Theresa May has attacked one of her predecessors – accusing Tony Blair of “undermining” the Brexit talks by calling for another referendum.
She called his comments an “insult to the office he once held” and said MPs could not “abdicate responsibility” to deliver Brexit by holding a new poll.
Blair said MPs might back a new vote if “none of the other options work”.
It comes after Labour MPs who support the idea met Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington to make their case.
About 10 MPs met Lidington on Thursday to argue for another public vote and make it clear there was no other government plan they could support.
But many senior Labour figures are deeply uneasy about endorsing another referendum.
And the government is opposed to any further referendum, saying the public made a clear choice when they voted in 2016 to leave by a margin of 51.9 per cent to 48.1.
BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said May’s criticism of Blair was striking for its anger.
May said: “For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served.
“We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision.
“Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.”
She added that there were “too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests – rather than acting in the national interest”.
MPs were due to vote on May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, but it was postponed when the prime minister admitted it would have been “rejected by a significant margin”.
After postponing the vote in Parliament, May travelled to Brussels to make a special plea to EU leaders, in a bid to make her deal more acceptable to MPs.
However, the EU said there could be clarification but not renegotiation.
Many of May’s MPs are concerned that the “backstop” – which is aimed at preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland – would keep the UK tied to EU rules and limit its ability to strike trade deals.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK will “flourish and prosper” even if it leaves the EU with no deal.
“We’ve faced much bigger challenges in our history,” he said.
“But we shouldn’t pretend that there wouldn’t be disruption, there wouldn’t be risk, and there wouldn’t be impact and that’s why as a responsible government we have to make all the preparations necessary.”
He also said he wanted a “crack” at succeeding Mrs May after the PM takes the country through “this challenging next few months”.
His comments come after Mrs May made it clear she would step down before the next general election – due in 2022.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
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Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
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Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
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Drastic life changes affecting mental health
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