Leadership 1) Battle for leadership turns into love-in

“Tory leadership rivals Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt turned their final showdown into a love-in last night. The pair, facing off in The Sun/talkRADIO debate, repeatedly backed each other on key issues — with Hunt even promising Boris a top job if he wins the battle for No10. Mr Johnson tonight promised voters he would not call a disruptive General Election before Brexit as the Tory leadership battle went from all-out war into a love-in. The odds-on bookies’ favourite to succeed Theresa May said such a move would be “height of folly” — and signalled he would wait until 2022 before going to back to polls despite the Tories’ wafer-thin majority. BoJo added: “I think the people of this country are utterly fed up with politicians coming back to them offering referendums or elections.” And the race turned from Blue Murder to Blues Brothers as the pair both promised to deliver Brexit, agreed on critical policy positions, swapped jokes and branded Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “anti-Semitic”. After weeks of bruising encounters, Jeremy Hunt repeatedly said he “agreed with Boris”, while Boris applauded the Foreign Secretary’s “new found optimism” on Britain’s future outside the EU.” – The Sun

  • Johnson refuses again to say if girlfriend will live with him at No 10 – The Sun
  • Both candidates rule out snap election – The Sun
  • Hunt warns voters not to assume Johnson has won – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson takes aim at Trump but refuses to call him racist – Daily Mail
  • Candidates refuse to say Trump is racist – The Sun
  • Hunt and Johnson under pressure to condemn Trump’s ‘racist’ remarks – The Guardian
  • Both candidates condemn Trump’s tweets – The Times
  • Trump renews attack despite claims of racism – FT
  • Trump denies comments were racist – Daily Mail
  • And Trump ramps up vicious attack on congresswomen – The Sun
  • Congresswomen hit back at Trump’s Tweets – The Guardian
  • Hunt appears to have accepted game is up, John Crace – The Guardian
  • The Sun says both candidates would make decent PM, Leader – The Sun
  • Next PM may have a bumpy ride, Catherine Haddon – FT
  • After working with both candidates at the Foreign Office I back Johnson, Lord Ahmad – The Times
  • Johnson has to dodge and weave in debates, skills he will need as PM, Benedict Spence – The Times
  • Forget his private life, Johnson should speak up for family, Frank Johnson – The Times
  • ‘The Squad’ are irritating but to say they are not American is racist, Piers Morgan – Daily Mail
  • May attacks Trump for comments about Democrat women – The Sun
  • May condemns Trump’s ‘racist comments’ about four congresswomen – The Guardian
  • Number 10 refuses to defend journalists’ right to publish leaks – The Guardian
Tory Diary:

Barclay tells Brussels withdrawal agreement is dead

“Brussels is preparing for “brutal” talks with the next prime minister after the Brexit secretary told Michel Barnier five times during a bad-tempered meeting that the withdrawal agreement was dead. Stephen Barclay left Mr Barnier, the EU’s lead negotiator, astonished and dismayed in a “confrontational” exchange last Tuesday. “He told Barnier that the withdrawal agreement was dead — not once but five times,” a senior EU diplomat said. “If this is what is coming then we will be heading for no deal very quickly.” Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have both said that the withdrawal agreement, which was blocked in the House of Commons three times, must be renegotiated. The EU insists that the deal cannot be reopened. Mr Barclay held the private talks a week ago without the usual team of British negotiators and, according to various sources, took an approach described as brutal, bullying, bad tempered and confrontational.” – The Times

May pledges to tackle domestic abuse in one of last acts as PM

“The Prime Minister says that the Government also has a duty to support victims as a long-delayed bill is finally introduced. It will see wife-beaters given “Asbos” forcing them to go to rehab or take anger management courses and stay away from family homes, while high-risk offenders risk being sent back to jail if they fail lie detector tests. The landmark Domestic Abuse Bill also includes a legal definition that includes controlling a partner’s access to money as well as violence and threats, and creates a new watchdog to stand up for survivors. Mrs May has also pledged to force all councils to give victims safe accommodation, in a victory for The Sun’s Give Me Shelter campaign. The PM, who hosted a meeting at No 10 last week with charities and experts, said: “Domestic abuse can take many forms, from horrific physical violence to coercive behaviour that robs people of their self-esteem, their freedom and their right to feel safe in their own homes, but the immense bravery I’ve seen demonstrated by survivors is consistent throughout.” – The Sun

