It starts with local elections, where the expectation is that both the Conservatives and Labour will be punished for their involvement in Brexit both by Leave and Remain voters.
May also signifies the start of Brighton Fringe, and Voice is proud to once more be the official Youth Media Partner. By the time this gets published we will already be down there reviewing shows on the hunt for the Best Newcomer of 2019.
Elsewhere on the site we are focusing on equality and inclusivity in society and the arts - and we want your stories! We already have great pieces lined up looking at the pricing of theatre tickets, travel, the gender disparity in Hollywood directors and lots more! If you have your own stories of inequality, or perhaps are working on a project that is looking to promote inclusivity, we would love to hear about it.
Local elections see big win for LibDems
The results are still coming in but it looks as though the electorate are lashing out at the two largest parties for their continued fudging of the Brexit issue. The Conservatives have been the largest losers -759 councillors at the current count - although in part that was to be expected as they are the current ruling party. Labour however have also seen loses of 81 councillors, which is more of a surprise as they were expected to make gains.
The biggest winners have been the Liberal Democrats, who have gained 452 seats. The Greens have also had their best ever local elections, gaining 112 seats so far.
These results have been subject to interpretation, largely depending on the party’s current position on Brexit. The Conservatives and Labour are viewing the results as people sick of waiting for Brexit, and sending a message that they want MP’s to sort it out. However, the Liberal Democrats and those in support of a People’s Vote are saying that the bolster in support for Remain/second referendum parties shows that the will of the people has changed.
Photo: Tom Inniss
Parliament declares a climate change emergencyParliament has passed a motion declaring an environment and climate emergency. The motion, submitted by Labour, shows that the House of Commons takes the threat of climate change seriously, but it crucially does not compel the government to take any action. A declaration of a climate emergency was one of the three demands made by Extinction Rebellion during their disruptive protests over Easter.
A number of towns and cities have already declared an emergency, but the actual definition of the climate change emergency is unclear. The general consensus appears to be that a commitment needs to be made to introduce greener policies. The motion also asked the Government to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and introduce a “zero-waste economy” within six months.
Photo: Julia Hawkins
Gavin Williamson sacked as defence secretary
Gavin Williamson was sacked this week following leaks from a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC). The leak referred to the decision to allow Huawei a role in building out the 5G network, something that has subsequently caused tensions with the US.
Leaking in general is potentially career ending if caught, but leaking details from an NSC meeting potentially criminal charges under the Official Secrets Act. Despite sacking Mr Williamson for the leak, Theresa May has said she considers the matter closed and would not be pursuing a police investigation. This has received significant pushback from members of Parliament. Mr Williamson strenuously denies the accusation, claiming that he is the victim of a “kangaroo court”.
Penny Mordaunt replaces him, and becomes the first female defence secretary.
Photo: Number 10
Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in jail
Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in a British jail for breaching bail, following his eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy where he had been granted asylum status seven years ago. On Thursday he had an extradition hearing over charges he faces in the US regarding Wikileaks’ publishing of thousands of secret military documents obtained by Chelsea Manning.
Assange had his asylum status revoked on 11 April due to continued violations of rules and disregard of international law. Assange first took asylum over extradition fears to the US. He was originally on bail following an international arrest warrant issued by Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Breaching bail in the UK comes with a maximum of a one year jail sentence. Experts believe that the US extradition fight could take years.
Avengers Endgame breaks box office records
Disney’s hotly anticipated Avengers: Endgame has smashed box office records, reaching $1 billion worldwide in an unprecedented 5 days, a record previously held Avengers: Infinity War (11 days). Endgame also has the record for the biggest opening weekend in history for the USA ($350 million) and the biggest opening weekend for a foreign film in China ($329 million). With this, Disney’s domination of the box office continues.
Looking back at film in April
Tayo has summarised the biggest events that happened in film in April, and it’s scary just how much of it is Disney. You would assume they were content with launching the biggest film in box office history, but in addition to that they also flexed their IP chops by showcasing their new streaming platform, Disney+. It pulls across franchises from across the Disney portfolio, including Marvel films and spinoff TV shows and every episode of The Simpsons. To some, that alone might already be enough to pay the $6.99 a month, but given that Disney owns 27% of the film industry you can be sure that more will be on the way.
There were also new film trailers, and an update on the WGA/ATA dispute that could radically change how Hollywood operates.
Source: Voice | Photo: IMDB
Looking back at theatre in April
It wasn’t a quiet month for theatre either, what with the prestigious Olivier Awards taking place at the start of the month. Plans for a new immersive theatre have been announced in London that features a 360-degree set and 1,100 seats. Emilia has been getting everyone excited - and one watcher was so inspired he set up a crowdfunding campaign that raised enough money to send 60 young women to see the show. There was also a scandalous story involving £273,000 of stolen theatre funds!
Source: Voice | Photo: SOLT UK
Looking back at music in April
Finally, but by no means least, we have Sophie’s roundup of the biggest happenings in music throughout April. Beyonce’s highly anticipated ‘Homecoming’ documentary launched on Netflix, and the previously Apple Music exclusive album Lemonade is now available on all streaming platforms. Lewis Capaldi announced his debut arena tour but it comes with a difference - he is taking special measures to make the shows more accessible to those with mental health conditions.
Source: Voice | Photo: Mark Kent