Four Cabinet ministers who backed Remain – including previously avowed Eurosceptics Philip Hammond and Michael Fallon – are set to be knighted. David Lidington and Patrick McLoughlin have reportedly been nominated for knighthoods after supporting the campaign to stay in the European Union. And George Osborne was also nominated for a major honour by close friend and ally David Cameron, it was reported last night. The former chancellor is to receive the Companion of Honour, a special award for those who have made a ‘major contribution’ to the arts, science, medicine or government over a long period. MPs said the honours for the four ministers – proposed before Mr Cameron left Downing Street – probably reflected the former PM’s expectation that the recipients would be sacked after he left office, and were for long service in public life. However, all four either kept their jobs or were promoted by Theresa May. They all backed Remain – in particular Mr Lidington, who was not in the Cabinet but, as Europe minister, played a prominent role in the campaign in Parliament.
The two millionaire donors said to be in line for knighthoods have together given around £3million to the failed Remain campaign and the Tory party. Ian Taylor, one of the most powerful figures in the international oil industry, is being recommended for a knighthood by David Cameron in his resignation honours list, it emerged yesterday. And Andrew Cook, 66, chairman of engineering firm William Cook, who has lent the former prime minister his private plane more than 20 times, is also in line for a similar award. Taylor’s proposed honour has infuriated Eurosceptic MPs because it is being seen as part of his reward for helping bankroll the Remain campaign. Oxford-educated Taylor, 60, is the chief executive and president of Vitol Oil, whose head office is in the tax haven of Switzerland. Vitol, which he joined from Shell in 1985, has been plagued by controversies – including over its operations in Iraq, Libya, and Serbia, and over its own tax affairs.
David Cameron has been accused of “cronyism” after an apparent leak of his resignation honours list. The former prime minister has recommended knighthoods for party donors, close political aides, losing figures from the pro-EU campaign and Downing Street staff, according to The Sunday Times. A departing prime minister is entitled to draw up a resignation honours list. But opposition MPs have piled the pressure on new Prime Minister Theresa May to completely overhaul the system, to stop the “old boys network” being rewarded. Senior Tory MPs are also said to be “very angry” with Mr Cameron’s choices.
David Cameron has prompted a furious Conservative Party row after being accused of “devaluing the honours system” by rewarding his No 10 colleagues and his wife Samantha’s stylist in his resignation honours list. Senior Tory MPs reacted with anger at Mr Cameron’s decision to put his staff forward for the privileges as he was accused of “cronyism” in an unprecedented attack on the former leader. A list published by The Sunday Times newspaper detailed the former prime minister’s request for honours to be bestowed on 48 advisers and Remain campaigners including two major donors who helped fund the case to stay in the European Union to the tune of more than £650,000.
A leaked copy of the former Prime Minister’s resignation honours list revealed he intends to give gongs to those accused of the spin and false claims that underpinned Remain’s now discredited EU referendum campaign. Former arch Eurosceptics who turned into committed Remainers Michael Fallon and Philip Hammond are in line for knighthoods along with two other Cabinet members David Lidington and Patrick McLoughlin. Will Straw, the head of the Britain Stronger in Europe group and son of former Labour home secretary Jack Straw, is listed for a CBE, one step down from a knighthood. He was accused of orchestrating a series of questionable tactics, including trying to link the tragic murder of Labour MP Jo Cox to the Leave campaign.
Theresa May came under pressure last night to block David Cameron’s resignation honours list after Labour’s deputy leader said that the awards would undermine her reputation. Tom Watson called on the prime minister to reject her predecessor’s “old boys’ network” after reports that Mr Cameron had nominated 48 Tory donors, allies and aides. Past convention has been that prime ministers do not block the nominations of their predecessors in resignation honours lists. However, only the serving prime minister can make recommendations for honours to the Queen, placing Mrs May in an awkward position.
David Cameron was accused of ‘sticking up two fingers’ to the country last night over plans to lavish gongs on pro-EU campaigners and political cronies. Tory MPs led furious attacks on the ex-Prime Minister after a leaked list suggested he will shower knighthoods and other honours on a staggering 48 aides, allies and donors. To the rage of many key figures in the Conservative Party, only one of those he plans to reward campaigned for Leave during the EU referendum. Senior Government figures said they were stunned by the scale of his ‘cronyism’ – which apparently also includes nominations for his wife’s personal stylist Isabel Spearman, and ex-Chancellor George Osborne’s close aide Thea Rogers, who is said to have encouraged him to lose weight.
