Boris Johnson put the UK on high alert for a No Deal Brexit today as he accused the EU of ‘effectively ending’ trade negotiations.
The Prime Minister came close to washing his hands of the talks altogether, sending a stark message that the bloc will have to ‘come to us’ with concessions if any more progress is to be made.
Mr Johnson made clear Michel Barnier should only bother travelling to London next week if he has a ‘fundamental change of approach’, declaring the UK will now step up its preparations for ‘Australia-style’ WTO terms.
However, he stopped short of formally axing the next round of meetings – with EU officials gloating that despite the rhetoric he had dropped his own ‘hard’ deadline for getting an agreement.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen insisted Mr Barnier would attend the negotiations this week ‘as planned’.
Mr Johnson had set the European Council summit yesterday as a key moment for assessing whether there was a deal to be done.
But negotiations remain locked in stalemate in a number of key areas, including on post-Brexit fishing rights, as EU leaders last night refused to budge and said it is for the UK to make the next move.
Ms von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, responded to Mr Johnson’s intervention by claiming formal trade talks will still go ahead in London next week.
She tweeted: ‘EU-UK talks: the EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price.
‘As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.’
Boris Johnson today told the EU to ‘come to us’ when it ready to compromise on the terms of a post-Brexit trade deal as he said the UK will now step up preparations for a disorderly split
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen responded to Mr Johnson’s comments by saying talks will still go ahead in London next week
Sterling slips after PM’s tough line on trade talks with EU
Sterling slipped to $1.2882 against the US dollar after the PM’s words, and was down 0.2 per cent versus the euro
Sterling dropped sharply after Boris Johnson’s tough line on the prospects for a Brexit trade deal today/
Before the announcement, the pound was up at $1.2962 against the US dollar.
But afterwards it slipped to $1.2882, and was down 0.2 per cent versus the euro.
However, it recovered some ground after Ursula von der Leyen made clear talks will go ahead in London next week.
It returned to $1.2904 against the dollar.
Mr Johnson suggested last month that both sides should walk away from the talks and prepare for a no deal divorce if there was no agreement by the summit on October 15.
EU leaders declined to bow to the deadline as they last night signalled their willingness for discussions to continue but gave no ground.
In a text adopted by the leaders on the day of the PM’s deadline, they ‘invited’ the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to continue talks while urging the UK to ‘make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible’.
Mr Johnson delivered a hardline response to the bloc this afternoon and said the UK will now step up its efforts to prepare for a no deal split as he also kept the door open to talks continuing if the EU changes tack.
He said: ‘As far as I can see they have abandoned the idea of a free trade deal. There doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels.
‘What we are saying to them is only come here, come to us, if there is some fundamental change of approach, otherwise we are more than happy to talk about the practicalities that I described, the social security issues, road haulage and so on.
‘But unless there is a fundamental change of approach we are going to go for the Australia solution and we should do it with great confidence, high hearts, confidence, because we can do it.’
Australia has no comprehensive trade deal with the EU and it also does far less business with Brussels than the UK.
A no deal split would see the EU impose tariffs on UK goods, with business groups warning this would damage British firms at a time when they can least afford it because of the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Johnson said what the EU wanted the UK to agree to in key negotiating areas was ‘completely unacceptable’.
‘From the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship based on friendship and free trade,’ he said.
‘To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels, that won’t work for our EU partners.
‘They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is completely unacceptable to an independent country.
‘And since we have only 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1 I have to make a judgement about the likely outcome and to get us all ready.
‘Given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s, based on simple principles of global free trade.’
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman went even further, saying: ‘The trade talks are over. The EU have effectively ended them by saying that they do not want to change their negotiating position.
‘The EU can either fundamentally change its position or we can leave on Australian terms.’
The spokesman said there was ‘no point in trade talks if the EU doesn’t change its position’.
He added: ‘There is only any point in Michel Barnier coming to London next week if he is prepared to discuss all of the issues on the basis of legal text in an accelerate way, without the UK being required to make all of the moves or if he is willing to discuss the practicality of areas such as travel and haulage which the PM mentioned in his statement.’
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage appeared to welcome Mr Johnson’s comments as he tweeted: ‘A Canada-style deal was always impossible given the withdrawal agreement. Boris now reaching the right solution.’
