Labour’s Harriet Harman confirmed as chair as Commons probe gets underway
Harriet Harman has been confirmed as the lead on a Commmons probe into Covid lawbreaking parties in Downing Street during lockdown.
Earlier, Dominic Raab ruled out enshrining women’s right to abortion in law, as he stood in for Boris Johnson at prime minister’s questions.
Mr Raab, the deputy PM and justice minister, said the legality of abortion in the UK was settled, when he was asked to support an amendment on the issue to his proposed Bill of Rights.
He was filling in for the prime minister, who is at the Nato summit in Madrid.
John Rentoul: Up against a winking Dominic Raab, Angela Rayner was the serious politician
If you want politics as entertainment, the Angela versus Dominic show was an improvement on the usual Prime Minister’s Questions, although the secret of good comedy is ruthless editing, and both sides could have done with a good editor, writes John Rentoul.
Labour’s deputy leader won the battle of the stand-ins at Prime Minister’s Questions, writes John Rentoul
Putin ‘proved completely wrong’ about Nato strength – PM
Prime minister Boris Johnson said Vladimir Putin had been proved “completely wrong” about the strength of the Nato alliance, which is set to expand to include Sweden and Finland after they ended decades of neutrality over concerns about Russia.
Mr Johnson met the leaders of the rwo Nordic countries to congratulate them on moving a step closer to Nato membership after Turkey dropped its objections.
He said: “The first lesson really from today is that if Vladimir Putin was hoping he would be getting less Nato on his western front as a result of his unprovoked, illegal invasion of Ukraine, he’s been proved completely wrong, he’s getting more Nato.”
Watch: Dominic Raab refuses to add women’s right to choose on abortion to Bill of Rights
Images capture Queen Elizabeth II receiving first minister Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week.
Minister attacks Khan over Met – but most forces in special measures have Tory PCCs
Kit Malthouse suggested that, as police and crime commissioner (PCC) for the force, the mayor of London should “consider his position”.
But four of the six police forces currently in special measures have Conservative PCCs.
The Indepedent’s home affairs editor Lizzie Dearden reports:
Kit Malthouse suggests the mayor of London should ‘consider his position’
Nordic Nato invitations a ‘great step forward’ – PM
Boris Johnson has described the invitation granted to two Nordic countries to join Nato a “great step forward” for the military alliance, No 10 says.
Following a meeting with Swedish prime minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish president Sauli Niinisto at the Nato summit in Madrid, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister reiterated his staunch support for Sweden and Finland’s Nato membership aspirations.
“He described their accession as a great step forward for Nato and welcomed the progress made since his visits to Sweden and Finland last month.
“The prime minister said that the membership of two more pro-peace democracies will permanently strengthen our defensive alliance, helping to keep us all safe.
“The prime minister updated on his recent visit to Kyiv. The leaders discussed the need to oppose Russian threats and intimidation in all its guises.
“That includes by ensuring that the people of Ukraine have the tools they need to turn the tide in Putin’s futile war of aggression – they agreed that (Vladimir) Putin is offering Ukraine no other option.”
Downing Street staff told they can give evidence anonymously to PM ‘lies’ probe
No 10 staff have been told they will be able to submit evidence anonymously to the committee investigating whether Boris Johnson lied to the Commons over Partygate.
Subject to Privileges Committee chair Harriet Harman being able to identify the individuals in discussions with committee staff, the panel determined it would be willing to take written or oral evidence from people who wish to remain anonymous.
The MPs gave until 29 July for witnesses and evidence to come forward, saying it can be submitted to the committee website.
Harriet Harman will lead probe into whether PM misled parliament on Partygate
Labour grandee Harriet Harman has been selected to lead the Commons investigation into whether Boris Johnson lied to parliament over Partygate.
The privileges committee issued a call for witnesses to come forward with evidence of the prime minister’s knowledge of rule-breaking gatherings in No 10.
Ms Harman, a former acting leader of the Labour Party, was unanimously elected to chair the committee, which will be advised by Sir Ernest Ryder, a former lord justice of appeal.
Our politics editor Andrew Woodcock will have more on this story as it comes in:
Boris Johnson will not face a grilling by the committee investigating whether he lied to Parliament over Downing Street parties until the autumn, it was revealed as the inquiry was formally launched today.
16% of public still believe Brexit is going well, poll finds
A full 16 per cent of the British public still believe Brexit is going well, a new poll has found.
A new survey by pollsters YouGov found a significant majority of people, 54 per cent, think Britain’s EU exit is going badly, with 20 per cent saying neither.
A policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:
Small minority of public still looking on the bright side
More than half of voters support Brexit’s NI protocol
A majority of voters in Northern Ireland support the Brexit protocol, according to a new poll.
Some 55 per cent said they viewed the new trading arrangements as appropriate for managing the impact of being outside of the EU.
Meanwhile, some 53 per cent said, overall the trading arrangements are a “good thing for Northern Ireland.
38 per cent and 37 per cent of respondents respectively are of the opposite view, according to the survey by Lucid Talk and Queens University Belfast.