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The Independent looking at June 09 – June 15

Dear reader,


Take a few moments to get up to speed on all the latest news from around the globe with our selection of Independent Premium’s top stories.

Your weekly round-up

June 09

Boris Johnson will attempt to relaunch his beleaguered government today with a policy blitz aimed at easing the housing crisis.


In a bid to sure up his premiership, the prime minister is expected to use a speech in Lancashire to announce plans to tear up rules stopping people from declaring their benefits as part of their income when applying for a mortgage and using it to make monthly payments.


However the speech risks being overshadowed by the continuing difficulties in his own party. Allies of Mr Johnson have warned him not to reward rebel MPs in a rumoured cabinet reshuffle.


It had been reported in The Telegraph that some suggested bringing in key rebel Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor to get him onside. But one ministerial ally dismissed the idea of a charm offensive, telling The Independent: “Reach out to them? F*** off. What kind of message would that send?


“There are only so many jobs in government. You cannot afford to reward disloyalty.”


“Week after week I’ve called on this prime minister to resign. I’ve been met with a wall of noise from the Tory benches. I thought they were trying to shout me down – when all this time it turns out that 41 per cent have been cheering me on!”

– SNP MP Ian Blackford mocks Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons over his narrow no-confidence vote victory on Monday.

June 10

Ministers have demanded the release of two Britons sentenced to death on Thursday by pro-Russia separatists in what has been condemned as a “Soviet-era show trial”.


Moscow was accused of breaching the Geneva Convention over the treatment of Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, who were captured while fighting with Ukrainian forces. They will reportedly face a firing squad after being convicted of terrorism in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic – but Britain says the pair should be treated as prisoners of war.


Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, condemned the court ruling, saying: “This is a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy” and promising to “do everything we can” to support the pair’s families.

There were suggestions the men’s fate could be used by Moscow as a bargaining chip to force Britain to scale back the delivery of weapons to Ukraine.

What do Boris Johnson’s new housing plans mean for low-earners and how feasible are they?

The prime minister has revealed plans designed to help lower earners buy houses as part of a series of announcements aimed at easing the housing crisis and bolstering his own flagging popularity after Monday’s damaging confidence vote.


In a speech in Lancashire, Mr Johnson set out a pledge to extend the Right to Buy scheme for people renting from housing associations and another to allow them to use benefits to pay for mortgages, arguing that the money would be better spent helping people acquire their own property, rather than paying rent.


But are his proposals practical or “totally detached from reality”, as some experts have warned?

June 13

Boris Johnson is facing a Tory rebellion over his plans to override the Northern Ireland protocol as his own MPs warn him that the controversial plan goes against key Conservative principles.


The legislation, set to be published today, will break the withdrawal treaty Mr Johnson negotiated three years ago and is expected to give ministers the power to scrap checks on moving goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland.


A leaked briefing paper being shared among Tory MPs describes the move, which experts have warned could provoke a trade war with the European Union, as “damaging to everything the UK and Conservatives stand for.”

June 14

Boris Johnson is facing the prospect of new legal action from the European Union as early as Friday in response to legislation published today to tear up the arrangements for Northern Ireland agreed as part of his Brexit deal.


A bill published today would give ministers sweeping new powers to override elements of the Northern Ireland protocol, as well as taking new powers for the UK over tax and state subsidies in the region without agreement from Brussels.


The long-awaited legislation provoked a furious reaction in both Brussels and Dublin, with Irish premier Micheal Martin saying it was “very regrettable for a country like the UK to renege on an international treaty” which was negotiated and agreed by Mr Johnson in 2019.

The Big Question

Why are Conservatives concerned about Boris Johnson’s approach to Northern Ireland?

A week on from narrowly surviving a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons, the prime minister is again facing a revolt from his own MPs, who warn that his controversial plans to override the Northern Ireland protocol go against key party principles.


A leaked briefing paper being shared among Conservative MPs describes Mr Johnson’s meddling with the Brexit agreement, which experts have warned could provoke a trade war with the European Union, as “damaging to everything the UK and Conservatives stand for”.


The move could be as devastating to the reputation of the party as the Iraq war was for Labour, it adds, hinting at fresh rebellion against the wounded Mr Johnson.

June 15

Boris Johnson’s “desperate and cruel” policy to deter asylum-seekers was in disarray last night after the handful of migrants on the first deportation flight to Rwanda won a last-minute legal reprieve.


The £500,000 taxpayer-funded flight was halted minutes before it was due to take off following interventions by the European Court of Human Rights.


It came despite ministers earlier insisting the flight would go ahead no matter how few were on board.

How has Paddington Bear become the face of anti-deportation protests?

Deportation notices for Paddington Bear have been put up by staff on internal Home Office notice boards in protest at asylum seekers being flown to Rwanda.


The posters say the fictional bear, created by author Michael Bond in 1958 and recently seen starring opposite the Queen, is wanted for a pending relocation flight to the African nation, adding that he arrived illegally in the UK via boat and without a visa.


The posters are a part of a campaign by internal Home Office staff who are speaking out against the government’s new refugee policies, revealing the true extent of disapproval over the policy, which has also been condemned by Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury, among many others.


Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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