May’s Easter message: the “dark moments” and the “triumph of hope”

“In her address, Theresa May recalled “dark moments” of the last year, including the Westminster Bridge and Manchester Arena terrorist attacks, and the Grenfell Tower fire. “In the bravery of those facing adversity, the dedication of our emergency services, and the generosity of local communities, we see the triumph of the human spirit,” she said. “The Easter story contains an inspiring promise of new life and the triumph of hope.” Several bishops draw on the recent events in Salisbury and their aftermath in written messages and sermons during Holy Week and the Easter weekend.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: Audio: Music for Holy Saturday: Recessit Pastor Noster

>Today: ToryDiary: Support for May leading the Conservatives into the next election hits its highest total yet

New investigation “exposes” Corbyn’s “anti-Jewish fervent supporters” and links on Facebook

“Jeremy Corbyn faces a damaging new anti-semitism scandal as a bombshell dossier reveals the full extent of anti-Jewish, violent and abusive comments on Facebook groups mobilising his most fervent supporters. Twelve senior staff working for the Labour leader and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, are members of groups containing anti-semitic and violent comments, including praise for Adolf Hitler and threats to kill Theresa May, the prime minister. The most comprehensive investigation conducted into 20 of the biggest pro-Corbyn Facebook groups — numbering 400,000 members — found routine attacks on Jewish people, including Holocaust denial.” – The Sunday Times

  • Labour council candidate accused of “repeatedly publishing antisemitic tropes” – Sunday Telegraph
  • Sugar deletes Corbyn-Hitler tweet – Observer
  • McDonnell had asked him to “delete and disown” it – Sun on Sunday
  • Meanwhile, Izzard to replace Shawcroft on NEC – Sunday Express
  • Leading donor leaves party – Observer
  • And Corbyn “faces revolt from women MPs” – Mail on Sunday



  • Corbyn must take a “zero-tolerance” approach – Observer
  • Corbyn’s crisis is “self-inflicted” – The Sunday Times


Gauke faces criticism over “shelving” of “victim’s law”

“The justice secretary, David Gauke, is under fresh pressure over the treatment of rape victims as it emerged his department has shelved a key manifesto pledge to introduce a “victims’ law”. In the wake of the John Worboys fiasco, other rape victims have come forward to reveal they too were not warned their assailants were about to be released from jail. The Sunday Times can today reveal that a victim of Antoni Imiela, the M25 rapist, said she heard he was being considered for release only when it was reported in the media.” – The Sunday Times

  • Labour claims 181 Conservative manifesto promises have been “ditched” – The Sunday Times
  • Plan for making public sector more diverse “secretly shelved” – Mail on Sunday


  • We’re launching a victims’ survey because they’ve been overlooked – Claire Taxman, The Sunday Times
  • Last week’s Worboys result was a victory for “women everywhere” – Karren Brady, Sun on Sunday

Electoral Commission members criticised for anti-Brexit stance

“Confidence in the elections watchdog was evaporating last night as it emerged that almost half of its board have made public statements criticising the pro-Brexit campaign or backing calls for the result to be overturned, despite strict impartiality rules. An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph found that four of the Electoral Commission’s 10 commissioners, including the chairman, had made pronouncements on Brexit since the referendum – all of them backing Remain. The body’s code of conduct states that commissioners must “act at all times” to “uphold its impartiality”. Last night there were calls for the commissioners to resign, as MPs suggested their personal views could have been behind the Commission’s refusal to investigate alleged illicit collusion by pro-Remain campaign groups, while conducting several inquiries into the official Leave campaign.” – Sunday Telegraph


More Brexit

  • Verhofstadt “more optimistic than ever” for good Brexit deal – Sun on Sunday
  • Increased number of Spanish intrusions into Gibraltar water – Sunday Express 
  • Is the EU seriously building a “Britannia”? – Sunday Telegraph
  • When did Gove start planning his leadership bid? – Mail on Sunday
  • How the implementation period should work – Shanker Singham, Sunday Telegraph

Goodwill to “draw up report” on adoption of military practices in schools

“Ministers could back the use of a “military ethos” in more schools across the country after the Defence Secretary commissioned a review of the benefits of an education inspired by the discipline and values of the Armed Forces. Robert Goodwill, who was an education minister until January’s reshuffle, is to draw up a report for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) assessing how pupils gain from schools that already adopt military-style practices. Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary said: “Our Armed Forces are the best of their generation, embodying teamwork, leadership, and aspiration…”” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Military academies could be part of “mainstream education” – Sun on Sunday 

May to set up fund to pay children’s burial fees

“Theresa May will scrap burial fees for children in a victory for The Sunday Times’s funeral poverty campaign. The prime minister has personally intervened to establish a funeral fund for grieving parents who lose a child. The move comes just days after more than 100 MPs signed a letter urging her to act on the growing “funeral poverty crisis”, after an investigation by this newspaper found babies being buried in cardboard coffins and councils denying families their loved ones’ ashes.” – The Sunday Times

More Government

  • FO “considering Russian request” for access to Skripal daughter – Observer
  • The danger Moscow poses – Gavin Williamson, Sunday Telegraph
  • McVey pushes for Saturday jobs – Observer
  • Hunt calls for HPV vaccine for boys – Mail on Sunday
  • “Sugar tax” on soft drinks begins next Friday – The Sunday Times

And rest of UK

  • Adams wants Ireland to expel Israeli ambassador – Belfast Telegraph
  • Salmond LBC call-in show ends after six months – Herald

Penning: Here’s how we should deal with knife crime

“Britain is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic – and it is spreading far beyond our inner cities. Hardly a day goes by without the pages of our newspapers containing stories of yet another life needlessly lost to this sickening scourge. So far this year, 18 men under the age of 25 have been stabbed to death in London — including a 23-year-old, who died from his injuries after being knifed in Greenwich on Thursday. The next day, a 36-year-old woman from Haringey, North London became the latest victim. But carrying blades is no longer restricted to youths in the capital. The routine carrying of weapons has infected leafy market towns and shire counties across the nation.” – Sun on Sunday 

More Conservatives

  • Backbench Tory MPs gain average of almost £12,000 from second jobs – The Sunday Times
  • Davies faces investigation after feminist event – The Sunday Times
  • Hunt’s colleagues “not so keen” on NHS levy – Macer Hall, Daily Express

>Today: Robert Colville: Our drive at the Centre for Policy Studies for new ideas for ownership

Cohen: We should be worried about Hungary

“You may think Hungary is a faraway country. Small and landlocked, it has a baffling Finno-Ugric language few outsiders master. What do its corruptions and conspiracy theories have to do with us? When I was last in Budapest in August, I met Marta Pardavi. I worried about her and her friends in the Hungarian human rights movement, but I did not think I needed to transfer my fears back to Britain. To understand her predicament, you must know that the ruling party, Fidesz, and its capo, Viktor Orbán, rigs the constitution, the electoral system, most of the media, the judiciary and Hungary’s cultural institutions.” – Observer

News in Brief

  • More thoughts on Cambridge Analytica – Freddy Gray, Spectator
  • Twenty-first-century civil rights – New Yorker
  • Mental health and the Asian community – Rohan Banerjee, New Statesman
  • Feminism today – Afua Hirsh, TLS
  • On speed – Gary Kroll, Aeon