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May 11, 2015

UK Independence Party reject leader\’s resignation

UK Independence Party reject leader’s resignation

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Monday, May 11, 2015

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Nigel Farage today reversed his decision to stand down as leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) after its National Executive Committee (NEC) rejected his resignation. Farage had previously said he would stand down as leader because he did not win the South Thanet seat in last week’s UK general election.

“This offer was unanimously rejected by the NEC members who produced overwhelmingly evidence that the UKIP membership did not want Nigel to go”, UKIP chairman Steve Crowther said in a statement. “The NEC also concluded that UKIP’s general election campaign had been a great success. We have fought a positive campaign with a very good manifesto and despite relentless, negative attacks and an astonishing last minute swing to the Conservatives over fear of the SNP [Scottish National Party], that in these circumstances, 4 million votes was an extraordinary achievement. On that basis Mr Farage withdrew his resignation and will remain leader of UKIP. In addition the NEC recognised that the [in-out EU membership] referendum campaign has already begun this week and we need our best team to fight that campaign led by Nigel.”

Cquote1.svg I realise now that the party comes before me, and indeed, that this country comes before both Cquote2.svg

Nigel Farage, UKIP leader

In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Farage said he had been reluctant to continue being party leader but, in the face of evidence presented to him by the NEC, “I breathed deep, and thought for as long as I possibly had, given the meeting was ongoing, and still is, at my time of writing this. I decided that as much as I had earned my holidays. As much as I wanted to spend the summer fishing, walking, and of course, in the European Parliament where all hell is currently breaking loose — that I owed it to the party that got me here. There are some huge battles about to take place, and as much as I had thought that taking at least the summer off was in my best interests, I realise now that the party comes before me, and indeed, that this country comes before both.”

Highlighting some issues UKIP supports, including UK withdrawal from the European Union and electoral reform, Farage said: “I feel the need to stay involved for just a little bit longer, to add my voice to those who want Britain to be a country that trades and deals with the world, rather than ties itself to a post-WWII mind set about Europe and the political union.” In concluding remarks, he wrote: “Have I done the right thing by my party and my country? I think so. And I’m sure many people will have their opinions on the matter. All I can say is that I’m ready for the challenges ahead. The fight starts here.”

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Nigel Farage, 2014.
Image: Diliff.

Farage, who has lead the party since 2010, announced his resignation on Friday, with the recommendation that Suzanne Evans serve as interim leader. “I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders”, he commented at the time. After intending to “take the summer off, enjoy meself a little bit, not do very much politics at all”, Farage said, a UKIP leadership election would happen in September; he would decide whether or not to stand again as leader at a later date. On the same day, Ed Miliband had announced he would stand down as Labour leader, while Nick Clegg said he would resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

UKIP achieved a 12.6% share of the vote at the general election, an increase of 9.5% on their 2010 performance, placing them third behind Labour and Conservatives in terms of popular vote. However, the party gained only one seat out of 650, taken by Douglas Carswell. Farage has claimed these results illustrate how first-past-the-post, the electoral system used in UK general elections, is “bankrupt because one party can get 50% of the vote in Scotland and nearly 100% of the seats, and our party can get 4 million votes and just one seat. […] For those reasons there are a lot of angry UKIP people out there. They’re not giving up on UKIP, but absolutely determined that we get a fairer, more reflective system.”

Farage was once a Conservative Party member but left the party, objecting to the UK’s decision to sign the Maastricht Treaty creating the European Union, and became a founding member of UKIP in 1993. He was elected as an MEP for South East England in 1999 and began his first stint as party leader in 2006. He stood down in 2009 in an attempt to challenge House of Commons Speaker John Bercow in the 2010 general election; after this challenge proved unsuccessful, he was re-elected as party leader.

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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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June 6, 2014

Conservatives win Newark by-election

Conservatives win Newark by-election – Wikinews, the free news source

Conservatives win Newark by-election

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Robert Jenrick, the new Conservative MP for Newark.
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The Conservative Party has won the Newark, England by-election but with a reduced majority. Voters gave 45.03% of the vote to Robert Jenrick, while the UK Independence Party candidate Roger Helmer came second with 25.91% of the vote. The turnout was 38,707, 52.67% of the electorate of 73,486.

