Boris Johnson and Macron fail to discuss migrant crossings at G7 – live

Boris Johnson and Macron fail to discuss migrant crossings at G7 - live
The war in Ukraine is at ‘forefront of both of their minds,’ Downing Street said

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Boris Johnson rules out ‘psychological transformation’ to change his character

At the G7 summit, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron failed to discuss the subject of thousands of migrants risking their lives to cross the English Channel.

The British and French leaders met at the summit in Germany’s Bavarian Alps, where they spoke about geopolitical crises such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But they did not address the situation which has seen more than 12,000 people cross the Channel so far this year.

When asked why the boat crossings weren’t discussed, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “There are very significant issues of geopolitical concern to discuss, not least the crisis in Ukraine.

“They have talked about those issues previously and I’m sure they will again. But, obviously, on the eve of the G7, that’s pretty much, I’m sure, at the forefront of both of their minds.”

Mr Johnson is expected to use the G7 to urge France and Germany to provide more military support to Ukraine.

Back in the UK, he remains under pressure after a series of scandals and two damaging by-election losses.


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Hello and welcome to Sunday’s politics blog bringing you the latest news and analysis from the heart of Westminster.

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 07:23

Boris Johnson aiming to stay in Downing Street until 2030s

Boris Johnson has said he is planning to be prime minister into the 2030s despite Conservative critics plotting to oust him after voters rejected the Tories in a double by-election defeat.

Mr Johnson insisted he was “thinking actively” about fighting the next two general elections to become the longest-serving post-war leader.

He urged Tory MPs plotting to oust him not to focus on the issues he has “stuffed up” after his authority was further diminished by a Cabinet resignation.

Mr Johnson earlier insisted the “endless churn” of allegations was “driving people nuts”, as he pushed on with his Rwanda trip despite suggestions further ministerial resignations could follow.

Oliver Dowden resigned as Tory party co-chairman, saying he and Conservative supporters were “distressed and disappointed by recent events” and telling the Prime Minister that “someone must take responsibility”.

But Mr Johnson set his sights on being in office in the “mid 2030s”, in a run that would see him outlast Margaret Thatcher’s reign.

Asked by journalists at the British high commissioner’s residence in Kigali if he would lead his party into the next election, he said: “Will I win? Yes.”

In a buoyant mood, the Prime Minister added: “At the moment I’m actively thinking about the third term and what could happen then, but I will review that when I get to it.”

Labour, meanwhile, challenged the Tories to call an early election, with leader Sir Keir Starmer telling Mr Johnson: “Bring it on.”

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 07:31

Johnson’s 2030 ambition branded ‘delusional’

Backlash to Boris Johnson ambitions to stay in power for another decade has been swift.

One unnamed ex-cabinet minister told The Observer the Prime Minister was “completely delusional”, while a Red Wall MP told the newspaper he was “showing increasing signs of a bunker mentality, and that never ends well.”

It comes after a defiant interview with the Prime Minister on Saturday, in which he said criticism from rebels ‘didn’t matter’ and he had no plans to change.

<p>Boris Johnson is attending the G7 on Sunday </p>

Boris Johnson is attending the G7 on Sunday

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 07:39

Boris Johnson rules out ‘psychological transformation’ to change his character

Boris Johnson rules out ‘psychological transformation’ to change his character
Joe Middleton26 June 2022 08:00

UK and allies to ban Russian gold in order to ‘strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine’

The UK, US, Canada and Japan will ban imports of Russian gold in the latest stage of the effort to cripple Russia’s economy in response to the war in Ukraine.

Gold exports were worth £12.6 billion to Russia in 2021 and its importance has increased since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as oligarchs have rushed to buy bullion to avoid the impact of sanctions, Downing Street said.

Officials believe that because London is a major gold-trading hub, UK sanctions will have a huge impact on Mr Putin’s ability to raise funds to finance his war effort.

Boris Johnson confirmed the move as he arrived at the G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany.

He said: “The measures we have announced today will directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine.

“Putin is squandering his dwindling resources on this pointless and barbaric war. He is bankrolling his ego at the expense of both the Ukrainian and Russian people.

“We need to starve the Putin regime of its funding. The UK and our allies are doing just that.”

