Mordaunt makes security case for Brexit

EU Exit brexit“Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt today claimed Brexit would make Britain safer despite her boss insisting it was a ‘ridiculous’ suggestion… The intervention came as Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, also claimed a Brexit could be good for security as it would free Britain from the European Convention on Human Rights and free movement rules. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon today branded claims Britain was safer outside the EU as ‘ridiculous’.” – Daily Mail

  • Ex-MI6 chief claims quitting the EU would make us safer – FT
  • Turkey visa deal opens door to terrorists, warns Davis – The Times (£)
  • UK kicks out 66 dangerous Europeans a week – The Sun
  • Boris mocked over call for gay Brexit – The Times (£)
  • Trump claims ‘migration craziness’ might make case for UK leaving EU – The Sun
  • The £300 million cost to Britain of the EU’s travelling circus – Daily Express


  • Fallon attacks ‘ridiculous’ Mordaunt claims – Daily Express
  • Rudd blasted for ‘scaremongering’ over Putin – Daily Mail
  • Brexit threatens the UK’s future, warns Northern Ireland Office minister – News Letter
  • Duncan tried to join Vote Leave board weeks before declaring for ‘Remain’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Met chief claims Brexit would create ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ and risk security – Daily Mail
  • Banks back EU membership but are reluctant to speak out – FT

Pro-Boris, pro-Brussels donor calls for leadership contest after the referendum

“A major Conservative donor has called for David Cameron to face a leadership contest immediately after the EU referendum, whatever the result. Alexander Temerko, who has given the Tories more than £300,000 since 2012 and supports Boris Johnson, said he believed the London mayor would be the right candidate to reunite the party after a divisive EU referendum campaign.” – The Guardian

Alexander Temerko: Boris is the best hope for the Tories, and for Britain

BORIS blue and red“We may be on opposite sides of the referendum debate, but more than ever I believe Johnson offers the best hope of restoring unity to the Conservative party and of re-establishing the UK as a strong voice for openness and international cooperation. He can count on my backing – and hopefully that of other business-minded Conservatives – as the next party leader and our next prime minister.” – The Guardian

  • Philip Collins: Labour needs to speak up for the EU, quick – The Times (£)
  • Brexit will let us deport terrorists and block the entry of others – Daniel Hannan, The Sun
  • New Zealand’s flag vote shows the power of the status quo – Martin Kettle, The Guardian


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Boris decided to be Boris, and not everyone in the Leave campaign will thank him for it

Osborne is most unpopular Chancellor in two decades

“George Osborne is the most unpopular Chancellor for more than 20 years after his disastrous Budget last week, according to a poll released today. Three in five (60%) of the people quizzed by Ipsos Mori say they are dissatisfied with his performance, compared to just over one in four (27%) who say they are satisfied – a drop of 13 points. This equals his worst performance in March 2013.” – The Sun

  • Chancellor won’t be pinned down over future benefit cuts – The Guardian
  • Osborne defends blocking analysis of poor-to-rich transfers in Budget – The Independent
  • Chancellor tells firms Government will fight legal challenge to sugar tax – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne’s devolution plan hit by dissenting councils – FT
  • Chancellor threatens fresh crackdown on buy-to-let mortgages – Daily Mail


  • Bursting the housing bubble is good for us all – Ed Conway, The Times (£)


  • Cowboy Chancellor swaggers through his Budget grilling – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Tory toady lets Osborne off lightly – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)
  • Does anybody dodge questions as shamelessly as the Chancellor? – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

Cameron criticised for holidaying before Parliament breaks

cameron-thinks“David Cameron flew to the Canary Island today to give himself ‘time to think’, on the last day of parliament before the Easter recess. He has faced criticism for flying off as George Osborne’s Budget continued to unravel, Europe reeled from another terror attack, his government was rocked after a Cabinet resignation and the Tories continued to row over Europe.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister jets off to Lanzarote to give himself ‘time to think’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn overtakes Cameron in leadership rankings following Budget – The Independent


  • Cameron’s ‘wellbeing survey’ has come back to bite him – Tom Utley, Daily Mail

Hancock wants firms to end class ‘discrimination’

“Companies should measure the class background of would-be employees in an attempt to stop discrimination against the poor, a minister said yesterday. A set of questions allowing firms to check the ‘socio-economic background’ of those applying for jobs is being drawn up by Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock.” – Daily Mail

  • Jobseekers will be forced to reveal whether they’re rich or poor – The Sun

Blackman criticises firms for dropping ‘Easter’ from eggs

Church shield“Bob Blackman complained the seasonal snacks are now “just chocolate eggs” because some of the country’s biggest firms are selling treats without any reference to Easter. The furious Tory MP said: “The one thing I will just say is, that I am concerned about, is that on Easter eggs now we never see the word ‘Easter’.”” – Daily Express

Simon Jenkins: Our love for the NHS is killing it

“All through this, nothing dents the public’s love for it. Support for a tax-funded NHS runs at between 70 to 90 per cent of people polled. It’s this carapace of affection that is so dangerous for the nation’s health. It convinces the medical profession that it can both continue its restrictive practices and defy opposing politicians in all their machinations. It leads junior hospital doctors to assume they must be right to oppose Jeremy Hunt’s reasonable reforms to their pay structure. Public love makes the NHS smug.” – Daily Mail

  • Health Service being pressured to ‘fiddle the figures’, documents reveal – Daily Telegraph
  • UK under fire for reliance on foreign nurses – FT
  • Row as derailed seven-day service plan, claims top doctor – The Guardian


  • Doctors are repeating the mistakes of the miners’ strike – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
  • Junior doctors will regret being led astray by the BMA – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

Shadow Minister is on Corbyn’s ‘hostile’ list ‘for being Jewish’, MPs claim

LABOUR dead rose“A Labour shadow cabinet member listed as being “hostile” to Jeremy Corbyn on a leaked party memo is being targeted “because she is Jewish”, MPs have claimed. It comes amid claims the Labour leader has failed to tackle antisemitism within the party. Luciana Berger, the shadow minister for mental health, is one of just two members of Mr Corbyn’s top team listed as being unsupportive of the leader.” – Daily Telegraph

  • McDonnell claims anti-Semitism should lead to lifetime bans from Labour – The Independent
  • Prime Minister challenges Corbyn to ‘sort out’ anti-Semitism in Labour ranks – Daily Express
  • Creasy attacks Momentum movement – The Guardian
  • Find where Welsh MPs rank on Corbyn’s loyalty list – Wales Online

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Corbyn out campaigning for “hostile” Khan

Sturgeon claims she does want a 50p tax rate

“Nicola Sturgeon has said that she wants to introduce a 50p rate of income tax in Scotland and could still do so over the next five years despite her civil servants warning the move risks backfiring. The First Minister told a BBC Scottish leaders’ debate on the first full day of the Holyrood election campaign that she supported increasing the additional rate from 45p to 50p after the Scottish Parliament gets control over the tax next year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • First Minister reopens door to higher tax for top earners – FT


  • Vote for the Union was a lucky escape for Scots – Alex Massie, The Times (£)

Evans threatened to expose Farage as ‘wife beater’ in UKIP court battle

UKIP glass“A lawyer for a former senior Ukip official threatened to make ‘explosive’ revelations in court, accusing party leader Nigel Farage of being a wife-beater, it was claimed last night. Ex-deputy chairman Suzanne Evans, 51, was involved in a bitter High Court battle to try to seek an injunction against her suspension from the party.” – Daily Mail

  • Party’s Welsh turmoil continues as controversial candidate calls for running mate’s de-selection – Wales Online

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: UKIP suspends Evans – and finally flips

Cruz calls Trump a ‘snivelling coward’ for attack on wife

“Ted Cruz has had enough of Donald Trump talking about his wife and called him a “sniveling coward” after the Republican presidential front-runner took another dig at Heidi Cruz. “Our children and spouses are off limits,” Mr Cruz said, adding that Mr Trump needed to leave his wife “the hell alone.” Those strong words came after Mr Trump retweeted an unflattering photo of Mrs Cruz next to a flattering photo of his wife, Melania.” – The Independent

News in Brief:

  • Seven arrested in Belgium and France as police claim to have thwarted new attack – Daily Mail
  • Brussels cell was plotting ‘radioactive bomb attack’ – The Times (£)
  • Met chief attacked for saying that banks should not repay online fraud victims – Daily Telegraph
  • US and Russia pledge renewed drive for peace in Syria – FT
  • Easter strikes cause travel misery for millions – The Sun
  • New Zealanders choose to keep Union Jack after $25 million process – Daily Mail
  • ‘Independence campers’ in court over Scottish Parliament eviction bid – The Scotsman
  • First Minister signs book of condolence for victims of pier tragedy – News Letter