Headlines this weekend were focused on the warning from Baron Evans of Weardale, the former director-general of MI5, and Sir John Sawers, the former head of MI6 over Brexit. They say that if Britain were to leave the European Union, we could be facing a serious security risk, it would lead to “instability on the Continent”. Brexit would mean that Britain will lose its access to EU databases and therefore will not have access to information on known criminals or individuals with links to terrorist organisations. The ex- Chiefs expressed concerns that during “economic difficulties, the migration crisis and a resurgent Russia”, Britons have the desire to remove themselves from shared information centres or databases such as that in the EU.
Local elections have taken place this week, concluding with the announcement that Sadiq Khan (Labour) will replace Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. A lot of publicity has been drawn to the fact that Mr Khan is the first Muslim Mayor of London; a breakthrough for the Muslim community who feel under-represented in politics.
Mr Khan’s success in the mayoral elections has not helped the ever growing divisions within the Labour party, conflicting ideas between Jeremy Corbyn and Mr Khan have been a problem. Overall in the local elections, Labour won 58 councils and 1,326 seats, the Conservatives won 38 councils and 842 seats. The Lib Dems won 4 councils and 378 seats, Indpendents won 77 seats, UKIP 58, Green 45. See all the totals of the elections here.
Today (Wednesday), there was an IS attack in Baghdad, Iraq at a busy market. 64 people died in the blast, with hundreds more injured. The people of Baghdad are becoming increasingly angry at the politicians’ failure to protect them from attacks like this which are occuring on a regular basis. Baghdad’s politics are practically non-functional at the moment due to factional disputes within the government. Iraqi forces, backed by US-led coalition air strikes, have regained some territory seized by IS in 2014, but have been unable to prevent bomb attacks in the capital.
Vladimir Putin has been showcasing new weapons on the anniversary parade marking 71 years since Russia defeated Nazi Germany. The West has been critical of the flaunting of weapons, interpreting the parade of weapons as aggressive and threatening. Mr Putin has also been criticised following the showcase of building Russia’s military power whilst ignoring dangers to Russia’s economy.
Finally, the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced his resignation this week. The resignation follows continuing disagreements with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s political situation is currently very volatile; with economic problems, corruption, the migrant crisis, EU membership debates and terrorist threats.