Commons chief Mark Spencer has the weekly parliamentary enterprise assertion subsequent … After another ministerial statements, the primary enterprise will probably be a backbench debate on the affect of the pandemic on individuals with coronary heart and circulatory illnesses.

HOUSE OF LORDS: Sits from 11 a.m. with questions on the Diabetic Prevention Program, obstacles stopping households with disabled kids from accessing help companies and the Convention on Human Rights … The foremost occasion will probably be debates on habits and honesty in public life, and on stresses upon the U.Ok. structure.

Wonk watch: Katharine Birbalsingh’s Social Mobility Commission will current its first report earlier than parliament this morning. The paper, which focuses on a contemporary strategy to social mobility, will set out her agenda in her new position.

Coming down the observe: The contentious Northern Ireland protocol invoice has been pencilled in for a second studying on Monday, Playbook hears.

MEANWHILE, IN FRANCE: A poor efficiency in Sunday’s parliamentary election received’t spell the tip of French President Emmanuel Macron — however it could imply the tip of Macronism, writes POLITICO’s Clea Caulcutt in an important evaluation.

UKRAINE UPDATE

ASLIN LATEST: Aiden Aslin — the Brit sentenced to demise by a Russian proxy court docket for preventing in Ukraine, together with Shaun Pinner — has been advised by his captors that his execution will go forward. Aslin advised his household that his captors additionally claimed there had been no try by U.Ok. officers to barter on his behalf. Full story through the BBC right here.

RUSSIAN CASUALTY ESTIMATES: U.Ok. intelligence officers estimate that the pro-Russian Donetsk militia has misplaced greater than half (55 %) of its unique pressure throughout preventing in the Donbas.

KALININGRAD CRISIS: Tensions are working excessive over freight transport from the Russian mainland to its exclave Kaliningrad, with Moscow threatening it’s going to take “practical” motion in retaliation if the EU doesn’t unblock steel items caught in transit. Brussels Playbook stories that senior EU diplomats on Wednesday warned that the scenario was critical and will escalate shortly. The European Commission was in a single day engaged on defusing the time-bomb, which officers and diplomats insisted was an unintended consequence of the EU’s fourth sanctions bundle. The full e-newsletter has extra.

Today in Brussels: The European Council meets right this moment, with EU leaders making ready to make use of the summit to formally grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate standing. EU and Western Balkan leaders will meet in the morning earlier than the primary summit. Follow POLITICO’s stay weblog right here.

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MEDIA ROUND

Today program: Former SAGE adviser Jeremy Farrar (7.50 a.m.) … Labour peer Valerie Amos, the previous U.N. secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency aid coordinator (8.10 a.m.) … Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė (8.30 a.m.).

Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC): Network Rail chief negotiator Tim Shoveller (7.50 a.m.).

Times Radio breakfast: RMT’s Eddie Dempsey (7.20 a.m.) … Network Rail spokesperson Kevin Groves (8.05 a.m.) … WHO Polio Eradication Program Director Aidan O’Leary (8.35 a.m.) … Chair of the Rail Delivery Group Steve Montgomery (9.05 a.m.) … Alina Frolova, former deputy protection minister of Ukraine (9.35 a.m.).

TalkTV breakfast present: RMT’s Eddie Dempsey (8.05 a.m.) … Tory MP Matt Vickers (9.05 a.m.).

Politics Live (BBC Two 12.15 p.m.): Tory MP Huw Merriman … Labour peer Helena Kennedy … The Spectator’s Kate Andrews … POLITICO’s Ailbhe Rea.

The Briefing with Gloria De Piero (GB News 12 p.m.): Labour MP Harriet Harman.

Question Time (Stratford-upon-Avon, BBC Two 10.40 p.m.): Safeguarding Minister Rachel Maclean … Shadow International Development Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds … Starling Bank’s Anne Boden … RMT’s Mick Lynch … Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib.

Reviewing the papers tonight: Sky News (10.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): Columnist Carole Malone and editor of the Courier David Clegg.

TODAY’S FRONT PAGES

(Click on the publication’s identify to see its entrance web page.)

Daily Express: It’s solely truthful! Rishi defends £1,000 enhance to pensions.

Daily Mail: Polio is again in U.Ok. after 40 years.

Daily Mirror: Got to maintain pay down, OM? Try telling this lot.

Daily Star: Psychotic seagull’s holding me hostage.

Financial Times: Sunak defends 10 % pension rise as lecturers threaten strikes over pay.

HuffPost UK: Shapps accused of derailing RMT talks.

i: Polio discovered in Britain for first time in 40 years.

Metro: Nationwide polio alert.

POLITICO UK: Get able to cringe as Boris Johnson and Prince Charles meet at Rwanda summit.

PoliticsHouse: Tory MP suggests double by-election defeat might create ‘twister’ that unseats Boris Johnson.

The Daily Telegraph: Teacher strike can be unforgivable, says Zahawi.

The Guardian: Talks to finish rail dispute break down in acrimony.

