Nick Timothy held talks with Miliband’s policy guru

fttimothy“Ed Miliband’s former policy guru has held talks in Number 10 with Theresa May’s manifesto chief, in the clearest sign yet the Conservatives are moving aggressively to win over the Labour middle ground abandoned by Jeremy Corbyn.  Several campaign themes adopted by Mrs May, including a promise to cap energy prices unveiled by Tory ministers on Tuesday, mirror pledges made by Mr Miliband during his run as Labour leader during the 2015 general election. The talks between Maurice Glasman, a Labour peer and pioneer of the “Blue Labour” project to reconnect his party with working-class voters, and Nick Timothy, Mrs May’s co-chief of staff and the man charged with drafting the Tory manifesto, suggest the former Labour leader’s ideas are being actively studied in Downing Street.” – Financial Times(£)

  • Manifesto will take the Tories back to pre Thatcher days – Philip Johnston Daily Telegraph

May pledges to hold vote on ending hunting ban

“Theresa May promised MPs the chance to repeal the 12-year-old ban on foxhunting yesterday as she voiced her personal support for the practice. The prime minister said that she had “always been in favour of foxhunting” after a Conservative peer claimed that a Tory majority of 50 after the general election, considered by pollsters to be easily within reach, could be enough to overturn the Hunting Act. Some Tories questioned that assessment but Mrs May’s surprise commitment will rally countryside sports activists to help the party’s election efforts.” – The Times(£)

I take out the bins says PM’s husband

telegraphsplit“Prime Minister Theresa May has tonight come under fire after she said there are jobs for ‘boys and girls’ around the home. The 60-year-old was on The One Show with her husband Philip, 59, and the pair discussed a number of non-political issues including her love of shoes. During the first few minutes of the interview broadcast live on the BBC, the married couple were talking about living together. Mrs May said there are specific ‘boys jobs and girl jobs’ around the house after her husband said that he takes the bins out at their home.” – Daily Mail

  • She’s a bloody difficult woman at home too says Philip – The Sun
  • Sweet but dull – Michael Deacon Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Highlights of the Mays’ interview on The One Show

CPS decision due on pursuing Conservatives over election expenses

“Prosecutors are expected to announce on Wednesday whether Conservative politicians or officials will face charges for breaches of expenses rules. The CPS is considering files sent by police following investigations in up to 27 constituencies. It relates to claims some campaigning costs in the 2015 general election were wrongly recorded. The Conservative Party has insisted administrative errors were to blame rather than any intention to deceive.” – BBC

Conservative MPs criticise energy price cap

Gas ring“Theresa May will face a battle within her own party as well as with the energy companies if she decides to go ahead with a cap on gas and electricity prices. A number of Tory MPs favouring free market policies, including some at senior ministerial level, feel the plan is far too interventionist for a Conservative government, and are aiming to water down the proposal in the next parliament. The MPs are not breaking cover with direct criticism during the election campaign, but some are openly pushing for a more “relative” cap – which would link standard tariffs to the cheapest deals by capping the differential between the highest and lowest price an energy company can charge.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: If the energy cap doesn’t fit…

Brexit backing Tory MEPs denied Westminster seats

Campbell Bannerman David“Leading Brexit-backing MEPs are set to lose out on a seat in the House of Commons amid rumours Conservative candidates have had their attempts to stand blocked by Tory HQ. David Campbell-Bannerman, who returned to the Conservatives from Ukip in 2011, reportedly said he was blocked from three safe seats by the Tory top brass and is now calling for a review into the party’s selection process. And neither Daniel Hannan and Syed Kamall – Conservative MEPs who campaigned valiantly to leave the EU – have been given a seat to contest at the upcoming General Election. ” – Daily Express

>Today: Sunder Katwala on Comment: Will the Conservatives have more ethnic minority MPs than Labour after this election?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Centralisation and chaos – inside the rush to select Conservative candidates in time for the election

Challenge for Conservatives to be the low tax party

“The Conservatives must prove they are the party of low tax by replacing a current “tax lock” with a pledge to keep burden below a third of national income, Thatcherite economists, academics and experts warn today. In a letter to today’s Daily Telegraph the economists question Theresa May’s commitment to being a party of lower taxes. Independent forecasts show that by the end of the decade the tax burden – the amount of the nation’s income drawn from tax receipts – will reach the highest level for 30 years. It currently stands at 34 per cent of gross domestic product.” – Daily Telegraph

Finkelstein: May needs a mandate as much as a landslide

FINKELSTEIN Lords“Mandates are real, and with them, in Britain as in the US, you can get people to accept action as legitimate and reasonable that they might ordinarily reject. How are mandates created? Part of it, of course, is winning big. But part of it is down to the story you tell about your victory. If it’s the culmination of a campaign in which a clear set of political ideas have been openly discussed, then a landslide can become a mandate. There is, however, a tension between a landslide and a mandate. The clearer you are, the franker you are, the more risks you take with the size of your victory.” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times(£)

>Today: Columnist Rebecca Lowe Coulson: What it is that determines how we vote

100 Labour MPs plan breakaway Party

“Labour faces a historic split after the election with as many as 100 of the party’s MPs set to walk out and form their own breakaway group in an attempt to force out Jeremy Corbyn, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. Moderate Labour candidates are already in talks with potential donors about a new “Progressives” group forming in Parliament if Mr Corbyn stays on as leader after a Tory landslide. One potential scenario is for the MPs to resign the Labour whip and become independents grouped together in the Commons under the Progressives banner.” – Daily Telegraph

  • How a new party could rise from the ashes – Martin Baxter Daily Telegraph

Confusion as Corbyn refuses to back Brexit

timescorbbus“Jeremy Corbyn raised fears he may betray Brexit voters after refusing seven times to confirm that he would take Britain out of the EU. The under-fire Labour leader sparked the fresh muddle during a BBC interview yesterday. Asked whether would be definitely be leaving the Union, “come hell or high water”, Mr Corbyn merely said: “There was a clear vote a year ago,” and stressed his wish to get a “good deal with Europe”.” – The Sun

  • Bumbling indecision – The Sun Says
  • Corbyn hoping for endorsement from Bernie Sanders – The Guardian
  • Corbyn and Co remind me of those deranged Californian cults of the 1970s – Dominic Sandbrook – Daily Mail
  • Labour’s Love’s Lost – Leader, The Times(£)
  • More pictures of Labour activists trampling on a war memorial – The Sun
  • Shadow Minister swerves giving Brexit answer – Daily Express
  • Offensive tweets of Labour activist who introduced Corbyn – The Sun
  • An insult to voters – Leader, Daily Express
  • Labour has four weeks to win over voters, it’s too late – Leader, Independent

>Yesterday: WATCH: Corbyn repeatedly refuses to say that Britain will leave the EU if he is elected

Mayor’s anger at selection rejection

“Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has said Labour “is not always a meritocracy” after being overlooked as the party’s Liverpool Walton candidate for the general election on 8 June. Mr Anderson said he was angry his track record “wasn’t good enough”. Unite Union aide Dan Carden, 30, has been selected in the safe seat. Ben Williams, the secretary of the constituency party, tweeted he will resign in protest at a “disgraceful undemocratic stitch-up”.” – BBC

  • Simon Danczuk to stand as an independent in Rochdale – The Sun
  • Labour expels three members in Surrey for backing tactical voting – The Guardian
  • Kate Hoey rival photoshopped out of picture – Independent

Labour and Lib Dems make pledges to increases school spending

School“Labour and the Lib Dems are both making multibillion pound funding pledges to tackle school cash shortages in England. Labour says it would raise corporation tax to spend £4.8bn on keeping up with rising costs, and £335m so no schools lost out from a funding reorganisation. The Lib Dems are promising £7bn to protect per-pupil funding levels. The Conservatives said school spending had reached record levels and attacked the two parties’ spending plans.” – BBC

  • School standards drop for Scots pupils – The Scotsman
  • Two out of three schools forced to cut teaching staff – The Times(£)

Military chiefs warn of defence spending gap

“Theresa May has been urged to fix a funding crisis in the armed forces that is threatening Britain’s ability to fight wars in a letter signed by former military chiefs and decorated junior personnel. A failure to address the challenges facing defence would damage Britain’s credibility on the international stage, the former top brass and servicemen, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, warned. “The armed services are having to seek further very damaging savings in manpower, support and training at a time when the likelihood of combat operations is increasing,” the letter said.” – The Times(£)

Green Party denies SNP pact

green20party (1)“The Scottish Greens have been forced to deny claims the party is standing aside to help the SNP in a “Yes Alliance” against the Conservatives. It comes after it emerged the party will contest fewer than ten of Scotland’s 59 seats in next month’s general election. The party said it was targeting resources at key seats but opponents accused the pro-independence Greens – who pushed the Liberal Democrats into fifth place in last year’s Holyrood vote – of a “disservice to voters”.” – The Scotsman

  • Green Party complains about BBC – BBC

Campaign to block grammar schools

“A wealthy liberal elite yesterday pledged to sabotage Theresa May’s plans for new grammar schools. The writers and campaigners vowed to do all they could to block any new law allowing more selective schools. They are appealing for money via crowdfunding site JustGiving to ‘fight’ the proposal by lobbying politicians and ‘raising awareness’ among families. Melissa Benn, the well-heeled daughter of late hard-left politician Tony Benn, is leading the funding campaign for Comprehensive Future and claims grammars cause ‘anxiety for parents’.” – Daily Mail

  • Pulling up the ladder to a chance of success – Leader Daily Mail

May says Calais border must stay

MACRON Emanuel“Emmanuel Macron’s plans to move Britain’s border from Calais would cause chaos for travellers in Dover, the UK’s shipping chief has warned. The new French President wants to scrap the current border deal – but yesterday the PM insisted it was not up for negotiation. Theresa May said she would be “sitting down and talking to Monsieur Macron” about how the so-called Le Touquet system worked and would stress that it “works for the benefit of both the UK and France”. Her comments sparked fears it could be scrapped – but her aides insisted she would make clear that the border deal is “not up for discussion”.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: Charlie Elphicke on Comment: Don’t assume that Macron will push our border back to Dover. Here’s how we can reach agreement.

Trump fires FBI chief James Comey

“President Donald Trump has fired the director of the FBI over his handling of the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the administration says. The White House shocked Washington by announcing that James Comey “has been terminated and removed from office”. But Democrats said he was fired because the FBI was investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.” – BBC

No 10 dinner leak was a mistake says Juncker

JUNCKER stars“Jean-Claude Juncker has denied that he or one of his team leaked details of his fractious Downing Street dinner with Theresa May on Brexit, calling the disclosure “a serious mistake”. The president of the European Commission also referred to the prime minister as a “tough lady” and said their “love” had limits. Mr Juncker, or his inner circle, have been blamed by Downing Street for a blow-by-blow account in a German newspaper of how the two sides discovered they were far apart at the private dinner on April 26.” – The Times(£)

News in brief

  • Aborigines offered enhanced health after 1950s nuclear tests – BBC
  • Don’t separate elderly couples when sending them to care homes says judge – The Times(£)
  • NATO asks for more British troops in Afghanistan – BBC
  • Child dies after accident at Drayton Manor theme park – The Guardian
  • An independent Scotland would have to sign up to Common Fisheries Policy to join the EU – Daily Express
  • 250 refugees dead or missing after shipwrecks off Libyan coast – The Guardian
  • John Lewis profits hit over breaking minimum wage rules – Daily Telegraph

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