Serwotka: “co-ordinated, synchronised and escalating” strikes are coming

“It is only a matter of time before striking unions join forces, ministers were warned yesterday. Britain was told that it faced co-ordinated and escalating walkouts in the new year in an attempt to force the government to back down in public sector pay disputes. Border Force staff who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) began a three-day strike yesterday. Rishi Sunak refused to step in, repeating his assertion that below-inflation settlements could not be reopened. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the union, said the wider stand-off could lead to a wave of “co- ordinated, synchronised and escalating” industrial action.” – The Times

  • A & E patients wait 15 hours: does an NHS winter crisis loom? – The Times
  • New TUC head warns that strikes could last until the summer… – Daily Mail
  • …And threatens legal action over new strike laws – Financial Times
  • Military averts chaos at airports – The Times
  • Border force workers take action – The Guardian
  • Postal strikes could upend teachers’ strikes – Daily Telegraph
  • Have we learned to live with strikes? – The Times
  • Rail deal “nearly there” – The Sun
  • Why have the Tories not fulfilled their plans to scupper strikes? – Ross Clark, Daily Mail

Prevent row, day two

“Taxpayers’ money has been handed to groups promoting Islamist extremism, a landmark review of the Government’s flagship Prevent programme has found. Key figures in organisations funded by Prevent are alleged to have supported the Taliban, defended militant Islamist groups banned in the UK and hosted hate preachers, according to a leaked draft of the report seen by The Telegraph…on Wednesday, government sources denied there had been any “redactions” or that the report was delayed by a row between Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, over removing names. A Downing Street spokesman said: “The review will be published in due course. It remains right that we take the time to prepare and deliver a considered response.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Gove romance claim denied – The Sun

It’s May v Timothy on gender self-ID, as she lines up with Sturgeon’s view

“The ex-PM broke ranks with her party by backing the new legislation which passed last week, which makes it easier for people to change gender without a formal medical diagnosis. Similar proposals she put forward as PM were ditched by Boris Johnson.
And she told the BBC this week: “The very fact I put the proposal forward shows that that was something I thought was important.” But yesterday her former No10 adviser, Nick Timothy, hit out – saying she had a “completely ridiculous position”. Rishi Sunak has refused to rule out the UK government intervening to stop the Scottish Government changing the law and putting a spanner in their plans.” – The Sun

  • Men’s prison is slammed by inspectors for not providing make-up and women’s clothing to its transgender inmates – Daily Mail
  • Duffield, Cates and Lockhart warn that Sturgeon’s self-ID plan puts women in danger – Daily Mail

Hunt scraps Kwarteng tax review

“A treasury review of the tax system has been quietly ditched, it emerged last night. The revelation raised fears among Tories that ministers are not serious about cutting what has ballooned into a record tax burden. The wide-ranging review, which was supposed to make Britain more competitive, was scrapped by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Treasury sources said. The tax analysis was ordered by his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng as a follow-up to the ill-fated mini-Budget of September. Mr Kwarteng had pledged to ‘review the system to make it simpler, more dynamic, and fairer for families’.” – Daily Mail

  • The Truss Government “moron premium” – Financial Times
  • Will Britain gain from Israel trade deal? – Daily Express
  • White van man 1) He may be trapped by Hunt’s transit tax – The Sun
  • White van man 2) He mustn’t be trapped by Hunt’s transit tax – Sun Editorial
  • I fear the Tories have given up on cutting taxes – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Hunt vandalises his party’s low tax values – Daily Mail
  • Why Sunak should fight the next election on tax rises – Financial Times
  • Sunak and Hunt are the ideal pair for troubled times – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

The Telegraph picks up Wallace’s ConHome panel award

“Ben Wallace has been voted Minister of the Year by a panel of Tory members over his leading role in supporting Ukraine. Mr Wallace, the Defence Secretary, has ranked as the most popular politician amongst the Conservative faithful since Russia launched its invasion in February. He has stayed in his job through two changes of prime minister, having become seen as indispensable at the Ministry of Defence. Conservative Home, a Tory grassroots website, asked a panel of members to choose which minister they felt had performed best.” Mr Wallace won 133 votes, with Kemi Badenoch, the International Trade Secretary, second on 72. Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, was third with 65 and Boris Johnson secured 45, ahead of Rishi Sunak on 40.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Defence Secretary draws up tougher punishments against army instructors following claims of a ‘toxic culture’ of sexual assault at Sandhurst – Daily Telegraph

> Today – ToryDiary: Our final Cabinet League Table of the Year. Sunak calms it down (or brings stasis, if you prefer).

