The Conservatives are under fire for a shock plan that would allow the new prime minister to “chicken out” of putting their Brexit plan to the House of Commons until the autumn. Opposition MPs spoke out after aides to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were told the winner of the Tory leadership race would not move into No 10 on Tuesday 23 July, as widely expected. Instead, Theresa May proposes to make a final appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions the following day before resigning – just one day before MPs depart for their long summer recess on 25 July, they were reportedly told.
BORIS Johnson should call a snap general election in the event that he becomes prime minister, while pursuing a policy of “managed no deal” rather than suffer a “death of a thousand cuts” by trying to limp along with a paper-thin majority, a Tory ally has said. Daniel Kawczynski said it was his understanding that at least two of his fellow Conservative MPs were in discussions with Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable about the possible defections, and suggested an election was preferable to the current impasse. Several Tories including former Attorney General Dominic Grieve and veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke have already suggested they could be willing to back a Labour vote of confidence and bring down a Johnson-led Government if he refuses to rule out a no deal option when it comes to Brexit.
BORIS Johnson has been warned he could last just 24 hours as Prime Minister before MPs oust him. Senior Tories are said to have told the leadership hopeful’s team it is highly likely a vote of no confidence being plotted by Jeremy Corbyn would succeed. Labour MPs are being told they must attend the Commons the day after Theresa May quits ready for the move. Party chairman Brandon Lewis and Chief Whip Julian Smith are said to believe at least two Conservative MPs are ready to defect and others could follow to bring Mr Johnson down.
Boris Johnson has been warned by Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve that Conservative MPs could push him out of office in October if he becomes prime minister and tries to leave the EU without a deal. In a thinly veiled threat to the front runner in the race for Number 10, Mr Grieve insisted a large number of Tory MPs would mobilise to prevent a no-deal Brexit in the autumn. Mr Johnson is now in the final two in the Tory leadership contest alongside Jeremy Hunt, and has insisted the UK must leave the EU on the current deadline of October 31.
Boris Johnson could face a daunting test of his political strength within hours of arriving in Downing Street as Jeremy Corbyn launches an immediate attempt to topple him as prime minister. Labour sources confirmed that the party stood by its commitment to table an instant vote of no confidence in the winner of the Tory leadership contest. Mr Johnson remains the front runner despite recent damaging headlines over his personal life.
EU loyalist Dominic Grieve has warned that he and other Remainer Tories could topple Boris Johnson if he backs a No Deal Brexit, as opposition MPs plot to end the next Tory leader’s premiership in a day. Grieve, who represents a Leave-voting constituency and has already lost a vote of no confidence by the Tory constituency association — but has been protected by Remain-voting party chairman Brandon Lewis MP — warned: “If the new prime minister announces taking the country on a magical mystery tour towards an October 31st crash-out, I don’t think that prime minister is going to survive very long.”
Boris Johnson’s poll ratings have suffered a major slump following the loud altercation with his girlfriend, as voters say his private life does matter in the race for No 10. The favourite’s lead among Conservative voters has more than halved since the incident in the early hours of Friday morning – and rival Jeremy Hunt has snatched the lead among the wider public. More than half of voters said Mr Johnson’s private life was relevant to his ability to be prime minister and three-quarters said a candidate’s character was relevant to the contest.
Great Britain should not become Little England, Jeremy Hunt said yesterday as he pledged to abandon the tens of thousands target for immigration. The Tory leadership hopeful told the Daily Mail that he would abandon Theresa May‘s flagship pledge to limit the numbers moving to the UK. Calling for flexibility, the Foreign Secretary said Britain could not ‘pull down the shutters’ after leaving the EU and said skilled workers should be prioritised.
Jeremy Hunt insisted he is the PM Nicola Sturgeon ‘fears most’ today – as he took his campaign to Scotland. The Foreign Secretary gamely drank a can of Irn Bru, scoffed chips, visited his 99-year-old great aunt and inspected freshly-caught fish on a trip to Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. The photo opportunities came as Mr Hunt scented an opportunity to gain ground on his rival Boris Johnson, who was recorded having a major bust-up with his girlfriend on Friday that resulted in police being called to his South London home.
Jeremy Hunt, the underdog in the race to be next British prime minister, said he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31 if the EU had not showed it was willing to renegotiate the Brexit deal. “If we got to the 31st of October, and the EU have not shown the willingness to negotiate a better deal … then my judgment is that weighing those difficult options up, the political risk of no Brexit is far worse than the economic risk of no deal,” Hunt said at a leadership hustings event in Birmingham, central England.
Boris Johnson has repeated his determination to deliver Brexit by Halloween, in what will be seen as an attempt to refocus attention away from his private life. The Tory leadership candidate appeared to deliver a retort to his rival to be prime minister as he vowed ‘we are not going to bottle it’ on the EU exit date of October 31. But Jeremy Hunt called on Mr Johnson not to be a ‘coward’ by avoiding a live TV debate with him this week, as he suggested otherwise he would be ‘slinking through the back door’ of Number 10.
The frontrunner to be the new Liberal Democrat leader was branded ‘ridiculous’ last night after claiming the UK is a ‘racist country’. Jo Swinson, the favourite to succeed Sir Vince Cable as Lib Dem party boss, was accused of smearing the entire nation with her ‘absurd’ remark. The Scottish MP, currently the party’s deputy leader, made the comment while raising concerns over challenges faced by black people in public life.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said he is in talks with a number of Tory and Labour MPs about joining his party. Sir Vince said the idea of forming a new centre grouping is now dead and Change UK was a “media bubble”. He told BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour: “There are quite a lot of Tory MPs, some Labour, who were going to make the jump and didn’t but are now realising that their position is becoming impossible and who might well come to us.
Tom Watson has accused Labour bosses of rigging an analysis of the party’s European elections disaster to block a shift to fully backing a fresh Brexit referendum. In an explosive memo, the deputy leader attacked a “series of assertions based on no evidence” that was leaked to the media ahead of a shadow cabinet meeting on the controversy. Mr Watson said most of the document was “an accurate and fact-based reflection of the state-of-play”.
Union members would be overwhelmingly more likely to vote Labour if the party gives them the chance to back remain in a second referendum. A new poll for the People’s Vote campaign found 64% of union members back having a referendum, compared to 33% against. And if there is a new referendum 71% of union members would support staying in the EU, the poll claimed. The YouGov poll of 1,813 trade unionists also found they were more likely to back than abandon Labour if the party backs a ‘People’s Vote’.
Hilary Benn has urged the Labour Party to come out “loud and clear” in support of a second referendum. Speaking at the launch of People’s Vote North, Mr Benn described the Brexit campaign as a “fantasy” and said the UK’s withdrawal has been a “complete and utter mess”. The pro-Remain Labour MP joined celebrities, sports stars and other politicians at a rally at New Dock Hall in Leeds, the first of 15 similar events planned across Britain this summer.
Trade unionists overwhelmingly back a fresh Brexit referendum, a survey has found, as Jeremy Corbyn consults them ahead of a possible shift in Labour policy. Almost two-thirds of union members support a Final Say public vote, it showed – rising to more than three-quarters of those who backed Labour at the last general election. They also want Labour to campaign for the UK to stay in the EU by a three-to-one margin and are three times more likely to vote for a Labour Party fully backing a referendum than deterred from doing so.
The “time has passed” for Labour to be able to get its own Brexit deal and any agreement should go to a vote, shadow cabinet minister Andrew Gwynne says. He said the party “will do everything we can to stop no deal”. But Caroline Flint, one of 26 Labour MPs who have urged Jeremy Corbyn not to call for a second referendum, said she would prefer no deal to no Brexit. She said the number of Labour MPs prepared to back the government’s Brexit deal “will go up” in the future.
JOHN MCDONNELL has pledged to appoint a Bank of England (BoE) Governor “in tune” with the current hard-left Labour Party’s leadership if Jeremy Corbyn wins the next general election. The Shadow Chancellor said he would install a person able to “meet the requirements of what will be a radical Labour Government”, a newly re-surfaced September 2018 interview has revealed. Mr McDonnell told left-wing media organisation Novara Media: “When we move forward what we will want to have is someone in the Bank of England that, yes, is in tune with our ideas, but has the status and the experience of understanding the economy – and there is a range of people out there.
Labour will back measures deterring investment in fossil fuels as part of a new drive to stop the financial sector from funding global heating, John McDonnell will reveal this week. In the latest attempt by Labour to display its green credentials, the shadow chancellor will use a speech in the City on Monday to commit to using the “full might of the Treasury” to tackle the issue. He will commit the party to forcing the private sector into investing in the “green industrial revolution”.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have been challenged to tackle Tory Islamophobia after a shocking poll revealed the extent of anti-Muslim sentiment in the party. Almost half of Tory party members (40%) believe the Government should “lower the number of Muslims entering Britain,” according to the survey. The results of the YouGov poll for Hope Not Hate also show more than two thirds of those questioned (67%) believe the lie that parts of Britain operate under Sharia law.
A BITTER split has opened up inside Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign over personalities and Cabinet jobs, The Sun can reveal. Antagonism has developed between the frontrunner’s newer recruits, campaign chiefs James Wharton and Gavin Williamson, and Boris’s long standing allies from his previous leadership bid in 2016. A feud has also erupted over Cabinet jobs, as a series of his senior MP supporters vie for top posts. The Boris ‘old guard’ who have been with the former London mayor for years include ministers Jake Berry and Ben Wallace, as well as ex-minister Nigel Adams.
