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Johnson 1) The Prime Minister will ‘have to resign’ due to ‘damning’ Gray report into Partygate, sources claim…

“Sue Gray’s long-awaited Partygate report will be so damning that Boris Johnson will have no choice but to resign as Prime Minister, a source has claimed. A dossier of more than 300 images and 500 pages of information was handed to Scotland Yard by the senior civil servant, who led a Cabinet Office probe into the matter. She was forced to delay the publication of her investigation into alleged parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall during England’s coronavirus lockdowns due to the Metropolitan Police commencing their own inquiry. A total of 12 events are being investigated by the police, which include a ‘bring-your-own-booze’ garden party, a gathering in the Cabinet Office to mark Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday and a series of leaving dos.” – The Daily Mail

  • Johnson racked up £4,000 in parking fines whilst working as GQ’s motoring correspondent – The Sun
  • Starmer vows to continue pressing over Partygate – The Guardian
  • In desperate days, the Prime Minister must return our trust – Editorial, Daily Express
  • Nobody died from Partygate – we must forgive Johnson – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • What on Earth do Tory backbenchers think they are doing? – Andrew Pierce, The Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Our Cabinet League Table. Wallace top again, Patel up, Johnson down – and Sunak in the red

Johnson 2) …as he defends Rayner following ‘Basic Instinct’ jibe,…

“Boris Johnson has slammed misogynistic claims that deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner used ‘Basic Instinct’ tactics to distract him in Parliament. It comes as anonymous Tory MPs made ridiculous claims that Ms Rayner “crosses and uncrosses” her legs at Prime Minister’s Questions to throw him off. Ms Rayner, 41, and the Prime Minister often go head to head in heated discussions – when the Labour leader Keir Starmer is absent. When Boris stands at the dispatch box, Ms Rayner sits across from him – and her supposed actions have triggered the “deplorable” suggestion that she tries to throw the PM “off his stride.” And the “misogynistic” unknown MPs, who claimed she mimics Sharon Stone’s infamous scene in the 1992 film Basic Instinct, have now been slammed by the PM.” – The Sun

  • Sturgeon attacks the story’s ‘deep misogyny’ – The Scotsman

Johnson 3) …warns the UN secretary-general over his Moscow visit,…

“Boris Johnson has warned the UN secretary-general that President Putin will seek to manipulate his visit to Moscow this week. António Guterres is due to visit Moscow tomorrow in an attempt to advance peace talks. He will meet President Zelensky on Thursday. Johnson spoke to Guterres yesterday to urge caution and warned that Putin’s actions in Ukraine were “nauseating”. The prime minister expressed concerns that Putin will try to use the visit as a propaganda tool. A spokesman said that Johnson had condemned Russia’s “blatant aggression” in Ukraine. When Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, visited Moscow in February, Lavrov likened their discussions to a “conversation with a deaf person” before walking out of a joint press conference. Johnson’s spokesman added: “The prime minister made clear the importance of global solidarity with Ukraine, with the UK continuing to work closely with international partners to support Ukraine to defend itself.”” – The Times

  • The UK’s long road to becoming hawkish on Russia – John Paul Rathbone, The Financial Times
  • Putin’s general has hinted he will invade Moldova – The Sun
  • The Russian President has abandoned hopes of a deal with Ukraine, and instead shifts to grabbing land – The Financial Times
  • YouTube removes ‘interviews’ with British captives – The I
  • Don’t leave us empty-handed, Zelensky warns Blinken ahead of visit – The Daily Mail
  • The Battle for Donbas: ‘the real test of this war’ – The Financial Times
  • Putin’s crimes must strengthen resolve – Editorial, The Scotsman
  • Britain’s leadership in NATO is under threat – John Healey, The Daily Telegraph

Johnson 4) …and uses Macron’s re-election to push for a fresh deal on Channel migrants

“Boris Johnson is to push for a new deal with Emmanuel Macron on tackling Channel migrants, as the French president heads for a second term… Ministers hope that victory for the prickly 44-year-old will trigger an end to the relentless ‘Brit-bashing’ of his campaign and open the door to a new deal on stemming the flow of illegal migration across the Channel. ‘Hopefully now his electioneering is out the way we can come together around the table and look at sensible solutions to solve what is a shared problem,’ a Government source said. Mr Johnson congratulated Mr Macron within an hour of the polls closing. He said: ‘France is one of our closest and most important allies. I look forward to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world.’” – The Daily Mail

  • The President of France believes the Prime Minister is the devil incarnate – Jonathan Miller, The Daily Mail

Macron beats Le Pen and vows to reunite a divided France

“Emmanuel Macron won a resounding victory against Marine Le Pen in the presidential run-off, becoming the first French modern head of state to secure re-election while holding executive power. Macro 44, won a projected 58 per cent of the vote against Le Pen’s 42 per cent after an aggressive second-round campaign in which he cast the leader of the National Rally as a far-right threat to democracy and European security. Le Pen’s score on her third run for the presidency was lower than expected after she landed in close second place in the April 10 first round. In a sign of the right’s growing power, it was, however, eight points higher than in her duel with Macron in 2017. This marked the highest level ever achieved by the nationalist movement that was founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 1972 and which she inherited in 2011.” – The Times

  • Macron picks up first call from Schultz to celebrate ‘commitment to Europe’ – Daily Express
  • Le Pen’s rebrand failed to help her escape her past – The Times
  • Zemmour claims he saw her defeat ‘coming for years’ – Daily Express
  • ‘I owe you’, the re-elected President tells voters in his victory speech – The Daily Telegraph
  • This was Macron’s triumph – Editorial, The Times
  • Reviving the French economy will be a mammoth task – Roger Bootle, The Daily Telegraph

Dowden suggests there is a ‘strong case’ for Johnson to remain Prime Minister

“Conservative party chair Oliver Dowden has insisted there is a “strong case” for Boris Johnson to remain as prime minister, despite growing backbench anger over the government’s handling of the partygate scandal and fears over upcoming local elections. Johnson now faces three probes into the allegations of rule-breaking throughout the pandemic: the House of Commons privileges committee, which will be led by senior Tory Sir Bernard Jenkin; Operation Hillman, the Metropolitan Police investigation; and the inquiry by civil servant Sue Gray. Dowden said on Sunday that he recognised the “legitimate hurt and anger” of the public over the issue of partygate but argued that the “uncertainty” caused by a change of leader at this time “would be dearly damaging” to the country.” – The Financial Times

  • Anger at Johnson sets the tone for local elections…- The Financial Times
  • …but voters appear ready for a change in Labour stronghold Sunderland – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH – Dowden declares Johnson will lead the Conservatives into the next election

Gove could approve the UK’s first coal mine in decades

“Britain could soon approve its first new coal mine in decades as it tries to reduce reliance on Russian imports. Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove is reportedly preparing to give the thumbs up to a new colliery in Cumbria despite opposition from climate campaigners. Woodhouse Colliery will produce coking coal, used in the production of steel rather than to generate energy for homes. Currently, the steel industry relies on Russia for almost half of its coal – a position which has become undesirable following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Cumbria County Council had originally approved the plan, but ministers launched an inquiry last year after activists objected to the mine ahead of the Cop26 climate change conference. Now the decision is down to Mr Gove, who has until July 7. The Planning Inspectorate sent a report on the mine to Mr Gove earlier this month.” – The Daily Mail

Rees-Mogg facing Cabinet backlash over ‘Dickensian’ plans to return civil servants to the office

“Boris Johnson is facing a cabinet backlash over Jacob Rees-Mogg’s “Dickensian” plans to force civil servants back to the office. Rees-Mogg suggested that civil servants could lose extra pay in the form of the “London weighting allowance” unless they went back to their desks. The minister for Brexit opportunities, whose brief includes government efficiency, has visited Whitehall offices to assess occupancy levels. He has been leaving notes in Whitehall workspaces with the message: “Sorry you were out when I visited. I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.” On Tuesday he gave a presentation to cabinet, including a league table highlighting the departments where the fewest staff had returned to work. Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, objected to Rees-Mogg’s plans and said that the focus should be on civil servants’ productivity.” – The Times

  • WFH penpushers are letting Britain down – Editorial, The Daily Mail
  • Civil service slackers should know their time is up – Editorial, The Sun
  • Looming recession means Whitehall workers need to be at their desks – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

Lawson: Why do those who condemn Rwanda plan ignore the EU’s callous scheme for Libyan migrants?

“Apparently, Priti Patel has taken a leaf out of Adolf Eichmann’s book. Or that is what some civil servants working for her seem to be saying. The Home Secretary’s plan to redirect to Rwanda those travelling here from France in dodgy vessels organised by criminal people-smuggling gangs has evoked comments on an internal civil service noticeboard such as: ‘The words ‘I was only obeying orders’ are echoing down through history to me and making me queasy.’…The EU has for years been funding and assisting the interception of boats carrying would-be migrants from Libya, and returning them to detention centres in that country. A formal deal to this effect between the EU and Libya was struck in 2017, and since then more than 82,000 refugees have been intercepted at sea and turned around in this way.” – The Daily Mail

  • Rwanda is more like a detention camp than a sovereign state, warns former ambassador – The I
  • The good migration news that ministers are trying to hide – James Kirkup, The Times
  • Brexit was supposed to take back control of immigration. It hasn’t – Nick Timothy, The Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH – Rwanda asylum plan is “unethical”, says Starmer 

Three Cabinet ministers facing sexual misconduct probe ‘could be suspended’ from the Commons

“Cabinet ministers who are accused of sexual misconduct could face suspension, the Tory chief suggested yesterday. Three of Boris Johnson’s top team have been reported to the parliamentary authorities over #MeToo allegations, a bombshell report has revealed. The big beasts — whose identities are secret — are among 56 MPs who have been referred as part of the Pestminster scandal. Two Labour frontbenchers are among those reported to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. In one shocking example, an MP is accused of bribing a staff member for sexual favours, The Sunday Times said. Tory chairman Oliver Dowden insisted the House of Commons was a safe place for women.” – The Sun

