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Tory Party Leader Election

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Theresa May formally resigned as Tory leader in a private letter to the acting chairs of the Conservative Party’s backbench 1922 Committee on Friday 7 June 2019 and the contest to become leader of the Conservative Party began officially today, Monday 10 June, with nominations closing at 5pm.

There are 10 candidates. Each candidate needs to be nominated by 2 fellow MPs and have the support of an additional 6 MPs.

Candidates are:

  • Michael Gove
  • Matt Hancock
  • Mark Harper
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • Sajid Javid
  • Boris Johnson
  • Andrea Leadsom
  • Esther McVey
  • Dominic Raab
  • Rory Stewart

A series of ballots are held by Conservative MPs to reduce the number of candidates to 2.

In the first round, candidates are required to receive at least 5% of the votes (17 MPs) in order to proceed to the next round.

In the second round, candidates are required to receive at least 10% of the votes (33 MPs) in order to proceed to the next round.

For the remaining ballots, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated and further ballots are held until there are 2 candidates remaining.

These 2 candidates are put forward for a postal ballot by all Conservative Party members, and the candidates receiving the most votes becomes Leader of the Conservative Party. Because the Conservative Party currently form the Government the successful candidate also becomes Prime Minister.

UK overseas trade in goods April 2019

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collects the UK’s international trade in goods data for Non-EU and EU trade with the UK. These are published on a monthly basis and figures for April 2019 have recently been released. (10 June 2019)

UK Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics April 2019

A summary is provided in a document available at

UK Overseas Trade in Goods Statistics Commentary: April 2019


Total exports of goods for April 2019 were £29.9 billion.

Total imports of goods for April 2019 were £39.8 billion.

The UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £9.9 billion.

For EU trade the UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £7.4 billion.

For Non-EU trade the UK was a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £2.4 billion.

Imports to the UK

EU Imports for April 2019 were £19.9 billion.

Non-EU Imports for April 2019 were £19.9 billion.

Germany accounted for 13.4% (£5.3bn) of the total value of imports to the UK. The USA had the second largest proportion of the total value of trade, accounting for 9.6% (£3.8bn) followed by China 8.1% (£3.2bn), the Netherlands 7.2% (£2.8bn), and France 5.4% (£2.1bn). The top five partner countries accounted for 43.7% of total UK import value this month.

Exports from the UK

EU Exports for April 2019 were £12.5 billion

Non-EU Exports for April 2019 were £17.4 billion.

The USA accounted for 15.6% (£4.7bn) per cent of the total value of goods exports from the UK. Germany had the second largest proportion, accounting for 8.8% (£2.6bn), followed by China with 6.9% (£2.1bn), France with 6.2% (£1.9bn), and the Irish Republic at 5.6% (£1.7bn). The top five export partners accounted for 43.1% of total exports in goods this month.

Spreadsheets are available which show the figures in more detail.

UK overseas trade in goods statistics April 2019: import and export data

The following tables contain EU and Non-EU import and export data for March 2019.

UK overseas trade in goods statistics April 2019: imports

UK overseas trade in goods statistics April 2019: exports

By-Election Peterborough 6 June 2019

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The by-election in Peterborough was held following the Recall of the MP Fiona Onasanya who was convicted of lying over a speeding offence and thrown out of the Labour Party.

The Recall of MPs Act 2015 introduced a process by which an MP can lose their seat in the House of Commons if there is a successful petition to recall them.

Turnout at the election was 48.4%, down from 67.5% in the 2017 General Election when Labour beat the Conservatives by 607 votes after the Conservatives had held the seat for 12 years.

Although having been formed less than 2 months ago, expectations were high that the Brexit Party would gain the seat, following their recent success in the European Elections, and based on the fact that Peterborough had backed leaving the EU by 61% to 39%.

The result was close and Labour managed to retain the seat by 683 votes from the Brexit Party candidate.

However, Labour’s share of the vote dropped by 17% from the previous election in 2017, so they should not be too complacent about their victory. The Conservative share of the vote dropped by a massive 25%. The Liberal Democrat share increased by 9%.

Party Candidate Votes % +/-%
Labour Lisa Forbes 10,484 31% -17%
Brexit Party Mike Greene 9,801 29% +29%
Conservative Paul Bristow 7,243 21% -25%
Liberal Democrats Beki Sellick 4,159 12% +9%
Green Joseph Wells 1,035 3% +1%
UKIP John Whitby 400 1% +1%
Others (9 Candidates) 798 2% +2%

In the 2017 election results were:

Party Candidate Votes %
Labour Fiona Onasanya 22,950 48.1%
Conservative Stewart Jackson 22,343 46.8%
Liberal Democrats Beki Sellick 1,597 3.3%
Green Fiona Radic 848 1.8%

EU Elections – Results from the UK

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In the UK, votes in the EU election were counted after the final polls finished in the remaining EU member countries. Results started coming in through Sunday night and Monday morning.

Voter turnout in the UK was 17,199,701 (36.7%) the second highest after 2004, when that figure was 38.52%

The undoubted success of the EU Elections was the election of 29 MEPS representing the Brexit Party as both the main parties suffered losses following a Brexit backlash.

The Brexit Party was launched in April 2019, and is led by Nigel Farage. It was formed to campaign for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU either with, or without an agreed deal with the EU and has rapidly gained support from both UKIP and Conservative party members



The Brexit Party won the biggest share of the available seats, gaining 29 MEPs.

The pro-Remain Liberal Democrats finished in second place with 16 MEPs (15 more than last time).

Labour came in 3rd place with 10 MEPs (losing 10) as voters seemed to split between the clear alternatives offered by the Brexit Party (Leave) and the Liberal Democrats (Remain).

The Green party finished in 4th place with 7 MEPs (gaining 4).

Conservatives finished in 5th place with only 4 MEPs receiving 9% of the vote in England and Wales.

The SNP gained 1 MEP to finish with 3 MEPs.

Biggest losers were UKIP who lost all their 24 MEPs

This map shows the parties which came top in council areas across the country. (This does not show the results for Northern Ireland which uses a different voting system to that used in the rest of the UK).


Party MEPs Gain/Loss Votes % Vote % Gain/Loss
Brexit Party 29 +29 5,248,533 31.6% +31.6%
Liberal Democrats 16 +15 3,367,284 20.3% +13.4%
Labour 10 -10 2,347,255 14.1% -11.3%
Green 7 +4 2,023,380 12.1% +4.2%
Conservative 4 -15 1,512,147 9.1% -14.8%
SNP 3 +1 594,553 3.6% +1.1%
Plaid Cymru 1 0 163,928 1.0% +0.3%
Sinn Féin (NI) 1 0 126,951 - -
Democratic Unionist Party (NI) 1 0 124,991 - -
Alliance Party (NI) 1 +1 105,928 - -
Change UK 0 0 571,846 3.4% +3.4%
UKIP 0 -24 554,463 3.3% -24.19%
Ulster Unionist Party 0 -1 53,052 - -
Others 0 0 405,390 1.6% -

Details of the results including information on all the parties in the UK taking part in the EU elections and results from across Europe can be found on the BBC website

UK’s European elections 2019 (BBC)

The Brexit Party did not only win in the UK but also became the largest single political party, from any EU member country, in the new EU Parliament. The next biggest political party is La Lega from Italy.

This is of no particular advantage to the Brexit Party – Because of the way MEPs organise themselves into political groups in the EU parliament they are soon swamped and forgotten (and ineffective) – Anyone know the name of their new MEP ?

(Useful data of the results is available from each region in local file copy EU-Elections.zip)

Theresa May to quit as Leader of the Conservative Party

Theresa May today announced that she intends to quit as leader of the Conservative Party on 7 June 2019. This will be followed by a leadership contest among Conservative MPs to decide on a new Prime Minister.

She will continue to serve as Prime Minister until a replacement is determined. This is expected to be concluded by the end of July.


Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone.

And to honour the result of the EU referendum.

Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice.

Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union.

I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.

I have done my best to do that.

I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protects jobs, our security and our Union.

I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal.

Sadly, I have not been able to do so.

I tried three times.

I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high.

But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.

So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.

I have agreed with the Party Chairman and with the Chairman of the 1922 Committee that the process for electing a new leader should begin in the following week.

I have kept Her Majesty the Queen fully informed of my intentions, and I will continue to serve as her Prime Minister until the process has concluded.

It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.

It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.

For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.

At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.

He said, “Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.”

He was right.

As we strive to find the compromises we need in our politics – whether to deliver Brexit, or to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland – we must remember what brought us here.

Because the referendum was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country.

A call to make the United Kingdom a country that truly works for everyone. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last three years.

We have completed the work that David Cameron and George Osborne started: the deficit is almost eliminated, our national debt is falling and we are bringing an end to austerity.

My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the South East, through our Modern Industrial Strategy.

We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.

We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder – so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.

And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality.

This is what a decent, moderate and patriotic Conservative Government on the common ground of British Politics can achieve, even as we tackle the biggest peacetime challenge any Government has faced. I know that the Conservative Party can renew itself in the years ahead. That we can deliver Brexit and serve the British people with qualities inspired by our values.

Security; freedom; opportunity.

Those values have guided me throughout my career.

But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.

That is why I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our NHS long-term plan.

It is why I am ending the postcode lottery for survivors of domestic abuse.

It is why the Race Disparity Audit and gender pay reporting are shining a light on inequality, so it has nowhere to hide.

And it is why I set up the independent public inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower – to search for the truth, so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.

Because this country is a Union.

Not just a family of four nations.

But a union of people – all of us.

Whatever our background, the colour of our skin, or who we love.

We stand together.

And together we have a great future.

Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.

I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last.

I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.