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    Keir Starmer reveals wife had to cheer him up after ‘frustrating’ first TV debate

    Sir Keir Starmer has revealed his wife had to cheer him up after a “frustrating” first TV debate.The Labour leader went head-to-head with rival Rishi Sunak earlier this month, with a snap poll suggesting it was the prime minister who came out on top by a narrow margin.Speaking to LBC on Tuesday 18 June, Sir Keir explained that he was left frustrated by the format of the debate – which encouraged short, 45 second answers – and said his wife Victoria helped cheer him up afterwards.“I’m not good company when I’m in that place,” Sir Keir admitted.“Vic sort of cheered me up on that one – the second [debate] I thought went a bit better.” More

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    General Election 2024: How do I vote on July 4 and when is the deadline to register?

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailThe UK will take to the polls on July 4 after prime minister Rishi Sunak called a snap general election at the end of May.Speaking outside of Downing Street, the prime minister announced that King Charles had granted his request to dissolve Parliament and promised to “fight for every vote” in the run up to polling day.The following weeks have seen fervent campaigning from all parties, as they vie for votes up and down the country. The Labour and Conservative ‘battlebuses’ are travelling far and wide to visit as many areas as possible, attempting to woo voters, and avoid gaffes along the way.Polling has remained steady since the election was called. This is probably much to the dismay of Mr Sunak, as his party lags behind. Most of the latest predictions put Labour around 20 points ahead of the Conservatives on average.All the large parties have now released their election manifestos, laying out their vision for the future of Britain. It is down to voters to decide which party they feel is best to take the country forward as they cast their ballot for the candidate they want to represent their area in parliament.To cast your vote on July 4, there’s a few things you will need to be aware of. Here’s everything you need to know about voting in the next general election.How to register to voteRegistering to vote can be done online or with a paper form.In England and Northern Ireland you can register to vote from 16, while in Wales and Scotland it’s 14. However, you must be 18 on polling day to vote in a general election.The deadline to register to vote in the July 4 general election is June 18 at 11.59pm, the Electoral Commission has confirmed.You must be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, and also be resident at an address in the UK or registered as an overseas voter.You will cast a single vote for the person that you want to represent your constituency as a Member of Parliament (MP). They will either represent a political party or be standing as an independent candidate.MPs are elected using the first past the post voting system – whoever gets the most votes, wins. How to apply for a postal voteIf you’ll be away from home or abroad during the general election, you can apply for a postal vote. This means you will complete your ballot paper remotely, and post it back to your polling station.You can apply for a postal vote on the government’s website. You must first be registered to vote.You should receive your ballot paper by post around three weeks before polling day. It must be completed and sent back to the polling station in time for them to receive it no later than 10pm on polling day, so it is advisable to return it as soon as possible after you receive it.If you are unable to do so, you are allowed to take your completed postal vote directly to your local polling station before this deadline. You can hand in your own and up to five other people’s. It is an offence for a political campaigner to hand yours in if they do not know you personally.How to apply for a proxy voteA proxy vote is when someone votes on your behalf at the polling station. Similar to a postal vote, a proxy vote is for someone who is not able to physically be at the polling station on polling day.However, it is only allowed under certain circumstances.These are: being away on polling day, being registered as an overseas voter, having a medical issue or disability, and not being able to vote in person due to work or military service.You must apply for a proxy vote by 5pm, six working days before the election.However, if you are unable to vote on polling day due to circumstances such as a medical emergency or losing your photo ID, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote. You will have until 5pm on polling day to apply.What about voter ID?Following the introduction of new election laws in 2023, the July general election will be the first ever where people will be required to present a form of identification to vote.Many standard forms of ID are valid, including passports and driver’s licences. However, there are some omissions such as veteran cards, or travel passes for younger people.If you don’t possess an accepted form of ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate from the government. They are free and do not expire, but must be ordered with time to arrive before the election date.Read our guide to find out more about the new voter ID laws. More

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    Ed Balls clashes with Nigel Farage on ‘who would benefit most’ from Reform UK tax proposals

    Good Morning Britain hosts grilled Nigel Farage on “who would benefit most” from Reform UK’s tax proposals on Tuesday morning (18 June).Farage yesterday unveiled his party’s general election manifesto – which he dubbed a “contract” with voters – including plans to “simplify” the tax system.“Who would gain most from your personal tax proposal? Somebody on the minimum wage, somebody on average earnings or somebody on £95,000 a year?” GMB host Ed Balls asked, beginning the clash.Mr Farage responded by suggesting the “poorest in society” would benefit most from Reform’s proposal – a claim that the hosts disagreed with. More