> Yesterday – ToryDiary: “Bit obvious this one isn’t it?” Our survey. Ben Wallace is Minister of the Year.

Sunak concern about MP sex and booze trips claims

Rishi Sunak has expressed concern over the poor behaviour of MPs on foreign trips organised by cross-party groups in parliament…A spotlight has been shone on all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) after reports of MPs and peers engaging in “sex and heavy drinking” on foreign trips. The prime minister’s spokesperson said yesterday that while the regulation of APPGs was a matter for parliament, the behaviour reported was “clearly very concerning”. There are more than 700 APPGs which campaign on specific topics. About 130 of these focus on certain countries and often arrange all- expenses-paid group trips.” – The Times

Henry Hill: the Prime Minister is less Steve Jobs than John J Ray III

“His offer, unlike Johnson’s, is not big-picture thinking and big wins but basic political competence – less Steve Jobs, more John J Ray III, the man installed as CEO of corporate catastrophes such as Enron and FTX to oversee their bankruptcy proceedings. But Ray answers only to the courts and the creditors, not the people who handpicked and cheered on the “visionary” leaders whose messes he has to clean up. The prime minister is not so fortunate.” – The Guardian

Other political news:

  • Coffey mulls change to free egg rules – Daily Telegraph
  • Hancock denies seeking agent – The Times
  • Academics warn BBC promoting woke agenda – Daily Mail
  • Redwood reindustrialisation call – Daily Express
  • Johnson’s Telegraph-era “hard egg” view of the IRA – The Guardian
  • Former Irish Ambassador to Washington wrote of Trimble as having “little vision of the kind of leadership that is urgently required at this time in Northern Ireland” – Newsletter
  • Cameron’s climate crackdown cost us dear – James Kirkup, The Times
  • Who is the real Akshata Murty? – The Times
  • Edwina Currie’s neighbour denies her claim that his German shepherd hospitalised her and says that she tripped over her own terriers – Daily Mail

Labour’s end of year media push continues as it channels Blair on law and order

“The party will update Tony Blair’s “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” mantra with a series of policies aimed at seizing the initiative from the Conservatives. Steve Reed, the shadow justice secretary, told The Times how the party would crack down on antisocial behaviour, which polls consistently show is one of the public’s top concerns. Figures released under freedom of information requests found that nearly two million reports of antisocial behaviour over the past three years had gone unattended.” – The Times

  • Sunak’s spokesman says he will make Britain’s streets safer – Daily Express
  • Everything that’s happened since crime commissioners took over at Liverpool Council – Liverpool Echo
  • Duncan Smith: “Our constituents are complaining endlessly that nobody turns up to deal with burglaries – they just say here’s your crime number, claim your insurance.” – Daily Telegraph
  • The Labour frontrunner to be the North-East’s first Mayor says that the Government’s devolution deal could be “transformational” – The Guardian
  • Devolution deal hailed – Evening Chronicle
  • Sanwar says thousands of Scots could miss out on cold weather payments – Scotsman
  • Drakeford is bringing Wales to its knees – Matthew Lynn, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour law and order – Times editorial
  • The Government must crack down on violent crime – Daily Express editorial

News in Brief

  • The West must confront its failure on Ukraine – Wolfgang Munchau, New Statesman
  • 2022: the year of living dangerously – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • How the Isle of Man can save the Tory party – Sam Ashworth-Hayes, The Spectator
  • Should Martin Lewis be Prime Minister? – Chris Clarke, UnHerd
  • In praise of pomp – Thomas Brian, The Critic

The post Newslinks for Thursday 29th December appeared first on Conservative Home.

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