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  1. #961
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    It occurs to me that the Bury betrayer has helped Bodge cling on, as the Tories have closed ranks.

  2. #962
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    TG says only 11 letters/emails were sent to 1922.

    Boris may live to see another term.

  3. #963
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    Boris might then be safe for now, but this could all be a part of Starmerís plan because the Tories will likely remain down in the polls versus Labour (whereas a new Tory leader would have given them a bounce)Ö up to 5 more Tory to Labour MP defections are also apparently on the cards.

  4. #964
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Boris might then be safe for now, but this could all be a part of Starmerís plan because the Tories will likely remain down in the polls versus Labour (whereas a new Tory leader would have given them a bounce)Ö up to 5 more Tory to Labour MP defections are also apparently on the cards.
    Concur. Sunak or Truss might buoy the Tories up in the polls. But Bodge had burned through his political capital, like Thatcher did with the poll tax and Blair did with war and years of lads coming home in coffins. The red wall hates him now and many southern soft blues too. Heís also lost the farmers and the fishermen who have been betrayed by the thin Brexit deal and seen their revenue halve.

    Itís in Starmerís interest to keep him.

  5. #965
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Concur. Sunak or Truss might buoy the Tories up in the polls. But Bodge had burned through his political capital, like Thatcher did with the poll tax and Blair did with war and years of lads coming home in coffins. The red wall hates him now and many southern soft blues too. Heís also lost the farmers and the fishermen who have been betrayed by the thin Brexit deal and seen their revenue halve.

    Itís in Starmerís interest to keep him.
    Thatcher was finished in the early 80s, if it wasnít for the Falkands war then she wouldnít have been reelected.

    Blairís lies and deceit may have cost innocent lives in the 2003 Iraq war, but he still won the next term.

    Funny how war prolongs the career of politicians?

    However saying this, both Thatcher and Blair lead their country through economic prosperity; as such their tenures became the longest and second longest serving PMs respectively.

    UK economy is now the fastest growing economy in the G7. IF, and I mean a big if, the UK economy comes out expanding, or even booming in the nest year, then I can promise you Boris will be PM after the next GE.

    Money is all that matters to the people.

  6. #966
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Thatcher was finished in the early 80s, if it wasnít for the Falkands war then she wouldnít have been reelected.
    I remember this period. She was helped by the SDP-Liberal Alluance splitting the left vote and the Labour Party going unilateralist with that suicide manifesto. But support for her had been firming up prior to that. She still had political capital to spend, which lasted until the poll tax riots.


    Blairís lies and deceit may have cost innocent lives in the 2003 Iraq war, but he still won the next term.
    Yes but with a 60 majority instead of the 150 he had prior. Heíd lost his left support over Iraq. The centre took longer to turn against him but everyone seemed to hate him by 2006, and his own party pushed him into quitting. Political capital burned.



    Money is all that matters to the people.
    Thatís quite cynical and I assure you that itís not true. Not for all the people.

    Some of us still believe in truth and honour.

    Johnson has lost all of these.

  7. #967
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    Two MPs claim that the Tory whips threatened them with withdrawal of constituency funding if they donít tie government line.

    If so this is a police matter.

  8. #968
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Two MPs claim that the Tory whips threatened them with withdrawal of constituency funding if they donít tie government line.

    If so this is a police matter.
    This is just how the whips behave. Not just Tory whips either. Itís a really poor reality, less of a police matter but more indicative of how our politics works on a cultural level.

  9. #969
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    This is just how the whips behave. Not just Tory whips either. It’s a really poor reality, less of a police matter but more indicative of how our politics works on a cultural level.
    They might threaten to reveal a sexual or drug indiscretion but withhold funding needed by the people? This is a new low.

  10. #970
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I remember this period. She was helped by the SDP-Liberal Alluance splitting the left vote and the Labour Party going unilateralist with that suicide manifesto. But support for her had been firming up prior to that. She still had political capital to spend, which lasted until the poll tax riots.



    Yes but with a 60 majority instead of the 150 he had prior. He’d lost his left support over Iraq. The centre took longer to turn against him but everyone seemed to hate him by 2006, and his own party pushed him into quitting. Political capital burned.



    That’s quite cynical and I assure you that it’s not true. Not for all the people.

    Some of us still believe in truth and honour.

    Johnson has lost all of these.
    Only some believe in truth and honour, and said people have money anyway, or are financially secure.

    When people have money they do not care who is in power. This is why Thatcher and Blair were longest serving despite their war mongering decisions and failures, yet when the economy tanks, millions are affected, suddenly the government is to blame and more come out to vote. Even EU membership was at the forefront after 2008 crash.

    There is no such thing as truth and honour when it comes to the government; time and time again the goverment and MPs have been proven to lie and their hypocrisy exposed. Anyone who cares about the government in terms of truth and honour is extremely naive.

  11. #971
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Only some believe in truth and honour
    They are the ones who will not vote for Johnson again. Well-off London and Home Counties types might prefer money to honour, but the North still holds decent behaviour to be important. Polls in the Red Wall put Labour 18 points ahead. Unless Tories remove the toxicity by changing leader.

    As for money, people are seeing their food bills rise due to supply chain problems, so more working people will go hungry.

    Electric bills have jumped and will rise further in April. More and more will be pushed below the poverty line and into food banks. Hard times are coming for more and more people..

  12. #972
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    Nine-mile lorry tailbacks at the Port of Dover due to the new Brexit customs restrictions.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-b1997993.html

  13. #973
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    They are the ones who will not vote for Johnson again. Well-off London and Home Counties types might prefer money to honour, but the North still holds decent behaviour to be important. Polls in the Red Wall put Labour 18 points ahead. Unless Tories remove the toxicity by changing leader.

    As for money, people are seeing their food bills rise due to supply chain problems, so more working people will go hungry.

    Electric bills have jumped and will rise further in April. More and more will be pushed below the poverty line and into food banks. Hard times are coming for more and more people..
    The North were most affected by austerity measures and hence tipped the vote in favour of Brexit. Money matters to most. Red wall/Blue wall is just political rhetoric.

    Gordon Brown is to blame, he started deregulating the financial industry which lead to the 2008 ushering in a generation of austerity, while BoE embarked on QE, even till this day.

    Then the debacle that was the coalition government where LDs had one shot make a difference and absolutely got screwed by their leader Clegg after his u-turn on tuition fees which was later revealed to be a concession for his deputy PM role (so much for honour), then of course Brexit, and now the lies and exaggeration of Covid which led to 2 years of shutdowns, closures, disruption, bankruptcies etc.

    The rise in costs was in the making since 2008.

  14. #974
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    British politics has essentially been chaotic throughout my lifetime, I canít remember a moment when there wasnít a scandal, conflict, secret plot, controversy, or otherwise messy situation of some kind going on. (or, several at the same time as one another.) Perhaps the ďrosyĒ first couple of years of Blair, and thatís it.

    The idea that BoJoís admittedly rather train wreck style of governing is something new is not based in fact imo.

  15. #975
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    British politics has essentially been chaotic throughout my lifetime, I can’t remember a moment when there wasn’t a scandal, conflict, secret plot, controversy, or otherwise messy situation of some kind going on. (or, several at the same time as one another.) Perhaps the “rosy” first couple of years of Blair, and that’s it.

    The idea that BoJo’s admittedly rather train wreck style of governing is something new is not based in fact imo.
    Things have been pretty carp since 2008.

    From 1997/2007 I had hope. Everything seemed to be getting better and I felt we were on the right track with services that worked, and peace in NI for the first time since 1972.

    As late as 2012 with the Olympics I felt that the nation was confident and at ease with itself.

    But 2016 to date - it's become paranoid and anxious and mean-spirited and xenophobic, while the farmers go bust and food banks grow in number. It doesn't feel like home any more.

  16. #976
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    Between 1997 and 2007 we had an economic boom. Again, money is all that matters and everyone was getting richer and the euphoria was high.

    If the nation had united under the banner of democracy in 2016 then we wouldn't be in this mess.

    The Liberals and Remainers blame Brexit, they are the ones responsible for the rise in xenophobia and division, yet fail to realise Brexit is a symptom, of austerity. They see the EU as their home, not the UK.

    Still the majority of us are optimistic and confident Brexit will be a success, and as long as confidence and optimism outweighs the defeatest and persermist belief, then it's all good.

  17. #977
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Still the majority of us are optimistic and confident Brexit will be a success, and as long as confidence and optimism outweighs the defeatest and persermist belief, then it's all good.
    The truth is that the neoliberal pro-Remain political class and the institutions lost, and the votes of ordinary people ultimately won the day (as they always rightly should have done ó lest we forget that this was needlessly thrown into doubt for a while by a cluster of very rich and very bad losers in public life).

    I have mixed feelings on the UK being outside of the EU, there is some good about it and some less good, but the deal is done now and it was the democratic choice of the citizens to leave, so letís now move on as one nation & try and make the best of it.
    Last edited by James; 22nd January 2022 at 21:51.

  18. #978
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The truth is that the neoliberal pro-Remain political class and the institutions lost, and the votes of ordinary people ultimately won the day (as they always rightly should have done — lest we forget that this was needlessly thrown into doubt for a while by a cluster of very rich and very bad losers in public life).

    I have mixed feelings on the UK being outside of the EU, there is some good about it and some less good, but the deal is done now and it was the democratic choice of the citizens to leave, so let’s now move on as one nation & try and make the best of it.
    As Sir Keir said the other day.

    I'd be fairly happy with SM membership as discussed, the Norway Minus option to keep the trucks rolling and the agricultural workers on the farms, but the ERG headbangers would never allow that. Now every day I see vegetable shortages, fisherman going bust, pigs incinerated, and the constant refrain "Supply chain issues." Johnson's deal is just a massive own goal.

  19. #979
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    The truth is that the neoliberal pro-Remain political class and the institutions lost, and the votes of ordinary people ultimately won the day (as they always rightly should have done ó lest we forget that this was needlessly thrown into doubt for a while by a cluster of very rich and very bad losers in public life).

    I have mixed feelings on the UK being outside of the EU, there is some good about it and some less good, but the deal is done now and it was the democratic choice of the citizens to leave, so letís now move on as one nation & try and make the best of it.
    Indeed, this is the right mentality. We voted out, this means out. No cherry picking. Screw the SM, screw the free borders. We voted out. Democracy must prevail if we are to stand as the beacon of civilisations.

    I didnít vote for a coalition, but I still hoped for unity between 2010-2015, and was optimistic our country would through.

    2012 Olympics was a clear sign that a nation can unite and bring positivity, albeit for 4 weeks, we still did it.

    But no, the LDs, Labour, MSM are just acting like muppets, selfish to the core. Desperate for power.

    Tomorrow Boris could be gone, Keith Starmer will still behave as an opposition; for the votes, he has no policies. Zero. And if he becomes PM, the opposition will do the same; pick bones and faults instead of uniting as a nation.

    Maybe we do need a war, a war thatíll unite us all on the basis of what is common.

    Bring on the blitz!?
    Last edited by Technics 1210; 22nd January 2022 at 22:07.

  20. #980
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Indeed, this is the right mentality. We voted out, this means out. No cherry picking. Screw the SM, screw the free borders. We voted out. Democracy must prevail if we are to stand as the beacon of civilisations.

    I didn’t vote for a coalition, but I still hoped for unity between 2010-2015, and was optimistic our country would through.

    2012 Olympics was a clear sign that a nation can unite and bring positivity, albeit for 4 weeks, we still did it.

    But no, the LDs, Labour, MSM are just acting like muppets, selfish to the core. Desperate for power.

    Tomorrow Boris could be gone, Keith Starmer will still behave as an opposition; for the votes, he has no policies. Zero. And if he becomes PM, the opposition will do the same; pick bones and faults instead of uniting as a nation.

    Maybe we do need a war, a war that’ll unite us all on the basis of what is common.

    Bring on the blitz!?
    Uh, yeah they do, Labour have policies. Fuel benefits for the poorest, for instance, announced at the Despatch Box. Otherwise:

    https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/la...cation-1222508

    The duty of HM Opposition is to oppose HM Government, hold their toes to the fire.

  21. #981
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Uh, yeah they do, Labour have policies. Fuel benefits for the poorest, for instance, announced at the Despatch Box. Otherwise:

    https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/la...cation-1222508

    The duty of HM Opposition is to oppose HM Government, hold their toes to the fire.
    Funny, so did Corbyn.

  22. #982
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  23. #983
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Remarkable as a member of the LDs you are promoting Labour. The hate for Boris/Tories must be strong.

    There was a time when politicans may not have been honest, but were loyal.

  24. #984
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    Point of note, many of the Labour policies cited stemmed from Corbyn.

    Proof the MSM brainwashing is strong.

  25. #985
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    Remember folks, LDs formed an alliance/coalition with the TORIES in 2010. Now they seek to form an alliance with Labour. (Even though Brown offered the coalition between LDs and Labour in 2010).

    This is why Liberal Democrats party is a joke; they cannot be trusted, you do not know where they or what they stand for; have no values or principles - they will sell themselves as a party to the highest bidder. Clegg himself sold his values by accepting a u-turn on tuition fees for deputy PM role.

    To top it off, the LDs were hell bent to overturn a democratic result post 2016 Brexit result.

    This is why Liberalism is the biggest enemy in the West - They do not stand for anything other than political flavour of the month - anything to gain power.

    Rather have a predictable Boris than a chameleonic party - The Liberal Democrats.

  26. #986
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Remarkable as a member of the LDs you are promoting Labour. The hate for Boris/Tories must be strong.

    There was a time when politicans may not have been honest, but were loyal.
    We wonít form a government without PR (but are on course to get 25 MPs according to current polls).

    Starmer Labour is more liberal that the Tories these days.

    This country must invest in services, do something about fuel poverty and food banks, and stop the transfer of public funds into donor/crony hands like these Tories. Starmer Labour will do that.

    Yes, I hate this version of the Tory party. They are not Tories at all. They morphed into an authoritarian English nativist-nationalist party after the Referendum.

  27. #987
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    Point of note, many of the Labour policies cited stemmed from Corbyn.

    Proof the MSM brainwashing is strong.
    Starmer is competent to lead and deliver change. Corbyn was not.

  28. #988
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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-60254176

    Southend West by-election: Anna Firth wins seat for Tories

    The Conservatives have retained the seat of Southend West in a parliamentary by-election prompted by the fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess.

    Anna Firth won with 12,792 votes in a contest that saw a low turnout of 24%.

    The election was not contested by Labour, the Liberal Democrats or the Greens.

    Jason Pilley of the Psychedelic Movement came second with 512 votes. UKIP's Steve Laws was third with 400.

    There were 1,084 spoilt ballot papers.

    Sir David was attacked during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on 15 October.

    Ali Harbi Ali, 25, from Kentish Town in north London, denies his murder and is due to stand trial next month.

    In her victory speech, Ms Firth paid tribute to Sir David, who had represented the seat for 24 years, describing him as a "truly exceptional MP".

    The barrister from Leigh-on-Sea vowed to "work tirelessly to build on everything" achieved by him during his lengthy tenure.

    "It is the honour of my life to represent the people of Southend West and the place where I was born," she said.

    "He was a friend to all and had a huge impact on everyone who lives here.

    "For Sir David's family and his friends... [this] will be a sad and painful day and I would like to pay tribute to Lady Amess and their children.

    "We are thinking of you".

    The PA news agency said it had seen a number of the spoilt ballot papers containing messages directed against Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

    One featured the comment "Boris do a Brexit - get out", while another member of the electorate scrawled "Get Boris out".

    Mr Johnson is under scrutiny over the "partygate" controversy following gatherings at Downing Street during lockdowns, while four of his senior aides resigned on Thursday.

    The turnout of 24% was just below that of the Batley and Spen by-election in 2016, which was held in similar circumstances after Labour MP Jo Cox was killed. The other major parties did not stand against the Labour candidate who succeeded her.

    The Southend West seat has been held by the Conservatives since it was created for the 1950 general election.

    In the December 2019 general election, when all the main parties stood, Sir David had a majority of 14,459 - securing 59.2% on a turnout of 67.4%.

    Labour came second with 28.1%; the Lib Dems were third with 11.4%.

    Full by-election results:
    Anna Firth (Conservative Party) - 12,792 (86.10% of vote)
    Jason Pilley (Psychedelic Movement) - 512 (3.45%)
    Steve Laws (UKIP) - 400 (2.69%)
    Catherine Blaiklock (English Democrats) - 320 (2.15%)
    Jayda Fransen (Independent) - 299 (2.01%)
    Ben Downton (Heritage Party) - 236 (1.59%)
    Christopher Anderson (Freedom Alliance) - 161 (1.08%)
    Graham Moore (English Constitution Party) - 86 (0.58%)
    Olga Childs (Independent) - 52 (0.35%)

    Turnout: 14,858 (24% of the electorate of 66,462, if spoilt ballot papers are added)

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    Interesting that Labour didn’t stand, giving the lie to this idea that their Rule Book says they must.

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    Analysis: A day of sideways moves

    By Joe Pike, political correspondent

    After the prime minister shook up his Number 10 team last week, today he executed a largely male mini ministerial reshuffle.

    The top of the whips' office has been cleared out, after confidence plummeted in chief whip Mark Spencer and his deputy Stuart Andrew.

    Mr Spencer and Mr Andrew were blamed for the botched handling of the Owen Paterson affair.

    Accusations of blackmail and racism - strenuously denied - have also been swirling around the outgoing chief whip.

    A new job in the Cabinet Office - minister for Brexit opportunities - has been created for Jacob Rees-Mogg. This will help provide support for Steve Barclay, who remains Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster but is now also the prime minister's chief of staff.

    Boris Johnson has moved everyone sideways, meaning no-one has been sacked. He knows any minister he fires is a potential enemy - he already has enough of those on the Tory backbenches.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

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    Steve Barclay: PM's new chief of staff pledges smaller state

    Government will take a "step back" from people's lives and pursue "a smaller state", the PM's new top aide has said.

    Steve Barclay told the Sunday Telegraph that while public health interventions and vast amounts spent in the pandemic were the right decisions, it was time for "a more enabling approach".

    The PM made cabinet minister Mr Barclay his new chief of staff last week.

    No 10 says the prime minister will focus on domestic policy on a tour of parts of the UK this week.

    It comes as Boris Johnson faces continued criticism and concern from some Conservative MPs about his leadership.

    Mr Barclay's appointment as chief of staff was part of a No 10 shake-up in the wake of civil servant Sue Gray's initial report into Downing Street lockdown parties, and the ongoing police investigation into gatherings.

    In his first public comments since then, Mr Barclay writes: "Now it is a priority to restore a smaller state - both financially and in taking a step back from people's lives.

    "It's time to return to a more enabling approach. To trust the people, return power to communities, and free up business to deliver."

    As chief of staff, Mr Barclay is the prime minister's most senior advisor with, No 10 says, responsibility for "driving the government's agenda more efficiently and ensuring it is better aligned with the cabinet and backbenchers".

    The role is usually a political appointment rather than a civil servant position.

    Meanwhile, the prime minister has said he would be "getting out of London" this week to focus on "the job of uniting and levelling up the country".

    Mr Johnson will travel to Scotland to visit a manufacturing site and meet with workers.

    But the trip comes in the week he is required to respond to a police questionnaire about events in No 10 during lockdown.

    The Met Police has said the questions, which have been sent by email to more than 50 people, "must be answered truthfully" and should be responded to within seven days.

    The questionnaire has the same status as information given in an interview under caution.

    But being contacted does not mean a fine would always be issued, the police have said.

    Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said it would be "very tough" for Mr Johnson to cling on to power if he is fined.

    Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said he believed Mr Johnson would "go on and fight the next election successfully".

    BBC

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    DUP MLA Christopher Stalford dies aged 39

    The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician Christopher Stalford has died suddenly at the age of 39.

    Mr Stalford was a well-known member of the party and had represented South Belfast in the Northern Ireland Assembly since 2016.

    In a statement, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he was "deeply saddened" at Mr Stalford's death.

    Sir Jeffrey said Mr Stalford was "not just an elected representative or a colleague, he was a friend".

    Mr Stalford is survived by his wife Laura and four children.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-60451845

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    Former First Minister Alex Salmond has suspended his talk show on Russian state broadcasting channel RT.

    He had been under increased pressure to stop appearing on the channel because of the crisis in Ukraine.

    His successor Nicola Sturgeon had said she was "appalled" that the show had continued and urged him to "reflect".

    An episode was posted on the RT website on Thursday morning, but Mr Salmond has now said the show will end "until peace is re-established".

    He insisted there had never been "a single piece of editorial interference of any kind from RT" in the programme.

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    Former education secretary Gavin Williamson to get knighthood

    Former defence secretary and education secretary Gavin Williamson is to receive a knighthood.

    The Conservative MP for South Staffordshire was sacked from the cabinet in last September's reshuffle.

    Mr Williamson faced opposition calls to quit over his handling of disruption to England's schools and exams during the pandemic.

    The 45-year-old, whose first career was in manufacturing, previously served as the government's chief whip.

    He was given a CBE in 2016 for political and public service, and it is understood that his knighthood is being awarded for the same reasons.

    Mr Williamson was first elected to Parliament in 2010 and became chief whip, in charge of Conservative Party discipline, under Prime Minister Theresa May, in 2016.

    While in that role he notably kept a pet tarantula called Cronus on his desk.

    In 2017, Mrs May made Mr Williamson defence secretary, a role he served in until 2019 when she sacked him, saying she had "lost confidence in his ability to serve".

    This followed an inquiry into a leak from a National Security Council meeting on whether the Chinese firm Huawei should be involved in setting up the UK's 5G network.

    Mrs May said she had "compelling evidence" that Mr Williamson was responsible for the leak, but he denied this.

    He returned to the cabinet as education secretary in summer 2019, after Boris Johnson became prime minister.