But Remain campaigners reacted with anger as the Best for Britain group said ‘the EU has not abandoned the idea of a free trade deal with us and it would be the Prime Minister’s decision to abandon these talks’.
The group said: ‘The EU has signalled its desire to carry on talks. Walking away now would be a hideous gamble with the country’s future.’
The Liberal Democrats said Mr Johnson’s ‘reckless comments are just further evidence of the Prime Minister’s incompetence’ and ‘we cannot afford to crash out of the EU without a deal in place or to accept a rushed, bad deal’.
Mr Johnson’s comments represented a significant toughening of the UK’s stance after Lord Frost branded the response agreed by Brussels last night as ‘unusual’.
He tweeted: ‘Disappointed by the European Council conclusions on UK/EU negotiations.
‘(I’m) surprised the EU is no longer committed to working ‘intensively’ to reach a future partnership as agreed with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on October 3.
‘Also surprised by the suggestion that to get an agreement all future moves must come from the UK. It’s an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation.’
In a call with Ms von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel on the eve of the summit, Mr Johnson expressed ‘disappointment’ that the talks had not made more progress.
However, there remains scepticism in Brussels that Mr Johnson will actually deliver on his threat to pull the plug on the negotiations.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte appeared to mock his counterpart yesterday as he said: ‘Britain has already imposed so many deadlines that came and went.’
Meanwhile, Mr Michel told a press conference that Brussels would decide in the coming days, based on the UK’s next proposals, whether a deal is possible.
Emmanuel Macron said he will not allow French fishermen to be ‘sacrificed to Brexit’ as he stuck to his negotiating red line on access to UK waters
This map shows the extent of the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone – the waters Britain will take back control of after Brexit. At the moment the EEZ of every EU member state is merged into one large zone which can be accessed by fishermen from all over Europe.
Why the complex issue of UK-EU fishing rights is leaving Brexit talks floundering in cold water
Each country has an Exclusive Economic Zone which can extend up to 200 nautical miles from the coast.
That country has special fishing rights over that area.
However, in the EU each country’s Exclusive Economic Zone is effectively merged into one joint EU zone.
All fishing activity within that zone is then regulated by the bloc’s controversial Common Fisheries Policy which dictates how many of each type of fish can be caught.
The joint EU zone is open to fishermen from every member state.
But after the Brexit transition period the UK will regain sole control of its Exclusive Economic Zone and will be able to decide which countries can fish there and how much they can catch.
‘We are clear that we are determined to negotiate, we are determined to reach an agreement but we know there are some difficult topics,’ he said.
‘It is the case for fisheries, certainly, and also for level playing field and also governance.
‘We are united and we will make an assessment in the next days, we will see if it is possible to complete a negotiation, what will be the country’s (the UK’s) proposal and based on that we will make an assessment.’
Both sides want a deal to be agreed before the winter in order to allow time for it to be ratified and implemented before the end of the transition period.
Should no agreement be struck then the UK will trade with the bloc on World Trade Organisation terms from January 2021.
The Government has repeatedly described this approach as an Australia-style arrangement but critics insist that is just another way of saying there will be no trade deal.
The UK and the EU have acknowledged that the question of post-Brexit fishing rights remains among the most difficult issues to be resolved.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is under pressure from fishermen in his country who fear losing access to British waters, yesterday stuck to his hardline on the issue.
‘Under any circumstance, our fishermen should not be sacrificed for Brexit,’ he said.
‘If these conditions are not met, it’s possible we won’t have a deal. If the right terms can’t be found at the end of these discussions, we’re ready for a no-deal for our future relations.’
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today urged the EU to show more ‘flexibility’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘There’s a deal to be done, but there needs to be flexibility on both sides, energy and goodwill and political will on both sides, and the Prime Minister will say more (today).’
He said the Government was ‘surprised by the attitude and the disposition’ of the European Council.
He added: ‘I’m surprised and disappointed by the lack of flexibility and will that at least seems to have come out of the European Council.’
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Lloyds Bank tells most of its 65,000 staff to work from home until SPRING
Lloyds Bank has told most of its 65,000 staff to work from home until spring at the earliest.
It wants them to stay away from the office for at least the next five months following Government guidance urging employees to work remotely if they can.
The move by the bank will come as a blow to the City of London, where it employs thousands.
