Cross party talks

Talks between team May and team Corbyn are due to resume this week.  The Express has an exclusive report:

A BREXIT deal based around Britain staying in a customs union with the EU is expected to be tied up this week.
The move comes after a bruising week for both main party leaders where they were humiliated at the polls by voters in the local elections.
In a strong indication that a deal is on the cards, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We have to find a way to break the deadlock – and I believe the results of the local elections give fresh urgency to this.”
But the plan to be agreed by Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been branded a “stitch-up” and a “betrayal” by Brexiteers who have vowed to oppose it in Parliament. It also comes as a battle for the soul of the Conservatives has erupted.
Evidence obtained by the Sunday Express appears to suggest that wealthy Remainers are pulling strings behind the scenes and are calling for Brexiteers to be de-selected.

Reuters has picked up the story, claiming the Labour Party should concede.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has stepped up calls on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to agree a cross-party deal to leave the European Union, following poor results for both parties in local elections on Thursday.
May’s Conservatives lost more than a thousand seats on English local councils that were up for re-election, and Labour – which would typically aim to gain hundreds of seats in a mid-term vote – instead lost 81.

The Mail has a column by Theresa May herself:

In the local elections, many Conservative councillors lost their seats. I want to thank all of my colleagues for their tremendous hard work and dedication to public duty, and for all they did to improve the lives of the communities which they served.
I have been a councillor and I know what a rewarding and important job it is.
They did not deserve what happened and I am sorry.
It is clear that the voters delivered their judgment in large part based on what is happening – or not happening – at Westminster. And, as Prime Minister, I fully accept my share of the responsibility for that.

The Times claims she’ll offer a customs union.

Theresa May will take a final desperate gamble to deliver Brexit this week by offering Jeremy Corbyn three major concessions in a bid to force MPs to back a new deal.
The prime minister will show her hand on Tuesday, making a “big, bold” offer to the Labour leader which could split the Conservative Party down the middle.
The Sunday Times has learnt she will outline plans for a comprehensive but temporary customs arrangement with the EU lasting until the next general election, which Corbyn will be able to depict as a Tory cave-in to his demands.

The Sun says it’s going to happen.

THERESA May is days away from striking a deal with Jeremy Corbyn to break the Brexit deadlock.
The PM is optimistic of reaching a compromise to end three years of chaos and get the process “over the line”.
She has stepped up her search for a deal after last week’s local election drubbing, which saw the Tories lose 1,300 councillors.
Last night a senior Conservative declared: “We’re within touching distance.”

There are objections on both sides of the house, says the Guardian.

Last-ditch efforts by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to strike a compromise on Brexit looked doomed on Saturday as the party leaders faced mounting revolts from their own MPs and activists.
Following Thursday’s local elections, in which both the Conservatives and Labour were punished severely by voters for failing to break the political deadlock, May and Corbyn have insisted their parties must now urgently agree a way forward in cross-party talks which will resume on Tuesday.

The former UKIP leader has spoken out against a fudged deal, reports the Telegraph.

Theresa May will be entering a coalition with Jeremy Corbyn “against the people” if she agrees a customs deal with the Labour leader, Nigel Farage has warned.
The Leave campaigner said his burgeoning Brexit Party would field a full slate of candidates against Tory and Labour MPs in a general election and “break the two party system” if Mrs May and Mr Corbyn made a pact to keep the UK tied to EU rules.

And he is also being quoted in the Mail.

Nigel Farage has warned Theresa May not to build a ‘coalition against the people’ with Labour – as the Prime Minister faced threats from within her own party to set a departure date.
The Brexit party held an event on Saturday, which has gained 70,000 views online, in Fylde, Lancashire, featuring Mr Farage, Ann Widdecombe, think tank director Claire Fox and entrepreneur Richard Tice as speakers.

Conservative Party

Mrs May’s position is becoming increasingly untenable.  The Independent reports a ‘showdown’ meeting.

Senior cabinet ministers have rallied around to save Theresa May ahead of a showdown meeting to decide her fate following the local elections massacre.
The prime minister will face fresh demands from Tory grandees on Tuesday to set a fast timetable for quitting, as a shocked Conservative party contemplated the loss of 1,334 local councillors.
The dire performance – the worst for a quarter of a century – has triggered further pressure for her to resign, including from former foreign office minister Hugo Swire, until now a loyalist, who said: “We now urgently need a new leader.”

And a former leader has called on her to tell her party when she’s going, reports the Independent.

Iain Duncan Smith has urged Theresa May to immediately set a date for her departure from Downing Street, or MPs “must do it for her”.
The former Conservative leader’s comments come as the party reels from losing more than 1,300 council seats in Thursday’s local elections.
“We have to make a change… the message was loud and clear that, since 29 March, people have decided they are absolutely furious with the political class,” Mr Duncan Smith told LBC.

The party could be obliterated, says the Express.

THERESA MAY has been called to quit as Prime Minister “in less than three weeks” otherwise the Conservative Party faces “obliteration”, according to a Tory MEP.
Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan said the problems with the party go right to the top with Mrs May. Mr Hannan wrote in The Daily Telegraph that unless the Tories “switch leaders now they face obliteration.” He said if MPs do not “remove Mrs May immediately” in less than three weeks “there will be no Conservative Party left to inherit”.

And one of her potential successors is making pronouncements in an effort to be noticed, says the Times.

The Tories should slash the basic rate of income tax by 1p in the pound and do more for working families to win the next election, one of the frontrunners to replace Theresa May as prime minister has declared.
Dominic Raab, the former Brexit secretary, launched the boldest bid so far by a leadership contender as the Tories’ dire performance in the local elections led to calls for May to resign and sparked a fresh bout of manoeuvring by the main contenders.


Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya could be replaced by a Brexit Party candidate, reports the Mail.

Tory defector Annunziata Rees-Mogg could run for Parliament as a Brexit Party candidate in the Peterborough by-election on June 6, party sources have said.
Ms Rees-Mogg, 40 – a former Tory parliamentary candidate and sister of Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg – caused a sensation last month when she appeared at the launch of Nigel Farage‘s new party to announce that she would stand for them in the European elections.

The Express also has the story.

NIGEL Farage fired a warning to Westminster by confirming his Brexit Party will field a candidate in the Peterborough by-election on June 6.
His grassroots rebellion’s move into mainstream UK politics comes after disgraced Fiona Onasanya became the first MP to be removed by voters though a recall petition. Onasanya, 35, was jailed for lying about a speeding offence and subsequently booted out of the Labour Party but was still sitting as an independent. On Wednesday almost 20,000 of her former constituents signed the petition – nearly 30 percent of voters – prompting an unprecedented announcement from Commons Speaker John Bercow that the seat was vacant.

Labour Party

Unherd claims the party is sitting on the fence.

Jeremy Corbyn is not for turning. Swinging Labour behind another referendum seems to make sense on so many levels. Yet, for the moment anyway, he simply won’t do it – to the obvious frustration not just of #PeoplesVote fans but of many Labour MPs and trade union leaders, most of the party’s ordinary members, and, as he’s made very clear on several occasions now, Labour’s Deputy Leader, Tom Watson.

The Times reports on Corbyn’s plans for renationalisation.

Jeremy Corbyn plans to renationalise water companies, paying up to £24bn less than their market value, a leaked internal Labour document reveals.
Pensioners, employees and shareholders whose nest eggs are invested in water companies would lose up to half their value, according to the blueprint circulated among the party’s frontbench members.
The document reveals for the first time the scale of Corbyn’s asset grab: it will pay compensation of less than £20bn for water companies, which are valued at £44bn at conservative market estimates and up to £90bn if debt is included.

And the furore over anti-semitism continues in the Mail.

Demands for Jeremy Corbyn‘s Labour to face a full-scale anti-Semitism probe intensified last night with the delivery of a ‘damning dossier’ alleging hundreds of incidents of anti-Jewish prejudice within the party.
Equality watchdogs were sent a huge file alleging ‘endemic’ anti-Semitic behaviour in Labour and the party’s apparent ‘don’t care’ attitude to the problem.
The digital dossier – equivalent to 15,000 pages – was delivered by anti-Semitism campaigners to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which is now considering whether to launch a full-scale inquiry into Labour.


The ‘breaking news’ on the UKIP website is 48 hours old.  Oh dear!

“So far about 45% of wards have declared a result. It’s too early to give an exact analysis of UKIP’s performance, however, we have had some spectacular successes in places like Sunderland, and Derby, where Alan Graves achieved 56.4% of the vote.


The row over the sacking of the defence secretary continues to rumble on in the Times.

Gavin Williamson was sacked as defence secretary after Theresa May was informed that he had attacked her in private, saying that her diabetes made her unfit to be prime minister.
May became frustrated with Williamson’s behaviour after hearing that he told fellow Tories that her health meant she should not continue in the job — claims that Williamson rejects as categorically untrue.
The warnings were delivered in the weeks before Williamson was dismissed amid claims that he leaked details of a National Security Council (NSC) meeting last month.


The Times has an interesting piece about a senior civil servant.

As a lifelong securocrat who has spent his career interacting with the intelligence agencies, Sir Mark Sedwill is no stranger to the techniques of British spies.
But now ministers and their aides claim that the cabinet secretary has launched his own freelance espionage operation in an effort to stop leaks from ministerial meetings.
In an ironic commentary on the state of the government, the plan has now leaked.


Were the Russians involved in the referendum campaign?  The Times reports on measures to avoid the problem.

Ministers will pledge this week to introduce measures to safeguard future elections from foreign interference following concerns that Russia had tried to sway voters over Brexit.
They will propose a crackdown on “dark ads” on social media by demanding that all online political adverts clearly show who made them. They also plan to close a loophole that lets foreigners use donations from crowdfunding websites or UK-based shell companies to circumvent rules banning foreign political donations.


It seems there is a network of extreme madrassas, reports the Mail.

