Tories hail Sturgeon’s exit as huge blow to Scottish independence

“Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation represents a “generational setback” for Scottish independence, ministers believe, while senior Labour figures say it will help Sir Keir Starmer to secure victory at the next election. The first minister announced on Wednesday that she would stand down, admitting she had become a polarising figure and no longer had the energy to lead the campaign for independence. In a press conference at Bute House in Edinburgh, where she appeared close to tears, she said that while she believed the majority of Scotland backed independence this support “needs to be solidified”… Senior Tories and figures in the Labour Party reacted with jubilation. “The case for independence is massively weaker,” a senior government source said.” – The Times

  • SNP prepares to rip up her gender Bill – Daily Telegraph
  • Exit could help Scottish Labour regain ground, say senior figures – The Guardian
  • Independence movement faces strains – FT
  • Hundreds of unionists take to streets in Glasgow and celebrate – Daily Mail
  • A tribal leader for tribal times – The Times
  • The end of an era for Scotland – The Guardian


  • Murrell urged to step aside as SNP chief executive amid ‘missing’ £600,000 – Daily Telegraph
  • First Minister refuses to say if she has been quizzed by police – Daily Mail
  • Forbes: the SNP star tipped to replace Sturgeon – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Alister Jack the giant slayer? Sturgeon had plenty of reasons to go, but few explain why she went now.

Eddie Barnes: Scotland’s in a worse state than when she took over

“Not long after lockdown began back in March 2020, Sturgeon started holding daily press conferences. And then she carried on. And on. And on… And it is those press conferences at which she made her reputation which perfectly sum up the legacy of Nicola Sturgeon, the longest serving First Minister of Scotland. They demonstrated her ample presentational gifts. They illustrated her most admirable political quality: her sheer stamina and endurance. But they also exposed her greatest failing as a political leader. Despite her spending every day speaking to the nation, Scotland did no better than the rest of the UK in the way it managed the Covid outbreak. It was a great performance, but it didn’t deliver.” – Daily Mail

  • Deluded London liberals never saw the truth about Saint Nicola – Jenny Hjul, Daily Telegraph
  • Career-long mission has ended in failure – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Sturgeon lacked any answer to intransigence from Westminster – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • Finally, the leader who failed my party for years is found out – Jim Sillars, Daily Mail
  • She thought she knew better than voters – Paul Baldwin, Daily Express
  • If it weren’t for JK Rowling, Sturgeon would never have fallen – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • All possible paths to independence are blocked – Andrew Neil, Daily Mail


  • Scotland has paid a high price for 16 years of nationalist failure – The Times
  • It is incumbent on Unionists in Scotland to up their game – Daily Telegraph
  • Exit does not remove threat to the Union – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Sunak and Sturgeon. His part in her downfall.

Keep public sector pay rises below five per cent, says Treasury

“Public sector pay rises must stay below 5 per cent next year to control inflation, the Treasury has told ministers in a move that could prolong strikes beyond the summer. Unions are preparing to continue their campaign of industrial action for months as ministers struggle to agree pay offers with No 11 for the financial year starting in April. Teachers said on Wednesday that further industrial action was “inevitable” and there is increasing concern in government that prolonged strikes by health workers will imperil Rishi Sunak’s promise to bring down NHS backlogs. NHS chiefs believe that a target to eliminate waits of more than a year and a half by the end of next month is likely to be missed as strikes continue.” – The Times

  • Think tank predicts Hunt will ‘almost certainly’ extend energy guarantee – Daily Mail

>Today: Chris McGovern in Local Government: How to end the teachers strike? Fund a pay rise by reducing the number of support staff.

>Yesterday: Chloe Dobbs in Comment: The state sector would pay the price for Starmer’s short-sighted tax raid on private schools

Defence 1) Military has been ‘hollowed out by successive governments since 1991’

“Ben Wallace has called for a return to ‘investing in defence properly’ as he hit out at successive governments for ‘hollowing out’ the military. The Defence Secretary accused ministers of ‘raiding’ his department’s budget since 1991 and said he faced an uphill struggle to get more cash ahead of next month’s Budget. But he said he hoped defence spending had ‘turned the corner’ after being given an extra £16billion over four years in 2020. He also branded reports in the German media about Nato asking Berlin to remain in charge of the alliance’s rapid reaction force next year as ‘just b****cks’. The UK is scheduled to take leadership of the Nato Response Force (NRF) from Berlin at the end of the year, but German media has claimed Nato asked Berlin to remain in charge due to depleting British resources.” – Daily Mail

  • Wallace braced for ‘uphill battle’ with Treasury on military spend – FT
  • Threat to defence sparks Tory panic – Daily Express
  • He will meet NATO defence ministers to ‘discuss fighter jets’ for Ukraine – The Sun
  • France outguns UK military despite spending less on defence – The Times


  • Defence chiefs blasted after spending £1million on diversity jobs drive – The Sun


  • Third-rate Britain is disarming itself into irrelevance – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Ukraine’s fight is our fight. It must live in freedom. So Russia must be defeated.

Defence 2) Wallace hints at NATO leader hopes but faces a battle at home

“Ben Wallace has given his strongest indication yet that he plans to run for the “great job” of secretary-general of Nato. Jens Stoltenberg, the current head of the defensive alliance, has announced he will stand down in October. The former prime minister of Norway, 63, has had his term extended three times and will have led Nato for nine years. Wallace is facing an uphill battle to retain a seat in the Commons at the next general election with his Wyre Valley & Preston North constituency set to be abolished. The seat will revert to a similar profile as Lancashire & Wyre, the marginal constituency that was originally won by Wallace in 2005. On a visit to Brussels, where he is attending a meeting of Nato defence ministers, Wallace refused to rule out a bid to succeed Stoltenberg.” – The Times

  • Lots of ‘spy balloons’ in our skies for a while, Defence Secretary says – The Sun

Raab wants parole board chiefs to have a police background in major shake-up

“One in three parole board chiefs who decide whether to let out sick murderers or rapists will have to have a police background in a major shake-up. The Justice Secretary will today announce a major recruitment drive of ex-detectives and police chiefs to stop softies letting out people who go on to commit more crimes. Dominic Raab wants to double the number of parole board members with policing experience to 50 by the end of the year with a national recruitment push. He will bring forward new laws so former police officers will have to sit on “top tier” cases like those jailed for rape, murder, terror, or the death of a child.” – The Sun

  • Harsh marker awaits his own report card – FT

Johnson slams Khan for his ‘mad lefty tax’ on London’s drivers

“Boris Johnson yesterday came out swinging against Sadiq Khan’s “mad lefty tax” on London’s drivers. The former PM said the Mayor’s expansion of the ULEZ eco zone was “unreasonable and unnecessary”. Labour’s Mr Khan wants to charge all motorists in the city £12.50 for driving in non-compliant cars. His predecessor Mr Johnson blasted: “You do not need an all-London emissions zone. It’s inner London that has the air quality problem. “There’s only one reason why he’s doing it, and that is because he has bankrupted TfL with his mismanagement. “Fight his plans to take money off hard-pressed motorists at a very difficult time and stop this mad lefty tax on people’s lives and livelihoods.”” – The Sun

Corbyn will not be Labour candidate at next election, vows Starmer

“Sir Keir Starmer has said that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for the party in the next general election, as he pledged to take a “zero tolerance” approach to antisemitism. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the leader of the opposition reiterated his apology “to all those who were hurt” and “who suffered the most appalling abuse” and insisted that, under him, Labour had changed “permanently, fundamentally, irrevocably”. Starmer’s comments mark his strongest break yet with Corbyn, who served as leader between 2015 and 2020, and come after the UK equalities watchdog said it was “content with the actions” taken by Labour to address antisemitism.” – FT

  • Predecessor claims candidacy ban is attack on democracy – The Times
  • Abbott admits Corbyn is a Brexiteer who saw EU as a ‘business conspiracy’ – Daily Express


  • Starmer still can’t explain the rise of Corbyn – David Aaronovitch, The Times

News in Brief:

  • Don’t fall for the myth of Sturgeon, the great progressive leader – Henry Hill, CapX
  • Both the SNP and unionists are too weak to triumph – Tom McTague, UnHerd
  • Sturgeon was made, and destroyed, by independence – Alex Massie, The Spectator
  • The party that refuses to govern – Sebastian Milbank, The Critic

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *