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News review – Monday 22 April 2019

News review – Monday 22 April 2019

Theresa May

A vote on Theresa May’s future among the party’s grassroots supporters which could hasten her departure from office is just weeks away after enough local party chairmen signed a petition supporting it. The National Conservative Convention, which represents Tory volunteers, now has a duty under the party’s constitution to call an “extraordinary general meeting” to allow a no confidence vote in Mrs May to be held. Any vote would be unprecedented and would put pressure on Conservative MPs to change the leadership rules and allow them to hold an early vote on Mrs May’s future which could see her being forcibly removed from office.

A TORY grassroots plot to force Theresa May into quitting has secured enough support to trigger an emergency party meeting for a no-confidence vote. The Prime Minister’s failure to secure Britain’s exit from the European Union has unleashed a furious uprising in the party. Last night the threshold needed to demand an extraordinary general meeting of the party’s national convention, the most powerful body representing the rank and file, was reached. Sources involved in the plot said the petition had been backed by at least 65 constituency association chairmen after the Prime Minister’s “spectacular failure to deliver” Brexit. “It’s a farce,” they added. “If she’s not capable of doing the job, then somebody come forward that is because this just can’t go on.”

Tory activists are drumming up a new plot to oust “calamity” Theresa May by June 30 over her handling of Brexit . Fresh reports have emerged that activists want to change party rules to force another leadership challenge against the flailing Prime Minister. Currently Mrs May has a year’s grace after surviving a Tory leadership challenge in December 2018. But furious activists say she should face a contest again sooner after delaying Brexit to October 31 and opening softer deal talks with Labour .

THERESA May is expected to be told she must step down as Prime Minister by the end of June or Conservative MPs will change the party rules and force her out. The chairman of the party’s all-powerful back bench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady is poised to tell May that now 70 percent of her MPs want her to resign over her handling of Brexit and for being in charge when support for the party collapsed. Sir Graham will meet with the committee’s 18 executives on Tuesday to discuss whether or not to tear up the party’s rules to allow a new no confidence vote on May before December. Insiders say undecided “swing voters” are pushing for a change in the rules unless she agrees to go by June 30, The Times reports. As chairman of the body that represents the interests of the party’s back-benchers Sir Graham effectively holds a powerful kingmaker role and is usually the one to tell a Tory leader when it is time to go.

A leading Tory donor says that he and other benefactors angry at Theresa May’s handling of Brexit are bypassing party HQ and giving directly to MPs who oppose the prime minister’s deal. Alexander Temerko, a Ukraine-born businessman who has donated more than £1 million to the Conservatives, said that Remainers and Brexiteers were frustrated at Mrs May’s leadership and lack of progress and that she had “alienated” donors. Mr Temerko, a Remainer, said that he had given tens of thousands of pounds in the past few months “not to CCHQ but to associations and MPs”. “Who is suffering? CCHQ. A lot of donors now prefer to support individual MPs not CCHQ,” he said.

Conservative Party

THERESA May has been forced to abandoned plans for a major Cabinet reshuffle next month because of the Brexit delay. The new blow to the PM’s survival hopes comes as it emerged that three out of five party members plan to refuse to vote Tory in the euro elections. Close allies had urged the PM to carry out a big clear of her ageing top team. The move would have helped fend off calls for her to resign immediately after an expected local election meltdown on May 2. Ushering in a younger generation of Tory MPs to the Government’s top ranks could have kept the PM in No10 until December, Cabinet allies argued. But the new six-month delay to Britain’s EU exit until October has plunged Mrs May into a fresh crisis and destabilised her yet further.

THERESA MAY has had to abandon plans for a Cabinet reshuffle due to the Brexit delay. A senior No10 source revealed a reshuffle would be “impossible”. They told The Sun: “A reshuffle is going to be impossible now. Things are just too precarious. The last thing we need is any more enemies on the backbenches.” Allies close to the Prime Minister encouraged her to spring clean her top team. The move would have reportedly eased calls for Mrs May to resign. The allies argued a younger generation of Tory MPs would have kept Mrs May in power until December, the Sun reported. The failed plans follow news that three out of five Tory members will refuse to vote Conservative in the European elections.  Meanwhile, Chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady has order Mrs May to stand down.

Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed after footage emerged of him branding British SAS soldiers in Iraq ‘lawless’. The Labour Party leader was filmed just days after the dramatic rescue of two special forces men from an Iraqi police station in 2005. Speaking at a Stop the War rally, Mr Corbyn, who was a backbench MP at the time, said: ‘What happened in Basra this week, you could have written a play about it, you couldn’t have made it up. ‘British SAS officers, armed to the teeth, driving through a checkpoint, dressed in some other clothing, then tried to shoot their way out of it, and then they are arrested, apparently quite properly by the local police.

Labour will be beaten by Nigel Farage if it offers only “mealy-mouthed” support for a second Brexit referendum, Tom Watson has warned Jeremy Corbyn. In what will be seen as an extraordinary criticism of his leader, Mr Corbyn’s deputy says his own party is trying to “sit on the fence about the most crucial issue facing our country”. Mr Watson – who backed a fresh public vote last month – warned the tactic risked handing victory to Mr Farage’s new Brexit Party, which has topped polls for next month’s European Parliament elections. And he said: “Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half-agree with him.

Labour will never defeat Nigel Farage if it continues to “sit on the fence” over Brexit and offers only “mealy-mouthed” support for a second referendum, the party’s deputy leader says today. In an extraordinary intervention that exposes the tensions at the top of the party over Brexit strategy, Tom Watson warns that Labour will lose to Farage’s new “far right” Brexit party in May’s European elections if it continues to give the impression that “we half agree with him”. Writing in today’s Observer, Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy argues that Labour needs to give much clearer and more enthusiastic backing to another referendum and also spell out a positive, radical vision of how a Labour government could advance socialist values by working with other centre-left parties inside the European Union.

Labour cannot beat Nigel Farage at the upcoming European elections if it ‘sits on the fence’ on Brexit, the party’s deputy leader has warned.  Tom Watson said Labour needed an ‘inspiring’ message and had to show ‘real leadership’ to counter Mr Farage and his newly formed Brexit Party.  Polls for the hastily arranged European Parliament elections have shown Labour and the Brexit Party battling for first place.  Mr Watson said Labour would profit by backing a second referendum but many of his colleagues fear it would damage the party in northern England.  Writing in the Observer, he said: ‘Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him.

BBC News
Labour must promise another Brexit referendum to counter the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader has said. Writing in the Observer, Tom Watson said his party could not “sit on the fence” about the biggest issue to face the UK for a generation. But ex-UKIP leader Mr Farage said a new referendum would be “a total insult” to five million Labour Leave voters. The UK has been given an extension to the Brexit process until 31 October. This means the UK is likely to hold European Parliament elections on 23 May. Mr Farage launched his new Brexit Party last week and said it had a list of 70 candidates to fight the May elections. Mr Watson warned that Labour would not defeat Mr Farage “by being mealy- mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him”. “We won’t beat him unless we can inspire the millions crying out for a different direction,” he added.


Yesterday, a poll suggested that up to 40 per cent of Tory councillors are willing to back Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party in the European elections. But it’s not just councillors he’s winning over. Having already unveiled Annunziata Rees-Mogg, whose brother Jacob is the high priest of Tory Brexiteer MPs, Farage is hinting he has some other big names up his sleeve — and some will be announced at a press conference tomorrow. One who is reportedly on the verge of signing up is my good friend and former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe. A Tory for 55 years, the redoubtable Widdecombe campaigned hard for Brexit and was appalled by the failure to deliver on the Article 50 commitment to leave on March 29. In a recent TV interview Widders, an MP for 23 years, described Theresa May as the worst Tory leader since Sir Anthony Eden, who led Britain into the humiliating 1956 Suez Crisis.

THERESA MAY has been snubbed by Tory councillors, with 40 percent saying they will vote for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party at the European elections. A recent survey of elected grassroots Tories found three quarters of Mrs May’s councillors wanted her to resign, with 43 percent of them calling her to quit immediately. Just over half said they would vote Tory in the European election – a figure that would rise to 65 percent if the Prime Minister was replaced by leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson, according to a Survation poll for the Mail On Sunday. A further 40 percent said they would vote for Mr Farage’s Brexit party. However, this figure would plummet to 22 percent if Mr Johnson was in Number 10. A staggering 96 percent agreed that the party has been damaged by the Brexit deadlock.

Conservative members and activists are likely to abandon the party in vast numbers in the European parliament elections in favour of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, two surveys have suggested. A questionnaire of party members for the ConservativeHome website found 62% were planning to vote for the Brexit party if the European elections went ahead in the UK in May as expected, and only 23% intended to vote for their own party. Separately, a poll of Conservative councillors by Survation for the Mail on Sunday found 40% were planning to vote for the Brexit party, and only 52% for the party they represent in local government. Ministers have claimed the European elections could still be cancelled if MPs approved the Brexit agreement first, but parliament would also have to pass the withdrawal agreement legislation before 23 May and at Westminster it is widely assumed that even if Theresa May found a surprise majority for a deal there is no realistic chance of her meeting this timetable.

The full extent of the Tory Brexit meltdown has been exposed in a shock poll – which shows almost HALF of councillors are set to back Nigel Farage. Only 52% of Conservative councillors plan to vote for their own party in the EU elections, according to a damning Survation poll of 781 of them. And a whopping 40% said they plan to vote for the Brexit Party, the new outfit set up by Farage in direct opposition to the Tories. The survey reveals the depth of anger against Theresa May among grassroots Tories after she delayed Brexit to October 31, and opened cross-party talks that could lead to a softer deal. Some 96% of councillors said the Brexit deadlock damaged the party. And 76% want the Prime Minister to resign – with 43% saying she must go immediately.

A LARGE number of Tory councillors have proposed to back Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, according to reports. A survey found 40 per cent of them will back the former Ukip leader’s new party in the European Elections next month. And at least three quarters of them are hoping she will resign, with almost half are calling for her to quit immediately, according to The Mail on Sunday. The newspaper surveyed 781 Conservative councillors and found that 65 per cent of them would vote for Conservatives if Boris Johnson became the party leader. But some 40 per cent would reportedly back Farage’s new party if the Tories remained under their current leadership. Some 15 per cent of those surveyed said they believed Mr Farage would be the best leader of the Conservative Party.

A staggering 40 per cent of Conservative councillors say they will back Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party in the European elections, in a fresh grassroots revolt against Theresa May. Three-quarters of Tory councillors want the prime minister to quit, a survey found – while an overwhelming 96 per cent believe their party has been damaged by the Brexit stalemate. The devastating results come after one local Conservative group took the extraordinary step of refusing to help with the 23 May elections – insisting they “should not be happening”.

Nigel Farage said yesterday that he is planning a ‘northern attack’ on Labour-voting Leave areas. It came as Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, called for his party to back a second Brexit referendum. Mr Farage, leader of the new Brexit Party, which last week surged to a shock lead in the polls, said he would be targeting ‘Labour lies and dishonesty’ in the run-up to the European Parliament elections on May 23. He said any notion of a second referendum would be a ‘total insult’ to the five million Labour supporters who voted Leave.  But Mr Watson insisted Labour backing for a second – or ‘confirmatory’ – referendum was the only way to respond to the challenge posed by Mr Farage.

An eminent British academic has warned that a political status quo defined by an increasingly insular and out of touch political class could be shattered by the rise of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. John Gray, an Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics (LSE), pointed out that while around a third of MPs from the Labour Party came from working-class families in 1945, when that party won its first ever majority government, today “only around four percent of [all] MPs come from this background.”


Boris Johnson taking over at No 10 would be “the end of the road” for several Conservative MPs who would defect to the new centrist Change UK party, its leader says. Heidi Allen, a former Conservative, predicted “a number” of her former colleagues would follow her across the Commons if the arch-Brexiteer – or someone like him – succeeded Theresa May as prime minister. She also played down fears that the failure of Change UK to agree a joint slate of candidates for the European Parliament elections with the Liberal Democrats and Greens would damage the anti-Brexit cause. Ms Allen said she had studied the workings of the proportional voting system to be used on 23 May, adding: “I don’t think there’s a risk of that. “We will poll differently in different parts of the country but I think we stand every chance of doing very, very well in certain regions.”

Foreign aid

Vital foreign aid could be cut as Tory leadership rivals push their anti-aid platforms with Conservative members, a Labour frontbencher has warned. The budget could be used as a “political football”, the shadow international development secretary claimed. It is feared aid could emerge as a pivotal issue in a leadership contest after Theresa May announces her departure date.  The UK is committed to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) on development assistance overseas – £13.9bn in 2017.  It was a target first met by David Cameron’s administration, and one Ms May’s government has remained committed to, despite calls from prominent MPs in the party to scale back the budget


Patients recovering from a stroke can slash their risk of blood clots by wearing a small “half wrist-watch” around their leg, a trial has shown. A study at Royal Stoke University Hospital found the geko device could reduce the risk of clots compared to standard treatment, is comfortable to wear and could save the NHS cash. Approved for use on the NHS for other conditions, the geko is a battery-powered, disposable, device designed to increase blood flow in the deep veins of the legs. Its action is the equivalent of about 60 per cent of walking – even though the patient does not have to move.


Instagram is helping drug pushers to provide “dial-a-deal” services by recommending local suppliers of cocaine and cannabis, a Times investigation has found. Dozens of accounts linked to dealers in large cities included photographs of drugs on offer, mostly cannabis, as well as the location. While being illegal, selling such drugs is also against Instagram’s terms, but the dealers operate openly. Interest in accounts of cannabis dealers led to recommendations for sellers of cocaine. Following a drug dealer’s account on the social network or liking a post triggered suggestions to follow other dealers, sometimes in the same area. Several accounts found using hashtags such as #brumweed and #mancdank featured offers such as “free shipping” and “bulk discounts”.

The post News review – Monday 22 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Easter Sunday papers – 21st April 2019

Easter Sunday papers – 21st April 2019


A leading Brexiteer has changed his mind, reports the Express.

JACOB REES-MOGG has said he “made a mistake” in believing Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” mantra after the Prime Minister forced the UK into a six-month extension in order to avoid a no deal Brexit this month.
The leading Brexiteer said he showed a “degree of naivety” in believing Theresa May would support a no deal Brexit. Channel 4’s political editor Gary Gibbon said Mr Rees-Mogg had “underestimated” how resistant the Prime Minister was to a no deal Brexit. In response, the leading Brexiteer said: “Oh, absolutely. You are absolutely right.
“That was my miscalculation.
“I made a mistake of believing the British Prime Minister, which actually historically can often be a mistake.
“I am making a criticism myself of a degree of naivety.”
The Government had spent £12.4million between mid-November and mid-January on external consultants’ fees and £700,000 more in a PR push publicising Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement and her hard Brexit plans.
The consultants were asked to draw up alternative plans to the Irish backstop, against which MPs had already announced in December they would oppose.
They also had to prepare the country for a no deal Brexit if the British Parliament failed to reach an agreement by March 29.
But these costly efforts turned out to be ineffective, as the Prime Minister’s deal was overwhelmingly defeated on January 15 by a record 220 votes.

And hardliners are totally determined to reject the PM’s WA, reports the Times.

The resurgence of Nigel Farage has left hardline Conservative Brexiteers even more determined not to vote for Theresa May’s deal.
Two polls this week put the former Ukip leader’s new Brexit Party in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections, due to take place on May 23.
“Whatever happens we cannot have these European parliament elections,” one senior Conservative told The Times. “The referendum was supposed to kill Ukip — what May’s done over the last two weeks has dug up the corpse and put Farage’s face on it.”

Conservative Party

Businesses are being drafted in to prevent BoJo becoming the next Prime Minister, reports the Times.

Amber Rudd and other leading Tory moderates have issued an open letter to business owners urging them to join the Conservative Party so they can vote to prevent a hard Brexiteer from becoming the next prime minister.
In a move designed to combat the influence of the hardline leavers of the European Research Group (ERG), the new One Nation group of Conservatives urged those who want a closer relationship with the EU to sign up and fight.

Labour Party

The Labour Party has accused the Tories of nicking its policies, reports the Telegraph.

The Conservatives have stolen 16 policies from Labour under Theresa May’s leadership, having “run out of any vision or ideas”, the opposition has claimed.
Labour officials highlighted a series of announcements by ministers that echoed earlier pledges by the party’s front bench.
They included a new levy on purchases of homes by foreign buyers, a proposed law to  ban restaurants from keeping tips intended for staff, and planned restrictions on junk food advertising.

And the Mirror calls for Labour to back a second referendum.

Labour must back a second Brexit referendum in order to respond to the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson said.
He said the party could not “sit on the fence” on the biggest issue facing the country, in comments which appear aimed at putting pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to make a second referendum a red line issue in Brexit talks with Theresa May .
A “confirmatory” referendum on any deal was “the very least” that voters should expect, Mr Watson said.
Writing in the Observer, the Labour deputy leader said: “Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him.

BBC News also reports the deputy leader’s comments.

Labour must promise another Brexit referendum to counter the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader has said.
Writing in the Observer, Tom Watson said his party could not “sit on the fence” about the biggest issue to face the UK for a generation.
But ex-UKIP leader Mr Farage said a new referendum would be “a total insult” to five million Labour Leave voters.
The UK has been given an extension to the Brexit process until 31 October.
This means the UK is likely to hold European Parliament elections on 23 May.

The Guardian challenges the party to get off the fence.

Labour will never defeat Nigel Farage if it continues to “sit on the fence” over Brexit and offers only “mealy-mouthed” support for a second referendum, the party’s deputy leader says today.
In an extraordinary intervention that exposes the tensions at the top of the party over Brexit strategy, Tom Watson warns that Labour will lose to Farage’s new “far right” Brexit party in May’s European elections if it continues to give the impression that “we half agree with him”.
Writing in today’s Observer, Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy argues that Labour needs to give much clearer and more enthusiastic backing to another referendum and also spell out a positive, radical vision of how a Labour government could advance socialist values by working with other centre-left parties inside the European Union.


The Telegraph has given Nigel Farage a column.

The rapid rise of the Brexit Party in the polls just days after we launched formally has sent a shiver down the spine of the Conservative Party. This sense of apprehension is well deserved, as far as I am concerned. The omens for Theresa May do not look good.
Take Councillor Barry Lewis, the Conservative leader of Derbyshire county council. On Friday, he confirmed that his group recently supported a motion not to take part in the European elections on May 23.
Just think about that. The faithful servants of one of the oldest political parties in the world are on strike.

But is The Brexit Party a resurgence of UKIP?  The Express reports:

BREXIT-BACKING Tory MPs have accused Theresa May of “digging up the corpse of Ukip” with her withdrawal agreement as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party surges in European election polls.
Hardline Brexiteers in the Conservative Party are rallying against the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal by pledging to vote it down for the fourth time. One senior Tory MP told The Times: “Whatever happens we cannot have these European Parliament elections. “The referendum was supposed to kill Ukip  — what May’s done over the last two weeks has dug up the corpse and put Farage’s face on it.”


Boris in No. 10 could mean a lot of defections, reports the Independent .

Boris Johnson taking over at No 10 would be “the end of the road” for several Conservative MPs who would defect to the new centrist Change UK party, its leader says.
Heidi Allen, a former Conservative, predicted “a number” of her former colleagues would follow her across the Commons if the arch-Brexiteer – or someone like him – succeeded Theresa May as prime minister.
She also played down fears that the failure of Change UK to agree a joint slate of candidates for the European Parliament elections with the Liberal Democrats and Greens would damage the anti-Brexit cause.
Ms Allen said she had studied the workings of the proportional voting system to be used on 23 May, adding: “I don’t think there’s a risk of that.

The new pro-EU party is to launch its euro elections candidates, reports the Guardian.

The anti-Brexit party Change UK will this week unveil its list of 70 candidates for next month’s European elections after receiving more than 1,000 applications from former Labour, Tory, Liberal and Green party activists.
The party’s interim leader, the former Tory MP Heidi Allen, who yesterday challenged other leaders to a TV debate, claimed that the exodus from established parties showed Change UK was now the “natural home of the ‘Remain Alliance’” and of people who wanted a second referendum.
The party said that, of 3,700 people who had applied to stand under the Change UK banner in the 23 May poll, 895 were former Labour activists, 105 were ex-Liberal Democrats and 92 ex-Greens. Dozens of other applicants had been active in the Tory party, including former MPs. Of the Labour defectors, 32 were either former MPs, or had previously been parliamentary or council candidates.

Euro elections

The Sun claims Tories are defecting to TBP in the euro elections.

A GROUP of Tory councillors have proposed to back Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, according to reports.
A survey found 40 per cent of them will back the former UKIP leader’s new party in the European Elections next month.
And at least three quarters of them are hoping she will resign, with almost half are calling for her to quit immediately, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The newspaper surveyed 781 Conservative councillors and found that 65 per cent of them would vote for Conservatives if Boris Johnson became the party leader.
But some 40 per cent would reportedly back Farage’s new party if the Tories remained under their current leadership.

Voters are about to give the PM a bloody nose, says the Sun.

