Johnson: I’ll stop brain drain to the cities

“The voters who propelled Boris Johnson to election victory will no longer have to leave their home towns to find well-paid work, under plans to be outlined in the Queen’s speech. In a historic rejection of traditional free-market economics, the prime minister will promise to bring jobs and skills direct to “red wall” areas so people can thrive where they grew up. The pledge to “live local and prosper” will form a centrepiece of Tuesday’s speech, which will also outline plans to tackle the big backlog of delayed NHS operations and cancer treatments caused by the coronavirus. The move came after the Tories won a resounding victory in the local elections, despite 11 years in power.” – Sunday Times

  • Post-Brexit state aid regime set to boost levelling-up push – Sunday Telegraph


  • Will Johnson’s election-winning bubble ever burst? – Sunday Times



Election results 1) Dodds and Rayner bear the brunt of Labour’s bitter defeat

“Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, has removed Angela Rayner as party chairwoman and will sack Anneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor, as he tries to reset his leadership after a drubbing at the polls. Rayner, the deputy leader, was axed from her role as Labour chairwoman and elections co-ordinator, reigniting a civil war with the left of the party. Her wings were clipped by Starmer in a face-to-face meeting at the party’s headquarters in Westminster after criticism that she failed to deliver a coherent strategy for the elections. The leader is also understood to blame her for hostile briefings. Rayner, who is the first casualty of Starmer’s reshuffle, will remain in her position as deputy leader, which is an elected position.” – Sunday Times



  • The Observer view on Labour’s performance in last week’s elections – The Observer


Election results 2) Scottish nationalists fall short of outright majority

“The SNP has won a record fourth term in office in Scotland but failed to secure an overall majority, falling tantalisingly short of the 65-seat tally that would have given a huge lift to its independence hopes. Despite gains at the expense of the Conservatives and Labour, tactical voting by pro-UK voters denied Nicola Sturgeon’s party as big a win as she had hoped for. With all 129 seats declared, the SNP’s total reached 64 seats, up one on the 2016 election but one short of a majority. The Conservatives finished as before on 31, with Labour down two to 22 seats, its worst Holyrood result. The Lib Dems won four seats, down one, and the Greens eight, up two. SNP strategists believed that securing a majority would have made it more difficult for Boris Johnson to continue to resist demands for a second independence referendum.” – Sunday Times

  • Johnson asks Sturgeon to a ‘save the Union’ summit – Sunday Telegraph
  • Scottish Labour records worst result since devolution but Sarwar optimistic party has ‘credibility again’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • Sort out your health service before demanding independence, says Gove – Sunday Times



Election results 3) Burnham re-elected as the Mayor of Greater Manchester with landslide win

“Andy Burnham has been re-elected as the Mayor of Greater Manchester for a second time with a landslide victory. The former Labour MP was backed by 67.3 per cent of voters to continue in the position, increasing his majority after winning 63.4 per cent of the vote in 2017. This year saw turnout increase by around 5 per cent, up to 34.7, with over 700,000 votes cast. The 51-year-old received 473,024 of the votes cast with the Conservative candidate, Laura Evans, coming second with 19.6 per cent of the vote. Mr Burnham’s popularity over resisting lockdown restrictions imposed by the Government saw him dubbed “the king in the north” by one of Manchester’s bars. His rising success, and the opposite of Sir Keir Starmer have seen him becoming the bookmaker’s favourite to take over as Labour leader at 6-1, with Lisa Nandy at 6-1 after Wigan’s strong showing for Labour in the local elections.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Burnham warns that Labour needs “substantial change” and has to end its “London- centric” focus – Sunday Times

Election results 4) Khan wins second term as mayor of London but Labour support in capital wanes

“Sadiq Khan won a second term as Mayor of London on Saturday night but saw his victory margin reduced, as Tories declared London was no longer a Labour stronghold. Mr Khan brought in almost 1.21 million votes when first and second preferences were included, giving him 55.2 per cent of the vote compared, compared to Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey’s 44.8 per cent, with 977,601 votes. Mr Khan’s figure is down from the 56.8 per cent he polled in 2016 against Zac Goldsmith, and he also received a significantly lower proportion of first preference votes. In the first round of voting, just 4.7 per cent separated Mr Khan – who won 1,013,721 votes (40 per cent) – from Mr Bailey, who won 839,051 votes (35.3 per cent).” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Khan vows to ‘build bridges’ with Boris Johnson’s government – Daily Mail

Election results 5) Street’s ahead as Tories strengthen hold on Midlands

“Andy Street secured a second term as Tory mayor of the West Midlands in a contest that once looked eminently winnable for Labour. Street’s victory secured Boris Johnson the “hat-trick” he was hoping for — retaining mayors in Tees Valley and the West Midlands, and winning the Hartlepool by-election. With many of the biggest mayoral races — London, Manchester, Liverpool — looking like a done deal, poll-watchers thought the biggest chance of an upset might come from the West Midlands. But Labour crashed to another humiliating defeat. Street, 57, was just one percentage point away from securing the title in the first round of voting and clearly ahead of his Labour challenger, Liam Byrne. His victory was confirmed shortly after 6pm when second preference ballots were counted, giving him 314,669 votes to Byrne’s 267,626.” – Sunday Times

Animals to have their feelings protected by law in Queen’s Speech

“Animals with a backbone will have a legal right to feel happiness and suffering in a Government drive to raise welfare standards in Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech. An Animal Sentience Bill will enshrine in law that animals are aware of their feelings and emotions, and can experience joy and pleasure, as well as pain and suffering. “Sentience” will apply to “vertebrate animals – anything with a spinal cord”, Environment secretary George Eustice told The Telegraph in an exclusive interview below. An existing committee of experts and civil servants in Defra will be tasked with ensuring Government’s policies take into account animal sentience. Ministers were criticised in 2018 when the duty was not carried across into UK law from the European Union after Brexit.” – Sunday Telegraph


