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May promises investigation into Grenfell Tower inferno

“Theresa May’s new chief of staff was in the dock last night over claims he ‘sat on’ evidence which showed high-rise blocks were vulnerable to fire. Dozens of people are feared dead and many others remain missing after a devastating blaze ripped through Grenfell Tower block in White City, west London, on Wednesday morning. A series of blunders are being blamed for the disaster with residents claiming there were no working fire alarms, no sprinklers and the only staircase leading to safety was blocked. Gavin Barwell, who was housing minister until he lost his seat last week, promised to respond to a major coroner’s report which demanded safety improvements following a previous fatal blaze.” – Daily Mail

  • Residents kept warning that their home was a deathtrap – The Times (£)
  • Death toll up to at least 12 – FT
  • Corbyn says that ministers must be questioned – The Independent
  • Ministers ‘ignored the advice of fire experts’ – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • A tragedy straight from the 1980s playbook – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)
  • If regulations were followed this should have been impossible – Geoff Wilkinson, Daily Telegraph
  • Battery farms build by those who ‘knew best’ – Richard Pendlebury, Daily Mail

Editorial:

  • How many more must die before towers are made safe? – Daily Mail
  • An inquest urgently needs to find the cause – The Times (£)

>Today: Thomas Turrell in Local Government: Let’s select the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London now

Deal with the Democratic Unionists ‘in danger’ after Treasury warnings

“Theresa May’s hopes of securing the support of the Democratic Unionist Party for her minority government were faltering last night as the Treasury dug in against the costs of a deal. Some ministers were urging the prime minister to call the Northern Irish party’s bluff as negotiations stalled. Britain’s most senior civil servant, however, told the prime minister that she had little choice but to gain an agreement. Without a breakthrough soon, the Queen’s Speech, the crucial test of a government’s viability, may have to be put back by a week from the intended date of this Monday to June 26, senior civil service sources said.” – The Times (£)

  • Deal announcement delayed by blaze – The Guardian
  • Sinn Fein’s northern leader to meet May – Daily Telegraph
  • Who is Arlene Foster, Queen of the Kingmakers? – The Sun

More:

  • Treasury to bolster protection for infrastructure projects – Daily Telegraph
  • MPs delay Westminster repairs to shore up May – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • A DUP deal is no threat to peace in Northern Ireland – Dean Godson, The Times (£)
  • Pact is fraught with risk for May – Tom Peterkin, The Scotsman
  • Tories can’t keep dodging the deficit question – Iain Martin, The Times (£)

>Yesterday:

Ministers ‘will quit’ if the Government tries to water down Brexit

“Theresa May will face Cabinet resignations if she gives in to demands from Philip Hammond to water down Brexit, senior Tories warned last night. The Chancellor will use a major speech in the City tonight to set out his vision on Brexit, amid mounting speculation he is pressing Mrs May to compromise in talks with Brussels starting next week. The leading figure in the Remain campaign told his German counterpart this week that the Conservatives had been punished by young voters for their stance on Brexit at last week’s election. He suggested that Brexit policy could now change. And he is now said to be pressuring Mrs May to adopt a strategy that would keep Britain in the EU customs union – even though this would give EU judges a say over British laws and limit the options for striking new trade deals around the world.” – Daily Mail

  • MPs ready to ‘pull the pin’ on political hand grenade to protect Brexit – Daily Express
  • Hammond to challenge May on EU departure – FT
  • Top Tories urge May to put jobs before immigration – The Sun

More:

  • UK could soften Brexit by giving EU citizens right to bring non-EU spouses in – Daily Mail
  • Chancellor makes no promises on post-Brexit access to EIB funds – FT
  • Britain would lose £5 billion in perks to stay in the EU – Daily Mail
  • Ellwood gets dream job as defence minister – The Sun

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Ellwood to Defence. Rolling reshuffle list of junior appointments.

James Blitz: Why cross-party cooperation on Brexit will not happen

“But however sensible a notion, cross-party co-operation is unlikely to happen for two reasons. First, it is hard to see why Jeremy Corbyn would want to participate. The Labour leader’s overriding wish is for another election to take place quickly. He believes the public mood is increasingly shifting to his party and that, with one more heave, it will win power. Reaching a consensus on Brexit with Mrs May will prop her up in Downing Street for a couple more years… Secondly, Mrs May also wants to avoid cross-party talks. The prime minister has set out a firm vision for a hard Brexit (ending single market membership, leaving the customs union and ending European Court of Justice jurisdiction). Reaching out to other parties could see much of this prospectus being watered down, and leaving her open to accusations of another U-turn. It would also create new rifts between hard and soft Brexiters within the Tory party.” – FT

  • Ministers must listen to the business community on how, when, and if we Brexit – James Quinn, Daily Telegraph
  • Demands for the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit are unacceptable – Alp Mehmet, Times Red Box
  • A path that would avoid Brexit calamity – Philip Stephens, FT
  • Now May should say sorry to our EU friends – Jenni Russell, The Times (£)
  • A hard Brexit risks no Brexit at all – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph
  • Passing the Great Repeal Bill is crucial to our future – Jill Rutter, Times Red Box
  • What if Remain had won? – David Allen Green, FT
  • Anti-Brexit establishment stitch-up is already underway – Lei McKinstry, Daily Express

Editorial:

  • The Prime Minister lacks legitimacy for a hard-line course – FT

>Today: Profiles: George Osborne, who could have stayed in Westminster, and returned to the Cabinet. But who left, and is trying to destroy May.

