Labour leadership

The row over the ballot for leadership of the Labour Party rumbles on, with the Guardian reporting the conflict between the current leader and his deputy.

Jeremy Corbyn has accused his elected deputy of deliberately deceiving members with claims of Trotskyist entryism – and refused to offer a vote of confidence in Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Observer, in which he launches what is being billed as a totemic National Education Service policy, the Labour leader described claims of far-left infiltration of the party by Tom Watson as “nonsense” adding, “and I think he knows it’s nonsense”.
Corbyn also claimed that McNicol, Labour’s most senior employee, has questions to answer over his conduct in “recent months”. On Friday, the
court of appeal ruled in favour of McNicol, whose lawyers argued that Labour’s governing body – the national executive committee (NEC) – could bar 130,000 new members from voting in the leadership election.

ITV News has a similar story.

Jeremy Corbyn has attacked Tom Watson, for talking “nonsense”, over his claims that “Trotsky entryists” are manipulating young party members to boost support for the Labour leader.
The pair’s relatively peaceful public relationship erupted into a war of words last week with allies of Mr Corbyn accusing the elected deputy of peddling “baseless conspiracy theories”.
Mr Watson replied with a dossier which he claimed backed up his comments.

So does BBC News.

Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed claims by his deputy that hard left activists are trying to infiltrate the Labour party ahead of the leadership vote.
Mr Corbyn said Tom Watson’s suggestion that “Trotsky entryists” are manipulating young party members to boost his support were “nonsense”.
But Mr Watson responded saying there was “clear and incontrovertible evidence” to back his claims.
The Labour leader is embroiled in a contest with challenger Owen Smith.

And Sky News

Jeremy Corbyn has attacked his deputy Tom Watson after he said “Trotsky entryists” were manipulating young party members to boost support for the Labour leader.
Their relationship erupted into a war of words last week with allies of Mr Corbyn accusing Mr Watson of peddling “baseless conspiracy theories”.
The deputy leader replied with a dossier which he claimed backed up his comments.

And the Sun.

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has slammed deputy Tom Watson’s claims of Trotskyists infiltrating the party as “nonsense”.
Mr Watson last week launched a scathing attack about hard-left factions joining and plotting to take over.
But Mr Corbyn said: “I just ask Tom to do the maths — 300,000 people have joined the Labour Party.
At no stage in anyone’s most vivid imagination are there 300,000 sectarian extremists at large who have suddenly descended upon the Labour Party.”
He told The Observer: “Sorry Tom, it’s nonsense.”

And the Guardian.

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign suffered a setback on Thursday after an unexpected Court of Appeal victory for the party’s ruling body that will bar thousands of the leader’s supporters from voting.
Angry recriminations from Corbyn’s team followed the court’s decision, which will mean about 130,000 new members who joined less than six months ago will not be able to vote in the forthcoming poll between Corbyn and Owen Smith for the Labour leadership.
Corbyn’s campaign team openly attacked both the court of appeal judges and the party’s HQ for fighting the appeal, castigating the decision as wrong “both legally and democratically.” Shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said lawyers had used “a grubby little device” to win the appeal.

The Mirror reports that a former leader is being urged to return.

Labour MPs are appealing to David Miliband to return to UK politics in a desperate bid to oust Jeremy Corbyn .
Senior backbenchers want Miliband, who quit politics to run a charity in the US, back here as quickly as possible.
And they say one possible route would be for him to stand in the Batley and Spen seat left empty by the killing of Jo Cox.
No date has been set for a by-election but rumours are growing that the solid Labour seat would be ideal for Miliband.
One backbencher said: “It’s something that is being looked at. This would give David time to get back into the swing of Parliament, build up his profile and then mount a leadership ­challenge.
A lot of people think he’d be the perfect solution.”


The Guardian reports on the increasing problems in the housing market.

Strong leadership is urgently required by council planners to inspire public sector development as post-Brexit uncertainty continues to paralyse private developers, a new report warns.
Compounding the message are the findings of a new poll showing that three-quarters of planners believe cumulative changes to the planning system have seriously eroded their ability to deliver quality developments.
The report, published by the Royal Town Planning Institute, says budget cuts and changes in planning policy over the last 30 years have undermined the powers of public sector planners to perform strategic leadership.


Election fraud

Several of the media cover a report by Sir Eric Pickles which says there is a culture of electoral fraud in some parts of the country.

Reuters reports:

If ever you’ve worried that parts of Britain now resemble some hideously corrupt, Third World Islamic basket case hell hole then you’re going to love Sir Eric Pickles’s gloriously robust report on electoral fraud.
His target, it’s clear, isn’t just the Muslim communities in places like London’s Tower Hamlets (and Birmingham and many Northern towns) which have imported to Britain the kind of political skullduggery and malpractice routine on the Indian subcontinent. More broadly what Pickles is attacking is the bankrupt philosophy of Multiculturalism and the entrenched, institutional political correctness that have made it all possible.
Consider, for example, this passage on the use of “foreign languages” at polling stations:

The languages spoken in polling stations (and other places such as the count) has recently become an issue with concerns that promoting the use of non-English languages could disguise coercion or influence within the polling station. This has not been helped by the Electoral Commission facilitating what it calls “community languages”. Such an approach undermines integration and leaves the door open to fraud. These are not ‘community languages’ – they are foreign languages.

