Neil ‘throws down gauntlet’ to Johnson over interview

“BBC presenter Andrew Neil has thrown down a gauntlet to Boris Johnson challenging the prime minister to face an interview with the veteran journalist before polling day. The Tory leader has continued to dodge whether he would submit himself to questioning by Mr Neil ahead of the general election, insisting he has already put himself forward for unprecedented media scrutiny. Addressing the prime minister straight to camera following an interview with Brexit party leader Nigel Farage on Thursday night, Mr Neil said: “It is not too late. We have an interview prepared. Oven-ready, as Mr Johnson likes to say.”… Mr Neil said the BBC had been asking the PM for weeks to give them “a date, a time, a venue. As of now, none has been forthcoming,” adding that no broadcaster “can compel a politician to be interviewed”.” – FT

  • Tory and Labour leaders to clash in debate – The Sun
  • Edwards dragged into Twitter bias row – Daily Mail


  • He must deal with BBC bias – Dan Wootton, The Sun

Prime Minister accuses Labour of trying to ‘rig’ a second referendum…

“Labour wants to rig a second referendum by giving two million EU nationals the vote if Jeremy Corbyn wins the election, Boris Johnson has warned. The Prime Minister, who appeared on ITV’s This Morning yesterday, said it was “bizarre” that Labour would allow EU citizens the opportunity to vote on any future Brexit referendum and that Mr Corbyn’s “weird deal” would leave the public “outraged”. “To think that it is going to be rigged in some way by getting in millions more voters who’d be very likely to vote one way rather than another, I think that would cause a great deal of public disquiet and I don’t think it’s the right way forward,” he told factory workers during a speech at the John Smedley Mill Shop in Derby. It comes as Mr Johnson wrote to the Labour leader accusing him off using a second referendum as a “sly attempt to undermine” the 2016 result.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The issues causing collapse in Labour heartlands – The Times
  • Opposition on track to be ‘crushed’ in the North and Midlands – Daily Express
  • Tories urged to up social housing offer to win over ‘Labour Leavers’ – The Sun


  • A big win will force Johnson to cater to working-class voters – Philip Collins, The Times
  • Why Leave will win the Brexit battle – Simon Kuper, FT Magazine
  • After ‘stop Brexit’, voters draw a blank on Lib Dem policies – Sir John Curtice, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The campaign, week five. Johnson holds his ground – and aims to end next week where he began. With getting Brexit done.

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column: How the majority needed to deliver Brexit will thwart the reform needed to make a success of it

…as Brexit Party defectors urge voters to back the Tories

“Four senior Brexit Party politicians quit yesterday and urged Eurosceptics to vote Conservative as Nigel Farage’s general election campaign descended into acrimony. In developments that could improve Boris Johnson’s chances of securing the keys to No 10, the MEPs called on their former leader to swallow his pride and pull out of the campaign. Mr Farage hit back, accusing the group of plotting against him since Mr Johnson replaced Theresa May as Conservative leader in the summer. He told The Times: “Never underestimate human greed and stupidity. They rode off my back. They’ve been planning this ever since Boris Johnson was elected.” He accused the MEPs, who include the sister of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader, of being motivated by their personal links to the Tories and sources in his party suggested they had been offered inducements to quit.” – The Times

  • Four more ‘on verge of quitting’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Nineteen seats where Farage’s candidates could save Labour – Daily Mail
  • Brexit Party candidate ‘run off road’ after death threats – The Sun


  • Brexit transforms the Conservative voter base – FT
  • Tusk ‘pleaded with Cameron’ not to honour Leave vote – Daily Express


  • We need to back the only party that can deliver Brexit – Lucy Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Pipe down Nigel, you need the Tories to win – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Arrogant defectors need to get out of London – Richard Tice, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Annunziata Rees-Mogg and three other leading Brexit Party MEPs say ‘Vote Conservative to get Brexit done’

Johnson hints at ‘ban all-out strikes on public transport’

“Boris Johnson has claimed that all-out strikes on public transport will be made illegal under a new Conservative administration following major disruption on UK train routes. “I do think it’s absurd that critical transport mass-transit systems should be capable of being put out of actions by strikes, and other countries around the world have minimum service requirements for public transport – and that’s what I want to see,” said Johnson in front of an audience of textile workers near Matlock in Derbyshire. The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) said its members on South Western Railway (SWR) were “standing firm” on the second of 27 planned strikes over the role of guards on trains. On new trains due to start running next year, SWR wants drivers to operate the doors at every stop to save time.” – The Guardian

  • He denies the Tories will lift taxes – FT

>Today: Steve Baker in Comment: Five tips for new Conservative MPs

>Yesterday: Local Government: The train strikes may prove to be Labour’s Waterloo

Poll tightening suggests Scottish MPs could be key, says Curtice

“Scottish Tory MPs are on course to play a vital role in deciding Britain’s prime minister with the party’s fortunes rising as voters focus on Brexit, according to research for The Times. Sir John Curtice, the polling expert, said that Boris Johnson could expect to welcome eight Tory MPs from north of the border into Westminster after support for the Conservatives hit 28 per cent in a YouGov survey of Scotland. In 2017, the unexpected election of 13 Scottish Conservatives was vital to Theresa May returning to Downing Street. A UK-wide YouGov voting intention poll has the Conservatives on 42 per cent and Labour on 33. The nine-point lead is narrowing from the 11-point gap which pointed to a Tory majority of 68 in the seat-by-seat MRP model last week. A closing gap means Scottish MPs could again be important in deciding the make-up of the government.” – The Times

  • Labour struggles to recapture ‘Red Clydeside’ – FT

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Gulp – here’s my prediction for the election result

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: With a week to go, can the Welsh Conservatives recover their momentum?

