May asks Corbyn to ‘put our differences aside’, as fears of a Customs Union grow

‘“The talks with Labour so far have been serious. We don’t agree with the Opposition on lots of policy issues, but on Brexit there are areas we do agree on – leaving with a good deal that protects jobs and our security and ends free movement. But there are also differences on precisely what the UK’s future relationship with the EU should look like, so reaching an agreement will require compromise from both sides. We will keep negotiating, with more formal talks due to take place on Tuesday, and keep trying to find a way through…to the Leader of the Opposition, I say this: let’s listen to what the voters said in the local elections and put our differences aside for a moment. Let’s do a deal.”’ – Theresa May, Mail on Sunday

  • The prospect of ‘abject surrender’ to both Labour and Brussels infuriates her own party – Mail on Sunday
  • Quite a lot of Labour MPs aren’t very please either – The Observer
  • Davidson urges a deal – Sunday Telegraph
  • Gove says the local elections show Brexit must be delivered – Sunday Telegraph
  • Ireland calls for a rapid agreement – Sunday Telegraph
  • Navy supply ships could be built in Spain as part of ‘bribe’ over Gibraltar – Mail on Sunday
  • UK has second-fastest growing economy in the G7 “despite Brexit” – Mail on Sunday
  • Electoral Commission spends over £400,000 defending £20,000 fine – Sunday Telegraph



>Today: Brandon Lewis on Comment: The message from the local elections to all of us is clear. Get a move on – and deliver Brexit.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The local election aftermath. May and Corbyn are like two spooked children, drawing nearer for comfort as the thunder rages.

Farage warns the Prime Minister not to form a ‘coalition against the people’

‘Theresa May will be entering a coalition with Jeremy Corbyn “against the people” if she agrees a customs deal with the Labour leader, Nigel Farage has warned. The Leave campaigner said his burgeoning Brexit Party would field a full slate of candidates against Tory and Labour MPs in a general election and “break the two party system” if Mrs May and Mr Corbyn made a pact to keep the UK tied to EU rules. The warning came as calls for Mrs May’s resignation mounted last night following a dismal showing for the Tories in the local elections and as she prepared to reach a deal with Labour on a Brexit plan, having failed to win support for her own deal.’ – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Out, out, out. For the third time running, our survey finds a record proportion of party members wanting May gone now.

>Yesterday: Dinah Glover on Comment: The Prime Minister lacks empathy, negotiates badly – and doesn’t lead. The Conservative Party needs to get her out now.

Leadership bid 1) Raab sets out his stall with a theme of opportunity and optimism

‘“We need a fairer deal for working Britain, I think the Conservatives and our record on free enterprise and jobs is great, but we have got to be talking about and to the worker who hasn’t had a pay rise in several years, the consumer who feels ripped off by sharp corporate practice, the young kid from the rough background who wants their shot, who wants to make the best of their potential, and I think if we can have a really positive, compelling message in all of those areas, we will unite the aspirational working and middle class in this country, which is how Tories win elections”… Raab, though, has clearly thought about what he wants the government to do with the £27bn Brexit war chest built up by the Treasury. “I’d like to see us focused on tax cuts for low- and middle-income families,” he says. “I think the basic rate, taking a penny off that, would be talking to the people who need to know we are on their side.” In general, he wants optimism: “The Conservatives need to be at the vanguard of making sure that we deliver a fairer deal for working Britain, but also injecting optimism about the country and its future back into the political frame. That’s definitely been lost in the past two or three years.”’ – Sunday Times

Leadership bid 2) Javid urges his party to help people ‘get on in life’, not simply govern by spreadsheet

‘The Conservatives are leaving communities feeling “forgotten” as ministers are seen to view the country “through a lens of spreadsheets and efficiency savings”, the Home Secretary warned yesterday. Sajid Javid said that for many in Westminster the areas of health, education and work and pensions were seen simply as Whitehall departments “to be managed”, rather than public services that could help people “get on in life”…Addressing the Welsh Conservative Party conference, Mr Javid set out how he relied on the British education, health and transport systems as he climbed a social ladder, including a stint in the City, to eventually join the Cabinet, having been born to parents “raised by dollar-a-day farmers in rural Pakistan”.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Leadership bid 3) Gove praises his adoptive parents for teaching him to appreciate forgiveness and business

‘Mr Gove said he “wasn’t born a Tory”, describing how he spent the first four months of his life in care before being adopted by his mother Christine and father Ernest. He said they were “the reason why I am in politics” after they “sacrificed their own comforts” to provide him with an “amazing education” in Aberdeen and make him the first person in his family to go to university. Their “virtues” that made him a Tory include a belief in business and a “readiness to forgive”, he said. His speech came after he told the Telegraph that he had learnt from the mistakes of his 2016 leadership campaign.’ – Sunday Telegraph

New Ministers 1) Mordaunt: We must make clear to the Kremlin that we will always defend freedom

“Thirty years after the Berlin Wall fell and five years since the illegal annexation of Crimea – Russia remains a threat. Its illegal activity continues unabated in the Donbas. Last year we witnessed Russian use a chemical weapon on the streets of Britain in what was an utterly reckless act that ignored the rule of law and had a complete disregard for life. So, Britain and its allies must keep showing their resolution. A presence that is sending a strong message to the Kremlin that we will not back down in our defence of freedom. We will be a nation that is engaged not isolated, bold not timid. This is the very stuff of what it means to be us. Our armed forces don’t just do something. They are something. They are the embodiment of hope and of our values.” – Penny Mordaunt, Sunday Telegraph 

