Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Monday, 22 May 2017

Alex Salmond criticised for saying that the SNP will ignore the opinion of the Scottish people concerning another independence referendum

Alex Salmond criticised

Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has told the public that his successor Nicola Sturgeon will ignore the people of Scotland on their view about another independence referendum. Saying that it "did not matter" what opinion polls say concerning the party’s independence moves.

Such a shocking revelation indicates that the SNP will put into any consideration what the Scottish people want.

The former First Minister told John Pienaar on BBC Radio 5 Live that Mrs Sturgeon will "not listen to the voters, even if they don't want it."

In the meantime, the SNP has criticised for putting more efforts independence referendum during this election campaign and not on Scotland's failing health and education standards.

John Pienaar asked the veteran SNP figure if the referendum will go ahead regardless of the voters' wishes.

Pienaar said: "Support for independence is not far from when you had your referendum.

"Are you saying you will target a referendum in the spring of 2019 whatever happens come what may?"

Mr Salmond said: "Sturgeon sees Scotland having a choice when the decision on Brexit is set forward.

"Scotland needs to have a choice on whether to be a European nation, and that would need independence.

"We already have the mandate to call for a referendum, so this election does not matter in that regard."

Pienaar challenged the Scottish politician: "Are you saying you will launch Scotland into a referendum frenzy even if you are still behind in the polls on independence? Even if people don't want it?"

Mr Salmond defiantly said: "Yes, of course. When I call the referendum back in 2012, support for independence was back in the low 30s, so I don’t think that will be a reservation on Sturgeon’s part."

He added the election battle in Scotland was now a battle between his party and the Tories.

The politician criticised the Tory manifesto as a "whole range of poison pills" that will steal breakfast meals from English schoolchildren.

Jeremy Corbyn declines to give direct answer questions about net migration if voted into power

Corbyn answers question on immigration

With all the various attack made against the Tory led government on the issue of immigration, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has tactically avoided given any straight on whether if his party gets into power, he will be able to reduce net migration to the lowest power number or an increase.

Instead Corby stated that his party immigration drive would reflect "fair immigration based on the needs of our society".

Giving no critical response, Mr Corbyn stated that: "Freedom of movement obviously ends when you leave the European Union because it's a condition of the membership."

He also said Labour would make sure that EU nationals would be able to remain in Britain and "recognise the enormous contribution made by those who have come to this country in our NHS, education and transport industries".

The Labour Party leader also repeated his party's pledge to ensuring the pension triple lock, ending the freeze on working age benefits, free school meals, improving public housing and ending tuition fees.

Answering the on question on whether his party is set to win said: "It's going very well, large numbers of people are flocking to join the Labour Party and join in our campaigns."

While the Conservative Party is making effort to bring about a drastic changes to benefit system, which would likely make the elderly to pay for the care cost they get at home, the Labour Party on the other hand is seemingly having positive response to many of their proposed domestic policies which are in blunt contrast to the mounting criticism of Theresa May's proposed overhaul of social care funding.

Latest opinion poll in the Mail on Sunday suggested 47% of respondents are against the proposals, and 28% said it made them less likely to vote Conservative.

Conservative think-tank, The Bow Group, labelled Mrs May’s proposals as a "stealth tax", and Sarah Wollaston who was the Conservative Chair of the Health Select Committee in the last parliament said a policy could make people to stay in hospitals, in order to avoid any cost special care at home.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Theresa May's immigration policy ridiculed by former Chancellor George Osborn

George Osborn makes mockery of Mrs May's immigration policy

The direct attacks made by George Osborne against Theresa May since former Chancellor became a newspaper editor takes a new twist as he ridicules her plans to bring net migration to the tens of thousands.

Theresa May during her election campaign stressed that her party’s manifesto will make every possible effort to reduce migration to less than 100,000 annually.

Nonetheless in a mocking editorial, the Standard declared: "It remains a mystery why the Prime Minister has recommitted her party to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands a year.

"She didn't need to make this politically rash and economically illiterate move. She was not the author of the pledge; David Cameron made it in Opposition."

It was also put forward by the editorial that the Government could not totally control migration due to the fact the number of people arriving and leaving is subject to the "vagaries of the world economy".

And the paper, which Mr Osborne began editing after he was sacked by Mrs May in her first act as PM, also claimed that no senior member of Mrs May's Cabinet backed the pledge in public.

The editorial said: "So you would assume that Mrs May would jump at the chance to bury the pledge.

"That's what her Cabinet assumed; none of its senior members supports the pledge in private and all would be glad to see the back of something that has caused the Conservative Party such public grief.

"But no. Mrs May has kept digging."

It said: "She (Mrs May) knows that a sensible immigration policy is driven by clear principles not arbitrary numbers.

