Leadership 1) Ten Tory MPs still in the race

“Ten Conservative MPs will fight to become Britain’s new prime minister after the contest to succeed Theresa May began in earnest on Monday, with Jeremy Hunt gaining momentum against frontrunner Boris Johnson. Mr Hunt, the UK foreign secretary, presented himself as the unity candidate capable of beating Mr Johnson.. Mr Hunt’s slick campaign launch reflected growing confidence that he can fend off rivals, including the faltering environment secretary Michael Gove, to become Mr Johnson’s main challenger….Sam Gyimah, the only candidate to campaign for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, withdrew from the race after failing to gain enough support.” – Financial Times

  • Civil service chief to brief last two Tory leadership candidates on details of Brussels talks – The Times
  • Sir Humphrey has his sights trained on our next PM – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • EU “deeply critical” of the candidates – The Guardian
  • Thin pickings – Leader, The Times



Leadership 2) Stewart warns against “electoral bribes”

“Rory Stewart has warned Tory leadership rivals against offering “cheap electoral bribes” to win support, saying party members who will choose the next PM are “smarter than this”…Rather than being “straight” with people, he said opponents had pledged “eye-watering” tax cuts worth £84bn….Mr Stewart will say his party’s reputation for economic prudence is at risk and, while a negotiated Brexit deal will create some “headroom” for extra spending, any money available should be spent on technical education and digital infrastructure. “We have to think about the next 15 years, not the next 15 days,” he is expected to say.”

>Today: ToryDiary: Tax cut promises, spending hike pledges – and an air of unreality

>Yesterday: Interviews: Rory Stewart answers ConservativeHome readers’ questions

Leadership 3) Rivals turn on Johnson over tax cuts proposal

“Conservative leadership rivals attacked Boris Johnson yesterday for putting tax cuts for the rich at the centre of his leadership bid. In the first proper skirmishes of the campaign, the former foreign secretary was accused of allowing the Tories to be portrayed as the “party of privilege” as he announced plans to raise the threshold for higher rate income tax from £50,000 to £80,000. Economists said the move, which would cost the Treasury about £10 billion a year, would save high earners up to £3,000 a year — the amount a young unemployed person receives in jobseeker’s allowance….Mr Johnson’s team claimed to be relaxed about the criticism, saying that the policy was popular not only among those who would benefit but was also aspirational. However, at a leadership hustings last night Mr Johnson emphasised that he would also prioritise lifting “the poor and the needy in society”.” – The Times

  • It’s a stinker – Leader, The Sun
  • Ignore the Left-wing hysteria, why shouldn’t the middle classes benefit from tax cuts? – Owen Paterson, Daily Telegraph


Leadership 4) Leadsom to pledge crackdown on violent crime

“Andrea Leadsom warned last night that the rising tide of violent crime in Britain has left members of the public ‘scared to go out after dark’. In an interview with the Daily Mail, the former Cabinet minister also said parents were increasingly ‘terrified about where their children are’. Mrs Leadsom, who will today launch her campaign for the Tory leadership with a pledge to crack down on violence, said she was ‘very concerned’ about spiralling knife and drug crime.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Interviews: Andrea Leadsom answers ConservativeHome readers’ questions

Leadership 5) Gove taunts Johnson with “don’t pull out” plea

“Michael Gove was accused of “desperation” on Monday as he launched a highly personal attack on his arch rival Boris Johnson to deflect questions about his own cocaine abuse. The Environment Secretary’s hopes of succeeding Theresa May were fading fast after the official launch of his leadership bid was dominated by the issue of his past use of the class A drug. In a further blow to Mr Gove, Penny Mordaunt, the Defence Secretary, chose to back Jeremy Hunt instead of him, as the Foreign Secretary overtook Mr Gove as the main challenger to Mr Johnson. Asked whether he should now “call it a day” after three days of headlines about his cocaine snorting, Mr Gove instead taunted Mr Johnson by suggesting the former Mayor of London does not “believe in [his] heart” he is up to the job of prime minister. Having betrayed Mr Johnson by sabotaging his 2016 leadership run, Mr Gove mocked him by saying: “Whatever you do, don’t pull out – I know you have before.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A ‘five-in-a-bed romp’ and the jealous rage that led Gove to fight dirty with a love rival – Owen Bennett, Daily Mail
  • Why Hunt is the beneficiary – Camilla Tominey, Daily Telegraph
  • Gove forfeited public trust by taking cocaine – Melanie Phillips, The Times
  • The Tories aren’t ready for someone as downright Machiavellian as Michael Gove to be leader – Stewart Jackson, Daily Telegraph


