British Queen celebrates

UK news

Former London mayor Boris Johnson’s comparing the EU to Adolf Hitler highlights how Britain’s in/out referendum campaign is growing increasingly bitter, with six weeks to go and polls suggesting a dead heat, experts said Monday.

The comments by Johnson, a leading campaigner for Britain to leave the European Union, are also linked to securing support for his ultimate ambition — succeeding David Cameron as prime minister after the June 23 vote, they added.

The row started when Johnson — whose remarks have drawn comparisons to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump — said European history had featured repeated efforts to create a single government on the continent.

“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,” he told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Pro-EU campaigners quickly lined up to fight back.

The main opposition Labour party said Johnson’s comments showed the “Leave” campaign was “losing its moral compass,” while Johnson was branded a “tin-pot imitation Churchill” by former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown.

But as the dust settled, commentators suggested that, while Johnson may have been out of line, his remarks were part of a pattern of hyperbole on both sides of the campaign.

“Britain deserves better than the shrill point-scoring into which this debate has descended,” The Times newspaper said in an editorial Monday. “Leave Hitler out of it.”It was not the first time that Johnson — known for his witty soundbites and historical references — has walked into a high-profile referendum row.

Last month, as Barack Obama urged Britons to stay in the EU, Johnson suggested the US president had moved a bust of World War II leader Winston Churchill out of the Oval Office because of his “part-Kenyan” heritage.



A major photography show opened in London Thursday featuring a special exhibition on leading war photographer Don McCullin, plus works by established figures like Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Photo London at Somerset House runs until Sunday and offers collectors the chance to snap up major works by photographers from around the world.

Founded last year, Photo London features 85 top galleries and has big ambitions of eventually rivalling events like Paris Photo, a fair held in the French capital.

"We plan to make Photo London the best photography fair in the world -- not the biggest, but the best," said co-founder Michael Benson.

The exhibition of Briton McCullin's work will include black and white shots of London in the 1960s plus pictures of Lebanese refugee camps in 1982 and sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.




An exhibition in London is showcasing relics from ancient Egypt which were recently discovered in the depths of the Mediterranean Sea.

The artifacts were excavated from the sites of two ancient Egyptian cities sunken beneath the seabed.

The relics, dating back to the third century BC, mostly include a collection of statues of pharaohs and deities, as well as golden plates and coins.

Archaeologists say despite the underwater setting, a vast number of objects were astonishingly well-preserved. They also hope to find more ancient artifacts around the ancient cities.


British police said Thursday they had arrested a man who climbed the perimeter wall and entered the grounds of Buckingham Palace, the London residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

During the incident, which took place on Wednesday evening, the 41-year-old man was in the palace grounds for seven minutes before he was found by police and arrested on suspicion of trespassing.

The suspect, who was not armed, is in custody. Police were alerted to his presence when he tripped an alarm.

Commander Adrian Usher, head of the Metropolitan Police's Royalty and Specialist Protection, said: "I am content that our security measures worked effectively on this occasion and at no time was any individual at risk."

The queen was likely to have been at home at the time, after attending the State Opening of Parliament earlier in the day. She is hosting a garden party at the palace on Thursday afternoon.



The Church of England, which has an ethical investment policy, holds shares in Google’s parent group despite criticism of the Internet giant’s tax affairs, the church’s annual report revealed Monday.

Alphabet Inc is listed as the most valuable equity holding of the church’s £7 billion (8.9 billion euros, $10 billion) investment fund in 2015, although its exact value was not revealed.

Google is among a number of multinational companies which have been criticised for failing to pay enough tax, a practice that has been condemned in general by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

“There has always been the principle that you pay the tax where you earn the money,” the leader of the Church of England told the BBC last year.


Campaigning for Britain's tight referendum on leaving the European Union stepped up Saturday as Prime Minister David Cameron hammered home the economic impact of Brexit.



Cameron, fighting for his political future in the June 23 referendum which polls suggest is neck-and-neck, said Britain could slip into recession if it votes to withdraw from the European bloc.



Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour party, made one of his highest-profile appearances of the campaign at a rally in central London.



Though Cameron and Corbyn are arch rivals, both want Britain to remain in the EU and are part of a campaign which has united most of the country's biggest political figures.



Pro-leave campaigners like former London mayor Boris Johnson, argue that Britain could thrive outside the 28-nation bloc, free to negotiate its own trade deals and with businesses liberated from red tape.





The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday (May 13) warned that Britain's potential exit from the European Union (EU) posed a "significant downside risk" to the economy.

IMF boss Christine Lagarde, unveiling the global lender's latest health check on the British economy just six weeks before Britain votes on whether to remain in the EU, added that Brexit could push the country into recession, echoing comments from Bank of England (BOE) chief Mark Carney.

The latest warning comes as Prime Minister David Cameron campaigns fervently to keep Britain in the 28-nation EU in a referendum on June 23.

Leave supporters, which hit out against Mr Carney for his and the BOE's stance on Thursday, also criticised the IMF's intervention.

"IMF has talked down the UK's economy before and has been wrong in past forecasts about the UK and other countries," read a tweet from the official Leave campaign.

Ms Lagarde admitted on Friday that sometimes the IMF is wrong.

"We are one of the very few institutions that actually acknowledge when we are wrong... but on that particular one which relates to the negative consequences of Leave vote, we have looked very carefully at the whole range of existing opinions (and) calculations." Opinion polls are showing that the nation is still largely undecided.

Ms Lagarde, speaking at the Treasury in central London, told reporters that the IMF's findings were not politically motivated.

"We're not doing it out of politics - this is not the job of the IMF.




Britain’s EU referendum campaign took a film star turn yesterday as Brexit supporters took to the red carpet in black tie and evening dresses in for the premiere of a documentary backing their cause.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage beamed and waved at hundreds of onlookers in London’s West End, including men with Union Jack bowties and T-shirts reading “It’s Time to Break Away”.

Brexit the Movie, which is being released on YouTube today, combines interviews of pro-Brexit economists, politicians and small businessmen with Monty Pythonesque cartoon graphics, a potted history of the EU and its workings.

“It’s fabulous! It’s a contribution to the debate,” Farage told AFP at a champagne reception before the showing at the Odeon Cinema on Leicester Square with lawmakers and “Leave” campaign funders.




New London mayor Sadiq Khan said Wednesday that he was not a Muslim leader but represented everyone in the city, after making history by becoming the first mayor of his faith in a major Western capital.



"Let me be very clear, I'm not a Muslim leader or Muslims' spokesperson, I'm the mayor of London. I speak for all Londoners," the 45-year-old said in a wide-ranging media briefing.



Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants, added however that his election proved "that it's possible to be Muslim and a Westerner. Western values are compatible with Islam".



He repeated his criticism of presumptive US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States.



Khan, a member of Britain's opposition Labour party, said Trump was "ignorant about Islam" and was "playing into the hands of the extremists".



Britain leaving the EU would damage Western security and dangerously weaken Europe, five ex-NATO chiefs and a host of former US secretaries of state and defence warned on Tuesday.

The former NATO heads said a so-called Brexit would undermine the transatlantic military alliance and "give succour to the West's enemies", and would "undoubtably lead to a loss of British influence".

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, they said they were following the debate ahead of the June 23 referendum on Britain's EU membership "with growing concern".

"Given the scale and range of challenges to peace and stability we collectively face, the Euro-Atlantic community needs an active and engaged United Kingdom.