Only four of Boris Johnson's cabinet ministers will deliver keynote speeches at the Conservatives' annual conference next week, as the Government seeks to focus on a series of core messages ahead of a possible general election. The majority of cabinet ministers will take part in themed panels on the main conference stage in Manchester rather than enjoy their own speaking slot. While last year 18 ministers made their own speeches, this year only four have been invited to do so, with the remainder left to make shorter addresses alongside colleagues. Separate speaking slots have been reserved for Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, the Chancellor, and James Cleverly, the Conservative chairman, who will welcome party members to Manchester on Sunday afternoon. Mr Johnson will address members on Wednesday. Meanwhile Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, will speak on a panel about making the criminal justice system "tough but fair", alongside … [Read more...] about Only four cabinet ministers to deliver keynote speeches at Tory conference, as Government seeks to focus key election messages
Conservative party conference
THE election campaign is now well underway and the political parties will soon be releasing their manifestos. Here's everything you need to know about what to expect from the Conservatives. When will the Conservative manifesto come out? The party is yet to release its manifesto. In fact, it only intends to publish the full document two weeks before the general election.Instead, it will unveil individual policies at regular intervals throughout the campaign. The move is thought to be intended to maximise the party's media coverage.What have the Conservatives announced so far? The central plank of the Conservatives' campaign has been a pledge to deliver Brexit, which it wants to do by the end of January using Boris Johnson's renegotiated deal. The party says it was to "get Brexit done so we can invest in our NHS, schools, and the police".Key pledges so far have included a £13.8bn increase in spending across all departments by 2021 and a £33.9bn boost for the health budget by … [Read more...] about Conservative Party manifesto 2019 – what are their pledges and when can we expect it?
It seemed like the perfect fact-finding mission. Ten days in Moscow and St Petersburg, trips to the state ballet (Figaro and Don Quixote), and meetings with top Russian politicians. There was a visit to the world-famous Hermitage Museum. Not to mention gala dinners and an afternoon sightseeing at the Kremlin. At least four activists from the Conservative Friends of Russia group took part in the trip in September. A photo shows the Tories posing on a red carpet inside the Duma, Russia's state parliament. The official itinerary describes them, flatteringly, as "young political leaders from Great Britain". Best of all, a Russian federal cultural agency, Rossotrudnichestvo, picked up the bill for travel, hotel and tickets. Three months later, the group is in disarray, amid questions about its behind-the-scenes links to the Russian embassy in London and its alleged uncritical cheerleading for Vladimir Putin. Last week, its honorary president, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, resigned. Rifkind … [Read more...] about Tory blushes deepen over activities of Conservative Friends of Russia
Conservative groups have rejected an Internal Revenue Service apology for unjustifiably scrutinizing tax-exempt conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle. The IRS apology has seemingly validated conservatives' fears of politically motivated regulation. House Republican leaders, meanwhile, have vowed to investigate. Lois Lerner, the director the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt organizations, said that organizations had been given additional scrutiny if their applications included the words "Tea Party" or "patriot." The practice originated with "low-level" employees in Cincinnati, according to an Associated Press report. In a press conference on Friday, Lerner called the actions of these employees "absolutely inappropriate." "They didn't do it because of any political bias," Lerner said, adding that singling out groups with specific names was an ill-thought-out organizational "shortcut." "It was an error in judgment and it wasn't appropriate but that's what they … [Read more...] about Tea Party Rejects IRS Apology, Republicans Vow Investigation
The government has joined the Labour party in offering to support a joint bid from the UK and Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup. The football associations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland are considering whether to put forward an official proposal. Speaking on the eve of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Theresa May said a future bid would have the government’s full support. “Following the excitement of this summer’s World Cup, the English FA are working together with the FAs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland to explore whether there could be a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup,” the prime minister said. “The decision on whether to bid is, of course, for the football associations to make. But if they decide to go forward, they can count on this government’s full support.” Labour welcomed the announcement, with the shadow culture secretary, Tom Watson, pointing out it had backed the … [Read more...] about Theresa May backs joint UK and Ireland bid to host 2030 World Cup