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



Published: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:24:08 GMT2017-03-29T05:24:08Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



Brexit deal with 'cut-off date' for free movement would be vetoed by MEPs

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:19:30 GMT2017-03-28T14:19:30Z

Exclusive: Resolution detailing European parliament’s red lines is amended to rule out ‘degradation’ of rights of EU nationals arriving in UK in next two years

The European parliament will veto any Brexit deal that prevents EU citizens who move to the UK during the next two years from having the same rights to live and work in Britain as those already in the country.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and MEPs are understood to be concerned by reports that the British government wants 29 March, when it officially notifies the EU of its intention to leave, to be the “cut-off date” for the free movement of people.

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Tory MP says Brexiters suppress opposition by branding it subversive

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:00:55 GMT2017-03-28T16:00:55Z

Nick Herbert also calls into question May’s strategy, saying another prime minister might have renegotiated with the EU after the referendum

Opinion: Britain’s divorce from the EU will be bitter

British people are afraid of questioning the “new orthodoxy” of hard Brexit because those who do are branded heretics and accused of subversion, a leading Conservative remainer has claimed.

In an article in the Guardian to mark the triggering of article 50, Nick Herbert accused the most hardline Brexiters of having an “irrational hatred” of the EU that has resulted in many taking “indefensible positions”.

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Education quality in English schools 'at risk from new funding formula'

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 23:01:41 GMT2017-03-28T23:01:41Z

Scathing report of MPs’ committee finds children’s academic progress at risk as school heads work to attain £3bn saving

School funding cuts are threatening to undermine the quality of education in England’s classrooms, putting children’s academic progress at risk as head teachers struggle to find savings, finds a highly critical report.

MPs on the Commons public accounts committee (PAC) say schools in England are facing the most significant financial pressure since the mid-1990s, with school leaders having to find £3bn in savings by 2020.

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Scottish parliament votes for second independence referendum

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:34:17 GMT2017-03-28T17:34:17Z

MSPs pass motion to give Nicola Sturgeon the authority to begin negotiations with UK parliament on breakaway vote

Nicola Sturgeon has won a key Holyrood vote on her plans for a second independence referendum, triggering accusations from UK ministers that her demands are premature.

Sturgeon won by a 10-vote majority after the Scottish Greens backed her proposals to formally request from the UK government the powers to stage a fresh independence vote at around the time Britain leaves the EU, in spring 2019.

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Nicola Sturgeon criticises Daily Mail over 'Legs-it' front page

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:29:40 GMT2017-03-28T22:29:40Z

First minister says newspaper is ‘leading the way’ in taking Britain back to the 1970s after its coverage of her meeting with prime minister Theresa May

Nicola Sturgeon accused the Daily Mail of taking Britain back to the 1970s after the tabloid featured a picture of her with Theresa May under the headline “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” following their summit on Monday.

The first minister’s spokesperson was one of a string of politicians to criticise the tabloid over the headline, which attracted hundreds of complaints of sexism – although Downing Street refused to be drawn into the row.

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MPs hail Tobias Ellwood as he returns to Commons after Westminster attack

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:57:17 GMT2017-03-28T12:57:17Z

Junior foreign office minister praised by politicians for attempt to save PC Keith Palmer’s life

Tobias Ellwood, the junior foreign office minister praised after he was among the first people seeking to help the police officer murdered during last week’s terrorist attack in Westminster, has received tributes from fellow MPs upon his return to Commons duties.

Related: Tobias Ellwood MP praised for attempt to save police officer's life

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Retiring police chief will avoid any discipline over alleged coverup

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:37:14 GMT2017-03-28T12:37:14Z

Cdr Chris Greany will not face possible censure arising from IPCC inquiry after notifying force that he was leaving

A senior police officer who is being investigated for his alleged involvement in destroying files held on a Green party peer is to retire on Friday, meaning he will avoid any possible disciplinary action.

Commander Chris Greany was head of the secretive Scotland Yard unit that monitors political campaigners at the time it allegedly destroyed files it had compiled on the political activities of Jenny Jones.

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Triggering article 50 – Brexit podcast

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:46:14 GMT2017-03-28T13:46:14Z

Jon Henley is joined by Jill Rutter, Daniel Boffey and Dan Roberts in the week that Britain formally invokes article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the EU’s exit clause. How quickly can a deal be done? What will be covered in the talks? And what will be the main sticking points?

The die is cast. In the week that the EU celebrates 60 years of its founding Treaty of Rome, Britain gets ready to cross the Rubicon and trigger article 50. But then what? With the two-year countdown clock about to start ticking, we look at the key issues on the negotiating table.

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Direct rule of Northern Ireland not ruled out, Brokenshire says

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:15:56 GMT2017-03-28T14:15:56Z

Northern Ireland secretary tells Commons all options are on the table if power-sharing talks at Stormont collapse

The government is not ruling out any options for a politically deadlocked Northern Ireland, including the reintroduction of direct rule from London, James Brokenshire has said.

But the Northern Ireland secretary did rule out a suggestion from Dave Anderson, his Labour shadow in the House of Commons, that an external chairperson could be brought in to oversee another few weeks of negotiations between the parties at Stormont.

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Brexit secretary David Davis revealed his negotiating knowhow in 1988 book

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:00:31 GMT2017-03-28T15:00:31Z

The cabinet minister was working for sugar company Tate & Lyle when he came up with a blueprint for striking a sweet deal

“This puts a premium on nerve,” wrote the author of a management textbook explaining how best to bluff your way through important negotiations. “A general air of visible determination and activity is extremely important to the perception-shaping exercise”.

It could have been bravado taken straight from Donald Trump’s 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal, but in fact the blustering advice came a year later from a young sugar industry executive called David Davis.

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MPs criticise cuts to aid projects based on negative media coverage

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:01:12 GMT2017-03-27T23:01:12Z

Development committee says misleading headlines on aid spending appeared to lead to the closure of programmes that were performing well

MPs have criticised the Department for International Development (DfID) for closing aid programmes based on negative media coverage and expressed concern over its handling of reputational risk.

Aid spending is coming under intense scrutiny and has been much criticised in the media. But much of the coverage was misleading, according to a report published by the House of Commons international development committee.

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Sports Direct workers paid less than minimum wage yet to get back pay

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:10:34 GMT2017-03-28T13:10:34Z

Transline, exposed as part of Guardian investigation, has not paid money to scores of employees, BEIS committee hears

Scores of Sports Direct workers who were found to have been paid less than the minimum wage are yet to receive the back pay owed for their shifts.

Steve Turner, the assistant general secretary of the Unite union, told MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee on Tuesday that Transline, one of the employment agencies exposed during an undercover Guardian investigation, had refused to honour part of the deal.

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Brexit: UK backing away from threat to leave with no deal, say EU diplomats

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:16:16 GMT2017-03-28T07:16:16Z

UK officials recognise that failure to agree post-Brexit trade deal with EU27 would cause havoc, according to EU sources

European diplomats based in the UK say the British government is stepping back from its threat to leave the EU without a trade deal if negotiations break down.

Related: Sir Tim Barrow to hand-deliver article 50 letter to Donald Tusk

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Diane Abbott calls on left to back free movement as workers' right

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:01:19 GMT2017-03-28T05:01:19Z

Shadow home secretary distances herself from peers advocating rethink of Labour’s immigration policy, stating restrictions will harm domestic workers, too

Free movement of people should be defended by the left as a workers’ right while the Conservatives adopt anti-foreigner policies that will harm employees, Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, has said.

In a fresh argument in favour of supporting free movement, Abbott said workers – both UK nationals and foreign – were likely to be hurt when governments started placing controls on where they could be employed.

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Children missing out on education at risk of abuse and exploitation

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:01:12 GMT2017-03-27T23:01:12Z

National Children’s Bureau calls on government to support ‘hidden’ young people who have dropped out of the schooling system

The government is being urged to identify and support thousands of “hidden” children and young people who drop out of school and disappear off the radar, leaving them at increased risk of abuse and exploitation.

