Reshuffle: Gove returns to take over from fellow Brexiteer Leadsom

“Michael Gove today made a spectacular comeback to the Cabinet as Theresa May fought to shore up her position in the wake of the Tory election catastrophe. He was ruthlessly axed as Justice Secretary by the PM last year after she swept into the top job. But today she appointed him Environment Secretary – as she demoted Andrea Leadsom to leader of the House of Commons. The embattled Prime Minister will hope that bringing the big political beast back into the fold will help restore her authority in the party. Mr Gove, who clashed bitterly with Mrs May over tackling extremism when they were in government under David Cameron, said that he had been taken by surprise when the invitation came through to visit No 10.” – Daily Mail


  • Prime Minister signals soft Brexit with reshuffle – The Times (£)
  • Leading Tories ‘pile on pressure’ to soften Brexit stance – The Times (£)
  • How UK vote could push Brussels to change tactics – FT
  • Remainers spark fresh Tory civil war – The Sun
  • Davidson warns May: I’ll scupper hard Brexit – The Independent
  • Wriggle-room which could make softer departure possible – The Times (£)
  • Eurosceptics back May for sake of hard Brexit – FT
  • Corbyn vows to quit the single market if he becomes Prime Minister – The Sun
  • Juncker reportedly urged early election on May – The Independent



More rumours of Scottish Conservative breakaway

“Ruth Davidson is considering the creation of a semi-independent Scottish Conservative parliamentary group in the Commons, according to senior party sources in Scotland. In what would be yet another blow to Theresa May’s leadership, Scottish Tory MPs are moving towards creating their own group with their own whip. Ms Davidson wants to make sure that the distinct identity they forged during the election — and which brought them considerable success — is not thrown away. The Scottish Conservative leader is known to have been unhappy defending some of the UK government’s policies which she had no part in developing.” – The Times (£)

More Scotland:

  • Sturgeon and SNP ‘damaged’ by result – FT
  • First Minister urged to drop husband as Chief Executive – The Sun
  • Senior SNP figures call for change – The Scotsman

Dominic Lawson: How Davidson may help a Tory plot to derail Brexit

“After the election, comes the coup. I don’t mean a coup against Theresa May by Conservative MPs. The parliamentary party want to keep her in place, if only as a marionette whose strings they will pull mercilessly until the time comes to cut them. No, the coup is against the electorate itself – and the plotters are the small number of Tory MPs who see May’s humiliation as an unexpected opportunity to destroy her plan to take the UK out of the EU single market and customs union. Their number, I’m told, is no more than ten, but they are counting on the support of the most formidable woman – no, make that the most formidable person of either gender – in British politics… The problem is the price she wants to extract is one which would almost certainly destroy the party. In interviews immediately after the General Election, using only slightly coded language, Ms Davidson made it clear she wants Mrs May to abandon her Brexit strategy and go for something akin to the Norway model — that is, to remain a member of the single market.” – Daily Mail

  • Voters have disarmed our negotiators, and our deal will be worse – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • What now for our leaving the EU in light of the results? – Anand Menon, The Times (£)
  • Hammond is the man to save the deal – Philip Stephens, FT
  • Voters may have saved us from crazy hard Brexit – Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph


  • May must canvass more widely on Brexit – The Times (£)
  • A chance to open serious debate on leaving the EU – FT


Party members furious over terrible election campaign

“The prime minister is facing a grassroots backlash over the disastrous general campaign. A snap survey of 1,503 Conservative members by the website Conservative Home found that 60 per cent wanted her to resign as party leader. Only 37 per cent thought that she should remain. Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home, said that the results revealed an astonishing level of disaffection. “Obviously, party members and our readers are angry in the election’s aftermath, and it may be that if the question is asked again in a week’s time, it gets a different answer,” he said… Activists hit out at the party’s failings in the “ground war”. Where campaigners canvassed around the country was determined by lists of voters sent out by Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) — trumping local canvassing data built up over several years.” – The Times (£)

  • May to be met with silence by angry Tory MPs – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister faces showdown with party – FT


  • MPs furious at Osborne’s conduct – The Sun


  • A shattering blow, but what went wrong? – Stewart Jackson, Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: The Cabinet reappointment that could put Corbyn in power


