Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill hails ‘new era’ in Northern Ireland after victory
The British deputy prime minister said stability in Northern Ireland was “imperilled” by problems with its post-Brexit agreement, following Sinn Fein’s historic election success.
The unionist DUP will refuse to serve with the republican party in a power-sharing executive unless there are major changes to the NI protocol.
Dominic Raab told Sky News: “It’s clear from the dynamic that we now see that we won’t get to that position of stability unless and until it is fixed.”
Over in Westminster, Boris Johnson is planning to announce new laws that will “deliver on the promise of Brexit” as he looks to bounce back from a bruising set of results for the Tory party.
The British prime minister said he would reveal a “super seven” of Brexit Bills which will cut red tape and “unnecessary barriers inherited from the EU” in the Queen’s Speech next week.
‘We don’t need threats of unilateral action in Westminster;
Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, has spoken about the Northern Ireland protocol today.
“There’s a responsibility, I think, on us all to respect how the people have voted and to find a way of working with the parties to put an executive and assembly that can work back in place,” he told RTE.
“We don’t need threats of unilateral action, unilateral legislation in Westminster.
“What we need is partnership and intense negotiations to try and finally settle the issues around the protocol without dismantling an international treaty and international law, but by applying the maximum flexibility possible to the existing agreement, to ensure that it’s implemented in a pragmatic and sensitive way.”
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 15:30
Lisa Nandy has tweeted out a clip of her interview on “beergate” earlier today.
“It seems perfectly clear to me that this seems perfectly in line with every event I’ve done with any Labor leader,” she said.
The shadow foreign secretary said it was “frankly just absurd muckracking” from the government to suggest it was the same as being under investigation for a dozen gatherings – including BYOB and kareoke parties – and saying they had never even happened.
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 14:58
Irish reunification poll ‘will happen’ in next decade, says Sinn Fein leader
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald has stepped up call for border poll – asking for all-Ireland citizens assembly to discuss the idea now.
“We have been consistently calling for the meeting of a citizens’ assembly, Ireland-wide, to acknowledge and engage the change that is clearly happening in Ireland, to ensure that we have an inclusive and respectful forum where we can talk about change and, more importantly, plan for change Ireland-wide,” she said on Sunday.
She told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “We don’t want to exclude anybody in the change that will happen… over the course of the next decade, be in no doubt about that.”
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 14:35
Lib Dem ‘not ruling out Labor pact to oust Tories’
The Liberal Democrats would not rule out a pact with Labor to defeat the Conservatives, the party’s deputy leader has suggested.
Daisy Cooper said the Lib Dems had “no interest in doing a coalition with this Conservative government at all”.
Asked about Labour, she told Sky News’s Sophie Ridge On Sunday programme: “The Liberal Democrats have said that we want to win as many seats as possible off the Conservatives at the next general election and one way or another we would like to play a role in ousting this Conservative government.
“It is far too soon – what that might look like, how that might work, but we would want to play a role in ousting this Conservative government, that’s our number one priority.”
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 14:15
‘Standing together for peace’
The leader of Sinn Fein has been at a Ukraine war protest in Ireland today. Here is what she said:
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 14:06
Liz Truss condemns Russian attack on Ukrainian school
Liz Truss accused Vladimir Putin’s forces of war crimes after a Russian bomb destroyed a school in Luhansk, Ukraine, where around 90 were sheltering in the basement:
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 14:00
Civil servant wins six-figure sum over ‘insidious’ Ministry of Justice racism
In some other news, The Independent has revealed a former civil servant received a six-figure pay-out from the government over discrimination.
She says was subjected to “insidious” racism during a 12-year battle with the Ministry of Justice, our race corresponding Nadine White reports.
Zoe Tidmann8 May 2022 13:40
Tories should be urged to resist desire to ‘smash up’ institutions
Damian Green has called for an end to ministers “culture war” attacks on the BBC and the judiciary.
The senior Tory MP said the strategy was losing the party voters in the south of England.
The former minister said the poor local election results in so-called blue wall heartlands reflected distaste for “embarrassing” government.
Voters “want a government that seeks to unite society, and resists the urge to declare culture wars on institutions like the judiciary or the BBC,” he also said in an article for the Sunday Telegraph.
Mr Green continued: “They believe Conservatism involves respect for institutions, not a revolutionary desire to smash them up. They also want a calm, competent government that is not embarrassing.”
More on this story here by adam forrest
Lamiat Sabin8 May 2022 13:20
‘Frustrating’ lack of flexibility from EU over protocol – Lewis
Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has said he will meet with the leaders of the Stormont parties tomorrow to talk about resurrecting the Assembly.
He urged DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson to nominate deputy first minister to get the executive working again, after the unionist party vowed not to restart power-sharing with Sinn Fein until the protocol checks are ditched.
But Mr Lewis also said the issue of protocol needed to be “resolved” – blaming the EU for failing to agree to ditch the checks signed into law as part of the Brexit deal.
“It is really frustrating that the EU has not shown the flexibility we need to see to get that resolution,” told Sky News.
‘Frustrating’ lack of flexibility from EU over protocol, says Northern Ireland secretary
The NI secretary added: “It’s more frustrating to hear over the last couple of days that the EU seems to be saying they’re not willing to show any sort of flexibility to get this resolved.”
On the UK government’s threat of unilateral action, Mr Lewis added: “We’ve always said we take nothing from the table, and that hasn’t changed. We will do what we need to do… There is a point we will have to make some decisions.”
Put to him that the government was “dancing to the DUP’s tune”, Mr Lewis said the idea was a “misnomer” – claiming all communities had issues with the protocol.
Legislation prepared with the aim of overriding the protocol is not expected to be included in next week’s Queen’s Speech, but The Independent understands it could still be introduced later in the parliamentary session.
Lamiat Sabin8 May 2022 13:00
Boris Johnson will survive Partygate ‘distraction’, says Raab
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisted Boris Johnson will stay on as prime minister despite “challenging” local election results and the Partygate scandal that he dismissed as a “distraction”.
He told Sky News: “I’m confident that he can and will win the next election.”
Then, when asked on LBC if the PM would face a confidence vote, the deputy PM said: “No, I don’t think so.”
I added: “Clearly, Partygate has been a distraction. We’ve got to get rid of those distractions. But the point is, we are focusing with a laser-like precision on the cost of living.”
Mr Raab also admitted the Liberal Democrat resurgence in the south of England would mean he faces a “tough fight” in his own Esher and Walton seat in Surrey.
Lamiat SabinMay 8, 2022 12:40