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May surge 1) Millions of 2015 Labour voters prefer her to Corbyn

Opinion Poll graphic‘More than two and a half million people who voted Labour in last year’s general election think that Theresa May would make a better prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn, according to a new poll. Mrs May’s Conservative government leads Labour by 12 points, the largest gap since her party returned to Downing Street six years ago, a YouGov survey for The Times found. It is a bigger lead than Gordon Brown achieved during his bounce after succeeding Tony Blair. Labour dropped to its lowest share of the vote since the eve of the election in 2010. The poll also found that Mrs May has started to attract some Ukip voters.’ – The Times (£)

  • 16-point lead increases the temptation of a snap election – The Sun (£)
  • Clegg calls for May to go to the country – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: May must act to save the nation’s savers

May surge 2) Thousands of new members join the Conservatives

‘Conservative HQ reckons that the national membership of about 150,000 has seen at least a 10 per cent uplift since the referendum. At first Andrew Kennedy, the agent for West Kent, was suspicious when his local associations reported a hundred applications a day. “Was this influx something organised by one of the left-wing pressure groups protesting about the EU vote? Or perhaps an exercise by jubilant Ukip supporters riding a post-referendum tidal wave and landing on our shore?” he asked on the ConservativeHome website. Mr Kennedy set himself the task of finding out. Far from being returning Ukippers, four fifths had never before joined any party, and a narrow majority voted to remain in the EU.’ – Francis Elliott, The Times (£)

  • Craig Oliver is writing a book about the referendum – The Guardian

Fox expects Article 50 to be triggered shortly after Christmas

FOX Liam launch‘Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, has said he expects the issue of Britain’s relations with the EU to be resolved by 2020, the date of the next election. He suggested the UK would not trigger article 50, which starts the clock on the UK’s negotiations to withdraw from the EU, until early in the new year, and said he did not expect the UK to join a customs union with the EU…He added that London would probably seek to enter a free-trade agreement with the EU, rather than a closer “customs union” that could restrict its ability to negotiate lower tariffs with other trading partners.’ – The Guardian

  • ‘The UK is open for business like never before’ – The Sun (£)
  • He plans three new trade offices in America – City AM
  • May and Kenny agree no hard border with Ireland – The Times (£)
  • Our red lines: no free movement, no single market and full sovereignty for UK law – The Sun Says (£)
  • US wants ‘basic details’ of Brexit to be determined before talks – The Times (£)
  • Scott Mann discusses Cornwall’s future outside the EU – The Times (£)
  • GSK, which backed Remain, invests £275 million in the UK – BBC News
  • Leaving the EU could produce better broadband – Daily Telegraph

>Today:

>Yesterday: MPsETC: May’s statement on the UK-Ireland relationship

British churches put on alert after ISIS murder priest in France

‘Police last night warned Britain’s Christians to be on alert amid fears they could be targeted by Islamic State jihadists. Security was increased at the country’s 47,000 churches after an 84-year-old priest was beheaded by Muslim fanatics in France. The killing in Normandy was the first known attack claimed by IS inside a church in the West after compiling a hitlist of places of Christian worship. Adel Kermiche, one of the two French teenagers killed by police after carrying out the morning slaughter – filmed on a mobile phone – told a friend two months ago: ‘I’m going to do a church.’’ – Daily Mail

  • Perpetrators included a known jihadist wearing a monitoring tag – Daily Mail
  • French Government fears ‘a war of religion’ – The Times (£)
  • That’s what these terrorists are hoping for – The Times Leader (£)
  • They’re pathetic murderers, not ‘soldiers’ – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • British security services warn an attack is ‘very likely’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Hollande is in trouble – The Times (£)
  • Le Pen is winning young votes – FT

Morgan: For our own safety, we need to stop open door immigration

Border‘France has come under particular assault in recent years because there are over six million Muslims now living in the country – 10 per cent of the entire population – and many of them are young, poor, unemployed men seething with resentment at the way they have been so badly integrated into French society. Other countries, and we’re now seeing this in Germany, will have similar problems as a direct result of allowing in a tsunami of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. This insane ‘open door’ policy has to stop, not least because once we open these doors we don’t seem to make any coherent, sensible provisions for what happens next to the people who pour through them.’ – Piers Morgan, Daily Mail

