Ukip was in a state of open civil war on Monday night after Nigel Farage publicly warned that the party will collapse unless its sole MP Douglas Carswell is thrown out. Mr Farage, the former UK Independence Party leader, said Mr Carswell had “sought to split and divide Ukip in every way imaginable” since defecting from the Conservatives to Ukip in 2014. The two men have been at odds for years over the party’s policies but their antipathy came to a head amid claims that Mr Carswell frustrated Mr Farage’s chances of being awarded a knighthood. Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Farage said: “As a party, how can we let a man represent us in the House of Commons who actively and transparently seeks to damage us? “I think there is little future for UKIP with him staying inside this party. The time for him to go is now.”
Nigel Farage has called for Ukip’s only MP to be thrown out of the party after he failed to secure the former leader a knighthood. Mr Farage said that Douglas Carswell, the Clacton MP, had “little future” in the party and had “sought to split and divide Ukip in every way imaginable” since defecting from the Conservatives in 2014. The long-simmering feud between the pair burst into the open last night after leaked emails suggested that Mr Carswell had made a quip after Mr Farage failed to secure a knighthood. When Mr Farage was turned down, Mr Carswell was asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the Ukip peer, to appeal against the ruling to Gavin Williamson, the government’s chief whip.
Ukip was tonight thrown into further turbulence after former leader Nigel Farage called for the party’s only MP Douglas Carswell to be thrown out of the party. Mr Farage claims Mr Carswell had ‘sought to split and divide UKIP in every way imaginable’ since he joined the party in 2014. This comes after major Ukip donor Arron Banks threatened to pull his funding after Ukip’s defeat to Labour in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, blaming ‘dullards’ like Mr Carswell for not bringing in enough Tory votes. Farage and Carswell are now embroiled in a bitter argument over claims Mr Carswell sabotaged Mr Farage’s chances of being awarded a knighthood – an allegation strongly denied by the MP. Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Farage said: ‘As a party, how can we let a man represent us in the House of Commons who actively and transparently seeks to damage us? ‘I think there is little future for UKIP with him staying inside this party. The time for him to go is now.’
Ukip’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, must be thrown out of the party immediately because he is actively trying to damage it, Nigel Farage has said. The party’s former leader stepped up his attacks on Carswell as a row intensified over claims about the Clacton MP’s role in blocking an honour for Farage. Leaked emails show Carswell joked that Farage should be given an OBE “for services to headline writers”. Farage insisted the exchanges reveal his Ukip colleague is “consumed with jealousy and a desire to hurt me” and called on the current leader, Paul Nuttall, to expel him. Carswell, however, said the emails showed “quite clearly I tried my best to make sure he got an honour that reflects his contribution”. He told the Press Association: “If he wants to come and talk to the Ukip parliamentary party about it, we are happy to put it on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.
UKIP descended further into a furious civil war tonight, after Nigel Farage called for MP Douglas Carswell to be booted out of the party. The long-running feud between the party’s former leader and their only MP boiled over amid claims Carswell had scuppered Farage’s dream of getting a knighthood. In a newspaper column, Farage wrote: “As a party, how can we let a man represent us in the House of Commons who actively and transparently seeks to damage us? “I think there is little future for UKIP with him staying inside this party. The time for him to go is now.”
UKIP donor Arron Banks has offered to become party chairman in order to bring about a “total rebrand”. Mr Banks said ex-leader Nigel Farage was UKIP’s “biggest asset” and should be “engaged once again”. In a letter to current leader Paul Nuttall, he criticised UKIP’s tactics in the Stoke Central by-election where Mr Nuttall failed to unseat Labour. He said the party had wrongly adopted a “red UKIP” strategy, copying Labour policies on the NHS. Mr Nuttall, who was elected in November, has vowed to attract disillusioned Labour voters to UKIP, and hoped to capitalise on Stoke voters’ leanings towards Brexit in Thursday’s by-election. But he lost to Labour’s Gareth Snell by 2,620 votes, securing only a slight increase in UKIP’s vote share.
