Labour is not trying to win the general election, one of the party’s senior MPs has admitted, as it emerged that at least 13 MPs have resigned in an exodus ahead of the vote. Helen Goodman, a former minister, conceded that Labour won’t win in June and Jeremy Corbyn won’t be the next Prime Minister after more MPs announced they will not stand again today. One of the most senior MPs to refuse to stand was Michael Dugher, the former shadow minister. Dave Anderson the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland also announced he will not seek re-election.
LABOUR performed its first U-turn of the campaign this afternoon as the party ruled OUT a second referendum on the final EU deal just hours after Jeremy Corbyn refused to deny it would hold one. Senior figures in the party were said to be mulling over the idea of promising another vote in the upcoming election, The Times reported. But this afternoon a spokesperson for Mr Corbyn said the idea would not be in their upcoming manifesto. While the idea had not yet been signed off on by Labour’s Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer, it was hoped that the policy could help the party hold onto Remain voters. Mr Starmer thinks that it could become meaningless, however, if a transitional deal is put in place as is planned.
EUROCRATS today demanded to be allowed to continually revise UP the UK’s £52 billion Brexit bill. Officials in Brussels want the power to make “annual technical adjustments” to the gargantuan tab even after it has been agreed with Britain, adding on extra demands for cash every year. The jaw-dropping move means the mooted £52bn bill could continue to grow in size years into the future, with the UK still being asked to cough up more money even after it has left the bloc. It is likely to provoke fury amongst eurosceptics and stun the Government, which is already under intense pressure to resist Brussels’ astonishing demands for cash. Previously it had been thought that eurocrats would present the UK with one final payable amount for leaving, calculated on the basis of commitments Britain has already made to current and future EU projects. But now, with the bloc’s budget facing a massive squeeze after Brexit, that stance appears to have altered and officials want to stagger the payments so they can continue to bolt extra demands on.
Brussels is demanding lifelong rights for EU citizens and their families in a move that would overturn Theresa May’s pledge to end the power of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Britain. Leaked European Commission negotiating guidelines reveal that the EU is demanding that Mrs May indefinitely submit to rulings by the ECJ on the pensions, employment and welfare rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK. It will raise concerns that Britain will be held to account by the Luxembourg court over benefits for EU citizens and their right to bring relatives, including non-Europeans, to live with them. If a deal were struck, the 900,000 British citizens living in Europe would have the same rights.
A senior Brussels bureaucrat today risked angering Brexit voters by saying the decision to leave the EU can be reversed. European Parliament president Antonio Tajani said the EU would happily welcome the UK back if the country decided to U-turn on the referendum. His comments risk angering Theresa May who has said there is ‘no turning back’ from last year’s historic vote. Speaking to The Guardian after talks with the Prime Minister at Downing Street, he said Britain could withdraw from triggering Article 50, which launched the formal negotiations to leave the EU. He said: ‘If the UK, after the election, wants to withdraw (Article 50), then the procedure is very clear.
The president of the European Parliament has said the Brexit deal between Britain and the EU will be vetoed if citizens’ rights are not protected. Antonio Tajani was in London to meet with Theresa May to discuss the parliament’s position on the Brexit negotiations and said the issue of rights was a “red line”. He said it was essential that European and British citizens had the “same rights tomorrow as they have today” and without such an agreement, parliament would veto the deal. “We will vote against only if an agreement on citizen’s rights is not inside the deal. For us it is impossible to vote in favour without an agreement on citizens’ rights. This is a prerogative,” he told The Independent. “The European parliament in our document has underlined the need to have tomorrow the same rights of today for the European citizens living here and the British citizens living in the European Union.”
TOP Brussels chief Antonio Tajani has said Brexit can be overturned and Britain will be welcomed if it decided to U-turn on the momentous Leave vote. The president of the European Parliament’s comments risk infuriating Prime Minister Theresa May who said there was “no turning back” once Article 50 was triggered. Mr Tajani said the vote could be reversed by remaining EU members if there was a change in UK Government following the snap General Election on June 8. He told the Guardian: “If the UK, after the election, wants to withdraw Article 50, then the procedure is very clear. “If the UK wanted to stay, everybody would be in favour. I would be very happy.” The Brussels boss also threatened to veto any Brexit deal if it did not guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain.
The European Union’s ridiculous demands in the negotiations have been stepped up a notch, with the bloc now apparently wanting money, jurisdiction of courts and rights for EU families to settle in the UK even after Brexit. In what would amount to a power grab against a truly independent Britain, documents seen by Reuters make clear that Brussels will expect annual payments as a condition of any deal. On top of that, they want EU judges to still hold sway in Britain and for family members of EU citizens living in Britain to be free to come and go as they please as well. This is pie-in-the-sky stuff. Juncker and his crew apparently want £50 billion already and now an annual payment on top. Quite frankly they are taking the mick. If this is the extent of the negotiations, then we need a government that has the bottle to say no deal.