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    Watch: Jonathan Ashworth shreds Conservative manifesto as he responds to tax cut claims

    A Labour MP shredded the Conservative Party manifesto after claiming it was already in “tatters”.Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, suggested “the money is simply not there to fund any new tax cut proposed in Tory plans” as he spoke at a press conference on Monday 17 June.After pulling apart a newsletter Jeremy Hunt sent to his constituents, Mr Ashworth said the document “totally shreds the Tory manifesto and totally shreds any remaining credibility on tax and spend the Tories once had”.“To bring that point to you, I am going to shred the Tory manifesto, just as Mr Hunt has shredded all of the commitments,” he added. More

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    Sunak under fresh pressure over national service plan as Tories accused of ‘making it up as they go along’

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailThe Conservatives are facing fresh questions over Rishi Sunak’s flagship national service policy amid increasing confusion about how the scheme will work.Defence secretary Grant Shapps has been accused of plunging the promise into chaos with multiple TV appearances in which he appeared to change course on how the military aspect will be implemented.And shadow defence secretary John Healey has written to Mr Shapps demanding answers about whether the scheme is “fully costed, fully funded, deliverable and clearly set out to the public”. He said ministers are “making it up as they go along” and called the plan a “distraction from their failures in defence over 14 years”.Click here for our live coverage of the general election campaign.In a letter seen by The Independent, the long-serving Labour MP said Mr Shapps had thrown the general election pledge into confusion and called for him to come clean.Defence secretary Grant Shapps has sown confusion about the policy More

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    Independent readers say addressing Brexit should be a priority for the next government