"If one of those principles is no longer to be the freedom to move to work between Britain and Europe, we need to hear what its replacement will be.

"Recommitting to a failed immigration pledge, without knowing how to achieve it, is merely wishful thinking. She still wants to be a new broom.

Accordingly, UKIP reacted angrily to the suggestion that the Conservative Cabinet does not back the net migration pledge.

John Bickley, the party's immigration spokesman, said: "Under Cameron and Osborne's government, which pledged to bring net immigration down to the 'tens of thousands', with the explicit support of Mrs May, then Home Secretary, gross immigration ran at just under 600,000 a year.

"Why did Osborne's Tories make this promise and then so disastrously fail to deliver it? Were they incompetent or misleading the British people, most likely both."

Theresa May set to build a fairer future for the United Kingdom

Theresa May promises a fairer future

Plan to bring an end to the crisis facing social care is being put in place by the PM as she look forward to building a fairer Britain.

Theresa May is perfecting plans to bring a stop to selling of houses by the elderly in order to afford the cost of social care if elected. The PM’s plan is to ensure the protection of £100,000 of their assets irrespective of their care costs, right to defer payment till after death, and to ensure that the NHS deliver the right support for all older British citizens.

Tory sources say today’s manifesto will address the concerns of hard-working families beyond the Westminster bubble. The document will identify five major challenges facing the UK including the growing elderly population, reducing immigration and delivering Brexit.

In a foreword to the Tory manifesto, called “Forward, Together”, it is stated that: “This manifesto sets out a vision for Britain’s future – not just for the next five years, but beyond.

“The next five years are the most challenging that Britain has faced in my lifetime. Brexit will define us: our place in the world, our economic security and our future prosperity.

“Now more than ever, Britain needs a strong and stable leadership to make the most of the opportunities that Brexit brings. This is my plan for a stronger Britain and a prosperous future.

"It is a declaration of intent: a commitment to get to grips with the great challenges of our time and to take the big, difficult decisions that are right for Britain in the long term.”

According to a Tory spokesman: “We have protected and increased school funding to the highest level on record but we accept there is more we can do. This extra money means no child will lose out.”

Mrs May said that the Tory manifesto will “set out in detail the five great challenges our country faces over the next few years and lay out how we will tackle them”, compared with the “fantasy wish list of easy promises paid for with imaginary money” offered by Labour.

“While Jeremy Corbyn and Labour retreat into an ideological comfort zone, ducking the difficult challenges which lay ahead, I will be straight with people, I won’t shy away from the challenges of our time, I will set out how we will tackle them head-on,” she said.

“Because that is what leadership is about and on this key test, Jeremy Corbyn has failed once again.

“If he can’t show real leadership in his party, how could he lead our country through Brexit?”

Mrs May also tore into Labour’s manifesto, launched last week by Mr Corbyn. warning that the tax-and-spend socialist blueprint would lead to “economic chaos” for families across the country if implemented.

In a news conference with Chancellor Philip Hammond in London, the Prime Minister said ordinary people would “pay the price of Labour” in soaring taxes, mortgage rates and unemployment at a time when the country was going through Brexit negotiations.

Mrs May repeated the Tory charge that Labour’s plans would lead to a shattering £58billion shortfall in public finances by 2022 if Mr Corbyn ever reached Downing Street.

She said seven years of Tory-led government had seen rising employment and economic growth while the state deficit was reduced by threequarters.

“None of this happened by accident,” said Mrs May. “Our economic progress has been dearly won and could easily be lost if the wrong policies are pursued in the years ahead. It is frankly all at risk.

“Any party which asks the British people to entrust to them the responsibility of forming the next government through the crucial years of our Brexit negotiations and beyond must demonstrate that it has the credible economic plan and the capable team to safeguard our economic security.

“No one could look at what Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party offered yesterday and conclude that it passed that test. The risk that a Jeremy Corbyn government would pose to our economy has been laid bare.”

Brussels would treat Britain fairly – Angela Merkel

Angel Merkel assures Britain

Good news for the Brexit Britain as German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to treat Britain in a friendly manner irrespective of the fact exit the bloc has its dare consequences.

According to the German Chancellor, some of the negative impact of the UK’s exit would hit the automobile industry, to the travel of cats and dogs.

She also stated the should Britain refused to allow free movement of EU nationals after, "we will have to see how we balance that out".

For the time being, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said the Prime Minister put EU leaders "back in their box" after reports of a stormy dinner attended by Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at Downing Street.

"We've shown we mean business. We won't engage in silly games but neither will we put up with silly games," he told the the Express newspaper.

The Brexit Secretary also hinted that he spends half of his time getting ready for the likely event that the UK will have to walk away without a deal.

"I don't expect it will ever be used but it has got to be there as an available option if we absolutely need it."

Negotiations on the Brexit deal are expected to begin in earnest after the General Election on 8 June.

Speaking on Wednesday, at a G20 trade union event in Berlin, Mrs Merkel said Britain was free to change rules to its own advantage after leaving the bloc, but had to expect there would be repercussions.

"If the British government ends the free movement of people, that will have its price," she said.

Mrs Merkel added that the disruption could be widespread because of the breadth of EU legislation.

"Currently, the 250,000 pets, cats and dogs that travel from Britain to the continent or the other way around each year are managed within an EU framework," she said.

"Now they'll need hygiene certificates - things we don't even remember."

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Call for another election in the Netherlands, after talks on coalition government failed

Coalition talks fails in the Netherlands

Dilemma in the Netherlands as negotiations for a coalition government fails after the four (4) political parties involved could not reach any deal about migration few months after its general election.

Thus, the Dutch parliament will now decide how to press ahead with forming a new coalition government after the collapse of negotiations between Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Christian Democrats, the centrist D66 party and the Greens.

Edith Schippers, the Liberal health minister, while speaking about the situation said: “Dear friends, it did not work.

“The substantive differences proved too great.

Green Left leader Jesse Klaver also said: “I’m not going to work out who was on which side of the gap in migration. I’d love to form a government, unfortunately it did not work.

“This round is over, we will now see how we go.

The coalition talks had been going on between the VVD and another conservative party, the Christian Democrats, had been in talks with the centrist D-66 party and the Green Left party, which had never before participated in a government however retained strong gains in the election.

Mr Rutte's party will now be forced to investigate alternatives following the Dutch election 2017.

The coalition breakdown coming barely two months after the election has provoked concerns that the nation will have to call another election, which would be seen as a welcomed idea by Geert Wilders who said the failure of the talks was “good news,” and that his Party for Freedom (PVV) was available for coalition negotiations.

On the other hand, almost all of the other parties have ruled out working with the anti-Islam and anti-EU party.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Nicola Sturgeon begs to have a say in Brexit negotiations

Sturgeon to beg Scottish voters

As the June snap general election draws closer, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon perfects plans to appeal to all Scottish voters to cast their votes in support of the Scottish National Party. This she claimed would indicate would put her in vantage position to place a strong demand to the PM to actively involve Scotland during Brexit talks.

The SNP leader is expected to say: “Now, more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland.

“Only then can we stop the Tories at Westminster bartering away Scotland's jobs and industries in Brexit negotiations.

"This election is not about giving Theresa May a free hand, it's about strengthening Scotland's hand, strengthening Scotland's hand against an unchecked Tory Government at Westminster, strengthening Scotland's hand in Brexit negotiations and strengthening our right to take our own decisions."

After the June 2016 Brexit referendum, the SNP leader renewed call for another Scottish indyref, as she is poised to ensure Scotland remained part of the EU single market even after Brexit.

Though during her appearance on the Andrew Marr show last Sunday, the First Minister said that Scotland may likely not join the EU even if it gains independence, but would prefer to be a member of the European free trade area.

This latest plea to the Scottish voting public comes after a recent survey reveals that Sturgeon’s nationalist cause could be under threat from the Conservatives, as they are fully ready to win a quarter of the Scotland’s 59 seats on June 8.

According to a Panel base survey 33 per cent of voters support Ruth Davidson’s party, with another poll by Survation found 28 per cent of Scots support the Tories.

In the past five General Elections after 1992, the Conservatives have failed to win more than one seat in Scotland.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

British PM to make workers' rights her priority if elected

Mrs May to protect workers' rights

British Prime Minister Theresa May set to work out a "new deal for workers" as she is determined to propose safeguards for "gig economy" workers and new rights to be off work to care for relatives who may be in need.

The PM is making every effort to sell herself to the voting public that she is a leader who support all working people in the UK, as she also intend to raise the National Living Wage - currently £7.50 an hour - in line with average earnings until 2022.

The PM has once again reaffirmed that she is fully committed to protect the rights of all workers as enshrined in EU law, even after Brexit, as was outlined in her Article 50 triggering document.

According to the Conservatives the party’s manifesto promises - to be unveiled in full this week - would represent the "greatest expansion of workers' rights by any Conservative government".

Also included in the PM’s package is a commitment to protect workers' pensions in the wake of the BHS scandal; a new right to request leave for training purposes; a right to leave for workers who suffer the tragedy of losing a child; and the introduction of returnships for people coming back into work after a period of time off.

However, the PM’s effort to tone herself as the supporter of "ordinary working people" appears to have negated what is current on ground, as analysis suggests that low income working families face significant reductions in income as a result of planned cuts to benefits, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The analysis found one million households with children and no one in work would be £3,000 worse off, while three million working households with children currently entitled to tax credits would be on average £2,500 worse off. A further four million households with children not entitled to tax credits would be £100 a year worse off.

Nevertheless, Andrew Gwynne, Labour's campaigns and elections chair, states that Mrs May was "taking working people for fools".

"Theresa May and her Tory government have failed to stand up for workers, with hundreds of thousands not being paid the money owed to them, thousands unable to get their case against their employer heard and hundreds of complaints of employment agency malpractice going un-investigated.

"The Tories have spent the last seven years prioritising the few, opposing Labour's proposals to give workers more rights and overseeing wage stagnation which has left people worse off."

Also speaking on the issue, Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor, was equally contemptuous.

"The Conservatives tried to ban workers from striking and were blocked by the Liberal Democrats in government," said the former business secretary, who clashed with No.10 over workers' rights in the coalition years.

"It's clear they aren't the party of workers' rights and that you can't trust them to care about you and your family."

Furthermore, Tim Roache, general secretary of the GMB union, was equally sceptical, saying "the greatest extensions of workers' rights by a Tory government frankly wouldn't be that hard to achieve given recent history".

He said the Tories should "end the public sector pay pinch" if they really want to prove the lot of working Britain, as he urged the Conservatives to "commit to a real living wage that people can live on without claiming benefits - all of which Labour has pledged to do".

Mr Roace also said: "And let's not forget, a lot of the problems working people face day in day out were caused by Tory austerity policies in the first place".

Pay rises in the public sector are capped at 1% a year until 2020, which could see 5.4 million public sector workers see a real-terms cut in their wages as a decade of pay restraint and high inflation eats into their living standards.

But Mrs May's proposals were given a cautious welcome by the Trade Union Congress, which described the measures as a "promising set of commitments", but said workers needed to see the details before they cast their votes.

Mrs May, on tour in southern England, will say on Monday: "There is only one leader that will put rights and opportunities for working families first.

"The choice is clear: economic stability and a better deal for workers under my Conservative team, or chaos under Jeremy Corbyn."

Recent survey reveals Mrs May and her party may get major votes from Leave voters

Leave voters may give Mrs May victory

Political analysts have said that the upcoming snap general election my just be drawn along party line, but according to the voting pattern of the Brexit referendum where votes were made across party lines. Accordingly, it has been predicted that the Conservative Party could be having an overwhelming victory in the election.

A recently conducted opinion poll by YouGov reveals that 64% of the voting public see Brexit as one of the major challenges being faced by the UK, as it is fast becoming a unifying factor.

Data from the Financial Times have as a result separated the country’s voting population into three major groups as follows: the Hard Leavers, who want out the EU represent 45 per cent; the Hard Remainers, who want to stop Brexit represent 22 per cent, and the newest group the Re-Leavers — those who voted to Remain last summer but think the Government now has a duty to leave – represent up to 23 per cent voters.

Therefore, following the release of the above data, the Tories and Ukip, who have vowed to ensure Brexit is fully implemented, are now looking for voters from a pool of about 68 percent of voters, while Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Green are fighting for just 22 per cent of the electorate.

Accordingly, 7 0ut 10 Leavers determined to give their support to the PM and her party, while 45% of Re-Leavers have also decided to give their vote to the Tories.

This is because some voters have claimed that the position of the Labour Party regarding Brexit is not sceptical.

On the other hand, the Liberal Democrats anti-Brexit positon has also angered so many voters to turn their backs against the party, as they believe the country should carry out the implementation of its divorce arrangement from the EU, as its second referendum idea has been unpopular.

The report comes as Theresa May has urged voters to trust her as she vowed she will “try to say it as it is”.

Mrs May said: "Certainly that's my political philosophy”

"What it says on the tin is what they get."

While Nigel Farage has called for the Hard-Leaver voters to stay with Ukip as he warned that the Prime Minister may soften her positions.

He said: "The cat is out of the bag. She wants a big majority so she can soften the position in Brussels and we basically finish up being half in, half out.”*

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson places a demand on Brussels to pay the ‘ridiculous’ Brexit divorce bill

Boris Johnson

Britain spits fire, as Boris talks about the possibility of Brussels being forced to pay the controversial Brexit divorce bill, accusing the EU of making every move to “bleed this country white”. An opinion which is at variance with the claim of EU leaders against the UK.

According to his analysis, which may after be correct, as every assets is matched against liabilities, even in everyday business practice. Saying that it is possible for Britain to “definitely” walk away without paying any penny, because the country’s share of the bloc’s assets may be very well enough that Brussels may even pay into the UK’s treasury.

Asked whether he agreed with former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith that Britain might end up receiving a payment, Mr Johnson told the Daily Telegraph: "I do, I think there are very good arguments.

"There are assets, I don't want to get too much into the detail of the negotiation but there are assets that we share, that we have paid for over the years and there will need to be a proper computation of the value of those assets.

"I certainly think the bill that's been presented at the moment is absurd."

Mr Johnson speaking further condemned the "shameful" leaking of details of a Downing Street meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier showed "Brussels is ruthless in its negotiating techniques".

Accusing the EU of "trying it on", he said: "They are going to try to bleed this country white with their bill.

"The logic behind this bill is absolutely preposterous. We could definitely walk away."

The Foreign Secretary also warned about the likelihood of Russian interfering in the upcoming general election, saying it is a "realistic possibility", and claimed Russian president Vladimir Putin would "rejoice" if Jeremy Corbyn got into Number 10.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "I think it is a realistic possibility. Clearly we think that is what he (Mr Putin) did in America, it's blatantly obvious that's what he did in France. In the western Balkans he is up to all sorts of sordid enterprises, so we have to be vigilant."

Mr Johnson suggested Mr Putin's motive was "to undermine faith in democracy altogether and to discredit the whole democratic process".

Friday, 12 May 2017

Michael Barnier's Brexit speech slammed by Irish politicians in parliament

Irish politicians attack Barnier

Despite his landmark speech delivered on the floor of the Irish parliament, Michael Barnier has given several condemnations from different politicians in Ireland after a careful look into details of his speech.

Moments after ending his speech, which cautioned that Brexit will come “at a cost” for all member states of the EU, a small number of nonplussed members of the Irish parliament gave a slam.

Socialist TD Richard Boyd Barrett took annoyance at the measures forced on Ireland after the bailout during the country’s economic crash, explaining it had inflicted “cruel and absolutely vicious austerity” on the country.

The politician also went further to lambast the EU chief negotiator and his colleagues in Brussels of working to achieve a “Fortress Europe” at the detriment of individual member states.

The TD said: "This week 350 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean because of the EU’s ‘Fortress Europe’ policies."

Thus, he refused to accept the EU’s right to negotiate outright with the UK, instead calling for an Irish referendum on whether or not to accept the final exit deal.

He said: "I don’t trust the European Union, Mr Barnier, to do a deal which will vindicate the need and aspirations of this country."

In a similar vein, Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein’s leader in the Republic and TD for Louth, also gave his criticism against Mr Barnier’s assertion which states that a good deal will be reached between Ireland and England.

He warned Mr Barnier: “Brexit will affect our entire island if we let it. It is already having a major negative effect.”

He said in light of challenges posed by Brexit, including the potential reintroduction of a hard border, Northern Ireland should be granted special status and be allowed to remain in the EU.

Mr Adams also called for a referendum on whether Ireland should accept the terms of the final Brexit deal agreed between Mr Barnier and the UK - further chipping away at Mr Barnier's right to negotiate on behalf of an entire union of states.

EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier begs for a friendly and ambitious Brexit negotiations with Britain

Mr Barnier in Ireland

With the look of things it is becoming apparent that that after all the heated threats and counter threats from both parties, the European Union and the United Kingdom may sheath their swords in order to have an itch free negotiation for a better future relationships.

It was on Thursday afternoon when Michael Barnier while addressing the Irish parliament released statements for his ambitious hopes for closest possible future relationships between the UK and the EU, which analysts term a landmark speech.

Making his open conciliatory speech, the EU chief Brexit negotiator rejected “aggressive” eurocrats as he begged both Brussels and Westminster to take away any poison from the Brexit negotiations. Saying he received with deep regret the decision of the British people to exit the bloc, however, such a decision should not be allowed to destroy the long standing friendliness between the EU and the UK.

Mr Barnier told Irish MPs: “I am convinced that Ireland will play a major role in these changes…as a bridge across the Atlantic, as a supporter of the future relationship that we need to build with the UK.

“We want these negotiations to succeed, I want us to reach a deal. The UK has been a member of the EU for 44 years it should remain a close partner.

“We’ll need to negotiate a bold and ambitious but also fair free trade agreement. We will also need the same ambition for our research and innovation networks and for the fights against climate change.

“We need the same ambition in the field of our internal and external security, whether it’s the fight against terrorism, the exchange of information, or cyber security.

“We need the same ambition on foreign policy, on international cooperation and development. Tomorrow our international partners should be able to turn to the EU and to the UK and find in them strong and united advocates of our shared European values.”

Also in a sideswipe at both Downing Street and Brussels, he added: “If we negotiate with mutual respect without any kind of aggression, nicely, if we’re open to finding solutions there’s no reason why our strong Europe cannot maintain a close relationship with the strong UK.”

His stance was resonated by Irish Taioseach Enda Kenny, who called for a “scoping out” of future relations between Britain and the rest of the EU “as soon as possible”.