>Yesterday: Sarah Ingham in Comment: After this election result, support for a second referendum on Brexit is gaining ground

Judges knock back May’s deportation plan

“Theresa May’s attempt to deport foreign criminals without long and expensive appeals was dealt a blow by the Supreme Court yesterday. Judges ruled that under human rights laws two drug dealers should not have been thrown out of Britain before they had a chance to appeal. The decision, in a test case over Kevin Kiarie, a Kenyan citizen, and Courtney Byndloss from Jamaica, found that both men were removed from Britain before they could mount an effective appeal. The ruling undermines the 2014 Immigration Act that introduced a ‘deport first, appeal later’ system designed to speed serious criminals on their way out of Britain and allow them to appeal only when back home.” – Daily Mail

Timothy blames Crosby for election disaster

“Theresa May’s former chief of staff has blamed the Conservatives’ election strategist for her disastrous campaign. Nick Timothy said Sir Lynton Crosby told them to focus the seven-week campaign on the PM and her “strong and stable” message. But he revealed Mrs May is “never comfortable hogging the limelight” and “expected to make more use of her ministerial team”. The PM’s inner circle also wanted to return to daily press conferences featuring senior figures rather than the PM alone.” – The Sun

  • Youth turnout surging to 60 per cent almost put Corbyn in power – The Sun

Comment:

  • ‘Revenge of the young’ election should be a wake-up call – Alan Milburn, The Times (£)

>Yesterday:

Corbyn appoints former opponents to Shadow Cabinet as he flexes his muscles

“Jeremy Corbyn today appointed Owen Smith to his shadow cabinet a year after Welsh the MP ran against him as Labour leader. Mr Corbyn brought his former rival into the fold by making him Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary. But the Labour leader snubbed leading moderates in the party like Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna who had been tipped to make a comeback to the frontbench. And in a sign that the left-winger is flexing his muscles, he also stripped Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson of his role as party chairman and gave it to his campaign chief Ian Lavery.” – Daily Mail

  • Shadow of civil war lingers as Corbynistas demand apologies from rebels – Daily Express
  • Opposition are in permanent campaign mode, leader says – The Sun

Comment:

  • I thought Labour’s ‘big beasts’ had principles, but they’re working with the hard left – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • A new generation backs the Falklands’ right to self-determination – Alan Mak and Wes Streeting, The Times (£)

>Today:

Farron resigns as leader of the Liberal Democrats

“Tim Farron tonight dramatically quit as Lib Dem leader saying that he felt ‘torn’ over his Christian views on being at the helm of the party. It comes after he was dogged by questions over his views whether he believes gay sex is a sin and if he thinks abortion is wrong. Mr Farron said he has struggled to remain ‘faithful to Christ’ while leading a political party. And he said he believes he has been ‘the suspect of suspicion’ because of his strong religious views. His decision comes after Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick, who is gay, stepped down as the party’s home affairs spokesman over Mr Farron’s views.” – Daily Mail

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

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: “To be a political leader…and to live as a committed Christian…has felt impossible for me.” Farron’s resignation statement in full.

New SNP leader in Commons says independence remains party’s ‘insurance policy’

“The SNP’s new Westminster leader has undermined Nicola Sturgeon’s claims she is still weighing up whether to press ahead with a second independence referendum after arguing it was Scotland’s “insurance policy” against Brexit. The First Minister described as “nonsense” allegations that she has already decided to plough ahead with her blueprint to break up Britain despite the SNP’s General Election mauling. Amid growing pressure on her to make public her stance, a defiant Ms Sturgeon said she would “not be dictated to” over the timing of an announcement and she would set out her plans “in due course after talking to people across the SNP.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Who is Ian Blackford, the SNP’s new Westminster leader? – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • Sturgeon denies reports that she is secretly plotting a second referendum – Daily Mail
  • Defiant First Minister accused of ignoring everyone outside the SNP – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Continual battle mode for ‘indyref2’ was a mistake – Kenny MacAskill, The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • Borough Market reopens for business after terror attack – Daily Mail
  • Republicans shot in anti-Trump spree – The Times (£)
  • President being investigated for obstruction of justice – Daily Telegraph
  • Macron heads for EU clash on foreign takeovers – FT
  • Ireland elects its first gay Prime Minister – Daily Mail

9 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 15th June 2017

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