Uri Geller claims responsibility for Commons leak

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The TV psychic Uri Geller has claimed responsibility for the leak that brought proceedings in the Commons to a halt earlier today. 

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19.00 - Uri Geller claims responsibility for Commons leak

TV psychic Uri Geller has claimed responsibility for the leak that brought proceedings in the Commons to a halt earlier today. 

The Israel-British mentalist had previously warned Theresa May that he would use his "powers" to bring an end to the Brexit chaos. 

He apparently carried through his threat today, claiming in a statement on Twitter that he had bent the Commons pipes with his mind. 

Unfortunately Mr Geller's powers were in vain, as MPs were debating Loan Charges, rather than Brexit, when the leak took place. 


17.30 - 'Detailed and productive' talks to continue tomorrow

A Downing Street spokesman has confirmed talks between the government and Labour will continue tomorrow. 

The negotiating teams met for four and a half hours of "detailed and productive technical talks" today. 

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer led the Labour delegation, while Theresa May's deputy David Lidington headed up the Conservative team. 


15.30 - Labour backbenchers warn against second referendum

Backbench Labour MPs have warned Jeremy Corbyn not to include a second Brexit referendum in any compromise deal with Theresa May. 

In a joint letter to Mr Corbyn, 25 Labour MPs warn that a second public vote would "divide the countr yfurther and add uncertainty for business".

They warned: "A second referendum would be exploited by the far right, damage the trust of many core Labour voters and reduce our chances of winning a general election."

Signatories included veteran backbenchers Sir Kevin Barron, Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, former minister Caroline Flint and MPs for Leave-voting areas of the North and Midlands including Gloria De Piero, Sarah Champion and Gareth Snell.

The letter is further evidence that the Labour Party is facing a major split over the question of a second referendum. 

Deputy leader Tom Watson, who spoke at the People's Vote rally last month, warned that the party would "not forgive us" if Labour's negotiating team failed to secure a public vote. 

However Labour chairman Ian Lavery told shadow cabinet colleagues on Wednesday that a second referendum would split the party. 

Mr Lavery twice defied the Labour whip to abstain on amendments seeking a second referedum in the indicative votes. 


12.30 - Downing Street warns of 'accidental no-deal Brexit'

If Ms Cooper's Bill is passed by the House of Lords, it would create the danger of an "accidental no-deal Brexit" on April 12, Downing Street has warned.

The Bill - passed by a single vote in the Commons on Wednesday - allows Parliament to determine the length of any Brexit extension the Prime Minister should request at the EU summit on April 10.

If the European Council proposes a different extension, Mrs May would be required to return to the Commons to obtain MPs' approval, but if they say no, there would be no time to renegotiate the date with Brussels, Downing Street said.

The prime minister's official spokesman said: "If passed, this Bill would place a severe constraint on the Government's ability to negotiate an extension and reflect this new date in UK statute books by April 12."


10.10 - Involvement in European elections would be 'damaging'

Brexit secretary Steve Barclay has warned that UK participation in European Parliament elections would be "damaging" for UK politics.

Speaking in the Commons, Conservative Philip Hollobone said: "The Conservative Party National Convention, the meeting of all local party chairmen, made it clear in February that were Brexit to be delayed so that we take part in European elections that would be a betrayal of the referendum result and inflict untold damage - isn't that right and doesn't he agree?"

Mr Barclay replied: "To have European parliamentary elections three years after the country voted to leave would be damaging for our politics as a whole, but he'll also have seen the vote in the House last night which sought to take the option of leaving without a deal off the table, and he'll also be aware the House has today refused to back any of the options for a deal that have been put to it."

Brexit minister Robin Walker, asked if the department had analysed the cost of running a second referendum and whether it continues to not be government policy, said: "I can certainly confirm the latter.

"A second referendum would create further uncertainty and further division. We don't think it's the right way forward."