Newslinks for Friday 13th December 2019

Johnson achieves biggest win since Thatcher

“Boris Johnson secured a comfortable majority in the Commons as voters backed him to take Britain out of the EU next month. Conservative victories in a string of seats in Labour’s former heartlands meant that the Tories had secured by 5am the 326 seats needed for a majority. The initial forecast was for a Tory majority of 86, the party’s biggest since 1987. This was subsequently revised down to 64 by the BBC at 3am to take account of actual results. Jeremy Corbyn conceded defeat at 3.20am but refused to bow to pressure to quit immediately. He said that he would stand down but would continue to lead the party through “a period of reflection”. Speaking shortly after, Mr Johnson said the results thus far showed that “this one-nation Conservative government has been given a powerful mandate to get Brexit done.” Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat leader, lost her seat in East Dunbartonshire to the Scottish National Party. She said that “while some will be celebrating the wave of nationalism that is sweeping on both sides of the border. . . for millions in our country these results will bring dread and dismay.” President Trump also tweeted his support for Mr Johnson, saying: “Looking like a big win for Boris in the UK!” – The TimesTories celebrate landslide victory – Daily TelegraphBlue wave sweeps country – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson declares powerful mandate to ‘get Brexit done’ – FT
  • Former Tory and Labour MPs fail to win seats – The Guardian
  • Sterling in biggest jump for a decade – Daily Telegraph
  • Farage takes credit for Tory win – FTRees-Mogg increases his majority – Daily Mail
  • Raab holds on despite 18% Lib Dem surge – Daily Mail
  • Soubry loses Broxtowe seat – Daily Express
  • Johnson eyes mini-reshuffle next week – Daily Mail
Comment
>Today:
>Yesterday:

Conservative HQ erupts in celebration

“In Conservative Campaign Headquarters on 4 Matthew Street last night, the atmosphere was euphoric. Tory staffers erupted into a rendition of Queen’s We Are The Champions as they hugged one another and chanted “oh, Isaac Levido” in tribute to the Australian who led them to victory. The exit poll was beyond their wildest hopes. The party’s internal polling was in line with suggestions by YouGov in The Times earlier this week that the Tories were on course for a 28-seat majority. They had the number at 32. At the heart of the Tories’ campaign was a simple message: “Get Brexit done.” They framed the election as a choice between leaving the European Union and “yet more dither and delay”. By contrast, the Labour message was “all over the place”, Tory insiders said. “They had lots of different promises for lots of groups, but no central narrative.” The team was also united behind Mr Levido. It was decided at the outset of the campaign that Mr Levido, who oversaw the “miracle Down Under” with the election of Scott Morrison earlier this year, would have absolute authority.” – The Times

MPs now set to vote on Brexit at Christmas

“Boris Johnson is prepared to use his expected majority to cancel the Christmas holiday of MPs and peers in an attempt to get his deal through parliament in time for Britain to leave the European Union by January 31. Michael Gove, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said that parliamentarians should not assume it would be an easy run into the new year as a Conservative government pushed through its agenda. He suggested that although the Tories would not “cancel Christmas”, they could make MPs sit on Saturday, December 21 and the House of Lords sit between Christmas and the new year. “MPs are there to work. If that means MPs miss a few Christmas shopping days or members of the House of Lords have to spend the period between Christmas and new year legislating then I think the public would expect us to do that,” he told BBC Radio 4. The prime minister will hold his Queen’s Speech next Thursday and aim to complete the first reading of the Brexit bill in the Commons by the end of the week.” – The Times

Corbyn agrees to step down

“Jeremy Corbyn announced this morning that he will quit as leader of the Labour Party after a “process of reflection”. At his count in Islington North, Mr Corbyn said: “I want to make it clear that I will not lead the Labour Party in any future election campaign.” But he said that he would “lead the party to ensure that discussion takes place”. He added: “This is obviously a very disappointing night for the Labour Party with the result we have got. But I want to say this: in the election campaign we put forward a manifesto for hope, a manifesto of unity and a manifesto that would help to right the wrongs of injustice and equality that exist in this country. “All of those policies were extremely popular during the election campaign and remain policies that have huge support across the country. However, Brexit has so polarised and divided debate in this country it has overridden so much of normal debate. I recognise that that has contributed to the result the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country.” – The Times

