Election 1) May makes bid for first Tory win in Wales since the start of universal suffrage

ELECTION 2017 May Corbyn Farron‘Theresa May will today promise to smash Wales’s “tribal politics” as a new poll puts her on course to inflict Labour’s first general election defeat there since 1918. The prime minister will use a visit to the Tories’ target seats in south Wales to drive home her warning of a “collaboration” among opposition parties to frustrate Brexit if voters deny her an outright majority. Co-operation between Labour and Plaid Cymru in the Welsh assembly is a “direct example” of what would happen in Westminster, she will claim. Seeking to recruit Brexit voters, who ensured Wales voted for Leave last June, she will say that its political leaders failed to heed the referendum’s lesson. “[The vote] should have been a wake-up call for a generation of politicians who have taken the people for granted for too long.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: Why we need a visionary prospectus for this election – not a mass of details and tactical ploys

Election 2) Tax pledge in doubt after Fallon warns against ‘prescriptive’ manifesto promises

‘In 2015 the party campaigned on a promise not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT – branded a tax lock by David Cameron. Theresa May has refused to repeat the promise since calling the election seven days ago, insisting only that the Conservatives are a party of low taxes. Sir Michael told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I think what (Chancellor Philip Hammond) said is he doesn’t want too many targets inside the manifesto that are too prescriptive, that don’t allow you, as the situation develops over the lifetime of the Parliament, that don’t allow you the flexibility.” – Daily Mail



>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Conservatives would be right to drop popular but unwise policies for this election

Election 3) ConHome reveals Mcvey is shortlisted in Tatton

Esther McVey‘Esther McVey is reportedly set to run again as an MP, and it is thought she will be the Conservative candidate for George Osborne’s Tatton seat. Conservative Home reported she has been shortlisted for the seat. The television presenter and businesswoman narrowly lost her seat in the 2015 General Election and many have been speculating about a possible comeback.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Selections are a huge opportunity to improve gender equality – Maria Miller, The Times (£)
  • Bailey shortlisted for Hornchurch and Upminster – The Times (£)
  • Goldsmith hopes to be shortlisted in Richmond Park – Evening Standard
  • Letter circulated calling for Lopresti’s deselection – Daily Mail



Election 4) CCHQ signs up Messina, the Obama veteran who advised in 2015

‘Jim Messina, the American digital campaigning expert who worked for Barack Obama and helped to secure David Cameron’s victory in 2015, has been signed up by the Conservatives. Sir Lynton Crosby, the political strategist, has also been rehired to help to run the Tory campaign, as he did two years ago. He will be joined by Mark Textor, his colleague at their firm CTF Partners, alongside Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the Conservative chairman, and Lord Gilbert of Panteg, who will act as a strategist.’ – The Times (£)

Election 5) Remainers urge 600,000 supporters to vote tactically

BLAIR Marr May 2016‘More than half a million supporters of the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union will be asked to vote to remove MPs who supported Brexit. In one of the largest attempts at organised tactical voting ever undertaken, three pro-European groups have joined forces to target about 20 seats represented by MPs who backed Brexit but whose constituents supported Remain. The groups are also urging about 600,000 supporters on their mailing lists to campaign in support of 20 MPs who backed Remain but who are vulnerable to a challenge by Brexiteers. The number of target seats is likely to rise as parties finalise their selection of candidates. The idea was raised on Sunday, when Tony Blair called on voters to put aside party allegiance and select those candidates most likely to prevent “Brexit at any cost”.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Gimson’s election diary: Eastbourne – the referendum result suggests the Tories will hold on. But it’s not nearly that simple.

Election 6) Starmer presents Labour’s plan for Brexit

‘Labour will try to persuade the public to accept the referendum result as it sets out its alternative vision for Brexit today. Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, will promise the immediate guarantee of the rights of EU citizens, pledge to keep existing Brussels environmental laws and hand powers on agriculture and fishing straight to Scotland and Wales. Labour will scrap the Tory Brexit white paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have an emphasis on “retaining the benefits” of the single market and customs union. The party has ruled out “no deal” as a viable option.’ – The Times (£)

  • The proposals raise the prospect of a second referendum – Daily Telegraph
  • Mandelson mocks their position as ‘equivocal’ – FT
  • Gardiner caught on live TV with anti-Brexit sticker on his iPad – The Sun
  • Wall Street banks look at pop-up branches to maintain core presence in London – The Times (£)
  • Brussels threatens Britain with €2 billion customs fraud case – The Times (£)

Election 7) Labour policy chief’s far left views – disarm police, close MI5, 50 per cent tax over £60,000

Woolfie Corbyn‘A key figure behind Labour’s election manifesto is a hardline socialist previously suspended from the party for urging voters to back anarchist group Class War instead. Andrew Fisher, 36, claimed that was a misunderstood joke. But he has more trouble disassociating himself from his recent calls for Trident to be scrapped, for MI5 to be disbanded, for police to be stripped of weapons, and for 50 per cent tax on pay over £60,000 a year. The policy chief for Jeremy Corbyn has also spoken out against using drone strikes to kill terrorists…Last night Tory MP James Cleverly said: ‘All you need to know about the man writing Labour’s manifesto is that he wants to make our country less safe.” – Daily Mail

Election 8) Sturgeon alleges the poll was only called to avoid election expenses trouble

‘Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that Theresa May called the snap election in part because she feared that numerous Tory MPs would be prosecuted for fraud over their election expenses. Speaking at the Scottish TUC conference in Aviemore, Sturgeon implied the Conservatives may have “bought” the last election, referring to a police investigation into the party’s election expenses in the 2015 campaign. Departing from her published script, Sturgeon said the prime minister called the surprise election last week “for one purpose and one purpose only – to strengthen the grip of the Tory party and crush dissent and opposition … and to do so before possible criminal prosecutions for alleged expenses fraud at the last election catches up with her.’ – The Guardian

  • She claimed the Conservatives are trying to ‘buy’ the election – Daily Mail
  • Poll shows falling support for Scottish independence – The Scotsman
  • Corbyn dismisses the SNP as a ‘poor imitation’ of Labour – Daily Telegraph

Election 9) UKIP accused of attack on Islam as Nuttall flees questions about standing for election

Paul Nuttall niqab head shot‘Critics accused Ukip of “full-throttled Islamophobia” and a “desperate” effort to stay relevant now that Britain was leaving the European Union. Mr Nuttall insisted that the policies, which included a moratorium on new Islamic faith schools, were not designed to sow division and would instead promote integration. He told a press conference in central London that Ukip was “ten years ahead of our time” on these issues, predicting that the Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats will be “where we are today at some point in the 2020s”. Mr Nuttall refused to answer questions at the event about whether he would stand for a seat on June 8. “Ukip leaders have done quite well not being in parliament, haven’t they?” he said.’ – The Times (£)

Le Pen steps down as Front National leader in bid for wider appeal

‘French far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen has announced that she is temporarily stepping down as her party’s leader. The Front National leader revealed she would be quitting her role in her party to focus on the upcoming Presidential election. Monday’s move appears to be a way for Le Pen to embrace a wide range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 runoff between herself and centrist Emmanuel Macron who came in first in Sunday’s first round.’ – Daily Mail

  • She taunts her opponent as a member of the gilded elite… – The Times (£)
  • …as he drinks champagne with celebrities – The Times (£)
  • EU ally calls Macron ‘the French JFK’ – Daily Mail
  • Talent can defeat the zeitgeist – Janan Ganesh, FT
  • Blunt: he is a good bet for a post-Brexit deal – The Sun
  • Macron struggles to find parliamentary candidates – The Times (£)


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

Morgan: 100 days in, Trump’s no monster – but he must still deliver on the home front

TRUMP inauguration‘Crikey…. has it really only been 100 days?..Love him or hate him, and for the vast majority of Americans – not to mention the wider world – there’s absolutely no middle ground on Trump, it’s been a stunning rollercoaster of a ride for the brash, swaggering New York tycoon. On a positive note, by any dispassionate non-partisan yardstick, he’s not turned out to be the unconscionable monster many of his critics feared…Sure, he’s been wildly unpredictable, contrary, hypocritical, flip-flopping and often unsettlingly economical with the truth. None of which is entirely shocking given what we saw during the election campaign…I know Trump well enough to know he won’t give a damn about mollifying his liberal haters like Meryl Streep by pretending to be something he isn’t. One of his greatest assets is his authenticity. However, he will give a damn about being judged a successful president and one who delivers on his main campaign promises about jobs, the economy, immigration, security and healthcare.’ – Piers Morgan, Daily Mail

  • The President plans to slash corporation tax to 15 per cent – FT
  • Trump may ban laptops on flights from the UK – Daily Mail
  • Royal Navy sails HMS Daring into Putin’s back yard – Daily Mail
  • Pupil sets off grenade in Russian classroom – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Kids Company bosses face boardroom ban – The Times (£)
  • Bomb shelter sales soar in Japan – Daily Telegraph
  • Lawyers accused of ‘false’ Iraqi torture claims – FT
  • Ireland paves way for referendum on abortions at 12 weeks – The Times (£)
  • Plastic-eating worm raises hopes for fighting pollution – Daily Telegraph
  • Outgoing UCAS boss tells students to wait six months before getting a job – Daily Mail
  • Rebel homeowner wins High Court battle for red and white stripes – The Times (£)