Gove storms ahead in ConHome leadership poll

GOVE union flag T-shirt“Michael Gove has stormed ahead as the voters’ favourite to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, the latest survey has revealed. For the second month running, a poll of Conservative members by the ConservativeHome website has found the Justice Secretary and Brexiter well ahead of his nearest rivals” – Daily Telegraph


Cameron’s EU benefits deal “won’t cut migration”

“Curbing benefits paid to EU workers is unlikely to lead to a dramatic reduction in migration, a report claims today. As few as one in ten foreigners from the Brussels bloc claim handouts soon after arriving in the UK – meaning they were mostly lured by jobs, said the Migration Observatory. The revelation torpedoes David Cameron’s EU referendum deal which he said would tackle mass immigration” – Daily Mail

  • Brexit will leave two million Britons in legal limbo abroad, peers warn – Guardian
  • UK voters more worried about break-up of Union with Scotland than about Brexit – Scotsman

EU states face fines for refusing refugees

CAMERON EU fence“EU member states that refuse to take in migrants under a new quota system could be fined billions of euros, the European Commission will announce today. Controversial proposals to be unveiled in Brussels would result in countries being fined €250,000 for each asylum seeker they reject… Britain is not part of the scheme but the proposals risk inflaming a row on immigration” – The Times (£)

Eurosceptics condemn German plans for European army

“Brexit supporters have hit out at German plans for a European army with joint headquarters and shared military assets. A white paper drawn up by Berlin calls for ‘all possibilities’ to be considered to make the forces of member states work more closely together. The prospect of integrating European militaries more closely has been highly controversial in the UK” – Daily Mail

  • A lot of people from lifelong Labour families are committed to leaving the EU – Nigel Farage, Daily Express

Economic uncertainty hits highest level for 19 years

“Economic uncertainty has hit its highest level in Britain in at least 19 years in the lead-up to the EU referendum, sparking concerns at the Bank of England of difficult times ahead. With surveys for April showing the weakest level of manufacturing activity since the eurozone crisis in early 2013, meanwhile, an influential group of US academics has attributed the slowdown directly to concerns about a British exit from the bloc” – Financial Times

Javid orders investigation into BHS tycoon

Sajid Javid 12-07-15“Sir Philip Green faces disqualification as a company director for up to 15 years if found guilty of misconduct by a government inquiry ordered yesterday into the sale and collapse of BHS. Sajid Javid, the business secretary, called for an urgent investigation into the high street company, which went into administration last week, a year after Sir Philip and his wife, Lady Green, sold it for £1 to a former bankrupt with no retail experience” – The Times (£)

Gibb fails school test

“A question about subordinating conjunctions is not expected to trouble an 11-year-old — but it certainly left the schools minister flustered. Nick Gibb’s heart must have sunk when questioned live on air about the grammatical definition of the word ‘after’. He clearly hadn’t done his homework because he failed the test” – The Times (£)

  • Cameron must stop the education reforms falling apart – Alice Thomson, The Times (£)
  • Sats are not about testing children but teachers, and that’s a good thing – Harry de Quetteville, Daily Telegraph

All aboard the Whitehall gravy train

ALEXANDER Danny Marr“The employment gravy train linking Whitehall to the City of London can be revealed today. Seven out of nine Treasury ministers who have applied to the appointments watchdog for jobs clearance since 2008 took work in big corporations. The same was true of 17 out of 21 Treasury civil servants” – Daily Mail

  • Danny Alexander’s appointment stinks – Max Hastings, Daily Mail
  • Lansley defends his work for Swiss drugs giant – Daily Mail


Davidson flies after first-time Tories

“Ruth Davidson began a whirlwind tour of Scotland by helicopter yesterday as new research suggested her party will struggle to replace Labour as the official opposition at Holyrood. The Scottish Conservative leader visited Oban, Keith and Peterhead during the first part of a tour aimed at persuading supporters of other parties to back the Tories for the first time” – The Times (£)

  • Scottish Tories hope to win four constituencies – Daily Telegraph
  • Davidson in mid-air drama as helicopter door flies open – Aberdeen Press & Journal
  • SNP sidelines party activist over anti-semitic online posts – Scotsman
  • SNP “fears Sturgeon may not secure majority” – Herald


Boris and Dave campaign for Zac

Zac Goldsmith 04-02-16“London politics gave us a day of barely-suppressed loopiness, including a joint appearance by the Conservatives’ two warring bigshots, Boris Johnson and David Cameron… yesterday evening they combined at a south London school to promote their London mayoralty candidate, Zac Goldsmith. A crowd of at least 70 was there to see it” – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


Khan called moderate Muslims “Uncle Toms”

“Labour was plunged into a fresh race row last night over an extraordinary slur against moderate Muslims by its London mayoral candidate. Sadiq Khan was branded unfit to be London Mayor after it emerged that he had described moderate Muslim groups as ‘Uncle Toms’ – a notorious racial slur used against black people to suggest that they are subservient to whites. The incendiary claim emerged in a 2009 interview with Iranian-backed Press TV” – Daily Mail

  • Khan could be Britain’s first Muslim Prime Minister – Amol Rajan, Independent

Chief Rabbi says Labour has a “severe” anti-semitism problem

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis“The Labour Party has a ‘severe’ problem with anti-Semitism, Britain’s Chief Rabbi says as he launches an attack on Jeremy Corbyn and his allies. In his first intervention in the anti-semitism row that has engulfed Labour, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis criticises the ‘poisonous invective’ and ‘politics of distortion’ from party members such as Ken Livingstone. He warns that ‘there must be no place for anti-semitism in our politics’ and calls on Mr Corbyn to take ‘decisive action’” – Daily Telegraph

  • Livingstone and the hard Left are spreading the insidious virus of anti-semitism – Ephraim Mirvis, Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn’s critics put coup attempt on hold – Guardian
  • Corbyn “to face leadership challenge from Margaret Hodge” – Sun
  • Corbyn ranted against Israel in 2002 – Sun
  • Corbyn insists Labour will win seats – Daily Mail
  • Labour’s crisis stems from the West-hating Left – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Cruz quits as Trump looks to White House

“Donald Trump has become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, setting up a likely battle with Hillary Clinton in November, after a decisive victory in Indiana that forced Ted Cruz to abandon his campaign… Mr Cruz suspended his White House campaign after a disastrous performance in the Midwestern ‘Hoosier’ State, which was one of the last opportunities he had to prevent Mr Trump from securing the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination” – Financial Times

  • Cruz calls Trump a “pathological liar” – Independent
  • Trump adviser calls on Cameron to apologise – Daily Telegraph
  • Sanders pulls off shock victory in Indiana – Guardian

News in brief

  • MPs tell ministers to stop dithering about Heathrow – Financial Times
  • Captain Cook’s ship found off Rhode Island – Daily Mail
  • Lawrence of Arabia’s dagger to be saved for the nation – Independent