London Playbook: Tough climate — Wind in her sails — Rishi gets radical – POLITICO Europe

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What’s driving the day in London.
By ESTHER WEBBER
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Good morning. This is Esther Webber. Annabelle Dickson is back with you for Monday and Tuesday next week.
TOUGH CLIMATE: The National Drought Group will meet this morning and is likely to declare an official drought in most of the U.K. as the national fever dream of a summer continues. Also coming up this weekend: temperatures could hit 37C in parts of England, nine rail companies will go on strike on Saturday, and train services to major U.K. cities will be hit by driver shortages on Avanti West Coast from Sunday. The leadership candidates are facing questions on what they’ll do to get Britain working as their cost of living plans are in the spotlight again.
Watch out for: GDP figures dropping any minute now. Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is due to be in Wales this morning, where he’ll face a grilling from economics editors of the main broadcasters. More on what to look for below.
Fire alarm: An amber extreme heat warning is in place for southern and central England and parts of Wales, and the Met Office has issued its highest alert for fire severity over the weekend, warning there is an “exceptional” risk of blazes spreading in many places. The BBC has more detail.
Desert conditions: The first drought since 2018 is expected to be announced this morning, and the news features on many of the front pages. It will mean water restrictions for millions in the southwest, southeast and east of England, but could also affect south Wales and the Midlands. The i’s Jane Merrick has a thorough run-through of what it means, with four water companies already implementing hosepipe bans and more preparing to follow suit if the dry weather continues into late August.
No end in sight: Merrick says ministers are operating on the basis the drought could continue into September or even later in the year, while on the front of the Telegraph, Emma Gatten and Daniel Capurro report that it could last into next year. As just about everyone points out, the dry conditions will hit farmers hard and could affect food supplies, particularly potatoes and green vegetables. 
Not to alarm you, but: The Guardian’s Fiona Harvey, Helena Horton and Matthew Weaver pick apart the potential impact. Jerry Knox, a professor of agricultural water management at Cranfield University, tells them: “We are starting to see real issues for crops such as potatoes. We will see reduced yields and particularly reduced quality.” These problems would continue into fall, he adds, with farmers unable to plant crops as usual and livestock farmers already giving animals feed intended for winter because they are unable to graze in the fields.
Drought-makers: The Drought Group meeting this morning is made up of representatives from the Environment Agency, water companies, Water UK, the NFU and environmental protection groups. The government is expected to be represented by Environment Minister Steve Double, and no doubt questions will soon follow on the whereabouts of more senior ministers. 
What can be done: Rishi Sunak jumped on the forecast, saying: “For too long, water hasn’t had the attention it deserves.” Liz Truss was asked directly at last night’s hustings in Cheltenham what she would do to clamp down on water companies overseeing waste through leaks while drought conditions loom. Both of them said their main response would be “holding water companies to account,” whatever that means. Sunak did add a bit about more aggressive regulation, but they’ll need to come up with something more robust if this one runs and runs.
Field day: We heard more about what Truss really thinks on the subject of climate than in previous hustings. Truss was cheered last night when she described solar panels as “one of the most depressing sights when you’re driving through England” before clarifying she likes them in general, just not in fields. She also fired up the crowd by declaring net zero could not be achieved through green levies, which she dismissed as a “left-wing solution.” The problem is for business to solve, she suggested, which represents a fairly hefty shift from the view of the current PM. 
WIND IN HER SAILS: In fact, the delightfully vague “holding to account” became something of a catch-all for Truss last night, as it was also her response when asked how she’d handle the energy companies. She came out swinging against the idea of a further windfall tax, telling hustings chair Camilla Tominey: “I don’t think profit is a dirty word. And the fact it has become a dirty word in our society is a massive problem … The way we bandy the word profit around as if it’s something that’s dirty and evil? We shouldn’t be doing that as Conservatives. We’re playing into the hands of people like Jeremy Corbyn, who want to completely undermine our way of life.”
For frack’s sake: Her weighing in against a windfall tax leads the Telegraph today, alongside her pledge to end a moratorium on fracking as another way to boost energy supplies. She did add fracking would need local support, and while the Cheltenham crowd loved it, would Derbyshire feel the same?
