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Daisy Ridley wows at Star Wars: The Last Jedi UK premiere 

Star Wars Episode VIII will be released in the United Kingdom this Friday (December 15), two years a..

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  • Star Wars Episode VIII will be released in the United Kingdom this Friday (December 15), two years after the first film in the rebooted franchise, The Force Awakens, received critical acclaim
  • The Last Jedi picks up with the Resistance fighting Supreme Leader Snoke´s First Order which is trying to take over the galaxy
  • The Last Jedi ends with a dedication to late Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher, who makes her final film appearance in Episode VIII
  • Princes William and Harry and Tom Hardy all make cameo appearance as Stormtroopers

By Eve Buckland For Mailonline

Published: 12:31 EST, 12 December 2017 | Updated: 14:10 EST, 12 December 2017

The Force arrived in London on Tuesday night at the out-of-this world UK premiere of hotly anticipated film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Lead stars Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill made a dazzling entrance into the London premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, looking truly out-of-this-world as they posed up in front of a army of fearsome Stormtroopers.

Daisy, 25, who plays Jedi Padawan Rey, went to the Dark Side with her outfit, showing off her lithe figure in a black vinyl one-shoulder dress with an elegant neck tie detail as she posed for the cameras.

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Lure of the Dark Side! Lead stars Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill made a dazzling entrance into the London Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere, looking truly out-of-this-world as they posed up in front of a army of fearsome Stormtroopers

Lure of the Dark Side! Lead stars Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill made a dazzling entrance into the London Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere, looking truly out-of-this-world as they posed up in front of a army of fearsome Stormtroopers

The elegant dress cinched in at the waist to show off Daisy's taut midriff before flaring out into an elegant flared skirt.

She added height to her look with perspex heels.

Her ombre locks were styled into an elegant updo with curly bronze strands framing her face.

Daisy opted for metallic silver eyeshadow, fluttery lashes and liner while her pout was slicked with a fuschia lipstick.

Imperial March: The fearsome Stormtroopers traded the Galactic Empire for The Royal Albert Hall at the premiereImperial March: The fearsome Stormtroopers traded the Galactic Empire for The Royal Albert Hall at the premiere

Imperial March: The fearsome Stormtroopers traded the Galactic Empire for The Royal Albert Hall at the premiere

Dazzling: Daisy looked stunning with her ombre locks styled into a chic updo with curly strands framing her face Dazzling: Daisy looked stunning with her ombre locks styled into a chic updo with curly strands framing her face 

Dazzling: Daisy looked stunning with her ombre locks styled into a chic updo with curly strands framing her face

Legend! Daisy looked over the moon to be in the presence of Luke Skywalker himself as she gleefully pointed at himLegend! Daisy looked over the moon to be in the presence of Luke Skywalker himself as she gleefully pointed at him

Legend! Daisy looked over the moon to be in the presence of Luke Skywalker himself as she gleefully pointed at him

Here he is! John Boyega, 25, who plays Resistance Fighter Finn, looked dapper in a velvet blazer and bow tieHere he is! John Boyega, 25, who plays Resistance Fighter Finn, looked dapper in a velvet blazer and bow tie

Here he is! John Boyega, 25, who plays Resistance Fighter Finn, looked dapper in a velvet blazer and bow tie

Proud: John looked over the moon as he celebrated his achievement with members of his family on the red carpet including sisters Blessing (third left) and Grace (end right) and parents Abigail and Samson (1st and 2nd left)Proud: John looked over the moon as he celebrated his achievement with members of his family on the red carpet including sisters Blessing (third left) and Grace (end right) and parents Abigail and Samson (1st and 2nd left)

Proud: John looked over the moon as he celebrated his achievement with members of his family on the red carpet including sisters Blessing (third left) and Grace (end right) and parents Abigail and Samson (1st and 2nd left)

Don't do it John! John was all smiles as he posed up with a pair of evil Stormtroopers at the premiereDon't do it John! John was all smiles as he posed up with a pair of evil Stormtroopers at the premiere

Don't do it John! John was all smiles as he posed up with a pair of evil Stormtroopers at the premiere

Intimidated? John looked slightly scared as he struck a dapper pose next to a strapping StormtrooperIntimidated? John looked slightly scared as he struck a dapper pose next to a strapping Stormtrooper

Intimidated? John looked slightly scared as he struck a dapper pose next to a strapping Stormtrooper

Emotional: John looked overwhelmed as he gave the thumbs up on the red carpet surrounded by StormtroopersEmotional: John looked overwhelmed as he gave the thumbs up on the red carpet surrounded by Stormtroopers

Emotional: John looked overwhelmed as he gave the thumbs up on the red carpet surrounded by Stormtroopers

Give me five: John held out his hands to his little nephew who seemed more interested in the big screen Give me five: John held out his hands to his little nephew who seemed more interested in the big screen 

Give me five: John held out his hands to his little nephew who seemed more interested in the big screen

Space heroes: Mark Hamill, 66, who plays Jedi Luke Skywalker, looked dapper in a suit and bow tie as he took in the awe-inspiring moment with his leading lady

No fear: Despite the army of evil Stormtroopers behind them, Daisy and Mark were full of joy at the screeningNo fear: Despite the army of evil Stormtroopers behind them, Daisy and Mark were full of joy at the screening

No fear: Despite the army of evil Stormtroopers behind them, Daisy and Mark were full of joy at the screening

Spotlight: Daisy looked fierce as she struck a powerful pose in front of the wave of StormtrooopersSpotlight: Daisy looked fierce as she struck a powerful pose in front of the wave of Stormtrooopers

Spotlight: Daisy looked fierce as she struck a powerful pose in front of the wave of Stormtrooopers

Playful: Daisy playfully mugged for the camera with Mark as the pair soaked up the atmosphere Playful: Daisy playfully mugged for the camera with Mark as the pair soaked up the atmosphere 

Playful: Daisy playfully mugged for the camera with Mark as the pair soaked up the atmosphere

Feel the Force! Daisy radiated chic in her couture gown as she posed up in front of the Stormtroopers Feel the Force! Daisy radiated chic in her couture gown as she posed up in front of the Stormtroopers 

Feel the Force! Daisy radiated chic in her couture gown as she posed up in front of the Stormtroopers

Leading lights: Daisy and Mark were in great spirits as they celebrated the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode VIII

Mark Hamill, 66, who plays Jedi Luke Skywalker, looked dapper in a suit and bow tie as he took in the awe-inspiring moment with his leading lady.

Mark was joined by his supportive wife of 39 years Marilou Yorke and their daughter Chelsea.

John Boyega, 25, who plays Resistance Fighter Finn, looked over the moon as he roared on the red carpet clad in a black suit and bow tie.

It was a family affair for the proud Boyega family with John bringing his parents Abigail and Samson and sisters Blessing and Grace, along with his nephews, to the premiere.

The Force was strong at the premiere with an army of deadly Stormtroopers opening the dazzling show.

Fan favourites C-3PO and RD:D2 were also seen greeting fans on the red carpet along with Wookiee Chewbacca.

Princes William and Harry and Tom Hardy all make cameo appearance as Stormtroopers

Use the Force Luke: Mark looked handsome as he walked along with his wife and C-3PO actor Anthony DanielsUse the Force Luke: Mark looked handsome as he walked along with his wife and C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels

Use the Force Luke: Mark looked handsome as he walked along with his wife and C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels

Glee: Daisy and Mark looked over the moon as they posed up together ahead of the film's UK premiereGlee: Daisy and Mark looked over the moon as they posed up together ahead of the film's UK premiere

Glee: Daisy and Mark looked over the moon as they posed up together ahead of the film's UK premiere

Jedi family: Mark was joined on the red carpet by his wife Marilou York and daughter Chelsea Jedi family: Mark was joined on the red carpet by his wife Marilou York and daughter Chelsea 

Jedi family: Mark was joined on the red carpet by his wife Marilou York and daughter Chelsea

Fearsome: Gwendoline Christie, who plays feared Captain Phasma, flashed her cleavage in a plunging semi sheer dress dotted with black circles

Dark presence: Gwendoline joined her Stormtrooper pals on the red carpet while flashing her radiant complexionDark presence: Gwendoline joined her Stormtrooper pals on the red carpet while flashing her radiant complexion

Dark presence: Gwendoline joined her Stormtrooper pals on the red carpet while flashing her radiant complexion

Bow down to your leader: Gwendoline got into character as the terrifying Captain Phasma as she ordered her troopsBow down to your leader: Gwendoline got into character as the terrifying Captain Phasma as she ordered her troops

