BBC and Sky Both C-Bomb Jeremy Hunt Within Minutes

First the BBC:

Then Sky:

No matter how many times, never gets old…

Boris Urges Loyalty

Boris tells colleagues on the Tory MP WhatsApp group to back Theresa May. Screenshots quickly leaked to ITV.

Jenkin: Morgan and Soubry Pack It In Or Corbyn Will Be PM

Bernard Jenkin tells Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry, Osborne and Heseltine to shut up or Corbyn will be in Downing Street. A view held by increasing numbers of Tory MPs this afternoon…

Marr to Fallon: “Are You Repulsed By Gay People?”

Osborne: May a Dead Woman Walking, on Death Row

Nick and Fi Resign

Nick Timothy out:

“I take responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme. In particular, I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care. But I would like to make clear that the bizarre media reports about my own role in the policy’s inclusion are wrong: it had been the subject of many months of work within Whitehall, and it was not my personal pet project. I chose not to rebut these reports as they were published, as to have done so would have been a distraction for the campaign. But I take responsibility for the content of the whole manifesto, which I continue to believe is an honest and strong programme for government.”

Read his whole article on ConHome.

A Tory spokesman says Fiona Hill has resigned too. May now all alone in Number 10 without the aides upon whom she depended…

2 in 3 Tory Members Say May Should Go

ConservativeHome’s poll of Tory members shows the anger across the party – 2 in 3 members surveyed said May should resign. Wiser heads are appealing for calm. If May were to go immediately, replaced by a new leader and a likely second election this year, there is a chance Corbyn could become PM. As things stand, however bad the result, Labour still lost and the Tories are still the government. There is a lot of anger around but it is a case of ‘careful what you wish for’…

Tory MPs and ministers want blood and May’s chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill are in the firing line. Expect some sort of behind the scenes Downing Street adviser reshuffle but also remember just how much May depends on Nick and Fi. Also expect a return to Cabinet government. Last night’s hurried announcement of Boris, Hammond, Rudd, Fallon and Davis staying in place shows where the power now lies. Angry Tories should not forget what the Corbynista hipsters don’t seem to understand: Labour still lost, May is still PM, the Tories are still in charge and things could be a lot, lot worse…

Katie Perrior Machine Guns Nick and Fi

Former Downing Street comms chief Katie Perrior goes on the record about what it’s like working for Theresa May’s top two aides…

CCHQ Nobbles Troublesome Snapper

Fellow photographers have expressed disappointment at the famous Political Pictures snapper Steve Back going native. Back is usually a real thorn in the side for the Tories, he is well-known for those long lens photos of unguarded ministers carrying papers up and down Downing Street. CCHQ wisely snapped him up as the official photographer for the Tory campaign, and have got him taking helpful soft focus shots of the PM and flattering photos of her expensively dressed aides. Suppose getting Steve on the payroll is one way of stopping him from taking those embarrassing pictures…

Osborne: Rudd Doesn’t Support “Direction” of Tories Under May

Another helpful line from George Osborne today. He says Amber Rudd does not support the “direction” of the Tory party under Theresa May:

“The current Conservative leadership is moving further away from the social and economic liberalism that has made our country and its capital a global success story. That is the wrong direction. Their legitimate attempt to address the concerns of  those who feel left behind by globalisation has ended with them stigmatising the value that immigration brings to Britain, and it has produced a misguided programme of intervention in business.

Thankfully, many of the impressive candidates the Conservatives are fielding know this is a mistake. We have seen in this campaign faces of the future like Amber Rudd and Ruth Davidson, interviewed in this paper today. They have maintained a disciplined silence about their reservations concerning the direction of the party before the polls; we suspect they will make their voices more forcibly heard after the election.”

Hardly a surprise given Amber’s on the record views, which are certainly of a more liberal bent than May. Rudd is a long-time Friend of George, the pair are very close and she used to be his PPS. One to watch depending on the size of the Tory majority…

What is the Naughtiest Thing Theresa May Has Ever Done?

Well she is a vicar’s daughter after all…

Hammond Loses Another SpAd

Philip Hammond’s long-serving Special Adviser Graham Hook has left government. Hook, a dependable and highly-experienced Whitehall veteran who has worked across four departments, served under Hammond since 2012 and will be a major loss to the Chancellor. Guido hears he left in May and has joined the Investment Association. This is the second major SpAd departure from the Treasury after Hayden Allan left in April. Does not bode well for Hammond ahead of the post-election reshuffle…

Tories Condemn Corbyn’s Support For Fighters Returning From Syria

Top Tories are lining up to condemn Corbyn after Guido revealed the Labour leader’s opposition to criminalising ISIS supporters and his vote to allow fighters in Syria to return to Britain.

Security minister Ben Wallace says:

“Jeremy Corbyn cannot hide from his record of consistently opposing the powers the police and security services need to keep the United Kingdom safe. For thirty years Corbyn has put his support for Britain’s opponents ahead of national security, yet four days before polling day he cynically wants to fool voters into thinking he will keep Britain safe.”

Tom Tugendhat tells Guido:

“The political opinions expressed by ISIS are beheadings, enslavement and rape in Syria, terrorism and hatred abroad. Why can the man who wants to be Prime Minister not recognise treason when he sees it?”

James Cleverly adds:

“Corbyn has been on the wrong side of every judgment call about national security. Calling Hamas and Hezbollah “friends”, boasting about opposing every piece of counter-terrorism legislation, opposing Trident, questioning the police using lethal force during terrorist attacks, calling for cuts to the armed forces, and now this. I don’t believe he has had a sudden change of heart on national security issues and I doubt anyone else will either.”

