Leadership 1) The Prime Minister “will announce her resignation today”

“Theresa May is set to resign as the Conservative leader today, clearing the way for a new prime minister by the end of July. She is expected to bring her premiership of nearly three years to a close after a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers. Mrs May will remain in No 10 during a leadership election lasting about six weeks, and may even try to pass part of her Brexit deal. The contest is likely to start on June 10 after the state visit by President Trump.” – The Times

  • This is ‘do or die’ day for the Tories – we oust May now, or we disappear – Michael Fabricant, Daily Telegraph
  • The Cabinet must tell her to go – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • The contest won’t be formally triggered until June 10th – The Sun
  • Why hasn’t she already gone? – Camilla Tominey, Daily Telegraph
  • PM in a “fragile state” – Financial Times
  • Downfall was inevitable – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian


Leadership 2) Stewart promises to fight “everyday injustices”

“Cabinet minister Rory Stewart last night vowed to tackle Britain’s ‘everyday injustices’ as he launched his bid for No10. The International Development Secretary pledged to save the high street by tackling the ‘grossly unfair’ business rates that online firms such as Amazon pay. He also said one of his first acts would be to axe car parking charges at hospitals, blasting them as ‘offensive’…Mr Stewart, the son of an MI6 intelligence officer, said he believed the Conservative Party was about having ‘community and values at its heart’ and a ‘sense of fairness’.” – Daily Mail

Leadership 3) Williamson is backing Johnson

“Gavin Williamson backed Boris Johnson for PM – saying he’s the only Tory who can “deliver Brexit and beat Labour”. The sacked Defence Secretary – and former chief whip – told The Sun Boris had “cut through” in every corner of the country.He said: “It’s clear to me that if you want to keep Corbyn out of Downing Street the only way to do that is vote for Boris Johnson. “I also believe people have the faith and belief that he is the man to deliver Brexit.” It came as a poll found 36 per cent favour Mr Johnson in the battle to succeed Theresa May.” – The Sun

  • Campaigner mounts private prosecution over referendum claims – Financial Times

>Today: Columnist Iain Dale: The stars are aligning for a Johnson premiership

Leadership 4) Fallon: Thatcher didn’t cling on like this

“It’s nearly 30 years ago now but none of us who were there will ever forget the quiet dignity of Margaret Thatcher’s final days in office. From the moment she won – won! – the first leadership ballot, through that dreadful Wednesday, and on to her triumphant final speech as Prime Minister in the confidence debate the following day, it was impossible not to be moved by her grace and poise. She had to go, not because she fell a few votes short of the ballot threshold, but because in the end she had lost the confidence of her colleagues. When your own Cabinet tells you that your time is up, it is…Who on earth has been advising Mrs May these past weeks and months?” – Michael Fallon, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Alistair Lexden on Comment: Forty years ago, Thatcher was assembling her transformative Government

Leadership 5) Nelson: Johnson needs to give consistent messages to Tory MPs

“The only way for MPs to stop Boris is to trip him up now, before he gets in the final two. Or, rather, hope that he trips himself up – and there’s a reasonable chance of it. Take the private meetings he has held with MPs. They go into detail, asking if he’ll axe HS2 or the foreign aid spending target. He hasn’t decided, so allows different MPs to walk away with different impressions – they end up comparing notes and thinking they’ve been lied to. He needs more of a strategy. And, crucially, a Chief of Staff on whom MPs can rely to run the show – and build an alliance with.” – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 6) Martin: New Tory leader must unite the centre right

“For Tory moderates, horrified by the taint of association with Farage, this is deeply problematic territory. Nonetheless, it is where holding these European elections, and the two-year epic mistake of keeping May in place when she should have been removed, have left everyone. Boris, if it is him, will have to find a way through the wreckage. He must now unite the centre-right. A divided right simply lets the far left in.” – Iain Martin, The Times

Brexit 1) Cabinet forces the Withdrawal Agreement to be abandoned

“Mrs May began on Thursday playing for time by suggesting to ministers she would postpone the Bill and rewrite it so she could push ahead with a vote on it next month. But Mr Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, told her to pull the Withdrawal Agreement Bill altogether, leaving Mrs May facing a collapse in Cabinet support after the resignation of Andrea Leadsom on Wednesday night. Mr Hunt made it clear to the Prime Minister that “loyal colleagues” should not be forced to go through the voting lobbies to back the Bill. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, made it clear in a separate face-to-face meeting he could not vote for the Bill in its current form. Penny Mordaunt, the Defence Secretary, and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, are understood to have given her similar messages in phone calls on Wednesday night.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Her deal will not pass no matter how much she tweaks it – Leader, The Sun

>Today: Anthony Browne on Comment: Policy Gains from Brexit 5) Making regional development more effective

Brexit 2) A new PM would have the power to deliver “no deal”

“A new prime minister could trigger a no-deal Brexit without parliament having the power to stop it, senior Conservatives are warning colleagues. In a stark message to MPs, supporters of Theresa May’s deal have said that if Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab were elected to succeed her then the House of Commons could be sidelined from the process of leaving the European Union. They have been backed by the Institute for Government, a Whitehall think tank, which said that although MPs could express an opinion they would not have “legal teeth” to stop a no-deal Brexit. Under UK law, enacted by last year’s EU Withdrawal Act, Britain will leave with or without a deal on October 31 unless the date is changed by the government or Article 50 is revoked.” – The Times

