A round-up of the latest political headlines, including the UK’s talks to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Chris Grayling defending his Qatar trip and only minor changes to Theresa May’s Cabinet.
UK takes part in talks to join a trans-Pacific trade group
As reported today in the Guardian, the Department for International Trade is believed to be taking part in talks on the UK’s potential membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after its departure from the European Union. The partnership currently consists of 11 members, including Australia, Mexico, Singapore and Canada. It lost its largest member, the US, last year.
Chris Grayling defends himself following criticism over his trip to Qatar
Chris Grayling has reportedly defended his trade mission in Qatar, telling The Times that he was negotiating two big contracts for British companies, including the construction of a new airport. Grayling became the focus of criticism as his trip to Qatar coincided with the biggest rail fare rise in five years.
Theresa May plans few Cabinet changes in minister re-shuffle
The Sun has reported that despite planning big changes to junior ministers, Theresa May plans to make only minor changes to the Cabinet. These plans come as a result of pressure to introduce new talent into the Government following the disappointing election result and the poor performance at the party conference. The Sun reports that several 2015 Conservative MPs could be offered promotions.
The US threatens to stop aid to Palestine over Jerusalem row
The BBC has published a story following Donald Trump’s comments on Twitter that the US may put a stop to aid payments to the Palestinian Authority until it is willing to recommence peace talks. The President’s comments came following US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s statement that the US would cut funding to the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees unless the Palestinian Authority resumed negotiations.
Non-urgent NHS operations to be delayed
The BBC has reported on the planned delays to non-urgent operations and procedures. Due to a ‘winter crisis’, hospitals have been ordered to postpone delay routine outpatient appointments in order to concentrate on emergency care.
DfE’s defence of Toby Young’s suitability for watchdog job put into question
New questions have been asked over whether Toby Young should be allowed to sit on the board of the Office for Students, the Guardian reported. It recently emerged that the Government had exaggerated Young’s qualifications, casting doubts on Young’s suitability to sit on the board of the universities regulator.
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