Would A General Election Solve The Brexit Crisis?

I’ve lost count of the number of times that, when asked about a second referendum, Jeremy Corbyn or John McDonnell have said their preference is for a general election. Of course it is – they want to be in power. But would it solve the prob…

Do Kids Get Too Much Homework? Famous Dads From Rob Delaney To Gary Lineker Say ‘Yes’

Parents have been lamenting the amount of homework their children are given for decades, but when comedian Rob Delaney tweeted about “stopping this madness”, it reignited the debate as a number of celebrity dads – and frustrated teachers – weighed in.

“Why do they give seven-year-olds so much homework in the UK and how do I stop this,” Delaney tweeted. “I want my kid frolicking and drawing and playing football, who knows more about stopping this madness and can help me?”

The post has been liked over 16,000 times, and many fathers have backed up Delaney’s view.

Why do they give 7 yr olds so much homework in UK & how do I stop this. I want my kid frolicking & drawing & playing football. Who knows more about stopping this madness & can help me?

— rob delaney (@robdelaney) September 25, 2018

Romesh Ranganathan, who was a maths teacher before he became a comedian, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. There should be none.

“The idea that homework at that age is the best use of their time is so insane. It causes stress, ruins evenings and for no real furthering of learning. Can you tell I’m against?” he added.

The idea that homework at that age is the best use of their time is so insane. It causes stress, ruins evenings and for no real furthering of learning. Can you tell I’m against?

— Romesh Ranganathan (@RomeshRanga) September 25, 2018

Delaney’s view was supported by another comedian dad, Jason Manford, who said that “in a time where mental health is critical, it’s important for kids and adults to realise that their free time is theirs to do with what they like”.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who has four children, joined the debate, pointing out that children should be able to enjoy their playtime and home life without additional work.

“There’s plenty of time to be an adult,” he pointed out.

Seems an awful lot of parents agree on the pointlessness and stressful nature of homework. Kids should be allowed to play and enjoy home-life with their parents without the divisiveness of work they have plenty of time to do at school. There’s plenty of time to be an adult.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 25, 2018

While a number of teachers agreed with Delaney’s original sentiment, they described being stuck in a bind.

Flora Marge replied on Twitter: “I’m a teacher. Most parents actually complain when you don’t set homework. We can’t win.” 

Other parents weighed in, saying they have either stopped their primary age children from doing homework or struck a deal with teachers to say they would read with their child in the evenings or keep homework to one hour after school and not let them spend any longer on it.

Delaney, meanwhile, doubled down on his original position.

This is one of many replies from teachers saying there are primary parents requesting *more* homework for their kids. Why not save time & just tell your kid you don’t like them? https://t.co/7kOC5hMlvr

— rob delaney (@robdelaney) September 25, 2018

Holly Willoughby And Anne Widdecombe Clash In ‘This Morning’ Interview On Women’s Rights

Holly Willoughby felt the wrath of Ann Widdecombe as she attempted to stand up to her during a tense ‘This Morning’ interview on Wednesday’s show. 

The presenter tried to challenge the former Tory MP on her controversial views on women’s rights and the #MeToo movement during the segment. 

Ann had said she believed the playing field had tilted too far in the favour of women, and that she thought the Me Too movement had given rise to “trivial whinging”. 

Ann Widdecombe airs her views on women's rights on 'This Morning'

Holly put to her: “The Me Too movement you talked about earlier, hasn’t that give women a voice, finally – one that has been suppressed for such a long time. One that needed to come out, that actually, globally has made such a huge difference?”

Ann responded: “No, I do not believe that,”, before Holly quickly asked her why. 

“I’m about to tell you if you’d have the patience. Are you auditioning for John Humphrey’s job or something? I once asked him if he was paid by the interruption.”

Holly couldn’t help but laugh and sigh at Ann’s comments, before the former MP went on: “I don’t actually think that it has achieved anything, except in the serious cases. They did need support, and that’s fine. But it has also given rise to some very trivial whinging.”

Holly didn't know what to make of being told off by Anne

As the debate rumbled on, Ann tried to interrupt Holly’s co-host Phillip Schofield, but he quickly shot her down, insisting: ’No, no. It’s my turn.”

He continued: “Those women would say, ’Hang on, it wasn’t trivial to me. Human beings react in different ways.”

Ann is known for her controversial opinions

Ann is no stranger to controversy, having had her views on LGBT+ rights challenged during her appearance on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ earlier this year.

Drag artist Courtney Act attempted to calmly explain to Ann about same-sex marriage after she stayed insistent to her belief that marriage is between a man and woman. 

During her time in parliament, Ann voted against LGBT+ progression on every occasion, including helping to pass Section 28 that banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in UK schools.

‘This Morning’ airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV. 

Trans Rights Defenders Are On ‘The Wrong Side Of History’, Labour Activists Told

Labour members joined a crowd of feminist activists at a meeting to demand Jeremy Corbyn listen to them over changes to gender recognition rules on Tuesday. 

