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July 11, 2016

Theresa May to become UK Prime Minister as opposition begins leadership election

Theresa May to become UK Prime Minister as opposition begins leadership election

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Monday, July 11, 2016

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Today the Conservative Party, the current governing party of the United Kingdom (UK), announced Theresa May would become the new party leader following the decision by her leadership rival Andrea Leadsom to withdraw from the contest. This announcement was made on the same day it was confirmed a leadership contest has been formally triggered within the UK Labour Party, the official opposition, after Angela Eagle gathered the needed support to challenge Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the party.

Theresa May to become leader of the Conservative Party[]

File photo of Theresa May, 2015.
Image: UK Home Office.

Following the withdrawal of Mrs Leadsom from the Conservative Party leadership election, Party official George Brady said he was expecting to appoint Mrs May as the new party leader. Mrs May, the current home secretary, would succeed David Cameron in this role, and it is expected she will also succeed him as Prime Minister.

Mrs Leadsom described a leadership election as “highly undesirable” for the country as she announced her decision to withdraw. She also said she felt she had insufficient support to win a leadership election.

Mr Cameron originally announced his intention to resign following the UK EU referendum, and has now said he intends to offer his resignation following Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Labour Party to hold leadership election[]

The Labour Party confirmed a leadership election had been officially triggered. Mrs Eagle has announced her candidacy, and it is understood she has the level of support from Labour Members of Parliament to add her name to the ballot.

Mrs Eagle was one of many members of Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet to resign following the EU Referendum. She today said Mr Corbyn “is unable to provide the leadership” needed as she launched her leadership bid.

It is unclear if Mr Corbyn’s name will be automatically be added to the ballot as the current incumbent. A decision by the party’s executive committee is reportedly to be made tomorrow to decide on the matter.



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June 25, 2016

Britain votes to leave the European Union

Britain votes to leave the European Union

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

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On Thursday, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum.

During the referendum, voters were asked the following question with these options:

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?
Remain a member of the European Union
Leave the European Union”.

Voters across the UK voted in favour of leaving the EU by a margin 52% to 48%. Support for this outcome was strongest across the majority of England and Wales, with London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland the only regions where the majority voted to remain a member of the EU.

The Flag of Europe, used by the EU.

Following the results, David Cameron announced his intention to resign as the UK’s Prime Minister. It is expected he will remain in his post before the UK Conservative Party choose a new leader ahead of their annual conference in October. He also said he would not invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the process by which a member can leave the EU, leaving that to his successor as Prime Minister. A number of officials at the EU — which would be down to 27 members with the UK gone — in a statement said they would like this process to begin “as soon as possible”.

At the start of trading on Friday the markets reacted negatively to the result, with the FTSE 100 falling in value by £120 billion. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, stated an extra £250 billion will be made available to help stabilise markets.



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May 20, 2016

Lord Howard and Alistair Darling address CBI on EU referendum

Lord Howard and Alistair Darling address CBI on EU referendum

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Friday, May 20, 2016

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Lord Howard, the former United Kingdom (UK) Conservative Party leader, and Alistair Darling, the former UK Chancellor, set out their opposing views regarding the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual dinner on Wednesday.

Logo of the CBI.

The dinner was held as the UK is expected to vote on the matter in next month’s EU referendum. Lord Howard encouraged those in attendance to vote for the UK to leave the EU, while Mr Darling was speaking in favour of a vote to remain.

Responding to the CBI calling for the UK to remain in the EU, Lord Howard referred to the organisation’s previous calls to become a full member of the European Monetary System and the Euro, saying these calls had been wrong, and suggesting that this reduces the credibility of the CBI’s current stance. Lord Howard also said that if the UK left the EU with no trade deal, which he described as “inconceivable”, then the UK’s exports would face EU import tariffs of 2.4% on average. He compared this to the UK’s net contribution to the EU’s budget, which he said was equivalent to a seven per cent tariff.

Mr Darling reminded the audience of warnings from Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, and Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, that leaving the EU could lead to a recession in the UK. Mr Darling said this “would be disastrous for working people’s life chances and living standards”.

The referendum is expected to take place on the 23 June.



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  • “IMF says UK leaving the EU will lead to negative economic consequences” — Wikinews, May 13, 2016

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Lord Howard and Alistair Darling address Confederation of British Industry on EU referendum

Lord Howard and Alistair Darling address Confederation of British Industry on EU referendum

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Friday, May 20, 2016

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Lord Howard, the former United Kingdom (UK) Conservative Party leader, and Alistair Darling, the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, set out their opposing views regarding the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union at the Confederation of British Industry‘s (CBI) annual dinner on Wednesday.

Logo of the CBI.

The dinner was held as the UK is expected to vote on the matter in next month’s EU referendum. Lord Howard encouraged those in attendance to vote for the UK to leave the EU, while Mr Darling was speaking in favour of a vote to remain.

Responding to the CBI calling for the UK to remain in the EU, Lord Howard referred to the organisation’s previous calls to become a full member of the European Monetary System and the Euro, saying these calls had been wrong, and suggesting this reduces the credibility of the CBI’s current stance. Lord Howard also said if the UK left the EU and didn’t replace it with some trade deal, which he described as “inconceivable”, then the UK’s exports would face EU import tariffs of 2.4% on average. He compared this to the UK’s net contribution to the EU’s budget, which he said was “equivalent to a seven per cent tariff.”

Mr Darling reminded the audience of warnings from Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, and Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, that leaving the EU could lead to a recession in the UK. Mr Darling said this “would be disastrous for working people’s life chances and living standards”.

The referendum is expected to take place on June 23.



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  • “IMF says UK leaving the EU will lead to negative economic consequences” — Wikinews, May 13, 2016

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April 9, 2016

Thousands march in London calling for David Cameron\’s resignation over tax affairs

Thousands march in London calling for David Cameron’s resignation over tax affairs

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Thousands of demonstrators marched in London today over the tax affairs of Prime Minister David Cameron which were revealed as part of the leak of the Panama Papers.

The protest started around 11:00 local time (UTC+1) on Whitehall opposite the police-guarded entrance to Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s official residence. Just after 11:00, protesters blocked traffic on the northbound carriage in Whitehall. At 11:20, the police asked the protesters to move back on to the pavement, stating that they needed to balance the right to protest with the traffic building up. Around 11:29, the protest moved up Whitehall, past Trafalgar Square, along the Strand, passing by Aldwych and up Kingsway towards Holborn where the Conservative Party were holding their Spring Forum in the Grand Connaught Rooms hotel.

The protest was organised after it was revealed that David Cameron has profited from offshore investments held by his father, Ian, that were organised in part by Mossack Fonseca, the Panama-based law firm whose communications were recently published.

Anti-David Cameron protest 05.jpg

Protesters outside Downing Street holding signs.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 03.jpg

Protestors shouting outside Downing Street.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 02.jpg

Demonstrators getting ready just before 11:00.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 01.jpg

Demonstrators getting ready just before 11:00.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 04.jpg

Demonstrators rallying outside the gates to Downing Street.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 07.jpg

Protesters holding placards, flags and a pig-shaped piñata outside Downing Street.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 08.jpg

After leaving Whitehall, the protesters moved up Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 09.jpg

Protesters crossing Trafalgar Square towards The Strand.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 10.jpg

Protesters marching down the Strand.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 11.jpg

A protester holding a pig-shaped piñata at the bottom of Kingsway.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 06.jpg

Police officers discussing the protest outside Downing Street.
Image: Tom Morris.

Anti-David Cameron protest 12.jpg

The protest caused some disruption for traffic. After the marchers had passed the Strand, many delayed buses filled the eastbound road.
Image: Tom Morris.



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December 4, 2015

UK begins airstrikes against IS in Syria

UK begins airstrikes against IS in Syria

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The government of the United Kingdom has said Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers began airstrikes yesterday against Islamic State targets in Syria. The bombings follow British Members of Parliament (MPs) voted to support action against IS in Syria on Wednesday.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, from file.
Image: Chatham House.

RAF Tornado bombers based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus attacked oilfields in Syria which are controlled by and fund IS. UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the airstrikes were designed to deliver “a very real blow on the oil and revenue” of IS.

A Ministry of Defence statement said six “elements of the oilfield infrastructure were targeted” by the Tornados with support from other aircraft. It said sensors on the aircraft determined the targets were clear of non-combatants.

