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By ANNABELLE DICKSON
PRESENTED BY LEIDOS
Good morning and welcome to London Playbook on Fridays. I’m Annabelle Dickson.
DRIVING THE DAY
DUBLIN DINNER DATE: Theresa May will fly to Dublin to have dinner with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tonight as she continues to look for those so-far elusive changes to the Brexit withdrawal deal backstop that can win the backing of the U.K. parliament. Ahead of the leaders’ dinner, British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will pay a visit to his Irish counterpart Séamus Woulfe around lunchtime. Cox has been tasked with looking at whether a unilateral exit clause or time limit to the backstop could be agreed. Varadkar is also due to meet Northern Ireland’s main political parties in Belfast today to discuss the restoration of power-sharing.
On a diplomatic mission: There is little expectation that tonight’s dinner will provide any great breakthrough. It is also about strengthening the Anglo-Irish relationship, which has been strained by increasingly cantankerous Brexit talks in recent months. The Irish may also be keen to build a few diplomatic bridges with the U.K. after a bruising week of Brussels antics. Jean-Claude Juncker’s thank you card stunt, in which he pulled out and read a message sent to him by an Irish woman as the cameras rolled and an awkward Varadkar looked on, did not go down particularly well in Dublin. Playbook hears that Irish and U.K. diplomats took part in a joint training course at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday.
One hell of a week: Coverage of May’s mission to Brussels yesterday was overshadowed by reports that Council President Donald Tusk had taken a shine to Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit terms as a price for his support, which the Labour Party leader set out in a letter to May this week. Tusk suggested to May that the Corbyn plan “might be a promising way out of the impasse,” according to a senior EU official. A No. 10 official insisted that “considerable points of difference” remain between May and Corbyn. Charlie Cooper and David Herszenhorn have the story. HuffPost’s Paul Waugh hears Labour’s policy position was developed following close contact with Brussels insiders.
More support: On Newsnight last night Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld said she thought the proposals put forward by Corbyn seemed “a basis that could command a majority in the House of Commons,” but acknowledged the lack of cross-party working tradition in British politics could prove to be an obstacle.
Down to the wire: While there is little expectation on either side of the Brexit negotiations that anything will be resolved soon, some officials believe it could go right down to the wire before Brexit Day on March 29. The Times hears that EU officials and diplomats expect, in true EU style, that “final decisions would be taken a week before Britain’s scheduled exit, at an all-night meeting of European leaders on March 22.” The Daily Telegraph quotes another exasperated EU official who thinks negotiations are “still at square one.” “We’ve just lost the month of February. Mrs. May is now flirting with no deal and there’s a point where we’re going to enter full blown blame game mode,” they say. The official quoted in the Telegraph describes the time left to agree and ratify a deal as “insane.”
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BACK IN WESTMINSTER
NEXT WEEK’S COMMONS DRAMA: With little sign of progress in Brussels, MPs are turning their attention back to the action in Westminster next week. May has promised MPs she will put forward another amendable motion for debate on Thursday. Crunch time is drawing nearer for those ministers and backbenchers who were tempted to empower parliament to prevent no deal, but were persuaded to give the Brady amendment pushing for further negotiation with Brussels a chance. In this week’s House Magazine Health Minister Stephen Hammond, who has only just returned to the front bench, was asked if he would resign to vote for the equivalent of the Cooper amendment — to prevent no deal. “We will all have to look into our conscience at that stage. But I don’t think anyone can doubt my principles and what my view would be if that is the last opportunity.”
The dilemma: POLITICO’s Tom McTague sets out the dilemma that the moderate Conservative ministers face. “Jump too soon, by resigning to join a parliamentary rebellion against no deal, and risk scuppering the prime minister’s negotiation with Brussels at its most crucial stage. But wait too long and it may be too late. Worse still, they will have abandoned their post at a time of national emergency,” he writes.
