May pledges cap on energy bills

gas-energy‘Theresa May last night pledged to cap rip-off energy prices in a move expected to cut £100 from a typical bill. In the first major policy announcement of the Tory campaign, the Prime Minister said her manifesto would include a pledge to limit the standard tariffs paid by seven in ten families. The regulator Ofgem would be given powers to set maximum prices, making it harder for energy firms to punish loyal customers. Ofgem would review the market twice a year, keeping the cap in line with wholesale energy prices and stopping firms making excess profits.’ – Daily Mail

  • The Prime Minister faces a backlash from industry and her own benches – The Times (£)
  • Firms start withdrawing their cheapest deals – FT
  • They’ve hiked prices by 37 per cent to pre-empt the cap – Daily Telegraph
  • The market is failing – Daily Mail Leader

The tens of thousands net migration target is here to stay

‘Theresa May has confirmed that a pledge to cut net migration below 100,000 will be renewed in the Conservative manifesto, despite opposition from cabinet members. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, hinted on Sunday that the target could change, and is among those understood to have expressed scepticism in private. Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, said recently that immigration was “not about putting numbers on it”. Mrs May sought to end speculation. Visiting an Asian community centre in north London, she said: “I think it is important that we continue, and we will continue, to say that we do want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels. We believe that is the tens of thousands and of course once we leave the European Union we will have the opportunity to ensure that we have control of our borders here in the UK.”’ – The Times (£)

  • Finally they can fulfil the promise – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
  • Not so fast – FT
  • Are the public really that keen on it? – Kully Kaur-Ballagan, The Times (£)
  • Don’t shut our doors to foreign students – Rupert Myers, The Times (£)
  • Surge in EU applicants for a British passport – FT
  • UKIP want students to pick fruit – The Sun


Conservative poll lead is the largest since 1983

ELECTION 2017 May Corbyn Farron‘The Tories have opened up a record 22-point lead over Labour after Theresa May’s dramatic assault on ‘meddling’ Eurocrats. The Conservative have hit 49 per cent in the latest ICM research, with Jeremy Corbyn’s party lagging far behind on 27 per cent. It is the biggest gap found by the firm in more than three decades of tracking public opinion. The survey was conducted at the end of last week, in the wake of Mrs May’s jibe at Brussels officials over toxic briefings. It would potentially deliver the PM a majority in the House of Commons of more than 170.’ – Daily Mail


Macron doesn’t intend to punish Britain, advisers say

‘Hopes of a good EU exit deal were boosted when Emmanuel Macron’s close aides said he did not want a “hard Brexit”. The newly elected French leader will be “tough” in the talks about to start, they warned. But despite punishment threats during the campaign, the 39-year-old president wants close economic and defence links between Britain and France to continue. Mr Macron’s chief economic adviser Jean Pisani-Ferry said: “I don’t think anybody has an interest in a hard Brexit. I think we need to build a new relationship. There is a mutual interest in keeping prosperity that exists, that has been built over the years from lots of economic and various relationships”…Mrs May’s top ministers believe Brussels will be more generous to Britain over trade terms if it no longer feels at threat of collapse.’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Macron’s win will enthuse Britain’s social democrats – who currently need all the cheering up they can get

Alternatives prepared, should France try to scrap the Calais border deal

French flag‘Fears are being raised new French president Emmanuel Macron could scrap UK border controls and make ferry companies responsible for stopping migrants crossing the Channel. Mr Macron has pledged to renegotiate the agreement between France and Britain that allows UK officials to carry out border checks in Calais. Prime Minister Theresa May has defended the border controls but suggested the Le Touquet deal could be revisited. But it is understood should the agreement be abandoned, ferry companies will pick up the slack.’ – Daily Mail

No debates, but May will face Question Time

‘Theresa May will face Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to Britain’s general election – but not in a head-to-head debate. Mrs May and Mr Corbyn will appear in a Question Time special to answer questions from host David Dimbleby and a studio audience on 2 June, the BBC has announced. The broadcast will take place two days after politicians from seven British political parties take part in a televised election debate in which the Conservative leader is unlikely to participate. The Tories will field a “senior” figure, the BBC said, along with counterparts from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and UKIP. The BBC has planned a series of other debates and interviews with politicians from all parties, including a second Question Time special featuring Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. As part of the election coverage Mrs May’s husband Philip will appear alongside her in his first broadcast interview since the pair moved into Downing Street.’ – FT

  • She hopes the interview with her husband will show ‘what makes her tick’ – Daily Telegraph

I won’t quit even if I lose, says Corbyn – AKA ‘Monsieur Zen’

Woolfie Corbyn‘Jeremy Corbyn is enjoying his first general election as Labour leader, and he wants to make something very clear: He intends to remain in the job, even if he isn’t victorious in next month’s vote. “I was elected leader of this party and I’ll stay leader of this party,” Corbyn told BuzzFeed News, taking a few minutes out from campaigning in the Warwickshire town of Leamington Spa. No matter what happens on 8 June, he said, he would be “carrying on”. And he insisted that the constant criticism and poor poll ratings were not getting to him. “Monsieur Zen is fine,” he said.’ – Buzzfeed

Davidson sidelines Labour as she targets 12 seats in Scottish ‘two-horse race’

‘The general election has turned into a “two-horse race” in much of Scotland between the Scottish National party and the Conservatives, according to Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. At the Edinburgh launch of their election campaign on Monday, the Scottish Conservatives showed data that mapped the local council election results from last week on to Westminster constituencies, to give the party a lead in more than a dozen seats…Ms Davidson said: “This is pretty much a two-horse race in vast swaths of the country. “We are going to be fighting bloody hard in places that we perhaps haven’t targeted before at a general election. This is absolutely game on.”’ – FT

  • The DUP hopes to regain its footing – FT
  • Labour activists climb on war memorial – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The local elections show how far the Scottish Conservatives have come – how much further can they go?

Cable and Olney offer Lib Dem support for tactically aiding Labour

Lib Dem Bird Tory‘Liberal Democrat grandee Sir Vince Cable has endorsed tactical voting against the Tories to help Labour get MPs elected in an endorsement of the ‘coalition of chaos’. At a campaign meeting last week Sir Vince admitted backing the Lib Dem candidate – or even for the arranging the party to not stand in some places – would help tackle the Tories. He said: ‘In some cases parties will put up candidates purely nominally, and they won’t try, or they’ll signal that they actually want someone else to win.’ The Conservatives seized on the remarks as proof the Liberal Democrats are ready to prop up a weak Jeremy Corbyn victory if Theresa May falls short on June 8. Sir Vince said a ‘progressive alliance’ to stop Tory candidates was the right thing to do in a bid to frustrate Brexit and raise more government revenue via higher taxes.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: In London, the Conservative campaign faces a very different electoral landscape

Nuttall admits UKIP’s future is in doubt

‘Paul Nuttall has admitted his long-term future, as well his party’s prospects, is under threat if Theresa May makes a success of Brexit. The UK Independence Party leader said he was only leader “at the moment” and his party’s future hangs on Mrs May failing to take Britain of the European Union without paying a bill to Brussels. At the weekend Mr Nuttall’s predecessor Nigel Farage said Ukip may only last another two years if Theresa May delivers the Brexit “voters wanted”. Speaking today Mr Nuttall raised his questions about this own ability to lead Ukip. He said: “Am I the right man to answer these questions? Well at the moment I am the leader of Ukip.”’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: No, the Conservatives have not “become UKIP”

News in Brief

  • Children sent miles from home for mental health care – The Times (£)
  • Man who tried to shoot Trump tells his story – The Sun
  • Eleven people have been stabbed to death in London in two weeks – The Times (£)
  • Danczuk quits Labour – The Sun
  • Lost Caxton text found in spine of a book – Daily Telegraph

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