Election 1) Stoke speech: May “hints at” manifesto tax cuts for low-paid workers

“The Prime Minister insisted she leads the “low-tax party” and did not deny that the Tory manifesto will pledge rises in the personal allowance tax threshold. The document, to be unveiled tomorrow, is expected to promise to take a swathe of workers out of income tax. Mrs May was quizzed about her plans for the personal allowance, which is £11,500 a year, during a visit to Stoke-on-Trent. Further rises in the starting threshold for the 20 per cent basic rate of income tax would continue a policy promised by the Lib Dems at the 2010 election and then adopted by David Cameron’s coalition.” – Daily Express

  • And says cost of living is dependent on right Brexit deal – Daily Telegraph
  • FTSE record high attributed to optimism over predictions of Conservative majority – The Sun
  • But inflation rises over pay – The Sun


  • May’s speech varied from “strong” to “stable” – Marina Hyde, Guardian
  • The phrase will win it for her – Giles Kenningham, Guardian
  • Corbyn has pushed the Tories to the left – Philip Booth, Daily Telegraph 
  • May’s vision starves us of hope – Dave Ward – Guardian 
  • Tories are worried about May’s “intellectual heresy” – Rob Colvile, CapX

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: Four manifesto ideas for the Conservatives which embody the ideals of this column

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: May must keep the Conservative coalition of liberals, Tories and others together

Election 2) Chorley: It’s all about Erdington

“A boy born in Erdington can expect to live to 75. Take a short train trip to Sutton Coldfield and men live on average seven years longer. Locals talk about moving out of the area because they want “to get on”. It is this spirit that inspired “Erdington modernisation”, the Tory ideology that Theresa May hopes will propel her into No 10 with a majority vastly increased thanks to MPs from previously Labour-backing areas like this. Nick Timothy, her joint chief of staff, was born in Erdington, went to a grammar school and became the first person in his family to go to university.” – The Times (£)

  • And the “re-leavers” of Lewes – FT

>Today: Gimson’s election diary: In Bolton North East, Labour voters are indeed switching to the Tories

Election 3) Finkelstein on the Labour manifesto: “People aren’t fools”

“..The idea that you can separate the idea that Mr Corbyn’s proposals are popular from the idea that Mr Corbyn himself is unpopular is, of course, ridiculous. If you ask people if they want a load of free things and that they won’t have to pay anything for any of it, because rich people are going to cover it all, they will say yes. And if you ask them whether they trust the people making the offer and would like to put them in charge, they will say no. Because people aren’t fools.”


  • Labour’s manifesto is “clear and coherent” but too late – Independent
  • It would make Britain a “crumbling ruin” – The Sun
  • Will it make May move further left? – Daily Mail

More comment:


Election 4) Corbyn pledges to lift benefits freeze. Then backtracks

“Jeremy Corbyn sparked confusion after pledging to lift a freeze on benefit payments only to reverse course within an hour. The Labour leader suggested he would lift the benefits freeze at the launch of the party’s manifesto, which reveals plans to spend an extra £48.6 billion a year on public services and the welfare state by 2021. Asked whether he would scrap the government’s freeze on working age benefits, which was introduced last year, Mr Corbyn said his party “clearly” wanted benefits to rise. “Increasing benefits is important, and clearly we’re not going to freeze benefits — that is very clear.” The policy did not appear in the manifesto, and minutes later Mr Corbyn backtracked. “We have not made a commitment on that,” he said. “The commitment I make is that I do understand the perverse effects of the cap.”” – The Times (£)

  • His “double U-turn” – The Sun

More Labour

  • McCluskey says 200 seats would be “success” – Guardian
  • Field calls for post-election split – The Sun

More election

  • Woman who confronted May over disability cuts tells her story – Guardian
  • Hannan calls Lib Dems “unpatriotic” over Brexit – Daily Express
  • Lib Dems reveal “rent to own” policy – Daily Telegraph
  • Sturgeon claims other parties are stealing her policies – Independent
  • But admits SNP “isn’t perfect” – Herald
  • Concerns grow over expansion of proxy voting in Northern Ireland – Belfast News Letter
  • Conservative restanding in Gower receives death threats – WalesOnline
  • May tells children she likes Potter – Daily Telegraph
  • Abbott gets lost on stage – Daily Mail
  • Tory elderly care policy will “fall unfairly” on women – Alice Thompson, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Davidson addresses the Orwell Foundation


Brexit minister meets Luxembourg’s leaders “behind the EU’s back”

“The Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union David Jones was in Luxembourg to meet with the nation’s leaders, including finance minister Pierre Gramegna. The meeting seems to go against European Union demands the bloc’s Brexit negotiations should only be handled by Brussels bosses including Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt instead of individual member states. EU member states explicitly agreed to avoid going it alone, while Luxembourg’s official government response insisted Britain must not be able to “cherry pick” during exit talks.” – Daily Express

Trump talks of his “absolute right” to share intelligence with Russia

“President Trump said today that he had “the absolute right” to share intelligence with the Kremlin after it was alleged that he had endangered a critical source that had infiltrated Islamic State during a meeting with the Russian foreign minister. Mr Trump said on Twitter: “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled [White House] meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety.” He added: “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.””

  • McMaster defends him – Daily Telegraph
  • But admits Trump’s decision to disclose was made “in the context of the conversation” – Independent
  • Leaks risk Middle East partners – Guardian
  • Reports claim Trump “asked Comey” to end Flynn investigation… – Daily Telegraph
  • …which White House denies – Guardian



News in Brief

  • National security prevents prosecution of WPC Fletcher murderer – The Times (£)
  • Brady’s ashes will not be scattered on moor – Guardian
  • Ukraine bans access to popular Russian sites – FT
  • Iran goes to the polls on Friday – FT
  • Hackers “prepare” second attack – The Sun
  • Italian debt rockets – Daily Express
  • “Brightness” equals lenience for student stabber – Daily Telegraph

38 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 17th May 2017

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