Ministers consult on abolishing no-fault eviction of tenants

‘Landlords can currently issue so-called section 21 orders to evict their tenants within eight weeks once a fixed-term tenancy has ended. Abolishing them will effectively create open-ended tenancies, the government said. The consultation will take place before the summer. Theresa May, the prime minister, said: “This important step will not only protect tenants from unethical behaviour, but also give them the long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve.”…The National Landlords Association, which represents private residential landlords, criticised the proposals. “Landlords currently have little choice but to use Section 21,” said Richard Lambert, NLA chief executive. “They have no confidence in the ability or the capacity of the courts to deal with possession claims quickly and surely, regardless of the strength of the landlord’s case.’ – FT

  • This will free families who previously had to live in fear – The Times Leader
  • Warning that victory for tenants could equal fewer homes available for rent – The Guardian
  • It will effectively created open-ended tenancies – Daily Telegraph
  • Targeting landlords is tempting but may ultimately hit tenants – Anne Ashworth, The Times
  • House sellers are losing patience with political uncertainty – Daily Telegraph
  • Buy-to-let loans are already plummeting – The Times

Javid urges cross-department co-operation against ‘national emergency’ of youth violence

‘The Home Secretary will call for knife crime menace gripping Britain to be treated like an “outbreak of some virulent disease”. And he will urge the vast array of government departments to do more to work together to “ensure there is no let up until the violence is eradicated”. He will make the warning as he gives his first major speech on crime to an audience of 100 police and charity bosses in London today. His words will be taken as a thinly veiled leadership pitch, as he tries to woo the Tory grassroots by showing them he is the man to crack down on crime. Britain is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic, with 135 fatal stabbings in London last year – a 10-year high.’ – The Sun

  • Police research finds a way to predict the location of stabbings – Daily Telegraph
  • The Home Secretary’s speech will make a broad call not to leave anyone behind – Daily Telegraph
  • Hunt for dealer who sold drugs to 13-year-old – WalesOnline

May will ‘break the Conservatives’ if she does a deal with Corbyn, IDS warns

‘As ministers prepare to hold more talks with Labour, the ex-Tory leader said the party will “revolt” if she accepts an EU customs union. He also said it would be a “disaster” for the party to fight Euro elections and Britain must leave “deal or no deal” before the vote at the end of May. The PM’s deputy David Lidington yesterday repeatedly refused to rule out keeping Britain in a form of customs union with Brussels as the price for Labour’s support. But Mr Duncan Smith told The Sun: “If they do that the Conservative party will revolt. That will break the Conservative party. It will be a bridge too far.”’ – The Sun


Hammond mocks Gove, Johnson and Leadsom over leadership ‘suicide pacts’

‘Philip Hammond has ridiculed three Brexiteer Tory leadership candidates for engaging in “suicide pacts” when they each failed in their bid to be Prime Minister instead of Theresa May. In a speech in Washington, the Chancellor said Michael Gove and Boris Johnson had formed an “unintended suicide pact” during the last leadership contest while Andrea Leadsom effectively “knifed herself” in a “private suicide pact”. The Chancellor said there was likely to be a far “wider field” this time and joked that he may be “the only member of the 320-strong Parliamentary Conservative Party” who isn’t standing in the forthcoming contest.’ – Daily Telegraph

Lammy doubles down on calling Brexiteer MPs Nazis

‘Mr Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, was appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One when he was asked about comments he made in March in which he said that, like Churchill, he would not “appease” the ERG. He replied that he was unrepentant. “I would say that that wasn’t strong enough,” he added. “In 1938 there were allies who hatched a plan for Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia, and Churchill said No, and he stood alone. “We must not appease. We’re in a situation now, and let me just be clear, I’m an ethnic minority. We have, in the ERG, in Jacob Rees-Mogg, someone who is happy to put onto his web pages the horrible, racist AfD [Alternative for Germany] party, a party that’s Islamophobic and on the far right.” Mr Lammy added: “They’re happy to use the phrase ‘grand wizard’. KKK is what it evokes to me when I think of that phrase and the Deep South. I’m sorry, but very, very seriously, of course we should not appease that, of course we should not appease that.”’ – The Times

  • MPs respond: “This is batsh*t… Fully lost it.” – The Sun
  • He’s an extremist and a bully – Charlotte Gill, Daily Telegraph
  • His intolerance for reasoned disagreement is a surefire way to lose the argument – The Sun Says
  • Politicians should be careful with their choice of language – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • Labour MEPs want all candidates to be compelled to back a second referendum – Daily Mail
  • Antisemitism is a real electoral threat to Labour, Falconer argues – The Times
  • Labour candidate said Israel’s flag made her ‘sick’ – The Times
  • Pelosi opts to meet TIGgers rather than Corbyn – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Anger