Thus, Mr Kenny, seen as one of the UK’s key allies in the talks, said: “This is a political challenge and we will have to be both flexible and imaginative to deal with it.

“Our objective is for a close and positive future relationship with the UK and we’re pleased therefore the guidelines say the EU wants an ambitious agreement not just in economic terms but also in areas such as security.”

Mr Barnier talking up the prospects of a good Brexit deal, also warned: “But let’s also be clear, Brexit will come at a cost also to us the 27.

“The UK’s departure from the EU will have consequences. We have the duty to speak the truth. We have together the duty to speak the truth.”  

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Labour Party's electoral manifesto leaked

Labour Party Leader Corbyn

Below are some of the promises included in the manifesto of the Labour Party which were revealed in a leaked document.

The Party is planning to re-nationalise energy companies in the United Kingdom, railways and the Royal Mail.

Work round the clock to achieve a "nuclear-free world" and "extremely cautious" about using Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Only send British armed forces into combat if "all other options have been exhausted".

The manifesto also says the party’s leader Mr Corbyn will scrap tuition fees, rule out a "no deal" Brexit and refuse to set a migration target, but keep Trident despite Mr Corbyn's personal opposition to its renewal.

The party’s manifestoes were leak on the eve of a meeting to agree the manifesto to be attended by Labour's national executive, shadow cabinet, policy forum, trade union leaders and backbench committee of MPs.

The proposals, already being dismissed by critics as a return to the 1970s, include:

·         A pledge to nationalise energy firms, railways, bus firms and Royal Mail
·          Income tax increases for those earning more than £80,000 a year
·         Ensuring 60% of the UK's energy comes from renewable sources by 2030
·         Companies with government contracts would only be allowed to pay their highest earner 20 times more than the lowest
·         Fines for businesses that pay their staff high wages and a business levy on profits
It was also included in the manifesto that, the party would inject extra £6 billion annually for the NHS and another £1.6 billion annually for social care.

The total scrapping of university tuition fees to encourage more students into the university, make town halls to build 100,000 new council houses for the British people, under a new Department for Housing. And offer thousands of homes to rough sleepers and cap private rent increase during inflation.

Create a new Ministry of Labour that will supervise the biggest boost to workers’ rights in decades, while planned hikes to the pension age beyond 66 will not go ahead.

It also contains measures already announced including £5bn to end "Tory schools cuts", 10,000 extra police officers and a £250bn capital investment programme to upgrade British infrastructure.

Despite the big spending pledges, the manifesto includes a commitment to get rid of the deficit and balance Britain's day-to-day budget by the end of the next Parliament.

The extra spending will be almost entirely funded by new taxes for big corporations and rich individuals, the manifesto suggests.

The draft manifesto states: "University tuition is free in many northern European countries, and under a Labour government it will be free in Britain too."

Mr Corbyn has previously suggested the measure would cost £7bn and could be funded through higher corporation tax. There will also be £1bn invested in culture and the arts.

The pledges to boost workers' and trade union rights include the doubling of paternity leave on increased pay; a right to a contract for those working 12 hours a week or more; and an assumption that workers are employees unless a firm can prove otherwise.

On defence the manifesto says: "Any prime minister should be extremely cautious about ordering the use of weapons of mass destruction which would result in the indiscriminate killing of millions of innocent civilians."

On immigration, the manifesto says Labour will make "no false promises" as the Tories have done.

Instead it states "our economy needs migrant workers to keep going" and vows to abandon rules which stop British citizens from bringing in spouses from outside Europe unless they earn £18,600-a-year.

That 'minimum income threshold' will be dropped, and replaced with a new obligation to live in Britain without relying on public funds or benefits.

Instead it vows to crack down on bosses who try to undercut wages with migrant workers or recruit exclusively from abroad.

The manifesto will delight Labour left-wingers who have spent decades calling for the party to be more radical, but critics are bound to compare it to the Michael Foot manifesto of 1983, notoriously dismissed by the late Gerald Kaufman as "the longest suicide note in history".

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn told Sky News: "We do not comment on leaks. We will announce our policies in our manifesto, which is our plan to transform Britain for the many, not the few."

A Conservative spokesman said: "This is a total shambles. Jeremy Corbyn's plans to unleash chaos on Britain have been revealed.

"The commitments in this dossier will rack up tens of billions of extra borrowing for our families and will put Brexit negotiations at risk.

"Jobs will be lost, families will be hit and our economic security damaged for a generation if Jeremy Corbyn and the coalition of chaos are ever let anywhere near the keys to Downing Street."

For the Liberal Democrats, Tom Brake said: "This manifesto became meaningless the day Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to vote with the Conservatives and UKIP to give Theresa May a blank cheque on Brexit.

"Labour supporters should have hope that someone will stand up to Theresa May's divisive Brexit deal, but it won't be Jeremy Corbyn."

