Five Tory leadership candidates clashed with Philip Hammond last night as they backed a report calling for radical tax cuts and steep increases in spending. Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt were among the contenders to endorse the report – by a centre-Right think tank – which calls on the Government to ‘turn on all the taps’. It says ministers should boost school spending to record levels, recruit thousands more police officers and slash corporation tax to Irish levels.
Mark Harper has become the twelfth Tory MP to join the race for leadership of the Conservative party. The former chief whip admitted that he is an “underdog” but said he has an edge against ministers who have “shared the responsibility” for Theresa May’s failure to deliver Brexit. Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Harper said watching the other candidates over the past week convinced him to run. He told the newspaper: “We’ve seen basically the same faces saying the same things that they’ve been saying for the last three years…
The Conservative leadership candidates were split over austerity yesterday as five of them backed a report urging the new prime minister to “turn on all the taps”. A report by the modernising Tory think tank Onward said the government should stop reducing the national debt so quickly and spend almost £200 billion more over the next four years. It was endorsed by Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Esther McVey.
Conservatives will forfeit their right to be regarded as the party of business if the new prime minister fails to secure a Brexit deal, industry has warned. In a strongly worded message to candidates to replace Theresa May as Tory leader, the CBI said that a no-deal Brexit will cause severe disruption and long-term damage to UK competitiveness, which the vast majority of businesses cannot protect themselves against.
Tory chiefs are considering changing party rules to prevent so many candidates standing in the race to succeed Theresa May. Senior party figures fear that as many as 20 MPs could run, creating ‘chaos’ and delaying the process to find a new leader. The Conservative party board – its governing body – and the 1922 executive committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss raising the number of nominations candidates need in order to stand.
BREXIT will be delayed long beyond the current deadline of October 31, the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisation has claimed, claiming the tortuous process of exiting the EU represented a “profound existential crisis”. Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes after the revelation that factory shutdowns designed to cope with disruption from the previous deadline – March 29 – slashed UK car production in April by almost 45 per cent.
Tory baroness Patience Wheatcroft has said her party should turn against Brexit supporters “because they’re wrong”, “very disgruntled with life in general”, and “very uncomfortable with the situation in this country and in their own skins”. The 67-year-old peer, appointed to the House of Lords by former prime minister David Cameron in 2010, told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari that the reason the Tories did so badly in the EU Parliament elections — failing to secure even 10 per cent of the vote — was not because of their failure to deliver Brexit, but “because a lot of Conservatives are pro-Europe.
Germany will block another delay to Brexit at the European Council unless the UK announces a second referendum or general election by October, the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee chair has warned. In a sign that Berlin is near the end of its tether on Brexit, Norbert Rottgen, a former minister and senior MP for Germany’s ruling CDU party, said there could be no extension to the Article 50 process unless the UK offered a concrete reason, such as a public vote.
The European Union’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has reiterated his stance that there are only three ways forward now with Brexit. Speaking to the New York Review of Books, Barnier said that: “There are three options: a deal based on the agreement finalised six months ago; withdrawal without a deal; or no Brexit. It will have to be the choice of the UK.” Barnier also added that: “If the UK wants to leave in an orderly manner, this Treaty is the only option.
GERMANY will veto another extension to Article 50 unless the UK offers concrete reasons for asking for it, such as a second referendum or a general election, the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee chair has warned. However, other EU state members are also becoming uneasy at the UK’s attempts to reopen the withdrawal agreement struck by Mrs May in November last year.
Michel Barnier faced a backlash today after blaming Brexit on ‘typically British nostalgia’ for when the country was ‘powerful’. The EU’s chief negotiator – and potentially the next commission president – gave the dismissive assessment as he warned Tory hopefuls Brussels will not renegotiate the deal it agreed with Theresa May.
Theresa May’s Brexit agreement is the “only option” if the UK wants to avoid leaving the EU without a deal, Michel Barnier has warned Tory leadership candidates. The EU’s chief negotiator’s comments are the latest warning from Brussels that it will not reopen talks, despite most of those vying to succeed Theresa May putting the move at the centre of their leadership platforms. “If the UK wants to leave in an orderly manner, this treaty is the only option. If the choice is to leave without a deal – fine.
Jeremy Corbyn has said a second referendum is “some way off” and that Labour still wants to negotiate a better Brexit deal, resisting pressure from shadow cabinet ministers to commit to campaigning immediately for a public vote. Speaking in Dublin, the Labour leader said the only way to break the deadlock would be a general election or a second referendum after negotiating a softer Brexit deal with Brussels. Corbyn said there must not be a repeat of the 2016 referendum on Britain’s EU membership, and argued that Labour could strike a better agreement with Brussels that would include a customs union, which would then be put to a public vote.
JEREMY CORBYN has buckled to pressure to back a second referendum by saying a public vote is now the “only way out” of the Brexit crisis. The embattled Labour leader revealed his massive U-turn as he said going “back to the people” was now the only option when faced with the prospect of a no deal Brexit and an incoming Tory prime minister “with no mandate”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has resisted pressure from shadow cabinet colleagues to start campaigning for a Final Say vote on Brexit, insisting that he still wants to negotiate a better EU withdrawal deal. Speaking during a visit to Dublin for talks with Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, Mr Corbyn said that Labour did not back a “rerun” of the 2016 referendum and any public vote was “some way off”.
Chancellor Philip Hammond today fuelled Remainers’ hopes that he could come out for a second referendum on Brexit . The Cabinet minister has long been known for his pro-EU views, and admitted they make him too “divisive” to stand for the Tory leadership. Now he has said if Parliament is still deadlocked once a new Tory leader gets into 10 Downing Street, the decision will have to go back to the public. By that he meant either an election or a second referendum.
Philip Hammond has become the most senior Conservative to signal that he might be prepared to back a second referendum, piling pressure on Tory leadership candidates backing no deal by warning that they could lose a vote of no confidence. In a significant intervention, the chancellor said the only way of breaking the Brexit deadlock might be to put the decision back to the people, either through a general election or another referendum.
The Brexit deadlock could be broken by a second referendum or a general election, the chancellor has said. Philip Hammond told the BBC that if MPs could not find a way through the impasse, the decision could be handed “back to the people”. Brexit was delayed after Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal was rejected three times by MPs.
Philip Hammond has threatened to bring down any future government that pursues a clean break from Brussels. The Chancellor, speaking to Sky News didn’t rule out backing a no-confidence vote in the next Conservative leader should they not “present an agenda on the Brexit question that was in line with the views that I hold.” He added: “It’s not something I would do lightly or enthusiastically but I am very clear that the national interest trumps the party interest.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested he could try to bring down the government to block a no-deal Brexit. In an exclusive interview with Sky News, he left open the option of backing a no-confidence vote against the next prime minister to stop them pursuing something “not in Britain’s interests”.
The Conservatives saw a sharp fall in donations from the end of last year, but were still able to raise more than Labour, figures show. Parties reported accepting a total of £6,835,235 in donations in the first quarter (January 1 to March 31) of 2019, according to new figures from the Electoral Commission. This is more than £3.7 million less than the amount accepted in the previous quarter, between October 1 and December 31 2018, it said. A large proportion of this drop was from the Conservatives, who have seen lower donations to the party compared to the last few months of 2018.
Donations to the Conservative Party have plummeted amid anger at Theresa May‘s leadership and the government’s handling of Brexit, new figures have revealed. Electoral Commission data showed the party received £3.68m in donations in the first quarter of 2019 – less than half the £7.44m it banked in the previous quarter. The number of people donating to the Tories also dropped. In the first quarter of last year, the Conservatives received £4.8m from 234 donors. By the start of 2019, that had fallen to 220 donors.
Donations to the Conservative party have fallen sharply, according to figures from the Electoral Commission. The party accepted £3.68m between 1 January and 31 March from 220 separate donors, compared with £7.447m from 230 donors in the final quarter of 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, the Conservatives accepted nearly £5m from 234 donors. Donations to Labour were also down but by a much smaller amount.
Jo Swinson has announced she will stand for the Liberal Democrat leadership, pledging to lead a movement to tackle “nationalism and populism”. The party’s deputy leader said she was the right person to lead the “liberal movement” as she entered the contest to succeed Sir Vince Cable. The leadership contest comes as the Lib Dems received an opinion poll boost, with a YouGov study suggesting they are currently the most popular party in the UK.
Jo Swinson has announced she will run to become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. The party’s deputy leader told BBC Question Time the country was “crying out” for a movement “to challenge the forces of nationalism and populism”. She faces competition from former energy secretary Sir Ed Davey, who has declared his intention to stand. Current leader Sir Vince Cable will step down on 23 July and nominations to replace him close on 7 June. The pro-EU Lib Dems came second in the UK’s European elections last week, taking 20.3% of the vote.
THE BREXIT Party’s triumphant win the European Election, if adjusted, would have given Nigel Farage a landslide victory in a general election, a shock study has sensationally revealed. Mr Farage’s grassroots Eurosceptic movement would have won a mammoth 414 seats in the House of Commons, if Thursday’s historic result translated into general election constituencies. Chris Hanretty, Professor of politics at Royal Holloway, University of London, analysed how each individual constituency in England, Scotland and Wales voted in the European Parliament election.