Newly elected MPs secure PPS jobs

‘May has angered older Tory MPs by giving a series of their rookie intake juniors government jobs ahead of them. In the last act of her reshuffle, the new PM has made at least eight Conservatives only elected for the first time last year Parliamentary Private Secretaries to senior ministers. The job – the first rung of government – is to be their bosses’ eyes and ears inside the Commons. But the ultra-swift promotions have seen the young thrusters – cruelly dubbed ‘Theresa’s Tots’ – leapfrog previous generations elected in 2005 and 2010. The move is being seen as another bid by ruthless Mrs May to stamp her authority on her party after culling David Cameron’s clique.’ – The Sun (£)

Smith challenges Corbyn on spending policy

CORBYN Jeremy Marr June 2016‘“Jeremy has shared some of the traits of New Labour in that he’s not been bold enough. We have not put pen to paper on policy in almost any area in the last nine months.” Mr Smith said that Britain should be “borrowing to invest” and not “obsessing” over the deficit. “I’m very clear that we need to spend more money,” Mr Smith said. “Why we have been so slow to make that argument is beyond me.” Speaking in the former mining community of Orgreave, South Yorkshire, today, Mr Smith will go further, calling for a “future of fair taxes, fair employment and fair funding”. “That means investment, not cuts,” he will say. “Under my leadership, it would mean a strengthening of employment rights, including creating a shadow cabinet secretary of state for labour tasked with making Britain the envy of the world for the quality of our jobs.”’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: WATCH: Patriotism isn’t part of Corbyn’s make-up, Smith says

NHS consultant earns £375,000 in overtime as the national bill soars

‘Growing pressures are leading UK hospitals to increasingly rely on premium overtime pay to get consultants to do extra work, the BBC has found. Spending on high-cost overtime has risen by more than a third in the past two years, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act suggest. One doctor made an extra £375,000 last year on top of their salary. Hospitals blamed a consultants shortage amid rising demand, but ministers said the way doctors were paid must change.’ – BBC News

Leaked emails suggest the frontrunner to succeed Farage may be ineligible

UKIP glass‘The frontrunner to succeed Nigel Farage as Ukip leader could be expelled from the race after emails appeared to show he failed to pay his membership fees for 15 months. Documents seen by the Huff Post UK suggest Steven Woolfe was told on March 29 this year that his Ukip membership had lapsed in December 2014 and had not been renewed. An email sent to Woolfe in April asked him if he wished to renew as a standard member, or join Ukip’s Patron Club – which carries with it a fee of £1,000 a year. According to another document, Woolfe’s membership was officially “reopened” on July 12 – eight days after Farage announced he was standing down.’ – Huffington Post

>Yesterday: UKIPWatch: Farage may have stepped down, but his supporters still dominate the UKIP machine

Clinton confirmed as first female presidential nominee in Democrat history

‘Hillary Clinton surprised her delegates tonight with a special satellite appearance to commemorate winning the Democratic nomination for the Presidential Election, as furious Bernie Sanders took to the streets to protest her coronation. Singer Alicia Keys was finishing up a performance when Clinton appeared on a jumbo tron. As Keys’ ‘Girl on Fire’ began to play, black and white photos of the nation’s 44 male presidents – all of them white except Barack Obama – flashed on screen in rapid succession. Glass shattered in the digital presentation and Clinton came up in color, wearing a red pantsuit. ‘Hello Philadelphia! I am so happy. It’s been a great day and night. What an incredible honor you’ve given me,’ she said from a convention watch party her campaign was hosting in New York. ‘I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • The sheer nastiness of our left-wing elite – Christopher Hart, Daily Mail
  • High Street eye test could allow early dementia diagnosis – The Times (£)
  • A third of thirty-somethings cannot afford to save – Daily Mail
  • Rail firms ‘hide’ cheaper tickets – The Sun (£)
  • Security services criticised over personal data – FT

And finally…

Boris’s cat sneaks into Number 10

‘Boris Johnson may seem content with being foreign secretary rather than prime minister, but some of his staff have grander ambitions. Palmerston, chief mouser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has been running a turf war with Larry, the No 10 cat, and yesterday he briefly got his paws across the threshold of power. Palmerston was spotted sneaking through the black front door of No 10 but was quickly evicted by a police officer. He then sat outside looking furious, a witness said.’ – The Times (£)

18 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 27th July 2016

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