Sir John Major said on Thursday evening he feared Boris Johnson’s Government would try to bypass legislation requiring a Brexit extension by using an order of the Privy Council. In a speech critical of the Government, the former prime minister said the move, which could be accomplished without the Queen’s consent, would be a “piece of political chicanery that no one would forgive or forget”. He said: “My fear is that the Government will seek to bypass Statute Law by passing an Order of Council to suspend the Act until after 31 October,” adding that such a move would be “in flagrant defiance” of Parliament and “utterly disrespectful” to the Supreme Court. Sir John raised the hypothetical scenario as a possible explanation for Mr Johnson’s apparently contradictory statement that he would not break the law but would still take the UK out of the European Union by Oct 31, making good on his “do or die” promise. Under the Benn Act – repeatedly dubbed the “Surrender Bill” by Mr Johnson in the Commons on Wednesday – the Prime Minister must ask the EU for an extension to Article 50 if no deal has been secured by Oct 19.
BORIS JOHNSON’S plans to force through a no deal Brexit have been revealed by a furious John Major. The former Prime Minister accused Mr Johnson planning to exploit a loophole to bypass the law and force through a no-deal Brexit. He added the Tory party will use a piece of legal “chicanery” to bypass the rebel Bill forcing him to go for an extension to the October 31 deadline. Mr Major also said Mr Johnson will be able to say he will leave the EU on that date despite the Commons passing an Act forcing him to extend if there is no-deal by that time. In a speech on Thursday, Mr Major explained how opponents fear Downing Street will use this loophole to ignore the law and the will of parliament.
SIR John Major last night claimed Boris Johnson will try to use the Privy Council to dodge Brexit extension laws. The former Tory PM fears the Government is planning to pass an Order of Council to suspend the Benn Act until after October 31. Such a move would be “political chicanery” that “no one should ever forgive or forget”, said Mr Major. The ancient mechanism can be used by ministers without any involvement from Parliament or the Queen.
Boris Johnson may be planning to bypass a law blocking a no-deal Brexit by issuing an order to suspend it until after the scheduled date of Britain’s EU withdrawal on 31 October, former prime minister Sir John Major has warned. The order could be passed by ministers acting in the Privy Council without the involvement of parliament or the Queen, said Sir John, who denounced the tactic as “a piece of political chicanery that no one should ever forgive or forget”. In a speech to the Centre for European Reform, the former PM said he suspects that Mr Johnson is eager for an early election because he has seen the unedited version of government impact assessments and wants the vote out of the way before the public is aware of the full scale of the damage no deal will do to the country.
Opposition leaders gathered in Parliament today to plot how to tie Boris Johnson’s hands over Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn joined Remainers Jo Swinson and Ian Blackford as well as the leaders of minor parties to discuss how they can ensure the Prime Minister obeys the law and seeks another Brexit delay. Under the so-called Benn Act passed at the start of the month Mr Johnson will have to go to Brussels on October 19 and beg for a three-month Article 50 extension if he has not agreed an exit deal with the EU by then. But with the PM insisting Brexit will still happen on Halloween, with or without a deal, Remainers fear he is preparing to break the law.
Opposition MPs are planning to seize control of parliament next week potentially forcing the disclosure of more government documents, bringing a motion to censure Boris Johnson and strengthening legislation against a no-deal Brexit. A cross-party group of MPs met at Jeremy Corbyn’s office in Westminster to plan how to continue efforts to prevent a no deal Brexit, with discussions centred around how to use the time from Monday to Wednesday next week while Conservative MPs are in Manchester for their annual conference. The group, which also included the Scottish National party’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, and the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, discussed whether to bring legislation to force Johnson to seek an extension to article 50 sooner than 19 October in order to rule out a no-deal Brexit immediately.
Senior allies of Boris Johnson have warned that Britain will face civil unrest on the scale of the gilets jaunes protests in France or the riots in Los Angeles if Brexit is frustrated. The prime minister was accused of inciting hatred towards MPs yesterday as the backlash grew against his claim that they must deliver Brexit to be properly safe. A senior cabinet minister told The Times that the country risked a “violent, popular uprising” if a second referendum overturned the result of the first one. Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s most senior adviser, last night risked further inflaming tensions by saying: “We are enjoying this, we are going to leave and we are going to win.”
Britain could face civil unrest on the level of the yellow vest protests in France or the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 if Brexit is frustrated, according to senior allies of Boris Johnson. Amid furious scenes in the Commons on Wednesday, the prime minister repeatedly described attempts to block no-deal as the ‘surrender act’. Mr Johnson was accused of inciting hatred towards MPs with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warning that the PM’s language was encouraging people to behave in a ‘disgraceful and abusive way’. A senior cabinet minister has now claimed that a potential referendum to overturn the result of the first one could lead to a ‘violent, popular uprising’.
BORIS Johnson’s allies have warned Britain faces LA-style riots if Brexit is reversed. A senior cabinet minister last night said the country risked a “violent, popular uprising” if a second referendum overturned the original result. The Prime Minister’s senior allies warned the UK faces civil unrest on the scale of the yellow vest protests in France over economic inequalities and Los Angeles riots in 1992. Mr Johnson said “tempers need to come down” in the furious row over political language – but insisted he won’t stop using the word “surrender”.
Allies of under-fire Prime Minister Boris Johnson have claimed that “yellow vest-style’” riots will erupt on the streets of Britain if Brexit is overturned. A senior cabinet minister last night warned that a second vote on EU membership would result in a “violent, popular uprising” on par with the yellow vest movement that caused chaos on the streets of France earlier this year. Mr Johnson was yesterday slammed by politicians who accused him of encouraging violence by repeatedly using inflammatory language. He was also criticised for saying that the best way to remember murdered MP Jo Cox was to “get Brexit done”.
All 118 of the Church of England’s bishops and archbishops have issued a rare joint rebuke of MPs for language “not worthy of our country”. The College of Bishops say in a joint statement today: “In the last few days, the use of language, both in debates and outside parliament, has been unacceptable. We should speak to others with respect . . . We should not denigrate, patronise or ignore the honest views of fellow citizens, but seek to respect their opinions, their participation in society, and their votes.”
Dominic Cummings says that it is ‘not surprising’ that some voters are angry after MPs revealed they had been targeted with abuse and death threats. Cummings said on Thursday that the only way to stop MPs being threatened was if politicians ‘respect’ the result of the EU referendum. His comments, at a London event marking the launch of a new book by Vote Leave supporter and businessman Stuart Wheeler, come after Boris Johnson was criticised by opponents for ‘inflammatory’ language over Brexit in the House of Commons. Amid furious scenes in the Commons on Wednesday,
Conservative MPs warned Boris Johnson yesterday that his language was harming the chances of getting a Brexit deal through the Commons. In an address to the 1922 committee the prime minister vowed not to be “bullied” into no longer using the phrase “surrender bill”. He faced some hostility from Conservative MPs in the room. Alex Chalk, who the previous day was singled out by the prime minister for his work trying to get a Commons majority for a new Brexit deal, told Mr Johnson that his task was now “a darn sight harder”.
When Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, he famously promised to bring about ‘a kinder, gentler politics’. Many — of all political stripes — hoped he might deliver on this pledge. But under his leadership, the Left, which typically seeks to claim the moral high ground on matters of compassion and decency, has increasingly festered in its own cesspit of vicious heartlessness. During Wednesday’s heated exchanges in the Commons, that didn’t stop Labour MP Paula Sherriff from describing Boris Johnson‘s language as ‘offensive, dangerous and inflammatory’ — all because he had described Parliament’s demand that he seek another extension from the EU as the ‘Surrender Act’.
Sir John Major has accused Boris Johnson of ‘wilfully’ destroying any chance of a cross-agreement on Brexit after his attack on the opposition in the Commons on Wednesday. The former prime minister said Mr Johnson was whipping up ‘fear and anger’ for electoral purposes – a tactic he described as ‘profoundly un-Conservative’. In a speech to the Centre for European Reform, Sir John said that the Tories were acting as a ‘Brexit Party tribute band’ and that no previous government would have behaved in such a ‘reckless and divisive’ manner. He also claimed that Mr Johnson had only given ‘lip service’ to the Supreme Court ruling that the prorogation of Parliament had been unlawful and warned he could try to circumvent the law designed to prevent a no-deal break.
