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News diary 30 September-6 October: Boris Johnson heads to Tory party conference

Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week… 

The Conservative Party conference continues on Monday with sessions on public services, the economy and environment and a set piece speech by Chancellor Sajid Javid on the day’s agenda.

After the Supreme Court ruling and Labour’s refusal to sanction a three-day recess this week, Conservative ministers and officials are faced with the logistical headache of attempting to govern from Westminster while preparing party members in Manchester for the expected general election later this year. A leaked email from party whips suggests MPs are expected to prioritise conference over Parliament.

Confirmation hearings with European Commissioners-designate kick off, to run all week. There’s likely to be Brexit-related interest in the UK in the hearing on Monday evening with “Big Phil” Hogan, who has been nominated to be the next EU Trade Commissioner and will therefore be a key figure in future trade negotiations with the UK.

Also look out for Thursday’s hearing with former spokesman Margaritis Schinas, who has been nominated to the controversially-titled role of Commissioner Protecting our European Way of Life.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Hudson Union Society in New York to discuss his new book For the Record. With some exceptions, reviews from the UK media have largely been sceptical of Cameron’s version of events, calling it a “long and defensive memoir” about the part he played in the EU referendum. Cameron also discusses his book with the BBC’s Sophie Raworth at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday.

Tuesday marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, an event that will be celebrated with much fanfare in Beijing and marked by a speech from President Xi Jinping.

The anniversary is set to be dominated by protests in Hong Kong, with the Civil Human Rights Front organising a major march after a summer of unrest on the island.

Kristina Georgieva takes up her role as the International Monetary Fund’s new managing director after it confirmed her appointment last week. The former World Bank chief executive becomes the first person from an emerging market economy to head the IMF and said on her selection that her priority was helping members to minimise the risk of crises amid international trade disputes and fears of a global downturn.

Boris Johnson (pictured) could be forgiven for prioritising conference over Parliament after suffering his seventh defeat in seven votes last week and his speech on Wednesday is, as ever, likely to be the highlight of the Tories’ time in Manchester.

Having faced criticism from both sides of the House for his language, Johnson’s subsequent defence of his choice of words and remarks from Dominic Cummings suggest the rhetoric is unlikely to be dialled down for his speech.

Meanwhile, the Liaison Committee remains keen to hear from the Prime Minister after his planned appearance on 11 September fell victim to Parliament’s prorogation.

Chair Sarah Wollaston wrote to Johnson last week to request that their session, which was to cover Brexit, social policy and climate change, be rescheduled by today. Another delay is likely, while second-in-command Dominic Raab is expected to deputise for Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions.

A two-day pre-indictment hearing begins in three cases against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on allegations of fraud, breach of trust, and bribery.

The hearing follows last week’s election in which Netanyahu failed to reach an outright majority but was chosen by President Rivlin to attempt to form a coalition government. If Netanyahu successfully secures a fifth term, he may seek to gain retroactive legal immunity.

On Thursday, climate activist group Extinction Rebellion holds a “curtain raiser” press briefing to discuss the “International Rebellion” set to begin on 7 October and last for two weeks. It is expected that across the world, thousands of people will protest global governments’ inaction on climate change by “peacefully occupy[ing] the centres of power and shut[ting] them down”.

The protests come ahead of a series of trials against Extinction Rebellion protesters, who are charged with public order offences.

US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman steps down after describing his time in the role as a “historically difficult” period in bilateral relations in his resignation letter.

There is speculation he may run for Governor of Utah, a role he previously held from 2005 to 2009.

Party conference season continues on Friday as Wales plays host to the Plaid Cymru and Green Party gatherings. With one eye perhaps on the forthcoming election, Plaid leader Adam Price has sided with the Liberal Democrats by pledging a campaign to cancel Brexit.

The Green Party however has ruled out a similar approach, saying instead that revoking Article 50 would be “too damaging” without a second referendum. The Green’s co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry deliver their keynote speeches at 2pm, with Price taking the stage at the Plaid conference from 2.30pm.

Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell is expected to appear before Southwark Crown Court where he faces charges of cheating the public revenue and money laundering.

During a previous hearing early in the summer, the court heard allegations that Chappell’s fraud totals £500,000, and that he had purchased two yachts with the express purpose of laundering money. The collapse of BHS soon after Chappell’s now infamous £1 takeover resulted in the loss of some 11,000 jobs.

A potentially crucial game awaits England at the Rugby World Cup as they face Argentina on Saturday. England have cruised through the pool stages to date with bonus point wins over Tonga and the USA, but the meeting with The Pumas is their first real test of the competition.

A victory will see Eddie Jones’ side almost guaranteed a place in the knockout stages, but a loss could make their final pool game with France a must win.

Northern Ireland reaches a political milestone on Sunday as the country marks 1,000 days since the resignation of former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The resignation on 9 January, 2017, sparked the collapse of the power-sharing executive and plunged the country into an ongoing political crisis. An election two months on from the resignation produced no overall winner, and subsequent talks to restore the Stormont legislature have yet to produce a meaningful result.

The Vatican hosts a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to reflect on the theme Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology. The synod, which lasts until 27 October, has caused a major rift with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who deems the gathering on the Amazon part of the Vatican’s “leftist agenda”.

Among other issues, the Synod will discuss the Amazonian ecosystem, which the right-wing Brazilian government sees as an attack on its policies of reducing environmental protections and increasing deforestation.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

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