A round-up of the latest political headlines, including the Government’s Brexit vote defeat, a push for trade talks, David Cameron’s concerns about Trump and underachieving schools.
Government defeated: Parliament will get a vote on the final Brexit deal
The Government was defeated last night when 11 Conservatives joined opposition MPs to vote for an amendment guaranteeing Parliament a vote on the final deal. As The Daily Telegraph reports, one of the rebels, Stephen Hammond, was immediately sacked as vice-chairman of the Conservative Party. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the result as ‘humiliating’ for Theresa May. The paper suggests that the defeat will ‘sour’ May’s visit to Brussels today.
UK in last ditch appeal for trade talks with the EU before March
The Guardian says that the UK is making last-minute efforts to persuade the EU to state willingness to hold trade talks before March. A draft statement suggests that talks can only happen once the EU has published its own plan for the future. However, the Financial Times claims that May is stalling for time over European pressure to spell out the UK’s preferred future relationship because there is no cabinet consensus.
David Cameron: Trump’s ‘fake news’ attacks are dangerous
David Cameron has described Donald Trump’s attacks on the media as ‘dangerous’, according to the Guardian. The former prime minister addressed a Transparency International conference in his first British public lecture since leaving office and warned of ‘Russian bots and trolls targeting your democracy’.
130 schools are persistently underachieving
The Financial Times highlights remarks made by Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, at the launch of the regulator’s annual report. She warned that there are 130 schools in England which have not been rated ‘good’ in over a decade. However, there has been ‘continued steady improvement in average school performance.’
Greening launches national strategy to close the attainment gap
The Guardian reports that education secretary Justine Greening will today launch a national strategy aiming to close the attainment gap between rich and poor children. Measures to be introduced include £50m for new nursery places, £23m for a future talent fund, and closer co-operation with businesses on apprenticeships and technical qualifications.
Peers reject attack on press freedom
The Times says that MPs rejected an amendment to the Data Protection Bill, which would have tightened an exemption for journalists who handle personal data to expose wrongdoing in the public interest. Baroness Hollins, who had promoted the amendment, agreed to withdraw it after a series of peers warned that it would cripple investigative journalism.
UKIP faces data tribunal over EU referendum campaign
According to the Guardian, UKIP is to face a tribunal over its use of analytics during the EU referendum, after it refused to co-operate with an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office. It also emerged that the office and British Columbia’s office of the privacy and information commissioner are both investigating the Canadian firm AggregateIQ, which received millions of pounds from the leave campaign.
Businesses fear economic effect of a Corbyn government
An article in The Times claims that businesses are worried about the impact of a Corbyn government. A director of two financial services companies told the paper that the UK would ‘be bust’ after three years of a Corbyn government, whilst Credit Suisse warned that public finances would ‘deteriorate sharply’.
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