Coronavirus: Tory backbenchers want lockdown eased soon

Closed shop in Sunderland Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There are fears some parts of the economy will not recover

A "very tense" meeting of senior backbench Conservative MPs has heard concerns that the coronavirus lockdown could devastate the economy.

Members of the executive of the backbench 1922 committee voiced fears that unless the lockdown is eased within the next few weeks, the UK may no longer have much of a functioning economy.

A small number of members of the 1922 executive met in Westminster on Wednesday afternoon, with other dialling in.

Some members believe the lockdown needs to be relaxed after the first week of May.

"If we don't do that we really will see thousands of businesses go under," one 1922 member told BBC Newsnight.

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Labour leadership: Emily Thornberry's zinger to keep her in the game

Emily Thornberry (l) and Rebecca Long-Bailey (r)
Image caption Emily Thornberry and Rebecca Long-Bailey clashed during Newsnight's Labour leadership hustings

When a candidate is down, but not yet out, they need a zinger to keep them in the game.

Emily Thornberry secured such a moment in Newsnight's Labour leadership debate with a withering put-down of her rival, Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Read full article Labour leadership: Emily Thornberry's zinger to keep her in the game

Brexit: Tories prepare to ‘sow division’ in EU

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Image caption Boris Johnson speaking after the Conservative Party won a clear majority in December's UK general election

In Brussels there is a strong sense that the Conservative Party have not woken up to the trade offs and compromises that will inevitably characterise the talks, writes Nicholas Watt.

The drinks were flowing and the mood was humming as the Tory great and good met to celebrate their election victory this week.

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Ministers hope royal announcement will speed up reforms

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Image caption The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they will "step back" as senior royals

A delicate, diplomatic dance has been at play today at the twin peaks of Britain's constitutional architecture.

At one end of The Mall, Downing Street was studiously avoiding any comment about the Royal Family feuding.

Read full article Ministers hope royal announcement will speed up reforms

Scaling back the Supreme Court

Lady Hale
Image caption Baroness Hale says no-one wants the Supreme Court to assume the political role of its US counterpart

Changes to the working of the UK's Supreme Court are likely to lie at the heart of wide-ranging reforms of Britain's constitutional settlement.

A senior Whitehall source has told BBC Newsnight that the government wants to "unravel" some of the reforms introduced by Tony Blair more than a decade ago.

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Election 2019: The showman becomes victor

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Loyalty and a ruthless ability to adapt were the twin weapons that once guaranteed the Tories a place as Britain's natural party of government.

In recent years, however, rebellion against successive leaders from both sides on the Europe divide has been the party's default position.

Read full article Election 2019: The showman becomes victor

General election 2019: What we can read into the polls at this stage

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An old hand once offered me a wise piece of advice: if an opinion poll generates a strong headline it will probably turn out to be wrong.

So it is sensible to treat the polls with caution. At this stage of the 2017 general election, the world was debating whether Theresa May's majority would be above or below 100.

Read full article General election 2019: What we can read into the polls at this stage

Down the Brexit rabbit hole to a general election

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In the Alice in Wonderland world of Brexit, where up is often down, reality can be hard to come by.

An early election is on the cards, surely spelling danger and opportunity in obvious ways for the two main parties.

Read full article Down the Brexit rabbit hole to a general election

Brexit: Doubts cast over Irish Customs plan

Irish customs sign Image copyright AFP

Boris Johnson had barely settled into Downing Street, when a minister dismissed his approach to Brexit out of hand.

The EU would refuse to negotiate on the terms outlined by the prime minister which had been pitched at a level guaranteed to fail, according to the minister.

Read full article Brexit: Doubts cast over Irish Customs plan

Brexit: Johnson's plan for a deal? Amend the backstop

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar Image copyright Getty Images

As the greatest showman in Downing Street since his hero Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson knows how to create a drama.

A prison cell is being lined up for the prime minister - if some of the wildest speculation about his Brexit strategy is true.

Read full article Brexit: Johnson's plan for a deal? Amend the backstop