All posts tagged: Ministers

Ministers ‘pandering to far right’ by not calling out Islamophobia, says ex-government adviser | Politics News

Ministers ‘pandering to far right’ by not calling out Islamophobia, says ex-government adviser | Politics News

Ministers are “pandering to the far right” by not calling Lee Anderson’s remarks Islamophobic, a former government adviser on the issue has told Sky News. Imam Qari Asim, who was the last person to hold the post of independent Islamophobia adviser to the government, said it had been “disappointing” to see senior Conservatives refusing to define the Ashfield MP’s comments as Islamophobic. And he claimed members of the Muslim community had “lost any confidence” in the party to tackle anti-Muslim hatred. Politics live: Ousted Post Office chair says he’s the victim The interview comes as calls are growing for the prime minister to appoint a new adviser amid the fall-out from Mr Anderson’s comments. He was suspended from the Conservative Party last weekend after he refused to apologise for claiming “Islamists” had taken “control” of London and that Labour mayor Sadiq Khan had “given our capital city away to his mates”. There has been wide condemnation of the remarks from ministers, but they – and Rishi Sunak – have repeatedly refused to classify them as …

Farmers protest in Brussels outside EU agriculture ministers’ meeting

Farmers protest in Brussels outside EU agriculture ministers’ meeting

Police stand behind a barricade during a protest of farmers in the European Quarter outside a meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels, Monday, February 26, 2024. HARRY NAKOS / AP Concrete barriers and barbed wire surrounded the European Union’s headquarters on Monday, February 26, as farmers angry at red tape and competition from cheap imports drove their tractors into Brussels in a fresh show of force as the bloc’s agriculture ministers met. Police carrying riot gear patrolled near barricades set up at the main entry points to the European Council building, where the 27-nation bloc’s agriculture ministers were gathering. Scores of tractors adorned with flags and banners were ranked in lines, snarling city traffic. Farmers dumped a trailer load of tires a few hundred meters from the European Council building, and police brought in water cannons before the piles of rubber were set alight. A few tractors forced their way through one barrier, sending officers scurrying. At the start of the month, a similar demonstration turned violent as farmers torched hay bales and threw …

WTO chief warns of ‘tough’ economic outlook as trade ministers gather in Abu Dhabi

WTO chief warns of ‘tough’ economic outlook as trade ministers gather in Abu Dhabi

The head of the World Trade Organization warned on Monday that war, uncertainty and instability are weighing down the global economy and urged the bloc to embrace reform as elections across nearly half the world’s population could bring new challenges. Issued on: 26/02/2024 – 04:03 2 min WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala sought to offer some praise for her organization as it held its biennial meeting in the United Arab Emirates, even as it faces pressure from the United States and other nations.  But she was blunt about the risks ahead, as higher prices for food, energy and other essentials sting people’s pockets, “fueling political frustration.” “People everywhere are feeling anxious about the future and this will be felt at the ballot box this year,” she said.  None are perhaps more critical for the WTO than the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 5.  Running again is former President Donald Trump, who threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the WTO and repeatedly levied tariffs — taxes on imported goods — on perceived friends and foes alike. A …

Ministers to back crackdown on Slapp lawsuits aimed at intimidating critics | Freedom of speech

Ministers to back crackdown on Slapp lawsuits aimed at intimidating critics | Freedom of speech

Ministers are to support a crackdown on spurious lawsuits aimed at intimidating journalists, academics and campaigners, known as strategic litigation against public participation, or Slapps. Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, said on Friday that the government would support a private member’s bill brought by the Labour backbencher Wayne David aimed at reducing the use of Slapps in the British courts. The government said the lawsuits were often used by the very rich to stop the exposure of wrongdoing, with complicated legal cases aimed at financially exhausting defendants. David’s measures would allow judges to dismiss spurious claims before they went to trial and protect defendants from paying exorbitant costs. The strategic litigation against public participation (Slapps) bill also aims to remove the threat of intimidation by ensuring there is proper compensation for people who are subject to them. The government has already brought in new legal protections in relation to economic crime, but David’s bill would widen the scope to “protect freedom of expression for everyone”. It would create a new dismissal mechanism to stop Slapps …

UK ministers in court again over net zero plans | Greenhouse gas emissions

UK ministers in court again over net zero plans | Greenhouse gas emissions

UK ministers are facing court for a second time over plans to meet legally binding climate targets, after environmental groups branded revised measures “a complete pipe dream”. The government has already been forced to change its climate action plan after a legal challenge by environmentalists, but the same groups are taking it back to court over updated plans they say are “riddled with holes and relian[t] on risky techno-fixes”. “We believe the government’s revised climate action plan is a complete pipe dream,” said Katie de Kauwe, a lawyer for Friends of the Earth. “It lacks critical information on the very real risks that its policies will fail to deliver the cuts needed to meet legally binding carbon reduction targets and relies too heavily on unproven technologies. “The government ought to just come clean that this is a reckless, high-risk plan, and should come up with a credible and lawful strategy that ensures all our climate targets are met – including our international pledge to cut emissions two thirds by 2030.” Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth …

‘Cruel’ Tory Ministers Slammed For Closing Ukraine Family Visa Scheme

‘Cruel’ Tory Ministers Slammed For Closing Ukraine Family Visa Scheme

Tory ministers have been branded “cruel” after it was announced that the government is closing down a visa scheme for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. The Ukraine Family Scheme is being axed with immediate effect just days before the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of its neighbour. It was set up to allow applicants to join family members already in the UK and has led to 72,000 Ukrainians being given visas. However, in a surprise move, the Home Office today announced that it was being closed to new applications. The department said applicants could still use the separate Homes for Ukraine route if they want to move to the UK. But Stephen Kinnock, Labour’s shadow immigration minister, said: “Restricting family rights at a time when Ukrainian troops are under heavy fire in Donetsk sends the wrong message to the people of Ukraine about our willingness to stand with them. “Ministers must urgently explain the justification for these measures and how they will ensure vulnerable Ukrainians are not put at risk by these changes.” SNP …

Navalny’s widow to speak to EU foreign ministers Monday – POLITICO

Navalny’s widow to speak to EU foreign ministers Monday – POLITICO

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny who died in Russian prison on Friday, will meet EU foreign affairs ministers on Monday. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said on X that Navalnaya will be at the EU Foreign Affairs Council. “EU Ministers will send a strong message of support to freedom fighters in Russia and honour the memory of Alexi @navalny,” posted Borrell. Navalnaya has been active since her husband’s death, which many western leaders have claimed was orchestrated by Vladminir Putin’s regime – a charge Russia denies. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Friday — the same day her husband’s death was announced — Navalnaya said: “I want Putin, his friends, and the government to know that they will be held accountable for what they have done to our country, our family, and my husband.” Source link

Ministers urge police to make ‘robust’ use of powers over safety fears | Politics News

Ministers urge police to make ‘robust’ use of powers over safety fears | Politics News

Ministers have urged police forces to use “robust” measures to tackle protesters who “intimidate and harass” MPs over their stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict. In a letter to chief constables, seen by Sky News, security minister Tom Tugendhat and policing minister Chris Philp said the demonstration outside the home of Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood was an example of “unacceptable” actions that risk having a “chilling effect on democracy”. Politics Live: Starmer calls for lasting ceasefire in Gaza More than 60 people, some holding Palestinian flags and leading chants, gathered at the Bournemouth East MP’s home last Monday. Image: Tobias Ellwood The letter from the two ministers said: “The intimidation of democratically elected representatives is unacceptable. “It’s important that our elected representatives are able to feel safe in their homes, free from fear and harassment. “I’m strongly concerned about the chilling effect that undermining this could have on our political discourse, as well as on the willingness of prospective candidates to step forward and provide our communities with the representation they deserve.” More on Houses Of …

Ministers ‘Must Explain’ Claim Post Office Was Told To Delay Horizon Scandal Payments

Ministers ‘Must Explain’ Claim Post Office Was Told To Delay Horizon Scandal Payments

Ministers are under pressure to explain claims by the former Post Office chairman that he was told to delay paying compensation to victims of the Horizon IT scandal. Henry Staunton told The Sunday Times a senior civil servant asked him to stall the payments so the government could “limp into the election” with the lowest possible financial liability. He was appointed chairman in December 2022 but then sacked by business secretary Kemi Badenoch in January 2024. It came amid huge public outcry over the Horizon IT scandal which saw hundreds of Post Office workers wrongly accused of fraud. Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow business secretary, said Staunton’s allegations were “incredibly serious”. “Under no circumstances should compensation to victims be delayed and to do so for party political purposes would be a further insult to sub-postmasters,” he said. “The Labour Party has called for all sub-postmasters to be exonerated and compensation paid swiftly so that victims can begin to draw this awful chapter to a close.” Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “These allegations are deeply disturbing …

US, Arab, European Ministers Meet in Munich to Outline Post-Gaza Ideas

US, Arab, European Ministers Meet in Munich to Outline Post-Gaza Ideas

By Humeyra Pamuk and John Irish MUNICH (Reuters) – Senior U.S., Arab and European officials met in Munich on Friday to discus progress on formulating a plan for post-war Gaza that would be linked to normalizing ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, officials and diplomats said. U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and the foreign ministers of Jordan, Qatar, Germany, Britain, France and Italy were among those gathering on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference. War in Israel and Gaza Officials said the meeting was the first in such a format since war broke out on Oct. 7 when Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas attacked Israel. The aim was for the U.S., European and Arab states to share discussions they have had on post-war Gaza, Israel-Saudi normalisation, Israel’s wider integration into the region and security guarantees, a pathway towards a Palestinian state and how to reform the Palestinian Authority, a senior U.S. official said. Photos You Should See Western and Arab states have shown divisions …