London Playbook: Christmas Lynch mob — Home goal — Michelle, my hell – POLITICO

Good Tuesday morning. This is Emilio Casalicchio. Eleni Courea shall be within the sizzling seat for the remainder of the week.


CHRISTMAS LYNCH MOB: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will tackle a disaster Cabinet this morning because the dramatic stand-off with rail unions threatens to cancel Christmas altogether. After dismissing the newest supply from Network Rail, RMT boss Mick Lynch mentioned employees will strike from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve till 6 a.m. on December 27. That’s along with the walkouts dotted all through this month and the subsequent that are resulting from begin subsequent week. The Network Rail negotiations are separate to talks with prepare operators, which additionally seem to have damaged down, leaving strikes imminent.

Don’t neglect: The acquired knowledge is that if strikes aren’t referred to as off earlier than tomorrow, there shall be no going again and salvaging Christmas rail journey. 

Not finest happy: Transport Secretary Mark Harper final night time mentioned it was “incredibly disappointing” that the RMT had rejected the newest supply from Network Rail. He accused the union of getting “failed to play its part and our rail network now faces more harmful disruption rather than helpful discussion.” Is this the second for soundbites? Network Rail negotiator Tim Shoveller mentioned the RMT was “playing fast and loose with people’s Christmas plans.” The strike may even mess up the handfuls of monitor refurbishment tasks that had been deliberate over the festive interval. 

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Off the desk: The Network Rail supply included a 5 % wage hike this 12 months and a 4 % hike the subsequent, with no compelled redundancies for basic employees and controllers till 2025.

The factor is: Some Conservatives are hoping the all-out nuclear assault on Christmas will flip the general public exhausting towards the rail unions. “The RMT has got this completely wrong,” one former Cabinet minister instructed Playbook final night time. “The public will probably now side with the government going hard on them, given the grief they’re having to put up with. The union appears to want to ruin Christmas and it’s going to completely backfire.”

But however however: It’s not clear when the federal government will carry ahead promised reforms to crack down on strikes. No. 10 mentioned an announcement was not imminent when journalists requested on the Downing Street briefing on Monday.

On that word: The Sun’s Harry Cole reveals this morning that former PM David Cameron ditched plans for an additional strikes crackdown in change for union bosses backing Remain on the 2016 EU referendum. And everyone knows how that went. 

Pointing fingers: Whitehall insiders identified that pubs, eating places and bars would take a pummeling on account of the additional strikes, and threw the concentrate on the opposition, which seems to not have commented on the prolonged motion. “I wonder if Labour will stand up for those workers,” one Conservative official quipped.


REBELS BRING THE HOUSE DOWN: Sunak faces a recent Conservative insurrection after ministers struck a cope with MPs that may see enforced house-building targets ditched. Playbook revealed yesterday that Housing Sec Michael Gove had shaken on a cope with colleagues who had been threatening an modification to the leveling up invoice that may kill off top-down quotas. It means one set of Conservative MPs are toasting a win towards the federal government. But Tories who worry electoral wipeout if the housing disaster isn’t mounted had been left enraged, which might spell hassle when the invoice returns to the Commons subsequent week. 

What was agreed: An enormous record of measures, however the essential component is that central targets shall be advisory, permitting councils to ditch them if constructing plans could be detrimental to the character of the realm. Councils will get extra powers to dictate the sorts of housing needed, and there shall be a brand new push to encourage constructing on brownfield as a substitute of greenfield land. 

But however however 1: Conservatives determined to see extra homes constructed to assist folks onto the ladder should not finest happy on the prospect of targets being swerved. One MP mentioned the choice to cave to rebels confirmed “poor leadership” on the a part of the PM. “It sends the wrong message to younger voters who want to own their own home,” the individual mentioned. “We need to do better than this if we want to be in government.” Another backbencher instructed Playbook in despair: “The only case work I really get is people needing homes.” Another mentioned the Conservatives risked changing into the social gathering of intergenerational unfairness. 

