Second referendum

Following the Conservatives’ convincing GE win, it seems the push for a ‘People’s Vote’ had died, says the Mirror.

The People’s Vote campaign has today given up pushing for a second referendum after Boris Johnson’s thumping election victory.
The group – which was riven by vicious infighting, a public split and staff exodus weeks before the election vote – will now “refocus” on “vital social issues” to prioritise in Brexit talks, a spokesman said.
It is a concession that a second referendum is no longer possible after the Conservatives won an 80-seat majority in the general election .
It means Boris Johnson is now all but guaranteed to enact his Withdrawal Agreement by January 31 next year.

Conservative Party

Meanwhile, the victorious PM has promised to move away from the right, says the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has pledged to use his 80-seat majority to “heal” Britain once he has brought “closure” to the Brexit turmoil of the past three years.
Signalling a distinct shift towards the centre ground, the Prime Minister made unity the theme of a muted victory speech in Downing Street, promising to repay the trust of all those who had voted Tory for the first time.

The Times reiterates his vow.

Boris Johnson vowed yesterday to heal the divisions of Brexit with an olive branch to Remainers after his stunning election victory.
The prime minister said it was time for closure in the three-year battle between Leave and Remain as he asked his rivals for their help in forging a new relationship with the European Union.
He acknowledged in a Downing Street address that many voters had struggled against tradition to back the Conservatives for the first time.

The Mail says he’s about to bring in a new cabinet.

Boris Johnson is set to use his thumping majority as a mandate to dramatically shake up his cabinet, rewarding the election’s star performers and firing those who threatened to derail the campaign.
The Prime Minister, who has vowed to plow ahead with his new administration immediately, will waste no time reshuffling his top team to fill the vacancies left from the election fallout.
Former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who was sacked by Mr Johnson in July, is rumoured to replace ex-Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan, who has stood down as an MP.

Boris has promised to prioritise the NHS, reports the Independent.

Boris Johnson has said he will make the NHS an “overwhelming priority” during his renewed tenure in No. 10 following a political “earthquake” which saw Labour support give way to a comfortable Tory majority.
However he has not extended the same olive branch to voters north of the border – telling Nicola Sturgeon he would not lend any support to a second independence referendum.

But already there are protests against the election result, reports the Mail.

Hundreds of anti-Boris protesters clashed with police last night when they took to the streets of London in a ‘f*** Boris’ protest just hours after his emphatic election win.
Demonstrators descended on Whitehall, central London at around 5pm waving flags and placards around and shouting ‘not my Prime Minister’ just hours after Mr Johnson pledged to heal the divisions of Brexit, as he returned to Downing Street after securing a crushing General Election victory over Labour.

Reuters also reports the protests.

Several hundred noisy protesters marched through central London on Friday to protest against Britain’s election result, chanting “Boris Johnson: Not My Prime Minister” and “Boris, Boris, Boris: Out, Out, Out”.
The protesters, brandishing signs that read “Defy Tory (Conservative) Rule” and “Refugees Welcome”, walked at speed from outside Johnson’s Downing Street residence to Trafalgar Square and on to the theatre district, blocking traffic and drawing a heavy police presence.

And the Sun says there were arrests.

ANGRY protesters last night clashed with cops in ugly scenes near Downing Street despite Boris Johnson’s historic election win.
One demonstrator was arrested for criminal damage as masked figures scuffled with police on Whitehall after the Tories swept to a majority government.
While Boris Johnson today vowed to work towards healing the country and focus on supporting the NHS, sore loser protesters took to the streets to wave placards.

The Morning Star reports on a well-known activist.

FAR-RIGHT businessman Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – infamous as “Tommy Robinson” – has announced that he has joined the Conservative Party following its general election victory.
In a message to his subscribers on Telegram, an online messaging service popular with the far right, Mr Yaxley-Lennon wrote: “OK, I have just joined the Conservative Party.

Labour Party

The Labour leader won’t take responsibility for his party’s devastating result reports the Telegraph.

