The Conservatives lost a seat to the Green Party in Herefordshire but held seats in Stroud, Perth, Dover and Cotswold.
We are the future of the Party, and if you don’t bring more of us in now, we won’t be there when it really matters.
We can’t rely on our opponents to become more truthful. Tories must push back against such smears – and seek to prevent them finding currency in the first place.
After a brutal civil war, a national de-radicalisation and reconciliation programme has made great progress.
Calling Conservatives: New public appointments announced. Members of the Regulatory Policy Committee – and more
Further details enclosed.
The Tories are working hard not just to argue but to demonstrate that Scottish interests are best served within British institutions and frameworks.
Plus: We need a Housing Minister who will do for new homes what Michael Heseltine did with development corporations in the 1980s.
Bob Blackman: Ministers must not yield to Iran’s blackmail in their struggle to get Nazanin back home
Her release will only happen without a far higher cost if we are to penalise the regime for its unacceptable actions and make them costly instead of profitable.
With 6,000 properties lying empty, the Secretary of State has intervened over the failure to produce a local plan.
This sector is a hugely important source of growth, tax revenues, and skilled jobs, but needs a supportive policy framework to really thrive.
Since the Stamp Duty announcement I’ve spotted soft ‘Corbynistas’ actually congratulating the Chancellor by name.
Hammond tries to lure Stormont back to its feet with yet more powers; Scots Tories highlight Budget role; and more.
The FT has the balanced “Grim outlook overshadows housing drive” while the Times goes for “Hammond eases off austerity”. The i has “Hammond’s hard-hat budget”.
The lack of a Conservative Commons majority prevented the Chancellor from doing much more than playing it safe – which he did effectively.
It continues to clear the deficit, prepare for Brexit, and back our businesses with the support they need to boost productivity.
And here’s the thing: Banks knew it. Farage knew it. But they didn’t care. Their primary objective was to be seen to lead the campaign, not to win it.
Productivity varies sharply. In Lambeth a planning officer approves an average of 39 applications a year – in next door Merton its 189.
Think-tanks react to the Budget. Some praise, more criticism…and a sense that the housing announcements didn’t go nearly far enough
“The government should be completely overhauling current restrictions and liberalising our planning system to free up land for houses to be built.”
The Shadow Chancellor doesn’t know the current cost of debt interest.
The Chancellor pretended to be bold when he was actually being cautious.
Hammond’s plan – from abolishing Stamp Duty for most first-time buyers, through to reforms to help Universal Credit recipients.
WATCH: Hammond’s Budget rabbit – Stamp duty abolished for all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000
“A temporary stamp duty holiday would only help those who are ready to purchase now and would offer nothing for the many who will need to save for years.”
Brexit: May to offer cash in exchange for trade negotiations…
“Theresa May will tell Donald Tusk on Friday she is prepared to give ground on the Brexit divorce bill as Brussels demands a written guarantee of more money to unlock trade talks. The European Council President will make it clear to the Prime Minister that Britain must give a “no strings attached” promise of paying substantially more than the current £20 billion on offer. Mrs May, who this week won the backing of senior Cabinet ministers to make an offer that could run to 40 billion euros, has not ruled out giving the EU a written breakdown of what Britain considers its financial obligations to be, but will insist on a written guarantee of trade talks in return. The EU will not expect Mrs May to name a figure at this stage, but wants detail on exactly what Britain is prepared to pay for.” – Daily Telegraph
- Deal must work for Gibraltar, says Downing Street – The Guardian
- EU officials scornful over UK’s performance in the negotiations – Daily Telegraph
- Plan will cost Britain £28 billion after Brexit – Daily Express
- May to label Russia ‘hostile state’ in speech to unite EU leaders – The Sun
- A bad Brexit will cost Britain dear in lost business – Carolyn Fairbairn, The Times
- May must take a tough line with Brussels – Daily Telegraph
…as ECJ judge says British politicians may not be good enough to deliver Brexit
“Ministers still do not “grasp” the complexities of leaving the European Union, the British judge on the European Court of Justice has privately warned, questioning the calibre of politicians negotiating Brexit. Ian Forrester, Britain’s representative on the European Court of Justice for the past two years, candidly told Irish diplomats that there were “issues around the quality of politicians in Westminster at present”. He expressed his hopes that it would “gradually dawn on people” what leaving actually entailed and for a “realisation” that it was a “great mistake”. The comments were contained in a confidential Irish government report leaked to RTÉ News. The paper also included withering assessments of British politicians and officials from senior figures from across the European Union.” – The Times
- Fury as Brussels blocks city of culture bids – Daily Mail
- Outraged culture expert says move cost British cities thousands – Daily Express
- Britain is nowhere near ready to walk away, but we can avoid doomsday – Ben Kelly, Daily Telegraph
>Yesterday: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: Leave.EU and Arron Banks – the Brexiteers that the Remain campaign loved
…and Gove wins ‘furious Cabinet tussle’ over post-Brexit divergence from Brussels’ rules
“Leave campaign boss Michael Gove has won Theresa May’s backing in a furious Cabinet tussle over a clean Brexit from all EU rules, friends say. The PM’s top table is bitterly split over how close to stick to regulations issued by Brussels after the UK leaves. EU chiefs say Britain will only get a good trade deal if it agrees to keep standards closely harmonised, from competition rules to food safety. But the Environment Secretary is now confident that he and fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson have finally won round Mrs May to reject the demand. Instead, the PM is ready to make a stand and tell other EU leaders that Britain will diverge from ‘regulatory harmonisation’, he believes.” – The Sun
- Here’s how we break the deadlock: get a deal on conformity and get out – Stephen Woolfe, Daily Telegraph
- As a mutineer, I’m worried about consumers on the high seas after Brexit – Vicky Ford, Times Red Box
>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Don’t believe claims of fewer EU nationals and doctors since the Brexit vote
May urged to find £20 billion for defence
“Theresa May was yesterday urged to increase defence spending by £20 billion – or risk seeing Britain booted off the UN Security Council. Furious peers lined up to berate the Government for turning a deaf ear to the needs of the military and risking the UK’s standing with our allies. Labour’s Lord Solely said defence spending should rise from the current 2 per cent of GDP to 3 per cent – taking the budget to £59 billion. He stormed: “We have a defence policy that seeks to be full spectrum but we are not putting up the necessary money to make that credible. We are putting forward a defence posture for the United Kingdom that looks sophisticated but we are not putting in the money to make it credible.”” – The Sun
Ministers 1) Hancock suggests Uber could have broken British law over hack
“Uber could be prosecuted in the UK over a massive hack involving customers’ personal details, a minister has warned. Culture minister Matt Hancock said today there was a ‘high chance’ that the taxi-hailing company had broken British laws over the breach. It emerged yesterday that the beleaguered firm had hushed up a mass data breach that potentially saw British customers’ personal details fall into the hands of cyber criminals. During today’s Commons, shadow culture minister Kevin Brennan asked Mr Hancock: ‘Has Uber broken current UK law in relation to this breach?’ Mr Hancock replied that it was a ‘matter for the courts’, but added: ‘I think there’s a very high chance that it is.'” – Daily Mail
- Firm ‘failed to give reliable figures for victims – The Times
- Uber must clean up its act – Wes Streeting, Times Red Box
- Tech-driven firms are why I don’t share the OBR’s productivity gloom – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
Ministers 2) Gove promises crackdown on puppy smuggling
“Michael Gove today hit out at the EU for preventing Britain from cracking down on puppy smuggling and pledged to tighten rules once we quit the bloc. The Environment Secretary pledged to lift animal welfare standards after Britain free itself from the red tape of Brussels. He made the comments after a row saw Tory MPs accused of voting down a law which recognises animal sentience – that creatures can feel things. The Cabinet minister said the public had misunderstood the parliamentary vote but pledged to enshrine animal sentience in British law after the outcry.” – Daily Mail
- British law will recognise that animals feel pain, minister pledges – The Times
- Stars spread fake news about MPs’ animal vote – The Sun
Ministers 3) Advent of driverless cars will mean millions need retraining, claims Hammond
“The introduction of driverless vehicles will mean more than a million people who drive for a living will have to be retrained, Philip Hammond has said. The Chancellor said the advent of the new technology will “transform the productivity” of the UK economy, but warned that for some people it could be “very challenging”. It comes after he used yesterday’s budget to reveal electric and driverless will get a £500million boost as he laid out plans for the future of Britain’s roads. As part of the measures, red tape will be slashed to allow tech firms to test driverless vehicles on public roads by 2021.” – Daily Telegraph
- Norman says Government is considering making cycle helmets compulsory – The Times
- Town halls attack Hammond’s housebuilding plans – FT
- Chancellor shouldn’t try to build Brexit Britain on the cheap – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
Brexit: May to offer cash in exchange for trade negotiations… “Theresa May will tell Donald Tusk on Friday she is prepared… Read more »
Budget 1) Deadline for balancing the books pushed back yet again “Philip Hammond’s ambition to get Britain’s finances back into… Read more »
Budget 1) Hammond plans a ‘prosperous, inclusive’ Britain, with a ‘bright future’ ‘Philip Hammond is preparing to deliver a budget… Read more »
Brexit 1) Gove and Johnson drop fundamental opposition to increased bill — dependent on good trade deal “Boris Johnson and… Read more »
May: A budget, and an industrial strategy, aimed at building a better future ‘This week’s budget will take a balanced… Read more »