Queen’s Speech: Government faces fight over EU-focused programme

“Theresa May was facing ‘legislative war’ over Brexit last night as diehard Remainers in the Commons, Lords and Scotland prepared to thwart her strategy for a clean EU exit. The Prime Minister made Brexit the centrepiece of a slimmed-down Queen’s Speech yesterday, with plans for eight major pieces of legislation designed to take back control from Brussels… But Brexit opponents seized on the Prime Minister’s weakened authority in the wake of her election setback to warn they will fight her ‘every step of the way’. In a surprise admission, Mrs May said her Brexit plans may need the ‘consent’ of the Scottish parliament, where Nicola Sturgeon has said she will oppose any move to take Britain out of the single market. In the Lords, pro-Remain peers claimed that Mrs May’s failure to secure a majority meant they did not have to respect Tory manifesto pledges.” – Daily Mail

  • SNP: give us powers or we’ll scupper Brexit – The Times (£)
  • MSPs may get to vote down key Brexit bills – The Scotsman
  • Corbyn demands deal replicates all benefits of the single market – Daily Mail
  • Grand trade visions scaled back to prevent cheap imports – The Times (£)


  • May wants to use foreign aid cash to send migrants home – Daily Mail
  • Flagship social care plans could still go ahead – The Sun
  • Energy shares rise as cap is abandoned – The Times (£)


Iain Martin: The Tory brand is being trashed all over again

“The Tories are said to be the oldest and most electorally successful party grouping anywhere in history. That illustrious lineage, through three centuries of evolution, has established in the public imagination an erroneous assumption that for all its faults the ruthless Conservative Party at least knows what it is doing when it comes to wielding power. If anyone is still labouring under that delusion then events in recent days will surely have dispelled it. The shambles Theresa May is making of forming a government invites an awkward question: if the Tory party cannot any longer do “statecraft” then what is the point of it?” – The Times (£)

  • Rediscovering optimism is vital for Conservative renewal – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • What are the Tories for? – Fraser Nelson, The Spectator
  • Demonising May will end with Corbyn as Prime Minister – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Tories wooed working-class voters very successfully – John Curtice, Times Red Box


  • Silence on pensions was a mistake: May should have stuck to her guns – Verity Ryan, Daily Telegraph
  • What the speech needed to say, but didn’t – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian
  • Have courage, Prime Minister, minority government is survivable – David Owen, Daily Telegraph
  • Whatever happened to the ‘Great’ Repeal Bill? – David Allen Green, FT


  • Thin speech will leave much of Government treading water – The Times (£)
  • A Queen’s Speech to reflect a sombre Britain – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: The crucial difference between a non-win this month and the win in 2015 was the failure of the Tory machine


May apologises to Grenfell Tower victims

“Theresa May today offered a heartfelt apology to victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze – saying the help for displaced and bereaved families ‘was not good enough’. The Prime Minister said she ‘took responsibility’ for the ‘failure of the state, local and national’ to provide assistance in the aftermath of the horrific fire. And she admitted that victims of the disaster were left homeless, without any belongings or even basic information or help. Her admission comes a week after the blaze, which killed at least 79 people as it tore through the north Kensington tower block within minutes. The Prime Minister and government have been widely condemned for their woeful failure to respond during and after the disaster.” – Daily Mail

  • Ministers will appoint a public advocate to champion victims – The Sun
  • Chief Executive of Kensington council resigns under pressure from minister – Daily Mail
  • Tension with neighbours as victims rehoused in luxury block – The Sun


  • Ten Downing Street advisers have quit since the election – The Sun


  • Fire has exposed anger we can’t afford to ignore – Jenni Russell, The Times (£)

>Today: Phil Taylor in Comment: Much of what you have read about the causes of the Grenfell Tower disaster is unproven – or else plain wrong

Brexit 1) May to brief EU on citizens’ rights

“UK prime minister Theresa May will brief EU leaders on Britain’s “generous offer” on European citizens’ rights after Brexit on Thursday night, as she tries to convince them that she remains in control after the UK’s indecisive general election earlier this month. The two-day Brussels summit will be Mrs May’s first encounter with most European leaders since her decision to call a snap general election backfired. She will try to reassure her EU counterparts that the Brexit process will continue on the same schedule despite the election result, which saw Mrs May lose her majority in the House of Commons. But Mrs May’s contribution to the EU summit will be strictly limited. She has been given a slot over coffee after a summit dinner, and EU council president Donald Tusk is discouraging any Brexit-related discussion among fellow heads of government.” – FT

  • Prime Minister to outline ‘big and generous’ offer – Daily Express
  • May heads to ‘humiliating’ meeting in Brussels – Daily Telegraph

More EU:

  • ‘Gloating’ Tusk says anti-EU parties are on the wane – Daily Mail
  • Macron insists the Union needs serious reform – Daily Express
  • Bloc’s unity masks fragile foundations – FT

Brexit 2) Johnson rules out standing for leader until after we leave

“Mr Johnson, tipped as a successor to Mrs May, insisted in another interview with Channel 4 News that he was not about to challenge her for the Tory leadership. Asked if he was ruling out standing until after Britain formally leaves the European Union – which is expected in 2019 – he said: “Yes, we have got to get on and deliver on the priorities of the people.” Mr Johnson also said that he believed that Brexit could be finalised within two years without a transitional deal: “What I certainly think we can do is get the best of both worlds.” That would mean, he said, “frictionless, tariff-free trade” while “also being able to do free-trade deals”.” – The Times (£)

  • Trump visit will go ahead, Foreign Secretary insists – The Times (£)
  • Johnson in ‘worst interview by politician ever’ – The Independent


  • There’s a strong majority in Parliament for a transitional deal – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Key task is to achieve a soft transition to a hard Brexit – Robin Niblett, Times Red Box
  • What a Norway-style soft Brexit would look like – Oz Ozkaya, The Independent
  • This Parliament will be one hell of a scrap – Jane Merrick, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: A year ago tomorrow, Britain voted for freedom. Here are three Remain myths about the campaign that must be debunked.

>Yesterday: Henry Newman in Comment: Hammond has listened to his colleagues over Brexit. Now they should listen to him, and make it open – not closed.

Democratic Unionists demand ‘end of austerity’ as price of deal

“The DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds tonight declared he wanted to work with the Government to end the ‘dark tunnel of austerity’ with no new sign of any formal deal with the Tories on the horizon. Mr Dodds spoke favourably of the Government agenda but did not signal that a deal with Theresa May had yet been finalised. Mrs May wants the DUP, founded by Ian Paisley, to commit its 10 MPs to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement that will help stabilise her minority government. It emerged today the DUP has demanded £1billion for the NHS and another £1billion on infrastructure in the province.” – Daily Mail

More austerity:

  • Headteachers write to two million families saying they need more cash – Daily Mail
  • Tories signal they may back down on school funding – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: First post-Brexit survey finds no surge in support for Irish nationalism

McDonnell defends call for ‘direct action’

“Marxist Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell yesterday roared on protesters marching on Parliament – insisting the Tories had no “legitimate right to govern”. As hundreds prepared for a ‘Day of Rage’ in London, Labour’s far-left veteran insisted that he wanted a peaceful protest – saying violence achieved “nothing”. But he defended his call from last week for a million people “to get out on the streets” to bring down the government. He said “direct action” was a democratic form of voicing anger and demanding change. And he urged the Tories to stand down and let Labour run a minority government. Mr McDonnell said: “Today, people may call it a Day of Rage or whatever, they have got the right, if they want to be angry.”” – The Sun

  • Left-wing ‘Day of Rage’ criticised for wasting police time- The Times (£)


  • Corbyn ‘snubs troops’ to appear at Glastonbury – The Sun
  • Labour leader denies disrespecting the Queen – Daily Mail


News in Brief:

  • No royal wants the throne, claims Harry – Daily Mail
  • Elite universities revealed as second-rate – The Times (£)
  • Democrats turn on Pelosi after defeat – Daily Telegraph
  • Dramatic reshuffle reshapes Saudi leadership – FT
  • Gulf nations ‘torn apart’ by Saudi-Qatar crisis – Daily Express
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth prepares to sail – The Scotsman