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Boris Johnson Abandons Leadership Race in UK



Boris Johnson Abandons Leadership Race in UK

On Sunday, former UK prime minister Boris Johnson withdrew from the race to become Britain’s next leader, stating that he had the backing of enough legislators to advance to the next round but considerably fewer than front-runner former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

Johnson stated, “There is a good likelihood that I would win the election among Conservative Party members, and I might be back in Downing Street on Friday.”

“However, over the course of the last several days, I’ve concluded that this is not the appropriate course of action. You cannot govern effectively without a cohesive party in the legislature.”

Johnson, who never formally launched his candidacy to return to Downing Street, spent the weekend persuading Conservative legislators to endorse him. On Sunday, he claimed to have the support of 102 Conservative lawmakers.

He needed 100 votes by Monday to go to the next round, which would have pitted him against Sunak in a vote by the 170,000 members of the Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s Downfall

Sunak, whose resignation as finance minister in July contributed to Johnson’s downfall, secured 142 declared supporters on Sunday, surpassing the threshold of 100 parliamentarians needed to advance to the next level, according to Reuters.

On Monday, he will be named leader of the Conservative Party and become prime minister unless Penny Mordaunt receives the required 100 votes to necessitate a runoff vote by party members. On Sunday, she had 24 avowed supporters.

Lord Frost, a former minister for Brexit and close associate of Boris Johnson, urged his party colleagues to support Mr. Sunak.

The Conservative peer tweeted: “Boris Johnson will forever be revered as a hero for achieving Brexit.

“However, we must proceed. It is unethical to risk repeating the chaos and disarray of the previous year.

“The Conservative Party must support a capable leader who can implement a conservative agenda. That individual is Rishi Sunak.

“As I stated in July, (Rishi) would be an exceptionally competent prime minister. He comprehends the issues, can operate the machine and is a wonderful individual. He would bring about a significant shift in ‘feel’ from the Boris years.’

“That is what we require now. Let’s get behind Rishi.”

Mr. Sunak received the support of his predecessor as chancellor, Sajid Javid, who endorsed Ms. Truss in the previous election and Mr. Johnson in 2019.

Mr. Javid stated that Mr. Sunak possesses the “values our party needs” to “move on from previous mistakes.”

Former minister Johnny Mercer supported him, stating that he could not put himself or his constituents through another Johnson administration given the “awful” lows of the last one.

“Boris is my friend, I adore him, and he’s a fantastic individual, but I don’t think I can put myself through that again. I do not believe I can ask my constituents or my employees to, “He stated on the BBC Radio 4 PM show.

“I adore Boris, and he has incredible talents for this country, but it is time for serious, competent, straightforward, and values-based leadership.”

BBC Reports Boris Johnson Abandons Leadership Race

Source: Reuters, VOR News


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U.K News

UK Conservative Party Candidates Investigated for Illegal Election Betting



Conservative Party election betting
Conservative Party members under investigation: Reuters Image

The UK Sunday Times has reported a member of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party is currently under investigation by Britain’s gambling regulator on suspicion of having gambled on the general election date prior to its announcement.

Two Conservative candidates for office and the party’s head of campaigns are reportedly under investigation by Britain’s Gambling Commission for alleged wagers placed on the July 4 election.

The opposition Labour Party is currently polling considerably ahead of Sunak in the lead-up to the election, and the scandal’s expansion has only made matters worse.

The Conservative Party’s top data officer, Nick Mason, was named by the newspaper as the official. When asked for comment, Mason did not immediately answer. Mason disputed the allegations, according to the newspaper’s citation of a spokeswoman for him.

According to a statement from the Conservative Party, Mason has taken a leave of absence, according to the Sunday Times. Reuters reached out to the party, but they declined to corroborate the report.

“We are not permitted to discuss any matters related to any investigation with the subject or any other persons,” a spokesman for the Conservative Party said, following instructions from the Gambling Commission.

Conservative Party Director Takes Leave

No individuals have been named by the Gambling Commission as of yet. Commission officials have refused to comment on the Sunday Times story, citing confidentiality agreements on the investigation’s subjects.

An “incredibly angry” Sunak expressed his dismay at the accusations leveled against his party members on Thursday, describing them as a “really serious matter.”

The director of campaigns for the Conservative Party, Tony Lee, has taken a leave of absence, and one of the candidates implicated in the incident, Craig Williams, has previously expressed regret for a mistake.

Alleged wagers on the election day have led to the arrest of a special protection unit police officer as well.

Election betting in the UK has skyrocketed in popularity. People place wagers on everything from the overall winner to individual constituency results. It’s not just about predicting who’ll take the Prime Minister’s office.

Many bet on voter turnout, party performance, and even whether certain policies will pass. Betting companies provide detailed odds, helping punters make informed choices.

This betting trend reflects the UK public’s engagement with politics, adding an extra layer of excitement to election periods. It’s a fascinating blend of politics and gambling, drawing in seasoned bettors and curious newcomers alike.

Source: Reuters

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U.K News

UK National Debt Rises to the Highest in 62 Years



UK National Debt Rises to the Highest in 62 Years

UK national debt grew this month to its highest level as a share of the economy since 1961, according to figures released on Friday, adding to the financial issues that the new administration will face when it takes office following a general election in two weeks.

The UK national debt, excluding state-controlled banks, hit 2.742 trillion pounds ($3.47 trillion), or 99.8% of annual GDP, in May, up from 96.1% the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The increase came despite somewhat lower-than-expected government borrowing in May, which was 15.0 billion pounds, compared to experts’ median projection of 15.7 billion pounds in a Reuters survey.

Following an election on July 4, Britain appears to be on the verge of a change of government, with Keir Starmer’s Labour Party leading Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives in surveys.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, state debt in Britain skyrocketed, and the public finances have been hampered by poor growth and a 16-year high in Bank of England interest rates.

Western Nations Debt

Most other Western countries had significant rises in debt during the same period, although British debt levels are lower than those of the United States, France, and Italy.

A person enters the Treasury government building in London, Britain, on March 5, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Purchase Licensing Rights opens a new tab.

Borrowing in the UK totaled 33.5 billion pounds in the first two months of the fiscal year, 0.4 billion more than the same period in 2023 but 1.5 billion pounds less than government budget estimates expected in March.

Capital Economics consultants warned that the lower-than-expected borrowing figures represented less public investment and would provide little comfort to Britain’s future finance minister.

“They do little to reduce the scale of the fiscal challenge that awaits them, in part because of the upward pressure on the debt interest bill from higher interest rates,” said Alex Kerr, an assistant economist at Capital Economics.

Labour and the Conservatives want to keep to existing budget rules that require official estimates – most recently updated in March – to indicate that debt as a proportion of GDP is dropping in the fifth year of the forecast.

Higher interest rates than projected in March’s budget left Britain’s next chancellor with only 8.5 billion pounds of freedom to meet these standards, down from the historically low 8.9 billion in March, Kerr noted.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have committed not to raise income tax, value-added tax, or other major levies, but government budget predictions in March revealed that tax as a percentage of GDP was on track to hit its highest level since 1948.

Source: Reuters

Canada’s Household Debt Nears $3 Trillion Under Trudeau

Canada’s Household Debt Nears $3 Trillion Under Trudeau

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U.K News

Reform UK Party Leader Nigel Farage Blames West for Ukraine Invasion



Reform UK Nigel Farage
Reform UK Leader Nigel Farage: AFP Image

Nigel Farage, the right-wing leader of the Reform UK party in Britain, claimed that the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin was a direct result of US interference and eastward expansion of NATO.

The remarks, made in an interview with the BBC aired late on Friday, drew strong criticism across the British political spectrum ahead of a July 4 election in which Farage’s Reform UK party is predicted to win millions of votes.

Farage said he stood by comments made shortly after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, when he posted on social media that the move was a “consequence of EU and NATO expansion”. He said he had been predicting a war in Ukraine as early as 2014.

“It was obvious to me that the ever-eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union was giving this man a reason to his Russian people to say, ‘They’re coming for us again’ and to go to war,” Farage said in Friday’s BBC interview.

“We provoked this war … of course it’s his (Putin’s) fault – he’s used what we’ve done as an excuse.”

Russia casts its special military operation in Ukraine as part of a broader struggle with the West, which it says wants to bring Russia to its knees. Kyiv and the West reject this and accuse Russia of waging an illegal war of conquest.

Most Recognizable and Divisive Politician

Farage’s decades of campaigning against Britain’s membership of the EU and mass immigration has made him one of the country’s most recognisable and divisive politicians.

His surprise entry into the election race has further hit Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s hopes of closing the centre-left Labour Party’s opinion poll lead.

Even though Reform is unlikely to win many seats in parliament, it could split the right-of-centre vote across the country. The party held only one seat in the last parliament, which it gained when a Conservative lawmaker defected.

Farage’s remarks on Ukraine drew immediate condemnation, Reuters reports.

Sunak said Farage was “completely wrong”, accusing him of appeasement that put Britain and its allies’ security at risk. Labour’s defence spokesman John Healey called Farage’s comments disgraceful and labelled him a “Putin apologist”.

Farage later posted on X: “Putin was wrong to invade a sovereign nation, and the EU was wrong to expand eastward. The sooner we realise this, the closer we will be to ending the war and delivering peace.”


Source: Reuters

Britain’s Populist Right-Wing Reform UK Party Surges in Popularity

Britain’s Populist Right-Wing Reform UK Party Surges in Popularity


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