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Windrush: Duncan says he could not pass Home Office tests…

“A Foreign Office Minister today admitted he could not meet the same tough immigration tests to prove his nationality demanded of Windrush immigrants. Sir Alan Duncan said he is ‘ashamed’ and embarrassed at the fiasco, which has seen people who have lived in the UK for years threatened with deportation. He received an on-air grilling about the scandal, which has sparked calls for Home Secretary Amber Rudd to resign, on the BBC’s Daily politics show. Presenter Andrew Neil said that Windrush immigrants were told they had to provide four pieces of documentary evidence for every year they have been in Britain since 1973. Asked directly if he could meet this high bar of proof, Sir Alan admitted: ‘No I don’t think I could.'” – Daily Mail

  • Leaders squabble over who is to blame – The Times
  • Windrush shows why EU citizens’ rights must be protected, claims Verhofstadt – Daily Mail
  • Deportees ‘trapped in Jamaica’ – FT

Comment:

  • Scandal does just justify abandoning sensible immigration controls – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

…as Johnson urges the Government to adopt a ‘liberal’ immigration policy…

“Boris Johnson has suggested the Government should make the “liberal” case for immigration and warned that “a society that isn’t open to talent will die”. In an interview with The Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary said the EU referendum result was about “control” and having the ability to “call the shots”, rather than slashing the level of migration. With the Government facing a huge backlash over the treatment of Windrush migrants, Mr Johnson said that after Britain leaves, the European Union must be open to talented workers if it is to “prosper and flourish”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Former Mayor blasts UK for turning its back on the Commonwealth – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Let’s replace suspicion with compassion – Polly Mackenzie, Times Red Box
  • Home Office incompetence is no reason to end the hostile environment – David Goodhart, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Ici Londres – After the Windrush scandal, it is all the more important for liberal Leavers to speak up, argues Hannan

…and Rudd ‘clings to her job’

“Amber Rudd is facing calls to quit after the Prime Minister said the Home Office should do more to help Windrush citizens and officials confirmed 113 people have already contacted an emergency helpline. A spokesman for Theresa May told a briefing that the department “should provide more support” to people concerned about their status in the UK and Labour MPs called for Ms Rudd to consider her position. More than 100 Windrush citizens have already called a special helpline set up to help them prove their right to stay in the UK after it was announced on Monday, officials confirmed. On Tuesday, 49 people had called to ask for help. It comes as a mother of a Windrush migrant who died while he was waiting for his status in the UK to be approved claimed he had become depressed and anxious by his dealings with the Home Office, which contributed to his death.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Home Office accused of overcharging for citizenship – The Times

Analysis:

  • Home Office is where careers go to die – Daniel Capurro, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why an inquiry into the treatment of the Windrush children is needed

May launches new crusade against plastics…

“A total ban on plastic cotton buds, straws and drink stirrers will be announced by Theresa May today. Declaring war on our throwaway culture, the Prime Minister will unveil measures to protect the oceans. ‘We are clogging up one of the earth’s greatest natural resources with harmful plastic and – for the sake of this and future generations – we must take action now,’ she writes in today’s Daily Mail. She also praises this newspaper’s Great Plastic Pick Up campaign, which has seen 4,000 readers sign up for 200 community litter clearing events next month.” – Daily Mail

  • Cotton buds could be banned in England next year – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Time to show we can create a better future for the planet – Michael Gove, The Times

…and brands Russian fake news ‘one of the great challenges of our time’

“Theresa May last night branded tackling Russia’s onslaught of internet lies as “one of the great challenges of our time”. The PM revealed the Kremlin has stepped up a major cyber disinformation campaign after the Salisbury nerve agent attack last month. She lashed out at Moscow after GCHQ spy bosses gave her and the leaders of Canada, Australia and New Zealand a top secret briefing ahead of the Commonwealth summit. The leaders make up four of the ‘Five Eyes’ allied intelligence network, along with the US… The PM also revealed that the Five Eyes network is working frantically to block Russia’s black propaganda.” – The Sun

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Have no doubt about it – Prime Minister Corbyn would abandon Eastern Europe

>Yesterday: Ruth Davis in Comment: Cyber threats are the new norm – and not just from Russia. Business needs to up its game.

Brexit 1) Tory peers join revolt in favour of customs union

“More than a dozen former Conservative ministers, including five who served in the cabinet, defied Theresa May yesterday and rejected her plan to pull Britain out of a customs union with the EU after Brexit. In a parliamentary defeat in the House of Lords, two dozen Tory peers defied a three-line whip to join Labour in backing an amendment to the government’s EU withdrawal bill. About a dozen Tory peers who have previously voted with the government on Brexit issues abstained. Among the ex-Conservative ministers who voted in favour of the amendment were the former health secretary Lord Lansley and the former science minister Lord Willetts. They were joined by every living former cabinet secretary and three former Foreign Office permanent secretaries.” – The Times

  • Huge defeat could signal more to come – Daily Mail
  • Brexiteers fear Government may make huge retreat on immigration – The Sun
  • Baker urges peers not to ‘frustrate’ the process – Daily Express

Editorial:

  • Home Office shambles risks undermining Brexit – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Votes loom on the EU Withdrawal Bill in the Lords. Which places a big responsibility on Labour’s leader there – Angela Smith.

