Today’s Political Headlines include the continuing Oxfam fallout, Philip Hammond’s Brexit charm offensive, Boris Johnson’s call for regulatory divergence and UK and US in dispute over ISIS ‘Beatles’.
Oxfam fallout continues, with threats to funding
The response to Oxfam’s handling of a sex scandal in Haiti in 2011 has continued, as the BBC reports. Penny Lawrence (the charity’s deputy chief executive) has quit, Helen Evans (the charity’s former global head of safeguarding) has made further allegations, and the Charity Commission is to launch an investigation. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has given Oxfam until the end of the week to explain how it will handle any future allegations or it will lose funding from the Government.
Philip Hammond starts Brexit charm offensive
The Daily Telegraph says that Philip Hammond is today embarking on a Brexit charm offensive, amid concerns that France is deliberately stalling negotiations. He is scheduled to visit Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, while David Davis will visit other European allies. The Sun reports that the UK is set to concede that the transition period will end on 31 December 2020.
Boris Johnson to call for regulatory divergence from EU
The Guardian reports that Boris Johnson is to use his speech on Brexit tomorrow to set out a ‘liberal vision’ for Brexit. He will call on leave and remain voters to unite and use Brexit for economic advantage by diverging on regulations from the EU. The paper warns that this ‘could raise fears about plans for deregulation after Brexit’.
UK and US in dispute over ISIS ‘Beatles’
According to The Times, the US and the UK are in a diplomatic row over the fate of two captured ISIS members suspected of being members of ‘The Beatles’, suspected of involvement in the beheading of over 27 people. The United States has ruled out detaining the men at Guantanamo Bay, but Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, does not want the men, who have been stripped of their British citizenship, to stand trial in the UK.
New tool to block extremist content
The BBC says that the Government has unveiled a tool that can accurately detect jihadist content and prevent it from being viewed. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that she would not rule out forcing technology companies to use it by law.
May calls for ‘one final push’ in Northern Ireland
According to The Daily Telegraph, Theresa May has called on the leaders of Northern Ireland’s main political parties to make ‘one final push’ to restore power sharing at Stormont. The Prime Minister said there was the ‘basis of an agreement’ and that the executive could be ‘up and running very soon’.
Committee calls for energy price cap to be introduced urgently
A report by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee concludes that the Government’s proposed cap on energy bills should be introduced urgently, the BBC reports. According to the committee, the legislation should be passed by the summer recess, allowing it to come into force before the end of the year.
Nursing bursary cuts discourage students, Government report says
An article in The Mirror reveals that a Government impact assessment published yesterday admits that cutting more nursing bursaries risks discouraging women and mature students. The paper reports that this follows the Government’s decision on Friday to cut further bursaries.
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