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May apologises to the Windrush generation…and it emerges the Home Office destroyed landing cards in 2010

‘Theresa May has apologised to Caribbean leaders over the treatment of Windrush generation migrants who have been threatened with deportation despite being in the UK legally. After talks in Downing Street yesterday the prime minister said that she was genuinely sorry for the anxiety that had been caused to elderly people who had come from the West Indies more than 50 years ago. However, as she attempted to draw a line under the row it emerged that the Home Office had destroyed thousands of landing card slips that could have provided some of the evidence to help people to prove their status in Britain. The department said it was looking at the cases of 49 people relating to Windrush migrants as a result of calls to a helpline set up to help those trying to prove that they are in the UK legally.’ – The Times

  • Rudd under pressure, as her allies suggest Brexiteers are fanning the issue to damage her – The Times
  • Her ‘friends’ say she is furious at having to ‘clean up May’s mess’ – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Suspicious substance’ posted to Nokes’s office – The Guardian
  • Verhofstadt says the row is ‘worrying’ for EU migrants – Daily Telegraph
  • Prince Charles charms Commonwealth delegates – Daily Telegraph
  • May urges family of nations to end anti-gay discrimination – Daily Telegraph

Opinion and Editorials

>Today: Profile: Enoch Powell. Many politicians rose higher. Few made a bigger impact – or still do.

>Yesterday:

The Government wins a second Syria vote

‘The Labour leader’s attempt to embarrass the Prime Minister by voting down his own motion on the need for a War Powers Act collapsed into failure at the end of a three hour emergency debate as the won Tories 317 to 266 on a symbolic vote. Mr Corbyn called the debate last night under rules for emergency discussions because the Government has refused to hold a direct vote on joining coalition air strikes against Syria on Saturday. Mrs May dismissed the plea, telling MPs it would be wrong for Parliament to control ‘every possible mission in advance’, insisting there were occasions the Prime Minister had to act ‘quickly and decisively’. She said it had been impossible to recall the Commons last week without ‘taking our adversaries into our confidence’. The PM said it would have meant giving the Syrian regime the chance to activate its air defence systems or time to move its chemical weapons. Tory MPs tried to derail the debate. Mr Corbyn was jeered for insisting his call for a ‘War Powers Act’ was about process and not the coalition strikes against Bashar Assad on Saturday.’ – Daily Mail

  • The Prime Minister’s hands are now free to carry out future strikes if needed – The Times
  • Hague now believes Cameron was wrong to call a vote in 2013 – The Sun
  • Concerns that Russia has tampered with Douma evidence before inspectors arrive – Daily Mail
  • Assad apologists leap on Fisk interview with doctor who wasn’t an eyewitness – The Times
  • Russia Today’s Salmond questions if Assad was responsible – The Scotsman
  • Syrian doctors were ordered at gun point to deny the attack happened – The Sun
  • France plans to strip Assad of Legion of Honour awarded to him by Chirac – Daily Mail
  • Decontaminating Salisbury will take months – The Times
  • Novichok was in liquid form – The Guardian
  • Armed forces are drastically understaffed – FT

Opinion

>Yesterday: WATCH: May – “Neither I nor this government take instructions from any president or any other national government”

Fishermen accuse the Government of Brexit betrayal

‘British fishermen accused ministers of another Brexit betrayal last night after it emerged that large foreign firms were set to keep their lucrative rights to fish in our coastal waters. A leaked draft of the Fisheries White Paper suggests the existing quota regime may not be significantly reformed after the UK’s departure from the European Union next year. At present, around 40 per cent of England’s fishing quota is caught by foreign-owned vessels – one Dutch firm alone controls two-thirds of the quota for North Sea herring. The leaked paper suggests this will not change after Brexit, meaning that small-scale British fishermen will be unable to boost their struggling businesses, as they had hoped, with rights to a significantly larger quota.’ – Daily Mail

  • Ministers brace for a double defeat in the Lords – Daily Telegraph
  • Ten Tory rebels sign Customs Union amendment – The Times
  • We must be free to sign our own trade deals – John Caudwell, Daily Telegraph
  • The EU is building a giant laser weapon – The Sun
  • Juncker ordered to re-run controversial process which elevated his sidekick – Daily Mail
  • The EU we voted to leave is dead, and will be replaced by an even more integrated state – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • The French President boasts of his ‘personal relationship’ with Trump – Daily Mail
  • Arron Banks denies accusations that his campaign misused data – The Sun

Editorials

>Today: ToryDiary: Votes loom on the EU Withdrawal Bill in the Lords. Which places a big responsibility on Labour’s leader there – Angela Smith.

>Yesterday: Henry Newman’s column: Could Macron be the leader to deliver the Brexit deal that Davis is battling for?