Bow down to your leader: Gwendoline got into character as the terrifying Captain Phasma as she ordered her troops

Fan favourites: Droids C-3PO and R2-D2 were a welcome addition to the red carpet as they greeted their fansFan favourites: Droids C-3PO and R2-D2 were a welcome addition to the red carpet as they greeted their fans

Fan favourites: Droids C-3PO and R2-D2 were a welcome addition to the red carpet as they greeted their fans

How's it going? Benicio greeted a Stormtrooper on the red carpet as he shot a warm smile at the soldierHow's it going? Benicio greeted a Stormtrooper on the red carpet as he shot a warm smile at the soldier

How's it going? Benicio greeted a Stormtrooper on the red carpet as he shot a warm smile at the soldier

Work it: The star was flanked by soldiers of the Galactic Empire as he posed for snappers on the red carpetWork it: The star was flanked by soldiers of the Galactic Empire as he posed for snappers on the red carpet

Work it: The star was flanked by soldiers of the Galactic Empire as he posed for snappers on the red carpet

Polished: Mark Strong worked navy trousers, matching tie, flat cap and a three quarter length coat for the premierePolished: Mark Strong worked navy trousers, matching tie, flat cap and a three quarter length coat for the premiere

Polished: Mark Strong worked navy trousers, matching tie, flat cap and a three quarter length coat for the premiere

Their arrival came after the glittering world premiere at LA's Shrine Auditorium on Saturday.

The film's director-writer Rian Johnson paid special tribute to late Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher as he introduced the screening, saying: 'I want to dedicate tonight to Carrie, who is up there right now flipping me the bird, saying `Damn it Rian, don´t you dare make this night a solemn tribute.

'So let´s all have a blast tonight for Carrie.'

Wow factor: Laura Dern, who plays Amilyn Holdo, looked stylish in a feathered pink strapless dress as she was flanked by StormtroopersWow factor: Laura Dern, who plays Amilyn Holdo, looked stylish in a feathered pink strapless dress as she was flanked by Stormtroopers

Wow factor: Laura Dern, who plays Amilyn Holdo, looked stylish in a feathered pink strapless dress as she was flanked by Stormtroopers

Dark Side: Andy Serkis, who plays evil Supreme Leader Snoke, posed with his wife Lorraine Ashbourne

The film ends with a dedication to Fisher, who plays Princess Leia.

Carrie died at age 60 last December after completing her work on The Last Jedi.

She shot to fame as the feisty and determined Princess Leia in the original three Star Wars film- A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).

Chewy! Joonas Suotamo who was a body double for Peter Mayhew's Chewbacca posed with his wife on the red carpetChewy! Joonas Suotamo who was a body double for Peter Mayhew's Chewbacca posed with his wife on the red carpet

Chewy! Joonas Suotamo who was a body double for Peter Mayhew's Chewbacca posed with his wife on the red carpet

Bucketheads: The evil soldiers made for a frightening sight as they marched their way down the red carpetBucketheads: The evil soldiers made for a frightening sight as they marched their way down the red carpet

Bucketheads: The evil soldiers made for a frightening sight as they marched their way down the red carpet

Galaxy glamour: Myleene Klass (L) flashed her toned legs in a thigh-high split gown while Alexandra Burke flashed her bra in a lace body paired with a green velvet suit

Practicing your Strictly moves? Alexandra appeared to be dancing with a Stormtrooper on the red carpetPracticing your Strictly moves? Alexandra appeared to be dancing with a Stormtrooper on the red carpet

Practicing your Strictly moves? Alexandra appeared to be dancing with a Stormtrooper on the red carpet

Her character, now known as General Leia Organa, leader of the Resistance, plays a key role in the film.

The Last Jedi, which is out on December 15, picks up with the Resistance fighting Supreme Leader Snoke´s First Order which is trying to take over the galaxy.

The film's release comes two years after The Force Awakens.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) tries to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to join the Resistance and bring hope to the rebels against Snoke's villainous rule.

The star-studded ensemble cast, including Ridley, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis and Hamill.

Disney has a strict embargo on full reviews until Tuesday, but early spoiler-free Twitter reaction has been universally positive.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi is everything. Intense, funny, emotional, exciting. It’s jam-packed with absolutely jaw dropping moments and I loved it so, so much. I’m still shaking,' wrote Gizmodo's Germain Lussier.