AMBER Rudd is preparing to stand as caretaker Prime Minister if Boris Johnson is toppled by MPs over Brexit, No10 believes. The former Tory Work and Pensions Secretary stunned Westminster two weeks ago when she walked out of the Cabinet and also resigned the party whip. Since then the pro-EU independent Conservative MP has been a leading critic of the PM’s over his negotiating strategy as well as Parliamentary tactics. Boris’s advisers and allies now suspect Ms Rudd is secretly positioning herself as a unifying figure who the Commons could unite under if he loses a no confidence vote next month. Suspicions deepened when Ms Rudd voted against the Government yesterday to successfully block a Commons recess next week to allow Tory conference to go ahead without interruption.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said he and the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier were doing all they could to get a Brexit deal, and if they failed it would be Britain’s responsibility. In an interview with a German newspaper, Juncker said he and Barnier were working intensively for a deal, because it would be a catastrophe for Britain and Europe if Britain left the EU without an organised withdrawal process. “Our chief negotiator Michel Barnier and I are doing everything possible to get an agreement,” he told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
Brussels has declined to endorse a Brexit deadline set by Emmanuel Macron for next week, potentially giving Boris Johnson more breathing space in talks. Mr Macron had announced with the EU’s rotating presidency that the UK would have to present its plans to replace the Irish backstop by the end of the month, or “its over”. But a spokesperson for the European Commission – which is actually conducting the talks – suggested on Thursday that the “alleged” deadline was not endorsed by its negotiating team. “The October European Council is the next milestone in our calendar and that is something that was also discussed between president Juncker and prime minister Johnson in their working lunch,” the spokesperson told reports in Brussels.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay will travel to Brussels later, amid growing pessimism on the continent over whether a new withdrawal deal can be agreed. The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told diplomats on Thursday the UK’s proposed alternative to the Irish backstop was unworkable. BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming described his briefing as “downbeat”. Downing Street said “progress has been made” but there were still “significant obstacles” to reaching a deal. Our correspondent said European diplomats thought the chances of finalising a new Brexit deal by a crucial EU summit on 17 October were “dwindling”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she expects that Britain will find its own way after leaving the European Union and there are no grounds for arrogance toward the country. Merkel didn’t address details of the current Brexit impasse during an appearance in Frankfurt on Thursday. She said that “they will get back on a good course, I am not at all worried about Britain. We must see that we, in our own interest, have good relations with this country, and any form of arrogance is completely inappropriate there.” Merkel was asked if failings on the European side had contributed to Britain’s current problems. She acknowledged that mistakes might have been made in continental Europe but noted that “since the day Britain joined the European Union, this discussion about ‘do we want this or don’t we?’ has continued to smoulder.”
Unvaccinated children could be banned from going to school after an ‘alarming’ drop in uptake of all 13 routine childhood jabs. Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged ‘bold action’ as an NHS report yesterday revealed that the proportion of children being vaccinated for all major illnesses plummeted last year. The figures show how MMR coverage dropped for the fifth year in a row, with one in ten children not receiving their first dose of the vaccine last year.
Boris Johnson is to announce a £200 million cash injection to replace MRI machines, CT scanners and breast screening equipment. The Prime Minister is pledging an overhaul to cancer screening, with the funding providing 300 diagnostic machines in hospitals across England. Mr Johnson is set to make the latest NHS spending pledge during a visit to a hospital on Friday, as he continues to seek to get an early general election to break the Brexit deadlock. “These new scanners will lead to quicker diagnosis, more screenings, and improved care for patients, giving brilliant NHS staff the tools they need to further boost survival rates,” he said ahead of the visit.
A beleaguered police force, which has had six chief constables in as many years, has become the first in the country to be branded as “failing”, following the most damning inspectors’ report ever published. Cleveland Police was found to be inadequate in every area of policing, with the force accused of failing to exercise its principle duties of fighting crime and keeping the public safe. In the 12 months to March 2019, crime across the force area rocketed by almost 18 per cent, and murders in the region went up four fold.
A police force has become the first in Britain to be declared “failing” by inspectors. Cleveland police, which includes Middlesbrough and Hartlepool, has been hit by repeated scandals including racism and corruption as well as consistently poor results for solving crime. The home secretary, Priti Patel, may be forced to step in if significant improvements are not made after a report, released today by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, graded the force as inadequate in all three key areas, meaning it is effectively in special measures.
Scandal-hit Cleveland Police has become the first force to be branded “failing” in all areas by inspectors. It has been rated inadequate overall and in three key areas by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which scrutinised its ability to reduce crime and keep people safe, operate efficiently, as well as the way it treats the public and its workforce. The findings mean the force is effectively plunged into special measures, where the chief constable and police and crime commissioner are called before a national board and questioned about their plans to ensure “critical improvements” are made. The Home Secretary could then step in to tackle the problem if no progress is made.
Over 50 Surrey University students have been banned from sports teams amid accusations of sexual harassment on a tour of Croatia. The culture of the university’s men’s football club was “increasingly unacceptable”, both with spectators at matches as well as during social events, according to a sporting disciplinary panel which investigated the claims. The panel said that their “harmful and offensive” behaviour had become “normalised” so that other members of the club did not feel the need to speak out about it. It ruled that 52 students from the club – all of whom went on the sports tour to Croatia earlier this year – were forbidden from representing the university on any sports teams.
The proportion of youngsters going to university has surpassed 50 per cent for the first time, official figures show. The record proportion finally fulfils a target set by Tony Blair in 1999, when he pledged that half of the young adult population should be university-educated. But the aim has caused controversy ever since, as many critics said it would lead to those with low academic ability undertaking unsuitable courses. There have also been questions over whether the graduate job market can support so many people, with many ending up in non-professional jobs. Figures for 2017/18 show 50.2 per cent of 17-30-year-olds in England went to a UK university or college that year, following a 0.3 percentage point rise from the year before.