Westmonster and Leave.EU’s Arron Banks has followed up his call to be made UKIP Chairman in order to sort the party out with an open letter. The letter sets out how Banks would bring in a CEO from industry to put in place: A total rebrand of the image of the party; An initial target of attaining 100,000 members within 18 months; A professional team at the heart of the party including 15 trained professional agents to work on campaign strategy for our target seats in 2020. Creating a policy agenda that is radical with direct input from the public using online Direct Democracy. Engaging Nigel once again in UKIP – he is our biggest asset and needs to become energised with the party once again and work with you to deliver UKIP MPs.
Government departments have been asked to find savings of up to 6 per cent in the year before the election, it emerged last night. David Gauke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has written to cabinet colleagues this week asking them to explore efficiency savings based on two scenarios: a reduction of 3 per cent and one of a 6 per cent from their 2019-20 day-to-day budgets. The timing is significant because it means substantial savings being introduced at a time when Britain is expected to leave the European Union, a process that many expect will create greater administrative burdens rather than fewer. It is also often politically tricky to make spending reductions just before a general election.
Ministers were last night ordered to draw up plans for a fresh round of spending cuts of up to 6 per cent as Chancellor Philip Hammond prepares for next week’s Budget. Treasury chief secretary David Gauke wrote to Ministers yesterday asking them to draw up plans for new cuts of up to six per cent in their departmental budgets as part of plans to slash a further £3.5 billion a year from public spending. Britain’s foreign aid budget will be exempt from the cuts, as will the NHS and schools. The target of spending two per cent of GDP on defence will also be maintained. All other departments have been asked to come up with proposals for cutting spending by between 3 and 6 per cent. The cuts will come into place in 2019/20, four years after George Osborne promised the huge budget deficit left behind by Labour would be eradicated.
Government departments have been told find cuts of up to 6% under plans to reduce public spending by billions. Savings in local government will be used to help meet pressures in over-stretched social care services, according to the Treasury. NHS and school budgets will not be touched in the latest round of cost-cutting and the Government will continue spending at least 2% of national income on defence. It is also legally obliged to spend 0.7% on international aid. Treasury minister David Gauke wrote to Government departments this week telling them to draw up proposals for savings of 3% and 6% as part of the “efficiency review” announced last year to find £3.5bn in savings by 2020. Mr Gauke said: “We are committed to a modern, high-quality public sector that delivers the services people need in the most efficient way possible. “There has been considerable progress, but there is further to go and the whole of Government is working together to consider how we can live within our means while delivering maximum value for every pound of taxpayers’ money.”
One of the EU’s many problems is that it does not understand democracy, which means the people are (conveniently for EU bureaucrats) ignored. That is why it is failing. Another example of that callous disregard has surfaced with the European Parliament’s introduction of a ‘kill switch’ to stop the live broadcast of Parliament sessions in cases of ‘racist’ speeches. Offensive video and audio will also be removed from the online archive. More importantly, live broadcasting acts as an important means of assuring transparency, an essential ingredient of democracy. As the EU crumbles, scenes in the Parliament will become more and more desperate. This measure has nothing to do with racism, but a means of censorship and hiding embarrassment, which is why the EU will ultimately fail. Real democracies survive because the elected listen and the elected are seen, not the case with the EU.
With the specter of populism looming over a critical election year in Europe, the European Parliament has taken an unusual step to crack down on racism and hate speech in its own house. In an unprecedented move, lawmakers have granted special powers to the president to pull the plug on live broadcasts of parliamentary debate in cases of racist speech or acts and the ability to purge any offending video or audio material from the system. Trouble is, the rules on what is considered offensive are none too clear. Some are concerned about manipulation. Others are crying censorship.
Austria’s foreign minister called Monday for setting up mass holding camps in North Africa for migrants, a plan dismissed by his German counterpart as unrealistic. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of Germany and Austria’s Sebastian Kurz both praised the neighborly ties between their countries and joined in calls for reducing surplus EU bureaucracy while focusing on values of the 28-nation union. But Gabriel, on his first trip to Austria as foreign minister, was blunt in rejecting Kurz’s vision of creating mass refugee centers in countries like Libya or Sudan “sooner rather than later.” At a joint news conference, both also agreed on the need for a new formula that reduces child support payments from German and Austrian levels for workers coming from low-wage EU countries who opt to leave their children in their home nations.
A German bid to buy the London Stock Exchange was in tatters last night after EU competition watchdogs intervened. The European Commission stepped in over fears the deal could create a monopoly. It ordered the LSE to sell an Italian trading platform. But bosses refused, saying it would be impossible to push the sale through. Their decision throws the £21billion takeover into crisis and means it will collapse unless the Commission backs down. One insider said last night: ‘It’s very bad. This was a total surprise – it had never been brought up before. The Commission has been digging its heels in and the ball is now firmly in their court.’
The London Stock Exchange’s merger with Deutsche Boerse has been thrown into doubt after the LSE decided it couldn’t comply with last-minute conditions imposed by European regulators. The deal, announced almost a year ago, would have created a company worth $30 billion in which the German financial exchange would own a 54.4 percent stake. In a statement late Sunday, the London exchange said the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, was demanding that it sell its majority stake in MTS, an electronic trading platform for European wholesale government bonds, to resolve competition concerns. The LSE said this would be “detrimental” to its business in Italy and the fortunes of the combined company if the merger were completed. Its board therefore concluded that “it could not commit to the divestment of MTS,” and that it believes the Commission would likely reject the merger.
BRUSSELS is in the driving seat and will make the final decision on what future relations between the European Union and Britain will look like after Brexit, a senior Irish eurocrat insisted today. Influential commissioner Phil Hogan said it would be “Ireland and the other 26 member states” who dictate on what terms the UK leaves the bloc and not Theresa May. Speaking at a press briefing today the Kilkenny born eurocrat said Irish authorities were in a difficult position “through no fault of their own” and would side with the EU during the negotiations. He has previously been accused of advocating a “hard Brexit” and gave an interview last month in which he set Dublin should look to cut ties with Westminster and cosy up to Brussels.
BREXIT could result in “blood on the streets” as part of a “civil war” in the UK, a prominent peer has claimed. Lord John Bird, best known as the founder of the Big Issue, warned no one has yet to fully grasp the divisions left in British society as a result of last summer’s vote to quit the EU. Calling for the Brexit debate to be taken to a “higher level”, Lord Bird also expressed hope someone would emerge to take a “Churchillian stand” and pull the country back together amid a show of Second World War spirit. The crossbench peer also attacked those such as former prime minister Tony Blair who, he said, are suggesting the Leave result is “some kind of cr**”.
The Government has defeated the first challenge in the Lords to its plan to trigger Brexit negotiations next month. Peers voted against an amendment to the Brexit Bill demanding the UK retains its membership of the European single market. The 229 to 136 vote, a majority of 163, exposed deep divisions within Labour. In the debate, former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson warned it would be an “economic disaster” for Britain to leave the single market. However, opposition frontbencher Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town accused supporters of the amendment of offering “unrealistic hope” that the UK could stay within the EU’s trading area. Warning against re-running the arguments of the referendum campaign, she said Britain would be recipients of rules set in Brussels if it opted for a Norwegian-style model.
The Tories shot down the first challenge to Theresa May’s Brexit bill in the House of Lords. Peers voted by 299 to 136, majority 163, against an amendment to the Brexit Bill demanding the UK retains membership of the European single market. The move exposed deep divisions within Labour with former Cabinet ministers Lord Hain and Lord Mandelson speaking in support of the change – contrary to the frontbench stance. Former business secretary Lord Mandelson warned in committee stage debate on the Bill it would be an “economic disaster” for Britain to leave the single market. But Opposition frontbencher Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town accused supporters of the amendment of offering “unrealistic hope” of staying in the single market while leaving the EU.
