POLITICO London Playbook: Room service — Starmer fightback — Sarwar says – POLITICO

Good Friday morning. This is Emilio Casalicchio.

FIRST HEAR THIS: Episode 2 of Jack Blanchard’s Westminster Insider podcast is out, exploring how British prime ministers have tried to attraction their counterparts within the White House with various levels of success. Ex-No. 10 aide Katie Perrior appears again on the “really thin tightrope” Theresa May walked to maintain each Donald Trump and her home viewers completely satisfied, whereas former Gordon Brown adviser Stewart Wood mulls over the agonies of a much less profitable relationship with a standoffish Barack Obama.

Essential listening for … Boris Johnson as he ponders methods to woo Joe Biden. Good luck.


ROOM SERVICE: The authorities is scrambling to get its lodge quarantine plan up and working in lower than two weeks, with basic questions nonetheless hanging over the undertaking. Ministers introduced late final night time that the brand new regime will come into drive on February 15, with officers stated to be racing to e book tens of hundreds of lodge rooms by tonight. It means the plan to isolate arrivals from 33 international locations with coronavirus mutations is ready to start three weeks after it was first introduced and per week later than promised. “There’s enormous pressure on the government because clearly they have screwed up on this,” one senior Conservative MP instructed Playbook final night time.

Debate nonetheless raging: The authorities continues to be beneath strain to increase the quarantine plan to all non-freight arrivals — not simply these from COVID hotspots — in case vacationers come to Britain through oblique routes or from nations which have variants nonetheless to be picked up. “We need to take it to the Nth level,” the identical MP stated. “It’s alright closing all the doors and most of the windows, but if you leave some of the windows open the virus is going to get in.” Health committee Chair Jeremy Hunt instructed Playbook: “If new mutations arrive in the U.K. that are immune to the vaccine we will be back to Square 1 … so why take the risk?” A senior authorities supply stated it was nonetheless attainable the plan may very well be prolonged to all non-freight passengers — though officers refused to have interaction with the query final night time.

**A message from Facebook: Working collectively is extra essential than ever within the battle towards COVID-19. In Spain, the World Bank is utilizing Facebook’s Disease Prevention Maps to forecast wants for COVID-19 testing and hospital beds. Learn extra about how we’re collaborating to maintain communities secure and knowledgeable at about.fb.com/europe.**

Not so quick: Conservative MP Henry Smith, whose Crawley patch consists of Gatwick Airport, insisted the focused strategy was the correct one. “A big part of the solution to both keeping public health protected and at the same time not completely killing our aviation industry is targeted quarantine and a robust testing regime,” he instructed Playbook. He lashed out at Labour, which can be pushing for the quarantine plan to be prolonged. “Even when these measures eventually begin, they will not go [anywhere] near far enough to be effective in preventing further variants,” Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said last night. “As ever with this government, it is too little, too late.”

How it really works: The Telegraph‘s Charles Hymas has the perfect write-up of the element. He studies ministers need 28,000 lodge rooms reserved by 5 p.m. tonight to accommodate 1,425 passengers a day by February 15. Passengers will likely be anticipated to stay guarded for 10 nights and must take a COVID check on their second and eighth days — with a unfavourable check required to go away. The authorities will entrance the estimated £55 million invoice then try and recoup the money from passengers. Those compelled to isolate will get three meals a day however must clear their very own rooms. The scheme is ready to run till no less than the top of March, then be prolonged on a rolling seven-day discover interval if wanted.

What’s the holdup? Logistics, briefly. One authorities supply stated it was like “setting up a detention system from scratch.” The Times lists among the questions ailing ministers, comparable to the price of insurance coverage for the resorts if an outbreak forces them to shut, or how forceful guards could be if friends try to flee.

Coming points of interest: More element about how passengers will e book into the resorts is ready to be unveiled subsequent week. Downing Street was taking part in down — however not ruling out — rumors that the federal government will maintain a press convention this afternoon, whereas there have been expectations amongst some that Health Secretary Matt Hancock could be out on some sort of go to about it throughout noon.

More detention: The authorities is taking a look at boosting fines for breaching self-isolation from £1,000 to £5,000 in a bid to extend compliance, in keeping with Steven Swinford within the Times.