The by-election was called following the resignation of Patrick Mercer after it was revealed he was paid to lobby and ask questions in Parliament on behalf of the country of Fiji in an investigation by the BBC Panorama programme.

Jenrick is a 32-year-old who works as managing director of Christie’s auction house. After the election result was announced, he said: “I want to thank the prime minister for his personal support to my campaign and I want to thank the government for its commitment to re-building Britain. I hope now that I can repay the faith and trust that the people of Newark have put in me as your new member of parliament — and in the months and years to come I can build a reputation as a strong and effective MP.”

UKIP’s candidate, Roger Helmer, attracted controversy during the election campaign due to past public statements about the acceptability of homosexuality. In remarks to The Sun newspaper, he compared considering homosexuality “distasteful if not viscerally repugnant” to tea preferences. He explained: “Different people may have different tastes. You may tell me that you don’t like Earl Grey tea. That may be a minority view but you are entitled not to like it if you don’t like it.” Helmer later stated the manner in which his comments were reported showed “the mainstream media are engaged in a feeding frenzy against UKIP, and are prepared to twist the facts to suit their agenda”.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the party had run a “stunning campaign”: “We’ve been up against probably the biggest ever Conservative machine, defending about their 40th safest seat in the country. If the indications are right, we’ll be celebrating a massive advance for our party.”

The Liberal Democrat candidate, David Watts, said coming in sixth place “wasn’t a good result, but smaller parties often get squeezed in by-elections and that’s what’s happened to us here”. He said the independent campaign by Paul Baggaley had got a lot of support, and “a lot of our voters had transferred to vote against UKIP to make sure UKIP didn’t get elected”.

Grant Shapps from the Conservative Party said the surge of support for UKIP after the European elections was now “going backwards”, while Nigel Farage said Conservative MPs in more marginal seats would be filled with “sheer horror” at UKIP’s success.

Newark by-election results
Position Candidate Party Votes Percentage
1 Robert Jenrick Conservative Party 17,431 45.03%
2 Roger Helmer UK Independence Party 10,028 25.91%
3 Michael Payne Labour Party 6,842 17.68%
4 Paul Baggaley Independent 1,891 4.89%
5 David Kirwan Green Party 1,057 2.73%
6 David Watts Liberal Democrats 1,004 2.59%
7 Nick The Flying Brick Loony 168 0.43%
8 Andy Hayes Independent 117 0.30%
9 David Bishop Bus Pass Elvis Party 87 0.22%
10 Dick Rodgers Stop Banks 64 0.17%
11 Lee Woods Patriotic Socialist Party 18 0.05%



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May 22, 2013

Same-sex marriage passes third reading in House of Commons

Same-sex marriage passes third reading in House of Commons

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maria Miller: “Let us make equal marriage possible because it’s the right thing to do, and then let us move on.”
Image: Department for Work and Pensions.

The UK House of Commons voted yesterday to approve the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at third reading, with 366 MPs supporting and 161 MPs opposing. The Bill proceeds today to the House of Lords. The legislation continues to draw strong criticism from right wing Conservative MPs and has caused political trouble for Prime Minister David Cameron.

Opponents of the Bill led by Tim Loughton MP submitted an amendment to allow opposite sex couples to enter into civil partnerships, which were introduced in 2004 as an alternative to marriage for same sex couples. The government warned that Loughton’s amendment was an attempt to wreck the passage of the Bill. Sir George Young, the Conservative chief whip, asked Labour whips to oppose the amendment despite the Labour Party previously supporting the amendment.

A Labour Party source quoted in The Guardian said they “had an eleventh hour appeal from the government that they did not have the numbers to defeat the Tim Loughton amendment” and that Labour leader Ed Miliband considered it an “overriding priority […] to ensure that the bill gets on to the statute book. Ed and Yvette Cooper will therefore be voting against the Tim Loughton amendment. We expect a large number of MPs to join Ed and Yvette. Since there was a genuine threat to the bill Ed decided the best thing to do was to act in this way.”

A rival amendment put forward by the Labour Party would bring in a review of whether civil partnerships ought to be extended to opposite sex couples but would not delay the implementation of marriage for same sex couples. This amendment was approved 391 to 57 by the Commons.

