Ministers ‘preparing for an early election’

Rosette shield“Ministers are preparing for an early general election after three High Court judges ruled that Brexit cannot be triggered without a vote in Parliament, according to reports. Thursday’s ruling prompted hardcore Remainers such as former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to vow to use Parliamentary votes demanded by the High Court to try to derail Britain’s exit from the EU. Some pro-Brexit ministers have responded to this threat by suggesting that Mrs May call a general election in order to increase her Parliamentary majority to reduce the voting power of the so-called ‘Remoaners’.” – Daily Mail

  • May says she will not delay her plans to get Britain out – Daily Express
  • Anti-Brexit parties would win 150 fewer seats than pro-Leave rivals – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour faces biggest mauling in 80 years if May goes to the country – The Sun
  • Fears over potential string of by-elections – Daily Telegraph
  • Europe’s media revels in May’s ‘humiliation’ by court – Daily Mail

Phillips ‘incandescent’ over lack of promotion before he quit

“The Tory MP whose resignation triggered a Brexit by-election was “incandescent” after being overlooked for a senior post in government, sources revealed as they cast doubt over his motives for quitting. Stephen Phillips’s sudden departure put pressure on Theresa May to call an early general election, just a day after the High Court ruling that said MPs and peers must be given a parliamentary vote on when the formal Brexit process should begin. Mr Phillips, a leading barrister, said he was quitting politics because of his “growing and very significant policy differences with the current government”. But colleagues said Mr Phillips’s motives were fuelled by frustration that he was overlooked for the position of Attorney General in the Cabinet.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Majority slips as quitting Brexiteer calls Tories ‘UKIP lite’ – The Times (£)
  • MP who quit over Brexit can spend more time with his £750,000 career – Daily Mail
  • Sinn Fein refuse to rule out taking seats to block Brexit – Belfast Telegraph
  • Clegg leads plot to derail High Court ruling – Daily Mail
  • Prime Minister faces down opportunist Remainers – The Sun

More Brexit:

  • Stirling gains as fears of hard Brexit ease – FT
  • Johnson fails to abuse the German foreign minister – The Times (£)
  • ‘Up to six’ SNP MPs who voted for Brexit urged to go public – Daily Telegraph
  • Overseas Territories fear EU tax clampdown post Brexit – FT
  • Cameron’s former spin chief lands six-figure job giving firms ‘strategic advice’ on Brexit – Daily Mail
  • Two-thirds of the public back growing GM crops – The Times (£)
  • Paxman savages Cameron for ‘unforgivable’ Brexit campaign – Daily Express



Matthew Parris: An election is the last thing the Prime Minister needs

CONSERVATIVE tree“The alternative is trying to engineer an early general election. But far from rescuing Mrs May from the Tory hardliners this could deliver her into their hands, turning into a nighmarish re-run of the European referendum of which the resignation yesterday of the Tory backbencher Stephen Phillips is only a foretaste. All Tory MPs would have to be readopted by constituency associations. This could turn into a purge. Forget what an election could do to Labour and ask what it could do to the Tories.” – The Times (£)

  • Referndums are now part of our democracy, if judges reverse them we go to a dangerous place – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Britain’s glorious constitution and the Article 50 furore – Bruce Anderson, FT
  • The Brexit appeal goes to the heart of our constitutional settlement – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • We face a crisis entirely of the Remainers’ making – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
  • The vicious assault on judges by the Brexiteer press is a threat to democracy – Lord Falconer, The Guardian


  • May should crush the pro-EU saboteurs and annihilate Labour – The Sun
  • Clegg, the pipsqeak enemy of democracy – Daily Mail