    But his time in the job was marked by severe criticism from opposition parties over his handling of school closures, free school meal provision and GCSE and A-level exams during the Covid pandemic.

    Mr Williamson was replaced as education secretary by Nadhim Zahawi in last autumn's reshuffle.

    Reacting to the news of his knighthood, Labour's shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: "Gavin Williamson let children to go hungry, created two years of complete chaos over exams and failed to get laptops out to kids struggling to learn during lockdowns. His record is astonishing and disgraceful."

    Mr Williamson has not commented so far on his honour.

    ó ó ó

    A pretty dreadful decision.

    Even by the usual honours list standards.

    One of the worst UK government ministers of this era is getting knighted.

    If he has any personal integrity then he will refuse the title out of shame.

  35. #995
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    Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky to address UK MPs in Commons

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address British MPs on Tuesday via video link, the Speaker of the House of Commons has announced.

    Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he was pleased to grant Mr Zelensky's "historic" request, with the address taking place at 17:00 GMT.

    The speech will be shown on screens being installed in the chamber.

    More than 500 headsets will also be provided to relay an English translation of his statement.

    Sir Lindsay said: "Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House.

    "Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic address possible."

    Mr Zelensky, a former comedian and actor, has been the figurehead of Ukraine's struggle since Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces invaded the country last month.

    He has spoken frequently to Prime Minister Boris Johnson since the conflict started.

    On Monday, Mr Zelensky promised to punish anyone who commits atrocities against the Ukrainian people.

    "There will be no quiet place on Earth for you, except for the grave," the president said.

    At Prime Minister's Questions last week, MPs stood to applaud Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine's ambassador to the UK, who watched parliamentary proceedings from the Commons gallery.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-60655003

  36. #996
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    Police send over 100 questionnaires on No 10 parties

    The Metropolitan Police has sent out over 100 questionnaires as it continues to investigate parties that took place in Downing Street while Covid restrictions were in place.

    The force said it had now begun interviewing witnesses and may need to contact more over the gatherings.

    The Met launched its investigation in January after a string of reports about lockdown parties across Whitehall.

    It is formally investigating 12 events, including three the PM attended.

    Boris Johnson has refused to say whether he was at another alleged event, said to have been held in his Downing Street flat in November 2020.

    Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, called on the prime minister "come clean" and reveal if he was being interviewed by the police, as well as whether he would resign if found to have broken the law.

    He added: "No more fluff, just the facts for all those who suffered during lockdown while he partied."

    Initial findings from an inquiry by senior civil servant Sue Gray said there had been "failures of leadership and judgement" over the parties, as well as excessive drinking at work against the backdrop of the pandemic.

    She has pledged to update her report after the police finish their investigation.

    Questions and answers
    In a statement on Monday, the Met said detectives from the Operation Hillman investigation team had started interviewing "key witnesses".

    The force added: "To date, over 100 questionnaires have been sent out asking the recipients about their participation in alleged gatherings.

    "The questionnaires provide recipients with the opportunity to give an account of their involvement and the responses form part of the investigative material for the operation."

    All recipients - including both the prime minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak - were given seven days to respond.

    The statement said: "As a result of responses so far, further individuals have been identified and questionnaires sent to them.

    "As the investigation continues, we may need to contact more people as further information comes to light."

    The force has not issued any fixed penalty notices for breaching of lockdown rules in connection with events in Downing Street and Whitehall.

    But the Met added: "Every questionnaire response is being assessed alongside all available evidence, and should this reach the evidential threshold, then referrals will be made."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-60827451

  37. #997
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    Jamie Wallis MP comes out as trans and speaks of rape ordeal

    Politicians have praised a Welsh MP for his bravery after he tweeted he has gender dysphoria and has been a victim of rape and blackmail.

    Jamie Wallis, who was elected in 2019, is the first MP to come out as trans.

    The Conservative MP for Bridgend said a man sent pictures to his family and demanded £50,000 in 2020. He said he was raped in a separate incident.

    Mr Wallis wrote that after he was raped "things have taken a tumble. I am not ok."

    The MP confirmed that he fled the scene of a car crash two months after he was raped.

    Both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer acknowledged Mr Wallis' statement in the Commons.

    With Mr Wallis looking on from the backbenches, Mr Johnson said: "the House stands with you and will give you the support you need to live freely as yourself".

    Mr Wallis was arrested last year on suspicion of driving while unfit, following an incident where a car hit a lamppost at Church Road in Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan.

    "When I crashed my car on the 28th November I fled the scene. I did so because I was terrified," he wrote.

    The MP said he suffered with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and "I honestly have no idea what I was doing except I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear".

    "I am sorry that it appears I 'ran away' but this isn't how it happened in the moment," he said.

    South Wales Police said the matter is still under investigation.

    In the Twitter statement posted early Wednesday morning, Mr Wallis said: "I've been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I've felt this way since I was a very young child.

    "I had no intention of ever sharing this with you. I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud.

    "There was a close call in April 2020 when someone blackmailed me, outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members.

    "He wanted £50,000 to keep quiet. The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked."

    The MP said the man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and nine months prison.

    "For a while it seemed as though I would be able to get on with things and move on. Being an MP and hiding something like this was always going to be tough, but I arrogantly assumed I was up for it.

    "Well, I'm not."

    The MP praised Tory party whips: "As far as I've seen they try their best to support and help MPs who are having a tough time.

    "Well they've certainly earned their keep with me."

    He said the dinner with Tory MPs on Tuesday evening reminded him "of the incredible support those you work with can provide".

    "I was reminded how important it is to be yourself. I have never lived my truth and I'm not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone."

    Later he said he was "overwhelmed by the kindness and support I have received".

    "I am proud to be completely open and honest about the struggles I have had, and continue to have, with my identity. However, I remain the same person I was yesterday. For the time being, I will continue to present as I always have and will use he/him/his pronouns."

    Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden said:
    "Proud of my colleague Jamie Wallis.

    "As a Conservative family we stand together, and we will support you.

    "I hope that your brave statement will help others."

    Mike Freer, the Minister for Equalities, acknowledged the "enormously personal" statement in the Commons."I hope I speak for the whole house in sending our support, it is so important that people are free and safe to be themselves whoever they are and whoever they love", he said.

    Labour MP Wes Streeting said: "Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share."

    Plaid Cymru Commons leader Liz Saville Roberts said: "This is an extraordinarily brave message to send out, Jamie. Whatever our politics, public life is unremitting and often merciless. Great respect for your personal courage."

    Former MP and chancellor George Osborne said "we comment on the things that have got worse in politics, but many things have got better", tweeting that "if a Tory MP had said this when I was first elected 20 years ago they would have been hounded not applauded and supported".

    The LGBTQ charity Stonewall said it was sending "solidarity" and "love" to Mr Wallis, calling his decision to come out "brave".

    "It's clear [he] has been through very painful recent experiences, and coming out in the public eye will be liberating, but also profoundly stressful," said CEO Nancy Kelley.

    "We've been heartened to see support from across the LGBTQ+ community and across the political spectrum."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-60925885

  38. #998
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Jamie Wallis MP comes out as trans and speaks of rape ordeal

    Politicians have praised a Welsh MP for his bravery after he tweeted he has gender dysphoria and has been a victim of rape and blackmail.

    Jamie Wallis, who was elected in 2019, is the first MP to come out as trans.

    The Conservative MP for Bridgend said a man sent pictures to his family and demanded £50,000 in 2020. He said he was raped in a separate incident.

