Posts Tagged ‘terror’

News review – Monday 10 June 2019

News review – Monday 10 June 2019

EU

Telegraph
Emmanuel Macron has warned Boris Johnson that Britain’s economy will be downgraded and plunged into turmoil if the UK withholds the £39 billion Brexit divorce payment from Brussels. Mr Johnson used his first interview of the Tory leadership campaign to warn that he would “retain” the divorce bill until he got a better deal with the EU. He said in an interview with The Sunday Times that the money would be a “great lubricant” to persuade European nations to reopen talks on the Irish backstop and the terms of a future trade deal. However a source close to Mr Macron, the French President, said the failure to pay the divorce bill would represent the equivalent of a “sovereign debt default”.

Tory leadership

Gove

Telegraph
Michael Gove’s leadership campaign has suffered a further blow in the wake of his admission that he snorted cocaine after it emerged that Amber Rudd is backing Jeremy Hunt for Conservative leader.  Ms Rudd, whom Mr Gove had been attempting to win round as part of his bid to appeal to One Nation Tories, will instead endorse Mr Hunt on Monday and attend the official launch of his leadership campaign.

Times
Michael Gove was fighting last night to save his campaign to become prime minister as he faced charges of hypocrisy over  his use of cocaine before he entered politics. The environment secretary pleaded for a second chance, admitting that his past “mistake” was a crime for which he could have gone to prison. He faced suggestions of double standards after it was recalled that as education secretary he oversaw government regulations under which teachers could be banned from the profession for life if they were convicted of similar Class A drug abuse.

Mail
Michael Gove vowed to fight on last night despite suffering a second blow in 48 hours when Amber Rudd backed his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt. Mr Gove, whose campaign to succeed Theresa May has been rocked by the Daily Mail’s revelations of his past cocaine use, will today insist he is ‘undaunted’ and ready to lead the country. At his campaign launch the embattled Environment Secretary will say he is the ‘serious leader’ needed for ‘a serious time’.

Independent
Leadership rivals Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and Dominic Raab are today launching their campaigns as fellow contender Michael Gove fights to get his bid back on track. Launching his campaign on the first formal day of the contest, Mr Gove will say that he is “a serious leader” who is “ready to serve, ready to unite, ready to deliver and more than anything else, ready to lead”.

Hancock

Mail
Matt Hancock today vows to end the scandal of pensioners being forced to sell their home to pay for old-age care. Launching one of the first major policy initiatives of the Tory leadership campaign, the Health Secretary calls for a state-backed insurance scheme. This would cover potentially ruinous care costs and remove the risk of being unable to pass on the family home.

Hunt

Times
Amber Rudd says that Conservative MPs should not put their faith in Boris Johnson’s blind Brexit “optimism” and backs Jeremy Hunt today to become the party’s next leader and prime minister. Giving her critical and much sought-after endorsement in The Times, Ms Rudd contrasts Mr Johnson with his successor at the Foreign Office, arguing that Mr Hunt is a “serious leader” for “serious times”.

Guardian
The Conservative leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has claimed Angela Merkel would be willing to renegotiate the UK’s Brexit deal and possibly the Irish border arrangements opposed by Eurosceptics. The foreign secretary said he had spoken to the German chancellor on the sidelines of D-day commemorations last week and she had indicated that the EU was “willing to negotiate on the package” if a new prime minister had the “right approach”.

Mail
Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has sparked fury after repeating his belief that the abortion limit should be halved to 12 weeks. The Foreign Secretary was asked on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday whether he stuck to previous comments made in 2012 saying he supported the move.  ‘These are matters of conscience, yes, my view hasn’t changed on that,’ he said.

Javid

Mail
Tory leadership hopeful Sajid Javid today predicted it could take just ‘a couple of years’ for alternative arrangements to be put in place on the Irish border as he suggested his status as an ‘outsider’ made him the best candidate for PM. Mr Javid said he would offer to pay for the cost of technological solutions to prevent a hard border to convince the Irish government back the plan.

Sun
HOME Secretary Sajid Javid pledged to end austerity if he becomes PM — and pump billions more into education. He said delaying balancing the books would free £25billion a year. And he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I want to see a multi-year, multibillion-pound boost in investment and spending in schools, and really change the life chances of so many young people.”

Johnson

Telegraph
Boris Johnson is planning to slash income tax for more than three million people by increasing the threshold for the 40p rate to £80,000 if he becomes Prime Minister. Mr Johnson has drawn up radical plans to increase the point at which people start paying the higher rate of income tax from £50,000 to £80,000, pulling hundreds of thousands of people out of the 40p band entirely. The move, which will cost an estimated £9.6 billion a year, will save people thousands of pounds on their tax bill.

Mail
Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to raise the 40p income tax threshold to £80,000 at a cost of almost £10 billion. The higher rate of income tax currently applies on earnings over £50,000 in England and the move could benefit more than three million people. Mr Johnson claims that someone earning around £60,000-a-year would see their personal tax bill fall by an estimated £1,000. The former foreign secretary believes the cost of the policy could be met through some of the cash set aside for No Deal Brexit planning and increasing national insurance payments made by workers.

Sun
BORIS Johnson launches his pitch for power today by revealing he will hold EU chiefs to ransom to clinch a better Brexit deal. The Tory leadership favourite vowed to hold on to the £39billion payoff demanded by Brussels until they agree more favourable terms. He said: “Our friends and partners need to understand that the money is going to be retained until such time as we have greater clarity about the way forward.

iNews
Boris Johnson is pulling ahead in the Conservative leadership race after a series of senior MPs publicly backed his campaign for the top job. The former Foreign Secretary is well ahead of his nearest rival and has more than half the endorsements to guarantee a place in the run-off between the top two candidates. In his first major intervention of the campaign, he declared that he would deliver Brexit by refusing to pay the £39bn exit payment agreed by Theresa May until Brussels agrees a better deal. Mr Johnson’s vow received a cool response from Paris, which warned that failing to honour the agreement would leave Britain in breach of its “international commitments”.

Sky News
Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson plans to raise the level at which people pay 40% income tax from £50,000 to £80,000 at an estimated cost of £10bn. The former foreign secretary revealed his proposal in his weekly Daily Telegraph column, with the newspaper reporting the action will cut income tax for three million people and be part-funded by cash currently reserved for a no-deal Brexit. It will also be financed by increasing employee national insurance payments in line with the new income tax threshold.

Breitbart
Boris Johnson has alluded to Nigel Farage as a threat to the UK, putting him in the same category as known Marxist Jeremy Corbyn, and said that only he can save the country. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: “I truly believe only I can steer the country between the Scylla and Charybdis of Corbyn and Farage and onto calmer water. This can only be achieved by delivering Brexit as promised on October 31 and delivering a One Nation Tory agenda.”

Westmonster
Staunch pro-Brexit Conservative MPs Steve Baker and Priti Patel are backing Boris Johnson for the leadership of the Tory Party. The double endorsement is significant given both are among the relatively few Brexiteer MPs who held out and voted down Theresa May’s bad EU deal at the third time of asking. Baker has said: “Boris has been crystal clear with me that we would leave the EU by October 31st, with or without a deal.

McVey

Mail
Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey has accused MPs trying to prevent Brexit of ‘tearing up 400 years of history’, as she defended her right to prorogue Parliament to leave the EU without a deal if she became Prime Minister. The former work and pensions secretary said it would not be her ‘priority’ to suspend sittings in the House of Commons in the run-up to the October 31 deadline, but said she would be willing to ‘use all the tools at our disposal’ if she won the race to replace Theresa May.

Independent
Conservative leadership contender Esther McVey has said she would be ready to ask the Queen to suspend parliament to stop MPs blocking Brexit. Ms McVey said that the move – known as “prorogation” – would not be her preferred option as prime minister if it looked likely that the Commons was planning to stop a no-deal withdrawal in October. But asked on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show whether she would be ready to do so if necessary, she said: “I wouldn’t be looking to do that. I have said I would use every tool at my disposal, so that would include that.

Raab

Times
Dominic Raab will try to reinvigorate his stuttering leadership campaign today after losing the support of hardline Tory Brexiteers to Boris Johnson. At a campaign event the former Brexit secretary will set out his vision for Britain to become a world leader in tackling climate change rather than focus on his plan to take Britain out of the EU. His move comes after a weekend in which a string of high-profile Brexiteers, including the former cabinet ministers Owen Paterson and Priti Patel, announced that they would support Mr Johnson rather than Mr Raab.

Stewart

Mail
Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart may have become a minor social media sensation for his videos of ‘walks’ meeting members of the public, but not every encounter goes entirely as planned. In the latest clip posted on his Twitter feed, the international development secretary, 46, bumps into three men who walk off upon learning who he is, with one saying he doesn’t ‘f*** with politics’. But the encounter was uploaded by Mr Stewart nonetheless, with the self-effacing caption: ‘You can’t win ‘em all… Brick Lane.’

TBP

Express
THE BREXIT Party has put former British Chambers of Commerce boss John Longworth in charge of drawing up a manifesto as it gears up to fight the next general election. In the six weeks since it was set up under Nigel Farage’s leadership, the party has redefined British politics and hopes to keep up that momentum. Mr Longworth, a newly-elected MEP for Yorkshire, was forced to resign from the BCC because of his support for Brexit. He said the manifesto would be used to shape a post-Brexit future for Britain. Mr Longworth said yesterday: “Nothing is decided yet but my personal view is that we need to have a country that has a dynamic economy with low business and personal taxation.”

Labour Party

Mail
Labour’s narrow victory in the Peterborough by-election was marred last night by claims that a convicted vote rigger was at the centre of their campaign. Jeremy Corbyn faced claims that an ex-Labour member jailed for a postal vote scam had provided vital help in fighting off Nigel Farage’s Brexit  Party by just 683 votes. Ex-local Labour branch secretary Tariq Mahmood received a 15-month prison sentence in 2008 for his part in a scheme to fabricate votes for a Peterborough council election. But local Tories claimed Mahmood, pictured sporting a red rosette at the by-election count, was ‘front and centre’ of Labour’s bid to mobilise the Muslim vote.

Mail
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry faces losing her post in a frontbench reshuffle as ‘punishment’ for insisting Labour must back a second EU referendum, according to several senior figures. Deputy leader Tom Watson could also be under threat as some union leaders close to Mr Corbyn’s office push for a new contest in an effort to replace him as leader because of his backing for another Brexit vote. Sources in Mr Corbyn’s office said yesterday there were ‘all sorts of mischievous rumours’ being circulated but did not rule out changes to the frontbench team.

Mail
Brits could work for just 10 hours a week and take home up to 75 per cent less pay under a radical scheme to tackle climate change being discussed by Labour. The report by the Autonomy think-tank called for ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ to cut carbon emissions, including dramatically limiting how long people spend at work. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said of the document: ‘This is a vital contribution to the growing debate around free time and reducing the working week.’

CHUK

Independent
Chuka Umunna has said he is “keeping all options open” on his political future, amid intense speculation about a move to the Liberal Democrats following the dramatic split of Change UK. Lib Dem leadership contender Ed Davey has said he would welcome the former Labour frontbencher as a member, while his rival in the race to succeed Vince Cable, Jo Swinson, says the party’s “doors are open” to those who share its values. But speaking to The Independent, Mr Umunna made clear that, after quitting two parties in little over three months, his immediate focus is less on finding a new political home than on developing his vision for a Momentum-style movement to push forward centre-ground politics.

Cancer

Telegraph
A new one-off prostate cancer test at the age of 55 promises to give men “peace of mind” that they will never develop the disease, scientists have revealed. The 10-minute scan, which could be rolled out in supermarkets and shopping centres, detects dangerous cancers years before they cause any harm while ignoring growths that do not pose a threat. Subject to a government-funded trial beginning this summer, the new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technique should enable the world’s first universal screening programme for prostate cancer.   All women in England are invited for a mammogram to check for breast cancer every three years from the age of 50 to 70.

Times
A “once in a lifetime” test for prostate cancer could be offered to men at the age of 55 under plans being investigated in a trial at UCL. Scientists think it may be possible to give men a one-off MRI scan in late middle age that will either result in an all-clear — indicating no real likelihood of them ever developing a clinically relevant prostate cancer — or show that they need regular follow-ups. Traditional prostate screening, which looks for markers in the blood, is notoriously unreliable and is now not offered in most health services as standard. It is available in Britain at GP surgeries but there is no national screening programme.

Mail
A ten-minute scan in a supermarket car park could soon form the basis of the UK’s first prostate cancer screening programme. The test for healthy men aged 55 to 60 detects the cancer before any symptoms appear, similar to mammograms offered to women for breast cancer. It could offer men peace of mind for a decade, with one expert saying it might reassure them that they will never get prostate cancer. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for prostate cancer has already been offered to 450 men, with another 350 set to be screened in London this summer as part of a University College London trial. If successful in larger trials, it could pave the way for healthy men to be screened nationally.

NHS

Mail
Collapsed construction giant Carillion botched Liverpool’s new hospital so badly that experts must now strip out entire floors to insert hundreds of tons of extra steel and concrete to stop it falling down. The project to build the new £429million Royal Liverpool University Hospital stalled overnight when the building firm went under in January last year. But when surveyors were brought into assess the build they uncovered a host of problems, including cracked concrete posts and unsafe cladding, which does not meet fire regulations, on the exterior.

Mail
Health bosses have been accused of repeatedly ignoring warnings over the deadly risks of contaminated sandwiches. Three patients have died and another three remain seriously ill after eating sandwiches infected with listeria – a deadly foodborne bacteria – at two hospitals in the North West. But research by the Government’s own health agency had previously warned that one in 40 hospital and care home sandwiches may be contaminated.

Terror

Telegraph
Terrorists linked to Iran were caught stockpiling tonnes of explosive materials on the outskirts of London in a secret British bomb factory, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. Radicals linked to Hizbollah, the Lebanese militant group, stashed thousands of disposable ice packs containing ammonium nitrate – a common ingredient in homemade bombs. The plot was uncovered by MI5 and the Metropolitan Police in the autumn of 2015, just months after the UK signed up to the Iran nuclear deal. Three metric tonnes of ammonium nitrate was discovered – more than was used in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and damaged hundreds of buildings.

Mail
The BBC has been accused of ‘sanitising’ terrorism under plans for an effective ban on journalists using the word ‘terror’. Reporters will be told to avoid using the word to describe any terror attack, unless they are quoting someone else. Instead, they will refer to terror attacks by naming specific details, such as the location and the method of slaughter used. The controversial edict means that the BBC will no longer use the phrase ‘terror attack’ to describe the massacres at London Bridge or Manchester Arena, as the corporation did when the atrocities occurred. Reporters would describe them as the London Bridge van attack or the Manchester Arena bomb attack instead.

The post News review – Monday 10 June 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Saturday papers – 8 June 2019

Saturday papers – 8 June 2019

Boris’ court case

The High Court has thrown out the charge that Boris Johnson misled the public over his claim on the big red bus, reports the Times.

Boris Johnson will not face criminal charges over his statements during the Brexit campaign after senior judges dismissed a private prosecution of the frontrunner in the Tory leadership.
The former foreign secretary was issued with a summons by District Judge Margot Coleman on May 29 to face three allegations of misconduct in public office.

The Mail also has the story

Boris Johnson today won a High Court challenge against a court summons over claims he made during the referendum campaign that the EU receives £350million a week from the UK.
The former Foreign Secretary’s legal team challenged the summons for him to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court as they blocked a controversial private prosecution by campaigner Marcus Ball.
Mr Ball, a Remainer, had been trying to prosecute the Conservative leadership for three allegations of misconduct in a public office.

The Express says the case was politically motivated.

BORIS JOHNSON will not be prosecuted over his Brexit campaign claim that the UK sends £350 million to the EU every week after his case was thrown out by High Court judges.
The Tory leadership frontrunner was facing three allegations of misconduct in public office after “Brexit Justice” campaigner Marcus Ball crowdfunded £300,000 for a private prosecution. He had claimed Mr Johnson had deliberately misled the public with his Vote Leave campaign’s slogan “We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead”, which was emblazoned on a tour bus.

The case was ‘vexatious’, reports the Independent.

Boris Johnson will not appear in court over allegations he committed misconduct in a public office by “misleading the public” about Brexit, after winning a legal challenge.
His lawyer told the High Court that a private prosecution over claims that the UK pays the EU £350m a week was “politically motivated and vexatious”.

EU

Barnier has threatened the incoming Prime Minister, says the Times.

Boris Johnson will find Brexit negotiations with the EU even tougher than Theresa May did if he becomes prime minister, officials in Brussels warned.
Senior EU officials and diplomats note that throughout the Brexit turmoil of the past two years Mrs May was “never given the cold shoulder”.
“The question was always, ‘What can we do to help?’ ” said one European ambassador. “That will not be case for a new prime minister when the favourite candidate has a big trust deficit with us.”

The Sun reports that the new PM won’t be able to open the WA.

MICHEL Barnier tonight insisted the new British PM will not be allowed to reopen Theresa May’s deal or secure better terms on the backstop.
The EU’s chief negotiator said the current divorce package is the “only one possible” and different leadership in the UK “will not change” anything.
He said the new PM has a choice of accepting Mrs May’s deal, opting for No Deal or cancelling Brexit altogether.

But there could be a further extension, reports the Express.

THE EU will approve another Brexit extension beyond the October 31 deadline in the hope the new Tory leader calls a second referendum to break the Westminster deadlock, a senior EU source has revealed.
At least 25 European governments are prepared to back another delay to Brexit, regardless of who becomes prime minister, a senior European source has said.

Tory leadership

The Sun claims an exclusive report that Boris could get the premiership without a fight.

TORY grandees are pushing for Boris Johnson to be crowned PM without a vote by party members – so he can ‘get cracking’ on Brexit.
Sources claim that if the Tory frontrunner comes out on top in voting by MPs he should be put in No.10 straightaway.
Under the contest’s current rules, MPs will pick a final two by the end of June.
The Tory membership then elects the winner by July 22.
But as James Forsyth reveals in his column, there is growing concern that if the party waits that long, it could cause yet another critical Brexit delay.

But the Telegraph claims measures have to be taken to avoid cheating by honourable members.

Differently-coloured ballot papers and identity checks are among the extraordinary security measures that have been introduced to stop Conservative MPs cheating in next week’s leadership elections.
Candidates have also been warned by the party’s ruling 1922 committee that the final two leadership contenders will be “expected” to put their names forward to a vote of the members and not pull out.

And the Guardian claims that those advocating no deal could be jeopardising Northern Ireland.

Conservative party leadership contenders who are talking up a no-deal Brexit risk putting Northern Ireland on to an emergency footing, civil rights groups from across the political divide have warned.
Human rights organisation, workers’ unions, representatives of rural communities and a dozen other organisations are writing to all the candidates to succeed Theresa May to warn them no deal would have a “devastating impact” on the social cohesion in border areas.

The Telegraph claims that half the contenders could quit in the next couple of days.

Almost half of the Conservative leadership contenders could be forced to pull out of the race before Monday’s deadline unless they can secure extra backers over the weekend.
Andrea Leadsom, Rory Stewart, Sam Gyimah, Esther McVey and Mark Harper all have fewer than eight MPs publicly backing them – the minimum needed to enter the contest.

The Express also has that story.

TORY leadership contenders are gearing up to officially launch their campaigns to succeed Theresa May but in an unexpected twist almost half the current candidates could be forced to pull out before the Monday deadline.
Up to five runners and riders to become the UK’s next Prime Minister could drop out of the race by Monday unless they can secure extra backers over the weekend, The Daily Telegraph reports.

And Boris has promised to get us out by Halloween says the Mail.

Boris Johnson today vowed to make sure Britain leaves the EU by October 31 because failing would put Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.
The former Foreign Secretary delivered the warning as a new poll found he is best placed to win back voters from the Brexit Party and defeat Labour at the next election.
As Theresa May quit as Tory leader today, leadership favourite Johnson said that Brexit Party votes risked ‘delivering Corbyn to No 10’.
He also reiterated his vow to take the UK out of the EU by Halloween at all costs after Nigel Farage’s party beat the Tories at the Peterborough by-election but lost to Labour by 683 after the Brexiteer vote was split.

TBP

Nigel promises he’ll be back, reports the Mail.

Nigel Farage posed with his Brexit plan in Downing Street today – minutes after Theresa May left on her last day as Tory leader.
Mrs May was driven away from No10 looking relieved to be out of the pressure cooker, as the Tories digested a dismal third place showing in the Peterborough by-election overnight.
Almost immediately afterwards, Mr Farage turned up at the famous black door to deliver a copy of his blueprint for a ‘clean break’ from the EU.

But a newly-elected MEP claims the prospect of leaving in October is ‘remote’, claims Breitbart.

Newly-elected Brexit Party MEP for London Ben Habib has said the possibility of Brexit being delivered by October 31st is “remote” because the governing Tory Party is dominated by Remainers.
Sky News’s Adam Boulton asked the businessman-turned-politician if the Brexit Party would still have a purpose if the Conservative-led government delivered Brexit by the twice-delayed deadline of October 31st.
“If Brexit is delivered by the 31st of October, to a very significant extent we will have achieved what we set out to achieve,” Mr Habib said on Friday.

