7 August 2019 | UK NEWS
During an interview with Iain Dale last night in Edinburgh, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, suggested that he “might want to invent” a law to try Conservative MPs as “social criminals”, upon being reminded of an earlier phrase he had used. Mr McDonnell is said to have shrugged at the reference, remarking that he was “angry” at the time and that it was “after the first round of benefit cuts”.
The quote in question was apparently from a Unite the Resistance conference in November 2012, in which McDonnell addressed the delegates as follows:
It would seem that the Shadow Chancellor has not changed his mind on this stance in the intervening 7 years. Clearly, no such law exists at present.
Elsewhere on the UK political scene, the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, met US President Donald Trump yesterday for a “preliminary chat”, during which they reportedly discussed issues such as trade and security. Mr Raab later told reporters that the President had a “huge appetite” for a free trade deal with the UK, saying that he was “effusive in his warmth” towards the UK and expressed “high regard” for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Given that the Foreign Secretary was in fact in the White House to meet Mike Pence, the Vice President, and that the meeting with Mr Trump in the Oval Office was impromptu and unscheduled, the move has been interpreted as a bid to rekindle US-UK relations. This follows a scandal revealed last month involving leaked diplomatic cables from the UK’s former Ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, in which he claimed that Mr Trump’s administration was “inept” and “utterly dysfunctional”.
Mr Raab said: “It’s amazing to hear an American president talk about our country in such warm terms. He expressed his high regard for Boris Johnson as a Prime Minister.
“We talked about all the things that we want to do together in the post-Brexit vision for the UK, whether it’s getting a free trade deal done and there’s obviously going to be a lot of work to make that happen. There’s a huge appetite on both sides to achieve that.
“And then all the range of security issues that we share in common and want to make sure we strengthen the relationship and build our capacity to tackle those issues together.”
Meanwhile, The Express carries a story today suggesting that the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, is on course for a “Brexit showdown” with Boris Johnson, in the run-up to a planned meeting between the two.
We also read in The Independent today that Dominic Cummings, now an advisor to the Prime Minister in Downing Street, has given his first media appearance since his new appointment, telling reporters that “politicians don’t get to choose which votes they respect”.