Posts Tagged ‘House of Lords’

Saturday papers – Saturday 19 May 2018

Saturday papers – Saturday 19 May 2018

UKIP Daily offers the Duke and Duchess of Sussex every good wish on their wedding day.

After that, this site becomes a wedding-free zone.

Brexit

Tory MPs are getting tough with the Prime Minister, says the Express.

THERESA May has been told she needs to ditch the EU talks and go for a “quick no deal”.
Tory 
Brexit MPs have warned the Prime Minister that patience is running out over the protracted negotiations with Brussels trying to exploit the Northern Ireland border to keep the UK tied to the customs union and single market.
After a series of meetings with MPs this week ahead of a summit in the Balkans, the Prime Minister has been warned that she needs to follow her own claim that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.
Walking out of talks and going to World Trade Organisation rules will also save Britain £40 billion in divorce fees which the UK agreed to if the 
EU makes a final deal.

Westmonster quotes a DUP spokesman.

Theresa May should ‘dig her heels in’ and play hardball with Brussels because EU big wigs will back down, says DUP’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson.
He told The Telegraph: “When the PM has stuck her heels in, as she did in December, they changed the agreement. As she did in March, when they said they wouldn’t accept the legal agreement, they backed down.
“She should learn from that. Stand up to them. They need the deal, they will back down. Do this kind of thing where you sway with the wind you will come off worse.”

J R-M

Jacob Rees-Mogg should be the Conservatives’ next leader, says Westmonster in a column by Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham

Last Monday evening I had the pleasure of introducing Jacob Rees-Mogg at a Reignite event in London attended by around a hundred mainly students. The popularity of this event, notably that so many students would leave their revision books in the middle of exam season, has reinforced in my mind that there is only one person to succeed Theresa May as Party Leader and as Prime Minister – and that man is Jacob Rees-Mogg.
It is essential that, once the Brexit process has been completed, the Conservative Party must be led with someone who has a clear, concise view of what a post Brexit Britain should look like, has the support of both MPs and Party members and has the skills necessary to take the fight to the Labour Party.

Customs union

But Brexiteers are in for a fight over the customs union, says the Times.

Eurosceptics are preparing to fight to make sure Britain is tied to the EU’s customs union beyond the end of 2020 only on a short-term basis as it emerged that there are limits to the type of trade deals possible under the plan agreed by the cabinet this week.
Senior cabinet figures expect a series of difficult meetings of the Brexit war cabinet in the next three weeks about what kind of immigration system Britain will offer after Brexit and the level of divergence from the single market. These matters need to be settled before the European Council meeting at the end of June.

Ireland

And the Irish Taoiseach has added to the pressure, says the Mail.

The Irish premier has warned Britain must keep some ties to the single market with Brexit in order to avoid a hard border with the Republic.
Theresa May has drawn up new plans to keep the whole of the UK aligned with the EU customs union after Brexit if no deal can be done to keep a soft Irish border.
The PM is expected to unveil the new details of the ‘fallback option’ to EU leaders in a fortnight’s time.

The Independent reiterates the rejection of a border in the Irish Sea.

The Irish government does not want a border down the Irish Sea separating Great Britain from Northern Ireland, a senior lawmaker from the country’s governing party has said.
Neale Richmond, the Fine Gael senator who chairs the body’s Brexit committee, said Brexiteers had mischaracterised the country’s approach to solving the border question.
His comments come a day after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with Theresa May at a summit on Sofia, where he warned that there was a “serious” possibility of the UK quitting without a deal.
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said there would likely be customs checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland if the so-called “backstop” of keeping NI in the customs union and single market took effect.

Breitbart also reports the Irish call.

The Irish Premier called for the UK to remain tied to the European Union’s (EU) Customs Union, as Theresa May prepares new Brexit proposals that she says will keep the bloc happy and the Irish border open.
The Prime Minister reportedly wants to keep the UK aligned to the Customs Union, and claims that being locked to many of its rules will not hinder the UK’s ability to control trade policy and strike new deals.
She is expected to unveil the new details of the “backstop” option to EU leaders in two weeks’ time, 
The Times reports.
According to the plan, the UK would collect EU tariffs during the transition period, which has been agreed to last two years.

Scotland

The Scottish first minister is also causing problems for Mrs May, says the Express.

THERESA May has slammed Nicola Sturgeon’s opposition to the Brexit Bill as she claims the SNP leader is only objecting to it so she can break up the United Kingdom and seek independence for Scotland.
Speaking at the Welsh Conservative conference, Mrs May called on all UK politicians to support her legislation if they believed in the “integrity” of Britain.
The Prime Minister criticised Nicola Sturgeon, saying: “And the only First Minister in the UK who still opposes the Withdrawal Bill is the only First Minister who wants to break up the United Kingdom – Nicola Sturgeon.

EU

On the other side of the Channel, Barnier has his own ideas, says the Telegraph.

Brussels is likely to reject Theresa May’s plan to keep Britain tied to EU customs rules beyond 2021 because it believes the backstop clause to prevent a hard Irish border can only apply to Northern Ireland and not the whole UK.
“The European commission has always understood it as applying to Northern Ireland only,” an EU source told The Telegraph, “It has always said that Northern Ireland is a unique situation”.
Brussels is now waiting for a formal offer from Mrs May in writing but is likely to point to language agreed in December’s UK-EU joint report that says any Irish border deal cannot “pre-determine” any wider agreement on the future relationship between the two sides.

But the bloc has its own problems, says Westmonster.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has told Parliament that Central and Eastern European countries are Europe’s future because of Western Europe’s failure to get to grips with mass migration.
Orbán said that countries can only run when they have long-term plans, and in his view, the economic centre of Europe was shifting to the east, as eastern economies continued to show solid signs of strong growth.
“In 1990, Europe was our future and today we are Europe’s future,” he declared.
“We are the fastest growing region of the Union.”
Migration also played a part of this, according to the Hungarian firebrand, who said that Europe had been threatened by migration and mass migration for many years.

Westmonster also reports the surge in anti-Europeanism.

The number of Italians who would vote for the Eurosceptic, anti-mass migration Lega party has surged since the election.
Lega were backed by 17% at Italy’s General Election in March, which was already a big increase in support for the party.
But now a new poll has shown the party, led by Matteo Salvini, has surged to 25% as they negotiate with the Five Star Movement over a governing agreement that looks close to completion.
That makes Lega the second most popular party, with the anti-establishment Five Star on 32%.

Could Italy be the next country to leave the EU? The Sun reports.

BRUSSELS fears Italy will be the next to quit the EU — after two anti-union parties formed a Government.
The Five Star Movement and Northern League vowed to end austerity and blitz migration.
They also demanded a review of Brussels’ spending curbs that limit budget deficits to three per cent of GDP.
Italy’s new Government also wants to renegotiate its debt — the EU’s second highest after Greece — and increase public spending.

Bercow

Back home, the Speaker of the House of Commons is still in the news, reports the Telegraph.

John Bercow allegedly accused Andrea Leadsom of being a liar in the Commons after she confronted him over claims he had described her as a “stupid woman”.
On Wednesday Mr Brecow allegedly described Mrs Leadsom, the Leader of the House of Commons, as a “stupid woman” and muttered that she was “f —— useless”.
The Telegraph has learned that Mrs Leadsom returned to the Chamber on Wednesday afternoon after being told by MPs about the alleged comments by Mr Bercow.
In an exchange overhead by MPs, she confronted Mr Bercow over his alleged comments and asked him for an explanation.
He allegedly responded by calling her a liar.

And there may now be an investigation, says the Times.

Theresa May has intensified pressure on John Bercow by calling for an investigation into claims that he called a female minister a “stupid woman”.
The Speaker of the House of Commons was accused of having made the disparaging remark about Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, under his breath in the chamber on Wednesday. He was also reportedly overheard calling her “f***ing useless”.
The prime minister’s official spokeswoman said: “We have seen the alleged remarks. Clearly they are unacceptable. If there is an official complaint made it should be properly investigated.”

The Independent reports on the pressure on Bercow.

Theresa May has heaped pressure on speaker John Bercow following accusations that he referred to a female cabinet minister as a “stupid woman” in the Commons.
The prime minister’s official spokeswoman told reporters Ms May believes that if the words had been used, they are “unacceptable” and should be investigated.
The remark allegedly came after a debate on Wednesday, when Mr Bercow is said to have berated cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom.
It also comes after an inquiry was blocked by MPs, in the wake of other allegations that Mr Bercow bullied two former staff members from the Speaker’s Office.

The Mirror claims his words were ‘unacceptable’.

Theresa May yesterday piled pressure on Commons Speaker John Bercow as she blasted his “unacceptable” comments to senior minister Andrea Leadsom.
He was claimed to have muttered that she was a “stupid woman” and “f****** useless”.
The PM’s spokeswoman said: “We have seen the alleged remarks and clearly the Prime Minister thinks they are unacceptable and if an official complaint is made it should properly investigated.”
Asked if Mrs May had full confidence in the Speaker, she added: “The Speaker is elected by MPs so questions of confidence are for Parliament.”

Sky News also has the story.

Theresa May regards an alleged verbal attack on a senior minister by the speaker as “unacceptable”, Downing Street has said.
John Bercow is reported to have called Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom a “stupid woman” after launching a tirade against the government in the Commons on Wednesday.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said Downing Street was aware of the alleged remarks, adding: “Clearly the prime minister thinks they are unacceptable. If an official complaint is made it should be properly investigated.”
Sources close to Ms Leadsom have told Sky News she will not be making a formal complaint as she is “entirely focused on getting the bullying and harassment processes up and running”.

House of Lords

Looks like the PM has started to appoint more peers, says the Independent.

Theresa May has been accused of “hypocrisy” after appointing nine new Conservative peers to the House of Lords, including several ex-ministers, despite vowing to end the practice.
The prime minister sent six former MPs – three of whom sat in the cabinet – to the upper chamber, which flies in the face of her claims that senior politicians should not expect automatic ennoblement.
Announcing the appointments on the eve of the royal wedding was branded “frankly pathetic” by critics, who called the prime minister “cynical” for seeking to sneak out the news when it would receive little attention.
Controversial appointments on the Labour side  include Martha Osamor, who has been embroiled in the party’s antisemitism scandal, and also the DUP’s William McCrea, a Presbyterian minister who once called for airstrikes on the Republic of Ireland.

Sky News goes into detail.

Nine Conservatives are among 13 new peers appointed to the House of Lords in a move some have described as an attempt to boost the Government’s support for Brexit.
It comes after 15 recent defeats in the Lords over the Brexit withdrawal bill.
Among the life peerages are the former secretary of state for social security and vocal Leave campaigner, Peter Lilley, former communities secretary, Sir Eric Pickles and former chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie.
Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords, Dick Newby, said“This is a cynical response from Theresa May to losing a string of votes in the Lords in recent weeks, and is a desperate bid to quell opposition to the Conservatives’ reckless Brexit.

The Guardian points out the timing of the announcement.

Theresa May has on the eve of the royal wedding nominated nine new Tory peers, including the former cabinet ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley and handed one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party as she tries to bolster her party’s fragile position in the House of Lords.
Four other former Tory MPs are to be elevated to a chamber which has defied May’s government on 15 occasions over Brexit, in an afternoon announcement that has prompted accusations that No 10 was trying to use Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding to bury the news.
The full list of Tories includes Sir Edward Garnier, Sir John Randall, Sir Alan Haselhurst and Andrew Tyrie, all former MPs. May’s other nominees are Diana Barran, Catherine Meyer, the founder of Action Against Abduction who is married to former US ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, and Amanda Sater, a former party deputy chair.

BBC News claims it’s an attempt to get her policies through the House.

Downing Street has nominated nine new Conservative peers, including a number of former ministers, to sit in the House of Lords.
Among those put forward for a peerage are former communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles and former trade and industry secretary Peter Lilley.
The move follows a series of government defeats in the Lords, where Theresa May does not have a majority, over Brexit.
The Democratic Unionists will get one new peer while Labour will get three.
The Lib Dems, which have more than 100 peers in the unelected chamber, said it was a “desperate bid” by Theresa May to quell opposition to her Brexit policy.

Huffington Post points out that the Labour leader has also made nominations.

Theresa May has appointed nine new Conservative members of the House of Lords and handed another peerage to her DUP allies.
Jeremy Corbyn has also given seats in the Lords to former Labour general secretary Iain McNicol and veteran anti-racism campaigner Martha Osamor.
With 244 members of the Lords, the Conservatives Party has the most peers.
However the government does not have a majority in the 780 member chamber and has suffered a series of damaging defeats on its Brexit legislation over the past few weeks.

Immigration

In other news, Westmonster claims its easy to get a passport.

The BBC has produced an interesting report showing just how easy it is for migrants wanting to come to Europe illegally to obtain valid passports and identity cards.
A pair of reporters, posing as a Syrian couple, posted on several Facebook groups – some of which have over 5,000 active members, saying they were looking to buy illegal documentation to travel within the EU.

Within hours, the reporters had received almost a dozen responses with people offering to supply them with documents and travel papers. The fake couple then met with a broker in Istanbul who told them he had genuine passports, which he had purchased from refugees who had obtained them and subsequently left Europe.

Cancer

It seems cancer could be treated with a combination of two widely available medications, says the Sun.

CANCER patients could stop it spreading by taking Viagra and having the flu jab, a study suggests.
The unusual mix slashed the disease’s escalation in mice by 91 per cent, researchers found.
It appeared to boost the immune system’s ability to mop up cancerous cells left behind after surgery to remove a tumour.
Tests found mice which only had surgery were left with 129 cancerous spreads.
But those that received Viagra and the flu jab Agriflu had just 11.

Train travel

Timetable changes are not being welcomed by passengers, says the Times.

Thousands of rail passengers risk being stranded in the biggest shake-up of train timetables in decades.
Passenger groups warned that some departure times would be altered by up to half an hour while other stations would lose services altogether during the overhaul of 100,000 rail services over the course of a week.
The changes, introduced from tomorrow, follow a number of major track upgrades and the introduction of hundreds of faster trains on to the network.

And the Mail claims disabled passengers may not be helped by staff.

Southern Rail’s parent company has been slammed for advising staff not to help disabled people on and off trains if it risks making them late.
A staff booklet issued by Govia Thameslink Railway instructs workers: ‘Do not attempt to place people of reduced mobility on a train if there is a possibility of delaying the service’.
It has sparked fury among rail union bosses who have branded it an ‘insult to disabled people’.

Crime

The Times reports ‘computer says no’.

Tens of thousands of victims of online fraud are having their cases dismissed by a computer algorithm, as police officers refuse to guarantee that a human being will investigate thefts of less than £100,000.
Figures obtained by The Times suggest that more than half of cases reported to the UK’s national reporting centre for online crime are deemed not worthy of further investigation by an “automated scoring matrix”.
The algorithm assesses factors such as whether bank details of scammers have been provided. Only crimes with a value of £100,000 are automatically passed to human investigators, who then decide whether the case should go to the local police.

Police cuts HAVE led to an increase in crime, says the Times.

The nation’s most senior police officer has said she is certain that government cuts to the force budgets have played a role in the soaring level of violent crime in the UK.
Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said for the first time since taking office that cuts made during the prime minister’s tenure as home secretary had played a role in the rising levels of murder, knife and gun crime on Britain’s streets.
Ms Dick has been granted an extra £110 million, which she said she intends to plough into a recruitment drive that should bring in at least 500 extra officers.

The post Saturday papers – Saturday 19 May 2018 appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

May names nine new Tory peers to bolster party after Brexit defeats

Timing of announcement prompts claims that No 10 is using royal wedding to hide it

Theresa May has on the eve of the royal wedding nominated nine new Tory peers, including the former cabinet ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley and handed one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party as she tries to bolster her party’s fragile position in the House of Lords.

Four other former Tory MPs are to be elevated to a chamber which has defied May’s government on 15 occasions over Brexit, in an afternoon announcement that has prompted accusations that No 10 was trying to use Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding to bury the news.

Continue reading...

The House of Lords may save us from hard Brexit. But it’s still ridiculous | Rafael Behr

Theresa May shovelling Tory bodies into the upper house exposes its shortcomings – and liberals shouldn’t forget them

A remedy against affection for the House of Lords is to try explaining it to foreigners. Like a senate, you say, but the members are mostly appointed by party leaders. (Your listener’s eyes narrow with suspicion). Except some still inherit seats in lines of aristocratic succession. (The eyes now widen in astonishment). Oh, and the bishops.

How long is a term? A lifetime. But when new members are added, doesn’t that mean the chamber just gets bigger and bigger? Yes. Yes, it does.

Continue reading...

News review – Friday 18 May 2018

News review – Friday 18 May 2018

Customs union

Mail
Theresa May insisted Britain will have an ‘independent trade policy’ after 2020 today as she denied caving into the  EU over Brexit.
The Prime Minister faced a backlash from Eurosceptics after it emerged her ‘war Cabinet’ has signed off on an extension as part of a ‘backstop’ that would avoid a hard Irish border if no other solutions are found. She confirmed this evening the UK would soon be putting forward its plans for a fallback option to address the irish border question after Brexit. But she insisted the proposal would not prevent the UK striking trade deals with other countries.

Sun
BRUSSELS believes Britain may not be able to perfect a futuristic new ‘Max Fac’ customs system for decades, the Sun can reveal.
EU officials sarcastically predicted the Government’s hi-tech solution to the Irish border problem might not be ready until 2085. And they said the “virtual reality” plan – championed by Brexiteers – could add several minutes onto lorry checks causing a “nightmare” at Dover. As a result European leaders could keep renewing the transition period until an answer to the Irish conundrum is agreed.

Telegraph
The Brexit war cabinet has taken an important first step towards recognising the reality that whatever customs arrangements the UK agrees with the EU after Brexit, they cannot be made operational until 2023 at the earliest.
Despite the objections of some leading Brexiteers, cabinet  sources have told The Telegraph  that they have now accepted that there will need to be some form of prolongation of existing customs arrangements when the transition period expires at midnight on December 31, 2020. The move is seen as a victory for “soft” Brexiteers and has immediately raised concerns among those wanting a cleaner break, like Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Express
THERESA May has denied climbing down over membership of the customs union after Britain leaves the European Union. Mrs May spoke in the wake of reports she was preparing for Britain to remain in the customs union after 2021 as a backstop as the row over the Ireland/Northern Ireland border continues.
She arrived at the EU Western Balkans summit in the Bulgarian capital Sofia with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron following a meeting with the two leaders.

BBC News
A customs proposal aimed at preventing a hard border in Ireland after Brexit has been agreed by cabinet.
Ministers signed off on the “backstop” that would see the UK match EU tariffs after 2020, if there is no deal on their preferred customs arrangements. Brexiteers fear the proposal amounts to staying in the customs union longer. No 10 says the UK would still be able to sign and implement trade deals, and the measure would only last for a matter of months. The UK is due to leave the European Union in March 2019, after which a 21-month transition period is due to begin, which aims to smooth the way to a post-Brexit relationship between the UK and EU.

Independent
Theresa May has said the UK will propose its own “backstop” solution for post-Brexit EU customs relations, to be put in place if no other deal can be reached. Ms May informed top EU figures at a summit that the UK’s plan would be coming soon, with London having said the current backstop option is “unacceptable”. It follows reports that the cabinet had agreed to keeping the UK in the EU’s customs union deeper into the 2020s, which Downing Street were quick to deny amid the threat of a Brexiteer backlash.

Brexit

Express
THERESA May will force a confrontation with pro-EU backbenchers next month, hoping to dismiss the charges she is running scared on key Brexit Bills.
Her flagship Brexit legislation was ripped apart in the House of Lords and the PM conceded the legislation could be held up until the autumn, after the long summer recess in July. But the PM’s official spokesman said: “The intention is to bring the bill back to the Commons within weeks not months”. “We have always been clear we will make sure we will have all the legislation in place in time for Brexit.” This week Labour accused her of “kicking the can down the road” as her legislation “has gone from being the Great Repeal Bill to the Great Delayed Bill”.

Telegraph
At the start of last year, Theresa May deployed a new phrase to define her tough approach to Brexit: that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. It was dropped into the middle of a speech without very much fanfare, so her aides drew attention to it afterwards in case anyone missed the new threat.
She wanted it to be known that, unlike David Cameron, she would play hardball with the European Union. His error had been to try to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership without saying he’d walk away if he didn’t get what he wanted. She would not be so naive. How distant that all seems now.

Ireland

Express
IRISH prime minister Leo Varadkar has revealed Theresa May could present an entirely new proposal for a future customs agreement between the UK and European Union post-Brexit.
After meeting with the Prime Minister at the EU’s Western Balkans summit in Sofia, Mr Varadkar said his British counterpart had given him fresh insight into Britain’s Brexit strategy. The Irishman described a “new thinking” by British negotiators and they could even offer a new customs proposal within the next two weeks.

Times
Theresa May will outline fresh proposals to avoid a hard border in Ireland as early as next week.
No 10 denied the plan would hamper Britain’s ability to seek new free trade deals. Mrs May briefed Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, on the “backstop” proposals at the margins of an EU meeting in Sofia yesterday. Mr Varadkar expressed cautious optimism the proposals could be acceptable to the Irish government. “Any move on customs that brings the UK closer to the EU is to be welcomed,” he said.

Independent
Ireland’s prime minister has raised the spectre of a ‘no deal’ in Brexit talks, warning that Britain has yet to propose anything that “remotely approaches” a “workable and legally operable” solution to the Irish border issue.
Leo Varadkar  said if no “substantial” progress was made ahead of a Brussels summit next month there might be no withdrawal agreement, with Britain crashing out on WTO terms. The taoiseach’s intervention comes amid continued deadlock in Theresa May’s cabinet over how to approach the issue of customs and the border – with the lack of agreement among her own ministers translating into a lack of progress in Brussels.

Mail
The Irish premier has warned Britain that it must keep some ties to the single market with Brexit in order to avoid a hard border with the Republic. 
Leo Varadkar met PM  Theresa May yesterday and said he would welcome any customs move which brought the UK closer to the EU.  Addressing the problem of a potential hard border would ‘require more than just customs’, the Taoiseach said.  Mrs May said Britain would have an ‘independent trade policy’ after its departure but Ireland has proposed a ‘backstop’ if no new customs arrangements are finalised before the end of the transition period, the Telegraph reports.  

Second referendum

Mirror
Jeremy Corbyn faced new pressure tonight as four senior MPs demanded a second referendum on Brexit.
The Merseyside Labour MPs broke ranks with their party leader’s policy as they called for a ‘People’s Vote’ on the UK’s final deal. Labour has said it is not calling for a second referendum after 52% of voters backed Leave in 2016. But ex-frontbenchers Alison McGovern, Luciana Berger and Maria Eagle argued a bad Brexit deal would be “catastrophic” for Labour’s northern heartlands and the NHS. They, MP Louise Ellman and Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson signed a joint open letter calling for Theresa May’s final deal with Brussels to be put to the public.

Air quality

Times
The UK is facing a multimillion-pound fine for breaching air quality limits after the European Commission referred it and five other nations to the European Court of Justice.
The commission said that Britain had broken limits for nitrogen dioxide, largely produced by diesel vehicles, and had failed to provide “credible, effective and timely” plans to cut pollution. The hearing on the NO2 breaches is expected to take place within six months. The case relates to breaches of pollution limits in 16 urban areas including London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow.

Independent
The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the governments of Britain and five other countries for repeatedly breaching legally binding EU air pollution  rules.
Environmental campaigners accused UK ministers of “apathy” after they failed to convince EU officials they were moving quickly enough to make British air safe to breathe – while the EU said the UK and its co-defendants had blown several “last chances” to put things right. Air pollution causes around 40,000 early deaths every year in Britain, according to the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

House of Lords

Guardian
Theresa May is expected to approve the creation of about 10 Tory peers and hand at least one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party in an attempt to improve her weak position in the House of Lords, which has already voted 15 times against her government over Brexit. The elevations, which are expected to be announced in the coming days in Westminster, were immediately criticised by high profile remain Labour peer Lord Adonis as a desperate attempt by the prime minister to enlist people to boost her fragile position in the unelected upper house.

Bercow

Telegraph
John Bercow has been accused of calling the Leader of the House of Commons a “stupid woman” during a foul-mouthed tirade in Parliament.
The Speaker, already facing multiple accusations of bullying, astonished MPs in the chamber on Wednesday as he allegedly muttered that Andrea Leadsom was “f—— useless”. Mr Bercow faced fresh pressure to quit by MPs who said his behaviour was “unbecoming of his position”. He did not deny making the comments and has not apologised to Mrs Leadsom, instead blaming his outburst on what he called “an unusual and controversial day” in the Commons in which “strong and differing views” were expressed.

Sky News
Commons Speaker John Bercow has been plunged into new controversy after being accused of calling a senior cabinet minister a “stupid woman”.
Conservative MPs claim he made the remark about the Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom – and used foul language – after launching a tirade against the government. Mr Bercow is said to have made the remarks – which he has not denied – after Prime Minister’s Questions as Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was about to make a statement on railways. Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown rose to complain that the opposition had been denied a copy of the statement and that it was being made to cut into time allocated for an oppposition debate.

Mail
The Speaker of the House of Commons called a Cabinet Minister a ‘stupid woman’ and ‘f*****g useless’, it has been claimed.
John Bercow, who is already facing multiple allegations of bullying his staff, is said to have muttered the foul-mouthed phrase about Andrea Leadsom during an angry exchange in the Commons on Wednesday. A witness claims he saw Mr Bercow describe Mrs Leadsom as a ‘stupid woman’ under his breath, before adding that she was ‘f***ing useless’.  A source close to Mrs Leadsom, who was made aware of the alleged remarks by colleagues, said she was ‘stunned’ by the attack, but intended to ‘rise above it’. 

Guardian
Tension between the Speaker and government ministers has flared into the open in an unprecedented series of exchanges in the chamber of the House of Commons
over the past 48 hours. On Wednesday, John Bercow was heard by some MPs calling Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House, a “stupid woman”. The aside apparently came after prime minister’s questions when Labour’s chief whip, Nick Brown, was complaining that the government was repeatedly breaching convention that time reserved for opposition debates should not be taken up with statements on government business.

Mirror
Commons Speaker John Bercow was hit by claims tonight that he called Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom a “stupid woman”.
He was accused of making the remark under his breath about the Commons Leader after a clash about Parliamentary procedure. MPs made the accusation anonymously, and at least one claimed he added the words “f***ing useless”, according to The Sun and The Telegraph. An MP who claimed to witness the outburst told the Telegraph: “I thought what I was witnessing was entirely outrageous.” The alleged comments, after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, cannot be heard on the audio feed of the Commons chamber.

Press freedom

Times
Peers are considering yet another attempt to impose a Leveson-style inquiry on the press, despite MPs twice voting down the proposal.
Press reform supporters in the Lords have composed a further amendment to the Data Protection Bill demanding a “background review” into how journalists handled data between 2006 and 2011. It represents a watered-down version of similar Lords amendments that would in effect have required ministers to push ahead with the scrapped second part of the Leveson inquiry.

Mail
A Tory peer who tried to resurrect plans for another multi-million-pound Press inquiry yesterday told his fellow plotters it was time to give up.
Lord Attlee urged the Lords to abandon any more challenges after the Commons rejected an attempt to stage a further Leveson-style probe for a second time earlier this week. The peer, who was one of three Tories to back a rebel amendment to the Data Protection Bill, said they should not seek to hold the legislation ‘to ransom’. He added: ‘We have had a good battle and now we have lost.

Sun
A TORY Leveson rebel has switched sides to warn Labour peers against mounting a 
THIRD attempt to muzzle British newspapers. Earl Attlee – grandson of Labour PM Clement Attlee – has revealed fellow members of the upper chamber are plotting to derail the Government’s data bill with yet another amendment calling for a new probe into the media. He joined those who voted to reopen the Leveson Inquiry last week despite it being rejected by MPs. But now he claims a new attempt risks delaying the Data Protection Bill receiving Royal Assent, plunging the country into a legal black hole.

NHS

Times
Cancer patients are being put at considerable risk because doctors are forced to give them unsuitable treatment by NHS rules drawn up behind closed doors, experts say.
As the result of a secretive decision by health chiefs, blood cancer patients are forced to have outdated chemotherapy rather than a more expensive modern medicine, more than a dozen specialists warn. Campaigners say patients could die early because of a ruling that they fear could set a precedent for other attempts to cut costs by denying patients treatment. While the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has often been criticised for medicines it deems poor value for money, there is mounting concern about attempts by NHS England to restrict even medicines Nice classes as cost-effective.

Mail
Some cancer patients wait well over a year for treatment after being referred by their GP, with one enduring a 541-day delay.
Another waited 446 days and a third was not treated for 361 days, even though NHS guidelines state cancer patients should wait no longer than 62 days. But two thirds of hospitals that provided figures for the Freedom of Information request – 58 out of 88 trusts – said at least one patient had waited more than six months. However, the hospitals concerned said that some of these patients had not intended to have treatment. Some were on care plans in which they were scanned, only being treated once tumours grew or spread.

Defence

Telegraph
Britain is readying plans to send hundreds of troops to Afghanistan in a move to help tackle the growing threat posed by Isil and the Taliban, according to reports.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is understood to be keen to nearly double the number of soldiers in the country if he is able to authorise such a move. It comes nearly two decades after Britain first deployed ground troops in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, and nearly four years after combat soldiers were withdrawn as Camp Bastion was handed over to Afghan security forces.

Mail
Britain could double its military presence in  Afghanistan  after mounting pressure from President Trump.
An extra 400 military personnel could be sent to the war zone as part of a Nato training mission. Whitehall sources told The Times that Theresa May was due to announce the plans at a summit of Nato allies in July, although the plans are yet to be signed off.  Mr Trump is also expected at the gathering in Brussels which takes place on July 11 and 12. Britain and its European allies fear the President will use the meeting to threaten to pull out of the Nato alliance out of frustration at Europe’s minimal defence spending.

Express
The Defence Secretary has written to the Prime Minister asking for 450 more troops in Afghanistan, to help the British Army continue their fight against ISIS.
Gavin Williams wants to almost double the number of boots on the ground in the region, and bring the total number of soldiers in the area to 1,100. Mr Williamson is thought to have asked the Prime Minister for the extra forces last week. Nearly two decades after invading the nation in the weeks after the 9/11 attack, there are still 650 British personnel in Afghanistan. They are working with the Kabul security force. During a visit to Afghanistan earlier this year, the Defence Secretary said security in the region will “keep Britain safe.”

Guardian
The UK government is considering doubling the number of troops deployed in
Afghanistan in response to a request from  Donald Trump for reinforcements in the face of increasing gains by the Taliban. Britain has about 600 troops in Afghanistan at present, mainly based in Kabul training officers and not engaged in combat. There is also a small contingent of special forces. The new deployment could see hundreds more return to Afghanistan. The UK  withdrew almost all of its combat troops from the country  in 2014. Faced with a Taliban resurgence, the US, which has about 15,000 troops in the country supporting the Afghan military, asked the UK and other Nato countries last summer to send reinforcements. Britain responded with an extra 85.

Farage

Isle of Thanet News
The crown court trial of South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay and two former aides on charges relating to false election expenses declarations has been delayed. Mr Mackinlay, 50, election agent Nathan Gray, 28, and party activist Marion Little, 62, were each been charged with offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983. Mr Mackinlay faced two charges, Mr Gray one charge and Ms Little three counts. All three pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing. The trial was due to begin at Southwark Crown Court today (May 14) but has been delayed for legal reasons. A new date has not been set so far.

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PM set to nominate 10 Tory peers in attempt to overcome Brexit defeats

Labour peer Lord Adonis criticises plan as desperate attempt by May to boost fragile position in upper chamber

Theresa May is expected to approve the creation of about 10 Tory peers and hand at least one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party in an attempt to improve her weak position in the House of Lords, which has already voted 15 times against her government over Brexit.

The elevations, which are expected to be announced in the coming days in Westminster, were immediately criticised by high profile remain Labour peer Lord Adonis as a desperate attempt by the prime minister to enlist people to boost her fragile position in the unelected upper house.

Tories tipped for elevation include former ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley. Adonis said: “This is a classic example of packing the Lords to try and make Brexit easier to endorse.”

Constitutionally, there is supposed to be a rough balance between the two main parties in the Lords, although at present there are 244 Conservative peers, including 49 hereditary peers, and 187 Labour peers. However, the Conservatives are far from a majority in a chamber that has a total of 780 members and has become the principal parliamentary opposition to Brexit.

That has meant that May’s government has been repeatedly defeated over the EU withdrawal bill, with peers inflicting 15 defeats on issues such as the customs union, the Irish border and removing the precise date of Brexit – 29 March 2019 – from the legislation.

Labour is expected to add three peers to its total representation, with the former party general secretary Iain McNicol and Martha Osamor, a race equality campaigner and the mother of MP Kate Osamor, heavily tipped to be ennobled.

That prompted a complaint from Adonis, who said it effectively validated the creation of new peers at such a sensitive time. “I’m very surprised that the Labour party is playing this game by agreeing to make a small number of peers because it legitimises the actions of the Tories.”

Other Tories who have been tipped for ennoblement include former MPs Andrew Tyrie, Sir Edward Garnier and Julian Brazier.

Party political peers are periodically created when No 10 indicates that it wishes to do so, although this round had been delayed for months. In February, May said she wanted to end the “automatic entitlement” to a peerage for holders of high office in an attempt to reduce numbers in the upper house to 600.

Former DUP MP William McCrea is expected to be ennobled, taking the Northern Irish party, which props up May’s government in the Commons, from three to four peers. Sources said the party had indicated that it also had been handed the right to make a second nomination.

One name believed to be under consideration is Diane Dodds, a DUP MEP who is married to the party’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds. However, a senior DUP source dismissed speculation about Dodds as “complete nonsense”, indicating she was too young to be in the House of Lords.

The Liberal Democrats, who have 98 peers in the Lords, are not expected to add to their number.

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News review – Thursday 17 May 2018

News review – Thursday 17 May 2018

Customs union

Express
BRITAIN will tell Brussels it is willing to stay in the EU customs union beyond 2021 as the government ended up with another stand-off over the contentious issue in the Brexit debate.
The Brexit “war cabinet” broke up without an agreement early this week as ministers continued to openly challenge the post-EU withdrawal trade agreement but settled on a new “backstop” to avoid a hard Irish border. Despite the disapproval of lead Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Micheal Gove, the ministers signed off the plans on Tuesday. The news immediately concerned Eurosceptics with Jacob Rees-Mogg saying: “The risk of the Government using all its mental energy on the fallback position is that they create a position that is more attractive than a permanent deal.

Telegraph
Britain will tell Brussels it is prepared to stay tied to the customs union beyond 2021 as ministers remain deadlocked over a future deal with the EU, the Telegraph has learned. The Prime Minister’s Brexit war Cabinet earlier this week agreed on a new “backstop” as a last resort to avoid a hard Irish border, having rejected earlier proposals from the European Union. Ministers signed off the plans on Tuesday despite objections from Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary. A pro-European Cabinet source said that Mr Johnson and Mr Gove were “outgunned” during the meeting and reluctantly accepted the plans.

Express
THERESA May has been told to make a customs union decision now or the UK will end up playing into the hands of the EU and never leave.
Tory Eurosceptics expressed frustration as the so-called Brexit war Cabinet failed again to come to an agreement on a decision about what to do as an alternative to staying in the customs union. Eurosceptics fear continuous delays will result in the UK never leaving the customs union and playing right into the hands of the EU.

Breitbart
Brexit secretary David Davis has thrown the Prime Minister’s favoured ‘customs partnership’ into doubt, claiming it could, in fact, be illegal according to international law, as he backs a clean Brexit instead.
The plan supported by Theresa May would see the UK collecting tariffs on goods for the European Union (EU) once they are inside the UK, before paying them back in an attempt to keep borders open with the nations inside the Customs Union, but without being a member. However, it is illegal to discriminate between domestic and imported goods inside a nation, World Trade Organization rules insist, for example.

Ireland

Times
Theresa May and her Brexit “war cabinet” have agreed a new fallback position on the Irish border that could preserve elements of the customs union if Britain cannot strike a deal on its preferred post-Brexit trading plan.
Ministers including Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Lidington discussed the “backstop” plan for Northern Ireland that will come into force if Mrs May’s blueprint for customs arrangements collapses. Mrs May has rejected an EU version of the backstop that would have guaranteed no infrastructure on the Irish border and committed the UK to maintaining regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and the Republic. This would have meant that Northern Ireland and mainland Britain had different rules and raised the prospect of a border in the Irish Sea.

