Election 1) Tories give May green light to drop tax lock

tax“Theresa May was given the all clear by senior Conservatives yesterday to abandon a pledge not to raise income tax, VAT or national insurance. Promises to continue to support lower-income families, however, will increase fears of a post-election tax raid on the better paid. Philip Hammond has hinted that the 2015 manifesto “tax lock” pledge, not to increase the three main levies, is to be dropped from this year’s prospectus. Damian Green, the work and pensions secretary, dismissed Labour’s claims that the Tories were preparing a “tax bombshell” and gave an “absolute guarantee” that “taxes will always be lower under a Conservative government than they would be under a Jeremy Corbyn government”.” – The Times (£)

  • McLoughlin and Hammond clash over tax policy – The Sun

More policy:

  • Troops could be send overseas to protect aid projects – The Sun
  • Industry warns Green against energy price cap – The Times (£)
  • Insurers fear election’s impact on payout reforms – FT
  • Royal-backed charity wants manifesto commitment to tackle mental health crisis – Daily Telegraph


  • This election is a new source of uncertainty for business – Dr Adam Marshall, Times Red Box
  • May will win big, but are the Tories sowing the seeds of decay? – Ian Birrell, The i
  • A Tory landslide will weaken May’s hand in Brussels – Anand Menon, Times Red Box
  • This election is no cynical ploy,  but is esssential to re-establish British democracy – Janet Daley, Daily Telegraph
  • Forget Brexit, can May finally win over the working class? – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian


  • May should drop the state pension ‘triple lock’ – FT



Election 2) Michael Howard: We should not walk away from our legacy on aid

“That is why I committed us, in our 2005 election manifesto, to meeting the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP. That is why Theresa May is right to commit to keeping this target in the manifesto for this election. It is a 25-year legacy of a promise made and kept by the Conservative Party, while doing all we can to ensure that international rules are followed and the spending is free from the risk of corruption and managed in a way that makes it the most scrutinised spending carried out by the UK government. We should be proud of what this commitment has allowed us to do as a country.” – Times Red Box

  • The pension triple-lock is devoid of logic: scrap it – Raphael Hogarth, The Times (£)
  • The Prime Minister is showing that tackling populism requires listening to voters – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • May must be bold to take control of illegal immigration – Clare Foges, The Times (£)

Election 3) Corbyn ‘blows hole in Labour’s Trident policy’…

Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)“Jeremy Corbyn re-opened Labour’s divisions over Trident yesterday as he refused to back the party’s official policy on Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Amid accusations from the Conservatives that Mr Corbyn would dismantle Britain’s nuclear defences, the Labour leader failed to support Trident renewal, insisting that the policy would be reviewed if the party won power. “We will have a strategic defence review immediately which will include all aspects of defence,” he told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One. “We would then look at the situation at that time.”” – The Times (£)

  • Party reiterates support for Trident as leader muddies the waters – The Guardian
  • Green says Corbyn would fail to protect the country from terrorism – Daily Express
  • Labour leader would suspend air campaign in Syria – The Independent

More Labour:

  • No apology for trades union influence – The Times (£)
  • Apprentice winner considers run against Labour – The Sun
  • Party denies claim it was complacent about anti-Semitism – The Independent
  • Khan to subsidise spartan homes to beat housing crisis – The Guardian


  • Corbyn’s hostility to the nuclear deterrent is an unetable stance for a would-be Prime Minister – The Times (£)
  • Don’t risk stumbling into a red revolution – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Corbyn won’t confirm that Labour would keep Trident

Election 4) …as he’s branded a ‘danger to the Union’

“Jeremy Corbyn presents a “clear and present danger” to the Union, the Tories warned today as the Labour leader and Nicola Sturgeon prepare to speak at the same trade union event in Scotland. The Scottish Conservatives published a dossier highlighting comments by Mr Corbyn and senior Labour figures that they said showed he would do a deal with the SNP to get into Downing Street in return for granting a second independence referendum. Although the Labour leader last week rejected Ms Sturgeon’s suggestion of a “progressive alliance” with his party, the Tories warned he “would sell pro-UK Scots down the river in a heartbeat” if that meant getting into power. In particular, they highlighted Mr Corbyn’s intervention last month that another independence vote would be “absolutely fine” and his failure to even campaign during the 2014 Scottish referendum.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Polls show Scots turning Conservative – The Times (£)
  • Sturgeon rattled as polls show Tories set for success – Daily Express
  • Polls show no rise in support for Scottish independence – The Scotsman



  • Tactical trap lies waiting for the SNP in the election – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Five Edinburgh Conservative candidates selected

