The Democratic Unionist Party’s £1 billion deal to prop up the Conservative government may end up costing the country far more because the DUP will be “back for more”, it emerged last night. The Tories finally sealed a historic deal with the Northern Irish party which guarantees its 10 MPs will vote with the Government on key legislation, in return for which cash will go to Belfast for infrastructure, broadband, schools and hospitals. But the £1billion payment – the equivalent of £33 for every taxpayer in the UK – could be only the start after DUP sources hinted that they will ask for more cash when the deal is “reviewed” in two years’ time.
Theresa May was accused last night of paying a “bung” to stay in office as she unveiled a £1 billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party which will mean English voters footing the bill. After two weeks of negotiations the prime minister secured the support of the DUP’s ten MPs for votes on Brexit, budgets and national security, as well as a promise of backing in any confidence votes required to keep Mrs May in Downing Street. Speaking after talks in No 10 with Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, Mrs May said that the parties “share many values” and that the agreement was “a very good one”.
Theresa May has faced a backlash from politicians in Scotland, Wales and parts of England after completing a £1bn deal with the Democratic Unionist party to prop up her Conservative minority government. Political figures lined up on Monday to demand more money for their regions after Arlene Foster’s DUP agreed to a confidence and supply arrangement in return for the additional funding alongside relaxed spending rules relating to a further £500m previously committed. The Guardian has learned that the DUP will be asking for more from the Conservatives to continue shoring them up later in the parliament, with a chance in two years when the parties will review the deal by “mutual consent”. The former permanent secretary to the Treasury, Nick Macpherson, tweeted: “DUP will be back for more … again and again. They have previous in such matters.”
EU citizens wanting to bring close family to the UK after Brexit will be forced to pass tough immigration tests, Theresa May revealed yesterday. Rules on bringing in spouses, children and parents would be tightened up once Britain quits the bloc, she said. But she sought to reassure EU nationals living here by saying no families would be broken up when ties are cut with Brussels. In a measure which could cause extra friction with the EU, if relatives arrive after Britain’s departure there will be strict curbs.
Theresa May has told EU citizens they must bring family members over to Britain before Brexit or face tougher immigration rules, in a move that will dismay her European counterparts. The Prime Minister has decided not to heed the call from the European Commission to allow EU citizens living in the UK the right to be joined by family members after Brexit, as part of a deal on citizens’ rights for the estimated 3.2 million EU nationals living in the UK. Instead, Mrs May said family dependents joining EU citizens living in the UK after Britain’s exit “will be subject to the same rules as those joining British citizens” who arrive after the cut-off point.
CITIZENS from the European Union who want to bring close family into the UK after Brexit will be subject to tough immigration tests – meaning low-wage migrants may not qualify due to income requirements. Theresa May revealed that the rules on EU nationals bringing spouses, children and parents would be tightened after Britain leaves the Brussels bloc. Under current rules, Britons must earn more than £18,600 before a husband or wife from outside Europe can join them – but leaving the Brussels bloc may see its qualifying citizens having to meet the same income barrier after Brexit. Mrs May, when pressed by several Labour MPs in the House of Commons, suggested there would be no income barriers for anyone whose relatives have been in the UK for more than five years.
EU migrants that want to bring their families to Britain after Brexit will face tougher tests, under plans being prepared by the government. The PM said workers must earn more than £18,600 before a husband or wife from outside Europe can join them and the incomer must also pass an English language test. That figure rises to £22,400 if the couple have a child – and then £2,400 for each subsequent child. EU nationals which already have family here will be exempt from the new rules.
Millions of EU nationals living in the UK will have to apply to a “settled status” register and might be given ID cards as part of new plans laid out by the Home Office. The Government’s 15-page policy paper sets out an online application process for the three million EU nationals in the UK to make sure they receive the same rights and benefits as non-European nationals who have lived in the UK for five years. It is unclear whether the “settled status” would result in an identity card or simply be an entry in a Home Office database. “I want to completely reassure people that under these plans, no EU citizen currently in the UK lawfully, will be asked to leave at the point the UK leaves the EU,” said Theresa May. “We want you to stay.”
More than 3million EU citizens in Britain will need special ‘documentation’ to prove they can stay after Brexit, the government has revealed. The paperwork will be required by law to prove people can draw benefits, get a job or use public services like the NHS. And those applying could have to provide “biometric information” like fingerprints or iris scans as part of the process. Downing Street, the Home Office and the Brexit Department insisted the documents would not necessarily be “ID cards”, as suggested in some quarters, but could not rule it out.
THERESA MAY faced a showdown with Brussels last night after indicating EU citizens will face tough income and language tests to bring in loved ones AFTER Brexit. While rolling out the red carpet now, the government said EU nationals arriving in the UK from April 2019 will face more stringent restrictions if they want to bring in husbands or wives. Like Brits, EU arrivals wanting to bring a spouse into Britain will have to prove they earn more than £18,600 a year. And their partner may be forced to prove they have a good level of English.
Up to 2,000 patients are feared to have been harmed in a huge NHS data loss, a damning report warns. The scandal occurred over a five year period when a private firm mislaid up to 709,000 items of medical correspondence between GPs and hospitals. These included the results of blood tests and scans informing doctors that patients had cancer or other very serious conditions. The private firm responsible – NHS Shared Business Services – became aware the items were going missing back in 2011 but only alerted officials in 2016. And Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also facing criticism for failing to pick up on the problems earlier and for not informing the public.
Jeremy Hunt has been accused of leaving Parliament and patients in the dark after hundreds of thousands of pieces of confidential medical correspondence was discovered “languishing in a warehouse”. At least 1,700 patients may have been harmed by the major blunder, according to a new report into the incident from the National Audit Office (NAO). The Department of Health and a private firm share ownership of the company responsible for the error, which saw more than 700,000 unprocessed documents mislaid, including treatment plans, blood and urine test results and cancer diagnoses. Health Secretary Mr Hunt was told in March 2016 that thousands of pieces of mail sent between GPs and hospitals had not reached their recipients due to the blunder by NHS Shared Business Services (SBS).
Jeremy Hunt kept quiet for months about a ‘major blunder’ which saw more than 700,000 letters to NHS patients mislaid, some of which contained cancer diagnosis, treatment plans and blood tests, it emerged today. The health secretary learned in March 2016 that hundreds of thousands of NHS letters had been left to pile up in warehouse by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), which is co-owned by the Department of Health. But a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that Mr Hunt ‘decided not to alert Parliament or the public’ to the crisis even though it was known as early as December 2015 that the letters contained ‘clinical correspondence’ and staff had already binned 35 sacks.
Doctors have accused the government of “consciously” creating the crisis in NHS hospitals to pave the way for a private sector takeover. Delegates at the British Medical Association’s annual representative meeting in Bournemouth voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion that they were told amounted to a verdict of conspiracy rather than incompetence. Doctors agreed that “the crisis in NHS hospitals has been consciously created by the government, in order to accelerate its transformation plans for private sector takeover of healthcare in England”. The Department of Health responded that the motion had “no relationship with reality”.
At least 1,700 patients may have been harmed by an administrative blunder that meant thousands of patient records in NHS England were mislaid. Officials said the number was likely to rise, as a third of the 700,000 notes found had yet to be reviewed. Cancer test results and child protection notes were among the documents that went missing. The National Audit Office said there were serious questions to answer about the handling of the incident. Its review of the issue looked at the role of the government and the company responsible for the mix-up, which is part-owned by the Department of Health. The company, NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), was employed in the East Midlands, South West and north-west London to redirect mail for the health service.
More than 40% of British hospitals say they cannot guarantee patients will receive safe care next winter because a sum of £1bn earmarked to reduce “bedblocking” is not being spent properly. Hospital bosses claim that many local councils are failing to put the emergency funding into schemes to help patients get home quicker by improving social care support for them. As a result, the NHS is likely to come even closer to falling over than it did in 2016-17, according to a new report from NHS Providers, the trade association that represents most NHS trusts in England. Government plans that the £1bn will free up 2,000-3,000 hospital beds are not being realised, it claims.
Patients with mental health conditions are being sent up to 600 miles away to Scotland as there are no free beds close to home, an investigation has found. Some 5,876 adults were referred to another health trust for treatment in 2016/17, a 40 per cent rise on the year before. Figures also show that some areas of England have no free beds for women with mental health conditions. Women and men are increasingly being sent to care facilities in another county making it difficult for family and friends to visit. In the worst case a patient from Somerset Partnership NHS trust was sent 587 miles away to be cared for in a mental health facility in Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands.
