Home Office: Javid breaks with May’s legacy to woo police…

“Sajid Javid backed police in using their stop and search powers today as he axed Theresa May’s tough rhetoric in a bid to woo officers. The Home Secretary also endorsed spit guards being rolled out to forces around the country in defiance of controversy about the equipment. Mr Javid used his first speech to the Police Federation to extend an olive branch after years of angry clashes between officers and ministers. Mr Javid recalled his childhood with brother Bas – now a chief superintendent – to try and convince the federation he understood the challenges facing the police. The speech was a sharp departure in tone and content from Mrs May as Home Secretary and his predecessor Amber Rudd.” – Daily Mail

  • Overstretched officers need stop and search, Home Secretary claims – The Times
  • Javid seeks to win over forces with funding pledge – The Guardian


  • Indian diplomat warns UK over skilled worker numbers – FT


…as the Prime Minister promises a crackdown on domestic abuse

“Theresa May said yesterday that she was looking to strengthen the law against domestic psychological abuse, known as “gaslighting”. The prime minister promised to consider further action as she welcomed a new advice service set up in the memory of the daughter of Lindsay Hoyle, the Labour MP for Chorley. Natalie Lewis-Hoyle, 28, took her own life in Heybridge, Essex, on December 15 after suffering mental abuse in a coercive relationship. Speaking at PMQs, Mrs May offered her “full support” to the Chat with Nat project, which offers advice and support to those affected by gaslighting. “I think this shows what a problem this issue is, but we are always looking for what more can be done,” the prime minister said… The term gaslighting originates from Patrick Hamilton’s play, Gaslight, which was made into a film in 1944 starring Ingrid Bergman. It portrays a late Victorian man who tries to convince his wife that she is losing her mind.” – The Times

Braverman says UK will pay divorce bill before securing trade deal…

“Britain will pay the Brexit divorce bill before details of a future trade deal are hammered out, a minister conceded today. Suella Braverman raised doubts about the government’s pledge that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ as she gave evidence to MPs. The phrase has been a key plank of Theresa May’s approach since she became Prime Minister. Before Christmas Mrs May signed up to a divorce settlement with Brussels of around £39billion – but Brexiteers have been adamant that the UK should not pay a penny unless there is a good trade deal. Appearing before the EU Committee, Mrs Braverman risked fuelling Eurosceptic concerns by admitting MPs will not be in possession of a ‘legal text’ when they come to vote on accepting the withdrawal package this Autumn. But she insisted that there would be a ‘political declaration’ that would be ‘instructive’ about the shape of the future trade agreement.” – Daily Mail

  • Davis ‘increasingly confident’ of a good deal – Daily Express
  • May seeks to extend transition to 2023 – The Times
  • UK to follow data rules in full to maintain trade links – Daily Telegraph
  • HMRC warns that ‘Max Fac’ could cost UK firms £20 billion – Daily Mail


  • Brussels must not get our ‘divorce payment’ free – The Sun

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: Trade liberalisation, even more than trade deals, is the true prize to pursue

…as Downing Street comes under pressure to face down pro-EU rebels

“Cabinet Ministers and backbench Brexiteers have forced Theresa May to confront rebel MPs in the Commons and end her “bedwetter” Chief Whip’s dithering. Angry MPs bombarded No10 and the Whips demanding Tory Remainers are stared down on the Government’s flagship Brexit law ahead of a crunch meeting of the EU council at the end of June. They said any further delay in voting down over 15 devastating amendments imposed on the EU Withdrawal Bill by pro-EU Lords would weaken the PM’s hand when she comes face to face with fellow EU leaders. And in a bid to quell the unrest Tory MPs were told to be in Westminster in early to mid June for the showdown. Their coordinated lobbying came after a heated meeting on Tuesday night of the powerful ERG bloc of Tory MPs that one attendee described as “revolutionary” and “mutinous”.” – The Sun

  • Rogers condemns plan to leave customs union – Daily Telegraph
  • German bid to exclude UK from satellite programme creates rift with Paris – The Times
  • UK to demand money back after being frozen out of Galileo – Daily Telegraph
  • Import tariffs put UK energy security at risk – The Sun
  • Scope of Soros-backed ‘Best for Britain’ plan revealed – Daily Mail

Iain Martin: We must stand up to Brussels bullies

“Understandably, fatigue and frustration in London with the cabinet’s ridiculous behaviour prevent us seeing our negotiations with the EU in more balanced terms. The focus is primarily on Britain’s shortcomings, because our Whitehall farce has rattled on so long that even most of those dealing with the detail are bored, confused or frustrated. Everyone needs to buck up, I’m afraid. What happens at the European council next month will dictate whether the summer recess is interrupted by a full-blown political crisis, and possibly even a recall of parliament in August, over stalled talks with Brussels. And it will decide whether the UK needs to step up its preparations for no deal. Encouragingly, there are some indications that a more robust British approach might produce progress.” – The Times

  • How May could make the Brexit bill work for Britain – Gawain Towler, Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn is the block on a soft Brexit – Hywel Williams MP, Times Red Box

Gauke unveils new prisoner education plans

“Hundreds more prisoners could be temporarily released from jail to carry out work placements in the community under plans to improve their job prospects… Ministers, who hope to reduce the estimated £15 billion-a-year cost of reoffending, are also supporting greater testing of the use of tablets and laptops in cells to boost education. They will consider offering employers a “holiday” from National Insurance contributions if they hire former prisoners. David Gauke, the justice secretary, will today unveil the education and employment strategy, which is intended to ensure prison can be a turning point in the lives of inmates who are willing to help themselves. He wants more to leave prison with the skills that will help them enter the workplace and hold down jobs.” – The Times

Hunt criticises Lansley’s health reforms

“Jeremy Hunt has admitted that he would not have brought in most of the NHS reforms of his predecessor. The government is beginning quietly to unpick the legislation, which Mr Hunt said “Balkanised” the NHS into “fiefdoms”. Ministers are determined to avoid another top down re-organisation, which caused disruption to the NHS during the coalition years. Andrew, now Lord, Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 created hundreds of clinical commissioning groups, responsible for planning and purchasing health services in local areas, and bodies including Public Health England and Health Education England. It also set up NHS England as an independent board. Mr Hunt told Nicholas Timmins, author of a report entitled The World’s Biggest Quango, that that was “the one thing I would not have done differently”.” – The Times

  • Court urged to block plan to ‘Americanise’ the Health Service – FT
  • Tax rise needed to plug NHS black hole – The Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: PMQs in full. May and Corbyn clash over the NHS.

Attorney General suggests UK can respond to cyber-attacks with missiles

“Britain has a legal right to retaliate against aggressive cyber attacks with missiles, the Attorney General has suggested. The most serious cyber attacks should be treated in the same way as armed attacks on Britain if they result in a high level of devastation, Jeremy Wright QC said. It is the first time a Government minister has set out the UK’s view on the record. Speaking to Chatham House, the think tank, on Wednesday morning, Mr Wright said: “Cyber operations that result in or present an imminent threat of death and destruction on an equivalent scale to an armed attack will give rise to an inherent right to take action in self defence.” – Daily Telegraph

  • New Sea Ceptor missile system enters into service – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Gavin Williamson MP in Comment: Why raising the number and profile of women in our armed forces is a priority for me

Grayling apologises for timetable chaos

“The transport secretary blamed Network Rail yesterday for this week’s timetable chaos, which led to a flood of complaints from passengers. Chris Grayling said that the state-funded company, which is responsible for operating and maintaining the track infrastructure, had left train companies “struggling to catch up” by finalising engineering work “far too late”. He insisted that the new timetables, designed to accommodate faster trains, represented a major “step forward for the railways”. The changes, which affect 100,000 trains over the week, will provide more express services between major stations and cut journey times on many routes. Speaking in the Commons, Mr Grayling apologised over the introduction of the reforms, which led to large numbers of delays and cancellations on some lines. Train companies said a shortage of drivers and trains had caused problems.” – The Times

  • Transport ministers accused of encouraging taxi industry’s ‘race to the bottom’ – The Times


  • Railways need the revolution we saw in air fares – Tony Lodge, The Times

Wallace pledges to get tough with oligarchs

“Ministers are facing demands to hammer Russian oligarchs with tough sanctions today as the new Magnitsky law comes into force. Campaigners and MPs want the government to make immediate use of the powers to hit allies of Vladimir Putin linked to human rights abuses. The calls come amid signs a wider crack down is already under way on wealthy Russians in Britain – with delays in issuing a new visa to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. The issues with Mr Abramovich’s visa case are separate to the Magnitsky measures. Sources close to the billionaire have reportedly denied he is being asked to prove where his money comes from, instead blaming normal visa processing delays. But with relations between the countries the worst for decades, security minister Ben Wallace has made clear he expects more oligarchs will find life ‘trickier’ in London in the future. ” – Daily Mail

Corbyn backs ‘united Ireland’ ahead of visit to Belfast

“Jeremy Corbyn still backs a united Ireland and believes the idea is backed across the island on the eve of his first visit to Belfast as Labour leader. A spokesman for the Labour leader insisted he also endorses the mechanism in the Good Friday Agreement for triggering a referendum on breaking up the UK. The Labour leader is due in Belfast tomorrow to talk to parties on both sides of the community divide about Brexit and powersharing. The trip has been widely criticised by unionists because of Mr Corbyn’s long-held Republican sympathies. Ahead of his talks, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: ‘He over the years made his position clear that the majority of of those people across the island of Ireland wanted to see a united Ireland, but in the context of the Good Friday Agreement that can only come about through the constitutional process.'” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader might find his Brexit fudge comes apart over Ulster – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn risks IRA row – FT


>Today: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: Brexit, border polls and customs checks – my new focus groups in Northern Ireland

>Yesterday: Left Watch: Labour’s strategy of deliberate ambiguity threatens to hobble its policy development

Labour suspends activist who was a ‘woman on Wednesdays’

“Labour has suspended an activist who tried to become a women’s officer by claiming that he identified as female on Wednesdays. David Lewis, 45, faces an internal investigation after he tried to run as a candidate for the women-only role in his constituency Labour party (CLP) in Basingstoke. He made the claim that he identified as a woman between 6.50am and midnight one day a week to start a debate about the status of trans women who had not legally changed gender. His candidacy was accepted by his local party, but the national party suspended him after he gave an interview. Labour said it would not tolerate members attempting to subvert the purpose of all-women shortlists.” – The Times

  • Aide who joked about hanging the Prime Minister has to apologise – The Times

Parliament to debate Lords reform

“Parliament is to debate sweeping reforms of the House of Lords next month amid rising concern that peers have overstepped the mark in their opposition to Brexit. MPs will hold the debate after a petition calling for the abolition of the Upper Chamber attracted more than 166,000 signatures. Calls for reform intensified yesterday after the Daily Mail published polling showing 76 per cent of voters believed peers were ‘out of tune with the will of the British people’. Five in six voters said they wanted to see the Lords reformed. In response, Downing Street last night warned the Lords it would ‘not accept’ attempts by peers to thwart Brexit. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said that some of the 15 Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill had been ‘unacceptable’.” – Daily Mail

  • All future peers must back abolition of the Upper House, says Corbyn – The Guardian


  • Peers are better value than MPs – Norman Fowler, Daily Mail

Bercow ‘faces police probe’ over bullying claims

“John Bercow has been reported to the police over allegations of bullying amid mounting pressure for him to stand down. Scotland Yard is ‘assessing’ a complaint that the Commons Speaker could have committed misconduct in public office. The news comes after a series of claims surfaced about Mr Bercow’s behaviour towards staff and colleagues. He has denied any wrongdoing. A member of the public has now asked the Met Police to consider whether Mr Bercow’s conduct could amount to ‘abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder’. The complaint, seen by MailOnline, highlights allegations that have surfaced over recent months. They include Angus Sinclair, who left his post as Speaker’s Secretary in 2010 after receiving a payment of £86,250, saying he was the victim of angry outbursts, foul- mouthed tirades and mimicry.” – Daily Mail

SNP attacked for ‘bullying’ M&S over UK-branded goods

“Theresa May yesterday branded the SNP “frankly appalling” for bullying M&S over using the Union flag on British produce. It came after documents showed Scottish government officials pressurised the high street retailer after Scotch whisky was listed as coming from the United Kingdom on its website… Scottish Tory MP Luke Graham raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions, saying: “Does she share the surprise that I had as a former M&S employee at the news that the SNP administration had bullied Marks & Spencer over the use of the word British, and the Union Flag on British produce? Will she stand with me against this petty bullying and support companies that are proud of Scottish and British produce?” – The Sun

  • Emergency ‘shock’ measures lined up for Scots economy – The Scotsman
  • Nationalists admit independence would mean higher taxes and more immigration – Daily Express

News in Brief:

  • Letter to Tory MPs and donors about the Brexit shambles – Dominic Cummings, Blog
  • Davidson is right, the Tories need to let some sunshine in – Alex Massie, CapX
  • Lay off Oxford and fix the state education system – Ben Kelly, Reaction
  • How the Brexit bus pledge is coming true – James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson, The Spectator