Chill wind bloweth: A Sunak campaign aide was quick to suggest “she’s on the wrong side of this energy stuff.” They observed: “Even if some people agree with the principle, leaving millions to really struggle with £4,000 bills and then giving a corporation tax cut when the papers will be all over their [energy bosses’] massive bonuses is terrible politics. People will be scared and angry and Labour will have a field day with it.”
And another thing: Truss’s broadside against levies on electricity and gas profits sits rather oddly with the meeting, which took place yesterday between the chancellor, the business secretary and energy giants, with Boris Johnson a surprise guest. The Times’ Geraldine Scott and Chris Smyth reported the energy firms were told to use their profits to help households with the rising cost of living or risk further windfall taxes. Which presumably is not a very scary threat when the front-runner for PM has ruled them out. 
I wouldn’t do that if I were you: The Sun’s Harry Cole has got his own readout from the meeting, revealing that Johnson himself poured cold water on the idea of implementing a new windfall tax. He was told the gathering would be up to the next chancellor — but added: “If it was up to me I wouldn’t go down that route.” So what’s up with that?
Live by the sword: A government official told Playbook it was best to think of windfall taxes as a “sword of Damocles.” Pressed on how much use the sword is if the current prime minister and potentially the next one doesn’t believe in it, they expanded: “It’s wrong to think that [windfall tax] is the be-all and end-all — the options we are looking at are far from limited to just getting business to do stuff.” Zahawi apparently told the meeting: “If customers are looking at £4,000 bills, that’s not just the government’s problem, its everyone’s problem,” and would expect solutions to come both from ministers and industry.
RISHI GETS RADICAL: Sunak looks for a reset in the pages of The Times, where Oliver Wright, Chris Smyth and Geraldine Scott reveal his plan to cover the total cost of rising energy bills for up to 16 million vulnerable people. Writing for the paper, Sunak specifies he is prepared to find up to £10 billion to soften the blow of the price rise in October on top of the support announced by the government in May. Laying down a challenge to Truss, he says cutting green levies will only save around £150 a year, and “you can’t heat your home with hope.”
Fine print: Sources in the Sunak campaign tell the Times team that he cannot guarantee to cover the entire cost of the rise for the most vulnerable groups until Ofgem announced the exact level of the price cap later this month. However, they suggest he intends to cover “as much of the hole as possible.”
Holding pattern: There was no real update on Truss’ plan from the hustings last night, where she repeated her attack on “Gordon Brown-style economics, where you take money off people in taxes and give it back in benefits” and insisted it would be “wrong” to “write the chancellor’s budget before I’ve even been selected as prime minister.”
Food for thought: The Tony Blair Institute has new analysis of both camps’ promises, carried out before Sunak’s latest undertaking. They calculate that Truss’ plan to reverse the recent increase in National Insurance contribution (NICs) would save households on the lowest incomes an average of 76 pence a month, and leave the richest households in the U.K. better off by £93 a month. Proposals to cut VAT on fuel, championed by Sunak, will have little to no impact for low-income households, the think tank finds.
What’s at stake: Some shocking stories came to light at a focus group Thursday in Bury North run by Luke Tryl of “More in Common” for Talk TV. One woman told the group — which met at 5 p.m. — she hadn’t eaten all day, and Tryl offered to stop the session, but the participants wanted to carry on. Voters in Bury said they weren’t feeling reassured on the cost of living by either campaign. You can watch the full report here.
School lessons: The cost-of-living crisis is becoming “a frontline issue for schools,” according to Lee Elliot Major, the country’s first professor of social mobility at Exeter University. He tells PoliticsHome’s Alain Tolhurst that post pandemic, there are “the highest absence rates in living memory, many of which are the poorest pupils,” and that he fears this will damage the life chances of disadvantaged children.
Over to Labour: The Labour Party has (finally) launched the first part of its plan to beat the cost-of-living crisis, with a proposal to scrap “outrageous” rules under which customers using prepayment meters pay a higher price for their energy bills. The Indy’s Andrew Woodcock and Ashley Cowburn have more details
Can’t pay, don’t pay: The TUC has published its own outline of an emergency support package, which is more in the Gordon Brown model — including canceling October’s energy price cap hike and nationalizing energy retailers. And the Don’t Pay campaign for a boycott of energy bills has reached 100,000 pledges, per the Guardian
Total recall: A group of left-wing Labour MPs have become the latest to request a recall of parliament, which they say should happen “within days’” of Ofgem announcement of new energy costs on 26 August. The i’s Paul Waugh has their letter.
CONSERVATIVE HEALING: Truss will be campaigning around Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire today while Sunak is in Henley, west and southwest London at the end of another rancorous week of the Conservative leadership race. POLITICO’s Annabelle Dickson has cast her eye over the prospects of recovery for the party in September. 
Grandee warning klaxon: Conservative peer and long-serving Cabinet minister Gillian Shephard, one of Truss’s predecessors as MP for South West Norfolk has a stark warning for the worst offenders. “Some of the attacks do very little justice to the people making them,” she told Annabelle. “They need to remember that after all of this, hopefully there will still be a Conservative Party. But if they continue, there may very well not be a Conservative government.”
Fair game: Both campaigns, unsurprisingly, are unrepentant. “Politics is a contact sport,” a Sunak ally said. “For goodness sake, you’ve got to put people through their paces — they are running to be PM. Our first duty has to be to elect the right person to run the country.” A Truss ally reckons: “It’s a battle of ideas, and sometimes these things do get heated.” 
Aircon heaven: Figures on both campaign teams denied the sweltering summer heat wave is raising temperatures still further, with each operating out of air-conditioned offices in central London. 
Unity Cabinet: One former adviser quoted above predicted there could be an exodus of senior Sunak supporters at the next election if Truss wins and they are not offered ministerial roles. “All those people who started under David Cameron as junior ministers, they are probably mid-50s-ish, they’ll be thinking ‘this is probably as high as I’ve gone.’”
No plans to go: There has been widespread speculation in Westminster that former Cabinet big-hitter Sajid Javid, who launched his own failed leadership bid last month before belatedly backing Truss, could now leave parliament at the next election — although this has been firmly denied by his own team. “Sajid has absolutely no plans to stand down,” a spokesperson said.
KEMI’S SEMI-ENDORSEMENT: While former leadership contender Kemi Badenoch is refusing to officially endorse a candidate, she tells the Mail’s Georgia Edkins: “If you want somebody who’s very maverick, I think Liz [would be the best option]… Sometimes if you’re too predictable in politics you don’t think of new ideas. You just do the same thing over and over again and nothing changes.” A vote for Sunak would be a vote for a “technocrat,” she says. 
Tom’s treasure: Tom Tugendhat, who came fifth in the leadership race, received donations worth more than £123,000 for the sole purpose of his leadership campaign, according to the latest register of interests. Badenoch received £12,500 from Longrow Capital and Joanne Black, while Suella Braverman got £10,000 from First Corporate and a £2,000 discount on digital services from Ethan R Wilkinson Ltd. 
Cheap at half the price: Sunak meanwhile listed just £3,195 in office space for his campaign from Bridge Consulting Ltd. Truss and Penny Mordaunt are yet to declare any donations in their entries, as the Spectator’s James Heale writes.
That’s gratitude for you: The Times’ George Grylls has spotted that Mark Fletcher, the Conservative MP for Bolsover, is backing Liz Truss to be the next prime minister despite recently receiving £5,046.82 from Sunak to pay for a constituency dinner in London. Always keep the receipt.
Too posh to push? In The i, Anne McElvoy argues Sunak can still win back momentum if he puts his credentials as chancellor to the fore and demonstrates he’s not afraid to get stuck in. 
TRUSS ISSUES: The FT’s George Parker has a fun piece on rumbles of concern in the Labour Party over facing Liz Truss at a general election. “Liz Truss is no fool, she is gutsy,” Peter Mandelson tells him, warning that Labour must not allow Truss to “represent herself as a departure from the last 12 years. His comments are echoed by John McTernan, another former adviser to Blair, while one ally of Starmer’s highlights that “she talks about what she is for, while Sunak sounds like he’s talking about what he is against.”
Bailey bites back: Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, has hit back against plans aired by both Truss and Sunak, warning them not to challenge the Bank’s rule-making powers or its mandate. The FT’s George Parker and Chris Giles have the latest on tensions between Threadneedle Street and the prospective prime ministers. 
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MUSIC TO OUR EARS: Playbook is pleased to report the warm-up music for the hustings is improving, although we’re not sure what message is being sent by playing the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
FIGHTING TALK: One of the boldest claims of the night was Truss’ promise that if she wins, the Lib Dems will never come back in Cheltenham or the west of England. This seems, er, interesting given the Conservatives’ majority in Cheltenham is under 1,000 votes and the broader region has been fertile territory for the Lib Dems in the past.
SNAP DECISION: Truss warmed activists’ hearts by ruling out an early election. Earlier, she offered to re-establish a dedicated unit in CCHQ to fight the Lib Dems, prompting just about everyone to point out that the last time they tried that, they had mixed results.
LEFT ON READ: You could almost hear the tiny violins strike up as Sunak revealed that he’s messaged and called Boris Johnson since he quit but he hasn’t heard back. Given that, according to No. 10, he didn’t call before he quit, perhaps not surprising.
WRITING ON THE BLUE WALL: Not that Playbook doesn’t enjoy learning the candidates’ speeches off by heart, but we thought we’d get some perspective from pollster and founder of JL Partners on the picture in Lib Dem-facing seats such as Cheltenham.
Leadership lift: In North Shropshire and Tiverton and Honiton, both of which recently fell to the Lib Dems, the problem was “Boris Johnson himself,” according to James. “New leadership does give the Conservatives a renewed opportunity in the south. They still face issues with those voters. Because of the damage over the last year, they doubt the Conservatives’ intentions and they wonder about the Conservatives’ values.”
What voters want: James warns against the “oversimplification” of red wall versus blue wall, when “broadly speaking, they have similar attitudes — really, it’s about whether this new leader can demonstrate strength, can demonstrate authenticity, and demonstrate that they’ve got a plan to turn things around even if things are tough for some time. Voters aren’t expecting sudden recovery but that they can turn it around in the next couple of years. Then I think those voters in the south are winnable just as those voters in the north.”
It’s the economy, stupid: Voters in Remain-leaning Tory seats “clearly feel like they held a little bit less in common with the Conservatives perhaps than they used to,” he says, but more important than that “they still doubt Labour’s intentions on the economy significantly. They might not be about to vote Labour in any case, but even the prospect of Labour in charge may mean they don’t take the risk of voting Lib Dem.”
Don’t forget planning: Frustration over housing, planning. green spaces and transport, which drove the swing away from the Tories in Chesham and Amersham should be seen as significant, but local issues are easier for the Conservatives to overcome when it comes to a general election, James argues. “That’s not to say that seats like Cheltenham are safe. Seats which are very marginal already are going to be difficult for the Conservatives because obviously they had a high watermark of support in 2019, but it is harder now without Boris for Ed Davey to translate those by-election victories into national victories.”
Cheerier for the Lib Dems: This piece on the ground in Cheltenham from the Guardian’s Peter Walker. Lynn, a former fishmonger struggling with her bills, tells him: “It doesn’t matter who takes over. The Conservative Party has been too damaged by Boris Johnson — and they all just went along with it.”
RECESSION WATCH: Dropping almost immediately are June’s GDP data. If you can remember back that far (Playbook struggles as there’s been a bit of … drama) there was a meaty Jubilee bank holiday, which is bad news for measures of economic growth — even if plenty of pints were bought. An average of economists’ predictions was for the economy to have shrunk by 1.2 per cent month on month. 
Crystal balls: City figures are trying to work out the depth and length of the likely coming recession. Some public bets are landing at bad but not as severe as a few historic examples. The reason — according to Ruth Gregory, senior U.K. economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients — is household and business balance sheets are in less dire shape than in other downturns. She predicts a more mild contraction versus the Bank of England’s scenario revealed last week.
But, but, but: It is about how it feels as well as how deep it cuts. As it is inflation-driven, households will feel the hurt sharpish, eating into consumer spending. It will be “more like the recession in the early 1980s than the early 1990s (triggered by a credit boom, burst housing bubble and tight monetary policy), the GFC (credit boom, burst housing bubble and banking crisis),” and the COVID health crisis, Gregory writes.
