Tories scrabble for new Brexit vision in place of May’s ‘doomed’ plan

Chancellor argues no-deal Brexit would betray leave vote, as chances of PM’s bill fade

The expected demise of Theresa May’s Brexit plan has sparked open lobbying over an alternative Tory vision, with the chancellor, Philip Hammond, arguing that proponents of a no-deal Brexit are betraying the referendum result.

The cabinet will on Tuesday discuss the final details of what Downing Street call a “new and improved deal” to be presented to the Commons, expected to include reassurances on areas including the Irish backstop, workers’ rights and environmental protections.

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Woman who drove van into house convicted over pensioner’s death

Tracy Bibby, 35, crashed into home in Somerset, killing Joan Woodier as she spoke on phone

A motorist who crashed a van into a house, killing a 90-year-old woman as she sat in her front room speaking on the phone, has been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving.

Tracy Bibby, 35, was banned from driving at the time she drove the Ford Transit into the home of Joan Woodier in Clevedon, Somerset. Estimated to have been travelling at up to 40mph, the van was left embedded in the front wall of the house, which partially collapsed on Woodier as she spoke to her son on the phone.

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Crossbenchers will not support anti-corruption body unless it gets stronger powers

The Coalition’s proposed national integrity commission ‘just doesn’t cut it’, the Centre Alliance warns

A key figure in the emerging Senate crossbench, Rex Patrick, has warned his party will not support the Coalition’s proposed anti-corruption body unless it is given stronger powers.

The make-up of the Senate is still being finalised, but the two Centre Alliance senators appear likely to play a critical role where Labor and the Greens oppose legislation and One Nation votes with the government.

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Ryanair loses altitude but O’Leary retains his cheek | Nils Pratley

Last year’s 13% profit margin was pedestrian by Ryanair’s standards

It was cheeky of Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary to declare that full-year profits of €1.02bn (£0.9bn), down 29%, were “as previously guided”. He updates his guidance every few months so that, by the time of the big reveal, it’s hard to miss. The past year still included two profits warnings, let’s not forget.

Related: Ryanair profits slide due to lower fares and Brexit uncertainty

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British barrister facing extradition to Turkey over tweets

Ozcan Keles accused of spreading propaganda, in latest targeting of Erdoğan critics

A British barrister who has given evidence to parliament is facing possible extradition to Turkey on terror charges over his Twitter activity.

Ozcan Keles, who is of Turkish descent and holds UK citizenship, appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Monday accused of spreading propaganda online.

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Seagull wars: councils spending millions in effort to banish birds

Plastic owls, birds of prey and swapping eggs for dummy eggs among methods being used

It’s not just your chips that are threatened by seagulls at the British seaside: increasingly, the gull menace is hitting taxpayers in their pockets too, as research shows local councils are spending millions trying to control the birds.

Waste management practices are partly to blame, as less frequent collection of bins gives the scavengers plenty of access to free meals, in turn encouraging them into urban areas. The problem has escalated in the last 15 years, according to Sarah Trotter, an assistant professor of law at the London School of Economics, who has written two papers on the subject. The birds have been blamed for attacking pets and people in towns all around the UK’s coastline, and sometimes even inland.

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Nurses vote to back decriminalisation of prostitution

Royal College of Nurses to lobby UK government in move to protect sex workers’ health

The union representing Britain’s nurses will start lobbying governments across the UK to decriminalise prostitution in order to safeguard sex workers and improve their health.

The Royal College of Nursing voted by an overwhelming majority at its annual conference to ask ministers in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast to make the change.

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The Guardian view on campaign funding: follow the money | Editorial

The mysterious finances of the Brexit party must be dragged into the light

The decision by the election commission to inspect the books of the Brexit party is a step in the right direction, but it may not be a big enough stride for democracy. Nigel Farage formed the Brexit party in January 2019. He is days away from winning this month’s European elections. We know that western democracies are vulnerable to subversion and that murky offshore wealth can be used to support far-right populists. Mr Farage, who has long peddled extreme views, wants to deliver a hard slap to the body politic. But can he do so while playing by the rules?

The regulator acted after a warning from former prime minister Gordon Brown, who sounded the alarm over the insurgent party’s practice of accepting donations via the online payments service Paypal, which raises questions over their traceability. According to the UK law governing European elections, a donor has to be an “individual registered on the electoral register” or a company “which carries on business in the UK”. Nobody outside the UK can donate, so the question is: why would British people use an untraceable method to support the Brexit party? It is also illegal for a donor to remain anonymous if their donations amount to over £500 in any quarter. Mr Brown’s pointed criticisms were decried as envy. They were not.

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Boris Johnson in No 10 will be a fitting finale to this dark decade | Polly Toynbee

He’s likely to be prime minister by autumn. To defeat him at the polls, Labour must unambiguously back remain

Armageddon awaits. Boris Johnson is heading for No 10 and there is nothing dishonest, disreputable or even scandalous enough that he can do to stop his party choosing him now. They know of his lies, laziness and narcissism, but they don’t care. After a crushing humiliation at the polls in Thursday’s EU election, where the Tory vote may fall to single figures, this drowning party will clutch for the straw-headed showman to save them from triumphant Faragists. Well, Prime Minister Johnson would provide a fitting finale to this ever-darkening decade.

A measure of the demented state of the Conservatives is the number of hats in the ring for this most poisonously impossible job. Who would want to lead a paralysed government with no majority and a party that is a nest of vipers? Anyone applying should be disqualified on grounds of diminished responsibility.

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The Guardian view on Google versus Huawei: no winners | Editorial

The struggle over Huawei isn’t really about technology. It is about whether China or the US is to be master

Trade wars, like real ones, are very much easier to start than to stop. The decision by Google to withhold its software from future Huawei smartphones, even if it will continue to support those presently on the market, comes after considerable pressure from the US government. Even so, it is a move that all parties will regret.

The pain for Huawei is obvious. Although it has been stockpiling chips and, presumably, preparing other defences, there is nothing it can sell to consumers outside China that does not depend on American software, and little that does not depend on American chips. As much as half of its global market could disappear, and that is without counting the 5G networking equipment which was the proximate cause of this quarrel. The ultimate cause, of course, is the American fear of losing its position of global pre-eminence, and the Chinese determination to realise that fear.

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