May plans blitz on ‘daily struggles’

MAY Theresa pensive“Theresa May will next week outline sweeping reforms to tackle ‘everyday injustices’. Government sources say new housing, education and economic policies will help millions of struggling Britons. Mental health will also be a key focus. The Prime Minister will use a speech on Monday to show the Government has not been paralysed by Brexit… Mrs May is expected to restate her commitment to grammar schools, despite opposition from the education establishment. She will also pledge to deliver a new wave of housebuilding, despite concerns from some Tory MPs about the potential impact on the countryside.” – Daily Mail

  • Tax breaks for prefab homes aim to get Britain building – The Times (£)
  • Children with mental health problems will receive more support – Daily Telegraph
  • Radical action planned to reduce suicide numbers – The Sun
  • Poor squeezed out of flagship apprentice scheme – The Independent

More May:

  • The Prime Minister struggles through a fractious start to 2017 – FT
  • May plans talks with Erdogan in Turkey after wave of terror attacks – The Sun


  • Why May remains strong – FT

>Today: Paul Bristow in Comment: The NHS needs more money

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Javid grasps the need to right Britain’s housing injustice. Which is why May should back him.

EU 1) Jenkin tells mandarins to get used to Brexit

“Britain’s senior civil servants are “playing to the stereotype” of an entitled establishment and should resign if they can’t adapt to Brexit, a leading Tory MP said yesterday. Bernard Jenkin said the mandarins’ revolt triggered by the resignation of Britain’s EU ambassador risked undermining an impartial civil service. Sir Ivan Rogers’s parting shot at ministers’ “muddled thinking” on Brexit has worsened tensions between Whitehall and ministers, particularly at No 10.” – The Times (£)

  • Civil servants told to make patriotic case for Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Tories subjecting civil servants to ‘stream of ill-informed criticism’ – The Independent
  • Majority think Government is making a bad job of leaving the EU – The Sun
  • Remain remnant mobilise left-wing activists to disrupt Brexit – Daily Express

More EU:

  • Brussels punishing Britain will play into my hands, says Le Pen – Daily Telegraph
  • Front National leader criticises Cameron’s referendum motivations – The Guardian
  • MPs build Brexit case to stay in the Palace of Westminster – FT


  • Why Brexit’s mandarins must know their place – John Redwood, FT
  • Honest advice from civil servants is a tradition worth preserving – John Kerr, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Experts have their place, but politicians must reclaim theirs


EU 2) Fox draws up list of 50 nations for post-Brexit trade deals

Building shield“Liam Fox has drawn up a target list of more than 50 countries for new trade deals post-Brexit. And the International Trade Secretary added that he is drawing up further plans for more than 200 new high value exports targets. Dr Fox said last night: “We are world-leaders in many sectors such as financial services and technology. My department has already identified more than 50 countries that could benefit from British expertise and we are continuing work on exploring more export opportunities with other nations.”” – The Sun

  • Sturgeon softens Scottish stance on Brexit – FT
  • Tory donor threatens to stop funding party if UK leaves the single market – The Times (£)
  • IMF expert blows apart gloom of Remain economists – Daily Express
  • Economists hit back at crisis claims over poor predictions – FT

More ministers:

  • Greening faces backlash over school funding changes – The Guardian
  • Patel cuts aid spending to girl band – The Sun


  • Economists’ short-term Brexit fears have been confounded, but long-term risks remain – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Ashley Fox MEP’s column: This year we must start delivering on the promises of 2016

Matthew Parris: Brexit allows us to take back control of our countryside

“First, then: is “food security” still an imperative for a 21st-century country long unable to home-source many of the other mainstays of our economic life? Why, post-CAP, should we despoil East Anglia and plunder Treasury coffers for fear of relying on Canadian wheat or West Indian sugar? Second: would it be hopelessly un-Tory to take a view on the texture of the rural Britain we want to sponsor, the size, type and location of the farms we want to support, the agriculture we want to see there, and the land we think could be put to richer use than farming?” – The Times (£)

  • Only those who don’t want to leave see doing so as mind-blowingly complicated – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit Britain can finally shoot for the stars now Rogers is out and Barrow in – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • Barrow is no yes-man, but knows how to get ministers what they want – Charles Crawford, Daily Telegraph


  • How May can triumph over the Remoaners – Daily Mail

Grayling urges bosses to show ‘patience and understanding’ to passengers caught in rail strike

On strike“Commuters caught up in the worst rail strikes for a generation next week should be treated with “patience and understanding” by their employers, the Transport Secretary has said. Millions of people will be left struggling to get to work this week as strikes cripple railway services in the South East and the London Underground. The strikes represent the worst industrial action on the railways for more than 20 years, with Southern Rail urging passengers to stay home rather than try to travel to work.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Khan should stop playing politics over Southern Rail dispute, says Transport Secretary – Daily Telegraph
  • Rail minister pledges no repeat of paralympian’s experience – The Guardian

Collins hits out at plans to impose state regulation on the press

“A new industry of ambulance-chasing lawyers could spring up if the government implements a new law requiring newspapers to pay the costs of the people who sue them, according to the chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee. Under section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, publishers who do not sign up to a state-backed regulator will have to pay the legal costs of both sides in a libel case, even if they win. Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, who was appointed chairman of the committee in October, said it was “hard to think of any other area of law where such a provision would be allowed”. He said that “the ability of the press to hold the powerful to account is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • MPs should be targeting fake news, not the free press – Damian Collins, Daily Telegraph


  • Newspapers need and deserve true freedom to serve the public – The Times (£)
  • Britain needs a new political culture, a commitment to liberty – Daily Telegraph

Corbynistas attack BBC editor over ‘failure of impartiality’

LABOUR dead rose“Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, is at the centre of a row with Jeremy Corbyn supporters after a draft report found that News at Six breached impartiality guidelines in her report about the Labour leader’s views on shoot-to-kill. A leaked copy of provisional findings by the BBC Trust said that there had been a “failure of impartiality” during Kuenssberg’s report after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. The regulator has agreed to reconsider the case with new evidence after failing to speak to Kuenssberg, who was named journalist of the year at the British Journalism Awards last month.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • British troops deployed to Sierra Leone in bid to halt migrants – Daily Mail
  • Dozens of flights cancelled over BA cabin crew strike – The Times (£)
  • US concludes Putin ordered campaign to influence election – Daily Telegraph
  • Beijing signals end of Sino-British ‘golden age’ – FT
  • More than half a million illegal immigrants entered the EU last year – The Sun
  • Red Cross sends volunteers to alleviate ‘humanitarian crisis’ in British hospitals – The Independent
  • SNP education reforms may expose schools to ‘financial risk’, warns report – The Scotsman
  • Worst NHS week in 15 years – Daily Mail