Theresa May

Telegraph
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.

Express
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.”

Mirror
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 .

Sun
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.

Times
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

Sun
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.

Express
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

Mail
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.

Independent
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.

Guardian
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.

Mail
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.

TBP

Mail
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.

Express
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.

Guardian
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.

Mirror
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.

Sun
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.

Independent
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”.

Mail
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.

Breitbart
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.”

CHUK

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. “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

Independent
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

NHS

Telegraph
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.

Drugs

Times
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”.

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