The National:

THE UK Parliament has entered a period of recess and with that a load of stories the Tories will be keen for everyone to avoid.

It’s been a busy few weeks for Rishi Sunak, not least because of the speeding fine drama caused by Suella Braverman and former PM Boris Johnson being referred to the police over further allegations about his behaviour in lockdown.

Amid all the big drama, it seems there are a few stories that came out in the lead-up to recess the Tories were keen for us all to miss.

The Jouker has rounded them all up here for you. 

Civil war over Boris Johnson

The former PM was referred to police by the Cabinet Office over new potential lockdown breaches this week.

The National:

As if that wasn’t enough, leaked WhatsApp messages laid bare the scale of turmoil engulfing the Tories.

Panicking MPs warned the party could turn into a “skip fire” and, rather dramatically, “die”.

No 10 was even forced to deny Johnson is a victim of a politically motivated stich-up. It’s all a bit of a mess.

Reversing Tory policy would help Scots

The Tories certainly wouldn’t have wanted to hear Humza Yousaf’s announcement from earlier in the week.

Speaking during a lengthy session, with the Conveners Group on Wednesday morning, Yousaf said Scottish Government analysis showed that moves such as reinstating the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, reversing the two-child limit and other Tory policies would have a huge impact on poverty levels in Scotland.

He said it could lift as many as 10,000 children out of poverty – not that that’s something the Tories would want to hear.

Retained EU law bill

The Tories will probably be glad to not see much of each other during the recess, never mind the opposition.

As is the norm these days, Tory MP and GB News presenter Jacob Rees-Mogg (below) hit out at his own party yesterday for showing a lack of “backbone” and questioned whether it wanted to remain aligned with the EU.

The National: Jacob Rees-Mogg

It really does beg the question why Rees-Mogg even bothers with his own party at times given he seems to go against most of what they stand for. 

It comes as MPs debated the House of Lords amendments to the Retained EU Law Bill, the first chance for MPs to scrutinise it since the Government abandoned its pledge to remove EU laws from the statute book by the end of 2023.

Alister Jack

Let’s face it, there are times the UK Government probably wishes everyone would stop talking about the Scottish Secretary.

But last week he was accused of making a “sleazy backroom deal” to delay his peerage after he said he would not be accepting his nomination by Boris Johnson while still an MP.

However, this led the SNP to accuse Jack of making a “deal” with Sunak. The PM does have the option of overruling the appointments commission when it comes to honours but doing so could potentially mean yet more drama for him.

New asylum backlog record

Despite his pledge to “bust” the asylum backlog, Home Office statistics revealed more than 170,000 people were waiting for an initial decision.

Even immigration minister Robert Jenrick couldn’t get everything right as he told the Commons it was “not correct” that processing claims faster would reduce arrivals and that “in all likelihood, it’ll lead to an increase”.

This was countered by the PM’s official spokesperson who said: “What we are focusing on is reducing the numbers, tackling the backlog is the right approach.”

The Tories' stance on immigration is certainly a baffling one, as Theo Paphitis discovered on Question Time last night

Rishi’s ‘astonishing betrayal’

The Daily Mirror reports that Rishi Sunak has been accused of an “astonishing betrayal” after scrapping a flagship animal welfare programme.

The Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto promised to introduce new laws on animal welfare, specifically banning exports of livestock for slaughter and tackling puppy smuggling.

The Kept Animals Bill cleared its first hurdle in 2021 but on Thursday, environment minister Mark Spencer announced it has been scrapped.

The RSPCA said that “while politicians dither, animals suffer” and accused the PM of an “astonishing betrayal”.