Johnson to appear in court over ‘referendum lies’

“Boris Johnson will be summonsed to court to answer accusations that he lied to the public during the EU referendum. The former foreign secretary and front runner to be the next prime minister must attend a preliminary hearing, District Judge Margot Coleman ruled yesterday. A source close to Mr Johnson attacked the “extraordinary decision” and said the prosecution was “nothing less than a politically motivated attempt to reverse Brexit and crush the will of the people”… The case rests on the Vote Leave campaign’s claim that the UK sends £350 million a week to the EU, which the government could instead spend on the NHS.” – The Times

  • Accuser spent donations on self-defence classes and cupcakes – Daily Telegraph
  • Leadership rivals leap to Johnson’s defence – Daily Mail


  • Legal harassment reeks of Remainer despotism – Andrew Lilico, Daily Telegraph
  • A deeply sinister attack on political freedom – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Britain is stranded in Brexit limbo – Philip Stephens, FT


Hancock criticised by other candidates over ‘clean campaigning’ ambush

“Matt Hancock signed a “clean campaign” pledge on the same day he issued an expletive-laden jibe at Boris Johnson. Referring to Mr Johnson, who last year declared “F*** business” after firms complained about his Brexit approach, Mr Hancock told the Financial Times: “To the people who say ‘F*** business’, I say f*** ‘F*** business’.” … Sajid Javid, the home secretary, and Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, signed the pledge, but others complained that Mr Raab and Mr Hancock had announced the idea without asking them in advance whether they would like to sign.” – The Times

  • Hammond to rebuke candidates over ‘reckless’ promises – Daily Telegraph
  • Javid hints at tax cuts in ‘pitch to the right’ – The Times
  • Chancellor leaves door open to his own run for the top job – Daily Telegraph


  • Why shouldn’t the contenders fight dirty? – Rosa Prince, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Rachel Wolf’s column: Would-be Prime Ministers should be wary of the long-term cost of short-term policy pledges

Gove talked up as Johnson’s main rival…

“Last week, Theresa May announced her decision to step down from the party which has led to former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson becoming the frontrunner to take her place. Michael Gove has emerged as the second most serious contender in the race to be Prime Minister, according to The Sun, despite angering Tory members in 2016 by withdrawing his support for Mr Johnson. One former Cabinet Minister insisted it is now a race between only Mr Gove and Mr Johnson for the leadership of the party… One Conservative Home poll announced Mr Johnson as the overwhelming favourite with 33 percent of the vote. The same poll, however, put Mr Gove close behind Dominic Raab who was once a challenger to the former Foreign Secretary.” – Daily Express


…as latter prepares to woo ‘One Nation’ MPs

“Boris Johnson and other leadership contenders will slug it out for the support of 60 ‘One Nation’ Tory MPs next week. The Sun can reveal all 11 leadership competitors have been summoned to make a 25 minute pitch to the group – which includes senior Tories such as Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan. Two TV presenters have been approached to act as an independent moderator in the sessions next Tuesday and Wednesday. Insiders said the MPs wanted to “zero in” on the leadership candidates approach to the Brexit talks… ‘Moderate’ Tories formed the The One Nation grouping at the end of March – with the aim of stopping the Conservatives from lurching further to the right.” – The Sun

  • Focus on being first female chancellor, Leadsom told – The Times
  • Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran – Daily Telegraph
  • Raab criticised for saying he isn’t a feminist… – The Sun
  • …as Labour attacks his plans for profit-making state schools – The Guardian

>Today: MPs Etc.: Leadership election candidate MP support numbers: Hunt 29, Gove 26, Johnson 26, Raab 22, Javid 14, Hancock 11

Esther McVey: We need to deliver a clean Brexit – and so much more

“The Conservative Party needs to reconnect with those voters we lost in droves at the recent European elections, and also attract those who share our values but don’t vote for us. That is why I have launched Blue Collar Conservatism and made it a key theme of my leadership bid. The new leader is going to have to be resolute and deliver a clean Brexit by the new deadline of 31st October, and then ensure we have domestic policies which match the priorities of the British people. All Conservative MPs know from their constituencies that giving more resources to our Police and schools needs to be an immediate priority. That’s why I’ve pledged from the start to reduce overseas aid back to Labour levels in 2010.” – Daily Express

  • Time to make our party conservative again – Priti Patel MP, Daily Telegraph
  • No-deal is no big deal – Jacob Rees-Mogg, The Sun
  • There can’t be ‘one nation’ if liberal Tories betray Brexit – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Next leader could come from the centre – Martin Kettle, The Guardian


