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News review – Monday 22 April 2019

News review – Monday 22 April 2019

Theresa May

Telegraph
A vote on Theresa May’s future among the party’s grassroots supporters which could hasten her departure from office is just weeks away after enough local party chairmen signed a petition supporting it. The National Conservative Convention, which represents Tory volunteers, now has a duty under the party’s constitution to call an “extraordinary general meeting” to allow a no confidence vote in Mrs May to be held. Any vote would be unprecedented and would put pressure on Conservative MPs to change the leadership rules and allow them to hold an early vote on Mrs May’s future which could see her being forcibly removed from office.

Express
A TORY grassroots plot to force Theresa May into quitting has secured enough support to trigger an emergency party meeting for a no-confidence vote. The Prime Minister’s failure to secure Britain’s exit from the European Union has unleashed a furious uprising in the party. Last night the threshold needed to demand an extraordinary general meeting of the party’s national convention, the most powerful body representing the rank and file, was reached. Sources involved in the plot said the petition had been backed by at least 65 constituency association chairmen after the Prime Minister’s “spectacular failure to deliver” Brexit. “It’s a farce,” they added. “If she’s not capable of doing the job, then somebody come forward that is because this just can’t go on.”

Mirror
Tory activists are drumming up a new plot to oust “calamity” Theresa May by June 30 over her handling of Brexit . Fresh reports have emerged that activists want to change party rules to force another leadership challenge against the flailing Prime Minister. Currently Mrs May has a year’s grace after surviving a Tory leadership challenge in December 2018. But furious activists say she should face a contest again sooner after delaying Brexit to October 31 and opening softer deal talks with Labour .

Sun
THERESA May is expected to be told she must step down as Prime Minister by the end of June or Conservative MPs will change the party rules and force her out. The chairman of the party’s all-powerful back bench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady is poised to tell May that now 70 percent of her MPs want her to resign over her handling of Brexit and for being in charge when support for the party collapsed. Sir Graham will meet with the committee’s 18 executives on Tuesday to discuss whether or not to tear up the party’s rules to allow a new no confidence vote on May before December. Insiders say undecided “swing voters” are pushing for a change in the rules unless she agrees to go by June 30, The Times reports. As chairman of the body that represents the interests of the party’s back-benchers Sir Graham effectively holds a powerful kingmaker role and is usually the one to tell a Tory leader when it is time to go.

Times
A leading Tory donor says that he and other benefactors angry at Theresa May’s handling of Brexit are bypassing party HQ and giving directly to MPs who oppose the prime minister’s deal. Alexander Temerko, a Ukraine-born businessman who has donated more than £1 million to the Conservatives, said that Remainers and Brexiteers were frustrated at Mrs May’s leadership and lack of progress and that she had “alienated” donors. Mr Temerko, a Remainer, said that he had given tens of thousands of pounds in the past few months “not to CCHQ but to associations and MPs”. “Who is suffering? CCHQ. A lot of donors now prefer to support individual MPs not CCHQ,” he said.

Conservative Party

Sun
THERESA May has been forced to abandoned plans for a major Cabinet reshuffle next month because of the Brexit delay. The new blow to the PM’s survival hopes comes as it emerged that three out of five party members plan to refuse to vote Tory in the euro elections. Close allies had urged the PM to carry out a big clear of her ageing top team. The move would have helped fend off calls for her to resign immediately after an expected local election meltdown on May 2. Ushering in a younger generation of Tory MPs to the Government’s top ranks could have kept the PM in No10 until December, Cabinet allies argued. But the new six-month delay to Britain’s EU exit until October has plunged Mrs May into a fresh crisis and destabilised her yet further.

Express
THERESA MAY has had to abandon plans for a Cabinet reshuffle due to the Brexit delay. A senior No10 source revealed a reshuffle would be “impossible”. They told The Sun: “A reshuffle is going to be impossible now. Things are just too precarious. The last thing we need is any more enemies on the backbenches.” Allies close to the Prime Minister encouraged her to spring clean her top team. The move would have reportedly eased calls for Mrs May to resign. The allies argued a younger generation of Tory MPs would have kept Mrs May in power until December, the Sun reported. The failed plans follow news that three out of five Tory members will refuse to vote Conservative in the European elections.  Meanwhile, Chairman of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady has order Mrs May to stand down.

Labour Party

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed after footage emerged of him branding British SAS soldiers in Iraq ‘lawless’. The Labour Party leader was filmed just days after the dramatic rescue of two special forces men from an Iraqi police station in 2005. Speaking at a Stop the War rally, Mr Corbyn, who was a backbench MP at the time, said: ‘What happened in Basra this week, you could have written a play about it, you couldn’t have made it up. ‘British SAS officers, armed to the teeth, driving through a checkpoint, dressed in some other clothing, then tried to shoot their way out of it, and then they are arrested, apparently quite properly by the local police.

Independent
Labour will be beaten by Nigel Farage if it offers only “mealy-mouthed” support for a second Brexit referendum, Tom Watson has warned Jeremy Corbyn. In what will be seen as an extraordinary criticism of his leader, Mr Corbyn’s deputy says his own party is trying to “sit on the fence about the most crucial issue facing our country”. Mr Watson – who backed a fresh public vote last month – warned the tactic risked handing victory to Mr Farage’s new Brexit Party, which has topped polls for next month’s European Parliament elections. And he said: “Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half-agree with him.

Guardian
Labour will never defeat Nigel Farage if it continues to “sit on the fence” over Brexit and offers only “mealy-mouthed” support for a second referendum, the party’s deputy leader says today. In an extraordinary intervention that exposes the tensions at the top of the party over Brexit strategy, Tom Watson warns that Labour will lose to Farage’s new “far right” Brexit party in May’s European elections if it continues to give the impression that “we half agree with him”. Writing in today’s Observer, Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy argues that Labour needs to give much clearer and more enthusiastic backing to another referendum and also spell out a positive, radical vision of how a Labour government could advance socialist values by working with other centre-left parties inside the European Union.

Mail
Labour cannot beat Nigel Farage at the upcoming European elections if it ‘sits on the fence’ on Brexit, the party’s deputy leader has warned.  Tom Watson said Labour needed an ‘inspiring’ message and had to show ‘real leadership’ to counter Mr Farage and his newly formed Brexit Party.  Polls for the hastily arranged European Parliament elections have shown Labour and the Brexit Party battling for first place.  Mr Watson said Labour would profit by backing a second referendum but many of his colleagues fear it would damage the party in northern England.  Writing in the Observer, he said: ‘Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him.

BBC News
Labour must promise another Brexit referendum to counter the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader has said. Writing in the Observer, Tom Watson said his party could not “sit on the fence” about the biggest issue to face the UK for a generation. But ex-UKIP leader Mr Farage said a new referendum would be “a total insult” to five million Labour Leave voters. The UK has been given an extension to the Brexit process until 31 October. This means the UK is likely to hold European Parliament elections on 23 May. Mr Farage launched his new Brexit Party last week and said it had a list of 70 candidates to fight the May elections. Mr Watson warned that Labour would not defeat Mr Farage “by being mealy- mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him”. “We won’t beat him unless we can inspire the millions crying out for a different direction,” he added.

TBP

Mail
Yesterday, a poll suggested that up to 40 per cent of Tory councillors are willing to back Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party in the European elections. But it’s not just councillors he’s winning over. Having already unveiled Annunziata Rees-Mogg, whose brother Jacob is the high priest of Tory Brexiteer MPs, Farage is hinting he has some other big names up his sleeve — and some will be announced at a press conference tomorrow. One who is reportedly on the verge of signing up is my good friend and former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe. A Tory for 55 years, the redoubtable Widdecombe campaigned hard for Brexit and was appalled by the failure to deliver on the Article 50 commitment to leave on March 29. In a recent TV interview Widders, an MP for 23 years, described Theresa May as the worst Tory leader since Sir Anthony Eden, who led Britain into the humiliating 1956 Suez Crisis.

Express
THERESA MAY has been snubbed by Tory councillors, with 40 percent saying they will vote for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party at the European elections. A recent survey of elected grassroots Tories found three quarters of Mrs May’s councillors wanted her to resign, with 43 percent of them calling her to quit immediately. Just over half said they would vote Tory in the European election – a figure that would rise to 65 percent if the Prime Minister was replaced by leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson, according to a Survation poll for the Mail On Sunday. A further 40 percent said they would vote for Mr Farage’s Brexit party. However, this figure would plummet to 22 percent if Mr Johnson was in Number 10. A staggering 96 percent agreed that the party has been damaged by the Brexit deadlock.

Guardian
Conservative members and activists are likely to abandon the party in vast numbers in the European parliament elections in favour of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, two surveys have suggested. A questionnaire of party members for the ConservativeHome website found 62% were planning to vote for the Brexit party if the European elections went ahead in the UK in May as expected, and only 23% intended to vote for their own party. Separately, a poll of Conservative councillors by Survation for the Mail on Sunday found 40% were planning to vote for the Brexit party, and only 52% for the party they represent in local government. Ministers have claimed the European elections could still be cancelled if MPs approved the Brexit agreement first, but parliament would also have to pass the withdrawal agreement legislation before 23 May and at Westminster it is widely assumed that even if Theresa May found a surprise majority for a deal there is no realistic chance of her meeting this timetable.

Mirror
The full extent of the Tory Brexit meltdown has been exposed in a shock poll – which shows almost HALF of councillors are set to back Nigel Farage. Only 52% of Conservative councillors plan to vote for their own party in the EU elections, according to a damning Survation poll of 781 of them. And a whopping 40% said they plan to vote for the Brexit Party, the new outfit set up by Farage in direct opposition to the Tories. The survey reveals the depth of anger against Theresa May among grassroots Tories after she delayed Brexit to October 31, and opened cross-party talks that could lead to a softer deal. Some 96% of councillors said the Brexit deadlock damaged the party. And 76% want the Prime Minister to resign – with 43% saying she must go immediately.

Sun
A LARGE number of Tory councillors have proposed to back Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, according to reports. A survey found 40 per cent of them will back the former Ukip leader’s new party in the European Elections next month. And at least three quarters of them are hoping she will resign, with almost half are calling for her to quit immediately, according to The Mail on Sunday. The newspaper surveyed 781 Conservative councillors and found that 65 per cent of them would vote for Conservatives if Boris Johnson became the party leader. But some 40 per cent would reportedly back Farage’s new party if the Tories remained under their current leadership. Some 15 per cent of those surveyed said they believed Mr Farage would be the best leader of the Conservative Party.

Independent
A staggering 40 per cent of Conservative councillors say they will back Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party in the European elections, in a fresh grassroots revolt against Theresa May. Three-quarters of Tory councillors want the prime minister to quit, a survey found – while an overwhelming 96 per cent believe their party has been damaged by the Brexit stalemate. The devastating results come after one local Conservative group took the extraordinary step of refusing to help with the 23 May elections – insisting they “should not be happening”.

Mail
Nigel Farage said yesterday that he is planning a ‘northern attack’ on Labour-voting Leave areas. It came as Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, called for his party to back a second Brexit referendum. Mr Farage, leader of the new Brexit Party, which last week surged to a shock lead in the polls, said he would be targeting ‘Labour lies and dishonesty’ in the run-up to the European Parliament elections on May 23. He said any notion of a second referendum would be a ‘total insult’ to the five million Labour supporters who voted Leave.  But Mr Watson insisted Labour backing for a second – or ‘confirmatory’ – referendum was the only way to respond to the challenge posed by Mr Farage.

Breitbart
An eminent British academic has warned that a political status quo defined by an increasingly insular and out of touch political class could be shattered by the rise of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. John Gray, an Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics (LSE), pointed out that while around a third of MPs from the Labour Party came from working-class families in 1945, when that party won its first ever majority government, today “only around four percent of [all] MPs come from this background.”

CHUK

Independent
Boris Johnson taking over at No 10 would be “the end of the road” for several Conservative MPs who would defect to the new centrist Change UK party, its leader says. Heidi Allen, a former Conservative, predicted “a number” of her former colleagues would follow her across the Commons if the arch-Brexiteer – or someone like him – succeeded Theresa May as prime minister. She also played down fears that the failure of Change UK to agree a joint slate of candidates for the European Parliament elections with the Liberal Democrats and Greens would damage the anti-Brexit cause. Ms Allen said she had studied the workings of the proportional voting system to be used on 23 May, adding: “I don’t think there’s a risk of that. “We will poll differently in different parts of the country but I think we stand every chance of doing very, very well in certain regions.”

Foreign aid

Independent
Vital foreign aid could be cut as Tory leadership rivals push their anti-aid platforms with Conservative members, a Labour frontbencher has warned. The budget could be used as a “political football”, the shadow international development secretary claimed. It is feared aid could emerge as a pivotal issue in a leadership contest after Theresa May announces her departure date.  The UK is committed to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) on development assistance overseas – £13.9bn in 2017.  It was a target first met by David Cameron’s administration, and one Ms May’s government has remained committed to, despite calls from prominent MPs in the party to scale back the budget

NHS

Telegraph
Patients recovering from a stroke can slash their risk of blood clots by wearing a small “half wrist-watch” around their leg, a trial has shown. A study at Royal Stoke University Hospital found the geko device could reduce the risk of clots compared to standard treatment, is comfortable to wear and could save the NHS cash. Approved for use on the NHS for other conditions, the geko is a battery-powered, disposable, device designed to increase blood flow in the deep veins of the legs. Its action is the equivalent of about 60 per cent of walking – even though the patient does not have to move.

Drugs

Times
Instagram is helping drug pushers to provide “dial-a-deal” services by recommending local suppliers of cocaine and cannabis, a Times investigation has found. Dozens of accounts linked to dealers in large cities included photographs of drugs on offer, mostly cannabis, as well as the location. While being illegal, selling such drugs is also against Instagram’s terms, but the dealers operate openly. Interest in accounts of cannabis dealers led to recommendations for sellers of cocaine. Following a drug dealer’s account on the social network or liking a post triggered suggestions to follow other dealers, sometimes in the same area. Several accounts found using hashtags such as #brumweed and #mancdank featured offers such as “free shipping” and “bulk discounts”.

The post News review – Monday 22 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Easter Sunday papers – 21st April 2019

Easter Sunday papers – 21st April 2019

Brexit

A leading Brexiteer has changed his mind, reports the Express.

JACOB REES-MOGG has said he “made a mistake” in believing Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” mantra after the Prime Minister forced the UK into a six-month extension in order to avoid a no deal Brexit this month.
The leading Brexiteer said he showed a “degree of naivety” in believing Theresa May would support a no deal Brexit. Channel 4’s political editor Gary Gibbon said Mr Rees-Mogg had “underestimated” how resistant the Prime Minister was to a no deal Brexit. In response, the leading Brexiteer said: “Oh, absolutely. You are absolutely right.
“That was my miscalculation.
“I made a mistake of believing the British Prime Minister, which actually historically can often be a mistake.
“I am making a criticism myself of a degree of naivety.”
The Government had spent £12.4million between mid-November and mid-January on external consultants’ fees and £700,000 more in a PR push publicising Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement and her hard Brexit plans.
The consultants were asked to draw up alternative plans to the Irish backstop, against which MPs had already announced in December they would oppose.
They also had to prepare the country for a no deal Brexit if the British Parliament failed to reach an agreement by March 29.
But these costly efforts turned out to be ineffective, as the Prime Minister’s deal was overwhelmingly defeated on January 15 by a record 220 votes.

And hardliners are totally determined to reject the PM’s WA, reports the Times.

The resurgence of Nigel Farage has left hardline Conservative Brexiteers even more determined not to vote for Theresa May’s deal.
Two polls this week put the former Ukip leader’s new Brexit Party in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections, due to take place on May 23.
“Whatever happens we cannot have these European parliament elections,” one senior Conservative told The Times. “The referendum was supposed to kill Ukip — what May’s done over the last two weeks has dug up the corpse and put Farage’s face on it.”

Conservative Party

Businesses are being drafted in to prevent BoJo becoming the next Prime Minister, reports the Times.

Amber Rudd and other leading Tory moderates have issued an open letter to business owners urging them to join the Conservative Party so they can vote to prevent a hard Brexiteer from becoming the next prime minister.
In a move designed to combat the influence of the hardline leavers of the European Research Group (ERG), the new One Nation group of Conservatives urged those who want a closer relationship with the EU to sign up and fight.

Labour Party

The Labour Party has accused the Tories of nicking its policies, reports the Telegraph.

The Conservatives have stolen 16 policies from Labour under Theresa May’s leadership, having “run out of any vision or ideas”, the opposition has claimed.
Labour officials highlighted a series of announcements by ministers that echoed earlier pledges by the party’s front bench.
They included a new levy on purchases of homes by foreign buyers, a proposed law to  ban restaurants from keeping tips intended for staff, and planned restrictions on junk food advertising.

And the Mirror calls for Labour to back a second referendum.

Labour must back a second Brexit referendum in order to respond to the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson said.
He said the party could not “sit on the fence” on the biggest issue facing the country, in comments which appear aimed at putting pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to make a second referendum a red line issue in Brexit talks with Theresa May .
A “confirmatory” referendum on any deal was “the very least” that voters should expect, Mr Watson said.
Writing in the Observer, the Labour deputy leader said: “Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him.

BBC News also reports the deputy leader’s comments.

Labour must promise another Brexit referendum to counter the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader has said.
Writing in the Observer, Tom Watson said his party could not “sit on the fence” about the biggest issue to face the UK for a generation.
But ex-UKIP leader Mr Farage said a new referendum would be “a total insult” to five million Labour Leave voters.
The UK has been given an extension to the Brexit process until 31 October.
This means the UK is likely to hold European Parliament elections on 23 May.

The Guardian challenges the party to get off the fence.

Labour will never defeat Nigel Farage if it continues to “sit on the fence” over Brexit and offers only “mealy-mouthed” support for a second referendum, the party’s deputy leader says today.
In an extraordinary intervention that exposes the tensions at the top of the party over Brexit strategy, Tom Watson warns that Labour will lose to Farage’s new “far right” Brexit party in May’s European elections if it continues to give the impression that “we half agree with him”.
Writing in today’s Observer, Jeremy Corbyn’s deputy argues that Labour needs to give much clearer and more enthusiastic backing to another referendum and also spell out a positive, radical vision of how a Labour government could advance socialist values by working with other centre-left parties inside the European Union.

TBP

The Telegraph has given Nigel Farage a column.

The rapid rise of the Brexit Party in the polls just days after we launched formally has sent a shiver down the spine of the Conservative Party. This sense of apprehension is well deserved, as far as I am concerned. The omens for Theresa May do not look good.
Take Councillor Barry Lewis, the Conservative leader of Derbyshire county council. On Friday, he confirmed that his group recently supported a motion not to take part in the European elections on May 23.
Just think about that. The faithful servants of one of the oldest political parties in the world are on strike.

But is The Brexit Party a resurgence of UKIP?  The Express reports:

BREXIT-BACKING Tory MPs have accused Theresa May of “digging up the corpse of Ukip” with her withdrawal agreement as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party surges in European election polls.
Hardline Brexiteers in the Conservative Party are rallying against the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal by pledging to vote it down for the fourth time. One senior Tory MP told The Times: “Whatever happens we cannot have these European Parliament elections. “The referendum was supposed to kill Ukip  — what May’s done over the last two weeks has dug up the corpse and put Farage’s face on it.”

CHUK

Boris in No. 10 could mean a lot of defections, reports the Independent .

Boris Johnson taking over at No 10 would be “the end of the road” for several Conservative MPs who would defect to the new centrist Change UK party, its leader says.
Heidi Allen, a former Conservative, predicted “a number” of her former colleagues would follow her across the Commons if the arch-Brexiteer – or someone like him – succeeded Theresa May as prime minister.
She also played down fears that the failure of Change UK to agree a joint slate of candidates for the European Parliament elections with the Liberal Democrats and Greens would damage the anti-Brexit cause.
Ms Allen said she had studied the workings of the proportional voting system to be used on 23 May, adding: “I don’t think there’s a risk of that.

The new pro-EU party is to launch its euro elections candidates, reports the Guardian.

The anti-Brexit party Change UK will this week unveil its list of 70 candidates for next month’s European elections after receiving more than 1,000 applications from former Labour, Tory, Liberal and Green party activists.
The party’s interim leader, the former Tory MP Heidi Allen, who yesterday challenged other leaders to a TV debate, claimed that the exodus from established parties showed Change UK was now the “natural home of the ‘Remain Alliance’” and of people who wanted a second referendum.
The party said that, of 3,700 people who had applied to stand under the Change UK banner in the 23 May poll, 895 were former Labour activists, 105 were ex-Liberal Democrats and 92 ex-Greens. Dozens of other applicants had been active in the Tory party, including former MPs. Of the Labour defectors, 32 were either former MPs, or had previously been parliamentary or council candidates.

Euro elections

The Sun claims Tories are defecting to TBP in the euro elections.

A GROUP of Tory councillors have proposed to back Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, according to reports.
A survey found 40 per cent of them will back the former UKIP leader’s new party in the European Elections next month.
And at least three quarters of them are hoping she will resign, with almost half are calling for her to quit immediately, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The newspaper surveyed 781 Conservative councillors and found that 65 per cent of them would vote for Conservatives if Boris Johnson became the party leader.
But some 40 per cent would reportedly back Farage’s new party if the Tories remained under their current leadership.

Voters are about to give the PM a bloody nose, says the Sun.

ANGRY voters today warn Theresa May she has five weeks to deliver Brexit — or face a giant backlash in the Euro elections.
Two-thirds want the PM to get the UK out of the EU by any means to avoid the cost and humiliation of having to field candidates on May 23.
They make clear they are ready to desert the Tories in droves if she misses her third departure deadline.
The emphatic “get out now” message is delivered in an exclusive OnePoll survey for The Sun on Sunday. The majority believe it is a waste of £109million to fight the elections when we should have left a month ago.
Nearly a third — 29 per cent — think we should leave without a deal to avoid any further delay. But 19 per cent are prepared for her to strike one with Jeremy Corbyn even if it means staying in the Customs Union.

If we have to go to the polls on May 23, the MEPs elected will make life difficult for the rest of the European Parliament, reports the Telegraph.

The EU will end up with 50 “disruptive and resentful” British MEPs if it forces the country to take part in elections to the European Parliament next month, Liam Fox has warned.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the pro-Brexit International Trade Secretary pointed out that the parliament, which is due to elect the next European Commission president later this year, “will have an effect on the formation of the next commission”.
“The last thing our European partners want are 50 disruptive and resentful UK MEPs,” he added.

GE

Will there be a General Election any time soon?  If the polls are anything to go by, a lot of Tories could lose their seats, says the Telegraph.

Prominent Leavers including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith face losing their seats at the next general election as Brexiteers prepare to punish the Conservatives at the ballot box with voters threatening to boycott the local and European elections over the UK’s delayed departure from the EU.
New analysis by ComRes suggests the Tories stand to lose 41 seats, with 29 Leave MPs set to be ousted as voters switch to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP following a public backlash against Theresa May in Conservative heartlands.

Conservative leadership

Meanwhile, speculation continues as to when Mrs May will stand down, says the Times.

Theresa May will be told this week that she must step down as prime minister by the end of June or her MPs will change the Tory party leadership rules to force her out.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the back-bench 1922 committee, is set to visit May to tell her that 70% of her MPs now want her to resign for botching Brexit and presiding over a collapse in Tory support.
MPs on the executive of the committee will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to tear up the rules to allow a new vote of no confidence in May before December. Insiders say “swing voters” are leaning towards changing the rules unless she agrees to go by June 30.

HS2

The high speed rail link is a white elephant, says the Telegraph.

Conservative supporters are repulsed by High Speed 2 and would be more likely to support a leadership contender who pledged to scrap it, according to a secret memo circulating among senior Tories.
A briefing produced by Frank Luntz, the veteran US pollster, states that Conservative voters view the £56 billion rail line as an “expensive extravagance”. Any candidates backing the scheme would face questions in the minds of Tory supporters about what else they would “waste our money on”, according to the research.

The Guardian claims the subject will destroy the Tories.

Tory leadership contenders have been warned that opposing the HS2 line will destroy the party’s prospects in key seats for decades, amid concerns that the project will be targeted in the race to replace Theresa May.
Senior figures inside Whitehall, industry and across local government are worried that leading candidates could back either scrapping or seriously scaling back the £56bn scheme in an attempt to win support from wary Tory MPs and fund campaign pledges.
Boris Johnson, one of the favourites to replace May, has raised doubts about the costs of the project. Sources close to Dominic Raab, another leading candidate, said he would look at “getting value for money” for the taxpayer.

Calais

The problems the other side of the Channel haven’t gone away, reports the Independent.

The number of child refugees languishing in Calais in the hope of getting to the UK has surged amid warnings that conditions at the border are reaching “breaking point”.
Hundreds of unaccompanied minors are sleeping rough on the northern French coast, with numbers almost doubling in the past three months, according to charities who warn the situation is only getting worse.
While figures show a rise from about 150 to 281, aid workers say the true numbers are likely to be higher as many displaced people, including lone minors as young as 12, are being pushed out of visible areas and further into the “margins of society” due to ramped-up security measures introduced as part of the UK and France’s response to a rise in migrant boat crossings last year.

Internet

The World Wide Web is a danger to children, reports the Times.

Internet safety watchdogs and intelligence agencies are holding crisis talks about a new version of Britain’s most popular web browser, which they fear will endanger children.
They say Google’s plans to encrypt Chrome will make it harder to block harmful material, including child-abuse images and terrorist propaganda. The new version will bypass most parental control systems and undermine the government’s attempts to stop under-18s viewing pornography.
At present, internet safety in Britain relies on broadband companies such as BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk identifying harmful or age-inappropriate material. An encrypted browser makes it impossible for companies to detect and filter out offensive or illegal material.

NHS

The service is to fund a new procedure for deaf children, reports the Telegraph.

Pioneering brain surgery that allows children who are deaf to experience the sensation of hearing for the first time is to be funded across the NHS.
Specialist teams will provide the radical surgery for under-fives who are unable to use conventional hearing aids or implants because their inner ear or auditory nerve did not develop properly.
Health officials said the “life-changing” auditory brainstem implants will now be offered by specialist teams at hospitals in Manchester and London for children across the country.
The Health Secretary said he was “in awe” of the extraordinary medical advances which will allow young children to hear.

Education

Teachers’ unions are warning that their members work too hard, says the Guardian.

Teachers in the UK run the risk of “dying in their classrooms” if they are forced to work through serious illnesses, a teaching union conference has been told after a member revealed dramatic evidence.
Neil Jeffrey, a secondary school teacher, opened his shirt to show the scars left by a triple heart bypass operation he underwent 10 weeks ago, during a debate on a motion about age discrimination against older teachers.
“The longer teachers have to work, the greater the chance of them ending up with unwanted body art like this,” said Jeffrey, 49, who told delegates at the NASUWT annual conference in Belfast that he was expected to return to work at the start of May.

And if they get too old …  The Independent reports:

Ageing teachers are at a serious risk of dying in their classrooms if they are not given the support they need, a union has been warned.
The warning came from a member of the NASUWT  teaching union who called on its national executive to “investigate the incidence of serious ill health” among older teachers who are working longer.
Neil Jeffery, a teacher at The Oxford Academy, who recently had a triple heart bypass after having a heart attack last year, warned that school staff could die in the classroom amid an ageing working population.
Following a debate at the conference in Belfast, teachers backed a motion that condemned a culture of “work until you drop” in schools and called for the teachers’ retirement age to be lowered.

The Morning Star claims teachers have to respond to parents’ mails.

TEACHERS are being made to feel guilty if they do not reply to “how dare you” messages from parents, a union has warned.
A survey of over 1,500 teachers, published today by teachers’ union NASUWT, found that only 5 per cent of teachers did not receive work-related emails outside of school hours.
Teachers told the union they often receive work-related emails, including from parents and school management, when off sick or on maternity leave.
Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) said they got emails in the evening, and 55 per cent before the school day began. Fifty-eight per cent received work-related messages at the weekend, and 45 per cent during school holidays.

The post Easter Sunday papers – 21st April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Easter Saturday papers – 20th April 2019

Easter Saturday papers – 20th April 2019

Trade

International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox has announced agreements that will boost trade if we leave the EU under WTO rules, reports the Express.

THE UK’s Trade Secretary boosted no deal Brexit plans by announcing a new trade agreement with the two nations as the Government fights to replicate around 40 current EU trade deals before Brexit day.
The new agreement means the UK will be able to trade freely with the two nations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Dr Liam Fox tweeted on Monday evening: “BREAKING: Our negotiators have just initialled a trade agreement with Iceland & Norway for the European Economic Area. “This is the 2nd biggest agreement we’re rolling over and trade with EEA is worth nearly £30bn.
“This is on top of the agreement we’ve signed with Liechtenstein.”
The announcement follows Dr Fox issuing a thinly veiled warning to MPs who are threatening to vote down Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement.
Discussing a third meaningful vote with Sky News’ Sophie Ridge on Sunday, the trade secretary said: “If we get a deal we will actually get all those deals rolled over. It will all happen if the Prime Minister’s deal is accepted.
“That’s one of the great bonuses that we get. It’s one of the things my colleagues in the House of Commons on both sides should be thinking about. If we want to get continuity in that, then the deal is on the table. We simply have to vote for it.”

Theresa May

She’s going to try again with her WA, reports the Express.

THERESA MAY will embark on another desperate scramble to get her deal through Parliament this week, with Brexit just 11 days away. Here are the latest odds and news on a no deal Brexit.
Last week, MPs voted to rule out a no deal Brexit at any time. While it’s clear the direction Parliament wants to take, the results of that vote are not legally binding. And unless something happens between now and 11pm on March 29, the default position of the UK is to leave the EU without a deal. You’d be forgiven for being a little confused as to exactly what went on in Parliament last week – if so, head HERE to catch up on what went on.

But the Telegraph reports she could be in for a new vote of no confidence.

Theresa May could face a new confidence vote in the wake of the European elections under plans that will be considered by senior Tory MPs this week, The Telegraph can disclose.
On Tuesday the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs will meet to discuss whether the rules should be changed to allow a new bid to remove the Prime Minister.
Alan Mabbutt, a senior Conservative Party official, has confirmed that the rules surrounding leadership challenges are not determined by the party’s constitution but by backbench MPs themselves.

And the Mirror reports that canvassers are avoiding mentioning her on the stump.

Tory canvassers are refusing to mention “toxic” Theresa May as they try to woo people ahead of next month’s local elections.
The Conservatives are braced for a bruising as angry voters switch to either Nigel Farage’s new Brexit  Party or Remain-supporting groups.
And unhappy activists reckon the PM’s Brexit performance has made her a liability as they campaign.
Grassroots Conservatives chair Ed Costelloe said: “Campaigners are only talking about what’s happening at a local level, because the frustration they are hearing about what’s going on at a national level is virtually universal.
“Most people canvassing are saying this is worse than anything before.

The Express reports she could upset her MPs by making arrangements to continue in post – despite her promises to stand down (sound like Bercow!).

THERESA MAY could enrage Tory MPs by asking for new legislative plans for the re-opening of Parliament after the Easter break – despite pledging she would stand down as party leader before the “next phase” of Brexit talks.
Government officials have been told to prepare final plans for legislation to be included in the Queens Speech, which opens Parliament annual after the Easter recess. But the Times reports the Prime Minister told Government departments she will “actively consider” ideas for the speech, which details the Government’s legislative programme. But the move will anger Tory MPs, following Mrs May pledging to stand down from office before the next phase of Brexit talks begin.
Any attempt by Mrs May to open a new session of Parliament will enrage Tory MPs asking for her to stand down.

Conservative Party

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has an exclusive report about senior Tories losing their seats in any forthcoming General Election.

Prominent Leavers including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith face losing their seats at the next general election as Brexiteers prepare to punish the Conservatives at the ballot box with voters threatening to boycott the local and European elections over the UK’s delayed departure from the EU.
New analysis by ComRes suggests the Tories stand to lose 41 seats, with 29 Leave MPs set to be ousted as voters switch to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP following a public backlash against Theresa May in Conservative heartlands.

The Express reports that grassroots Brexiteers are furious.

FURIOUS Brexiteers are set to punish the Conservatives in the next General Election, with poll data indicating they could lose 41 seats, including 29 Leave MPs.
New analysis from ComRes shows voters could shift their allegiances to Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP in the backlash. Tory MPs told the Telegraph the future of their party is “diabolical” and that voters had described the Westminster elite as “w*****s’. Local election officers have allegedly received calls asking what the point of voting is after Brexit was delayed again.
If a vote was held tomorrow, the poll suggests Labour would win 290 seats versus the Conservative’s 277.

The Express also claims the Tory party has selected anti-Brexiteers as prospective MEPs.

THE CONSERVATIVE Party has selected two MEP candidates who support a second referendum for the EU elections and have demanded Brexit is cancelled.
Theresa May has faced increasing pressure to support a second referendum as she remains in a bitter struggle to get her Withdrawal Agreement passed in the House of Commons.  The UK was granted a Brexit delay until October 31, meaning MEPs will take part in the European elections. Sajjad Karim, who has described Brexit as ‘madness’, will be top of the party’s MEP candidates list in the North West of England.
His selection comes as Charles Tannock, who co-founded the Conservatives for a People’s Vote campaign, will be on the ballot paper in London for the EU elections.

Labour Party

Labour has also selected Leavers to run in the Euros, reports Westmonster.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have selected hardline anti-Brexit candidates high up on their lists for the European Elections. Anyone who respects the 2016 referendum result cannot possibly vote Labour.
The party itself clearly doesn’t think an EU deal with Theresa May to stop the elections going through is likely, saying on their website: “It now looks increasingly likely the UK will be required to participate in the European Elections on 23 May 2019.”
It emerged yesterday that Lord Adonis has been selected as number two on the Labour list for the South West of England. Adonis has been about about his desire to overturn the referendum result and kill off the UK’s exit from the European Union, describing the upcoming EU Election as a chance to “make them a campaign to stop Brexit”.
Also standing for Labour is Eloise Todd, who is number two on the list for Yorkshire and the Humber. Todd was CEO for ‘Best for Britain’, an anti-Brexit group that is said to have received at least £800,000 from foreign billionaire George Soros.
Best for Britain describe themselves as “a group of campaigners, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and citizens from across our country who have come together with one single mission: to oppose and stop Brexit”.

TBP

Nigel’s new party is hardening attitudes against the Tories, reports the Times.

The resurgence of Nigel Farage has left hardline Conservative Brexiteers even more determined not to vote for Theresa May’s deal.
Two polls this week put the former Ukip leader’s new Brexit Party in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections, due to take place on May 23.
“Whatever happens we cannot have these European parliament elections,” one senior Conservative toldThe Times. “The referendum was supposed to kill Ukip — what May’s done over the last two weeks has dug up the corpse and put Farage’s face on it.”

EU

The Telegraph reports a comment by an EU boss saying that any resulting economic problems would be the fault of the UK.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission chief, has warned that the UK would be “100 per cent” responsible if its decision to leave the EU caused economic turmoil, as he urged MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
In an interview with a German newspaper, Mr Juncker urged the UK not to waste its six month extension to the Article 50 process and added that he did not have hopes of the UK eventually reversing Brexit.
“We need to be prepared for a soft and a hard Brexit. In any event, the UK’s withdrawal will have a negative impact – more for the British than for the EU,” he told Funke.

ITV News also has the story.

Any kind of Brexit will have “negative consequences” which will be worse for Britain than the EU and be entirely the UK’s responsibility, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Mr Juncker said the “ball was in Britain’s court” and urged the House of Commons to support the deal negotiated by Theresa May.
A second extension to Brexit was granted to the UK following talks in Brussels earlier this month, with the so-called flextension meaning the departure date will be October 31 this year, or sooner if the Withdrawal Agreement is passed.
In an interview with the German Funke Media Groupe, Mr Juncker repeated the words of European Council president Donald Tusk and urged the UK “not to waste time”.

Juncker may be worried about no deal, but …  Reuters reports:

There is a still a concern that Britain may leave the European Union without a deal to smooth the way, the bloc’s chief executive said on Saturday, urging Britain to take advantage of a six-month delay to work out the details of its departure.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made the comments in an interview with German newspaper FUNKE Mediengruppe, a week after EU leaders gave Britain six months more to exit the EU.
“Nobody knows how Brexit will end. This is creating great uncertainty. There is still a fear that there will be a hard Brexit without any withdrawal treaty arrangements,” Juncker said, citing the long-term negative impact on Europe’s economy.
Even though the extension to Oct. 31 offers little clarity on when, how or even if Brexit will happen, Britain should use the time wisely, he said.
“I hope that the British will make use of this time and not waste it again. We cannot keep on putting off the withdrawal date indefinitely. The best solution would be for the British to adopt the Withdrawal Agreement during the extra time that has been agreed,” Juncker said.

But the US could take a hand if any agreement Is detrimental to Northern Ireland, says the Express.

THE US has warned the European Union it will oppose any Brexit deal that undermines the Northern Ireland 1997 peace agreement that could endanger a proposed trade deal.
The warning comes from US Democratic congressman Richard Neal and is the latest threat to the UK that a future trade deal with the US will not happen should Brexit put the Belfast Agreement at risk. Mr Neal is chairman of the influential House of Representatives oversight committee which scrutinises trade deals. Speaking to The Irish Times ahead of a US delegation’s visit to Ireland this week, he said: “If America wants a trade agreement with the European Union, which I think is very desirable – I want it – at the same time you are back to the same issue on the Border if you do anything that dampens or softens the Good Friday Agreement.”

Trump

The Speaker could be forced to allow the President to speak to MPs, says the Telegraph.

John Bercow must allow President Donald Trump to address Parliament this summer or risk damaging Britain’s special relationship with the US, ministers have suggested.
Preparations are underway for President Trump to make a full State visit to the UK in June to coincide with D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations.
But the Speaker is refusing to extend the traditional courtesy of asking the visiting President to address both Houses of Parliament.
US officials have made it clear that they are angered by Mr Bercow’s snub, which has become an embarrassment to the Government as it tries to make the State visit happen three years after it was first offered by Theresa May.

The Independent also has the story.

Donald Trump should be allowed by Commons speaker John Bercow to address parliament if he makes a state visit to the UK this summer, defence minister Tobias Ellwood has said.
His comments came amid mounting speculation that the US president will travel to Britain in June to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Mr Bercow sparked controversy in 2017 by saying Mr Trump should not be allowed to address Parliament on his visit to the UK.
He said that it was “not an automatic right, it is an earned honour”.
However, Mr Ellwood said the UK should “leverage” Mr Trump’s visit.

Climate change protest

Meanwhile, across London, the police have taken action to open the roads, reports the Independent.

Police have cleared climate activists from part of the Oxford Circus demonstration as the Extinction Rebellion protests entered their fifth day.
London’s busiest shopping street remained blocked despite although police manage to move the pink boat which had been used to block the junction with Regent Street.
The vessel was attached to a lorry and taken away up Regent Street followed by a number of jogging uniformed officers. Regent Street is still cordoned off by officers.

Sky News reports the arrests.

Police have arrested more than 680 climate change protesters as they say they aim to give businesses on London’s Oxford Street a chance to return to “business as usual”.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Officers have made a number of arrests, mainly focused at Oxford Circus, as we are trying our best to give the businesses a chance to return to ‘business as usual’.
“One thing that is unusual about this demonstration is the willingness of those participating to be arrested and also their lack of resistance to the arrests.
“To date (since Monday 15 April), we have made over 680 arrests and of course that places a logistical problem on, and not just, the police service for cell space but also the wider criminal justice system.”

And ITV News reports that the protesters pink boat has been removed.

A pink boat used by Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists to blockade Oxford Circus has been towed away by police after five days at the heart of the climate demonstrations in London.
The boat, which became a symbol for the ongoing disruption, was dismantled on Friday afternoon, several hours after Dame Emma Thompson used it as a stage to rally protesters.
Dame Emma Thompson has rallied cheering Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists blocking London’s busiest shopping street and declared “our planet is in serious trouble”.

NHS

Assaults on NHS staff have risen, says the Mirror.

The number of assaults on NHS staff has hit a record high, with 63 being attacked every day.
Figures show 23,009 were reported at hospital trusts across England in 2017/18 – up from 13,417 in 2010/11.
But the number is likely to be higher as not every NHS trust responded to the Freedom of Information request for details.
The chances of staff being attacked on over stretched wards has increased by half since the Tories came to power.

Education

And violence in schools is also on the increase, reports the Times.

Almost a quarter of teachers are suffering violence at least once a week at the hands of their pupils, according to a union survey.
Evidence gathered from 4,912 teachers found that 89 per cent had been subjected to physical or verbal abuse over the past year and 24 per cent said they had been physically attacked by pupils at least once a week. About 5 per cent said this happened every day.
The poll by the NASUWT teaching union, published before its annual conference in Belfast, also found that 86 per cent of teachers had been sworn at and 42 per cent verbally threatened.

And ITV News reports that pupils are misbehaving.

More than two-thirds of teachers responding to a union survey have said they believe poor pupil behaviour is a widespread problem at their school.
Almost 700 teachers responded to the survey teaching union NASUWT carried out in Scotland between February and this month.
A total of 67% of the 673 respondents said poor pupil behaviour was a widespread problem at their school.
No one should go to work with the expectation of being physically or verbally abused.
NASUWT believes ways of dealing with the disruptive pupils in schools such as restorative behaviour strategies have left teachers “increasingly vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse”.

Housing

Hundreds of thousands of new homes could be built on land held by developers, reports the Telegraph.

Housebuilders are sitting on enough land to build more than 800,000 homes, analysis by The Telegraph has found, raising new ­questions about efforts to increase the supply of new properties and reverse the decline in home ownership.
The total number of plots in the top nine housebuilders’ land banks has risen by 25pc in the past five years to around 838,000. That is despite a ­series of Government reviews and policies meant to increase the rate of building.
Campaigners claim it is in the companies’ interest to hold on to land for as long as possible and cash in after it rises in value, but housebuilders insist they are held back by the planning system.

International Crime

An international court is called for in the Independent.

The challenges posed by webs of corruption  spreading across borders – fuelled by fraud, money laundering and illicit offshore funding schemes – has raised the urgent need for an international court, and a restitution fund which can fairly redistribute the money and assets seized back from illegal ownership, say the organisers of a newly launched petition.
More than $40 trillion of suspected “dirty money” secreted in offshore financial jurisdictions, and $30bn spent anonymously on luxury properties and goods are some of the estimated examples of this hugely bountiful and egregious trade.

The post Easter Saturday papers – 20th April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Good Friday 19 April 2019

News review – Good Friday 19 April 2019

Brexit

Mail
Spartan Tories insisted today they would never vote for Theresa May‘s Brexit deal and said staying in the EU for longer was a better solution to the impasse. The hardline intervention is a fresh blow to the Prime Minister’s hopes that sending MPs away from Westminster for a week of Easter holidays would cool tempers. Mrs May herself is in Snowdonia trying to find a new strategy for getting her deal through Parliament after it was crushed three times by MPs. At the last vote she was still defied by 28 Tory Brexiteer rebels in the hardline European Research Group. Since the vote, the number of rebels has if anything gone back up. One of them, former Cabinet minister David Jones, said a long extension inside the EU was better than signing up for the deal. He said delay allowed time for a new deal or better preparations for No Deal.  He was backed by Stewart Jackson, a former Tory MP and chief of staff to David Davis when he was Brexit Secretary.

Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn is to be urged by a group of Labour MPs not to “torpedo” the prospect of a Brexit deal with Theresa May by insisting on a second referendum. The MPs, including Stephen Kinnock and Gloria De Piero, are set to send the  Labour leader a letter early next week setting out their “deep-seated reservations about a second referendum”, which they believe would be “divisive but … not decisive”.

EU

Breitbart
Britain should use the six-month delay before Brexit to “cool down” and reverse its decision to leave the EU, Frans Timmermans has said. The globalist vice-president of the European Commission — who recently declared that uniting Europe with Africa was “a matter of destiny” — expressed hope that Britain would use the time before its delayed Brexit departure date of October 31st to decide to stay in the bloc.

Reuters
Britain should use the next few months to “cool down and rethink” its decision to leave the European Union, the socialist candidate to head the next European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said on Wednesday. Last week EU leaders gave Britain an extension of its departure date until Oct. 31, with the possibility of leaving sooner if parliament ratifies a divorce deal Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated with the EU. Lawmakers have already rejected the deal three times.

BBC

Conservative Woman
ON March 29 last year, one year before non-Brexit day, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a day-long series of programmes called Britain at the Crossroads which the Corporation’s PR hype said was designed to examine the steps towards Brexit. At its heart was the first of a multi-part series presented by Mark Mardell called Brexit: A Love Story? which purported to give a history of the love-hate relationship between the UK and the EU. Predictably, it proved very one-sided. There was a deluge of pro-EU/EEC comment – from both presenter and contributors – but much less from those who were anti-EEC/EU.

Conservative Party

Sun
MINISTERS blew more than £13m in two months on failing to persuade MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal and a hard exit that never happened. The splurge was carried out between mid-November to mid-January, in the run up to the first Meaningful Vote on January 15. A total of £12.4m was spent by the Cabinet Office on external consultants’ fees. The vast sum paid for external experts to drum up alternative plans to keep the Irish border open as well as prepare for a No Deal exit.

Independent
Theresa May could face an unprecedented no-confidence vote among grassroots Tories, as the prospect of a crushing defeat in European elections looms. Local party chairs have been circulating a petition that is on course to force the National Conservative Convention to hold an extraordinary general meeting where members could pressure the prime minister to resign. The plot emerged as a poll showed Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party had stormed into the lead ahead of EU parliament elections next month.

Mail
Two MEPs campaigning for a second referendum have been re-selected as candidates for the Conservative Party. Sajjad Karim, a former Liberal Democrat who has described Brexit as ‘madness’, will be top of the party’s candidates list in the North West of England.  While Charles Tannock, who co-founded the Conservatives for a People’s Vote campaign, will be on the ballot paper in London.

Local elections

Telegraph
Tory councillors are refusing to mention Theresa May’s name on doorsteps ahead of next month’s local elections because voters associate it with “betrayal”. Conservative Associations across the country are finding that Mrs May’s name is so toxic with voters that the mere mention of the Prime Minister gets in the way of campaigning. Tory councillors fear that voter backlash against Mrs May’s handling of Brexit will cost them their seats, and are desperately trying to keep conversations focused on local issues to avoid being tainted by events in Westminster.

TBP

Mail
Nigel Farage revelled in the ‘very good start’ enjoyed by his new Brexit Party today as a new survey showed it topping the polls for the EU elections. Mr Farage said it was clear the ‘public are warming to us’ and he moves to crush both the Tory party and his old force Ukip. A new YouGov survey – the third in a week – for the Times today again shows the Brexit Party on top, leading Labour 23 per cent to 22 per cent. The lead is smaller than yesterday’s sensational results which showed the Brexit Party on 27 per cent.

Express
THE Labour EU elections list is so remain heavy left-wing Brexiteers are throwing their lot in with Nigel Farage, including George Galloway. The May 23 European Parliamentary election are already throwing up some strange bedfellows and none more stranger than the firebrand former Labour and Respect MP and the Brexit Party. Mr Galloway took to Twitter to explain his position after seeing the Labour list of candidates for the EU elections.

UKIP

Mail
Ukip leader Gerard Batten has sparked fury by sharing a platform today with an election candidates who sent a ‘rape’ tweet to an MP. The right wing leader appeared at the party’s EU election launch in London alongside Carl Benjamin – also known as YouTube personality Sargon of Akkad. Benjamin, 39, has nearly 1million subscribers and hit headlines when he tweeted ‘I wouldn’t even rape you’ at Labour’s Jess Phillips, prompting Batten to defend it as ‘satire’.

Guardian
Gerard Batten, the Ukip leader, has insisted his party is the true voice of leave voters as he sought to counter an existential threat from Nigel Farage. At a press conference to launch Ukip’s European election campaign, Batten, whose party has been reduced to a rump in the European parliament after defections to Farage’s new Brexit party, insisted Ukip still had a future.

Sky News
UKIP’s leader has dismissed Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, telling Sky News it is “not a proper political party”. Gerard Batten said the former UKIP leader’s new venture was a “vehicle for one man” and added: “All you get from Nigel is rhetoric.” One opinion poll predicts the Brexit Party could win next month’s European elections, with suggestions many UKIP voters are switching to the new party.

Huffington Post
Ukip leader Gerard Batten walked out of a TV interview on Thursday after he was questioned over his defence of a party candidate who made a comment about raping a Labour MP. In 2016, Carl Benjamin, who wants to be the Ukip MEP for the South West, tweeted at Jess Phillips that he “wouldn’t even rape you” and that “feminism is cancer”. Batten has previously defended the Tweet as “satire”.

Parliament

Times
Theresa May has told ministers to finalise their plans for legislation to feature in the Queen’s Speech in a move that will inflame tensions with Tory MPs who are demanding that she leave Downing Street this summer. Whitehall departments were told last week that the prime minister would “actively consider” proposals for the speech — which outlines the government’s legislative plans at the beginning of a new session of parliament — after the Easter recess ends on Tuesday.

Guardian
Theresa May could put off the Queen’s speech until later this year, with government sources saying there were no immediate plans to bring one forward while parliament had not yet approved a Brexit deal. May had been widely expected to schedule a Queen’s speech setting out the government’s legislative agenda within weeks, because she announced a two-year parliamentary session in mid-June 2017.

Tory Party leadership

Independent
Boris Johnson has grabbed himself a highly prized new Commons office in a move designed to help him win a Conservative leadership contest. The leading  Brexiteer is moving into spacious rooms big enough to accommodate a campaign team at the heart of the Westminster estate, The Independent has learnt. The switch will allow the former foreign secretary – still the bookies’ favourite to succeed Theresa May – to better coordinate efforts to win the backing of Tory MPs in the looming contest.

Sun
BORIS Johnson would win the Tory leadership contest if Theresa May is toppled in the next few weeks, his key allies now believe. A dramatic surge in the last four weeks has seen the former London Mayor rapidly sign up almost as many MPs as race frontrunner Jeremy Hunt. Both senior Tories are now counting on the votes of more than 50 Conservatives MPs, from a total of 313. But BoJo’s campaign team are convinced he will trounce his successor as Foreign Secretary in phase two of the campaign, a head-to-head run off between the two leading candidates in front of all 150,000 party members.

Bercow

Mail
A hardline Tory Brexiteer is to make a fresh attempt to boot out Commons Speaker John Bercow, accusing him of ‘bias’ in favour of Remainers that has helped delay the Uk’s departure.  Former minister Crispin Blunt, a member of the European Research Group of Tory eurosceptics, said he intended to table an early day motion (EDM) of no confidence when MPs return to Westminster on Tuesday. EDM’s – which are not allocated any time in the parliamentary timetable – are rarely debated or voted on, but are used by MPs as a vehicle to express their views on a particular issue.

Express
BREXITEERS have launched a fresh attempt to oust Commons Speaker John Bercow over his shameless Remainer bias. Former minister Crispin Blunt has been rallying support for a motion of no confidence over Mr Bercow’s handling of laws taking Britain out of the European Union. The Tory MP wants to pile pressure on the Speaker to quit after speculation he will stay in post until after the Brexit deadlock is resolved. “Even his most partisan supporters for the positive changes he has delivered as Speaker do not now seriously dispute his bias in the conduct of our affairs,” he said.

Yahoo News
Furious Brexiteers are said to be preparing a motion of no confidence in Speaker John Bercow because of his apparent ‘bias’ over Brexit. Former minister Crispin Blunt, a strong Leave supporter, is seeking support for an early day motion (EDM) when MPs return to Westminster on Tuesday following the Easter break. EDM’s – which are not allocated any time in the parliamentary timetable – are rarely debated or voted on, but are used by MPs as a vehicle to express their views on a particular issue.

Guardian
John Bercow is facing another attempt to oust him as Speaker after a leading Conservative MP began collecting signatures for a no-confidence motion. Crispin Blunt, a former chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, wrote to fellow MPs saying he wanted to table an early day motion saying Bercow was no longer impartial. In the letter, he claimed to have some frontbench Conservative support for the move against the Speaker, who has enraged the government in recent months by refusing to let MPs vote repeatedly on Theresa May’s Brexit deal after their rejections of it.

Climate change protest

Guardian
Sajid Javid has called on police to use the “full force of the law” against Extinction Rebellion protesters causing disruption in London to draw attention to the issue of climate change. The home secretary, who is positioning himself for a run at the Conservative party leadership, made a series of tweets condemning “any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law”. He called on the police to “take a firm stance” against protesters who were “significantly disrupting the lives of others”.

Times
Sajid Javid demanded that police crack down on climate change activists yesterday as Scotland Yard was criticised for failing to stop the protests that have left parts of London paralysed. The home secretary urged the police to use the “full force of the law” after footage emerged of two officers dancing to music at an illegal roadblock at Oxford Circus and of another using a skateboard on Waterloo Bridge.

Mail
Eco-warriors are plotting to bring misery to Easter holidaymakers today. They plan to ‘shut down’ Heathrow and disrupt traffic for families planning a bank holiday getaway. The mainly middle-class protesters have already caused chaos by blocking four major routes through London for four days. Now they have vowed to ‘raise the bar’ by targeting hundreds of thousands of tourists jetting off for the weekend. More than 1,000 police are being deployed each day but have failed to restore order – leading to claims they are surrendering the streets.

Morning Star
EXTINCTION REBELLION protesters are planning to disrupt Heathrow airport tomorrow, their fifth consecutive day of action. The anti-climate change campaign group confirmed today that it plans to occupy runways at London’s main airport over the Easter weekend as part of an “escalation” of ongoing protests. Extinction Rebellion, whose protests have brought major routes in central London to a standstill this week, has sent out an appeal to members to take part in an “arrestable action” at the airport.

ITV News
Climate change protesters have revealed they plan to “shut down Heathrow” on Good Friday and disrupt the Easter holiday plans of thousands of travellers. However Scotland Yard has warned the protesters face a “robust response” if they target Heathrow and added it has ”strong plans” in place. Heathrow added it is “working with the authorities” to address any threat of mass disruption, while Home Secretary Sajid Javid urged police to use the “full force of the law”. Eco-activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been causing large-scale disruption in London since Monday as they campaign against climate change.

Times
Holidaymakers have been warned to expect chaos at Heathrow today as climate change campaigners vowed to shut down the airport. Extinction Rebellion activists may try to block access roads, including the tunnels to the airport. In a leaked Whatsapp message the group said: “Many of you have expressed a desire to disrupt Heathrow — and so we wanted to share this action with you. For the bank holiday we are halting swarming disruption and turning our focus on to the aviation industry. We want you to join us.”

Mail
Emma Thompson arrived at Marble Arch yesterday afternoon to support climate change protesters and urged others to join their numbers. What she might not have mentioned to them is that she had just flown back to Heathrow Airport from Los Angeles the day before. Many of the protesters have demanded that the Government limit how many times individuals can fly each year. Extinction Rebellion ringleader Robin Boardman-Pattison declared during a television interview this week that flying ‘should only be used in emergencies’ – despite his own apparently extensive travels.

Telegraph
Dame Emma Thompson joined climate protesters in London on Thursday to declare that she wants to be among those demonstrators arrested by police. However, it has emerged that the Oscar winning British actress was photographed a day earlier arriving at Heathrow Airport after apparently flying from Los Angeles where it is believed she had been celebrating her 60th birthday. The Extinction Rebellion group, which is calling for flights to be used only in emergencies, insisted that any flight she had taken was an “unfortunate cost in our bigger battle to save the planet”.

NHS

Telegraph
First, health chiefs warned of the perils of Easter eggs – which stood accused of fuelling Britain’s obesity crisis. Now millions of DIY- enthusiasts are being cautioned to take care before indulging in another bank holiday tradition – the home improvement. Health officials today urged those tempted to pick up their power tools this weekend to think twice, in case they end up in hospital. And they warned that men are far more likely than women to end up suffering injuries from powertools, lawnmowers, or toppling off ladders.

Times
If you’re planning a spot of DIY over the bank holiday weekend, NHS chiefs would appreciate it if you could do so as carefully as possible. In the past year there have been 4,764 hospital admissions caused by injuries from drills and other power tools, 6,372 after falls from ladders, 3,190 involving contact with a non-powered hand tool and 519 related to lawnmowers. Falls involving furniture accounted for 4,319 admissions. NHS England said that the number of injuries from power tools had gone up by 7 per cent in three years.

HS2

Times
Almost £600 million has been spent buying up property to make way for the HS2 high-speed rail link amid warnings over soaring costs. Figures released under freedom of information laws showed that HS2 Ltd, the government-owned company behind the programme, has purchased 902 homes, farms and other properties over the past eight years. Analysis of the figures shows that the taxpayer-funded company paid out more than £1 million for 130 of the properties. This includes £6.8 million for Whatcroft Hall near Northwich, Cheshire, which was owned by the comedian John Bishop.

Notre Dame

Mail
The Duke of Rutland has offered to donate mature oak trees grown on his estate at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire to help restore Notre Dame.   The 850-year-old cathedral in central Paris lost its spire and much of the ornate timber roof during Monday’s devastating blaze.  French cultural heritage expert Bertrand de Feydeau said France no longer has trees on its territory big enough to replace Notre Dame’s ancient wooden beams, which were cut in the 13th century from primal forests.  But the Duke of Rutland and a number of other owners of historic British estates have now offered to provide some of the oaks.

The post News review – Good Friday 19 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Thursday 18 April 2019

News review – Thursday 18 April 2019

Queen’s Speech

Guardian
Theresa May could put off the Queen’s speech until later this year, with government sources saying there were no immediate plans to bring one forward while parliament had not yet approved a Brexit deal. May had been widely expected to schedule a Queen’s speech setting out the government’s legislative agenda within weeks, because she announced a two-year parliamentary session in mid-June 2017. However, some within the government believe May is prepared to ignore demands for a programme of new laws, even though parliament has run out of business to discuss apart from Brexit legislation, which is currently stalled. A Downing Street source said it would not be fair to say the Queen’s Speech was being delayed, because no official date had been set for one. “There’s no obligation to have one at a fixed point and there’s no immediate plans to bring forward a Queen’s speech,” the source said. There is usually one Queen’s speech each year, and it has taken place in May or June in recent years, but Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, announced a two-year session after the last election in order to “build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans”.

The polls

Westmonster
Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party have surged to an astonishing first place in the latest opinion poll for the European Elections.  A YouGov poll has Brexit leading on 27%, with Labour on 22% and the Tories third with 15%. Incredibly, the YouGov poll shows that 55% of Leave voters are already planning to vote for the Brexit Party, as are 49% of Conservative 2017 voters. Just 34% of 2017 Tory voters are planning to vote Conservative at the EU Elections, whilst 10% of Labour voters are planning to vote Brexit as well.

Independent
Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party has surged ahead in opinion polls for next month’s European Parliament elections, with a new survey suggesting it is on course to leave Labour and the Conservatives trailing in its wake. The YouGov poll placed the party on 27 per cent within a week of its launch, putting it well ahead of Labour on 22 per cent and the Conservatives on 15 per cent, just weeks before the 23 May elections.

Times
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has surged into the lead for the European elections, according to two opinion polls. Having formed only in January, the party has leapfrogged Labour and the Tories and eaten into Ukip’s support. A YouGov poll for The Times put the Brexit Party on 23 per cent, Labour on 22 per cent and the Conservatives on 17 per cent. Last week it was on 15 per cent, Labour was on 24 per cent and the Tories were on 16 per cent.

Telegraph
Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has surged into first place in opinion polls ahead of the European Parliament elections next month. The party, which was only formally launched on April 12, is now favoured by 27 per cent of voters. The Brexit Party was third in YouGov’s poll in the week of its launch on 15 per cent, with support for the new group almost doubling in a matter of days.

Mirror
Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party could win elections to the European Parliament if they go ahead a pollster has claimed. A survey by pollster YouGov shows that the ex-UKIP leader’s party could beat both Labour and the Conservatives with its simple message – Leave the EU with No Deal. The survey shows support for the  Brexit Party at 27 percent of the vote, far ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives.

Mail
The Brexit Party has surged into the lead in the race for the European Elections after a top pollster predicted Nigel Farage’s new party could win its first election. A second YouGov survey on the state of the party’s ahead of EU Parliament elections shows the Brexit Party rising dramatically from 15 per cent to 27 per cent. Most of the gain comes at the expense of Ukip – which when led by Mr Farage won the 2014 contest – which plunged from 14 per cent to 7 per cent.

Breitbart
The Brexit Party, which only officially launched last weekend has already surged past the two main legacy parties in a new poll and is now rated as the lead party in voting intentions for the May European Union elections. The new poll by major UK pollsters YouGov shows Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party surging by 12 points in a week, from 15 per cent to 27 per cent as of yesterday, the most recent figures available.

Sun
NIGEL Farage’s new Brexit party could WIN the European elections as voters punish the Tories for the ongoing chaos around Leaving the EU. Fresh polling from YouGov puts the top Brexiteer’s new party ahead of Labour and the Tories on 27 per cent. Labour are on just 22 per cent, down several percentage points, and the Tories slumped down to 15. Ukip have had a boost to seven per cent too.

Guardian
Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, which is currently leading in the polls for the EU elections, will win the contest unless Labour can portray itself as the natural home for remain voters, Margaret Beckett has claimed. Polling commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign suggested the former Ukip leader’s new party was on course for a five-point lead, with remain voters split between Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National party, the Green party and Change UK.

Order-Order
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is polling on 27%, up from 15% in the last poll and nearly double the vote share of the Conservative Party. 49% of people who voted Tory in 2017 currently plan to vote for the Brexit Party in the EU elections, only 34% actually plan to vote Tory. The Brexit Party’s 12% jump is sending a shockwave around Westminster, meanwhile the explicitly anti-Brexit parties have only mustered 25% between them…

Conservative Party

Westmonster
Fury within the Conservative Party continues to build, with party activists now looking to force a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. The situation appears increasingly dire.  Tory Association Chairmen are looking to use a petition that will trigger an Extraordinary General Meeting, which can then be used for a vote of no confidence against May. It requires the backing of 65 local Chairmen. So far between 40 and 50 have signed, according to The Telegraph. The letter in circulation reads: “Almost three years since we voted to leave and after two extensions to the original departure date, we no longer feel that Mrs. May is the right person to continue as Prime Minister to lead us forward in the negotiations.

Express
EXPRESS.CO.UK readers have shared who they want to be the next Conservative Party leader after a new plot to oust the Prime Minister by grassroots Tories was revealed. A petition was launched by the National Conservative Convention (NCC), the senior body of the Tory Party’s voluntary wing, calling an Extraordinary General Meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, which received between 40 and 50 signatures from party chairmen this evening.

Mail
Senior Tory activists are petitioning for an emergency general meeting of party bosses in a new bid to force out Theresa May as leader, it emerged today. An emergency meeting will be called if 65 Conservative Association chairmen sign a petition demanding one. Between 40 and 50 are thought to have done so.  The petition blames Mrs May for Brexit being delayed twice and says she is the wrong person to lead the negotiations with the EU onward.

Guardian
Grassroots Conservative activists will try to press Theresa May to stand down as prime minister by forcing an extraordinary general meeting to allow a vote of no confidence from party members. The vote would not be binding on the prime minister, but the National Conservative Convention (NCC) would be obliged to hold the meeting if more than 65 Tory association chairs called for one to be held. The attempt, first reported by the Telegraph, has been organised by the Conservatives’ London East area chairman, Dinah Glover.

Mirror
Fed-up local Tory chairmen are plotting to force out Theresa May sooner than planned by using little known powers in the party rule book. An emergency meeting of the Conservatives’ National Convention, which represents the party’s grassroots, can be called if 65 local association chairmen agree, paving the way for a no confidence vote in the Tory leader.  The signatures are already being gathered, with Brexit-leaning grassroots Tories furious at the Prime Minister’s handling of the UK’s departure from the EU.

Westmonster
An MEP who attacked the prospect of Brexit in the run up to the referendum and has since vowed to push for a “soft” exit and Single Market membership has apparently been selected as a lead candidate for the party. Sajjid Karim has today claimed that he will be the number one candidate on the Conservative list for the North West of England in the European Elections. So where does he stand?

Labour Party

Independent
Senior Labour MPs say Jeremy Corbyn must back a fresh Brexit referendum unequivocally within weeks or Nigel Farage will snatch a shock European elections victory. Worried backbenchers piled pressure on the Labour leader to shift his stance before the 23 May poll, after the former Ukip leader was revealed to be on course to triumph at the head of his new Brexit Party.

Lib Dems

Independent
The Liberal Democrats have accused other anti-Brexit parties of damaging the chances of success in the European elections by refusing to fight on a joint ticket. Vince Cable lashed out at The Independent Group and the Greens for rejecting his pleas to stand joint candidates on 23 May, to boost the number of MEPs demanding a second referendum. The Lib Dem leader revealed that his party proposed fighting together – a move that one election expert has predicted could have delivered an extra six seats in Brussels.

Mirror
Anti-Brexit parties should have forged a non-aggression pact for European elections, Vince Cable admitted. The outgoing Lib Dem leader claimed there was “not a great deal” of difference between his party and the fledgling Change UK group. He wanted an agreement which would have ensured the pro-EU vote was not split when the country goes to the polls on May 23. He told the BBC: “It would be better I think from the point of view of supporters of British membership of the European Union.

Bercow

Times
Conservative MPs are to launch a further attempt to prise John Bercow from office amid anger over what they claim is the Speaker’s bias against Brexit. The backbencher behind the move, who says it has support from the government front bench, warned Mr Bercow yesterday that “enough is enough”. There have been reports that the Speaker wants to stay in his post beyond the summer if Brexit is not resolved.

Guardian
John Bercow is facing another attempt to oust him as Speaker after a leading Conservative MP began collecting signatures for a no-confidence motion. Crispin Blunt, a former chair of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, wrote to fellow MPs saying he wanted to table an early day motion saying Bercow was no longer impartial. In the letter, he claimed to have some frontbench Conservative support for the move against the Speaker, who has enraged the government in recent months by refusing to let MPs vote repeatedly on Theresa May’s Brexit deal after their rejections of it.

BBC News
A Conservative MP is making a fresh attempt to remove John Bercow from his position as House of Commons Speaker. Crispin Blunt has said he will table a motion expressing no confidence in the Speaker when the House of Commons returns from recess on Tuesday. In a statement posted on Twitter, the Reigate MP accuses Mr Bercow of bias over Brexit and overruling precedent on “a number of key votes”. The Speaker’s office did not provide a comment on the motion.

EU

Express
A NO DEAL Brexit could be forced on the UK by European leaders according to a dramatic intervention by Sir Ivan Rogers, formerly the UK’s Permanent Representative to the European Union. Sir Ivan claimed European powers could refuse to grant an additional Article 50 extension, meaning Britain leaves without a deal on October 21. The UK had been due to depart on March 29, but this was delayed twice.

Telegraph
Google, Amazon and eBay will be forced to tell companies exactly how they rank their services online after tough new rules to avoid unfair competition were approved in Europe on Wednesday.  Internet sites that advertise other companies’ products and services will have to make their terms and conditions “fairer and more transparent” after tougher measures were backed by the European Parliament.

Climate change

Telegraph
As statements go, it did little to dissuade climate change protesters hellbent on wreaking havoc across the streets of London. Reiterating his “passion” for peaceful protest as “the cornerstone of our democracy”, Sadiq Khan could barely disguise his glee at the idea of Extinct Rebellion taking aim at the Government’s supposed inaction on climate change – while diverting attention from criticism of his response to London’s knife crime epidemic.

Times
Climate change protesters arrested and then released have been returning to bolster numbers at roadblocks in London as police warned of a drain on resources before the Easter weekend. Hundreds of officers in high visibility uniforms last night marched on one protest at Parliament Square to begin clearing demonstrators as the protests threatened to cause a fourth day of disruption in central London.

Morning Star
POLICE arrested more than 300 Extinction Rebellion protesters in London today while demonstrations continued in their “uprising” against the government’s inaction over climate change. Three protesters glued themselves to a Docklands Light Railway train, causing minor delays at Canary Wharf station. Extinction Rebellion warned the day before that they would “non-violently disrupt Tube services” if no government minister met a representative of the group.

Mail
Hundreds of arrested eco-activists are being released without charge to rejoin protests bringing London to a standstill, as furious business leaders blasted the Met and the Mayor demanding someone ‘take control’. The demonstrations which have inconvenienced 500,000 people and cost businesses £12 million since Monday, brought further chaos to the capital’s today as the protesters superglued themselves to tube trains. Despite the police having issued a public order notice 48 hours ago demanding protesters on Waterloo Bridge disperse and regroup at their Marble Arch protest site, the bridge remains closed to traffic in both directions as the protesters there continue to be arrested.

Press freedom

Times
Britain ranks below Ghana, South Africa and Jamaica in a new league table of press freedom because of “heavy-handed” media restrictions. The UK is 33rd in the latest annual World Press Freedom Index, published by the Reporters Without Borders campaign group. This is seven places higher than last year but the country remains one of the lowest-ranked in western Europe, behind Germany (13), Spain (29) and France (32).

Education

Huffington Post
Most secondary school heads have been forced to cut teachers to save money, a new poll underlining the scale of the education cash crisis has revealed.  Over two-thirds (69%) of secondary school leaders said they had no choice but to shave teaching staff numbers, the Sutton Trust’s survey of 1,678 teachers found.  Around a quarter of heads (27%) have also redirected pupil premium cash – money targeted specifically at disadvantaged children – to pay for teaching staff and to plug gaps elsewhere in their budget.

Telegraph
Schools are spending money set aside for their poorest pupils to pay teacher salaries, a survey has found. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of secondary school head teachers and 22 per cent of primary heads admitted using their pupil premium fund to “plug gaps” in their budget, according to a poll of teachers. Of these, most said they used the extra funds – which are designated for boosting the attainment of children from deprived backgrounds – to pay for teachers and teaching assistants.

Times
British universities have spent about £87 million since 2017 on gagging orders to stop staff who have been paid off going public with the dispute. Figures obtained by the BBC show the scale of non-disclosure agreements. The deals were designed to stop staff sharing trade secrets if they changed jobs. Lawyers say, however, that they are being misused to protect employers who could be guilty of misconduct. Ministers say that they want to tighten the rules.

Mail
Universities have paid £87million in the past two years in compensation to academics who complained about bullying, sexual misconduct or discrimination. The payments, which average more than £22,000, all included non-disclosure clauses which prevented the individuals talking about their cases. The settlements covered about 4,000 cases in which academics had made allegations in 96 institutions, according to freedom of information responses collected by the BBC.

Housing

Times
House prices grew at their slowest pace in more than six years in February as the southeast of England dragged down the rest of the market with its first fall in prices since 2011, according to official figures. Average house prices in Britain rose by 0.6 per cent to £226,000 in the year to February, according to the Office for National Statistics. This was slower than the 1.7 per cent growth in the year to January and the lowest annual growth rate since September 2012, when the economy was contracting.

Mail
For decades, they have made far more from their bricks and mortar than anyone else in the country. But now home-owners in the South East are losing money on their homes – after prices there fell for the first time in eight years. Meanwhile, properties in the North gained in value, according to the latest official figures. The average South East property’s value fell 1.8 per cent during the year to February, dropping to an average of £315,000.

Christianity

Times
Britain must act urgently to save Christians around the world from persecution that is “unprecedented in many centuries”, the Church of England and Roman Catholic church have said. In a rare joint statement, the churches demanded extra training for diplomats and asylum for Christian refugees. Britain had provided only “piecemeal” support to those facing discrimination, and even “mass killings” on account of their faith, the churches warned in their submission to a Foreign Office review.

The post News review – Thursday 18 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Wednesday 17 April 2019

News review – Wednesday 17 April 2019

Conservative Party

Telegraph
Grassroots Tories believe they are just weeks away from triggering a little-known process that could help to bring down Theresa May. Party chairmen are circulating a petition calling for the party’s National Convention, which represents the grassroots, to call an Extraordinary General Meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in Mrs May, the Tory leader. If the petition motion is signed by more than 65 association chairmen, the party is obliged to hold the meeting. So far between 40 and 50 party chairmen have signed it, and the threshold could be passed as early as next week

Mirror
Fed-up local Tory chairmen are plotting to force out Theresa May sooner than planned by using little known powers in the party rule book. An emergency meeting of the Conservatives’ National Convention, which represents the party’s grassroots, can be called if 65 local association chairmen agree, paving the way for a no confidence vote in the Tory leader. The signatures are already being gathered, with Brexit-leaning grassroots Tories furious at the Prime Minister’s handling of the UK’s departure from the EU.

Express
THERESA MAY could face another no-confidence vote as Tory MPs plan to set the motion at an extraordinary general meeting. Party chairmen have been encouraging MPs to sign a petition calling for a National Convention to oust the party leader, the Daily Telegraph reported. The Conservatives must hold the meeting if the petition is signed by more than 65 association chairmen. Up to 50 chairmen have reportedly signed it so far.

Sun
TORIES fear they could lose around half of their MEPs if Theresa May stays in No10. Candidates say that a combination of Brexit chaos and the PM clinging on means they face a drubbing in the local and Euro elections next month. The PM has said she will step down if her deal goes through, but she still stick around and Britain will have to take part in the polls one isn’t signed off in weeks.

Express
A MASSIVE surge to join the Conservative Party has prompted fears that Brexit activists are signed up in a bid to pick a new Prime Minister. A whopping 30,000 people have joined the Tories within the last 12 months, the Sun has claimed. The increase would boost its overall numbers to more than 150,000, which would be a seven year high. CCHQ insiders say some of the rise is from a new recruitment drive, but others believe the prospect of having a say on Theresa May’s successor is now being heavily exploited.

Westmonster
The Conservative Party’s membership has ballooned by tens of thousands in a year following Leave.EU’s drive to push for Brexiteers to join so that they can vote in the next Tory leadership contest.  Around 30,000 new members have joined the Tory Party over the last 12 months, according to The Sun. And whilst Tory chiefs will of course say this is as a result of their own recruitment, it comes after Leave.EU launched a campaign urging Brexiteers to join in order to help determine who will follow Theresa May as the next Party Leader after she eventually leaves.

Brexit

Independent
Theresa May has “no chance” of passing her Brexit deal in time to pull the UK out of the European parliament elections and avoid a likely devastating defeat, experts have concluded. Time has already effectively run out on attempts to ratify the agreement by 22 May, they say – despite the prime minister insisting talks with Labour can still deliver a compromise before the deadline. The verdict puts the Conservatives on course to lose most of their MEPs, polls suggest, as Leave voters protest at the failure to deliver Brexit, a disastrous result that would trigger huge pressure on Ms May to resign.

Sun
A FRESH plot is underway to force through a soft Brexit to end the Commons deadlock, it was revealed today. Veteran MPs Frank Field and Ken Clarke are teaming up to force another vote on a customs union in weeks – in a hope they can push through a soft exit. A customs union has already been rejected by MPs in the Commons last month, where it lost by eight votes. But Independent MP Mr Field told the Evening Standard that bringing it back again could get both party leaders “off the hook” and they won’t have to sign a formal Brexit deal.

Cross party talks

Guardian
No 10 is feeling the pressure to pull the plug on Brexit talks with Labour and move to an alternative plan, amid warnings that the opposition is in no hurry for a deal before the European elections. With talks deadlocked and no sign that the government moving on its red lines, neither the Conservatives or Labour want to appear responsible for the breakdown in discussions. However, government sources acknowledge Theresa May is under much greater time pressure than Labour, which has little incentive to do a deal before the European and local elections that are likely to result in the Conservatives suffering heavy losses to  Nigel Farage’s Brexit party.

Express
DOWNING Street is under pressure to scrap Brexit talks with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns his party is in no rush to break the impasse before the European elections. Government sources say the Labour Party has little incentive to rush through a deal before the May European Elections as the Tories face heavy losses to Nigel Farage’s Brexit party. Number 10 is also said to be concerned Labour will not support a plan for MPs to vote on amendments to the withdrawal deal in order to break the deadlock, according to The Guardian. If the withdrawal bill is voted down before the amendments, Prime Minister Theresa May would be forced to prorouge parliament and start again by bringing it forward with a new session and the Queen’s speech.

Reuters
The Labour Party denied a Guardian newspaper report on Tuesday that Brexit talks with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government had stalled. The newspaper had said talks had stalled due to a Conservative desire for post-Brexit deregulation including pursuing a U.S. trade deal. “There has to be access to European markets and above all there has to be a dynamic relationship to protect the conditions and rights that we’ve got for environment and consumer workplace rights,” Corbyn said according to the Guardian.

Huffington Post
Cross-party talks aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock are close to collapse, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested. The Labour leader said his negotiating team, led by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, had pressed “very robustly” for a customs union, but backbench Conservatives demanding low tax and deregulation were blocking progress.

CHUK

Times
The Independent Group of breakaway MPs has formally become a political party — but candidates will have a blank space next to their names on ballot papers after their logo was rejected. The Electoral Commission has approved an application from the group of former Labour and Tory MPs to become Change UK — The Independent Group in time for them to fight the European elections from May 23 to 26.

BBC News
The Electoral Commission has approved The Independent Group’s application to register as a political party. The group – made up of 11 former Labour and Tory MPs who quit their parties in February – will become Change UK. The approval means they can put forward candidates in the European elections due to take place on 23 May – if the UK has not left the EU by then. But the Commission rejected the party’s logo, saying it was “likely to mislead voters”.

Mail
The fledgling centrist political party set up by disaffected Tory and Labour Remainers has been swamped by requests from 3,000 people who want to become its first MEPs. Change UK, which was launched by the Independent Group’s 11 MPs, plans to whittle the list down to a shortlist of 100 before choosing who to put forward for the UK’s 73 seats, the Times reported. In a statement on the close of applications, the Independent Group told the paper: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of applicants.’

The Brexit Party

Breitbart
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said EU elections will mark the beginning of a new era in British politics and told MEPs in the European Parliament, “I’m coming back. In fact, lots and lots of us are coming back.” “The Brexit Party will sweep the board at these elections,” Mr Farage told his colleagues in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “There is only one way to stop it and that is if the governing party of Mrs May and the Opposition of Mr Corbyn come together and agree to a permanent Customs Union and indeed effectively membership of the Single Market.

Westmonster
Brexit MEP Nigel Farage today warned that the EU establishment will be “very, very surprised” by what happens at the European Elections Elections on 23rd May and declared that it will mark “a new future for British democracy”. In a speech in the European Parliament today, Farage declared that the Brexit Party “will sweep the board” in the European Elections unless the Conservatives and Labour “come together to agree to a permanent Customs Union”.

EU

Westmonster
The European Union’s Donald Tusk today insisted that the dream of the UK remaining in the EU wasn’t dead after all. Now that would truly be a nightmare for the pro-Brexit majority of Brits.  Speaking today, Tusk insisted that “all options remain on the table such as ratification of the current Withdrawal Agreement or extra time to rethink Brexit if that were the wish of the British people”.

Mirror
Donald Tusk has said he still “dreams” of the UK reversing Brexit following the six month extension. The European Council President insisted that the UK cannot be a “second category” member of the EU if it takes part in elections.  Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Tusk said: “During the European Council, one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers, and that Brexit couldn’t be reversed.

BBC News
The UK will take part in May’s European elections and British MEPs could sit for “months or even longer”, European Council President Donald Tusk has said. Mr Tusk said the decision to delay Brexit to 31 October meant British voters would be going to the polls. But Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt said the six-month extension was too short for change and too far away to prompt action.

Independent
The president of the European Council has warned opponents of Brexit not to “give in to fatalism” and accept Britain’s departure from the European Union. Speaking in the European parliament on Tuesday, Donald Tusk said Europe and Britain needed “dreams and dreamers” to keep the idea of a united Europe alive and the UK in the EU. “During the European Council, one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers and that we shouldn’t think that Brexit can be reversed,” Mr Tusk told MEPs in Strasbourg

Guardian
Donald Tusk, the European council president, has turned his fire on senior MEPs after he was accused of dividing the EU and prolonging the Brexit crisis for Europe by delaying it to 31 October. The European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, had warned during a Brexit debate that the EU27’s decision last week would “poison” the European elections, in which Britain would need to take part.

Mail
Britain cannot be treated like a second class member while it remains an EU member state ahead of Brexit, a top European politician has warned. Donald Tusk used a speech to euro MPs in Brussels to urge them not to give in to ‘fear and scaremongering’ claims that the UK could use extra time inside the bloc to ‘disrupt’ its activities. To muted applause in Brussels today the European Council president said that the UK had been a ‘constructive and responsible’ member state throughout Brexit talks.

Independent
Donald Tusk has told MEPs a long extension to the Brexit process allows for “all options” to remain on the table, including the possibility of a second referendum. In reference to claims from Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg in recent weeks, Mr Tusk added: “I know that some have expressed fear that the UK might want to disrupt the EU‘s functioning during this time. “But the EU did not give in to such scaremongering… in fact, since the very beginning of the Brexit process the UK has been a constructive and responsible EU member state.

Telegraph
The established centre-left and centre-right blocs in the EU Parliament are likely to lose their combined majority in May’s European Elections, according to the latest polling. Polls indicate that these two large pan-European blocs, which are comprised of a host of allied parties from each EU country, will lose seats under a tide of populist support. While the centre-right European Peoples’ Party (EPP) and centre-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) are likely to remain the largest parliamentary groups, experts warn that their current position of dominance is now “threatened”.

Mail
A senior EU negotiator said yesterday he believes Britain will waste its latest Brexit extension. Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament Brexit coordinator, said the UK will probably ‘run down the clock’ once again. He criticised MPs’ decision to go off on holiday as soon as the six-month extension had been agreed. Mr Verhofstadt said delaying Brexit to the end of October risked prolonging the uncertainty of the process because it was ‘too near for a substantial rethink and at the same time too far away to prompt any action’.

Times
Nigel Farage is “the only thing that can save” the European Union from being “poisoned” by a never-ending Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt has warned. The European Parliament’s Brexit chief, a passionate supporter of a United States of Europe, attacked EU leaders yesterday for allowing Britain to delay Brexit at a summit last week. Mr Verhofstadt echoed arguments against a Brexit extension made by President Macron, who is the most powerful ally of the MEP’s liberal bloc in next month’s EU elections.

Crime

Telegraph
Criminals will have minor offences wiped from their records under plans being considered by Sajid Javid to stop them being denied jobs by “spent” convictions. The Home Secretary is reviewing a rule where anyone with more than one conviction, no matter how minor, automatically has them disclosed to a prospective employer for the rest of their lives.

Independent
Employers could be kept in the dark about the criminal records of some job applicants under a review of rules by the home secretary. Sajid Javid said the government needs to “look again” at how much is revealed about people who have committed certain crimes when they apply for jobs. Currently anyone with more than one conviction automatically has details shared with potential employers, no matter how much time has passed.

ITV News
Employers could be kept in the dark about the criminal records of some job applicants under a review of rules by the Home Secretary. Sajid Javid said the Government needs to “look again” at how much is revealed about people who have committed certain crimes when they apply for jobs. Currently anyone with more than one conviction automatically has details shared with potential employers, no matter how much time has passed.

Mail
Criminals with minor convictions will be given a clean slate to stop them being denied jobs under Home Office plans. Home Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday revealed he is reviewing a rule that allows bosses to know their prospective employees’ criminal pasts. The current rule states jobseekers with criminal convictions automatically have them revealed to interviewers if they have more than one. But under new plans, crimes such as drug possession, thefts or minor assaults will not be disclosed to employers by the Government’s disclosure and barring service (DBS) as a matter of course.

Dementia

Times
Dementia patients will be handed prescriptions to kit their houses out with smart technology at the point of diagnosis within the decade, experts predict. The technology, including radar to monitor their movement, robotic devices to remind them if they have left the hob on and ear-worn sensors to track their brainwaves and gait, is designed to help them to stay in their own homes as long as possible.

Education

Independent
Labour would scrap the controversial Sats exams in English primary schools, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The “regime of extreme pressure testing” would be abolished amid reports of children crying, vomiting and having nightmares, the Labour leader told the National Education Union conference. Mr Corbyn has also announced that the next Labour government will scrap the government’s baseline assessments for children as young as four – which are due to come into effect next year. The pledge was received with a standing ovation and loud cheers from teachers in Liverpool, with some chanting, “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”.

Morning Star
JEREMY CORBYN has vowed that a future Labour government will abolish hated primary school SATs. The Labour leader made the pledge in a barnstorming speech at the National Education Union’s (NEU) annual conference in Liverpool today. He laid out the policy under plans to abolish the “regime of extreme pressure testing” for primary school children, who are among the most tested in the world.

Mastercard

Mail
Nearly every adult in the UK could be in line for a payout from Mastercard after a £14billion damages claim against the payment provider was revived by the Court of Appeal today.  The legal action is being brought against the card giant by Former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks. He said the maximum payout from the proposed ‘opt-out’ claim will be around £300 for anyone over the age of 16 and who was a resident in the UK for three months or more between 1992 and 2008.  Around 46.2million people could qualify for the payout – including those who have never had a Mastercard, according to Merricks.

Times
One of the largest damages claims to be brought in the English courts is back on after the Court of Appeal revived a £14 billion lawsuit against Mastercard on behalf of 46 million UK consumers. If the case is successful, in theory it would enable anyone who was aged 16 or over between 1992 and 2008 to claim compensation from Mastercard, the American payments processing business. The claim works out at up to £304 per person. Walter Merricks, the former Financial Ombudsman who has fought Mastercard for three years, hailed the decision as a milestone in his battle to see shoppers compensated.

The post News review – Wednesday 17 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Tuesday 16 April 2019

News review – Tuesday 16 April 2019

Viv has asked me to tell you that she will not be producing her Daily Brexit column today as she is unwell.

Brexit

Reuters
Prime Minister Theresa May has said the government will continue to plan for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, her spokesman said on Monday. May made the comment in an internal note to staff. The European Union last week delayed Brexit until the end of October, averting, for now at least, the risk of an abrupt British departure from the bloc which investors fear would hurt the economy. May’s spokesman also told reporters on Monday that the prime minister was not thinking about calling an early national election as a way to break the Brexit impasse in parliament.

Guardian
Theresa May has written to civil servants saying no-deal preparations must carry on despite a new October deadline for the UK’s exit from the European Union. An email seen by the Guardian shows that the prime minister has told government staff that plans for crashing out of the EU are necessary and will continue to be signed off by permanent secretaries. It follows criticism of May’s government for wasting money after it emerged in a leaked email to Sky News that no-deal plans were being “wound down”. In an email sent to the civil service on Monday, May clarified this point, writing that some no-deal planning would continue. Senior civil servants including the cabinet secretary, Mark Sedwill, would decide which plans could be shelved, the prime minister said.

Telegraph
Theresa May has written to every civil servant to tell them no-deal Brexit preparations “must continue” after a  backlash over the Government’s decision to “wind down” its worst-case scenario planning.  The Prime Minister sent the message to Whitehall workers on Monday morning to tell them the “necessary preparations” would carry on – but with a “sensibly adjusted” timetable. Mrs May also said that it would be up to permanent secretaries – the most senior civil servant in a department – to decide what to plan for and when. It emerged last week that the Government had shelved some of its no-deal planning “with immediate effect” after Mrs May agreed to a Brexit delay.

ITV News
Theresa May must use the delay to Brexit to prepare for the next stage of negotiations with the European Union and avoid repeating the blunders made during the divorce process, a respected think tank has said. Talks on a future trade deal with Brussels will be “more complicated” than the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, an Institute for Government (IfG) report said. In a highly critical assessment of the Government’s handling of the Brexit process so far, the analysis blamed Mrs May for creating the “unsustainable” split in responsibilities between Number 10 and the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu), with the “secretive” approach adopted by the Prime Minister and her closest aides fuelling division.

Mail
Britain was today named as the world’s top investment destination for businesses despite Brexit, knocking the United States off the top spot for the first time in five years. The survey on corporate deal-making by consulting and accounting firm EY said Britain was the top investment destination in the world for the first time in the report’s 10-year history.  The pound’s fall since the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union has made British assets cheaper, but Steve Krouskos, a global vice chair at EY, said Britain also remained an ‘open environment for foreign investors’ even in the midst of the Brexit chaos.  That culture, he said, is reinforced by the English language, a skilled workforce, and a strong technology base.

Times
A leading recruitment group has brushed aside fears that uncertainty caused by Brexit will slow the jobs market by reporting a 10 per cent rise in fees for its UK operations. The increase in net fee income in Britain, which makes up about a quarter of Robert Walters’ turnover, represents an improvement from the 2 per cent growth reported in the final three months of 2018. The company, which takes its name from its founder and chief executive, operates in 30 countries and employs almost 4,300 people.

Euro elections

Westmonster
Follow the money! According to the latest odds from bookmakers, May’s European Elections look set to be a straight fight between Labour and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. Sky Bet have Labour as the narrow favourites at 1/1 to win the most seats, with the Brexit Party seen as their main challengers on 11/10. Meanwhile the Conservatives are way back at 12/1. Ouch.  Similar story for Ladbrokes who describe Labour as “marginal favs”, with the Brexit Party snapping at their heels and the Tories way behind on 9/1. How many Conservatives will vote for the Brexit Party to stop Jeremy Corbyn winning a national election whilst sending a pro-Leave message to MPs?

Breitbart
Two polls suggest UKIP and The Brexit Party hold a combined 25 to 29 per cent of Britons’ voting intentions ahead of European Parliament elections, while the establishment Labour and Conservative parties are set to “perform poorly,” according to YouGov. The YouGov poll found that “voting intention for the two main parties has fallen since 2017, and both could perform worse still at the EU parliament elections,” adding that “large swathes of Britons [are] turning their backs on the main two parties and [are] moving towards groups with harder Brexit positions.” While The Brexit Party (15 per cent) and UKIP (14 per cent) take third and fourth places respectively after Labour and the Conservatives, the research firm noted that “neither [Tories nor Labour] are far enough ahead for comfort” of the anti-establishment Eurosceptics.

Huffington Post
Disabled people could be denied their right to vote independently and in secret in the European elections because they are being organised in a rush due to Brexit chaos, Labour has warned. Theresa May is facing a race against time to get MPs to approve a withdrawal deal by May 22 so the UK does not have to take part in European Parliament elections the following day under the terms of a Brexit delay to October 31 agreed with the EU last week. The rushed and uncertain situation left electoral administrators just four working days to order tactile voting devices which are legally required to help blind and partially sighted people vote. Labour said the timetable was “not a sufficient warning” and blamed May’s “chaotic approach to Brexit”.

Cross party talks

Guardian
No 10 is feeling the pressure to pull the plug on Brexit talks with Labour  and move to an alternative plan, amid warnings that the opposition is in no hurry for a deal before the European elections. With talks deadlocked and no sign that the government moving on its red lines, neither the Conservatives or Labour want to appear responsible for the breakdown in discussions. However, government sources acknowledge Theresa May is under much greater time pressure than Labour, which has little incentive to do a deal before the European and local elections that are likely to result in the Conservatives suffering heavy losses to Nigel Farage’s Brexit party.

Independent
Cross-party talks between the Conservatives and Labour to resolve the Brexit stalemate are to continue through parliament’s Easter recess, as infighting among senior Tories revealed the divisions still plaguing progress. Chancellor Philip Hammond reportedly ridiculed Tory Brexiteers including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson for engaging in a “suicide pact” during the 2016 leadership race in a speech in the US. Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said talks with Labour were proving “more constructive” than many had expected. “I don’t think we should rule out the possibility of getting some agreement across the House of Commons.”

Second referendum

Mirror
Second Brexit referendum campaigners are bidding to persuade Leave voters to back a fresh poll because the next one will be different. Supporters of a so-called People’s Vote are trying to convince those who backed Leave in 2016 their concerns can be tackled by another poll. Insiders admit “project fear” tactics failed to work three years ago, and have vowed not to repeat the same messages. A 15-page report by the People’s Vote campaign admits: “We know that a new vote on Europe must be a different kind of campaign to the 2016 referendum. “It must recognise that many millions of people voted to leave the EU because Britain does not work for them.

Bercow

Express
JOHN BERCOW has abandoned plans to step down as Speaker of the House of Commons Speaker until Brexit is resolved. John Bercow, 56, has served as Speaker for ten years. He was expected to make a statement to the House when MPs returned from Easter recess on April 23 announcing his plans to make way for his successor over the summer. But now, amid the continuing Brexit crisis, he has decided he is best placed to stay in his position for the time being. Mr Bercow maintains his job is to protect and act in the interests of parliament as a whole and not the executive, and has denied all accusations of bias. There have been reports that Mr Bercow was persuaded to stay by pro-remain MPs including Dominic Grieve and Sir Oliver Letwin, but the claims have been called “complete rubbish” by those concerned. However, the move will still infuriate Brexiteers who believe he is using his position to frustrate their attempts to get the withdrawal deal through.

TBP

Times
Three Ukip MEPs have quit to join Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. Margot Parker, Jill Seymour and Jane Collins joined eight other MEPs elected for Ukip who have defected to their former leader’s new group. Of the 24 Ukip MEPs elected in 2014 when the party came first in the British European elections, four remain. The Brexit Party now has 11, the third highest after Labour and the Tories. Ms Seymour said that under Gerard Batten’s leadership Ukip had moved to “the extreme right”. Ms Collins said that Ukip’s attitude to women was “disgusting”. Ukip has selected 23 candidates including Carl Benjamin, who in 2016 wrote: “I wouldn’t even rape you” in a tweet to the Labour MP Jess Phillips.

Independent
Several Ukip MEPs have defected to Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party. West Midlands MEP Jill Seymour and Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire MEP Jane Collins announced their resignations on Monday. It is understood a third Ukip MEP, Margot Parker, has also quit the party. Ms Collins said Ukip’s attitude to women was “disgusting” and said she wanted to spend the rest of her time as an MEP fighting to secure a “real Brexit”. She said Mr Farage’s new party, which he set up nearly three years after quitting as Ukip leader, is the “best way of achieving that”.

Sky News
Three female MEPs have quit UKIP after the party’s leader Gerard Batten defended a candidate’s comments about rape as “satire”. Jane Collins, Jill Seymour and Margot Parker will no longer represent UKIP in the European Parliament. All three have joined the new Brexit Party, which is spearheaded by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Their departures mean, of the 24 UKIP MEPs elected at the last European Parliament elections in 2014, only four remain as representatives of the party. A large number of UKIP’s departed MEPs – including the three to quit on Monday – have cited Mr Batten’s leadership as the primary reason for their resignations.

Westmonster
UKIP’s decline has continued ahead of the European Elections, with another three MEPs joining Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party. Jill Seymour, Margot Parker and Jane Collins have all made the move, with Seymour accusing Gerard Batten’s UKIP of switching to “the extreme right of politics”. Seymour has insisted that: “I am not walking away from the party’s original core principles, but the present party’s direction means it has walked away from me, and its original membership.”  Meanwhile, Yorkshire MEP Jane Collins announced that: “I have spent much of my time as an MEP standing up for the rights of women, including the victims of industrial scale CSE in Rotherham. “It is simply impossible for me to stay in UKIP now and I will serve out the rest of my mandate as an MEP for The Brexit Party.”

CHUK

Telegraph
Change UK, the group of independent politicians, has appealed for European parliament election candidates, but has told them they must hand over details of their social media accounts. Political parties are scrambling to assess and vet potential candidates as they face the prospect of fighting for seats in Brussels, three years after the UK voted to leave the EU. However, Change UK has yet to be told whether or not it can take part in the elections. The Electoral Commission watchdog is still processing its application to be a political party, which is necessary to field candidates

Conservative Party

Independent
Theresa May must appoint a powerful “deputy” with agreed aims for the next stage of the Brexit negotiations to avoid the blunders of the first phase, a major study says. The government is in danger of “stumbling” into future trade talks with the EU “without a plan”, it warns – even if the divorce deal is eventually approved by the Commons. The warning comes as compromise talks between the government and Labour stalled, casting fresh doubt on the prime minister’s hopes of passing her deal and avoiding a long Brexit delay. Unless the agreement is ratified by 22 May, the UK will have to take part in next month’s European parliament elections – threatening the Conservatives with huge losses.

Sun
SENIOR Tories fear they are being infiltrated by thousands of Brexit activists joining to pick a new PM after the party’s membership swelled by a fifth. The Sun can reveal that a fresh surge of 30,000 have joined the Conservatives within the last 12 months. The influx boosted its overall numbers to more than 150,000 – at least a seven year high. While CCHQ insiders insist some of the rise is from a new recruitment drive, other party chiefs say the prospect of having a say on Theresa May’s successor is now being heavily exploited. They also suspect the ‘entryism’ threat will spiral because of last week’s new six month delay to Brexit. Under party rules designed to block leadership contests from being influenced, new joiners can only vote in them if they have been members for three months.

Westmonster
The Conservative Party’s membership has ballooned by tens of thousands in a year following Leave.EU’s drive to push for Brexiteers to join and vote for the next Party Leader. Around 30,000 new members have joined the Tory Party over the last 12 months, according to The Sun. And whilst Tory chiefs will of course say this is as a result of their own recruitment, it comes after Leave.EU launched a campaign urging Brexiteers to join in order to help determine who will follow Theresa May as the next Party Leader after she eventually leaves. A Conservative official told The Sun that: “We’re not going to be able to stop people joining up just to vote for a new leader now. “If Theresa resigned when she intended to, at the end of May, we could have balloted the membership within five or six weeks.

NHS

Mail
One in four NHS hospitals is routinely failing to put enough nurses on duty to keep patients safe, a damning report says. Experts warn that the lessons of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal have been forgotten amid a desperate staffing crisis across the Health Service. The 224-page report, funded by the research arm of the NHS, concluded that patients are routinely cared for in wards that are left at a ‘high risk’ staffing level.  The report also warned that healthcare assistants – who do not have the same training as registered nurses – are being used to shore up the lack of fully qualified staff. The review, conducted by Southampton University, said a 40,000 shortage in registered nurses across England meant hospitals find it impossible to safely staff their wards. This has ‘resulted in a gradual dilution of national safe staffing policy’.

Mail
The NHS is handing out cash top-ups to doctors’ salaries in a desperate bid to stop them from retiring early. Doctors are trying to avoid big tax bills from stricter pension rules that put a cap on their saving allowances.  It’s led to thousands leaving the profession early, amid a worsening staff shortage in the NHS workforce.  Around ten NHS trusts have now offered to contribute cash to doctors’ pensions so they can opt out of the pension scheme, the Financial Times reports.

Cancer

Telegraph
The cause of cancer is written into the DNA of tumours, scientists have discovered, in a breakthrough which could finally show how much disease is attributable to factors like air pollution or pesticides. Until now the roots of many cancers have proved elusive, with doctors unable to tease out the impact of a myriad of carcinogenic causes which people encounter every day.   Even with lung cancer, it is not known just how much can be attributed to smoking and how much could be linked to other factors, such as living by a busy road, or inhaling pollutants at work. But now scientists at Cambridge University and King’s College London have shown that tumours hold information like a ‘black box’ pointing to the cause of disease.

Sun
CANCER leaves ‘fingerprints’ on DNA that that could help scientist nail the environmental culprits behind mysterious tumours. Doctors are building a state-of-the-art genetic library of ‘mutation’ markers – with tobacco smoke, sunlight, and air pollution identified as triggers with telltale signs. Each chemical triggers a specific change in the DNA’s structure. Scientists at Cambridge University and King’s College London exposed stem cells to dozens of known carcinogens before recording how each one altered DNA code. They hope the results could turn tumours into “black boxes” packed with information about what caused the disease.

Times
British breast cancer sufferers are still waiting for a ground-breaking drug to be approved for the NHS almost two years after the US gave it a green light. Olaparib was also recently granted a licence by the European Medicines Agency for use in women and men with advanced breast cancer who have inherited BRCA gene mutations. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has put the appraisal process on hold until mid-July. Olaparib works by blocking a protein on which cancer cells rely.

The post News review – Tuesday 16 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

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