Newslinks for Easter Sunday 2024 | Conservative Home

“Mega poll” shows the Conservatives would win fewer than a hundred seats if an election were held now

“Rishi Sunak’s Easter message hailed the start of spring: the season of hope, rebirth and renewal. Delivered after a damaging few weeks, he welcomed the “chance to pause and reflect”. But as he hurtles towards a general election, a new mega poll offers little hope he can resurrect his party’s electoral fortunes. The seat-by-seat analysis shows Tory prospects have hit a record low and they are on track for their worst election result, winning fewer than 100 seats. Labour would win 468, giving Sir Keir Starmer’s party a whopping 286-seat majority.” – Sunday Times

  • 62 per cent say the Conservatives should not change leader now, while just 38 per cent back the move – The Sun on Sunday
  • Will Prime Minister Rishi Sunak call a June election as a ‘shield’ to prevent a new Tory leadership battle? – Mail on Sunday
  • Reform UK tried to poach but I said no because it was a duff deal – Bob Seely MP, The Sun on Sunday
  • We all know the odds, we have all seen the polls. But when has that ever stopped us? – Richard Holden MP, Sunday Express
  • Disgust in our political elites is turning us against democracy itself – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Coutinho warns Labour’s ‘unfeasible’ 2030 net zero target would leave UK at China’s mercy

“Labour’s “dangerous” net zero plans would leave Britain at the mercy of China, the Energy Secretary has claimed. In an interview with The Telegraph, Claire Coutinho said Labour’s pledge to convert Britain to “clean power” by 2030  – five years earlier than the Conservatives – would leave the UK “over-reliant” on Chinese-made metals, cables and batteries, just as Europe was weaning itself off Russian oil and gas.” – Sunday Telegraph

Jenrick calls for migrant crime data to be published

“Details of nationality, immigration and visa status should be recorded whenever a criminal is convicted, ex-immigration minister Robert Jenrick has proposed. Mr Jenrick has submitted an amendment to the government’s Criminal Justice Bill, saying the data would help to inform deportation and visa policies. “We would want to apply a higher level of scrutiny to nationalities that are higher risk,” he said. Rishi Sunak has been under pressure to cut net migration figures.” – BBC

  •  Why do we still send millions to China when we desperately need that money to defend ourselves against countries like… China? – Robert Jenrick, The Mail on Sunday

Cleverly warns church against meddling in asylum claims

“James Cleverly today warns church leaders against meddling in asylum cases – as he backed ending secret justice in British immigration courts. The Home Secretary warned clerics there is a massive difference between welcoming a newbie “to a flock” and “vouching” for a person so they dodge deportation. It follows a national outcry over Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi, 35, who was granted asylum on appeal after a Baptist minister went to bat for him.” – The Sun on Sunday

  • We must shine a light on immigration tribunals after the case of chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi – James Cleverly, The Sun on Sunday
  • The Abdul Ezedi case is a scandal that must never be allowed to happen again – Leader, The Sun on Sunday
  • Christian principles remain at the core of Britain’s values – Leader, Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Religion and politics. ‘Evidence and reason’ are vitally important, but on the big questions we all rely on faith.

McVey pledges not to “cede sovereignty” over future lockdowns

“The UK Government will “never” hand over authority about whether to introduce pandemic lockdowns to international organisations, a minister has said. Esther McVey, a minister in the Cabinet Office, said Britain would not agree to anything that “cedes sovereignty” in ongoing negotiations over a World Health Organisation (WHO) “pandemic treaty”. Four years after the decision to introduce the first Covid lockdown, the UK is involved in talks with other WHO member states aimed at reaching a new agreement to improve preparedness for future pandemics. Countries want to reach a deal in May.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • We will never surrender powers to the World Health Organization – Esther McVey, Sunday Telegraph

Rayner accused of hypocrisy over tax affairs

“Angela Rayner has been branded a hypocrite for targeting the Prime Minister’s wife over her tax affairs – but refusing to come clean over her own murky property dealings. Labour’s Deputy Leader is facing mounting pressure to answer questions over the sale of her former council house that has engulfed her in controversy on three fronts since The Mail on Sunday broke the story. Last night, a former public standards chief joined ex-Cabinet ministers in calling for transparency from Ms Rayner, amid claims she may have dodged capital gains tax, wrongly claimed a council tax discount and possibly breached election law.” – Mail on Sunday

  • What the ugly saga over Rayner’s council houses tells us about Labour – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • Rayner harried Tories over their tax affairs. Now the issue cuts both ways – Leader, Mail on Sunday

