May announces cyber-bullying crackdown

Computer“Teachers are to be trained to spot pupils affected by cyber-bullying and eating disorders under plans to tackle the scourge of mental illness, Theresa May will announce today. The Prime Minister will use a wide-ranging speech on social reform to unveil a new fight against the ‘burning injustices’ suffered by those suffering mental health problems. Warning that failure to tackle mental health problems quickly ‘destroys lives’, Mrs May will vow to end the stigma that has led to millions of people suffering in silence.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister calls for ‘revolution’ in child mental healthcare – The Times (£)
  • Teachers will be trained to spot problems – The Sun
  • Focus shifts away from Cameron’s ‘big society’ – FT

Justine Greening: It’s time to tackle the injustice of mental illness

“We want every young person to grow up feeling confident about themselves and their future. So we need to take a fresh approach to the support available to them, not just through their local health services but through their schools and colleges, as well as their families. Today the prime minister is announcing that we will do just that, setting out measures to step up the way we respond to mental illness in young people, as part of this government’s commitment to social reform.” – The Times (£)

  • Support for child mental health provision is overdue – The Times (£)
  • Improvements will be difficult with the NHS under strain – Daily Telegraph

‘Clearest hint’ from May that UK is heading for hard Brexit

EU Exit brexit“Theresa May has revealed that Britain will not attempt to cling on to parts of its EU membership in the strongest sign that she is heading for a “hard Brexit”. In a disclosure that buoyed Leave-supporting Conservative MPs, the prime minster indicated that Britain is heading out of the bloc’s single market as she warned there would be no attempt to “keep bits of membership of the EU”. Her comments caused immediate concern among some Conservative MPs campaigning for a soft Brexit, which would see Britain remain a member of the single market in return for accepting the EU’s free movement immigration rules.” – The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister criticised for ‘reckless’ attitude – The Independent
  • May’s hints leave Scotland ‘sidelined’ – The Guardian
  • Prime Minister signals rejection of First Minister’s call – The Scotsman
  • Gove says not quitting the single market would be ‘fake Brexit’ – The Independent

The opposition:

  • Labour needs a migration plan, warns Watson – The Times (£)
  • Deputy Leader admits even he isn’t sure what Labour’s policy is – The Sun
  • Marr rebukes Sturgeon for saying UK can stay in single market – Daily Express
  • Jones looks to Norway for Brexit compromise plans – Wales Online

Matthew d’Ancona: Ignore the phony war, Brexit will be May’s true test

“The shots fired last week are the skirmishes of a phoney war. Will May be a consequential prime minister? That depends, of course, upon the rolling-out of the measures already announced and the many more still being drafted. It depends upon the state of the economy in the uncertain years ahead. It depends, above all, upon Brexit, its character, texture and aftermath. The audit so far is more promising than her trigger-happy critics allow. But the best – and worst – is yet to come.” – The Guardian

  • Critics read May’s crystal-clear statesments through steamed-up glasses – Iain Duncan Smith, Times Red Box
  • Premier must explain how Brexit can strengthen, not overturn, the West – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Why Britain must remain part of the European Single Market – Nick Clegg, Times Red Box
  • Time to call Sturgeon’s bluff – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

>Today: William Norton in Comment: A good deal would be better than WTO. But WTO would be far better than a bad one.


Johnson flies out to meet Trump’s advisers

BORIS blue and red“Boris Johnson flew to New York for secret talks with Donald Trump’s closest aides yesterday, as ministers tried to mend fences with the incoming US President. The Foreign Secretary, who branded Mr Trump ‘unfit’ to hold office 12 months ago, became the first minister to hold sit-down talks with the president-elect’s team, ahead of an expected visit by Theresa May next month. He was due to meet Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and strategist Steve Bannon, who are widely seen as his closest advisers.” – Daily Mail

  • May ‘confident’ about UK-US ties despite President-elect’s views on women – The Guardian
  • Premier confirms that UK will provide military support if Estonia or Lithuania is invaded – The Independent
  • Labour calls for inquiry into Israeli diplomat’s ‘plot’ against Foreign Office minister – The Guardian

