Brexit

BBC4’s Storyville programme which took a fly-on-the-wall look at the EU has been shared on facebook, reports the Telegraph.

A documentary showing the EU’s Brexit negotiator criticising Dominic Raab over demands that Theresa May “never dared” to make is being used to support the former Brexit Secretary’s burgeoning leadership campaign.
Supporters of Mr Raab said the fury in Brussels at his approach to the talks showed that he would “stand up” for the UK.
A clip showing Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, and Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, criticising Mr Raab’s combative approach has been shared on Twitter and Facebook after being uploaded by supporters.

Cross party talks

Are the talks finally coming to an end?  Yahoo News reports a comment by Sir Graham Brady.

Conservative Party talks with Labour on Theresa May‘s Brexit deal will “peter out” within days, according to a leading Tory.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers, said today that he found it “very hard to see” how the talks “can lead to any sensible resolution”.
“If the customs union is agreed without a second referendum then half the Labour Party won’t vote for whatever comes through regardless, and if a customs union is agreed then most of the Conservative Party isn’t going to support it,” he told the BBC’s Week in Westminster programme.

Reuters reports the shadow chancellor’s comments that the talks could be derailed.

The battle among leading Conservatives to replace Theresa May as prime minister threatens to derail talks with the Labour Party and the bid to find a Brexit compromise, Labour’s John McDonnell said.
May, who has offered to quit if MPs accept her Brexit deal, opened cross-party talks with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party more than a month ago after parliament rejected her European Union withdrawal deal three times.

The Evening Standard has a suggestion that the talks will end in failure.

Sacked Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has launched an attack on the Prime Minister’s Brexit talks with Labour, saying they are “destined to fail” and a “grave mistake”.
Mr Williamson, who was fired over the Huawei leak, said pressing ahead with the talks will have “fatal” consequences.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he labelled Mrs May as “politically naive” for going into fruitless negotiations which he claimed were bound to fail.

Sky News calls the talks ‘a mistake’.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit talks with the Labour Party are a “grave mistake”, according to former defence secretary Gavin Williamson.
Mrs May is hoping to reach a cross-party consensus on her withdrawal agreement after failing to get it through Parliament three times.
But Mr Williamson – sacked over the Huawei leak – told the Mail on Sunday the talks were “destined to fail”.

And the Times claims there’ll be a leadership election within the Labour Party if the talks fail.

Allies of Jeremy Corbyn fear his deputy, Tom Watson, could launch a coup within days if the Labour leader agrees to strike a Brexit deal with Theresa May that is not subject to a confirmatory referendum.
Sources close to the Labour leader have become increasingly alarmed by Watson’s behaviour after he began recruiting colleagues to join his Future Britain group following the defection of eight Labour MPs for the Independent Group — now Change UK — in February.

Theresa May

The Times suggests our PM is about to tell us when she’ll go.

Theresa May is poised to set out the timetable for her departure within days, according to the powerful leader of Tory backbenchers.
The prime minister promised restive Conservative MPs that she would leave Downing Street once the first phase of Brexit had been delivered, but the delay to Britain’s departure from the EU has thrown her future into doubt.

Sky News also reports the chairman of the 1922 committee.

Prime Minister Theresa May could set a date for her resignation in the coming days, the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee has said.
The PM said she will step down when her Brexit deal is ratified by Parliament – but some MPs want a fixed date.
Sir Graham Brady said he expected a “clear understanding” of that timetable once she has met the committee, which she would do on Wednesday.

The Guardian says she SHOULD set a date …

Theresa May should set a date next week for her departure, the chair of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee has said.
Sir Graham Brady said it would be strange if a scheduled meeting with the prime minister and the group’s leaders next week did not result in a clear understanding of her departure timetable.
May indicated earlier this year that she would resign once her Brexit deal with Brussels has been passed by MPs.

Her supporters are urging her to go, reports the Times.

Theresa May’s closest cabinet allies believe she is finished and her premiership will “end in tears” unless she sets out plans to leave Downing Street by June 15.
Loyalists — including Karen Bradley, James Brokenshire, Julian Smith, Chris Grayling and her deputy, David Lidington — think she has next to no chance of having a Brexit deal approved by parliament and will have to step aside in the next few weeks.

And the Mail reports pressure from her sacked defence secretary.

Theresa May was last night facing intense pressure to scrap her planned Brexit deal with Jeremy Corbyn after sacked Cabinet Minister Gavin Williamson launched a devastating attack on her ‘betrayal’.
Mr Williamson – fired as Defence Secretary after Mrs May blamed him for a security leak – uses an incendiary article in today’s Mail on Sunday to condemn the proposed cross-party accord as a ‘grave mistake’ and ‘naive’.

Even her husband has suggested they move out of No. 10, says the Times.

Friends have long described Philip May as the prime minister’s “rock”. Now, after months watching him suffer in public silence while her grip on her government slips away, they sense a change.
“He’s had a bloody awful time,” says one minister. “We all have tough times in politics and it’s worse for our spouses, but it’s a bagatelle by comparison to what he’s been through.”

Potential successors have started jockeying for position, reports the Times.

The arch-Eurosceptic MP Steve Baker has announced that he will stand for the Tory leadership if other Brexiteers vote for Theresa May’s deal to leave the EU.
In a warning shot at Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, the Brexiteer frontrunners to succeed May, Baker said they must oppose the second reading of the government’s withdrawal bill or face a challenge.

And if the party elects the wrong leader, it’s finished, according to the Mail.

A senior Cabinet Minister has warned Tory MPs they face ‘annihilation’ at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage if the party chooses the wrong leader to succeed Theresa May.
Liz Truss today signals the effective start of a leadership bid by demanding a radical reboot of traditional Tory policies – including calling for a million new homes to be built on the Green Belt.

Labour Party

Corbyn’s decision to increase the minimum wage has provoked criticism in the Times.

Business leaders have warned Labour against playing “political football” with the minimum wage as Jeremy Corbyn promises £10 an hour to under-18s.
The Labour leader will use a speech in Birmingham today to say that his party intents to extend plans for a higher £10-an-hour minimum wage to include young workers.

BBC News also has the story, of course.

Labour will extend its plans for a higher £10-an-hour minimum wage to include workers under the age of 18, party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said.
Currently, under-18s are entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour, compared with £8.21 for over-25s.
But under a Labour government this “youth rate” for the minimum wage would be ended in 2020, Mr Corbyn said.

The Evening Standard warns of the consequences of the plan.

Plans to bring in a £10-an-hour minimum wage could have “grim consequences” for youth unemployment, the  Labour party has been warned.
Jeremy Corbyn pledged on Saturday that young workers aged 16 and 17 would better off to the tune of £2,500 a year under a new proposal to abolish the “youth rate”.
Workers under the age of 18 are currently entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour, compared to £8.21 for those over 25.

The country’s richest people could move abroad if Labour are in power, says the Times.

Britain’s super-rich are preparing to leave the country, taking up to £1 trillion with them, amid fears that Jeremy Corbyn is on course to become prime minister.
Billionaires and multimillionaires on the new Sunday Times Rich List have revealed that they are preparing for what some called “Corbygeddon”. Of those prepared to talk, one in 10 said they were making plans to protect themselves from hard-left tax increases on wealth, income and inheritance by moving family trusts and other assets offshore or their businesses overseas.

UKIP

The party’s candidates are pushing further to the right, claims the Guardian.

Leading figures on the far right, including Ukip candidates in the upcoming European elections, are encouraging their followers to join a new hate-filled social media platform. The network, called Gab, has no restrictions on antisemitic, misogynist or racist content, and has been used to promote terrorism.
Gab, launched in 2017 by tech entrepreneur Andrew Torba, describes itself as a vehicle for “free speech” and is similar to  Twitter in that it allows users to send messages of up to 3,000 characters, called “gabs”.

TBP

Nigel’s new party hopes to take a hand in the Brexit negotiations after the Euro elections says Breitbart.

Nigel Farage believes a strong, first-place finish for his Brexit Party will put a clean, No Deal exit from the European Union “back on the table”, despite the strenuous efforts of Britain’s Remainer-dominated House of Commons to rule it out.
Mr Farage told reporters that the establishment Tory and Labour parties — which both ran on manifestos which promised to execute the British people’s vote to Leave the European Union and break with the bloc’s Customs Union, Single Market, and associated Free Movement migration regime in 2017, but are now failing to deliver — were “fearful” of his party’s surging popularity.

The Express reports his description of the Withdrawal Agreement as a ‘surrender document’.

BREXIT Party leader Nigel Farage has furiously condemned Theresa May’s controversial deal with the EU as nothing more than “a surrender document of a nation that has been defeated in war”.
During a booming rally in Durham, Mr Farage took swipe after swipe at the embattled Prime Minister, whose Tory Party is currently haemorrhaging supporters who flock to the Brexit Party due to Mrs May’s handling of the UK’s departure of the bloc.

The Times is one of the media which has disclosed the identity of the donor to TBP.

A major Conservative donor has defected to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, donating £200,000 to the upstart outfit just as it has surged into first place in the polls.
The City financier Jeremy Hosking, who is reportedly worth more than £330m, has confirmed he had switched allegiance to the new party, which has soared to 29 per cent in a  Financial Times analysis of various polls ahead of the European elections.

LibDems

The Times claims the LibDems will not work with Change UK.

The Liberal Democrats will seek to neutralise the threat posed by Change UK by “killing them with kindness”, according to a senior party insider.
Internal polling has revealed that voters are turned off by factional feuding so the best way of seeing off the new party is by being as nice as possible to their “remain” rivals.
With the Lib Dems and Change UK vying for the support of the same group of voters, the two remain-supporting parties were expected to clash openly as they go head-to-head in the forthcoming European elections.

Euros

Looks like TBP is soaring ahead in the polls, says the Express.

