Published:

Cleverly attacks Khan for failing to crack down on knife violence

“Sadiq Khan is too “obsessed” with getting on TV and taking selfies with fans rather than tackling London’s crime wave, a top Tory has stormed. James Cleverly, a Vice Chair of the Conservative Party, told LBC that the London Mayor hasn’t adopted any “strategic thinking” like Boris Johnson did when he was in charge. He lashed out at the Labour Mayor’s priorities, saying he was “obsessed with getting on the telly, obsessed with getting photographed, obsessed with social media.” Mr Cleverly was speaking as a spate of violent crimes took place in the capital this week – including six stabbings in just 90 minutes last night… The Braintree MP, who used to work in the London Assembly, said the Tories’ Time For Action’ campaign in 2008 had focused on the “drivers” of youth crime, and included running youth groups and keeping young people in education. And that police numbers in the capital were around the same as they were in 2013, despite cuts to budgets.” – The Sun

  • Mayor faces storm of criticism as crime wave continues – Daily Mail
  • Labour MP attacks May for failing to meet victims’ families – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: London’s local elections. Beware of spin.

Fraser Nelson: May ignored the evidence on stop-and-search, to criminal effect

“A few years ago, Theresa May set out to make a hard-hitting speech about how too many law-abiding black men were being stopped and searched by the police. Her officials got to work on it, but soon hit a problem: the only in-depth study showed that, if anything, white men were the ones being singled out. There was no evidence to suggest any kind of racial discrimination. It was all a bit embarrassing, so reference to this study was removed from the draft of the speech – and the then home secretary went ahead anyway with her spirited  j’accuse. Black men, she said, are up to seven times more likely to be stopped and searched. It cannot continue. Politically, the speech was a great success. It was a potent charge, and it helped to establish Mrs May as a reformer with a social conscience. Her figure was technically correct: when compared with the general population, young black men are far more likely to be searched. It’s just that if you look at those on the streets of an evening (as the Home Office had done), the bias vanishes.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The Prime Minister must act to deliver tough justice – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • Teenagers die as we fail to tackle London violence – Harriet Sargeant, FT

Scottish Tories attacked over rape exemption from welfare cap

“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives have come under fire over the “abhorrent rape clause” one year after the controversial welfare reform was brought in. SNP and Labour politicians urged the Tories to rethink their support for the policy, branding it “despicable” and “absolutely heart-breaking”. It was established as part of UK Government benefit reforms which limit families to claiming tax credits for their first two children. One of the exemptions to this is the so-called “rape clause”, which requires women to prove a child was conceived through rape or during an abusive relationship to qualify for the benefit… The Tories were repeatedly challenged on their support for the benefit change during last year’s election campaign. SNP MP Alison Thewliss called on the 13 Scottish Tory MPs elected then to consider whether the policy was “justified”.” – The Scotsman

  • Scrap two-child limit, urge religious leaders – The Guardian

Tory peer claims making passports in France will cost millions in lost tax

“Handing the contract for Britain’s post-Brexit blue passport to a foreign company will cost £162million in lost taxes, a senior Tory peer warned Theresa May last night. In a letter, Lord Naseby called for the decision to award the work to Franco-Dutch group Gemalto rather than UK rival De La Rue to be reversed. He said that although the foreign bid is £120million cheaper, Britain will be left worse off because of lost tax. His claim is based on analysis by a leading London investment house which estimates that £162million in tax would be raised in a decade if De La Rue printed the passports – compared to just £25million of UK taxes that would flow in from the Gemalto contract.” – Daily Mail

  • Ministers to crack down on plastic cutlery to make airports greener – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nick Faith in Comment: We need a Brexit that is open for business. Letting Melrose take over GKN would be a sign we’ll get one.

EU: Miliband says Opposition must back a second EU referendum…

“David Miliband has demanded another European Union referendum with the former foreign secretary saying the public need a say on the final deal to “avert the damage of Brexit”. Putting himself at odds with the Labour Party’s official stance on leaving the EU, he joins former prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, and the Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable in calls for another vote. His comments come at difficult time after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was embroiled in a row over alleged antisemitism within his party… He’s accused both the leadership of the Labour and Tory of “appalling act of short-sightedness” by starting a two-year countdown to Brexit last year.” – Daily Express

  • India demands easier migration in exchange for trade deal – The Sun

Comment:

  • No new migrants to be allowed here without benefits – Iain Duncan Smith, Daily Mail

…as Trimble warns that ‘special status’ for Ulster would inflame loyalist paramilitaries

