UK Conservative members issued more than one ballot in vote for leader

UK Conservative members issued more than one ballot in vote for leader
Conservative MP and leadership contender Boris Johnson poses with supporters before a Conservative Party Hustings event in Perth, Scotland, on July 5, 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 July 2019

UK Conservative members issued more than one ballot in vote for leader

UK Conservative members issued more than one ballot in vote for leader
  • The BBC said it has learned that some members have received two ballot papers, citing one party insider as estimating that more than a thousand members could be affected
  • The vote is due to close on July 22, with the victor announced a day later

LONDON: Some members of Britain’s Conservative Party have been issued with more than one ballot paper to vote for the next party leader, who will also become prime minister, the BBC reported on Saturday.
Ballot papers have been sent to about 160,000 Conservative Party members in the UK, asking them to choose between Boris Johnson, a former London mayor and foreign minister, and Jeremy Hunt, the current foreign minister, as their next leader and prime minister.
The vote is due to close on July 22, with the victor announced a day later.
The BBC said it has learned that some members have received two ballot papers, citing one party insider as estimating that more than a thousand members could be affected.
It said that in some cases this was because members live and work in different constituencies and may have joined the local Conservative associations in both areas. Other members may have changed their name after marriage.
The Conservative Party could not be contacted for immediate comment on Saturday.
The BBC cited the party as saying the ballot has clear instructions that members voting more than once will be expelled.
“It’s made very clear on the ballot paper that you’re only allowed to vote once and I expect Conservative members to follow that,” Conservative Party lawmaker Patrick McLoughlin, a former chairman of the party who is chairing Hunt’s leadership campaign, told BBC radio on Saturday.


Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
Updated 25 January 2021

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
  • Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft
  • France has sided with Greece in a dispute with Turkey over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS, Greece: Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey.
Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July.
France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military build-up.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years.
But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece’s government recently approved plans to cooperate with Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece.
“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press.
“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”
Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly will also holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.