Newslinks for Tuesday 18th June 2019

Team Johnson allegedly hopes to help Hunt through to the final

‘In an extraordinary allegation, senior Tories told The Sun that MPs on Boris’ books were desperate for their man to face off against the struggling Foreign Secretary – to avoid Michael Gove…One Tory told The Sun: “MPs on Boris’ team are looking at lending Jeremy votes. Boris has so much headroom he can be a master manipulator. It’s like something out of 1930s Chicago. And given it’s a secret ballot there’s no way of stopping it.” Another said: “There’s talk of 15 MPs going across.” Boris got a staggering 114 votes in last week’s first round of voting – more than his three closest competitors combined. His supporters believe he could climb towards 150 in today’s second round after picking up support from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, arch Eurosceptic Esther McVey and their respective followers.’ – The Sun

  • On TV tonight there is one crucial question he must answer – The Sun Says
  • Leadsom backs him – The Sun
  • He enjoys strong approval ratings among Party members – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Gauke attacks ‘free and easy’ spending pledges – The Times
  • If he wins, expect him to replace at least a third of the Cabinet – Daily Telegraph
  • Baker pushes for a harder line on May’s deal – The Guardian
  • His fellow candidates lambast his absence from the Lobby hustings – Daily Telegraph
  • Who is Carrie Symonds? – The Times
  • The BBC and ITV pressure him to answer questions about his children – Daily Mail

>Today: The Moggcast. Johnson “understands that If we don’t leave by 31st October, there’s no Tory Party to lead”.

Gove: The two finalists should be people who have supported Brexit from the outset

‘As well as having the ability to take on Corbyn, the final two should be candidates who believe in Brexit, who can deliver it and who can unite the party. One of the challenges we’ve faced since 2016 is that we have had people asked to deliver Brexit who don’t really believe in it. They see it as a problem to be managed rather than an opportunity to be seized. This has to change — and the best way of doing that will be to elect a leader who has wanted to leave the European Union from the word go… It would be a mistake to put forward two candidates to the final round who will polarise our party.’ – Michael Gove, The Times

  • No prizes for guessing whom he is trying to knock out of the race – The Times
  • Conservative leadership candidates are in denial – The Guardian Leader
  • I’ve taken drugs and had several kids, put me in charge, argues Liam Gallagher – The Sun

>Today: MPsETC: Which MP is backing which candidate. Our named estimates. Johnson 102, Hunt 42, Gove 35, Raab 25, Javid 22, Stewart 14

Hunt ‘agrees 150 per cent’ with Trump’s criticism of Khan’s knife crime failures…

‘Mr Hunt was asked for his opinion after Mr Trump – who has repeatedly attacked the Mayor – shared a tweet by the controversial journalist Katie Hopkins, accusing Mr Khan of turning the capital into “stab city” and “Londonistan”. Whilst four of the five other leadership candidates distanced themselves from the President’s remarks, Mr Hunt told a Parliamentary leadership hustings he agreed with the thrust of the attacks on the Mayor. “President Trump has his own style and I wouldn’t use those words myself,” he added. “But the sentiment is enormous disappointment that we have a Mayor of London who has completely failed to tackle knife crime and has spent more time on politics than the actual business of making Londoners safer and in that I 150 percent agree with the president.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: MPsETC: Who’s supporting whom: David Jeffery’s calculations. 2) Remainers and Leavers.

…while Javid tells the US President to butt out of domestic British politics

‘Mr Trump also retweeted a Twitter post by columnist Katie Hopkins, dubbing the capital “Londonistan”. Hitting back, the Home Secretary told America’s boss it was “unbecoming of a leader of such a great state to keep trying to interfere in other countries’ domestic policies”. Mr Javid added: “The President is right to be concerned about serious violence but he should be concerned about the serious violence in his own country where it is more than 10 times higher than it is in the UK”. He was joined in his criticism of the president by two other Tory leadership contenders, Michael Gove and Dominic Raab.’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: LISTEN: Iain Dale’s interview with Javid

Wallace: Whether he gets through today or not, Stewart has won the leadership of the Tory left

‘If he survives the second ballot, Stewart will face a dilemma. Is he standing to lead the Conservative Party, or one of its factions? Video walkabouts aside, his performance thus far rests on cornering a particular ideological theme within conservatism. The Tory centre-left has waned over the years, but it is a rich vein, the inheritance of Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine. It is this audience which Stewart has managed – artfully – to scoop up. Even if he is knocked out today, he is the undisputed new leader of this Conservative tribe. While championing that tradition has proved fruitful, it is a minority and controversial wing of the modern party. In a Brexit-dominated race, a new Prince of the historically most pro-EU Tory faction might find that his appeal has a hard ceiling.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

>Today: ToryDiary: Our latest Next Tory Leader survey. Stewart consolidates at second – but almost 40 points behind Johnson, who keeps over half the vote.

EU sources brief against Raab

‘Brussels sources said that Mr Raab was not the fully-briefed details man or tough negotiator meting out home truths to the EU he claims to be in his Tory leadership campaign speeches. “The Turnip”, a play on raap, the Dutch word for the vegetable, allegedly “chickened out” when confronted by Michel Barnier over empty threats he made about the Irish border in a “very tense” meeting, according to the insiders. Mr Raab has regularly mentioned the clash with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, first reported by The Telegraph, as proof that he has the guts to take on Brussels, where both Dutch and French are spoken. “Raab never mentions that Barnier called his bluff,” one well-placed source said.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Mike Rouse on Local Government: Why I’m backing Raab

>Yesterday: Nadhim Zahawi on Comment: Johnson and Raab showed their Brexit commitment by resigning. That’s why we need them both in the final.

Brexit Party 1) Four in ten Tory members would be happy if Farage became their leader

‘In a YouGov survey 46 per cent said that if the Brexit Party leader joined the Conservatives and stood for their leadership they would be happy for him to win, compared with 40 per cent who said that they would be unhappy. The finding is one of several pieces of evidence in the polling that the EU referendum has shaken the country’s traditional political alignments… More than two thirds of members, 68 per cent, said that the party should woo voters from the Brexit Party and Ukip, Mr Farage’s former party, at the next general election. This compares with only 25 per cent who think they should aim to attract Labour and Liberal Democrat voters.’ – The Times

  • Conservative donors are in ‘very preliminary’ talks with the Brexit Party about co-operation – Daily Telegraph
  • Swinson proposes Lib Dem electoral pacts with pro-second referendum candidates – The Times
  • Police investigate allegations of irregularities in the Peterborough by-election – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: If the Tories are serious about electoral fraud, they’ll take action on postal votes

Brexit Party 2) Davidson: A pact would be wrong and ‘an admission of defeat’

‘To win the next general election we don’t have to become the Brexit Party, make an electoral pact with them in certain seats, or offer a coalition in parliament. We have to respect the referendum result and leave the EU, as we said we would. Without that, there is no trust, and without trust, people will not give us their vote, no matter with whom we align. Next, we have to start restoring our reputation for competence. Conservatives rarely get the benefit of the doubt on motive in the way parties of the Left do. However, there is a hard won belief that we can do delivery. That belief has been sorely tested. Awarding ferry contracts to a company with no ferries has the sort of media cut-through that a thousand successful complex tender deals never will. And we need to give the country a sense of itself and of the national story we are trying to tell.’ – Ruth Davidson, Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson allies say ‘he doesn’t need Nigel’ – Daily Mail
  • “Why would I trust anybody in the Conservative Party,” the former UKIP leader says – Daily Express

May: We must restore trust in the market

‘The rules that make a market fair must be enforced by strong market regulators with the tools they need to do the job. So today I am announcing that we will give the independent Competition and Markets Authority direct power to fine any business which breaks consumer law to rip off its customers. We also firmly endorse their principles of good business practice in all markets. As changing technology drives changes in behaviour, we need to make sure the rules that govern the market stay up to date. It is easy to change the supermarket you shop at – you just walk into a different shop and take your custom with you. But when you enter into a contract for something like a mobile phone or broadband service, it can be hard to know what you are paying for and how to make a change. These new market principles set out how markets should work so consumers are not exploited.’ – Theresa May, Daily Mail

Government report proposes allowing children to live with their jailed mothers

‘Jailed women criminals should be able to live with their children in mini-prisons in the community to break the cycle of offending, says a major Government-commissioned report. The new mini-jails would enable mothers to stay with their children rather than having them taken into care which the report says could prevent the youngsters turning to crime and reduce re-offending by the women. Two-thirds of children of jailed parents go on to offend, according to the report by Lord Farmer, a multi-millionaire businessman and Tory donor. One prison governor told the review he was working with his “third generation of offenders.” The report, for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), said more than half (54 per cent) of the 4,000 jailed women have children under the age of 18. However, female inmates who maintain links with their families via prison visits are 39 per cent less likely to reoffend.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • The proposal would also give the inmates mobile phones – Daily Mail
  • Violent offenders are able to avoid criminal records – The Sun
  • Over-zealous bank officials freeze accounts of innocent people – Daily Telegraph
  • Suspect in German MP murder ‘has links to British neo-Nazi group’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Surviving member of the ISIS ‘Beatles’ gang wants to live in the UK – Daily Mail
  • Identity fraud reaches ‘epidemic’ levels – Daily Mail
  • Parliament’s website ‘hacked’ – The Sun
  • Liberty brings a High Court challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act – Daily Mail

Watson challenges Corbyn by trying to accelerate the process to switch Labour to backing a second referendum

‘Tom Watson has called for a special conference to settle Labour’s growing Brexit row by the end of July, as he attempted to push Jeremy Corbyn closer towards a second referendum on Monday. In a bid to force the Labour leader’s hand, Mr Watson is urging the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to approve an emergency ballot or meeting of members before Parliament rises for the summer. Challenging Mr Corbyn over his attempts to delay changing policy until Labour’s annual conference in September, Mr Watson said he feared it would be “too late” to prevent a no deal Brexit. Instead, he is demanding that Labour’s governing body take matters into their own hands by sanctioning a vote by the end of next month.’ – Daily Telegraph

The United States releases images of Iranian forces handling tanker limpet mine

‘The US military has published shocking images it says shows members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from Kokura Courageous, a Japanese oil tanker which was one of two attacked on June 13. Washington has blamed Iran for the attacks in the Gulf of Oman and say the images taken from a US Navy MH-60R helicopter are proof of that. The British Government supports the US conclusion but Iran has denied all involvement in the incidents. US Military Central Command’s statement on the release of the images says: “Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine.”…German intelligence has claimed Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions and limits to build weapons of mass destruction and Tehran has said it will break the uranium stockpile limit set by the deal in 9 days.’ – Daily Express

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