London Playbook: Strike week — Carrie on regardless — Geidt succession – POLITICO

Good Monday morning. This is Eleni Courea.

LOBBY SCOOP: Congratulations to Kate Ferguson, who has been appointed the first-ever feminine political editor of the Sun on Sunday (and is the primary girl to carry that submit on any Sun title). Ferguson, who’s at present deputy pol ed of the Sun’s each day version, will begin her new function later in the summertime — comply with her right here. She succeeds veteran foyer journalist David Wooding, who’s leaving to turn into editor of the Sunday Express.


STRIKE WEEK: Get the place you’ll want to right now — as a result of walk-outs by rail employees on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are set to carry greater than half the prepare community to a grinding halt. The first day of Network Rail strikes on Tuesday coincides with motion by London Underground employees.  

Luckily nothing a lot goes on this week … Just GCSE and A Level exams, Glastonbury on Wednesday and two parliamentary by-elections in reverse ends of England on Thursday.

Down in Westminster: Hundreds of MPs heading to London this morning could have critical hassle making the return journey to their constituencies earlier than they’re due again within the Commons subsequent Monday. Playbook is informed that neither Tory nor Labour whips have issued MPs with recommendation for coping with the strikes or informed them they’ll keep at residence.

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What’s working: Today is the final day of regular providers earlier than Network Rail employees are as a consequence of stroll out at 00:01 tonight. Sky has a run-down of what completely different prepare firms are saying. Most operators are advising passengers to not journey between Tuesday and Saturday, with solely 20 p.c of providers working on strike days and timetables on non-strike days beginning later and ending earlier. Check the most recent updates earlier than you journey on the Network Rail web site.

What it’s about: 40,000 RMT members are hanging over job losses, pay and work circumstances.

Back to the Nineteen Seventies: The Times and Mail splash on nurses, docs and academics additionally threatening to strike if ministers announce a below-inflation public sector pay rise within the coming weeks. No. 10 warned final month that “the risk of triggering higher inflation must be part of considerations.”

Clean sweep: The strikes additionally splash the Telegraph, Sun, Guardian, Express, Indy, Metro and that i paper — all linked additional down.

Could they be referred to as off? Last-ditch talks between union and business chiefs to attempt to avert the motion might be held right now, in line with the BBC. Over the weekend Keir Starmer accused ministers of failing to interact with unions and “wanting the country to grind to a halt so they can feed off the division” (or in different phrases, use it as a follow beat Labour with). Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote to Starmer in a single day calling on him to “personally condemn” the strikes.

Laying down the legislation: Kwasi Kwarteng will this week repeal a ban on companies bringing in non permanent company staff to interchange hanging employees, Henry Zeffman stories within the Times. The paper says that the enterprise sec offered the long-promised change — which was a pledge within the 2019 Tory manifesto — to Cabinet final week for approval. It undoes a coverage launched in 1973 by Edward Heath.

Coming down the observe: No signal but of promised laws to require a “minimum service level” throughout rail strikes to forestall unions from shutting down your entire community. A supply tells the Telegraph’s Ben Riley-Smith that the change might not come this 12 months regardless of strain from senior Tories.


SIMON SAYS: No. 10’s official spokesman might be braced for a flurry of questions right now over the disappearance of a Times story claiming that Boris Johnson tried to make his now-wife Carrie his £100,000-a-year chief of employees whereas he was international sec in 2018. The report was taken down hours after being printed on Saturday, inflicting a lot of head-scratching over the weekend. It ought to make for a enjoyable foyer briefing for Westminster hacks right now.

Mystery of the disappearing story: Veteran political journalist Simon Walters informed each the New European and the Guardian that he stands by his report, which appeared within the first version of the Times on Saturday however was wiped from the second and by no means put up on-line. “I stand by the story 100 per cent,” Walters informed the New European. “I was in lengthy and detailed communication with No. 10 at a high level, Ben Gascoigne and Mrs Johnson’s spokeswoman for up to 48 hours before the paper went to press. At no point did any of them offer an on-the-record denial of any element of the story.”

Adding gas to the fireplace: Dominic Cummings tweeted final evening that the story “is true” and that the PM additionally needed to present Carrie a authorities job throughout the third quarter of 2020.

FWIW: No. 10 denied each the Walters report and Cummings allegation to Playbook. A No. 10 spokeswoman mentioned final evening: “Both these claims are untrue.”