    Mr Wallis wrote that after he was raped "things have taken a tumble. I am not ok."

    The MP confirmed that he fled the scene of a car crash two months after he was raped.

    Both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer acknowledged Mr Wallis' statement in the Commons.

    With Mr Wallis looking on from the backbenches, Mr Johnson said: "the House stands with you and will give you the support you need to live freely as yourself".

    Mr Wallis was arrested last year on suspicion of driving while unfit, following an incident where a car hit a lamppost at Church Road in Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan.

    "When I crashed my car on the 28th November I fled the scene. I did so because I was terrified," he wrote.

    The MP said he suffered with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and "I honestly have no idea what I was doing except I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear".

    "I am sorry that it appears I 'ran away' but this isn't how it happened in the moment," he said.

    South Wales Police said the matter is still under investigation.

    In the Twitter statement posted early Wednesday morning, Mr Wallis said: "I've been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I've felt this way since I was a very young child.

    "I had no intention of ever sharing this with you. I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud.

    "There was a close call in April 2020 when someone blackmailed me, outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members.

    "He wanted £50,000 to keep quiet. The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked."

    The MP said the man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and nine months prison.

    "For a while it seemed as though I would be able to get on with things and move on. Being an MP and hiding something like this was always going to be tough, but I arrogantly assumed I was up for it.

    "Well, I'm not."

    The MP praised Tory party whips: "As far as I've seen they try their best to support and help MPs who are having a tough time.

    "Well they've certainly earned their keep with me."

    He said the dinner with Tory MPs on Tuesday evening reminded him "of the incredible support those you work with can provide".

    "I was reminded how important it is to be yourself. I have never lived my truth and I'm not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone."

    Later he said he was "overwhelmed by the kindness and support I have received".

    "I am proud to be completely open and honest about the struggles I have had, and continue to have, with my identity. However, I remain the same person I was yesterday. For the time being, I will continue to present as I always have and will use he/him/his pronouns."

    Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden said:
    "Proud of my colleague Jamie Wallis.

    "As a Conservative family we stand together, and we will support you.

    "I hope that your brave statement will help others."

    Mike Freer, the Minister for Equalities, acknowledged the "enormously personal" statement in the Commons."I hope I speak for the whole house in sending our support, it is so important that people are free and safe to be themselves whoever they are and whoever they love", he said.

    Labour MP Wes Streeting said: "Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share."

    Plaid Cymru Commons leader Liz Saville Roberts said: "This is an extraordinarily brave message to send out, Jamie. Whatever our politics, public life is unremitting and often merciless. Great respect for your personal courage."

    Former MP and chancellor George Osborne said "we comment on the things that have got worse in politics, but many things have got better", tweeting that "if a Tory MP had said this when I was first elected 20 years ago they would have been hounded not applauded and supported".

    The LGBTQ charity Stonewall said it was sending "solidarity" and "love" to Mr Wallis, calling his decision to come out "brave".

    "It's clear [he] has been through very painful recent experiences, and coming out in the public eye will be liberating, but also profoundly stressful," said CEO Nancy Kelley.

    "We've been heartened to see support from across the LGBTQ+ community and across the political spectrum."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-60925885
    Vote sympathy.

    He plays the usual - I am a victim - routine to garner votes by playing on voter sympathy. He'd have more chance if he said his long distant 4 the cousin from his step-father bloodline was Ukrainian.

  39. #999
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    Conversion therapy: Government plans for ban scrapped

    Plans to ban so-called conversion therapy in England and Wales have been abandoned by the government.

    According to NHS England, conversion therapy tries to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.

    The ban was announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2021.

    But a government spokesperson said it had instead "decided to proceed by reviewing how existing law can be deployed more effectively".

    It would also explore "other non-legislative measures" to prevent conversion therapy, they added.

    But Labour's Anneliese Dodds tweeted that it was an "outrageous decision".

    "A government that believes conversion therapy is acceptable in 21st Century Britain is no friend of the LGBT+ community," the shadow women and equalities secretary said.

    And Liberal Democrat equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said it was "giving the green light to a form of torture in the UK".

    "This is an utter betrayal of the LGBT+ community."

    Jayne Ozanne, chair of the #BanConversionTherapy coalition and conversion therapy survivor told the BBC that the news "emboldens perpetrators and allows them to act with impunity".

    "It lets them know that the government is on their side and does not want to hold them to account," she said.

    She called it a betrayal of those who bravely told their stories in the hope the prime minister would act.

    "I do not understand why he is throwing young LGBT people under the bus," she said.

    In 2018, Theresa May's government promised to end conversion therapy as part of its LGBT equality plan.

    The promise was bought forward by Boris Johnson.

    In July 2020, he said the practice was "absolutely abhorrent" and "[had] no place in this country".

    In May 2021, the Queen's Speech reiterated that measures would be "bought forward" to ban the practice.

    Liz Truss, in her role as minister for women and equalities, said after the monarch's speech:

    "As a global leader on LGBT rights, this government has always been committed to stamping out the practice of conversion therapy."

    But she also stated that the ban would only happen following a consultation seeking "further views from the public and key stakeholders".

    Some groups, including the Evangelical Alliance, which says it represents 3,500 churches, say a ban on conversion therapy could infringe on traditional religious teachings or restrict religious freedoms.

    However many other religious leaders support a ban.

    Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity, Mind, described it as a "deeply regressive move", saying "people do not need to be 'cured'".

    "Conversion 'therapy' is harmful and has a terrible impact on a person's mental health, and people who have been subject to these practices go on to experience poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety and self-hatred.

    "Anything other than an outright ban is an abject failure," Mr Farmer added.

    In the 2018 national LGBT government survey, 5% of the 108,100 respondents had been offered conversion therapy and 2% had undergone the practice in a bid to "cure them" of being LGBT.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60947028

  40. #1000
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    Tory MP David Warburton suspended during investigation into claims

    Conservative MP David Warburton has been suspended from the parliamentary party pending an investigation into allegations about his conduct.

    The claims about Mr Warburton, who sits on the backbenches, are being examined by Parliament's Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

    Mr Warburton has been MP for Somerton and Frome since 2015.

    A spokesperson for the Whips Office said the party whip had been removed while the investigation was ongoing.

    His suspension follows an investigation by the Sunday Times newspaper.

    Mr Warburton is chair of the all-party parliamentary group on music and has previously been a member of the European scrutiny committee.

    He lives near Somerton, in Somerset, with his wife and their two children, his website says.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60967143

  41. #1001
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    The Speaker of the House of Commons has summoned the editor of a national newspaper for a meeting after an article about Angela Rayner that has been roundly condemned as misogynistic.

    The story in the Mail on Sunday cited Conservative MPs saying that Labour's deputy leader deliberately distracted Mr Johnson by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

    One anonymous source was reported as saying: "She knows she can't compete with Boris's Oxford Union debating training, but she has other skills which he lacks."

    It was described as "misogynist tripe" by the prime minister - a sentiment shared by the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

    Politics Hub: Boris Johnson sent a 'short but heartfelt' message to Angela Rayner

    Sir Lindsay told MPs that the story was "demeaning" and "offensive to women in parliament", adding that it "can only deter women who might be considering standing for election to the detriment of us all".

    He said he had arranged a meeting with the chair of the press lobby and the editor of the Mail on Sunday "to discuss the issue affecting our parliamentary community" and will also separately meet Ms Rayner.

    Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner listening to speakers on the main stage during the Labour Party conference at the Brighton Centre. Picture date: Tuesday September 28, 2021.

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the "misogynist" culture in parliament must change.

    Technology minister Chris Philp told Sky News that Tory whips will be "looking at whether they know" who made the comments and discovered they would be likely to be "subject to discipline".

    Asked whether there was a cultural problem at Westminster, the prime minister - speaking on a visit to Bury - said: "It's hard to say on the basis of that particular story.

    "But I have to say I thought it was the most appalling load of sexist, misogynist tripe.

    "I immediately got in touch with Angela and we had a very friendly exchange.

    "If we ever find who is responsible for it, I don't know what we will do, but they will be the terrors of the earth.

    "It's totally intolerable, that kind of thing."

    Earlier, Mr Philp told Sky News: "I was appalled that that sentiment was being expressed.

    "It's offensive, it's misogynistic.

    "The prime minister and cabinet ministers have been absolutely right to roundly condemn that sentiment and to offer support to Angela Rayner on this issue

    "I've never heard anyone say anything like that or even hinted it and if I did I would be disgusted and appalled.

    "Nobody should have to suffer the kind of misogynistic abuse which that sentiment amounts to.

    "If it ever comes out who said that then I imagine they would be subject to discipline."

    Asked whether whips would be seeking to find out who briefed the newspaper, Mr Philp said: "I think they'll be looking at whether they know who said this.

    "I've got no idea who said it.

    "No one has ever said anything like that to me or even hinted at it.

    "I think everybody is appalled by the misogynistic sentiment.

    "We all need to keep the tone of discourse in public life civil and respectful and focus on the issues that our constituents expect us to deal with, not engage of this kind of - what essentially is - abuse."

    Ms Rayner responded to the article over the weekend, saying: "Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day - and I'm no different.

    "Boris Johnson's cheerleaders have resorted to spreading desperate, perverted smears in their doomed attempts to save his skin."

    On Monday, Ms Rayner's front bench Labour colleague Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said that with "great sadness" she was "not surprised" at the story.

    "This sort of sexism and misogyny is frankly the sort of rubbish that female MPs but also female staffers in the House of Commons have to put up with every single day.

    "When I hear a minister say 'I haven't heard this sort of thing before' - talk to your female colleagues, talk to the women who work in your office, because a lot of them would have experienced this sort of thing."

    Commenting on the story, Sir Keir Starmer told ITV's This Morning programme: "It is rank sexism, rank misogyny. She was really disgusted that all of her political attributes were put aside for this ridiculous, offensive story.

    "She shouldn't have to put up with it but all women in politics shouldn't have to put up with it. Almost every woman in politics has had an element of this in some shape or form.

    "We have got to change the culture. The culture in parliament, it is sexist, it is misogynist. We need to change it."

    SKY


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  42. #1002
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    Angela Rayner row: Does the UK Parliament have a problem with misogyny?

    A story in the Mail on Sunday reporting claims from Conservative MPs about Angela Rayner has been widely criticised as misogynistic.

    It claimed Labour's deputy leader tries to distract Boris Johnson in Parliament by crossing and uncrossing her legs as she sits on the frontbench, facing the assembled Tory MPs.

    But is misogyny the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the culture in Parliament?

    It would be hard to argue that in the past Westminster was an easy place to be a woman.

    A report in 2004 - entitled Whose secretary are you? - heard from female MPs, including Labour's Barbara Follett who recalled Conservatives pretending to juggle imaginary breasts when a woman spoke in the House of Commons.

    Ex-education secretary Gillian Shephard said one of her colleagues called all women Betty because "you're all the same".

    And Harriet Harman - who went to become Labour's deputy leader - said that, following a promotion, she was asked: "Who have you been sleeping with?"

    That report was written nearly two decades ago - do MPs think much has changed since then?

    Labour's shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves says the problem is "still massive" adding that:

    "There is not a single female MP or staff member in the Commons who doesn't have their own stories about sexism and misogyny."

    Telling the BBC about her own experience, she said that in 2015, when she was pregnant with her second child, someone suggested she wouldn't be able to be in government because "I wouldn't be able to concentrate on having a baby and having a big job".

    "No one says that about male MPs - that they can't be senior politicians and have children."

    Caroline Nokes - the Conservative chair of the Women and Equalities Committee - told BBC 5 Live that she didn't experience open sexism, adding: "It would take a very brave man."

    However, she added she had heard of comments made "behind my back".

    "I can think of a minister in the current government who openly discusses my sex life as if it is something to be ashamed of when his own is far more colourful and varied.

    "He calls me appalling names in the tea room... Westminster is a very gossipy place, it gets back to me."

    She said she couldn't use the term on radio but said it is "unpleasant, demeaning, offensive".

    Ms Nokes also argued female MPs are treated "unfairly" not just by their colleagues, but also in the media.

    "They focus on their appearances, what they're wearing, their hair, as opposed to the content of what they say - you seldom see any sort of coverage about male MPs' appearance."

    Her comments were echoed by her Tory colleague Alicia Kearns - MP for Rutland and Melton - who said "some journalists are incapable of writing about female MPs without denigrating their appearances rather than their policies".

    But journalist Isabel Oakeshott said Westminster was not full of "marauding sexists" and that things had "got an awful lot better".

    She suggested the problem was "as much with newspapers as the culture of Westminster" adding that papers may be lagging behind on the issue.

    "This is the way papers work," she told the BBC's World at One programme.

    "They will look for a story which has a central female character who is, what papers will privately call, a 'presentable woman'.

    "I don't think we should automatically assume that, because of the prominence the [Angela Rayner] story was given in the Mail on Sunday, that there is a huge problem at Westminster.

    "That is not to say there isn't some problem at Westminster, there is in almost every workplace."

    Those looking for signs of progress could point to recent changes in the way complaints of harassment are handled.

    The #MeToo campaign, in which women shared their own stories of sexual harassment, prompted questions about the culture in Westminster - particularly the way young members of staff were treated by MPs.

    Former staff members not only complained about MPs' behaviour, but also how their grievances were dealt with.

    A report by a high court judge found that aggressive, lewd and intimidation behaviour by MPs had been "tolerated and concealed" for years.

    A new independent complaints procedure was set up which removed MPs from the process of judging whether one of their colleagues had breached conduct rules.

    Conservative Andrea Leadsom, who helped set up the new system, has acknowledged it needs improving - telling the BBC last year that investigations into complaints were taking too long.

    "And that's not anyone's malicious intent, but justice delayed is justice denied. If it's going to take a year plus to resolve, that's going to undermine the credibility of the scheme," she said.

    Ms Harman - the longest serving female MP in the House of Commons - says she hopes the new procedures will stop what has been "rife".

    However, asked if things had got better since she started out in the 1980s, she said no.

    "The things that I was subjected to when I was a young woman MP... it's exactly the same happening to Angela Rayner.

    "Sexist briefing is an age-old way to shut people up... it's rooted in the idea that women should just shut up and stay home and don't have a right to be in Parliament.

    "Well it won't work. Because women will not be shut up."

    BBC

  43. #1003
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    The Mail on Sunday editor has refused to meet with Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle over the paper's controversial report about MP Angela Rayner.

    Sir Lindsay told MPs on Monday he had arranged a meeting with David Dillion following an outcry over anonymous claims the Labour deputy leader crossed and uncrossed her legs during Prime Minister's Questions to distract Boris Johnson.

