Breaking news

Steven Woolfe in hospital

Reuters
Steven Woolfe, a leading member of the European Parliament from the UK Independence Party, was in a serious condition in a Strasbourg hospital on Thursday after an “altercation” during a meeting of UKIP MEPs, party leader Nigel Farage said. “I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of UKIP MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital. His condition is serious,” Farage send in a statement emailed by a spokesman. Farage, who leads UKIP in the EU legislature, resumed his overall leadership of the party on Wednesday after his elected successor stood down after less than three weeks in the job amid factional struggles following the referendum which delivered UKIP’s key goal of taking Britain out of the European Union.

ITV News
Ukip leadership favourite Steven Woolfe is in a “serious” condition in hospital following an “altercation” at a meeting of Ukip MEPs in Strasbourg, Nigel Farage said. The MEP for the North West was taken ill after walking out on a vote at the European Parliament. Earlier a Ukip spokesman said: “Steven Woolfe MEP was taken suddenly ill in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg this morning. “He has been taken to hospital in the city and he is undergoing tests.”

BBC News
UKIP leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe was taken to hospital following an altercation at a meeting of party MEPs, interim leader Nigel Farage has said. In a statement he said Mr Woolfe had “subsequently collapsed” and his “condition is serious”. Mr Woolfe, MEP for the North West, was taken to hospital in Strasbourg for tests. Mr Woolfe announced on Wednesday he will stand for the party’s leadership after Diane James stepped down. In his statement, Mr Farage said: “I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of UKIP MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital. His condition is serious.”

Sky News
UKIP’s Steven Woolfe is in a serious condition in hospital following an “altercation” at a party meeting, Nigel Farage has said. A statement from the UKIP interim leader said: “I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of UKIP MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital. “His condition is serious.”

Star
UKIP leadership challenger Stephen Woolfe is said to be fighting for life after a brutal punch up with a colleague, it has emerged. Ukip intially said that Woolfe, 49, had collpased outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg after a “clear the air” meeting with colleagues this morning. But now it has emerged that the MEP for the North West was reportedly punched several times by a Ukip colleague following an altercation. Mr Woolfe has reportedly been taken to hospital with a suspected bleed on the brain after medics treated him at the scene. He is said to be undergoing tests in hospital.

Express
UKIP leadership favourite Steven Woolfe is in a serious condition in hospital today after he collapsed following an “altercation” at a meeting of the party’s MEPs. The North West MEP was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital after reportedly being punched in the face and falling and hitting his head at a violent get-together of the party’s representatives in Strasbourg. Mr Woolfe collapsed following the brawl at the parliament building in the French city this morning, and is said to be in a serious condition with a bleed on the brain. Today is his 49th birthday. At one point the mass punch-up at the meeting apparently got so serious that one MEP took off his jacket and gestured angrily to Mr Woolfe, reportedly “inviting him outside”.

Independent
The favourite to take over as Ukip leader Steven Woolfe has collapsed at the European Parliament and is in a “serious condition” after an altercation at a meeting of his party’s MEPs. Interim leader Nigel Farage said the party’s immigration spokesman had been taken to hospital after the incident at the parliament building in Strasbourg. Sources reported that he was punched in the face and then hit his head, with doctors now treating the politician for bleeding on the brain.

Telegraph
The favourite to become the next Ukip leader has collapsed outside the European Parliament amid reports he was punched by a colleague. Ukip said that Steven Woolfe collapsed outside the European Parliament following a “clear the air” meeting with colleagues this morning. However party insiders told The Telegraph that Mr Woolfe was punched by a Ukip colleague following an altercation. The Daily Telegraph understands that Mr Woolfe is suffering from bleeding of the brain after he was punched. One witness said he fell into a window after being punched. Today is Steven Woolfe’s 49th birthday

 

UKIP leadership

Breitbart
Just hours after declaring his intended candidacy for the UK Independence Party leadership race, Breitbart London senior editor Raheem Kassam’s campaign slogan Make UKIP Great Again was trending on social media. Taking what is known as ‘right wing Twitter’ — new social media platform Gab.ai — by storm, #MakeUKIPGreatAgain was trending in first place on the site by Wednesday evening. The rallying cry to end the infighting at the top of UKIP posted above even Donald Trump’s campaign slogan Make America Great Again, a perennial favourite on the site. Posting on the Gab platform, Mr. Kassam courted support of the predominantly right-wing members of the site, and celebrated the hashtag reaching number one in typically ebullient style.

Breitbart
Steven Woolfe MEP has confirmed that he will be challenging for leadership of the UK Independence Party, following the resignation of fellow MEP Diane James as leader last night. Confirming that he would be throwing his hat in the ring, Mr. Woolfe told Sky News he had taken the decision to do so “based on the number of emails and telephone calls for members [who] have asked me to stand again”. Mr. Woolfe was widely seen as the front-runner in the lead-up to UKIP’s previous leadership election, held less than three weeks ago, but was disqualified from taking part in the race after the party ruled he had not submitted his application on time. He accused the party of sabotaging his application, by delaying acceptance of the fee payable by candidates who wished for their names to go forward in the race.

BBC News
UKIP migration spokesman Steven Woolfe and Nigel Farage’s ex-adviser Raheem Kassam have declared they will stand as candidates for the party’s leadership. Mr Woolfe, who was barred from standing in UKIP’s last leadership election, said the party could replace Labour as the main party of opposition. Former chief of staff Mr Kassam said he would stop “duplicity” in the party. They are the first contenders to throw their hats into the ring since Diane James resigned as leader on Tuesday. The announcements came after Mr Farage announced he would return as UKIP’s interim leader until a fresh election could be held to find Ms James’s successor. Ms James announced her resignation after just 18 days in the job, citing professional and personal reasons for her decision. She succeeded Mr Farage on 16 September after he resigned following the Brexit vote.

Express
SUZANNE EVANS is considering a bid for the Ukip leadership after Diane James’ shock resignation last night. The party’s former deputy chairman is among the early frontrunners to replace Ms James, who quit as leader just 18 days after replacing Nigel Farage. Ms James’ reign at the top of the anti-EU party was so short she had not officially registered herself as Ukip leader, meaning Mr Farage will carry on as acting leader until another leadership contest is completed. Mr Farage this morning ruled himself out of running for election, declaring: ”I’ve done my bit”. Ms Evans was excluded from this summer’s divisive leadership election, which Ms James won with 48 per cent of the votes, after she failed to have her suspension from the party overturned. But, having since had her suspension lifted, Ms Evans this morning confirmed she would be interested in running for the Ukip leadership.

Terror attacks

Times
A resurgent al-Qaeda is plotting attacks against Britain with renewed vigour as Islamic State comes under pressure, sources said last night. Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, also told The Times that the terrorist network posed a “very direct threat” to the UK and Europe. An offshoot in Syria — the Nusra Front, recently renamed the Fateh al-Sham Front — is regarded by the West as the most potent, with senior leaders believed to be on the ground actively working on attack plans. One figurehead of the group was reportedly killed in a US drone strike on Monday.

Fracking

ITV News
A ruling on whether the Government will approve two controversial fracking schemes in Lancashire is expected today. Lancashire County Council turned down planning applications for fracking for shale gas at two locations in Fylde, even though its officials had recommended the go-ahead for one of the schemes. But Cuadrilla, the company behind the plans for the schemes at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood, appealed against the decision and it went to a public inquiry which was heard earlier this year. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to make the final ruling on the schemes by today. The process – in which liquid is pumped deep underground at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas – remains highly controversial, with opponents fearing it can cause earthquakes, pollute water, lead to damaging development in the countryside and hit house prices.

BBC News
The government is due later to reveal whether it backs fracking plans, in a landmark ruling for the UK shale gas industry. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is deciding on a planning appeal by firm Cuadrilla to test frack in Lancashire. His backing would enable shale rock to be fracked horizontally for the first time, in a bid to yield more gas. But, protesters say it uses techniques that risk the environment because of the chemicals and pressure used. Lancashire County Council refused permission to extract shale gas at two sites – Roseacre and Preston New Road – last year on grounds of noise and traffic impact, forcing Cuadrilla to appeal. In response, a Planning Inspectorate report was sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government on 4 July, with Mr Javid being given three months to reach a decision on both sites.

Sky News
A government decision is expected later on two controversial applications to test frack for shale gas in Lancashire. Permission to drill at two sites on the Fylde coast have been the subject of an appeal by the the energy firm Cuadrilla, after the plans submitted in mid-2014 were rejected by the county council last year . Following a six week public inquiry earlier this year, a planning inspector submitted their report to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, who will take the final decision. It will be closely watched by other companies looking to carry out fracking in the UK. Environmentalists and residents are opposed to the applications amid pollution and health concerns. Campaigners also argue fracking for fossil fuels is not compatible with tackling climate change and the focus should be on renewables.

Brexit

Guardian
Northern Ireland could veto its exit from the European Union, a lawyer for anti-Brexit campaigners from the region has told the high court in Belfast. A senior barrister argued that Brexit could not be imposed on Northern Ireland and that the Good Friday agreement, ratified by a referendum in 1998, meant the province had some control over such constitutional changes. Leaving the EU would undermine gains made during the peace process, he told the court on the first day of a legal challenge by political leaders and human rights campaigners against the EU referendum result. Ronan Lavery QC said on Tuesday: “Sovereignty over constitutional affairs has been ceded [by the UK]. It is not the relationship, as it might once have been, between a dominant partner and a submissive partner.

Guardian
The European parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator has joined calls to rebuff advance talks with the UK , underlining the scale of the diplomatic task facing the British government. Guy Verhofstadt, a former prime minister of Belgium recently appointed to represent the European parliament on Brexit, added his voice to the other EU institutions, which have rejected Theresa May’s call for “preparatory work”. The British prime minister has promised to launch Britain’s EU withdrawal under article 50 by the end of March 2017, but wants advance talks to ensure a smooth exit. On Tuesday, Verhofstadt said: “We welcome May’s announcement that clarifies the position of the United Kingdom, but for us it is clear that there can be no pre-negotiations. Negotiations can only start after the trigger of article 50.” The veteran MEP said he wanted a close relationship between the UK and the EU, which was in the interests of the British people, especially the 48% that had voted remain. But, he stressed, the new deal could not infringe on “the four fundamental freedoms that underpin our union”.

EU

Express
BRUSSELS has accused Britain of rampant racism in the wake of Brexit – apparently oblivious to the way EU-backed unchecked migration is fostering the rise of real fascism in mainland Europe. The Council of Europe pinned the blame on British politicians, including Nigel Farage and ex-Prime Minister David Cameron, for inflaming xenophobia and intolerance in the UK in a damning report. The strongly-worded report even claimed the nation’s momentous Brexit result had fuelled a rise in “anti-foreigner sentiment”. Bosses of the 47-member state council even went as far to say members of the public should not be informed when a terrorist is a Muslim because it fuels “prejudice against Muslims”. The report, published by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, revealed a sharp rise in anti-Muslim violence in 2013, while anti-Semitic incidents rocketed to their highest level ever in 2014.

Express
BRUSSELS windbag Jean-Claude Juncker today went on a bizarre rant against EU leaders and accused them of not lavishing enough praise on his rambling speeches. The often incoherent EU president stunned MEPs with a long-winded whine about the lack of compliments he receives from the heads of member states. Mr Juncker accused European leaders like Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and Theresa May of taking “no notice” when he speaks and urged them to heap more praise on his meandering rhetoric. The EU Commission chief made the remarks as he addressed MEPs in Brussels ahead of an upcoming meeting of the European Council, which is made up of country leaders. During a rambling speech on the response to the migrant crisis he referred to his interminable State of the Union address, made last month, and moaned that the heads of member states “don’t even take notice” when he talks.

Sun
MEDDLING human rights chiefs were panned yesterday for trying to stop the press divulging when terrorists are Muslim. The Council of Europe’s human rights watchdog sent an extraordinary list of demands to the UK Government. It laid out 23 demands for change as it blamed a rise in hate crime on “worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech” in newspapers. And in an incredible move the report, from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, recommended the media be stopped reporting the Muslim background of terrorist fanatics. The Government rejected the list – saying it was “committed to a free and open press”. The panel – chaired by Christian Ahlund – admitted the butchery ofISIS had put Muslims “under the spotlight”. But it said: “ECRI considers that fuelling prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety.

Express
MARINE Le Pen has blasted the EU saying it has made the ongoing war in Syria worse. In a speech at the European Parliament, the Front National leader said Brussels had been too busy trying to depose the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad whilst Russian forces were engaged in trying to defeat the Islamic terrorist organisation ISIS. Mrs Le Pen said: “You’ve done everything to bring down the government of Syria. “Throwing the country into a terrible civil war, while accusing Russia which is actually fighting Islamic State.” The right-wing politician also took a swipe at the EU’s immigration policy, stating that it was “irresponsible” as the stance was only increasing the number of economic migrants entering Europe. She said: “No real measures are taken to curb the crisis. Your irresponsible policy, on the contrary, brings us more and more economic migrants.” She also claimed that only 30 per cent of migrants to the EU were actually from Syria.

Trident

Mirror
The Tories have snubbed British steel for the new fleet of Trident nuclear missile submarines A French firm won the contract to supply metal for the hulls. It could have protected at least 1,000 UK jobs. Union boss Roy Rickhuss said: “This is a betrayal of British workers.” Work on the £41billion Successor submarines starts in Cumbria today. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will cut a steel plate to mark the start of work on Britain’s new fleet of nuclear submarines. But to steelworkers it will be seen as a betrayal after the Mirror discovered the metal will come from France. The deal to supply steel for hulls of the four Successor boats – part of the £41billion renewal of the Trident programme – is worth tens of millions. Had the work been kept in the UK , it could have protected 1,000 jobs and helped save part of the Scunthorpe plant where three plate mills were ­mothballed.

Russian bombers

Mail
Two Russian Blackjack bombers were intercepted flying back and forth to Northern Spain from the direction of Norway, it has emerged. Four nations – Norway, the UK, France and Spain – all deployed their own jets as the TU-160 planes skirted the airspace of each country, flying around the UK. Spanish media have said it is the furthest south an operation like this has had to take place. Norway was the first to detect the two Russian jets and scrambled two F-16 fighters to accompany them towards the north of Scotland. Two RAF Typhoon jets then scrambled to intercept Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bombers just off the coast of Scotland. Typhoon aircraft were launched from RAF Lossiemouth in northern Scotland during the incident, but the Ministry of Defence said the Russian jets did not enter UK airspace.

Star
NATO jets from four countries were scrambled as massive Russian nuclear bombers buzzed Europe. Two Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bombers – the largest combat plane in the world – were caught flying back and forth between Spain and Norway, via Scotland. Fighter aircraft from the UK, France, Spain and Norway were scrambled to escort the Blackjacks – and avert any surprise attack. RAF has been called out to Russian bombers several times this year – but this is the furthest south they have ventured. Russia appears to be readying itself for a nuclear attack as 40 million citizens practiced an emergency evacuation across the country. Norway was the first to detect the incursion and sent two F-16 fighters to accompany the Blackjacks as they headed for Scotland. Two Typhoon jets from RAF Lossiemouth, in northern Scotland, then took over as the bombers skirted UK airspace. The Tu-160s flew around the British Isles and on to northern France.

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