Britain will have to pay off obligations to Brussels for years after Brexit, remain subject to European Union courts and continue to let relatives of European immigrants settle in the UK, according to draft EU negotiating documents. The demands are contained in a paper, seen by Reuters, that outlines key negotiating guidelines for Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, who will launch talks on a Brexit treaty after Britain’s general election on 8 June. Ending free movement of workers from EU states, budget contributions to Brussels and oversight by the European court of justice (ECJ) are central to Theresa May’s plans for leaving the EU, due to happen in March 2019 after a two-year negotiating period. But in language that echoes a tough line taken by the 27 other EU leaders who will endorse a common position at a summit on 29 April, the paper spells out Brussels’ aim to protect the rights of 3 million EU citizens living in Britain, extract cash from London to cover a wide range of existing commitments and ensure EU judges can hold Britain to the treaty after Brexit.
The European Union is planning to sting the UK for a substantial amount of money on the way out of the bloc – to be paid in Euros. Draft negotiation documents seen by POLITICO confirm that Brussels want the British government to fund the moving of EU agencies out of the country in one hell of a cheeky move. The document reportedly makes clear that: “The United Kingdom should fully cover the specific costs related to the withdrawal process such as the relocation of the agencies or other Union bodies”. They also want the bill to be set out and paid in Euros rather than pound sterling. We know that Jean-Claude Juncker and others in the EU have been eyeing a payout of around £50 billion, apparently with a straight face.
Labour will not support a second referendum on the terms of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, a spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn has said, ending speculation the party might back a vote at the end of the two-year negotiation. Reports on Wednesday evening suggested Mr Corbyn was considering including a promise to hold a second referendum in the Labour manifesto for the upcoming general election. A spokesman for the Labour leader said: “A second referendum is not our policy and it won’t be in our manifesto.” On Wednesday, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Government should “put the deal to Parliament and possibly to the country overall”. Mr Corbyn also dodged a question on the issue in his first keynote speech of the campaign.
Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out backing a second referendum on the terms of the final Brexit deal, after earlier refusing to do so when questioned by Sky News. Asked by Sky News correspondent Tamara Cohen whether the party would give voters a say on the final Brexit agreement, Mr Corbyn failed to give a straight answer. When asked afterwards to clarify the Labour leadership’s position, shadow chancellor John McDonnell refused to answer the question 10 times. But a spokesman for Mr Corbyn later said: “A second referendum is not our policy and it won’t be in our manifesto.” In response to Cohen’s question, Mr Corbyn had said: “EU negotiations are going on and we have set out our lines on negotiations, primarily it is about gaining and retaining tariff-free access to the European markets.
Nigel Farage will not stand as a candidate in the general election and has admitted that Theresa May is on course for a landslide, The Telegraph can disclose. The former UK independence Party leader said in an article for The Daily Telegraph: “I have decided that I will not stand in this election but fight for Brexit in Europe.” The news comes two days after Paul Nuttall, the party’s successor, said he thought Mr Farage “will stand”. If Mr Farage had stood as a candidate it would have been the eighth time he had tried to be enter Parliament as an MP. Mr Farage, 53, said he had been tempted to stand for Ukip in Clacton after the former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said today he would not stand in the June 8 general election.
Theresa May said the Conservatives will commit to reducing net migration to the UK to tens of thousands. The Prime Minister said she wanted to deliver “sustainable numbers” of people coming to Britain and defined that number as being less than 100,000. Mrs May’s comments came after Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, said that the Government’s immigration policy should not be about numbers. Speaking to Sky News, Mrs May said: “We have been very clear, as I was as Home Secretary for six years, that it is important that we have net migration that is in sustainable numbers.
Theresa May stood by her pledge to slash immigration to the tens of thousands today after a senior minister appeared to distance the Tories from it. On her latest campaign visit to the battleground seat of Enfield North, Mrs May said her ambition remained to slash net migration to ‘sustainable levels’ seven years after the Conservatives made the pledge. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley fuelled speculation the target could be dropped today when she claimed border control is ‘not about putting numbers on it’. Mrs May’s second visit to a target seat in two days is a clear signal of her desire to raid Labour territory to boost her majority. Enfield North was a rare Tory loss in 2015 and the party will want it back.
Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest union backer was plunged into chaos last night after the challenger in its leadership battle was suspended from his job. Unite was immediately accused of using authoritarian tactics after it emerged that Gerard Coyne, who is attempting to replace Len McCluskey as its leader, had been ousted as a regional secretary without being told about the allegations he is facing. It is the latest development in a bitter campaign with implications for the Labour Party’s future. Mr McCluskey has been one of Mr Corbyn’s staunchest allies and funders.
