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Campaign focus moves from “May” to “Conservatives”…

“Theresa May has relinquished her role as the central focus of the Tory election campaign and handed her party joint billing in the final days before the vote. The visibility of the Conservative Party’s name and logo at campaign events has increased; an indication that it has widened the spotlight that was initially trained almost solely on Mrs May. In the opening weeks of the campaign she referred to votes for “me”, “my team”, and “my local candidates”, instead of naming the Tory party.” – The Times (£)

  • Osborne’s Standard continues to hit May – Guardian

Comment:

  • May is boring – Owen Jones, Guardian

>Today:

…as she says Brexit deal will define Britain for generations…

“Theresa May has issued dire warnings about the dangers of Britain failing to secure a good Brexit deal while also threatening to walk away with no deal at all. The prime minister said in Wolverhampton on Tuesday that “the terms of the Brexit deal we negotiate with the EU . . . will define our country for generations to come”. “Our place in the world, our economic security, the vital public services upon which we all rely, our future prosperity — everything depends on, and will be defined by, the outcome of these next five years.”” – FT

  • She “has set her sights on Brussels” for end of campaign – FT

…and that Corbyn would be “alone and naked” if he were negotiating

Theresa May has warned that Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit would leave him “alone and naked” in negotiations with Brussels. The Prime Minister told Conservative Party activists that voters risk “sleepwalking” into Mr Corbyn negotiating the UK’s exit from the European Union if they fail to vote Tory on June 8. Mrs May used a campaign speech in Wolverhampton to frame Brexit as the key issue at the General Election as she stressed that only she has a plan to make the UK’s divorce from the bloc a success.” – Daily Telegraph

  • It’s her strongest personal attack on him so far – Guardian
  • But she’s been accused of “scaring voters about Brexit” – Independent
  • Thornberry’s export gaffe – The Times (£)

Editorial:

Comment:

  • This is Project Fear 2.0 – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • If May were to lose, would we still leave? – Alan Renwick, Daily Telegraph
  • She has “no new understanding on European perspectives” – Raphael Behr, Guardian
  • There will be over 750 treaties to negotiate – Paul McClean, FT

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: How free marketeers should respond to May’s interventionism

YouGov estimates hung parliament and Tory losses

“The Conservative Party could be in line to lose 20 seats and Labour gain nearly 30 in next week’s general election, according to new modelling by one of the country’s leading pollsters. YouGov’s first constituency-by- constituency estimate of the election result predicts that the Tories would fall short of an overall majority by 16 seats, leading to a hung parliament. The central projection of the model, which allows for a wide margin of error, would be a catastrophic outcome for Theresa May, who called the election when polls pointed to a landslide result.” – The Times (£)

  • It’s the first seat-by-seat prediction – Daily Express
  • Conservatives “could fall 16 seats short of overall majority” – Independent
  • The pound falls in response – FT
  • Labour depends on young voters – The Times (£)
  • Parties “cast doubt on findings” – Daily Mail

Comment: 

  • Three reasons you mightn’t depend on the pollsters – John Rentoul, Independent
  • All votes matter – Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express

>Today: MPs ETC: Battleground Seats 10) North East

Labour: Corbyn’s childcare costings “car crash”…

Jeremy Corbyn was unable to say how much his key childcare pledge would cost during a radio appearance in which he was launching the policy. In a car crash interview with BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour the Labour leader was asked what funding would be needed to provide free childcare to all two to four-year-olds – one of the party’s flagship policies. But Mr Corbyn hesitated and said: “Erm, it will cost, erm. It will obviously cost a lot to do so, we accept that.” Emma Barnett the presenter, replied: “I presume you have the figures?” Mr Corbyn said: “Yes, I do. We’ll – it does cost a lot to do it.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He then went on to disappoint Mumsnet by cutting interview short – Daily Telegraph
  • He’ll be renewing focus on public services today – Guardian

Sketch:

Editorial:

  • Would it actually have helped if he’d remembered the figures? – The Times (£)
  • Jewish support at lowest for Labour – Marcus Dysh, The Times (£)
  • Here’s why Corbyn’s IRA association isn’t harming him – Matthew Parris, The Times (£)

>Yesterday:

…and his plans to let in unskilled workers

“Labour has drawn up a secret plan to allow thousands of unskilled migrants to enter the UK after Brexit, leaked documents seen by the Daily Telegraph have revealed. Jeremy Corbyn’s party is considering bringing back a scrapped visa scheme which would allow unskilled labourers to move to the UK and compete with British workers for jobs – including seasonal work on farms and in factories. The policy paper also sets out plans for a green card scheme and admits Labour does not consider cutting net migration a priority.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Leaked paper suggests new visa scheme – Independent
  • It outlines a three-tier entry route, as scrapped by Cameron – Daily Express

Comment:

  • This election shows a change of alignment for Labour – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Tom Harris: SNP manifesto reveals the challenges the party faces

“The SNP still dominate Scottish politics. And at Prime Minister’s Questions each week, it has been Angus Robertson, the nationalists’ Westminster leader, not the official leader of the Opposition, who has caused Theresa May the most problems. Nevertheless, at a general election, the party faces challenges not easily overcome. For instance, today it unveiled plans for a £118 billion UK-wide spending splurge. But given the SNP are only standing in 59 out of 650 seats, it’s quite difficult to see how such a pledge can be met.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon calls for referendum triple lock – Herald
  • But backtracks over referendum date – The Times (£)
  • While saying only SNP can hold Tories to account – FT

More comment:

Trump hits back against Merkel

“Donald Trump has hit back at Angela Merkel’s recent comments about the unreliability of the US as a trading partner. In a tweet, the US President said America had a “massive trade deficit with Germany” and warned: “This will change.” It comes after Ms Merkel said Germany can no longer rely on the US under Mr Trump’s presidency. Speaking at a campaign event on Sunday, the German Chancellor emphasised the need for friendly relations with the US, Britain and Russia, but added: “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.”” – Independent

Comment:

  • Merkel isn’t an “ingenue” – Harry de Quetteville, Daily Telegraph
  • Trump is still “impossible to predict” – Martin Wolf, FT

News in Brief

20 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 31 May 2017

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