Express
THERESA May has been accused of surrendering to IRA terrorists by staunch Leaver Labour MP Kate Hoey after the Prime minister vowed to never put hi-tech cameras on the border post-Brexit.
Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley was lambasted by Brexiteer Ms Hoey during the cross-party European Scrutiny Committee. It came after Ms Bradley told MPs the threat of violence meant it would be impossible to implement a “physical infrastructure” on the Northern Irish border. Ms Hoey scalded: “Are you saying we might not consider putting up or using cameras away from the border because of some blackmailing and threats by dissidents who might actually decide that they are going to start killing people?

Scotland

Independent
Theresa May has paved the way for a constitutional crisis by refusing to amend her Brexit plans, despite their rejection by the Scottish parliament.
Pleas by the SNP for the government to step back from “breaking the 20-year-old devolution settlement” were rebuffed by the prime minister, who vowed to plough ahead. Holyrood voted to withhold consent from the key EU (Withdrawal) Bill, when Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs joined SNP members in rejecting the legislation by 93 votes to 30. Westminster can override the opinion – triggered by Edinburgh’s claims of a London power grab – but it would spark the biggest political crisis since the Scottish Parliament was set up in 1999.

Morning Star
“SHAMBOLIC” Tory posturing means that the Brexit dispute between the Westminster and Holyrood governments could end up in the Supreme Court, Labour said yesterday.
Last night, the Scottish Parliament denied consent to Theresa May’s EU withdrawal Bill in a row over the devolution of powers from the bloc. MSPs voted 93-30 in favour of rejecting the Prime Minister’s legislation. The move will not block Westminster’s blueprint, but it means Westminster is now set to push through laws against the wishes of Holyrood for the first time.

Brexit

Express
OVERSEAS investors will be invited to pump billions into dozens of British business projects as trade ministers prove that Britain will thrive after Brexit. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, will invite foreign firms on Thursday to submit bids for financing £30billion worth of projects.
Foreign investors will be offered the chance to fund 68 projects, across 20 sectors of the economy. Opportunities will be available in a number of sectors, including technology, housing, and retail. A lot of them will be outside London, as the Government attempt to show the world’s sixth largest economy is more than just its capital city. More projects will be added in the coming months.

Reuters
Trade secretary Liam Fox will invite overseas investors on Thursday to submit bids for financing 30 billion pounds of projects to help the world’s sixth-largest economy cope with the upheaval of leaving the European Union. Britain is trying reinvent itself as a global trading nation and improve economic ties with countries outside Europe as the government prepares to leave the EU next year.
Investors will be offered the chance to fund 68 projects across 20 sectors of the economy, including technology, housing and retail, and many of the projects are outside London in less affluent parts of Britain.

EU

Westmonster
A leaked copy of the Five Star/Lega governing agreement in Italy has shown that the coalition is likely to be massively sceptical of the European Union and Euro membership moving forward.
The pair wanted to look at re-opening treaties. And an explicit mechanism to leave the Euro to regain “monetary sovereignty”. They are also looking at revising budget contributions to the EU as well as requesting €250 billion in debt relief. Though they have stressed that this was an old draft that has since been updated, it shows an interesting frame of mind from the insurgent forces. In a statement the pair have said today:  “The spirit must be to return to the pre-Maastricht setting in which European states were moved by genuine intents of peace, brotherhood, co-operation and solidarity.” This coalition could prove quite the headache for Brussels!

Mail
Up to 4 million British people cannot get the work they want because of cheap foreign labour, a report has claimed.
MigrationWatch said businesses were ‘getting away’ with insisting they could not recruit local workers because they had a ‘virtually unlimited’ pool of low-paid  EU migrants. A paper by the think-tank said there were about 1.5 million Britons looking for jobs and another million who worked part-time but struggled to find full-time employment.  But official figures did not take into account those who wanted to increase their hours, for instance boosting their time at work from 16 to 20 hours, or who were looking for a second job to top up their income.

Independent
Thousands of skilled foreign workers with job offers in the UK were denied entry due to Theresa May’s “arbitrary” visa scheme, it has been revealed.
More than 6,000 visa applications from professionals including scientists, IT specialists and doctors were refused over a period of just four months between December and March. The refusals were the result of an annual limit of 20,700 so-called Tier 2 visas introduced in 2011 while Ms May was home secretary.

Sun
BIG business was slammed for ignoring up to four million “underemployed” Brits – because they have an unlimited number of EU workers on tap.
Migration Watch said firms were not doing enough to hire British workers or tailor recruitment to local needs because they know they can fly in people from member states across the Continent. It claimed record job figures were masking a huge problem of Brits working part-time but wanting full-time roles, or those on shifts desperate for longer hours or overtime. There are nearly 1.5 million unemployed Brits looking for work and available for work, but a further 2 million who want more hours. Another 214,000 want a second job to earn more cash while 274,000 want a new job with more hours.

Express
THE European Parliament has put in motion plans to keep British officials after Brexit, a leaked internal note from a top staffer has revealed.
The Parliament’s Secretary-General Klaus Welle described British staff as “valued members of the EU civil service and of our European team” in the email sent in a bid to reassure the administration of the future after Brexit. British officials will be able to keep their European Parliament jobs after Brexit, Mr Welle wrote in the memo seen by Politico. He added the Parliament’s administration will “not require British officials to resign on the ground that they will no longer have the nationality of a member state”.

House of Lords

Independent
The House of Lords has defied the government by passing proposals to maintain EU eco-standards after Brexit, inflicting yet another defeat on Theresa May’s withdrawal plans.
Peers accused ministers of using Brexit to water down environmental protections currently in place due to Britain’s EU membership, and of proposing they be replaced with a “toothless imitation”. But the government denied the accusations and insisted their own proposals would strengthen protections, while supportive peers accused those behind the defeat of trying to derail Ms May’s Brexit legislation.