IN SUNNIER NEWS: Britain will largely be again to regular by May, in keeping with Jason Groves within the Mail splash. “If the vaccine program goes the way we think it will go, then you will start to see quite a quick return to normal in April and May,” a Whitehall supply tells him, in a lift for Mark Harper and … all the nation. The Times reckons out of doors sport and socializing will likely be subsequent on the checklist after faculties return subsequent month. The paper provides that within the new world, the requirement for pubs to serve “substantial meals” with alcoholic drinks will likely be scrapped, prompting a large sell-off of scotch egg shares. The identical paper studies that vaccine passports are being developed so Brits can spend the summer season in sunspots like Greece.

Could we transfer quicker? The Telegraph quotes scientists from the alphabet soup of presidency recommendation panels arguing lockdown easements might come sooner if ministers need them to. Robert Dingwall (NERVTAG) stated faculties might open after the February half time period as an alternative of March 8 as presently deliberate, and stated Boris Johnson was being “a little overcautious.” Mark Woolhouse (SPI-M) additionally reckons this month is doable for faculties. But after all (earlier than the CRG will get too excited) different advisers urge warning.

Also urging warning … Is Hunt, of the well being committee, who tells the Guardian restrictions ought to stay in place till instances are right down to lower than 1,000 per day. On Newsnight, fellow Conservative Christopher Chope disagreed, and referred to as for March 8 to turn into “lockdown freedom day.”

All eyes on: The all-important R numbers, which will likely be printed right here, and the ONS an infection survey, which is able to seem right here at noon. The ONS can be publishing an interesting-sounding report at 9.30 a.m. wanting on the variations in behaviors between the lockdowns. Get that right here.

HAPPENING TODAY: NERVTAG is anticipated to categorise the brand new coronavirus strains rising in Liverpool and Bristol as official mutations. Expect developments mid to late morning. The i’s Jane Merrick has a write-up. There are rumors of extra promising vaccine information coming round noon too.

YESTERDAY’S UK STATS: 20,634 new instances, ⬆️ 1,432 on Wednesday. In the previous seven days, the U.Okay. recorded a complete 148,725 new instances, ⬇️ 51,364 on the earlier week … 915 new reported deaths inside 28 days of a constructive check, ⬇️ 407 on Wednesday. In the previous seven days, the U.Okay. has recorded a complete 7,124 deaths inside 28 days of a constructive check, ⬇️ 1,422 on the earlier week.

VAX STATS: A complete 10,490,487 individuals have obtained the primary dose, ⬆️ 469,016. A complete 501,957 individuals have obtained the second dose, ⬆️ 2,995.


STARMER FIGHTBACK: LOTO is trying to get again on the entrance foot this morning, with new proposals to safeguard jobs (no laughing on the again) after a string of unhealthy headlines and briefing towards Labour chief Keir Starmer. Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds is out on the printed spherical calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to instantly change to a “smart” furlough scheme (as an alternative of ready till the price range) that will see help proceed for so long as COVID restrictions stay in place. The plan consists of extra coaching incentives for furloughed employees and harder circumstances on bosses to forestall abuse.

Attack line: “People can’t afford to attend for the Chancellor to get his act collectively,” Dodds stated in an announcement in a single day. “They need emergency action today, not more dither and delay until the Budget.” The Guardian has a write-up.

More the place this got here from: LOTO sources instructed Playbook there will likely be extra to come back within the subsequent few weeks about Labour’s financial strategy — together with its proposals for constructing again after the pandemic. There are hopes that the elevated output may calm the latest jitters amongst MPs that had been encapsulated within the Stephen Bush New Statesman column this week. One MP Playbook spoke to final night time stated the issue for Starmer isn’t that he’s unhealthy however that he must outline what he stands for and domesticate extra allies who will champion him. The drawback isn’t a lot the briefing towards Starmer, however the lack of individuals to defend him, the MP argued.

Here’s one: “The single biggest asset that the Labour Party has at the moment is Keir’s leadership,” one shadow minister said. “People have noticed the change in leadership and they like it. We’ve got to show them that the party has changed too and we shouldn’t underestimate the damage that the last five years has inflicted on the Labour brand or pay much attention to the people who led us to successive defeats.” To be honest, most Labour MPs Playbook speaks to love what they see from Starmer however need him to energy up (*coughs*). Otherwise the issue is, as one other MP identified, a vacuum on the high will likely be stuffed with unhelpful briefings from critics.


