Five things you need to know: Bercow warns Johnson he will act to stop law being broken

Plus, Biden clashes with Warren and Sanders in Democratic debate, domestic violence deaths reach five-year high. 

NS

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

Bercow warns Johnson he will act if Prime Minister seeks to defy Brexit law 

John Bercow has warned Boris Johnson that he is prepared to use new parliamentary procedures if the Prime Minister defies the law barring a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. Delivering the annual Bingham lecture in London, Bercow declared that “neither the limitations of the existing rulebook” or the “ticking of the clock” would prevent MPs from thwarting Johnson. He added: “If I have been remotely ambiguous so far, let me make myself crystal clear. The only form of Brexit that we have, whenever that might be, will be a Brexit that the House of Commons has explicitly endorsed.” Bercow also proposed the introduction of a written constitution to stop “executive malpractice or fiat” and to avoid a comparable crisis to Brexit.

Biden clashes with Warren and Sanders over healthcare in Democratic debate

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden clashed with rivals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders over healthcare, immigration and foreign policy at the party’s third debate. The hustings in Houston, Texas, was the first time the three leading candidates had faced each other. Biden criticised Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, which would create a free healthcare universal system. “I know the senator says she’s for Bernie,” he said of Warren’s support for the proposal. “Well, I’m for Barack. I think the Obamacare worked.” Biden added: My plan costs a lot of money ... but it doesn't cost $30tn.”

UK domestic violence deaths reach five-year high

The number of people killed in the UK as a result of domestic violence in the UK has reached its highest level in five years. In 2018, 173 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides, according to data obtained by the BBC, an increase from 32 deaths in 2017. Liverpool University criminologist Professor Sandra Walklate warned that the women killed were, in some cases, “invisible victims of knife crime”. Around a fifth of the murders were committed by a partner, an ex-partner or a family member.

Trump to allow drilling across protected Arctic regions

The Trump administration is concluding plans to allow oil and gas drilling in protected regions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Under proposals made by the Bureau of Land Management, leases will be offered on the entire 1.56m-acre coastal plain, including areas with significant populations of polar bears, porcupine caribou and migratory birds. The announcement coincided with the House of Representatives voting 225-193 to ban drilling in the region but the Senate, where Republicans hold a majority, is expected to reject the bill. 

Five activists arrested over planned drone action at Heathrow

Five climate crisis activists have been arrested over plans to disrupt flights at Heathrow Airport using drones. The organisation Heathrow Pause, which is a splinter group of the Extinction Rebellion movement but separate from it, said it aimed to use the devices to help halt the airport’s expansion. The Metropolitan Police said three men and two women, aged between their 20s and 50s, were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.

Follow today's politics on The Staggers blog