Theresa May survives UK parliament vote of no confidence in her government

British Prime Minister Theresa May's government survived a no-confidence vote on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Theresa May survives UK parliament vote of no confidence in her government

  • Had the government lost, Britain would have faced an election within weeks
  • The House of Commons expressed confidence in the government by 325 votes to 306

LONDON: Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May continues her epic struggle to deliver Brexit after winning a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday.
The latest political drama came a day after her Brexit deal with the EU was overwhelmingly rejected by parliament and one month after she survived a bruising party no-confidence vote.
She has largely been protected by the inability of any serious challengers to form alliances and depose her, with the toxic Brexit issue dissolving traditional political bonds.
May made it her mission to carry out the wishes of voters who backed the Brexit referendum in June 2016 when she became premier the following month.
But Leave backers have always been suspicious of having a Remain supporter -- which May was before the referendum -- leading negotiations.
And MPs who opposed Brexit want her to stick tighter to the EU or call for a second referendum that could potentially nullify the first one's result.
Shortly before Christmas, she was forced to acknowledge the weakness of her position, telling Conservative colleagues she did not intend to lead them into the next scheduled election in 2022 as she uncomfortably defeated the internal coup.
It was a rare concession by a prime minister praised by her supporters as resilient but accused by critics of ploughing on oblivious to the changing circumstances around her.
The party challenge came shortly after she had to tell the House of Commons that the vote on her deal was being postponed as the scale of potential defeat became clear.
Critics from all sides rounded on the leader on Wednesday, with Remain supporting journalist Matthew Parris calling her a "zombie prime minister", and the Leave supporting Daily Telegraph newspaper warning that she was "out of allies, out of time".


Kashmiri Muslims evicted, threatened after deadly attack on Indian forces

Indian protesters try to push their way through policemen guarding an injured man who had been attacked after a mob believed he was a Kashmiri who had shouted pro-Pakistan slogans, in New Delhi on February 17, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 24 min 44 sec ago
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Kashmiri Muslims evicted, threatened after deadly attack on Indian forces

  • Kashmiri Muslims say they are facing a backlash in Hindu-majority India mainly in the northern states of Haryana and Uttarakhand

SRINAGAR: India has warned against rising communal tensions across the country as some Kashmiris living outside their state said they faced property evictions while others were attacked on social media after a suicide bomber killed 44 policemen in the region.
The car bomb attack on a security convoy on Thursday, claimed by Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad and carried out by a 20-year-old Kashmiri man, was the worst in decades of insurgency in the disputed area, which is claimed in full by both the nuclear-armed neighbors.
As the bodies of the paramilitary policemen who died in the attack were returned to families across India this weekend, passionate crowds waving the Indian flag gathered in the streets to honor them and shouted demands for revenge. Pakistan has denied any role in the killings.
Kashmiri Muslims, meanwhile, say they are facing a backlash in Hindu-majority India, mainly in the northern states of Haryana and Uttarakhand, forcing the federal interior ministry to issue an advisory to all states.
“The ministry has taken a stringent view and has issued an advisory to all states and union territories to ensure safety and security of Kashmiris, and to maintain communal harmony,” A. Bharat Bhushan Babu, a spokesman for the ministry, told Reuters on Sunday.
Aqib Ahmad, a Kashmiri student in Uttarakhand capital Dehradun, said the owner of the house he was staying in had asked him to move out fearing an attack on his property. Two other students in Dehradun said they also had been asked to vacate their rooms.
“Where are we supposed to go?” Waseem Akram told Reuters.
The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) state administration late on Sunday advised students from the state to reach out to liaison officers across six regions of the country in case of any problems. It said 104 students who were staying in private accommodation in the Haryana district of Ambala had been moved to hostels of a university guarded by police.
It said some Kashmiri students from Dehradun reached New Delhi on Saturday evening and had been accommodated in J&K’s guest house in the national capital.
“The state administration assures people of J&K that due cognizance is being taken for each and every call from the students and their parents, and local administration is being apprised of the developing situation,” its statement said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said “no incident of beating or harassment of Kashmiri students has been reported anywhere in the state.”
“I’m making it clear that law-breakers, including rumor mongers, will not be spared either,” Rawat said in a tweet.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), to which all the dead officers belonged, said “fake news about harassment of students from Kashmir is being propagated by various miscreants on social media.”
“CRPF helpline has enquired about complaints about harassment and found them incorrect,” it said on Twitter.
J&K police said they were providing temporary accommodation to people returning from around the country.

“TRAITOR“
Fear has engulfed Kashmiri students in Ambala after a video on social media showed a village headman asking people to evict Kashmiri students in the area.
“In case it is not done, the person in whose residence such students are living will be considered as a traitor,” the man says in the video, whose authenticity Reuters has not been able to independently verify.
Police said they were investigating the matter.
The attack on India’s paramilitary police follows the deadliest year in Kashmir for security personnel since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power nearly five years ago.
Thousands of people, including militants and civilians, have died since the insurgency began in late 1980s.
Political leaders from Kashmir appealed to the government to ensure security of Kashmiris across India, while many people on Twitter said their homes were open to Kashmiris seeking shelter.
“Understand the pain and anguish,” Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of J&K, said in a tweet. “But we must not allow such mischievous elements to use this as an excuse to persecute/harass people from J&K. Why should they suffer for somebody else’s action?”