Opponents of the Bill including David Burrowes and Peter Bone are hoping the House of Lords will reject the law: Burrowes stated Lords would have the right to reject the bill as “there was no clear manifesto commitment, no coalition agreement, no green paper — just a sham consultation”. The Conservative Party’s 2010 “contract for equalities” reads, “We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage.”

Norman Tebbit in 2008.
Image: James Robertson.

In an interview with The Big Issue, former cabinet minister and Conservative peer Norman Tebbit expressed concern about the possibility that a law legalising gay marriage would cause confusion regarding royal succession: “When we have a queen who is a lesbian and she marries another lady and then decides she would like to have a child and someone donates sperm and she gives birth to a child, is that child heir to the throne?”

Tebbit also argued the new law “would lift my worries about inheritance tax because maybe I’d be allowed to marry my son. Why not? Why shouldn’t a mother marry her daughter? Why shouldn’t two elderly sisters living together marry each other?”

During the debate, Gerald Howarth referred to Conservative MP Margot James as representative of an “aggressive homosexual community”: “I warn you, and MPs on all sides of the house, that I fear that the playing field has not been levelled. I believe that the pendulum is now swinging so far the other way and there are plenty in the aggressive homosexual community who see this as but a stepping stone to something even further”. Howarth’s comments sparked a trending topic on the social networking site Twitter.

David Cameron has been on the political defensive since rumours circulated that Conservative Party co-chairman Lord Feldman referred to Conservative activists as “mad, swivel-eyed loons”. Conservative Grassroots chairman Miles Windsor remarked, “This week has begun a civil war in conservatism, it may rumble on for years — but as things stand, Nigel Farage is winning it at a stride.”

Maria Miller, the government minister responsible for equality, tweeted after the vote on the third reading: “Just won Third Reading vote of Equal Marriage Bill – After all the hard work, its moment to be proud of. It’s the Right Thing”. Labour MP Diane Abbott said: “I did not think I would live to see the day this reached third reading.”

On BBC Radio 4, David Cameron welcomed the passage of the bill: “I think we should think about it like this — that there will be young boys in schools today who are gay, who are worried about being bullied, who are worried about what society thinks of them, who can see that the highest Parliament in the land has said that their love is worth the same as anybody else’s love and that we believe in equality. I think they will stand that bit taller today and I’m proud of the fact that that has happened.”



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March 3, 2013

Liberal Democrats hold onto Eastleigh in by-election as UKIP vote soars

Liberal Democrats hold onto Eastleigh in by-election as UKIP vote soars

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

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A photo of David Cameron with Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne.
Image: Office of Nick Clegg.

The Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Thornton won the Eastleigh, United Kingdom parliamentary by-election on Thursday with a slim majority of 1,771 votes, with the Conservative Party finishing in third place after a voting surge for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) who finished in second.

Thornton, who lives in Bishopstoke and has been a local councillor since 2007, said in his victory speech, “The people of Eastleigh recognise that the Liberal Democrats have always had a superb record of delivery, we’ve always listened to what people want, and we always make sure that we do a good job.” Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg celebrated with Mike Thornton and party supporters; in a statement he said: “We held our nerve, we stood our ground. We overcame the odds and won a stunning victory”.

At the last general election in 2010, Liberal Democrats won with 46.5% of the vote, holding a 3,864-vote majority over the Conservative Party, who gained 39.3%, and the constituency has been in the Liberal Democrats’ control since another by-election in 1994. The party’s share of the vote dropped by 14.4 percentage points as UKIP posted their best-ever election results.

A map of the Eastleigh constituency.
Image: Wereon.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said that after their success in the by-election they will “take the tremor that [they] have created at Eastleigh and turn it into a national political earthquake” in the European Parliament election in 2014. Farage said of Prime Minister David Cameron, “He’s talking about gay marriage, wind turbines, unlimited immigration from India. He wants Turkey to join the European Union. The Conservatives’ problems are not because of UKIP, it’s because of their leader”.

Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, said “We’ll be fighting the next election providing a clear choice between David Cameron as PM or Labour Party leader] Ed Miliband.” David Cameron played down suggestions that UKIP pose a big threat to the Conservative Party at the 2015 General Election. He said, “It is a disappointing result for the Conservative Party, but it is clear that, in mid-term by-elections, people want to register a protest”.

