Today’s Political Headlines include the nerve agent used to attack a former Russian spy, the Government’s new domestic abuse proposals, Labour’s fines for inaction on gender pay and the elderly care crippling councils.
Nerve agent reportedly used to attack former Russian spy
The Times reports that ‘Whitehall sources’ say Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with a nerve agent, increasing the likelihood of Kremlin involvement. It adds that Conservative MP Nick Boles has called on the UK to break off diplomatic ties with Russia and that Home Secretary Amber Rudd will make an urgent statement on the investigation today.
Government unveils new domestic abuse proposals
The Guardian has details of a new consultation on domestic abuse being launched by the Government today. Under the proposals, a new civil protection order would be introduced, allowing perpetrators to be banned from contacting their victims, barred from drinking alcohol and electronically tagged.
Labour would introduce fines for inaction on gender pay gaps
Labour has also announced a new policy to mark International Women’s Day, The Guardian says. Under a Labour government, all companies with more than 250 employees would not only have to publish their gender pay gap, but would have to prove they were taking action or face a fine.
One in ten councils face going bust over cost of caring for the elderly
The Times reports that a study by the National Audit Office shows that one in ten councils will run out of money in the next three years as they struggle to pay for the rising cost of care for the elderly, with central government funding having been cut by almost 50% over the last eight years. This is despite major cuts to waste, food hygiene, and youth services.
May raises human rights with Saudi Arabia, but is accused of colluding in war crimes
The BBC says that Theresa May raised human rights concerns when she met the Saudi Arabian crown prince yesterday. Jeremy Corbyn accused the Government of ‘colluding’ in war crimes by selling arms to the country and supporting it with military advisers.
Cost of Brexit to be outlined, as Hammond accused of bartering away fishing rights
The Financial Times says the impact of the Brexit Bill on public finances will be set out for the first time by the Office for Budget Responsibility at the spring statement next week. The paper also reports that in his speech yesterday, Philip Hammond warned the EU that if the UK’s access to European financial markets was cut, ‘significant additional costs’ would be borne by businesses and consumers. According to The Daily Telegraph, Hammond is being criticised for bartering away fishing rights in return for a better deal for the City, as the EU published its draft trade deal guidelines.
Labour secures vote on cuts to free school meals and childcare for children on Universal Credit
According to the Daily Mirror, the Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, has blocked attempts by the Government to cut free school meals and free childcare for children on Universal Credit without a vote in Parliament. A vote will now have to be held, which the paper expects the Government to lose because the DUP opposes the change.
‘Civil war’ in Labour Party as Corbyn ally criticises unions
The Sun alleges that a ‘major civil war’ is taking place in the Labour Party after Christine Shawcroft, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, called on the party to cut its links to the unions. She is supporting Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum, in his bid to become General Secretary of the party, against Jennie Formby of Unite. The paper also reports that Corbyn was a member of an anti-Semitic Facebook group.
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