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to apologise to Labour MPs despite leading the party to one of its worst ever election results, insisting he did “everything I could”.
Unrepentant in defeat, the Labour leader rejected suggestions that his personal toxicity, contributed to the scale of the capitulation in traditional working class seats lost to Boris Johnson. 

The Mail claims he sneaked out by a back door.

Jeremy Corbyn was pictured leaving by the back exit between bins at Islington Town Hall today after refusing to accept the blame for Labour’s election catastrophe yesterday – despite a poll identifying his leadership as the biggest factor in the party’s worst defeat since 1935.
After his utter humiliation at the polls, Mr Corbyn resisted pressure to quit immediately, saying he would cling on for several months to allow his party to ‘reflect’ on the reasons for the defeat.

The Times calls the Labour result ‘chaotic’.

Insiders have blamed a chaotic and dysfunctional campaign for Labour’s worst election result in almost 90 years.
Stories began to surface last night of failures of leadership with the finger of blame being pointed at Jeremy Corbyn and his two close aides, Karie Murphy and Seumas Milne.
As the party slumped to 202 seats, its lowest tally since 1935, insiders said that the failure lay somewhere in “a grey area between incompetence and conspiracy”.

And the Independent says there’ll be a backlash against the leader.

Jeremy Corbyn is facing a furious Labour backlash after refusing to take the blame for the party’s most disastrous general election defeat for 80 years, or set a date for his departure.
Senior Labour figures tore into their leader after he blamed public support for Brexit for Boris Johnson’s stunning triumph – a Commons majority of 80, which left Labour with 59 fewer MPs than in 2017 on a “Friday the 13th” night of horror.

Will he resign?  If so, when?  The Mail asks.

Jeremy Corbyn today vowed to stay on as Labour leader for months as his hard-Left faction fights to keep control of the party despite the disastrous election rout.
The veteran MP dismissed calls to step down immediately after overseeing the most catastrophic Labour showing in a poll since 1935.
Extraordinarily Mr Corbyn – who will have to face Boris Johnson in what promises to be an humiliating PMQs session next Wednesday – he also rejected the idea his appalling personal ratings and extreme policies were to blame.

Sky News says he will.

Jeremy Corbyn is to stand down as Labour leader following a “period of reflection”.
The party won its lowest number of seats since 1935  as support crumbled in its former heartlands, with the Conservatives winning a majority of 80.
Mr Corbyn blamed Brexit for Labour’s poor showing as he accepted victory in his Islington North constituency, while also criticising media “attacks” towards himself, his family and the party.

The Mirror calls his defeat ‘humiliating’.

Jeremy Corbyn says he will step down as Labour leader after his party suffered a humiliating defeat in last night’s General Election .
But he says he will stay on while the party undergoes a period of “reflection” – and selects a leader to replace him.
Mr Corbyn acknowledged that he had to leave Labour’s helm after suffering a second General Election defeat as he criticised media “attacks” towards himself, his family and the party.

The Morning Star calls the result ‘devastating’.

LABOUR was urged to accept that it “got it wrong” on Brexit and that “Remain has been defeated” today following yesterday’s devastating election result.
Over the course of the long and brutal night, dozens of Labour constituencies turned blue for the first time in decades — most of them Leave-voting.

LibDems

The LibDem leader, who lost her seat, was unapologetic, says the Times.

Jo Swinson was unapologetic about the Liberal Democrats’ promise to cancel Brexit yesterday after she became the first serving leader of a significant party to lose their seat since 1945.
After a calamitous night the party, which began the campaign with 21 MPs, including defectors from other parties, was left with 11, one down on 2017.
Ms Swinson followed in the footsteps of Sir Archibald Sinclair, the Liberal Party leader who was ousted in Caithness & Sutherland in the 1945 election.

And the Independent reports she does not regret the campaign.

Jo Swinson has insisted she does not regret the Liberal Democrats’ election campaign, despite losing her own seat on a disappointing night for the party.
The Lib Dem leader admitted her party’s staunch opposition to Brexit “hasn’t worked” but said she did not “regret trying”.
The Liberal Democrats won just 11 seats – one fewer than in 2017.
Ms Swinson saw her Dunbartonshire East seat captured by the SNP by a margin of just 149 votes.

BBC News says she’s ‘proud’.

Jo Swinson has said she is “proud” to have been the first woman to lead the Liberal Democrats as she prepares to step down as party leader.
Ms Swinson, who lost her seat to the SNP’s Amy Callaghan, said she was “devastated” by the election result.
Addressing supporters in London, she warned of a growing tide of populism and urged her party to “regroup”. The Lib Dems dropped from 12 to 11 seats.

Queen’s Speech

We’re starting to get a few details about next week’s State Opening of Parliament.  The Times reports:

Abolition of the Fixed-term Parliament Act is expected to be included in the Queen’s Speech next week as Boris Johnson moves to lay the groundwork for a second term.
Changes to Westminster constituency boundaries  which the Tories hope will make it easier for them to retain office is also likely to be an early priority, with a wider constitutional overhaul in prospect.

Scotland

The PM will be heading north next week to try and persuade Scots they don’t want another indyref, says the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson is to embark on a major charm offensive in Scotland after accepting his unpopularity north of the Border contributed to the SNP’s general election landslide yesterday.
The Daily Telegraph understands the Prime Minister contacted senior Scottish Tories after the SNP won 48 of the country’s 59 Westminster seats and acknowledged he has a huge challenge to protect the Union.

He has told Wee Burney that she can’t have another referendum, says the Evening Standard.

Boris Johnson has reiterated his opposition to a second Scottish independence vote during a call with Nicola Sturgeon.
The First Minister confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot after the SNP’s election victory in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would “publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge”.

ITV News also reports his decision.

Boris Johnson has reiterated his opposition to a second vote on Scottish independence during a call with Nicola Sturgeon, despite her saying it is now a “democratic right”.
The First Minister confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot after the SNP’s victory in Scotland in a “watershed” General Election.

The Times says Sturgeon is to demand her referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon will demand powers from Boris Johnson next week to hold a second Scottish independence referendum, arguing that the SNP’s election surge gives her a mandate for a ballot by the end of next year.
Civil servants have finalised a Scottish government document that makes the case for another constitutional contest. It will be sent to the prime minister on Tuesday or Wednesday as the Scottish first minister furthers her push to break up Britain.

But the Mail says he’s holding firm.

Boris Johnson has reiterated his opposition to a second vote on Scottish independence during a call with Nicola Sturgeon, despite her saying it is now a ‘democratic right’.
The First Minister confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot after the SNP’s victory in Scotland in a ‘watershed’ General Election.

DUP

The Independent calls the DUP’s result ‘disastrous’.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has suffered a disastrous general election with its deputy leader losing his seat.
Northern Ireland now has more nationalist and republican members of parliament than unionists after the DUP lost two of the 10 with whom it entered the contest.
Nigel Dodds went down to an unprecedented defeat to Sinn Fein‘s John Finucane in North Belfast – the first time a nationalist has ever taken the constituency.

BBC News calls is ‘bruising’.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) suffered a bruising night of general election results, losing two MPs including its Westminster leader.
Nigel Dodds lost his North Belfast seat to Sinn Féin’s John Finucane while Emma Little-Pengelly was defeated by Claire Hanna of the SDLP in South Belfast.
SDLP party leader Colum Eastwood won Foyle with a thumping majority, while the Alliance Party took North Down.

TBP

Boris might have won the election but the Express says it’s Nigel who has saved Brexit.

BORIS JOHNSON scored a thumping victory in Thursday’s general election securing a huge majority of 80 in the House of Commons, but Express.co.uk readers are unanimous in the belief it was Nigel Farage who has actually saved Brexit from complete collapse.
Nigel Farage was one of the biggest losers of the general election, with his Brexit Party failing to win a single seat, despite him insisting he was happy with the party’s “influence” to help Boris Johnson secure a majority.

And ITV News says Nigel’s not going anywhere.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has vowed to be “not too far away from the action” after Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to victory at the polls.
The Tories will hold an 80-seat majority when Parliament resumes and Mr Johnson said his party’s MPs have an “overwhelming mandate… to get Brexit done and we will honour that mandate by 31 January”.

