Boris Johnson‘s general election campaign has been thrown into disarray asAlun Cairnsquit as Welsh secretary after being accused of “brazenly lying” about his knowledge of an allegation that his former aide sabotaged a rape trial.
The Tories were accused of doctoring footage to falsely suggest Labour’sSir Keir Starmerwas unable to answer a question about Brexit. One Tory MP admitted it hadn’t been a “great day” for the party and said “people cocked things up”.
Mr Johnson was criticized for comparingJeremy Corbyn‘s “hatred” of wealth creators to the persecution of the Kulaks – a group of landowning peasants killed by the Stalin in the 1930 s.
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Tory MP blames ‘young person’ for doctored video
A Conservative MP has blamed “a young person” on the party’s campaign team for doctoring a video of
Mansfield MP Ben Bradley admitted the video was one of a series of “cock-ups” which marred the first day of the official Tory campaign for The 12 December general election.
But he rejected the idea that Tories were running “a cynical campaign of lies” , insisting that issues like the disputed video and Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Grenfell Tower gaffe were “mistakes”.
Labor MP calls on Alun Cairns to stand down as MP
Christina Rees, shadow secretary of state for Wales said: “Alun Cairns stepping down as Secretary of State is far from the end of the matter, and is a shoddy halfway house that will fool nobody.
“He has still not explained his behavior and still not addressed the grave issues raised by the leaked emails yesterday.
“Worse still, neither he nor any senior Welsh Tory have apologized to one person who most deserves it – the victim herself .
“He should do the right thing – apologise, and step down as a candidate.”
BREAKING: Welsh secretary Alun Cairns has resigned
The cabinet minister Alun Cairns had claimed he had been unaware of former staff member Ross England’s role in the collapsed rape trial until after the story broke last week.
But leaked emails showed the Welsh secretary had been made aware of the allegations as early as August last year.
In his resignation letter, Cairns said he will “fully cooperate with the investigation under the ministerial code”.
PM says the Queen does ‘tough interview’
In a video posted on Twitter, Boris Johnson is shown in the back of his car heading to Buckingham Palace, explaining why he thinks we’re having an election on 12 December.
He says an audience with Her Majesty is “always a very tough interview because she always asks the best questions and the question today is: why are we having this election?”
“There’s only one reason . I’m afraid that parliament is paralysed. ”
We’re told he’ll give a speech outside Downing Street at around 1pm – and he is set to appear at a Tory rally in the West Midlands this evening.
Swinson criticises ‘shocking’ Rees-Mogg remarks
The Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has been speaking at the launch of her election campaign bus (I know , I know – they’ll launch anything these days).
She condemned the comments made by Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg on the Grenfell fire disaster.
Swinson said: “Having watched the footage of Jacob Rees-Mogg I was speechless. I did find that footage absolutely shocking. And I question why he is where he is still. ”
Asked if she feared a dirty election campaign, she said she would present a positive message to voters. “I am happy to take on both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, neither of whom is fit to be prime minister, whatever.”
Nigel Farage heckled in Workington
A woman shouted “fascist” as she left the room midway through Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s speech in Workington. She was followed out by a woman wearing a T-shirt which said “Bollocks to Brexit”.
Continuing his speech in Workington, Farage criticized both Labor and the Conservatives.
The Brexit Party leader said: “If you are a Leave voter, you cannot vote Labor in this election because it’s clear they will betray your vote. ”
He added:“ I like Boris personally but I’m sorry to say what he is presenting just is not Brexit, it is as simple as that. ”
Corbyn condemns Rees-Mogg and leaders who think ‘they’re above us all’
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has been talking about Jacob Rees-Mogg and Grenfell victims at his speech in Telford.
“Actually there is one more thing you need to know,” he said. “They shamefully seem to think the victims of the Grenfell fire died because they didn’t have the common sense to save themselves.”
“I’ll tell you what’s common sense: Don’t put flammable cladding on people’s homes. That’s common sense.
“Don’t close fire stations and don’t cut fire fighters. That’s common sense.
“And don’t ignore residents when they tell you their home is a death trap. And what this all comes back to is what I was talking about earlier: leadership.