New Ministers 2) Stewart wants the aid budget to be used to fight climate change

‘Setting out his priorities in his new role, he wants to see more of the £14bn foreign aid budget spent on the environment. “We need a completely different approach to try and deal with emissions,” he says. “We need to think about what we can personally change in Britain, but we must recognise the air we breathe could be polluted by China or the United States even if we were to shut down everything in this country.” He adds: “If you want a way of explaining why we spend 0.7% of our budget on national aid, we are facing a climate cataclysm: 30% to 40% of species on Earth will be gone by 2050, having effects on hundreds of thousands of people’s lives.’ – Sunday Times

Williamson accused of ‘attacking May over diabetes’, as briefing wars intensify

‘Sources at the top of the government and the Conservative Party say slurs about the prime minister’s health were overheard by a senior party official, who reported the former defence secretary’s conversation back to Downing Street. It is also claimed that Williamson was overheard at a dinner denouncing May’s fitness for the job. One of May’s allies said: “It’s absolutely outrageous that he would attempt to use the prime minister’s health condition against her and to suggest it makes her too frail and ill to be the prime minister.” Williamson hit back last night, denying he had ever spoken about May’s health, as the Metropolitan police said the NSC leak “did not contain information that would breach the Official Secrets Act” and “did not amount to a criminal offence”. He denounced the leak inquiry as a “shabby and discredited witch hunt” and demanded a “proper, full and impartial” investigation. He told this newspaper he was consulting lawyers. However, aides say May’s trust in Williamson was also undermined by his desire to send the armed forces into action, which No 10 feared could lead to him starting a war. When May refused to let him send Royal Navy warships into Chinese waters in the South China Sea, Williamson scrawled “f*** the prime minister” on the paperwork — a message reported back to No 10.’ – Sunday Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our snap survey. The panel backs Williamson over May – up to a point.

Davidson kicks off Holyrood campaign at the Scottish Tory conference

“Ruth Davidson “fired the starting gun” on the next Holyrood election on Saturday as she set out ambitious plans to keep all Scottish youngsters in school or training until 18 to help bring about a ”blue collar” revolution. The Tory leader in Scotland unveiled a tranche of new policies she hopes will provide the platform for her to become First Minister, including a new Economic Growth Fund and a pledge of a Lifelong Skills Guarantee for older Scots who find themselves made redundant. Ms Davidson set out her stall to replace Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister in a keynote address to the Scots Tory conference in Aberdeen yesterday, marking her return to frontline politics after seven months on maternity leave.” – Scotland on Sunday

Hammond wants the ‘highest minimum wage in the world’

‘Several sources familiar with the chancellor’s thinking told the Observer they believed he was pushing to look at the “ambitious end” of what would be possible without damaging Britain’s employment levels, suggesting he is contemplating going further than any developed nation. A proposal under discussion would see the minimum wage pushed up to 66% of median earnings, meeting the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s definition of low pay. It would allow the chancellor to say he had set a course to end low pay in Britain.’ – The Observer

‘Huge’ Labour anti-semitism file handed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission

‘Demands for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour to face a full-scale anti-Semitism probe intensified last night with the delivery of a ‘damning dossier’ alleging hundreds of incidents of anti-Jewish prejudice within the party. Equality watchdogs were sent a huge file alleging ‘endemic’ anti-Semitic behaviour in Labour and the party’s apparent ‘don’t care’ attitude to the problem. The digital dossier – equivalent to 15,000 pages – was delivered by anti-Semitism campaigners to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which is now considering whether to launch a full-scale inquiry into Labour. Embarrassingly for Mr Corbyn, the files emerged as one of his own Shadow Ministers openly challenged the Labour leader over his handling of anti-Jewish prejudice by revealing her own 30-year-old daughter Ruby had now quit the party ‘in disgust’
Mail on Sunday

  • Muslim Government advisers subject to anti-semitism allegations – Sunday Times
  • Secret report warns that future imams are being taught intolerance – Mail on Sunday
  • Corbyn is defeated, and unpopular, and might still win power – Sunday Times Leader
  • His boot-licking propagandists should remember their Orwell – Nick Cohen, The Observer
  • Is Labour planning an air passenger duty return tax? – The Sun on Sunday
  • This rabble will punish millions of Brits for going on holiday – The Sun on Sunday Says
  • Khan taxes white van man but exempts circuses from his green charge – The Sun on Sunday
  • Labour’s nationalisation plans would compensate investment, not current value – Sunday Times

Headteachers vote on strike action

‘The National Association of Head Teachers will vote today on industrial action that could force kids to stay home. Leader Paul Whiteman said the Government has “acknowledged school budgets are at breaking point” but not yet tackled the crisis. He added: “Industrial action is a last resort but we can’t rule it out.” Other options school chiefs could vote for at the NAHT conference in Telford, Shrops, include refusing to make staff redundant, and reducing pay and hours to balance the budget. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says spending per pupil fell eight per cent on average from 2009-10 to 2017-18.’ – The Sun