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May ‘given until teatime’ to set out her plan to leave Downing Street

‘Theresa May has been given up until 4pm today to plan out a “road map” to her resignation as leader of the Tories – or be forced to accept one made for her…Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, set out the plans last night as backbenchers patience wore thin with the Prime Minister. It is thought that Sir Graham has given her until the start of the 1922 meeting at 4pm today to set out her own departure from Downing Street. Under a scenario discussed by the 1922 Committee last month, Mrs May will stand down as leader after the May 23 election but stay on as Prime Minister. If Mrs May refuses to set out her own exit plans then the committee would attempt to set out their own for her departure.’ – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: No change, no chance

The Euro elections will go ahead (despite Tory leaflets suggesting otherwise)

‘Theresa May is facing another election humiliation – this time at the hands of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – after it was confirmed the UK cannot avoid holding costly Euro elections later this month. Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, the de facto deputy prime minister, said that despite weeks of gruelling cross-party talks with Labour ministers there was now not enough time to get Brexit done and dusted before they take place on May 23. Mr Farage’s party has soared into a nine-point poll lead as the Tories and Labour both falter and seems certain to steal seats from the Prime Minister’s party.. Tories have pointed out online that election leaflets have already been sent out saying that the elections can be avoided if a Brexit deal was passed beforehand.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Robert Halfon’s column: Does May’s selfish machine care at all about the Party’s future – or the thousand plus councillors who lost their seats?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: ConHome’s survey. Our panel and the European elections. Three in five Tory members will still vote for the Brexit Party.

Verhofstadt’s staff are filmed swearing about UK politicians

‘May is labelled “insane” and “pathetic” by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiators in a damaging BBC fly-on-the-wall film. Brexit: Behind Closed Doors shows members of the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinating team, led by Belgian Guy Verhofstadt, mocking Britain and launching foul-mouthed rants at the PM. When Guillaume McLaughlin, Verhofstadt’s chief of staff, is told that a Brexit deal is off because Mrs May hasn’t cleared the details with DUP leader Arlene Foster, he rages: “What the f*** is wrong with her. That’s insane. ‘I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to her?’ That’s ridiculous. Pathetic, pathetic.” Watching Mrs May give her Tory party conference leader’s speech, in which she says she wants a deal, McLaughlin shouts at the screen: “Oh, f*** off.” He is backed up by Edel Rettman Crosse, Verhofstadt’s top aide. After a row over the Irish border question with Leave-supporting MP Andrew Rosindell, she tells Verhofstadt: “I’m most proud of you when you take on a Tory. He was a f***er.” She adds: “I was delighted. You should shoot the f***er out.’ – The Sun

>Today: Justine Greening on Comment: The only way out of this mess is a referendum – with Remain and No Deal on the ballot paper too

Brokenshire: The high street must shrink and change to survive

‘Struggling high streets must become shorter to survive, the Communities Secretary declared last night. James Brokenshire said councils had to accept that online was here to stay and hand over empty shops for housing in order to boost footfall for the shops that are left. He said there was a limit to how much the Government could do to help save the high streets and said a lot was up to town halls. Speaking to the Sun Mr Brokenshire called for “long sprawling high streets” to be “reinvigorated by creating more compact centres with more people living alongside and above shops”. Setting out his vision for how to help high streets adapt, he suggested centres become the new “smart” communities providing services people can’t do or get from their sofas. More GP surgeries, cafes, community theatres and more community centres could be built to draw more people to the heart of town centres, the Cabinet minister said.’ – The Sun

IPSA tried to prevent reporting of the fact 377 MPs have had their expenses cards suspended

‘Parliament’s spending watchdog tried to prevent the public being told that 377 MPs, including nine Cabinet ministers and Jeremy Corbyn, have had their official credit cards suspended for breaking the rules on expenses. Exactly 10 years after The Telegraph’s original investigation into MPs’ expenses, the body set up to ensure greater transparency in the wake of the scandal has been accused of trying to prevent openness, rather than ensuring it. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority tried to stop disclosure of MPs’ use of Parliamentary credit cards on the grounds it would have a “chilling effect” on its relationship with MPs and reduce public confidence in the regulatory system. But a former High Court judge reversed the decision.’ – Daily Telegraph

