“Suella Braverman is to be granted new powers to ignore attempts by European human rights judges to block migrant deportation flights under plans to be announced on Thursday. The Home Secretary is expected to be given “discretion” to ignore Strasbourg injunctions, known as Rule 39 orders, which were used by a single judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last June to ground the first flight to Rwanda. The move, due to be set out in an amendment to Rishi Sunak’s Illegal Migration Bill on Thursday, is expected to head off a revolt by around 60 Tory MPs who have been demanding stronger action against the ECHR.” – Daily Telegraph
>Today: Enver Solomon in Comment: Sunak won’t stop the boats. I know it. You know it. So we need a less harsh, more compassionate alternative.
“Rishi Sunak launched a blistering attack on Sir Keir Starmer yesterday – using The Sun’s “Sir Softie” headline to drive home his point. The PM borrowed the line as he condemned the Labour leader’s stance on fighting offending and his shaky record as Director of Public Prosecutions. He also accused Sir Keir of voting down dozens of Tory bills designed to crack down on criminals and derided him as a “leftie lawyer”. It came after a controversial Labour advert, opposed by some in the party, claiming Mr Sunak did not believe paedophiles should be jailed.” – The Sun
>Today: Jay Singh-Sohal in Local Government: We must challenge Labour over its failure to fight crime where it has responsibility for policing
“Rishi Sunak is set to rule on whether to fire UK deputy prime minister Dominic Raab over bullying allegations, with an official report into the claims expected to be published as soon as Thursday. Downing Street insiders said they expected the report by Adam Tolley KC, a prominent employment lawyer, to arrive before the end of the week. The prime minister will read the report before deciding whether the behaviour of Raab, who is also justice secretary, has breached the ministerial code. One person involved in the process said that the review of Raab’s behaviour was “devastating”, while one senior government figure said the justice secretary was “toast”.” – FT
>Today: Tina Stowell in Comment: A more effective House of Lords requires both Prime Minister and peers to change their ways
“Rishi Sunak today marked 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement by imploring unionist politicians to get back to work. Delivering a keynote speech in Belfast, the PM vowed not to give up trying to convince “all parts of the community that returning to the institutions is the best path”. The Northern Ireland Assembly stopped functioning in May 2022. The DUP refused to participate in government in protest at Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. But even with the new Windsor Framework in place, unionists still won’t share power with Sinn Fein, leaving Stormont in deadlock. The party argues the agreement still leaves too much room for EU judges to have a say over trade laws in the Province.” – The Sun
“Medical leaders were rebuffed as they pleaded with ministers to allow the conciliation service Acas to help broker a deal with striking junior doctors. Steve Barclay, the health secretary, said there was no point sitting down for talks until the British Medical Association drops a demand for a 35 per cent pay rise. He also fears that Acas could recommend an increase far above what the government is willing to pay. Instead he is considering falling back on the doctors’ pay review body, which is expected to make recommendations on junior doctor pay within weeks. Unlike Acas, the pay review body is required to take affordability into account…” – The Times
>Today: ToryDiary: The strikes. The Government aims to be reasonable. But what if the unions don’t want a deal?
“Children are going to be left wide open to abuse if the social media platform Meta goes ahead with its plans to introduce coding that prevents anyone else from seeing the contents of a message except the sender and recipient, warns Tom Tugendhat, the Government’s minister for security. The social media channels Facebook and Instagram intend to adopt end-to-end encryption, meaning no one else, including police, governments and even the social media platforms themselves, can easily de-code any encryption.” – Daily Express
>Yesterday: Alan O’Reilly in International: How Russian aggression has put Irish neutrality in the spotlight
“Britain’s next universities could be built in Blackpool and Doncaster to cope with soaring demand, experts say. Lord Willetts, a former universities minister, has suggested that new institutions could be set up in ‘cold spots’ across the UK to cope with the soaring demand. It comes as the admissions service Ucas warned that there could around a million people a year could apply to higher education by 2030… Ucas last month has projected there could be 30 per cent more applicants to higher education by the end of the decade.” – Daily Mail
“Two female MPs from across the political divide have joined forces to defend women’s rights. Labour’s Rosie Duffield and the Conservatives’ Miriam Cates warned last night that ‘extremist activists’ must not be allowed to erode hard-won protections. Their rallying cry came as the debate over whether transgender women should be allowed into female-only spaces affects ever more sectors and organisations, from sports and schools to prisons and rape crisis centres – and now even the WI… The pair were both heckled in the Commons chamber earlier this year during a heated debate about Scotland’s controversial attempt to introduce self-ID for transgender people.” – Daily Mail
“The treasurer of Scotland’s governing Scottish National party announced on Wednesday he was “stepping back” from the role after being questioned by police investigating SNP finances. Colin Beattie, a member of the devolved Scottish parliament, said in a statement issued by the SNP that he was also withdrawing from his role on Holyrood’s public audit committee until the conclusion of the police investigation. Police arrested Beattie on Tuesday as part of an investigation sparked by claims the SNP spent money raised to fight a future independence referendum on other things. Former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, the husband of ex-SNP leader and first minister Nicola Sturgeon, was arrested earlier this month.” – FT
>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Picture of Nicola Sturgeon. How much rot lurks beneath the surface of the SNP?