SINO PROGRESS? Playbook hears a compromise modification on declaring whether or not a potential commerce companion is committing genocide is being drawn up and may very well be revealed as quickly as immediately. The authorities rejects the Lords addition to the Trade Bill, due for a Commons vote on Tuesday, that will enable courts to make such a declaration. Hardline China-skeptics argue the Lords plan is the perfect path to curb U.Okay. commerce with China. But the compromise plan would enable a choose committee to make a judgment on whether or not genocide is being dedicated and suggest a movement to the Commons, which MPs would be capable of vote on.

SAUD STATE OF AFFAIRS: Boris Johnson is going through strain to comply with U.S. President Joe Biden and finish U.Okay. help for the Saudi-led coalition over its warfare in Yemen, together with banning the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. Conservative MP and protection choose committee Chair Tobias Ellwood instructed Playbook the U.Okay. should “show leadership” by ending weapons gross sales and committing British troops to main a global stabilization and peacekeeping mission. Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy stated the choice from Washington “leaves Britain isolated on the world stage” and urged the federal government to comply with go well with.

CROSS AT ROSS: Exasperation with Scottish Conservatives chief Douglas Ross — a constant insurgent — is boiling over in authorities ranks. Ross was the only Tory MP to vote for an SNP movement this week calling on the federal government to reverse the scrapping of tax free searching for guests. “One of the skills of leadership is to make sure people follow you,” a authorities supply instructed Playbook. “You have to question the quality of the leadership if you’re the only one in an opposition lobby and none of your colleagues follow you.” Senior Tories are actually stated to be questioning whether or not Ross is endowed with the correct colleges of judgment to maintain the highest job north of the border.

Rebel with a trigger: The Ross protection, on this event, is that the problem impacts his constituency greater than others, a good friend factors out. Ross has main textile and whisky pursuits in his Moray seat, which is alleged to incorporate extra distilleries than every other, and due to this fact depends closely on vacationer retail. He is alleged to have instructed his Scottish MP colleagues he would go into battle on this one alone to face up for his constituents. Ross didn’t reply to a request to remark.

FLESH OUT: Downing Street final night time dominated out a carbon tax on meat and cheese, after the concept was floated within the Times. “This is categorically not going to happen,” a senior supply stated. The Sun has a write-up.

NEW SCHOOLS FOR THE RED WALL: The authorities has launched its school-rebuilding transformation plan, the primary part of which is able to see 50 faculties — greater than 70 % of that are within the north and midlands — rebuilt, and one other 21 new free faculties constructed.

Talking of colleges: In his Times column, James Forsyth muses on authorities enthusiastic about methods to assist children get well misplaced studying time. He moots an extension of the varsity day (with volunteers working the courses) and a shortening of the summer season holidays.

SNAP SNAP SNAP: In the Mirror, Dan Bloom studies that Boris Johnson has three in-house photographers. So that’s how these mind-bending telephone wire tips are finished.

NO SUCH THING AS FREE LUNCH: The public accounts committee has slammed the administration of a meals voucher scheme arrange throughout the March coronavirus lockdown. Contractor Edenred bungled the work at first however the division for training saved handing the agency money in contract extensions with out trying to renegotiate the phrases, the committee stated in a brand new report.

LATEST BREXIT BAD BLOOD: A diplomatic offensive is underway to make sure the U.Okay. doesn’t discriminate towards any EU nation with its post-Brexit visa charges, that are dearer for the nationals of 5 member states than for the remainder of the bloc, my POLITICO colleague Cristina Gallardo studies.

In different Brexit information 1: Former high authorities lawyer Jonathan Jones (who stop over the entire breaking worldwide legislation factor) instructed Times Radio ministers weren’t “honest” concerning the Northern Ireland protocol entailing a commerce border down the Irish Sea. The Times has a write-up.

In different Brexit information 2: The U.Okay. ought to lengthen the appliance deadline for its post-Brexit EU Settlement Scheme by as much as a 12 months due to the pandemic, The3Million marketing campaign group says.

In different Brexit information 3: Boris Johnson desires freeports to point out Brexit Britain is open for enterprise — and gamers huge and small are jostling for the possibility to show him proper. My POLITICO colleague Graham Lanktree has the story.

