London Playbook: Eastbourne hustings — Pencil in September 21 — WFH wrangling – POLITICO

Good Friday morning. This is Eleni Courea. Annabelle Dickson will probably be with you on Monday and Tuesday subsequent week.


VOTING WEEKEND: Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are hitting the marketing campaign path in the present day and over the vital weekend forward as voting by Conservative Party members lastly begins, and the looming financial disaster takes heart stage in the management contest.

Tick, tock: The pair will meet in Eastbourne tonight for hustings with get together members in the southeast. Ballots have belatedly began to drop after CCHQ tightened the safety of the voting course of, and the clock is ticking for Sunak, who’s grappling with the mammoth problem of needing to transform sufficient switchers to his facet.

Friday stocktake: All in all it’s been a bruising week for Sunak — issues had simply began to lookup for him after a coverage misstep from Truss, earlier than two members’ polls in fast succession (one, two) gave her a whopping lead of greater than 30 factors.

Nevertheless: Sunak is defiant. “I passionately believe what I’m saying is right, I want to convince as many people as possible,” he mentioned through the Sky News debate, vowing to not concede regardless of admitting he’s “behind in this race.” An ally of his instructed Playbook: “The feeling on the bottom is that the competition is far nearer than the polls recommend, plenty of individuals are undecided, and Rishi is profitable over new supporters day-after-day. He’s solely simply getting began.”

Sky debate: Both Truss and Sunak have been forthright and combative throughout final evening’s Q&A on Sky — probably the most in-depth and illuminating grilling they’ve been subjected to thus far — with just a few dozen Tory members (solely certainly one of whom mentioned they’d obtained their poll paper) and broadcaster Kay Burley.

World of ache: The tone of the competition has sharpened in the previous day as the dimensions of the financial problem dealing with the U.Ok. has turn out to be clear. The Bank of England hiked rates of interest on Wednesday by half a share level to 1.75 % — the largest rise in 27 years — and estimated that inflation would attain a staggering 13 %. The financial institution believes it’s now inevitable the British economic system will enter recession and forecasts it is going to final 5 quarters — as lengthy (however not as deep) because the 2008 monetary disaster, inflicting the largest squeeze in dwelling requirements for 60 years. This splashes each newspaper.

And if all that weren’t sufficient: Ofgem confirmed a transfer to quarterly worth cap updates yesterday — that means payments at the moment are going to rise each three months relatively than six, with hikes coming first in October after which in January. The FT runs via criticism of the transfer.

Worth noting now: The financial institution’s announcement has set the fiscal backdrop for the run-up to the subsequent basic election. Here’s a useful graph by Bloomberg annotated by Opinium’s Chris Curtis.

Coming battle: The FT and the Times each preview the conflict between a possible Truss authorities and the Bank of England over its mandate. The Mail splash goes for its governor, Andy Haldane.

SCOOP — EMERGENCY BUDGET DATE: Truss has pledged that if she wins, she’ll maintain an emergency funds to chop taxes and assist with the price of dwelling. Playbook hears the working date being mentioned by her group for that funds is September 21 — simply lengthy sufficient after she enters Downing Street, and earlier than parliament breaks for its three-week convention recess.

Astonishingly: Current Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi are each away from their desks (as first reported by the Spectator’s Mr Steerpike), so aren’t round to regular the ship at this vital time. According to the Times diary, Johnson is on a delayed honeymoon in Slovenia till subsequent week and, in accordance with the Telegraph, Zahawi is working from his household vacation overseas. Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, was additionally apparently not in Whitehall yesterday.

HMT response: Zahawi instructed the Speccie that “the privilege and responsibility of public service means that you never get to switch off, that’s why I have had calls and briefings every day and continue to do so.” A Treasury supply mentioned the chancellor was in calls with the governor of the Bank of England and the Treasury’s chief economist yesterday.

Meanwhile: It was left to definitely-not-junior Energy Minister Greg Hands to do media on the rate of interest rise. Hands insisted on Twitter that, since inflation is being pushed by hovering power costs, this challenge is in his temporary. Given how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the principle issue driving that, possibly it’ll be the flip of a Foreign Office minister to talk to broadcasters about the price of dwelling in the present day.

