Disunity 1) Bridgen and Dorries fuel talk of a leadership challenge

CAMERON knives‘David Cameron is facing the threat of a leadership challenge following the EU referendum after the Brexit camp turned its sights on the prime minister with a series of highly personal attacks. Bearing the hallmarks of an orchestrated campaign, Eurosceptic Tories piled pressure on Mr Cameron, including a direct threat to oust him immediately after the vote… The gravest warning for Mr Cameron came from Andrew Bridgen, a prominent Tory backbencher, who told the BBC on Sunday that more than 50 MPs were ready to move against the prime minister because he is at “odds with half of our parliamentary party and probably 70 per cent of our members and activist base”…Nadine Dorries, the Mid-Bedfordshire MP and ardent critic of Mr Cameron, said she had already written to Graham Brady…Ms Dorries said Remain would need to win the vote by 60-40 for Mr Cameron to survive. Anything less and Mr Cameron would be “toast within days”.’ – FT

  • Cash says he is considering submitting a letter, too – Daily Telegraph
  • Egomaniac backbenchers are distracting from the EU issue – The Sun Says (£)
  • Conservatives must not wreck the Government – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: This foolish, futile leadership challenge chatter

>Yesterday: Andrew Mitchell on Comment: To say that relations are strained on Europe among Conservative MPs would be an understatement

Disunity 2) Cameron dares them to try it

‘David Cameron is to reject demands from Tory rebels that he should set a date for his departure from No 10. The prime minister will dare backbenchers to carry out a threat to depose him in the wake of the European Union referendum that has split his party. Conservative MPs backing the Leave campaign broke cover yesterday to call for a vote of no confidence regardless of the result. They accused Mr Cameron of telling “outright lies” and said that his future in office was untenable.’ – The Times (£)

Disunity 3) IDS and Fox urge MPs to focus on the referendum, not plots

idspic‘A plot to knife David Cameron as Tory leader was shot down by Iain Duncan Smith yesterday. Instead he urged Conservative MPs to focus on getting Britain out of the EU. The former Cabinet Minister said: “I’m not going to be in favour of changing the Prime Minister at this particular point, at any stage”…He went on: “I’m in the business of fighting the referendum campaign to win it, so I’m not keen on any distractions.”’ – The Sun (£)

Disunity 4) Lawson: Downing Street isn’t above attacking fellow Tories, either

‘These ‘blue on blue’ attacks are precisely what Cameron had hoped to avoid during the referendum campaign…But while claiming he won’t engage in open conflict with his own colleagues, Cameron has been traducing them in his own way. Last week he accused those supporting Brexit of being ‘immoral’. Number 10 solicited interventions from the former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine, who obligingly described Boris Johnson as ‘preposterous’, ‘obscene’ and ‘irresponsible’, and from the former party chairman Chris Patten, who said Johnson was unable to tell ‘the difference between fact and fiction’.’ – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

  • He could win the war but lose the peace – Chris Deerin, Daily Mail
  • IMF report comes under fire for Tyrie and MPC – The Times (£)
  • Mervyn King blames the government for the tone of the referendum debate – Daily Mail

Referendum 1) Boris: The effects of uncontrolled immigration are undeniable

BORIS union flag‘I have always championed the benefits of immigration, and the ability of talented people from around the world to contribute to the life of this country. But how can anyone claim that this is not an economic phenomenon? Immigration is now the single biggest driver of our population – set to soar to 70 or 80 million. It is this surge in demand that is largely causing the housing crisis, and the almost overwhelming pressure to destroy the green belt. It is immigration that has been relentlessly helping to compress the wages of the low-paid while the FTSE-100 chiefs (many lobbying for Remain) have seen their pay go up to 150 times that of their average worker. Priti Patel was absolutely right to point out yesterday that such executives – nice and well-meaning though they may be – are insulated from the impacts of these inflows.’ – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson blasts EU tax powers – FT
  • A vote to Leave is a vote for democracy – David Abulafia, FT
  • Postal voters are instructed to vote Remain in their official ballot guidance – Daily Telegraph
  • Might Ruth debate against Boris? – The Sun (£)


Referendum 2) Pro-EU lobby agree with Leave about Prime Minister’s ‘nonsense’ immigration pledge

‘David Cameron’s vulnerability over immigration grew more acute yesterday as leading Remain campaigners sided with Michael Gove in a row over the prime minister’s migration cap policy. Sir Vince Cable, the former Liberal Democrat business secretary, said that Mr Gove had made a valid point when the justice secretary described the policy as a “foolish plan”. Mr Cameron has said that he wants to reduce net migration to less than 100,000 while remaining in the European Union. Roland Rudd, the treasurer of Britain Stronger in Europe, added to Mr Cameron’s discomfort, saying that the promise was “always nonsense”.’ – The Times (£)

  • Gove and Johnson are right, Cameron is wrong – leaving the EU is the only way to control our borders – Daily Mail Leader
  • Uncontrolled EU migration is a social disaster – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun (£)

>Today: Nadhim Zahawi’s column: What’s the future of the EU? The Remain Campaign doesn’t know

Referendum 3) Khan and Cameron put aside their differences

220px-Sadiq_Khan‘Sadiq Khan will join forces with David Cameron to campaign for Britain’s EU membership today, only weeks after the prime minister accused him of having links to extremists. In the most significant piece of cross-party campaigning to date, the mayor of London will stand alongside Mr Cameron at the launch of the Remain campaign’s battle bus. The pair will also unveil a “guarantee card” setting out the benefits of voting to remain.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Where’s Merkel?

A second boat is found trying to sneak across the Channel

‘Britain’s lax border controls were branded a ‘complete mess’ last night as experts warned vast swathes of coastline were wide open to migrants. Coastguards intercepted a dinghy carrying 18 Albanians trying to reach the Kent coast – the second in the same location in just two weeks – raising fears that many more are attempting the journey. And it emerged that there are only three Border Force boats patrolling Britain’s entire 7,700 mile coastline. The former head of the Navy said the UK was taking a huge ‘gamble’ with its security and demanded ministers ‘get a grip’.’ – Daily Mail

The Elliott Johnson inquest starts tomorrow

Elliott Johnson‘The parents of Elliott Johnson, the young political activist who is believed to have killed himself after allegedly being bullied by a Tory election aide, have said the inquest into his death is “just the beginning” of a battle for justice for their son. Johnson, 21, was found on railway tracks on 15 September 2015 after leaving behind three letters, in one of which he alleged that former parliamentary candidate Mark Clarke had bullied him and political journalist Andre Walker had betrayed him. Both Clarke and Walker strongly deny the allegations. Ahead of the inquest into Elliott’s death on Tuesday, his parents Ray and Alison Johnson said they hope the hearing will acknowledge the influence Clarke’s alleged bullying had on their son’s decision to end his life.’ – The Guardian

Waldegrave threatens to leave the Conservative Party in Eton row

‘The Provost of Eton College has threatened to resign from the Conservative Party over Government plans to make employers ask candidates whether they attended an independent school. Lord Waldegrave of North Hill, a former Tory Cabinet minister, has told Conservative officials he cannot accept proposals published last week. He issued the warning after Matt Hancock, the Cabinet Office minister, said companies should ask job applicants whether they went to private school in an attempt to stop discrimination against the poor.’ – Daily Telegraph

Nanny State 1) TaxPayers’ Alliance finds giant flaw in sugary drinks tax

tax-payers-alliance‘The campaign group says the ‘ill thought-out’ tax will hit the poorest hardest. In a statement, it added: ‘The Government must abandon this pernicious tax.’ It compared 49 drinks in three groups – regular fizzy drinks as well as sports and energy versions, milk-based drinks, and coffees. The first group would be taxed under the scheme, while the second and third groups – which included 29 high-sugar drinks – would not. In fact, the ten most sugary drinks it analysed will not be taxed. Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: ‘It is deeply concerning that the Government has given in to the pressures from the public health lobby and is pushing ahead with this regressive tax.’ – Daily Mail

Nanny State 2) Committee that set alcohol guidelines included anti-alcohol campaigners

‘The panel of experts that helped to reduce Britain’s safe drinking levels contained several anti-alcohol lobbyists, an insider has told The Times. The committee’s report led to the weekly advisory limit for men being cut from 21 to 14 units — or seven pints of beer over seven days — and stark warnings to women that every glass of wine raised their risk of breast cancer. The report to Britain’s chief medical officers, who provoked an outcry when they announced the new limit in January, did not mention that four key figures behind it were members of the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS), a lobby group financed by the temperance movement.’ – The Times (£)

Corbyn hints he might bring Miliband into his Shadow Cabinet

MILIBAND Red Ed‘Jeremy Corbyn has fuelled speculation that he wants Ed Miliband in his shadow cabinet by refusing to rule out his return to frontbench politics. During an interview on Pienaar’s Politics on the BBC’s Radio 5 the Labour leader spoke highly of his “great friend” while on the EU referendum campaign trail. Asked if he wants the Doncaster MP back in the shadow cabinet, Mr Corbyn refused to rule out the possibility and replied: “That is all for the future.”‘ – The Sun (£)

Welfare bill rises by £4 billion

‘Britain’s benefits bill increased by £4 billion last year despite austerity measures and repeated attempts by the government to bring it under control. A rise in the bill for tax credits as well as housing, disability and carers’ benefits helped the annual welfare bill rise to £217.7 billion in 2014-15, according to an official audit of government spending…The cost of providing the state pension fuelled the overall increase, rising from £85 billion to £88.6 billion. There was also a £2.5 billion increase in employment support allowance, given to people unable to work or only able to work part-time. Officials said that the big increase had come about because it was replacing a number of other benefits.’ – The Times (£)

Ridley: GM mosquitoes are the way to fight the Zika virus

mattridley‘The British start-up Oxitec, now part of Intrexon, developed a technique for genetically altering male Aedes aegypti in 2002 so that their offspring cannot survive to adulthood. In five separate trials over the past five years, more than 150 million such male OX513A mosquitoes have been released in Brazil (three places), Panama and the Cayman Islands. Males don’t bite, live for only a week, and in this case their offspring die young, so the long-term ecological effect is nil. The trials resulted in 92 per cent, 92 per cent, 93 per cent, 96 per cent and 99 per cent reduction in the respective local populations of Aedes aegypti — far higher than can be achieved with pesticides.’ – Matt Ridley, The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Top Gear car crash – Daily Mail
  • Students call for prisons to be abolished – The Times (£)
  • Labour MP’s bizarre ‘Asians’ remark – Daily Mail
  • Northern accents are eroded – but Geordie remains a stronghold – The Times (£)
  • Iraqi forces prepare to storm Fallujah – Daily Telegraph