Latest Ken Clarke News

  • Government defeats rebels on Europe
    Government defeats rebels on Europe Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    The Government has seen off the first significant Tory rebellion of the Parliament over Europe, but 27 Tory rebels would have been enough to defeat David Cameron had Labour taken part. More »

  • Early EU vote possible - Hammond
    Early EU vote possible - Hammond Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    The referendum on Britain's membership of the EU will go ahead early if renegotiation is completed ahead of schedule, Philip Hammond has told MPs. More »

  • More Than 50 Tories Prepare Campaign For EU Exit
    More Than 50 Tories Prepare Campaign For EU Exit Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    Dozens of Conservative MPs have declared themselves ready to campaign for Britain to leave the EU if David Cameron's renegotiation amounts to "anything less than fundamental change". In a move that will pile pressure onto the Prime Minister , Conservatives for Britain - a new group that already has over 50 politicians signed up - says it is drawing up criteria by which to judge the Government's reforms. That would split the Tory party, which is currently united in goodwill for Mr Cameron following his achievements in the General Election. More »

  • PM urged to allow EU No campaign
    PM urged to allow EU No campaign Sun, May 31, 2015

    David Cameron is coming under renewed pressure to allow ministers to campaign for Britain to leave the European Union in his promised in/out referendum on the UK's continued membership. More »

  • Youngest MP sworn into Commons
    Youngest MP sworn into Commons Wed, May 20, 2015

    Parliament has its youngest MP in centuries after the SNP's Mhairi Black was officially sworn in. More »

  • Game of losers? Poisoned chalice awaits election victor
    Game of losers? Poisoned chalice awaits election victor Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    By Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - Few politicians would be foolish enough to say publicly they'd prefer not to be elected because of the unpopular decisions that await, but next month's election in Britain is one some may privately regard as a poisoned chalice. Britain's economy is one of the fastest growing in the developed world, but whoever wins still faces challenges that could test their party to breaking point. Politicians say they would always rather be in power than opposition, but they agree Britain is getting tougher to govern. "If you look at it rationally, none of the two main parties would want to win the next election," Steven Fielding, director of the Centre for British Politics at Nottingham University, told Reuters. More »

  • Opposition leaders' TV debate: Labour's Ed Miliband beats Nicola Sturgeon …
    Opposition leaders' TV debate: Labour's Ed Miliband beats Nicola Sturgeon … Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Ed Miliband has secured what could be a crucial pre-general election victory after he came out of top of the so called "challengers" TV leaders' debate. The Labour leader faced tough competition in the shape of Nigel Farage, Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood at the Methodist Central Hall in London. The research also revealed that Miliband came out on top when the voters were asked "who would make the best prime minister?" as 43% picked the Labour man. More »

  • Tory Grandee Dismisses Pact With 'Angry' UKIP
    Tory Grandee Dismisses Pact With 'Angry' UKIP Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Former Tory cabinet minister Ken Clarke has said he would be "fiercely opposed" to any post-election deal with UKIP - dismissing the party as "just angry protest". The veteran MP's withering comments came as UKIP leader Nigel Farage outlined his demands for propping up a minority Conservative government after the poll in May. Mr Clarke told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "I would be fiercely opposed to anybody doing any deal with a hardline right-wing nationalist party that wants to blame foreigners and Brussels for all our problems. More »

  • HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards
    HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    HSBC has taken out adverts in national newspapers offering "sincerest apologies" over past activities at its Swiss operations. In the open letter to its customers, shareholders and colleagues, HSBC's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver described recent media coverage about practices at the Swiss Private Bank eight years ago as a "painful experience". Vince Cable told Sky's Murnaghan programme that what emerged is "striking and unacceptable" - and he has called on former HSBC boss Lord Green to answer specific allegations about the business. The full-page HSBC advert states: "We would like to provide some reassurance and state some of the facts that lie behind the stories. More »

  • CIA Torture Report must prompt a proper investigation into Britain's ro …
    CIA Torture Report must prompt a proper investigation into Britain's ro … Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee exposed the full extent and brutality of CIA torture, showing that these practices are more than just abhorrent – they're ineffective too. By publishing its report, the Committee has rightly dragged this darkest of scandals into the light – and now our own authorities must do the same. More »

  • Immigration Figures Set To Embarrass Cameron
    Immigration Figures Set To Embarrass Cameron Thu, Nov 27, 2014

    Figures to be released later this morning will show the Prime Minister has all but certainly missed his promise of getting net migration down to the tens of thousands. More »

  • Ed Miliband Strengthens Pro-Europe Credentials as Tories Fear David Cameron's …
    Ed Miliband Strengthens Pro-Europe Credentials as Tories Fear David Cameron's … Tue, Oct 21, 2014

    Ed Miliband has used a mini-reshuffle to toughen Labour's stance on Europe just as moderate Tories are starting to fear a panicked David Cameron is leading the UK towards inevitable exit from the EU. More »

  • UK lawmaker tells PM Cameron - Ignore 'daft' anti-Europeans
    UK lawmaker tells PM Cameron - Ignore 'daft' anti-Europeans Tue, Oct 21, 2014

    LONDON (Reuters) - A senior Conservative lawmaker on Tuesday said Prime Minister David Cameron should ignore those "daft" enough to propose anti-immigration proposals that could hurt the British economy and pave the way for an exit from the European Union. Ken Clarke, one of Britain's most influential Europhiles, said Cameron's Conservatives should refrain from competing with "bigotry" to counter the threat from the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party. ... More »

  • Ken Clarke Warns that Cameron's Immigration Cap 'Would Damage UK Ec …
    Ken Clarke Warns that Cameron's Immigration Cap 'Would Damage UK Ec … Tue, Oct 21, 2014

    The UK Prime Minister's controversial plan to limit immigration into Britain from the European Union by introducing a quota system would damage the country's economy, according to Ken Clarke. More »

  • Hague 'Nobody' Jibe Prompts £1m UKIP Donation
    Hague 'Nobody' Jibe Prompts £1m UKIP Donation Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    Nigel Farage and UKIP soured the start of the Tory conference with the defection of Mark Reckless and have now left a nasty taste for David Cameron within hours of its finale with a £1m gift from a former Conservative donor. More »

  • Cameron gets louder on Europe as party cracks widen
    Cameron gets louder on Europe as party cracks widen Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    Ahead of a general election which could prompt a referendum on Britain leaving the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron has become the latest Conservative leader struggling to hold his party together over Europe. More »

  • Tuesday at Conservative Conference: Key fringes Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    Tuesday is the last full day of the Conservative party conference, and it is packed with events to choose from outside the main hall. Here is our pick of the fringe. More »

  • Conservative Conference Diary: Ukip is the New 'Nasty Party' and the …
    Conservative Conference Diary: Ukip is the New 'Nasty Party' and the … Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    There is a "cunning plan" being whispered about on the conference fringe - one that calls for a deliberate move to let the Labour party win a by-election. More »

  • Back In Conflict, But This Time It's Different
    Back In Conflict, But This Time It's Different Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    It has begun. Eleven years after the invasion that marked the beginning of the Iraq War, Britain is again involved in a conflict in the region. More »

  • Iraq Vote Shows Britain's Changed World Role
    Iraq Vote Shows Britain's Changed World Role Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    The RAF in Akrotiri, Cyprus, now know that they will soon be taking part in airstrikes against IS in northern Iraq. More »

  • David Cameron Has Support For Iraq Air Strikes But Raised Prospect of Action …
    David Cameron Has Support For Iraq Air Strikes But Raised Prospect of Action … Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    David Cameron has received the backing of Parliament for air strikes against Isis (also known as Islamic State and Isil) in Iraq. More »

  • Aaron McKenna: To combat crime, we must make prison softer
    Aaron McKenna: To combat crime, we must make prison softer Fri, Aug 22, 2014

    After taking away a person’s freedom as punishment for their crimes, we should move on to the practical question of how we can reduce their likelihood to reoffend. More »

  • Baroness Warsi Gaza Resignation Letter: Full Text
    Baroness Warsi Gaza Resignation Letter: Full Text Tue, Aug 5, 2014

    Baroness Warsi, the senior foreign office minister, has resigned from her role in protest at the Government's policy on the ongoing Gaza conflict. Warsi, one of the most senior women in the Conservative party, described the government's current stance as "morally indefensible". For some weeks, in meetings and discussions, I have been open and honest about my views on the conflict in Gaza and our response to it. My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically. More »

  • Clegg In Tory 'Headbangers' And 'Tyrants' Jibe
    Clegg In Tory 'Headbangers' And 'Tyrants' Jibe Thu, Jul 17, 2014

    Nick Clegg has branded his Tory colleagues "headbangers" and said they wanted to line up along with "Putin and other tyrants". The Deputy Prime Minister said he had been "blindsided" by the Conservatives' proposal to push ahead with plans to limit the power of the European Court of Human Rights in the UK. Mr Clegg said the reshuffle, which saw opponents of the move such as Ken Clarke and Attorney General Dominic Grieve removed from post, had shown the Tory "headbangers have now won". David Cameron has been presented with proposals for a British bill of rights by a working group of Conservative lawyers, which would assert the sovereignty of Parliament, according to the BBC. More »

  • Cameron's eurosceptic reshuffle boosts 'Brexit' risk: analysts
    Cameron's eurosceptic reshuffle boosts 'Brexit' risk: analysts Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    David Cameron has dramatically hardened his government's eurosceptic stance for a battle with Brussels, but may have weakened his hand while increasing the risk that Britain could crash out of the EU, analysts said. More »

  • Gove: It Was A Wrench To Leave Education Post
    Gove: It Was A Wrench To Leave Education Post Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    Michael Gove has admitted it was "a wrench" to leave his job as Education Secretary in the biggest reshuffle of the top jobs in Government for four years. The 46-year-old, a controversial figure among teachers, has been swapped to the role of Commons Chief Whip - a move described as "definitely a demotion" by Sky's Political Editor Adam Boulton. It means his salary will drop from £134,565 to that of a minister of state level of £98,740. However, Mr Gove told Sky News he had been given a choice about his future and said it was "exciting and flattering to be offered a chance to be at the heart of government". More »

  • Cameron turns to women and Eurosceptics in major ministerial shake-up
    Cameron turns to women and Eurosceptics in major ministerial shake-up Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    By Andrew Osborn and William James LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday pushed through his biggest government shake-up since coming to power in 2010, promoting women and Eurosceptics to senior roles in an appeal to voters in next May's national election. In one surprise development, William Hague, Britain's most senior diplomat for the past four years, voluntarily stood down allowing Cameron to appoint Philip Hammond, the defence minister and a prominent Eurosceptic, to the influential post. Michael Gove, a longstanding Cameron ally and one of his party's most prominent right-wing ideologues, was sacked as education secretary. More »

  • Cameron's Radical Reshuffle for Women and Youth Aimed Squarely at 2015 General … Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    David Cameron's shock, root-and-branch reshuffle has had the single overriding objective of approaching the 2015 general election with what he hopes voters will see as a new government. The prime minister is painfully aware that he has not yet done enough to set himself on course for an outright victory next year and that voters may be tempted by a change of personnel at the heart of government. He is equally concerned allegation that his erstwhile "male, pale and stale" government is vulnerable to attacks it is out of touch with ordinary voters. More »

  • Bonfire of the moderates: Cameron shifts Tories firmly to the right
    Bonfire of the moderates: Cameron shifts Tories firmly to the right Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    David Cameron switched off the life support machine of One Nation Conservatism last night, as he culled the remaining moderates in senior government positions. More »

  • Cameron's Brutal 'Night of the Long Knives' Signals Gains for Eurosceptic … Tue, Jul 15, 2014

