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Israeli PM blasts Jeremy Corbyn for ‘laying wreath on the graves of terrorists’

The Labour leader responded by saying Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘claims about my actions and words are false’.

In a significant intervention, the Israeli leader said Mr Corbyn deserved “unequivocal condemnation” amid claims he laid a wreath on the graves of members of the Black September terror group, which killed 11 Israeli athletes in 1972.

But the Labour leader shot back, saying the claims were “false” and criticising the Israeli government policy towards Palestinians.

Mr Corbyn hit back: “Israeli PM @Netanyahu’s claims about my actions and words are false.

“What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.”

‘APOLOGY’ CALL

Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger has meanwhile called on the Labour leader to apologise for his attendance at the event, saying that his “presence alone” demonstrated his “association and support.”

Olympic cycling hero Chris Boardman “genuinely sick” at Tory road plans

Olympic cycling hero Chris Boardman “genuinely sick” at Tory road plans

Olympic medallist Chris Boardman was left feeling “genuinely sick” after Tories suggested that new laws would protect “our most vulnerable road users” from cyclists. Boardman, whose own mum was killed by a truck when cycling in 2016, said he felt was left seething after seeing the message on the official party Twitter feed. Cycling minister Jesse Norman apologised after the message sparked a hail of angry responses from bike-users.

It came as Mr Norman announced plans for new road safety laws, including offences of causing death by dangerous or careless cycling, which would see cyclists who kill pedestrians treated in a similar way to drivers. Carol Boardman, centre, was killed as she enjoyed a bike ride in Wales.

Mr Norman insisted that the changes were intended to protect “vulnerable road users, including cyclists”. But cycling campaigners said he was simply “tinkering around the edges” of road safety. The laws are being proposed by the Government after 44-year-old mother-of-two Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in February 2016. Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in February 2016.

The message on the Conservative Twitter feed said: “We’re launching a consultation into dangerous cycling so that our most vulnerable road users are protected.” Boardman responded: “That says it all really. Wow, just wow. I genuinely thought this was a bad joke, had to check it was a real account.” Urging other cyclists to complain to Mr Norman and his party, he added: “It’s not me that needs to know how you feel – that’s me, with the dead mother, crushed to death by a car by the way. It makes me feel genuinely sick.” Carol Boardman died aged 75 when she was run over by a pick-up truck while on a bike ride near Connah’s Quay in north Wales. Flowers left at the scene of Carol Boardman’s death.

BBC radio presenter Jeremy Vine also spoke out about the Tory message. “When I’m on a bike, I’m a vulnerable road user,” said Vine. “In 2016 there were 1,700 road deaths; three were caused by cyclists.” Liam Rosney is accused of causing the death by dangerous driving.

Announcing that the tweet had been taken down, Mr Norman said: “It did not reflect either this set of policy announcements or the very careful work the Government has done to improve road safety for all users, including cyclists. On behalf of all involved, I would like to apologise.”

Mr Boardman said Norman was “one of the good guys if only his party would empower him to do more”. In recent weeks the Department for Transport has announced a series of measures to protect vulnerable road users, including Funding to give driving instructors training to ensure cyclists’ safety is prioritised. Better investigation of crashes. Investing £100 million to improve dangerous roads. Boardman on the pitch at Prenton Park, home ground of Tranmere Rovers, following his return home from the 1992 Olympic Games.

The latest announcement includes the introduction of national guidance for cycling and walking infrastructure and updating parts of the Highway Code to combat close passing of bicycles. Ms Briggs’ widower Matthew supports the proposed new laws. He said: “This public consultation is an important step towards updating the arcane laws that are currently being used to prosecute cycling offences.” Ms Briggs was killed by Charlie Alliston, then 18, who was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes.

Ms Briggs was killed by Charlie Alliston, then 18, who was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty of causing bodily harm by “wanton and furious driving”. The Victorian legislation, originally drafted to deal with reckless handling of horses, was used because there was no cycling equivalent to the offence of causing death by dangerous driving. Department for Transport (DfT) figures for 2016 show that 448 pedestrians were killed on Britain’s roads, but only three cases involved bicycles. National charity Cycling UK claimed a “full review of road traffic offences” is required. Boardman spoke of his disgust at the Tory policy on Twitter.

Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore described the current system of prosecuting and sentencing for careless or dangerous drivers as “something of a lottery” which leaves victims and their relatives “feeling massively let down”. He went on: “Adding one or two new offences specific to cyclists would be merely tinkering around the edges. “If the Government is serious about addressing behaviour that puts others at risk on our roads, they should grasp the opportunity to do the job properly, rather than attempt to patch up an area of legislation that’s simply not working.” Mr Norman said: “All these measures are designed to support the continued growth of cycling and walking, with all the benefits they bring to our communities, economy, environment and society.”

 

Kanye on His Response to Kimmel’s Trump Question: “I Wasn’t Stumped”

Kanye on His Response to Kimmel’s Trump Question: “I Wasn’t Stumped”

On Thursday night, Kanye West has addressed his made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” At one point in the interview, Kimmel asked Kanye: “Whether we like his personality or not, his actions are really what matter. You so famously and so powerfully said ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ It makes me wonder, what makes you think that Donald Trump does?” Kanye then went silent for a few seconds until the show went to commercial. Kanye has now addressed his lack of response to the question. “On Jimmy Kimmel we had a great time having a dialogue,” he writes. “I’m reading that I was stumped by a question. Let me clarify the click bait. I wasn’t stumped. I wasn’t given a chance to answer the question.” In another Tweet, he adds, “The question was so important I took time to think. And then I was hit with the let’s go to commercial break.”

During the episode, Kimmel wore Yeezys and acknowledged the “dragon energy” in the room during his monologue. He also asked Kanye questions about if he would consider designing uniforms for Trump’s Space Force and if Kanye was concerned when his wife Kim Kardashian was alone in the Oval Office with Trump.

Yesterday, Trump took to Twitter to express gratitude towards Kanye. “Thank you to Kanye West and the fact that he is willing to tell the TRUTH,” he wrote. “One new and great FACT – African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our Country. So honoured by this. Thank you Kanye for your support. It is making a big difference!”

Kanye is an emotionally intelligent and intellectual person. It is truly admirable of Kanye to outspeak that the strongest emotions of all are – Love and Fear. And, Love conquers all, even Donald Trump. It is unclear what “TRUTH” Donald Trump referred to in his tweet but it’s not surprising coming from a someone who’s cognitive abilities are questionable. Here are some references showcasing how challenging it is for the President of United States to be articulate –

What Trump’s Speech Says About his Mental Fitness (NY Times)

Trump Biographer on the President’s Cognitive Decline & Whether He Will Be Impeached

Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable (CNBC)

If that’s not all, watch this interview with Trump on Brexit where the interviewer asked Trump about Brexit and Trump ends up talking about his electoral victory in Wisconsin and his property in Ireland.

Is Kanye’s support for Trump out of Love [and compassion or empathy]?

Labour struggle to repair damaging rift between Corbyn and McDonnell

Labour struggle to repair damaging rift between Corbyn and McDonnell

John McDonnell denies considering resigning over anti-Semitism row as he guns for Corbyn’s ‘bungling’ aides as his relationship with longtime Labour ally plunges into ‘deep freeze’ Shadow Chancellor denied he contemplated resigning over anti-Semitism row Mr McDonnell’s allies say relations have plunged into ‘deep freeze’ with Corbyn Sources say he is ‘gunning’ for chief of staff Karie Murphy over affairs handling.

