Philip Hammond was accused of “total betrayal” on Thursday night after he orchestrated a coup against the Government in the hope of blocking a no-deal Brexit. The Chancellor sent text messages to fellow ministers urging them to defy a three-line whip before Theresa May was defeated by 41 votes in the Commons. He was one of 36 rebels who either abstained or voted against the Government, in what one furious Eurosceptic described as an attempt to “booby trap” Brexit for Boris Johnson.
Four cabinet ministers sensationally broke ranks to help almost 50 rebel Tories block Boris Johnson from suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. The four – chancellor Philip Hammond, business secretary Greg Clark, justice secretary David Gauke and international development secretary Rory Stewart – defied a three-line whip to abstain in a key Commons vote. The measure effectively strips the likely new prime minister of the power to lock MPs out of parliament to stop them voting down his plans, making a no-deal departure on 31 October far more difficult to deliver.
CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond has followed through on his threat to stop Boris Johnson suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit by abstaining in today’s crunch vote on Dominic Grieve’s amendment – with Mr Johnson’s leadership rival Jeremy Hunt doing likewise. MPs voted by 315 votes to 274 to back Mr Grieve’s plan – a majority of 41. A total of 15 MPs abstained. Mr Grieve’s amendment, which was co-sponsored by Labour MP Hilary Benn and Tory Alistair Burt, calls for fortnightly reports from the Government on efforts to restore the power-sharing executive.
MPs have backed a bid to stop a new prime minister suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. A majority of 41 approved an amendment that blocks suspension between 9 October and 18 December unless a Northern Ireland executive is formed. Four cabinet ministers, including Philip Hammond, abstained and 17 Tory MPs rebelled, including minister Margot James, who has resigned.
Politicians in the House of Commons voted yesterday to try and stop the new Prime Minister suspending Parliament in order to drive through a WTO Brexit. A majority of 41 voted for the amendment aimed at blocking the next PM, likely Boris Johnson, from proroguing Parliament in order to get No Deal done. Some Cabinet Ministers, included Chancellor Philip Hammond, abstained whilst 17 Tory MPs voted for the amendment including Margot James who resigned as a Minister.
Tory MPs were in revolt today as the Commons voted to stop Boris Johnson forcing through a No Deal Brexit . MPs backed an amendment, 315-274, designed to make it much more difficult for the next Prime Minister to suspend Parliament to force through No Deal. Boris Johnson has refused to rule out “proroguing” – suspending – Parliament just before October 31 to stop MPs blocking a No Deal Brexit . But today’s amendment will force Parliament to meet – in theory to discuss unrelated issues about Northern Ireland – even if it has been prorogued.
MPs have given Boris Johnson a brutal preview of the scale of the challenge facing his premiership, as Conservative rebels voted to block any attempt to suspend parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit. The new measure was passed by a hefty 41-vote majority, after a day of drama in Westminster which saw the resignation of one minister and abstentions from four rebellious cabinet ministers, who will soon be on the backbenches, as well as half a dozen others.
Boris Johnson will turn the government’s Brexit department into a ministry focused solely on no-deal planning after his expected victory in the Tory leadership race next week. Under proposals being worked on by Mr Johnson’s team, ministerial responsibility for Brexit talks with Brussels will transfer from the Department for Exiting the European Union to the Cabinet Office. The Brexit department will be charged with increasing preparations for a no-deal departure, including a mass public awareness campaign.
Senior Tories seeking to block a no-deal Brexit are examining a radical plan involving the Queen, Newsnight has learned. Highly placed figures in the rebel group are so concerned that the next prime minister could ignore the will of parliament that they have discussed a scheme to ask the Queen to intervene. In a sign of the febrile atmosphere at Westminster, these Conservatives are thinking of holding a vote on a parliamentary device known as a humble address to the Queen. If passed, the address would say that if the new prime minister ignored a vote rejecting no deal the Queen would be asked to exercise her right as head of state to travel to the next EU summit. Under their plan she would then request an extension to the Article 50 process.
The Tories have clawed back support from the Brexit Party since the race for Number 10 got underway, YouGov polling data has revealed. The Conservative Party sunk to just 17 per cent in the polls immediately after Theresa May quit as leader on June 7 while Nigel Farage’s party was riding high on 26 per cent. But the Tories have steadily regained some of their popularity since then, with the latest YouGov poll putting the party top on 25 per cent with Mr Farage’s new political vehicle having dropped to 19 per cent.
MORE than a dozen ministers are preparing to quit the moment Boris Johnson becomes PM next week — following a stunning Brexit rebellion on Wednesday. Senior Tories joined Labour and Lib Dem MPs to make it impossible for the PM to suspend or “prorogue” Parliament this autumn to force through No Deal. They won by 315 votes to 274, with Digital Minister Margot James resigning to join 17 Tory rebels who went against the Government’s three-line whip.
Tory MPs are pushing to introduce new rules to protect the next prime minister from a confidence vote for a year after they enter Downing Street, Sky News has learnt. A confidence vote is when the PM’s own backbenchers are balloted over whether they should continue in office. The move is being pushed by members of the Tory 1922 executive committee, a group of Tory backbench shop stewards who oversee the leadership rules.
SENIOR Tory Eurosceptics are pushing Boris Johnson to make Iain Duncan-Smith his deputy PM to ensure he doesn’t waver on his Brexit pledges. The Tory leadership frontrunner has begun drawing up his Cabinet in tight secrecy, with only chief of staff Sir Eddie Lister knowing his full thinking. If Boris gets into No10 next week as most expect, it has emerged that as many as 12 Cabinet ministers will resign or be fired by him – the biggest clear out in nine years.
Labour peers are set to declare that they have no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership next week. Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, the party’s deputy leader in the Lords, was sacked by Mr Corbyn as a shadow Brexit minister on Wednesday after she compared the “bunker mentality” around his leadership to the “last days of Hitler”. Her removal turned simmering disaffection about Mr Corbyn’s leadership from Labour’s 179 peers into open revolt.
Diane Abbott has predicted that Labour MPs will mount a fresh leadership challenge against Jeremy Corbyn amid fresh recriminations over antisemitism in the party. The shadow cabinet minister, a long-time ally of Mr Corbyn, told party activists that critics of the Labour leader were exploiting his “vulnerability” over the row on handling cases of anti-Jewish hate. Mr Corbyn is facing renewed pressure over the party’s long-running antisemitism row, after several former staffers broke cover to tell a BBC documentary that senior figures had intervened in the handling of complaints.
Last night Labour in the European Parliament released a statement boasting about their role in confirming Ursula von der Leyen as the most powerful appointee in the EU. The new Commission President was approved by just nine votes, meaning that Labour’s ten MEPs could have stopped her. Her voting record in the German Parliament reveals she both voted against acknowledging climate emergency and against lifting the advertising ban on abortion services. Didn’t stop Labour giving the UK a hostile euro-federalist who’s made clear she wants the EU to have greater tax-raising powers, more protectionism and its own army…
The Brexit Party
Those backing Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party are the most confident that their outfit can bag the most votes at the next General Election. YouGov found that a whopping 69% of Brexit Party supporters think that their party can secure the highest amount of votes at a Westminster election, with 45% of Brexit Party backers also believing that the party can win the most seats. Punchy stuff. By comparison, 51% of Conservative supporters think they could garner the highest level of support in terms of votes, with 53% now believing they can elect the most MPs of any party.
LEO VARADKAR has given the clearest indication the EU is willing to get back to the negotiating table after he stated he is willing to listen to alternatives to the controversial Irish backstop. Tory leadership rivals, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have both vowed to ditch the backstop – a mechanism aimed to prevent a hard border in Ireland. In a major boost to their premiership and chances of finally delivering Brexit, the Irish Prime Minister insisted he is “willing to compromise” if a series of tests were met. Mr Varadkar told RTE: “I am going to have to listen to the prime minister, whenever he is elected, and I’ll have a chance to see if they have any meaningful or workable suggestions.”
The EU wanted to ‘put Brexit on ice for five years’, a new programme has revealed. David Lidington, Theresa May’s De Facto deputy, told BBC Panorama that a senior EU official made the secret offer to put Brexit on hold for five years and “see how things go” then talk about a “new deal for Europe” when the dust had settled. Cabinet Office Minister Mr Lidington told the programme that the offer came from the European Commission’s top official Martin Selmayr in 2018. He said: “Martin sort of said, ‘Look, why don’t we have a deal whereby we just put all this on ice for five years?’
Penny Mordaunt has unveiled a space programme and announced ‘the sky is no longer the limit’ for the RAF. The Defence Secretary said the service would move towards becoming an air and space force. Her ministry is due to spend £30million on the launch of a small satellite demonstrator within a year. It is hoped the satellite will eventually feed high-resolution video directly into the cockpits of RAF fighter jets to provide pilots with ‘unprecedented levels of battle awareness’.
The Tories’ free TV licence betrayal of over-75s could add another £1.6billion to the welfare bill, experts warned today. Crafty George Osborne, who was Chancellor 2015 when a deal was stitched up, believed forcing the BBC to fund the lifeline would save the Government £745million a year from 2020. But the Treasury’s own watchdog yesterday revealed the move could backfire – ultimately costing more than it saves. The Office for Budget Responsibility confirmed spending on Pension Credit was set to rise because of the move to restrict free licences to only those who receive the benefit.
Two million public sector workers including police officers, soldiers and teachers are to be given above-inflation pay rises, the government will announce next week. On Monday the Treasury will unveil the biggest public sector pay rise for six years, at an estimated cost of £2 billion, amid concerns that the private sector is pushing ahead on salaries. Police officers will receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise across the board, soldiers 2.9 per cent and teachers and other school staff 2.75 per cent.
