UK could join US military action against Iran, Jeremy Hunt says

From ITV News: Jeremy Hunt has said Britain would consider joining the US in military action against Iran.

Tensions between the US and Iran have increased in recent weeks after the downing of an American drone and claims by Washington that Tehran was behind attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

The Foreign Secretary’s comments came as his department minister Andrew Murrison held talks with the Tehran government at the weekend where he said he was “clear” about the UK’s concerns over Iran’s activities.

While campaigning in Scotland for the Tory leadership Mr Hunt said Britain would weigh up military intervention in Iran on a “case-by-case basis”.

“We will stand by the United States as our strongest ally but of course we have to consider any requests for military support on a case-by-case basis,” he told the Daily Mail.

[Read full article on ITV News website…]

Austerity and inequality fuelling mental illness, says top UN envoy

From the Guardian: Austerity, inequality and job insecurity are bad for mental health and governments should counteract them if they want to face up to the rising prevalence of mental illness, the UN’s top health envoy has said.

Dr Dainius Pūras said measures to address inequality and discrimination would be far more effective in combatting mental illness than the emphasis over the past 30 years on medication and therapy.

“This would be the best ‘vaccine’ against mental illness and would be much better than the excessive use of psychotropic medication which is happening,” said Pūras, who as the UN’s special rapporteur on health reports back to the UN human rights council in Geneva.

He said that since the 2008 financial crisis, policies that accentuated division, inequality and social isolation have been bad for mental equilibrium. “Austerity measures did not contribute positively to good mental health,” he said. “People feel insecure, they feel anxious, they do not enjoy good emotional wellbeing because of this insecurity situation.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

More Boris Johnson neighbours confirm ‘tear-up’ with partner

From The Guardian: Neighbours of the man who overheard a row between Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds, prompting a late-night police callout, have corroborated his account of the incident with one saying the “tear-up” led him to believe that someone was being murdered.

Another neighbour who heard the row, Earl McDermott, was reported as saying: “It was a proper tear-up. Glasses being smashed, screaming and a lot of arguing. I thought someone was being murdered.”
Nursery worker Fatimah, also a neighbour, backed up Penn’s account. “There was a lot of shouting, a lady was screaming and I could hear glasses or plates being thrown quite a few times,” she said. “The man was shouting back. I could hear it through my walls. It was obvious the lady was angry. She was screaming hysterically.”
Fatimah had earlier told another newspaper she had considered calling the police herself before officers arrived at the scene. Her husband, Imran, added that his wife had been frightened by the incident.

Pensioners take to Britain’s streets demanding the government funds free TV licences for the over-75s

From the Morning Star: Over 1,000 pensioners took to the streets across Britain on Friday to protest against the withdrawal of TV licence funding for over-75s.
Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC), called on people to protest around the country.
Action took place outside BBC headquarters in London to demand that the government continue to fund concessionary licences.
Other protest locations included Glasgow, Leicester, Chelmsford and Leeds.

Boris Johnson: police called to loud altercation at potential PM’s home

From The Guardian: Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.

The argument could be heard outside the property where the potential future prime minister is living with Symonds, a former Conservative Party head of press.

The neighbour said they recorded the altercation from inside their flat out of concern for Symonds. On the recording, heard by the Guardian, Johnson can be heard refusing to leave the flat and telling Symonds to “get off my fucking laptop” before there is a loud crashing noise.

Symonds is heard saying Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine: “You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything.”

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Tory MP Chris Davies removed and by-election triggered after losing recall petition over faked invoices

From The Independent: Expenses cheat MP Chris Davies has been stripped of his seat, plunging the next Conservative leader into a perilous by-election. A recall petition easily cleared the 10 per cent threshold for triggering a by-election, with 19 per cent of local voters – a total of 10,005 people – demanding Mr Davies be removed.

[Read article on Independent website…]

‘Life is a game for them’: Guardian readers on Hunt facing Johnson

From The Guardian Letters section: “It seems that these characters are more concerned with demonstrating good spirit, a stiff upper lip and carry-on attitude than creating jobs, security and wellbeing for the citizens of the UK. They have never truly grown up. Life is a game and the person who dies with the most wealth and power has won. It is going to be a long and difficult journey for the UK out of this mess. There is a need for a fundamental change of culture in UK politics.” – TheDanishVIking

“So the pantomime continues. We now have Flashman taking on Mr Bean. I can think of little more depressing than these two fantasists promising unicorns yet again. They know they cannot deliver but their electorate are so detached from reality they cheer them on. Guess what? Reality is coming your way with a vengeance. Enjoy the show while you can.” – Sowester

Hunt to face Johnson amid rumours of tactical voting in Tory leadership race

From The Guardian: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will battle it out to become Britain’s next prime minister after a day of drama at Westminster that saw Johnson’s team accused of conniving to knock his bitter rival Michael Gove out of the race.

The environment secretary drew narrowly ahead of Hunt in the fourth round of voting among Tory MPs on Thursday, which saw Sajid Javid knocked out.

But when the results of the fifth and final round were announced at 6pm, Hunt had narrowly beaten Gove, by 77 votes to 75.

Suspicions were raised by the fact that Johnson’s vote increased by just three MPs between the rounds, from 157 to 160 – despite the fact that at least four Javid supporters had publicly declared their backing for Johnson, during a nail-biting afternoon of lobbying in Westminster’s wood-panelled corridors.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Guards lock activists inside DWP HQ during universal credit ‘whitewash’ action

From Disability News Service: Disabled activists were locked inside the Department for Work and Pensions’ headquarters by security guards as they delivered thousands of copies of a newspaper that feature “deliberately misleading” DWP adverts which “whitewash” the truth about universal credit.

Protesters from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were unable to leave Caxton House in Westminster for several minutes yesterday (Wednesday) when security guards locked the building’s front doors behind them after they entered the main lobby.
They had entered the building to deliver a letter to work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd, in which they asked her to explain why she had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on an advertising campaign in the free Metro newspaper that features “one-sided adverts whitewashing the disastrous Universal Credit policy”.
Soon after their arrival, DWP security guards locked the front entrance and threatened to call the police, even though the action had been peaceful and focused only on delivering the newspapers and the letter to Rudd. The doors were eventually unlocked several minutes later after one of the activists had a panic attack.

[Read full article on Disability News Service…]

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia unlawful, court of appeal declares

From The Guardian: British arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been ruled unlawful by the court of appeal in a critical judgment that also accused ministers of ignoring whether airstrikes that killed civilians in Yemen broke humanitarian law.

Three judges said that a decision made in secret in 2016 had led them to decide that Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Liam Fox and other key ministers had illegally signed off on arms exports without properly assessing the risk to civilians.

Sir Terence Etherton, the master of the rolls, said on Tuesday that ministers had “made no concluded assessments of whether the Saudi-led coalition had committed violations of international humanitarian law in the past, during the Yemen conflict, and made no attempt to do so”.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Furious GP Tells Jeremy Hunt: No One In The NHS Will EVER Vote For You

From LBC: A GP has called Jeremy Hunt‘s LBC phone-in to urge him to pull out of the Conservative Leadership Contest as no-one who worked in the NHS would ever vote for him.

Mr Hunt was Health Secretary for nearly six years and oversaw a number of Junior Doctors strikes.

Naomi, a GP from Hendon, labelled him the “most hated Health Secretary” she could remember and insisted he would never get the support of medical workers.

[Read full article on LBC website…]

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