Gove supporters cry foul as Hunt and Johnson progress to members’ vote

“Boris Johnson’s supporters boasted last night that they had exacted revenge on Michael Gove after Tory MPs chose Jeremy Hunt to be his challenger in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister. Mr Gove was eliminated by only two votes in a final ballot that was mired in allegations of dirty tricks. Five MPs who had backed Sajid Javid in the previous round declared that they were backing Mr Johnson, yet his tally increased by only three. This fuelled accusations, denied by Mr Johnson, that he had “lent” supporters to Mr Hunt to manipulate the outcome. Mr Gove’s allies claimed that there had been a plot to ensure that Mr Hunt, who supported Remain, would be the one to face Mr Johnson in the month-long poll of 160,000 Conservative Party members that starts today.” – The Times

  • Front-runner ‘exacts revenge’ on nemesis – Daily Telegraph
  • Relief in Johnson camp as Hunt edges Gove – FT
  • How the ‘plotters’ did it – Daily Mail
  • ‘Threats and trickery’ as Team Boris ‘tightened thumbscrews’ – The Times
  • Rudd warned against ‘game-playing’ – FT
  • Sandbach alleges bullying in close-fought contest – Daily Mail

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Dark arts, Williamson – and how vote-lending stuffed Raab, Stewart… and Gove


Tory peer leading pressure on candidates over TV licences

“Pensioners are planning to target Tory leadership hustings to secure a promise from the next prime minister to keep TV licences free for over 75s. Lord Foulkes, who introduced a Bill in the House of Lords to stop the perk being axed, said campaigners will target the final two as they face party members in the final stages of the contest. The peer said limiting the benefit to people who claim Pension Credit will would be “cruel”… Lord Foulkes, who worked for Age Concern when he was younger and is now the chairman of Age Scotland, said campaigners were drawing up plans to flood Conservative leadership hustings so they can challenge the candidates on the issue.” – Daily Express

  • Tory members: older, richer, whiter… but there may be surprises – The Times
  • ITV to host first head-to-head debate – Daily Mail
  • Davis’ advice: ‘Be yourself, be sober, and remember the country’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Hammond warns hopefuls over no-deal exit – Daily Express
  • Savvy online campaigns gave final two the edge – The Times


  • Don’t be fooled by Hunt’s continuity-May tag – Francis Elliott, The Times
  • How Oxford shaped Brexit, and the next Prime Minister – Simon Kuper, FT
  • Resilience of Johnson, a man dogged by scandal – Billy Kenber, The Times
  • Williamson: an enforcer back from the dead – Simon Walters, Daily Mail


>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: We’ll get the result of the Tory members’ ballot in a month. But many of their votes will be cast in a fortnight.

Philip Collins: How the Foreign Secretary can win

“The risk of Mr Corbyn is acute and, in the minds of the Tory faithful, deadly. That, not the union with Scotland or Northern Ireland or the state of the economy or even the good health of the Conservative Party, was what members told YouGov they were least prepared to trade for Brexit. They need to hear that Mr Johnson, the man who most ardently promises their Brexit dream is, for that very reason, the man who will serve up their worst fear… Keep asking him detailed questions to which he never knows the answer. Test him properly, in a way that Gordon Brown and Theresa May were never tested. The function of Mr Hunt may be to civilise and discipline Mr Johnson, to get him to face reality before reality hits him square in the face.” – The Times

  • It’s about who can win a general election – Anand Menon and Alan Wager, The Guardian
  • Contest could be the start of a Tory renaissance – Stewart Jackson, Daily Telegraph
  • Hunt needs to make it about character – Matthew Parris, The Times


  • They’re wildly different, but it’s Hunt who can deliver – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • He’s shown there is still space for nice guys in politics – Richard Kay, Daily Mail


  • No, Boris isn’t a racist – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • He’s treading a fine line towards Downing Street – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • Could Johnson call Brussels’ bluff? – Pieter Cleppe, Daily Telegraph
  • He’s mistaken if he thinks he can strike a deal – Andrew Lilico, Daily Telegraph


  • Race needs to strengthen, rather than diminish, the Party – The Times
  • Tories want a committed Brexiteer, not Hunt – The Sun

>Today: Sam Gyimah MP in Comment: My challenge to Johnson and Hunt. It’s time to commit to scrapping Britain’s five worst taxes.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Leadership sketch: Hunt now threatens Johnson with grey on grey action

Javid ‘auditions for the role of Chancellor’…

“Sajid Javid burnished his credentials as a prospective chancellor of the exchequer with a call for a “bold” economic and social agenda as he bowed out of the leadership race. In a tweet, the Home Secretary proposed a rebalancing of the economy, the “unleashing” of investment in infrastructure – a key plan of Boris Johnson – and a prioritising of spending on education and skills. He also reaffirmed his demand during the leadership race for a “major boost” in police numbers, a call that has until recently been resisted by the current Chancellor Philip Hammond. MPs see Mr Javid as eminently qualified for the post of chancellor with his pre-politics 18-year City career where he rose to become a member of Deutsche Bank International board earning a reputed £3 million a year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Pint in the pub after leadership campaign goes flat – The Times
  • He ends with a plea for poor kids to ‘aim high’ – The Sun