Labour Party

Despite the party’s win in Peterborough, there’s a new row over anti-semitism, the Times reports.

A fresh antisemitism row engulfed the Labour Party last night when a senior backbencher called for its newest MP to be suspended hours after she won the Peterborough by-election.
Lisa Forbes was narrowly elected for the constituency on Thursday. It was disclosed during the campaign that she had “liked” a Facebook post  that said Theresa May was following a “Zionist slave masters agenda”.
In response to a post claiming that Mossad and the CIA were responsible for the Islamic State terrorist group, Ms Forbes wrote: “I have enjoyed reading this thread so much.”

The problem is the newly-elected MP, says the Mail.

Labour has been hit with a new claims of anti-Semitism within the party as senior backbenchers called for their newest MP to be suspended for endorsing an anti-Jewish video.
Lisa Forbes, who beat the Brexit Party in the Peterborough by-election, ‘liked’ a Facebook video in April that referred to Theresa May’s ‘Zionist slave masters agenda’.

The Morning Star quotes the victory speech of the party’s leader.

AFTER Labour increased its majority in the Peterborough by-election, Jeremy Corbyn has told the Tories and the media: “Underestimate us at your peril.”
At a victory rally in Peterborough today, the Labour leader congratulated Lisa Forbes on becoming Labour’s newest MP.
“We offer the politics of hope, to end austerity, to fund our schools properly, to employ our police properly, to give our young people a future in this country,” he said.
Mr Corbyn took a shot at the right-wing media, which had predicted a Brexit Party victory, saying: “All the experts who wrote Labour off yesterday – underestimate Labour at your peril.

But will Corbyn plump for a second referendum?  The Mail reports one of his people.

One of Jeremy Corbyn‘s key allies said today that Britain must have a second referendum to avoid crashing out of the EU and Labour should campaign to remain.
Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald has insisted the UK should vote again if the country is ‘looking down the barrel’ of No Deal.
He also said that any Brexit deal agreed by MPs must also be put back to the people.
But Labour MP John Mann said today that after the Peterborough by-election yesterday where the Brexit Party almost beat the party means a second referendum is now ‘dead’.

The Guardian says he won’t go there …

Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he will not bow to party pressure and move immediately towards demanding a second referendum, after Labour narrowly beat the fledgling Brexit party in the Peterborough byelection.
Corbyn – arriving in the Cambridgeshire city after the party’s candidate Lisa Forbes won by 683 votes, leaving the Tories trailing in third position – called for the “squabbling contenders” within the Conservative party to give the public a general election.
The Labour leader, flanked by Forbes and MP Louise Haigh, who masterminded the byelection victory, told Labour supporters in the city centre the party “is not at the stage yet” to push for a public vote.

… despite calls reported in the Independent.

Jeremy Corbyn has been urged to “unambiguously” support a Final Say vote after Labour narrowly avoided defeat by the Brexit Party in the Peterborough by-election.
Nigel Farage’s fledgling party came within 683 votes of defeating Labour’s Lisa Forbes, whose 31 per cent tally was the lowest for a by-election victor in memory.

Foreign aid

Aid has been unwisely spent abroad, reports the Mail.

British foreign aid has been squandered on funding studies into jazz and Roman statues, a damning report has revealed.
A watchdog said there was ‘reason to doubt’ whether a fund to distribute £735million of international development money was reducing global poverty.
Some of the taxpayers’ cash has been directed to projects benefiting some of the world’s biggest economies including China, a superpower with a space programme.
Nearly a quarter of spending from the Newton Fund, a body managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), went on student fellowships.

May’s legacy

It seems the outgoing PM is trying to salvage something out of her premiership reports the Times.

Two leading Conservative leadership candidates were rebuffed after they tried to raid Britain’s Brexit contingency fund for expanded Whitehall spending, The Times has learnt.
Late last year the government announced that it had allocated more than £2 billion of “Brexit preparedness” funding to various departments, taking the total Brexit spending by the Treasury since the EU referendum to more than £4.2 billion.
But a leaked Whitehall analysis of rejected bids, seen by The Times, reveals for the first time how bids amounting to tens of millions of extra spending across Whitehall were rejected.

The Guardian also has the story.

