May and Johnson stand by Iran deal, but Tory MPs dissent…

“Theresa May today insisted she still believes in the Iran nuclear deal despite the dramatic withdrawal of the US. The Prime Minister said she had made her position ‘clear’ to Donald Trump before he announced his decision – and pledged to keep trying to win him over to the merits of a pact with Tehran. While Boris Johnson said Britain has ‘no intention of walking away’ from the accord -which eases sanctions on Iran in return for the country ceasing its nuclear development. The Cabinet put on a united front backing the deal after the Foreign Secretary visited the US last week in a last-ditch attempt to persuade the US president to  stick to the deal. But while furious Labour MPs condemned the ‘recklessness and ‘idiocy’ of Mr Trump’s move, senior Tory MPs backed him.” – Daily Mail

  • Israel and Iran lurch closer to all-out war – Daily Telegraph
  • British companies could be forced to tear up billion-pound deals – Daily Mail
  • Academic warns that despots profit from Western ‘colonial guilt’ – The Times


  • Trump is right to get tough with Tehran – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Deal was a monument to Western myopia and groupthink – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • May has a choice: side with our ally, or dangerous Iran – Alan Mendoza, Times Red Box


…as the Prime Minister is challenged over Foreign Secretary’s trade policy revolt

“Theresa May was taunted over Boris Johnson’s extraordinary attack on her Brexit trade plans during a bruising PMQs today. The Prime Minister faced catcalls from Labour MPs as Jeremy Corbyn accused her of overseeing a shambolic negotiation with the EU. As Mr Johnson looked on sheepishly from the frontbench, Mrs May was forced to deny she had wasted weeks on plans that ministers could not agree on. But Mrs May hit back by pointing out that Labour is also deeply split on Brexit, and vowed: ‘We will get the best deal for the UK.’ peaking in the Commons immediately after the session, Mr Johnson also denied that he had breached Cabinet collective responsibility.” – Daily Mail

  • May urged to extend transition period to end customs deadlock – Daily Express
  • Williamson told it would be ‘career suicide’ to change his mind on the customs union – Daily Telegraph


Trade committee offers ‘withering’ assessment of Fox over trade watchdog

“Britain’s new trade watchdog won’t be ready in time for when we leave the EU, a damning report has found. The Government must set up a new Trade Remedies Authority to defend UK businesses against unfair trade practices such as dumping after Brexit. But a probe by the Commons International Trade committee found “serious concerns” about whether it can even be set up at all. And it delivered a withering verdict on the preparation for setting up new trade defence measures by Trade Secretary Liam Fox, finding the resources given to the TRA were wholly inadequate. MPs also said the delay of the Trade Bill until the autumn – revealed by The Sun last week – means the vital trade watchdog would have no legal basis until just weeks before our EU departure at best.” – The Sun

  • Britain says EU is putting people at risk with crime agency stance – Daily Telegraph
  • Davis warns EU against blocking UK satellite role – The Times
  • Fears of academic ‘Brexodus’ a myth, figures show – Daily Telegraph
  • Burnham sees more devolution as ‘answer’ to Brexit – FT


  • How May can get the Brexit she wants with her party intact – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Without a customs union, food will rot at our borders – Lord Teverson, Times Red Box
  • A solution both sides should be able to accept – Andrew Lilico, Daily Telegraph


  • Brussels’ satellite stance is short-sighted and reckless – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The consequences of Customs Union indecision. How Britain could end up with EEA-lite – formally or informally.

Duncan Smith backs calls for ‘overhaul’ of the Lords

“The House of Lords must be reformed after its votes to thwart Brexit, leading Tory MPs said yesterday. Describing peers as out of control, they said the Upper House had gone too far with amendments wrecking the Government’s EU legislation. Iain Duncan Smith warned there had to be a ‘reckoning’ and a ‘complete and total overhaul’ of the Lords. The backlash was sparked by peers voting to keep Britain in the Single Market and to remove the fixed date for leaving the EU. They have now amended the Withdrawal Bill 14 times. The latest two votes were spearheaded by the Duke of Wellington, a Europhile former MEP, and Lord Alli, a TV mogul who advised Tony Blair on youth culture. Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski said abolition of the House of Lords should be in his party’s next election manifesto.” – Daily Mail