Lloyds Bank has told most of its 65,000 staff to work from home until spring at the earliest. A bank branch is pictured above
About two-thirds are working from home, but staff are still serving customers at its 890 branches.
Lloyds said: ‘In line with guidance from the UK and national governments, and given the majority of our colleagues are working from home, we have asked them to continue to do so until at least spring.’
However, the shift by big businesses to work from home is adding to fears of another recession.
Catherine McGuinness, chairwoman of the City of London’s policy committee, said it was vital to bring people back to offices to support the economy, adding: ‘My big fear is… we may see the economy freezing over the winter, just when we need a recovery for saving jobs.
Banks bonus bonanza from pandemic
Banks are boosting their bonus pots as City traders rake in huge profits from turmoil in the markets.
Barclays has bumped up its cash pile for bonuses so far this year to £745 million – almost a tenth more than it set aside for the same period in 2019.
American investment banks with thousands of staff in the UK, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, have also set aside larger bonus pools this year. Investment banks have pocketed chunky fees from helping firms raise cash to weather coronavirus.
Banks will finalise bonus payouts at the end of the year, but any sign of bumper bonuses during the Covid crisis is likely to be controversial. It will also anger UK bank shareholders, whose dividends stopped in March.
The Bank of England will decide later in the year whether the dividends can restart. Banks were told to drop them to protect against an economic storm.
‘I am really worried about the supporting businesses – the bars, the cafes, the hairdressers – and how they will manage to survive.
‘The economic impact will be phenomenal if we’re not careful.’
Chris Williamson, an economist at the business consultancy IHS Markit, warned: ‘The pace of economic growth slowed in October to the weakest since recovery from the national lockdown began.’
Other large firms are closing offices or asking employees if they want to work from home for ever.
The consultancy Deloitte could shut four offices, which would leave 500 people working from home, and investment manager Schroders told its 5,000 global staff in August they could work where they chose.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Sacha Baron Cohen responds to Trump’s ‘unfunny creep’ jibe and says ‘I don’t find you funny either’
Sacha Baron Cohen said the feeling was mutual after President Trump told reporters that he didn’t find the comedian funny following scenes from his new Borat movie leaving the White House in an awkward position.
While aboard Air Force One Friday night, Trump was asked if he had seen the Borat sequel scene that showed Rudy Giuliani in what appeared to be a compromising position with one of the movie’s actors and about whether he had any concerns about White House security breaches.
As part of his response, Trump said ‘I don’t find him [Cohen] funny’ and added ‘To me, he’s a creep.’
On Saturday afternoon, Cohen took to Twitter to respond to the president.
Sacha Baron Cohen (as Borat, left) took to Twitter Saturday to respond to President Trump’s (right) Friday night remark that he thought Cohen was not funny and a ‘creep’
‘Donald—I appreciate the free publicity for Borat!’ Cohen tweeted.
‘I admit, I don’t find you funny either. But yet the whole world laughs at you. I’m always looking for people to play racist buffoons, and you’ll need a job after Jan. 20. Let’s talk!’
January 20 is typically the day when new presidents are inaugurated.
Trump has had a long-standing feud with Cohen ever since Cohen interviewed the president during an episode of HBO’s Da Ali G Show in 2003.
During his Air Force One comment about Cohen, Trump referenced that interaction.
‘Years ago, you know, he tried to scam me,’ Trump said. ‘And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy.’
The latest brouhaha between the two men comes after promo footage for Cohen’s new Borat Subsequent Moviefilm showed actress Mara Bakalova allegedly managing to get onto the grounds of the White House without a proper security check or a COVID test.
A separate scene, which is included in the actual film, features Bakalova taking part in a sting of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
The former Mayor of New York City was seemingly filmed in a compromising position with the 24-year-old starlet inside a hotel room.
President Trump has lashed out at comedian Sasha Baron Cohen after his new Borat movie left the White House red-faced. The Commander-in-chief called Cohen an unfunny ‘creep’ as he flew back to Washington from rallies in Florida on Friday
Cohen’s new mockumentary film – titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – features a scene in which the titular character’s daughter, played by actress Mara Bakalova (left), embarrasses Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani
Back in the mid-2000s, Cohen dressed up as his character Ali G and met with Trump. However, the billionaire businessman quickly realized he was being set up
Earlier on Friday, Cohen tweeted out promo footage from the new Borat movie which showed actress Mara Bakalova was able to gain admittance to the White House last month – making it steps from the Oval Office.
