The UK’s Electoral Commission has responded to a widespread conspiracy theory about using pens in the European elections. Some have claimed that voters must use ink for their vote to count. Using a standard pencil will allow biased people at the count will be able to erase the mark from the box and change the vote so that it has been cast for somebody else. The story gained particular traction around the Brexit referendum, when Leave supporters were urged to take pens with them to ensure their votes could not be tampered with. There has never been any documented case of such an event taking place.
THE EUROPEAN elections will begin on Thursday, with UK polling stations opening at 7am. But why do we use pencils to vote and can you use a pen? The 2019 European elections start tomorrow with eligible voters in the UK and the Netherlands to be the first to cast their votes. The elections will see all 28 EU member states elect their respective country’s representatives to the European Parliament.
Prime Minister Theresa May was under intense pressure to name a date for her departure after her final Brexit gambit failed, overshadowing a European election that will show a United Kingdom still riven by divisions over its EU divorce. The labyrinthine Brexit has stunned allies and foes alike, and with deadlock in London, the world’s fifth largest economy faces an array of options including an orderly exit with a deal, a no-deal exit, an election or a second referendum.
Theresa May is being encouraged by her Party to quit within days after her Cabinet and backbenchers launched simultaneous plots to force her resignation. Cabinet sources have speculated that Mrs May could announce her departure in a “podium moment” outside Downing Street on Monday, following what is expected to be a disastrous set of European election results for the Tories.
Theresa May is expected to announce her departure from No 10 tomorrow after a cabinet mutiny over her Brexit plan. The prime minister defied an attempt to force her from office last night, insisting that she would spend today campaigning in the European elections. Her allies believe, however, that she will declare that she is leaving after a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee.
Theresa May is tonight at the centre of a major political crisis as one of her main rivals quit the Government over her latest Brexit deal. Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom dramatically resigned from the Cabinet at the end of a day in which the Prime Minister was given 48-hours to save her leadership of the Conservative Party amid open mutiny. The move by Brexiteer Mrs Leadsom, who challenged Mrs May for the leadership after the Brexit referendum in 2016, finally ended months of speculation that she was unable to square her beliefs with Mrs May’s handling of the UK’s exit from the EU.
ISOLATED Theresa May was last night holed up in No10 amid an extraordinary Cabinet bid to force her from power. Brexiteer Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom quit over the PM’s bid to offer MPs the chance of a second EU referendum. And seven other Cabinet ministers also told No10 they will not back Mrs May — a clear signal for her to step down. But the PM refused to budge, with aides saying: “She is going nowhere until she gets Brexit done.”
Theresa May is under siege in Downing Street after her ministers turned on her and Andrea Leadsom resigned from the Cabinet. The Prime Minister was accused of bunkering herself in with “the sofa against the door” after she refused to meet Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid who were expected to confront her over her “disastrous” new Brexit deal. Ministers and backbenchers told her she had “run out of road” and spent the day urging her to quit before polls open in Thursday’s European elections, in the hope it would limit the scale of the expected Tory defeat.
Theresa May is continuing to face pressure from her own MPs to resign after one of her senior ministers quit the cabinet. The Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, stepped down on Wednesday night over the PM’s Brexit policy. Several cabinet ministers have also told the BBC that the PM cannot stay in her post. Mrs May said she was “sorry to lose someone of [Mrs Leadsom’s] passion, drive and sincerity”. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday night, Mrs Leadsom said Mrs May’s new Brexit plan had “elements I cannot support, that aren’t Brexit”.
Andrea Leadsom has dramatically resigned from her cabinet post in protest at Theresa May‘s Brexit plans, claiming the government will fail to deliver on the 2016 referendum result. Announcing her decision to quit the government – on the eve of the European elections – the leader of the House of Commons said she no longer believed the Brexit deal will deliver a “truly sovereign United Kingdom”. It comes as pressure mounts on Ms May to resign as prime minister immediately.
Andrea Leadsom has resigned her position as Leader of the House of Commons, a government cabinet position, citing a series of concerns over Prime Minister Theresa May’s handling of Brexit. Coming in a day where speculation over the future of May’s time as Prime Minister and rumours of mass cabinet resignations have swirled around Westminster, the resignation of a single, relatively junior member of the government seems almost anti-climactic.
Theresa May desperately tried to persuade Andrea Leadsom to stay in the government in a ten-minute phone call last night. Mrs Leadsom, however, quit and accused the prime minister of failing to honour the EU referendum result. Her announcement came within minutes of Mrs May managing to cling on to office. Mrs Leadsom was adamant that she could not formally introduce Mrs May’s new Brexit proposals to parliament today.
Pro-Brexit Andrea Leadsom has resigned from the government as Theresa May limps the Tories on into electoral oblivion. In a letter she has said “I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result” as it would not deliver a “truly sovereign United Kingdom”. She also described a second referendum as “dangerously divisive” and hit out at the move from the government “willingly facilitating such a concession”.
THERESA May incensed Brexit-backing Ministers by killing off a Cabinet debate on No Deal despite calls for a “step change” in preparation, The Sun can reveal. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay made an impassioned plea for the Government to increase contingency planning – arguing that a cliff-edge exit on October 31 would be “far worse” for business than March 29. He warned warehousing shortages would be acute in the run up to Christmas. But the PM stunned Brexiteers in Tuesday’s Cabinet by cutting him and postponing a vote on No Deal work until after the Whitsun break.
Theresa May triggered a fresh Cabinet revolt on Wednesday after explicitly laying out the path to a legally-binding second referendum in her Brexit deal. Ministers on Wednesday accused the Prime Minister of attempting to “bounce” her Cabinet after they read the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in full for the first time. Several ministers including Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove and Liz Truss – all potential leadership contenders – felt it went further than Cabinet had agreed on Tuesday, with Andrea Leadsom resigning from the Cabinet and suggesting Theresa May should quit over the new Brexit deal.
Michael Gove has hinted that Theresa May will pull the latest Commons vote on her Brexit deal to avoid a crushing defeat – a move likely to trigger her resignation from No 10 within days. The environment secretary refused – three times – to say the vote would go ahead as planned early next month, saying: “We will reflect over the course of the next few days.” Asked about a fresh move by Tory backbenchers to topple the prime minister as early as next Tuesday, after the expected European elections defeat is announced, Mr Gove declined to “provide a commentary on that”.
Theresa May could PULL a showdown vote on her Brexit deal after a new offer to MPs went down in flames, a key ally admitted today. Michael Gove suggested the Withdrawal Agreement Bill could be dropped altogether – just days after she said it would go to a vote. MPs were due to hold their “second reading”, the first proper hurdle for any Bill, on the WAB in the week of June 3. But Mrs May’s attempt to woo Labour, by offering a possible second referendum and temporary customs union, was rejected last night and alienated even more Tories on her own side.
Theresa May has launched a last-ditch bid to save her Brexit deal, but ended up losing more MPs’ support. The prime minister unveiled a 10-point plan to “seek common ground in parliament”, including giving MPs another vote on a second referendum and giving the Commons a bigger say in the next step of negotiations with Brussels. In what could be her last major speech on leaving the EU, she admitted it was “patently obvious” she had not managed to end the Conservatives’ battle over Europe and appeared to acknowledge her departure from Downing Street was imminent.
Tory MPs have not held back after Theresa May rolled out her grand plan to get her deal through at the fourth time of asking: the chance to vote on a second referendum and for MPs to decide on a ‘customs arrangement’. Just who the hell is advising her? The plan looks dead on arrival and almost certain to be rejected in Parliament if it and she as PM even make it that far. Tory MPs who backed Meaningful Vote 3 are now coming out against this fourth and surely final May attempt.
Labour Brexit rebel Caroline Flint today warned MPs to vote for Theresa May‘s Brexit divorce or face No Deal. Ms Flint, who represents Don Valley, urged the Commons to ‘take stock’ after the expected mauling for her party and the Tories in tomorrow’s European elections. The former minister under Gordon Brown, who has voted for the PM’s deal before, was one of the few MPs to stick up for Mrs May’s plan during a Commons debate today. She said: ‘Anybody on any side of the House, if they claim to be against No Deal, they should give this proposition due consideration and think about how they would amend it.’
A Labour peer has resigned from the party after announcing that he will vote for the Liberal Democrats in this week’s European Parliament elections. Michael Cashman, a prominent LGBT campaigner and former Labour MEP, said he “can’t trust” Jeremy Corbyn and his team on Brexit and would be backing the Liberal Democrats because of their “absolute consistency” on the issue. A number of elected officials from the main parties have now said they are unable to vote for their own party in the EU elections because of the leadership’s position on Brexit.
A whistleblower has revealed the full scale of expenses fiddling by a Conservative MP who faces being removed from parliament by his constituents. Brecon and Radnorshire MP Chris Davies could now be ousted from the Commons by a recall petition, triggered after he admitted to making false expenses claims last month. The Tory MP issued an “unreserved apology” after his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in April, saying he made “a mistake” and there was no attempt “make any financial gain.”
The election of 170 part-time dilettantes from the Eurosceptic Left and Right might shake up French or Italian politics. It will change absolutely nothing in the governing structure of the EU. Trumpian ideologue Steve Bannon deems the European Parliament vote this week to be “one of the most important elections ever” but he has never tangled in earnest with Germano-European deep state. The EU’s permanent machinery will reassert iron control once the noise has subsided. Italy’s Matteo Salvini does understand the challenge.