Election 5) Blair considers a comeback to block Brexit

SWIVEL-EYED EUROPHILES“Tony Blair has said that he feels so “passionate” about blocking a hard Brexit that he is considering a return to front-line politics. The former Prime Minister said that Theresa May is on course for a landslide majority and suggested that Jeremy Corbyn stands no chance of becoming Prime Minister. He said that he wants to add a “new dimension” to the election by encouraging voters to support candidates who do not back a hard Brexit, even if they are Liberal Democrat or Tory. He said: “I feel so passionate about this. I feel for the first time since I first came into politics I look at the British political scene at the moment and I almost feel motivated to go right back into it.” He said that Mrs May is on course for a “steamroller” election victory.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Oppose Brexit even if it means voting for other parties, ex-Prime Minister implies – The Times (£)

More Remainers:

  • Lib Dems to offer second EU referendum – FT
  • Clegg admits landslide would give May a mandate for ‘hard Brexit’ – Daily Express


  • Blair’s plan would expose Britain to shambolic leadership – Daily Telegraph

Election 6) Cable adds to Farron’s woes over homosexuality

“Tim Farron is “struggling with his conscience” over the question of whether gay sex is a sin, Sir Vince Cable said. Mr Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said “being gay is not a sin” and that he was “getting tired of this line of questioning”. Sir Vince, who is trying to win back his old seat of Twickenham, said Mr Farron was facing a “problem” because of his faith and that, in common with other “highly motivated Christians”, he had encountered contradictions between his private beliefs and his public role. The row overshadowed the Liberal Democrats’ efforts to shut down claims that the party would prop up Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn should neither win an overall majority.” – The Times (£)

  • British politicians preach own brands of Christianity – FT

More Lib Dems:

  • Farron vows to spoil May’s ‘coronation’ – Daily Express


  • The politically correct inquisition has trained its sights on the Lib Dem leader – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Election 7) Banning burqa not an attack on Muslims, insists Nuttall

NUTTALL Paul Sophy Ridge“Ukip’s proposed ban on veils was defended on security grounds by Paul Nuttall, the party’s leader, yesterday. He denied that the proposal to fine women for wearing veils in public was an attack “specifically on Muslims”. He said that the change of policy was because of “a heightened security risk, and for CCTV to be effective you need to see people’s faces”, as well as the need to promote integration. Asked on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One whether a ban would cover other items that covered the face, such as crash-helmets or hats, Mr Nuttall said: “No, not big hats at all.”” – The Times (£)

  • Party expected to call for annual check-ups on girls at-risk from FGM – The Sun
  • UKIP leader won’t say if he’ll stand for election – Daily Telegraph

More UKIP:

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Nuttall – UKIP may not stand against pro-Brexit Conservative and other MPs

MPs want tougher rules about jobs for ex-ministers

“Former ministers should be banned for two years from taking up lucrative jobs in sectors related to their previous office, say MPs. A damning report described the Whitehall jobs watchdog as a ‘toothless regulator’ whose failure to clamp down on conflicts of interest is reducing trust in democracy. The MPs said that unless the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) is given tougher powers to prevent former public servants taking up controversial jobs the system will remain open to ‘abuses’ in future. The report by the Commons public administration committee said it was the ‘new normal’ for ex-ministers to walk through a ‘revolving door’ into lucrative jobs in the private sector.” – Daily Mail

  • Osborne ‘disrespected’ Parliament by taking newspaper job – Daily Telegraph

Macron and Le Pen enter runoff round of the French elections

French flag“French voters turned their backs on the political establishment last night in round one of the presidential election. Emmanuel Macron – an independent centrist – won first place ahead of National Front leader Marine Le Pen. The result will have major implications for Britain and its departure from the EU. Miss Le Pen wants to completely renegotiate France’s relationship with Brussels while Mr Macron wants closer links. According to France’s Interior Ministry, 46 million people voted in the first stage of the elections which knocked the traditional Right and Left parties out of the running for the first time in 60 years.” – Daily Mail

  • Unlikely victor taking nothing for granted in the second round – The Times (£)
  • Stock markets and Euro soar as moderate heads for the Élysée – Daily Mail


  • Weakened from the off, a Macron presidency will be bad for Britain, the Euro, and the EU – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: France’s election. A president in search of authority – whoever wins.

News in Brief:

  • Violent protests imminent in Venezuela – Daily Mail
  • Trump pressures Democrats for a border wall deal – Daily Telegraph
  • More businesses going cash-free – The Times (£)
  • UK dividends to feel end of currency ‘sugar rush’ – FT