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Westlake Legal Group > Dominic Raab MP

Javid keeps the gold but Johnson and Rees-Mogg fail to medal in our Cabinet League Table

Westlake Legal Group Cabinet-League-Table-Sep-19-1024x956 Javid keeps the gold but Johnson and Rees-Mogg fail to medal in our Cabinet League Table ToryDiary Thérèse Coffey MP Theresa Villiers MP Steve Barclay MP Sajid Javid MP Robert Jenrick MP Robert Buckland MP Rishi Sunak MP Priti Patel MP Paul Davies AM Oliver Dowden MP Nicky Morgan MP Natalie Evans (Baroness) Michael Gove MP Matthew Hancock MP Mark Spencer MP Liz Truss MP Kwasi Kwarteng MP Julian Smith MP James Cleverly MP Jake Berry MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP Grant Shapps MP Geoffrey Cox MP Gavin Williamson MP Esther McVey MP Elizabeth Truss MP Dominic Raab MP ConservativeHome Members' Panel Brandon Lewis MP Boris Johnson MP Ben Wallace MP Andrea Leadsom MP Alun Cairns MP Alok Sharma MP Alister Jack MP

Another month in and once again the Johnson Ministry appears to be holding fairly steady in the affections of grassroots activists.

There has been a slight downward drift, illustrated by the top scores no longer breaking the plus-80 barrier, but there are no ministers with negative scores and compared to the tail end of Theresa May’s time in office these are healthy scores.

Yet is it the calm before the storm? We are now only a month away from the October 31 Brexit deadline, which the Prime Minister insists he’s going to meet but nobody can really see how he can. Our next survey will be conducted as he runs into that tempest – it will be interesting to see what affect it has.

A few details:

  • Javid gold again… The Chancellor has seen his score slip a little but, as that is in line with the overall trend, he remains the most popular member of the Government amongst party members for the third month in a row.
  • …as Johnson slips… Last month the Prime Minister was ranked second by our panellists and just a couple of points shy of Javid. This month he slips to sixth after losing more than 12 points. Is this simply a response to various stories this month, or a foretaste of a backlash next month?
  • …and Rees-Mogg stumbles. It’s been an even worse month for the Leader of the House, who has fallen from a bronze-medal position last month to 11th place now after a fall of almost 15 points.
  • …but Brexiteers benefit. The beneficiaries of the above moves are principally Michael Gove, Geoffrey Cox, Dominic Raab, and Stephen Barclay. It is not until Liz Truss, in tenth position, that we find a Remainer.
  • Two departures. It’s goodbye to Amber Rudd and Jo Johnson, who both resigned from the Cabinet this month, and hello to Thérèse Coffey, who takes over from Rudd at Work & Pensions. Johnson’s successor, Chris Skidmore, is not attending Cabinet.
  • Wallace rebounds. Last month we asked what might have caused the Defence Secretary to suddenly slump to near the bottom of the table. Whatever it was, it’s passed – he’s now just below Rees-Mogg after gaining 20 points.

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Andrew Gimson’s Conference sketch: The Foreign Secretary trumped by Rees-Mogg the Tory Democrat

Westlake Legal Group L1040961 Andrew Gimson’s Conference sketch: The Foreign Secretary trumped by Rees-Mogg the Tory Democrat ToryDiary Tory Democracy Sir Keir Starmer MP Shakespeare Michael Heseltine Michael Gove MP Lord Randolph Churchill Liberal Democrats Jeremy Corbyn MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP Hong Kong Dominic Raab MP Conservative Party Conference Benjamin Disraeli

 

 

Dominic Raab entered to a brief and polite standing ovation. But could he, in his first conference speech as Foreign Secretary, change the torpid Sunday afternoon atmosphere in the hall?

Successful conference oratory does not work by politeness. It relies on being wonderfully rude, monumentally impertinent, about your opponents. Michael Heseltine is the greatest modern exponent of the style.

Raab looked around for someone to be rude about. He remarked that “we Brits” are warmly welcomed almost everywhere.

“OK, maybe not in Luxembourg.” That went down quite well. He followed it up: “I think the British people have had more than enough of EU leaders disrespecting British Prime Ministers.”

Applause. Brexit is the way to stir this audience. The Foreign Secretary veered, however, into high-mindedness, and said that in future, “our foreign policy should be guided by a clear moral compass”.

This may be true, but it did not make any hearts beat faster. He turned for a moment to attack a more powerful opponent: “We won’t look the other way, when the people of Hong Kong are beaten indiscriminately on commuter trains for exercising the right to peaceful protest.”

That too was well received. It was not, however, followed by any further jibes at the regime in Beijing.

Raab decided he would rather maintain the ancient tradition of makes jibes at the expense of the Labour Party: “There are some things even bigger than Brexit, and keeping that lot out of Downing Street is one of them.”

Applause. “And as for the Liberal Democrats,” he went on. “Neither liberal nor democratic,” the lady sitting behind me remarked. Raab said, “no one ever accused the Liberal Democrats of consistency, but when it comes to offences under the Trade Description Act, they’re guilty as charged.”

Not in the Heseltine class, but he is treading in an as yet too gingerly manner in the right direction.

Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, spoke with the exaggerated vigour which is required in this hall, where the sound seeps away through black curtains.

But he said nothing very memorable, and the star of the show was Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House, greeted with whoops and cheers, for here at last was someone the poor bloody infantry knew would raise their spirits.

Rees-Mogg observed that “there seems to be some enthusiasm”, and suggested more of his constituents from North East Somerset must have turned up than expected.

He gave us Disraeli, Lord Randolph Churchill, Gulliver’s Travels, Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, and a picture of Jeremy Corbyn all the more damning because it was charitable: “I do not believe him to be a bad man, but he is a weak man.”

And behind Corbyn stands Sir Keir Starmer, “poised, Brutus-like, three feet back, stiletto in hand, awaiting the moment to strike”.

Here at last was the theatre of politics, based on an original script by William Shakespeare, with additional material by John Dryden, for Rees-Mogg, well into his stride by now, flung one of that poet’s most celebrated couplets at Starmer:

In friendship false, implacable in hate,
Resolved to ruin or to rule the state.

The hall loved this. Like Disraeli, and the present Prime Minister, Rees-Mogg is an exponent of Tory Democracy, that alliance between the ruling class and the working class which makes Gladstonian prigs, and their descendants, choke with moral indignation.

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WATCH: “History would never forgive you” – Raab’s warning to Remainer MPs if they make Corbyn PM

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WATCH: Would you prorogue again? “Let’s wait and see…the lie of the land”, Raab tells Marr

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WATCH: ‘It was their choice – they did it knowing what the implications would be’ – Raab on the deselections

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Javid, Johnson, and Rees-Mogg hold their podium slots in our Cabinet League Table

Westlake Legal Group Cabinet-League-Table-Aug-19-1024x954 Javid, Johnson, and Rees-Mogg hold their podium slots in our Cabinet League Table ToryDiary Theresa Villiers MP Steve Barclay MP Sajid Javid MP Robert Jenrick MP Robert Buckland MP Rishi Sunak MP Priti Patel MP Paul Davies AM Oliver Dowden MP Nicky Morgan MP Natalie Evans (Baroness) Michael Gove MP Matthew Hancock MP Mark Spencer MP Kwasi Kwarteng MP Julian Smith MP Jo Johnson MP James Cleverly MP Jake Berry MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP Grant Shapps MP Geoffrey Cox MP Gavin Williamson MP Esther McVey MP Elizabeth Truss MP Dominic Raab MP ConservativeHome Members' Panel Brandon Lewis MP Boris Johnson MP Ben Wallace MP Andrea Leadsom MP Amber Rudd MP Alun Cairns MP Alok Sharma MP Alister Jack MP   Last month we published our first Cabinet League Table of the Johnson Ministry. It offered a sea-change from Theresa May’s embattled government, both in terms of composition and the estimation in which party members held it.

One month on and the general picture hasn’t really changed. If anything, over August there was a general upward drift in the scores, reflecting what many commentators – including our own Mark Wallace – thought was a very strong start in the role.

It goes without saying that the data for this was collected prior to the return of the Commons and the Government’s miserable week therein. We might therefore anticipate a quite different set of results in October.