Tory ministers campaigning with candidates ‘facing allegations of Islamophobia’

“At least four ministers have gone on election campaigning trips to endorse Tory candidates facing allegations of Islamophobia since the claims against them came to light, the Guardian has learned. In constituency visits that appear to contradict Boris Johnson’s repeated claim that the party has a “zero tolerance” stance on the issue, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom and Thérèse Coffey have thrown their weight behind the accused candidates – all of whom are fighting in key marginal battlegrounds. Incidents include one candidate who argued that Muslims have divided loyalties, as well as blaming immigrants for bringing HIV to Britain, and another who retweeted posts from former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.” – The Guardian

  • Javid talks about the racism he encountered as a boy in the Seventies – The Sun


  • The polls are ignoring minority voters – Omar Khan, The Guardian

Corbyn accused of leading ‘institutionally antisemitic’ party

“Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of leading an “institutionally anti-Semitic” party as a leaked dossier argued he had been involved in a “cover up” of the problem in Labour. A devastating submission of evidence to the equality watchdog compares the Labour Party to the Metropolitan Police in the 1990s, when the Stephen Lawrence inquiry found it was riddled with racism. Whistleblowers have claimed that allegations of anti-Semitism were made to “disappear” following interventions by Mr Corbyn and his senior staff. They also claim they were told to bypass the supposedly independent complaints process by taking cases directly to Labour high command then “told to lie” about what they were doing.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Officials give accounts of alleged failures – FT
  • Party members branded Jews ‘subhuman’ – The Sun
  • How Corbyn was complicit, and how the party covered it up – Daily Telegraph


  • Jews are the canary in the coal mine – Stephen Pollard, Daily Telegraph
  • Liberal Tories can’t back this Labour Party – Nick Herbert, The Sun
  • Public ignorance is letting the Opposition get away with it – Benedict Spence, Daily Telegraph


  • A broken party rife with hatred from top to bottom – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What you may have missed about the Conservative Manifesto 4) It turns the screw against the BDS campaign

Opposition warned that education reforms could backfire

“Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to scrap Ofsted and primary SATs tests could backfire massively and harm Britain’s poorest kids, a think tank warned last night. The Education Policy Institute also lashed Labour’s plan to splurge £7billion on scrapping uni tuition fees branding it “surprising and disappointing”. And they warned Labour’s plans to extend free school meals have a massive £140million blackhole in the numbers. In an in-depth analysis of the main party manifestos, the EPI warned Labour’s leftie plan to ditch the schools inspector could end up dragging down standards… They said Labour’s plans to scrap Ofsted, SATs, and end free schools and academies would mean the “most significant change in education policy direction for a number of decades.”” – The Sun

  • Sturgeon’s disastrous record is a foretaste of life under Corbyn – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: John Bald in Local Government: Education was once a source of pride in Scotland. It is now a serious embarrassment to the SNP.

Labour ‘misleading expats’ with fake statistics

“Labour has been using fake statistics to persuade Britons abroad to appoint activists as their proxy voters as both parties defy election guidance in pursuit of 1.4 million expatriates. Electoral administrators have said that faith in the result may be jeopardised by campaigners getting involved in the process of voting. The Electoral Commission’s code of conduct discourages party workers from serving as proxies but the standards are voluntary and the regulator is powerless to halt the practice. There has been a surge in proxies in swing seats. In marginal Canterbury, applications for proxy votes have risen nearly fourfold to 861, higher than Rosie Duffield’s 187 Labour majority… The tactics will alarm experts in electoral abuse. Safeguards for proxy voting are weaker than for postal voting, the alternative for absent electors.” – The Times

  • Berlin4Jeremy supporters have links to Soviet past – The Times


Tim Bale and Philip Cowley: Labour’s ground-war advantage in London is not what it appears

“A few things stand out. The first is that contact rates in these constituencies are indeed higher overall. Almost all of the figures for the different types of contact in this table are higher than their equivalents in the first table. The percentage of respondents reporting no contact at all falls to just 10 per cent in these marginal seats. The second, which perhaps is less expected and more worrying for Labour, is that Labour’s ground war advantage largely vanishes once you focus just on marginal seats. Most of the figures are broadly equivalent from party to party. The percentage saying they have had no contact from each party is basically identical — at either 31 per cent or 32 per cent. Even for the things requiring on-the-ground volunteers, the scores are pretty similar between Labour and Conservative.” – Times Red Box

  • Voters ‘left in the dark’ about dark money behind online ads – FT

News in Brief:

  • What now for the Tory schools revolution? – Henry Hill, CapX
  • The margin between a Tory landslide and defeat is tiny – James Kanagasooriam, The Spectator
  • ‘Equidistance-ism’: why everyone imagines they’re in the centre – Douglas Murray, UnHerd
  • Labour campaign flattened by antisemitism scandal – Joseph Rachman, Reaction
  • Wrexham Roulette – Lewis Baston, The Critic

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