The Labour candidate John O’Farrell ended up fourth with 9.82% of the vote. Ed Miliband responded by saying, “Clearly I would have preferred to get more votes but this was always going to be a tough fight for Labour”.

Chris Huhne, the former Secretary of State for Energy, triggered the election when he resigned as the MP after admitting perverting the course of justice by asking his wife to take speeding penalty points for him in 2003.



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May 6, 2010

British political candidate Nigel Farage injured in plane crash on polling day

British political candidate Nigel Farage injured in plane crash on polling day

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

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Farage is the former leader of UKIP

A political candidate for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been injured in a plane crash. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the party, was in a two-seater plane when it crashed at an airfield in Northamptonshire. The plane crashed just one hour after voting had opened on polling day.

Farage, 46, was taken to a Banbury hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The pilot of the plane is believed to have suffered more severe injuries and was transferred to a different hospital.

The plane had landed at the airfield in Hinton-in-the-Hedges and was beginning to take off again when the accident happened. The plane was being flown with a UKIP banner and was due to fly over Buckinghamshire, the constituency where Farage is standing.

A UKIP spokesman said about that incident that “We’ve had unconfirmed reports that either the banner got snagged up, or there were cross-winds and it was unfamiliar airfield to the pilot.” He added that after a discussion with an aviation expert that the banner could not be a factor in the accident.

Chris Adams, a fellow UKIP candidate for the constituency of Aylesbury, released a statement on the condition of Farage. He said “Nigel was unconscious but he can talk. He’s been coming in and out of consciousness and is now being X-rayed.”

The fire and ambulance services have remained at the scene of the crash and an investigation has been opened.



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June 8, 2009

Europeans go to the polls to elect Members of the European Parliament

Europeans go to the polls to elect Members of the European Parliament

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Monday, June 8, 2009

European Parliament logo

Over the course of the last four days, people across the European Union went to the polls to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) as part of the European Parliament election, 2009. Voting began on Thursday in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and parts of Ireland. It continued on Friday across the rest of Ireland and parts of the Czech Republic. On Saturday the countries of Cyprus, France (for part of Outre-mer), Italy (day 1), Latvia, Malta, Slovakia and the Czech Republic all voted. On Sunday, the final day of polling, the remaing countries of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy (day 2), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden voted. Votes were released last night and will continue to be released over the course of today with the exception of Netherlands, which has broken rules and partialy released them on Friday.

The current President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering

The European Parliament is divided into constituencies, which have a group of representatives (the MEPs). Each constituency elects them proportionaly. The amount of MEPs representing a political party depends on the percentage of votes they gain. For example, if 50% of the electorate of a constituency vote for the x party then 50% of the MEPs in that constituency will be from the x party. In total there are 736 MEPs up for election by approximately 500,000,000 Europeans across 27 member states making it the largest transnational election in history.

The elections didn’t quite go to plan across the Netherlands, as the European Commission have asked that Dutch officials give an explanation to results they released. As countries across Europe vote on different days, the results of the election can only be released on the last day (Sunday), so that the results in other countries will not influence the decission made by people in countries that are still voting. Despite this, the Netherlands released some of their results on Friday: 92% of the votes have currently been counted. Further controversy arose from the results themselves. Results so far show that far-right Dutch Member of Parliament, Geert Wilders’s party the Party for Freedom (PVV), appears to have come second behind the Christian Democratic Appeal. Wilders is facing prosecution in the Netherlands for an anti Islamic statement and was refused entry to the United Kingdom on grounds of the intent to incite hatred.

It had initially been foreseen that the Treaty of Lisbon would have entered into force by the time of these elections, making them the first to be held under its provisions. However, primarily because of the failure of the referendum in Ireland, the framework established by the Treaty of Nice will be used again. Amongst other differences, the number of MEPs to be returned depends upon which rules are in effect: while 736 MEPs will be elected under the Nice rules, this number would have increased to 751 if the Lisbon Treaty were in force. A further change that Lisbon would have brought was an increase to the powers of Parliament, including powers over the appointment of the President of the European Commission.

In the previous election, German Hans-Gert Pöttering of the centre-right EPP-ED won with 34% and Martin Schulz of the Socialists came second with 26%. Despite this, during the last term the two leaders shared, each serving approximately two years in office.

