David Cameron resigns as prime minister
The Conservative Party leader David Cameron has resigned as prime minister of the United Kingdom, after failing to secure Britain’s future in the European Union. While he will stay on as caretaker prime minister, Cameron will no longer be standing in the House of Commons. His successor will be elected at a special election. David Cameron became the Conservative Party leader in 2005, and became prime minister in 2010. He led the Conservative Party’s coalition government with the Liberal Democrats and faced the daunting task of stabilizing the economy after the financial crisis and cutting public spending.
Cameron was born in London and studied at Eton College and Brasenose College, Oxford. From 1988 to 1993, he worked in the Conservative Party’s Research Department. He was then promoted to Special Adviser to former Conservative Prime Minister John Major, who had appointed him as one of the most junior members of the cabinet. After leaving government, David Cameron worked for Carlton Communications. He later served on the board of directors of the company. In 2001, he was elected MP for Witney, and became Conservative Party Leader in 2010.
Jeremy Hunt warns of ‘big mountain to climb’
Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out a leadership bid. The former foreign secretary has been one of the most scathing critics of the government to date. He has warned that a vote for a tax cut would be more important to voters than a properly funded NHS. Jeremy Hunt also said that losing the local election was not the midterm blues but a reflection of a deeper concern about the rising cost of living. He has also criticised the government’s response to the recent pandemic.
Jeremy Hunt has said that now is not the time for leadership changes, but he does not think it is too late to seek a leadership position. Johnson will now face a huge mountain to climb to replace him. The recent Met fines relating to the partygate scandal have left the Cabinet Secretary and Boris Johnson largely untouched. The Met has also announced a further 50 fixed penalty notice referrals.
Parliament suspended to force through no-deal Brexit
Earlier this month, the UK government suspended Parliament to force a no-deal Brexit, a move which some lawmakers have condemned. Although suspensions usually last only one week, in this case they are going to last five weeks. This is perhaps the most contentious period of British politics since the Second World War. According to House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, the primary purpose of the prorogation is to prevent Parliament from debating Brexit and performing its duties. However, a recent YouGov poll found that the majority of respondents opposed the suspension, while just two-thirds supported it. As such, some lawmakers have suggested that the suspension was meant to prevent Parliament from interfering in the government’s hard-line Brexit plans.
After the summer recess, Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved quickly to give opponents of no-deal Brexit less time to stop it. The suspension of Parliament will set the stage for an Oct. 31 no-deal Brexit that will severely rattle the U.K. and EU economies. Parliament will likely vote on the final deal in November. The timing of the suspension is crucial. Although the government has had a long-term plan to avoid a no-deal Brexit, it still does not have enough time to get it right.
Liz Truss’s task force to encourage more women into science careers
Foreign Secretary and equalities minister, Liz Truss, has announced the establishment of two new task forces to increase the number of women in STEM roles, such as engineers and scientists. The new taskforces will consider ways to improve representation of women in these fields and also encourage more women to take on leadership positions at start-ups. The government is keen to increase the number of women in these areas, particularly as recent increases in the number of women studying STEM subjects have failed to translate into higher employment rates.
The Taskforce will continue the work of the Rose Review, which found that breaking down barriers to female entrepreneurs could boost the economy by PS250 billion. The review has also highlighted the need for more support for women working in high-growth businesses. It follows a package of initiatives launched on International Women’s Day. These initiatives include the implementation of a pay transparency pilot to make it easier for businesses to recruit women.