Hunt “losing out to Gove after Brexit flip-flopping”

“Jeremy Hunt is losing support to Michael Gove in the Conservative leadership race because MPs believe that he is flip-flopping on a no-deal Brexit. The foreign secretary said yesterday that pursuing a policy of leaving the EU without a deal would be political suicide for the Tories. He has previously said that he would choose no-deal over no Brexit. The comments infuriated Brexiteers who were considering backing Mr Hunt as a “safer” alternative to Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab. The Tory MP Crispin Blunt, a former chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, told The Times that he had asked to be taken off a list of Mr Hunt’s supporters compiled by the Conservative Home website.” – The Times

  • Stewart brands no-deal threats ‘nonsensical’… – The Times
  • …but McVey says it is the ‘only viable option’… – Daily Telegraph
  • …as Cleverly hits out at ‘artificially simple solutions’ – The Sun
  • Backlash at Grieve over comments on a second vote – Daily Express
  • Epic fight to the Brexit finish line – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Next Tory Leader. So much excitement, so little change. Johnson maintains his lead.

>Yesterday: Andrew Sharpe in Comment: I invite all leadership candidates to a special hustings on June 15th

Hancock makes pro-business pitch with attack on Johnson

“Matt Hancock has lambasted Conservative leadership rival Boris Johnson for his anti-business stance, arguing that the party should repair relations with corporate Britain, which has felt shunned by the May government. In a wide-ranging interview with the FT, the health secretary and leadership candidate set out his proposals to revitalise the economy, break the Brexit stalemate and rebuild relations with businesses. Acknowledging that the Tories had put too much distance between themselves and wealth creators, he referred to an infamous remark by Mr Johnson: “To the people who say ‘fuck business’, I say ‘fuck, fuck business’.”” – FT

  • He and Raab pledge to play fair in fight for Downing Street – The Sun
  • But race ‘turning nasty’ – The Guardian
  • Johnson ‘in talks’ over televised leadership debates – Daily Telegraph

>Today: MPs Etc.: Leadership election candidate MP support numbers: Hunt 28, Johnson 26, Gove 25, Raab 22, Javid 12


Sarah Vine: Why Gove is running

“I voted Leave not for the reasons cited by those who like to characterise us 17.4 million Leavers as bigots and xenophobes, but because, as a former expat who grew up in Europe and whose immediate family still lives there, I do not view Brussels through rose-tinted spectacles. Yet I’ve now even entertained the thought of revoking Article 50 altogether. Anything, frankly, to put an end to the division and anger pulling this country apart. Michael, I know, has never felt that way for one single second. His Euroscepticism is as deeply ingrained in him as his love of the United Kingdom. And while he is wary of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, he is equally determined that Britain will, one way or another, leave the EU.” – Daily Mail

  • No contender has an easy way out – Daniel Hannan MEP, The Sun
  • There’s no avoiding an election or a second vote – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: The Tory Catch 22. We can’t face an election before Brexit. But we may not get Brexit without an election.

>Yesterday: Henry Newman in Comment: Remainers are desperately spinning the result. But the moral of this election is that Britain must now leave.

Javid vows to recruit 20,000 extra police

“Sajid Javid will lay out his bid to become Prime Minister by vowing to recruit 20,000 extra police officers – and put bobbies on the beat “in every corner of the country”. The Home Secretary promises that if he makes it to No.10, he will spend £1 billion over three years on a hiring spree that ends the “culture of impunity” enjoyed by criminals. And he hints at his huge frustration with Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond for failing to do more to tackle the bloodshed on Britain’s streets. Writing for The Sun as the Tory leadership race explodes into life, he argues that he has been fighting for more cops for the past year.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: The five essential tests to weigh up Conservative leadership candidates

Stewart’s national tour continues

“His candidacy prompted a suggestion that he was paving the way for someone else, because as a Remainer he has little to no chance of winning. But he rejected claims he is ‘running tactically’ for the Tory leadership… Hours earlier outsider Rory Stewart filmed himself in Kew Gardens and told his followers he was there for an hour ‘if anyone wants to talk’. Some viewers joked that they would have loved to but asked him to pay the £18-plus entrance fee. The DfiD minister was there to promote his department’s work with cocoa farmers around the world – around an hour after extolling the benefits of drinking camel’s milk on Good Morning Britain.” – Daily Mail

  • He makes me cringe, but he listens – Nesrine Malik, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Jesse Norman MP in Comment: Conservatism, the party leadership, and the future of our country. Why I am considering standing.

