Conservative Party

Telegraph
Grassroots Tories believe they are just weeks away from triggering a little-known process that could help to bring down Theresa May. Party chairmen are circulating a petition calling for the party’s National Convention, which represents the grassroots, to call an Extraordinary General Meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in Mrs May, the Tory leader. If the petition motion is signed by more than 65 association chairmen, the party is obliged to hold the meeting. So far between 40 and 50 party chairmen have signed it, and the threshold could be passed as early as next week

Mirror
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.

Express
THERESA MAY could face another no-confidence vote as Tory MPs plan to set the motion at an extraordinary general meeting. Party chairmen have been encouraging MPs to sign a petition calling for a National Convention to oust the party leader, the Daily Telegraph reported. The Conservatives must hold the meeting if the petition is signed by more than 65 association chairmen. Up to 50 chairmen have reportedly signed it so far.

Sun
TORIES fear they could lose around half of their MEPs if Theresa May stays in No10. Candidates say that a combination of Brexit chaos and the PM clinging on means they face a drubbing in the local and Euro elections next month. The PM has said she will step down if her deal goes through, but she still stick around and Britain will have to take part in the polls one isn’t signed off in weeks.

Express
A MASSIVE surge to join the Conservative Party has prompted fears that Brexit activists are signed up in a bid to pick a new Prime Minister. A whopping 30,000 people have joined the Tories within the last 12 months, the Sun has claimed. The increase would boost its overall numbers to more than 150,000, which would be a seven year high. CCHQ insiders say some of the rise is from a new recruitment drive, but others believe the prospect of having a say on Theresa May’s successor is now being heavily exploited.

Westmonster
The Conservative Party’s membership has ballooned by tens of thousands in a year following Leave.EU’s drive to push for Brexiteers to join so that they can vote in the next Tory leadership contest.  Around 30,000 new members have joined the Tory Party over the last 12 months, according to The Sun. And whilst Tory chiefs will of course say this is as a result of their own recruitment, it comes after Leave.EU launched a campaign urging Brexiteers to join in order to help determine who will follow Theresa May as the next Party Leader after she eventually leaves.

Brexit

Independent
Theresa May has “no chance” of passing her Brexit deal in time to pull the UK out of the European parliament elections and avoid a likely devastating defeat, experts have concluded. Time has already effectively run out on attempts to ratify the agreement by 22 May, they say – despite the prime minister insisting talks with Labour can still deliver a compromise before the deadline. The verdict puts the Conservatives on course to lose most of their MEPs, polls suggest, as Leave voters protest at the failure to deliver Brexit, a disastrous result that would trigger huge pressure on Ms May to resign.

Sun
A FRESH plot is underway to force through a soft Brexit to end the Commons deadlock, it was revealed today. Veteran MPs Frank Field and Ken Clarke are teaming up to force another vote on a customs union in weeks – in a hope they can push through a soft exit. A customs union has already been rejected by MPs in the Commons last month, where it lost by eight votes. But Independent MP Mr Field told the Evening Standard that bringing it back again could get both party leaders “off the hook” and they won’t have to sign a formal Brexit deal.

Cross party talks

Guardian
No 10 is feeling the pressure to pull the plug on Brexit talks with Labour and move to an alternative plan, amid warnings that the opposition is in no hurry for a deal before the European elections. With talks deadlocked and no sign that the government moving on its red lines, neither the Conservatives or Labour want to appear responsible for the breakdown in discussions. However, government sources acknowledge Theresa May is under much greater time pressure than Labour, which has little incentive to do a deal before the European and local elections that are likely to result in the Conservatives suffering heavy losses to  Nigel Farage’s Brexit party.

Express
DOWNING Street is under pressure to scrap Brexit talks with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns his party is in no rush to break the impasse before the European elections. Government sources say the Labour Party has little incentive to rush through a deal before the May European Elections as the Tories face heavy losses to Nigel Farage’s Brexit party. Number 10 is also said to be concerned Labour will not support a plan for MPs to vote on amendments to the withdrawal deal in order to break the deadlock, according to The Guardian. If the withdrawal bill is voted down before the amendments, Prime Minister Theresa May would be forced to prorouge parliament and start again by bringing it forward with a new session and the Queen’s speech.

Reuters
The Labour Party denied a Guardian newspaper report on Tuesday that Brexit talks with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government had stalled. The newspaper had said talks had stalled due to a Conservative desire for post-Brexit deregulation including pursuing a U.S. trade deal. “There has to be access to European markets and above all there has to be a dynamic relationship to protect the conditions and rights that we’ve got for environment and consumer workplace rights,” Corbyn said according to the Guardian.

Huffington Post
Cross-party talks aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock are close to collapse, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested. The Labour leader said his negotiating team, led by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, had pressed “very robustly” for a customs union, but backbench Conservatives demanding low tax and deregulation were blocking progress.

CHUK

Times
The Independent Group of breakaway MPs has formally become a political party — but candidates will have a blank space next to their names on ballot papers after their logo was rejected. The Electoral Commission has approved an application from the group of former Labour and Tory MPs to become Change UK — The Independent Group in time for them to fight the European elections from May 23 to 26.

BBC News
The Electoral Commission has approved The Independent Group’s application to register as a political party. The group – made up of 11 former Labour and Tory MPs who quit their parties in February – will become Change UK. The approval means they can put forward candidates in the European elections due to take place on 23 May – if the UK has not left the EU by then. But the Commission rejected the party’s logo, saying it was “likely to mislead voters”.

Mail
The fledgling centrist political party set up by disaffected Tory and Labour Remainers has been swamped by requests from 3,000 people who want to become its first MEPs. Change UK, which was launched by the Independent Group’s 11 MPs, plans to whittle the list down to a shortlist of 100 before choosing who to put forward for the UK’s 73 seats, the Times reported. In a statement on the close of applications, the Independent Group told the paper: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of applicants.’

The Brexit Party

Breitbart
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said EU elections will mark the beginning of a new era in British politics and told MEPs in the European Parliament, “I’m coming back. In fact, lots and lots of us are coming back.” “The Brexit Party will sweep the board at these elections,” Mr Farage told his colleagues in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “There is only one way to stop it and that is if the governing party of Mrs May and the Opposition of Mr Corbyn come together and agree to a permanent Customs Union and indeed effectively membership of the Single Market.

Westmonster
Brexit MEP Nigel Farage today warned that the EU establishment will be “very, very surprised” by what happens at the European Elections Elections on 23rd May and declared that it will mark “a new future for British democracy”. In a speech in the European Parliament today, Farage declared that the Brexit Party “will sweep the board” in the European Elections unless the Conservatives and Labour “come together to agree to a permanent Customs Union”.

EU

Westmonster
The European Union’s Donald Tusk today insisted that the dream of the UK remaining in the EU wasn’t dead after all. Now that would truly be a nightmare for the pro-Brexit majority of Brits.  Speaking today, Tusk insisted that “all options remain on the table such as ratification of the current Withdrawal Agreement or extra time to rethink Brexit if that were the wish of the British people”.

Mirror
Donald Tusk has said he still “dreams” of the UK reversing Brexit following the six month extension. The European Council President insisted that the UK cannot be a “second category” member of the EU if it takes part in elections.  Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Tusk said: “During the European Council, one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers, and that Brexit couldn’t be reversed.

BBC News
The UK will take part in May’s European elections and British MEPs could sit for “months or even longer”, European Council President Donald Tusk has said. Mr Tusk said the decision to delay Brexit to 31 October meant British voters would be going to the polls. But Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt said the six-month extension was too short for change and too far away to prompt action.

Independent
The president of the European Council has warned opponents of Brexit not to “give in to fatalism” and accept Britain’s departure from the European Union. Speaking in the European parliament on Tuesday, Donald Tusk said Europe and Britain needed “dreams and dreamers” to keep the idea of a united Europe alive and the UK in the EU. “During the European Council, one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers and that we shouldn’t think that Brexit can be reversed,” Mr Tusk told MEPs in Strasbourg

Guardian
Donald Tusk, the European council president, has turned his fire on senior MEPs after he was accused of dividing the EU and prolonging the Brexit crisis for Europe by delaying it to 31 October. The European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, had warned during a Brexit debate that the EU27’s decision last week would “poison” the European elections, in which Britain would need to take part.

Mail
Britain cannot be treated like a second class member while it remains an EU member state ahead of Brexit, a top European politician has warned. Donald Tusk used a speech to euro MPs in Brussels to urge them not to give in to ‘fear and scaremongering’ claims that the UK could use extra time inside the bloc to ‘disrupt’ its activities. To muted applause in Brussels today the European Council president said that the UK had been a ‘constructive and responsible’ member state throughout Brexit talks.

Independent
Donald Tusk has told MEPs a long extension to the Brexit process allows for “all options” to remain on the table, including the possibility of a second referendum. In reference to claims from Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg in recent weeks, Mr Tusk added: “I know that some have expressed fear that the UK might want to disrupt the EU‘s functioning during this time. “But the EU did not give in to such scaremongering… in fact, since the very beginning of the Brexit process the UK has been a constructive and responsible EU member state.

