Cameron 1) Moves fast to ‘lance the boil’ of Europe

CAMERON EU fence“A referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU could be held sooner than expected. David Cameron has promised to give voters their say in an in/out vote by the end of 2017 after renegotiating looser ties with Brussels. Last night, the Prime Minister announced that the renegotiation is already under way – with phone calls made over the weekend to key EU figures. Mr Cameron has publicly been cool on the idea of a dramatic acceleration of the referendum timetable.” – Daily Mail


  • The Government faces guerrilla warfare in the Lords – Matt Ridley, The Times (£)
  • The Prime Minister will discover ‘shy Tories’ all across Europe – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • What this victory means for Europe – Wolfgang Münchau, Financial Times
  • A strong line on Europe can keep the Tories in Number 10 – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)

Cameron 2) Aims to make one third of Cabinet female

“David Cameron will promote a string of powerful women to his first all-Tory Cabinet today. Seeking to shake off his party’s ‘pale, male and stale’ image, the Prime Minister will honour a long-standing pledge for at least a third of his top team to be female. Four women expected to step up are rising Treasury star Priti Patel, Thatcherite Andrea Leadsom, combative ex-TV presenter Anna Soubry and former banker Amber Rudd. Their rapid rise reflects a significant transformation of the Conservative Party, which now has 64 female MPs compared with 48 before the election.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Cameron’s first-rate start to his reshuffle

Cameron 3) No plans for second Scottish referendum

scotland-2“David Cameron tonight slapped down claims there could be a second vote on Scottish independence in the wake of last week’s dramatic SNP election victory north of the border. The Prime Minister, interviewed while walking through Hyde Park after attending VE Day celebrations today, said he was ‘very confident’ he would not be the last leader of a united Britain, adding: ‘There isn’t going to be another referendum’. Mr Cameron also revealed that he had already started renegotiating Britain’s relationship with Brussels. Mr Cameron’s remarks came after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon insisted the party was not ‘changing its tune’ on Scottish independence after her predecessor Alex Salmond said the landslide general election victory had brought independence closer.” – Daily Mail


  • Manipulative Nationalist bullies must be faced down – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)
  • Is the SNP a roaring lion, or a one-trick pony? – Peter McKay, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Davis on the next five years

Cameron 4) Braced for battle over boundary reform

“David Cameron is to press ahead with moves to axe dozens of MPs despite warnings that it will set him on a collision course with his backbenchers. The prime minister will attempt to redraw parliamentary boundaries to equalise constituency sizes in a reform that some estimate could hand the Tories more than 40 new seats at the next election. It was reported at the weekend that he was considering scrapping a pledge to reduce the number of MPs in the next parliament from 650 to 600. Ditching the pledge would remove a potential source of friction between Mr Cameron and Tory MPs worried that their constituencies could disappear. Downing Street insisted last night that Mr Cameron was determined to implement changes even though they could become a flashpoint with his party.” – The Times (£)

New Osborne budget expected soon

“George Osborne returns to the Treasury on Monday with colleagues predicting that he will deliver his second Budget of 2015 “relatively soon” to mark a distinctive new phase of his chancellorship. With the Liberal Democrats ejected from 1 Horse Guards Road, Mr Osborne now has the chance to deliver his first truly Conservative Budget, as well as an opportunity to make big cuts in an autumn public spending review. Mr Osborne’s aides said no decision had yet been taken on a second Budget this year — his last one was in March — but Eric Pickles, his cabinet colleague, told the BBC: “I would anticipate a Budget relatively soon.”” – Financial Times

Gove to proceed with plan to scrap Human Rights Act

ARREST WARRANT European“Michael Gove, the new justice secretary, is to press ahead with plans to scrap the human rights act which could see Britain pull out of the European convention on human rights (ECHR) if the reforms are rejected by Strasbourg. Conservative party sources said that Gove, who was promoted to the post even though he has previously voiced his support for capital punishment, will implement human rights reforms that had been blocked in the coalition by the Liberal Democrats. The scrapping of the human rights act, a pledge included in the Tory manifesto, is one of the measures to be included in the prime minister’s plans for the first 100 days, when the Queen’s speech is delivered on 27 May.” – The Guardian

May revives ‘Snoopers’ Charter’

“Online campaigners have already begun fighting Conservative plans to push ahead with the introduction of sweeping new surveillance powers in what has been dubbed the “Snoopers’ Charter”. The law, officially known as the Draft Communications Data Bill, is expected to force British internet service providers to keep huge amounts of data on their customers, and to make that information available to the government and security services. It was thrown out after Nick Clegg withdrew his and the Lib Dems’ support in 2014, but is already back on the agenda according to Theresa May, whose comments shortly after the Tory election victory made clear she will push for its revival. Online social platform Reddit, known for championing internet freedoms, has taken a predictably dim view.” – The Independent

