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Election 1) May to focus on mental health and commit £1bn

MAY Theresa Easter message 2017“The NHS will be thrust to the centre of the general election campaign today when Theresa May vows to tear up Britain’s “flawed” mental health system and put first aiders in every school to fight mental illness. In an attempt to show that the election will be about more than Brexit, the prime minister will vow to pump £1bn into mental health provision by 2020 to pay for 10,000 new staff and train an extra 1,500 mental health professionals every year.” – The Sunday Times (£)

Comment:

  • Mental health focus is “radical departure” for Tories – Bryony Gordon, Sunday Telegraph
  • I know how “mental health services lag behind physical ones” – Norman Lamb, Sunday Express
  • The “young royals” are key to this – Nick Ferrari, Sunday Express

>Today:

Election 2) May to Sun readers: “There are no no-go areas for my party”

“In the local elections on Thursday, people from right across Britain cast their vote for my Conservative candidates. I am proud that we were able to win with support in all parts of England, Scotland and Wales, and with the backing of people who had never voted Conservative before — and to show that there are no “no-go” areas for my party. I want to thank every Sun on Sunday reader who cast their ballot for me and my team. But none of these votes will count in the General Election on June 8, when the nation faces a clear choice: Who should lead the country for the next five years — me or Jeremy Corbyn?” – The Sun on Sunday

Election 3) Heffer: This is a “once in a generation” chance to fix our country

HEFFER SimonThe local election results must not, pollsters tell us, be taken as an indication of what will happen on June 8. In one sense they are right: they don’t include London, an increasingly counter-cultural city that will return various barking mad Labour MPs and, even more eccentrically, perhaps even Liberal Democrats. … It represents, as I noted a fortnight ago when writing of the need for a radical manifesto, a once in a generation opportunity to sniff out what is wrong with Britain, and to fix it: a state that is too large, spends too much, taxes too much, has the wrong priorities, is afraid to confront vested interests and whose structures require hauling into the 21st century.” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

>Yesterday:

Election 4) Rudd: Do you trust Corbyn and Abbott to keep you safe?

“The first duty of any government is to protect its citizens, whether the threat is a domestic one or from abroad. This seems to be something that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have yet to grasp. Alarmingly, this week new footage has emerged of Mr Corbyn condemning the very weapons that the UK uses in the fight against Isis as an “obscenity” – in a rally actually outside an RAF base. Mr Corbyn plainly states that he would get rid of drones altogether – apparently ignoring the vital role they play in giving us a capability for targeted strikes against Isis and al-Qaeda jihadis, as well as crucial intelligence-gathering.” – Sunday Telegraph

Election 5) Labour to propose tax hike for high earners

McDonnell Conference Speech“Labour will today propose sweeping tax rises for those earning more than £80,000 a year in a bid to shore up the party’s core support — as a new poll shows it has fallen 19 points behind the Tories. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, will announce plans to protect only those earning under £80,000 from tax rises if Labour wins the general election on June 8. This means about 1.5m high earners would have to fund Labour’s spending plans, which the Tories have costed at £45n. His plan leaves the door open to some rises in national insurance, VAT and capital gains tax.” – The Sunday Times (£)

  • This would affect more people than scrapped 50p rate – Independent on Sunday
  • The money would be spent on education, health, and other public services – Observer

More Labour 

  • McDonnell will be at centre of Labour campaign – Observer
  • Burnham “doesn’t want to get involved” in Corbyn criticisms – Observer
  • McCluskey is “backing moderates” – Sunday Express
  • The end of Labour’s “grip” on Glasgow – Herald
  • Terminally-ill Islington candidate “plans to run against Corbyn” with NHS focus – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

European Commission lawyers say Brexit bill is “legally impossible to enforce”

“A massive €100bn Brexit bill is ‘legally impossible’ to enforce, the European Commission’s own lawyers have admitted. The Telegraph has seen minutes of internal deliberations circulated by Brussels’ own Brexit negotiating team which had warned against pursuing the UK for extra payments. But member states appear to have ignored the Commission’s own advice by demanding €100bn from the Government – a sharp hike in the original demand of €60n. The inflated bill deepened the rift between Brussels and Downing Street.” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

  • My thoughts on the Brexit bill – Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times (£)
  • This “might be the most toxic issue” – Guntram Wolff – Observer

More Brexit

  • Biggest Brexit donor calls for commitment to EU nationals in UK – Observer
  • Varoufakis calls May’s tactics “precisely wrong” – Independent on Sunday
  • Junker’s colleagues “lash out at him” over behaviour towards UK – The Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • Juncker “should show some respect” to Britain – Tony Parsons, The Sun on Sunday
  • May is “fortunate in her political enemies” at home and in Europe – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: Sarah Ingham in Comment: The local elections show the voters have other priorities Brexit

Greening unveils “bold new vision” for education

GREENING Flickr“Theresa May’s proposed education reforms – which will include ending the ban on new grammar schools – will deliver a “sea change for our country for the better”, she added. Speaking in Putney library in south-west London, where Ms Greening holds her regular constituency surgeries, the minister lifted the lid on her bold new vision for the education system. It would, she said, enable the country to “forge ahead into the future and be successful through our people being successful by lifting ordinary working families around Britain”.” – Sunday Express

Johnson pushes Libya on compensation for IRA victims

“Boris Johnson has gone into battle to win cash payouts for victims of IRA terror attacks. The Foreign Secretary urged Libya’s new leaders to compensate families of those killed or injured by atrocities sponsored by Colonel Gaddafi. He told them it was a top priority of reaching a diplomatic deal on a visit to the desert state last week. A source said: “He raised it a huge amount and very forcefully.” Libya’s former despot leader was the IRA’s biggest supplier of explosives during the Troubles. Bombings in Enniskillen in 1987, Warrington in 1993 and the London Docklands in 1996 were caused by Libyan Semtex.” – The Sun on Sunday

New anti-terror plans to protect Parliament

PARLIAMENT“Attack dogs would be used to ­protect parliament under plans being drawn up after the terror assault on the building in March. The dogs would be stationed with police handlers at the weakest point, the gates through which Khalid Masood ran during his attack. PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death trying to stop Masood, who was shot dead. Sir Paul Beresford, former chairman of the Commons administration commit­tee, said dogs were being “seriously considered” in a review of perimeter security. Other steps, including stronger vehicle bar­riers, are likely to form part of the review, due to report last week but delayed by the election.” – The Sunday Times (£)

  • Whitehall terror suspect’s phone “found in river” – Sunday Express

Macron’s lead seems “unassailable” regardless of claims of hacks

“One of the most extraordinary French presidential election campaigns in recent history took a sinister final twist with claims that frontrunner Emmanuel Macron was the target of a “massive and coordinated hacking attack” just hours before polls open on Sunday. Hacked campaign documents, internal emails and financial data were posted online anonymously along with papers Macron’s team said were false, just before midnight on Friday, the official end-of-electioneering deadline. The leak cast a long shadow over the legal “election pause” during which Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen are banned from making any statement until polls close at 8pm French time on Sunday.” – Observer

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