News Daily: More MP defections predicted, and Brits results

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News

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Independent GroupImage source, Getty Images

Could Labour and the Conservatives lose more MPs?

The Independent Group, formed this week, already has 11 MPs, but could its membership be boosted by more defections from Labour and the Conservatives? Ex-Tory MP Heidi Allen has said up to a third of her former parliamentary colleagues are fed-up with the party's direction. And Labour MP Ian Austin has revealed he is thinking "long and hard" about his future.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the eight MPs who quit his party for the IG should "do the right thing" by resigning and triggering by-elections.

On Wednesday three Conservative MPs quit their party for the IG. Senior Tory MP Dominic Grieve has said he will also leave if there's a no-deal Brexit.

The IG is now the joint fourth-largest group in Parliament, along with the Liberal Democrats. So how are its members likely to be feeling? Elated? Nervous? Relieved? BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler assesses the situation. And is the formation of the IG a minor tremor or a full-sized political earthquake?

Trump says IS woman barred from US return

Donald Trump says he has instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "not to allow" Hoda Muthana, a woman who left the US to become a propagandist for the Islamic State (IS) group, to return. Mr Pompeo has insisted the 24-year-old is not a US citizen, but she contests this.

The case has similarities to that of UK-born teenager Shamima Begum, who wants to return from Syria having left to join IS. She has been stripped of her UK citizenship, but argues that this move is contrary to international law.

Brits 2019: Who won big?

The 1975 had a good night at the Brits, coming away with awards for best British group and album of the year. But the air of suspense before the announcement was dispelled somewhat by a rogue TV advert announcing the best group victory ahead of the ceremony being broadcast Other winners included George Ezra and Jorja Smith.

Cycling and suffering: A special relationship

By Patrick Jennings, BBC Sport

Jack Bobridge said it felt like "the closest you could come to death without actually dying". An Australian ex-professional road racer and Olympic track medallist, in 2015 he attempted to set a new world record for distance cycled in one hour.

It took him to the brink of total exhaustion. Crumpled over his handlebars after coming to a stop, mouth hanging open and eyes twisted tightly shut, he struggled to stay on his feet and had to be helped into a plastic chair, where his body continued to throb and howl.

In cycling it is often said that the rider who suffers longest, wins. The losers suffer plenty too.

What the papers say

Several front pages digest the growth of the Independent Group in Parliament to 11 MPs. The Daily Mirror says the Conservatives are braced for more defections, while the Sun calls those who have already left the party "Brexit haters". The Times reports that former Prime Minister David Cameron made a last-minute intervention to try to stop Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston quitting the party. Meanwhile, the Financial Times leads on Sainsbury's planned takeover of Asda, saying it is on the brink of collapse after the competition watchdog voiced "extensive concerns".

Daily digest

Jussie Smollett Actor charged with filing a false report, say police

'Ghost towns' Urban areas in danger as shopping habits change, say MPs

Paul Hasson US Coast Guard officer "planned terror attack"

Environment CO2 emissions from UK housing "go up"

If you see one thing today

Image source, Getty Images

If you listen to one thing today

If you read one thing today

Image source, BBC Three / iStock


14:20 Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone is to appear in court in Washington over Instagram posts which appeared to threaten the judge who is overseeing his criminal trial.

17:55 Arsenal host Belarusian side BATE Borisov in the second leg of their round-of-32 tie in the Europa League.

On this day

1972 US President Richard Nixon arrives in China at the start of a week-long summit aimed at ending 20 years of strained relations between the two countries.

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