On Wednesday, MPs held a ten-hour debate on air strikes against IS, during which UK Prime Minister David Cameron urged them to support the action. They voted 397 to 223 to join the United States and France who are already bombing IS targets in Syria.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party, voted against airstrikes, arguing the need for bombings “did not stack up”. Mr Cameron also failed to get support from the Scottish National Party (SNP), almost all of whose MPs voted against taking action in Syria.

Following the airstrikes, Prime Minister Cameron said they had been “good for the country” and indicated “patience” would be needed in fighting IS. Mr Fallon said the UK are due to bomb more IS targets in Syria “in the next few days and weeks”.

Six Typhoon warplanes along with an Airbus A400M carrying engineers, ground crew and supplies left RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland yesterday to travel to Cyprus. Two further Tornados from RAF Marham in Norfolk, England are to join the planes based in Cyprus.



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Ministry of Defence statement regarding airstrikes against IS in Iraq and Syria

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June 26, 2015

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie to stand down as MSP

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Annabel Goldie to stand down as MSP

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Friday, June 26, 2015

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Annabel Goldie, Scottish leader from 2005 to 2011, has announced she will stand down as an MSP at the next elections in 2016. Goldie, who has been an MSP for the West Scotland (previously West of Scotland) electoral region since the Scottish Parliament’s formation in 1999, said she intends to focus on her role in the House of Lords, where she has been a peer since 2013.

File photo of Annabel Goldie.
Image: Wsdouglas.

In a statement today, Goldie said leading the party was an “enormous honour” for her. She also said: “It has afforded me both satisfaction and pleasure to serve my constituents and to serve the parliament and I will look back with great happiness at my time as an MSP. I am grateful to friends and colleagues from all parties for their support. Sometimes we found common ground, sometimes we disagreed but never I hope with rancour nor disrespect. Politics is a rough trade but we have built a strong parliament in Scotland of which we can all be rightly proud.” She said because of Ruth Davidson, her successor as Scottish Conservative leader, the party is now “in fine fettle and stands a great chance of making real progress in the years ahead,” concluding by saying: “I look forward to continuing to work as part of that effort in the House of Lords in the years to come.”

Davidson responded to the news by calling Goldie an “unstoppable force”, adding: “She has been an inspiration to a whole generation of Scottish Conservatives, and she has been a tremendous mentor, support and friend to me. In Holyrood, she has fostered both affection and respect from all members – regardless of their political affiliation – and her retirement from the Scottish Parliament will leave an Annabel-sized hole which won’t ever quite be filled. She is unique.” Meanwhile, David Cameron, leader and UK Prime Minister, said: “Annabel is one of those rare breeds in Scottish politics, somebody known by her first name alone. When she was Scottish Conservative leader, I valued her sage advice. She has been a towering strength to our party in Scotland, a doughty debater in the TV studios and Scottish Parliament and has one of the sharpest wits around. I wish her a long and happy retirement after 17 years unstinting service at Holyrood – but look forward to seeing her on the red benches of the Lords for years to come.”

Cquote1.svg In Holyrood, she has fostered both affection and respect from all members – regardless of their political affiliation – and her retirement from the Scottish Parliament will leave an Annabel-sized hole which won’t ever quite be filled. She is unique. Cquote2.svg

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative Party leader

Goldie, the Scottish Conservatives’ first ever female leader, was elected unopposed. She took up the role in the aftermath of David McLetchie‘s resignation from the role in an expenses usage controversy and subsequent resignation of Brian Monteith from his Conservative whip role in the Scottish Parliament for briefing the media against him. Meanwhile, as Scottish Conservatives won 18 seats in the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003, the party had been less successful in UK general elections in Scotland; Conservatives went up from zero out of a possible 72 UK MPs in Scotland in 1997 to one in 2001. This led to Goldie remarking in her inaugural speech in 2005 that: “The wheels are back on the wagon – and I’m the nag hitched up to tow it.” She also said: “The party is still way ahead of where it was in 1997. And my first task is to take it forward to 2007.” However, under Goldie’s leadership, the number of seats the Scottish Conservatives won in the Scottish Parliament slightly decreased from 18 in 2003 to 17 in 2007 and to 15 in 2011. At the same time, the number of Conservative MPs stood at one out of a possible 59 after the 2010 UK general election.

In the aforementioned 2005 speech, she also said the party could be trusted with devolution in Scotland, adding: “making devolution work better means real devolution: not the lumbering and cripplingly expensive array of government departments, government advisers, consultants, quangos, quasi-quangos and agencies with all their expensive appendages, but devolving down to people and their communities, their right to make their own decisions about their lives, how for example they procure healthcare and how they educate their children.” Goldie would go on to sit on the advisory board for the Smith Commission, which was set up to examine which further political powers should be devolved to Scotland following the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. More recently, Goldie supported a reduction in the voting age for Scottish Parliament elections from 18 to 16 in a vote earlier this month, commenting: “I think it is an opportunity for them to continue their high level of engagement in topical affairs that we saw with the independence referendum.”

Goldie, a member of the Salvation Army‘s West of Scotland Advisory Board and a Church of Scotland elder, is not the only Scottish Conservative MSP intending to stand down in 2016. Mary Scanlon, Gavin Brown, Alex Fergusson and Nanette Milne all reportedly intend to leave the Scottish Parliament next year.



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May 9, 2015

Conservatives win majority in 2015 UK general election

Conservatives win majority in 2015 UK general election

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

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David Cameron is to continue being Prime Minister of the UK after his Conservative Party won a majority of seats in a general election on Thursday. Although the party led a Coalition government it formed alongside the Liberal Democrats after the previous general election in 2010, this is the first time the party has won an overall majority since 1992.

Cquote1.svg Our manifesto is a manifesto for working people and as a majority government, we will be able to deliver all of it. Indeed, it is the reason why I think majority government is more accountable Cquote2.svg

David Cameron

Across the UK, Conservatives won 331 seats out of the 650 available, an increase of 24 on their 2010 total. The Labour Party, which won 258 seats in 2010, now has 232. The Liberal Democrats experienced the heaviest number of seat losses, dropping from 57 to eight. Amongst the Liberal Democrat figures to lose seats were David Laws, Charles Kennedy, Simon Hughes, Jo Swinson, Lynne Featherstone and Jenny Willott. Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg said while “fear and grievance have won, liberalism has lost”.

Although UKIP and the Greens each only won one seat, their national vote share increased by 9.5% to 12.6% and by 2.8% to 3.8%, respectively; this compares to 7.9% for the Liberal Democrats, 30.4% for Labour and 36.9% for Conservatives. Statistics reported by the BBC suggest the voting turnout was 66.1%, based on an electorate of approximately 46.4 million.

The bulk of Conservative seat increases occurred in England, where their seat total increased by 21 to 319 out of a possible 533. Labour’s seat count here increased by 15 to 206, while the Liberal Democrats dropped from 43 seats to six. The final results defied opinion polls, which had broadly suggested Labour and Conservatives were tied for the lead. An independent inquiry is set to be conducted into opinion polling accuracy in the UK, given they had appeared to underestimate the Conservatives’ success and/or overestimate Labour’s results.

“I truly believe we are on the brink of something special in our country”, David Cameron said in a speech yesterday. “We can make Britain a place where a good life is in reach for everyone who is willing to work and do the right thing. Our manifesto is a manifesto for working people and as a majority government, we will be able to deliver all of it. Indeed, it is the reason why I think majority government is more accountable.” In highlighting what a Conservative government would set out to achieve, he said it would include “Three million apprenticeships, more help with childcare, helping 30 million people cope with the cost of living by cutting their taxes, building homes that people are able to buy and own, creating millions more jobs that give people the chance of a better future and yes, we will deliver that in-out referendum on our future in Europe.” He went on to talk about new powers the UK Government had and would devolve to regional administrations in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. For the latter, he said, “our plans are to create the strongest devolved government anywhere in the world with important powers over taxation.”

In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) made the largest gains of any party in the UK, increasing from six seats to 56 seats out of a possible 59, the highest number they have ever had, based on a Scotland vote share of approximately 50%. The number of constituencies held by Labour and Liberal Democrats there decreased from 41 and 11, respectively, to one for each of them, with the Conservatives staying at one seat. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who said this result had surpassed her expectations, said “the tectonic plates of Scottish politics [have] shifted”. Sturgeon also stated that the SNP would “work with others across the UK, to try to get more progressive politics at the heart of Westminster”. One seat, Glasgow North East, experienced a record swing of 39% from Labour to the SNP. On top of that, 20-year-old student and SNP candidate Mhairi Black became the youngest MP to be elected in the UK since 1667.

In Wales, Conservatives went up from eight to eleven of a possible 40 seats. Labour achieved 25, down one from 2010; the Liberal Democrats went down two to one seat and Plaid Cymru remained at three seats. In Northern Ireland, most of the 18 constituencies did not change hands. However, Sinn Féin went down one to four seats, while the Alliance Party lost their one seat. The Ulster Unionist Party, who did not win any seats in the last general election, won two seats this time.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was one of the high profile losses for Labour, having lost his seat to the Conservatives by a narrow 422-vote margin. Numerous Liberal Democrats who were previously government ministers, including Ed Davey, Vince Cable and Danny Alexander, all lost their seats. In the wake of the results, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage all announced they would resign from their roles as the leaders of Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP, respectively. Farage had said he would stand down as leader if he did not win the seat of Thanet South, which he did not, but said yesterday he was considering whether or not to stand in a leadership election for the party later this year. Clegg described the situation for his party as “a very dark hour for our party”. He blamed the large loss of Liberal Democrat MPs on “forces beyond their control”, describing the situation as “simply heartbreaking”. Meanwhile, Miliband said “I have done my best for nearly five years” and that “Britain needs a Labour Party that can rebuild after this defeat”. Harriet Harman — the current deputy leader — is to serve as interim leader until a new Labour leader is selected. Harman also intends to resign the deputy leadership.

Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, said he is considering running for Labour deputy leader. “I’ve always thought that the deputy leader role is the campaigning role”, he said. “We’ve got a mayoral election in Tower Hamlets to fight in six weeks’ time. Who knows, we might even have a by-election for London mayor. So this party has got to keep campaigning whilst we try and understand what’s gone on in the general election.”

Meanwhile, Cameron has begun to appoint members of his new cabinet, announcing George Osborne, Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Michael Fallon are to retain their posts as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary, respectively.

David Cameron, Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister. Image: Land of Hope and Glory.

David Cameron, Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.
Image: Land of Hope and Glory.

Ed Miliband, outgoing Labour Party leader. Image: Department of Energy.

Ed Miliband, outgoing Labour Party leader.
Image: Department of Energy.

Nick Clegg, outgoing Liberal Democrats leader. Image: World Economic Forum.

Nick Clegg, outgoing Liberal Democrats leader.
Image: World Economic Forum.

Nigel Farage, outgoing UKIP leader. Image: Nigel Farage.

Nigel Farage, outgoing UKIP leader.
Image: Nigel Farage.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party leader and Scottish First Minister. Image: Scottish Government.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party leader and Scottish First Minister.
Image: Scottish Government.



Related articles

  • “Labour grabs poll lead in UK General Election campaign” — Wikinews, April 10, 2015
  • “UK elections: Hung parliament, Cameron to negotiate with Liberal Democrats” — Wikinews, May 7, 2010
  • 2010 UK general election results” — Wikinews, May 6, 2010

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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg United Kingdom general election, 2015
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg United Kingdom general election, 2010

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April 10, 2015

Labour grabs poll lead in UK General Election campaign

Labour grabs poll lead in UK General Election campaign

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Friday, April 10, 2015

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Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Image: Department of Energy.

The approval ratings of UK Labour leader Ed Miliband rose above those of his Conservative opponent, David Cameron, for the first time in this year’s bitterly fought general election campaign. The poll results showed support for the Labour Party was also rising.

A poll by Panelbase yesterday showed Labour six points ahead; a similar survey by Survation for the Daily Mirror showed Labour four points ahead of the Conservatives. This latter poll was mixed for the Labour leader as it showed only 25% of voters were convinced Miliband was suited to the job of Prime Minister while 37% preferred David Cameron, but it also shows that people preferred Miliband’s recent conduct as party leader to Cameron’s. A poll by TNS found a three point lead for Labour.

ComRes polling indicated the eventual outcome of the election is too close to call, projecting the Conservatives with 34% of the vote and Labour 33%.

Following the poll results, the Conservative Party fired a volley of negative remarks towards Labour. Defense secretary Michael Fallon said Ed Miliband would end up signing up for “a grubby backstairs deal” with the Scottish National Party (SNP) which would lead to the cancellation or non-renewal of the Trident nuclear submarine programme. The Labour Party have stated they support the continuation of Trident and will not negotiate on Trident with the SNP.

Fallon’s comments on Trident were backed up by David Cameron.

The Labour Party counter-claimed a deal between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had put the cost of Trident renewal up by £1.4bn.

Miliband responded to Fallon’s comments: “Michael Fallon is a decent man, but today I think he has demeaned himself and he has demeaned his office. National security is too important to play politics with and I will never compromise national security.”

Former Labour leader Tony Blair said Fallon’s remarks hinted at desperation: “The Tories were up to their old tricks in their personal attack on Ed this morning. I remember the ‘demon eyes’ poster of 1997. It is always a sign of desperation and it will backfire. It shows how nervous they are of a Labour campaign full of confidence, which is showing that it understands the challenges facing working people and how to overcome them. The more they indulge in these tactics the better we should feel.”

Liberal Democrat Vince Cable expressed his displeasure at Fallon’s remarks, saying it was “an appalling way to conduct the argument”.

The two main parties have also proposed a number of new ideas for policy. Labour’s Yvette Cooper is to formally announce a new policy today to protect 10,000 police officers’ jobs by eliminating elected Police and Crime Commissioners and gun licensing subsidy, and sharing of police back-office services and procurement. The Labour crime and justice manifesto also includes creating a new commission on sexual and domestic violence, banning “legal highs“, and reforming prisons to introduce more education and work for prisoners.

Conservative Cameron pre-announced a proposal to change the rules so workers in the public sector and for companies with 250 employees or more — which between the two is estimated to be around half the work force — would be entitled to three days of paid volunteering leave per year. In prepared remarks, Cameron is to call the move represents the “clearest demonstration of the Big Society in action”. This marks a return of the language of the ‘Big Society’ which had slowly disappeared from use since the last election.



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August 7, 2014

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announces intention to stand for Parliament again

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announces intention to stand for Parliament again

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

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Boris Johnson in 2009.
Image: Think London.

Boris Johnson, the Conservative politician currently serving as Mayor of London, announced yesterday he intends to stand for Parliament in the 2015 General Election.

Johnson stated he intends to also serve out his term as London mayor which ends in 2016. He did not announce which constituency he plans to seek election in, saying it was up to local Conservative parties to make that decision. Johnson was formerly MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008 before he resigned in order to seek election as London’s mayor.

He also rejected the suggestion he was trying to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, telling the BBC: “I think it’s highly unlikely that that will happen because there’s no vacancy. I think David Cameron has been a brilliant prime minister.”

He later added in another BBC interview: “When David Cameron finally steps down, in 2030 or whenever, it may be that there’s a vacancy, but it will probably be filled by a person who’s a teenager now.”

If elected, Johnson would be breaking a promise he made in 2012 in an interview with London’s Evening Standard newspaper: “I made a solemn vow to Londoners to lead them out of recession, bring down crime and deliver the growth, investment and jobs that this city so desperately needs. Keeping that promise cannot be combined with any other political capacity”.

Prime Minister David Cameron previously said Johnson was a “great striker you want on the pitch”. Yesterday, David Cameron’s Twitter account followed up on this: “Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year’s general election — I’ve always said I want my star players on the pitch”.

Sadiq Khan, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, responded to the news by saying “Boris Johnson’s announcement reveals how weak David Cameron is and how out of touch the Tories remain. […] Today has also shown Londoners that, when they need a mayor prepared to address the big challenges facing their city, Boris Johnson’s priority is succeeding David Cameron rather than serving their interests.”

Conservative MP and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell welcomed Johnson’s announcement: “I think he’s a remarkable politician. He reaches parts of the voting public that other people don’t reach. He’s a part of the Conservative DNA.”



Sources

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