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Trump hails the Queen and ‘the bond between our nations’

‘The Special Relationship between Britain and the United States was reaffirmed last night with moving toasts in the Buckingham Palace ballroom as Donald Trump clinked glasses with the Queen and patted her shoulder having called her a ‘great, great woman’. Amid the splendour and ceremony of a state banquet for 170 dignitaries and guests, the US President thanked the monarch for her ‘gracious hospitality’ and ‘nearly seven decades’ of personal friendship with the United States. He spoke of the Blitz and the bombing of Buckingham Palace, saying that ‘in their dark hour the people of this nation showed the world what it means to be British’. He praised the Queen a ‘great, great woman’ recalling her service on the Home Front during the war, and said ‘the bond between our nations was forever sealed in that great crusade’.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: The Moggcast. Why Trump’s “bold approach to politics is a good one”.

>Yesterday: WATCH: The Queen welcomes Trump to Buckingham Palace

May is set to have a tense final meeting with the President

‘Theresa May is set for a confrontation with President Trump over Huawei on the second day of his state visit as she rebuffs US demands to block the Chinese company from a role in Britain’s 5G network. Mr Trump has warned the UK against working with the telecoms giant and suggested that America could stop sharing intelligence with Britain if Huawei were given a contract. A senior Whitehall official said that Mrs May has “no apologies” to make over her handling of China, insisting that Huawei’s involvement in building the new networks would pose no threat to shared intelligence. In what is likely to be a tense final meeting with Mr Trump, Mrs May will also reject calls from Washington to take back Islamic State fighters captured in Syria and to abandon a joint effort with European allies to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.’ – The Times

Leadership race 1) Johnson launches his campaign, and takes the lead in MP endorsements

‘Boris Johnson ramped up his Tory leadership campaign today with a slick video showing him chatting to ordinary voters, on the day Donald Trump and his mammoth entourage swept into town. Despite the questionable timing of the launch the former Foreign Secretary nonetheless picked up the public endorsements of a dozen fellow MPs, including several prominent Remainers, in a single day – catapulting him into the lead. The front-runner to replace Theresa May, became the latest runner in the wide field to release a short film on social media… In footage shot in Peterborough last Friday Mr Johnson is seen playing up his ability to appeal outside of the party’s comfort zone. One woman tells him she does not vote Tory, but asked if she would vote for him she replies: ‘Yes.” – Daily Mail

>Today: MPsETC: Leadership election candidate MP support numbers: Johnson 42, Hunt 32, Gove 29, Raab 24, Javid 17, Hancock 11

>Yesterday: WATCH: Johnson’s launch video. “Now is the time to believe in ourselves – and what we can do.”

Leadership race 2) Fox endorses Hunt

‘Liam Fox, a leading cabinet Brexiter, has announced his backing for his “friend” Jeremy Hunt, foreign secretary, in the race to become the next Conservative leader. The international trade secretary told the BBC that he endorsed Mr Hunt’s efforts to avoid a no-deal exit, which he feared could weaken the United Kingdom. Opponents of a no-deal exit say it could lead to new border checks in Ireland, as well as increasing calls for the reunification of the island and for a second independence referendum in pro-Remain Scotland. Mr Fox’s endorsement comes at an important moment for Mr Hunt, whose campaign has faltered in the last week.’ – FT

>Today:

Leadership race 3) Hammond challenges runners to present their Brexit solutions

‘In another furious broadside, the Chancellor said people in Parliament “have to stop pontificating, get off their high horses” and understand they have to compromise to get an EU deal that will work. It came after Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock became the latest contenders to try and explain how they would do things differently. Speaking to BBC Newsnight Mr Hammond once more said a No Deal would be “catastrophic” – before adding that No Brexit would also be “a gross breach of faith with the public”. He said: “My challenge to all the candidates is: Explain to me how you will avoid becoming Theresa May mark II, stuck in a holding pattern.’ – The Sun

  • Here’s what Brussels would say to each candidate’s Brexit policy – Daily Telegraph
  • For Ireland’s sake, the hopefuls need a reality check – Neale Richmond, Daily Telegraph
  • Macron says 31st October should be the ‘final, final deadline’ – The Sun
  • Varadkar must realise that it’s the EU’s position that needs to change – The Sun Says
  • Hancock and Stewart hope to drive home hard truths – FT
  • We need compromise – Kit Malthouse, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: There’s no majority in this Commons for anything. This Conservative contest is faltering because candidates won’t face that fact.

