A round-up of the latest political headlines, which include the UKIP leadership crisis, MPs opinions on free movement, more money for the NHS and the ‘threat’ of Russia.
UKIP Leadership Crisis
The BBC reports that the deputy leader of UKIP, Margot Parker has resigned and is calling for UKIP leader Henry Bolton to do the same. Yesterday the party’s national executive committee backed a vote of no confidence in Bolton. This vote comes after reports relating to Bolton’s personal life, Bolton has said he will not resign as he feels he is the person to bring success to the party. UKIP’s national executive committee does not have the power to remove Bolton so the members of the party will now be given a vote on Bolton’s future. John Bickley has also resigned from his position as the party’s immigration spokesperson.
Conservative MPs want free movement to end during the transition period
The Huffington Post claims that 75% of Conservative MPs want free movement to end during the transition period despite Theresa May saying the current state of play will continue for about two years after Brexit. With strong backbench influence, May will have to find a way to appease her MPs. May is not the only leader to be staring down a confrontation with backbench MPs as the same survey finds 90% of Labour MPs feel membership of the single market and Brexit are compatible. This would indicate that Labour MPs are more representative of the party membership than the leadership on this issue.
Extra £100m a week for the NHS?
Theresa May will face calls from senior members of the Cabinet to give the NHS £100m extra a week according to The Sun. Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Chris Grayling will all try to persuade the Prime Minister to make this commitment. This would contribute to the £350m mentioned in the referendum campaign.
The threat of Russia requires more spending on defence
The Guardian reports on the anticipated intervention by Sir Nick Carter, Chief of General Staff, into the debate into defence spending. Carter will warn that Russia is spending more on defence than the UK and this should be a concern. Carter does not feel that the threat coming from Russia takes a traditional form and in a speech, will warn of the unorthodox threats we face. The Ministry of Defence wants more spending on the army, navy and air force as the Government becomes more and more focused on counter-terrorism.
Abuse of pensions to come to an end
Executives who give themselves higher pay at the expense of workers’ pensions will be facing tougher sanctions, according to the Financial Times. A white paper to be published in March will set out new rules for directors who take risks with workers’ pensions. This commitment comes after 28,000 people face cuts to their retirement benefits since Carillion went into liquidation.
Councils can fix the housing crisis
The Telegraph suggests how councils can fix the housing crisis, the Treasury select committee wants the cap on how much councils can borrow to build to be abolished. History shows that when house building was at its highest, councils were building roughly half the homes. With the current borrowing cap the number of homes being built is severely restricted and the Government are being called on to address this.
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