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  (3) The road to VDL's Commission (from 19 July 2019)
Posted by: Ajda Slovenia - 8 hours ago - Forum: EU Politics - Replies (6)

(3) The road to VDL's Commission (from 19 July 2019)

Ursula von der Leyen is since 16 July 2019 the European Commission president-elect, so time to open a new chapter (thread).

Now we are moving into the minefield of assembling the whole Commission team. What could possibly go wrong here...  Big Grin   

This thread is also about following other important developments in our EU (even during summer holidays) - so post here about EU news other than the top-jobs too.

For general debates about the future of our EU and general EU issues, check other threads in the EU Politics forum into which your comment may fit - here is the list of threads:
http://debateuncensored.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?fid=4




Help Uschi find some more women!  Big Grin   


Nominated Commission candidates

F ... Germany: Ursula von der Leyen (EPP)
M ... Netherlands: Frans Timmermans (S&D), vice-president
F ... Denmark: Margrethe Vestager (RE), vice-president
M ... Spain: Josep Borrell (S&D), representative for foreign affairs
----------------------------------------------------
M ... Austria: Johannes Hahn (EPP)
x ... Belgium: 
F ... Bulgaria: Mariya Gabriel (EPP)
x ... Croatia: 
x ... Cyprus: 
x ... Czechia: 
F ... Estonia: Kadri Simson (RE)
F ... Finland: Jutta Urpilainen (S&D)
x ... France: 
M ... Greece: Margaritis Schinas (EPP)
M ... Hungary: László Trócsányi (EPP)
M ... Ireland: Phil Hogan (EPP)
x ... Italy: 
M ... Latvia: Valdis Dombrovskis (EPP)
x ... Lithuania: 
M ... Luxembourg: Nicolas Schmit (S&D)
x ... Malta: 
x ... Poland: 
x ... Portugal: 
x ... Romania: 
M ... Slovakia: Maroš Šefčovič (S&D)
M ... Slovenia: Janez Lenarčič (unaffiliated)
x ... Sweden: 
x ... United Kingdom: 

Gender score:
10 male
5 female
15 total nominated




This thread continues the debate from the previous thread (which is now closed):

(2) Nomination and election of new EU leaders (from 28 May 2019)
http://debateuncensored.co.uk/showthread.php?tid=358

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  Debunking the UK Boulevard Press
Posted by: Real European - 05-07-19, 12:24 AM - Forum: Brexit from UK and EU27 perspective - Replies (4)

Debunking the UK Boulevard Press

For those reading the Boulevard press,  it may be useful to have some background information to handle the experience. It's a journey into a parallel universe.

I installed the NewsGuard extension in Firefox.

About DE it says "This website generally maintains basic standards of credibilty and transparency, with some significant exceptions".

the "significant exceptions are:

  • a red flag for the criterion "avoids deceptive headlines"
  • a red flag for the citerion "gathers and presents information responsibly"
So you are warned. In my experience, the click bait titles often are very misleading and contain all kinds of claims that at times are the opposite of what is writtin in the article itself. Many users do not read the article, hence end up having a very perverted idea of reality. The deception in the articles ranges from omitting the vital and essential l information to dowright lies (like stating that Merkel said something while Merkel said the exact opposite).

Keeping that in mind, I will, on occasion, post some background information with articles ran by DE, not just about their disinformation, but also issues of general interest, to debunk the stories in the UK press.

Please add your own background information that can be helpful to debunk news "stories".

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  After Brexit
Posted by: Blackbeard's Ghost - 21-06-19, 11:15 AM - Forum: Brexit from UK and EU27 perspective - Replies (24)

After Brexit

Will it be Johnson or will it be Hunt? Frankly I don't care. Both have a reputation for being a little bit detached from the truth. 
In my opinion the UK is heading for a "no deal" at the end of October simply because there are not enough British politicians with the good sense and the courage to stop it. I also believe that "no deal" will be extremely damaging economically to both the EU and to the UK but that the UK will bear the brunt of this. I do not forget either that damage will be caused is so many other areas apart from economics. My question - and the purpose of this thread - is how will all this affect attitudes in Europe and within the UK?