Theresa May is expected to press ahead with a series of policy announcements potentially costing billions of pounds in her final days in Downing Street, in the face of reservations from the chancellor.
The prime minister is keen to salvage some semblance of a domestic legacy from her three-year stint in No 10, which has been overwhelmingly dominated by Brexit.
May’s spokesperson said on Friday: “You heard from the PM recently in setting out that for the remainder of her time in office she will be focused on delivering and building on the domestic agenda that she has put at the heart of her premiership, since she became prime minister.”

And the Times claims she’s trying to improve education.

Theresa May’s attempts to bolster her legacy by pouring billions into education and mental health projects have been repeatedly blocked by Philip Hammond.
The prime minister has met the chancellor at least three times in recent weeks in an effort to persuade him to release funds set aside to cope with a no-deal Brexit for a series of domestic policy initiatives, according to Whitehall sources.

May Day

Next year we’ll celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE day a bit early, says the Sun.

THE May Day bank holiday is being moved to a Friday next year so the whole nation can mark the 75th anniversary of World War Two’s victory.
The Sun can reveal that Britain’s annual day off in early Spring is to be shifted back by four days, from May 4th to 8th.
Business secretary Greg Clark’s action means the bank holiday will now coincide with Victory in Europe Day so all workers will have the chance to celebrate it.
VE Day parties will kick off a three day long weekend of commemorative events to honour the generation who defeated the Nazis.

ITV News also reports the change.

The early May Day bank holiday will be moved back four days next year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
VE Day – or Victory in Europe Day – is marked on May 8 and commemorates the Allies accepting the surrender of Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
The May Day bank holiday is traditionally held on a Monday but will be put back to that Friday and form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.
The announcement was made after this week’s moving commemorations held in the UK and France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Scotland

Scots children could lose part of their education, reports the Telegraph.

Scotland’s largest education union has voted to cut the amount of time teaching pupils despite its president warning the breadth of the school curriculum is a “million miles” away from what it should be.
Delegates at the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) conference in Perth overwhelmingly backed a motion saying teachers should spend no more than 20 hours a week with students.
They backed the two-and-a-half hour reduction to increase administration and preparation time and reduce their “excessive” workload.

The Mail claims there could be a nuclear problem.

Nuclear experts have warned that two Scottish reactors should not be reopened because of cracks that could force both Glasgow and Edinburgh to be evacuated.
Earlier this year, worrying footage of almost 400 cracks 2mm-wide at Hunterston B in North Ayrshire were revealed.
Owners EDF Energy and trade union GMB want the reactors put back into service, after they were closed in October 2018.
But Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, and Dr David Toke, of the University of Aberdeen, are warning against attempts to reopen the reactors.

Listeria

Hospital patients have been poisoned, reports the Times.

Three hospital patients have died after an outbreak of listeria linked to packaged sandwiches.
The victims were in two hospitals in the northwest of England. Sandwiches and salads linked to the cases have been withdrawn and the supplier, the Good Food Chain, has voluntarily ceased production while an investigation continues.
Public Health England said that an outbreak of the bacterial infection had been identified at North Country Cooked Meats, a supplier of meat to the Good Food chain. The watchdog said that the company and its distributor, North Country Quality Foods, had also voluntarily ceased production.

Investigators have found the link, says the Mail.

Three hospital patients have died in England following a listeria outbreak linked to pre-packed sandwiches, health officials revealed today.
The outbreak has been linked to six seriously ill patients, three of whom died at Aintree University Hospital and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trusts.

Terror

Could AI help predict terror attacks?  The experts disagree says the Times.

Security experts have clashed with the new reviewer of terrorism laws over his fears that relying on technology to stop atrocities puts civil liberties at risk.
Jonathan Hall, QC, said that police and the security services were increasingly turning to artificial intelligence and algorithms to predict when, where and by whom terrorist attacks might be committed.
In his first interview since assuming the role Mr Hall told The Times that “a large amount of our liberty” had been sacrificed by citizens after “we’ve given all our data to big tech companies”.

Queen’s birthday honours

A ‘Project Fear’ architect has been given an award, says the Telegraph.

A leading business lobbyist accused of being one of the architects of “Project Fear” during the EU referendum has been awarded a Damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the chief executive of the CBI, has been given the honour in recognition of her services to business.
She is described by the Government as an “outstanding advocate of British businesses”.
During the referendum campaign, she was one of the most high-profile figures on the Remain side of the debate, warning that Brexit could cost up to a 1million jobs and cause long term damage to the economy.

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