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Politics | The Guardian

Latest Politics news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 20:59:44 GMT2016-10-27T20:59:44Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016

Education bill scrapped after series of reversals

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:24:22 GMT2016-10-27T16:24:22Z

U-turn results in removal of most controversial clauses of bill introduced in March but DfE will press ahead with grammar schools plan

The government has said it is dropping the education bill unveiled in this year’s Queen’s speech, abandoning several proposals that had proved to be unpopular. However, it said it would press ahead with plans for more grammar schools.

The bill was introduced in March by Nicky Morgan, then education secretary, but its most controversial clauses were quickly removed, including forcing all state schools in England to become academies by 2020 and ending statutory places for parents on boards of governors.

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Ukip backs Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park byelection

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:28:29 GMT2016-10-27T14:28:29Z

Nigel Farage says party is endorsing former Tory MP, who resigned over Heathrow expansion, instead of fielding a candidate

Ukip has endorsed Zac Goldsmith, the former Conservative MP who is now standing as an independent in the Richmond Park byelection, which will take place on 1 December.

The party’s interim leader, Nigel Farage, said Ukip would not put up a candidate against Goldsmith, who backed leave in the EU referendum, and its supporters should vote for him to stop the pro-EU Liberal Democrats from winning the seat.

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Jenny Tonge quits Lib Dems after suspension for alleged antisemitic comments

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:25:08 GMT2016-10-27T17:25:08Z

Peer who has sat in Lords as an independent since 2012 suspended over comments reportedly comparing Israel to Isis made at meeting she hosted

Jenny Tonge, a former Liberal Democat peer, has quit the party after she was suspended over alleged antisemitic comments.

She said she had resigned from the party “about the same time” as she was suspended as a party member by its leader on Thursday.

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Sadiq Khan to warn hard Brexit will cost millions of jobs across UK

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 20:03:59 GMT2016-10-27T20:03:59Z

London mayor to tell City of London banquet that government has no mandate for the ‘economic self-sabotage’ of leaving the EU single market

The mayor of London is to warn the government that its “hard-headed, hard-nosed, hard Brexit approach” is reckless and will cause the loss of millions of jobs, not just in the financial district but across the UK.

Sadiq Khan will tell business leaders that the vote for Brexit did not mean the government needed to choose a route of “economic self-sabotage” and will urge Theresa May to approach the UK’s departure from the EU with more pragmatism.

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Labour warns Theresa May against 'bankers' Brexit' - Politics live

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:16:36 GMT2016-10-27T17:16:36Z

John McDonnell sets out Labour’s vision for a fairer departure from the EU, as GDP figures show stronger than expected economic growth.

It’s time to draw a veil over this live blog. There’s not much point in having a closing summary, as it would be much the same as the lunchtime version, perhaps with the addition of the dropping of the education bill, the suspension of Jenny Tonge and the UK intervention over Calais.

So: thank you very much for reading, and Andrew will be back next week.

This from my colleague Alan Travis:

The prospect of 50 refugee children being stranded outside the Calais migrant camp for a second night has triggered a high level protest from the British government and a demand that the children be provided with an immediate safe place to go.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, spoke to her French counterpart, Bernard Cazenuve, on Thursday afternoon, telling him that the children who remained in Calais had to be properly protected.

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NoW executives found in contempt will not be hauled before Commons

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:55:35 GMT2016-10-27T15:55:35Z

Colin Myler and Tom Crone were criticised by privileges committee for misleading parliament over phone hacking

Two former News of the World executives will not be summoned to parliament to be reprimanded for giving misleading evidence over phone hacking, amid concerns that they could not be compelled to turn up.

A group of MPs had called for the highly unusual step against the defunct paper’s former editor Colin Myler and its former legal manager Tom Crone after they were found to be in contempt of parliament.

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Corbyn: Labour would add LGBT history to school curriculum

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:40:41 GMT2016-10-27T11:40:41Z

Speaking at Pink News awards, opposition leader also says government should apologise to men prosecuted for their sexuality

A Labour government would make sure children are taught about LGBT history and the significance of figures such as the mathematician Alan Turing as part of the school curriculum, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader made the promise at an awards dinner hosted by Pink News, where he also said the state should apologise to gay men such as Turing who were prosecuted for sexual acts that are no longer criminal.

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Calais's refugee children are sleeping rough because of Tory policy

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:00:43 GMT2016-10-27T14:00:43Z

As 100 children spend the night outside following the camp clearance, observers count the cost of Theresa May’s tough stance

The only real question about the chaotic closure of the Calais camp that has left lone children sleeping out in the open is whether it is the result of incompetence or deliberate policy.

When the home secretary, Amber Rudd, and the French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, met on 10 October to finalise plans to close the camp, they say they agreed on the importance of keeping all children safe during the clearance operation.

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Alan Partridge: UK united by warm beer and healthy suspicion of human rights

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:25:07 GMT2016-10-27T09:25:07Z

Fictional TV star also claims Britons share love of sausage rolls and iPhones in interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme

Warm beer and cold hands, the peal of church bells and a healthy suspicion for human rights. Despite the divisive Brexit referendum, widening inequality and a surge in hate crime, these are the things that unite Britons after voting to leave the European union, according to the veteran broadcaster Alan Partridge.

Partridge, the fictional character played by Steve Coogan – who has been a regular fixture on television and radio for 25 years – told the Today programme on BBC’s Radio 4 that he disagreed with doomsayers who say Britain has never been more divided in politics and culture.

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Margaret Hodge: 'The Tories may create tax haven conditions in the UK'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:39:10 GMT2016-10-27T10:39:10Z

The former chair of the public accounts committee, Margaret Hodge, tells Owen Jones she fears the Conservative government may think the only way for the British economy to survive following the Brexit vote is to create tax haven-type conditions. She warns this would lead to a race to the bottom with ‘promiscuous capital’ arriving before deserting the country when a better rate comes along

An extended version of this interview is available on Owen Jones’s YouTube channel

Margaret Hodge’s new book, Called to Account, is available now

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EU's tough post-Brexit stance puts 'politics over prosperity', says Liam Fox

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:03:47 GMT2016-10-26T17:03:47Z

International trade secretary says all countries stand to benefit from minimal barriers when Britain leaves bloc

Liam Fox has accused the EU of putting politics over prosperity by threatening to take a hard line on the terms of post-Brexit trade with Britain. The international trade secretary said it was in everyone’s interests for trade barriers to be kept to a minimum when Britain leaves the EU, and called on senior figures in Brussels to curb their rhetoric.

Related: Exclusive: what Theresa May really thinks about Brexit shown in leaked recording

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Heathrow third runway: public bill up to £10bn hidden, says Tory MP

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:46:43 GMT2016-10-26T18:46:43Z

Former transport minister Stephen Hammond urges government to ‘come clean’ over probable bill to taxpayers

The true cost of Heathrow airport expansion to the taxpayer is not being divulged by the government, according to a Conservative former transport minister, who said ministers needed to “come clean” over the probable £5bn-£10bn public cost for road and rail links.

Tory MP Stephen Hammond raised his concerns as it emerged that Heathrow executives would get millions in bonuses for securing approval for the £17.6bn third runway scheme.

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Victims of rape by strangers to have identity protected under new bill

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

Change in law in England and Wales would prevent victims of stranger rape being put in unnecessary danger

Victims raped by strangers will have their identities protected from their attackers under a move to change the law on sexual assaults.

Campaigners claim victims of serious sexual crimes by strangers are frequently put in unnecessary danger by police officers disclosing the name of the accuser to the accused.

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Labour frontbenchers urge party not to contest Richmond Park byelection

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:34:57 GMT2016-10-26T11:34:57Z

Trio want to give Lib Dems better chance of defeating Zac Goldsmith, but others in party argue ‘stitch-up’ would anger voters

Labour frontbenchers have called on the party not to put forward a candidate to run against Zac Goldsmith in the forthcoming Richmond Park byelection, to give the Liberal Democrats a clear path to try to snatch the seat.

Clive Lewis, the shadow business secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow City minister, and Lisa Nandy, a former shadow cabinet minister, said Labour should “put the national interest first” by doing what it could to reduce the Conservatives’ majority.

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MPs and peers question independence of press watchdog

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

Group write to Ipso chair after board member criticised Channel 4’s Fatima Manji in the Sun after her complaint against the tabloid was thrown out

The press watchdog is facing questions over its independence after Trevor Kavanagh, one of its board members, used his regular Sun column to criticise the Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji just days after her complaint against the tabloid was rejected.

MPs and lords wrote to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) chair Alan Moses, saying: “We seek your urgent clarification on whether you believe that Mr Kavanagh’s public attack on a complainant to Ipso is in breach of the expectations of an independent press regulator, and whether his position on the board remains tenable.”

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MEP Steven Woolfe blamed for Ukip scuffle in Strasbourg

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:29:50 GMT2016-10-26T17:29:50Z

Ukip finds MEP Mike Hookem did not start row that left Woolfe in hospital, but EU parliament president reports pair to police

The Ukip MEP Mike Hookem has escaped suspension from the party over an altercation that left his fellow MEP Steven Woolfe unconscious and hospitalised, after an internal report concluded there was no evidence suggesting he had instigated the scuffle.

The party’s report said that it was Woolfe, a former Ukip leadership challenger who has since left the party, and not Hookem, who started the incident. Woolfe had invited his colleague outside a meeting room in the European parliament in Strasbourg to settle their differences “man to man”, it stated.

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MPs launch inquiry into UK working conditions amid exploitation fears

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:49:14 GMT2016-10-26T10:49:14Z

Business, energy and industrial strategy committee to investigate rights and treatment of non-permanent staff

MPs have launched an inquiry into pay and working conditions in the UK to reflect growing concerns about the rise of casual employment, agency work and the informal gig economy.

The business, energy and industrial strategy committee said it would investigate the rights of workers not permanently employed amid unease about exploitation as work becomes more precarious.

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Philip Hammond could face £84bn black hole following Brexit vote

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:01:36 GMT2016-10-25T23:01:36Z

Short-term hit to economy will leave Treasury with shortfall over next five years, warns thinktank

The worsening economic outlook could leave Philip Hammond facing a black hole of more than £80bn when he lays out the government’s spending plans next month.

The Resolution Foundation thinktank warned the chancellor that lower tax receipts and higher spending following the Brexit vote would leave the Treasury with a shortfall in every year until 2020-21.

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Tory MP Nick Boles reveals new cancer diagnosis

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 08:48:19 GMT2016-10-26T08:48:19Z

Former skills minister, who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007, says doctors have found a cancerous tumour in his head

The Conservative former minister Nick Boles has revealed he has cancer.

He said doctors at King’s College hospital A&E had found a cancerous tumour in his head. In 2007 he was treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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David Cameron gets award for introducing same-sex marriage

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:06:25 GMT2016-10-26T13:06:25Z

Former PM honoured as ‘ally of the year’ at the PinkNews awards and expresses pride in his role in the legislation

Former prime minister David Cameron has been honoured for introducing same-sex marriage in England and Wales as he is recognised as “ally of the year” at the PinkNews awards held in Westminster.

In a speech, to be shown at the awards ceremony in Westminster on Wednesday night, Cameron speaks of his pride at the achievement and the “small role” he played.

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David Cameron signs deal to write tell-all autobiography

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:02:04 GMT2016-10-25T21:02:04Z

Former PM will give a ‘frank’ account of his time in Downing Street, including insights into family life and the EU referendum

David Cameron has signed a deal to write his autobiography, saying he will give a “frank” account of his time in Downing Street.

The former prime minister will spend the next year writing the book, which will give an insight into family life at No 10 as well as the inside track on his government.

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Brexit could ruin Ireland's food industry, Bruton and Ahern tell Lords

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 18:25:18 GMT2016-10-25T18:25:18Z

Former prime ministers John Bruton and Bertie Ahern issue warning about possible common external tariffs between Ireland and the UK

The Irish food industry on both sides of the border in Ireland will be devastated if Brexit requires common external tariffs between Ireland and the UK, former taoiseachsJohn Bruton and Bertie Ahern have warned.

They said they expected the UK’s departure from the customs union would entail massive bureaucracy, higher costs and the re-imposition of customs controls on the border.

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There's comfort in the GDP figures – but it's strictly early days

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:57:24 GMT2016-10-27T18:57:24Z

Philip Hammond’s response to the data shows that he also knows it is too soon to take a ‘steady as she goes’ approach

Philip Hammond took comfort from the latest GDP figures – and well he might. When the chancellor moved into No 11 there was still the possibility that doom-and-gloom forecasts by the International Monetary Fund and even the Treasury itself would come to pass.

That Britain has avoided a recession and, more than that, maintained an annual growth rate of around 2% is a testament to the resilience of an economy that has grown solidly for the last three years and surpassed all other G7 countries this year.

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Boris-basher Gove gets a taste of his own medicine

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:00:11 GMT2016-10-27T17:00:11Z

The former justice secretary thought the world was ready for The Return of the Govester. Sky News’s Adam Boulton had other ideas

The last time many people would have caught a glimpse of Michael Gove was on the morning after the EU referendum when he appeared before the TV cameras looking like a bloke who had just come down from a bad acid trip to discover he had murdered several of his closest friends.

That, though, turned out to be just the start of his Charlie Manson political killing spree. Within a week, he had stabbed Boris Johnson repeatedly in the front before crashing and burning in his bid to become prime minister. His punishment was to be sent to the backbenches to reflect on the foolishness of his actions.

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No 10 denies 'sweetheart deal' with Nissan

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:56:00 GMT2016-10-27T16:56:00Z

Downing Street acknowledges that PM has given assurances to car industry as Jeremy Corbyn raises concerns about possible inducements

No 10 is refusing to disclose what state support has been given to Nissan to convince the car manufacturer to boost production at its Sunderland plant despite its worries about Brexit. Downing Street insisted there was no “sweetheart deal” with the Japanese company, but acknowledged that Theresa May had given some assurances to the wider industry that it would be protected from the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Nissan said on Thursday that it would build the next Qashqai and X-Trail models at its Sunderland factory, safeguarding more than 7,000 jobs, and said this had been made possible by government “assurances and support”.

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Heathrow third runway and Calais camp demolition – Politics Weekly podcast

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:52:10 GMT2016-10-27T14:52:10Z

Rowena Mason is joined by Esther Addley, Julian Glover and Gwyn Topham to discuss the government’s decision to approve a new runway at Heathrow airport. It’s led to cabinet splits and the resignation of a Tory MP, but will it actually happen? Plus Angelique Chrisafis on the dismantling of the refugee camp in Calais

After decades of indecision, the government this week approved a new runway at London’s Heathrow airport. There will be at least a year of public consultation before a parliamentary vote but its supporters say that the new runway will create tens of thousands of jobs and add tens of billions of extra investment into the UK. But opponents say it will also mean more noise, more pollution and the bulldozing of historic villages and wildlife habitats. It’s a decision that has split the cabinet and Theresa May has granted ministers a licence for dissent on the issue.

Joining Rowena Mason this week are Guardian transport correspondent Gwyn Topham, former government adviser Julian Glover, and Guardian reporter Esther Addley.

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Tories want a Brexit deal for themselves, not the many - John McDonnell

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 07:02:46 GMT2016-10-27T07:02:46Z

Shadow chancellor to warn that Theresa May’s apparent U-turn over Heathrow expansion shows she cannot be trusted to keep Brexit promises

Theresa May must not attempt to get special treatment for financial services at the expense of manufacturers and small businesses when the UK leaves the EU, Labour is to warn.

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, will set out his party’s vision for a fairer Brexit deal on Thursday, saying he does not believe the country wants a “bankers’ Brexit”, in a new pitch aimed at both Conservatives voters and working class leave voters.

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Labour’s cluelessness leaves the Lib Dems to rally those against hard Brexit | John Harris

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 19:14:51 GMT2016-10-27T19:14:51Z

If Tim Farron’s party can overcome the legacy of coalition, Witney and Richmond Park suggest it could give a voice to the groundswell of anxiety and outrage

Mapping out the likely features of the Brexit Age, it is hard to know where to start. Headlines about government support for the Nissan factory in Sunderland and GDP rising immediately after the referendum do not detract from the big picture: the UK’s post-EU future remains gloomy, and then some. We are, it seems, at the start of a new era of border queues, inflation, renewed austerity, with the prospect of rising unemployment, and the exit from Britain of banksand other financial services. They may be modern villains, but they are also one of the only dependable sources of tax revenue we’ve got left.

Related: The Richmond Park byelection is a golden opportunity to fight Brexit | Hugo Dixon

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The Guardian view on child refugees: too little, too late | Editorial

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:47:58 GMT2016-10-27T18:47:58Z

The Calais camp has been allowed to grow from problem to crisis, a disaster for the migrants and shaming for the government

At last, child refugees are being rescued from the squalor and danger of the Calais camp and brought to Britain. But the process has taken far too long; and even now it is still too slow. This evening, 24 hours after the French government declared “job done”, the home secretary was sending angry messages to her opposite number to demand that children left to sleep rough on the first night were now properly protected. The Home Office is finally grinding into action. But the inaction of both London and Paris, allowing the camp to fester for years, has meant it metastasised into a crisis of inhumanity, devastating for its victims and shaming for the British government.

Many of the people who cross Europe to Calais do so to come to Britain, a country where many have family, where they share a language, and think they have the best chance of getting a job or an education. They are only a tiny number compared with the thousands who find refuge in Germany and Sweden. But the British government still insists that asylum seekers must apply in the first safe country they reach. It argues that admitting asylum seekers through Calais acts as a pull factor, attracting even young and vulnerable children to make a perilous journey from which only people smugglers benefit.

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Press freedom danger if MPs vote in section 40 by the back door

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:48:38 GMT2016-10-27T14:48:38Z

Warnings about the royal charter underpinning of press regulation come to pass with the Lords amendment to the investigatory powers bill

Bear with me on this. I have to get through a little bit of recent history before I reach the point. I’m going to risk the devil-in-the-detail cliché because it is so apt.

For the last couple of weeks, several newspapers have been getting into a lather about the possible triggering of section 40 of the crime and courts act.

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The real crisis for refugees isn’t in Calais. It’s Westminster’s failure to act | Diane Abbott

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:51:54 GMT2016-10-27T12:51:54Z

Unless they stop passing off refugees as somebody else’s problem, this government will go down as the one that watched while thousands suffered

The global refugee crisis is not abating. But Britain does not have a refugee crisis at all, despite what you may read in the newspapers.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) says we are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. Globally, nearly 34,000 people a day are being displaced from their homes. There are more than 65 million refugees in total. In Britain, we have let in just a few hundred in total and even this has caused a furore.

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Nissan decision to stay in Sunderland averts 'catastrophic' consequences

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:52:06 GMT2016-10-27T11:52:06Z

North-east city’s economic future is heavily tied to Japanese car giant’s continued presence there

A dark cloud of anxiety lifted over Sunderland with the news that Nissan would build two new models at its cathedral of car manufacturing. The Japanese car company’s threat that it could quit the region over Brexit had, like the referendum itself, left an open wound in Sunderland.

Outside the Tesco Extra behind the Stadium of Light, shoppers greeted the news with joy, relief and a dash of scepticism. “I think there’s been some subsidies or guarantees from the government, but it’s fantastic news for the area,” said Paul Lancaster. “It’s what it needs, because without Nissan the area would have nothing. It would die.”

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A vote against Zac Goldsmith is a vote against extreme Brexit | Polly Toynbee

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:08:16 GMT2016-10-27T11:08:16Z

Labour should not contest the Richmond byelection. Instead, it should give the Lib Dems a clear run to beat the constituency’s hard Brexit MP

Zac Goldsmith stands down in Richmond Park to protest against the Heathrow decision, just as he said he would. A man of honour keeping his promise? That’s not how he may emerge on byelection polling day.

Yet again, this spoiled nonentity is cosseted by his party: though he stands as an “independent”, the Conservatives will try to save his bacon by setting no candidate against him, to avoid splitting their vote. That makes it harder for the Liberal Democrats to snatch back this seat – but by no means unlikely, after their strong showing in Witney.

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Either Theresa May faked it for the bankers, or she’s faking now | Gaby Hinsliff

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

The prime minister promises Brexit, but her conviction remains unclear. She seems to follow instead of lead

Poor Cordelia Gummer. It’s a quarter of a century now since her politician father, John, publicly fed her a burger to quash public fears over mad cow disease – and she is for ever fixed in our minds as a tiny girl in an Alice band, symbolic of everything people most distrust about politicians.

The beef industry eventually recovered, but public confidence in politicians and in their management of risk did not. When they tell us everything’s going to be fine, we don’t swallow the story like we used to. Which brings us to the mysterious affair of Theresa May, and whether or not Brexit is safe to eat.

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We damage Britain by denying its migrant past | Omar Khan

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 05:00:12 GMT2016-10-27T05:00:12Z

Brexiters spoke of ‘taking our country back’. But that was based on a false notion who we are as a people, and of our history of immigration

Why has Britain’s response to the dismantling of the refugee camp in Calais been so lively – or ugly? Because it raises fundamental questions about who we are as a country.

Migration is being discussed, but it’s a debate bedevilled by myth. There never was a time when Britain and the British identity was impervious to migration. Migration to Britain didn’t begin when we joined the EU. The more common but equally faulty story that Britain slowly developed organically from Anglo-Saxon roots, until the Windrush arrived from the Caribbean and changed everything, is an increasingly embarrassing sign that we simply don’t know the facts of our own history. The key economic, political and cultural events in our history – Roman Britain, the development of the English language, Magna Carta, the industrial revolution, the world wars – cannot be understood without reference to migration.

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Who could possibly replace Malcolm? Is there anyone with a set of ovaries big enough? | First Dog on the Moon

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 01:21:47 GMT2016-10-27T01:21:47Z

Less popular than Tony Abbott!! It’s a pretty stark thing to have inscribed on your political gravestone

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Will Jeremy Corbyn's admirers change Labour's fortunes in London?