Steven Woolfe, the favourite to succeed Nigel Farage as Ukip leader, could be out of the race after he missed the deadline for submitting his application by 17 minutes because of technical problems. A spokesman for the MEP and migration spokesman said he was still a candidate. The party has not yet confirmed whether the delay will make him ineligible. A party spokesman said a final decision would be made on Tuesday after final vetting procedures were completed. Woolfe was already under threat of being excluded from the contest over allegations he allowed his membership to lapse for more than a year. It is understood he may be prepared to take legal action if he is excluded from the race for that reason. He is seen as the frontrunner, with the backing of the influential Ukip donor Arron Banks, who is close to Farage.
MEP Steven Woolfe, seen as the frontrunner to succeed Nigel Farage as UKIP leader, has missed the deadline for submitting his nomination. A spokesman blamed a “technical issue” and said he remained a candidate, but this has not been officially confirmed by the party. Mr Woolfe submitted his application at 11:35 BST – before the noon deadline – but it “did not successfully go through until 12:17”, his spokesman said. He is backed by UKIP donor Aaron Banks. Mr Woolfe’s spokesman said the MEP was speaking to party officials “right up to the deadline”. “He informed them he was having technical problems. These were finally resolved and the paperwork submitted,” the spokesman said.
Steven Woolfe’s application to succeed Nigel Farage as leader of Ukip could be declared void after he submitted his paperwork 17 minutes late due to a “technical” issue. A spokesman for Mr Woolfe, who is also an MEP and Ukip’s migration policy chief, said a situation with the party’s system had held up the application process ahead of the Sunday noon deadline but they insisted he remains in the contest. The party, however, is yet to confirm whether he is still in the running. “However, due to technical problems on the party system, it did not successfully go through until 12.17pm. Mr Woolfe was speaking to party officials responsible for handling the application process throughout this time and right up to the deadline,” the spokesperson said.
The race for the Labour leadership turned nasty on Sunday as John McDonnell accused Owen Smith of wanting to split the party. In a bitter war of words, Mr McDonnell turned on Jeremy Corbyn ’s rival for failing to condemn “plotters” looking to tear Labour apart. The Shadow Chancellor, who is chairing the Jeremy for Labour campaign, said: “If Owen truly wants to unite our party like Jeremy Corbyn does, then he needs to denounce those who are plotting to divide it. “If he continues to refuse to denounce those calling for a split, then members will think he is simply trying to scaremonger them to vote for him by his talking up of threats from a minority of MPs supporting his campaign who are plotting to split our party in Tory newspapers, while at the same time refusing to denounce them.”
Islamic State, losing territory and on the retreat in Iraq and Syria, has claimed credit for a surge in global attacks this summer, most of them in France and Germany. The wave of attacks followed a call to strike against the West during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in June and July, in an apparent shift in strategy by the jihadist group, which has been hammered by two years of U.S.-led coalition air strikes and ground advances by local forces. Instead of urging supporters to travel to its self-proclaimed caliphate, it encouraged them to act locally using any means available. “If the tyrants close the door of migration in your faces, then open the door of jihad in theirs and turn their actions against them,” said an audio clip purportedly from spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, referring to Western governments’ efforts to keep foreign fighters from travelling to the join the group.
An Australian family who have been told they must leave the UK say they will not give up their fight against deportation, as a deadline to meet visa requirements expired. Kathryn and Gregg Brain moved to Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands with their son Lachlan, now seven, in 2011. They applied and moved from Australia using Mrs Brain’s student visa, but a two-year post-study visa scheme was later withdrawn by the government. Mrs Brain must find a job in order for the family to stay, but a job she has found – at a local distillery – fell through as it did not meet the visa requirements.
A cross-party coalition in the House of Lords is pursuing plans to block Brexit. Baroness Wheatcroft, the former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal Europe and former business editor of The Times, said that it was “imperative that we don’t press the button on Article 50”. She said that if the courts ruled that legislation was needed to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, the House of Lords should reject it. “There is an argument that at some stage people ought to be given an opportunity to think again,” she said.
AUSTRIA has unveiled plans to build a massive 100km fence along its border to stop migrants and refugees crossing into the country. Engineers in the central European state have finalised plans for the vast barrier, which would stretch along its entire southern border with Hungary. Austria has repeatedly clashed with Brussels over its clampdown on illegal migration and has already put a daily cap on the number of people who can claim asylum. And earlier this year the country’s parliament voted through a motion allowing it to declare a state of emergency if migrant numbers suddenly rise, meaning it could instantly shut its borders. The new border fence will mark a considerable escalation in Austria’s physical attempts to bring down migration, with the country only having constructed one small 4km fence along its border with Slovenia to date.