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Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 24th May 2019

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Corbyn isn’t working – and Labour is being picked apart by its new enemies

Corbyn has taken a senseless political risk by treating his voters as fools. The British Election Study estimated that two thirds of Labour voters went with Remain in the 2016 referendum. Now YouGov estimates that 88 per cent back Remain. Any party that goes with the 12 per cent rather than the 88 per cent will collapse. It is not a party for the many, but for the few. The far left has been so busy fighting the hated ‘centrists’ that it has forgotten to fight the right and far right. Existing and former Labour supporters have not been so negligent. They need only look at the tribunes of Brexit — at Gerard Batten, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Dominic Raab — to know that they must be opposed. There is an almost primitive fear at work. If a film company had searched for characters guaranteed to set the tom-toms of liberal England beating out a warning, it could not have found better candidates than these gentlemen.
25th May 2019 - The Spectator

Angry Pro-Remain Labour Activists Launch Bid To Force Party Into Anti-Brexit Position

Pro-Remain Labour activists have launched a drive to push the party’s leadership into an anti-Brexit position. In the wake of European elections forecast to be a disaster for Jeremy Corbyn, left-wing campaigners have published a motion calling for the party to adopt a radical “remain and reform” agenda at the party’s conference in Brighton in September. It demands the party defends free movement and takes the position that Brexit is a right-wing project which is “poisoning politics”. Labour’s current policy is to secure a Brexit deal which includes a customs union and a “strong single market deal” and, if the UK were facing a hard Brexit or a no-deal, then to push for a second vote. The new motion is being pushed to local Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) from next week.
24th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Theresa May will address the nation TODAY after disastrous Euro election to pledge Britain will have a new PM by summer – but she wants to DELAY Tory leadership vote for Trump’s state visit

Mrs May will begin the day with a meeting with the Tories’ backbench shop steward Sir Graham Brady to discuss the exact timetable for her departure. She is then expected to address the nation from Downing Street to explain why she is leaving ‘the job I love’ before she has realised her ambition of leading Britain out of the European Union Mrs May is expected to try to delay the start of the Tory leadership race until the week beginning June 10, to allow her to host Donald Trump’s state visit without the indignity of her MPs voting on her successor at the same time. But she will stay on as Prime Minister while the Tory leadership contest takes place, allowing a smooth transition to a new leader before the summer recess.
24th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Why Theresa May is expected to announce departure date

Unless something extremely strange happens in the next couple of days, it is now, really, nearly over. Several cabinet ministers have told me they expect Theresa May to announce her departure from Downing Street on Friday. A senior minister said: "She's going to go - if it's to be done, it's best to be done quickly." Another said it would be "unforgivable" for her to try to stay on now. One of those who has been most loyal to her said: "It might be tomorrow or Saturday, but it can't be past Sunday."
24th May 2019 - BBC

DISPOSSESSED DISENFRANCHISED Denied My Vote

Chani Klapka, one of the 3.1 million EU citizens resident in the UK and eligible to vote in the Euro Elections today, describes her Kafkaesque experience. I am a German citizen, and a UK resident since 2014. I have lived in Luton for 4 years. like thousands, I have been denied a ballot at the polling station today on the grounds that I have not filled in a certain form that states my intent to vote in the EU elections in the UK. Others have been told their forms have not been processed, despite them provably having been filed well before the required deadline. This form is required to receive a ballot at a polling station, but the council is NOT required to provide it nor make residents aware of it. This, we have only been told after calling the local electoral office at Luton Borough Council. At that point, we were only given an email address to complain. At no point, since well before the election, have I been made aware of the requirement for this form. The EU Parliament website states that this form should be provided by the local council.
23rd May 2019 - Byline Times

Brexit: 'Democratic disaster' as hundreds of EU nationals denied a vote

Nicola Sturgeon has urged EU citizens to insist on their right to vote following reports that hundreds have been turned away from polling stations because of confusion over additional requirements to register for European elections. Campaigners representing European nationals said they had received hundreds of complaints of people being denied a vote even though they are on the electoral roll. To be able to vote, EU citizens had to complete the EC6 or UC1 forms to declare they would not cast a second ballot in their home country, and submit them to their local council by 7 May.
23rd May 2019 - The Scotsman

EU citizens complain of being denied right to vote in UK European elections

Voters in the UK have been going to the polls in the European parliamentary elections. Well, some of them have. Since the polls opened, dozens of frustrated EU citizens living in the UK have been taking to Twitter to complain that they were being turned away from polling stations because they hadn’t completed the correct paperwork. The Electoral Commission has blamed the situation on the “very short notice” given for the European elections, which weren’t supposed to happen because of Brexit.
23rd May 2019 - Channel 4 News

UK government may face court action after EU citizens denied vote

The government is facing calls to launch an urgent investigation into the treatment of EU citizens in the European elections after many people reported being denied their democratic right to vote. Voters across the country told of their devastation at finding their names crossed off the register due to clerical errors by local councils. Experts said the situation was a “scandal we knew was coming” and that the government may have a case to answer in court. The affected voters said they felt they were being “silenced” as this was the only election they had a right to participate in, being ineligible to vote in the referendum or general elections.
23rd May 2019 - The Guardian

Councils admit failure to send out EU postal ballots in time

At least three local councils across England and Wales have admitted that they ran out of time to print and send postal ballots for the European elections to some overseas voters, leaving them effectively disenfranchised. Three voters contacted the Guardian with details of papers that arrived so late it was impossible to get their vote back to the UK in time, some landing only on polling day. There had already been complaints ahead of the election about missing or late ballots. Local councils told these voters that arrangements were affected by an extremely compressed schedule. The government had hoped to avoid holding the elections by getting a Brexit deal through parliament.
23rd May 2019 - The Guardian

European elections: Government could face court action after hundreds of EU citizens ‘denied vote’, experts warn

A barrister who specialises in EU law claimed there were multiple breaches of EU treaties, including Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which states that EU nationals have “the right to vote…under the same conditions as nationals of that state [of residence].” Anneli Howard told The Guardian: “If EU citizens are being asked to fill out additional forms that UK nationals are not, that’s discrimination.” While Ms Howard said she did not think it was likely any judge would declare council clerical errors had made the election unsafe, she added that the treaty had “direct effect” and meant EU citizens could go straight to court.
23rd May 2019 - The Independent

British expats and EU citizens stopped from voting in Euro elections thanks to poll blunders


23rd May 2019 - The Sun

Up to 2m EU citizens and ex-pats overseas 'could have been denied vote in Euro elections'


23rd May 2019 - The Telegraph

Why are EU citizens being 'denied' a vote in European elections, and what you can do if you're turned away at a polling station?


23rd May 2019 - The Independent

EU citizens turned away from polling stations in the UK


23rd May 2019 - Financial Times

European elections: #DeniedMyVote chaos as British expats can't vote


23rd May 2019 - Daily Mail

Labour slams Government for European elections ‘chaos’ as EU citizens turned away from polling stations


23rd May 2019 - Politics Home

European elections: Hundreds of EU citizens ‘turned away from polling stations and denied vote’


23rd May 2019 - The Independent

Denied my vote: EU citizens in UK report being barred from voting in European elections


23rd May 2019 - Business Insider

EU citizens in the UK say they've been denied the right to vote


23rd May 2019 - CNN

It’s hard to imagine. But could this really be the end for the Tories?

Is this party really in a death spiral, or will it always right itself? Conservatism as the British default is so deep-dyed in the national psyche it’s hard to think this is the end. This generation of Conservatives has brought us so low in this decade: in austerity, in stagnant incomes, in devastated public services, catastrophic productivity, lost social security and lost respect abroad. In its visionless hopelessness, the party may indeed have eaten itself. If so, it may be replaced on the right by anti-establishment Faragism, with even more sinister aims in power. Or else the demise of this great pillar of reaction could open doors to a chance of something better.
23rd May 2019 - The Guardian

Boris Johnson lied during EU referendum campaign, court told

Boris Johnson lied and engaged in criminal conduct when he repeatedly claimed during the 2016 EU referendum that the UK sent £350m a week to Brussels, lawyers for a crowdfunded private prosecution of the MP have told a court. A legal team assembled by Marcus Ball, a 29-year-old businessman who has accused the former foreign secretary of misconduct in public office and raised more than £200,000 to finance the prosecution, laid out their case in front of a judge, who will rule next Wednesday on whether Johnson should appear in court. The case concerned the “now infamous claim” by Johnson about the £350m, Lewis Power QC told Westminster magistrates court, and was not about preventing or delaying Brexit.
23rd May 2019 - The Guardian

Growing ‘Irexit’ Campaign has Links to Notorious British Ethno-Nationalist

An investigation by anti-racism activists in Ireland has revealed that the ‘Muintir na héireann’ (‘People of Ireland’) website and Facebook community, sporting over 10,000 followers, is the work of Jack Sen, a notorious white nationalist, who most recently came to prominence in the Channel 4 documentary, ‘Sleeping With The Far Right’. The campaign is not associated with the Irish populist party of the same name that existed during the 1990s. Address details, Google Analytics codes and other details on the site all point to Jack Sean’s home in Southport, Merseyside, as featured in the Channel 4 documentary. Image folders on the site also feature pictures of Sen with other white nationalists. When reached for comment, Sen claimed that his involvement extended only to providing hosting for the site.
23rd May 2019 - Byline Times

Academic Dr Niall McCrae Filmed Calling Remain Activist 'A F***ing Traitor' During Brexit Rally

The 29-year-old Remain campaigner had set up a desk outside the event with a sign that read: “A no-deal Brexit would be a disaster for the UK. Change my mind.” As McCrae repeatedly shouts “fucking traitor”, another man throws water from a bottle over Oluwole. McCrae is later seen in the video shaking hands with the man.
23rd May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Brexit Party set to trigger political earthquake with Tories and Labour facing election humiliation

Nigel Farage predicted to take more than a third of the Euro poll votes A survey carried out on the eve of yesterday's vote put the fledging party on a whopping 31 per cent - eight points clear of the nearest challenger, Labour on 23 per cent. The ...
23rd May 2019 - The Sun

Corbyn's former economics adviser calls him a 'pro-Brexit buffoon'

A former economic adviser to Jeremy Corbyn has launched an extraordinary personal attack on the Labour leader, calling him a “pro-Brexit buffoon” who was “clueless” about economics. Danny Blanchflower, who served on the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee during the financial crisis, joined other leading left-leaning economists on an advisory group after Corbyn gained power. But he has since distanced himself from the leader of the UK opposition, and now urging voters not to support Corbyn over his stance on Brexit in the upcoming European elections. In a series of furious tweets over the past few days, Blanchflower called Corbyn an “uneducated fool” and accused him of being “clueless” about economics.
22nd May 2019 - Yahoo News

Tory peer suspended from party whip after backing Lib Dems in EU elections

Another senior Conservative peer has been suspended from the party whip for pledging to vote Liberal Democrat in the European elections, after the punishment was imposed on the former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine. Andrew Cooper, the founder of pollster Populus who was David Cameron’s director of strategy in Downing Street, tweeted: “I have come to the same conclusion as Michael Heseltine, for exactly the same reasons – and will be voting Lib Dem in Thursday’s European parliament elections.”
22nd May 2019 - The Guardian

This is a sorry end for a Prime Minister who never believed in Brexit

“All political lives,” said Enoch Powell, “end in failure.” For Theresa May, the agony of the ending, and the failure, has been drawn out for longer than usual. But in the coming days, it is certain that her premiership will draw to a close. The Cabinet’s patience has been finally snapped by the Prime Minister’s latest tone-deaf Brexit proposal. Andrea Leadsom has resigned. MPs say there isn’t a single colleague who thinks the PM should continue. Any Conservative made nervous by the prospect of regicide will find their minds made up by the European elections. The Government’s failure to deliver Brexit – and its continued attempts to deliver a Brexit deal seen by many Leavers as a betrayal is why they believe she must go
22nd May 2019 - The Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 23rd May 2019

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Nigel Farage is stuck on his Brexit bus because people have turned up with milkshake

In Rochester, three young men dressed in black with their hoods up and covering their faces with balaclavas were spotted at the back of the crowd. One supporter said they were carrying milkshakes and Farage was quickly alterted. As a preventative measure, Nigel was told not to get off the bus. Driver Michael Botton explained: “There are a couple of guys standing over there with milkshakes, they were going to throw them over him. “But the police are there, we’ve spotted them and now Nigel isn’t getting off the bus.”
22nd May 2019 - Kent Live

Nigel Farage ‘trapped on Brexit bus due to people armed with milkshakes’


22nd May 2019 - The Sun

Nigel Farage ‘stranded on Brexit bus in Kent – people armed with MILKSHAKES’


22nd May 2019 - Daily Star

Nigel Farage 'trapped on bus' surrounded by protesters holding milkshakes

Nigel Farage reportedly got stuck on his Brexit Party campaign bus after people armed with milkshakes surrounded him. The politician is said to have refused to leave the vehicle just days after he was covered in banana and salted caramel milkshake in Newcastle. Three young men dressed in black with their hoods up were reportedly spotted in the crowd when the bus arrived in Rochester, Kent, on Wednesday, Kent Live reports. Someone suggested they were carrying milkshakes and Mr Farage was told not to get off the bus, according to the newspaper.
22nd May 2019 - The Independent

Putin, Johnson and Farage will destroy us, warns EU chief

The toxic combination of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, populism, the rise of the far right and Russia will destroy the European Union, the chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels said. Mr Verhofstadt, 66, who leads a pan-European bloc of liberal MEPs now allied to President Macron of France, said that EU elections this week were being manipulated by Russia in the same way as the Brexit referendum. “It is always Russia. Talk about Farage, it’s Russia. On top of that you have a hard-Brexiteer who wants to become leader of the Conservative Party. Am I too suspicious? I see a real organised attempt to destroy the European project as a whole,” he said. “My sense of Brexit is it is an element of a more global picture. I think that everybody agrees that the Brexit discussion was manipulated. Are we not now living and seeing the same thing but on a European level? It is not a referendum, it is a European election, but it is the same dynamic. It is the same attack that was against Britain in the EU and now is about the EU itself.”
21st May 2019 - The Times

Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Russia will combine to destroy the European Union, their chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels claims


22nd May 2019 - Daily Mail

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party running mate linked to Serb war leader Radovan Karadzic

During the early stages of the Bosnian conflict Mr Kennedy helped organise trips to Belgrade for British politicians and a public meeting in Westminster. Karadzic personally endorsed Mr Kennedy in a letter to The Times in July 1992, which refers to “an ongoing dialogue with a former British parliamentary candidate, Mr John Kennedy, an expert on Yugoslavia”. That same year the two shared a platform at a conference in Westminster where they sat side by side, a summary of the meeting in the House of Commons shows. Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, recorded in his published diaries meeting Mr Kennedy at Budapest airport before a tour of Yugoslavia in August 1992. He described Mr Kennedy as “the ex-Tory candidate and pro-Serb contact in London”.
21st May 2019 - The Times

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party running mate linked to Serb war leader Radovan Karadzic

During the early stages of the Bosnian conflict Mr Kennedy helped organise trips to Belgrade for British politicians and a public meeting in Westminster. Karadzic personally endorsed Mr Kennedy in a letter to The Times in July 1992, which refers to “an ongoing dialogue with a former British parliamentary candidate, Mr John Kennedy, an expert on Yugoslavia”. That same year the two shared a platform at a conference in Westminster where they sat side by side, a summary of the meeting in the House of Commons shows. Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, recorded in his published diaries meeting Mr Kennedy at Budapest airport before a tour of Yugoslavia in August 1992. He described Mr Kennedy as “the ex-Tory candidate and pro-Serb contact in London”.
21st May 2019 - The Times

Revealed: Nigel Farage's Brexit Party candidate spread "propaganda" for Balkan warlord, was 'bugged' by MI6

John Kennedy distributed bogus claims of Bosnian war crimes and was suspected by intelligence services of funneling Serbian dark money to the Conservatives
21st May 2019 - Open Democracy

Brexit Party AM fails to declare employment of daughter

An AM may be in breach of Welsh Assembly rules by failing to declare that he employs a family member, BBC Wales has learned. David Rowlands, who has just defected from UKIP to the Brexit Party, employs two members of his family among his support staff. But while his wife Keryn is declared on his register of interests, his daughter Rhiannon is not. An aide of Mr Rowlands took the blame for the notification not being made. Plaid Cymru called for Mr Rowlands to refer himself to the assembly's standards body.
22nd May 2019 - BBC

Change UK spent more than £1,300 on ads saying they wanted to ‘remain in the UK’

Change UK has spent at least £1,300 promoting Facebook adverts saying it is campaigning to “remain in the UK”. The fledgling anti-Brexit party, made up of former Labour and Conservative MPs, published five separate ads on 19 and 20 May, all containing the same error. It meant to say it is campaigning to remain in the European Union. Data from Facebook’s ad library shows Change UK spent a minimum of £1,300 promoting the video and photo-led adverts, but it may have been as much as £3,495.
22nd May 2019 - iNews

@Channel4News Change UK interim leader Heidi Allen tells @CathyNewman she threatened to resign over the issue of tactical voting in the European elections.

Change UK interim leader Heidi Allen tells @CathyNewman she threatened to resign over the issue of tactical voting in the European elections.
22nd May 2019 - @Channel4News

Farage's fundraising for Brexit Party allows foreign donors to 'break rules', warns elections watchdog

Nigel Farage’s use of PayPal to raise huge numbers of small donations for his Brexit Party allows foreign donors to “evade the rules”, a watchdog has warned. The Electoral Commission said its investigation of the party’s fundraising methods is “ongoing”, after visiting its headquarters amid the growing controversy. After the visit, the Brexit Party claimed the commission had found “no evidence of any electoral offences”. But, in a statement, the watchdog said seeking small sums via online donations “opens up additional risk in relation to compliance with UK political finance law”. “This risk is that it increases the potential for individuals or organisations to evade the permissibility rules, which primarily seek to prevent significant sums entering UK politics from overseas,” it explained. The commission stressed that it was the Brexit Party’s “responsibility” to “ensure it has the systems in place to maintain its compliance with the law”. “Our review of the systems in operation by the Brexit Party is ongoing,” it added.
22nd May 2019 - Thye Independent

Swastika found carved into door inside the Houses of Parliament

The Nazi symbol was etched into a lift door within the Parliamentary Estate.
22nd May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Farage's fundraising for Brexit Party allows foreign donors to 'break rules', warns elections watchdog

‘It increases the potential for individuals or organisations to evade the permissibility rules, which primarily seek to prevent significant sums entering UK politics from overseas’ said the Electoral Commission which said although it found no immediate evidence it is going to continue monitoring the situation
22nd May 2019 - The Independent

EU to investigate Nigel Farage over £450,000 donation from Arron Banks following the referendum

The EU has launched an investigation into claims that wealthy Brexit donor Arron Banks splashed £450,000 on a luxury lifestyle for Nigel Farage following the referendum. The European Parliament’s advisory committee will probe the Brexit Party leader for failing to declare the lavish expenses. Mr Banks is reported to have rented a £4.4 million home in Chelsea, a £30,000 car and funded a £20,000 chauffeur for Mr Farage. The insurance tycoon also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds promoting ‘Brand Farage’ in the US, according to Channel 4 News.
22nd May 2019 - The Sun

Many EU citizens will be unable to vote in UK, campaigners warn

Campaigners for non-British or Irish EU citizens have made a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission amid fears many of them will be unable to vote in the UK in this Thursday’s elections for the European parliament. Nicolas Hatton, the co-founder of the3million, has accused the regulator of providing insufficient guidance, leading to inconsistent advice from local authority electoral officers. “The3million has multiple examples of local authorities mishandling the application process,” he said in a three-page letter. Catherine West, the Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has raised concerns about the issue in a separate letter to Sir John Holmes, the chair of the Electoral Commission. West fears that as many as 75% of non-British/Irish EU citizens living in the UK who registered to vote in the local elections three weeks ago could be turned away on Thursday because they have not filled in a second form necessary for them to vote in the European elections.
21st May 2019 - The Guardian

Leaving The EU With No Deal Is Like Making Yourself "Homeless"

This Lib Dem MEP candidate Catherine Bearder says a no-deal Brexit is the "economic equivalent of trying to make yourself homeless." The caller says she wants a "straightforward answer" if"no-Brexit deal" will be on the ballot paper if there is a second referendum. When Mrs Bearder points out the country is "still divided" because we don't know "what leaving will mean." The MEP said she understands that people are furious that when it comes to a second referendum but no-deal is the "economic equivalent of trying to make yourself homeless."
21st May 2019 - LBC

8 of the top 10 Brexit Party promoting Twitter accounts appear to be bots

Almost all of the ten most active Brexit Party supporters on Twitter appear to be automated bots, according to new research. Leader Nigel Farage has hailed the swell of support for the group as “the most amazing grassroots support that’s ever been seen in this period of time in British politics.” But while bots were also found promoting other parties, Nigel Farage’s group had the largest number of suspected automated accounts promoting them. A study by the Institute for Strategic Discourse identified the ten most active accounts discussing the Brexit Party using their official handle. The think tank found eight out of the top ten most active accounts showed signs of automation. Five of the top ten accounts mentioning the Brexit Party on Twitter were producing more than 144 tweets per day, an average of one tweet every 3.3 minutes over an eight hour period. Bots also appear to be heavily promoting Ukip, with six bot-like accounts in their top ten Twitter accounts. Other parties are affected, but not to the same exent.
21st May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Malaysians Flush Out UK's Brexit Party Over Cash Claims!

A group of Malaysians based in KL and also the UK have turned sleuths over the past 24 hours to flush out what they believe have been misleading comments made by Brexit Party leaders, who have sought to imply they are not receiving anonymous foreign donations. It is impermissible for UK parties to receive donations from foreign entities, certainly for sums over £500 which have to be reported to the UK Electoral Commission. The rules are less clear regarding lesser donations as these do not need to be reported (unless large donations have been divided up). Yet, it has been exposed in the past few hours that all anyone needs to do to donate up to the £501.00 (around RM2,500) non-reported limit to the Brexit Party is click a button on the party website that leads directly to a PayPal platform, open to account holders all over the world via just their email and a password. It has also emerged that Farage recently privately courted wealthy donors known to be close to Putin and Donald Trump at an event at London’s Ritz Hotel. However, on London’s LBC Radio today, party leader Nigel Farage adamantly claimed he rejects all foreign money
21st May 2019 - Sarawak Report

New Video Shows Nigel Farage Courting Fringe Right-Wing Figures At A Private Tea Party Hosted At The Ritz

New footage reveals Nigel Farage privately sought money and help for his new Brexit Party from fringe right-wing figures including a millionaire Putin cheerleader and a self-proclaimed “influencer” who has posted a string of anti-Islam remarks online. Videos posted on Facebook show the Brexit party leader addressing a closed-door gathering at London’s five-star Ritz hotel on April 9, organised by key backers of a pro-Trump political group, Turning Point UK. Farage was among the guests at the event, which was described by the organisers as a “tea party” and not a Brexit Party fundraiser. But in a five-minute speech, he asked the small group for “any help, any support, whether it’s verbal, whether it’s getting your friends involved, whether it’s giving us money, whatever it is, we need all the help we can get”.
21st May 2019 - BuzzFeed News

Farage says he is 'concerned about level of hatred' since the Brexit referendum

Nigel Farage has said he is 'concerned' about the level of 'hatred' in politics following the EU referendum. The Brexit Party leader had a banana and salted caramel drink from Five Guys thrown at him while on a walkabout in Newcastle city centre. He said he did not know what was being thrown at him, and called for a message to be sent that "people can't behave like this". Asked if he would change the way he campaigns, Farage told Harriet Line at the Press Association: "I hope not but I am concerned about the sheer level of hatred coming from those who think they're better than me. "I just think we've reached a point where normal campaigning is becoming very difficult, and that in a democratic society cannot be a good thing." He said what happened to him was "part of something bigger that's going on".
21st May 2019 - The New European

Brexit is a sham, but Theresa May just won’t admit it

Farage advocates trading on World Trade Organization terms – an apparatus no country in the world considers to be sufficient basis for modern commerce. The plan is to then sign new free-trade deals, which in reality would require immediate and urgent negotiations with Brussels. The no-deal method incinerates a highly developed platform for borderless European transactions in order to build a flimsier one from scratch and from a weaker position. It imperils swathes of British industry and projects a global image of roguish disregard for international agreement. It will not get easier to complete future deals as a country that has trumpeted contempt for deals that have already been negotiated.
21st May 2019 - The Guardian

‘Clean Brexit’ sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Trouble is, it doesn’t exist

If Britain crashes out without a withdrawal deal, there will be no negotiations and hence no agreement leading to a CU or an FTA. The EU has made it clear that, in the event of a no-deal outcome, it will expect to settle outstanding withdrawal issues with the UK (money, citizens’ rights and the Northern Ireland border) before even thinking about talking future trade arrangements. Which in turn means GATT article 24 won’t apply. So we would immediately find ourselves trading on WTO terms, with the tariffs and checks that those imply, and no 10-year cushion. And no other major trading nation trades purely on WTO terms.
21st May 2019 - The Guardian

Labour supporters puzzles over Corbyn's Brexit policy

Labour voters have little idea whether Jeremy Corbyn would push through ... parties on a compromise deal. According to Ipsos MORI research for the Evening Standard, 53 per cent of the public believe a Corbyn government would try to keep Britain in ...
20th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Voters still do not know whether Labour is a Remain or Leave party, research shows

Jeremy Corbyn's leadership on Brexit came under *fresh* fire today as research revealed voters are split over whether Labour is a party of Remain or Leave. Key findings of the national survey include: Half the public think a Labour government under Mr Corbyn would keep Britain inside the EU, while 30 per cent think he would quit the bloc. The positions are reversed among Labour supporters — with nearly half (46 per cent) saying Mr Corbyn’s party stands for leaving, while 38 per cent think it stands for remaining. Half of Labour voters dislike their party’s approach to Brexit — and around four in 10 say they like the Liberal Democrat and Green approaches to the issue. Among the general public, 76 per cent dislike Labour’s approach. Eight in 10 people think Mr Corbyn is doing a bad job on Brexit — including 57 per cent of Labour voters.
20th May 2019 - Evening Standard

Up close and personal with the Brexit party pyramid scheme

The Brexit party claims to want to change politics. It has turned the tables on the referendum result, convincing Leavers that they lost and spreading a message of bitter betrayal on the part of the Brexit-backing government. In doing so it risks repeating the worst of the original vote, battling blindly for an outcome it cannot define and whose consequences it chooses to ignore. At three different Brexit party rallies I've attended, a sense of genuine frustration and misplaced anger has pervaded conversations. Frustration at the delay to whichever version of Brexit they voted for. Anger at the establishment, Remainers, immigrants, civil servants - anyone they perceive as blocking the process. The Brexit party has attempted to seize upon this sense of dispossession by pushing for a decisive departure from the EU. But for a movement with only one aim, there's a remarkable lack of consensus about how to achieve it.
20th May 2019 - Politics.co.uk

Nigel Farage brings Wakefield city centre to a standstill - but would not leave his campaign bus

Brexit party leader Nigel Farage brought part of Wakefield city centre to a standstill this afternoon during a short visit - but refused to come off his campaign bus. Supporters and protesters gathered on Northgate when the bus made a quick stop outside the Calder & Hops pub. Following an incident this morning when a milkshake was thrown over him at Newcastle, he was not willing to step out of his transport. Instead, he gave a short speech from the top deck of the open-top bus. The Wakefield Express was given access to the bus where he admitted the stop was one of convenience as he heads to Bolton in Lancashire.
20th May 2019 - Yorkshire Evening Post

This is everything I discovered about all of The Brexit Party MEP candidates.

The Brexit Party candidates - From gay conversion therapy advocates to supporters of paedophilia legalisation, from climate change deniers to rampant tax avoiders, from NHS abolitionists to besties of neo-Nazis, from fracking supporters to unabashed profiteers of chaos
20th May 2019 - Medium.com


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 20th May 2019

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Ukip Candidate Carl Benjamin Has Fourth Milkshake Thrown At Him This Month

Far-right UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin has had a fourth milkshake thrown at him during a campaign stop, following three previous attempts to douse him in the liquid.
19th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

EU poll reveals Labour and Tories plummeting to fourth place

The Conservatives and Labour are languishing in joint-fourth place in Scotland, according to a new European election poll. Just one in five Scottish voters said they will back Labour or the Tories in the upcoming election, with Ruth Davidson's party set to lose their one Member of the European Parliament.
19th May 2019 - The National

Brexit: Corbyn's position 'in peril' if he 'betrays' Labour over second referendum, shadow minister says

Jeremy Corbyn will plunge his own position into jeopardy if he “betrays” Labour supporters by refusing to push for a further Brexit referendum, a shadow minister has said, in an outspoken interview. Clive Lewis warned Mr Corbyn’s leadership would be “in peril” if he failed to fully support a Final Say public vote because the activists who “put you in that position” could turn against him. “You can only drive a wedge so far between yourself and the people who put you in that position before your opponents start looking at their options,” the shadow Treasury minister told The Independent. Mr Lewis warned Labour was “haemorrhaging” support from Remain voters and attacked senior party figures happy to finish second in next week’s European elections “as long as we beat the Tories”
19th May 2019 - The Independent

Property, Finance, Hedge Funds Lobbying, Media ---------- A Guide to the Brexit Party's ELITE MEP Candidates

Out of these 20 profiled candidates, 18 are company directors, 8 are bankers, 5 work in derivatives and hedge funds, ranking them among a metropolitan and business elite which the Brexit Party rhetoric repeatedly condemns. Many of these candidates are involved with hedge funds or derivatives, sectors of the financial industry were the ones who profited from the Brexit turmoil, by betting on Sterling’s collapse and downturns in British firms. These organisations are known to oppose EU attempts to regulate the hedge fund industry.
19th May 2019 - Byline Times

Brexit Party fundraiser is 'Posh George', once jailed in US after money-laundering sting

A disgraced former aide to Nigel Farage who was jailed in America for offering to launder money for drug lords is a fundraiser for the Brexit Party, it can be revealed. George Cottrell, a 25-year-old aristocrat known as “Posh George”, served as Ukip’s head of fundraising until his arrest by federal agents on charges of extortion, money laundering and fraud in 2016. Since his release from a federal prison in Arizona after agreeing a plea deal, he has avoided appearing with Farage. However, a senior source in the Brexit Party said he had reprised his role as one of his top fundraisers. According to one insider, Cottrell, who is dating the I’m a Celebrity TV star Georgia Toffolo, has been liaising with senior party officials and handling wealthy donors. The insider said: “He knows people. We’re not going to not use him, are we?” His presence is said to have raised eyebrows among staff.
19th May 2019 - The Times

Jeremy Corbyn on 'the option' of another Brexit referendum

Jeremy Corbyn he wants to Leave the EU & Single Market and he would like to replace "Free Movement" with an arrangement that secures "a great deal of movement". In short, this will replace an established right of everyone in the UK with nothing more than a negotiated privilege.
19th May 2019 - BBC Marr

@tnewtondunn Jeremy Corbyn unable to tell #Marr, despite being asked 6 times, if he wants to leave the EU (or if it doesn’t want to), or if he supports a second referendum (or doesn’t).

Jeremy Corbyn unable to tell #Marr, despite being asked 6 times, if he wants to leave the EU (or if it doesn’t want to), or if he supports a second referendum (or doesn’t).
19th May 2019 - @tnewtondunn

Nigel Farage facing investigation by EU authorities over lavish gifts from millionaire tycoon

Nigel Farage is facing an investigation by European parliament authorities over claims that he failed to declare nearly half a million pounds in gifts from an insurance tycoon under investigation by the National Crime Agency. It was claimed this week that the Brexit Party leader has been given as much as £450,000 in kind by Arron Banks, including a chauffeur-driven car, rent and bills on a £4.4m Chelsea home, and lavish trips to the United States to meet with right-wing politicians. But none of the gifts, detailed in invoices seen by Channel 4 News, were declared on Mr Farage’s register of interests with the European parliament, which is designed to prevent MEPs from keeping their conflicts of interests secret.
19th May 2019 - The Independent

Tory party will split if Boris Johnson becomes leader and pursues no-deal Brexit, warn MPs

Electing Boris Johnson leader on a no-deal Brexit ticket would risk a permanent split in the Conservative Party, a former minister has warned. The former foreign secretary has established himself as firm favourite to succeed Theresa May as prime minister in a contest many in Westminster expect to be triggered within weeks. It comes as the prime minister prepares to deliver a speech on Brexit this week, in what a government source billed as a "bold offer" to MPs in a last-ditch attempt to build support for her beleaguered Brexit bill in the Commons.
19th May 2019 - The Independent

Many of the Brexit Party's Twitter followers appear to be bots

The no-deal EU withdrawal party is only a few months old, but researchers talking to BuzzFeed News found that many of its Twitter accounts are networks of bots and other inauthentic users. The exact amount isn't clear, but F-Secure's Andy Patel noted that over 8,800 users -- roughly 7 percent of the party's Twitter base -- were both recently recreated and disproportionately responsible for retweeting party material. Some of these accounts have been producing massive volumes of tweets focused on Brexit, and clearly in unrealistic amounts. One tweeted 823 times in the space of a day. Some are new, while others are from outside the UK. Regardless of behavior, the surge of new followers for the party suggested "inorganic" behavior.
19th May 2019 - Engadget

Tories in for a Brexit party trouncing, while Remainers abandon Labour

More voters now say they would back the Brexit party at the next general election than the Conservatives, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer. Nigel Farage’s party increased its support by three points to 24% of the vote, leapfrogging the Tories and trailing Labour by just five points. The Conservatives claimed 22% of the vote, the same figure they recorded in last week’s poll. The Brexit party also maintained its 14-point lead when voters were asked who they would back in next week’s European elections, maintaining 34% of the vote. Labour secured 20%, with the Liberal Democrats up to 15% support. The Tories were on 12%, up one point on a week ago.
18th May 2019 - The Guardian

Alastair Campbell: Labour need 'clarity and leadership' on Brexit 'instead of Jeremy Corbyn trying to face both ways'

Alastair Campbell: Labour need ‘clarity and leadership’ on Brexit ‘instead of Jeremy Corbyn trying to face both ways’ - there's a public head of steam in favour of a second referendum to sort out the current political mess and Corbyn is not capitalising on it
18th May 2019 - Channel 4 News

Jo Maugham: Brexit Party donations should be investigated by Electoral Commission

If a donor is not “permissible” – or if you don’t know who the donor is – you can’t accept the donation. Permissible donors – very broadly – are individuals on the electoral register or others carrying on business in the United Kingdom. But there’s a loophole. The law also says you can “disregard” a donation so long as it is not for more than £500. These points are important because of what we know about how the Brexit Party has set out to raise money. You can see here that the maximum amount the Brexit Party’s website invites you to donate is £500. And although the website seems to contemplate you might donate more than £500, neither I nor a colleague could work out how to donate more than £500 by PayPal (the main tool they use to collect donations) using the link.
18th May 2019 - Scram Media

Researchers Say Many Of The Brexit Party’s Twitter Followers Aren’t Behaving Like Genuine Voters

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is attracting big crowds, thousands of small donors, healthy support in opinion polls — and a legion of Twitter followers sharing its campaign messages at a breathless rate. “100,000 Twitter followers!” the party tweeted after its launch last month, celebrating another indication of its surging grassroots support. Its following has since grown to 134,000. Accounts with handles like AthenaLeave, jeanett49751382, and SimoneblackBBC, many using the Brexit Party logo as their profile pictures, have been pumping out supportive messages, amplifying Farage’s push for a no-deal Brexit and adding to the sense of momentum that quickly established it as a major force in British politics. But the behaviour of many of the party’s Twitter followers doesn’t appear consistent with that of real voters, according to two separate researchers who analysed related activity on the platform at the request of BuzzFeed News. One account, set up in March, has sent more than 23,000 tweets in its first three months on the platform, nearly all of them about Brexit. Another account sent 823 tweets on the topic in a single day, mostly retweets and many just seconds apart. Another blasted out a string of 69 hard-Brexit tweets before dawn on a Monday morning. “This isn’t how we’d expect normal people with diverse interests to behave,” says Professor Kalina Bontcheva at the University of Sheffield, one of the researchers who examined the data. Another thing that stood out to the researchers was the disproportionately high number of new accounts following the Brexit Party. According to Andy Patel, a researcher at F-Secure, a cybersecurity company based in Finland, more than 8,800 of its followers — about 7% at the time of the analysis — were created in the first and second quarter of 2019. These accounts are disproportionately represented among the most active retweeters of Brexit Party content, Patel says.
18th May 2019 - BuzzFeed News

Rachel Johnson has sinking feeling at Change UK

Change UK has a bad name, a confused leadership structure and should have made a pact with other Remain parties, one of its leading candidates in the European elections next week has said. Rachel Johnson, 53, who is top of the new party’s list in southwest England, criticised the party’s strategy in an interview with The Times. “Change UK is a terrible name,” she said. “They want to focus-group everything and they have a leadership team of about 11 people. “If I were running it we would have one leader and a different name and we would have done a deal with all the other Remain parties. Then we would be able to give the Brexit Party a fight.”
18th May 2019 - The Times

Brexit party SURGE: Conservative MPs ‘FEAR’ rise of Nigel Farage warns former May aide

In a damning indictment of the Tory party, Chris Wilkins has insisted the Brexit Party’s rise has struck “fear” in Tory MPs. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Mr Wilkins, who served as an aide to Mrs May between 2016-17, referenced the Brexit Party’s rise in the polls as major threat to the Tories. Such has been the fear among MPs in the party that Mr Wilkins also claimed Boris Johnson is seen as the only leader who can take on Farage.
18th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

May launches Tory EU election campaign and appears to fluff her lines over Brexit

Theresa May today launched the Tory EU election campaign in a near-empty room by blasting Nigel Farage before she appeared to fluff her lines when promising to leave the EU. In an extraordinary moment Mrs May began to say the Conservatives 'will' deliver Brexit - but stumbled and stopped herself - and then said 'can' instead - as her despairing MEP candidates watched on. It came Tory support ahead of the EU elections collapsed into single figures today as a YouGov poll predicted the party would get just nine per cent of the votes on Thursday - 26 points behind the Brexit Party. Taking aim at Mr Farage she said: 'Nigel Farage can't deliver Brexit: every few years he pops up, he shouts from the sidelines, he doesn't work constructively in the national interest'
17th May 2019 - Daily Mail

ITV News Exclusive: Dossier exposes more than 100 accusations of Islamophobia and racism from Conservative Party members

TV News has been passed a dossier of more than 100 alleged cases of Islamophobic or racist content posted online by people claiming to be Conservative Party members. Nineteen of the 110 cases passed to ITV News are fresh allegations, not yet in the public domain. The list is the first comprehensive dossier of allegations made so far.
17th May 2019 - ITV News

The Londoner: Donkeys make an ass out of Farage

Guerrilla anti-Brexit outfit Led by Donkeys has restarted its viral poster campaign, which shames politicians by sharing their past statements on giant billboards. This time, Led by Donkeys has Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party firmly in the crosshairs over the party’s “failure to publish a manifesto”. The group is plastering quotations from Farage and his fellow candidates across the land. This, the group claims, can stand in for a policy platform, alongside a spoof website the group has also created. “Until they publish a manifesto we have to assume the party’s policies are the policies, beliefs and statements made by the leaders of the party,” Led by Donkeys told The Londoner.
17th May 2019 - Evening Standard

Glum faces, a speech to an empty room and a hurried exit as Theresa May's campaign turns into a wake

As photographs go, it told a thousand words about the beleaguered state of a premiership on the brink. If Theresa May had hoped her unannounced appearance in Bristol would be a pleasant surprise for Tory MEP candidates, then they had a funny way of showing it. With the Brexit Party riding high in the polls and Mrs May under growing pressure to set a timetable for her departure, the glum look on the candidates’ faces appeared to suggest that they would rather the Prime Minister was anywhere else but in their constituency on Friday. Six days out from the European Parliament elections and the scene was more akin to a wake than a political rally as Mrs May scarcely managed a smile herself
17th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Nigel Farage: 'I Do Not Want To Be Prime Minister'

Nigel Farage has insisted he does not want to be prime minister despite his Brexit Party storming ahead of the Conservatives in opinion polls. Farage’s new party looks on course to win next week’s European elections, with a YouGov/Times poll on Friday putting it 26 points ahead of the Tories. Some pollsters have even suggested the Brexit Party could garner more votes than the Tories in a general election, sparking speculation that Farage could one day be PM. But the ex-Ukip leader told HuffPost UK he would rather be an “agent for change”, and rebuffed calls from some Tories for an electoral pact to deliver Brexit.
17th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Leave.EU founder confirms he funded Nigel Farage in year after referendum

Nigel Farage received £450,000 from the founder of pro-Brexit group Leave.EU in the year after the Brexit referendum. Items paid for by Arron Banks included Mr Farage's London home, his car and trips to the US to meet Donald Trump. A spokesman for Mr Banks confirmed the amount and what it had been used for, saying it was an "honour to help". Asked about the funding following an investigation by Channel 4 News, Mr Farage - who now leads the Brexit party - said it was a private matter. Speaking at the launch of the Brexit party campaign in Scotland, Mr Farage said he did not declare the it to the European Parliament because he was about to leave politics and had been seeking a new life in the US.
17th May 2019 - BBC

“Never Seen Anything like it”: The Funding of the Brexit Party Needs Urgent Investigation

On 12 April, the day of the launch of his new Brexit Party, leader Nigel Farage revealed the party had received over £750,000 in donations under £500 before it had even launched. Nine days, later he claimed nearly 16,000 people had signed up to become £25 registered supporters on the day of the launch, and another 60,000 in the following period. That’s an additional £1.9 million in political funding and £2.7m in just two weeks. This week Turlough Conway reported on the major security lapses on all these PayPal functions, leaving them open to multiple contributions from single individuals, and the possible fragmentation of impermissible donations from overseas companies or individuals that would not be registered because they did not pass the £500 threshold. The PayPal account was moved to the US in March. The lack of verification also left the system vulnerable to automated payments and the danger of ‘micro-laundering’. New research has revealed that a staggering 40% of the Brexit Party site’s outgoing traffic in April was to the PayPal link. With 50% of all the Brexit Party site’s incoming traffic coming from PayPal as well, this is an unprecedented conversion rate. A good conversion rate on website traffic is normally 5%.
16th May 2019 - Byline Times


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 17th May 2019

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How the 'men in grey suits' called time on Theresa May's premiership

When the moment she had been dreading finally came, Theresa May raged against the dying of the light. The Conservative Party’s most powerful backbenchers had just made it clear that her premiership was at its end, but the Prime Minister pleaded with them to be given more time. Tears welled in her eyes as she made her argument for just a little longer in Downing Street. She dabbed at her nose with a handkerchief. Yet the sympathy and patience of the 1922 Committee had run out. “She voiced her view about Brexit, which she regards as a debt of honour,” said one of those present. “She was emotional - a lot more emotional than I have ever seen her before.
16th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Jean-Claude Juncker says £350m bus slogan was a lie as deputy calls Brexit Britain 'Game of Thrones on steroids'

The ‘Boris Bus’ Brexit slogan that Britain sends £350m to Brussels a week that could be spent on the NHS is a lie, Jean-Claude Juncker has said. The president of the European Commission made the accusation as his deputy said British politics after Brexit was like “Game of Thrones on steroids”. Mr Juncker, who is reaching the end of his five year term, said he was wrong not to attack Vote Leave’s 2016 referendum claim, which was famously emblazoned on the side of a red bus. "So many lies were told, and so many of the consequences resulting from a ‘no’ were misrepresented, that we, as the commission, should have spoken out,” he told Austria’s Der Standard newspaper.
16th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Labour HUMILIATED as BBC Question Time audience LAUGH at party’s Brexit position

Richard Leonard, a member of the Scottish Parliament, claimed voters should back Labour to stop a no-deal Brexit. The UK will take part in European Parliament elections next Thursday, with polls suggesting the Brexit Party will come out on top. Theresa May’s Conservatives look set to struggle, and are likely to be pushed into third or fourth place. Addressing the audience Mr Leonard said: “We’ve had three years since the referendum, two years of failed negotiation and one bad deal presented by Theresa May. “The test next Thursday is whether people are prepared to countenance a no-deal Brexit or not. “The choice will be between an insurgent Brexit Party or defeating them, and defeating what they stand for. “Now my view is the best way to do that is to vote Labour next week.” At this point a section of the Question Time audience began laughing.
16th May 2019 - Daily Express

@ByDonkeys Brexit Party leader @Nigel_Farage hasn’t written a manifesto so we’ve done it for him, based on statements by him and his candidates.

Brexit Party leader @Nigel_Farage hasn’t written a manifesto so we’ve done it for him, based on statements by him and his candidates. Billboards going up across the country this week. See more at http://TheBrexitParty.com (location: Radford Rd, Coventry)
16th May 2019 - @ByDonkeys

Revealed: Former Brexit minister accused of breaching ministerial code in meeting with Spanish far right

Brexit department claims Chris Heaton-Harris “wasn’t acting in a ministerial capacity” – but he discussed Brexit with the controversial far-right Vox party, prompting calls for an investigation.
16th May 2019 - Open Democracy

European elections: Majority of voters in EU countries predict union will ‘fall apart’ within 20 years, poll shows

Support for the European Union among citizens in its member states is at a record high, but at the same time so is the belief the bloc will have disintegrated within 20 years, polling ahead of this month’s election shows. The survey by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) shows Slovakian voters have a particularly pessimistic view regarding the future of the union, with 66 per cent saying they thought it was “realistic” to say the “EU will fall apart in 10 – 20 years”.
16th May 2019 - The Independent

The polls are clear – Labour’s Brexit tactics are failing spectacularly

In the case of Labour’s strategy towards next week’s European parliament elections, one central fact is now beyond dispute. The recent slump in the party’s support has been caused by the desertion of voters who want the UK to stay in the European Union: not partially caused, or possibly caused, but totally. This is clear from a detailed analysis of recent YouGov surveys by its political team. In common with other pollsters, it has picked up a sharp reduction in Labour’s support, from 21% in late April to 16% last week. Uniquely, YouGov can link its data to how people voted in the 2016 referendum and the 2017 general election – relying not on voters’ sometimes fallible memories, but how they told YouGov they voted at the time of both contests.
16th May 2019 - The Guardian

Tory warning: Party risks collapse amid threat MPs will resign en mase for Brexit failure

Conservative MPs will be forced to reconsider their political futures if the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum in which 17.4 million Britons voted Leave, was to be ignored, Tory MP Philip Hollobone has warned.
16th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

Nigel Farage Fails 8 Times To Say What Brexit Offers In Car Crash BBC Interview

Nigel Farage failed to spell out what Brexit will offer when repeatedly asked by a BBC journalist. The Brexit Party leader was challenged by the broadcaster’s Wales political correspondent Arwyn Jones eight times to set out what leaving the bloc would deliver for south Wales. Farage, whose party has the sole policy of crashing out of the EU without a deal, was in Merthyr Tydfil for a campaign rally ahead of the European elections on May 23. Jones said the nation was a net beneficiary of EU funding “to the tune of £250m a year” and asked Farage what Brexit would deliver if Welsh agriculture was damaged by Brexit. Farage, noted for his confident media performances, appeared to flounder before suggesting the UK would be “in charge of” the steel industry.
16th May 2019 - Huffington Post

New Brexit Party AM calls Tommy Robinson 'courageous'

One of the Brexit Party's new AMs has called far-right activist Tommy Robinson a "courageous character". David Rowlands said the ex-English Defence League (EDL) leader "reflects the views of a great many people". The comments contrast with those of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who has called Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a "thug". The Brexit Party said Mr Rowlands' was giving a personal view that did not "in any way" reflect the party's position.
16th May 2019 - BBC

Anti-Brexit campaigners have put up a series of billboards taking aim at Nigel Farage and Brexit Party

Anti-Brexit campaigners have put up a series of billboards taking aim at Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party by highlighting past statements he and his candidates gave made. Photos show the billboards in place at locations including Taunton in Somerset, Coventry, and Neath in South Wales, with slogans such as "attack the NHS" and "less maternity pay" next to comments attributed to Brexit Party members. The billboard in Coventry cites a quote Mr Farage gave during a speech where he said: "We need to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare." They all feature the Brexit Party branding and logo. The group Led by Donkeys wrote on Twitter: "Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage hasn't written a manifesto so we've done it for him, based on statements by him and his candidates. "Billboards going up across the country this week."
16th May 2019 - Somerset Live

Billboards take aim at Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party


16th May 2019 - This is Local London

Big tobacco secretly bankrolling anti-NHS think tank whose bosses donate thousands to Tory leadership contenders, an investigation reveals

A secretive think tank which called for the NHS to be scrapped while its heads pour millions into the Conservative Party – and its MPs’ – coffers is being funded by big tobacco, an investigation has found. British American Tobacco is one of the groups funding the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a free market think tank which is notoriously close-lipped about its donors. The IEA has been an outspoken critic of public health measures for tackling smoking, obesity and harmful drinking, and past funders include organisations affiliated with gambling, alcohol, sugar and soft drinks industries. Health experts said the findings, in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), raise the prospect of a future Conservative leader aligning with big business at the expense of the public’s health. The IEA has dubbed the NHS one of the most “inefficient and overrated health systems in the world” and a 2016 report argued for a private health insurance model in the UK with top-up payments.
16th May 2019 - The Independent

MPs to probe 'dark money' after Brexit Party 'fake members' loophole revealed

MPs will launch a probe into “dark money” in elections, after the Mirror revealed online loopholes could let millions in foreign cash pour into British politics. A Mirror investigation yesterday found it was possible to join Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party as a supporter under the name “Vladimir Putin” and the address of the Kremlin.
16th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Led By Donkeys take aim at Nigel Farage in new anti-Brexit billboard campaign

Anti-Brexit campaigners Led by Donkeys are putting up a new set of billboards, and this time they've decided to use them to 'release' Nigel Farage's party's manifesto. "Nigel Farage has refused to publish one ahead of the elections so we've done it for him based on his own words and the statements and policies of his Brexit Party candidates," said Led by Donkeys on their website, adding that they think it's important to hold Farage and his candidates to account.
16th May 2019 - The New European

Billboards take aim at Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party


16th May 2019 - Oxford Mail

'They never started': inside Tory European election campaign

There is no party manifesto. No launch event. No speech by the leader. Barely any money is being spent. And officials are struggling to find enough activists to even stuff envelopes, let alone knock on doors. This is the Conservative Party’s European election effort – an all but invisible campaign that will probably lead to their worst showing in a nationwide election in at least a century. Inside Conservative campaign headquarters, the strategy is that minimum exertion will give Theresa May an excuse for doing so badly after the results of the polls come in on 26 May. Centrally, the party is resigned to losing half their MEPs, and possibly coming fifth. The candidates picked by the party are a mixed bag from both the leave and remain wings. Many of them are not even bothering to tweet or update their websites about the European elections, let alone engage in pounding the streets.
16th May 2019 - The Guardian

Jess Phillips ‘sick’ at interview with Ukip candidate who joked about raping her

Carl Benjamin, the Ukip MEP candidate who joked online about raping her. Mr Benjamin, who is standing for for the party in South West England, appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme to defend his jokes, accusing the BBC of “killing off” comedy. He also said he had spoken to rape survivors who had applauded his comments
16th May 2019 - Express & Star

Tory ministers condemned for rejecting MPs’ definition of Islamophobia

In December, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims called on the Government to accept guidelines on anti-Islamic abuse which states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” In a Commons debate on Thursday however ministers will say that unlike the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition on anti-semitism, which it supports, the proposal on Islamophobia “has not been broadly accepted”.
15th May 2019 - Politics Home


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 16th May 2019

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The PM's legacy could soon be the Conservative Party's destruction

History is littered with the remnants of long-established political parties having been annihilated at the ballot box. Anyone thinking it could never happen to them does so at their peril. Yet that smug, complacent attitude is, astonishingly, exactly what has been adopted by the Conservative Party leadership. Assuming that the old order will carry on, come what may, is a fatal mistake. One need only look at the long litany of electoral disasters across the world to see that. Christian Democracy in Italy, which supplied 26 of the 28 Italian Prime Ministers between 1946 and 1992, holding office for 40 of those 45 years, has disappeared.
15th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn says he’ll fight for underpaid workers. How about the ones in his party?

Jeremy Corbyn must be kicking himself. At PMQs today, he had a golden opportunity to stick up for the underpaid staff of a well-known British employer. But somehow, it completely slipped his mind. Which was odd, because low pay was the theme of his questions. “Mr Speaker, real wages are lower than they were 10 years ago!” he barked, not once but twice. “Some of the lowest rates of pay are among young workers… Why does this Government continue to punish our young people?” To cap it all, he added, the Government’s own Department for Business had had to set up a food bank for its “very low-paid” staff.
15th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Tommy Robinson sued by Syrian schoolboy he accused of assault

The Syrian schoolboy who was filmed being attacked in a playground in Huddersfield is suing the far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson for accusing him of assaulting white schoolgirls. Jamal Hijazi, 16, has filed papers to the high court seeking libel action against the founder of the English Defence League after he was alleged to have “peddled false and defamatory lies” about the schoolboy. Footage of the refugee student being pushed to the ground and having water poured on his face was watched millions of times and attracted widespread condemnation, including from Theresa May, in December. In March this year a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified, was given a caution for racially aggravated assault on Jamal.
16th May 2019 - The Guardian

Labour Brexiteers could BACK May deal as Farage turns up the heat in Leave seats

Sources said between 20 and 25 of Jeremy Corbyn’s backbenchers are becoming so rattled by the looming threat of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party that they might back the unpopular deal to get the UK out of Europe. Speaking after the Prime Minister confirmed he deal was going back before the Commons, a Cabinet source said: “There is a chance — I accept it’s a small one — that certain Labour MPs will get cold feet once the actual bill is before them.” A Labour insider refused to rule out the possibility of battle-weary Labour MPs voting with the Government. The source told the Mirror: “Up to two dozen backbenchers have said they won’t be able to hold out much longer. “They’re getting so much grief in their constituencies over the failure to deliver Brexit.
16th May 2019 - Daily Express

Change UK: European election candidate David Macdonald quits to support Liberal Democrats

One of Change UK‘s lead European election candidates has quit to back the Liberal Democrats over concerns the new party could split the Remain vote in the upcoming contest. David Macdonald is the second person to resign as lead candidate for the party in Scotland after Joseph Russo withdrew from the race after one day over scrutiny of his old social media posts. Speaking at Holyrood, Mr Macdonald expressed fears about splitting the Remain vote by standing as a candidate for the newly-formed party, as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party soars in the polls.
15th May 2019 - The Independent

PMQs: Peter Bone repeats call for Theresa May to resign

Brexiteer Peter Bone said Conservative activists in his Wellingborough constituency want Theresa May to resign before next seek's EU elections. The Tory MP said they told him the PM's Brexit deal was "worse than staying in the European Union", and they want the UK to leave the EU now on a no-deal basis. Mrs May thanked them for their time, and said her party "wants to deliver Brexit".
15th May 2019 - BBC

The Tories are deluded if they think the Brexit Party can't supplant them

Nothing to see here: risibly, that remains how many senior Tories view the remarkable rise of the Brexit Party. To them, Nigel Farage’s return is a spectacular but ultimately meaningless final act, a last howl of rage by an angry minority exercising its right to protest at an irrelevant election. But a real, serious, game-changing threat to the political duopoly that has governed the UK for so long? Don’t be ridiculous. There is something in the Conservative psyche that breeds this kind of deranged complacency: the conceit that theirs is the “natural party of government” is especially toxic.
15th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Edinburgh reacts as leaflets for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party are delivered around city

Residents in the capital didn't hold back as the Brexit party's first leaflets arrived
15th May 2019 - Edinburgh Live

Brexit energy drink denied EU trademark after claims brand was 'offensive'

In energy drink called Brexit will not get Europe-wide trademark protection after an EU agency initially decided its name was “offensive” before later ruling the brand name was too confusing instead. Polish entrepreneurs Pawel Tumilowicz and Mariusz Majchrzak, who run the business in Prestwich, Greater Manchester insist they called their drink, which boasts Union Jack branding, Brexit “for a laugh”. But the European Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) did not see the funny side. An official castigated the cheeky Poles for causing offence with their trademark protection.“
15th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Labour's refusal to oppose Brexit is killing it on the doorstep. It should quit the talks

With Corbyn stuck in the talks, they said, voters were confused about Labour’s position. “How can you be fighting a Tory Brexit when you are in talks with the Tories to deliver one?” is a frequent argument on the doorstep, and is driving Labour voters to the Libdems and Greens. “It’s killing us not being able to give one word answer,” the candidate told me. “Corbyn was always about straight, honest politics – now candidates have to take a breath and launch into a long sentence. The lack of clarity is hurting us.”
15th May 2019 - New Statesman

Tory ministers condemned for rejecting MPs’ definition of Islamophobia

Ministers have been criticised after it emerged they will not adopt a definition of Islamophobia demanded by MPs and Muslim groups. In December, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims called on the Government to accept guidelines on anti-Islamic abuse which states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” In a Commons debate on Thursday however ministers will say that unlike the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition on anti-semitism, which it supports, the proposal on Islamophobia “has not been broadly accepted”.
15th May 2019 - Politics Home

Baroness Warsi: Conservatives ‘not the best arbiters of finding a definition of Islamophobia’


15th May 2019 - Channel 4 News

Do Brexit Party supporters know who they are really voting for?

Brendan O’Neill, formerly of the Revolutionary Communist Party and Living Marxism, now of Spiked, has had me reaching for mine. He accuses me of lying, a charge which might send a less liberal journalist than me to his lawyers. He says my charge that his comrades and the Brexit Party’s European Parliament candidates Claire Fox, James Heartfield and Alka Sehgal Cuthbert are cavalier about the abuse of children “are lies, straight-up, low-down lies,” “character assassination”, and an act of desperation by the remain side.
15th May 2019 - Spectator.co.uk

Boris Johnson could be prosecuted over Brexit bus claim

Boris Johnson could be prosecuted over claims that the U.K. sends £350 million a week to the EU that were plastered all over a bus that toured Britain during the Brexit referendum campaign. According to the Financial Times, a businessman called Marcus Ball is bringing a private case against Johnson, a former foreign secretary, alleging that he committed misconduct in public office by endorsing the claim on the bus while knowing it to be untrue.
15th May 2019 - Politico.eu

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party lets 'Vladimir Putin' sign up as a supporter

Nigel Farage has been accused of allowing “fake members” to join his Brexit Party – as the Mirror signed up as Vladimir Putin. The revelation shows how the party could be opening the door to millions in donations from foreign sources.
15th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

EXCL Labour MP tells Jeremy Corbyn to his face he must quit as party leader

A Labour MP has told Jeremy Corbyn to his face that he must quit as Labour leader if the party is to stand any chance of winning the next general election. Wes Streeting confronted his boss at an ill-tempered meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Mr Corbyn also faced a wave of criticism over Labour position on Brexit and European election campaign at the 90-minute gathering in Parliament. Some angry backbenchers claimed that they were being banned from putting out their own campaign literature by Labour HQ, while others said the party's policy on the EU was confusing and needed to be simplified. The Labour leader said he understood the "frustration" of his MPs, but insisted the party's anti-austerity message would bear fruit when the country goes to the polls on 23 May.
15th May 2019 - Politics Home

Nigel Farage can't just shout ‘Brexit betrayal’ and expect to be taken seriously

If Farage wants to be a serious politician, he needs to do more than shout ‘Brexit betrayal’ at rallies around the UK. Farage needs to have something to say about our country. And, at the moment, I’m not hearing it. When he appeared on The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC last Sunday (12 May), Marr tried to ask Farage where he stood on some of the most important issues facing us in Britain, such as climate change and the NHS. His response? An explosion of rage about how the BBC wasn’t paying him enough attention. Brexit aside, Farage has nothing positive to say about issues that the British people care most about: the NHS, the economy, crime and the environment (he once claimed climate change is a ‘scam’).
15th May 2019 - Metro.co.uk

May plods on in her death spiral as Farage circles his prey

It could have been worse. Corbyn could have asked her about the European elections and Brexit. But luckily Labour is also pretending that neither of these things are happening as it too doesn’t quite know what to say about them, so May was temporarily let off the hook. It took the Scottish National party’s Ian Blackford to mention the B word, when he suggested the Tories and Labour were agreeing a stitch-up deal behind closed doors. Quite possibly one of the stupidest questions anyone has ever asked as Blackford must be the only person alive who hasn’t realised the whole purpose of the talks was that they wouldn’t agree on anything.
15th May 2019 - The Guardian

How one week in June could prove to be May's 'Waterloo' in a summer plagued by Brexit stumbling blocks

For someone famed for kicking the can down the road, Theresa May’s sudden decision to push the withdrawal agreement bill through parliament before the summer recess appears decisively suicidal. While Downing Street’s quest to get the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement on to the statute book by July may look like progress of sorts for Brexit, it sounds the death nell for a premiership that has plunged the Tories into what some have described as an existential crisis. Having hailed her “resilience” as one of her few leadership qualities, even Mrs May’s staunchest supporters are now wondering if there is something positively masochistic about clinging on through a summer which promises to give her nightmares
15th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Probation will be renationalised after disastrous Grayling reforms

The supervision of all offenders in the community is to be undertaken by the state in a major renationalisation of the probation sector, just five years after Chris Grayling introduced a widely derided programme of privatisation while justice secretary. Under his disastrous shake-up in 2014, the probation sector was separated into a public sector organisation managing high-risk criminals and 21 private companies responsible for the supervision of 150,000 low- to medium-risk offenders. Following years of damning criticism from MPs, inspectorates and former probation officers, the justice secretary, David Gauke, has decided to bring all offender management under the National Probation Service (NPS) by spring 2021
15th May 2019 - The Guardian

When the centre cannot hold Britain’s bizarre, unwanted European election

Mr Farage, who went from private school to a career in the City, is himself a prime elite specimen. Yet he manages to pose as an anti-establishment rebel. In a Labour stronghold, he raises cheers by denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an Islington leftie. He offers no policies—they are promised only after the election—and does not even explain why Brexit is a good idea. His message is simple: we must walk out in October with no deal.
15th May 2019 - The Economist

Brexit Party Donations – Farage’s Miracle Claims Do Not Add Up

The traffic shows that on the launch day of the Brexit Party only received 1,200 visitors – a fraction of the 16,000 £25 supporters Farage claimed had signed up that day. For the nine following days he said 60,000 had signed up, the actual total of visitors looks like less than 10,000. Even if every single visitor paid money to Brexit Party PayPal account this is only 10% of the total needed for launch day and 16% for the following nine days. The only conclusion that can be reached is that only a small proportion of PayPal payments were made via the website.
15th May 2019 - Byline Times

Brexit: Liam Fox claims UK could accept chlorinated chicken in US trade deal without lowering food standards

The UK could accept chlorinated chicken in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US without cutting food standards, Liam Fox has claimed. The international trade secretary vowed to protect food quality after withdrawal from the EU – but insisted the controversy about washing poultry in chlorine was purely an “animal welfare” issue. Dr Fox also suggested it would be impossible, under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, for Britain to ban the practice as part of a trade agreement with Donald Trump
15th May 2019 - The Independent

Sky Views: Will Theresa May be remembered as one of UK's worst prime ministers?

"There is only one person who wants her to go on, and that's John Major," remarked one of her backbench detractors. "Every passing day she remains as prime minister she is seizing from John Major the mantle of the worst prime minister in living memory." Actually, it is not Sir John whom academics have crowned with that dishonour but the architect of the Suez crisis Sir Anthony Eden. A poll of academics specialising in British politics and contemporary British history rated Sir Anthony as the worst-performing of all post-war prime ministers.
15th May 2019 - Sky News

Fourth time lucky: May's pitiful gambit

Her prime ministerial career is littered with moments in which she creates severe future problems in order to overcome more trivial immediate ones. Her tactics are very predictable: survive the present, deal with the consequences later. She has made countless promises - on a free trade deal, on transition, on talk sequencing, on the divorce bill, on free movement, on a border in the Irish Sea, on renegotiating the backstop, on alternative arrangements, on Article 50 extension, on the need to hold the European elections - while knowing that she could not abide by them. Anyone who has taken an interest in the detail of Brexit has watched her say things she could not possibly believe simple in order to survive the day.
15th May 2019 - Politics.co.uk

Brexit Party most popular group for European elections, but only among over-55s, poll shows

The newly formed Brexit Party enjoys more support than Westminster’s major political parties for the European elections only among those over the age of 55, new polling shows. In a fresh survey for The Independent, BMG pollsters also found the party spearheaded by Nigel Farage will emerge ahead of the established parties on 23 May – despite being formed just weeks ago. The survey shows that among the 55-64 age range, the party boasts 30 per cent support – significantly above the Conservatives on 8 per cent and Labour on 15 per cent.
15th May 2019 - The Independent

Yorkshire Brexit Party candidate brands Nigel Farage a 'dictator' and an ‘out-and-out b***ard' in 2016 tweet

A European election candidate for the Brexit Party in Yorkshire and the Humber referred to his party leader Nigel Farage as an “out-and-out b***ard” in a 2016 tweet, The Yorkshire Post can reveal. In a now-deleted post, Andrew Allison lashed out at Mr Farage after a bitter internal Ukip row led to the suspension of the party’s high-profile spokeswoman, Suzanne Evans. In the outburst, he also accused the ex-Ukip leader of running the party like a "dictatorship". In the wake of the showdown, Mr Allison tweeted: “The suspension of @SuzanneEvans1 highlights what an out-and-out bastard @NigelFarage is. “@Ukip is a Farage dictatorship - not democratic.”
15th May 2019 - Yorkshire Post

EU elections: Change UK's lead candidate in Scotland quits

Change UK's lead candidate for the EU elections in Scotland has quit the race and is now endorsing the Lib Dems. David Macdonald is top of the Change UK list in Scotland, but said the party "don't stand much of a chance" of winning a seat in the 23 May poll.
15th May 2019 - BBC

May's fate 'already voted on' by chief Tories - Lame duck PM 'has to go'

The bill, which has not yet been published, looks set to spark outrage among Brexiteers with sources describing it as a “political hand grenade”. Politico said the deal is likely to “enshrine into British law” many aspects of the exit deal Eurosceptics within the Tory party will be angry about. Indeed, sources from the influential 1922 backbench committee have told ITV's Shehab Khan they have already voted to ensure Mrs May confirms her departure date and will be told she has to go if the deal fails.
15th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

If Theresa May resigns, we can still deliver the Brexit people voted for

For the good of Britain and for the good of my party, May must follow Margaret Thatcher’s example and stand down
15th May 2019 - The Guardian

Labour MP tells Jeremy Corbyn to his face he must quit as party leader

A Labour MP has told Jeremy Corbyn to his face that he must quit as Labour leader if the party is to stand any chance of winning the next general election. Some angry backbenchers claimed that they were being banned from putting out their own campaign literature by Labour HQ, while others said the party's policy on the EU was confusing and needed to be simplified. The Labour leader said he understood the "frustration" of his MPs, but insisted the party's anti-austerity message would bear fruit when the country goes to the polls on 23 May. In the final contribution to the meeting, Ilford North MP Mr Streeting told Mr Corbyn: "What is being heard on the doorstep across the country and what people are saying in the tea room, but won’t say to your face, is that you are a bigger issue for us than Brexit. “If you’re prepared to sacrifice our place in Europe because you think it will deliver a Labour government, why won’t you make way for a leader who can win a general election?"
14th May 2019 - Politics Home

Boris Johnson could face private prosecution over alleged Brexit bus claim

Boris Johnson could be privately prosecuted over allegations he misled the public during the EU referendum campaign by claiming the UK sends £350m to Brussels each week. Marcus Ball, a 29-year-old businessman, is bringing the private case against the former foreign secretary, who he alleges committed misconduct in public office by endorsing the £350m figure, knowing it to be untrue. On Tuesday, a judge agreed to hold a public hearing on May 23, the same day the UK heads to the polls to vote in the European Parliament elections. A big red bus emblazoned with the words “we send the EU £350m a week, let’s fund our NHS instead” is credited as being influential in Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU. The £350m figure did not take into account the UK’s rebate or the money that comes back via farming subsidies, regional development funds or grants to the private sector. The UK Statistics Authority has said these factors need to be taken into account.
14th May 2019 - Financial Times


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 15th May 2019

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Brexit Party Donations – “It Couldn’t Be Less Secure” Turlough Conway 14 May 2019 Subscribe Donate

Clearly a Political funding act nearly 20 years old cannot be fit for purpose in the digital age. In 2019, only suspicious transactions have faint or invisible traces and there is no reason why data on all contributions should not be comprehensive and available to the Electoral Commission on request. In my opinion, modern money laundering obligations on companies could provide the basis for a kind of system suited for modern elections and Political Parties. Architectures that allow transactions that are opaque or appear to be unnecessarily complex, making it difficult to identify the beneficial owner should be disallowed and preemptively punished. In 2018 the Electoral Commission’s guidelines stated: “We check the information parties provide to us, and evaluate the risk of those we regulate to prioritise our compliance monitoring. In the run-up to major elections and referendums we also carry out targeted campaign monitoring to check that people are complying with the rules on spending and donations.” The Electoral Commission must put action where these words are.
14th May 2019 - Byline Times

The cost of Labour party’s Brexit muddle

Labour is now paying for this confusion. As they prepare to go to the ballot box, many of these pro-Remain Labour voters face a stark choice: do they stick with Labour’s muddled position on Brexit or do they cast a clear vote for Remain by voting for the Lib Dems and others? According to Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, the YouGov poll shows that about 48 per cent of traditional Labour voters are preparing to vote for parties that are firmly pro-Remain and pro-second referendum. If that kind of shift is truly realised at the polls, Mr Corbyn will have a real problem on his hands.
14th May 2019 - Financial Times

Nigel Farage blasts Andrew Marr's 'ludicrous' BBC Brexit interview

Nigel Farage has again blasted Andrew Marr over his 'ludicrous' interview and accused the BBC of 'secretly' taking millions in EU cash while trying to keep him off TV. The Brexit Party leader, 55, clashed with the broadcaster, 59, on his Sunday morning show in a row that has shocked and split viewers. Mr Farage, who was asked about comments he had made about Putin, climate change and the NHS, said: 'It was bizarre that the ludicrous line of questioning persisted all the way through. This is a public service broadcaster that we all pay money to. We deserve better'.
14th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Brexit Party candidate tries to claim the EU is stopping the UK from tackling child poverty

A candidate for the Brexit Party has falsely claimed that the European Union is responsible for 'child poverty'. During an interview with Radio 4's Today Programme Mike Greene, who is campaigning to win the Peterborough by-election, said that once Brexit takes place, Britain will have more control over 'education and child poverty'. We'll have more control about what we do in education, what we do in child poverty, how we spend the money that's going to the EU at the moment. BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins then questioned this notion from Greene, asking him which part of EU legislation is stopping the UK from doing those things. So which bit of European law or administration, or bureaucracy is stopping us from doing something that you would specifically like to do and address problems in child education and child poverty? Hawkins' question was met with relative silence as he didn't seem to know the answer to this query before blurting out this. I haven't gone into the detail of specific laws but what I do know is that we are hampered by laws that are being put in place by people that aren't elected. I don't see how the EU are helping.
14th May 2019 - Indy100.com

BBC’s Radio 4 Today savaged on Brexit by Labour MP: ‘Echo chamber ignoring working class’

Brexiteer John Mann MP launched an offensive on editors at the licence fee-funded corporation after it featured an interview with ardent Remainer Nick Boles MP, who quit the Tory Party to join the Independent Group, now Change UK. He tweeted: “The editors of the Today programme put on a different Brexit remain perspective every day, sometimes several. An echo chamber of how the middle classes choose to ignore the perspectives of working class Britain.”
14th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

Even changing leader will not save Tories, as new poll shows them level with Brexit Party for general election

Ousting Theresa May and replacing her with a Brexiteer will not save the Tories from electoral annihilation, according to a new poll that shows the Conservatives 12 percentage points down. The ComRes survey on voting intention found Labour leading on 27 per cent, with the Tories neck-and-neck with the Brexit Party on 20 per cent, and the Lib Dems trailing on 13 per cent. That represents a five percentage point fall for Labour since last month while the Lib Dems vote share rose by six percentage points. If the parties were to achieve these vote shares at a general election it would result in Labour being the largest party but 13 seats short of a majority - with Nigel Farage’s party emerging...
14th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Tommy Robinson faces new contempt case

After more than six months of complex legal delays, Lady Justice Sharp said the trial for contempt against Stephen Yaxley-Lennon- which carries a maximum sentence of two years - should go ahead. She said reasons for the decision would be given at a later date. Mr Robinson's supporters, who had gathered outside the Old Bailey, booed and chanted "shame on you" after it was announced.
14th May 2019 - BBC

Jeremy Hunt flounders on why people should vote Conservative

With Nigel Farage’s Brexit party riding high in the polls, the foreign secretary was questioned on why people should vote for his party but he initially could only come up with: “Because you believe in Conservative policies.” Challenged for a better answer, he said: “OK, let me give you another reason. Let me have another stab at it … Because we are not going to solve this problem by retreating to populist extremes.” Hunt, who is known to be building a leadership campaign team, said both the Conservatives and Labour would be “crucified by our bases” if they failed to implement Brexit by a general election.
14th May 2019 - The Guardian

How broken is our politics?

Or to put it another way, the political system is paralysed; disillusionment with the big established parties is seemingly at an all-time high; the traditional purgative of a general election is hard to administer (because of David Cameron’s fixed term parliament act). Even if it could be administered there is only a slim prospect the country would give a decisive answer to the question of who we want in charge (another hide-bound minority government looks likely). If the system is as bankrupt so one thng follows - we need electoral reform as adversorial politics is not working
14th May 2019 - ITV News

Boris Johnson could be challenged in court on Brexit vote claim

A judge will next week decide whether to summon Boris Johnson to court after the first hearing of a crowd-funded private prosecution over claims made by the MP during the 2016 EU referendum. Marcus Ball, who has accused Johnson of misconduct in public office, was applauded outside Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday by supporters who have helped him to raise more than £200,000 to finance the case. It relates to claims, emblazoned on the side of a bus used by the Vote Leave campaign during the referendum, that the UK sends £350m each week to the European Union. The hearing took place in private in front of district judge Margot Coleman ahead of a public hearing next Thursday, where an application for a summons will be considered. A legal team assembled by Johnson was in court. They included Adrian Darbishire QC and lawyers from BCL solicitors. Johnson was not present.
14th May 2019 - The Guardian

Case against Boris Johnson for ‘Brexit lies’ will have public hearing on EU election day


14th May 2019 - Metro.co.uk

Boris Johnson is facing a legal challenge over Vote Leave's £350 million Brexit bus claim


14th May 2019 - The indy100

Nigel Farage forced to admit claim about black people in Oldham was false

Nigel Farage has rowed back on a claim he made about black people in Oldham. But he immediately made another false claim about "Asian" people in the town, complaining that he was getting "caught up in terminology." The Brexit Party leader was branded "dangerous" after falsely claiming there was a street in Oldham where one side was populated by black people and the other entirely by white people. No such street exists.
14th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

EU settlement scheme doesn't work, say couple held at airport

The first flaws in the new immigration scheme for EU citizens who want to remain in the UK after Brexit have been exposed after a couple who live in Oxford were blocked from getting a flight back from Turkey to the UK. Arthur Vissing, a Danish citizen, and his Turkish wife, Ezgi Vissing, called on the government to urgently review its procedures to allow those who hold residency rights in the UK to travel unhindered. Their ordeal started last Thursday at Istanbul airport when British Airways told them a number of times Ezgi did not have the right paperwork to get on the flight. It took 24 hours, seven phone calls to the Home Office and others and the intervention of their Liberal Democrat MP, Layla Moran, before BA let them on the plane.
14th May 2019 - The Guardian

WATCH: The video Nigel Farage 'doesn't want you to see'

An old video has resurfaced of Nigel Farage waving cash around boasting about how little work he has to do as a Member of European Parliament to earn his money. Holding a wad of cash, he boasts to cameras: "Everyone's a winner!" He explains: "That represents four working days and one journey." Asked about how much it represents in English money, he says gleefully: "We're talking about £1,900." He proudly proclaims: "It's jobless!" While Farage produced the video to show how much money was on offer to MEPs at the European Parliament, they point to how much money he has claimed for poor attendance to brand him a "conman." He is ranked 745th out of the 751 politicians for the number of votes he has attended, according to Vote Watch Europe, and recently shrugged off the point that he had attended just one meeting of the EU fisheries committee out of 43.
14th May 2019 - The New European

Theresa May could have neutralised Nigel Farage. Now he's her worst nightmare

If you were asked to name, as I was recently, the most influential politician of the past 40 years, who would it be? My immediate response was Margaret Thatcher since she changed so much that had previously been taken for granted. But coming in second must be Nigel Farage, given the shattering impact Brexit has had on our national politics. It is a different sort of influence, of course. While Mrs T brought about far-reaching reforms that have affected the lives of millions – from presiding over City deregulation and the privatisation of the utilities to removing the power of the trade unions to hold the nation to ransom – Farage has been disruptive. He has become a lightning rod for the grievances of millions
14th May 2019 - The Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 14th May 2019

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Labour MPs Tell Corbyn Party Is ‘Haemorrhaging’ Votes To Lib Dems And Greens In Euro Elections

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted that Labour needs a clearer message on Brexit after a raft of his MPs warned the party was “haemorrhaging” votes to the pro-Remain Lib Dems and Greens. At a heated meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) on Monday night, the Labour leader faced repeated questions on why the party’s leaflets for the Euro elections had fudged its support for a public vote on a Tory Brexit deal. MP after MP got up to slam the damage being done by talks with the government, and warned that Labour faced an “existential threat” if it continued to be unclear about its position on quitting the EU. Corbyn pledged he would take “immediate” action to respond to the concerns, though he insisted that his anti-austerity message offered a chance to unite the country in both Remain and Leave areas.
13th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Lopresti ice cream boss handed restrictions over 'slavery risk'

The boss of a popular ice cream firm faces restrictions on his business after a judge raised concerns that he could commit slavery offences. Salvatore "Sam" Lopresti, 75, of Long Ashton, will not be able to employ staff or deal with wages at Lopresti Ice Cream, in Bristol. The measures are part of a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) that was imposed last week. However, he will not face a charge relating to modern day slavery. The company is owned by the family of Tory MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, Jack Lopresti.
13th May 2019 - BBC

AstroTurfers of Britain Part Two: Who is Behind Brexit Party Recruitment and its PR Makeover?

Otto English delves deeper into Claire Fox and Spiked Online‘s close connection to Nigel Farage’s new party, and discovers another PR executive involved in recruiting potential MEPs. It seems just a few short weeks ago that we were howling at its laugh-a-minute ‘March for Leave’ and low-tech website. How did it turn from an amateurish outfit into an undeniably slick operation – with a superior launch video and a festival-style roadshow touring the country? And, on that journey, why has Nigel Farage stuck so steadfastly by Claire Fox, the only weak link in the chain?
13th May 2019 - Byline Times

Leave voters lash out at Jeremy Corbyn in huge Brexit rant - 'I voted Leave.

Leave voters in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, lashed out at Jeremy Corbyn, admitting they now prefer Nigel Farage to the left-wing leader after being Labour supporters for a long time.
13th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

Labour wipe out: Brexiteers send stern warning to Corbyn – 'He will be gone in no time'

Speaking to LBC's Theo Usherwood during an interview with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, Leave voters in Ponterfact vowed to vote against the Labour Party at the next general elections. Asked whether they will support West Yorkshire MPs Yvette Cooper or Jon Trickett, one passionate Brexit supporter said: “Jon Trickett will be gone. He will be gone. He will be wiped out in no time. He will be gone.”
13th May 2019 - Daily Express

Like Trump, Nigel Farage stands for nothing but himself. It’s up to us to oust him at the EU elections

Hard Brexiteers such as Farage and their cheerleaders don’t much like the institutions that are fundamental to a liberal, free democracy – the judiciary (described by the Daily Mail as “enemies of the people”), our independent civil service (accused of “fiddling the figures” by Jacob Rees-Mogg), the Bank of England (Brexiteers have called for the governor’s resignation) and backbench MPs defending their constituents’ jobs against a hard Brexit. They have all been subject to attack, abuse or threat. The reason we are in this mess is because Brexit, in the form that it was sold to the British people by the Brexit elite – Nigel Farage, Rees-Mogg and others, is impossible to deliver.
13th May 2019 - The Independent

800 voters turned away in ID trial during local elections

More than 800 people were unable to vote during a second trial of compulsory voter ID at this month’s local elections, according to interim figures. Across the eight out of 10 test areas that have so far given figures, 819 people were turned away from polling stations and did not return, according to the Local Government Chronicle (LGC). The average of 102 per area compares to 70 in the first trial last year, when 340 people were unable to vote in the five councils trialling the system. Labour and election organisations renewed their condemnation of the government’s planned national rollout of compulsory voter ID, which critics say disproportionately affects vulnerable voters and tackles a negligible problem.
13th May 2019 - The Guardian

Nigel Farage has joined the ‘BBC bias’ club. Now we know he’s not worth listening to

Nigel Farage has been a public fraud and phoney for decades. It is only recently that he has been calling the tune. His is the only story that is emerging from these weird elections, because the other pipers have lost their breath. The Tories are not campaigning at all. Labour is trying to be all things to all people, trying not to be eaten alive by the Brexit beast, that would have posed an unimaginable headache to any Labour leader, but the biggest one of all to Jeremy Corbyn, who has been a professional liar on Brexit since he first launched Labour’s campaign, three years ago at the Ministry of Truth.
13th May 2019 - The Independent

Pro-Remain voters drift away from Labour as Brexit feud rages on

Labour’s Brexit dilemma is deepening as Tom Watson, deputy leader, steps up calls for a clear commitment to a second EU referendum, amid signs that pro-Remain voters are abandoning the party. Barely two weeks ago, Mr Watson was routed by Jeremy Corbyn, who won a healthy majority at the party’s National Executive Committee against efforts to ensure that Labour back another referendum in all circumstances. But since then Mr Watson and other pro-EU senior shadow ministers have continued to wage their campaign against the more ambiguous policy championed by Mr Corbyn and a group of his top officials. Mr Corbyn’s policy has also failed to convince the voters, according to polls, with Labour supporters increasingly switching to other parties with clearer messages on Brexit, little more than a week ahead of EU elections.
13th May 2019 - Financial Times

Jeremy Corbyn has to get off the fence for Labour to see off the Faragists

There is no knowing if Jeremy Corbyn is capable of this agility or too stubborn to shift. But when driving towards a concrete wall, a swerve is advisable. Some obstacles have been removed. The People’s Vote campaign was viewed by some Labour conspiracy theorists as a way of covertly rallying anti-Corbynites. But now the Change UK group has split off, so far making very moderate headway, the path is clear for Labour remainers to be seen as just that – pro-Labour, pro-referendum, pro-remain, no subversive agenda. In this election Labour’s remainers will put country before party – and vote accordingly. The party’s Brexit voters have already fled. It’s for Corbyn to decide if he wants Labour humiliated: his remainers are waiting to hear, before they too defect.
13th May 2019 - The Guardian

Why is Nigel Farage all over the airwaves while my party barely gets a look-in?

Journalism largely missed or muddled the Brexit story because it is an exemplar of that inequality. To ward off criticisms of elitism, it gives platforms, again and again, to figures it misapprehends as voices of the people. Only an elite could mistake a wealthy, privately educated former commodities broker for a man of the people. The only way in which Farage has ever aided “the people” is in highlighting the unfairness of a system that gives much more weight to some votes and voices than others.
13th May 2019 - The Guardian

BBC is now the enemy, declares furious Farage after TV grilling

Nigel Farage has angrily accused the BBC of “outrageous bias” after he was repeatedly challenged in an interview about his past political views. During a series of confrontational exchanges on The Andrew Marr Show, the Brexit Party leader said that the broadcaster was in “denial” about public anger over Brexit. Marr used the interview to challenge Mr Farage over comments he has made in the past on issues such as immigration, climate change and gun control. He highlighted the politician’s previous support for bringing in a health insurance system for the NHS, relaxing laws on gun control and his admiration for Vladimir Putin. He also quoted Mr Farage as saying that worrying about global warming was the “stupidest thing in human history” and that he felt uncomfortable hearing foreign languages on Tube trains.
13th May 2019 - The Times

Theresa May’s husband will ‘persuade her’ to resign if she fails another Brexit deal within a month

Theresa May’s husband Philip will persuade her to resign if she fails to find a majority for a Brexit deal within a month, ministers now believe. Even No10 loyalists think the PM will find it impossible to overcome “such a head of steam” against her from Tory MPs and activists if the crippling deadlock continues into June.
13th May 2019 - The Sun

It’s time for Theresa May to choose her resignation date before the Tories are damaged further

The Tories are on course for their worst election performance ever as they bleed voters to the Brexit Party. Nigel Farage’s outfit is so new it doesn’t have any policies yet ­— imagine how much bigger the damage could get. Every day the PM remains in office, Jeremy Corbyn gets closer to power. News that one in ten wealth creators will flee Britain if Labour gets in is a reminder of how high the stakes are. No one could accuse Mrs May of not feeling a huge sense of public duty. But when even her adoring husband Philip admits she needs to resign, surely she must realise that she is now the problem, not the solution. This week Tory grandees will tell the PM to name the date she plans to hand over to a successor. She must do it.
13th May 2019 - The Sun

The Brexit Party’s Most Senior Election Official Says Tommy Robinson Has Been “Persecuted” And Islamophobia Is “Made Up”

The Brexit Party has distanced itself from its most senior election official after BuzzFeed News found he had defended Tommy Robinson and repeatedly mocked the concept of Islamophobia. Noel Matthews, the Brexit Party’s national election agent and the person with ultimate legal responsibility for its European election campaign, last year posted an article sympathetic to the far-right former EDL activist and wrote: “THIS. Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to Grooming Gangs. Britain Has Persecuted Him.” Nigel Farage has said that one of his main reasons for quitting UKIP and setting up the Brexit Party was his former party’s “fixation” with Robinson and Islam.
13th May 2019 - BuzzFeed News

Tactical Voting: Website 'RemainVoter.com' Aims To Stop Nigel Farage's Brexit Party

A new website targeted at Remain voters has been launched by data scientists in a bid to help tactical voting against the Brexit Party. RemainVoter.com promises to identify the best tactical voting options to stop candidates from Nigel Farage’s latest party winning a seat in the upcoming European elections. The site uses a new mathematical model to power a tactical voting engine for the European elections, said team leader and ex-Google software engineer Cheryl Hung. “We are entirely non-party political,” said Hung. “Our sole aim is to remain in the EU as we see the damage that leaving it will do to our country. “We understand that party politics, political reality and technical factors prevented a pro-Remain alliance.
13th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Labour send Euro vote campaign leaflets written in Welsh to homes in Highlands

The Labour Party sent campaign leaflets written in Welsh to voters in the Highlands after a Euro election bungle. Voters received bilingual literature that should have been sent to the Welsh Valleys. Labour has launched an investigation into the miscommunication, which resulted in Scots being implored in English to “Vote Welsh Labour on Thursday 23rd May”. The message - “Pleidleisiwch dros Lafur Cymru ar ddydd lan 23 Mai” - was posted alongside a picture of Jeremy Corbyn, who ads: “Theresa May and the Tories are in chaos and Britain is in crisis”. In Welsh, the message was “Mae Theresa May a’r Toraid mewn anhrefn ac mae Prydain mewn argyfwng.”
13th May 2019 - Daily Record

Andrew Marr's obsession with my past betrays the bias at the heart of the BBC

I'm not the first person to have been on the receiving end of BBC bias, and I won’t be the last. But with an election campaign under way, I had expected our state broadcaster to behave responsibly in its coverage of this pivotal moment for democracy in Britain. Not a bit of it. On Sunday 
I was on The Andrew Marr Show. I anticipated a tough and free-flowing interview about the Brexit Party, our candidates, their strikingly different backgrounds, our campaign, and the merits of MEPs and the EU elections. Instead, shortly after the interview began, Marr produced a piece of paper and started reading scripted questions relating to things I allegedly said or thought years ago – questions I did not want to be asked
13th May 2019 - The Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 13th May 2019

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Brexit: Nigel Farage explodes at BBC's Andrew Marr live on air, accusing him of 'most ridiculous interview ever'

Nigel Farage has launched a furious rant at Andrew Marr during a heated appearance on live television, accusing the BBC presenter of conducting the most “ridiculous” interview ever. The Brexit Party leader reacted with fury after being asked whether he still agreed with a series of controversial statements he had made in the past. Pushed on his previous comments about Vladimir Putin, gun control and immigrants with HIV, Mr Farage initially tried to defend the claims but quickly lost his temper at the line of questioning and demanded he instead be asked about this month’s European parliament elections.
12th May 2019 - The Independent

Nigel Farage angrily lashes out at Andrew Marr and BBC as he is grilled on controversial previous statements


12th May 2019 - Evening Standard

Change UK asks BBC to explain pulling Have I Got News For You

Change UK has written to the BBC to call for a full explanation of the decision not to air an episode of Have I Got News For You featuring its interim leader, Heidi Allen, claiming the broadcaster was providing Nigel Farage with unduly favourable coverage. The newly formed party also raised concerns over the fairness of the BBC’s coverage of Change UK and demanded an urgent review of the decision to “exclude” them from a BBC Wales election debate on Sunday before the European elections. Change UK’s campaign coordinator, Chris Leslie, raised concerns and referred to Nigel Farage’s appearance on Have I Got News For You in 2014 in the run-up to the EU parliament elections, although it was unclear if this fell within the pre-election period.
11th May 2019 - The Guardian

Have I Got News For You Heidi Allen episode pulled due to Euro elections


11th May 2019 - BBC

BBC cancel Have I Got News For You episode over appearance of Change UK leader Heidi Allen MP


11th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Have I Got News For You Heidi Allen episode pulled due to Euro elections


11th May 2019 - BBC

The BBC pull latest episode of Have I Got News For You over European election impartiality


11th May 2019 - iNews

BBC hits back at bias claims after Heidi Allen's Have I Got News For You episode axed


11th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Change UK demands 'reasonable voices from the centre ground' are heard in the election as it writes to BBC chief over 'impartiality' concerns


11th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Have I Got News For You: BBC pulls episode with Change UK leader Heidi Allen as appearance would have broken election rules


11th May 2019 - The Independent

Have I Got News For You pulled: Backlash as BBC pulls show over Heidi Allen European election impartiality concerns


11th May 2019 - Evening Standard

Change UK asks BBC to explain pulling Have I Got News For You


11th May 2019 - The Guardian

Have I Got News For You pulled after Change UK leader Heidi Allen booked as guest


11th May 2019 - Sky News


1st Jan 1970 -


1st Jan 1970 -

Brex-hit and run? Nigel Farage's chauffeur-driven 4x4 crashed into me and he just ‘upped and left' hours before Question Time, claims pub landlord

Mr Tranter told The Sun: ‘He lives two miles away and loves a pint, but he won’t get one from me. Man of the people, my arse. ‘As far as I’m concerned he’s barred.’ Farage, 55, last night denied the allegations and claiming he checked nobody was hurt, before adding: ‘If I’m banned, then it’s not too terrible is it?’ Mr Tranter, who has been visited by Farage at the George and Dragon pub in Westerham, Kent, in the past, had just been to drop his wife at the station and was driving home when the two cars collided in nearby Titsey. Mr Tranter, whose 1986 Jaguar Series 3 Sovereign was written off, added: ‘We crashed with an enormous bang. Farage could not possibly have failed to hear George screaming. I ran out to see if my little boy was OK. ‘Farage stepped out of the Range Rover, collected his bag from the boot and walked off. ‘He didn’t have the common decency to see if we were OK, and never even looked back.’
11th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Nigel Farage 'fled after 4x4 crashed into car carrying toddler'


11th May 2019 - Metro.co.uk

Nigel Farage ‘fled’ after his driver crashed with Jag carrying 13-month-old toddler in Kent


10th May 2019 - The Sun

Nigel Farage 'walked away from car' after chauffeur was in crash with dad and toddler


10th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Eurocrats remind us why we voted for Brexit

The star of the show is Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s floppy-haired Brexit coordinator, who was followed by TV cameras during the period in which British negotiators tried, and failed, to get Britain out of the EU. Any dispirited Brexiteer who needs reminding why they voted three years ago to leave the EU should watch it. I suggest that my Remainer friends should watch it too and then try telling me, with a straight face, that our future lies in an organisation as ghastly as this.
9th May 2019 - The Times

Verhofstadt and Tusk on Brexit!


10th May 2019 - The Economic Voice

Corbyn-style socialism will never provide the resources our precious NHS needs

I wish you could have been with me the other day when they showed me round the mental health facilities in my constituency in Uxbridge. You would have found it impossible not to have been moved. There was a toddler, a little girl, who had been born with a complex neurological condition – not unlike cerebral palsy – which was so severe that at first the doctors had held out little hope of improvement. She was sitting on the floor of a warm, bright room, decorated with colourful prints. She wore special spectacles, and a brace on her arm to help her co-ordination. On one side of her on the mat was her mother, and on the other was a young man – a therapist trained in dealing with exactly this kind of clinical issue
12th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Tony Blair launches most critical attack yet on Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit

Tony Blair has launched his most critical attack yet on Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit policy, claiming it meant the party was "doomed to fail" in last week's local elections. The former prime minister and leading campaigner for a second referendum says Labour's "destructive indecision" of trying to face both ways "pleased no one" and let down the country. Writing in The Observer ahead of an interview on Sophy Ridge On Sunday on Sky News, Mr Blair says that "despite everything" he will vote Labour in the European elections on 23 May.
12th May 2019 - Sky News

Polling guru John Curtice explains 'remarkable' rise of Brexit Party putting May on BRINK

“Having failed to deliver Brexit, the Conservatives now find themselves in a degree of electoral trouble. “Essentially amongst those who would still vote Conservatives in a Westminster election, that’s not a diminished number, around a quarter to 30 percent of people who would still vote for the Conservatives in a Westminster election, say they are going to vote for the Brexit Party.
12th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

Jess Phillips calls on social media sites to end hate speech profits

The Labour MP Jess Phillips has called for social media companies to stop hate preachers from profiting from their presence on online platforms, and called for political candidates to be banned from discussing raping politicians. YouTube stripped the ability to earn money from Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin’s account on Friday, after he joked about raping Phillips. West Midlands police said it is investigating Benjamin’s comments to establish if an offence has taken place. Benjamin stated in a tweet from 2016 that he “wouldn’t even rape” Phillips, who is the MP for Birmingham Yardley. In a YouTube video uploaded to his channel more recently, Benjamin said that “with enough pressure I might cave”. Phillips said on Saturday that there must be a “code of conduct” that would sanction parties if candidates fall foul of the rules. “I would back something that stopped somebody as part of normal political discourse talking about raping another politician, yes,” she said.
12th May 2019 - The Guardian

Nigel Farage loses his temper as BBC asks him about something other than Brexit

Nigel Farage lost his temper in a live TV spat today as the BBC asked him about something other than Brexit. The rattled Brexit Party leader blasted the "most ridiculous interview in my life" as he was grilled on his past remarks about the NHS, foreigners and climate change.
12th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Theresa May must go now if the Conservative Party is to survive

What is Jeremy Corbyn’s single most idiotic statement? It’s a crowded field, but his claim on Thursday that a second referendum could be “a healing process” is surely a strong contender. Since the 2016 vote, positions have tragically hardened on both sides. What began as a civil conversation has ended as something closer to a civil war. Reasonable arguments about trade, sovereignty and budgets have descended into a ghastly kulturkampf. Leavers are dismissed as dim-witted oiks led astray by demagogues. Remainers are caricatured as self-satisfied snobs who despise their own country. Language that used to be considered beyond the pale – “traitors”, “Nazis”, “saboteurs” – is now habitually employed
12th May 2019 - The Telegraph

'Islamophobic' activists trade in Tories for Nigel Farage

The dossier, compiled by the anti- racist researcher MatesJacob, demonstrates how large parts of the Tory and Ukip grassroots have migrated to the Brexit Party, among them white nationalists and prominent alt-right figures. One Facebook page with more than 4,000 members called “Brexit party supporters” is run by Simon Dearsley, who as recently as last month claimed to be a Tory party member. The tattoo artist has posted an image of himself impersonating Hitler and shared articles about “Islamic immigration” and the “genocide” of white Europe, writing “Enoch [Powell] was right”. The similarly named group, “the Brexit Party — Supporters”, with almost 14,000 members, is run by Luke Nash-Jones, an alt-right activist of the pro-Donald Trump organisation Make Britain Great Again. He was involved in an incident last year when Trump supporters raided a socialist bookshop in central London and ripped up magazines while chanting right-wing slogans. Police were called and Nash-Jones was later suspended from Ukip. Another group, “Nigel Farage Mr Brexit”, is jointly run by Andrew Spencer Machin, who has boasted about burning Korans and said that “Islam must be banned from Europe”. The other administrator, Abigail Winsor, sought to downplay an attack on a mosque in Birmingham by writing “Smashed windows isn’t a violent crime”.
12th May 2019 - Sunday Times

Nigel Farage interview: 'At the end of this campaign the Brexit Party will be a lot bigger than the Conservatives'

Theresa May had made a pre-dawn dash to Brussels to sign an agreement with the EU that already appeared to renege on some of her key pledges to Brexiteers. Mr Farage, using characteristic language, declared in a newspaper article that the "great Brexit betrayal" had begun. He was, he recalls with just a hint of glee, roundly mocked for doing so. Now, 17 months on, the former Ukip leader is leading a new party that is threatening to all but wipe out the Conservatives' footprint in the European Parliament next week, having existed for little over three months. He and his cohort are planning to cause maximum disruption
12th May 2019 - The Telegraph

EXCL Nigel Farage brands BBC 'the enemy' after angry interview over past statements

Nigel Farage brands BBC 'the enemy' after angry interview over past statements
12th May 2019 - Politics Home

Farage criticised for using antisemitic themes to criticise Soros

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has described criticism by Jewish groups and MPs as “pathetic” after it emerged he repeatedly used themes associated with antisemitism to criticise the financier George Soros. Following strong condemnation of Farage’s use of language, echoing other conspiracy theories popular with antisemites, during interviews with the far-right US website Infowars, a Guardian investigation has found he called Soros “the biggest danger to the entire western world”, among other comments. The Community Security Trust, which monitors and counters antisemitic sentiment, said Soros was a favourite hate figure among far-right antisemites. “Instead of dismissing these concerns, Nigel Farage should ensure that his language does not help these ideas to spread in British politics,” the charity said.
12th May 2019 - The Guardian

Both Labour and the Tories have gone awol on Brexit

Extraordinarily, most Tories see no contradiction or impropriety in this. So great is their faith in the power of leadership that they do believe that, say, Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab could do a better job in Brussels than May, and – by sheer force of charisma and personality – whip the EU into line. This is the deep, collective delusion of a tribe that depends unhealthily upon the magical powers of its chieftain. It is no way to run a party, let alone a country. Just when we need both parties to be rigorously focused, they have wandered off into the woods of distraction. For the voters there is no such handy exit hatch from the present crisis, no panic room to hide in. The Conservatives and Labour have gone awol. Is it any wonder that Nigel Farage looks so happy?
12th May 2019 - The Guardian

The Observer view on the European elections and Nigel Farage’s malign message

The hostile environment, designed to make Britain a sufficiently cruel place that it drives out illegal immigrants, has ensnared people who have legally lived and paid taxes in Britain for decades, who have been denied NHS treatment and wrongfully deported. May has made it far harder for young people who have grown up in Britain to secure their permanent status: they face extortionate fees of thousand of pounds. The irony is May is an outrider: the public is far more pragmatic on immigration than the Conservative party; the proportion of the public whose hostility to immigration is driven by opposition to ethnicities and religions other than their own has fallen dramatically in the last few years.
12th May 2019 - The Guardian

Nigel Farage: Breaking point poster 'transformed politics'

The Brexit Party wouldn't put up UKIP's controversial "breaking point" anti-EU poster showing a long queue of migrants, MEP Nigel Farage has said. A number of politicians attacked the 2016 poster, featuring a photo taken in Slovenia, with George Osborne saying it had "echoes" of 1930s' literature. Speaking on the Andrew Marr programme, Mr Farage said the Brexit party wouldn't use it as "immigration isn't the burning issue of the time" but he defended using it in 2016.
12th May 2019 - BBC

Lib Dems and Change UK must stop bickering and unite for the Euro vote

Both the Lib Dems and Change UK like to commend the virtues of political traditions working with each other. They should act that way. They have their divergences of history, emphasis and approach and that may matter for the future. But these are irrelevant to a Euro election that revolves around one single, stark and enormous issue about which they are entirely agreed. Every minute wasted trying to cannibalise each other’s support is a minute not spent striving to maximise the overall anti-Brexit vote. It is too late for the Remain parties to field a common slate of candidates for the Euro elections; it is not too late to behave as friendly allies engaged in a common struggle.
12th May 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Gavin Williamson attacks Theresa May's talks with Labour

Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit talks with the Labour Party are a "grave mistake", according to former defence secretary Gavin Williamson. Mrs May is hoping to reach a cross-party consensus on her withdrawal agreement after failing to get it through Parliament three times. But Mr Williamson - sacked over the Huawei leak - told the Mail on Sunday the talks were "destined to fail". He added Jeremy Corbyn's only real interest was a general election. BBC political correspondent Jonathan Blake said a Downing Street source had indicated Mr Williamson had been "supportive of the process while he was in the cabinet" and that he had "not been involved in the talks himself". The Conservative MP for South Staffordshire said doing a deal with Labour on Brexit "sounds so simple and so reasonable" - but would not work.
12th May 2019 - BBC

Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn faces ultimatum from backbench Labour MPs to pull plug on talks with Theresa May

Former shadow cabinet member Mary Creagh told the Evening Standard: “Our members and voters are furious with these talks, which have done nothing except keep the Prime Minister in office and depress Labour’s vote at the local and European elections. “The Government are playing us for fools. If we stand in the middle of the road on Brexit, we’ll get run over from both directions.” Former Europe minister Chris Bryant warned Labour could not negotiate with a “phantom PM who will be gone in weeks” and who could not bind her successor into any agreement she makes. “We should stop faffing about, pull out of the talks and put our distinctive position to the people with an option to Remain,” he added.
11th May 2019 - Evening Standard

Is Boris Johnson going to fail at the last moment to become prime minister – again?

If they finally want to test the proposition that no one could be a worse prime minister than Theresa May, Johnson stands ready to offer a live experiment. And that, as Johnson broods over his plan for government, is his dilemma. The one thing worse for him than having the cup of victory dashed from his lips again would be to win. He would then become prime minister with Brexit unresolved and the EU waiting to hear what his plan would be by 31 October. So far as can be deduced from his weekly column in The Daily Telegraph urging the nation to buck up and look on the bright side, his plan is to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and, when the EU says no, to leave anyway.
11th May 2019 - The Independent

Raab infuriating the EU with demands May 'never dared' make shows why he should be PM, allies say

A documentary showing the EU's Brexit negotiator criticising Dominic Raab over demands that Theresa May "never dared" to make is being used to support the former Brexit Secretary's burgeoning leadership campaign. Supporters of Mr Raab said the fury in Brussels at his approach to the talks showed that he would "stand up" for the UK. A clip showing Michael Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, and Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, criticising Mr Raab's combative approach has been shared on Twitter and Facebook after being uploaded by supporters.
11th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Former Cabinet minister Dominic Grieve faces deselection vote next month from Tory activists furious over Brexit

Arch-Remainer Dominic Grieve is fighting for his political career after local Tory activists collected enough signatures to make him to face a deselection vote next month. The news comes after Beaconsfield Conservatives passed a vote of no confidence vote in Mr Grieve in March by 182 to 131 votes. Mr Grieve, the chairman of Parliament's intelligence watchdog, has been heavily criticised locally for his efforts in the House of Commons to frustrate attempts to take the UK out of the European Union. Now 66 local activists – more than the 50 required under the party’s rules – have submitted a formal notice calling for a deselection vote at a special general meeting.
11th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Brexit Party beats Tories in general election poll and would win 49 seats in Commons

The Brexit Party has overtaken the Conservatives in national polling for the first time, with Nigel Farage predicted to win 49 seats in a general election, a bombshell poll reveals. A ComRes survey found that if a general election campaign led by Theresa May took place now, it would put the Tories on course for their worst result in history – apparently confirming the fears of Conservative MPs and activists in uproar over the Prime Minister’s handling of Brexit. Labour would become the largest party by a margin of 137 seats, allowing Jeremy Corbyn to lead a minority government as the Tories fell to third place in terms of vote share.
11th May 2019 - The Telegraph

UKIP candidates urge followers to switch to far-right social network Gab

Leading figures on the far right, including Ukip candidates in the upcoming European elections, are encouraging their followers to join a new hate-filled social media platform. The network, called Gab, has no restrictions on antisemitic, misogynist or racist content, and has been used to promote terrorism. Gab, launched in 2017 by tech entrepreneur Andrew Torba, describes itself as a vehicle for “free speech” and is similar to Twitter in that it allows users to send messages of up to 3,000 characters, called “gabs”. However, unlike Twitter, its user base mainly consists of people on the far right, many of whom joined after being banned from mainstream networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
11th May 2019 - The Guardian

Haringey: Expelled councillor hits back at ‘hard left, Corbynista’ dominated Labour Party

An unsigned letter from the national Labour Party’s governance and legal unit, dated 10 May, informed Blake that her membership had been automatically ended and included images of five tweets from March and one from April which Blake had re-tweeted as “evidence provided” to justify the decision. But Blake strongly disputes these grounds, telling On London that, “At no time have I ever expressed support for Change UK or encouraged anyone to vote for them” and saying it is “the grip the hard Left has on the party both nationally and locally which has led to my expulsion”. Most of the tweets in question reflected Blake’s support for a further referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union and what she describes as her “increasing frustration with Jeremy’s Corbyn’s prevarication over Europe”.
11th May 2019 - OnLondon.co.uk

UKIP battle bus slapped with parking ticket and attacked with milkshake in Plymouth

A UKIP battle bus was hit with a parking ticket and had milkshake thrown over it during a party rally in Plymouth. It was left unattended on a yellow line next to Plymouth’s Messenger statue as controversial candidate Carl Benjamin staged a rally in the city centre. The purple vehicle was hit with a parking ticket before having a light-coloured drink thrown over its side. Would-be MEP Mr Benjamin was speaking to about 150 supporters in Armada Way this afternoon.
11th May 2019 - Plymouth Live

Reporting on Brexit from Europe: 'I'll be mighty glad when it's over'

Throughout the entire process, it appears from here, the Brits have been negotiating essentially with themselves, rather than with the EU27. And when they have tried they have proved inconsistent, incoherent, entitled and wholly incapable of compromise either with themselves or their neighbours. Above all, Britain has been unrealistic, and startlingly ignorant of the workings of an organisation it has belonged to for nearly 50 years. So much of what has been proposed from the UK side has simply been impossible – but because it continues to view Europe through that uniquely British prism, it proposed it all the same.
11th May 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit Party beats Tories in general election poll and would win 49 seats in Commons

The Brexit Party has overtaken the Conservatives in national polling for the first time, with Nigel Farage predicted to win 49 seats in a general election, a bombshell poll reveals. A ComRes survey found that if a general election campaign led by Theresa May took place now, it would put the Tories on course for their worst result in history – apparently confirming the fears of Conservative MPs and activists in uproar over the Prime Minister’s handling of Brexit. Labour would become the largest party by a margin of 137 seats, allowing Jeremy Corbyn to lead a minority government as the Tories fell to third place in terms of vote share.
11th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Farage, Rees-Mogg, Claire Fox... Britain is seduced by politicians who are ‘characters’

Then there’s the undeniable fact that privileged journalists, like their political counterparts, subconsciously know they don’t have skin in the game and will not suffer the fate of farmers, car workers and aviation engineers. Standing above all these, however, has been a refusal to reveal the menace behind the masks of the right’s character actors. Nigel Farage plays the old English hearty full of cakes and ale. Boris Johnson is Billy Bunter with a smattering of Latin. Jacob Rees-Mogg poses as an Edwardian lawyer calmly laying out the facts. In short, Brexit is being pushed towards its miserable conclusion by men who raided the fancy-dress box for traditional robes. What else should you call him? Farage is not a patriotic conservative who opposes Britain’s enemies, as his support for Vladimir Putin shows. Johnson in turn is not a traditional conservative who promotes enterprise, as his cry of “fuck business” proves. Indeed, Johnson and Michael Gove’s Vote Leave campaign began with a pre-emptive attack on the CBI, to discredit its warnings about dangers of Brexit to the economy. They aren’t conservatives, they are far-rightists. Why is it so hard to admit that we are no different from any other country caught in nationalist backlash?
11th May 2019 - The Guardian

Sajid Javid says he is attacked daily online by Asians and the 'far Left' because he is not 'brown enough'

Sajid Javid has said he is attacked daily on social media by Asians and the “far Left” because he is "not brown enough", as he gives a big hint he will stand to succeed Theresa May as party leader. The Home Secretary said in an interview that he is receiving racist abuse on social media on a daily basis and that “they don’t like me because of my colour”. Mr Javid is one of the frontrunners to succeed Mrs May who is under pressure from her backbenchers to set a clear “roadmap” for her exit. So far she has only said she will stand down once the Brexit deal has been agreed.
10th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Andrew Neil warns of 'imminent extinction' in brutal Brexit analysis – 'May still here'

As Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn battle to break the Brexit deadlock in cross-party talks, Mr Neil poked fun at the political situation in Britain and warned of an "imminent extinction" of the main political parties. Hosting BBC This Week, Mr Neil said: “The Maybot is still Prime Minister. Tory MPs are still in search of a spine. Jezza the red is still Labour leader. The Labour Party still searching for a Brexit policy that could survive a minute of scrutiny.
10th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

Question Time: Nigel Farage can't give audience answer to simple Brexit question

Nigel Farage failed to provide a straight answer when an audience member grilled him over Brexit on BBC Question Time in Northampton. Name me one country within the WTO rules that doesn't have a trade agreement with another country, he asked. In response, the former commodities trader said: "No I don't the answer to the question, because actually there isn't one." The questioner then told the politician that this was the scheme he was proposing to the public, resulting in applause from other members of the audience.
10th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Tommy Robinson's offer of MEP salary rejected by charities

Tommy Robinson’s pledge to donate his hypothetical European parliament salary to child victims of sexual grooming has been criticised as “an insult to survivors of abuse” by women’s groups who said he was “no ally for the children he claims to stand up for”. The coalition of women’s groups said Robinson exploited the pain suffered by victims in a self-serving attempt to fuel racial hatred. “We, as organisations and individuals fighting tirelessly against the abuse of women and girls, as survivors of abuse and their families, and as people who care about our communities, do not want your money, Tommy,” the letter read.
10th May 2019 - The Guardian

“Super callous fragile racist sexist UKIP a***hole”: Carl Benjamin visits Truro

The unidentified protestor, who was masked and dressed in black, was tackled to the ground after attempting to pour a milkshake over the prospective MEP, mimicking a similar assault on UKIP advisor Tommy Robinson earlier this month. In a statement concerning the incident, the police said that the assault had been investigated but no formal complaint had been made as the alleged victim did not identify himself to officers at the scene.
10th May 2019 - Falmouth Anchor

Ann Widdecombe compares no deal Brexit to the suffering of World War II

Brexit Party candidate Ann Widdecombe suggested that any disruption brought on by a no-deal Brexit is justified as it will not compare with the suffering during the Second World War. The former Tory minister retired from politics in 2010 and has made a comeback as a candidate for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party for the European elections on 23 May. Journalists from the BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme captured the moment she evoked the Second World War while on the campaign trail, in something which is proving a common theme for Brexiteers.
9th May 2019 - The London Economic

Labour’s Brexit Position is so unambiguous, no one can decide how ambiguous it is, or isn’t

Since the words came out, there has been much debate over whether Labour’s Brexit policy is ambiguous. It is in favour of Brexit. There’s nothing ambiguous about that. If there is any ambiguity, it might just be because the truth cannot be heard above the clanging cymbals of cognitive dissonance going off in the heads of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members, and millions of Labour Party supporters, as they try and accept their party is unequivocally pro-Brexit, and thus, anathema to everything it has ever stood for.
9th May 2019 - The Independent

Nigel Farage stands by claim that people with HIV should be banned from UK

Challenging the Brexit Party leader on his past views on Sunday, Andrew Marr asked: “Do you still feel that people with HIV shouldn’t be allowed into this country?” Farage responded: “Do I think the National Health Service is there for British people? Yes, I absolutely do.” The Brexit Party leader, who has not released a manifesto ahead of the European Elections was also pressed over his past statements that the UK should move to an insurance-based healthcare system and allow people to own handguns. Brexit Party candidate Alka Sehgal Cuthbert is a critic of LGBT+ inclusive education programmes. In a 2017 column for right-wing website Spiked, Cuthbert, a part-time English teacher and educational consultant, slammed education watchdog Ofsted for “forcing a religious school to include homosexuality in the curriculum.”
12th May 2019 - Pink News


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 10th May 2019

    View this newsletter in full

UKIP EU election candidate QUITS over Carl Benjamin as police probe rape remarks

A UKIP EU election candidate has quit the party in protest at rape 'joke' furore candidate Carl Benjamin. Robert McNeil-Wilson - a candidate on UKIP's Welsh list - handed in his resignation just weeks before the May 23 poll. In an e-mail seen by the Mirror, he told party chiefs using Mr Benjamin and fellow YouTuber Mark Meechan as candidates showed UKIP was no longer a "serious, reasonable, responsible and credible party". It is too late for him to be taken off UKIP's slate, so he has vowed to quit the EU Parliament immediately if he is elected.
10th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

UKIP EU election candidate quits mid-campaign over Carl Benjamin's rape 'joke'


9th May 2019 - Yahoo!

@Peston Femi Oluwole, of our Our Future Our Choice, or @OFOCBrexit, the influential young campaigner for a people's vote, came within a whisker of being the single pro-referendum candidate in the Peterborough by-election

Femi Oluwole, of our Our Future Our Choice, or @OFOCBrexit, the influential young campaigner for a people's vote, came within a whisker of being the single pro-referendum candidate in the Peterborough by-election. He was a candidate until just two hours before the official...
9th May 2019 - @Peston

@BBCThisWeek “You have dragged your party into the gutter and created a new opening for Nigel Farage?” @afneil “I don’t agree with that, I have not done that”

“You have dragged your party into the gutter and created a new opening for Nigel Farage?” @afneil “I don’t agree with that, I have not done that” @GerardBattenMEP who says UKIP membership is going up under his leadership - And he challenges claims from @leicesterliz #bbctw
9th May 2019 - @BBCThisWeek

Who needs policies? Jeremy the bearded messiah is back

After Jeremy Corbyn’s arrival had been greeted with a standing ovation from a sizeable crowd that had turned up for the occasion, Jayne Maxwell, one of Labour’s prospective MEPs in Scotland – presumably all the candidates in the south-east had reckoned their chances might be improved by not being seen in public with the Labour leader – set the tone. Labour was on a roll, she said. And she knew this because the party had made massive gains in last week’s local elections. No one had bothered to tell her Labour had actually lost more than 60 seats.
9th May 2019 - The Guardian

MPs give themselves ANOTHER holiday amid Brexit crisis

MPs will desert Westminster on an 11-day break at the end of the month despite the ongoing Brexit crisis, it was revealed today. Commons' Leader Andrea Leadsom confirmed that the Whitsun recess will begin on May 23 - the day of the European Elections - with MPs not due to return until June 4. The announcement came amid an ongoing crisis over the UK's departure from the EU and Theresa May's premiership.
9th May 2019 - Daily Mail

May buys time with hints at new withdrawal bill vote and exit date

Theresa May has bought herself another week’s grace as prime minister, hinting she will bring the EU withdrawal bill to parliament before the European elections and promising to meet a powerful backbench committee who have demanded that she set out her timetable for stepping down. After a fortnight of furious demands by Tory MPs that she give a firm date for her departure, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, said May had agreed to meet him and the 13-strong executive of Tory backbenchers next week. He gave no indication that May intended to provide a firm departure date at the meeting, but the promise will buy the prime minister an extra week to continue cross-party Brexit talks with Labour, before the Conservatives could consider changing leadership rules to force her exit.
9th May 2019 - MSN.com

Britain’s chief negotiator Olly Robbins ‘asked to become Belgian’

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator told his counterparts in Brussels that he wanted to become an EU citizen after Brexit, behind-the-scenes footage for a BBC documentary reveals. Olly Robbins, Theresa May’s chief EU advisor, said that he would like to take EU citizenship after Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit co-ordinator of the European parliament, told the BBC documentary Brexit: Behind Closed Doors, which continues tonight. “Olly Robbins came to me and said ‘Guy, can I become a Belgium citizen after this whole thing because I don’t think I will return,” Mr Verhofstadt is recorded telling the programme.
9th May 2019 - The Times

UK's chief negotiator ‘joked that he would want EU citizenship after Brexit’


9th May 2019 - The Independent

Verhofstadt claims Theresa May's Brexit chief Olly Robbins asked for Belgian citizenship


9th May 2019 - Express.co.uk

The Brexit party is a post-politics entity

No matter how long you research, you'll never find any content in the Brexit party. There is no manifesto. Its website is a politics-free zone. This is a product made entirely of packaging. It's not even really clear what its Brexit policy is. There's a reference to "WTO Brexit" in Leave Means Leave boss Richard Tice's Twitter feed, and "clean Brexit" - whatever that is - from party leader Nigel Farage. Do they mean no aviation treaties between Britain and Europe? No equivalence arrangements for financial services? No cooperation on border processes? Presumably not. And if not, they are talking about some kind of deal, just a different one. But even to go into that kind of very basic detail is to exceed what they have to offer. There have no ideas at all. And they're not supposed to. Their retail offer is emotional.
9th May 2019 - Politics.co.uk

'There are two types of Boris Johnson': Former chancellor George Osborne takes a dig at ex-mayor

Former chancellor George Osborne has said there are two different versions of Boris Johnson and he isn't sure which one will turn up to a potential future Conservative leadership contest. Speaking to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, Mr Osborne claimed one version is "hard Brexit Boris" and the other "the mayor who won Tory victories in a city that previously always voted Labour". He said he doesn't see how she can continue as PM and claimed the sooner the Conservative Party can move on, the better. "She can't pass the Brexit deal, she's tried, she's been trying since December, she's not relying on Jeremy Corbyn to save her, despite at the same time saying he's unfit for office. "That's not a sustainable position for a prime minister."
9th May 2019 - ITV News

ASTROTURFERS OF BRITAIN the Brexit Party's Artificial Grass Roots

Astroturfing is the process of masking the sponsors of an entity by making it appear that an organization has emerged from the grassroots. While there is little doubt that many of the “Leavers of” groups are run by genuine and dedicated Brexiters the fact that Leavers of Britain is registered to an address with links to both Vote Leave and John Mills should raise legitimate questions about the authenticity of this movement. The people of Yorkshire, where Lucy Harris is standing as an MEP will no doubt want to know. And frankly, so do I.
9th May 2019 - Byline Times

Tories could come sixth in European elections, officials fear

Conservative officials fear the party could come sixth in the European elections, with their support plummeting to single digits. Candidates running in the election said the party was “almost in denial” that the poll was happening and continued to insist they would not need to take up their seats in the European parliament, despite fading prospects for a cross-party deal with Labour that would enable Brexit to happen before 2 July. The fears of a dismal performance have been stoked by the fact that the party plans to spend no money on candidate campaigning, will not publish a manifesto and is refusing to hold a launch. One MEP said candidates were funding their campaigns out of their own pockets, unlike previous years when there was a central pot of funding available. They have been told they are allowed to have their own regional manifestos, but many are not bothering, and there will be no central party manifesto.
9th May 2019 - The Guardian

David Gauke says 'wishful thinking' of pro-Brexit colleagues has fuelled voter anger

David Gauke has blamed the “wishful thinking” of his pro-Brexit colleagues during the EU referendum for fuelling voter anger across the country. In a major speech, the Justice Secretary said their claims that leaving the bloc would be easy and not cause any problems "has not survived the collision with reality". He also warned his fellow Tories that “over-simplifying and failing to deliver will only encourage further disenchantment” among the public.
9th May 2019 - Politics Home

Tory MP Nicky Morgan installed CCTV and panic alarms as unemployed pro-Brexit troll, 44, who lives with his parents threatened to 'send her to the burns unit'

Tory MP Nicky Morgan was threatened by a pro-Brexit troll who said he would send her 'to the burns unit' and leave her 'scarred for life' if she knocked on his door. Lee Hickling, 44, using the alias Ray Brendon Smith, said that the Remain-backing Loughborough MP had done nothing for the town and 'needs a good kicking' in a series of threatening Facebook posts.
8th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Meet The Brexit Party's Climate Science Deniers

While it might seem like a single-issue party, there’s something striking about the list of candidates we’ve been gradually drip-fed since its formal launch on 12 April: the sheer number who still can’t accept the science on climate change or just don’t think it’s worth the effort of doing anything about.
2nd May 2019 - Des.Mog.co.uk


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 9th May 2019

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Sky Views: Tug of war over May's exit date a proxy for the Brexit civil war

In the end, the prime minister chose her side. After months of trying to hold together the two very different wings of her parliamentary party, she finally weighed in behind Remainers. There would be no no-deal, instead there would be delay - for as long as it took to get a Brexit deal across the line. It has been a torturous journey for her party as MPs and members have watched their prime minister move from "Brexit means Brexit", to "no-deal is better than a bad deal", before performing a hand-break turn to "it's my deal or no Brexit" to go full (nearly) full circle on Tuesday and confirm the UK will after all fight the EU elections.From the ill-fated snap election to this Brexit bungle, under Mrs May's leadership the Tories have gone into free fall.
8th May 2019 - Sky News

Brexit latest news: Theresa May buys time by agreeing to discuss her future with backbenchers next week

Theresa May has been given a stay of execution by her backbench MPs
 after agreeing to meet them next week to discuss her future as leader. The Prime Minister had been given a deadline of 4pm on Wednesday to set out a timetable for her departure, but she bought herself another a week in which to set a timetable for her departure
8th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Theresa May’s ‘Dancing Queen’ speech brutally mocked by Guy Verhofstadt and his aides in BBC Brexit documentary

The bitter nature of Brexit negotiations has been laid bare in a BBC documentary due to air on Wednesday night showing European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhoftstadt and his team ridiculing Theresa May‘s Tory Party conference speech. The Brexit: Behind Closed Doors documentary, recorded over two years by Belgian filmmaker Lode Desmet, shows acrimony towards the British Government from many in Brussels.
8th May 2019 - iNews

Michel Barnier accuses Nigel Farage of lying during Brexit referendum campaign

Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, has accused Nigel Farage of telling lies during the referendum campaign. Mr Farage denied he lied and challenged Mr Barnier to, “Tell me one thing I said that was untrue”. Mr Barnier was speaking in Zagreb, Croatia at a “citizens dialogue” ahead of European elections later this month, where Mr Farage’s Brexit Party are expected to triumph. He warned that the MEP and former Ukip leader hopes to destroy the EU. Mr Barnier said on Wednesday that the British people were not told of the risks Brexit would pose to peace in Ireland before they voted to leave in 2016.
8th May 2019 - The Telegraph

David Davis 'Did Not Give A F**k' About The Irish Border During Brexit Talks, EU Figures Claimed

At one point, Verhofstadt’s head of office, Guillaume McLaughlin, discusses the meeting with Davis, who eventually quit as Brexit secretary in July 2018. He says: “David Davis explained to us that Ireland is not a problem, they have got lots of control systems, they know everybody who is going in and out across the border, they have automatic... and they will take a loss in the excise duties that they are getting but it doesn’t really matter. “So basically - ’we don’t really give a fuck what goes through our border, in any case we know who the baddies are, there might be a problem with terrorism, and if there’s a problem with terrorism that might be a problem, but okay.’”
8th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

EU officials privately branded Theresa May's Brexit strategy 'insane' and 'pathetic', film shows

EU officials involved with Brexit negotiations privately considered aspects of Theresa May’s approach “insane” and “pathetic”, a new behind-the-scenes documentary shows. BBC camera crews were given access to Brexit officials in the European parliament to make Brexit: Behind Closed Doors, a two-part series focusing on the team around Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator. It shows officials having completely lost confidence in the UK’s ability to negotiate, with frustration regularly boiling over at behaviour emanating from the government in London.
8th May 2019 - The Independent

Storyville: Brexit Behind Closed Doors was like watching a car crash in slow motion

“What they’re trying to do with Brexit is take an old car and fix it,” announced another, even as a weary Verhofstadt announced he’d spent time with Brexit Secretary David Davis at a vintage car fair: “We discussed nothing, of course.” Things worsened considerably with the arrival of the Irish question. Guy Verhofstadt went to Northern Ireland to learn first-hand about life on the border during The Troubles. Davis said there was no problem with Ireland. The committee collectively sighed. “They might actually stay – the worst possible outcome,” someone noted gloomily. Brexit: it gets to us all in the end.
8th May 2019 - iNews

Swastika painted on building of Jewish Brexit party candidate

Police are investigating after a Jewish candidate standing for the Brexit party at the European elections had a 10 metre (30ft) swastika painted on his company’s building in east London. Lance Forman, a businessman who owns the H Forman & Son smoked salmon company, found his headquarters and restaurant near the Olympic Park had been daubed with an antisemitic mural. Forman’s business is the UK’s oldest salmon curer, which was set up by his great-grandfather in 1905. A Met police spokesman said officers were investigating a suspected incident of race-related criminal damage. It is thought to have occurred shortly before midnight on Tuesday.
9th May 2019 - The Guardian

Curtain-haired slimeball Guy Verhofstadt proves he’s the most repugnant figure in Brussels

No more repugnant figure struts the ­corridors of Brussels than the curtain-haired slimeball Guy Verhofstadt. Try as they might, even the drunk Juncker or the peacock Barnier cannot match the Belgian’s detestable blabbermouthed arrogance.
8th May 2019 - The Sun

Politics is descending into farce as the intransigent Theresa May still refuses to go

It is now a month since the House of Commons has divided on a motion. To the justified derision of those outside, it has frequently risen in mid-afternoon for lack of anything to do. On Tuesday, the Government trumpeted as an iconic Parliamentary moment the Second Reading of the Wild Animals in Circuses (No. 2) Bill. The ban will affect only two circuses and a grand total of 19 animals. This paralysis is the result of the barely believable intransigence of a Prime Minister consumed by the increasingly deluded aim of passing an Agreement which MPs have thrice told her in emphatic terms is a bad deal. Her response each time has been unmoved: “Pass my deal.”
8th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Brexit latest news: Theresa May buys time by agreeing to discuss her future with backbenchers next week

Theresa May has been given a stay of execution by her backbench MPs
 after agreeing to meet them next week to discuss her future as leader. The Prime Minister had been given a deadline of 4pm on Wednesday to set out a timetable for her departure, but she bought herself another a week in which to set a timetable for her departure
8th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Sinn Fein claims UK Government ‘assured’ gay marriage in Northern Ireland

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Government of consciously frustrating attempts to circumvent Stormont on the issue of equal marriage. Spokesman Patrick Corrigan said that while Amnesty was not aware of the specific assurances mentioned by Murphy, it believes that there were plans to let backbenchers take control of the process. “As a draft DUP-Sinn Fein deal was shaping up last February, Karen Bradley [then-Northern Ireland Secretary] gave an on-the-record response to a written question from Conor McGinn MP, which committed the Government only to allowing a free vote if backbenchers brought same-sex marriage legislation to Parliament,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
8th May 2019 - Pink News

Tories mount lacklustre campaign for European Parliament election

The Conservatives are mounting a lacklustre campaign ahead of the European Parliament election on May 23, as Britain’s governing political party edges towards the poll with a sense of dread. Senior party figures admit they could take a hammering as voters turn to Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party to protest against Theresa May and her failure to deliver the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Last week’s local elections, which saw the Conservatives lose almost 1,300 council seats and control of 37 councils, has highlighted how disillusioned many voters are with the party. The Tories are so underwhelmed by its chances in the European elections it is not expected to hold an official campaign launch, or even publish a manifesto.
8th May 2019 - Financial Times

May promises new vote on Brexit deal in next two weeks

Theresa May has told senior Tories she will make a fourth attempt to break the Westminster deadlock on Brexit before European elections take place on May 23, as she tries to head off growing demands that she quit. But the prime minister has also promised to meet the executive of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs next week to discuss a timetable for her departure. “She’s living from day to day,” said one minister. Brandon Lewis, the Conservative chairman, warned a sullen meeting of Tory MPs on Wednesday night to expect the worst in the European Parliament elections. Downing Street fears that the results will lead to a clamour for Mrs May to step down. The prime minister tried to buy time by telling senior Tories that she would bring forward the legislation to ratify her withdrawal treaty in the next two weeks, even though the chances of winning the backing of MPs currently look minimal.
8th May 2019 - Financial Times

Tory former minister blasts 'utterly selfish Number 10' in wake of election humiliation

A Conservative former minister has branded Downing Street "utterly selfish" after the party suffered a local elections drubbing. Robert Halfon said failures over Brexit and a lack of strong leadership from Theresa May had weakened the party as he warned its grassroots campaigning power was on "life support." The former deputy chairman of the Conservatives launched the blistering attack on Downing Street after the party last week lost almost a third of the councils it was contesting at the local elections.
8th May 2019 - Politics Home

My message to the SNP on 'cybernats': Stop perpetuating a Unionist myth

A gentrification of Scottish political engagement is now in full spate. It began to gather pace during the first Scottish independence campaign when the UK’s political elites began to encounter forces they felt unable to control by the usual means. These political classes (and they are by no means confined to the Conservative and Unionist Party) until recent years had always set the order and laid down the rules by which politics is permitted to unfold in this country. Anyone who threatened to reveal the truth of these matters or who refused to abide by the rules set down a long time ago could only hope to get so far before having their collars felt and their lives trashed
8th May 2019 - The National

Labour staff could take strike action after rejecting latest pay offer by bosses

Staff working for the Labour party could take strike action after rejecting a third and "final" pay offer by bosses. The decision, at an emergency meeting at Labour HQ, came despite the GMB and Unite unions both recommending that they accept the proposal. It is understood that staff voted by 137-37 against the offer, with some union members shouting "strike, strike, strike" as the meeting broke up.
8th May 2019 - Politics Home

May given until 4pm TODAY to spell out when she will quit

Theresa May has set up a showdown next week with MPs furious at her refusal to reveal when she will quit over Brexit failures. The Prime Minister will face senior backbenchers on the influential 1922 Committee next Wednesday after making an agreement with committee chairman Sir Graham Brady yesterday. It came after she faced a brutal public assault on her leadership today as backbench anger at her failure to stand down reached fever pitch in a row threatening to tear the Conservative Party apart. She had been given a 4pm deadline to set out a 'roadmap' for standing down but has been given a week's grace to explain her plans to the committee next week.
8th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Brexit: Theresa May rejects calls to resign

The PM has rejected calls to quit over her handling of Brexit, saying it is "not an issue about me". Theresa May was replying to Tory Brexiteer Andrea Jenkyns, who said she had "failed to deliver on her promises" and had lost public trust. Calls have been growing for the prime minister to name an exit date. The PM's spokesman said she had already promised to leave after delivering the first stage of Brexit and was sticking to that "generous and bold offer". Mrs May has agreed to address a meeting of the 1922 Committee - an elected body of Tory MPs which represents backbenchers and oversees leadership contests - next week. Its chairman, Sir Graham Brady, told the BBC he had had two "very good meetings" with the PM, organised to raise concerns about her leadership.
8th May 2019 - BBC

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage tears into Theresa May

Nigel Farage has branded Theresa May the most dishonest Prime Minister of his lifetime over her handling of the country's exit from the EU. The leader of the burgeoning Brexit Party said that Mrs May had promised many times that the UK would leave the bloc following the 2016 referendum vote. But speaking on Good Morning Britain today, he slammed her failure to secure an exit and said the only reason she still leads the Conservatives is because 'Tory MPs have not got the backbone to get rid of her'.
8th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Expenses watchdog suspended official credit cards belonging to 377 MPs

Hundreds of MPs including Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and nine Cabinet ministers have had official credit cards suspended by the expenses watchdog. They are among the 377 MPs to be penalised since 2015 for breaking the rules by not providing receipts or failing to pay back ineligible expenses. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority tried to prevent the disclosure, saying it would have a ‘chilling effect’ on its relations with MPs.
8th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Revealed: Expenses watchdog suspended official credit cards belonging to 377 MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson


7th May 2019 - MSN.com

Theresa May Says She Can Stage Comeback Like Jurgen Klopp And Liverpool

Theresa May tried to channel Jurgen Klopp on Wednesday when she said the Conservative Party could make a comeback on Brexit – just like Liverpool had against Barcelona on Tuesday night. What the prime minister might have forgotten is that the Liverpool manager has said Brexit “makes no sense” and has backed a second referendum.
8th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Theresa May vows Liverpool-style comeback in Europe


8th May 2019 - Politico.eu


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 8th May 2019

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Cost of staging European elections rockets by £50m

The cost of staging this month’s European elections has rocketed by £50 million after Theresa May delayed preparations by insisting the poll would not be necessary. The extra cost - which is 50 per cent higher than originally thought - includes millions of pounds in “contingency” costs in case parties have to be reimbursed for the cost of fielding candidates who never get to take up their seats in the European Parliament. Brexit-backing Tory MPs described the cost of the elections as “a complete waste of public money” and said taxpayers would be appalled. The Government is expected to announce later this week that the cost of the elections on May 23 will be £156m, compared to £108.7m when they were held last time
8th May 2019 - The Telegraph

EU elections WILL go ahead costing us £150m because of Brexit deadlock


8th May 2019 - The Sun

European elections to go ahead because Theresa May can't do Brexit in time, government admits


8th May 2019 - The Independent

Police investigate Ukip candidate over Jess Phillips rape comments

Police are investigating comments by a Ukip candidate in the European elections speculating about whether he would rape the MP Jess Phillips amid growing concern over threats to politicians. Carl Benjamin, Ukip’s candidate for South West England, sent a tweet to the MP for Birmingham Yardley in 2016 saying “I wouldn’t even rape you.” He added to the comments in a recent video saying: “With enough pressure, I might cave.” West Midlands police confirmed officers were examining whether an offence had been committed. It comes as fears grow that toxic rows over Brexit in the run-up to European parliamentary elections later this month will further coarsen public debate.
7th May 2019 - The Guardian

Carl Benjamin: Police probing UKIP candidate's 'rape' remarks about Jess Phillips


7th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Hard-working Conservative councillors have been sacrificed at the altar of May

The Prime Minister must bear the brunt of the blame for last week's local election wipeout, says Norman Tebbitt
8th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Theresa May branded ‘insane’ and ‘pathetic’ by EU’s chief Brexit negotiators in shocking BBC documentary

Theresa May is labelled “insane” and “pathetic” by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiators in a damaging BBC fly-on-the-wall film. Brexit: Behind Closed Doors shows members of the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinating team, led by Belgian Guy Verhofstadt, mocking Britain and launching foul-mouthed rants at the PM.
8th May 2019 - The Sun

'A world first' - Boris Johnson to face private prosecution over Brexit campaign claims

A crowdfunded legal case against Boris Johnson for allegedly abusing public trust during the EU referendum campaign is to receive a hearing in court later this month. Private prosecutor Marcus Ball alleges that the former foreign secretary committed three offences of misconduct in public office by endorsing and making statements which he knew to be false at a time when he was mayor of London and an MP. The allegation relates to the much-trumpeted claim by the Vote Leave campaign that the UK sends £350 million a week to the European Union, which was found to be misleading by the UK Statistics Authority.
7th May 2019 - Irish Independent

Nigel Farage is betraying his own voters

Credit where it’s due. It had not yet been 24 hours since Nigel Farage had been on the Sunday politics shows, warning of the “final betrayal” that was coming. And here he was, not even waiting for it to come, but delivering it himself. The Brexit Party, the party Farage set up himself to contest the European elections he so desperately does not want to be contesting, was holding a press conference to announce it was betraying its own voters. Farage was introduced by the Brexit Party chairman, a man called Richard Tice, who is best known, though nevertheless unknown, for appearing at political events in a white open-topped bus with “Leave Means Leave” painted down the side. When it turned up at Tory party conference last year, he promised free non-EU booze to anyone who could spare five minutes to talk to him.
7th May 2019 - The Independent

Ex-Conservative donors ready to give 'big bucks' to Brexit Party, claims Nigel Farage

Former Conservative donors are ready to provide "big bucks" for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party to fight a general election, the anti-EU campaigner has suggested. The Brexit Party has been formed to contest the upcoming European Parliament elections on 23 May, which the government has now confirmed will definitely take place. But Mr Farage used a news conference on Tuesday to set his sights beyond this month. Promising the Brexit Party would "be ready" to fight a general election "that took place any time from September onwards", Mr Farage said: "For us, these European elections on 23 May are but a first step.
7th May 2019 - Sky News

Nigel Farage denies being conspiracy theorist after far-right talkshow appearances

Nigel Farage, the Brexit party leader, has insisted he is not a conspiracy theorist after he repeatedly appeared on a far-right US talkshow and openly discussed ideas about a “new world order” linked to antisemitic tropes. The former Ukip leader distanced himself from Alex Jones, the host of the Infowars website, and claimed his appearances on the programme were infrequent, despite a Guardian investigation finding he gave interviews at least six times on the show. In his appearances on Jones’s show, Farage discussed themes commonly associated with an antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jewish financiers are behind a plot to replace nation states with a global government. Jones has been banned from Facebook and is being sued by bereaved parents after claiming a US school shooting was faked.
7th May 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Tory MPs tell Theresa May second referendum becoming 'inevitable' as Labour talks hopes fade

Conservative MPs on both sides of the Brexit divide are telling Theresa May that a fresh referendum is becoming “inevitable”, as talks with Labour to break the impasse looked set to fail. The prime minister faced the warning as she suffered the embarrassment of conceding this month’s European elections will go ahead – and as her own deputy suggested the crisis would drag on until July. As cross-party talks entered their sixth week, Labour’s Keir Starmer insisted he would force the Tories to end their refusal to contemplate a Final Say referendum as the price of a deal, saying it was “crunch time”. Significantly, the attempt to put a public vote centre-stage was bolstered from an unlikely source when Daniel Kawczynski, a Tory Brexiteer, predicted it could become the only option “to break the gridlock”.
7th May 2019 - The Independent

Brexiteer MP reveals option if May and Corbyn Brexit talks crumble – will anger Leavers

The Government has been in Brexit negotiations with the Labour Party since before Easter after the Prime Minister reached out to Jeremy Corbyn to try to secure Britain’s departure from the bloc. Tory MP, Daniel Kawczynski, a former member of the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic European Research Group, warned the UK could face another referendum if talks fail. Mr Kawczynski claimed another public vote would become “inevitable” and put the blame of those in the Tory Party and in the ERG “who refuse to compromise”.
7th May 2019 - Daily Express

Theresa May’s poisonous immigration legacy

As Prime minister, Mrs May has proposed limiting immigration to those earning more than £30,000 a year. This has worried employers in fields from agriculture to healthcare. Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the CBI employers’ group, said: “All skill levels matter to the UK economy.” Mrs May will not be around much longer. She has told her party that she will not contest the next general election, which is due in 2022, but few expect her to last until then. Will her immigration legacy outlast her? It depends on who succeeds her, whether Brexit happens and what form it takes. The UK’s EU residents, who have been promised that they will have a right to stay after Brexit, cannot take much comfort from what has happened to others. Institutional behaviour does not shift quickly. Once officials have been schooled to behave in a certain away, it takes time for them to change, even if the political will for a change exists, which it may not. The hostile environment policy has left a tawdry legacy and, as the immigration figures show, it did not even achieve its own objectives.
7th May 2019 - Financial Times

Cambridge UKIP candidate says 'round up rough sleepers and put them in camps'

A controversial UKIP election candidate has been condemned after calling for rough sleepers in Cambridge to be "rounded up and put in a camp outside the city". Peter Burkinshaw said rough sleepers "obstruct" the streets and called for a "national solution". The politician was writing in a local weekly newspaper when he made the controversial statement as part of a policy suggestion.
7th May 2019 - Cambridge News

How Tommy Robinson could earn up to £2million in taxpayers' cash as an MEP

Tommy Robinson could exploit EU rules to access millions of pounds of public money if he is elected in May’s European Parliament elections, a Telegraph investigation has revealed. The far right activist and his cronies could personally benefit to the tune of up to £2 million but he could access even more EU cash, which is paid in part by British taxpayers. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, paid his deposit to stand in the elections on Thursday. European elections will be held in Britain unless the Brexit deal is ratified in Westminster before May 23.
7th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Tory MPs give Theresa May one day to set out 'roadmap' for her exit

Theresa May has been given until tea time on Wednesday to come up with a "roadmap" to her resignation as leader of the Tory party - or she will have one forced upon her. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, is understood to have made clear backbenchers' frustration at a meeting on Tuesday night. Tory backbench frustration with Mrs May boiled over after David Lidington, her de facto deputy, confirmed that Britain will have to take part in the European Parliament elections in 15 days' time despite months of assurances that this would not happen.
7th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Brexit news latest: Theresa May's allies in legal threat to rebels who are trying to oust her

Sir Graham Brady was due to meet Mrs May this afternoon on behalf of the executive to insist she give a firm departure date and timetable for a leadership contest. However, the senior supporter of Mrs May said “any attempt” to alter the rules would be “subject to a legal challenge” meaning that Downing Street or a group of Tories acting on behalf of Mrs May would go to court. The clash was caused by the abortive confidence vote forced last December by members of the European Research Group, which Mrs May won comfortably. Under party rules, the PM is supposed to have a clear 12 months before any further confidence motion can be put.
7th May 2019 - Evening Standard

Brexit: The conditions are ripe for the biggest backlash imaginable

Voters were certain that their wishes in the referendum would be carried out without too much difficulty: I lost count of the numbers of voters who, during the referendum and since, dismissed concerns about our withdrawal, not only from the EU but of its myriad political, economic and social auspices, with a variant of the following reply: "I'm sure they can sort it out." In other words the Brexit vote, as well as a cri de coeur for Westminster to listen, was also an affirmation of faith by the British public in the fundamental competence of the British state to prosecute even the most difficult political outcomes.
7th May 2019 - Sky News

Labour officials quit their posts with blast at Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit

Senior Labour officials have quit their posts in disillusion at the party's position on Brexit. Aaron Austin Locke and Robert McIntosh announced their resignation as the top two office bearers in the Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven constituency Labour party in an email to local members. They said they were unhappy with the party's failure to fully endorse another referendum on any Brexit deal passed by the House of Commons.
7th May 2019 - Politics Home

Senior Tory MP suggests colleagues who failed to back Brexit deal should join other parties

A senior Conservative MP has blasted colleagues who failed to support Theresa May’s Brexit deal and suggested that they should quit and join another party. Charles Walker, who is vice chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers hit out at Tory hardliners who he said were to blame for Britain still being in the European Union. The comments come as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party tops the polls for next month’s EU elections in a backlash from Leave voters angry at the Government’s failure to quit the bloc by the 29 March deadline.
7th May 2019 - Politics Home

Chipper Nigel Farage grins and barely tries to sound plausible

It’s no deal or nothing for Nige, and his Brexit party is ready to negotiate the non-negotiable. Nige rattled on undeterred. The Brexit party would contest a general election but it wouldn’t have any credible policies. But he wouldn’t seek to become an MP himself. Far too risky. Seven times bitten, eight times shy. Rather he was far better off showing his MEPs the Brussels ropes. How to fiddle expenses. That sort of thing. And just because he had previous form on antisemitism and Islamophobia didn’t make him a racist. After 30 minutes or so, Farage appeared to lose interest. Enough was enough. It had been a decent morning’s work. The more useless Westminster politicians appeared to be, the easier his job became. And right now it was something of a doddle. He didn’t need to sound even vaguely plausible. All he had to do was stand up and insist he would be different. As long as nobody started to look too closely, all would be well.
7th May 2019 - The Guardian

The only Brexit is a hard-right one. Labour must back another vote

Whatever assurances May can offer, they will not stop the hard-right Tory Brexiteers in their quest to eradicate solidarity from the UK economy. If we are to avoid the fate of Ramsay Macdonald, then any deal must be put to a vote of the people. To do otherwise would be to play either the knave or the fool – and gives Theresa May’s successor the right to decide which we have been.
7th May 2019 - The Guardian

Brexiteers are still chasing unicorns rather than facing up to the reality of the backstop

Brexit is a big deal for Ireland, whatever form it takes it will be bad for Ireland but there is a genuine appetite to minimise the damages of Brexit, allow for the closest possible future relationship and crucially protect the very fragile peace in Northern Ireland. In March, we came the closest so far to a disastrous no deal Brexit, a crash out scenario that would have a devastating economic impact as well as posing a greater risk to the peace process. We cannot let that happen with Conservative Party members suggesting changes on the Irish Border that are unworkable and dangerous and could endanger the peace process
7th May 2019 - The Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 7th May 2019

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Irish Official Concerned A Hard Brexit Will Lead To More Violence In Northern Ireland

“We didn’t want to see Brexit happening, but it wasn’t our decision,” Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, said during an interview with Boston Public Radio on Monday. “From the Irish government’s point of view, the fundamental requirement is that there should be no possibility of a hard border on the island of Ireland anytime now or in the future.” Mulhall says that while he respects the decision of the citizens of the U.K. to leave the E.U., he wants to ensure that it’s done in an “orderly” fashion that does not inflame tensions between Northern Ireland and the U.K. and possibly re-ignite sectarian violence that plagued the region between the late 1960s and '90s. In April, Northern Ireland was rocked by the murder of journalist Lyra McKee, who was mistakenly killed by Irish nationalists in the aftermath of a violent raid by U.K. police of a suspected weapons cache in Londonderry.
7th May 2019 - WGBH.org

Brexit: Theresa May warned more than 100 Tories could block compromise deal with Labour

Theresa May is facing opposition from all sides over her attempts to strike a Brexit deal amid warnings that more than 100 Tory MPs could block a compromise agreement with Labour. Cross-party talks will resume on Tuesday in the wake of reports that Ms May is poised to offer Labour a temporary EU customs arrangement to break the Brexit deadlock. Tory MPs have ramped up pressure on the prime minister to set a date for her departure, with one senior MP saying the party needs to “move on”. Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the influential 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said Ms May should announce a “road map” for her departure after the European elections.
7th May 2019 - The Independent

Blow for Theresa May as poll shows Tory calls for Prime Minister to quit at 'record high'

Theresa May has suffered another blow to her leadership after a poll revealed that more than four in five Conservative Party members want her to quit. The study by ConservativeHome, and the first since the Tories’ local elections drubbing, found that 82% of the party faithful want the Prime Minister to step aside, while just 16% said she should stay on. The record high is up 3% on a study held two-weeks ago and 11 points higher than a month ago.
6th May 2019 - Politics Home

Brexit party MEP candidate praised use of Nazi slogan

A candidate to serve as an MEP for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party once praised a colleague for using a Nazi slogan in the European parliament and has a history of using vulgar and obscene language about women in social media posts. John Tennant, who according to polls is expected to win a seat in the European parliament as one of Farage’s three candidates in the north-east, also made references to being intoxicated and suggested that Liverpool fans were criminals.
6th May 2019 - The Guardian

The Brexit Party promises Theresa May's Conservatives 'a really good kicking' in the European elections

Theresa May's Conservative Party are heading for a heavy defeat in the upcoming European Parliament elections, according to recent polls. The elections are being led by the newly-formed Brexit party, created by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The party's lead candidate in London is Ben Habib, a property fund manager and former Conservative donor. He tells Business Insider that Brexit Party will lead to the "demise" of his former party.
6th May 2019 - Business Insider

UKIP leader cancels visit to Swindon

The anti-immigration party leader and its two MEP candidates for the south west were expected in the town centre this morning. However the leadership cancelled the trip over the weekend, saying that the UKIP battle bus wasn't ready and train services were unreliable due to the bank holiday. It added that there are currently no further plans to visit before the European elections later this month.
6th May 2019 - Swindon Advertiser

No-deal Brexit 'could threaten evidence-sharing with Europe' on cyber crime

Speedy European evidence-sharing about cyber crime may be endangered by a no-deal Brexit, a police officer in Northern Ireland has warned. European Investigation Orders (EIOs) allow the PSNI to access material within 90 days. The number of internet-related crimes has increased significantly in recent years but the amount of resources devoted to tackling it is being outstripped, Detective Sergeant Darren McCracken said. "If we leave as a result of Brexit we no longer have access to EIOs to obtain information within 90 days," he said. He said that was a fast turnaround in the world of law enforcement. Investigators can contact firms directly for intelligence-gathering but for court action the official channel is essential, he said. "If Brexit happens we are no longer part of a European treaty. We may not have access to that."
6th May 2019 - Irish Independent

Theresa May's chief flounces out of Tory WhatsApp group over attacks on his boss

Theresa May's chief of staff has flounced out of a Tory WhatsApp group in protest at the constant attacks on his boss. Gavin Barwell proclaimed "frankly I have had enough of it" before storming out of the group chat for Conservatives in his home area of Croydon. According to a leaked screenshot, he told local Tories it "hurts" to work 19 hour days, only to check Whatsapp and find Tory attacks "of the kind from our worst opponents". The message, which Tory Bible ConservativeHome said it genuine, emerged as Theresa May faced fresh calls to quit after losing 1,269 council seats. The worst local election results since 1995 heap new pressure on the PM, who already faces mutiny over plans for a compromise Brexit deal with Labour .
6th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Date set for court case which could prosecute Boris Johnson over £350 million EU referendum lie

The date has been set for a court case which will attempt to hold Boris Johnson to account for the £350 million claim told during the EU referendum campaign - and was plastered all over the big red battle bus. The crowdfunded private prosecution was brought against the MP and former Vote Leave co-chair by Marcus J Ball. It will take place at Westminster Magistrates' Court on May 14th from 2.00pm, with the first hearing held in private, followed by a second public hearing shortly after. Ball, the 29-year-old private prosecutor, has accused Johnson of abusing public trust in his office as Mayor of London and Member of Parliament by intentionally misleading the public with regards to how much money the UK spends on EU membership. The statistic was criticised as misleading by the head of the UK Statistics Authority, who said that it was “a clear misuse of official statistics”.
6th May 2019 - The New European

The hype around Nigel Farage is designed to make us forget he led Britain into an ugly era of chaos

I asked a long-standing member of the Westminster lobby (the political journalists of the main national newspapers and current affairs magazines), who is the political editor of a well-known newspaper, whether it was fair to describe the media noise around Farage as “hype”. He thought it fair and explained it like this: most of the national newspapers heavily backed Brexit (the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, The Sun, the Daily Express, the Sunday Times etc) but do not want to back the Tories in these European elections because they have made such a mess of it and Theresa May has no credibility.
6th May 2019 - The Independent

Brexit Party leaflets arrive and Remainers show exactly what they think of them

Another Twitter user, @MikkoE17, decided to use his as loo roll. He wrote: "We just run out of toilet paper. Luckily you sent your leaflet just in time. Based on the shape and content, it's perfect for the toilet roll. "I knew I could trust Nigel Farage in time of need!"
6th May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Nigel Farage under fire over 'antisemitic tropes' on far-right US talkshow

In the six identified interviews, which date from 2009 to last year, Farage, whose Brexit party is leading polls for the upcoming European elections, repeatedly uses words and phrases such as “globalists” and “new world order”, which regularly feature in antisemitic ideas. In the interviews, Farage also says: 1) Members of the annual Bilderberg gathering of political and business leaders are plotting a global government. 2) The banking and political systems are working “hand in glove” in an attempt to disband nation states. 3) “Globalists” are trying to engineer a world war as a means to introduce a worldwide government. 4) Climate change is a “scam” intended to push forward this transnational government. 5) In the most recent interview, filmed in April last year, Farage said the EU is “the prototype for the new world order”, and 6) “globalists have wanted to have some form of conflict with Russia as an argument for us all to surrender our national sovereignty and give it up to a higher global level”.
6th May 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Labour dismisses early deal as May's plan would mean US firms 'getting hands' on NHS

A senior Labour figure has stamped on talk of an early deal with Theresa May to rescue Brexit, warning her proposals would see private US health giants “getting their hands” on the NHS. Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said ministers “haven’t really shifted” in the long-running negotiations – despite speculation that a cross-party agreement could be struck as early as this week. He criticised Tory “spin doctors” for briefing that a deal was close, saying: “The problem is that, although the government is trying to redress their customs union offer, they haven’t really shifted.”
6th May 2019 - The Independent

Ministers spend extra £160m on Brexit consultant contracts

The government has signed a round of new Brexit contracts with outside consultants worth almost £160m. Many of them are due to run until April 2020, six months after the UK's new scheduled departure date from the European Union. Since the EU referendum, Whitehall has hired companies to carry out consultancy work to prepare for Brexit. The government said it would continue to "draw on the expert advice" of a range of specialists. In February, an analysis for the BBC found the government had agreed contracts worth £104m for outside help on Brexit.
6th May 2019 - BBC

Dominic Raab’s nice wife and kitchen are no substitute for his screaming lack of a clue what to do

How can it be, when a country still desperately short of a way out of the Brexit mess has instead been forced to spend its Sunday staring into Dominic Raab’s kitchen? Been forced, too, to gaze upon Dominic Raab’s wife, as she tells The Sunday Times of how he used to prepare picnics for her in Hyde Park, and likes to reads The Gruffalo to his children. Yes, we are now officially at the Wives Stage (and, yes, it is all wives, for now) of the Tory Leadership Contest That Hasn’t Actually Begun Yet, itself an internal displacement activity for its own stunning inadequacies. Jeremy Hunt’s Chinese wife has also been making an appearance, winning praise in The Daily Telegraph for her being “effortlessly charming and considerate with diplomats”
6th May 2019 - The Independent

Labour strategist warns against shift to remain after local elections

As senior Labour figures prepare to resume Brexit talks with Conservative ministers on Tuesday, Andrew Gwynne warned against a further shift towards remain. “On Brexit, what Labour is trying to achieve is much harder and more complex than those who say we need to simply swing behind remain admit,” he wrote in the Guardian. “It would be the easiest option and perhaps superficially give us a short-term boost, but we are a national party seeking support from people all over the county, unlike the ‘leave means leave’ charade of the Tories and Nigel Farage, or the ‘stop Brexit’ simplicity of the smaller parties.” He pointed out that all of the 21 councils in which Labour lost five or more seats were in heavily leave-voting areas. “The talk about another referendum was a difficult message to explain to many of our traditional voters.”
6th May 2019 - The Guardian

All Under One Banner's full statement after being reported by police

Manny Singh, the chief organiser of Glasgow's huge All Under One Banner independence march on Saturday, has released a statement after being reported to the procurator fiscal by police. Singh was visited by police officers at his home on Monday, and was reported under Section 65 of the Civic Government(Scotland) Act 1982 which states that anyone convicted of holding a procession that does not comply with the relevant council order can be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of up to three months.
6th May 2019 - The National

Farage plays down candidate's previous defence of IRA

Nigel Farage is continuing to come under pressure over one of his Brexit Party candidates' defence of the IRA following the Warrington bombing in 1993 - but called the issue "irrelevant". Claire Fox, a European Parliament candidate in the North West of England, was a leading member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) which defended "the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom" after the IRA killed two young boys in Warrington. Over the weekend, two Brexit Party statements were released in the name of Ms Fox. The first said that she does "not support the IRA or its methods". Pointedly, the second statement left this out, as well as a claim that she "never knowingly met or had any communication or links with republican or loyalist paramilitary organisations". The first also said: "I fully respect the Good Friday Agreement and embrace the peace that it has made possible." But the later one appeared to carefully distance Ms Fox from support for the 1998 peace deal.
6th May 2019 - Belfast Telegraph

Tory MPs 'will move to oust Theresa May this week' if she agrees Brexit deal with Labour

Theresa May has been warned her MPs will begin moves to oust her as soon as this week if she agrees a Brexit deal with Labour. The Prime Minister wants to sign off an agreement with Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday in order to avoid having to send new MEPs to the European Parliament, but there is little appetite for a cross-party deal among her own backbenchers. Rivals in the race to succeed Mrs May are on a state of high alert in case a compromise deal with Labour becomes the trigger for a leadership election. Senior sources within the Conservative Party said on Monday that Mrs May will be “gone very quickly” if she moves towards Labour’s demands for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU.
6th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Nigel Farage: Name of Brexit Party's biggest donor 'irrelevant'

Nigel Farage has refused to reveal the name of the man who has given £100,000 to his new Brexit Party. Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the leader said it was "irrelevant" who the biggest donor was and his or her identity would be declared at the end of July, after this month's European Parliament elections. Mr Farage claimed if he revealed the name now the person would be "hounded" by the media in the lead-up the vote. The party does not list its donors on its website.
6th May 2019 - Sky News

@BrexitBin The island of Ireland is not a square on a chessboard. It's part of the fabric of Europe.

The island of Ireland is not a square on a chessboard. It's part of the fabric of Europe. A torn fabric, which the EU helped to repair with the threads of respect and common sense. Vote for Peace at the #EUelections2019 #RevoteRevokeRemain
6th May 2019 - @BrexitBin

‘How do we stop the country from tearing itself apart?’: Lord Bates’ pursuit of the common ground

People react to conflict in different ways. Some actively seek it out, others actively avoid it. For Michael Bates, politics has become an almost inhospitable environment. To find the common ground, the Conservative peer and former minister has embarked on a walk from Belfast to Brussels. Nearly 200 miles into his journey, Sebastian Whale joins him in west Yorkshire
3rd May 2019 - Poltics Home


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 6th May 2019

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How Theresa May is planning three major Brexit concessions to win over Jeremy Corbyn and get deal agreed

Theresa May will face her latest “moment of truth” on Tuesday when she presents Labour with a new Brexit compromise plan which she hopes will break the deadlock and deliver an orderly departure from the European Union. Success will be securing Jeremy Corbyn’s support while failure will see the Prime Minister forced to change tack and adopt the plan B of offering MPs votes on different Brexit options. Both ways forward are likely to have nightmarish consequences for Mrs May. The Prime Minister’s new Brexit plan is based on a trio of major concessions designed to win over Labour, but all three will be opposed by large numbers of Tory MPs.
5th May 2019 - The Telegraph

Not being the Tories is no longer enough for Labour

The point is that if Labour's sole selling point is “We're not the Tories”, that's scarcely a unique selling point. So why vote Labour in particular? Is it beyond even someone of the evident wit and perspicacity of Tom Watson to make a positive case for Labour? Of course, in fairness to Watson, it's difficult for anyone to make a positive case for supporting a party when that party's position on the most urgent matter facing the country is so vague and contradictory as to be meaningless. It's hard not to feel a twinge of sympathy for all Labour's advocates when they know that any statement they make on Brexit is likely to be back-pedalled, undermined or just flatly denied by someone further up the Corbyntology food chain. The trouble with Watson's exhortation to vote Labour in this local elections (and by the time you read this I imagine most of you will have voted already, and if not, why not) in order to 'send a message' to the Tory government is that on the matter of Brexit, their message still falls far short of a People's Vote.
5th May 2019 - The New European

Theresa May 'will climb down on customs, goods and workers' rights'

Theresa May is set to offer Labour a three-pronged Brexit deal in a bid to break the deadlock at Westminster, it has been claimed. The PM's negotiating team will reportedly give ground to Jeremy Corbyn on customs, goods and workers' rights. Conservatives were warned they will have to 'suck up concessions' after Mrs May acknowledged there was 'no sign' of her MPs uniting behind her deal. She is hoping to persuade the Labour benches to back her instead with cross-party talks expected to resume this week.
5th May 2019 - Daily Mail

WATCH: Nigel Farage says Brexit Party £100K donor is 'irrelevant'

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said that the name of his party’s £100,000 donor is “irrelevant”. and would not be named until after the EU elections. Speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge politics show, Farage started out sarcastically in response to Ridge's line of questioning. “Oh yes, I'm really going to tell you his name,” he said. “Well why not?” Ridge shot back. “This is the new transparent politics.”
5th May 2019 - The New European

Brexit party figures who left over offensive posts are still directors

Two senior members of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party who left their roles after the Guardian uncovered offensive social media messages they had sent are still directors of the organisation weeks after they had supposedly cut all ties, it has emerged. Catherine Blaiklock, the first leader of the party, who resigned over a series of anti-Islam messages, and the former treasurer Michael McGough, who was ousted because of antisemitic and other offensive Facebook posts, are still listed as directors. Blaiklock, who also retweeted far-right messages, including one from a former British National party activist referring to “white genocide”, also resigned as company secretary of the party soon after the posts emerged, six weeks ago. But despite that change being made to the Companies House register, she remains listed as a director. McGough is also still a director. He was removed as treasurer a month ago after posting what the party called “unacceptable statements”. A party statement at the time said he would no longer have any role in the organisation.
5th May 2019 - The Guardian

Labour MPs say they won't back a Brexit deal without a people’s vote

Jeremy Corbyn will not be able to get enough of his MPs to back a Brexit deal without the promise of a second referendum, even if Theresa May makes a big offer on a customs union and workers’ rights this week, senior Labour figures believe. Senior party sources said they believe two-thirds of Labour MPs, including several shadow cabinet ministers and many more frontbenchers, would refuse to back a deal without a people’s vote attached. Theresa May is preparing to make new proposals of a temporary customs union until the next election, matching EU employment rights in the future and alignment of single market regulations on goods.
5th May 2019 - The Guardian

Theresa May must go now, former Tory leader says

Theresa May must resign or the Conservatives should force her out, after the party's heavy local election losses, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The former Tory leader called Mrs May a "caretaker PM" and described her attempts to reach a Brexit deal with Labour as "absurd". The party suffered its worst local election result in England since 1995. Other senior Conservatives have urged Tory MPs to compromise with Labour to ensure Brexit is delivered.
5th May 2019 - BBC

Jess Phillips Just Gave Diane Abbott The Perfect Analogy On Labour And Brexit

In the debate, Abbott said there should be a general election and added that the country needed to be brought back together as it is so divided over Brexit. Phillips hit back, saying she had a very remain and very pro-second referendum position but was in a leave seat, which meant she was “only too aware of how we have to keep the country together”. “As much as we want an election, I want to be a size 10 but I keep eating cake. You don’t just get what you want. An election is not what’s in front of us. Brexit is the thing that is in front of us. We have to show courage and leadership,” she said. As the camera panned to Abbott looking deeply unimpressed, Phillips added: “People loved Corbyn because they thought that he was honest and would come out and say what he actually thought but what he seems to think on this [Brexit] is a bit like ‘oh well, we’ll see’...”
5th May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

EU recovers £200,000 from Ukip MEPs accused of misusing funds

The European parliament has recovered more than £200,000 from Ukip MEPs accused of misusing public funds through payments to party workers. But with three weeks to go until European elections, time is running out to recoup money from others alleged to have broken EU rules. The parliament has suspended the pay of two staff attached to Ukip’s former leader Paul Nuttall and his fellow North West England MEP Louise Bours, the Guardian has learned. Neither MEP is standing for re-election on 23 May, which could make it harder for officials to recover money. Since the Guardian revealed the parliament’s investigation into Ukip misspending in 2017, £202,667 has been recovered from two current MEPs and one former one.
5th May 2019 - The Guardian

Local elections: Why has Labour lost seats?

Labour has suffered a net loss of council seats - starting from the low base of 2015 in many cases. The Conservatives have lost more than 10 times as many councillors, but what is remarkable is that the main party of opposition - around the mid-term of a not-very-popular government - has not made net gains. It seems reasonable to assume that some votes have been lost by Labour in Leave areas because - as the leader of Sunderland City Council Graeme Miller has said - the party hasn't decisively ruled out another referendum. (It has retained it as an option, if the Conservatives are unwilling to change their deal).
5th May 2019 - BBC

Ousted MP Fiona Onasanya will not fight Peterborough by-election

Fiona Onasanya was the first MP removed by recall petition after she was jailed over speeding lie. She has said she will not stand for re-election during the by-election in Peterborough on June 6th
5th May 2019 - BBC

Jeremy Corbyn says election results show 'we must now get a Brexit deal done'

Jeremy Corbyn said results from the latest local elections show "a deal has to be done" on Brexit. Asked about the figures so far, he said: "An arrangement has to be made. A deal has to be done. Parliament has to resolve this issue." Mr Corbyn said there was a "huge impetus" on every MPs to find a way beyond the current logjam. His comments came after shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: "So far, message from local elections - 'Brexit - sort it'. Message received."
5th May 2019 - Evening Standard

‘I’m getting death threats,’ says man who threw milkshake on Tommy Robinson

Danyaal Mahmud says he's worried about his family after protest against far-right candidate Tommy Robinson went viral.
5th May 2019 - The Guardian

Theresa May still in Brexit denial after Tory local election drubbing in England

The Prime Minister was in Aberdeen to tell the Tory troops that everything in the garden was rosy despite making a mess of Brexit and being punished in polls. Theresa May just lost more than 1300 Tory councillors – but you wouldn’t know it to listen to her. Instead, the Prime Minister chose to ignore the carnage of the English elections and pretend all is rosy in the garden.
4th May 2019 - Daily Record

Starmer: Tory leadership contest 'most important' thing for many in Cabinet

Cabinet ministers place more importance on the next Tory leadership contest than Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer has claimed, in a swipe at the Foreign Secretary’s warning that a customs union would not be a “long-term solution”. The shadow Brexit secretary said Jeremy Hunt’s comments provided “yet more evidence” that many in the Cabinet believe the “most important thing right now” is the race to be Theresa May’s successor. Sir Keir made the remarks in response to an interview in which Mr Hunt said he had “never believed” that a customs union is a “long-term solution”.
4th May 2019 - ITV News

'Purist Brexiteers' blamed for massive Tory losses in local elections

Purist Brexiteers in the Conservative Party are partially to blame for the Tories losing 1,334 councillors, Jeremy Hunt has said. The Foreign Secretary took aim at his own colleagues for refusing to compromise during the Brexit negotiations and added the Government could have done things ‘differently’. As a result of the massive losses across the country, the Tories lost control of more than 45 local authorities. It was the Tories worst night of elections since 1995.
4th May 2019 - Metro.co.uk

In Rees-Mogg heartland, angry voters embrace Lib Dems over Brexit chaos

“A lot of Conservatives have changed to the Lib Dems here because they want a second referendum, not because they want to push Brexit through faster,” she told the Observer on Friday, as the results from the previous day’s poll trickled in. “What makes me mad is that we are not being listened to.”
4th May 2019 - The Guardian

Ukip loses 80% of council seats in local election hammering after lurch to far-right

Ukip has lost around 80 per cent of the council seats it defended on Thursday, in a local election hammering following a politcal lurch to the right. Gerard Batten’s party went into Thursday’s contest with 111 councillors and ended up with just 24, as of the 4.30pm tally on results day. The party has mostly failed to capitalise on the collapse of the Conservatives, with its former leader Nigel Farage taking the lions share of Brexiteer support in polls with his new Brexit Party venture. Mr Farage quit the party in December, alleging that Mr Batten had put too much emphasis on anti-Islam policies, and toxified its brand by associating with far-right personality Tommy Robinson.
4th May 2019 - The Independent

Nigel Farage's star candidate is an 'apologist for the IRA'

Nigel Farage was urged to sack one of his star Euro election candidates last night after the father of a 12-year-old boy murdered by the IRA claimed she had refused to condemn the terror group. Colin Parry said that the Brexit Party's Claire Fox did not 'disavow her offensive views' when he challenged her. Miss Fox is standing in North West England, which includes Warrington – where Mr Parry's son Tim was killed when the IRA bombed the town in 1993.
4th May 2019 - Daily Mail

Gavin Williamson 'fired for diabetes jibe at PM'

Gavin Williamson was fired as defence secretary after Theresa May was informed that he had attacked her in private, saying that her diabetes made her unfit to be prime minister. May became frustrated with Williamson’s behaviour after hearing that he told fellow Tories that her health meant she should not continue in the job — claims that Williamson rejects as categorically untrue. The warnings were delivered in the weeks before the former defence secretary was sacked amid claims that he leaked details of a National Security Council meeting last week about the Chinese firm Huawei. Sources at the top of government and the Conservative Party say slurs about the prime minister’s health were overheard by a senior party official, who reported the former defence secretary’s conversation back to Downing Street. It is also claimed that Williamson was also overheard at a dinner, denouncing May’s fitness for the job.
4th May 2019 - The Times

Theresa May must go now, former Tory leader says

Theresa May must resign or the Conservatives should force her out, after the party's heavy local election losses, Iain Duncan Smith has said. The former Tory leader called Mrs May a "caretaker PM" and described her attempts to reach a Brexit deal with Labour as "absurd". The party suffered its worst local election result in England since 1995. Other senior Conservatives have urged Tory MPs to compromise with Labour to ensure Brexit is delivered.
4th May 2019 - BBC

Local elections: Tories call for unity after election drubbing

Senior Conservatives have called for the party to pull together after it suffered its worst results in English local elections since 1995. The Conservatives lost 1,334 councillors in Thursday's votes. Home Secretary Sajid Javid admitted voters had "issues of trust" over Brexit, and said the European elections would "be even more challenging". Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the party needed to listen to the results and be "in the mood for compromise". Both PM Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have insisted they will push ahead with seeking a cross-party agreement on Brexit, following the results
4th May 2019 - BBC

Ruth Davidson: Tories face Brexit 'wake-up call'

Ruth Davidson has warned that the two main Westminster parties will suffer the wrath of voters in the EU elections unless they "get Brexit sorted". The Scottish Conservative leader admitted that the Tories and Labour had been given an "almighty kicking" in English local elections. But she predicted that they will be given an even bigger "wake-up call" in the European election on 23 May. She urged the two parties to find a compromise so the UK can "move on". Her speech to the conference was her first major public appearance since the birth of her son Finn in October. The Conservatives lost more than 1,300 seats in the council election and Labour lost 82 as the Liberal Democrats, Greens and independents surged across England.
4th May 2019 - BBC

Electoral Commission's £436,000 bill fighting Brexit campaigner

The elections watchdog is spending more than £400,000 defending its decision to fine a pro-Brexit campaigner £20,000. Court papers reveal Electoral Commission estimates that the cost of resisting appeals by Darren Grimes will amount to £436,000, after the body recruited James Eadie QC, the Government's most senior advocate, to argue its case in court. The watchdog fined Mr Grimes, the founder of the BeLeave campaign group, last year after concluding that he had wrongly reported £620,000 of spending on the 2016 Brexit referendum. Mr Grimes insists he is "completely innocent" and that he is being pursued simply for "ticking the wrong box".
4th May 2019 - The Telegraph

David Davis bows out of Tory leadership contest as he says he will back Dominic Raab to replace Theresa May

Former Brexit secretary David Davis has said he will not run to replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, declaring his support for Dominic Raab in the upcoming contest for Conservative leader. The 70-year-old Brexiteer - who came second to David Cameron in the 2005 leadership contest, but did not put himself forward in 2016 - said the Tories need "a generational change" in leadership. He said that Mr Raab, 45, was "the best-placed Brexit candidate to win the necessary support among MPs and party members and, above all, broaden our appeal to voters". Mrs May has said she will stand down as Tory leader when an EU withdrawal agreement is ratified, handing over to a successor to negotiate the future trading relationship with the EU
4th May 2019 - The Telegraph

@PaulbrandITV WATCH: Corbyn's full words below about the need to "get a deal done."

WATCH: Corbyn's full words below about the need to "get a deal done."
3rd May 2019 - @PaulbrandITV

Local elections: Tories lose 1,200 seats - and it is a bad night for Labour, too

The Conservatives and Labour have suffered a bruising day following the local elections as voters vented their anger at the two main parties over the continuing Brexit deadlock. The Tories lost over 1,300 seats in what was a devastating night for Theresa May's party, surpassing even the worst projections. But there will be few celebrations in the Labour camp as they failed to capitalise on Tory losses, with the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Independents picking up seats in England in local elections where national politics appeared to dominate all else. Elections were fought in 248 English councils, six mayors and 11 councils in Northern Ireland.
3rd May 2019 - ITV News

Voters Punish May and Corbyn Amid Brexit Chaos: U.K. Update

Voters are turning their backs on both the main parties amid frustration over Brexit, according to results from local elections in England. Prime Minister Theresa May’s ruling Conservatives are paying the heaviest price at the polls for overseeing the political chaos of the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union. But Labour has also suffered serious set-backs, while the biggest winners so far are the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.
3rd May 2019 - Bloomberg L.P.

Local elections: Corbyn 'very sorry' for losses and admits Brexit was a factor

Jeremy Corbyn today said he was "very sorry" for Labour's losses in the local elections as he accepted Brexit was a factor. The party leader arrived amid a steaming row and pouring rain in Trafford - a rare gain for Labour overnight after losing heartlands Hartlepool, Bolsover and Wirral. There was a swing from the Tories to Labour in many parts of southern England, but the party lost a whopping nine seats in Brexit-backing Sunderland. And the Lib Dems hailed their best election night ever as a 'Remain backlash' added hundreds of council seats to the anti-Brexit party. Mr Corbyn said he was “very sorry” to have lost control of northern strongholds but insisted: “We’ll fight back and we’ll win them back.” And he admitted Labour may have lost votes from people “disagreeing with both parties on attitudes towards the EU”.
3rd May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Ghetto Britain: The complex division behind Nigel Farage's dog whistle politics

The Daily Mail attempts to explain that there are some apparent problems in Oldham in terms of the ethnic mix of the community, in an attempt to either justify or explain Nigel Farage's extreme comments in a speech in the USA earlier, in whcih he spoke about communities totally divided in Oldham, but which has drawn near universal condemnation as dog whistle Far Right politics
3rd May 2019 - Daily Mail

Sir Tony Robinson quits Labour over Brexit and leadership

Actor Sir Tony Robinson, a former member of Labour's governing National Executive Committee, says he has quit the party over its current direction. He said he was leaving after nearly 45 years because of Labour's stance on Brexit, its handling of anti-Semitism allegations and its poor leadership. Sir Tony, 72, is best known for playing Baldrick in the comedy Blackadder. The political activist has spoken at rallies for the People's Vote campaign for another referendum. His decision comes as Labour lost seats in Thursday's local elections, with voters turning to smaller parties and independents. Announcing his move on Twitter, Sir Tony said it was partly down to the party's "continued duplicity on Brexit".
3rd May 2019 - BBC

@PaulBrandITV WATCH: Theresa May heckled in Wales, as party member shouts "WHY DON'T YOU RESIGN? The National Convention don't want you, we don't want you!" May responds in (slightly dodgy) Welsh, "And good afternoon!"

WATCH: Theresa May heckled in Wales, as party member shouts "WHY DON'T YOU RESIGN? The National Convention don't want you, we don't want you!" May responds in (slightly dodgy) Welsh, "And good afternoon!"
3rd May 2019 - @PaulBrandITV

Voters are punishing Labour for its Brexit ‘fudge’, angry MPs warn Corbyn after shock election losses

Voters are punishing Labour for its Brexit “fudge”, angry MPs have warned Jeremy Corbyn, after the party was the shock loser from the local elections – urging him to finally guarantee a fresh referendum. A disastrous night for both big parties saw the Conservatives lose more than 1,200 seats and fresh calls for Theresa May to quit, including from a Tory heckler in Wales, who demanded to know: “Why don’t you go?” As the Liberal Democrats and independent candidates surged, little more than half of the public backed the Conservatives or Labour – who were tied on just 28 per cent of votes each. But pro-EU Labour MPs seized on the evidence that their party – even in Leave areas – had lost out to parties demanding a Final Say public vote, as the Greens as well as the Lib Dems were rewarded. Between them, the two Remain parties claimed more than 850 seats, enjoying big swings from Labour in places including St Helens (18.8 per cent), Barnsley (17.3 per cent), Sunderland (13.4 per cent), Peterborough (6.9 per cent) and Derby (6.2 per cent), an analysis by the People’s Vote campaign found.
3rd May 2019 - The Independent

Tories lose over 1,300 seats in local elections as major parties suffer

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have vowed to press ahead with seeking a cross-party solution to the Brexit deadlock at Westminster, after voters punished both major parties in local elections. The Conservatives’ net loss of more than 1,300 seats on their 2015 figures marked their biggest defeat since John Major was prime minister. Disillusioned voters deserted the party in droves, including in traditional Tory areas such as Chelmsford and Surrey Heath. Labour had expected to make gains, but instead suffered a net loss, and lost control of a string of councils, including Burnley, Darlington and Wirral. Vince Cable’s remain-supporting Liberal Democrats were the major beneficiaries, taking control of 10 councils, including Cotswold and Winchester, while the Greens and a string of independents also fared unexpectedly well.
3rd May 2019 - The Guardian

Scottish Tory leader blocks Boris Johnson from party conference

Boris Johnson has been blocked by Ruth Davidson from attending the Scottish Conservative party conference in Aberdeen this weekend. Scottish Tory sources said a number of potential leadership candidates had been “discouraged” from attending the event, which begins on Friday, amid concerns their appearance could distract from party leader Davidson’s return from maternity leave, insisting the decision was not personal. Davidson appeared to downplay Johnson’s chances of success in any leadership contest in an interview on STV’s Scotland Tonight on Thursday night.
3rd May 2019 - The Guardian

Local elections: Conservatives lose more than 1,300 councillors

The Conservatives have lost 1,334 councillors, with Theresa May saying voters wanted the main parties to "get on" with Brexit. Labour also lost 82 seats in the English local elections, in which it had been expected to make gains. But the strongly pro-EU Lib Dems gained 703 seats, with leader Sir Vince Cable calling every vote received "a vote for stopping Brexit". The Greens and independents also made gains, as UKIP lost seats.
3rd May 2019 - BBC

The next PM? Time will come for talk of that, says Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt’s 12,500-mile odyssey through Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya has been a chance for the man who could be the UK’s next prime minister to learn more about Africa – and for us to learn more about him. The visit by the foreign secretary was ambitious in mileage and scale, speckled with meetings with presidents, helicopter rides to Maiduguri – the Boko Haram haven in Nigeria’s north-east – keynote speeches at the African Union headquarters, seminars with civil society and photo-ops. Meticulously planned, it ended with a visit to the HIV educational charity he helped fund in Kibera in the slums of Nairobi from the proceeds of his business. He is greeted as a long-lost friend and Honourable Jeremy. The children speak eloquently to him about the stigma of HIV.
3rd May 2019 - The Guardian

Sir Tony Robinson attacks Labour's 's***' leadership and quits party

Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson has quit the Labour Party - blaming its "continued duplicity on Brexit" and "complete s***" leadership. The 72-year-old, best known for playing Baldrick in the classic sitcom, announced his departure following a disappointing night for the opposition in the local elections. Sir Tony, who previously voiced fears that a "leftist clique" had "completely taken over" Labour - also blamed the ongoing issue of antisemitism for his decision.
3rd May 2019 - Sky News

I might rape MP Jess Phillips, says Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin

A Ukip candidate in the European elections was under pressure to withdraw yesterday after releasing a video suggesting he might rape a Labour MP. Carl Benjamin, who had already been attacked for a social media message saying he “wouldn’t even rape” the Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips, posted a video online suggesting that “with enough pressure I might cave”. Ms Phillips said the comments had upset her and questioned whether he should be allowed to stand in the election this month. She said to Buzzfeed: “If Facebook and Twitter can ban these people for hate speech how is it they are allowed to stand for election?” Mr Benjamin had released the video on YouTube, where he has a large following under the name Sargon of Akkad. After a list of spoof Ukip policies, including invading Spain, he said: “There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips. I suppose with enough pressure I might cave. But let’s be honest, nobody’s got that much beer.”
4th May 2019 - The Times

UKIP Candidate Carl Benjamin Has Talked Again About Raping Labour MP Jess Phillips And Now She Wants Action


3rd May 2019 - BuzzFeed News

Ukip candidate attacked over rape ‘joke’ video


3rd May 2019 - Belfast Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 3rd May 2019

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Brexit Party candidate quits over colleague Claire Fox's 'ambiguous position' on IRA bombing

Sally Bate, who was standing in the North West region, said she “cannot continue to stand beside” Claire Fox, who has failed to condemn the Warrington attack which killed 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball in 1993. Ms Fox is a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which defended "the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom," in a party newsletter published shortly after the killings. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ms Fox, who is the Brexit Party's top candidate in the North West, said she had the “greatest sympathy” for the Parry family. She added: “The loss of their son was tragic and must have been terribly painful, as for all victims of violence during the Troubles. "My personal politics and views are well known and I have never sought to disguise them, though on this issue they have remained unaired for many years.
3rd May 2019 - Politics Home

This Government Wants To Throw EU Students Under The Bus – Student Reps Like Me Won't Let Them

The Tory government plans to raise fees for EU students, remove vital financial support and make it far harder for EU students to apply to study in the UK. This move would shut off access to your world class education sector from the world.
2nd May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

The Londoner: Labour members shred their cards

Labour members are cutting up and shredding their membership cards in protest at the party’s failure to offer another referendum in its European Election manifesto. Yesterday saw a long drawn-out Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting decide that the manifesto would offer a second referendum “fully in line” with Labour’s policy, which is to offer a referendum only after trying to secure the party’s own “alternative plan for Brexit” or a general election. There had been an attempt by Tom Watson, the deputy leader, to strengthen that policy and make a confirmatory vote a priority. But with Jeremy Corbyn, pictured, said to be implacably opposed, Watson’s move failed, prompting a furious backlash among members. Pictures of membership cards cut into pieces, or being fed into shredding machines, flooded social media last night and this morning. “I’m not voting Labour until there is a people’s vote,” wrote one member.
2nd May 2019 - Evening Standard

Tories are hopeful local elections will ONLY lose them ‘500 to 600’ seats over Brexit shambles

Tory chiefs’ hopes are growing that they can duck a council elections wipe out today as voters go to the biggest local polls since 2015. Control of a total of 259 local authorities are up for grabs across England and Northern Ireland, with 8,804 councillors to be elected. Conservative MPs have feared a vicious drubbing as angry Leave as well as Remain voters take revenge on the Government for the Brexit shambles. Some Cabinet ministers have even predicted more than 1,000 council seat will be lost. But CCHQ insiders now say they can limit the losses to “around 500 to 600 on a good night”. A Tory figure told The Sun: “The private estimate is our vote will be more resilient than is generally thought. “Much of the voting is in rural areas, where Labour haven’t made many in-roads in the last few years. “The doorstep experience is also better than the national narrative.” In contrast, then-PM John Major’s Tories lost more than 2,000 councillors in 1995 in a massive midterm wipe out. A variety of hidden electoral factors are also expected to help hold up the Tory vote despite the Brexit anger, including a low turnout.
2nd May 2019 - The Sun

The 11-Minute Phone Call That Sparked Gavin Williamson's Cabinet Sacking

An eleven minute phone call is what appears to have sparked Gavin Williamson’s spectacular and dramatic downfall from government. When the defence secretary talked to Telegraph journalist Steven Swinford last Tuesday, he set in train a sequence of events that ended with the first leak-related sacking of a Cabinet minister in 70 years. Communications records, showing that the pair spoke after two crucial meetings of the National Security Council (NSC) and Cabinet that day, are understood to have revealed the exact length and time of the call. In a two-hour session with the official leak inquiry investigators last Friday, Williamson strenuously denied that he had discussed any confidential material from the NSC meeting, never mind the Huawei case. He’d chatted instead about the Tory leadership, Brexit and other matters, he said. But it’s clear that his explanation simply didn’t wash with the inquiry - or with Theresa May.
2nd May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Gavin Williamson: Now he's told to 'go away and shut up'

In a leak investigation, that has broken the precedent of most leak investigations that end up with precisely no result at all, a rapid hunt of just a few days has resulted in the sacking of one of the most senior ministers in government, and one of the few ministers frankly, that the prime minister could more or less rely on. Mr Williamson was for a while chief whip too, the keeper of the government's secrets. And, crucially, one of the few ministers who had good relations with the DUP. Indeed, brokering a deal on Theresa May's behalf in the wreckage of the 2017 general election. But there was also a lot of resentment and frustration in government circles at how he sometimes behaved, suspicion often that he was too quick to seek his own political advantage, too interested in his own future, too entertained by the dark arts of Westminster. That meant that as soon as the Huawei story broke, fingers were being privately pointed to him as the source of the leak. "Operation get Gav", as one of his allies described it.
2nd May 2019 - BBC

Gavin Williamson: I'd get 'nicest apology' from PM if police investigate Huawei leak


2nd May 2019 - Sky News

Gavin Williamson: Fired defence secretary denied access to copy of Huawei leaks report

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2nd May 2019 - The Independent

'I never have leaked anything from the NSC'

The day before he was sacked as defence secretary, Gavin Williamson denied leaking information.
2nd May 2019 - BBC

Theresa May has questions to answer over the Huawei scandal

The main question that needs to be answered by the prime minister and her security team is why the UK can mitigate this risk, when its partners in the FiveEyes cyber security alliance believe it is impossible. And - perhaps most importantly - whether the UK would have reached a different decision if it had not already allowed Huawei in, over a decade ago?
2nd May 2019 - Sky News

How Sir Mark Sedwill became Theresa May's supreme 'securocrat' – and pivotal in the Gavin Williamson affair

In his one and only interview as Cabinet Secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill spoke of the importance of keeping ‘a sense of perspective’ and ‘shouldering responsibility’ when it came to taking decisions on ‘the big issues’. Speaking to Civil Service Quarterly, a government publication, the 54-year-old ‘securocrat’ described how he drew on his former career in security and international relations to become the country’s most senior civil servant - and some say, the most powerful man in the country.
2nd May 2019 - The Telegraph

Tommy Robinson swings punches at man after milkshake thrown over his head

The far-right extremist, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was in Warrington this afternoon when he was covered in McDonald's milkshake for the second time in two days
2nd May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Tommy Robinson has milkshake thrown over him for second time in two days


2nd May 2019 - The Independent

Matteo Salvini: vote for nationalists to stop European caliphate

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s most powerful politician, has said Europe will become an “Islamic caliphate” unless nationalist parties make gains in the European elections later this month. Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and leader of the League party, is trying to form a coalition of nationalist and far-right forces ahead of the elections and was speaking in Budapest during a visit to his ideological soulmate Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister. “For our children, to leave behind an Islamic caliphate with sharia law in our cities is not something I want to do and I’m going to do everything in my power to avert this sad ending for Europe,” he said at a joint press conference with Orbán, who has used similarly incendiary rhetoric to rail against migration to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. Salvini made similar comments earlier this week in Italy.
2nd May 2019 - The Guardian

Ukip and swastika graffiti daubed 'on Lib Dem activist's car’ as voters go to polls in local elections

A swastika and the word Ukip have been daubed onto a Liberal Democrat activist’s car in Kent as voters go to the polls in local elections. Images show the grafitti crudely drawn onto a car which was parked outside a primary school. The vehicle's tyres were also slashed. A father walking his daughter to a primary school, on Edith Road, in Faversham, Kent, told the Standard he saw the vandalism this morning.
2nd May 2019 - Evening Standard

PM's tetchy exchange with Yvette Cooper over Brexit compromises

Theresa May insists compromises are possible on finding a way forward over Brexit and shows annoyance at the suggestion she is 'stubborn' when asked by Yvette Cooper
2nd May 2019 - Sky News

If Theresa May thinks the Gavin Williamson row will blow over, she’s kidding herself

Having sacked Gavin Williamson in the most abrupt and even brutal manner possible, Theresa May apparently “considers the matter closed”. Today in the Commons, MPs were in uproar. Some demanded a criminal investigation. Others – including several Tories – protested that the former Defence Secretary was the victim of a “kangaroo court”. Labour’s Tom Watson, intriguingly, began by denouncing the leak as “a fundamental breach of duty” – but then criticised the decision to let Huawei help build the UK’s 5G network. “Our [international] partners are so concerned,” he scowled, “that they’re considering whether they can safely continue to share intelligence with us.” Yet Mr Watson wouldn’t have known about the Huawei decision if it hadn’t been for the leak. In his eyes, it seems, the leaker was simultaneously endangering national security and defending it. Mr Williamson himself was absent, as indeed was Mrs May. Speaking on the Prime Minister’s behalf was David Lidington, the Minister for the Cabinet Office. Mr Lidington is often deployed when the House is fractious, probably because his manner is so cool and soothing. He’s calamine lotion in human form.
2nd May 2019 - The Telegraph

Senior Tory revealed as Huawei cheerleader in Brussels

As the ongoing controversy over Huawei engulfs Theresa May’s cabinet, a senior Conservative politician with a controversial lobbying history has emerged as one of the Chinese telecommunications company’s leading advocates in Brussels. On Wednesday the prime minister sacked her defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, after he was accused of leaking secret discussions about Huawei that suggested May “overruled” senior ministers and security warnings to let the Chinese tech giant help build Britain’s new 5G mobile internet network. Those concerns do not appear to have resonated with Nirj Deva, a Tory MEP and number two on the party’s list for the upcoming European Parliament elections, who recently urged colleagues to back Huawei in an upcoming vote in Brussels. “I would ask you to make decisions based on facts, rather than unfounded allegations and to consider the very real implications of banning Chinese technology from our market,” Deva wrote to colleagues on 12 March in a leaked email seen by openDemocracy and SourceMaterial. “There has not been a single instance of foul play detected on any Huawei product.”
2nd May 2019 - Open Democracy

Brexit Party Spiked - Nigel Farage's Disastrous RCP Candidates

Claire Fox clearly did not understand that and nor has she sought to. Her arrogance, lack of remorse and unwillingness to take the sincere concerns of locals seriously was already testing patience, but her call to Colin Parry was the final straw. On Wednesday night one of her fellow Brexit Party candidates, Sally Bate, quit the party in disgust and resigned as the prospective MEP. Sally is the founder and leader of Warrington for Brexit and a well-known local activist. Friends and political allies tell me that she felt she could no longer represent the party when Claire Fox was standing on the same platform.
2nd May 2019 - Byline Times

British Lord Barker Got $4 Million Bonus on Deripaska Sanctions Deal

Former Tory Part minister, Greg Barker, a member of Britain’s House of Lords and the chairman of En+ Group Plc, was awarded a bonus of about 3 million to 4 million pounds ($3.9 million to $5.2 million) for negotiating the removal of U.S. sanctions on the Russian company, according to people familiar with the matter. Barker spent months shuttling between Washington, London and Moscow to put together an agreement between the Treasury Department and Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who was sanctioned last April. The talks culminated in a deal in which Deripaska agreed to step away from En+, which holds a controlling stake in aluminum giant United Co. Rusal.
1st May 2019 - Bloomberg

SNP MP labels PM 'evasive' over government's Cambrige Analytica meetings

An SNP MP has branded Theresa May “one of the most evasive Prime Ministers in history” after the Tory leader again refused to answer questions over meetings between the UK Government, Cambridge Analytica and Canadian political consultancy and technology firm AggregateIQ. At Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons yesterday, Deidre Brock challenged May to “spill the beans” on who from her government met with Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ and when meetings took place, following confirmation from the Foreign Office that they happened.
1st May 2019 - The National

UK should exercise ‘caution’ over Chinese firms like Huawei, Jeremy Hunt warns

The UK should exercise "a degree of caution" about the role of large Chinese firms such as Huawei, Jeremy Hunt has said. The foreign secretary raised concerns about Chinese laws requiring firms to co-operate with Beijing's intelligence agencies, saying: "We have to weigh those considerations very carefully." A Whitehall leak inquiry is under way after details emerged of a National Security Council (NSC) meeting at which Theresa May was said to have given the green light for the Chinese tech giant to help build "non-core" parts of the UK's 5G communications network.
1st May 2019 - The Independent


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 2nd May 2019

    View this newsletter in full

UK government cancels Brexit ferry deals

The Department for Transport is cancelling contracts to provide extra ferry services after Brexit. Ending the contracts with Brittany Ferries and DFDS could cost the taxpayer more than £50m. The government bought £89m worth of capacity from the two firms. Some of that capacity might be sold, but millions of pounds could be lost. The contracts were designed to ease pressure on the port of Dover, by creating extra services at other ports. In February, the DfT was forced to axe its £13.8m contract with a third company, Seaborne Freight, which the BBC found had never sailed a vessel. Earlier this year, the National Audit Office estimated that the cancellation costs of all the ferry contracts would be £56.6m. The cost is likely to only be several million pounds less than this. A government spokesperson said: "The termination of these contracts has resulted in less cost to the taxpayer than the termination costs reported by the NAO." The government was also forced to pay £33m to Eurotunnel, to settle a case which challenged the procurement process for the ferry contracts. In addition, the DfT is now facing legal action from P&O Ferries, which says its rival, Eurotunnel, was given a competitive advantage by the government.
2nd May 2019 - BBC

No-deal Brexit ferry contracts to be scrapped at eye-watering £50m cost to taxpayer


1st May 2019 - Evening Standard

Chris Grayling cancels no-deal Brexit ferry contracts at cost of £50m to taxpayers


1st May 2019 - The Telegraph

Chris Grayling's department cancels no-deal Brexit ferry contracts at £50m cost to the taxpayer


1st May 2019 - Politics Home

Government cancels no-deal Brexit ferry contracts - at a £50m cost to taxpayers


1st May 2019 - Sky News

No-Deal Brexit Ferry Contracts Cancelled At Cost Of £50m


1st May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Fiona Onasanya booted out as MP after recall petition over conviction

Disgraced Fiona Onasanya has been booted out as an MP after her constituents voted to force a by-election. The Peterborough MP, who ousted Tory Stewart Jackson in 2017 on a majority of just 607, was jailed and expelled from the Labour Party after being convicted of perverting the course of justice. And rare recall petition - only the second ever of its kind - opened on March 19, giving voters a chance to boot her out. Speaker John Bercow confirmed today that the petition was signed by 10% of her constituents, that she was no longer the MP for Peterborough and a by-election would take place in the seat.
1st May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya loses seat in Parliament as constituents' petition triggers by-election


1st May 2019 - The Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn Rejects Claims That He Endorsed Anti-Semitism In Colonialism Textbook

Jeremy Corbyn has rejected claims that he endorsed anti-semitic remarks in an academic textbook on colonialism, pointing out the language used was “of its time”. The Labour leader was plunged into a fresh row over the issue after it emerged that he had praised the study by JA Hobson as “a great tome”. The book, Imperialism: A Study, included several anti-semitic tropes about Jewish control of media and finance. It included a line that claimed Europe was controlled “by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience”. The Jewish Labour Movement said the issue was a resignation matter for Corbyn, who wrote a foreword to a new edition of the textbook when he was a backbencher in 2011.
2nd May 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Jeremy Corbyn criticised for endorsing book which claimed Jews control banks and the press


1st May 2019 - Politics Home

Jeremy Corbyn is either blind to antisemitism – or he just doesn’t care


1st May 2019 - The Guardian

UK local elections: Ukip support melts away in Kent heartland

Thanet hoped to take back control. Four years ago, in its last local elections, the Kentish district delivered a populist shock by electing the first council run by the UK Independence party. The party that championed Brexit decades before the term was coined won Thanet on an anti-establishment platform, including a pledge to reopen Manston Airport — a major regional employer renowned for its role in the second world war. It was a high for Ukip and its then leader, Nigel Farage. Its victory, however, soon descended into bickering. In elections on Thursday, the self-proclaimed “People’s Army” is standing a meagre three candidates for the 56 seats on Thanet District Council. In the district’s towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, the party’s local infrastructure has disappeared. Candidates, supporters and activists have fled.
2nd May 2019 - Financial Times

Gavin Williamson sacking 'personal blow' for May

The shock decision to sack the defence secretary came after senior ministers demanded a full inquiry into a National Security Council leak. Downing Street sources have pointed out the prime minister spoke of her sadness at her decision to fire Gavin Williamson in her letter setting out the reasons for her decision. But they made clear that having conducted a full inquiry into the leak, there could be no other explanation other than the former defence secretary handed over sensitive information to a journalist. Before sitting in the cabinet, Mr Williamson was the chief whip, making him one of Theresa May's most trusted senior colleagues.
1st May 2019 - Sky News

The Guardian view on the Gavin Williamson sacking: a man who leaked ambition

It is symptomatic of the malaise of Brexit that personal ambitions have taken over as the animating impulse in too many cabinet ministers. There appears no depth to which Mr Williamson wouldn’t drop to prove that he had metamorphosised into a nationalist rabble-rouser. He was shallow: responding to Treasury cheese-paring with the idea of mounting guns on tractors as makeshift mobile missile launchers. He showboated: suggesting that Gibraltarians could be armed with paintball guns to fire at passing Spanish ships to scare them off. In response, it was reported, generals simply rolled their eyes. Perhaps nobody else has behaved quite so badly. But this sorry episode reminds the nation that many Conservatives are losing their grip on reality when they ought to be grappling with the most complex piece of statecraft in a generation.
1st May 2019 - The Guardian

How ultra-remainers could score a spectacular own goal on Brexit

Labour’s left was once bitterly denounced for putting purity ahead of power. With Farageism on the brink of winning a national poll, and with Labour having already jeopardised the coalition of remainers and leavers it needs to win, the same people who once angrily made this argument are themselves most guilty of it. Imagine being a second referendum supporter who is so furious with a party that has twice voted for their objective that you’d allow your supposed mortal enemy to win an election and destroy your own cause. Well, you don’t have to imagine it: because in three weeks’ time, that is what will happen.
1st May 2019 - The Guardian

UKIP candidate Mark Meechan linked to racist forum posts

Scottish UKIP candidate Mark Meechan was a prominent user of an online forum that contained racist language and threats against ethnic minorities. The forum was closed down by its host, US-based gaming community site Discord, following inquiries by the BBC. The chat group, which was littered with racist and Islamophobic terms as well as support for neo-Nazi groups, was promoted from Mr Meechan's Twitter. Mr Meechan said the forum "operates on the principle of free speech". The 31-year-old YouTube blogger, from Coatbridge, was convicted last year of posting a video of his girlfriend's pug lifting a paw when he said "gas the Jews" or "Sieg Heil". It was described by a sheriff as anti-Semitic and racist but Mr Meechan denied he was a racist and said his conviction set "a very dangerous precedent" for free speech.
1st May 2019 - BBC

Labour MP - who said party is not pro-Remain - now 'desperately worried' about losing Remainers

A Labour MP who claimed that Labour is ‘not a Remain party’ has now expressed concerns that it is losing Remainers after a series of member resignations. It had been hoped that the leadership would provide a more positive line on a People's Vote as the country heads to the European elections, but instead the National Executive Committee endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's pro-Brexit message, which appears to keep a public vote option as a last resort. Now Barry Gardiner, a member of the Labour frontbench, has said he is “desperately worried” about losing the support of Remainers after many turned to social media to announce their resignations. That is despite recently telling anti-Brexit campaigners that Labour is “not a Remain party”. He was grilled by LBC radio presenter, Iain Dale about the rise in resignations since the announcement on its manifesto.
1st May 2019 - The New European

Corbyn refuses to back a second referendum – but not because he’s a closet Brexiteer

It was the first line of the spokesperson’s statement that gave the game away: “We are working to bring the country together after the chaos and crisis created by the Tories.” To translate that into normal English: we hope that both Leavers and Remainers will continue to vote for us, while the Conservative Party goes into meltdown for its failure to deliver Brexit. So far, the Milne-Corbyn strategy seems to be working fine.
1st May 2019 - The Independent

Activists Are Trying To Force Mastercard To Cut Off Payments To The Far-Right

Activists have successfully forced Mastercard to hold a vote by shareholders on a proposal which, if passed, could see the company monitoring payments to global far-right political leaders and white supremacist groups. The proposal aims to see Mastercard establish an internal “human rights committee” that would stop designated white supremacist groups and anti-Islam activists, such as Tommy Robinson, from getting access to money sent from donors using the company’s card payment services. It’s been conceived by US-based political activists SumOfUs, who want to escalate the battle against white supremacists and far-right groups from tech platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Patreon, and PayPal to one of the biggest companies in world finance, in an attempt to choke off donations. Robinson and several other leading figures in the global far right have been forced in recent months to solicit donations directly on their websites via Mastercard, Visa, and American Express after PayPal banned payments to them. Facebook also disabled the donation function on Robinson’s fan page before deleting it completely.
1st May 2019 - BuzzFeed News

Brexit Party candidate criticised for past IRA defence

The father of a murdered schoolboy has criticised a top Brexit Party candidate over "absolutely disgraceful" comments about the Warrington IRA bombing. European elections candidate Claire Fox was a leading member of the far-left Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) which defended the fatal attack. Colin Parry, whose son Tim died in the 1993 bombing, said she "should disavow these comments if that's her position". A Brexit Party spokesman said Ms Fox "does not hold those views now". Tim Parry, 12, and Johnathan Ball, three, were killed in the IRA bombing on March 20, 1993, which left 56 others injured.
1st May 2019 - BBC

Labour is winning the ground war in the local elections while the Tories have gone missing

Prime Minister’s questions today comes on the eve of the local elections so you can expect both leaders to use the opportunity for a spot of last minute campaigning. Theresa May will dutifully go through the motions of defending her Government’s record while refusing to acknowledge her party is facing a hammering in tomorrow’s poll . The consequences of years of austerity are far more noticeable at a local level than the national one. The cumulative impact of the cuts can be seen in the closure of your local leisure centre, the potholes in the roads, the rationing of social care, the absence of community support officers, the state of the local park, the fly-tipping and the loss of your library.
1st May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Conservative Party's biggest Brexit mistake revealed – 'We were crazy to do it'

Theresa May has been the subject of heavy criticism from members of her party after she agreed to a further extension to the Brexit process to seek support for her proposed withdrawal deal. Commentator Tim Montgomerie claimed the Conservative Party had made a "crazy" mistake when members maintained the Prime Minister in power despite Mrs May losing the overall majority she had inherited from her predecessor at the 2017 General Election. Addressing the public at a Centre of Independent Studies event in Sydney, Mr Montgomerie said: "If we were here for the rest of the afternoon, we could go through listing the major mistakes that Theresa May has made since she became Prime Minister.
1st May 2019 - Express.co.uk

Scout leader quits after troop delivers Conservative election leaflets in Lincolnshire

A Scout leader has quit after children in his troop handed out leaflets for two Conservative candidates in the local elections. The Scout Association said a complaint had been made about youngsters from 1st Marshchapel group in Lincolnshire delivering the information and several volunteers had resigned. The Scouts had been told they could rent an allotment space for a year to grow vegetables for a soup kitchen in return for distributing the leaflets, according to reports. The leaflets were promoting Conservative candidates Paul Rickett and Daniel McNally, who are campaigning for the East Lindsey District Council elections this Thursday.
1st May 2019 - Sky News

On election trail in Yorkshire with Labour where Theresa May faces wipeout

Climbing a hilly stone terrace, we’re hailed from the window of a second-floor by 44 year old Richard Wilson, who wants to put up Labour Party poster. In the next street – a stone’s throw from the birthplace of the late poet laureate Ted Hughes – Lesley Clemson, 52, asks “What have the Conservatives done for us? We need Labour in power for action on schools and housing.” Mum Elspeth Allan, 41, comes to the door with toddler Ottilie, insisting: “It’s very disheartening what’s happened with Brexit, but it’s important to vote Labour.” A few doors further up Jordan James, 29, an IT manager, admits to disillusion over Europe. He said: “I wasn’t sure, I’ve voted Labour before, and I will do again.” This is getting like a fan-fest. Where are all the unhappy, brassed-off Tykes who are going to stay at home tomorrow? If they exist, they must be hiding from Roisin’s electoral blandishments.
1st May 2019 - Daily Mirror

Russian Oligarch's wife paid £135,000 for dinner with Theresa May and SIX female cabinet ministers

Theresa May and six female Cabinet members had a night out with the wife of a former Vladimir Putin ally who had donated £135,000 at a Tory fundraiser. Lubov Chernukhin was entertained by the Prime Minister at the five-star Goring Hotel in Belgravia on Monday evening. It is understood the banker won the dinner as an auction prize at the Conservative Party’s Black and White ball earlier this year. The £135,000 bid takes Mrs Chernukhin’s donations to the Tories over the past seven years past the £1million mark. The party has insisted that Mrs Chernukhin, now a British citizen, is not a ‘Putin crony’. But the money will raise fresh questions about the Tories’ links to Russia just a year after the Salisbury spy poisoning. Five years ago, David Cameron faced questions after Mrs Chernukhin successfully bid £160,000 at a party fundraising dinner to play tennis against him and Boris Johnson.
1st May 2019 - Daily Mail

UKIP 'not a safety valve for disaffected Tories' says Batten

Gerard Batten has dismissed Nigel Farage's Brexit Party as a "Tory-lite" ego trip as he insisted only UKIP has a "clear policy" for leaving the EU. Launching its European election campaign in Middlesbrough, the UKIP leader said democracy was under threat if the Brexit vote was not honoured. UKIP was a "real political party" with members and a rule book, he said. Its rival, he said, was a "wholly owned subsidiary of one man's ego" and a "safety valve for disaffected Tories". Mr Farage, UKIP's figurehead for two decades, quit the party after a bitter fallout with Mr Batten last year.
1st May 2019 - BBC

BBC spots the flaw with UKIP man's call for UK Muslims to march against Brunei

Stuart Agnew said the UK "Muslim population" should march against Brunei's sickening anti-gay law - but gave a rather different answer when asked about UK Christians.
1st May 2019 - Daily Mirror

8m UK voters not registered ahead of European elections – study

Nearly 8 million people in Britain eligible to vote in the European elections are not yet registered, campaigners have said as the deadline looms. Research commissioned by Best for Britain, the pro-remain campaign, and undertaken by Number Cruncher Politics suggests 7.9 million eligible voters are not on the electoral roll in their local area. The figure is based on population and nationality data, estimates of what proportion of the population is registered to vote in each region, and research from the Electoral Commission on the accuracy of the electoral register. The Green party MP, Caroline Lucas, said: “It’s really concerning that huge swathes of people across the country who have the right to vote in the European elections this May aren’t currently registered.
1st May 2019 - The Guardian


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 1st May 2019

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Anger as Corbyn faces down calls for Labour to back new Brexit vote

In a move that sparked an immediate backlash among remain-supporters, Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC), announced that its manifesto for the election would be “fully in line” with its longstanding policy. That means continuing to support “Labour’s alternative plan” for Brexit – “and if we can’t get the necessary changes to the government’s deal, or a general election, to back the option of a public vote”, a Labour source said. The wording falls well short of the position set out recently by Watson, and by the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, who told the House of Commons in April: “At this late stage it is clear that any Brexit deal agreed in this parliament will need further democratic approval.” Some Labour MPs reacted with fury to the NEC’s decision. Bridget Phillipson, who represents Houghton & Sunderland South, speaking for the People’s Vote campaign, said: “The manifesto’s mealy-mouthed wording still maintains the fiction that there is a deal out there that can satisfy all the promises made three years ago, avoid real costs to jobs and living standards, or end the endless crisis around Brexit.
1st May 2019 - The Guardian

Theresa May most evasive Tory Prime Minister, research shows

Theresa May has built a political career by being non-committal and now new research has revealed the Prime Minister is the most evasive Tory leader to hold office in recent memory. A study by the University of York has shown Mrs May is the worst offender when it comes to avoiding difficult questions compared to the last four Conservative Prime Ministers. Academics studied her performances in a series of broadcast interviews and during Prime Minister’s Questions to find she is employs “covert” evasion or equivocation more often than her predecessors.
1st May 2019 - iNews

Brexit Party candidate Claire Fox told to disavow IRA bombing comments

A leading Brexit Party candidate has been urged to "disavow" comments about an IRA bombing that killed two children. Tim Parry, 12, died in the arms of his father Colin five days after the IRA attack in Warrington on 10 March 1993. Johnathan Bell, three, was also killed in the attack as he was shopping for a Mother's Day card with his babysitter. The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) defended the IRA's actions by writing in a newsletter published on 2 April, 1993: "We defend the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures are necessary in their struggle for freedom." Claire Fox, who is now the Brexit Party's candidate in the North West ahead of next month's European Parliament elections, was a leading RCP member at the time.
1st May 2019 - Sky News

Striking Brexit deal with Labour could alienate Tory MPs, Jeremy Hunt warns

The Foreign Secretary said talks aimed at thrashing out a joint-approach with the opposition could see the Prime Minister "lose more Conservative MPs" than she gains in Labour votes. Speaking to The Telegraph on a trip to Africa, Mr Hunt said that weeks of discussions between the two sides had been "more detailed and productive than we thought and expected". But he said it would still be "very difficult to imagine a rose garden moment" between the two leaders - a reference to the friendly 2010 press conference held by David Cameron and Nick Clegg after a coalition deal was struck. And he added: "There is always a danger of doing a deal with Labour that [means] you lose more Conservative MPs than you gain Labour MPs, but I think the essential question is whether Labour are serious about delivering Brexit."
30th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Corbynista left splits over Brexit referendum

Brexit is fomenting a significant split in the alliance of Labour left-wing activists that keeps Jeremy Corbyn in power, because of his and the party leadership’s reluctance to commit to hold a referendum on any Brexit deal. A senior and influential activist told me: “Discussions are under way between leading Momentum activists, anti-Brexit MPs and campaign groups about a new process for drawing up a left slate for this year's NEC election”. What this means, he said, is that there would no longer be a joint slate of candidates put forward by Momentum and the much older hard-left campaigning group, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, or CPLD, which was Corbyn’s ideological and spiritual home for decades.
30th Apr 2019 - ITV News

Dan Price and Wendy Parry hits out at Claire Fox of Brexit Party over IRA

A Warrington councillor says the top Brexit Party candidate for the north west is 'totally unfit for office' over her views on the IRA bombing of Warrington. And the father of Tim Parry, killed in the 1993 attacks, says the views are 'highly inappropriate'. Claire Fox is on top of the list for the Brexit Party candidates for the Euro Elections next month. As it stands, if polling is to be believed, she is likely to be elected as an MEP representing Warrington. She is a former core activist and organiser for the Revolutionary Communist Party.
30th Apr 2019 - Warrington Guardian

Labour launches investigation into councillor who 'compared Gaza to Auschwitz'

Labour has launched an investigation into one of the party's councillors after he posted comments on social media in which he appeared to compare Gaza to Auschwitz.. Sandwell Councillor John Edwards is facing the formal party probe after he was accused of making anti-semitic remarks by a Labour campaign group. On Friday, Labour Against Antisemitism activist Saul Freeman flagged a series of tweets in which Mr Edwards railed against the party's adoption of the International Holocaust Rememberance Alliance definition of anti-semitism, as well as dismissing criticism of former Labour MP Chris Williamson as a "smear".
30th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Playtime is over: I can't keep on supporting Brexit if this is how the govt behaves

During the campaign, I was happy to accept a Norway-type arrangement, as were many other Leavers. But once it was over, two things quickly became clear. Firstly, that a well-organised and well-funded section of Leave support with strong media connections would treat anything less than full severance from the EU as treachery. And secondly, that the prime minister would place ending free movement and the views of her most hardline backbenchers above all other considerations. The no-surrender Brexiters have a dream of a free trade wonderland across the world, but it is just that: a dream. It relied on the idea of a stable international trading system based on increasingly global regulatory standards.
30th Apr 2019 - Politics.co.uk

Labour's Leadership And NEC Need To Understand That For Members Like Me, All Roads Lead To A People's Vote

On Tuesday morning, new polling for YouGov showed a serious problem for the Labour Party. My party – of which I’ve proudly been a member for six years – has spent the last three years sitting on the Brexit fence. And it shows. A massive one in four voters ‘don’t know’ whether the Labour Party is pro or anti-Brexit. A further 20% say it is neither, whilst 61% of Leave voters think the party is anti-Brexit and only 28% of Remain voters think the same. Political triangulation can work, or it can annoy all parts of your constituency equally. Unfortunately, at Tuesday’s National Executive Committee at Labour HQ, we did little to bring further clarity to our members, voters and supporters.
30th Apr 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Watch the moment anti-Brexit campaigners confront Jeremy Corbyn after manifesto meeting

Jeremy Corbyn’s car was stopped by anti-Brexit campaigners as he tried to leave the meeting which confirmed his pro-Brexit manifesto for the European elections. One of the campaigners was Steve Bray, a prominent anti-Brexit protester, who was holding a sign with the Labour leader's face on it. It included the message “where were EU?”, while another sign said “revoke, remain, resist.” Security guards outside the building where the National Executive Committee (NEC) tried to move on the protesters, but Bray politely continued to protest until the Labour leader acknowledged him in his car.
30th Apr 2019 - The New European

Guy Verhofstadt: ‘The biggest waste of EU resources is Nigel Farage’s salary’

European Parliament liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt had a pop at his longtime rival Nigel Farage on Monday, saying the Brit's MEP salary is "the biggest waste of EU resources." Verhofstadt, a former prime minister of Belgium, said on Twitter: "Nigel Farage has been an elected MEP since 1999, but now says he comes out of 'semi–retirement'. As I already warned in 2012, the biggest waste of EU resources is Nigel Farage's salary. Why would anyone re-elect him to this role?"
30th Apr 2019 - Politico

Labour Party rejects calls to fully back new Brexit referendum

Labour party rejects calls to explicitly back a second referendum in all circumstances, in defeat for party's pro-Europeans. Jeremy Corbyn's party is heavily split over the question of a second referendum. The ruling NEC agreed to maintain Labour's existing policy of maintaining the "option" of a second referendum.
30th Apr 2019 - Business Insider

Brexit news: Attempt to get Labour to commit to second referendum shot down at party meeting

Labour supporters of a second Brexit referendum have failed to force Jeremy Corbyn to commit to a public vote in all circumstances, after a marathon five-hour meeting. The party’s ruling national executive committee agreed a manifesto for the European elections “fully in line with Labour’s existing policy”, a source said. It means Labour is only pledged to support a fresh referendum if it cannot secure “the necessary changes to the government’s deal or a general election”.
30th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn warned ‘demoralised’ Labour voters will boycott elections after second referendum fudge

Jeremy Corbyn has been warned that “demoralised” Labour voters will boycott crucial elections after he crushed an attempt to commit the party to a second Brexit referendum in all circumstances. The Labour leader demonstrated his iron grip by defeating a bid – led by his deputy Tom Watson – to end the “fudge” that would mean no public vote if the party’s “alternative plan” wins support at parliament. After a marathon five-hour meeting, the ruling national executive committee agreed a manifesto for the European elections “fully in line with Labour’s existing policy”. Some anti-referendum Labour MPs were delighted, Gloria De Piero tweeting: “Labour’s manifesto for the European parliament will not contain a pledge to hold a second Brexit referendum.
30th Apr 2019 - The Independent

@PaulBrandITV @OwenSmith_MP tells me Labour has more to lose from being vague on Brexit than it has to gain from "pandering to Brexit." He argues that polling shows Remainers deserting the party, and he wishes "the leadership recognised the risk to our vote."

@OwenSmith_MP tells me Labour has more to lose from being vague on Brexit than it has to gain from "pandering to Brexit." He argues that polling shows Remainers deserting the party, and he wishes "the leadership recognised the risk to our vote."
30th Apr 2019 - @PaulBrandITV

@LBC Labour MP and Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner joins Iain Dale to take your calls.

Labour MP and Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner joins Iain Dale to take your calls.
30th Apr 2019 - @LBC

Clark backs British Steel with £100m rescue funding

Greg Clark, the business secretary, has agreed to provide £100m in funding to the UK’s second-biggest steel producer after it requested emergency support to make a repayment to an EU-run environment scheme. Sky News has learnt that Mr Clark will announce on Wednesday that the government has stepped in to meet a financial shortfall faced by British Steel ahead of a deadline for the company to pay its latest carbon emissions bill. Sources said that the government funding had been used to acquire carbon credits on behalf of British Steel before surrendering them to regulators, with the company signing a deal with Mr Clark's department to repay the money on commercial terms over the coming months.
30th Apr 2019 - Sky News

This craven Cabinet must move now to stop the Brexit betrayal, or they will never be forgiven

What exactly is the point of this Cabinet? Getting into bed with a Marxist catastrophist like Jeremy Corbyn? Presiding over the abandonment of Ministerial collective responsibility? Repudiating solemn manifesto pledges? Ignoring the defeat – thrice – of your flagship political project in the Commons? Reducing Her Majesty’s Government – a Conservative Government no less – into a virtue signalling Blair tribute act bereft of ideas, principles or basic competence?
30th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

UKIP candidate exposed as ex-football hooligan jailed over violent clash

A UKIP candidate standing in this week’s local elections is a convicted football hooligan. Paul Martin got six months’ jail for affray and an eight-year match ban over his role in a 2008 clash between 100 Coventry and Leicester fans ahead of a game. Mr Martin is standing for UKIP in Snibston South to join North West Leicestershire District Council and said he admitted his conviction to the party. He said: “I made one mistake in my life. I went through the process and was approved.” "I declared that on my application to be a potential UKIP candidate and I passed, so what can I do? "I made an error in my life, mate, one error. I hold my hand up. What do you want me to say, that I regret what happened... wrong place wrong time."
30th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

UKIP leader Gerard Batten on candidate's rape comments

UKIP's leader says a candidate who tweeted that he "wouldn't even rape" a female Labour MP is suing people who "misrepresented him in the media". Gerard Batten said Carl Benjamin, who is standing for the party in the South West England seat in the European elections, was not making a joke about rape, but was making "a remark of non-intent" aimed at Jess Phillips. Her Labour colleague Lisa Nandy criticised Mr Batten's defence of the "disgraceful" comments, when they were part of the panel on Politics Live.
30th Apr 2019 - BBC

The tragedy of Brexit is we will still be divided afterwards

Amidst the anger, frustration, and division of Brexit a different and more profound emotion lurks. This is a moment of national sadness. This sadness comes from a national event (the referendum), designed to resolve a question that has instead revealed how fundamentally divided we are. It has revealed that as nation we have little if any common understanding of who we are, what expectations flow from such an understanding, and what binds us beyond having ended up on these islands.
30th Apr 2019 - RSA

@tnewtondunn Furthermore; the PM has not made any public comment on a national stage (speech, press conference or Commons) about anything now for 20 days. PMQs and Liaison Committee tomorrow will stop the run of silence just before it hits 3 weeks.

Furthermore; the PM has not made any public comment on a national stage (speech, press conference or Commons) about anything now for 20 days. PMQs and Liaison Committee tomorrow will stop the run of silence just before it hits 3 weeks.
30th Apr 2019 - @tnewtondunn

@Channel4News Shadow Trade Minister Barry Gardiner: ‘We will respect the referendum result, we should leave the European Union’

Shadow Trade Minister Barry Gardiner: ‘We will respect the referendum result, we should leave the European Union’
30th Apr 2019 - @Channel4News

PAYPAL MAN Why won't Farage Reveal Who is Funding his BREXIT PARTY?

Populist, anti-elitist, libertarian? Nigel Farage’s new party doesn’t have any ‘members’ and is secretive, authoritarian and looks like a one man dictatorship. So the people who have logged on to the Brexit party website and paid their £25 are currently ‘registered supporters’. As such the Brexit party is more akin to the Dennis the Menace fan club than an actual political entity; although sadly you don’t as yet get a badge and a sheet of free stickers. Ironic isn’t it that a man who has spent thirty years railing against the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats at the EU should now be heading up the least democratic political party in Britain. But not unsurprising. Farage’s Brexit party goes from strength to strength. A remarkable achievement given that it still has no policies or members. “No members?” You say “but I thought they had tens of thousands of people signing up.” Well yes – and no. Nigel might be bragging but the Brexit party currently has no actual membership, and the reason for that is simple. Nigel doesn’t like members. The trouble with giving people membership is that it starts giving them ideas. They begin wanting to have a say in how things are run. They want to get involved and vote on policy and elect national executives and that way lies another Gerard Batten.
30th Apr 2019 - Byline Times

Revealed: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn endorsed ‘brilliant’ book with anti-Semitic tones

Jeremy Corbyn wrote the foreword to a deeply anti-Semitic book written by an author with a record of “vocal antisemitism” who argued that banks and the press were controlled by Jews. In 2011, four years before Mr Corbyn rapidly rose through Labour’s ranks, he endorsed a new edition of John A. Hobson’s 1902 book Imperialism: A Study, The Times reports. In his foreword, the Labour Leader said the work was a “great tome” and praised Mr Hobson’s “brilliant, and very controversial at the time,” analysis of the “pressures” behind western, and in particular British, imperialism at the turn of the 20th century. But in the book, considered deeply anti-Semitic, Hobson claimed Europe was controlled by a “peculiar race” - Jews - and blatantly acknowledged the anti-Semitic Rothschild conspiracy theory.
30th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Jeremy Corbyn faces fury after praising ‘brilliant’ book which claims Jews control world banks


30th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Corbyn's praise for deeply antisemitic book


30th Apr 2019 - The Times

Jeremy Corbyn endorsed book about Jews controlling banks and the press


1st May 2019 - The Times

Watson stages 'polite' walkout over Labour's EU election manifesto

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has walked out of a shadow cabinet meeting after demanding to see the text of the party’s draft manifesto for the European parliamentary elections. The shadow cabinet met before Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) gathered to sign off the manifesto for the elections next month. Watson said he had asked whether the shadow cabinet would be shown a draft of the manifesto, but when none materialised, he “politely” walked out. The manifesto for the elections, which has been drafted by the party’s policy chief, Andrew Fisher, is expected to reiterate the policy announced in February.
30th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Tom Watson 'storms out' of crunch Labour meeting in second referendum row


30th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 30th Apr 2019

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Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will let Jeremy Corbyn become PM by taking votes away from Tories, Jacob Rees-Mogg warns

Nigel Farage will end up helping Jeremy Corbyn get into No10, Jacob Rees-Mogg warned today. The top Tory Brexiteer claimed the Brexit Party risked splitting the Conservative vote and letting Labour get in. And he insisted that any Tory MPs or councillors who vote for Mr Farage's new party should be automatically fired. Mr Rees-Mogg vowed to stay loyal to Theresa May - even though his own sister has defected to the Brexit Party.
30th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Farage’s Brexit party eyes seat of disgraced ex-Labour MP, Fiona Onasanya

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party plans to capitalise on its poll ratings with a tilt at a Westminster seat. It will stand in Peterborough if a by-election is triggered later this week by a “recall” petition against the disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya. The former Ukip leader’s new group has startled the main parties after polls put it on course to win the European parliament elections on May 23. Surveys have also suggested that large numbers of Conservative activists and even Tory councillors plan to vote for the Brexit Party. Mr Farage has urged voters to use the European elections to send a clear message to Westminster, which he says is blocking Brexit. A spokesman for the Brexit Party said that if a by-election was called in Peterborough “it is highly likely we will stand. We would be fighting Peterborough to win it.”
30th Apr 2019 - The Times

New IRA says Brexit has provided it with opportunity - Sunday Times

Brexit has provided the militant Irish nationalist group that admitted killing journalist Lyra McKee with a chance to further its campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland, the Sunday Times quoted its leadership as saying. The New IRA, one of a small number of groups that opposes Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace deal, has said one of its members shot the 29-year-old reporter dead in Londonderry last week when opening fire on police during a riot McKee was watching. The killing, which followed a large car bomb in Londonderry in January that police also blamed on the New IRA, has raised fears that small marginalised militant groups are exploiting a political vacuum in the province and tensions caused by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. “Brexit has forced the IRA to refocus and has underlined how Ireland remains partitioned. It would be remiss of us not to capitalise on the opportunity,” the newspaper quoted one of its members as saying
30th Apr 2019 - Reuters

Brexit ‘death zone’: Tory MPs to ‘QUIT’ if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister

Former foreign secretary, Mr Johnson, is a firm favourite to replace Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party. But Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, has suggested he would quit if Mr Johnson became leader, according to The Sun. Mr Stewart told the BBC: “I would find that difficult if he were campaigning for a No Deal Brexit.
30th Apr 2019 - Daily Express

Chris Patten on voting Conservative in Euro elections: 'I can certainly think of some candidates I couldn't conceivably vote for'

We spoke to Chris Patten, who was the last British governor of Hong Kong. We talked about a range of pressing issues, including Brexit, the Tories and Huawei – but first we asked him what his reaction was to the sheer size of the protests in Hong Kong.
29th Apr 2019 - Channel 4 News

Brexit: Rees-Mogg responds to Ahern border criticism

Jacob Rees-Mogg has responded to criticism from former taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern over his knowledge of the Irish border. In remarks made on Sunday, Mr Ahern said the Conservative MP had admitted not knowing what the Irish border was. Responding on Twitter, Mr Rees-Mogg, a high-profile supporter of Brexit, said the criticism was "quite funny but regrettably untrue". "Perhaps Ireland had a comedian as its leader before Ukraine," he said.
29th Apr 2019 - BBC

Nigel Farage is a phoney. Scrutinise him and he'll crumble

Allow me to sketch you a portrait of a political leader. Even by the lax standards of the powerful, he is England's greatest living hypocrite. He courts popularity by warning that tens of millions from the dole queues of Europe are coming to take British jobs, while employing his German wife as his secretary. He denounces "the political class" for living like princes at the taxpayers' expense while pocketing every taxpayer-funded allowance he can claim for himself, his wife and his colleagues. He says he represents "ordinary people". But he is a public school-educated former banker, whose policies will help him and his kind. He claims he is the voice of "common sense", while allying with every variety of gay-hater, conspiracy crackpot, racist, chauvinist and pillock. The only sense he and his followers have in common is a fear of anyone who is not like them.
29th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Nigel Farage refuses to reveal ‘one big donation’ to Brexit Party and people are suspicious

Nigel Farage has refused to say who the big donor to the Brexit Party is. On Iain Dale’s LBC show, Farage was asked directly who was funding the party and revealed that there was “one big donation” from an unnamed person. But when Dale asked him who that donor was, Farage dodged the question by claiming it was “not fair” to reveal the name without asking them for permission first.
29th Apr 2019 - The indy100

Queen's Speech to be delayed until Brexit delivered, Theresa May says

The Queen’s Speech will be delayed until Brexit is delivered, Theresa May has said – despite no sign of a breakthrough at Westminster to end the stalemate. The prime minister’s spokesperson said a new session of parliament – due to get under way in June – would not begin until the withdrawal agreement had been ratified. “That is part of the current Queen’s Speech cycle and we need to finish that work,” he said, admitting there was “no specific date” for a new session. The determination to deliver Brexit first opens up the prospect of no Queen’s Speech until the autumn at the earliest – even if the prime minister survives that long. Although talks with Labour will restart today, both sides are gloomy about progress after trading accusations that neither is prepared to make any meaningful compromises.
29th Apr 2019 - The Independent

British streets split by race, Farage tells US audience

Entire streets in Oldham are split along racial lines, Nigel Farage has claimed in a speech in the United States. The leader of the Brexit Party said that blacks lived on one side and whites on the other, with “no assimilation” between the two. He told students at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania that the town in Greater Manchester was a “divided society in which resentments build and grow”. In 2015 Ukip, the party that Mr Farage then led, failed to unseat Labour at a by-election in Oldham West & Royton. He later claimed that the vote was “bent” and blamed “people who do not speak English”. Mr Farage, 55, told the audience at Lock Haven: “Let me take you to a town called Oldham in the north of England where literally on one side of the street everybody is white and on the other side of the street everybody is black. The twain never actually meet, there is no assimilation. “Whole streets in Oldham are of people who have lived in my country for over 30 years who don’t speak a single word of the English language. These, folks, are divided societies in which resentments build and grow.”
29th Apr 2019 - The Times

Over-50s could be forced to pay £300 a year more in national insurance under senior Tory's plan

People over the age of 50 could be forced to pay more than £300 more in national insurance each year in to fund social care, under plans that have been branded a tax on getting old by Labour. Senior Tory MP Damian Green has proposed a major shake-up to funding for care, arguing that it should follow the state pension model where everyone is entitled to basic support but individuals top up the pot through their own savings. The former cabinet minister, who was given the task of drawing up the long-awaited green paper on social care for England when he was in government, suggested a 1 per cent rise in national insurance for the over 50s as a last resort to fill the £2.75bn funding gap in the system.
29th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Damian Green suggests modelling social care provision on state pension


29th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Theresa May is the first Tory leader in 185 years to face emergency grassroots vote demanding her resignation

Theresa May has become the first Tory leader in 185 years to face an emergency grassroots vote to oust her. The PM is to be hauled in front of a snap meeting all 800 constituency chairmen and senior activists in June, who will decide whether to demand her resignation for failing to deliver Brexit.
29th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Remainers have blown the EU elections, and increased the chance of a no-deal Brexit

Like most people who have been an MP, I will never forget the day I was elected to Parliament. For one thing, it was snowing in the Yorkshire Dales that cold February day in 1989, and the bleak landscape seemed to match the political fortunes of the Thatcher administration at the time. More significantly, I was able to win a by-election – the last Tory to do so while the party was in government for a quarter of a century – because my opponents could not agree on a joint candidate. Together, the Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Democrats received many thousands more votes than I did, but they were so neatly divided that I beat both of them. This mattered: the SDP disintegrated soon after this event
29th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

A bitter turf war is raging on the Brexit Wikipedia page

While Westminster remains mired in endless Brexit deadlock, over on the Brexit Wikipedia page things are even less amicable. Editors are parrying death threats, doxxing attempts and accusations of bias, as the crowdsourced epic has become the centre of a relentless tug-of-war over who gets to write the history of the UK as it happens. Originally posted in January 2014, what began life as “Proposed referendum on United Kingdom membership of the European Union” has bloated into a 11,757-word behemoth. But the article’s vast size is the least of its problems. In private, and on discussion pages, editors tell tales of turf wars, sock puppet accounts, and anonymous figures hellbent on stuffing the article with information that supports their point of view. “I was heavily involved with the Brexit page, but gave up more than a year ago because the level of bias on it proved impossible to address and the aggravation of trying to deal with that was not worthwhile,” says EddieHugh, a Wikipedia editor who has made 186 edits on the Brexit page – making them one of its most prolific contributors. Since leaving the page behind, EddieHugh now specialises in editing entries about obscure mid-century jazz musicians.
29th Apr 2019 - Wired.co.uk

Robin McAlpine: England's Brexit debate is 'xenophobic'

Robin McAlpine, Director of the Common Weal think tank, says the politics of the Brexit debate in England are “right-wing, xenophobic, anti-European”. He says the more affluent south is feeling “challenged by multi-culturalism" while northern England is challenged by the “weak economics of Britain”. He told BBC Debate Night this has not been happening in Scotland, Wales or Northern-Ireland.
29th Apr 2019 - BBC

‘Mood is DARK!’ Patel warns Tories will SUFFER at local elections due to Brexit

The mood is dark. The public are frustrated. “They are fed up I think more widely with politics and the way in which Brexit has been handled and in particular the fact that, as many people say to me in my constituency, they expected us to leave effectively on March 29. This has not happened.” Ms Patel’s gloomy depiction of the mood in the country - and especially in Leave constituencies - reflects analysis by pollster and Tory peer Robert Hayward, who predicted the Conservative Party could lose more than 800 seats in the May 2 elections.
29th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Fury as Tony Blair claims second Brexit referendum would be ‘healing process’ for the nation

Speaking to the Institute for Government think-tank, Mr Blair insisted a second EU referendum was the only way to decide Brexit. The ex-PM said: "The truth is there are different varieties of Brexit and you have to choose one. "And when you choose one it then becomes apparent what your problem is. Because your problem is there is a downside to whatever option you choose. "So when members of Parliament are forced to come to a choice then I think at that point they will say, ‘OK, this what I think but I’m not going to take the full responsibility so I’m going to share responsibility with the people’, and that allows a referendum to be a healing process."
29th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Brexit: 'How delays and uncertainty are hurting colleges'

The Augar review, apprenticeships policy and the spending review are hostages to the Brexit impasse, writes David Hughes
29th Apr 2019 - Times Educational Supplement News

Kezia Dugdale set to leave politics over Labour's Brexit stance

Kezia Dugdale, the former Scottish Labour leader, is expected to quit frontline politics after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the party’s stance on Brexit. It is understood that Dugdale, who headed the Scottish party for two years until suddenly resigning in 2017 after months of tension with UK leader Jeremy Corbyn, has found another job outside politics. She is expected to confirm her decision within the coming days, the Sunday Times reported, and to formally quit as an MSP at the end of the current Scottish parliament session in June. Dugdale, a member of Labour’s centrist wing, has made little secret of her unhappiness with Labour’s stance on EU membership and has demanded Corbyn campaigns for a second vote on any Brexit deal.
29th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Local elections 2019: Are the Conservatives facing a massacre? | Latest Brexit news and top stories

Anger over Brexit could cause one in five Conservative councillors up for election to lose their seats in next week’s local elections, revealing polling data has showed. Analysis presented by Professor Michael Thrasher, from the University of Plymouth, on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday showed that the Tories could lose as many as 1,100 seats when the vote is held across the country next Thursday, May 3. Prof Thrasher said the fact the Conservatives won so many seats in the 2015 local elections - the last time the seats up for election on Thursday were voted on - means that: “The Conservatives are defending a high position. “There is a lot of stake for them. The baseline is 2015 and since the, you'd expect the Conservatives would lose ground from there.”
29th Apr 2019 - The New European

Nigel Farage is fuelled by the betrayal myth. And Brexit is only the start

In this respect, it was always baked into Farage’s rhetoric that if the public voted to leave, the elite would seek to thwart their wishes. The truth, again, is quite otherwise. The political class has strained every tendon to find a way of delivering the undeliverable: of extracting the UK from a 46-year relationship without wrecking its prosperity, security and access to the wider world. Brexit has failed because the square-circling task is impossible. We must stay, or accept a grievous cost: that is the choice now. But Farage appeals to a primal social instinct: the sensation that the few are, yet again, cheating the many of their unsullied dream. It is not the dream that is at fault, you understand, but those who sabotage it. Just as Marxists insist true communism has never been tried, so Brexiteers declare that their simple plan has been wrecked by weaklings, quislings and fools.
29th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Boris Johnson begs voters not to punish Tories over Brexit in local election bloodbath

Boris Johnson has begged voters not to punish the Tories over Brexit in this week's local elections in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a bloodbath. Experts predicted that the PM could lose 800 councillors this week as furious voters desert her for failing to leave the EU.
29th Apr 2019 - The Sun


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 29th Apr 2019

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May MISERY: Prime Minister has ‘KILLED’ Brexit– 'Tories a smoking RUIN', expert claims

Political commentator John Rentoul claimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is likely to become Prime Minister at the next election thanks to the Government’s failure to leave the EU. He said in The Independent that the Government promised the referendum three years ago but has failed to deliver Brexit. The co-author of Tony Blair’s biography also said that Corbyn is likely to win the next election because the Tories are “done for”.
28th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

‘Running out of time’ - EU expert issues damning statement on May’s latest extension

Although Mrs May has managed to buy some valuable time to get her Brexit deal through, the UK is only just coming to the end of the beginning of the whole process. Dr Simon Usherwood, deputy chair at The UK in Changing Europe think tank, has argued that with every extension, the UK is cutting into the crucial transition stage of the Brexit negotiations. The deputy chair has insisted that although every extension avoids the possibility of a no deal Brexit, it will also make it much harder for the Government to come to an agreement over the upcoming transition stage.
28th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Tory chiefs warn MPs and activists will be kicked out if they back Nigel Farage

Tory chiefs have warned MPs and local activists they will be kicked out of the party if they back Nigel Farage in the European elections. The threat came as a poll shows Theresa May’s troops faces a hammering as Brexit voters desert her in droves. But some fed-up candidates vowed to jump ship instead of waiting to be pushed if the party goes ahead with the heavy-handed tactics. An Opinium poll showed support for the Tories has slumped to just 14 per cent ahead of next month’s the EU elections.
28th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Back Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and you're out, Tory MPs told


27th Apr 2019 - The Times

Exclusive: New IRA says Brexit helps it to recruit

The group said Britain’s leaving the EU had given it a chance to recruit supporters. “Brexit has forced the IRA to refocus and has underlined how Ireland remains partitioned. It would be remiss of us not to capitalise on the opportunity,” said one of the dissidents. In the interview, which followed months of secret contacts with republican dissidents north and south of the border, the leadership said the shooting of the 29-year-old journalist in the Creggan area of Londonderry 10 days ago was an accident that occurred in the midst of a riot and described her death as “shocking” and “something that did nothing to further any cause”.
28th Apr 2019 - The Times

Angry Labour activists threaten European election campaign boycott

Leading Labour activists are warning Jeremy Corbyn that they could boycott the party’s campaign for the European elections unless it backs a confirmatory referendum on Brexit, as pressure mounts on the leadership to support a fresh public vote. The warnings come before a crucial meeting on Tuesday of Labour’s deeply split national executive committee (NEC) at which the wording of the party’s European election manifesto is due to be decided.
28th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Don't take out your Brexit frustrations on our hard-working Tory councillors

Once you get going you will find that canvassing in a British high street is as enjoyable as any other contact sport – and even more exciting, in the sense that you can never be entirely sure who is going to be on your side. As you weave from shop to shop in a kind of rolling maul, you develop an instinct about the members of the public who loom into your path. Sometimes you need to deploy the old side-step; sometimes you palm them off with another member of your team. But most times you will want to commit wholeheartedly to the tackle – thrusting out your garish campaign bumf, clasping their hand, and inquiring joyfully whether you can count on their support.
28th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Now Ukip candidate who said he 'wouldn't even rape' a Labour MP says it's OK to sexually abuse boys

Police are examining sickening statements about child abuse made by a highly controversial Ukip candidate. Carl Benjamin was formally adopted by the party as a candidate for the European elections last week despite fury over his remark that he ‘wouldn’t even rape’ a Labour MP. Now a senior Ukip source has told The Mail on Sunday that they have passed a dossier to Wiltshire police containing deeply offensive remarks made by Mr Benjamin, an online ‘vlogger’ from Swindon who calls himself ‘Sargon of Akkad’.
28th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Carl Benjamin: UKIP MEP candidate challenged over racist language


26th Apr 2019 - Sky News

Major parties across Europe are dying. Unless we deliver Brexit, Tories and Labour could be next

The onset of the banking crash, the squeeze on living standards and the austerity policies required by euro membership played a big part. Voters expected one or other of the two main parties to be able to reverse the economic decline and became disillusioned with both when they discovered that they did not have the power to do so within the EU. Even in Germany, where the economy did relatively well, the two main parties have suffered. Mrs Merkel’s centre-Right CDU lost out badly from backing higher levels of immigration. Many voters also resented Germany having to pay the bills of other eurozone members.
28th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Farage raises hackles in Oldham by saying town is split on racial lines

He is supposed to be fronting a campaign to propel his Brexit party into the European parliament. But Nigel Farage abandoned Europe at the weekend and flew to the US to give a speech where he claimed entire streets of Oldham in Greater Manchester are split along racial lines. Addressing an audience of young libertarians at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, Farage said Oldham was a “divided society”. He told the Young America’s Foundation: “I could take you to a town called Oldham in the north of England where literally on one side of the street everybody is white and on the other side of the street everybody is black. The twain never actually meet, there is no assimilation. Whole streets in Oldham of people who have lived in my country for over 30 years who don’t speak a word of the English language. These, folks, are divided societies in which resentments build and grow.”
28th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

‘Traitors’: Homes with Labour, Lib Dems and Green posters vandalised in suspected Brexit-related attacks

Properties displaying Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green Party posters Sussex have been vandalised, in attacks thought to be linked to Brexit. The houses targeted in Lewes had the words “traitors” and “hypocrites” spray painted on their exterior walls. “The vandalism includes damage to property and the public footpath,” a spokesperson for Lewes Labour Party said in a statement. “The recent vandalism appears to follow a national trend of anti-social behaviour against political posters and individuals who are involved in local democratic political activity.” Campaigning is in full swing across the UK, where local elections will be held on 2 May.
28th Apr 2019 - The Independent

European elections: Confusion over voter registration could stop thousands of EU citizens from casting ballot, campaigners warn

Thousands of EU nationals living in the UK could inadvertently lose their right to take part in the upcoming European elections because of widespread confusion over how to register, campaigners have warned, amid reports some European citizens are yet to receive their poll cards. Existing rules stipulate that EU citizens must both register to vote and sign a special “UC1” form stating that they will note vote anywhere else in the EU, by 7 May. But confusion has arisen because the UC1 form must be resubmitted before every election – even if the European national intending to vote has already signed and submitted that form previously, for example before the 2014 poll.
28th Apr 2019 - The Independent

My England is in a mess. Scotland’s case for splitting away is stronger than ever

Viewed cynically, Sturgeon’s manoeuvre is reducible to picking a fight with Westminster over a referendum the UK government is unlikely to allow, so as to buy time, avert people’s eyes from the question of what the party has actually done with power, and assist the SNP’s chances in the 2021 Scottish elections. One big tension sits under everything: the fact that even if independence looks more logical than ever, the politics of actually pulling it off could not be more complicated.
28th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Who is funding the Brexit party? Asks LBC's Ian Dale

Who is funding the Brexit Party (22m 50 secs) Farage looks awkward and intially says "we've done this all via the website" but when pressed admits "we've received one big donation" - refusing to say who it is. Rules say he must reveal it - so why not reveal it now?
28th Apr 2019 - LBC

Patrick Mercer: Former Conservative MP explains why he now backs Nigel Farage and Brexit Party

Now, however, that’s all changed. It’s worth remembering that David Cameron only called a referendum because of the gathering Ukip storm – he had to do something to defuse the prowling ‘fruitcakes’ if he wanted to keep his party together and his own hand in No 10’s sweetie jar. Sadly, for him, he underestimated the passion of people like my wife and the resonance of Farage’s cause.
27th Apr 2019 - The Yorkshire Post

Andrew Adonis’s staggering Brexit U-turn exposes him as an unprincipled chancer

Andrew Adonis’s staggering Brexit U-turn finally exposes him as the definitive ­example of all those unprincipled ­chancers now rotting ­British politics. Once a Lib Dem, he became an unelected Labour peer, a staunch Blairite, then a Brownite. Then he became the Tories’ infrastructure chief. Then came his deranged crusade to reverse Brexit and his unhinged social media attacks on Leavers and even neutral civil servants planning for Brexit. He told Leavers not to vote Labour. Now, though, he’s a Corbynista MEP candidate, suddenly batting for a “sensible”, “socialist” Brexit. No wonder “people’s vote” Remainers are outraged at their former figurehead’s betrayal.
27th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Lord Adonis: My desire for public vote on Brexit hasn't changed


28th Apr 2019 - Somerset Live

Brexit revolt as Scottish Tory voters back Farage

Scotland is poised to elect an MEP from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party as voters abandon the Scottish Conservatives, according to a poll for The Times. Ruth Davidson’s party faces losing its only representative in the Strasbourg parliament, analysis of the research by YouGov found, as nearly 40 per cent of voters who backed the Scottish Tories two years ago switch to Mr Farage’s new group. The survey, the first to be conducted after Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence, also found increased support for secession, with 49 per cent of Scots preparing to vote Yes, compared to 45 per cent in YouGov’s last poll for this newspaper in June. The research suggests that the SNP is on the verge of doubling its European politicians from two to four, according to Sir John Curtice, an election expert.
27th Apr 2019 - The Times

Brexit uncertainty 'affecting MPs' mental health'

The ongoing climate of Brexit uncertainty has led to a "testing time" for MPs with some of them reaching "almost breaking point", a Lancashire politician has said. Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said the political situation was affecting some members' mental health, and admitted to waking up at 4am "thinking about Brexit". He told the BBC: "It's probably having an impact on MPs more than they would care to admit." The Mental health charity MIND has reached out to MPs and is offering help and support.
27th Apr 2019 - BBC

Brexit BLUNDER: Theresa May risks making ‘ILLEGAL’ move if she cancels £100m EU elections

MEP Change UK candidate and senior barrister, Jessica Simor has said “stopping the EU election at the last minute would likely be illegal”. Ms Simor claimed that if the Prime Minister cancelled the EU elections, she could face legal action from EU citizens residing in the UK. Yet, Mrs May has repeatedly claimed she has until May 22 to cancel the election.
27th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Facebook prepares for EU election interference ahead of vote in May

Facebook is preparing to tackle interference campaigns aimed to misinform and manipulate voters ahead of the EU's elections in May. Last year the company acknowledged that social media could have a damaging impact on democracy and admitted it was "too slow to recognise" Russian attempts to interfere in the US presidential election. To protect its users from similar interference in the upcoming EU elections Facebook has announced a new range of fact-checking features.
27th Apr 2019 - Sky News

Remainers: don’t panic about European elections. Just participating is a win

There is only one risk here for remainers – that a big win for the Brexit party could spook some Labour MPs into voting for May’s package after all. But provided the Labour vote holds up, and indicates that MPs’ seats are safe, this risk ought to be minimal. In any case, most analysts will be observing not the number of seats allocated but the share of ballots cast. Farage will do well, but it seems unlikely that the Brexit party, Tories, Ukip and the DUP will collectively gain more than 50% of the vote. Indeed, the biggest story of the election is likely to be the humiliation of the Conservative party. Given that this is the party responsible for delivering Brexit, its drubbing in a national poll is unlikely to harm remainers. Even if the government lurched towards no-deal, parliament would not allow it and the EU would not insist on it.
27th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Tommy Robinson's MEP campaign will be an utter failure – but I know first-hand where his real danger lies

Turning up to a “forgotten” neighbourhood, bringing food and promising to tackle supposed threats, is a classic tactic of wannabe authoritarians, from Weimar Berlin to the former Yugoslavia on the eve of civil war. So the crowd get burgers, and a modicum of attention and a kind of “lovebombing” takes place – creating a strong emotional bond between followers and a leading figure. On the surface, this is about seeking electoral success, but there’s also the goal of building a street movement among those who feel ignored and disenfranchised. The campaign video was hell-bent on stirring divisions. It even spoke of politicians who don’t “breathe the same air” as his supporters.
27th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Ex-housing tsar Roger Scruton says the 'witch hunt' of people on the political right is worsening

Sir Roger Scruton has said that the 'witch hunt' of people on the political right is getting worse, following his dismissal over his comments on Islamophobia. former government advisor has expressed his concerns around the silencing of a 'conservative voice', as he challenged remarks he made to the New Statesman publication last month. The 75-year-old had been dismissed as a housing tsar following the interview, with Downing Street then accusing him of making comments which were of a 'deeply offensive and completely unacceptable' nature. The former Chairman of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission has now said the way his views were presented in the magazine were such as to 'cause some kind of scandal'.
27th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

UKIP refuses to dump candidate who used vile racial slurs including the n-word

Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad, repeatedly used the words "n****r" and "spic" in a 2015 video - yet UKIP claim he's fighting "political correctness" and will not kick him off the party's ticket in the EU elections
27th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

The Tory leak of Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network confirms that Theresa May’s government is doomed

You don’t have to be a detective to deduce that the most likely leaker was a cabinet minister who wants to succeed May (which reduces the list of suspects to 28)
27th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Huawei: MPs want criminal investigation to track down the leaker that has seen allies ‘question UK’s reliability’


26th Apr 2019 - iNews

Nigel Farage faces voter backlash after Ann Widdecombe slams pension campaigners as ‘self-indulgent and entitled’

Protests are now planned outside her remaining dates on her Strictly Ann tour following her remarks on a BBC show. Widdecombe, 71, is top of Farage’s Brexit Party’s south west region list ahead of the European Parliament elections next month. The former Tory MP said: “I’m sorry I’m going to be blunt here, it is unreasonable, self-indulgent and entitled to think that you can retire at the same age with a much longer life expectancy at the state’s expense.” The controversy surrounds the transition to equal pension age with campaigners saying many women only found about the change months before they were due to turn 60. It means many have had to carry on working for an extra five or six years. Up to 3.9 million women are thought to be affected by the changes, according to the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group. There is going to be a judicial review of the alleged mishandling of the case to be held at the High Court in June.
27th Apr 2019 - The Sun

SNP votes for Scotland to quickly adopt new currency if it leaves UK

The Scottish National party has voted to establish an independent currency “as soon as practicable” if Scotland were to leave the UK, as activists rejected a more cautious timetable put forward by the party leadership. In a narrow victory for the grassroots, the party conference agreed by 52 votes to amend part of a wide-ranging economic blueprint, created by the party’s sustainable growth commission, to allow for a new currency to be fast-tracked and “ready for introduction as soon as practicable after Independence Day”.
27th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Public thinks EU referendum was bad idea, says poll

More than half the public – 55% – now think it would have been better never to have held the EU referendum given the difficulties of reaching an agreement on Brexit, according to the latest Opinium/Observer poll. Strikingly, more Conservative voters (49%) now think the referendum was a bad idea than believe it was the right thing to have done (43%). Among Labour supporters, 72% believe it would have been better never to have staged the vote, while 18% say it was worthwhile. The Conservatives are down 3 percentage points on 26% compared with a fortnight ago and continue to trail Labour (also down 3pts on 33%) by seven percentage points. Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit party, meanwhile, has established itself in a clear third place on 17%, having been included in the national poll for the first time.
27th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Labour to redraft European Parliament election leaflets

Labour is redrafting European election leaflets after accusations of ignoring a pledge to hold a further Brexit referendum, the BBC has been told. They will now refer to the party's preparations for a general election, with a referendum if necessary to avoid what it calls a "bad Tory deal". Jeremy Corbyn says Labour's ruling body will make a decision on Tuesday about backing a public vote on any deal. About 100 Labour MPs and MEPs want such a promise in the party manifesto. They wrote to members of the national executive committee before it meets on Tuesday to decide on the manifesto.
27th Apr 2019 - BBC

Brexit deadlock not local elections on mind of Conservative voters

With local elections a week away the campaign remains dominated by the deadlock over Brexit painting a bad picture of the Conservatives
27th Apr 2019 - Sky News

@BBCNewsnight Labour MP Janet Daby, one of the 90 MPs and MEPs calling for the party to make clear its backing for a second vote, says it “would be very difficult” to hand out a leaflet that does not mention any commitment to another public vote

Labour MP Janet Daby, one of the 90 MPs and MEPs calling for the party to make clear its backing for a second vote, says it “would be very difficult” to hand out a leaflet that does not mention any commitment to another public vote
26th Apr 2019 - @BBCNewsnight

Nicola Sturgeon is trying to tear our country apart, the BBC can't keep giving her an easy ride

The BBC must institute a dramatic overhaul of its attitude towards Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP now that Scotland’s First Minister has thrown her troops into another referendum battle to break up Britain. She can’t be permitted to get away again with the easy ride she enjoyed at the hands of Martha Kearney on the Today programme. There’s no certainty that there will be another referendum but with Ms Sturgeon’s officials – all members of the British civil service, remember – preparing the ground for such a vote, she must now be treated as a frontline British politician, with all the attendant ferocious scrutiny of her views, policies and record.
26th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Forget Andrew Adonis’s U-turn on Brexit. It’s Labour that should really make one

The Labour leadership is pushing opportunity into the jaws of defeat, given its overwhelmingly pro-European base. The international commission of Labour’s national policy forum, which includes trade unionists, MPs and constituency reps, has just voted unanimously that Labour’s EU election manifesto should pledge to hold a confirmatory referendum. On the same day, the Huffington Post obtained a draft Labour leaflet for the European elections saying that Labour would go ahead with Brexit and seek “a better deal with Europe”, with no mention of a confirmatory vote. It reported that neither Keir Starmer nor the head of the Labour MEPs, Richard Corbett, were consulted on the leaflet’s content. If that is the case, it is plain outrageous
26th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Twitter bans Tommy Robinson and Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin's campaign accounts

Twitter has banned the Euro election campaign accounts of Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin and far-right extremist Tommy Robinson. Ukip today refused to dump Benjamin after a video emerged of him using a variety of racial slurs. Benjamin, a vlogger who calls himself “Sargon of Akkad”, had already been banned from Twitter in 2017 for violating the platform's rules on targeted abuse. And Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was permanently banned in March 2018 for violating its rules on "hateful conduct". Benjamin rose to notoriety after Tweeting a message to Labour MP Jess Philips, saying "I wouldn't even rape you."
26th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

Alastair Campbell warns Labour over Brexit referendum

Alastair Campbell says he would find it difficult to vote Labour in the European elections if the party does not pledge to hold a referendum on the Brexit deal. Tony Blair's former director of communications, a supporter of the People's Vote campaign, told Nick Robinson's Political Thinking Podcast that it would be an "error of catastrophic proportions" for Labour not to give the public the final say.
26th Apr 2019 - BBC

Brexit: Corbyn facing fresh pressure to commit to second referendum after ‘furious’ MPs condemn leaked leaflet

Jeremy Corbyn is under growing pressure over his party’s position on a second Brexit referendum after a leaked draft of a campaign leaflet included no mention of a Final Say vote. The Labour leader faced an angry backlash over the flyer, with MPs saying it had triggered “complete meltdown” in the party and left pro-EU MPs “utterly furious”. As the row deepened, 75 MPs and 14 MEPs wrote to Labour’s governing body to demand that “a clear commitment” to another referendum be included in the party’s manifesto for next month’s European parliament elections. Mr Corbyn’s top team is split on whether Labour should support a second referendum. Several senior shadow cabinet ministers want the party to support a public vote on any Brexit deal passed by parliament, but Mr Corbyn’s inner circle say he only supports a referendum on the government’s deal or to avoid a no-deal outcome. Other shadow ministers oppose another public poll entirely
26th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Gibraltar glee at Brexit chaos: Rock's chief vows to get 'wasted' if EU exit blocked

The Rock’s chief minister Fabian Picardo said Brexit “is more stalled than we could imagine” as he predicted Britain’s exit from the Brussels club could be stopped altogether. Describing his relief if Britain remained in the EU, he joked: “If there is no Brexit I will get so wasted and I will invite the mayor of La Línea and my friends from here and from Gibraltar to celebrate with me.”
26th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Brexit Party candidate claimed Tory Islamophobia was 'made up by the left'

A Brexit Party candidate has sparked a backlash after claiming Tory Islamophobia was “made up”. Salmon tycoon Lance Forman said the row was invented "by the left" to distract from anti-Semitic racism in Labour. In Twitter messages from 2017 to 2018, he also said Islamophobia was "reactive" and "not enough Muslims are standing up for the Jews". And he described Jeremy Corbyn as a Nazi and "fascist", saying: "It's undeniable." Labour claimed the comments were "disgraceful, racist and bigoted" while the Muslim Council of Britain said "dismissing evidence of Islamophobia" must not be tolerated.
26th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

With his money-grubbing speeches, Boris Johnson cheapens our politics

What does a person say in two speeches that is worth £160,000? Do they vomit gold? This is the amount that Boris Johnson made last month. He made a speech for the India Today conference and he got £122,990. Accommodation and transport provided of course. On the day Theresa May lost the second Brexit vote in the House of Commons he gave a speech for £38,250 to Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. Johnson is certainly taking advantage of the more liberal rules about income and interests now that he is no longer a minister.
26th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Tories face 'catastrophe' at May 2 local elections, says leaked Lib Dem briefing note

The Tories face a bruising kick in the ballots as voters desert them at next week’s local elections, a leaked briefing has revealed. An internal Lib Dem memo predicts a “catastrophe” for Theresa May ’s party when swathes of England hold council polls on May 2. More than 8,300 seats are up for grabs, half of them Conservative. The same set of seats was contested four years ago, when David Cameron led the Conservatives to a shock general election triumph, delivering the party’s first parliamentary majority for 23 years.
25th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

The dangerous allure of a fudged Brexit

During Mr Johnson’s brief and ignominious spell as foreign secretary, officials reported that his response to inconvenient facts was to cover his ears and hum the national anthem until the bearer of the bad news had departed. Nothing has changed.
25th Apr 2019 - Financial Times

A phoney war between old and young is no way to secure the Conservatives' future

It’s rare, nowadays, to come across a Conservative who isn’t trying to be the next leader of the party. Theresa May has been an inspiration, insofar as most of her MPs think they could do a better job. So a mass audition has started, with speeches outlining grand visions for the future. Almost every time, we hear how the party’s biggest problem is winning back young voters. But how? This is where the ideas run out. It’s a bit of a problem. For most of the last 15 years, the Tories have been anxiously trying to look slick, modern and vigorous – only to see a pensioner, Jeremy Corbyn, waltz off with the youth vote.
25th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 26th Apr 2019

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How long can Corbyn resist Labour’s drift towards a second referendum?

The International Commission of Labour’s National Policy Forum – which consists of MPs, trade unionists, MEPs, and constituency representatives – has voted unanimously that Labour’s manifesto for European elections should pledge to hold a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit deal. My sources say there were no dissenting voices. On Wednesday, all Labour MEPs voted in precisely the same unanimous way, for a referendum. Friday’s Labour’s Trade Union Liaison Organisation is likely to inform the party’s ruling NEC that its big union supporters – including Unison, the GMB and USDAW, but obviously not Unite – also want a referendum. So it is increasingly hard to see how Labour’s ruling NEC can at its emergency meeting next Tuesday ignore such widespread membership pressure and do anything but adopt a confirmatory referendum as the foundation of its manifesto. That said many senior Labour figures tell me they worry Seumas Milne and Jeremy Corbyn will somehow find a way to prevent the party adopting an unambiguous pledge to campaign for a referendum
25th Apr 2019 - The Spectator

Less than 0.01% of EU citizens' voter forms received due to election 'havoc', say MPs

MPs have called on the government to cut the red tape around EU citizens’ registration for the EU elections after it was found that fewer than 300 crucial forms have been returned with 13 days before deadline.
25th Apr 2019 - The New European

Andrew Adonis shocks Remainers by endorsing Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘sensible’ Brexit plan ahead of EU elections

Former Labour minister Andrew Adonis has been among the most prominent campaigners for a second EU referendum since voters backed leaving in 2016. Last year he told radio station LBC that “if you are a Brexiteer, I hope you won’t vote for the Labour party because they’re moving increasingly against Brexit”. But he has now apologised for the comments from September and called on voters to back Jeremy Corbyn’s plan for exit
25th Apr 2019 - iNews

Leavers have been insulted and betrayed. I'm standing for the Brexit Party to defend their votes

I’ve run a national campaign bringing Brexit supporters (and non-Brexit supporters!) together over a pint and a chat for over three years now, travelling up and down the country, from small seaside towns to hilly hamlets. I’ve met such a depth of vibrant and inspirational characters who have touched me with their stories, histories and aspirations. These are people who are too often reduced to being nothing more than the target of patronising Guardian opinion articles or the butt of mainstream comedians’ jokes simply for wanting their voices to be heard and their democratic wishes fulfilled.
25th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Tory candidates suspended over racist and inflammatory posts

Two Conservative local election candidates and a woman honoured with an MBE are among 40 new self-professed Tory members who have shared or endorsed racist and inflammatory Facebook posts including Islamophobic material, the Guardian has learned. The torrent of racist posts include references to Muslims as “bin bag wearing individuals”, calls for the “cult” of Islam to be banned and the Qur’an being branded an “evil book”. One female Tory supporter even called for a boycott of Muslim-owned shops and endorsed another comment labelling the religion’s followers “sub-human” and “cockroaches”.
25th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Jacob Rees-Mogg was paid entirely in CHAMPAGNE for an after-dinner speech

Jacob Rees-Mogg was paid in Champagne for giving an after-dinner speech, it has emerged. The Tory Brexiteer was invited to speak at an event hosted by Global Media, which owns a string of radio stations including LBC. It was revealed in the latest update of the Register of MPs Interests, published today. According to the entry, Mr Rees-Mogg was paid for speaking at the dinner on February 6 with 12 bottles of Champagne. In total the posh bubbly came to a value of £323.52 - almost £27 a bottle. It's possible Mr Rees-Mogg was running low on Bolly after Brexit-backing colleagues raided his fridge.
25th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

Tommy Robinson says he is running to be MEP in European elections

Tommy Robinson has announced he is standing to be an MEP in the European elections. He said his ‘working class’ supporters would send the ‘elite’ a ‘message they’ll never forget’ if he was elected on May 23. The far-right activist, who co-founded the English Defence League, attacked Nigel Farage and his new Brexit Party as he revealed he will be running in the north west region. Robinson said he ‘admires’ what Farage has done in the past but called him ‘just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the middle classes’.
25th Apr 2019 - Metro.co.uk

Tommy Robinson To Stand For MEP In Euro-Elections


25th Apr 2019 - Huffington Post UK

PM advised to call in MI5 to investigate Huawei leak

Theresa May has "no option" but to call in the security service MI5 to identify the source of a leak from the National Security Council, a founding member has said. Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell told Newsnight MI5 and the cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill may have to interview cabinet ministers who sit on the council. The former international development secretary, who sat on the NSC between 2010-2012, spoke out following a leak from the council earlier this week.
25th Apr 2019 - BBC

My way or the Huawei: who could be the cabinet leaker?


25th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

The Guardian view on the Conservatives: the headless chicken party

Theresa May’s government is one of the least successful in our history. This is not merely the view of its opponents. It is also the view of its own key members. Less than a month ago the Conservative chief whip, Julian Smith, admitted to the BBC that “discipline is not as good as it should be”. Brexit, he continued, had generated “the worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history”.
25th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

DUP leader Arlene Foster denies Lyra McKee was murdered because of a 'political vacuum'

Arlene Foster today denied Lyra McKee was murdered because of the 'political vacuum' in Northern Ireland - and said her party will not change its mind on gay marriage. The DUP leader looked uncomfortable as a priest delivered a powerful message at the funeral of the murdered journalist in Belfast yesterday when he demanded to know why it had taken the horror of her death to unite politicians. Mrs Foster sat next to Sinn Fein leaders Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald at the Protestant St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, and they were also forced to stand and clap. Father Martin Magill received a spontaneous standing ovation as he called her senseless killing a 'huge injustice' and said he 'dared to hope' something so awful as Lyra's murder could be a 'doorway to a new beginning'. Mrs Foster said today 'I don't accept that the violence that caused Lyra's death was caused by a political vacuum. It was caused by people who wanted to use violence to further their own warped political agenda. That's why Lyra is dead'.
25th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

IndyRef2 vote will not be allowed by UK Government says top Tory


25th Apr 2019 - Daily Record

Scottish independence: UK government 'will not grant indyref2 consent'

Theresa May's deputy has said the Scottish Parliament will not be given the power to hold an independence referendum by 2021. Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said there was "no evidence" of a surge in support for another vote. And he said the referendum in 2014 had settled matters for a generation. Nicola Sturgeon said on Wednesday she wants a referendum before the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021 if the UK leaves the EU. But the first minister also indicated that Westminster's approval was needed to put the legal status of any vote "beyond doubt". She has not yet made a fresh request to the UK government for this to happen, but told BBC Scotland that Mr Lidington was a member of a UK government that is "clinging to power by its fingertips" and has "zero authority or credibility"
25th Apr 2019 - BBC

Democracy under attack - was Brexit bought? (German made documentary with English subtitles makes a very strong case that it was)

Democracy under attack - was Brexit bought? (German made documentary with English subtitles makes a very strong case that it was)
25th Apr 2019 - ZDF

Dear Leavers, Lord Adonis doesn't want your support, but my Brexit Party certainly does

Having been adopted as a Labour candidate in the South West region in next month’s EU elections, he published a craven statement apologising for his LBC remarks. In it, he claimed to be in favour of Brexit. “Labour has always been clear it respects the result of the referendum,” he wrote desperately. He then lauded his party’s "sensible plan" for "a close economic relationship with the EU after Brexit.” As handbrake turns go, this one was noisy in the extreme. But it is deeply insulting in its casualness, as well. There is no way this Labour lickspittle would have humiliated himself in such a manner had he not been told to do so by the party’s high command. On that basis, I think we all know his “apology” is to be taken with a bucket of salt.
25th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

@Peston The International Commission of Labour’s National Policy Forum - which consists of MPs, trade unionists, MEPs, and constituency representatives - has just voted UNANIMOUSLY that Labour’s manifesto for EU elections should pledge to hold a confirmatory referendum...

The International Commission of Labour’s National Policy Forum - which consists of MPs, trade unionists, MEPs, and constituency representatives - has just voted UNANIMOUSLY that Labour’s manifesto for EU elections should pledge to hold a confirmatory referendum...
25th Apr 2019 - @Peston

@PaulWaugh @Andrew_Adonis mystery finally cleared up: he was told he faced deselection as MEP candidate unless he signed a statement apologising for previous views and stuck to the line on Brexit

Also, @Andrew_Adonis mystery finally cleared up: he was told he faced deselection as MEP candidate unless he signed a statement apologising for previous views and stuck to the line on Brexit
25th Apr 2019 - @PaulWaugh

Gavin Esler explains why he has decided to stand as a Change UK MEP candidate

Broadcaster Gavin Esler explains why he has decided to stand as a Change UK MEP candidate – and how New European readers helped convince him to do so. We have three clear objectives: Stop Brexit, fix Britain, reform the EU. The first step is a People's Vote. I want to bring this Brexit nightmare to an end. A confirmatory vote will mean we can move on to the real problems we face.
25th Apr 2019 - The New European

European elections: Government faces legal challenge amid fears millions of EU citizens could lose right to vote

Chaos surrounding the date of the UK’s departure from the EU means the form for EU citizens' voting was only sent to 2 million European nationals on the electoral register a few weeks before the deadline – instead of the usual four-month period. A leading organisation, representing EU citizens in the UK, has urged ministers to take immediate action to remedy the situation – or face potential legal action. Roger Casale, secretary general of the New Europeans, said: “Because of the very tight timetable, we would urge the government to allow those EU citizens on the electoral roll, who miss the current 7 May deadline, to fill in the required UC1 declaration forms when they arrive at their local polling stations on 23 May.”
25th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Theresa May is risking public's faith in politics, warns poll watchdog

The election watchdog has warned that Theresa May risks undermining public faith in politics by going ahead with European elections that she says she wants to cancel. The Electoral Commission said that it was “unprecedented in a mature democracy” for a country to elect candidates to roles they may never fill. It warned that the polls next month would lead to “questions about the impact on voters now and in the future”, adding that it was “vital that our democratic institutions and traditions come through [the elections] intact”.
25th Apr 2019 - The Times


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 25th Apr 2019

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MP Johnny Mercer's salary funded by failed bond scheme marketing agent

A company that marketed a failed bond scheme that lost savers £236m has been funding an MP's private salary. Johnny Mercer receives £85,000 from Crucial Academy, a company ultimately funded by Surge Financial Limited. Surge Financial Limited took 25% commission for marketing bonds by London Capital and Finance (LCF), which is now in administration. Mr Mercer - who is facing calls from investors to quit as an MP - said he had done nothing wrong. The Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View is a non-executive director of Crucial Academy, which trains military veterans and aims to find them employment. Mr Mercer, himself a former Army officer, is contracted to work 20 hours per month, a rate of more than £350 per hour.
24th Apr 2019 - BBC

Company linked to MP ‘taking legal action’ over BBC report


24th Apr 2019 - Shropshire Star

Phones4u founder vows to leave UK if Corbyn brings in higher taxes

John Caudwell, the billionaire founder of Phones4u, has vowed to leave the UK for tax-free Monaco if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister to avoid higher taxes. With an £1.6bn fortune, Caudwell, 66, is the UK’s 87th richest person, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. He said he and other wealthy Britons would emigrate to escape Corbyn’s proposed wealth tax. Caudwell, who built his fortune importing and selling mobile phones in the late 80s and early 90s, said a Corbyn-led government would be “a complete fiasco”. “If Corbyn wanted to start taxing more extensively than already, my appetite or tolerance to pay much more than I’m already paying is not very big,” Caudwell said.
24th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Trump's visit to the UK should be a wake-up call for Britain's declinist, complacent elite

Donald Trump’s state visit in June could not come at a better time. The US President may be just the man to break the Brexit deadlock. He offers an uncompromisingly positive outlook on Britain’s exit from the European Union at a moment when the UK could badly do with a confidence boost and a bit of direction. As the leader of the free world, Trump’s views matter. When he sets foot in London he can outline exactly what Brexit offers the British people. A free trade deal with the world’s largest economy, even closer defence and intelligence ties with the United States, and the enthusiastic backing of the world’s superpower. He will also deliver the heartfelt support of the American people.
24th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Ann Widdecombe: Former Tory MP to stand for Brexit Party

Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has announced she is set to return to politics - for the Brexit Party. Ms Widdecombe, 71, said she would still vote Conservative in the upcoming local elections but would stand as a candidate for Nigel Farage's new party in the European elections. She said she wanted to "fire a very loud warning shot across the bows" of the established parties. The former shadow home secretary has been retired since 2010. Ms Widdecombe told BBC News she was standing out of "total frustration" and to show Parliament to "get on with it" or see their seats "in danger".
24th Apr 2019 - BBC

Ann Widdecombe needs to back away from Brexit


24th Apr 2019 - GQ Magazine

Ann Widdecombe Brexit Party: we can leave the EU without leaving the 21st century


24th Apr 2019 - GQ Magazine

Ann Widdecombe is kicked out of the Conservatives


24th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Ann Widdecombe Says She’s Now Been EXPELLED From The Conservative Party

Lifelong Conservative Ann Widdecombe says she has now been kicked out of the party after she announced she was standing for the Brexit party in next month's European elections. The former shadow home secretary, 71, served as a Tory MP for over a decade before retiring in 2010. But, she’s now been kicked out of the party after joining Nigel Farage’s new outfit to fight next month’s EU elections. “I received a letter from [Conservative] headquarters today,” she told Iain Dale of her expulsion.
24th Apr 2019 - LBC

Change UK group plots to destroy the Lib Dems and hoover up their members, MPs and donors, leaked memo reveals

The Independent Group of defector MPs is planning to wipe out the Liberal Democrats and replace them as a party, a leaked strategy document reveals. The group of former Labour and Tory MPs, known as TIGgers, states that its objective is to defeat the Lib Dems so there is just a ‘single party… for progressive politics at the next General Election’. It plans to directly target Lib Dem voters and donors and to compete with the party on its own issues. It also rules out working with the party, saying: ‘No mergers, pacts or alliances.’
24th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Change UK candidate Jan Rostowski backs down on anti-gay comments

Jan Rostowski, who is running for the European elections with the pro-EU Change UK party, has backed down on past anti-gay comments he made. Rostowski—who is a former minister for finance in Poland—was announced as a candidate for Change UK yesterday. However, it wasn’t long before an interview from 2011 resurfaced in which he said “a stable society is based on heterosexual relations.”  He has since backed down on the comments, according to Buzzfeed political correspondent Alex Wickham.
24th Apr 2019 - Pink News

Second Change UK candidate Joseph Russo quits after offensive tweets emerge

Change UK lost another candidate today over offensive tweets including one about being 'scared of black women' after a chase through Amsterdam 'by a crazed black whore'. Joseph Russo also called new party colleague Anna Soubry 'Thatcher 2.0' before she quit the Tories and branded the arrest of paedophile Gary Glitter 'low hanging fruit' for police. Yesterday Ali Sadjady, a former Tory standing for the new pro-Remain party, was forced to resign hours after he was unveiled when it emerged he said Romanian pickpockets in London 'kind of makes me want Brexit'.
24th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Since I announced my Change UK candidacy I’ve been accused of Islamophobia – it’s nothing short of a smear campaign

Ever since the announcement yesterday of my candidacy as a London MEP for Change UK – The Independent Group, I have been subjected to an online campaign of false allegations of racism, including an accusation by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) that I am Islamophobic. I have never – not once – expressed anti-Muslim hatred or bigotry. I have always been clear that any criticisms I may make are about Islamism, and conservative Islamic cultures or beliefs; never Muslims. I am horrified, appalled and deeply upset to have been targeted by what appears to be an active campaign of smears and lies from hard-left activists and the MCB.
24th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Get set for higher taxes as Hammond warns on cost of ageing population

Taxes will keep rising for years to come to cover the cost of caring for Britain's ageing population, Philip Hammond has warned. Despite success in the long battle to defeat the budget deficit, the Chancellor said the tax burden - already its highest in more than 30 years - will rise further. Higher earners in particular should brace for a bigger bill to HM Revenue and Customs as Mr Hammond said “grumbling” from the rich should be taken as a sign of success. “The trick in any tax system is to get the balance right. If taxpayers who are paying large amount of tax weren’t grumbling we wouldn’t have got it right,” he told MPs on the Treasury Committee on Wednesday.
24th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Why does Nigel Farage keep coming back to Clacton? Because it is nothing like Britain

Nigel Farage is talking the language of betrayal, but the only thing he and the rest of the Brexiteers have been betrayed by is reality
24th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Change UK's lead MEP candidate in Scotland quits

The candidate who had topped Change UK's Scottish list for the European Parliament elections has withdrawn from the race after one day. Joseph Russo was selected as the lead candidate for the new party in the Scottish constituency, should the UK take part in the elections in May. However he has now announced on Twitter that he will not stand for election. He said he was "not fully prepared" for the "personal scrutiny" he faced after "offensive" online posts came to light. One of the new party's prospective London candidates, Ali Sadjady, also quit the race on Tuesday - hours after the party's lists were announced - over comments he had previously made on social media. Change UK - which stems from the Independent Group of MPs who quit Labour and the Conservatives earlier this year - launched its campaign for the elections on Tuesday.
24th Apr 2019 - BBC

Fox breaks cover

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is leading the polls for the EU elections and, given the party has no manifesto, policies or coherent strategy for leaving the EU, that’s some achievement. It seems that our political discourse is now so irredeemably f*cked that voting for a party with no actual policies in order to elect MEPs to a parliament they don’t believe in is just fine and dandy. Fox is currently director of the ‘think tank’ the Institute of Ideas, but for two decades she was a core figure in the Revolutionary Communist Party and the co-publisher of its in-house magazine, Living Marxism. Neither Fox nor the Brexit Party attempted to deny that, but I wonder whether rank-and-file Brexiters planning to vote for Ms Fox know quite what they are getting.
24th Apr 2019 - Byline Times

Nigel Farage - The New Nasty Party

Bill “Viagra Golliwog” Etheridge, apart from the Viagra and the Golliwogs, is more recently known as a pal of the so-called White Pendragons, who were behind the interruption of a speech by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. They told those present that they were there to effect a citizen’s arrest. And outside the venue, they had brought a scaffold. As in the kind used to hang people. He’s part of the new Farage fringe. Also joining Mr Thirsty, and announced as an MEP hopeful this week, has been businessman Lance Forman, who had previously been a supporter of Turning Point UK, the group whose US parent had been linked with all manner of extremism. For him, the charge is one of straightforward hypocrisy: having told “I can’t think of one area in which [the EU] has helped our business”, his company’s website proclaimed the virtues of achieving PGI status for its London Cure Smoked Salmon. Awarded by the EU.
24th Apr 2019 - Zelo Street

Ministers in a froth amid Huawei row

There have been fears inside government about allowing the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to get involved in the construction of the UK's 5G telecoms network for some time. Yet the government under Theresa May believes the risks can be controlled and is proceeding
24th Apr 2019 - BBC

Theresa May defies security warnings of ministers and US to allow Huawei to help build Britain's 5G network


24th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 24th Apr 2019

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May should go today, says senior 1922 Committee member

Senior Conservatives are to vote on whether to make it easier to force Theresa May out of office within weeks by changing the party’s rules to allow a no-confidence motion at any time. The 1922 Committee will meet later on Tuesday to discuss amending its rules, which currently state a leader cannot face a second no-confidence motion within a year of the previous one. May defeated an attempt to oust her in December, meaning she is safe from an official challenge for at least another seven months. However, some Brexit-supporting members of the committee are trying to remove the time limit.
23rd Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit Is Back, And It's Already Being Described As The Most Disappointing Season Yet

May continues to try to plot a way to get her Brexit deal through parliament, and may bring her Withdrawal Agreement back to the Commons for a fourth time. God loves a trier. The PM is also fighting a rearguard action to save her job, with warnings her position will be under threat if voting in European elections goes ahead on May 23. The Tory grassroots has already fired off warning shots. With would-be Tory successors to May plotting in the background, most notably Boris Johnson, and cross-party talks in the hunt for a consensus solution continuing, British politics returns to the Groundhog Day that it seems to have been trapped in for recent months. Is this the Brexit finale? Anyone hoping for the latest season of Brexit to come to some kind of conclusion could be disappointed.
23rd Apr 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Insular Britain told it is losing influence in Washington

The British are nowhere to be seen in Washington as they become increasingly insular and obsessed with Brexit, according to the outgoing French ambassador to the US. Gérard Araud, the outspoken 66-year-old who has been Paris’s man in Washington since 2014, can barely contain his glee over the growing French influence on US foreign policy. “The UK has vanished,” said Mr Araud. “The British ambassador told me — and I loved it — that every time the British military is meeting with the American military, the Americans are talking about the French.”
23rd Apr 2019 - Financial Times

Conservative MP set for by-election fight after being fined £1500 over false expenses claim

Tory MP Chris Davies could face a by-election to unseat him after he was fined £1,500 and ordered to do community service for making false expenses claims.
23rd Apr 2019 - Politics Home

False expenses claim Tory MP Chris Davies fined £1,500


23rd Apr 2019 - BBC

Customs union will sell British cities short, says Centre for Cities think tank

Cities including Brighton, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as London would be hit hard by a Brexit deal that neglects Britain’s powerhouse services sector, according to research. Failure to preserve frictionless access to the European Union for leading service industries would risk a sharp fall in trade, posing a threat to jobs across dozens of urban areas, the economic think tank Centre for Cities warned. Its analysis found that British cities export services worth £78 billion each year, such as insurance and legal advice, to EU countries. A third of all exports from Edinburgh, Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff and London are generated by companies selling services to the bloc. Andrew Carter, Centre for Cities chief executive, said: “A goods-only customs arrangement would leave services, which comprise the majority of Britain’s exports to the EU, facing trade barriers. This scenario could limit the economic prosperity of many of Britain’s cities and the millions of people living and working in them.”
22nd Apr 2019 - The Times

Theresa May snubs climate change meeting with schoolgirl Greta Thunberg

There was an empty chair at the table as teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg met with party leaders in Westminster today amid ongoing environmental protests. Theresa May didn’t turn up to the round-table in the House of Commons today as Greta, 16, met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat Sir Vince Cable, Green MP Caroline Lucas and the Westminster leaders of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, Ian Blackford and Liz Saville Roberts. A place was set for the PM, with a sign bearing her name, but she was instead chairing a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. Mrs May had been sent an invitation, but organisers said no response had been received – though they were hopeful she still might make an appearance.
23rd Apr 2019 - Metro.co.uk

EXCL Embarrassment for Labour bosses as staff unanimously reject latest pay offer

In a major embarrassment for party officials, staff - including those working in Jeremy Corbyn's office - voted unanimously to turn down the proposed rise. Bosses now have until 3 May to return with an improved offer, with the prospect of staff taking industrial action on the table if they do not.
23rd Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Tory splits erupt once again as MP hails 'fantastic' Brexit Party candidates

Deep Tory splits have been exposed once again after one of their MPs described the Brexit Party candidates for next month's European Parliament elections as "fantastic" - Tory Backbencher Lucy Allen heaped praise on her own party's supposed rivals as they announced who would be standing for them should the poll go ahead on 23 May.
23rd Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Labour says Theresa May unwilling to offer key Brexit concessions

Labour has accused Theresa May of failing to offer any substantive changes to her Brexit deal in cross-party talks, as Downing Street’s hopes of a breakthrough in time to avoid taking part in European parliamentary elections waned. Brexit talks resumed on Tuesday between a team of ministers and shadow ministers. But Labour sources said the government team again appeared unwilling to countenance changes to the political declaration, which sets out the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Instead, ministers offered alternative ways of giving reassurance about the issues Labour has raised, such as on environmental standards and workers’ rights, including through redrafting the withdrawal act implementation bill (WAB) and tweaking separate planned government bills.
23rd Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Farage's new recruits join class struggle for the glorification of Nige

Brexit party candidates prove as unconvincing as their leader in vowing to emancipate the people. Nigel was there to emancipate the little people, he insisted. The downtrodden and the dispossessed who were being denied the Brexit that hucksters like him had always insisted would be a piece of piss. Even a skilled chameleon like Nigel couldn’t quite pull that one off. However hard he tries, he just can’t manage anything more than ersatz sincerity. Nige has only ever been about the glorification of Nige. The narcissist’s narcissist.
23rd Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Nigel Farage REFUSES to publish a Brexit Party manifesto until after EU elections

After five candidates introduced themselves, the floor opened for questions where Telegraph reporter Christopher Hope asked: “Will we ever see a manifesto? “You have only one single policy which is: Brexit. “What does that mean in your eyes, Nigel, to be quite clear, and when will we see actual policies from this new party?”
23rd Apr 2019 - The New European

Remainers with a vengeance How EU Elections could provide the Far-right with More Power

Real change could take place in Brussels beyond 23 May, when the 27 heads of state will meet in November to agree on a new President of the European Commission. That outcome will be strongly linked to the election results. If the centre-right EPP is more or less assured of getting the Commission Presidency, the political strength of the Far-right could have a huge impact on the next Commission’s priorities – and on its political approach towards Brexit thereafter (should Brexit still be ongoing then). Similarly, should the British right, namely the Brexit party and UKIP, manage to be among the first few parties, they’ll argue that Britain just held its second referendum in favour of Leave and pretend that ‘nothing has changed’.
23rd Apr 2019 - Byline Times

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The 'Stop Brexit' circus must be run out of town

Mrs May appears to possess not an iota of self-awareness. Rather than preparing a dignified resignation statement, she has apparently spent the past few days contemplating a Cabinet reshuffle. In what parallel universe does she believe rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is a sensible solution, while the captain who deliberately navigated the ship into an iceberg remains on the bridge? She's already promised to resign, not once but twice. Her authority is shot to pieces. She has been humiliated at home and abroad. Her dismal, defeatist withdrawal 'deal' is dead as a dodo. Her MPs treat her with undisguised contempt. Her own party activists want her gone, yesterday.
23rd Apr 2019 - Daily Mail


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 23rd Apr 2019

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Government spent £13 million in just two months on consultants to help with Brexit deal

The government spent more than £13 million in just two months in their desperate attempts to convince MPs to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal. According to the Sun, £12 4 million was spent by the cabinet office on external consultant fees, which involved drawing up alternative plans to the Irish border and preparing for a no-deal Brexit. It is a whopping 221% increase on the total spend on consultancy services in the same three month period a year earlier. Best for Britain found that the department spent £300,000 in December on communicating the plan to the public and then a further £400,000 in January, which would have involved using Google and social media networks. The spending spree was a flop, as Theresa May failed to gain the support of the House of Commons, and the government appeared to u-turn on plans for a no-deal Brexit.
21st Apr 2019 - The New European

MPs to investigate huge cost of Brexit planning


19th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

Derbyshire Tories boycott EU elections over Brexit chaos

Conservative councillors in Derbyshire have voted to go on "strike" and not help candidates campaign in the upcoming European elections, in an extraordinary show of local defiance to the national party. It comes as a survey of 781 Conservative councillors for the Mail on Sunday shows that 40% of them are prepared to vote for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party at the elections on 23 May. Every one of the 37 Tory councillors at Derbyshire County Council are in support of the boycott, meaning that hundreds of activists will not deliver leaflets or canvass for the party's candidates in the run up to the elections. Council leader Barry Lewis: "I suppose it is described in one way as going on strike, to not take part in a campaign for an election like this. "It is with a heavy heart - we are an activist group at Derbyshire County Council, we want to support our candidates - but we simply cannot go against the wishes of the people.
21st Apr 2019 - Sky News

Tory councillors refuse to campaign for next month's EU elections


19th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Pro-Brexit MP provokes backlash after complaining about application process for settled status for her parents

A Labour MP who now supports the UK leaving the European Union caused Twitter to implode when she messaged the home secretary complaining about the application for settled status for her parents. Twitter users did not fail to see the irony when Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero tweeted Savid Javid to claim that the process to register EU citizens living in the UK was “not good enough.” She said: “Dear @ukhomeoffice @sajidjavid trying to sort my parents application for settled status. They are in their 70s and 80s. They don't have smart phones but I'm happy to sort it for them but It's such a complicated process I can't figure out how to do it. This is not good enough.” Her tweet provoked more than 1,000 responses - with the majority pointing out that she should be speaking up for the three million EU citizens - not just her parents. The respondents also claimed her u-turn on Brexit since the referendum had added to the “hostile environment” facing those now living in the UK.
20th Apr 2019 - The New European

Pro-Brexit MP provokes backlash after complaining about application process for settled status for her parents


20th Apr 2019 - The New European

Rape, Race and UKIP’s MEP Candidate

I have no better way of putting it: Carl Benjamin is the Dunning-Kruger candidate. He is the walking, talking embodiment of an overestimated, overinflated belief in one’s intelligence and critical faculties. Anyone who saw his performance at the recent launch of UKIP’s MEP campa understood immediately that he was manifestly ill-equipped for the business of politics.Adopting the poses of a Poundland Mussolini, yet looking like IT middle-management, he railed against the assembled press and pouted as his tweet to Labour MP Jess Phillips – “I wouldn’t even rape you” – was brought up. When pressed for an explanation, he responded: “If a woman is being a giant bitch and laughing about male suicide I’m going to be a giant dick back to her”. He was much like a petulant teenager, caught out.
20th Apr 2019 - Byline Times

Ukip European election candidates: man who sent 'rape' tweet to Labour MP and comedian who trained his dog to perform Nazi salute

Ukip has unveiled a man who sent a “rape” tweet to a Labour MP and a comedian who trained his dog to do a Nazi salute as its star candidates for the European elections. Gerard Batten, the Ukip leader, launched the party’s European election campaign by inviting Carl Benjamin, a Youtube personality, to appear on the stage alongside him along with Mark Meechan a Scottish comedian. Mr Benjamin prompted controversy after it emerged he tweeted “I wouldn’t even rape you” at Jess Phillips, a Labour MP. The Ukip candidate yesterday used a press conference to defend his comments. “I think we should treat women the same as men,” he said.
18th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

UKIP candidate: 'It's okay to joke about rape'


18th Apr 2019 - Sky News

UKIP's Carl Benjamin not sorry for MP rape comments


18th Apr 2019 - BBC

How ‘condescending’ Brexiteer Mark Francois met his match in US Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi, the US Speaker, rebuked the hardline Brexiteer Mark Francois for being condescending during a private lunch this week. Ms Pelosi, the third most powerful figure in the US, challenged the “red-faced” former junior defence minister after an exchange about the nature of the Irish border. The Speaker of the House of Representatives has been leading a delegation of senior American politicians on a visit to London and Dublin focused on Brexit. She will conclude her visit today with a trip to Belfast. The programme included a lunchtime meeting with four members of the European Research Group faction of Conservative MPs at a Westminster restaurant on Monday. In addition to Mr Francois the group included Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sir Bernard Jenkin and Steve Baker. The US delegation included Brendan Boyle, a Democrat representing Pennsylvania, who has taken a hard line on the potential damage to US relations after a hard Brexit, and other Irish Americans. Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK, was also present.
18th Apr 2019 - The Times

Brexit: US Speaker told off 'condescending' Mark Francois at awkward meeting


18th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

Brexit supporter jailed after sending 'terror-filled' messages to MP Heidi Allen

Jarod Kirkman – of Torquay Drive in Luton – was jailed for a total of 42 weeks for seven counts of sending malicious communications, having pleaded guilty to the offence at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, April 8. Threatening communications were sent to MPs Heidi Allen, Nick Boles, Yvette Cooper, Nicky Morgan, Sarah Wollaston, Jenny Chapman and David Lammy, and all were sent using fictitious email details via contact pages on the respective MPs websites. Kirkman was traced and identified by his IP address and, when interviewed, freely admitted he had sent the abusive messages, but couldn't recall all the details, and said “I was just being a stupid idiot over Brexit”.
18th Apr 2019 - Ely Standard

Brexit supporter jailed for sending MPs death threats and racist abuse


19th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Facebook bans UK far right groups and leaders

Facebook has imposed a ban on a dozen far-right individuals and organisations that it says "spread hate". The ban includes the British National Party and Nick Griffin, the English Defence League and the National Front. The list also includes Britain First, which was already banned, but this latest action will prohibit support for it on any of the US firm's services. It said it had taken the action because those involved had proclaimed a "violent or hateful mission". "Individuals and organisations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook," the social network added in a statement.
18th Apr 2019 - BBC

Facebook bans far-right groups including BNP, EDL and Britain First


18th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Facebook bans right‑wing groups including BNP and EDL


19th Apr 2019 - The Times

Lyra McKee killing: 'New IRA admits responsibility'

The New IRA has admitted responsibility for the killing of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee, according to a Northern Irish newspaper. In a statement given to The Irish News using a recognised code word, the group offered "full and sincere apologies" to her family and friends. Ms McKee was shot in the head while she observed rioting in Londonderry's Creggan estate on Thursday night. The New IRA said she was killed "while standing beside enemy forces".
23rd Apr 2019 - BBC

Brexit-backing Tory activists to seek Theresa May’s resignation

Conservative activists are to hold an emergency summit to debate a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, adding fresh pressure on her to resign as party leader and prime minister. The grassroots challenge to Mrs May’s already precarious authority comes from the National Conservative Convention, which said on Monday that it would hold an extraordinary general meeting within weeks. The unprecedented move to discuss a vote of no confidence in Mrs May was triggered after more than 70 chairs of local constituency associations handed in a petition to the party.
22nd Apr 2019 - Financial Times

Furious donors 'giving money to Tory MPs instead of Theresa May' amid Brexit anger

Conservative donors are giving money directly to Tory MPs instead of the party's central office because of their anger about Theresa May's handling of Brexit, it has been claimed. Alexander Temerko, who has donated more than £1 million to the Conservatives, told The Times that the Prime Minister had "alienated" voters on both sides of the Brexit divide. And he revealed that he had now resorted to giving thousands of pounds in donations straight "to associations and MPs" instead of Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).
22nd Apr 2019 - Politics Home

May's failure in office reaches far beyond Brexit

Herald Scotland savages Theresa May's performance at the helm of the nation and says the prevasive failure on Brexit stretches across a number of areas of society
22nd Apr 2019 - Herald Scotland

Facebook ads by Lynton Crosby's firm 'part of push for hard Brexit'

A network of secretive pro-Brexit Facebook campaigns overseen by Sir Lynton Crosby's company CTF Partners was part of a wider campaign to undermine ...
22nd Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Lyra McKee's friends stage protest at dissident republican office

Friends of murdered journalist Lyra McKee have painted red hand prints across the office of a dissident republican group in Derry. Ms McKee, 29, was murdered on Thursday night while covering disturbances in Creggan. The gunman was aiming at police when he hit the journalist and author in the head. Her friends used red paint to cover their hands before planting prints across the Junior McDaid House in Derry, where Saoradh's headquarters are based. A group of about six men, understood to be members of the republican group, stood outside during the protest. Saoradh is associated with the New IRA.
22nd Apr 2019 - Sky News

Tory election meltdown as activists switch allegiance to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

More than 60 per cent of Conservative activists are planning to switch sides and vote for Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party in next month’s European elections, a dramatic survey has revealed. Mr Farage predicted that his party would “sweep the board” in the contests expected on 23 May, claiming it was attracting large numbers of Tory and Labour voters alike. Amid growing predictions of a Conservative meltdown at the ballot box, the senior MP Sir Graham Brady will reportedly warn Theresa May that 70 per cent of her MPs want her to step down by the end of June.
21st Apr 2019 - iNews

'Toxic' Theresa: Tory election candidates avoid mentioning May's name on doorsteps after Brexit 'betrayal'

Tory councillors are refusing to mention Theresa May’s name on doorsteps ahead of next month’s local elections because voters associate it with “betrayal”. Conservative Associations across the country are finding that Mrs May’s name is so toxic with voters that the mere mention of the Prime Minister gets in the way of campaigning. Tory councillors fear that voter backlash against Mrs May’s handling of Brexit will cost them their seats, and are desperately trying to keep conversations focused on local issues to avoid being tainted by events in Westminster.
21st Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn says government Brexit talks at risk because Tories want to 'do a deal with Donald Trump'

Brexit talks between Labour and the Government are at risk because Conserative MPs want "to do a deal" with US President Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn has claimed. The Labour leader said ministers had given little ground in talks between the two parties so far, as he accused the Government of "dithering" over its Brexit strategy. Ministers and Labour frontbenchers have been holding talks for the past two weeks aimed at finding a compromise Brexit agreement that can get through the House of Commons, which has rejected Theresa May's own deal three times.
21st Apr 2019 - Politics Home

@TheSun Jeremy Corbyn blasted after video of him mocking captured SAS troopers and branding British forces in Iraq ‘lawless’ emerges

Jeremy Corbyn blasted after video of him mocking captured SAS troopers and branding British forces in Iraq ‘lawless’ emerges
21st Apr 2019 - @TheSun

Margaret Thatcher’s former press secretary savages Ken Clarke’s claim she would vote to stay in EU

'I think it is ridiculous to claim she would have voted Remain just because, like me, she voted to confirm our membership of the Common Market in 1975. Sir Bernard Ingham instead argued that developments within the EU since Mrs Thatcher left office may have prompted her to 'threaten to leave'. He pointed to the adoption of the Euro single currency, which he argued has 'devastated southern Europe', and the moves towards a 'single foreign policy' and 'Euro-army' as factors which might have changed Mrs Thatcher's mind. 'All this ran against the grain of Mrs T's convictions and anyone, Ken Clarke or others, who suggests she would have sat unmoved by this nonsense is incredible,' he said. 'It is true she regarded referenda as the tool of dictators and that she never said to me either before or after 1990 that we should leave the EC. 'My best guess - and this is only a guess - is that she would have eventually challenged - and harried - the EU to drop its damaging federalism and go for a loose, wider freely co-operating group of nation states.
20th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Theresa May spotted in yellow vest working as marshal at Easter race

Theresa May wore a hi-visibility jacket to help marshal a Good Friday race in her constituency, after returning from her Easter holiday in Wales. A smiling prime minister handing out water to thirsty runners at the Easter 10 contest in Maidenhead and walked the route with her husband, Philip. She also shared selfies with spectators before directing the runners, who – unlike so many Conservative MPs – followed her instructions, slapping the hands of some of them with the odd high-five as they passed by.
20th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Britons no longer just want to leave the EU - they want to change politics for good by smashing the two-party system

The rapid rise of the Brexit Party in the polls just days after we launched formally has sent a shiver down the spine of the Conservative Party. This sense of apprehension is well deserved, as far as I am concerned. The omens for Theresa May do not look good. Take Councillor Barry Lewis, the Conservative leader of Derbyshire county council. On Friday, he confirmed that his group recently supported a motion not to take part in the European elections on May 23. Just think about that. The faithful servants of one of the oldest political parties in the world are on strike. They refuse to go out and canvass, such is their anger – and, no doubt, sheer embarrassment – at the appalling mess created
20th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

A Far-Right Activist's Website Republished Articles From The Mail Online Without Permission

Former Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen launched the new "venture" earlier this year. BuzzFeed News has found 28 articles that have been reproduced in part or in full from a variety of mainstream publications.
20th Apr 2019 - BuzzFeed News

Theresa May's future to be determined in just DAYS as MPs plot new no confidence vote

The Conservative Party’s influential 1922 committee is set to meet on Tuesday to discuss whether the rule allowing a no confidence vote against the same person only once a year should be changed. Mrs May survived a no confidence vote in December 2018 and, according to the current regulations, her position is secured until the end of 2019. But backbenchers in the committee can vote to change the rules, as they are not determined by the party’s constitution but by MPs themselves, according to Alan Mabbutt, a senior Conservative Party official. And the co-secretary of the committee, Nigel Evans, said he is “leaning towards” the idea of changing the rules. He said: “I certainly will be leaning towards us changing the rules if another solution to this situation cannot be found. "We cannot leave it for 12 months. “If we fight the European elections there is only one person that is responsible - her."
20th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

I’m no Brexiteer, but even I can admit the Remain camp is slipping into fanatical territory

The writer opines that the online #FBPE crowd are losing site of what they hope to achieve by being overly attack minded
19th Apr 2019 - The Independent

How May's failed deal shattered EU relations

Donald Tusk sent a “lines to take” memo to the EU’s capitals setting out the legal reality and the bloc’s strategic advantage under article 50. “We expect the UK to formulate its wishes when it comes to our future relationship,” he said. “Any agreement, which will be concluded with the UK as a third country, will have to reflect the interests of both sides and be balanced in terms of rights and obligations. First we need to agree the arrangements for the withdrawal of the UK.” At 11.23am BST, staff in Brussels received an email from the secretary general of the EU council, Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, seeking to assuage fears. “I know that many colleagues, in particular those who are British nationals, are very concerned today,” the Danish official wrote. “I would like you to know that, for me, all … colleagues are European Union officials, independently of the nationality.”
19th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

No Brexit more likely than a disorderly one, say economists

The chances that Brexit will be cancelled are now greater than the chances Britain will leave the European Union without a deal, according to economists in a Reuters poll, who again pushed back their expectations for when the Bank of England will raise interest rates. In the latest monthly Reuters survey, taken April 12-17, the median probability Britain and the EU will part ways in a disorderly fashion - where no deal is agreed - held steady at the 15 percent given in March, the lowest since Reuters began asking in July 2017. Only one of 51 respondents gave a value over 50 percent. “Apart from the fact that no-deal Brexit is now less likely, the path ahead is as unclear as ever. A deal (and likely a softer Brexit) still seems more likely than not,” BNP Paribas economists said. “But we are sceptical that this will happen any time soon.”
18th Apr 2019 - Reuters

Facebook to cave to EU pressure after row over political ad rules

In a political standoff between European lawmakers and Facebook, the social networking giant has blinked first. After vocal complaints from the EU’s three main institutions that the company’s new political advertising rules will hamper region-wide campaigning, Facebook is expected to allow the European Parliament and EU political groups to buy social media ads across the 28-country bloc.
18th Apr 2019 - Politico

Forget Ukip, the only way to rattle the pro-EU establishment is to back the Brexit Party

Following my declaration that I will stand as an MEP candidate for the Brexit Party, I have been asked more than once, “why the Brexit Party? Longworth is seeking to follow through on the 2016 referendum vote and hold the two main political parties to account
18th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Britain is once again the sick man of Europe

Why so many crises have befallen the country at the same time and how they all relate to one another are really important questions. Poor economic outcomes, in terms of real income growth, are surely related to the rise of national identity as a salient issue, though there are other factors, notably immigration. What matters, however, is not what caused all this, but that it is going to take a long time to sort all this out. The UK will, alas, remain sick for a while.
18th Apr 2019 - Financial Times

Frustrated, confused: What Leave voters plan to do in the EU elections

The overwhelming majority of those I met this week on a sunny afternoon in town were that way inclined. In summary, I got an earful of the F-word and the C-word. They are "frustrated" that the UK is still in the EU, and "confused" as to how they are going to cast their votes. If they cast their vote, that is. At least one lady said she planned to abstain in protest. Many people said they would vote for whichever party looked stronger on polling day.
18th Apr 2019 - Sky News

'No minutes' of DUP Brexit donor's meetings with Stormont bodies

No minutes were recorded of meetings the DUP arranged for a Brexit campaign donor to discuss "investment opportunities" with public bodies in Northern Ireland. Campaigners raised concerns yesterday after The Irish News revealed businessman Richard Cook's meetings with Invest NI, Belfast City Council and a Stormont department in the months following the EU referendum. Mr Cook, a former vice-chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, chairs the Constitutional Research Council (CRC) – a pro-union business group that donated £435,000 to the DUP during its Brexit campaign. Questions have persisted over the DUP's Brexit campaign money, of which £282,000 was spent on a front-page ad in the British newspaper Metro – a publication not circulated in Northern Ireland. Last week it emerged the DUP received a further £13,000 from CRC after the 2016 referendum. The party said it used donations to "further the cause of unionism".
17th Apr 2019 - Irish Independent


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 18th Apr 2019

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DUP targets English voters for funds with pro-Brexit adverts

Northern Ireland’s pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is running ads on Facebook to raise money in England only as part of a new fundraising drive on social media. The party’s “Support Brexit – Support the DUP” ads are being shown mostly to people over the age of 55 – an age group that voted in the majority for Brexit - and only in England where the party has no candidates. Facebook data on the ad, which features photographs of DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds, says it was being shown only to people living in England. Some 37 per cent of the people being shown the ad were aged 65 years or older and a further 25 per cent are aged between 55 and 64, according to the data on the ad. The ad had been viewed between 5,000 and 10,000 times since it began running on Tuesday, just weeks ahead of European and local elections.
18th Apr 2019 - The Irish Times

Britain cannot be treated as a second class citizen while it lingers in EU before Brexit says Tusk

The European Council president attacked 'fear and scaremongering' over UK exit. He dismissed the idea that UK might 'disrupt' activities while still a member. The German foreign minister Heiko Maas said UK had to decide future by October. He attacked idea that the UK could spend years working out how to leave. Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU was now on a break from Brexit. EC chief said EU was 'ready' for a no-deal Brexit but had 'nothing to gain'
17th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament

Should the UK not succeed to do so by 22 May, it will have to hold EU elections to elect its own representatives in the new European Parliament. Far from being a punishment, this is a necessity to preserve EU citizens living in the UK, as well as the integrity of the European Parliament as a whole (what if the UK should eventually stay in the EU?). Yet this could irremediably do exactly the opposite. Holding EU elections in the UK is set to fatally affect the good functioning of the next European Parliament - as well as the entire Union - for the five years to come. The British participation in the elections is set to distort the new political balance emerging within the next parliament (the 73 UK MEPs are set to leave the assembly upon Brexit), but also to irremediably tarnish the validity of the parliament's future decisions.
17th Apr 2019 - EU Observer

End of EU: Shock study says 54% of voters have no faith in Brussels - 'Systems failure'

A think tank has collected data, alongside pollsters YouGov, from 46,000 participants across 14 member states, between January and February 2019 which make up 80 percent of the European Parliament’s seats, finding that 57 percent of participants are unlikely to cast their vote. The study’s authors have created four potential groups of voters that MEPs will have to target if they are to be successful in the ballot – the pro-EU “system believers”, the sceptical “Gilet Jaunes”, the “pro-European left behinds” and the anti-Brussels “nationalist eurosceptics”. Both the “Gilet Jaunes” and “Nationalist eurosceptics” equate to 54 percent of voters, according to the think tank’s publication.
17th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Concern over councils' ability to cope with polls

Council chiefs have raised concerns with Government about the sector’s capacity to run EU elections so close on the heels of local polls. Local authorities have said there remain ‘immediate concerns’ around complex cost and capacity issues related to the elections next month, with ‘urgent responses needed’ from Whitehall. On top of this, senior Local Government Association (LGA) officials have warned that councils could be open to legal challenge from EU citizens who decide to vote in the UK but are then disenfranchised if the elections are cancelled. The Cabinet Office has suggested that EU citizens in the UK should register in their member state of citizenship as the ‘most certain option to ensure they can cast their vote’ but the LGA wants the Government to issue national legal advice on the subject.
17th Apr 2019 - Local Gov

Scotland rejects hostile environment created by Theresa May: Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister said one of the most shameful aspects of Brexit has been the treatment of EU citizens. Scotland wants no part of Theresa May’s “despicable” hostile environment, Nicola Sturgeon has said, as she urged action against “xenophobia” in politics. Addressing the STUC conference in Dundee, the Scottish First Minister said the treatment of EU citizens in the UK is one of the most “shameful” aspects of Brexit. She warned the damage of any form of Brexit could not be fully mitigated, and said there would be “nothing disorderly” about Scotland leaving the UK following a vote for independence.
17th Apr 2019 - Shropshire Star

The Ukip-shaped challenge facing Nigel Farage and his new Brexit Party

Stephen Bush discusses the threat to Nigel Farage's nascent Brexit Party posed by his old one, UKIP now run by Gerard Batten
17th Apr 2019 - New Statesman

Brexit news: Theresa May facing grassroots no-confidence vote as Farage's new Brexit Party takes commanding poll lead

Theresa May could face an unprecedented no-confidence vote among grassroots Tories, as the prospect of a crushing defeat in European elections looms. Local party chairs have been circulating a petition that is on course to force the National Conservative Convention to hold an extraordinary general meeting where members could pressure the prime minister to resign. The plot emerged as a poll showed Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party had stormed into the lead ahead of EU parliament elections next month. A YouGov poll, commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign, puts the Brexit Party on 27 per cent, ahead of Labour on 22 per cent with the Conservatives trailing on 15 per cent. It follows the burst of publicity the Brexit Party received with the launch last week of its election campaign, when it was announced that Annunziata Rees-Mogg – the sister of the leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg – would be among its candidates. It will reinforce fears among ministers the Conservatives are heading for a crushing defeat if the poll on 23 May goes ahead as planned – a result which would almost certainly see fresh calls for Ms May to quit.
17th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party could WIN the European elections, poll suggests, as voters punish Tories for EU exit chaos


17th Apr 2019 - The Sun

Bombshell poll reveals Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party could win EU Elections


17th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

Poll: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the lead for Europe elections


17th Apr 2019 - The Scotsman

Farage's Brexit Party to top EU elections in Britain - poll


17th Apr 2019 - Reuters

Brexit news latest: Guy Verhofstadt blasts MPs for dithering over EU withdrawal

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Guy Verhofstadt said he fears that the delay to Brexit will “continue the uncertainty. I fear it will prolong the indecision.” He told MEPs: “And I fear most of all that it will import the Brexit mess into the European Union. And moreover, that it will poison the upcoming European election.” The Brexit co-ordinator also said that he fears the decision to extend the Article 50 deadline to October 31 will mean the “pressure to come to a cross-party agreement disappears.”
17th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

'Their first decision was to go on holiday': EU's Verhofstadt fears UK will waste Brexit delay


17th Apr 2019 - Sky News

May's Brexit strategy has put MPs in danger and wasted billions – Britain deserves a real leader

When the prime minister applied for and got a second extension to the Article 50 period, she did so because she wanted to save the country from the disastrous consequences of leaving the EU without a deal. She did the right thing, putting the country first. Theresa May has known about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for years. Paper after paper has crossed her desk, warning her what it would mean. Most recently the cabinet secretary – the most senior civil servant in the country – laid these consequences out before cabinet: food price rises, shortages of some foods, chaos at the ports, the need to stockpile medicines, direct rule for Northern Ireland and, most dangerous of all, a weakening of our national security. No deal would not only leave our country poorer, but it would also weaken us. No responsible prime minister could embrace such an outcome. No leader could will these consequences on their own country. But how did we get here? Why was the application for an extension and the rejection of no deal seen as such a betrayal, not only by Brexiteer Conservative MPs, but by a significant proportion of the population?
17th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Liberal Democrats attack other anti-Brexit parties for refusing to fight on joint ticket for European elections

The Liberal Democrats have accused other anti-Brexit parties of damaging the chances of success in the European elections by refusing to fight on a joint ticket. Vince Cable lashed out at The Independent Group and the Greens for rejecting his pleas to stand joint candidates on 23 May, to boost the number of MEPs demanding a second referendum. The Lib Dem leader revealed that his party proposed fighting together – a move that one election expert has predicted could have delivered an extra six seats in Brussels. Frustrated campaigners for a Final Say public vote also believe a unified campaign would have excited voters and delivered an even greater reward. Sir Vince said voters would be forced to choose between “a variety of different parties offering the same message”, under a proportional voting system.
17th Apr 2019 - The Independent

North Of London, Brexit Supporters Gather To 'Feel Proud And Unashamed'

Reading says that she keeps her pro-Brexit views mostly to herself. She's worried if she speaks up at her workplace, she will be ostracized. She can't remember a time when her country was this divided. At the Leavers for Lincolnshire gathering, she found the evening with fellow Brexiteers relaxing and comforting. "We didn't know anybody ... and we started to talk and we all felt the same," said Reading. "That was absolutely great. We can breathe."
17th Apr 2019 - NPR

Revealed: Brexit group covered up its targeting of right-wing extremists

Arron Banks repeatedly lied to cover-up his Brexit campaign’s effort to attract far-right extremists. Leave.EU paid for Facebook adverts targeted at supporters of the National Front, the BNP, Britain First and the EDL. But when the BBC asked for a response to a story they planned to run, Mr Banks sent a barrage of emails in an attempt to get the story dropped. Leaked emails, seen by Channel 4 News, show Mr Banks insisted the BBC’s accusation were “wholly wrong” – despite his own staff telling him the story was true. One Leave.EU employee told him: “Those are our ads, we have targeted those groups since the beginning of the campaign as they gain most traction.” Another Leave.EU staffer proposed telling the BBC: “We pay for target ads for all political parties, not just right wing.” But Mr Banks replied: “Not the right answer.” Instead, Mr Banks told the BBC: “It’s wholly wrong to say we have targeted extreme right parties… your report needs to reflect this or it will be biased and if we have to we will take whatever legal action we need.” Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s Head of Communications, even appealed to the head of BBC Westminster, Robbie Gibb, in a further attempt to prevent the story from being run. Mr Gibb is now Theresa May’s head of communications
17th Apr 2019 - Channel 4 News

How Farage's Campaign colluded with Putin to Weaponise hate and Islamophobia

By the time of the EU referendum, Russian news agencies like RT and Sputnik were clearly pushing a pro-Brexit agenda, particularly focusing on (mainly false) allegations of rape and criminality by asylum seekers and migrants. One of Leave EU’s most popular videos was mainly sourced from Russian propaganda and deliberately portrayed foreign migrants as sexual predators. Four weeks before the referendum vote in June 2016, Leave EU created a video called ‘Worrying Scenes in Europe’, mainly based on clips from RT. One disturbing sequence in the video is all Leave EU’s creation. It apparently shows sexual assault by dozens of men (alleged to be refugees). But, the clip is actually of an assault that took place in Tahrir Square in Egypt in 2013.
17th Apr 2019 - Byline Times

More than half of Britons think Labour has 'serious antisemitism problem', poll reveals

More than half of people believe Labour has a "serious antisemitism problem", a new poll has revealed. The ComRes survey, on behalf of the Jewish News newspaper, showed 51% think the party has a problem with anti-Jewish hate, up from 34% in July last year. A similar proportion of respondents, 55%, agreed that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's "failure to tackle antisemitism within his own party shows he is unfit to be prime minister". Labour's long-running antisemitism row resurfaced at the weekend when the Sunday Times reported Mr Corbyn, in a leaked recording, said that evidence of antisemitism in the party has been "mislaid or ignored".
17th Apr 2019 - Sky News

May to go down in history as 'monumental failure' - a 'massive contrast with Thatcher!'

A former aide to Margaret Thatcher has said Prime Minister Theresa May will go down in British history as a “monumental failure” after she was unable to get enough support for her Brexit deal in order for Britain to have left the European Union within the two-year Article 50 deadline. Last week the EU agreed to extend Britain’s departure from the bloc until the end of October 31 after Theresa May pleaded for a delay. Mr Gardiner told Express.co.uk: “As someone who led Britain at a critically important time in history but who did not have the vision or the guts and the courage to do what was necessary.
17th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Corbyn's polling lead is a national emergency. The Tories must have a proper vision to defeat him

Thanks to the Prime Minister’s staggering incompetence, we face a real risk of a double whammy of no Brexit and a Jeremy Corbyn government, propped up by Scottish Nationalists. Opinion polls should be taken with a bucket of salt. But the past half a dozen tell an eerily similar story: Tory support has fallen off a cliff, especially since voters realised that we weren’t actually going to leave the EU on March 29, as promised. Labour is also down, albeit by less. As a result, Mr Corbyn leads by several percentage points; a uniform swing in a general election today would cost the Tories 60 seats, make Labour the biggest party and allow it to govern with other Left-wing groups.
17th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Nick Boles suggests he will not stand at the next election

Newly independent MP Nick Boles has suggested he will not stand at the next general election, saying he is on his “way out” of frontline politics. In an interview with The House magazine, the former Conservative minister said he was in his “swansong” after deciding to quit his party over Brexit earlier this month. Though Mr Boles backed Ruth Davidson as the “perfect candidate” to become the next Prime Minister, he said it was “very unlikely” that a new Tory leader could bring him back to the fold. He also said it was “reasonable” to question whether it would have been better if the Tories lost the 2015 election and accused Theresa May of making a “moral error” in trying to be more “Brexity than Brexiters” after entering No10. Mr Boles spectacularly resigned the Conservative whip in the Commons after accusing his party of intransigence and refusing to compromise during the Brexit debate. It came after a fractious period with his own constituency party in Grantham and Stamford, which had earlier backed a no-confidence vote against him. Mr Boles fell out of favour over his support for a Norway-style Brexit and opposition to leaving the EU without a deal.
16th Apr 2019 - Politics Home


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 17th Apr 2019

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Local election candidates feel wrath of Brexit on the doorsteps of Milton Keynes

“If people are angry about Brexit they might vote UKIP, but I get the feeling that the people most upset are those who believe that any delay has been wrong and they are disproportionately Conservatives.” Cllr Douglas McCall, the Lib Dem leader, believes any Brexit effect on the doorstep won’t hit the Lib Dems as much as the other parties, especially the Conservatives. “The Tories gained seats that they did not expect to in 2015, when the local elections took place at the same time as the General Election,” he said. “Four years later, they are really unpopular and I expect they will lose seats to Labour and the Lib Dems.”
17th Apr 2019 - Milton Keynes Citizen

The UK teeters on the verge of a Brexit breakdown

The first warning signs of the toll that Brexit might impose on national wellbeing manifested themselves in Europeans resident in Britain, says Emmy van Deurzen. A consultant psychoanalyst and professor at an offshoot of Middlesex University, Ms van Deurzen says that in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, Europeans living in London suddenly felt less than welcome, and worried about whether they could still call the UK home. Some of her patients said they began losing their appetites and struggling to sleep. This year the same symptoms of anxiety and worse have started spreading to UK citizens, she says. Extreme mood swings. Exhaustion and loss of hope. Delusional outbursts. An inability to carry out everyday tasks.
17th Apr 2019 - Financial Times

Theresa May’s secretive Brexit approach led to blunders, says report

Theresa May has been accused of blundering through Brexit by creating an “unsustainable” split between government departments while her “secretive” approach to the withdrawal negotiations fuelled division in her own Cabinet. In a highly critical report, the respected think tank the Institute for Government (IfG) blamed Mrs May for creating a divide in responsibilities between No.10 and the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu). Tim Durrant, lead author of the IfG report, said: “It is vital that the government uses the next months to develop a better understanding of how the EU will approach the next phase. The time available for negotiations is short and the government must not waste time by failing to prepare.”
17th Apr 2019 - The Scotsman

Damaging impact of Brexit cannot be fully mitigated, warns Sturgeon

Nobody should pretend that the damage of Brexit can be fully mitigated, according to Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister will speak at the STUC conference in Dundee on Wednesday and is expected to warn that any form of Brexit would harm living standards and risk jobs. An extension to Article 50 was granted earlier this month, meaning that the UK will not leave the European Union until October 31 unless a deal can be agreed in Parliament sooner.
17th Apr 2019 - Express and Star

Environmental regulations proving sticking point in cross-party Brexit talks, Labour claims

Brexit talks between Labour and Conservatives have stalled, in part because the Tories are unwilling to reject the option of slashing workers' rights and environmental protections in order to secure a US trade deal post-Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader told the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday that the government "doesn't appear to be shifting its red lines" because parts of the Tory party "actually wants to turn this country into a deregulated, low-tax society which will do a deal with Trump".
17th Apr 2019 - Business Green

DUP arranged 'investment meetings' for Brexit campaign donor

The DUP arranged for a major party donor who bankrolled its Brexit campaign to discuss "investment opportunities" with public bodies in Northern Ireland. Richard Cook, a former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, chairs the Constitutional Research Council (CRC) – a pro-union business group that donated £435,000 to the DUP during the EU referendum campaign. He was involved in a series of senior meetings with Invest NI, Belfast City Council and a Stormont department in the months following the EU referendum, The Irish News has learned. The meetings were to discuss "potential investment opportunities in Northern Ireland". Invest NI and Belfast council said nothing materialised from these engagements.
16th Apr 2019 - Irish Independent

Ukip MEP Stuart Agnew addressed pro-apartheid club

A leading Ukip MEP made a speech to a pro-apartheid club of expat South Africans that has far-right links and calls Nelson Mandela a terrorist, it has emerged. Stuart Agnew, who is top of one of the party’s regional lists for re-election if European elections take place in the UK in May, addressed a recent meeting of the Springbok Club, which is led by a former activist in the far-right National Front (NF) and has links to the murderer of Jo Cox. The organisation has the apartheid-era South African flag as an emblem, and has called for the return of “civilised European rule” to the continent.
16th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Nigel Farage says Brexiteer anger will 'explode' if Theresa May strikes deal with Jeremy Corbyn

Nigel Farage has warned Theresa May that Brexiteer anger will "explode" if she strikes a pact with Jeremy Corbyn to keep the UK closely tied to the European Union. The Brexit Party leader has claimed the UK’s democracy is under threat as he sought to build momentum for his movement ahead of the European elections. His comments came after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that Mrs May could struggle to hang on to power if she cannot get her Brexit deal through Parliament before the May 23 European poll. Mr Hunt said the "total focus" of ministers was to ensure the country did not have to vote in the elections to the European Parliament on May 23. Speaking during a visit to Japan, he acknowledged that the Government would be facing a "very serious situation" if it failed to do so.
16th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

Brexit: Theresa May warned she has ‘no chance’ of passing deal in time to stop European elections

Theresa May has “no chance” of passing her Brexit deal in time to pull the UK out of the European parliament elections and avoid a likely devastating defeat, experts have concluded. Time has already effectively run out on attempts to ratify the agreement by 22 May, they say – despite the prime minister insisting talks with Labour can still deliver a compromise before the deadline. The verdict puts the Conservatives on course to lose most of their MEPs, polls suggest, as Leave voters protest at the failure to deliver Brexit, a disastrous result that would trigger huge pressure on Ms May to resign. The staging of the elections will also be a personal humiliation for the prime minister, who repeatedly told MPs they should not take place, three years after the Brexit referendum
16th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Key Corbyn Supporters In Battle For Labour’s Coveted Euro Parliament Seats

All the main parties are currently fast-tracking selection of potential candidates for the Strasbourg elections, which will go ahead on May 23 if the UK parliament fails to approve a Brexit deal beforehand. While the Tory party is facing a serious threat from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and UKIP, polls show that Labour is on course to gain seats in the Euro elections and the battle has begun in selection races across the country.
16th Apr 2019 - Huffington Post UK

Farage should Fix himself - Brexit Party boss busted

The outright lies and failure to deal adequately with policy details will go down in history as the Leave side’s most prominent sore. Leaving the European Union is a mammoth legal, technical and constitutional task which cannot be orchestrated according to the whims of the political sloganeering we saw in the 2016 referendum. The jaws of reality, it turns out, cannot be avoided indefinitely. To some extent, I should have had greater foresight and viewed the withdrawal issues through a more critical lens. But then again, this could be said of almost anybody invested in Brexit. Farage’s grotesque simplifications, parroted by individuals uninterested in complexity, and the almost religious evasion of detail were never going to prepare us for our departure. It is here where history will truly judge him.
16th Apr 2019 - Byline Times

'Their first decision was to go on holiday': EU's Verhofstadt fears UK will waste Brexit delay

A top EU figure has said he fears Britain will waste its latest Brexit reprieve and "run down the clock" once again. European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt told the European Parliament that the bloc's decision to grant a delay until the end of October risked prolonging the uncertainty. He said the six-month extension to Article 50 is "too near for a substantial rethink of Brexit and at the same time too far away to prompt any action".
16th Apr 2019 - Sky News

UK MEPs could sit for 'months or longer'

The UK will take part in May's European elections and British MEPs could sit for "months or even longer", European Council President Donald Tusk has said. Mr Tusk said the decision to delay Brexit to 31 October meant British voters would be going to the polls. But Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt said the six-month extension was too short for change and too far away to prompt action.
16th Apr 2019 - BBC

Voters now more sure they voted the right way in 2016 Brexit referendum, new poll reveals

Most voters have become even more sure that they voted the right way in the 2016 Brexit referendum despite three years of furious campaigning on both sides, a new poll has revealed. A fresh study by YouGov finds that 64% of Remain voters and 57% of Leave voters are “more sure than I was that I voted the right way” in the nationwide referendum held almost three years ago. A further 22% of Remain voters and 25% of Leave voters told the polling firm that they were “about as sure” as they were in 2016 that they had cast their ballot in the right direction.
16th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

How pro-Brexit group Leave.EU faked migrant footage

People-smuggling across the Channel. Migrants attacking women in dark alleys. All designed to fuel fears about immigration - perhaps the defining issue of the EU referendum. Tonight, Channel 4 News reveals disturbing new evidence of fakery - produced for Arron Banks's Leave.EU - and pumped out on social media in the run up to the vote in 2016. And at the heart of it, a secretive security company owned by Mr Banks.
16th Apr 2019 - Channel 4 News

Only a proper Brexit can spare us from this toxic polarisation

I know it may not feel much like it at the moment, but some day soon we are going to get out. Unless we MPs have taken leave of our senses, we will honour the wishes of the people. Unless the PM has some secret plan to stifle Brexit with a series of ever more ludicrous delays, it seems to me all but inevitable that we will eventually respect the result of the 2016 referendum and leave the European Union.
16th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Pro-Brexit Leave.EU group accused of faking videos and forging images of migrants committing crimes

Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU has been accused of faking a viral video of illegal "migrants" and forging images purporting to show immigrants committing violent crimes. The group, which is led by businessman and former Ukip donor Arron Banks, staged a video that it claimed showed how easy it was for migrants to cross to Britain illegally, according to Channel 4 News. The video was released in the weeks before the 2016 EU referendum and was watched hundreds of thousands of times. But Channel 4 said satellite data showed that the boat had never left UK waters, and footage appearing to show the "migrants" entering the country was filmed before they left UK shores. It also reported that Leave.EU had staged images that the group said showed a migrant attacking a young woman in Tottenham, north London. The photos appearing to show the violent attack were reportedly sent by a special forces veteran who works for Mr Banks to Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU's head of communications.
16th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Damaging impact of Brexit cannot be fully mitigated, warns Sturgeon

Nobody should pretend that the damage of Brexit can be fully mitigated, according to Nicola Sturgeon. The First Minister will speak at the STUC conference in Dundee on Wednesday and is expected to warn that any form of Brexit would harm living standards
16th Apr 2019 - Evening Express

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski calls for vote of confidence to break Brexit deadlock

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has called for a vote of confidence in the Government to ensure Britain leaves the EU. The Conservative MP said he wanted the Prime Minister to bring her withdrawal agreement back before the Commons for a fourth time, but ...
16th Apr 2019 - Shropshire Star

BREXIT BREAKING POINT How one BBC Veteran Believes BBC Coverage of Farage's New Party 'facilitates fascism'

While BBC journalists working around the world in terribly difficult circumstances still meet the highest ideals, I have to say – with an extremely heavy heart – that I have changed my view of the BBC. I am an “Unashamed Remainer” (to use John Humphrys’ phrase), and have been uneasy for some time about the corporation’s Brexit coverage, and publicly critical of it. But I still managed to believe that the BBC was trying to do the right thing, and that it was ultimately a force for good. That finally changed with the way it covered the launch of Nigel Farage’s new party, and in particular his speech in which he said he wanted “to put the fear of God” into MPs.
15th Apr 2019 - Byline Times


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 16th Apr 2019

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Why won’t the remain parties work together for the EU elections?

