Tory MPs reject May’s final bid to pass her deal

Theresa May faced calls from her own party to resign “immediately”  on Tuesday night after putting a second referendum on the table in a “sellout” attempt to save her Brexit deal. The Prime Minister provoked fury after she caved in to Labour demands for a vote on holding a so-called “confirmatory” ballot, which she hopes will tempt opposition MPs to back the deal. She also announced that Parliament will be given a vote on keeping Britain in a customs union with the EU until the next general election. Tory Eurosceptics described the offer as “outrageous” and more than 50 Conservative MPs said they would vote against it.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister caves to Labour’s ‘Brexit wishlist’ – The Sun
  • May has made things worse, BBC correspondent suggests – Daily Express
  • Brussels’ ‘despair’ at emptiness of offer – The Guardian
  • Sterling rallies on back of second vote option – FT
  • Chancellor sparks fury with ‘rant’ about No Deal – The Sun


  • MPs must choose: uncertainty, or chaos – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • Will the ten-point plan get the deal through? – Henry Zeffman, The Times
  • People’s Vote gamble could blow the Party apart – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph


Ministers reject options at ‘mutinous’ Cabinet

“Theresa May was forced to abandon key parts of a Brexit compromise after a testy three-hour cabinet meeting. The prime minister wanted to use forthcoming Brexit legislation to facilitate votes on a range of options, including a full customs union and a second referendum. She was rebuffed, with some fearing a walkout during the meeting. Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, and Geoffrey Cox, the attorney-general, forced her to abandon some of the initial options presented to cabinet that might have won Labour support… The main Brexit discussion at the meeting concluded with Mrs May saying that the options were her deal, no-deal or revoke, and “whatever your preferred Brexit this is the vehicle”.” – The Times

  • May’s offer, neither new nor bold, will be her final failure – Tom Kibasi, The Guardian
  • I admire the Prime Minister, but how did it come to this? – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

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

>Yesterday: Audio: LISTEN: The Moggcast. Rees-Mogg suggests that he may switch back – and oppose the Withdrawal Agreement Bill

Furious Conservatives call on May to resign immediately

Theresa May faced calls from her own party to resign “immediately”  on Tuesday night after putting a second referendum on the table in a “sellout” attempt to save her Brexit deal. The Prime Minister provoked fury after she caved in to Labour demands for a vote on holding a so-called “confirmatory” ballot, which she hopes will tempt opposition MPs to back the deal. She also announced that Parliament will be given a vote on keeping Britain in a customs union with the EU until the next general election. Tory Eurosceptics described the offer as “outrageous” and more than 60 Conservative MPs said they would vote against it.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Number of parliamentary rebels doubles – The Times
  • Prime Minister faces coup ‘today’ – The Sun
  • Johnson leads criticism – Daily Mail


  • Our remorseless Remainer Government has hijacked Brexit – Iain Duncan Smith MP, Daily Telegraph
  • You could almost hear MPs headbutting the walls in anger – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail
  • Talks with Labour were a waste of time – Theresa Villiers MP, Daily Telegraph



Another Tory peer backs the Lib Dems

“David Cameron’s former director of strategy faces suspension from the Conservative Party whip for declaring today that he will vote for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections. With the last opinion poll before the vote putting the Tories on 7 per cent, Lord Cooper of Windrush said he would do “what is best for the country” and back the rival party tomorrow because of its support for a second EU referendum. The YouGov poll for The Times puts the Brexit Party in a clear lead with 37 per cent of the vote. The Lib Dems are second on 19 per cent, with Labour on 13 per cent and the Greens on 12 per cent. The Conservatives are fifth on 7 per cent.” – The Times

  • Northern Irish sister party seeks Brexit breakthrough – FT


  • Adonis tries to win back Labour doubters… – The Guardian
  • …as Lib Dems look set to top them in polls – The Sun


  • Why I’ll vote Liberal Democrat for the first time in my life – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Clean Brexit doesnt exist – Anand Menon and Catherine Barnard, The Guardian
  • It’s my civil duty to lend them my support – Gus O’Donnell, Times Red Box

