Minimum Service Level rules to restrict doctors’ strike

“Doctors would be forced to work during strikes under government plans to tackle the dangers caused by successive walkouts. Ministers are proposing the introduction of “minimum service level” regulations, meaning that some medics and nurses would be compelled to work during industrial action if public safety was at risk of being compromised. The plans come amid fears of widespread NHS chaos as a result of strikes this week. Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, said such measures were required in the face of “co-ordinated and calculated strike action” by junior and senior doctors.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Pharmacies ‘should treat asthma and blood pressure’ – The Times

Barclay: Time to put patients first

“My top priority throughout ongoing industrial action is to protect the life and health of patients. We are therefore seeking views on expanding minimum service levels to hospital-based health services, like doctors and nurses, to give the public much-needed assurance that vital care continues through strike action. While voluntary agreements between employers and trade unions can be agreed ahead of time, there have been situations where these were not agreed in advance and had to be dealt with on the day. This can create inconsistency across the country and comes with significant uncertainty as they are based on goodwill and, unfortunately, are not always honoured. This presents an unnecessary risk to patient safety.” – Steve Barclay, Daily Telegraph

  • Cutting waiting lists must take priority over a new diversity department – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Truss calls for tax cuts and delay on Net Zero

“Liz Truss has vehemently defended the policies she tried to enact during her short time as prime minister. She acknowledged that she tried to do things in a rush in her time in office. But the Tory MP argued that she could not deliver her plans due to the “political and economic establishment”, blaming “institutional bureaucracy”. The former PM also called on Rishi Sunak to cut taxes, reduce benefit increases, raise the retirement age and delay net-zero commitments.” – BBC

  • Carney “is part of the 25-year economic consensus that has led to low growth across the western world” – The Times
  • BBC challenged for “fawning” over Bank of England – The Sun
  • Sunak must be bold – Leader, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Comment: Reducing demand for government 2) Other options for Conservatives and why they haven’t worked.

Dehenna Davison resigns as Levelling Up Minister over migraine battle

“Dehenna Davison, the levelling up minister, has resigned following a battle with chronic migraines. The Bishop Auckland MP said in a resignation letter to Rishi Sunak that the condition “has had a great impact on my ability to carry out the role”…The Redcar MP Jacob Young, 30, has been announced as Davison’s replacement.” – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Dehenna Davison resigns. A consequence of Sunak delaying the reshuffle?

Starmer warned EU will resist renegotiated deal

“The European Union will not agree to a “soft touch” Brexit deal with a future Labour government, Sir Keir Starmer has been warned, as Brussels played down the prospect of a significantly improved trade agreement with the UK. The Labour leader, who is due to meet President Macron of France in Paris on Tuesday, has said he would give priority to getting a “much better deal for the UK” as part of a review of the existing trade deal due in 2025.” – The Times

  • Tories warn of “betrayal” – Daily Mail
  • Macron “will be in listening mode” – Financial Times
  • EU diplomats warn Starmer he will not be able to renegotiate the current trade agreement while staying outside the single market and customs union – The i
  • Labour must come clean on its real intentions – Leader, The Times
  • Starmer’s plan is an utter fantasy – Leader, The Sun
  • Sir Keir is squirmingly evasive about which of our sovereign rights he’d be ready to sacrifice – Leader, Daily Mail
  • I recommend a return to the customs union – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

Frost: A Labour Government would gradually hand back power to the EU

“Perhaps Starmer will begin with a food and veterinary deal, accepting the only one that will be on offer, one that comes with the imposition of EU laws and control by the Commission and the ECJ. Perhaps he’ll look for a migrants’ returns agreement, accepting that he will have to commit himself to taking a share of EU migrants too. But it won’t stop there, and before long we will have the worst of both worlds: the EU setting many of our laws again, this time with no UK say at all.” – David Frost, Daily Telegraph

Dineage to summon TV industry bosses to question them on safeguarding against “predatory celebrities”

“Senior MPs last night threatened to blow the lid off the dark side of Britain’s TV industry by launching a major probe into “open secrets” in showbiz. Commons culture committee chair Caroline Dineage said small screen bosses could be hauled into Parliament to explain why they keep failing to safeguard boys and women from predatory male celebs…Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer will soon meet with BBC and Channel 4 chiefs to find out how they intend to probe claims levelled against Brand during his time at the broadcasters. No10 warned that any investigation by Beeb bosses must be transparent.” – The Sun

  • YouTube suspends Brand’s channel – BBC
  • Will ‘feminist’ Ed Miliband apologise for pathetically trying to court this notorious womaniser and misogynist? – Guy Adams, Daily Mail
  • Farage criticises Brand for being “rather rude” – Daily Express
  • Media conspiracy claim just won’t wash – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Brand’s return to the front pages should make us reflect on why he was there in the first place

Other political news

  • Horizon scandal victims offered £600,000 compensation – BBC
  • Lords accuse UK government of ‘lack of leadership’ on water industry investment – Financial Times
  • Birmingham council mismanagement ‘much worse than Government thought’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Trott refuses to guarantee triple lock next year – Daily Express

Wallace: Voters see the Government is drifting. A sense of direction is needed.

“The issue is not whether you agree or disagree with all of these postponements, U-turns, shelvings and quiet forgettings…The problem is that this communicates a theme of inaction, whether Downing Street intends it or not. No Government should be better known for what it isn’t doing, or isn’t able to do, than for what it is…If the Government gives the impression that it has adopted Bing Crosby’s “Busy Doing Nothing” as its campaign song – “We’re busy doing nothing/ Working the whole day through/ Trying to find lots of things not to do” – then it’s game over. Voters will look at their lives, ask what they’ve got to lose from changing things up, and the answer will write itself. There’s still time to change that narrative, just, but it’s getting perilously short.” – Mark Wallace, The i

  • The Government sent the roads minister to defend HS2 – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
  • Tory MPs urge Sunak to back northern HS2 – The Times

>Today: Columnist Peter Franklin: From immigration to housing to Lords, we’ll regret leaving reform to Labour

Hague: Biden should not seek a second term

“It is an irony that Joe Biden, who was key to unseating Trump in 2020, can probably best help by standing aside in 2024. For all his faults — expensive subsidies, a debacle in Afghanistan, an excess of caution on arming Ukraine — he has reinvigorated the western alliance and restored faith in American institutions. But US voters overwhelmingly say in surveys that they are concerned about his age and do not want a Trump-Biden rematch. There are still enough Americans who are not living in a world of conspiracies touted on Facebook for good leaders to emerge. But they need a choice of fresh leadership from talented state governors on both sides.” – William Hague, The Times

News in brief

  • Will Germany be the first to ditch its net zero commitments? -Ross Clark, The Spectator
  • The latest HS2 fiasco shows just how derailed our planning system has become – Henry Hill, CapX
  • Underpaid and overworked staffers are an easy target for Chinese cash – Gawain Towler, The Critic
  • The Labour leader discusses Europe the way Clinton discussed sex – Christopher Caldwell, Unherd
  • Truss blasts her critics – Guido Fawkes

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