'I can’t believe The Last Jedi exists. @rianjohnson is a madman and I love him for it. He takes Star Wars to the edge and throws it over. What a crazy, awesome movie. We’ll be talking about this one for a long, long time.'

SlashFilm's Peter Sciretta tweeted: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi is so very different, exciting, surprising. So many emotions, so many amazing moments. Stay away from spoilers.

Rey of Light: The Last Jedi, which is out on December 15, picks up with the Resistance fighting Supreme Leader Snoke´s First Order which is trying to take over the galaxyRey of Light: The Last Jedi, which is out on December 15, picks up with the Resistance fighting Supreme Leader Snoke´s First Order which is trying to take over the galaxy

Rey of Light: The Last Jedi, which is out on December 15, picks up with the Resistance fighting Supreme Leader Snoke´s First Order which is trying to take over the galaxy

Battle: Rey (Daisy Ridley) tries to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, above) to join the Resistance and bring hope to the rebels against Snoke's villainous rule.Battle: Rey (Daisy Ridley) tries to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, above) to join the Resistance and bring hope to the rebels against Snoke's villainous rule.

Battle: Rey (Daisy Ridley) tries to convince Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, above) to join the Resistance and bring hope to the rebels against Snoke's villainous rule.

The LA Times Jen Yamato claimed: 'StarWars: The Last Jedi is so beautifully human, populist, funny, and surprising. I cried when one POC heroine got her moment because films like these leave their mark on entire generations — and representation matters.'

The original trilogy's plot focused on the Rebel Alliance, led by Leia and its battle to destroy the Galactic Empire's space station, the infamous Death Star, manned by supervillain Darth Vader.

Luke Skywalker, then a simple farm boy, acquires droids that possess stolen blueprints for the Death star.

'A brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster': Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the best by a distance, writes Brian Viner

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (12A)

Rating:

As the Star Wars behemoth lumbers on, cynics might be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the number of sequels, prequels and spin-offs that continue to make their way here from a galaxy far, far away.

Or not so far, actually. This film, the ninth (and in my view the best by a distance) since George Lucas’s original movie in 1977, was shot mostly in the British Isles.

It is the product of some remarkable technical wizardry at Pinewood Studios – as well as great vision from its American writer-director Rian Johnson.

Crowd-pleaser: 'A brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster': Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the best by a distance, writes Brian VinerCrowd-pleaser: 'A brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster': Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the best by a distance, writes Brian Viner

Crowd-pleaser: 'A brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster': Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the best by a distance, writes Brian Viner

Admittedly, it takes a very long time to get from its exhilarating start to its poignant sign-off, a dedication to “our princess”, the late Carrie Fisher, who died after filming had been completed.

Stars Wars: The Last Jedi lasts fully two and a half hours. There were moments towards the end when I felt like one of those poor Cubans listening to Fidel Castro at the height of his oratorical vigour … just as you’re planning your route to the exit, it lurches into yet another new lease of life.

But my goodness, how it rewards the audience’s staying power.

The second in the so-called Star Wars sequel trilogy, it follows directly on from 2015’s The Force Awakens. Han Solo is dead, killed by his son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and the villainous First Order’s ineffably evil, incomparably ugly Supreme Leader Snoke (a mercifully unrecognisable Andy Serkis) is determined to finish off the noble Resistance, led by the venerable General Leia Organa (Fisher).

Excellent viewing: It is the product of some remarkable technical wizardry at Pinewood Studios – as well as great vision from its American writer-director Rian Johnson Excellent viewing: It is the product of some remarkable technical wizardry at Pinewood Studios – as well as great vision from its American writer-director Rian Johnson 

Excellent viewing: It is the product of some remarkable technical wizardry at Pinewood Studios – as well as great vision from its American writer-director Rian Johnson

Snoke has the dastardly but comically hapless General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to do his dirty work for him, as well as the still-conflicted Ren.

Driver again makes a fantastic baddie, a worthy successor to Darth Vader, investing his character with proper depth.

In fact, if I had to find a spoonful of negativity to splash on such a cinematic feast, it would be that Daisy Ridley, as the space scavenger Rey, is outclassed in her scenes with Driver and the equally terrific Mark Hamill.

