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Tories accused over Boxing Day ‘rail standstill’

Labour has accused the Tories of overseeing a “rail standstill” on Boxing Day – and pointed out they complained about a lack of trains on the bank holiday while in opposition. Five out of 28 operators are running vastly reduced services on 26 December. Shadow transport minister Andy McDonald said: “The Tory hypocrisy on this issue is astounding.” The Department for Transport said engineers are working to deliver “vital investment” in Britain’s railways. Network Rail says it uses the Christmas and new year period to carry out engineering and other…

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John McDonnell: ‘I can’t forgive Tories’

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said he will not be friends with Conservative MPs because he “can’t forgive them for what they’ve done”. Speaking to Newsnight, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington said: “I go back to my constituency and I’ve never seen human suffering like this in all the times I’ve been an MP.” Mr McDonnell added that he would not move in to Downing Street, but stay at home in Hayes, if Labour were elected to government. You can watch Newsnight on BBC 2 weekdays 22:30 or…

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Dominic Raab tells ‘jittery’ Tories: Hold your nerve

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDominic Raab: “Now is the time to play for the team” The Brexit Secretary has said Tory “jitters” about EU negotiations are “understandable” but he urged MPs to hold their nerve as talks continue. “The end is in sight in terms of a good deal, the prize we want … and I think colleagues should wait and see what that looks like,” Dominic Raab said. It comes amid newspaper speculation that Theresa May could face a vote of no confidence from angry…

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Theresa May urges Labour voters to abandon Corbyn for Tories

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Theresa May also used her Conservative Party Conference speech to appeal to Labour voters Theresa May has appealed to Labour voters unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership to consider switching to the Conservatives. Writing in the Observer the prime minister insisted her party had a “moderate and patriotic programme”. Promising to be “a party for the whole country”, she said the Conservatives would build more homes and end austerity. But Labour said people were facing “brutal cuts” and “won’t be fooled”. Mrs May said the…

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Have the Tories improved on social media?

After their conference last year, the Conservatives were mocked for a series of awkward posts on Instagram. This year’s digital operation started badly when the official conference app accidentally revealed MPs’ phone numbers. That aside, things seemed slicker. Here are some of the ways the Conservative social media operation has changed over the past year. Tories told to ignore trolls Documents leaked to the BBC show advice given to MPs and staff on using social media – and how to deal with trolls. Ahead of the local elections this year,…

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Tories must offer change, says Philip Hammond

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPhilip Hammond predicts a Brexit “deal dividend” The Conservatives cannot afford to look like the party of “no change”, Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned colleagues. Mr Hammond said the Tories could not “outspend” Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour with “short-term gimmicks”. Instead he said they urgently needed to make the case for capitalism and “take our people with us”. Speaking at the Conservative conference in Birmingham, he called for unity and a vision beyond Brexit. “More than ever Britain will need strong leadership,” he…

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Newspaper headlines: Tories ‘slam Boris’, and No 10 ‘smears’

Newspaper headlines: Tories ‘slam Boris’, and No 10 ‘smears’ By BBC News Staff Image caption A new week, and Boris Johnson continues to dominate the front pages of the papers. The Metro leads with a Tory backlash over his article in the Mail on Sunday, which compared the prime minister’s Brexit deal to a “suicide vest”. The paper reports that senior Conservatives have “slammed” the former foreign secretary for his language. Image caption “Top Tories line up to condemn Johnson,” says the i. The paper reports that his language led…

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Newspaper headlines: Johnson ‘divides’ Tories and Ant’s year-off

Newspaper headlines: Johnson ‘divides’ Tories and Ant’s year-off By BBC News Staff Image caption The news Boris Johnson could face an investigation into breaches of the Conservative code of conduct over his comments about Muslim women wearing Burkas is the focus for several papers. The Guardian says it has triggered a fresh bout of infighting between his supporters and critics. Image caption The i sees the potential inquiry as evidence the prime minister is going in for the “kill” in the row. An independent investigator will first look into dozens…

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Newspaper headlines: ‘Tories at war over burka row Boris’

Newspaper headlines: ‘Tories at war over burka row Boris’ By BBC News Staff Image caption Boris Johnson’s remarks on the burka continue to dominate the headlines. His “broadside plunged the Conservative Party into civil war”, says the Daily Mail. But it notes supporters of the ex-foreign secretary say Tory Remainers angry about his position on Brexit are exploiting the situation. Image caption The Daily Mirror also says the government is “at war” over Mr Johnson’s remarks. Describing Mr Johnson as the “pariah”, it says pressure is mounting on him after…

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Boris Johnson burka row: Tories should ditch MP, peer says

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSenior Conservative Muslim peer Lord Sheikh calls on party to take whip away from Johnson Boris Johnson should be kicked out of the Conservative Party for his remarks about the burka, a Muslim peer says. Conservative Muslim Forum founder Lord Sheikh told BBC Newsnight demands from the PM for an apology were not enough. He has called for the MP to have the whip removed – meaning Mr Johnson would no longer represent the Tory party. Mr Johnson said Muslim women wearing…

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