Labour is struggling to repair a damaging rift between Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell over the anti-Semitism row rocking the party. The Shadow Chancellor was last night forced to deny he had contemplated resigning over the way Mr Corbyn’s office had bungled the affair. But allies of Mr McDonnell said he is so angry with key Mr Corbyn’s aides – including chief of staff Karie Murphy – that relations between Labour’s two most powerful figures have been plunged into ‘the deep freeze’. Mr McDonnell has spoken of how he has been ‘cut to the core’ by the wave of anti-Semitism allegations against the party and has vowed to ‘get this sorted’. Labour is struggling to repair a damaging rift between Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell over the anti-Semitism row rocking the party But insiders say the Shadow Chancellor, seen as crucial to Mr Corbyn’s hopes of becoming Prime Minister, is appalled at how the problem has been dealt with by the leader’s top team. One said: ‘John can’t believe how this has been handled, at how we’re shooting ourselves in the foot just as the Tories tear themselves apart over Europe.

He is a pragmatist. He can smell power and get Labour back into government, and he doesn’t want self-inflicted mistakes to wreck that.’ Mr Corbyn’s office has already had to deny that it engineered the now-abandoned official complaints against Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge for branding Mr Corbyn anti-Semitic. However, sources say Mr McDonnell is ‘gunning’ for Ms Murphy over how the entire affair has been handled. One said: ‘John is vital to the whole Corbyn project and any hopes of getting into government. ‘Forget Tom Watson – McDonnell is effectively the deputy party leader and the deputy prime minister in waiting. ‘But Corbyn’s office just doesn’t treat him like that. They don’t treat him with respect.’ Labour MPs say it is significant that Mr McDonnell has reportedly formed an alliance with Momentum founder Jon Lansman over the need to resolve the anti-Semitism row, although aides played down talk of a rift. Last night, the Shadow Chancellor himself insisted it was ‘rubbish’ to suggest he had considered resigning in the past few weeks. Mr McDonnell said: ‘I have never expressed any such views or had such thoughts.’ The Shadow Chancellor was last night forced to deny he had contemplated resigning over the way Mr Corbyn’s office had bungled the affair.

 

‘Come out of hiding’, Jewish leader tells Jeremy Corbyn

The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews has accused Jeremy Corbyn of hiding from the antisemitism crisis engulfing the Labour party and called on him to “come out of hiding” and face up to the issue. Marie van der Zyl said Corbyn had “seemingly disappeared” since last weekend, when he released a video and comment pieces, as she repeated a call for Labour to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in full. Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I want Jewish people to feel at home in the Labour party’

“He is in hiding from the media and refuses to face the obvious difficult questions. He is clearly just hoping it will go away. I’ve got some bad news for him. Unless he does what he needs to do, it won’t,” Van der Zyl wrote in an article for Jewish News. Corbyn condemned antisemitism over the weekend, writing that it was “Labour’s responsibility to root out antisemitism in our party” in a piece published by the Guardian on Friday evening. But despite speculation that the party might move to adopt three of the four outstanding examples, Labour’s formal position has not changed. Corbyn is on holiday and was pictured at Lion Rock Tea Rooms in Cheddar, Somerset. Van der Zyl said Corbyn needed to resolve the issue and Labour should adopt all 11 examples in the IHRA code, open up the party’s disciplinary process to independent scrutiny and acknowledge “the problematic nature of his own past actions”. “You cannot lead through invisibility,” Van der Zyl concluded.

“I call on Jeremy Corbyn to come out of hiding and do the right thing. Surely, by now, enough is enough.” Labour said it was studying Van der Zyl’s article and would respond shortly.

 

Rowan Atkinson backs Boris Johnson because ‘you should only ever apologise for a bad joke’

Rowan Atkinson has defended Boris Johnson after his controversial comments about women wearing burkas. The actor, known for his comedy performances in Mr Bean and Blackadder, said the remarks were funny. Atkinson wrote in a letter to The Times: ‘As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson’s joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one.’ Rowan Atkinson has backed Boris Johnson saying the joke was funny

