General election news – live: Hundreds of protesters march to Buckingham Palace over Trump NHS fears

Hundreds of protesters have marched to Buckingham Palace to protest Donald Trump’s presence in London, amid fears for the future of the NHS. Demonstrators, including some NHS staff, joined anti-war activists on the march as Nato leaders were hosted by the Queen. It came after ​Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Mr Trump demanding he take the NHS “off the table” in…

Hundreds of protesters have marched to Buckingham Palace to protest Donald Trump’s presence in London, amid fears for the future of the NHS.

Demonstrators, including some NHS staff, joined anti-war activists on the march as Nato leaders were hosted by the Queen.

It came after ​Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Mr Trump demanding he take the NHS “off the table” in any post-Brexit trade deal, though the president claimed the US wanted “nothing to do with [the NHS]”. Earlier on Tuesday Dominic Raab admitted the US would be able to ramp up the cost of drugs bought by the NHS after Britain leaves the EU.

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2019-12-03T19:08:40.000Z

Are you convinced yet that Boris Johnson’s deal is the ideal way to end Brexit? No, me neither… That’s why we’re inviting you to a free special event this Friday to work out together how we secure a Final Say, writes our editor Christian Broughton.

This general election was – according to the prime minister – meant to be all about the B-word. More specifically about “getting it done”. Easy to say, but the reality has proved to be somewhat different.

And one thing’s for sure: regardless of what Mr Johnson says, there is no deal that can make Brexit go away by 31 January. There’s the small matter of the trade deal to get through first.


2019-12-03T18:52:40.000Z

Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that, if you are attacked for the same text by both sides in a political conflict, this is one of the few reliable signs that you are on the right path, writes Slavoj Zizek in our Voices section.

In the last decades, I have been attacked by a number of very different political actors (often on account of the same text!) for antisemitism, up to advocating a new Holocaust, and for perfidious Zionist propaganda (see the last issue of the antiemetic Occidental Observer).

So I think I’ve earned the right to comment on the recent accusations against the Labour Party regarding its alleged tolerance of antisemitism.

I, of course, indisputably reject antisemitism in all its forms, including the idea that one can sometimes ”understand” it, as in: “considering what Israel is doing on the West Bank, one shouldn’t be surprised if this gives birth to antisemitic reactions”.

More precisely, I reject the two symmetrical versions of this last argument: “we should understand occasional Palestinian antisemitism since they suffer a lot” as well as “we should understand aggressive Zionism in view of the Holocaust.”

One should, of course, also reject the compromise version: “both sides have a point, so let’s find a middle way…”.


2019-12-03T18:38:57.000Z

NHS workers have marched in opposition to Donald Trump’s presence at the Nato summit in London.

Hundreds of protesters, including anti-war activists, met in Trafalgar Square before marching towards Buckingham Palace, where Mr Trump and other Nato leaders are being hosted by the Queen.

Many in the crowd held aloft placards bearing messages such as “No to Trump, No to War” and “Trump, Hands off our NHS”.

Some protesters expressed concern over the possible impact of a future trade deal between the US and the UK affecting the NHS.

Earlier on Tuesday a UK minister admitted that the US could raise prices for drugs bought by the health service after Brexit.


2019-12-03T18:23:09.000Z

Hugh Grant has accused the Liberal Democrats of sharing misleading information just one day after endorsing one of their candidates, writes Conrad Duncan.

Grant, who supports tactical voting to prevent a Conservative majority, was photographed campaigning for Luciana Berger, the former Labour MP who is standing for the Lib Dems in Finchley & Golders Green, over the weekend.


2019-12-03T18:08:20.000Z

Boris Johnson has been heckled during his visit to a Christmas market in Wiltshire, write Jon Sharman and Andrew Woodcock.

The prime minister’s walkabout in Salisbury was greeted with cries of “Shame!” amid the messages of support he received.

Joyce Smale, 67, from Salisbury, yelled: “Shame on you, absolute shame! Ruining the country!”


2019-12-03T17:52:31.000Z

Voices: The bookies say bets are pouring in on a Labour majority – but that doesn’t mean it’s a clever gamble, writes James Moore


2019-12-03T17:34:31.000Z

Tories maintain nine-point lead in latest poll

The latest YouGov poll suggests the Conservatives have maintained their nine-point lead.

The survey places the Tories on 42 per cent, Labour on 33 per and and the Liberal Democrats on 12 per cent.