Party backing away from prospect of public hustings…

“Tory leadership hopefuls are now unlikely to face public scrutiny at hustings events after party bosses were warned the move would alienate rank and file members. Senior party sources indicated in the hours after Theresa May quit last week that members of the public would be invited to events across the country to “roadtest” the candidates and assess their ability to perform on the stump. The party is desperate to avoid a repeat of the disastrous 2017 general election campaign, when Mrs May was dubbed the “Maybot” for her poor performances on television and in front of voters. Leading Conservatives have gone cold on the idea of public meetings, however. Amid fears of alienating the membership, hustings are now likely to be restricted to card-carrying Tories.” – The Times

  • Tory members are hijacking democracy – Jenni Russell, The Times


…as candidates rule out working with Farage…

“Tory leadership contenders will refuse to work with Nigel Farage to deliver Brexit, The Sun can reveal. The Brexit Party boss has demanded a seat at the negotiating table after his massive Euro elections win. But just one of the candidates to be the next PM says he is willing to hold talks with Mr Farage to help make Brexit happen. Eight other contenders insisted they have no plans to involve Mr Farage in their Brexit plans… Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary who is an outside bet to be the next Tory leader, said he would happily consult Mr Farage. He told the Evening Standard: “I am going to get my office to reach out straight to him. I am the last person he will expect to hear from and that is a powerful position to come from.”” – The Sun

  • New polling shows Brexit Party devastating the Conservatives – Daily Express
  • Major parties fear losing out in Peterborough by-election – The Guardian


  • Heseltine says voters will abandon Tories over no-deal exit – The Times
  • Weyand put in charge of negotiating trade deal – The Sun


  • Tory hopefuls’ Brexit arms race risks boosting Corbyn – Rebecca Carmichael, Times Red Box
  • Betrayed Brexiteers a bigger threat than Remainers in marginals – Richard Johnson, Daily Telegraph

…and vow to block Scottish independence referendum

“The Conservative leadership contender Matt Hancock has told Nicola Sturgeon there is “no way” she will be allowed to hold a new independence referendum next year. The Health Secretary said none of the leadership hopefuls would agree to transfer the so-called “Section 30” powers that would set up another legally binding bid to break-up Britain. He claimed Scotland’s place in the Union had been decided in 2014 and urged the First Minister to “listen to the people”. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, and Rory Stewart, the International Development Secretary, also said they would block indyref2.” – Daily Telegraph

Mordaunt hints that she might enter the race

“Penny Mordaunt has sparked speculation she will enter the Tory leadership race next week after announcing plans to hold the largest ever conference call with grassroot Tories. The popular Defence Secretary and leading Brexiteer also paves the way for her leadership challenge in an article on the influential Conservative Home website instead of the “usual tired routine”. She will say it’s time for a leader who will tackle major issues such as the social care time-bomb and social mobility. In what will be interpreted as a dig at Theresa May, Ms Mordaunt will say these issues “still largely reside under a thick layer of dust in the ‘too tough in-tray’”.” – The Sun

Penning and Heald call for sentencing reform

Ministers should scrap the “ludicrous” automatic release of prisoners half way through their sentences because it is undermining public confidence in justice, say two former Conservative justice ministers. They warn current sentencing is “misleading and confusing” and say it should be replaced with a system where offenders get fixed sentences from which they earn time off for good behaviour… The comments by Mike Penning, a former Justice Minister, and Sir Oliver Heald, a former Solicitor General and ex-justice minister, follow calls by the victims’ commissioner Baroness Newlove for judges and courts to be more honest about the actual sentences offenders will serve.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prison officers threaten strike over ‘surging violence’ – Daily Telegraph

May urges return of university grants

“Theresa May will urge her successor to bring back university maintenance grants for the poorest students in the hope of improving her legacy as prime minister. Mrs May commissioned Philip Augar to review the tuition-fee system after concerns that the prospect of debt was deterring young people from poorer homes from going to university. Maintenance grants were scrapped in 2016 and replaced with loans for those from low-income families whose parents were less likely to be able to help them financially. In a speech to be delivered today Mrs May says that of all the recommendations of the review, the maintenance grant is the one that she values the most.” – The Times

  • Review says £1 billion needed to fix post-18 education – FT
  • Graduates will pay back loans into their sixties – The Times

Lord Spicer, founder of the European Research Group, dies

“Lord Michael Spicer, founder of the European Research Group, has died in hospital following a long illness. Prominent Tories have led tributes to the former minister and longtime MP for Worcestershire. His widow, Patricia Ann Hunter, paid tribute to an “amazing husband and wonderful father”, saying he had remained involved in politics until his death… Spicer served as chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee from 2001 until 2010, when he stepped down as an MP after 34 years and was made a life peer before serving on the political honours committee. Former prime minister David Cameron said he had a great sense of fun and humour as well as being devoted to his family, constituency and parliament. “I will miss him,” he tweeted.” – The Guardian