REMAIN-BACKING Conservative MPs are being targeted by hardline Brexiteers who have launched a campaign to “deselect the Tory traitors” and make the party more eurosceptic. Former Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has become the latest target of the Blue Wave campaign led by Arron Banks, the businessman who helped fund the Leave.EU campaign, according to a leaked document seen by the Sunday Times. The report shows Mr Gyimah, who is MP for East Surrey, could soon be hit by a no-confidence motion, as a petition circulating among the constituency party members is “very near” to get to 50 signatures, the amount required to trigger a vote.
THREE years to the day since the referendum which saw 17.4 million people vote for Britain to quit the EU, Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice has warned Remainers they will not be able to stem the “tidal wave” of pressure to quit the bloc much longer. Mr Tice, a leading light in the party launched by Nigel Farage in January, was speaking on the anniversary of the historic vote – since when, Britain has conspicuously failed to act on the result.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has slammed the British political establishment for three years of “betrayal” as the country marks the third anniversary of the Brexit vote — still inside the European Union. Mr Farage said the British public had “suffered three major betrayals” at the hands of “the political establishment” in an article for the Sunday Express — and warned that “the worst may be to come”. “We could be facing the biggest betrayal of all if [Members of Parliament] prevent the UK from leaving on the new deadline of October 31,” wrote the veteran campaigner.
A hard border in Ireland can be avoided using existing technology for “invisible” customs checks that would render the controversial backstop “obsolete”, a report backed by Brexiteer MPs will say on Monday. The think tank Prosperity UK believes alternative arrangements to the backstop can be up and running within three years, solving the current deadlock that has prevented a Brexit deal being agreed. It claims that with “goodwill and pragmatism” from all sides, a technology-based plan for avoiding a hard border is already possible, and has the support of Parliament, which backed such an idea in January.
ITALY’S deputy Prime Minister has threatened to quit the government as part of his budget battle with the European Union to push through at least 11 billion euros (39.8 million) in tax cuts. Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini has declared: “Lower taxes or I leave the government”, which has prompted fears this could complicate Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s talks with the European Commission over Italy’s growing debt.
MPs are calling on authorities to reverse a “covert change in policy” on rape cases amid plummeting prosecutions. Only 1.7 per cent of rapes reported to police in England and Wales now result in a charge, and victims have accused authorities of “decriminalising” sex attacks. In a letter seen by The Independent, a cross-party group of MPs called for the attorney general to “immediately reinstate the merits-based approach to charging decisions in rape cases, so that more people can see their assailants brought to justice”.
Criminals in this country have a higher chance of going to jail than anywhere else in western Europe, figures show. The Prison Reform Trust found 140,000 were imprisoned in England and Wales in 2017, 40,000 more than in Germany. Out of every 100,000 people, 238 were jailed in England and Wales compared with 143 in France and 121 in Germany. It comes amid a row between the Government and senior judges over short jail terms. Justice Secretary David Gauke has said judges should be stopped from jailing offenders for fewer than six months because ‘prison isn’t working’.
Thrown into Britain’s toughest women’s jail as a teenager, she twice attempted suicide and is still traumatised two decades on. Her crime was ‘stealing’ £11,500 from the post office where she worked – her first job after leaving school. Tracy Felstead’s horrific story is one of the most harrowing yet to emerge from the High Court trial in which more than 550 former post office workers are suing Post Office Ltd for ruining their lives. They were accused of stealing from their branches, with many jailed as common thieves or made bankrupt. Yet evidence now suggests a computer accounting glitch meant the money was never missing in the first place.
Facebook’s plans to encrypt its services will lead to more children being sexually abused online as its boss Mark Zuckerberg puts profits and secrecy above safety, the head of the NSPCC warns on Monday. Peter Wanless said the company, which has 1.3 billion users, was cynically going ahead with the plans even though it knew they would lead to more children being groomed and sexually abused. “It betrays very obviously their misplaced priorities,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph in advance of Tuesday’s annual NSPCC conference which will focus on online child safety.
A tax on betting companies to pay for the treatment of gambling addicts appears to be moving closer after the head of the NHS said that a voluntary industry levy was not raising enough money. Simon Stevens said that the industry was spending only a fraction on support for problem gamblers that it spent promoting betting. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said that he would do everything he could to help gambling addicts. The Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry, called for a compulsory levy to fund addiction treatments through the health service, replacing the voluntary donations that fund support through the charity Gamble Aware.
Betting firms should fund treatment for Britain’s 55,000 child gambling addicts, the head of the NHS said last night. The first ever specialist clinic for children will open amid warnings that gambling is ‘destroying the mental health of young people’. Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said it was unfair taxpayers were being forced to ‘pick up the huge tab’ for the expansion of services to help addicts. He called for a mandatory levy on betting firms and slammed them for ‘pumping out’ online adverts.