The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:49

Week in Review: government theatricals continue

In the UK

Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list was published, with many of his closest political allies on the list. Notably, Priti Patel, former home secretary was named for a damehood, along with Jacob Rees-Mogg for a knighthood.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP, accusing a House of Commons committee of attempting to ‘drive [him] out’. The committee had sent a letter investigating whether Johnson lied to British lawmakers over ‘partygate’. The investigation follows fines issued last year as a result of attending a gathering in Downing Street despite Covid-19 restrictions, which made Johnson the first UK prime minister to be found guilty of breaking the law.

High-profile financier Crispin Odey is set to leave Odey Asset Management after 13 women accused him of sexual misconduct. Odey has intimated that he will be fighting the firm’s decision.

In an eventful weekend, Nicola Sturgeon first passed her driving theory test, before being arrested the next day. The former first minister of Scotland was questioned as a suspect regarding financial misconduct allegations as part of ‘Operation Branchform’ – an investigation currently taking place on the part of Police Scotland into allegations of over £600,000 in donations being misspent. Sturgeon is the third senior figure in the Party to have been arrested, with her husband, Peter Murrell, arrested and questioned in April.

Later in the day, Nicola Sturgeon was released without charge.

Further afield

In the US, the Department of Justice charged Donald Trump with 37 criminal counts related to confidential documents being mishandled, and obstruction of the ongoing investigation into the matter, Despite this being the first time in history that a former US president has faced federal criminal charges, Trump remains committed to staying in the 2024 presidential race, irrespective of a possible conviction.

New York was seized by a ‘code red’ air quality alert, with smoke flowing from wildfires in Canada leaving the city covered in an apocalyptic-looking orange haze. New Yorkers were recommended to stay indoors, only leaving if absolutely necessary. Canada has seen weeks of unprecedented wildfires, with hundreds of thousands of residents having been displaced.

Ukraine has confirmed that a counter-offensive against Russia has begun, with President Volodymyr Zelensky commenting that, ‘counter-offensive and defensive actions are taking place,’ and that his generals were optimistic and in a ‘positive mood’. The statement comes after the collapse of the country’s Nova Kakhovka dam, with Ukraine blaming Russian occupying forces. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes, with individuals seen stranded on rooftops due to rising water levels. As of June 8, Zelensky stated that 50,000 hectares of first had been flooded, with 20,000 animals and 10,000 birds under threat of death imminently. Experts have said this is likely to have been caused by an internal deliberate explosion within the dam.

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