We cannot rule out sending British troops to fight in Libya, says Hammond

HAMMOND Philip Marr“British soldiers could be sent to fight Islamic State terrorists in Libya, the Foreign Secretary says, as western leaders draw up plans to tackle the jihadists in North Africa. … In an interview with The Telegraph, Philip Hammond says he cannot “rule out” the need for troops in future to combat the terrorists who have seized a stretch of Libya’s Mediterranean coast. … The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are seeking to turn Libya into a ‘bolthole’ from which to launch attacks on mainland Europe, or ships at sea, Mr Hammond says.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “Britain is pressing for the expansion of naval patrols into Libya’s territorial waters to turn back refugees amid fears of more disasters at sea such as the one last weekend in which up to 500 people are feared to have drowned.” – Sunday Times (£)


  • “Is Britain creeping into another Libyan war?” – Sunday Telegraph editorial

EU 1) “Ridiculous and weird.” Boris continues his war against Obama

BORIS angel devil“Boris Johnson has launched an astonishing attack on Barack Obama’s ‘ridiculous and weird’ arguments for Britain to stay in the EU. … In an outspoken assault last night, the London Mayor mocked the US President’s controversial claim that Anglo-US trade would be hit by Brexit. … And he stepped up his war of words with Obama over Winston Churchill, claiming that the wartime leader and the US both stood for democracy – and that the EU didn’t.” – Mail on Sunday

Obama and the EU:

  • “The metaphorical machinegunning of Johnson, the Brexit campaign’s chief cheerleader, came four days after the Treasury delivered its most significant intervention: a document claiming that families would be £4,300 a year worse off by 2030 in the event of a ‘leave’ vote. … Taken together the two moments are regarded by both sides as potentially pivotal.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “And one ‘Leave’ official said: ‘We had no idea Boris was going to attack Obama so provocatively. It was a misjudgment. He must stop going off-piste.'” – Mail on Sunday
  • “President Barack Obama has warned it could be a decade before a US trade deal is agreed if Brits back Brexit.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Barack Obama was last night accused of holding a rigged question time session during which the EU referendum was never mentioned.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Hillary Clinton has thrown her weight behind the campaign to keep Britain inside the European Union in a major new boost to David Cameron’s hopes of winning a Remain vote on 23 June.” – The Observer

Obama’s visit:

  • Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)“Jeremy Corbyn came face to face with Barack Obama on Saturday in what the Labour leader described as an ‘excellent’ discussion.” – The Observer
  • “US president Barack Obama has hailed Northern Ireland and its peace process as a ‘story of perseverance’ and urged future leaders to forge a ‘new identity’.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “President Obama has called on Black Lives Matter activists to engage in meaningful debate with leaders in power rather than ‘keeping on yelling at them’.” – Mail on Sunday
  • “Barack Obama was treated to a special performance of scenes from Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London as part of celebrations to mark 400 years since the Bard’s death.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “Beleaguered Brexit campaigners retreated to their bunker yesterday – as David Cameron and Barack Obama celebrated their EU love-in with a round of golf.” – Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday:

EU 2) Andrew Gimson: Has Obama busted Boris?

“Game, set and match to the President. But why did Boris ever get himself into a contest he was so likely to lose? … The answer is that as well as being a politician, he is a journalist, and he needed to find an intro to his article which would grab the reader’s attention. … He was short of time, so he reached for the tired old Churchill anecdote and gave it a bit more edge by referring to ‘the part-Kenyan President’ – a phrase which would make people wonder whether Boris was being racist.” – Andrew Gimson, Mail on Sunday

EU 3) Mordaunt: Obama displays “woeful ignorance” over how the EU affects Britain’s security

MORDAUNT Penny red“The nations who shoulder the responsibility to keep their citizens safe need full control of their borders, they need the growth in their economies to increase spending on defence and security, and the recognition that it is through bi-lateral relationships and alliances that those nations capabilities become more than the sum of their parts. The structures and direction of the EU is completely counter to that.” – Penny Mordaunt, Sunday Telegraph

Further comment on Obama’s EU intervention:

  • “59 per cent of Americans say no, Obama; Britain should never be at back of line.” – Tim Montgomerie, CapX
  • “Britain’s proud voters don’t take well to empty threats, Mr President.” – Toby Young, Mail on Sunday
  • “Barack Obama on the EU referendum: I won’t tell you how to vote but here’s how I want you to vote.” – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • “Obama has every right to urge ‘remain’ — even if he’s got it all wrong.” – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Empires fall. Power matters. That’s why we should listen to America.” – Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Why should we take advice from a president who has surrendered the world to chaos?” – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

EU 4) Conservative MPs return to criticising Cameron’s EU deal…

FOX Liam new“Two of David Cameron’s senior Tory colleagues have launched a savage attack on his ‘sham’ of a new deal for Britain’s EU membership. … Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, suggested the public had been “stitched up” by the Prime Minister’s promises to secure radical new terms for the UK which would cut migration from the EU. … And Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, said the ‘special status’ that Mr Cameron claims to have secured for Britain will in fact leave the country as little more than ‘a colony of Europe’.” – Sunday Telegraph

  •  “Why Britain cannot afford to be conned by Cameron’s EU ‘renegotiation’ deal.” – Liam Fox, Sunday Telegraph

And other Tories wade in:

  • “Iain Duncan Smith has launched a personal attack on David Cameron and George Osborne, suggesting they have lied to the public over the EU referendum and accusing them of having ‘lost faith in Britain’.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Let’s take back control of how our taxes are spent and vote out of the EU.” – Priti Patel, Sun on Sunday
  • “Maggie Thatcher’s economics guru stormed into the referendum battle last night, claiming Brexit would cut living costs by £40 a week.” – Sun on Sunday

EU 5) …as the Prime Minister’s St George’s Day address makes the case for Remain

David Cameron 23-04-16“David Cameron has used his St George’s Day address to call for a country that is both “fiercely independent and sticks with its allies”, in a veiled swipe at those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU. … The prime minister issued this year’s message, which marks the feast day of England’s patron saint, on a YouTube video in which he hailed the country’s global reach.” – The Observer

Further comment:

  • “Cameron’s dirty tactics in the EU referendum are digging his political grave.” – Simon Heffer, Sunday Telegraph
  • “What Nick Robinson and the BBC left out in its biased history of EU.” – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
  • “The fact is that even the Brexiters admit that the economy would take a hit from leaving the EU, and it is clear that this would be disastrous for the NHS.” – Alan Johnson, Sun on Sunday
  • “Optimism about the outcome of the referendum is growing in Downing Street to such an extent that David Cameron is starting to think about an enhanced international role for the UK after it votes to stick with Europe.” – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)
  • “In or out, we need a euro with stronger foundations.” – David Smith, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Dear Mr Gove, If you want us to be like Albania, you’re an ass.” – Ian Birrell, Mail on Sunday
  • “Polls show an increase in support for the Remain campaign – but the battle is far from won.” – John Curtice, Mail on Sunday
  • “Europeans watch our referendum debate with fascination and fear.” – The Observer

> Yesterday:

The Government could be defeated over its child refugee policy

“David Cameron faces the possibility of a humiliating Commons defeat on Monday over policy on child refugees, as Tory MPs demand that the UK admits more unaccompanied young people who have fled to Europe from their war-torn homelands. … At least a dozen Tory MPs were said to be considering whether to back an amendment to the immigration bill, tabled by Labour peer Lord Dubs and backed by the House of Lords last month, which commits the UK to take in 3,000 lone child refugees who are already in Europe.” – The Observer

  • “The curry industry is in crisis because restaurants are unable to recruit top chefs due to new immigration rules, an industry leader has said.” – Independent on Sunday

> Yesterday: Raffy Marshall on Comment – How to help the abused domestic workers who serve people from abroad

Reports that Whittingdale may be poised to resign

Whittingdale“Embattled John Whittingdale has admitted he could be forced to quit the Cabinet over revelations about his private and political life. … Reeling from claims about affairs with a dominatrix, a former porn star and two Eastern European women, and about his MPs’ expenses, the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary told a friend last week: ‘I can’t take much more of this.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • “John Whittingdale has become embroiled in a ‘jobs for the boys’ row after a controversial political manoeuvre to help secure an arts post for a Tory donor or supporter.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “The culture secretary, John Whittingdale, endorsed a music streaming service months after the entrepreneur behind it gave him a £5,000 donation.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell is selling part of his back garden to help pay off crippling legal fees.” – Sun on Sunday

Tory MPs call for the Academies plan to be dropped from the Queen’s Speech

“With anger over the proposals rising in Tory ranks, Morgan has been asked to appear before the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers before the Queen’s speech on 18 May, with many of the party’s own MPs demanding that she goes back to the drawing board to avoid a parliamentary bloodbath. … With a majority of just 17 in the Commons, Tory whips believe legislation on ‘forced academisation’ would have no chance of passing through parliament unless the policy was watered down and the compulsory element removed.” – The Observer

Hunt makes a final appeal to junior doctors

HUNT Doctor Carla Millar“Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last night issued a dramatic ‘final appeal’ to junior doctors – urging them to call off their ‘extreme’ all-out strike and meet to talk instead. … In a strongly worded letter to British Medical Association chairman Dr Mark Porter, the Health Secretary suggests meeting to discuss concerns … But the letter, seen by The Mail on Sunday, contains no suggestion Mr Hunt is willing to discuss the main issue dividing the sides: Saturday pay.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Junior doctors may abandon their strike if Jeremy Hunt agrees to a Labour-brokered proposal to limit his new contract on weekend working to a pilot scheme before rolling it out nationwide.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • “A group of cross-party MPs has called on Jeremy Hunt to trial the new junior doctors contract in a small number of trusts in a bid to prevent next week’s all-out strike.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “A crisis-hit hospital was forced to request support from military medics to care for patients at its chronically under-staffed A&E department, it has emerged.” – Independent on Sunday
  • “Wokingham, Surrey, and Windsor and Maidenhead have all seen the lowest cuts to their budgets despite being the three least deprived areas in the country. The areas cover the constituencies of five cabinet ministers: Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, Chris Grayling, Philip Hammond and Michael Gove.” – The Observer


  • “Job security, flexitime, £100,000 a year. So, doctor, where exactly does it hurt?” – Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times (£)

Is the Home Office hiding the police commissioner elections?

“They are the £50million elections for the Government’s flagship law and order policy. But in an astonishing admission, the Home Office has revealed it is spending only £2,700 publicising next month’s crime tsar polls in England and Wales. … The Home Office has ignored calls from the Electoral Commission for ‘vital’ candidate information to be posted to voters.  … The move would have cost about £9 million – the same amount Downing Street spent on a pro-EU leaflet to households ahead of the June referendum.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Miscarriages of justice and long delays in the criminal justice system are becoming more common because a growing number of people are having to represent themselves in court, legal experts have warned.” – The Observer
  • “The head of Scotland Yard has warned British Muslims that attacks on a minority Islamic sect will not be tolerated amid concern over the growing sectarianism on UK streets that recently led to the murder of a British shopkeeper.” – The Observer

Bone accuses the Beeb of exploiting the Shakespeare anniversary

bone“The BBC was accused last night of using its Shakespeare celebrations to push a ‘Left-wing, pro-immigration agenda’. … An obscure passage known as the ‘immigration speech’ was never performed in the playwright’s lifetime, yet it was selected as one of the excerpts on BBC2’s Shakespeare Live! last night. … Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘They’ve gone out of their way to find a piece of writing which fits the Left-wing establishment’s pro-immigration agenda and it’s a shame.'” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Prince Charles took to the stage to deliver Hamlet’s famous ‘To be or not to be’ line tonight as part of a gala marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.” – Mail on Sunday

> Today: ToryDiary – Shakespeare, capitalist

MPs call for defence chiefs to be prosecuted if soldiers die in training

“Defence chiefs should be prosecuted if soldiers die during training, MPs demand in a report. … They say it is wrong the MoD is exempt from corporate manslaughter laws. … In the past 16 years, 135 personnel have died in training — 89 from the Army, 24 from the Royal Navy and Marines, and 22 from the RAF. In the 11 most serious cases, a Crown Censure was issued, the highest penalty that can be imposed.” – Sun on Sunday

Sugar vs Khan

Sadiq Khan“Lord Sugar has called on Londoners not to vote for Sadiq Khan, Labour’s mayoral candidate, accusing him of letting ‘lunatics’ take over the party. … Writing in The Sunday Times, the former Labour peer warns that: ‘Militants, Trots, anti-semites and terrorist sympathisers all seem to have been welcomed into Labour with open arms.’ … Sugar said he tore up his membership card after the general election because he was disturbed by Ed Miliband’s anti-business stance, but adds: ‘Under Corbyn, the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum.'” – Sunday Times (£)

Read Lord Sugar’s article in full

An account of life as a whip in Gordon Brown’s government

“You’re very popular among Labour MPs,’ Gordon Brown told me when he rang to confirm my appointment as a whip. I sighed and thought: ‘Well, you’ve just put an end to that.’ … The first thing to remember if you wish to be a whip is that you are not entering a popularity contest. It means an end to popularity altogether. From now on, you will, like it or not, be a person your colleagues love to hate.” – Helen Jones, Mail on Sunday

Could Big Ben change colour?

PARLIAMENT“The clock faces of Big Ben may lose their famous black and gold glow in a ‘back to the future’ heritage facelift. … Commons chiefs want to restore the entire clock tower to its original Victorian appearance – and that could mean stripping black and gold paint first applied 40 years ago. … It could be replaced by green and gold – with possibly a timely touch of royal blue instead of the gold, which is seen as ‘1980s bling’ by some traditionalists.” – Mail on Sunday

  • “Big Ben, which has rung out the hours from the Palace of Westminster since 1859, is expected to fall silent for months during emergency repairs to be announced this week.” – Sunday Times (£)

The Sun on Sunday intends to keep on battling against the celebrity injunction

“…the digital world has changed every aspect of life in the 21st Century. … What’s more it has changed this case beyond all recognition, rendering this ludicrous injunction worthless. … The longer our courts fail to recognise this, the more British justice becomes the laughing stock of the modern world. … When they meet again to consider our case this week Lord Neuberger’s Supreme Court judges have one overriding question to answer. … Do they want to be part of the modern world?” – Sun on Sunday editorial

The Sunday Times Rich List: the rich get poorer

UK notes and coins“Britain’s super-rich have suffered the worst hammering of their fortunes since the financial crash, with Lakshmi Mittal losing three-quarters of his wealth, according to the new Sunday Times Rich List. … Mittal, 65, topped the list in 2008 with £27.7bn — the biggest fortune achieved by anyone on the Rich List before or since. This year’s global crisis in the steel industry has sent his finances plummeting and he and his family are now worth £7.12bn — hardly the breadline, but a long way short of their peak, and a £2.08bn loss on last year.” – Sunday Times (£)

News in brief

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