Leadership: Johnson woos One Nation group in bid to broaden appeal…

“Boris Johnson is launching a bid to court One Nation Conservative MPs in the group of centrist liberals run by Amber Rudd, as he tries to pitch himself as a candidate who can appeal beyond rightwing Brexit supporters. The former foreign secretary, who is favourite to be the next Conservative leader, is backed by Brexit hardliner Jacob Rees-Mogg but infuriated many Tory colleagues by backing Theresa May’s deal after months of campaigning against it. Some Conservative MPs have privately threatened to quit the party if Johnson becomes prime minister, with particular anger over his use of populist rhetoric suggesting that Muslim women wearing burqas resemble bank robbers and “choose to go around looking like letterboxes”.” – The Guardian


  • Hunt has what it takes to be great – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph
  • Leadership race could lead to every Brit having a shot at the good life – Damian Green MP, The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Today’s One Nation Conservatives are as dreary as Baldwin, not as exciting as Disraeli

…as Hammond turns his fire on Raab’s tax plans

“Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has attacked Dominic Raab for proposing to “undo a decade of hard work” after making an unfunded tax cut promise worth tens of billions of pounds. The leadership contender and former Brexit secretary pledged on Monday night to cut 1p off the basic rate of income tax, with a view to ultimately reducing it to 15 per cent. One former Treasury adviser suggested this would cost £25 billion… Mr Raab said on Monday night: “I would take 1p off the basic rate of income tax straight away, with a view to reducing it from 20 per cent to 15 per cent over time, to boost the pay packets of low and middle-income workers.”” – The Times

  • Ex-Brexit Secretary wants £100k lifetime cap on social care costs – The Sun


  • The Chancellor is determined to assassinate Brexit – Stewart Jackson, Daily Telegraph

Javid to reject salary threshold for EU migrants

“Sajid Javid is ripping up Theresa May’s post-Brexit plans for a £30,000 minimum salary threshold for EU migrants, The Sun can reveal. The Tory leadership hopeful wants a powerful committee to look into lowering prospective wage bands in a move that will enrage Tory Eurosceptics. In an explosive letter, he instructs the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to consider allowing firms to pay the “going rate” for foreign recruits after Brexit – and to look at regional wage limits. He also wants them to study exemptions for a range of professions, and whether “new entrants” or inexperienced workers can be paid less.” – The Sun

Universities defy Hinds over unconditional offers

“Two universities have refused to stop making the most controversial type of unconditional offer to prospective students despite being “named and shamed” by the government. Birmingham and Oxford Brookes have notified Damian Hinds, the education secretary, that they intend to carry on making so-called “conditional unconditional” offers to applicants despite his request for them to stop. Four others — Middlesex, Surrey, Birmingham City and Kingston — are yet to respond and Lancaster University has requested discussions. Mr Hinds wrote last month to the universities that make the most so-called “conditional unconditional” offers, which he described as unethical.” – The Times

  • MPs say apprenticeships are failing the disadvantaged – FT


  • I will not let standards be eroded – Damian Hinds MP, Times Red Box

Landlords latest voters to abandon the Conservatives

Landlords are turning their backs on their traditional ally, the Conservative Party, to punish it for a series of policy changes that have squeezed property investors like never before. Almost 70pc of National Landlords Association (NLA) members voted Conservative in the 2017 general election. But only 16pc would vote Tory if another election were called today, according to a new poll. The Brexit Party would pick up 22pc of the vote and the Liberal Democrats 15pc. Nearly a third (31pc) of landlords said they were unsure or would not disclose who they would pick. Richard Lambert, of the NLA, said: “The Tories’ attitude seems to be: ‘Well, who else are landlords going to vote for?’ The response is coming back loud and clear: not you.”” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Gary Porter in Local Government: The local elections weren’t just about Brexit. Hostility to new housing was a big factor.