Analysis by British political television program the Peston show has assessed that the new Brexit Party would wipe out the establishment parties if its European Parliament election victory were translated into General Election constituency seats. If the EU results were translated into national seats, the Liberal Democrats would have come first in 76 constituencies, Labour would have taken the lead in 67, with the Conservatives having won just one seat, while the Brexit Party would have won in an astounding 414 constituencies.
A sensational new YouGov poll for Westminster has the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party polling in first and second place. The LibDems are leading on 24% in the new poll, with the Brexit Party up on 22%. The Conservatives and Labour are both down on 19% meanwhile. The poll, carried out between 28th – 29th May shows that 47% of Leave voters are now backing the Brexit Party for a General Election, with 41% of Leavers now supporting the LibDems. And a massive 67% of voters rank leaving the EU as one of the most important issues facing the country, way ahead of any other issue in British politics.
Labour and the Tories were hit by an opinion poll bombshell last night in the wake of their EU election humiliation. A survey of how Britons might vote in a general election was set to show the main political parties in joint third place – behind the pro-Remain Lib Dems and Nigel Farage‘s Brexit Party. Sir Vince Cable’s Liberal Democrats are predicted to garner 24 per cent – their best showing for years, according to the YouGov survey.
The Liberal Democrats have surged into first place ahead of the Conservatives, Labour and the Brexit Party, a poll has revealed. The pro-Remain party topped the Times/YouGov survey with 24 per cent, the first time it has been in the lead since 2010 under Sir Nick Clegg’s leadership. Support for the Brexit Party, which came first in the European parliament elections on 31.6 per cent, dropped back. Twenty-two per cent of voters would back the party if a general election were held now, the poll found.
The Liberal Democrats would win a general election if one was held tomorrow, according to a new national poll. Following impressive results in the European elections, the resurgent party have pipped the Brexit Party to top spot in a YouGov survey carried out for The Times. It is only the second occasion that neither Labour nor the Conservatives have occupied first place in a YouGov poll. Some 24% said they would vote for the Remain-supporting Lib Dems, with 22% backing the Brexit Party.
VOTERS’ fury over Brexit logjam was laid bare as the Lib Dems topped an election poll for the first time in NINE YEARS. A staggering YouGov survey put Sir Vince Cable’s party on 24 per cent – ahead of the Brexit Party on 22 per cent. The Tories and Labour were tied on 19 per cent. If followed through in a General Election Labour and Jeremy Corbyn would have the most seats given constituency boundaries – but wouldn’t have a majority. Experts said the poll for The Times was yet another reflection of Brits’ anger with Britain’s two biggest parties for the chaos over the EU divorce.
THE Conservatives have been dealt another crushing blow after a shock new poll indicated Britons could vote for the Brexit Party over the Tories in a general election, in a move certain to send shockwaves throughout Westminster. The latest YouGov poll for The Times of 1,763 people surveyed from May 28-29 showed the Tories would be languishing in last position among the leading political parties. The Conservative Party, currently led by Theresa May until next Friday before a leadership contest takes place, polled just 19 percent of the vote – the same amount amassed by Labour.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is “desperate for the UK to fail” so she can push again for Scottish independence, Willie Rennie has claimed. Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader accused Ms Sturgeon of splitting the remain parties in Scotland after introducing the Referendums Bill at Holyrood on Wednesday. Mr Rennie said the parties in support of keeping the UK in the EU are “on the edge of victory”. The Scottish Government have learned absolutely nothing from the lessons of Brexit. Breaking up long term economic partnerships leads to nothing but chaos and economic upheaval. “She’s at it again, she is desperate for the UK to fail so she can push independence once again, she has even named a date,” said Mr Rennie.
More than half a million patients were forced to change their GP surgery last year as closures hit a record high. Figures obtained through freedom of information requests show that 138 surgeries shut their doors across the UK in 2018 as family doctors continued to abandon the NHS. Smaller practices — those serving 5,000 or fewer patients — were worst affected, accounting for nearly nine in ten closures. Nearly two million patients have now had to find new surgeries in six years, according to figures obtained through freedom of information requests by the GP magazine Pulse.
MORE than half a million patients had to find a new GP last year as surgery closures rocketed. A study found the shortage means many must now travel long distances for appointments. GP surgery closures have soared by nearly 700 per cent in five years, a study reveals. A record 138 were shut last year, affecting an estimated 519,500 patients. They had to find new doctors, with many forced to trek miles to see one. GPs say stress from mounting workloads has pushed colleagues to retire early.
A record 138 GP surgeries shut down last year as millions struggled to secure appointments. They closed at the rate of more than two a week, affecting more than 500,000 patients. As recently as 2013, just 18 surgeries shut across the UK. By last year that number had increased nearly eight-fold, according to figures released today. It means that over the last six years, 585 practices have gone – covering a population of nearly 1.9million.