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Grenfell Tower: May criticised for ‘snubbing’ victims as she orders inquiry…

“Theresa May faced criticism yesterday for failing to meet survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire as she ordered a full public inquiry into the disaster. The prime minister broke down in tears on the day of the fire, The Times understands, but has been damaged by her apparent inability to show emotion in public. Yesterday she visited the burnt-out west London tower block but met emergency workers rather than residents. A short time later Jeremy Corbyn was photographed hugging a woman who was searching for a missing 12-year-old girl during his own visit to a refuge centre in the area. Mr Corbyn told reporters that some “very hard questions have got to be asked” and added that “the truth has got to come out and it will”. – The Times (£)

  • Lewis warned against heavier fire regulations – The Independent
  • Johnson under pressure over Grenfell Tower – Daily Mail
  • Council chief claims residents didn’t want ‘disruption’ of sprinkler fitting – Daily Mail

…as Corbyn calls for empty homes to be seized to house victims

“The homes of rich people in Kensington could be seized for Grenfell Tower residents made homeless by fire, Jeremy Corbyn said today. Mr Corbyn said the London borough was a ‘tale of two cities’ between a wealthy south and a poor north. He suggested that ‘requisitioning’ vacant properties would be a solution to the shortage of available accommodation for those displaced. ‘Properties must be found – requisitioned if necessary – in order to make sure that residents do get rehoused locally,’ Mr Corbyn told a meeting of MPs.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour’s new MP for Kensington blames social cleansing – The Times (£)

More:

Comment:

  • The Tories better have some answers to the political questions this raises – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • A judge must work fast to give answers – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • The lesson is simple: stop building residential towers – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • The fire is inexcusable, but blaming ‘Tory cuts’ is facile – The Sun
  • May’s Hurricane Katrina – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: In the wake of the Grenfell Tower calamity – and regardless of it – asserting property rights is not enough

>Yesterday:

Brexit 1) Talks begin on Monday

“Brexit talks will finally get underway in Brussels on Monday despite warnings the negotiations could be delayed. Theresa May campaigned for weeks on a warning either she or Jeremy Corbyn would be in the room for talks on June 19. But on Tuesday Brexit Secretary David Davis said Monday was not fixed in the diary, prompting frustration from Brussels that Britain appeared unprepared for the start of talks. Despite the confusion a joint statement from both sides confirmed today the talks would begin on Monday after all… The delay to the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the Government agenda, from Monday to Wednesday may have created space in the diary at short notice. But it also means the talks begin before Mrs May confirms whether she has a deal with Northern Ireland’s DUP to guarantee a Commons majority.” – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Thornberry slammed over Labour’s Brexit plans – Daily Express
  • Starmer claims the Opposition can now change the course of Brexit – The Guardian
  • EU nations want border and trade controls, but not to leave – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • A short spell in the EEA would give Britain time and space to adjust – Crispin Blunt, Times Red Box
  • May not for turning as Tories aim to ‘plough on’ with Brexit – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • The Prime Minister could still shape Brexit but may not have the skills – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • In politics, wishful thinking is a recipe for foolishness – Undercover Economist, FT

Editorial:

  • The Government can find a sense of direction with a sensible exit plan – The Times (£)

Brexit 2) Hammond to unveil plan to keep Britain building

“Philip Hammond will lay out plans to keep Britain building through Brexit as he seeks to reassure businesses they will still be able to access investment funding as we leave the EU. The Chancellor will use his annual Mansion House speech tonight to pledge to increase support for key infrastructure projects with extra Government money. In an address to City leaders, Mr Hammond will say ministers are in discussion with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to ensure UK projects can access its funds during the remaining period of Britain’s EU membership. It is his first major intervention since the election as he held on to his job in the Treasury, despite rumours Theresa May would replace him.” – The Sun

  • Hunt signals shift on nurses’ pay – FT

Comment:

  • Austerity is dead: long live austerity – Martin Wolf, FT
  • Europe needs to learn a lesson from Brexit – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • The Eurozone must reform or die – Kenneth Rogoff, The Guardian

>Today:

>Yesterday: Kieron O’Hara in Comment: Young voters won’t hold off austerity forever

Davidson and Sturgeon clash on independence

“Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of trying to find a way to revive her “sinking” independence dream despite a new poll showing six out of 10 Scots want her to drop her plan for a second referendum. The First Minister said she would proceed with “calm reflection in the national interest” about a second referendum after the SNP lost half a million votes and 21 MPs, including Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson, in last week’s General Election. During fiery exchanges at Holyrood, she accused the Conservatives of being a “shower of charlatans” and Ruth Davidson of being a “one-trick pony” only interested in challenging her on independence. But Ms Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, accused her of trying to “find a way to re-float or re-brand” her referendum plan and argued she was not interested in listening to people outside the SNP.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Majority of Scots want First Minister to shelve referendum plans – The Sun

More:

  • SNP take inspiration from Tory policy on education reform – FT
  • Nationalists’ student debt shame – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Liberation day for Scots fed up over ‘indyref2’ – Brian Wilson, The Scotsman

Minor Parties 1) DUP backs May against Hammond on Brexit

“Theresa May was boosted last night as it emerged the DUP will back her Brexit negotiating plan. The Ulster unionists’ ten MPs will side with her to refuse any bid to stay in the Customs Union and single market. A senior Tory source said the PM is now “confident” she will have an effective majority when MPs vote on her Government’s agenda to be set out in the Queen’s Speech. The PM had earlier decided to press ahead with the speech next Wednesday – despite being yet to agree a final deal with the hardline unionists, who she is relying on to prop up her minority government. Mrs May made the high-stakes move after the DUP agreed “four broad principles”: delivering Brexit; fighting terrorism; strengthening the union; and spreading prosperity across the UK.” – The Sun

  • Sinn Fein accuses May of breaching the Good Friday Agreement – Daily Mail
  • Half of voters oppose Tory/DUP pact – The Times (£)
  • May takes a risk on the date of the Queen’s Speech – FT

More:

  • Time running out to salvage power-sharing, warns the Prime Minister – News Letter

>Today: Hamish McFall in Comment: Tellers’ work wasted. Invaded privacy. Computers that spewed gibberish. How CCHQ bungled this election campaign.

Minor Parties 2) Liberal Democrats in secret talks with the Tories

“The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats held a secret meeting yesterday, opening up the prospect of another coalition government. Tory whips met with Alistair Carmichael, deputy chief whip during the alliance, as talks between the Government and the DUP continued. Talks opened after Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, who had ruled out pacts, deals and coalitions, stepped down on Wednesday. There is a feeling that the new party leader may agree to a deal, and would be able to secure the backing of the party. One possibility is that former equalities minister Jo Swinson takes over from Mr Farron, and agrees to enter into a coalition with the Tories after their deal with the DUP is done. If there was a coalition, the Lib Dems would likely push for a Cabinet minister job such as Home Secretary to enable them to influence immigration policy. They would also ensure they could influence human rights rulings, but would agree with the housing and planning policies, sources indicated.” – Daily Mail

  • Farron was prejudiced and illiberal, claims David Laws – The Times (£)
  • Archbishop of Canterbury leads claims Lib Dem leader was forced out over faith – The Sun

More:

  • Scottish MP is front-runner after getting the nod from Farron – The Sun
  • Cable too old to lead, warn Swinson’s allies – Daily Telegraph
  • Former Business Secretary won’t rule anything out – The Independent

Comment:

  • Liberal fascism and a man hounded for being a Christian – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • Leader’s view of his faith was the problem, not others’ – John Rentoul, The Independent
  • Farron is a political failure, not a martyr – Oliver Kamm, The Times (£)
  • His tormentors should be ashamed – Archbishop John Sentamu, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Farron’s sideswipe at the ethos of the party he led was truly remarkable

McDonnell calls on militant unions to oust the Conservatives

“John McDonnell has urged union militants to put a million protesters ‘on the streets’ in an attempt to oust Theresa May. Labour’s shadow chancellor called on Left-wing activists to turn a union-organised march on Parliament next month into a mass protest. The self-confessed Marxist, who has previously backed ‘insurrection’ against the State, said direct action was needed to engineer the Government’s downfall. But Tory MPs called his demand ‘bordering on undemocratic’ and accused him of trying to gain power through mob rule. In a speech to the militant Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, Mr McDonnell called for a ‘national demonstration’ in support of Labour’s election-losing manifesto.” – Daily Mail

  • Polls show the Labour leader surging ahead of the Prime Minister – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column: This election has brought Putin’s prize – a Far Left-led Britain – too close for comfort

Philip Collins: Labour moderates need to stop pretending that Corbyn is suddenly acceptable

“Mr Corbyn and his supporters believe in their own programme and good luck to them. I withdraw the case against them on the grounds of failure and come to the main question. Respectfully and civilly, I disagree that the Corbyn programme is desirable and suggest the Labour moderates now have the choice between candour and pretence. If they decide to join their craven colleagues and pretend they are content with the Labour Party’s offer to the nation, they are then willing an outcome they think would be a disaster. Well then, Labour moderates, you pretend if you want to. I’m not for pretending.” – The Times (£)

  • Winner takes all in our system, but Labour will fight them all the way – Chris Bryant, Times Red Box
  • I’m not going to apologise for my opinion of Corbyn – Jane Merrick, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Chris Wilford in Comment: Oh, Jer-emy Corbyn. Oh, Jer-emy Corbyn. #grime4corbyn – and how he did so well in the Snapchat election

News in Brief:

  • Illegal immigration estimated to amount to 150,000 a year – Daily Mail
  • Millenials’ aversion to long hours exacerbating doctor shortage, says NHS training chief – The Times (£)
  • Hung parliament throws fate of third runway into doubt – The Sun
  • Democrats and Republicans put aside differences for charity baseball game after shooting – Daily Telegraph
  • Google faces big EU fine over search practices – FT
  • ISIS planning new wave of attacks, agency warns – Daily Mail
  • SDLP’s Durkan to meet police over alleged voter fraud – News Letter

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