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Jenkyns resigns as PPS to ‘fight for Brexit’…

“Theresa May has suffered her first resignation over Brexit as officials admitted that the cabinet row over customs may not be settled before next month’s European Council meeting. Andrea Jenkyns quit as a parliamentary private secretary to fight for the “right sort of Brexit” that would not leave the UK “half-in and half-out”. Although Ms Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, said Mrs May had her full support, her resignation will be a warning to Downing Street as the prime minister seeks to head off a rebellion…. In her resignation letter, Ms Jenkyns said she wanted to rejoin the Commons Brexit committee to make the case for leaving the EU. “I have an obligation to my constituents and the 17.4 million people that decided to leave and take back control of our destiny,” she said.” – The Times

  • May criticised for delaying Withdrawal Bill vote until after Lewisham by-election – The Sun
  • Prime Minister needs to quit over ‘Greek tragedy’ Brexit talks, claims Tory donor – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • My decision to resign from the Government – Andrea Jenkyns, MP Website

>Yesterday: Left Watch: The finely-balanced votes on the Withdrawal Bill amendments come down to how many Labour MPs will abstain

…as Davis claims EU stance risks undermining security…

“Brexit will put European citizens at greater risk from terrorist attacks unless Britain and the EU agree a new system for working together on tackling crime, the UK government warned on Thursday. David Davis, Brexit secretary, is concerned that when Britain becomes a “third country” after Brexit, the EU could restrict information sharing and co-operation on areas such as the European arrest warrant. Mr Davis’s Brexit department has warned that existing agreements between the EU and third countries on crime fighting do not go far enough and would not replicate the close co-operation on security that currently exists between Britain and the EU. “The security of our citizens must be our overriding priority and that will not be achieved by a marked – and avoidable – reduction in our ability to combat serious crime and terrorism,” a UK government paper, submitted to Brussels said.” – FT

  • UK makes Galileo satellite programme a condition of defence collaboration – FT
  • Exclusion creates ‘irreparable security risk’, Britain claims – The Guardian
  • EU accuses Britain of ‘chasing fantasy’ over the Irish border – Daily Telegraph
  • Post-Brexit security hampered by Brussels spat – FT

Editorial:

  • We must be firm with arrogant EU bureaucrats – The Sun

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: New polls find no surge in support for Northern Ireland leaving the UK

…and leaked dossier apparently reveals Best for Britain’s strategy

“Pro-EU supporters are being trained to ‘ruthlessly’ target MPs in a series of nationwide roadshows aimed at stopping Brexit, the Daily Mail has claimed. The Best for Britain campaign, which is backed by billionaire George Soros, is allegedly using the events to highlight ways activists can ‘press the right buttons’ to frighten politicians into voting against leaving Europe. The strategy reportedly includes getting negative stories about MPs in the local and national papers because these will ‘get to them on a personal level’. It also encourages mass phone-ins and letter-writing campaigns to get MPs with slim majorities into believing they will lose their seat if they support Brexit, the paper claims… The details of the anti-Brexit roadshows come after the Mail was given leaked papers that show Best for Britain has launched a six-month plan to stop the UK leaving the EU. The group, which aims to spend £5.6 million on the campaign, plans to contradict whatever final agreement Theresa May strikes with Brussels – arguing it is ‘not what we voted for’.” – Daily Mail

  • Second vote is credible, says Article 50 author – FT
  • Dossier suggests UK might go soft on breaking free from EU judges – The Sun
  • Carney hints at rate cut if Brexit is ‘disorderly’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: My Republic of Ireland focus groups on Brexit. They both agree that the UK is making a terrible mistake.

>Yesterday: Dr Tony Sewell in Comment: Brexit, Windrush, and the rebirth of liberal Britain

Hinds ‘ignores advice’ to press ahead with new technical qualifications

“Damian Hinds has resisted a rare formal warning from a civil servant on the cost implications of a policy and insisted on pushing ahead with the start of teaching in new technical qualifications in 2020. The education secretary took the decision after receiving a request for a “ministerial direction” from Jonathan Slater, permanent secretary at his department, over the direction of policy. In a letter sent on May 17, Mr Slater said it would “clearly be very challenging” to ensure that the first of the new “T-Level” qualifications in England would be ready for teaching to start by the planned date of 2020. He also warned that it would be difficult for them to be taught to a “consistently high standard” by that time. He went on to point out that civil service rules required him to consider the “regularity, propriety, feasibility and value for money” of public spending.” – FT

Hunt says voters would pay an NHS tax

“Jeremy Hunt has insisted that families would be more than willing to pay higher taxes to fund the NHS – as long as they knew the money would not be wasted. The Health Secretary was speaking at the launch of a major report warning households they face a £2,000-a-year tax rise to save the Health Service. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said taxation may need to rise to historically high levels in order to give the NHS the money it needs to cope with an ageing population. The economists said that to get the NHS back on track with targets that are currently being missed, funding increases of 4 per cent a year would be required over the next 15 years. Mr Hunt’s intervention comes as senior Brexiteers demanded Theresa May honour the Leave side’s pledge during the EU referendum campaign to spend an extra £350million a week on the NHS.” – Daily Mail

