The Prime Minister makes her case for compromise with Labour

‘Sitting back with one arm resting on the arm of a sofa, and speaking directly to camera, Theresa May used a colloquial tone to tell voters she disagreed with Labour but claimed on Brexit the two sides agreed on ‘ending free movement, ensuring we leave with a good deal, protecting jobs, protecting security.’ Her comments came Jacob Rees-Mogg called Mr Corbyn’s inclusion in talks ‘a mistake’ this morning and Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said the Tories were working with him ‘through gritted teeth’. With a note of laughter injected into her delivery, Mrs May said: ‘It’ll mean compromise on both sides, but I believe that delivering Brexit is the most important thing for us.” – Daily Mail

  • A more relaxed style – The Guardian
  • Is she rolling the pitch for a Customs Union? – Daily Telegraph
  • Truss attacks a flexible extension as ‘purgatory’ – The Times
  • Macron might do a de Gaulle and refuse a further extension – FT
  • Or he might make costly demands in return for his consent – FT
  • Labour would back revoking Article 50 if No Deal is the only other option – The Sun
  • EU leaders are negotiating with MPs not the Prime Minister – The Sun
  • 83 per cent of people are fed up with Brexit news – The Times
  • Salvini is building a populist alliance for the Euro elections – The Times



Johnson: A May-Corbyn Customs Union would never be acceptable

‘If we Tories have one duty, it is to prevent this man getting anywhere near the levers of power. So it seems utterly incredible that he has now been invited into Downing Street to negotiate a Brexit deal. And it is doubly incredible that the government is – so we are told – willing to accede to his terms. We are informed that there are now “no red lines” in the negotiations with Labour. In order to get Corbyn onside, the Government is apparently willing to abandon the cardinal principle and central logic of Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn and his team have demanded that the UK must somehow leave the EU, but remain in the Customs Union. That is their price. If the Government were to agree, it would not only mean repudiating a manifesto pledge, and tearing up a promise made thousands of times in parliament and elsewhere. It is far worse than that. If the UK were to commit to remaining in the Customs Union, it would make a total and utter nonsense of the referendum result. We would be out of the EU, but in many ways still run by the EU. It would be the worst of both worlds, not just now, but forever.’ – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: Our One Nation group of MPs is fighting back against an attempt to hijack the Conservative Party


Wright: We will no longer sit by and allow social media giants to self-regulate

‘How can we do nothing when self-harm videos are being ‘suggested’ for our children to watch. How can we stand by when those who are vulnerable are being abused and bullied online with nowhere to turn? How can we fail to act when hostile states spread lies to undermine our democracy? Self-regulation simply isn’t working. Today, we have set out our plans for change. One of Government’s primary duties is to keep people safe. That’s why through our Online Harms White Paper we will create a new statutory duty of care for online platforms.’ – Jeremy Wright, The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Be cautious when a watchdog bites its rivals

Fewer than one in five under-35s intends to vote Conservative

‘Just 16 per cent of under 35s said they would currently vote for the Tories while the so-called “tipping point” – the age at which people are more likely to vote Conservative than Labour – has increased from 47 to 51 since the 2017 general election. Meanwhile, just 17 per cent of Tory voters are under the age of 45 and only four per cent are under 25. However, some three million voters under the age of 35 would consider voting Conservative in the future – but not if an election were called today. The ability to appeal to younger voters is likely to be an important quality during the next Tory leadership battle given Labour’s popularity with voters in their 20s and 30s.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Majorities among every age group and ethnicity want to cut immigration – The Sun
  • Hunt cancels Tory fundraiser over hotel’s Brunei links – The Times
  • Record number of people study for a Master’s degree – The Times
  • Apprenticeship levy threatens to bust its budget – FT
  • Parenting video accused of ‘nanny state meddling’ – Daily Mail

>Today: James Kanagasooriam on Comment: The left-right age gap is even worse for the Conservatives than you think

>Yesterday: WATCH: Gyimah – I’ve faced deselection attempts from those who believe I’m “step in modernisation too far”

Council candidates brand themselves ‘Local Conservatives’ in effort to shake off the national brand

‘The party faces losing control of councils across the country due to the failure to deliver Brexit on time and Mrs May’s decision to enter cross-party talks with Jeremy Corbyn. Nomination papers submitted by candidates – seen by The Sun – reveal that many local Tory associations hope to escape voters’ anger over Brexit by listing their party on ballot papers for the May 2 local elections as ‘Local Conservatives’. A Tory MP who handed over a copy of Lincolnshire’s nomination papers said their candidates are listed as ‘local Conservatives’ “because they think Westminster associations are now so toxic”. Among those who are using the ‘Local Conservatives’ tag are Richard Wright, who is head of the Lincolnshire Area Conservative party.’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Does the Conservative Party have enough money to fight a European election campaign?

None of the Afghan translators promised sanctuary have yet made it to the UK

‘Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was accused of ’empty words’ last night after vowing last June to honour the ‘extraordinary service’ of those who put their lives on the line for British troops. Mr Williamson said he would tear up the previous policy and give 50 interpreters and their families refuge. But ten months on, not a single translator has made it to the UK under the new rules. One retired colonel described the situation as a ‘tragedy in the making’. Those left abandoned in Afghanistan – at the mercy of a resurgent Taliban – question if there are even 50 interpreters who could qualify under the strict Ministry of Defence criteria. Last night Mr Williamson said he would look into the issue as a ‘matter of urgency’, adding: ‘This is taking longer than we hoped.” – Daily Mail

Jewish Labour Movement votes No Confidence in ‘unfit to be Prime Minister’ Corbyn

‘Labour’s official Jewish affiliate has declared that it has no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership after nearly four years of antisemitism rows. A motion of no confidence in the Labour leader was passed “overwhelmingly” yesterday at the annual meeting of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), which has been formally tied to the party for 99 years. Last month the JLM voted not to secede from the party. Internal Labour Party documents on antisemitism claims were leaked to The Sunday Times showing a complaints system bedevilled by delays, inaction and reported interference from Mr Corbyn’s office. Baroness Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney-general, appealed to the meeting not to “personalise” the issue by focusing on Mr Corbyn “because he is one person and he won’t be leader forever”. The motion passed by the JLM concluded that “the blame for both the crisis of antisemitism within the Labour Party and the party’s failure to deal with it . . . ultimately rests with Jeremy Corbyn”. It added that “Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to be prime minister” and “a Labour government led by him would not be in the interest of British Jews”. ‘ – The Times

  • Smeeth feels ‘sick’ at the state of Labour – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour members allegedly threatened to kill Jess Phillips – The Sun
  • What do you have to do to get thrown out? – The Sun Says
  • Communist time capsule found in Parliament – The Sun
  • Frank Field is going to stand as an independent at the next election – Daily Mail
  • There is a gender pay gap at the TUC – Daily Mail

Clinicians express concerns about NHS child gender clinic

‘The only NHS gender clinic for children is risking a “live experiment” by sending hundreds for life-changing medical intervention without sufficient evidence of its long-term effects, experts have warned. The Times has spoken to five clinicians who resigned from the service because of concerns over the treatment of vulnerable children who come to the clinic presenting as transgender. They believe that some gay children struggling with their sexuality are being wrongly diagnosed as “transgender” by the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic. All five former staff were responsible for deciding which trans-identifying youngsters should be given hormone blockers to halt their sexual development. The vast majority of those who begin blockers go on to irreversible cross-sex hormones once they reach 16. The NHS specialists warned that vulnerable children and teenagers had been sent down the path towards transition before experts had time to assess the causes of their gender confusion.’ – The Times

  • ‘It feels like conversion therapy for gay children’ – The Times
  • I’m concerned about the lack of scientific evidence – Carl Heneghan, The Times
  • Support group accused of lobbying, and playing on parental anxiety – The Times
  • Homeopathic ‘treatments’ to be banned from the NHS – Daily Mail

News in Brief