But however however 2: Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely, who led the anti-targets insurrection alongside former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers, instructed Playbook the settlement was a “win-win” for all concerned. “The idea that low density, car dependent, un-environmentally friendly, out of town greenfield housing estates help young people to buy their homes is for the birds,” he mentioned. “The only thing it does is hit generic targets that communities are utterly fed up with.” 

He added: “What we have agreed is not perfect, but it is a damn site better than what we have, and much better for young people, and communities too.”

The official view: Those in authorities reckon the deal is a smart compromise, now that rebels have withdrawn their modification to scrap all house-building targets. Gove is insisting the goal to construct 300,000 homes a 12 months (the one which hasn’t been hit because the 70s) stays, regardless of the brand new powers for councils to dismiss it. He instructed the Mail’s Jason Groves the enforced targets had been counterproductive as communities had been ending up “more resistant” to constructing. 

Watch this house: What the pro-target rebels do subsequent shall be essential.

PS: The Telegraph reckons Sunak may even again down over a brewing insurrection towards the ban on onshore wind farms. That’s one other U-turn for the guidelines. 


MICHELLE, MY HELL: Labour will search to pile stress on the Conservatives over the Baroness Michelle Mone-PPE Medpro farce this afternoon — forcing a vote over whether or not ministers ought to launch paperwork concerning the COVID contracts scandal. For readers who haven’t adopted the element, PPE Medpro emerged out of skinny air on the peak of the pandemic and Conservative peer Mone lobbied ministers for it to win PPE contracts by way of the notorious VIP lane. Some of its approaches had been rejected however the agency did safe contracts price greater than £200 million. Some of the gear delivered was unusable. 

Mone, who the Guardian reckons herself made virtually £30 million out of the contracts, insisted from the beginning that she had nothing to do with the agency and by no means lobbied for it. Lots of proof since then has proved these claims to be nonsensical blather. Just this week, Former Heath Sec Matt Hancock revealed Mone despatched him an “aggressive” e mail urging him to assist PPE Medpro safe contracts. The baroness is below investigation by requirements watchdogs and has had her dwelling raided by NCA detectives. 

The Labour plan: The opposition will put ahead a humble tackle movement within the Commons in a bid to safe the discharge of all paperwork referring to PPE Medpro. “Britain is sick of being ripped off by the Tories. We want our money back,” deputy Labour chief Angela Rayner mentioned in a press release in a single day. “Tory MPs can either back Labour’s binding vote … or they are choosing to be complicit in a cover-up.”

Not trying good for Mone: Even Tories are beginning to activate her. One one that was concerned in pandemic administration agreed with Labour that Mone ought to be stripped of the Conservative whip whereas the investigations proceed. However, the identical individual insisted the case proved ministers did the suitable factor on PPE. “It proves the conspiracies are wrong,” the individual mentioned. “When we got inappropriate pressure, we pushed back hard. It didn’t matter that she was a Conservative peer. The contracts she did get were decided by officials and not ministers.”

Worth making an allowance for: The authorities place is that the controversial VIP lane was price it to safe as a lot PPE as potential quick and save lives on the peak of the pandemic, whereas your complete world was preventing to get its fingers on the identical items. There wasn’t time to be too involved about worth for cash, and the VIP lane was one methodology to triage direct provides of assist. Critics, after all, argue it was an open door to the abuse of public funds when the nation was weak. Both could possibly be true. But the federal government’s refusal to be clear about what occurred has achieved little to assist its case.

Keeping schtum: Mone and Medpro PPE didn’t remark final night time. 

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HITTING THE SHELVES: Matt Hancock’s “Pandemic Diaries” (co-written with Isabel Oakeshott) is out this morning. At the Science Museum final night time, the air guitar virtuoso and former well being sec launched the opus he hopes will mark one other notch on his rehabilitation bedpost. The cow’s anus-nibbling MP instructed the gang that a lot of attendees “worked unbelievably hard to do the right thing in very difficult circumstances” throughout the pandemic, “and I hope if I’ve been able to record a little bit of that in this book, then I have done a good and important thing.” Pics right here, and the Mail has a write-up. 

