May 1) She will “overhaul” the tuition fees system

“Theresa May has pledged to overhaul the tuition fees system and spend £10 billion helping first-time buyers in an effort to win over young voters. Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph on the eve of the Conservative party conference, the Prime Minister attempts to reassert her authority by focusing on domestic policies. She announces a freeze on tuition fees at £9,250 a year and a rise in the level of earnings at which student loans begin to be paid back, saving almost a million graduates £360 a year. A review will also consider more radical changes, such as lowering fees altogether, slashing the interest rate on student debt and even bringing back maintenance grants.” – Sunday Telegraph



  • The latest polling is a wakeup call for Tories – Phillip Lee, Observer
  • If May carries on with Florence make-believe, we risk gaining Corbyn as PM – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
  • This conference will be tough for her – Macer Hall, Sunday Express
  • Watch out for Davidson this week – Alan Cochrane, Sunday Telegraph


May 2) And will spend £10bn helping first-time buyers through Help to Buy

“…There will also be more help offered to aspiring homeowners, and to renters. As well as a £10bn expansion of the Help to Buy loan scheme, Javid will announce that all private landlords will be required to join a redress system that allows tenants to complain and see those in breach sanctioned. Javid will also oblige letting agents to be registered with a professional body and require them to meet a set of minimum standards. In an eve-of-conference message, May said the policy announcements were “key parts of my plan to spread opportunity and build a better future for our country”. However, Conservatives will arrive in Manchester amid an air of gathering crisis not only over the prime minister’s ability to cling to office but also over her loss of support, particularly among younger voters”.” – Observer


  • The party urgently needs the young people who have little chance of owning their own home – Andrew Grice, Independent on Sunday

>Yesterday: Majority: Reconstructing May 3) She must show that she is on the side of younger people who need homes to buy

May 3) Johnson thinks she’ll be “gone in a year”

“Boris Johnson believes Theresa May will be driven from Downing Street within a year and plans one last tilt at the Tory leadership. In a move that will unleash civil war at the Conservative Party conference this weekend, allies of the foreign secretary warned that Tory donors were preparing to move their money offshore because the prime minister was “driving the party into the ground”. One leading Eurosceptic said a coup to remove May could “take off fast” unless she got a grip. In a further blow to May’s authority, it emerged that Johnson privately mocked the prime minister, joking that her former aides Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy held her in a state of “modern slavery”.” – The Sunday Times

  • There’s pressure on her to sack him – The Sun on Sunday
  • Javid wouldn’t answer when asked if she should lead party into next election – Observer
  • Green dismisses Johnson as “exuberant” – The Sunday Times
  • Hammond denies 4am text – Mail on Sunday 
  • Footage emerges of British Ambassador criticising Johnson reciting poem in Burma – Mail on Sunday
  • There was a dinner to bring together the Cameronites and the Timothyites – The Sunday Times


May 4) Interview: Here’s where things “went awry”

“…In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mrs May critiques her campaign and vows to win back the trust of Tory activists who spent days knocking doors last June. And she has an uncompromising message for Conservative rebels on manoeuvres in the Westminster shadows – I’m here to stay. Looking back on a tumultuous election from her personal office in Number 10, the Mrs May thinks she knows where things went awry. It goes back to the first public words she ever said as Prime Minister when she spoke to the nation on the steps of Downing Street last July… Yet come the election, that message – the bedrock of her early premiership – was replaced with a pitch around “strong and stable” leadership and “strengthening my hand” for Brexit.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Javid says “we almost went off message” – Observer
  • May’s behaviour over the election result led to “tensions” with Buckingham Palace – Mail on Sunday
  • And insiders at Number 10 were worried about whether she had self confidence to continue – The Sun on Sunday



  • She’d better not start talking about “nasty” again – Adam Boulton, The Sunday Times
  • The election result is source of continued anger for members – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer


May 5) She speaks of “divergence from Brussels” during transition…

“Britain could ignore some new EU rules and regulations during the Brexit transition phase, Theresa May has said in a boost to Eurosceptics. The Prime Minister told The Sunday Telegraph that the UK could “diverge” from Brussels between March 2019 and March 2021 in some areas. The comments go further than Mrs May’s Florence speech where she promised to stick with the “existing structure of EU rules and regulations”. It goes some way to appeasing Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, who this newspaper revealed last week has made ignoring all new EU rules a Brexit “red line”.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Johnson said yesterday that there mustn’t be any “monkeying around” over end of implementation period – Sunday Telegraph
  • And that May should “stop delaying” – Sunday Express
  • As details emerge of him “mocking” her – Mail on Sunday
  • Rees-Mogg “hints” he’s unhappy at two-year transition – The Sun on Sunday

May 6) …As Brexiteers write to tell her to “call EU’s bluff”

“Hardline Brexiteers have demanded Theresa May walk away from Brexit talks if the EU refuses to discuss future trade before Christmas. MPs and others in the Leave Means Leave group penned a letter to the Prime Minister saying she should call the EU’s bluff and drop negotiations if Brussels does not allow progress. Brexit talks are currently progressing at a snail’s pace, with Ms May’s speech in Florence having brought some momentum but the EU still insisting Britain settle its financial obligations, guarantee EU citizens’ rights and properly address the Irish border issue before any trade deal is discussed.” – Independent on Sunday

  • They “urge her to quit talks” if trade isn’t on the table – Sunday Express


  • We need to prepare for no deal – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph 
  • It’s uplifting to see Tories getting back behind liberal economics – Simon Heffer, Sunday Telegraph
  • It was hard to believe in May’s cheers for capitalism – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Anger over “hang the Tories” banners and effigies in Manchester

“Delegates attending the Conservative party conference are braced for a series of protests in Manchester this week as thousands of anti-austerity and anti-Brexit demonstrators are expected to converge. But some reacted with anger after a Conservative MP shared an image of a bridge in the northern city which had a banner draped from it with the words “Hang the Tories” as he arrived in Manchester.” – Independent on Sunday

McLoughlin sets out proposals to deal with online abuse of politicians

“Internet companies will be forced to hand over the contact details of online trolls who anonymously abuse MPs under proposals from the Conservatives. Facebook and Twitter will also be told create a “one stop shop” for politicians to report threatening messages during campaigns, the Tories indicated. Furthermore candidates will not have to publish their home addresses and new police guidance will be issued issued to bring perpetrators to justice, it was suggested. The proposals were put forward by Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory Party chairman, in a letter to a committee investigating MP abuse.” – Sunday Telegraph


  • Why is he still Party Chairman? – Grant Shapps, Mail on Sunday
  • It’s hard to know how to fix internet problems like junk news – Philip Howard and Bence Kollanyi, Observer

Tory backbenchers ask Gauke to rethink Universal Credit plans

“Although David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, has yet to issue a commencement order to bring the change into force — which can be done without parliament’s approval — he is expected to do so this week despite opposition from Labour and at least 12 Conservative backbenchers. … Twelve Conservative MPs have written a private letter to Gauke urging him to think again. The MPs, believed to include Heidi Allen and Andrew Selous, one of Duncan Smith’s former parliamentary aides, are concerned claimants are missing out on money when they switch from their existing benefits to the new scheme and fear it may become as damaging as the poll tax.” – Sunday Times

Johnson: Aung San Suu Kyi is courageous. She needs to use that and her moral authority now

“I would defy anybody to meet Aung San Suu Kyi and not be moved by her courage and resilience…. I would submit that her courage has never been more necessary than it is today. For what is taking place in northern Rakhine State in Burma is a man-made tragedy with all the hallmarks of a deliberate and brutal policy. The time has come for Ms Suu Kyi to use her moral authority to challenge the military ruthlessness and ethnic prejudice that lies behind this suffering. More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have been driven from their homes in little over a month, streaming over the border into Bangladesh, destitute and exhausted.” – Sunday Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • That capitalism is seen as greedy is a big problem for Tories – Robert Colvile, Capx
  • We need to think about income – Claire Ainsley, BrexitCentral
  • The Brexit clock is ticking – Shirley Williams, New Statesman
  • Corbyn and fake news – Olivia Utley, Reaction
  • May and the conference – Isabel Hardman, Spectator