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  • #Brexit #Cameron : "Devolved govts of Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland to be involved" in negotiations with EU @euronews
  • #Brexit #Corbyn : "Neither side of Tory party has an exit plan" @euronews
  • #Brexit #Corbyn : "Neither wing of Tory party has an exit plan" @euronews
  • #Brexit #Corbyn : Disenfranchised communities across UK "let down" not by EU - but by Conservative govts @euronews
  • #Brexit #NickClegg of Lib Dems: calling for #GeneralElection - as not democratic for few members of Cons party to choose govt @euronews
  • #Brexit @YvetteCooperMP (Labour): #Cameron leaving "dangerous political vacuum" @euronews
  • #Brexit : #GBP #Pound hits new low, global equities volatile-despite @George_Osborne statement this am. aimed at calming markets @euronews
  • Reactions to Prime Minister's Brexit statement to the House of Commons      

    David Cameron has spoken to Parliament for the first time since the UK voted to leave the EU. 

    Some showed their support for the Prime Minister, who is now expected to be replaced by the beginning of September. 

    But others were critical, and seemed to share The Sun's view that Cameron was leaving government to escape the hard work of Brexit negotiations. 

    BBC's Laura Kuenssberg noted that Cameron condemned reports of violence and racism since the referendum result was announced:

    She also noted, importantly, thet Boris Johnson was not to be seen in the Commons. 

    Channel 4 News' Cathy Newman also noted the Leave campaigner's absence, and hoped that he was working on a Brexit plan, unlike over the weekend when he was pictured playing cricket:

    Corbyn's Turn

    It's been a turbulent weekend for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as for the PM. 

    SNP MP Calum Kerr noted that he at least had some remaining support from veteran left-wing Labour MP, Dennis Skinner. 

    But unsurprisingly, David Cameron did not miss the chance to attack his opposition. 
    Corbyn has been frequently attacked this weekend by those who blame him for not putting his all into the Remain campaign. 

    But Corbyn also took the chance to attack Cameron, who said that Article 50 and Brexit negotiations would not begin until a new Prime Minister was in place in September

    Corbyn also took the chance to fight back against those MPs who resigned from his Shadow Cabinet this week:

    Though he was not well recieved by his back benchers, as Tom McTague noticed:

    And Daniel Stefansson thought that this clearly showed a lack of support for Corbyn from his own party, which left his position "untenable": 

    Though Corbyn did end his speech with brief thanks to the outgoing PM, some thought he may not have wanted to make such a tribute. 

    Comment ()
  • Government Brexit plan takes French, German and Italian hit        

    German Chancellor Merkel, French President Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Renzi have decided that the EU will not agree to informal talks before official Brexit process is begun. 

    Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will begin the Brexit process, but only once it is "invoked", which can only be done by the British government. 

    Both PM David Cameron and Leave campaigner-in-chief, Boris Johnson agreed that there is no rush to 'press the button'. 

    They have also previously insisted that informal talks with the EU should take place before Article 50 was started. 

    This move, from three of the EU's central members, is a spanner in the works of those in charge of the UK side of Brexit. 

    Several European leaders, including the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said that there must be no delay in beginning the process of Brexit, to ensure as little disruption as possible to the EU and European markets. 

    Comment ()
  • UK Credit Rating downgraded

    Standard and Poor's have downgraded the UK's previously perfect Credit Rating of AAA, to just AA. 

    This indicates that S&P now view Britain as less secure for investors and potentially more likely to default on debts. 

    This was seen as a reaction to the British public voting to leave the EU on Thursday, and the uncertainty this decision is seen to embody. 

    The fall for Sterling on the Foreign Exchange markets and the losses on the FTSE100 and European markets has dominated headlines. 

    The potential break-up of the UK was one of the reasons for the downgrade, as Josie Cox of the Wall Street Journal points out: 

    Comment ()
  • Credit warning from a British politician

    Lord Ashdown is the ex-Leader of the Liberal Democrats, and well known and well liked Politician around Westminster. 

    He points out that the potential increase in interest rates after Standard & Poor's downgraded the UK's credit rating, might be more than contributions to the EU. 

    Finally, he calls in to question the Vote Leave campaign's slogan of taking control, expressing the growing doubt around the UK that those who campaigned for the UK to leave the EU can  live up to their pre-referendum promises.  
    Comment ()
  • Latest: #Fitch downgrades the UK after #Brexit vote.…
  • Tomorrow's Papers (continued) 

    The left-leaning Daily Mirror calls for Jeremy Corbyn's resignation 'for the sake of the Labour Party'

    The Times declare that Theresa May is the favourite for Tory leadership, alongside a dejected looking Wayne Rooney- the captain of England's football team, beaten by Iceland in Euro 2016

    Comment ()
  • Tomorrow's Papers (continued) 

    The Daily Mail focus on the Labour Party's internal struggles, stemming from lack of confidence in leader Corbyn after the party backed Remain in the EU referendum,

    Whereas The Guardian focus on the Conservative party fight to lead the party, and country. 

    Comment ()
  • Tomorrow's Papers (so far)

    The FT, unsurprisningly, focus on the continuing turbulence affecting the markets 

    The International New York Times asks the questions the whole world seems to be asking of Britain, "When? How? Really?" 

    The hard left-win Morning Star leads with Labour MP Dennis Skinner, the so-called Beast of Bolsover (named for his tenatious attitude and his constituency), reportedly flicked a "v-sign" towards the Labour MPs who recently resigned from Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet. 

    The Independent, no longer published in print, but still with this digital "front page" on Boris Johnson's chances of leading the Conservatives:

    Metro runs with "farce" of the day in Westminster politics, and "farce" of a night of football as England crash out of Euro 2016 in France 

    The Daily Telegraph's top story is the current Health Secretary arguing for a second referendum on the deal the UK negotiates with the EU for Brexit terms.  

    Comment ()
  • Next Tory Leader?

    Boris Johnson - Prime Minister in waiting? (Reuters) 

    Following Britain's decision to leave the European Union last week, both major parties have been in turmoil - the Labour Party has seen a leadership coup, and the ruling Conservative party are looking for a new leader following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. 

    The decision making process for who will take that role is somewhat simpler than that of the Labour Party's. MPs must nominate a colleague for the top job and, assuming there are three or more candidates, a ballot is held. MPs whittle down the candidates to a final pair who will then be put to 125,000 Conservative members. The new party leader and prime minister will be announced by September 2.

    All through the referendum campaign Boris Johnson has been seen as the likely heir-apparent to David Cameron: he's a darling of the Leave campaign and is known to want the job. However, a poll by the Times this morning puts Theresa May - the current Home Secretary, and a Remain campaigner - one point ahead of the former London Mayor.

    George Osborne, who has been seen as a stalking horse to the Prime Minister throughout his eight years as Chancellor, has this morning ruled himself out of the running, citing his lack of ability to unite the party post-Brexit. 

    There are other less well known candidates who are interested in the job: Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary is an extremely divisive figure over his handling of junior doctor's contracts in recent months, yet has put himself forward. 

    A pair has also emerged for the two top roles. Stephen Crabb and Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Business Secretary respectively, indicated yesterday that they were considering a joint leadership campaign. Mr Crabb would stand for party leader and Mr Javid would hope to be chancellor.

    Andrea Leadsom, another unknown until appearing in myriad debates supporting the Leave campaign, has also been mooted as a possible candidate, although her relative prominence will only appeal to a small section of the party. 

    Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, has also hinted at possibly taking the top job. She is well known but not well liked, and in the same Times poll, received zero per cent. 

    It is uncertain who will become the next leader at this point, although it will become clear in the coming weeks, especially with mounting pressure from Brussels to implement article 50 and speed along divorce proceedings. 

    David Cameron has said empahtically that he will not be the one to deal with the aftermath of Brexit, which hasn't gone down well with critics. It's widely reported that there seems to be no plan in place, which is seen as government job

    Whoever does end up may end up having to fight a general election as well. During the campaign trail Jeremy Corbyn said he would call a snap election if a Brexit vote prevailed, but with the current turmoil in his party, it might not even be him who challenges the next Tory leader. 
    Comment ()
  • Labour Turmoil 

     Jeremy Corbyn (Reuters)

    The Labour Party is facing a crisis unseen since the days of the SDP in the early 80s. Since Sunday, nearly 50 shadow ministers and aides have resigned from thier positions in the party, sparking calls for Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing leader, to step down.

    MPs who have resigned cite issues with Corbyn's leadership capabilities, command over his party and inability to secure the UK's position within the EU in last week's referendum. Despite calls to resign however, Corbyn has stood fast, refused to do so, and replaced his shadow cabinet with loyalist MPs - some of whom have been in government for less than a year. 

    Facing the House of Commons yesterday, the embattled Labour leader faced heckles of “resign” from his own MPs.

    A motion for a vote of no confidence via a secret ballot was proposed by MP Margaret Hodge, and accepted last night. The results of the ballot are expected at 5pm this afternoon, and the Telegraph reports that 150 of Labour's 229  MPs are expected o back the motion. 

    Recalling last night’s PLP meeting, Ms Hodge said: “I couldn’t believe the strength of feeling, the overwhelming rejection of Jeremy as our leader and the pleading with him that he should consider his position and go with dignity.

    At least historically, leaders tend to step down if a majority of their party's MPs do not support them. However the result is not binding, and Jeremy Corbyn told a rally last night that he had no plans of going anywhere, and would stand in any leadership contest that arrose.

    If he was to stand in a leadership contest, it is seen as quite likely that he would be voted in by the party membership, who joined in swathes last year to ensure his ascension.

    However there is dispute over whether he could actually legally stand for leader at all following a vote of no confidence. 

    A legal opinion was commissioned earlier this year on whether he could get back on automatically, and Mr Corbyn’s team believe that settled things.

    The very fact they comissiomned that opinion would suggest Corbyn has been expecting this day for some time. 

    It is presently uncertain as to who would stand against Corbyn in a leadership battle: Hilary Benn MP, son of Labour grandee Tony Benn is the party favourite, although he has ruled humself out.

    Political blog Guido Fawkes yesterday reported that Lisa Nandy MP would be standing and has the back of those who initiated the coup, although she has also said she wouldn't run. 

    We'll keep you updated on any changes throughout the day.

    Comment ()
  • Market recovery

    Following several days of market tumult, some - not all - appear to be picking up slightly. Depsite dropping 5.6% in the last two sessions, the FTSE 100 was up 2.4% at 6,128.32 in late morning trading. 

    The more UK-focused FTSE 250 was worst hit, crashing 13.7% in the same period, but again, rising a solid 2.9% so far today. 

    British banks are usually a good sign of LSE market confidence, and Lloyds, Barclays and RBS were all up at time of writing. It seems that traders are taking advantage of the low prices, but a sell off could occurr if  prices rise quickly.

    The pound also showed signs of recovery, rising 0.8% to $1.3328, against a 35 year low. 
    Comment ()
  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks to the Scottish Parliament: Reaction

    Many reacted positively to FM Sturgeon's strong speech to Holyrood this afternoon. 

    She announced that she would be visiting Brussels for talks with the EU on Wednesday. She also revealed that talks with European government representatives had already begun. 

    However, FM Sturgeon, who leads the pro-Independence (from the UK) Scottish National Party (SNP), said that although the SNP were drawing up legislation for a possible second Independence Referendum, this was not her first priority. 

    Malachy Browne of the New York Times viewed Sturgeon's confident speech as a clear sign of strong leadership, something many have said has been missing from Westminster politics since the Brexit Referendum results were announced on Friday. 

    James Ross of Buzzfeed UK drew a similar conclusion. 

    And Jonathan Haynes of The Guardian made the same argument, showing broad agreement in the UK and international press, both in traditional and new media. 

    And Mike Brown, another British journalist, came up with a reason for Sturgeon's seemingly strong performance:

    Of course this cannot be seen in isolation, as leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is facing an internatl power struggle due to his arguably lacklustre campaigning for the Remain campaign. Corbyn has been anti-EU for much of his career, and now-resigned shadow Leader of the Commons Chris Bryant even said that he suspects Corbyn voted to Leave the EU on Thursday.

    One of Sturgeon's announcements was her creation of a so-called council of experts, to advise her and her government on all things EU. 

    Ross McCafferty of the Scottish newpaper, the Daily Record was clearly impressed by the members announced so far. It will be chaired by Anton Muscatelli and Principle of the University of Glasgow, ans regarded as one of the UK's top economists.

    But Sturgeon was not the only Scottish parlimentarian to recieve praise on Twitter

    Kezia Dugdale, the leader of Scottish Labour was also lauded for her support for the First Minister and equally for her disdain of the Conservatives. (Though it must be stressed that like her English counterpart, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson campaigned for the Remain camp).  

    But she was not entirely in agreement with Sturgeon, as Dugdale also recognised that although the overall vote in Scotland was for Remain, much like in the rest of the UK voters from poorer areas tended to vote Leave.  

    Comment ()
  • Corbyn loses confidence vote

    Reports suggest Jeremy Corbyn has lost a vote of confidence in his leadership of the Labour party, by 172- 40. 

    But Corbyn supporters remain confident in his ability to lead. This image was taken on Monday evening, as Corbynites rallied in Westminister.

    Remember, Corbyn was elected by Labour members in a landslide last summer after Ed Milliband stepped down as party leader. 

    But Corbyn says he will not step down

    Some, such as this Italian journalist, argue that Corbyn is right to listen to his party members, rather than the Parliamentary Labour party.  

    Whereas others argue that this huge number of votes against Corbyn's continuing leadership shows "clarity", and ironically more so than the EU Referendum result which acted as a springboard for Labour MPs to challenge their leader. 

    Comment ()
  • Calls for change grow in Corbyn row

    Mr Leese's move shows that discontent with Mr Corbyn's leadership is felt outside of Westminister, as well as among MPs. 

    And Mr Corbyn's political ability is not the only thing called into question by this no confidence vote. 

    If he can't form a full shadow cabinet, he risks serious reputational damage for the Labour Party. 

    But at least some are seeing the funny side. It seems that the internet can turn anything into a kitten story if they try hard enough. 

    And historian Greg Jenner points out that earlier comparisons between Corbyn and US Democrat Bernie Sanders may have been misguided: 

    Jonathan Fisher spells out the most likely futures for Labour after the resounding vote of "no confidence" in Corbyn:

    But Corbyn does still have friends in politics. Len McCluskey is the General Secretary of the Unite union, who supported Corbyn throughout his election and since. 

    But even some of those who voted for Corbyn in September now think he should step down. If more voices like Eleanor Muffitt's begin to be heard, the calls for a new leadership election are likley to gain more traction.  

    Comment ()
  • Yesterday in EU politics

    Yesterday David Cameron spoke at his final EU summit with the air of a man who had nothing to lose. This was the last supper, and he was Judas. 

    In Brussels last night, the Prime Minister told other leaders at the European Council meeting that any future deal to allow British access to the single market must allow for curbs to migration, as Juncker’s failure to address concerns over the issue are partly responsible for Britain’s exit from the EU.

    “It’s a sad night for me — I didn’t want to be in this position. I wanted Britain to stay in a reformed European Union” he told a press conference afterwards.


    “In politics you have to recognise that you fight, and when you win you carry on the programme, and when you lose sometimes you have to say ‘I’ve lost that argument, I’ve lost that debate’, and it’s right to hand over to someone else who can take the country forward”.

    “Now of course I’m sad about that but I’m more concerned about Britain getting its relationship right with Europe.”

    Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president reaffirmed a view he has made often since last Thursday:  that he wanted Britain to hurry their exit from the bloc as soon as possible.

    Juncker also added that he’d banned all his officials in Brussels from having any contact with UK diplomats over Britain’s future relationship with the EU until Article 50 had been triggered.

    Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who is seen as a voice of reason between the EU and UK, dismissed Mr Cameron somewhat, telling the Bundestag that Brexit negotiations were not a “cherry-picking exercise”, and that Britain would have to choose between immigration controls or a trade deal involving continued membership of the single market.

    “I don’t see a way of turning this round. It’s not the time for wishful thinking but for looking at reality,” Ms Merkel said.

    Mr Cameron made it clear that immigration was of “very great concern” to voters, especially those on the Leave camp. He added that he would do everything in his power to ensure his successor kept a “very close relationship” with the EU, but his failure to secure a referendum win might mean his plea falls on deaf ears.

    Juncker refuted his immigration-blaming however, saying: “My impression is that if you over years, if not decades, tell citizens that something is wrong with the EU, that the EU is too technocratic, too bureaucratic, you cannot be taken by surprise if voters believe you.”

    It’s not just Juncker and Shulz pushing for an accelerated exit - or ‘divorce’ as they refer to it. Politicians from across Europe urged David Cameron to invoke Article 50 as early as possible.

    “Married or divorced but not something in between,” Xavier Bettel, the Luxembourg prime minister, said. “We are not on Facebook with ‘It’s complicated’ as a status.

    Speaking to The Times of London this morning, the Belgian prime minister Charles Michel reached used a similar tone and metaphor: “You can’t say, ‘I want a divorce but I will live with you for a while until I make my mind up’.”

    “We cannot send the message that Britain can be out of Europe without any inconvenience and enjoying all the benefits,” he said.

    Manuel Valls, French prime minister, said it was not for Britain to dictate the pace of talks. “It’s not up to the British Conservative party to set the agenda,” he told the National Assembly in Paris.

    Mark Rutte, the Dutch premier and a former EU ally of David Cameron argued for Britain to be granted “some space” as a sort of clemency: “England has collapsed politically, monetarily, constitutionally and economically,” he said.

    Mr Cameron’s response was that new leadership needed to be put in place before Article 50 could be triggered.

    “We should not take too much time, but some time,” he said.

    The dinner last night was Mr Cameron’s last, and the remaining nations will meet today without British representation today. 

    The summit and meeting of the EU parliament yesterday coincided with a revolt from the Visegrad group and others, who claim the EU founding members were calling all the shots.

    The group of 11 former communist bloc states argued that the roadmap being prepared by the “big three” of France, Germany and Italy excluded them, and could grow anti-EU sentiment at home.

    “The aftermath of Brexit will leave central and eastern Europeans less trustful in the general idea of the European integration project and will boost nationalist sentiments,” said Visegrad Insight, a website reflecting the interests of the four central European allies.

    Comment ()
  • Nigel Farage: Trump would be better for Britain

    Nigel Farage on Brexit and Donald Trump (Full CNN interview)
    by CNN via YouTube

    After being booed at the EU parliament yesterday, UKIP leader and prominent Leave campaigner Nigel Farage gave an interview with CNN in which he declared Donald Trump as his preference for US president.

    "Donald Trump dares to talk about things that other people want to brush under the carpet," he said.

    He also told his interviewer that 
    "nothing on Earth" could ever compel him to back Hillary Clinton because she is part of the "political elite".

    He's no fan of current president Barrack Obama either
    : "I think, for the United Kingdom, Trump will be better for us than Barack Obama’s been, of that there’s no doubt."

    Mr Farage thinks the problems he faces in the UK - although not actually a member of government - are greater than those facing America:

    "What Mr Trump is doing in America is very different than what I am trying to do in the United Kingdom.
    My problem in politics is far greater than Donald Trump's".

    "We literally have lost our sovereignty, lost our borders, lost our ability to regulate. The problem you’ve got in the US is illegal immigration. Our problem is legal immigration to half a billion people."

    "Imagine if a court in Mexico could overrule, and imagine if you had free movement of people with Mexico".

    "How would you feel? You wouldn’t like it."

    Comment ()
  • Sturgeon in Brussels: Scotand wants to stay. 


    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrived in Brussels this morning, greeted by beaming faces and a red carpet reception.

    She made the eleventh hour trip to tell EU leaders that Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU, is intent on staying in the bloc - despite the UK as a whole voting to Leave.

    In fact, her trip came only hours after David Cameron made his final EU summit appearance to tell leaders that Britain would be pulling out.

    "This is very much an initial meeting, a series of meetings in Brussels today, so that people understand that Scotland, unlike other parts, of the United Kingdom does not want to leave the European Union," she said.

    "I don't want to underestimate the challenges that lie ahead."

    Schulz said he had "listened and learned".

    Later in the day, the pro-independence Scottish leader will meet the head of the EU executive, European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, and may try to probe the -- hitherto flimsy -- options a breakaway Scotland might have to somehow remain in the European Union once the United Kingdom completes its Brexit.

    Juncker's decision to roll out the red carpet for her on the day the 27 other EU leaders held their first meeting without Britain was seen by some diplomats as an attempt to pressure London to hand in its formal notice to quit.

    Comment ()
  • Jeremy Corbyn 

    Facing David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions today, the embattled labour leader was not at his best - he was heckled as he walked in, heckled as he sat down, and laughed at as he spoke. 

    He's facing a revolt not seen since the days of the SDP in the early 80s. 176 out of 229 of his MPs want him gone. They say his failure to deliver leadership or make his position clear in the referendum campaign alienated much of the core Labour vote

    As well as mass resignations from senior positions, over three quarters of Labour MP's signed a motion of no confidence against him, but he refuses to budge. 

    Matters were made worse when Prime Minister David Cameron picked up on his frailty at PMQs, shouting at Corbyn: "For heaven's sake man, just go!"

    This was probably pre-planned - the backing of David Cameron is not what Labour rebels need right now, especially when dealing with the far-left of the party who are vehemently against the Prime Minister. 

    The ruling Conservative party would like Jeremy Corbyn to stay in power, as they don't see him as credible opposition in the result of a snap election. In fact, Labour's own polling shows that out of those who voted Labour last year (which was already a massive loss of influence), only 50% would vote for Corbyn as Prime Minister.

    Former Labour leader Ed Milliband gave an interview today in which he lambasted a man who he has backed up to this point saying: "I have reluctantly reached the conclusion his position is untenable". In his position "I would have gone"

    It is uncertain what will happen to Corbyn, although he is steadfast in remaining where he is, as he was voted in on a mandate of 250,000 people. 
    by Elliott Haworth via edited by patrick.atack 6/29/2016 1:04:17 PM
    Comment ()
  • Who could lead the Conservatives? 

    Here's a brief rundown of the likely runners in the upcoming Tory leadership contest. 

    Boris Johnson

    The ex-Mayor of London and unofficial leader of the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum is now one of the favourites to succeed his school and university pal David Cameron in 10 Downing Street. Some reports suggest that Johnson has the support of as many as 100 Tory MPs. 

    His off-beat manner has made him a household figure in British politics over the past decade or so. Although his political ambitions have been the subject of much debate, he has always denied wanting the top job, until now. 

    However, the same effervescent tone and approach that has made him popular in the past might be questioned by fellow Tory MPs, especially with the near unique challenges around Europe and the economic stability of the UK that the next Prime Minister will have to deal with. 

    Theresa May

    Theresa May, the current Home Secretary is the favourite according to some bookmakers, and second to Johnson according to many others. 

    She is seen as a shrewd policymaker in Whitehall, she has been one of the longest serving ministers of the interior the UK has seen. 

    During the Referendum campaign she followed Prime Minister Cameron's line and called for a Remain vote. This has been seen as important in the days since Cameron announced he would step down. She has been touted as the "Stop Boris" campaign by those Tories who didn't want to leave the EU. 
    But she will also face difficulties, as many think the next PM should be someone who supported Leave so they can oversee the Brexit negotiations without the burden of not wanting to be in that position. 

    Stephen Crabb 

    Crabb is a relative unknown, and interestingly the first Conservative cabinet minister in years to sport a beard. 

    Elected in 2005, he was promoted to the cabinet as Welsh Secretary in 2014. But he only really entered the public's consciouness in March as he replaced the outgoing Ian Duncan Smith as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. 

    He is expected to stand on a joint ticket with Business Secretary Sajid Javid. Both were "Remainers", and as with Theresa May, this may harm their chances. 

    Liam Fox
    Dr Liam Fox, MP for North Somerset in the south west of England, is an ex-medical doctor and has held several cabinet and shadown cabinet positions in his 24 years in Parliament. 

    Shadow Defence Secretary for five years before the Conservatives gained power in 2010, he held that posotion in government for over a year. He also stood for leader once before, but was beaten into third place by David Cameron and David Davis. 

    He was a strong pro-Brexit voice on the Tory backbenches, which will have won him support at least in the Parliamentary party, and probably with the party members too. 

    Jeremy Hunt 

    Mr Hunt is the current Health Secretary. If you have been following British politics, you'll know his tenure has been tumultuous to say the least. This has mainly surrounded a new contract for Junior doctors, leading to sustained strike action. 

    He was previously the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sports, including overseaing the successes of the London 2012 Olympics.

    He was on the Remain side of the referendum and has suggestwed that any Brexit deal forged with the EU should be put to the people in another referendum. 

    Comment ()
  • Update on Labour Leadership 

    Deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson has spoken to the press this afternoon about the likelihood of Leader Jeremy Corbyn standing down. He says he won't run in any new leadership election. 

    Mr Corbyn has publically denounced those who voted against him in a confidence vote this week, but remains steadfast in his position. Mr Corbyn lost the vote by MPs 172-40. 

    Mr Watson said that "Jeremy was not willing to discuss that (stepping down, ed) with me, so I'm assuming he remains in office". 

    Mr Watson added that "it's a great tragedy", as Corbyn "does have a members' mandate", but "you also need a parliamentary mandate if you are going to form a government". 

    It is thought that the vote of no confidence has resulted from MPs feeling that if a snap election is declared by whomever wins the Conservative leadership election, Mr Corbyn would be unable to lead Labour to victory. 

    Mr Watson ended his comment by suggesting that "It looks like the Labour Party is heading for some form of contested election", but he added that he "won't run". 
    Comment ()
  • Angele Eagle to announce leadership challenge

    According to the BBC's political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, Angela Eagle will announce her challenge to the Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership tomorrow.  

    Eagle has been a long-standing member of the shadow cabinet. Under Ed Milliband she served as Shadow Chief Treasury secretary and Shadow Leader of the Commons. 

    Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership she has been Shadow First Secretary of state and Shadow Business Secretary. 

    No leadership election has yet been confirmed by the Labour Party, as Mr Corbyn has not resigned despite a strong showing of 'no confidence' by the Parliamentary Labour party this week. 

    Deputy Leader Tom Watson has suggested that the party is heading towards "some form of contested election". 

    Comment ()
  • Markets stabilise

    Following the tumult, uncertainty and outright volatility of global markets for the last week, they seem to be calm, quiet - almost eerily so , this morning, as investors take a step back in these unpredictable times.

    Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England is making a speech at 4pm this afternoon where he's expected to announce 
    reassurance to investors and the public that the Bank’s contingency measures are working.

    There's much talk of the FTSE shrugging off Brexit fears: at day's close yesterday it had added 219 points, or 3.5%, meaning that it's back up to pre-Brexit levels - but - and there is a massive but, the FTSE is still priced in sterling (GBP), which is hardly up on the 30 year lows triggered by the EU referendum result. 

    Japan's Nikkei and America's DOW are both back up to pre-Brexit levels, but European markets are more susceptible to the internal politics of the UK, which is leading to worries of harm to companies and banks accross the continent. 

    Italian banks are in the most economic disarray: They weren't in a good position before Brexit, and the historic vote hasn't done them any favours. Bad debts could flip the economy on its head, and historically low interest rates could eat into profits.

    Comment ()
  • Micheal Gove leadership bid

    For those of us following the aftermath of Brexit closely, this really wasn't expected.

    Micheal Gove and Boris Johnson - good friends for years, who campaigned with Vote Leave together and were seen as a potential Prime Minister / Chancellor combination, will now be competing agianst each other for the top job.

    Yesterday an email from Micheal Gove's wife was 'accidentally' sent to a member of the public, in which she lays out doubts held by the Tory party and media about would-be prime minister Boris Johnson.

    In a letter sent to the press this morning Micheal Gove wrote of his 'reluctant' bid to be Prime Minister:

    The British people voted for change last Thursday. They sent us a clear instruction that they want Britain to leave the European Union and end the supremacy of EU law. They told us to restore democratic control of immigration policy and to spend their money on national priorities such as health, education and science instead of giving it to Brussels. They rejected politics as usual and government as usual. They want and need a new approach to running this country.

    There are huge challenges ahead for this country but also huge opportunities. We can make this country stronger and fairer. We have a unique chance to heal divisions, give everyone a stake in the future and set an example as the most creative, innovative and progressive country in the world.

    If we are to make the most of the opportunities ahead we need a bold break with the past.

    I have repeatedly said that I do not want to be Prime Minister. That has always been my view. But events since last Thursday have weighed heavily with me.

    I respect and admire all the candidates running for the leadership. In particular, I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future.

    But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.

    I have, therefore, decided to put my name forward for the leadership. I want there to be an open and positive debate about the path the country will now take. Whatever the verdict of that debate I will respect it. In the next few days I will lay out my plan for the United Kingdom which I hope can provide unity and change.

    Boris is reportedly standing fast: it's well known he wants the top job and isn't about to let his friend get in the way. Interestingly, he's actually slipped down in the odds since Theresa May and Micheal Gove announced their candidacy: 

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  • Theresa May leadership bid

    Theresa May Full Candidacy Campaign Speech
    by Sky News via YouTube

    Unlike Micheal Gove, Theresa May was always expected to make a bid for number 10: She's remained quiet throughout the referendum campaign, and although she supported Remain , is a known eurosceptic.

    "Last time Boris negotiated with the Germans he came back with three nearly new water cannons" she said at a conference this morning. 

    She's presenting herself as a unification candidate who can bring the party together through the instability of the Brexit wake. She says she is a “proven leader” with a vision of a country “that works not for the privileged but for everyone”.

    Although studying at Oxford, she is from working-middle class roots which may well work in her favour. She's also one of the longest standing Home Secretaries, has a good record in government and unlike others, isn't widely disliked. 

    Writing in the Times this morning, she said: 

    "First, following last week’s referendum, our country needs strong, proven leadership to steer us through this period of economic and political uncertainty, and to negotiate the best possible terms as we leave the European Union.

    "Second, we need leadership that can unite our party and our country. With the Labour Party tearing itself to pieces, and divisive nationalists in Scotland and Wales, it is the patriotic duty of the Conservative Party to unite and govern in the best interests of the whole country.

    "And third, we need a bold, new, positive vision for the future of our country — a vision of a country that works not for a privileged few but for everyone, regardless of who they are and regardless of where they’re from.

    All polls are leaning in her favour, as well as betting odss, although it's worth noting that Tory leadership candidacies are usually incredibly inaccurate until days before the event. For example, David Cameron was on just 5% at this point in 2005, winning a last minute surge in support from business. 

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  • Boris Johnson will not stand for Conservative leadership 

    In a twist that even Conservative party insiders such as Andrew Mitchell MP said he was not expecting, and to the shock of the politcal media, Boris Johnson has pulled out of the Tory leadership and Prime Ministerial race. 

    Boris Johnson bids farewell to the idea of being the next Prime Minister  

    Mr Johnson said the next Conservative leader would have to unify the party, but "having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that person cannot be me". 

    The reaction from the press gives a good indication of how sizable a moment this is in post-Brexit Britain. Here's a selection: 

    Jessica Elgot of The Guardian

    The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg

    Jess Brammar of the BBC's current affairs magazine show "Newsnight". 

    There were a lot od caps locks involved, as shown by Jim Waterson of Buzzfeed UK. 

    And even the ususally unflapable Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News couldn't contain his surprise: 

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  • Gove talks 

    Michael Gove has spoken to British television for the first time since he announced his candidacy for Conservative Party leadership, and by proxy, Prime Minister.

     He revealed his last minute decision to stand, and why he doesn't think his ally throughout the EU Referendum campaign, Boris Johnson, was up to the job. 

    The current Justice Secretary was widely expected to back Mr Johnson, but he said "I came to the conclusion that ultimately Boris could not build that team, could not provide that leadership and that unity". 

    Because of this, Gove decided that the role must "fall" to someone else. "As someone who had argued consistently that we should leave the European Union, and as someone who's experienced at the highest levels in the Cabinet, I felt it had to fall to me". 

    He said that he only reached this conclusion on Wednesday night, perhaps after recieving an email from his wife which was "leaked" and quickly gained notoriety online. 

    It is one of Mr Gove's central beliefs that the next Prime Minister must be someone who believes in and campaigned for Brexit. This is likely to be one of his central arguments against Theresa May, current Home Secretary, who is seen by many as the other leader in the race for Tory leadership. 
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  • Brexit Roundup Thursday July 7

    Good morning from London! Just under two weeks ago Britain voted in a nationwide referendum to leave the European Union. The wake of Brexit has begun - the country, its political parties and people are disunited in places, following days of hostility both home and abroad - here's the latest: 

    • Theresa May wins the first round of the Conservative leadership ballot
    • The second round of the MP's ballot will take place today
    • The leader of Michael Gove's campaign, Nick Boles, has been forced to apologise for a text sent to Theresa May supporters urging them to unite against Andrea Leadsom
    • Boris Johnson critcises government for failing to highlight Brexit positives, and calls pro-EU protestors of "hysteria"
    • Jean-Claude Juncker accuses Farage and Johnson of "abandoning ship" 
    • Nicola Sturgeon, Socttish First Minister calls for "immediate guarantees" on residency rights of EU citizens living in Scotland
    • Former PM Tony Blair says UK should "keep options open" on Brexit
    • Post Brexit vote rebound sees FTSE 100 set for biggest weekly rise since 2011

    More as we get it!

    by Elliott Haworth edited by Peter Vandijk 7/1/2016 7:30:30 AM
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  • The Boris Johnson Mutiny

    Two things happened yesterday that even the best poltiical pundits couldn't have called: Micheal Gove announced he was running for Prime Minister, and Boris Johson announced he wasn't.

    Most of us, myself included, were expecting quite literally the total opposite. There was broad media assumption that  Johnson would run as PM, with Gove as his chancellor, but alas; a mutiny.

    Throughout the referendum campaign the two had seemed inseperable on the Leave side. But yesterday morning, following an email 'accidentally' sent by Sarah Vine, Gove's wife, that expressed concerns about Johnson as leader, he stepped aside.

    Gove, with three hours to spare until the registration deadline, then launched a scathing attack on his friend, saying that he had failed to prove his credentials as a leader. Mr Gove dismissed accusations of "enormous political treachery”, saying that he was prepared to sacrifice his friends for his convictions.

    “I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future,” he said. “But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.

    Speaking to the BBc last night Gove said that:  “In the last four days I had a chance to see up close and personal how Boris dealt with some of the decisions we needed to make in order to take this country forward”

    “During that period I had hoped that Boris would rise to the occasion because inevitably when you have a leadership election, people are tested, questions are asked of them, tests are set. Boris has formidable qualities but I saw him seek to meet and not pass those tests.

    Many were clearly rattled by Johnson not standing - to use a cliche: 'he made his bed, and should lay in it'.
    Boris was a pivotal member of the Leave campaign, and his refusal to lead Britian in the wake of his doing did not go down well.

    Lord Hesseltine, a Conservative grandee and former Chancellor gave the most scathing attack:

    “He has ripped the Tory party apart, he has created the greatest constitutional crisis in peacetime in my life,” he told the BBC. “He has knocked billions off the value of the savings of the British people.

    Johnson, he said, is like “a general who marches his army to the sound of the guns and the moment he sees the battleground he abandons it … The pain of it will be felt by all of us and, if it doesn’t get resolved shortly, by a generation to come yet.”

    Lynton Crosby, the Australian who recently failed to get Zac Goldsmith elected as London Mayor, was meant to be running Boris Johnson's prime ministerial campaign. He told the Telegraph that Gove didn't even inform Johnson he was running, and up until two hours before Boris' conference, the race to number was still on. 

    Boris isn't without hs supporters: Jake Berry, who was on Johnson's campagin team tweeted:

    “There is a very deep pit reserved in Hell for such as he.

    He later deleted the comment. 

    So who wins in all of this? David Cameron, firstly. 

    Gove and Johnson both signed a letter calling on the PM to stay in his position whatever the outcome of the referendum, but he did not. 

    This meant that whoever replaced him as leader would have to deal wth the consequences of Brexit, and not him. It's likely this is why Gove decided to run: Boris has charisma, is clearly intelligent, but is not known as a good negiator and widely disliked in Brussels. 

    Essentially David Cameron put the the ball in their court - if he was going to lose, it was going to be on his terms. 

    Other winners, perhaps, include the other Tory leadership candidates, especially Theresa May, as they have kept out of the petty infighting and media flurry that ensued yesterday. She's presented herself as a unifying candidate, and so far, she seems to be doing just that.

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  • Michael Gove leadership bid speech

    Gove (Reuters)

    "Whatever charisma is, I don't have it".

    After deciding at the eleventh hour to make a bid for the Tory leadership - and by default - prime minister, Michael Gove gave a press conference this morning laying out his plans. 

    The speech went on for a full 45 minutes or so - the transcript I have is over 4000 words long.. but lucky for you, I've just read the whole thing and plucked out the most important bits. 

    He announced his formal bid this morning at a press conference, after doing so in a letter yesterday - just three hours before the deadline, and amid much criticism, confusion and hostility from within his party and beyond. 

    Gove laid out his position: He is the candidate for change. A position perhaps opposing his rival Theresa May's as the candidate for 'unity'. 

    "The country voted for no more politics as usual.
    No more business as usual. I am the candidate for change," he said. 

    He posed the question: 'Who do you really trust on the EU?' to the audience of assembled newspaper journalists, praising "the British people’s brave and right decision to leave the European Union". 

    "Put simply: the best person to lead Britain out of the European Union is someone who argued to get Britain out of the European Union. That is best for the country — to retain the trust of millions of voters — and it is best for the Conservative party too.

    His point being that he was an early instigator of the Leave campaign, and he supported it throughout based on deeply held principles. Gove believes that to avoid a conflict of interests, whoever ends up as PM should be someone who campaigned for Leave, not someone from the Remain camp.

    "All I can pledge is that I will be guided by principle, I will govern as captain of a team and I will always — always — put my country and our people above everything," he said.

    "When it comes to the course we must take in the wake of the referendum: I will ensure we honour the instructions the British people have given us.

    "I argued for specific changes in the referendum campaign, I believe in them, I will deliver them. The promise to leave the European Union, end the supremacy of EU law and take back control of our democracy. With my leadership, it will be delivered.