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:06:12 GMT2016-10-27T14:06:12Z

People enthused by the party’s leader have changed Labour’s London membership and some are seeking to change its direction too

Labour List, that authoritative source of news and opinion about Labour Party affairs, has reported that “London is becoming a key battleground in Labour’s internal struggles for power” and that the left of the party in the capital has “stepped up its organisation for internal elections” to the London regional board next month.

The board’s membership is important because, among other things, it will play a substantial role in Labour’s response to the parliamentary constituency boundary review - which, as Labour List puts it, “will likely see Labour MPs from different wings of the party go up against each other in [candidate] selections” – and has a big influence over who gets picked to run for council seats. Thoughts are already turning to the borough elections of 2018.

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Three-minute election: How did David Cameron and the Tories do it? And what happens now? – video

Fri, 08 May 2015 11:05:00 GMT2015-05-08T11:05:00Z

Columnists Jonathan Freedland and Matthew d'Ancona discuss the general election result: a bloody night for Labour and the Lib Dems and a stunning victory for David Cameron. How were the media and political class beguiled into believing that Labour could get away with being behind on the economy? And are the Conservatives as surprised at the result as everyone else? Continue reading...140x84 trailpic for Three minute video - What just happened? And what's next for the Tories?140x84 trailpic for Three minute video - What just happened? And what's next for the Tories?

Media Files:

Theresa May faces Tory backlash over planned cuts to in-work benefits

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:30:02 GMT2016-10-21T09:30:02Z

Backbenchers ‘girding themselves’ for campaign to make new system of universal credit fairer before chancellor’s autumn statement

Conservative backbenchers, including the former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, are preparing to campaign against £3bn of planned cuts to in-work benefits, in a fresh sign of the pressure Theresa May faces from within her own party.

Veterans of the backlash against the deep cuts to tax credits George Osborne was forced to withdraw last year are gearing up to put pressure on his successor, Philip Hammond, in the run-up to November’s autumn statement.

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Can the Labour party rebuild and win? Guardian Live event – audio

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:00:10 GMT2016-10-26T11:00:10Z

The Guardian’s political editor Anushka Asthana alongside Paul Mason, Rafael Behr, Hugh Muir, Polly Toynbee and John Harris reflect on the tumultuous battle for the heart of the Labour party and ask whether Labour regain power?

As Jeremy Corbyn says, Labour is now the biggest socialist movement in western Europe. Unlike 2015, the 2016 victory delivered a majority of the core membership for Corbyn, illustrating that fundamentally, Labour is a changed party. The journey, however, has been bitter and divisive, culminating in a failed leadership coup and the resignation of the majority of the shadow cabinet. The EU referendum brought ideological contradictions to the fore, thrusting Labour into a full existential crisis.

To be effective in opposition, party unity is essential. Is there still a chance Labour centrists could leave the party? Beyond healing relationships within the party, ideological questions urgently need to be addressed. Has the political landscape shifted too much for Labour to unite its traditional voter base? And after a wasted year of infighting comes the biggest question of all: how will Labour regain power?

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New Nissan super-plant hopes for tariff-free EU access

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 19:26:51 GMT2016-10-27T19:26:51Z

Plan to expand Sunderland production thought to rest on ‘reassurances’ from government that car industry can retain tariff-free access to single market

Nissan plans to turn its Sunderland car factory into one of the biggest car plants in the world, producing two new models, after winning “support and assurances” from Theresa May about Brexit. The agreement with the government will safeguard the future of more than 7,000 jobs and delivers what will be perceived as a major boost to the economy following the referendum.

However, the commitment from Nissan to stay in the UK immediately prompted a political row, with Downing Street forced to deny that it had offered the Japanese company a sweetheart deal.

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Lib Dems bid to be voice of Remain voters after surprise surge in Witney byelection

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:00:38 GMT2016-10-23T06:00:38Z

Leader Tim Farron proclaims party is ‘back’ and will set sights on Zac Goldsmith’s seat if he quits over Heathrow expansion

He may be fuming about grammar schools and other policy shifts but David Cameron has, in public at least, remained studiously loyal to Theresa May. The same, however, cannot be said for the former prime minister’s local newsagent in the Oxfordshire village of Chadlington.

“She’s come in and she’s doing things that weren’t in the manifesto,” says Martin Chapman, owner of Cafe de la Poste. “Straight away it’s grammar schools – which I thought was a bit odd. Then there were those lists of foreign workers. It’s all too rightwing for me. It’s not what we asked for.”

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Will Britain's exit from the EU be bad for business? Readers debate

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:08:59 GMT2016-10-06T13:08:59Z

Catch up on our debate on Theresa May’s plans to push ahead with Brexit and what this means for workers and business

Nearly four months after June 23’s fateful Brexit vote, even more half baked nonsense is still being talked by both sides than was spouted during the shabby campaign. Nothing is clear except that it is all going to be a lot trickier to disengage from the EU than some foolish people said – and still say despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

So my starting point is one of humility as I learn stuff I didn’t known before. It’s safe to say that some things will be better outside the EU, others worse, some sectors and individuals will thrive, others languish. The consequences of Britain’s leap in the dark – 37% of the total electorate voted Brexit by a very slender margin – are still largely unknown for all 28 members states. Only charlatans and romantics pretend otherwise.

If we left the EU, we would end this sterile debate and we would have to recognize that most of our problems are not caused by Brussels, but by chronic British short termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and underinvestment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.”

We will be wrapping up the debate in the next four minutes, but we welcome any final comments and remarks.

We will keep comments open until 2.15pm

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French president says Brexit talks will be 'hard' if UK wants hard Brexit - Politics live

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:19:50 GMT2016-10-20T15:19:50Z

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including the Commons debate on Sir Philip Green

I have said it very clearly; Madame Theresa May wants a hard Brexit, then talks will be hard too.

I’m not going into operational specifics, but yes, you know we are conducting military operations against Daesh as part of the international coalition, and I can confirm that we are using offensive cyber for the first time in this campaign.

Martin Schulz, president of the European parliament, has reaffirmed his opposition to the EU starting Brexit negotiations with the UK until article 50 is invoked. He posted these messages on Twitter.

On #Brexit, kick-off date for withdrawal process now indicated. However, such indication is not the same as actually invoking Art50 #EUCO

There will be no pre-negotiations before Art50 is invoked. Once #UK gov decides what relationship it seeks, EU will be ready to act #EUCO

4 freedoms go together. What alienates so many people from EU is feeling that capital, goods & services have more value than people #EUCO

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Four-year-old girl shot in head with arrow

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:43:04 GMT2016-10-26T14:43:04Z

Police talk to 18-year-old male after child left in serious condition after incident at family home in Halifax, Yorkshire

A four-year-old girl is in a serious condition in hospital after being shot in the head by an arrow. She was treated, after the incident on Saturday, first by paramedics then taken to Leeds general infirmary by air ambulance. Police said the girl was in a serious condition after surgery, although she was taken off life support on Tuesday.

West Yorkshire police were called to a property in Illingworth, Halifax, at about 12.44pm Saturday, after a report that a child had been injured with a bow and arrow at her family home.

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Theresa May ‘raiding’ childcare fund for poor families to fulfil election promise

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 05:00:37 GMT2016-10-23T05:00:37Z

Disadvantaged children paying the price as ministers struggle to fund election promise of extra childcare hours for the better-off

Theresa May has been accused of “raiding the budgets” set aside by local authorities to help disadvantaged children in order to fund the government’s manifesto pledge to double the amount of free childcare for working families.

Local authorities currently receive government funds for 15 hours of free childcare for three- and four-year-olds. This will increase to 30 hours from next September.

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MPs elect Hilary Benn to chair Brexit select committee

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:25:17 GMT2016-10-19T18:25:17Z

Prominent remain campaigner easily defeats Kate Hoey, as Yvette Cooper wins vote to head home affairs select committee

Hilary Benn has been elected chair of the new parliamentary committee that will scrutinise government policy on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Benn’s victory as chair of the exiting the European Union select committee came at the expense of the leave campaigner Kate Hoey, his only opponent.

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Theresa May under fire for secret talk of Brexit fears

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:40:39 GMT2016-10-26T19:40:39Z

After the Guardian published leaked audio of her speech to Goldman Sachs, politicians from the UK and across Europe have criticised the prime minister

Theresa May has come under intense criticism from politicians across the UK and Europe after it emerged that she had warned of the dangers of Brexit in a private talk at Goldman Sachs a month before the referendum vote.

The prime minister was accused by a string of MPs, headed by Jeremy Corbyn, of ignoring her own concerns about the risks of leaving the single market, as revealed in her remarks to City bankers that were leaked to the Guardian on Tuesday night.

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Exclusive: what Theresa May really thinks about Brexit shown in leaked recording

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:20:46 GMT2016-10-26T06:20:46Z

Secret audio of Goldman Sachs talk in May shows she feared businesses would leave and wanted the UK to take a lead in Europe

Theresa May privately warned that companies would leave the UK if the country voted for Brexit during a secret audience with investment bankers a month before the EU referendum.

A recording of her remarks to Goldman Sachs, leaked to the Guardian, reveals she had numerous concerns about Britain leaving the EU. It contrasts with her nuanced public speeches, which dismayed remain campaigners before the vote in June.

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Labour MPs face backlash over failure to vote on Yemen campaign

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:29:14 GMT2016-10-27T18:29:14Z

About 100 MPs were missing or abstained from vote to withdraw support for Saudi-led coalition

Dozens of Labour MPs are facing a backlash for being absent from their party’s motion to withdraw UK support from Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, with Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, calling their actions disappointing.

Thornberry said the motion would have sent a message to the government that MPs do not want to back the war without an independent UN investigation into whether the Saudi-led coalition is breaking humanitarian law.

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When Hopeless met Hapless: how Corbyn and May failed at PMQs | John Crace

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:44:30 GMT2016-10-26T16:44:30Z

Labour leader missed open goal on May seeming less gung-ho about Brexit than she’s made out while PM’s put-downs were akin to playground ‘Your Mums’

When Hopeless met Hapless. For a man who fought so hard to retain his leadership of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn seems peculiarly uninterested in challenging the Tories on anything very much. Heathrow? Not that bothered. Brexit? Bit of a hassle, but still not that bothered. Child refugees? Obviously not that great, but still not particularly bothered. On almost every big issue of the last few weeks, Hopeless appears to have taken a Trappist vow of silence.

Hopeless ought to have been racing to his seat in anticipation of this week’s prime minister’s questions. The overnight revelations that Theresa May was a good deal less gung-ho about Britain leaving the single market than all of her recent Brexit statements had suggested presented him with an open goal. And if he somehow managed to blast the ball into row Z, he would at least have another go by exposing the hypocrisy of the prime minister cosying up to a cabal of Goldman Sachs bankers while claiming to be leading a government for the many, not the few. Surely Hopeless couldn’t miss twice in a row?

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Leaked recording shows Theresa May is 'ignoring her own warnings' on Brexit

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 07:31:20 GMT2016-10-26T07:31:20Z

PM urged to be ‘honest with the British people’ as recording from before EU referendum reveals her fears about Brexit

Theresa May has been criticised for refusing to prioritise membership of the single market when Britain leaves the EU after the emergence of a leaked tape from before the referendum in which she warned companies would leave if the UK pulls out.

“I think the economic arguments are clear,” she said. “I think being part of a 500 million trading bloc is significant for us,” said May, adding that membership of the union also made the UK a safer place.

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Anticipation abounds as the Lib Dems begin battle for Richmond Park

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:52:13 GMT2016-10-26T17:52:13Z

The news that Zac Goldsmith has resigned as MP for this affluent London suburb is barely 24 hours old, but rosette-wearing activists are out in full force

In the the backroom of the part-converted garage that serves as the Liberal Democrat’s tiny constituency office for Richmond Park, a production line of party members is bundling up leaflets, soon scooped up by rosette-wearing activists who head out to pound the leafy streets.

Holding five-week-old Oliver while his dad straps on a baby sling to take him canvassing, Gareth Roberts, the Lib Dem leader of the opposition in Richmond council, looks around with a grin. “It’s a bit like in Jaws – we’re going to need a bigger boat,” he says.

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Brexit: leading banks set to pull out of UK early next year

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 20:00:25 GMT2016-10-22T20:00:25Z

Anthony Browne, head of the British Bankers’ Association, warns that major lenders are poised to hit relocate button

Britain’s biggest banks are preparing to relocate out of the UK in the first few months of 2017 amid growing fears over the impending Brexit negotiations, while smaller banks are making plans to get out before Christmas.

Related: Hard Brexit would put UK's skills and expertise advantage at risk

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Businesses are rightly frustrated with Theresa May's Brexit handling

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:31:39 GMT2016-10-26T18:31:39Z

PM revealed her true thoughts on leaving the EU in a private speech – GM and Morgan Stanley have shown they agree

Theresa May may have been more prescient about Brexit than we all thought. While the prime minister’s constant reminder that “Brexit means Brexit” has been, well, not very helpful at all, we now know that May expanded on her thoughts in front of Goldman Sachs bankers before the EU referendum.

“If we were not in Europe, I think there would be firms and companies who would be looking to say, do they need to develop a mainland Europe presence rather than a UK presence?” May said at the private Goldman event.

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