Government and CAA Launch Repatriation Scheme as Thomas Cook Collapses

The Government and the CAA have jointly launched a repatriation scheme to get tens of thousands of British holiday makers home, following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, said in a statement:

“Thomas Cook’s collapse is very sad news for staff and holidaymakers. The government and UK CAA is working round the clock to help people. Our contingency planning has helped acquire planes from across the world – some from as far away as Malaysia – and we have put hundreds of people in call centres and at airports.

But the task is enormous, the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history. So, there are bound to be problems and delays. Please try to be understanding with the staff who are trying to assist in what is likely to be a very difficult time for them as well.”

Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said in a statement:

“This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers. Government will do all it can to support them. I will be setting up a cross-government taskforce to monitor local impacts, will write to insurance companies to ask them to process claims quickly, and stand ready to provide assistance and advice.

I will also be writing to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritise and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation.”

Rebecca Long Bailey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said in a statement:

“Thanks to the government’s failure to act, staff employed by Thomas Cook may face redundancy while holiday makers risk being left stranded overseas. The government must stop its recklessness and step in to avert this crisis by taking an equity stake.”

Results of First Ballot in the Conservative Party Leadership Contest

The results of the first round of the Conservative Party leadership contest have been announced today. The winner in the first round was Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, with Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey all being eliminated.

Boris Johnson 114 votes – 36.4%
Jeremy Hunt 43 votes – 13.7%
Michael Gove 37 votes – 11.8%
Dominic Raab 27 votes 8.6%
Sajid Javid 23 votes 7.3%
Matt Hancock 20 votes 6.4%
Rory Stewart 19 votes 6.1%
Andrea Leadsom 11 votes 3.5% (Eliminated)
Mark Harper 10 votes 3.2% (Eliminated)
Esther McVey 9 votes 2.9% (Eliminated)

Mark Harper Becomes Latest Conservative to Stand for Leadership

Mark Harper, the Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean, has become the twelfth candidate to put his name forwards for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

The current candidates are now:

James Cleverley
Michael Gove
Matt Hancock
Mark Harper
Jeremy Hunt
Sajid Javid
Boris Johnson
Andrea Leadsom
Kit Malthouse
Esther McVey
Dominic Raab
Rory Stewart

Three More Candidates Join Conservative Leadership Contest

Three more candidates have joined the contest to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, bringing the current number of candidates to eight.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Andrea Leadsom, the former Leader of the House of Commons, and Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary, have declared their candidacies over the last day. The five already announced candidates were:

Rory Stewart – the Secretary of State for International Development

Jeremy Hunt – the Foreign Secretary

Matt Hancock – the Secretary of State for Health

Boris Johnson – the former Foreign Secretary

Esther McVey – the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Andrea Leadsom Resigns From Cabinet Over Brexit

Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom has resigned from her Cabinet position as the Leader of the House of Commons, saying that she can no longer support the Government’s Brexit position.

In a letter to Theresa May, the Prime Minister, she wrote:

“I stayed in cabinet to shape and fight for Brexit. There have been some uncomfortable compromises along the way, but you have had my determined support and loyalty in your efforts to deliver Brexit as our shared goal. I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the referendum result.”

John Bercow Referred to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has been referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after it was alleged that he called Andrea Leadsom “a stupid woman”. The complaint has come from James Duddridge, the Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East, who also called for audio and video evidence to be carefully examined.

Bercow, who has been accused of numerous serious allegations which he denies, had previously said that he would stand down by June 2018.

Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom in Final Round of Conservative Leadership


The second round of voting in the Conservative leadership contest has taken place today, with three candidates taking part. This stage was won by Theresa May, with Andrea Leadsom coming second, and Michael Gove being eliminated after coming third.

The result was as follows:

Theresa May – 199 votes

Andrea Leadsom – 84 votes

Michael Gove – 46 votes

Theresa May Wins First Round of Conservative Leadership Contest Decisively


Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has won the first round of the Conservative leadership contest by a comfortable margin. The lowest placed of the five candidates, Liam Fox, has been eliminated.

Theresa May – 165 votes

Andrea Leadsom – 66 votes

Michael Gove – 48 votes

Stephen Crabb – 34 votes

Liam Fox – 16 votes

The next round of the contest will take place on Thursday.

Iain Duncan Smith, former Tory Leader, Backs Andrea Leadsom

2015 General Election - Cabinet

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Leader of the Opposition and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has said that he will be supporting Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative leadership contest.

Duncan Smith said:

“I believe that Andrea’s strong family background, business experience, compassion, commitment to social justice and dedication will make her a great prime minister for the UK”.