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Westminster today: Theresa May gives speech on online abuse as MPs commemorate 100 years of women having the vote - as it happened

Prime Minister speaks amid fury over Conservative MP's claims that hard Brexiteers should be kicked out Tory party

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 06 February 2018 10:15 GMT
Anna Soubry calls on Theresa May to take back control from hard brexiteers who are 'not real Conservatives'

Theresa May called on social media companies to "step up" the fight against online abuse, as she delivered a speech in Manchester to mark the centenary of women being given the vote.

The Prime Minister warned of a "coarsening" public debate that she said poses "a threat to our democracy".

She said the Government will carry out a review of print journalism to assess what can be done to support ailing newspapers.

There were also calls for ministers to pardon suffragettes who were convicted of crimes while fighting for women to be given the vote. As Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said she was "looking at" the issue, Jeremy Corbyn said a Labour government would implement the pardon.

It came as the row within the Conservative Party deepened after a pro-EU backbencher suggested Theresa May should expel hard Brexiteers from the party.

Anna Soubry said around 35 Eurosceptics should be "slung out", adding "it is about time Theresa stood up to them".

As it happened...


Welcome to today's live updates on all the goings on in Westminster.

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 09:17

Amber Rudd was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme earlier and refused to confirm the Government will definitely have outlined its plans for post-Brexit immigration by the time the UK leaves the EU.

The Home Secretary would only say it was "likely" that the proposals, which were originally due to have been released last year, would be published by March 2019.

Ministers yesterday told the House of Commons the immigration white paper will be introduced "when the time is right", prompting claims of a "shambles" from Home Affairs Select Committee chair Yvette Cooper.

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 09:21
Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 09:24
Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 09:55

Interesting... Theresa May will be making a statement later today to clarify, well, something. It's likely to relate to her previous claims about the state of the NHS in Labour-run Wales, after the UK statistics watchdog said the comparisons she had made during Prime Minister's Questions were "not valid". The statement could be about anything, though - we'll be keeping

an eye on that one.

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 10:05

Theresa May was just interviewed on Radio 4 Women's Hour.

Asked how being a woman has shapedher leadership style, she said her aproach is "much more about trying to work with a team". She said:

"Very often women generally don't say 'It's me that's achieved this, it's the team that's achieved it.

"It's about working with a team, it's about ensuring you've got different opinions being heard around the table but bringing those opinions together in a way that achieves an outcome that is good."

The Prime Minister said there was "still more to be done" to improve the gender balance in Parliament and that "female skills, listening skills, working together as a team are also valuable and important in Parliament".

But she warned that some women were being put off from entering politics, saying she believes public debate has become more aggressive and that intimidation has increased.

Women bear the brunt of abuse on social media, Ms May said, highlighting Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and Labour's Luciana Berger as two that have been particularly targeted.

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 10:48
Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 11:00

Theresa May will give a speech in Manchester later in which she will bemoan the "coarsening" of political debate and say it is possible to disagree without "demeaning opposing voices". However, she is likely to face questions over her party's own attacks on Jeremy Corbyn after previous revelations that the Tories spent more than £1m on negative campaign ads about the Labour leader...

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 11:19

European leaders have "no idea" what the UK wants from Brexit, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

Senior MEP Manfred Weber said the British government had provided "no clarification" on a range of issues and should "come of with concrete proposals very soon".

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 12:05

Kristin Hugo6 February 2018 12:14

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