Military camp to house Afghan refugees

“A military complex will be used to house people who worked with the UK government in Afghanistan, but fled after the Taliban seized power. East Camp in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, will house 50 people by the end of March with more arriving in April, the Ministry of Defence said. The site can host a maximum of 180 people. Those arriving are eligible under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) programme.” – BBC

Kearns claims the Government has legal advice that Israel broke international law

“The British government has received advice from its own lawyers stating that Israel has breached international humanitarian law in Gaza but has failed to make it public, according to a leaked recording obtained by the Observer. The comments, made by the Conservative chair of the House of Commons select committee on foreign affairs, Alicia Kearns, at a Tory fundraising event on 13 March are at odds with repeated ministerial denials and evasion on the issue.” – The Observer

  • Starmer LBC interview contributed to a “loss of trust” with Muslim voters – Interview with Shabana Mahmood, Sunday Times
  • Labour membership falls by 23,000 over Gaza and green policies – The Observer
  • Protesters surround police van after terror suspect arrested at pro-Gaza march in London – Sunday Telegraph
  • Labour MP honoured extremist imam for his work in the community – Sunday Telegraph

Other political news

  • Oxford University to stop politicians becoming chancellor, leaked email shows – Sunday Telegraph
  • The King due to attend Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle – BBC
  • Police in England and Wales fail to catch any car thieves in 100 neighbourhoods – The Observer
  • Fury as ‘unpatriotic’ Labour MPs ‘who are ashamed of Britain’ called for Union Jack to be removed from campaign leaflets – The Sun on Sunday
  • NHS told to save £4.5bn – Sunday Times
  • ONS female employees could face disciplinary action if they object to trans colleagues using their lavatories – Sunday Telegraph
  • British artists set for ‘royalty windfall’ with new Australia trade deal – Sunday Express
  • Welsh Ombudsman official allegedly wrote ‘F— the Tories’ online – Sunday Telegraph

Lawson: Reeves idol praised Mao

“Rachel Reeves, though, extolled one figure above all, who was associated with that period: the Cambridge economist Joan Robinson (1903-83)…Ms Reeves’s idol was this country’s most influential advocate of the economic policies and practice of Mao Zedong, not just the Great Leap Forward — the forced collectivisation of agriculture, which caused a famine that killed an estimated 50 million Chinese people — but also the Cultural Revolution. Robinson declared of the former period that “the rationing system worked”. She was — as Evan Osborne sets out in his essay “Captive of One’s Own Theory: Joan Robinson and Maoist China” — even dismissive of official toleration of desperate individual efforts to grow food during the Great Leap Forward. Robinson had written of the “many concessions [that] had to be made to individualistic sentiment among the peasants; some communes actually disintegrated into private household cultivation”. Tut-tut.” – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

Colvile: The Conservatives could beat Khan, if they weren’t so anti-London

Khan is, on paper, an eminently beatable candidate. Polls suggest 56 per cent of Londoners have an unfavourable opinion of their mayor, compared with 39 per cent who like him. Even among Labour voters his ratings are barely positive. That could be because of the unpopularity of his Ulez scheme, or his propensity to govern by press release, or the relentless virtue-signalling. (The Lioness line, anyone?) In the last mayoral election, the Tory candidate, Shaun Bailey, shocked everyone by coming within 5 percentage points of Khan in the first round of voting. And the mayor hasn’t exactly won more friends since then…. If you want to run a city — or a country — it helps to show voters that you actually like it.” – Robert Colvile, Sunday Times

Hannan: Changing leader now would be a farce too far

“What can the Conservatives do to recover? Unbelievably, the most widely canvassed option is to change leaders yet again. Sheesh, guys, really? How many more times must the burnt fool’s bandaged finger go wobbling back to the fire?…The Tories’ best option is to shore up their support by cutting taxes (including scrapping inheritance tax), rejecting the carbon border adjustment mechanism, seeing through the Rwanda plan, finalising a free trade deal with India, toughening the rules on incapacity claims and using our post-EU freedoms to scrap needless regulations, lift tariffs and lower energy bills. Will these things be enough to win? It’s a long shot. But one of the last cards the Tories have to play is that they represent constancy and experience in an uncertain world. Another leadership contest at this stage would wantonly toss that card away.” – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

News in brief

  • Sunak only has himself to blame for the rise of Reform – Patrick O’Flynn, The Spectator
  • Let us allow the glory of Easter to touch our daily lives – Laudable Practice, The Critic
  • The case for renationalising water is leaky – Matthew Lesh, CapX
  • Is it time for a no-fly zone in Ukraine? Putin is escalating his war from the air – Kevin Ryan, Unherd

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