The Government sees off ‘meaningful vote’ rebellion…

‘In what is a significant advance in her push to get Britain out of the EU, the Prime Minister defeated a demand for binding parliamentary approval on any final withdrawal deal she House of Lords amendment designed to force the change by 324 votes to 298. Mrs May faced a marathon 12 Commons votes over her Brexit plans yesterday, with the Government comfortably avoiding defeat in all of them. In the final one, MPs voted by 321 to 40 to reject a string of Lords amendments over the post-Brexit transfer of former EU powers to the Scottish Government and other devolved assemblies. But Mrs May was also warned that pro-Brussels Tories have enough Commons support to defeat the Government in further Brexit votes expected next month.’ – Daily Express


…by giving a last-minute concession…

‘Pro-European Conservative rebels forced Theresa May into a dramatic concession in the House of Commons on Tuesday that all but ruled out Britain crashing out of the EU without an exit deal. The UK prime minister’s weakness was laid bare as she negotiated in her private office with around 15 potential Conservative rebels just ahead of a crunch vote on her flagship EU withdrawal bill. Mrs May averted defeat by promising rebels that she would put down a new amendment, expected to give MPs new powers over the final stages of Brexit; the rebels want a guarantee that parliament could stop her taking Britain out of the EU without a deal. The concession came at the end of a frenetic day at Westminster.’ – FT

  • May had to convince the rebels at the very last minute – The Times
  • The Chief Whip had to work hard for victory – The Times
  • Labour’s Remainer MPs show their contempt for the working class – Rod Liddle, The Sun
  • Next up: a two-day Chequers showdown over customs policy – The Sun
  • Fishing must not be sacrificed in return for a trade deal – Barrie Deas, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The water gets hotter. The frog sinks lower.

…but Remainers and Leavers have conflicting accounts of what May promised

‘The PM came through a crucial vote only after pro-EU Tories forced her to agree to boost Remainer MPs’ power over negotiations with Brussels. But amid chaos last night, Leavers flatly denied Remainers’ claims that Mrs May had allowed them to veto any “no-deal” walk away. Senior Brexiteers insisted that the PM had told them the exact opposite just minutes later — and had promised the rebels nothing but a discussion. No10 faced massive pressure to clear up the confusion. A senior Brexiteer in the Government told The Sun: “If Theresa has sold us out here she is in real trouble. There is no way she can recover if she has f***ed us over”…After two hours of silence, Downing Street released a statement last night to say the PM has “agreed to look for a compromise” on Parliament’s meaningful vote. A Brexit ministry spokesman insisted: “We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the Government’s hands in the negotiations”.’ – The Sun

  • This closes the door on a No Deal Brexit – FT
  • Rees-Mogg says the move makes No Deal more likely – The Times
  • A greater say for MPs will expose Labour’s divisions – The Times Leader
  • Her botch will annoy one side or the other – which is dangerous for her and the country – The Sun Says
  • Pro-EU Tories threaten further disruption if they don’t get their way – The Guardian
  • Rogers says she will have to give ground on immigration to get trade deals – The Sun

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: The EU negotiation. First, let’s use the velvet glove. But if that doesn’t work, the iron fist.

Could more pro-EU ministers follow Lee in quitting?