The Independent: New refugees locked up for elimination to Rwanda.

The Sun: Get me to the decide on time.

The Times: Unions pile stress on bosses after 7 % pay deal.

TODAY’S NEWS MAGS

The New Statesman: Britain isn’t working — Andrew Marr on a summer season of strikes.

The Spectator: Putin’s billions — Have sanctions backfired, asks Kate Andrews.

LONDON CALLING

MEDIA NEWS: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his spouse Jerry Hall are mentioned to be divorcing after six years, in response to a extensively picked up report in the New York Times.

WESTMINSTER WEATHER: 🌦🌦🌦 Still heat however there may very well be some rain, most certainly in the late afternoon. Highs of 24C.

SPOTTED: At POLITICO’s summer season celebration final evening on the Tattershall Castle boat pub on the Thames … CCHQ’s Isaac Levido and Alex Wild … Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis … Minister Matt Warman … former No. 10 director of comms Lee Cain … Tory MPs Harriet Baldwin, Tom Randall, Jack Brereton and Richard Holden … SpAds Rhiannon Padley, Isabel Bruce, Sophie Jarvis and Daisy Peck … Labour spinners and advisers Sophie Nazemi, Owain Mumford, Gordon McKee, Oli Longworth and John Lehal … CPS Director Robert Colvile … City Hall staffers Sarah Brown, Sarah Coombes and Njoki Mahiaini … the NHS’ James Lyons … the TBI’s Emma McNicholas

… And breath UK Music’s Jamie Njoku-Goodwin Labour MP Christian Wakeford and aide Matthew Torbitt … Policy Exchange’s Connor MacDonald German Ambassador to London Miguel Berger … the Portuguese Embassy’s Helena Sousa e Silva and Rodrigo Chaveiro … the Hungarian Embassy’s Petra Hajdu … the Canadian High Commission’s Andrew Cook … the EU London delegation’s Federico Bianchi … Heathrow’s Jake Tilley … broadcasters Julia Hartley-Brewer, Ayesha Hazarika and Gloria de Piero … and dozens of hacks together with Pippa Crerar, Tim Shipman, Harry Cole, David Wooding, Hugo Gye, John Stevens, Seb Payne, Katy Balls, Ben Glaze, Ryan Sabey, Stephen Bush, James Heale, Harry Lambert, Laura Silver, Christian Calgie, Cat Neilan, Joe Mayes, Mikey Smith, Natasha Clark, Antonello Guerrera, Tony Diver, Mhari Aurora, Stefanie Bolzen, Mason Boycott-Owen, Henry Dyer, Sascha O’Sullivan, Marie Le Conte, Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, Noa Hoffman and Ellie Langford.

Also noticed on the ConservativeHouse summer season celebration in Dean’s Yard: Cabinet Ministers Ben WallaceDominic Raab Thérèse CoffeyGrant Shapps Sajid Javid Simon Hart Oliver Dowden … and Brandon Lewis … CCHQ’s Isaac Levido … Downing Street coverage unit chief Andrew Griffith … Frontbenchers Paul Scully Victoria AtkinsJohn GlenKit MalthouseAlan Mak … Hacks Sam Coates Hugo Gye Harry Cole John StevensDan MartinSeb Payne Carole WalkerCamilla TomineyTom Harwood Tim Shipman Natasha ClarkSam ListerGlen Owen Robert Shrimsley Katy Balls … and Christian Calgie… SpAds Henry Newman Cameron Brown Harry MethleySheridan Westlake … Tory MPs Brendan Clarke Smith Tobias Ellwood Andrew Bridgen Flick Drummond Fay Jones Steve Baker David Davis Matt WarmanMarco Longhi Danny Kruger … CPS director Robert Colvile … and ConHome chief Mark Wallace. The Spectator’s Steerpike has a write-up of Defense Secretary Ben Wallace’s cheeky jibe at his ministerial colleague and potential management contender Penny Mordaunt in the course of the occasion.

OUT TODAY: Seb Payne’s e-book “Broken Heartlands” is out in paperback right this moment, with a brand new chapter on his reflections on the pink wall one 12 months on, the way forward for the Tory-held blue wall and new interviews with Dominic Raab, Isaac Levido and Ed Davey. You can order it right here.

Out right this moment II: Former Labour deputy chief Tom Watson‘s e-book “Lose Weight 4 Life” on his journey with Type 2 diabetes and weight-reduction plan. Order right here.

BIRTHDAYS: Treasury Minister Helen Whately … Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman … South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes … Ochil and South Perthshire MP John Nicolson … Former High Peak MP Andrew Bingham … Former Deputy Mayor of London Roger Evans … Tory peer Alan Haselhurst … Labour peer Derry Irvine … Centre for Policy Studies Director Rob Colvile … POLITICO’s Etienne Bauvir and Ali Walker … and POLITICO’s Deputy Editor in Chief Kate Day.

PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: My editor Zoya Sheftalovich, reporter Andrew McDonald and producer Max Fahler.

primarily based on website supplies www.politico.eu

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