The bizarre factor is: The story was already on the market in Michael Ashcroft’s biography of Carrie, revealed earlier this 12 months, and the Mail’s serialization of it. The Guardian’s Rowena Mason and Jim Waterson have a mischievous write-up suggesting that this has became an instance of the Streisand impact — when an try to wipe one thing from the web massively will increase curiosity in it.

And not for the primary time: A 2020 story by Times information reporter Ben Ellery claiming that the Johnsons had been contemplating making a gift of their rescue canine Dilyn was faraway from the web site after livid response from Carrie, who referred to as it “total crap” on Twitter. On that event she was mentioned to have phoned foyer hacks personally to inform them the report was unfaithful. But its claims that Dilyn was not correctly housetrained and was inflicting harm have since made its manner into a lot of stories in regards to the PM’s jokey frustration with him. Last 12 months Simon Walters wrote within the Mail that when the Times refused to print an apology for the story, Carrie drafted a letter to the paper alleging it had breached IPSO guidelines however that the PM refused to signal it as a result of it was “nonsense.”

SCOOP — GEIDT SUCCESSION: This might be a superb time to return to the query of changing the PM’s unbiased adviser on ministerial pursuits Christopher Geidt, who final week carried out essentially the most baffling and politically ineffective resignation in latest reminiscence.

Court of Geidts: Playbook is informed by a No. 10 supply that though discussions are of their early phases, one of many concepts being mooted is having a panel of three Geidt equivalents — a bit like Court of Appeal judges — to take the strain off any single particular person. The want to keep away from anybody else coming below the identical scrutiny that Sue Gray did when she investigated Partygate could be a part of the motivation, the identical supply mentioned. Another thought some have thought of is scrapping the function in favor of a parliamentary mechanism, such because the committee on requirements.

Nadine weighs in: Asked about Geidt, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries mentioned throughout an LBC phone-in with Rachel Johnson final evening that the general public “have never even heard his name … and I don’t think they give a fig who replaces him or even who he was or what he did.” Here’s the Indy’s write-up.


BETTER LUCK THIS WEEK: The authorities’s price of residing czar David Buttress begins his new function this morning, after a publicity blitz over the weekend attempting to bury embarrassing headlines over his anti-Johnson tweets.

OLD-SCHOOL POLITICS: No. 10 is actively contemplating proposals to usher in a brand new era of grammar faculties, Henry Zeffman stories within the Times, as Graham Brady prepares to place ahead an modification to the Schools Bill later this 12 months that may elevate the ban launched by Tony Blair in 1998. No. 10 adviser David Canzini is alleged to view grammar faculties as a wedge concern between the Tories and Labour, the paper stories.

FOI FIASCO: DIT is the worst-performing division on the subject of FOI transparency and responded to requests inside regular deadlines lower than 20 p.c of the time, the Times’ George Greenwood stories. DHSC, DCMS and BEIS weren’t a lot better, in line with the information from January to March this 12 months.

BEST WISHES: To Jeremy Hunt, who revealed he has had a “minor cancer” forward of a charity run. “Every member of my family has had cancer. I have had a minor one myself which has fortunately been resolved,” the previous well being secretary mentioned. Here’s the i’s write-up.

TAX AX: Ministers are contemplating giving tax breaks to firms that “buy British,” the Sun’s Kate Ferguson stories.

WHAT NO. 10 WANTS TO TALK ABOUT: Boris Johnson has written an op-ed for the Telegraph stressing the “immense” commerce advantages of being a part of the Commonwealth forward of his go to to Rwanda for the Commonwealth leaders’ summit later this week.

AND WHAT THE REBELS ARE DOING: Johnson’s inside critics are plotting one other confidence vote at Christmastime in the event that they achieve slashing the 12-month interval of immunity by getting sufficient of their allies onto then 1922 committee exec, the Mail on Sunday’s Anna Mikhailova reported over the weekend. A supply tells the Times’ Henry Zeffman: “No. 10 and the whips are desperate to change the composition of that committee. There’s too many opponents on there for comfort.”

Speaking of which: Boris Johnson’s venture is failing, Tom McTague argues in his newest lengthy learn for the Atlantic. “The truth is, it’s already too late for Johnson’s leveling-up agenda,” he writes. “It may even be too late for the next government, because not a single potential Conservative leadership candidate nor the opposition Labour Party has developed any kind of strategy that might significantly shift the fundamentals of the British economy.”

