British Prime Minister Theresa May retains her position as Tory leader following a vote on Wednesday night. The secret no-confidence vote weakened May’s leadership as she won by just 200 to 117 votes in the wake of Brexit disagreements. May continues to seek changes to the Brexit deal to increase its appeal to Parliament.
The British academic Matthew Hedges has returned to the UK, a day after he was pardoned and released in the United Arab Emirates after being sentenced to life in prison for spying. The UAE released Hedges, 31, on Monday after showing a video of him apparently confessing to being a member of Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency. Britain denied he was a spy and welcomed his release.
A British Ph.D. student has been sentenced to life in prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for spying. Matthew Hedges, 31, of Durham University, has said he is innocent, and that he had been researching the country’s security strategy. Prosecutors say he admitted the charges in an Abu Dhabi court, which found him guilty of “spying for or on behalf of” the UK government. British Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK was urgently seeking talks with the Emirati government on the issue.
Official UK figures showed that wages excluding bonuses increased at their fastest pace in nearly ten years. The latest report from the Office for National Statistics showed wages 3.1% higher than in the same quarter last year. The chief economist at the Bank of England noted signs of a ‘new dawn’ for wage growth in UK.
Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement that the Russian government ‘almost certainly’ approved the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, leaders of the US, France, Germany, and Canada have backed the assessment. The assessment came after prosecutors said they had ‘sufficient evidence’ to charge two Russian nationals in connection with the attack.
British prosecutors have charged two Russian men with the nerve-agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are charged in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use of the nerve agent Novichok. The U.K. is not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country’s citizens.
A 29-year old man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses after crashing a car into a barrier at the Westminster Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday. The suspect is not believed to be known to M15 or counter-terrorism police and is uncooperative with authorities. At least 3 people were injured in the crash.
Donald Trump made his first presidential visit to Britain on Thursday, commenting that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan ‘will probably kill the deal’ with the US. May proposed a free trade deal, saying it is an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ for growth. Trump said he believes he is popular in Britain despite planned protests.
The 44-year old British woman who was exposed to a Soviet-developed nerve agent died on Sunday, increasing tensions in the four-month diplomatic standoff in which Britain accused Russia of poisoning a former spy. Dawn Sturgess was exposed to Novichok just miles from where the former Russian double agent and his daughter were previously poisoned.
Two British citizens are critically ill after they were exposed to Novichok, the nerve agent used in the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in March. The man and woman were found unconscious about eight miles from the original poisoning site. Authorities say the two cases may be related.