Here is a bloody-minded Yorkshireman being about as blunt as you possibly can in an official report. The reason Muslim communities get away with flouting and corrupting British values, he is saying, is because the relevant authorities are turning a blind eye.

BBC News blames the authorities.

Authorities are turning a blind eye to electoral corruption in the UK because of a desire for political correctness, a report on the issue has suggested.
Former communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles said fraud may be overlooked because of “over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion”.
He also said voters should provide proof of identity at polling stations.
His review was commissioned by David Cameron in the wake of the
Tower Hamlets election fraud scandal in 2015.

As does Sky News.

Britain is turning a blind eye to corruption in town halls and elections because of political correctness, according to a former Cabinet minister.
In a hard-hitting report, Sir Eric Pickles says there is evidence of pressure being put on vulnerable members of some ethnic minority communities in elections.
He says women and young people in particular have been urged to vote according to the will of elders, especially in communities of Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds.

And the Express.

CORRUPTION and intimidation at elections is being ignored because of worries political correctness among officials, a withering report into ballot fraud warned last night.
Police, town hall staff and electoral watchdogs have “turned a blind eye” to poll cheating due to “over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion”, the investigation found.
And drastic measures needed to be introduced to stop foreigners illegally registering to vote and fraudulently “vote harvesting” with postal ballots.
The disturbing verdict on the state of Britain’s democratic process was delivered in a hard-hitting report following the first official review of electoral fraud in Britain.

The Independent reports Sir Eric’s call for further investigation.

Former Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles has called for a reinvestigation into electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets, after his own report into the issue concluded that authorities are turning a blind eye to corruption due to concerns over political correctness.
Sir Eric’s year long review was commissioned by David Cameron after the 2015 Tower Hamlets electoral fraud scandal. Among its conclusions is the observation that fraud may be overlooked because of “over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion”.
The review states that “politically correct sensibilities” meant that voting irregularities in Pakistani or Bangladeshi communities in particular often went uninvestigated. Tower Hamlets in East London is among the most ethnically diverse constituencies in the country.


EU subsidies will be protected after Brexit reports BBC News

EU funding for farmers, scientists and other projects will be replaced by the Treasury after Brexit, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.
In a move which could cost up to £6bn a year, the Treasury will guarantee to back EU-funded projects signed before this year’s Autumn Statement.
Agricultural funding now provided by the EU will also continue until 2020.
But critics said the guarantee does not go far enough and there was “continued uncertainty”.
Voters backed leaving the EU in the 23 June referendum but Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated the UK government
will not trigger Article 50, which would begin a two-year process to leave, during 2016.

The Express has a similar story.

THE UK Government will continue paying farm and other subsidies currently received from Brussels after Britain leaves the European Union, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced.
His dramatic guarantee until at least 2020 scotches scare stories put about by Remain campaigners that Britian would lose vital EU funding if the electorate dared to vote leave.
The move aims to answer fears among businesses, universities, local authorities and other organisations about future funding of current EU-funded schemes including those they may be in negotiation.
Farmers also faced uncertainty about the fate of their Common Agricultural Policy support deals worth more than £2billion once Britain leaves the EU.

As does the Independent.

The Government has moved to safeguard billions of pounds of EU funding for universities, business, farmers and run-down areas after Brexit. Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, tried to allay fears that thousands of organisations which rely on EU funds could be left high and dry when the UK leaves the EU.
His pledge covers about £4.6bn a year from the Common Agricultural Policy, regional and social funds for poor regions and about £1.5bn a year for business and universities, including scientific and medical research.
While the Treasury guarantee will be welcomed by the groups affected, it lasts only until 2020. There could be a scramble for funding after that unless the guarantee is extended.

In a different aspect to Brexit, Breitbart claims Northern Ireland could throw a spanner in the works.

A Northern Ireland human rights activist has launched a legal challenge against any British attempt to leave the European Union, saying it would be in breach of the 1998 peace deal that brought peace to the British province.
Raymond McCord’s move is one of several attempts being made to use the courts to stave off a British exit from the EU.
Northern Ireland voted on June 23 to stay in the EU, with 56 percent voting ‘Remain’, putting it at odds with the United Kingdom’s overall 52-48 percent result in favour of leaving.
Senior Northern Ireland politicians have warned that a British exit could undermine the province’s 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal by reinstating a hard border with the Republic of Ireland and by undermining the legal basis for the deal, which contains references to the EU.

Thought Police’

It seems that even our opinions could be subject to police action, says the Mail.

Britain’s biggest police force has set up a controversial unit – dubbed as ‘thought police’ by critics last night – to investigate offensive comments from the internet.
It will be supported by an army of volunteers trained to seek out anything they deem inappropriate on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
They will then report it to officers who will attempt to track down the culprits and possibly prosecute them, according to a report seen by The Mail on Sunday.
Scotland Yard is spending £1.7 million to set up its Twitter squad, which will have five detectives running it.
The establishment of the new unit comes after a surge in reports of racist and sexist abuse on social media, with some trolls jailed for making death threats against MPs.
But there have also been high- profile cases where police have been accused of being too heavy-handed in arresting or prosecuting people simply for making jokes.
Last night, MPs and civil liberties campaigners raised fears that the new unit would stop people expressing opinions for fear of arrest.

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