HOUSE OF COMMONS: Sits from 2.30 p.m with Home Office questions adopted by any UQs or statements … After that, it’s an HS2 day: MPs will debate the second studying of the invoice to authorize the subsequent stage of the deliberate route, from Crewe to Manchester … after which Labour MP Chris Evans will lead an adjournment debate on unlawful off-road biking in his constituency.

HOUSE OF LORDS: Sits from 2.30 p.m. with questions on animal cruelty, the Online Safety Bill and the Special Educational Needs funds … after which the primary enterprise might be day 4 of the Schools Bill’s committee stage.

Committee hall: Scottish Secretary Alister Jack is up earlier than the Scottish affairs committee, which looks like good timing within the wake of the SNP’s new independence push (3 p.m.) … The Lords setting committee will staff up with the environmental audit committee to quiz Environment Secretary George Eustice and FCDO Minister Zac Goldsmith on COP15 — the worldwide biodiversity convention (3.30 p.m.) … The leveling up committee has a session on planning reform with consultants (4 p.m.) … and the general public accounts committee might be trying on the MoJ’s failed effort to ship a brand new IT program to assist with the digital tagging of offenders (4 p.m.).


SNP ‘LEAK HUNT’: SNP Westminster chief Ian Blackford will come below strain as he arrives from his grueling commute to Westminster right now following an explosive recording being leaked to the Mail’s John Stevens on Friday. In the recording, taken throughout one of many SNP Westminster group’s common conferences, MPs together with Blackford are heard rallying spherical Patrick Grady, who final week was discovered responsible of sexual misconduct by the parliamentary ethics watchdog. Blackford might be heard telling MPs that Grady “is going to face a number of challenges and needs our absolute full support.” The Times’ Kieran Andrews stories that the get together’s chief whip, Owen Thompson, has threatened the leaking MP with legal motion amid a hunt to seek out the wrongdoer.

Victim’s verdict: In one other cracking scoop, Stevens is informed by the sufferer that Blackford had as soon as promised him he would take a zero-tolerance strategy to sexual harassment. Opposition events are calling for Blackford to give up.

ICYMI: The Sunday Times had a significant Indy scoop from John Boothman and Jason Allardyce, who reported that Nicola Sturgeon plans to attain the SNP purpose of a referendum subsequent 12 months via a “legal wheeze.” The thought is that the SNP might maintain a authorized consultative referendum by placing the query to Scots otherwise from the final one. Former prime mandarin Ciaran Martin — who was David Cameron’s negotiator for the primary referendum — has a chunk within the newspaper arguing that with out London approval a vote would have little that means.

**Do not miss the unique dialog with NATO’s Secretary normal on June 22 at 4:30 p.m. Hear from Jens Stoltenberg what to anticipate on the NATO Madrid Summit. Register now!**


FOUR MORE DAYS: It’s the ultimate push for Tory, Labour and Lib Dem campaigners campaigning for his or her events in Wakefield and in Tiverton and Honiton.

State of play: The normal expectation is that the Tories will lose each seats on Thursday in what anti-Johnson Tory MPs hope will show that the PM has misplaced his electoral enchantment in each working-class northern crimson wall areas and leafy southern seats.

On the bottom: POLITICO’s Esther Webber filed this piece over the weekend from Wakefield, the place the incumbent Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in 2008. “For their part, many Conservatives believe their best hope is to remind Wakefield, which voted by a 63 percent majority to leave the EU, that it was Johnson who finally delivered Brexit in 2020,” Esther stories.

Bring out the flags: Andrea Jenkyns, the Tory MP who defeated Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood again in 2015, “has demanded Union Jacks be splashed across every leaflet distributed in Wakefield, and wants Brexit mentioned in every doorstep conversation,” Esther stories. “I certainly think we may be fighting the last war,” one despairing native Tory member tells her. “We’re obsessed with Brexit — we just keep going on about it.”

Wes’ check: Even shadow Cabinet ministers are admitting that if Labour doesn’t win in Wakefield it would as effectively pack up and go residence. Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting tells the Mirror’s Lizzy Buchan right now that the by-election is “a big test” for the get together. “We win it — it shows Labour is on the path back to Government. We lose — we will face serious questions,” he mentioned.

Labour woes: The Times’ Geri Scott additionally headed to Wakefield final week and is informed that some native Labour activists are refusing to participate within the marketing campaign due to how Simon Lightwood’s choice occurred. “It’s not personal against Simon,” one tells her. “But if we didn’t make a public stand it would look like we condoned the process and we couldn’t.”