2019-12-03T17:14:31.000Z

Neil says ‘not really’ any negotiations going on with Tories over Johnson interview

The BBC’s Andrew Neil has said there are no real negotiations going on with the Conservatives about allowing him to interview Boris Johnson – despite the Tories having insisted that there are.

Johnson is the only party leader not to have agreed to be interviewed by the forensic Neil. Despite the Tories having claimed talks were ongoing, Neil has tweeted this…


2019-12-03T16:51:13.000Z

Tories buy fake website telling people not to vote Labour

The Conservatives have come under fire for more “dirty tricks” after buying up a website address in the name of a Labour candidate – to tell voters to “stop Jeremy Corbyn”.

The domain name margaretbeckett.com – instead of promoting tte former Labour foreign secretary, a candidate in Derby South – reads ‘Don’t Vote Labour’ and attacks her voting record.

The stunt was attacked by Ms Beckett who told The Independent: “This seems to be more Tory dirty tricks, which is par for the course. It’s also a bit pathetic.

Full story:


2019-12-03T16:35:09.806Z

Labour pledge to give everyone free high-speed broadband ‘could reduce regional inequalities’

Rolling out access to fast broadband could minimise persistent regional inequalities, new analysis shows, as Labour vowed to roll out free full-fibre internet within the next decade.

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR), a respected independent thinktank, said lack of access to fast internet was a “driver of geographic disparities” and significant investment in digital infrastructure would narrow the gulf between different parts of the UK.

Analysis by NIESR found distribution of access was “highly uneven”, with only 2 per cent of households able to access full fibre broadband in the North East and  4 per cent in the East of England.

Full story:


2019-12-03T16:20:12.733Z

Another top campaign video from former Tory – and now independent candidate for South West Hertfordshire – David Gauke, whose last offering featured an endorsement from a lifelong Conservative voter who turned out to be his father.


2019-12-03T16:10:50.076Z

Board of Deputies responds to Corbyn’s antisemitism apology

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has responded after Jeremy Corbyn said he was ‘very sorry for everything that’s happened” in relation to anti-Jewish abuse in his party. 

Appearing on ITV this morning, the Labour leader said he was “obviously” sorry but insisted he had “dealt with” antisemitism in Labour.

However,  Marie van der Zyl, the Board of Deputies president, said this was not the cause. She said:

“In an appearance on ITV, after again being asked five times for an apology on his party’s inability to deal with the antisemitism in its ranks, Mr Corbyn finally said he was ‘very sorry for everything that has happened’, but immediately added ‘I am dealing with it. I have dealt with it. Other parties are also affected by antisemitism’.

“Thousands of complaints have been made to Labour about cases of antisemitism from members; the 130 open cases often cited ignores many cases in which members were let off with a slap on the wrist for the most egregious antisemitism.

“Mr Corbyn has not dealt with it in the past few years; whether he will deal with it now remains to be seen. While we can and do criticise cases of antisemitism from other parties when these arise, we would resist any attempt to deflect from Labour’s antisemitism problem by claiming that any serious rival party has the same issue with Jew-hate.

“When it comes to antisemitism, no other mainstream party in British society has anything close to Labour’s current problem.”


2019-12-03T15:56:49.990Z

This is interesting.

A new poll by Lord Ashcroft reveals the stories that voters say they have noticed in the last few weeks. It suggests the row over the Channel 4 climate change debate, which Boris Johnson refused to take part in, was followed by a surprising proportion of voters.


2019-12-03T15:32:59.660Z

Johnson agrees to appear on ITV This Morning sofa despite refusing grilling by BBC’s Andrew Neil

Boris Johnson has agreed to appear on This Morning before polling day as he continues to refuse to submit to a grilling by the BBC’s Andrew Neil.

The prime minister is understood to have confirmed an interview with Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield on the ITV show before next week’s general election, with discussions ongoing over the timing of his appearance.

But the move comes amid a row over Mr Johnson’s continued failure to take part in a 30-minute one-on-one interview with Mr Neil, the fearsome BBC interrogator.

Full story:


2019-12-03T15:13:09.376Z

Tory candidate told to ‘shove off’ as he defends activists

Johnny Mercer, the Conservative candidate for Plymouth Moor View, has tweeted about a confrontation with a voter on the doorstep.

The Tory claimed the man “thought it was ok to shout and spit in the face of one of my young female activists”.

