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Sep 12, 2015

Socialist Jeremy Corbyn elected UK opposition Labour leader

LONDON (Reuters) – Karl Marx admirer Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party on Saturday, a victory that may make a British EU exit more likely and which one former Labour prime minister has warned could leave their party unelectable.

“Things can and they will change,” Corbyn, 66, said in a victory speech which began with criticism of the British media for intrusive reporting and ended with a vow to achieve justice for the poor and downtrodden.

Sep 11, 2015

Labour Party ready to lurch left as Corbyn expected to win leadership

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party is expected to crown hard left lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn as its new leader on Saturday after a surprise surge in support for his anti-austerity platform, and despite fears that he will make the party unelectable for years.

Corbyn, a 66-year old parliamentary veteran who was relatively unknown a few months ago, has hit upon a strong appetite within his party for a radical alternative to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s austerity agenda.

Sep 9, 2015

UK softens tone against Syria’s Assad, moots transition period

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain could accept Syrian President Bashar al-Assad staying in place for a transition period if it helped resolve the country’s conflict, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday, in what appeared to be a softening of tone on the Syrian leader.

Britain, along with other Western countries, has repeatedly called for Assad to go, saying it is a precondition for bringing an end to the brutal four-year-long civil war that has killed an estimated 250,000 people and shattered the country.

Sep 7, 2015

UK’s Cameron suffers parliamentary defeat over EU referendum rules

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered an embarrassing defeat in parliament on Monday after Euroskeptic members of his Conservatives joined forces with opposition lawmakers to reject proposed rules for a European Union membership referendum.

It was Cameron’s first parliamentary defeat since he was re-elected in May with a slim majority and highlighted the historic splits over Europe in his Conservative Party that contributed to the downfall of two of his predecessors.

Sep 7, 2015

Cameron says UK drone strike killed British IS fighters in Syria

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has killed two of its own nationals who had been fighting for Islamic State (IS) and plotting attacks on British soil, in its first air strike in Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

Despite not having a parliamentary mandate to take military action in Syria, Cameron told lawmakers that, as an act of self-defense, Briton Reyaad Khan had been targeted and killed in a precision drone strike in the country.

Aug 30, 2015

English union with Scotland in ‘mortal danger’, says ex-PM Brown

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron has put the future of the centuries-old union between England and Scotland in mortal danger by stoking English nationalism, former premier Gordon Brown said on Sunday.

Brown, who led a Labour government between 2007 and 2010, told an audience in his native Scotland that Conservative leader Cameron must retreat from policies that draw dividing lines between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Aug 30, 2015

Britain attacks ‘broken’ EU migration system, demands tighter rules

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s migration system is broken, British Interior Minister Theresa May wrote on Sunday, blaming its borderless system for exacerbating a migrant crisis and demanding tighter European Union rules on free movement.

A surge in migrants fleeing war and poverty has presented Europe with its worst refugee crisis since World War Two and claimed the lives of thousands of people making perilous sea and land journeys to the continent.

Aug 27, 2015

Cameron appoints new members to scandal-tainted upper chamber

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron appointed 26 supporters on Thursday to Britain’s unelected upper chamber of parliament, reigniting criticism of an institution long branded as undemocratic and elitist and now reeling from a sex-and-drugs scandal.

In Britain a prime minister has the right to regularly replenish the ranks of the House of Lords with political appointees. With 826 members at present, the ancient chamber is the world’s second largest legislative body after China’s National People’s Congress. Many lords serve lifelong terms.

Aug 27, 2015

UK immigration hits record high, causing headache for Cameron

LONDON (Reuters) – Long-term net migration to Britain has hit a record high, underscoring the challenge Prime Minister David Cameron faces to dispel voter fears that immigrants are straining public services such as housing, hospitals and schools.

As an island nation off northwest Europe, Britain is far from the frontline of the EU-wide crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees pour into the bloc this year via countries like Italy, Greece and Hungary.

Aug 27, 2015

Net migration to Britain hits record high

LONDON (Reuters) – Long-term net migration to Britain has risen to a record high, official data showed on Thursday, underscoring the challenge Prime Minister David Cameron has on his hands to convince voters that his immigration policy will work.

Cameron is under pressure to deliver on a promise made in 2010 to reduce annual net migration to Britain to below 100,000. The pledge was aimed at assuaging voter concerns about the strain being placed on public services.