Here are a few of the details:

  • Post-Ruth politics. Our survey was front-page news in Scotland last month when it showed the Scottish Conservative leader, so often one of the most highly-rated individuals, down to a positive score of just +14. Perhaps it was an omen of things to come, because Ruth Davidson has since stepped aside, triggering a battle for the future of the Party in Scotland.
  • Javid tops the poll again. The Chancellor puts on four points to take his score into the mid-Eighties. This suggests that activists are either untroubled by the Government’s decision to move away from spending restraint, which Sajid Javid is by necessity spearheading, or are at least not holding it against him.
  • Johnson and Rees-Mogg fill out the podium. No change in the ordering of any of the top three, and both the Prime Minister and Leader of the House have put on about five points to their score.
  • Gove climbs… The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is climbing the ranks. But will his ongoing defence of May’s deal, and reports that he is leading the charge against Johnson’s disciplining of anti-No Deal rebels, put a dent in his score next month?
  • …as does Cleverly. Of course small changes in position may not be terribly significant, but the Party Chairman is nonetheless one of the most popular politicians in the survey. If this continues it can’t hurt his chances of being offered a Cabinet brief in a future reshuffle.
  • What happened to Wallace? In a survey which generally saw very little movement – save for two outright departures – there are a couple of obvious exceptions. Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, has seen his score drop by over ten points and now languishes near the bottom of the table.
  • Williamson wins members over. The other is the Education Secretary, who has seen his stock rise from +27 to +45 and gone from being close to the bottom of the table to comfortably in the middle.

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David Snoxell: The Government should seize opportunity to negotiate a Chagos settlement

David Snoxell is Co-ordinator of the Chagos Islands (BIOT) All-Party Parliamentary Group.

The Chagos Archipelago of 54 islands was excised from Mauritius in 1965, before independence, and its inhabitants deported to Mauritius and Seychelles between 1968-73 to make way for a US base on the largest island, Diego Garcia.

This complicated saga has reached a critical stage following the referral by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2017 of the issues of decolonisation and resettlement to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an Advisory Opinion, which was delivered on 25 February.

The Court decided that the UK was in unlawful occupation of the Islands and must as rapidly as possible hand back the Territory to Mauritius and cooperate in facilitating the resettlement of Chagossians of Mauritian origin.

Boris Johnson’s new government will need the recess before it is ready to review policy on Chagos in the light of the ICJ Opinion and two crushing defeats in UNGA. Until now the UK has rejected the Courts findings and the UN’s endorsement of them. The Government is faced with two short deadlines – Brexit on 31 October, and ‘Chexit’ on 22 November.

As the Prime Minister has amply demonstrated it cannot be assumed that he will continue with the same policies as the previous government. Clearly Brexit will entirely dominate the political agenda, but this does not mean that progress cannot be made in other areas by the Foreign Office (FCO).

Indeed, with the limelight fixed on Brexit there is an opportunity for quiet diplomacy behind the scenes. The Government should seize this opportunity to win back international support at a time when the UK most needs it.

After two decades of the UK avoiding an agreement with Mauritius on the future of Chagos and the Chagossians, commentators have assumed the new government will carry on like its predecessor, in denial of the facts and realities of Chagos which the international community fully appreciates.

There is, however, a reasonable chance that the new government will accept that it cannot continue to ignore the Advisory Opinion and the demand of an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly in its resolution of 22 May that the UK must implement the Opinion within a six-month deadline, i.e. by 22 November.

The departure of Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, and Sir Alan Duncan as a Foreign Office Minister of State, is an opportunity to ease the tensions with Mauritius and enable a constructive dialogue to take the place of the UK’s hitherto rather defensive and confrontational approach.

I believe Mauritius would act positively towards a genuine desire on the part of the UK Government to reach a resolution of the issues. I expect FCO officials and lawyers would welcome this opportunity to set aside dubious legal arguments advanced by the FCO, move forward, and enter into diplomatic discussions.

The three main players on the British side are Johnson, Dominic Raab and Lord Ahmad, the FCO Minister of State, who remains in place and was sympathetic to both the Chagossians and Mauritius.

The Prime Minister was involved with Chagos as Foreign Secretary 2016-18, and is said to have told the then Mauritian Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, at the UN in September 2016, that if Mauritius held off tabling a resolution at UNGA he would “fix” Chagos. There was no fix, and in June 2017 Mauritius lost patience and tabled its draft resolution,which it had first considered in 2004 and postponed pending diplomatic discussion.

It is quite possible that the new PM will see the damage that the policy of the previous government has done to the UK’s reputation for upholding international law and human rights and decide that it is just not worth continuing to oppose the ICJ and the UNGA any longer.

The appointment of Dominic Raab as Foreign Secretary could also make a difference. Raab is an international lawyer who from 200O-06 was an FCO legal adviser, dealing inter alia with prosecution of war criminals and maritime law. This is helpful background for understanding the many aspects of international law which affect Chagos and the Chagossians that previous governments have glossed over and ignored. His appointment should encourage FCO Legal Advisers to take a much stronger line on the need to uphold international law and respect the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law by implementing the ICJ Advisory Opinion and the UNGA resolution.

Although ICJ Opinions and General Assembly resolutions are technically non-binding, international law is. The ICJ found that the excision of Chagos from Mauritius was unlawful in international law.

On 17 July the Chagos Islands (BIOT) All-Party Parliamentary Group, which has members from seven political parties and now in its 11th year, held its 75th meeting and issued a statement which was aimed primarily at the next Government. Members welcomed UN Resolution 73/295 endorsing the ICJ Advisory Opinion, which the General Assembly adopted by 116 in favour, 6 against and 56 abstentions.

Recalling its statement of 21 December 2018 urging the Government to seek a resolution of the issues concerning the future of BIOT and of the Chagos Islanders the Group reaffirmed its wish to help bring about agreement between all parties on a way forward, in the light of the UNGA resolution setting a six months deadline. The Group noted that the General Assembly was guided by the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, including the inalienable right of self-determination of peoples, and the obligations arising from other instruments and rules of international law.

The Group urged the next British Government to respect the will of the United Nations, the ICJ Opinion, and the requirements of international law which from the signature of the United Nations Charter in 1945 remains the keystone of the UK’s foreign policy and commitment to international order based on the rule of law.

The APPG felt that these matters should now be addressed urgently in diplomatic discussions between the UK and Mauritius so that an outline agreement on the implementation of the resolution can be put before the General Assembly at it 74th session beginning on 17 September. To that end the Group recommended that the new government appoints an independent special envoy to negotiate an agreement.

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Javid pips Johnson and Rees-Mogg to the top of the podium in our first Cabinet League Table of the new Government

Westlake Legal Group Cabinet-League-Table-Jul-19-1024x955 Javid pips Johnson and Rees-Mogg to the top of the podium in our first Cabinet League Table of the new Government ToryDiary Theresa Villiers MP The Cabinet Steve Barclay MP Sajid Javid MP Ruth Davidson MSP Robert Jenrick MP Robert Buckland MP Rishi Sunak MP Priti Patel MP Paul Davies AM Oliver Dowden MP Nicky Morgan MP Natalie Evans (Baroness) Michael Gove MP Matthew Hancock MP Mark Spencer MP Kwasi Kwarteng MP Julian Smith MP Jo Johnson MP James Cleverly MP Jake Berry MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP Highlights Grant Shapps MP Geoffrey Cox MP Gavin Williamson MP Esther McVey MP Elizabeth Truss MP Dominic Raab MP ConservativeHome Members' Panel Brandon Lewis MP Boris Johnson MP Ben Wallace MP Andrea Leadsom MP Amber Rudd MP Alun Cairns MP Alok Sharma MP Alister Jack MP

When Mark predicted last month that it would be the last Cabinet League Table with that line-up, he was more right than he might have expected. Boris Johnson ushered in the new era with one of the more brutal reshuffles in modern political history.

A glance at last month’s table illustrates how the clean break has certainly restored the Cabinet’s standing in the eyes of the grassroots: every single member has a positive rating, nearly all of which would have put them comfortably in the top ten during the ancien régime.

But how much of that is due to unfamiliarity? This isn’t usually something we scrutinise, but no fewer than 16 of the politicians above-listed had ‘Don’t Know’ as their highest single response, with a couple more avoiding that fate by a bare handful of votes. A blow to the egos of a few, perhaps, but it does also mean that those ministers still have plenty of scope to make a positive impression.

Here are a few of the other takeaways:

  • Javid leads the pack. The Chancellor holds onto the position he took last month, and continues to enjoy the dividends of a good leadership election. Remarkable to think that two months ago this spot was held by Penny Mordaunt, now on the backbenches.
  • Johnson in his prime. Theresa May departed our table with a score of -61.2 (that’s lower than Chris Grayling), so Boris Johnson’s +77.2 is a happy contrast. However, he ought to recall that at one point his predecessor recorded record-breaking positive scores too. Fail to deliver and his standing will fall, fast.
  • Rees-Mogg makes the podium. Perhaps unsurprising, but the titular star of our Moggcast is a hit with the membership. Leader of the House is a good position for retaining their favour too, as Andrea Leadsom discovered, as it offers numerous opportunities for scoring points off John Bercow.
  • Brexiteers on top. Also unsurprisingly, Leave-backing MPs dominate the top of the table – it isn’t until Liz Truss, in seventh place, that we find a minister who backed Remain in 2016. Amber Rudd, one of the surprise survivals of the reshuffle, is at the bottom of the table. Except…
  • Davidson in the doldrums. The Scottish Conservative leader has previously been relatively shielded from the ups and downs of the Cabinet, often chalking up podium positions as she focused her fire on the SNP. She is currently the lowest-ranked politician in the entire table, most likely fallout from her highly-publicised split with the Prime Minister and hostility to No Deal.
  • Survivor spread. Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be a particular position pattern for those ministers who did appear in our previous table (apart from the generally improved scores). Truss, Michael Gove, and Steve Barclay are at the upper end of the table, Rudd and Brandon Lewis near the bottom.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Javid pips Johnson and Rees-Mogg to the top of the podium in our first Cabinet League Table of the new Government

Westlake Legal Group Cabinet-League-Table-Jul-19-1024x955 Javid pips Johnson and Rees-Mogg to the top of the podium in our first Cabinet League Table of the new Government ToryDiary Theresa Villiers MP The Cabinet Steve Barclay MP Sajid Javid MP Ruth Davidson MSP Robert Jenrick MP Robert Buckland MP Rishi Sunak MP Priti Patel MP Paul Davies AM Oliver Dowden MP Nicky Morgan MP Natalie Evans (Baroness) Michael Gove MP Matthew Hancock MP Mark Spencer MP Kwasi Kwarteng MP Julian Smith MP Jo Johnson MP James Cleverly MP Jake Berry MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP Highlights Grant Shapps MP Geoffrey Cox MP Gavin Williamson MP Esther McVey MP Elizabeth Truss MP Dominic Raab MP ConservativeHome Members' Panel Brandon Lewis MP Boris Johnson MP Ben Wallace MP Andrea Leadsom MP Amber Rudd MP Alun Cairns MP Alok Sharma MP Alister Jack MP

When Mark predicted last month that it would be the last Cabinet League Table with that line-up, he was more right than he might have expected. Boris Johnson ushered in the new era with one of the more brutal reshuffles in modern political history.

A glance at last month’s table illustrates how the clean break has certainly restored the Cabinet’s standing in the eyes of the grassroots: every single member has a positive rating, nearly all of which would have put them comfortably in the top ten during the ancien régime.

But how much of that is due to unfamiliarity? This isn’t usually something we scrutinise, but no fewer than 16 of the politicians above-listed had ‘Don’t Know’ as their highest single response, with a couple more avoiding that fate by a bare handful of votes. A blow to the egos of a few, perhaps, but it does also mean that those ministers still have plenty of scope to make a positive impression.

Here are a few of the other takeaways:

  • Javid leads the pack. The Chancellor holds onto the position he took last month, and continues to enjoy the dividends of a good leadership election. Remarkable to think that two months ago this spot was held by Penny Mordaunt, now on the backbenches.
  • Johnson in his prime. Theresa May departed our table with a score of -61.2 (that’s lower than Chris Grayling), so Boris Johnson’s +77.2 is a happy contrast. However, he ought to recall that at one point his predecessor recorded record-breaking positive scores too. Fail to deliver and his standing will fall, fast.
  • Rees-Mogg makes the podium. Perhaps unsurprising, but the titular star of our Moggcast is a hit with the membership. Leader of the House is a good position for retaining their favour too, as Andrea Leadsom discovered, as it offers numerous opportunities for scoring points off John Bercow.
  • Brexiteers on top. Also unsurprisingly, Leave-backing MPs dominate the top of the table – it isn’t until Liz Truss, in seventh place, that we find a minister who backed Remain in 2016. Amber Rudd, one of the surprise survivals of the reshuffle, is at the bottom of the table. Except…
  • Davidson in the doldrums. The Scottish Conservative leader has previously been relatively shielded from the ups and downs of the Cabinet, often chalking up podium positions as she focused her fire on the SNP. She is currently the lowest-ranked politician in the entire table, most likely fallout from her highly-publicised split with the Prime Minister and hostility to No Deal.
  • Survivor spread. Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be a particular position pattern for those ministers who did appear in our previous table (apart from the generally improved scores). Truss, Michael Gove, and Steve Barclay are at the upper end of the table, Rudd and Brandon Lewis near the bottom.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com