Mr. Sunak’s plans are expected to add to his personal approval ratings
Rishi Sunak will launch a law and order blitz this week amid surging Tory hopes he can lead the party to election victory. Tough action to punish yobs who terrorize neighborhoods is at the heart of a crackdown that will see vandals in jumpsuits forced to wash police cars and clean up graffiti.
A further announcement of measures to stop migrants being housed in hotels is strongly expected. Ministers are understood to want to use out-of-service ferries.
The latest crime-fighting measures will be seen as a pitch to voters in “Red Wall” seats.
Traditionally held by Labour, their swing to the Conservatives in 2019 secured a landslide victory for Boris Johnson.
And Mr. Sunak’s plans are expected to add to his personal approval ratings.
They have soared since he unveiled a salvo of controversial policies, including the toughest measures yet to stop small boats crossing the Channel.
The Prime Minister said: “For too long, people have put up with the scourge of antisocial behavior in their neighbourhoods.
“These are not minor crimes. They disrupt people’s daily lives, hold businesses back and erode the sense of safety and community that brings people together.
“That’s why I’m bringing forward a new plan to crack down on this behavior once and for all – so that everyone can feel proud of where they live.”
The move comes after a watershed week for the Tory leader, one that has seen his fortunes transformed.
As his predecessor Mr Johnson faced tough questions over No10 parties, for which he could even face a by-election, Mr Sunak oversaw a vote rubber-stamping his new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland.
And full-blooded support for the former prime minister appears to be falling within the party.
Even some of his staunchest allies suggest prospects of a comeback are slim.
An autumn 2024 election is now firmly on the horizon and senior Tories believe that if it is seen as a straight fight between Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer and Mr Sunak the Conservatives may hold on to power.
Supporters of the PM say a new mood of optimism has swept the party and they are confident there is “no prospect of a leadership change” between now and the next national vote.
Conservative deputy chairman Nickie Aiken said: “There is still a long time before the next general election but I absolutely think we have turned the corner.
“As a parliamentary party we are definitely working as one team now.”
A diminished Mr Johnson would grant Mr Sunak more freedom to forge his own leadership without fear of in-fighting.
Mr. Johnson was grilled by the privileges committee last week
And a former Cabinet minister and sharp critic of Mr. Johnson argued that a chapter of chaos is ending.
They said: “The tail of the beast is still twitching but the beast is basically slain.”
Mr Sunak last week faced down opposition from three former leaders – Mr Johnson, Liz Truss and Sir Iain Duncan Smith – when he won Parliament’s backing for a key pillar of his deal with the EU intended to resolve problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Defense committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said the Brexiteer rebellion was the “last throw of the dice for a wing of the party that must come to terms with the fact we are now pursuing a different strategic relationship with our continental partners”.
And a Tory peer said: “Boris put his neck on the line. He said early ‘I’m going to vote against’ which was almost a clarion call to others to join him – and they took the decision not to.”
Mr Johnson was last week grilled by the privileges committee that is investigating whether he committed a “contempt” of Parliament in his statements about lockdown-era parties.
A source close to the 58-year-old MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip insisted the former Conservative leader had dealt with the questions well.
They said: “Boris has had a good week; thought it went very well in the room; he got all his key points across.
“The evidence shows he did not knowingly or recklessly mislead Parliament and he is confident the committee will find that. He is in great spirits and will continue to campaign on the big issues that matter to him like Brexit, Ukraine and leveling up.”
And other high-profile Tories have warned allies of Mr Sunak against turning their backs on Mr Johnson.
A former senior minister said: “Gloating when they are trying to throw a former leader and prime minister of our party under a bus – a man who was basically king of the Red Wall and got us an 80-seat majority – is very naive and very premature and reinforces the fact that Rishi and his team are not very politically smart.”
A senior grassroots Tory activist warned that if the party hierarchy abandoned Mr Johnson then the potential of a new “Boris party becomes credible”.
They said: “Rishi and CCHQ should be aware of the consequences of forcing Boris out. He is a hell of a big beast to have outside the tent. He is the election winner, not the Tory brand.”
But Mr. Sunak’s confidence as a leader can only be strengthened by new opinion polls.
A survey by Techne shows that Sir Keir’s lead when it comes to who would make the best prime minister is rapidly narrowing – falling from nine points in January to just three points last week.
And a study by Omnisis found although Labor had a 15-point poll lead, 37 percent said Mr Sunak would make the best PM – with just 34 percent naming Sir Keir.