Young imams are being trained in a network of Islamic schools across the UK that have been accused of promoting intolerance and misogyny, a secret Government report has warned.
The report claims preachers emerging from some of the dozens of Darul Uloom madrasas scattered across Britain have views as extreme as those held by radical clerics who move to the UK from Islamic countries – and may spread them to worshippers.


The Express reports on Juncker’s arrogant plans to expand the EU’s empire.

EUROPEAN Commission president Jean Claude Juncker has revealed plans for a bigger EU as Britain battles to unchain itself from the bloc’s 46-year hold.
The politician from Luxembourg boasted of his plan to expand Europe in an interview with Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, in which the reporter took him to task about the minimal amount of times he has bothered to visit Warsaw.
Mr Juncker said: “I would like to remind you that when I decided to expand the Union, I was this great advocate. Only nobody remembers it!” When confronted about not visiting Poland, he went on to list times he has not bothered to visit other member states, such as the UK.

The Telegraph reports a senior Irish politician’s views that the UK should leave before our newly-elected MEPs take their seats.

Britain should leave the EU this summer before MEPs have to take their seats, the Irish deputy prime minister has told The Sunday Telegraph, demanding rapid “decisions” to end the Brexit deadlock in Westminster.
In an interview in which he dismissed Brexiteer demands for a tougher line with Brussels as “just rhetoric”, Simon Coveney urged both Labour and Tories to seek a middle ground following this week’s punishing local election results.

The Express says we won’t have the only Eurosceptic MEPs in office.

BRUSSELS is set to be overrun by eurosceptic MEPs after the May 23 elections, as a rise in nationalist sentiment sweeps across the continent and even neo-fascists become emboldened.
The springing up of pro-Mussolini street rallies across Italy, attended by neo-fascists performing stiff-armed salutes and commemorating dictator Benito Mussolini, has been blamed on far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini.
Mr Salvini who has in the past paraphrased Mussolini, is working to establish a Eurosceptic bloc of up to 24 MEPs by courting populist parties in other members states.

And Fox News reports on an upcoming court case which will decide whether Catalonia can fight the Euro elections.

Spain’s Supreme Court will decide whether Carles Puigdemont and two other Catalan separatists who fled abroad to escape arrest will be able to run in next month’s European Parliament elections.
A court on Saturday ruled to send to the Supreme Court an appeal filed by Puigdemont’s party against the decision by Spain’s Electoral Board to prohibit the three from running in the May 26 race to fill Spain’s allotted seats at the parliament in Strasbourg.


Headteachers could go on strike, says the Sun.

HEADTEACHERS  are   threatening to strike unless ministers pour extra funds into cash-strapped schools.
The National Association of Head Teachers will vote today on industrial action that could force kids to stay home.
Leader Paul Whiteman said the Government has “acknowledged school budgets are at breaking point” but not yet tackled the crisis. He added: “Industrial action is a last resort but we can’t rule it out.” Other options school chiefs could vote for at the NAHT conference in Telford, Shrops, include refusing to make staff redundant, and reducing pay and hours to balance the budget.

And the Telegraph claims if pupils are excluded, their school should still be responsible for their results.

Schools must be held accountable for the results of excluded children, a Government review is to say.
The inquiry, led by the former children’s minister Edward Timpson, will demand that headteachers continue to be responsible for pupils even when they have been expelled.
Ministers at the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned the review last March, amid concerns that teachers are using exclusions to get rid of students who they fear will drag the school’s results down.

Royal Navy

Could our ships be built in Spain as part of a deal?  The Mail reports:

Royal Navy supply vessels could be built in Spain as a result of Brexit negotiations regarding Gibraltar, union leaders say.
The GMB has raised fears that contracts worth £1billion to build the vessels could go to a naval yard in northern Spain.
The union said the contract for Fleet Solid Support ships could go to Navantia, a Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company.


Following the Huawai affair, the Telegraph reports on the prospect of China being involved in HS2.

Britain is risking a repeat of the Huawei affair by sounding out Chinese state firms to build High Speed 2, senior Tories have warned.
MPs claimed that the Government was putting the country’s relationship with key allies under further strain by encouraging China’s involvement in the construction of the £56 billion rail line.
Last month Mark Thurston, the chief executive of the government-owned firm responsible for HS2, flew to Beijing for talks with five rail firms ultimately owned by the communist state.


The Telegraph claims passwords could soon be outdated.

Passwords have become a nuisance. Not only are users supposed to remember dozens of unique, unusual and un-guessable combinations, they have little way of knowing if someone has managed to get hold of their password anyway, with dozens of high profile hacks leaking passwords onto the dark web.
It is a problem that has been recognised by the biggest technology companies in the world. Slowly, technology giants are trying to remove the bane of the password from people’s lives.

Social care

Despite the crisis in social care, homes are shutting, reports the Telegraph.

More than 100 failing care homes are being run by directors who have been forced to shut down others after residents died or were neglected, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
An investigation by this newspaper found 121 care homes – rated ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – which are run by people who have been forced to close other homes after the care regulator found alarming incidents of neglect.

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