Boris Johnson tonight threw down the gauntlet to Jeremy Corbyn as he challenged the Labour leader to back his bid for a general election on December 12 and vowed to hold a vote every day if they refuse. Mr Johnson will hold a vote in the House of Commons on Monday on triggering a snap poll after telling Mr Corbyn the Brexit ‘nightmare’ cannot be allowed to continue. But as Mr Corbyn refused to commit, Downing Street threatened to stage daily Commons votes on a snap election until he concedes, saying it would not let him ‘hold the country hostage’. A No 10 source said the Government would effectively go on strike by pulling all legislation, including the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and instead ‘campaign at every stage and at every opportunity for a General Election’.
Boris Johnson has challenged Jeremy Corbyn to “end this nightmare” by agreeing to an election on December 12. The Prime Minister said that if MPs agreed to the pre-Christmas poll he would reintroduce his Brexit Bill and give Parliament until Nov 6 to pass it. It means Mr Johnson has finally abandoned his “do or die” pledge to get Britain out of the EU by Oct 31, with Nov 15 earmarked as a potential new date for Brexit if Parliament agrees to his deal. He called on Mr Corbyn to “summon up the nerve” to let voters decide who should take the country forward by voting on Monday for a snap poll, or condemn Britain to “paralysis”. It left Labour in disarray, with Mr Corbyn fudging his response by saying he would back an election once no deal was “off the table”, and hinting he would make his final decision today.
SPINELESS Jeremy Corbyn has bottled Boris Johnson’s challenge of a snap election AGAIN – but the PM is threatening daily votes until he agrees. The Prime Minister boldly proposed to end the country’s Brexit “nightmare” by inviting the Labour leader to face him in a festive showdown on December 12. EU leaders are poised to grant Corbyn’s wish of delaying Brexit once again, most likely until January 31, effectively ruling out Britain leaving with No Deal on Halloween.
Opposition party support for a snap general election hangs in the balance this morning as the European Union debates when or if to offer another Brexit extension. Boris Johnson wants an election on 12 December, offering parliamentary time until 6 November to allow MPs to scrutinise his Brexit deal. He will bring a motion to the House of Commons on Monday, but opposition parties have yet to commit their support, despite their own frequent calls for an election for more than two years. Both the Liberal Democrats and Labour say they want to know what the EU will offer the UK as another Brexit extension before they back Britons going to the polls.
Boris Johnson’s gamble on an early election looks set to flop, after opposition parties signalled they will block a poll so long as a no-deal Brexit remains possible. The prime minister dramatically issued a demand for a 12 December election after abandoning his “do-or-die” pledge to take the UK out of the European Union by Halloween. Mr Johnson offered to allow MPs extra time to debate and ratify his Brexit deal by 6 November if they approved the UK’s first December election in almost 100 years. But aides said he would pull the Withdrawal Agreement Bill altogether if they refuse. But Labour whips issued an instruction to the party’s MPs to abstain in Monday’s vote, effectively meaning Mr Johnson needs a substantial rebellion by the opposition to force his plan through.
Boris Johnson tonight announced his latest bid for a general election after he broke his pledge to get Brexit on October 31. Then Labour MPs were told to block it. But then Jeremy Corbyn came out and suggested it’s not a final decision after all. It comes after Christmas Brexit Grinch Mr Johnson announced he wanted a snap poll on December 12 – and MPs would hold a vote on triggering it on Monday. Yet Mr Corbyn indicated Labour might vote against. He said Labour first needed to take no-deal Brexit off the table – and that, he suggested, means full-blown amendments to the Prime Minister’s Brexit Bill.
JEREMY Corbyn’s Labour Party teaming up with the SNP and Lib Dems to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request for a general election risks forcing Britain into the very scenario they are attempting to avoid – a no deal Brexit. ITV political editor Robert Peston took to Twitter immediately after Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party ran scared of a general election demand from Mr Johnson, adding the veteran left-winger would only commit to a major ballot should no deal be taken off the table in Brexit negotiations. This prompted Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg to declare the reason Labour are against the ballot is because they are “afraid of the people” would vote.
Jeremy Corbyn was keeping Boris Johnson’s hopes of an early general election alive last night despite massive pressure from his own party. Mr Corbyn said that no final decision had been taken on the prime minister’s proposal, in which he offered MPs more time to pass his Brexit deal in return for a general election. However, moments earlier Labour’s chief whip had sent the party’s MPs instructions that they should abstain on Monday’s vote — preventing Mr Johnson from securing a poll. The confusion highlighted divisions within Mr Corbyn’s inner circle, who want an election, and the bulk of his MPs, including many in his shadow cabinet, who believe that a winter election before Brexit is resolved would be a disastrous mistake.
Jeremy Corbyn threatened to oppose Boris Johnson’s attempt to trigger an election amid disarray in Labour ranks over its response to the Prime Minister’s move. The opposition leader refused to be drawn on its tactics other than to say that his party would only support the snap election if a no-deal Brexit was taken “off the table”. He added that Labour would wait for the European Union’s decision on a Brexit extension before deciding its stance in the vote on Monday.
Jeremy Corbyn was under intense pressure from Labour MPs last night, including most of the shadow cabinet, to reject Boris Johnson’s offer of a general election. Nick Brown, the chief whip, warned that the parliamentary Labour Party was united in opposing the December 12 poll immediately after the offer was made to the Commons. Mr Corbyn was told that he risked outright rebellion if he failed to reject it publicly as soon as possible. In a formulation that kept the leader’s options open, Valerie Vaz, shadow leader of the Commons, said that Labour would back an election once no deal had been ruled out “if the [Brexit] extension allows”.
LIBERAL Democrat MP Chuka Umunna has admitted defeat on his hopes of forcing a so-called People’s Vote during this Parliament. Mr Umunna, who quit the Labour Party to join the fledgling anti-Brexit party The Independent Group, before quitting them in turn to join the Lib Dems, was speaking before the defeat of a Lib Dem amendment in the Commons. He told the BBC: “In this Parliament our focus has been on getting a People’s Vote and that’s why we put down an amendment to the Queen’s Speech which is being voted on shortly to provide for a People’s Vote.
BREXITEERS will never turn their backs on Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party according to 78 percent of voters who took part in an exclusive Express.co.uk poll. A staggering 7,925 vowed to stand by the Brexit Party amid times of political uncertainty when a general election is now days away from being tabled by Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A total of 20 percent believed in the wake of the so-called Boris Bounce that Mr Farage and his party had become somewhat irrelevant, amounting to 2,100 of the vote.
Nigel Farage has warned that Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement bill “is not Brexit” and has urged the prime minister to join forces with his Brexit Party and embrace No Deal. Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday after Mr Johnson’s bill had overcome its first parliamentary obstacle the night before, Mr Farage said: “Let’s be straight about this. This is a new EU treaty. It’s slightly better than Mrs May’s abject surrender, but when Boris says to you, ‘This gets Brexit done,’ it sounds wonderful. “Monsieur Barnier said the next phase of negotiations would last for a minimum of three years. You’ve got to ask yourself: do you believe Boris Johnson or do you believe Michel Barnier?
The European Union is expected to delay a decision to give an automatic extension to Brexit amid uncertainty in Westminster over whether a general election will be held. France is objecting to plans to delay Brexit until January 31 under the terms of the Benn act because Labour has questioned Boris Johnson’s decision to go for a general election. “If there are elections that are not just desired but announced, organised, well then we will be able to take decisions,” Amélie de Montchalin, France’s European affairs minister, said yesterday.
French president Emmanuel Macron is leading a group of EU rebels who want a Brexit extension of as little as 15 days after Boris Johnson was forced by MPs to hand control to Brussels. EU leaders are discussing today whether to grant Britain a short or long extension – with a decision expected tomorrow. Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain are said to back Mr Macron – with the Netherlands also reportedly drifting towards this position. Germany and Ireland however, are among the countries that are more relaxed about the idea of a three-month delay proposed by European Council president Donald Tusk.
EU ambassadors are to meet to discuss what length of Brexit extension to offer the UK, as MPs consider Boris Johnson’s call for an early election. Most EU states are understood to favour a three-month delay, with an option to end earlier if a deal is ratified sooner than this by Parliament. But France has argued for a shorter extension to the 31 October deadline. It comes after the PM said he would give MPs more time to debate his Brexit deal if they backed a 12 December poll. The government has said it plans to bring forward a Commons vote on an early general election on Monday if the EU offers a delay until January, as is widely expected.
European leaders are expected to grant parliament’s request for a Brexit extension on Friday, breaking the pledge Prime Minister Boris Johnson made to Britons to take the UK out of the EU on October 31st. On Wednesday, president of the European Council Donald Tusk advised leaders of member states, the EU27, to agree to an extension of Article 50. Mr Tusk suggested that it be a “flextension” notionally to January 31st, 2020, but which expires at the point the British parliament agrees to the withdrawal treaty.
European Union envoys to Brussels will discuss on Friday the length of another delay to Brexit, with an official from the bloc saying the choice was between 3 months and a “two-tier” lag but warning that a decision might not come just yet. According to a draft decision by the 27 EU countries staying on together after Brexit, which was seen by Reuters on Thursday evening, the third postponement would be granted by the bloc “with the view to allowing for the finalisation of the ratification” of the divorce agreement sealed between the bloc and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.