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailThe spectre of Brexit has cast a long shadow over the 2024 general election campaign, despite most politicians staying silent on the issue.One party that has been vocal on Brexit is the Liberal Democrats, with leader Sir Ed Davey last week pledging to push for Britain to rejoin the European single market and eventually the EU.Meanwhile, on Monday, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage said he returned to the political frontline as “nothing actually works anymore” and that the Tories had failed to implement Brexit properly.We wanted to know if you agreed with Sir Ed’s comments. Is it about time Brexit was reversed? Or, like Mr Farage, do you feel that Britain’s exit from the EU was simply bungled?Here’s what you had to say:‘2/3 majority’Yes, we should rejoin. On such an important matter there should have been a 2/3 majority. The public were misled. The millions of £ promised on the side of the coach for the NHS, never materialised. Giving equal time to Brexiteers and remainers was about as logical as giving the flat earth society equal air time to astronomers. On green matters alone trading with nations thousands of miles away was going to cost more in transport and pollution than trading with our customers in Europe. Thank goodness for my Irish passport!ArtDirector‘Good luck Lib Dems’I’d love to be back in Europe. I remember when we had almost the cheapest food in Europe, orders came here without delays and extra charges, the EU had oversight over our human rights and stupid deregulation to save money only to increase CEO’s bonuses wasn’t as easy to deploy.Every aspect of the UK has become poorer since we left the EU. We are culturally and socially less cohesive, less supportive, more xenophobic and more likely to believe the ever-increasing crock of dirt the right-wing press serves us every day from almost every outlet.Good luck Lib Dems. Now the Labour Party has died in favour of New Labour (Lite Tories) again, my vote is with you. At least we might get a hung parliament!JayCliff‘The EU is not there to save the UK from its own folly’Mr Davey is to be congratulated for at least having the courage to raise the issue and break the conspiracy of silence perpetuated by the two major parties. My personal opinion is that Brexit has been a major setback for the UK and that the consequences of leaving will continue to be felt over the coming years. The prospect that European food suppliers simply stop attempting to sell to the UK is real enough. The inconvenience to UK travellers of the EES/ETIAS systems have yet to be felt. Regulatory divergence will increasingly produce unanticipated and unintended consequences. The UK will suffer for a decision based essentially on hubris.However the EU is not there to save the UK from its own folly. No one is sitting around patiently waiting for the English to come to their senses. At some point the English will have to reckon with the damage they have caused and start to imagine how they might possibly persuade Europeans to accept them back into the fold.Blackkbeard’s host‘Tight corner’Based on my sources in Brussels, the UK may always apply for membership, either of the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA). Joining the EEA would mean that British industry must accept EU rules, but then customs checks would no longer be needed. However, it would not solve the problems for people travelling across the UK-EU border. For that, the UK must become a full Member State. Then they must join the Schengen area and they must accept the Euro. I am aware that Denmark opted out when the Euro was introduced. This option is no longer available for the UK. Poland should also have joined the Euro, but the PIS government kicked the can down the road a bit. Tusk is now preparing to join, because the price Poland has to pay for not joining starts adding up seriously.The alternative is to keep the situation as it is now. This is also a risky situation, with Northern Ireland probably joining the Irish Republic in the coming decade and Scotland and possibly even Wales stepping out of the United Kingdom. For those who didn’t pay attention: Gibraltar is already on its way out.I think we can conclude that the Brexiteers (Farage, Johnson, and many others) have succeeded in painting themselves into a very tight corner. I hope they will enjoy living in the United Kingdom of England and the Scilly Isles.Orval‘People didn’t know what they were voting for’We should definitely work towards rejoining the EU. Most critical to our economic growth and stability is rejoining the single-market, followed by a return to free-movement within the Schengen zone. Our economy, the cost-of-living and the additional costs incurred by businesses have all been adversely affected by leaving the EU. Immigration from the EU was not a problem, people coming to the UK from the EU were here to work, and every indices showed that these immigrants has a positive effect on our economy. Unfortunately, Johnson and Farage fed the myth that these people were stealing UK jobs – not true. Look how many businesses, especially in farming and hospitality are now struggling to employ people – in many cases these people from the EU were doing jobs that “British” people did not want to do. We should also recognise that the end of free movement has restricted our ability to work, live or tour Europe. I worked hard for 40-years so that in retirement I could tour and stay in Europe for extended periods – my options are now severely limited by the 90-day in 180 rule. When people voted for Brexit they didn’t know what they were voting for. Furthermore, the fact that the vote was so close at 52/48, should have resulted in a “soft” exit, unfortunately Johnson’s rise to power depended on the right-wing of the Conservative party and thus our fate was sealed. Thank goodness at least one party has come out and said that they would move towards closer ties with the EU – lets hope the debate can gather more momentum.galliern‘The new government must rethink their attitude’Brexit was a terrible, costly mistake, brought about by an internal effort to save the Tory party. Instead, it has not only broken the country but the party as well.It’s now high time that the country – our politicians & mainstream media – have a grown-up, honest debate about undoing the damage & returning us to the EU, as soon as they will have us.As a Brit living in Spain, I lost the rights, benefits & opportunities associated with being an EU citizen – benefits I had every right to assume were mine for life when I made the decision to leave Britain. Not only that but those rights & freedoms are being denied to millions, most especially the freedom to live, work, study in 27 other countries.Freedom of movement was painted as an evil, when in fact it is a necessity. The British public understand & value that freedom, even if our representatives are too cowardly to accept that fact. It is also the key to accessing to the single market & EU trade.The new government must rethink their attitude to Brexit – it is, after all, the will of the people.suewilson91‘Either you are IN or OUT’As a European citizen living in France, my point of view is that the UK is only seeking benefits from what the EU has to offer without committing to the EU (example, no Schengen, no euro etc) therefore it’s best for the EU the UK is a foreign party with NO say in EU affairs. Once you leave it’s forever. Then offering a EU membership à la carte is off the table.Either you are IN or OUT. The only European countries enjoying a special relationship are Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, which by the way are all in Schengen… So like most Europeans, we are happy you are out. However, I occasionally enjoy visiting you….on vacation but that’s it.Europeancitizen‘Briturn’I’m German, so you may claim I’m biased, but I think the British should reconsider and finally reverse Brexit. “Briturn” Ulf Engel‘Reversing Brexit is impossible’As a German, I regretted the UK’s decision for Brexit – until the 2019 EU elections and the following GE.During the Brexit process, the UK paraded, with careless abandon, the weaknesses of its political system before all the world to see. Proroguing parliament, parliament having to fight for even getting to vote on the biggest change of the UK ‘s relationship with their neighbours etc etc.The UK is different from (AFAIK) all current EU member states in that it does not have a constitution. Yes, I know, the UK claims to have a constitution. It differs from other constitutions in that there is no safeguard against a simple parliamentary majority changing it. Parliament is not bound by any previous parliament and proud of it. Other countries need super-majorities and some the agreement of a majority of the constituent members to change something as fundamental as EU membership. The UK’s political system doesn’t.Personally, I consider this the biggest hurdle to any type of “reversing Brexit” (which is impossible). Even the most rejoiner government simply cannot give the EU and its member states a guarantee that a Brexit wouldn’t be likely to happen again. Unless the UK changes its political system and gives itself a real constitution I see no point in the UK even applying to become a member of the EU or EFTA or whatever. I certainly hope the EU and the member states wouldn’t accept a UK application before it does.SDfromBerlin‘Can we afford to stay out?’There is a simple question we should ask ourselves.For, as some of us, may have noticed, we already HAVE left the EU! And frankly, an EU still blamed, by some Brexiteers for ‘not following suit’ on the Brexit vote? Because the EU did not as, (these wrongly informed people anticipated), follow British rule after we left. Frankly as logic dictates and the realities of the real world, it’s the other way around. It’s the EU that internationally sets the standards.Being one of the three major power blocks. The other being China and the US. The real question we should ask ourselves is: “Can we afford to stay out of the EU?”To make a simple equation. Before the Brexit vote, the RABO Bank estimated in its business rapport that 10 per cent of the UK’s economy was directly linked to us being an EU member. (Not counting indirect leverage).So (and I know this equation will be, as I said, be simple) but would it not be a simple calculation to presume that this also works the other way around. That we will be ALWAYS 10 percent SMALLER, than we could have been, being an EU member?Let us be grown-ups again!Brad‘Let’s get back into our biggest market’We should never have left the EU. Cameron made the first mistake, for something as important as the EU referendum should have required at least a two-thirds majority for approval to leave. Then Johnson fooled millions with his discredited promises of 350million/week extra to spend on the NHS, unilateral UK rights to fishing the UK waters, controlling immigration, and… so the list goes on and on.Let’s get back into our biggest market that’s on our doorstep!Well said Ed Davey!Norfolk‘Addressing the elephant in the room’This is far and away the most important subject to me at this election and this single manifesto pledge assures the Lib Dem’s of my vote this time around. The party probably consider themselves as having less to lose than Labour and Tories by addressing the elephant in the room but nonetheless they have, and the other two main parties continue to keep their head stuck in the sand over what has been the most self-harming policy ever invoked by a government on its own people that I can ever recall.RumBoy21‘Utter fiasco’The collapse in prices in the shops and the sudden removal of red tape for businesses and labour (directly related) would make people quickly realise what an utter fiasco Brexit was. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that rejoining the EU is the UK’s unilateral decision to make, so I’m not sure that it can be a working policy manifesto. Usually manifesto pledges are things that you have the power to unilaterally make happen.Bradbyrn‘Pointing in the right direction’The Lib Dems on this are the only party that aren’t in la-la land. It was a massive mistake to leave, but you can’t just rejoin like that – and as Davey argues it would be a long process of gradual alignment and deals, which is the only way to achieve any of the growth the other parties go on about. At least it’s pointing in the right direction. But we also need to be aware of what’s going on in Europe: the EU elections don’t exactly inspire hope. All those right-wingers getting in will make the Brexiters wish they’d stayed in, after all.Eadwine‘Now isn’t the time’I voted to remain but believe now isn’t the time to try to rejoin the EU. Many have said they regret voting for Brexit. I think it was a big mistake to leave. There’s been a huge cost in leaving, not only trade and monetary costs but also the sense of tremendous upheaval it has created. And Brexit didn’t achieve what some thought it would: a reduction in immigration. Instead, since Brexit immigration, both legal and illegal, has been higher than ever. However, high immigration has affected all EU countries, not only the UK. The recent EU Parliament election results reveal the unease many feel about immigration with the far right making significant gains; also in evidence is a fracturing of the EU. Many are unhappy too with the subsidising of Ukraine and cheap imports undermining EU farmers. The EU is not in the strong, unified position it once was. Therefore now is not the time to even think about rejoining. But anyway, it’s not possible to go back. Ed Davey is pitching the dream of returning to the regreters, playing to that gallery. Better imo now instead would be to strengthen relationships with EU countries. The break’s been made. Best to go forward, not back. Benitas‘Two to tango’This is not wholly in the hands of any British government or Parliament. It takes two to tango. Any new relationship between Britain and the EU must be signed off by BOTH parties. That is the lesson of the Brexit negotiations that some seem not to have taken on board.Simply joining the single market, if possible, would be the Norway scenario. EU directives and therefore single market rules are simply handed down to be implemented. To take part in and influence those decisions requires full EU membership. Getting that back will be work of years, and require acceptance by ALL current EU members. I am old enough to remember two vetoed applications in the 1960s.After the referendum result, those of us who are familiar with EU rules tried to impress on people that Brexit meant becoming a rule-taker, rather than a rule-maker. The EU and its rules will always have an effect on Britain in that it is our biggest market. Walking out was the dumbest decision this country has made in my lifetime.49niner‘Rejoin as soon as the Tories are out of office’The UK should never have left the EU single market. We should start the process of rejoining as soon as the Tories are out of office. People will very quickly feel and see the multiple benefits once we rejoin.ExTory‘Headline-grabbing statement’Where is the £17-20Bn cost of being part of the EU going to come from Ed? No idea I am sure, just like he alleges he had no idea innocents were being sacrificed to reduce the post office whilst he was post office minister.If he researched his headline-grabbing statement he would also find that the EU have little enthusiasm to go through years of re-negotiation, not going to happen.Being smart enough to maximise the UK’s elevation since Brexit to being the second most influential nation on the globe, combined with easing the silly barriers put up that damage both sides of Brexit, is the way forward.Toldyaso‘Economically unsustainable’The UK’s current position as the only country in Western Europe outside the single market is damaging and economically unsustainable. Switzerland and Norway (not in the EU) are inside the single market. Northern Ireland is effectively part of the single market for goods. The only European countries which are not members and not currently trying to join (not EU candidate members) are Belarus, Russia and the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).Eurofreeman‘Make an example of the UK’The EU won’t let the UK back in for a generation at least, you can’t just leave and join and leave after every change of govt, or when the mood takes you. The EU will and should make an example of the UK . It’s once again English exceptionalism to think that the EU will simply let you join when you feel like itLBW‘Not one member nation would vote for this’To join the SM requires full compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria, which is also the same standard for full membership. As of now, there is not one member nation that would vote for this; and the poll of polls across EU show 54% against and only 26% for such a move. Things can change, but as the UK has failed to comply in full with the current Trade and Cooperation Agreement ,(a situation much commented upon in EU Group of nations), some serious bridges need building. There is also the minor inconvenience that such a SM membership outside of the EU (EEA), would need tacit agreement from all EEA nations not just EU. Then we must ask how this would benefit the EU/EEA. Not convinced they want to absorb the UK debt and trade deficit into their data sets. Also, there is nowhere near the 60% of the electorate support.Jonathan Mills‘Not a serious party’It’s nonsense.We haven’t got £10,000,000 to give to Brussels to spend on airports in Poland that no one will ever use.But if you think we do, what exactly are you going to cut to pay for it?Lib Dems always avoid the hard questions because they’re not a serious party.PurpleGreenandWhite‘The only real deal for the UK’Joining the EU (Or re-joining) Is the only real deal for the UK…The USA will not grant a trade deal to the UK. So the UK should turn back time and re-join the EU. For the economy, culture and political stability the EU is the only way forward for the UK…Otherwise, Northern Ireland will merge with the Republic. Scotland and Wales will wither and then leave the Union. Leaving England alone and deep in poverty and failing international influence.Reformer‘All very tragic’Brexit was purely about one thing… those with power and influence gaming it on the financial markets. There are no tangible benefits for anyone else. If someone can name one that’s valid, I’ll be happy to listen.It has contributed to a massive problem in the NHS and care sectors. Free movement means labour can also move freely. Besides would you stay where you are not wanted?It’s all very tragic really. People need to realise that in the modern world, we are all connected and to be together makes us stronger.Forhaven‘Brexit was NEVER EVER going to work’What people fail to realise is that the Tories have NEVER got Brexit done. The full border around the UK has been delayed five times and then recently partially implemented. The reason this has NEVER happened is because the Tories have always said that it will fuel inflation, lead to shortages in shops and stop many in the EU trading with the UK just as people in the UK stopped trading with the EU when the border went up with the EU. Therefore the ONLY reason people have lost interest in Brexit and don’t see it as an issue is because the full border has yet to happen and the Tories know that when that happens (just as has happened in NI) there will be a chorus of voices all calling to join the SM and CU because Brexit was NEVER EVER going to work. Thus the Tories are not SHOUTING about how successful Brexit has been because it has been an unmitigated disaster, which of course it was always going to be when we chose to cease trading with our nearest neighbour and then have to go with the begging bowl to get the pathetic roll over trade agreements that have been got. Eventually it will become obvious to EVERYONE that Brexit was NEVER EVER going to work all any party has to do is implement the full border and then wait for the outcry.Kat13‘Stuck’If we were clever we would come up with a trade deal that allows sensible trade with the EU and potentially design a model for other countries to follow.As trade with Europe is going to happen anyway.But we are not that clever, unfortunately, despite the promises of Brexit.So we are a bit stuck now.FreedomSome of the comments have been edited for this article. You can read the full discussion in the comments section of the original article.All you have to do is sign up, submit your question and register your details – then you can then take part in the discussion. You can also sign up by clicking ‘log in’ on the top right-hand corner of the screen.Make sure you adhere to our community guidelines, which can be found here. For a full guide on how to comment click here. More

