Michael Gove Calls for Improvements in Technology in Farming

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, has said that the farming industry can increase production after Brexit by improved use of technology.

Speaking at the Royal Norfolk Show being held in Norwich today, Gove said:

“Emerging technologies will play a vital role in boosting productivity and growth, unlocking the full potential of our farming industry as we adapt to a rapidly changing world and maintain our leading role on the global stage outside the European Union.

The East of England is a real hotbed of agricultural innovation and the enthusiasm and passion of the region’s farmers, who exported a record £1.6bn of food and drink last year, is truly inspirational”.

Government Wins Public Sector Pay Cap Debate Vote

Jeremy Hunt

The Government has tonight won a vote in the House of Commons after an amendment was tabled by the Labour Party to end the cap on public sector pay increases. There had been confusion during the day over whether the Conservative Party would u-turn, but Downing Street confirmed that there had been no change in policy.

The Conservative Party, with the support of all DUP MPs, won the vote in the House of Commons by 323 votes to 309. During the debate some Conservative MPs, as well as former Ministers, argued that the cap should be reviewed.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said during the debate in the Commons:

“People will recognise that in the very difficult period that we have just had, it would not have been possible to increase the number of doctors by nearly 12,000 and the number of nurses in our wards by nearly 13,000 if we had not taken difficult decisions on pay. What I can say is that we will not make our decision on public sector pay until the pay review body has reported. We will listen to what it says, and to what people in this House have said, before making a final decision”.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, said in a statement:

“You can’t have safety and security on the cheap. It is plain to see that seven years of cuts to our emergency services has made us less safe; it’s time to make a change. Our emergency service workers make us proud at the worst of times for our country, such as the Grenfell Tower Fire and the recent terrorist attacks, and deserve the pay rise they have been denied for seven years. Conservative cuts have failed. Labour has a different approach, which values those who look after us and will transform Britain for the many not the few”.

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, said in a statement:

“The government must listen to the overwhelming tide of public opinion and give our police, firefighters and nurses a pay rise. But Labour must be honest and admit we won’t be able to pay for strong public services by crashing the economy through an extreme Brexit. Labour MPs who want to protect funding for our police, schools and hospitals should back amendments calling for Britain to stay in the single market. This is a unique chance to force Theresa May to rethink her extreme approach to Brexit, Labour must not be on the wrong side of history”.

Prime Minister Makes Statement Following London Terrorist Attack

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has spoken in Downing Street following the terrorist attack on London Bridge on the evening of 3 June 2017. There are currently seven confirmed dead with tens of casualties, some of which are life-threatening.

The Prime Minister said:

“Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone. It will not be defeated through the maintenance of a permanent, defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skilful its leaders and practitioners. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence – and make them understand that our values – pluralistic, British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate”.

She added:

“So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need. And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences, even apparently less serious offences, that is what we will do”.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said:

“This was an horrific attack in the heart of our capital city, targeted at people enjoying their evening with friends and family. My thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by this incident.

As ever, in difficult and traumatic circumstances, I am extremely proud of and thankful to our police and emergency services who responded so swiftly and those who will work tirelessly as the investigation into this appalling act continues”.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, said:

“You cannot protect the public on the cheap. The police and security services must get the resources they need, not 20,000 police cuts. Theresa May was warned by the Police Federation but she accused them of ‘crying wolf’”.

Tim Farron, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats said:

“The terrorists kill us because they hate us and what we stand for. They hate our democracy and our freedom. We refuse to let them win. We must respond with a vigorous commitment to our democracy. The election must go ahead as planned. It is right that we suspend our national campaigning for a short while out of respect for those affected by these tragic events, but local campaigning can and must continue. The remainder of this campaign must be a collective showing of defiance and pride in our democratic values”.

New Observer Opinion Poll Suggests Conservative Support Down

A new opinion poll produced for the Observer Newspaper by Opinium shows that support for the Conservative Party has fallen over the last days. The Conservative lead has now been cut to 6%, with 43% of voters projected to vote Conservative and 37% projected to vote Labour.

Opinium said following the results:

“Over two in five (42%) think that Theresa May would be the best prime minister. On the other hand 26% say Jeremy Corbyn would make the best prime minister. This is very different from the first poll of the campaign where 49% thought Mrs May would make the best PM and only 14% said Jeremy Corbyn would.

Similarly, at the start of the campaign, 44% said they were satisfied with Mrs May, while 16% were dissatisfied with Theresa May, but prefer her to Jeremy Corbyn. Only 20% said they preferred Mr Corbyn. However, the proportion who are satisfied with Mrs May and the proportion that prefer Mr Corbyn are now relatively similar (34% vs 33% respectively)”.

The full voting data is available at http://opinium.co.uk/political-polling-30th-may-2017/.

Boris Johnson Supports New UN Security Council Resolution on North Korea

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has welcomed a new United Nations Security Council Resolution on North Korea. The increased action by the UN follows by the repeated missile testing which the country has been involved with over recent weeks.

In a statement Johnson said:

“Britain and the international community have taken further action to address the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a new Resolution that extends sanctions against North Korea’s illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes to more individuals and organisations.

With this Resolution, the international community has sent a clear message. We are united against North Korea’s dangerous behaviour and its continuing disregard for international security. The UK calls on North Korea to return to the negotiating table and halt all activity that breaches UN Security Council resolutions. This is the only way to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula”.

Tom Hind, UKIP Councillor in Hartlepool, Calls for Muslims to be Banned from Party

Tom Hind, the UKIP councillor for Seaton Ward in Hartlepool, has called on Muslims to be banned from the party. Hind made his comments on Facebook and has so far refused to withdraw them.

Hind wrote:

“I have mentioned before UKIP will have to make some difficult decisions if it is to move forward. One of those difficult decisions is Islam. I would like to ban any Muslim from joining UKIP. Islam is not a religion, it is a political ideology based on conquest, how many more assaults on the British people need we endure before we understand Islam”.

John Tennant, the leader of the UKIP group on the council, said:

“It is not our policy to force someone out of the party based on their religious beliefs”.

Foreign Office Criticises the Death Sentences of Three Men in Gaza

Tobias Ellwood, the Minister for the Middle East, has condemned the three death sentences which took place in Gaza on 25 May 2017. Two of the three were hanged to death and the other was killed by use of a firing squad, it is thought in front of numerous politicians and senior figures.

In a statement Ellwood said:

“I strongly condemn the three death sentences carried out in Gaza on 25 May. This decision reflects a worrying trend of increasing use of the death penalty in Gaza.

It is the long-standing position of the UK to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. We have repeatedly called for the de facto authorities in Gaza to respect the Palestinian Authority’s moratorium on implementation of the death penalty”.

A spokesman for the European Union said:

“The EU and Norway consider that abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights”.

Foreign Secretary Confirms Appointment of New Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has confirmed the appointment of Daniel Pruce as the new Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines and non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Palau. He will begin his new role in August 2017 and he replaces Asif Ahmad.

Pruce was previously the Deputy Head of Mission in Madrid and had also been the International Affairs Press Officer in Downing Street from 2002 until 2004.

Theresa May Criticised for Missing Leaders’ Debate

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has been criticised for missing the leaders’ debate which took place on 31 May 2017. Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, decided at the last minute to take part on the show, which was also attended by five other party political leaders. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, stood in for the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister defended her decision not to take part by saying:

“I’m interested in the fact that Jeremy Corbyn seems to be paying far more attention to how many appearances on telly he is doing. I think he ought to be paying a little more attention to thinking about Brexit negotiations”.

Tim Farron, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, took part in the debate and said on Twitter:

“Theresa May called this election and now won’t even turn up to debate the issues. Come and defend your record”.

The other participants in the debate were Paul Nuttall (UKIP), Caroline Lucas (Green Party), Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) and Angus Robertson (SNP).