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB), a leading children’s charity, says problems such as bullying, special educational needs, neglect and domestic violence at home, can cause a child to disappear from school for months, even years.

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Immigration levels will sometimes rise after Brexit, says David Davis

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:26:20 GMT2017-03-27T22:26:20Z

Brexit secretary says on BBC Question Time special that number of immigrants will go up ‘from time to time’ according to economic need

Immigration levels will not necessarily come down consistently after Britain leaves the European Union, the Brexit secretary has indicated.

Related: Settle Brexit bill quickly to boost chance of free trade deal, say pro-EU Tories

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Culture minister says Met's 696 form discriminates against grime artists

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:01:28 GMT2017-03-27T18:01:28Z

Matt Hancock warns that controversial risk-assessment may damage London’s night-time economy and stifle young musicians

Grime artists are being unfairly targeted by the Metropolitan police through their use of a risk-assessment form, according to culture minister Matt Hancock.

The Met’s event risk-assessment form 696 is “potentially stifling young artists” and damaging the UK capital’s vibrant music scene, Hancock wrote in a letter to the London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

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Amber Rudd seeks more EU action over online extremism

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:05:01 GMT2017-03-27T18:05:01Z

Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht says home secretary’s ideas would ‘dramatically weaken internet security’

Amber Rudd has called for more EU action to tackle online extremism, as she steps up pressure on tech firms to make it harder for terrorists to use the internet.

Related: Why political rebels love WhatsApp

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Sir Tim Barrow to hand-deliver article 50 letter to Donald Tusk

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:46:28 GMT2017-03-27T16:46:28Z

Head of UKRep to give document to European council president, signalling Britain’s intention to withdraw from EU

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s permanent representative in Brussels , is to personally hand over a letter from the British government to the European council president, Donald Tusk, to provide notification of Britain’s intention to leave the European Union.

Related: The Observer view on triggering article 50 | Observer editorial

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New GCSEs: 'Only two pupils in England will get all top marks'

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 18:31:43 GMT2017-03-27T18:31:43Z

Senior education adviser’s tweeted prediction dismissed as unhelpful as schools prepare for tougher grading system

The chief analyst at the Department for Education (DfE) has estimated that just two pupils in England are likely to get all top grades in the new GCSEs being phased in from this summer.

In recent years, parents, pupils and teachers have become accustomed to a sizeable number of the highest-achieving students in the most academically successful schools gaining all straight A*s in their GCSE examinations.

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What happens after article 50 is triggered? – video explainer

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:00:48 GMT2017-03-29T05:00:48Z

Theresa May is expected to formally begin the process of the UK’s exit from the EU by triggering the article 50 clause on Wednesday. So what comes next? The Brexit negotiations will last at least two years and will cover Britain’s share of its budget commitments, border and trade arrangements, citizens’ rights and much more

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EU Brexit negotiator 'determined' to secure citizenship rights

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:00:48 GMT2017-03-29T05:00:48Z

Michel Barnier tells delegation of EU citizens and UK nationals that principles of deal can be agreed by end of year

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has told a delegation of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in Europe that he hopes to have an agreement in principle to secure their future by the end of the year.

However, Barnier said he believed it would be late 2018 before he could strike a deal with the UK on the details, such as the rights of relatives who wish to be reunited with their families living abroad.

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The difference 44 years make: how the UK press said goodbye to Europe

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 23:12:17 GMT2017-03-28T23:12:17Z

Theresa May’s imminent triggering of article 50 produced the inevitable crop of bad puns – but little in the way of regret

The front pages of Britain’s newspapers do not often focus on the same topic, but then again Wednesday 29 March is no ordinary day.

This is how the Guardian’s print edition marked the triggering of article 50 – the process of leaving the EU after more than four decades.

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Theresa May to call on Britons to unite as she triggers article 50

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:31:33 GMT2017-03-28T22:31:33Z

PM signs letter that will be hand-delivered to European council president at the same time as she addresses House of Commons

Theresa May will call on the British people to unite as she triggers article 50, beginning a two-year process that will see the UK leave the European Union and sever a political relationship that has lasted 44 years.