ANGRY voters today warn Theresa May she has five weeks to deliver Brexit — or face a giant backlash in the Euro elections.
Two-thirds want the PM to get the UK out of the EU by any means to avoid the cost and humiliation of having to field candidates on May 23.
They make clear they are ready to desert the Tories in droves if she misses her third departure deadline.
The emphatic “get out now” message is delivered in an exclusive OnePoll survey for The Sun on Sunday. The majority believe it is a waste of £109million to fight the elections when we should have left a month ago.
Nearly a third — 29 per cent — think we should leave without a deal to avoid any further delay. But 19 per cent are prepared for her to strike one with Jeremy Corbyn even if it means staying in the Customs Union.

If we have to go to the polls on May 23, the MEPs elected will make life difficult for the rest of the European Parliament, reports the Telegraph.

The EU will end up with 50 “disruptive and resentful” British MEPs if it forces the country to take part in elections to the European Parliament next month, Liam Fox has warned.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the pro-Brexit International Trade Secretary pointed out that the parliament, which is due to elect the next European Commission president later this year, “will have an effect on the formation of the next commission”.
“The last thing our European partners want are 50 disruptive and resentful UK MEPs,” he added.


Will there be a General Election any time soon?  If the polls are anything to go by, a lot of Tories could lose their seats, says the Telegraph.

Prominent Leavers including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith face losing their seats at the next general election as Brexiteers prepare to punish the Conservatives at the ballot box with voters threatening to boycott the local and European elections over the UK’s delayed departure from the EU.
New analysis by ComRes suggests the Tories stand to lose 41 seats, with 29 Leave MPs set to be ousted as voters switch to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP following a public backlash against Theresa May in Conservative heartlands.

Conservative leadership

Meanwhile, speculation continues as to when Mrs May will stand down, says the Times.

Theresa May will be told this week that she must step down as prime minister by the end of June or her MPs will change the Tory party leadership rules to force her out.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the back-bench 1922 committee, is set to visit May to tell her that 70% of her MPs now want her to resign for botching Brexit and presiding over a collapse in Tory support.
MPs on the executive of the committee will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to tear up the rules to allow a new vote of no confidence in May before December. Insiders say “swing voters” are leaning towards changing the rules unless she agrees to go by June 30.


The high speed rail link is a white elephant, says the Telegraph.

Conservative supporters are repulsed by High Speed 2 and would be more likely to support a leadership contender who pledged to scrap it, according to a secret memo circulating among senior Tories.
A briefing produced by Frank Luntz, the veteran US pollster, states that Conservative voters view the £56 billion rail line as an “expensive extravagance”. Any candidates backing the scheme would face questions in the minds of Tory supporters about what else they would “waste our money on”, according to the research.

The Guardian claims the subject will destroy the Tories.

Tory leadership contenders have been warned that opposing the HS2 line will destroy the party’s prospects in key seats for decades, amid concerns that the project will be targeted in the race to replace Theresa May.
Senior figures inside Whitehall, industry and across local government are worried that leading candidates could back either scrapping or seriously scaling back the £56bn scheme in an attempt to win support from wary Tory MPs and fund campaign pledges.
Boris Johnson, one of the favourites to replace May, has raised doubts about the costs of the project. Sources close to Dominic Raab, another leading candidate, said he would look at “getting value for money” for the taxpayer.


The problems the other side of the Channel haven’t gone away, reports the Independent.

The number of child refugees languishing in Calais in the hope of getting to the UK has surged amid warnings that conditions at the border are reaching “breaking point”.
Hundreds of unaccompanied minors are sleeping rough on the northern French coast, with numbers almost doubling in the past three months, according to charities who warn the situation is only getting worse.
While figures show a rise from about 150 to 281, aid workers say the true numbers are likely to be higher as many displaced people, including lone minors as young as 12, are being pushed out of visible areas and further into the “margins of society” due to ramped-up security measures introduced as part of the UK and France’s response to a rise in migrant boat crossings last year.


The World Wide Web is a danger to children, reports the Times.

Internet safety watchdogs and intelligence agencies are holding crisis talks about a new version of Britain’s most popular web browser, which they fear will endanger children.
They say Google’s plans to encrypt Chrome will make it harder to block harmful material, including child-abuse images and terrorist propaganda. The new version will bypass most parental control systems and undermine the government’s attempts to stop under-18s viewing pornography.
At present, internet safety in Britain relies on broadband companies such as BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk identifying harmful or age-inappropriate material. An encrypted browser makes it impossible for companies to detect and filter out offensive or illegal material.


The service is to fund a new procedure for deaf children, reports the Telegraph.

Pioneering brain surgery that allows children who are deaf to experience the sensation of hearing for the first time is to be funded across the NHS.
Specialist teams will provide the radical surgery for under-fives who are unable to use conventional hearing aids or implants because their inner ear or auditory nerve did not develop properly.
Health officials said the “life-changing” auditory brainstem implants will now be offered by specialist teams at hospitals in Manchester and London for children across the country.
The Health Secretary said he was “in awe” of the extraordinary medical advances which will allow young children to hear.


Teachers’ unions are warning that their members work too hard, says the Guardian.

Teachers in the UK run the risk of “dying in their classrooms” if they are forced to work through serious illnesses, a teaching union conference has been told after a member revealed dramatic evidence.
Neil Jeffrey, a secondary school teacher, opened his shirt to show the scars left by a triple heart bypass operation he underwent 10 weeks ago, during a debate on a motion about age discrimination against older teachers.
“The longer teachers have to work, the greater the chance of them ending up with unwanted body art like this,” said Jeffrey, 49, who told delegates at the NASUWT annual conference in Belfast that he was expected to return to work at the start of May.

And if they get too old …  The Independent reports:

Ageing teachers are at a serious risk of dying in their classrooms if they are not given the support they need, a union has been warned.
The warning came from a member of the NASUWT  teaching union who called on its national executive to “investigate the incidence of serious ill health” among older teachers who are working longer.
Neil Jeffery, a teacher at The Oxford Academy, who recently had a triple heart bypass after having a heart attack last year, warned that school staff could die in the classroom amid an ageing working population.
Following a debate at the conference in Belfast, teachers backed a motion that condemned a culture of “work until you drop” in schools and called for the teachers’ retirement age to be lowered.

The Morning Star claims teachers have to respond to parents’ mails.

TEACHERS are being made to feel guilty if they do not reply to “how dare you” messages from parents, a union has warned.
A survey of over 1,500 teachers, published today by teachers’ union NASUWT, found that only 5 per cent of teachers did not receive work-related emails outside of school hours.
Teachers told the union they often receive work-related emails, including from parents and school management, when off sick or on maternity leave.
Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) said they got emails in the evening, and 55 per cent before the school day began. Fifty-eight per cent received work-related messages at the weekend, and 45 per cent during school holidays.

The post Easter Sunday papers – 21st April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Easter Saturday papers – 20th April 2019

Easter Saturday papers – 20th April 2019


International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox has announced agreements that will boost trade if we leave the EU under WTO rules, reports the Express.

THE UK’s Trade Secretary boosted no deal Brexit plans by announcing a new trade agreement with the two nations as the Government fights to replicate around 40 current EU trade deals before Brexit day.
The new agreement means the UK will be able to trade freely with the two nations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Dr Liam Fox tweeted on Monday evening: “BREAKING: Our negotiators have just initialled a trade agreement with Iceland & Norway for the European Economic Area. “This is the 2nd biggest agreement we’re rolling over and trade with EEA is worth nearly £30bn.
“This is on top of the agreement we’ve signed with Liechtenstein.”
The announcement follows Dr Fox issuing a thinly veiled warning to MPs who are threatening to vote down Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement.
Discussing a third meaningful vote with Sky News’ Sophie Ridge on Sunday, the trade secretary said: “If we get a deal we will actually get all those deals rolled over. It will all happen if the Prime Minister’s deal is accepted.
“That’s one of the great bonuses that we get. It’s one of the things my colleagues in the House of Commons on both sides should be thinking about. If we want to get continuity in that, then the deal is on the table. We simply have to vote for it.”

Theresa May

She’s going to try again with her WA, reports the Express.

THERESA MAY will embark on another desperate scramble to get her deal through Parliament this week, with Brexit just 11 days away. Here are the latest odds and news on a no deal Brexit.
Last week, MPs voted to rule out a no deal Brexit at any time. While it’s clear the direction Parliament wants to take, the results of that vote are not legally binding. And unless something happens between now and 11pm on March 29, the default position of the UK is to leave the EU without a deal. You’d be forgiven for being a little confused as to exactly what went on in Parliament last week – if so, head HERE to catch up on what went on.

But the Telegraph reports she could be in for a new vote of no confidence.

Theresa May could face a new confidence vote in the wake of the European elections under plans that will be considered by senior Tory MPs this week, The Telegraph can disclose.
On Tuesday the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs will meet to discuss whether the rules should be changed to allow a new bid to remove the Prime Minister.
Alan Mabbutt, a senior Conservative Party official, has confirmed that the rules surrounding leadership challenges are not determined by the party’s constitution but by backbench MPs themselves.

And the Mirror reports that canvassers are avoiding mentioning her on the stump.

Tory canvassers are refusing to mention “toxic” Theresa May as they try to woo people ahead of next month’s local elections.
The Conservatives are braced for a bruising as angry voters switch to either Nigel Farage’s new Brexit  Party or Remain-supporting groups.
And unhappy activists reckon the PM’s Brexit performance has made her a liability as they campaign.
Grassroots Conservatives chair Ed Costelloe said: “Campaigners are only talking about what’s happening at a local level, because the frustration they are hearing about what’s going on at a national level is virtually universal.
“Most people canvassing are saying this is worse than anything before.

The Express reports she could upset her MPs by making arrangements to continue in post – despite her promises to stand down (sound like Bercow!).

THERESA MAY could enrage Tory MPs by asking for new legislative plans for the re-opening of Parliament after the Easter break – despite pledging she would stand down as party leader before the “next phase” of Brexit talks.
Government officials have been told to prepare final plans for legislation to be included in the Queens Speech, which opens Parliament annual after the Easter recess. But the Times reports the Prime Minister told Government departments she will “actively consider” ideas for the speech, which details the Government’s legislative programme. But the move will anger Tory MPs, following Mrs May pledging to stand down from office before the next phase of Brexit talks begin.
Any attempt by Mrs May to open a new session of Parliament will enrage Tory MPs asking for her to stand down.

Conservative Party

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has an exclusive report about senior Tories losing their seats in any forthcoming General Election.

Prominent Leavers including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith face losing their seats at the next general election as Brexiteers prepare to punish the Conservatives at the ballot box with voters threatening to boycott the local and European elections over the UK’s delayed departure from the EU.
New analysis by ComRes suggests the Tories stand to lose 41 seats, with 29 Leave MPs set to be ousted as voters switch to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP following a public backlash against Theresa May in Conservative heartlands.

The Express reports that grassroots Brexiteers are furious.