“David Trimble, whose support was critical in creating the Good Friday agreement, has warned that the Irish government risks provoking loyalist paramilitaries with its stance on the border after Brexit. In a wide-ranging interview to mark the 20th anniversary of the agreement, Lord Trimble said any special deal to keep the region within Europe would destroy a key tenet of the agreement that there would no constitutional change without majority consent in Northern Ireland… the former first minister of Norther Ireland said he believed loyalist paramilitaries could reactivate if the principle of consent enshrined in the agreement was put in danger by any post-Brexit deal demanded by the Irish government and nationalist parties.” – The Guardian

  • Hard border could provoke ‘eruption of civil disobedience’ – The Times
  • UK urged to come up with fresh plan to end border deadlock – The Guardian
  • Irish ships to bypass British ports after Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Sinn Fein MEP claims to have secret impact papers – Belfast Telegraph

Comment:

  • Tory ‘lurch to the right’ is an illusion – Matthew Parris, The Times

Labour 1) ‘Secret recording’ apparently shows Corbyn’s plans to make deselection easier

“Jeremy Corbyn plans to make it easier for moderate MPs who oppose his leadership to be deselected, one of his close allies has claimed in a secret recording. Momentum founder Jon Lansman said the Labour leader wants to overhaul party rules to lower the threshold for deselection. Mr Lansman – who helped run Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign – made the claims to a meeting in London which was covertly recorded at a meting in London on March 26. It comes as many moderate MPs have been bombarded with abuse and threats of deselection from Corbynista supporters… Mr Lansman also claimed the Labour leader supports moves to sideline the powerful trade unions, according to the recording obtained by the Daily Mirror.” – Daily Mail

Labour 2) MP heckled for backing protest against anti-Semitism

“A Labour MP who attended a demonstration against antisemitism was heckled at a meeting of her local party. Thangam Debbonaire, 51, the MP for Bristol West, was trying to face down internal party critics. A motion criticising the protest last month was defeated by 108 votes to 84. The demonstration in Parliament Square was convened over concerns about anti-Jewish behaviour in Labour’s ranks. Ms Debbonaire was among more than 40 Labour MPs to attend. The motion stated that “when people see inequality, ecological disaster and war alongside the accumulation of unprecedented wealth in the private hands of a few it is reasonable that they seek explanations. Portions of the media and politicians hostile to the Labour Party have weaponised allegations into unfair criticisms of the party and Jeremy Corbyn.”” – The Times

  • Leader’s allies ‘tried to block action against anti-Semites’ – Daily Mail
  • Jews will flee if Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, warns rabbi – The Times

More:

  • Official’s tweets cause transgender row – The Times

>Yesterday: Profiles: The Jews in Britain

Labour 3) Corbyn ally ‘echoes Kremlin’s attack lines’ over Salisbury

“Corbyn ally Chris Williamson echoed Kremlin attack lines in an appearance on RT as he claimed the Salisbury attack was being used to distract attention from Brexit. The former shadow minister, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most vocal supporters, defied warnings Labour MPs should no longer appear on the Kremlin-funded channel. He said Boris Johnson had ‘raced ahead of the evidence’ to accuse Vladmir Putin’s regime and insisted Mr Corbyn had been right to urge caution. And Mr Williamson said the timing of the nerve agent attack was ‘very convenient for the Government’ – a central part of Russia’s denials it was involved. The Derby North MP’s intervention is a new escalation of Labour’s criticism of the Government, a day after the party demanded an inquiry into Mr Johnson appearing to exaggerate evidence from the Porton Down laboratory.” – Daily Mail

  • Sergei Skripal ‘improving rapidly’ – FT
  • Russian rant shows they are rattled, claims ex-national security adviser – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Johnson has now moved from post-truth to post-shame – Marina Hyde, The Guardian

>Yesterday:

UKIP fields 75 per cent fewer candidates in local elections

“Ukip has been judged “virtually dead” after the party registered 75 per cent fewer candidates for next month’s local elections than stood in 2014. The anti-EU party is on course to have only about 550 candidates, or 12 per cent of those possible, on May 3, according to its spokesman. This is down from 2,193 candidates, or 52 per cent of all seats, that Ukip fielded four years ago in the last comparable poll. Nominations for candidates closed at 4pm yesterday and analysis by Lord Hayward, a Conservative pollster, showed that Ukip’s tally of candidates had declined even in former strongholds… Lord Hayward said that Ukip appeared “virtually dead” as an election fighting organisation. “It confirms the disastrous fall of Ukip from public attention,” he said.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Countries cannot power their way to prosperity on renewables alone – Priti Patel MP, CapX
  • The US/China “trade war” masks something more serious – Maggie Pagano, Reaction
  • Macron’s Thatcher moment has arrived – Gavin Mortimer, The Spectator
  • Remainers attacking the BBC should be wary of ending up with a British Fox News – Nick Robinson, New Statesman
  • Where are the friends of fishing? – Austin Mitchell, Brexit Central

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