DailyMail.com was present at the White House when OAN correspondent Chanel Rion conducted an interview of the actress while being trailed back and forth by a camera and sound crew on September 16.
The film character Borat tweeted out footage of the day-trip Friday, mocking what the account cast as a security breach. ‘Trump very careful who he let into his events and house. No Covid test necessary – High 5!’
He attached footage of Bakalova, who in the movie plays Borat’s daughter Tutar Sagdiyev, being interviewed by Rion.
The Borat character mocks the conservative network as ‘most rigorous news source in America,’ and includes footage of Trump calling on ‘OAN’ and Rion claiming to have uncovered ‘multiple crimes’ in Ukraine committed by the Bidens.
The White House visit is one of three encounters which span months. Bakalova – who at the time was brunette – was both at a Trump reception for supporters in Phoenix and shook hands with Don Jr. at the CPAC conservative conference, both in February. She visited the White House – this time with blond hair – in September, two months after the Giuliani encounter. Bakalov is 24, but her character in the movie is his 15-year-old daughter.
The footage of her encounters with Trump and the first family were released on Twitter and are not in the movie itself, suggesting that there may be more material coming from Baron Cohen’s production team.
The Borat character posted footage of actress Maria Bakalova, who plays his daughter in Borat 2, being interviewed by OANN’s Chanel Rion at the White House. A Marine stationed behind them indicates that the president was in the West Wing
At event: ‘Borat’s daughter’ was also at this Trump reception on February 19 before a rally in Phoenix. The camera pans from Trump to show the actress
Applauding the president: This is Maria Bakalova as the camera pans from Donald Trump, his son Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle at a reception for supporters on February 19. She changes from brunette to blonde in the course of the movie
The Borat Twitter account sent out the clip hours after the release of his new film
The crew didn’t come with the correspondent, and is believed to be associated with the interview subject and actress.
The film clip raises serious questions about security and safety at the White House.
September 20 was just days before the superspreader unveiling of SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and a time when people coming on to White House property were supposed to be tested for coroanvirus.
But in the clip, narrated in character by Baron Cohen, he said: ‘I know this because they take my daughter into the White House,’ he said – as the short video switches to footage shot on the north lawn with Bakalova. She also tours the White House briefing room, which is right outside the West Wing offices used by the president and his staff.
BORAT’S MONTHS OF TRUMP WORLD ‘PENETRATIONS’
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
Maria Bakalova, 24, a Bulgarian national who is playing Borat’s 15-year-old daughter Tutar Sagdiyev, is filmed at a reception for Trump’s supporters in a small conference room before a mega-rally in Phoenix, AZ. On stage with the president are his son Don Jr. and Don Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, before the camera pans to Bakalova, at this point a brunette, clapping exuberantly
Sacha Baron Cohen, playing Borat but dressed up as President Donald Trump in a 56-inch fat suit, runs into the main hall at CPAC where Vice President Mike Pence is speaking. Baron Cohen is carrying Bakalova and shouts: ‘Michael Pennis! I brought a girl for you!’ He is escorted out but not arrested and his cover is not busted
At the same event Bakalova introduces herself to Don Jr. telling him she is ‘excited’ to meet him
Bakalova arranges to ‘interview’ Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, at the Mark Hotel in New York. After the interview, she invites him to drink Scotch in the bedroom of the hotel suite where the interview took place, where he lies down on the bed. After telling her he will give her his ‘phone number and address,’ he touches her above the waist and undoes his pants. Baron Cohen rushes in shouting: ‘She 15. She too old for you.’ Giuliani flees and his security guard calls the police. Giuliani tells the New York Post about some of the encounter that day but leaves out the part where he goes into the bedroom and has his hand down his pants
Bakalova – who is now blond – is seen at the White House with OAN correspondent Chanel Rion, going into the Brady Press Briefing Room where Trump that day delivers a COVID briefing and walking close to the Rose Garden. The president is in the West Wing as she is filmed speaking to Rion walking the grounds of the White House
‘No need for security test or COVID test. They boring,’ he said.
It is unclear how an actress would be able to access the executive mansion in the identity of her character – and particularly given that Baklova is Bulgarian, not American. DailyMail.com has asked the White House for comment.
The Borat clip identifies the White House clip as September 20, although DailyMail.com obtained footage of the encounter on September 16.