A letter signed by the prime minister will be hand-delivered to the president of the European council at about 12.30pm – as she rises in Westminster to deliver a statement to MPs signalling the end of the UK’s most significant diplomatic association since the end of the second world war.

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Scottish parliament votes to seek new referendum – video

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:10:46 GMT2017-03-28T18:10:46Z

Nicola Sturgeon speaks to the press after MSPs voted 69-59 on Tuesday to back her call to ask the British government for an independence vote. The first minister says Scots must be given the chance to vote on their future before Britain leaves the European Union, adding outside Holyrood that she would wait until the terms of Brexit were known before pursuing the second referendum

Scottish parliament votes for second independence referendum

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If only Nicola could let her legs do the talking

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:02:00 GMT2017-03-28T18:02:00Z

The Scottish first minister has a mind of her own when it comes to Brexit but then so do her lower extremities

A pair of legs stood up and the body attached to them prepared to speak. There were so many things Nicola Sturgeon’s shapely shanks would have liked to say. About how the Daily Mail had said how much more attractive they were than Theresa May’s famously long extremities. About how the prime minister had been so intimated – or was that seduced? – by her luscious legs that she had immediately gone on the back foot. About how if all the Little Laydeez of Scotland were to vote for independence, then they too could have pins like her.

Six days ago the debate on the second Scottish referendum had been suspended after the attack on Westminster. Sturgeon began by adopting a more conciliatory note than she had when opening the debate the previous week, emphasising shared values, democracy and differences of opinion that were sincerely held.

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Pro-Brexit Tory MPs walk out of parliamentary meeting

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:59:24 GMT2017-03-28T17:59:24Z

Conservatives boycott approval process over tone of Hilary Benn’s report on UK’s negotiating objectives for leaving EU

Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs walked out of a meeting of parliament’s committee on leaving the EU after objecting to what they felt to be the negative tone of a report prepared by its Labour chairman, Hilary Benn.

Related: Parts of UK that voted for Brexit may be hardest hit, study finds

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The time has come for Theresa May’s stark choice over Britain’s future | Letters

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:14:29 GMT2017-03-28T17:14:29Z

Theresa May has a stark choice to make. Sadly, either way she loses. She can choose to lose face in the short term, or choose to lose the wellbeing of this nation for the long term. Which is it to be?

Wise and effective leadership rarely goes hand in hand with popularity. The role of the leader is to discern what is in the best interests of their people, then do their best to carry the people with them as they lead in that direction. That takes courage, understanding, trust, explanation, persuasion. Before 24 June 2016, and probably well beyond, May knew that Brexit would be a costly mistake for Britain. Has her genuine judgment changed that much? It can only have been affected by the forces of populism, political strategy and the rightwing media.

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Hope for those stuck in mental health institutions | Letters

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:13:29 GMT2017-03-28T17:13:29Z

Among other weighty events on Wednesday, there is a chink of light that could transform the lives of thousands of people with learning disabilities, needlessly stuck in mental health institutions away from homes, families and communities. On Wednesday, the public affairs committee will hear from Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, and others, on reducing the number of people with learning disabilities in mental health hospitals to improve their quality of life. As a psychiatrist, I see many patients parked in hospital wards with years of their lives just rolling past. While the government’s target is to close 1,300 beds by 2019, only 60 beds have been closed so far.

Institutionalisation of this group of people in chaotic and turbulent hospitals for months, often years, on end can be devastating for their wellbeing. Yet this continues. Over 2,500 inpatients with learning disabilities remain in hospital, despite government commitment for them to have “the right to the same opportunities as anyone else to live satisfying and valued lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect … have a home within their community, be able to develop and maintain relationships, and get the support they need to live healthy, safe and rewarding lives”.

