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Referendum 1) Anti-EU Tory donors commit millions in response to Cameron’s taxpayer-funded campaign

ConHome EU shirt Cameron‘Major Tory donors are preparing to fund a grassroots campaign to leave the European Union following David Cameron’s decision to spend millions of pounds on a pro-EU leaflet, the Telegraph can disclose. Members of the Midlands Industrial Council, a group of businessmen which have bankrolled the Conservative party for 20 years, are planning to donate between £4million and £5million to the anti-EU campaign over the next 10 weeks. It will be seen as an attempt to redress the balance following the Government’s controversial decision to spend £9.3million of taxpayers’ money in order to send a pro-EU leaflet to every home in Britain.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Labour supporters join eurosceptics in sending back the pro-EU leaflet – The Sun (£)
  • The leaflet uses a Brexit supporter’s photo without permission – Daily Mail
  • Leave campaigners have their work cut out – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Open Europe argues Britain will still need high immigration – The Sun (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: The Rewards of Leave 2) Lower prices

>Yesterday: Dominic Raab on Comment: The Rewards of Leave 1) More jobs

Referendum 2) IMF claims the possibility of Brexit is slowing the economy

‘The IMF blamed uncertainty over the EU referendum for its decision to cut its projection for UK growth this year from 2.2 per cent to 1.9 per cent — more pessimistic than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s 2 per cent forecast at the budget. The downgrade was the second largest after Japan among advanced economies, though the UK is still expected to grow faster than all leading nations except the US and Spain. Britain’s weaker outlook paled against the bigger picture.’ – The Times (£)

  • In fact it warned almost all economies, not just us – The Times Leader (£)
  • The IMF’s past record suggests they’re clueless – Daily Mail Leader
  • Lamont: they were wrong then, and they’re wrong now – The Sun (£)
  • Leave campaigners closely scrutinise big banks’ lobbying spending – Politico
  • Business lobby groups to back Cameron – FT

Referendum 3) Hannan: The real risk would be staying in the EU

HANNAN Dan Krieg square blue background‘What we face is a choice between two futures, both of which we can sketch with some confidence. One future involves being part of the continuing political amalgamation of the EU, a process that has been rumbling along since 1956, but in which we will cede control over the larger questions of foreign affairs, economics, security, human rights and citizenship to Brussels institutions. The other involves a new relationship based on a common market, not a common government. A vote to leave will result in a trade-only deal with the EU.’ – Daniel Hannan, Daily Mail

  • Economic crisis drives rise in migration from Southern Europe – Daily Mail
  • Kamall displays his, er, dislike of a fellow MEP – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn seeks to explain his EU about-turn – The Times (£)
  • David Miliband shows why the pro-EU campaign is struggling to excite anyone – Politics.co.uk

Crabb pledges to continue with Universal Credit

‘The new secretary of state for work and pensions has pledged to continue the work of Iain Duncan Smith in overhauling the welfare system with the universal credit scheme. In his first speech in charge of welfare and pension policy, Stephen Crabb said yesterday: “Universal credit is a very human reform. It’s putting people at the very heart of the welfare system for the first time . . . It has the potential to be the most important public sector change project for decades.” Universal credit was the flagship reform of Mr Duncan Smith, who quit his post last month.’ – The Times (£)

  • He hails his mother as a role model – The Sun (£)
  • And takes aim at the disability jobs gap – FT

MPs are unhappy about calls for them to publish their tax documents

Commons‘MPs do not want to publish their tax returns because it could cause problems for those going through a divorce or with a complicated family life, the Telegraph understands. Senior Conservatives have warned that making politicians publish their tax returns could put some off standing for parliament and force others to quit because of the impact on their personal relationships. One senior backbench MP told the Telegraph: “You would have to look at some of the implications for family life and I’m thinking of people with step-families or people who might have been involved in complex divorces.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

If Corbyn can’t get his tax return right, how could he run the country?

‘The Labour leader admitted figures were wrong and that he had failed to register outside income on time… His spokesman claimed the final figure declared was actually £150 too high. But it then emerged Mr Corbyn, 66, had left off thousands of pounds of pension income…Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “Bungling Jeremy Corbyn’s accounts must be a total shambles. If he can’t even get his tax return correct, how does he expect to run the nation’s finances?”’ – The Sun (£)

  • Cameron pays more tax than Corbyn – isn’t this what Labour wanted? – Daily Mail Leader
  • His humbug and populist rubbish are appalling – Philip Jonhston, Daily Telegraph
  • The Left should stop bleating that everything’s unfair – The Sun Says (£)
  • Local Labour branch threatens members with suspension for rolling their eyes – The Sun (£)
  • The Opposition needs to learn to love aspiration – Seb Payne, FT

Behr: Labour’s problem is voters prefer competence to compassion

Labour holes‘No one voted for David Cameron under the illusion that he was poor. The Eton schooling, the swanky pad in west London, the distant cousinage to the Queen – none of it was a secret, although there was a coy period, before he became prime minister, when he declined black-tie invitations and banned champagne flutes from Tory conference. He needn’t have bothered. Poshness was part of the package…The prime minister’s wealth can now be calibrated to more decimal places, but the numbers are not as damaging as his more excitable critics wish they would be.’ – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The Panama row won’t have changed people’s minds about Cameron

Tata sets deadline for steel sale

‘The day of reckoning for the British steel industry has been set for May 28, with Tata Steel planning to close down its UK arm if it is unable to negotiate a viable sale by that date, according to people familiar with the situation…Ministers at the time urged the company to give four to six weeks to try to find a buyer for the business, which includes a vast steelworks at Port Talbot in south Wales. The new deadline, which could slip into mid-June as a “goodwill gesture”, represents a more generous grace period of about 11 weeks.’ – FT

>Today: Douglas Hansen-Luke on Comment: Tata Steel. Neither closure nor nationalisation make sense. Here’s a strategic alternative.

Russia starts delivering long-range missiles to Iran

Putin hunting‘Russia has begun delivering S-300 long-range, surface-to-air missile systems to Iran, in a deal that is strongly opposed by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy prime minister who oversees the Russian defence industry, confirmed that the shipments were under way. “They pay, we deliver,” he told a Moscow radio station.’ – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Whittingdale dated woman whom he didn’t know worked as an escort – BBC News
  • Lost Caravaggio found in attic – The Times (£)
  • Graduates from rich backgrounds earn more than their peers – Daily Mail
  • NAHT fears for the future of village schools – The Guardian
  • Corbyn: The Musical arrives – Daily Telegraph
  • Miniature space craft to be blasted to another star system – The Times (£)
  • MP apologises to Hardman over ‘totty’ comment – Daily Mail
  • How much longer must we put up with antiquated restrictions on the free press? – The Sun Says (£)

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