Morning Briefing: Final run-in to the Euro elections
Writing in yesterday's Sunday Times, the Prime Minister has pleaded for MPs to look again at her Brexit deal "with fresh eyes" when it comes before the House in early June. Downing Street say it will be a "bold new offer" and are busily adding trinkets and inducements that they hope will convince enough MPs to vote it through. You can let your MP how you think they should vote using our online tool.
Calls to investigate funding of Brexit Party
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for the Electoral Commission to investigate the Brexit Party over concerns about its funding. There is growing pressure on Nigel Farage's new party to explain how it is funded. Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice claimed that they were complying with electoral law.
Meanwhile Nigel Farage is facing an investigation by EU authorities over claims that he failed to register £450,000 gifts from millionaire former Leave.EU donor Arron Banks.
The alleged gifts include the use of a £4m Chelsea home, Range Rover and chauffeur were not declared by Farage in his position as an MEP. Banks described the Channel 4 allegations as a “smear”, while Farage has only said “no comment” on the reports.
The Brexit Party has been described as "start-up politics" with a radically different structure that allows no members and complete control by Farage.
It's vital to vote for a party that will support a People's Vote. Check out our People's Vote test website here.
Corbyn comes close to getting off the fence - but is still there
It's European election week and much of the debate is still whether Labour will give a full-throated backing for a People’s Vote or not. For many voters, it’s a key point on whether they actively jump to unequivocally pro-People’s Vote parties or trust that Jeremy Corbyn will come round to it.
Yesterday, he had another chance to make it clear and he seemed to get a bit closer: “We would want a vote in order to decide what the future would be,” he told the BBC's Andrew Marr. He also said this would apply to a so-called "good" deal as well as a bad deal.
But then appeared to row back by the end of the interview by talking of it once again as just an option. And there was the usual depressing briefing from unnamed "sources"(that's Seumas Milne to you and me) that nothing had changed. All this will add to speculation that there are a few unelected people around the Labour leader who are intent of stopping any effort to get the party into a clearer position.
If their priority is votes, the polls suggest their strategy is failing. The show a huge shift from Labour to parties that more explicitly back a People's Vote. The Observer reported that Labour is desperately trying to shore up their campaign amid warnings that their Brexit stance is “detoxifying the Lib Dems” who are leading Labour in London and could top them across the country.
Pressure is growing on the Opposition leader: shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis warned that the Labour leader's position could be in jeopardy if he continued to refuse members' calls for a People's Vote.
Best for Britain have done a mega-poll of 10,000 voters which shows that the Brexit Party have 34% vote share, against Lib Dems on 17%, Labour 15%, Green 11% and Tories 9%.
This would lead to Brexit gaining 32 seats, Labour 12, Lib Dems 10, Green, 8, Conservatives 4, SNP 3, Plaid Cymru 1 and UKIP and Change UK 0 each.
They have built an online tool that makes it easy for voters to test different polling numbers to assess how to vote and it seems clear that the two main parties are set to get massively punished in the Euro polls on Thursday for their management of the Brexit crisis.
Hezza will vote Lib Dem to back a People's Vote
It’s almost impossible to imagine, yet Tory “big beast” Michael Heseltine is going to vote Lib Dem on Thursday in the European elections because of the “poison” of Brexit.
Prominent People’s Vote campaigner Lord Heseltine blames the Tories for becoming “infected with the virus of extremism”.
As a huge list of potential leadership candidates jostle at the start line and Theresa May reportedly plans to “re-brand” her failed Brexit deal with a “bold” new offer before she leaves, Hezza is in despair at his own party.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Lord Heseltine promised to back Lib Dem for a People’s Vote, but plans to continue with the Tory Whip in the House of Lords.
His comments were echoed by former PM John Major who said the need for a moderate Tory party was “greater than ever”.
“The middle ground of politics is empty,” he said.
Local volunteers out in strength to campaign for People's Vote
This weekend local volunteers were out campaigning in their local communities all across the country talking to local people about the importance of voting for pro-People's Vote parties at this week's European election. In almost a hundred locations nationwide, campaigners were knocking on doors, handing out leaflets and having conversations with members of their communities. This is where real change happens.
Regardless of whether people voted leave or remain in 2016, there is a real sense of unhappiness about how Brexit is going. Once we know what the final deal is, people want a chance to have a say on whether this is the right thing for the country or not. The Brexit Party were present in a tiny number of the same locations that we were, and local people were delighted that we were there offering an alternative view to Nigel Farage's vision for Britain. Thank you to all the volunteers who took part. We couldn't do this without you.
It's clear that Brexit must be put to the people. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the People's Vote campaign. Sign up to volunteer today.
Quote of the Day
"I cannot, with a clear conscience, vote for my party when it is myopically focused on forcing through the biggest act of economic self-harm ever undertaken by a democratic government."
Conservative peer Michael Heseltine announces that he will vote for the Lib Dems this week.
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