Your morning briefing, Thursday 3 October

3 October 2019, 06:30

Here's the news you're waking up to on Thursday
Here's the news you're waking up to on Thursday. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Good morning and here is the latest in UK news and world news you're waking up to on Thursday morning.

Boris Johnson revealed "final" Brexit offer

The prime minister yesterday laid out his final Brexit deal proposal to replace the Northern Ireland backstop and urged Brussels to compromise with the UK.

Mr Johnson sent a letter to EU Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker, proposing the creation of an "all-island regulatory zone" that would essentially keep Northern Ireland in the European single market for goods, including foods.

However, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in response that a "lot of work still needs to be done," while Guy Verhofstadt said they were "absolutely not positive" about Mr Johnson's plan.

The UK leader told Brussels that failure to reach a Brexit deal would be a "failure of statecraft for which we would all be responsible".

The DUP, who help prop up the Tories in the Commons, welcomed the new proposal, saying: "These proposals would ensure that Northern Ireland would be out of the EU Customs Union and the Single Market as with the rest of the United Kingdom."

Boris Johnson delivered his speech yesterday
Boris Johnson delivered his speech yesterday. Picture: PA

Parliament to be prorogued again next week

Boris Johnson is next week also set to suspend Parliament for a second time in order to bring forward a Queen's Speech on 14 October.

Downing Street confirmed: "[The PM] intends to request that the current session of Parliament be prorogued from the evening of Tuesday October 8, with a Queen's Speech on Monday October 14."

The end date is three days before the start of a crucial EU summit on 17 October and will also mean the scheduled Prime Minister's Questions on 9 October will not go ahead.

A senior minister told The Sun that "everything will be done by the book" this time and two or three days was "the minimum time" needed for the government to set out their agenda.

Mr Johnson's first attempt to push through his new legislative programme via prorogation was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court only last week.

Prorogation will last from the evening of 8 October until 14 October
Prorogation will last from the evening of 8 October until 14 October. Picture: PA

Man arrested after climbing on crane near Shard

A man was arrested yesterday after he scaled a crane near the Shard and remained there for six hours.

Horrified onlookers watched from below as the man climbed a crane near London Bridge, prompting police to put the area on lockdown.

British Transport Police wrote that they were assisting Scotland Yard officers with an ‘incident’ and that they had closed the station.

But he climbed down at 6.45pm and was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and remained in custody last night.

Witnesses said the man had climbed the crane as part of some sort of protest but no motive has been confirmed.

The man scaled the Shard in front of horrified onlookers
The man scaled the Shard in front of horrified onlookers. Picture: @tan_1989

Harry and Meghan met Nelson Mandela's widow

Nelson Mandela's widow, Grace Machal, said she "felt the vibe" when meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and hoped the trio would work together again in the future.

The royal couple spoke to the wife of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Johannesburg on the final day of their tour.

Together they shared pleasantries, laughter and some tea whilst sitting next to one another on a sofa indoors where Mrs Machal told the Prince of her joy at seeing him in Angola and the "wonderful" work his mother had done.

Following the meeting, a reception was held outside where they met investors and female entrepreneurs during which Meghan delivered a speech about the tour and an emotional trip to a post office where a 19-year-old girl was murdered.

The tour concluded with the royal couple meeting South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe in Pretoria for a private audience.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met with Graca Machel
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met with Graca Machel. Picture: PA

Blenheim Palace toilet burglary CCTV footage released

Thames Valley Police released CCTV images of a vehicle believed to have been involved in the burglary of a gold toilet worth £4.8m in a raid at Blenheim Palace.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Steven Jones, said: "The vehicle, a navy blue Volkswagen Golf R, remains outstanding, and I am appealing to anyone who recognises it, or may have seen it in or around Woodstock near the time of the incident.

Police are also appealing to motorists with dash-cam footage in the area to review it and check if their camera captured anything significant.

According to police five offenders arrived on the morning of the robbery in two stolen vehicles and forced a perimeter gate open, then drove to the palace courtyard.

Three offenders, wearing dark clothing and balaclavas, exited the vehicles whilst the drivers waited and carried the item out of the palace and loaded it into the rear of one of the vehicles, before leaving the scene.

The gold toilet designed by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was stolen from Blenheim Palace in September
The gold toilet designed by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was stolen from Blenheim Palace in September. Picture: PA