Monday briefing: It's Armistice Day ... but parties step up the fight

Photograph: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Hello and welcome to your Monday morning round-up of the day’s news. As we start the first full week of the election campaign, the party leaders are heading out on the trail with plenty of promises. You can follow our live coverage of the day’s politics here.

What’s going on?

It’s Armistice Day and the parties are using the anniversary to roll out announcements about proposals to help military personnel and their families.

The Conservatives have proposed more thorough childcare for service families, a railcard for veterans and policies to assist veterans get jobs after leaving the service.

Labour has said it will improve pay and conditions for serving military staff by scrapping the public sector pay cap, which it argues has meant a real-term pay cut of 5.8% since 2010 for an army private. Their other commitments include improving service housing; a Police Federation-style representative body for personnel; an end to other privatisation within the military; and improved access to schools for children of force members.

Labour MP Keith Vaz, who was facing suspension from the House of Commons for six months after he was found to have offered to buy cocaine for sex workers, has announced he will not be standing for re-election. Vaz, who has spent 32 years as the member of parliament for Leicester East, made the announcement on Sunday evening. Jeremy Corbyn praised Vaz, saying he was part of a pioneering group of black and Asian Labour MPs elected in 1987, and had “helped to pave the way for more BAME people to become involved in politics”.

Sajid Javid has attacked Labour’s spending plans, saying the price tag of the party’s proposals could cost as much as £1.2tn over five years. The Conservatives are keen to portray Corbyn’s party as reckless when it comes to public spending, and published a 36-page document setting out their claim. Labour has dismissed the dossier as “an absolute work of fiction”, as the two parties clashed again over their plans for the economy. Richard Partington, the Guardian’s economics correspondent, has analysed their costing document.

At a glance

  • Labour activists are urging Jeremy Corbyn to incorporate the radical pro-migration policy passed at the party’s conference into its manifesto this week as the Tories prepare to weaponise the issue in the election battle.

  • Two years after the Grime4Corbyn movement launched with the aim of connecting energised fans with the Labour leader’s politics, several of the genre’s big names have called into question its effectiveness, with one grime manager saying the artists felt “used” by the Labour campaign.

  • The Guardian has launched its election poll tracker, which shows results from all the main polling firms, but also comes with strong warnings about the reliability of polls in light of the last election’s shock result. Here’s a guide to what polls mean – and what they don’t.

  • Days after stepping down as Speaker, John Bercow gave an interview to the Observer in which he declined to reveal who he would vote for in the upcoming election, but said he did not think the Tories had a lock on the result, and didn’t think the election would sort out the question of Brexit. “We’re still going to be talking about this in five years, and possibly in 15 years,” he said.

The day ahead

  • Boris Johnson will be visiting veterans today, on the anniversary of the end of the first world war.

  • The Brexit party chairman Richard Tice and leader Nigel Farage will launch their campaign in Hartlepool.

  • Senior Labour figures are expected to meet today to thrash out the details of the party’s immigration policy, but a final decision will not be made until next weekend.

Best of the rest

> A leaked Cabinet Office report says that almost half of rape victims – or about 20,000 women – drop out of investigations because they don’t want to pursue a prosecution even when a suspect has been identified.

> Sydney faces an unprecedented “catastrophic” fire risk tomorrow as bushfires raging across Australia’s eastern seaboard threaten parts of the country’s biggest city amid soaring temperatures and high winds.

Australian bushfires

> Spain’s socialist party has won the country’s fourth general election in as many years but the country once again emerged without a clear winner. The rightwing Vox party doubled its tally of seats to become the third largest group in parliament.

Today in Focus podcast: Meeting George Soros

Shaun Walker has spent years covering Russia and eastern Europe and watched how the billionaire philanthropist George Soros has become a figure of hate among populists and the far right. Our correspondent recently interviewed the financier and tells the podcast what happened. Plus: Lea Ypi on the millions of people who do not have a vote in the UK election.

Lunchtime read: Eva Longoria on Time’s Up, Trump and ‘Texicans’

Eva Longoria, the actor best known for her winning turn in Desperate Housewives, has switched to the other side of the camera to become the first Latina to direct a major Hollywood studio movie. She tells Emine Saner about her decision to “consciously hire” women or people of colour for her new productions, the Time’s Up movement and why she’s more American than Trump.


Pep Guardiola said referees’ chief Mike Riley should explain the latest controversy involving VAR as Manchester City fell nine points behind Liverpool in the title race with a 3-1 defeat at Anfield. Dominic Thiem beat Roger Federer in their opening game at the ATP finals in London while Novak Djokovic defeated Matteo Berrettini. Phil Neville refused to lay any blame on his players after defeat against Germany ensured a fifth loss in seven games for the Lionesses and pressure continued to mount on the manager. Hannah Cockcroft claimed a fifth consecutive T34 100m title with a stunning world-record time of 16.79sec at the World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai.

Under-fire Saracens are preparing for more ire from opposing crowds after their reception from Gloucester’s Shed at the weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly left Allianz Stadium before the final whistle of Juventus’s 1-0 Serie A win over Milan after being substituted for the second time in a week. And Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters did not play in Friday’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles after experiencing what reports claimed was a “panic attack” on the team plane after taking a THC-infused edible.


The Chinese industrial group Jingye could seal the purchase of British Steel in the coming days after staff were told that an exchange of contracts was imminent. The deal could save 4,000 jobs, mostly in Scunthorpe. On the markets, shares in Asia ticked lower amid concern about the worsening security situation in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng index shed more than 1% today. The FTSE100 is set to drop slightly at the opening today while the pound will buy you $1.279 and €1.161.

The papers

The Mail and the Telegraph both lead with a promise by Boris Johnson to change the law to prevent trials of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland. The former says “The end of veterans’ witch-hunt” and the latter goes with “Tories to end ‘unfair’ trials of Troubles veterans”. Like those two papers, the Guardian front page has a picture of the Queen at the Cenotaph yesterday but it leads with an exclusive headlined: “Nearly half of rape victims decline to go ahead with prosecutions”. The Times follows suit with the Queen picture but leads with “Parties clash over claim Corbyn will spend £1trn”. The Express is also on election footing, splashing with “Boris boost as economy bounces back”, as is the Mirror with a plug for a Labour policy: “£845m for the forgotten children”.

The FT says “Lagarde’s ECB team pushes for bigger say on decisions” and the Sun has a story about twin boys born weighing less than 1lb. “My mini miracles”, it says.

Sign up

The Guardian morning briefing is delivered to thousands of inboxes bright and early every weekday. If you are not already receiving it by email, you can sign up here.

For more news: