This time last year, three Labour Party members were expelled for having agreed a “progressive alliance” to unseat the Conservative health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, at the general election in the constituency of South West Surrey. They had been involved in trying to implement a local agreement whereby the local Labour Party, Green Party and Liberal Democrats stood to one side and backed a single candidate – a local GP – to run against Hunt under the colours of the National Health Action Party. One of those expelled had been a member of 50 years standing; another was the constituency Labour Party secretary. The rationale for this progressive alliance was that there was a far better chance of unseating the health secretary – who had a majority of more than 28,000 – if all the forces of social justice united behind one candidate rather than being split between other parties. Given the immense damage Hunt has caused to the NHS, this seemed eminently … [Read more...] about Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have similar problems in their parties – and it’s starting to damage our democracy
7 controls of weather and climate
To understand how big a deal Jeremy Thorpe was some four decades ago, it is helpful to transplant him into the modern day. Imagine then a Liberal political leader who burst onto the scene with even more verve and energy and impact than Nick Clegg did in 2010, if you can cast your mind back to Cleggmania. And did so with the result that he almost single-handedly denied either main party a majority at a general election. Imagine too a man with the charisma and style of a character such as Nigel Farage (though far from sharing his politics). Top that lot off with the ready wit and celebrity of the likes of Boris Johnson. He was married to an ex-wife of the cousin of the Queen and he had once toyed with the idea of wedding Princess Margaret. That was Thorpe. Now imagine someone combining those talents and of that stature in national life being put on trial at the Old Bailey on a charge of conspiracy to murder. Read more Ben Whishaw cast in Russell T Davies … [Read more...] about Jeremy Thorpe: Who was the Liberal Party leader and what led to his spectacular fall from grace?
Press play to listen to this article By JACK BLANCHARD Send tips here | Subscribe for free | View in your browser Good Friday morning. DRIVING THE DAY CORBYN SURGE STALLS: Labour’s hopes of scoring dramatic wins in last night’s local elections appear to have been largely dashed this morning, albeit with around a third of the results still to come in. Labour has to date hit only two of its big targets, taking control of Plymouth and becoming the largest party in Trafford. But it has missed out on a raft of other hoped-for town halls such as Wandsworth, Westminster, Dudley and Hillingdon, and is on course to miss their No. 1 target of Barnet too. And in smaller towns such as Derby and Nuneaton, Labour actually lost control of councils where it previously had majorities — definitely not great for a party that claims it is headed for power. Relief for May: The Tories scored similarly mixed results, which frankly is much better than had been expected — and means … [Read more...] about POLITICO London Playbook: Corbyn surge stalls — 5 more years of Brexit — How to go on strike
It is a perfect spring morning in late April when an upbeat Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, bounds into a park in Barnet to address a large crowd of activists. The recent political climate has not been so sunny. Jeremy Corbyn has spent the last few days embroiled in a raging row about antisemitism in his party. On the day Khan visits, his party leader has just been forced to apologise for defending an antisemitic mural. Days earlier, upwards of 1000 people had gathered in Parliament Square to protest against his response to anti-Jewish abuse. The two main Jewish community groups have accused the Labour leader of ignoring their concerns, and demanded change. The row has been particularly pertinent in this part of north London. Barnet has one of the UK’s largest Jewish populations - around one in five of all Jews in England and Wales live in the borough. It is also one of the country’s most marginal councils, and Labour’s top target in today's local elections. The … [Read more...] about Local elections: Labour hopes to overcome antisemitism fears and take control of flagship Tory borough of Barnet
Russia's standing on the world stage looked pretty precarious the first week in April, with Moscow facing Western wrath over a nerve-agent poisoning in England as well as the threat of new U.S. sanctions. Since then, even more pressure has been piled on. Here are some of the key developments in Russia over the last week, and some of the takeaways going forward. 'Gas Killing Animal' Russia has faced Western ire for years now, since its seizure of Crimea in 2014, and the anger only increased when former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Soviet-developed nerve agent in England in March, triggering a full-scale diplomatic blow-up. The confrontation has climbed to a new level in the past week, with the United States imposing new sanctions targeting tycoons close to President Vladimir Putin in response to Moscow's "malign activity around the globe," and U.S. President Donald Trump warning Russia to "get ready" for missile strikes on Syria over a suspected poison-gas … [Read more...] about The Week In Russia: Sanctions, Syria, And Solitude