Greg Hands quits as minister to vote against Heathrow third runway

From The Guardian: Theresa May is facing a fresh crisis after her international trade minister quit in protest at the proposed expansion of Heathrow days before a crunch vote on the issue.

Greg Hands, whose constituency lies under the flightpath, announced he would step down so he could vote against the government’s plans for a third runway in the Commons on Monday.

The announcement increased the pressure on the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, another staunch critic of Heathrow expansion, to stand by his principles and vote against the government’s plans.

The prime minister confirmed on Thursday that Johnson was scheduled to be out of the country next week, allowing him to escape having to choose between resignation and rebelling against May.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Caroline Lucas to step down as Green party co-leader

From The Guardian: Caroline Lucas has announced she will stand down as co-leader of the Greens in the autumn, saying it is time for others in the party to step forward and widen the pool of its prominent figures.

Lucas, the party’s only MP, returned for a second stint as leader in 2016 on a joint ticket with Jonathan Bartley, who leads the opposition group on Lambeth council in south London.

The party requires it leaders to re-stand every two years, and Lucas told the Guardian that while she remained committed to her Brighton Pavilion constituency, she would not be continuing in the co-leader role.

“I think making space for other people at this point is a straightforward thing to do and a good thing to do,” she said. “We have a wonderful array of talent in the party and I would love the opportunity for more of that to be showcased.”

Nominations for the leadership and for a series of other senior party positions will be open during June, and there will be a vote in August.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Theresa May to oppose MPs’ vote on Northern Ireland abortion law

From The Guardian: Theresa May will oppose plans to let MPs vote to liberalise Northern Ireland’s oppressive abortion laws, Downing Street has signalled.

The landslide vote in favour of liberalising abortion laws in the Irish Republic has put the spotlight on Northern Ireland, which will be the only place in Britain and Ireland where abortion is in most circumstances illegal. The 1967 Abortion Act was never extended to the region, and abortion is only allowed if the life or mental health of the mother is at risk.

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“Fracking statement cements Tories’ disregard for evidence-based policy-making” says Green MEP

Press release from Keith Taylor MEP: Responding to the Tory Government’s announcement that it will accelerate its plans to fast-track fracking across England, by relaxing planning laws and overriding local democracy, just seven days after a consultation on the proposals closed, Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, said: “This process has been a sham; the Government can’t claim with any credibility that it has assessed even a handful of the responses to the hefty consultation on these anti-democratic plans that it closed only last week.”

“Ultimately, the Conservative government, for all its empty green promises has proven determined to defy the evidence and local communities and hasten the climate breakdown by fast-tracking a fracking enterprise for which it has been unable to demonstrate either an economic or energy security case. It is with absolute certainty that experts and climate campaigners say: there is no possibility that the UK will meet its legally-binding climate targets if fracking is rolled out across England.”

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Human rights commission to launch its own Grenfell fire inquiry

From The Guardian: Britain’s human rights watchdog is to launch an inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that will examine whether the Tory government and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea failed in their duties to protect life and provide safe housing.

The dramatic intervention by the independent Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has the potential to draw damning conclusions about the role of the state, could foreshadow the official inquiry, which has been criticised for excluding social housing policy from its remit. The commission’s recommendations are due to be published in April, considerably earlier than the official inquiry’s full findings.

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From the archives: Student newspaper report on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s arrival at Oxford

#JacobReesMogg #FromTheArchives: Oxford University student newspaper Cherwell reported on Jacob Rees-Mogg's arrival at…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Oxford University student newspaper Cherwell reported on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s arrival at Oxford in the late 1980s:

“Jacob is one of the new breed of ‘serious’ students intent upon the maintenance of good old fashioned values and standards.”

“Whilst at Eton, Jacob maintained his decent and respectable status by employing other students to clean his shoes, or to hold an umbrella over him whilst running in the under fourteens.”

“Now at Trinity [College, Oxford], Jacob has yet to find time to take his suit off, so busy is he in his pursuit of uprightness.”

27 times the Tory Party have had a racism problem

[From the Daily Mirror…]

1. The time David Cameron went to apartheid South Africa
2. When Boris Johnson described black people as “piccaninnies”
3. When the magazine edited by Boris Johnson published an article claiming ‘black people have lower IQs’
4. The councillor who posted a picture of a gorilla alongside a critical comment about an Asian Labour councillor on a blog
5. The councillor who said Romanians would ‘stick a knife in you’
6. The MP who said members were treated like Jews in Nazi Germany after the expenses scandal
7. The councillor who complained about ‘foreign names’ among parliamentary candidates
8. The councillor who moaned there were “too many P***s” in his town
9. When Lord Tebbit told Baroness Warsi to be quiet after she spoke out about Islamophobia

[Read article with full descriptions on Daily Mirror website…]

#NotAllAboutCorbyn meme reaches 65,000 people – crowdfunder now open

This Facebook post has been seen by 65,000 people with an advertising budget of just £50. That budget has sponsored the ad onto over 9,000 news feeds, with the rest of the views coming “organically”.

The Conservative Party and their media friends are intent on exploiting public doubts about Jeremy Corbyn, to push the narrative that you “must” re-elect the Tories and Theresa May. Those who frame elections, win them. This Facebook post is an efficient way of challenging the dominant media narrative about #GE17, visually reminding people of just how awful Tory government actually is. The covering text of the Facebook post includes a summary of a salient news article about each of the issues pictured in the meme, with a link for further reading.

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Update on #VotingToryKillsDisabledPeople Facebook paid ad crowdfunder: 110,000 people reached

Just £200 spent on Facebook paid advertising on this post, showcasing disability activist Fiona Robertson‘s brave and brilliant writing on the impact of #GE17 on disabled people, has reached the news feeds of over 110,000 Facebook users with over 3,800 interactions including 950 shares. Direct paid reach with the £200 has been about 35,000 – meaning that shares of the post have tripled its reach.

The sponsored post is now on its second version (above), optimised in the kind of highly visual format that most typically goes viral on Facebook – bringing even better results than directly sponsoring Fiona’s original blog post.

We are now seeking further donations to our crowdfunder. Your £3 donation directly reaches the news feeds of around 550 extra Facebook users – all targeted to marginal seats. 

Update #2 on Simon Kirby crowdfunded meme: direct sponsored reach to 31,000 Brighton/Peacehaven residents; total UK reach 449,000

Our local crowdfunder for Brighton Kemptown, highlighting the record and the vulnerability of Tory MP Simon Kirby, has now raised £194. This sum has been used to direct sponsor the above post onto the Facebook news feeds of nearly 31,000 people in Brighton, Rottingdean and Peacehaven – more than 20% of all Facebook users in the target area.

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Closing update on #RegisterToVote campaign: £371 raised; crowdfunded ads directly reaches 84,000 news feeds targeted to marginal seats, among total reach of of 284,000

Thank you very much to all of the 45 donors who contributed a total of £371 to our crowdfunder, directly sponsoring our #RegisterToVote post on to the Facebook news feeds of 84,000 young people aged 18-25, targeted to marginal seats. Net of PayPal transaction fees on donations, the total crowdfunded advertising budget was £350.61 generating the following results:

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#RegisterToVote crowdfunder raises £342 and reaches 70000 young people’s news feeds… Last push before Monday’s deadline!


The crowdfunded paid Facebook ad to young people, urging them to register to vote against the Tories, has now been directly sponsored onto the news feeds of more than 70,000 young people.

A total of £342 has been crowdfunded by a total of 40 donors. Stop the Tories 2017 editor Chris Henderson says: “Thank you very much for making a difference!!”

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