Brexit 2) Davis urges May to publish detailed plan of EU ties

“David Davis, the UK Brexit secretary, is urging prime minister Theresa May to get ahead of the EU by publishing detailed proposals for the future UK-EU relationship “as soon as possible” rather than waiting for Brussels to lay down its terms. Mr Davis’s allies have discussed Britain producing a document of more than 50 pages — possibly as early as next month — setting out detailed plans on issues such as a future customs relationship, financial services and regulation. Until now, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has always been the first to produce drafts of the legal texts that need to be negotiated in the Brexit negotiations, effectively setting the agenda for talks.” – FT

  • Cameron says he doesn’t regret calling the referendum – Daily Telegraph
  • De La Rue boss abandons passport contract appeal – The Times
  • Sturgeon says talks are close to ‘end game’ – The Scotsman
  • Indian Prime Minister talks up post-Brexit trade prospects – The Sun

Comment:

  • Rebel MPs are laying traps to derail Brexit – Iain Martin, The Times
  • MPs have more to decide than whether or not to Brexit – Hannah White, Daily Telegraph

Johnson urges Khan to expand stop-and-search

“Boris Johnson has urged Sadiq Khan, his successor as London mayor, to increase the use of stop and search and “come down like a ton of bricks” on gang leaders in an effort to address rising knife crime in the capital. His warning against “going soft” in the face of rising violence came as a Premier League footballer urged fans to join a minute’s applause in honour of a teenage supporter who was stabbed to death on his way home from a West Ham United match on Monday night. Weapons searches nearly quadrupled in parts of the capital while Mr Johnson was mayor and led to the confiscation of thousands of knives… Mr Johnson, who was mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, called for a dual focus on taking knives off the streets and mentoring young people at risk of joining gangs.” – The Times

Clark and Williamson to ‘wave through’ GKN takeover

“The UK government is set to wave through Melrose Industries’ contentious £8bn acquisition of engineering company GKN as early as next week after concluding it raised no national security concerns. Although Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, has reservations, he has signalled to his colleague Greg Clark, the business secretary, that he does not think the deal should be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority. Instead, Mr Clark and Mr Williamson are expected to seek additional guarantees from Melrose on the company’s future defence work, before a formal decision to approve the deal is given, probably next week. Mr Williamson accepts that whatever his concerns, Mr Clark has to make a decision based on GKN’s overall business. It is not among the top 50 suppliers to the Ministry of Defence.” – FT

  • Armed Forces personnel shortage ‘largest in a decade’ – FT

Hunt faces ethics inquiry over flats

“Parliament’s ethics watchdog has launched an inquiry into Jeremy Hunt after he failed to declare that he had invested in luxury flats. The health secretary last week admitted breaches of parliamentary rules on MPs’ financial interests and of legislation introduced to curb money laundering. He had failed to make a declaration to Companies House in relation to a company used to buy seven luxury flats and did not record the purchase in the MPs’ register of interests within four weeks. Mr Hunt said that he had corrected the errors before they came to light and the Cabinet Office ruled that he did not break the ministerial code. Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, will investigate whether he breached a provision in the House of Commons code of conduct which requires MPs to “fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of interests”.” – The Times

  • Health Secretary received ‘bulk discount’ from Tory donor – The Guardian

Cameron warns against ‘rush to democracy’ in fragile states

“It can be a mistake to push fragile countries into “winner take all” democratic elections, said David Cameron, ahead of a new report that seeks to turn long-held assumptions about foreign interventions “entirely on their head”. He said that “building the blocks of democracy” was more important than “the act of holding elections themselves”. Mr Cameron said there was a “total lack of realism” among developed countries and donors when it comes to assisting countries blighted by economic failure and conflict. He pointed out that a number of fragile states such as Burundi and Somalia are in fact poorer today than they were 40 years ago, despite decades of foreign aid.” – FT

Cable calls for web giants to be broken up

“Web giants including Amazon, Facebook and Google should be split into smaller companies to stop them dominating society, Lib Dem boss Vince Cable says today. The veteran leader is calling for competition authorities to consider forcing the world’s biggest tech firms to break themselves up. The ambitious plans would see Instagram and WhatsApp spun off from Facebook, which bought the social networks in a bid to stop them competing with it. Amazon would be split into three separate firms, one for its main shopping service, another offering a platform for other companies to sell their goods, and a third for its cloud-computing business. And Google would be forced to sell off YouTube in a bid to reduce its enormous market share.” – The Sun

  • DUP’s Westminster leaders urges end to ‘anything goes’ social media culture – Belfast Telegraph

Labour seek to lift financial curbs on council house building

“Labour would lift borrowing caps for all local councils to build new homes as part of a 50-point housing plan to be set out by Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday. Under the plan, the opposition party would also scrap the Conservative government’s contentious policy of defining “affordable rent” as properties rented out at 80 per cent of the market rate. The joint announcement by Mr Corbyn, the Labour leader, and shadow housing secretary John Healey will lay out how the party would try to achieve its target of building 1m new social housing units over a decade should it get into power. Mr Corbyn will say that Britain needs to restore the principle that a decent home is a “right owed to all, not a privilege for the few”.” – FT

  • Corbyn wants to ‘rip up’ the definition of affordable housing – The Guardian
  • Opposition plans 100,000 ‘genuinely affordable’ homes a year – The Times

Comment:

  • Here’s how Labour will fix Britain’s broken housing market – John Healey, The Guardian

13 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 19th April 2018

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