Newslinks for Tuesday 12th November 2019

Farage now urged to retreat in Labour marginals

“Senior Tories are now pressing behind the scenes for the Brexit Party leader to make further concessions and stand back in Labour-held target seats, after Farage conceded that the presence of his party in those contests could lead to a hung parliament and a second referendum. Farage claimed he now had more optimism about Johnson’s Brexit deal after the prime minister’s clarifications, having previously condemned it as a sellout and not a real Brexit. He said: “I have got no great love for the Conservative Party at all, but I can see right now that by giving Boris half a chance … and stopping the fanatics in the Liberal Democrats – they even want to revoke the result of the referendum – I think our action, our announcement today, prevents a second referendum from happening.” Farage pledged to pour his resources into targeting seats held by Remain parties and Labour, who accused him and Johnson of entering into an “alliance with Donald Trump to sell out our country”. Johnson welcomed Farage’s decision but did not answer questions about whether he had offered him a peerage or knighthood and whether the video making fresh promises of a hard Brexit had been coordinated to help the Brexit party leader climb down. Some pro-Brexit Tories are hoping for further movement from Farage in the coming days, possibly in terms of focusing the party’s financial resources on a small number of seats where the Conservatives have little chance of winning and came third to Ukip in 2015.” – The Guardian

  • Brexit Party pulls out of every Tory seat – Daily Telegraph
  • And Tories press Farage to exit every marginal – The Times
  • Pound jumps after Farage pledge – FT
  • Tory candidate faces calls to quit over ‘disgusting racism’ – The Guardian
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As decline in support for Brexit Party forced Farage’s hand

“The Brexit Party memo to candidates was clear: “We are ready for this general election and together we will change politics for good”. Yet despite the bullish tone, the writing was on the wall for would-be MPs targeting Tory seats as soon as they were told that in no circumstances should they submit their nomination forms. “Please do not submit your paperwork until we instruct you to,” read the memo sent late last week, seen by the Telegraph, which appeared to undermine Nigel Farage’s boast of only a week ago that he had 600 people ready to “fight every seat in the country”. By the time the Brexit Party leader had taken to the stage in Hartlepool on Monday afternoon, more than half the candidates had been told to stand down ahead of Thursday’s 4pm deadline to submit nominations. Naturally, the announcement was welcomed by the Prime Minister who said it was recognition that only the Conservatives could “get Brexit done”. Announcing he would not be fighting 317 Conservative seats amid concerns doing so would have let in significant numbers of Liberal Democrats – opening up the prospect of a second referendum – Mr Farage tried to portray the decision as a victory for the national interest, rather than an admission that his strategy had been wrong.” – Daily Telegraph

Comment
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Javid says Labour spending would cost us £2,400 each

“Sajid Javid said Labour would have to increase taxes by £374 billion over the course of the next parliament to cover a gap in its funding. Mr Javid’s claim comes after the Tories alleged at the weekend that Labour would spend £1.2 trillion over the next parliament. Labour said that the Tories’ report included plans that had never been part of its policy and others that had been double-counted or misrepresented. The party said that Mr Javid’s claims about the scale of tax rises under Labour were “fake news”, and that its manifesto would be fully costed. Mr Javid said: “Jeremy Corbyn is planning a reckless spending spree, which we will all have to pay for. He will open up a huge black hole in the nation’s finances and hardworking people will be the ones that suffer. “The British people have made huge progress over the last decade in repairing the damage left to us by the last Labour government. If Jeremy Corbyn gets into power he would throw all that hard work away.” – The Times

  • Workers will lose a month’s wages to pay for Labour’s plans – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour to water down some radical policies – FT
  • Every adult given six years’ free study under Labour – The Guardian
  • Labour candidate ‘not fit to be an MP’, court told – The Times
  • McDonnell backs Labour candidate despite homophobic slur and rape jokes – The Sun
Comment

Nuclear strikes would be collective decision, says Thornberry

“A Jeremy Corbyn government could make a collective decision on whether to use nuclear weapons, Emily Thornberry has said. The shadow foreign secretary struggled to say whether Mr Corbyn would ever be prepared to use a nuclear weapon in office as she admitted that she could not name an occasion on which the Labour leader had backed British military action overseas. Mr Corbyn has previously said that he could not see himself deploying nuclear force but has agreed to commit to keeping Trident. Ms Thornberry told Good Morning Britain on ITV that she did not think using the deterrent would be a “decision made by one individual”, adding: “I suspect that the way that Jeremy makes decisions is that he takes advice and that we work collectively. “I am not prepared to go into whether we would use nuclear weapons or not, whether we would make a decision collectively to use nuclear weapons or not, in what circumstances.” A party source said, however, that while Mr Corbyn listened to advice he would take the final decision. Asked during the last election whether he would consider using a nuclear weapon if the UK were under threat of a nuclear strike, Mr Corbyn replied: “I would do everything I can to ensure that any threat is dealt with earlier on by negotiations and by talks.” – The Times

Vaz to stand down at election

“Keith Vaz, the Labour MP who was facing suspension from the Commons for six months after he was found to have “expressed willingness” to purchase cocaine for others, has announced he will not stand at the election. Mr Vaz, who was under threat of having the Labour whip removed, resigned on Sunday evening after 32 years as an MP for Leicester East. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said: “Keith has made a substantial and significant contribution to public life both as a constituency MP for the people of Leicester and for the Asian community across the country.” Elsewhere, a Labour candidate has described the party’s anti-Semitism problem as “politically motivated”. Mark McDonald, candidate for Stoke-on-Trent South, had claimed that the scandal was the result of an “unholy alliance” between the Conservatives and a “small group” of Labour MPs. Writing in Tribune in 2016, he had said “it is not surprising that they found one or two anti-Semitic bad eggs”, but added that “to say that the Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism is simply not true”. – Daily Telegraph

Clinton condemns decision not to publish Russian election meddling report

“It is “inexplicable and shameful” that the UK government has not yet published a report on alleged Russian interference in British politics, Hillary Clinton has told the BBC. The report has formal security clearance, but it will not be released until after the 12 December election. “Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens,” the former US presidential candidate said. The report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee examines Russian activity in UK democracy. It includes allegations of espionage, subversion and interference in elections. It contains evidence from UK intelligence services such as GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 concerning covert Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election. The report was finalised in March and referred to No 10 on 17 October. But approval for its publication has yet to be given – and is not due to happen until after polling day. MPs on the intelligence committee have been highly critical of that outcome, but the government has said the timing is not unusual.” – BBC News

Lib Dems start high court action over debate exclusion

“The Liberal Democrats have begun legal action against ITV over its “illegal” decision to exclude the party’s leader Jo Swinson from a head-to-head leaders’ debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. LibDem president Baroness Sal Brinton formally filed proceedings at the High Court in London for a judicial review of ITV’s decision on the debate which is scheduled for next Tuesday, November 19 and will be hosted by news presenter Julie Etchingham. The party claims it breaches section 6.2 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code which states that “due weight must be given to the coverage of parties and independent candidates during the election period.” It also cites the stipulation in the code that “broadcasters must take into account evidence of past electoral support and/or current support,” noting that the LibDems polled more than the Conservatives and Labour in this summer’s European Parliament elections. In its submission, the Lib Dems claim this amounts to a breach of electoral law and denies the right to be heard by “a Remain voice,” representing the millions of Britons who voted to stay in the EU.” – Daily Telegraph

  • And Lib Dems’ Gyimah rules out scrapping tuition fees – Daily Telegraph
  • Lib Dem candidate quits over Tweets using N-word – Daily Mail

Lucas says Lib Dems ‘don’t give a f***’ about Brexiteers

“The Remain alliance has suffered a serious setback after Caroline Lucas attacked the Lib Dems for their “unforgiveable” Brexit stance, accusing Jo Swinson of “not giving a f***” about the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit. In a foul-mouthed tirade, former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas attacked Swinson for her Brexit stance. Ms Lucas criticised Swinson for insisting the Liberal Democrats would revoke Brexit if voted into power. In an interview with the news and entertainment website Joe.co.uk, Ms Lucas was asked: “The Liberal Democrats have been the biggest spenders on Facebook so far. “I can understand that as she is a new party leader, people don’t know her very well. “So it is an opportunity to get her face out there and get her recognised. “What do you think Caroline, how are they getting on so far?” Ms Lucas replied: “The position of revoke, at that point I just felt that this is taking party interest above national interest to such an unforgiveable degree. “To be honest, if you wanted to send a message to 17.4 million people that you don’t give a f*** what they have just said, why don’t you just say so?” – Daily Express

More
  • Cobra to meet over floods – BBC News
  • UK growth peters out to slowest in almost a decade – FT
  • Carter has emergency brain operation – The Sun
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