Today’s Political Headlines include calls to end rough sleeping, Boris Johnson’s speech on Brexit, and the breakdown of talks to restore a Northern Ireland Executive.
Calls for Government action following the death of a rough sleeper outside Parliament
The Guardian have reported that MPs have expressed sadness after learning that a man believed to have been sleeping rough had died outside the Houses of Parliament. Numerous Labour MPs have responded on twitter, drawing attention to the man’s death and criticise policies they said had contributed to a sharp rise in the number of rough sleepers in the UK.
Boris Johnson’s Policy Exchange speech called for “hope not fear” in the UKs departure from the EU
The BBC reports that the Foreign Secretary has told his fellow Brexiteers they should not “gloat” about the UK’s departure from the EU, which he said was a cause for “hope not fear”. He has urged people to “unite about what we all believe in”, an “outward-looking, confident” UK, and that leaving the EU was not a “great V-sign from the cliffs of Dover”. The Guardian reports that Johnson’s speech struggled to woo remainers, and used his speech to try to simultaneously reach out to remainers while doubling down on his arguments in favour of a hard break from the EU.
Jean-Claude Juncker denies claims by Boris Johnson that he wants to create a European “superstate”
The Independent reports that President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has said that claims he wants to create a European “superstate” are “total nonsense”. He said that the President of the European Commission should be directly elected by the voters of Europe.
Talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein broken down in attempts to strike a Northern Ireland deal
Sky News are reporting that talks between the leaders of Northern Ireland’s two biggest political parties to re-establish a government in Stormont have broken down. DUP leader Arlene Foster said there was “no prospect” of negotiations leading to a new power sharing agreement with Sinn Fein. The Telegraph have reported on comments made by former Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, saying that Westminster being forced to set Northern Ireland’s budget is “increasingly inevitable”.
British Steel pensions scheme is a victim to a major mis-selling scandal
The Financial Times have reported that British Steel pension savers were “shamelessly” exploited by “dubious financial advisers” after a restructuring of the scheme last year, drawing upon a report by the Work and Pensions Select Committee that sharply criticised the Pensions Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority. The Times have reported that more than 50,000 British workers may be being cheated out of part of their pension each year.
Tories blame the SNP for Scotland’s productivity falling to its lowest level in eight years
The Times have run a story explaining how Scotland’s productivity has fallen to its lowest level in eight years, with opposition politicians have claimed showed that the SNP administration was damaging the economy. The report, published by the Scottish Government, suggested that the financial crisis of 2008 had taken a long time to work its way through and the effects were still being felt within the Scottish economy.
Reports suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn met a communist spy at the height of the Cold War
The Sun have run a story which found that Jeremy Corbyn met a Communist spy during the Cold War and warned the Soviet-backed spies of a clampdown by British intelligence during the height of the war. The Daily Mail have also run a similar story, claiming that Corbyn met the Czech agent at least three times after being vetted in 1986, with two meetings taking place in the House of Commons.
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