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Election 1) Cabinet ministers “want Johnson sidelined” during campaign

BORIS Change Britain“‘Cabinet ministers are urging Theresa May to sideline Boris Johnson and reduce the star of the Brexit referendum to little more than a cameo role in the election campaign. Mr Johnson has been largely absent since the prime minister called a snap vote but will return to the front line with a foreign policy speech today and broadcast appearances later this week. At least three senior ministers want Mrs May to sideline the foreign secretary, who was heavily criticised for his performance in the aftermath of US missile strikes on Syria.” – The Times (£)

  • But May will “send him into the fray” – Daily Mail

Election 2) May “signals” that manifesto could include long-term social care plan

Theresa May has given the strongest signal yet that she will unveil a long-term plan for social care in the Conservative manifesto as she admitted the Government can no longer “duck the issue”. In a campaign speech in South Wales, the Prime Minister said she and her team had been “working on a long-term solution” to the problem of paying for the needs of an ageing population. Mrs May has ruled out a so-called “death tax” to pay for social care, but among the policies she has been urged to consider is a “social insurance” scheme, similar to National Insurance but payable by the over-40s for life.” – Daily Telegraph

  • It would be targeted at “growing crisis in services for elderly and disabled” – The Sun
  • Manifesto “might keep triple-lock” because measures could be met cost free – The Times (£)

Editorial:

Comment: 

  • Now is May’s chance to “build the free-trading, global Britain she aspires to” – Mark Littlewood and John O’Connell, The Times (£)
  • 3 per cent defence commitment should be considered – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph
  • Energy cap is a “dreadful idea” – Richard Howard, Daily Telegraph

>Today:

Election 3) Prime Minister visits Wales. She warns against general complacency

May“Theresa May swept into a community centre in Bridgend just hours after a poll suggested she would win a victory in Wales for the first time in modern history. But there was little triumph in Mrs May’s speech. Instead, she warned against complacency. A commanding lead in the polls should not be taken for granted, she said, pointing out that polls had been wrong in the last election and the Brexit referendum.” – FT

  • She says “every vote counts” – Daily Express
  • And that it’s all about remaining “strong and stable” – Daily Mail
  • Miller launches plan to encourage tactical voting – FT
  • Strategists warn of risk of complacent voters – Guardian
  • Deputy chief whip holds “scandal avoidance” meeting – The Times (£)

Comment: 

  • Complacency is “never a good thing” – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express

>Today: MPs etc: Battleground Seats 2) Scotland

Election 4) Finkelstein: We shouldn’t assume that voters stay at home during landslide elections

“… But the evidence that voters stay at home in landslide elections is extremely weak. There are one or two studies that suggest the closeness of a race has a mild impact on the outcome but also those, like the Massachusetts election research, that go the other way. … It’s interesting to stop for a second and consider how this could possibly be. Isn’t it just common sense that people will vote in greater numbers when they feel the whole thing might go down to the wire?” – The Times (£)

Election 5) Tyrie and Haselhurst to stand down

TYRIE Andrew“Andrew Tyrie, chairman of Treasury select committee, joined the exodus from Westminister yesterday as he announced that he was quitting as Tory MP for Chichester. Mr Tyrie, 60, said he hoped that he had improved banking standards and trust in a more resilient financial sector in his role as the head of the committee. His decision leaves vacant one of the Tories’ safest seats. Also quitting is Sir Alan Haselhurst, the former deputy speaker, after 40 years as MP for Saffron Walden. Among names floated for the Essex seat, which had a Tory majority of more than 25,000, is Stephen Parkinson, an adviser to Theresa May.” – The Times (£)

  • Tyrie’s departure should depress us – Nils Pratley, Guardian
  • He was “master of the awkward question” – FT

>Today and Yesterday:

More Conservatives

  • Bereaved father of bullied activist accuses Party of withholding inquiry results – The Times (£)
  • More reflections on my husband’s time in Government – Sarah Vine, Daily Mail
  • Davidson’s “difficult day” – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph (£)

>Today: Local Government: Council elections: The Conservative / Lib Dem battlegrounds

Brexit 1) Whitehall sources “tell of need” to pay into EU budget until 2020 in order to get good deal

“Britain will have to pay into the EU budget up until 2020 if it wants Europe to grant the UK reasonable terms on a Brexit transition deal, senior sources in Whitehall have told The Telegraph. The idea, which is being actively discussed by British Brexit negotiators, would require a softening of British negotiation red lines in order to buy leverage and political goodwill in talks with the EU over a future trade deal.” – Daily Telegraph

  • It would “show goodwill” – The Sun
  • But Britain “won’t need to settle EU fraud case” as part of “divorce terms” – Daily Express

Brexit 2) Home Office “discourages” EU nationals from applying for residency

EU Exit brexit“EU nationals are being discouraged by the Home Office from applying for permanent residence in the UK after more than 90,000 applications were received in 2016. The Government’s decision not to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK until reciprocal arrangements are agreed for Britons living in Europe has sparked fears that there could be a surge in applications as people look to secure their futures. Home Office figures show that approximately 92,000 permanent residence applications from EU nationals were sent to officials last year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • What about the elderly? – Guardian
  • And academics? – FT
  • And students? – Michael Skapinker, FT

Editorial:

  • This position is “costly and incoherent” – FT

More Brexit 

  • Tory MPs leave cross-party anti-Brexit campaign – The Times (£)
  • And Mandelson is “left humiliated” – Daily Express
  • NI anti-Brexit alliance talks collapse – Belfast News Letter
  • The EU’s evolving position – David Allen Green, FT

>Today: Edward Faulks in Comment: This opportunity to repeal the Human Rights Act, quit the ECHR and bring justice home may not come again

>Yesterday: MPs etc: Soubry, Grieve and Morgan withdraw their support from Open Britain over its attempt to unseat Brexiteer Tory MPs

Government borrowing at lowest since before crash

“Government borrowing has dropped to its lowest level since the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, official figures revealed yesterday. The annual shortfall in the public finances stands at £52 billion, down by £20 billion in the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics. At 2.6 per cent, the deficit is the smallest as a share of GDP for nine years. The reduction in borrowing was a result of big increases in income and corporation tax receipts due to the strengthening economy as well as a series of one-off changes including the timing of a £1.8 billion contribution to the European Union, which was pushed back to this year.” – The Times (£)

  • It falls by £20bn – FT
  • Thanks to the “stronger economy” – The Sun

MPs tell Patel to identity DfiD fraudsters

PATEL October 2016“Overseas aid chiefs have been secretly sacking fraudsters who are pilfering from Britain’s £13 billion development budget, a commons committee reported yesterday. MPs demanded that Priti Patel’s Department for International Development (DfiD) should do more to identify publicly individuals and organisations it punishes for fraud. The public accounts committee also dismissed DfiD’s claim that it loses just 0.03 per cent of its budget to fraudsters, saying the figures “do not seem credible, given the risks they face overseas”.”

Committee blames overspending on free school focus

“The government’s funding of its free schools programme has been denounced as “incoherent and too often poor value for money” in a hard-hitting report by a cross-party committee of senior MPs. The report by the public accounts committee accuses the Department for Education of spending “over the odds” on unsuitable sites and building free schools in areas where extra places are not always needed. Meanwhile, it says the existing school estate – much of which is more than 40 years old – is falling into disrepair and would require an estimated £7bn to restore it to a satisfactory condition.” – Guardian

  • It says “officials are paying over the odds” for land – The Sun 

More Government

  • Digital economy bill “rushed through” – FT
  • Radical tax-reporting plan shelved – Daily Mail

Stuart: Labour has “made itself irrelevant”. Here’s what it should do

gisela-stuart“Labour has to fight this general election against a difficult backdrop. Theresa May will want to make it about strong leadership. We will want to focus on public services and inequality. Class sizes are going up. School funding is being slashed. … But for Labour it’s not enough to just campaign. We are more than a pressure group, more than a movement, we are a great political party and we aspire to government. …  If we do want to be a party of government again Labour must prepare for its own process of renewal.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Starmer says “no deal” would be an unviable deal – The Times (£)
  • And that customs union should be “on the table” – FT
  • Pledge to end free movement contradicted by commitment to EU workers with jobs – Daily Telegraph
  • Shadow EU exit minister says referendum could be overturned – Daily Express
  • Leaked document shows Labour focus isn’t on Brexit – Guardian
  • Shadow health secretary to emphasise NHS pay – Daily Mail
  • Labour facing local election “disaster” – Herald

Editorial:

  • Labour should be “doing better than this”- The Times (£)
  • Haven’t they anyone stronger than Starmer? – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Starmer seems “defeated” – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Corbyn is “disappointing”. But you should still vote Labour – George Monbiot, Guardian
  • Blair should stop intervening – Sam Glover, Guardian
  • Key Brexit lines need repeating again and again – Owen Jones, Guardian
  • We still don’t know what Labour’s stance on Brexit is – David Davis, Daily Express
  • Moderates have chance to get rid of Corbyn – Sebastian Payne, FT

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Starmer – “No deal is the worst possible deal”

News in Brief

  • Ivanka meets Merkel and Lagarde – The Times (£)
  • Artificial sheep’s womb offers hope for premature babies – The Times (£)
  • Twitter blocks Government from accessing data – Daily Telegraph
  • Brain scans could predict early deaths – Guardian
  • George HW Bush suffering from pneumonia – Daily Mail
  • Cardiff will be finish line for Tour of Britain race – Wales Online

15 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 26th April, 2017

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