The Points: Westminster Edition is a weekly article summarising the biggest news stories in Britain over the last seven days. Also included is an article of choice that we believe best builds upon the topics in The Points if you wish to learn more.
Labour debate gets heated over antisemitism, and the cracks are showing
Article of choice: The Guardian – The Labour leadership contest has exposed new factions in the party
The remaining candidates, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy turned on each other in the last debate. This with each candidate criticising each other’s approaches to dealing with the situation. However, this is only the beginning. The ‘soft’ left, ‘radical’ left, Blairites and right Labour members have, to an extent, managed to merge under the Corbyn government. Now, their differences are splintering. Rebecca Long-Bailey is fully supported by the ‘orthodox’ left, Starmer the ‘soft’ left and Nandy the Blairites.
TUC is coming for No. 10
Article of choice: BBC – We’ll find out what’s going on, TUC boss warns PM
Although Priti Patel has dominated British headlines, Brexit moves on. As EUHR and workers rights come into the fray, unions are eager to advise the government. The EU has been open with its unions; listening, informing and advising. The UK however, has decided not to inform their unions. This has warranted a response from Trade Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Frances O’Grady who promised she would find out what’s going on and protect workers.
Patel refuses to be bullied out of Home office
Article of choice: BBC – Boris Johnson backs Priti Patel after bullying claims
"I have been the target of a vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign"
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) February 29, 2020
Sajid Javid was joined by Sir Philip Rutnam as he resigned last week claiming he had subjected to “vicious and orchestrated” campaign of bullying. The Senior adviser at the Home Office under Priti Patel left after he claimed she was behind the attack against him. While also claiming she was bullying members of staff. Patel also had an official complaint made against her and her conduct when she was employment minister at the Department for Work and Pensions. Despite the rising tensions in the cabinet, the PM has supported his home secretary, with Rutnam starting a case against the government for constructive dismissal.
Pro-EU views get shot down by No. 10
Article of choice: The Guardian – Mary Beard blocked by No 10 as British Museum trustee ‘for pro-Europe views’
Mary Beard has had a hard career. She is without a doubt Britain’s most renowned classicist being the cornerstone of Cambridge’s Classics department. Despite this, she sometimes struggles to get the respect she deserves, once being called ‘too ugly for TV’. Again, she seems to have reached a roadblock. Downing Street used its veto vote to block her from becoming a trustee at the British Museum because of her ‘pro-Europe views’. The Museum is expected to ignore the government.
Coronavirus spreads as Hancock proposes desperate measures
Article of choice: The Financial Times – UK drafts up ‘battle plan’ to beat coronavirus
Over 11,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the UK, with 35 people being confirmed with the virus. A ‘war room’ of scientists and advisers has been created to battle the spreading virus. We don’t know too much about the plan, as the first meeting will be chaired by Boris Johnson today. Matt Hancock, the secretary for Health and Social Care went so far as to say that entry to cities may be closed if the virus continues to spread is one of the suggestions.
If you wish to read last weeks The Points, click here.