  • May furious at Tory peers for ‘wrecking global Britain’ – The Sun
  • Labour sticks with Brexit stance despite votes in Upper House – The Times


  • Scottish MPs to defy Corbyn over the Single Market – The Scotsman
  • Opposition hopes to force May’s hand on final vote – FT
  • The Lib Dems’ astonishing strength in the House of Lords – Daily Express


  • Suddenly, soft Brexit is possible. Thanks the Lords – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: For partisan advantage, Labour demands a worst-of-all-worlds Brexit

Lewis attacks MoD collaboration with ‘witch hunt’ against Ulster veterans

“The Ministry of Defence will be forced to hand over service records of British troops to help a police probe into the Troubles. Officials will have no choice but to comply with the planned investigation into hundreds of veterans, many in their 70s, who served in Northern Ireland. Personal details of the troops, their service records and any other documents relating to operations are likely to be requested, Whitehall sources said. This is set to make it much easier to prosecute British troops than IRA terrorists caught up in the legacy investigation… Julian Lewis, who chairs the Commons defence committee, said: ‘The IRA didn’t keep full documentation of its terrorist activity. This is part of the asymmetry on the matter. We will have tried to behave by the book and that’s why it is so much easier to pursue a soldier rather than a terrorist. We followed the rules and they didn’t.’” – Daily Mail

  • Williamson criticised for leaking dispute with Bradley over inquiry – The Times
  • May attacks ‘patently unfair’ treatment of Northern Ireland veterans – Daily Telegraph
  • MPs furious as Government ‘panders to Sinn Fein’ and drops amnesty – Daily Mail
  • Bradley questioned over Border Force ‘ban on soldiers’ – Belfast Telegraph

Michael Fallon: Allowing a one-sided inquiry is a craven surrender to Sinn Fein

This will be not just a witch-hunt but a one-sided witch-hunt. IRA units did not keep records or operate within regular command structures. It is our British servicemen and women who will be the victims – hundreds of them in well-deserved retirement now fearing an early morning knock on the door, a flight to Belfast and a swift journey to the cells. All because of a purely political decision and a craven surrender to Sinn Fein campaigning. Most of these alleged incidents have already been investigated, some of them more than once. The soldiers concerned were told that their cases were completed, that they had nothing to answer for. Now they face being arrested out of the blue all over again… I really fear for the effect on future Army recruitment as junior NCOs and officers see that all three of the Army’s major operations of the last 50 years are now being endlessly reopened, and that split-second decisions taken on the ground can be second-guessed years after the event.” – Daily Telegraph

Ministers 1) Hancock welcomes defeat of Miliband bid for ‘Leveson Two’

“MPs hailed a ‘great day for a free and fair press’ this afternoon after Labour plans for another costly Leveson inquiry were rejected by Parliament. Ed Miliband led moves to amend a Data Protection Bill to establish another statutory inquiry into the Press dubbed ‘Leveson part two’. But despite a desperate speech to Parliament, the former Labour leader was humiliated when the move was voted down by MPs. And an attempt to change the law so that the press would have to pay for the legal costs of court cases – even if they win – were abandoned at the last minute in the wake of the defeat. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: ‘A great day for a free and fair press. We will work with closely IPSO [the press regulator] to make sure their important work continues.'” – Daily Mail

  • Miliband makes unsubstantiated claim about journalists’ conduct – Daily Telegraph
  • Victory for free press welcomed – The Times
  • Latest defeat not the end for Hacked Off campaigners – The Guardian


  • Britain risks throwing away freedoms third-world citizens would die for – Kemi Badenoch, Daily Telegraph
  • Hancock emerging as one of the Commons’ shrewdest members – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail


  • Salute the Government and Hancock, they saved the free press – The Sun


>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The best way to protect the freedom of the press would be to repeal Section 40 for good

Ministers 2) McVey ‘leads revolt’ against curb on fixed-odds betting terminals

“A cut to the maximum stake on addictive betting machines to £2 has been delayed after a senior minister led a cabinet revolt against the plans, The Times has learnt. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport planned to announce the reduction today after winning over sceptics in the Treasury. Senior figures in the gambling industry were conceding defeat in their campaign for a higher limit. However, a source close to the cabinet says Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has strongly objected to the plan. Members of the cabinet who support a £2 limit, including Matt Hancock, the culture, media and sport secretary, are now said to be concerned that Theresa May may yet choose a higher maximum limit. “Two pounds is not over the line yet,” the source said.” – The Times

Ministers 3) Hunt to lobby for new ‘NHS visas’

“Jeremy Hunt has said that he is likely to lobby the new home secretary for special visas for NHS and social care staff. Mr Hunt said he “should probably raise” the idea of a dedicated visa with Sajid Javid. Last week NHS Employers, the British Medical Association and the heads of royal colleges wrote to Mr Javid warning that medical staff that hospitals wanted to bring in from overseas were falling foul of caps on visa numbers. They said it had a “direct impact” on waiting times and costs, with the NHS using costly locums to fill rota gaps. It would be the latest in a string of demands from Mr Hunt to his cabinet colleagues — last autumn he successfully lobbied Philip Hammond to end the 1 per cent pay cap for NHS staff while in March he called for a ten-year NHS spending deal and backed a ringfenced tax.” – The Times

  • Health Service will stop sharing migrant data with Home Office – The Times


  • Modi refuses to sign deal to send illegal Indian immigrants home – The Sun

Tory council candidate had brick put through her window

“A Tory council candidate today revealed her terror after a brick was thrown through her window – narrowly missing her baby daughter. Merseyside Conservatives’ deputy chair Jade Marsden, who stood in last week’s local elections, said her upstairs window was smashed at 7.30pm on Sunday. Posting a picture of the smashed hole, the young mum explained the brick luckily missed her one year-old child sleeping inside the room. In a tweet which was later deleted, she said whoever had thrown the brick was ‘in serious trouble’ and tagged Liverpool’s Labour group. However, she later said she had tagged the party only to ‘make them aware’.” – Daily Mail

Voters back Corbyn’s policies, but not the man himself

“In the focus group in Southampton, the men were also keen on a cap on the difference between the pay of executives and their employees, and the nationalisation of the water, energy and rail industries. But when asked whether the policies belonged to the Conservative or Labour party, three quickly replied in succession: “Conservative”. When the men were told that the policies belonged to Mr Corbyn’s Labour party, not Theresa May’s Conservatives, they went cold, with one calling them “rubbish”. “Their sums don’t add up,” said another participant, adding: “Although we haven’t seen the sums. We’re assuming they’re not going to add up.” Another said the ideas could not be delivered “without ruining the country”.” – FT

  • Labour leader believes unionism is ‘divisive’, claims spokesman – The Scotsman
  • Communist Party embraces Comrade Corbyn – FT


  • Corbynite time bomb is ticking under Labour – David Aaronovitch, The Times

Tributes paid to former Speaker

“Family, friends and political colleagues gathered for the funeral of former House of Commons speaker Michael Martin this morning. A funeral mass for the former Labour politician took place at St Aloysius Church in the centre of Glasgow. Senior figures from both sides of the Commons paid their respects at the service, including current Speaker John Bercow. Lord Martin of Springburn, a former Labour MP, died on April 29 after a short illness at the age of 72. His son, Paul Martin, praised his father’s achievements, going from a sheet metal apprentice to the House of Lords.” – Daily Mail

  • Give Bercow a fair hearing – Caroline Lucas MP, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Bercow’s bully pulpit

News in Brief:

  • It is official – Brexit squabbling is damaging the economy – George Trefgarne, CapX
  • A £10,000 handout isn’t going to fix the Millennial problem – Alastair Benn, Reaction
  • A post-Brexit Irish border without physical infrastructure is fully attainable – Dr Graham Gudgin, Brexit Central
  • Trump, Iran, and the end of the deal – Dominic Green, The Spectator
  • If you’re a woman, Ireland couldn’t be less liberal – Julie Bindel, UnHerd