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Brexit needn’t be a disaster – but both sides must heed some home truths | Mogens Peter Carl

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:00:48 GMT2017-03-29T05:00:48Z

Even the thorniest points of difference between the EU and the UK can be overcome. But first the negotiators will have to challenge ingrained attitudes

Trade talks are always tough. As someone who spent several years heading the European commission’s trade department, I know this well. But the negotiations to follow today’s triggering of article 50 are no ordinary trade talks. They are complex, multifaceted negotiations like no other: not open ended but time limited.

Related: How do you feel now article 50 is about to be triggered?

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The Guardian view on Brexit: start by protecting EU nationals | Editorial

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:03:07 GMT2017-03-28T17:03:07Z

It is morally and politically repugnant to try to bargain over the future of people who have enriched our lives

Britain is poised to embark on a fraught and uncertain course. Leaving the European Union will weaken the remaining 27 members, and it is likely to set this country on a decade or more of instability. It is the end of a partnership that has brought much more to Britain than can be guessed at from the churlish nature of our relationship, which rarely recognised the wonder of this audacious attempt to mould a community of peace and prosperity from nation states at war for centuries. A largely hostile press made Brussels, just as an early Guardian editorial warned, the default excuse for political failure, economic incompetence and, sometimes, sheer misadventure.

Related: The time has come for Theresa May’s stark choice over Britain’s future | Letters

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Theresa May takes empty rhetoric to a new level | Ros Coward

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:39:58 GMT2017-03-28T16:39:58Z

The prime minister’s motivational generalities over Brexit and beyond may be about to tip over into something darker – authoritarian delusions

Before meeting Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, Theresa May insisted she would “never allow the UK to become looser and weaker”. But how, precisely, will she accomplish that, given that Sturgeon, with considerable support from the Scottish people, intends the opposite? Of course there were no details of steps to be taken to prevent the UK falling apart because, as ever, May doesn’t do detail.

Since becoming prime minister, she has given plenty of broad-brush intentions but virtually no detailed policies: one small concrete change to national insurance contributions presented by the chancellor was hastily shelved. There have been plenty of words but what is worrying if you look closely is how few have substance.

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Britain’s divorce from the EU will be bitter. Yet the failure is Europe’s too | Nick Herbert

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:04:17 GMT2017-03-28T16:04:17Z

After the referendum, an opt-out on free movement could have avoided full-scale Brexit. But both sides rejected any such compromise

How Brexiters suppress opposition

It wasn’t Britain’s absence from the EU’s birthday celebration last week that shamed me. It was the sight, while I was in Berlin, of our union flag projected on to the Brandenburg Gate. Even as Europe’s capitals stood in loyal solidarity with ours, we plotted a divorce.

The story after the referendum could have been different. Despite the narrowness of the result, there was never an attempt by Europe to persuade us to stay. It is unusual, when an unhappy partner suddenly and unexpectedly asks for a divorce, for the injured half simply to agree and instruct the lawyers.

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What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence | Hadley Freeman

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:30:27 GMT2017-03-28T14:30:27Z

Desperate attempts to profile Khalid Masood after the Westminster attacks blame Islam, Kent or even drunk teenagers, but the common thread in terrorism is often misogyny

The reactions to Khalid Masood’s attack last week played out with script-like predictability: rightwing commentators tried desperately to blame the actions of this Kent native on immigration, while the media pored over whatever anecdotes they could find from neighbours and schoolmates. All The Day Today cliches were ticked off: he was “always polite”, he came from “a normal family”, he once “got drunk” as a teenager.

This kind of desperate profiling plays to people’s desire to believe we should be able to spot terrorists. But while rent-a-gobs flail around naming and shaming Kent and drunk teenagers, it is telling how rarely one feature common to many “lone wolf” attackers is called out: a history of domestic abuse.

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The bigots are on the march – and with ‘Legs-it’ the Daily Mail bears the flag | Owen Jones

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:16:11 GMT2017-03-28T10:16:11Z

The paper’s leering front page featuring Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May is part of a wider attack on liberal values. We must be prepared to fight back

Perhaps the Daily Mail should be sued for damaging people’s health? Across the nation, millions have cringed so hard at its audaciously sexist front page that they’ve strained their face muscles, or given themselves a migraine from slamming their heads repeatedly against the nearest wall.