Leadership 6) Javid and Hunt back demand to end North-South divide

“Some of the nation’s top politicians have vowed to back the North after ChronicleLive teamed up with newspapers and websites across the region to demand they explain how they will close the North-South divide. Our campaign made waves at Westminster , with responses from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn , Tory leadership contenders Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt, and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, a member of Boris Johnson’s campaign team. The two candidates standing for leadership of the Liberal Democrats also supported our campaign, called Power Up the North, along with MPs from across the North. We are demanding that decades of under-investment by successive Governments comes to an end – and that national governments stop taking the North for granted.” – Newcastle Chronicle

>Yesterday: Interviews: Sajid Javid answers ConservativeHome readers’ questions

Leadership 7) Mordaunt endorses Hunt

“Jeremy Hunt secured the backing of a second high-profile female cabinet minister yesterday as Penny Mordaunt, the Brexiteer defence secretary, joined his campaign launch. The foreign secretary pitched himself as the “serious” candidate to replace Theresa May, but within hours had to abandon a claim that he had never broken the law. Ms Mordaunt said that she trusted Mr Hunt, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, in an endorsement that he will hope broadens his support among MPs and grassroots members.” – The Times


Leadership 8) I’ve shown I’m willing to push the EU hard, says Raab

“Dominic Raab sparked huge cheers from the audience after he claimed he “pushed the EU too hard” during his time as Brexit Secretary before adding it was “about time too”, to see that kind of approach in negotiations. Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab generated huge cheers from the audience as he launched his Conservative leadership bid in London. Mr Raab claimed he pushed the European Union and “told them things that no one else had ever dared”. He said: “In that recent BBC documentary with Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt, they complained that as Brexit Secretary, I turned up to Brussels to negotiate each week.” – Daily Express

  • Raab: None of my ministers will be no‑deal sceptics – The Times

>Today: Dominic Raab on Comment: I want a fairer Britain, and a more democratic Conservative Party


Leadership 9) Hancock to propose new gambling tax

“Matt Hancock will vow to tax the nation’s bookies to raise at least £100 million a year to fight gambling addiction. The Tory leadership outsider will target the ‘moderate’ vote by aping Labour and promising to slap a minimum 1 per cent compulsory tax on bookies profits.The levy will pay for an increase in research and treatment for gambling addiction – working with charities. Mr Hancock – 100-1 to replace Theresa May – also wants to expand the network of specialist clinics to help people with serious gambling problems.” – The Sun

  • Health Secretary promises to end low pay – The Times


Leadership 10) Mitchell: The new PM must back international development

“I will be asking all candidates their views on the important consensus on international development achieved by David Cameron.  Not always popular with every Conservative in our constituencies, it makes Britain safer and more prosperous as well as lifting millions out of grinding poverty – particularly in Commonwealth countries. We will know next Thursday where the initial opinion of the Parliamentary Party rests. But much can change between the first and last round in the House of Commons.  Only then is the final decision handed over to whole membership of the Conservative Party throughout the United Kingdom.” – Andrew Mitchell, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 11) McVey’s launch disrupted by heckler

“Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey today had her campaign launch hijacked by a furious Brexiteer calling anyone who voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal: ‘Fake Conservatives’. Heckler Graham Moore was escorted out of the Westminster room during a heated exchange where he told a group of men who surrounded him: ‘Touch me and I’ll have you nicked’. He had grabbed the microphone after Ms McVey left the stage, described himself as a ‘paid-up member’ of the Tory party, and shouted repeatedly: ‘Excuse me, you are all fake news and these people are fake Conservatives.’  Mr Moore, a 55-year-old from south-east London, said he does not support any of the leadership contenders because at some point they voted for Mrs May’s EU divorce.” – Daily Mail