Labour MP backs anti-LGBT protests

“A Labour MP has blamed protests at the school gates on a primary school head who is teaching her pupils about same-sex marriage, and said he would object if his young grandson were learning about gay rights. Roger Godsiff, the MP for Birmingham, Hall Green, said that children of four and five were too young to be taught about LGBT equality and he supported the right of parents to protest outside Anderton Park Primary School. The chief constable of West Midlands police said the row was shaming Birmingham and warned that it could be exploited by “those who seek division”.” – The Times

Farage says Brexit Party will spark ‘revolution’

“The Brexit Party pledged last night that victory in the European elections would be “only the beginning” of a revolution that would shake Westminster. At a rally in London that organisers said attracted 3,000 supporters, Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister, had a message for MPs. “Either let Britain leave the EU or we’ll make sure you leave Westminster,” she said. “Thursday is not the end. It’s the beginning of bringing true democracy back to this country.” With less than 48 hours to go before the elections, which polls suggest the party is on course to win, Nigel Farage, the party’s leader, told supporters that they had the establishment “terrified”.” – The Times

  • EU plans to fast-track investigation into Brexit Party funding – Daily Express
  • Farage will face Cable in a debate – Daily Telegraph
  • Verhofstadt says populism will destroy the EU – The Times
  • Charity boss fired after acid attack tweet – Daily Express


  • Clumsy calls to probe Brexit Party funding could backfire – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • We should be stirred by Farage’s milkshake – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • He’ll have the last laugh – Leo McKinstry, The Sun
  • They’ll need to pull their socks up to be the voice of Middle England – Angela Epstein, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Anthony Browne in Comment: Policy Gains from Brexit 3) Restoring Duty Free

Daniel Finkelstein: Why Change UK are doomed

“From all this, it should be obvious that the launch of Change UK has not been the same as the launch of the SDP. Not the same in élan, or enthusiasm, or organisational discipline or quality of leadership. Not the same in depth of thinking or basic competence. An element of surprise is vital in politics but you aren’t supposed to take yourself by surprise. Change UK look completely startled by their own existence. Even the most basic organisational task seems too hard. Even basic questions receive no answer. At their launch they were sure they were all independents but unclear whether this meant that they were independent of the main parties or independent of each other.” – The Times

  • They’re dithering their way to irrelevance – Asa Bennett and Mickey Carroll, Daily Telegraph
  • Extreme Remainers are driven by misguided pessimism about the future – Robert Tombs, Daily Telegraph

SNP vow to tackle ‘inhumane’ welfare system

“Scotland’s new social security system will replace “inhumane” practices imposed by the UK government and replace them with values of dignity and respect, the Scottish welfare secretary has said. Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Scottish National party government’s secretary for social security, told the Financial Times that many people claiming disabled benefits through the Department for Work and Pensions had suffered mental and physical harm from its assessment process.  “We are determined to have a system that works with dignity, fairness and respect and it will absolutely demonstrate that you can do things very differently,” Ms Somerville said in an interview.” – FT

  • UN’s scathing report on Tory social security policies – The Guardian

More SNP:

  • Sturgeon defends policy of keeping currency options ‘open’ – The Scotsman

Convicted IRA bomber urges unionists to reject paramilitaries’ endorsement

“Convicted IRA bomber Martina Anderson has said unionist parties should reject the “endorsement of loyalist paramilitary groups”. Ms Anderson, who was convicted for conspiring to cause explosions in the 1980s, is a Sinn Fein candidate in the forthcoming European election. She was speaking after the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC), an umbrella group for illegal loyalist paramilitary groups which was formed two and a half years ago with the stated aim of moving such groups away from criminality, urged “all loyalist and unionist voters to overcome their apathy and vote for all the unionist candidates”.” – News Letter

News in Brief:

  • One Nation Tory MPs will have to suck up a clean Brexit or be squashed – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • A one-size-fits-all Europe is doomed to failure – Kai Weiss, CapX
  • Britain doesn’t need another Holocaust memorial – Geoffrey Alderman, The Spectator
  • What Game of Thrones teaches us about tyrants and liberators – Jack Elsom, 1828
  • Is this Marine’s moment? – John Lichfield, UnHerd