Johnson’s pyrrhic victory?
Boris Johnson is set to be announced as the new Conservative leader this morning at a party event in Westminster. The former foreign secretary is expected to have defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt by an overwhelming margin. Johnson will make a short acceptance speech around 12pm before retreating to finalise his planned cabinet in advance of succeeding Theresa May as prime minister tomorrow. The Conservatives’ working parliamentary majority has been reduced to just two seats after the whip was removed from Charlie Elphicke MP following sexual assault charges. If, as expected, the Tories lose the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election to the Liberal Democrats on 1 August it will be reduced to just one seat. Cabinet ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, have said they will resign rather than serve under Johnson.
South Korea fires warning shots at Russian plane
South Korean fighter jets have fired warning shots after a Russian military plane violated the country’s airspace. Officials in Seoul said F-15k and F-16k jets were scrambled to intercept the plane and fired flares after sending a message to the aircraft. Although the Russian plane left the area above disputed islands in the East Sea, it later returned and violated the airspace again. Earlier in the day, two other Russian planes and two Chinese aircraft entered the Korean air defence zone.
US bypasses courts with fast-track deportations
The Trump administration has announced a new fast-track deportation process that will bypass immigration courts. Under the revised rules, any undocumented migrants unable to prove they have been in the US continuously for more than two years can be immediately deported without first appearing before judges. Deportations were previously largely limited to people arrested almost immediately after crossing the US-Mexico border. The American Civil Liberties Union has said it plans to challenge the new policy in court.
Iran says 17 spies arrested and some executed
Iran has said it has arrested 17 spies allegedly recruited by the CIA and sentenced some of them to death. The intelligence ministry said the suspects had been collecting information on “sensitive sites” in the country’s military and nuclear facilities. Iran did not say how many of them had received the death sentence or say when the sentences were handed down. Donald Trump dismissed the Iranian allegations as “totally false”.
Hancock accused of burying health green paper
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has been accused of burying proposals to tackle obesity, smoking and drinking. A government green paper, which featured policies including a full ban on smoking by 2030 and a restriction on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s, was eventually published on the gov.uk website at 7:22pm last night without an accompanying press release. Boris Johnson, who Hancock endorsed for the Conservative leadership, has denounced policies such as sugar taxes as “the creep of the nanny state”. Hancock reportedly told Theresa May it was inappropriate for the paper to be published so close to Johnson’s expected election.
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