LIVE at 18:43
    • Latest Tweets:

Monday 1 July 2019

Conservative Party members will begin receiving their ballots this week and surprise surprise, following Friday’s top story that Boris Johnson plans a “gangbuster” budget in the event of No Deal, Jeremy Hunt has followed suit with a very similar offering.

While Johnson’s team is proposing sweeping stamp duty reform and a higher rate income tax cut, Hunt wants to bring corporation tax down from 19% to 12.5%. A £20bn “war chest” will also be made available, with £6bn going to farms and fisheries, delivered much in the same way as in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, Hunt will say at a speech at 11.00am today.

The additional funds will come out of the £27bn of “fiscal headroom” already set aside for No Deal Brexit, money that is still borrowed, which begs the question, so what? How is this news if it’s already government policy – on that note, check out today’s Tweet of the Day below.

Hunt will also seek to distance himself from Boris by portraying himself as a leader “who is prepared to put in the hard yards preparing for no deal” even though his rival shares similar ideas on No Deal planning. By contrast, the willingness between the two Tory leadership contenders to take Britain out of the EU on WTO terms differs enormously.

This blog has raised question marks over Boris’s intentions, but he voted for independence and campaigned passionately for it. Hunt is a Remainer who thought a second referendum was a good idea, one damn good reason why he will fail.

The polls don’t lie. 71% of Tory voters polled by Opinium said they believed Johnson would deliver Brexit by October 31st, only 10% thought the same of Hunt, which seems a little high, he’s downplayed any prospect of Britain leaving the EU any time soon.

Having revealed last week it was launching a legal case over the crooked Peterborough by-election, the Brexit Party yesterday announced the nomination of 100 candidates for the next general election, all 650 will be unveiled in due course.

“Weren’t they well behaved?” said Annunziata Rees Mogg at a party event in Birmingham over the weekend.

“I can guarantee they won’t be when we get them into Westminster and shake them up!”

Nigel Farage told the 5,000-strong audience: “This fine group of people are but a start.

“By the end of next week we will have 650 approved prospective parliamentary candidates. There is a big message that Westminster needs to hear, we are not a protest movement.”

Evoking Leave.EU chairman, Arron Banks’ appeal last week to support the final phase of the battle for Brexit, Farage went on to entreaty support:

“I have to tell you, aside from the 650 candidates, there are many things that I want you to do.

“I am asking for your help because beyond the general election, maybe even before the general election, we will have to find thousands of people to stand up and fight local elections for us, right across the country.”

Farage went onto outline his party’s own plans for a £200bn Brexit booster, a tenfold improvement on Hunt’s proposal, alongside the scrapping of HS2 and foreign aid. Brussels will not get “its” £39bn either.

Not much to argue with there…