“That means equality of access to an academic university education, and a much greater focus on the technical alternatives too.”
Peter Thompson: The inconsistencies, contortions and self-contradictions of the case for votes at 16
On what basis would they then be prevented from appearing in pornography? Should they then not be tried as adults and sent to adult prisons? And so on.
WATCH: Wallace: “In the best case scenario, Corbyn turned a blind eye to a whole series of very nasty people”
Our Executive Editor discusses the allegations that the Labour leader and other MPs met with Communist spies during the Cold War.
But a vote on some form of customs union is coming. Might it become a confidence issue?
Rebecca Lowe: If May’s review is to be meaningful, it must shatter the illustion that all universities are equal
She will, today, talk of “identify[ing] ways to help young people make more effective choices when they leave school”. This could be promising.
After years of defence cuts and maybe more to come, we must ask whether the Armed Forces are properly equipped to keep Britain safe.
Local authorities don’t always appreciate the potential of special exhibitions to develop tourism – as well as the opportunities for schools and colleges.
Calling Conservatives: New public appointments announced. Chair of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets – and more
Further details enclosed.
The former Education Secretary on the review of tertiary education funding floated today.
She says that this wouldn’t be “to the benefits of my consitituents in Edinburgh or in the country as it is.”
The Shadow Foreign Secretary seeks to fend off the claim that the party’s leadership is unwilling to listen to its pro-Remain members.
“It wasn’t anticipated that so many universities would have the same fee for their course. There hasn’t been as much variety as we would have wanted”.
“We think that the future relationship with Britain needs to be about more than trade and economics”.
His first major interview returns policy to the spirit of May’s original education ideas, with new faith schools and expanded selective ones as part of the mix.
Gisela Stuart: This is a crucial moment for May and her government. There must be no backsliding on a clean Brexit.
Any deal that leaves the UK aligned with EU rules or which deprives us of control over our trading future would not be honouring the referendum result.
Mark Lehain: The times tables reform. Not a giant leap – but one of so many small steps for the better.
A fairer funding formula, better behaviour, fluency in numeracy and literacy, a richer National Curriculum, better exams: these appeal to voters’ innate common sense.
“Those who threaten our security would like nothing more than to see us fractured.” May’s security speech in Munich speech. Full text.
“If the priority becomes avoiding new cooperation with a country outside the EU, then this will have damaging real world consequences for the security of all our people.”
We feel a commission, a working group, an inquiry coming in – to look these inconsistencies, accidents of history and quirks, to see if some tidying-up is required.
We don’t need a European solution; we need a global solution. We must think independent Anglosphere, not dependent Eurosphere.
Labour’s recent track record is eye-wateringly poor, but is clearly not enough to endear minority voters to the Conservatives.
The Conservatives lost two seats to the Lib Dems in Teignbridge and another in North Norfolk. But the Conservatives gained a seat from UKIP in Tendring.
The Tories often appear to have been more worried about enfranchising working-class men than ladies of property.
May to set out plans for post-18 education review in speech today
“Theresa May will on Monday attack Britain’s “outdated attitude” to university education as she says too many people take degrees and are charged too much money for their courses. The Prime Minister will suggest that snobbery towards vocational training has created a belief that it is “something for other people’s children” as she aims to create parity between academic and technical education for over-18s. Announcing a review of tertiary education and university funding, Mrs May will admit that the current system of tuition fees is not working because the amount students pay for their courses bears no relation to the “cost or quality of their course”.” – Daily Telegraph
- She will say “all options are on table except except funding students’ tuition from general taxation” – The Times
- She will “admit current system of fees isn’t working” – Independent
- And argue that “reserving university” for “other people’s children” is “outdated” – Guardian
- And that education should be “rebalanced” towards vocational study – FT
- The speech will “challenge snobbery” – Daily Mail
- It could lead to arts degrees costing less – Daily Express
- Senior Tories show dissent over plans – The Sun
- There is no need for this review – The Times
- Price fixing is not a Conservative approach – Daily Telegraph
- Variable fees are not the answer – Guardian
- Any “retreat” on interest rates “will have nothing to do with decency” – Matthew Norman, Independent
>Today: Rebecca Lowe’s column: If May’s review is to be meaningful, it must shatter the illustion that all universities are equal
- Video: WATCH: Stop kicking student finance around like a political football, urges Greening
- Video: WATCH: Hinds – “I think it’s right to see what can be done to stimulate diversity and variety”
Brexit 1) Davidson says she “won’t accept” a no-deal Brexit
“Ruth Davidson has warned Theresa May she would not accept Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal and oppose any agreement she considers damaging to Scotland’s interests. The Scottish Tory leader said it was “certainly” possible she could reject the Government’s eventual Brexit trade policy and pledged to fight against a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which would mean reverted to World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs. The declaration puts her at odds with Mrs May’s insistence that she would be prepared to walk away from the negotiating table because no deal would be better than a bad deal.” – Daily Telegraph
- She also adds to pressure on Oxfam boss – The Sun
Brexit 2) McKinstry: “What could be more rational than concept of democratic self-governance?”
