Thursday, 07 November 2019: Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson stands down, Von der Leyen asks UK to nominate candidate for EU Commission, Juncker warns of Johnson’s propaganda, False alarm at Amsterdam airport

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson stands down: Tom Watson is quitting parliament and stepping down as Labour’s deputy leader. He said he will continue to campaign for the party, and the decision was personal, not political. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thanked Watson for his service, adding that this was not the end of their work together. Watson thanked Corbyn for the decency and courtesy he had shown him over the last four years, even in difficult times. Watson has often been at odds with the leadership and faced an attempt to oust him at Labour’s conference.
bbc.com, theguardian.com

Cabinet minister quits in rape trial sabotage row: Cabinet minister Alun Cairns on Wednesday resigned over claims he knew about a former aide’s role in the sabotage of a rape trial. The Welsh Conservatives had said last week that Cairns did not know about the conduct that led to a judge accusing Cairns’s former adviser Ross England of deliberately sabotaging a rape trial. However, an email later came to light calling into question whether Cairns knew England could be in trouble over his actions. Cairns sent a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday saying he was confident he would be cleared by any investigation into his behaviour, but he was stepping down because it was such a sensitive matter. Johnson thanked Cairns for his role in abolishing toll charges on the Severn Bridge and his unstinting record of service for the party in Wales.
bbc.com, theguardian.com, politico.eu

Conservative Party launches election campaign: Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to turn around his scandal-hit election campaign on Wednesday as he gave his first major speech, attacking Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for planning tax rises and Brexit party leader Nigel Farage for thriving on Brexit not happening. Johnson promised activists in Birmingham that he would get Brexit completed within weeks and spend next year focusing on the NHS, schools and other priorities. He said once Brexit was done, a Tory government could get on with better education and better infrastructure.
theguardian.com, bbc.com

General election: Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Greens launch pro-remain electoral pact theguardian.com
Grenfell fire: London mayor Khan bans contractor pending inquiry verdict theguardian.com
Wiltshire: 15 people found in lorry and man arrested near Chippenham bbc.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

politjobs.ukAssociation of Directors of Children’s Services seeks Policy Officer *** The Royal Society seeks Senior Policy Adviser (Education) *** ITV Cymru Wales seeks Public Affairs Manager *** Independent Age seeks Public Affairs Officer *** Dogs Trust seeks European Policy Advisor (Publish your job ad)

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Von der Leyen asks UK to nominate candidate for EU Commission: Incoming EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking him to nominate a member of the EU Commission. She also encouraged Johnson to nominate a woman for the post, as part of her efforts to build a gender-balanced team of top officials. Johnson was asked to respond quickly to the request. The aim is to have a vote on the entire EU Commission top team by the end of November. A spokesperson for the British government said it would reply in due course. Besides the UK, Romania was the last EU member to recommend Commission candidates. On Wednesday, Romania selected MEP Adina Valean to head the Commission’s transportation portfolio. The pick must first be approved by the EU Parliament.
politico.eu, dw.com

Juncker warns of Johnson’s propaganda: Outgoing EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that Britain has bigger problems than Brexit. He said that Brexit had made those problems worse and warned that Britain’s general election should not just be another Brexit referendum campaign. He also said that people should not fall for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s propaganda of mobile lies and broken promises. He lamented that Brexit had cost the EU too much time and energy and so much else could have been achieved instead.
telegraph.co.uk, express.co.uk

Germany seeks compromise on EU banking plan: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday the EU needs to increase its pace regarding leading banking projects and signal a willingness to compromise on the EU-wide bank deposit reinsurance. In an op-ed for the „Financial Times“, Scholz wrote that failure to do so could be costly and leave the EU vulnerable to being pushed around on the international stage, particularly in light of the imminent British exit from the EU. Due to Brexit, it was time for the EU to promote better integration of its banks, especially with the loss of London, the EU’s largest financial centre. Scholz‘ proposal got a lukewarm reception from officials of the EU Commission and the European Central Bank, who called it a very good starting basis.
dw.com, euronews.com

Economy: EU Trade Commissioner Malmström hopes US car-duty threat to be lifted next week bloomberg.com
Agriculture: Designated EU Vice President Vestager against cutbacks for agricultural sector topagrar.com
COP25: MEPs push for CO2 neutrality by 2050 europarl.europa.eu
Study: Most countries‘ climate targets insufficient euronews.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

I would have interfered in the Brexit referendum because there were many lies that no one contradicted, but I had promised then Prime Minister Cameron not to comment on them.
Outgoing EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a mistake to hold back during the 2016 EU referendum.
express.co.uk

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

False alarm at Amsterdam airport: A false alarm sparked a massive security operation at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam after a crew member on board a flight to Madrid accidentally sent a hostage-taking alert. Passengers and crew members were removed from the aircraft and two piers of the airport were evacuated as well as its railway station. Air Europa tweeted shortly after that the Schiphol Airport incident was a false alarm. The airline said a warning that triggers protocols on hijackings at the airport was activated by mistake.
theguardian.com, nbcnews.com, cnn.com

Dutch police find 16 migrants in lorry: Dutch police found 16 migrants, including four children, in a lorry that was about to board a ferry headed for Britain. The driver told border guards at the port of IJmuiden that he had heard sounds in the trailer of the lorry. He was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. The discovery came after 39 people were found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex last week.
theguardian.com

Bercow says Brexit is UK’s biggest mistake since World War II: Former Commons Speaker John Bercow has described Brexit as the UK’s biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period. Bercow, who was persistently accused of bias by Brexit-backing MPs during his term as Speaker, gave a valedictory speech to the Foreign Press Association, revealing himself to be a remainer and saying he no longer had to be impartial after stepping down from the chair. He told the event he believed he was always fair to MPs on all sides. He also rejected the idea he had blocked Brexit, insisting it was parliament that had prevented Britain from leaving before now, not him.
bbc.com, theguardian.com

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Greek neo-Nazi chief pleads innocence in murder trial: Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of Greece’s neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, on Wednesday denied any responsibility for the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. Prosecutors say Michaloliakos instigated a wave of violence that culminated in the fatal stabbing of Fyssas, who was a vocal critic of Golden Dawn, in 2013. Based on records of phone conversations between Golden Dawn members the night Fyssas was murdered, prosecutors argue the attack was carried out with the knowledge of senior party members.
france24.com, euronews.com

Climate change lessons in Italian schools: Italy will become the world’s first country to make it compulsory for schoolchildren to study climate change and sustainable development. Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti announced that starting next year, all state schools would dedicate 33 hours per year, or one hour per school week, to climate change issues. Many traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, would also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development. The minister said he wanted to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything taught in school.
nbcnews.com

France: Government to set up regional quotas for foreign worker permits dw.com
Spain: Will Spain finally have a government? reuters.com
Hungary: Mayor resigns after yacht orgy video dw.com
Germany: 1,300 Lufthansa flights cancelled as courts approve strike dw.com
Romania: Road to nowhere opened as modernisation plan hits dead end euronews.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Johnson compares Corbyn to Stalin: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially kicked off his election campaign on Wednesday, comparing his main rival Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Johnson wrote that Labour politicians pointed their fingers at individuals with a relish and a vindictiveness not seen since Stalin persecuted the kulaks. Corbyn tweeted in response that this was the nonsense the super-rich would come out with to avoid paying a bit more taxes.
nbcnews.com, cnn.com

 

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