The gathering heard speeches alleging that women “have been let down by the so-called left-wing media and… this Labour Party,” over trans issues.   

The Labour leader sparked controversy in May when he switched policy on all-women shortlists to say that self-identifying trans women would be eligible for the party’s all-women shortlists and women’s officer roles. 

Under the rules, trans women are now able to do this without needing to show medical certification proving they have changed gender.

It comes as the government consults on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, with Theresa May signalling she wants to “demedicalise” the process because “being trans is not an illness”. 

But some women say that liberalising self-ID could allow predatory males easier access to women-only spaces, minimise women’s collective political voice and skew sex-based data such as gender pay gap statistics.

The meeting was organised by the group Woman’s Place UK and held on the edge of the Labour Party conference in Liverpool on Tuesday night, in a location which was not publicised due to concerns the building owners would be targeted by trans rights activists.

Speakers included trans woman and Labour activist Debbie Hayton, Helen Watts, who was expelled as a Girl Guide leader following complaints over her views on the service’s transgender policy, ex-Labour councillor Ann Sinnott, who resigned over a move by Cambridge Council to change policy on its toilets, and Fire Brigades Union official Lucy Masoud, who has campaigned for women-only changing rooms for female staff at fire stations. 

Masoud targeted Guardian columnist Owen Jones and described him as “Talcum X”, a reference to the American activist Malcolm X.  

Jones has accused some feminists of being “on the wrong side of history” over the issue but Masoud said women “have been let down by the so-called left-wing media and we have been let down by this Labour Party.”  

Lucy Masoud of the FBU

In an inflammatory speech, Masoud said: “Constantly, we see the faux lefties and the Islington elite of the British media tell us women we are transphobic, that we are out of step, that we are scaremongering.”

“They try and school us on what it means to be a woman, so desperate are these woke folk journalists to pander to the alphabet soup of gender politics that feminists like myself only use the Guardian now to line our kitty litter tray.

“Of course, the likes of little Owen Jones, or as I like to call him Talcum X, lecture us and tell us we women are on the wrong side of history. 

“Let me tell you this, Owen, the wrong side of history is staying silent on your keyboard as a male sex offender is allowed to be put in a female prison and allowed to rape women.” 

Her comment was a reference to the case of Karen White, a transgender sex offender, who was born male but now identifies as a woman, who was placed in a women’s prison in Wakefield, where she sexually assaulted at least two women. 

Masoud also said Labour has “stuck its head in the sand” over women being getting abuse from trans lobby. 

“I have a few questions for the Labour leadership. Why aren’t Labour politicians condemning the intimidation and violence that women like me face every single day simply for voicing our concerns?” 

She concluded: “Know this, Labour, we will not let you throw away over 100 years of women’s suffrage just so you can indulge the gender identity mafia. 

“I’ll say this until the day I die, we women are not going anywhere. We are strong, resilient, loud. We are mothers, we are firefighters, we are trade unionists, we are firefighters and we are party members – and you ignore us at your peril.” 

The chair of the panel said Masoud had “strayed” into being disrespectful with her comments towards Jones. 

Jones himself later responded, telling HuffPost UK: “All the research shows that women are most supportive of trans rights, just as was the case with gay rights, and it’s men who need to catch up.

“Women like Angela Rayner, who I really don’t think could plausibly be described as ‘Islington elite’, have been at the forefront of solidarity with trans people, as have courageous, strong left-wing women like [commentators] Ash Sarkar, Dawn Foster and Ellie Mae O’Hagan, who I don’t think could be plausibly described as ‘faux lefties’. 

“Gay men were once relentlessly demonised by the media and politicians as sexual predators, the brainwashers of children, mentally ill, and deviant: the same is now happening to trans people.

“As a LGBTQ person with a platform I feel a responsibility to show solidarity with our trans siblings as almost the entire media attacks them. Finally, any sex offender who poses a risk to women prisoners should of course be separated.”

Guardian columnist and trans rights activist Owen Jones has said that self-ID opponents are

Former Girl Guide leader Helen Watts, meanwhile, said women were being “silenced” and their concerns not listened to by politicians. 

″There will be no single sex spaces,” she said, should self-ID be endorsed after the government consultation. “This isn’t an original quote, but it’s true, if we don’t see sex then we don’t see sexism. 

“We live in a structural society and women need the solidarity of a female-only space, and that just won’t happen.

“Don’t be silenced.”  

Debbie Hayton, a physics teacher and a transexual woman, said the debate around self-ID had become “inflamed”. 

“One thing is for sure, we’re not going to find the solutions by shouting at each other and shutting down the debate,” she said.  

“Firstly, in a healthy democracy, we must be able to discuss public policy. Secondly, it is not transphobic or bigoted to question assertions made by the trans lobby, and that includes me, I am part of the trans lobby as well. 

“And thirdly, self-ID poses huge risks to transgender people. At risk is the social acceptance we have built up over the years and that is informal and based on trust.” 

Hayton also said feminists should have the right to question what she called the “mantra” of saying “trans women are women” – comments many trans women say they find deeply offensive. 

