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Brexit 1) May to make ‘bold new offer’ to MPs on the Withdrawal Agreement

Theresa May is to launch a last-ditch attempt to gain MPs’ approval for her Brexit deal, with a “bold offer” to Labour and Conservative critics. This week Cabinet ministers will be consulted on concessions that Number 10 hopes could win over support from the Opposition and some Tory rebels if they are inserted into the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which Mrs May is planning to introduce to the Commons next month. The disclosures came as a Gallup International poll conducted across the EU found that a majority of the bloc’s citizens believe it should renegotiate the deal if Parliament refuses to back it.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • She’ll hold talks on a ‘package of measures’ intended to win support… – Sun on Sunday
  • …which will apparently still involve a customs union – Mail on Sunday

Talks:

  • Prime Minister blames Starmer for the breakdown of cross-party talks… – Sun on Sunday
  • …whilst he blames ‘wannabe Tory leaders’… – The Observer
  • …and Labour’s northern MPs say he’s driving voters to Farage – Mail on Sunday

Brexit 2) Johnson ‘rules out pact with Farage’…

“Boris Johnson has ruled out an election pact with Nigel ­Farage to stop his surging Brexit Party destroying the Tories. Leadership favourite BoJo has been warned that if he does not do a deal he will face heavy defeat at the next general election. One Tory warned “no seat is safe” and that unless the next PM comes to an agreement, Mr Farage will “kill” the party and let Labour in. Senior Tory Crispin Blunt, writing in today’s The Sun on Sunday, adds: “If the Conservatives don’t ally with his party we’ll be so badly damaged that government may fall into the hands of Corbyn’s Labour and the EU.”” – Sun on Sunday

  • Brexit Party pulling in £100,000 in donations every day – Sunday Telegraph
  • Farage says he’ll topple both major parties in ‘revolution’ – Sun on Sunday
  • He alone lights the fires of fed-up middle England – Sunday Times
  • Poll suggests Farage should lead EU negotiations – Sunday Express

Comment:

  • We’re heading for a hammer blow against the Party – Daniel Hannan MEP, Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson waits in the wings – Rod Liddle, Sunday Times
  • Foul tweet shows Remainers have themselves to blame for Farage – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • Two-party politics or that ‘new car’ feeling? It’s up to the voters – Richard Tice, Sunday Telegraph

Editorial:

>Today: ToryDiary: The Johnson hype is here. Don’t fall for it.

>Yesterday: Dr Ros Beck in Comment: It’s not just EU policy that’s driving conservative voters towards the Brexit Party

Brexit 3) …as Rudd and Green launch bid to block Brexiteer leadership bids

“A 60-strong group of Tories led by Amber Rudd and Damian Green will launch a bid to block leadership candidates backing a no-deal Brexit, as they urge MPs to reject “narrow nationalism”  and the “comfort blanket of populism.” The One Nation Caucus, which is backed by eight pro-EU Cabinet ministers, is preparing to issue a “declaration of values” tomorrow before going on to hold hustings to interrogate would-be successors to Theresa May. The document, designed as a draft manifesto for the next Conservative leader, will state that the “climate change emergency” should be given a comparable level of attention and urgency as counter-terrorism, to help draw support from younger voters.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Don’t lead us into disaster, moderates warn Johnson – The Observer
  • Cash rolls in for the ‘BoJo bandwagon’… – Mail on Sunday
  • …as Hancock attracts £100,000 in donations for his pitch – Sun on Sunday
  • McVey launches tour of countryside pubs – Mail on Sunday

Comment:

  • Our Conservatism can make a success of Brexit – The One Nation Group, The Observer
  • Tories need a bold Brexiteer who delivers: Mordaunt – Asa Bennett, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Brexit 4) Theresa May: My bold new offer to MPs to help them back the deal

“When the Withdrawal Agreement Bill comes before MPs, it will represent a new, bold offer to MPs across the House of Commons, with an improved package of measures that I believe can win new support. It will deliver a Brexit that honours the decision the British people took in the referendum with a Brexit that is good for jobs, good for our security, and which sets the whole UK on course for a bright future outside the EU. The cabinet will consider the details of those changes next week. It will also consider whether holding votes in parliament to test support for possible solutions would be a useful prelude to MPs considering the legislation. But whatever the outcome of any votes, I will not be simply asking MPs to think again.” – Sunday Times

  • It’s not too late for the Conservatives to bounce back – Ruth Davidson MSP, Sunday Telegraph
  • St Theresa took up her cross… and got nowhere – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
  • The Brexit middle ground is gone, it’s all or nothing now – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer
  • Empty seats show we’re careening towards catastrophe – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

>Today: Terry Barnes in Comment: Rejoice in this poll-defying win by the centre-right in Australia – and ponder the lessons for the Conservatives and Corbyn

Brexit 5) Heseltine and Major plea for return to ‘centre ground’…

“Tory heavyweights today demand an end to the “virus of extremism” that has divided the country and left the Conservative Party trailing in fourth place in two opinion polls for the European elections. The former prime minister Sir John Major and former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine issued last-ditch pleas for a return to the centre ground on the eve of Thursday’s elections, in which support for the two main parties has fallen to historic lows. Heseltine revealed that for the first time he will not vote Conservative but will cast his ballot for the Liberal Democrats, dismissing his party as “myopically focused on forcing through the biggest act of economic self-harm ever undertaken by a democratic government”.” – Sunday Times

