Boris Johnson refused to rule out extending the Brexit transition period beyond next year as he apologised yesterday for not meeting his pledge to leave the EU by Hallowe’en. The prime minister said that he felt “deep regret” at the failure to honour his “no ifs no buts” pledge to leave by October 31, accepting partial responsibility. However, he wants to avoid an election row about the next stage of Brexit before Britain has left, hoping to focus attention on the choice between his deal and Labour’s promise of a referendum.
Pledges made by both Labour and the Tories would see government spending returning to levels last seen in the 1970s, experts say. Over the weekend, the Conservatives unveiled a series of eye-catching promises including a rise in the state pension, an end to the benefits freeze and the return of free TV licences for the over-75s. They are also looking at cutting taxes, with changes to National Insurance set to save workers up to £460 a year.
Boris Johnson risks being forced into making emergency spending cuts after the election as a result of a campaign bidding war with Labour on public services, analysts have said. Sajid Javid, the chancellor, is arguing against a manifesto that “throws away” the past decade of deficit reduction, amid predictions that Britain is heading for 1970s levels of public spending, whoever wins the election. The Conservatives are targeting poorer voters without university degrees who supported Brexit, by promising a £155 million boost for further education and sixth-form colleges.
A SECRET document, which remained locked away for 30 years, advised the British Government to COVER-UP the realities of EU membership so that by the time the public realised what was happening it would be too late. As the nation prepares for a fiery General Election on December 12 which will essentially hinge on what people truly think of the EU’s long term plans for power and sovereignty, Express.co.uk examines the legacy of one of the most important documents in British political history. Almost all of the shocking predictions – from the loss of British sovereignty, to monetary union and the over-arching powers of European courts – have come true.
LABOUR could lose up to 50 seats to the Tories in crunch northern marginals in the upcoming general election as Labour LEAVE voters desert Jeremy Corbyn, according to a leading election expert. With Labour trailing behind the Conservatives in the polls, there could be “rich pickings” for Boris Johnson in places that voted to leave the EU. Professor John Curtice said there were 50 Labour seats that were vulnerable to the Tories.
Jeremy Corbyn has told his fractious shadow cabinet “the debate is over” on Brexit, as he seeks to stamp his authority on the general election campaign and shift the focus to social justice and the climate emergency. Speaking to the Guardian in the south-west London seat of Putney, the Labour leader claimed he had instructed frontbench colleagues to fall into line, after divisions over Brexit sparked a furious row over whether to go for an election. “I just said, ‘look, this debate is now over.
FALKLAND Islanders are uneasy at the prospect of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn being elected Prime Minister when UK goes to the polls on December 12 – because they fear he will negotiate its British sovereignty to Argentina, it was claimed today. The question has soured UK/Argentinian relations for centuries, and boiled over in 1982 when Buenos Aires launched its infamous military invasion, with Argentinian forces occupying the Falklands for more than three months before they were repelled by a Royal Navy task force sent by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The troubled People’s Vote campaign is to begin spending a £1m election war chest this week despite a continuing internal feud in part about whether it should back more Labour candidates. More than half of the anti-Brexit campaign’s staff are still on strike after the its chairman, Roland Rudd, sacked its chief executive, James McGrory, and its director of communications, Tom Baldwin, over strategy. The campaign is, however, ploughing on with its attempt to influence the election by backing dozens of pro-EU MPs with thousands of pounds worth of funding.
REMAIN PARTIES are forging a sinister new pact to thwart Boris Johnson’s chances in the December General Election in a desperate bid to block Brexit and undermine the 2016 Leave result. In a bid to stop Mr Johnson from remaining in power, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party are due to reveal a Remain pact of up to 60 seats. The Prime Minister also faces threats from The Brexit Party which could stand against the Tories and also thwart Conservative hopes of a majority in crunch seats.
Nigel Farage risks becoming the “man who threw away Brexit”, the most senior Tory Eurosceptic backbencher has warned, as the Brexit Party leader prepares to unveil his 600 election candidates. In a blistering attack on Mr Farage, Steve Baker, the chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), accused him of “setting out” to create a “weak and indecisive” hung Parliament. The former Brexit minister, who until now remained closely aligned with Mr Farage on Brexit, also condemned his decision not to stand as an MP, saying it showed he was “not serious about governing the country”.
Nigel Farage today dramatically revealed he will not stand at the snap election – but warned the Brexit Party will fight the Tories. Mr Farage said he had agonised over the decision but wanted to focus on supporting candidates up and down the country. The announcement, in an interview on the BBC‘s Andrew Marr show, came as the MEP launched an excoriating attack on Boris Johnson’s deal with the EU. Despite a bitter rift emerging with his own closest allies, Mr Farage branded the package a ‘Remainer’s Brexit’ and a ‘massive con’, saying it was ’95 per cent the same’ as Theresa May’s. ‘I have thought very hard about this, how do I support the cause of Brexit best… do I fight a seat, try to get myself into Parliament, or do I serve the cause traversing the length and breadth of the UK, supporting 600 candidates,’ he said. ‘I’ve decided the latter course is the right one.’
