Today’s political headlines cover the moderate MPs set to announce their departure from Labour, the call for Facebook to be regulated and the moderate Tories facing deselection.
Moderate MPs set to announce departure from Labour
The BBC says that senior Labour sources have claimed that a small group of MPs will announce their departure from the party at an event this morning over the leadership’s handling of Brexit and antisemitism. Stephen Kinnock urged the MPs to ‘stay in and fight’. The Guardian adds that Chuka Umunna is expected to be one of those involved, while others could include Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Mike Gapes.
MPs allege Facebook broke laws and should be regulated
The Guardian carries details of a new report by the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee into disinformation and fake news which says that Facebook broke privacy and competition laws, and should be subject to statutory regulation. The report labels the social media firm’s executives ‘digital gangsters’, accuses chief executive Mark Zuckerberg of contempt for Parliament, claims that electoral law is not fit for purposes, and calls for an independent investigation into recent elections and referenda.
Five moderate Tories face deselection attempts
The Daily Telegraph reports that two more moderate Conservative MPs are facing deselection votes. Sir Alan Duncan and Dr Sarah Wollaston join Heidi Alexander, Dominic Grieve and Nick Boles in facing votes of no confidence from their constituency associations, in what it claims is known as the ‘purple momentum’ drive.
May ready for ‘howls of rage’ over no-deal Brexit tariffs
According to The Times, the Prime Minister is preparing for ‘howls of rage’ as ministers finalise no-deal Brexit tariffs. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox favours dropping them to zero in as many areas as possible, but other ministers want to protect producers, including farmers. Tariff details will be published next week, with a decision due on Wednesday.
Gove announces increased efforts to tackle plastic pollution
The Financial Times says that Michael Gove, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Sectary, has increased his efforts to tackle plastic pollution, setting out plans for a new tax, standardised recycling and a bottle return scheme. However, the paper says that this is likely to ‘irritate food and drinks companies’ as they have already warned that don’t have the capacity to respond to consultations on topics other than Brexit. The Times adds that the proposals also include a levy on all clothing sold in an attempt to reduce waste.
Border security checks to be abandoned in no-deal Brexit
The Sun says that HMRC will announce a six-month ‘standstill’ this week, abandoning no-deal Brexit security and safety checks, as the Border Force is insufficiently prepared to administer these, having already said it will waive the requirement for goods declarations.
British attempts to speed-up Japanese trade deal fail
The Financial Times claims that British attempts to persuade Japan to agree to a quick trade deal after Brexit have ‘backfired’. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox wrote to their counterparts to tell them that ‘time is of the essence’. However, the Japanese found this to be a ‘high-handed approach’ and are unwilling to replicate their trade deal with the EU, instead seeking preferential terms.
Labour MP Paul Flynn dies
The BBC reports that Labour MP Paul Flynn has died at the age of 84. Flynn, who had announced that he would step down ‘as soon as possible’ in October, had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Jeremy Corbyn described Flynn as ‘an independent thinker who was a credit to the Labour Party’, adding that he ‘will be greatly missed’.
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