  • Health Secretary’s ‘direct challenge to Chancellor’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Treasury damps hopes of large NHS cash injection – FT

Comment:

  • Is the public ready to foot the bill for health and social care? – Nancy Kelley, Times Red Box

>Today: ToryDiary: We can’t just tax our way to a better NHS

Gove may quarantine imported plant life

“Trees could soon be quarantined on arrival to Britain to guard against foreign plant diseases, the government warned yesterday. The move follows two cases in which major threats to home-grown trees were blamed on plants commercially imported from Europe. To guard against future problems, Environment Secretary Michael Gove says trees and shrubs may be placed in secure areas ‘for observation’ before they can be sold or planted on UK soil. ‘We must seize every opportunity offered by Brexit to strengthen our biosecurity,’ he declared yesterday. Insects, fungi, bacteria and invasive weeds all present a risk to British trees. Millions of ash trees are already at risk of ash dieback virus which was first found in a consignment of trees sent from a nursery in the Netherlands to one in Buckinghamshire in 2012.” – Daily Mail

Gauke says ex-offenders can bolster the workforce

“Ex-offenders could help bolster the UK’s workforce after Brexit, the Justice Secretary claimed today as he unveiled new training scheme to cut re-offending. David Gauke for a ‘culture change’ in how employers perceive former prisoners. His plans could see more inmates let out temporarily to go to work to improve their job prospects after release. Mr Gauke said ex-prisoners could fill jobs in catering or agriculture if Brexit delivers the planned curbs to low skill migration. Under the reforms, ministers are also considering offering National Insurance ‘holidays’ to businesses which hire individuals who have served their sentences. Another scheme to recruit them directly into the Civil Service is being drawn up. The Government will continue to support pilot projects where prisoners are given laptops or tablets in their cells so they can take part in education classes.” – Daily Mail

  • Prison governors afraid to take controversial decisions after Worboys – Daily Telegraph
  • Ministers blasted for ‘incompetence’ over bid to improve criminal records checks – The Sun

Comment:

  • How we can get prisoners off the wings and into the workplace – David Gauke, Times Red Box
  • Not every prisoner will leave with a degree, what of the rest? – Will Heaven, Daily Telegraph

Williamson demands more Armed Forces cash…

“The UK’s only defence to aggressors could be nuclear if more money is not pumped into the Armed Forces, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson warned yesterday. Stepping up his battle for more resources from Chancellor Philip Hammond he said that without sufficient conventional forces Britain might have “to turn to the greatest deterrence of them all”. The Ministry of Defence faces a potential shortfall of £20billion over 10 years and is currently undergoing a defence review. It is also investing in the new generation nuclear deterrent Dreadnought submarines… Downing Street last night played down claims that Mr Williamson was proposing using nuclear weapons more readily than had previously been considered.” – Daily Express

  • Williamson warns against making UK over-reliant on nuclear deterrence – The Sun

…Johnson spends 18 minutes talking to ‘Russian-backed pranksters’

“Boris Johnson spent 18 minutes on a phone call with pranksters pretending to the Armenian Prime Minister, it emerged today. The Foreign Secretary’s long phone call touched on the UK’s relationship with Russia, the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and the Iranian nuclear deal. Mr Johnson sounded particularly startled when the pranksters claimed Vladimir Putin had revealed he was influencing Jeremy Corbyn. But he finally rumbled the scam after 18 minutes and terminated the call. He did not reveal any sensitive information and spoke in similar terms as in media interviews. The call on May 8, which was connected by Foreign Office staff, eventually ended abruptly but pranksters successfully reaching the Foreign Secretary has raised security questions from critics of Mr Johnson.” – Daily Mail

  • UK accuses Kremlin over hoax callers – The Times

More:

  • Royal Navy intercepted Russian ships 33 times in 2017 – FT

Fraser Nelson: Javid could be the leader the Tories have been waiting for

He isn’t disliked, which counts for a lot at a time when Tory leadership elections are won by whoever has the fewest enemies. When he ran for the leadership two years ago, the junior partner on a joint ticket with the now-forgotten Stephen Crabb, they presented themselves as the “nice guy” duo. That was the biggest boast either could make, having not achieved much or made clear what they stood for. As Home Secretary, Mr Javid is making it clearer now: he’s a reformer, someone who wants to change the tone of the party and is impatient for radical change. Someone who’s sure of himself and his form of conservatism. Of course, it could all end horribly. He might end up stepping on one of the Home Office landmines, as Ms Rudd did. But if he survives, he might end up being seen as the best chance of restoring purpose and direction to a party in dire need of both.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Will Javid deliver?

Hancock warns firms over spam emails

“Culture Secretary Matt Hancock warned firms not to cynically ask people to sign up to spam emails as new data laws come into force. Companies have asked millions of customers if they can continue to send them messages after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect. Some have been accused of using emotional blackmail and bribery to get people to “opt in”. Mr Hancock reminded businesses that the GDPR will make it illegal to email people without their permission.” – The Sun

Lewis urges Labour to expel aide who joked about hanging May

Labour parliamentary aide who said Theresa May would “look better with a noose around her neck” must be kicked out of the party, Brandon Lewis has told Jeremy Corbyn. The Conservative Party chairman has written to Mr Corbyn to urge him to remove Paul Robertson, an assistant to Ian Lavery, the chairman of the Labour Party, over his “violent, misogynistic comments”. Mr Lewis said the remarks were “deeply concerning” and “abhorrent” as he said Mr Corbyn needed to act in order to live up to his promise of a “kinder politics”… Mr Lewis said Mr Corbyn had “failed to take swift action against abuse” in the past and “I hope you do not fail again”. Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said on Wednesday that Mr Robertson’s comments were “unacceptable”.” – Daily Telegraph

Corbyn under fire from IRA victims…

“Jeremy Corbyn came under fierce attack yesterday when he failed to mention a prominent IRA murder victim in a speech near the scene of his death. Edgar Graham, a law lecturer, barrister and rising star of the Northern Ireland Assembly, was shot in the head by two IRA assassins at Queen’s University in Belfast in 1983. Aged 29, he was seen as a near-certain future leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and one IRA source said he was killed because he would have turned into too effective a political opponent. Mr Corbyn – on his first visit to Northern Ireland as Labour leader – gave a lecture at Queen’s about Brexit, the Irish border and the need to re-start devolved government in the province. But he angered Edgar Graham’s sister Anne and families of other IRA victims by failing to condemn violence in the Troubles or even mention Mr Graham.” – Daily Mail

  • DUP say visit is snubbing victims of terror – The Times
  • Labour leader struggles to diffuse anger over backing for unification – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn says UK should be neutral in border poll… – The Sun
  • …but rejects claim he would push for united Ireland… – The Guardian
  • …and rules out Sinn Fein’s ‘joint authority’ plan – News Letter

Comment:

  • He acts like he wants peace, but we know what he’d really do – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn’s simplistic solutions threaten Northern Ireland – Oliver Kamm, The Times

…as Labour MP brands him ‘unfit to lead’

“Labour’s civil war burst into the open today as one of his own MPs said Jeremy Corbyn was unfit to lead. Moderate Ian Austin blasted the “extreme views” held by his party leader and accused him of hijacking Labour. The MP pointed to Mr Corbyn’s links to terror groups such as the IRA, Hezbollah and Hamas. And he also ripped into the leader’s weak stance on anti-Semitism and Russia. Mr Austin, the MP for Dudley North, wrote on PoliticsHome: “The fact is that Labour has never in its history had a leadership as far to the left as this one. Never.”… Mr Austin said it was “just not true” that the lefties’ connection to the IRA was only meant to help peace in Northern Ireland.” – The Sun

SNP independence commission floats tax breaks to encourage immigration

“Skilled immigrants could be offered income tax breaks to move to an independent Scotland, an SNP review published today will recommend despite ministers last month hitting middle-class Scots with an increase in the levy. The SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission report will suggest introducing a “Come to Scotland” golden hello including “transition relief” for some immigrants so they can offset their moving expenses against their income tax bills. The revised economic blueprint for separation also proposes introducing financial incentives for wealthy entrepreneurs to move north of the Border, retaining an extra 5,000 international students a year and a more liberal visa system to increase immigration levels. Andrew Wilson, the commission’s chairman and a former SNP MP, said increasing the working age population was the “greatest national challenge we have” and warned of the threat to this posed by Brexit.” – Daily Telegraph

  • No razzmatazz for this much-rewritten blueprint for breaking up Britain – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Davidson could be the leader of an independent Scotland – Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • The last thing the NHS needs is more funding – Ben Ramanauskas, CapX
  • Putin’s war in Ukraine has been a strategic disaster – Askold Krushelnycky, Reaction
  • We must reshape the debate around student debt – Luca Mattinson, 1828
  • The Tories are the masters of ‘vice signalling’ – Nick Cohen, The Spectator
  • How digital dissidents are defying the despots – Ian Birrell, UnHerd

…and finally: Osborne finds time for yet another job

“No one could accuse George Osborne of taking it easy since he moved on from politics. Not content with editing London’s evening newspaper and advising the world’s largest fund manager – as well as taking on a range of academic appointments – the former chancellor has added one more role to his list of job titles. Mr Osborne, 47, has been appointed chairman of the newly formed partners council of Exor, the listed holding company of one of Italy’s wealthiest families, the Agnellis… “George Osborne will bring his unique knowledge and viewpoint to the council’s work,” added Mr Elkann, whose personal worth is estimated at more than $800 million. The Agnelli fortune is believed to be in excess of $13 billion. Mr Osborne said: “I am delighted to have been asked to chair this impressive panel of business leaders.”” – The Times

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