She may have been a guest of Rion, a controversial figure who crashed White House COVID briefings and refused to wear a mask, and who has opened a feud with the White House Correspondents Association over their attempt to curb numbers of journalists on the property during the pandemic.
Rion has partied at Mar-a-Lago and boasts close ties to Giuliani – ironically the target of the most high-profile stunt by Borat.
However the film crew which recorded the interview did not come with Rion, and is believed to be associated with the interview subject and actress.
At the White House, Bakalova asks Rion: ‘Why is all of the fake journalists for the left, and none on the right?’ DailyMail.com has asked Rion and OANN for comment.
The scenes at the White House got cut and didn’t make it into the movie, titled ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.’
The clip then shows Bakalova in character with dark hair attending an event with President Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.
She is shown clapping wildly while the president speaks. The event appears to be a reception for supporters before a rally in Phoenix’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 19.
On stage, Trump is flanked by his son and Guilfoyle, who addressed the rally he held that evening.
In a different cut, she shakes hands with the president’s eldest son and proclaims herself ‘a little bit nervous’ and ‘excited to meet you.’
The footage with Don Jr. appears to have come during a Turning Point USA event during the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February.
‘I’m a little bit nervous but I’m very excited to meet you,’ she tells Don Jr.
‘I appreciate it. Good to meet you,’ he replies.
At the same conference, Sacha Baron Cohen, playing Borat but dressed up as President Donald Trump, ran into the hall where Vice President Mike Pence was speaking carrying Bakalova. ‘Michael Pennis! I brought a girl for you!’ Cohen yelled.
This scene made the movie, while the footage from the promo released Friday with Rion did not
It was the second time the movie ripped through U.S. politics, after the release of footage showing Borat’s ‘daughter’ in a hotel room with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
In one scene, Giuliani falls back on a bed after she removes his microphone after getting pranked into an interview. He briefly puts his hands in his pants, but the former New York mayor said he was simply tucking in his shirt after it got messed up when the microphone was being removed.
First family encounter: Her greeting with the president’s son happened at a Turning Point USA event that was part of the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Cohen dressed as Trump and crashed a Mike Pence speech
A DailyMail.com reporter spotted the unusual encounter at the White House on September 16, with ‘Borat’s daughter’ talking to Chanel Rion, the controversial OAN correspondent. The Borat twitter account labeled it September 20 ‘Year of Hawk 435’
Walk and talk: In the course of her time at the White House, accompanied by a camera and sound crew, Maria Bakalova, posing as Borat’s daughter, also walked outside the north doors of the Palm Room, which leads to the Rose Garden
The actress was trailed by two cameras during the interview at the WHite House on September 16, which didn’t make it into the final film
She visited the White House on a day Trump displayed charts intended to show a drop in spread of the coronavirus. Dr. Scott Atlas also was there
Baron Cohen hit back at Giuliani’s claims that the Borat honey trap video is a ‘complete fabrication’, saying Friday ‘heaven knows what he has done with other female journalists in hotel rooms’ – as scenes from the full film show the president’s 76-year-old attorney patting a young woman on her hip.
After a snippet of the scene emerged earlier this week, Giuliani said he was only tucking in his shirt after removing his recording equipment and insisted that he was never ‘inappropriate’.
In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, Baron Cohen was asked to respond after Giuliani accused him of being a ‘stone-cold liar’.
‘I would say that if the president’s lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he has done with other female journalists in hotel rooms,’ Baron Cohen said.
‘I urge everyone to watch the movie. It is what it is, he did what he did. Make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us.’
His comments came as the full controversial scene emerged on Friday following the release of the film, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, on Amazon Prime.
The scene, which was shot back in July in the Mark Hotel, shows Giuliani sitting down with 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova, who was posing as a conservative reporter, for an interview about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response.
During the scene, Giuliani answered several questions about coronavirus, including how many lives he thought Trump had saved due to his handling of the pandemic.
In the interview scene, the woman was flirtatious with Giuliani and could be seen repeatedly touching his knee.
She also told him he was ‘one of her greatest heroes’ and that she felt like she was in a fairy tale. At one point, she said she felt like she was Melania Trump.
After being interrupted by Baron Cohen’s Borat character, who was disguised as a sound technician, the scene cuts to Giuliani following the woman into the hotel bedroom as she asks: ‘Should we have a drink in the bedroom.’
