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May 20, 2016

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.



Related news[]

  • “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 CBI on EU referendum

Lord Howard and Alistair Darling address CBI on EU referendum

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Friday, May 20, 2016

United Kingdom
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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.



Related news[]

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

Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 9, 2005

British Prime Minister Tony Blair suffers defeat in vote on terror laws

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,Europe,Michael Howard,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

British Prime Minister Tony Blair suffers defeat in vote on terror laws

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Wednesday, November 9, 2005 British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has suffered what some consider a humiliating political defeat after the House of Commons dismissed a controversial government proposal to permit the detention of terror suspects for up to 90 days without bringing charges. Under current UK anti-terrorism laws, suspects can be held for up to 14 days without any charges being made against them.

Members of Mr Blair’s Labour Party used the vote to rebel against the proposal, with a crucial 49 tipping the balance to reject it by 322 votes to 291. It was the first Commons defeat for Mr Blair in his 8 years as Prime Minister. Later, a second proposal to extend the detention time limit for terror suspects to 28 days was passed by 323 votes to 290.

The police called for new powers after the bomb attacks in London on July 7, 2005. They argued that because anti-terrorist investigations can take considerable time, the new powers would have been justified. Critics are sceptical of these claims. Opponents believe that by effectively giving the government the right to imprison for up to three months anyone who it alleged to have been involved in terrorism, without having to present any charges in court to justify the detention, the bill could have led to abuses of power.

Leaders of the opposition parties were delighted with the results. Conservative leader Michael Howard said the vote had “diminished” the Prime Minister’s authority and that he should tender his resignation. Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, called Mr Blair a “lame duck”.

Speaking after the result of the vote was announced, Mr Blair accused those who’d opposed the measure of being “out of touch”, talking of a “worrying gap between parts of Parliament and the reality of the terrorist threat and public opinion”.

Former Conservative ministers Peter Lilley and Stephen Dorrell criticised the government for using senior police officers to lobby MPs over the vote. They characterised this as the “politicisation of the police”.

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May 6, 2005

British Conservative leader Michael Howard to step down

British Conservative leader Michael Howard to step down

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Friday, May 6, 2005

Speaking in Putney, London, where the Conservative candidate won the seat from Labour, Michael Howard has announced that he will not fight in the next General Election.

The Conservative leader stated that he would be 67 or 68 by the time of the next election, an age he believed to be too old to lead a party into power. Therefore, he would be making way for a successor so he or she can be well-established before the next election.

Howard stated that he would first reform the selection process for a new party leader before resigning, to avoid long debates about the party’s leadership.

He added that the Conservative party could “hold its head high”, after gaining thirty seats in the General Election.

Many of the Tory party members and journalists gathered at Putney expressed their surprise at his decision.



Latest election news

Full election 2005 coverage.

Related news

  • “Results of 2005 United Kingdom General Election” — Wikinews, May 6, 2005
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April 29, 2005

UK Party leaders questioned on BBC \’Question Time\’

UK Party leaders questioned on BBC ‘Question Time’

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Friday, April 29, 2005

With the UK general election on May 5, three party leaders from the largest parties in the election answered questions live on the BBC at 19:30 UTC Thursday. Charles Kennedy (Liberal Democrats), Michael Howard (Conservative Party, currently Opposition) and Tony Blair (Labour Party, incumbent) were asked questions by an audience representative of the British public. The politicians were given no advance notice of the questions. David Dimbleby hosted the discussion, as he has other Question Time debates.

Topics that were raised included taxation and the new 50% top rate of tax proposed by the Lib Dems, immigration and controls proposed by the Conservatives, the largely negative campaigning launched by the Tories, and the legality of the Iraq war. Also, bullying and discipline in schools, further education and public health were issues raised.

Charles Kennedy’s period in the “hot chair” was notable for the largely benevolent questions posed to him, and considerable support evident from applause and cheering at the end of several points made. He attacked the British First Past the Post electoral system as “perverse” and said that he would support a proportional voting system if he got into power. When questioned as to whether, upon pressure from the US, he would go to war again in the Middle East without sufficient evidence, he replied strongly “No.” Further, he said he could not see the Liberal Democrats in another coalition with any other party that may come into power.