The challenger in the election for the leadership of Unite has been suspended from his job in the trade union, a week before the results are due to be announced. Gerard Coyne is regional secretary for the West Midlands, and is up against the sitting general secretary Len McCluskey, a prominent backer of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Unite has not confirmed why Mr Coyne has been suspended. The move coincides with the closing of the polls in the contest. The result expected to be announced on 28 April. Mr Coyne’s spokesperson confirmed he had been notified of his suspension.
Tens of thousands of women with incurable breast cancer are being abandoned by the NHS, a damning report warns. Hospitals are prioritising patients who will make a full recovery and ignoring those whose tumours are terminal. Almost 80 per cent of hospitals have no specialist nurse for women with incurable breast cancer to help with pain relief or emotional support. And two thirds don’t even know how many women under their care have this stage of breast cancer – even though it is a mandatory requirement. An estimated 36,000 women in England have incurable or secondary breast cancer, which means tumours have spread to the bones, brain or other organs. Their average survival time is between two and three years. But today’s report by Breast Cancer Care warns that these women are being ‘forgotten’ by the NHS.
Almost 8,000 patients were treated on mixed-sex NHS wards in the 12 months to the end of March, figures show. New NHS England data analysed by the Liberal Democrats shows a rise over the past two years in the number of breaches of NHS rules that say men and women should be treated on different wards. Overall, 7,771 patients stayed in mixed-sex wards between April 2016 and March 2017. This compares with 5,309 in 2015/2016 and 2,655 in 2014/2015, the analysis showed. Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: ‘Far from being eliminated, the number of patients being forced to stay in single-sex accommodation has tripled since this Conservative government came to power.
CUTS to mental health services mean patients are being held in police cells and “treated as criminals,” a mental health charity revealed yesterday. Mind called for additional funding for the NHS to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for those experiencing mental health problems. The charity said it wanted “to see an end to the use of cells for people in crisis.” It was responding to Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor’s annual State of Policing report, which found that mental healthcare provision was in “such a state of severity” that police are often being seen as a “service of first resort.” Mind said an increasing number of people who are suffering mental health crisis but have not committed any crime are spending the night in a police cell.
A policeman was shot dead on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Thursday night in an apparent Isil-inspired terror attack. The shooting, in which the gunman was also killed, was carried out by a man who was under preliminary investigation for terrorism but “let go”. The attack raised questions over how yet another Islamist extremist known to police was able to bring terror to the heart of the French capital.
A policeman was shot dead while two other officers were seriously injured by a Kalashnikov-wielding gunman on the Champs Elysees in central Paris – just three days before the French presidential election. The alleged ISIS gunman, identified as 39-year-old father Karim Cheurfi – who was jailed for 20 years for trying to kill officers in 2001 – parked his Audi and opened fire after police stopped at a red light on the world famous avenue. A foreign female tourist was also wounded in the incident, which is being treated as a terrorist attack. Dramatic footage captured the moment French police chased and shot at the gunman, who later died.
Terrorism returned to Paris three days before the French election when one police officer was killed and two were injured by a gunman on the Champs-Élysées last night. President Hollande said all the signs pointed to a terrorist attack. Islamic State has claimed responsibility. Warnings had been issued that Islamists planned an attack before the first round of voting on Sunday. Police said that the gunman, who witnesses said used an assault rifle, was shot dead by officers. Pierre-Henry Brandet, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said that a police van parked on the avenue was the target of the attack. A grey Audi 80 pulled up next to it and a man got out and shot at the officers, he said.
France will ramp up security to protect the public during voting in the French presidential elections in the wake of the Champs-Élysées attack. French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said nothing will stop Sunday’s elections as he confirmed the government had fully mobilised its security forces, including elite units, to bolster the 50,000 police already on duty. Thursday evening’s fatal shooting of a policeman in Paris came with only days to go until Sunday’s national poll – the first round of the two-round election. Two officers injured by an armed attacker are both out of danger, French officials said. Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said one of the injured officers was more gravely hurt than the other but both are doing better.
France began picking itself up Friday from another shooting claimed by the Islamic State group, with President Francois Hollande calling together the government’s security council and his would-be successors in the presidential election campaign treading carefully before voting this weekend. One of the key questions was if, and how, the attack that killed one police officer and wounded three other people might impact voting intentions. The risk for the main candidates was that misjudging the public mood, making an ill-perceived gesture or comment, could damage their chances. With polling just two days away, and campaigning banned from Friday at midnight, they would have no time to recover before polls open on Sunday. Candidates canceled or rescheduled final campaign events ahead of Sunday’s first-round vote in the two-stage election.