Brandon Lewis, the Conservative Party Chairman, has told Tory MEP candidates standing for election next week they have no chance of winning a seat, The Telegraph can disclose. In a sign that the Tories are braced for an electoral wipeout in the European elections on May 23, Mr Lewis has told the party’s candidates that if “you are not an MEP already you aren’t winning”. Mr Lewis recently told Conservative candidates at the party’s central office that the “chances of somebody further down the list getting elected are pretty slim”. Having refused to launch a national campaign amid a widespread backlash over the delay to Brexit, the Tories are on course to plummet to fourth place next week, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party set to top the polls.
The Conservative Party has resigned itself to losing out in the EU elections with its chairman warning candidates they won’t win. Brandon Lewis is said to have told Tory MEP candidates at a meeting at the party’s central office last week if “you are not an MEP already you aren’t winning”. And according to The Telegraph he pointed out the “chances of somebody further down the list getting elected are pretty slim”. Polls are predicting the Tory party will come fourth in the election on 23 May with the Brexit Party taking the biggest share of the votes.
A row has broken out after a university cancelled a European elections hustings due to be attended by a Ukip candidate under police investigation for speculating whether he would rape the MP Jess Phillips. Carl Benjamin had been expected to attend the event organised by the debating society at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) on Friday but there had been growing calls for him to be banned from the debate and promises of protests.
A European parliament election hustings where Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin was expected to appear has been cancelled over safety fears. The “high-risk” event was due to be held at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol on Friday, but was cancelled on the advice of police and campus security staff. Mr Benjamin, also known by his online moniker Sargon of Akkad, is standing as an MEP candidate in the southwest region.
The Government yesterday evening announced that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will return to the Commons on the week beginning 3rd June – with or without an agreed deal with Labour. The announcement came after more talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn that Number 10 described as “useful and constructive” but that failed to produce a breakthrough moment. Talks continue tomorrow, with Labour less hopeful than Number 10 of reaching a stable majority…
Theresa May’s Brexit deal and her leadership looked dead in the water today after politicians lined up to say they would crush a final attempt to secure her legacy before leaving office. Labour, the Prime Minister’s allies in the Democratic Unionist Party and even her own backbenchers indicated that they would oppose her desperate attempt to get the plan agreed with Brussels past MPs at the fourth attempt. Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay warned this morning that failure to pass the package this time would leave it ‘dead’ – and mean a binary choice between a No Deal Brexit or not leaving at all.
Labour has failed to rule out abstaining on Theresa May’s Brexit deal when it comes back to the House of Commons, handing the PM a potential lifeline in next month’s make-or-break vote. After face-to-face talks on Tuesday night, Jeremy Corbyn made clear that Labour will not support the bill without significant further concessions. With eurosceptic Conservatives and Northern Irish Unionists denouncing the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as unacceptable, Labour abstentions look set to be Ms May’s only hope of ratifying Brexit before the summer.
Apparently undeterred by having her so-called withdrawal agreement voted down by Parliament three times in various guises, Prime Minister Theresa May is to attempt pushing it through a fourth time next month. Prime Minister Theresa May’s officials at her Downing Street office announced Tuesday that a new vote would come on the week of June 3rd, and would give Members of Parliament a fourth chance to vote the way she wants them to, ratifying a withdrawal agreement she was given by the European Union.
Theresa May’s Brexit deal is “dead” if MPs reject it again next month, the Brexit Secretary has admitted. Stephen Barclay indicated June’s vote would be the “last chance saloon” for Theresa May’s withdrawal bill. And it would leave MPs to decide between a no-deal Brexit and revoking Article 50. It comes after Number 10 revealed plans to bring Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement back to the commons in early June. Mr Barclay told the Lords EU committee: “I think if the House of Commons does not approve the WAB then the Barnier deal is dead in that form.
Brexit-supporting rebels in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party said on Wednesday they would vote down her European Union divorce deal when she brings it back to parliament next month. Britain had been due to leave the EU on March 29 but parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement May struck with Brussels.
BREXITEER Tory MPs claim Theresa May is on course for another catastrophic three figure defeat on her EU deal. Losing the new make or break Commons showdown – set for two weeks time – would be the PM’s fourth drubbing a row and end her Premiership. One senior Eurosceptic Tory MP claimed “dozens” like him who had reluctantly backed Mrs May’s agreement with Brussels in earlier votes now plan to switch back again, as anger boils over about her decision to try to do a deal with Labour.
The vote on the withdrawal agreement bill will be make or break for Theresa May’s future as prime minister, Downing Street has indicated, as a member of her cabinet said defeat could also kill off the deal entirely. No 10 said the key piece of Brexit legislation would be voted on in the week beginning 3 June, and talks with Labour would continue in the meantime. May is set for a tense meeting on Thursday morning with the 1922 Committee executive.
The DUP’s Westminster Leader, Nigel Dodds, has warned that it is “highly likely” Theresa May’s deal will be rejected for a fourth time unless something major has changed on the hated backstop. After the government confirmed that they wold try and get May’s Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament for a fourth time, the DUP put out a statement from Dodds. “If the Prime Minister brings the Withdrawal Bill to the Commons for a vote the question will be ‘what has changed?’
Theresa May will be forced from office within a month if she does not set out a timetable for her departure when she meets senior backbench MPs on Thursday. The Prime Minister will be told she faces the prospect of a confidence vote of her own MPs on June 12 if she does not agree to quit before the summer. Mrs May has already promised to stand down once Britain has formally left the EU, but the executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories will tell her on Thursday that she must agree to resign regardless of whether her Brexit deal is passed by Parliament.
Senior Conservatives will today tell the prime minister to set a firm date to step down rather than being forced out by her own MPs. Theresa May is holding talks with members of the executive of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories, as the clamour for a change in party rules to enable a leadership challenge grows. At the moment no one can stand against her until December.
THERESA May will today make a heart-felt plea to senior Tories to give her one last chance to “deliver Brexit” before quitting Downing Street this summer. The Prime Minister faces a crunch showdown with the ruling body of Conservative backbenchers, who are demanding she spells out a clear timetable for her departure. And she is expected to buy herself a fourth Commons vote on her Brexit deal next month by admitting it will be her final attempt to break the parliamentary deadlock.
Theresa May announced last night she would be bringing forward the withdrawal agreement bill in the week beginning 3 June. What this means is that she will probably survive as prime minister for another few weeks. She seems certain to last longer in office than Gordon Brown – she will overtake him on 30 May. Trying to pass the bill is a way of doing Brexit backwards.
FOUR Welsh assembly members (AMs) have sensationally joined the Brexit Party “with immediate effect” to give Nigel Farage’s party their first political representation at a national level. The Conservatives’ Mark Reckless, and Ukip’s David Rowlands have joined up with independents Mandy Jones and Caroline Jones to form the group in the Welsh Assembly. In a letter the four AMs said: “We wish to form a Brexit Party political group, with immediate effect.
Guido sources tell him that the Brexit Party has today passed its goal of 100,000 people having signed up as registered supporters of the party, paying £25 each. That’s £2,500,000 raised in small donations in the course of just four weeks since the party launched. Expect the 100,000 members figure to be officially confirmed later today. Meanwhile Change UK have refused to reveal any information about donations they have received over the last two months…
MEDDLING members of the House of Lords have been accused of trying to strip Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party of their rights to Parliamentary passes if they win the European elections. Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-EU party expected to come out on top in the May 23 elections, has accused peers of being “scared” of Brexiteer MEPs “contaminating” the House. The attack comes after House of Lords officials have put forward proposals to strip away MEPs privileged access to Westminster, including exclusive facilities.
A new poll from YouGov has revealed that the public view the Conservatives and Labour as having the least clear policies on Brexit. Just 13% of people think Labour has a clear policy on the UK’s exit from the European Union and the Conservatives aren’t far behind on just 17%. Pretty terrible given their are EU Elections next week. It is the Brexit Party deemed to have the most clear stance by 59% of the public, with UKIP next on 48%, the Greens on 34% and the anti-Brexit Change UK also way behind on 31%.
Jeremy Corbyn is coming under pressure to rule out Labour MPs abstaining in a crunch Brexit vote, after the minister in charge of EU withdrawal said defeat could kill off Theresa May’s plan altogether. Supporters of a Final Say referendum have accused the Labour leader of offering a lifeline to the prime minister as she prepares her fourth attempt to force the plan through parliament. Meanwhile, Ms May is expected to resist demands to set out a timetable for her departure as PM as she meets Tory grandees who have called for “clarity” on her intentions.
Labour has vowed to take the UK’s electricity system into public ownership as part of new plans designed to cut the UK’s carbon emissions and slash fuel bills. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, said taking the National Grid out of the hands of private shareholders would help “decarbonise” the economy and end fuel poverty. Under the proposals, heat and electricity would be treated as a basic human right, and control of the grid handed to new public agencies that would also be tasked with helping to tackle climate change.
Labour wants to nationalise the National Grid and install solar panels on nearly two million homes, Jeremy Corbyn will announce today. In a radical plan, the Labour leader says low-income households would benefit from the changes, which could see millions lifted out of fuel poverty. But the Conservatives have criticised the idea, saying it could cost more than £100bn to nationalise the grid and saddle the taxpayer with huge debts.
High court action
The leader of the English Democrats has said he is ‘very confident’ of proving that Britain has already left the EU – despite government claims that his case is ‘hopeless’. Robin Tilbrook said his movement had raised £58,000 for the High Court battle and enjoyed an ‘upsurge of people joining our party’. The pro-Brexit campaigner vowed to press ahead with the legal challenge despite government lawyers calling his case ‘totally without merit’ and trying to have it thrown out. He said officials were just as dismissive of the Gina Miller case in 2016 – a case which she went on to win.
Justice Secretary David Gauke has renationalised probation – tearing up ‘irredeemably flawed’ reforms after five years of controversy. Supervision of around 200,000 low and medium-risk offenders will be removed from part-private companies and taken over by the National Probation Service. Changes will take place when the current contracts end in December 2020. From then, private sector companies will provide £280million of treatment programmes and other help to criminals.
Supervision of all offenders in England and Wales is to be taken over by the government after serious failings with the part-privatisation of the system. Contracts with community rehabilitation companies, which monitor low and medium risk offenders, will not be renewed. The National Probation Service – which manages those posing the highest threat – will take over in December 2020. It reverses changes made five years ago by then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to drive down re-offending.
The supervision of all offenders in the community is to be undertaken by the state in a major renationalisation of the probation sector, just five years after Chris Grayling introduced a widely derided programme of privatisation while justice secretary. Under his disastrous shake-up in 2014, the probation sector was separated into a public sector organisation managing high-risk criminals and 21 private companies responsible for the supervision of 150,000 low- to medium-risk offenders.
The British military was engaged in a public clash with the Pentagon yesterday over claims by Washington about the “imminent” threat posed by Iran. The Ministry of Defence backed a senior officer who dismissed warnings from the Pentagon that Iranian-linked groups were preparing to launch attacks against western targets in the Middle East. The Trump administration has rushed military assets to the Gulf, including an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers, in response to what it said were credible threats from Iranian forces.
Cancer could become a long-term “manageable” condition thanks to a new generation of “anti-evolution” drugs, Britain’s leading research body has said. The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) is to radically shift its approach towards one of enabling patients with the disease live longer, better quality lives, the body announced yesterday. While continuing to search for drugs capable of eradicating cancer, the organisation is launching a £90 million centre aimed specifically at suppressing cancer by preventing cells from becoming resistant to treatment.
A treatment revolution that could reduce cancer from a killer disease to a chronic condition is announced by British scientists today. They will develop new drugs under a £75million programme that is the ‘best chance yet’ of beating the illness. Instead of ‘shock and awe’ chemotherapy, with its cruel side effects, they will target ways of stopping cancer cells resisting treatment.
CANCER could be “cured” within a decade, top UK scientists claim. They say new drugs will keep tumours in check and stop them being fatal. Prof Paul Workman, of London’s Institute of Cancer Research, said its world-leading work would “make cancer a manageable disease”. The new drugs will allow cancer to be “effectively cured” and managed as a long-term illness like HIV or asthma within a decade, experts believe.
Women aged over 50 can cut their risk of dying from breast cancer by a fifth by eating smaller portions of meat and having one extra serving of fruit and vegetables a day, the first trial of its kind has shown. The two-decade study of 49,000 women found that even a slightly healthier diet could make a dramatic difference to a woman’s risk of suffering fatal breast cancer.
The BBC has this afternoon come under fire by influential MPs, condemning the organisation for giving a one sided advertising boost to a U.S. owned left-wing news website for an entire day. Former Digital Minister Ed Vaizy has thrown the BBC’s judgement into question: “It seems very odd for the BBC to be partnering with any news organisation at all, given their role in providing impartial news.
HS2 should consider slowing the speed of its trains to save money or risk only completing half the line, peers have warned, as they called for a major rethink of the Government’s flagship transport project. A report published on Thursday also suggests looking at scrapping plans for HS2 to terminate in central London and cut costs by switching to a west London site on the outskirts of the city. The influential House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee said it was “far from convinced” the £56billion HS2 would be delivered on budget amid growing concerns it could run out of money.
Trains running on the HS2 line should operate at lower speeds and terminate outside central London because the project’s costs are out of control, according to peers. The House of Lords economic affairs committee says in a report today that it is far from convinced that the programme can be delivered within its £56 billion budget and that a “major rethink” is required. The cross-party committee calls on the government to carry out a full-scale assessment of the project, which will create a Y-shaped network connecting London, Birmingham and the north of England.
The case for spending £56billion on HS2 has been skewered by a panel of economic heavyweights including two former chancellors. They said ministers had failed to make a compelling argument for the country’s biggest ever infrastructure project more than a decade after it was conceived. Concluding that the North was being ‘short-changed’, the House of Lords’ economic affairs committee said the ‘main beneficiaries’ will be London commuters travelling to nearby Milton Keynes.