“Do you want leaders who think they’re above us all? Who think the rules they make for everyone else don’t apply to them? ”
Bercow says Brexit ‘biggest mistake since the war’
John Bercow, the former Speaker, is speaking at the Foreign Press Association.
According to the Repubblica journalist Antonello Guerrera, he described Brexit as “the biggest mistake of this country after the war … It’s better to be part of the [EU] power bloc. ”
That’s sure to irritate Brexiteers. But they already hated him anyway. He
Bercow taunted Boris Johnson over the prorogation case saying the PM lost “eleven-nil”.
He also defended his approach to Brexit-related legislation by saying: “My job was to stand up for the rights of the House of Commons. No apology for championing the rights of parliament. ”
Green co-leader says party ‘don’t fear the future’
Sian Berry, the Green Party’s co-leader, has been speaking to Bristol
She said: “Let’s be honest about the situation, we know these are dark times – it’s easy to fear the future. The threat of Brexit hangs over our heads, the climate emergency rages, and our fragile democracy is under attack. ”
“ But despite all this the Greens don’t fear
“We stand at the threshold of what could be the most exciting and prosperous period of our country history. Because taking action in the climate emergency isn’t just about averting disaster, it’s about creating a brand new Britain. ”
Tory MP says doctored campaign video a ‘cock up’ – and calls Rees-Mogg comments ‘shoddy wording’
Ben Bradley, the Tory MP for Mansfield, has been talking about the slew of gaffes and scandals enveloping the party’s election campaign.
Asked about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments suggesting Grenfell victims had lacked “common sense” , Bradley told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Jacob has apologized and explained – I think it was more a case of shoddy wording than anything else.”
Questioned about the doctored Tory campaign video designed to portray Sir Keir Starmer failing to answer a question on Brexit, Bradley admitted: “A lot of the time people just cock things up. And yesterday wasn’t a great day because people cocked things up. ”
Asked if the video should now be removed, he said:“ It’s probably quite a young person in the digital department that’s done something that they though was good. ”
“ I don’t buy into this idea there’s a cynical campaign of lies. These things just tend to be mistakes… I think it’s a cock up. ”
The Mansfield MP was then asked about the prime minister comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s“ hatred ”of wealth creators to the persecution of the Kulaks – a group of landowning peasants killed by the Soviet dictator in the 1930 s.
“The point is absolutely true when you’ve got Jeremy Corbyn talking about booting all the billionaires out the country. ”
DUP MP won’t stand at election after admitting ‘mistakes’
Veteran DUP MP David Simpson has announced he will not stand in the election.
His decision not to seek re-election in Upper Bann, the seat he’s held since 2005, comes after newspaper revelations about his private life and an extra marital affair.
“In recent times it has been well publicized that I made a mistake that brought hurt to my wife and family as well as bringing heartache to another family, ”he said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.
“ These were my mistakes and for them I am truly sorry. I have learned from my failings and my wife and children have given me a precious second chance and together we intend to look to the future together. ”
Boris Johnson is off to see the Queen
The prime minister has left Downing Street and is now visiting Buckingham Palace, where he will inform Her Majesty there’s a general election taking place. I’m sure she knows already, but there you go.
Tory chairman responds to Kay Burley’s ’empty chair’ stunt
The Conservative party chairman James Cleverly has fired back at the Sky News host Kay Burley after she taunted him for failing to appear on her show. “We have an empty chair,” she said. “Where on earth is he?”
Cleverly said he was booked to go on talkRADIO at the same time Sky News “cut to an empty chair”.
He said: “I’m good at multitasking but cannot be in two studios at the same time.”
Ed Vaizey won’t be standing at general election
And another Tory medium bites the dust. Ed Vaizey – once culture secretary under David Cameron – has announced he is not standing in his constituency of Wantage and Didcot.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, he says he remains an “enthusiastic supporter” of the PM and will campaign for his successor candidate in Oxfordshire.
Tory chairman mocked by Kay Burley for leaving her with ’empty chair’
The Sky News host Kay Burley is very, very annoyed that Tory party chairman James Cleverly has turned down a chance to appear on her program and answer questions about the scandals engulfing his party.
