TIM MARTIN, the founder of the popular Wetherspoons pub chain used his appearance on BBC Question Time last night to launch a passionate defence of a no deal Brexit. Mr Martin, 64, has long been an advocate of Brexit, donating £200,000 to Vote Leave. Having already had to defend his reasons for supporting Brexit, the businessman said there were three reasons he felt no deal was not as bad as some suggested. He explained to the crowd in Tottenham: “No deal on day one means you save £39billion, there’s no legal obligation to pay.” He was referring to the money Theresa May had agreed to pay the EU to cover existing financial obligations in the withdrawal agreement. He continued: “Number two is that you regain control of fishing which is a very important industry.” In 2017, Britain landed 724,000 tonnes of sea fish worth £980million, 64 percent of which came from Scottish landings. The UK is bound to the Common Fisheries Policy which sets quotas on how much fish member states can catch. “Number three is you can eliminate tariffs on over 12,000 goods on imports from outside the EU and that would reduce prices.”
Boris Johnson will go head to head with Jeremy Hunt in the race for Number 10 after exacting revenge on his arch-rival Michael Gove by ending his leadership dream. Mr Gove’s supporters accused the Johnson camp of “lending” votes to Mr Hunt after the Environment Secretary was beaten into third place in the final ballot of MPs, despite coming second earlier in the day. Mr Gove’s team smelled a rat when it emerged that five MPs had publicly declared they were switching their allegiance from the defeated Sajid Javid to Mr Johnson, yet Mr Johnson only put on three extra votes in the final ballot.
Michael Gove supporters accused Boris Johnson’s campaign team of “dirty tricks” after the Environment Secretary was narrowly eliminated in the battle for No 10. Mr Johnson will now go head-to-head with Jeremy Hunt in the race to become prime minister, after the Foreign Secretary made it into the final two by just two votes. But the tight margin prompted backers of Mr Gove to point fingers at Team Boris amid rumours the frontrunner’s camp was urging MPs to back Mr Hunt to squeeze the Scotsman out.
Boris Johnson’s supporters boasted last night that they had exacted revenge on Michael Gove after Tory MPs chose Jeremy Hunt to be his challenger in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister. Mr Gove was eliminated by only two votes in a final ballot that was mired in allegations of dirty tricks. Five MPs who had backed Sajid Javid in the previous round declared that they were backing Mr Johnson, yet his tally increased by only three.
The next phase of the contest to elect a new Conservative leader has begun amid claims tactical voting prevented Michael Gove reaching the final two. Boris Johnson’s team has denied such tactics – but at least one backer suggested some MPs may have switched votes to end Mr Gove’s campaign.
“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” chuckled one battle-hardened Boris Johnson supporter minutes after Michael Gove was knocked out the race. “To lose by two votes: he’ll forever be wondering what if, what if, there’s no peace in that.” If it sounds like this particular politician was revelling in the environment secretary’s misfortune, it’s because he was. Many in the Johnson camp have never forgiven Mr Gove for torpedoing their man’s leadership bid in 2016 by knifing Mr Johnson in order to run himself.
It was the moment Boris Johnson finally exacted his revenge on Michael Gove for the treachery that cost him the keys to Number 10 three years ago. By knocking his former Vote Leave running mate out of the Tory leadership race by just two votes, Mr Johnson and his supporters got exactly what they wanted – a contest against Jeremy Hunt, the rival they have already conveniently nicknamed “Continuity May”.
Tory MPs backed away from a repeat of the Brexit psychodrama between Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in a final vote that left a question mark over the environment secretary’s future. Almost three years ago the two leaders of the Leave campaign had been due to launch a joint leadership pitch with Mr Johnson as prime minister and Mr Gove as his de facto deputy and Brexit negotiator.
BORIS Johnson has the Tory leadership within his grasp with political experts saying he will only lose if he sabotages himself, as his rivals “cannot be trusted as true Brexit advocates”. The Tory leadership favourite secured another emphatic victory in last night’s ballot, securing the votes of 143 Conservative Party MPs, ahead of Jeremy Hunt (54), Michael Gove (51) and Sajid Javid (38).
Another new party?
Rory Stewart tonight called for a 300,000-strong centrist army to form a Tory version of Momentum and take over the Conservative Party and force a leftward lurch in its politics. The leadership race loser called for tens of thousands to sign up to the party to counteract the apparent hardline Brexiteer majority in its ranks as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt prepared to face off to become Prime Minister. The surprise package of the internecine battle to become Tory leader addressed a ‘losers rally’ in central London tonight, telling the crowd they could make the Conservative the ‘party of the centre ground’.
George Osborne has backed Boris Johnson in the race for Downing Street as he said the former mayor of London was the ‘best shot’ to unite the nation. The former chancellor who stood down as a Tory MP at the 2017 general election said Mr Johnson was the candidate who could bring together the warring government and also make the UK feel ‘good about itself again’.
Alarm bells are ringing for some Brexiteers after Project Fear architect George Osborne appeared to endorse Boris Johnson’s candidacy for Tory leader. The two Tories were on opposite sides of the European Union referendum in 2016, with Boris Johnson — then Mayor of London — serving as frontman for the Vote Leave campaign, while George Osborne — then Chancellor of the Exchequer — acted as the Remain campaign’s “scaremonger-general”, threatening a so-called punishment budget, recession, massive layoffs, and a body blow to pensions if the public backed Brexit.
The European Union was deadlocked over who should replace Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday night, with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel at loggerheads over who should be the president of the European Commission for the next five years. As she arrived for an EU summit in Brussels, Germany’s Chancellor insisted that Manfred Weber, the lead candidate of the centre-Right European People’s Party, should be appointed in line with the Spitzenkandidat process.
European Union leaders have failed to reach an agreement on who should replace the likes of Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker as they gathered for a summit in Brussels. Discussions lasting four hours reached a conclusion with no majority reached on any candidates for the top jobs in the bloc, with leaders set to meet again for talks later this month. Mr Tusk, the European Council president, said the heads of the 28 member states would sit down again to discuss the appointments when they meet for a second time on June 30.
A summit of 28 European Union leaders has ended without an agreement on who should take on the bloc’s top jobs. The talks, held in Brussels, continued until the early hours of Friday morning without candidates being finalised. On top of trying to find majorities for successors, leaders were also trying to decide what issues the EU should prioritise over the next five years. A new summit will now be held on 30 June – just two days before a key meeting of the European Parliament.
Any future prime minister seeking to delay Brexit beyond the end of October would face “enormous hostility” from the European Union, the Irish Taoiseach has warned. Leo Varadkar said an extension to the UK’s membership would not be entertained for further negotiations or indicative votes, despite claims from the remaining Tory leadership contenders that they will be able to make changes to the withdrawal deal.
EU leaders have “lost patience” with Britain and do not want to grant another Brexit extension when time runs out in October, Ireland’s prime minister has said. Arriving at a meeting with his 27 counterparts, where leaders will check in on the Brexit process, Leo Varadkar said there was “enormous hostility” to another delay in EU capitals. He said his feeling was that an extension would be granted only to allow for a general election or second referendum.
Britain will not be given extra time for a new prime minister to renegotiate the Brexit deal, Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, has warned. Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership race, has pledged that the UK will leave the European Union by October 31 “come what may”. Mr Johnson’s rival, Jeremy Hunt, has said he would be prepared to accept a short extension. Both have said that they want to reopen negotiations on the withdrawal agreement.
EU leaders lined up to torpedo Boris Johnson’s hopes of reopening the Brexit deal. Bloc chiefs shot down the Tory leadership frontrunner’s plan to reshape the Withdrawal Agreement as they arrived a summit in Brussels. Three months after the UK was due to have left the EU, Theresa May skulked back to the city for a meeting with her 27 counterparts. Leaders were thrashing out plans to carve up top jobs in a regular shake-up of senior officials.
Britain will crash out of the EU on 31 October unless Theresa May’s Brexit deal is ratified or a new prime minister calls a second referendum or general election this summer, the bloc’s leaders have concluded. The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, speaking at a summit in Brussels, said that there was now “enormous hostility” among the EU27’s heads of state and government to any further delay to Brexit. He said that while Ireland had “endless patience” it had become the firm position of a number of EU governments that the indecision in London needed to come to an end.
Jeremy Corbyn has come under further pressure to adopt a more pro-Remain position, as the party’s grassroots stepped up its campaign to force his hand. At least 287 local Labour parties are set to debate changing their policy to “campaign energetically for a public vote and to Remain” and to “support revoking Article 50 if necessary to prevent no-deal”. A motion backing the change could be submitted to Labour’s annual conference in September if the leadership does not shift position over the summer.
The Labour Party have continued shifting towards an increasingly hardline Remainer stance, with Jeremy Corbyn insisting that “any deal” with the EU is now subject to a “public vote”. Speaking to his Shadow Cabinet yesterday, Corbyn said: “I have already made the case, on the media and in Dublin, that it is now right to demand that any deal is put to a public vote.
Labour politicians in Leave-voting constituencies have penned a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, urging him to reject calls for a second referendum. Twenty-six MPs including the Brexit-backing Dennis Skinner and John Mann warned the Labour leader that “a commitment to a second referendum would be toxic to our bedrock Labour voters, driving a wedge between them and our Party”. The letter makes reference to the party’s dreadful local and European parliamentary election results and warned backing another vote would give insurgent parties “an even greater platform in our heartlands”.
Climate change protesters briefly interrupted a high-profile speech by British Finance Minister Philip Hammond to leaders of the country’s financial services industry on Thursday. Several women, wearing red evening dresses and sashes with the words ‘climate emergency’, prevented Hammond from speaking for a few minutes by using loudspeakers to shout slogans during a banquet in London’s landmark Mansion House building.