  • Party must not empower hardliners with Islamophobia enquiry – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

…as Stewart urges ‘moderates’ to join the Party en masse…

“Rory Stewart tonight called for a 300,000-strong centrist army to form a Tory version of Momentum and take over the Conservative Party and force a leftward lurch in its politics. The leadership race loser called for tens of thousands to sign up to the party to counteract the apparent hardline Brexiteer majority in its ranks as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt prepared to face off to become Prime Minister. The surprise package of the internecine battle to become Tory leader addressed a ‘losers rally’ in central London tonight, telling the crowd they could make the Conservative the ‘party of the centre ground’… His call will lead to comparisons with the Hard-Left Momentum group which was set up to support Jeremy Corbyn as he took control of the Labour Party in 2015 and attack his enemies.” – Daily Mail


…and MPs eschew ‘psychodrama’ in favour of Gove role

“Tory MPs backed away from a repeat of the Brexit psychodrama between Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in a final vote that left a question mark over the environment secretary’s future. Almost three years ago the two leaders of the Leave campaign had been due to launch a joint leadership pitch with Mr Johnson as prime minister and Mr Gove as his de facto deputy and Brexit negotiator… Despite the personal animosity of the Johnson camp towards Mr Gove, the former foreign secretary is still likely to offer his rival a job if, as expected, he wins in the ballot of Tory members. Mr Gove is still a respected political figure and, as the other architect of Brexit, it would be strategic and tactical to keep him inside the tent.” – The Times

  • Drug revelations and past betrayals undermined Gove – Daily Telegraph
  • Davidson attacks Johnson’s evasiveness on drugs – The Times

More MPs:

  • Field facing calls to quit after ejecting protester – The Sun

UK suspends Saudi arms exports

“The UK has suspended granting new export licences for arms that might be used by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen while it considers a landmark court ruling that found the government’s decision-making processes were unlawful. The Court of Appeal in London ruled on Thursday that the government had to assess whether the Saudi government violated international human rights law in its military campaign in Yemen before ministers approve further arms sales to the Gulf kingdom. The decision could have repercussions for BAE Systems, the UK’s largest defence contractor, and particularly the planned export of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets worth £5bn to Saudi Arabia.” – FT

  • Supporting export businesses is a British success story – Liam Fox MP, Times Red Box
  • Next Prime Minister must choose between the US and China – Iain Martin, The Times

Hinds urges celebrities to stop taking selfies

Online celebrities should stop taking so many selfies and using filters to boost their image because it is damaging the wellbeing of their young followers, says the Education Secretary. Damian HInds says it is leaving their followers obsessed with their body image and with a “warped view” of what is real because so much of what they see on social media is false. He says it can lead to online abuse and depression as children struggle to live up to the unrealistic appearance of the stars. He urged the celebrities ranging from established celebrities such as Kim Kardashian to the new generation of vloggers to use #notedited to promote “real” images of themselves, rather ones manipulated to enhance their image.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour staff threaten to strike

“Labour staff, including some in Jeremy Corbyn’s office, are contemplating strike action over allegedly paltry pay rates amid anger at the management style of his chief-of-staff, Karie Murphy. The Guardian understands Labour made an improved pay offer to staff of an annual rise of 2.2% on Thursday – but that falls short of the staff’s demand for a rise in line with RPI inflation, which stood at 3% in April. The dispute covers all Labour staff, including those at its Southside HQ in Westminster and in the regions, and involves both the GMB and Unite unions. Several employees the Guardian spoke to, on condition of anonymity, said there were particular concerns about the management culture in Corbyn’s office, which they described as ruthless.” – The Guardian

  • Corbyn could be ambushed at conference over Brexit policy – The Sun


  • Labour’s cowardly conundrum will push Johnson towards no deal – Stephen Bush, Daily Telegraph

Former leaders ‘show strain’ at Heywood service

“As the latest act in Westminster’s current drama was being played out a few hundred yards away, the last four prime ministers united yesterday to thank the man who had kept their shows on the road. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May were all served in No 10 by Lord (Jeremy) Heywood of Whitehall. They paid tribute at a thanksgiving ceremony to his skills as an adviser and fixer of the most intractable problems. Mrs May called him “the greatest public servant of our time”. Lord Heywood, who became cabinet secretary in 2012 and head of the civil service in 2014, died of cancer in November last year aged 56, just days after retiring due to ill health. The four prime ministers for whom he worked, as well as Nick Clegg, who was deputy prime minister in Mr Cameron’s coalition government, delivered warm addresses.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Our democracy deserves better than shallow TV debates – Tim Montgomerie, CapX
  • It’s all Gover now – Finn McRedmond, Reaction
  • How beauty shapes our fates – Phillip Blonde, UnHerd
  • Can gaffe-prone Biden learn to act like a president? – Daniel R DePetris, The Spectator