How Marr Monopolised May

There was much disquiet among rival broadcasters over the weekend when it emerged that Theresa May was doing yet another interview with Andrew Marr. The infamously humourless, bad-tempered Marr Show staff took the criticism from Sky News and co with their usual charm and good grace. The charge: that Marr and Number 10 have sewn up a cosy arrangement to lock out the other, more challenging broadcasters. Guido has had a look back over the last year or so, and it is true that Marr totally monopolises May’s Sunday appearances. The Marr Show routinely – and inexplicably – lets her get away with pre-recorded interviews, completely taking the pressure off the PM and letting her dodge up-to-date, real-time scrutiny. Since the election, May has only done Sunday interviews with Marr, completely shunning every other broadcaster…

15 July 2018 – Marr
17 June 2018 – Marr Pre-rec
4 March 2018 – Marr – Pre-rec
7 January 2018 – Marr – Pre-rec
1 October 2017 – Marr
30 April 2017 – Marr
22 January 2017 – Marr
2 October 2016 – Marr
4 September 2016 – Marr – Pre-rec

30 April 2017 – Peston

8 January 2017 – Ridge

Ridge has been in the penalty box ever since she – rightly – embarrassed May with the Trump “pussy” quote. Remember her face.

Is it healthy for the PM to only speak to one programme, and for that programme to repeatedly give her softball pre-rec interviews? This is a bad look for both Number 10 and Andrew Marr…

UPDATE: BBC insiders suggest these numbers are why politicians favour Marr:

Rich’s Monday Morning View

May Makes Clear We’re Unlikely to Ever Diverge

This is the key section of May’s Marr interview. She makes clear what Brexiters know to be true: under her Chequers deal, if we ever diverge on something in the common rulebook, it means a border goes up in Ireland and the UK faces consequences she cannot accept. Which means we are realistically never going to diverge in anything. Marr is right: this is fake sovereignty and not Brexit.

May: Trump Told Me to Sue EU

Trump Says Boris Would Be Great PM

The awkward moment Trump repeatedly said he thinks Boris would make a great PM, while standing next to the current PM.

Her face…

Leave Voters Turning Against May

With so much of the core Tory vote coming from Leave supporters, these numbers are more cause for concern. Back in April, Theresa May had a net approval rating of +10 with Leave voters. Now it is -23. If that even starts to replicate itself across the Tory party at an election, MPs are losing their seats…

Trump: May’s Brexit Deal is Not What People Voted For

Boom…

May Blocks Merkel From Talking About Chequers Deal

Despite the fact that she showed Merkel the plan before she showed the Cabinet.

Rolling the pitch for no questions to Trump on Friday?

YouGov: Tory Membership’s Confidence in May Plummets

In the space of just nine months the number of Leave-backing Tories with confidence in Theresa May has fallen to barely half (52%). The much fewer Remain backing Tories who have confidence is stable (78%). The number of normally loyal Leave-backing Tories who want her to go immediately has jumped from 6% to 25%. Incidentally, these figures correlate quite well with the ConservativeHome readers panel numbers. Dangerous times for Theresa…

May Shows Merkel Customs Plan Before Cabinet

Theresa May showed Angela Merkel her customs plan before she showed her own Cabinet, it has emerged this afternoon:

The Cabinet are livid about this – why have Number 10 kept them in the dark while briefing the media and the German government? Who was told first, Dexeu or the Germans? First question for a reporter to ask May during her Berlin trip…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 4 July.
Q2 Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham)
Q3 Rachel Maclean (Redditch)
Q4 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)
Q5 Gillian Keegan (Chichester)
Q6 Mr Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
Q7 Marsha De Cordova (Battersea)
Q8 Alex Norris (Nottingham North)
Q9 Mr Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby)
Q10 Julie Cooper (Burnley)
Q11 Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Q12 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Q13 Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
Q14 Imran Hussain (Bradford East)
Q15 Andrew Lewer (Northampton South)

Comments in the comments…

Hazard Warning: May Takes Belgian Shirt

Negotiations going well then…

Pics via @lisaocarroll

May’s Curtsy to Wills

If Gordon Brown did curtsies… 

May Speech Brings About Policy Exchange Collapse

Last night at Policy Exchange’s summer party the centre-right think tank’s guest speaker was for once – as Theresa May noted – not Michael Gove. Mid-speech the wind threatened to knock over the set bringing back memories of that disastrous last party conference speech. Chief wonk Dean Godson ended up anchoring the backdrop despite being told by the PM “Why don’t you just let it fall down?”…

May Interviewed By Her Former Aide on LBC

Have to say the Number 10 press team have played a blinder this morning. First they got Marr to agree to an easy pre-record interview rather than a live. Then they got the BBC to lead all morning on the Brexit dividend rather than the fact that the money is actually coming from tax rises. And to complete the hat-trick they had May interviewed by her former head of broadcast Tom Swarbrick on LBC. He was working in Number 10 three months ago. Good day for British journalism… 