Former work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb said: “There is no question Rishi’s effectiveness and style of being Prime Minister is cutting through.
“It’s taken a few months for him to set his tone and for people to see what he’s all about and they get it – they absolutely get it.”
Urging Mr Johnson to use his campaigning skills to support Mr Sunak, he added: “Be the team player, be a loud, noisy
visible presence but a loyal one – backing the party, backing Rishi.”
PM’s crime crackdowns
Yobs terrorizing communities will be dressed in jumpsuits and forced to wash police cars under Rishi Sunak’s plans for “immediate justice”.
The Prime Minister, who is set to unveil the proposals on Monday, also wants neighborhoods to get a say in the punishments given out to louts.
The long-awaited move will see those guilty of daubing graffiti on walls “cleaning up their crimes” within 48 hours of receiving an order.
Offenders will wear jumpsuits or hi-vis jackets, similar to those in hit BBC comedy The Outlaws.
The plans will be pioneered in 10 “trailblazer” areas before being rolled out next year.
They will involve teams of offenders being “rapidly deployed” to “restore and repair” local areas.
The Government wants to “restore people’s right to feel safe” by giving the police and councils new tools to combat anti-social behaviour.
Mr Sunak’s action plan is intended to give people confidence crimes will be “quickly and visibly punished”.
It is in addition to the “community payback” scheme under which more serious criminals are also put to work cleaning up public spaces.
Community leaders, police and crime commissioners and councils will have a say to ensure the work delivers the “biggest impact”.
Whirlwind Kemi smashes trade barriers so UK firms can cash in
Tory high-flyer Kemi Badenoch has revealed that in her first 200 days as Business and Trade Secretary her team has knocked down trade barriers worth more than £2.2billion to homegrown firms over the next five years.
She is said to have unlocked the equivalent of more than £11 million a day of “new opportunities” for British businesses since taking office in September.
The former leadership contender, 43, has made it her top priority to scrap “bureaucracy, red tape and bans” which prevent British suppliers from selling abroad.
Her department’s “targeted approach” has removed a ban on sending luxury goods including “toys, diamonds and color TVs” to Nepal while ensuring that “bacon, ham and pork sausages” can now go to South Korea.
Pet food can now be exported to Chile and UK firms can invest in renewable energy projects in the Philippines.
Further milestones include lifting the ban on British beef and lamb in Japan, securing approval for pork exports to Taiwan and agreeing a new certification system with China to allow the export of “cruelty-free cosmetics” for the first time.
Ms Badenoch said: “I have made it a priority to knock down barriers holding back British businesses that prevent them from selling more of their goods and services around the world, thus creating new jobs and paying higher wages.”
Havant-based Vegeco Ltd, a specialist vegan pet food firm, welcomed the chance to sell to Chile. Director Darrell de Vries said: “Vegeco is continuously looking for new ground. It’s not an easy path if no one has walked it before, so knowing that barriers to access Chile are being removed is half the battle won.”
Hancock in Korea ‘sting’
Matt Hancock requested a £10,000-a-day fee when contacted by a fake company, a newspaper claims.
The former health secretary was one of a number of MPs contacted by the anti-Brexit group Led By Donkeys.
They posed as a South Korean firm seeking members for its international advisory board, to help clients navigate politics and legislation in the UK and Europe, a newspaper says.
No arrangements were finalized in any of the cases and no rules were broken by the MPs.
A spokesperson for Mr Hancock said: “The accusation appears to be that Matt acted entirely properly and within the rules. It’s absurd to bring Mr. Hancock into this story through the illegal publication of a private conversation.”
Harry Kane was hailed in a video call from Rishi Sunak
Congratulations… from No.10 to No.9
An excited Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to Harry Kane to congratulate him on becoming England’s highest goalscorer, writes Tony Whitfield.
The striker netted his 54th goal in the opening qualifier for Euro 2024 against Italy last week.
In a video call on Saturday, the Tottenham star told the PM that he now had the Premier League all-time goalscoring record in his sights.
Mr Sunak offered “massive congratulations… for what you have achieved. You’re a phenomenal captain, a phenomenal role model, and the entire country is very proud of you and lucky to have you.”
Kane said: “It hasn’t truly sunk in yet… but it was a special night. I love playing for my country so much, I want to represent it in the best way.”
The record Premier League goalscorer is Alan Shearer with 260 goals. Kane is on 204, and said: “It’s something I want to achieve.”
A Downing Street source said: “Batting with the England cricket team on Wednesday followed by a call with Harry Kane on Saturday, the PM has felt very lucky to meet such sporting greats.”