NIGEL Farage’s Brexit Party is tipped to scoop more votes in the upcoming European elections than both the Tory Party and Labour combined, a poll has revealed.
In the latest Opinium Research poll asking Britons who they would vote for in the May 23 election, an eye-watering 34 percent said they would tick the box next to the Brexit Party on the voter card. Shockingly, just 21 percent said they would vote for Labour and an embarrassing 11 percent would vote for the Conservatives.

The Express reports on a General Election survey,

NIGEL Farage’s fledgling Brexit Party is snapping at the heels of the plummeting Tories in the latest general election survey – with one polling chief describing its rise as “remarkable”.
And with more than one in five currently saying they back the former UKIP leader, the findings raise the startling prospect of Mr Farage could be poised to change the face of British politics forever.

The Guardian says TBP might even get more votes than all the other parties together.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is on course to secure more support at the European elections than the Tories and Labour combined, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer.
In the most striking sign to date of surging support for Farage, the poll suggests more than a third of voters will back him on 23 May. It puts his party on 34% of the vote, with less than a fortnight before the election takes place.

The Observer reports what looks like panic in the two main parties.

Senior Tory and Labour politicians have issued frantic calls to their voters to back them in next week’s European elections after a new poll showed support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party had soared to a level higher than for the two main parties put together.
The Opinium survey for the Observer places the Brexit party on 34%, when people were asked how they intended to vote on 23 May, with Labour slipping to 21% and the Conservatives collapsing to just 11%.

Second referendum

It hasn’t gone away folks.  The Times claims there have been talks.

Theresa May’s deputy has given fresh hope to second referendum campaigners by saying another vote was “perfectly practical”, according to two party leaders.
Change UK leader Heidi Allen said David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, had “clearly done his research” on the mechanics of a Final Say vote when she attended talks alongside Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable and Jo Swinson.
Sir Vince said Mr Lidington had asserted that holding another vote would be “perfectly practical” during the meeting.

And a piece in Economic Voice suggests that a second referendum is being prepared.

The claims being made by two Remain politicians, makes it sound like the Cabinet Office has been quietly setting in train the apparatus for another EU referendum.
According to the Lib Dem leader, Vince Cable, the Cabinet Secretary David Lidington, told him that another vote was ‘perfectly practical’.
Cable did tell the Sun that the Cabinet Secretary reiterated the government position of not holding another referendum, but the Lib Dem leader also said: “But it was very clear they are thinking about it, and they are doing a lot of practical planning in case it happens.”

EU

Breitbart reports on a push towards further integration.

21 heads of state of various European Union member-states have signed a new manifesto arguing for more integration in the political bloc and a “stronger Europe” — interpreted as a response to the rise of eurosceptic, pro-sovereignty populist parties.
Among the signatories, according to Italian newspaper Il Giornale, are several monarchs such as those of Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark, as well as many presidents, including Italian president Sergio Mattarella.

The Times claims a minimum wage could be introduced across the bloc.

The EU’s centre-left is planning to introduce a continent-wide minimum wage to correct the bloc’s “neoliberal failures” if it wins control of the European Commission after this month’s elections.
The socialist group, in which the UK Labour Party sits, could capture the commission presidency for the first time in decades, with Dutch social democrat Frans Timmermans as its candidate to replace Jean-Claude Juncker.

NHS

It seems a health charity has an interest in trying to persuade doctors to keep prescribing powerful drugs says the Times.

A health charity urging GPs to “carry on” prescribing opioids was set up with funding from a maker of the powerful drugs.
Pain UK also benefits from professional lobbying assistance via a group that advises the world’s top pharmaceutical companies. The charity does not declare either relationship on its website.
The Charity Commission began a review this weekend after The Sunday Times handed it a dossier of evidence. Experts said the newspaper had uncovered a “mind-boggling number of conflicts of interest”.

And the Times suggests doctors are putting ‘DNR’ orders on patients who are not terminally ill.

Doctors should never put a “do not resuscitate” order on a patient simply because they have learning difficulties, a leaked report recommends.
The annual report from the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme, which has not yet been published but has been seen by The Sunday Times, reveals that 19 patients who later died had “learning disabilities” or “Down’s syndrome” given as the reason not to resuscitate them between July 2016 and December 2018.

Education

Schools could be sanctioned for not giving pupils a rounded education, reports the Times.

Schools that “teach to the test” and fail to offer a “rich education” will be penalised, the chief inspector warns today, as millions of children prepare to sit Sats tests this week.
Amanda Spielman hit out at schools that drill children in year 6, aged 10 and 11, for their Sats, and fail to offer a broader education including art, sport and music because of an obsessive focus on achieving high exam scores.

Environment

An exclusive report in the Independent suggests voters would be happy to make lifestyle changes to cut greenhouse gas.

A majority of voters would support radical action to slash greenhouse gases to nearly zero by 2050 at a cost of tens of billions of pounds, a new poll has found.
The public has thrown its weight overwhelmingly behind calls by the government’s independent climate change advisers to make a legally binding commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

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