Gove ‘stokes fears about Johnson’…

“Michael Gove launched a thinly veiled attack on Boris Johnson last night as he pitched himself as a serious team leader. In an attempt to claw back ground lost to Mr Johnson in the Conservative leadership race, Mr Gove said: “This is a moment when we need someone who is ready to lead and serious about the job at hand.” The contrast with the former foreign secretary was implied but unspoken. “It’s not enough just to believe in Brexit, you have to be able to deliver it,” the environment secretary told an event organised by The Spectator. “Brexit is one of the most complicated things any peacetime government has tried to do, but I’ve showed I can drive change, build a team and deliver against the odds.”” – The Times

  • Environment Secretary opens door to defying ‘arbitrary’ Brexit deadline… – Daily Telegraph
  • …a move which ‘sparks fury’ – The Sun
  • Shock poll shows Gove overtaken by Hunt – Daily Express
  • He speaks out against an autumn election – Daily Mail
  • Macron says Britain should leave on October 31, deal or no deal – The Sun


  • The real horror of a Halloween Brexit? Corbyn in Downing Street – Michael Gove, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Who is the real Gove?


…as latter’s bid gains momentum from strong Brexit Party

“When the Peterborough result is declared, it will probably act as a dismal bookend to Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservatives. But for Mr Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Mrs May as prime minister when she steps down next month, it may be part of the beginning. “If the Brexit party win in Peterborough it will give the campaign for Boris monkey glands,” said Andrew Mitchell, the former Conservative chief whip. Mr Johnson has promised to halt Mr Farage by taking Britain out of the EU with or without a deal on October 31. The former journalist and ex-London mayor is the odds-on favourite to win the Tory leadership contest and has gathered more than 40 Conservative MPs as declared supporters, far ahead of his rivals.” – FT

  • He is ‘adamant’ on no-deal strategy at first hustings… – FT
  • …and warns that the Tories could be ‘wiped out’ – The Sun
  • Trial is delayed as judge was Miliband’s wife – Daily Mail
  • Ex-Mayor challenged by Labour over climate science – The Guardian


  • Trump-Johnson is a team that fits the times – Gerard Baker, The Times
  • Project Fear now has a anti-American twist – Madeline Grant, Daily Telegraph
  • The truth and lies about the pair – Phillip Stephens, FT
  • Remainer MPs can’t stop a determined Brexiteer premier – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

>Today: MPs Etc.: Leadership election candidate MP support numbers: Johnson 47, Hunt 32, Gove 31, Raab 24, Javid 17, Hancock 12

>Yesterday: Ben Roback’s column: Downing Street – and the leadership contenders – weathered Trump’s visit to London better than feared

Hancock attacks Corbyn over antisemitism

“Matt Hancock has compared Jeremy Corbyn to Hitler, saying the Labour leader is an antisemite. Mr Hancock, 40, the Conservative leadership hopeful, urged his party to choose the right successor to Theresa May or “we could end up with the first antisemitic leader of a western nation” since the Second World War. The health secretary is the first Tory politician to accuse Mr Corbyn of being an antisemite. The Labour leader has been accused of letting an antisemitism crisis take hold in his party over the past three years. Last month the Equality and Human Rights Commission began an inquiry into whether the party had unlawfully discriminated against Jews. Labour reacted furiously to the claim.” – The Times

  • Health Secretary pledges to roll back ‘privatisation of the NHS’ – The Sun


  • McVey vows to sack Remainers from her Cabinet – Daily Mail
  • Stewart sticks to May’s deal – FT
  • May accused of ‘promoting Hunt’ with Trump meetings – The Sun


  • How daft to believe America would ruin the NHS – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

>Today: MPs Etc.: Timetable for the Parliamentary stage of the Conservative leadership contest


MPs Etc.: “A credible plan to deliver Brexit must be grounded in reality.” Hancock’s foreign policy speech. Full text.

Chris Skidmore, John Glen, and Chris Philp: Javid is the one to build a broad anti-Corbyn majority

“There are two ways to win a general election. One is a narrow appeal to our traditional supporters. It is possible to win about 30 per cent of the vote by doing this, which in some elections may be just enough to win. However, many marginal seats will be lost. Trying to out-Brexit the Brexit party is ultimately a losing game. There is a better way. A way that leads to a more certain majority and unites rather than divides our nation, especially Scotland. A way that unites young and old, and people from different ethnic communities. There is one candidate who can unite us in this way: Sajid Javid. All the polling shows that he has the broadest appeal with voters who are not ordinarily Conservatives. This is how a lasting majority to stop Corbyn can be built.” – Times Red Box

  • Stewart can bring party and country back together – Antoinette Sandbach, Times Red Box
  • Experience counts, so I’m backing Hunt – Sir Patrick McLoughlin, Daily Telegraph
  • Only Johnson can restore trust and excitement to our politics – Damian Collins, Times Red Box
  • Eight reasons Tory MPs keep getting it wrong – Simon Kuper, FT Magazine


  • Parties should publish the names of their members – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Key questions for candidates 4) Raab


ERG paper demands ‘unshakeable commitment’ to leaving in October

The next Prime Minister must make “unshakeable” commitment to leaving the EU on October 31, a report by  the European Research Group (ERG) has said. The paper is backed by senior Brexiteers including Steve Baker, Iain Duncan Smith and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Mr Baker said: “The Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration have failed absolutely. They are not coming back. The next leader of the Conservative Party needs to know that and act on that basis. “Our new Prime Minister will have three months to get this right, or that’s it – for this government, this Parliament and this party.” It comes as Penny Mordaunt said she is “optimistic” that Brussels could agree to changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. The Defence Secretary refused to rule herself out of the Tory leadership race.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Trump says Brexit is no threat to the Irish border – FT


  • Defiant and upbeat, can this break the impasse? – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • McVey is the leading champion for no-deal MPs – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: The Queen dragged into party politics. Or an election that risks a Marxist Government. Make your choice, hard Brexiteers.

