Counter-extremism will form the heart of the Queen’s Speech

Queen's Speech‘David Cameron is to put curbing Islamist extremism at the heart of the Queen’s Speech this month as he seeks to fend off claims that he is becoming a lame-duck prime minister. Measures to ban organisations, gag individuals and close down premises used to “promote hatred” are to be included in an Extremism Bill that will be announced on May 18…The drive will begin with the launch of an independent review of how Sharia courts are operating in Britain. Theresa May, the home secretary, who first promised last December to investigate claims of a “parallel” justice system, has now finalised its terms of reference and is expected to announce the inquiry in the next fortnight.’ – The Times (£)

  • Extremists claim to have a mole in the MoD – Daily Express
  • Undercover journalist infiltrates terror cell in France – Daily Mail
  • ISIS and Assad colluded over Palmyra – Daily Mail

EU 1) Turkey to gain visa-free access despite not meeting Brussels’ conditions

‘Seventy-five million Turks will move a giant step closer to visa-free access to continental Europe tomorrow, even though Ankara has yet to meet a series of demands from Brussels. The European Commission will propose that Turks receive the travel concession at the start of July, a key part of the deal under which Turkey has agreed to take back all migrants entering Greece illegally. However, Turkey is yet to meet all 72 legal and political criteria set out by Brussels as a condition of the relaxed travel rules.’ – The Times (£)

  • Erdogan is getting a free pass – The Times Leader (£)
  • EU workers now make up 6 per cent of the UK workforce – FT
  • 80 EU nationals arrested every day in London alone – Daily Mail
  • The organisation only exists to become a superstate – Nigel Lawson, Daily Telegraph
  • Brief released for Leave campaign adverts – Daily Mail
  • £15,000 a day bill for taxpayers to keep Farage safe – The Times (£)


EU 2) Mandelson: Leave campaigners ‘hate’ other countries

MANDELSON Peter Sky‘The battle lines of the EU referendum contest are being firmly established. Those campaigning to get Britain out of the EU are gradually being forced to abandon a strategy based on economic argument in favour of Nigel Farage’s long preferred dog-whistle tactics. This is now developing into a contest between the economy and immigration. But for a while, it did not look like the campaign would be fought along such predictable lines.’ – Peter Mandelson, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Gove tops our next party leader survey for the second month running

Tory rebels urge the Government to accept 3,000 child refugees from Europe

‘Ministers last week scuppered a bid to let in 3,000 youngsters stuck in European refugee camps. Tory rebels have vowed to push it to a Commons vote again a week today after Labour peer Alf Dubs – who was himself a child refugee – retabled the plan. One Tory rebel, Heidi Allen MP, said last night: “Tragically I’m not surprised the number is so high as a lot of these children have been hiding from the authorities. It is all the more reason why Britain must do its bit.” – The Sun (£)

>Today: Nick Timothy’s column: In the debate about child refugees, reason must overcome emotion

Gibb warns parents against school strike

GIBB Nick Newsnight‘Ministers have warned parents who take their children out of school for the nation’s first ever pupils’ strike tomorrow will harm their education. Tens of thousands of youngsters are expected to be kept away from classrooms in the revolt over seven-year-olds having to do Sats tests. Schools Minister Nick Gibb urged ringleaders to drop the plans, saying it is unfair to haul kids out even for one day.’ – The Sun (£)

Fox joins senior veterans to defend Afghan interpreters

‘The former head of the Armed Forces yesterday said the Government’s policy towards loyal Afghan interpreters ‘shamed’ Britain. Field Marshal Lord Guthrie led a furious protest as he threw his weight behind a Daily Mail campaign to give them sanctuary. He was joined by ex-heads of the RAF and Navy plus former Defence Secretary Liam Fox in demanding an immediate halt to their deportation from the UK.’ – Daily Mail

Labour secretly suspends 50 members for anti-semitism

Labour holes‘Labour has secretly suspended 50 of its members over anti-Semitic and racist comments as officials struggle to cope with the crisis engulfing the party. Senior sources reveal that Labour’s compliance unit has been swamped by the influx of hard-left supporters following Jeremy Corbyn’s election. The suspensions that have been made public so far are said to be just the tip of the iceberg.’ – Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: Nadhim Zahawi’s column: I won’t take lectures on racism from Labour

Heywood seeks HS2 savings

‘Britain’s new high-speed railway line is being reviewed by the country’s most senior civil servant as concern grows that it cannot be built within its £56 billion budget. Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, is reported to be investigating HS2 to prevent the cost of the construction project spiralling out of control. It is feared that his intervention could lead to reductions in the lengths of tunnels through areas such as the Chilterns, or cuts to the compensation paid to home and business owners along the line.’ – The Times (£)

  • Universal Credit has been reduced to a cost-cutting exercise – The Guardian

I would beat the lot of you, Sugar tells London mayoral hopefuls

LONDON-ASSEMBLY‘Lord Sugar hit out at the candidates in London’s mayoral elections yesterday, saying that the city will be “stuck” with one of them for the next four years. The businessman, a Labour peer until he left the party after the general election last year, also told The Times that he had been approached to run as a candidate. He reserved particular criticism for Labour’s Sadiq Khan, saying he was “of the same mould as Jeremy Corbyn and all the other communists in the Labour party. It’s bad news for London, terrible news for London”.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Goldsmith on the stump. He says that the Mail on Sunday made “an odd choice of picture”

Former ministers and officials now work in the industries they once oversaw

‘Scores of ministers and officials are cashing in on their time in office by picking up lucrative jobs in the private sector. Many are working in the very sectors they used to regulate while in government. Those taking advantage of this ‘revolving door’ include Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem former Treasury chief. After losing his seat at last year’s election he has been taken on by a Chinese-run bank. Whitehall watchdogs have stipulated only that he must not exploit the ‘privileged information’ he picked up as George Osborne’s deputy.’ – Daily Mail

  • Why has the advisory committee never blocked a single appointment? – Daily Mail Leader
  • Housing association bosses under scrutiny – The Sun (£)
  • A new, self-serving, elite – The Sun Says (£)

Senior Republicans rally to ‘unstoppable’ Trump

TRUMP hair‘Senior Republican leaders are finally uniting around Donald Trump as the billionaire stands poised to land a knock-out blow in today’s Indiana primary…As he gains momentum former foes appear to be swallowing their doubts, suggesting that Mr Trump has a fighting chance of uniting the deeply divided Republican party behind him before the nation goes to the polls in November. Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who dropped out of the race in March after branding Mr Trump a conman, commended the tycoon over the weekend, saying that his campaign had improved significantly in recent weeks.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Isabel Oakeshott on Comment: Barack, Banks and Brexit in DC – my diary of a 48-hour Washington whirl

News in Brief

  • Lord Ashcroft: My life and death battle with sepsis – Daily Mail
  • Leicester City win the Premier League – FT
  • The Bank of Mum and Dad is involved in a quarter of all property transactions – The Times (£)
  • Astronomers find three earth-like planets just 40 light years away – Daily Mail
  • Boy dies after being shot with air rifle – The Times (£)