A round-up of the latest political headlines, including pressure on Theresa May, the Chancellor’s MoD ban and MI5 foiling a plot to assassinate the PM.
Growing Brexit pressure on Theresa May
The Guardian claims that Theresa May is facing ‘mounting pressure’ to secure a breakthrough in negotiations with the EU, after the DUP expressed shock at the handling of the border issue and Brexit-supporting Conservatives said that it was time to walk away from the talks. The paper also says that parliamentarians have criticised the tight security around access to the Brexit analyses, claiming that their content is ‘little more’ than what is already in the public domain.
Chancellor banned from using Ministry of Defence planes
The Times reports that the MoD has banned Chancellor Philip Hammond from using its planes, until the Treasury settles a bill of six figures, covering past flights. This comes as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson prepares to fight the Treasury for up to £2bn per annum in extra funding for the armed forces.
MI5 foils plot to assassinate Theresa May
The Daily Telegraph says that MI5 has stopped a plot to assassinate Theresa May. Islamic extremists planned to use an improvised explosive device to blow up Downing Street’s gates, before entering No 10. Cabinet members were told of the plot yesterday by MI5’s head, and two men have been charged with terror offences.
Security services ‘missed vital clues’
The Daily Mail carries the news that clues were missed in the lead up to the attacks in Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster. A review to be published today claims that an investigation into the Manchester bomber Salman Abedi would have been opened ‘had its true significance been properly understood’.
Gig economy reforms to be delayed
According to The Guardian, reforms to the gig economy which would improve employment rights for 1.1m people are to be delayed until next year, amid concerns that they might be opposed by the right wing of the Conservative party. Matthew Taylor, who led the Government’s review of the gig economy, said ‘I would rather it was later and stronger rather than earlier and weaker.’
Highest reading standards for a generation
The Times says that improvements in reading standards by boys have put the UK joint eighth in the world in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study results, up from tenth in 2011. Schools minister Nick Gibb attributed the success to the use of phonics, which he said had been prevented from use by ‘dogmatic romanticism’ before 2010. However, the paper points out that phonics programmes were announced by Ed Balls in 2008.
Ministers threaten to change the law to force Channel 4 to leave London
The Government is planning to change the law in order to force Channel 4 to relocate away from London, if it won’t do so voluntarily, according to The Times. The broadcaster has claimed that moving would be ‘highly damaging’, but a Whitehall source told the paper that the firm’s new management had until the new year to agree.
Tory peer planning to move into home owned by offshore trust
The Mirror reveals that the Conservative peer Michelle Mone is planning to move into an £11m home owned by an offshore trust linked to her boyfriend, Doug Barrowman. The paper claims that he may have avoided around £1m in tax by using the trust rather than a company, leading Labour MP John Mann to say that ‘using a loophole like this isn’t acceptable.’
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