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.


Iran deal architect among veterans named for Biden State Department

Iran deal architect among veterans named for Biden State Department
Updated 16 January 2021

Iran deal architect among veterans named for Biden State Department

Iran deal architect among veterans named for Biden State Department

WASHINGTON: The lead US negotiator of the Iran nuclear accord and a battle-tested hawk on Russia were named Saturday to top posts at President-elect Joe Biden’s State Department, signaling a return to normal after Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency.
Wendy Sherman, who brokered the Iran accord under Barack Obama and negotiated a nuclear deal with North Korea under Bill Clinton, was named as deputy secretary of state.
Victoria Nuland, a former career diplomat best known for her robust support for Ukrainian protesters in the ouster of a Russian-aligned president, was nominated under secretary for political affairs — the State Department’s third-ranking post in charge of day-to-day US diplomacy.
Biden said that the State Department nominees “have secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory.”
“I am confident that they will use their diplomatic experience and skill to restore America’s global and moral leadership. America is back,” Biden said in a statement.
The State Department team will work under secretary of state-designate Antony Blinken, whose confirmation hearing will take place on Tuesday on the eve of Biden’s inauguration.
Blinken said that the State Department team, with women and ethnic minorities in prominent positions, “looks like America.”
“America at its best still has a greater capacity than any other country on earth to mobilize others to meet the challenges of our time,” Blinken said.
The optimism comes amid rising doubts about US leadership in Trump’s waning days after his supporters ransacked the Capitol on January 6 to try to stop the ceremonial certification of Biden’s victory.
Under outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a staunch defender of Trump, the United States has aggressively challenged Iran and China, robustly backed Israel and toyed with improving ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, while also imposing sanctions on Moscow.
Sherman’s nomination marks another clear sign that Biden wants to return to the accord under which Iran drastically slashed its nuclear program in exchange for promises of sanctions relief.
Trump exited the deal in 2018 and imposed sweeping sanctions in what many observers saw as an unsuccessful attempt to topple the Shiite clerical regime.