NHS funding row between England and Wales intensifies

‘Thousands of Welsh patients could be banned from English hospitals as a funding row escalates. Conservatives have demanded that the Welsh government “pay up” while NHS insiders expressed frustration that politicians are “just throwing rocks at each other”. Last week the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said that apart from emergency or maternity patients, it would no longer treat people from Wales because they did not bring in as much money as those living in England. The Welsh government said that the decision was unacceptable. Hospitals are paid a fixed fee by the NHS for each patient they treat. In England the tariff was raised this month as part of a budget boost. Wales opted not to increase rates, widening a gap that means English hospitals get paid about 8 per cent less for treating patients referred from Wales.’ – The Times

  • Hospital left patient with Down’s Syndrome without food for 19 days – Daily Mail
  • 53,000 pupils stuck in ‘rudderless’ schools – The Times
  • We need to get to the root of the student mental health crisis – Clare Foges, The Times

Who will have the guts to scrap HS2?

‘It is apparently too big to cancel: a monument to the risks of cross-party consensus, and of letting politicians indulge their fantasies of “guiding” the economy using taxpayers’ money. Our leaders have too much at stake to change tack now, hence their lack of shame at the nebulous and ever‑shifting case for spending such vast sums on this white elephant. Thank goodness, then, for Liz Truss. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said in an interview with the Spectator last week that HS2 will feature in the “zero-based capital review” the Government will shortly conduct, and will be assessed for value for money. Let us hope that rigorous cost-benefit analysis will reveal (again) that the billions would be better spent on regional rail, roads or tax cuts. But would even that be enough to kill this scheme?’ – Tom Welsh, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Chloe Westley’s column: It’s the end of the line for HS2, or should be

Morgan and De Piero: The next Speaker should be a woman

‘Out in the country there are women moving into what were previously men-only fields of work, striving for equality but not achieving it yet. And so the election of our new Speaker is an important moment. At a time when we have such a vibrant group of hugely talented women across the House, electing another man as Speaker would be more than a missed opportunity. It would be a setback. Many of us came in to parliament with equality for women being one of our goals. We can advance that cause by showing the outside world that our parliament is no longer the old boys’ network of the past. The Speaker of the House of Commons is one of the big roles in public life, most of which are still held by men. A woman Speaker would not only show how our House has changed but also offer encouragement to women in this country struggling to move forward in their own lives.’ – Nicky Morgan and Gloria De Piero, The Times

  • Bercow wants to stay on even longer – The Times

Macron accused of complicity in Libya crisis

‘Italy and France are at daggers drawn, pitted on opposite sides in an escalating battle for control of Libya and the oil fields of the upper Sahara. Astonishing details have come to light indicating that French president Emmanuel Macron secretly endorsed a military campaign to overthrow the UN-backed government in Tripoli on the eve of an international peace conference, effectively working in league with Russia and Saudi Arabia against global consensus. It also makes a mockery of the EU’s foreign policy institutions. The armed attack on western Libya risks a full-blown civil war and an oil supply shock for the eurozone economy at a delicate juncture. Brent crude prices have spiked to a five-month high of $71.60 but could go much higher if Libya’s crude exports are suddenly disrupted.’ – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

Assange allegedly ‘hit’ embassy staff

‘President Moreno of Ecuador said in an interview that Assange had “bothered and threatened guards; [and] hit and mistreated employees of the embassy”. Mr Moreno, who inherited the problem of the Assange residency when he took office two years ago, added that the founder of Wikileaks had breached a “list of rules of behaviour” that included penetrating “the security apparatus of the mission . . . put up a security camera and electronic apparatus which was not authorised; and maintained improper hygienic conduct which went on constantly during his stay in the embassy”. The Ecuadorean president also said that the health of Assange, 47, had deteriorated. Ecuador withdrew his asylum on Wednesday and on Thursday he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police. Later that day Westminster magistrates found him guilty of breaching his bail.’ – The Times

>Yesterday: WATCH: Perry argues that the law has caught up with Assange

News in Brief

  • My full article on the leadership question – Eric Pickles
  • Salisbury named best place to live (despite Putin’s best efforts) – Huffington Post
  • Weird diets of Silicon Valley – New Statesman
  • Time for electoral reform – 1828
  • Black hole reality – Prospect