“What could be more rational than the concept of democratic self-governance, with control over our own laws, economy, trade, borders and justice system? That is how most nations are governed. Alternatively, what could be greater folly than dogmatic belief in our deepening subjugation to an unelected foreign bureaucracy? With their usual condescension, the pro-EU zealots sneer that Leave voters are too dim to appreciate the wider national interest. But if Remain had triumphed in 2016, there would ultimately be no British nation at all because we would be subsumed within the kind of federal empire so keenly advocated by Verhofstadt.” – Daily Express
- The “Brains for Brexit” academics will “need thick skin” – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
- We mustn’t give in to timidity – Roger Bootle, Daily Telegraph
- A hard border in Ireland will not help anything – Jenni Chapman, The Times
>Today: ToryDiary: ‘Partial’ customs union means paying a high price to be stuck in EU limbo
- British and US tech bosses write to Fox and Johnson about “misunderstanding” on diverging from data rules – The Times
- Corbyn “won’t commit” to customs unions today – The Times
- Verhofstadt says no deal before “Brexit Day”… – Daily Telegraph
- …And that MPs voting down deal could cause “crisis in British politics” – Independent
- Video: WATCH: Thornberry on Labour’s EU policy – “It’s an ongoing conversation within the Party”
- Video: WATCH: Verhofstadt wants Britain in the Single Market, the Customs Union and the EEA
Commons committee to call on May to “accept” that MPs won’t vote for boundary changes
“Theresa May will resist calls to keep the number of MPs at 650 despite a warning today that moves to cut it to 600 have little chance of Commons support. The Boundary Commission for England and Wales is finalising a map of new parliamentary constituencies to reflect the reduction. Changes are needed in any case to account for shifting demographics so that each MP represents a reasonably equal number of constituents. Among MPs likely to see significant changes under the plans are Jeremy Corbyn, whose Islington seat is likely to disappear, and Boris Johnson, whose redrawn Uxbridge constituency appears vulnerable to a Labour challenge. The Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee will call on the prime minister today to accept the likelihood that MPs will refuse to vote for the new map when the final version is presented to parliament in September.” – The Times
Spring Statement will be “perhaps the most unmemorable fiscal event ever recorded at Westminster”
“Philip Hammond goes by the nickname “Box Office Phil” in Whitehall — an ironic moniker for a chancellor who prefers to stay out of the limelight — but next month he will exceed even his own arid reputation when he presents March’s mini-Budget. Mr Hammond has ordained that his first Spring Statement should be perhaps the most unmemorable fiscal event ever recorded at Westminster, in a deliberate attempt to keep it out of the headlines. “There will be no red box, no official document, no spending increases, no tax changes,” the Treasury said. “The chancellor will publish updated economic forecasts; we expect the speech to last between 15-20 minutes.”” – FT
- Brokenshire “recovering strongly” – Daily Telegraph
- Bridgen calls for NCA inquiry into Vaz’s “property empire” – The Times
- Do Conservatives want ex-Ukip voters? – Clare Foges, The Times
- My ideas about housing – Mark Harper, The Times
- I’ve found out that Soubry was in the SDP – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
>Today: Alexander Temerko in Comment: Why Williamson is right to seek higher defence spending
D’Ancona: Why we must take Corbyn’s Czech “connections” seriously
“… There are two legitimate responses to these reports. The first, to which I incline, is that Corbyn and his friends on the Labour left were, at the very least, playing with fire at a time of great geopolitical tension. Such contacts, however innocent they may have seemed, were freighted with significance and peril, subtly encouraging the myth of moral equivalence between the two sides in the cold war. … An alternative response is this: the threat of nuclear holocaust in the second half of the 20th century imposed a special responsibility on all western politicians to explore every possible opportunity to build bridges with representatives of Warsaw Pact nations. … Much more alarming, however, than either of these arguments is the mildly amused indifference which the Sarkocy story has generally inspired.” – Guardian
- Corbyn must speak on this – The Sun
- Fans leave Glasgow concert after singer criticises Sturgeon – Herald
- New Ukip leader “defends” his description of Islam as a “death cult” – The Times
- Corbynistas are becoming radicalised – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
Powerful pupil action for gun control continues following Florida school massacre
“They went to school with dreams of achieving great things. They aspired to be scientists, broadcasters, actors, musicians and teachers. “Now we are changing the world, just not in the way we imagined,” said Alex Wind, 18, one of the student founders of the #NeverAgain movement that was born out of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school (MSD). “This school, this small town, now has a big voice and we’re going to get things done,” he said. “We are going to be the difference.” The shooting at the school in Florida, in which 14 students and three staff were killed and 14 more injured, has been met with outrage, calls to action, speeches and powerful pledges to get a grip on gun control — led by the young survivors themselves.” – The Times
News in Brief
- What to expect from May’s speech today – Owen Bennett, HuffingtonPost
- Some thoughts on social care – James Taylor, Backbencher
- We need a Brexit focus on services – Jonathan Hill, Reaction
- Hunt’s unintended consequences – Phil Whitaker, New Statesman
- The importance of “secular ethics” – Troy Jollimore, Aeon
May to set out plans for post-18 education review in speech today “Theresa May will on Monday attack Britain’s “outdated… Read more »
Everything is on the table in Hinds’s review of tuition fees ‘Tomorrow the prime minister and Hinds will unveil a… Read more »
Corbyn “knew” he was supplying information to a Czech spy during the Cold War “The Czechoslovak secret agent who met… Read more »
Barnier abandons Brexit ‘punishment clause’ after backlash “Brussels has cancelled a controversial plan to punish Britain during the Brexit transition if it breaks EU rules… Read more »
Foster calls for direct rule as Ulster devolution talks collapse again “DUP leader Arlene Foster today ended talks on restoring devolution… Read more »