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    Reform UK candidate defends saying Hitler was ‘brilliant’ at using his personality to ‘inspire people to action’

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailA Reform UK candidate has defended saying Adolf Hitler was “brilliant” at inspiring people into action.Jack Aaron is standing for the right wing party in an attempt to oust Grant Shapps the secretary of defence in Welwyn Hatfield.Mr Aaron, describes himself as a business psychologist and founder of the World Socionics Society a pseudoscientific theory that promotes 16 personality types.In Twitter/X post from 2022, Mr Aaron said Hitler was “brilliant in using Fe+Ni [socionics personality traits] to inspire people into action” while condemning his “basically incoherent […] writing and rationale”.In other comments he called Syrian dictator President Assad “gentle by nature” and President Putin’s use of force in Ukraine was “legitimate”.He told The Times: “Yes, Hitler was as brilliant as he was utter evil. How is that controversial to say, given that he was able to turn the Germans to such destructive acts, including killing many members of my own family? “I strongly believe, as a psychologist, in separating intelligence and talent from morality, so that we can adequately diagnose problems and help people.”He added it would be a “grossly irresponsible and frankly malicious type of journalism, a dog whistle presented in a context where people might construe I thought he was a good or admirable man, which I don’t think.“By no means am I saying Hitler or Putin or al-Assad are good people that we should admire. They range from the absolutely ingenious evil to wannabe warlord to weak man born into a brutal regime of death and destruction.”Last year, on Reddit, he said that Assad was “gentle by nature” and not “some bloodthirsty tyrant who exercises control over his people with an iron fist”.He also said the dictator had been “led astray” by social stereotyping.On his Reform UK profile he says: “With an increasing malaise in our country over what the future brings, I feel it is time to bring a change. “Not the endless march of social progress which has left many feeling lost and abandoned by the times, but a restoration of what is great and good about England and the United Kingdom at large.”Ian Gribbin praised Vladimir Putin, described Winston Churchill as ‘abysmal’ and says Britain should have ‘taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality’ instead of fighting the Nazis More

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    Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan backs Faiza Shaheen after Labour row over social media posts

    Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inboxGet our free View from Westminster emailWorld snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has thrown his support behind independent candidate Faiza Shaheen, weeks after she was blocked from standing for Labour. The academic quit Sir Keir Starmer’s party on 4 June after she was de-selected from representing Chingford and Woodford Green for liking a series of posts on X that allegedly downplayed antisemitism allegations.In a video alongside Ms Shaheen, the snooker legend said he was “definitely” voting for the candidate who is a “massive part of the community”. The seven-time world champion added: “I just think someone without passion, you know, dictating what goes on around this area isn’t going to be good for the locals.“I love this area, it’s my home and it’s a really special place for me.”Taking to social media, Mrs Shaheen expressed her gratitude and wrote: “The GOAT of snooker supporting our campaign! I can’t believe it. “I’ve been a huge fan of @ronnieo147 since my teen years and I can’t express how much it means to have this local legend supporting my bid to be an Independent MP for Chingford and Woodford Green.”She added that he would also be attending a rally to support her campaign on 23 June. After hitting the campaign trail, Mrs Shaheen discovered she had been de-selected as a candidate and announced her resignation from Labour in a post on X. Faiza Shaheen was interviewed on BBC Newsnight hours after her deselection was confirmed More