Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
With the final reckoning on Brexit deferred once again, MPs can look forward to a more routine week in Westminster with plenty of opportunity for political party machinations to continue before the big vote.
- January 25, 2021
- January 15, 2021
- December 18, 2020
First up in the Commons on Monday are ministers from the Ministry for Housing and Local Government, with last week’s figures on rough sleeper deaths likely to feature prominently in MPs’ questions.
In the US, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington Asad Majeed Khan takes part in an event hosted by the US Institute of Peace on the US-Pakistan relationship.
Khan can be expected to discuss the recent escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region and the decision by Prime Minister Imran Khan to release a captured Indian pilot.
It’s a year since former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to the nerve agent Novichok at their home in Salisbury in what the UK has said was a deliberate attack by Russia’s military intelligence.
Ahead of the anniversary, the Government handed Skripal’s house back to Wiltshire council and declared the site of the incident safe after an extensive cleanup operation.
On Tuesday, MPs consider the draft budget for Northern Ireland announced last week by Secretary of State Karen Bradley. The spending plans were produced by civil servants in Belfast in the absence of an Executive at Stormont, and allocate funding from the Tory-DUP confidence and supply agreement. A 2 per cent real-terms increase for the health department the headline-grabbing announcement.
Elsewhere in the Commons, Stephen Barclay comes before MPs on the Exiting the EU committee to discuss Parliament’s role in Brexit negotiations and his recent trips to Brussels, while Bank of England governor Mark Carney gives evidence to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee in what is his third committee appearance since the turn of the year.
And tributes are expected to be paid to Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel’s Paris Fashion Week show, which is the first for the label since the iconic German designer’s death last month.
Wednesday could be a decisive day for Labour as the Jewish Labour Movement holds meetings in London and Manchester to determine the group’s future in the party.
The meetings come after the party’s long-running internal dispute over anti-Semitism and the leadership’s alleged failure to adequately tackle the issue were cited as factors in the resignations of nine Labour MPs, including the Jewish Labour Movement Parliamentary Chair Luciana Berger.
Following on from the airing of Finding Neverland in the US earlier in the week, the controversial documentary airs in the UK on Channel 4.
The programme, which features testimony from people who allege that singer Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children, is broadcast over two days and has been rigorously disputed by members of Jackson’s family.
On Thursday, sentencing takes place in the case of Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager to Donald Trump, on charges including bank fraud and tax fraud.
The case is seen as one of the successes to come out of the Mueller investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and Manafort faces up to 25 years in prison at a hearing which was brought forward from 8 March without explanation. Manafort also faces a separate sentencing hearing in the District of Columbia next week.
BBC director general Lord Tony Hall (pictured) and ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall are among the headliners at the Media & Telecoms 2019 & Beyond Conference, which comes after the broadcasters announced plans to launch a streaming service to take on Netflix later this year.
The conference also features remarks from Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn and Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner.
Friday is International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to challenging gender bias and championing the achievements of women across the globe. Among events taking place across the UK is a panel discussion in London featuring the Duchess of Sussex alongside Annie Lennox, Adwoa Aboah and Julia Gillard.
The Scottish Labour Party gathers in Dundee for its annual conference, with Brexit again looming large over the agenda. Party leader Richard Leonard recently called for a “Remain” option to be included on the ballot paper in a potential second referendum, though he also suggested a Labour-led exit from the EU would be preferable to a so-called People’s Vote. UK party leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to make an appearance.
Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein appears in a New York court to face charges of first-degree rape, third-degree rape, and a first-degree criminal sex act. Weinstein previously entered a not guilty plea to the charges during a hearing last summer.
The penultimate round of the Guinness Six Nations kicks off on Saturday with all eyes on Murrayfield. Scotland host championship leaders Wales, for whom a win sets up a grand slam title decider with Ireland on 16 March. England, fresh from their loss to Wales in the last round, are also in action as they welcome Italy to Twickenham.
On Sunday, voters head for the polls in Guinea-Bissau. The country has been engulfed by a political crisis since 2015 and today’s vote takes place after a four-month delay.
The United Nations raised a number of concerns ahead of the ballot, with a Security Council statement issued in December calling for free and fair elections as a “fundamental step in resuming sustainable and nationally owned reforms”.
An election of sorts is also held in North Korea as lawmakers are chosen for the Supreme People’s Assembly. Having received a reported 100 per cent of the vote in the most recent election in 2014, it’s safe to assume that Kim Jong-un, fresh from another image-boosting sit down with Donald Trump, is again quietly confident of success.
And the top dog of 2019 is announced at the NEC with the presentation of the Crufts Best in Show award. The honour went to Tease the Whippet in 2018 after the ceremony was disrupted by an animal rights protester.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Channel 4 News