Emmanuel Macron’s EU election chief has warned that a second EU referendum in Britain would probably result in the country voting to leave again. Nathalie Loiseau, who was the French government’s Europe minister in charge of Brexit talks until she took on her new role for this week’s contest, said she doubted that another vote would produce “a very different outcome”. The comments highlight the ambivalence in some quarters of EU capitals to Britain staying in the bloc, and the level of confusion about the political situation in the UK.
President Emmanuel Macron has urged the French to vote for pro-EU parties in Sunday’s European Parliament election to stave off the threat of “nationalists.” The leader of the globalist-progressive La République En Marche (LREM/Republic on the Move) claimed that despite being the president, who should remain above the fray of national elections, he had to intervene because of the role he plays in bringing forth the “new stage of the European Project.”
EMMANUEL Macron’s EU elections chief has said Britain should quit the bloc as soon as possible rather than hold a second referendum. Nathalie Loiseau said a fresh vote on reversing Brexit would not deliver a different result to in 2016 and would only create a “very divided” UK. And she warned of an “unacceptable” situation where Britain is still half in, half out of the bloc, thwarting future EU integration.
The Dutch immigration minister has stepped down following outcry over a government migrant crime report which hid serious migrant crimes including rape and murder under the category of “other”. Resigning from his position on Tuesday, Mark Harbers stressed that no “deliberate concealment” of the figures had taken place, but said he took “full responsibility” for having “misinformed” the Dutch Parliament with regards to the report.
The SNP’s Westminster leader has been accused of trying to hoodwink voters after claiming an independent Scotland could afford to keep a new currency linked to the pound’s value. Ian Blackford disclosed that the Nationalists wanted a separate Scotland’s currency to be pegged to sterling to prevent the value of pensions and savings being eroded. But Scotland’s most eminent macroeconomist accused him of trying to “fool the public” as this would mean diverting tens of billions of pounds from public spending to funding currency reserves
Furious workers and their families are demanding action to save British Steel after it today collapsed, with the government claiming EU rules make a bailout illegal. The country’s second-largest steel firm is now in liquidation, meaning up to 4,000 jobs in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, 800 in Teesside and 20,000 in the UK supply chain are now at risk. The Government refused to make a £30million loan after lending the firm £120million three weeks ago. Business secretary Greg Clark said the Government’s hands were tied by EU law which makes state aid of companies illegal.
British Steel has entered insolvency, putting 5,000 jobs directly at risk and endangering thousands more in the supply chain after talks with the UK government failed to reach an agreement on emergency funding. The high court on Wednesday granted an application by the directors of British Steel to enter an insolvency process. Control of the company passed to the official receiver – an employee of the Insolvency Service – who will run a compulsory liquidation. EY has been lined up to assist with the liquidation.
Thousands of jobs are at risk as British Steel is set to go into insolvency. The move threatens to create more uncertainty for workers at the company’s plants in the UK, in particular Scunthorpe, where more than 4,000 people are employed. Greybull Capital, who own British Steel, have been seeking financial support from the Government, said it faced a number of Brexit-related issues.
Free social care for all pensioners would save the NHS £4.5billion a year, a report says today. The Institute for Public Policy Research believes the move would strip out fears of OAPs eating into their savings to fund their care – and finally put dementia patients on the same footing as cancer sufferers. It calls for an extra 2p on tax to pay for the move. Under the think tank’s plan, older people who could afford to would still pay for their own accommodation costs but not for personal care, no matter where they receive it.
Police are investigating undercover footage showing NHS patients with autism and learning difficulties being “tortured” in a scandal branded a second Winterbourne View. Sixteen staff have been suspended at Whorlton Hall hospital in County Durham after being caught goading and swearing at patients, physically restraining them in a “dangerous” manner, as well as boasting about deliberately causing them pain. The Panorama footage shows care workers at the secluded facility mimicking sex acts in front of a vulnerable patient using her teddy bears.
Hospital staff have been caught on camera in an undercover investigation abusing vulnerable adults by mocking, taunting, intimidating and restraining them. Workers at Whorlton Hall in County Durham were filmed calling one patient a ‘fat c**t’ while another used language offensive to disabled people to describe the privately-run hospital. The investigation by BBC Panorama also revealed another patient being told by her care worker at the NHS-funded centre that her family were ‘f***ing poison’.
SMIRKING care home staff have been caught on a hidden camera boasting of assaulting vulnerable patients. The footage also shows a young woman with autism suffering “psychological torture” at the hands of bullying male staff. And half a dozen men were filmed holding down a woman with learning difficulties for half an hour. As a result of the investigation, revealed on BBC’s Panorama last night, 16 staff at the NHS’s Whorlton Hall high dependency complex, Co Durham, have been suspended and police have launched an inquiry.
Maths and physics teachers will be given an additional £2,000 a year to work in deprived or remote areas as the government seeks to overcome a recruitment and retention crisis. The payments, on top of already generous bursaries offered to young people to train as a teacher, come as schools in remote and deprived coastal communities and market towns struggle to find and keep suitable staff, particularly in maths, physics and foreign languages.