MPs propose personal budgets for dementia patients

‘Dementia patients must be given part of a £2.4 billion NHS fund to help with ‘unfair and unsustainable’ care costs, MPs will say today. A cross-party group of 68 MPs demanded sufferers be given a personal budget of thousands of pounds a year. This could be spent on the care costs required to live with the disease such as home adaptations and care home costs – which are up to 15 per cent more expensive for patients with dementia as they are deemed more difficult to look after.’ – Daily Mail

  • GPs ‘seeing too many patients’ – Daily Mail
  • The number of EU-trained nurses in the NHS has fallen by 5,000 – The Guardian

Javid has banned extremists from the UK eight times

‘Sajid Javid has revealed he has used his powers to ban hate preachers from the UK eight times as he pledged to crack down on extremism from both Islamists and the far Right. Announcing a package of security measures to help protect places of worship from terror attacks after the New Zealand and Sri Lanka atrocities, the Home Secretary said he would not hesitate to use his powers to stop hate preachers stirring up tension in the UK. “As Home Secretary I can exclude a foreign national from entering the UK if I believe their presence would not be conducive to the public good… I have used that power eight times since I became Home Secretary,” he told the Commons. Among far right activists to have been banned in the past year are three activists with big social media followings from Austria, Canada and the US.’ – Daily Telegraph

Scotland raises the age of criminal responsibility from eight to 12

‘Scotland’s age of criminal responsibility has been raised from eight to 12 years after a controversial vote in Holyrood, which saw the government blasted for undermining the Scottish Parliament’s right to claim leadership on human rights issues. The Scottish Government says the legislation will see Scotland lead the way in the UK in terms of ending the treatment of children under the age of 12 as criminals when an offence is committed. The age of criminal responsibility (ACR) in the rest of the UK is ten years. But an attempt to have the ACR raised to 14, by Scottish Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton, was resoundingly defeated.’ – The Scotsman

  • Calls to raise it to 14 in England and Wales – Daily Telegraph
  • Doing so would have let off Bulger’s killers – Daily Mail
  • Police officer threatened with the sack for using car to block moped thief – Daily Telegraph
  • AI in law enforcement needs strict oversight – FT Leader
  • London’s 45th murder victim this year – Daily Mail
  • Sturgeon wants another six years as First Minister – Daily Telegraph
  • Businesses criticise the SNP for abandoning tax cut pledge – Daily Telegraph
  • Holyrood looks better after 20 years, but only because Westminster looks worse – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Labour’s income plan would be a ‘revolution’ requiring a swathe of new taxes

‘Plans under consideration by Labour for a minimum flat-rate income for everyone would require a swath of new taxes to fund it, according to the author of a report commissioned by shadow chancellor John McDonnell. Guy Standing, professor at development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, said it was “time for revolutions, not tinkering” as he set out the case for a new universal basic income to narrow “grotesque” levels of inequality in the UK. He said that any government implementing the controversial policy would have to raise extra revenues and suggested that this could be achieved with new taxes, including a new land-value tax, new environmental tax and digital information levies.’ – FT

  • Unfortunately for Corbyn, the popular revolt is not looking very left-wing – Rafael Behr, The Guardian
  • If he wants to nationalise Royal Mail, will he really try to rip off unionised worker shareholders? – The Guardian
  • Brown’s gold sale was ‘worst investment of modern times’ – Daily Mail
  • Eco protester did thousands of pounds of damage to university – The Times
  • Incoherent climate aid policy criticised – The Times
  • Police investigate UKIP candidate’s rape comments about Phillips – The Sun

Iran steps away from the nuclear deal

‘Iran announced on Wednesday it would stop implementation of some commitments under its 2015 nuclear accord in response to US withdrawal from the agreement and other signatories’ failure to deliver on economic incentives. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a live televised address that his government was going to take measures outlined in a dispute resolution mechanism included in the nuclear deal. In a step-by-step process, Iran will stop selling excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process and will no longer swap enriched uranium for mined uranium yellow cake over the next two months. Mr Rouhani added that Iran would resume these commitments if the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China could find a mechanism for Iran to sell oil and handle banking transactions within the next two months.’ – FT

News in Brief

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