Published:

Johnson will invoke Churchill as he becomes first world leader to address Kiev parliament

“Boris Johnson will today hail Ukraine’s ‘finest hour’ in standing up to Russia as he becomes the first world leader to address Kiev’s parliament. The Prime Minister will evoke Sir Winston Churchill and salute the resistance of Ukrainians in the face of the brutality of the Russian invaders. He will also announce a new £300million package of military support as he addresses the country’s politicians by video link. His appearance comes after his surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital last month… The key Ukrainian city of Odessa is planning to honour him by naming a street or square after him.” – Daily Mail

  • UK to provide £300mn of further military aid to Ukraine – FT
  • Zelensky warns of impending world food crisis – Daily Mail
  • British-made parts for jamming systems and military radios found in Russian weapons – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Ignore Putin’s threats and expand Nato now – William Hague, The Times

Ukrainian refugees ‘to sue Patel’ after being left in limbo over visas

“Priti Patel, the home secretary, is said to be facing mass legal action from hundreds of Ukrainians who remain in limbo after applying for a visa to come to the UK. The refugees applied to travel to Britain weeks ago to escape the conflict but their cases are in a backlog, which has resulted in them remaining in eastern Europe. Some 59,000 people have had visas approved but are yet to arrive, according to the latest government figures. Only 15 per cent of the 74,700 Ukrainians who applied under the sponsorship route have made it to Britain. Amanda Jones, an immigration and public law barrister, has been instructed to launch legal proceedings on behalf of “many hundreds” of Ukrainians…” – The Times

  • Record number of Channel migrants reaching the UK as crossings ‘fuelled by Rwanda delays’ – Daily Telegraph

Dorries accuses Starmer of lockdown lies

“Nadine Dorries has become the second cabinet minister to urge police to investigate allegations that Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner broke coronavirus rules last year. The culture secretary claimed that “no reasonable person believes” Starmer’s account of a campaign event in Durham in April last year. Conservative MPs have increasingly drawn attention to the event, at which Starmer was photographed drinking beer, since Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were fined last month for breaking lockdown rules. At the time of Starmer’s event, indoor socialising was banned.” – The Times

  • Labour leader refuses to set record straight over ‘lockdown beer and curry party’… – The Sun
  • …and to say he will cooperate if police reopen ‘beergate’ inquiry – Daily Telegraph
  • Conservatives voice frustration about the lack of action from Durham Police – Daily Mail
  • Labour lied about Rayner being at Beergate bash because they’re ‘very busy’ – The Sun

Editorial:

  • Police must do their duty over Beergate – Daily Mail

Johnson will stay even if Tories crash at local elections, says minister

“The local elections are not a referendum on Boris Johnson’s leadership and he will remain as Prime Minister regardless of how badly the Conservative Party performs, a Cabinet minister has said. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary, admitted the Tories could face a wave of protest votes on Thursday amid public anger over the “partygate” scandal. But she insisted the results could not be viewed as a judgement on the Government’s performance because not every council seat is up for grabs and many voters will be focused on local issues.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Can the Conservatives hold on to their flagship London council? – FT
  • Tories ‘set to lose 550 seats’ in worst local election performance in a generation – Daily Telegraph
  • Prime minister ridiculed over apparent location confusion in since-deleted tweet – The Guardian

>Today: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: The findings of my 8000 sample poll on Partygate, Johnson, Starmer and politics as the local elections loom

>Yesterday:

Prime Minister vows to slash energy bills by building nuclear reactor every year…

“Boris  Johnson vowed to get people’s energy bills down by building a nuclear reactor every year as he gears up for this week’s local elections. The PM was yesterday on the campaign trail in Hartlepool – where he won a historic by-election last year – to show how its nuclear power plant could be supercharged with new tech to keep energy costs lower. Speaking from a power station he said it was “crucial that the government fixes our energy supply issues” to help keep working people’s bills down. He remarked that France and Switzerland had been able to ride the wave of global gas price hikes thanks to their high tech nuclear stations.” – The Sun

>Today: Dr Gerard Lyons’ column: How the Bank of England has failed to control inflation. And what should be done to reform it.