  • ‘Cover-up’ row now hitting Starmer on home turf – Andrew Pierce, The Daily Mail

Wallis claims a ‘part of me died’ whilst speaking out over rape trauma

“The Conservative MP Jamie Wallis has said “a part of me died” when he was raped, as he called for more support for victims and confirmed he intends to transition to living as a woman. Wallis, who is the MP for Bridgend, said since making a statement last month about being raped he had been contacted by a “shocking” number of men and women who had had similar experiences. “None of us, no matter who you are or what side of the House of Commons you sit on, you cannot get it right until we have an understanding of how pervasive this is,” he said, adding, “at some point we are going to have to find a way of identifying people that need … who have been through this trauma and need help”.” – The Guardian

Independent football regulator to oversee game in England

“The UK government has confirmed it will create an independent football regulator for England that will be given sweeping powers to block “unscrupulous” owners from buying clubs. The new authority will be handed oversight of club finances and takeovers, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said on Monday, with powers to investigate and sanction clubs. “Whether you’re cheering on at home or away, this government will ensure fans are once again at the heart of the game,” said prime minister Boris Johnson. The government said it would publish further details in a white paper in the summer, including an “indicative timetable” for legislation.” – The Financial Times

  • Ministers considering plans to allow the retail of alcohol in sight of the pitch at lower league games – The Sun

Baroness Meacher: Assisted Dying Bill now backed by most MPs

“A majority of MPs in the House of Commons are in favour of a law change on assisted dying, a peer leading the campaign has said. Baroness Meacher, who led a private member’s bill to the House of Lords on the issue last year, believes that there is enough support among MPs to pass legislation. Her Assisted Dying Bill, enabling adults who are terminally ill to end their own life, is likely to fall at the state opening of parliament in May, after Boris Johnson failed to back it. Meacher said, however, that enough minds were changing in the Commons to enact a law change in the next few years. She said: “My belief is we have a majority. Things are moving all the time. It’s really quite extraordinary the extent to which there’s been a shift . . . We are picking up changes from against to supporting. Now we have a majority of MPs who are signed-on supporters, or who are probably supporters.” – The Times

Transport select committee suggest Covid travel rules were ‘disproportionate’

“The government’s travel rules to control the spread of coronavirus were “disproportionate” and “arbitrary”, according to an influential cross-party group of MPs who called on ministers to do more to ease a hiring crunch as the aviation industry starts to recover again. The House of Commons transport select committee said on Monday that passengers were left “struggling to navigate a confusing ‘traffic light’ system” that saw 15 different changes to travel rules in less than two years. It also highlighted problems people encountered accessing affordable Covid-19 tests for travel and refunds for cancelled flights.” – The Financial Times

Labour 1) Starmer again forced to deny he broke the law over lockdown beer and pizza incident

“Sir Keir Starmer was yesterday forced again to deny he had broken the law by drinking beer and eating pizza indoors with colleagues during lockdown. The Labour leader reacted angrily when the BBC asked him if he felt lucky to have escaped being fined by police, given that Rishi Sunak has been penalised for being briefly present at a birthday party for Boris Johnson. Appearing on BBC1’s Sunday Morning show, Sir Keir accused host Sophie Raworth of asking him ‘the same questions seven times’ before continuing: ‘The police looked into it, that’s the end of it. ‘I’ve got nothing to add. There’s no equivalence.’” – The Daily Mail

Labour 2) Reeves vows to scrap non-dom status after Sunak’s wife’s tax-scandal

“Labour aim to cash in on the tax scandal over Rishi Sunak’s wife by ending non-dom status. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves will today announce proposals forcing people living in Britain to pay tax here. Ms Reeves said: “It simply isn’t right that those at the top can benefit from outdated non-dom tax perks.” Non-doms do not pay UK tax on money they earn overseas — even if they live here full-time. Labour said it will replace non-dom status with a scheme for people who are living in the UK for only short stints. The Chancellor’s Indian wife Akshata was blasted for not paying full UK tax on her £600million fortune.” – The Sun

Labour 3) Duffield claims her party are making ‘complete idiots’ of themselves over trans debate

“Labour MP Rosie Duffield has claimed her own party are ‘making complete idiots of ourselves’ over women’s issues, as she warned it was driving some Labour voters to the Conservatives. The Canterbury MP has been subject to online threats and branded a ‘transphobe’ after she stated that ‘only women have a cervix’. She has also previously claimed that ‘self-identification’ as a woman might not be appropriate for entering women-only spaces. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer last year insisted it was ‘not right’ to say only women have a cervix and described Ms Duffield’s statement as ‘something that shouldn’t be said’. He has since continued to grapple with Labour’s position on transgender rights and recently swerved questions on whether a woman can have a penis.” – The Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • Apres Macron, the radical left? – Freddy Gray, The Spectator 
  • Macron is the leader France deserves – Dominic Sandbrook, UnHerd 
  • Marine Le Pen and the Thatcher Paradox – Ed West, Substack 
  • UK politics is a cartel closed to the young – Molly Kingsley, The Critic
  • How the West can drive a wedged between India and Russia – Jack Watling and Sidath Kaushal, Engelsberg Ideas