BORIS JOHNSON has been threatened by Tory MPs who said they will quit if he becomes Prime Minister, a Brexiteer has warned. Former foreign secretary, Mr Johnson, is a firm favourite to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party. But Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, has suggested he would quit if Mr Johnson became leader, according to The Sun. Mr Stewart told the BBC: “I would find that difficult if he were campaigning for a No Deal Brexit. Former foreign secretary, Mr Johnson, is a firm favourite to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party. But Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, has suggested he would quit if Mr Johnson became leader, according to The Sun.
Theresa May is scrambling to find legislation to keep MPs busy over the summer so that she can delay a potentially fatal Queen’s Speech until the autumn. The parliamentary session is already on course to be the longest in postwar history but the prime minister lacks the authority to start a new term. Passing a Queen’s Speech is a minimum constitutional requirement of a viable government. Cabinet sources admit that the bill that implements Brexit is the last significant piece of legislation in the locker. Mrs May dare not introduce it, however, as she fears that it will be rejected by MPs, forcing her to end the session.
THERESA May will this week lose 800 councillors in the biggest local election drubbing for the Tories since 1995, a polling guru claims. New forecasts today predicted a “Brexit bloodbath” for the Government on Thursday with voters expected to vent their fury at the chaos in No.10 over Britain’s EU divorce. Pollster Rob Hayward said the Tories could lose one in five councillors on May 2 in the worst night for a Tory government since the dying days of John Major’s time in Downing Street. He told The Sun:
The Conservatives can expect to lose 800 or more seats at the local elections this week, as voters punish Theresa May’s administration for failing to pass a Brexit deal, a leading Conservative analyst has said. In his latest projection for Thursday’s polls, in which more than 8,000 council seats in England are being contested, the Tory peer Robert Hayward suggested his party could lose about 500 to the Liberal Democrats, and 300 to Labour.
The Tories could lose as many as 1,000 seats in this week’s local elections, as the party reportedly faces running out of cash. Party bosses fear they face losing up to a quarter of their 5,521 council seats across the country, according to the Sunday Express. And the party’s chief treasurer is thought to be in “complete despair” because both Remain and Leave-backing donors are holding back their money. The paper reported treasurer Sir Mick Davis saying privately that they had been “deserted by both Remain and Leave donors and therefore I am unable to run CCHQ and ensure we are capable of fighting and winning [elections]”.
The Conservatives could lose more than 800 seats in the upcoming local elections amid grassroots fury over Brexit. Party bosses have admitted they face a “difficult night” at the polls. Election expert and Tory peer Robert Hayward delivered a gloomy set of predictions for Theresa May, warning that delays to Brexit and her decision to stand down as Tory leader have damaged Conservative chances at the ballot box. There are 8,374 seats up for grabs in England – the majority of which are Tory-held – at 33 metropolitan councils, 119 district councils, and 30 unitary authorities.
Don’t believe the hype about a Brexit deal being cooked up by the Tories and Labour – all that means is a very soft and therefore non-existent Brexit. We now have news that Labour and the Tories could be moving towards some sort of so-called ‘soft Brexit’ as they try to get a consensus on a deal that the majority of our parliamentarians could accept. And the Labour shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that her party could sign up to a Brexit deal with the Tories without having a second referendum latched on to the side of it.
EU CHIEF Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the outcome of talks between the Tories and Labour could emerge next week and has hinted Theresa May’s hardline approach could be about to soften. Mr Barnier stressed the cross-party negotiations could not change the 600-page withdrawal deal negotiated between the bloc and the British government. He said: “This week will be very important. We will have the results of negotiations between the Labour Party and the Theresa May’s government.
The Government is still refusing to “move on any of their red lines” in cross-party talks, Labour said today. The Mirror understands Labour and Tory Brexit teams will meet again on Monday, with further meetings expected for later in the week. Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey also hit back at claims from the Conservatives that her side has been stalling, saying “we’re certainly not dragging our heels”.
There appears to be no end to the Brexit deadlock in sight, with Labour again accusing the government of refusing to budge on its red lines in cross-party talks. Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told Sky News there needed to be “hard and fast” progress in the discussions, which will continue this week. She also denied suggestions from the Conservatives that her party was stalling, saying “we’re certainly not dragging our heels”.
Leading Labour activists are warning Jeremy Corbyn that they could boycott the party’s campaign for the European elections unless it backs a confirmatory referendum on Brexit, as pressure mounts on the leadership to support a fresh public vote. The warnings come before a crucial meeting on Tuesday of Labour’s deeply split national executive committee (NEC) at which the wording of the party’s European election manifesto is due to be decided.
