Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Owen Smith, who once denounced the leader's views as "hot air", as the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland. Mr Smith, who was beaten by the current Labour leader when the pair went head to head last year during a fierce contest, has a deep understanding of the peace process after working as an advisor to the former Labour Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy. It came as Mr Corbyn also unveiled four other appointments to fill vacancies in his shadow cabinet, including campaign co-ordinator Ian Lavery as party chair and new MP Lesley Laird as shadow Scottish secretary. The decision to appoint Mr Smith demonstrates a marked shift in Mr Corbyn's strategy... … [Read more...] about Former leadership rival Owen Smith appointed shadow Northern Ireland secretary in Corbyn reshuffle
Northern ireland football team
Boris Johnson has won a thumping majority for a new term as Prime Minister, and first on his agenda will be his Brexit deal. Mr Johnson has negotiated a fundamentally different approach to Brexit, doing away with the Irish backstop in favour of a new arrangement for Northern Ireland that will kick in when the transition period ends in December 2020. He has also given up on Theresa May’s close economic partnership in favour of a more distant relationship based on a Free Trade Agreement. Here we examine the new deal, and the differences with Theresa May. Head here to read more on how this Brexit deal will affect UK citizens. The revised Irish Protocol The new Irish Protocol seeks to set out not... … [Read more...] about What is in Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, and how could it affect you?
Die meister, die besten, les grandes equipes, the Getafe?! You can almost hear the needle scratch. It is 13 years since Mathieu Flamini played in a Champions League final but he might get the chance to play in the competition again. The man who helped find a way of turning waste into renewable energy has helped turn Getafe into one of the best teams on the continent. Just over a year after turning up for a trial, a 33-year-old biochemical pioneer released by Crystal Palace who hadn’t played football for six months, the former Arsenal midfielder could be returning to the biggest stage of all – and with the most unlikely of clubs. Just look at the league table. Now look again. Yes, that really is Getafe in a Champions League place. Not even the Zombie Porn got them this excited. The club that called upon Jesus Christ in jeans, a bodybuilding dwarf, a man laying an egg, a two-headed motorbike rider, Getafe Tinder, and a melancholic monster to try to fill their ground, a … [Read more...] about Getafe inch closer to making the unbelievable dream a reality
With modern football characterised by intensity and collective ideals, for a team to be completely dominated by one player is rare. But few clubs across European football are as dependent on one man as Toulouse are on Max Gradel. After years of scrapping a Ligue 1 existence via miraculous escapes and relegation play-offs, the potential loss of the Ivorian this summer could signal disaster at the Stade Municipal. Talismanic status is not new for Gradel. Before a misadventure with Bournemouth, his time at Saint-Étienne under Christophe Galtier, now coaching Lille, focused on one thing: qualifying for the Champions League. Ligue 1’s most successful ever club, Saint-Étienne are a proud and historic outfit with a raucous fan base, but forays into Europe’s premier club competition have been rare of late. With Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and others gone, Gradel became the epicentre of Les Verts’ hopes. While his colleagues were perhaps not of the same standard, … [Read more...] about It is Max Gradel’s world and Toulouse are living in it … dangerously
Darkness descended on Real Madrid, the metaphor visiting them on a Sunday night in Valladolid, light not let in until the following evening when he returned. The week after they lost it all, the man returned who won it all. Zinedine Zidane is back. Less than a year since he walked out, insisting that this was a “see you later” not a “goodbye”, he has walked back in again. Just how different the place is, just how bad it had got in his absence, was shown by seven days in which it all slipped through their fingers. Shown too, by the last game before he relented and said yes, Santi Solari’s final game in charge: a match that mattered so much partly because it didn’t matter at all. There was less than an hour to go before kick-off at the José Zorrilla on Sunday night when the lights went out on Madrid again. They sought a first win since beating Levante 13 days earlier, back when they had a season, but they couldn’t see amid the gloom. The … [Read more...] about Zinedine Zidane responds to the call to save Real Madrid from darkness