Brexit 1) CCHQ targeting ‘tribal Tories’ to try to stave off Euro drubbing

“Party chiefs are relying on telephone canvassing and taxpayer-funded mailshots in a cut-price campaign boycotted by large sections of its membership angry at her refusal to leave the EU on March 29 after her deal was rejected. A survey by the Conservative Home website suggested that three out of five party members were planning to vote for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the elections on May 23. Those activists who are willing to help out are being encouraged to target “the most tribal” Tory supporters and urge them to help to avoid a “drubbing”, according to insiders.” – The Times

  • Disillusioned donor hands Farage £200,000 cheque… – Daily Telegraph
  • …as Brexit Party leader says donors have got rivals worried – Daily Express


  • First European elections in history to feel enthusiastic about – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Brexit 2) Barclay faces fresh Cabinet row over no-deal planning

“The UK Brexit secretary is preparing a paper on whether to step up planning in case the country leaves the EU without a deal ahead of its scheduled departure date of October 31, in a move that is expected to trigger a clash among cabinet ministers. Steve Barclay, who backed Leave in the 2016 referendum, is among Eurosceptic Tory MPs who believe it would be prudent for the government to ramp up preparations for an abrupt departure. Government officials said the minister is expected to present his proposals at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. He faces a pushback from Europhile colleagues, including business secretary Greg Clark, who believe it was a mistake for the government to ever consider a no-deal Brexit.” – FT

  • May refusing to set resignation date until her deal is passed – The Sun
  • Backstop still needed if May departs, Ireland insists – The Guardian

Brexit 3) Johnson argues that second referendum campaigners are boosting SNP

Boris Johnson has argued that supporters of a second EU referendum are “doing the work of the SNP” by strengthening Nicola Sturgeon’s case for another independence vote. Speaking at an event in Aberdeen, Mr Johnson argued that Tony Blair, Sir John Major and some Cabinet ministers “should know better” than raise the prospect of a second Brexit vote. He said they are “giving aid and succor” to Scottish nationalists and threatening the Union by undermining the verdict of the 2014 independence referendum. But the former Foreign Secretary said the No vote should be “respected for a generation” as promised and accused the SNP of wanting to “destroy the very concept of Britain.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Row over powers exposes constitutional divisions, expert warns – The Scotsman

More referendum:

  • Cable claims Government is secretly planning second vote – The Sun
  • Corbyn’s comments on re-run spark fury – Daily Express

More Johnson:

  • Could Rudd be preparing to back him for leader? – Daily Telegraph
  • Or would she help bring down a government he led? – The Sun

>Today: Nick Hargrave’s column: Modernisers may not trust Johnson, but they should learn from him

Henry Hill: Rudd may come to regret her cavalier dismissal of ConHome readers

“Like it or not, the Party’s fortunes are tied to Brexit, and the results of our survey provide clear evidence of this unavoidable reality. The Tories need a leader who can command the respect of both the grassroots and the country – and our monthly survey gives strong evidence of who that might be. If Rudd does still harbour leadership ambitions, next month’s might make uncomfortable reading. If she wants to hold her ultra-marginal constituency at the next election, a motivated team of local Tories will be absolutely essential – and you can bet that many of them read ConservativeHome.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Only a grassroots guerrilla war can save the Tories – Sherelle Jacobs, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Rudd on our members’ survey showing no confidence in May: “A certain type of people are supporters of ConservativeHome”

Javid says being a Muslim is ‘no barrier’ to Downing Street

“Sajid Javid has said a Muslim “can be prime minister” in what will be regarded as a soft launch of his bid to replace Theresa May. The home secretary has so far kept a relatively low profile as rival candidates including Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, set out their stalls. But speaking to the BBC Radio 4 podcast Political Thinking With Nick Robinson, he tackled head-on the racist abuse he receives and insisted that neither religion nor race was a bar to No 10. Critics on the far left who believed that he was “not brown enough” and those on the far right who thought him “too brown” had “a lot in common”, he said. “They don’t like me because of my colour.”” – The Times

  • Home Secretary says he’s attacked by left for not being ‘brown enough’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Brady hints at leadership bid – The Sun


Government faces mutiny as Armed Forces ‘witch hunt’ continues

“Ministers are pushing ahead with plans to set up a new taxpayer-funded unit to investigate Northern Ireland military veterans in a move that will spark a Tory mutiny. The Government will next week respond to a public consultation on how to deal with the legacy of the Troubles after talks on the issue with the DUP on Thursday. A report will conclude that an ‘overwhelming majority’ of those who responded to the consultation do not support an amnesty or a statute of limitations for troops and terrorists, sources said. It will say that instead, there is ‘broad support’ for proposals set out by ministers, which include a new body to examine 1,700 deaths during the Troubles from as far back as 1968.” – Daily Mail

Hancock calls for polluting cars to be banned near schools…

“The health secretary is supporting the call by The Times for schools to be protected from poisonous exhaust fumes by banning traffic during drop-off and pick-up times. In an interview with this newspaper, Matt Hancock praised parents who campaign for “school streets”, which are closed to through-traffic for about 45 minutes in the morning and afternoon when children are arriving and leaving. A temporary ban on traffic to reduce pollution around schools is one of five objectives of The Times Clean Air for All campaign. Mr Hancock also supported our call for much better pollution monitoring.” – The Times

  • Health Secretary compared to David Brent – The Sun

…whilst Labour threatens to delist companies over climate change

“A future UK Labour government would delist companies from the London Stock Exchange unless they do enough to tackle climate change, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor of the exchequer, has said. The proposal is part of a broader plan by the opposition party to force UK-listed companies to do more to tackle what the party terms the “climate emergency” facing the planet and help a transition towards a net zero carbon emissions economy. That would involve “weeding out those that are not taking it seriously”, Mr McDonnell said in an interview with the Guardian.” – FT