He added: ‘All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them. ‘You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.’ Mum stabbed to death ‘after helping daughter to escape from arranged marriage’The Uxbridge MP said Muslim women wearing face coverings ‘look like letter boxes’, and compared them to bank robbers and rebellious teenagers in a Telegraph column. Mr Johnson is to face an investigation by an independent panel after complaints that his comments breached the Conservative Party’s code of conduct. Atkinson’s intervention in the Boris Johnson burka row is not the first time the comic actor has waded into controversy around free speech. Mr Johnson is facing calls to apologise but has so far refused. The Blackadder and Mr Bean star spent years campaigning against legislation that eventually made it an offence to incite religious hatred. The Racial and Religious Hatred Act, which became law in 2007, dogged Tony Blair’s government as it was repeatedly attacked by free speech campaigners on its way to the statute book. Council tells parents to remove paddling pools due to health and safety concerns

After a failed attempt to introduce the legislation in 2001, the government tried again in 2004 with the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. At the time Atkinson said elements of the legislation, designed to punish extremists who incite religious hatred, were a ‘wholly inappropriate response’ and could stifle freedom of speech. The laws attempted to make a new offence of incitement to religious hatred to protect faith groups, particularly Muslims, from attacks. The Blackadder and Mr Bean star spent years campaigning against legislation that eventually made it an offence to incite religious hatred. He said: ‘To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom.’ The actor said he could think of ‘quite a few sketches’ that he had performed that could come under the remit of the proposed new law ‘in the right hand and with the right energy’. RAF veteran says council ‘stole’ his wartime diaries

The government eventually changed tack and the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill passed through Parliament in 2006. Atkinson said at the time: ‘With it, it seems to me, everybody wins. Those who seek to threaten religious communities will know that such behaviour has now been outlawed and those who have sought to retain the right to criticise and ridicule religious beliefs and practices now have those rights enshrined in legislation in a manner never previously achieved.’

 

Criticism grows of Johnson’s burka jibe

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is facing growing criticism over his remark that Muslim women wearing the burka “look like letterboxes”. Dominic Grieve, the ex-attorney general, said he would quit the party if Mr Johnson became leader. Ex-Tory chairwoman Baroness Warsi said his remarks could trigger a rise in hate crime. Senior Tories have urged him to apologise but Mr Johnson has not done so, and has stood by his comments. In a Daily Telegraph article, he said full-face veils should not be banned, but it was “absolutely ridiculous” women chose to “go around looking like letterboxes”. He also compared them to looking like “bank robbers”. A source close to the former London mayor has said: “We must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on difficult issues. “We have to call it out. If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we are simply yielding ground to reactionaries and extremists.”

But, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, Mr Grieve – a former Remain campaigner who has previously clashed with Mr Johnson over Brexit – said his behaviour was “very embarrassing”. Mr Grieve said he would “without the slightest doubt”, quit the Tories if Mr Johnson became leader, “because I don’t regard him as a fit and proper person to lead a political party”. Earlier Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said there was no reason not to have a “robust conversation” about the subject, but added: “We’re not talking to our friends in the pub. We are public figures and we have an additional obligation to be careful.” A former Tory chairman, Lord Pickles, said Mr Johnson, who was foreign secretary until resigning last month over Brexit, risked “closing down” the debate with his “illiberal language”.

Supporters of Mr Johnson say the row is politically-motivated and that other senior Tories have made similar remarks without such criticism. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSenior Conservative Muslim peer Lord Sheikh calls on party to take whip away from JohnsonMr Johnson, who is a former mayor of London and the current MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, has long been seen as a potential candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party. He fronted the successful Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum, and resigned as foreign secretary last month in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit plans. Writing in the Guardian, Baroness Warsi said Mr Johnson’s remarks were “indefensible” and “have no place in the modern Conservative Party”. She said, although he was setting out a liberal position on the burka, he was doing it in an “alt-right” way, and using Muslim women as “political fodder… to stake out a leadership bid”. “Johnson’s words… send out a message that Muslim women are fair game,” she wrote. Image copyright PA Image caption Baroness Warsi was the first Muslim woman to sit in a British cabinet But mother-of-seven Tahira Noor, who has been wearing a burka for 20 years, said it was “100% my choice” and Mr Johnson’s comments showed a “lack of knowledge”. She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “In today’s day and age, the majority of the women who wear the burka are born and brought up in this country, are educated in this country, they’ve been to colleges, universities, and have understood why they want to do what they’re doing. ”

