الأربعاء، 16 سبتمبر، 2015

Corbyn Tackles PM With Crowdsourced Questions


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has used his first Prime Minister's Questions to tackle David Cameron with some of the 40,000 questions sent to him by members of the public.
Mr Corbyn was greeted with cheers as he rose to his feet at the despatch box, where he pressed the PM over housing, welfare cuts and mental health services.
He also called for a new approach at the weekly session, which is traditionally known for its rowdy atmosphere, and told the PM many voters had told him PMQs and Westminster as a whole was "out of touch and too theatrical".
Sky's Deputy Political Editor Joey Jones said Mr Corbyn's approach proved effective, allowing him to set a measured low-key tone.
The veteran left-wingers performance will be welcomed by the Corbyn camp, following a rocky start to his leadership.
After struggling to put together a frontbench team and facing criticism over the top jobs all going to men, disagreements have already emerged with members of his own shadow cabinet.
Of the many responses he received from the public for PMQs, Mr Corbyn had just six to put to Mr Cameron, which included questions from Marie on housing, Steven on rents, Paul on tax credits, Claire on benefits, and Gail and Angela on mental health.
Responding, Mr Cameron said he welcomed Mr Corbyn's approach and said he would be "delighted" if the session could become a "genuine exercise in asking questions and answering questions".
Congratulating Mr Corbyn on his election as party leader Mr Cameron said: "I know we will have many strong disagreements, I'm sure, between us at these exchanges but where we can work together in the national interest we should do so and I wish him well in his job."

However, in answering the opposition leader's questions, the PM repeatedly stressed the need for a strong economy to provide public services.
And when Mr Cameron was jeered from the opposition benches over welfare cuts, he said: "I thought this was the new question time".
When pressed by Mr Corbyn over concerns around mental health services, Mr Cameron admitted more needed to be done in this area, but argued improvements had been made.
Mr Cameron warned: "We will not have a strong NHS unless we have a strong economy, and if the Labour Party is going to go down the route of unlimited spending, unlimited borrowing, unlimited tax rates, printing money, they will wreck the economic security of our country and the family security of every family in our country."
Responding to a question from a Tory MP, the PM also appeared to take a sideswipe at Mr Corbyn's remark during the leadership campaign that he could not think of a good case for sending British troops abroad.
Highlighting the role played by UK service personnel in tackling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Mr Cameron said: "For those who wonder sometimes what are the uses of British troops, I would say get a map out and have a look at Sierra Leone."
In a question on Northern Ireland, DUP MP Nigel Dodds referred to controversial comments previously made by Mr Corbyn's shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, in which he called for IRA terrorists to be "honoured".
Read more »

الثلاثاء، 15 سبتمبر، 2015

First Syrian Refugees To Arrive In UK 'In Days'


The first Syrian refugees to be resettled in the UK under an expanded Government programme will arrive in the next few days.
They will be coming from camps bordering war-ravaged Syria and will be among a total of 20,000 that Britain has agreed to take over the next five years.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government was "working at speed" to plan for even more arrivals in the coming weeks.
She said the public response to the migrant crisis has been one of "overwhelming generosity" and many have made "kind offers of assistance".
Mrs May said Minister for Syrian refugees Richard Harrington will meet non-governmental organisations (NGOs) over the next week to discuss how best to "harness the public's strong desire to welcome refugees".
People across the UK have come together to sign petitions, collect food and clothing, donate money, and offer up their homes to people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

A Government website and a Red Cross helpline will advise people on how they can help Syrian refugees in the UK, Mrs May said.
The Government has chosen not to take in refugees who have already made the journey to Europe because David Cameron does not want migrants risking their lives by land and sea trying to get to the continent.
Hundreds have already died this year making the perilous trip.
The Europe Commission wants EU countries to sign up to a quota system where they each take in a certain number of refugees out of a total of 160,000 but the UK is not taking part in the proposed scheme.
Read more »

Salmond: Second Independence Vote May Be Sooner


Alex Salmond has told Sky News a second referendum on Scottish independence will happen sooner "if the Labour Party looks unelectable" under new leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The former head of the SNP said "the prospect of 10 years more of Tory rule" means another vote on splitting from the UK will be held "on a much, much shorter timescale".
He also warned "the Labour Party is now divided" and "divided parties don't win elections".
Scotland voted to reject independence by a margin of 55% to 45% in a referendum held last September.
However, the Scottish National Party won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland at the last general election, fuelling speculation there will be a second referendum at a later date.
Mr Salmond told Sky News: "If the Labour Party looks unelectable there's the prospect of 10 years more of Tory rule and 50 years of nuclear weapons in Scotland.
"Those are all factors that are pushing Scotland towards a referendum on a much, much shorter timescale than I envisaged."
Speaking after Mr Corbyn's first Prime Minister's Questions as Labour leader, he added: "I've known Jeremy Corbyn for 30 years and I've liked him for 30 years.
"The great problem he's got isn't what he's facing from the Tories or the mainstream press.
"The great problem is what's hiding underneath and behind him in the Labour Party, and there's an immutable law of politics: divided parties don't win elections."

His comments echo SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who has previously said: "If Labour cannot quickly demonstrate that they have a credible chance of winning the next UK general election, many more people in Scotland are likely to conclude that independence is the only alternative to continued Tory government."
At the weekend, the ruling party revealed it will set out the timescale for such a referendum in its manifesto ahead of the Scottish Parliament election in 2016.
Read more »

الاثنين، 14 سبتمبر، 2015

Missing Child Alerts To Appear In Facebook Feed


Facebook is to start alerting members of the public when a child goes missing nearby.
The social network has teamed up with the National Crime Agency to place Child Rescue Alerts in people's News Feed.
A Facebook spokeswoman said: "When a child disappears and their life is at risk, every minute after the child's disappearance is crucial to bringing them home safely.
"For the police, getting information out to the public as quickly as possible, increasing eyes and ears on the streets, is vital."
When a high-profile alert is issued by the authorities, a Facebook post will be sent to the second position in News Feed to people who are near the location of where the child has gone missing.
The alert will allow police to give out important details about the child such as a photo, description, location of the abduction, and any other available information that can be provided to the public to aid in the search.
Those receiving it on Facebook or the community in the local area can then share it with friends to spread the word.
If someone believes they have seen the missing child - or have information to share - they will be able to call a number directly from the posting.
An alert will only be issued if the missing child is believed to be at risk of serious harm or their life is in danger so those receiving one are urged to take it seriously.
Emily Vacher, Trust and Safety Manager for Facebook told Sky News: "More than half of the people in the UK use Facebook.
"All over the world, we've seen communities rallying together in times of need, using Facebook to spread the word – and these alerts will make that quicker and help to reach more people than ever before during these exceptionally stressful and worrying times.
"Working in partnership with several of the UK's most critical support organisations, we hope we can enlist even more people to help reunite children with their families."
Read more »

Boris Johnson Heckled By Protesting Cabbies


Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been forced out of the London Assembly chamber after being heckled by protesting taxi drivers.
The cabbies were protesting over a range of issues, including the introduction of electric vehicles and increasing competition from Uber.
Boris Johnson had to leave the chamber and suspend Mayor's Question Time due to the protest, tweeting later: "Vital Londoners see democratic process in action but behaviour of some cabbies at MQTs today undermines that.
"Also shocked that 3 City Hall security staff hurt following suspension of Mayor's Question Time - no excuse for violence."
Footage of the meeting showed Mr Johnson attempting to answer a question but being shouted down by protesters in the public gallery.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been forced out of the London Assembly chamber after being heckled by protesting taxi drivers.
The cabbies were protesting over a range of issues, including the introduction of electric vehicles and increasing competition from Uber.
Boris Johnson had to leave the chamber and suspend Mayor's Question Time due to the protest, tweeting later: "Vital Londoners see democratic process in action but behaviour of some cabbies at MQTs today undermines that.
"Also shocked that 3 City Hall security staff hurt following suspension of Mayor's Question Time - no excuse for violence."
Footage of the meeting showed Mr Johnson attempting to answer a question but being shouted down by protesters in the public gallery.
Read more »

National Anthem Row: Corbyn Changes Tune


Labour has said Jeremy Corbyn will sing the national anthem at ceremonial events after he was criticised for staying silent during a rendition on Tuesday.
The newly-elected leader came under fire, including from within his shadow cabinet, over his decision not to sing God Save The Queen at a Battle of Britain commemoration service.
Mr Corbyn told Sky News he had "stood in respect" throughout the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle, as he thought about his parents who were air raid wardens during the Blitz.
When asked if he would sing the national anthem in the future, Mr Corbyn said: "I'm going to be at many events and I'll take part fully in those events.
"I don't see a problem like this."
He also said: "The issue surely is we had a memorial for the Battle of Britain. I was there, I showed respect for it and I'll show respect in the proper way at all future events. That is what I will be doing.
"The proper way is to take a full part in them and I will take a full part in them."
But later a Labour Party spokesman said: "What he meant was that 'taking part fully' would include singing the anthem.
"That is what he was saying in the interview this morning."

The veteran left-winger was speaking before facing David Cameron at the despatch box in his first Prime Minister's Questions.
His first outing at the traditional weekly session follows a rocky start to his party leadership.
After struggling to put together a frontbench team and facing criticism over the top jobs all going to men, disagreements have already emerged with members of his own shadow cabinet.
Following the anthem row, shadow minister for women Kate Green told Sky News it would have been a "really good gesture" towards military families and those who had lost loved ones, had he sung it.
Ms Green told Sky News: "I think if I had been there I would have sung it. I would have advised him to sing it.
"Not because of the content of the national anthem but because of what it symbolises for many people, in the way that it honours our country and also of course the people who have died fighting to protect our freedoms.
Read more »

Has Corbyn Taken The Punch Out Of PMQs?


Something very strange happened at Prime Minister's Questions as new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took on David Cameron at the despatch box for the first time.
It was easy to hear in the House of Commons what MPs said. Nobody shouted.
The naughty MPs - who sit on the steps of the aisle so they can distract the opposition without being seen - were well behaved.
The Speaker John Bercow didn't interrupt once (he'll be out of a job soon).
Sitting in the press gallery, it was almost eerie.
Mr Corbyn said he would change PMQs and he's succeeded, thanks to questions from members of the public including "Angela who works in mental health" and "Marie from Putney" who is worried about housing.
Labour MPs, still wearing the scars from a bruising campaign, sat quietly.
Chris Leslie, who refused to serve under Mr Corbyn, was as still as a statue throughout.
Mary Creagh, who also resigned from the shadow cabinet, was emotionless as she clutched her phone.
Afterwards, though, even MPs who are not their new leader's biggest cheerleaders said he had done a good job.
Wes Streeting and Jonathan Reynolds said it was a more mature session than usual and tackled issues that mattered to people.
But can it last?
The Labour MP John Mann said MPs had expected the Tom and Jerry show, but got Jeremy Vine instead.
The SNP's Alex Salmond questioned whether it was an effective way of causing damage on Mr Cameron, who wasn't challenged on his answers.
Mr Corbyn might have taken the Punch and Judy show out of PMQs.... But has he taken out the punch as well?
Read more »