Posted by: John Brace | 26th May 2019

7 political news stories and 1 sporting result: a review of the week covering the Prime Minister, European Parliament Elections, Tranmere Rovers FC, Wirral Council, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, climate change protests and New Ferry!

7 political news stories and 1 sporting result: a review of the week covering the Prime Minister, European Parliament Elections, Tranmere Rovers FC, Wirral Council, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, climate change protests and New Ferry!

polling station 3 Holy Cross Primary School AC Bidston and St James 2nd May 2019 photo 7 of 8

Polling station 3 Holy Cross Primary School AC Bidston and St James

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rt Hon Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation as Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party effective from the 7th June 2019 in a televised speech outside 10 Downing Street on Friday.

Her resignation triggered a leadership election in the Conservative and Unionist Party.

As Rt Hon Prime Minister Theresa May is Prime Minister in a minority Conservative administration thanks to a power sharing arrangement (a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party) it is expected that the winning Conservative Member of Parliament in the leadership contest will be Prime Minister.

The results of the European Parliamentary Elections this week have not yet been announced as the counting of votes hasn’t started because (at the time of writing) elections for the European Parliament are still taking place elsewhere in other EU countries. However counting is expected to start later today (26th May 2019).

Also happening in London, but the day after Theresa May’s resignation speech local team Tranmere Rovers Football Club beat Newport County in a football match one-nil in the final of the playoffs which ensured their promotion from League Two. To celebrate this Wirral Council and the Mayor of Wirral Cllr Tony Smith are having a civic reception and celebration event at Hamilton Square, Birkenhead on Bank Holiday Monday (27th May 2019) starting at 2 pm.

The Annual Meetings of Liverpool City Council and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority took place on Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon. There was also a public meeting of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority on Thursday afternoon.

Both Annual Meetings of Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority dealt in part with political responses to the climate change and greenspace protests.

It is unlikely however that warm words will be enough to placate the dissidents. Although the local democratic systems are entirely capable and have the capacity for extremely revolutionary activity and indeed the Liverpool region is known historically for its political activism and political changes rolled out elsewhere, so far I have only seen token gestures designed to manipulate and placate. This is because the current ruling Labour administrations in local government can only stay in power if their party and the local population allow it. Some of the protestors on this issue are also too young to vote (currently you have to be eighteen years old to vote).

Although there has been some progress in recent years on closer working at the political level locally in local government both between student politics (influenced partly by the four local universities and their active student unions) and also the democratic systems that represent other ages of young people, in order that political decision making truly reflects the will of all of society (not just the adults) closer integration and working in the future would be useful as it leads to better informed decision making.

Rt Hon Theresa May MP mentioned in her resignation speech the decision to set up an independent inquiry into what happened at Grenfell Tower, however locally there is disquiet about the local response to what happened following the gas explosion at New Ferry on 25 March 2017.

Unfortunately this blog is subject to the remaining reporting restrictions on that subject.

Although I have already overturned one set of reporting restrictions in this matter (which seemed to have been an administrative error by the Liverpool Crown Court which the judiciary can’t be blamed for as the error was made by HMCTS staff) unfortunately as a small media organisation being involved in too many judicial matters concurrently would lead to problems.

I am already a party in Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) case GIA/619/2019, however I will reveal this piece of recent news that is not subject to reporting restrictions (but first a bit of background).

For background here are my pieces on the the 1st day of the trial and the 2nd day of the trial.

Following a four week trial, the jury were discharged after having failed to agree on verdicts. The Crown Prosecution Service then asked for a retrial (which is expected to start at Liverpool Crown Court in September 2019).

Mayor Anderson and Liverpool City Council made a decision about His Honour Judge (HHJ) Menary QC (who presided over the four week trial) on Wednesday evening. This was because Liverpool City Council decided to make HHJ Menary QC the Honorary Recorder of Liverpool. You can read the report on that on Liverpool City Council’s website and you can also watch my video of it too.

The previous Honorary Recorder of Liverpool His Honour Judge Leonard Clement Goldstone QC retired as a Senior Circuit Judge effective from 9th April 2019. The Honorary Recorder of Liverpool is requested to be present on important civic events held in Liverpool such as Remembrance Day, Lord Mayor’s Sunday etc.

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