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With election campaigning in full swing, Nigel Farage dug in over his pledge to stand Brexit Party candidates nationwide, potentially taking votes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said Farage’s position “risks us losing Brexit altogether.”
Members of Parliament elect a new speaker of the House of Commons, an appointment that could influence the direction of Brexit. John Bercow, who stepped down last week, set new precedents to allow opponents of the deals negotiated by both Johnson and his predecessor, Theresa May, to scrutinize and amend those plans.
Farage says Brexit Party can exert “great influence” in new ParliamentPlaid Cymru continues talks with Greens, Liberal Democrats on electoral pactNHS chiefs warn politicians not to “weaponize” NHS during election campaignMPs to elect a new speaker in the House of Commons, from 2:30 p.m.Pound falls 0.2% after weekend opinion polls indicated Conservative Party’s lead may be narrowing
Bercow Quits Early as MP (11:25 a.m.)
Outgoing House of Commons Speaker John Bercow — who had his last day in the chair on Thursday — has stepped down early as an MP. It means he won’t be able to participate in the vote later on Monday to appoint his successor.
His resignation was signaled in a Treasury announcement that Bercow has been appointed to be “Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.” Parliament is set to sit for the last time on Tuesday before dissolution at midnight ahead of the Dec. 12 general election.
Lib Dems See Deals Likely in ‘Tens of Seats’ (10:50 a.m.)
The Liberal Democrats are likely to strike electoral pacts with other smaller parties in “tens of seats,” but no formal nationwide deal is likely, Tom Brake, the party’s Brexit spokesman, said in an interview. The agreements will be brokered on a local basis, as has already been done in some Welsh seats.
“That is what we can expect a little bit more of, rather than any announcement about a national deal,” Brake said. “We’re talking tens of seats, not hundreds of seats. Given that this is very much based on ad hoc arrangements, it makes it very hard to predict what the final number will be.”
Brake’s comments come after Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said to expect an announcement “very soon” on the results of talks between his Welsh nationalist grouping, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats (See earlier).
Rees-Mogg: Farage Should Stop Fighting Tories (9:20 a.m.)
Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg heaped praise on Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage for his contribution to the Euroskeptic cause — but warned he risked snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by fighting the Tories and splitting the pro-Brexit vote.
“Nigel needs to recognize that he has won,” Rees-Mogg told LBC Radio. Farage “risks us losing Brexit altogether” if he fights the Tories at the election and allows Labour to win power.
There can be no deal with the Brexit Party if Farage “simply wants to oppose” Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, Rees-Mogg said, pointing out that other leading Euroskeptics support the agreement.
Farage has said his party will field 600 candidates to challenge the Conservatives unless Johnson ditches his Brexit deal.
Farage Hardens Line on Johnson’s Deal (Earlier)
Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage showed no sign of backing down in his opposition to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal or on his pledge to stand candidates across the country.
“What we get with Boris is three more years of negotiations minimum, we go on paying, we have taxation without representation, we have no voice, they can do what they like to us and we’re committed to staying part of EU rules forever,” Farage told ITV on Monday. “That is not Brexit.”
Farage said the British public would be “horrified” when they “wake up” to the deal that’s been negotiated, and said his party can affect proceedings in the new Parliament.
“Mrs. May was kept in power by 10 DUP MPs,” Farage said. “It is likely that we’re going to have a hung Parliament the next time around, so actually if the Brexit Party can get a reasonable amount of people in there, they can exert a great influence.”
Health Chiefs Warn Against Politicizing NHS (Earlier)
Health chiefs warned against politicizing the National Health Service during the general election campaign. Writing in The Times newspaper, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Chairwoman Carrie MacEwen said it “cannot be right” for politicians to use the health service to score political points.
“The NHS’s role is to manage the health of the nation, not to be used as a tool to swing voters in a three-way marginal,” she wrote. “Our fear is that when it comes to the NHS in these febrile times, we will see irrational, undeliverable promises or even outright lies.”
Speaking to BBC radio on Monday, NHS Providers Chief Executive Officer Chris Hopson said politicians “need to be clear” about what extra spending is for. New funding pledged by the government, he said, “just enables us to keep up with extra demand.”
“One of the worries we have is that everybody’s running around saying that this extra money now takes us to the sunlit uplands and that it’s all going to be fantastic, and the reality is that it’s an amount of funding that just enables us to keep up with demand,” Hopson said.
Plaid Cymru Plans Pact With Greens, Lib Dems (Earlier)
Adam Price, leader of the Welsh nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, said he’d had “positive” discussions with the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party over electoral pacts in certain voting districts.
Under the potential deals, two of the parties would stand aside in specific constituencies in order to give the other a clearer chance of defeating the Conservative candidate. “We hope to make an announcement very soon,” Price told BBC radio, declining to give specifics.
Farage to Challenge Johnson in 600 Seats: U.K. Campaign TrailBoris Johnson Says Sorry Tories Missed Oct. 31 Brexit DeadlineBrexit and Election Turmoil Cut Into BOE Preparation Time: ChartBOE Governor Race Thrown Into Turmoil by December ElectionU.K. Parliament Set to Elect Replacement to Speaker BercowAs Brexit Radicalizes British Politics, There’s Nowhere to Hide
–With assistance from Jessica Shankleman.
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