Cabinet force May to tear up manifesto

“Theresa May tore up the controversial Tory manifesto last night as the price for Cabinet support for her leadership. Plans to scrap the triple lock on pensions, means-test the winter fuel allowance and repeal the foxhunting ban are set to be ditched in a ‘slimmed-down’ Queen’s Speech next week. Mrs May’s dream of creating a new generation of grammar schools is also set to be shelved. Instead, the Queen’s Speech will focus mainly on a narrow agenda of Brexit and combating terrorism and extremism. The embattled Prime Minister indicated that legislation on mental health, housing and the introduction of new technical qualifications will be included, but the controversial social care policies dubbed the ‘dementia tax’ are expected to be heavily watered down.” – Daily Mail

  • Ulster allies offer Tories a way out of their manifesto – The Times (£)
  • DUP demand pensions triple lock and un-tested winter fuel allowance remain – Daily Mail
  • Kenny claims deal puts Good Friday Agreement at risk – The Times (£)
  • Social care and pension plans axed – Daily Express


  • Academy chain says it won’t switch to selection – The Times (£)
  • Grammar schools plan to be dropped – Daily Mail


  • What’s so hard about ‘keep calm and carry on’? – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • We should not kowtow to the naive, unaffordable views of many under-25s – Clare Foges, The Times (£)
  • Any deal with the DUP has serious implications – Jonathan Powell, FT
  • Is Britain now ungovernable – for both Conservative and Labour parties near the end… – Harry de Quetteville, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nadhim Zahawi MP’s column: Our policies were right. But we didn’t sell them.


Johnson says the Prime Minister should stay

“Boris Johnson furiously denied he was plotting to steal the crown from Theresa May yesterday despite signs that he has decided to go for the Tory leadership again when she departs. Reports that the foreign secretary was already “on manoeuvres” triggered anger yesterday with one Tory minister saying Mr Johnson would “never become prime minister and never be forgiven” if there were any signs of his agitating for the leadership. Mr Johnson dismissed as “tripe” reports that he was campaigning for the leadership. “I am backing Theresa May,” he said. “Let’s get on with the job.” However, there was suspicion among some Tory colleagues after he sent a string of WhatsApp messages to MPs telling them all to be loyal.” – The Times (£)


  • Tories who fear an early election will want May to hang on – Sam Coates, The Times (£)

Boris Johnson: To everyone calling on May to go I say “Get a grip”

“For all his ludicrous boasting, Mr Corbyn does not have the numbers to form a government, even if he could get the Liberals and the Scottish Nationalists to serve under him. He has about as many MPs as Gordon Brown when he was defeated in 2010. Theresa May still leads by far the largest party in the House of Commons and the polls were right in one sense – that for the first time in decades the Tories got about 43 per cent of the vote. Theresa May led a campaign that inspired 13.7 m people to vote Conservative, in the biggest total tally of Tory votes since the days of Margaret Thatcher. That is a stunning achievement, for which she deserves the support of her party. And she will certainly get it from me.” – The Sun


  • May won, and the Tories should unite behind her – Daily Mail

>Today: Cameron Penny in Comment: May must go now


Miliband offers his services to Corbyn

“Ed Miliband could return to frontline politics following Jeremy Corbyn’s extraordinary poll results, Labour sources said last night. The former leader is the most senior of Mr Corbyn’s critics thought to have offered his services – despite having once described his successor’s leadership as ‘untenable’. Yvette Cooper, who until the close of polls at 10pm on Thursday night was preparing a leadership challenge, has also said she would consider a return if she was offered the job of shadow home secretary. Chuka Umunna, another moderate who abandoned a bid to replace Mr Corbyn, hinted he would like to come back, too.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader pledges to bury the hatchet with rebels… – The Times (£)
  • …amidst reports that ‘big beasts’ won’t be welcomed back – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour now has six-point lead over the Tories – The Independent
  • Corbyn will call on other parties to defeat the Government – The Guardian



  • Watch Labour moderates now flock to Corbyn – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
  • May is damaged, but Labour lost – Brian Monteith, The Scotsman


  • Labour remains in thrall to discredited and dangerous ideas – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • Macron heading for landslide in the French legislature – Daily Mail
  • Trump ‘postpones state visit amidst fear of protests’ – The Times (£)
  • London Bridge attackers could have been planning to take hostages – Daily Telegraph
  • Consumer spending falls for the first time in four years – FT
  • Thirteen Filipino marines killed in clashes with Islamists – Daily Mail