Manchester attack 1) At least 22 killed and 59 injured in pop concert bombing

‘At least 22 fans were killed and 59 injured last night after a terrorist bomb attack at a teen pop concert in the Manchester Arena. Many of those killed are feared to be children there to watch US pop star Ariana Grande, who had just left stage. Thousands who had watched the appearance fled after hearing a “massive bang” with crowds of screaming and crying teens rushing from the venue. Witnesses told how nuts and bolts were sent flying in the blast at the foyer area as fans made their way to Manchester Victoria train station next door. Prime Minister Theresa May has slammed the “appalling terrorist attack”.’ – The Sun

  • Panicked search for missing children – Daily Mail
  • The worst attack in the UK since 7/7 – The Guardian
  • ‘Suicide bomber’ suspected – The Times
  • The attack took place on the fourth anniversary of Lee Rigby’s murder – Daily Mail
  • ISIS supporters celebrate online – Daily Express


Manchester attack 2) Campaigning suspended, COBRA to meet at 9am

‘Britain’s General Election campaign has been suspended in the wake of the Manchester Arena terrorism attack which has left 19 people dead and left 50 wounded. Tory sources confirmed the break in the campaign following the blast which PM Theresa May described as an ‘appalling terrorist attack’. Politicians have described the blast, which claimed 19 lives, as ‘a direct attack on children’. Mrs May will chair a meeting later today of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee at 9am.’ – Daily Mail

  • Rudd: The city’s spirit is not bowed – FT
  • Burnham condemns ‘evil act’ – Daily Express
  • Mancunians offer accommodation and free rides home to those affected – The Guardian
  • Armed police deployed on railways – The Times

>Today: WATCH: Rudd – “This was a barbaric attack deliberately targeting young people and children out at a pop concert”

Social Care 1) May u-turns on manifesto policy

‘Pensioners will pay the price for the first election campaign U-turn in modern history as Theresa May caved into pressure by pledging a cap on the cost of care four days after ruling it out. The prime minister was ridiculed for claiming that “nothing has changed” after adopting a policy yesterday that was rejected in her manifesto last week and labelled unfair by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary. The option of a cap on social care costs had been ruled out in the Conservative manifesto on the ground that it benefited a “small number of wealthier people”. Mrs May announced a £100,000 floor instead, alongside changes that would force thousands more to fund their care at home.’ – The Times (£)


>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: It is better to face the social care crisis head-on than to dump the costs onto our children

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The social care farrago – painful for the Prime Minister, but the election’s fundamentals remain unchanged

Social Care 2) The decision leaves MPs frustrated

‘Veteran elections academic Sir David Butler even dubbed it the biggest U-turn “in the 20 general election campaigns I’ve followed”. It also left Tory MPs split down the middle. While some told of their relief after taking a pummelling on doorsteps over the policy, others insisted the climbdown was not necessary. One Tory MP said he was “more bothered how incompetent she and her team look”. A minister said: “They panicked. It created a great fuss but won’t have any long-term effect.” Another frustrated Tory MP added: “We didn’t have to do this. People were beginning to understand what the policy was all about”.’ – The Sun

>Today: Gimson’s election diary: Torquay appears totally unmoved by the care for the elderly row

Social Care 3) The Prime Minister endures BBC grilling by Neil

‘Neil was quick to jump on Mrs May’s suggestion that “nothing had changed” after the backlash following the manifesto release. He said: “You said nothing has changed, Jeremy Hunt on the day you launched your manifesto, last Thursday, the Health Secretary, he said, ‘Yes we are dropping the cap and we’re being completely explicit in our manifesto, we’re dropping it. We don’t think it fair’. “Today you announced a cap! But it is a cap Prime Minister, your manifesto rejects a cap, it gives a reason why you don’t want a cap – now you’re going to have a cap, you need to be honest, I suggest, and tell the British people you’ve changed your mind.”’ – Daily Express

>Yesterday: WATCH: May on her social care plan. She says the policy hasn’t been changed – merely “clarified”

The Conservatives bring in £390,000 in donations from oil executives

‘Oil executives whose industry is promised further government support if the Conservatives are returned to power have given more than £390,000 to the party since Theresa May became prime minister. They include Ian Taylor, the chief executive of Vitol, whose firm was fined for making payments to an Iraqi state-owned firm, and Ayman Asfari, the chief executive of Petrofac, who was recently interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office over suspected corruption. Three of the donors have attended dinners with May or senior ministers since she took office. The payments will raise eyebrows because the 2017 manifesto includes a specific commitment to build upon previous “unprecedented” government support for the oil and gas industry.’ – The Guardian

