Good morning and welcome to your daily dose of news. Over the next five weeks we’ll be running special election editions of the morning briefing, bringing you a round-up of news from the campaign trails, as well as a wrap of non-election news as well. As usual, we’ll be bringing you the day’s politics news as it breaks.
What’s going on?
The parties have started unveiling their plans and promises as leaders travel the country laying out their stalls for the election.
Boris Johnson has announced a plan for half-price visas and preferential immigration processes for doctors and nurses wanting to work in the UK. The new NHS visa would cost just £464 and would operate under a fast-track process, with applicants guaranteed a decision within two weeks.
Labour has unveiled its strategy to improve equality in the workplace, pledging to introduce maternity pay for a full year after the birth of a child and give workers the right to choose hours that suit them, putting the onus on employers to explain why they cannot offer flexible working hours. The announcement comes as the shock of Tom Watson’s resignation as deputy leader of the Labour party continues to ripple through the party. Watson’s allies have called his decision a “big loss” for the centre of the party, with one saying “it leaves some of us feeling abandoned. Tom was our shield.” The race to replace him has already begun, with Dawn Butler, the women’s and equalities shadow minister, the first to announce she would be throwing her hat in the ring for the job. Rajeev Syal has written this guide to the runners and riders for the job.
Both parties have been warned by the Institute of Fiscal Studies about their ambitious spending promises, saying that the public spending bidding war may return infrastructure investment back to 1970s levels, but could also be undeliverable.
The list of candidates who have stood down for inappropriate behaviour has grown, after a former radio host running as a Conservative candidate for Broadland in Norfolk withdrew from the race after saying women should keep their “knickers on” to avoid rape and a Labour candidate who had been standing for Gordon in Aberdeenshire announced she would no longer run after it emerged she had made comments comparing Israel to “an abused child who becomes an abusive adult”. Roger Godsiff, the Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, was among those told this week by the national executive committee that he would not be endorsed as a Labour candidate over his support for people protesting the teaching of LGBT equality classes at a local school. He has confirmed he will run as an Independent Labour candidate.
At a glance
The day ahead
Nigel Farage is heading to Wales and will be attending a rally for the Brexit party in Pontypool at around midday and then another at Newport in the evening.
Labour will be holding a lunchtime event in Stevenage featuring Dawn Butler, the shadow minister for women and equalities, who announced last night she would be throwing her hat into the ring for the job of deputy Labour leader.
Jo Swinson is in Fife and Boris Johnson is on pooled visits, though it’s unclear exactly where.
Best of the rest
> Dozens of people have spent the night in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield after torrential rain caused severe flooding around the complex, making roads impassable, causing the cancellation of trains and forcing homes to be evacuated.
> A book by an anonymous “senior official” at the White House has described Donald Trump as being like a “12-year-old in an air traffic control tower”, according to the Washington Post. And Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, has opened the door to a possible run against Trump next year.
> A forensic scientist has told the jury in the murder trial of Grace Millane that blood found in the accused’s hotel room most likely came from the British backpacker killed in Auckland last year.
Today in Focus podcast: Inside the youth justice system
The Guardian’s north of England team has spent a month investigating the youth justice system in England and Wales, in which children as young as 10 are put on trial. Today in Focus joined the editor Helen Pidd in a youth court on the final day. And: Jonathan Freedland on the shambolic start to the general election campaign
Lunchtime read: I do like Green Eggs and Ham
The riotous world of the Dr Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham has been brought triumphantly to life in a new Netflix series starring, among others, Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. Our TV reviewer Lucy Mangan delights in the animation’s emotional twists and turns and says it is worthy of the “great doctor himself”.
Manchester United are through to the last 32 of the Europa League after beating Partizan, with the Red Devils’ strikers drawing praise from Ole Gunnar Solskjær. And Liverpool’s resilience faces its biggest test, Jamie Vardy threatens to deepen Arsenal’s gloom and a welcome dilemma for Newcastle – these are among the 10 things to look out for in the Premier League this weekend. And still on the top-of-the-table clash, Manchester City fear a repeat bus attack after flagging a social media post asking Liverpool fans to line the potential route of City’s team coach to Anfield on Sunday. In motor sport, Jamie Chadwick has expressed her admiration for Lewis Hamilton but concedes her aim of reaching Formula One won’t be easy. And the former All Black Sonny Bill Williams has completed his record signing with Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.
Just as hopes rise that a US-China trade deal can avert a global recession, today’s long read examines how the next big downturn could be caused by the extraordinary success and power of the big technology companies. Rana Foroohar, an American business writer, argues that their accumulation of huge amounts of corporate debt makes big tech, not big banks, the new too-big-to-fail industry. Asian markets fell slightly overnight and the FTSE100 is poised to shed 0.22% at the open at 8am. The pound is at £1.281 and €1.159.
A lot of the papers lead on Ian Austin’s call for Labour voters to vote Tory. “Vote Conservative, say Corbyn rebels” is the Telegraph’s headline, while the Mail says “The Labour veterans who plead: vote Tory”, the Express exclaims “Vote Boris!” and the Metro splash says “Ganging up on Corbyn”. The Guardian and the Times prefer to focus on policy matters, with the former saying “Labour and Tories launch bidding war on spending” and the latter going with “Corbyn bid to launch 1970s-style cash spree”. The FT has a similar story on its front but leads with “Merkel locks horns with Macron after he attacks ‘brain dead’ Nato”. The Mirror has a story about a former NHS worker left on a hospital trolley for six hours. “Shameful”, the headline reads.
It’s a different story north of the border. The Scotsman has “Johnson: No indyref even if SNP win Holyrood majority” and the National says “SNP pledge new law to protect NHS from Trump and Johnson”.
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