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Election 1) MPs overwhelmingly vote to authorise a snap general election

ELECTION 2017 May Corbyn FarronMPs have overwhelmingly backed Theresa May’s plan to hold a snap general election on June 8 paving the way for the campaign to begin in earnest. The House of Commons voted in favour of the poll by 522 votes to just 13 as the Prime Minister urged MPs to “trust the people”. Mrs May needed to secure at least a two-thirds majority of MPs to make her plan a reality and with the support of Liberal Democrats and Labour she was easily able to pass the 434 votes required as the SNP abstained. Mrs May set out her case for the early election, telling MPs it was right to “put our fate in the hands of the people”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tory leader hits the campaign trail in Bolton North-East – Daily Mail
  • New poll puts Tories ahead by 48 per cent to 24 – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne steps down… – FT
  • …but Clarke to fight final election after apparent about-turn – The Times (£)
  • Election leaves key policies in limbo – FT

Comment:

  • Osborne accepts that his political career is over – John Rentoul, The Independent
  • History will not be kind to the former Chancellor – Larry Elliott, The Guardian

Editorial:

>Yesterday:

Election 2) May will face Question Time-style audience in debates compromise

“Theresa May is likely to take part in a question and answer session in front a television audience before the general election after she was heavily criticised by her opponents for refusing to debate with them. The Prime Minister formally ruled out taking part in televised head-to-head debates before the June 8 general election in a BBC interview today… Mrs May’s aides made clear that she is not against taking part in a “longform television programme” when she answers questions in front of a live studio audience. Her predecessor David Cameron agreed to be questioned in front of a BBC Questiontime-style audience at the 2015 general election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Pressure mounts on the Prime Minister as broadcasters demand debates – The Times (£)
  • May ‘considering a number of formats’ – The Independent

More media:

  • Hill in ‘furious spat’ with Sky’s Boulton over resignation speculation – Daily Mail

Sketch:

  • For the first time, May is enjoying power – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Stop pretending that Leaders’ debates are a valuable tradition. They aren’t.

Election 3) Gummer takes point on manifesto that may scrap Cameron’s legacy

ConManifesto_jobs“Theresa May has ordered her closest allies to draft a Tory election manifesto that makes a clean break from the David Cameron era, as she tries to define her own domestic agenda. At the heart of the team writing the manifesto is Ben Gummer, a moderate Tory MP and staunch pro-European, who has earned the prime minister’s trust as a Cabinet Office fixer and has set himself the task of limiting the economic fallout of Brexit… Mr Gummer, son of the former Conservative cabinet minister John Gummer, will shape the manifesto to give Mrs May maximum leeway in negotiating a smooth Brexit. Mrs May told The Sun an election victory would make her “freer” in how she plays her hand.” – FT

  • Manifesto will promise end to free movement, single market access, and EU court meddling – Daily Mail
  • Election is not about going soft on the EU, the Prime Minister insists – The Sun
  • May forced to weaken key target on migrants – The Times (£)
  • Aid target set to be ditched to fund boost in military spending – Daily Mail
  • Gates urges May to protect the 0.7 per cent target – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Crosby was in charge of Cameron’s campaign. Will he be the master of May’s?

>Yesterday:

Election 4) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: May’s Britain could be a haven of political stability compared to the EU

“We have moved a long way from the first chaotic weeks after the referendum when Belgian premier Charles Michel could suggest in all seriousness that the British institutional system was disintegrating, a country led by populist dreamers, disappearing into a “black hole”. Such was the view in Brussels. The tables have since turned. Britain will enter the Brexit talks led by an ancient and disciplined party of great governing credibility – solid on NATO, free trade, climate accords, and liberal principles – with UKIP and the ephemeral forces of populism scattered to the four winds. Discord lies on the other side of the Channel.” – Daily Telegraph

  • May is asking voters to sign her a blank cheque – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)
  • The last thing Britain needs from May’s manifesto is policies – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • The Prime Minister must make clear her post-Brexit immigration plan – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • Five policies which would change the political landscape – Tim Knox, Times Red Box
  • Business hopes the snap election will improve Brexit – Barbara Judge, FT

Editorial:

