Blow for Starmer as Labour Party’s likeability plummets lower than when Corbyn was leader

At today’s virtual party conference, Keir Starmer stressed Labour had made a clean-break from the era of his predecessor. In Doncaster, Sir Keir stated “this is a party under new leadership” and appealed members who had deserted Labour to take another look at it. The road back for Sir Keir could be a long one after a survey found the appeal of the Labour Party has dropped by 11 points compared to when Mr Corbyn was leader.

A new Ipsos MORI poll has found in November 2019, under the leadership of Mr Corbyn, the likeability of the Labour was 49 percent.

Just 10 months later, and five months since Sir Keir took over the leadership, the figure has fallen to 38 percent.

But, the poll suggests the decline in the likeability of Labour as a whole could be attributed to the increase in support for the actual leader.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults found 51 percent of people say they like Sir Keir, compared to Mr Corbyn’s score of just 23 percent in November 2019.

The number is also higher than at the height of ‘Corbynmania’ when the left-wing leader polled at 46 percent.

Sir Keir also ranked highly against his opposite number Boris Johnson in a number of attributes, but was found wanting in others.

The poll found 44 percent thought Sir Keir is a capable leader compared to 37 percent for the Prime Minister, 43 percent thought he had a sound judgement compared to 30 percent for Mr Johnson, and 36 percent believed Sir Keir is more honest than most politicians, with Mr Johnson trailing on 27 percent.

However, Sir Keir came up short in other categories, 68 percent said Mr Johnson is patriotic compared to 43 percent, and on having a lot of personality Mr Johnson ranked at 67 percent compared to 25 percent for Sir Keir.

“The Tories have had as many election winners in five years as we’ve had in 75.”

In a sign of things to come, the Labour leader said the next election manifesto “will be rooted in Labour values”, but “it won’t sound like anything you’ve heard before”.

The Ipsos MORI poll surveyed 1,013 UK adults on September 11.



Galileo blow: £5bn UK rival set to be SCRAPPED with MP branding idea a 'vanity project'

In 2018, Boris Johnson’s predecessor as Prime Minister, Theresa May, allocated £92million in cash to investigate the feasibility of the UK building its own system after being frozen out of Galileo, despite having invested upwards of £1billion and developed much of the technology. However, widespread reports have suggested the UKSA has concluded the concept is not a viable one, with the agency declining to comment on the reports when questioned by Express.co.uk today.

Now some in the industry, and within the civil service, now believe the UK’s best bet is to try and regain access to Galileo.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee, agreed, stressing the UK is currently without a back-up to the United States’s Global Positioning System (GPS), on which it is completely reliant.

Mr Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth West, told Express.co.uk the push for a UK system had essentially been a “vanity project”.

He added: “We need to remove the politics from security.

“Common sense must prevail. If we don’t have the back-up of Galileo we are going to have problems.”

The UK Government teamed up with Bharti Global earlier this year for a £900million deal to acquire a 45 percent stake in the US company OneWeb, after it entered bankruptcy.

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“The production facility developed by Airbus for OneWeb in order to build the satellites is a) largely robotic (to keep the costs down) and b) in Florida.

“For both these reasons, the claim about bringing lots of jobs to the UK is questionable in the extreme.

“Note also that, if they try to change the satellite design in order to provide a navigation service they’d have to redesign the robotic production facility, and that would not be cheap.”

They added: “Having licensed OneWeb, under international treaties the UK is now legally liable for the OneWeb satellites.

“If OneWeb goes bust and abandons its hardware in space, the UK is responsible for the debris.”

Speaking in the Commons, also in July, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The UK has an ambition to be a world leader in the space sector.

“GNSS wasn’t the rationale for this particular investment but of course we are exploring how OneWeb may be able to contribute to PNT resilience in the future.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The Government has set a clear ambition for a sovereign space programme which will bring long-term strategic and commercial benefits for the UK. Work is ongoing across Government to determine the UK’s positioning, navigation and timing requirements, and assessing options for meeting them.

“The UK will not participate in the EU’s Galileo programme.

“Current OneWeb satellites are used to deliver satellite communications services, not satellite navigation.”

A UKSA spokesman did not comment on the reports.

Express.co.uk has asked how much of the £92million has been spent, and on what.



Sturgeon handed fresh blow: 'Shetland Islands BRAINWASHED to think it's part of Scotland'

Stuart Hill, who believes the islands have never belonged to Scotland or Britain, blasted the Scottish National Party (SNP) and its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, as he rallied for an independence referendum. He told Express.co.uk residents on the Shetland Islands are “more capable” of running the community than “by diktat from Holyrood or Westminster”.

He said: “My research shows that Shetland is already independent, but most people here will not accept that because they have been brainwashed into thinking that Shetland is part of Scotland and accepting my position involves challenging sovereignty.

“The current movement will, I expect, be asking for powers before ensuring that those they are asking have the powers to give them.

“It is my expectation that the Shetland community will move as one when they are comfortable to do so.”

The Shetland and Orkney independence campaigner said Ms Sturgeon was “not much liked” on the islands and as the First Minister ploughs ahead with her own desperate plans for a second Scottish independence referendum in the wake of Brexit it was “inevitable” residents on the rugged archipelago would feel the same.

nicola sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has been delivered a blow over the Shetland Islands (Image: GETTY)

The Englishman has been campaigning over constitutional matters since he arrived in Shetland in August 2001 after his boat capsized around 50 miles west of the isles.

He wants the Shetlands and Orkney to have their own own flag, currency and stamps.

The power struggle is engulfed around the islands, which land more fish than ports in England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.

Mr Hill said: “Shetlanders are much more capable than they give themselves credit for and would be able to run this community better to the satisfaction of its members than by diktat from Holyrood or Westminster.

READ MORE: Oh dear, Nicola! Shetland Islands eye independence from Scotland

“According to official figures, far from being dependent on Scotland or the UK, we subsidise the UK by £76 million per year – before you take account of the oil, which, even in these times, dwarfs that figure.”

The Shetlands were the only part of Britain, along with the Western Isles of Scotland, that voted against EEC membership in a 1975 referendum.

During Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum, the unionist vote in the Shetlands was 63.7 percent – one of the highest levels in Scotland.

However, Mr Hill insisted now is the time to seek independence from Scotland and the UK.

He added: “The Sovereign Nation of Shetland’s strategy is to demonstrate the benefits of independence, attracting people until we become the de facto authority.”

His remarks come after members of Shetland Islands Council approved a motion to begin “exploring options for achieving financial and political self-determination”.

The move could trigger a Shetland Islands referendum to unshackle themselves from Scotland.

Twenty-two councillors backed the motion, which reads: “We believe that Shetland has the wherewithal to have a positive future.

“However, in recent times we have seen more and more decision making being centralised and public funding being consistently reduced.

“We are concerned that this ongoing situation is seriously threatening the prosperity, and even basic sustainability, of Shetland as a community.

“In order to look at alternatives to ensure Shetland can reach and maintain its full potential, we, the undersigned, move that: ‘The Shetland Islands Council formally begins exploring options for achieving financial and political self-determination.’”

It appears residents and councillors hope to adopt a similar path taken by the Faroe Islands, which have autonomous status within the Kingdom of Denmark.

Growing frustration over reduced government funding from Holyrood and centralised decision making has triggered the move.

Express.co.uk has contacted the SNP for comment.



Queen nightmare: Royal Family to lose MILLIONS due to Brexit as farms hit by EU blow

Over the past few years the Queen’s farm have received millions from EU pots, which will dry up when the UK finally unshackles itself from the bloc. Royal finance expert David McClure said the Queen pocketed over £3 million in Brussels grants over the past five years for her 20,000-acre Sandringham estate alone.

In 2019, it received over £900,000, around 55 percent more went there than in the previous year, according to Mr McClure.

In his book The Queen’s True Worth, which was serialised in the Daily Express, he said the Norfolk estate had “haemorrhaged” money until the Queen took advantage of funds from the EU.

Mr McClure said: “The Queen inherited the Norfolk property from her father King George VI in 1952 after it had been passed down through her family when Queen Victoria purchased it for the future King Edward VII with her own family funds.

“Historically the 20,000-acre estate has haemorrhaged money – almost from the day it was first acquired for the Prince of Wales in October 1862.

“The Queen has helped turn it around financially by taking advantage of EU subsidies on the land she farms and by improving her income from tenant farmers.

“What had reduced profitability was fragmentation: there were simply too many small farms with too many workers producing too few profits.

“But in the Queen’s reign under Prince Philip’s supervision, mega-farms were created by amalgamating the smaller units and, as a result, the number of tenant farms fell from 30 to around 12 and the workforce shrunk to a tenth of its pre-war size.”

Meanwhile, the monarch’s son Prince Charles is also set to lose out after Brexit.

Mr McClure claimed the future King received £300 million in subsidies from a fund for “rural development projects” to contribute towards turning the Norfolk estate completely organic.

Meanwhile, figures show Prince Charles Duchy of Cornwall estate received £100,000 in EU subsidies in 2016.

In Mr McClure’s book, The Queen’s True Worth, it was estimated the monarch’s £400million fortune is £50million more than previously believed.

He said: “Much of the Queen’s private fortune – which I estimate at £400million, £50million more than a number of recent estimates because of the extra cachet attached to the royal name – comes from the properties she owns.

“Some crude valuations of Her Majesty’s assets include Buckingham Palace – along with other official residences like Windsor Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace, as well as the Royal Collection – and consequently suggest astronomical figures.”

Buckingham Palace has previously revealed subsidies for the Sandringham estate also included payments for the Queen’s separate estate, Balmoral, in Scotland.

But it has not commented on what might happen after Brexit.

In a statement, it said: “Subsidies are open to all farmers and like others with agricultural interests, some subsidies are received on the queen’s private estates.

“Figures are in the public domain as a matter of record.”

Steeped in tradition, the Queen every year enjoys three-day Christmas celebrations at the 20,000-acre Norfolk estate include daily visits to church and numerous changes of outfits are the norm.

Christmas Day lunch is even scheduled to take just 50 minutes, with the times the family are expected to eat breakfast, walk the dogs, lunch and bedtime even pencilled in.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg



China to lose US trade status held for 20 YEARS in next crippling blow from Donald Trump

Tom Cotton, Republican senator for Arkansas, proposed legislation revoking China’s equal trade conditions with the US in retaliation for human rights and trades abuses. It is the latest US action taken against the Chinese government. US President Donald Trump has previously mentioned his desire to “decouple” the US economy from China.

Mr Cotton issued a press release along with the bill, which will be under consideration in the Senate and Congress.

He said: Twenty years ago this week, the Senate gave a gift to the Chinese Communist Party by granting it permanent most-favoured-nation status.

“That disastrous decision made the party richer, but cost millions of American jobs.

“It is time to protect American workers and take back our leverage over Beijing by withdrawing China’s permanent trade status.”

READ MORE: Iran news: Trump plans MORE trading sanctions for Iran as Middle East tensions EXPLODE

The bill would allow China to maintain its MFN status, but it would be reviewed annually by the President and subject to Congressional approval.

It also includes a list of disqualifying factors for China’s status, including human rights abuses and trade abuses, but they can be waived by the President

This includes slave Labour, re-education prison camps, forced abortions or sterilisations and organ harvesting from prisoners.

Mr Cotton’s release also mentions religious persecution, harassment of expatriate Chinese who are critical of the government and the theft of intellectual property from Americans as disqualifying conditions for China’s MFN under the proposed bill.

China has recently been condemned for its reported human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where Uighur muslims have been subjected to human rights violations.

More than a million Uighurs in western Xinjiang are believed to be held in internment camps according to human rights groups and first hand accounts from escaped Uighurs.

Earlier this week, the US Customs and Border Protection issued an order blocking Xinjiang products due to allegations of force labour from the Uighurs.

Ken Cuccinelli, carrying out the duties of the deputy Homeland Security Secretary, said: “Communist Chinese China needs to close its concentration camps, set its captives free and end its state-sponsored forced labour program immediately. “Until they do, DHS will continue to block illicit goods and prosecute those who profit from them.”

Mr Trump has also hit out at China’s human rights abuses, and has been vocal in his criticism of Beijing’s human rights and trade record.

The President has ordered tariffs, which have totalled in value at more than $350 billion (£270.405 billion) in Chinese goods.

The World Trade Organisation has ruled Mr Trump broke global trade laws with the tariffs.

The WTO also found the tariff duties violated the WTO’s MFN principle.

Mr Trump has also raised the idea of “decoupling” the US economy from China.

He said during a Labor Day press conference: “So when you mention the word decouple, it’s an interesting word.

“We lose billions of dollars and if we didn’t do business with them we wouldn’t lose billions of dollars.

“It’s called decoupling, so you’ll start thinking about it.”



China to lose US trade status held for 20 YEARS in next crippling blow from Donald Trump

Tom Cotton, Republican senator for Arkansas, proposed legislation revoking China’s equal trade conditions with the US in retaliation for human rights and trades abuses. It is the latest US action taken against the Chinese government. US President Donald Trump has previously mentioned his desire to “decouple” the US economy from China.

Mr Cotton issued a press release along with the bill, which will be under consideration in the Senate and Congress.

He said: Twenty years ago this week, the Senate gave a gift to the Chinese Communist Party by granting it permanent most-favoured-nation status.

“That disastrous decision made the party richer, but cost millions of American jobs.

“It is time to protect American workers and take back our leverage over Beijing by withdrawing China’s permanent trade status.”

READ MORE: Iran news: Trump plans MORE trading sanctions for Iran as Middle East tensions EXPLODE

The bill would allow China to maintain its MFN status, but it would be reviewed annually by the President and subject to Congressional approval.

It also includes a list of disqualifying factors for China’s status, including human rights abuses and trade abuses, but they can be waived by the President

This includes slave Labour, re-education prison camps, forced abortions or sterilisations and organ harvesting from prisoners.

Mr Cotton’s release also mentions religious persecution, harassment of expatriate Chinese who are critical of the government and the theft of intellectual property from Americans as disqualifying conditions for China’s MFN under the proposed bill.

China has recently been condemned for its reported human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where Uighur muslims have been subjected to human rights violations.

More than a million Uighurs in western Xinjiang are believed to be held in internment camps according to human rights groups and first hand accounts from escaped Uighurs.

Earlier this week, the US Customs and Border Protection issued an order blocking Xinjiang products due to allegations of force labour from the Uighurs.

Ken Cuccinelli, carrying out the duties of the deputy Homeland Security Secretary, said: “Communist Chinese China needs to close its concentration camps, set its captives free and end its state-sponsored forced labour program immediately. “Until they do, DHS will continue to block illicit goods and prosecute those who profit from them.”

Mr Trump has also hit out at China’s human rights abuses, and has been vocal in his criticism of Beijing’s human rights and trade record.

The President has ordered tariffs, which have totalled in value at more than $350 billion (£270.405 billion) in Chinese goods.

The World Trade Organisation has ruled Mr Trump broke global trade laws with the tariffs.

The WTO also found the tariff duties violated the WTO’s MFN principle.

Mr Trump has also raised the idea of “decoupling” the US economy from China.

He said during a Labor Day press conference: “So when you mention the word decouple, it’s an interesting word.

“We lose billions of dollars and if we didn’t do business with them we wouldn’t lose billions of dollars.

“It’s called decoupling, so you’ll start thinking about it.”



EU blow: Australian Senator's ferocious critique of 'stifling' Brussels exposed

This week, the Government has challenged previous commitments with the European Union, increasing the odds of a no deal outcome at the end of the transition period. Both sides have said they remain in close contact and their plans to have another round of trade talks at the end of the month are still on the table. However, the EU has made it clear that it cannot sign new trade arrangements if the UK violates previous already-legislated commitments. On Monday, MPs cleared the first legal hurdle in implementing the Internal Market Bill — a set of new laws that, if cleared in both chambers, would breach international law.

The EU has asked the UK to amend the Bill as soon as possible and warned that if it fails to do so, it will likely challenge the UK government in court.

Both sides have given themselves until October to put together an agreement that can then be ratified before the end of the year, but analysts are growing increasingly sceptical that this is going to happen.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said no deal would be a good outcome for Britain and Australian Liberal Party Senator Eric Abetz echoed his remarks in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.

The Senator hit out at the EU for being “stifling” and not “cooperative” with Britain.

He said: “When the Brexit idea came up, I was quite excited.

“I saw some really great advantages for the UK and Commonwealth of nations.

“I am one of those people who believes the best way of government is when people can decide their own fate.

“Clearly, the EU was becoming very stifling.”

He added: “I think the negotiations from the UK point of view have been good and robust.

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Mr Abetz concluded: “I just hope Boris Johnson sees that if there is no deal, then there is no deal and we’ll go ahead with Brexit without a deal.

“Let’s see what the consequences are.

“But it seems a matter of regret as the EU is supposed to be a cooperative organisation and voluntary.

“It should be as easy to get into the EU as it is to get back out, but what they are clearly showing is that they are not letting countries exercising that right.”



World War 3: India deals HUGE blow to Pakistan in heated UN meeting amid border tensions

Last week, both nations accused one another of firing live rounds and violating a ceasefire along the Lone of Control boundary in the region. The issue was brought up in the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

In it, Pawan Badhe, India’s first secretary of the country’s permanent mission of India in Geneva, called Pakistan “an epicentre of terrorism”.

According to an Economic Times report on proceedings, the first secretary said: “The nefarious designs of Pakistan continue in Pakistan Occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“Pakistan does well when it comes to intimidation and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and political dissidents in particular by its state machinery.”

He also hit out at Turkey and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, both of which had supposedly made comments on the internal affairs of India.

The first secretary added: “We reject the reference made by the OIC to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India.”

It is not clear what Turkey or the OIC said to have attracted this response.

Tensions have also flared between India and China in recent months following a deadly clash between forces on both sides on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which runs serves as a boundary between them.

20 Indian soldiers were killed in the hand-to-hand clash, though the number of Chinese casualties has remained debated.

READ: India rushes supplies and ammunition to contested border as China war tensions soar

Indeed, 321 non-governmental organisations have urged the UN to crack down on human rights abuses in China.

Their statement made in an open letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and UN Member States published by Amnesty.

The letter reads: “We are dismayed at China’s efforts to distort the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council by promoting “cooperation” over accountability, and opposing initiatives to bring scrutiny of serious rights violations and international crimes in countries around the world.

“It has sought to deny access to human rights defenders to UN premises, denounced speakers on NGO side events as ‘terrorists,’ and threatened delegates to deter them from attending UN side events on rights violations, including abuses in Xinjiang.”

China’s foreign minister Zhao Lijian responded to the letter, saying: “The groundless allegations of these organisations are not worth refuting,” according to CNS News.

China has been part of the HRC since the council’s 2006 foundation. There are 47 seats altogether.



World War 3: India deals HUGE blow to Pakistan in heated UN meeting amid border tensions

Last week, both nations accused one another of firing live rounds and violating a ceasefire along the Lone of Control boundary in the region. The issue was brought up in the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

In it, Pawan Badhe, India’s first secretary of the country’s permanent mission of India in Geneva, called Pakistan “an epicentre of terrorism”.

According to an Economic Times report on proceedings, the first secretary said: “The nefarious designs of Pakistan continue in Pakistan Occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“Pakistan does well when it comes to intimidation and attacks against journalists, human rights defenders and political dissidents in particular by its state machinery.”

He also hit out at Turkey and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, both of which had supposedly made comments on the internal affairs of India.

The first secretary added: “We reject the reference made by the OIC to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India.”

It is not clear what Turkey or the OIC said to have attracted this response.

Tensions have also flared between India and China in recent months following a deadly clash between forces on both sides on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which runs serves as a boundary between them.

20 Indian soldiers were killed in the hand-to-hand clash, though the number of Chinese casualties has remained debated.

READ: India rushes supplies and ammunition to contested border as China war tensions soar

Indeed, 321 non-governmental organisations have urged the UN to crack down on human rights abuses in China.

Their statement made in an open letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and UN Member States published by Amnesty.

The letter reads: “We are dismayed at China’s efforts to distort the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council by promoting “cooperation” over accountability, and opposing initiatives to bring scrutiny of serious rights violations and international crimes in countries around the world.

“It has sought to deny access to human rights defenders to UN premises, denounced speakers on NGO side events as ‘terrorists,’ and threatened delegates to deter them from attending UN side events on rights violations, including abuses in Xinjiang.”

China’s foreign minister Zhao Lijian responded to the letter, saying: “The groundless allegations of these organisations are not worth refuting,” according to CNS News.

China has been part of the HRC since the council’s 2006 foundation. There are 47 seats altogether.



EU seeks revenge: Brussels hits UK with major Brexit blow as trade impasse turns nasty

The European Commission is understood to have put off a decision that would allow London-based clearing houses to handle euro transactions to the end of the month after the introduction of the Government’s UK Internal Market Bill. Top eurocrats had previously said they would grant Britain “time-limited” access to euro clearing after the end of the post-Brexit transition period to avoid major disruption to financial markets. A decision was expected to be made this week but was delayed because of the row over the Government’s plans to overrule parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in last year’s Withdrawal Agreement.

The European Commission is yet to comment on the claims made by industry sources.

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