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May now expected to agree her resignation tomorrow…

“All eyes will now be on Friday’s meeting with Brady. The ruling executive of the 1922 committee, which Brady chairs, has the power to change Conservative party rules to allow a fresh vote of no confidence in the prime minister. May survived a confidence vote in December, making her position safe for a full year under current rules. But since then, her Brexit deal has been defeated in the House of Commons three times and the Tories have plummeted in European election polls, bleeding votes to Nigel Farage’s single-issue Brexit Party. The executive recently voted narrowly not to change rules, but the 18-person committee could hold another vote.” – Politico

  • Tugendhat calls for ‘fast-track’ replacement – Daily Mail
  • Ofcom rules could hinder reporting on crisis – Daily Telegraph
  • Dale reveals ‘major problem’ with May’s departure – Daily Express

Editorial:

  • She must go now – Daily Telegraph
  • Move takes Britain towards an uncertain future – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: May hangs on for now, but faces the music on Friday – and Leadsom walks

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: If May isn’t on her way out by the end of today, don’t back her in tomorrow’s European elections

…and the ’22 Executive is poised to change the leadership challenge rules if she doesn’t

“After a short meeting with Julian Smith, the chief whip, backbenchers were told that Mrs May had agreed to meet Sir Graham tomorrow. Her allies said it was clear that she intended to set out her departure timetable… Conservative MPs were frustrated that the 1922 Committee’s executive did not change the rules last night to allow a new confidence vote in Mrs May but it later emerged that the group had voted on whether to change the rules. According to ITV, they each placed their votes in a sealed envelope and will open and count them only if Mrs May does not tell Sir Graham tomorrow that she is stepping down.” – The Times

  • May has 48 hours to salvage her premiership – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Meanwhile, in Peterborough, Farage’s party advances and a Johnson premiership looms – as May is steered towards the exit door

Tom Tugendhat: It is time for May to stand aside

“The clock is ticking down to October 31 when — if no withdrawal agreement has passed parliament — the UK will leave the EU without a deal. This will have profound effects on every aspect of British life and create challenges for others in Europe. There is one last chance to get it right and leave in an orderly fashion. But it is now time for Prime Minister Theresa May to go — and without delay. She must announce her resignation after Thursday’s European elections. And the Conservative party must fast track the leadership process to replace her.” – FT

  • Let someone else try, Prime Minister – Nicky Morgan MP, Times Red Box
  • In the name of God, just go – Andrea Jenkyns MP, Daily Telegraph

Leadsom resigns – claiming the Cabinet didn’t agree May’s second referendum plan

“Isolated Theresa May was last night holed up in No10 amid an extraordinary Cabinet bid to force her from power. Brexiteer Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom quit over the PM’s bid to offer MPs the chance of a second EU referendum… The PM’s ex-leadership rival reignited their long-running feud with a devastating letter to Mrs May while resigning as Leader of the Commons. In it she  came close to hinting Mrs May had lied to the Cabinet by failing to consult ministers, which saw a  second referendum plan passed without their say-so.” – The Sun

  • Expectation of exit turns to anger as ‘sofa goes against the door’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexiteer fury as May postpones vote on No Deal – The Sun
  • ‘Desperate pleas’ fail to say former rival – The Times
  • Resignation starts the clock on May’s final hours – Huffington Post

More:

  • Gove ‘calls for reflection’ over plan – FT
  • Grieve hints at resignation to block No Deal – Daily Express

Comment:

  • A sorry end for a leader who never believed in Brexit – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Defection shows how toxic May has become – Katy Balls, The Guardian
  • It’s all over bar the shouting – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • Unhappiest premiership in a century – Anthony Seldon, Daily Mail
  • Labour will never back a deal – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Today:

Hunt, Javid, Mundell and junior Ministers queue up to tell May to pull the Withdrawal Agreement Bill

“Theresa May finally lost control of the Tory party on Tuesday afternoon just as she was giving a speech to a room of accountants insisting that it was “a great time to be alive”. Within hours, the number of Tory opponents to her deal had doubled but an even more deadly backlash was under way among ministers who felt their leader had ignored the conclusion of Tuesday’s testy cabinet meeting. Even those willing to let her go down with dignity were not willing to be bounced one more time. “I thought she deserved one last roll of the dice, but she took those dice and threw them off the table,” one cabinet minister said.” – The Times

  • Surprise clause which was the final straw – Daily Telegraph
  • Cabinet allies abandon May to her fate – The Times
  • Hour by hour, a day of disaster for the Prime Minister – Daily Mail
  • May cuts a lonely figure as authority evaporates – FT

Comment:

  • Cabinet has been complicit in this disaster – Owen Paterson MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit is a subplot in the battle for the Tory Party – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • Junior ministers are showing big beasts how it’s done – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Brexit Party on track to triumph in European elections

“Britain’s European election results are set to add to a major surge by populists across Europe, leading to political deadlock over top EU jobs and increasing the risk of a no-deal Brexit. The latest projections by the authoritative “Europe elects” website puts the Brexit Party on track to win with 28 seats, better than Ukip’s high of 24 in 2014. Nigel Farage’s victory will be seen as a “warning signal” by the EU and will harden President Macron’s hostility to any further delay to Brexit beyond the present deadline of October 31.” – The Times

  • On the campaign trail with Farage – Daily Telegraph
  • Major parties ‘tear into’ Brexit Party leader – The Sun
  • Anger at lack of panellist on Question Time – Daily Express

More:

  • Dutch upstart rides populist wave – The Times
  • Populist parties plotting ‘slow death’ of EU dream – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • No election ever deflects the EU’s deep state from its rigid course – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph
  • Why I’m still voting Tory – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Editorial:

  • A kicking both Labour and the Tories deserve – The Sun

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: How Strache and Farage use socialist techniques to con Tories

Change UK leader ‘offered to quit’ over tactical voting fiasco

“The leader of Change UK, Britain’s newest political party, has said that she threatened to quit in a row over whether to urge supporters to vote tactically and back the Liberal Democrats. Heidi Allen took up her position only weeks ago as the pro-EU party announced that it would fight today’s European parliament elections. After an encouraging start in which the party attracted 11 MPs from Labour and the Conservatives, Change UK has faltered. The latest polling indicates that the party will face a struggle to secure any MEPs in today’s vote.” – The Times

  • Party pays for huge Facebook ad blitz amidst dismal poll ratings – The Guardian

Liberal Democrats:

  • Osborne’s newspaper endorses the Lib Dems… – The Sun
  • …as Tory MPs blast ex-mandarin for so doing – The Sun

Comment:

  • Liberal Democrat revival owes more to luck than judgement – David Aaronovitch, The Times

Sir John Curtice: Disaster could overshadow Tories beyond the Euros

“Of course, what will most concern Tory MPs is what this impending disaster might mean for the party’s prospects in a general election. Here the position is not quite so bad. On average the party stands at 24 per cent in voting intentions for a Westminster election while the Brexit party stands at a more modest 18 per cent. Moreover, past experience suggests that once a Euro-election is over, voters often return to their previous loyalties, abandoning their temporary flirtation with whatever small party has recently enjoyed a surge. However, if Brexit is not delivered soon, voters may not forget this Euro-election quite so easily.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit is redrawing the battle lines – Henry Newman, Times Red Box

Tory MPs put pressure on May over veterans

“Theresa May has faced concerted pressure from Conservative backbenchers at prime minister’s questions over what they said was the unfair targeting of military veterans over incidents that took place in Northern Ireland many years ago. Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson, Mark Francois and Johnny Mercer insisted that the veterans did not seek a blanket amnesty, but believed they were being targeted for prosecution when those who carried out terrorist attacks were not. May insisted this was not the case, saying the government was seeking to come up with a fair system for delayed prosecutions which did not risk covering both veterans and former terrorists with a blanket amnesty.” – The Guardian

  • Mercer says issue must be ‘top of the agenda’ for next leader – News Letter
  • Top soldier calls for troops to be free from fear of prosecution – The Sun

Rudd to lodge formal complaint with UN over welfare report

“Work and Pensions boss Amber Rudd is planning to lodge a formal complaint about an extraordinary UN report that compares the Government’s welfare reforms to 19th century workhouses. UN extreme poverty adviser Philip Alston claimed the “glue” holding British society together had been “deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos” due to policies of austerity introduced in 2010… But the Department for Work and Pensions branded the report a “barely believable documentation of Britain” and said it painted a “completely inaccurate picture” of its approach to tackling poverty.” – The Sun

British Steel collapse puts state control ‘on the table’

“Ministers held the door open to nationalising British Steel yesterday after the company was placed into liquidation, putting 25,000 jobs at risk. The government moved to keep British Steel’s plants in Scunthorpe and Teesside open by promising to fund continuing losses while searching for a new owner. Senior government sources said that if a buyer could not be found ministers would have to take a “decision” about whether to transfer the business into public ownership. They have been warned that if the furnaces at British Steel’s plants stopped it would be uneconomic to restart them.” – The Times

  • Workers’ fury as 25,000 jobs at risk – The Sun
  • SNP MP blames the Government – The Scotsman

Comment:

  • Free marketeers should approach the issue with compassion – Emma Revell, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Matt Kilcoyne in Comment: The debate over British Steel puts a spotlight on Tory divisions

Northern Ireland minister hints at progress on Stormont talks

“A Northern Ireland minister has said there is “a hint of progress” in talks to restore powersharing at Stormont. The glimmer of hope to resolving the long-standing deadlock and resurrecting the institutions was offered by Lord Duncan of Springbank, responding to a debate on devolution at Westminster. The Stormont administration has been collapsed for more than two years following a breakdown in relations between the DUP and Sinn Fein… The last DUP/Sinn Fein-led powersharing coalition imploded in January 2017 when the late Martin McGuinness quit as Sinn Fein deputy first minister amid a row about a botched green energy scheme.” – News Letter

SNP accused of trying to ‘fool the public’

The SNP’s Westminster leader has been accused of trying to hoodwink voters after claiming an independent Scotland could afford to keep a new currency linked to the pound’s value. Ian Blackford disclosed that the Nationalists wanted a separate Scotland’s currency to be pegged to sterling to prevent the value of pensions and savings being eroded. But Scotland’s most eminent macroeconomist accused him of trying to “fool the public” as this would mean diverting tens of billions of pounds from public spending to funding currency reserves.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Davidson accuses Sturgeon of ‘brow-beating’ Scots over independence – The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • Rudd is right to complain about the UN’s shrill, partisan report – John Ashmore, CapX
  • Do the Tories know how to choose a good leader anymore? – Allan Massie, Reaction
  • Corbyn isn’t working, and Labour’s enemies are picking it apart – Nick Cohen, The Spectator
  • Francois on the mess we’re in, and why a Brexiteer will succeed May – Kathy Gyngell, Conservative Woman
  • How Farage outflanked everyone – Matthew Goodwin, UnHerd

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