Office for National Statistics: Immigration will increase England’s population by four million

IMMIGRATION mat“London alone will be home to almost ten million by 2024 and the southeast and east of England will grow at faster rates than the total population, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The predictions, the last set of migration figures before the EU referendum, were published yesterday. They showed that London’s population would grow by 13.7 per cent by 2024 to reach 9.7 million, and the population in eastern England would jump by 8.9 per cent to 6.5 million and in the southeast by 8.1 per cent to 9.5 million.” – The Times (£)

  • What your area will look like: our interactive map – Daily Mail
  • May accused of cover-up as she delays a key report on exit checks until after the EU referendum – The Sun
  • MPs write to Home Secretary to demand inquiry into Orgreave policing – The Guardian
  • May pours bucket of cold water over firefighters  – Daily Mail
  • Deportation overrides human rights – The Times (£)
  • Mass migration and our quality of life – Daily Mail Editorial

On the eve of Purdah, Boris, Duncan Smith, and other senior Brexiteers demand that it be honoured

“Boris Johnson and more than 25 Brexit supporters have written to Britain’s chief civil servant to demand pro-EU material is stripped from Government websites by Friday. As the EU referendum reaches its final stages, the ‘purdah’ rules intended to stop taxpayer-funded officials and websites influencing websites kick in. Several pages on the main Government website Gov.UK currently feature a link to the pro-EU leaflet controversially sent to every home at a cost of £9million.” – Daily Mail

From the G7, Cameron urges young people to vote on June 23rd…

ConHome EU shirt Cameron“Last year the British prime minister was accused by Labour of cynically “rushing” the introduction of a new system of individual voter registration in an attempt to keep hundreds of thousands of young Labour-inclined voters off the electoral roll. Mr Cameron is now urging those same young people to register to vote before the June 7 deadline, with polls showing they are overwhelmingly more likely to support a Remain vote.” – Financial Times

  • …as he warns the elderly that Brexit would wreck pensions and cost them their carers – The Sun
  • …hires Alan Sugar as his “Enterprise Tsar (having previously sacked him) – Daily Mail
  • Cameron adds to pressure on China over maritime disputes – Financial Times
  • China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US – The Guardian

…And, back at Westminster, Osborne stands in at PMQs

  • “Osborne was nervous, noisy, determined to attack. His voice trembled, such was the force of his crossness. His right forefinger waggled, admonishing Labour. He was insistently, excessively confrontational.” – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • “As David Cameron was away, PMQs was taken by George Osborne. Mr Drax wasn’t the only irate Tory Brexiteer the Chancellor had to face. Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) accused him of “distorting the facts to con the public” into voting Remain. Bernard Jenkin (Con, Harwich & N Essex) accused him of “planning to break the law” by keeping “pro-EU propaganda on the Government website”.” – Michale Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Eagle wins Battle of the Deputies – The Sun
  • Osborne’s tax deal with Google in the spotlight as French authorities raid the company’s offices – The Independent

> Today: Tory Diary –  How you can still be Prime Minister, George – a letter from Mandelson to Osborne

> Yesterday: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Eagle soars above Osborne


  • CLINTON BillBill Clinton scraps pro-Remain speech after Obama backlash –  Daily Express
  • Blunkett to invoke 9/11 in pro-Remain speech… – Daily Express
  • …More hospital leaders to invoke Brexit risks to patients… – The Independent
  • …Baldwin to warn of Brexit risks to Newcastle (and everywhere else) – Chronicle
  • Row over Operation Black Vote poster that shows an aggressive-looking skinhead on a see-saw, jabbing his finger at an Asian woman – The Guardian
  • Remain winning the ground war, say academics – The Sun
  • Remain campaigners say that ‘patronising’ video adverts aimed at young voters were made knowing people would ridicule them – The Independent


  • Hilton interview: Cameron would be pushing for Brexit if he wasn’t Prime Minister – The Times (£)
  • Grotesque, arrogant and a law unto itself – Hilton book extract, The Times (£)
  • Gove says that EU rules add almost £1.7bn to costs of Whitehall contracts – The Guardian
  • Brexiteer split over the IFS – The Times (£)
  • The EU destroys jobs, says Davis – Daily Express
  • Grayling accuses Universities of pushing a pro-Remain message – The Times (£)
  • IDS attacks Corbyn over workers’ rights and staying In – Daily Express
  • Another Fine Leave EU Mess as Alesha Dixon, 5ive and East 17 pull out of concert after finding out it’s a political rally – Daily Telegraph
  • Tree strikes Farage – The Sun

In the Commons

  • Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 07.39.52Hammond denied Foreign Office cat is EU mole – The Sun

From the tearoom

  • Andrew Bridgen and Alec Sherbrooke row over the EU.  And the former says to the latter: “When I saw your breakfast I thought you had invited your entire office.” – The Times (£)


