Newslinks for Monday 20th November 2023 | Conservative Home


Sunak faces ‘cabinet row’ on new plan for Rwanda

“Rishi Sunak is facing cabinet opposition over plans to opt out of European human rights laws to salvage his Rwanda migration policy. Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, is pushing for emergency legislation to disapply the Human Rights Act and direct courts to ignore the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in asylum cases. However, cabinet ministers including James Cleverly, the home secretary, Victoria Prentis, the attorney-general, and Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, are said to have reservations about a hardline approach. One senior government source described the strategy as “mad”, saying the courts would go “ballistic” and questioning whether Sunak would be willing to endorse it.” – The Times

  • He could ‘block the Human Rights Act’ to force through Rwanda plan – The Guardian
  • Home Office minister ‘sacked after backing Braverman’s hard-line Rwanda plan’ – The Daily Telegraph
  • France spends tens of thousands of cash from the UK to stop migrant boats on policing its border with Italy – The Sun


Autumn Statement 1) Hunt’s pledge to build ‘lower-tax economy’ fuels Tory MPs’ hopes of cuts

“Jeremy Hunt promised on Sunday to put Britain “on a path to a lower-tax economy” in this week’s Autumn Statement, fuelling Conservative MPs’ expectations he will announce cuts to personal and business taxes. The chancellor has shelved plans to cut inheritance tax until next year, raising Tories’ hopes that he could instead honour Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s promise to start cutting the 20p basic rate of income tax. Sunak said last year that he wanted to lower the rate to 16 per cent by the end of the next parliament. A 1p cut from next April would be seen by MPs as a downpayment on that pledge. It would cost about £6bn, according to HMRC estimates. Tory strategists had initially planned to hold back headline-grabbing income tax cuts until the spring Budget…” – The Financial Times

  • Sunak’s ‘positive vision’ could ‘pave way for tax cuts’ – The Times
  • Improved UK fiscal position gives Hunt room for Autumn Statement giveaways – The Financial Times
  • He weighs up ‘radical plan’ to cut income tax or National Insurance – The Daily Mail
  • Autumn statement will avoid tax cuts that promote inflation, pledges Hunt – The Guardian
  • The taxes Hunt could cut – The Daily Telegraph
  • Autumn Statement choices Hunt must make on pensions, tax cuts, benefits, and more – The I
  • Hunt ‘shelves plans to slash inheritance tax’ – The Daily Mail
  • He is to focus on businesses to boost growth – The I
  • He considers slashing next year’s state pension hike – Daily Express
  • Tax corporate polluters and rich to ‘help tackle climate crisis’, Hunt told – The Guardian
  • Winter fuel payments to wealthy pensioners questioned by Glen in leaked recording – The Daily Telegraph
  • MPs demand Hunt extend help for struggling hospitality and leisure sector – The Sun

Editorials and Comment:

  • The Chancellor must seize this moment and change Britain forever – Editorial, The Daily Telegraph
  • Time for early Christmas presents, Chancellor! – Editorial, The Daily Mail
  • Hunt is walking a fiscal tightrope – here’s what he should do in the Autumn Statement – Roger Bootle, The Daily Telegraph
  • Pressure on Hunt over tax cuts is constrained by economic reality – Ben Quinn, The Guardian
  • Dare to be a Conservative, Hunt – Priti Patel, The Daily Telegraph
  • Stagnation nation: governing the UK when ‘there is no money’ – George Parker and Sam Fleming, The Financial Times
  • The tax move that could spare the Tories a crushing defeat – Liam Halligan, The Daily Telegraph



Autumn Statement 2) He is to launch a ‘moonshot’ quantum supercomputing programme

“Jeremy Hunt will use this week’s Autumn Statement to unveil quantum computing “moonshots” in a bid to ensure leadership of what is seen as a nationally critical technology. The Chancellor is expected to outline a series of projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds, including proposals to build a national quantum supercomputer within a decade. Quantum computers, which exploit the peculiar properties of quantum physics, promise tremendous breakthroughs in engineering and science. The technology is nascent but evolving quickly: Google has already developed a machine that can instantly make calculations that would take existing supercomputers 47 years. The technology creates major security risks because of their potential to break encryption systems…” – The Daily Telegraph

Autumn Statement 3) Hunt plans ISA shake-up to drive share ownership

“Jeremy Hunt is set to announce the biggest overhaul to UK individual savings accounts in almost a decade, as he looks to boost the use of the tax-free savings vehicles to provide capital for economic growth, according to senior officials. The chancellor in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday will outline an Isa reform road map. This will include plans to alter rules around fractional shares and long-term asset funds, a type of open-ended fund invested in illiquid assets including private equity and real estate. Hunt will also announce proposals to launch an online portal enabling savers to pay into multiple accounts each year, the officials said. Savers can currently hold multiple Isa accounts, but only pay into one of each type of Isa each year.” – The Financial Times