These elections should see the pro-Europeans triumph. While Labour still prevaricates, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Change UK (the Independent Group as was) are the only unequivocal singers of the EU ode to joy. They all campaign for proportional representation, yet seem to have failed in that spirit of cooperation and coalition. If, just for this one election, they combined as a single pro-EU, pro-referendum grouping, they would do far better. Not only would they win more seats and votes, they would shake Labour off the fence for fear of being eaten alive.
16th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Jeremy Hunt: Brexit paralysis ‘highly damaging’ to UK’s global image

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned today that continued indecision around Britain's exit from the EU would be "highly damaging" to the country's standing around the world. Speaking to the BBC's Today program from Japan, where he is on an official trip, Hunt urged MPs to resolve their differences and agree on a deal, saying the U.K.'s trading partners just want Britain to make up its mind on Brexit and get on with it. He said Japan, and other countries, "are very, very keen to protect their trading relationship with the U.K., [and] the point that I'm impressing on Japanese people I meet is our absolute determination to resolve this quickly.
15th Apr 2019 - Politico

The Brexit Party, like everything Farage touches, is all about division

As so often with Farage, the launch was long on bombast and short on detail, not to mention riddled with contradictions. The former Ukip leader had begun by declaring war on “career politicians” and “elite establishment figures” whom he claimed had deliberately set out to make sure that Brexit never happened. He conveniently ignored the fact that almost every trade union has spoken out about the dangers of pursuing a hard Brexit. The ironies were inescapable. Farage is nothing if not a career politician. He has now led two political parties, he has been bankrolled as an MEP for 20 years and he has tried – and failed – to get elected to Westminster seven times. Yet somehow Nigel manages to convince himself he is just an ordinary bloke, mainly because he smokes cigarettes and likes a pint.
15th Apr 2019 - GQ Magazine

Brexit latest: Theresa May to resume talks with Labour – but a deal is still a long way off

How many episodes there are in GoT season 8, and how long each one is Senior Tory and Labour figures are set to resume talks this week in the search for common ground over Brexit.
15th Apr 2019 - iNews

How Britain can make life difficult for the EU during the Brexit extension

De Gaulle’s empty chair policy is a striking lesson in getting one’s way with Brussels, in only six months. But could it be borrowed by Britain, were such an unpleasantness even to be contemplated? Unfortunately not. This approach requires all the bombast and prestige of the General to be successful. Today’s UK government cannot claim anything of the sort. And there is some irony in the idea of Britain applying an ‘empty chair’ policy given that that is what Brexit ultimately seeks to achieve.
15th Apr 2019 - The Spectator

Brexit is a curse on family ties. Just look at the Rees-Moggs, the Johnsons, the Milibands...

Our polarised politics are dominated by families with strong lines on Europe. There are also the Johnsons — Boris and Jo — who are still in the same party, though planets apart on how and whether the UK leaves the EU. While Old Etonian Jacob will fag for Boris in the looming leadership contest, Jo hopes to wake up and find the referendum was a bad dream.
15th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

Brexit: Theresa May faces ‘grassroots revolt’ as calls to quit grow

Theresa May faces a “grassroots revolt” among Tories over the delay to Brexit as internal party pressure mounts on the embattled Prime Minister to quit before the end of next month. The Tory leader has already announced she will be leaving office when the current phase of talks are over and former leader Iain Duncan Smith yesterday said she should quit before European Parliament elections on 23 May.
15th Apr 2019 - The Scotsman

Claims anti-Brexit candidates could be on Tory election shortlist

YouGov's poll on April 10 to 11 - the first since Brexit was extended up until October - shows Labour a clear leader with 24 percent of the public's backing. The Conservatives are in second place at 16 percent, said the poll of 1,843 people. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which was officially launched on Friday, is third with 15 percent backing, and UKIP is on 14 percent. Another new party, Change UK, which includes Chuka Umunna among its number, are on seven percent. The Liberal Democrats are on eight percent, the same as the Greens, while the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru are both on six percent. That is a steep drop from the 2017 general election.
15th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

EXCL Theresa May tells Whitehall no-deal Brexit preparation will carry on after backlash

In an email to all officials, seen by PoliticsHome, the Prime Minister says planning for Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement "must continue" - albeit with "sensibly adjusted" timescales signed off by top civil servants. The move comes just days after the Government was criticised following reports that officials had been told to shelve no-deal planning with "immediate effect" as European leaders agreed to potentially delay the UK's exit until 31 October.
15th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Scientists have studied the link between income and vote on Brexit

People’s feelings about their own financial situation had the greatest influence on them voting to leave the EU, according to new research. Academics at the Universities of Bristol, Warwick and ETH Zurich analysed the views of 8,000 prospective voters over a 12-month period before and after the 2016 referendum. They say UK citizens’ feelings about their incomes were a substantially better predictor of how they planned to vote than their actual income. Those who described themselves as ‘finding it very difficult’ financially were 13% more likely to vote for Brexit compared to those who said they were ‘living comfortably’. After considering the effects of financial feelings, only the youngest UK citizens – particularly those under 25 – were substantially pro-Remain. people’s feelings about their finances – rather than their actual income – were shown to be the strongest predictor of their views on Brexit,’ he said. ‘This is an important message for economists and political scientists, stressing once more how the bad feelings created after crisis austerity policies, and spread via the media and social media, have sparked the current wave of populism, and how important it is to take into account human feelings along with material factors.’
15th Apr 2019 - Metro.co.uk

Downing Street under pressure to close down Labour talks on Brexit

No 10 is feeling the pressure to pull the plug on Brexit talks with Labour and move to an alternative plan, amid warnings that the opposition is in no hurry for a deal before the European elections. With talks deadlocked and no sign that the government moving on its red lines, neither the Conservatives or Labour want to appear responsible for the breakdown in discussions. Ministers and their opposition counterparts are taking part in working groups on some issues this week, but there will be no discussion before Easter on the big issues of a customs union or a confirmatory referendum, making it easy for Labour to reject the prime minister’s overtures so far.
15th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Ken Clarke: ‘Brexit is like a parody version of student politics’

Clarke is committed to accepting reality, as he sees it. “Unless and until I can see an opportunity of actually reversing Brexit and restoring a stable membership of the European Union, then in the real world I concentrate on minimising the damage,” he says,
15th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Opinion: This is everything that's wrong with the Norway model for Brexit

Femi Oluwole spoke to experts on the Norway's relationship with the EU about whether the deal is a good option for the UK, and their answers were less encouraging than you’d think
15th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Brexit Party candidate RIPS into David Cameron and Theresa May on TWO Brexit promises

Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit Party rally has drawn support from many different types of Brexiteers who are unsatisfied with the current state of political affairs. Brexit Party candidate Ben Habib savaged David Cameron on his £9.4 million “fear” leaflet he issued ahead of the 2016 referendum and Theresa May on her “slip and slide” Brexit stance. While speaking at the Brexit rally Mr Habib said: “I’m the founder and Chief Executive of a company called First Property Group.
15th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

Labour MPs in pro-Brexit seats attack bid to select all pro-EU MEP candidates

John Mann issued a direct attack on Richard Corbett, the leader of the Labour group in the European Parliament, while Gareth Snell said it would be a “strategic error” to offer up only pro-Remain candidates. It comes after the Daily Mail reported an apparent plot to stop pro-Leave candidates being selected by the party for the election on 23 May.
15th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Fund managers pay UK politicians £236,000 for speeches and advice

Asset managers have paid UK politicians hundreds of thousands of pounds for speeches and advice over the past 12 months as investors desperately search for an edge as Britain messily negotiates its departure from the EU. Political figures on both sides of the Brexit divide — including Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith, David Davis, John Redwood, Damian Green and Ken Clarke — received thousands of pounds to share their insights with UK and US investment companies. The payments made by fund managers to politicians — on top of their basic MP salaries of £79,468 — have drawn criticism from consumer rights champions.
14th Apr 2019 - Financial Times


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 15th Apr 2019

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Tories fall seven points behind Labour in new poll as support for Theresa May's party plunges to lowest level in years

The Tories have plunged seven points behind Labour in a new opinion poll. The survey, by Opinium, shows Labour climbing one point to 36 per cent, with the Conservatives dropping six points in the past two weeks to 29 per cent. Britain Elects, a poll analysis service, said it was the Tory Party’s lowest rating in four years – but not as bad as its 23 per cent score in 2013. It comes after a week in which Conservative Brexit divisions resulted in open Commons mutiny against Prime Minister Theresa May, with hardliner Bill Cash calling for her to resign.
14th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

Jeremy Corbyn faces an interesting choice – will he demand that the people decide?

For many months Labour's leaders have hedged and fudged and dodged on the subject of a new referendum on Brexit. Now Jeremy Corbyn must make a decision to commit to a second referendum. There are arguments of principle and tactics for making the promise clearer and more emphatic. The argument of principle is that a new referendum is the only democratic way to resolve the Brexit morass. Parliament and the nation are now divided three ways, between leaving the EU with a deal, leaving without a deal, or not leaving at all.
14th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Hard Brexit leader would be suicide, top Tories warn

Senior Tories have launched a “stop Boris” campaign, warning that handing the keys to No 10 to a hard Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab would be electoral “suicide”. Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the former party chairman who is backing Jeremy Hunt to succeed Theresa May, today launches a broadside at Brexiteer candidates, warning that their “ideological” attachment to a no-deal Brexit is “reckless”. Writing in The Sunday Times, he says: “Defining ourselves as the Brexit party, pursuing the hardest form of Brexit with a parliament that will not deliver it, is a recipe for paralysis in government and suicide with the electorate. We are and must remain the Conservative Party, not the Vote Leave party.”
14th Apr 2019 - The Times

New Brexiteer mutiny: Ringleader Iain Duncan Smith says Tories could boycott EU elections

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith says local Conservative associations could boycott the EU elections if the UK is still a part of the bloc next month. The Chingford and Woodford Green MP slammed the Conservative leadership for not following through on its promise to leave on March 29, calling it a 'disaster' for party support. Mr Duncan Smith said the elections are 'impossible to justify'. He ridiculed the notion of campaigning for the May 23 election while at the same time saying British MEPs won't exist in a few months.
14th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

As nationalists grip the Tories, I now support Change UK

Both Labour and Conservative frontbenches have colluded in the same conspiracy to “respect the result of the 2016 referendum” (that is, to conceal the truth about its consequences) because they rightly fear that their party duopoly will not survive a more honest engagement with voters. The European election could give UK voters the voice Westminster has denied them
14th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Judge orders Ukip to reveal Brexit referendum data use

Ukip has been ordered to fully reveal details of how it used nearly £300,000 of political data services in the run-up to the Brexit vote and the 2015 general election after the party lost a two-year legal battle to block disclosure. An appeals tribunal found the political party, led at the time by Nigel Farage, failed to properly answer the information commissioner’s questions. It is now legally obliged to provide detailed answers to questions about how it spent political donations and used polling companies and data. The ruling is the latest watchdog finding to cast a shadow over the 2016 EU referendum and to raise concerns about the use of political and social media data.
14th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Chris Johns: Fantasy no-deal Brexit has cost UK equivalent of 22 hospitals

Brexit planning has so far cost the UK government £4 billion. Much is made of this figure because it represents hard cash actually spent. These are direct costs. But it’s the invisible damage that is much bigger – and gets far less attention. Goldman Sachs, for example, estimates that Brexit has resulted in £600 million of lost GDP per week since the referendum. My own calculations suggest that the implied loss of £85 billion to the economy maps to £28 billion of tax revenue gone missing. So far. That £4 billion in Brexit planning spending makes the headlines but the loss of £28 billion in taxes obviously hurts a lot more. Leading Brexiteer Daniel Hannan once claimed that seven state-of-the-art hospitals could be built for £10 billion. On that kind of arithmetic, I reckon that the UK has 22 hospitals gone missing as a result of Brexit.
14th Apr 2019 - The Irish Times

Tory Boris Johnson could lose his seat due to 'influx of young voters'

Boris Johnson could be at risk of losing his seat due to a surge in younger voters, research has revealed. The former foreign secretary’s seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip has been listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the 2022 election by Onward think tank. Analysis shows the ratio of younger residents, aged 20 to 39, to older votes, aged 60 and over, is currently above 1.1 – meaning the Tory candidate would likely lose.
14th Apr 2019 - Metro.co.uk

Boris Johnson could lose his seat due to a surge in younger voters


13th Apr 2019 - The Sun

UKIP leader Gerard Batten defends European Parliament candidate's rape tweet 'satire'

The leader of UKIP has defended an election candidate who said they "wouldn't even rape" Labour MP Jess Phillips. Gerard Batten called the comment "satire" and praised Carl Benjamin, who was last week picked as an MEP candidate for the South West region. Mr Benjamin had previously written in a tweet to Ms Philips: "I wouldn't even rape you." Mr Batten defended the post, telling the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I think this was satire."
14th Apr 2019 - Sky News

Beware those who, like Ukip’s leader, excuse lies and rape threats as ‘satire’


14th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

UK fears Brexit could hurt global hunt for new BoE governor

British finance minister Philip Hammond has fired the starting gun for the race to succeed Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, but concerns about Brexit may keep some potential contestants on the sidelines. the next BoE governor will have to reckon with a sharply divided political backdrop on top of the obvious challenges that Brexit poses as regards short-term growth and longer-term regulatory relations with the EU. “There may be some candidates who might be deterred from an application because of the political debate around Brexit, which inevitably the governor of the Bank of England can’t avoid being part of,” Hammond said in Washington. Carney has been criticised by members of hardline pro-Brexit faction of the Conservative Party. Jacob Rees-Mogg last year labelled Carney a “wailing banshee” and a “failed second-tier politician” who gave unfairly negative forecasts of the economic impact of Brexit. Boris Johnson, when foreign secretary, was dismissive of BoE predictions of Brexit damage.
14th Apr 2019 - Reuters

Brexit cannot define us, says PM May's deputy as ratings dip

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party cannot let itself be defined solely by Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy said on Sunday, as polling showed failure to leave the European Union on schedule has badly damaged its support. May’s authority has been shattered by her three-time failure to get an exit deal approved by parliament and a pledge to quit once Brexit is delivered, driving speculation about her successor and a possible national election. The once-prized stability of British politics has disappeared, threatening to break apart both the Conservatives and their main opponents Labour, and leaving the world’s fifth-largest economy facing an uncertain future. Without any consensus in parliament, reflective of a deeply divided population, all outcomes remain possible in the coming weeks and months: leaving the EU with a deal, a disorderly exit without a deal, or another vote on whether to leave at all.
14th Apr 2019 - Reuters UK

Brexit talks ‘will stall unless May shifts on customs union’

Talks between Labour and the government are unlikely to advance much further in the coming week unless Theresa May moves on her red lines over a future customs union, sources close to the talks have suggested. David Lidington, who is leading the government’s talks with Labour, said a compromise would have to be reached but played down suggestions that a government shift was imminent and added that Labour would also have to move. Labour has suggested the ball is in the government’s court and, while the opposition will engage on other topics including workers’ rights and security, the key question on customs arrangements remains unresolved. “She needs to take a political decision to move off her red lines – or not,” one source said.
14th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Tories hit by new defections and slump in opinion polls as party divide widens

The bitter fallout from Brexit is threatening to break the Tory party apart, as a Europhile former cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell on Sunday announces he is defecting to the independent MPs’ group Change UK, and a new opinion poll shows Conservative support plummeting to a five-year low as anti-EU parties surge. Writing in Sunday’s Observer, Dorrell, who was health secretary under John Major, says he can no longer continue in a party that “has fallen progressively under the influence of an English nationalist outlook” and turned its back on the traditions of many of its greatest former leaders. Arguing that neither the Conservatives nor Labour now represent mainstream opinion in the UK, Dorrell says that the current two-party system no longer serves the interests of the electorate. He writes: “I shall continue to describe myself, as I always have, as a liberal Conservative but I shall do so in future as a supporter of Change UK – The Independent Group, which I believe has become the natural home of those who regard themselves, as I do, as the heirs of Disraeli, Churchill, Macmillan and Heath.”
14th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit news: Conservatives face European elections drubbing as support 'slumps to lowest point in six years'

The Conservatives are facing a humiliating defeat at the European elections next month after support for the party slumped to its lowest level since 2013, according to a new poll. The survey shows the Tories on just 28 per cent when it comes to general election voting intention – a four-point fall which leaves them trailing Labour on 32. When voters were asked which party they will vote for at the European elections, Theresa May’s party languished on 16 per cent, eight points behind Labour on 24
13th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Brexit news latest: Jeremy Corbyn blasts Theresa May over 'scandalous' failure to seek earlier talks

Jeremy Corbyn has said it was "scandalous" that Theresa May didn't seek earlier Brexit talks with Labour. It came as he insisted the Prime Minister must compromise on her red lines if a cross-party deal is to happen. And the Labour leader said Mrs May should not use the delay of Brexit until October 31 as a chance to put her Withdrawal Agreement to the Commons again. It has already been rejected three times.
13th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

Brexit: Germany's Steinmeier hopes UK leaves before EU elections

The German president has warned that Britain's exit from the European Union "cannot become an endless horror story." Concerns are growing that pro-Brexit parties could disrupt next month's EU parliamentary elections and that Brexit still rumbling on will help them
13th Apr 2019 - Deutsche Welle

Corbyn tells May to abandon Brexit red lines

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted Theresa May must compromise on her Brexit red lines if cross-party talks on EU withdrawal are to succeed. The Labour leader said it is “scandalous” the Prime Minister did not seek dialogue with Labour on Brexit earlier.
13th Apr 2019 - Belfast Telegraph

Anti-racism groups issue warning to new Brexit Party and urge against divisive politics

Groups campaigning for an end to racism and discrimination have issued warnings about divisive politics amid the launch of the Brexit Party, headed up by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Mr Farage spoke at an event launching the party’s campaign for the May EU elections on Friday, during which he introduced five new candidates including the sister of Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg. He quit Ukip over its veer towards the “far right” and affiliation with anti-Muslim campaigner Tommy Robinson, saying that it had “descended into yobbery”. Mr Farage described the new party as being “deeply intolerant of intolerance” but it has already run into controversy after two senior figures were forced to step down from their roles due to racist social media posts.
13th Apr 2019 - iNews

May must use Brexit delay to tear up hated Irish backstop and finally seal a deal, DUP blasts

Theresa May is today under fresh pressure to rip up her Brexit deal and scrap the hated Irish backstop. DUP boss Arlene Foster called on the PM to use the six-month delay to Brexit to start talks again and push the EU into compromising. She warned that if Brussels doesn't shift its position, the EU will be responsible for triggering a No Deal scenario. Ms Foster's demand was echoed by Boris Johnson - and his father Stanley, who is planning to stand as a Tory candidate in Euro elections.
13th Apr 2019 - The Sun

So now Brexit could fall on Halloween. How very … appropriate

The so-called Project Fear mounted during the EU referendum campaign is associated with remainers, but the Brexiteers have their own version of it, so they may welcome the fact that the new opportunity to jump off the cliff coincides with Halloween. Here’s Jacob Rees-Mogg, speaking at the London Palladium recently: “If we try to stay beyond the European elections, there will be only one winner from that, and that would be Tommy Robinson.” And last year at the Tory conference, Boris Johnson said, “The ultimate beneficiary of the Chequers deal will be the far right.” It really is deeply irritating when a multimillionaire Old Etonian says, “I’m going to get my mates from the working class to beat you up.”
13th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

'We're fed up of Brexit, yet we can't get enough of it'

Six more months. Here’s a paradox: we are all fed up to the back teeth of hearing about Brexit, and yet we cannot get enough of it. Brexit related twists-and-turns predictably dominate the airwaves, rightly or wrongly monopolising the attention of our politicians and political commentators. And it has been relentless. But like a wart or a cold sore, we just can’t leave Brexit alone. We keep thinking about it, going back to it, examining it. We hate it and yet we are drawn to it.
13th Apr 2019 - RTE.ie

When it comes to Brexit, politicians are only respecting the ‘will’ of the white people

Missing from almost all the coverage and debate are those voices of ethnic minorities. It’s ironic given that we were one of the biggest dissenting voices against Brexit. In the 2016 referendum 73 percent of Black and 67 per cent of Asian voters opted to Remain. Given that the 7.5 million people from ethnic minorities represent a larger population than Scotland and Northern Ireland combined, it is high time that these voices are no longer marginalised. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, it is the will of white English people that is being represented as that of the nation.
13th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Real divide is wealth not Brexit, says Jeremy Corbyn

The real divide in society is between rich and poor and not Brexit, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told party members in Llandudno. At Welsh Labour conference Mr Corbyn said his party is trying to end the Commons deadlock on the issue. He said he did not want to pit remain voters in one part of the country against leave voters in another. Meanwhile Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford said Brexit should not be used to "short-change" Wales. He also announced £2.3m to offer sanitary products to all learners in schools and colleges.
13th Apr 2019 - BBC

Former Tory leader outlines plan to save Brexit that is sure to infuriate Brussels

Lord Howard claimed the House of Commons would support Prime Minister’s deal on the condition she renegotiates the Northern Ireland backstop. He wrote the Daily Telegraph: “Achieving this would not just win the support of Parliament but also create a coherent position around which a Conservative Party that appears dangerously disunited could begin to coalesce. The problems with the backstop arise solely out of the EU’s refusal to countenance any change to the wording of the Withdrawal Agreement
13th Apr 2019 - Express.co.uk

If Tory MPs wish to change the 1922 committee no confidence vote rules there is nothing standing in their way

Two former chairs of the influential Conservative Party 1922 Committee give their opinions that If Tory MPs wish to change the 1922 committee no confidence vote rules there is nothing standing in their way
13th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Tory Brexiteer Boris Johnson 'will refuse to campaign in European elections'

A source close to Mr Johnson told The Times: "Boris won’t campaign in European elections. "He believes the prospect of the UK fielding candidates is utterly preposterous." The intervention comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted that taking part in the fresh elections to the European Parliament, where Britain holds 73 of 751 seats, would be "pointless".
13th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Death threats leave TIG MP Sarah Wollaston too afraid to advertise public meetings

“What’s angered me is that I have had to change the way I operate as an MP. I can no longer advertise on social media my public meetings, for example. I used to hold surgeries in public places and tell people I’d be there, I can’t do that any more. And so I think there is something leading to a diminution of our very open access. It’s a shame, and I think it’s a loss.” She said comments made by members of the Brexit-backing European Research Group about Theresa May had encouraged a culture of hostility from right-wing extremists. “I think MPs routinely come under the most extreme sort of threats from the far right,” Ms Wollaston said. “What we have seen is a normalisation of threats of violence that was never there when I first went into politics.
13th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Leadership rivals target ex-soldiers with 'dirty tricks'

Tory Whips were at the centre of a growing dirty tricks storm last night after it emerged that a second former Army officer tipped for party leadership is having his past mysteriously probed. On Thursday, war hero turned Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer took to social media to accuse an anonymous Tory enforcer of attempting to ‘dig up dirt’ about his military career. The accused is understood to be Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher. Now The Mail on Sunday has learnt that similar enquiries have been made to former Army colleagues of Tory MP Tom Tugendhat – who served in the Intelligence Corps – who last week ruled out a tilt at No 10.
13th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Theresa May cancels Easter break for Brexit negotiators to fight Nigel Farage

A Downing Street source said: “These talks have been constructive and serious and both sides want to see further progress over the Easter recess. “If we can keep up the pace of negotiations, we can get a deal over the line and avoid having European elections.” The negotiating teams have split into working groups. Greg Clark and Rebecca Long-Bailey will look at services and consumer and workers’ rights. Michael Gove and Sue Hayman will work on environmental protection. And Steve Barclay and Keir Starmer will discuss security. But Labour sources insist little progress can be made without movement from the PM. One said: “We need her to make serious commitment to moving her red lines. Until then it’s impossible to see these talks going anywhere.”
13th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

Brexit battles are about to get much bloodier

This time, Farage will be able to use the single most divisive issue in the country to his advantage. Even if his party isn't as successful as he hopes, it's likely that a large chunk of the MEPs the UK sends will be euroskeptic. This should worry the EU. As a full member state, the UK will have voting rights and be able to frustrate the EU's plans as long as it remains inside the bloc. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP and leader of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, says this belligerent behavior is entirely justifiable and necessary. "The EU has not been sincerely cooperative during the Brexit process, so I don't think we owe a duty of cooperation to the EU in return," Rees-Mogg said.
13th Apr 2019 - CNN

Leave voters have lost faith in the Tories' ability to deliver Brexit

The Conservatives’ failure so far to secure Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union is now at risk of costing them dearly. When the Prime Minister first unveiled her deal in mid-November, the party was largely still holding its own. After 5 months of non-stop Brexit debate is poll ratings are falling and the new Brexit Party ratings are rising, along with the Remain parties ratings
13th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Halloween Brexit is a fitting outcome for the zombie prime minister

The EU summit became absurdist performance art as all agreed on something they did not want
12th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Boris Johnson 'wrong on no-deal polling claim'

Boris Johnson was wrong to claim there was polling evidence that a no-deal Brexit was the public's preferred option, the press regulator has ruled. Ipso ordered the Daily Telegraph to print a correction after finding the MP's column was inaccurate. The claim was made in a piece headlined "The British people won't be scared into backing a woeful Brexit deal nobody voted for" in January. The Telegraph had argued it was "clearly comically polemical"
12th Apr 2019 - BBC

Row erupts as civil servants ordered to halt £4bn no-deal Brexit planning with 'immediate effect'

The decision to begin "winding down" the emergency preparations came after European leaders agreed to delay the UK's exit until 31 October. Since triggering Article 50 two years ago, some 16,000 civil servants have been moved to departments most likely to be impacted if the UK left the EU without a deal. Labour MP Hilary Benn, who chairs the cross-party Commons Brexit Select Committee said the estimated £1.5bn cost of halting the preparations was a result of Mrs May's refusal to rule out a no-deal Brexit sooner. He said: "It was important to plan for all contigencies, but this is the huge cost of the Prime Minister repeatedly saying: 'My deal or no deal' when she knew that leaving without a deal was not in the national interest. This is one example of how Brexit is proving to be very costly for our country."
12th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Staying in a customs union after Brexit won’t resolve the Irish border issue

The EU is unlikely to accept a request from the UK that it should have a say over the EU’s trade agreements. Article 207 of the Lisbon treaty makes clear that the common commercial policy is exclusive to the EU’s direction. Turkey, which is in a partial customs union with the EU, has to follow EU trade agreements with third countries but has no say on them. The reality is that in a customs union all the power would rest with the EU, with the UK as a follower.
12th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: Philip Hammond defends spending billons on no-deal preparations

The chancellor has defended spending billions of pounds preparing for a no-deal Brexit. Philip Hammond made his case after Sky News revealed the government was mothballing the team of civil servants responsible for no-deal planning. Over the past two years, the government had moved thousands of civil servants away from their normal jobs to prepare for the possibility that the UK would leave the European Union without a deal. Mr Hammond told Sky News: "It would have been irresponsible not to prepare for no deal, so long as it was a real possible outcome. "Making preparations for events that we hope will not happen is an everyday part of government.
12th Apr 2019 - Sky News

The Establishment Coup Against Brexit

Something profoundly unpleasant has happened in Britain over the past three years. It has come to a boiling point these past few weeks and will probably stay at this heat for a good many more. It can be summed up as a barely concealed dislike of democracy on the part of a considerable subsection of the elite, those who lost the referendum.
12th Apr 2019 - The Wall Street Journal

Faisal Islam bids farewell to Sky News after five years as political editor

“I fear politics has not learnt the lessons it needs to from the latter form of political terrorism. Unnecessarily aggressive personalised attacks on our politicians demean and endanger the entire process.” Islam added that he finds the “weaponisation of betrayal politics… deeply troubling”, adding: “There are senior politicians who should stop playing with fire.”
12th Apr 2019 - Press Gazette

Farage tells BBC host 'NO' SIX TIMES during FIERY exchange over Brexit Party funding

Nigel Farage got into a fiery debate with BBC host Elizabeth Glinka after she repeatedly demanded to know whether businessman and political donor Aaron Banks would be funding the former Ukip leaders’ new Brexit Party.
12th Apr 2019 - Expres.co.uk

Brexit: DUP threaten to PULL backing of May's government amid 'chat with Boris'

Theresa May's DUP allies have threatened to pull support for her government in a furious clash over Brexit. The party's 10 MPs have backed the PM since 2017 after being handed £1bn for Northern Ireland in a two-year deal. Asked if the DUP still had confidence in Mrs May after the extension, the DUP leader said: "The confidence and supply agreement that we signed was with the Conservative Party and whoever the leader of the party is we will work with. "We believe in national stability. We want to see Brexit delivered."
12th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror

Five key things we learnt from Nigel Farage's Brexit launch party

Nigel Farage arrived in Coventry to launch the Brexit Party today - promising it would not ignore democracy. He promised a "revolution" in British politics and unveiled some of the big names who had signed up to the party - including sister of leading Conservative Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, Annunziata Rees-Mogg. Speaking at the B.G Penny factory in the city after the government delayed Brexit for a second time, he said Coventry was chosen for the launch because it was the "heart of England".
12th Apr 2019 - Coventry Telegraph

Is Brexit the will of the people? The answer is not quite that simple

...there are several complicating factors. First of all, the majority was narrow. There were 17.4 million votes for Leave, 16.1 million votes for Remain, and 12.9 million abstentions. A further 18 million people living in the UK were not on the electoral register, including all young people below the age of 18 and many long-term residents who are not citizens, though they contribute to British society and have a stake in it. So, although 17.4 million is a large number, it is only a relative majority, not an absolute one.
11th Apr 2019 - LSE Blogs


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 12th Apr 2019

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MPs go on 11-day Easter break hours after EU warned Britain ‘don’t waste Brexit extension’

Theresa May finally got a cheer today after sending MPs on an 11-day Easter break. She urged MPs to use their time off to "reflect" on how to break the Brexit impasse. But she risked ridicule after announcing the holiday despite telling MPs that "nothing today is more pressing or more vital". And she announced the Easter holiday just hours after EU Council President Donald Tusk warned Britain not to "waste" the Brexit extension granted at the mammoth Brussels summit on Wednesday night.
12th Apr 2019 - The Sun

UK stands down 6,000 no-deal Brexit staff - after spending £1.5bn

The government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn. The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits after article 50 was extended until Halloween. More than 16,000 civil servants in total have been working on Brexit. The Labour party’s Hilary Benn said it was a “costly price” to pay for Theresa May’s belligerent insistence of keeping a no-deal on the table. “It was important to plan for all contingencies, but this is the huge cost of the prime minister repeatedly saying: ‘My deal or no deal’ when she knew that leaving without a deal was not in the national interest. This is one example of how Brexit is proving to be very costly for our country,” said Benn, chair of the influential Brexit select committee.
12th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Whatever happens next, the nationalist right has lost the battle for Brexit

It is now nearly five months since May signed the EU-UK agreement on Brexit. Since then, the Conservative party’s rightwing nationalists have repeatedly tried to defeat the deal and to oust May. They have dominated the airwaves and won some famous victories along the way, but in the end, they have decisively lost the war. For the right, the aim was to bend the Tory party to their obsessional will. They have failed to do that. Instead they may have wrecked their party. Their aim too was to drive the UK out of the EU without a deal of the kind signed by May or any of the economic safeguards Labour and other opponents demand. That is not now going to happen. Wednesday’s agreement in Brussels makes that clear.
12th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Brexit: CBI boss says agree deal or hold second referendum

The president of business organisation, the CBI, has said if politicians cannot "get their act together" on Brexit, then the only other option is to "go back to the people". John Allan stressed this was his personal view, not that of the CBI. Speaking to the BBC Mr Allan said it was "astonishing" that 27 European countries could agree a "lot more readily" than UK politicians. MPs should "take a lesson" from European solidarity, he said. Mr Allan, who is also chairman of Tesco and house builder Barrett, said the CBI did not have a position on a second or confirmatory referendum.
12th Apr 2019 - BBC

Brexit extension : NI business groups 'breathe sigh of relief'

Northern Ireland business groups said they breathed a "sigh of relief" after the EU granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit. The Brexit deadline has been pushed back to 31 October. Stephen Kelly from Manufacturing NI said the UK parliament now had to "make its mind up about what it wants to do around Brexit". "Only at that point will our businesses feel fully relieved," added Mr Kelly. Theresa May said the UK would still aim to leave the EU with a deal as soon as possible. Mr Kelly told BBC Radio Ulster that last week he spoke to one business which invested £10m a week in stock. "They now have three months worth of stock sitting there," he said. "That's £30m that would have been better used in developing new markets or investing in their staff."
12th Apr 2019 - BBC

Halloween Brexit delay could mean a summer nightmare for Theresa May

Europe has done it again. Despite French President's Emmanuel Macron's reluctance to give the UK a long Brexit extension, the EU leaders have agreed the apparently interminable process can be delayed until October 31, with a school report on Britain's behavior in June. And while everyone is focusing on that Halloween deadline, it's really the June date that's the more significant. Just three weeks ago, May told lawmakers in the House of Commons that she could not "as Prime Minister" delay Britain's departure from the European Union beyond June 30. After that, Britain would be obliged to send representatives to the European Parliament, where a new session begins on July 1. If May can't get her Withdrawal Agreement, battered and bruised, through the House of Commons in time to put a stop to those European elections and hustle the UK out of the EU by the end of June, everything will be back in play.
12th Apr 2019 - CNN

Polls show Theresa May's Tories now at similar level of support to John Major in 1997 as voters 'ditch party'

Theresa May’s failure to deliver Brexit has caused the Conservatives to haemorrhage support, with the Tories now polling at a similar level to John Major in 1997, new data suggests. Opinion polls showed support for the Conservatives had crashed eight points in the space of a month as voters seemed to swing behind Nigel Farage’s new party and Ukip. Polling conducted by BMG Research in March had the Tories on 37 per cent but the latest data for April had the party on 29 per cent. The Tories were polling in the high twenties in the run up to the 1997 election which saw the party win just 165 seats and secure 31 per cent of the vote as Tony Blair’s New Labour crushed the Conservatives.
11th Apr 2019 - The Telegraph

Why Labour looks set to become the referendum party

Enough of the referendum doubters are close to folding, partly because the advantages of Labour rebranding as the people's vote vanguard in the forthcoming European parliamentary and council elections would be very significant. Labour would pick up the votes of almost all of the 48% who voted to remain in 2016, while the Tories would face a humiliating wipe out, with so much of the leave vote likely to gravitate to Farage's new Brexit party and to a somewhat resurgent UKIP. According to senior Labour figures, what might clinch the deal for McDonnell, Thornberry, Starmer and Abbott, the leading proponents of a referendum, would be a decision by the shadow Cabinet to follow the approach of Harold Wilson's Labour Party in the 1975 referendum: namely for Corbyn himself to largely stand back from the campaign, and to allow any Labour MP or shadow minister to campaign for remain or leave, according to conscience.
11th Apr 2019 - ITV News

A customs union won’t solve the Irish border issue

With a new final date now set for October 31st, the idea that we are in for a ‘trick or treat’ Brexit has been widely expressed in various pictures, memes and suggestions for who gets dibs on dressing up as the backstop. For those living in Northern Ireland, Brexit is neither trick, nor treat. It has become a divisionary force that has called into question what our lives are going to be. We are staring into the same abyss of uncertainty that we have faced for the last three years; and farmers, business owners, and young people living on the border are still stuck in limbo while the elites in Westminster try to fumble their way out of this self-styled mess.
11th Apr 2019 - The New European

The Tories once had a radical fringe. Now it is the whole party

Let’s drop the niceties. Cut the pretence. Something is happening to the Tories, obvious even to that vast majority of the public who ignore politics. The Conservative party is becoming the natural party of extremists. It is the new home for hardliners, catastrophists and those wishing to take up permanent residence in la-la land. Evidence of this mutation is in every day’s headlines, and borne on a never-ending stream of tweets. It is Jacob Rees-Mogg, coolly suggesting that British representatives should run amok and cause chaos throughout the EU. It is openly acknowledged when the chancellor, Philip Hammond, utters a prayer to “flush out the extremists” in the party. And of course it is Mark Francois, doing Mark Francois. Forever auditioning to be lance corporal in a war that ended 20 years before he was born. Ripping up a letter from the CEO of Airbus, saying it was “German bullying”. Barking about “perfidious Albion on speed”, as if they were headlining Glastonbury.
11th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

Labour takes poll lead as Tory support plummets by nine points amid Brexit chaos

The Kantar survey put the Tories in 32% - a staggering nine points lower than in March. At the same time, backing for Labour has increased by four points to 35%, giving them a three-point lead over Theresa May's party. The findings are a huge boost for Jeremy Corbyn ahead of next month's local council elections. Elsewhere, the poll shows the pro-EU Lib Dems have also seen their support rise by three points since March to 11%, Ukip is up one point to 7% and the SNP is unchanged on 5%.
11th Apr 2019 - Politics Home

Furious Tory MPs demand Theresa May resign over 'abject surrender' as she faces Commons onslaught over latest delay to EU departure

The prime minister insisted she would not resign after European leaders agreed to delay Brexit until 31 October in late-night talks in Brussels. The second delay to the Brexit process - initially intended to conclude on 29 March - averted a no-deal withdrawal on Friday with less than 48 hours to go. However, it infuriated anti-EU Conservative MPs, who insisted the UK should have instead left the EU without a deal. As she updated MPs in the Commons, Ms May faced calls from veteran Tory Sir Bill Cash to step down. He accused her of an “abject surrender” and asked if she would resign. Ms May replied: “I think you know the answer to that”. Another Brexiteer, Peter Bone, asked the prime minister if she planned to “honour” her vow not to delay Brexit beyond 30 June.
11th Apr 2019 - The Independent

Tories turn up pressure on Theresa may to quit within weeks after EU exit postponed to Halloween

Tory MPs today turned up pressure on Theresa May to quit within weeks to allow a new leader after Brexit was postponed to Halloween. As a string of MPs called for an early contest, former Brexit secretary David Davis warned that there was a desire among many MPs for a “reset in the negotiations” under new leadership. “Pressure on her to go will increase dramatically, I suspect now,” he said. Former international trade minister Greg Hands told the Evening Standard: “It’s time that we had new leadership for both the party and the country.
11th Apr 2019 - Evening Standard

Brexit: Government 'halts no-deal planning' after committing £4bn to preparations

Leaked email shows preparations suspended with 'immediate effect' after deadline for Britain's departure from EU extended to 31 October. The government has halted all emergency planning for a no-deal Brexit despite committing £4bn to preparations, according to reports. A leaked email reportedly sent to all civil servants in an unnamed “front line Brexit department” said no-deal operational planning had been suspended with “immediate effect”. The decision was made by cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill, according to the email seen by Sky News. Downing Street said departments were taking “sensible decisions” about the timing of their no-deal preparations following the agreement by EU leaders to extend the Article 50 withdrawal process to 31 October.
11th Apr 2019 - The Independent

David Cameron memoir still set for autumn, despite Brexit extension

Despite a reported agreement between Cameron and Theresa May, publisher William Collins confirms it will be published before latest Brexit deadline
11th Apr 2019 - The Guardian

"Brexit MPs Have Been So Wrong, They'd Have Been Sacked From Any Other Job"

Brexit-backing MPs have been proved so wrong - that in any other line of work they would have been sacked, James O'Brien said. His remarks came as the Prime Minister accepted a delay to Brexit until Halloween after EU leaders offered her another extension to Article 50.
11th Apr 2019 - LBC

UK stands down 6,000 no-deal Brexit staff - after spending £1.5bn

The government has stood down an army of 6,000 civil servants who had been preparing for a no-deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn. The civil servants who had been seconded from elsewhere will now return to their normal duties, but there is no clear role for an estimated 4,500 new recruits after article 50 was extended until Halloween. More than 16,000 civil servants in total have been working on Brexit.
11th Apr 2019 - MSN.com

The toll of Brexit: Photos reveal strain Theresa May has been put under after three years of trying and failing to get a deal done to leave the EU

Since becoming Britain's prime minister nearly three years ago, Theresa May has overseen some of the most chaotic political times in UK history. And these photographs show the strain that the turmoil has put the Sussex-born politician under since she took over from David Cameron in July 2016.
11th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Tory chiefs are 'preparing for a summer leadership contest'

Tory Party chiefs are gearing up for a summer leadership contest in preparation for Theresa May quitting, the Daily Mail has learned. Senior officials have drawn up detailed plans for hustings between leadership candidates, including scouting locations across the country, sources said. Details of the preparations come as a string of Eurosceptic Tory MPs called for Mrs May to resign after she agreed to delay Brexit further.
11th Apr 2019 - Daily Mail

Brexit: Theresa May laughs off resignation calls as Tories face ballot box punishment

Theresa May laughed off calls to quit today after agreeing to delay Brexit until Halloween. Outraged rebel Tories attacked the Prime Minister after she accepted the fresh extension from EU leaders. Speaking in the Commons, veteran Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash said: “Does the Prime Minister appreciate the anger that her abject surrender last night has generated across the country, having broken promises 100 times not to extend the time?” The Stone MP asked: “Will you resign?” But Mrs May laughed: “I think you know the answer to that.”
11th Apr 2019 - Daily Mirror


Political Setbacks - News from the Brexit Cliff Edge - 11th Apr 2019

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New Brexit delay is the final confirmation of Theresa May’s failure as a Prime Minister

The new Brexit postponement is the final confirmation of Theresa May’s failure. She must now accept the game is up. She has done her best. But she had one job and has not delivered on it. Nor can she. She has no workable plan to do so. There is no deal the Prime Minister and Corbyn could cook up that would secure a majority, leaving Labour MPs willing to quit
11th Apr 2019 - The Sun

To the toughest sales pitch in the nation’s history, enter Theresa May, its worst ever salesperson

A long extension is very much likely to yield unto them a British prime minister from the deranged wing of the Conservative Party, or Jeremy Corbyn, who has expanded the deranged wing of the Labour Party so as to take it over entirely. And if you think Theresa May and co have done an abysmal job negotiating Brexit, just wait till those legends have a go, the ones with their semi-customs union that isn’t a customs union but does give the UK a say over the actual customs union that they’re not even in.
11th Apr 2019 - The Independent

The EU’s new October extension finishes off May and her dea