Inside scoop: In the newest Mail serialization of the guide, Hancock complains about public accounts committee chair Meg Hillier’s accusations concerning the VIP procurement lane for COVID contracts, and recounts that Boris Johnson “practically had smoke coming out of his ears” throughout the federal government row with Pfizer over diverting jabs to the EU.

Also within the diaries: This understatement of the pandemic from December 18, 2020 after the federal government mega-U-turned on permitting journey for Christmas: “Frankly, we’d have been far better off saying it would be a Zoom Christmas from the start.”

Also within the diaries II: Explaining maths to Johnson: “Boris has been fretting that America has now jabbed more people than we have. I had to explain last night that, as a proportion, that means we’re six times ahead.”

Not having fun with the diaries: Former Conservative Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell instructed the Guardian’s Aubrey Allegretti he didn’t discover Hancock’s claims, notably across the tragic remedy of care dwelling residents, to be credible. He questioned whether or not Hancock would repeat his assertions below oath.


HOUSE OF COMMONS: Sits from 11.30 a.m. with well being and social care questions, adopted by any UQs or statements. SNP MP Steven Bonnar has a 10-minute rule invoice on gig economic system employment rights. After that, Labour will lead opposition day debates on the NHS workforce disaster (extra beneath) and on authorities PPE contracts (extra above). The SNP has the adjournment debate, with Peter Grant main on how the DWP performs in responding to MP queries.

COMMITTEE CORRIDOR: Lots of massive hitters on the record this afternoon. Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey is up on the Defra committee (2 p.m.) … Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan has an Online Safety Bill grilling on the DCMS committee (2.30 p.m.) … The Scottish affairs committee will hear from Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on shipbuilding in Scotland (2.30 p.m.) … Unrest in Iran is on the agenda on the international affairs committee, which is able to hear from Middle East Minister Tariq Ahmad (2.30 p.m.) … and Development Minister Andrew Mitchell is up on the worldwide growth committee (2.30 p.m.). Expect information on international help cuts from Mitchell.

HOUSE OF LORDS: Sits from 2.30 p.m. with questions on little one refugees, authorities cost-cutting and COP27. The fundamental enterprise would be the second studying of the National Security Bill.

ORWELL THAT ENDS WELL: Labour frontbencher (and Wigan MP) Lisa Nandy will tonight ship the 2022 Orwell lecture at UCL. She will argue that the present political system reinforces “the gulf between the people and the political class” that George Orwell wasn’t a fan of. “We don’t want to be passive recipients of economic growth. We want to contribute to it and share in the country’s success,” she is going to argue. And she is going to insist that Labour plans to “tilt the balance of power” to communities “so we can harness that quiet patriotism — that great force in the country — and turn it to the common good.” Tune in right here at 7 p.m.

Of course … this sounds properly according to the Labour structure plan Keir Starmer and Gordon Brown revealed, and which appeared to get pleasure from a easy sufficient touchdown till New Labour grandee (and Lord) Peter Mandelson confirmed up on Newsnight final night time. 

Peter out: He mentioned the “essence” of the Labour criticisms concerning the higher chamber had been right, however prompt burning it down and beginning once more could possibly be the unsuitable strategy. “You can either showboat and grandstand about abolition of the House of Lords, or you can get serious about the really deep, serious reform that the House of Lords requires and which you can do on a cross-party basis and with some degree of consensus,” he instructed the present. He mentioned with out consensus, Labour might discover itself “swept up into a sort of quagmire of disagreement,” which might “soak up acres of time and energy” that could possibly be dedicated to different priorities. Fellow New Labour grandee (and Lord) David Blunkett made an analogous grievance to the Times. 