  • Manifestos must show vision on the economy and public services – The Times (£)
  • Here are the urgent changes we want to see – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May should announce that she will reappoint her top three ministers and her Brexit team post-election

Election 5) Labour: Exodus continues as Stuart steps down in Birmingham Edgbaston

LABOUR dead rose“An exodus of Labour MPs continued tonight as Brexit champion Gisela Stuart became at least the seventh MP to confirm she would quit Parliament. Ms Stuart announced she would use the snap election to bring to an end a 20-year Commons career which reached a peak last year when she was the leading Labour campaigner for Leave. The Birmingham Edgbaston was joined on the sidelines today by veteran former minister Rob Marris who announced he was quitting just two years after winning back his constituency following a five year gap. Senior MP Iain Wright announced he was quitting this morning, joining Alan Johnson, Tom Blenkinsop, Andrew Smith and Pat Glass.” – Daily Mail

  • Up to 80 Labour MPs under threat – The Sun
  • Party prepares for emergency candidate selections – The Guardian
  • Opposition draws up most left-wing manifesto since Foot – FT
  • Corbyn plots £500 billion spending spree – The Sun
  • McDonnell says Labour will crack down on ‘rich’ who earn over £70,000 – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

Election 6) Labour leader likely to try to stay on even after a serious defeat

“Jeremy Corbyn is expected to stay on as Labour leader even if he leads his party to a crushing election defeat on June 8, The Independent can reveal. Party figures close to the Labour leader have said there is a good chance Mr Corbyn will either refuse to resign or run again to retain power. The key goal of Mr Corbyn’s group is that regardless of the election result, he cling to power at least until after party conference when his allies can attempt to change the system of electing the leader in a bid to secure a leftwing successor.” – The Independent

  • Cooper sparks leadership speculation after attack on May – The Sun
  • Result ‘not a forgone conclusion’, Corbyn insists – The Guardian

Comment:

  • In 1997 Labour showed there was a better way, and we’ll do so again – Dawn Butler, Times Red Box
  • Reframing public services as univeral benefits is a canny move – Frances Ryan, The Guardian
  • May is the only winner from Blair’s anti-Brexit intervention – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Will Corbyn resign if he loses the election? Wallace and Bastani debate Labour’s prospects

Election 7) Progressive alliance? Corbyn rules out coalition with the SNP…

Salmond Poster“Jeremy Corbyn was today forced to rule out an Election “alliance” with the SNP after Nicola Sturgeon called for a deal to stop the Tories. The First Minister sparked echoes of the 2015 campaign by saying she would work with Labour and the Lib Dems if the election result was close and the “arithmetic” warranted it. Such a deal could in theory hand Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Downing Street if Labour defy all expectations on June 8th. But the Labour leader yesterday told the party’s ruling National Executive Committee yesterday there would be no deal with any party.” – The Sun

  • Sturgeon’s call for ‘progressive alliance’ attacked by May – The Times (£)
  • Scottish Conservatives appeal to tactical voters to combat ‘indyref2’ – The Scotsman

More Scotland:

  • First Minister says May’s anti-referendum stance will ‘crumble’ after election – FT
  • Scandal-hit ex-SNP MPs must contest election to get redundancy payouts – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • The ‘Queen of Scots’ finally has a worthy rival – Iain Martin, The Times (£)
  • How many of Sturgeon’s unknown MPs will survive? – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Peter Duncan in Comment: The Prime Minister’s gamble in Scotland – and why pressure for another independence vote may become unstoppable

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: The election and Scotland. May is pursuing the most muscular and confrontational unionist strategy since Major’s.

Election 8) …as the Lib Dems rule out coalition with Corbyn

“Senior Liberal Democrats have effectively ruled out a post-election coalition with Labour, in the hope of distancing themselves from a “toxic” Jeremy Corbyn. Sir Vince Cable, the former business secretary who will stand in his old seat of Twickenham, said on Wednesday that it was “utterly remote” to think Mr Corbyn could become prime minister. “Our differences with [Corbyn] on substantive issues are so great it’s very difficult to see how a coalition could be formed,” Sir Vince told the BBC’s Today programme. Sir Vince said that while the Lib Dems could vote with Labour on certain issues, the idea of Mr Corbyn being prime minister was “way beyond what’s possible”.” – FT

  • Disillusioned Corbyn ally joins the Lib Dems – The Times (£)
  • Farron says he doesn’t think being gay is a sin – The Independent
  • Clegg hammered for claiming Tories are ‘Brexit-obsessed’ – Daily Express
  • Miller planning ‘biggest tactical voting effort in British history’ – The Independent

Comment:

  • How realistic is a Liberal Democrat revival? – John Rentoul, The Independent

Election 9) Banks admits to being ‘clueless about Clacton’

UKIP glass“Millionaire Ukip donor Arron Banks has admitted he knows ‘nothing at all’ about the seaside town where he hopes to become MP in the General Election. The insurance tycoon has declared he will run against his one time Ukip colleague turned bitter rival Douglas Carswell in Clacton on June 8. But in an extraordinary confession, Mr Banks said he has no idea about the issues affecting the seaside town in Essex. He told BBC Radio Essex he only knew the town from a ‘fabulous day out’ during the referendum campaign and as a hotbed of euroscepticism.” – Daily Mail

Election 10) Sinn Fein seeks anti-Brexit electoral pact

“Sinn Féin is open to an anti-Brexit electoral pact with other parties in the June Westminster election, its national chairman has signalled. Asked about a potential voting agreement yesterday, Declan Kearney said that while Sinn Féin would fight to maximise its own vote, it could work with the SDLP, the Alliance Party and the Green Party. “There is common ground in relation to special designation status [for Northern Ireland after Brexit], on equality issues, on broad social justice issues, the need for a rights-based approach and there is common ground on [Troubles] legacy issues,” he said.” – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • Sinn Fein oozes confidence and unionists know what’s at stake – Suzanne Breen, Belfast Telegraph

Ministers 1) Clark pledges to protect energy customers from ‘flagrant mistreatment’

gas-energy“The Business Secretary has pledged ‘muscular and strong’ Government action over ‘flagrant mistreatment’ of energy customers following price hikes across the board. Greg Clark told MPs he planned to take decisive action against energy companies, although he did not give a date for a crack down. Addressing the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, he said a two-year investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority had identified consumer detriment averaging £1.2 billion a year. He said: ‘We are not going to simply note the findings. I think there is an overwhelming appetite to sort this problem out once and for all.'” – Daily Mail

  • May accused of stealing energy price cap from Miliband – Daily Telegraph

More consumer protection:

  • Drivers of diesel cars registered after 2005 could miss out on scrappage cash – The Sun
  • Bungling broadband giants shamed – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • A cap on energy prices would spark a backlash – Nils Pratley, The Guardian

Ministers 2) Javid plans crackdown on ‘rip-off’ leaseholds

“Developers must be stopped from selling rip-off leaseholds on properties ‘for no good reason’, Ministers said yesterday. Builders are increasingly selling new-build houses with costly leasehold agreements. This forces buyers to pay an expensive yearly ground rent to the owner of the freehold – often bought for a high price by investors. But Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said developers should be forced to sell properties as freehold unless there was an exceptional reason not to. Speaking before the Communities and Local Government Committee, Mr Javid said: ‘The issue is increasing evidence of builders building houses and then selling those on long-term leases for no apparent reason.’” – Daily Mail

  • Coming out is the best thing I’ve ever done, says Greening – Daily Mail

Foreign Affairs: May says Britain is ready to support Ukraine against Russia

Ukraine flag“Theresa May has said the UK stands ready to help defend Ukraine against any further Russian aggression. The PM welcomed the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to Downing Street today – just hours after MPs formally voted for a June General Election. Mrs May said Britain was “ready to support” his country which is under threat from Russia. She also vowed to push for further sanctions on President Putin. Yesterday Moscow’s top diplomat warned that our relationship with Russia is at an all-time low.” – The Sun

  • US prepared to strike bilateral trade deal ‘as soon as possible’, says Ryan – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Two killed in latest round of Venezuelan protests – Daily Mail
  • Armed police ‘ready for lorry jihadists’ – The Times (£)
  • Brussels starts to freeze Britain out of EU contracts – FT
  • US may be vulnerable to North Korean attack, officials warn – Daily Express
  • Trump under fire for repeating Chinese claim that Korea was ‘part of China’ – Daily Telegraph

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