FURIOUS Brexiteers are set to punish the Conservatives in the next General Election, with poll data indicating they could lose 41 seats, including 29 Leave MPs.
New analysis from ComRes shows voters could shift their allegiances to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP in the backlash. Tory MPs told the Telegraph the future of their party is “diabolical” and that voters had described the Westminster elite as “w*****s’. Local election officers have allegedly received calls asking what the point of voting is after Brexit was delayed again.
If a vote was held tomorrow, the poll suggests Labour would win 290 seats versus the Conservative’s 277.

The Express also claims the Tory party has selected anti-Brexiteers as prospective MEPs.

THE CONSERVATIVE Party has selected two MEP candidates who support a second referendum for the EU elections and have demanded Brexit is cancelled.
Theresa May has faced increasing pressure to support a second referendum as she remains in a bitter struggle to get her Withdrawal Agreement passed in the House of Commons.  The UK was granted a Brexit delay until October 31, meaning MEPs will take part in the European elections. Sajjad Karim, who has described Brexit as ‘madness’, will be top of the party’s MEP candidates list in the North West of England.
His selection comes as Charles Tannock, who co-founded the Conservatives for a People’s Vote campaign, will be on the ballot paper in London for the EU elections.

Labour Party

Labour has also selected Leavers to run in the Euros, reports Westmonster.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have selected hardline anti-Brexit candidates high up on their lists for the European Elections. Anyone who respects the 2016 referendum result cannot possibly vote Labour.
The party itself clearly doesn’t think an EU deal with Theresa May to stop the elections going through is likely, saying on their website: “It now looks increasingly likely the UK will be required to participate in the European Elections on 23 May 2019.”
It emerged yesterday that Lord Adonis has been selected as number two on the Labour list for the South West of England. Adonis has been about about his desire to overturn the referendum result and kill off the UK’s exit from the European Union, describing the upcoming EU Election as a chance to “make them a campaign to stop Brexit”.
Also standing for Labour is Eloise Todd, who is number two on the list for Yorkshire and the Humber. Todd was CEO for ‘Best for Britain’, an anti-Brexit group that is said to have received at least £800,000 from foreign billionaire George Soros.
Best for Britain describe themselves as “a group of campaigners, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and citizens from across our country who have come together with one single mission: to oppose and stop Brexit”.


Nigel’s new party is hardening attitudes against the Tories, reports the Times.

The resurgence of Nigel Farage has left hardline Conservative Brexiteers even more determined not to vote for Theresa May’s deal.
Two polls this week put the former Ukip leader’s new Brexit Party in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections, due to take place on May 23.
“Whatever happens we cannot have these European parliament elections,” one senior Conservative toldThe Times. “The referendum was supposed to kill Ukip — what May’s done over the last two weeks has dug up the corpse and put Farage’s face on it.”


The Telegraph reports a comment by an EU boss saying that any resulting economic problems would be the fault of the UK.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission chief, has warned that the UK would be “100 per cent” responsible if its decision to leave the EU caused economic turmoil, as he urged MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
In an interview with a German newspaper, Mr Juncker urged the UK not to waste its six month extension to the Article 50 process and added that he did not have hopes of the UK eventually reversing Brexit.
“We need to be prepared for a soft and a hard Brexit. In any event, the UK’s withdrawal will have a negative impact – more for the British than for the EU,” he told Funke.

ITV News also has the story.

Any kind of Brexit will have “negative consequences” which will be worse for Britain than the EU and be entirely the UK’s responsibility, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Mr Juncker said the “ball was in Britain’s court” and urged the House of Commons to support the deal negotiated by Theresa May.
A second extension to Brexit was granted to the UK following talks in Brussels earlier this month, with the so-called flextension meaning the departure date will be October 31 this year, or sooner if the Withdrawal Agreement is passed.
In an interview with the German Funke Media Groupe, Mr Juncker repeated the words of European Council president Donald Tusk and urged the UK “not to waste time”.

Juncker may be worried about no deal, but …  Reuters reports:

There is a still a concern that Britain may leave the European Union without a deal to smooth the way, the bloc’s chief executive said on Saturday, urging Britain to take advantage of a six-month delay to work out the details of its departure.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made the comments in an interview with German newspaper FUNKE Mediengruppe, a week after EU leaders gave Britain six months more to exit the EU.
“Nobody knows how Brexit will end. This is creating great uncertainty. There is still a fear that there will be a hard Brexit without any withdrawal treaty arrangements,” Juncker said, citing the long-term negative impact on Europe’s economy.
Even though the extension to Oct. 31 offers little clarity on when, how or even if Brexit will happen, Britain should use the time wisely, he said.
“I hope that the British will make use of this time and not waste it again. We cannot keep on putting off the withdrawal date indefinitely. The best solution would be for the British to adopt the Withdrawal Agreement during the extra time that has been agreed,” Juncker said.

But the US could take a hand if any agreement Is detrimental to Northern Ireland, says the Express.

THE US has warned the European Union it will oppose any Brexit deal that undermines the Northern Ireland 1997 peace agreement that could endanger a proposed trade deal.
The warning comes from US Democratic congressman Richard Neal and is the latest threat to the UK that a future trade deal with the US will not happen should Brexit put the Belfast Agreement at risk. Mr Neal is chairman of the influential House of Representatives oversight committee which scrutinises trade deals. Speaking to The Irish Times ahead of a US delegation’s visit to Ireland this week, he said: “If America wants a trade agreement with the European Union, which I think is very desirable – I want it – at the same time you are back to the same issue on the Border if you do anything that dampens or softens the Good Friday Agreement.”


The Speaker could be forced to allow the President to speak to MPs, says the Telegraph.

John Bercow must allow President Donald Trump to address Parliament this summer or risk damaging Britain’s special relationship with the US, ministers have suggested.
Preparations are underway for President Trump to make a full State visit to the UK in June to coincide with D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations.
But the Speaker is refusing to extend the traditional courtesy of asking the visiting President to address both Houses of Parliament.
US officials have made it clear that they are angered by Mr Bercow’s snub, which has become an embarrassment to the Government as it tries to make the State visit happen three years after it was first offered by Theresa May.

The Independent also has the story.

Donald Trump should be allowed by Commons speaker John Bercow to address parliament if he makes a state visit to the UK this summer, defence minister Tobias Ellwood has said.
His comments came amid mounting speculation that the US president will travel to Britain in June to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Mr Bercow sparked controversy in 2017 by saying Mr Trump should not be allowed to address Parliament on his visit to the UK.
He said that it was “not an automatic right, it is an earned honour”.
However, Mr Ellwood said the UK should “leverage” Mr Trump’s visit.

Climate change protest

Meanwhile, across London, the police have taken action to open the roads, reports the Independent.

Police have cleared climate activists from part of the Oxford Circus demonstration as the Extinction Rebellion protests entered their fifth day.
London’s busiest shopping street remained blocked despite although police manage to move the pink boat which had been used to block the junction with Regent Street.
The vessel was attached to a lorry and taken away up Regent Street followed by a number of jogging uniformed officers. Regent Street is still cordoned off by officers.

Sky News reports the arrests.

Police have arrested more than 680 climate change protesters as they say they aim to give businesses on London’s Oxford Street a chance to return to “business as usual”.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Officers have made a number of arrests, mainly focused at Oxford Circus, as we are trying our best to give the businesses a chance to return to ‘business as usual’.
“One thing that is unusual about this demonstration is the willingness of those participating to be arrested and also their lack of resistance to the arrests.
“To date (since Monday 15 April), we have made over 680 arrests and of course that places a logistical problem on, and not just, the police service for cell space but also the wider criminal justice system.”

And ITV News reports that the protesters pink boat has been removed.

A pink boat used by Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists to blockade Oxford Circus has been towed away by police after five days at the heart of the climate demonstrations in London.
The boat, which became a symbol for the ongoing disruption, was dismantled on Friday afternoon, several hours after Dame Emma Thompson used it as a stage to rally protesters.
Dame Emma Thompson has rallied cheering Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists blocking London’s busiest shopping street and declared “our planet is in serious trouble”.


Assaults on NHS staff have risen, says the Mirror.

The number of assaults on NHS staff has hit a record high, with 63 being attacked every day.
Figures show 23,009 were reported at hospital trusts across England in 2017/18 – up from 13,417 in 2010/11.
But the number is likely to be higher as not every NHS trust responded to the Freedom of Information request for details.
The chances of staff being attacked on over stretched wards has increased by half since the Tories came to power.


And violence in schools is also on the increase, reports the Times.

Almost a quarter of teachers are suffering violence at least once a week at the hands of their pupils, according to a union survey.
Evidence gathered from 4,912 teachers found that 89 per cent had been subjected to physical or verbal abuse over the past year and 24 per cent said they had been physically attacked by pupils at least once a week. About 5 per cent said this happened every day.
The poll by the NASUWT teaching union, published before its annual conference in Belfast, also found that 86 per cent of teachers had been sworn at and 42 per cent verbally threatened.

And ITV News reports that pupils are misbehaving.

More than two-thirds of teachers responding to a union survey have said they believe poor pupil behaviour is a widespread problem at their school.
Almost 700 teachers responded to the survey teaching union NASUWT carried out in Scotland between February and this month.
A total of 67% of the 673 respondents said poor pupil behaviour was a widespread problem at their school.
No one should go to work with the expectation of being physically or verbally abused.
NASUWT believes ways of dealing with the disruptive pupils in schools such as restorative behaviour strategies have left teachers “increasingly vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse”.


Hundreds of thousands of new homes could be built on land held by developers, reports the Telegraph.

Housebuilders are sitting on enough land to build more than 800,000 homes, analysis by The Telegraph has found, raising new ­questions about efforts to increase the supply of new properties and reverse the decline in home ownership.
The total number of plots in the top nine housebuilders’ land banks has risen by 25pc in the past five years to around 838,000. That is despite a ­series of Government reviews and policies meant to increase the rate of building.
Campaigners claim it is in the companies’ interest to hold on to land for as long as possible and cash in after it rises in value, but housebuilders insist they are held back by the planning system.

International Crime

An international court is called for in the Independent.

The challenges posed by webs of corruption  spreading across borders – fuelled by fraud, money laundering and illicit offshore funding schemes – has raised the urgent need for an international court, and a restitution fund which can fairly redistribute the money and assets seized back from illegal ownership, say the organisers of a newly launched petition.
More than $40 trillion of suspected “dirty money” secreted in offshore financial jurisdictions, and $30bn spent anonymously on luxury properties and goods are some of the estimated examples of this hugely bountiful and egregious trade.

The post Easter Saturday papers – 20th April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Thursday 18 April 2019

News review – Thursday 18 April 2019

Queen’s Speech

Theresa May could put off the Queen’s speech until later this year, with government sources saying there were no immediate plans to bring one forward while parliament had not yet approved a Brexit deal. May had been widely expected to schedule a Queen’s speech setting out the government’s legislative agenda within weeks, because she announced a two-year parliamentary session in mid-June 2017. However, some within the government believe May is prepared to ignore demands for a programme of new laws, even though parliament has run out of business to discuss apart from Brexit legislation, which is currently stalled. A Downing Street source said it would not be fair to say the Queen’s Speech was being delayed, because no official date had been set for one. “There’s no obligation to have one at a fixed point and there’s no immediate plans to bring forward a Queen’s speech,” the source said. There is usually one Queen’s speech each year, and it has taken place in May or June in recent years, but Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, announced a two-year session after the last election in order to “build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans”.

The polls

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party have surged to an astonishing first place in the latest opinion poll for the European Elections.  A YouGov poll has Brexit leading on 27%, with Labour on 22% and the Tories third with 15%. Incredibly, the YouGov poll shows that 55% of Leave voters are already planning to vote for the Brexit Party, as are 49% of Conservative 2017 voters. Just 34% of 2017 Tory voters are planning to vote Conservative at the EU Elections, whilst 10% of Labour voters are planning to vote Brexit as well.

Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party has surged ahead in opinion polls for next month’s European Parliament elections, with a new survey suggesting it is on course to leave Labour and the Conservatives trailing in its wake. The YouGov poll placed the party on 27 per cent within a week of its launch, putting it well ahead of Labour on 22 per cent and the Conservatives on 15 per cent, just weeks before the 23 May elections.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has surged into the lead for the European elections, according to two opinion polls. Having formed only in January, the party has leapfrogged Labour and the Tories and eaten into Ukip’s support. A YouGov poll for The Times put the Brexit Party on 23 per cent, Labour on 22 per cent and the Conservatives on 17 per cent. Last week it was on 15 per cent, Labour was on 24 per cent and the Tories were on 16 per cent.

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has surged into first place in opinion polls ahead of the European Parliament elections next month. The party, which was only formally launched on April 12, is now favoured by 27 per cent of voters. The Brexit Party was third in YouGov’s poll in the week of its launch on 15 per cent, with support for the new group almost doubling in a matter of days.

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party could win elections to the European Parliament if they go ahead a pollster has claimed. A survey by pollster YouGov shows that the ex-UKIP leader’s party could beat both Labour and the Conservatives with its simple message – Leave the EU with No Deal. The survey shows support for the  Brexit Party at 27 percent of the vote, far ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives.

The Brexit Party has surged into the lead in the race for the European Elections after a top pollster predicted Nigel Farage’s new party could win its first election. A second YouGov survey on the state of the party’s ahead of EU Parliament elections shows the Brexit Party rising dramatically from 15 per cent to 27 per cent. Most of the gain comes at the expense of Ukip – which when led by Mr Farage won the 2014 contest – which plunged from 14 per cent to 7 per cent.

The Brexit Party, which only officially launched last weekend has already surged past the two main legacy parties in a new poll and is now rated as the lead party in voting intentions for the May European Union elections. The new poll by major UK pollsters YouGov shows Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party surging by 12 points in a week, from 15 per cent to 27 per cent as of yesterday, the most recent figures available.

NIGEL Farage’s new Brexit party could WIN the European elections as voters punish the Tories for the ongoing chaos around Leaving the EU. Fresh polling from YouGov puts the top Brexiteer’s new party ahead of Labour and the Tories on 27 per cent. Labour are on just 22 per cent, down several percentage points, and the Tories slumped down to 15. Ukip have had a boost to seven per cent too.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, which is currently leading in the polls for the EU elections, will win the contest unless Labour can portray itself as the natural home for remain voters, Margaret Beckett has claimed. Polling commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign suggested the former Ukip leader’s new party was on course for a five-point lead, with remain voters split between Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National party, the Green party and Change UK.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is polling on 27%, up from 15% in the last poll and nearly double the vote share of the Conservative Party. 49% of people who voted Tory in 2017 currently plan to vote for the Brexit Party in the EU elections, only 34% actually plan to vote Tory. The Brexit Party’s 12% jump is sending a shockwave around Westminster, meanwhile the explicitly anti-Brexit parties have only mustered 25% between them…

Conservative Party

Fury within the Conservative Party continues to build, with party activists now looking to force a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. The situation appears increasingly dire.  Tory Association Chairmen are looking to use a petition that will trigger an Extraordinary General Meeting, which can then be used for a vote of no confidence against May. It requires the backing of 65 local Chairmen. So far between 40 and 50 have signed, according to The Telegraph. The letter in circulation reads: “Almost three years since we voted to leave and after two extensions to the original departure date, we no longer feel that Mrs. May is the right person to continue as Prime Minister to lead us forward in the negotiations.

EXPRESS.CO.UK readers have shared who they want to be the next Conservative Party leader after a new plot to oust the Prime Minister by grassroots Tories was revealed. A petition was launched by the National Conservative Convention (NCC), the senior body of the Tory Party’s voluntary wing, calling an Extraordinary General Meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, which received between 40 and 50 signatures from party chairmen this evening.

Senior Tory activists are petitioning for an emergency general meeting of party bosses in a new bid to force out Theresa May as leader, it emerged today. An emergency meeting will be called if 65 Conservative Association chairmen sign a petition demanding one. Between 40 and 50 are thought to have done so.  The petition blames Mrs May for Brexit being delayed twice and says she is the wrong person to lead the negotiations with the EU onward.

Grassroots Conservative activists will try to press Theresa May to stand down as prime minister by forcing an extraordinary general meeting to allow a vote of no confidence from party members. The vote would not be binding on the prime minister, but the National Conservative Convention (NCC) would be obliged to hold the meeting if more than 65 Tory association chairs called for one to be held. The attempt, first reported by the Telegraph, has been organised by the Conservatives’ London East area chairman, Dinah Glover.

Fed-up local Tory chairmen are plotting to force out Theresa May sooner than planned by using little known powers in the party rule book. An emergency meeting of the Conservatives’ National Convention, which represents the party’s grassroots, can be called if 65 local association chairmen agree, paving the way for a no confidence vote in the Tory leader.  The signatures are already being gathered, with Brexit-leaning grassroots Tories furious at the Prime Minister’s handling of the UK’s departure from the EU.

An MEP who attacked the prospect of Brexit in the run up to the referendum and has since vowed to push for a “soft” exit and Single Market membership has apparently been selected as a lead candidate for the party. Sajjid Karim has today claimed that he will be the number one candidate on the Conservative list for the North West of England in the European Elections. So where does he stand?

Labour Party

Senior Labour MPs say Jeremy Corbyn must back a fresh Brexit referendum unequivocally within weeks or Nigel Farage will snatch a shock European elections victory. Worried backbenchers piled pressure on the Labour leader to shift his stance before the 23 May poll, after the former Ukip leader was revealed to be on course to triumph at the head of his new Brexit Party.

Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have accused other anti-Brexit parties of damaging the chances of success in the European elections by refusing to fight on a joint ticket. Vince Cable lashed out at The Independent Group and the Greens for rejecting his pleas to stand joint candidates on 23 May, to boost the number of MEPs demanding a second referendum. The Lib Dem leader revealed that his party proposed fighting together – a move that one election expert has predicted could have delivered an extra six seats in Brussels.

Anti-Brexit parties should have forged a non-aggression pact for European elections, Vince Cable admitted. The outgoing Lib Dem leader claimed there was “not a great deal” of difference between his party and the fledgling Change UK group. He wanted an agreement which would have ensured the pro-EU vote was not split when the country goes to the polls on May 23. He told the BBC: “It would be better I think from the point of view of supporters of British membership of the European Union.


Conservative MPs are to launch a further attempt to prise John Bercow from office amid anger over what they claim is the Speaker’s bias against Brexit. The backbencher behind the move, who says it has support from the government front bench, warned Mr Bercow yesterday that “enough is enough”. There have been reports that the Speaker wants to stay in his post beyond the summer if Brexit is not resolved.

John Bercow is facing another attempt to oust him as Speaker after a leading Conservative MP began collecting signatures for a no-confidence motion. Crispin Blunt, a former chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, wrote to fellow MPs saying he wanted to table an early day motion saying Bercow was no longer impartial. In the letter, he claimed to have some frontbench Conservative support for the move against the Speaker, who has enraged the government in recent months by refusing to let MPs vote repeatedly on Theresa May’s Brexit deal after their rejections of it.

BBC News
A Conservative MP is making a fresh attempt to remove John Bercow from his position as House of Commons Speaker. Crispin Blunt has said he will table a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker when the House of Commons returns from recess on Tuesday. In a statement posted on Twitter, the Reigate MP accuses Mr Bercow of bias over Brexit and overruling precedent on “a number of key votes”. The Speaker’s office did not provide a comment on the motion.


A NO DEAL Brexit could be forced on the UK by European leaders according to a dramatic intervention by Sir Ivan Rogers, formerly the UK’s Permanent Representative to the European Union. Sir Ivan claimed European powers could refuse to grant an additional Article 50 extension, meaning Britain leaves without a deal on October 21. The UK had been due to depart on March 29, but this was delayed twice.

Google, Amazon and eBay will be forced to tell companies exactly how they rank their services online after tough new rules to avoid unfair competition were approved in Europe on Wednesday.  Internet sites that advertise other companies’ products and services will have to make their terms and conditions “fairer and more transparent” after tougher measures were backed by the European Parliament.

Climate change

As statements go, it did little to dissuade climate change protesters hellbent on wreaking havoc across the streets of London. Reiterating his “passion” for peaceful protest as “the cornerstone of our democracy”, Sadiq Khan could barely disguise his glee at the idea of Extinct Rebellion taking aim at the Government’s supposed inaction on climate change – while diverting attention from criticism of his response to London’s knife crime epidemic.

Climate change protesters arrested and then released have been returning to bolster numbers at roadblocks in London as police warned of a drain on resources before the Easter weekend. Hundreds of officers in high visibility uniforms last night marched on one protest at Parliament Square to begin clearing demonstrators as the protests threatened to cause a fourth day of disruption in central London.

Morning Star
POLICE arrested more than 300 Extinction Rebellion protesters in London today while demonstrations continued in their “uprising” against the government’s inaction over climate change. Three protesters glued themselves to a Docklands Light Railway train, causing minor delays at Canary Wharf station. Extinction Rebellion warned the day before that they would “non-violently disrupt Tube services” if no government minister met a representative of the group.

Hundreds of arrested eco-activists are being released without charge to rejoin protests bringing London to a standstill, as furious business leaders blasted the Met and the Mayor demanding someone ‘take control’. The demonstrations which have inconvenienced 500,000 people and cost businesses £12 million since Monday, brought further chaos to the capital’s today as the protesters superglued themselves to tube trains. Despite the police having issued a public order notice 48 hours ago demanding protesters on Waterloo Bridge disperse and regroup at their Marble Arch protest site, the bridge remains closed to traffic in both directions as the protesters there continue to be arrested.

Press freedom

Britain ranks below Ghana, South Africa and Jamaica in a new league table of press freedom because of “heavy-handed” media restrictions. The UK is 33rd in the latest annual World Press Freedom Index, published by the Reporters Without Borders campaign group. This is seven places higher than last year but the country remains one of the lowest-ranked in western Europe, behind Germany (13), Spain (29) and France (32).


Huffington Post
Most secondary school heads have been forced to cut teachers to save money, a new poll underlining the scale of the education cash crisis has revealed.  Over two-thirds (69%) of secondary school leaders said they had no choice but to shave teaching staff numbers, the Sutton Trust’s survey of 1,678 teachers found.  Around a quarter of heads (27%) have also redirected pupil premium cash – money targeted specifically at disadvantaged children – to pay for teaching staff and to plug gaps elsewhere in their budget.

Schools are spending money set aside for their poorest pupils to pay teacher salaries, a survey has found. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of secondary school head teachers and 22 per cent of primary heads admitted using their pupil premium fund to “plug gaps” in their budget, according to a poll of teachers. Of these, most said they used the extra funds – which are designated for boosting the attainment of children from deprived backgrounds – to pay for teachers and teaching assistants.

British universities have spent about £87 million since 2017 on gagging orders to stop staff who have been paid off going public with the dispute. Figures obtained by the BBC show the scale of non-disclosure agreements. The deals were designed to stop staff sharing trade secrets if they changed jobs. Lawyers say, however, that they are being misused to protect employers who could be guilty of misconduct. Ministers say that they want to tighten the rules.

Universities have paid £87million in the past two years in compensation to academics who complained about bullying, sexual misconduct or discrimination. The payments, which average more than £22,000, all included non-disclosure clauses which prevented the individuals talking about their cases. The settlements covered about 4,000 cases in which academics had made allegations in 96 institutions, according to freedom of information responses collected by the BBC.


House prices grew at their slowest pace in more than six years in February as the southeast of England dragged down the rest of the market with its first fall in prices since 2011, according to official figures. Average house prices in Britain rose by 0.6 per cent to £226,000 in the year to February, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was slower than the 1.7 per cent growth in the year to January and the lowest annual growth rate since September 2012, when the economy was contracting.

For decades, they have made far more from their bricks and mortar than anyone else in the country. But now home-owners in the South East are losing money on their homes – after prices there fell for the first time in eight years. Meanwhile, properties in the North gained in value, according to the latest official figures. The average South East property’s value fell 1.8 per cent during the year to February, dropping to an average of £315,000.


Britain must act urgently to save Christians around the world from persecution that is “unprecedented in many centuries”, the Church of England and Roman Catholic church have said. In a rare joint statement, the churches demanded extra training for diplomats and asylum for Christian refugees. Britain had provided only “piecemeal” support to those facing discrimination, and even “mass killings” on account of their faith, the churches warned in their submission to a Foreign Office review.

The post News review – Thursday 18 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Monday 15 April 2019

News review – Monday 15 April 2019

Euro elections

A Labour move to ban pro-Brexit candidates standing for the party in the European elections was revealed last night. Labour’s 20 MEPs, who are all Remainers, have urged Jeremy Corbyn to force all candidates to promise to back calls for a second referendum, party sources claimed. But the move is fiercely opposed by some members of Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, who fear it will drive Brexiteer Labour voters towards Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party or far-Right groups in the May 23 elections. The row was revealed after Richard Corbett, Labour’s leader in the European parliament, said Mr Corbyn must back a second referendum – or ‘confirmatory vote’ – in its Euro elections manifesto.

Huffington Post
Two leading supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are in the frame for a plum European Parliament seat when Labour selects its candidates this week. Laura Parker (pictured above), national coordinator of the grassroots group Momentum, and Katy Clark, a former MP and political secretary to Corbyn, are both in contention for a London region MEP spot, party sources said. Gordon Nardell, who is Labour’s new in-house lawyer tasked with dealing with anti-semitism cases, is also seen as a contender.

Tory activists have threatened to boycott European Parliament elections in protest at Theresa May’s decision to delay Brexit. Almost 40 Conservative association chairmen have written to her saying they will not take part because it would be ‘inconsistent and unprincipled to do so’. The letter, seen by the Daily Mail, accuses the Prime Minister of breaking ‘solemn pledges’ to honour the referendum result and ‘leave the EU on time on March 29’.

The Conservatives are facing an exodus as up to 40 EU election candidates are believed to be defecting to the Brexit Party. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has reportedly received word from 26 MPs that privately said they will vote for his new group. And even more are said to be ditching their Tory MEP campaigns in favour of standing for the Brexit Party.

The Conservatives are facing a humiliating defeat at the European elections next month after support for the party slumped to its lowest level since 2013, according to a new poll. The survey shows the Tories on just 28 per cent when it comes to general election voting intention – a four-point fall which leaves them trailing Labour on 32. When voters were asked which party they will vote for at the European elections, Theresa May’s party languished on 16 per cent, eight points behind Labour on 24


ARCH-BREXITEER and Tory MP Sir John Redwood has blasted Theresa May for agreeing to a “needless” Brexit delay and accused Parliament of “dancing on the EU strings”. Mr Redwood said MPs had lost faith in Britain’s ability to govern itself and instead were clinging to the idea of the UK attaching itself to the EU forevermore. The 67-year-old summed up the behaviour of many lawmakers as “bizarre” as they continue to coil away from the offer to “take back control” and instead advocate for a semi-Brexit.

Telegraph (by Boris Johnson)
I know it may not feel much like it at the moment, but some day soon we are going to get out. Unless we MPs have taken leave of our senses, we will honour the wishes of the people. Unless the PM has some secret plan to stifle Brexit with a series of ever more ludicrous delays, it seems to me all but inevitable that we will eventually respect the result of the 2016 referendum and leave the European Union. So don’t despair. Don’t give up. It is going to happen, and at that wonderful moment it will be as though the lights have come on at some raucous party.

A prominent Labour MP was criticised yesterday for likening Conservative Brexiteers to the Nazis and warning that they must not be “appeased”. David Lammy defended comments he had previously made in which he compared members of the European Research Group of Tory MPs to the Nazis. Far from this being an unacceptable comparison, he had not gone far enough, he said, and then accused Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg of associating themselves with far-right propagandists.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has slammed David Lammy after the Labour MP compared him and Boris Johnson to Nazis today. The second referendum campaigner likened the politicians to Hitler in a damning outburst on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. And his rant sparked fury among Conservatives who claim the MP for Tottenham has ‘lost it’ with the comparisons to ‘white supremacists’.  Now, Rees-Mogg has taken to Twitter to criticise the Labour MP: ‘I feel sorry for Mr Lammy, comparing a Parliamentary ginger group with an organisation and creed that killed six million Jewish people makes him look foolish and his comments unbalanced.

JACOB Rees-Mogg has lashed out at David Lammy after the Labour MP compared the Brexit-backing European Research Group to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party. The prominent Brexiteer and chair of ERG said he felt sorry for the Labour MP following his controversial comments which made him “look foolish”. In a blistering attack, Mr Rees-Mogg said Mr Lammy’s comments were “unbalanced” and would “damage his reputation”.  He tweeted: “I feel sorry for Mr Lammy, comparing a Parliamentary ginger group with an organisation and creed that killed six million Jewish people makes him look foolish and his comments unbalanced.

Sky News
Senior Conservatives hope Brexit compromise talks will conclude with enough time for the UK to avoid fighting European Parliament elections. Cabinet Office minister David Lidington and Iain Duncan Smith both indicated they wanted negotiations to wrap up before 22 May. Britain has been granted a new Brexit delay until 31 October by the EU, with the option to pull out of the bloc earlier if parliament passes a divorce deal.


FINLAND has sent a strong warning to the EU after the populist Finns party made huge gains in Sunday’s parliamentary elections to come second. The nationalist Finns Party narrowly avoided victory after taking 17.6 percent after more than 97 percent of votes were counted. They were narrowly pipped to the post by Finland’s leftist Social Democrat party (SDP), with leader Antti Rinne declaring victory after partial results showed his party winning by a tight margin with 17.8 percent

Conservative Party

TORY MPs desperate for a new leader amid the Brexit chaos could oust Theresa May by holding another no confidence vote, it has emerged. Prime Minister Theresa May believes she is safe from a no confidence vote until December under current rules after she faced down the same vote in December 2018. But now Tory grandees Michael Spicer and Archie Hamilton, who are former chairs of the 1922 Committee, have warned that the group can make its own rules. They said the rule of the 12-month block on a new no confidence vote “has been interpreted as being immovable”.

Theresa May could face a fresh leadership challenge within weeks after senior Tories agreed to launch a review of the party’s rulebook. The backbench 1922 Committee is looking at whether to tear up the rules that prevent the party leader facing more than one challenge in a 12-month period. Sources on the committee last night said the change would be debated by the ruling executive at its first meeting back after Easter on April 23. Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady is understood to be seeking legal advice on the proposed change, amid concerns that it could be challenged by supporters of the Prime Minister.

Support for the Conservative Party has sunk to its lowest level in years according to polling from multiple firms. The British public are clearly furious that Theresa May has totally failed to deliver Brexit on time, as promised. The latest Opinium poll has the Tories down to 29% for a General Election, a 6-point drop that gives Labour a 7-point lead. Two weeks ago they were neck and neck on 35% each. This level of support is the lowest Opinium have recorded for the Conservatives since May 2014 nearly five years ago.

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party cannot let itself be defined solely by Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy said on Sunday, as polling showed failure to leave the European Union on schedule has badly damaged its support. May’s authority has been shattered by her three-time failure to get an exit deal approved by parliament and a pledge to quit once Brexit is delivered, driving speculation about her successor and a possible national election.

Philip Hammond has ridiculed three Brexiteer Tory leadership candidates for engaging in “suicide pacts” when they each failed in their bid to be Prime Minister instead of Theresa May. In a speech in Washington, the Chancellor said Michael Gove and Boris Johnson had formed an “unintended suicide pact” during the last leadership contest while Andrea Leadsom effectively “knifed herself” in a “private suicide pact”. The Chancellor said there was likely to be a far “wider field” this time.

Sky News
Sajid Javid is unveiling a radical blueprint for protecting communities from crime, in a high profile move being widely seen as paving the way for a Tory leadership bid. In a major policy speech, he is calling for a dual approach that limits opportunities to commit crime, coupled with early intervention to prevent young people being drawn into it. As well as tackling issues like knife crime, the home secretary’s speech is being seen as a move to step up his campaign to succeed Theresa May as prime minister.

Cabinet rivals to succeed Theresa May are backing the prime minister to stay in office into the autumn if she fails to get her Brexit deal through parliament. A leading Brexiteer demanded yesterday that Mrs May step down by the end of June and raised the prospect of another move to unseat her within months. Supporters of cabinet contenders to succeed her have made clear privately, though, that they do not want a contest before the first stage of Brexit is resolved, even if talks with Labour break down.

The Conservative Party has been hit by more defections this weekend in another major blow to the party. Two former Tory MPs, Stephen Dorrell and Neil Carmichael, have said they are leaving the Conservative Party in order to join the ultra-europhile splinter party Change UK (CUK), formed by eight Labour and three Conservative MPs who had left their former parties over issues including anti-Semitism in Labour and their handling of Brexit.

Labour Party

THE SNP is appealing to Jeremy Corbyn for help in blocking Brexit, saying it would be “unforgivable” for the Labour leader to reach a deal with Theresa May that does not include a second referendum. Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader, said Mr Corbyn was “wasting time” by holding cross-party talks with the Prime Minister and urged him to stop skirting around the issue of a so-called People’s Vote, which is supported by 80 Labour MPs.

Jeremy Corbyn is on course to be prime minister as Conservative support plummets, according to an analysis of recent polling. Labour could capitalise on the Brexit delay to sweep into power, with the Tories set to lose 59 seats in the event of a general election, according to Electoral Calculus research for The Sunday Telegraph. The analysis is the latest in a clutch of surveys which point to a collapse in the Conservative vote, with two other polls this weekend putting support for the party at its lowest in at least five years.

Jeremy Corbyn is set to take power due to Theresa May‘s failure to deliver Brexit by March 29, a polling analysis has revealed.   A general election would see the Conservative Party losing 59 seats, meaning Mr Corbyn’s party would be left the largest in the House of Commons, a Sunday Telegraph poll of polls claimed.  President of the British Polling Council Professor Sir John Curtice said Brexiteers had been ‘drawn back to either Ukip or Nigel Farage‘s newly launched Brexit Party’.

The former cabinet minister chosen to lead an inquiry into Labour’s handling of antisemitism claims he has warned the party that it faces a “very real” electoral threat if it is not dealt with soon. Lord Falconer of Thoroton admitted yesterday that his work was “on hold” while the party awaited an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and said he was “very frustrated” at the slow pace of the investigation. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, Lord Falconer said he feared that the time the commission would take to complete its investigation would be “too long” for Labour to take effective measures against the reputational threat it faced now.

Customs union

The government and Labour must reach a compromise on their red lines around a customs union if a deal is to be reached between the two sides, Theresa May’s de facto deputy has said. David Lidington, who is leading the government’s talks with Labour which are set to continue next week, said there was a deal to be done on the UK’s future customs arrangements after Brexit and said various options were being “tested”. A detailed programme of talks between ministers and shadow ministers on different topics has been prepared to take place next week, over the parliamentary recess.


Thousands of Welsh patients could be banned from English hospitals as a funding row escalates. Conservatives have demanded that the Welsh government “pay up” while NHS insiders expressed frustration that politicians are “just throwing rocks at each other”. Last week the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said that apart from emergency or maternity patients, it would no longer treat people from Wales because they did not bring in as much money as those living in England.

The leader of a government review on the gender pay gap in medicine says that a pensions tax on high earners could deter female doctors from applying for senior roles and awards. Tax rule changes are causing widespread concern in the NHS, with warnings that overstretched services will be understaffed as senior doctors cut their hours to avoid punitive tax rates.


An estimated 53,000 pupils attend so-called zombie schools that are stuck in administrative limbo as they wait for new sponsors. Official figures show that 93 academies are in the process of transferring between trusts after their original sponsor backed out. The figure has increased by 45 per cent from 64 in 2017. The academies are said to be crippled by the uncertainty of the transfer process, with governing bodies hesitanting to make long-term decisions until a sponsor is found.

Children in England with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) have lost out on £1.2bn worth of services because government funding has failed to keep pace with soaring demand for additional support over the past four years, according to an analysis. The number of children and young people with an education, health and care plan, a legal document detailing a child’s entitlement to support for special needs, has risen from 240,000 to 320,000 since 2015 – an increase of 33% – according to research by the National Education Union (NEU).

Private tenants

Landlords will no longer be able to evict people at short notice without good reason under plans to create “open-ended tenancies”. Theresa May will bring an end to “no fault” evictions which give tenants as little as eight weeks’ notice after their fixed term contract has come to an end. Landlords will instead have to take tenants to court and provide “legitimate reasons” for removing people from their properties.

Tenants are to be protected against eviction without good reason in a renting revolution to offer peace of mind to families unable to buy their own homes. No-fault evictions are to be scrapped under government plans to be announced today which will, in effect, make tenancies open ended, as they are in Germany and several other European countries.

ITV News
Private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice and without good reason under a major shake-up of the rental sector, the Government has said. Prime Minister Theresa May said the move would end the threat of so-called “no-fault” evictions which give tenants as little as eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract has come to an end. Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire said the proposed changes would effectively create open-ended tenancies.

Private landlords will be banned from evicting tenants at short notice and without good reason under plans unveiled on Monday. In a major victory for campaigners, landlords will no longer be able to oust renters with as little as eight weeks’ notice after the fixed-term contract has come to an end. It is aimed at effectively creating open-ended tenancies – offering hundreds of thousands of families in rented accommodation greater protections and certainty.

Theresa May has pledged to overhaul the private rental sector by abolishing landlords’ powers to evict tenants at short notice and without good reason. In a major reversal of a policy implemented during Margaret Thatcher‘s time in Downing Street, the prime minister said she was taking action to end “no-fault” evictions in England.  Under the practice – already abolished in Scotland – landlords in England are able to evict tenants on a whim and without reason with as little as eight weeks’ notice, once a fixed-term contract has come to an end.

Housing campaigners have hailed a groundbreaking shift for tenants’ rights after the government announced plans to scrap “no-fault evictions”, which it described as the biggest overhaul for renters in a generation. The government will consult on abolishing section 21 evictions in England, meaning private landlords would no longer be able to evict tenants from their homes at short notice and without good reason.

Landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice without good reason under a major housing shake-up to be announced today. Prime Minister Theresa May said the move would end the threat of so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions which give renters as little as eight weeks’ notice to leave if their fixed-term contracts have ended. But landlords have warned that the move could create ‘indefinite tenancies by the back door’ leading to fewer homes being available in the rental sector.

The post News review – Monday 15 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Sunday papers – 14 April 2019

Sunday papers – 14 April 2019

Conservative Party

The Mirror claims the PM is panicking.

Panicking Theresa May has cancelled the Easter break for her Brexit negotiators in a bid to head off the threat of Nigel Farage.
The former UKIP leader launched his new Brexit Party this week.
Bookies instantly made it second favourite after Labour to win most seats in European elections due on May 23.
The launch sparked fear among the main parties – and put new urgency into talks with Labour counterparts that many thought would be suspended during Parliament’s Easter recess.

The Tories will go to any lengths to save the Premier, reports the Mail.

Tory Whips were at the centre of a growing dirty tricks storm last night after it emerged that a second former Army officer tipped for party leadership is having his past mysteriously probed.
On Thursday, war hero turned Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer took to social media to accuse an anonymous Tory enforcer of attempting to ‘dig up dirt’ about his military career. The accused is understood to be Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher.
Now The Mail on Sunday has learnt that similar enquiries have been made to former Army colleagues of Tory MP Tom Tugendhat – who served in the Intelligence Corps – who last week ruled out a tilt at No 10.

And ITV News reports the other side of the argument – that some Tories will change the rules to get rid of May.

Tory grandees have raised the possibility of a change in the rules governing challenges to the party leader.
Under the current system, a move against the leader can only be brought once in a 12-month period.
Theresa May saw off a bid to oust her last December and so would not expect to face the risk of another possible attempt to topple her until the end of the year.

The Sun reports the reason she won’t call a General Election.

THERESA May faced a hammer blow last night as public sympathy for her collapsed.
The embattled PM has been propped up by voter admiration for her dogged determination to deliver Brexit.
But private polls reveal it began ebbing away after she failed to lead Britain out of the EU on time.
Tory chiefs are alarmed at how quickly voters have lost patience with her.

Labour Party

The Labour Party isn’t doing much better, reports the Independent.

Jeremy Corbyn has been warned by Labour’s leader in the European parliament and other grandees that the party will be deserted by millions of anti-Brexit voters if it fails to clearly back a second referendum in its manifesto for next month’s EU elections.
The message from Richard Corbett, who leads Labour’s 20 MEPs, comes amid growing fears at the top of the party that it could lose a generation of young, pro-EU voters if it does not guarantee another public vote.
That age group, as well as many other Remainers, MPs say, could turn instead to unambiguously anti-Brexit parties, including the fledgling independent group Change UK, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the SNP.

But the Telegraph claims he’s still in the running for No. 10.

Jeremy Corbyn is on course to sweep into No 10 after Theresa May failed to deliver on her promise to take the UK out of the EU by March 29, a major polling analysis reveals.
The Conservatives would lose 59 seats in the event of a general election, making Labour the largest party in the Commons, according to an exclusive poll of polls for The Sunday Telegraph.

The Mail also runs the story.

Jeremy Corbyn is set to take power due to Theresa May‘s failure to deliver Brexit by March 29, a polling analysis has revealed.
A general election would see the Conservative Party losing 59 seats, meaning Mr Corbyn’s party would be left the largest in the House of Commons, a Sunday Telegraph poll of polls claimed.
President of the British Polling Council Professor Sir John Curtice said Brexiteers had been ‘drawn back to either Ukip or Nigel Farage‘s newly launched Brexit Party’.

The Brexit Party

Nigel’s new party is surging in the polls, says Westmonster.

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has had a surge in the latest YouGov poll for The Times, with the new outfit and UKIP polling a combined 29% for the European Elections.
In a poll conducted before Farage launched the party yesterday, the Brexit Party are on 15% for the European Elections compared to 16% for the Conservatives and 24% for Labour who lead.
UKIP are polling a further 14%, meaning the combined Brexit Party/UKIP voting intention of 29% outguns Labour by 5 points.


A private comment has been leaked to the Times.

Jeremy Corbyn has privately admitted that evidence of anti-semitism in Labour has been “mislaid, ignored or not used”, The Sunday Times can reveal.
He made the admission during a secretly recorded meeting with the MP Margaret Hodge to discuss the party’s anti-semitism crisis.
It is the first time Corbyn has cast doubt on his own staff’s ability to tackle the problem that has dogged his leadership for years and whether they have mishandled evidence of racism.

Several of the media have picked up the recorded words.  BBC News says:

Jeremy Corbyn has privately expressed concern that evidence of anti-Semitism within Labour was “mislaid or ignored”, leaked recordings suggest.
The Sunday Times has released part of a conversation the party leader had with Dame Margaret Hodge, which she taped.
The Barking MP has been a fierce critic of Mr Corbyn’s stance on anti-Semitism.
A Labour spokesman said the tape showed Mr Corbyn’s desire for “robust and efficient” procedures and to “rebuild trust with the Jewish community”.

Sky News says the meeting was private.

In a secret recording obtained by the Sunday Times, Jeremy Corbyn reportedly said that he believes that evidence of antisemitism in his party has been “mislaid or ignored”.
He was alleged to have made the comments during a private meeting with Dame Margaret Hodge, who is a long-time critic of Mr Corbyn, over his handling of antisemitism.

Second referendum

But Corbyn is warned that he has to support a second referendum, claims the Independent.

Jeremy Corbyn is under intense pressure from within his shadow cabinet to give a strong commitment to a new Brexit referendum as part of Labour’s European election campaign offer.
A string of senior shadow ministers are advocating a new public vote, alongside MPs from the left and right of the party, buoyed by a groundswell of support from the membership.
The Independent understands Labour is now beginning the process of drawing up its manifesto with those wanting to give the public a final say on Brexit pushing the leader to make a strong bid for the Remain vote on polling day.

BBC News also carries the warning.

Jeremy Corbyn has been warned Labour will “haemorrhage” votes in the EU election unless the party explicitly backs a further referendum.
MEP Richard Corbett, leader of the party in the EU Parliament, told the Observer Labour risked losing out to parties committed to a public vote.
If Labour offered “clarity” on a public vote, it would do “very well”, he said. Labour’s current policy is to keep all options on the table – including pressing for a further EU referendum.

Corbyn’s demands are outlined in the Express.

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded Prime Minister Theresa May scrap her Brexit red lines if cross-party talks on Britain leaving the EU are to succeed.
The veteran left-winger said it is “scandalous” that she has not sought a dialogue with Labour on Brexit over the past few weeks. Mr Corbyn issued a scathing attack on Mrs May while once again pushing for a second referendum on the 2016 Brexit vote.

Green Party

The Greens are under fire in the Times.

The Green Party ignored allegations that its former deputy leader had been involved in sexual misconduct with children, allowing him to remain as a councillor and continue at senior levels of the party for a further two years.
The party admitted last night that it was guilty of “a serious omission and failure” over Will Duckworth, 65, who was its second most senior figure until 2014, a parliamentary candidate in 2015 and a Green councillor until 2016.
An email, disclosed to the Jay inquiry into child sexual abuse, shows senior staff at the party’s headquarters were told of the allegations against Duckworth as early as December 2014.

Euro elections

Back to elections and now we’re facing the Euros, the Independent looks at the polls.

The Conservatives are facing a humiliating defeat at the European elections next month after support for the party slumped to its lowest level since 2013, according to a new poll.
The survey shows the Tories on just 28 per cent when it comes to general election voting intention – a four-point fall which leaves them trailing Labour on 32.
When voters were asked which party they will vote for at the European elections, Theresa May’s party languished on 16 per cent, eight points behind Labour on 24.

UKIP’s former leader has written for the Express (by Nigel Farage).

THIS is not a bad dream, I’m afraid. It is a pitiful reality. On 23 May, Britain will once again be asked to go to the polls to return 73 MEPs to the European Parliament in Brussels.
After 25 years of campaigning to get the UK out of the EU, I am the last person who wanted our country to be in this position. Frankly, I think it is an unforgivable state of affairs. But the refusal of the political class in Westminster to honour the referendum result of 2016 means that this unwanted election is upon us. We must make the best of it.

The Guardian claims the elections will be a ‘soft referendum’.

Pro-EU parties, including the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the Independent Group, will not form pacts or alliances at the forthcoming EU elections, hoping to use the poll as a “soft referendum” to show a surge in support for remain.
If no Brexit deal is passed by parliament, the UK will be required to hold the poll on 23 May. The Lib Dems, the mainstream party hoping to capitalise most on anti-Brexit discontent, has almost finalised its manifesto and plans a huge operation of ground campaigning targeting remain voters.


The rest of the bloc could also vote against the EU, says the Express.

FINLAND could join the likes of Poland, Hungary, Italy and Bulgaria by electing its first populist leader in 20 years, sparking panic for Brussels.
The polls open later today, with the Social Democrat Party (SDP) currently leading the ballot with 19 percent support.
The last time they won was in 1999. Behind the SDP is the Nationalist Finns Party at 16.3 percent in the opinion polls, followed by the centre-right National Coalition Party (NCP) with 15.9 percent.

The Express says Ireland could be forced to count its votes twice.

BRITAIN’s failure to deliver Brexit on time will cause chaos at the upcoming European Parliament elections and may force Ireland to count its votes twice, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has warned.
Ireland had been due to be one of the beneficiaries of the UK leaving the bloc by gaining seats in the Brussels chamber, however a six month extension to Article 50 has almost guaranteed Britain’s reluctant participation on May 23-26. Constituencies in Dublin and Ireland South (Munster and south Leinster) were expected to gain an MEP, and Mr Varadkar wants to ensure it does by being prepared for every eventuality.

And on the other side of the Channel, it seems they’re totally ready for ‘no deal’, reports the Express.

A CALAIS port has unveiled its multi-million pound revamp to prepare for no deal Brexit, with its French CEO insisting “we are not afraid” of the UK’s exit from the bloc.
The Port Boulogne Calais’ has ploughed €6million (£5.17million) in to new facilities at the French city to avoid “chaos at Calais” , in terms of terms of customs, veterinary and phytosanitary declarations. Port boss Jean-Marc Puissesseau, who is also deputy mayor of the French city, told how his port had been preparing for a no deal Brexit since the very moment Britain voted to unshackle itself from the EU in 2016.

Tory leadership

Potential Conservative leaders have started setting out their stalls.  Dominic Raab is covered by the Telegraph.

Private renters should be helped onto the property ladder with a radical new Help to Buy scheme, according to a frontrunner for the Conservative leadership.
Dominic Raab, a former housing minister, says that landlords should be exempted from paying capital gains tax on properties they sell to existing tenants, in order to boost home ownership.
The MP, who quit as Brexit Secretary last year, advocates the plan as part of a “radical agenda” of reforms he says are needed to help deliver on the “dream of the UK as a property-owning democracy. “

The Home Secretary is reported by the Times.

Sajid Javid launched his bid to replace Theresa May as prime minister with a speech to 50 Tory MPs last week in which he said the party needs to “show love” to public sector workers in order to win a majority at the next election.
The home secretary gave what those present said was an impassioned speech as his allies sought to make up for lost time in the leadership race.
Javid described public services as his own “ladder” out of poverty, telling the social justice group of MPs that he used public libraries for study, while praising the NHS, state schools and university for helping him to make his way in the world.

And the Times reports on the campaign to stop Boris.

Senior Tories have launched a “stop Boris” campaign, warning that handing the keys to No 10 to a hard Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab would be electoral “suicide”.
Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the former party chairman who is backing Jeremy Hunt to succeed Theresa May, today launches a broadside at Brexiteer candidates, warning that their “ideological” attachment to a no-deal Brexit is “reckless”.
Writing in The Sunday Times, he says: “Defining ourselves as the Brexit party, pursuing the hardest form of Brexit with a parliament that will not deliver it, is a recipe for paralysis in government and suicide with the electorate.


The little Squeaker is planning to stay on, says the Times.

John Bercow has abandoned plans to announce his resignation as Commons Speaker later this month after being persuaded to stay on by anti-Brexit Tory MPs, friends told The Mail on Sunday.
Until last week’s decision by European Union leaders to allow Brexit to be delayed until the end of October, Mr Bercow had intended to make a statement to the Commons on April 23 declaring that he was finally making way for a successor after ten years in the job.
But he is understood to have now ‘ripped up’ the statement after coming under ‘huge pressure’ to stay put from pro-Remain MPs.

Legal challenge

Still, the English Democrats’ plan for legal action is supported in the Telegraph (by Sir Bill Cash).

After hours of discussions with QCs and former judges, I believe the British Government’s extension of Article 50 is unlawful.
It is a fundamental principle of UK constitutional law that the Government may not use its powers, including its powers to make international agreements, to frustrate the intention of Parliament. Parliament’s intention is to be found, and is only to be found, in the laws it makes. Resolutions of the House of Commons may sometimes be politically important, but they are of no legal effect unless an Act of Parliament expressly gives them legal effect.

The Express agrees.

THERESA May’s decision to postpone Brexit by extending Article 50 could be illegal according to Conservative MP Sir William Cash, who has indicated the Government could face legal action.
The Prime Minister has agreed to two Brexit extensions, with the most recent taking the UK’s planned departure date to October 31. Mrs May hopes to use the time to persuade MPs to back her EU exit deal, or an alternative agreement drawn up with the opposition Labour Party.

Terror attacks

We may not be out of the woods as far as Isis is concerned, reports the Times.

A victim of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris is helped away. The Paris assaults are listed as an ‘inspiration’ by the authors of Isis documents outlining plans for further outrages.
In Paris four years ago 130 people died when Isis terrorists stormed the Bataclan concert hall and attacked other soft targets across the city. In Manhattan two years later a pick-up mowed down cyclists and runners by the Hudson River, killing eight.
Isis operatives remember the atrocities well. Documents seen by The Sunday Times show that they are actively planning to recreate them in new attacks across Europe and the Middle East.


The Times reports on a potential test for dementia.

The NHS is conducting trials of a five-minute iPad test to spot the early signs of dementia.
The “quick and easy” check could offer “huge benefits” to patients and their families, potentially detecting it years before symptoms appear.
Experts say earlier diagnosis could lead to effective therapies. At present, dementia has no cure. It could also cut the number of “worried well” people who are referred for scans, saving the health service time and money.

The Times also reports on the disgusting content of some homeopathic medicines.

Homeopaths are prescribing potentially dangerous autism “treatments” containing rabid dog saliva and cancerous breast tissue to children as young as three.
They claim the pills can undo the “damage” caused by vaccines and conventional medicine that they believe can trigger autism.
Alan Freestone, from Birmingham, claims to have treated 1,185 autistic patients with remedies such as carcinosinum, made from cancerous breast tissue; lyssin, made with rabid dog saliva; and medorrhinum, made from the discharge of a man with gonorrhoea.


Marital rape and death for gays are subjects being promoted by some Muslim charities, reports the Times.

Muslim charities have been promoting links to websites that endorse marital rape and support the death penalty for gay people and apostates.
A community charity in Yorkshire, IslamBradford, linked to guidance that said a wife who refused a husband’s “legitimate sexual advances . . . would be committing a monstrous sin”.

The post Sunday papers – 14 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

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