In Europe: many EU citizens are already exasperated by the UK's actions. Will this be translated into anger and hostility when people start losing jobs as a result of Brexit? Will Europeans come to see Brexit as a hostile act?

In the UK: My guess is that Brexiters will very briefly celebrate their independence only to be confronted in very short order with severe economic disruption. Will they (1) admit that they made a mistake? (2) blame the EUSSR? (3) blame remainers for sabotaging their beautiful project? My guess is (2) and (3).
How will people react when, having fought so long for something they finally get and then realise that almost everything they just dismissed as "project fear" is project reality. It will really be like smashing their heads into a brick wall but will they blame their heads or the wall.
Remainers are going to be mightily angry. Will they (1) try to make a success of Brexit or (2) lash out at Brexiters. My guess is (2)
A UK friend recently told me that "we need to find a way to bring the country back together" but despaired of a solution. Personally I don't see anyway the UK will avoid entrenched division;

What are your thoughts?

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  No Deal Readiness
Posted by: Real European - 12-06-19, 05:01 PM - Forum: Brexit from UK and EU27 perspective - Replies (4)

No Deal Readiness


Considering the increasing likelihood of a no deal Brexit, here is today's communication form the EU commission in full :


Eureopan Commission Wrote:European Commission - Press release
‘No-deal' Brexit: European Commission takes stock of preparations ahead of the June European Council (Article 50)
Brussels, 12 June 2019

Ahead of the June European Council (Article 50), the European Commission has today taken stock – in its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication – of the European Union's Brexit preparedness and contingency measures, particularly in light of the decision taken on 11 April by the European Council (Article 50), at the request of and in agreement with the United Kingdom, to extend the Article 50 period to 31 October 2019. 

In light of the continued uncertainty in the United Kingdom regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement – as agreed with the UK government in November 2018 – and the overall domestic political situation, a ‘no-deal' scenario on 1 November 2019 very much remains a possible, although undesirable, outcome.

Since December 2017, the European Commission has been preparing for a ‘no-deal' scenario. To date, the Commission has tabled 19 legislative proposals, 18 of which have been adopted by the European Parliament and Council. Political agreement has been reached on the remaining proposal – the contingency Regulation on the EU budget for 2019 –, which is expected to be formally adopted later this month. The Commission has also adopted 63 non-legislative acts and published 93 preparedness notices. In light of the extension of the Article 50 period, the Commission has screened all these measures to ensure that they continue to meet their intended objectives. The Commission has concluded that there is no need to amend any measures on substance and that they remain fit for purpose. The Commission does not plan any new measures ahead of the new withdrawal date.

The Commission recalls that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to prepare for all scenarios. Given that a ‘no-deal' scenario remains a possible outcome, the Commission strongly encourages all stakeholders to take advantage of the extra time provided by the extension to ensure that they have taken all necessary measures to prepare for the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Today's Communication provides details on the extensive preparations in the EU27 in areas such as citizens' residence and social security entitlements, customs and taxation, transport, fishing, financial services as well as medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances.

A ‘no-deal' scenario

In a ‘no-deal' scenario, the UK will become a third country without any transitional arrangements. All EU primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the UK from that moment onwards. There will be no transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. This will obviously cause significant disruption for citizens and businesses and would have a serious negative economic impact, which would be proportionally much greater in the United Kingdom than in the EU27 Member States.

As outlined by President Juncker in the European Parliament on 3 April 2019, should a ‘no-deal' scenario occur, the UK would be expected to address three main separation issues as a precondition before the EU would consider embarking on discussions about the future relationship. These are: (1) protecting and upholding the rights of citizens who have used their right to free movement before Brexit, (2) honouring the financial obligations the UK has made as a Member State and (3) preserving the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland, as well as the integrity of the internal market.



The EU's ‘no-deal' preparedness and contingency work: continued vigilance in selected areas

Preparing for the UK's withdrawal is a joint effort by public administrations and economic operators. The Commission has held extensive technical discussions with the EU27 Member States both on general issues of preparedness and contingency work and on specific sectorial, legal and administrative preparedness issues. The Commission has also completed a tour of the capitals of the 27 EU Member States. The visits showed a high degree of preparation by Member States for all scenarios.

Today's Communication focuses on areas in which continued and particular vigilance is needed in the coming months:

Citizens' residence and social security entitlements
  • Member States had prepared or adopted national contingency measures before 12 April 2019 to ensure that UK nationals and their non-EU family members could remain legally resident in the immediate period after a ‘no-deal' withdrawal.
  • To provide further clarity, the Commission has provided an overview of residency rights in the EU27 Member States (see here, including direct links to national preparedness websites). This will continue to be updated.
Medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances
  • Only a small number of centrally authorised medical products (around 1%) had not been brought into regulatory conformity by 12 April 2019 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is now close to completing the regulatory compliance process for products that are authorised centrally.
  • For products that are authorised at national level, more work remains to be done to bring remaining medicinal products into regulatory compliance by 31 October 2019.
  • The transfer of certificates for medical devices from UK notified bodies to EU27 notified bodies is ongoing.
  • As regards chemical substances, by the end of April 2019, REACH registrations of 463 substances had been transferred to the EU27 Member States, while 718 still remained registered only by registrants established in the United Kingdom. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) opened a ‘Brexit window' in REACH-IT to take the necessary steps to transfer their REACH registrations ahead of the withdrawal date.
Customs, indirect taxation and border inspection posts
  • In the field of customs and indirect taxation, the Commission organised numerous technical meetings, and published guidance notes on customs, value-added tax (VAT) and excise ahead of the previous withdrawal date.
  • National administrations have made significant investments in infrastructure and human resources, primarily in Member States that are the main entry and exit points for the EU's trade with the United Kingdom. Member States are also working with the Commission in its training and communication efforts to reach out to economic operators and stakeholders in general.
  • In the field of sanitary and phytosanitary controls (SPS), EU27 Member States have set up new Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) or extending existing ones at entry points of imports from the United Kingdom into the EU.
Transport
  • The contingency Regulation on air transport includes a specific mechanism for EU airlines to comply with the EU majority ownership and control requirements. This process is underway and the Commission is in regular contact with national authorities.
  • In the rail transport sector, operators that have not taken the necessary steps to obtain the relevant EU27 documents should do the necessary to obtain them.
Fishing activities
  • In the fisheries sector, the Commission has taken swift action to implement the EU contingency Regulations. The Commission and Member States have worked together to collect information in the appropriate format so that authorisation requests by EU vessels to access UK waters can be handled as soon as the contingency Regulation on fishing authorisations becomes applicable.
  • The Commission has also worked closely with Member States to adapt their Operational Programmes so that resources under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund can be used for temporary cessation, if needed and appropriate.
Financial services
  • While in the run-up to 12 April 2019, firms had made significant progress with their contingency planning, some residual issues remain. Insurance firms, payment services providers and other financial service operators which remain unprepared regarding certain aspects of their business (for example contract management and access to infrastructures) are strongly encouraged to finalise their preparatory measures by 31 October 2019. The Commission is working with EU level and national supervisors to ensure that firms' contingency plans are fully implemented, and it expects that UK supervisors will not prevent firms from implementing such plans.

For more information: what should I do in a ‘no-deal' scenario?

To know more about how to prepare for a ‘no-deal' scenario, EU citizens can contact Europe Direct for any questions. Call Freephone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 from anywhere in the EU, in any official EU language. 

Further useful links:

EU citizens
 
-      Today's Communication
-      European Commission preparedness website
-      Overview of residence rights in each EU27 Member States
-      Member States national ‘no-deal' websites
-      Notice on Travelling
-      Factsheets on travelling, citizens' rights, studying, and consumer rights
-      Q&A on Erasmus
-      Q&A on a ‘no-deal' scenario
-      Information for EU citizens living in the UK
 
EU businesses
-      A range of materials on customs and indirect taxation (including a simple 5-step checklist) for businesses
-      Information related to Agriculture
-      Seven Things Businesses in the EU27 need to know in order to prepare for Brexit
 

Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-2951_en.htm

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  Signs of fascism in the UK
Posted by: CaroleG - 08-06-19, 02:57 PM - Forum: UK Politics - Replies (86)

Signs of fascism in the UK

I am prompted to start this thread by this article on a Farage rally in the run-up to the European Parliamentary Elections.  

