Gove and Johnson accused of jeopardising Brexit with leadership plots

“Cabinet big guns risk wrecking Brexit because they are too busy plotting to succeed Theresa May, it was claimed last night. Silent ministers have been accused of taking their eye off the ball – and giving Remainers a free rein to dictate the agenda. Top Tories are furious after a disastrous few days in which the EU has gained the upper hand in divorce negotiation. They believe Brexit champions Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom need to “get out and make the case”. They had hoped last week would have been dominated with positive news about trade deals as 52 Commonwealth leaders descended on London for a summit. Instead, the talk was about a defeat in the Lords – and pressure from all sides for Mrs May to keep Britain in the EU customs union.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Robbins at meeting where officials predict Cabinet resignations – Sunday Times
  • Brexiteers concerned over ‘hybrid’ customs plan – Sunday Telegraph
  • Forget about trade deal if you stay in the Customs Union, Australia says – Sunday Express
  • Hopes of EU-UK security partnership fade – Sunday Telegraph
  • Rees-Mogg urges Government to ‘call EU’s bluff’ on Ulster border – Sunday Express

John Rentoul: How caving on the Customs Union could see the Prime Minister challenged

“There is no majority in the Commons for stopping Brexit, or for keeping the UK in the single market, because that would mean accepting the free movement of people. But there are more than seven Tory MPs who support a customs union, which is all that is needed to overturn the Tory-DUP majority. Hence the threatening noises coming from hard Brexit Tory MPs. Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home, reports one saying: “If there’s a cave-in on the customs union, I think there will be a leadership challenge.”… If 48 hard Brexit Tory MPs think she is going to sell them down the river, Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, could suddenly be on TV announcing a vote of no confidence in the leader. It need not be a co-ordinated plot; it could be the accidental product of fear and mistrust.” – Independent on Sunday

  • Bang goes Brexit if we fall for this customs con – David Jones MP, Mail on Sunday
  • Anti-Brexit peers are pitting Parliament against the people – Bernard Jenkin MP, Sun on Sunday
  • If the world feels good about Brexit, why don’t we? – Dia Chakravarty, Sunday Telegraph
  • A border with the EU works for the Swiss and can work in Ireland – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
  • I was shouted down when I tried to speak up for Brexit – Baroness Falkner, Sunday Telegraph


  • Ministers must rein in their ambitions and focus on Brexit – Sun on Sunday


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The risks to May if she backs off leaving the Customs Union

May accused of ‘ignoring Windrush warning’ for four years

“Theresa May knew of the plight of the “Windrush generation” of Britons at least four years ago and failed to act, The Sunday Times has established. The prime minister claimed last week that the government was “swift in responding” as soon as it realised that elderly British citizens from Commonwealth countries were being dismissed from jobs, evicted from their homes, refused medical treatment and even imprisoned as they could not prove their nationality. A London MP, however, said he had been raising cases with ministers, including May, since at least 2014 when she was home secretary… Amber Rudd, the home secretary, is set to distance herself from May’s hardline approach when the blueprint for a post-Brexit visa system is unveiled later this year.” – Sunday Times

  • Scandal being used to undermine fight against illegal immigration, Rudd says – Sunday Telegraph
  • Home Secretary’s position ‘untenable’, claims SNP MP – Scotland on Sunday


  • Lammy ‘lays into’ May over ‘human cost’ of immigration policies – Sun on Sunday
  • Problem stems from European ‘papers, please’ attitude, claims Rees-Mogg – Sunday Telegraph
  • Tories in new race row over ID checks for elections – The Observer


  • Lack of resignations shows how our political culture has changed – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • We must put the outrage in perspective – Shaun Bailey, Mail on Sunday
  • Rudd won’t reach Downing Street if she stays in May’s shadow – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times


  • Learn lessons from this fiasco as we head for Brexit – Sunday Times

Hunt warns social media giants over adult content

“Jeremy Hunt has warned social media giants they face punitive action unless they stop children from seeing adult content on their sites. In a powerful intervention, the Health Secretary has accused companies including Facebook and Instagram of ‘turning a blind eye’ to the harm being done to ‘a whole generation of children’. Firms could be hit with heavy fines unless they work out how to stop pre-teens from looking at age-inappropriate material. Mr Hunt has been angered by the companies’ failure to come up with effective child-protection strategies since he called in industry executives for a summit last November. The Cabinet Minister, who has three children aged three, six and seven, has been alarmed by growing evidence that allowing children to access such sites on their phones, tablets or laptops is exposing them to cyber-bullying and damaging their mental health.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Why I’m forcing big tech to improve children’s mental health – Jeremy Hunt MP, Sunday Times

Hammond ‘sparks police pay row’

“A row has erupted over police pay, with the Treasury refusing to fund wage rises unless forces embrace reform. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, reignited feuding over public sector pay by telling the Home Office to link salaries to police productivity, rather than length of service, according to sources close to the talks. Last year Hammond signalled an end to the 1% cap on public sector pay rises but said he would wait for the advice of independent review bodies. The Police Remuneration Review Body is preparing to submit a report to the prime minister and home secretary next month. Last month NHS staff were offered their biggest pay rise in a decade but there are fears that police could miss out. The news comes amid concern that low morale is to blame for falling police numbers as the service struggles to cope with knife and gun violence. London has seen more than 50 killings so far this year.” – Sunday Times

  • Chancellor criticised after ‘Google tax’ falls far short of revenue goal – Sun on Sunday

Truss faces ‘backlash’ over Mumsnet support

“Cabinet Minister Liz Truss has incurred the wrath of the transgender community – and risked angering the Prime Minister – by supporting Mumsnet users leading a backlash against militant transgender activists. Ms Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, posted a magazine article on Twitter which praised the internet forum for letting its users ‘question the tenets’ of transgenderism – such as whether ‘self-defined gender trumps biological sex’. Last night she was condemned by the transgender lobby as a ‘terf’, a derogatory term used for feminists they deem to be transphobic. Her intervention will be controversial in Downing Street because Theresa May has overseen a liberalisation of transgender rights.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Trans athletes face tougher entry rules in female events – Sunday Times

Police face questions over handling of Elphicke allegations

“Scotland Yard was last night facing questions over its handling of a rape allegation made against a senior Conservative MP by a female former member of his staff. The Sunday Times can reveal that Charlie Elphicke, 47, a former government whip and married father of two, is alleged to have forced a former aide to have sex when they were alone together. The alleged victim first contacted the Metropolitan police in November last year – at the height of the Westminster sex scandal – and was accompanied to her police interview by Stuart Andrew, a Tory whip. She has since provided a signed witness statement to specialist detectives working for the sexual offences command. It is understood that officers interviewed the MP for Dover and Deal under caution last month over allegations of “sexual touching”, but did not put the rape allegation to him – months after it was first made.” – Sunday Times

Griffiths speaks of abuse by left-wing trolls

“A Tory MP whose wife had their first child a week ago has spoken of the ‘horrific abuse’ by Left-wing trolls who targeted them after he clashed with Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons. Business Minister Andrew Griffiths and his wife Kate, celebrating the birth of daughter Alice, were subjected to an appalling hate campaign, with one Corbynista troll telling Mrs Griffiths: ‘Hope your baby dies.’ The Mail on Sunday revealed the vile abuse four months ago, but did not disclose the couple’s name to protect mum-to-be Mrs Griffiths, who is in her late 40s. With mother and child home safe and well, the Griffiths have now broken their silence – and, incredibly, revealed how the trolls have carried on attacking them even after little Alice was born. After Burton MP Mr Griffiths announced her birth on April 11 at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, a Twitter troll posted a comment on the MP’s Facebook page: ‘FFS. I was hoping this c*** wouldn’t breed.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • Mann’s daughter accuses Labour leadership of ignoring rape threats – Sunday Times


  • Anxiety over Corbyn’s performance sees left ask if they could do without him – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

Jones to step down as First Minister of Wales

“The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, is to stand down. His announcement yesterday took the Welsh Labour Party by surprise and follows criticism over the suspected suicide of a cabinet colleague last year. Jones had been under pressure since Carl Sargeant was found dead in November, four days after being sacked as a minister over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women. Although sources close to the Welsh leader say that he made the decision to quit in September, he resigned a day after lawyers for Sargeant’s son Jack wrote a letter accusing him of causing “considerable distress” to the family. Jones, 51, who has been first minister since the retirement of Rhodri Morgan in 2009, said his exit would give his family, his party and the country a “fresh start”.” – Sunday Times

News in Brief:

  • Fix the immigration system to make a success of Brexit – Oliver Wiseman, CapX
  • Talking about the housing crisis means talking about immigration – Douglas Murray, UnHerd
  • Remainers cannot claim to have the ‘constitution’ on their side when they invoke ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ – JCD Clark, Brexit Central
  • Why Brexiteer ministers are so concerned at the moment – James Forsyth, The Spectator