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BBC News (January-June 2018)


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Claire Foy - Wikipedia

Clarice Ashbridge elected Conservative Leader
 

Following the resignation of Sir Dylan Macmillan, the Conservative Party have elected Clarice Ashbridge as their new leader. Ms Ashbridge fought off competition from Robert Creighan in the members ballot securing 69,816 votes over 52,391 for Mr Creighan. The leadership contest was largely played out behind closed doors with hustings occurring with MPs within the Conservative Party, with candidates vying to get their votes in the first rounds of voting. Harold Saxon and Harry Lee were the other candidates eliminated during the MPs ballot stages of the contest. Ms Ashbridge earned the endorsement of a lot of the current Conservative front-bench with Shadow Home Secretary Ali Khan and Shadow Foreign Secretary Sir Baxter Brown among the high-profile endorsers. The election of Ms Ashbridge represents the third female leader of the Conservative Party.

In her leadership platform, the headline pledges published, were a Conservative Government to be elected, include avoiding a "No-Deal Brexit at all costs", the passage of an "Internal Market Bill", cuts in corporation tax and £9bn, real term investment in the NHS. 
 

Following her election, Clarice Ashbridge had the following to say:  "I am delighted and deeply honoured to have been chosen by my colleagues and the membership of the Conservative and Unionist Party to lead, and I am excited and optimistic for the future of the party. Party members endorsed my vision to reduce taxes on working people and put more money in everyone's pocket, to strengthen our National Health Service and turn British schools into an educational powerhouse not just because they are founded on strong conservative principles: but because they know that they are what the British people need and are what will win us the next general election. I'm working now on assembling an excellent team for my Shadow Cabinet, and a full announcement will be forthcoming soon"

With Sir Dylan Macmillan's time in office often obstructed by internal division on Brexit, Ms Ashbridge will be seeking to unite the messaging to provide effective opposition to the Government and restore the parties credibility following turbulent times.

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Michael Christ appointed Met Commissioner

The Home Office, in conjunction with the Mayor of London, today announced that Michael Christ will succeed Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe at the top of the country's largest police service. The vacancy arose due to the retirement of Sir Bernard after six years at the helm. 

Mr Christ leaves his current posting as Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, having served previously as Deputy Chief Constable at the same constabulary. However, Mr Christ is no stranger to the Met - he served as Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Counter Terrorism and spent time in command of the Met Polices' professional standards department. In addition to such a diverse set of expertise, he is known by former colleagues in the Met as a "strong leader on anti-corruption". His credentials are further enhanced by receiving two commendations for bravery and being awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 2011. 

When the Metropolitan Police is said to have an issue with diversity, it is poignant that Mr Christ, currently the highest-ranking Police officer from the BAME community, has been appointed to the top job. Prior experience in the Met is crucial in moving from the country's third largest police force - West Midlands Police. 

In his final remarks on the job, Sir Bernard said it was the "honour of his Policing career to lead the Metropolitan Police, serving the people of London and the wider nation". He noted that "colleagues have turned into friends". However, he closed by saying, "it is an experience above all, I would not trade for the world. Now is the time to retire rather than hang on beyond my brief. I hope my successor enjoys the role as much as I have." 

Commissioner Christ was sworn in at a ceremony at New Scotland Yard earlier today. After being sworn in alongside his wife and family, he made a brief statement expressing his excitement about taking the role, remarking he is "delighted to be entrusted to keep the streets of London safe". He closed by adding that he wants to "work with every Police service across the country to weed out terrorism at its root". 

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