Use ‘common sense’ when hugging loved ones is allowed next week, says PM

“Hugging friends and relatives will be allowed from next week, as long as people use their common sense, Boris Johnson will say on Sunday. The Prime Minister is due to set out the next stage of lifting restrictions from May 17 at a Downing Street press conference. Mr Johnson is likely to say that everyone should use their “personal judgement” and their “common sense” when it comes to hugging friends and family after May 17, Number 10 sources said. The news will be a relief for millions of people who have not hugged anyone for months due to the lockdown restrictions. The Prime Minister will also confirm changes set out last week that care home residents in England can now go on low-risk trips (such as to relatives’ gardens or a local park) without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Why a Covid winter spike will not lead to another national lockdown – Sunday Telegraph
  • Thousands of skin cancer patients not being treated – Sunday Times

EU accused of ‘land grab’ by fishermen as they increase use of ‘destructive’ fly-shooting boats in UK waters

“The EU has been accused of a “land grab” by fishing groups as it has drastically increased the amount of “fly-shooting” boats in UK waters. Fly-shooting is a controversial fishing method in which multiple nets are used to encircle and capture entire shoals of fish, and heavy ropes drag across the ocean floor, displacing whatever is underneath. There were originally just a handful of fly-shooters in our waters, but now there are 75 high-powered boats using the method all across UK waters to scoop up bass and mullet. The Chair of New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association  Jeremy Percy told The Fishing Daily: “According to French inshore fishermen, it is a waste of time going to sea after these boats have been fishing locally as there is nothing left.”” – Sunday Telegraph

Daniel Hannan: The EU is backing a belligerent France against us. Yet we keep pretending it’s an ally

“What foresight! Last year, alarmed by reports that Britain had slipped behind France in the number of its surface vessels, Boris Johnson promised to “restore the United Kingdom’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe”, and announced the construction of dozens more frigates. Who’d have imagined that they might be needed so soon? There is a Gilbert and Sullivan quality to the quarrel over Jersey scallops, which saw a technical dispute about skippers’ licenses escalate into threats to cut off energy supplies and the deployment of warships. Britain and France often loom in each other’s imagination as cartoonish villains. No politician in either country ever loses votes by insulting the other. “I do not say, My Lords, that the French will not come”, pronounced Admiral John Jervis during an invasion scare in 1801. “I say only – they will not come by sea.”” – Sunday Telegraph

‘Those tales of Armageddon haven’t happened.’ Truss is interviewed by the Mail on Sunday

“As Liz Truss stands in Ian Fleming’s old quarters in Whitehall, surveying the sweeping view across Horse Guards and Downing Street, her stance seems to say: The World Is Not Enough. The International Trade Secretary has moved in to Room 39 in the Old Admiralty Building, where James Bond’s creator commanded a unit of Naval intelligence commandos during the Second World War – and met the real-life inspirations for Bond, M and Q. Now the imposing building, which was also home to Winston Churchill during the First World War, is becoming the centre of operations for Ms Truss’s trade negotiations, with 2,000 specialist civil servants joining her as she ramps up the pace of her global deal-making.” – Mail on Sunday

Postmasters take ministers to court over inquiry failure

“Sub-postmasters are due to launch legal action against the government within days after their demands for a full inquiry into the Post Office scandal have fallen on deaf ears. A group of 555 sub-postmasters are preparing to file a judicial review at the High Court early this week, demanding that ministers scrap the current “whitewash” inquiry into the most widespread miscarriage of justice in British history. They want it replaced with an inquiry that has the remit to summon witnesses and question them under oath, which the current inquiry does not have. Over two decades, the Post Office dragged hundreds of workers through the courts, accusing them of theft and fraud, after shortfalls were found at branches. In fact, the discrepancies were caused by the computer system, Horizon, which was created by Fujitsu.” – Sunday Times

Ofcom to get powers to stop social media firms being ‘judge and jury’ on controversial political comment

“Ofcom is to get powers to prevent social media firms being “judge and jury” by arbitrarily removing political commentary. The new online harms watchdog will be able to intervene to get tech giants to reinstate content of “democratic importance” and to protect “freedom of expression”. The move will be part of the Government’s new duty of care bill to be announced this week by Boris Johnson in the Queen’s Speech. It comes ahead of the imminent appointment of a new chair of Ofcom where former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is frontrunner in a race with former Conservative culture minister Lord (Ed) Vaizey and the police watchdog Sir Tom Winsor. The bill will hand Ofcom the task of reining in the social media giants including Facebook, Google and YouTube and grant it powers to levy multi-billion pound fines for the worst breaches of duty of care laws aimed at protecting children from online harms such as sexual abuse and self-harm.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Teacher in blasphemy row after ‘showing Prophet Muhammad cartoons to class’ is still living in fear with his family six weeks on – and extremist threat is so severe, the safe house location is even kept secret from relatives – Mail on Sunday

Employers ‘discipline staff who question trans rights’

“Dozens of women have faced disciplinary action at work for offences such as saying JK Rowling is not transphobic, asking a question during equality training or requesting female-only lavatories, according to 40 campaigners on free speech. In a letter to The Sunday Times, the campaigners say that the employers of a quarter of UK workers have signed up to a Diversity Champions scheme run by the LGBT charity Stonewall. It means if people question what the campaigners refer to as “Stonewall law” — that “trans women are women; trans men are men” — they risk punishment. The letter was co-ordinated by Maya Forstater, a tax consultant who lost her job after tweeting: “Men cannot change into women.”” – Sunday Times


News in brief: