Drink-drivers will be forced to fit a breathalyser in their car when returning to the road after a conviction, EU officials have announced. Ministers want to lower road deaths by forcing convicted drink-drivers to blow into the devices before they are able to start their engines. The legislation is due to come into effect from mid-2022 for all new models and from 2024 for cars with existing designs. The move is described by the road safety charity Brake as the ‘biggest leap forward for road safety this century’. The plans were approved in March but rubber-stamped by the European Council late last week. It is highly likely the reforms will be bought to the UK because the Government has agreed to mirror EU road safety rules after Brexit.
Terrorists and dangerous criminals were potentially among millions of foreigners allowed into Europe without facing proper checks, a damning report has found. More than half of the 951 border guards interviewed admitted they allow people into the EU’s Schengen area without running proper checks. Delayed or defective IT systems took the brunt of the blame, with information about individuals either not uploaded quickly enough or not cross-referenced. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece issued nearly 18million visas between October 2015 and September 2017 but only carried out 14million checks, the report found.
Workers will lose a month’s wages in higher taxes to pay for Labour’s spending plans, according to the Tories. They claim every taxpayer in Britain will have to foot a £2,400 bill if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister. Dubbed the ‘Cost of Corbyn’ by the Conservatives – the figure is equivalent to an entire month’s pay for the average earner. It follows a row over the cost of Labour’s policies after the Tories said the opposition would wrack up a £1.2 trillion spending bill over the next Parliament.
Labour Remainers are pressing Jeremy Corbyn to cooperate with other parties to stop a majority Conservative government, after Nigel Farage backed down from his threat to stand Brexit Party candidates in every constituency in Britain in the 12 December election. Despite repeatedly denouncing Boris Johnson’s EU withdrawal deal as “Brexit in name only”, Mr Farage said he had come to the conclusion that standing down candidates in all 317 seats won by Tories at the last election was the only way he could block a second referendum.
A hard-Left Labour candidate helped a Cuban spy overturn a visa ban and visit Parliament after he was invited by Jeremy Corbyn. Barrister Mark McDonald won a court battle to get intelligence officer Rene Gonzalez into Britain on human rights grounds after Theresa May blocked him because of his conviction in the US for espionage. He then attended the Westminster reception for Mr Gonzalez and his spy cell leader along with Mr Corbyn, who had campaigned for their release from prison in America and joined in their legal battle.
The Brexit Party
Nigel Farage‘s decision to give the Tories a free run only in seats they already hold could still damage Boris Johnson‘s chances of winning target seats help by opponents. The Brexit Party leader announced he will still run candidates in constituencies held by Labour and Remainer parties in a climb-down this morning. There is speculation the Brexit Party could now focus resources on perhaps as few as 40 Leave-leaning Labour constituencies.
Nigel Farage is facing calls from Brexit supporters to stand down further candidates to help Boris Johnson after he made a dramatic public U-turn by agreeing to withdraw his party from all Conservative-held seats. The Brexit party leader claimed he had changed his mind about fielding candidates in 317 seats held by the Tories after Johnson released a video pledging to take Britain out of the EU by 2020 and to pursue a Canada-style trade deal. The abrupt nature of Farage’s reversal prompted claims from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National party that he and the prime minister had struck a secret pact in favour of a hard Brexit, which both sides denied. Farage said he had been offered a peerage by the Tories as recently as last Friday but claimed he had turned it down.
NIGEL FARAGE has been praised after announcing his decision to stand aside in certain constituencies, an Express.co.uk poll has revealed. In a major development for next month’s election, Mr Farage announced that his party will not contest 317 seats. To avoid splitting the Leave vote and therefore risking a hung Parliament, Mr Farage announced his party would not run against the Tories in seats whey won in 2017. In a poll, we asked our readers: “Is Farage right to put country first and pull Brexit Party out of 317 Tory seats?”
The Brexit Party memo to candidates was clear: “We are ready for this general election and together we will change politics for good”. Yet despite the bullish tone, the writing was on the wall for would-be MPs targeting Tory seats as soon as they were told that in no circumstances should they submit their nomination forms. “Please do not submit your paperwork until we instruct you to,” read the memo sent late last week, seen by the Telegraph, which appeared to undermine Nigel Farage’s boast of only a week ago that he had 600 people ready to “fight every seat in the country”.
Nigel Farage will be personally to blame if Britain does not leave the EU, cabinet ministers said after the Brexit Party leader vowed to fight Tories in marginal Labour constituencies. Mr Farage said that his party would not contest the 317 seats won by the Conservatives at the last election, amid concerns that he would split the Leave vote. However, the Brexit Party will still contest about 300 seats, including Labour marginals in the midlands and the north of England that Mr Johnson will need in order to win a majority.
Nigel Farage has caved in and withdrawn Brexit Party candidates from every Tory seat in the country. This means Boris Johnson has a clear run do defend all 317 Conservative constituencies without challenge from Farage’s band. The Brexit Party leader said this decision would create a “leave alliance”. And it could boost the Tories’ chances of clinging to power and passing their Brexit deal.
What a difference a week makes. Last Monday, perhaps drunk on personal praise from his “friend” in the White House, Nigel Farage was the very picture of a cocksure, confident disrupter. If the Tories refused his offer of a ‘Leave alliance’, he was ready to tear the house down and stand 600 Brexit Party candidates across the country. Today, after huge pressure from within and without his own party, the bravado was gone. Farage lamely retreated from a fight with the Conservatives, vowing to “concentrate our total effort into all of the seats held by the Labour party”.
Nigel Farage has faced calls not to field Brexit Party candidates in Labour marginal seats after he abandoned plans to contest those held by the Tories. Senior Conservative figures have urged Mr Farage to “go further” after yesterday staging a humiliating climbdown from his vow to fight 600 seats in the general election. Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the Brexit Party leader’s promise to give 317 sitting Conservative MPs a free ride was a “good start” but not good enough to ensure Boris Johnson’s party will get a majority at the election.
Nigel Farage today claimed that Boris Johnson tried to bribe him with a peerage before his climb-down over the general election. The Brexit Party leader said he was offered a seat in the House of Lords last Friday, branding the offer ‘ridiculous’. It came as Mr Farage partially bowed to massive pressure by declaring that the Brexit Party will not fight any Tory-held seats. Mr Farage made the dramatic announcement that he was ‘putting country before party’ and would focus on fighting Labour-held constituencies.
Nigel Farage claims he was offered a peerage just three days before standing down Brexit Party candidates in 317 Tory-held seats. The party leader rejected accusations of a pact with Boris Johnson for the sudden ditching of his plan to fight for “a real Brexit” in every seat at next month’s general election. But, asked if he was offered a peerage, he replied: “I was offered one last Friday. Mr Farage insisted he would turn down any political honour, adding: “Ridiculous – the thought they can buy me, a high-paid job. But I’m not interested, I don’t want to know.”
The Conservatives are likely to delay their manifesto launch until just two weeks before the general election, i can reveal. Boris Johnson has been accused of trying to escape scrutiny by pushing back the release of his full policy platform until the end of this month. In recent elections the party has published its manifesto at least three weeks in advance. Instead of launching a full set of policies all at once, the Tories plan to unveil individual policies at regular intervals throughout the campaign before publishing the entire manifesto at a later date.
Labour and the Democratic Unionist party have formed an unprecedented alliance to demand that the government explains whether Northern Ireland’s fishing waters will be controlled from London if Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal becomes law. In a sign of further confusion over how prime minister’s withdrawal agreement will work, the parties’ fisheries spokesmen have written to the environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, asking why her department appears to claim that fish caught in waters off the coast of Northern Ireland will no longer be classed as Northern Irish fish.
THE SNP could back scrapping Britain’s nuclear deterrent in post-election talks with Labour. Ditching Trident may be one of the party’s red lines in a “wish list” of demands if they are to support Jeremy Corbyn in power, Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in the Commons, indicated yesterday. The party would be unlikely to form a coalition with Labour but Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made clear she could be open to an informal arrangement to work together. The price of SNP support could be high with Ms Sturgeon demanding a second independence referendum to take place before the end of next year.
Political parties yesterday seized on official figures showing that Britain has avoided recession this year as the battle to be trusted by voters on the economy intensified. Opposition parties accused the Conservatives of presiding over weak levels of growth as it was revealed that the economy expanded by 0.3 per cent between July and September, after contracting by 0.2 per cent in the previous three months. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth would have meant that the country was in a technical recession.
It is clearly good news that a recession has been avoided but the big picture is that growth is pretty feeble. The UK economy grew by 0.3% between July and September, after contracting by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year. The economy is only 1% bigger than it was a year ago – the slowest annual rate of growth since 2010. There’s more to life than GDP (gross domestic product, the monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period) of course, but goodness it helps.
All adults without A-levels will be able to attend college and study them for free, under £3.2bn Labour plans to ensure “no one is shut out of education”. Free vocational courses – including for the equivalent of undergraduate degrees and diplomas – will also be made available if Jeremy Corbyn wins the general election, the party says. The poorest adult learners will receive maintenance grants – and all workers will have the right to paid time off for education and training. The retraining package is a response to what Labour has called a “catastrophic fall” in adult learners after the trebling of university tuition fees and harsh cuts to further education.
UNDER a Labour government every secondary school would have an in-house qualified counsellor to assist pupils in becoming happier, the party announced today. Labour has pledged to recruit almost 3,500 on-site secondary school counsellors and said it would also ensure primary schools receive a drop-in visit from a counsellor at least once a week. The party said it hoped that the talk-therapy proposals, announced ahead of the general election, would help identify early onset of psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. Labour also vowed to establish a network of drop-in “mental-health hubs” to enable 300,000 more children access support under its Healthy Young Minds plan, estimated to cost £845 million a year.
Every adult in the UK would get six years of free education to help bring vocational study in line with university degrees under Labour, Jeremy Corbyn is pledging today. Undergraduate and foundation degrees as well as diplomas in areas such as engineering and nursing will all be offered as part of the promise to be announced officially by the Labour leader and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner. The pair will give a speech in Blackpool, as the general election campaign enters its seventh day.
Every adult will be entitled to six years of free study under Labour plans for a radical expansion of lifelong learning, as part of its vision for a cradle-to-grave national education service. In a speech in Blackpool on Tuesday, the shadow education secretary Angela Rayner will pledge that a Labour government would “throw open the doors” to adult learners to enable them to study and retrain throughout their lives. Under Labour’s proposals, any adult without A-level or equivalent qualifications would be able to study for them for free at college, with maintenance grants available for those on low incomes.
The Liberal Democrats have unveiled plans to give every adult in the UK up to £10,000 to invest in education and training. Under the proposals to create a “Skills Wallet” for every adult, people would be given £4,000 by the government at the age of 25, £3,000 at 40 and a further £3,000 at 55. Individuals would be encouraged to top up their “wallets” with their own money, and employers would also be able to contribute. The money would be available for spending on a range of educational courses, training and apprenticeships offered by government-regulated providers.
The Lib Dems are proposing a £10,000 grant for every adult in England to put towards education and training. The money would go into a “skills wallet” over a period of 30 years, to help with the cost of approved courses. The party says it would pay for the policy by reversing government cuts to corporation tax – returning the business levy to its 2016 rate of 20%. The pledge comes at the start of a second week of campaigning ahead of the general election on 12 December. Labour and the Conservatives are also expected to announce policies to boost lifelong learning.
GPs’ leaders are calling for an end to home visits because they no longer have the time in their working day for the “anachronistic” practice. Doctors will debate a motion this month that calls for GPs’ obligation to carry out home visits to be dropped from their contract. The motion, to be put forward at a conference of the local medical committees in England by the committee representing GPs in Kent, calls for the removal of “the anachronism of home visits from core contract work”.
Dementia care costs for families will treble to £62billion a year within only two decades, a major report suggests today. Relatives of the hundreds of thousands of people with dementia already foot a £9billion annual bill for social care and provide £14billion-worth of unpaid care themselves. But this sum of £23billion is set to soar nearly three-fold by 2040, according to projections by the London School of Economics. The figures lay bare the huge scale of the burden on the nation’s families. Anyone with more than £23,250 in savings, including the value of their home, is rejected for state-funded social care.
The HS2 rail project should go ahead despite costs ballooning to £88 billion and a dramatic drop in the benefit to taxpayers, according to a review of the scheme seen by The Times. The leaked document recommends that the government commit to the full high-speed rail network — the biggest infrastructure project in Europe — but admits that it is “not affordable” within the £56 billion budget set in the 2015 government spending review. The new estimate of £88 billion is likely to be revised upwards again, the report notes.
HS2 should go ahead despite soaring costs, according to a review of the rail project. An independently-led government review recommends ministers commit to the full proposed network connecting London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The leaked document admits that it is ‘not affordable’ within the £56 billion budget set in the 2015 government spending review. The new estimate of £88 billion is likely to be increased again, the report noted. The document warns that without the high-speed rail link ‘large ticket prices’ would be needed to put people off travelling at peak times
A Chinese company led by a former Communist Party official has promised to bring back the ‘glory days’ of British Steel with a rescue deal that is expected to save thousands of jobs. After months of uncertainty over the company’s future and a spiralling bill for taxpayers, the Government’s Insolvency Service announced a deal with China‘s Jingye Steel. The agreement, which it is hoped could save the majority of British Steel’s 4,000-strong workforce, was welcomed by the industry and union leaders.
TRADE unions cautiously welcomed news announced today that a Chinese firm will invest billions in a bid to rescue British Steel. Unite said that they are seeking urgent meetings with the Chinese steel company Jingye after it was announced that it intends to invest £1.2 billion into British Steel, which employs about 4,000 people in Scunthorpe and Teesside. The company’s chairman Li Ganpo said that the money would go towards upgrading machinery and infrastructure at the steelworks, as well as raising the company’s environmental performance and boosting energy efficiency.