Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
The new speaker of the House of Commons is elected on Monday following John Bercow’s (pictured) resignation. Candidates include current Deputy Speakers Lindsay Hoyle, Eleanor Laing and Rosie Winterton, as well as Mother of the House Harriet Harman and Rhondda MP Chris Bryant.
- February 26, 2021
- February 19, 2021
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Hoyle is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the Chair and has pledged to modernise the House of Commons if elected. Bercow stood down after a decade in the role on 31 October, just 24 hours after presiding over his final round of Prime Minister’s Questions.
Serial sex attacker John Worboys is sentenced at the Old Bailey for further offences of administering a stupefying or overpowering drug. Known as the ‘Black Cab Rapist’, Worboys was originally convicted of rape and a series of sexual assaults in 2009 and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
The case sparked an outcry in January of last year when it emerged the Parole Board had approved his early release – a decision which was subsequently reversed and prompted a review of the organisation. Worboys admitted the fresh charges during a hearing early this summer.
On Tuesday, the Centre for London hosts its annual conference on policymaking in the capital with a keynote speech from Sadiq Khan opening proceedings.
With a Mayoral election now just over six months away, the agenda for this year’s London Conference features appearances by Shaun Bailey, Sian Berry, Siobhan Benita and Rory Stewart, and is billed as an opportunity for the candidates to “pause, discuss and reflect” on how to create a fairer and more united city.
Roger Stone, a longtime political adviser to Donald Trump, goes on trial in Washington. The Republican lobbyist was arrested earlier this year as part of the investigation being carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and charged with obstructing an official proceeding, giving false statements, and witness tampering in relation to his alleged involvement with Wikileaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The trial could have ramifications for President Trump if it becomes apparent that he was aware of possible collusion between his campaign, Russian cyber-hackers and Wikileaks.
Parliament is dissolved on Wednesday, ending the shortest session since a ten-day sitting in 1948. Dissolution heralds the formal start of what is likely to be a particularly disagreeable election campaign, and also brings the curtain down on the Parliamentary careers of many of our most recognisable MPs (including several former Cabinet ministers and Father of the House Ken Clarke).
Whoever wins the election, the Parliament that returns in December could be a much less assertive opponent for the incoming government.
Chinese President Xi Jinping hosts French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing for talks which are expected to focus on trade cooperation and climate change. The meeting takes place as the US begins enforcing tariffs on European products and is expected to officially pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It’s the pair’s second meeting this year after Xi’s visit to France in March to sign several multi-billion euro trade deals.
On Thursday, the Office for Budget Responsibility publishes updated forecasts for the UK’s public finances after the planned release of its economic and fiscal outlook was curtailed by the cancellation of the Autumn Budget.
Last week, chair Robert Chote said the OBR would update its March predictions to reflect new information on the state of the public finances and fulfil its requirement to produce two forecasts per year. It comes a week after the revelation that public borrowing had dramatically risen, and could have an impact on campaign spending pledges.
Coinciding with the OBR forecast is the Bank of England’s latest quarterly report on inflation and what should be the penultimate accompanying press conference for Governor Mark Carney.
The Bank’s last report, released in August, cited declining energy prices in its prediction of sub-two per cent inflation over the second half of this year. Its assumption that Brexit-related uncertainties would subside with a smooth withdrawal of the UK from the EU now appears to be premature.
Thomas Griffiths is sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday for the murder of Ellie Gould, 17. A-levels student Gould was found stabbed to death at her home in Calne in May, and Griffiths had been scheduled to stand trial in October before pleading guilty in August. No motive has been given for the killing.
Saturday marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which saw the reunification of Germany and the end to Communist rule in the former German Democratic Republic.
Parts of the Wall can still be seen standing isolated across the capital, and the effects of the divided city can still be felt between the richer west and poorer east. Saturday’s anniversary is a milestone, as it denotes the first time the Wall will have been down longer than it was standing. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be among those attending commemorations to mark the occasion.
A sold-out Wembley Stadium plays host to Phil Neville’s England as the Lionesses take on Germany. Neville fields an experienced team for the match which will see England break the all-time attendance record for a women’s game in the country. The Lionesses head into the fixture on the back of a victory over Portugal and a defeat to Brazil last month.
Voters go to the polls in Spain on Sunday for the second time this year after an April ballot saw Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist party gain the most seats but ultimately fail to form a governing coalition.
The election takes place amid a backdrop of protests by the restive separatist movement in Catalonia and with recent polling suggesting that support for the Socialists and conservative Popular Party is stagnating. Lacklustre support for traditional parties could result in the far-right Vox party following the example of like-minded European parties and capitalising on the electoral uncertainty.
The annual ceremony to mark Remembrance Day takes place at the Cenotaph in London, where Prince Charles is again expected to lay a wreath on behalf of The Queen. The ceremony is also set to be the first joint public event for Prince William and Prince Harry amid a reported rift between the Cambridge and Sussex households.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire