Boris Johnson ‘letting Britons financially drown’ as inflation soars – follow latest

Boris Johnson ‘letting Britons financially drown’ as inflation soars – follow latest
Starmer says PM certain to U-turn on levying energy company profits

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Liz Truss says ‘high-paid jobs’ answer to cost of living crisis

As the cost of living crisis deepens, Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has accused the government of being willing to sit and watch people “financially drown”.

With inflation soaring to its highest level in 40 years, Sir Keir Starmer used PMQs to repeatedly ask Boris Johnson to commit to a windfall tax on the massive profits of energy companies.

The Labour leader claimed that after having “dithered” on the policy, the prime minister will end up supporting it in an “inevitable U-turn”.

Meanwhile, a Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault over historic allegations was released on bail.

The unnamed MP, who is in his fifties, was asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation is ongoing. Liz Truss said she was “very, very concerned about the reports.”

The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of “Pestminster” allegations against sitting MPs – which led Tory MP Neil Parish to resign for watching porn in parliament.


‘Gap in the process’ at Westminster favours accused over safeguarding, Jess Phillips says

There is a “gap in the process” at Westminster which favours those accused of wrongdoing over the safeguarding of others, Labour’s Jess Phillips has warned.

The shadow home office minister’s comments come after a Tory MP – who has been told to stay away from Westminster but has not had the whip suspended – was bailed pending further inquiries into allegations of rape and sexual assault offences.

Ms Phillips told BBC Radio 4: “There is just a gap in the process here that currently, in my view, favours … the individual who is accused, charged or convicted against the balance of the safeguarding and safety of the other 6,000 people who work here and in fact their constituents as well.

“The reality is … the Speaker of the House of Commons can only ask this person not to come here. That’s it. The system of honour in Parliament is at a sort of fault line, it seems, when at the moment so many of the things that we rely on, just relying on people’s good nature, it simply isn’t good enough, is it?”

She said if she were a constituent, she may feel she had a “right to know” if such allegations concerned her MP, but warned against “trial by media”.

Andy Gregory18 May 2022 17:22

Rishi Sunak to tell businesses ‘we are on your side’

Rishi Sunak is set to tell businesses “we are on your side”, while claiming that he stands “ready to do more” to help families weather the cost of living crisis.

In a speech this evening at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual dinner, the chancellor will call on businesses to “invest, train and innovate more” to help boost productivity and improve the long-term prosperity of the UK.

He is expected to outline a three-point plan to help with the cost of living, boost growth and invest to deliver long-term prosperity, and will say: “In the autumn Budget we will cut your taxes to encourage you to do all those things. That is the path to higher productivity, higher living standards, and a more prosperous and secure future.

“Our role in government is to cut costs for families. I cannot pretend this will be easy. The next few months will be tough, but where we can act, we will.

“We have provided £22bn of direct support, and we are going further. In October, we’re cutting energy bills by a further £200. In just a few weeks’ time, the national insurance threshold will increase to £12,500.

“That’s a £6bn tax cut for working people, and of course as the situation evolves our response will evolve. I have always been clear, we stand ready to do more.”

Andy Gregory18 May 2022 16:59

DUP ‘foolish’ to trust UK government after it threw them ‘under the bus’, Sinn Fein says

The DUP would be “foolish” to trust Boris Johnson’s government on the Northern Ireland Protocol given the number of times it has thrown the party “under the bus” over Brexit, Sinn Fein’s vice president has warned.

Welcoming Liz Truss’s controversial announcement yesterday that she will legislate to override parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty, the DUP has said it will adopt a “graduated and cautious” approach to re-engaging with the devolved institutions at Stormont – which it had refused to do in protest over the protocol – depending on the progress of the UK government’s legislation.

But Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill warned Sir Jeffrey Donaldson that his party had previously been burned by promises from this Conservative government, whom she accused of “pandering to the DUP”, whose boycott of powersharing she said was “punishing” constituents suffering in the cost of living crisis.

“They’ve delivered us the hardest possible Brexit along with the Tories and now they’re punishing everybody out there in the public that’s worried about heating their homes and putting food on their table by staying out of the executive. That is not acceptable,” Ms O’Neill said.

“I think that the British government, the Tories, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss should spend all of their energies trying to find an agreed way forward,” she said, adding that “what the business community here want is certainty and stability” and telling Mr Johnson to “get on with trying to find an agreed way forward, make the protocol work, smooth its implementation”.

“That’s where all their efforts and energies need to be instead of this sabre-rattling, this ideological battle which they have with the European project, and then we’re caught out in the middle here as a people,” she added.

Andy Gregory18 May 2022 16:49

United Nations goals to fight poverty and injustice ‘missing’ from Liz Truss’s aid strategy

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:

Flagship United Nations goals to fight extreme poverty and injustice in poor countries have been left out of a new UK overseas aid strategy, triggering fresh criticism of Liz Truss.

The 2015 blueprint – committing countries to stamp out hunger, provide clean water and quality education and tackle gender inequality – is meant to be “fully embedded in planned activity of each government department”.

But the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are mentioned only once in the foreign secretary’s new 30-page strategy, and only to state that the UK “support achieving” the ambitions.

Quizzed by the international development committee, Ms Truss was told the omission is “astonishing” and asked if she is “a bit embarrassed” by the “one fleeting reference” to the UN-agreed targets.

But she argued: “I don’t think you can judge the importance of a particular issue by the number of times it is mentioned”, claiming that the goals are “baked into all the work we do”.

UN goals to fight poverty and injustice ‘missing’ from Liz Truss’s aid strategy

The 2015 blueprint – agreed by 195 nations – is meant to be ’fully embedded in planned activity of each department‘

Andy Gregory18 May 2022 16:28

UK foreign secretary ‘concerned’ authoritarian regimes using mercenaries

UK foreign secretary ‘concerned’ authoritarian regimes using mercenaries
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 16:16

Liz Truss claimed only Irish people to be hit by Brexit would be ‘a few farmers with turnips’, says ex-diplomat

Cabinet minister Liz Truss once claimed that the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Ireland would only affect “a few farmers with turnips in their trucks”, a former UK diplomat has claimed.

Alexandra Hall Hall resigned her diplomatic role in the US in 2019 – saying she no longer wished to “peddle half-truths” on behalf of leaders she did not “trust”.

Responding to the foreign secretary’s plan to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Ms Hall Hall said she was “so pleased to see Liz Truss become a genuine expert on Irish matters”.

Read more here:

Truss accused of making ‘turnip farmers’ Brexit remark about Ireland

Former official says minister made dismissive remark during US visit

Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 15:57

Boris Johnson-Keir Starmer: Full exchange on cost of living crisis

Boris Johnson-Keir Starmer: Full exchange on cost of living crisis
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 15:29

The government is willing to watch people ‘financially drown’, says shadow chancellor

Moving Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech, the shadow chancellor said: “We meet today when inflation has hit its highest level for 40 years. Every pound that people had last year can only purchase 91 pence worth of goods today. That’s what inflation of 9 per cent means. Our country had a cost-of-living crisis and a growth crisis, prices rising, growth downgraded and no plan for the future.

“None of this though, is inevitable. It is a consequence of Conservative decisions and the direction that they have taken our economy in over the last 12 years. This government is increasingly a rudderless ship heading to the rocks, while it is willing to watch people financially drown in the process.”

She added: “Where is the urgency? Where is the action? Because the time to change course is now. We need an emergency budget to deal with the inadequacy of the Chancellor’s spring statement, with a windfall tax to help get bills down and help families and pensioners weather this storm.

“On the day that inflation has reached a 40-year-high, the Chancellor is missing in action.”

Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 15:10

Jamaican deportation flight takes off with just seven people aboard

A deportation flight to Jamaica left the UK with seven people on board after dozens of others were granted a last-minute legal reprieve, it has been estimated.

The charter flight, which was initially due to carry 112 people, is understood to have taken off in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Campaigners had been trying to halt the flight amid concerns over the legality of the government’s attempt to remove Jamaica nationals from the country, following claims that the majority of people came to the UK at a very young age and some may have a right to British citizenship.

Read more here:

Jamaican deportation flight takes off with just seven people aboard

The charter flight, which was initially due to carry 112 people, is understood to have taken off in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 14:51

Women in hazmat suits surround Parliament to offer ‘Pestminster Control’ services

Following the shocking news that an unnamed Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, campaigners from the Women’s Equality Party, dressed as pest controllers, lined the entrance to Parliament to highlight the shocking number of MPs facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

Launching the action just ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions, activists handed out leaflets which read: ‘WANTED – have you seen this MP? Last seen in Parliament.

Beware, alleged rapist making laws.’ The picture on the leaflet was left blank to highlight the fact that the alleged rapist could be any number of MPs and that people are being put at risk.

Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 14:32