London council rejects new Chinese embassy amid residents’ safety fears

London councillors have rejected plans for a new Chinese embassy, which would have been the largest diplomatic base in the UK, after residents and advocacy groups raised safety concerns. In a tense meeting, the Tower Hamlets council voted unanimously against the proposed development to move the current embassy to a 2-hectare (5-acre) site opposite the Tower of London. Local residents and advocacy groups, who feared being swept into protests, called the plans into question, saying they would endanger people’s lives. Simon Cheng, the founder of Hongkongers in Britain and a…

Hong Kong withholds British lawyer’s visa, delaying Jimmy Lai trial

Hong Kong has temporarily blocked a top British human rights lawyer from representing jailed pro-democracy activist JimmyLai, in a trial stymied by delays and calls for an intervention from Beijing. British King’s Counsel Timothy Owen was set to represent Lai, the founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily, who has been in jail on protest-related offences since his high-profile arrest in 2020. Lai is accused of conspiring with others to call for an imposition of sanctions or a blockade, or engaging in hostile activities against Hong Kong or China. He also…

Strikes hit ‘strongman’ Sunak – Politics Weekly UK | podcast

Nurses, rail staff and royal mail workers are expected to strike this winter. Will Rishi Sunak’s ‘Operation Get Tough’ have any impact? And as protests continue to rage in China, the PM used the lavish Lord Mayor’s Banquet earlier this week to announce the ‘golden era’ of relations with China is over. The Guardian’s John Harris is joined by Rafael Behr and Zoe Williams, and will be speaking on China to the Guardian’s former China correspondent Tania Branigan How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know The Guardian

French regulator called on to withdraw licence allowing CGTN to broadcast from London

France’s media regulator is under pressure to withdraw a licence that allows the Chinese state broadcaster to beam its programmes across Europe from a studio in west London. Ofcom revoked the organisation’s licence to transmit in the UK last year but the China Global Television Network (CGTN) was able to continue broadcasting following authorisation from the French authority. The Chinese network has produced English-language programmes, including those presented by a former BBC Wales Today presenter, from its European hub in Chiswick since 2018. When Ofcom revoked its UK licence, CGTN…

Culture secretary says revised online safety bill would still block content of kind seen by Molly Russell – UK politics live

From 2h ago Donelan says revised online safety bill would still block harmful content of kind seen by Molly Russell Here are some more lines from the Michelle Donelan interviews this morning on the changes being made to the online safety bill. Donelan, the culture secretary, said she was removing the “legal but harmful” provisions from the bill (see 9.26am) because they created a “quasi-legal category”. She told Sky News: It had [a] very, very concerning impact, potentially, on free speech. There were unintended consequences associated with it. It was…

Rishi Sunak signals end of ‘golden era’ of relations between Britain and China

Rishi Sunak has signalled the end of the “golden era” of relations between Britain and China, using his first major foreign policy speech to warn of the creeping authoritarianism of Xi Jinping’s regime. As police in China launched a show of force in an attempt to contain the highest levels of civil disobedience seen in decades, the prime minister threw his support behind protesters by condemning Beijing’s crackdown, as well as the assault on a BBC journalist. Sunak suggested a hardening of diplomatic relations and called China a “systemic challenge…

No 10 signals Rishi Sunak no longer committed to blocking all new onshore windfarm developments – UK politics live

From 3h ago No 10 signals Sunak no longer committed to blocking all new onshore windfarm developments At the Downing Street lobby briefing the PM’s spokesperson signalled that Rishi Sunak is no longer trying to block new onshore windfarm developments. The spokesperson did not accept that Grant Shapps’ comments in interviews this morning showed that the government had already implemented a U-turn. He claimed that Shapps’ references to community consent were a description of rules that are in force now. And the spokesperson would not commit the government to accepting…

Rishi Sunak to set out pragmatic approach to Russia and China

Rishi Sunak will pledge an “evolutionary approach” to British foreign policy, arguing that states like Russia and China plan for the long-term, and the UK needs to follow suit as he attempts to set out his vision for the country’s place on the global stage. In his first major foreign policy speech since becoming prime minister, he will draw on his years running the Treasury to say that the UK’s strength abroad must be underpinned by a strong economy at home as it stands up to competitors with “robust pragmatism”.…

Gordon Brown says China must pay into climate fund for poor countries

China must pay into a new fund for poor countries stricken by climate-driven disaster on the basis of its high greenhouse gas emissions and large economy, the former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has said. “America and Europe will have to provide most, but China will have to contribute more too,” he told the Guardian. Last week, at the Cop27 UN climate summit, rich governments finally agreed to a fund for poor countries suffering the impact of extreme weather, known as “loss and damage”. But there is no agreement yet…

Mick Lynch says RMT no closer to calling off rail strikes as transport minister states there is ‘deal to be done’ – UK politics live

From 3h ago Mick Lynch says meeting with transport secretary ‘positive’, but RMT no closer to calling off rail strikes Mick Lynch, the RMT general secretary, has been speaking to the media after his meeting with Mark Harper, the transport secretary. He said that it was a “positive meeting” and that Harper said he would set out in writing what steps might be taken towards a resolution of the dispute behind the rail strikes. He said one issue was that it has not been clear what scope the Rail Delivery…