Politics Update: Johnson makes waves as Conservatives go for ‘power grab’

Politics-Update-11-09-2018

Brexit Chequers Theresa May Boris Johnson

Boris’ tour of trouble

The Conservative party saw infighting over the weekend, partially fuelled by Johnson’s remarks that Theresa May’s Brexit plan was a “suicide vest” for the UK. The former foreign secretary’s latest comments are part of a continued effort to undermine the PM’s Brexit plans, notably the chequers proposal, which many believe is no longer likely to make it through a parliament vote.

Theresa May has largely been silent regarding Johnson’s remarks against her plans. However, last week No 10 spokespeople were forced to address Boris’ comments made in his Daily Telegraph column, saying that the foreign secretary offered ‘no new ideas’.

Additionally, many speculate that Johnson’s inflammatory remarks are an effort to divert attention away from the breakdown of his marriage. Last week, it was revealed that Johnson was separating from Marina Wheeler, following speculation that infidelity from Johnson had led to their divorce.

Johnson facing prosecution?

Last week, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson for “abuse of public trust” over the claims made by his Brexit campaign in the run up to the referendum, notably the notorious claim that Britain pays £350m a week to the EU.

In three days, the crowdfunding page has received over £45,000 in donations, with an aim of £500,000 overall. Organisers Brexit Justice, led by campaigner Marcus J Ball, have hired barristers to work on a legal case against Mr Johnson aiming to bring a private prosecution to the former foreign secretary.

Corbyn tells MPs to stop fighting

Jeremy Corbyn Speak in Newark

 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged members of the party to put a halt to infighting and “turn our fire outwards” against the Conservatives, however he quickly drew criticism from his colleagues, after he failed to defend a fellow Labour MP who faces a vote of censure from her local party.

Speaking to a meeting of Labour MPs in Westminster, Corbyn said: “We will always have some differences of opinion and we must protect the right of criticism and debate, but our first and overwhelming priority is to deliver for the people we represent and remove this Conservative government from office,”

However, Corbyn quickly saw criticism from members of the party, after they asked him whether he would intervene in order to help Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who won an unexpected landslide victory to become Canterbury’s first ever Labour MP in the 2017 election. Duffield faced criticism from her local party, with a censure vote that could have potentially paved the way for the de-selection process, which other Labour MPs have been threatened with in recent years.

Tory ‘power grab’ with boundary changes

The government’s final plans for changes to constituency boundaries have been laid out, drawing criticism from Labour MPs, who claim the move is a ‘power grab’ by the Conservatives. The new boundaries are likely to have led to a clear majority win for the Conservative party in the 2017 general election.

Monday’s publication of the plans marks the end of a process which has taken place over the last two years, and comprises boundary commissions from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Interestingly, Jeremy Corbyn’s seat would disappear as part of the move, which would become part of an enlarged new area taking in Diane Abbot’s Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency. The change also puts pressure on Boris Johnson, who would see his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat lose the Tory-leaning Yiewsley district and gain Labour-leaning Northolt.

Whilst the plans are seen to largely favour Conservatives MPs, many backbenchers from the party still showed anger at the proposed changes on Monday, and with the combined outrage it is by no means certain that the new changes will take effect.

Brexit update

Michel-Barnier-EU-Talk

Michel Barnier is the European Chief Negotiator for Brexit.

The pound jumped in value on Monday after the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that it was “realistic” to believe a deal could be reached between the UK and EU in the next two months.

These words came alongside reports that EU officials are expected to announce that an ‘extraordinary’ summit would take place in November, where Brexit negotiations would be pushed forward, with the aim of resolving terms on the key issues of trade and security, amongst others.

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