May: NHS Spending Will Be Paid For With Tax Rises

Theresa May and the Number 10 spin team have done an impressive job of getting ‘NHS spending funded by Brexit dividend’ as the top line on broadcast this morning. The truth is the vast majority of the new money is going to come from tax rises equivalent to 3p on the basic rate of income tax. The Tories are refusing to say how or when the tax rises are coming. So far they are getting away with a completely uncosted policy and massive mystery tax rises. This is the Tory magic money tree…

Sun, Mail, Telegraph Warn May

The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph look to be losing patience with Theresa May’s weakness on Brexit. In the last few weeks their leader columns and opinion pages have issued increasingly ominous warnings to the Prime Minister to change course. The Sun has repeatedly called on her to prepare for no deal and suggested she should be removed if she doesn’t get a grip. The usually ultra-loyal Mail has blasted her for allowing Brexit to drift. The Telegraph is talking about her leading Britain into a worst of all worlds Brexit. These are all from the last ten days…

The Sun, June 2:

“When will the Prime Minister and her Cabinet stand up for them — and for Brexit in full? Instead, the whiff of panic emanates from Downing Street. The Government has no idea what deal it wants. The latest plan for the Irish border has been trashed overnight. No10 regurgitates clichés to mask its confusion…  Mrs May cannot kick the can any further down the road. She must be realistic, assertive and brave. There are talented Tories around her. If this PM can’t bring her party with her and lead us fully out of the EU, with no deal if necessary, she must make way for someone who can.”

The Sun, June 3:

“Even Leave voters fear the Government is botching Brexit… the chaos on the Continent from Spain to Italy is proof that we were absolutely correct to leave the EU… but if the Prime Minister looks like steering us to a bad Brexit, somebody else will need to take the wheel.”

The Sun, June 11:

“We must be in a strong enough position at the negotiating table that we’re willing to walk away. The Prime Minister has shown admirable backbone in the past, taking on the policing unions as Home Secretary and in her robust response to terrorism.”

Daily Mail, June 4:

“On Brexit, though it grieves the Mail to say it, Theresa May has allowed a profoundly worrying sense of drift to develop. Indeed, she has given the impression of a captain of a mutinous crew, sailing a rudderless ship across a turbulent sea, unsure herself where she wants to go… Mrs May has seemed willing to sit back while the bibulous Jean-Claude Juncker and his cronies sneer at our country and accuse her of ‘living in fantasy land’ if she believes we can leave the EU unpunished. The time has surely come for her to go on the attack, slapping down Remoaners, boosting the wilting morale of the pro-Brexit majority and telling Mr Juncker and Co that they are the fantasists if they think they can humiliate the UK with impunity. This is a great country, with great opportunities opening up to us. Mrs May needs to find the language to proclaim this from the rooftops.”

Daily Mail, June 7

“She needs to channel the same strength and resolve she showed in facing down Russia after the Salisbury poison attack and go on the offensive. She must set out her detailed blueprint for our post-Brexit future and start preparing seriously for the prospect of no deal… Mr Barnier is in a far weaker position than he pretends. Mrs May should get tough and call his bluff.”

Juliet Samuel in The Telegraph, June 11:

“Accepting ECJ rule and free movement will be electorally toxic, but agreeing to Irish Sea border checks will cost her much-needed DUP support in Parliament. Because this latter concern is a more immediate threat to her power, she will almost certainly choose to keep Britain inside the single market and customs union. This will be a dreadful result. We’ll give up our MEPs and officials in Brussels, but still be subject to its rules. Any other option, whether it’s staying in the EU, leaving with no deal, or surrendering Northern Ireland, would be a better outcome. Instead, inexorably, our Prime Minister is leading us towards the worst of all possible worlds.”

The message is clear to Number 10. Change course or lose the confidence of the right-leaning press…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Quebec

All the above photos are taken from Theresa May’s official Facebook page uploaded a few hours ago. Her and Phil apparently in the back of a Hercules flying to Quebec across the Atlantic, the Red Box strapped into the military transport, her thanking the pilot after arriving safely in Quebec. And then getting off an Airbus 330 Voyager kitted out for VIPs at a cost of many millions…

Hold on, the pictures above released on her official Facebook page show her roughing it in the back of a Hercules military transport. Yet Guido also has these pictures, showing Her Majesty’s Lobby holding power to account over some G&Ts in the luxurious surrounds of a VIP Airbus Voyager…

Are we being played? What is really going on?

UPDATE: Explanation from Number 10: She travelled to Canada on the Voyager, and then across Canada on a C130.

Don’t Know Level With May

May is level on best PM with ‘don’t know’ according to figures from the latest YouGov polling released today:

May 37 (-1)

Don’t know 37 (+2)

Corbyn 24 (-3)

Corbyn still third in a two-horse race. Just about sums it up.

UPDATE: Good numbers for the Tories though, and dire for Labour. Despite Brexit?

One of May’s Worst PMQs

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