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18 March 2015updated 07 Jun 2021 4:24pm

Five things you need to know today: Corbyn would tell Queen “we’re taking over“

By New Statesman

Labour would seek to form “caretaker government” 

Jeremy Corbyn would travel to Buckingham Palace to tell the Queen “we’re taking over” if Boris Johnson lost a confidence vote in the House of Commons, John McDonnell has said. In an interview at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the shadow chancellor ruled out forming a government of national unity and said Labour would instead form a “caretaker government” with cross-party support to block a no-deal Brexit and hold a second EU referendum. 

McDonnell added that Labour would stage a second no-confidence vote if Johnson refused to resign as prime minister, and no alternative government could be formed, in order to trigger a general election. 

German recession fears after industrial production falls

Germany has suffered its largest fall in industrial production for nine years, raising fears that Europe’s largest economy could soon face its first recession since 2013. In June, industrial production fell 1.5 per cent month-on-month, meaning that output is now 5.2 per cent lower than a year ago. Economists, who fear next week’s GDP figures will show a contraction, attributed the fall to reduced sales of cars and machine parts to China and the far east.

Ryanair pilots vote to strike in August and September

Ryanair pilots have voted to strike over pay and conditions, raising the prospect of mass disruption to British holidaymakers’ plans. The British Airline Pilots Association said that “decades of Ryanair refusing to deal with unions” had led to members voting for a 48-hour strike beginning on 22 August and a 72-hour strike from 2 September. The budget airline has warned of job losses following a 21 per cent fall in quarterly profits, owing to higher costs for fuel and staff, and reduced ticket prices.

£250m promised for NHS artificial intelligence 

The government has announced £250m to fund the creation of an NHS artificial intelligence laboratory. Boris Johnson said the money would help improve care and disease detection, and  “boost the frontline by automating admin tasks and freeing up staff”. But Matthew Honeyman, a researcher at the The King’s Fund health think tank, warned that “rolling out new technologies like AI will require standards to ensure patient safety, a workforce equipped with digital skills, and an upgrade to outdated basic NHS tech infrastructure”. 

No new 1p coins produced for first times since 1972

The Royal Mint produced no 1p or 2p coins last year for the first time since 1972 and 1984 respectively. The Treasury ruled that no new coins were needed as there were “already enough” in circulation. A review of cash and digital payments was previously launched after figures showed that 60 per cent of copper coins were typically used for just one transaction before being stashed away by consumers.

Follow the day’s politics on The Staggers blog

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