    David Cameron has stunned Westminster with a brutal cabinet clear-out that has seen senior ministers, led by foreign secretary William Hague, reshuffled or sacked to make way for a fresh new team to drive the Tories to the general election. In a wide-ranging shakeup which has been compared to Harold Macmillan's 1962 "night of the long knives", the prime minister sacked or moved a dozen ministers, including veteran Ken Clarke. Westminster had been expecting some big changes as it was claimed Cameron wanted to rid the cabinet of the "male, pale and stale" image which he believed was holding it back from connecting with younger and particularly female voters. They will be happy to see the back of arch-Europhile Clarke, retiring after 44 years, and the likely replacement of Hague with current defence secretary Philip Hammond who has previously said he would be ready to quit the EU. More »

  • Clarke Among Top Tories Leaving Government
    Clarke Among Top Tories Leaving Government Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    Ken Clarke is retiring from Government and other high-profile Tory MPs have emerged as casualties of David Cameron's reshuffle. Mr Clarke, 74, is stepping down as minister without portfolio, bringing to an end a front bench career stretching back to 1972 . Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice Damian Green has been sacked in a "shock" move and Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC has also left the government, Sky sources say. Transport Minister Stephen Hammond, Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd and Welsh Secretary David Jones are also out. More »

  • Cameron to Solve 'Women Problem' in Major Cabinet Reshuffle Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    The famous picture of David Cameron at the despatch box with ranks of male MPs lined up behind him said it all; At least all the feverish speculation in Westminster is that he is about to deal with it, in a major cabinet reshuffle that will seek to cast his top team for the general election while presenting a more Mumsnet-friendly face to voters. So female junior ministers and backbenchers will be on the edge of their seats in anticipation of advancement, with the names Esther McVey, Liz Truss, Nicky Morgan, Amber Rudd, Priti Patel and Penny Mordaunt all doing the rounds. So veterans like chief whip Sir George Young, Ken Clarke and Andrew Lansley are probably on the way out. More »

  • Reshuffle: New Guard Set For Cabinet Roles
    Reshuffle: New Guard Set For Cabinet Roles Sun, Jul 13, 2014

    David Cameron is this week expected to deliver the biggest changes to his Cabinet since the beginning of the coalition, with women and a younger generation of MPs expected to benefit. When it comes to reshuffles, there is one simple rule: the only person who knows all the details is the Prime Minister (and even he can't be certain - remember last time, when Iain Duncan Smith refused to agree to David Cameron's wishes?). David Cameron is notoriously reluctant to shuffle his pack - he knows the danger of having disgruntled ex-ministers on the backbenches - but time is running out if he wants to refresh his team ahead of the General Election. Next week, EU leaders will meet to dole out the top jobs in the European Commission and Mr Cameron needs to work out who he wants to nominate. More »

  • Cameron Seeks Euro Defeat Boost as Parties Struggle with Ukip Fallout
    Cameron Seeks Euro Defeat Boost as Parties Struggle with Ukip Fallout Tue, May 27, 2014

    As Britain's political parties continue to struggle with the aftermath of their electoral drubbing at the hands of Nigel Farage's Ukip, David Cameron is attempting to seize victory from the jaws of defeat. Senior industry bosses, including some big Tory donors, wrote an open letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper demanding just that level of clarity. More »

  • Ukip Leader Nigel Farage Would Rather 'Bottle It' Over Newark By-election …
    Ukip Leader Nigel Farage Would Rather 'Bottle It' Over Newark By-election … Wed, Apr 30, 2014

    Ignore whatever Nigel Farage says publicly about why he decided not to stand in the Newark by-election. As former Tory chancellor Ken Clarke said, Farage may be many things, and he has been called most of them at one time or another, but he is not stupid. And as Farage himself reportedly and accurately claimed in private, if he stood and lost, the Ukip bubble would very likely burst. Like the Basingstoke seat held by former culture secretary Maria Miller, the sitting Tory MP has become a poster boy for Tory sleaze. More »