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Need To Know: Farage: Queen Mum an ‘overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker’

■ Farage: Queen Mum an ‘overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker’

NIGEL FARAGE said the Queen Mother (above) was an ‘overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker’, in a series of incendiary remarks about members of the royal family, it has been claimed.

The Brexit Party leader — in a speech in Australia to Sydney’s Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday — reportedly ridiculed comments by the Duke of Sussex that he and wife Meghan planned to have a ‘maximum’ of two children for the sake of the planet.

And Mr Farage — who described the Queen as an ‘amazing, awe-inspiring woman’ — allegedly said he hoped she would live a ‘very, very long time’ to stop the Prince of Wales becoming king.

Media were not present at the event, but The Guardian confirmed it had heard a recording of part of Mr Farage’s speech.

‘When it comes to her son, when it comes to Charlie Boy and climate change, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Her mother, Her Royal Highness the Queen’s mother, was a slightly overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker who lived to 101 years old,’ he reportedly said.

‘All I can say is Charlie Boy is now in his 70s… may the Queen live a very, very long time.’

■ Flights cancelled as Hong Kong protests move into airport

ONE OF the world’s busiest airports cancelled all flights after thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters crowded into the main terminal.

Hong Kong International Airport said today’s demonstration ‘seriously disrupted’ operations.

There have been more than two months of mass protests calling for democratic reforms and an independent inquiry into police conduct, with both campaigners and police adopting ever-more extreme tactics.

In Beijing, the Cabinet’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office warned the situation in Hong Kong was ‘beginning to show the sprouts of terrorism’ and pledged to show ‘no leniency or mercy’.

Only flights that had already begun boarding or those cleared for landing were allowed to use runways at the airport.

‘All other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today,’ the airport statement said.

■ PM will face no-confidence vote when Labour thinks it can win, suggests Abbott

A CONFIDENCE vote in Boris Johnson will be put forward once Labour believes it can win it, according to Diane Abbott.

The shadow home secretary (above) said it was ‘above my pay grade’ to confirm whether the opposition’s bid to test MPs’ level of support for the prime minister would be immediately after parliament returns in early September.

But she confirmed talks were taking place with other parties after claiming Mr Johnson’s ‘bogus unfunded announcements’ on law and order, among others, were costing him support

Her remarks came after a leading think-tank warned that MPs may have little chance of stopping Mr Johnson pushing through a no-deal Brexit when parliament returns.

The Institute for Government said MPs may have limited opportunities to stop a no-deal break and that, even if the PM lost a confidence vote, he may still try to plough on regardless.

Downing Street insisted Mr Johnson remained ‘very clear in his determination to want to get a deal’ and would hold talks with EU leaders over the phone in the coming days.

■ Family of missing Nora offer £10,000 reward

THE family of missing Nora Quoirin have offered a £10,000 reward for information leading to the teenager’s return.

More than 300 search and rescue crew have been involved in the hunt for 15-year-old Nora, from London, who disappeared from a Malaysian jungle resort on Sunday August 4.

The reward of 50,000 Malaysian ringgit — nearly £10,000 — was donated by an anonymous Belfast business, Nora’s family said.

Her aunt set up an online fundraising page after her disappearance, which has so far collected more than £90,000.

A second campaign created by Nora’s uncle to raise money in euros now totals more than 15,000 (almost £14,000).

Her family said in a statement today: ‘Nora is our first child. She has been vulnerable since the day she was born. She is so precious to us and our hearts are breaking.’

■ Opposition calls for grouse shooting review to protect environment

LABOUR is calling for a review of grouse shooting amid warnings that it is causes substantial environmental damage to important natural habitats.

With the start of the four-month shooting season today — the so-called Glorious Twelfth — the party said consideration should be given to ‘viable alternatives’ such as simulated shooting or wildlife tourism.

The move threatens to put the party on a collision course with landowners who argue that shooting creates valuable job opportunities while helping to protect the land.

However, Labour said the process of draining it in preparation for the shooting season destroyed ‘huge swathes’ of plant life and killed large numbers of animals.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said: ‘For too long the Tories have bent the knee to landowners and it’s our environment and our people who pay the price.’

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Effective heather management including burning and cutting creates amazing habitat and of course reduces the fuel load and risk of wildfire.’