Miller slams Bercow as ‘senior Tories’ mull move against him

“Senior Tories opened the door to a no-confidence vote in Speaker John Bercow today by saying “no MP” should allow him to stay on. Maria Miller, boss of Parliament’s Women’s and Equalities committee, said his decision to rip up a pledge to go this summer was a slap in the face for victims of sexual harassment and bullying. And she insisted he abide by the Cox Report’s recommendations that he stand aside to address the “unacceptable culture of bullying and harassment” in Westminster. Mr Bercow sparked fresh anger yesterday after he vowed to remain in post until Brexit is delivered and also reignited fury with Brexiteers by declaring MPs will get a chance to stop No Deal.” – The Sun

  • Boles warns his staying on ‘may not be enough’ to stop No Deal – The Guardian


  • Downing Street must take radical action – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph
  • Will nobody rid us of this most turbulent of speakers? – Vernon Bogdanor, Daily Mail


  • Speaker’s bias and ego a serious risk to our democracy – The Sun

Watson criticises ‘spiteful’ expulsion of Campbell…

“Labour’s decision to expel Alastair Campbell, the party’s former communications chief, was “spiteful”, Tom Watson said yesterday. The deputy leader said there should be an amnesty for the “many thousands” of members who spurned Labour in the European elections. Mr Watson condemned the decision to oust Tony Blair’s former aide after he admitted that he voted for the Liberal Democrats last Thursday in an attempt to force Labour towards a more unequivocally pro-Remain stance. “It is very clear that many thousands of Labour Party members voted for other parties last week,” he said… Mr Campbell’s comments prompted a stream of senior Labour figures in effect to dare the party to expel them too for voting for other parties.” – The Times

  • He demands ‘amnesty’ for members who voted Liberal Democrat – The Sun
  • Chairman hits out at ‘sneering’ People’s Vote supporters – The Times
  • Poll backfires on Corbyn ally – Daily Express


  • MPs say EU citizens should have right to remain without application – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Repeat of Windrush scandal’ feared – FT


  • A second referendum is a betrayal – Ian Lavery, The Guardian
  • Corbyn’s coalition shatters on the anvil of Brexit – Oliver Wright, The Times
  • How can Labour be so tough on this, and so soft on antisemitism? – Angela Epstein, Daily Telegraph
  • Stench of hypocrisy as real villains stay put – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Party should listen to Campbell, not expel him – Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

…as Corbyn ally sparks fury with swipe at antisemitism watchdog

“A top ally of Jeremy Corbyn sparked fresh fury yesterday after she accused the equalities watchdog of “political point-scoring” over its investigation into Labour’s anti-Semitism. Momentum activist Yasmine Dar, who sits on Labour’s governing National Executive Committee, made the highly contentious comments after the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a formal probe into claims the party is institutionally racist. She said she’d seen no evidence of an “institutional problem” with anti-Semitism in the Labour party. It sparked a furious backlash from Labour MPs and activists, who said her remarks exposed the lack of seriousness to which the party’s ruling figures were treating anti-Semitism in the party.” – The Sun

  • Supporter threatens violence against investigators – Daily Mail

Davey kicks off Liberal Democrat leadership bid

“The former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Ed Davey launched his bid for the party leadership on Thursday, pledging to fight a no-deal Brexit by working with remainers in parliament to make revoking article 50 the legal default if no agreement on leaving the EU is reached by October. Davey, the former secretary of state for energy and climate change, said he would make stopping Brexit the cornerstone of his leadership, but also said the party must broaden its appeal and that he would do so by focusing on the environment. The MP, who regained his Kingston and Surbiton seat at the 2017 general election, is likely to be in a two-horse race with the party’s deputy leader, Jo Swinson, to replace Vince Cable when he steps down in mid-July.” – The Guardian

  • Lib Dems need to turn politically homeless into firm supporters – Sir Ed Davey, Times Red Box

News in Brief:

  • Full-blooded Brexiteers vs cabinet compromisers – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Why I’m backing McVey – Ben Bradley MP, CapX
  • Introducing devolution was suicide for Scottish Labour – Gerald Warner, Reaction
  • The ‘woke corporation’ created the monster that’s eating it – Peter Franklin, UnHerd
  • A tribute to Lord Spicer – Daniel Hannan MEP, Brexit Central