  • Vote for a pro-EU party over Labour, says Hodge – Sunday Times
  • Labour panic as Europhile voters defect – Sunday Express
  • Corbyn issues ‘rallying call’ ahead of Thursday’s poll – Mail on Sunday

Comment:

  • Until the Tories back another vote, I’m voting Lib Dem – Michael Heseltine, Sunday Times

…as Allen rejects rumours she will defect to the Liberal Democrats…

“Change UK’s interim leader has denied speculation that she is defecting to the Liberal Democrats after a bruising week in which the party lost one candidate and sank to the lowest poll numbers since its launch. Heidi Allen, the South Cambridgeshire MP who resigned from the Conservatives in February, said: “It wouldn’t look good if I defected from one party and defected to another a few weeks later.” She added: “It’s not something that I am considering.” The pro-Europe MP hinted, however, that Change UK might have to enter an alliance with the Lib Dems after Thursday’s European elections.” – Sunday Times

  • Now to block Brexit, says Cable… – Sunday Times
  • …as Lib Dems might change policy to just revoking Article 50 – Sunday Express

Editorial:

  • The European elections are the real ‘people’s vote’ – Sun on Sunday

…and Sturgeon urges even unionists to vote SNP over Brexit

“Nicola Sturgeon has urged voters across Scotland to support the SNP in next week’s EU elections “whether you’re for or against independence”, to send a convincing message about the country’s opposition to Brexit. While opponents have accused her of using the Brexit deadlock as an excuse to campaign for independence, Sturgeon stepped up her appeals to pro-European voters to discount Labour. Launching her party’s EU manifesto on Friday, she dismissed as “pointless” Jeremy Corbyn’s talks with Theresa May, and accused him of wanting to overturn the referendum result in Scotland, where a majority voted to remain.” – The Observer

  • Meanwhile Farage calls on ‘real nationalists’ to vote for him – Mail on Sunday

May urged to award compensation to victims of blood-contamination scandal

“Theresa May is under pressure to award compensation to the victims of the contaminated-blood scandal without delay, after seven opposition leaders wrote to her demanding immediate action. With victims of the scandal dying at the rate of one every four days, May has been warned that many more will succumb before the public inquiry into the tragedy ends. The letter, which describes the contaminated blood scandal as “one of the worst peacetime disasters in our country’s history”, warns the prime minister: “Since you announced the inquiry in July 2017, one victim has died on average every four days. Justice delayed even further will be justice denied for many of those currently still with us.”” – Sunday Times

  • Government suppliers fail anti-slavery test – Sunday Times

Prime Minister accused of personally blocking move to protect Ulster veterans

Theresa May personally blocked ministers from proposing a new law that could have protected Northern Ireland veterans from facing murder charges, an explosive memo reveals. A private letter sent on the Prime Minister’s behalf orders that a government consultation on addressing unsolved murders during the Troubles “should not contain” proposals for a statute of limitations on historic prosecutions of military personnel. The official memo, drawn up by Mrs May’s assistant private secretary and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, also warns that veterans should be offered “equal, rather than preferential, treatment” relative to other groups affected by the consultation, which include terrorists.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Ex-servicemen’s outrage at decision – Sunday Telegraph
  • GPs join NHS ‘crusade’ to help troops adapt to life outside the Armed Forces – Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • Treating our soldiers as murderers turns my stomach – Johnny Mercer MP, Sunday Telegraph

Hinds announces new workplace experience plan

“Sixth-formers will spend a day a week in the workplace to give them hands-on experience of having a job. Pupils studying for the new work-related T-level exams will be given placements to gain confidence and skills to get a head start. Schools supremo Damian Hinds will this week announce a £7 million support for firms who take part in the biggest shake-up in technical education for 70 years. The new courses – to be launched at 52 colleges next year – will lead to an A-level alternative in subjects such as construction, digital communications and childcare. They will give 16-year-olds chance to study vocational subjects rather than academic courses such as history or geography.” – Sun on Sunday

Hart calls on tech firms to show ‘zero tolerance’ of abuse

“Tech firms must deploy a “zero tolerance” approach to abuse aimed at MPs on social media, an MP has warned. Tory Simon Hart says the rise in crimes against public figures will mean less people wanting to enter public life which will “threaten democracy”. The comments come after neo-Nazi Jack Renshaw was jailed for at least 20 years after planning to kill Labour MP Rosie Cooper in a terror incident. Neil Basu, head of UK counter-terrorism policing, said earlier this month 152 crimes had been reported by MPs between January and April this year – a rise of 90 per cent on the same time last year.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Tone down speeches and avoid hate crime, candidates told – The Observer

Labour ex-minister furiously denies spy claims

“One of Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior MPs was a spy who passed confidential Government documents to an enemy state, according to intelligence files unearthed by The Mail on Sunday. The Cold War documents report that Geoffrey Robinson, a Minister under Prime Minister Tony Blair, divulged highly sensitive information about Britain’s nuclear deterrent over the course of 51 meetings with a spymaster from Communist Czechoslovakia. The files also describe alleged contact between Mr Robinson and Russian KGB agents… The documents held in an official Prague archive claim that Mr Robinson acknowledged at the time that he ‘was involved in espionage’ and would be ‘sent to prison’ if caught.” – Mail on Sunday

  • He calls the claims ‘a complete fabrication’ – Sunday Times

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