Nigel Farage dramatically revealed he will not stand in the general election and declared war on the Tories. The Brexit Party leader said he wanted to be free to travel the country campaigning instead of being locked into a constituency battle. In a sign of the bitter war to come, Mr Farage ramped up the attack on Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement, describing it is a “gigantic con”. But even close allies turned on him for being “dog in the manger” about the deal and warned the MEP he was increasing the risk of Brexit being overturned.
Nigel Farage will not be standing as a candidate at the General Election. The Brexit Party leader said he believes he can better serve the cause by “traversing the length and breadth” of the UK campaigning, instead of fighting to get elected in one constituency. He has previously lost on seven occasions when bidding to become an MP. Asked if he was going to stand in the forthcoming election, Mr Farage told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One: “I’ve thought very hard about this – how do I serve the cause of Brexit best, because that’s what I’m doing this for.
Free Market Conservatives
The Brexit Party risked throwing away their mantle as Brexit Heroes yesterday as Nigel Farage announced the party will be contesting every seat in England, Scotland, and Wales unless Boris commits to yet another renegotiation. This drastic move could risk letting anti-democratic parties slip through the middle in hundreds of constituencies, and throw Brexit away altogether. In the last few months alone, a split majority Leave vote in both Brecon and Peterborough delivered two Remain MPs.
The civil service is to hold talks with the SNP amid a political row over speculation that Labour will seek to do a deal with the party in the event of a hung parliament. Mandarins have been given permission to begin pre-election consultations with Nicola Sturgeon as part of a long-standing convention that the civil service discusses priorities with opposition parties to allow them to prepare for whoever wins power.
Candidates to become Speaker of the Commons have questioned the legitimacy of John Bercow’s successor if enough MPs do not turn up for a pre-election vote today. In a secret ballot, MPs will choose between eight candidates in a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for the future of parliament and the outcome of Brexit. Some of those standing are unhappy that the vote is going ahead today after a failed attempt to delay it until after the general election.
MPs are preparing to choose John Bercow’s successor in the first Speaker election in more than a decade. Eight candidates are bidding to take on the role following Mr Bercow’s departure, with the Commons business on Monday dedicated to this election. Deputy Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle is among those strongly tipped to emerge victorious, with fellow Labour MP Harriet Harman – the current longest continuously serving female MP – also predicted to do well. The other six candidates are Dame Rosie Winterton and Dame Eleanor Laing, who also both served as Mr Bercow’s deputies,
One in ten patients admitted to hospital are suffering from a form of diabetes linked to being overweight and inactive. The scale of the growing crisis was laid bare last night as it was revealed hospitals are being deluged with 5,000 type 2 diabetes patients every day. It is taking an unprecedented toll on the under-pressure NHS, with doctors now seeing children aged under nine who need help. GP leaders also warned that some patients need up to 200 health appointments a year to deal with their condition.
Doctors have launched an unprecedented election attack on the Conservatives and Labour, accusing the parties of preparing to tell “outright lies” on the NHS during the campaign. The professional standards group for Britain’s 220,000 doctors says that politicians see the NHS as “vote-bait”, ridiculing key pledges from Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. In a sign of mounting unease within the health service as the general election campaigns begin, hospital chiefs will also join today in condemnation of “unrealistic expectations” and “empty promises”, warning voters to beware.
Parties should not use the NHS as “a political weapon” in the election campaign, health service bosses say. NHS Providers chief Chris Hopson said “over dramatising NHS difficulties” or making “disingenuous” funding claims did the service “no favours”. Mr Hopson acts for health trust leaders in England and urged politicians not to make “empty promises” or create “unrealistic expectations”. The NHS is set to become a key battleground during the campaign. Speaking to the BBC, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said a Labour government would seek to end privatised contracts in the NHS, arguing the public didn’t want money “being poured into the pockets of profiteers”.
Doctors have accused Boris Johnson of only recognising an “unprecedented” NHS crisis coming this winter because of fears it will hamper the Tories chances in the general election. “Under this government’s watch, patients and staff working in the NHS have endured winter after winter of overcrowded emergency departments, long delays and pitifully low staffing levels,” said British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul. “It should not take an election to take stock of just how bad the situation has become. “Staff are already coming under extreme pressure, trolley waits are at a worryingly high level, A&E targets are not being met and as such, the BMA predicts that the NHS is hurtling towards an unprecedented crisis this winter.”