In Remain land: The Sun’s Steve Hawkes and Hugo Gye have some intel on the amendments already being considered, including one from veteran Labour MP Roger Godsiff, who plans to make a formal bid for a second referendum. They write that the move is “understood to have infuriated campaign chiefs at the People’s Vote — who fear there is no chance of a second referendum bid winning a majority in the House of Commons.” Perhaps we will hear more from the official People’s Vote campaign on its plans in the Commons next week. People’s Vote campaigner Bob Kerslake, who was head of the Home Civil Service, is holding a press conference at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Party splits: POLITICO’s Charlie Cooper has spoken to former Conservative Party Chairman Caroline Spelman, who says Brexiteer warnings that the party could split if Theresa May tries to get her Brexit deal through parliament with Labour votes are a “hollow threat.” Spelman, a former Cabinet minister and party chairman whose amendment opposing a no-deal Brexit won a parliamentary majority last week, told POLITICO that talk of an historic rupture was “premature.” POLITICO Pro subscribers can read the interview here.
Before the parliamentary drama: Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will meet chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday, either in Brussels or Strasbourg.
Will the Malthouse compromise be on the agenda? There are more signs that the U.K. government is not taking the plan entirely seriously. The Times’ Sam Coates hears from a government source that it is no longer called the “Malthouse Compromise.” “It’s the Meatloaf Compromise. Bat out of hell.” But if it is still on the agenda, the Telegraph’s Peter Foster reports that Northern Ireland business groups want backers to visit Northern Ireland to “stress test” their ideas.
View from Berlin: German Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz will be speaking at the German Symposium 2019 at 5 p.m. tomorrow. Chances are Brexit will come up.
**Happening this Saturday — POLITICO’s 20th EU Studies Fair is happening tomorrow in Brussels. Make sure to register for free online. This is your unique chance to meet with representatives of over 50 world’s best universities, promoting their programs in EU studies, international relations, business, law, economics and public policy. Besides, you will have the opportunity attend orientation seminars on the upcoming EU election and careers with the EU institutions. See you there!**
FALLOUT: While Corbyn’s pledge to back May’s deal if she meets his five demands to soften her Brexit plan appeared to go down a treat in Brussels, it was not so well received within parts of his own party, who see it as a betrayal of what was agreed at conference — to push for a second referendum if Labour fails to force a general election. The Times has a nice write-up this morning of the reaction. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will be on the Today program talking about austerity this morning, but is bound to be asked for clarification about Labour’s second referendum stance.
Next meeting: In a blog, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg says May’s de-facto deputy David Lidington and Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer might sit down to talk within days, but points out that there are “evidently costs for both of the main Westminster parties if they work together to get this deal through.”
Not happy: Party divisions over anti-Semitism continue to plague Labour. MP Luciana Berger is to face a vote of no confidence by her local party over her criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. Politics Home writes it up.
BRITAIN’S NO-DEAL PROSPECTS
PROJECT AFTER: Multiple papers pick up on the “secret group” in government drawing up plans to cut taxes, boost investment and slash tariffs in the event the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal. The Financial Times reports that “Project After” is being marshaled by civil service boss Mark Sedwill. “It’s basically a Doomsday list of economic levers we could pull if the economy is about to tank,” the FT quotes one Whitehall figure.
Border no force: Business Insider reports that the 1,000 staff the U.K. government said it would hire in time for Brexit have not materialized, “triggering fears that Britain’s borders could be overwhelmed if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal.” Sources told the news website that “the majority of the new recruits would not be hired in time for Brexit on March 29.”
Too late: Manufacturing lobby groups have reiterated Business Secretary Greg Clark’s warning that a deal and certainty are needed much sooner than March 29 — in fact by the end of next week. “British exporters risk their goods sitting in quarantine and not being paid for unless a Brexit deal can be found by the end of next week,” according to Bloomberg. It quotes Stephen Phipson, chief executive of the EEF manufacturing lobby group, who says hard Brexit happens nine days from now. “If products get loaded on the ships, exporters have no idea when they land whether they’ll be on a 20 percent tariff regime. Will they need rules of origins certificates?” he says.
Seabourne latest: HuffPost has the latest on the council vote that could scupper Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s plan to run no-deal Brexit ferries from Ramsgate. Thanet District Council was “set to approve swingeing budget cuts to the port of Ramsgate,” but the vote has been delayed for up to 10 days.
**With U.S. President Donald Trump expected to attend the NATO summit in December, what key defense issues keep world leaders awake at night? How does NATO tie into the EU’s plan for a European army? Join us for POLITICO’s Coffee Break live at 10 A.M. on Twitter to share your opinion on the 70th anniversary of the NATO alliance. Our reporters Kait Bolongaro and Philip Kaleta will also discuss far-right Dutch politicians converting to Islam and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s push back against a Franco-German rail merger.**
LIFE BEYOND BREXIT
PARLIAMENT: The House of Commons is sitting today with a traditional slate of Friday private members’ bills. Tory MP Christopher Chope, who is notorious for blocking other MPs’ private members’ bills, has his own on the agenda. His Value Added Tax Bill is due to have a second reading.
Mission accomplished: The Daily Mail reports that former Prime Minister David Cameron has finished his memoirs and they’ll be published in time for the Tory party conference. “The former prime minister’s ‘tell-all’ book will be published at the end of September after a series of delays as he suffered from writer’s block. He had been due to release it last year but chose to wait until after Brexit in March to avoid disrupting negotiations,” the Mail writes.
Instagram: Most papers run Instagram’s decision to ban all graphic self-harm images. The Daily Telegraph has an interview with Instagram boss Adam Mosseri, who tells Charles Hymas the social media company had spent 10 years focusing on the “good” that comes out of connecting people while neglecting the “risks” and backs a statutory duty of care to protect children from online harms. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will be doing a broadcast round today following the announcement.
Parliamentary reform: The Sun’s Steve Hawkes hears that parliament’s expenses watchdog is launching a “cheat-proof” expenses system for MPs who will have to scan their receipts and send them over the web. The House of Commons chaplin meanwhile has told The Times that MPs should end their “football terrace shouting” in parliament. She says it has become a “bruising” place for politicians to serve.
Prom night: Extraordinarily someone has paid more than £70,000 to spend a night at the Proms with Theresa May. The Daily Mirror reports on how Tory donors spent their money at the Conservative Black and White Ball this week.
Death tax: The Daily Mail splashes on accusations that ministers have snuck through a stealth “death tax.” The paper says that “in an alleged abuse of power, a huge hike in probate charges was effectively waved through parliament after ministers categorised it as a ‘fee’ rather than a tax.”
Tory grope claim: The Times has more details about Conservative MP Ross Thomson’s night in Strangers’ Bar.
REPORTING FOR IRELAND — INTERVIEW WITH TONY CONNELLY
RTE Europe Editor Tony Connelly is having a good Brexit. His market-moving stories and tweets have not just informed the political debate, but also made the political weather. As May heads to Dublin — the home of RTE — this evening, Playbook spoke to Connelly about sourcing, Irish politics and growing up on the border.
The Irish mouthpiece? Connelly’s notoriety on the Brexit scoop circuit was cemented when he broke the news on December 4, 2016 that the U.K. had accepted the principle of Northern Ireland remaining aligned to the rules of the single market and customs union just as Theresa May’s confidence and supply partners, the Democratic Unionist Party, were heading in for a briefing on the deal with Chief Whip Julian Smith. DUP leader Arlene Foster subsequently staged an intervention during a lunch between Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May to seal the joint report, forcing May to humiliatingly pull the deal that day. Connelly is keen to dispel the “assumption that the Irish government are leaking stuff to me because I am the Irish correspondent in Brussels.” He says: “The main stories I have broken have not been from Irish officials at all, they are too smart to do that because this is such a sensitive issue for the Irish diplomatic service and Irish government. Some of the bigger stories I have managed to break have come from elsewhere.” He adds: “The Irish government were absolutely a million miles away from telling me stuff that was in the [joint] report.”
Dublin dynamics: To understand where Brexit might go next, commentators should look at Ireland’s own political landscape.”The one thing is that there is universal support pretty much for the backstop in the Irish political setting,” Connelly points out. “Fianna Fáil [Varadkar’s own confidence and supply partners] have found it hard to land any punches on Brexit because they are trying to act in the national interest, and they see Brexit as a real threat to Ireland’s national interests,” he says. “If [the opposition is] critical of the Irish government it is more about no deal planning, there has been some criticism that … Ireland should have done more to work with London on managing the whole backstop issue, but I think for Leo Varadkar to retreat on the backstop would be politically extremely perilous for him, that would be pretty well understood in Dublin.”
Have the Irish made any missteps? Connelly says “time will tell” if the Irish government has miscalculated. “It could end up being that this all falls apart and there is a no deal because of the Irish border, so questions then will be asked about whether the Irish government did the right thing.” But he adds: “If they didn’t raise the issue of the backstop and the Irish border in the withdrawal negotiations, then it would have been a bit of a hostage to fortune in the trade negotiations.”
What will happen next? “You would have to say that no deal is just bad no matter what people say in the Brexiteer land, no deal can’t be a good thing for anybody. So if you base your hopes on the fact that people are rational economic actors then they will try and fix this at the last minute, or get an extension. I think an extension is looking more and more likely, but it is really hard to call.”
United Ireland more likely? “On paper it is looking more feasible than it did before the Brexit referendum because the issue had kind of been, not settled as such, but parked because of the Good Friday Agreement … the trouble is the Irish government are terrified of having to digest a united Ireland referendum right this minute with everything else going on … and of course Sinn Féin are pushing for that very thing to happen for their own reasons.”
Getting personal: Connelly himself grew up on the border. He was born in County Antrim, but moved to Derry aged six. “It is one of these stories where I am having to approach it from all sorts of angles like from the political angle to the technical, legal, EU, single market, customs union, all that paraphernalia … but then you have the very human personal issue in Northern Ireland and along the Irish border and I grew up in Derry and I grew up during the Troubles, and so I am kind of personally invested in the story in terms of knowing it intimately and understanding why it is such an issue in Ireland along the border in places like Derry and so on.”
Visiting Dublin: Connelly’s top tip for those visiting Dublin is a dip in the famous Dun Laoghaire Forty-Foot open-sea bathing area made famous by James Joyce in Ulysses. “It is bracing and sets you up for a few pints afterwards. I am not sure if that is Theresa May’s thing, but that is what I would recommend.”
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Today Program: Crossbench peer Bob Kerslake (6.50 a.m.) … Health Secretary Matt Hancock (7.50 a.m.) … Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (8.10 a.m.) … European Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová (8.30 a.m.).
All Out Politics (Sky News): Lars Karlsson, former director of customs in Sweden (9 a.m.) … Chris Hazzard, Sinn Fein Brexit spokesperson (9.10 a.m.) … Jonathan Haslam, former Downing Street communications director for John Major and Rachel Shabi, journalist and author (9.15 a.m.) … David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation … Emma Barr, head of communications for the Centre for Policy Studies, and previously worked on Women2Win … Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour MP for South Shields and shadow education minister (9.30 a.m.) … Philippe Lamberts, Belgian MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Brexit steering group (9.45 a.m.) … Chris Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South (10 a.m.) … Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove (10.10 a.m.) … Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007 … John Bruton, former Irish PM … Katy Hayward, political sociologist at Queen’s University Belfast (10.30 a.m.) … Keir Giles, senior consulting fellow, Russia and Eurasia program at Chatham House (10.45 a.m.).
Politics Live (BBC2, 12.15 p.m.): The Spectator’s Katy Balls … Economist and journalist Liam Halligan … Author and campaigner David Graeber and columnist Rachel Johnson.
Nick Ferrari at Breakfast (LBC Radio): Former Met Police Commissioner John Stevens 7.05 a.m.) … Andrew Sentance, former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (7.40 a.m.) … Carol Black, newly appointed independent reviewer of drugs (7.50 a.m.) … Health Secretary Matt Hancock (8.20 a.m.) … Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation (8.25 a.m.) … Doug Putman, owner of HMV (8.50 a.m.)
Any Questions? (BBC Radio 4, 8 p.m.): Shaun Ley will be in the chair in West Church in Bangor, Northern Ireland. On the panel: Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard, Tory Minister Tobias Ellwood, DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly, and Labour MP Alison McGovern.