She’s jolly pretty, and wields a light sabre wonderfully, but her dramatic range still stretches only from A to just beyond B.

Tense: Stars Wars: The Last Jedi lasts fully two and a half hours. There were moments towards the end when I felt like one of those poor Cubans listening to Fidel Castro at the height of his oratorical vigourTense: Stars Wars: The Last Jedi lasts fully two and a half hours. There were moments towards the end when I felt like one of those poor Cubans listening to Fidel Castro at the height of his oratorical vigour

Tense: Stars Wars: The Last Jedi lasts fully two and a half hours. There were moments towards the end when I felt like one of those poor Cubans listening to Fidel Castro at the height of his oratorical vigour

Happily, Hamill gets a gratifying amount of screen time as a disillusioned Luke Skywalker, looking like a lonely old fisherman and living in self-imposed exile on a remote, jagged island, supposedly the most “unfindable place in the galaxy” and in reality just off the coast of County Donegal. But he’s still a Jedi knight and Rey wants him to teach her the secrets of the Force.

Will he be tempted out of retirement? Even without him, the beleaguered Resistance, rapidly running out of both fuel and ideas, can muster some impressive assets, among them the apostate stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and his unlikely new sidekick, a doughty janitor called Rose (Kelly Marie Tran).

Maverick pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is a further thorn in the First Order’s side, though he’s almost as much of a handful for his own side, especially Leia’s second-in-command, Vice-Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern with a fetching mauve hairdo that makes her look for all the world like an inter-galactic Mrs Slocombe, from Are You Being Served?.

Dream like: Further enlivening the basic good v bad narrative are some truly spectacular battles, oodles of wit and a glorious episode in a casino that looks like the realisation of a feverish dreamDream like: Further enlivening the basic good v bad narrative are some truly spectacular battles, oodles of wit and a glorious episode in a casino that looks like the realisation of a feverish dream

Dream like: Further enlivening the basic good v bad narrative are some truly spectacular battles, oodles of wit and a glorious episode in a casino that looks like the realisation of a feverish dream

In our seats at Monday’s IMAX screening (do see this film on the biggest screen available) we were certainly being served. Further enlivening the basic good v bad narrative are some truly spectacular battles, oodles of wit and a glorious episode in a casino that looks like the realisation of a feverish dream surreally fusing James Bond with Dr Dolittle.

There’s also a scene-stealing turn from a rascally, stammering Benicio del Toro, and a few fleeting cameos, from Adrian Edmondson and Lily Cole among others, that are fun to spot.

But all this is underpinned by some genuinely profound philosophising about life and death, including a line about the way to win being more about saving those you love than killing those you hate, that felt almost too deep for Star Wars.

The Last Jedi is that very rare thing, a brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster that will deserve every penny of its doubtless immense box-office returns.

One to watch: The Last Jedi is that very rare thing, a brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster that will deserve every penny of its doubtless immense box-office returnsOne to watch: The Last Jedi is that very rare thing, a brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster that will deserve every penny of its doubtless immense box-office returns

One to watch: The Last Jedi is that very rare thing, a brilliantly crafted, intelligent blockbuster that will deserve every penny of its doubtless immense box-office returns

Lure of the Dark Side: Questions remain over whether Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) will face justice for murdering his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford)Lure of the Dark Side: Questions remain over whether Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) will face justice for murdering his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford)

Lure of the Dark Side: Questions remain over whether Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver) will face justice for murdering his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford)

Fighter: John Boyega will return as Resistance Fighter Finn in the new filmFighter: John Boyega will return as Resistance Fighter Finn in the new film

Fighter: John Boyega will return as Resistance Fighter Finn in the new film

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Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative

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In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.

The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.

But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.

So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?

‘Just paperwork’

Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.

Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.

The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.

Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.

Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.

Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.

Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.

It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.

“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”

But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.

Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.

But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.

It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.

Critics push for investigation

Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.

But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.

And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.

Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.

Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.

“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.

“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”

The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.

Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.

And she says the same transparency is needed here.

The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them

The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.

“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.

“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”

PM defends governor-general

Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.

“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”

Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.

“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.

“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”

A role fit for purpose?

Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.

She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.

“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”

Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.

“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.

“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”

But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.

“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”

 

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62683210

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Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

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A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

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Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

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