Leadership race 4) The 1922 Committee considers rules to ‘cull’ candidates and ensure a swift contest

‘Any Conservative leadership contender who fails to win the backing of more than 10 MPs next week could be “culled” after the first round of voting under plans to be discussed by backbenchers on Tuesday. The senior Tory MPs who run the party’s 1922 committee of backbench MPs will discuss how to whittle down the 13 MPs who have declared they will stand to a short list of two MPs to be put to the party’s grassroots membership. Under a proposed timetable to accelerate the process, discussed by officers on Monday, four rounds of voting among Tory MPs are planned with the final two candidates selected by Thursday June 20. Under the current leadership rules only the lowest placed candidate after each found of voting is forced to withdraw, which means in theory mean that MPs have to go through 11 rounds of voting.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Brokenshire urges no-hope candidates to quit the race now – Daily Mail
  • Evans calls for the field to be whittled down – The Times
  • More could yet put themselves forward – FT

Leadership race 5) Wallace: The candidates need to up their game if they want the top job

‘Rory Stewart produces Twitter videos with Duracell energy. But his actual position is out of step with his colleagues and most members. One Tory MP recently told me “He’s wrong about everything”, which as candidate reputations go could charitably be labelled “hard to overcome”. Stewart at least knows that with little to lose he may as well take risks. Some of the other minor candidates aren’t even doing that, which makes me wonder why they entered the race at all… At the top end of the table, the air of caution is easier to understand. The 2016 contest showed how favourites can slip and be trampled underfoot. So the instinct is to tread gingerly, maybe even to hope that others will wipe themselves out. Whether this dullness is accidental or intentional, it is a mistake. Vocal and energetic campaigning might bring risks, but there is no safety in trying to play it safe and no mileage in hoping to win by default.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

Retail figures nosedive

‘The scale of the challenges facing retailers have been underlined by figures showing retail sales suffered their worst month in almost a quarter of a century in May. Total retail sales, which include food, non-food and online purchases, fell by 2.7pc compared with May last year. On a like-for-like basis – a measure widely used by the industry to measure real growth – sales fell by 3pc. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, which compiles the monthly figures with accountancy firm KPMG, warned of the risk of further job losses and store closures in the sector as shoppers spend less money. High business rates and a “broken tax system” were crippling retailers and preventing them from investing in their stores, putting off consumers.’ – Daily Telegraph

Labour staff revolt over Prescott scandal

‘One hundred current and former Labour staff have demanded that Jeremy Corbyn “get our house in order” over claims that his office blocked the suspension of a senior aide who was accused of sexual harassment. In an open letter to the Labour leader they have demanded “urgent clarification” of the “extremely serious” claims about David Prescott, 49, who works for Mr Corbyn and is the son of Lord Prescott, the former deputy prime minister… In their letter, sent directly to Mr Corbyn this morning, the staffers write: “Working in politics isn’t easy, and many of us choose to give up our personal lives for Labour because we believe it is the best force for good in our country. What makes the job even more challenging than it should be is having to work in an environment where sexual harassment and bullying are not taken seriously. Reports in The Sunday Times over the weekend alleged that senior staff in the Leader’s Office apparently blocked efforts to suspend David Prescott, who is reported to have been accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct.”‘ – The Times

Council plans to fund extra police officers

‘A council in the Midlands is planning to use its own money to put more police officers on the beat. At a time of concern about the falling number of bobbies and cuts to police budgets, Walsall council plans to join a scheme under which it will pay for more officers across the borough. The Patrol Plus scheme has been operating in London since 2008 and has been called “buy-one-get-one-free” policing since the force provides one officer for every one paid for by councils. In London the scheme may be scrapped due to “financial and operational implications”, but Walsall is hoping that it can be introduced there.’ – The Times

Ban on burning fossil fuels ‘could save thousands of lives’

‘Almost 30,000 early deaths a year could be prevented in the UK by ending the burning of fossil fuels, a report by Europe’s most senior scientists says. Switching to a “zero carbon economy” would address long-term climate change and reduce air pollution, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC) said. It calculated that fossil fuels caused 350,000 premature deaths a year in the EU, including 28,000 in the UK. Phasing them out would prevent 3.6 million premature deaths a year globally from heart and lung cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses.’ – The Times

  • UK accused of trying to ‘fiddle’ climate change targets – FT
  • 15 per cent of heart failure units don’t meet guidelines on specialists – Daily Mail
  • NHS turns to Mumsnet to solve nurse shortage – The Times
  • Sure Start saved the NHS millions – The Guardian
  • Lab-grown heart ‘patches’ could help patients regrow damaged tissue – Daily Mail
  • Advertising bans are essential to fighting obesity – Clare Foges, The Times
  • Vitamin D cuts the risk of dying from cancer – The Times
  • Boss of scandal-struck hospital quits – Daily Mail

State-backed newspaper praises Tiananmen suppression on 30th anniversary

‘The Communist Party’s brutal suppression of the student pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago had “immunised China against political instability”, a state-backed newspaper claimed today. “As a vaccination for Chinese society, the Tiananmen incident will greatly increase China’s immunity against any major political turmoil in the future,” said the editorial, on the anniversary of the massacre, in the online English edition of the Global Times. It failed to directly mention the military crackdown that killed hundreds or thousands of people between June 3 and 4, 1989 to end the seven-week pro-democracy demonstrations in the centre of Beijing, but sought to justify the subsequent censorship which ensures that the incident is rarely mentioned in China, arguing that Chinese people wanted to put the past behind them.’ – The Times

News in Brief

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