The Tory rebellion over the health and social care levy isn't dead just yet. Marcus Fysh has tabled an amendment tonight to the bill - all stages voted on in the Commons tomorrow - to exempt people from having to pay the new tax if they take out insurance for their social care.
Support for it is growing, with nine Tory MP signing it so far. A high bar for it to pass, as far from clear Labour would support it. But if they did, along with all 40 Tory MPs who defied the Government's 3 line whip last week (5 Nos, 35 abstentions) it would be very close.
The Tory MPs who have signed the amendment so far: Marcus Fysh, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Steve Baker, Sir Graham Brady, Craig MacKinlay, Anne Marie Morris, Lee Anderson, Richard Drax, Dehenna Davison. More on @TimesRadio tomorrow after 7am.

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More from @tnewtondunn

1 Sep
Raab at FAC: asked why he didn't do more to build a new coalition to replace the US in Afghanistan? A key question. Raab evades saying what personal efforts he made to insist it was never doable anyway. “Nobody was going to backfill the capacity that the US provided”.
Raab goes on to say Afghanistan has effectively been a failed mission for years. "At what point did we last have the military objectives identified and the exit strategy to achieve them?" Once it's realised it's a mission without end, the decision must be to pull out, he argues.
Tugendhat immediately hits back to ask: "What is the US’s exit strategy from South Korea?" Raab appears stumped: “I don’t know that”. But then insists the analogy is false.
Read 8 tweets
31 Aug
Dominic Raab appears before the Foreign Affairs Committee at 2pm tomorrow for a special session. Bitterly criticised for FCDO as well as personal failings, the bottom line is the Afghanistan debacle was on his watch so he will be fighting for his job. Here's what to expect (1)
Many of the questions MPs will put to Raab were put to Boris Johnson when Parliament was recalled, but still remain unanswered. They split into three parts. 1. The Past, and the almost total failure to prepare for the US pull out despite years of warning. Could the UK...(2)
...have stayed on by building a new alliance, and why wasn’t the hasty evacuation better planned? 2. The Present: what can be done now for the legitimate evacuees who didn’t make it out of Kabul? At least 1,000 are eligible under UK schemes but are still there. Many more...(3)
Read 10 tweets
18 Aug
Commons recall debate on Afghanistan: MPs will now sit for an extra 3 hours until 5pm today, as so many want to speak.
PM immediately bombarded with interventions. Asked by Tobias Ellwood whether he will agree to an independent inquiry into UK’s involvement in Afghanistan? Johnson signals no - “many of the questions have already been answered” - to heckles of anger from MPs on both sides.
Johnson says he spoke to UK ambassador in Kabul Laurie Bristow this morning: “The situation has stabilised since the weekend, but remains precarious. At the moment, the Taliban are allowing the evacuation to go ahead”.
Read 16 tweets
17 Aug
Boris Johnson's statement to a recalled Parliament tomorrow on Afghanistan is a very big moment. He has huge calls to make overnight to define UK foreign policy in light of Biden's 'America First' paradigm shift. I've talked to MPs. Here are 8 questions they want him to answer:
1. What historical perspective will the PM overlay on why the 20 year mission ended in catastrophe? There is bitter Cabinet disagreement. Ben Wallace’s sadness over the West failing Afghanistan, or Dominic Raab’s proposition that nation building was long doomed?
2. How does he account for the dramatic Western intelligence failure that didn't foresee the Afghan government collapse so quickly that he and his Foreign Secretary were caught short on holiday? The failing that created this week's pandemonium and international embarrassment.
Read 11 tweets
5 Jul
Some interesting other measures in the Govt's Step 4 policy document that the PM didn't announce: QR codes will continue in pubs / restaurants, and if you're pinged you will still have to isolate - but premises will no longer be forced to display them, just "encouraged" to. Image
There is also a big safety net. Rather than irreversible, the roadmap is actually very reversible. Govt quietly reserving the right to impose "economic and social restrictions at a local, regional or national level" if NHS capacity is threatened. Local authority powers also kept. Image
A further safety net also quietly being kept in reserve: domestic vaccine passports - 'certification' - will be imposed if the NHS comes under heavy pressure in the Autumn / Winter. Image
Read 4 tweets
5 Jul
No10 press conference, Big Bang reopening at Step 4 confirmed. A summary:
- Almost all legal restrictions will end, and guidance will be moved to advisory
- No limits on social contact, no capacity limits at venues, all remaining businesses can reopen, including nightclubs
- Government's domestic vaccine passports scheme not going ahead
- No legal requirement for covid certification to enter any mass events
- Businesses / venues / grounds can voluntarily adopt a vaccine passport regime, and use the NHS app
- 1 Metre Plus rule scrapped
- All legal regulations to wear face masks scrapped, replaced by general health guidance but not specific about any sectors
- businesses or transport provides can still insist on face masks as a condition of custom
- Limit of 5 named visitors to care homes lifted
Read 4 tweets

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