Corbyn’s response to the budget

Here is a summary of the key points Jeremy Corbyn made in his response to the budget. The full speech can be found here, or you can watch the embedded video above.

On the budget generally

It’s a record of failure with a forecast of more to come …

The test of a budget is how it affects the reality of people’s lives all around this country. I believe as the days go ahead and this budget unravels, the reality will be a lot of people will be no better off and the misery many are in will be continuing.

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As it happened: Prime Minister’s Questions & Budget Day

13:41 – And that’s it. I will publish Corbyn’s response in full later, along with my analysis of the budget.

Analysis: The Westminster Sex Scandal is probably the beginning of May’s downfall

Gavin Williamson, the new Defence Secretary, in Downing Street, London. Photograph: David Mirzoeff/PA

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.

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President picks fight with New Scotland Yard during London terror investigation

Following this morning’s tragic terrorist attack on London, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, appeared to pick a fight with New Scotland Yard on Twitter.

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MPs prepare to vote on EU Withdrawal bill

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.

Sean Spicer resigns as White House Press Secretary: Full Story

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.