DUNN PRESSURE: Harry Dunn’s dad and mom have piled strain on Dominic Raab over the court docket revelation that the lady who struck his motorcycle along with her automotive, killing him, Anne Sacoolas, was a U.S. intelligence agent. A spokesman for the household instructed the Sun the overseas secretary should “come absolutely clean” about what he knew about Sacoolas’ employment standing. A authorities supply instructed Playbook final night time that the information as beforehand understood — that the federal government was instructed she was within the U.Okay. because the spouse of a diplomat — haven’t modified.

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN: Disability charity Scope has new analysis out immediately which finds only one in 10 disabled individuals stated they’ve been in a position to get the help they want throughout the lockdown from the federal government and their native councils.

EVENTS CORNER: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is among the many audio system on the LSE German Symposium immediately. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey additionally seems. Details right here.

One for the commerce nerds: The U.Okay. and Japanese chief negotiators on the commerce deal between the 2 nations seem at Chatham House occasion at 9.30 a.m. Register right here.

Pandemic buildback: The Centre for Policy Studies has an occasion this afternoon on what the financial rebuilding after the coronavirus ought to appear like. Details right here.

ICYMI: The Handforth Parish Council assembly that set political Twitter alight is a must-watch. Start with the taster clip then transfer on to the prolonged model. Playbook is wanting ahead to the Jackie Weaver sit-down interview and her Biteback memoirs.


SARWAR SAYS: Two candidates are vying to steer a celebration that has fallen from complete energy to close obscurity. Ahead of ballots dropping for Scottish Labour members on Tuesday, Playbook reporter Andrew McDonald caught up with the early favourite Anas Sarwar, the get together’s structure spokesperson, who’s working once more after dropping to Richard Leonard in 2017.

MEET ANAS: Sarwar tells Playbook he’s working once more to supply “political leadership that is serious about healing the wounds in our country … reuniting our people … and focusing all our collective efforts on rebuilding the nation.” With Scottish Labour trailing in third within the polls, he accepts his get together is “fighting for our survival” and {that a} new chief faces “the toughest job in British politics.”

SETTING A MAY TARGET: Sarwar says he’s a “realist” and accepts Scottish Labour has little hope of victory in May’s Holyrood election. Instead, he targets snatching official opposition standing again from the Tories and “hopefully” stopping the SNP from successful a majority.

Hold on … If stopping an SNP majority is so essential, why did Sarwar reject a proposal from Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross to work collectively towards the Scottish Nats? Sarwar says Ross’ provide was a “blatant example of playground politics,” and, in a slapdown to any prospect of Better Together II, stated “I’ll make no alliances with the Tories.”

HIS CONSTITUTIONAL OFFER: “I don’t wish to return to the divisive politics of previous the place we’ve, on one hand, Douglas Ross making an attempt to take us down a line of tank-driving, Union Jack-waving, chest-beating unionism, or within the case of Nicola Sturgeon, saltire-waving, independence-now nationalism. Instead, I’m extra about how we convey our individuals collectively.” He stated pro-independence supporters ought to vote for what they need for the following 5 years, not the remainder of their lives.

Talking of flags … Sarwar is extra supportive of U.Okay. chief Keir Starmer’s Union Jack waving plans, saying “there’s nothing wrong with him looking like and sounding like he cares passionately about the U.K. and loves the U.K.” In a jibe at Starmer’s predecessor, he stated if Labour “hadn’t spent a number of the last few years looking like we didn’t care about the U.K. we wouldn’t have the issue we have today.”

SARWAR ❤️ STARMER: “I believe Keir’s made a terrific begin … he’s demonstrating maturity, competence and a statesmanship that’s rebuilding belief within the Labour Party once more.”

But what about Scotland? Pressed on whether or not a Union Jack technique would actually be useful for Labour’s battle to win again Scotland, he stated: “We’ve bought to take possession of this stuff. This concept that the Saltire [Scottish Flag] is owned by Yes-supporting nationalists, or the Union Jack is owned by chest-beating Brexiteers on the far proper. No! The Saltire is as a lot my flag as it’s Nicola Sturgeon’s and the Union Jack is as a lot Keir Starmer’s flag as it’s Boris Johnson’s.”

**Don’t miss the primary version of Playbook Paris, popping out on Monday. Pauline de Saint Remy will likely be lifting the curtain on the ability behind the scenes within the French capital with authentic information, sharp perception and a contact of humor. Sign up right here.**


SAVE THE DATE: SNP Chief Executive — and husband of Nicola Sturgeon — Peter Murrell is to present proof to the Holyrood Salmond inquiry for the second time on Monday, only a day earlier than Alex Salmond himself is because of seem. 🍿🍿🍿

UN-SAVE THE DATE: However, Salmond’s personal look is doubtful after the inquiry refused to publish proof submitted by the previous first minister to a separate inquiry. The proof accuses Sturgeon of breaking the ministerial code by deceptive parliament, and if it isn’t formally printed it can’t be utilized by inquiry members or referenced within the committee’s public classes. A spokeswoman for Salmond described the choice to suppress the submission as “farcical.” The submission has been printed in full on the Spectator web site. Full story from the Times’ Kieran Andrews.

BUST-DUP: The Northern Ireland protocol row is inflicting political bother bordering on “humiliation” for the DUP, studies POLITICO’s Shawn Pogatchnik. Union circles are blaming Arlene Foster’s backing of the Conservative authorities many moons in the past for the state of affairs immediately — resulting in the DUP’s worst ballot in 20 years this month. It might see Foster ousted, as DUP figures inform Shawn that if she desires to remain in energy she’ll should discover a solution to bin the protocol.

**A message from Facebook: Working collectively is extra essential than ever within the battle towards COVID-19. At Facebook, we’re working with almost 100 governments and organizations globally, together with the World Health Organisation and European Center for Disease Control, to distribute authoritative COVID-19 data on our platforms. Together, we’re constructing real-time assets to supply correct data and battle the pandemic. In Spain, the World Bank is utilizing Facebook’s Disease Prevention Maps to forecast wants for COVID-19 testing and hospital beds. French and Italian epidemiologists and well being specialists are utilizing Facebook know-how to anticipate the viral unfold of COVID-19 and establish essentially the most at-risk communities. We’ve partnered with governments throughout Europe to construct WhatsApp chatbots that reply questions on COVID-19 rapidly and precisely. Learn extra about how we’re collaborating to maintain communities secure and knowledgeable at about.fb.com/europe.**


Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds broadcast spherical: Today program (7.30 a.m.) … BBC Radio 5 Live (7.45 a.m.) … Sky News (8.05 a.m.) … Times Radio (8.20 a.m.) … LBC (8.50 a.m.).

Also on the Today program: Chair of Manchester Hotel Association Adrian Ellis and Paul Charles, a journey guide who runs the Quash Quarantine marketing campaign (7.10 a.m.) … Former U.Okay. Foreign Secretary David Miliband (7.15 a.m.) … Graham Medley, professor of infectious illness modeling on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (7.50 a.m.) … FCDO Minister James Cleverly (8.10 a.m.) … Royal College of GPs Chairman Martin Marshall (8.30 a.m.).

Also on Sky News at Breakfast: FCDO Minister James Cleverly (7.05 a.m.) … U.Okay. Health Alliance on Climate Change Chair Richard Smith (7.30 a.m.) … LIVE Chief Executive Greg Parmley (8.20 a.m.).

Also on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC): Former Transport SpAd Emma Barr (7.05 a.m.) … FCDO Minister James Cleverly (7.50 a.m.).

Also on Times Radio Breakfast: SPI-M member Mike Tildesley (7 a.m.) … FCDO Minister James Cleverly (7.20 a.m.) … South African infectious ailments epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim, co-chair of the nation’s advisory committee on COVID-19 (7.35 a.m.).

Also on talkRADIO breakfast present: Public First Education Practice Director Jonathan Simons (7.33 a.m.) … UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls (7.45 a.m.) … Former de-facto deputy PM Damian Green (8.06 a.m.) … Commons public accounts committee Chairwoman Meg Hillier (8.20 a.m.) … Tory peer Matt Ridley (8.50 a.m.) … Former Chancellor Norman Lamont (9.06 a.m.) … Former Green Party chief Natalie Bennett (9.33 a.m.) … Labour MP Carolyn Harris (9.40 a.m.).

Reviewing the papers tonight: BBC News (10.40 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): Guardian contributor Rachel Shabi and the Daily Mail’s John Stevens … Sky News (10.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): PR guide Alex Deane and Demos suppose tank Director Polly Mackenzie.


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

Daily Express: Shot within the arm for Britain PLC!

Daily Mail: Most COVID curbs ‘to finish in May.’

Daily Mirror: Delivery of hope.

Daily Star: Claptrap — Vicar going through the sack after he dishonours Sir Tom tribute.

Financial Times: Directors face higher legal responsibility for main failures beneath audit reform.

HuffPost UK: Why vaccine success means strain on PM.

Metro: Nifty over fifty jabs.

POLITICO UK: U.Okay. to discriminate between EU international locations on charges for work visas.

The Daily Telegraph: Ministers to requisition 28,000 quarantine lodge rooms.

The Guardian: Hunt — Don’t finish lockdown till COVID instances fall to 1,000 a day.

The Independent: Health leaders warn over lockdown complacency.

The Times: Return of sport and socializing outside.


The Economist: The actual revolution on Wall Street.


Chopper’s Politics: Christopher Hope talks to Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster, former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and former U.Okay. Ambassador to Washington Peter Westmacott.

Commons People: The HuffPost group is joined by Tory MP Stephen McPartland.

Encompass: Paul Adamson talks to the New York Times Chief Diplomatic Correspondent in Europe Steve Erlanger.

EU Confidential: The POLITICO group talks to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian authorities COVID adviser Steven Van Gucht.

How Did We Get Here: Andy Bell talks vaccines with pharmacoepidemiology Professor Stephen Evans.

Infotagion: Tory MP Damian Collins’ tech podcast options disinformation knowledgeable Charles Kriel airing from 4 p.m.

Inside Briefing: IfG Director Bronwen Maddox is joined by RTE’s Europe Editor Tony Connelly.

Making Common Ground: Cat Neilan talks to Commons overseas affairs committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat.

Mile End Institute Podcast: Karl Pike is joined by U.Okay. in a Changing Europe Director Anand Menon and Richmond University’s Eunice Goes.

The Political Party: Matt Forde is joined by former Tory MP Charlotte Leslie.

Westminster Insider: POLITICO’s Jack Blanchard appears again at how British PMs have tried to woo their White House counterparts, with friends together with former No. 10 spinners Katie Perrior and Stewart Wood in addition to former U.Okay. Ambassador to Washington Christopher Meyer.

Women With Balls: Katy Balls speaks to Employment Minister Mims Davies.


SUNDAY SHOWS: Andrew Marr will likely be speaking to Green Party co-leader Siân Berry (BBC One, Sunday 9 a.m.) … Sophy Ridge will likely be speaking to WHO COVID envoy David Nabarro and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham (Sky News, Sunday 8.30 a.m.).

G&T: Tom Newton Dunn and Gloria De Piero will likely be joined by epidemiologist Tim Spector, TV presenter Esther Rantzen and Tory MP Nickie Aitken (Times Radio, Sunday 11 a.m.).

Westminster Hour: Carolyn Quinn will likely be joined by Tory MP Julian Smith … Shadow Business Minister Lucy Powell … What Does Jeremy Think writer Suzanne Heywood … POLITICO’s Jack Blanchard (BBC Radio 4, Sunday 10 p.m.).


Westminster climate: ☁️☁️☁️ Cloudy and windy. Highs of 10C. Potential for extra snow over the weekend ⛄️⛄️⛄️.

Birthdays: BBC Radio 5 stay and Newsnight presenter Emma Barnett … Former Lib Dem chief Jo Swinson … SNP Westminster Chief Whip Patrick Grady … Crossbench peer and former House of Commons clerk Robert Rogers … Tory peer and former Agriculture Minister Douglas Hogg … Former Tory MP and MEP Robert Atkins … Tony Blair-playing actor Michael Sheen.

And celebrating over the weekend: Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Fleur Anderson … Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb … BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen … Times columnist and former sketch-writer Ann Treneman … Tory peer Mike Whitby … Archbishop of Wales John Davies … House of Commons comms supervisor Paul Connolly … Times Sketchwriter Quentin Letts … Labour activist Eddie Izzard … Tory peer and Times columnist Matt Ridley … Former U.Okay. High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith … U.Okay. Ambassador to Belgium Martin Shearman … Campaign to Protect Rural England chief Crispin Truman … and POLITICO tot (son of U.Okay. Editor Kate Day) Teo Elia.

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

primarily based on website supplies www.politico.eu

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