The "EU Politics" heading (it should probably be called "EU27 Politics" as the UK is still a member for the moment) also contains a thread on fascism called "No pasaran" (could this also be modified, to "¡No pasarán!"?). 

This question regarding the UK has been touched on a few times in several threads. Ajda often classifies the present UK administration as "Far Right" and, I believe it is fair to say, considers the UK to be fascist in many respects.

As a long-term UK resident I have great difficulty with this view.  The UK is a multi-ethnic country and by and large inter-ethnic relations seem pretty or very good and people seem tolerant of difference.  An interesting EU survey seems to bear this out, or at least did in 2015.  A few warm words have also been exchanged on the subject of Northern Ireland, the question of the recognition of language rights there, and whether the Irish nationalist population in the Six Counties is subject to fascist treatment by the British Government.  I think the UK govt's treatment of migrants has also been instanced as an example of justification for the label, but I haven't seen any convincing evidence along these lines.

At the same time I recognise that the political landscape after the Brexit vote has been becoming increasingly fraught with signs of a society in a "pre-fascist" condition (thanks to Viridian for this term.  Viridian also gave a link to an interesting of study of the "5 stages" of fascism).  I'm still far from sure the numbers are there though.

- support for far-right, such as the EDL, the target of which is essentially the Muslim population of the UK
Not sure whether there is any evidence that this is increasing, as yet.

- increasingly worrying demagoguery, with The Brexit Party, which obviously did well at the EuroParl elections
Farage may be a figure of contempt for many of a leftish or Remainer persuasion, but the article I linked at the start, where a journalist is told that he probably shouldn't reveal that he writes for The Guardian, shows how the culture of intolerance and intimidation one might expect from the Far-Right EDL can leach into other parties and become accepted behaviour.

- a mainstream political culture in chronic disarray, with the government unable to govern effectively, and the Tory Party seeing itself under a real threat from The Brexit Party
In some ways this is the most worrying aspect of all: the fragility and dysfunctionality of the (flawed) British system of democratic government have been made plain for all to see, and are creating a sort of vacuum into which the "No Deal" demagogues (Johnson + Farage) are now stepping. Stage 2 of the 5 stages of fascism is said to be when a fascist party enters mainstream politics. I think it's difficult to argue that Johnson and the Tory Party, or even Farage and TBP, are really anything like fascist as yet.  But it's getting to the point where I'm looking up what the requisite attributes of fascism are.

- an independent media still, but parts of the more mainstream media apparently terrified of being accused of partiality regarding Brexit
The media have also been wrong-footed by the "Project Fear" rhetoric which began in early 2016. Dire warnings of what would happen immediately after a Leave vote and thereafter were shown to be inaccurate.  To claim that this was a "phoney war" period, and that the real thing has yet to begin, is often met with howls of derision and claims of bias from the Brexiteers.

For my part, rather than the xenophobia associated with Brexit, I see the threat of fascism coming more from the extreme neo-liberal culture which is likely to be inflicted on the country following Brexit, especially No Deal Brexit.  Combined with the prospect of large numbers of people losing their jobs and then their homes, one wonders fearfully what form 2020s British fascism, if it comes about, may take.

What might incipient fascism look like? To quote from the article I linked at the start: "he wasn’t going to explain exactly how his no-deal Brexit was going to produce untold riches for everyone. Manifestos were only lies anyway. So all he was asking was that they believed and it would come true. And they did believe, because they were that desperate."

Then the question is: how many will become desperate, and how desperate?

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  (13) The battle for Number 10 (after 7 June 2019)
Posted by: Ajda Slovenia - 08-06-19, 09:21 AM - Forum: Brexit from UK and EU27 perspective - Replies (359)

(13) The battle for Number 10 (after 7 June 2019)

On 7 June 2019, PM May finally resigned as the Tory leader. The knives are out. So I have now opened a new, 13th season of the Great Brexit Face-Off. Here we continue the debate about on-going Brexit twists and turns and flops and eye-rolls.

Just so that you keep track: we are now in extension of extension and waiting for extension of extension of extension.

The motto of season 13: Please do not waste this time.
https://youtu.be/OG9300afaY4?t=83


The Brexit clock:

  • 2,327 days since Cameron announced the Brexit referendum (the Bloomberg speech, 23 Jan 2013)
  • 1,493 days since the British voters voted for a Tory government which promised a Brexit referendum (7 May 2015)
  • 1,460 days since MPs voted with a large majority for the referendum bill = approval of the referendum (544 to 53 on 9 June 2015)
  • 1080 days since the referendum (23 June 2016)
  • 857 days since the MPs voted with a large majority to trigger Article 50 = approval of exit (494 to 122 on 1 Feb 2017)
  • 801 days since the UK triggered Article 50 = start of the legal procedure for exit (29 March 2017)
  • 730 days since the British voters voted with a large majority for the parties supporting Brexit with exit from the customs union and the single market (8 June 2017)
  • 719 days since the start of negotiations (19 June 2017)
  • 547 days since the UK signed the Joint Report including the Irish backstop (8 December 2017)
  • 195 days since endorsement of the WA at the special EU summit (25 November 2018)
  • 144 days since the 1st meaningless vote in HoC about the WA (15 Jan 2018)
  • 88 days since the 2nd meaningless vote in HoC (12 Mar 2019)
  • 71 days since no-Brexit day (B1-day) and the 3rd meaningless vote (29 March 2019)
  • 59 days since approval of extension to extension (10 April 2019)
  • 57 days since B2-day (12 April)
  • 13 days since EU elections (26 Mar 2019)
  • 1 day since PM May's resignation as Tory leader (7 Jun 2019)
  • today (8 Jun 2019)
  • 12 days to review of Brexit progress at the European Council (20 Jun 2019)
  • 24 days to the first session of the new European Parliament (2 July 2019)
  • 131 days to the October meeting of the European Council (17 Oct 2019)
  • 145 days to B3-day and new European Commission (31 Oct 2019)
Tick, tock ... "I hear no whistling, just the clock ticking." (Barnier on 12 July 2017 = 696 days ago)


____________________

Season 12 is here (it is closed, so any unfinished debates from season 12 are continuing here at 13):
http://debateuncensored.co.uk/showthread.php?tid=319

In case you missed something or want to binge-read, you can find all previous seasons here (see the numbered threads):
http://debateuncensored.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?fid=2&datecut=9999&prefix=0&sortby=subject&order=asc

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  Fake news and alternative facts
Posted by: Ajda Slovenia - 07-06-19, 12:42 PM - Forum: Everything Else - Replies (2)

Post-truth: fake news and alternative facts

Here is our corner for helping each other keep track of what the TRUTH actually is.

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  Send your NAME to Mars for free with NASA
Posted by: Real European - 31-05-19, 06:32 PM - Forum: Everything Else - No Replies

NASA has opened registration to send your name to Mars.

It's free. All you have to do is enter your name, country and email address which will give frequent flyer points.

You can enter as many names as you want but you have to use a different email address for every name you enter.

After you have filled out all fields, click "Send my name to Mars". The next screen will give you your boarding pass.

Names are put on a microchip that is put on board the Mars2020 Rover.

https://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-y...e/mars2020

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  (2) Nomination and election of new EU leaders (from 28 May 2019)
Posted by: Real European - 28-05-19, 03:59 PM - Forum: EU Politics - Replies (526)

(2) Nomination and election of new EU leaders (from 28 May 2019)

This evening there is an informal dinner of the heads of state/government to kickstart the nomination and election process of the new leaders of the EU institutions

Information on the informal dinner meeting: 
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meeti...019/05/28/

Information on the nomination and election procedures:
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39...ft-rev.pdf

Statement of the Conference of Presidents of the EU Parliament
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/p...-statement

Live Blog:
https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elec...and-views/

Twitter, hashtag #EUCO
https://twitter.com/hashtag/euco?lang=en


Latest posts on this Live Blog say that the EPP is not prepared to give up the Commission presidency of Weber, Merkel reaffirmed her support for Weber, while Macron confirmed that Vestager, Barnier and Timmermans could be in the running for the top jobs.



Update from Ajda:

Composition of European Parliament pre-Brexit and post-Brexit  Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation  

EuropeElects now has EP seats before and after Brexit (see the buttons above the hemicycle graphics):
http://europeelects.eu/ep2019/
They are also following developments as the party groups for the new parliament are being forged and updating their graphics accordingly.

Graphics showing the composition of the EP in 2004 and in 2019 (both before and after Brexit) are here:
http://debateuncensored.co.uk/showthread...63#pid9363

Politico too has good visualisation tools:
https://europeelects.eu/ep2019/


The current balance of power in the European Council is here (graph and list of EUCO members):
http://debateuncensored.co.uk/showthread...64#pid9364
Reinforced qualified majority is needed for nomination of the EuCom president:
* at least 72% of member states (= at least 21 countries) which represent
* at least 65% of total EU population.

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  The next PM
Posted by: ServalBrennus - 24-05-19, 03:18 PM - Forum: UK Politics - Replies (21)

Who will be the next PM

theresa may has annonced her resignation today.

The favorites :

boris johnson  
  • Former foreign secretary and mayor of London
  • Voted leave and has become an increasingly hardline Brexiteer 
  • As likely to make headlines over his private life
  • Has recently lost a lot of weight and smartened up his appearance
  • Leadership odds 5/4
dominic raab 
  • Shortlived Brexit secretary last year, replacing David Davis in the hot seat 
  • But walked in November over terms agreed by PM
  • Voted for Brexit in 2016
  • Leadership odds 4/1 
andrea leadsom
  • The Commons' Leader challenged May in 2016
  • Voted for Brexit 
  • Hosted Brexiteer 'pizza party' plot last year 
  • Increasingly outspoken Brexiteer
  • Leadership odds 10/1 
michael gove 
  • Leading Vote Leave figure in 2016 who now backs PM's Brexit deal
  • Former journalist, 51,  who stood for leadership in 2016
  • Was sacked as education minister by Theresa May
  • Later returned as Environment Minister
  • Leadship  odds 10/1
jeremy hunt
  • The Foreign Secretary voted Remain 
  • But has become an increasingly vocal Brexiteer
  • Former health secretary backs May's deal
  • Has approached ministers about running as a unity candidate
  • Leadership odds 16/1 
penny mordaunt
  • The MP for Portsmouth North is a Royal Navy reservist
  • Highly regarded in Brexiteer circles 
  • She has been consistently tipped to quit over Brexit but remains in the Cabinet 
  • Once appeared in a swimsuit in a reality TV show 
  • Leadership odds 20/1
sajid javid
  • The most senior cabinet contender
  • Voted Remain but wants to see Brexit delivered
  • Faced criticism as Home Secretary 
  • But has taken a hard line on Shamima Begum case 
  • Leadership odds 25/1
rory steward
  • Penrith MP, 46, is a former tutor to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex
  • Old Etonian ex-soldier worked for Foreign Office in Iraq and set up a charity for the Prince of Wales in Afghanistan
  • Voted for Remain and still backs a soft Brexit
  • Leadership odds  25/1
matt hancock
  • The youngest front-runner at 40
  • A Remainer who now backs Theresa May's Brexit deal
  • He wants the party to look to the future and attract younger voters
  • Leadership odds 33/1
esther mcvey
  • The 51-year-old was Work and Pensions Secretary until quitting in November
  • She was a presenter on GMTV before entering politics
  • Is engaged to fellow Tory MP Philip Davies
  • This week launched a 'blue collar Conservatism' project 
  • Leadership odds 66/1 

Say who is yours ? An why do you think he/she will be the next PM.


PS : the informations come from an impartial and reliable source : the daily mail   Tongue

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