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    Liz Truss accused of using ‘fabricated’ Rothschild quote in new memoir

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailLiz Truss has been accused of using a “fabricated” quote from Mayer Amschel Rothschild in her bombshell new memoir.The Board of Deputies of British Jews said a “fabricated” quote, attributed to the German-Jewish banker and founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, had been used by the former prime minister in her recently published book Ten Years to Save the West.The body said it had written to her publisher Biteback Publishing, which it said has consequently been forced to apologise and promised to remove the quote for the e-book and any future print editions.The former prime minister’s memoir ‘Ten Years to Save the West’ was released on Tuesday More

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    Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell charged in police probe into SNP finances

    Get the free Morning Headlines email for news from our reporters across the worldSign up to our free Morning Headlines emailThe husband of Scottish former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has been charged in connection with embezzlement of funds from the SNP following a Police Scotland investigation into the party’s finances.It is understood that Peter Murrell, who was chief executive of the party for more than 20 years, has resigned his SNP membership.The 59-year-old, who was taken into custody on Thursday morning, had been previously arrested on 5 April last year at the couple’s home in Uddingston near Glasgow.The couple’s home was searched last year (Andrew Milligan/PA) More

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    Husband of former Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon charged with embezzlement in party finance probe

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster email The husband of former Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon was charged Thursday with embezzlement in a probe into the finances of Scotland’s pro-independence governing party, a shocking setback for the country’s most powerful political couple.Police in Scotland said a 59-year-old man was charged Thursday evening after being arrested and taken into custody earlier in the day for questioning by “detectives investigating the funding and finances of the party.”He was released after being charged, the force said. While police did not name the suspect, the details provided matched up with Peter Murrell, the party’s former chief executive who was arrested just over a year ago. Scottish police have been investigating how 600,000 pounds ($750,000) earmarked for a Scottish independence campaign were spent. Murrell, Sturgeon and Colin Beattie, the Scottish National Party’s former treasurer, were arrested and questioned last year in the probe but released without being charged with a crime. Murrell’s first arrest came shortly after Sturgeon’s surprise announcement in February 2023 that she was resigning her post after eight years as party leader and first minister of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government.Murrell stepped down the following month amid controversy about the party’s declining membership and a bitter fight to replace Sturgeon. He held the position for more than 20 years.At the time of Murrell’s first arrest, police searched the couple’s Glasgow home over two days.It is highly unusual for a leader or former leader of a U.K. political party to be arrested. Sturgeon said after being released from custody in June that her arrest had been “both a shock and deeply distressing.” She insisted she had done nothing wrong.“I do wish to say this, and to do so in the strongest possible terms,” she said in a statement on social media at the time. ”Innocence is not just a presumption I am entitled to in law. I know beyond doubt that I am in fact innocent of any wrongdoing.”In announcing her resignation, Sturgeon said she knew “in my head and in my heart” that it was the right time for her, her party and her country to make way for someone else.Sturgeon and Murrell have been married since 2010 and helped steer the SNP to a dominant position in Scottish politics. It heads the semi-autonomous Scottish government in Edinburgh and holds a large majority of Scotland’s seats in the U.K. Parliament in London.But Sturgeon resigned with her biggest political goal — taking Scotland out of the United Kingdom to become an independent country — unrealized.She had led the party and led Scotland since 2014, when Scots rejected independence in a referendum. While the referendum was billed as a once-in-a-generation decision on independence, Sturgeon and her party had pushed for a new vote, arguing that Britain’s departure from the European Union had changed the ground rules.Those efforts reached a stalemate when the U.K. government refused to authorize a new referendum.Sturgeon’s departure unleashed a tussle for the future of the SNP amid recriminations over the party’s declining membership and divisions over the best path towards independence. Opinion polls suggest support for the party has sagged. More

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    Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell rearrested in police probe into SNP’s finances

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailNicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell is understood to have been rearrested in connection with Police Scotland’s investigation into the SNP’s finances.The 59-year-old, who was taken into custody on Thursday morning, was previously arrested on 5 April last year as part of the same probe. Police Scotland said in a statement: “A 59-year-old man has today been rearrested in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.“The man, who was previously arrested as a suspect on April 5 2023, was taken into custody at 9.13am and is being questioned by Police Scotland detectives.“The matter remains active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further at this time.”Murrell has allegedly been rearrested in connection with an investigation into the SNP’s finances More

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    Latest Ipsos poll shows Tories at their lowest rating in 45 years

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailSupport for the Conservatives has fallen to its lowest level in 45 years, according to the latest Ipsos poll.The Tories’ vote share has fallen to just 19 per cent – a record low for the second consecutive month – with Labour leading by 25 points on 44 per cent. And in a further blow for Rishi Sunak, his personal approval ratings are now at the worst level in the history of Ipsos polling – equivalent only to John Major in 1994 and Jeremy Corbyn in 2019.They have divebombed to -59, an all-time record low, as three quarters of voters say they are dissatisfied with the Conservative leader. Meanwhile, the right-wing challenger party Reform UK are snapping at the Tory’s heels with 13 per cent of the vote share. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been forced to back down on plans to get flights to Rwanda off the ground this spring More

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    Menzies claims should be investigated by police, Labour says as Starmer has full confidence in Rayner – live

    Related video: Tory MP who reported Rayner to police refuses to say what alleged offences he thinks she has committedSign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailSir Keir Starmer said he has “complete confidence” in Angela Rayner as he faced further questions on the row over whether Labour’s deputy should have paid capital gains tax on the sale of her former council house.Speaking on a visit to Teeside on Thursday, the Labour leader said his Ms Rayner had already answered questions on the row and would fully cooperate with the investigation set up by Greater Manchester Police.He told broadcasters: “Angela’s answered no end of questions on this, she said she’s happy to answer any further questions. I have complete confidence in her and the police investigation, I think, allows a line to be drawn in relation to this.”Earlier, Labour demanded that the police launch a probe into allegations a suspended Tory MP misused campaign funds in the latest sleaze scandal to rock Rishi Sunak’s party.Mark Menzies has lost the Conservative whip after reportedly using thousands of pounds given by donors to fund medical expenses and having made a late-night call to a 78-year-old aide asking for help because he had been locked up by “bad people” demanding money for his release.Labour chair Anneliese Dodds slammed the “stagnation, scandal and sleaze” engulfing Mr Sunak’s party and asked her Conservative counterpart Richard Holden whether the police had been informed about the allegations, which the party has known about for months.Show latest update 1713448841We’re finishing our live coverage of the Angela Rayner and Mark Menzies stories for today.Thanks for reading and join us again soon for all the latest updates. You can follow updates on the Rwanda bill at the link below.Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.Matt Mathers18 April 2024 15:001713428542Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage.Today we’re covering the suspension of Mark Menzies over claims he misused campaign funds, the continuing police investigation into the sale of Angela Rayner’s former council house and other stories from Westminster and elsewhere.Stay tuned for all the latest updates.Matt Mathers18 April 2024 09:221713428589In full: MP Mark Menzies loses Tory whip as party investigates claims he misused fundsMark Menzies is alleged to have used thousands of pounds given by donors to fund medical expenses and to have made a late-night call to a 78-year-old aide asking for help because he had been locked up by “bad people” demanding money for his release.Read the full report here: Matt Mathers18 April 2024 09:231713428678ICYMI: Keir Starmer accuses Rishi Sunak of ‘smears’ over Angela Rayner tax rowFull report: Matt Mathers18 April 2024 09:241713428955Mark Menzies: Who is the Tory MP suspended over alleged misuse of funds?Mr Menzies is the Ayrshire-born Tory MP for Fylde, Lancashire, who won his seat at the 2010 general election.The University of Glasgow graduate spent years at some of Britain’s biggest supermarkets including Marks & Spencer, which he joined as a graduate trainee in 1994 .He has been an active member of the Conservative Party since 1987 and was president of his university’s Conservative Association.Full report: Matt Mathers18 April 2024 09:291713429004Watch: Liz Truss calls on David Cameron to give Israel more support after Iran attack More

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    Keir Starmer demands police probe into suspended Tory MP over ‘bad people’ payoff claims

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailSir Keir Starmer has called for a police probe into allegations aTory MP misused campaign funds in the latest sleaze scandal to rock Rishi Sunak’s party.Mark Menzies lost the Conservative whip after reportedly using thousands of pounds given by donors to fund medical expenses and making a late-night call to a 78-year-old aide asking for help because he had been locked up by “bad people” demanding money for his release.The Fylde MP disputes the allegations reported by The Times, but the Conservative Party has launched an investigation into the claims.As the scandal unfolded, Mr Menzies was suspended from his role as one of Mr Sunak’s international envoys More

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    UK Conservatives suspend lawmaker as sleaze allegations swirl over possible misuse of party funds

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster email Britain’s governing Conservative Party said Thursday it has suspended a lawmaker who is alleged to have used campaign funds for personal medical expenses and to pay off someone who was threatening him.The Times of London reported Mark Menzies took thousands of pounds (dollars) given to the party by donors for medical costs and other personal expenses. It said that in December he called a 78-year-old aide at 3 a.m. asking for help because he had been locked in an apartment by “bad people” who were demanding money for his release. A sum of 6,500 pounds ($8,100) was paid personally by Menzies’ office manager, who was reimbursed from donors’ cash, the newspaper said.Menzies, who has represented the seat of Fylde in northwest England since 2010, told the Times: “I strongly dispute the allegations put to me. I have fully complied with all the rules for declarations. As there is an investigation ongoing I will not be commenting further.”He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.The Conservative whips’ office said Menzies had agreed to be suspended from the Conservative caucus in Parliament, “pending the outcome of an investigation.” The suspension means he will remain in Parliament as an independent lawmaker.He was also suspended from an unpaid role as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s trade envoy to Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.Menzies has faced misconduct claims before. In 2014 he quit as a ministerial aide after allegations about his behavior made by a Brazilian male escort. Three years later, the Times said, he was “interviewed by police over bizarre accusations that he had deliberately got an acquaintance’s dog drunk.” It said Menzies strongly denied giving alcohol to a dog.The case is the latest allegation of sleaze to hit the Conservatives, who have lost several lawmakers to ethics scandals in the past two years – including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson.They include a lawmaker caught looking at porn in the House of Commons, another who reportedly offered to lobby on behalf of gambling firms and a legislator alleged to have drunkenly groped strangers at a London private members’ club.Last week Conservative lawmaker William Wragg suspended himself from the party’s parliamentary caucus after acknowledging he’d been the victim of a sexting scam that led to him passing colleagues’ contact details to an unknown individual who held “compromising” material on him.The Conservatives have been in power since 2010, but opinion polls put them well behind the opposition Labour Party, with an election due later this year.The report is the latest sign of the muckraking and personal mudslinging expected in the election. Conservatives accuse Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner of dodging tax on a house sale years ago by falsely claiming that it was her primary residence. Police say they are investigating. Rayner denies wrongdoing and has not been suspended by her party. More