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Unite director dismisses Blair's Labour leadership warning

Jennie Formby, the political director of the Unite trade union, has dismissed Tony Blair's latest intervention in the Labour leadership race.

The former prime minister has cautioned against the "Alice in Wonderland" appeal of Jeremy Corbyn and mocked those who have embraced a "politics of parallel reality."

His warning has been backed by fellow candidate Andy Burnham who said the party will have "lost the plot", if they ignore the man who "won three general elections for Labour.

Ms Formby tweeted: "Sorry Andy Burnham; I totally disagree that neo-liberal multi-millionaire war-mongerer Blair has anything useful to say."

"He hasn't said anything constructive or useful so far re leadership campaign, you can't just write off tens of thousands supporting JC", she added.

Burnham urges Labour to listen to Blair's warning

Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham,who has previously criticised Tony Blair for making "dire predictions" about the prospect of a victory for rival Jeremy Corbyn, has said the party would be mad not to listen to the former prime minister now.

Mr Blair has issued a final warning to Labour supporters to reject the "Alice in Wonderland" appeal of Jeremy Corbyn or risk driving the party into an abyss.

Andy Burnham said Labour will have 'lost the plot' if they do not listen to their former leader. Credit: PA

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Burnham said: "Tony Blair won three general elections for Labour. If we have got to a point now where the Labour Party says it doesn't want to listen to him then I would think we have lost the plot.

"We have got to listen to people who have been there in the past and seen Labour when it had difficulties in times gone by. People like Neil Kinnock who were there in the mid-1980s when Labour did start fighting itself and left the pitch clear for Margaret Thatcher to bulldoze her way through communities."

"We don't want to go back to that and let the heirs to Thatcher, Cameron and Osborne, do the same", he said.


Track immigrants like packages, says presidential hopeful

Chris Christie is vying for the Republican nomination. Credit: Reuters

Immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages, US Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie has said.

The New Jersey Governor told a campaign event he would ask FedEx founder Fred Smith to devise a tracking system to help combat illegal immigration if elected president.

Mr Christie, who is vying for his party's nomination, said: "We let people come to this country with visas, and the minute they come in, we lose track of them.

"We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then when your time is up...however long your visa is, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, 'Excuse me. Thanks for coming. Time to go'."

Blair warns against 'Alice in Wonderland' appeal of Corbyn

Tony Blair makes a final plea to Labour supporters to reject Jeremy Corbyn. Credit: PA

Tony Blair has issued yet another warning to Labour supporters to reject the "Alice in Wonderland" appeal of Jeremy Corbyn or risk driving the party into an abyss.

Defying appeals from the leadership candidates to resist further interventions, he issued a fresh warning that the party would become unelectable.

Writing in The Observer, the former prime minister said he had as yet failed to understand the "powerful" phenomenon behind Corbyn's popularity and mocked those behind it for embracing a "politics of parallel reality."

All the evidence showed Labour lost the 2015 election because it was "anti-business and too left" and had no credible economic plan, he said.

It is like a driver coming to a roadblock on a road they've never travelled before and three grizzled veterans say: 'Don't go any further, we have been up and down this road many times and we're warning you there are falling rocks, mudslides, dangerous hairpin bends and then a sheer drop'.

In the Alice in Wonderland world this parallel reality has created, it is we who are backward looking for pointing out that the Corbyn programme is exactly what we fought and lost on 30 years ago, not him for having it.

– Tony Blair, writing in the Observer

With less than two weeks until the result of the Labour leadership election is announced, Mr Corbyn remains the bookmakers' overwhelming favourite to pull off a shock win.

UUP leaders agree to withdraw from NI government

Leaders approve the withdrawal of the party from the power-sharing government. Credit: PA wire

Senior members of the Ulster Unionist Party have voted to withdraw from Northern Ireland's power-sharing government over claims the Provisional IRA (PIRA) still exists.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt proposed the exit in response to a police assessment that structures of the supposedly defunct paramilitary organisation remain in place and some of its members were involved in a recent Belfast murder.

The UUP's ruling executive approved Mr Nesbitt's recommendation at a meeting in an east Belfast hotel.

Mr Nesbitt has said the revelations about the IRA have shattered trust in Sinn Fein and the UUP can no longer work in coalition with the republican party.

The move will not cause a collapse of the administration but will pressure the Democratic Unionists, the largest party in the coalition, to follow suit.


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange fears assasination

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fears he may be assassinated if he steps outside the Ecuadorian embassy.

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange Credit: Reuters

In an interview Mr Assange said he has not had any fresh air or sunlight for three years because it is too dangerous for him to leave the building.

He said "There are security issues with being on the balcony. There have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people."

Despite believing it is "not likely" that he will be shot, he worries that if he is ever free he could be kidnapped or "droned" by the CIA.

Ministers attend security summit after Paris train attack

Ministers are meeting today to discuss security measures on Europe's train networks after Ayoub El-Khazzani, was able to board a Paris train with an assault rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition, a handgun, box cutter and petrol.

A Britian and three US tourists stopped a heavily-armed suspected jihadist as they traveled from Amsterdam to Paris. Credit: Reuters

Home Secretary Theresa May is among ministers from nine countries gathering in Paris to formulate a response to the threat of an atrocity on Europe's rail networks.

The use of scanners at railway stations will be among measures discussed by European ministers at the summit called by French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Spain will also be represented at the meeting.

Former Conservative MP Teresa Gorman dies aged 83

Teresa Gorman pictured in 2001. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Teresa Gorman, a leading Tory rebel MP over the Maastricht Treaty in the 1990s, has died aged 83, her family said.

Ms Gorman trained as a teacher before being elected to represent Billericay in Essex in 1987, a seat she held until 2001.

She was a prominent figure in the rebellions over Europe that nearly brought down John Major's government - having the Conservative whip withdrawn for refusing to back the EC Finance Bill in 1994.

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