May told to leash critics of the judiciary

“Theresa May has been told to constrain “chilling and offensive” attacks on the judiciary from members of her own government. Senior Conservatives, including two former ministers, warned the prime minister that political criticism of the Brexit ruling by the High Court on Thursday was “threatening the independence” of the judiciary. One serving minister said that judicial independence was “absolutely fundamental to democracy”. But No 10 said that Mrs May was standing by her previous claims. She said those arguing that Article 50 could be triggered only with the agreement of MPs were “trying to kill Brexit” and “insulting the intelligence of the British people”.” – The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister told to calm ‘mob anger’ –The Guardian
  • Knives out at Number Ten for legal team – The Times (£)
  • Judges rocked by populist backlash – FT
  • Appeal judge’s EU links revealed – Daily Telegraph
  • Truss urged to defend judges – The Times (£)
  • Welsh Government seeks representation in Brexit appeal case – Wales Online


  • As Miller’s lawyers, we fought and won a victory for democracy – Emily Nicholson and Katy Colson, The Guardian
  • Has the political wreckage of the High Court ruling got SNP MPs worried? – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph


  • Judiciary does not deserve the opprobrium heaped on it by Brexiteers – The Times (£)
  • The Prime Minister must lead us out of this constitutional quagmire – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May is right to defend the royal prerogative

Visa crackdown threatens to tarnish May’s India trip

MAY Theresa pensive“Theresa May’s first bilateral trip outside the EU as prime minister will be a testing one as she arrives in India days after outlining a new crackdown on the country’s businesses. The Home Office has announced that Indian companies wanting to move employees to the UK will face a higher salary threshold. There is concern that they were undercutting the wages of British workers. Indian workers are among the biggest users of an immigration route set up to allow UK-based companies to bring in staff from overseas branches.” – The Times (£)

  • Immigration dilemma overshadows overseas visit – FT
  • Business chief sounds warning on Anglo-Indian trade – The Guardian

More international:

  • Patel got ‘major wrap over the knuckles’ in aid funding row – Daily Telegraph


  • The Prime Minister must show that she is truly open to the world – The Times (£)

Fallon claims new Royal Navy order will safeguard Clyde shipbuilding

“Sir Michael Fallon claimed shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde have been safeguarded for two decades when he announced work on the Royal Navy’s new frigate fleet will begin in the summer. The Defence Secretary attempted to end the uncertainty surrounding the future of the shipyards when he said “hundreds” of jobs would be secured with the construction of eight Type 26 ships. Steel will be cut for the first of the eight Type 26 global combat ships next summer, with the project expected to last until 2035.” – The Scotsman

Government blocks Shelbrooke’s internship ban

Building shield“The government has blocked an attempt to have unpaid internships banned, but is to investigate the practice as part of the current review of modern working practices. Draft legislation put forward by Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke was designed to ensure that anyone working as an intern would be paid the minimum wage, which depends on the age of the worker. Speaking in parliament he described internships as “the acceptable face of unpaid labour in modern Britain today”. He added, they “should have no place in a meritocratic country that aims to work for the many and not the privileged few”.” – The Guardian

Baroness Scotland denies misusing public money

“Baroness Scotland yesterday insisted the taxpayer-funded makeover of her Mayfair mansion was not extravagant – but had no idea how much it cost. In an astonishing defence of her lavish demands – detailed in documents leaked to the Daily Mail – she said it was ‘absolute nonsense’ that she had misused public money. The Labour peer is at the centre of a diplomatic row after questions were raised about her spending since she took over as secretary-general of the Commonwealth in April.” – Daily Mail

  • Embattled Commonwealth chief claims to have May’s backing – The Guardian
  • Is she more shameless than ever? – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Militant junior doctors plot fresh strikes – The Sun
  • Metropolitan Police accused of ‘burying’ damning report into VIP abuse inquiry – Daily Mail
  • World’s most advanced warships to be constructed on the Clyde – The Times (£)
  • Trump launches ‘extraordinary’ coast-to-coast campaign day – Daily Telegraph
  • Early voting leaves Presidential race on a knife-edge – FT
  • All councils could be forced to house asylum seekers – Daily Express
  • Separatist campsite evicted from Scottish Parliament grounds – The Scotsman
  • WHO demand public vaping ban – Daily Mail