A round-up of the latest political headlines, including Theresa May’s reshuffle under attack, Toby Young quitting the Office for Students, Davis consults lawyers over EU no-deal and the truth about Australian flu.
Theresa May’s reshuffle under attack
This morning’s big political story is the continuing reshuffle. Yesterday saw the Cabinet being reshuffled, and the reaction from the press is less than positive. The Times calls it ‘shambolic’, The Daily Telegraph says it was ‘chaotic’, whilst the Guardian opines that May was ‘thrown off course.’ As The Times explains, May’s lack of authority was ‘laid bare’ when Jeremy Hunt resisted efforts to make him business secretary and Justine Greening left the Government rather than become welfare secretary, while the mistaken announcement of Chris Grayling as party chairman added to the chaos. The Sun suggests that at least a dozen MPs from the 2015 intake will be promoted today, while the Daily Mail expects ‘significant numbers of female and ethnic minority MPs’ to join the Government.
Toby Young quits the Office for Students
Toby Young, the controversial appointee to the board of the Office for Students, resigned from his post this morning. Writing in The Spectator, Young said that he appointment had ‘become a distraction’, adding that ‘some of the things I said before I got involved in education, when I was a journalistic provocateur, were either ill-judged or just plain wrong – and I unreservedly apologise.’
Davis consults lawyers over EU no-deal plans
According to a report in the Financial Times based on a letter from David Davis to the Prime Minister seen by the paper, Davis has consulted lawyers over the EU’s preparations for a no deal Brexit, claiming that the EU is harming British business and breaching the UK’s rights as a member state.
No major outbreak of ‘Australian flu’ – just NHS underfunding, says virologist
The Guardian reports that John Oxford, emeritus professor of virology at the University of London, has said that the NHS’s problems are not being caused by an outbreak of ‘Australian flu’ but that ‘there is a lack of investment, there are not enough doctors or nurses, and politicians are trying to blame the situation on influenza.’
Health minister: Seats were available at hospital
The Mirror says that health minister Philip Dunne provoked anger when he answered questions about patients sleeping on hospital floors by saying that ‘There are seats available in most hospitals when beds are not available.’ Justin Madders, Labour’s shadow health minister, described this as ‘an appalling and ignorant remark’.
Juncker: Brexit will go ahead
The Sun says that Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, told a conference, ‘Don’t believe those who say that it’s not going to happen and that people have realised their error in the UK.’ Labour MP Ben Bradshaw accused Juncker of being out of touch.
UK to mitigate VAT damage
The Financial Times reports that the UK is to ‘mitigate’ potential damage to 130,000 companies which face having to pay VAT upfront on goods imported from the UK post-Brexit. The Treasury said it would ‘look at options to mitigate any cash flow impacts’.
Corbyn: UK cannot remain in single market
Jeremy Corbyn has said that the UK cannot remain in the single market after Brexit, disappointing pro-EU MPs, The Guardian reveals. A ‘senior Labour source’ told the paper ‘The single market is not a membership club that can be joined so we seek through negotiation to retain the benefits of the single market.’
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