Labour leader moves to limit damage over Emily Thornberry’s ‘disrespectful’ tweet as Ukip celebrates Tory defeat in byelectionEd Miliband was forced to issue a statement on Friday affirming that the Labour party was “founded for working people” as he moved to limit the political damage of a tweet by the former shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry of a picture of a house decked out in St Geo
As working class voters flock to a party of the hard right, is it possible for Ed Miliband’s Labour to reconnect with them?If the seemingly irresistible rise of Ukip teaches us anything, it is that sentiment all too often trumps reality and mere detail in politics. The party is a self-described “People’s Army”, now emboldened by a victory in Rochester and Strood it hopes will bring renewed mome
New first minister reveals group comprising five men and five women including her as leader and John Swinney as deputyScotland’s first female first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced a new cabinet with a 50/50 gender balance, after pledging to put equality at the heart of government.Announcing the full lineup at Bute House in Edinburgh on Friday lunchtime, Sturgeon said her cabinet was
Before the Rochester picture affair is allowed to fade, it badly needs some deeper consideration (Labour rocked by ‘sneering’ blunder, 21 November).A house draped in statements of national allegiance, upstaged by a big white van representing a way of earning a living, is clearly an arresting image, and Emily Thornberry responded accordingly. Her caption was factual, minimal and comment-free.
The byelection headlines were meant to be about Tory failures, yet it is Labour that is left looking into the abyssLabour’s soul-searching about Ukip’s triumph in Rochester started on Friday night with a warning by its election co-ordinator, Douglas Alexander, that a rising level of public anger built up over decades is transforming the “entire business model of UK politics”.His speech was t
Mixed opinions to MP’s decision to resign from shadow cabinet in her Islington South and Finsbury constituencyRaised on benefits, secondhand clothes and food parcels, Emily Thornberry joined the Labour party at the age of 17 because she believed that “it wasn’t fair that things had been so hard”.She went on to become a human rights lawyer and in 2005 a member of parliament, when she was elec
British politics is changing in unprecedented ways, moving from a two/three-party system to a six-party systemAs expected, Ukip walked the Rochester and Strood byelection. Mark Reckless won Nigel Farage’s party its second Westminster seat, defeating Conservative candidate Kelly Tolhurst by 2,920 votes. Ukip took 42% of the vote, the Conservatives 35%. This was a 28% Conservative to Ukip swing.
Dan Ware said he voted Conservative at the last election and didn’t know there was a byelection onThe owner of the house which Emily Thornberry tweeted a picture of, Dan Ware, has called her a “snob”.Ware, a 37-year-old car trader and father of four, told The Sun: “I’ve not got a clue who she is, but she’s a snob”. Continue reading...
Police officer tells libel trial of argument involving former chief whip at entrance to Downing StreetA Downing Street police officer has told the high court how he was embarrassed by the childish and overbearing behaviour of former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell the night before Plebgate.PC Gareth Bonds, who has 30 years’ service, was the senior officer on duty at the Downing Street
Rolling coverage as it happened of reaction to Mark Reckless winning the Rochester and Strood byelection for Ukip 6.07pm GMT I’m wrapping up the liveblog now, but here’s a rundown of the day’s key developments. I spent quite a bit of time on the doorsteps of Rochester. I probably met all of the Liberal Democrat voters.The cabinet line-up is a clear demonstration that this government
Public version of 100-plus page report into Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale expected to be released on TuesdayThe official report into the extent of the security services’ intelligence on the two extremists who killed soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013 will be published next week.The full report from parliament’s intelligence and security committee has already been sent to the prime minis
Judge Howard Riddle orders that Anjem Choudary and other terror suspects’ religious freedom must be respectedRadical Islamist cleric Anjem Choudary must be allowed to preach on the streets of London even though he is on police bail over suspected terror offences, a judge has ruled.Choudary, 47, and six Islamist associates, were given new bail terms at Westminster magistrates court in relatio
Nick Cohen, Gaby Hinsliff and Hugh Muir join Tom Clark to discuss the latest Ukip byelection victory as the major parties struggle to gain a hearing with the public Continue reading...
Ed Miliband gives his response to the Rochester and Strood byelection. The Labour leader says he was angry with Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry who tweeted a picture of a Rochester house decked out in St George's flags with a white van outside. He said it showed a fundamental disrespect for voters Continue reading...
Prime minister says Conservatives are determined to regain seat from Ukip to ensure party remains in power after 2015 voteThe Conservatives are “absolutely determined” to win back the Rochester and Strood parliamentary seat at next year’s general election, David Cameron has said after his party claimed that Ukip failed to secure a major breakthrough.As Tory sources played down the prospect o
Leader singles out Midlands and Yorkshire seats where research predicts MPs have no chance of winning as ConservativesNigel Farage has called on Conservative MPs in four northern constituencies to consider whether they would be better off standing for his Ukip party at the general election.He singled out seats predicted by the Manchester University academic Matthew Goodwin (subscription) to
If you’re not British, Labour politician Emily Thornberry’s resignation for posting a tweet of a house, some flags and a van may seem baffling. Here’s why it happenedEmily Thornberry’s resignation from the Labour shadow cabinet for posting an image of a house in Rochester has provoked fury in Britain and bafflement abroad. While political commentators in the UK were divided over whether she s
Labour MP Emily Thornberry apologises for sending a controversial tweet during the Rochester and Strood byelection. The MP for Islington South and Finsbury announces her resignation and tells reporters: 'If I've upset anyone or insulted anybody, I apologise.' Thornberry was effectively sacked by Labour leader Ed Miliband on Friday after tweeting a picture of a house decked out in St George's flags
David Cameron says he is determined to win back Rochester and Strood at the 2015 general election. Tory defector Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood byelection for Ukip on Thursday, beating his Conservative opponent, Kelly Tolhurst, by 2,920 votes. Cameron also comments on Emily Thornberry's resignation from Labour's frontbench after a tweet relating to the byelection Continue reading...
Two thirds of Ukip voters would like to turn back the clock to the way Britain was 20 or 30 years ago. Sam Wollastan peers back through the mists of time to see if they have a pointBasking in the prospect of Westminster success after Rochester and Strood they may be, but according to a new poll from YouGov, 68% of Ukip voters would like to turn back the clock to the way Britain was 20 or 30 y
Nigel Farage and co booked the Tap ‘n Tin in Chatham for their party venue. What records should the DJ have spun? It’s 4am and you’ve just won a byelection – what do you do? Well, if you’re Ukip, you head to a nightclub normally frequented by students for a good old knees-up.Nigel Farage’s party booked the Tap ‘n Tin in Chatham as their venue of choice – a three-floor nightclub with drinks
Nigel Farage is right to say the coming election is unpredictable. MP Emily Thornberry’s sneer at that St George’s flag says it all. It insulted the normal lives of many Labour votersA Ukip majority of only 2,920 in the Rochester and Strood byelection, eh? Not such a Tory meltdown as David Cameron must have feared. That should stop any of those would-be defectors among Tory MPs (if there really
Tory defector Mark Reckless wins the Rochester and Strood byelection for Ukip, delivering a humiliating defeat to David Cameron and the Conservatives. Reckless says in his victory speech: 'The radical tradition that has stood and spoken for the working class has found a new home in Ukip.' Reckless received 16,867 votes, or 42.1% of the poll, while his Conservative opponent, Kelly Tolhurst, took 13
Labour MP in effect sacked over course of two phone calls, with leader angry at suggestion of lack of respect for votersEd Miliband “didn’t hold back” in expressing his anger when he learned that senior Labour MP Emily Thornberry had tweeted a picture of a house decked out in St George’s flags, the shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, has said.As the Labour backbencher John Mann said
Ukip leader says many Tories will be ‘sucking their teeth’ and considering whether to defect following Mark Reckless electionLive blog: latest developments on Rochester byelectionThe result of next year’s general election is “unpredictable beyond comprehension”, Nigel Farage has declared after the UK Independence party notched up its second parliamentary byelection win in Rochester and Strood
All the latest business and economic news, as European stocks surge ahead on the surprise Chinese rate cuts and hopes of ECB action. The UK chancellor’s deficit-reduction plan still looks out of reach despite an improvement in the public finances in October. 4.19pm GMT Ireland continues to make progress in its economic recovery, but challenges still remain, according to the latest European
Director of restoration study group puts cost at £2bn but BBC Newsnight claims insiders say the bill could be a billion moreThe planned restoration of the Palace of Westminster could cost taxpayers more than £3bn, it has been claimed.An expert who led an examination of options for renovating the historic building told BBC2’s Newsnight that it was not unreasonable to think the bill could top
If there is a vaccine to immunise voters from Ukip’s appeal, the Tories have not yet developed it. Still, Cameron looks safeLive blog: latest developments after Rochester byelectionFor the Conservatives to have thrown the kitchen sink at their opponent only to watch their own campaign gurgle down the Rochester drain will have been deeply depressing. The Tories, perhaps intoxicated by the at
*Ukip beats Tories by 2,920 votes in Kent byelection*Farage says ‘all bets are off’ for general election*Labour support plummets to 16.8% of voteLive blog: latest developments on Rochester byelectionUkip has seized its second seat at Westminster in as many months, defeating the Conservatives by 2,920 votes in the closely fought Rochester and Strood byelection.The insurgent party’s v
George Monbiot’s call for “a government commission on post-growth economics” should be urgent parliamentary business (Growth: the destructive God that can never be appeased, 19 November). All MPs should read the article, and they should tell us how they respond to some relevant questions. Do you realise that economic growth today demands more fossil fuel combustion that exacerbates disastrous cl