Prime Minister Refuses to Confirm What Action Being Taken Following Leak of National Security Council Meeting

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has refused to explain what action she is taking following an unprecedented leak of information from the National Security Council. Information discussed at the council’s meeting on Tuesday was leaked to the Daily Telegraph with rumours that the Prime Minister may have now ordered a criminal investigation into the breach.

The spokesperson for the Prime Minister also refused to confirm a report made in the Guardian Newspaper that Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, had written to those present at the meeting. The leak from the National Security Council means that the Government may have lost some control over security secrets despite all those at the meeting having signed the Official Secrets Act.

Sir Michael Fallon, the former Conservative Defence Secretary, said that the breach was so serious that it required police action to investigate the breach of trust. All of the Cabinet Ministers at the meeting have issued denials that they were responsible for the leak and Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has confirmed that a criminal investigation hasn’t been ruled out.

Michael Fallon Resigns as Defence Secretary

Michael Fallon has resigned from his Cabinet role of Secretary of State for Defence following a series of allegations about his behaviour towards women. Fallon has denied most of the allegations, but admitted that some of them were inappropriate.

Fallon wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister:

“A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct. Many of these have been false, but I accept in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent. I have reflected on my position and I am now resigning as defence secretary”.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, replied:

“I appreciate the characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position, and the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others”.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Calls for Immigration Changes to Allow UK to stay in the EU

Tony Blair, the former Labour Prime Minister, has called for the EU and the UK to agree to a reduced level of migration to the UK in an attempt to remain in the EU. His comments come after Lord Adonis argued that an offer from the EU to limit freedom of movement could cause a reversal of Brexit.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Blair wrote:

“We can curtail the things that people feel are damaging about European immigration, both by domestic policy change and by agreeing change within Europe. This is precisely the territory the Labour Party should camp upon”.

Harvey Redgrave, a spokesman for the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, who had produced a report on EU migration, said:

“It is clear that free movement – in its current form – needs to be reformed, given last year’s Referendum vote”

However, excessive restrictions on EU migration, as proposed by the recently leaked Home Office paper, would be self-defeating, as our analysis of the role of EU nationals in the labour market shows, and also sacrifice the possibility of the UK staying within the Single Market. And evidence on attitudes to immigration and Brexit shows that a majority of the public expect compromise from the UK-EU discussions.

The government need to take a more pragmatic, inclusive and nuanced approach to these negotiations, which recognises the trade-offs involved between migration control and membership of the Single Market, and which recognises the new political reality, post-election, of their reduced mandate”.

Sir Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, attacked Tony Blair saying:

“It’s a bit late now, this epiphany”.

Defence Secretary Welcomes UK and Oman Relationship During Visit

Sir Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, has welcomed the relationship between the UK and Oman during a visit to the country. In his two-day visit, Fallon will meet with the Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, His Excellency Sayyid Badar bin Saud bin Harub Al Busaidi. The two will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding on defence matters which will ensure the UK can continue to use facilities in the country.

Fallon said in a statement:

“This agreement ensures British engineering expertise will be involved in developing Duqm as a strategic port for the Middle East, benefiting the Royal Navy and others.

Oman is a longstanding British ally and we work closely across diplomatic, economic and security matters. Our commitment to the Duqm port project highlights the strength of our relationship”.

Theresa May Visits the Royal Navy’s New Aircraft Carrier, HMS Elizabeth

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has visited HMS Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier, which is one of two with the HMS Prince of Wales launching in 2020, cost £6.2 billion for the two. The aircraft carrier is 280 metres long and is crewed by just under 700 people.

In a speech made by Theresa May, she said:

“Britain can be proud of this ship, and what it represents. It sends a clear signal that as Britain forges a new, positive, confident role for ourselves on the world stage in the years ahead, we are determined to remain a fully engaged global power, working closely with our friends and allies around the world. As a leading member of NATO, the foremost military power in Europe and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Britain has an enduring responsibility to help sustain the international rules-based order, and to defend the liberal values which underpin it.