Brexit Keir: As a part of the bid to win again crimson wall voters Keir Starmer is making ready a speech on immigration by which he’ll rule out reintroducing free motion with the EU if Labour wins the subsequent election, Henry Zeffman stories within the Times.

Over in Devon: The Tiverton and Honiton by-election is the extra unpredictable of the 2, with the Lib Dems preventing to overturn a 24,000 Tory majority. A Lib Dem supply informed the Observer over the weekend that “there has definitely been a hardening among those Tory voters and it has become more difficult in the last few days … It is going to be very tight and the majority to overturn is very big.”


MANU IN TROUBLE: Emmanuel Macron has misplaced his parliamentary majority after a surprising upset in France’s legislative elections. His centrist Ensemble coalition didn’t get near the brink wanted for a ruling majority because of good points for Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and the left-wing NUPES coalition — leaving the French president going through 5 years of Theresa May-style parliamentary impasse. Ça Va, Manu? Here’s Clea Caulcutt’s write-up for POLITICO.

UKRAINE UPDATE: The rhetoric of Western leaders is shifting towards speak of a protracted, arduous struggle in Ukraine. PM Boris Johnson had an op-ed within the Sunday Times calling on his fellow leaders to metal themselves and guarantee Ukraine has the “strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail,” as he set out a four-point plan for persevering with help. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, in an interview with Bild, went down an analogous route, arguing that the struggle might final for years however Western help should nonetheless proceed. English language write-up right here from POLITICO’s Giorgio Leali. Elsewhere, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a weekend journey to the nation’s southern frontline over the weekend — BBC write-up right here.

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Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke broadcast spherical: Sky News (7.05 a.m.) … Times Radio (7.20 a.m.) … BBC Breakfast (7.32 a.m.) … LBC (7.50 a.m.).

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh: BBC Breakfast (6.50 a.m.) … Sky News (8.05 a.m.) …. Times Radio (8.20 a.m.).

Also on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC): Former Labour aide Andrew Fisher (7.15 a.m.) … Network Rail Chairman Peter Hendy (7.40 a.m.) … Ofgem CEO Jonathan Brearley (8.50 a.m.).

Times Radio breakfast: Michael Kill, chief government of the Night Time Industries Association (8.05 a.m.).

TalkTV breakfast present: Tory MP David Jones (8.05 a.m.) … Tory peer Ros Altmann (8.32 a.m.).

The Briefing with Gloria De Piero (GB News 12 p.m.): Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh and Tory MP Matt Vickers.

Cross Question with Iain Dale (LBC 8 p.m.): Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith … Labour Chair Anneliese Dodds … Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell … Former Thatcher aide Caroline Slocock.

Reviewing the papers tonight: Sky News (10.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): The Mirror’s Pippa Crerar and the Sun’s Harry Cole.


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

Daily Express: Voters received’t forgive rail strike betrayal.

Daily Mail: Summer strikes plague spreads.

Daily Mirror: Now academics & nurses be a part of pay struggle.

Daily Star: Plumeing marvellous — Summer of enjoyable.

Financial Times: City bosses warn U.Ok. is ill-equipped to cope with extreme financial shock.

HuffPost UK: Unions ‘gunning for strike motion,’ says Shapps.

i: Rail strikes ‘to hold on till the autumn.’

Metro: Network derailed.

POLITICO UK: Macron faces 5 years of gridlock after beautiful parliamentary defeat.

PoliticsHome: Grant Shapps accuses union leaders of waging ‘class struggle’ forward of nationwide rail strikes.

The Daily Telegraph: Rail union risk to strike for six months.

The Guardian: Anger as ministers refuse to affix last-ditch effort to halt rail strikes.

The Independent: Unions urge ministers to seek out answer to rail strike.

The Sun: We remorse to announce that this nation is returning to the Nineteen Seventies.

The Times: Teachers and docs threaten to affix strikes.

**Dive deep with POLITICO Pro. Get a 360° view of any subject via Pro’s connections between journalistic perception, knowledge and extra. Learn extra right here.**


WESTMINSTER WEATHER: ⛅️⛅️⛅️ Bit cooler, however solar nonetheless very a lot out. Highs of 22C.

CONGRATS: To Tory activist and former aide Stephen Canning, who marked Father’s Day by turning into a father to child James. Here’s the tweet.

BIRTHDAYS: Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis … Bootle MP Peter Dowd … Former Burnley MP Julie Cooper … Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: My editor Zoya Sheftalovich, reporter Andrew McDonald and producer Arnau Busquets Guàrdia.

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