  • Millionaires flee UK over fears of political chaos – The Times

Scottish Labour embroiled in new racism row

“Scottish Labour found itself embroiled in a new racism row today after a Facebook account linked to a local party branch claimed “there is no such thing as Islamophobia”. The social media page, branded as being the online home of Labour’s Argyll and Bute branch, shared an image which also suggested Islam was “responsible for more terror attacks than any other”. The image was captioned: “Any disgareement with this meme?” Scottish Labour said the Facebook page was unofficial and that it was investigating who was behind it… The post comes just days after Scottish Labour was criticised for its handling of a racisim complaint made by senior MSP Anas Sarwar.” – The Scotsman

  • Khan needs round-the-clock protection after threats – The Times

Tories wrest two councils from Labour control after deals with smaller parties

“Labour has lost control of two key councils in its traditional heartlands, conceding power to the Conservatives in Bolton and Darlington for the first time in 40 years. The party made significant losses in the local elections last week, in what councillors described as a backlash over local issues and the Brexit stalemate. n Darlington, which has elected a Labour MP at every poll since 1992, the party lost its grip on power on Friday when the Conservatives agreed a power-sharing deal with smaller parties. In Bolton, Labour lost seven seats and conceded control of the council to a Conservative administration, propped up by independents and smaller parties such as the Liberal Democrats and Ukip.” – The Guardian

Euros 1) Verhofstadt fronts Liberal Democrats’ election campaign

“The Liberal Democrats’ campaign slogan is “Bollocks to Brexit” and they showed just how serious they were yesterday by enlisting a former Belgian prime minister to join Sir Vince Cable on the doorstep. Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s combative Brexit chief, went campaigning with the Liberal Democrat leader in Camden, north London, as he urged Remainers to choose Sir Vince’s party at the May 23 poll over other anti-Brexit parties. After travelling to the UK first thing by train Mr Verhofstadt met a Liberal Democrat welcome party in a square, arriving in a coach with tinted windows.” – The Times

  • Smug, puerile anti-Brexit trolls are made for each other – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Why is this wily Eurocrat telling us who to vote for? – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail


  • Brexit Party will put EU’s Westminster stooges straight – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Where does the Liberal Democrat revival leave Change UK’s cursed campaign?

Euros 2) SNP faces fine for data breach

“The Scottish National party faces being fined for a breach of data protection laws after sending out tens of thousands of European election mailings to the wrong addresses. The Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed on Friday morning that the SNP had referred itself for investigation after voters across Scotland received letters addressed to strangers or neighbours. The ICO said it was investigating under stricter EU data protection regulations, which carry significant fines for privacy breaches. The election letters were signed by the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, and urged voters to back the party on 23 May. The wrong recipients included Monica Lennon, a Labour MSP, who did not recognise the person Sturgeon was addressing.” – The Guardian

  • Nationalists apologise over mailshot error – The Scotsman

Euros 3) YouTube penalises UKIP candidate over rape ‘joke’

“A Ukip candidate has had his YouTube account downgraded so that it can no longer earn him money after he made comments about raping a Labour MP. Carl Benjamin, a Ukip European election candidate, is facing a police investigation after the comments about Jess Phillips, 37. Mr Benjamin, 39, has twice referred to the Birmingham Yardley MP. In a tweet in 2016 he said that he “wouldn’t even rape” her. In a YouTube video uploaded to his channel last month he said that “with enough pressure I might cave”. He has refused to apologise, arguing that “any subject can be the subject of a joke.” YouTube confirmed last night that it had suspended Mr Benjamin’s account from being monetised. He posts videos under the name “Sargon of Akkad” and has nearly a million subscribers.” – The Times

  • Benjamin ‘attacked with milkshake’ – The Sun


  • Law should be used to penalise such speech – The Times

>Yesterday: Iain Dale’s column: UKIP’s Sargon of whatever-he-calls-himself. Vile, yes – but he shouldn’t be barred from standing for election.

Campaigners criticise plans for temporary Commons

Plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on a temporary Parliament have been branded  “extravagant, time wasting and destructive” by heritage campaigners and architects. MPs responsible for the renovation of the Palace of Westminster are under mounting pressure over the spiralling costs of the project, which are now expected to total £4-6 billion. The latest proposals, unveiled this week, include plans to move the House of Commons chamber to Richmond House, the Grade-II listed building, which will be mostly bulldozed and rebuilt… However, the plans have been condemned by senior architects, who claim that country has been forced to “open its purse up” without exploring other options, such as moving out of London.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Have MPs lost contact with reality – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Arrogant Change UK should learn from Lib Dem electoral strategy – Ben Kelly, Reaction
  • Orbán and the corruption of conservatism – Dalibor Rohac, CapX
  • The reason Britain’s big infrastructure projects ‘fail’ – Rory Sutherland, The Spectator
  • Funny how devocrats want to re-run the Europe vote, but not the devolution one – Dan Boucher, Brexit Central
  • When will we tackle the housing crisis? – Liam Halligan, UnHerd

And finally… Have I Got News for You pulled over Allen appearance

“The programme announced the broadcaster’s decision shortly before the episode was due to air at 9pm. The BBC referred to its editorial guidelines on impartiality and said the show would be broadcast at a later date. In a tweet, Have I Got News For You’s account said: “Sorry everyone. The BBC have pulled tonight’s edition of HIGNFY – no, we didn’t book Danny Baker. We booked Heidi Allen, a member of a party no-one knows the name of (not even the people in it), because the Euro elections, which nobody wants, may or may not be happening. Sorry.”” – The Times

  • Britain needs a new party, but Change UK’s campaign is mind-bogglingly bad – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph