An explosive internal memo suggesting Theresa May will be forced to “stand down soon after March 2019” and detailing the pros and cons of her potential successors has been leaked to The Telegraph. The excruciating dossier is being widely circulated among Tory MPs analysing the leadership prospects of her cabinet colleagues and other contenders including leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The Prime Minister could be forced to stand down after Brexit according to a memo circulating among Tory MPs, it was claimed last night. The document also assesses who Theresa May’s likely successor will be and rates their chances. It will be seen as a sign of how widely the leadership issue is being discussed among Conservative MPs. The document is based on the assumption that the 1922 Committee of senior backbench Tories will ‘invite the PM to stand-down soon(ish) after March 2019’.
THERESA May’s political future may be in jeopardy after a leaked internal memo revealed Conservative MPs may be plotting her demise and already lining up potential successors. The dossier, which is being widely circulated by Tory MPs, suggests the backbench 1922 Committee may invite Mrs May to stand down “soon after March 2019”. The document was written in April, but was recently re-circulated among Tory MPs as tension mounts over the looming Brexit deadline.
Theresa May last night warned EU leaders that Britain is ready to walk away without a deal unless they reach a ‘workable’ agreement on Brexit in the next two months. In a blunt ultimatum, the Prime Minister ruled out any delay to Britain’s departure from the EU in March – and said there were no circumstances in which she would consider a second referendum. Mrs May also rejected the EU’s latest proposals for resolving the Northern Ireland border issue, warning leaders that they would break up the UK.
THERESA May on Wednesday night warned EU leaders that she will walk away from the Brexit negotiations unless a deal is concluded within the next two months. In an ultimatum at a summit in Austria, the Prime Minister insisted that extending the deadlocked talks beyond November was “not an option”. And she flatly rejected a fresh proposal from Brussels to try to resolve the row over the Irish border as “not credible”.
Theresa May has tried to rally EU leaders for a divorce deal to tackle the “uniquely complex situation” of Brexit. Over a private dinner in Salzburg, the prime minister announced hopes for a “shared close future” but warned “we never said Brexit would be easy”. Her comments came hours after Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab threatened to undermine the Chequers proposal by admitting it was “not perfect”. A new summit is expected to be set up for November, as the deadline for a deal by the end of autumn looms.
Theresa May has said the EU must “evolve” its stance on the Irish border as she seeks to persuade fellow leaders about the viability of her Brexit plan. The PM is using a dinner in Salzburg to make the case for her controversial Chequers strategy for future relations. Before the event, she said it was the only credible plan to allay concerns on the Irish border and trade disruption. Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is hosting the event, said both sides needed to make compromises. The UK and EU both want to avoid a hard border – meaning any physical infrastructure like cameras or guard posts – between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but can’t agree on how.
Theresa May is set to make a major new compromise in Brexit talks in a bid to break the deadlock over the Irish border problem. Under proposals to be brought forward by the UK government, Britain is expected to accept some checks taking place between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The plans are likely to spark angry reaction from Brexiteers and the DUP, on whom the PM relies for a Commons majority, who have said that they will not accept any checks or different treatment for Northern Ireland.
A REVISED Irish border plan put forward by the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator has been condemned as “unacceptable” by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in a huge blow to Brussels. Michel Barnier said yesterday that he was ready to improve the trading block’s proposal for an “insurance policy” backstop arrangement on how to manage the border between the Republic of Ireland – which will stay in the EU after Brexit – and Northern Ireland. The measure would avoid his previous much-maligned idea of creating a physical customs border on the Irish Sea – which would mean Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the UK.
The “deep state” may be working to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister, one of his senior advisers has claimed. Andrew Murray, 60, a former communist who has worked for Mr Corbyn since February, said that the “manoeuvrings” of the security services could be behind recent revelations that he has yet to pass parliament’s strict security vetting and that he has been banned from Ukraine. “The establishment at home and abroad deplore Labour’s approach to foreign policy more than anything else,” he wrote in the New Statesman.
Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots supporters and trade union allies have split over a series of changes to Labour Party rules. Momentum, the pro-Corbyn activist group, is campaigning for rules designed to lock in place a left-wing leader and give members the biggest say over the party’s future. Some of the ideas came to a head at a meeting of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday, when several of the proposals were frustrated by trade union representatives, who are usually supportive of Mr Corbyn.
One of Theresa May’s most loyal allies has said her Chequers plan is “dead as a dodo” as he accused the Prime Minister of trying to “blackmail” her own MPs into supporting it. Former minister Sir Mike Penning, who helped to orchestrate her 2016 leadership campaign, said Mrs May was “deluded” if she thought she could persuade Tory Eurosceptics to vote in favour of any Brexit deal based on Chequers. It came as a secret memo circulated among Tory Mps suggesting backbenchers will force Mrs May from office in April, as soon as Britain has formally left the EU.
A former Home Office minister became the latest senior Tory backbencher to pledge to oppose a Chequers-style Brexit deal last night. Sir Mike Penning, a veteran Eurosceptic who served alongside Theresa May at the Home Office as her policing minister, urged her to abandon efforts to push the compromise deal through parliament. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Sir Mike said that Chequers was as “dead as a dodo”. He said Mrs May had no chance of matching Sir John Major’s feat in wearing down Conservative opposition to the Maastricht treaty: “They are not going to be able to peel off people in the numbers they did in Maastricht. She has to wake up and smell the coffee.
One of Theresa May’s allies in politics, Conservative MP Sir Mike Penning, has savaged the PM’s EU plan, insisting that “whoever is advising her that she can get Chequers through Parliament is deluded”. In an interview with The Telegraph, Sir Mike spoke out and said that “She is playing a game of Russian Roulette with the country which is frankly an insult to the referendum result and to all those people who voted;” “She’s driving MPs like me to the ERG, because they are the only ones actually representing Conservative MPs and their constituents;”
THE NUMBER of illegal migrants in the UK is rising by 70,000 a year, a new report has revealed. The revelation by Migration Watch has fuelled concerns that immigration in Britain is out of control despite hopes that Brexit will bring numbers down. Migration Watch UK said its analysis points to a gross annual addition of nearly 105,000 visa overstayers, clandestine arrivals and failed asylum seekers. Taking into account an average of just over 35,000 departures a year, this works out at a net growth of nearly 70,000, according to the campaign body.
Theresa May told EU leaders last night that she would never countenance calling a second Brexit referendum as she warned them that they had a choice between her proposals and a mutually damaging hard Brexit. In a short address over dinner at the Salzburg summit the prime minister called on the EU 27 to “respond in kind” to the “serious and workable proposal” she had put forward in the Chequers white paper. She warned that if agreement could not be reached she would not ask for an extension to the Article 50 process or go back to the public in a second vote.
Theresa May says the Conservative government will not permit a second referendum on Brexit. Speaking outside the informal summit in Salzburg, Mrs May explained how the British public would not be allowed to vote again on the country’s relationship with European Union, despite growing calls for another referendum. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is a vocal critic of Brexit process and this weekend said the final deal should be referred to the public to vote on. “There are prominent Labour members like the Mayor of London who are now trying to take us back to square one and are backing a second referendum and postponing the Brexit day.
Michel Barnier has rebuffed British calls for the European Union to soften its stance on the contested issue of the Irish border and said a “moment of truth” was fast approaching on a Brexit deal. May will appeal directly to EU leaders at a summit in Salzburg to soften their stance over UK access to the single market and customs union. She is expected to tell them on Wednesday night that Brussels needs to shift.
EU chief Donald Tusk steamrollered Theresa May’s Brexit plan today hours before she arrived at a crunch summit with fellow leaders in Salzburg. The European Council President said key parts of her Chequers blueprint need to be “reworked and further negotiated”. It is a hammerblow to Mrs May after she said it was the EU’s turn to compromise, writing in a German newspaper: “Neither side can demand something completely unacceptable from the other.”
European leaders were divided last night before a critical meeting that will determine the future of Theresa May’s Brexit plans. Some EU countries are pressing for the leaders to engage with British proposals, which they see as a “positive” step towards reaching a deal. This group, which is led by the Netherlands and Belgium and backed by Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, is being challenged by the European Commission and the leaders of France and Germany, who are said to be unwilling to make the concessions demanded by the British.
The European Union (EU) wants to make the Brexit divorce settlement unchangeable, meaning a future government would be stuck with Theresa May’s “soft” Brexit and many of the bloc’s rules if the Prime Minister gets her way. According to confidential diplomatic notes, seen by The Times, Brussels is planning to demand that Mrs May make “credible” assurances that any deal will not be altered or improved by her successor. The news comes after Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, said over the weekend that an independent UK and its elected future leader could “choose to alter” the nation’s relationship with the Brussels bloc after Brexit.
Theresa May has tried to threaten EU leaders over dinner at a special summit in Salzburg by telling them the UK would not seek to delay Brexit, prompting European leaders to warn that the two sides remained far apart on trade and the Irish border despite months of negotiations. The prime minister told her counterparts “that the UK will leave on 29 March next year” and as a result “the onus is now on all of us to get this deal done” by the end of an emergency summit that the EU confirmed would happen in mid-November. It was the first time since Chequers that May has had a chance to address the EU’s other 27 heads of government.
Theresa May says EU plans for the Irish border after Brexit remain “totally unacceptable”, putting the two sides on a collision course ahead of crucial talks in Austria. Ahead of arriving in Salzburg, the prime appeared to dismiss a new EU offer, which Brussels hoped would “de-dramatise” the border issue and pave the way for an agreement. The EU has promised “improved” proposals for its “backstop” to effectively keep Northern Ireland in the single market and customs union, if that is necessary to avoid a hard land border. Checks on goods travelling between Britain and Northern Ireland would be carried out away from ports, to ensure the Irish Sea “is not a border”, said Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.
Conservative MPs are preparing to rebel against the government over its proposal to allow fracking companies to carry out exploratory drilling without planning permission. About 20 Conservative MPs are expected to vote against the proposal, which is subject to a public consultation, if ministers decide to try to push it through parliament next year. Labour has pledged to ban fracking and the government has a working majority of only 13. Cuadrilla is preparing to start the first fracking in the UK since the process of forcing water, sand and chemicals down a well to fracture rock was temporarily banned in 2011 after the company caused minor earthquakes near Blackpool.
Right-wingers have been slammed after publicly plotting to open up the NHS to competition from US firms after Brexit. The idea is included in a 239-page report by the Initiative for Free Trade – a think tank backed by hard Brexiteers and launched by Boris Johnson in the Foreign Office map room. Spelling out an ‘ideal’ trade deal between the US and UK, the report says there should be “zero restrictions on competition for government procurement”. An executive summary of the report explains: “Health services are an area where both sides would benefit from openness to foreign competition, although we recognize any changes to existing regulations will be extremely controversial.
A HIGH-speed hose that speeds up prostate treatment has been approved by the NHS. It shoots a saline solution guided by a robot into the prostate in minutes rather than the patient having to spend a night in hospital. Millions of older men commonly struggle with a condition known as benign prostate hypertrophy — causing problems with urinating. The prostate gland becomes enlarged and presses on the tube that takes urine from the bladder.
Think of a drug addict and I’m pretty sure the image in your mind wouldn’t be a well-groomed mother of two in a smart house in the suburbs. You’re also unlikely to think of someone whose addiction was effectively fed for years by her own Gps. But Nicki Hari fell victim to a silent epidemic in the UK: a growing addiction to prescription painkillers, strong opioids whose names are familiar to all of us. Tramadol, co-codamol, fentanyl and a host of others. Over the past decade in Britain, prescriptions for these drugs have gone through the roof – up 80% in England alone. We’re now among the biggest consumers of opioids in Europe.
Polling conducted in constituencies and on Eurosceptic issues of “potential strategic significance” to Ukip did not breach UK donation rules, an investigation has found. The Electoral Commission said the research could have benefited the party but did not conclude it was done to help Ukip or that the party received any of the results. The watchdog therefore ruled the polling was not a donation to Ukip under UK political finance rules, adding it would re-examine the issue should new evidence come to light.
The train timetable fiasco this summer could happen again because of the “systemic” failings at the heart of Britain’s railways, an inquiry has concluded. “Nobody took charge” of the biggest overhaul of the national rail timetable, which led to the cancellation of almost 800 services a day, according to a review being published today. Train company bosses knew before the change in May that services would be disrupted but “did not properly warn passengers”, leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded on platforms, the report said.
Passengers are routinely being failed by a chaotic rail industry, a damning official report concludes today. Bosses, ministers and regulators are all blamed for the thousands of cancellations and delays that followed the release of a new timetable in May. The rail watchdog’s report said the debacle highlighted systemic weaknesses, poor leadership and a lack of accountability. ‘It was unclear who was responsible for what,’ it said. ‘Nobody took charge.
Leaseholders will be able to buy the freehold of their property more easily under plans for an overhaul of what is seen as a stressful and costly system of home ownership. At present a leaseholder must wait two years before buying the freehold and can extend the lease only once, by 50 years and at high cost. But under plans being announced today by the Law Commission, the minimum period would be scrapped and leaseholders could extend for longer, as many times as they wanted and more cheaply.
THE NHS will next month become the first health service in the world to routinely offer genetic testing. The Genomic Medicine Service will initially be used for patients with certain types of cancer and rare diseases. It will aid early diagnosis and preventative care — the “holy grail of the future health system” — according to England’s chief scientific officer. Professor Dame Sue Hill also boasted it marks a shift away from “one size fits all medicine”. She told a briefing in London: “Genomic medicine has the potential to transform patients’ lives, enable quicker diagnoses, match people to the most effective treatments and increase the number of patients surviving cancer.
A DEVASTATING solar storm could wipe out communications on Earth – it has been warned. The Met Office’s Space Weather Monitoring centre has made the shock prediction and said solar storms – high-speed streams of radioactive particles launched from the sun – pose a threat to national infrastructure, UK industry and the wider public. These potentially devastating space storms are the focus of a new European Space Agency satellite dubbed the Solar Orbiter – a mission part-funded by the UK Space Agency.