SLOW CONNECTION: Brexit was purported to let Britain do issues faster. But with regards to policing the web, the EU acquired there first, my POLITICO colleagues Vincent Manancourt, Annabelle Dickson, Clothilde Goujard and Mark Scott report of their deep-dive on the web security invoice this morning. The laws cleared its essential Commons hurdles final night time and now heads to the House of Lords. 

WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TALK ABOUT: Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is saying a £500 million funding bundle for faculties and faculties to make their buildings extra vitality environment friendly. Sunak is anticipated to hail the transfer in the beginning of his Cabinet assembly this morning, whereas Schools Minister Nick Gibb is on the printed spherical to champion the announcement proper now. 

NANNY STATE: Providing common childcare for teenagers as much as age 11 would ship a £13 billion-a-year increase to family earnings and generate £8 billion a 12 months for the general public funds, wonks on the center-left IPPR assume tank and Save the Children report this morning. Their findings have been endorsed by Labour. 

WAITS UP, DOC: Five million sufferers had been unable to guide a GP appointment regardless of requesting one in October, new Labour sums counsel this morning. Shadow well being chief Wes Streeting will use the findings to argue within the Commons for an finish to non-dom tax breaks to fund new NHS coaching. The Times splashes the numbers. 

COULD BE GOING BETTER: An growing variety of Ukrainian refugees are ending up homeless because the six-month money agreements for host households come to an finish, the Times reviews. 

STILL CHASING THAT AMERICAN DREAM: Trade Minister Greg Hands flies at the moment to South Carolina, the place the locals eat buckets of ribs and Frogmore Stew, to kick off a multi-state tour of the U.S.

TEST SUBJECTS: MPs and friends will try to cross kiddies’ SATs papers at Westminster at the moment, below the identical examination circumstances 10- and 11-year-olds face. Playbook calls for the outcomes are printed. 

HONESTY SOAPBOX: Labour MP and requirements committee chair Chris Bryant delivers a speech on the University of Westminster at 7 p.m. this night on reality, honesty and integrity. 

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FEELING FLYNN OR ACHING FOR ALISON? Either Stephen Flynn or Alison Thewliss will turn out to be the SNP’s new chief in Westminster tonight — with the winner set to leap straight into PMQs prep for tomorrow. The pair will spend at the moment scrambling for votes from the more and more grumpy SNP Westminster contingent.

How it should work: The AGM will kick off at 6 p.m., with MPs voting electronically — relatively than the standard present of fingers — for the vacant chief and deputy chief positions. Home affairs spokesperson Stuart McDonald is operating for deputy chief as a supporter of Thewliss, whereas well-known firebrand Mhairi Black is operating on Flynn’s ticket, in response to the Times. The white smoke will emerge someday between 7 and eight p.m. — possible half 7ish — when the SNP’s press workforce broadcasts the winner.

The narrative: Flynn was the overwhelming favourite after Ian Blackford was compelled out final week. His allies reckoned he had sufficient assist even earlier than Blackford resigned. But Thewliss’ shock entrance into the race on Saturday has shifted the dial considerably — leaving Flynn nonetheless the favourite, however not the overwhelming one.

Worth remembering: Thewliss is nearer to Nicola Sturgeon than Flynn, who has criticized the Scottish FM up to now over their variations on North Sea oil and gasoline extraction. The Telegraph’s Simon Johnson reported on the weekend that Sturgeon allies satisfied Thewliss to face to forestall a Flynn coronation.

UKRAINE UPDATE: Another wave of Russian strikes knocked out energy and water provides in a number of Ukrainian cities yesterday. POLITICO’s Sergei Kuznetsov has extra right here.

POWER LISTED: It’s that point of 12 months once more when politicians round Europe wait anxiously, refreshing the POLITICO web site each 30 seconds to seek out out in the event that they’ve made the annual POLITICO 28 energy record. Well, perhaps … however who doesn’t love a controversial record to argue about with associates within the pub?