They’re under no oppression, they’re not doing it because their husbands want them to or their fathers want them to.” Ms Noor has four daughters and none of them wear a burka. “I haven’t forced my daughters into it because I don’t have to,” she said. “It’s not a must, it’s not an obligation.” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBoris Johnson ‘has caused offence’, PM saysMr Johnson’s former adviser Munira Mirza said Mr Johnson’s views on the burka had been “entirely consistent” and other Conservative politicians had expressed the same view, without being called Islamophobic. In 2013 former Justice Secretary Ken Clarke – who also opposed a ban on the public wearing of burkas – said they should not be worn while giving evidence in court. He referred to burkas as a “peculiar costume” and a “kind of bag”. Ms Mirza said: “The reality is there is a political fight here. “People who frankly couldn’t care less about the issues that Muslim women face are piling into Boris because Boris said it.” What is Islamophobia? By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani Last year, Zaynab Hussein, a mother from Leicester, was left fighting for her life after a man she didn’t know smashed into her with his car – and then ran over her again. She was attacked because she was a Muslim. Tell Mama, the national organisation that collects anti-Muslim attack statistics, says that the majority of street victims of such abuse and violence are women, for the same reason that Mrs Hussein was singled out: some Muslim women are easily identifiable by their mode of dress – and therefore easy to target. Seven years ago Baroness Warsi said prejudice against Muslims had passed the “dinner table test”.

And Mr Johnson’s critics regard his “letterbox” and “bank robber” comments as part of the problem the peer defined: normalising prejudice and dehumanising women, rather than calmly debating the complexities of the veil in an open society. Since Baroness Warsi’s warning, there has been the launch of a cross-departmental working group to tackle anti-Muslim hate. But it has been criticised as toothless, not least because the government can’t agree a definition for Islamophobia. What Boris Johnson said In his Daily Telegraph column, Mr Johnson – who last month quit the government in protest at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit policy – was commenting on the introduction of a burka ban in Denmark. He said he felt “fully entitled” to expect women to remove face coverings when talking to him at his MP surgery – and schools and universities should be able to take the same approach if a student “turns up… looking like a bank robber”. “If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you,” he said. “If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree – and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice in the Koran. “I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letterboxes.” He said businesses and government agencies should be able to “enforce a dress code” that allowed them to see customers’ faces. But he said: “Such restrictions are not quite the same as telling a free-born adult woman what she may or may not wear, in a public place, when she is simply minding her own business.” He said a total ban on face-covering veils would give a boost to radicals who said there was a “clash of civilisations” between Islam and the West, and could lead to “a general crackdown on any public symbols of religious affiliation”.

What do you think about Boris Johnson’s comments?

Russian warships tracked as they go through English Channel just miles off coast

HMS Diamond was deployed to monitor a Russian destroyer and a cruiser.

Poll reveals British voters no longer care how or when we leave the EU

Poll reveals British voters no longer care how or when we leave the EU

The majority of voters – including those who backed Remain – now want ministers to just get on with Brexit, a poll has shown. Some 60 per cent said they no longer care how or when we leave the European Union, but ‘just want it all over and done with’. The survey by Deltapoll found that even 48 per cent of Remainers agreed, compared to 47 per cent who did not. The poll results are likely to please Downing Street as they seek to win support for the Prime Minister’s Brexit blueprint- the plan thrashed out by her Cabinet at Chequers.

The majority of voters – including those who backed Remain – now want ministers to just get on with Brexit, a poll has shown  According to the poll of 2,047 adults, 76 per cent of Tory Leave voters and 75 per cent of Labour-leaning Brexit supporters just want to get on with leaving the EU. Among those who backed Remain, 58 per cent of Tories and 42 per cent of Labour voters said they agreed. Tycoon: I’d bet my £3bn fortune on UK getting free trade pact   ONE of Britain’s wealthiest entrepreneurs is so convinced the country can get a free trade deal after Brexit that he would bet his £3.6billion fortune on it. But Peter Hargreaves, who co-founded blue-chip investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown in 1981, accused ministers of failing in their duty to negotiate a good deal as the UK leaves the EU. Nonetheless, in an interview with Bloomberg, he said: ‘The best option is no deal. No deal would give us free trade with Europe because the three biggest economies in Europe, outside Britain, are huge exporters to the UK – that’s Germany, France and Italy. And those three economies would absolutely demand free trade from the EU. ‘I guarantee my entire wealth that we would get free trade.’

Joe Twyman, director of Deltapoll, said: ‘What these results show is that for many people, particularly those who voted to leave the EU, the precise details of the negotiations are not important. ‘While politicians and commentators from all side of the political spectrum dissect, debate and discuss the minutiae of Brexit, the majority of British voters just feel like they want to get it over and done with as soon as possible.’ The poll results are likely to please Downing Street as they seek to win support for the Prime Minister’s Brexit blueprint. Aides hope voters will ultimately choose to back the plan thrashed out by her Cabinet at Chequers, rather than send the Government back to the drawing board. Ahead of the Brexit deadline in March next year, Mrs May has said the country has a choice of either supporting her plan or leaving the EU without a deal. Yesterday she visited Edinburgh on the latest leg of her UK-wide tour to gain support for her plan. But an international trade expert last night warned that her proposals to charge varying rates of customs tariffs on goods coming into the UK – depending on whether they were eventually destined for the continent or not – would fall foul of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Health chiefs call for stockpile of drugs in case of no deal  DRUG companies will be asked to stockpile up to six weeks of medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The Department of Health is expected to write to pharmaceutical companies, urging them to boost stocks to provide cover in case of import delays. The move is thought to be part of plans to ensure medical supplies will not be affected if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. The Government will pay for increased warehousing capacity but will not provide funds for the increased supply, the Health Service Journal said.

The news comes weeks after NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said significant planning was taking place. Mr Stevens said last month: ‘There’s extensive work underway between the Department of Health, other parts of Government, the life sciences industry and the pharma companies.’ In a report for the pro-Brexit group Lawyers for Britain, Professor David Collins from City Law School said at least two aspects of the so-called Facilitated Customs Arrangement could breach WTO law. He said the ‘illusory’ plan would ‘severely constrain the UK’s capacity to sign free trade agreements’ with other countries. He warned that foreign traders would find the system over-complicated and could lead some to decide not to bother exporting to the UK any more. Meanwhile, the railway industry called for customs checkpoints to be established at rail freight terminals across Britain to avoid congestion in Kent after Brexit. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail firms, said there could be ‘significant disruption and delays’ if only a single checkpoint near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel is used. Public and private sector funds should be used to install customs facilities at existing freight terminals across the country, such as Daventry, under the proposals. Former foreign secretary William Hague also warned Emmanuel Macron that it is not in France’s interests to stand in the way of Britain’s attempts to secure a favourable Brexit deal. Lord Hague said it was clear ministers see France as the ‘biggest national obstacle’ to an agreement. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: ‘In the world of a rising China and a less reliable America, Britain and France will need each other more.’

 

Ian Paisley could be fired by voters in UK’s first recall ballot

Ian Paisley could be fired by voters in UK’s first recall ballot

Ian Paisley, who followed his father into politics, failed to declare family holidays worth £50,000 paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

A petition opens today which could result in the Democratic Unionist MP Ian Paisley losing his seat. The recall petition, the first in parliamentary history, was triggered last month when MPs voted to suspend the politician for 30 days after he failed to declare two luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government. If 10 per cent of the electorate in his constituency of North Antrim back the petition, a by-election will be held.

Mr Paisley’s suspension is due to begin in September and is the longest faced by a member since the 1940s. He was found guilty of serious misconduct after failing to declare £50,000 of family holidays and then lobbying ministers to prevent an international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s human rights violations.