Had Theresa May been in a stronger position, with a high personal approval rating, a majority government, no government sex scandal, and not making an absolute mess of the Brexit negotiations, one would call the appointment of Gavin Williamson as Secretary of State for Defence a brilliant move. He is a ruthless political operator, and the one person you’d want most in a top cabinet job.
Given his record as PPS to David Cameron and Chief Whip to Theresa May, one might assume that he’d been taking notes from the late Ian Richardson’s portrayal of Francis Urquhart in the BBC’s House of Cards Trilogy. He is ruthless, effective, and, given his extensive knowledge on just about every member of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, knows exactly how to manipulate his colleagues in order to get exactly what he wants.
Live from the House of Commons – Credit for feed goes to the Guardian
As the second day of debate continues on the EU Withdrawal bill, MPs are preparing for the crucial second reading debate, due to take place at midnight.
While some speculation ensued in the lead up to the debate that the bill would be struck down by a rebellion of Tory MPs, many of them who previously indicated that they would vote against the bill have since said that they would vote in favour of the bill on the condition that significant amendments be made while it is in committee, in order to curtail certain sections of the bill seen as a power grab.
While Labour has a three line whip to vote against the bill, it is thought that up to 20 Labour MPs are preparing to defy the whip and vote in favour of the bill, so as to not be seen as attempting to block Brexit.
The debate is due to be wound up by David Lidington, the Justice Secretary, and I will be live-blogging the end of the debate and the five expected votes on various amendments, including the Labour amendment, from 11PM.
After a tumultuous six months in the White House briefing room, Sean Spicer has resigned as the White House Press Secretary.
It has been reported by the New York Times that he has resigned after the President reportedly tapped New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as Communications Director, a post that has been vacant since Mike Dubke’s resignation in May. Since then, Spicer had been serving as both Press Secretary and Communications Director, and was reportedly opposed to Scaramucci taking the role.
Spicer’s short-lived tenure behind the podium has been characterised by a number of gaffes, which have, at multiple points, bought both his competence and future in the role into question among commentators.
Spicer was not an early supporter of Trump, which had led many to opine about Spicer’s longevity in the role since his appointment in January.
It was also rumored in Washington that Trump, who deeply values loyalty, had soured on Spicer early on in his tenure as press secretary – perhaps as early as his first press statement when Spicer angrily berated reporters and gave false information about the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd.
Because let’s be honest, the old design was boring. This is simplistic but stylish. I even have a picture of Parliament as my header.
AND I HAVE AN ICON.
Sooooo much has happened since I was last here. Emmanuel Macron won the French election, which means I can stop being nice to him and slate him from being the neo-liberal he is, Theresa May made a very stupid move and called an early election asking for a huge majority, but ended up losing her majority (oops), and Donald Trump is still being Donald Trump, but there are doubts he’s still gonna be here by the end of the year.
And Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon got announced. That’s my Christmas present sorted.
But yeah, now it’s the summer expect more posts from me. Well, not as many as there normally would be, as Parliament has just gone into recess, which is annoying. But there’s still a lot going on America, and you can expect me to be covering most of what goes on and giving my own opinion and take on it.
Daesh, also known as so-called Islamic State, have claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack. They claimed responsibility in a news report by Amaq, the news agency used by Daesh to broadcast propaganda. In the report, they described the attacker as a “soldier of Islamic State.”
Various details have emerged regarding the attacker. Here are the key points:
According to the Prime Minister (see her statement), the attacker was known to MI5 prior to the attack. However, a Number 10 spokesperson declined to comment as to when he was last investigated, only saying it was “some years ago” in response to repeated questions about when, why and how the intelligence agencies have monitored him in the past.
It has also been revealed that the attacker was British-born.
According to the Guardian, the attacker rented the car used in the incident – a Hyundai Tucson, from an Enterprise branch on Spring Hill passage in Birmingham, just one mile from the Birmingham property raided earlier today, which is thought to be the home of the attacker.
Of course, the attacker remains unidentified as of now. I will post another update soon regarding the status of those injured.
Jeremy Corbyn made the following statement to the House of Commons after the Prime Minister’s remarks. He associated himself with the sentiment expressed by the Prime Minister.
“What happened yesterday was an appalling atrocity. Today, we are united by our humanity, by our democratic values and by that human impulse for solidarity to stand together in times of darkness and adversity.
I express my condolences to the family and friends of PC Keith Palmer, who gave his life yesterday in defence of the public and our democracy – and to the loved ones of those still in a critical condition including the French schoolchildren visiting our capital from Concarneau in Brittany.