Leadership 1) May told to name departure date, or face being ousted in June

“Theresa May will be told by her own MPs to name the date of her departure or face being ousted in June after the Conservative Party’s patience with her finally ran out. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, will tell the Prime Minister that the party is preparing to change its rules to make it easier to throw out unpopular leaders if they refuse to go. Backbenchers have already set June 12 as the date Mrs May will be forced out if she does not comply – exactly six months on from the day she fought off the last attempt to depose her through a confidence vote in her leadership. One MP summed up the mood in the party by saying Mrs May will be told that she cannot “Superglue herself to Downing Street like the eco-warriors”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • PM braced for a week from Hell – Daily Express
  • Every day May remains PM, she adds to the danger of Corbyn becoming Prime Minister – Ross Clark, The Sun
  • May is finished, but MPs still need to find a way to honour the referendum result – Christian May, City AM
  • No mainstream party is safe from the march of populism – Leader, Daily Telegraph


>Yesterday: David Macphee on Comment: The Conservatives don’t just need new leadership. They need – and the country requires – an election

Leadership 2) Conservative Home poll shows big lead for Johnson

“Boris Johnson has soared ahead in the battle to replace Theresa May in No 10, a new poll revealed today. The Brexiteer big beast has twice the support of his nearest rival among the Tory grassroots activists who will pick the next PM. His rise comes as Mrs May faces a rebellion from members who will try to force her out in a special meeting in a few weeks. The Prime Minister has pledged to quit after sealing a Brexit deal – but is now under pressure to step down immediately as the Tories plunge in the polls. A survey of activists by the influential Conservative Home website shows 33 per cent now back Boris to be the next party leader. Next is fellow Brexiteer Dominic Raab on 14 per cent, with Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid following.” – The Sun

  • Johnson is also winning the race in political donations – The i

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Next Tory Leader. Our Survey. Johnson dominates the table. He puts on ten points and leads by eighteen.

Brexit 1) Cross Party talks continue – but Evans denounces “frustrating” process

“The government will resume Brexit talks with the Labour Party as MPs return to Westminster following the Easter break. Cabinet ministers, including the PM’s defacto deputy, David Lidington, will meet senior opposition figures in an attempt to solve the Brexit impasse. But the resumption of talks has provoked anger among a number of Tory MPs, with senior backbenchers meeting later to discuss their next move. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a cabinet meeting. Tory MP Nigel Evans, a Brexiteer and critic of Mrs May, told the BBC the government’s handling of Brexit had been “frustrating” and that “fresh leadership” was needed.” – BBC

  • PM accused of “breathing life into Farage” – Daily Mail
  • Facebook ads by Crosby’s firm target Remainer Labour MPs – The Guardian

Brexit 2) Will May revive the Malthouse compromise?

“Theresa May has asked officials to look again at a rival plan by Tory MPs for the Irish border to escape the disastrous Brexit deadlock. Senior Tory Brexiteers are lobbying the PM to use the new six month delay to mount a fresh push on the EU to adopt their ‘alternative arrangements’ model. The development comes as Theresa May will today come under renewed pressure to call time on stalled talks with Labour for a cross-party exit deal. But replacing the controversial Irish backstop to keep the border open with the ‘Malthouse Compromise’ formula of stand off customs declarations and checks is still the only way she can win a Commons majority for one, the group insist.” – The Sun

Brexit 3) Morgan accuses Cash of encouraging death threats

“Furious Tories accused a veteran Eurosceptic of fuelling death threats yesterday over a blistering attack against Theresa May. Former minister Nicky Morgan led the attack against Sir Bill Cash who said the PM was “guilty of capitulation” and “appeasement” to Brussels – and branded ‘Remainers’ “devious”.She said too many colleagues were acting recklessly by using words like “betrayal” to describe the failure to leave the EU. Asked if the language used by Sir Bill led to threats the ex-Cabinet Minister replied: “Yes I do, I do.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: Columnist Nicky Morgan: Why the Northern Ireland backstop need not be permanent – and leave no hard border when it ends

Brexit 4) Wallace: Change UK lacks a clear message

“There is one further, more serious, explanation for the new party’s failure to achieve lift-off. Its self-mythology sounds persuasive in theory: modern, reasonable people, speaking sense from the centre, appealing to the majority of voters who are neither left nor right. But is it really true? What is the product on sale? Remaining in the EU is a clear pitch with a genuine audience, but it is not an answer to everything. When even the MPs involved tiptoe round major questions like economic policy, apparently for fear of offending each other or alienating their own base, can the party’s “centrism” really be seen as a coherent platform? It claims to be seizing the centre ground, but so far Change UK appears to be falling between two stools.” – Mark Wallace, The i

  • Fractured Remainers need a united front – Francis Elliot, The Times
  • In 30 years of research I’ve never seen the public so despondent about politics – Deborah Mattinson, Daily Telegraph
  • Greek PM cautions against ‘nationalistic’ politics – Financial Times
  • UKIP MEP candidate blamed feminists for rise in misogyny – The Guardian
  • Other parties have only themselves to blame for Farage’s return – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

Hancock pledges to ban gagging orders in the NHS

“Health Secretary Matt Hancock has vowed to end the use of non-disclosure agreements which prevent would-be NHS whistleblowers speaking out. Mr Hancock said he wants more people to feel they can “put their head above the parapet”, and described settlement agreements that infringe on people’s rights to voice concerns as “completely inappropriate”.”We stand with whistleblowers,” Mr Hancock said. “Making someone choose between the job they love and speaking the truth to keep patients safe is an injustice I am determined to end.” – The Sun

