Voters ‘now want to stay’
DUP chief admits party has ‘hurt voters’ over energy scheme
Gove and Amber Rudd have switched away from Leave. the figures show 422 of 623 UK constituencies now want to stay in the EU. And 324 of 533 in England back Remain along with all Scottish seats and almost all of Wales.
Altogether, 193 constituencies have changed their mind since the 2016 referendum, according to the poll. Campaigners say it makes Theresa May’s job of selling her Brexit deal to the British people even more difficult.
Best for Britain chief Eloise Todd said: “The country is shifting in one direction. The PM is trying to strongarm MPs into backing the slim pickings of her deal. Our research shows people across the nation have decided we are better off with what we currently have.”
Polling experts say the change is being driven by young Labour voters. In 2016 51 per cent were for Remain. That’s now 71 per cent.
Labour women have changed position too – with 68 per cent prepared to vote to stay compared to 49 per cent previously. The research, carried out by
Populous, was commissioned by pro-EU Best For Britain and HOPE Not Hate. More than 8,000 people were polled. HOPE not hate chief Nick Lowles, said: “The reality of Brexit is becoming clear. MPs must do what’s best for their constituents.”
ARLENE Foster has said she is “deeply, deeply sorry” for the DUP’s handling of a botched green energy scheme.
She conceded the Renewable Heat Incentive public inquiry, which has taken detailed and frank evidence about the Stormont initiative that ended up massively over-budget, has been “painful”.
The party leader reiterated her apology and added she makes “no excuses for the mistakes we made during that period”.
She told her annual party conference in Belfast yesterday: “Some of our past decisions and actions have left a lot to be desired and I know they have personally hurt and offended many of our members, voters and the public.”
A public inquiry led by retired judge Sir Patrick Coghlin has exposed many of the failings at the heart of the scheme.
It was designed to encourage businesses to shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources like wood but ended up paying out more than it cost to fuel the burners – earning it the moniker Cash For Ash.
The result was an anticipated massive overspend, falling to the Northern Irish taxpayer to pick up.
Sinn Fein’s late Stormont Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned in protest at the DUP’s handling of the RHI and Stormont powersharing collapsed last year.
Rounds of negotiations have failed to resurrect the institutions.
Mrs Foster’s ex-special advisor Dr Andrew Crawford had several close relatives with RHI boilers and his actions have faced scrutiny.
A senior civil servant has claimed potential applicants were warned to get their RHI applications in quickly before the scheme closed to new applicants.
At the conference attended by Tory Boris Johnson, Mrs Foster said: “The inquiry has been difficult for many individually and painful for the party collectively.
“No party would want to have all of its dealings exposed for all to see at a public inquiry, especially in the unique system of government we have, with the struggles and strains required to make it work.
“But I make no excuses. Today, as leader of the party, I apologise.
“As a party we are deeply, deeply sorry for the mistakes we made and for the things we got wrong during that period. I am determined our party will learn the lessons from RHI and how government business was conducted at Stormont more generally.”
She added there should be a “fundamental appraisal” of the civil service, with greater expertise needed, proper records kept and greater transparency displayed.
The inquiry has been difficult for many and painful for the party ARLENE FOSTER
STAY Rees-Mogg voters
PAINFUL TRUTH DUP leader Arlene Foster at conference in Belfast yesterday GATHERING Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel SUPPORT Nigel Dodds & Ian McCrea yesterday ALLIES Boris Johnson flies in to support Arlene Foster
APPLAUSE Mrs Foster