The results of the European Parliamentary elections will start to be declared today

“To publish exit polls or results is a criminal offence while elections are under way. Only once the clock strikes 10pm tonight, and polls close elsewhere in Europe, will a picture of how the UK voted start to emerge. The results are released region by region, with the northeast likely to announce first, at 10.15pm. London is set to declare as late as 2am tomorrow. In 2014, the last region to report was Scotland, at 11am, as it awaited results from the remote Western Isles. With the exception of Northern Ireland — which uses a different system — the results are expected be out in full by midday tomorrow.” – Sunday Times

> Today: ToryDiary – The results of the European Parliamentary elections will begin to be announced this evening

  • Will our MEPs be in place for only four months? – Sunday Times

Leadership election 1) Gove declares

“Michael Gove today throws down the gauntlet to Boris Johnson, announcing that he will fight him for the Tory crown because he has a better “track record” and is more “capable” of delivering Brexit. The environment secretary will electrify the contest and argue that he should lead rather than his Vote Leave ally, whose campaign he dramatically torpedoed in 2016. Gove, who faced criticism from Brexiteers for backing Theresa May’s deal, will argue in a podcast interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson that he is best placed to deliver “a better deal for Britain”.” – Sunday Times

Leadership election 2) So does Leadsom

“Andrea Leadsom today confirms that she will enter the race. In her first interview since leaving government last week, the former Commons leader vowed to leave the EU with or without a deal on October 31. “To succeed in a negotiation you have to be prepared to walk away,” she said. She said she would introduce a citizens’ rights bill to resolve uncertainty facing EU nationals, then seek agreement in other areas, such as on reciprocal healthcare and Gibraltar.” – Sunday Times

Leadership election 3) So does Hancock

“The 40-year-old Health Secretary claimed he is a “fresh start” candidate who is connected with modern Britain. And he insisted he is the man to kick out the “ugly politics” of the last few years to able to attract a new generation of young voters. He warned that the next leader must look beyond Brexit – or risk letting Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10 by Christmas. Mr Hancock declared: “We’ve got to unite the party but we need to unite the country, too.”
“The next Prime Minister must not just be the leader for now but for years to come.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Hancock “displays near-contempt for people with autism and learning disabilities locked up in abusive detention” – Ian Birrell, Mail on Sunday
  • I back Hancock – Damian Green, Sunday Times

Leadership election 4) So does Raab

“Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab launched his own leadership bid today in an article for the Mail on Sunday. The hardline Eurosceptic pledged to ‘demonstrate unflinching resolve’ to secure Britain’s exit from the EU and vowed to leave with no deal if necessary.” – Mail on Sunday

Leadership election 5) Johnson sets out his stall and comes under fire…

“He will try to win over waverers with a wad of initiatives to boost NHS funding, tackle violent crime, ease the housing crisis and improve transport links…To show he means business, Mr Johnson has spent the past few months drawing up a detailed manifesto for his first months as PM. It is packed with policies that he believes are clear vote-winners to prove he is more than a mere political showman. He has also held a series of drinks meetings with MPs at which he constantly reminds them of his popular appeal to ordinary voters.” – Sun on Sunday

Leadership election 6) …Not least from Stewart

“Tory PM hopeful Rory Stewart launched a blistering attack on Boris Johnson yesterday – branding him ‘Pinocchio’…Mr Stewart said: “I could not serve in a government whose policy was to push this country into a no-deal Brexit. I could not serve with Boris Johnson. I spoke to Boris, I suppose, about two weeks ago about this and I thought at the time he had assured me that he wouldn’t push for a no-deal Brexit. So, we had a conversation about 20, 25 minutes and I left the room reassured by him that he wouldn’t do this. But, it now seems that he is coming out for a no-deal Brexit.” – Sun on Sunday

Leadership election 7) Hunt sets out business credentials

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the foreign secretary also said he was better placed than his main rivals to win a general election because — unlike them — he had fought and won a marginal seat. He also sought to dispel the notion that he was less combative than his rivals. Hunt said: “If I was prime minister, I’d be the first prime minister in living memory who has been an entrepreneur by background. Doing deals is my bread and butter as someone who has set up their own business. I’ve taken risks, I’ve employed people. You have to do deals the whole time.” – Sunday Times

Other leadership candidate news:

  • Rudd rules herself out of leadership contest and hints she could work with Johnson – Sun on Sunday
  • So does Truss – Sunday Telegraph
  • (Truss interview: she says the new leader must have backed Brexit in 2016 – Sunday Telegraph
  • Fox is considering standing – Observer