The 30-second scene in the bedroom cuts repeatedly to different frames from the various hidden cameras. It is not clear how much of it has been edited together to portray a specific story line.
It shows Giuliani asking for her phone number and address. That audio is played over a shot in which the woman can be seen removing his microphone and he pats her lower back.
He can then be seen lying back on the bed to tuck in his shirt after she helps remove his recording equipment.
He has his hands in his pants when Baron Cohen’s character rushes in for a second time wearing an outlandish outfit.
In one part, Giuliani can be heard asking for the woman’s phone number and address. That audio is played over a shot in which the woman can be seen removing his microphone and he pats her lower back
The scene from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat sequel film that was released in full on Friday, shows Rudy Giuliani in a compromising position in a New York City hotel room alongside a young woman posing as a conservative TV reporter
Baron Cohen on Friday hit out at Rudy Giuliani’s claims that the Borat honey trap video is a ‘complete fabrication’, saying ‘heaven knows what he has done with other female journalists in hotel rooms’
In the scene, President Trump’s personal attorney is seen lying on the bed, tucking in his shirt with his hand down his pants as the woman stands nearby
Discussing the scene during the GMA interview on Friday, Baron Cohen said he was in a hideaway in the hotel room and keeping tabs on what was happening.
‘I was quite concerned for her during the scene,’ Baron Cohen said.
After a snippet of the scene emerged earlier this week, Giuliani said he was only tucking in his shirt after removing his recording equipment and insisted that he was never ‘inappropriate’
‘We built a hideaway that I was hiding in during the scene. I was monitoring it by text. It’s my responsibility as a producer to ensure the lead actor is looked after.’
Bakalova, who joined Baron Cohen for the interview, said she felt safe the entire time.
After a clip of the scene emerged this week prior to the film being released, Giuliani declared that it was a ‘hit job’ and a ‘total fabrication’.
‘The Borat video is a complete fabrication,’ he tweeted.
‘I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.
‘This is an effort to blunt my relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden and his entire family.’
Speaking on his weekly radio program on WABC on Wednesday, Giuliani doubled down that he was only tucking in his shirt.
‘I am tucking my shirt in, I assure you, that’s all that I was doing,’ he said.
Giuliani said he went to what he thought was an interview and said it felt ‘legitimate.’
‘I did the interview with the young woman who was new to interviewing and I was being kind to her,’ he said. ‘At one point she explained to me some problems I had, I actually prayed with her.’
When he got up to leave he said he had his jacket on.
‘I was fully clothed at all times and I had to take off the electronic equipment and when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt got a little out, came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on,’ he said.
He said he realized that something was amiss when the woman asked if he’d like a massage.
‘She says something about, “Do I want a massage?” I realize now that this is a set-up and I call my security guy Brian who’s right outside,’ Giuliani said. ‘And then all of the sudden crazy Sacha Baron Cohen runs in with a cape on and he’s yelling and screaming all sorts of stupid stuff.’
The former New York City mayor called police after the encounter but there is no indication an investigation was launched.
Giuliani spoke to the New York Post’s Page Six column about the encounter back in July but did not mention the bedroom aspect.
He has since argued that in calling the police he proved he was an innocent party.
‘If I was doing anything wrong, I would not call the police and if he was doing anything right, he wouldn’t have been running away,’ Giuliani said.
Borat review: Crass, vulgar… but if you love the first movie you’ll be smitten, writes BRIAN VINER who gives it four stars
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Donald Trump‘s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is not the only person entitled to watch Borat 2 through his fingers. For the rest of us, too, that is at times the only proper response to a comedy that doesn’t so much push at the boundaries of taste as bulldoze them over the edge of a cliff.
The set-up is the same as the 2006 mockumentary which first introduced Sacha Baron Cohen’s fictional Kazakh journalist to an unsuspecting world.
Baron Cohen’s Borat, accompanied this time by his teenage daughter Tutar (credited as Maria Bakalova), travels through America hoodwinking real people into thinking he is the genuine article.
Since the events of 2006, he has spent years breaking rocks in the gulag for bringing shame on his country by making it a global laughing stock.
