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Westminster Attack 1) May visits victims in hospital

PARLIAMENT‘Theresa May has been to visit victims of the Westminster terror attack in hospital, Downing Street has confirmed. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman revealed the private visit took place earlier today at a briefing with reporters. No details were given of which hospital it was, but it is believed she left Parliament following her statement to the House of Commons, and spent around 40 minutes speaking with victims about their experiences. She also spoke to medical staff to thank them for their work, the spokesman added. The PM also signed a book of condolence for victims of the attack in the House of Commons, it was confirmed.’ – The Sun

  • Woman who fell into the Thames named as Andreea Cristea – Daily Telegraph
  • Leslie Rhodes, 75, died last night from his injuries – Daily Mail
  • Aysha Frade, murdered on the way to pick up her children – The Sun
  • Kurt Cochran, killed while celebrating his wedding anniversary – Daily Telegraph
  • PCs Kris Aves, Roger Smith and Bradley Bryant, injured on Westminster Bridge – The Sun
  • MPs call for memorial to Keith Palmer – The Sun
  • Palmer ‘was already a hero’ – The Times (£)
  • The Queen’s message to those injured and bereaved – The Sun

>Yesterday: 

Westminster Attack 2) Police identify terrorist as 52-year-old convert and former convict

‘Detectives are piecing together the history of the Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old ex-convict who used a string of aliases and reportedly converted to Islam only in later life. Masood was described by police as a criminal with a 20-year record of offending, who had once been investigated for extremism but was assessed as low risk. Reports have emerged that his birthname was Adrian Elms. As police search for any evidence of a wider conspiracy, eight people remain in custody after properties across the UK were raided, while a picture emerged of the killer’s apparently nomadic lifestyle.’ – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: The middle class converts to Islamist extremism who want to murder us

Westminster Attack 3) Morgan: Ignore the doom-mongers, Britain will not buckle

Police shield‘After the attack, some of my fellow countrymen, including my MailOnline colleague Katie Hopkins, suggested this was evidence London has fallen apart. That this great multi-cultural city, rammed full with 12 million people from all countries, colours and creeds, has been turned into an uninhabitable hellhole of extremism…The same doom-mongers claim we’re all shaking in our petrified little boots in fearful terror at what these nasty bearded ISIS loons might do to us next. They reckon Britain’s basically lost its bottle. Oh really?… Britain won’t buckle just because a few wannabe jihadis want to make a sick, pathetic name for themselves.’ – Piers Morgan, Daily Mail

>Today: Mohammed Amin on Comment: Preventing terrorism is your responsibility

>Yesterday:

Westminster Attack 4) MPs and police had warned about the gate as a weak spot

‘MPs warned last month that security at Parliament’s main gates was so weak it could put police officers at risk. On Wednesday Khalid Masood was able to run through Carriage Gates and into New Palace Yard where he stabbed Pc Keith Palmer to death. The Telegraph understands that police have raised repeated concerns about the security of the gate, which has been described as a “weak point”. In February the House of Commons administration committee discussed the issue, with a particular focus on the “flimsy” and “Meccano” crowd-control barriers in front of the wrought-iron gates.’ – Daily Telegraph

Fox discusses plan to take back control of trade policy

Fox‘Challenged by Labour on our exclusive, the Trade Secretary signalled a new law was coming in the Queen’s Speech that would transfer the power to collect tariffs back to Britain. The move will also make Britain ready to strike new trade deals from the day we leave the EU. Mr Fox said the “very important” bill would be accompanied with a “consultative process so that stakeholders would be able to make their views known”. Asked about the plans in the Commons yesterday, he added: “I think it’s important that we do that in a very collegiate way because I think that is the way to maintain and maximise confidence.”’ – The Sun

  • May will return fisheries to Westminster – The Times (£)
  • EU threatens air traffic chaos – Daily Mail
  • Polish power broker visits Downing Street – FT
  • Juncker says Brexit is ‘a failure and tragedy’ – The Guardian
  • Hundreds of negotiator jobs still need to be filled – Daily Telegraph
  • A Franco-German bargain can save the EU – Philip Stephens, FT
  • Slight fall in EU workers in the UK – FT

>Yesterday: Michael Burrage on Comment: The evidence supports May’s decision to junk Single Market membership

Truss locked in battle with England’s most senior judge

‘Justice Secretary Liz Truss is locked in an extraordinary stand-off with England’s most senior judge, after he slammed the brakes on her plans to spare alleged rape victims cross-examination in court. Ms Truss is under growing pressure after the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, said she was “wrong” to announce the dramatic change to sex crime cases. On Monday, the Justice Secretary told MPs that the playing of pre-recorded evidence to juries would begin in September, after “senior judges agreed to accelerate the scheme”. But Lord Thomas said her department had “misunderstood the thing completely”…’ – The Independent

  • She seriously needs to consider if she is up to the job – The Times Leader (£)

Banks demands UKIP pay him £200,000 for facilities he had donated to the party

arron-banks‘Arron Banks, who used to be one of the UK Independence Party’s biggest donors, is demanding that Ukip pays him £200,000 for call centre and other services he provided for free. Mr Banks, who donated £1 million to Ukip before the last general election, has submitted the invoice after he fell out with senior figures in the party and his membership lapsed. Mr Banks said he had decided to invoice the party for the cost of providing call centre and membership services after the party had effectively suspended him.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • He is planning to work with Hilton on his new ‘movement’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Former UKIP MP charged with electoral fraud – The Sun

Cridland pensions review: abolish the triple lock and raise the retirement age

‘Millions of people should have their state pension age pushed back a year to 68 to cut the UK’s £100bn a year pension costs, according to an independent review commissioned by the government. John Cridland was appointed to review the state pension age and has recommended it should rise from 67 to 68 by 2039, seven years earlier than currently timetabled. Experts said this would affect about 5.4m people aged under 45. The current pensionable age is 63 for women and 65 for men, rising to 65 for both by late 2018, 66 by 2020, and age 67 by 2028. Mr Cridland has also recommended that the “triple lock” — which raises the state pension by whichever is the highest of average earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent — be scrapped in the next parliament and replaced with a link to earnings.’ – FT

Manchester Gorton Labour members reject Corbynite candidates

LABOUR dead rose‘Labour has selected a member of the European parliament backed by moderates to contest the Manchester Gorton by-election as the party prepares to fight off challenges from the Liberal Democrats and George Galloway. Afzal Khan, 58, was chosen by local members on Wednesday night. The by-election was triggered by the death of Sir Gerald Kaufman, the longest-serving MP, last month. The selection of Mr Khan, a solicitor, former lord mayor of Manchester and self-professed “lifelong socialist” who has been an MEP since 2014, marked another setback at local level for supporters of Jeremy Corbyn after a week of bitter party infighting. Momentum, the pro-Corbyn activist group, and the trade union Unite had backed the candidacy of Sam Wheeler, a young left-wing activist, but he failed to make the shortlist. A panel of the party’s ruling national executive committee, including the Leicester MP Keith Vaz, opted for an all-ethnic minority shortlist. Momentum then switched its support to the local councillor Yasmine Dar, who finished second.’ – The Times (£)

>Today: Local Government: Conservative councils are still subsidising trade unions with Council Taxpayers money

Frustrated Trump issues ultimatum to Republicans over healthcare law

‘Donald Trump has delivered an ultimatum to House Republicans resisting his plans to overhaul health care in the US, demanding a make-or-break vote on the legislation. The US President abandoned talks and threatened to leave “Obamacare” in place and move on to other issues if Friday’s vote fails. The risky move, part gamble and part threat, was presented to GOP lawmakers behind closed doors on Thursday night after a long and intense day that saw a planned vote on the health care bill scrapped as the legislation remained short of votes. At the end of it the president had had enough and was ready to vote and move on, whatever the result, Mr Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers.’ – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Johnson and Cameron dine together in New York – The Guardian
  • Applause for Arlene Foster at McGuinness’s funeral – FT
  • Russian former MP and Putin critic is shot dead – The Times (£)

30 comments for: Newslinks for Friday 24th March 2017

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