In contrast, the opposition leader entered accompanied with less enthusiasm, including several cries of “Howard is evil!” by several unidentifiable members of the audience. Michael Howard revealed during the debate that, if that he knew all of the things he knew now, he would have supported the invasion of Iraq with Tony Blair. However, he still upholds the illegality of the war and the way it began, and the apparent lies on the part of the Prime Minister to the people as primary reasons to vote for his party.

Tony Blair’s interview period was highlighted by the decision to go to war on Iraq, and the Attorney General’s advice in a recently leaked dossier. Difficult questions relevant to the amount of consultation he made with his Cabinet members and the Intelligence groups, and the amount of division within his cabinet with regards to the Iraq War were raised. The Prime Minister was visibly under pressure, and was openly surprised at several statements made by the public present. Upon hearing that local surgeries did not allow appointments to be booked until less than 48 hours before an available time in order to meet government targets, he was unprepared and appeared surprised.

Toward the end of the discussion, hecklers in the front row interrupted the rounding up of the program.

Considering the content of Question Time, it would seem that the problem of Iraq, and whether the British public can trust the current Prime Minister, may overshadow political debate concerning domestic issues.

Latest election news

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See also

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April 28, 2005

UK govt concealed Attorney General\’s doubts over Iraq invasion

UK govt concealed Attorney General’s doubts over Iraq invasion

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

The United Kingdom’s Blair government concealed doubts expressed by its Attorney General’s department on whether the 2003 invasion of Iraq was legal. Now, in the run-up to a May 5 general election and with no evidence of a serious threat from pre-invasion Iraq having come to light, a furor has erupted over the issue.

High-ranking governmental legal advisor, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, protested in her resignation letter just prior to the invasion, about sudden, unexplained changes the Attorney General had made in the tone of his legal advice to the government. In the space of a few weeks, Lord Goldsmith dropped suggestions that the government may have been legally culpable if it invaded without receiving specific support in the form of a new UN Resolution.

When the BBC News website finally obtained Wilmshurt’s resignation letter under Freedom of Information, her protest over the Attorney General’s unexplained turnaround was obscured.

The missing paragraph was later obtained by Channel 4 News:

“My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office before and after the adoption of UN security council resolution 1441 and with what the attorney general gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.)”

Conservative party leader Michael Howard, wants to know what made Lord Goldsmith change his advice to the government. He told Channel Four, “The Prime Minister [Tony Blair] has said that the attorney general’s advice given to the cabinet on the 17 of March was clear and the attorney general did not change that advice. Well, we now know the attorney general did change that advice and the question is what or who changed it.”

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, in a statement last month, read in both houses of parliament, defended initially censoring the letter on privacy grounds, and the later omission of the two revealing lines “because their content concerned the provision of legal advice in relation to the use of force against Iraq.”

Although Ms Wilmshurst describes the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s 13-page, March 7 letter as being a change to his previously expressed view against a war without specific UN support, even this letter expressed serious misgivings, according to both Channel 4 and the Guardian.

Further refinements brought his advice to a short 300 word ‘summary’ delivered to cabinet on March 17, giving a full go-ahead for invasion. The letter was not published, according to Philippe Sands in the Guardian, a breach of ministerial protocol. Both letters have since been obtained by both the Guardian and Channel 4.

According to Mr Straw in Parliament last month, “The Attorney-General made clear in his [March 17 advice] his genuinely and independently-held view that military action in Iraq was lawful on the basis of Saddam’s breach of the existing UN resolutions,”.

But in the earlier and longer version, the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith had written, “I remain of the opinion that the safest legal course would be to secure the adoption of a further resolution to authorise the use of force.”

In the absence of such a resolution, he added, if war was pursued, “we would need to be able to demonstrate hard evidence of non-compliance and non-cooperation.”

When the later, short version was put before cabinet, no-one asked what this hard evidence might be, that supposedly showed Iraq was in breach of UN Resolutions 1441, 678 and 687, despite the possibility that without such evidence, the UK might be on shaky legal ground and accused of launching a war of aggression.

“So concerned was the government about the possibility of such a [legal] case that it took steps to put together a legal team to prepare for possible international litigation,” he wrote, in a Guardian story in February, which examined the two letters of legal advice.

The final report by the post-invasion Iraq Survey Group — “the best picture that could be drawn concerning the events, programs, policies, and underlying dynamics of the relationship of the former Regime to WMD over the last three decades”, according to the team head, CIA Special Advisor Charles Duelfer — concludes that Iraq was not capable of any WMD-related threat at the time of the invasion, and that the sanctions were still limiting the ability to develop any capability.

Iran was the country Saddam was most afraid of, Iraq had no written strategy for WMD development, and the closest thing to actual WMDs mentioned seems to be preliminary designs for missile delivery systems that could have exceeded the UN-specified range limit of 150km for Iraqi missiles under the sanction regime.

See also

  • “Potential Goldsmith leak worries Labour, excites opposition” — Wikinews, April 26, 2005

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April 25, 2005

BBC admits sending hecklers into Conservative campaign meeting

BBC admits sending hecklers into Conservative campaign meeting

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Monday, April 25, 2005

The BBC is responding to accusations that producers of the BBC3 documentary The Heckler equipped hecklers with radio microphones and sent them into a campaign meeting where Conservative leader Michael Howard was speaking, breaching section 5.3(b)1 of the BBC charter agreement.

The documentary is about the lost art of heckling in electoral debate and is due to be aired on BBC3 on 26 April 2005. It includes interviews with prominent Conservative members Michael Hesiltine and Michael Portillo about the importance of heckling and political debate.

“For the public service broadcaster purposely to disrupt part of a democratic election effectively to create entertainment shows just how far the standards of the BBC have plummeted,” Conservative co-chairman Liam Fox told The Times.

“I do not believe that the BBC should be in the business of creating news,” Conservative Communications head Guy Black told The Times.

Mr. Black also claimed the BBC has been unable to point to any Labour meetings that had been disrupted in a similar fashion, although producers claim that members of the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties were also heckled.

At the time of the incident in question, the hecklers did not admit to their affiliation with the BBC, calling themselves “shoppers”. It is also claimed by Mr. Black they were later spotted attending another event with the same crew at Stockton-on-Tees.

According to Mr. Black’s letter of protest to the broadcaster, Sally Freestone, the UK Special Events assignments editor, was said to be “aghast” at the BBC’s behaviour.

Conservative officials have demanded that the BBC apologize and promise not to air the controversial footage.

However, Helen Boaden, director of news at the BBC, refused to apologise and responded to the accusations in a letter to Mr. Black, shown to The Guardian.

Ms. Boaden accused the Conservatives of blowing “the whole episode out of all proportion” and grandstanding, saying: “No news was created until [Mr. Black’s] letter was supplied to three national Sunday newspapers.”

She responded to claims that the documentary had broken BBC guidelines by contesting the events as presented by Mr. Black, answering accustations that they had also been in Stockton-on-Tees and accusations by the Sunday Telegraph that the hecklers had been hostile to the Conservatives as “simply untrue”.

The hecklers equipped by the BBC shouted “Michael Howard is a liar”, “You can’t trust the Tories” and “You can only trust Tony Blair”.

A BBC spokesman told reporters that they would be “investigating the complaint and very thoroughly and will be replying in due course.”

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April 13, 2005

Conservative Party launches manifesto

Conservative Party launches manifesto – Wikinews, the free news source

Conservative Party launches manifesto

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005 The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, Monday, launched its slimline manifesto for the May 5th general election, a twenty-seven page document entitled The British Dream.

The manifesto focuses on five key areas:

Lower tax and value for money: The party plans to make up to £12 billion of savings annually by reducing beurocracy such as quangos. £8 billion will reduce previous deficit, and £4 billion of tax cuts will be made, especially to what have been called “stealth taxes”. The party promised that funding for education, health, transport and international development would not be cut, and spending on police, defence and pensions would be increased.

Flexible childcare and school discipline: The manifesto promised an increase in maternity pay and more choice of childcare. Under a conservative government more independence over expulsions and admissions would be given to school heads and governors. Special schools for disruptive pupils would be created, and more vocational courses would be created for 14-16 year olds.

Better healthcare and cleaner hospitals: A major feature of the coservative campaign has been hospital sourced infections, and in respose the party have promised to introduce ward matrons charged with keeping hospitals clean, with the authority to close wards with MRSA infections. A Conservative government would contribute funding towards operations in private hospitals. Econimic migrants with HIV or TB would not be allowed to live or work in Britain.

Safer communities and more police: A Conservative government would increase police recruitment by 5,000 a year. The manifesto promised to increase prison terms and increase Britain’s prison capacity by 20,000 places. The party would reverse the Labour government’s decision to relax laws prohibiting Canabis use.

Secure borders and controlled immigration: The manifesto proposes a new border police at Britain’s busiest air and sea ports, with 24 hour surveilance. The party would set a quota on economic migrants and reject asylym-seekers who are not vetted by the UNHCR.

Party leader Michael Howard summed up the manifesto: “If you long for cleaner hospitals, more police, school discipline, controlled immigration, lower taxes and accountability – you can vote for it, on 5 May”, accusing prime-minister Tony Blair, who is campaigning for his third term, of letting the country down.

Response

The manifesto has been criticised by the Labour Chancellor, Gordon Brown, for being unrealistic in its extimates of savings, and in predictions of economic growth resulting from tax cuts, calculating that there would be approximately £18 billion annual deficits.

Labour’s election strategist, Alan Millburn, said that the manifesto shows that the Conservatives still stand for privilege and not opertunity, and described it as the shortest suicide note in political history.

The Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, claimed that claimed that £5.5 to 8 billion of cuts were unrealistic. Charles Kennedy said that voters had already decided the Conservative Party could not run public services.

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Tory candidate in election gaffe

Tory candidate in election gaffe – Wikinews, the free news source

Tory candidate in election gaffe

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

London, UK — Britain’s Secretary of State for Health, John Reid, is amongst those calling for the withdrawal of Conservative candidate for Dorset South, Ed Matts, after he doctored photos in campaign literature.

The photo in question originally showed Matts and the Conservative front-bencher Anne Widdecombe campaigning on behalf of an immigrant family living in Weymouth, in the Dorset South constituency, in March last year.

When the photo appeared in Matts’ campaign literature, the people in the background were removed from the photo and a slogan calling for the family to be allowed to stay was replaced by one calling for immigration control.

The seat, taken by Labour’s Jim Knight in the 2001 general election, is one of the most fiercely contested in the country, being Labour’s smallest majority.

Conservative leader Michael Howard condemned Matts’ behaviour but refused to sack him. Conservative shadow Chancellor Oliver Letwin, from neighbouring Dorset West, said that the message on the doctored photo was consistent with conservative policy.

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Blair launches third and final manifesto

Blair launches third and final manifesto

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tony Blair today launched the Labour Party’s 112 page manifesto for a third term, entitled “Britain: Forward not back”, at London’s Mermaid Theatre this afternoon, promising not to increase income tax or VAT.

Blair, with Chancellor Gordon Brown, described the manifesto, which focused on economic policy, as “radical”, “quintessentially New Labour” and giving people the “chance to succeed and make the most of what they have”.

As well as economic promises, the manifesto pledged better social housing, increased funding and reform of education and the National Health Service and the introduction of community police patrols. The manifesto does not promise a freeze on National Insurance, the income-linked tax which funds the NHS and pensions.

Conservative leader Michael Howard said that the British people had “heard it all before”, and reiterated claims that Labour would have to increase taxes significantly in the third term.

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, whose party was the only mainstream party consistently against the Iraq war, said Labour would “not be judged by their promises, but by what they have done”, adding that Labour have not kept their previous promises.

The Conservative Party and Green Party launched their manifestos yesterday, and the Liberal Democrats launch theirs tomorrow.

Election latest

Full election 2005 coverage.

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