Other leadership election news and comment:

  • Tory MPs warned not to pledge their votes to more than one camp – Sunday Telegraph
  • Who do voters in the safest Conservative seat in Britain want? – Observer
  • We need a clearout of anti-Brexit Downing Street advisers – Liam Fox, Sunday Telegraph
  • WTO terms now – Esther McVey, Sunday Telegraph
  • We must stave off the risk of Corbyn – Graham Brady, Sunday Telegraph
  • Remainers are hijacking One Nation Toryism – Tim Stanley, Sunday Telegraph
  • Greening warns that the Party could face “electoral oblivion” – Observer
  • The Tories need a credible Brexit plan – Sunday Telegraph
  • And they need a credible Brexit leader – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • They must wake up and appeal to younger voters – Sun on Sunday

Other Tory news:


> Yesterday: Columnist Nick Hargrave – Why a referendum and not an election could offer the new leader a Brexit answer

May – the aftermath. She apologised to her staff for breaking down in her resignation speech

“On Friday, as May walked back into No 10, her face an agonised mask, she was greeted with applause. In an address to advisers in the state rooms upstairs, the prime minister was emotional but defiant. “She said we had all done all we can,” said one of those present. May apologised for breaking down in the street as she concluded her speech: “I’m sorry.” Her chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, said: “You have nothing to apologise for.” – Sunday Times

  • Team May forced Brady to stand down as the 1922 Committee Chairman over leadership ambition “conflict of interest” – Mail on Sunday
  • Farage dubs her “worst PM in history” – Sun on Sunday
  • Trump “feels badly” for May – Mail on Sunday
  • Her record on business was a disaster – Rohan Silva, Sunday Times
  • She brought duty, courage and patriotism, but they weren’t enough – Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday
  • I cried too…for a minute – Carole Malone, Sunday Express
  • Her successor will be just as bad – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

> Yesterday:

Adam Boulton: The new Prime Minister should be in place by the time the Commons rises for the summer recess

“The quicker the contest, the less time there will be for doubts about Johnson to grow. The 1922 committee has set a brisk timetable, aiming to have a new leader in place before the house is due to rise for the summer recess in the week of July 22. Three weeks for MPs to whittle down the candidates to two, and three weeks for hustings and voting by party members…Nobody knows who will be the next prime minister, but it is already clear that, like Mrs May, they will fail to restore strong and stable government.” – Sunday Times

Hinds says too many Universities aren’t delivering – and prepares to act

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, says “poor value” degrees are “letting down thousands of students and costing the taxpayer millions”. He released a new analysis of tax data showing that on one in 10 courses, three out of four students were earning less than £25,000 five years after they graduated. Some universities, he said, seemed “more focused on getting ‘bums on seats’ than getting students into courses worth paying for”. The worst subjects for future salaries are the creative arts, where average earnings after five years are £20,000.” – Sunday Times

Labour could face a lengthy anti-semitism enquiry

“Sources say the move, by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR), comes after it received ‘compelling’ evidence of Labour’s failure to deal with anti-Jewish prejudice among its members. An inquiry lasting up to a year would be a crushing setback to Mr Corbyn’s attempts to draw a line under the affair which has bedevilled his leadership. One close ally said: ‘This will be a real blow to Jeremy and it will go on for months and months. It’s the last thing we need.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • Corbyn to snub Trump – Sunday Times
  • Labour must back second referendum vote or risk losing the next election, says Watson – The Guardian
  • How Geoffrey Robinson’s millions bewitched Blair and Mandelson – Tom Bower, Mail on Sunday

Change UK woes latest

“The former Labour MP Chuka Umunna said he thought a pact between the two parties “would be sensible” when asked if his recently formed party could forge an alliance with the Lib Dems, similar to that between the Social Democratic party and the Liberal party in the 1983 general election. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today on Saturday, Umunna said: “The remain forces in this country need to work even more closely together than we have managed to achieve up to this point between now and the general election.” – The Observer

Liam Halligan: Fund British Steel

“Across Europe, populist politics is on the rise, as today’s European election results will show. Communities in proud industrial heartlands – in towns like Scunthorpe – are crying out to be heard. Brexit allows Britain to regain control of our regional policy – establishing free ports, enterprise zones and, judiciously, providing temporary state support, with conditions and when absolutely necessary, to viable strategic businesses. When it comes to British Steel, this is an option our next prime minister should grant.” – Sunday Telegraph