Telegraph
The established centre-left and centre-right blocs in the EU Parliament are likely to lose their combined majority in May’s European Elections, according to the latest polling. Polls indicate that these two large pan-European blocs, which are comprised of a host of allied parties from each EU country, will lose seats under a tide of populist support. While the centre-right European Peoples’ Party (EPP) and centre-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) are likely to remain the largest parliamentary groups, experts warn that their current position of dominance is now “threatened”.

Mail
A senior EU negotiator said yesterday he believes Britain will waste its latest Brexit extension. Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament Brexit coordinator, said the UK will probably ‘run down the clock’ once again. He criticised MPs’ decision to go off on holiday as soon as the six-month extension had been agreed. Mr Verhofstadt said delaying Brexit to the end of October risked prolonging the uncertainty of the process because it was ‘too near for a substantial rethink and at the same time too far away to prompt any action’.

Times
Nigel Farage is “the only thing that can save” the European Union from being “poisoned” by a never-ending Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt has warned. The European Parliament’s Brexit chief, a passionate supporter of a United States of Europe, attacked EU leaders yesterday for allowing Britain to delay Brexit at a summit last week. Mr Verhofstadt echoed arguments against a Brexit extension made by President Macron, who is the most powerful ally of the MEP’s liberal bloc in next month’s EU elections.

Crime

Telegraph
Criminals will have minor offences wiped from their records under plans being considered by Sajid Javid to stop them being denied jobs by “spent” convictions. The Home Secretary is reviewing a rule where anyone with more than one conviction, no matter how minor, automatically has them disclosed to a prospective employer for the rest of their lives.

Independent
Employers could be kept in the dark about the criminal records of some job applicants under a review of rules by the home secretary. Sajid Javid said the government needs to “look again” at how much is revealed about people who have committed certain crimes when they apply for jobs. Currently anyone with more than one conviction automatically has details shared with potential employers, no matter how much time has passed.

ITV News
Employers could be kept in the dark about the criminal records of some job applicants under a review of rules by the Home Secretary. Sajid Javid said the Government needs to “look again” at how much is revealed about people who have committed certain crimes when they apply for jobs. Currently anyone with more than one conviction automatically has details shared with potential employers, no matter how much time has passed.

Mail
Criminals with minor convictions will be given a clean slate to stop them being denied jobs under Home Office plans. Home Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday revealed he is reviewing a rule that allows bosses to know their prospective employees’ criminal pasts. The current rule states jobseekers with criminal convictions automatically have them revealed to interviewers if they have more than one. But under new plans, crimes such as drug possession, thefts or minor assaults will not be disclosed to employers by the Government’s disclosure and barring service (DBS) as a matter of course.

Dementia

Times
Dementia patients will be handed prescriptions to kit their houses out with smart technology at the point of diagnosis within the decade, experts predict. The technology, including radar to monitor their movement, robotic devices to remind them if they have left the hob on and ear-worn sensors to track their brainwaves and gait, is designed to help them to stay in their own homes as long as possible.

Education

Independent
Labour would scrap the controversial Sats exams in English primary schools, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The “regime of extreme pressure testing” would be abolished amid reports of children crying, vomiting and having nightmares, the Labour leader told the National Education Union conference. Mr Corbyn has also announced that the next Labour government will scrap the government’s baseline assessments for children as young as four – which are due to come into effect next year. The pledge was received with a standing ovation and loud cheers from teachers in Liverpool, with some chanting, “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”.

Morning Star
JEREMY CORBYN has vowed that a future Labour government will abolish hated primary school SATs. The Labour leader made the pledge in a barnstorming speech at the National Education Union’s (NEU) annual conference in Liverpool today. He laid out the policy under plans to abolish the “regime of extreme pressure testing” for primary school children, who are among the most tested in the world.

Mastercard

Mail
Nearly every adult in the UK could be in line for a payout from Mastercard after a £14billion damages claim against the payment provider was revived by the Court of Appeal today.  The legal action is being brought against the card giant by Former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks. He said the maximum payout from the proposed ‘opt-out’ claim will be around £300 for anyone over the age of 16 and who was a resident in the UK for three months or more between 1992 and 2008.  Around 46.2million people could qualify for the payout – including those who have never had a Mastercard, according to Merricks.

Times
One of the largest damages claims to be brought in the English courts is back on after the Court of Appeal revived a £14 billion lawsuit against Mastercard on behalf of 46 million UK consumers. If the case is successful, in theory it would enable anyone who was aged 16 or over between 1992 and 2008 to claim compensation from Mastercard, the American payments processing business. The claim works out at up to £304 per person. Walter Merricks, the former Financial Ombudsman who has fought Mastercard for three years, hailed the decision as a milestone in his battle to see shoppers compensated.

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