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Department for Work and Pensions Apologises on Death of 81-Year-Old



Department for Work and Pensions

Last updated on May 15th, 2019

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) openly apologised for the death of an elderly woman, who committed suicide for being deprived of her pension for around 15 months.

While Joy Worrall was alive, she spent £5000 in savings, which left her with just £5 in her bank account. DWP minister Guy Opperman told the MPs on Monday that the Government apologises “unreservedly” for the clerical error that led to “Joy Worrall’s pension payment being stopped”.  

Opperman sympathised with the family and friends of Worrall saying that the department has now reviewed and acted upon the necessary processes so that the pension related benefits are extended.

Worrall from Rhes-y-Cae, Flintshire, was found dead in a quarry near her home in November 2018. The cause of her death was said to be multiple major traumatic injuries due to falling from a height.

During the investigation, it came into light that the 81-year-old had received an inheritance in 2014, which would have initially not affected her state pension.

However, in 2017, her pension situation was “re-assessed” and instead of only freezing the pension credits Worrall received, DWP froze her ordinary state pension, leaving her with no income. The investigation also stated that Worrall never complained about the fault to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Following the hearing of death, Ben Worrall, Joy Worrall’s son, said, “I feel as though there was a duty of care that was not fully carried out as it should’ve been, causing her to be in a situation where the only course of action was to end her life, which is a disgrace really.”

Ben claimed to have taken up the case with his MP David Hanson, a Labour representative, who largely criticised the DWP for its carelessness that forced the old woman to commit suicide. He said that the government must ensure steps so that such reckless acts of committing suicide due to poverty are eliminated.   

Although the Department for Work and Pensions has largely called the situation as an “administrative error” on their part, another issue of pension delays is one of the most common drawbacks in the country. The self-explanatory death of Joy Worrall led to harsh criticism of the government authorities, who have now pledged to bring improvements in the pension programs.


Theresa May’s Vow to Deliver Brexit Ends in Disarray



Theresa May's Vow to Deliver Brexit Ends in Disarray

Trying hard to convince the House of Commons, reaching out to the European Union (EU) for negotiations, and raising concerns over Britain crashing out of the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May’s effort have fallen short of her Brexit target.

In an emotional statement delivered from Downing Street, May confirmed that she would quit as a Conservative leader on 7 June. Adding that it was a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to deliver upon her promise. Meanwhile, she would still continue to serve as PM until a Conservative leadership contest took place.

Following the resignation, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt became the latest MP to announce that he will run for the position, joining Boris Johnson, Esther McVey, and Rory Stewart. More than a dozen other MPs are also expected to join the run.

May’s decision has come midst high level of uncertainties already prevailing in the nation. From the chaotic European elections dividing the nation between Remainers and Leavers to wobbly investor’s confidence, and unforeseen future terms with the EU, there is no immediate clarity on how Britain will do in near future.

In her statement, May affirmed that she had done everything she could have to convince the MPs to support her withdrawal agreement. However, the results were always otherwise and that it was now in the “best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort”.

She also said, in order to deliver Brexit new leader will have to build the agreement in Parliament and “such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise”. Quoting her last lines, the Prime Minister’s voice shook as she confronted leaving the job that had been an honour of her life.

The official statement from the Conservative Party said the duration for the leadership contest is that nominations would close during the week starting 10 June. The process would see filtration down to the final two leaders to by the end of the month.

On the other hand, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn opening insult said “Theresa May is right to resign” and that Conservative Party was now “disintegrating party”.

Considering all the narratives that prevail in the nation, it still boils down to what next. Asking questions about their country’s future, people of Britain have also fallen sick to the Brexit mayhem. Now, with May’s resignation and to what sounds like beginning of a new era for Britain, building from the scratch under such circumstances won’t be an easy task.

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Amidst Brexit Uncertainty European Elections Take a Centre Stage



European Elections

With the onset of the European Elections, voters across 28 countries will decide the fate of 751 members of the European Parliament.

Speculations and polls conducted across the United Kingdom suggest that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party might emerge victorious in the elections. In the imminent elections, the Conservative and Labour parties are likely to suffer maximum damage with Liberal Democrats and Brexit Party emerging as the showstopper.

The European elections will decide the fate of 73 members, looking forward for selection in the nine constituencies of England and one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Island. The count of the representatives varies from region to region, depending upon the population varying from three MEPs in the North East and Northern Ireland to 10 MEPs in the South-East region.

According to the recent polls conducted in the past few days by YouGov, Panelbase, Opinium and Datapraxis, Brexit Party has emerged as the favourite in the UK region. While these polls might have affected the wave of the choice on whom to vote, it also showed that people are not interested in voting for either the Tories or the Conservatives. Both the parties collectively stood at the fourth position as per the polls.

The polling stations will remain open till 10:00 pm BST today. The results are expected to be announced after all the European nations have casted their votes by Sunday 10:00 pm BST.

It is also being speculated that both the European People’s Party and the alliance of Socialists and Democrats might lose many seats in the upcoming elections. Senior research fellow from Centre for European Reform Camino Mortera-Martinez said, “Euroskeptics and populists are going to grow exponentially this time. You’re going to have a much more divided Parliament. It’s going to be more difficult to find compromises.”

The Downing Street authorities have been describing the night of the European Elections’ verdict announcement to be a”very challenging night”.

One of the spokesman said, “The PM is focused on the task at hand which is delivering the Brexit people voted for.”

Similarly, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appealed to the people to vote for the members of the Labour Party as it would depict a vote for a ”tolerant and fairer country”, and an “end to the division and austerity which has devastated our communities for a decade.”

If Brexit takes place following the final verdict of the European elections is declared, out of the 73 seats in the UK, 27 will be distributed equally among the European nations and the number in the European Parliament will reduce from 751 MEPs to 705.

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Brexit Party Emerges Favourite among Scots, Polls Suggest



Brexit Party

As of Monday, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party claimed the second position in Scotland – leaving behind the conservatives and the Labour Party – in the European Elections.

The elections which will take place on Thursday will witness a historic nation-wide win of a party overshadowing the Conservatives and Labours.

This is the second time in a century that an organisation other than the Conservatives or the Labours will win. With the result of the polls, pressure is beginning to increase on Prime Minister Theresa May.

The results of the poll conducted by YouGov show that out of five only one Scottish voter is supporting Labour or Tories, standing at the fourth position collectively. On the other hand, one of the surveys placed Brexit Party as the second favourite choice across the UK in general voting elections.

Farage had earlier secured win in 2014 as well, but his then known party United Kingdom Independence Party couldn’t last for long. With the results of the latest polls, it has become evident that the probable decay of post-war two party systems might be leading to an uncertain political scenario.

The polls conducted by YouGov also indicate towards the fact that while Tories might lose their only MEP in Scotland, the Scottish Labour might lose one of the two seats in the European Parliament. The SNPs are leading the race with 38 percent of the vote share, followed by the Brexit Party at 20 percent, the poll reveals.

Similarly the Panelbase’s opinion polls on the upcoming elections show that the Farage’s party can claim eight MSP seats in the Scottish Parliament election. Considering the Opinium poll, Farage’s party is bound to garner 24 percent of the votes in the UK general election, two percent more than the votes, Tories are expected to obtain.

YouGov and Datapraxis conducted polls for the Best for Britain and Hope not Hate campaigns and 9,260 people from all over Britain took part in the polls. These polls place the Brexit Party on the first place as it received twice the votes received by the Liberal Democrats, who came second.

Previously Nigel Farage voiced his concerns over the Second Brexit Referendum and criticised the members of the Labour Party in favour of leaving the EU.

Louis Stedman-Bryce, one of the candidates of the Brexit Party in Scotland taking part in European Elections, praised the results of the polls.

He said, “This is despite Nicola Sturgeon’s insistence that ‘Scotland is not for Brexit’ on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, demonstrating just how out of touch she is with the electorate.”

“Like the rest of the UK, Scotland is fed up with career politicians trying to overturn democracy and push their own agenda. The First Minister should be very concerned because the Brexit Party will soon be turning its sights to Holyrood as well as Westminster,” he added.

The opinion polls reveal Brexit Party as the favourite of the masses in the European Elections, even though the elections are yet to take place. While the result of the elections might take up some time, it is almost certain that the people have chosen their leader already.

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Nigel Farage Left with Dripping Milkshake During EU Election Campaign



Nigel Farage

In a bizarre incident on Monday, Britain’s Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was given a milkshake bath while he was campaigning in the European Parliament election. The attack is the latest in the trend of decorating politicians with sticky beverages.

The fine gray suit of the politician was painted with white milkshake by an anti-Brexit protestor in Newcastle city centre. As Farage walked with his bodyguards and the reporters at about 1 p.m., the suspected 32-year-old man emptied the glass as he threw the shake at him from the front.

The protestor, Paul Crowther was detained in handcuffs at the scene. He stated that he hit Nigel Farage with the banana-and-salted caramel Five Guys shake to protest his “bile and racism” ideology.

Crowther said that he was looking forward to the drink, “but I think it went on a better purpose”. He has been reportedly charged with common assault and criminal damage.

After the attack, which is caught on video, the visibly shaken Brexit Party leader was heard reprimanding his security team for failing to protect him at the incident. He could be heard saying, “complete failure” and “how did you not stop that?”.

Nigel Farage associated the attack to those who are against Brexit and wanted to remain in the EU. He took to his official Twitter account and wrote, “Sadly some remainers have become radicalised, to the extent that normal campaigning is becoming impossible.”

Beverages have growingly become an unlikely political weapon in Britain. In recent weeks, other anti-EU candidates, including the far-right activist Tommy Robinson, have also been bombarded with milkshakes during the election campaigns.

The rising incidents also led to a restriction on selling milkshakes at food outlets. Last week, a McDonald’s in Edinburgh, Scotland brought the issue in light, stating that it had been told by police to not sell milkshakes during a Brexit Party rally.

The rising number in the milkshake-attack incidents are definitely a misconduct towards the politicians. However, they only reveal the rising aggression amongst the people over Brexit.

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Legalise Gay Marriage in Northern Ireland, Demands LGBTQ Community



Gay Marriage

As the lunchtime on Saturday afternoon took its turn, Belfast in Northern Ireland saw a vibrant protest comprising 7000-8000 people, asking the government to legalise gay marriage. The protest took place in Writer’s Square near the St Anne’s Cathedral, the Belfast Anglican church, where the funeral of journalist Lyra Mckee took place.

The protest included prominent faces like Sara Canning, partner of McKee who died during a riot, John O’Doherty, director of Rainbow Project and Patrick Corrigan, director of Northern Ireland’s Amnesty International.

Preceding the rally, Canning disclosed that she asked Prime Minister Theresa May to legalise gay marriage in order to honour the cherished memory of Mckee.

Lyra Mckee, one of the distinguished journalists in Northern Ireland, was killed almost a month ago during a riot in Derry, by the supporters of the New IRA group. Many prominent political figures including Theresa May condemned her death.

Prior to assembling in front of the city hall, the rally marched through the Belfast city centre, asking to amend the marriage law and legalise gay marriage. Canning was among the ones leading the rally and carrying a placard with name “Lyra”, painted in rainbow colours. 

While addressing the crowd, Canning said that the reform would be a “win” for people of every community despite race, gender, caste or creed.

She said, “We pay our taxes, we are governed by the same laws, we live deeply and we love dearly – why should we not be afforded the same rights in marriage?”

 “Same-sex couples come from every single political, religious, cultural, and racial background. A vote passing on equal marriage would not be a win for any one side, it would be a win for all sides,” she added.

Similarly, O’Doherty while supporting the campaign, said “Like so many of you I stand today with my better half, the love of my life – angry and frustrated – that another year has passed without our love being recognised as equal under the law.”

For many years, the government has ignored the appeals to legalise marriage among the members of the LGBTQ community in the region of Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionist Party and its 10 MPs have held the power in Tories since the election of 2017. With this said, the chances of legalising gay marriage might increase manifold, if a transfer of power occurs in Belfast.

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