Alec Shelbrooke says:

“This is a snippet of the forgiveness for terrorism there would be under a Corbyn government, with cheerleading from the sidelines by a Home Secretary that would rather talk about a haircut than her comments celebrating victory against the British state.”

And Bob Neill blasts:

“This is straight from Hansard. At best crass naivety, at worst a willing apologist… either way unfit to be PM.”

Corbyn has some front calling the Tories weak on defence given he defended the rights of ISIS supporters to come back to Britain…

Steve Hilton: May Should Resign

Downing Street’s former Director of Strategy says Theresa May should resign over security failures rather than seek re-election. Of course Steve was in Number 10 while the police cuts were happening. His new show starts on Fox this week…

May: “I Had the Balls to Call an Election”

She’s bloody lively tonight, as someone once said…

Tory and Labour Candidates All Believe May Heading For Comfortable Win

There is a complete consensus among every Tory and Labour candidate Guido has spoken to over the last week. They are not seeing on the doorstep the alleged Labour surge seen in the polls. Not a single Tory candidate Guido has spoken to has noticed a significant problem in their constituency – there is grumbling over the manifesto, dementia tax and the May campaign’s general inadequacy, but nothing to suggest there is some unprecedented groundswell of people seriously considering voting for Corbyn. Guido has spoken to Tory candidates in seats with 8,000 Labour majorities who still believe they will win. As Politico reports, everyone in CCHQ is giving off an air of calm. That is the mood Guido gauges too. Not one Tory candidate has indicated to Guido they believe there is a problem in their seat. 

Labour candidates (with the exception of Corbyn and McDonnell) agree. As the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot says, there is unanimity among Labour that they are not seeing what the polls suggest. More than one Labour veteran has told Guido that several high-profile Labour MPs are still likely to lose their seats. A senior former Labour official reckons the Tories will still win an 80+ majority. As Joan Ryan, the Labour incumbent in the Tory-Labour marginal of Enfield North says, “Realistically no one thinks Theresa May will not be Prime Minister”. Everyone on the ground on all sides does not believe the YouGov hung parliament projection, they are all expecting to see a Tory majority of 50 plus at the very least…

UPDATE: A well-timed new model from Lord Ashcroft projects a Tory majority between 40 and 78. Sounds much more like it…

+ Craig Mackinlay Charged +

CPS statement:

“On 18 April we received a file of evidence from Kent Police concerning allegations relating to Conservative Party expenditure during the 2015 General Election campaign. We then asked for additional enquiries to be made in advance of the 11 June statutory time limit by when any charges needed to be authorised.

“Those enquiries have now been completed and we have considered the evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

“We have concluded there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to authorise charges against three people.

“Craig Mackinlay, 50, Nathan Gray, 28, and Marion Little, 62, have each been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 4 July 2017.

“Criminal proceedings have now commenced and it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Trial after election…

UPDATE: CCHQ statement:

“The legal authorities have previously cleared Conservative candidates who faced numerous politically motivated and unfounded complaints over the Party’s national Battlebus campaigning.

“We continue to believe that this remaining allegation is unfounded. Our candidate has made clear that there was no intention by him or his campaigners to engage in any inappropriate activity. We believe that they have done nothing wrong, and we are confident that this will be proven as the matter progresses.

“The individuals remain innocent unless otherwise proven guilty in a court of law. The press, parties and those on social media should be aware of the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act and the strict liability rules against publishing anything which would prejudice the course of justice.

“There is a broad consensus that election law is fragmented, confused and unclear, with two different sets of legislation, and poor guidance from the Electoral Commission. Conservatives are committed to strengthening electoral law to tackle the real and proven cases of corruption that were exposed in Tower Hamlets in 2015.”

UPDATE: Farage reaction:

Fanatical Remainer Gummer Said Brexit Made Him “Sick to His Stomach”

Curious story in The Times this morning claiming Boris is to be demoted, David Davis is heading to the FCO and Ben Gummer is being lined up for the Brexit department. Ben Gummer? Not sure what they are smoking. He is one of the most fanatical Remainers in the Tory party. During the referendum he was one of the most enthusiastic proponents of Project Fear, tweeting endlessly about how the sky would fall in if Britain voted to Leave. The day after the referendum Gummer said the outcome had made him “sick to the pit of my stomach”. He said Brexit was akin to Marine Le Pen.

Yesterday Theresa May said “You can only deliver Brexit if you believe in Brexit”. That surely completely and categorically rules out Gummer for the Brexit department. The pro-Brexit Tory right would explode if Gummer was the lead minister for Brexit. If he wasn’t so close to May it would have ruled him out of government all together…

May an Analogue Prime Minister in a Digital Age

In the May v May interview in City AM this morning, Theresa May’s answers to Christian May’s quickfire round were revealing:

Hayek or Keynes? “I have one theory which is you have to live within your means.”

Well that is hardly true, is it. May’s manifesto pushed back the never-ending deficit reduction horizon to 2025. 

Black cabs or Uber? “Black cabs are a great institution.”

Safety first as ever from the PM. Oh for the the days of Digital Dave’s backing for forward-thinking, freedom and innovation. 

Coq D’Argent or Simpson’s Tavern? Simpson’s Tavern.” When I point out this is Nigel Farage’s favourite City haunt, the PM changes her mind.

Says it all…

Tory Lead Down 7 With Panelbase

It’s a trend… Looks like Corbyn is going to poll above Miliband…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

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