  • He is to quit – Daily Telegraph
  • Beast of Bolsover falls and hands Tories a majority – Daily Telegraph
  • Recriminations begin as Tories demolish ‘Red Wall’ – The Guardian
  • Johnson says Corbyn ‘couldn’t lead working class out of a paperbag’ – The Sun
  • Who will be next Labour leader? – The Guardian
  • Phillips throws hat into ring to be leader – The Sun
Comment
>Today:

Swinson resigns after losing her seat in Portillo moment

“The Lib Dem leader, who started the campaign claiming she could be the next prime minister, lost in her East Dunbartonshire constituency to the SNP, a result that capped a disastrous night for her party. Though Lib Dem numbers in the Commons swelled before the election to 21, aided by MPs crossing the floor, the Ipsos Mori exit poll predicted the party winning 13 seats – only one more than in 2017. In a statement the party said Ed Davey and Sal Brinton would take over as joint interim leaders. Tom Brake was another casualty for the party, narrowly failing to hold his Carshalton & Wallington seat in south London. Small consolation came in Richmond Park, south-west London, where Sarah Olney recaptured the remain-backing seat, ousting the Tory minister Zac Goldsmith. The party won in St Albans, the Hertfordshire constituency that voted heavily in favour of remain in 2016, beating the Tories.” – The Guardian

>Today:

SNP to demand Indy2 referendum

“Nicola Sturgeon has said Boris Johnson has no choice but to give her the power for another independence referendum after the SNP won an extraordinary landslide in Scotland. With the SNP winning 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats, the First Minister said she had a “renewed, refreshed, strengthened mandate” for another separation vote. She said contrasting election results on both sides of the Border showed that England and Scotland were on “divergent” paths. The Scottish Tories held six of the 13 seats they won in 2017. Among those they lost to the Nationalists were Gordon, Angus, Ochil and South Perthshire and Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock. The Lib Dems won four seats, but Labour held only one of the seven they won two years ago. Ms Sturgeon is to table an official demand for another separation vote within the coming days, with a view to staging it in the latter part of next year.” – Daily Telegraph

Comment

Dodds loses seat to Sinn Fein

“The DUP suffered a humiliating blow on Friday morning as Nigel Dodds, its deputy leader, was unseated and the party lost its leverage over the Tories. Mr Dodds, who has served as deputy leader since 2008, secured only 21,100 votes, while his Sinn Fein rival John Finucane secured 23,700. Mr Dodds was unseated by an alliance of pro-Remain parties, with Sinn Fein and the Greens stepping aside for the SDLP. As Great Britain returned a strong majority for Boris Johnson and his pledge to “get Brexit done,” the DUP has faltered at the ballot box. In South Belfast, the DUP’s Emma Little-Pengelly, lost her seat to pro-Remain SDLP candidate Claire Hanna – who, unlike Sinn Fein’s MPs, will take her seat at Westminster. The DUP suffered another blow as North Down was taken by Stephen Farry, the candidate for the anti-Brexit, non-sectarian Alliance.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Trump says Britain now free to strike ‘massive trade deal’ with US

“Donald Trump has congratulated his friend and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his huge election win, and promised a new trade deal with the UK after Brexit. Trump tweeted out his congratulations late on Thursday night. ‘Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN! Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!’ Trump tweeted. The president had earlier tweeted: ‘Looking like a big win for Boris in the U.K.!’ Trump’s tweet came after Johnson’s Conservative Party secured victory in the election, with the Prime Minister hailing ‘a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done’. His Conservative Party won a solid majority of seats in Britain’s Parliament – a decisive outcome to a Brexit-dominated election that should allow Johnson to fulfil his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month.” – Daily Mail

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