Leadership 12) Hague: Contenders should learn from Pitt the Younger

“It turned out that Pitt had been grossly underestimated. Because he knew what he wanted to do, he could pursue a clear strategy: break the deadlock in parliament by calling a general election as soon as he could build his popularity, but not waiting so long that he might become paralysed by the stalemate. After winning a landslide victory, he was in power for the following 17 years. Naturally, there are many differences between the politics of 1783 and 2019. Pitt was installed in Downing Street by George III, not by party activists, and the cabinet he cobbled together was known for its collective capacity for port wine rather than youthful indulgence in drugs. But the parallel with today’s parliamentary deadlock is useful, because the lesson of his success is that a prime minister in such a dire position can only survive if he or she has a clear idea from their first moments of a plan to transform the situation.” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Leadership 13) IDS: Only Johnson can address voters anger

“We need leadership and Boris is, as he showed in London, capable of also capturing a mood of optimism for too long missing in our message to the electorate. By banishing Project Fear, so beloved of the political establishment, and the failed programme of damage limitation we can restore our own belief in the British people. Keith Joseph said that it is not the centre ground we should seek but the common ground of people’s aspirations and hopes. He was right, for when it comes to Brexit the common ground for the Conservatives is with those who recognise, whether or not they voted to leave the EU in 2016, that having made that decision, we need to act on it and leave. Boris, I believe is the right person to deliver on that pledge.” – Iain Duncan Smith, Daily Telegraph

BBC challenged over proposal to end the free TV licence for millions of pensioners

“Theresa May last night demanded the BBC rethink its decision to scrap the free TV licence for millions of pensioners. The Beeb sparked outrage with its decision to start means-testing for the giveaway. It means only over-75s who receive Pension Credit will be eligible to claim the free TV licence fee from June 1 next year. It will see 3.7 million over-75s dragged into paying the £154.50 licence fee – the first time the age group will have to pay the charge since 2000. Only 1.5 million will continue to get the free TV licence. Single OAPs over the age of 75 with a weekly income of less than £167.75 or couples with a weekly income of less than £255.25 will continue to qualify for the free TV licence.” – The Sun

  • BBC bosses should cut their own salaries instead – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

EU plan to keep trade flowing across Irish border under “no deal”

“Brussels is preparing to deploy technology to keep trade flowing between Ireland and the EU via Britain under a No Deal Brexit. EU officials will use ‘IT systems’ so goods can continue across the sea from Ireland through the UK and on into France, according to a leaked document. The paper, which will be presented to EU leaders next week, ramps up No Deal warnings amid EU fears that a Brexiteer will win the keys to No 10. It says the fix to keep open the so-called ‘land bridge’ between the Republic and Northern Ireland can be ‘implemented swiftly in the event of No Deal’. The plan will be leapt on by Brexiteer Tory leadership candidates, who argue technology could be deployed to do away with the Irish backstop.” –Daily Mail

  • Sturgeon to hold talks with EU leaders – BBC

>Today: Stephen Booth on Comment: Meanwhile, in Brussels, there are rumours of movement from the EU on the backstop

May to tell UN there is a “moral duty” to act on slavery

“Theresa May will tell leaders at a UN conference they have “a moral duty” to speak for victims of modern slavery. “No leader worthy of the name can look the other way while men, women and children are held against their will,” the prime minister is expected to say. Mrs May will announce £10m to reduce exploitation of children in Africa’s agricultural industries. She will also say big businesses should produce transparency statements on modern slavery. The prime minister – who is due to step down in July – will be addressing the UN’s International Labour Organisation in Geneva.” – BBC

Labour MPs have their “worst meeting ever”

“Labour MPs tore into Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit strategy at a party meeting on Monday night, with several MPs loyal to the leadership saying they felt ashamed to vote for the party at the European elections and urging a change of direction. MPs inside the private gathering said there were surprise interventions from colleagues who had never before spoken out against Corbyn, including Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Marie Rimmer. The parliamentary Labour party (PLP) meeting came amid anger about how Corbyn’s office had handled harassment complaints against two senior Labour figures, as well as an investigation into Labour antisemitism by the equalities watchdog. One MP leaving the committee room said it had been Corbyn’s “worst meeting in his time as leader” – including those that led to the vote of no confidence in him.” – The Guardian

  • Labour campaigners for a second referendum to challenge Corbyn – Financial Times

News in brief

  • Johnson’s opponents have been too easy on him – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • Distrust in the political system will determine the continued success of the Brexit Party – John Longworth MEP, Brexit Central
  • How do the Tory contenders’ tax plans really stack up? – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • The Tory leadership contest is absolutely out of its tiny little mind  – Tom Peck, Independent
  • All over Europe, the Left is on the decline – Harry Phibbs, The Article