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News diary 22-28 July: New UK Prime Minister enters Downing Street and Mueller testifies before House committees

Tory leadership election

Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week… 

As voting in the Conservative Party leadership election officially closes on Monday, the struggle at the top of the Labour Party may just be beginning.

Jeremy Corbyn hosts an emergency meeting of his shadow cabinet to discuss the ongoing anti-Semitism crisis engulfing the party, before what is likely to be another contentious meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

PLP chair John Cryer used last week’s meeting to accuse Labour of failing to remove racists from the party, and the row spreading to the House of Lords preceded the sacking of Baroness Hayter as shadow Brexit minister.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats announce Vince Cable’s successor as leader at an event in London this afternoon. Coalition-era Energy Secretary Ed Davey and Lib Dem deputy Jo Swinson are competing to lead the resurgent Remain party, and the winner holds a victory rally with party members and supporters after the result is announced.

Hashem Abedi, brother of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, is scheduled to make his first Crown Court appearance to face 22 counts of murder in relation to the May 2017 attack.

Abedi was extradited from Libya on 17 July and arrested by Metropolitan Police officers on his arrival in the UK, and also faces charges of attempted murder and conspiring to cause an explosion.

The identity of the UK’s next Prime Minister is finally revealed on Tuesday with the announcement of the result of the Conservative leadership election. The successful candidate will have to wait 24 hours for the resignation of Theresa May to enter Number 10, so Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt have ample time to finalise plans for key administration posts.

Former leadership contenders Michael Gove and Sajid Javid, along with Cabinet colleagues Liz Truss and Amber Rudd, are thought to be vying for plum roles under the new Prime Minister, though frontrunner Boris Johnson is likely face pressure from within the party to ensure there is a sufficiently pro-Brexit flavour to the frontbenches.

In her final Prime Ministerial speech, May warned her likely successor against displaying an “inability to compromise” and identified a “coarsening of debate” in the UK political climate.

Lawmakers in Spain also vote on the formation of a new administration after inconclusive elections in April. Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez has been the country’s acting Prime Minister since the vote, but his appointment to the office on a permanent basis is far from certain: an absolute majority is required to avoid further ballots this week, and Sanchez would need putative coalition partners Podemos and a swathe of smaller parties to unite around his proposals for government.

Theresa May faces Jeremy Corbyn across the despatch box for a final session of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday before formally presenting her resignation to The Queen later in the afternoon.

Aside from surpassing Gordon Brown’s time in office, there have been few triumphs in May’s three-year reign; her premiership became overwhelmed by Brexit and she departs with those seven burning injustices unresolved. With every vote likely to be crucial for the next Prime Minister, May could yet play a significant role from the backbenches in shaping whether the UK leaves Europe with or without a deal.

After PMQs, the Labour leader makes a rare appearance on committee corridor to give evidence on Islamophobia to the Home Affairs Committee.

The inquiry is examining the role of politics in the increasing number of Islamophobic hate crimes being recorded, and Jeremy Corbyn can be expected to raise again the allegations of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party which featured in an ugly clash over racism in both main parties at last week’s PMQs.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears before two separate US House committees, a week later than initially planned, to discuss the findings from his investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

Mueller declined initial requests to appear before Congress and said in a 29 May public statement that the report, published in redacted form on 18 April, speaks for itself. With the clamour for impeachment increasing among Democratic lawmakers, the question for these sessions is whether Mueller can be persuaded to expand upon his apparent contradiction of President Trump’s claim to have been totally exonerated.

By-elections take place in two Gloucester City Council wards on Thursday with Brexit Party candidates among those seeking to represent the residents of Podsmead and Barnwood.

After an impressive showing in the European Parliament elections, the nascent party is attempting to win its first seats in local government in England and Nigel Farage is likely be confident of victory in an area where the Brexit Party received the highest number of votes in five out of six districts in May.

Google parent Alphabet Inc. releases quarterly earnings today with the company’s executives likely considering the full future ramifications of Donald Trump’s promise to take a look at allegations made last week by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Google executive Karan Bhatia told US lawmakers that its Chinese search engine project, Dragonfly, had been terminated, suggesting that the company may already be sensitive to the perception in Washington that it has become too close to China.

The first of a series of two-day strikes by Heathrow workers on Friday, with security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and drivers walking out over a pay dispute. The workers’ union Unite stated that a rejected 18-month pay offer amounted to an extra £3.75 per day for the lowest-paid employees.

The strike is one of three organised at Heathrow over the summer, and comes as ballots of Ryanair pilots and Easyjet staff, which close this week, could leave commuters facing disruption to holiday plans.

The highlight of a busy sporting Saturday is the Tour de France, where the winner is effectively decided after a 130km stage through the Alps. The 2018 classification was won by Geraint Thomas for Team Sky (now Team Ineos), and the Welshman is well-placed to defend his title this year.

Elsewhere, England play the final day of an inaugural test match against Ireland at Lord’s, and the London triathlon begins at the Excel Centre.

The left-wing, pro-EU group Another Europe is Possible hold a rally in Leeds as part of its Remain Reform Revolt campaign. The event is one of many taking place around the country this summer ahead of a major protest in London in October, and features addresses from Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Labour MP Clive Lewis and journalists Zoe Williams and Paul Mason.

North Korea celebrates Victory Day to mark 66 years since the end of the Korean War, and this year’s military celebration takes place amid increasing tension between Pyongyang and Washington.

Last week, North Korea’s foreign ministry accused the US of a “rehearsal of war” to launch a “surprise attack” following the US’s continuation of military drills with South Korea.

The Formula One season continues in Germany on Sunday with Sebastian Vettel attempting to compensate for a number of recent mistakes and emulate title rival Lewis Hamilton by winning his home Grand Prix.

Amid what has been deemed a fairly mundane season, Formula One last week issued new regulations for 2021 which include more competitive grids and cars with the “wow factor”.

Vermont Senator and presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders travels to Canada with people suffering from type 1 diabetes to highlight the disparity in insulin pricing between the United States and patients north of the border.

Sanders, who is running in the Democratic primary on the platform of “Medicare for all”, has consistently called for a single-payer system, and has pledged not to take contributions from the pharmaceutical industry in the wake of recent financial reports revealing his rivals to have done so.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Peter Powell/Pool

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