Theresa May is poised to remain in office until the Conservative conference this September after setting a new summer deadline to complete Brexit talks. The prime minister was urged yesterday by Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, to spell out a faster timetable for a departure before the Commons summer recess, which is expected in the third or fourth week of July. However, Downing Street indicated that it was working to a new deadline for solving the Brexit impasse that would mean her remaining in office for up to four more months.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s allies are said to be considering legal action to prevent the 1922 committee of Tory MPs from changing their rules in order to remove her from office. Mrs May has, at least until now, been praised from some quarters for her “resilience” in refusing to step down despite repeated setbacks — for example, losing the Tory majority in the House of Commons in the 2017 general election, losing multiple Brexit secretaries and other senior ministers over her negotiating strategy with the EU and the proposed deal which it produced, losing three votes on that deal in the House of Commons, having her government found in contempt of parliament for the first time in recorded history, and losing the support of more than half her backbenchers in a parliamentary party in a parliamentary party confidence vote.
THERESA May’s supporters are threatening Conservative rebels with legal action over their attempts to change the party’s rules to overthrow her as Prime Minister. Grassroots Tories will hold a no-confidence vote in Mrs May on June 15, even though she survived a previous vote in December and is immune from being ousted for a year. The vote by members at an EGM of the National Conservative Convention will not be binding, but there would be extra pressure on the Prime Minister to quit if it is passed.
Theresa May’s allies are threatening legal action to stop the Tory leadership rules being changed to help oust her from power, it was revealed today. The potential court challenge, revealed by a senior supporter of the Prime Minister, came as she faced two separate moves to cut short her premiership. In key developments: The chairman of the National Conservative Convention which represents UK-wide membership declared formally that Mrs May has lost the confidence of activists.
Theresa May has been given until teatime on Wednesday to come up with a “roadmap” to her resignation as leader of the Tory party – or she will have one forced upon her. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, is understood to have made clear backbenchers’ frustration at a meeting on Tuesday night. Tory backbench frustration with Mrs May boiled over after David Lidington, her de facto deputy, confirmed that Britain will have to take part in the European Parliament elections in 15 days’ time despite months of assurances that this would not happen.
THERESA MAY has been given until 4pm TODAY by Conservative MPs to set out a resignation plan. The Prime Minister was told she will have a plan forced on her if she doesn’t do it in the allotted time frame. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee, made the plans clear at a backbenchers meeting, according to the Daily Telegraph. Tensions were reportedly high after David Lidington confirmed Britain will be taking part in the European Parliament elections despite repeatedly saying they wouldn’t.
Theresa May’s cabinet ministers believe the chances of reaching a Brexit deal with the U.K.’s main opposition Labour Party are fading, according to people familiar with the matter. At a meeting in May’s offices Tuesday, ministers concluded that cross-party talks with Labour are stalling and not looking likely to deliver an agreement on the way forward. That means the government’s focus is likely to turn to what happens next, and how to offer Parliament a range of Plan B options to choose from, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing confidential issues.
Labour last night rejected a Brexit compromise deal put forward by Theresa May, claiming that it was a “million miles away” from what the party would be prepared to accept. After three hours of “robust” talks in Whitehall, Labour sources said that the government had tabled a “completely unrealistic” draft agreement on a customs compromise. Downing Street characterised the talks as “constructive and detailed”, saying that both sides had agreed to meet again to continue the negotiations.
THERESA May is being warned by backbench rebels not to cave into Jeremy Corbyn as she tries to seal a Brexit deal with the Labour party. Mrs May will risk backlash from backbenchers as she urges the Labour party to sign up to an agreement looking to break the current impasse. She was warned more than 100 of her MPs would attempt to block a softer Brexit. This comes after a row within Labour over whether to not any deal should be put to a referendum.
Conservative MPs on both sides of the Brexit divide are telling Theresa May that a fresh referendum is becoming “inevitable”, as talks with Labour to break the impasse looked set to fail. The prime minister faced the warning as she suffered the embarrassment of conceding this month’s European elections will go ahead – and as her own deputy suggested the crisis would drag on until July.
Theresa May’s deputy today admitted the European elections cannot be stopped – and that Brexit will need more time. David Lidington said the national elections to the European parliament will go ahead on May 23. He told the BBC he hoped a Brexit deal could be “done and dusted” by the summer parliamentary recess, in late July. Mrs May had been hoping cross-party talks would deliver a compromise deal in time to allow her to call off the elections.
Hopes are fading that a cross-party Brexit deal could be struck within days after Labour sources described Tuesday’s three-hour round of talks as “the most robust to date”. Labour’s negotiating team was irked by leaks to Sunday newspapers about concessions Theresa May was preparing to make, which they believe amounted to little more than a rehash of the existing deal. According to Labour sources, John McDonnell and Keir Starmer spent much of the meeting unpicking the government’s claim to have softened its position in recent weeks, with the atmosphere becoming “quite tense” at times.
Theresa May is facing another election humiliation – this time at the hands of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – after it was confirmed the UK cannot avoid holding costly Euro elections later this month. Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, the de facto deputy prime minister, said that despite weeks of gruelling cross-party talks with Labour ministers there was now not enough time to get Brexit done and dusted before they take place on May 23.
European Parliament elections will go ahead in the UK on May 23, after the Government determined that there is not enough time left to complete the ratification of Brexit before that date, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington has said. The Government has accepted it cannot get its Brexit deal through Parliament in time to avoid European elections on May 23. Theresa May’s effective deputy confirmed the elections will go ahead, but said the Government was “redoubling our efforts” to get an EU Withdrawal Agreement ratified by the start of July so the MEPs elected this month never have to take their seats.
The UK will take part in the European Parliament elections on 23 May, the prime minister’s deputy has confirmed. Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said Downing Street has determined there is not enough time left to complete the ratification of a Brexit deal before then. But he stressed ministers are “redoubling our efforts and talks with MPs of all parties to try to make sure that the delay after that is as short as possible”.
Conservative Party chiefs have signed off a cut-price campaign for European parliament elections after finally admitting that the polls will go ahead two weeks tomorrow. Candidates received a confidential briefing at Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) on what many admit will be a damage limitation exercise. Party chiefs are said to be sending only taxpayer-funded mailshots with the first wave of literature targeting postal voters due within days.
Nigel Farage has announced his recently formed Brexit Party is preparing for an early general election and planning to recruit 650 candidates to contest Parliamentary seats. The leader of the new pro-Leave party told reporters at a press conference in London that he was beginning the process of recruiting election hopefuls. He also said that he was in talks with Tory donors who were considering giving money to the Brexit Party instead, to help with the campaign.
NIGEL Farage has put the Conservative Party under threat as he seeks to win over Tory donors for a future general election campaign – but could the Brexit Party leader ever become Prime Minister? Nigel Farage has signalled he is seeking Conservative Party donors to provide his Brexit Party with the “big bucks” needed to fight a general election campaign. Mr Farage said his Eurosceptic party had amalgamated “well over” £2 million for the upcoming European Elections on May 23.
The Brexit Party’s Chairman, Richard Tice, has called for his party’s MEPs after the European Election to have a role in a future negotiation with the European Union. In a press conference this morning, Tice said that a vote for the Brexit Party at the EU Elections is a “clear vote for a WTO Brexit”. He also demanded that “our elected MEPs should play a significant role in a future negotiating team”.
Nigel Farage says his Brexit Party is planning to run candidates in any snap General Election and is targeting disaffected and frustrated Tory donors to help finance the campaign. The former Ukip leader said his fledgling party was looking past the European elections on May 23 towards any national poll called if politicians fail to deliver Brexit. At an election event in London today he aid the party was looking for ‘650 men and women … with real-world experience, people who either in civic life or business life have got some achievements under their belt’.
LABOUR could block Brexit from being delivered even if Jeremy Corbyn reaches a deal with Theresa May, unless a second referendum is granted, it has emerged. Ardant Remainers within the opposition party are demanding any deal to leave the European Union is sealed with a confirmatory vote by the British people. The Prime Minister and Mr Corbyn have been at logger-heads over any potential cross-party deal with a dispute over a customs arrangement being the main stumbling block for both parties.
Change UK / The Independent Group / Remain Alliance have added a new name to their repertoire, changing their twitter username to @ForChange_Now, and losing their blue tick in the process. This is just two days after switching their website address from ‘voteforchange.uk’ to ‘theindependent.group’… Some genius prankster has snapped up control of the old username @TheIndGroup, in order to advocate a ‘hard brexit’. 10/10
A television crew working for Belgian broadcaster RTL was attacked by migrants at the Gare du Nord station in Brussels while they were filming an investigation on the refusal of bus drivers in the city to stop at the ‘rapidly deteriorating’ location. The television crew were attacked on Sunday morning while the crew were trying to interview a bus driver and filming a bus belonging to the De Lijn company following a refusal of drivers to serve the major capital-city transport interchange with their vehicles.
Europe has breathed a collective sight of relief after EU officials announced that serious discussion of Brexit would be banned at an upcoming leaders’ summit. Ahead of Thursday’s meeting in the Romanian city of Sibiu, one senior EU official said the summit would be “in principle Brexit-free”.
EU President Jean-Claude Juncker was handed the European leader of the year prize at the European Leadership Awards gala ceremony on Monday. Juncker beat chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the Commission’s trade chief Cecilia Malmström to the award, which was bestowed upon the unelected Eurocrat by EU-funded Euronews and the European Business Summit (EBS).
Fragmentation, splits in mainstream parties, a surge among populists across Europe and Brexit chaos are set to deadlock the EU after European elections in two weeks’ time. An increase in the number of far-right and populist MEPs elected to the European parliament, including more than 20 seats for the Brexit Party, is expected to complicate key decisions in Brussels this summer and autumn. The first complication, described as a “mess” by a senior European commissioner, will be the election of 73 British MEPs, dominated by Nigel Farage’s party and Labour.
Ministers are pressing ahead with the multi-billion pound restoration of parliament after warning the Notre Dame cathedral fire “brings home sharply” fears of a similar tragedy. Andrea Leadsom will introduce a Commons bill on Wednesday to create an Olympics-style independent body to oversee the refurbishment, which could see MPs and peers decamp from the Palace of Westminster for several years. MPs voted in favour of a “full decant” last year, following warnings the iconic structure is at serious risk from flood or fire due to plumbing and cabling going back to the 19th Century.
Sacking Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary will save two years and hundreds of millions of pounds during the restoration of Parliament, insiders have claimed. Plans to move MPs out of Parliament to nearby Richmond House got a shot in the arm when Mr Williamson was removed from office last week. The former Defence Secretary was locked in a bitter dispute with Commons’ authorities about handing over the Ministry of Defence car park to help those managing the project.
Investors and business owners are increasingly optimistic about the positive impact of Brexit according to a new survey. A report from UBS Global Wealth Management has found 41% of “high net worth” investors believe Brexit will have a positive impact, and this optimism is shared by UK business owners, 44% of whom believe Brexit will have a positive effect on their business, whilst 28% were of the belief Brexit would have no impact on their business. Mark Goddard at UBS Wealth Management added “UK investors and business owners have a much more positive mindset than towards the end of 2018”.
All dementia patients must be given a share of a £2.4 billion NHS fund to subsidise unfair care costs, MPs have said. A cross-party group of 68 MPs said that dementia can no longer be left to a failing social care system and demanded a chunk of a £20 billion NHS budget boost to help sufferers. Every dementia patient should be entitled to a personal budget of thousands of pounds a year to spend on carers, home adaptations or the higher care home fees charged to those with the disease, they said.
GPs across the UK are seeing far more patients than they think is safe, with some openly making mistakes, according to new research. The study found that overtired doctors were sometimes seeing twice as many patients as they should and struggled to be sympathetic to those coming through the door. The new research of 1,681 GPs was carried out by Pulse, a medical magazine. The poll found that GPs are working an average 11-hour day, including eight hours of clinical care and three hours of admin.
Hopes of bolstering the Royal Navy with a fleet of five “bargain” frigates at an all-in cost of £250m per vessel have foundered after the Ministry of Defence conceded the ships could not be delivered at that price. The National Shipbuilding Strategy unveiled in 2017 floated the concept of a new class of budget warship that would support the UK’s shipbuilding sector by spreading work around yards, along with breaking BAE Systems’ near-monopoly.
Britain is planning new defence and military surveillance capabilities in space as concern grows over “increasing and diversifying” threats. Whitehall’s first defence space strategy, obtained by The Times, has identified ten key risks to British satellites, which range from temporary denial of service to “permanent kill” attacks that destroy the hardware. The Ministry of Defence has proposed new measures to safeguard space infrastructure that is critical both to the armed forces and the lives of millions of Britons.
All five living prime ministers have backed the building of a Holocaust memorial next to the Houses of Parliament, with Theresa May saying it is the right thing to do. Mrs May has joined with four former occupants of Downing Street – David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major – to voice their support for the project. The decision to locate the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens has drawn criticism in some quarters, including from Historic England and The Royal Parks, which looks after the site.
The mystery of Stonehenge just got deeper. How did a diamond cutter walk away with a chunky fragment of the sarsen stones? Robert Phillips, now 90 and living in Florida, has arranged for a cylinder drilled out of one of the stones during restoration to be returned 60 years after taking it — without subterfuge — as a memento. Hopes are now high that the core could clear up some of the enduring intrigues of Stonehenge: where did the sarsen stones come from and, given they weigh up to 30 tonnes each, how did they get there?
A missing piece of one of the huge sarsen stones at Stonehenge which was removed 60 years ago has been returned to the ancient monument, English Heritage said. The stone “core” was removed during archaeological excavations in 1958 and its existence remained largely unknown for six decades, but it now joins English Heritage’s collection of more than 500,000 artefacts. Its return may help uncover the source of the stones that form much of the monument, experts said.