Politics news – live: Theresa May faces pressure from new Brexit Party and attack from Julian Assange's mother over 'thuggish, brutal, unlawful' arrest

Julian Assange’s mother has accused Theresa May of using her son’s arrest as a distraction from the PM’s “Brexit dog’s breakfast”, after the Wikileaks founder was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy yesterday.

Ms Assange said the prime minister was “cheering on the thuggish, brutal, unlawful arrest of my courageous, tortured multi-award winning journalist son Julian!”

With the Brexit deadline pushed back until the end of October, Ms May is understood to be trying for a final shot at pushing her Brexit deal through the House of Commons ahead of European elections in May.

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2019-04-12T08:00:45.420Z

Theresa May hopes for final shot at forcing Brexit deal through parliament before elections

Theresa May has paved the way for a final shot at pushing a Brexit deal through the House of Commons ahead of European elections in May.

The prime minister and her aides repeatedly highlighted that the country could avoid the ignominy of electing British MEPs to the European parliament if the Commons passes a deal in the coming weeks.

It would also mean Britain would not need the full extension of the Article 50 negotiating period until 31 October offered by European leaders last night – a proposal that saw Tory Brexiteers demand Ms May resign on Thursday. 

2019-04-12T07:56:11.996Z

Christine Assange – the mother of Julian Assange – has ralied against Theresa May, saying the prime minister was “trying to divert attention away from her Brexit dog’s breakfast by cheering on the thuggish, brutal, unlawful arrest of my courageous, tortured multi-award winning journalist son Julian!”

Mrs Assange, who lives in Australia, tweeted and shared articles regularly after her son was seen being forcibly removed from the Ecuadorean embassy on Thursday.

2019-04-12T07:37:44.303Z

Today Nigel Farage is in Westminster where he is launching his Brexit Party. Writing in The Telegraph, he said the party “will ask the electorate not only to support a clean break from the European Union, but also to begin a political revolution in the UK.”

The party currently has nine MEPs, all former Ukip members, including Mr Farage, who will contest the European elections in May if they do happen.

“From disaster springs opportunity,” Mr Farage said. “Next month’s enforced ballot will allow us to bring about a far wider change in our broken political system.”

2019-04-12T07:09:44.140Z

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s politics live blog.

But, in a sign cross party talks with Labour to find a compromise deal which could pass through the Commons have amounted to less than hoped, Downing Street said talks with Jeremy Corbyn would not continue “for the sake of it”.

The longer “flextension” until Halloween means around 6,000 workers will stand-down from no-deal scenario contingency plans, at an estimated cost of £1.5bn.

The deadline extension saw Tory Brexiteers demand Ms May resign on Thursday.

And to compound the government’s woes, today former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is in London launching “The Brexit Party”, ahead of the European parliamentary elections, asking voters to support a “clean break” from the EU – with many predicting it is likely to take a chunk of the Tory vote in forthcoming elections. 

The prime minister and her aides have repeatedly highlighted the country could avoid the ignominy of electing British MEPs to the European parliament if the Commons passes a deal to leave the EU in the coming weeks.

It would also mean Britain would not need the full extension of the Article 50 negotiating period until 31 October offered by European leaders on Wednesday evening.

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