What the potential subsequent occupants of No. 10 are saying: Sunak has seized on the financial institution’s announcement as proof that his dedication to drive down inflation, and his declare that quick tax cuts could be reckless, are justified. That assault is defanged considerably by the marginally panicky, albeit longer-term, pledges to slash taxes he has made throughout his marketing campaign. Truss, in the meantime, was adamant throughout final evening’s debate that warnings of a recession have been “extremely worrying but not inevitable — we can change the outcome and we can make it more likely that the economy grows.” She argued that “trying to balance the books prematurely is actually counterproductive.”

In reality: Truss made some fairly daring statements final evening, with the suggestion that she will be able to avert a recession along with her financial coverage as PM being the largest — the FT’s George Parker writes it up. She additionally declared “there are no skeletons in my closet” and was adamant that Boris Johnson had not misled parliament together with his statements on Partygate (a matter presently being investigated by the Commons privileges committee).

Campaign strikes: Truss is assembly Tory members on the Isle of Wight and in Portsmouth tomorrow, whereas Sunak will go to the Isle of Wight on Saturday.


LOWDOWN FROM THE SHOWDOWN: For what it’s value, Playbook thought final evening’s Sky debate was probably the most illuminating of the competition thus far (and definitely far more thrilling than the comfortable hearth chat-style hustings organized by CCHQ).

How they fared: Truss was fluent and defiant, making some apparently open-ended commitments together with on additional cash to alleviate the price of dwelling disaster and solely faltering underneath questioning from Burley over her U-turn on public sector pay. In flip Sunak was sparky and combative, presenting himself as soon as once more because the accountable candidate and attacking Truss over her suggestion that the excessive tax burden was inflicting the recession. Sky’s Sam Coates put it this fashion: “We now know without any doubt at all the character of this contest. What we saw was Mr Sensible Rishi Sunak versus the disruptor Liz Truss. Predictable versus unpredictable.” His post-debate evaluation is value listening to in full.

THE KEY COMMITMENTS: Truss mentioned she not needs to construct one million houses on the inexperienced belt … Made an in depth, impassioned argument in opposition to imposing one other windfall tax on power corporations … Ruled out a go to to Taiwan and backtracked on previous feedback that the U.Ok. ought to arm it … Declared “there are no skeletons in my closet” and that every thing there’s to find out about her is already public … and gave a strident protection of Boris Johnson’s document as prime minister.

And from Sunak: Sunak mentioned he would commit extra money to the armed forces and denied being overruled by the PM to extend protection spending as chancellor … Attacked Truss straight for saying that the tax burden was inflicting the recession and for desirous to scrap the National Insurance rise … Gave a spirited protection of his resolution to resign on the time of the Chris Pincher scandal … Backed the present authorities coverage on abortion … Indicated he would shake arms with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a result of he believed in engagement … and didn’t fairly reveal whether or not he has any working-class mates these days.

Feeling inexperienced? Not a lot: In a quick-fire spherical on local weather insurance policies, Sunak advised he’d again opening new coal mines, saying he didn’t suppose we needs to be importing coal when now we have it in the U.Ok. … Repeated that he was in favor of fracking the place there’s native help … Ruled out imposing larger taxes on flights … and clarified that he didn’t wish to loosen up the ban on onshore wind generators.

Audience questioned: Team Rishi have been fairly sprightly on the finish of the controversy, significantly after a present of arms revealed that the overwhelming majority of the studio viewers was most satisfied by his pitch. But there have been swirling questions in Tory circles final evening over how the Sky viewers of 60-odd undecided get together members was chosen, given their verdict didn’t tally with the polls this week. Some claimed it was disproportionately Sunak-friendly — one member was a Conservative Party marketing campaign supervisor who’s very publicly backing the previous chancellor and one other appeared to have been in a current BBC Question Time viewers the place he mentioned he solely remained a celebration member to attempt to oust Boris Johnson. CCHQ instructed Playbook it hadn’t verified the membership standing of these current and could also be asking additional questions in the present day.