Reviewing the papers tonight: (BBC, 10.45 p.m. and 11.30 p.m.): The Telegraph’s Claire Cohen and the Daily Mirror’s Jason Beattie … Sky News (10.30 p.m. & 11.30 p.m.): FTI Consulting’s Alex Deane and Demos Director Polly Mackenzie.
TODAY’S FRONT PAGES
(Click on the publication’s name to see its front page.)
City AM: “Fools’ gold.”
Daily Express: May gives Tusk hell.
Daily Mail: Fury over sneaky £6,000 death tax.
Daily Mirror (not online): Too cruel.
The Financial Times: Plans hatched in secret to revive economy after a no-deal Brexit.
HuffPost U.K.: Brexit wish-list.
i: Corbyn faces Labour revolt over Brexit offer to PM.
Metro: They’re off!
The Daily Telegraph: Instagram boss: duty of care can save lives.
The Guardian: Instagram to ban graphic images of self-harm.
The Independent: Corbyn sparks Labour civil war over referendum.
The Sun (not online): Butcher held over missing Libby.
The Times: Weakest growth in a decade.
TODAY’S NEWS MAGS
The Economist: Crude awakening.
THANK POD IT’S FRIDAY
EU Confidential: Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins and senior investigator Christiaan Triebert explain what open source investigation is, and how they use it to get to the bottom of modern mysteries, including tracking down the Skripal poisoning suspect and identifying the people and weapons that took down the MH17 flight over Ukraine.
Political Thinking: The BBC’s Nick Robinson is joined by Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth.
Politics: Where Next? Gary Gibbon speaks to former aide to Gordon Brown Gavin Kelly and Tory pollster Andrew Cooper about which party owns our future. On podcast apps and YouTube by 6 p.m. today.
Commons People: The HuffPost team is joined by Brexit expert and Director of U.K. In A Changing Europe Anand Menon.
Women with Balls: Katy Balls speaks to Labour MP Jess Phillips about going viral with a speech about olives.
The Political Party: Matt Forde’s latest podcast with former Prime Minister Tony Blair is due out at 11 a.m. today.
BEYOND THE M25
SURVIVOR: The Daily Telegraph speaks to Kellyanne Conway, the only remaining non-family member left in the White House from the original characters around President Donald Trump.
PRESSURE: Patrick Daly reports on how Labour activists plan to pressure Grimsby MP Melanie Onn to vote to delay Brexit and avoid no deal. She defied Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s orders and abstained on amendments that would have delayed Britain’s exit from the EU and given the U.K. more time to negotiate a deal. “The anti-Brexit campaigners have announced plans to set up a phone bank to coordinate ringing Great Grimsby Constituency Labour Party (CLP) members and encourage them to support an emergency motion compelling Ms. Onn to reverse her stance on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union,” Daly writes.
YOUR WEEKEND IN POLITICS
SUNDAY SHOWS: Chief Secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss, Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth and CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn will be on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday show. Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and American film director Spike Lee will be on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
On the BBC’s Radio 4 Westminster Hour on Sunday night at 10 p.m.: Former Science Minister Sam Gyimah, Labour’s Liverpool MP Dan Carden, Crossbench peer and former chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority Ruth Deech and the FT’s Sebastian Payne.
Westminster weather: 🌨 🌨🌨 Damp and drizzly day. Highs of 10C.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD: To baby Teo Michael Elia, who finally arrived Thursday morning. A son to POLITICO’s U.K. Editor Kate Day and her husband Ilicco.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD: Baby Teo Michael Elia who finally arrived yesterday morning. A son to U.K. POLITICO editor Kate Day and husband Ilicco.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND: A new exhibition telling the life story of the former South African leader Nelson Mandela. Video clips, photographs, letters and other objects are on display at the Leake Street Gallery in Waterloo, just across the river from Westminster, until June 3. More details here and the Guardian has a nice write-up here.