Euro Elections 1) Final opinion poll points to big victory for the Brexit Party

“Nigel Farage is heading for a landslide victory in the European Parliament elections – and Boris Johnson has raced into a big early lead in the battle to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister. They are the main findings of an opinion survey which concluded at midnight on Wednesday after it became clear that Mrs May was on the brink of resigning. The Survation poll for the Daily Mail shows Mr Farage’s Brexit Party well ahead in the European elections on 31 per cent, trailed by Labour on 23, the Conservatives on 14 and the Lib Dems on 12. Nearly seven out of ten Tory voters said the reason they did not intend to vote for Mrs May yesterday was because of her failure to deliver Brexit. Calls for her to step down were backed by 57 per cent of Conservatives with 25 per cent against.” – Daily Mail

  • Tories face “devastating losses” at the General Election – Daily Telegraph
  • North West voters are disaffected – The Guardian
  • Toxic rhetoric doesn’t represent most leave voters – Femi Oluwole, The Guardian
  •  What will SNP EU election win do for Scottish independence? Kenny MacAskill, The Scotsman


Euro Elections 2) EU citizens turned away from polling stations

“EU citizens living in the UK have told of their anger after they were unable to vote in the European elections. The Electoral Commission said the “very short notice” from the government about the UK’s participation in the elections had an impact on the process. EU citizens can vote in the country they live in by registering to vote and completing a UC1 form. But many complained of receiving the form late and of it not being processed by their local authority in time. A campaign group said thousands of people have been affected by the issue.” – BBC

Euro Elections 3) Army veteran doused with milkshake

“The latest Brexiteer to have a milkshake thrown over him outside a polling station was a former member of the Parachute Regiment. Don MacNaughton, 81, was doused with a strawberry shake in Aldershot, Hampshire, where he was acting as a Brexit Party teller. He laughed off the incident as “childish” and said that he would remain outside the polling station until it closed. The retired colour sergeant said that the culprit, in his early 20s, “cemented” his will to continue campaigning for Brexit.” – The Times

Stride is the new Leader of the House of Commons

“Mel Stride has been appointed leader of the House of Commons, replacing Andrea Leadsom who resigned from Theresa May’s government on Wednesday in protest at her Brexit proposals. The 57-year-old, who was previously financial secretary at the Treasury, entered parliament in 2010 as the Conservative MP for Central Devon. As is tradition for the role he will attend Cabinet. In his previous role, Mr Stride was often sent out to defend controversial government policies, which officials announced with the battle cry “unshell the Mel”.” – Financial Times

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Mel Stride is appointed Leader of the House of Commons

Hinds “failing to back teachers” facing protests over sex education

“The education secretary has been accused of “passing the buck” by leaving head teachers to fend for themselves in dealing with protests against lessons on same-sex marriage. A former Ofsted chief is among experts calling on Damian Hinds to make clear that same-sex relationships are part of society and that opposition should be directed at government and politicians. There have been regular protests by Muslim parents and others outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham. The school is to shut at noon today amid fears about a big protest. The demonstrations echo actions by mostly Muslim parents at nearby primaries in the city this year.” – The Times

Trump to bring along his family on State Visit

“President Trump’s state visit next month will be a family affair with an entourage that includes several of his children and their spouses. As well as his wife, Melania, Mr Trump will be joined by his eldest daughter Ivanka, 37, and her husband Jared Kushner, 38, who both work as White House advisers. Also said to be on the trip from June 3 to 5 are Don Jr, 41, his eldest son, Tiffany, 25, the president’s other daughter, as well as Eric Trump, 35, and his wife Laura, 36, according to White House sources. Don Jr divorced last year and may be accompanied by his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, 50, a former Fox News presenter.” – The Times

Landslide victory for Modi in the Indian elections

“Narendra Modi secured a second term as Indian prime minister yesterday with a landslide election victory, cementing his dominance over the world’s biggest democracy. With votes still being counted, his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was on course to win 300 or more of the 542 seats available, extending his majority and giving him a comfortable platform from which to govern. The largest opposition party, Congress, was ahead in only 50 seats, a marginal improvement from the historic low of 2014. Rahul Gandhi, its leader, lost the seat he had held for 15 years; a blow that could signal the end for India’s most famous political dynasty.” – The Times

Davidson talks about her battle with depression

“Ruth Davidson has backed our “brilliant” Keep It In Mind campaign and revealed she still has to carefully manage her own mental health. The Scottish Conservative leader struggled with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and depression while she was at university. But, in a candid interview with the Scottish Daily Express, she admitted she is currently being “ultra-careful” after giving birth to son Finn last October. The Edinburgh Central MSP also called for social media companies to take more responsibility for cyber bullying against young people. And she urged the Holyrood parties to work together to develop a national strategy to beat loneliness and isolation.” – Daily Express

News in brief

  • The longer May holds on, the more she poisons the well for her successor – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Why the new Tory leader will have to be more than a manager – Andrew Gimson, CapX
  • Remain backing Labour activists plan a flood of motions for Party Conference  – Huffington Post
  • The Cyber curtain coming down across the world – John Redwood
  • The politics of home ownership – Harry Phibbs, The Article