“Sex is a pretty important distinction when it comes to identifying a woman,” she said. “I don’t identify as a woman. I’m not even sure what it means to identify as a woman.  

“I identify with women and that is a good place to be, because it doesn’t rely on assertions that I can’t justify and I know I can’t justify. 

“My identity is not dependent on people believing me.” 

She said men could abuse self-ID guidelines to gain access to women-only places for “nefarious purposes”. 

“Abusers will take opportunities wherever safeguarding is weakest,” she said. 

Hayton also questioned Labour’s policy on all-women shortlists. 

“I support affirmative action to promote under-represented groups but using all-women shortlists creates two wrongs: it excludes trans men, a group equally in need of representation, and secondly, it takes representation from another under-represented group: women,” she said.  

The debate around self-ID has been repeatedly raised with MPs during the Labour conference. 

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was asked about the issue during a fringe meeting hosted by the Times.

She said: “The feminism movement is big enough, and if someone believes they are born a man but are a woman, we have space.

“Sometimes people say ‘What about women’s shortlists?’ There’s going to be a whole load of men turning up in dresses. Really?”

She added: “I think we need to be a little more relaxed about it and I think it’s desperately sad to see the way in which it’s become so aggressive. We need to step down a little bit. ” 

HuffPost UK has contacted the Labour Party for comment. 

Stepping Into Autumn: It’s Ankle Boot Season So Here Are Our Five Favourites

There’s no better acknowledgement of autumn than waking up to darkness – boo – but leaving the house in ankle boots – yes! A slow burning trend that has stuck around since the late noughties, the ankle boot is a master of revised design every season. 

In previous years, we’ve had the classic Clarks-shaped ankle boot, all leather and practical simplicity. Then we saw the chunky heel, the thin heel and last year, inspired by Dior: the sock boot.

This autumn’s ankle boot comes in a solid colour and/or material, paired with a comfortable heel. Taking inspiration from autumn itself, this boot is all about versatility. Like its wearer, it is ready to take on the day and night and – black boots be gone – adds a bit more fun to your feet.

The block heeled cobalt blue boot is hard not to love. The sculptural heel is also a great choice for those of us who care about comfort first. Whether you're wearing head-to-toe yellow or black on black, this boot will pop. Rome Leather Ankle Boots, sizes 3-8 available, £70, ASOS. 

We Want The Blues

The block heeled cobalt blue boot is hard not to love. The sculptural heel is also a great choice for those of us who care about comfort first. Whether you’re wearing head-to-toe yellow or black on black, this boot will pop. 

Rome Leather Ankle Boots, sizes 3-8 available, £70, ASOS

ASOS

Who knew a toe-cap could be so desirable? Maybe it's the off white appeal too. All we know is that we'd really like this sculpted pair of ankle boots to start off our autumn. Mid-Heel Ankle Boots With Toecap, sizes 2-9 available, £29.99, Zara.

Clean As A Whistle

Who knew a toe-cap could be so desirable? Maybe it’s the off white appeal too. All we know is that we’d really like this sculpted pair of ankle boots to start off our autumn. 

Mid-Heel Ankle Boots With Toecap, sizes 2-9 available, £29.99, Zara.

ZARA

Like lilac, mustard yellow has been a key colour trend this past season. Just because the days are shorter, doesn't mean it's time to say good-bye to what's typically worn in the summertime.Aubergine Curved Heel Ankle Boots Mustard Leather, sizes 3-8 available, £89, Office.

Not Just For Summer

Like lilac, mustard yellow has been a key colour trend this past season. Just because the days are shorter, doesn’t mean it’s time to say good-bye to what’s typically worn in the summertime.

Aubergine Curved Heel Ankle Boots Mustard Leather, sizes 3-8 available, £89, Office.

Office

Sometimes, wearing boots that wouldn't look out of place in a Western is what's needed to start off on the right foot. The three buckles are for show; there's a zip on the side and it's just as effective. White Three Buckle Pointed Biker Boots, sizes 3-8 available, £30, Missguided.

Buckle Up

Sometimes, wearing boots that wouldn’t look out of place in a Western is what’s needed to start off on the right foot. The three buckles are for show; there’s a zip on the side and it’s just as effective. 

White Three Buckle Pointed Biker Boots, sizes 3-8 available, £30, Missguided.

Missguided

If a sock boot has ever made an appearance in your wardrobe, you'll know it's a comfort choice. You can rely on the sock boot to cosy up your feet. And while the trend for the brightly hued sock boot may have passed, this ribbed version with shiny heels can stay. Stretch Ankle Boots With Metallic Heels, sizes 2-7 available, £39.99, Stradivarius.

Socks Appeal

If a sock boot has ever made an appearance in your wardrobe, you’ll know it’s a comfort choice. You can rely on the sock boot to cosy up your feet. And while the trend for the brightly hued sock boot may have passed, this ribbed version with shiny heels can stay. 

Stretch Ankle Boots With Metallic Heels, sizes 2-7 available, £39.99, Stradivarius.Stradivarius