…and to revive right to buy for ‘Generation Rent’

“Boris Johnson is considering plans to give people who rent from housing associations the right to buy their homes at a discount. The prime minister has tasked his policy unit, led by Andrew Griffith, with reviving Margaret Thatcher’s housing policy for “generation rent”. There are about 2.5 million households, or five million people, in England who rent from housing associations and could benefit, although sources cautioned that policy development is at a very early stage with options being explored on how it could work. Johnson is said to believe that an expanded version of right to buy would help renters in the seats in the Midlands and the north, where he swept aside Labour at the 2019 election.” – The Times

All-women shortlist for ‘Porn MP’ by-election would be ‘demeaning’, says Donelan

“An all-women shortlist for the seat of “Porn MP” Neil Parish has been rejected by a minister as “demeaning”. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said she would not support the idea, suggesting women should become MPs on merit alone. It comes after Caroline Nokes, who chairs the women and equalities committee, said the Tories must select a woman to succeed Mr Parish to display “real evidence of change”. Mr Parish, 65, resigned on Saturday after he admitted watching porn in the House of Commons, triggering a by-election in his Devon seat of Tiverton and Honiton.” – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Why I’m backing Lord Frost to take the porngate MP’s seat – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Bullying, sexual misconduct, and harrassment at Westminster. There’s less evidence for all three than you may think.

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Williams selected as the parliamentary candidate for Chesham and Amersham

Ministers ditch plans to empower tech regulator

“The UK is poised to shelve plans to empower a new technology regulator, in a blow to global efforts to curb the dominance of internet companies, including Google and Facebook. The government’s new legislative programme is not expected to include a bill to provide statutory underpinning to the digital markets unit that is based within the Competition and Markets Authority, said people briefed on the situation. Without the legislation the UK tech regulator will not be able to set rules for leading internet companies and impose fines on them for breaking those rules.” – FT

Lifting ban on new grammar schools could help level up education for poorer areas, MP says

“Removing a ban on creating new grammar schools would end the ‘geographic sweepstake’ in education quality, a Red Wall Conservative MP has claimed. Jonathan Gullis, a former teacher, has launched a campaign to scrap the ban so that poorer areas can benefit. There are no grammars in the North East and almost half of the 163 in the UK are in London and the South East. Mr Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, said: ‘We can level up the country by offering students in the most deprived constituencies the same choice in education as the least deprived.’” – Daily Mail

Starmer urged to ditch hard-left Labour MPs

“Sir Keir Starmer must force hard-left Labour MPs out of his party or risk losing the next election, his allies believe. While the Labour leader has distanced himself from Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, some of his own team are privately urging him to go further to demonstrate to the public how much he has changed his party. Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine Starmer told 11 Labour MPs to withdraw their names from a letter condemning Nato’s “eastern expansion” or have the whip suspended. The MPs who signed the letter, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, included members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet such as John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon.” – The Times

  • MP hits out at private pharmacies over claims of ‘profiteering’ from HRT shortages – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour has ‘healed wounds’ over antisemitism, say Barnet council hopefuls – The Times

Sturgeon suggests she may challenge an order to publish legal advice

“Despite Ms Sturgeon’s push for a second referendum by the end of 2023, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shown no sign he is willing to give the formal consent that ensured the 2014 vote was legal. The Scottish Government was last week ordered to publish details of legal advice it has received over a potential second independence referendum by 10 June. But Ms Sturgeon again suggested she could challenge that order as she highlighted how divulging such legal advice could be a breach of the ministerial code.” – Daily Mail

  • SNP nightmare as voters turn against them on cost of living response – Daily Express
  • Sturgeon refuses to define ‘woman’ because it ‘oversimplifies’ the trans debate – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • The ship with painted-on windows: a £400m parable of Sturgeon’s sinking rule – Eddie Barnes, Daily Mail

US Supreme Court ‘votes to overturn Roe v Wade’

“The US Supreme Court has voted to overturn its landmark Roe v Wade ruling that guaranteed broad access to abortion in every state, calling it “egregiously wrong”, according to a draft majority opinion leaked last night. The draft says that the issue of abortion should be returned “to the people’s elected representatives” meaning that each state will be able to decide whether to ban abortion and how to regulate it, a return to the position before the 1973 ruling. A final version of the court’s decision is expected in about two months but the draft suggests that it will hand a historic victory to opponents of abortion…” – The Times

  • The first known case in modern history of a draft decision being leaked – Daily Mail
  • What is Roe v Wade and how does it affect abortion rights in the US? – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • This housing fiasco shows how badly we need to rein in the Quango State – Henry Hill, CapX
  • Will Scotland’s census extension ruin the results? – Michael Simmons, The Spectator
  • Why are we supporting Ukraine? – Christopher S Browning, The Critic
  • Flashman’s world seems strangely current – Aris Roussinos, UnHerd