Leadership 1) The Prime Minister “will announce her resignation today”

“Theresa May is set to resign as the Conservative leader today, clearing the way for a new prime minister by the end of July. She is expected to bring her premiership of nearly three years to a close after a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers. Mrs May will remain in No 10 during a leadership election lasting about six weeks, and may even try to pass part of her Brexit deal. The contest is likely to start on June 10 after the state visit by President Trump.” – The Times

  • This is ‘do or die’ day for the Tories – we oust May now, or we disappear – Michael Fabricant, Daily Telegraph
  • The Cabinet must tell her to go – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • The contest won’t be formally triggered until June 10th – The Sun
  • Why hasn’t she already gone? – Camilla Tominey, Daily Telegraph
  • PM in a “fragile state” – Financial Times
  • Downfall was inevitable – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian


Leadership 2) Stewart promises to fight “everyday injustices”

“Cabinet minister Rory Stewart last night vowed to tackle Britain’s ‘everyday injustices’ as he launched his bid for No10. The International Development Secretary pledged to save the high street by tackling the ‘grossly unfair’ business rates that online firms such as Amazon pay. He also said one of his first acts would be to axe car parking charges at hospitals, blasting them as ‘offensive’…Mr Stewart, the son of an MI6 intelligence officer, said he believed the Conservative Party was about having ‘community and values at its heart’ and a ‘sense of fairness’.” – Daily Mail

Leadership 3) Williamson is backing Johnson

“Gavin Williamson backed Boris Johnson for PM – saying he’s the only Tory who can “deliver Brexit and beat Labour”. The sacked Defence Secretary – and former chief whip – told The Sun Boris had “cut through” in every corner of the country.He said: “It’s clear to me that if you want to keep Corbyn out of Downing Street the only way to do that is vote for Boris Johnson. “I also believe people have the faith and belief that he is the man to deliver Brexit.” It came as a poll found 36 per cent favour Mr Johnson in the battle to succeed Theresa May.” – The Sun

  • Campaigner mounts private prosecution over referendum claims – Financial Times

>Today: Columnist Iain Dale: The stars are aligning for a Johnson premiership

Leadership 4) Fallon: Thatcher didn’t cling on like this

“It’s nearly 30 years ago now but none of us who were there will ever forget the quiet dignity of Margaret Thatcher’s final days in office. From the moment she won – won! – the first leadership ballot, through that dreadful Wednesday, and on to her triumphant final speech as Prime Minister in the confidence debate the following day, it was impossible not to be moved by her grace and poise. She had to go, not because she fell a few votes short of the ballot threshold, but because in the end she had lost the confidence of her colleagues. When your own Cabinet tells you that your time is up, it is…Who on earth has been advising Mrs May these past weeks and months?” – Michael Fallon, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Alistair Lexden on Comment: Forty years ago, Thatcher was assembling her transformative Government

Leadership 5) Nelson: Johnson needs to give consistent messages to Tory MPs

“The only way for MPs to stop Boris is to trip him up now, before he gets in the final two. Or, rather, hope that he trips himself up – and there’s a reasonable chance of it. Take the private meetings he has held with MPs. They go into detail, asking if he’ll axe HS2 or the foreign aid spending target. He hasn’t decided, so allows different MPs to walk away with different impressions – they end up comparing notes and thinking they’ve been lied to. He needs more of a strategy. And, crucially, a Chief of Staff on whom MPs can rely to run the show – and build an alliance with.” – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 6) Martin: New Tory leader must unite the centre right

“For Tory moderates, horrified by the taint of association with Farage, this is deeply problematic territory. Nonetheless, it is where holding these European elections, and the two-year epic mistake of keeping May in place when she should have been removed, have left everyone. Boris, if it is him, will have to find a way through the wreckage. He must now unite the centre-right. A divided right simply lets the far left in.” – Iain Martin, The Times

Brexit 1) Cabinet forces the Withdrawal Agreement to be abandoned

“Mrs May began on Thursday playing for time by suggesting to ministers she would postpone the Bill and rewrite it so she could push ahead with a vote on it next month. But Mr Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, told her to pull the Withdrawal Agreement Bill altogether, leaving Mrs May facing a collapse in Cabinet support after the resignation of Andrea Leadsom on Wednesday night. Mr Hunt made it clear to the Prime Minister that “loyal colleagues” should not be forced to go through the voting lobbies to back the Bill. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, made it clear in a separate face-to-face meeting he could not vote for the Bill in its current form. Penny Mordaunt, the Defence Secretary, and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, are understood to have given her similar messages in phone calls on Wednesday night.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Her deal will not pass no matter how much she tweaks it – Leader, The Sun

>Today: Anthony Browne on Comment: Policy Gains from Brexit 5) Making regional development more effective

Brexit 2) A new PM would have the power to deliver “no deal”

“A new prime minister could trigger a no-deal Brexit without parliament having the power to stop it, senior Conservatives are warning colleagues. In a stark message to MPs, supporters of Theresa May’s deal have said that if Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab were elected to succeed her then the House of Commons could be sidelined from the process of leaving the European Union. They have been backed by the Institute for Government, a Whitehall think tank, which said that although MPs could express an opinion they would not have “legal teeth” to stop a no-deal Brexit. Under UK law, enacted by last year’s EU Withdrawal Act, Britain will leave with or without a deal on October 31 unless the date is changed by the government or Article 50 is revoked.” – The Times Continue to all today’s Newslinks