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News diary 24-30 June: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to go head-to-head in party hustings

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

The US Supreme Court has its last opportunity to rule on cases heard during the current term on Monday, though in previous years new dates have been added at the last minute. Significant cases still awaiting rulings include a challenge to the government on its decision to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census and alleged unconstitutional gerrymandering in North Carolina.

A decision is due at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Switzerland on whether Stockholm or a joint bid from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo will host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

Calgary had been in the running until the city’s mayor’s hopes for a bid were shot down following a vote against the proposal in a local plebiscite in November 2018. Calgary reportedly spent CAD$16.3m (£9.7m) on the failed bid.

Tuesday is the final day for GPs in the British Medical Association (BMA) to vote in a referendum on improvements to junior doctor contracts. The proposals, which would see a total of £90m in investment over the next four years, also include increases to rates of weekend pay and safer working hour limits.

Junior doctors’ pay has been a sticking point for the Government since a major contract dispute in 2015 and 2016 saw the BMA call the first-ever strike by junior doctors, with 98 per cent of members voting for full strike action against what the union described as unfair and unsafe conditions.

The Centre for Policy Studies hosts its annual Margaret Thatcher Conference on Britain and America, this year marking the 40th anniversary of Thatcher’s arrival in Downing Street.

The conference, which focuses on US-UK relations, features speeches from International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, former Chancellor George Osborne, US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson, former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and City Minister John Glen.

MPs from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hold a hearing to determine ITV’s duty of care in a session which comes in the wake of the cancellation of The Jeremy Kyle Show in May.

Former host Jeremy Kyle declined an invitation to attend, with senior ITV bosses due to face the committee instead. The show was cancelled following the death of former guest Steven Dymond, and is one of a number of ITV reality shows to make headlines after increasing public concern for TV broadcasters’ duty to care for the mental well-being of their contestants.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launches its major annual World Drug Report to commemorate UN International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. The report looks at drug demand and supply, drug markets, drugs and age and women and drugs, with last year’s report focusing heavily on the opioid crisis and the expanding abuse of prescription drugs.

The UN Human Rights Council discusses its recently-published report on the October 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which found that there is ‘credible evidence’ to support the notion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was liable for the killing.

The report’s author Agnes Callamard is also due to hold a press conference to discuss her findings.

In Miami, US Democrats seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 2020 come together for a debate hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo.

Due to the large size of the field the debate is split over two days, with the first day including candidates such as Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar. Thursday’s debate features Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, and Sanders is likely to take the opportunity to highlight the divide between his socialist policies and Joe Biden’s centrist message.

The second head-to-head between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt takes place on Thursday after the month-long period of hustings for Conservative members kicked off on 22 June.

Hunt made it through to the final two after a knife-edge victory over Michael Gove in the final round of voting, prompting accusations of dark arts by Johnson supporters as revenge for the last leadership battle in 2016.

Having secured the backing of 160 MPs by the end of parliamentary period of the contest, Johnson remains popular with voters and is the clear favourite to succeed Theresa May.

UK officials participate in a meeting with counterparts from the US, France and Germany on the situation in Iran. The discussions in Paris take place on the day Iran said it would exceed uranium stockpile limits set out in the JCPOA, and come as European signatories attempt to prevent a total collapse of the deal amid an increasingly hostile stand-off between Tehran and Washington over attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

With Donald Trump apparently pulling back from a decision to approve airstrikes, a separate meeting in Vienna tomorrow involving European nations and Iran could be crucial in countering the hard-line stance in Washington.

Former US Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton take part in a discussion on leadership at the Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Despite representing opposing parties, the two presidents have forged a friendship since leaving office and have both voiced opposition to the policies of the current administration.

This year’s G20 Summit kicks off Friday in the Japanese port city of Osaka. The themes are traditional G20 fare (the global economy, trade, the environment), so the real talking points are likely to come out of the various bilateral meetings which are expected to take place on the sidelines of the main event.

Alongside mooted meetings for Abe Shinzo, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Narendra Modi, talks between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could produce a resolution to the US-China trade imbroglio – or result in a further damaging escalation – while a face-to-face meeting between the US President and Vladimir Putin would come at a time when strained relations are being further tested by flashpoints in Ukraine, Iran and Syria.

The meeting also represents one of the final opportunities for Theresa May to make an impression on the global stage before the conclusion of her premiership, so the legacy-seeking Prime Minister may seek greater influence on the communiqué than has been evident in previous years.

As factions of the Labour leadership remain at odds over the party’s stance on Brexit, public appearances by some of the Shadow Cabinet’s senior figures on Saturday illustrate how difficult it may be to settle on a position that is palatable throughout the party.

At the Fabian Society’s annual summer conference in London, education spokesperson Angela Rayner (who has suggested a second referendum would be disastrous) appears alongside shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth (who supports a confirmatory public vote) and Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper (who has worked in tandem with Conservative MPs to attempt to prevent a no-deal Brexit).

Meanwhile, in Gloucestershire, John McDonnell continues his Road to Rebuilding the Economy tour, a series of visits to Labour target seats around the country to hear local views on how the party might shape the UK economy in government.

The tour began in summer 2018 with a trip to Amber Rudd’s Hastings constituency and has taken in the Brexit strongholds of Broxtowe, Mansfield and Stoke; with further stops in Leave-supporting areas on the shadow chancellor’s itinerary, he’s unlikely to be easily persuaded of the demand for a second referendum.

On Sunday, Donald Trump is expected to hold bilateral talks with South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in at the end of a post-G20 visit to Seoul. The pair meet amid renewed tension over US efforts to encourage denuclearisation in North Korea, and with Kim Jong-un likely buoyed by Chinese president Xi Jingping’s recent visit to Pyongyang.

And two years after replacing the hapless Sean Spicer as White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders steps down as the chief spokesperson for the Trump administration.

Traversing an often combative relationship between Trump and the US media, Sanders was among the staunchest defenders of the US President’s record and is now touted as a potential candidate for Governor in elections due in 2022 in her native Arkansas.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Comments

1 thought on “News diary 24-30 June: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to go head-to-head in party hustings”

  1. The paragraph on Iran is very misleading, it attempts to create the impression that Iran is behaving as a rogue state whilst EU/US are trying to maintain peace. US sanctions prevent Iran from exporting it’s uranium, how can a state pursue civil nuclear power generation without increasing stockpiles of uranium? The EU hasn’t implemented any of the JCPOA accords yet expects Iran to continue to abide by the agreement. As for the hostile stand off, which country has placed a battle armada off the coast of which country? The NYT link is ample evidence of the news diary bias. It seems the actions of US/EU are to prevent peace at any cost.

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