Allies back May after leader admits plot to oust her

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May
Updated 07 October 2017
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Allies back May after leader admits plot to oust her

LONDON: Senior British Conservatives rallied to the support of embattled Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, after a lawmaker said he had a list of 30 colleagues who want her to resign.
Grant Shapps, a former party chairman, said “a growing number of people feel it’s time to make a change” after a poor election result and a disastrous conference speech by May earlier this week.
The number of rebels falls short of the 48 lawmakers needed to trigger a formal leadership challenge under party rules, but the plot further rattles May’s shaky grip on power.
May became prime minister through a Conservative leadership contest when David Cameron resigned in the wake of Britain’s June 2016 vote to leave the EU. Since then she has struggled to unite a government that is divided over how the country should leave the EU and what relationship it wants with the bloc after Brexit.
May was further weakened when she called a snap election for June that saw the Conservatives reduced to a minority government. A speech on Wednesday designed to reinvigorate the party descended into disaster as May was interrupted by a prankster and almost silenced by a sore throat, before letters began dropping off the slogan behind her.
In recent weeks Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has gone public with his own plans for Brexit, a move widely seen as a challenge to May.
Shapps told Sky News that May is “a very decent woman” but without a new leader “we may be in a holding pattern which may be an ever-descending one.”
But senior Cabinet colleagues declared support for May, saying she must stay in office to steer the country through Brexit, due in 2019.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove, a prominent Brexit campaigner, said Friday that May had “shown tremendous grace and grit in the course of this week.”
“I think Theresa’s doing a great job,” he told Sky News.
Other Conservatives took to Twitter to back their leader. Lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi tweeted that he had been “inundated with message(s) of support” for May and Shapps had “misjudged the mood of the party.”
Legislator James Cleverley posted on Twitter that Shapps “is doing himself, the party, and (most importantly) the country no favors at all. Just stop.”


Suicide bomber kills 31 in Afghan capital, Daesh claims responsibility

Updated 22 April 2018
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Suicide bomber kills 31 in Afghan capital, Daesh claims responsibility

KABUL: A suicide bomber struck a voter registration center in the Afghan capital on Sunday, killing at least 31 people, officials said.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said another 54 people were wounded in Sunday's attack, updating an earlier toll. Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said the suicide bomber targeted civilians who had gathered to receive national identification cards.
The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the attack site and damaging several nearby vehicles. Police blocked all roads to the blast site, with only ambulances allowed in. Local TV stations broadcast live footage of hundreds of distraught people gathered at nearby hospitals seeking word about loved ones.
Daesh which has been behind past bombings in Kabul that targeted civilians claimed responsibility.
Afghanistan will hold parliamentary elections in October.
Last week, three police officers responsible for guarding voter registration centers in two Afghan provinces were killed by militants, according to authorities.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a district police chief in the northern Balkh province died of his wounds after being shot Saturday during a gunbattle with insurgents, according to Sher Jan Durrani, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Balkh. He said around a dozen insurgents were also killed in the battle, which is still underway.
Durrani identified the slain commander as Halim Khanjar, police chief for the Char Bolak district.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing.