Boris’ allies hit back after Cameroon attack

BORIS union flag“Allies of Boris Johnson last night reacted with fury after a savage attack on his character and his claim to the Tory crown. They hit back after former Conservative MP Matthew Parris warned the London Mayor was a ‘dangerous charmer’ and would be a disaster as party leader. Mr Parris – who has close links to No 10 through his partner, ex-Downing Street speechwriter Julian Glover – ripped into Mr Johnson’s character.” – Daily Mail

  • Mayor praises Putin for driving ISIS from Palmyra – Daily Mail
  • To Russia with love: Boris’ praise for Moscow strongman – Daily Express
  • Old flame casts light on Boris – The Times (£)


  • Like others betrayed by Boris, I can’t help forgiving him – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Tim Montgomerie: Make Gove Deputy Prime Minister to end Tory wars

“The only big beast trusted in Downing Street and also respected by most Brexiteers, IDS-style compassionate Conservatives, public service reformers and right-wing opinion formers is Michael Gove. As ConservativeHome has recommended, the super-brainy former Times writer should be appointed deputy PM as the centrepiece of a government relaunch.” – The Times (£)

Cameron’s secret meetings with pro-EU Cabinet

CAMERON EU fence“David Cameron has called a series of secret cabinet meetings for pro-European Union ministers only, as he fears that he is increasingly isolated at the head of the campaign. The so-called Remain cabinet meets at locations and times divulged only to cabinet ministers committed to staying in the EU, with those such as Michael Gove, the justice secretary who supports a Brexit, kept in the dark.” – The Times (£)

  • Civil war deepens over claims the Prime Minister is ignoring Eurosceptic ministers – Daily Telegraph
  • Tories in turmoil as Cameron excludes Brexiteers – Daily Express
  • Crabb claims his French wife supports Remain over price rise fears – Daily Telegraph
  • Branson claims budget airlines are ‘terrified’ of Brexit – Daily Express

Number Ten:

  • Prime Minister pledges support for Pakistan after terror attack – Daily Express


  • Brexit campaigners apologise for wrongly claiming Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse bosses’ support – Daily Mail
  • Leave campaign claims Easter eggs will be cheaper post-Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • EU judges could limit UK surveillance powers before vote – The Guardian


  • It pays these lords to be Brussels’ cheerleaders – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • To protect workers rights the left should fight for the EU – Will Hutton, The Guardian
  • Why Brexit could be good for our health – Daily Mail editorial

Anna Soubry: This referendum is a straight choice between certainty and risk

“The longer this campaign goes on, the clearer it becomes. On one side, you have those, like me, who want to remain. We not only offer certainty: certainty about our access to the Single Market; certainty about jobs and prices. We are also backed up by a welter of opinion, from businesses small and large to independent experts… On the other, you have those who want to leave, who make assertions with little evidence, and don’t have their claims backed up. All they offer is risk at a time of uncertainty.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Campaign is deepening Tory divisions in other areas like health – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Less secure inside the EU, though still unsecure outside it

Millions hit by Osborne’s ‘stealth raid’ on wages

Tax Take“More than six million workers will suffer a surprise cut to their take-home pay from next month after a stealth raid by George Osborne that will net the Treasury £5.5 billion a year. The rise in national insurance payments will cause an affected worker earning £40,000 to lose about £40 a month, under reforms announced three years ago but taking effect now.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour claim cut in Capital Gains Tax gives £3,000 to very richest – The Guardian
  • DWP spent over £100,000 in bid to overturn ‘bedroom tax’ court ruling – Wales Online

Morgan won’t back down on academies plan

“Ministers face a revolt over plans to make all state schools academies after council bosses demanded a rethink. A cross-party group of town hall leaders said there was “no evidence” academies outperformed council-run schools. The blast from Local Government Association chiefs came a day after the National Union of Teachers voted to ballot for strikes over the plan.” – The Sun

  • Conservatives face rising grassroots rebellion – FT



>Yesterday: Rob Leitch in Comment: The greatest Conservative education reform of all – changing the way progress is measured

Blunt claims British troops in Libya would be ‘sitting ducks’

Armed Forces“British soldiers would become targets for IS and hostile fighters if they end up stationed in Libya’s capital, a senior MP has warned. Crispin Blunt, the former justice minister, claimed talks have been held over stationing 1,000 British troops in a Baghdad-style ‘Green Zone’ as part of the military assistance offered to Libya’s fledgling unity government.” – Daily Mail

  • Blair claims we must be prepared to deploy ground troops against ISIS – The Guardian
  • How a law firm drummed up cases against UK soldiers – Daily Mail

Tories extend lead over Scottish Labour with older voters

“Fewer than one in five older voters intend to support Scottish Labour in May’s election, according to a new poll. The Survation poll of 1,000 people aged over 60 found that 19 per cent intend to back the party in the constituency vote, with 18 per cent supporting it in the regional list vote. Meanwhile, 43 per cent of those polled said they would vote SNP in the constituency vote, with 28 per cent backing Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives.” – The Scotsman

  • Consistency will pay off for the Scottish Conservatives – Brian Monteith, The Scotsman

Trump claims UK is ‘no longer safe’

US flag“The leading Republican Presidential candidate said that England was among the countries which have become ‘weak’ and cannot protect themselves. Mr Trump said Europe had ‘very, very severe’ problems with terrorism and that it needed better law enforcement. The property mogul spoke out after saying that, were he to become President, he would make America’s allies pay for the ‘cloak of protection’ the US offers.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour warn against cuts to Border Force – The Times (£)
  • Burnham attacks Home Secretary for trying to hide cuts – The Sun
  • May struggling to recruit armed police over lawsuit fears – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • French start clearing Calais ‘jungle’ – Daily Mail
  • ISIS seize migrant trail as recruitment ground – The Times (£)
  • Far right ‘hooligans’ invade Brussels’ bomb-victim vigil – Daily Telegraph
  • Dash for pension pot amongst over-55s slows – FT
  • German railway launches women and children-only carriages over sex attack fears – Daily Express
  • British ambassador present as Ireland commemorates Easter Rising – News Letter
  • At least 65 dead in Pakistan as suicide bomber targets Christians – Daily Mail
  • Millions of aid money spent in the USA – The Times (£)