    He went on to discuss his credentials as leader: He has been both education and justice secretary of recent, and although some might disagree, believes the achievements he made in both of those roles solidify his position: 

    "I have ensured the closure of decaying prisons; and I have begun an overhaul of youth justice, in order that young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system do not fall into a life of crime.

    "I’m the candidate for leader who is changing our prisons and our justice system. I’m the candidate for leader who led the case for change in this referendum campaign and the country voted for change. The country voted for no more politics as usual. No more business as usual. I am the candidate for change.

    Once Gove had laid out his candidacy intention, he almost went into a full blown manifesto, talking of what he aims to do in government - aside from Brexit - if he is elected - quite odd so early in the game. I won't go into too much detail about his policy - you can read that here - although it has very socially liberal undertones. 

    "This is still a country where your schooling, your postcode, your background matters far too much – and it is the passion of my life and the motivation for this leadership bid to change that

    I don’t want prisons that are warehouses for criminals. Hospitals that have to operate like production lines. Social care that is bureaucratic and unfeeling.

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  • UK Finance Minister abandons plans for budget surplus

    Chancellor George Osborne said today that the effects of the recent Brexit vote mean that he and the government would need to be "realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade". 

    He has previously set out and stood by a plan to return government finances to a surplus by 2020. 

    The plan was first announced at the 2013 Conservative Party conference, and later made official policy in 2015. 

    Since then the policy has attracted criticism, including from Carl Emmerson, the deputy director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), who said the policy had "a slightly better than 50/50 chance" of being successful. 

    Paul Johnson, the director of the IFS, told the BBC that the vote to leave the EU could be the death knell of the policy as he expects an economic "downswing, that might be a full blown recession". 

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  • A weekend is a long time in politics

    This weekend has been tumultuous im British politics. 

    The Conservative Party leadership race is now well under way, with a first ballot of MP's coming tomorrow. 

    Andrea Leadsom has been thrust into the limelight as a challenger to Michael Gove's credentials as the Pro-Brexit candidate. Mrs Leadsom was a prominent Vote Leave campaigner during the referendum campaign, and has argued for a quick start to formal Brexit negotiations. 

    This has won her the support of many so-called Brexiteers, including one of UKIP leader Nigel Farage's key donors. Mrs Leadsom will officially launch her campaign today, and according to The Times, has refused to rule out a place for Mr Farage -a long time Brexit advocate- on her potential Brexit negotiation team. 

    But it hasn't all been plain sailing for Mrs Leadsom. 

    Michael Gove has put pressure on Mrs Leadsom to release her tax returns due to suspiscions over her apparent ties to off-shore banking havens, such as the Channel Islands. 

    Theresa May, who campaigned for the UK to "Remain" in the EU, has had a less successful weekend, as she was challenged over Post-Brexit immigration. 

    Mrs May, who is now touted by some as the favourite for Tory leadership, thurst the status of millions of EU citizens in the UK, and 1.2 millions Britons living abroad into doubt, Sunday. 

    She admitted that the status of EU citizens in the UK was up for negotiation, as she aimed to curtail risks of an increase in migrations from EU nations to Britain before Brexit becomes official. 

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  • Labour Party leader to "reach out" to opponents 

    Jeremy Corbyn has said he is ready to offer peace to those within his party that oppose his leadership. 

    He said he wants to work with his "whole party", but they need to "respect" Corbyn and the majority that he enjoys from Labour Party members. Mr Corbyn won a landslide election on the last Labour leadership contest in September. 

    He added that he would stand again if a new leadership ballot is proposed. 

    Union peace brokers 

    Labour MPs are hoping to avoid a split in the party, as leader of the Unite union, Len McClusky suggests the trade unions should be brought in to "broker" a peace deal between the leader they support, and rebellious MPs. 

    Frances O'Grady, the General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has emerged as the potential Union voice in future negotiations. 

    Former Labour deputy leader and Deputy Prime Minister under Tony Blair, Lord John Prescott has also been named as a potential peacemaker in the intra-party discussions. 

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  • Corbyn's Open Door policy 

    One criticism of Labour leader Jeremy Crobyn during the recent challenge to his leadership has been that he has refused to meet with dissident MPs. 

    Allegations of his supporters and aides even blocking his office door to MPs hoping to talk to their leader arose last week. Some of these even prompted London MP (and Corbynite) Dianne Abbott to post a "selfie" on Thursday, showing that she was not blocking Corbyn's door, but having lunch outside. 

    But on BBC radio this morning, Corbyn's strongest ally and Shadow Chancellor (finance minister) John McDonnell said that any MP wanting a one-on-one meeting with their leader, without aides or other politicans present, would be granted one. 

    But some were quick to register their doubt on Twitter:

    Steve McCabe is Labour MP for Birmingham Selly Oak. 
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  • Legal spanner in the Brexit works

    A London-based law firm, Mishcon de Reya, has begun legal proceedings which, if successful, would force the British government to ask Parliament for approval before triggering Brexit. 

    They have said that Britain would require an Act of Parliament, which must be passed by both the House of Commons and the upper chamber, the house of Lords, before invoking Article 50 because the EU Referendum was not legally binding. 

    Kasra Nouroozi, a partner of Mishcon de Reya said in a statement that "for the current or future Prime Minister to invoke Article 50 without the approval of Parliament is unlawful". 

    The government has said that Parliament has "a role" to play in deciding the UK's future relationship with the EU, but has not yet commented on this Mishcon de Reya case at this point. 

    The firm has not named the clients on whose behalf they have begun the case, though the BBC this morning reported they were a "group of business people and academics". 

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