May 1) Merkel shows up May by cancelling Brexit discussions

EU Brexit“The German chancellor humiliated Theresa May when she cancelled a planned sitdown meeting at the EU summit in Malta. British officials were left red-faced when news of the schedule change came through. Mrs May had to settle for a brief walk and talk with Angela Merkel in the capital, Valetta. Following the chat the prime minister flew home after lunch whilst EU leaders continued discussions on the impact of Brexit.” – Daily Mail

  • Spain supports an early deal for expats – Daily Mail
  • Brexit Britain’s focus shifts towards manufacturing – FT


  • Brexit could be May’s Iraq War, warns Clarke – The Times (£)
  • Crabb says Brexiteers face ‘rude awakening’ over immigration – The Guardian
  • Welsh MPs seek second referendum and to keep EU funding – Wales Online
  • Interview with Ken Clarke – The Times (£)


  • Tax haven plan will ruin Britain, Merkel warns – The Independent
  • French bid to poach British banks backfires due to language barrier – Daily Express
  • Premier gives the EU the jitters – Daily Mail


  • Prime Minister’s £30 million package for refugees – The Sun
  • UK to redirect refugees toward Asia and Latin America – The Independent

Stephen Crabb: I urge May to guarantee the status of EU nationals

“A good place to start would be the status of the 3 million EU migrantsliving in the UK, whose lives will be affected by Brexit. The prime minister has rightly spoken of the need for a quick resolution on this matter, but we can and should go further in providing a firm guarantee of their status ahead of talks. By recognising their value to our economy and society, and the sheer inhumanity and impracticality of ever thinking that these families and individuals could be required to leave the place they call home, we can take the issue off the table altogether. Now, that would be a powerful and positive statement of our Brexit values.” – The Guardian

  • The Prime Minister must declare her love for Europe – Tim Montgomerie, CapX
  • John Rentoul: Why isn’t May wooing Europe? – The Independent
  • Dear Britain, learn from Norway’s mistake and leave the EEA – Helle Hagenau, Daily Telegraph
  • Biography reveals a “ruthless, fearless” leader – Rosa Prince, Daily Mail
  • Prime Minister takes the heat as EU leaders swipe at Trump – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit is a chance to reform the EU, for the good of everyone – Daniel Hannan, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Syed Kamall MEP’s column: How Conservatives and reformists in Brussels decided the European Parliament’s presidency

May 2) Prime Minister heads off shire revolt by making building on Green Belt a ‘last resort’

HOMES Manifesto“Theresa May will seek to avoid a revolt in the Tory shires by promising the green belt will not be built upon unless all other options have been ‘exhausted’. The Prime Minister will next week unveil a radical housing blueprint designed to build more than 200,000 homes every year. The Government will lift height restrictions on new buildings and usher in a wave of prefab houses, which can be erected far more quickly but finished to look no different from brick buildings.” – Daily Mail

  • Higher council tax for empty homes to tackle crisis – The Times (£)


>Today: John Healey in Comment: Why Conservatives should back our plan to tackle the scourge of homelessness


May 3) Government to unveil plans to ensure better post-treatment care for cancer patients

“Cancer patients will receive better post-treatment care under new plans to be revealed by the Prime Minister today. Theresa May will pledge to offer a “personalised recovery package” to the 300,000 people a year who are expected to be diagnosed with the disease by 2020. The scheme – recommended by the Independent Cancer Taskforce – will help patients deal with the mental and physical side-effects.” – The Sun

Gove says Sturgeon ‘foolish’ to pursue independence over Brexit

GOVE union flag T-shirt“Michael Gove has argued that Nicola Sturgeon would be “foolish” to call a second independence referendum because all the flaws in the nationalists’ failed 2014 campaign have since been “magnified.” The former Education Secretary in England said that the British people decided to leave the EU because it is dysfunctional and Scots “are not going to vote to leave another union that works”. Mr Gove, who was one of the leaders of the victorious Vote Leave Brexit campaign, said the nationalists’ case for Scotland to leave the UK in order to join the EU was “very weak” on both economic and sovereignty grounds.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Holyrood Brexit minister says UK is breaking powers promises – The Guardian
  • Brexit means Holyrood must do more to sell ‘brand Scotland’ – The Scotsman

>Today: ToryDiary: How far should we go to preserve the Union? Take our monthly survey.

