EU Election 1) Brexit Party romps to victory

‘Britain’s two main parties suffered a collapse in support last night as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party scored a sweeping victory in the European parliament elections. With counts in ten of the twelve regions complete, the party topped the national vote share with 31.6 per cent as the country’s Brexit divisions widened. Mr Farage said that the outcome was a “massive message” to the Labour and the Conservatives. “If we don’t leave the EU on October 31, tonight’s results will be repeated in a general election,” he said. The re-elected MEP demanded that his party be given a role in any renegotiation with the Brussels over the terms of Britain’s exit.’ – The Times

  • They won Wales, and every English region outside London – The Times
  • And even came second in Scotland – Daily Mail
  • They overwhelmed Labour in its North East heartland – The Guardian
  • We’re only just getting started – Richard Tice, The Times
  • Farage’s message: Leave now, or face the consequences – Daily Mail
  • Widdecombe hails the result as a second referendum – Daily Mail
  • How could a new Tory leader win these voters over? – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • The BBC allows Campbell to imply on-air that the Brexit Party is Russian-funded – Daily Mail
  • A blunt message from voters: a plague on all your houses – The Sun Says

>Today: MPsETC: The Brexit Party wins the Euro-elections. The Liberal Democrats are second. Disaster for the two main parties.

EU Election 2) Conservatives reduced to just three MEPs with ‘worst result ever’

‘Daniel Hannan, who was elected as one of just three Tory MEPs in England and Wales, said the European elections had been ‘without question our worst result as a party ever’. ‘People voted to leave three years ago and we haven’t left, it’s as simple as that,’ he told the Press Association. ‘I think I’m back as one of, I think it looks like being three Conservatives nationally. So without question our worst result as a party ever.’ But he suggested the party’s fortunes could be turned around and the threat from Mr Farage’s Brexit Party neutralised if the UK did leave the EU.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Divided Britain

EU Election 3) Lib Dems and Greens gain seats

‘The Lib Dems finished second behind the Brexit Party. Sir Vince Cable’s party picked up swathes of votes from disaffected Labour supporters, with a 13.5 per cent vote swing from Labour to the Lib Dems in the early results. Tory Remainers – including Lord Heseltine – also registered a protest vote by backing the Lib Dems as the Party’s clear message in favour of staying in the European Union proved its greatest strength. It comes after the Lib Dems gained more than 700 councillors and 10 local authorities in the local elections earlier this month…The Green Party, whose environmental message has been boosted by the success of high-profile protests by Extinction Rebellion, recorded a three point increase in its vote share to 12 per cent, winning seven seats.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Davey says his party is ‘back in business’ after post-coalition slump – The Times
  • Unapologetic support for a second referendum helped us – Jo Swinson, The Times
  • Change UK flops, as Umunna proposes a pact with the Lib Dems and Allen says they should ‘probably’ merge – The Times
  • Soubry dismisses Allen’s opinions as ‘bizarre’ – Daily Express
  • ‘Tommy Robinson’ comes in behind even Change UK – Daily Mail
  • UKIP loses all of its MEPs – Daily Mail
  • CBI criticised for lining up ‘extreme’ pro-EU president – The Times

EU Election 4) Labour engulfed by acrimony over how to stem losses in two directions

‘Battered Jeremy Corbyn today hinted he will finally back a second Brexit referendum as Labour erupted into civil war after being humiliated in European elections. The Labour leader said ‘this issue will have to go back to the people’ as the shadow Cabinet turned on him – although he again dodged stating whether there should be a general election or a single-issue vote. The desperate fire-fighting came as foreign secretary Emily Thornberry was among those to blast the party’s ‘unclear’ strategy and demand a second referendum after Labour’s thrashing. Ms Thornberry warned were ‘getting a good kicking’ as the unashamedly pro-Remain Lib Dems ate into the Labour vote. Deputy leader Tom Watson demanded an ‘urgent’ change of direction.’ – Daily Mail

  • Corbyn’s party falls to third in Wales – Daily Mail
  • Thornberry urges a second referendum (as the Lib Dems win Islington) – The Guardian
  • Watson says they will lose the next election if they don’t offer a re-run – The Guardian
  • McCluskey accuses the Deputy Leader of an anti-Corbyn plot – The Sun
  • We could have won on a Remain platform – Ben Bradshaw, The Times
  • The Brexit Party won most votes in Exeter – Devon Live

Leadership Contest 1) Johnson: We cannot continue to ignore the clear instruction to Leave the EU

‘The message from these results is clear. If we go on like this, we will be fired: dismissed from the job of running the country. The only way to avert that outcome is to honour the result of the 2016 referendum, and come out of the EU; and that means doing it properly – not with some frail simulacrum of Brexit, but clearly and sensibly, so that we are able to join every other independent country in being able to set our own tariffs and make our own laws. If we fail yet again to discharge that mandate, then I fear we will see a permanent haemorrhage of Conservative support, and loyal voters who have left us to join the Brexit Party (and others) may simply never come back…If we are to recapture the attention of the electorate, we must show, now, that we can and will deliver what we said we would do.’ – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: MPsETC: Leadership election candidate MP support numbers: Hunt 29, Johnson 23, Gove 22, Raab 20, Javid 11

Leadership Contest 2) Gove enters the race: ‘Compromise is not a dirty word’

‘The environment secretary said in an interview at the Hay Festival last night that he had evolved as a politician and was ready to become prime minister and negotiate Britain’s exit from the European Union. Mr Gove said that in the next few days he would spell out precise details of his approach to ending the impasse in parliament and with Brussels, adding: “Compromise, as the prime minister reminded us, is not a dirty word.” He insisted that a no-deal departure on March 29 would have caused “real problems in sectors of our economy”. Mr Gove acknowledged that his environment department had presented him with the consequences of a no-deal exit, but denied that he was shocked. “It wasn’t the case that there was a ‘ta-da moment’ and somebody pulled the cord and behind the velvet curtain there was some Hieronymus Bosch picture,” he said in the interview. “I have also said that this is a great country. We would be able to get through but ultimately it is better for all of us if we secure a deal with the European Union and leave in an orderly way.”’ – The Times

  • Front-runners often lose, he warns, citing Game of Thrones – Daily Mail
  • The Gover will give Johnson the challenge we missed out on in 2016 – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • We need a sensible, unifying contest – instead we’ll get backstabbing and factionalism – The Times Leader
  • It must be a quick decision – The Sun Says
  • I challenge fellow candidates to rule out a general election before delivering Brexit – Matt Hancock, The Times

>Yesterday: WATCH: Greening rules herself out of leadership election, and says it’s a “beauty parade for hard Brexiteers”

Leadership 3) ‘Born-again Brexiteer’ Hunt says the future of the Conservative Party is at stake

‘The future of the Conservative Party could be in doubt unless it manages to deliver Brexit, leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has warned. The Foreign Secretary acknowledged the very existence of the party he hopes to lead could be threatened by the Brexit backlash after the Tories secured just nine per cent of the vote in England and Wales. Mr Hunt, who hopes to replace Theresa May in Number 10, said it was a “painful result”…Mr Hunt, the most senior Cabinet minister to declare his intention to seek the leadership, said there was an “existential risk to our party unless we now come together and get Brexit done”.’ –Evening Standard

Leadership 4) Raab pitches himself as the principled ‘details guy’

‘Mr Raab told The Andrew Marr Show that he would seek to renegotiate the Irish backstop but that there was “no case for a further extension” and that he would bring the country out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, the same position as that taken by Boris Johnson. He repeatedly described himself as a lawyer and a “details guy”, outlining his pitch to Brexiteer MPs choosing between him and Mr Johnson. Mr Raab refused to rule out working with Nigel Farage but subsequently issued a statement clarifying that he would not agree to an electoral pact with the former Ukip leader or his new Brexit Party. Two other Brexiteer leadership candidates, Andrea Leadsom, a former Commons leader, and Esther McVey, a former work and pensions secretary, said that they were prepared to leave without a deal and would not seek an extension.’ – The Times

  • Which of his rivals might he be implying is not into details? – Daily Mail
  • The former Brexit Secretary calls for live head-to-head candidate debates – Daily Telegraph
  • He promises to be ‘resolute’ with Brussels – The Sun
  • And stands by criticism of ‘obnoxious bigot’ feminists – The Guardian
  • Stewart says he would ‘lock up’ Tory MPs over the summer to get backing for the deal – The Sun

>Yesterday: WATCH: Raab – I am willing to walk away with No Deal

Leadership Contest 5) Lewer: McVey’s Blue Collar Conservatism is what the country needs

‘It is these kinds of practical, Conservative messages and pledges that will allow our Party to move on from the Referendum, to re-capture that sense of optimism, hope and purpose that brought us together as Conservatives in the first place, to bypass Nigel Farage and ensure Jeremy Corbyn’s divisive and destructive socialist followers never control the levers of power. Nowhere is practical Conservatism and bold, new thinking needed more than in addressing our broken housing market…Esther McVey has already started demonstrating her vision of the sort of country she wants to see. She will be able to bring back trust to our politics, transform the Conservative Party into a winning force again, and ensure that Westminster starts making a practical difference to our constituents’ lives, gives everyone a stake in society and ensures that hard work is rewarded.’ – Andrew Lewer, Daily Telegraph

  • We must quit the talks, McVey argues – The Sun

>Today: Chloe Westley’s column: Three lessons for the Conservatives from that amazing centre-right win in Australia

>Yesterday: WATCH: “I’m standing on a Blue Collar Conservative platform,” says McVey

The pattern of gains for insurgent parties of left and right is mirrored across the EU

‘Far-right and Eurosceptic parties won more European Parliament seats than ever before after voters across the continent left their nations’ rulers with bloody noses. Conversely, left wing and Green parties also surged amid the highest turnout in 25 years, breaking the majority held by the two largest centre-right and centre-left groups of parties for 40 years. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s hardline League party emerged as the largest in Italy, while Marine Le Pen inflicted a painful defeat on pro-European French president Emmanuel Macron. The party of longtime German chancellor Angela Merkel, a European Union stalwart, also lost ground, although it was the Greens and not the far-right Alternative for Germany that made big gains in her country.’ – Daily Mail

Young people are more likely to downsize than older people

‘Young people are four times more likely to downsize than the elderly, according to a survey which lays bare Britain’s property divide. It found that around 12 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds expect to move into a smaller home this year, compared with just 3 per cent of over-55s. The figures confirm how hard it is for young people to move up the housing ladder. They also point to similar problems in the rental sector. Many under-35s looking to downsize are thought to be tenants in parts of Britain where rents are going up quickly. They are forced to move to smaller properties each year because their wages are not increasing at the same pace.’ – Daily Mail

Stop refunding fraud victims, police chief urges banks

‘Banks should not guarantee refunds for fraud victims to deter customers from being careless with their money, a police chief has claimed. Commander Karen Baxter, the national co-ordinator for economic crime at the City of London Police, said there should be ‘consequences for extremely irresponsible behaviour’ such as ignoring safety advice and making unwise transfers. Her calls come days before major banks including HSBC, RBS and NatWest are set to adopt a voluntary code of conduct requiring them to refund scam victims in full provided they have shown reasonable diligence. ‘ – Daily Mail

  • £65,000 taxpayer bill for Venables’ latest effort to hide his identity – Daily Mail
  • The war of constant innovations in prison drug smuggling – The Times
  • Corbyn supports proposal to monitor workplace jokes – The Sun

Scientists propose that a new geological age has begun: the Anthropocene

‘Some 540 million years after life began to bloom on Earth during the Cambrian period scientists say that we are entering a new geological chapter: the first created by Man. The Anthropocene epoch marks a new phase of the planet’s history, where mankind is the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Starting in the 1950s, it would be identifiable from the radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons tests, the appearance of fossilised plastics and a rise in carbon pollution from a global postwar economic boom. A panel of experts chaired by Jan Zalasiewicz, of the University of Leicester, has spent a decade reviewing evidence on whether the Anthropocene is a geologically valid concept. Its 34 members took their first formal vote last week and decided that it had merit.’ – The Times

  • How long will it last? – The Times Leader
  • £87,000 UK aid was given to help China’s fracking industry – Daily Mail
  • Limited range will continue to hamper electric car sales for another decade, study reveals – The Times
  • Centrica plans new charging facilities – The Times
  • A ban on diesel vehicles is overdue – Martha Gill, The Times
  • EU’s polluting states pocket clean energy funds while keeping on burning coal – Daily Telegraph
  • The crusade to plant three billion trees – Daily Mail
  • We need true zero-carbon homes – Nathan Brooker, FT
  • The first fruit-picking robot gets to work – The Guardian

China plans to move millions of people from countryside to towns in drive to eliminate poverty

‘Fewer than 1 per cent of people in China live on less than $1 a day, Beijing’s definition of “absolute poverty”. Many belong to ethnic groups that differ in language, religion or appearance from the dominant Han Chinese. Ms Li, for instance, is one of the 1.4m-strong Lisu people, a “hill tribe” native to the mountains of India, Myanmar, Thailand and southwestern China. Most, like her, are caught between the need for money and the tug of family and habit.  Beijing’s solution is to move them all. Ms Li, her invalid husband, her elderly mother and her neighbours will be swept up in a radical experiment. Remote counties are frantically building roads, apartment blocks and vocational training centres to consolidate people in nearby towns at a cost of $18.7bn this year alone. The goal is to cut the number of people living in absolute poverty from 30m in 2017, to zero in 2020. “China wants to be an example to the world,” says Li Haishu, standing member of the Nujiang prefecture Communist party committee. “You can only do this in China. I’ve never heard of another country in history doing this.”’ – FT

News in Brief