Headmasters stand accused of trying to sway the general election by attacking Tory policies. Families were sent a series of political messages – by post and on social media – in the run-up to the national vote on June 8. One warned of the ‘dreadful state’ of education funding under Theresa May. It was sent by heads from 3,000 schools across 14 counties. Parents elsewhere were urged to sign a petition set up by the Left-wing National Union of Teachers. And one school tweeted that parents should think again before voting Tory. Official guidance states that during ‘purdah’ – the period between an election being called and polling day – schools must not use public resources to give one party an advantage.
HEADTEACHERS sent thousands of letters with anti-Tory messages to parents in the run up to the General Election breaching official guidance, it was revealed last night. Tory MP Henry Smith decried the propaganda-style letters as “unacceptable” after heads from 3,000 schools across 145 constituencies sent them out. The letters were sent to families by post and on social media, and warned of the “dreadful state” of education funding under the Conservatives. The National Union of Teachers also urged parents to sign a petition with one school tweeting parents should think again before voting for the Tories. According to official guidance, schools must not use public resources to give one party an advantage during ‘purdah’ – the period between an election being called and polling day.
Britain’s state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, which powered out to sea for the first time last night, has the same outdated software on board that was hit by a massive cyberattack last month. A computer screen inside a control room on HMS Queen Elizabeth was displaying Microsoft Windows XP — copyright 1985 to 2001 — when a group of journalists was given a tour of the £3 billion warship last week. A defence source said that some of the hardware and software on the carrier, which took almost two decades to go from concept to reality, would have been good in 2004 but now seems rather antiquated. “Just think about the difference between year 2000 desktops compared with modern units,” he said.
The Royal Navy’s largest ever warship squeezed under the Forth Bridge late last night after the captain had to wait for the right tide. HMS Queen Elizabeth, which weighs 65,000 tonnes, made its way under the iconic bridge in Scotland just before midnight. Crowds of people had gathered to watch it go underneath the bridge after it had set sail for the first time. But last night there were fears the giant aircraft carrier could be vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Navy chiefs boasted the defence system on the UK’s biggest ever warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be NASA standard – rather than like the NHS system that was hacked into several months ago.
SIR Michael Fallon has mocked Vladimir Putin’s “old” naval fleet and declared Britain’s new flagship will be the “envy” of Russia. A day after the HMS Queen Elizabeth set sail for the first time, the Defence Secretary acknowledged Russians will spy on the new flagship as it undergoes trials in the North Sea. The 65-year-old warned Britain is in an “age of competition and confrontation”, facing “multiple and simultaneous threats”. The dangers are largely coming from “the resurgence of Russian aggression abroad… undermining democracy wherever it can” in the form of terrorism and cyber attacks, he continued. But he commended the UK’s naval defence, insisting the Royal Navy had “ways and means” of protecting the warship from the Russians.
A record-breaking warship set to be the largest and most powerful ever commanded by the British Navy has set sail for the first time. The 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth had her maiden launch from Rosyth on the Firth of Forth. The 280-metre ship cost billions of pounds and will take on the role of Britain’s flagship in the Royal Navy. She took to sea with a crew of 700 – though the ship holds operates at a capacity of 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are on board. The ship’s commander, Captain Jerry Kyd, said despite her huge size HMS Queen Elizabeth would be an “incredibly flexible tool” showing the scale of British ambition to act as a leading world player.
Peter Whittle has announced that he will be standing to be Leader of UKIP. Speaking exclusively to Westmonster, Whittle said he wants to lead a “cultural movement” which doesn’t shy away from talking about subjects the other parties are afraid of even discussing. Whittle, who leads UKIP’s group on the London Assembly, told Westmonster that the party is needed now “more than ever before”. He pointed out how there is a very real possibility of a complete undermining of Brexit and that on other issues such as historical levels of migration, “UKIP are the only party that actually really talks about these things”.
A UFO was spotted on military radar for seven hours but the RAF were told not to engage as commanders were “overruled at the highest level”. Britain’s X-files – the declassified government documents covering UFO encounters – reveal the shocking incident just off Skegness. Ministry of Defence documents detail how a UFO was spotted hovering over the Wash near the Lincolnshire town – but the RAF were told to do nothing about it. The dossier reveals how an unnamed government official warned the nation could have been put at risk as he slammed the “shambles” of an operation dealing with the craft. Several radars detected the object off the east coast of Britain in the early hours of October 5, 1996.