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One dead, eight injured in van attack outside Finsbury Park Mosque

“One person has been killed and ten more injured after a white van driver screaming ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims’ ploughed into worshipers near a renowned north London mosque, in the latest terror attack to rock Britain. A 48-year-old man has been arrested after the van, which was hired from south Wales,  mounted the pavement and veered into a congregation outside the Muslim Welfare House, near Finsbury Park Mosque, shortly after they finished Ramadan evening prayers, known as taraweeh. Heroic bystanders wrestled the suspect, who was clean-shaven with curly hair and wore a white t-shirt, to the floor and pinned him down until officers arrived, at around 12.20am, after he allegedly screamed: ‘I want to kill all Muslims’. One fatality was confirmed at the scene, while a further eight are being treated across three London hospitals and two victims sustained minor injuries.” – Daily Mail

  • Attacker said he wanted to ‘kill all Muslims’ – The Times (£)
  • Corbyn condemns ‘awful event in his own constituency – Daily Mail
  • Khan calls for calm as police urged to secure mosques – The Times (£)

More:

  • Johnson will urge EU foreign ministers to put tech giants under pressure to tackle extremism – The Sun

>Today:

Brexit 1) Davis heads to Brussels as talks begin

“David Davis will tomorrow head to Brussels with a vow Brexit will definitely happen in a rebuke to the new French president Emmanuel Macron. The Brexit Secretary will officially open talks with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier at the EU’s headquarters and promised to approach them ‘constructively’. The talks begin less than a week after Mr Macron used a press conference with Theresa May to make the surprise claim the EU’s door remained open to British membership. The start of talks is a vital milestone in the two year Article 50 departure process due to expire on March 29, 2019.” – Daily Mail

  • Chancellor confirms UK will leave customs union and single market – Daily Telegraph
  • Hammond’s soft Brexit u-turn – The Sun
  • EU leaders fear fragile state of Tories will lead to brutal divorce – The Guardian
  • May urged to keep trade as free as possible – Daily Telegraph
  • What to expect on day one of the talks – FT

Comment:

  • Hard Brexit will let liberalism thrive in Britain – Michael Fabricant, Daily Telegraph
  • Role of European court will be thorny issue in talks – Jonathan Portes, Times Red Box

Editorial:

Brexit 2) Labour plans ‘guerrilla war’ over Great Repeal Bill

“Theresa May’s hopes of driving through laws to smooth Britain’s path out of the EU will be dealt a blow this week as Labour lays the ground for a guerrilla campaign against them in the Commons. Mrs May had hoped to trap Labour into supporting legislation, collectively known as the great repeal bill, on the grounds that the main opposition party is also committed to leaving the EU. Bills to transpose Brussels laws and regulations on to the British statute book will make up the bulk of the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday. Unless they are passed in time Britain risks a chaotic, possibly disastrous departure. Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, yesterday refused to say whether Labour would support the great repeal bill, saying that it would wait to study the legislation.” – The Times (£)

  • Major could ‘ride to the rescue’, says Adonis – The Times (£)

More:

  • Germany offers ‘soft Brexit’ deal to keep May in Downing Street – The Times (£)
  • Businesses call for transitional arrangement for exit – The Times (£)

Comment:

  • First things first: guarantee that EU citizens can stay – Edward Lucas, The Times (£)

>Yesterday:

Hammond says Grenfell cladding was already illegal…

“Flammable cladding that helped the inferno which destroyed the Grenfell tower is already illegal on tall buildings in Britain, Philip Hammond claimed today. The Chancellor said criminal probes and a public inquiry into the disaster would answer why the controversial material was used.  It emerged today that the cladding installed on Grenfell was not designed for use on buildings taller than 10metres high – a fraction of the 67 metre Grenfell block.  The Department for Communities and Local Government said cladding with a flammable core – like that used on Grenfell Tower – was banned on buildings over 18 metres high. A breach of building regulations is a criminal offence with unlimited fines.” – Daily Mail

  • Sprinklers may not be best way to stop fires, Chancellor suggests – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • May ‘in tears’ as she heard residents’ stories – The Times (£)
  • Kensington council sidelined in relief effort – FT
  • Corbyn attacked for suggesting victims seize empty homes – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Have the Tories learned nothing of compassion? – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • Time for a total rethink on tower blocks – Clare Foges, The Times (£)

>Yesterday:

…as he promises to ease up on austerity…

“The government is exploring ways to soften austerity, the signature economic policy in Britain since the financial crisis, after chancellor Philip Hammond acknowledged voters had grown “weary” of it. The chancellor said on Sunday that the government had “heard a message last week in the general election” — in which the Labour party made surprising gains with a manifesto that promised an end to tough fiscal policies. Mr Hammond said that while there were austerity policies that had already been legislated for, the government also had a set of “proposals that we will now have to look at again in the light of the general election result”.” – FT

  • Change of course may mean tax rises, warns Chancellor – The Sun
  • Hammond rules out summer Budget – The Independent
  • Health unions urge May to ditch pay cap – The Guardian

Editorial:

  • Make your message on the economy a Conservative one, Hammond – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nicky Morgan MP’s column: The choice before us as the Queen’s Speech looms. Adapt to our new circumstances – or hand power to the far left