Legislation to implement the ban will be introduced in Parliament in the coming weeks. The prohibition will apply to newly mined or refined gold.

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 08:12

Government ‘misleading’ over role in rail strikes, suggests legal advice

The government is being accused of “misleading” the public by insisting it does not have a role in negotiations to resolve the bitter rail dispute.

The TUC said an independent legal opinion undermined the government’s claims that the dispute is just between the train operators and unions.

The union organisation said the legal opinion it has received clarifies that the contracts between rail operators and Government allow the Government to apply financial sanctions if operators do not follow its directions in the current dispute.

The legal opinion, commissioned by the TUC from Michael Ford QC of Old Square Chambers, advises that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has “very extensive powers” over what can be agreed between rail operators and unions, and “very significant contractual power” to direct how industrial disputes are handled, the TUC said.

Rail operators are not free to agree terms and conditions with their employees without the involvement of the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, according to the advice.

The legal advice given to the TUC added that before discussing any changes to pay, terms and conditions, redundancies, or restructuring with rail unions, rail operators must agree a mandate with the Transport Secretary.

However, the Department for Transport said it was “misleading “ to say Mr Shapps should get involved in the talks.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Prime Minister and his Transport Secretary have misled the public.

“When they said the Government has no role in handling this dispute, that’s not true. When they said negotiations are just for the employers and the unions, that’s not right.

“We always believed that Conservative ministers had the power to pull the train companies’ strings, behind the scenes, and this legal opinion on rail contracts confirms it.”

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 08:35

Brandon Lewis praises PM’s ‘zest’

Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has come out in support of the beleagured prime minister.

He told Trevor Phillips on Ridge on Sunday that Boris Johnson has “proven that time and again, when you’ve written him off”.

Mr Lewis added that the prime minister had a real “zest” for the job and had long term plans to make the country better

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 08:40

Brandon Lewis agrees Tories had ‘a bad set of results’ in by-elections

Brandon Lewis agreed that the Tories had taken a major beating in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election, saying the party suffered “a bad set of results”.

But he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme “that does happen sometimes mid-term” and it has been proven “time and again” that you cannot extrapolate a by-election outcome into a general election result.

Asked by Trevor Phillips, who is standing in for Ridge this week, if he agreed the Conservatives had taken a major beating in Tiverton and Honiton, Mr Lewis said: “Yeah, they were a bad set of results for us. That does happen sometimes mid-term. There’s no denying it was a set of results we’ve got to look carefully at and learn from.”

He added: “What we’ve got to do, as has happened before, where we’ve seen by-election results go one way and then a following general election go a very different way, you can’t extrapolate… a by-election result into a general election result.

“It’s been proven time and again to not work that way.”

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 09:01

UN plan to get grain out of Ukraine doomed to fail, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson said the United Nations’ plan to get the grain out of Ukraine is a “non-starter” because Vladimir Putin will continue to use food supply as a bargaining chip to ease sanctions.

The prime minister argued that allies need to now consider “plan B”, as he pledged British expertise to help de-mine the Black Sea and provide further weapons.

Mr Johnson wants to offer insurance for commercial vessels to help free the 23 million tonnes of grain trapped by the Russian president’s blockade.

Adam Forrest reports.

UN plan to get grain out of Ukraine doomed to fail, says Boris Johnson

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has compromised world food supplies.

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 09:18

Boris Johnson to urge France and Germany to provide more military support to Ukraine at G7

Boris Johnson will use G7 and Nato summits to urge France and Germany to provide more military support to Ukraine and warn them against any attempt to push president Volodymyr Zelensky into a “bad” peace deal.

This week’s conferences in Germany and Spain offer the beleaguered prime minister – battling to stave off a new leadership challenge at home – the chance to talk about strong British backing for Kyiv.

Mr Johnson said he is not worried about rebel Tory MPs plotting to oust him while he is out of the country until Thursday – rejecting calls to come home and reassert his authority following disastrous by-election defeats.

Adam Forrest reports.

Johnson to urge France and Germany to provide more military support to Ukraine at G7

PM will use G7 and Nato summits to urge tougher action on Russia, warning against any move towards ‘bad peace’

Joe Middleton26 June 2022 10:14