Two million public sector workers including police officers, soldiers and teachers are to be given above-inflation pay rises, according to reports. Next week, the Treasury will unveil the biggest public sector pay rise for six years, at an estimated cost of £2 billion. The reported rise comes amid concerns that the private sector is pushing ahead on salaries. Police officers will receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise across the board, soldiers 2.9 per cent and teachers and other school staff 2.75 per cent, the Times reported.
Police have been warned that the public will give up on them after figures showed that the proportion of crimes resulting in a charge or summons has halved in four years. In the 12 months to March, 7.8 per cent of recorded offences resulted in a charge, down from 15 per cent in 2014/15, according to Home Office figures. There was also a sharp rise last year — from 750,000 to 923,000 — in cases where police identified a suspect but the victim refused to back further action.
Councils in rural areas like Dorset have five times less than to spend on care of the elderly than those in cities, new analysis reveals. The study by the Salvation Army warns that areas with lower house prices are unable to properly fund social care, because they cannot raise enough from council tax and business rates. Experts said the findings were evidence of a “dementia lottery” which meant the chance of receiving help were a matter of geography.
One in three people with dementia have been forced to sell their home to pay for care, an exclusive poll reveals today. Eight in ten people think politicians have failed to tackle the social care crisis, the survey found, and two-thirds believe the current system – which denies funding to anyone who owns a home or has £23,250 in savings – is unfair. Eight in ten also said the NHS should fund dementia support.
BORIS JOHNSON pledges to end the cruel injustice of families being forced to sell their homes to cover the cost of caring for loved ones with dementia if he becomes prime minister next week. In an exclusive interview, the frontrunner to take over in Downing Street vows to build a cross-party consensus on overhauling the country’s broken care system. “We need to get everybody together to find a solution to this because it is a crisis in our country,” the Tory leadership contender tells Daily Express readers. In a wide-ranging interview, he also branded the BBC “disgraceful” for scrapping free TV licences for pensioners aged over 75.
Schools have reportedly been told to give pupils smaller meal portions to save cash, it emerged yesterday. They have also been advised to keep money they have raised for local charities and to hold ‘mega-lessons’ that would see three classes taught at once. Department for Education (DfE) cost-saving experts reportedly came up with the extreme ways for cash-strapped schools to protect their budgets and found a total of £35million of savings that could be made across 70 schools.
Schools and colleges in England need a “multi-billion cash injection” and a long-term approach to funding, say MPs on the Education Select Committee. Its report on school funding confirms the concerns of head teachers and teachers’ unions who have protested about worsening budget shortages. The committee found that schools and colleges “desperately need” extra cash. A Department for Education spokeswoman accepted that schools were facing “budgeting challenges”.
Schools “desperately need” a multibillion-pound cash injection and the Government should draw up a 10-year funding plan, a cross-party group of MPs has said. A report by the Education Select Committee found that funding for schools and colleges had failed to keep pace with the extra demands being placed on institutions, such as providing mental health support and disabilities provision. This, coupled with growing pupil numbers and rising costs, meant the sector had been put under “significant strain” over the past 10 years, the MPs found.
Hundreds of people have died due to a disastrous Government initiative to cut salt from food, experts have claimed. A new study by Imperial College London has linked more than 10,000 cases of heart disease or stomach cancer to a scheme which handed control of salt reduction targets to the food industry. The research shows that the annual decrease in daily salt intake in England slowed markedly after the introduction of the Public health Responsibility Deal in 2011. Before that, the government’s Food Standards Agency had led the drive to crack down on salt, striking agreements with the food industry to reformulate processed foods, backed up with threats of legislation.
A government pact with the food industry to reduce the amount of salt in our food may in fact have led to hundreds of deaths, say experts. Far from improving health, the Public Health Responsibility Deal may have caused 9,900 cases of cardiovascular disease and 1,500 stomach cancers, with hundreds dying as a result, public health researchers said. Unless urgent action is taken thousands more will be “killed or maimed”, the study by Imperial College London and University of Liverpool warned.
THOUSANDS are dying of heart attacks, strokes and stomach cancer after a campaign to reduce salt in supermarket food stalled, researchers have said. A relaxation in regulation since 2011 is said to be responsible for nearly 10,000 extra heart disease and stroke cases over six years. And experts say that figure will reach 26,000 by 2025, along with 3,800 additional deaths from stomach cancer. Adults are advised to eat no more than 6g of salt a day — but most consume 8g on average.
The NHS is scrambling to get hold of the right flu jabs in time for this winter, amid fears millions of Britons will not be protected against a deadly “Aussie” strain. Health officials say delays by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in selecting the vaccine for this winter mean that some jabs will not be delivered to GP practices until the end of November. Normally flu vaccinations are offered by the NHS from September.