European Parliament election, 2004 – Final results at 20 July 2004
Group Description Chaired by MEPs
  EPP-ED Conservatives and Christian Democrats Hans-Gert Pöttering 268 PE2004e.png
  PES Social Democrats Martin Schulz 200
  ALDE Liberals and Liberal Democrats Graham Watson 88
  G–EFA Greens and Regionalists Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Monica Frassoni
42
  EUL–
NGL
Communists and the Far Left Francis Wurtz 41
  ID Eurosceptics Jens-Peter Bonde
Nigel Farage
37
  UEN National Conservatives Brian Crowley
Cristiana Muscardini
27
  NI Independents none 29 Total: 732 Sources: [1][2][3][4][5]

Europeans have also been voting in local elections of County Councils in the United Kingdom and Ireland.



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European Parliament election, 2009

“United Kingdom elects first British National Party members of European Parliament” — Wikinews, June 8, 2009

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May 21, 2008

Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters

Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The late Gwyneth Dunwoody (above) had held the seat of Crewe and Nantwich since 1983 with a majority of 7,078 at the 2005 General Election.

UK political parties are making their final bids for votes in the Crewe and Nantwich constituency, where a by-election, due to the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody MP, is to be held tomorrow.

A YouGov poll has suggested that the main opposition party, the Conservatives, are ahead at 45%, the incumbent Labour Party 18.8% behind on 26.2%. Polls from the newspaper The Independent and Populus and ICM have also put the Conservatives ahead. However the bookmakers Ladbrokes have deemed the Conservatives “unbackable”, with odds of just 16/1.

Crewe and Nantwich by-election
Party Candidate
Monster Raving Loony The Flying Brick
Labour Tamsin Dumwoody
Independent Gemma Garrett
UK Independence Mike Nattrass
English Democrats David Roberts
Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Shenton
Green Robert Smith
Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol Paul Thorogood
Conservative Edward Timpson
Independent Mark Walklate

The Labour campaign in Crewe and Nantwich has branded the Conservative candidate Edward Timpson, a barrister from the wealthy Timpson family, a “toff”, calling their candidate, the late MP’s daughter Tamsin Dunwoody, “one of us”. Conservative leader David Cameron called the Labour campaign “class warfare” which is “backward looking”, “out of date” and “divisive”. The Labour Party has received endorsements from soap opera Coronation Street‘s Elizabeth Dawn (who plays the character Vera Duckworth) and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) party have sent party leader Nick Clegg, party president Simon Hughes and deputy leader and the party’s shadow chancellor Vince Cable up to Crewe and Nantwich to campaign alongside their candidate Elizabeth Shenton. Mr. Cable told BBC’s Newsnight that “what’s very clear is there is a lot of support draining away from the Labour Party – an enormous amount.” Nick Clegg claims that the by-election is a two-horse race between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

The UK Independence Party’s candidate Mike Nattrass has been touring Crewe and Nantwich in a converted London Routemaster campaign bus and handing out leaflets. He said “UKIP has never stood in Crewe and Nantwich before because Gwyneth Dunwoody was Eurosceptic and we agreed with her.” Party leader Nigel Farage has also attended a meeting in the constituency.

Polling stations will open from 07:00 BST (06:00 UTC) until 22:00 BST (21:00 UTC) on Thursday. The result is expected by Friday afternoon.



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April 22, 2008

UK Independence Party gains first MP

UK Independence Party gains first MP – Wikinews, the free news source

UK Independence Party gains first MP

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cquote1.svg I have been increasingly disappointed with the Tory party’s failure to be honest with the public on a wide range of issues like pensions, crime, immigration and defence, which is why I voted against the Tory whip so often in recent years and finally resigned the whip last month. Cquote2.svg

—Dr. Bob Spink, MP

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has gained its first representation in the House of Commons today.

Dr. Bob Spink, MP for Castle Point, Essex has recently defected from the Conservative Party over an alleged attempt by local Conservatives to deselect him. He claims to have been “disenchanted” with the party for years and denounced Conservatative policies, saying “I have been increasingly disappointed with the Tory party’s failure to be honest with the public on a wide range of issues like pensions, crime, immigration and defence, which is why I voted against the Tory whip so often in recent years and finally resigned the whip last month.”

