Theresa May tonight faces the prospect of casting the deciding vote on who should succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission. The prime minister, in her final EU summit in Brussels, was confronted with the possible dilemma, which could have ramifications for her successor’s Brexit negotiations. EU officials are keen to avoid the decision going to a vote but if one was to go ahead it would need 21 countries representing 65 percent of the total EU population of 500 million to pass. Leaders are under pressure to select a candidate before the new European Parliament sits for the first time in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Plans have been made to serve the prime ministers and presidents a “working breakfast” at the European Council’s £287 million Europa building, if necessary.
An outspoken supporter of a second EU referendum who has criticised Boris Johnson for “borderline racist” comments has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Jean-Claude Juncker despite protests from populist central European governments. Frans Timmermans, a self-confessed anglophile who is fluent in seven languages, appeared to be in pole position to take over from Juncker to head the European commission from 1 November as leaders met on Sunday evening in Brussels. His candidacy was given a boost over the weekend by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who said Timmermans, the Socialists and Democrats’ nominee for the post, or the German centre-right MEP Manfred Weber would be “part of the solution”.
EU leaders are meeting in Brussels in a new effort to decide who should get the EU’s top jobs, including a successor to Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. Centre-right leaders from the EU’s biggest political group played down the chances of agreement on Sunday on a new Commission president. Summit chair Donald Tusk was reported to be proposing Dutch centre-left politician Frans Timmermans for that post, as part of a balanced package.
European Union leaders launched a new round of talks Sunday in desperate hopes of producing a breakthrough in a diplomatic fight over who should fill top leadership posts at the 28-nation bloc. Leaders of member countries have so far twice failed to make the key appointments, which include picking a replacement for Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the EU’s powerful executive arm, the European Commission, and for Donald Tusk as head of the agenda-setting European Council.
European Union leaders continued to labour over the selection of people to fill key posts into Sunday evening after May’s elections within the 28-nation group. Dutch socialist Frans Timmerman is still being considered as a replacement for Christian Democrat Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the European Commission. This is despite concerns from some within the European People’s Party-Christian Democrat group about ceding the post to the rival Socialists & Democrats bloc.
EU leaders dragged a Brussels summit out into the early hours of Monday morning arguing about who should replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president, but were still far from agreement. Frans Timmermans, the socialist group’s candidate to lead the EU’s executive, appeared to be emerging as the compromise choice at the meeting after he received the backing of Angela Merkel behind the scenes.
JOHN BERCOW has planned to delay his departure from the House of Commons, raising fears he could try to derail the Government’s Brexit plans. MPs have said the Speaker of the House of Commons has made it clear he wishes to remain Speaker until Christmas, rather than stand down this summer. Last October, reports suggested Mr Bercow had allegedly “told friends” he was planning to stand down this summer. Local newspaper The Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser also reported in April that Mr Bercow had said he would not stay on as Speaker for “much longer”.
Support for a no-deal Brexit has surged among grassroots Conservatives in fresh evidence of “blatant entryism” by former Ukip supporters, known as “Blukips”, as they prepare to pick Britain’s new prime minister. No fewer than 77 per cent of members who joined after the 2017 general election back crashing out of the EU with no agreement, new research shows, in a further boost to Boris Johnson’s march to No 10. The figure is far higher than the 60 per cent holding that opinion among pre-2015 members, offering proof of hardening views on Brexit just as rank-and-file Tories gain unprecedented power to decide Britain’s next leader.
Pressure is mounting within the Conservative party to end its block on new onshore windfarms after evidence that Tory supporters overwhelmingly back their return. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who are battling to become the party’s new leader, are facing internal calls to give the green light to new onshore wind projects that could slash the price of energy. Latest research suggests Tory voters are far more concerned about fracking than they are about onshore windfarms.
JEREMY Corbyn was urged to back a Remainer plot to block a No Deal ahead of a critical Commons vote. Backbenchers lined up to demand the Labour leader order MPs to back an amendment from Margaret Beckett and Tory rebel Dominic Grieve that would cut off the Government’s money supply to stop a cliff edge exit. Tory sources said they feared Labour was preparing to back the move – after it cancelled MPs’ leave for this week.
Labour have called on the country’s top civil servant to investigate newspaper reports about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s health attributed to civil service sources. Jon Trickett, Labour’s shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, has written to the Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service, Mark Sedwill, to call for an independent inquiry. In the letter, Mr Trickett describes the report in the Times on Saturday as a “totally unwarranted and indeed unconstitutional political intervention with disturbing implications for our democratic system” and formally requests a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary to discuss the matter.
Even Labour MPs who back a fresh Brexit referendum face losing their seats to the Liberal Democrats unless pro-EU parties form a “Remain alliance”, new analysis has found. The Liberal Democrats would gain at least six seats from Labour in heavily Remain-supporting areas amid anger over failure of Jeremy Corbyn‘s party to fully endorse a second Brexit referendum, according to a major study for the Best for Britain group.