Amuse-bouche: The huge reveal of these topping the three classes (Doers, Dreamers and Disrupters) plus the viewers alternative and our choose for essentially the most highly effective individual in Europe occurs on Wednesday night. But within the meantime, we’re whetting your urge for food with the nominees within the Doers class (together with French National Rally chief Marine Le Pen, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde). 

This just isn’t a prize: As all the time, inclusion on this record just isn’t an accolade, however a mirrored image of affect, as judged by POLITICO’s journalists and the specialists and energy gamers they communicate to. Check the web page once more at midday at the moment for the Disrupters class. You may join right here for the web unveiling occasion on Wednesday, which incorporates an interview with the U.S. ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith. 

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Schools Minister Nick Gibb broadcast spherical: GB News (6.45 a.m.) … Times Radio (7.05 a.m.) … Sky News (7.15 a.m.) … BBC Breakfast (7.30 a.m.) … ITV GMB (7.45 a.m.) … LBC (8.20 a.m.) … Today program (8.30 a.m.) … talkTV (9.05 a.m.) … Bauer (9.15 a.m.).

Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner broadcast spherical: BBC Breakfast (7.10 a.m.) … Today program (7.30 a.m.) … Times Radio (7.45 a.m.) … Sky News (8.05 a.m.).

Also on the Today program: RMT boss Mick Lynch (8.10 a.m.).

Also on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC): Alliance of British Drivers director Brian Gregory (7.40 a.m.).

Also on Times Radio Breakfast: CPS assume tank director Robert Colvile (8.30 a.m.).

Also on talkTV breakfast: Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle (8.32 a.m.).

Politics Live (BBC Two 12.15 p.m.): Labour MP Angela Eagle … Tory MP Matt Warman … The Telegraph’s Olivia Utley.

Cross Question with Iain Dale (LBC): Tory MP Kit Malthouse … Labour MP Catherine McKinnell … Lib Dem councillor Mathew Hulbert … Reality star Amy Hart.

Reviewing the papers tonight: Sky News (10.30 and 11.30 p.m.): Broadcaster Jenny Kleeman and the Telegraph’s Christopher Hope … Times Radio (10.30 p.m.): Columnist for the Article Ali Miraj and Deltapoll founder Joe Twyman … talkTV (10.20 p.m.): Labour’s Jess Phillips and Tory MP Bim Afolami.


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

Daily Express: All-out struggle! Now Harry says palace performed ‘soiled recreation.’

Daily Mail: Fury at Sussexes’ Netflix declare of ‘struggle on Meghan.’

Daily Mirror: Keep calm & keep on.

Daily Star: Get the popcorn in, of us!

Financial Times: Oil tanker jam gathers off Turkey as launch of Russia oil cap halts sailings.

HuffPostUK: Housing disaster plan sunk by Tory rebels.

i: Antibiotics en masse for youngsters in Strep A faculties.

Metro: Ghost prepare tickets scandal.

PoliticsHome: What might Labour’s authorities agenda appear like?

POLITICO UK: U.Okay. takes recent stab at web guidelines as EU framework surges forward.

The Daily Telegraph: Sunak abandons housing goal.

The Guardian: PM backs down on housing objectives in face of stress from Tory MPs.

The Independent: Sunak caves to stress from rebels on housing.

The Sun: Sussex, lies and videotape.

The Times: 1 in 7 denied GP appointment.


WESTMINSTER WEATHER: Maybe a little bit of solar … however nonetheless very chilly. Highs of 7C.

CONGRATS: Pollster and Labour candidate for Milton Keynes Chris Curtis was awarded the younger researcher of the 12 months title by the Market Research Society final night time. Here’s his tweet. 

MEA CULPA: Yesterday’s Playbook described Jonathan Isaby as a former SpAd to Priti Patel. He was in reality her press secretary.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn … Former Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon … Grenfell Tower inquiry Chairman Martin Moore-Bick … Labour peer Helen Liddell … Former UKIP MP Mark Reckless … Former Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.

PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: My editor Emma Anderson, reporter Andrew McDonald and producer Grace Stranger.

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