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Tory deputy chairmen Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith resign after backing Rwanda bill amendments | Politics News

Two deputy chairs of the Conservative Party have resigned from their roles after they both supported rebel amendments to Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill.

Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith both said they would support proposed changes designed to toughen up Mr Sunak’s bill, which seeks to declare Rwanda a safe country to deport asylum seekers to.

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Jane Stevenson, a parliamentary private secretary (PPS) in the Department for Business and Trade, also said she would support rebel amendments to the Rwanda Bill.

On Tuesday night MPs voted on a series of amendments to the bill, including one submitted by veteran Tory MP Sir Bill Cash, whose amendment sought to disapply international law with regards to Rwanda being a safe country

In total 70 rebels backed the amendment.

However, the amendment still passed by 529 votes to 68, leaving a majority of 461.

In a joint resignation letter, Mr Anderson and Mr Clarke-Smith said they supported the amendments “not because we are against the legislation, but because like everybody else we want it to work”.

“This task is not an easy one and we appreciate the fine balance that must be struck,” they added.

“As two people who have been on very different political journeys, one as a person who followed the same path many voters did for the first time at the last general election and another who has been a lifelong Conservative Party supporter, it has been a huge honour for both of us to serve as deputy chairmen of the party.

“Our support for the party and this government remains as strong as ever and that is why we are so passionate about making this legislation work.

“However, we fully appreciate that with such important roles there is also the issue of being bound by collective responsibility.

“It is with this in mind that we fully appreciate that whilst our main wish is to strengthen the legislation, this means that in order to vote for amendments we will therefore need to offer you our resignations from our roles.”

On Monday night, Mr Anderson and Mr Clarke-Smith confirmed they would back rebel amendments to the bill, paving the way for them to resign or be sacked.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “Sunak’s Rwanda scheme just won’t work – and even the deputy chairmen of his own party know it.

“Rishi Sunak has yet again been embarrassed by his own MPs.

“If the prime minister can’t even settle squabbles in his own party, how can he be expected to run the country?”

Robert Jenrick ‘prepared’ to vote down Rwanda bill as Tory divide deepens | Politics News

Robert Jenrick says he is “prepared” to vote against the Rwanda bill if the government does not adopt “robust” changes to the proposed legislation.

The proposed law is heading back to the Commons for two days of debate this afternoon, with the aim of deterring asylum seekers from coming to the UK via small boat crossings.

Rishi Sunak has said the new bill, which includes clauses to define Rwanda as a “safe country” and reduces the ability for people to appeal, answers the concerns of the the UK Supreme Court – which ruled the plan unlawful – while also ensuring deportations will take place.

But many on the right of the party – including Mr Jenrick, who resigned as immigration minister over the issue – want the prime minister to toughen up the legislation with a raft of amendments, including one that would block injunctions on flights taking off.

Make this move, however, and Mr Sunak risks upsetting the centrist wing of his party, with the One Nation faction already concerned the bill goes too far from the UK’s international obligations.

Politics live:
Johnson tells PM to accept rebel amendments

Speaking to Sky News’s political editor Beth Rigby, Mr Jenrick said he did not want to get to the “situation” where he would have to rebel against the government, but added: “I am prepared to vote against the bill… because this bill doesn’t work, and I do believe that a better bill is possible.

“So the government has a choice. It can either accept my amendments… or it can bring back a new and improved bill, and it could do that within a matter of days because we know the shape of that bill.”

He added: “The opportunity here is immense. Let’s not waste it by creating a scheme that is like a bucket riddled with holes.”

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Jenrick: ‘Tens of thousands more’ will come if bill not ‘fixed’

The former immigration minister said he “didn’t accept” that if the bill failed in the Commons, Mr Sunak’s premiership would be in crisis – despite two deputy Tory chairmen now risking the sack to vote for the rebel amendments.

“This isn’t about the prime minister or his leadership of the Conservative Party,” Mr Jenrick said. “This is about fixing one of the biggest problems facing not just this country, but countries all over the world.

“And as I’ve set out in great detail since I resigned on principle last month, if we don’t fix this problem, we’ll see tens of thousands more people coming to our country.

“I don’t want to see the bill either fail or proceed in its current state. Neither is a satisfactory outcome. But I do know that a better bill is possible and the ball is in the government’s court here.”

He added: “The point is that there’s no point having a moment of unity in passing a bill that doesn’t work – that’s an illusion.

“What matters is whether it works. And if we’re celebrating this week, but in August there are still thousands of people coming across in small boats, no one will remember the events of this week.”

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PM claims Tories are ‘completely united’ in wanting to stop the boats

Govt ‘risks clogging up the courts’

Sky News understands the government still doesn’t plan to accept any of the amendments from right-wing MPs.

However, shortly before the debate was set to begin – and in an attempt to appease rebels – Justice Secretary Alex Chalk confirmed 25 hearing rooms had been prepared and more than 100 additional staff had been recruited to help speed up appeals and deportations.

But Mr Jenrick said: “Adding more judges into the mix simply accepts my central argument that there will be an absolute cascade of individual claims from migrants as they arrive into the country and [that] will clog up the courts.

“It will delay things and the scheme will become completely inoperable.”

The former minister also rejected the government’s argument that any strengthening of the law would lead to the Rwandan government pulling out of the scheme altogether, rather than risk being linked with breaches of international law.

“It is quite an implausible suggestion from the government, which was raised at the 11th hour,” he said.

“I think it’s a highly convenient argument… you weren’t born yesterday, neither was I. I don’t think that is going to wash with parliamentary colleagues.”

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Would Labour support Rwanda plan?

Mr Jenrick continued: “All we care about is what works. It is absolutely critical for the country not to talk about the government, but to actually get the Rwanda scheme up and running.

“Illegal migration is doing untold damage to our country. I won’t allow that to continue.

“I said, as did the prime minister, that we would do whatever it takes. And the bill before parliament this week is not that.

“That is why we need to amend it, to toughen it and to ensure those flights do truly get off to Rwanda.”

Tory MP Jonathan Gullis challenges ‘virtue-signalling’ Gary Lineker to stand against him at next election | Politics News

A Tory MP has thrown down the gauntlet to former footballer Gary Lineker, telling him to stand at the next election amid an ongoing feud with the BBC presenter.

Jonathan Gullis criticised Lineker last month on social media for signing an open letter against the Rwanda bill, claiming it breached the BBC’s new impartiality rules.

Howerver, the Match Of The Day star hit back on X, saying the MP had not read the new social media guidelines, suggesting he couldn’t read.

Mr Gullis (left) said he would ‘absolutely’ beat Lineker at the polls

Asked about the row on Sky News, Mr Gullis said: “Gary’s constantly trying to get lots of likes on Twitter, or X as it’s now called… I think Gary needs to spend less time virtue-signalling and more time talking about football, which he’s actually very good at.”

He said he would “absolutely” beat Lineker at an election in his constituency of Stoke-on-Trent North, adding: “Let the public decide.”

Mr Gullis has been an MP for the constituency since 12 December 2019, unseating Labour’s Ruth Smeeth.

He explained he wrote to the BBC director-general Tim Davie to complain about Lineker because the incoming chair of the BBC suggested his comments may have been in breach of the guidelines.

Lineker, a staunch critic of the government’s asylum seeker policy, was suspended from presenting Match Of The Day in March, last year, after comparing the language used in the plan with 1930s Germany.

He returned to hosting duties after Mr Davie apologised and said an independent review had been launched looking into the corporation’s social media guidelines, particularly for freelancers like Lineker.

Several of the TV star’s co-presenters had also stood down from the show in solidarity.

Read more:
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But Mr Gullis criticised the corporation’s response, saying: “The director-general seems to have just done a whitewash, so clearly Gary Lineker either runs the BBC or the director-general is too scared to actually stand up to him.”

He said the BBC’s name had been “dragged through the mud” by Lineker, claiming he is held to a different standard than less well-known presenters.

Lineker backed the broadcaster’s new rules in September, which say high-profile presenters should be able to express their views on political issues providing they did not extend to activism.

BBC news presenters, however, are subject to stricter impartiality guidelines.

Sunak to find ‘middle ground’ in emergency Rwanda legislation as Tory splits emerge into public view | Politics News

Rishi Sunak will aim for a middle ground in the emergency legislation to get the Rwanda scheme off the ground as he remains under severe pressure to stop small boat crossings.

A senior government source has told Sky News that the prime minister is not planning to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as he seeks to prevent a split in his party.

It comes as more centrist Tory MPs are warning Mr Sunak publicly not to abandon international refugee and human rights treaties, while those on the right of the party want him to take a more hard-line approach.

Politics news – latest: Tory splits on migration spill into public view

The prime minister is trying to rescue the plan to deport migrants who arrive in the UK by irregular means to Rwanda and make it legally watertight following the Supreme Court’s ruling against the scheme.

In the wake of the judgement on 15 November, the government insisted it had been working on contingency measures and promised a treaty with Rwanda within days, along with emergency legislation in parliament.

The treaty was signed on Tuesday, and the government is expected to publish the emergency legislation to accompany it “soon”.

More on European Court Of Human Rights

Read more: Rishi Sunak stuck between rock and hard place as Tories battle over migration policy

The legislation will be scrutinised on all sides of the debate, with members of the right-wing European Research Group (ERG) revealing to Sky News earlier that the group’s so-called “star chamber” of lawyers will examine it before MPs vote on it.

ERG chairman Mark Francois promised a conclusion within a matter of days, and added: “They will then examine the bill in detail to look at the question of whether it fully respects parliamentary sovereignty and whether it contains unambiguous wording that would facilitate planes taking off to Rwanda.”

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UK and Rwanda sign asylum treaty

He also warned that the prime minister would be “unwise” to “bounce” MPs into backing the legislation before it has been properly scrutinised.

The opposite wing of the party has warned that any attempt to override the ECHR or Refugee Convention would be a “red line”.

Read more:
How safe is the UK’s plan for asylum seekers?
Rwanda did not receive funding to sign new asylum treaty

Former cabinet minister Damian Green said earlier today: “What I am most encouraged by is what the home secretary said, which is the purpose of the treaty he signed is to directly address the problems the Supreme Court had with the system.”

He added that undermining international commitments would be the “wrong thing for this country to do, bad for our international reputation”, and it would also make it “pretty much impossible” for any bill to pass the House of Lords.

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Will Rwanda asylum treaty work?

Stephen Hammond, a member of the One Nation grouping, said: “The prime minister has a tricky task on his hands to balance the economy, labour market, and stopping the boats.

“The package by the home secretary shows this is possible and, importantly, can be achieved by not leaving the ECHR, which would be a mistake and doesn’t have public support.

“Furthermore, moderates and mainstream Conservative MPs may struggle to support a so-called full-fat deal.”

Arrest made after Tory MP Justin Tomlinson was sent threatening messages about Israel-Gaza conflict | UK News

A man has been remanded in custody accused of stalking a Conservative MP by sending him threatening messages about the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Feras Al-Jayoosi, 36, was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Thursday and was later charged with stalking Justin Tomlinson, who represents North Swindon in Wiltshire, by sending multiple abusive and threatening emails which caused fear and concern.

Al-Jayoosi, from Swindon, appeared at Swindon Crown Court on Saturday.

During a brief hearing the court heard the alleged emails concerned the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The defendant spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He was denied bail and remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Al-Jayoosi is also charged with criminal damage over an un-related matter.

Suella Braverman meets Met chief amid Tory row over protest article | Politics News

Suella Braverman has met the head of the Metropolitan Police to offer the force her “full backing” ahead of controversial pro-Palestine protests taking place this weekend.

On Wednesday, the home secretary wrote an article for The Times newspaper – which was not signed off by Number 10 – attacking the force for “playing favourites” with left wing protesters, and accusing them of “double standards”.

It followed her earlier remarks describing the demonstrations as “hate marches”.

Politics live: Sunak warned to ‘tread carefully’ over Braverman row

Ms Braverman’s comments have ignited a row within the Conservative Party, with some backing the home secretary, while others are calling for her to resign or be sacked.

Opposition parties also accused her of picking a fight with the police, and demanded she be ousted from the Home Office.

Now in an apparent climb down, the minister has met with the head of the force, Sir Mark Rowley, with a source close to Ms Braverman saying she “emphasised her full backing for the police in what will be a complex and challenging situation and expressed confidence that any criminality will be dealt with robustly”.

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‘We can’t enforce taste or decency’

The prime minister has been under increasing pressure to take action over Ms Braverman’s comments about this weekend’s protests that coincide with Armistice Day.

While the pro-Palestinian march is not set to take place until almost two hours after the nation holds a two-minute silence, and is not due to go to past the Cenotaph in Whitehall, some – including the home secretary – have branded the event offensive and inappropriate.

Sir Mark was summoned to Downing Street earlier in the week to discuss policing of the march with Rishi Sunak, who vowed to hold the most senior office in the UK “accountable” for what happens on Saturday.

But, despite airing his own concerns about the protest – calling it “disrespectful” – the prime minister conceded there was “a right to peacefully protest” and the march could go ahead.

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Met Police chief ‘accountable’ over protest

The Met chief stood by his decision to let the protest take place throughout the week, saying the “legal threshold” to stop it on security grounds “had not been met”.

However, despite the statements from both Mr Sunak and Sir Mark, the home secretary took to the papers to express her anger at the force’s actions – and publicly contradict her party leader.

After causing a rift within the Conservatives – brought into sharp focus by WhatsApp messages leaked to Sky News – Ms Braverman now appears to be attempting to smooth over relations with the Met.

A source close to her said: “The home secretary and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police met this afternoon to discuss the policing of demonstrations to be held tomorrow, on Armistice Day.

“The commissioner outlined plans to continue working to maintain public order, ensure compliance with the law and maintain the safety of participants, police officers and the general public.

“The home secretary emphasised her full backing for the police in what will be a complex and challenging situation and expressed confidence that any criminality will be dealt with robustly.”

Will climbdown be enough to keep Braverman in post?

Rob Powell Political reporter

Rob Powell

Political correspondent


While we haven’t yet heard directly from Suella Braverman, the language being used by a source close to the home secretary this evening suggests something of a climbdown and an attempt to make amends with the Metropolitan Police.

After accusing officers of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protestors earlier this week, we’re now told she has “emphasised her full backing” for the force and “expressed confidence that any criminality will be dealt with robustly”.

That is a marked change in tone from the broadside levelled at the Met just days ago.

So what’s going on?

Downing Street and the broader government machine have made no secret of their unhappiness with the home secretary’s latest intervention.

While the prime minister is said to still have confidence in Ms Braverman, senior ministers have distanced themselves from their colleague and Number 10 has pointedly briefed that it did not sign off the article.

In other words, there was a distinct impression that this time she may have gone too far and, as such, put her job at risk.

Could the threat of being sacked have forced this change in tone? Maybe. But there’s also the practical context to this.

The home secretary’s controversial remarks risked undermining officers and inflaming tension at protests tomorrow. So this could also be a somewhat belated attempt to calm the situation down.

But whether it will be enough to actually keep Suella Braverman in her post remains to be seen.

Earlier on Friday, the Met released details of the “significant” operation it planned to run in London over the weekend to ensure Remembrance services are protected from disruption by both the march and any counter-protests, which some fear may be held by the far right.

The force said more than 2,000 officers will be on the streets, an exclusion zone had been set up around Whitehall – where Sunday’s main Remembrance event will take place – and putting a 24-hour police presence around the Cenotaph.

In a lengthy statement, they added: “We’ll be using an extensive set of powers to prevent any disruption whatsoever to Remembrance events, policing the demonstration as it passes through parts of the capital, while protecting our communities from those intent on inciting hate, violence and disorder.”

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Braverman asked if she will resign

Shortly before news broke of Ms Braverman’s meeting, the prime minister also issued a statement saying he had been “reassured” by the police over their operation that Remembrance services would be protected.

Rishi Sunak says allegations a Tory MP committed series of rapes are ‘very serious’ | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has responded for the first time to allegations that a Tory MP committed a series of rapes, saying the claims were “very serious”.

The prime minister urged anyone with evidence of criminal acts to talk to the police, as he faced questions about the accusations while on a visit to Norfolk.

“These are very serious, anonymous allegations,” he said.

“It may be that they allude to something that is already the subject of a live police investigation, so I hope you understand it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on that further specifically.

“More broadly the Conservative Party has robust independent complaint procedures in place, but I would say to anybody who has information or evidence about any criminal acts to of course talk to police, that’s the right course of action.”

Mr Sunak was speaking after a report in the Mail On Sunday that former Tory chairman Sir Jake Berry had sent a letter to police, in which he revealed a number of allegations about an MP had been made known to the party, but little action had been taken.

Sir Jake had only become aware of the claims when he learned the party had paid for one of the alleged victims to receive treatment at a private hospital.

His letter, written jointly with former chief whip Wendy Morton, another MP and a Downing Street official, also claimed the failure of others in the party to act had allowed the politician at the centre of the allegations to continue offending.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Sunday that the party had a “zero tolerance” approach to sexual misconduct.

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‘Zero tolerance for sexual misconduct’

Speaking on Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips, Mr Dowden insisted the vast majority of people were in parliament were there to serve their constituents and the nation.

He also urged anyone with accusations of criminality to “go straight” to the police.

Pressed over whether there was a wider problem at Westminster after a series of scandals, Mr Dowden said: “No, I don’t think there’s something wrong about our parliament and the vast majority of people in parliament are there to serve their constituents and to serve the nation.

“Now, in respect of a very small number of cases, it’s important robust action is taken.

“And indeed, if there are allegations, I would urge anyone to go straight to the police as a criminal matters and they should be investigated.”

Read more from Sky News:
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11 councillors quit Labour – after calling for Sir Keir Starmer to resign
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It is the latest in a string of sexual misconduct claims to hit the Conservative party.

Last month, senior Tory MP Crispin Blunt was suspended by the party after being arrested on suspicion of rape and the possession of controlled substances – allegations he denies.

It came after former Conservative minister Peter Bone was suspended from the Commons for six weeks after a claim he exposed himself to a member of staff was upheld.

Chris Pincher, the former deputy chief whip, was sacked and eventually resigned after being accused of groping two men in a Tory private members’ club.

And last year, former MP Imran Ahmad Khan was jailed after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Tory MP Bob Stewart accused of ‘racial hostility’ in row with protester | Politics News

Tory MP Bob Stewart showed “racial hostility” towards a protester by telling him to “go back to Bahrain” during a demonstration outside a Foreign Office building, a court has been told.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into the incident after a complaint was made by activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who has said he was living in exile after being tortured in the Gulf state.

The MP for Beckenham in south east London is also said to have told the protester on 14 December last year to “get stuffed”, that he was “taking money off my country” and “go away, I hate you”, after Mr Alwadaei shouted at him: “Bob Stewart, for how much did you sell yourself to the Bahraini regime?”

Follow live: PM criticises pro-Palestinian protest plans

Stewart is appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court facing a charge of a racially aggravated public order offence and another for using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress – both of which he denies.

Footage played to the court room on Friday also showed the MP saying: “Now shut up, you stupid man.”

The former Army officer, who was stationed in Bahrain in 1969, has described himself as a “friend” of the country.

His register of interests shows two trips paid for by the Bahraini government – one for a four-day visit to the state and another to visit an air show to meet a foreign minister – totalling more than £6,000.

During the one-day trial, Mr Alwadaei alleged that Bahrain was “corrupt” and a “human rights violator”, and said it was his right to protest against the MP’s involvement with the state.

Asked how he felt after the incident, the activist said: “I feel that I was dehumanised, like I was someone who is not welcomed in the UK.

“Because of my skin colour, because of where I came from, he feels I am taking money from his country.”

Activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, who was allegedly racially abused by Beckenham MP Bob Stewart, outside Westminster Magistrates' Court, London. Mr Stewart is appearing at the court charged with a racially aggravated public order offence after an incident outside the Foreign Office's Lancaster House on December 14 last year. Picture date: Wednesday July 19, 2023.
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei claims he was racially abused by the MP

‘Racial hostility’

Mr Alwadaei also claimed that if he returned to Bahrain, he would “undoubtedly be killed and tortured”.

Prosecutor Paul Jarvis said Mr Stewart had “demonstrated racial hostility towards Mr Alwadaei by way of his comments”, and while he was “not motivated by racial hostility”, he had demonstrated it.

In response to the accusation, the MP said it was “absurd” and “totally unfair”, stating he was “not a racist”.

He added: “My life has been, I don’t want to say destroyed, but I am deeply hurt at having to appear in a court like this.”

The 74-year-old politician told the court he had “no idea” who Mr Alwadaei was when the incident occurred and that he used the word “hate” because of what the protester was saying.

Stewart continued: “‘Go back to Bahrain’ meant why don’t you go back to Bahrain and make your point there?”

‘Honour at stake’

Asked if he accused Mr Alwadaei of taking money from the UK, the MP said: “I made the assumption he too was living in this country and was benefiting from living in this country.

“I certainly didn’t mean he was a freeloader.”

But he defended his reaction to the protester, telling the court: “He was saying that I was corrupt and that I had taken money. My honour was at stake in front of a large number of ambassadors.

“It upset me and I thought it was extremely offensive.”

The case continues.

Trans women to be banned from female hospital wards, under new Tory proposals | Politics News

Transgender women will be banned from being treated in female hospital wards in England, under new proposals suggested by the health secretary.

In his conference speech, Steve Barclay will reportedly announce plans to push back against what he calls “wokery” in the NHS, which he says has led to women’s rights being increasingly sidelined.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Barclay said: “We need a common-sense approach to sex and equality issues in the NHS. That is why I am announcing proposals for clearer rights for patients.”

Follow the Sky News Politics Hub for the latest from the Conservative party conference

He added “sex-specific language” has also been “restored” to health advice pages about cervical and ovarian cancer and the menopause.

“It is vital that women’s voices are heard in the NHS and the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients are protected,” he said.

A source close to Mr Barclay told Sky News he was “fed up with this agenda and the damage it’s causing, language like ‘chestfeeding’, talking about pregnant ‘people’ rather than women”.

They added: “It exasperates the vast majority of people, and he is determined to take action on it.

“He is concerned that women’s voices should be heard on healthcare and that too often wokery and ideological dogma is getting in the way of this.”

In April, Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch said the government could ban trans women from entering female-only spaces, and asked parliament’s human rights watchdog for its advice to change official wording from just “sex” to “biological sex”, which she described as a “technical and contested area of law”.

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Who are the New Conservatives?

New medical schools on the way – but Labour says they already exist

Elsewhere in his speech, Mr Barclay will announce an expansion of NHS training and funding of new technology in the health service.

He will also announce new medical schools in Worcester, Chester and Uxbridge, as well as an increase in the number of places up and down the country for students wanting to train to be doctors.

However, Labour said the three “new” schools announced already exist, adding the restrictions on the number of government-funded places mean they are only training international students.

Mr Barclay’s speech will be set amid the latest round of junior doctor and consultant strikes in England.

They are taking joint action, with Christmas Day levels of cover expected until Wednesday.

It follows two days of strike action at the end of September and coincides with Rishi Sunak’s first Conservative Party conference as leader and prime minister.

The Conservatives will be hoping to grapple back control of its conference in Manchester, which has been dominated with leaks regarding the northern phase of HS2 – which Sky News understands will be scrapped in the coming days.

While Number 10 says no decisions have been made, it is thought the section of the high speed rail project between Birmingham and Manchester will now be shelved.

Tory London mayor candidate urged to apologise for suggesting Jewish people are ‘frightened’ by Sadiq Khan | Politics News

The Tory candidate for London mayor has been urged to apologise after she claimed that Jewish communities were “frightened” by Sadiq Khan.

Susan Hall, who was selected as the Tory candidate in July, made the comments at the Conservative Friends of Israel event on the fringes of the Tory Party conference in Manchester.

‘Rishi reset’ derailed by HS2 – Tory conference latest

She told the audience that one of the “most important” things she would do for Londoners would be to make the city “safer” – particularly “for our Jewish communities”.

She asked for “as much help as [she] can get in London” because Mr Khan “needed to be defeated”.

“I know how frightened some of the community is because of the divisive attitude of Sadiq Khan,” she said.

“One of the most important things that I will do when I become mayor of London is to make it safer for everyone, but particularly for our Jewish community.

“I will ask for as much help as I can get in London, because we need to defeat him.”

Her comments immediately drew criticism from politicians and Jewish groups.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said her remarks were “divisive and disgusting”.

“Sadiq Khan has repeatedly stood by London’s Jewish communities in the fight against antisemitism,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Susan Hall’s dog whistle politics have no place in London. Will decent Conservatives ever call this out?”

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Mike Katz, the chair of Jewish Labour, said Ms Hall was “vile, ignorant and wrong” and urged her to apologise.

“Sadiq has consistently gone out of his way to work with the Jewish community. He stood with Jewish Labour when we spoke out on antisemitism in Labour.

“For Susan Hall to try to use this as a dog whistle is beneath contempt. She should apologise.

The Jewish Labour Movement accused Ms Hall of “gutter divisive politics that seeks to use the Jewish community as political pawns”.

“We had quite enough of this from Jeremy Corbyn and saw him off – and have no patience for it from Susan Hall,” it said.

Sky News has approached Ms Hall for comment and the Conservative Party has declined to comment.