Burley showed an empty chair and said she had wanted to ask him about the prime minister comparing Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin’s persecution of lawndowning peasants, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Grenfell comments, and the Welsh secretary’s claim to have had no knowledge his former aide “sabotaged” a rape trial. She *** reeled off several other gaffes and controversies involving the Conservatives.
“There’s your empty chair,” she said.
“I know that No 10 Downing Street watch this program. I know the spin doctors at No 10 Downing Street had absolutely reassured me via text that when politicians were doing the rounds in the morning they would be doing this show. And yet we have an empty chair. Where on earth is he? ”
Sturgeon says it’s her ‘intention’ to hold indyref2 in 2020
Nicola Sturgeon says the demand for a second referendum on Scottish independence will *** “irresistible” if the SNP “wins” the election in Scotland.
The SNP leader said resistance to allowing Scottish voters to choose for themselves would “crumble” in the face of such a result. She told the BBC she wants a referendum in 2020.
“If we win this election the demand becomes irresistible,” Scotland’s first minister claimed.
Sturgeon, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s (Today) program, said: “It is my intention to have a referendum next year.
“On this question of will Westminster allow it or not, we are the start of an election campaign – this is an opportunity for the people in Scotland to have their say and make their views known.
“If the SNP win this election, I think that demand becomes irresistible. This idea that for self-interest reasons Westminster politicians can stand in the way of people in Scotland choosing their own future – we already see that start to crumble. “
Sturgeon said Labor were already “pretty much conceding” it could not stand in the way of a second independence vote and added: “I suspect it won’t be too much longer until we see the Tories struggle to maintain that argument as well.”
Tory chairman denies party ‘doctored’ Keir Starmer video
The Tory party chairman James Cleverly has been ridiculed after denying his party “doctored” a video to portray a senior Labor figure stumbling on Brexit – insisting the “a light-hearted” clip had merely been shortened.
He faced a storm of criticism after the social media clip Sir Keir Starmer appearing to falter when, in reality, he had provided a full answer to the question he was asked.
Cleverly refused to apologize or even accept it was misleading. “We edited the video, just like you edit stuff on your program, just like everybody else, because we needed to shorten the video,” he said.
All the details here:
Rees-Mogg revealed his arrogance, says Diane Abbott
Labor’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said Jacob Rees-Mogg had shown an “arrogance” with his comments on Grenfell Tower and the ‘stay put’ policy.
“There was one staircase. What were they meant to do? Run out of the building with firefighters running up the same staircase? ”
She said some residents had rung emergency services a host of times during the fateful evening in 2017 and were told to stay put.
“It reflect an arrogance about Jacob Rees-Mogg that is not going to help the Tories at this election,
Abbott denied that members of the shadow cabinet were ready to campaign for Remain no matter what deal Labor brings back from Brussels if it wins the next election
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer have both signalled their support for Remain during a second referendum.
“I don’t think anyone has said they will vote for Remain, come what may,” said Ms Abbott on the BBC. “What we will do is negotiate a better deal and have a referendum on that better deal and Remain for people to vote.”
Tory MP apologises for suggesting Rees-Mogg ‘cleverer’ than Grenfell victims
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has apologized for his remarks defending Jacob Rees-Mogg over his Grenfell comments. Rees-Mogg suggested fire victims lacked the “common sense” to flee the building.
Asked yesterday if Rees-Mogg thought he was “cleverer” than the people who took the fire brigade’s stay put advice, Bridgen said: “But we want very clever people running the country, don’t we? ”
He says this morning:“ I realize that what I said was wrong and caused a great deal of distress and offence. ”
Tories post misleadingly edited Keir Starmer video
The Tories have been accused of releasing a misleading campaign video after doctoring footage to falsely suggest that a senior Labor figure had been unable to answer a question about Brexit.
The clip, posted by the Tories on social media, showed an interview with Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, in which he appeared to have faltered for words when asked about his party’s Brexit policy.
In reality, however, Sir Keir provided a full answer to the question he was asked .