THE HOUSE of Lords have rejected an amendment to the Brexit bill which would have pushed for the UK to remain in the single market after leaving the EU. Peers voted overwhelmingly against the proposal this evening, with one frontbencher slapping it down as “unrealistic”. By a margin of 299 to 136, with a majority of 163, peers chose not to slow down the bills passage through the House after it successfully passed through the Commons earlier this month. Nonetheless, the move did expose deep divisions within Labour as former Cabinet ministers Lord Hain and Lord Mandelson spoke in support of the change – contrary to the frontbench stance. In total, some 33 Labour peers backed the unsuccessful amendment, including Lord Hain, Lord Mandelson, Lord Cashman, Lord Bragg and Lord Foulkes of Cumnock. One Tory peer, Baroness Wheatcroft, also voted for it.
UK business leaders are demanding that the timing of Brexit be pushed back if the Government proves unable to strike a comprehensive trade deal within the two-year negotiating period leading up to the split. In a report based on feedback from more than 400 businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce said the Government needed to provide “solutions and certainty” to businesses before a divorce from the EU was finalised. Amongst other things, the BCC demanded that the Government provide clarity for businesses on the “residence rights of existing EU workers” and companies’ abilities to hire from EU countries during the negotiation period. “Business communities across the UK want practical considerations, not ideology or politics, at the heart of the Government’s approach to Brexit negotiations,” Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC, said. “What’s debated in Westminster often isn’t what matters for most businesses.”
Brexit should delayed if no trade deal can be struck with the European Union by the end of the two-year negotiating process, business leaders have said. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) also wants businesses to continue to be allowed to recruit skilled and low-skilled EU workers after the UK leaves. The business organisation is holding its annual conference on Tuesday. Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March which would start the process of leaving. The BCC – which was in favour of the UK remaining in the EU – said completing a trade deal within the two years allowed by Article 50 would be the “ideal outcome”. But it continued: “Should this prove impossible, we should seek an extension to the negotiating period to enable completion of both agreements concurrently.”
Jeremy Corbyn ducked out of answering questions from his own MPs last night after his closest ally accused the leader’s rivals of mounting a “soft coup”. Mr Corbyn did not attend the weekly meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party in Westminster, sending two shadow cabinet lieutenants instead. The discussion on Labour’s defeat in the Copeland by-election, the first time an opposition party has lost a by-election to the governing party since 1982, was instead led by Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s campaign co-ordinator. MPs were reluctant to blame Mr Gwynne for the defeat and several reportedly criticised Baroness Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney-general, who said on Sunday that electors in Copeland had voted Tory because they had been taken for granted by Labour.
Labour MPs have expressed anger after Jeremy Corbyn decided not to attend a weekly meeting used to dissect the party’s historic loss in Copeland last week, with one accusing the party leader of a “total dereliction of duty”. Frustration was also vented by one MP at the meeting after an image emerged, reportedly showing two of Mr Corbyn’s allies – Diane Abbott and Shami Chakrabarti – enjoying a beverage in Westminster while the meeting was underway. Andrew Gwynne, who led the party’s campaign in Copeland, and Ian Lavery, a shadow Cabinet minister, led the postmortem discussions on the Copeland by-election while Jack Dromey, a Labour MP who helped run the successful defence of the party’s Stoke-on-Trent Central seat, appeared alongside. Mr Corbyn did attend last week’s session, telling his parliamentary colleagues that the by-election in Copeland was on a “knife edge”. But on Thursday the party suffered a historic loss in the Cumbrian seat – the first time a governing party has won a seat off an opposition since the early 1980’s.