Sun
BRUSSELS is stalling in Brexit talks because of the unelected House of Lords’ attempt to wreck Theresa May’s flagship EU exit legislation, ministers have been warned.
Front-line UK negotiators have reported back to Downing Street that their EU counterparts are stonewalling until they see how many of the peers’ 15 changes that rip up the UK’s Brexit policy are supported by MPs. One minister told The Sun: “As we warned, the EU are now negotiating with Parliament not us and they are playing for time while they see what MPs say.”

Guardian
Peers have inflicted a 15th defeat on the government’s key  Brexit bill, underlining the acute political challenge Theresa May faces in seeking a deal that both parliament and her warring ministers can live with.
The latest amendment, aimed at bolstering environmental protection after Brexit, was carried by 294 to 244 votes on Wednesday. Peers argued that enforcement measures proposed in a consultation document published last week were inadequate and that the environment had been subordinated to housing and economic growth.

Express
THE EU is trying to stall talks in the hope the unelected House of Lords will destroy Theresa May’s Brexit Bill and potentially dilute the final deal when the UK leaves the bloc, according to British negotiators.
Brexit negotiators have claimed their EU counterparts are delaying talks to see how many of the Lords’ 15 changes to Mrs May’s flagship policy are supported by the Commons. A minister said: “As we warned, the EU are now negotiating with Parliament not us and they are playing for time while they see what MPs say.”

BBC News
The government’s flagship Brexit bill is to return to the House of Commons having suffered a total of 15 defeats in the Lords.
Brexit Minister Lord Callanan said he had “a tremendous sigh of relief” as he wound up proceedings. Labour urged Theresa May to take a “pragmatic view” of all the changes proposed by peers. The 15th defeat came on the issue of environmental protection standards after Brexit. Peers voted by a majority of 50 to say the government should set up a body to maintain EU standards.

Bercow

Independent
A probe into allegations John Bercow bullied members of staff has been blocked by MPs.
The Commons Standards Committee voted three-two against allowing Parliament’s watchdog to investigate the claims. The Commons Speaker has emphatically denied allegations he bullied former private secretaries Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms. Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP, asked the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone, to investigate whether Mr Bercow had broken the MPs’ code of conduct. Ms Stone sought the opinion of the standards committee – made up of MPs and lay members from outside Parliament – on whether an investigation fell within her remit.

Mirror
A probe into allegations Commons Speaker John Bercow bullied staff has been blocked by MPs.
The Commons Standards Committee voted three-two against allowing Parliament’s watchdog to investigate the claims. Mr Bercow has emphatically denied allegations that he bullied former private secretaries Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen asked Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone to investigate whether Mr Bercow had broken the MPs’ code of conduct.

Sun
COMMONS watchdog MPs sparked fury last night by blocking a probe into John Bercow bullying claims.
The Standards Committee used an obscure rule that says allegations from more than seven years ago must be voted on by the seven MPs in charge. Only five voted and three, Tories Sir Christopher Chope and John Stevenson plus Labour’s Kate Green, were against an investigation into the Commons Speaker. One Tory MP fumed: “They should rename the committee the Double Standards Committee. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Guardian
An inquiry into allegations that the Speaker of the House of Commons
bullied members of staff has been blocked by MPs. The Commons standards committee voted three to two against allowing parliament’s watchdog to investigate the claims against John Bercow. Bercow has emphatically denied allegations that he bullied his former private secretaries Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms.  Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen asked Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, to investigate whether Bercow had broken the MPs’ code of conduct.

NHS

Times
Patients were put at risk of cancer and other serious harm because of a botched £330 million NHS
outsourcing deal, the spending watchdog has found. An attempt at cost-cutting has led to more than two years of chaos in back-office services for GPs, opticians and dentists, the National Audit Office said. Dozens of women were wrongly told that they no longer needed cervical cancer screening and incompetent staff may have been allowed to carry on practising, the report concludes. The outsourcing company Capita and NHS England are still bickering about the deal, leading to failures including a backlog of half a million patient registrations, the NAO warns.

Railways

Times
The transport secretary was under pressure to act over at least four struggling rail operators last night after announcing plans to renationalise services on the east coast main line.
Chris Grayling was warned that other companies were in trouble after failing to improve rail services or attract enough passengers, amid suggestions that the entire privatised system must be overhauled. Those in the firing line include Northern Rail, South Western, Transpennine Express and Greater Anglia. Mr Grayling announced yesterday that Virgin Trains East Coast would be stripped of its franchise next month, the third time in little over a decade the operator on the line has collapsed.

Express
A CORBYNITE MP was left stunned as he was informed that nationalised railways in France are in fact just as expensive as private routes in the UK while appearing on BBC Newsnight.
When grilled on why Labour wanted to adopt a nationalisation system similar to the one that is failing in France, Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald, stumbled when he didn’t know that fares in France are just as high as the UK. Emily Maitlis asked the MP why hard-working commuters would want “huge industrialisation, €60billion (£52billion) debt and fares the same as here”.

Star
RAIL services on the East Coast Main Line will be brought back under public control as Virgin Trains have its contract terminated.Rail bosses have said they are “surprised and disappointed” that the Government chose not to award it a new deal.
Stagecoach, which owns 90% of the Virgin Trains East Coast franchise, will no longer run services on the London to Edinburgh route. Trains will be run by the Department for Transport through an operator of last resort. Stagecoach pledged to “work constructively with the DfT and the OLR in the weeks ahead to ensure a professional transfer to the new arrangements”.

Crime

Westmonster
worrying pattern of soft justice continues to emerge in Britain, with new analysis showing that the number of criminal charges has fallen despite the number of  recorded crimes surging in England and Wales.
The BBC have found that in 2016 – 2017, 527,000 charges were brought forward. That’s down by 65,000 when compared to 2014 – 2015. In that same period crime rose considerably, with recorded incidents rising by around 750,000. There are some examples that are particularly concerning. For instance recorded crime relating to violence against the person has soared massively, but charges have decreased between the two periods. In the words of West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins: “My officers and staff, I think do a fantastic job with the resource that we have, but I realise that we are letting some people down.

The post News review – Thursday 17 May 2018 appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

Brexit turns into a constitutional crisis in Britain

Divisions across the UK's political institutions are turning Brexit into a major domestic constitutional crisis, writes Denis MacShane.
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