Today’s political headlines include May facing fresh Brexit defeat, McDonnell calling Churchill a villain, Labour frontbenchers might quit and Conservative MPs back end to indefinite immigration detention.
May facing fresh Brexit defeat as Brexiteers object to motion
As the BBC reports, MPs will debate the next steps on Brexit later today, with the Government facing a potential defeat at the hands of Conservative Brexiteers. This is because the motion tabled by the Prime Minister backs the views expressed by MPs in their last Brexit vote, including ruling out a no-deal Brexit. The deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic MPs said that its members had ‘pleaded’ for the wording to be changed’ and they could not back the motion as it ‘removes our negotiating leverage’.
McDonnell calls Churchill a ‘villain’
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has caused controversy after he told Politico that Winston Churchill was a ‘villain’, citing his role in sending troops into the Tonypandy riots. In response, Sir Nicholas Soames, a Tory MP and Churchill’s grandson, told The Daily Telegraph that McDonnell was a ‘third-rate, Poundshop Lenin’.
Labour frontbenchers may quit if Corbyn doesn’t back referendum
The Guardian says that Jeremy Corbyn will see up to ten frontbenchers resign unless he backs a second Brexit referendum in a fortnight. However, Len McCluskey, Unite’s General Secretary has warned that stopping Brexit ‘is not the best option for our nation’ and other frontbenchers have indicated that they could not back such a policy.
Conservative MPs back end to indefinite immigration detention
The Times reports that eleven Conservative MPs have written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid demanding that immigration rules are reformed to restrict the amount of time people can be held in immigration centres to 28 days. The MPs, including David Davis, Andrew Mitchell, Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry and Dame Caroline Spelman, claim that the current policy ‘undermines our proud traditions of justice and the rule of law’ and is ‘expensive and inefficient’.
Almost all councils plan to increase council tax
The Guardian carries the results of a survey by the Local Government Information Unit which shows that almost all councils plan to increase council tax in April, with three-quarters planning increases of over 2.75%. However, they also plan cuts to services as a result of falling funding from the Government, with 80% having no confidence that the current funding model is sustainable.
May warns BBC not to cut free TV licences
The Daily Telegraph reports that Theresa May has warned the BBC not to end free TV licences for the over-75s, using Prime Minister’s Questions to say that the Government ‘want and expect the BBC to continue free licences when they take over responsibility for the concession in 2020.’ A final decision is due by June.
Williamson attacked after Chinese cancel trade meeting
The Sun claims that a row has broken out in the Government after the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Hu Chunhua cancelled trade talks with Chancellor Philip Hammond at which he was due to lift bans on British poultry and cosmetics, following a speech in which Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson attacked China’s military plans.
Williamson calls for gay troops to be allowed to marry at bases
In an exclusive, The Daily Telegraph says Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has written to Women and Equalities Secretary Penny Mordaunt, calling for legislation to be changed so that gay members of the armed forces can marry at bases, describing the current situation as ‘unacceptable’.
Does the Churchill story matter or is it just distraction? Find out with Vuelio Political Services.