Her energy price is branded ‘a flop’

“Theresa May’s energy price cap was branded a flop last night as new figures revealed the Big Six rip off has got worse. Campaigners said the difference between the most expensive standard tariff and cheap internet deals had ballooned from an average of £174 a year to £214. A switching site claimed E.ON’s cheapest deal was a whopping £311 less than the standard tariff offered by the company. The price cap came into force in January – with Downing Street promising it would put an end to millions of older, loyal customers on standard variable tariffs being overcharged. Business Secretary Greg Clark pushed for the cap – arguing it would put an end to the Big Six “milking” loyal customers and using the excess profit to lure in internet savvy punters with cut-price deals. One senior Tory – who asked to remain anonymous – demanded No.10 and energy regulator Ofgem review the cap.” – The Sun

  • May’s Brexit legacy is a divided country, Tony Barber – FT

Leadership 2) Johnson refuses to set target for immigration or offer Hunt cabinet job

“Mr Johnson was asked directly if net migration would fall if he takes over from Theresa May as he took part in the last head-to-head showdown of the Tory leadership campaign and he said he would not get into a ‘numbers game’. But Mr Hunt said if he wins the keys to Number 10 that the number of people coming to the UK would be brought down. Mr Johnson said: ‘I am not going to get into some numbers game. We will have control. That is what people voted for.’ Meanwhile, Mr Hunt faced embarrassment as he promised Mr Johnson a role in his Cabinet should he become PM, but the front runner would not offer the same guarantee. Mr Hunt said Mr Johnson would be given a ‘very senior role’ in his government if he is chosen as Mrs May’s replacement. But a sheepish Mr Johnson would only go so far as saying that he had the ‘highest regard for Jeremy Hunt’.” – Daily Mail

  • Johnson will not commit to cutting immigration – The Sun
  • And Johnson refuses to commit to cutting immigration – Daily Telegraph
  • Hunt repeatedly offers Johnson cabinet role – The Sun
  • Johnson’s campaign chief accused of lobbying for tobacco firm – The Guardian

Leadership 3) He sets out a four-point Brexit plan

“As Boris Johnson prepares to enter Downing Street later this month there is plentiful speculation on his plan to deliver Brexit. But not all speculation is idle and at a Telegraph event last week Mr Johnson set out in clear and methodical fashion how he believes Brexit can be achieved by October 31 and, as he put it, “prick the twin puffballs” of the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party. The plan, as he spelled it out, has four main planks and starts from the supposition that the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Theresa May must now be considered “defunct”. Mr Johnson argued that after three failed votes in Parliament that divorce package – which agreed the rights of EU citizens, a £39bn financial settlement and created space to address the future of the Irish border – must now be “disaggregated” in order to be implemented. First, Mr Johnson said, the rights of the 3.2m citizens resident in the UK after Brexit must be protected. That part of the deal will be taken “out of the otherwise defunct Withdrawal Agreement and put it into law”. He thinks this should have happened at the outset.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson to seek Trump trade deal as first move – The Times
  • Trade deal with Trump will be first act of Johnson as PM – The Sun
  • Hammond rules out swift trade deal with US – The Times
  • Northern Ireland backstop is dead, say both candidates – The Guardian
  • Grieve launches attack on Brexit Party – Daily Express
  • Brussels lashes out at Johnson’s D-Day approach to no deal Brexit – Daily Express
  • Hague says no deal Brexit is ‘impossible’ – Daily Express
  • BeLeave Brexit campaigner begins appeal against £20,000 fine – FT
  • Only by calling an election can Johnson deliver no deal Brexit, William Hague – Daily Telegraph
  • Hunt and Johnson say they can deliver no deal Brexit, but there is one small problem, Michael Deacon – Daily Telegraph
  • Penny drops for political elite that Remain has lost, Andrew Lilico – Daily Telegraph
  • Why Brexiteers do not fully trust Johnson, George Parker – FT
  • The country is too divided over Brexit to recapture the spirit of 1940, Gideon Rachman – FT

