Britain’s May should set resignation date next week: senior lawmaker

Britain’s May should set resignation date next week: senior lawmaker
Theresa May secured the leadership in the chaos that followed Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 May 2019

Britain’s May should set resignation date next week: senior lawmaker

Britain’s May should set resignation date next week: senior lawmaker
  • Theresa May has promised to step down if lawmakers back the deal she struck with Brussels to leave the bloc
  • She has lost heavily on three attempts to get a deal through parliament, defeated by lawmakers in her own party

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May should set a date for her departure next week when she meets leaders of an influential group of Conservative lawmakers to address her future, the group’s chairman said on Saturday.
Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, which can make or break party leaders, told BBC Radio that May had been asked to give “clarity” at next Wednesday’s meeting after she failed to get her Brexit deal through parliament, leaving the government in a state of limbo.
“It would be strange for that not to result in a clear understanding (of when she will leave) at the end of the meeting,” he said.
May, who secured the leadership in the chaos that followed Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, has promised to step down if lawmakers back the deal she struck with Brussels to leave the bloc.
But the prime minister has lost heavily on three attempts to get it through parliament, defeated by lawmakers in her own party who want a much more comprehensive break from Brussels and those who want a second referendum to reverse the process.
Brady, head of the group which oversees the party’s leadership contests and represents the wishes of backbench lawmakers, said he thought May had been reluctant to set a date because of the impact it would have on any future Brexit vote.
“I think the reticence is the concern that by promising to go on a certain timetable, it might make it less likely she would secure parliamentary approval for the withdrawal agreement, rather than more likely,” he said.
Tensions within the Conservative Party have grown after May failed to deliver Brexit on the original deadline of March 29. The prime minister has since opened talks with the opposition Labour Party to try to find a compromise before the next departure date in October.
The deadlock damaged both parties at local elections earlier this month and could have a similar impact when elections are held for the European Parliament on May 23.
One of the Conservative Party’s prominent financial backers, Jeremy Hosking, told the Financial Times he had donated 200,000 pounds to Nigel Farage’s Brexit party because the European elections had become, by default, a second referendum on Brexit.


Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
Updated 11 min 11 sec ago

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint
  • Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration
  • Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists pose a threat to Washington

WASHINGTON: A heavily armed man has been arrested in Washington at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated next week, authorities said.
Wesley Allen Beeler, of Virginia, was taken into custody after police found him with a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, according to a police report obtained by AFP.
He had tried to pass through the checkpoint using fake inaugural credentials, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration, after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Five people died in the assault, including a police officer.
Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week.
Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers.
The National Mall, which is normally packed with people every four years for presidential inaugurations, has been declared off-limits at the request of the Secret Service, which ensures the security of the president.