Good Wednesday morning.
DRIVING THE DAY
HERE WE GO AGAIN: Boris Johnson faces his weekly grilling from MPs this afternoon with the prospect of a return to COVID-19 restrictions looming massive. This morning’s entrance pages are considerably harking back to September 2020, carrying warnings of 1000’s of hospitalizations a day, and elevating the “specter” of one other lockdown. The Daily Mail concludes “It’s back to panic stations.” And there may very well be additional woes for the prime minister later in the present day as MPs in his personal social gathering are poised to slam his resolution to not proceed with the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit launched throughout the pandemic.
Reshuffle rumor reboot: All this comes as Westminster is again on reshuffle excessive alert, with hypothesis mounting that the PM might begin shaking up his high staff later in the present day or tomorrow. Weeks of reshuffle chatter, which has hardly been discouraged by Downing Street in a doubtlessly difficult week for social gathering administration, is having a destabilizing impact. “Decisions relating to party conference are being put off, civil servants are proving more resistant while ministers are making an extra effort to be visible in a bid to avoid the chop,” the Spectator’s Katy Balls wrote final night.
Sage recommendation: It is the warnings from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), whose most up-to-date minutes had been printed yesterday, that may probably appeal to the most dialogue in the present day. Its modeling, which suggests between 2,000 and seven,000 individuals a day may very well be hospitalized with COVID-19 in England subsequent month, makes it into most experiences of the PM’s winter plan this morning. As the Mail factors out, that higher restrict is seven occasions the present determine, and greater than final winter’s peak. Most papers additionally choose up on Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance’s suggestion that ministers ought to go arduous and go early with coronavirus restrictions if there’s a surge in instances.
Relaxio: Ministers to date look like relaxed about the warnings, having set out a plan of motion. “Of course there are risks as we head into the autumn and winter months, which suit the virus,” a health official told Playbook. “That’s exactly why we have set our plan to manage COVID through those months without having to impose disruptive restrictions, whilst holding in reserve sensible measures that can be deployed if necessary.”
What these are: As was broadly anticipated the PM yesterday set out a Plan A — to maintain on testing and vaccinating, and a Plan B if the NHS comes beneath “unsustainable pressure.” Plan B consists of stricter use of face masks, doubtlessly extra working from dwelling again, and taking vaccine passports again off the bench. As the Times notes, this may very well be accomplished with as little as every week’s discover — one thing that’s unlikely to go down nicely with some Tory backbenchers. The i has put a helpful desk of what to anticipate on its entrance web page and the Times has a really complete rundown with plenty of particulars right here.
Plan C: The “last resort” choice of one other lockdown must be authorised by MPs, the i experiences. The paper has been instructed the PM will now not have the ability to order a nationwide, regional or native lockdown with out passing new laws via the Commons, that may work with present powers beneath the 1984 Public Health Act.
Nicki vs. Whitty: If you missed Boris Johnson and his chief medical officer vs. rapper Nicki Minaj and her cousin’s good friend’s swollen balls, POLITICO’s Paul Dallison has you coated.
YESTERDAY’S UK COVID STATS: 26,628 new instances, ⬇️ 4,197 on Monday. In the final seven days there have been 230,783 constructive instances, ⬇️ 38,410 on the earlier week … 185 reported deaths inside 28 days of a constructive check, ⬆️ 124 on Monday. In the final seven days 963 deaths have been reported, ⬆️ 15 on the earlier week. As of the newest knowledge 8,413 COVID sufferers are in hospital.
VAX STATS: A complete 48,458,700 individuals or 89.2 p.c of the inhabitants aged 16+ have acquired a primary dose, ⬆️ 19,428. A complete 44,108,746 individuals or 81.2 p.c of the inhabitants aged 16+ have acquired a second dose, ⬆️ 60,653.
FUTURE OF CONSERVATISM
LAST NIGHT IN THE COMMONS: It was a landmark second for the Conservative Party in the House of Commons when the prime minister’s new well being and social care tax, which is able to inject billions extra into the NHS, sailed via with a extra muted Tory opposition than predicted. In the finish it handed with a majority of 56. Convention dictates that the Lords hold their arms off cash payments, that means the levy will pop up on payslips in April.
Rebel insurgent: For all the sound and fury of the final 10 days, whips acquired the rise up down to only 10. They had been Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron; South Dorset MP Richard Drax, Shipley MP Philip Davies, Tatton MP Esther McVey, the red-wall-busting Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison and Milton Keynes North MP Ben Everitt, Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh, South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay, Wokingham MP John Redwood and Christchurch & East Dorset MP Christopher Chope.
Abstentions: There had been 44 Conservative abstentions (though notice the traditional caveats that some could have been unable to attend and got permission to overlook the vote.) As the Independent’s John Rentoul factors out in this wonderful take a look at the repercussions of one among the greatest tax rises in historical past, the Tory MPs who abstained are “possibly more interesting” when the potential battle forward. He notably picks out Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, who now chairs the Northern Research Group — an more and more influential caucus.
MORE TROUBLE BREWING? With the PM’s unpalatable tax rise making it swiftly via the Commons, consideration in the present day will flip again to the destiny of the emergency £20 every week uplift in Universal Credit, which is because of expire at the finish of this month. The Labour Party will use a debate this afternoon to push for the £1,000 a 12 months improve, designed to “strengthen the safety net” throughout the pandemic, to proceed — a sentiment shared by some Tory backbenchers.
Small rise up: Most expect a small rise up if Labour’s opposition day movement goes to a vote. But one Tory MP insisted there’s deep discomfort about pushing forward and ending the uplift throughout many wings of the social gathering. “I think there is some real concern but the Treasury is very set. That firm tone has discouraged rebels,” one other MP, a minister, instructed Playbook.
What’s the movement: Labour will urge the authorities to cease its deliberate minimize to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits. The social gathering cited evaluation final night which suggests the variety of working individuals claiming Universal Credit has hit an all-time excessive with 40 p.c of all claimants in work. The Indy has a write-up.
Rebel view: One of those that plans to insurgent is the Lowestoft MP Peter Aldous. He instructed Playbook that whereas he accepted the Treasury’s need to stability the books, he mentioned eradicating the UC uplift was “the wrong thing to be doing” as it will “expose a lot of more vulnerable people, people who are struggling to get by on a daily basis, expose them to a great deal of challenges.” He warned it might “drive people into destitution.”
What ministers would possibly cite: Stats launched yesterday present job emptiness numbers in the U.Ok. soared by 249,000 to greater than 1 million for the first time since data started, amid employees shortages worsened by the pandemic and post-Brexit immigration curbs. POLITICO’s Cristina Gallardo has the story.
But, however, however: Aldous cautions: “There are an awful lot of people who are not in a position to take advantage of that strong jobs market. Of course, there are a lot of people who are beneficiaries of Universal Credit who are already in work.”
It’s gonna be noisy: A gaggle of Universal Credit claimants will stage a protest exterior parliament as a part of a Unite-organized demonstration. They will collect from 12:15 p.m. throughout PMQs in an effort to pile on the stress throughout Labour’s opposition day debate. The Mirror has a preview.
TODAY IN WESTMINSTER
HOUSE OF COMMONS: Sits from 11.30 a.m. with Wales questions, adopted by PMQs at midday … After any UQs or statements and a Ten Minute Rule Motion on creating a brand new offense for abuse of public-facing staff from Labour’s Olivia Blake, its opposition day. Labour has debates on the ending of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and one other calling for a joint committee inquiry into Afghanistan.
ANOTHER CHINA-UK ROW: Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has banned China’s ambassador to the U.Ok. from getting into the House of Commons, whereas Beijing sanctions stay in place towards MPs who’ve been vital of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Zheng Zeguang had been because of attend a reception hosted by the APPG on China in the present day on the Commons terrace pavilion overlooking the Thames, however Hoyle rescinded the initiation at the final minute. A Chinese embassy spokesman branded the transfer “cowardly” final night. Full story right here.
Let’s deescalate: On the World Tonight final night, Deputy Chair of the APPG on China Geoffrey Clifton Brown warned China was too massive to disregard. “The really important thing now is to try and deescalate this whole row and try and get back to an as normal relationship with the Chinese as we can.”
FIRST FOR FREEPORTS: Chancellor Rishi Sunak will launch one among Britain’s first post-Brexit freeports at an occasion in central London this morning, after he first pitched the thought for the low-tax, low-tariffs zones again in 2016. The Thames Freeport will mix the Port of Tilbury and London Gateway run by Forth Ports and DP World right into a freeport zone with Ford’s Dagenham automotive engine plant at its coronary heart. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps can even seem at the occasion, which begins at 8 a.m. My colleague Emilio Casalicchio has extra in in the present day’s POLITICO Pro Morning Trade U.Ok. e-newsletter right here.
