Politics latest news: Boris Johnson under pressure on Huawei as firm’s founder weighs in at Davos – live updates – Telegraph.co.uk

Politics latest news: Boris Johnson under pressure on Huawei as firm’s founder weighs in at Davos – live updates – Telegraph.co.uk

Jess Phillips expected to stand down 
Jess Phillips expected to stand down 

Danny Lawson

Speculation is growing that Jess Phillips could today drop out of the Labour leadership race, amid fears she will fail to secure enough support from local branches and trade unions. 

The Birmingham Yardley MP was the only leadership hopeful who did not attend this morning’s GMB union hustings at the Trade Union Congress, sparking rumours that she is close to withdrawing from the contest. 

Whilst popular among Labour moderates Ms Phillips’ campaign started off on the back foot after she was forced to u-turn after suggesting that she would try to pursue rejoining the European Union.     

She has also been outspoken about the failings of Jeremy Corbyn, but has faced criticism for being too negative about the party among Labour members. 

Come back again soon 

Boris Johnson has vowed to invite African leaders to the UK “regularly” following the investment summit in London this week.

The Prime Minister made the pledge in a bilateral meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at Downing Street.

Mr Kenyatta said the conference was “the first time in a very long time we have had, as Africans, this kind of exchange with the United Kingdom”. 

Mr Johnson said it was “about time”.

“We are going to do them regularly,” he said. 

Mr Johnson added that there had been “a lot of progress” made during the meetings at the summit.

Len McCluskey writes book: Why You Should Be A Trade Unionist

The Unite general secretary’s first book, which is published next week, looks at the history of trade unions and the voice they give to working people. 

 TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said it was a “brilliant, accessible and thought-provoking book – and a reminder that unions will always be the best way for working-class people to win justice”. 

No 10 says it will not accept any amendments to the WAB 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the Government would not accept any amendments made by the House of Lords to the EU WAB. 

He said: “We are not intending to accept any amendment.”  

Speculation that Jess Phillips will drop out the leadership race 

Rumours are circulating that Jess Phillips is set to pull out of the Labour leadership race later today.

How about that swiss boy band?

Ben Wright, The Telegraph’s business editor, has shared a picture of the Swiss boy band who entertained the audience ahead of Donald Trump’s speech:

Donald Trump praises ‘wonderful’ Boris Johnson

The US President tells the World Economic Forum that he looks forward to “negotiating a tremendous new deal with the United Kingdom”.

“They have a wonderful new Prime Minister who wants very much to make a deal,” he adds.

Row brewing over Durham Miners Gala

Durham Miners President Alan Mardghum has said he would rather “be found dead in a ditch” than invite new Conservative MPs to the annual gala in July.

He said that if any did come they should “speak to the police to make sure that they’re safe on the day”.

New MP for Bishop Auckland Dehenna Davison responded by saying: “See you there, Alan.”

While Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield, said that “as an ex miner and a Conservative MP I would be glad to join you my friend”.

Donald Trump boasts America is ‘winning again’

He tells the World Economic Forum he is “proud to declare that the United States is in the midst of an economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before”.

“We’ve regained our stride, rediscovered our spirit and re-awakened the powerful machinery of American enterprise,” he adds.

He says that that America’s economy was in a “dismal” state when he took office three years ago. 

But now the US President boasts: “America is thriving, America is flourishing, and yes America is winning again like never before.”

President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci/AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Donald Trump set to speak at Davos

The US President has just taken the stage at the World Economic Forum. 

Tom Rees has the full details on our business blog here.  He says there is a packed room to see Trump speak.

The theme of Davos 2020 has been climate change but Donald Trump’s skepticism on the issue doesn’t seem to be putting off delegates.

Emily Thornberry says next Labour leader should be a woman

The Labour leadership candidate said the party should choose a woman to replace Jeremy Corbyn as she believes Boris Johnson has a problem dealing with female political opponents. 

She said: “It is an advantage to be a woman leader at this time because I think Boris Johnson has a woman problem, most definitely. He certainly has a problem with me. I think the Labour Party should think about that.”

Jess Phillips not attending GMB leadership hustings

Could it mean the Labour leadership hopeful is throwing in the towel?

She appears to be struggling to find the union backing needed to progress through to the next stage of the race.

Shopworkers’ union USDAW was thought to be the most likely union to back her, but last night opted for Keir Starmer instead.

The nomination leaves three of the big five Labour unions left to nominate a candidate, with Unite and the CWU expected to back Rebecca Long-Bailey and GMB expected to choose between Lisa Nandy and Sir Keir.

NEW: @jessphillips is NOT attending this morning’s GMB hustings.

All four other candidates have arrived at TUC HQ.

— Joe Pike (@joepike) January 21, 2020

Sajid Javid says he is ‘not’ prepared to sacrifice UK manufacturers after Brexit

The Chancellor is attending his last Ecofin, the regular meeting for EU finance ministers, as a member.

He was asked about his comments that the UK would not stay aligned to EU rules after Brexit, and insisted British businesses would “not” be left behind.

He said: “We look forward with confidence as we strike that new free trade agreement with our European friends, as we strike new free trade agreements across the world.

“It will be a very important time for British business and I can see a British economy that continues to go from strength to strength.”

Cabinet today 

Boris Johnson will chair cabinet this morning before meetings with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Prime Minister of Egypt and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. 

Priti Patel has arrived 

Stefan Rousseau

The cabinet have assembled on this wintry morning. Updates to follow from the morning lobby at No 9 Downing Street, later today. 

Boris Johnson reflects on Africa Investment Summit 

Number 10’s official twitter page has clipped up a video of yesterday’s Africa Investment Summit, where Mr Johnson pledged to together “write the next chapter for our country, for your country, and above all, for all the peoples of our countries: 

‘The US is used to being the world Number 1’ 

Responding to the US’s concerns about Huawei, Mr Zhengfei said:

The US is concerned. It is used to being the world number 1 and if someone is better than them they may not feel comfortable.

Asked what were the consequences of the current tech arms race, Mr Zhengfei said: 

“Huawei used to be an admirer of the US.”

He said that since he won Huawei they had “won dozens of American firms” who worked with them to help how to manage the firm. He says because of that “the US should feel proud of it”.

“I think the US should not be over concerned about Huawei and Huawei’s position in the world,” he added. 

Huawei was added to the list last year and it didn’t hurt us much. 

This year the US might further escalate their campaign against Huawei but I feel the impact against Huawei business will not be very significant. 

We are more confident that we can survive further attacks.

​Ren Zhengfei: We should see that technology is for good.

The founder of Huawei has urged society to “embrace” technology, as he warned not to “over-exaggerate” fears around Artifical Intelligence. 

“We should see that technology is for good,” Mr Zhengfei said as part of a talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Human history has gone through a long period of time and over the last 1000 years technology advancement was in sync with human evolution.”

He said that from steam ships to textiles people had concerns but with the “development of  the industrial society those fears disappeared”. 

“Humanity will be able to  use new technology to embrace society not destroy it,” he said. 

Mr Zhengfei added that as a child the atomic bomb was the biggest threat to life. 

When I was born that was the time when the atom bomb exploded in Japan. I was 6 or 7 and the biggest fear people had was around atom bombs. 

He added that there were “enormous benefits from the atomic explosion” and said that today there are fears of AI, “but we should not over exaggerate”.

“AI is not as damaging as atomic bomb,” he said.

“At Huawei our research is weak AI. There are boundaries and constraints.” 

Lie detector tests ‘unreliable’  

The father of Jack Merritt, who was killed in the London Bridge attack, has criticised the use of lie detector texts. 

Responding to the news David Merritt tweeted that the tests were at best “unreliable”. 

Lie-detector tests planned for convicted terrorists freed on licence. Lie detector tests are at best unreliable. More & better probation & supervision is welcome, but an admission of failure by government which weakened those services by years of cuts. https://t.co/JiBTBI7kCb

— David Merritt (@butwhatifitsall) January 21, 2020

Robert Buckland confirms terrorists could take lie detector tests

Plans to introduce polygraph testing were announced by the Government as part of a wave of measures being described as a “major overhaul” in the way terrorists are punished and monitored, including tougher sentences to see them locked up for longer.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland defended the use of lie detectors in assessing offenders’ risk to the public after questions were raised over their accuracy and appropriateness in the criminal justice system.

“We get a lot of people who are superficially very compliant with the regime and sometimes the assessment of risk is a really difficult thing to do,” he told Sky News.

“You can get people who are, in effect, sleepers for many years and then suddenly back come the hatreds and the prejudices and we see atrocities like the one we did at Fishmongers’ Hall.

“Which is why, I think, the introduction of polygraphs, the lie-testing devices which are already being used in sex offenders, improves the tools that we have in terms of trying to assess that risk, to minimise that risk.”

Who is Ren  Zhengfei? 

It was only last week when the Huawei founder finally broke his silence over the swath of criticism his company has faced. 

Having not spoken to the foreign press since 2015 he was forced to hit back at claims that the firm was aiding espionage in Beijing. 

He said Huawei has “never received any request from any government to provide improper information”.

It came after his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, who is also Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada two months ago, having been accused of violating US sanctions on Iran. 

 Mr  Zhengfei said:

I love my country, I support the Communist Party. But I will not do anything to harm the world.

I don’t see a close connection between my personal political beliefs and the businesses of Huawei.

Politics today 

Good morning. 

From 8.45am we will be covering a speech live from Davos with  Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s founder.  Given the recent hostilities surrounding the telecomms giant, coupled with the mounting pressure on Boris Johnson to impose an outright ban on its involvement with 5G, it should make for an interesting talk. The session is called ‘A future shaped by a technology arms race’. 

Meanwhile, back in Westminster, the WAB has its second day at report stage in the Lords and there will probably be other defeats to come. The Lords will be voting on amendments on the rights of refugee children and parliament’s involvement in Phase 2 of the Brexit talks. 

At 4pm the GMB trade union will pick its Labour candidate at its London HQ. Lisa Nandy is favorite. 

In Brussels the European Commission officials will be briefing diplomats from EU27 member countries on their proposals for the architecture of the post-Brexit trade negotiation. 


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