‘The Telegraph understands that the Best for Britain group has held a series of talks with Remain-supporting ministers and MPs to encourage them to oppose Theresa May. It comes after Phillip Lee, a justice minister who reportedly held talks with Best For Britain, became the first member of the Government to resign over Mrs May’s Brexit policy on Tuesday. Conservative sources told the Telegraph four more junior ministers were considering following Dr Lee by quitting their jobs as part of a co-ordinated plot to scupper Mrs May’s Brexit plans that could also endanger her position as Prime Minister. Dr Lee used his resignation statement to call for a second EU referendum, and Best For Britain claimed it had been in contact with other ministers it believed to be sympathetic to a second referendum, including the Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, the business minister Richard Harrington, the Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara and Rachel Maclean, a Parliamentary private secretary to Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Mr Harrington and Ms Maclean denied having meetings or contact with Best For Britain.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • I want to cancel pr pause Article 50 and renegotiate EU membership – Phillip Lee, The Times
  • May’s fury at being betrayed by one of her few friends in politics – Daily Telegraph
  • Might it cost him his seat? – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • What would it take to bring her down? – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Collins accused of spreading “fake news” to undermine Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Banks: I talk nonsense – FT
  • He walked out of the committee meeting, citing a lunch appointment with Paisley – The Sun
  • Remainers should stop trying to browbeat newspapers into silence – The Sun Says
  • Jenkyns heckles pro-EU protesters – The Sun
  • High Court dismisses legal attempt to stop Brexit as ‘hopeless’ and ‘totally without merit’ – FT

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Phillip Lee resigns – to vote against the Government during this afternoon’s crucial Brexit debate

Employment rise hailed as a ‘Great British success story”

‘Job-hunting women have fuelled an extraordinary 146,000 rise in UK employment over the past three months – as the number of people in work hits a new record high. Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey today hailed a “Great British Success Story” as official figures revealed women accounted for three-quarters of the rise in employment between February and April…The surge in work meant employment hit a new high of 32.39million. And unemployment fell by 38,000 to 1.42million with the proportion of women on the dole at just 4.1 per cent – a record low…Analysts welcomed the figures but warned that pay growth was still anaemic – with average earnings rising by 2.8 per cent, less than in March.’ – The Sun

  • What happened to the link between inflation and employment? – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Statistics regulator wants RPI to be abolished – FT
  • The City must address the gender bonus gap – Nicky Morgan, The Times
  • Traders accused of being ‘too masculine’ – The Sun
  • Haldane warns universities that they must adapt to AI and automation – FT
  • Network Rail ordered to spend £1 billion to improve punctuality – The Times
  • Barristers narrowly vote to call off strike action – FT

Gove defends trees from axe-happy councils

‘Councils will be told to stop felling thousands of trees to slash costs after the Environment Secretary appointed an expert to protect them. Michael Gove said Sir William Worsley — chair of the National Forest Company — would “rapidly drive forward planting rates and prevent street trees being felled”.The Cabinet minister last year accused council chiefs of “environmental vandalism” for chopping down trees. It came after he branded a scheme by Sheffield city council which felled more than 4,400 trees over the past five years as part of a £2.2billion road maintenance contract with Amey as “bonkers”. But the Labour-run council accused Mr Gove of “ill-informed whims”. The Government has already pledged to plant 11 million trees by 2022 plus one million in towns and cities.’ – The Sun

  • Residents will be given a say – The Times

>Today: Rebecca Newsom on Comment: Are Gove’s green words taking root?

>Yesterday: Julian Jessop on Comment: Gove’s report card – A for diligence, A for engagement, B for attainment. So far.

NHS plan to reduce overstaying in hospital

‘The NHS is to send thousands of hospital patients home sooner in a bid to end a “long stay” culture on the wards, the head of the service will say today. Simon Stevens will pledge to cut long stays in hospital by one quarter, to free up beds for those most in need. Nearly 350,000 patients spend at least three weeks stuck on a ward each year. They take up one fifth of all beds – the equivalent of 36 hospitals. Officials say too many elderly people are being forced to endure miserable stays on wards, which strip too many of their independence and mobility – often permanently – when what they need is help at home. Today Mr Stevens will order hospitals to do more to ensure patients can be sent home sooner, with the right help.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Stevens will tell Trusts to act now to stave off a winter crisis – The Times
  • Hammond ‘plans £10 billion tax rise’ for the health service – The Sun
  • Tax rises are more popular than increasing borrowing – The Times
  • Seventy per cent support fines for missing GP and hospital appointments – Daily Telegraph
  • Time to choose between immigration caps and NHS doctors – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

Clark: We want to lead the world in Artificial Intelligence

‘Our AI mission is to harness these technologies to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030, through our great NHS. With the ambition that within 15 years we will diagnose cancer at a much earlier stage for at least 50,000 people a year. AI not only has the potential to improve lives, but also solve complex problems fast, and in so doing, free up time and raise productivity. We also want to make sure the UK uses its international reputation for standard setting to put us at the forefront of ethical AI, which is why the government is establishing a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. And today I am delighted that we have announced that Roger Taylor will chair the centre, leading and advising on the ethical use of data, including for AI.’ – Greg Clark, The Times

  • Gibb: Our children need to be protected from cyberbullying – Nick Gibb, Daily Telegraph
  • Grammars urged to take over struggling comprehensives – Daily Mail
  • Our Faustian bargain with tech firms endangers democracy – Jamie Bartlett, Daily Telegraph
  • Worry about Dr Frankenstein, not the monster – The Guardian Leader
  • The giants face ‘ever tightening’ regulation after failure to combat crime – The Times
  • New York Times editor accuses Facebook of trying to become the ‘editor in chief’ of the internet – The Times
  • May plans ‘start-up visa’ to attract tech entrepreneurs to Britain – The Sun
  • Calls to ban energy drinks near schools – The Sun

Serjeant at Arms criticises ‘witch hunt’ against Bercow

‘The House of Commons’ serjeant at arms has said allegations of bullying against the Speaker, John Bercow, are part of a witch-hunt by “disgruntled staff members” who want to oust him. In an unprecedented intervention amid a slew of bullying claims against Bercow, Kamal El-Hajji said he had been the victim of racism in the Commons and had relied on Bercow’s support. El-Hajji is the first serjeant at arms with a black or minority ethnic heritage. He is responsible for keeping order within the Commons area of the parliamentary estate, as well as ceremonial duties. Writing for the House magazine, El-Hajji said he had seen “article after article” about the way the Speaker had treated staff and colleagues working in parliament. “Due to a considerable lack of evidence supporting these allegations, it seems clear to me that there is a witch-hunt against him…”‘ – The Guardian

‘Neo-Nazis’ on trial for allegedly plotting to murder an MP

‘An alleged neo-Nazi planned to murder an MP in the name of “white jihad” and discussed targeting Amber Rudd, then the home secretary, with members of a white supremacist group, a court was told yesterday. Jack Renshaw, 23, also threatened to kill a police officer who was investigating him for child sex grooming, the Old Bailey was told. He concluded that Ms Rudd was too well protected and that he would murder his Labour MP, Rosie Cooper, to make a political point. Renshaw, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, pleaded guilty yesterday to preparing terrorist acts by purchasing a Roman-style “Gladius” machete with the purpose of killing Ms Cooper. He also admitted making a threat to kill Detective Constable Victoria Henderson, who was also investigating him for stirring up racial hatred. Renshaw and five others are standing trial accused of belonging to the far-right group National Action, which the court was told wanted to start a “race war”.’ – The Times

  • Only a tenth of jihadi returnees have been prosecuted – Daily Telegraph

North Korea enjoys propaganda coup, as America’s allies fear the cost

‘North Korea basked on Wednesday in the performance of its leader Kim Jong-un at the historic summit with Donald Trump, even as America’s allies expressed concern at his decision to halt “war games” in the region. The North’s state media framed Tuesday’s summit in Singapore as a win for Pyongyang, dubbing it “the meeting of the century” on the front page of its official party newspaper. The series of photos showed something North Koreans never would have imagined just months ago – their leader warmly shaking hands with the US President. The priority treatment of what even Pyongyang was calling a “historic” meeting underscores just how much of a propaganda coup the North saw in the meeting.’ – Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: WATCH: Jong-Un’s face – as Trump tells photographers that both men want to look “nice and handsome and thin”

News in Brief