He said he was “delighted to join the UKIP team, helping to fight for Britain’s interests in Europe and for better policy on the issues that really matter to people”, adding that “UKIP provides an alternative that’s not the BNP and a party that listens to the people.”

He was welcomed with open arms by UKIP, party leader Nigel Farage saying he is “delighted to welcome the hard-working and deeply principled Bob Spink as UKIP’s first member of Parliament,” calling Spink “articulate, quite controversial and a bit of a character”. One of UKIP’s two peers, Lord Willoughby de Broke, added “I am thrilled that UKIP now has a representative in the House of Commons. I look forward to working with him to further UKIP’s programme of leaving the European Union.”

Dr. Spink has rejected ideas of holding a local by-election, saying on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “I was elected as Bob Spink. I work hard for my constituents and I will continue to do so. I am following to the letter every word that I promised them in my manifesto and I only wish the parties were doing the same, including the Tory Party.” UKIP say they are confident he will retain his seat at the next general election.



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October 31, 2006

Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

Reactions to review of economic implications of climate change

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reactions to the review of the economic implications of climate change include optimism about the commercial opportunities and apprehension about possible fiscal repercussions.

The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, points to the need for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions if a world-wide economic catastrophe is to be avoided. The institution of global carbon trading, control of deforestation, increased investment in energy R & D and support to poorer countries in adapting to climate change are all key proposals in the Review.

A leaked letter from David Miliband, Environment Secretary, to Chancellor Brown contains a package of tax proposals to promote the use of public transport and to encourage people to buy smaller cars and fly less. The proposals also include charges on petrol-guzzling cars, road pricing, levies on air travel and increased charges for landfill waste disposal.

The findings of the Review and the promise of a Government Climate Bill, containing measures in response to the Review, received a mixed reception from employers and unions.

Miles Templeman, Director-General of the Institute of Directors, said: “Without countries like the US, China or India making decisive commitments, UK competitiveness will undoubtedly suffer if we act alone. This would be bad for business, bad for the economy and ultimately bad for our climate.”

The Confederation of British Industries, the British Chambers of Commerce and asset managers F&C all pointed out the dangers to business of additional taxation.

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, was optimistic about the opportunities for industry to meet demands created by investment in technology to combat climate change. The Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, formed by 14 of UK’s leading companies shared this hope. Chairman of Shell UK, James Smith, expressed the hope of the group that business and Government would discuss how Britain could obtain “first mover advantage” in what he described as “massive new global markets.”

The markets for low-carbon energy products are expected to be worth £300 billion by 2050.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, questions the assertions that there is scientific consensus on global warming. At best, he said, there is uncertainty. Politicians world-wide are jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon, but, if they want popular support, they’d better be sure that this is not simply the ‘new witchcraft’.

Ruth Lea, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, also questions the notion that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ over global warming. She alleges that “authorities on climate science say that the climate system is far too complex for modest reductions in one of the thousands of factors involved in climate change (i.e. carbon emissions) to have a predictable effect in magnitude, or even direction.” About economic models, upon which Stern relied for his projections, her experience was that forecasting just two or three years ahead was usually wrong. She described the problem of drawing conclusions from combining scientific and economic models as ‘monumentally complex’. She doubted whether international cooperation was really possible. She concluded that she thought that this Review was designed to cloak the motives of a government that wanted some moral justification for increasing taxation on fuels.

An unconfirmed report on BBC 24 early Tuesday morning, October 31, stated that the White House had not yet seen a copy of the Stern Review.

In response to the Stern Report Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard promised a AU$60 million to fight climate change. The projects are part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. “The Asia-Pacific Partnership includes countries that represent about half of the world’s emissions, energy use, GDP (gross domestic product) and population, and is an important initiative that engages, for the first time, the key greenhouse-gas emitting countries in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Howard said in a statement.

A statement by Australian Greens senators Rachel Siewert and Christine Milne criticised the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics saying “ABARE indicated that the type of research undertaken for the Stern Report is beyond them. They can put a price on what ratifying the Kyoto protocol would cost but have no idea or capacity to put a price on the cost of not acting. They are tinkering around the edges of the problem and don’t seem to know whether climate change is real or whether there is any urgency.”

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