National Newswatch

Israel election: Netanyahu and rival headed for deadlock

Sep 18 2019 — — Unofficial results in Israel’s second election in five months suggest it is too close to call, Israeli media say. Incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s party and that of his main challenger, Benny Gantz, are neck and neck with 32 seats each, the Kan public broadcaster says. A prime minister needs to command a 61-seat majority in […]

Brexit: Scottish judges rule Parliament suspension is unlawful

Sep 11 2019 — — Boris Johnson’s suspension of the UK Parliament is unlawful, Scotland’s highest civil court has ruled. A panel of three judges at the Court of Session found in favour of a cross-party group of politicians who were challenging the prime minister’s move. The judges said the PM was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the government to […]

UK Commons Speaker Bercow to stand down

Sep 9 2019 — — John Bercow says he will stand down as Commons Speaker at the next election or on 31 October, whichever comes first. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Bercow said his 10-year “tenure” was nearing its end and it had been the “greatest honour and privilege” to serve. If there was no early election, he said leaving on […]

PM Boris Johnson’s brother quits as Tory MP and minister

Sep 5 2019 — — Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is resigning as an MP and minister, saying he is “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”. The business minister and Tory MP for Orpington, south-east London, cited an “unresolvable tension” in his role. Mr Johnson voted Remain in the 2016 EU membership referendum, […]

Loch Ness Monster may be a giant eel, say scientists

Sep 5 2019 — — The creatures behind repeated sightings of the fabled Loch Ness Monster may be giant eels, according to scientists. Researchers from New Zealand have tried to catalogue all living species in the loch by extracting DNA from water samples. Following analysis, the scientists have ruled out the presence of large animals said to be behind reports […]

Boris Johnson’s call for general election rejected by MPs

Sep 4 2019 — — Boris Johnson has faced a double defeat in the Commons after MPs turned down his motion for a general election. Earlier, MPs backed a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit if the PM hadn’t agreed a plan with the EU ahead of the 31 October deadline. Mr Johnson said the bill “scuppered” negotiations and […]

Brexit: Tory MP defects ahead of crucial no-deal vote

Sep 3 2019 — — Conservative MP Phillip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats ahead of a showdown between Boris Johnson and Tory rebels over Brexit. Dr Lee, the MP for Bracknell, took his seat on the opposition benches as the PM addressed the Commons. His defection means that Boris Johnson no longer has a working majority in the […]

Brexit: Boris Johnson faces showdown in Parliament

Sep 3 2019 — — The PM faces a showdown in Parliament later as MPs aim to take control of the agenda to stop a no-deal Brexit. Ex-chancellor and Tory rebel Philip Hammond said he thought there was enough support for the bill, seeking to delay the UK’s exit date, to pass. No 10 officials warned the prime minister would […]

Brexit: ‘Election in October’ if MPs block no deal

Sep 2 2019 — — Boris Johnson has insisted he does not want a general election, as he urged MPs not to vote for “another pointless delay” to Brexit. But the BBC understands the PM would seek to call a vote, expected to be on 14 October, if MPs block no deal. Tory ex-ministers are joining forces with Labour to […]

UK PM Johnson ‘considering election’ amid Brexit battle

Sep 2 2019 — — Boris Johnson is considering seeking an early general election if MPs wanting to block a no-deal Brexit defeat the government this week. The BBC understands “live discussions” are going on in No 10 about asking Parliament to approve a snap poll. Political editor Laura Kuenssberg said it could happen as soon as Wednesday but no […]

UK Parliament suspension sparks furious backlash

Aug 29 2019 — — The prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament has prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit. It sparked protests across the country, a legal challenge and a petition with more than a million signatures. The government said the five-week suspension in September and October will still allow time to debate Brexit. […]

Prince Andrew: I did not suspect Epstein’s behaviour

Aug 24 2019 — — Prince Andrew has defended his former friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, saying “at no stage” did he “see or suspect” any criminal behaviour. Epstein, 66, took his own life in a jail cell this month while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. In a statement, the Duke of York said he wanted to “clarify the facts” […]

Brexit: Macron tells PM renegotiating deal ‘not an option’

Aug 22 2019 — — Boris Johnson is to meet Emmanuel Macron shortly, hours after the French president insisted reopening Brexit negotiations was “not an option”. Mr Macron said: “We have to help the British deal with this internal democratic crisis but we mustn’t be hostage to it nor export it.” On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the onus […]

Brexit: Boris Johnson says ‘anti-democratic’ backstop must be scrapped

Aug 20 2019 — — Boris Johnson has told the EU the backstop plan for the Irish border must be scrapped because it is “unviable” and “anti-democratic”. In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, Mr Johnson said the backstop – which aims to avoid a hard border – risked undermining the Northern Irish peace process. If it were […]