May reveals vote on key Brexit legislation
Theresa May will bring forward key Brexit legislation for a Commons vote in the first weeks of June, after Jeremy Corbyn raised concerns about her ability to deliver on a Brexit deal.
After a late night meeting with the Labour leader on Tuesday, the prime minister vowed to give MPs another opportunity to either back or once again reject her Brexit deal, with or without Labour backing.
Speaking after the meeting, a Labour spokesperson said: “[Corbyn] set out the shadow cabinet’s concerns about the prime minister’s ability to deliver on any compromise agreement. In particular, he raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments, following statements by Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers seeking to replace the prime minister.”
However, a Downing Street spokesman said Ms May told Mr Corbyn the government’s “determination to bring the talks to a conclusion” and deliver on the referendum result.
Earlier in the day, May’s cabinet to agreed that cross-party Brexit talks – which had so far resulted in no clear progress – should continue until the summer recess. Now, the 3 June date set for tabling legislation may be interpreted as the deadline for reaching a compromise in the talks.
Tories increase pressure on May to step down
Theresa May was reportedly told to stand down in the coming weeks, or be forced out, as tensions rose over the ongoing Brexit impasse.
Reports of seniro colleagues demanding an end date to May’s tenure came shortly before she confirmed that she would bring key Brexit legislation to the Commons early next month.
The London Evening Standard reports one No 10 source as saying that a temporary customs union compromise was possible: “We will not sign up to a permanent customs union. We are trying to find a compromise on customs as an interim position or a stepping stone. Both sides agree that no parliament can bind a future government and most EU trade deals have a six to 12 month exit clause.”
Former minister quits Labour “destroyed” under Corbyn
A former minister has quit the Labour party, saying it has been “destroyed” under a Jeremy Corbyn leadership dogged by inaction on Brexit and incidents of antisemitism.
Bridget Prentice said that Corbyn had shown “complete ignorance” over the damage that Brexit could do to the UK, and had failed to stand up to antisemitic “bigots and bullies”, saying the party no longer had “the values, aspiration or vision that led me to join it”, 45 years ago.
In a letter made public on Tuesday, Ms Prentice said: “I have watched in horror as Jewish members have begged for support against the growth of antisemitism both within and out the party.
“Mealy-mouth words have replaced what should have been strong and determined condemnation of the bigots and bullies.
“Even when complaints were upheld, the punishment was often no more than a slap on the wrist. For a pregnant woman MP [Luciana Berger] to be bullied out of the party is shameful and embarrassing.”
Prentice said of Corbyn’s Brexit approach: “in his limited thinking, Europe is ‘a bad thing’, apparently completely ignorant of the benefits it has brought to working people”.
“To use European workers as a cause of lower wages is as disgraceful as it is pandering to the baser views of racists,” she added.
Johnson could be summoned to court over Brexit vote claims
Boris Johnson could be challenged in court over the now infamous claims that he made during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.
A crowdfunded private prosecution has been led by Marcus Ball, who has accused Johnson of misconduct in public office. After an initial hearing in front of district judge Margot Coleman ahead of a public hearing next Thursday, Ball was applauded outside Magistrates court by his supporters who have helped him fund the prosecution campaign.
As of Tuesday’s hearing, Ball’s BrexitJusticeProsecution crowdfunder had raised £216,577 from more than 5,900 supporters. Boris Johnson is yet to respond to the case.
Ball’s legal team said in a statement afterwards: “The court has determined that a public hearing will take place on Thursday 23 May at this court at which the judge will consider the application to issue a summons against the proposed defendant, Mr Boris Johnson MP, for the alleged offence of misconduct in public office.
“We wish to stress again that Mr Johnson has not been charged with any criminal offence and is at all times presumed innocent until proven otherwise. We would respectfully ask all those reporting and supporting the case to respect the formality of the court.”