To ensure we can do so effectively, we will increase defence spending every year and continue to meet NATO’s target to spend 2% of GDP on defence. Our carrier programme is an example of what that spending can deliver. As highly versatile and potent assets, they will be able to meet the widest range of challenges around the world. Whether the task be high intensity war fighting, targeted action to fight terrorism or humanitarian relief to save lives overseas, these ships will transform the UK’s ability to project power around the world”.

Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, said:

“Today we welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to her home for the very first time. When she enters service she will help keep Britain safe at a time of increased threats, able to fill multiple roles from providing air power anywhere at any time to fight future campaigns, supporting allies or delivering humanitarian aid”.

British Government to Increase Military Co-operation with India

The British Government has confirmed that it is to increase its military co-operation with India. Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, has been visiting India and he laid a wreath at the Taj Mahal hotel to commemorate the 2008 terrorist attack.

Fallon said that the UK had told Pakistan that there could be no tolerance of terrorism and he added “No country is immune from terrorism. India and the UK need to work even harder, and more closely, to combat it”.

Fallon said in a statement:

“As Britain steps up globally, we continue to develop our close security partnership with India. Our countries are recognised globally as leaders in defence and we remain steadfast in our commitment to regional security, growing our defence industries and supporting our mutual interests.

Our nations face the same threats and we will work closely together to harness British expertise and Indian brain power to develop cutting edge technologies and equipment that benefit both of our Armed Forces”.

New Prime Minister Theresa May Starts to Unveil Her Cabinet

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Theresa May, the new Prime Minister, has started to unveil her new Cabinet. George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer is confirmed to have left the Cabinet, being replaced by Philip Hammond.

Other appointments so far include:

Foreign Secretary – Boris Johnson

Home Secretary – Amber Rudd

Defence Secretary – Michael Fallon

Brexit – David Davis

Trade – Liam Fox

Michael Fallon Praises Romania Defence Strength

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Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, has met with Mihnea Motoc, the Romanian Defence Minister, during the latter’s vision to London.

Romania has recently increased its defence spending and is hoping to reach the 2% of GDP target which is a target set by NATO. A number of UK troops are also visiting Romania in a training exercise to share knowledge.

Michael Fallon said in a statement:

“The 2 per cent target is vital for the security of all NATO countries. That’s why we’ve committed to it and why we want all members to do the same. Romania is a key NATO ally. I welcome its increase in defence spending and look forward to deepening our defence relationship”.

UK May Increase Support to Fight ISIS

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The Government has confirmed that it is considering increasing support in an international effort to tackle ISIS. The news comes after a meeting of the counter-Daesh coalition which was held in Stuttgart.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said:

“Make no mistake – Iraqi forces have Daesh on the back foot and are retaking territory, hitting its finances and striking its leadership. Now is the time to build on recent success and we are looking hard at what more we can offer as Iraqi combat operations intensify”.

The support offered is expected to be in the form of military advice and training of Iraqi ground troops. There may also be the provision of medical support staff and weaponry.

Sir Stuart Peach named as new Chief of the Defence Staff

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC is to be appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, in succession to General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC in May 2013.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC

Sir Stuart Peach has been named as the new Chief of the Defence Staff to take over from Sir Nicholas Houghton this summer.

In a statement David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said:

“I want to thank General Sir Nick Houghton for his many years of dedicated service to this country – especially the years he has led our armed forces in an ever more unstable world.

I’m confident that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach is the right man to continue General Sir Nick Houghton’s great legacy. For over a decade Sir Stuart has delivered exemplary leadership of the armed forces, with an extraordinary record of achievement. His experience as Commander Joint Forces Command and Chief of Joint Operations will be invaluable as we continue to ensure our brave armed forces remain among the most capable and agile in the world”.

Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, said:

“I am delighted to announce that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach will assume the role of Chief of the Defence Staff this summer when General Sir Nicholas Houghton retires.

Sir Stuart has been an outstanding VCDS and I look forward to working closely with him in taking the fight to Daesh and ensuring we have the best Armed Forces to keep Britain safe”.