Climate change protesters interrupted Philip Hammond as he made a high-profile speech to finance leaders in London. Footage showed several women, who were wearing dresses and sashes emblazoned with the word “climate”, disrupting the black-tie event at the banquet hall in London’s Mansion House. A separate video showed Foreign Office minister Mark Field stopping one of the female protesters by pushing her against a column before holding her at the back of the neck and walking her out of the room.
A Tory MP who is a close ally of Jeremy Hunt faced strong criticism last night for pushing a female climate change protester against a pillar before frogmarching her out by the neck as Greenpeace gatecrashed the chancellor’s Mansion House speech. Mark Field, a Foreign Office minister and MP for the Cities of London & Westminster, is likely to face questions over his strong-arming of a peaceful activist at the annual Bankers and Merchants Dinner.
A Foreign Office minister is facing questions over his future after footage emerged of him pushing a female climate activist against a pillar. Around 40 Greenpeace protesters gatecrashed the Chancellor’s annual address at Mansion House in the City of London and had to be removed by security. Mark Field, the Foreign Office minister for Asia and the Pacific, was seen grabbing one woman when she walked past his chair at the dinner. Footage showed Mr Field swinging out of his seat to shove the protester into the wall behind, before apparently leading her from the room with a grip on the back of her neck.
Protesters have disrupted Philip Hammond‘s Mansion House speech. Women wearing red dresses and sashes declaring a “climate emergency” shouted out during the address in a protest against climate change. Greenpeace’s UK arm shared an image from the demonstration and tweeted: “Our climate is breaking down. Business as usual is over.” The demonstrators were bustled out of the hall.
A TORY minister is facing calls to resign after he was filmed grabbing an eco-protester by her neck last night. Footage shows Foreign Office minister Mark Field forcibly ejecting the Greenpeace campaigner from the Mansion House dinner in Central London. Ugly scenes broke out after about 40 Greenpeace protesters wearing red dresses stormed the annual banquet for bankers and politicians.
Foreign Office minister Mark Field has come under fire after video footage showed him physically removing a climate change protester from a dinner at Mansion House. The video clip shows Mr Field stopping a female protester by pushing her against a column before forcefully walking her out of the room. It came as activists interrupted a black-tie event where Chancellor Philip Hammond was giving a speech.
A Tory minister is facing calls to resign after forcibly removing a climate change protester from an event for City grandees last night. Greenpeace protesters wearing red dresses stormed the annual Bankers and Merchants Dinner at Mansion House as Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a speech on the ‘state of UK politics’ and how Brexit could impact the UK economy.
An “alarmingly high” rise in avoidable hospital admissions for flu and pneumonia has been blamed on a lack of access to GPs at weekends and poor vaccination coverage. Emergency department walk-ins for flu and pneumonia have risen by 60 per cent in the past five years according to a report which estimated that preventable admissions across the NHS in England had increased by 150,000 — 12 per cent — in the same period.
The number of patients admitted to A&E with flu has risen by 60 per cent due to GP shortages, a major report warns today. Last year 1.3million people with preventable conditions were admitted on to wards – accounting for a quarter of all emergency patients. Their illnesses could have been entirely avoided had they been properly looked after by GPs, district nursing services or the social care system. Figures show a quarter of a million admissions with flu or pneumonia to A&E last year, up from 158,000 five years ago.
A REVOLUTIONARY new blood test that detects ovarian cancer could save thousands of lives. Researchers say it will also spare many more the risks and pain of unnecessary surgery. The disease is known as a “silent killer” because it has no specific symptoms is often discovered late when hard to treat. Women with cysts or persistent bloating may be given an ultrasound scan to look for abnormalities. But the only way to diagnose it is through surgery – with five women needing ops to find one confirmed case.
The country’s leading Roman Catholic was yesterday accused of putting his Church’s reputation before the protection of children. Cardinal Vincent Nichols chose to attack critics of sex abuse by priests while the offenders escaped justice, a report said. In a damning verdict, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said the Catholic leader in England and Wales ‘focused too much on the reputation of the Church rather than the welfare of children and the impacts of child sexual abuse on victims and survivors’.
Age UK has urged the next prime minister to end the “madness” over the withdrawal of the universal free TV licence for over-75s. The charity said that the benefit could be given to all “at the stroke of a pen”. Its appeal came after veteran TV stars Len Goodman and Esther Rantzen criticised the change, announced earlier this month. The BBC has said that from June next year, only over-75s who claim Pension Credit will receive the perk. Age UK said that half – 2.2 million – of all over-75s have a limiting long-standing illness and so many are largely confined to home, meaning that TV “is their precious window on the world and constant companion”.
Cars will be banned from more than 12 miles of central London roads under plans to encourage the adoption of green transport in the capital. Some of the country’s busiest roads will be turned over to bikes and pedestrians for 24 hours in the biggest dedicated event of its kind in Britain. The move will replicate large-scale car-free days already implemented in other major capitals, including Paris and New York.