EU Referendum Bill to top Queen’s Speech

CAMERON EU flag“A Cabinet source said legislation paving the way for an in/out vote is likely to be the first Bill published after the new Government sets out its programme next Wednesday. The decision means that ministers will be able to force through the law by summer next year even if it is blocked in the House of Lords this year – fuelling speculation the poll could be held in 2016.” – Daily Mail

> Today: MajorityConservatism – A Grand Bargain on Europe

> Yesterday: Rupert Matthews on Comment – Forewarned is forearmed on the EU Referendum

Javid to unfurl Enterprise Bill today

“Mr Javid will travel to Bristol, where he grew up above his parents’ shop, to make his first speech as business secretary after his promotion in last week’s reshuffle. In a highly personal speech, Mr Javid — a Thatcherite and free-enterprise Tory — will draw the link between his own childhood experience and his Conservative values.” – Financial Times

> Today: Chris White on Comment – There may be trouble ahead – with a slim majority, unity is the only way to avoid disaster

> Yesterday:

Halfon chooses the Sun for his first big interview and repeats that the Conservatives should be the Workers Party…

Screen shot 2015-05-19 at 07.32.13“With Labour in disarray after their general election drubbing, the Conservatives now have an “incredible opportunity” to seize the popular moral high ground, campaigning MP Rob Halfon has told The Sun. That means turning the Conservatives into “the modern trade union movement for working people”. The party membership fee should also be slashed from £25 down to just £1 for ordinary Brits.” – The Sun (£)

…While Hilton tells the Independent that British voters should quiz would-be politicians in US-style ‘caucuses’

“In an interview with The Independent, Mr Hilton said: “It is really important that we make the political process more human, as well as making government and public services more human.  Caucuses could re-energise our politics. It is a really important goal at a time when people are frustrated about what politics can deliver and find the whole system pretty impenetrable.” – The Independent

Fallon: Our dangerous world

FALLON Send for“Announcing his defence priorities for the next five years, he said: ‘The incredible VE Day 70 celebrations recalled the triumph of the forces of freedom over the forces of fascism. We need no reminding that the world today remains an equally dangerous place.” – Daily Mail

  • Brass hats step up heat over defence review – The Sun (£)

Hunt strikes back over NHS

“Mr Hunt hit back by saying the union chief had been “behind the curve” on issues such as the Mid-Staffs disaster, and rather than making threats he should pick up the phone and talk about reform. The Tory big-gun added: “We haven’t made a single proposal about NHS pay and conditions. “I think the RCN should talk to their members and, rather than grandstanding like this, should come and talk to me.” – The Sun (£)

  • A quarter of children aged four and five are obese or overweight, and the figure is even worse in poorer parts of Wales – Wales Online
  • Fabricant cancer interview – Daily Mail
  • The 24/7 NHS – Sun Editorial (£)
  • Now or never for a seven-day health service – Daily Mail Editorial
  • Seven day service will bring the NHS out of the 1970s – Ross Clark, Daily Express

I want to marry my girlfriend in Ireland, says Davidson

DAVIDSON Ruth debate“The Scottish Tory leader said it would be preferable if Jen Wilson, her Irish girlfriend, could “go home” for their wedding and that her partner is “desperate” for a Yes vote on Friday. Speaking alongside Ms Davidson for their first joint radio interview, Ms Wilson disclosed how she felt forced to leave Wexford in the Republic of Ireland in 2003 because social attitudes meant “I just never really felt I could be completely myself”.” – Daily Telegraph

The new Commons meets – and the ghost of Parnell watches as the SNP defy its norms. They invade Labour’s benches.

“A handful of new MPs embarked on a sit-in yesterday to try to claim the green benches previously reserved for Labour’s ‘awkward squad’. And in an audacious photobomb attempt, SNP MPs also wedged themselves just behind Labour’s frontbench and acting leader, Harriet Harman.” – Daily Mail

  • Skinner’s buttocks were clenched in triumph – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Baby braveheart beaten by the beast – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)
  • Bercow back as Speaker after Sally Bercow revelations – The Sun (£)
  • SNP land reforms forget about food production – Daily Telegraph
  • SNP considers voting on foxhunting ban in England and Wales – The Guardian
  • Now Manchester is urged: Forget Scotland, let’s make the north of England an independent country – Manchester Evening News

> Today: MPsETC – The coming fight for second place in Scotland

Jarvis jumps aboard Burnham bandwagon

JARVIS Dan“I’m choosing to support Andy because I’m convinced he has the strength, experience and character needed to bring our party together and restore Labour’s connection with the British people. He is a decent man with a story that will resonate with people right across our country. His journey from humble roots to serving around the Cabinet table speaks to the sense of ambition Labour should have for every child growing up in Britain today.” – Dan Jarvis, Daily Mirror

  • Burnham accused of starting campaign before the election defeat – Daily Telegraph
  • Yvette Cooper to attack Miliband’s approach to business – Daily Express
  • Harman says public should be involved – Financial Times
  • Stop taking union cash, says Frank Field – Daily Mail
  • Ken Macintosh enters Scottish Labour leader race – Scotsman

Janan Ganesh: Labour’s waffle

“The Labour mind is nothing but clutter. It is geared for analysis over judgment. Five summers ago, a decisive number of people in the party thought Mr Miliband was a plausible prime minister. These individuals are still allowed to handle flammable liquids and walk our streets unescorted. Some of them are in the shadow cabinet and likely to be promoted. Labour, the party of clever fools, will seemingly excuse any misjudgment, however catastrophic, if it is backed up by exhaustive analysis.” – Financial Times

Farage and Carwell hold hands and grit teeth

Screen shot 2015-05-19 at 07.38.07“The party chief showed up as his only MP joined a group delivering a voting reform petition to No10. Mr Carswell, the MP for Clacton, Essex, yesterday said it was a “very good thing” Mr Farage’s chief aide, Raheem Kassam, had resigned after last week’s civil war. He had accused Mr Carswell of attempting to “erase” Nigel Farage from the national stage.” – The Sun (£)

  • UKIP joins Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP & Plaid Cyrmu to urge electoral reform – The Independent

Prince Charles to meet Adams and McGuinness

“All of Ireland’s main political leaders have been invited to National University Ireland Galway but the prospect of the visit beginning with the first meeting of a royal and a Sinn Fein leader in the Irish Republic will undoubtedly set the tone. It also follows Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness shaking hands with the Queen in Belfast in 2012.” – Belfast Telegraph

News in Brief