Boost to Tories as North East is growing faster than the South

OSBORNE of the north“North East has become the fastest growing region as the economic recovery spreads across the country. In a boost to David Cameron and George Osborne following the Tories’ election victory, figures published today show private business is booming across England and Wales. After the North East, the regions showing the strongest growth are London, the South East and the West Midlands, analysis by Lloyds shows. The survey also reveals that job creation is highest in the East while hiring is picking up in the North East, the North West and Wales. The findings will be welcomed in Downing Street as the Conservative government seeks to cement the economic recovery across the UK.” – Daily Mail

Backbenchers move against defence cuts and fixed-term parliaments

“David Cameron has been warned by Tory backbenchers that they can block key legislation if he does not accept their demands for defence spending to sharply rise. Conservatives want the Prime Minister to make defence the “highest priority” in the next parliament and have threatened to rebel against any proposed cuts. Tory MPs will also attempt to force their leader to bring forward a referendum on Britain’s European Union membership and scrap legislation requiring fixed-term parliaments. It comes with Mr Cameron due to meet face-to-face with Tory backbenchers for the first time since the election on Monday at a gathering of the influential 1922 Committee.” – Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore: This shock election represents a triumph of quiet conservatism

charlesmoore“Many of us in the past five years have criticised the Tories for not paying enough attention to this problem. They were too keen to be green – and pink – at a time when the main issues seemed starkly black and white. Mr Cameron put a wind turbine on his roof, when the challenge of the young generation was to find a roof at all. To this day, neither Mr Cameron nor George Osborne looks wholly at ease in safety helmets and hi-vis jackets. But the fact that both men have been wearing almost nothing else in the past three years or so does show that they noticed they were in trouble. That stuff about “hard‑working families” and being “the party of working people” can sound a bit forced, but it does represent a genuine shift from that early “let sunshine win the day” talk, which sent any decent conservative‑minded person into a fit of depression.” – Daily Telegraph


Jarvis rules himself out of Labour leadership race…

“Dan Jarvis, the former paratrooper tipped to replace Ed Miliband, today rules himself out of the race and launches a devastating critique of the former Labour leader. Supporters of Mr Jarvis, a former major who served in Afghanistan, believed he was best placed to reconnect the party with its voters and present a new face and fresh start after its crushing defeat. However, in an article in The Times he says that it is “not the right time for my family” following the death of his wife, Caroline, from cancer in 2011. “My eldest kids had a very tough time when they lost their mum and I don’t want them to lose their dad. I need some space for them, my wife and our youngest child right now, and I wouldn’t have it as leader of the opposition.” His decision – taken yesterday – will be a blow to Labour figures convinced that Mr Jarvis, who became an MP four years ago, offered the party its best chance of a successful comeback in 2020.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour failed to earn the support of the people – Dan Jarvis, The Times (£)

…as Umunna and Kendall attacked for moving swiftly

Umunna on Marr“Labour’s leadership race turned serious yesterday morning – after front-runner Chuka Umunna wheeled out his new girlfriend in public for the first time as he set out his stall to replace Ed Miliband. The shadow business secretary was pictured walking hand-in-hand with his glamorous lawyer partner Alice Sullivan ahead of his interview on the BBC’s flagship Andrew Marr show. Mr Umunna used the interview to criticise Labour’s drift to the left and admitted he was considering a bid become leader. His intervention came after Labour’s leadership battle descended into open warfare after Mr Umunna and the other leadership contenders were accused of ‘behaving like family members taking jewellery off a corpse’ by openly criticising Mr Miliband so soon after the election defeat.” – Daily Mail


  • A scan of the runners and riders reveals poor form, or no form at all – Matthew Norman, The Independent

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: The arrogance of Chuka Umunna

Mandelson sticks the knife into Miliband

“Speaking slowly, choosing each word carefully, the Prince of Darkness proceeded to insert a dagger between each of Miliband’s ribs, every prick a damning reminder of how wasted the past five years had been. Attacking business had been “completely useless”, cosying up to the unions “incredibly unhealthy”. A strategy of “waving our fists at the nasty Tories and waiting for the public to say how much they miss us” was not enough. This was, he added, a setback that has left Labour in the sort of trouble they last faced in the late 1980s. He was even more damning on Radio 5 Live later. Asked by John Pienaar what was missing from the Labour campaign, Mandelson replied: “Well, an economic policy. That was a big hole in the middle of the Polo mint.”” – The Times (£)


  • I think Labour lost because we weren’t good enough – Simon Danczuk MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Will Boris give Red Ed a job on the busses? – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: The Blair way back? Labour’s big tent is being pulled apart

Tim Montgomerie: Where does the left go when there is no money?