Breitbart reports Nigel’s comment that ‘the war is over’.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said that the Brexit war is over and the UK is “much closer” to leaving the EU after the Conservatives won the General Election.
Speaking in the early hours of Friday morning to Sky News Australia as exit polls predicted a massive majority for the Conservative Party, Mr Farage said: “It’s done. The war is over. It’s finished. We’re leaving.”

EU

Even the EU is pleased with the result, reports the Telegraph.

European Union leaders hailed Boris Johnson’s landslide election victory on Friday, as Angela Merkel said his “strong mandate” will mean he can more effectively negotiate with the bloc in difficult trade talks which must be finished by the end of next year.
The heads of state and government urged Mr Johnson to use his majority to forge the closest possible trading relationship with the bloc but warned Britain would be expected to follow EU rules and regulations.

But will it be a proper Brexit?  The Times says it might not be.

The European Union expects Boris Johnson’s majority  to give him the political flexibility to negotiate a softer, business-friendly Brexit.
EU leaders congratulated the prime minister yesterday but warned him that the price of an “ambitious” trade deal with tariff-free access to Britain’s biggest export market would be agreement on a “level playing field”.
Trade talks will begin after Britain leaves on January 31 and the EU will open with a red line demand for Britain to align itself to Europe’s single market rules on competition, social and environmental regulations.

But there are some positive comments coming out of the bloc, says the Sun.

EUROPEAN Council President Charles Michel has today said the EU is ready to get Brexit done following Boris Johnson’s landslide election victory.
Charles Michel congratulated Boris on his huge majority and said: “We expect a vote on the withdrawal agreement as soon as possible. The EU is ready for the next phase.”
A jubilant Prime Minister declared that his party has “smashed the roadblock” and “ended the gridlock” as he vowed to plough on with Brexit.

The economy

And even in the hours since the Tories’ election victory, the economy has started to bounce, says the Telegraph.

Investors piled £33bn into British stocks and sent markets to record highs as they bet on an economic boom after Boris Johnson won the biggest Conservative majority since 1987.
UK shares and sterling leapt as the Tories raced to victory, clearing a path to end the Brexit deadlock.

BBC News also reports the surge.

The pound and shares have surged after the Conservatives won a clear majority in the UK general election.
Sterling rose above $1.35 at one point – its highest level since May last year – on hopes that the big majority would remove uncertainty over Brexit.
The pound also jumped to a three-and-a-half-year high against the euro.
On the stock market, the FTSE 100 share index rose 1.1%, while the FTSE 250 – which includes more UK-focused shares – briefly hit record highs.

Education

Away from front-line politics, the Telegraph reports on exam markers who allow their political leanings to influence their marks.

Exam markers have been accused of being “politically correct”, as figures show as the number of pupils penalised for “offensive” material has doubled in a year.
This year, 450 students were disciplined for including “inappropriate, offensive or obscene material” in their GCSEs or A-level exam scripts or coursework, up from 225 in 2018.

And cheating is on the rise, reports the Sun.

THE number of students punished for cheating in exams has risen by 11 per cent — with mobile phone usage the most common trick.
Some 3,040 penalties were issued to teenagers flouting the rules in GCSE, AS and A-level exams this summer — up from 2,735 last year.
Of those, 1,560 lost marks, 870 received written warnings, and 610 missed out on a certificate.

NHS

The Guardian reports growing problems in the health service.

The NHS was “on its knees” even before winter had begun, health service bosses have said as figures showed it missed key waiting-time targets for A&E care, operations and cancer treatment.
The performance of the NHS in England in November was yet again its worst ever, prompting concern that it cannot keep up with a relentless rise in the number of people needing care.

Train travel

There aren’t going to be many trains on Boxing Day reports the Times.

More than 20 train operators will shut down on Boxing Day despite promises more than a decade ago to provide a decent service for shoppers and football supporters.
An analysis of published schedules shows that only seven companies will run a timetable on December 26.

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