Benjamin Kentish, The Independent

Benjamin Kentish

The Independent

United Kingdom

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Past articles by Benjamin:

Rebecca Long-Bailey promises to end ‘gentlemen’s club’ of politics, as Keir Starmer calls for end to Labour ‘factions’

Rebecca Long-Bailey will promise to end “the gentlemen’s club” of politics when she launches her Labour leadership campaign on Friday. The shadow business secretary’s comments will be seen as a dig at Sir Keir Starmer, her main rival in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn and the only man in the contest. → Read More

Almost 200,000 council homes lost in decade since Tories came to power

Almost 200,000 council homes have been lost since the Tories came to power in 2010, new analysis has revealed - a number equivalent to all the homes in Bristol. The latest government figures show that the number of homes rented from councils has dropped from 1,786,000 in 2010 to 1,592,000 by the end of 2018 - a fall of 194,000, or 11 per cent. The number of council homes has → Read More

Crowdfunding pages for Big Ben to ring on Brexit Day raise just £500 of £500,000 needed

Dozens of crowdfunding pages set up to pay for Big Ben to bong on Brexit Day have so far raised almost no money. The campaigns were launched after Boris Johnson suggested that members of the public could meet the £500,000 cost of the famous bell ringing at 11pm on 31 January, when the UK leaves the EU. → Read More

Lord Lea: Labour peer rebuked for harassing two women

Parliamentary authorities have upheld a harassment complaint against a Labour peer over his behaviour towards a woman around 60 years his junior. Lord Lea, 82, sent a note to the woman, who was in her 20s, telling her that he had a framed photo of her on his piano and inviting her to share a bottle of champagne with him. The peer, who previously worked for the TUC, was also → Read More

Is Boris Johnson’s honeymoon period as prime minister coming to an end?

It did not take long for Boris Johnson’s honeymoon period to come under threat. Just a month after the general election, the prime minister is facing anger from his own backbenchers over two seemingly contradictory promises on Northern Ireland. On the one hand, the deal struck last week to restore power-sharing at the Stormont Assembly includes a promise to establish an → Read More

Tory MP blames ‘certain communities’ for crime in his constituency

A Tory MP has been accused of fuelling racism after appearing to blame crime in his constituency on minority groups. Tom Hunt, the MP for Ipswich, claimed that a "disproportionate number" of offences in the town were committed by "individuals from certain communities". The claim drew fire from a local racial equality group, which accused him of "an ill-judged piece of → Read More

Tory Brexiteer MP appears to edit his own Wikipedia page to remove reference to EU grant and unlawful payments

A new Tory MP appears to have edited his own Wikipedia page to remove references to funding that one of his companies received from the EU and information about illegal dividends that he was paid. Stuart Anderson, who became the MP for Wolverhampton South West last month, seemingly removed the potentially damning information from the site days after being elected. The edits → Read More

Government to keep ban on chlorinated chicken after Brexit, raising fresh doubts over UK-US trade deal

The UK will continue to ban the import of chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-injected beef after Brexit, the environment secretary has said, raising doubts over the prospect of a trade deal with the US. Theresa Villiers said the government would adopt an EU ban on the two products once Britain leaves the EU. However, the comments are likely to cause problems during trade → Read More

Over 1,800 people spending Christmas in immigration detention centres

More than 1,800 people in the UK are set to spend Christmas locked in immigration detention centres, according to government figures. The finding prompted the Liberal Democrats to brand the government "cruel and callous" and call for a 28-day limit to be introduced on keeping people in detention centres. According to the latest official statistics, there are currently 1,826 → Read More

Boris Johnson criticised for not visiting flood-hit areas before jetting off to Caribbean

Boris Johnson has faced fresh criticism for not visiting flood-hit areas after it emerged that he is not expected to travel to stricken areas over Christmas. Despite floods having hit parts of Cornwall, Kent, Suffolk and Norfolk, and warnings in place across the country, the prime minister's spokesman said there were no plans for him to visit the affected areas. Opposition → Read More

Labour antisemitism: Emily Thornberry calls for staff who mishandled cases to be sacked

Any Labour employees found by the equalities watchdog to have mishandled allegations of antisemitism should be sacked immediately, Emily Thornberry has said. In a warning aimed at members of Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle, the shadow foreign secretary and Labour leadership contender said anyone implicated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) inquiry into → Read More

Jeremy Corbyn admits to 'difficult year' in Christmas message after election defeat

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted to a "difficult year" after Labour's election defeat, as the main party leaders released their Christmas messages. The Labour leader said his party "didn't succeed in delivering the change that so many people so desperately need" after suffering its worst general election result in 85 years. He said his Labour should use the Christmas period to → Read More

Two in three voters want Boris Johnson's government to ban zero-hours contracts, poll finds

Two-thirds of voters want Boris Johnson‘s government to ban zero-hours contracts, a poll has found. The public also wants workers’ rights protected after Brexit and tax rises for higher earners, according to the survey for the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Trade union leaders said the poll meant Mr Johnson had “no more excuses” for not ensuring that rights are protected after → Read More

Lammy attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'mind-boggling' neutral Brexit stance as he considers leadership bid

Labour MP David Lammy has accused Jeremy Corbyn of a "mind-boggling" abdication of leadership over Brexit as he said he was considering running to lead the party. The Tottenham MP criticised Mr Corbyn's policy of staying neutral on "the biggest issue of the delay" - whether or not the UK should leave the EU - as "triangulation" and clamed that Labour had lost its "moral → Read More

Former Labour MP and Corbyn ally blames Tony Blair for election defeat

A former Labour MP and close ally of Jeremy Corbyn has suggested that Tony Blair was to blame for Labour’s crushing electoral defeat. Laura Pidcock, who was tipped as a successor to Mr Corbyn before losing her seat at the election, said the former prime minister’s legacy “hangs around this party like a millstone”. → Read More

Momentum founder Jon Lansman advising Rebecca Long Bailey on Labour leadership bid, reports suggest

Labour leadership frontrunner Rebecca Long-Bailey is being advised by the founder of the left-wing Momentum groups, Jon Lansman, reports suggested. The controversial activist, who helped get Jeremy Corbyn elect, is tipped for a key role on the shadow business secretary's campaign and is said to already be informally advising her. → Read More

Boris Johnson not in charge of his own government, former Tory chancellor claims

Ken Clarke says prime minister has no plan for governing and is being controlled by chief adviser Dominic Cummings → Read More

Voters want next Labour leader to ditch Corbyn’s agenda but are not convinced by current candidates, poll finds

Voters want Labour’s next leader to make a decisive break with Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda, but are not impressed by any of the potential candidates to succeed him, a new poll has revealed. In a finding that will cast doubt over Mr Corbyn’s claims to have “won the argument” during the general election campaign, the BMG survey for The Independent found that voters think Labour must → Read More

How important are the trade unions in the Labour leadership contest?

The race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader is already well under way, despite the contest not officially beginning until early next year. Behind the scenes, potential candidates are holding hushed conversations with Labour MPs, campaign teams are being assembled, funding secured, and alliances struck. One of the key challenges facing the prospective candidates is → Read More

'Last time I was here they let me drive a tank': Boris Johnson serves Christmas dinner to British troops during visit to Estonia

Boris Johnson has served Christmas dinner to British troops in Estonia during a flying visit to the Baltic state. The prime minister dished up turkey and Yorkshire puddings to soldiers at the Tapa military base near Estonian capital Tallinn, home to 850 British troops. However, he risked offending his hosts after describing the setting as "bleak". Wearing a red apron and → Read More