More Johnsons:

  • Boris’ father criticises May for dropping plan to ban animals in circuses – The Sun



  • May has a chance to anchor Trump to Britain – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Conservative Friends of Israel – less influential than claimed

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why May must “get up Trump’s arse and stay there”

Criticism over unclear role for new department

“Theresa May faces further criticism of her domestic policy in the face of Brexit pressures after it emerged that almost half of the staff in the newly created Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy admitted they did not know what the Whitehall office stands for. The prime minister surprised many in Westminster when she combined business, energy and climate change to form BEIS. The move, one of several changes to the makeup of Whitehall, was aimed at bolstering the traditionally weak business department, and checking the dominance of the Treasury. But as the business secretary, Greg Clark, prepares to launch the government’s industrial strategy later this month, it has emerged that almost half of his staff say they have no clear idea what BEIS stands for.” – The Guardian

Government accuses unions of coordinating to inflict maximum damage

On strikeUnions have co-ordinated a spate of strikes this week to inflict “maximum pain” upon millions of commuters, Government sources said on Sunday night. Industrial action which will affect around five million people began at 6pm today as Transport for London staff staged a 24-hour London Underground strike, while Southern Rail services are expected to be severely disrupted until Friday as a result of three separate days of industrial action. The action comes amid warnings that the misery will spread across the country as union bosses said industrial action is “inevitable” on the Northern rail network, which covers Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne and Hull.” – Daily Telegraph

Councils hesitant to use new tax powers to fund social care

“Theresa May’s short-term solution to the elderly care crisis may raise £500 million less than promised as many local authorities are reluctant to increase council tax before elections later this year. Half of the extra cash promised by the government to bail out the social care system relies on councillors putting up local taxes just before they fight for re-election, an analysis suggests. Some of the biggest councils face elections in May and many have already expressed hesitation about using powers handed to them by the government last month.” – The Times (£)

  • Two patients die each day from thirst or starvation – The Times (£)
  • Prime Minister rejects claims of ‘humanitarian crisis’ – The Sun
  • Doctors accuse May of being ‘in denial’ – The Independent


  • Our NHS needs a national solution – Jane Merrick, Times Red Box


  • Try telling patients on a trolley this isn’t a crisis – Mike Adamson, The Times (£)

Media industry mounts legal challenge to new regulator

Pile of newspapers“The new press regulator Impress has no guaranteed funding and does not represent enough newspapers, the media industry will argue this week as it mounts a legal challenge. The News Media Association (NMA), which represents hundreds of newspapers and magazines, will lodge a judicial review against the decision by the Press Recognition Panel (PRP) to approve Impress as a regulator last November. The move could delay any decision on press regulation for months with the government already facing a legal challenge from two phone-hacking victims and a news website about whether it should have launched a consultation at all.” – The Times (£)

  • May warned of ‘trench warfare’ over press regulation – FT


  • After 300 years, the free press is in peril – Daily Mail

UKIP could lose €2 million a year if Italians break alliance

“The leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement urged his party yesterday to end its alliance with Ukip in the European parliament in a move that could cost the British Eurosceptics almost €2 million a year. Beppe Grillo, the founder of Italy’s anti-establishment group, launched a surprise online vote on the proposal that will close today. Mr Grillo said that with the Brexit vote Ukip had achieved its aims and had become distracted with British politics. Its MEPs would not exist after the next European elections in 2019 because Britain would have left the EU.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • France blocks 24,000 cyber attacks amidst fears Russia is trying to influence election – Daily Telegraph
  • British drivers launch class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over ‘Dieselgate’ – Daily Mail
  • Taxpayers face £24bn bill to close North Sea oilfields – The Times (£)
  • North Sea bill a fresh blow to Sturgeon’s independence hopes – Daily Express
  • Biggest banks set to be hit with $200 million in regulatory costs – FT
  • Nearly a million households struggling to meet monthly mortgage payments – The Sun
  • Students could be charged more than £9,000 for ‘speedy courses’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Business leaders warn SNP against second independence referendum – The Scotsman
  • New bid by Welsh Labour to ban smacking children – Wales Online