With the greatest disrespect: how Her Majesty’s Press offers its candid friendship

The Duchess of Sussex may think she has a good case in her legal battle with the media. But just look at how these other royals fared Has there ever been a more cruelly miscast candid friend to the royal family than Her Majestys Press, who are neither truly candid, nor remotely the sort of people one knows socially? And, yes, I obviously include myself in that. In any case, the ONLY acceptable way to look at the royal family is that practised by Princess Michael of Kent, of whom the Queen is once said to have remarked: Shes rather grand for us. (Remember: the couple have decided to launch a legal action. There is, as we know, no snowflake …

Boris Johnson calls for ‘Trump deal’ to fix Iran nuclear standoff

PM says president could come up with better pact, in apparent shift from European position Boris Johnson has sided with Donald Trump in calling the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran a bad deal, while praising the US president as a very brilliant negotiator capable of achieving a better one. The prime ministers remarks, made in a NBC interview, marked a sharp change in UK rhetoric. British leaders, including Johnson, had until now upheld the 2015 accord between six major powers and Iran as a major diplomatic achievement. British officials insisted that the prime minister continued to support full compliance with that deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action (JCPOA). However, Johnson had clearly come to the UN determined …

Ghislaine Maxwell: the woman accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein groom girls

The British socialite had a changing relationship with the disgraced financier who was found dead in his New York cell The death of Jeffrey Epstein over the weekend has put renewed focus on the British socialite and heiress Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused in civil court documents of conspiring with the disgraced financier to recruit and groom underage girls for sexual abuse. Maxwell, 57, the daughter of the late press baron Robert Maxwell, has repeatedly and vehemently denied allegations of involvement in a sex-trafficking network run by Epstein, who was awaiting trial in a New York prison when he died. Prior to his death, Epstein denied federal charges of sex trafficking involving minors which could have resulted in a …

No 10 expects rebel move against no-deal Brexit on 9 September

Boris Johnson thinks EU will do nothing until it sees outcome of parliamentary battle Downing Street believes rebel MPs will try to make a move to stop a no-deal Brexit in the second week of September, with the EU unlikely to respond until after that battle has played out. A senior government source said the date for a parliamentary battle was expected to be 9 September a week after MPs return from their summer break. Boris Johnson may meet key EU leaders, such as Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, but not Irelands Leo Varadkar, before the G7 summit in Biarritz, France at the end of August. However, No 10 is not expecting any breakthrough until the EU has seen what …

Brussels repels Boris Johnson’s quest for new Brexit deal

Juncker said to have told new PM current agreement is the best and only one possible Brussels has roundly rebuffed Boris Johnson after he laid down tough conditions for the new Brexit deal he hopes to strike over the summer. Speaking to the House of Commons for the first time as prime minister on Thursday, Johnson reiterated his campaign pledge of ditching the Irish backstop and promised to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit immediately. I would prefer us to leave the EU with a deal, he said. I would much prefer it. I believe that it is possible even at this late stage, and I will work flat-out to make it happen. But certain things need to be …

Iran refuses to end breach of nuclear deal until it gets ‘full rights’

Tehran meets French envoy as Rouhani warns UK of repercussions over oil tanker seizure Iran has told Europe it will not reverse its decision to increase uranium enrichment beyond the limits set by the seizure of an oil tanker bound for Syria off the coast of Gibraltar last week. The ship remains in British possession. Shamkhanis warning suggests the three European powers France, Germany and the UK face an uphill struggle to keep the nuclear deal alive. Shamkhani said the Iranian strategy was unchangeable, and claimed European countries had shown a lack of will to keep their side of the bargain. The two-day visit by the French envoy to Tehran, Emmanuel Bonne, was seen as probably the last attempt to …

Wake up, England: Boris Johnsons charm is just the arrogance of those born to rule | Suzanne Moore

The Tory leadership contest shows well keep running back to the posh boys, no matter how much they use and abuse us, says Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore I recognise this feeling and I hate it. A friend is going out with a guy who humiliates her, spends her money, has affairs and is abusive. Yet she feels lost and is somehow dependent and when he promises he will make it all OK somehow, that he will change, and the future will be wonderful, she decides to give it another whirl. Anyway, she says, what else is there? Half-broken, she has lost the ability to even imagine a better life for herself. It is no use, my anger on her behalf …

May averts Tory mutiny by agreeing to set her exit date after Brexit bill vote

1922 Committee agrees to let PM wait until after vote on withdrawal agreement bill in early June Theresa May has agreed to set a timetable for her departure as prime minister in the first week of June, leading MPs to believe she will trigger a leadership contest before the summer. Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers, said she would agree a timetable for the election of a new leader after her Brexit legislation returned to parliament saying he would of course go for it when there is a vacancy but there is a wide field of up to 20 candidates. May met the 1922 committees executive on Thursday, which represents Tory backbenchers, after mutinous MPs …