Brandon Lewis has refused to say when the Tories’ European election campaign will launch, saying his priority is not to have to fight them at all. The UK is due to elect new MEPs on 23 May, after Brexit was delayed amid continuing parliamentary deadlock. Several parties have launched their campaigns already but Conservative chair Mr Lewis told the BBC his focus was on next week’s local elections.
Labour Party/second referendum
Labour is prepared to sign up to a Brexit deal with the government without the promise of a referendum attached if cross-party talks make significant progress in the coming days, one of the party’s negotiators has said. With talks set to resume on Monday, Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, made clear that if Labour’s Brexit demands were met, she would not expect the party to insist it be put to a public vote.
A number of MEPs for the Labour Party have gone into the European Election campaign openly stating that they want a second referendum. Therese Griffin, a Labour MEP for the North West of England, wrote yesterday: “Clear message on second vote signed by all 3 North West MEPs. Myself Wajid Khan & Julie Ward. Nearly 90 MPs and MEPs demand Labour backs second referendum in Euro Elections.”
Labour’s deputy leader has stepped up calls for his party to promise a referendum on any Brexit deal in its European elections manifesto. Tom Watson urged party members to message Labour’s ruling national executive committee to call for a “confirmatory ballot” pledge. The NEC meets on Tuesday to decide on Labour’s campaign manifesto. But frontbencher Barry Gardiner said a referendum on any Brexit deal would be a change in Labour policy.
Jeremy Corbyn will resist pressure to promise a second referendum on any Brexit deal at a national executive committee (NEC) meeting to sign off Labour’s election manifesto tomorrow. The People’s Vote campaign said last night that it would be delivering an “overall assessment” of whether parties met a test of committing to a second vote before the European parliament poll due to take place on May 23. Labour sources said that the NEC could not agree new policy and would simply endorse the existing conference position that a second vote should remain “on the table”.
Labour could sign up to a Brexit deal without a fresh referendum attached if the government makes significant concessions in the ongoing talks, the shadow business secretary has suggested. In a blow to pro-EU supporters, Rebecca Long-Bailey said the party was not “hugely prescriptive” on its terms, when asked if the inclusion of a public vote was a “red line” for Labour in the negotiations.
Germany faces a growing risk of violence from extremists operating outside known Nazi or racist organisations, according to the domestic security agency. The loose and diverse far-right scene includes police and army officers who primarily plot on the internet via messenger services, a secret report by the German equivalent of MI5 has said. Most plots centred on carrying out “improvised explosives attacks” but surveillance had also found evidence of right-wing extremists preparing for a “civil war scenario” by training with firearms.
Spanish Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez earned his first general election win on Sunday, despite the emergence of a hard-Right party that capitalised on many Spaniards’ fury with the government’s attempt to find common ground with the breakaway region of Catalonia. On high turnout of close to 76 per cent, the Socialist party (PSOE) claimed victory for the first time since 2008 with 123 seats out of 350, although a delicately hung parliament means that forming a government will involve complex negotiations with other forces from the Left and regional parties.
The party that had dominated conservative politics for decades in Spain suffered an unprecedented debacle in national elections Sunday, with the eruption of an ultra-nationalist party causing a seismic shift in the nation’s political right. The Popular Party lost more than half its support from elections just three years earlier as disenchanted voters flocked to conservative rivals outflanking it on both the left and right.
Initial results of Spain’s national elections are in and the Socialists have won the most votes while the right-populist Vox party is to enter the national parliament for the first time. With more than 90 per cent of the votes counted, Spanish government spokesman Isabel Celáa announced the final turnout and provisional results, with the the party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, gaining 28.8 per cent of the vote, reports El País.
The far-right Vox party has won 24 seats in the Spanish parliament after the collapse of the centre right in yesterday’s general election. It marks the first time the far right has been represented in parliament since the death of General Franco in 1975. The ruling Socialist Party won by far the largest share of the vote, securing 123 seats, and could build a coalition for the first time with the far-left Podemos, which won 42 seats.
Yesterday’s General Election in Spain saw the socialists come out on top, though they failed to secure a majority. Their Leader and Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has pledged to consider talks with other parties to form a new government who align with his own party’s outlook. The socialists received around 28% of the vote compared to 16% for the centre-right People’s Party who collapsed from 137 to 66 seats.
Over-50s could be forced to pay more than £300 a year extra National Insurance to help fund a fairer social care system under plans drawn up by senior Tory Damian Green. The former Cabinet minister argues that the care system should adopt the model of the state pension, with everyone entitled to a basic “safety net” of support, but individuals are encouraged to top up this provision from their own savings or housing wealth.