WAITING GAME: Plenty of coverage today for the latest official figures showing that 6.7 million people in England were waiting for routine hospital treatment in July. The number who had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E went up by a third in one month, and ambulance response times to emergency calls such as burns, epilepsy and strokes increased to nearly an hour. The grim numbers make the front of the Mail, which asks: “Where IS all our extra money going?”
Don’t go west: Local leaders are demanding a meeting with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps after Avanti West Coast slashed its intercity timetable and suspended ticket operations over summer. Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh tells Sky News “major cities are being cut off.”
TRADING BLOWS: POLITICO’s Graham Lanktree reports that British business groups are warning Anne-Marie Trevelyan to put the brakes on trade talks with India or risk leaving important sectors behind. “It is the content of the deal which matters for U.K. businesses, not speed of negotiation,” 11 different trade bodies — including representatives of tech, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and business services — told the international trade secretary in an open letter. Playbook hears there’s nervousness in AMT’s office about pressure to deliver the deal as a win soon after Truss takes office.
Diwali doubts: In a similar vein, City AM’s Stefan Boscia reveals that Whitehall officials have raised concerns over the Diwali deadline set by Johnson, with suggestions the PM’s “freestyling” could mean a lighter agreement than originally hoped. Trade department sources tell him it was a target imposed from above which left negotiators little time to negotiate a thorough deal with a traditionally protectionist Indian government.
ZAPORIZHZHIA ALARM: The situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was shelled on August 5, has deteriorated rapidly to the point of becoming “very alarming,” Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi warned the U.N. Security Council in New York on Thursday afternoon.
The meeting, requested by Russia, was marked by resounding calls by other countries to allow the IAEA’s technical experts to visit the area amid mounting safety concerns. The plant is controlled by Russians, though staff is still Ukrainian. Ukraine has so far blocked the IAEA from visiting the site. While the preliminary assessment of IAEA experts indicate that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety, “this could change at any moment,” Grossi warned. He asked both sides to cooperate with the U.N. atomic agency.
TRUMP LATEST: The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a Florida court to unseal the warrant that let FBI agents search former President Donald Trump’s home. Trump and his allies have spent days pounding the Justice Department for executing a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago estate, and now Attorney General Merrick Garland has called their bluff. More from POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Meridith McGraw.
KEEP SCHTUM: Conservative MPs have been instructed not to comment on the privileges committee inquiry into whether Boris Johnson misled MPs over the Partygate scandal. Chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris wrote to Tories with the warning after Johnson ally Nadine Dorries dismissed the investigation as a “witch hunt” and “rigged.” The BBC has a write-up.
Absent-minded ministers: The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot has a scoop on big discrepancies in ministerial declarations, with Truss recording just two meetings in three months compared with Welsh Secretary Simon Hart’s 51. She finds just one Cabinet minister declared their meetings at Tory conference — and Labour’s Chris Bryant has written to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case over the lacunae. 
UNFAIR COP: More than half of 2019 Labour Party voters feel that the police are “institutionally racist,” polling by YouGov for LabourList has revealed.
TAKING ON THE STURGE: James Forsyth passes on some advice on dealing with Nicola Sturgeon in his Times column, saying one veteran of Johnson’s Downing Street recommends a “low-key office environment” for the new PM’s first meeting. They also advise making sure that they visit Scotland “so often that their presence there is no more remarkable than if they were in Cornwall,” and leaning into the line that now is not the time for a referendum, rather than getting sucked into a debate about how long a generation is and when they might consent to a vote. 
SNP SCANDAL: The SNP has lost control of one of Scotland’s largest councils, thrown out of power in North Lanarkshire after just 84 days. It follows the resignation of the council’s former leader over a sexual misconduct scandal. The Herald’s Tom Gordon can fill you in.
SPEAKING OUT: Emma Edwards, wife of Jonathan Edwards MP, who assaulted her in 2020, says she is “appalled and disappointed” that Plaid Cymru has decided to give him back the party whip. The BBC’s Felicity Evans and David Deans have the story.
IS THIS A GOOD IDEA? The Fence has published a four-month investigation into the practices of the Institute of Art and Ideas, an organization run by Hilary Lawson, finding a range of idiosyncratic demands made of the young people who work there, often for very little money.
