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Boris Johnson Breaks Silence Over Controversial Conflict Of Interest Claims

Boris Johnson has broken his silence to insist “everything was done with complete propriety” as he faces allegations of potential conflicts of interest as London mayor. The Prime Minister was accused in a newspaper investigation over the allocation of public money to a model turned technology entrepreneur. He refused six times to comment directly on the allegations to journalists flying with him to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. But, as the claims threatened to overshadow his talks, the PM briefly expanded on his position. “Everything was done with complete propriety. Completely in the normal way,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. He said he was “very proud” of his time as mayor, citing his work “banging...

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Investigation Launched Into Awarding Of Grant To Boris Johnson’s 'Close Friend’

An investigation has been launched into the circumstances in which a “close friend” of Boris Johnson was awarded more than £100,000 in public money. Jennifer Arcuri, an American former model turned tech entrepreneur, was given privileged access to three foreign trade missions, led by the now-prime minister, after her company won a grant earlier this year intended for “English-based” businesses. A report in The Sunday Times said the address used to apply for the grant was a UK-based property no longer associated with her. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it was now investigating the circumstances surrounding the grant. A spokesperson said in a statement: “Funding for this scheme was awarded through open and fair competition. “We...

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Labour Will Enter General Election Without Pro-Remain Brexit Pledge

Labour is set to enter the next election without a clear commitment to remain in the EU in a Brexit referendum, the party’s conference has decided. After a heated debate in Brighton, delegates voted to support Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to delay a decision until after a Labour government has negotiated a new ‘soft Brexit’ deal with Brussels. Under Corbyn’s plan, a special party conference will be held to pick a side before a new referendum is staged. Rival plans to unequivocally back Remain were defeated, despite a strong campaign by pro-EU activists and shadow cabinet ministers including Keir Starmer, Tom Watson and Emily Thornberry. Thornberry had warned that if the party risks losing key parliamentary seats if it went into...

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John Bercow In Secret Talks With Tory Grandee Letwin To Block No-Deal Brexit

Tory grandee Sir Oliver Letwin has confirmed he has been in secret talks with Commons speaker John Bercow to try to halt a no-deal Brexit. As rebels geared up to defeat Boris Johnson over the issue, the former cabinet minister revealed he had been in close contact with Bercow to discuss “procedures” in parliament ahead of next week’s constitutional showdown. Letwin is part of a cross-party group which aims to seize control of the Commons timetable and then pass a bill forcing the PM to seek an extension of the UK’s EU membership beyond October 31. The rebel group, including former ministers Hilary Benn, Dominic Grieve and Philip Hammond, has spent weeks working with parliamentary officials and other experts to...

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Exclusive: Labour Anti-Semitism Whistleblower Accuses Party Of 'Vicious' Smears

Labour launched a “vicious and libellous” smear campaign to “attack and demean” whistleblowers as union chiefs view the party’s anti-Semitism crisis as “designed to bring Jeremy Corbyn down”, a party whistleblower has said.  Writing exclusively for HuffPost UK in the wake of the shock BBC Panorama investigation, the party’s former head of disputes, Sam Matthews, takes aim at his former union, Unite, and its boss Len McCluskey.  Matthews, who revealed he contemplated suicide during months spent dealing with anti-Semitism complaints for Labour, said it “should have been a watershed moment for the party” when he and seven others spoke to the BBC investigation. Instead the party’s press operation “started smearing” whistleblowers “before the programme had even aired”, he said, adding...

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