SPOTTED: At last night’s POLITICO London Playbook end-of-dry-January drinks party, where guests enjoyed fine wines, gins and whiskies at the British Academy on Carlton House Terrace courtesy of the Wine And Spirit Trade Association, were …. Theresa May’s deputy chief of staff JoJo Penn … BBC Radio 4 presenter Carolyn Quinn … Sadiq Khan aide Sarah Brown … The Mail on Sunday’s Political Editor Glen Owen … John McDonnell spinner Andy Whittaker … The IEA’s Kate Andrews … Deliveroo’s Peter Dominiczak … The PM’s official spokesman James Slack … Labour party spinner Sophie Nazemi … No.10 officials Sheridan Westlake, Kirsty Buchanan, Jimmy McLoughlin and Dylan Sharpe … The Times’ Political Editor Francis Elliott … Irish embassy officials Nicole Mannion and Fionnuala Callanan … Hanbury Strategy boss Paul Stephenson … The London Stock Exchange’s Ramesh Chhabra …
(and breathe and) … Sky News’ Political Correspondent Kate McCann … London City Airport’s Liam McKay … Boris spinner Lee Cain … NHS England head of comms James Lyons … The Daily Mail’s Deputy Political Editor John Stevens … Comedian and columnist Ayesha Hazarika … Keir Starmer aide Ben Nunn … Downing Street logistics guru Richard “Tricky” Jackson … The Adam Smith Institute’s Sophie Jarvis … The Center for Policy Studies’ Nick King … Penny Mordaunt SpAds Lynn Davidson and Laura Round … The Sun’s Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn … Open Europe’s Henry Newman … The FT’s Sebastian Payne … inHouse Comms’ Katie Perrior and Jo Tanner … Jeremy Hunt SpAd Tim Smith … LinkedIn’s James Upsher …
(And then there was) … The U.S. embassy’s Michael Martins … The Daily Mail’s Claire Ellicott … Former No. 10 spinners Mo Hussein and Matthew O’Toole … Mail on Sunday’s Harry Cole and Dan Hodges … Ernst & Young’s Andrew Pilgrim … The Spectator’s Katy Balls … Michael Gove SpAd Josh Grimstone … Finsbury’s Scott Colvin … James Brokenshire SpAd Peter Cardwell … Uber’s Karen Renshaw … the Sydney Morning Herald’s Latika Bourke … Former SpAds Claire MacAleese and Aline Nassif … and many more.
Many congrats: To the hardcore folks who made it on to the Admiralty afterwards, and stayed until last orders. And to the very hardcore who ended up in Players until chucking-out time in the early hours of this morning … well, you know who you are. Top work.
MORE SPOTTED: At the Onward think tank organized event at No. 11 Downing Street yesterday Chancellor Philip Hammond told tech entrepreneurs that tech businesses should have a “social license to practice.” Among those in attendance were Onward Director Will Tanner … Chancellor Philip Hammond … Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Chairman Damian Collins … Tory MP Neil O’Brien … No. 10 Jimmy McLoughlin, founder of Moo.com Richard Moross … Founder of Ovo Energy Stephen Fitzpatrick … Founder of Oxford Space Systems Mike Lawton … U.K. Managing Director of Stripe Iain McDougall … Nick Jenkins, founder of Moonpig and Dragon on Dragons Den … and many more.
Lobby move: The Press Association’s Jennifer McKiernan has moved from the wire’s press gallery team to join its lobby team.
Happy retirement: Frances Gibb, the Times’ legal editor who was snapped filing her last story minutes before she finished.
Happy Birthday to: Luke Coppen, editor, the Catholic Herald … Ruth Hall, governor, Public Policy Institute for Wales … Sarah Montague, presenter, World at One, BBC Radio 4 … Jonathan Stephens, permanent secretary, Northern Ireland Office … Bath MP Wera Hobhouse … Crossbench peer Baroness Elspeth Howe …Lady Justice of Appeal Victoria Sharp.
And celebrating over the weekend: Alex Allan, former principal private secretary to the chancellor of the Exchequer and to the prime minister … Paul Flynn,Labour MP for Newport West, David Ramsden, deputy governor (markets and banking), Bank of England … Keeley Hawes, fictional Home Secretary … Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of Lastminute.com … Crosby Textor’s Peter Dominiczak.
PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: Playbook’s Jack Blanchard, our editor Zoya Sheftalovich, and our producer Jeanette Minns.
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