Every hospital and NHS body tested has failed cybersecurity checks

‘All 200 hospitals and other NHS organisations tested so far have failed cybersecurity checks, according to a report by MPs that finds not enough has been done to protect patients from hackers. Some hospitals have not fixed the original vulnerability that led to last year’s cyberattack and NHS chiefs are not working fast enough to protect the health service, even though a repeat is a matter of “when, not if”, the public accounts committee (PAC) says. Despite promises that lessons had been learnt from the WannaCry ransomware attack nearly a year ago that crippled a third of NHS hospitals, a report released today finds there is still “a lot of work to do” to avoid more disruption when they are targeted again.’ – The Times

  • The energy sector is on alert in case of a Russian attack – FT
  • Shortage of intelligence experts leaves Britain’s digital defences wanting – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Ruth Davis on Comment: Cyber threats are the new norm – and not just from Russia. Business needs to up its game.

A real pay rise, as wage growth outstrips inflation

‘British workers have seen their first real pay rise in a year, as average wage growth overcomes the fading inflationary effects of the Brexit vote. Bringing to an end 12 months of falling living standards, the latest snapshot of Britain’s job market from the Office for National Statistics showed pay rising above inflation for the first time since January 2017. In the three months to February, average weekly earnings excluding bonuses increased by 2.8% from the same period a year ago. While that was unchanged from January – and missed economists’ forecasts for growth of 3% – the ONS said it was still enough to hand workers a real pay rise. Inflation has been falling in recent months, with the consumer price index dipping to 2.7% in February, as the impact of the fall in the value of the pound straight after the EU referendum begins to fade. ‘ – The Guardian

It’s a year since May called the snap election

‘WhatsApp notifications filled my phone, and with speculation and rumour running wild (‘War?’ ‘The Queen?’ ‘Direct rule for Northern Ireland?’), I called my boss. Despite his reluctance to confirm anything lest there be a leak, I wheedled out confirmation. It was 9.45am and I needed to head to London. With my four-year-old in tow because I had no other childcare, I got the next train in and arrived just after the official announcement. The office was frenetic, with most people veering between shell-shocked and excited. It’s difficult to not get at least a little bit excited about a snap election. Some senior staff, like Stephen Gilbert, were out on the ground, so the office atmosphere was already changing. Desks were rearranged, teams shifted and throughout the day people trickled in. The team was taking shape. The day was spent figuring out how we would continue to run the local campaigns whilst also working on the general election. The locals had been our primary focus from the start of the year and we couldn’t just down tools, leaving them to their own devices for the next two and a half weeks. But we also had to somehow create extra capacity out of thin air.’ – Bethany Wheatley, The Times

Labour MPs denounce ‘unchallenged’ rise in anti-semitism

‘Jewish leaders also said they would boycott a meeting next week with Jeremy Corbyn after it emerged that a hard-left group which denies that Labour has a problem with antisemitism had also been invited. In an emotionally charged debate, Labour backbenchers lined up to highlight the growth of antisemitism claims under Mr Corbyn’s leadership. Dame Margaret Hodge, 73, the veteran Labour MP for Barking and the daughter of Jewish refugees, told the Commons that she felt like “an outsider in the party I have been a member of for 50 years”. After describing seeing a battered suitcase bearing her uncle’s initials during a visit to Auschwitz, she said: “I have never felt as nervous and frightened as I feel today at being a Jew. It feels that my party has given permission for antisemitism to go unchallenged.” Dame Margaret finished her speech to a standing ovation. The same reception greeted Luciana Berger, the Labour member for Liverpool Wavertree, who said that antisemitism had become “more commonplace, is more conspicuous and is more corrosive” in the party.’ – The Times

  • The Labour Leader wrongly believes that saying he opposes anti-semitism is the same as opposing it – The Times Leader
  • He just muttered through the speeches, like a bulldog chewing nettles – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Labour candidate says “Jews are often agents…of exploitation” – The Times
  • Academic who signed Corbyn letter complains of “Zionist attempt at creating a pure race” – The Times
  • Croydon Council investigates employee and local Labour activists over conspiracy posts – Croydon Advertiser
  • Corbyn’s son recruited former BNP supporter for Labour Party broadcast – The Times
  • Labour’s morally bankrupt philosophy has been exposed – Daily Telegraph Leader

>Yesterday:

The Director of the CIA has travelled to North Korea to meet Kim

‘President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, made a top-secret visit to North Korea over the Easter weekend to meet Kim Jong-un, it was reported last night. The meeting, which would be the highest-level contact between North Korea and the US in almost two decades, came as Mr Trump said the two countries had begun direct negotiations at “extremely high levels” before his planned summit with Mr Kim. Mr Pompeo is the current director of the CIA. America has “started talking to North Korea directly”, Mr Trump said last night after meeting Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, at his Florida estate. US officials have spoken to Mr Kim himself to negotiate the terms of a meeting where Mr Trump is expected to urge the despot to relinquish his nuclear weapons.’ – The Times

  • South Korea confirms push for a formal treaty to end the Korean War – The Guardian
  • Pakistan shuns the US to buy military tech from China – FT

News in Brief

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