Tebbit: Voters must reject Corbyn’s lifelong warmth towards the IRA

‘Time and time again, over the decades Mr Corbyn has loyally supported the murderous terrorists of the IRA against the people of this Kingdom. Thank Goodness it is only just over a fortnight to polling day when hopefully the British people will make clear their contempt for him and clear the way for decent men and women to cleanse the Labour Party of his ilk…Those of us who changed Britain for the better in the early 1980’s are now bound to have reservations about a manifesto which seeks to place our Party in the “middle ground” which has been vacated by Labour under the leadership of the IRA friendly neo-Marxist Corbyn and his deputy, McDonnell.’ – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph

Labour pledges instant end to tuition fees (with no sign of where the money will come from)

‘Labour was accused of fantasy figures today after offering students a £7.5billion bribe ahead of the election. The party has pledged to ‘back-date’ its policy of scrapping tuition fees so it benefits those preparing to study this Autumn. The huge sweetener comes on the last day for registering to vote on June 8. Labour is trying to tap into a group that has previously been less likely to exercise their democratic rights. But the Tories pointed out that the measure was not costed in the party’s manifesto, accusing Jeremy Corbyn of making ‘unfunded pledges knowing they can’t deliver them without hurting those most in need’.’ – Daily Mail

Rifkind: The Lib Dems – not waving, but drowning

‘I could be wrong, yet again. Four weeks from now, though, I suspect the Lib Dems will have had a disastrous election, and deservedly. Never mind that they are hypocritical and smug, because many of us are that. Never mind, either, that whenever the party presents you with a female candidate, in my experience, it always has one or more ageing silver foxes in the background, mansplaining when the questions get tricky, even if personally that did rather get my back up. No, most importantly, it is simply having the wrong conversation. There is a centre struggling to form in British politics…In the centre they may sit, but the Lib Dems are not that party and don’t even want to be.’ – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Could the Lib Dems use May’s u-turn to rally their failing campaign?

Berlin and Brussels talk tough on Brexit

‘Germany said the “reality” of Brexit had yet to dawn on London – as the EU incensed the Tories with red-lines for divorce talks. Michael Roth, Germany’s European affairs minister said the UK would at one point wake up to the huge cost of leaving. On entering a Brussels summit he insisted Brexit was a “lose-lose” for both the UK and the bloc. But it came as the EU said Britain should remain subject to “the jurisdiction” of the European Court of Justice after Brexit. And Brussels separately ordered Theresa May to foot the relocation bill for the EU Medicine Agency and EU Banking Agency moving back across the Channel after Brexit.’ – The Sun

  • The EU issues criteria on relocating agencies – FT
  • The referendum has blurred, but not altogether destroyed, the old party lines – Kully Kaur-Ballagan, The Times (£)

>Today: What would WTO mean? 2) Christopher Howarth: Financial services and data sharing can be managed without a fully-fledged deal

Trump visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem

‘Donald Trump on Monday became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall – the holiest site where Jews can pray – and left a prayer note there in accordance with Jewish custom. He made the highly symbolic visit to a site which symbolizes the Middle East’s tinderbox nature before saying he believed in the possibility of a peace deal and saying that the danger of Iran meant there was ‘a lot of love out there’ for Israel from unlikely Muslim countries… It has been U.S. policy for the last 50 years to not recognize East Jerusalem as part of Israel, making a visit to the wall a political minefield. But Trump, clad in a navy suit, red striped tie and black kippah, strode into the Western Wall Prayer Plaza in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday before placing his hand on the stone wall and praying for 30 seconds, slipping a note inside a crack between the stones.’ – Daily Mail

  • He urged Israel to deploy concerns over Iran to secure a peace deal – The Times (£)
  • Trump is taking sides in a sectarian conflict – FT Leader
  • He’s right to think Iran won’t change – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • The President’s unpredictability destabilises the world – Gideon Rachman, FT

News in Brief

  • Heseltine issues a manifesto for gardening – The Times (£)
  • Mystery of Teesside North Korean flag solved – Daily Mail
  • Racist thug killed unborn babies – Daily Telegraph
  • Fossilised jawbone sparks controversial debate about human origins – The Times (£)
  • Supermarkets plan to use AI to raise petrol prices at peak times – The Sun
  • Pranksters hoaxed gender studies academics with bogus paper – The Times (£)

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