Source: Sky News, May 2017

Brussels angry as Britain set to boycott Brexit meeting to be addressed by Guy Verhofstadt

EU leaders speak on Brexit meeting

A hearing put together by the European Parliament to look into the consequences the UK’s exit on EU citizens residing in the UK set to be snubbed by the British Government.

The hearing tagged ‘The situation and rights of EU citizens in the UK’ is to be addressed by Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt today along with Anne-Laure Donskoy, who co-chairs the 3 million campaigning for the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

According to a draft programme released last week, “representatives of the UK Home Office” are also going to be in that meeting, being put together by Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) as well as the Petitions and the Employment and Social Affairs committees.

Nevertheless an update of the programme does not include any reference to the UK representatives. And “no futher explanation was given” for their decision not to participate.

Thus Sophie in ‘t Veld a MEP and LIBE committee stated to politico that she such a decision as a snub.

She said: “It’s disappointing but not surprising. It’s a sign of how they really feel about citizens.”

A letter was sent to the PM in February by Ms in ‘t Veld together with other MEPs requesting her to bring to an end any bureaucratic red tape of EU nationals living in the UK and to guarantee their rights.

Unsatisfied with the response, Ms in ’t Veld set up a task force to look at cases where EU citizens had faced what she described as a “bureaucratic wall”.

She said: “The tone of that letter was absolutely ridiculous. It was a sign of how insensitive and careless they are about people.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said that they had received the Parliament’s invitation to attend the hearing but would not confirm whether they planned to send anyone to the event.

Even though the Parliament will have no straight participation in the Brexit discussions, it does have the final power of veto over the final withdrawal deal in a simple majority vote which comes up after all the remaining 27 member countries have validated it.

Expectations are MEPs will make some efforts to disrupt proceeding or at least try to slow things down by issuing political resolutions as talks proceed.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Larissa Waters breastfeeds her baby on the floor of the Australian Parliament

Senator Waters

Senator Larissa Waters of Australia makes a landmark political history after breastfeeding on the floor of the country’s federal parliament. This coming about a year after she helped in making some changes to breastfeeding rules.

Senator Waters who just resumed duty after giving birth to her daughter, whose name is given as Alia Joy, and was forced to do what she did because her baby was hungry.

The 40-year-old mother took to twitter to express her pride, saying: “So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal parliament! We need more women and parents in parliament.”

She also used the opportunity to call for more family-friendly and flexible workplaces and affordable childcare for everyone.

Her colleague Katy Gallagher said: “Women have been doing it in parliaments around the world. It is great to see it is able to occur now in the senate.

“Women are going to continue to have babies and if they want to do their job and be at work and look after their baby, the reality is that we are going to have to accommodate that.”

It was also reported in 2016 that an Icelandic MP breastfed her baby while she was speaking at the national parliament.

Eight years ago, the Greens Australian senator Sarah Hanson-Young had her two-year-old daughter taken out of the Australian Parliament.

The Lib Dem MP and equalities minister, Jo Swinson, has said that it is “bizarre” that MPs are banned from taking their babies into the Commons in the UK.

A study on tackling sexism in parliament said that breast-feeding should be allowed in the House of Commons to encourage firms to have more “family friendly” policies.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron wins French election

Victory for Macron

Finally, after all the verbal attacks and campaigns from both sides, Marine Le Pen concedes defeat to centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron as he wins the French presidential election on Sunday to become the youngest leader in France.

Mrs Le Pen while addressing a crowd of followers in the east of Paris, sent her congratulatory message to Macron and said the people of France had voted for "continuity".

Meanwhile, Macron’s followers went in their numbers to the courtyard outside the Louvre museum in the country’s capital to receive his victory speech.

Addressing AFP, he proclaimed that a new "hopeful and confident" chapter had begun.

His triumph marks a stunning rise for the banker turned politician, who only set up his En Marche! (On the move) party last year and becomes the country's youngest ever leader.

Thus bringing about a shift in the political history of France, as the centre-right and centre-left parties begins to fall in the first round for the first time in more than 50 years, leaving Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen to fight to the finish.

Macron’s electoral victory has been welcome by the European Union as he promised to build a stronger EU integration, as against Le Pen who promised to pull France out from the bloc.

His victory makes the third time within a period of six months that voters in EU nations will reject far-right candidates after Austria and the Netherlands. And as a result will bolster the EU’s position during Brexit negotiations.

Friday, 5 May 2017

European Council President Donald Tusk warns Theresa May to put her emotions under control

Donald Tusk

In reaction to the British PM’s statement accusing some EU officials of “deliberately” making some attempts to influence the upcoming general election, European Council Chief Donald Tusk has warned about the likelihood of Brexit talks becoming “impossible” if emotions are not put under control.