But now he has been given a mission – and with it, a chance to rescue his reputation. Again and again, he convinces folk that he really has brought Tutar along as a gift for ‘Vice-Premier Mikhail Pence’, the second-in-command to the magnificent ‘Premier McDonald Trump’, as a way of redeeming his distant homeland in the eyes of the ‘US and A’.
Baron Cohen once more violates the unwritten rules of screen comedy
Vice President Mike Pence didn’t know it at the time, but when he delivered his speech at CPAC earlier this year, he was actually taking part in a secret sequel to Borat (pictured)
The results – including a scene in which, dressed as Trump, he interrupts Pence’s address to a Republican rally – are by turn riotously funny and almost unwatchably uncomfortable.
There is another scene in which Borat and Tutar attend a debutante ball in the city of Macon, in the southern state of Georgia.
She is solemnly presented as an undergraduate at ‘Grand Canyon University’, studying ‘cage maintenance and electronics with a focus on VCR repairs’.
Just as you’re marvelling at their XX-sized gullibility and processing the sheer improbability of proud fathers and their southern belle daughters, dressed to the nines, going through this absurd social rigmarole in the 21st century, just as the laughter is again bubbling up in your throat at the spectacle of the Kazakh duo taking to the floor to perform their fertility dance, it coagulates into something else entirely.
Baron Cohen once more violates the unwritten rules of screen comedy. Is it outrage? Horror? Disgust? Suppressed hysteria? You will have to decide for yourself.
In a way, that is Baron Cohen’s genius. Once again, he has masterminded a film (though it is directed by Jason Woliner) that is beyond anyone else’s ability or daring.
He makes patsies of everyone he and Tutar encounter, nobody more so than Giuliani, the 76-year-old former mayor of New York City, who grants this engaging foreign girl an interview in a hotel suite – then ends up in a situation that, unless there is some cinematic sleight of hand involved, looks horribly compromising.
Borat and Tutar attend a debutante ball in the city of Macon, in the southern state of Georgia
I’ve already watched it twice, and I’m still not quite sure what I saw. Either way, 24-year-old Bulgarian actress Bakalova is terrifically good – on occasion even upstaging Baron Cohen himself.
Just like the original, Borat 2 is audaciously brilliant in that it starts off looking like a mickey-take of a backward, former Soviet republic, when really the only object of the mockery is America.
In particular, this film sets out to catch the more diehard Trump supporters and far-Right conspiracy theorists, scooping up more than a few others in its satirical net, such as a cosmetic surgeon quite happy to inflate the breasts of 15-year-old Tutar, who wants only to be the next ‘Queen Melania’.
Most of them unwittingly conspire in their own ridicule, though there are times – as with a kindly Holocaust survivor in a synagogue – when your heart goes out to them. Not everyone deserves to be one of Borat’s victims.
Similarly, not everyone will want to see this film. If the TV show Game For A Laugh made you wince, it’s definitely not for you.
Ditto, if you think everyone should be permitted their convictions and ways of life without being played as fools by a subversive Englishman with a candid camera and a political agenda.
All the same, there were moments when it made me laugh more than any film has for ages, possibly since the original Borat.
And three cheers, too, for its topicality. MeToo sensibilities are cheekily addressed, as Tutar begins to find that the suppression of women in her own country – where it is ‘enshrined in law’ that men must not love their daughters as much as their sons – is not the case everywhere.
And there is an inspired twist involving the Covid-19 pandemic.
But maybe I’ve already given too much away. If you loved the original Borat, then you will be smitten again. This one is even better.
If you thought it crass, vulgar and unutterably puerile, well – this one is a fair bit worse.
Borat 2 is available on Amazon Prime Video from today.
Maria Bakalova is seen taking off the microphone of Rudy Giuliani in the new ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,’ which will be released on Amazon Prime Friday
Rudy Giuliani leans back after actress Maria Bakalova takes his mic off and seemingly puts his hands down his pants
Maria Bakalova, who graduated from film school last year, has skyrocketed to international fame after it was revealed last night she honeytrapped Donald Trump’s senior lieutenant and former mayor of New York Giuliani in the new Borat movie
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Bake Off star Prue Leith puts Cotswolds manor house on the market for £10million
It’s the Great British Sell-Off – Prue Leith has put her Cotswolds manor house on the market for £10 million.
The celebrity chef has lived at Chastleton Glebe, Gloucestershire, since 1972, and she previously wanted to keep the honey-coloured Georgian building in the family.
