The Catch-up: Is there going to be a general election very soon?

What happened?

Boris Johnson has fuelled speculation of an imminent election as he said violent and sexual offenders could serve more of their sentences behind bars as part of a law and order crackdown.

Announcing an urgent review of sentencing policy, the prime minister said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments “truly fit the crime”.

The move follows a series of moves over the weekend in which Johnson promised to “come down hard” on crime.

What does this mean for an election?

A newly appointed Conservative leader pushing a populist “tough-on-crime” agenda is not to be unexpected. But today follows a number of reports that signal an election is on the cards.

In recent weeks, the Government has also announced a £1.8 billion cash injection for the NHS and £2.1 billion boost to no-deal Brexit preparations. Last week, it emerged the PM’s chief of staff had cancelled all leave for government advisers until 31 October - the day of Brexit.

Anything else?

There is mounting speculation that Labour will table a motion of no-confidence in the PM at the start of September when MPs return from holiday (Labour MPs have been told to cancel all travel early next month). If Mr Johnson loses the no-confidence vote, he (or anyone else) will have just 14 days to prove they can command a majority. If they can’t, an election is triggered.

Read more

Johnson’s sentencing plans are ‘pre-election hot air’ (PA)

Pound rebounds after hitting 10-year low on no-deal warning (Telegraph)

Is anyone really going to buy Boris Johnson's 'people vs. the politicians' election campaign? (The Conversation)

Labour MPs told to cancel September travel plans (Telegraph)

Will there be a general election? (HuffPost)

Boris Johnson’s criminal justice reforms have been branded a “monumental waste of money” and “a lot of hot air”. The prime minister has said he plans to free up more space in prisons and keep violent criminals, such as murderers and rapists, behind bars for longer. But his reforms have been criticised by penal reform charities and think tanks, described as "unevidenced electioneering" by one group. Do you believe that violent criminals should face longer jail sentences? Read the full story and have your say below:

Farage stands by comments about royals

Nigel Farage has defended comments he made about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s “irrelevant” environmental campaigns and decision to have a maximum of two children. The Brexit Party leader ripped into the royal couple and claimed Harry's popularity had “fallen off a cliff” after meeting Meghan. He also branded the late Queen Mother, who lived to 101, an “overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker”, apparently inspiring confidence that the Queen will live much longer. Read the full story here (Reuters)

Mother and son murdered runner over footpath dispute

A mother and son who murdered a runner over his use of a footpath that crossed their land have been jailed for life. Gary Dean's body was found in woods after he had been shot with an air rifle and beaten with rocks and branches. The 48-year-old was killed by Carol Dawson, 72, and Scott Dawson, 41, after regularly using land belonging to them for running and other activities. The Dawsons intended to dispose of Dean’s body by using a digger but were prevented from doing so when his remains were discovered by a walker, Sheffield Crown Court heard. Read the full story here (Evening Standard)

A woman in her 40s has been left with potentially life-changing injuries after being crushed between two cars during a possible 'road-rage incident'. Footage posted to social media showed the woman’s legs trapped between the vehicles near Hyde Park Corner in central London. Police said a 23-year-old driver had been Tasered following the collision on Sunday evening, with officers now investigating whether the car had been driven at the woman deliberately. (Yahoo News UK)

£4

That’s how much it costs drivers who want to park for 10 minutes while they drop off people at Stansted airport. Nearby Luton has upped it’s price from £3 to £4 but offer a 13-minute stay. The two airports also offer the joint-most expensive pick-up price – £8 for a 30-minute stay. The RAC said 18 of the 22 airports they looked at have introduced or raised drop-off fees and claimed motorists were "often left wincing" at the prices. Read the full story here (Sky News)