…and ‘exacts revenge’ on May for election campaign

“Philip Hammond exacted his revenge on Theresa May yesterday, attacking her campaign “mistakes” as he set out his stall to replace her at No 10. The chancellor, earmarked for the sack during the election, said that the prime minister had blundered by failing to challenge Jeremy Corbyn’s credibility and promote the government’s own economic record. He disappointed businesses that had hoped he would openly call for Britain to stay in the customs union after leaving the EU, although he hinted at a lengthy transition period before a “long-term” replacement was in place. In what will be seen as a pitch to Tory MPs desperate to hold off Labour’s advance, Mr Hammond indicated that public spending would rise and planned cuts to pensioner benefits would be scrapped. His commitment not to increase borrowing suggests tax rises for higher earners in the autumn budget.” – The Times (£)

  • Hammond won’t say how long May will remain as leader – The Independent
  • ‘Caretaker’ will not lead Party into another election – Daily Telegraph
  • Osborne wields sharp pen to settle old scores – FT

Comment:

  • The Prime Minister’s toughest challenge: admitting Cameron was right – Ian Birrell, Daily Mail
  • Ex-UKIP voters were crucial to outcome, just not as expected – Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie, Times Red Box

>Today:

>Yesterday:

Prime Minister urged to ‘come clean’ over cost of DUP deal…

“Theresa May is being told that she must publish full details of an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party in return for its ten MPs propping up her minority government as concerns mount over the cost of such a deal. The Treasury has estimated that concessions being demanded by the party in Northern Ireland would cost billions of pounds if granted throughout the UK, according to Whitehall figures. “Every pothole is going to be filled with gold,” one civil servant is said to have remarked of the DUP’s demands. Ministers are also being told that the deal, which is likely to be struck before the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, will not be the last time the party finds a pretext to extract more cash if it is presented as a final settlement.” – The Times (£)

  • May’s immediate future may hang on arrangement with Ulster MPs – FT
  • Safe for now, but damaged beyond repair – The Guardian

More:

  • Davis ‘tipped for leadership’ by Johnson allies – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Bo Jo is a no-go’ – The Sun
  • Duncan Smith urges ‘silly, big mouth’ Tories to stop talking about the leadership – Daily Express
  • Foreign Secretary denies discussing bid with Fallon – Daily Telegraph

…as she considers peer for Scottish Office minister

“A peer could be appointed as a minister in the Scotland Office rather than one of the 12 new Scottish Tory MPs, the Telegraph can disclose amid speculation that a Conservative MEP will fill the post after being made a lord. Senior UK Government insiders argued that the dozen Conservatives newly elected north of the Border need to get more experience as parliamentarians under their belt before becoming a minister.It is understood that Ian Dunc an, a Scottish Tory MEP who narrowly missed out on winning Perth and North Perthshire in this month’s election, is a frontrunner for the role. Under the plan, he or another experienced Tory would be given a peerage then appointed as the number two minister reporting to David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary. It is the only ministerial post still vacant in the UK Government following Theresa May’s post-election reshuffle.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon urged to end ‘vow of silence’ in independence as SNP risks civil war – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • SNP may offer free abortions to Northern Irish women – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Brian Monteith: Our children are paying the price for SNP failures – The Scotsman

Labour moderates fear purge as Corbyn rewards allies

“Jeremy Corbyn’s strengthened grip on the Labour leadership has prompted speculation that the left will renew its efforts to change party rules and sideline prominent centrists. The Labour leader last week completed a small-scale reshuffle that involved the role of party chairman being taken from the moderate Tom Watson, who is the deputy leader, and handed to Ian Lavery, a Corbyn loyalist. His promotion, a reward for his part in Labour’s general election campaign, came as his co-campaign chief Andrew Gwynne was elevated to shadow communities and local government secretary. Yesterday Mr Corbyn confirmed that Diane Abbott, his long-time ally who was absent from her role as shadow home secretary in the final days of the campaign because of illness, was back in the post.” – The Times (£)

  • MP mocks claim that leader ‘won’ the general election – Daily Express
  • Abbott returns as Shadow Home Secretary – Daily Mail
  • Labour take three-point lead in new poll – The Independent

Comment:

  • My three-point plan for returning a Labour government – John Mills, Times Red Box

Swinson rules herself out of Liberal Democrat leadership race

“Jo Swinson ruled herself out of the contest to replace Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrats yesterday. The former equalities minister, who was among the favourites for the role, announced that she would run for the deputy party leadership instead. Her decision leaves Sir Vince Cable, 74, the former business secretary, Sir Ed Davey, 51, the former energy secretary, and Norman Lamb, 59, the former health minister, as the frontrunners. After losing her East Dunbartonshire seat in 2015 Ms Swinson was among a handful of Lib Dem “retreads”, including Sir Vince and Sir Ed, who returned to the Commons this month.” – The Times (£)

Editorial:

  • Disagreement is the essence of liberalism – FT

News in Brief:

  • Death toll for Portuguese forest fire climbs to 68 – Daily Mail
  • Political deadlock sees house prices stall – The Times (£)
  • Health warning issued as Britain faces hottest day since 1976 – Daily Telegraph
  • Macron wins solid majority in the French Assembly – FT

11 comments for: Newslinks for Monday 19th June 2017

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