The video showed Mercer getting told to “shove off” as he tells the voter: “Don’t shout at young females who work for me” – before the door is slammed in the candidate’s face.


2019-12-03T15:01:00.286Z

Tories gave dozens of top donors seats in Lords, says report

Dozens of leading Conservative donors have been given honours after donating huge sums of money to the party, an investigation has revealed.

The party was accused of “cronyism” and faced calls for ab investigation after analysis by the OpenDemocracy website found that one in five people in the elite Tory “Leaders Group” had benefited from gongs like peerages and knighthoods.

In all, 36 out of 200 members of the group – membership of which costs a recurring donation of £50,000 a year to join – appear to have benefited after making large donations.

Our correspondent Jon Stone has all the details:


2019-12-03T14:47:52.620Z

‘If you can bring yourself to vote Tory then do so,’ says Farage

The Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has claimed he put Boris Johnson in office, and advised some of his party’s supporters to vote Tory.

Answering questions in Bassetlaw on who Brexit Party backers should vote for in seats without a candidate, Farage said: “This is a difficult one, I decided not to stand against existing Conservative MPs.

“If we had stood against the Conservatives in those seats, I think you’d have seen two dozen more Liberal Democrats led by Jo Swinson.

“For God’s sake don’t vote Liberal Democrats or Labour. If you can bring yourself to vote Conservative then do so.”

Taking credit for Johnson being at No 10, Farage added: “The only reason Boris is prime minister is because, earlier this year, I had had enough. After the launch of the Brexit Party in Coventry in April … we managed to get rid of the worst prime minister we have ever seen.”

Nigel Farage speaking in Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire (PA)


2019-12-03T14:28:50.180Z

‘A terrible shame’: Ex-Tory chairman lambastes Johnson and Trump

The former Tory party chairman has said Donald Trump and Boris Johnson share an “elastic relationship with the truth”.

Lord Patten also accused Johnson or his senior adviser Dominic Cummings of turning the Conservative Party into a “rather narrow sectarian English nationalist party”.

He added that he could think of some “serial mutton-heads” who could be leader of the Conservative Party, and would stand a good chance of beating “hopeless” Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett Show, Lord Patten said: “I think they (President Trump and Mr Johnson) share some of the same characteristics. I think both of them have a certain, rather elastic relationship with the truth. I think that, for them, the issue is not governing, it’s campaigning.

“I think it’s a terrible shame that when the British prime minister talks about trust and being trusted, BBC and other audiences laugh out loud in his face, and Mr Johnson doesn’t seem to be worried by that.

“I think it’s pretty awful and very sad for our democracy.”

Lord Patten – who cannot vote as a member of the House of Lords – indicated that, if he had a vote, he would find it hard to vote Conservative.

He said: “I couldn’t vote for any candidate who had voted in the past for a no-deal Brexit. Nor could I vote for a candidate who wouldn’t make it clear that in the future he or she wouldn’t vote for a no-deal Brexit.”


2019-12-03T14:17:09.820Z

Boris Johnson set to do This Morning interview

It looks as though Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have become major players in the general election campaign.

After Jeremy Corbyn appeared on This Morning today, Boris Johnson has reportedly agreed to be interviewed on the same programme.

A source at ITV told BuzzFeed News that the PM would be going on, but said a time and date had yet to be agreed (good luck trying to pin him down).

You may scoff, but Schofield and Willoughby succeeding in getting the word “sorry” out Corbyn this morning as they grilled the Labour leader on antisemitism – something the veteran BBC inquisitor Andrew Neil could not do last week.

Johnson, incidentally, has yet to agree to sit down with Neil – despite flak for “ducking” the live interview.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (PA)


2019-12-03T13:59:23.420Z

Corbyn ‘pleased’ by Trump comments, but remains sceptical

Jeremy Corbyn has said he is “pleased” that Donald Trump has said he wants “nothing to do with” the NHS but questioned: “If that’s the case, why have these talks gone on for two years?

“Why have they been kept secret?,” he told BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine.

The Labour leader said that if he meets Trump at the Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday evening that he would tell him: “I hope you’ll understand how precious our National Health Service is and in any future trade relationship with the USA none of our public services are on the table, none of our public services are for sale.”

He also refused to comment on the polls. Despite his poor personal ratings, several surveys have showed Labour cutting the Conservative lead.

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