The National:

THE latest edition of The Worst of Westminster is out now featuring a "cover up" from the Ministry of Defence and Conservatives turning against the Home Secretary.

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Suella De Vil?

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been in a spot of bother this week after several Conservatives accused her of being racist and undermining her party in order to further her leadership ambitions.

It came after Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi hit out at a number of remarks made by Braverman after it emerged the Home Secretary had criticised police for confiscating a series of golliwog dolls displayed in a pub.

One former senior minister in Boris Johnson’s government told The Guardian they believed Braverman was a “real racist bigot” and warned that the “Conservative reputation on discrimination has dropped to a new low” under Braverman’s watch.

READ MORE: Tory MSP Stephen Kerr links being trans to learning disabilities

She’s certainly not been short of controversial statements of late. Earlier this month she singled out British Pakistani men while speaking about grooming gangs, whom she said, “hold cultural attitudes completely incompatible with British values”, while last November she said the small boats crossing the Channel amounted to an “invasion” of migrants.

MoD lay low on Trident safety

THE Ministry of Defence was accused of a “cover up” this week for not releasing annual safety assessments of nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

Annual reports from the MoD’s internal watchdog, the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), were released for 10 years before stopping in 2017. An appeal to a UK tribunal to force the MoD to release the reports again was rejected in 2021.

The MoD is refusing to give reasons for its refusal to release the reports and rejected a freedom of information request by The Ferret asking for documents that explain why they are not revealing the assessments.

Former MoD employee Chris McEleny, who is now general secretary for the Alba Party, is urging the UK Government to “come clean”, insisting weapons on the Clyde have had their life extended “well beyond a safe level”.

See you in court

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said the UK Government will “robustly defend” its decision to stop Scotland’s gender legislation from becoming law after Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed the move will be challenged.

The National: Alister Jack has said he will stand by his Section 35 blockAlister Jack has said he will stand by his Section 35 block

Despite being passed by a majority of MSPs in December, a Section 35 order was issued to prevent the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from becoming law.

Responding to the move, Jack said: “The use of the power is entirely within the devolution settlement as set out from its inception, with cross party support.”

Holding out for a hero

Rishi Sunak would appear to be playing the long game in the hope of an unlikely Conservative victory at the next General Election, with the Prime Minister apparently set to call a vote in the autumn of 2024.

According to The Telegraph, October and November next year have been provisionally marked as potential dates.

The Tories are currently 18 points behind Labour on polling average trackers so Sunak looks to be giving himself as much time as he can muster to try and turn things around. The latest a General Election can be held is January 2025.

READ MORE: Philippa Whitford disputes claim that gender bill clashes with Equality Act

It doesn’t sound like it’s just Sunak who’s anxious either, given it has been reported the idea of calling an election earlier in 2024 has been firmly rejected by his team.


  • Three Tory MPs are subject to newly-launched investigations by the standards commissioner. Matt Hancock is being probed for allegedly putting pressure on Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Daniel Greenberg, as he considered a possible breach of the MPs code of conduct. Greeenberg is also investigating Scott Benton over his use of a parliamentary email address while Henry Smith’s use of publicly-funded stationary is also set to be probed.
  • Tory minister John Lamont is being sent to the USA this week to take part in Tartan Day celebrations amid an ongoing battle over the Scottish Government’s international activities. External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson is also attending the parade this weekend.
  • Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has also confirmed all meetings between SNP ministers and overseas governments must be organised through the UK Government and attended by its own officials. He told senior officials abroad to “confidently” represent “the strengths of the Union” amid fears that the Edinburgh government is successfully using trips abroad “to promote Scottish separatism”.