    SKY


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  44. #1004
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    Tories investigate claims MP watched pornography in Commons chamber

    The Conservative Party is investigating claims a Tory MP watched porn on his mobile phone while sitting next to a female minister in the Commons chamber.

    The incident was raised by a minister at a regular meeting of Tory MPs on Tuesday night, the BBC understands.

    Another MP corroborated her account.

    Chief Whip Chris Heaton-Harris, who is in charge of Conservative MPs' discipline, is "looking into the matter," his spokeswoman said in a statement.

    "This behaviour is wholly unacceptable and action will be taken," she added.

    At Prime Minister's Questions, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said 56 MPs were under investigation by the Parliamentary authorities for sexual misconduct, including three cabinet ministers.

    She asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson if sexual misconduct was grounds for dismissal under the ministerial code.

    Mr Johnson replied that "sexual harassment is intolerable" and was "grounds for dismissal".

    At Tuesday night's meeting, which was first reported by The Sun and The Mirror, women Tory MPs shared accounts of alleged sexism and harassment.

    Conservative plans for attracting more female candidates were also discussed.

    Conservative MP Pauline Latham, who was at the private meeting, said Mr Heaton-Harris's announcement that he was investigating allegations of an MP watching porn were met with disbelief.

    "Many people came out totally shell shocked. They couldn't believe something like that could happen in what's really a professional place," she told BBC News.

    She said she did not believe "anybody knows who it is", other than the perpetrator, the person who reported it and the chief whip.

    But if the allegations were found to be true, she said, the perpetrator should "lose their job" and be thrown out of the Conservative Party.

    "We are supposed to set an example in this place and that is absolutely appalling. I am totally shocked," she added.

    Labour said it would be a "sackable offence" for MPs to watch pornography in the Commons chamber.

    Shadow Commons Leader Thangam Debbonaire, told BBC News she was "shocked but not surprised" by the story, "because there is a culture of sexism in Parliament".

    But she said MPs should "aspire to higher values than that" and, in addition to an investigation by the Conservative Party, "there may well be a case for the Standards Committee or the Standards Commissioner to look into this".

    SNP MP Kirsty Blackman told Politics Live the culprit should be kicked out of Parliament, adding:

    ďThey have been elected to represent their constituents not to sit in that chamber and watch porn."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61245040

  45. #1005
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    This government is drowning in sleaze.

  46. #1006
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    Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner did attend an event where Sir Keir Starmer was caught on camera drinking beer with activists during lockdown, the party has confirmed.

    Labour acknowledged it had previously told journalists Ms Rayner was not present at the gathering last April when coronavirus restrictions were in force.

    But a party source said it was a "mistake made in good faith".

    What's going on with Tory MP accused of watching porn in the chamber? - politics latest

    A Labour spokesman said no COVID rules had been broken at the meeting, which took place in the Durham constituency office of the local MP Mary Foy in the run-up to the Hartlepool by-election.

    At the time, people in England were banned from mixing indoors apart from for work.

    Richard Holden, the Conservative MP for North West Durham, has been pressing police to reconsider their decision not investigate the event following the fine issued to Boris Johnson for attending a birthday gathering in No 10.

    But Labour has rejected that there is any equivalence with the Downing Street partygate scandal, which has rocked the government.

    Durham Police confirmed it had received "a number of further communications" that it will be responding to, but said it is not currently investigating the matter.

    Speaking to Sky News, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the treasury Pat McFadden said: "The police have already looked at this in Durham and, they've found nothing to take action on.

    "And, you know, people are trying to draw some equivalence to this, but the police have already looked at it. And that's been their conclusion.

    "I simply don't believe that this is equivalent in any way to a series of parties - bring your own booze, booze being brought in by the suitcase with ABBA singing Winner Takes It All in the background.

    "The attempt to draw equivalence is to try to absolve this - they want people to think it's all the same so no scandal matters. And that's a bad place to go."

    Meanwhile, Mr Holden has said he has accepted an apology from Ms Foy after she had "drunkenly" abused him on the Commons terrace on Tuesday night for asking police to review claims Sir Keir broke lockdown rules.

    The incident, reportedly witnessed by several people, happened as MPs waited for late-night votes.

    In a statement posted on Twitter, Mr Holden said: "Mary Kelly Foy has given me a wholehearted apology after, unprovoked, she drunkenly approached, berated and grabbed me on the terrace of parliament on Tuesday evening in front of other MPs and members of staff.

    "I have accepted her apology and consider the matter closed."

    A party source confirmed Ms Foy had issued a personal apology.

    https://news.sky.com/story/angela-ra...nfirm-12601519

  47. #1007
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    Tory MP Neil Parish investigated over claims he watched porn in Commons

    The Conservative MP accused of watching pornography in the House of Commons chamber has been named as Neil Parish.

    He has been suspended from the parliamentary party and is under investigation by Parliament's standards commissioner.

    Two female colleagues complained earlier this week after allegedly seeing him looking at adult content on his phone while sitting near them.

    Mr Parish said he had referred himself for investigation.

    If the standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, finds that he has violated the code of conduct for MPs, possible sanctions range from having to make an apology to the Commons to suspension or expulsion.

    Questioned by the BBC, Mr Parish said: "I will fully co-operate with [the inquiry] and then be answerable to Parliament."

    Asked if he admitted the allegations, he replied: "I'm going to await [Ms Stone's] findings."

    In a statement on his website, Mr Parish said he would "continue to perform my duties as MP for Tiverton and Honiton" whilst the investigation was ongoing.

    Veteran Labour MP and former deputy party leader Harriet Harman told the BBC the allegations marked a "new low for the House of Commons".

    She said Mr Parish should stand down as an MP immediately if he watched porn in Parliament, adding: "It's not right for him to go through the investigation processes if that's what he's done."

    Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: "If Boris Johnson had any shred of decency left, he would tell Neil Parish to resign immediately.

    "In any other workplace this would count as gross misconduct and the person responsible would lose their job."

    It emerged on Wednesday that a female minister had reported seeing a male Tory MP viewing pornographic material while sitting beside her in the Commons chamber.

    A second female Tory MP said she had tried but been unable to capture video proof of him doing so.

    A Conservative spokesperson said Mr Parish has been suspended from the party whip pending the outcome of Ms Stone's investigation.

    Conservative Chief Whip Chris Heaton-Harris has already asked for the matter to be referred to Parliament's Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

    Mr Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, in Devon, chairs the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

    The investigation does not prevent him from continuing in that role.

    Environment committee member, the SNP's Kirsty Blackman, said she was "shell-shocked" and that Mr Parish "absolutely shouldn't remain as chair".

    "I hope this does not detract or distract from the good work the committee has done and continues to do," she added.

    Conservative MP Pauline Latham also suggested Mr Parish should be removed as chairman of the select committee.

    Meanwhile fellow Conservative MP and former Home Office minister Karen Bradley said she hoped Mr Parish would "do the right thing and not come into Parliament" now an investigation was under way.

    Mr Parish was quizzed by GB News earlier this week about allegations an MP had been caught watching porn.

    "I think the whips' office will do a thorough investigation, and we will wait and see that result," he told the channel.

    "I think from that then the decision will have to be made what action to be taken."

    The claims against Mr Parish follow a series of allegations about other MPs' behaviour.

    International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on Friday that she had once been "pinned up against a wall" by a male colleague and subject to misogyny and "wandering hands" on numerous occasions.