Related: Martin Rowson on Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail – cartoon

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The fog of Brexit is engulfing the NHS. It’s up to Theresa May to provide clarity | Jonathan Ashworth

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:06:36 GMT2017-03-28T09:06:36Z

Will European staff be allowed to remain? What about reciprocal healthcare? And where will the money come from? The prime minister owes us some answers

Everyone knows that after seven years of neglect from the Conservative government, the NHS is undergoing a serious crisis of funding and staffing. The last thing needed is more uncertainty. That is exactly what the NHS faces with Brexit.

On Wednesday Theresa May will trigger article 50 and later this week health bosses publish the updated Five Year Forward View. It is time for the prime minister and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to give the NHS and its patients the certainty needed through the Brexit process. May has already turned her back on the promise of £350m a week for our NHS and now she is walking away from her responsibilities to protect the health service through a turbulent Brexit process that will hit it hard.

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Privatising prisons won't stop reoffending. Charities will | Grace Wyld

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:11:22 GMT2017-03-28T07:11:22Z

The justice secretary is locking out charities that put rehabilitation at the heart of prisons and probation. Her pay-by-results contracts are stifling good work

Last Monday, the prison and courts bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons. Under the proposed reforms, prisons will have a statutory duty to rehabilitate offenders. You might be surprised this isn’t already the case; it is a reform long overdue.

But the justice secretary Liz Truss will struggle to realise this ambition to put rehabilitation at the heart of prisons without better involving the voluntary sector.

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Private fat cats have got rich on the sale of our schools | Michael Rosen

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:45:21 GMT2017-03-28T06:45:21Z

Councils have ‘maximised their assets’ by selling what is not theirs to dispose of

In the mid-1970s I worked at Vauxhall Manor school, a girls’ comprehensive in south London. Of the many special things going on, one sticks out in my mind: a group of teachers working across different subjects developed a “talk workshop”. They would come together to talk about the language the pupils used, the language they used in lessons, the language of text books and how these different ways of talking and writing met. One of the outcomes of this project was a book, Becoming Our Own Experts.

The sentimentalist in me loves it when the important things we say and do can be tied to buildings and landscape. I get a buzz when there is a flow between that “important thing” and now, in the very same place.

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Brexit weekly briefing: May remains upbeat in final countdown but EU warns of 'tragedy'

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:06:20 GMT2017-03-28T06:06:20Z

On the eve of triggering article 50, the PM attempts to charm Scotland, Labour draws its red lines, and the EU27 celebrates founding treaty in Rome

Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of developments as Britain heads convincingly towards the EU door marked “exit”. If you’d like to receive it as a weekly early morning email, please sign up here.

A quick heads up: our latest Brexit means ... podcast is out: Dan Roberts, the Guardian’s Brexit policy editor, Brussels bureau chief Daniel Boffey and Jill Rutter form the Institute for Government join me to discuss what to expect from the imminent article 50 talks. You can listen and download it here.

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London, always defiant and determined – cartoon

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:05:16 GMT2017-03-26T00:05:16Z

Chris Riddell on the Westminster attack and the capital’s long history of resistance to terror

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Raccoons of the Resistance: you can't dismantle capitalism if you have a headache | First Dog on the Moon

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:34:29 GMT2017-03-24T06:34:29Z

At the Raccoons of the Resistance Self Care Workshop: Are you saying drinking a nice glass of pinot grigio is a valid instrument of social and economic change?

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London must remain open to the world

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 11:55:27 GMT2017-01-31T11:55:27Z

The capital should have its own migration system to help it to help Britain survive leaving the EU

There are always exceptions. Since the nation voted to leave the European Union, the mayor of its capital city, Sadiq Khan, has declared that “London Is Open”, but he wouldn’t mind it being closed to Donald Trump. Hundreds of thousands of Londoners sympathise, judging by the map of signatories of the petition to stop the US president paying a state visit and making life difficult for the Queen.

This isn’t typical behaviour. In general, the capital welcomes foreigners, including those who, unlike Trump, plan to stick around and do something useful. About two million of the city’s work force of five million were born overseas, of which at least half come from elsewhere in the EU. London-haters find this frightening, a foretaste of foreignness eating the green and pleasant land. They hope Brexit will stem the alien tide, buttressing a fading Britannia of yore. They may not have yet grasped how damaging for them a cut in incomers from overseas could be.

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Westminster attacked – Politics Weekly podcast

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:27:24 GMT2017-03-23T17:27:24Z

Anne Perkins is joined by Hugh Muir, Polly Toynbee, Alan Travis and Heather Stewart to discuss the terrorist attack in Westminster and the political response

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast & Stitcher and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

A terrorist attack in London and an assault on parliament left three people and the assailant dead and 29 people injured.

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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?


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Sturgeon says May’s Brexit timescale matches referendum plan

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:11:49 GMT2017-03-27T19:11:49Z

Scotland’s first minister says prime minister’s disclosure of full Brexit deal by autumn 2018 fits with schedule

Nicola Sturgeon has said there is no longer any rational case against a second Scottish independence referendum after Theresa May told her that the full Brexit deal would be known within 18 months.

The first minister said May’s disclosure, during a meeting in Glasgow, closely matched the Scottish government’s timescale for calling a fresh referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

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London terror attack throws plan for renovating parliament into confusion

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:16:31 GMT2017-03-26T13:16:31Z

Atrocities strengthen security case for remaining in part of the building during its refurbishment, peer argues

The Westminster terror attack has strengthened the case for MPs and peers to remain in parliament under one roof during a £4bn restoration, rather than undergo evacuation to different buildings, a former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation has said.

Lord Carlile, who sits as a non-aligned peer in the House of Lords, told the Observer that the security implications and costs of “decanting” all MPs, peers and palace staff to other buildings around Whitehall should make the authorities think again about the wisdom of such a move. The peer said he believed the attack would inevitably have implications for the refurbishment plan, which was due to be debated and voted upon in the House of Commons before Easter.

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UK government signals it will block second Scottish independence referendum until early 2020s - as it happened

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:09:07 GMT2017-03-28T17:09:07Z

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happenLunchtime summaryMundell signals London will block second referendum until early 2020sScottish independence debate - Summary 6.02pm BST Well, there has indeed been a surge in support. But it’s not a surge in support for independence. But it’s a surge in support for Theresa May. Because Nicola Sturgeon has achieved something remarkable for an SNP politician and the first minister of Scotland. She has boosted the popularity of a Conservative prime minister with the people of Scotland. She has created the situation where the first minister is not just less popular than Ruth Davidson. She is now less popular than Theresa May with the people of Scotland. [See 5.03pm for the figures.] 5.45pm BST This is what David Mundell, the Scottish secretary, told the BBC.We won’t be entering into any negotiations at all until the Brexit process is complete. Now is the time for the Scottish government to come together with the UK government, work together to get the best possible deal for the UK, and that will mean for Scotland, as we leave the EU.We are not entering into negotiations on whether there should be another independence referendum during the Brexit process. We don’t have a crystal ball as to how long that process will take. We don’t recognise, for example, 18 months as being a key point in the journey. It will be a journey that will involve the negotiations with the EU, it may be a journey that involves transitional measures, it may be a journey that will involve significant implementation. It is not appropriate to have a referendum while people do not know what the future relationship between the UK and the EU is. And they won’t know that until the Brexit process is complete. Continue reading...[...]


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Unite leadership battle sees Labour factions line up against each other

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:45:49 GMT2017-03-27T11:45:49Z

Outcome of fraught contest for next general secretary of Britain’s biggest union could define direction of party

Voting has begun to elect the next general secretary of the Unite union, a decision that could define the direction of the Labour party for years to come.

Allegations of personal smears, political interference and cronyism have characterised a fraught campaign to lead Britain’s biggest union, which isLabour’s most generous donor.

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Westminster attack: 75-year-old man becomes fourth victim – as it happened

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:03:59 GMT2017-03-24T06:03:59Z

Police name Khalid Masood, 52, born in Kent as man responsible for attack in which four victims have died and seven more are critically injured

This live blog is now closing. Live coverage continues here:

Related: London attack: police investigate terrorist Khalid Masood as death toll rises – live

Here is what we now know about Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Westminster:

Related: Westminster attack: friends and relatives remember the victims

Related: Westminster attacker named by police as Khalid Masood

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How do you feel now article 50 is about to be triggered?

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:11:24 GMT2017-03-28T10:11:24Z

As the UK triggers the formal process to leave the EU, we’d like you to share your hopes and fears – and whether you regret your vote

Theresa May is set to send the UK’s article 50 letter on Wednesday, commencing Brexit negotiations that could last up to two years.

It comes after months of discussion in the House of Commons, and protests across the UK. May got the bill, which authorises the government to trigger article 50, through parliament earlier this month after facing resistance from the house of Lords and MPs. One of the Lords’ amendments sought to guarantee the rights of overseas EU nationals in the UK.

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Sadiq Khan: give EU citizens 'cast-iron guarantee' they can stay in UK

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:23:12 GMT2017-03-28T08:23:12Z

Speaking at Brussels event, London mayor says an offer to 3.3m EU nationals in UK would be ‘perfect gesture of goodwill’

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has stepped up calls for the British government to offer a “cast-iron guarantee” to EU nationals on their right to remain in the UK after Brexit.

Speaking at an event in Brussels, the London mayor said an offer to 3.3 million EU nationals, 1 million of whom are Londoners, would be “the perfect gesture of goodwill” and urged the rest of the EU to make the same move.

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What the Daily Mail means when it talks about May and Sturgeon’s ‘pins’

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:33:39 GMT2017-03-28T13:33:39Z

The language used in the newspaper’s coverage of the two most powerful politicians in the UK is a by-numbers attempt to reduce women to objects

Just for the avoidance of doubt, those things that Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon both share, the “finest weapons in their physical arsenal”, as the Daily Mail’s Sarah Vine called them in a column on yesterday’s meeting between the two women, they are just legs. Millions, even most, women have them. They are not a “vast expanse”; that’s just how big legs are. If you want smaller limbs, try arms.

Nor are they “extremities”, which, the last time I checked, were toes (of course, it is possible to cross or otherwise manipulate those in a flirtatious or dominant fashion, but, you know, shoes get in the way). What the Mail seemed to be objecting to, or analysing, or merely just noting in passing (in gigantic letters, as a front-page splash!) was that these two women had legs.

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Settle Brexit bill quickly to boost chance of free trade deal, say pro-EU Tories

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:05:17 GMT2017-03-27T19:05:17Z

Prime minister urged not to heed call by hardliners to refuse to settle debts with Brussels after triggering article 50

Theresa May will be urged by pro-EU Conservatives to reach a quick deal over the divorce bill from Brussels in order to maximise the chances of reaching a free trade deal within the tight deadline for Brexit talks.

As the prime minister prepares to trigger article 50, the formal process for leaving the EU, on Wednesday, rebel Tories who seek the closest possible relationship with the EU are preparing to offer May political cover for settling what they see as Britain’s debts to Brussels.

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Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-02-26T09:00:26Z

With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network

Just over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world’s press before him and told them they were liars. “The press, honestly, is out of control,” he said. “The public doesn’t believe you any more.” CNN was described as “very fake news… story after story is bad”. The BBC was “another beauty”.

That night I did two things. First, I typed “Trump” in the search box of Twitter. My feed was reporting that he was crazy, a lunatic, a raving madman. But that wasn’t how it was playing out elsewhere. The results produced a stream of “Go Donald!!!!”, and “You show ’em!!!” There were star-spangled banner emojis and thumbs-up emojis and clips of Trump laying into the “FAKE news MSM liars!”

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