COMMITTEE CORRIDOR: The transport committee hears from DfT Minister Rachel Maclean on the authorities’s transport decarbonization plan (9.30 a.m.) … Disabled People Minister Justin Tomlinson has an accountability session at the work and pensions committee (9.30 a.m.) … Climate change committee Chairman John Gummer is up at the HCLG committee (10 a.m.) … DUP chief Jeffrey Donaldson will discuss the governance of the U.Ok. at the Lords structure committee (10.15 a.m.) … Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland is up at the Lords justice committee (10.30 a.m.) … The environmental audit committee will take a look at water high quality in rivers with Defra Minister Rebecca Pow (2.20 p.m.) … The European scrutiny committee will hear from organizations representing enterprise and the voluntary sector because it seems to be into the our bodies overseeing the EU-U.Ok. commerce deal (2.30 p.m.) … The Treasury committee has wonks in to debate totally different types of inequality which have emerged or been exacerbated by the pandemic (2.30 p.m.) … and the new Lords Northern Ireland protocol sub committee continues with a session centered on the rights of people (4 p.m.). Full listing right here.
HOUSE OF LORDS: Sits from 3 p.m. with questions on visiting preparations in hospitals, reforming council tax and Afghanistan … Followed by Day 4 of the Environment Bill’s report stage.
GRENFELL EVIDENCE: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is because of give proof to the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fireplace, which claimed the lives of 72 individuals in June 2017, at 10 a.m.
CLIMATE CHAT: Former secretaries of state for vitality and local weather change Ed Miliband, Ed Davey, Amber Rudd and Andrea Leadsom will give their verdict on delivering net-zero at a Policy Exchange occasion at 3 p.m. this afternoon.
SAVING CHRISTMAS: Cabinet Office Minister Micheal Gove has been put in cost of checking out the meals provide chain points — a rising drawback for the U.Ok. authorities. The PM reportedly quipped in Cabinet that he “doesn’t want to have to cancel Christmas again,” the Times hears.
FRENCH FUNDING: The Home Office is in talks with France over the way it may also help to pay for a community of asylum reception facilities in France to sort out the surge in migrant crossings, the Telegraph experiences.
SAUDI ‘SATIRE’: Business Insider has acquired maintain of footage of the prime minister’s newest try at humor. He instructed a Tory donor lunch: “I said last year we’re the Saudi Arabia of wind. Probably the Saudi Arabia of penal policy, under our wonderful home secretary.” More from Henry Dyer right here.
**Adam Cohen, director of financial coverage at Google, will converse at POLITICO Live “Can the US and Europe find common ground on regulating big tech?” on September 30. Register in the present day!**
STATE OF THE UNION
MORE COOPERATION TALKS: Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru are in talks over a possible cooperation settlement in the Senedd. An announcement from the two teams launched yesterday mentioned they had been “continuing to explore an ambitious co-operation agreement to be based around a number of defined policy priorities,” whereas BBC Wales has been briefed to not count on a full coalition settlement to emerge.
Mark Drakeford’s Welsh Labour holds 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats and has confronted some occasional issue getting issues via the different half of the parliament since the May election. It all sounds quite a bit like the power-sharing settlement reached in Scotland between the Scottish Greens and SNP, although it isn’t clear if Plaid would enter authorities in any kind — price studying the BBC’s evaluation right here.
NI PROTOCOL LATEST: European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič expects to current his new proposals on the Northern Ireland protocol by mid-October, he instructed MEPs in a non-public assembly in Strasbourg on Monday, my Brussels Playbook colleagues Jakob Hanke Vela and Suzanne Lynch reveal this morning. The purpose is to unveil the plan after the U.Ok. Tory Party convention in October, to keep away from the situation turning into a political soccer, they write.
How’s that for irony: Šefčovič briefed the MEPs in the Winston Churchill constructing in the European Parliament, Jakob and Suzanne report.
State of the European Union: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will ship her annual State of the European Union speech this morning at 8 a.m. London time. Jakob and Suzanne have the full preview, and in the event you’re actually eager, you possibly can comply with together with POLITICO’s dwell weblog.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid broadcast spherical: Sky News (7.05 a.m.) … Times Radio (7.20 a.m.) … BBC Breakfast (7.30 a.m.) … LBC (7.50 a.m.) … Today program (8.10 a.m.).
Also on the Today program: SAGE adviser Andrew Hayward (7.10 a.m.) … James Reed, chief of Reed recruitment (7.15 a.m.).
Also on BBC Breakfast: Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds (6.49 a.m.) … Virologist Chris Smith and behavioral scientist Linda Bauld (8.08 a.m.).
Also on Sky News breakfast: WHO COVID particular envoy David Nabarro (7.30 a.m.) … SPI-M member Mike Tildesley (7.30 a.m.) … Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonny Reynolds (8.05 a.m.).
Also on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC): Former Johnson adviser Alex Crowley (7.05 a.m.) … SPI-M member Mike Tildesley (7.10 a.m.) … Former Greens chief Natalie Bennett (8.05 a.m.).