>Yesterday: David Meikle in Comment: Labour has failed Glasgow

Conservative mayoral candidate says he’ll halve his salary if he fails to deliver

“The history of elections is littered with the promises of candidates that were broken once they entered office. But Andy Street, the former managing director of John Lewis who is running to be West Midlands mayor, says he will put his money where his mouth is and take a pay cut if he fails to deliver his pledges. The Conservative candidate wants to become the first civic leader on performance-related pay, to counter the image of career politicians who receive big salaries regardless of their failures. Drawing on his experience as managing director at the retail giant, where he was paid more than £1 million a year, Mr Street is willing to put up to half his salary at stake.” – The Times (£)

MPs: Osborne defends lucrative extra jobs

OSBORNE penknife“George Osborne yesterday defended the jobs that earn him six-figure sums on top of his MP’s salary, claiming they are part of his ‘varied and interesting’ contribution to national life. The ex-Chancellor, who was sacked after the EU referendum, has been heavily criticised for accepting a string of well-paid roles while still serving on the Tory back benches. These include pocketing £620,000 from after-dinner speeches and taking up a controversial role with the US investment firm BlackRock, which will reportedly earn him a salary of £200,000.” – Daily Mail

  • Morgan mulling fresh EU rebellion – Daily Mail


  • Davies on the Women and Equalities committee is like a cannibal amongst vegans – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Courts throw out legal bid to force UK to stay in the Single Market

“High Court judges today took just an hour to throw out ‘premature’ legal action to force a ‘soft Brexit’ and thwart Theresa May. The new group of campaigners – including some granted anonymity on safety grounds – want Parliament to vote on keeping Britain in the European single market. They include Peter Wilding, chairman of the pro-Europe pressure group British Influence, who is credited with coining the word Brexit and Conservative lobbyist Adrian Yalland, who voted Leave and runs the Single Market Justice Group. The case started at 10.30am this morning but by 11.30am the judges refused to give the green light for the new challenge – but the group could still appeal.” – Daily Mail

More law:

  • Second lawyer could face ruin over Iraq ‘abuse’ – The Times (£)
  • Oxford mentor behind the rise of Trump’s judge – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: What America has to teach Britain about scrutinising judges

‘Desperate’ Corbyn trying to recruit Miliband to the Shadow Cabinet

MILIBAND Red Ed“Desperate Jeremy Corbyn was trying to woo back Ed Miliband with a sensational return to frontline politics after running out of MPs to promote. The Labour leader has been hit by a string of resignations because of his insistence that MPs vote in favour of Brexit. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Mr Corbyn’s most senior ally, today blamed ‘media bias’ for the party’s ills amid the continuing row over backing Brexit in Parliament. Questions remained for shadow home secretary Diane Abbott today after she missed Wednesday’s historic vote on implementing the referendum result.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour’s socialist revolution at its lowest point, McDonnell admits – The Sun
  • Chinese cash link to pro-Beijing shadow minister – The Times (£)
  • Abbott’s absence from EU vote stokes Labour rebellion – The Times (£)

European leaders unite against Trump’s pick for envoy

“European Parliament leaders have urged the EU to reject Ted Malloch if he is named as US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Brussels. The leaders of the main parliamentary groups said Malloch, whom they called Trump’s likely choice, is ‘hostile to the bloc’. They claimed he has openly backed the dissolution of the 28-nation European Union, much like the collapse of the Soviet Union. The leaders of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), the largest group in the parliament, the Socialists and Democrats and the liberal ALDE group wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk urging him not to accept Malloch’s credentials if he is appointed ambassador.” – Daily Mail

  • May gets another win with the President after he drops plan to ease Russian sanctions – The Sun
  • Judge halts Trump’s travel ban – Daily Telegraph

Charles Moore: The President has great energy, but can’t focus it

TRUMP victory speech“He knows how to, as modern economists put it, ”disintermediate’’. He cuts out middle men, bureaucrats, spokesmen, mainstream media to reach whomever he wants to reach in whatever way he wants to reach them. This can refresh democracy. But on the whole, I find the Trump supporters I know feel less happy today than they did just before his inauguration. They think his rhetoric is a bit too dark and ill-humoured, and his methods too confusing. They want fewer fights picked and more real attention to economic progress. They like the energy, but fear that too much of it is wasted on rage.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The EU is more bigoted than Trump’s America – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • First on the White House agenda, collapsing the world order. Next, war? – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: In Michigan, Trump’s voters are pleased with what they see as his flying start

Nuttall investigated over election residence

“Police are looking into claims made by the Labour Party that Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has misled voters over his main home. The candidate in the Stoke Central by-election had put down the address of a home he had yet to stay in on official documents, Labour claimed. His papers for the 23 February election gave his home address as a house near the city centre. But when he was quizzed by reporters who found the home without furniture in, Mr Nuttall said: “I will be [living there]. I’m not now.” He added: “It’s not a false declaration at all. People are in the process of moving us in.”” – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • Planned Tube strikes suspended – Daily Mail
  • Commuters face threat of more rail strikes – The Times (£)
  • Southern Rail bosses to meet RMT chiefs – The Sun
  • Football Association faces no confidence vote from MPs – Daily Telegraph
  • Greece on the brink of financial disaster which could spark EU rupture – Daily Express
  • Trump prepares to take axe to Wall Street regulation – FT
  • Four million patients have no out-of-hours GP – Daily Mail
  • Campaigner’s licence fee boycott to secure broadcasting devolution – Wales Online
  • McGuinness nominated for peace prize – Belfast Telegraph