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Javid tips balance against the Prime Minister’s ‘customs partnership’ plans…

“The controversial EU ‘customs partnership’ plan looked dead in the water last night following a Eurosceptic backlash. Ministers clashed over the proposals during a tense three-hour meeting of Theresa May’s Brexit war cabinet yesterday. New Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson both voiced ‘grave concerns’ about the proposal, which was described as ‘cretinous’ by Eurosceptics last week. Whitehall sources said the plan, which critics claim would keep Britain in a customs union in all but name, would ‘not go forward in its current form’. But ministers also failed to reach agreement on the alternative plan, known as ‘maximum facilitation’, which envisages using technology to minimise customs checks, particularly on the Irish border.” – Daily Mail

  • Senior ministers defy May – The Times
  • How the new Home Secretary made the difference – Daily Mail
  • Sixty MPs threaten to ‘collapse’ Government over proposals – Daily Telegraph
  • Why to Eurosceptics fear the proposals? – FT

Comment:

  • It’s time May called the Brexiteers’ bluff – Iain Martin, The Times
  • May lacks a Commons majority for either solution – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • We won’t have a hard Brexit, too few MPs support it – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • Tories will be divided long after Brexit – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • Leaving the Customs Union is right, but may take time – The Times
  • May should not be shocked by this – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. A quarter of Tory members support the customs partnership model.

…as he demands Corbyn denounce racist supporters

“Sajid Javid today angrily demanded Jeremy Corbyn denounce his supporters for branding him a ‘coconut’ and an ‘Uncle Tom’ since his appointment as Home Secretary. Amid furious exchanges in a Commons debate on the Windrush scandal, Mr Javid demanded the Labour leader come to the Despatch Box to condemn the abuse. Since being made Home Secretary on Monday, Mr Javid has been subject to a torrent of racist abuse – much of which appears to come from left-wingers who profess support for Mr Corbyn. The Labour leader kept his seat when Mr Javid made his challenge but shadow home secretary Diane Abbott intervened to insist Labour opposed the abuse. In other developments today, it emerged Labour’s equalities spokeswoman Dawn Butler has branded black Tory MPs as being in ‘denial’ about racism faced by people.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour activist insists ‘coconut’ jibe isn’t racist – The Sun

More:

  • Thornberry attended antisemitic speech but failed to speak out – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Javid is a fixer – he first task is the Home Office, then the Tories – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Bercow ‘on the brink’ as May calls for bullying probe

“John Bercow was under intense pressure last night after Theresa May demanded an investigation into claims he bullied an aide. The Commons Speaker faced a call to quit after his former private secretary accused him of foul-mouthed tirades and attempts at physical intimidation. Angus Sinclair said he was forced into early retirement with an £86,250 pay-off on condition he did not make any complaints. Mr Bercow has strenuously denied the claims. But yesterday Downing Street said there should be a ‘proper investigation’ – and twisted the knife by outlining three ways in which this could be carried out. Mrs May’s official spokesman suggested an existing inquiry into Commons bullying should have its remit widened to allow it to look at individual cases such as allegations against the Speaker.” – Daily Mail

  • Speaker denies forcing employee to sign non-disclosure agreement – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Bercow has been protected by the culture of Parliament – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph
  • The Speaker is a national embarrassment – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Editorial:

>Yesterday: Audio: LISTEN: Wallace – Bercow’s refusal to step aside while bullying allegations are investigated risks harming Parliament

Tories may give Labour ‘nasty shock’ in local elections

“Labour may be heading for fewer gains than expected at today’s local elections, according to a new forecast. Jeremy Corbyn’s party had been put on course to win an extra 200 seats after an analysis by Michael Thrasher and Colin Rallings that also predicted 75 losses for the Conservatives. Yesterday, Stephen Fisher, another election expert, suggested that Labour may win only 135 seats in 150 councils in England, with the Tories making a net gain of eight. Much of the contrast arises from differences in modelling. Professor Fisher gave more weight to opinion polls, and warned that his forecast was subject to more uncertainty than usual. Labour has lost ground to the Tories in recent polls, despite the Windrush scandal of Caribbean-born Britons wrongly caught up in a crackdown on illegal immigration. Labour may also have suffered from the row over antisemitism and Mr Corbyn’s forced admission that he had failed to do enough to deal with it.” – The Times

  • But the Prime Minister is ‘braced for bloody nose’ – Daily Mail
  • Five things to watch out for – FT
  • How can you tell who’s won the local elections? – BBC
  • Activists photoshop Burrowes into picture – The Sun
  • Who the candidates are and how to vote – Daily Mirror

Labour:

  • Voters may be ready to pay higher council tax, says McDonnell – The Guardian
  • Corbyn ‘relying on Remoaners’ – Daily Express
  • Opposition ‘throwing kitchen sink’ at Swindon – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Will London be Labour’s next one-party state? – Damian Flanagan, Daily Telegraph
  • Larger councils would take the ‘local’ out of local government – Colin Copus, The Guardian

>Today:

>Yesterday:

Home Office accused of ‘fresh betrayal’ over translators

“Ministers were under further pressure last night to overturn the policy on Afghan interpreters as it emerged scores faced being kicked out of Britain. More than 150 translators given sanctuary after risking their lives for UK troops said they have been ‘left in limbo’ because of rules that could see them leave as soon as next year. In a letter to ministers, they said the Home Office had been unable to confirm they will be able to stay after their five-year visas run out. The interpreters – who all served on the frontline in Helmand Province for more than a year – have to apply to remain in Britain in the same way as migrants who crossed the Channel illegally. This means they also have to pay almost £2,400 each to stay – a sum they say is unaffordable for many.” – Daily Mail

  • Windrush report to be published by the end of July – The Times
  • May pledges ‘transparent’ review – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • This is the beginning of the end for the Tories – Derek Laud, Times Red Box

Editorial:

  • Callous attitude to interpreters must cease – The Times

>Yesterday:

Lidington urges Sturgeon to help deliver ‘orderly’ Brexit

Theresa May’s deputy has appealed to SNP ministers to work with the Government to deliver an orderly Brexit despite there appearing to be little prospect of a deal on what happens to powers repatriated from Brussels. David Lidington, the Cabinet Office Minister, urged the Scottish Government to reconsider its decision to reject a deal he has agreed with the Welsh over which powers are immediately devolved under the EU Withdrawal Bill. Speaking ahead of discussions in London this afternoon, Mike Russell, the SNP’s Brexit Minister, reiterated his demand that the Nationalists be given an effective veto over whether the UK internal market survives Brexit. But Ms Lidington argued talks between London and Edinburgh had to now move on to the substance of the UK frameworks required after Brexit “and the wider EU negotiations where we must continue to work together.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Nationalists warn Government over Brexit Bill – The Scotsman

More:

  • Government suffers tenth defeat in the Lords – Daily Mail
  • Fury as Brussels tries to plug Brexit black hole – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne tells Clegg Brexit is inevitable – The Sun

Comment:

  • The truth about the withdrawal agreement vote – Emily Commander, Times Red Box
  • I’ve changed my mind about the House of Lords – Jess Phillips MP, The Guardian

>Today: Daniel Stafford in Comment: The GDPR chaos is a reminder of how taking back control will allow us to make better laws

Williamson admits civilian casualty from RAF drone strike

“An RAF airstrike against Isis in Syria accidentally killed a civilian, Gavin Williamson admitted today. The Defence Secretary revealed the news in a written ministerial statement this afternoon. During an attack on Isis fighters in eastern Syria on March 26, a civilian was “unintentionally” killed, it was revealed. It was part of a Reaper attack to destroy a terrorist vehicle. A person on a motorbike “crossed into the strike area at the last moment”, Mr Williamson said. The RAF has carried out more than 1,600 air strikes in Iraq and Syria against Isis fighters, working together with coalition partners. British soldiers have also been involved in training more than 60,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces.” – The Sun

  • Britain may never be able to deploy new carriers unassisted – The Sun

Gyimah cracks down on university ‘no platforming’

“Student zealots will be banned from censoring controversial speakers on campuses following the first ministerial intervention on free speech in 30 years. Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, has announced tough new guidance which will see institutions disciplined if they allow valid debates to be shut down. He vowed to stamp out the ‘chilling’ trend of speakers being blocked from campuses simply because there is institutional hostility to unfashionable views. It will be the first government intervention on the issue since the free speech duty was imposed on universities as part of the Education Act in 1986. The new guidance will state that all speech must be welcome at universities, as long as it does not violate existing laws – for example, on encouraging terrorism.” – Daily Mail

  • The time I was almost censored on campus – Sam Gyimah, Times Red Box

Mordaunt presses case to stop sending aid to China

“China, which received nearly £47million in UK aid in 2016, does not believe it should be getting handouts. The confession came from International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt yesterday. It follows Tory MP Pauline Latham telling the international development committee the cash going to Beijing was ‘like change down the back of the sofa for China’. Miss Mordaunt said: ‘Not even China thinks it should be an aid recipient. What we are currently doing with China is not where we should be.’ She added she would discuss the issue with ministers. Last week it was reported that the Department for International Development stopped its aid programme to China in 2011 but figures show that other Whitehall departments sent £46.9million in aid to China in 2016 – a rise of £2.6million on the previous year.” – Daily Mail

  • Minister told to ‘get a grip’ on use of aid budget by rival departments – The Guardian

Hunt apologises for cancer screening delays

“Hundreds of thousands of women face an “agonising wait” of up to six months to be checked for breast cancer after an IT blunder which meant they were not called for screening led to the deaths of as many as 270 patients. NHS bosses were trying last night to contact 309,000 women who were not invited to breast cancer checks because of computer failures dating back almost a decade. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, apologised for women’s lives being cut short by “administrative incompetence”, but said that some women affected would have to wait until the end of October for catch-up checks to avoid disrupting routine screening for those aged between 50 and 70. Campaigners demanded that the NHS hire hundreds of extra staff or send women abroad to get the checks done.” – The Times

  • Review suggests Scottish patients could wait longer – The Scotsman

Comment:

  • Those responsible must be held to account – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Why didn’t alarm bells ring sooner? – Karol Sikora, Daily Mail
  • To fix the NHS, free it from politicians – Stig Abell, The Sun

Editorial:

Gale calls for boys to get HPV vaccine

“Boys should also be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus to protect against cancer, an MP says. HPV, which is often sexually transmitted, can cause cervical cancer in women and a range of cancers in men, yet only girls are routinely vaccinated against it. Health experts have backed Sir Roger Gale’s call, saying the decision not to make all men eligible for NHS treatment ignores the sexual habits of ‘the Tinder generation’. Sir Roger, former vice-chairman of the Tory Party, said: ‘Every year, approximately 2,000 males in their 50s and 60s develop HPV-related cancers from infections contracted in youth. The cost of treatment is about £22million a year. The cost of vaccines and delivery would be about £21million.’” – Daily Mail

  • Doctors paying for sons to get treatment daughters get free – The Times

SNP scrutinised over ‘baby box’ safety claim

“Nicola Sturgeon’s government has issued tens of thousands of baby boxes for children to sleep in despite there being no officially recognised safety standards specifically drawn up for the item, it has emerged. BSI Group, also known as the British Standards Institution, confirmed that there was “no standard” assessing the boxes and it is only at the point of considering whether to draw up one. The Scottish Government justified their safety claim by citing a European Standard measure for cribs and cradles, saying that the boxes had been awarded “British Safety Standard accreditation”.Officials later changed this to “British Standard accreditation” after industry sources said they did not recognise the term. However, the BSI said measure used was a “furniture standard and not intended for cardboard baby boxes.”” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Fiona Bruce MP in Comment: England should follow Scotland and introduce minimum alcohol pricing

News in Brief:

  • What’s worth waiting up for in this year’s local elections? – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • How May has been trapped by her enemies and her friends – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Britain has lots to gain and little to fear from an association agreement – William Davison, CapX
  • Rees-Mogg has helped May in her quest for a consensus on Brexit – Mark Fox, Reaction
  • SMEs have felt first-hand the negative effects of the EU and its Customs Union – Simon Boyd, Brexit Central

22 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 3rd May 2018

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