Cleverly is latest candidate to declare

“James Cleverly is expected to announce he will be joining the Conservative party leadership race today. The Brexit minister of the party would be the 11th MP to enter the race. Mr Cleverly is tipped to make an announcement today after a grassroots website declared him “the future leader”. The website’s slogan reads: “Let’s All Win with James Cleverly.” A further message on the campaign said: “We are Conservative Party members who believe that James Cleverly is the future leader of our party and our country.” The MP for Braintree in Essex will compete against MPs including Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove.” – Daily Express

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: WATCH: Malthouse – “I am the only person who decided to get off my backside and…try a new approach” to Brexit

Bercow to stay put ‘until Brexit is decided’

“John Bercow plans to stay on as Commons Speaker until Brexit is resolved, he has revealed. The announcement is likely to infuriate Conservatives, who believe he wants to thwart a no-deal exit from the European Union. Mr Bercow, who had been expected to step down this summer, said that he did not believe it was “sensible to vacate the chair” while there were major issues before parliament. He also warned Tory leadership contenders that parliament could override their plans to leave without a deal and said it was “unimaginable” that Theresa May’s successor would be able to override the views of MPs.” – The Times

  • Further claims of Brexit bias – Daily Telegraph
  • No deal ‘impossible without Parliament’, insists Speaker – FT

Corbyn faces ‘mutiny’ over expulsion of Campbell

“Jeremy Corbyn was on Tuesday night facing a mutiny in his party as a series of crises threatened to engulf his leadership. In a direct challenge to his authority, Labour grandees including former Cabinet ministers Charles Clarke and Bob Ainsworth publicly dared Mr Corbyn to expel them after they admitted to voting for other parties in the European elections. Their act of defiance came after Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications director, was thrown out of the Party for voting LibDem and helping condemn Labour to its worst electoral result in a century.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Don’t back Remain, urges leader’s ally… – The Times
  • …but Corbyn expected to do so this week – The Sun
  • Scottish Labour throws weight behind second vote – The Guardian
  • Costly path to another referendum – The Times



  • Becoming a Remain party would distance Labour from those who need it most – Dave Ward, Times Red Box

>Yesterday: Left Watch: Not only is Change UK-TIG unpopular, it is poorly equipped to deal with failure

Watchdog launches inquiry into Labour antisemitism

“Labour is being investigated to see if it has unlawfully discriminated against Jews, a move that has reignited the party’s row over antisemitism. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which said in March that it was considering an investigation, yesterday launched a statutory inquiry, which means that it can compel Labour to reveal details of its handling of complaints of antisemitism, including internal communications such as text messages and emails, and can demand that witnesses be interviewed. It can also seek injunctions against the party to prevent discrimination and victimisation and can impose an action plan.” – The Times


  • It must happen before it can call itself an anti-racist party again – Mike Katz, Times Red Box
  • A party infected with poison – Julia Neuberger, Daily Mail


  • Labour isn’t working – The Times
  • Corbyn is too thick to realise his party is full of racists – The Sun

Farage walks out of talks to form Eurosceptic ‘supergroup’ in Brussels

“Nigel Farage has reportedly walked out of talks to form a “supergroup” of Eurosceptics in the European Parliament. He allegedly said he would sign up his Brexit Party’s 29 MEPs – the joint largest single party in Brussels after last week’s elections – only if he became leader. A source said Mr Farage told Italy’s Matteo Salvini and France’s Marine Le Pen it would need his “star quality and recognisable face” for their “Europe of Nations” gang to take off. But Salvini and Le Pen were said to be put off by his demands which included transferring his staff on their current pay. Salvini and Le Pen are also said to be wary of appointing a leader who may have to leave the Parliament in just four months’ time, if Britain quits the bloc on October 31.” – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • TV debates could change the shape of the Tory leadership race – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Alliance’s election surge is a challenge to Ulster’s unionists – Owen Polley, CapX
  • Le Pen’s return is good news for Emmanuel Macron – Gavin Mortimer, The Spectator
  • I warned Barwell on Brexit, if only he’d listened – Ben Bradley MP, Brexit Central
  • Will the EU become an empire? – Peter Franklin, UnHerd