Polls and surveys

  • Nearly two-thirds of voters think UK will remain in EU, Ashcroft poll finds – The Guardian

Lord Ashcroft: Without party brands to guide them, many voters feel at sea

“The verdict, then, hangs in the balance. But that is not the only thing. On one question my poll respondents were precisely divided. Exactly half thought the decision we make in the referendum “might make us a bit better or worse off as a country, but there probably isn’t much in it either way”; the other half thought it “could have disastrous consequences for us as a country if we get it wrong”. There are four more weeks of evidence until the jury retires. As of now, not only can we not decide what to do, we can’t even decide how much it matters.” – The Guardian

> Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment – Control versus risk: my new poll explores which message might win out in the referendum battle

Peter Oborne: The Lying Game – Osborne’s dodgy dossiers are even worse than Blair’s

OSBORNE octopus“Then, in an audacious innovation not even deployed by New Labour, Osborne and his allies have been briefing the media and touring the broadcasting studios before releasing the Brexit documents, even under embargo. This means that journalists cannot challenge his headline figures and calculations. By the time the documents have been published, Osborne (or, in this week’s case, Business Secretary Sajid Javid) are nowhere to be found. This technique makes deception easier by keeping scrutiny to a minimum. Had a company director presented a prospectus on the London Stock Exchange on the same basis as the Treasury case for Brexit, he — and his chairman, his accountants and advisers — would risk prosecution for fraud.” – Peter Oborne, Spectator

  • Why I’m voting to stay in the EU – Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • Now that Cameron can no longer use the civil service as a propaganda tool, the economic argument begins in earnest – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)
  • A vote to stick with the EU won’t be the last we hear of Brexit – John Redwood, The Guardian
  • Brexit will make us richer – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • The EU is sabotaging our Army – General Sir Michael Rose, Daily Mail
  • The Government has been caught out again over its claims – Sammy Wilson, Newsletter
  • Don’t be fooled by Project Fear – Roger Bootle, The Sun
  • Threat of an EU army – Daily Express Editorial
  • The prime minister is in danger of becoming the leader who cried wolf – Times Editorial (£)
  • Strong economic case for Brexit – Sun Editorial

> Today:


Javid launches talks to cut steel pension fund liabilities

JAVID Sajid black background“Ministers are considering far-reaching changes to pension laws in an attempt to prevent the loss of Indian conglomerate Tata’s UK steel-making assets, it has been reported. Channel 4 News reported the Government was looking at ways of helping Tata to ease its pension liabilities in an effort to persuade it to abandon its planned sell-off. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills refused to comment ahead of a planned Commons statement by Business Secretary Sajid Javid on Thursday. However Business Minister Anna Soubry said the Government had always made clear it would do “everything we can” to look at the pensions issue.” – Wales Online

Guardian reports that the UK’s tallest residential skyscraper is now more than 60 per cent foreign-owned and is under-occupied. Khan attacks Boris. Plan was approved by Prescott (and backed by Livingstone).

“Khan announced he wants to try to persuade foreign investors to instead put their money into helping build affordable homes through a new agency, Homes for Londoners, which plans to build new municipal housing with backing from public and private money. “Nobody is against people investing in London trying to get a good rate of return,” he said. “The issue is using our homes as gold bricks for investment. People may want to invest in the wholesale side of building homes. That is in stark contrast in buying homes off-plan as an investment which are left empty.” – Guardian

And, while the referendum debate rages on, is the Government using it as cover to creep towards more intervention in Libya?

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 07.58.35“British special forces fired a missile to destroy an Islamic State truck packed with explosives in Libya this month, it can be revealed. The attack, which helped Libyan militias to halt the terrorists’ advance on the strategic city of Misrata, is the first evidence that British soldiers have a combat role against Isis in Libya. The disclosure prompted claims from MPs that parliament was being bypassed over Britain’s role in the civil war. Commander Mohammed Durat, a leading military figure in Misrata, revealed details of the attack. “My unit works just with the English. I have met with them personally and they have destroyed two suicide vehicles that were targeting my fighters,” he said.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Trump signed off deal designed to deprive US of tens of millions of dollars in tax – Daily Telegraph
  • Exam pressure behind a quarter of teenage suicides – The Times (£)
  • Landowners call for ‘rural concord’ over SNP land reform plans – Scotsman
  • Bradford shamed in league of empty homes hotspots – Yorkshire Post
  • Adonis role in Crossrail 2 worries the North – Financial Times
  • Inmates in prisons film each other fighting on smuggled mobile phones – Daily Express
  • Trouble at the Groucho Club – Daily Mail
  • Murdoch made no attempt to officially lobby ministers to curtail the activities of the BBC during charter renewal process, but the Guardian did – The Independent