Social care provision should be modelled on the state pension, with taxpayers funding a flat-rate “universal care entitlement”, which patients could supplement from their own funds, according to former Conservative cabinet minister Damian Green. In a report published by free market thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies, Green argues that current social care provision is patchy and inadequate, and the government should be spending an additional £2.5bn on it each year.
Over-50s could be forced to pay more than £300 a year extra National Insurance to help fund a “fairer” social care system under plans by the Conservatives. Tory MP Damian Green, who was in charge of drawing up a green paper on social care for England while he was in government, wants the care system to adopt a similar model to the state pension. Everyone would be entitled to a basic “safety net” of support, but individuals would be encouraged to top up this provision from their own savings or housing wealth.
Over-50s could be forced to pay £300 extra on their National Insurance to help fund social care, Theresa May‘s former deputy has proposed in a new report. As well as the surcharge, Tory MP Damian Green said pensioners must consider giving up some of their housing wealth if they want top-quality care in old age. He called for a radical overhaul of England’s broken social care system to run it along the same lines as pensions.
Tax rises should be introduced to fund a system that provides a standard level of social care for all elderly people in England in the same way as the basic state pension, a senior Conservative has said. The Tory MP and former minister Damian Green added that older people should be encouraged to top up their care by paying for additional elements. In a report for the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, Mr Green calculated that introducing a free entitlement to basic care at home or in a residential home would cost about £2.5 billion extra a year.
People over the age of 50 could be forced to pay more than £300 more in national insurance each year in to fund social care, under plans that have been branded a tax on getting old by Labour. Senior Tory MP Damian Green has proposed a major shake-up to funding for care, arguing that it should follow the state pension model where everyone is entitled to basic support but individuals top up the pot through their own savings. The former cabinet minister, who was given the task of drawing up the long-awaited green paper on social care for England when he was in government, suggested a 1 per cent rise in national insurance for the over 50s as a last resort to fill the £2.75bn funding gap in the system.
A Church of England diocese “turned a blind eye” to child abuse cases that were not referred to the police until decades later, an investigation has found. Fifty-three clergy and staff at Lincoln diocese were reported to police in 2015 for alleged wrongdoing including abuse. Some names could have been referred years earlier under a Church of England review that examined thousands of records in 2008 and 2009 to see if abuse cases had slipped through the net. Some on the list were accused of child abuse, according to a BBC Panorama investigation to be broadcast tonight.
Rape victims will be forced to hand over their mobile phones to police or risk their attacker walking free under a controversial new policy being introduced by prosecutors. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have revealed plans which aim to stop sexual offence cases collapsing because crucial evidence emerges at the last moment. But the new policy has already attracted criticism, with privacy and women’s campaign groups saying it treats victims like suspects, subjecting them to a “digital strip search” and deterring them from coming forward.
RAPE victims are being told they must hand their mobiles to cops or risk their suspected attacker dodging prosecution. Consent forms allowing officers to access messages, photos, emails and social media have been introduced at all 43 forces in England and Wales. Prosecutors say phones will be looked at only for a “reasonable line of inquiry”. But Big Brother Watch likened it to it “digital strip searches” and said “treating rape victims like suspects” could deter people from reporting crimes.
Rape victims are being told they must hand over their mobile phones to police or risk prosecutions against their attackers not going ahead. Consent forms, which ask permission to access messages, photographs, emails and social media accounts, have been rolled out across the 43 forces in England and Wales. The move is part of the response to the disclosure scandal, which rocked confidence in the criminal justice system when a string of rape and serious sexual assault cases collapsed after crucial evidence emerged at the last minute.
Rape victims are being told that they must give police full access to all messages and photographs stored on their mobile phones or risk cases against their attackers being dropped. Two women are planning a legal challenge to new forms that those reporting rape are required to sign allowing information to be seized from their phones, computers and smart watches. Campaign groups say that victims are being deterred from coming forward because they fear their personal details could be handed over to their attackers and their sexual history used against them in court.
MI5 is investigating Isis plans to carry out a new wave of attacks across the UK and Europe using ‘crocodile cells’ made up of sleeper operatives. It comes amid revelations that a ringleader of Sri Lanka’s Easter massacre was ‘mentored’ by a group of notorious British Isis fighters, including the killer known as Jihadi John, when travelling to Syria to prepare for the attacks.
BRITAIN’S war on terror could be crippled if Ministers cave into MPs and accept a new controversial definition of islamophobia, an ex-terror tsar warns. Lord Carlile said the form of words describing Islamophobia as a ‘type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness’ would hamper efforts to stop and search extremists at ports and returning ISIS fighters. The peer said it would hold back the evolution of counter-terror law and instead see measures to stop terrorists declared “unlawful”.