PLOTTERS seeking to oust Jeremy Corbyn are involved in a sneaky “dark arts” operation to get rid of him without sparking another Labour Party rebellion, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has charged. Mr McDonnell said some Labour MPs in alliance with the Murdoch–owned media are hell-bent on “destroying” Mr Corbyn’s leadership to reclaim the party for capitalists. He accused the “covert coup plotters” of wanting to undermine Mr Corbyn through “an exceptionally wellresourced ‘dark arts’ operation of the old spin school” in an article posted on the Labour Briefing website on Sunday. He said the unnamed plotters were so determined to get rid of him that they were prepared to jeopardise their own seats and endanger the very existence of the party. The warning comes after former Labour spin doctor Peter “the Prince of Darkness” Mandelson claimed last week that he was working “every single day” to drag Mr Corbyn down.
Far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen has hit a record high in a new poll as France’s former leaders have admitted she could become the country’s president. The Kantar poll currently has the National Front party leader at 45 percent in a second round contest against conservative candidate Francois Fillon. Her popularity drops to 42 percent against centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who is currently favourite to win. Marine Le Pen (pictured) has refused to meet with investigating magistrates who are probing allegations of irregularities within her party. The figures come as two former prime ministers have said the anti-EU politician could pick up momentum and steal victory in May. They say a Le Pen victory could come as a result of the worldwide wave anti-establishment resentment that saw Donald Trump elected US President in November.
Several French politicians, pollsters, and commentators have conceded that Marine Le Pen may win the French presidential elections in May. A Le Pen victory would continue the populist trend set by Brexit and the election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. President last year, neither of which were forecast by insiders and industry pundits. With polls consistently placing Le Pen out in front for first round voting, the former Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned France’s establishment of the “danger” of assuming she cannot win, Euractiv has reported. Valls pointed to Trump’s victory, unforeseen by the political establishment, to add: “What has changed in the world and Europe since Nov. 8 is that it’s possible.” The former conservative Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, too, admitted this month: “I think Madame Le Pen could be elected.” Le Pen has maintained a strong lead in first round polling since 2013 and is therefore widely expected to top the preliminary vote on 23 April with around a quarter of the vote.
Locum doctors and nurses will be banned from setting themselves up as private companies so they can dodge taxes, under new NHS rules. Up to 90 per cent of temporary staff are thought to be using the ruse. It means they only pay corporation tax of around 21 per cent, whereas income tax can be as high as 45 per cent. Watchdog NHS Improvement will tell hospitals to ensure all agency doctors and nurses are on their payroll. It estimates the highest earning locums are collectively paid £2 million a year. Their rates are up to £160 an hour, almost £4,000 for a 24-hour on-call shift. The watchdog, which expects the measures to save an extra £300 million a year, estimates the NHS has saved £1 billon a year since new caps on agency fees were introduced in October 2015.
The cases of 173 patients are being urgently examined to see if they have suffered harm after the loss of 500,000 pieces of NHS data, MPs have been told. Family doctors have told the Department of Health (DH) that the cases “require further clinical review”, in what a senior Conservative MP called a “very serious incident”. However, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied Labour claims of a “cover-up” and insisted no evidence has yet been found of patients put at risk. Mr Hunt was dragged to the Commons chamber to explain himself after The Guardian revealed what is believed to be one of the biggest losses of sensitive clinical information in the NHS’s 69-year history. The 500,000 items of data sent between hospitals and GPs went undelivered over the five years from 2011 to 2016, including test results and treatment plans.
JEREMY Hunt was today accused of helping to orchestrate a ‘cover’ up after the NHS lost more than half a million pieces of patient data over FIVE YEARS. Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said today that the Health Secretary’s lack of responsibility for the situation was “nothing short of a disgrace”. Thousands of patients could have been put at risk after documents including test results and treatment plans ended up in a warehouse. More than 500,000 bits of information failed to reach their intended recipients and were sent elsewhere. An investigation has been launched to discover how many patients were affected. “When this emerged in March last year he should have been raising some serious questions,” Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News.