Weekly Updates

Top 7 at 7am
24th April 2017
1. Vote often

2017 was meant to be a fallow year for elections, but now we’ve on the countdown to the second. Theresa May has seen an opportunity to use Brexit and the low ratings of the Labour party to hold a general election. The snap election has caught many political parties out, having taken the Prime Minister at her word that there would not be an election, and now many sitting MPs are taking this opportunity to stand down.

2. Rate me!

One of those who clearly wasn't in Theresa May’s circle of trust was the NI Secretary of State, James Brokenshire. The member for Old Bexley & Sidcup has given the local parties extra talks time into May, which is a rather unrealistic goal given that Polling Day is the 8th June. So the deadline is now the end of June and today the SoS will move legislation to cover the collection of rates.

3. Pact-man

And as another election kicks off so does the local debate about pacts. Unionist pacts have been used on many occasions, most notably in Fermanagh South Tyrone in recent years, and the UUP have already indicated that they wont stand in a number of constituencies. But there has also been calls for agreed anti-Brexit candidates. With less than seven weeks until the election this week will see a lot of back and forth between parties to see where areas of agreement can be found.

4. See you at CQ

Even though it doesn't seem that long since Out To Lunch helped ease us into the new year, it’s time for the main event: Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. Kicking off on Thursday with acts including Robert Cray, Chip Taylor and Eimear McBride, the festival will host other major names over ten days. We’re particularly looking forward to Woody Woodmansey, Richard Herring, Booker T and the Sugarhill Gang.

5. Fooling around

You may have thought that clowning around was the sole preserve of our local politicians, but if you want to see it done right, then the Festival of Fools is the place to be next weekend. From slapstick and magic to acrobatics and feats of dare that you shouldn't try at home, the streets of Belfast City Centre will be filled with fun.

6. Mid week madness

Football fans will have no shortage of action over the coming weeks as each competition comes towards rather crowded endings. This week the Premier League is catching up on a number of games that have been postponed due to European and FA Cup commitments, and there are a few important games. Leaders Chelsea look to protect their lead against Southampton tomorrow evening, while second place Spurs will hope Chelsea slip up before they take on Crystal Palace on Wednesday. And on Thursday the Manchester derby will see both teams battling to find a spot in next seasons Champions League.

7. Marathon Man

If you’re feeling a little bit tired this morning, still worn down by what ever you may have got up to over the weekend, spare a thought for our very own Brendan Mulgrew. While you were having a lazy Sunday afternoon with the newspapers or watching the football, he was one of thousands running the London Marathon. He did us all proud running a very respectable 3:42:10, and raising money for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

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