Ministers 1) Pupils must learn respect for gay love, says Gibb

“A schools minister claims that pupils involved in the LGBT row gripping Birmingham schools should be taught British values, including respect for same-sex relationships. Writing for The Times today Nick Gibb, who is gay and married, said that he had tried to keep politics out of the dispute, while mostly Muslim parents protested outside several primary schools in the city. They are campaigning against lessons that cover same-sex relationships. Mr Gibb said that he was moved to speak out after the protests escalated into “a bitter national political debate”. He said that he was “shocked” when Ann Widdecombe, the Brexit Party MEP, defended gay conversion therapy.” – The Times

  • It’s wrong to protest about teaching this – Nick Gibb MP, The Times
  • Time to listen to front-line teaching unions – Esther McVey, Times Red Box

Ministers 2) Ellwood warns against Armed Forces cuts at D-Day commemorations

“Britain might fail to mount another D-Day now because our armed forces have been so badly stripped back, a defence minister claims today. Tobias Ellwood insists today’s 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasionmust be a wake-up call for a major increase in the defence budget… The minister details severe shortages in surface ships, claims the RAF’s six remaining squadrons of fast jets are not enough and the Army’s fleet of battle tanks need urgent upgrades… The defence minister also insists the UK will soon be “outmatched” by resurgent China and Russia, as well as international terror and the cyber threat.” – The Sun

  • Police reject Mordaunt’s call for Troubles amnesty – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Mordaunt’s conference call with Tory activists suggests she is still considering running – but she must decide soon

Ministers 3) Gauke unveils recruitment bonus for judges

“More than 10 per cent of High Court judicial positions are vacant. The MoJ admits the Chancery Division, which handles major commercial cases, is already 20 per cent below strength and will be up to 40 per cent below strength by the end of the year without urgent action. For the first time ever in consecutive recruitment campaigns, vacancies in the High Court and at the Circuit bench have had to be left unfilled… David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, said: “We have reached a critical point. There are too many vacancies and with the retirement of many judges looming; we must act now before we see a serious impact on our courts and tribunals.” – Daily Telegraph

  • We should take back control of our human rights – Jenni Russell, The Times

Ministers 4) Hammond warns May over cost of green push

“Chancellor Phillip Hammond has warned Theresa May her target of cutting greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050 might cost more than £1trillion. In a letter to Mrs May, reported on by the Financial Times, Mr Hammond warned the outgoing Prime Minister there will be less money for key services and parts of the economy will need Government help to avoid being “economically uncompetitive”. Mrs May is expected to introduce the legislation on June 11, the target means that by 2050, Britain’s greenhouse emissions would be balanced by programmes to remove the same amount of carbon from the atmosphere. The current Government target in this time frame is to cut emissions by 80 percent.” – Daily Express

Brexit Party favourites to win today’s Peterborough by-election…

“Ever since Peterborough was redrawn as a borough in the seventies it has swung between blue and red. But for the “mother of all marginals”, as it was described by one of the 15 candidates standing in today’s by-election, the political landscape may be about to change for good. Bookmakers have installed Mike Greene of the Brexit Party as odds-on favourite after the city’s voters gave a spanking to the main parties in the European elections last month. More than 16,000 of them endorsed Nigel Farage’s turquoise tinted party, a tally twice as large as its nearest rival. The dismal result for the Conservatives, which came fourth, has prompted a stream of senior Tories to visit the Cambridgeshire city including all of the leadership hopefuls.” – The Times

  • Candidate taking legal action over ‘dirty tricks’ – Daily Express
  • European Parliament caves on Farage ultimatum over ‘undeclared gift’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Terror in Parliament as the Brexit Party exterminates the opposition – Quentin Letts, The Sun

…as Change UK mull bid to revoke Article 50 by July

“Remainer MPs are plotting a Commons push to “revoke” Brexit by the end of July – amid fears Boris Johnson is now odds-on for PM. Change UK said the nuclear option was being considered along with a fresh push for a second referendum as a way of stopping a No Deal exit in October. New leader Anna Soubry is understood to be in talks with Plaid Cymru and the SNP about “forcing the pace” on stopping a cliff-edge Brexit before the summer recess. One insider said they believe Labour and Tory MPs would cross the floor to back Revoke if it meant preventing a No Deal. They added the ringing endorsement for Boris Johnson from Oliver Dowden this morning showed the former Foreign Secretary was now all-but guaranteed to make the final two.” – The Sun

  • How Change UK crashed and burned – FT


  • Farewell, we hardly knew your name – James Felton, The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Candidates claim ministers plan to undermine campaigns with no-deal warnings – Alex Wickham, Buzzfeed
  • Why I’m backing Hancock – Tracey Crouch MP, CapX
  • Stewart says UK would flourish after ‘tough’ no-deal exit – Finn McRedmond, Reaction
  • Plain packaging for food and drinks? Enough is enough – Oliver Norgrove, 1828
  • What’s the point of political fiction? – Sam Leith, 1828