A former backer of the death penalty who was forced out over off-the-books meetings was tonight named the Home Secretary of the UK. Shamed Tory ex minister Priti Patel was handed the plum job in Boris Johnson's top team after a brutal reshuffle that saw 17 of the 30 ministers who attend Cabinet resign or be sacked. Theresa May forced Ms Patel to quit as International Development Secretary in 2017 after she had 'off-the-books' meetings with senior Israeli officials during a 'family holiday'. But Mr Johnson trumpeted her return to the Cabinet as part of a record number of ethnic minority politicians in the team. It was part of a seizure of top jobs by right-wingers, with Dominic Raab being named Foreign Secretary and Sajid Javid taking the role of Chancellor. See the full list of changes in the Cabinet reshuffle here. The 47-year-old MP for Witham, Essex, is a hard-right Tory who backs tax cuts and supported the death penalty until 2016. She's also a Brexiteer 'ultra' who voted … [Read more...] about Priti Patel named Home Secretary in huge promotion for shamed hard-right Tory
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Jo Swinson used her appearance on a follow-up programme to the ITV debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn to argue that the pair’s encounter only went to make the case for the Liberal Democrats. In a decision that prompted a failed legal action from her party, Swinson was excluded from the debate at 8pm and shunted to a programme featuring one-on-one interviews with the leaders of the smaller parties, along with Nicola Sturgeon, Nigel Farage and Siân Berry, which aired at 10pm. Berry, the Green party’s co-leader, also took the opportunity to castigate the Johnson-Corbyn debate, saying it was “outrageous” that the Tory and Labour leaders barely discussed the climate emergency. Swinson, whose party’s legal challenge was rejected on Monday, told ITV’s interviewer Nina Hossain that the main debate only highlighted the absurdity of her being sidelined. “Watching that debate, people at home can be forgiven for just saying, look, surely … [Read more...] about Johnson and Corbyn attacked by sidelined party leaders
Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the European Union on October 31, "do or die." And as the deadline creeps closer, it is becoming increasingly clear he's prepared to crash the UK out of Europe without a deal. It is the issue that will dominate his time in Downing Street. But we know remarkably little about the detail of Boris Johnson's Brexit plans. He's said much about Britain needing the ambition of the Moon landings and the spirit that made us a world power. So what about the details? Is he prepared to compromise? And will we really crash out with No Deal? As he is confirmed as our next Prime Minister, here's what you need to know about Boris Johnson's plans for Brexit. What is Boris Johnson's Brexit plan? Boris Johnson's bottom line is that we leave the EU on October 31, "do or die" - with or without a deal. He has said he would prefer Brexit to include a deal agreed with the EU. But for his deal, Johnson has demanded the EU re-opens the 'Withdrawal Agreement', the … [Read more...] about What is Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan – and will we leave the EU on October 31?
Hello and welcome to your election briefing. Unsurprisingly lots of the talk this morning is about last night’s ITV leaders’ debate – how they performed, who won and whether it shifted the views of any voters. As usual we bring you a taste of non-election news as well. To keep up with the day’s political events, follow our live blog here. What’s going on? It is the morning after the night before and if you missed the debate, here’s what happened. Rowena Mason offers her analysis, including the leaders’ best lines, worst moments and overall pitch. Our panel has given its verdict on how Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn fared. We’ve fact-checked the leaders’ claims, and there is news about the Conservative press office changing its Twitter name to make it look like a fact-checking service for the duration of the debate. Leaders of minor parties have shared their views on what went down on ITV, as have readers, who have delivered their … [Read more...] about Wednesday briefing: Parties take stock after leaders’ debate
In the seaside town of Ekenäs, south-west of Helsinki, there is a name that appears wherever you go: Helene Schjerfbeck. A street lined with early-19th-century weatherboard houses is named after her, and at the Helene Schjerfbeck cafe they serve lingonberry and bitter chocolate cake with the initials HS picked out in sugar. An actor, Anne Ingman, has made it her vocation to impersonate Schjerfbeck in a floor-length black costume with a battered leather handbag and a jade brooch like one Schjerfbeck wore. She guides visitors through a park where Schjerfbeck painted, tells stories about her life and points out a modern artwork by AK Dolven, a bell high in the oak trees that can be heard across town. Send not to know for whom the bell tolls: it is another homage to Schjerfbeck. In Helsinki’s Ateneum, Finland’s national gallery, Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) has been, through the latter part of her lifetime and since her death, one of Finland’s best-loved artists. But in … [Read more...] about ‘Finland’s Munch’: the unnerving art of Helene Schjerfbeck