Jonathan Ashworth Apologises Over Comments on Jeremy Corbyn

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has apologised to Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, following leaked comments about him. Ashworth had been talking to a friend, Greig Baker, but was unaware that his comments were being taped.

Answering a question on whether Corbyn was a security risk, Ashworth said:

“I don’t know, on the security stuff, I worked in No 10, I think the machine will pretty quickly move to safeguard security, I mean the civil service machine. But it’s not going to happen. I cannot see it happening.”

Corbyn said that the recording was simply “bit of banter between two old friends” and said that he still had full confidence in Ashworth.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn Fail to Agree on Brexit Strategy

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, met with Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, today in a bid to resolve a future timetabling strategy for Brexit. Johnson, who had pledged that the UK would leave the European Union on 31 October 2019, however failed to reach an agreement on how to progress the current political deadlock.

Boris Johnson Refuses to Resign Over Causing Constitutional Crisis

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has said that he will not be resigning following his unlawful request to prorogue Parliament, which has triggered a constitutional crisis. The Prime Minister is expected to return to the UK early in an attempt to repair the damage to the Government’s reputation.

Speaking in New York, the Prime Minister said:

“Obviously this is a verdict that we will respect and we respect the judicial process. I have to say that I strongly disagree with what the justices have found.”

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

“A Labour government would want to be held to account. We wouldn’t bypass democracy. And I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position.”

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said on Twitter:

“The Prime Minister must resign to make way for an emergency Government that can stop a No Deal Brexit. The @LibDems will keep fighting for People’s Vote and to stop Brexit altogether.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, said in a statement:

“It is unthinkable given the rules of democracy and accountability that has been found to have acted unlawfully and is subject of that kind of judgement delivered today would stay in office.”

Mark Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, said in a statement:

“The Prime Minister has been found to have acted unlawfully and in a way deliberately designed to subvert our democracy. How does anybody in that position think that they can carry on?”

Liz Saville Roberts, the leader of Plaid Cymru at Westminster, said in a statement:

“Boris Johnson has already driven a bulldozer through the constitution, so no longer are ideas like impeachment far-fetched. I will tell other opposition party leaders, we need to be ready to impeach Boris Johnson if he breaks the law.”

Monarch Grants Request to Suspend Parliament

HM Queen Elizabeth II has accepted the request of Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, to prorogue Parliament, despite opposition to the plans from the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Jeremy Corbyn Rejects Reports of Being Frail

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has denied a report in The Times newspaper that he is frail and there are concerns in the civil service about his health. The comments come after the newspaper said that senior civil servants had questioned whether Corbyn was healthy enough to be the Prime Minister.

Corbyn said in a statement:

“The idea that civil servants should be briefing a newspapers against an elected politician, against a prospective government, is something that should be very concerning to all of us.

The Civil Service has to be independent; has to be non-political and has to be non-judgmental of the politicians they have a duty to serve. If we were elected to government, we have a very clear framework of things we want to do in this country on housing, education, health and the environment and so much more. We would explain those to our colleagues in the civil service and expect them to carry out those policies.

That is the way British democracy must work. There must be an investigation into which senior civil servants are spreading fictitious information to the press and in the process compromising the integrity of the Civil Service.”

Jeremy Corbyn Under Pressure to Suspend Chris Williamson From Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, is under pressure to suspend Chris Williamson, the Labour MP for Derby North, from the party. Tom Watson, the party’s deputy leader, and ninety other Labour MPs and Peers have written a letter to Corbyn asking for him to take action.

Watson posted the below on Twitter:

The letter says:

“We call on Jeremy Corbyn to show leadership by asking for this inappropriate, offensive and reputationally damaging decision to be overturned and reviewed. Ultimately, it is for Jeremy Corbyn to decide whether Chris Williamson retains the Labour whip. He must remove it immediately if we are to stand any hope of persuading anyone that the Labour party is taking antisemitism seriously”.

Williamson had earlier posted on Twitter following his readmission to the party:

“I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks for the avalanche of goodwill messages from grassroots members. I can now focus on representing local people in Derby Nth and working for a Corbyn-led Labour govt to positively transform the lives of millions. Together anything is possible!”.

Labour Party Expel Alastair Campbell

The Labour Party has confirmed that it has expelled Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former head of communications, for admitting that he had voted Liberal Democrat last week in the European elections.

Campbell posted on Twitter in a series of Tweets:

“1. Sad and disappointed to receive email expelling me from @uklabour – particularly on a day leadership finally seems to be moving to the right place on Brexit, not least thanks to tactical voting by party members, including MPs, councillors and peers who back @peoplesvote_uk .

2. I was not intending to publicise this at this stage, but have had calls from friends in the Party telling me it is now widely known and likely to be leaked. I have been advised by lawyers with expertise in this field I have grounds for appeal against expulsion and shall do so

3. I am and always will be Labour. I voted Lib Dem, without advance publicity, to try to persuade Labour to do right thing for country/party. In light of appeal, I won’t be doing media on this. But hard not to point out difference in the way anti-Semitism cases have been handled.

4. Plenty of precedent of members voting for other parties/causes. Some are now senior Party staff. Approach also contrasts with our era when TB was being pressed by whips to withdraw whip for JC and others for persistently voting against @UKLabour in Parliament, and he said No

To all the @UKLabour staff, MPs, peers and councillors who told me they were not voting @UKLabour fear not; as I believe in loyalty to the tribe, your secrets are safe with me”

Owen Smith, the Labour MP for Pontypridd, posted on Twitter:

“So we can’t expel anti-semites or people who openly advocate violence or voting for fringe hard-left rivals, but we can expel @campbellclaret because he voted Lib Dem – like 1000’s of other Labour members and voters last week? What a joke”

Tony Robinson, the television personality, posted:

“Blimey! Labour struggling for years to take disciplinary action against members accused of antisemitism but managed to expel Alstair Campbell for voting Lib Dem over the course of one Bank Holiday weekend. Amazing new efficiency!!”

The Labour Party said in a statement that:

“The support for another political party or candidate is incompatible with party membership”.

Party Leaders React to European Election Results

The main political party leaders have reacted to the European Election results in the UK, which showed strong performances by the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the Brexit Party and the SNP. There were low shares of the vote for the Conservative and Labour parties, with the Labour party losing all of its seats in Scotland.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, posted on Twitter:

“A very disappointing night for @Conservatives. Some excellent MEPs have lost their seats, some excellent candidates missed out. But Labour have also suffered big losses. It shows the importance of finding a Brexit deal, and I sincerely hope these results focus minds in Parliament”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, issued a statement:

“After three years of Tory failure to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole country, these elections became a proxy second referendum. With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote. Labour will bring our divided country together so we can end austerity and tackle inequality.

Over the coming days we will have conversations across our party and movement, and reflect on these results on both sides of the Brexit divide. We will not let the continuing chaos in the Conservative Party push our country into a No Deal exit from the EU. Parliament can and will prevent such a damaging outcome for jobs and industry in the UK.”

Vince Cable, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats posted on Twitter:

“A clear, honest, unambiguous message has won @libdems our best ever European election result. We have shown ourselves as the strongest Remain force in British politics. Thank you to everyone who put their faith in us. We will stand up for you and keep campaigning to #StopBrexit.”

Nigel Farage, the Leader of the Brexit Party, posted on Twitter:

“Never before in British politics has a party just 6 weeks old won a national election. If Britain does not leave the EU on October 31st, these results will be repeated at a general election. History has been made. This is just the beginning.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, posted on Twitter:

“Outstanding results so far tonight for @theSNP – on course for our best ever Euro election result. Polling way ahead of any other party. Higher % in Scotland than Brexit Party’s current share in rUK. Emphatically clear that Scotland doesn’t want Brexit”

Jewish Labour Movement Pass Vote of No Confidence in Labour Leader

The Jewish Labour Movement organisation have passed a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party. There were speeches made by Labour MPs Margaret Hodge, Ruth Smeeth and Louise Ellman before the members of the movement almost unanimously agreed with the motion of no confidence.

Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“I hear the message the Jewish Labour Movement and the Jewish community are sending our party. We have utterly failed to deal with antisemitism in our ranks. It’s unacceptable and shameful. I reiterate my personal commitment as deputy leader to use all my powers to rid our party of this scourge.”

Jeremy Corbyn Confirms Labour Will Back a Second Referendum

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has confirmed that the Labour Party will now support a second referendum after the party’s alternative Brexit plan was defeated in the House of Commons.

Corbyn, who is thought to have been encouraged to call for the second vote by senior colleagues on the shadow front bench, said:

“We will back a public vote in order to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit or a disastrous no deal outcome. We will also continue to push for the other available options to prevent those outcomes, including a close economic relationship based on our credible alternative plan or a general election.”