**As summer season ends, Europe’s agri-food sectors brace for a chilly winter. Will Europe have the ability to guarantee world meals safety whereas leveraging technological innovation to design a greener future for European farmers and customers? Join us in Paris or on-line to have interaction with senior policymakers on this and far more. Find out who’s coming to France and register right here in the present day.*


FLEXIBLE PLEDGING: Truss has thrown her weight behind the drive to get civil servants behind their desks as figures from July advised the proportion of these working from residence had elevated and that the FCDO had the second-highest share of officers working remotely. “I support the work Jacob Rees-Mogg has been doing … and I will be looking at that very carefully,” Truss instructed the Mail’s Kumail Jaffer. “We need more people to work in the office, I think that’s very important.”

Hmm: If that quote makes it sound a bit like she’s acquired a gun to her head, it’s most likely as a result of Truss has been an impassioned champion of versatile working for the reason that pandemic. In March 2021, she referred to as for workplaces to normalize it and assist “open up employment opportunities to people regardless of their sex or location.” Truss instructed MPs in May 2021: “I’m a passionate supporter of results over presenteeism in every possible area … I think there’s more we can do across the country to make sure we’re valuing people for the contribution they make rather than the hours that they sit in the office.” Playbook appears ahead to her being questioned over this obvious contemporary U-turn.

Meanwhile in the civil service: Officials are already taking a look at proposals to take care of inflation and a recession and are figuring out how you can implement the Truss and Sunak pledges, the i’s Arj Singh stories.

TOUTING TRUSS: A gaggle of 21 present and former Cabinet ministers together with Nadhim Zahawi, Ben Wallace and Penny Mordaunt have written to the Telegraph backing Truss as the one candidate who can fight “Whitehall groupthink” and finish the “tired economic managerialism of the past.”

The specter of the ERG: And whereas we’re with regards to Cabinet hopefuls, in his column this week the FT’s Seb Payne argues that one of many greatest challenges for Truss if she wins will probably be managing Tory MPs, a majority of whom didn’t again her. The most harmful caucus amongst them is the European Research Group, in accordance with Payne, who suggests she has two choices: both stick the important thing figures in Cabinet with Iain Duncan Smith as chief whip and Suella Braverman in Home or Culture, or “stamp her authority with a cabinet that represents the full spectrum of Tory opinion.” He notes that shut allies of Truss say she’ll do the latter.

Maintaining momentum: The Guardian’s Aubrey Allegretti stories that Truss’ marketing campaign is tough at work making an attempt to persuade MPs who’ve backed Sunak to modify to her facet. He says there are some frustration from Truss allies at former management candidate Kemi Badenoch for holding her powder dry.

Poll place: Team Truss have been eagerly pointing to this ballot from Redfield & Wilton suggesting that — opposite to the Sunak marketing campaign’s claims — she would beat Keir Starmer at an election whereas the previous chancellor wouldn’t.

Labouring the purpose: This weekend Labour is pushing an assault line concerning the affect of cuts to public providers underneath Truss exterior London and the southeast with op-eds from Angela Rayner and Rachel Reeves lined up in regional publications together with the Northern Echo, Yorkshire Post and Northern Agenda.

Out on the highway: The FT’s Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe has an excellent shade learn from Buckingham, the place she speaks to native Tory members and senses a broadly pro-Truss feeling that mirrors current polls. Meanwhile Bloomberg’s Kitty Donaldson stories on Team Sunak’s efforts to win over undecided members.

LAND-BANKING CRACKDOWN: Sunak has vowed to sort out land banking — whereby builders purchase up land and delay constructing on it to drive up property costs — with (*21*) taxes. The Times’ George Grylls and the Sun’s Natasha Clark each have write-ups.

INDIA DEAL WORRIES: More enterprise figures and environmental campaigners are hoping Boris Johnson’s successor rethinks the looming deadline for a U.Ok.-India free commerce deal, stories POLITICO’s Graham Lanktree, who goes via the problems.


IN OTHER NEWS: While everyone seems to be occupied with the tanking of the British economic system and the battle to succeed Johnson … Keir Starmer (who can be presently on vacation) has been discovered responsible of breaching the MPs’ code of conduct by failing to make well timed registrations of eight pursuits, together with soccer tickets, an advance for a e book and the sale of a plot of land. The requirements commissioner mentioned the breaches have been “minor and/or inadvertent” and a Labour spokesperson mentioned Starmer had apologized to her. Here’s the Guardian’s write-up.

CLASSIC CO: The Cabinet Office is refusing to launch its response to a letter final 12 months from ACOBA Chair Eric Pickles regarding obvious breaches of the federal government’s revolving door guidelines by Dominic Cummings, the previous No. 10 aide. Pickles wrote to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in July 2021 to tell him that Cummings had damaged enterprise appointment guidelines by failing to hunt ACOBA’s recommendation earlier than providing consultancy providers on Substack. The Cabinet Office is now refusing to launch information referring to this obvious breach, pointing to a necessity for a “safe space” for ministers and civil servants to debate these points. Insider’s Henry Dyer acquired the story.

UKRAINE UPDATE: PoliticsHome’s John Johnston has an excellent learn on U.Ok. help for Ukrainian refugees, and divulges that three Tory council leaders have issued an pressing name for additional authorities help for refugees who arrived early. Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, U.Ok. hosts are required to decide to offering lodging for at least six months and obtain a cost from the federal government to assist with payments. Refugees who arrived early at the moment are coming to the top of this preliminary six months, and whereas most hosts will proceed to supply lodging some at the moment are warning they can’t afford to with out the continuation of the federal government cost. Lots of different points, all in John’s piece right here.


YOUR GUIDE TO POLITICS AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE: The annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe correctly returns for the primary time in full for the reason that pandemic in the present day, with a month of fantastic and in addition downright bizarre comedy to return, Playbook’s Andrew McDonald writes. We’re right here to level you in the overall route of the place to get your political repair this month.

The greatest political names Can be discovered throughout town, with plenty of senior Labour politicians, a former PM and Nicola Sturgeon turning up for long-form interviews in entrance of an viewers. The latter will probably be interviewed by fringe veteran Iain Dale, who additionally has sit downs with Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and Jeremy Corbyn. The former Labour chief has a busy fringe and also will be interviewed over on the iconic venue of the Stand Comedy Club, as a part of its In Conversation collection, which has additionally lined up interviews with Sturgeon, Andy Burnham and different politicos previous and current. The reside recording of comic Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast has the draw of former PM Gordon Brown this Sunday.

If satirical get up is extra your groove: Former Cameron aide Sarah Southern makes her fringe debut and joins Labour favorites Forde and Ayesha Hazarika on the stand-up circuit this 12 months. If you favor parody politicos, each Rosie Holt — of the pretend Tory MP sketches — and Michael Spicer — the room subsequent door — will even have units all through the month. There is a small sprinkling of right-wing comedy on the market too, with panel present common Geoff Norcott returning to the competition together with GB News regulars Simon Evans and Dominic Frisby. Though not stand-up, Steve Richards’ one-man politics present is again for the primary time since 2019.

Political theater: Anyone lacking the Brexit wars will get pleasure from New European columnist Tim Walker’s comedy play Bloody Difficult Woman, about Gina Miller’s court docket case in opposition to Theresa May’s authorities. Shakespeare followers will likewise both love or hate Boris the Third, a reimagining of the outgoing PM’s own-performance because the lead in a college manufacturing of Richard III again when he was 18. Elsewhere, somebody seemingly referred to as Charlotte Johnson has an intriguing/batsh*t sounding play on the Pleasance Dome the place she performs the PM’s daughter.

For one thing a bit totally different: Every 12 months NewsRevue collects nice critiques for its musical sketch comedy parodying present affairs, if that’s your type of factor. Despite his impending departure, there are extra Boris impressions on the market too. Improv present Boris Live at Five provides an viewers the possibility to ask Boris Johnson — or not less than some bloke carrying a wig — something they need, whereas Boorish Trumpson guarantees “an interactive, music and clowning-filled interrogation of power.” Readers will probably be gutted to find that an occasion promising “politics and poetry” with former Unite boss Len McCluskey and Corbyn has bought out.