LABOUR dead rose“Peter Mandelson had been simmering for five years and yesterday he boiled over. After paying the obligatory tribute to the outgoing Labour leader’s energy, the architect of Tony Blair’s electoral triumphs had not chosen to appear on Andrew Marr’s show to praise Milibandism but to bury it. Why on earth, he asked, had Mr Miliband discarded the New Labour recipe when the party’s most successful ever philosophy simply needed revitalising? He was more caustic on Radio 5 Live. John Pienaar asked him what was missing from the Miliband offering. His reply: “An economic policy.” By which he meant any message for the aspirational classes or any answer to the question of how Britain creates wealth, rather than just how a Labour government would spend it. I wonder, however, if even Lord Mandelson grasps the scale of the challenges facing not just the left in Britain but across the world.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour should blame Keynes for this defeat – Niall Ferguson, Financial Times

Lib Dems 1) Lamb urged to contest leadership

“Norman Lamb, the former health minister, is being urged to run for the Liberal Democrat leadership to ensure a contest rather than a coronation. The party plans a rapid process to replace Nick Clegg, who resigned after the Lib Dems lost 49 of their 57 Commons seats in the general election. Nominations will open this week, with the winner announced in mid-July. Tim Farron, a former party president and a critic of the coalition, is widely seen as the frontrunner thanks to his popularity with the grassroots. He is expected to put his name forward this week. Mr Lamb, a former employment lawyer on the centrist wing of the party, said on Twitter that he would decide by today what to do.” – The Times (£)

Lib Dems 2) Clegg should spend five years on the back benches as punishment, say opponents

Curse of Clegg 2“Nick Clegg must “repay” his party for taking them into government by doing “the donkey work of being a good constituency MP” for the next five years, furious Liberal Democrats have said. Amid rumours that Mr Clegg is considering stepping down as an MP after leading the party to electoral wipeout, Lib Dems have told The Telegraph he must serve as a backbencher to atone for his disastrous decision to form a coalition. It comes as the strategist credited with turning the Lib Dems into a party of government criticised Mr Clegg for repeating the “mistakes” of previous campaigns. Lord Rennard, the Lib Dem peer, said there was “real anger” the party had lost so many MPs after talking about forming coalitions rather than its vision for the country before the vote.” – Daily Telegraph

Carswell claims UKIP will supersede Labour in the North

“Ukip is well placed to take over from Labour as the natural party of the north, its only MP has said. Douglas Carswell, who has ruled himself out of running for the party leadership and backed bookmakers’ favourite Nigel Farage to make a comeback later this year, claimed that disappointment and anger at Labour in Scotland was spreading south. “Ukip’s future lies in replacing a corporatist Labour Party,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme. “It is significant we came second in 120 seats, many of those seats in the north of England. “The disaffection people in Scotland clearly feel towards Labour doesn’t stop at the border. It continues into the old Labour heartland.”” – The Independent


  • Sorry Nigel, our voting system is tough but it is fair – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Greens lose Brighton Council despite Lucas’ victory

green20party (1)“The Greens have lost control of their only council despite returning Caroline Lucas to Westminster. In local election results announced yesterday, Labour grabbed control of Brighton & Hove council after five years of Green rule. Ms Lucas, Brighton’s popular Green MP, was re-elected with an impressive 10.5 per cent swing in her favour, mostly from disaffected Lib Dems. But that wasn’t enough to save her council which was reduced to a rump of 11 seats, down from 23 in 2011, after coming an embarrassing third in the poll behind the Conservatives.” – The Independent

Galloway tries to overturn landslide defeat in Bradford West

“George Galloway has said he is starting a legal challenge after being cast out by voters in last week’s general election. The former MP was defeated by Labour’s Naz Shah who secured a majority of more than 11,000 in the Bradford West constituency following a bitter campaign. Last night, Mr Galloway said on Twitter: “We’ve begun legal proceedings seeking to have result of the Bfd West election set aside. I cannot therefor discuss my own election for now.” A spokesman for the Respect Party candidate said the legal action was at an early stage but was a complaint under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983. This relates to candidates making false statements during campaigns.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • MoD pays £334,000 in compensation to cyclists injured on military bases – Daily Mail
  • Brussels says Britain must take tens of thousands of Mediterranean migrants – The Times (£)
  • More violent protests planned – Daily Telegraph
  • Banks plot to shift repo trading from London – Financial Times
  • BBC wins the crowds on election night – The Guardian

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