ITV Good Morning Britain: Economic commentators Grace Blakeley and Cindy Yu (6.05 a.m.) … Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds (6.25 a.m.) …  Work and Pensions Secretary, and Truss backer Thérèse Coffey (7.20 a.m.).
Sky News breakfast: Chief Scientific Officer for UKHSA Professor Isabel Oliver (7.05 a.m.) … Therese Coffey (7.30 a.m.) … Gurkhas spokesman Judbahadur Gurung (7.45 a.m.) … Jonathan Reynolds (8.05 a.m.) … CEO of Consumer Council on Water Emma Clancy (8.20 a.m.) … Chairman of the treasury committee and Sunak backer Mel Stride (8.30 a.m.) … Project Manager for the National Trust Ben Eardley (8.45 a.m.).
Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC): Non-executive Chairman of Utilita Derek Likorish (7.05 a.m.) … Jonathan Reynolds (7.10 a.m.) … Thérèse Coffey (7.50 a.m.) … Former President of NASUWT Michelle Codrington-Rogers (8.35 a.m.).
Times Radio: Tessa Khan, director of Uplift and part of the Warm this Winter campaign for affordable energy (7.07 a.m.) … Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell and Liz Truss supporter Alec Shelbrooke (7.20 a.m.) … Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the UK Jonathan Reynolds (7.40 a.m.) … Mel Stride (8.20 a.m.) … Professor Adam Finn, member of the JCVI and professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol (9.40 a.m.) … Conservative leadership contender Rishi Sunak (11 a.m.).
(Click on the publication’s name to see its front page.)
Daily Express: Shocking new warning energy bills to hit £5,000.
Daily Mail: Where IS all our extra NHS money going?
Daily Mirror: Clueless.
Daily Star: Crisis? What crisis?
Financial Times: BoE warns Truss and Sunak not to interfere with City regulation.
i: Heatwave UK: Drought could last months.
Metro: PM turns up for meeting.
POLITICO UK: Leaked manifesto: Italian right-wingers will dump Euroskepticism in bid for power.
PoliticsHome: Labour vows to end “morally wrong” higher rates on pre-payment energy bills.
The Daily Telegraph: Truss: No windfall tax on energy companies.
The Guardian: Drought alert: new rules on way as climate crisis bites.
The Independent: Water firms miss own targets on cutting leaks.
The Times: Sunak plan to cancel out energy price rises.
Politics Weekly UK: The Guardian’s John Harris is joined by RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch and Miatta Fahnbulleh, the chief executive of the New Economics Foundation, to talk about how to tackle the social emergency facing the country.
Oh God, What Now? Former chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Satbir Singh, joins Alex, Ros and Charles to examine the Tory candidates’ opposing stances on the economic crisis. 
The Bunker: iNews’ Environment Correspondent Madeleine Cuff and NHS commentator Roy Lilley join Andrew, Arthur and Justin to explore Truss’ and Sunak’s environmental policies and the key contributors to the NHS staffing crisis. 
WESTMINSTER WEATHER: ☀️☀️☀️ Officially scorchio. Highs of 33C.
BIRTHDAYS: Commons defense committee Chairman Tobias Ellwood … Shadow Skills Minister Toby Perkins … Bolton West MP Chris Green … Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP Alan Brown, who turns 50 … Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall … Former French President François Hollande … Former U.K. Chief Scientific Adviser David King … U.K. Ambassador to China Caroline Wilson … Former ITN Political Editor Michael Brunson.
Celebrating over the weekend: Former U.K. Deputy High Commissioner to Jamaica and the Bahamas Nick Astbury … Welsh Labour AM Hefin David … Guardian lobby journo Andrew Sparrow … Former Foreign Office spinner Simon McGee … ERG Chairman Mark Francois … Commons environmental audit committee Chairman Philip Dunne … Former Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell … Former Ayr MP Bill Grant … FSB adviser and former Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop … Tory peer Jonathan Marland … Tony Blair’s former chief of staff Jonathan Powell … Bates Wells Braithwaite partner Erica Crump.
PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: Editor Sanya Khetani-Shah and producer Grace Stranger.
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