Doctors have rubbished reported plans from Number 10 to stave off winter pressures in the health service as an empty gesture, with industry bodies arning the institution is now in a “perpetual state of crisis”. There have been growing concerns over how the health service will function over the winter, and both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock hold regular meetings with NHS bosses. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, British Medical Association (BMA) council chair, said: “It should not take an election to take stock of just how bad the situation has become.”
NHS equipment failures and a staffing crisis fuelled a surge in cancelled operations, Labour has revealed. Some 78,981 operations were axed in the last year, according to data unearthed using freedom of information rules. The planned ops were either classed as urgent or were elective operations scrapped at the last minute – either on the day the patient was due to arrive in hospital or after they had already turned up. The number of operations shelved because of staffing issues and equipment failures has climbed by a third in two years.
Hospital admissions for heart failure have risen by a third over the past five years to reach a record high, figures show. An ageing population and more patients surviving heart attacks are thought to be behind the 33 per cent increase. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) found that there were 86,474 heart failure admissions in England in 2018-19, up from 65,025 in 2014-15. In the same period, overall admissions to hospital increased by 11 per cent.
Hospital admissions for heart failure have soared to record levels, damning figures reveal today. The NHS admitted a third more patients for the condition last year than they did five years previously. Admissions rose from 65,000 in 2013/14 to 86,500 in 2018/19 – a 33 per cent increase, three times the 11 per cent rise seen for other hospital admissions in the same period. Experts believe Britain’s ageing and growing population is a key reason for the increase.
Tens of thousands of people have had their operations cancelled because of staff shortages and faulty medical equipment, according to newly revealed NHS figures. The number of procedures called off by hospitals for non-clinical reasons has increased by 32 per cent in the last two years, the statistics obtained via a freedom of information (FOI) request. Almost 4,000 more were scrapped in 2018 than in 2016. They also show that of the 79,000 operations to be cancelled last year, 20 per cent were scrapped because of staffing issues and equipment failures.
MIDDLE-aged cocaine users are being rushed to hospital at a record rate. Cases involving those in their 50s and 60s hit 1,774 last year — three times the number five years ago, latest NHS figures show. Hospitals dealt with a record 15,423 cocaine abuse cases last year — and that figure is just the tip of the iceberg. The shock stats, which work out at 42 every day, includes only admissions for “mental or behavioural” disorders and not for physical harm. The toll, almost 90 per cent up on the 8,129 cases in 2013-14, includes an alarming rise in the number involving users in their 50s or 60s.
The number of cocaine users over 50 who are being admitted to hospital has risen to a new record high. Middle-aged Class A drug users, aged in their 50s and 60s, reached 1,774 in 2018, some three times higher than five years ago, according to NHS figures. The stats also show UK hospitals dealt with 15,423 cocaine abuse cases, which is estimated to be 42 every day. It does, however, only include admissions for “mental or behavioural disorders” and not physical harm. The figures have shot up almost 90% on the 8,129 cases reported in 2013-14, and now includes a sharp rise in the number of users in their 50s and 60s.
Private schools are making hundreds of thousands of pounds from Vietnamese children who are entering Britain on student visas then disappearing, The Times can reveal. Children as young as 15 are being brought to the UK by suspected trafficking gangs through legitimate visas sponsored by private schools. The students typically pay a term’s fees then go missing within weeks or months of starting at the school.
Applying for a place at an expensive boarding school and obtaining a Home Office study visa do not seem like the natural choices for a trafficking gang trying to get cheap nail bar workers into the UK. The well-worn route of illegal migrants from Vietnam to Europe involves flying to Russia and then travelling in cars and lorries to France, often via Latvia and Belarus, and it comes with many risks.
Labour would cancel the expansion of Heathrow if it wins power, John McDonnell has suggested, amid fears that the party could block other airport projects across the country. The shadow chancellor said climate change would dominate the party’s agenda in government, adding that the current proposals for a third runway “very clearly” did not meet Labour’s red lines on protecting the environment.
Heathrow Airport expansion would be scrapped under Labour’s plans to tackle the climate crisis, the party’s two most powerful figures signalled today. Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell made clear the third runway could be a victim of efforts to make the UK carbon-neutral by 2030. The move came as Labour scrambles to suck up Green votes ahead of the election on December 12. Parliament gave the go-ahead last year for the expansion of the London hub, which published its ‘masterplan’ in June to build a third runway by 2026.
The expansion of Heathrow could be ditched by Labour because climate change is the party’s “No 1 priority”, the shadow chancellor has suggested. John McDonnell said that Heathrow “clearly doesn’t qualify” for a third runway under tests that the party has set, including meeting carbon reduction targets and minimising noise. Labour has pledged that Britain will be carbon-neutral by 2030, 20 years earlier than the government target, as the parties compete to offer green policies to an electorate increasingly concerned about the environment.