Shameless promo: We may heartily suggest the completely-not-politics-related-but-still-very-funny comedy play Fire Signs, written by somebody who may occur to be Playbook reporter Andrew McDonald’s proficient higher half. You can catch it at Pleasance Above for a tenner — particulars right here.


Kay Burley: Tory peer Robert Hayward (7.05 a.m.) … Business Secretary and Truss supporter Kwasi Kwarteng (7.30 a.m.) … Sunak supporter Liam Fox (8.05 a.m.) … Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth (8.20 a.m.).

Times Radio breakfast: Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth (7.20 a.m.) … Business Secretary and Truss supporter Kwasi Kwarteng (8.45 a.m.).

talkTV breakfast: Sunak supporter Liam Fox (7.32 a.m.) … Business Secretary and Truss supporter Kwasi Kwarteng (8.05 a.m.) … Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth (8.32 a.m.).

Reviewing the paper’s tonight: Sky News (10.30 and 11.30 p.m.): Mirror columnist Susie Boniface and former Tory SpAd Anita Boateng.


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

Daily Express: Recession on method … Time to batten down the hatches.

Daily Mail: Banker who’s working out of credit score.

Daily Mirror: Missing in motion.

Daily Star: The unhealthy information — We’re going into recession … The excellent news — The Prem is again tonight!

Financial Times: BoE warns of lengthy recession as rates of interest rise by half-point.

i: The massive squeeze.

Metro: The massive squeeze.

POLITICO UK: U.Ok. enterprise fears quick-win commerce take care of India.

PoliticsHome: Ukrainian refugees in the U.Ok. might face homelessness when six months with hosts ends.

The Daily Telegraph: Recession to trigger document drop in earnings.

The Guardian: Bank raises charges and warns of 13 % inflation.

The Independent: Britain to enter year-long recession by Christmas.

The Times: Britain slides into disaster.


EU Confidential: The POLITICO group and its well being care journalists look into the monkeypox outbreak, plus the lobbying battle between Big Tech platforms and telecom operators in Brussels.

How Westminster Works: PolHome’s Alain Tolhurst talks to historians and MPs about Hansard.

Newscast: The BBC’s Colletta Smith, Torsten Bell of the Resolution Foundation and Jane Tully from The Money Advice Trust talk about the BoE’s assertion.

Politics Weekly UK: The Guardian’s John Harris and Jessica Elgot are joined by former No. 10 chief of employees Gavin Barwell to debate whether or not Britain’s political leaders lack expertise.

The Bunker: Historian Alex von Tunzelmann discusses the Lionesses’ victory in the Euros with Ros Taylor, Marie Le Conte and Ahir Shah.


WESTMINSTER WEATHER: ⛅️⛅️⛅️ Sunny in spells and heat. Highs of 24C.

CONGRATS TO: The Atlantic employees author — and POLITICO alum — Tom McTague on the beginning of Annabel Summer Leighton-McTague. Both child and mum are doing nice. Here’s the tweet.

BIRTHDAYS: Warley MP John Spellar … Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price … Former Lead Defense Counsel for the Alex Salmond trial Gordon Jackson … Labour peer and former TUC General Secretary John Monks … Tory peer John Randall … Insider’s Henry Dyer … Bloomberg Economics head Stephanie Flanders.

Celebrating over the weekend: Health Minister Maria Caulfield … Carshalton and Wallington MP Elliot Colburn … Tory peer Guy Black … Crossbench peer Andrew Green … DUP peer William McCrea … The Times Scotland Editor Magnus Llewellin … Columnist Mary Ann Sieghart … The Evening Standard’s David Bond … Good Morning Britain head of politics Anne Alexander … The Times’ Henry Zeffman … Shadow Business Minister Seema Malhotra … Times columnist and former Tory MP Matthew Parris … Commons Library clerk David Torrance … Lords Journal Office clerk Michael Torrance.

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

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