Theresa May was under pressure from cabinet ministers last night to scrap formal Brexit talks with Labour and launch a final attempt to secure a compromise in parliament. Supporters of a deal with the European Union are preparing to use tomorrow’s cabinet meeting to urge the prime minister to set a timetable for indicative votes by MPs after the European elections. The move comes amid growing criticism from Conservatives of the talks, which are due to begin again today, as ministers who previously supported them lose faith.
Keir Starmer has expressed doubts that any cross-party Brexit deal lacking a confirmatory referendum could pass parliament, warning up to 150 Labour MPs would reject an agreement that did not include one. The shadow Brexit secretary said he feared the party risked losing its remain voters after worse than expected losses in the local elections, but he warned Labour remainers tempted to vote for the Liberal Democrats or Change UK that only Jeremy Corbyn’s party could deliver a fresh referendum.
The shadow Brexit secretary has warned that without a second referendum, up to 150 Labour MPs would reject a Brexit deal. Sir Keir Starmer said more than two-thirds of the party’s 229 MPs could reject a deal in his first major interview since talks with the Government began almost five weeks ago. Speaking to the Guardian ahead of another meeting on Monday, Sir Keir said he doubted any agreement that was not set to be ratified by a public vote would pass through Parliament
A cross-party Brexit deal will not get through Parliament unless it is subject to a confirmatory vote, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has said. Talks between Labour and ministers over quitting the EU continue on Monday. But Sir Keir told the Guardian that, without a new referendum, up to 150 Labour MPs would vote against any deal. And he added he would not be afraid to pull the plug on cross-party talks as soon as this week if the prime minister did not budge on her red lines.
Keir Starmer has said up to 150 Labour MPs would vote against any cross-party Brexit deal which excluded a second referendum. The Holborn and St Pancras MP has been involved in Labour’s Brexit talks with the government but said a deal which failed to include a confirmatory public vote was unlikely to pass in the Commons. “A significant number of Labour MPs, probably 120 if not 150, would not back a deal if it hasn’t got a confirmatory vote,” he told The Guardian.
Talks to resolve the Brexit crisis were heading for the rocks last night after Labour insisted a second referendum must be part of any deal. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer warned up to 150 Labour MPs would reject an agreement with the Government that did not include another vote. He said: ‘I’ve made it clear that at this stage – at this 11th hour – any deal that comes through from this Government ought to be subject to the lock of a confirmatory vote.’
The Prime Minister has been urged to ditch Brexit talks with Labour and move to indicative votes by Cabinet Ministers. Chancellor Philip Hammond is said to be among those who have lost faith with the plan to strike a cross-party deal, which the Times reports he believes is a “false premise”. And her husband Philip May is said to be seeking a “dignified exit” for his wife, having been her “rock”, encouraging her to hold out against calls for her to go for many months.
Former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has described Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit talks with Labour as a “politically naive” and “doomed to fail”. Mr Williamson, who was recently sacked from Cabinet over an alleged leak from the National Security Council — which he denies he was responsible for — wrote in the Mail on Sunday that he believed the talks would not succeed as Labour only really want a general election to try and get into power.
THERESA May’s husband Philip will persuade her to resign if she fails to find a majority for a Brexit deal within a month, ministers now believe. Even No10 loyalists think the PM will find it impossible to overcome “such a head of steam” against her from Tory MPs and activists if the crippling deadlock continues into June. Her closest confidante, financier Mr May, will instead step in and talk her into standing down rather than risk the public humiliation of losing a vote of all 800 senior activists on June 15.
THERESA MAY’s husband will reportedly persuade her to resign if she fails to get her Brexit deal through parliament. Philip May will ask the Prime Minister to stand down instead of risking public humiliation, The Sun reported. Mrs May is due to face a vote by Conservative chairmen on June 15 after resounding calls for her to quit. Pressure has since mounted against her as the Conservatives dropped to fourth place ahead of the European Parliament elections on May 23.
The Brexit Secretary has warned the country is in danger of ‘sleepwalking’ into staying in the EU. Stephen Barclay called on fellow politicians to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and deliver Brexit – or risk the EU not granting another extension in October if a deal is not done. He is ready for a backlash from Remainer Cabinet colleagues when he presents proposals in the coming days for ramping up No Deal exit planning, as Nigel Farage threatened he would insist on Brexit Party MEPs joining the UK’s negotiating team.
Conservative in-fighting has broken out after the party produced a European Parliament election leaflet which tells people to lobby directly Brexiteer MPs who have voted down Theresa May’s Brexit deal. A leaflet – seen by The Daily Telegraph and titled “How to show you want a Brexit deal delivered as soon as possible” – says that “for a deal to pass it needs the support of more than half of all MPs”.
Jeremy Corbyn is under fresh pressure after two of his most senior frontbenchers demanded a second referendum on the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. Tom Watson, his deputy, will on Monday call on the party to live up to its values by offering a clear commitment on a second Brexit referendum. That came as Sir Keir Starmer, his shadow Brexit secretary, said a second ballot had to be part of any cross-party agreement to get Theresa May’s Brexit deal agreed with the Tories through the House of Commons.
Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, will warn Jeremy Corbyn today that he will betray the party’s heritage unless he backs down and fully supports a second referendum on Brexit. Mr Watson will use the John Smith lecture to make a new attack on the leadership and warn the party against allowing Mr Corbyn to take it towards left-wing euroscepticism. In the lecture he invokes the memory of Smith, the Labour leader who died 25 years ago this month, to urge Mr Corbyn to back the pro-European internationalism that Smith championed.
Tom Watson has launched a fresh bid to convince Jeremy Corbyn to back another Brexit referendum by claiming that former party leader John Smith would have understood the need for a Final Say vote. In a speech on Monday, the party’s deputy leader will admit that Labour supporters are “not happy” with its current Brexit policy and make an impassioned plea to them not to abandon the party in European parliament elections later this month.
Nigel Farage lashed out at the BBC after one of its star interviewers repeatedly questioned him on his historic views on global warming, Russian president Vladimir Putin, the National Health Service and immigration. The leader of the Brexit Party denied he wanted to be Prime Minister as he clashed with BBC presenter Andrew Marr and became the focus of attack from rival parties just days before next week’s European Parliament elections.
Nigel Farage has angrily accused the BBC of “outrageous bias” after he was repeatedly challenged in an interview about his past political views. During a series of confrontational exchanges on The Andrew Marr Show, the Brexit Party leader said that the broadcaster was in “denial” about public anger over Brexit. At one stage Mr Farage described the questioning as “absolutely ludicrous”, claiming that the BBC was “not prepared to talk about what is going on in this country today”.
Nigel Farage clashed angrily with the BBC‘s Andrew Marr, accusing him of being ‘in denial’ of a ‘sea change’ in British politics, for focusing on his previous statements. It made for uncomfortable viewing as the two men talked across each other, the interviewer refusing to stop asking questions and the politician angrily denouncing the exchange as ‘ludicrous’. Arguing that examining its leader was the ‘only way to look at the Brexit Party in the round at the moment’, Mr Marr asked: ‘Do you still want to replace the NHS with a private insurance system?’
Nigel Farage has compared the disruption that would be caused by a no-deal Brexit to “moving house” in a bad tempered interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. The Brexit Party leader said leaving the EU without an agreement would cause short-term disruption to the economy, but played down the impact it would have on people’s lives. “Even if [no deal] led to some short-term economic disruption – moving house leads to short-term disruption”. In a series of heated exchanges, Mr Farage was also confronted with a series of comments he had made in previous years and was asked if he still believed them now.
The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator has told British voters it would be ‘insane’ to re-elect Nigel Farage as an MEP, as the Brexit Party stormed to a commanding lead in the polls. Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt tweeted that the Brexit Party leader ‘would rather go to the pub than fight for British interests in Europe’ in his latest interjection in the UK’s European election campaign. It comes after Mr Verhofstadt said he didn’t know whether Brexit would happen, and on the campaign trail with the Lib Dems said the coming vote was a chance to send message ‘to the continent to say never repeat Brexit again.’
NIGEL Farage’s EU nemesis Guy Verhofstadt has savaged the Brexit Party leader, claiming British voters would be “insane” to re-elect him as an MEP and suggesting Mr Farage would “rather go to the pub” than do his job. Mr Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, was in Britain on Friday to campaign for Vince Cable’s Liberal Democrats in the forthcoming European elections. An Opinium poll of 2,004 UK adults over 18 years old between May 8 and 10 published yesterday on voting intentions for the European Parliamentary elections put the Brexit Party on 34 per cent, with Labour 21 per cent and the Tories in fourth place with 11 per cent.
Progressive teaching methods have fuelled the rise in poor discipline, the Government’s bad behaviour tsar has said. Tom Bennett, who has been appointed by ministers to head up a taskforce into bad behaviour at schools, said that for several decades the issue has been “swept under the carpet”. In his first interview since his appointment, he said progressivism – the dominant ideology in education which became popular in the 1960s and 70s – has led to low level disruption going unchallenged.
Sats are no better than teachers at predicting pupil’s GCSE and A-Level results, a study has found. Researchers from King’s College London (KCL) say their findings call into question the benefits of standardised exams. The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found teacher assessments at age 7, 11 and 14 were just as effective as using Sats results to predict pupils’ subsequent exam success. Dr Kaili Rimfeld, one of the report’s lead authors, said: “We have shown for the first time that teacher assessments predict GCSE and A-level results just as well as earlier exam scores.
Compensation paid out for harm and deaths caused by NHS delays and blunders has doubled in five years, an investigation reveals. Patients groups said the increase in negligence payouts was “extremely worrying” – warning that lives are being lost because of a steep rise in waits for appointments, diagnosis and treatment. Official figures reveal that in 2017/18 the NHS paid out £655 million in compensation for such cases – an increase from £327 million in 2013/14.
NHS negligence payouts have doubled to £655 million in four years after a sharp rise in delayed treatment. Official figures showed that in 2017-18, 1,789 patients, or their bereaved families, received payouts, a rise from 1,406 cases in 2013-14. The compensation figure was £327 million in 2013-14. The cases include 1,100 patients who experienced a delay or botched treatment and 679 who were misdiagnosed or suffered a delay in being diagnosed. Derek Alderson, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, told The Daily Telegraph: “This steep increase in the number of patients awarded damages because of delays in their treatment or misdiagnosis is very concerning.
The NHS’s annual compensation bill for blunders and delays has doubled to more than £650 million in five years, it was reported last night. Patients’ groups said the increase was ‘extremely worrying’, adding that people were dying because of an increase in waiting times for appointments, diagnosis and treatment. In 2017-18 the NHS paid £655million to 1,789 patients in negligence compensation – an increase from the £327million paid to 1,406 patients in 2013-14, The Daily Telegraph reported.
RAMPANT health tourism has left the NHS with a huge hike in unpaid hospital bills, official figures reveal. Trusts had to write off £27 million last year after ineligible overseas patients refused to pay up. The figure is up two-thirds from £16.2 million in 2016/17. The rise in unpaid debt comes despite a Government crackdown on foreign visitors using the health service for free. Overall, the NHS has been left with a financial blackhole of £76 million in the past four years – enough to pay for around 3,300 new nurses.
Deaths from heart disease are rising among the under-75s for the first time in 50 years. Obesity and inactivity threaten an end to spectacular progress on heart disease that has caused deaths to fall by three quarters since the 1960s, the British Heart Foundation said. Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the charity, said: “In the UK we’ve made phenomenal progress in reducing the number of people who die of a heart attack or stroke. But we’re seeing more people die each year from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK before they reach their 75th, or even 65th, birthday. We are deeply concerned by this reversal.”
Premature deaths from heart attacks and strokes have risen for the first time in 50 years as Britain’s obesity crisis takes hold, a report reveals today. After years of warnings that we are eating too much and exercising too little, poor lifestyles are now reversing decades of medical progress. Between 2014 and 2017 the number of people who died from cardiovascular disease before the age of 75 – the definition of a ‘premature’ death – rose for the first time since the 1960s. The number of heart deaths among the under-65s is also increasing, suggesting poor health is striking at an earlier age. Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, which compiled the report, said: ‘We are deeply concerned by this reversal.
Relatives of victims of the NHS tainted blood scandal have accused the government of a “morally reprehensible approach” and said that the disappearance of crucial files “doesn’t add up”. Hundreds of documents revealing the initial response of senior officials have gone missing, either destroyed or checked out and never returned. Campaigners are concerned that there was a cover-up after what has been called the “worst treatment disaster” in NHS history.
The Home Office was yesterday accused of losing control in the Channel after 42 people made the hazardous crossing from France in three incidents over the weekend. A small boat carrying 16 men, women and children was stopped on Saturday on the 22-mile journey. Two more vessels – one with six adults and eight children as young as two, and another with 12 adults – were intercepted yesterday. The 42 arrivals – mainly Iranians or Iraqis – are believed to be the highest number in one weekend this year.
Britain is pressing ahead with the world’s first plastic tax because ‘we can’t go on’ polluting the planet, the Treasury said yesterday. The plastic levy will be a major victory for the Daily Mail, which has led calls for action with its Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign. It will hit plastic manufacturers that fail to include 30 per cent recycled content. It will also provide a huge boost to the recycling industry by massively increasing demand for recycled plastic.
The high-speed HS2 rail line can be scrapped after it is half-built and the route stops at Birmingham, the head of Parliament’s powerful spending watchdog has said. Sir Amyas Morse, the out-going head of the National Audit Office, told BBC Radio Four’s the Westminster Hour on Sunday night that it would be difficult to cancel the HS2 project – at least as far as Birmingham. Currently the route heads from London to Birmingham where it splits into a fork, with one line heading to Crewe and Manchester, and the other to Leeds.
The HS2 high-speed rail project would be ‘very difficult’ to scrap before it reaches Birmingham, the head of the spending watchdog has claimed. Sir Amyas Morse – who steps down from his role at the National Audit Office this month – said the UK would have to be in a ‘lot of economic trouble’ to pull the scheme at this stage. ‘There is a point where there’s not much point thinking you can go back. Are we at that point on HS2? It’s difficult for me to say,’ he said. ‘It might be that we still haven’t quite crossed the Rubicon, but pretty soon we’ll have sunk so much in buying land, building track and so forth, that it would be very difficult not to at least go to Birmingham.’