THE Labour Party have been accused of “hammering families” over proposals to reform inheritance tax. Under the plans supported by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, inheritance tax would be replaced by “lifetime gifts tax”. The current scheme has a threshold of £475,000 0r £950,000 for couples, only 640,000 households of the 27.2million households in the UK pay the tax each year. As reported by MailOnline, everything a child receives from their parents during life and death above £125,000 would be taxed.
Britain’s opposition Labour Party is interested in a plan to replace inheritance tax with a lifetime tax on all gifts from parents to their children over a certain threshold, its finance chief John McDonnell said on Sunday. Media reports have suggested Labour could introduce a new lifetime tax on all gifts above 125,000 pounds ($158,662). “We’re looking at it,” McDonnell told Sky News. “I think it is interesting, we need to have a fairer system of how we can ensure that wealth is more fairly distributed. That is one idea.”
Labour was accused of plotting a raid on the middle classes last night after John McDonnell signalled major reforms to inheritance tax. The Shadow Chancellor said he was interested in replacing the current levy with a ‘lifetime gifts tax’ on cash or homes given to children. He claimed the plan, which the Tories say would affect 10 million households, could ensure ‘wealth is more fairly distributed’.
Boris Johnson has vowed to turn on the spending taps if he becomes prime minister by cutting taxes, hiking the national living wage and increasing borrowing to fund “great projects”. The former foreign secretary said that he wants to give Britain a pay rise and said that increasing the threshold at which people start paying national insurance would be a “priority” for his government. Mr Johnson, who has also pledged to increase the threshold at which people start paying the higher rate of income tax, said that tax cuts would ultimately “stimulate” the economy and “increase your revenues”.
Jeremy Hunt will announce plans for a £20 billion “war chest” for a no deal Brexit which would see dramatic tax cuts designed to turbo-charge the economy. The Foreign Secretary will unveil a detailed 10-point plan for leaving without a deal, with a package of financial support which he likens to that offered in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He will claim that Boris Johnson effectively wants to leave the EU on a “wing and a prayer” and that Britain deserves a leader “who is prepared to put in the hard yards preparing for no deal”.
Jeremy Hunt will tell MPs he is planning to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit which will include a £6bn war chest for farmers and fishermen exporting to Europe. The Tory leadership candidate will set out a 10-point plan, including a Cobra-style committee to “turbocharge” Whitehall preparations and keep Britain open for business in the event of World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs coming into effect.
Boris Johnson today wraps himself in the national flag as he pledges to change the Prime Minister’s official title to add ‘Minister for the Union’. Setting out his vision for the United Kingdom – which he describes as ‘the most successful political and economic union in history’ – Mr Johnson takes aim at Theresa May, who has argued that a No Deal Brexit would risk fracturing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The tub-thumping ‘Minister for the Union’ moniker will be added alongside First Lord of the Treasury to the formal title of Prime Minister if, as expected, Mr Johnson wins his leadership battle against Jeremy Hunt.
Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt is to outline his plans for a no-deal Brexit later, including a £6bn pledge to the fishing and farming industries and help for small businesses. Mr Hunt will say farmers and fishermen “face uncertainty” with no deal, and as PM he would “help smooth it over”. He will compare the support to the bail out for banks in the financial crisis. Meanwhile, plans by his rival, Boris Johnson, to give public sector workers a “fair” pay rise have been revealed.
Boris Johnson will show “some love” to public-sector workers with a pay rise to “properly reward” them for the job they do, one of his key cabinet allies has promised. Matt Hancock, the health secretary who is also in the team planning Mr Johnson’s first 100 days in office if he becomes Tory leader, said that public-sector staff were doing a “brilliant job for the country” and deserve a “fair” pay rise.
Jeremy Hunt is set to reveal what he is describing as a “detailed” plan to prepare the UK for a no-deal Brexit. The foreign secretary is seeking to win over Conservative Brexiteers as he competes with Boris Johnson to become prime minister. In a speech on Monday, he is expected to pledge extra protection for the fishing and farming industries if the UK crashes out of the EU in October, by way of a £6bn stimulus package.
JEREMY HUNT faced a fresh Brexit backlash after refusing to commit to taking Britain out of the EU by the end of the year. It came as the Foreign Secretary prepared to woo Tory members with his biggest Hard Brexit message yet – by unveiling £20billion plans to bail out business hit by a cliff edge exit if he became Prime Minister. Challenged once more about Boris’ do or die pledge to deliver Brexit by October 31, Mr Hunt repeated that it would be wrong to “rip up” a deal by that time if it required a “few more parliamentary days” to complete.
BORIS JOHNSON has drafted in a crack team to draw up a new Withdrawal Agreement, consisting of two senior Brexiteers and vocal Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg. Mr Johnson and Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt are both to bring in new negotiating teams to develop a new Brexit blueprint. Cheers erupted at the leadership hustings in Manchester last night after it was revealed that Olly Robbins had left his post as Brexit negotiator. Jeremy Hunt has acquired the talents of senior Canadian politicians, while Boris Johnson enlisted hardline British Brexiteers.
Nigel Farage has attacked Boris Johnson, Theresa May and the Labour Party in a lively speech, delivered at a Brexit Party rally in Birmingham. More than 5,000 supporters were present at the event as the MEP unveiled his new party’s first 100 prospective parliamentary candidates, ready to stand across the country in the event of a snap general election. The would-be MPs, including teachers, an economist and a forklift truck driver, were introduced to the crowd before Mr Farage attacked both the Tory and Labour stances on Brexit.
BREXIT Party leader Nigel Farage unveiled his first 100 candidates to stand in a general election at a ‘Big Vision rally’ where he warned his movement wants to become the “biggest party in Westminster”. Nigel Farage demanded the Tory party “step aside” to give the Brexit Party an opportunity to take seats from the Labour Party as he hailed his party for “shattering the status quo of politics”. He told a crowd of 5,500 supporters during a rally in Birmingham the Brexit Party was “not just a protest movement”.
Nigel Farage demanded the Conservative Party stand aside and give it a free run in Labour seats today, saying only the Brexit Party could stop Jeremy Corbyn. He told a rally that his new party was ‘not a protest movement’ as he unveiled the party’s first 100 candidates to stand at any snap general election. And he took a swipe at Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson – likely to be the next prime minister, saying ‘you can try if you want but I will not be put back in my box’.
The Brexit Party has revealed its roster of 100 would-be MPs, who are ready to stand in a general election. The list of candidates include teachers, an economist and a forklift truck driver, who are representing the party in what Nigel Farage has branded “the new politics”. Speaking at a Birmingham rally in front of more than 5,000 glow stick-wielding party supporters, Mr Farage vowed to increase the number of prospective candidates to 650 – the number of seats in Westminster – by the end of next week.
Nigel Farage has said “Westminster needs to hear this” as the Brexit Party unveiled its first 100 candidates ready to stand at a general election. The party unveiled its new candidates at a rally at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on Sunday and pledged to have every Westminster seat covered before a new Tory leader is in place. More than 5,000 party supporters cheered the prospective candidates on to the stage at the event, where Nigel Farage hailed the event as “the new politics”.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is launching his own free newspaper, The Brexiteer. Mr Farage announced he was launching the outlet, which will be handed out by Brexit Party volunteers for free across the country, at a rally in Birmingham on Sunday. The publication is attached to the Brexit Party and promotes its policies and agenda, as Mr Farage seeks to capitalise on the party’s strong showing in the European elections. The first edition features a front page photo of Mr Farage himself, with a headline claiming: “Brexit Party starts political earthquake: ‘We’re turning anger into hope’.”
The Liberal Democrats could win the next general election, a party leadership hopeful has told Sky News. In making her claim Jo Swinson, who is standing against Ed Davey to succeed Vince Cable, highlighted the current volatile political atmosphere and said she did not want want to put any limit on the ambitions of the party, which currently has 12 MPs. Speaking to the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Ms Swinson said she was also hopeful of further defections to the Lib Dems, following Chuka Umunna’s move from Change UK.
Nearly half of British citizens who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with Islamic State have returned to the United Kingdom, with Europol warning that their training in the Middle East means they are “exceptionally dangerous”. According to Europol’s annual report, 45 per cent of Britain’s Islamist foreign fighters have returned, the largest proportion of returned jihadists out of the whole of the EU.
Thousands of people with dementia are being denied vital care because councils fail to meet basic legal standards, a damning report has revealed. Last year more than half of dementia patients in England were not granted their legal right to a review to check they were receiving enough support, it found. Some are left without food for days because they are not offered extra social care as their condition deteriorates. The report by Healthwatch England warned that tens of thousands of vulnerable patients ‘slip through cracks in the care system’ and that it had reached ‘breaking point’.
Drought and overheating of river water may force some of the nuclear power plants that supply two-thirds of France’s electricity to shut down temporarily in the wake of the European heatwave. The extreme temperatures are beginning to abate, but shortages and excessive temperatures of river water needed to cool reactors are worrying EDF, the largely state-owned electricity company.
BRITS are set to enjoy another warm weekend as temperatures are still sizzling today. The Met Office predicts dry and sunny spells across England, with temperature highs of 26C to 28C in East Anglia, London and parts of Kent. But weather forecasters say there could be frequent showers in the North as well as in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It will be nowhere near as hot as yesterday; today we’re looking at 26 to 28 degrees in East Anglia, London and parts of Kent.