New pro-Brexit business group with 250 signatories

EU Exit brexit“They will form a new business council chaired by John Longworth, who stood down as director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) after he was suspended for speaking out in favour of leaving the EU. The council is set to challenge the view pushed by the CBI and other business groups that companies are overwhelmingly in favour of staying in. Mr Longworth was suspended by the BCC’s board this month after he breached its policy of neutrality on the referendum on June 23.” – The Times (£)

  • Leave camp touts business backers – FT
  • Entrepreneurs join ‘anti-Brussels surge’ – Daily Express

Other EU:

  • Brexit takes centre stage in London’s mayoral race – FT
  • Ex-CIA chief says leaving the EU would not harm Britain’s security… – Daily Mail
  • …but ex-minister argues that it would – The Guardian
  • City to cash in on EU vote – The Times (£)
  • Remain backers accused of ‘seeking gongs’ – FT
  • Russia criticises Rudd over misleading gas export claims – The Guardian
  • Calais migrants using rafts as Britain braces for fresh influx – Daily Express

>Today: Zac Goldsmith MP in Comment: Forty days remain in the battle for London


Charles Moore: The EU is structurally incapable of rising to today’s security challenges

“The EU is simply not equipped to deal with these shocks. Some argue that it should be re-equipped to do so, but how, and by what authority? The EU is like a huge, sprawling, continent-wide version of Belgium, whose bombed capital it shares. It tries to reconcile internal differences by pretending they don’t exist. It lacks the will and capacity for self-defence.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The reasons for Tory infighting over Europe – Andrew Gimson, FT
  • UKIP has no future, so Suzanne Evans should join the Tories – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph
  • Dearlove is very wrong: quitting the EU would make us less safe – Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: No, Brexit will not lead to Welsh independence

May drives new anti-discrimination push in the police

Police shield“Police will be forced to justify their actions every time they stop a car because of concerns they discriminate against black and minority ethnic drivers. Theresa May is to order forces to start collecting information on road traffic stops for the first time as part of measures aimed at reassuring minority communities. She will make clear to police that she did not introduce reforms to controversial stop-and-search powers only to see other questionable practices emerging.” – The Times (£)

  • Home Office to ‘review’ policy on returning Afghan interpreters – The Guardian

Matthew Parris: It’s time for the Tories to end their affair with Boris

“And I hesitate to condemn a man for political ambition. But there’s a pattern to Boris’s life, and it isn’t the lust for office, or for applause, or for susceptible women, that mark out this pattern in red warning ink. It’s the casual dishonesty, the cruelty, the betrayal; and, beneath the betrayal, the emptiness of real ambition: the ambition to do anything useful with office once it is attained.” – The Times (£)

Plan for universal academies attacked by grassroots Tories…

School“David Cameron has come under fire from his own Conservative-run Oxfordshire council yet again as a host of local Tories criticised the Government’s plan to turn every state school in England into an academy… But Melinda Tilley, the cabinet member for education at Oxfordshire County Council – which includes the Prime Minister’s Witney seat – warned small village schools could be at risk if academy chains decided they were no longer viable.” – Daily Mail

  • Conservative councillors warn of risk to small village schools – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron under fire in his own back yard – The Sun


  • Even Tory councillors are up in arms: Osborne should leave schools alone – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

…as Morgan prepares to deliver ‘blistering’ speech to trades union conference…

“Teachers unions will be blasted by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today in a blistering speech to one of their own conferences. The tough-talking schools supremo will accuse them of betraying members by “doing down” the profession. She will use her platform at the NASUWT conference in Birmingham to lambast them for also standing in the way of vital reforms.” – The Sun

…and militant teachers greet Corbyn with cheers

On strike“Jeremy Corbyn was greeted with whoops, cheers and two standing ovations as he made a surprise appearance yesterday at the conference of the National Union of Teachers, the most militant teaching union. The Labour leader won repeated applause as he accused ministers of seeking to “asset-strip” schools by forcing them to convert to academies, independent of local authorities.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour leader wins a warm welcome from the NUT – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn backs teachers in fight against school independence – FT
  • WATCH: Islington MP attacks academisation plans – Daily Telegraph


  • Osborne has blundered by bringing his academies plan into the open – Lola Okolosie, The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: How a Government can beat the BMA

Labour rebels break cover and prepare for June putsch

“Labour MPs openly called on Jeremy Corbyn to quit for the first time yesterday as more than a dozen said they had resolved to move against the party leader in June. Angela Smith, a former whip, joined John Woodcock in demanding a new leader, the first time a public challenge has been issued. Mainstream Labour MPs were distraught after Mr Corbyn’s poor Commons performances, and the publication by The Times of a list of MPs ranking them in order of their loyalty to the leader knocked the focus off the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith and the unwinding budget.” – The Times (£)

  • Backbenchers respond to Woodcock’s rallying cry – The Sun
  • Corbyn faces revolt if Labour falls short at City Hall or Holyrood – The Independent

Scotland 1) Sturgeon in ‘disarray’ over 50p tax rate

SNP logo white background“Nicola Sturgeon is in “complete disarray” over whether to impose a 50p top rate of income tax and the uncertainty is risking jobs, opposition parties have said as the SNP blamed George Osborne. Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats highlighted her claim during a TV leaders’ debate on Thursday night that she wants to impose a 50p rate when income tax is devolved next year but dares not for fear wealthy Scots will move their money south of the Border.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Income tax powers shape up as key issue in Scottish election – FT
  • Firist Minister accused of being ‘scared’ to raise taxes – The Independent
  • Legal action initiated against Nationalist MP over holocaust tweet – Daily Telegraph


  • Sturgeon’s omnipotence is being tested by tax – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Scotland 2) More Scots feel British after endorsing the Union

“Despite Scotland’s independence referendum and a bumper crop of seats for the SNP at last year’s general election, research shows a resurgence of Britishness north of the border. The SNP won 56 out of 59 Westminster seats and the party is poised to win again in May’s elections to the Scottish parliament. Yet a University of Edinburgh study found that the surge in support for Nicola Sturgeon’s party was not accompanied by an equivalent rise in Scottish nationalist sentiment.” – The Times (£)

  • Conservative MPs call for ‘Unity Day’ public holiday – The Herald


Trump blames Rubio for Cruz affair allegations

America“Rumors surrounding Ted Cruz and allegations he cheated on his wife with five women are believed to have steamed from Marco Rubio’s camp – not Donald Trump’s, as initially believed. ‘For months and months, anti-Cruz operatives have pitched a variety of #CruzSexScandal stories to a host of prominent national publications,’ The Daily Beast has reported. Breitbart News claims it was one of those outlets that was pitched a ‘Cruz Sex Scandal’ story.” – Daily Mail

  • Shocking claim that aspiring Republican nominee had flings with five women – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • Brussels police shoot would-be bomber dead at tram stop – Daily Mail
  • Fatal attack on Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow – The Times (£)
  • Easter travel chaos as network buckles under ‘perfect storm’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Microsoft blames Twitter users for corrupting ‘learning’ chatbot – FT
  • Last issue of The Independent on sale today – Politico
  • GP surgeries begin banning advance bookings – Daily Mail
  • Syrian refugees will arrive in Cardiff from May – Wales Online
  • Unionists urge police to crack down on glorification of terror – News Letter