Also on Times Radio breakfast: SPI-B member Stephen Reicher (8 a.m.) … Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonny Reynolds (8.30 a.m.).
Julia Hartley-Brewer breakfast present (talkRADIO): ASCL General Secretary Geoff Barton (7.20 a.m.) … TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak (7.45 a.m.) … COVID Recovery Group Chairman Mark Harper (8.05 a.m.) … Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonny Reynolds (8.50 a.m.).
Politics Live (BBC Two 11.15 a.m.): Tory MP Steve Brine … Labour MP Clive Lewis … SNP MP Kirsten Oswald … The Mail’s John Stevens … Skills Minister Gillian Keegan … Shadow Child Poverty Secretary Wes Streeting.
Cross Question with Iain Dale (LBC 8 p.m.): Skills Minister Gillian Keegan … Labour peer Andrew Adonis … Spiked columnist Ella Whelan … Playwright Bonnie Greer.
Peston (Twitter 9 p.m. and 10.45 p.m.): Shadow Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry and well being committee Chairman Jeremy Hunt.
Reviewing the papers tonight: BBC News (10.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): Broadcaster Penny Smith and the Times’ Henry Zeffman … Sky News (10.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): The Mirror’s Kevin Maguire and Mail’s Andrew Pierce … Times Radio (10.30 p.m.): Tory MP Richard Holden and Shadow Apprenticeships Minister Toby Perkins.
TODAY’S FRONT PAGES
(Click on the publication’s title to see its entrance web page.)
Daily Express: Mr smart! We reserve proper to tighten guidelines.
Daily Mail: Surprise! It’s again to panic stations.
Daily Mirror: Plan for the worst.
Daily Star: Whitty — Nicki’s speaking a load of knackers.
Financial Times: Johnson pressured to delay Brexit border checks on EU items.
HuffPost UK: U.Ok. in spat with Nicki Minaj over vaccines.
i: PM’s new plan B to cease new lockdown.
Metro: A COVID winter warner.
POLITICO UK: Annalena Baerbock — German Greens’ star fades in election marketing campaign.
The Daily Telegraph: Spectre of winter lockdown returns.
The Guardian: Act urgently or withstand 7,000 a day in hospital, scientists inform PM.
The Independent: Thousands in hospital a day with out restrictions.
The Sun: Who cares Wills.
The Times: ‘Go arduous, go early’ to curb winter disaster, Johnson instructed.
WESTMINSTER WEATHER: ☁️ ☁️ ☁️ Light cloud and a delicate breeze. Highs of 21C.
SPOTTED … At the Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards final night: PM Boris Johnson … Chancellor Rishi Sunak … Health Secretary Sajid Javid … Prince William … Oxford vaccine pioneers Sarah Gilbert and Andrew Pollard … Shadow Domestic Violence Minister Jess Phillips … Deputy CMO Jonathan Van-Tam … Broadcasters Kate Garraway, Steph McGovern, Piers Morgan and Gary Lineker … Editor of the Sun Victoria Newton … NHS spinner Jamie Lyons … No. 10 SpAds Rosie Bate-Williams, Shelley Williams-Walker and Ed Oldfield … Treasury SpAd Nerissa Chesterfield … DHSC SpAd Emma Dean … Plus footballer David Beckham.
Spotted II: The Spectator’s Steerpike hears Trade Secretary Liz Truss — warming up for her Policy Exchange speech yesterday — and Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey let their hair down on Monday night with a spot of karaoke alongside fellow Tory MPs. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove even made a shock look, although Playbook isn’t positive any of his new favourite tunes are notably suited to karaoke.
Probably spot Playbook right here subsequent week: Steerpike additionally has information of the enterprise dealings of former Chancellor George Osborne’s eldest son Luke, who has based a nightclub providing an “immersive genre-fluid return to raving.” The membership opened for enterprise final night in Bristol with a drum and bass night promising to “smack shades of shit out of your Tuesday night.” See you all there.
SO LONG: The BBC’s Senior U.Ok. Health Producer Helen Miller is leaving the Beeb in the present day after greater than 30 years. Miller, who can also be a member of the #TomorrowsPapersToday staff that save Playbook’s bacon each day, tweeted that she shall be taking a protracted break.
BIRTHDAYS: Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams … Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead … Stirling MP Alyn Smith … Tory peer Philip Harris … UK in a Changing Europe Director Anand Menon … POLITICO’s Molly Fluet … and the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry turns 37.
PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: My editor Zoya Sheftalovich, reporter Andrew McDonald producer Grace Stranger.
primarily based on web site supplies www.politico.eu