Jean-Claude Juncker has attacked the “lies Boris Johnson and others” spread during the Brexit referendum campaign and said it was “bullsh*t” that the European Commission was to blame for Britain leaving the EU. Brexit could have destroyed the EU and split Europe forever, the outgoing President of the European Commission said in a farewell speech in Brussels yesterday (THURS). Asked what the EU could learn from Brexit, Mr Juncker said, “Don’t always give the impression that the Commission is responsible for the result of the referendum. It is not.” “It is nonsense. Bullsh*t as they are saying,” he added.
Jean-Claude Juncker has accused Boris Johnson of spreading “lies” during the Brexit referendum campaign, in his most strongly worded attack on the prime minister yet. Speaking on Thursday evening the European Commission president said he “should have intervened” in the campaign to point out “bulls***” and falsehoods spread by “Boris Johnson and others”. “They were saying things, some of them – lying. Telling the people things which have nothing to do with our day by day reality,” he told an audience at a think tank in Brussels.
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan today warned the West that the ‘gates to Europe’ will be opened to Syrian refugees ‘when the time comes’. In a provocative speech, Erdogan savaged Western powers for refusing to take in millions of refugees and threatened to send to Europe to ‘see how they deal with it’. Erdogan hopes to resettle some of Turkey’s four million refugees in the ‘safe zone’ he has carved out in northern Syria, but is facing anger from NATO over his attack on Kurdish fighters there. The Turkish leader warned the Kurds would be ‘crushed’ if they did not withdraw from the border zone which is now being patrolled by Russian troops.
The MMR vaccine could be offered in supermarkets and town centres under proposals being considered by NHS leaders. The initiative comes as a major National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed the health service is failing to meet pre-school vaccination targets for six out of seven vital jabs. The findings suggest that difficulties securing GP appointments and a fragmented system for alerting families to the need for inoculations is fuelling the decline.
NHS England has pledged to ramp up its efforts to stem falling vaccination rates after a report criticised the ‘inconsistent’ current system. A National Audit Office (NAO) study found NHS England missed the 95% uptake target for six out of seven pre-school jabs in 2018/19, following a general downward trend since 2012/13. Just 86.4% of children now receive the second dose of their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab by age five – much lower than the 95% target needed for herd immunity, which keeps diseases at bay.
The number of vaccinations given to pre-school children is declining, with the government’s 2013 reorganisation of the NHS identified as a major factor, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found. The National Audit Office found limited evidence of any major impact from so called “anti-vaxxers” who have been blamed for spreading rumours about side effects. Instead, the NAO found several possible reasons for dropping vaccination rates, including the timing and availability of GP appointments and parents needing childcare. Auditors confirmed fears that one in every seven children by the age of five have not been given the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab.
Parents are finding it difficult to access GP appointments to vaccinate their children, a phenomenon which has contributed to a fall in immunisation rates, the Whitehall spending watchdog has found. The National Audit Office (NAO) warns of an inconsistent system for calling children for vaccines – especially among “under-served” groups, such as travellers, who have a lower vaccination uptake. NHS England missed the 95 per cent uptake target for nearly all routine pre-school jabs in 2018-19, following a general downward trend since 2012-13. Just 86.4 per cent of children had had the full dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab by the age of five in 2018-19, which is below the World Health Organisation’s 95 per cent target.
A life-saving cystic fibrosis drug is to be made available on the NHS after a deal with a private health company. The drug Orkambi, which improves lung function, reduces breathing difficulties and can be given to children as young as two, should be available to patients on prescription within 30 days. NHS England reached a deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s manufacturer, after a row over the cost, which dragged on for more than three years. The company wanted to charge £100,000 per patient per year but a compromise was reached in a confidential deal.
NO country is fully prepared for the next deadly pandemic that threatens to sweep the globe – killing millions. A new report published today suggests most of the world would struggle to deal with a major outbreak of an infectious disease, like Ebola. Just 13 countries out of nearly 200 were ranked in the top tier – which included the UK, US, Australia and Canada. But given how fast the next pandemic is likely to spread, experts warn even these countries maybe powerless to stop the onslaught. They said with air travel, an outbreak in one country could spread across the world in a matter of hours.
Barclays has reversed its decision to stop customers withdrawing cash from Post Offices after a political storm that saw one of Britain’s biggest banks rounded on by politicians, the banking industry and media. Earlier this month Barclays said it would stop offering Post Office banking users access to physical cash from January 2020, and would instead invest in cashback and ATMs. More than 100 MPs wrote to the bank urging it to reverse the decision. Today the bank announced a u-turn and promised to keep the cash withdrawal service for at least three years.
Banking giant Barclays will climb down on its cash withdrawal ban which angered thousands of customers this week. Customers of the bank will now be able to continue to take money out over the counter at thousands of Post Office branches, after plans had been announced to axe the service. Speaking today Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley said they had listened to government ministers, charities and advocates, and have now gone back on their decision. ‘Ultimately we have been persuaded to rethink our proposals by the argument that our full participation in the Post Office Banking Framework is crucial at this point to the viability of the Post Office network.’