    Attorney General Suella Braverman told BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour there had to be a discussion about "moral standards", complaining that a minority of men in politics "behave like animals".

    And a Welsh MP alleged that a member of Labour's shadow cabinet had made lewd remarks to her.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61276319

  48. #1008
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    An MP under investigation for allegedly watching pornography in the Commons should be kicked out of the Tory party if he is found guilty, a minister has said.

    Neil Parish, who had the Conservative whip suspended on Friday, said he opened a file by mistake and would continue with his parliamentary duties while inquiries are ongoing.

    SKY


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  49. #1009
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    Neil Parish has now resigned as an MP.

    After thoroughly dishonouring himself and his family ó this is the now honourable thing to do.

  50. #1010
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Neil Parish has now resigned as an MP.

    After thoroughly dishonouring himself and his family — this is the now honourable thing to do.
    “He said the first time was accidental after looking at a tractor website, but the second time - in the House of Commons - was deliberate.”

    Deary me.

  51. #1011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Technics 1210 View Post
    “He said the first time was accidental after looking at a tractor website, but the second time - in the House of Commons - was deliberate.”

    Deary me.
    I knowÖ pretty embarrassing.

  52. #1012
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    "Radical" reform is needed to working practices in the Commons, the Speaker of the House has urged, following a series of bullying and sexual misconduct claims against MPs.

    Sir Lindsay Hoyle's call for urgent action comes as Conservative MP Neil Parish resigned from his post after admitting to watching pornography in a "moment of madness" in the Commons on two occasions.

    SKY


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  53. #1013
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    "Radical" reform is needed to working practices in the Commons, the Speaker of the House has urged, following a series of bullying and sexual misconduct claims against MPs.

    Sir Lindsay Hoyle's call for urgent action comes as Conservative MP Neil Parish resigned from his post after admitting to watching pornography in a "moment of madness" in the Commons on two occasions.

    SKY
    New: Business Secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng told the BBC he did not think the Commons was a dangerous place in general for women to work, but said there were some "bad apples" who had to be held to account for their actions.

  54. #1014
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    Neil Parish has formally resigned as an MP after admitting watching pornography in the House of Commons.


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  55. #1015
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    Though Labour has taken the Tories' "jewel in the crown", its gains in England outside the capital have been more modest. Still, the results coming in throughout the day will prove key to the future of the prime minister.



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  56. #1016
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    Tory MP arrested by the Met on suspicion of rape.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61487215

  57. #1017
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    There will be no Conservative MPs left by the next time we all vote in 2024.

  58. #1018
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    There will be no Conservative MPs left by the next time we all vote in 2024.
    A way to go yet, they still have a 68 seat majority.

    https://www.instituteforgovernment.o...nment-majority

    Wakefield, and Tiverton & Honniton by-elections confirmed for 23 June.

    Labour will target up north, Libs in Devon.

    Might be a third coming up if this guy is charged.

  59. #1019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Tory MP arrested by the Met on suspicion of rape.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61487215
    The allegations span seven years ! How on earth was this person able to stay put for so long ?

  60. #1020
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    Will likely end up with a fragile Labor+ Lib Dems + Greens coalition. Also expecting more than one referendum, starting with the Scots.

  61. #1021
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
    Will likely end up with a fragile Labor+ Lib Dems + Greens coalition. Also expecting more than one referendum, starting with the Scots.
    I donít think the LDs will enter a coalition again.. They will lose their soft blue supporters this time instead of the soft left / students / antiwar lobby as they did before. Perhaps a confidence and supply deal for a PR vote is more feasible.

    Sir Keir might need the Scot Nats support - the price of which will be IndyRef2. But he wonít want the union to split on his watch.

  62. #1022
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    The allegations span seven years ! How on earth was this person able to stay put for so long ?
    Sometimes it takes alleging rape victims a long time to come forward, and the police to gather enough evidence for the CPS to think a conviction is likely.

  63. #1023
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    The progressive alliance to defeat the Tories appears to be in effect. Labour are not sending their big beasts to campaign in Tiverton & Honiton, and I expect Sir Ed Davey of the Libs wonít turn up in Wakefield either.

  64. #1024
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    At the moment there seems to be a wider feeling that is building in the country ó very slowly, but nonetheless steadily ó that the Conservative Party in its current incarnation (after 12 years of running our affairs) has gone well past its sell-by date.

    The one classically redeeming factor of voting a Tory government into power, amongst all of the cuts and the scandals and the division and the mental health crises and the nastiness, has often been that this national decision can be a route through to accessing the Toriesí own brutally effective right-wing brand of British capitalist economics underlined as it is by a certain monetary competence, which can be useful to the UK in specific circumstances.

    But this final mitigating ideal is now itself at last being sunk also, by internal government policies and loose spending by the Cabinet as well as gross mismanagement of the Pound Sterling by the Treasury.

    The global economic conditions, labour shortages, supply chain issues and mounting inflation in a post-Covid world are not helping; but because of the Conservative Party we are still suffering more than many other similarly sized developed countries such as France, Germany and Italy.

    As disjointed, piecemeal and generally flawed as the alternative of an Orange Coalition might be for the UK, it really is time now for somebody else to be sent into our highest office and be given an opportunity to have a crack at things. (At the head of this new arrangement may or may not be Sir Keir Starmer.)

    Either way, May 2024 cannot come soon enough for us.

  65. #1025
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    The Conservative parties aren't ruthless capitalists.

    They are inefficient crony capitalists. Just like the socialists, they are also engaged in a class struggle and their aim is to achieve maximum benefit for a small group of middle/upper class Britons.

    The cronyism and sleaze at the height of Covid should have been enough to sink them into oblivion. However, the fact that our media is very much a part of the establishment means they were excused.

    Notice that most criticism of the Tories in the right wing media centres around criticism of behaviour such as the parties or sexual impropriety and not about economic mismanagement.

    As our very own resident raver (for once) rightly mentioned, there is a real feel of every man for themselves at the moment in the country.

  66. #1026
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyVenom View Post
    As our very own resident raver (for once) rightly mentioned, there is a real feel of every man for themselves at the moment in the country.
    Car boot sales have always been quite popular in my part of the country (rural, northern) but they have gone through the stratosphere recently and are regularly gridlocking our ill-equipped potholed single lane roads.

    Whenever a car boot is arranged now, it is busier than ever ó sellers looking to declutter and make a quick buck, buyers turning up in absolute droves and hoping to grab a bargain.

    Everyone is trying to find ways to cope with the cost of living, for themselves, in their own way.

  67. #1027
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyVenom View Post
    The Conservative parties aren't ruthless capitalists.

    They are inefficient crony capitalists. Just like the socialists, they are also engaged in a class struggle and their aim is to achieve maximum benefit for a small group of middle/upper class Britons.

    The cronyism and sleaze at the height of Covid should have been enough to sink them into oblivion. However, the fact that our media is very much a part of the establishment means they were excused.

    Notice that most criticism of the Tories in the right wing media centres around criticism of behaviour such as the parties or sexual impropriety and not about economic mismanagement..
    Agree on all counts.

  68. #1028
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    The Libs have announced their candidate for Tiverton & Honiton. He is Richard Ford, an ex-Army Major who was decorated for service in Bosnia and Iraq. This is the sort of candidate who will do well in the Tory shires.

    LDs are doing their usual by-election tactic of flooding in from all over the UK and carpet-bombing with leaflets through doors, attempting to put another crack in the Blue Wall.

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