  • The public expects proper scrutiny in hospitals – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Grayling claims Conservative councils best for filling potholes

“Chris Grayling last night accused Labour councils of short-changing motorists by repairing half as many potholes as Tory town halls. The under-fire Transport Secretary attempted a counter attack by saying Conservative local authorities filled 740,000 potholes in 2018. The Tory party said FOI data revealed Labour-run councils only filled 290,000 over the same period. Labour-run Harlow – home to Tory MP and fuel campaigner Rob Halfon – repaired just 24, the lowest number in the country. Tory-run Northumberland filled a staggering 69,506 – the most. The figures come just days before next week’s local elections where experts believe the Tories will lose more than 500 council seats. Chris Grayling said: “Conservative councils are streets ahead in fixing the roads people rely on to get around, with Labour councils seriously lagging behind.” – The Sun

  • Labour Councils have lower Council Tax collection rates – Daily Telegraph

State visit by Trump “set for June”

“President Trump is planning a state visit to Britain in June after repeated delays over Brexit and fears that his reception would be a testy one. The White House was preparing to announce details of the trip as early as today, sources told the BBC and Sky News. He would be expected to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace and then head to France for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to Britain, previously suggested that it would be a good time to stage the visit. The White House and Foreign Office did not respond on whether reports on the dates were accurate. A source told The Times that planning for a June state visit had begun at the White House earlier this year.” – The Times

Sri Lankan authorities were warned of bombings

“Scrutiny fell on rifts in Sri Lanka’s leadership on Monday after it emerged that authorities were warned about the group accused in Sunday’s bombings. Attacks on churches and hotels killed 290 people and wounded nearly 500. Security agencies had been watching the National Thowheed Jamath jihadist group, reports said, and had notified police about a possible attack. But the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the cabinet were not informed, ministers said. On Tuesday, the country is observing a day to “mourn the senseless loss of innocent lives,” Mr Wickremesinghe said in a statement posted to Twitter.” – BBC

  • An era of global Christian persecution that surpasses Roman or Soviet times – Catherine Pepinster, Daily Telegraph
  • Countering Terror – Leader, The Times

>Yesterday: WATCH: Hunt’s Easter message – “In terms of numbers, Christians are the world’s most persecuted faith”

Grenfell survivors attack “incompetent” Ministers

“The Grenfell Tower survivors’ group has for the first time publicly attacked Theresa May and “indifferent and incompetent” ministers who took their “kindness as weakness”. Grenfell United (GU) has told The Times that almost two years of meetings with the government, “fighting tooth and nail” for building safety and social housing reform, have been met with too little action. The group is planning a campaign to rally people across the country behind its demands for “safe homes and tenants to be treated with respect”…For 22 months GU, which represents about 95 per cent of survivors, has tried to influence policy through private meetings with the prime minister and housing ministers.” – The Times

Labour MP’s false claim about Israeli soldiers

“Labour faced a fresh anti-Semitism crisis after an MP wrongly claimed a video showed Israeli soldiers attacking two kids. Grahame Morris re­tweeted the video, saying it showed Israeli troops “beating up Palestinian children for the fun of it”.But campaign group Labour Against Anti-Semitism immediately pointed out it was actually footage from 2015 of Guatemalan troops, branding Mr Morris “disgusting”.” – The Sun

  • Twitter error by Labour over the date of St George’s Day  – Daily Express

New IRA offers “apologies” for killing journalist

“The New IRA has admitted responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry. The republican splinter group offered ‘full and sincere apologies’ to her family and friends in a statement to The Irish News. Using a recognised code word the group said Ms McKee had died ‘in the course of attacking the enemy’ and insisted it would tell its members to ‘take the utmost care in future’. A gunman aiming to kill police hit the talented 29-year-old in the head on Thursday night after firing indiscriminately during riots in the Creggan estate.” – Daily Mail 

Phillips: Police failings reflect pressure from Government

“Statistics published last year showed burglary reports in England and Wales rose by 6 per cent in three years. Since 2015, the national clear-up rate for burglary has fallen from 9.3 per cent to 4.6 per cent. Over the same period, the number of hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales has risen from just over 54,800 to more than 100,000. To be fair to the police, some of this distortion of priorities is the result of top-down pressure from government. This is what safeguarding society’s boundaries looks like when those boundaries have themselves become obscured by a cultural fog. The police are merely reflecting a consensus promulgated by the intellectual, political and cultural establishment.” – Melanie Phillips, The Times

Hague: Innovation is needed to tackle climate change

“It is when societies become richer that they have fewer children and slow down the population growth that is such a big contributor to the human wrecking of the environment. And it is only in healthy, entrepreneurial economies that all the inventions we need – the electric vehicles, smart electricity grids, revolutionised batteries, solar roof tiles, and totally new technologies that suck carbon out of the atmosphere – are going to be invented and perfected. There is a great danger here that lack of bold ideas or residual scepticism on the right of politics will lead to the vital cause of combating climate change being submerged in ideologies of the left.” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

  • We have had enough of these childish eco-warriors – Leader, The Sun
  • Police cut power to the climate protesters’ camp and seize their sound system – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • The false distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism – Stephen Daisley, The Spectator
  • Cancel the EU elections, so we automatically leave on May 22nd – John Redwood
  • The Conservative Party is already squandering the time the country does not have – Tom Peck, Independent
  • It is decades of ceding sovereignty to Brussels that is making the Brexit process so difficult – Bryan Gould, Brexit Central
  • Climate change – the fake news from Attenborough – Paul Homewood, The Conservative Woman