But the property – complete with its own lake, panoramic views of the countryside and a kitchen which regularly features on the Bake Off judge’s Instagram feed – is now up for sale.
It is no ordinary listing.
Prue Leith (pictured) has put her Cotswolds manor house Chastleton Glebe in Gloucestershir, on the market for £10 million.
The property near Moreton-in-Marsh is being sold by boutique agency FG Consultants, which has been discreetly sending the details to top-end estate agents.
One buyer has already expressed an interest, a source said last night.
The property is also said to include extensive farmland, while Land Registry records show there is also a lodge and two large cottages within the seven-acre grounds.
Ms Leith, 80, is planning to move to a property she has been building nearby, The Mail on Sunday understands.
The property near Moreton-in-Marsh is being sold by boutique agency FG Consultants
Her second husband, John Playfair, whom she married in 2016, also has a house close by.
Last year, Ms Leith said: ‘We live together in my house, sleep together in my house each night, but the thing is, he still has his house where all his stuff is.’
Explaining why they kept separate homes, she said: ‘We are both too old and have too much stuff.
‘Imagine me having to move half my clobber out of the house for his – he is the most untidy man I have ever met, I am neat and organised. It would be awful!’
The property is also said to include extensive farmland, while Land Registry records show there is also a lodge and two large cottages within the seven-acre grounds
One buyer has already expressed an interest, a source said last night. Pictured: Ms Leith hand-painted apples on the ceiling of her bathroom
Ms Leith bought Chastleton Glebe with her former husband, author Rayne Kruger, for a reported £80,000. The couple were married until Mr Kruger’s death in 2002. Their son Danny Kruger is a Conservative MP.
The chef has previously said she intended to keep the home in the family, and planned to move to a smaller property in the grounds.
Earlier this year she said: ‘The children can have this [house], if they want it. And if they don’t, we will sell it. We have to do it while we are energetic enough.’
A spokesman for Ms Leith declined to comment on the sale.
Prue Leith quits Conservative Party in protest at Government’s stance over foods standards – which was backed by her Tory MP son
By ANNA MIKHAILOVA AND MAX AITCHINSON FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
Prue Leith has quit the Conservative Party after the Government blocked an attempt to enshrine high food standards in law.
Two weeks ago the 80-year-old Bake Off judge gave her backing to The Mail on Sunday’s campaign to stop the UK being flooded with inferior food as a result of a post-Brexit trade deal with America.
A Conservative source told The Mail on Sunday Ms Leith has since cancelled her party membership after growing unhappy with the Government’s stance. The source said: ‘This means no more cakes for the local association.’
Ms Leith’s son Danny Kruger, the Tory MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, voted with the Government on the Agriculture Bill, defeating an amendment that would have protected British farmers.
Prue Leith (pictured)has quit the Conservative Party after the Government blocked an attempt to enshrine high food standards in law
But Ms Leith had said of the vote: ‘Everybody who cares about British high food standards should back our farmers. After all, we are what we eat.’
On Friday, angry farmers drove a convoy of tractors through the market town of Marlborough in Mr Kruger’s constituency to demand that the 45-year-old MP ‘listens to his mother’.
Rally organiser Liz Webster, founder of campaign group Save British Farming, claimed the Agricultural Bill in its current form would ‘decimate British farming’.
‘The Tories promised in their manifesto that they wouldn’t compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards but that is exactly what they’re doing,’ she said.
‘British farmers are being sold down the river. I’m sure Mr Kruger’s mother didn’t feed him chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-injected beef when he was young.’
Ms Leith’s son Danny Kruger (pictured left, with her, and right, posing for a Parliament photo), the Tory MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, voted with the Government on the Agriculture Bill, defeating an amendment that would have protected British farmers
Nick Bush, 71, who runs a 12,000-acre farm in Chippenham, accused the Tories of lying. ‘How can they say one thing in their manifesto and then ignore it?’ he asked.
‘If we have lower standards coming in, it’s going to undercut us completely. Our family farm won’t survive.’
The rally was held in anticipation of the Agricultural Bill ‘ping-ponging’ back to the House of Commons early next month after the Lords last week voted in favour of strengthening standards for imported food.
Farming Minister Victoria Prentis has insisted that the Government is ‘absolutely committed to high standards’.
A spokesman for Ms Leith declined to comment.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
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