Leadership 4) Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world ‘centuries behind’

“Boris Johnson has been strongly criticised for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west, in an essay unearthed by the Guardian. Writing about the rise of the religion in an appendix added to a later edition of The Dream of Rome, his 2006 book about the Roman empire, Johnson said there was something about Islam that hindered development in parts of the globe and, as a result, “Muslim grievance” was a factor in virtually every conflict. Johnson’s argument was described as disconcerting and problematic by Tell Mama, which monitors anti-Muslim hate and said he had demonstrated a lack of understanding of the religion. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said many people would like to know if the favourite to become the next prime minister still believed “Islam inherently inhibits the path to progress and freedom”. Last year, Johnson was accused of dog-whistle politics after he used a Telegraph column to liken women wearing the burqa to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”. – The Guardian

  • Johnson’s journey from journalist to MP – The Guardian

Leadership 5) Hunt pledges help for homeless

“Jeremy Hunt has pledged to give homeless people immediate access to a permanent home if he becomes prime minister in a move which could get 1,000 extra people off the streets of Britain. The Foreign Secretary said rising homelessness in the UK was a ‘source of great shame’ as he set out a new plan to tackle the issue and deliver on his belief that ‘housing is a basic human right’. Mr Hunt remains the overwhelming underdog in the race for Number 10 with Boris Johnson widely expected to secure an easy victory in the Tory leadership race and become PM on July 24. But Mr Hunt is still fighting for the votes of Tory Party members and today he set out his vision for compassionate conservatism. His plan to reduce homelessness would make it much easier for people to secure a place in permanent accommodation.” – Daily Mail

  • Hunt says Iran one-year away from nukes that could blitz UK – The Sun
Local Government:

Labour peers offer to hold anti-Semitism inquiry

“Labour’s leaders in the House of Lords have made an offer to Jeremy Corbyn to investigate the handling of antisemitism in the party and advise on a new complaints system, warning him that without decisive leadership it is a “cancer that will continue to grow”. Four senior peers wrote to Corbyn on Monday with an offer to establish a panel to review the allegations of former party staffers made in a BBC Panorama documentary and to “provide advice and support on how a properly independent complaints process could be set up and run”. The peers – Angela Smith, the party’s leader in the Lords, her deputy, Dianne Hayter, the chairman of the peers’ group, Toby Harris, and Tommy McAvoy, the chief whip – set out their view amid consternation about allegations made on the BBC’s Panorama programme that the leader’s office interfered in complaints about antisemitism. The party denies the allegations.” – The Guardian

  • Both candidates label Corbyn an anti-Semite – The Sun
  • Corbyn accused of ducking showdown with MPs over anti-Semitism crisis – The Sun
  • Peer faces calls to resign after moving to US for lucrative jobs – Daily Mail
  • Labour’s inaction on anti-Semitism is shameful, Trevor Phillips – FT
  • House of Lords is a cosy club, Leo McKinstry – Daily Mail

The Corbynites follow Trumpian tactics to try to normalise the unacceptable

  • Gove gives green light for plastic bottle return scheme – Daily Mail
  • Extinction rebellion blocks city centres – The Times
  • And protests close streets across UK – FT
  • Sadiq Khan accused of using knife crime as excuse ‘to bring out begging bowl’ – Daily Mail
  • And Khan throws out plans for Tulip skyscraper – Daily Mail
  • Gina Miller is back and no-one is fooled that she stands up for democracy, Tom Harwood – Daily Telegraph
News in brief
  • The real Boris Johnson: politician or journalist, Anushka Asthana, Sonia Purnell and Andrew Gimson – The Guardian
  • Next PM urged to dump migration pledge, John Johnston – PoliticsHome
  • Tory members are deluded about Boris Johnson, Bruce Anderson – Spectator
  • Could Johnson run Downing Street like City Hall? Stephen Bush – New Statesman
  • Who will be Johnson’s chief whip? Patrick Maguire – New Statesman
  • Gina Miller threatens court battle to prevent no deal Brexit – Brexit Central
  • What’s more powerful than Trump? Justin Webb – UnHerd