  • He is ‘to seek more money from NS & I savers’ in his Autumn Statement to help meet the UK’s borrowing costs – The Daily Mail
  • Nationwide calls for more support for first-time buyers in Autumn Statement – The I

Autumn Statement 4) Nick Timothy: Millennials have every right to moan – Chancellor, give them a chance

“Many millennials nevertheless see the sums spent on pensions and entitlements and services for pensioners and wonder – with student debt, higher taxes, and house prices often out of reach – when they might get similar support. Many see the value of the homes owned by boomers and ask if they will ever afford something similar. The comparison is understandable, but as the Autumn Statement looms, we must avoid falling into traps. It was not long ago that pensioner poverty was a serious problem in Britain. It is the normal way of things that younger people have fewer assets and higher incomes, and older people have savings and homes without mortgages but lower incomes.” – The Daily Telegraph

Cameron ‘rows back on foreign aid commitment’ with plan to ‘adapt to new realities’

“Britain’s foreign aid approach must “adapt to new realities”, Lord Cameron will say on Monday, as he endorses a plan underpinned by the shelving of his flagship 0.7 per cent pledge. In a foreword to the Government’s new international development strategy, the former prime minister will say the approach must benefit British people as well as the world. The contribution amounts to one of Lord Cameron’s first substantial policy declarations since his surprise return to the Government when appointed Foreign Secretary last Monday. As part of his Conservative Party modernisation project when leader, Lord Cameron made spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid a central promise which was written into law.” – The Daily Telegraph

Gove’s leasehold reforms ‘could boost property prices by 10 per cent’

“Sweeping reforms to phase out the “feudal” leasehold system could boost property prices by 10 per cent, a study has found. If government proposals are passed in the Leasehold Bill drawn up by Michael Gove, the levelling-up and housing secretary, they could increase the value of homes with short leases by 9.9 per cent on average, according to analysis published by property consultancy Knight Frank and Bayes Business School. There are about five million leasehold properties in England and Wales, the only countries in the world that still have the medieval housing tenure that dates back to William the Conqueror.In January Gove said that leasehold was an unfair and “outdated feudal system that needs to go”. His plans were initially blocked by Downing Street for being too radical…” – The Times

Leaning too far right puts off voters, One Nation group says

“The Conservative Party risks “falling into an unrecoverable position” with voters if it allows itself to be “captured” by the right, moderate Tories have warned. The One Nation caucus of Conservative MPs, which represents 106 of those in the centre of the party, said that it was time for the prime minister to “move on from the unhelpful statements some of our party have used”. The group made the intervention as it launched three policy requests for Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on Wednesday… The intervention came as moderates hoped the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary and the appointment of Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton as foreign secretary signalled that Rishi Sunak was looking towards the centre ground to fight the next election.” – The Times

Stewart to stand down after racial abuse conviction

“A former Tory MP has said he will step down at the next general election after being found guilty of racially abusing an activist. Bob Stewart, who surrendered the Tory whip and now sits as an independent in Beckenham, south London, was found guilty of telling Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei to “go back to Bahrain” during a confrontation in central London in December last year. The politician also told the activist “you’re taking money off my country, go away” outside the Foreign Office’s Lancaster House in Westminster. Stewart said in a tweet that it had been “an honour and a privilege” to serve as a constituency MP… The prime minister, Rishi Sunak, is not expected to call a general election until autumn 2024…” – The Guardian

Reeves reveals British infrastructure council for Labour

“The shadow chancellor will announce a British infrastructure council with some of Britain’s biggest companies as she seeks to make Labour the party of business. Rachel Reeves will host the first meeting of the business council with five leading companies — Lloyds, Santander, HSBC, Fidelity and Phoenix. The council was due to be announced at the Labour Party conference but was delayed after senior Tories became aware of the plans…Reeves is establishing the council on a shadow basis before making it an “advisory council to the chancellor” if Labour wins the next election. The council will be tasked with “unleashing the lifeblood of investment through the industrial arteries of this country”. The infrastructure council was intended to be Reeves’s flagship announcement…” – The Times

  • Khan misled public about benefits of ULEZ, report reveals – Daily Express
  • Labour’s financial plans are mocked as ‘small change’ – The Daily Mail


News in Brief:

  • Is Napoleon anti-French? – Jonathan Miller, The Spectator 
  • Hamas has unleashed the West’s monsters – Jacob Howland, UnHerd 
  • The genealogy of nuclear fear – Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski, The Critic 
  • The age trap – Karl Williams, CapX
  • The quiet ruthlessness of Claire Coutinho – Rachel Cunliffe, The New Statesman 

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