Saturday 16th October 2021 | Conservative Home

More than 100 attend vigil for Sir David Amess

“More than 100 people attended a vigil for Sir David Amess tonight after the MP was stabbed to death at his constituency surgery in Essex. A service at Saint Peter’s Church in Eastwood Lane, close to where Sir David was killed, was held on Friday evening to remember him – where he was described by a priest as “Mr Southend”. The church fell silent as Father Jeffrey Woolnaugh paid tribute to the Conservative MP and invited his constituents to remember him. He placed a photograph of Sir David at the front of the church, and said: “This liturgy is one I was not expecting to lead today. “The whole world grieves. In this Mass we pray for the repose of the soul of dear David.” Sir David, who represents Southend West in Essex, was attacked just after midday by a 25-year-old knifeman at Belfairs Methodist Church.” – The Sun

  • Rayner faces pressure to apologise over her ‘Tory scum’ comments – Daily Mail
  • ‘Another assault on democracy’: what the UK papers say – The Guardian
  • Well-liked, hard-working and robustly Right-wing – Daily Telegraph
  • Crusader of backbenches who loved Strictly – Daily Mail

>Today: Video: WATCH: “All our hearts are full of shock and sadness”. The Prime Minister.

Killing of MP was terrorism, police say

“A Conservative MP stabbed to death at a constituency surgery was the victim of a suspected Islamist terror attack, Scotland Yard has announced. Sir David Amess was stabbed several times in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and died in the church where he had been holding appointments with his constituents. Counterterrorism officers were searching two addresses in London in connection with the attack, the Metropolitan police said in a statement released shortly after midnight. Paramedics battled to save the veteran local MP’s life for more than an hour on the floor of Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. A 25-year-old suspect, who is a British citizen, made no attempt to flee and was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.” – The Times

  • Officers investigate possible link to Islamist extremism – Daily Telegraph
  • Fatal attack intensifies concerns about the safety of MPs… – FT
  • …and Patel launches review – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Sir David Amess dies after stabbing attack. Parliamentarians pay tribute to a “compassionate” and “kind” MP.

Michael Portillo: Amess’s dependability proved to be his vulnerability

“His parliamentary service was outstandingly long. Goodness knows how many MPs came and went over the course of his career while he continued so ably and loudly to represent his constituents. During his career, he saw that MPs were killed while doing their duty. He would have known the risks and accepted them. I am not surprised that there was enough material for his book which he published last year and which I was honoured to contribute towards. Nor am I surprised now to see so many tributes pouring in now from across the political spectrum. He lived a true public servant and his death shocks us all.” – Daily Telegraph

  • MPs will feel the cold shiver of vulnerability – Rafael Behr, The Guardian
  • It’s vital we protect the soul of our democracy – Ian Birrell, Daily Mail


  • For the second time in under six years, an MP has been killed in their constituency – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The rising price of public service. “Costing not less than everything”.

Patel to impose visa penalties on countries that won’t take back criminals

“The home secretary will give herself new powers to impose visa penalties on countries that do not take back failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals. Priti Patel will be able to suspend visa applications for citizens from those countries, impose a £190 surcharge on their applications or increase visa processing times. The penalties will be among amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill next week, when MPs will continue to debate the overhaul of asylum laws. The powers will affect the whole visa service including study, work, visitor and settlement visas. Countries that the UK has the most difficulty persuading to take back nationals are understood to include Eritrea, Gambia and Bangladesh.” – The Times

Sunak to impose tight spending settlement by using ‘old’ official data

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the UK fiscal watchdog to produce Budget forecasts using out-of-date figures, in a move that should help him resist last-minute bids for extra public spending by government departments. Sunak’s request, revealed on Friday by the Office for Budget Responsibility, will result in the forecasts for the October 27 Budget being based on a reading of the economy that is significantly more pessimistic than current data show. It will guarantee that Sunak can announce a big improvement in the size of the economy in his autumn 2022 Budget, raising his chances of having a public finance windfall for pre-election tax cuts. The OBR said it had ended any updates to its forecast on September 24, more than a month before the Budget, and this was “earlier than usual in response to a request from the chancellor”.” – FT

  • Chancellor expected to confirm end to public sector pay freeze – The Guardian
  • A rift has emerged in Downing Street before a crucial spending review – The Times
  • UK announces extra £29m of humanitarian aid for Ethiopia – The Guardian

Motorists could pay per mile to fill black hole in public finances

“Motorists face paying to use Britain’s road network to make up for the loss of revenue from fuel duties as the country moves towards net zero under plans being discussed in government. Preliminary talks have taken place between ministers over a nationwide road pricing scheme to replace fuel duties that bring about £30 billion a year to the Treasury. Government sources said there was an acceptance across Whitehall that ministers should be “making the case” for road pricing to avoid a black hole in public finances. However, Downing Street is nervous about the timing of any announcement amid supply chain problems and the energy crunch. The Department of Transport’s decarbonisation strategy, published in the summer, made no mention of road pricing despite early drafts containing a more detailed analysis of the government’s thinking.” – The Times

  • Road pricing plans dropped amid fears they could kill off demand for electric vehicles – Daily Mail


  • UK to put nuclear power at heart of net zero emissions strategy – FT
  • Pledge to slash cost of green heat pump – The Times

>Yesterday: Simon Fell MP in Comment: The Government must resist calls to change its policy on fracking

Frost: Brussels ‘has a long way to go’ to end deadlock over Northern Ireland

“Brussels has a long way to go to end the deadlock over Northern Ireland, the PM’s Brexit chief has said. It has to make significant changes to border checks and Euro judges’ powers must be curbed, Lord Frost insisted. The warning came at a lunch with the EU’s Maros Sefcovic. But Lord Frost boosted hopes of a deal by saying No10 would consider limiting rather than scrapping the EU court’s role. And he said the offer to remove up to 80 per cent of checks on goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland was encouraging. It came as French fishermen renewed threats to blockade Christmas goods heading for Britain. Skipper Pierre-Yves Dachicourt, from Boulogne, said he lost half his income under the Brexit deal.” – The Sun

  • Protocol will need renegotiating in future even if new Brexit deal agreed – Daily Telegraph
  • Parts of Brexit deal were ‘always provisional’, admits Lord Frost – Daily Mail
  • Hated deal allows European firms to cash in at UK’s expense – Daily Express
  • UK rules out return to Galileo over security fears – Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Northern Ireland Protocol. History suggests that there will be a deal.

Cabotage rule relaxation ‘taking work from British HGV drivers’

“Tensions between the haulage industry and government escalated yesterday after ministers announced plans to make it more attractive for foreign companies to send lorries to the UK. The Unite union confirmed that it would consult HGV drivers on strike action. Logistics firms accused ministers of “taking work from British operators” after the government said it would relax rules that restrict EU hauliers to two domestic delivery jobs in Britain before they have to return home. The new rules will mean that foreign operators bringing goods into the UK can pick up and drop off goods within the country an unlimited number of times over two weeks before they return. The measures are intended to improve supplies for Christmas.” – The Times

  • Transport Secretary rules out lockdown over festive period – Daily Mail

Labour spending more on legal battles than campaigning, say sources

“Labour is spending significantly more of its cash on fighting its legal battles than on political campaigning, sources have told the Guardian, after lawyers for the party opened a new front in the party’s legal turmoil this week. Party sources said last year campaigning was Labour’s fourth-highest spend, behind costs linked to legal cases. This week’s naming of five of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest staffers in legal action alleging responsibility for leaking a contentious report marked a new chapter in the war between two sides of the party. The report, which contained private WhatsApp messages, aimed to demonstrate bitter factionalism among staff but has prompted legal action from many of those named. One senior source described the situation between the two sides of the party as “full-blown lawfare” – comparing it to how competing governments in South American countries have attempted to take down each other.” – The Guardian

Greens prove no match for striking Brighton binmen

“There’s nothing the seagulls of Brighton and Hove like better than an overflowing bin. But even the south coast’s greediest scavengers cannot keep pace with the piles of rubbish that have built up during a strike by bin lorry drivers. After 11 days without collections communal refuse and recycling bins all over the city are all but buried by bags and boxes left by residents and businesses with no choice but to dump their waste in the street. “What do you want me to do?” asked one embarrassed young man doing just that in Brighton this week. Yesterday there were hopes of a deal to boost driver pay, but despite nine hours of talks the GMB union said that the strike would go on. And the question remained: what was the stoppage for in the first place? No one seems quite clear, but it has certainly been no advert for handing control of the city to the Greens.” – The Times

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