New Times,
New Thinking.

4 July 2019updated 07 Jun 2021 1:46pm

Five things you need to know today

By New Statesman

Labour’s unwanted record

A YouGov poll in today’s Times puts Labour on just 18 per cent, the party’s joint-lowest rating on record (it last polled this low in the depths of Gordon Brown’s premiership in May 2009). Fifty seven per cent of those who voted for Labour at the 2017 general election (when the party won 40 per cent of the vote) are now supporting other parties. Today’s poll has the Conservatives ahead on 24 per cent, the Brexit Party on 23 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent and the Green Party on 9 per cent. 

Jeremy goes hunting

Jeremy Hunt has said he would hold a House of Commons vote on whether to repeal the ban on foxhunting if there was a “majority in parliament” for its abolition. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Conservative leadership candidate said “we have to recognise that, in terms of the balance of the countryside, it’s part of our heritage”. Opinion polls have long suggested that an overwhelming majority of the UK public oppose the return of foxhunting. 

UK-China: a war of words

China’s ambassador to the UK has been summoned to the Foreign Office after a rare press conference in which he claimed that Britain was supporting law-breakers in Hong Kong. Liu Xiaoming told reporters at the Chinese embassy: “This is not a matter about freedom, it’s a matter about breaking laws in Hong Kong.” Earlier this week, protesters stormed the legislative council building and raised the former British colonial flag on the 22nd anniversary of the territory’s return to Chinese rule. 

Osborne eyes the IMF

Not content with his nine existing jobs, George Osborne is reportedly considering putting his name forward to succeed Christine Lagarde as head of the International Monetary Fund (Lagarde was this week nominated to lead the European Central Bank). Osborne would be the first Briton to hold the post of IMF managing director since the fund’s creation in 1944. In 2016, the IMF published a study concluding that austerity — which Osborne championed as British chancellor — had done more harm than good. 

Joss Stone deported from Iran

The British singer Joss Stone has been deported from Iran after authorities reportedly feared she would flout a concert ban. The 32-year-old, who is on a world tour, said in a video posted on Instagram: “Personally, I don’t fancy going to an Iranian prison, nor am I trying to change the politics of the countries I visit, nor do I wish to put other people in danger.

“However, it seems the authorities don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show so they have popped us on what they call the ‘blacklist’, as we found out when we turned up to the immigration hall.”

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