Published:

May announces two-year parliamentary term

“Theresa May has cancelled the 2018 Queen’s Speech to smooth the path for Brexit reforms as a deal with the DUP hangs in the balance. The Prime Minister announced that a two-year parliamentary session will be launched on Wednesday rather than the traditional one-year session. The step breaks with historical precedence and was last taken in the early days of the Coalition as it scrambled to create stable government in 2010.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • This will “allow time” for Brexit laws – Observer
  • It also “removes one of biggest chances for leadership challenge” – Sunday Express

“Up to a dozen MPs” are ready to demand no confidence in the Prime Minister. The numbers are “expected to rise”

“Theresa May has 10 days to save her premiership after she was put on notice to “shape up” and show she is fit to lead. Confidence in the prime minister is in free fall in Tory ranks as constituency party bosses told ministers and MPs to force her from power. Up to a dozen MPs are ready to demand a vote of no confidence in May by submitting letters to the backbench 1922 committee. Their ranks are expected to swell this weekend as MPs consult grassroots grandees about May’s faltering response to the Grenfell Tower inferno in west London.” – The Sunday Times (£)

  • “Senior ministers” have concluded “she can’t lead them into next election” – The Sun on Sunday
  • She’s fighting MPs on two fronts. Grenfell and Brexit – Mail on Sunday
  • Cabinet Conservatives now “deem May a caretaker” – Sunday Telegraph
  • “Leading” eurosceptic MPs prepared to launch “overnight coup” against her if she “waters down Brexit” – Sunday Telegraph
  • They will “only support her” if she sticks to Lancaster House approach – Sunday Express

Editorial:

Grenfell 1) May admits official response “was not good enough” as people protest…

“Mrs May said the support for families ‘who needed help or basic information in the initial hours’ after the Grenfell Tower disaster ‘was not good enough’. The group of residents of the 27-storey tower block stopped outside the black door of Number 10 after their meeting with the Prime Minister as demonstrators shouted: ‘May out!’ just metres away. The details of their meeting are not known, but it is thought they will be carrying the message for justice all the way to the top.” – Mail on Sunday

Grenfell 2) …She also promises victims will “play key role” in upcoming inquiry. And have their legal costs met by state

“Victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster will play a central role in the public inquiry into the fire, the prime minister said yesterday as she pledged that the government will also fund their legal costs. Theresa May said bereaved relatives and the community organisations caught up in the tragedy would be consulted on the inquiry’s terms of reference. Damian Green, May’s most senior minister as first secretary of state, said the government expected to appoint a chairman to lead the inquiry “in days rather than weeks”.” – The Sunday Times (£)

Comment: 

Grenfell 3) Duncan Smith: It’s right to have an inquiry. But we also need to readdress social housing

“It is almost impossible to comprehend the scale of the Grenfell Tower block disaster. as the final death toll has yet to be calculated. My thoughts and prayers go out to them, and my gratitude to those volunteers and neighbours who so selflessly have helped. The Prime Minister has said there will be a full public inquiry which will look into why this tragedy happened and what lessons can be learned from it. That is the right thing to do, but the one thing it will not be able to look at is the way we provide social housing and how that could be improved.” – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • This is a national tragedy with national consequences – Sadiq Khan, Observer
  • Barwell and his fellow ex-housing ministers should “hang their heads in shame” – Nick Ferrari, Sunday Express
  • The victims died “because they were poor” – Nick Parsons, The Sun on Sunday
  • The disaster was on my doorstep – Rachel Johnson, Mail on Sunday

Grenfell 4) Left-wing campaigners plan “day of rage” for Wednesday

“Left wing campaigners are planning a “day of rage” to coincide with the Queen’s Speech this week in protest over the conditions they claim led to the Grenfell Tower blaze and the deaths of at least 58 people. Militant groups are planning to march on Parliament on Wednesday in a show of anger at the Government’s austerity policies they say led to the tragedy. Led by the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary – formed in 1995 by a number of Marxist groups – campaigners are urging protesters to “walk out of school, take the day off, call in sick, strike”.” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

  • Labour’s response to Grenfell shows Conservatives “what they’re up against” – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph (£)
  • The victims are being exploited for political gain – Brendan O’Neill, The Sun on Sunday
  • I’m surprised that people are still surprised that Kensington “went red” – Emma Dent Coad, Observer

>Today: Sean O’Callaghan in Comment: Puffed-up, bewildered, pampered second-raters. The elites that nearly let an extremist into Downing Street.

Brexit 1) On eve of talks Davis tells EU leaders “not to doubt” UK exit

David Davis has told EU leaders they should be in “no doubt” that Britain is heading for the exit door as formal Brexit talks finally begin. In a statement issued before his Brussels trip tomorrow, the Brexit Secretary promised the “historic referendum result” will be “delivered” by Theresa May’s Government. The comments are designed as a direct rebuttal to Emmanuel Macron, the French President who said this week the “door remains open” for Britain to stay in the EU. ” – Sundaly Telegraph

  • He says he will “deliver the will of the British people” – Sunday Express
  • Hammond “refuses to confirm” that UK will leave single market – Sunday Express

>Today: ToryDiary: The future may or may not be bright. But either way, the future’s Brexit.

Brexit 2) Fox: I’m off to Washington. And I’m excited about trade

“Today I will fly out to Washington DC to hold initial discussions with my American counterparts about the future trade and investment relationship between our two countries as we prepare to leave the European Union. Trade between the two countries is already worth over £150 billion a year, the US is the single biggest source of inward investment into the UK, and together there is around $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies. This process marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the UK where, for the first time in over 40 years we will be able to take advantage of the growing markets in the world and determine a trade relationship designed around Britain’s national interest.” – Sunday Telegraph (£)

>Yesterday: Henry Newman in Comment: Hammond should stick to the Conservative position on the Customs Union – and stop freelancing

Brexit 3) On Thursday in Brussels May will “make bold offer” on EU nationals

“May will travel to Brussels on Thursday to make a bold offer to guarantee the rights of EU migrants in Britain in exchange for safeguards on British citizens living elsewhere in the EU. Details of the government’s plans for EU nationals had been due to be set out by David Davis, the Brexit secretary, when he opens talks with Brussels tomorrow. Now the plan is being held back so May can make the gesture of conciliation in person. “It will come from Theresa at the council on Thursday,” a senior government source said. – The Sunday Times (£)

  • Children’s Commissioner warns of risks of uncertainty for youngsters affected – The Sunday Times

Comment:

Tugendhat: I need to be convinced about the Conservative-DUP deal

“The best deals are catalysts for change, the worst damage both sides.  Political deals in particular demand careful thought before they’re made and the Conservative agreement with the DUP is one that requires more than most. I may have worked in many cultures and countries in the interest of our country, but in Parliament I’m still new.  But the past two years have shown me what some always knew – be careful of experts.  They told me the UK would vote Remain, they said Theresa May would win a commanding majority, now they tell me that the deal with the Democratic Unionist Party is essential for our national stability.  Perhaps it is.  But I’m going to ask a few questions first.” – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • The DUP is populist and to the left of the Tories – Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times (£)
  • I was keen for a coalition. I didn’t mean one with them – William Keegan, Observer
  • Unionists are doing anything but stirring up the past – Ben Lowry, Belfast Newsletter

News in Brief

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