"These (Brexit) negotiations are difficult enough as they are. If we start arguing before they even begin, they will become impossible," Mr Tusk said in a statement read out after a meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

"The stakes are too high to let our emotions get out of hand. Because at stake are the daily lives and interests of millions of people on both sides of the Channel."

Recall that PM had blamed the EU when she said "there are some in Brussels who do not want these talks to succeed, who do not want Britain to prosper".

Mrs May's claims followed a German newspaper's damning account of a dinner last week between the PM and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

After which Mr Junker purportedly called German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the meeting to say Mrs May is on a "different galaxy" over the negotiations.

Mrs May dismissed the claims as "Brussels gossip".

The Norwegian Prime Minister while speaking with Sky News reporters said the people of Europe and the UK would suffer if politicians could not work together.

Mrs Solberg said: "For the benefit of the whole of Europe we need to find workable solutions for the competitiveness of the whole continent.

"It's European people who will lose out on possibilities and economic development if you can't find good working relationships."

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Councils in Britain to get new officials, as voting commences today

Council elections

Voting in local elections across the UK today opens today for the election of new officials in Scotland, Wales, 34 in England along with 27 other counties.

Today’s council elections will also elect new mayors in six new devolved super-regions together with Doncaster and North Tyneside.

A total of 15,403 candidates will contest 4,851 seats - with 107 contenders running unopposed.

Mayors to be elected in the newly-created regions will be given additional powers in the areas of housing and policing. They are: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England.

Interim figures from the eight areas holding mayoral elections show 7,205,134 are free to vote on Thursday.

The Manchester Gorton parliamentary by-election triggered by the death of Labour MP Gerald Kaufman was also due to take place - but has now been delayed until the day of the General Election.

Some of the local election results will be declared in the early hours of Friday, but most will come in during the day.

Theresa May fires back at EU leaders

May fires back at EU

Leaders of the European Union to respond to the British Prime Minister’s speck after she accused some of the bloc’s leaders in Brussels of "not wanting Britain to prosper".

While making a speech amid the launching of the Conservative Party’s general election campaign, the PM submitted that leaks and threats had been "deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election".

Even though some leaders within the Council declined to make any statement regarding the PM’s accusations when Sky News interrogated, some Members of the European Parliament reacted to Mrs May’s comments on Wednesday evening.

Mairead McGuinness, vice president of the European Parliament, warned of the damage such "emotive, electioneering language" could do to the subsequent negotiations.

"The election that's happening in the UK will of course impact the current discussions in the UK, and probably here as well, but when all of this is over there will have to be a settling down and dealing with reality," she said.

However, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan said to Sky News that Mrs May was right to fire back after European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said it was a "constructive meeting" then leaked a different account to a German newspaper.

After being "traduced in a foreign newspaper with the most grotesque version of events, I think she has every right to feel cross about it", he said.

Back in Britain, Labour branded Mrs May's move as "foolish", the Liberal Democrats said it was "desperate and bizarre" while the pressure group Leave Means Leave welcomed the "robust position".

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Alleged linked report of Brexit talks angers Theresa May

Mrs May angry over leaked talks

EU leaders have been lambasted by the British government over leaked Brexit negotiation facts. According to Mrs May, the “Brussels gossip” has proved how necessary it for her to take a tough stance in negotiations over the UK’s departure from the European Union.

A respected German newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported that talks broke up, due to Mrs May’s refusal to accept demands made by EU leaders concerning the controversial divorce bill of about £50bn.

In a quick response, Mr Juncker also insisted that the EU was not “a golf club” that the UK could simply walk out of. He then left the meeting doubting if any deal could be agreed on by both parties, as he said “I leave Downing Street ten times as sceptical as I was before.”

Mrs May was understood to be furious at the one-sided nature of the leak, which is thought to have been briefed by sources at the commission.

Downing Street took the highly unusual step of releasing a statement questioning the account.

A spokesman said: “We do not recognise this account. As the Prime Minister and Jean-Claude Juncker made clear, this was a constructive meeting ahead of the negotiations formally getting underway.”

And on the General Election campaign trail in Lancashire last night, Mrs May signalled her displeasure at the leaking.

“I have to say from I have seen of this account, I think it is Brussels gossip,” she said.

She also reiterated that EU Commission had earlier released a statement and praised the “constructive” atmosphere of the meeting.

Mrs May added: “But this also shows that actually these negotiations are at times going to be tough.

"And in order to get the best deal for Britain, we need to ensure we’ve got that strong and stable leadership into those negotiations.

“As I say, every vote for me and my team will strengthen my hand in those negotiations.

“And when it comes to June 8, people will have a clear choice. With 27 European countries on one side of the table, who do they want to see standing up for Britain on the other side – me or Jeremy Corbyn?”