Connect with us


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be Granted ‘diplomatic protection’ says Jeremy Hunt



Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared to provide “diplomatic protection” to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual UK-Iranian national imprisoned in Iran since 2016.

 “I have today decided that the U.K. will take a step that is extremely unusual and exercise diplomatic protection,” Hunt said in a statement.

“This represents formal recognition by the British government that her treatment fails to meet Iran’s obligations under international law and elevates it to a formal state-to-state issue.”

However, Hunt added, it was “unlikely to be a magic wand that leads to an overnight result,” and he has repeatedly asked Tehran authorities to release the dual citizen.

“No government should use innocent individuals as pawns for diplomatic leverage so I call on Iran to release this innocent woman so she can be reunited with her family,” Hunt said.

The foreign office said that this diplomatic move would allow the UK to seek protections of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on the basis that she has been dishonoured by another state. According to The Financial Times, no other British national has been granted diplomatic protection in the past few years.

The foreign secretary further said that he had “not taken this decision lightly” but considered the “unacceptable treatment” that Nazanin had to witness during her detention in Tehran.

“We have not even been able to secure her the medical treatment she urgently needs despite assurances to the contrary.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 on charges of spying and is serving a five-year prison sentence. She has since then denied the charges.

In August last year, Nazanin was granted a three-day release from the jail, but her appeal for extension was rejected.

In December, fresh calls for her release were ignored by Tehran. Nazanin’s husband Richard Ratcliffe had appealed for her release on Boxing Day that happened to be her birthday.

In January, Ratcliffe said that Nazanin was denied proper medical treatment, when she complained of numbness in her arms and legs, and detected a lump in her breast.

Iran’s ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad took to Twitter saying that the UK government’s decision “contravenes” international law.

“Govts may only exercise such protection for own nationals. As [the] UK Govt is acutely aware, Iran does not recognize dual nationality. Irrespective of UK residency, Ms Zaghari thus remains Iranian,” he tweeted.


David Cameron’s Revelations on Scottish Referendum Displeases Royals



Scottish Referendum

Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent comments about Queen Elizabeth II, wherein he bragged about his dealings related to the Scottish referendum with the British monarch, have upset the royal family and the Buckingham Palace.

Cameron, who was the UK’s Prime Minister from 2010 to 2016 and the leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2016, is associated both economically and socially with liberal policies. Recently, Cameron disclosed that he sought the Queen’s support during the Scottish independence referendum of 2014.

The Scottish referendum, which took place on September 2014, was to resolve the crisis of whether Scotland should be an independent country. The citizens voting no against independence won with 2,001,926 votes. The ones who voted in favour achieved 1,617,989 votes in their banks. The retention of pound sterling was the deciding factor for those who voted No, while those who voted Yes claimed their “disaffection with Westminster politics”.

Related to the Scottish referendum results, the Queen issued a politically neutral statement, saying that it was “a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect”. She even added that her family will together work with the Scottish government for the betterment of all.

Cameron’s revelation in regards to the Scottish referendum has severed his relationship with the royals. Realising his mistakes that he involved the monarch in the political fray, Cameron said that he spoke “perhaps a little bit too much”.

In his previous statements, Cameron disclosed that he asked for support from the Queen after a poll predicting a Yes victory during the 2014 Scottish referendum “panicked” him. He said that he contacted the Buckingham Palace officials in 2014, suggesting the monarch could “raise an eyebrow” in the close-fought campaign, so that it does not look improper or unconstitutional.

After spilling the beans, Cameron realised his mistake and insisted that the Queen did not do “anything improper” during the Scottish referendum for its independence. He added, “I don’t want to say anything more about this, I’m sure some people would think – possibly even me – that I have already said perhaps a little bit too much.”

Cameron’s contradicting statements have confused the population at large, which is now expecting the truth from the royals. Many in the country are buying Cameron’s words that revealed the Queen’s involvement in the Scottish referendum relating it with the fact that the Queen always had good relations with the government. The Queen’s relations with the government have been visible throughout her support to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision of parliament’s suspension.

While the Buckingham Palace is highly displeased by Cameron’s remarks. The critics believe that an appropriate answer would do wonders before it results in big problems for the royals amid the Queen’s ill health.  

Continue Reading


Finnish PM Antti Rinne asks Johnson to Release Brexit Plans within 12 Days



Antti Rinne

Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne has granted 12 days to Tory leader Boris Johnson to furnish written proposals related to Brexit to the EU or the talks would be over. Rinne currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency and gave the ultimatum after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron.

The statement from the Finnish PM comes at the time when German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 30-day window for the Brexit deal would expire this weekend.

During a press conference, Antti Rinne said, “We need to know what the UK is proposing. Loose talk about proposals for negotiations is irresponsible … The UK should make its possible own proposals very soon if they would like them to be discussed.”

“We both agreed that it is now time for Boris Johnson to produce his own proposals in writing – if they exist. If no proposals are received by the end of September, then it’s over,” he added.

In response to the statement of Rinne, the spokesperson of the UK government said, “We will continue negotiating and put forward proposals at the appropriate time.”

Antti Rinne has issued the warning in order to prevent negotiations at the meet of Boris Johnson-led government and the European Council scheduled on October 17 and 18. In lieu of the warning provided, a French diplomatic official said, “We have to have proposals quickly and have the time to run expertise. We won’t negotiate in real time at the European Council.”

Earlier, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, termed the meeting with Johnson on Monday as “constructive”. However, he added that till Johnson does not publish any proposals, “I will not be able to tell you, looking you straight in the eye, that any real progress has been achieved.”

The statement from the Finnish PM follows the talks between Johnson, Juncker and others on Wednesday and his criticism by Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel on Monday.

In response to the talks held, a spokesperson of the Tory government said, “This afternoon the Prime Minister spoke to European Commission President Juncker, European Parliament President Sassoli, Cypriot President Anastasiades, and Latvian Prime Minister Karins.”

“The Prime Minister and President Juncker discussed the positive and constructive conversation they had in Luxembourg on Monday and their shared determination to reach a deal.”

Furthermore, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg pressed on the fact that Johnson is on the road that will lead to “fundamentally different” Brexit deal and will ensure that UK leaves the EU on October 31. He added that to accomplish such a feat government need to “listen very carefully to what the DUP says”.

Apart from providing ultimatum to Boris Johnson, Antti Rinne is also planning to debate the imposition of a new deadline with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and Johnson in the upcoming days.

Continue Reading


Ben Stokes’ Family Tragedy Not a Joke; Cricketer Expresses on Twitter



ben stokes

Hailed for his heroics in the Cricket World Cup 2019 and then Ashes 2019, English Cricketer Ben Stokes’ delightful summer turned sour after The Sun–tabloid newspaper–published a front-page article about his family tragedy that happened 31 years ago.

The newspaper revealed that Stokes’ half-brother Andrew, four, and sister Tracey, eight, were shot dead by her mother’s ex-husband Richard Dunn, before he turned the gun on himself in April 1988. It was also reported that Dunn flew into a jealous rage after Stokes’ mother Deb started a new relationship with Gerard Stokes.

On Tuesday, in a statement on Twitter, Stokes condemned the revelation of his mother’s personal life and said that the story will have “grave and lifelong consequences”. He also claimed the story, which was also picked by Mail Online, had a number of imprecisions.

“Today the Sun has seen fit to publish extremely painful, sensitive and personal details concerning events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years,” he wrote. “It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism. I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family,” he added.

Ben Stokes said that the article is “the lowest form of journalism, focused on chasing sales,” besides asking people to respect his family’s privacy and right to home life. He informed that a reporter reached out to his parents at his home in New Zealand to ask them about the mishappening. However, as per The Sun’s claims, the couple and the cricketer declined to comment.

The incident to reveal Stoke’s mother’s personal life was shunned by his fans, and skipper Joe Root, who urged people to take out time to read what Stokes had shared on Twitter.

In response to Ben Stokes’ comments, a Spokesperson for The Sun Said: “The Sun has the utmost sympathy for Ben Stokes and his mother but it is only right to point out the story was told with the cooperation of a family member who supplied details, provided photographs and posed for pictures. The tragedy is also a matter of public record and was the subject of extensive front-page publicity in New Zealand at the time. The Sun has huge admiration for Ben Stokes and we were delighted to celebrate his sporting heroics this summer. He was contacted prior to publication and at no stage did he or his representatives ask us not to publish the story.”

Ben Stokes was named, player of the series in the recently concluded Ashes 2019 series, and was previously adjourned man of the match in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final. Nonetheless, the latest revelation by The Sun might just have spoiled Stokes’ great summer campaign, especially after he claimed that the story will have grave consequences for his mother.

Continue Reading


Jeremy Corbyn States Factors that might Lead to a “Sensible” Brexit



Jeremy Corbyn

With Brexit deadline nearing, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has given rise to a new controversy that might backfire. Corbyn has indicated towards not taking any stance if Britons choose  second referendum.

Corbyn has also established four key factors on which a “sensible” Brexit deal would depend upon and which he will negotiate with the European Union. The Labour leader is experiencing a lot of pressure from his party members and the activists to support a pro-remain policy. Earlier, Labour leader collaborated with the SNP leader to delay Brexit in which the MPs proved successful, leading to removal of 21 MPs from the Tory party.

Labour leader made the statement in lieu of the upcoming annual conference in Brighton. Jeremy Corbyn due to his statement might experience backlash from the senior party members like John McDonnell, Tom Watson and Emily Thornberry, who have been urging Corbyn to campaign for Remain instead of Brexit in the EU poll.

The statement released by Corbyn indicates towards the fact that he will not give in to the demands of choosing a side. Furthermore, he will also decide to not be a part of the second referendum’s campaigning to decide the fate of the Brexit deal negotiated by the Labour party. With this move, he will not be bound to portray himself choosing a side and can work upon the decision made by the public, unlike David Cameroon.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in a statement to media said, “A Labour government would secure a sensible deal based on the terms we have long advocated, including a new customs union with the EU; a close single market relationship; and guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections.”

“We would then put that to a public vote alongside remain. I pledge to carry out whatever the people decide, as a Labour prime minister.” In his statement, Corbyn also portrayed Labour as “the only UK-wide party ready to put our trust in the people of Britain to make the decision”.

The Labour leader also gave a confirmation of supporting general election at the earliest but only when the threat of a no-deal Brexit created by Boris Johnson looming over Britons can be avoided.

In his article, Jeremy Corbyn also said, “Johnson wants to crash out with no deal. That is something opposed by business, industry, the trade unions and most of the public. And now the Liberal Democrats want MPs to overturn the referendum result by revoking Article 50 in a parliamentary stitch-up. It is simply undemocratic to override the decision of a majority of the voters without going back to the people.”

On the other hand, prior to the annual conference in Brighton, senior party official Tom Watson accused the party activists of trying to compel him to leave the party. The prime reason for such a belief, as suggested by the local constituency bodies, is to condemn Watson for ‘undermining’ the party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Continue Reading


Liberal Democratic Leader Jo Swinson to Announce Candidacy for PM



Jo Swinson

Youngest British politician Jo Swinson, who defeated Sir Ed Davey in a leadership election post Sir Vince Cable’s retirement to become the leader of the Liberal Democrats in July, recently criticised the government’s No-deal Brexit plan that largely focussed on the UK’s exit from the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

In her party conference speech scheduled for Tuesday noon, Swinson, who has also been an East Dunbartonshire MP – which is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, has decided to claim that the government’s plan for a No-deal Brexit is doing no good for the citizens.

Amid the national crisis, Swinson aims to attack the “tired old parties” of opponents such as Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson, using Brexit as a meaningful debate in her party conference speech. She further aims to bring forward ideas that would focus on the betterment of the country.

In her maiden conference speech, Jo Swinson would tell the citizens in Bournemouth that they are “building something special”. During her speech, Swinson is expected to say, “Let’s keep going. Let’s keep growing.”

“The tired old parties have failed. Looking inward at a time of national crisis. Our country needs us, at this precarious time.

“We do not have 10 or 15 years. We need to seize the opportunity now.”

Jo Swinson would further announce herself as a “candidate for prime minister” in the upcoming elections, which she believes would come within the next few months.

It is apparent that a No-deal Brexit has led the country towards a chaotic situation, with governments criticising and replacing the parties, while the leaders resigning in the wake of the unfavourable policies. Jo Swinson would reflect upon the severity of the situation in her speech and would reiterate to the government, “The truth is you can’t plan for no-deal.”

Swinson would further add, “Planning for no-deal is like planning to burn your house down. You might have insurance, but you’re still going to lose all your stuff.”

The Liberal Democratic leader would also speak on Prime Minister Johnson’s previous decision of suspending the parliament and expulsion of 21 Conservative MPs who voted against him on the Brexit. She would also criticise Labour leader Corbyn, as well as the Brexit Party’s leader Nigel Farage, standing against all three in the general elections ahead.

But the question at large is even if Jo Swinson gets the support of majority during the next general elections, would she be able to keep her promise of revoking Article 50 and take the UK out of all the EU mess, without harming the people’s democracy?

Continue Reading