Sue Gray report expected to be published soon as Metropolitan Police investigation ends
A leading expert on Covid laws has questioned the “inconsistency” of the Metropolitan Police fines handed out to Downing Street staff while 鲍里斯·约翰逊 escaped further punishment.
Scotland Yard announced 126 fines had been given out over eight events as its 派对之门 probe came to an end.
Both the prime minister and his wife Carrie Johnson previously received £50 fixed penalty notices in relation to a 56th birthday party held for Mr Johnson in the Cabinet Room in June 2020.
But the PM’s official spokesperson confirmed Mr Johnson had been told by police he would receive no further penalties, 和 独立 understands the same assurance has been given to Ms johnson.
Junior staff at No 10 are reportedly angry at being given fixed penalty notices – in some cases receiving multiple fines – while the PM and other senior figures avoided fresh action.
Describing the outcome of the Partygate inquiry as a “bit odd”, barrister Adam Wagner said it appeared that Mr Johnson had avoided fines despite attending illegal leaving drink events.
Nadine Dorries tackled on ‘sham’ BBC funding review by senior Tory MP
A senior Tory MP has described a forthcoming review into BBC funding as a “sham”, as Nadine Dorries called the licence fee a “regressive tax” which penalises women and poorer people (Ashley Cowburn writes).
It comes after the culture secretary unveiled a two-year freeze to the organisation’s licence fee in January, with a review to be launched before the summer recess to examine alternatives.
Appearing at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, Ms Dorries told MPs people needed to “wake up and smell the coffee”, insisting it was time for a model that is “more effective, modern and fair”.
The cabinet minister labelled the existing licence fee a “regressive tax and it does penalise women and the poor more than it does others”, adding it was “antediluvian” to suggest it was still appropriate now.
But Damian Green, the former de facto deputy prime minister under Theresa May, suggested it was “the wrong way round” for the minister to come to a decision before launching a consultation.
Culture secretary describes licence fee as ‘regressive tax’
Levelling up schools plan ‘won’t attract top academies’
High-performing multi-academy trusts (MATs) would not want to take on schools in the 55 education investment areas identified by the levelling up paper because the areas are too risky, a leading economist has said.
Earlier this year the government identified 55 education “cold spots” in England that are set to be targeted with investment for the next 10 年. In that same period, the government aims to have all schools academised, or planning to join an MAT.
Lord Jim O’Neill, vice-chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said the best MATs “would not dream of going anywhere in the North, because it’s too hot.
“It’s a bit like venture capital – people that invest go into venture capital, where you might risk losing all your money.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, refuted Mr O’Neill’s remarks, 说: “Many MATs have an excellent track record of working with and supporting schools in all sorts of contexts.”
派对之门: 政府集会和 Covid 罚款的完整时间表
Alastair Jamieson 和 Lizzie Dearden have drawn up a detailed list of all 16 events investigated by Sue Gray.
The Partygate events date from 15 可能 2020 至 16 四月 2021 and all took place in times when lockdown restrictions were in place.
See the full list here:
All the events under scrunity since scandal began
Homes for Ukraine scheme could be made permanent
The Homes for Ukraine scheme could become a model for dealing with future refugee crises, the minister in charge has said, but frustrations remain on the Ukrainian side.
Lord Harrington, who was drafted in to run the refugee scheme in March 2022, told an audience in Westminster today: “My vision is for this system to be a permanent part of government, so that when refugee crises happen – and unfortunately they do all the time – we have a machinery.
他加了: “We’ve got lots of goodwill, we’ve got this machinery of government in place – it’s not perfect but it’s improving day by day – and I hope it will become a permanent part of how this country deals with refugees.”
UK threat of unilateral action over Northern Ireland could ‘nix’ Brexit agreement, EU ambassador warns
The EU’s Brexit negotiators have been given a firm instruction from the 27 member states that there can be no change in their mandate and no renegotiation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Brussels’ ambassador to London has revealed.
João Vale de Almeida said no “credible alternative” to the protocol had been identified and warned that unilateral UK action to override it could “nix” the agreement altogether.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the full story:
EU member states firm in refusal to renegotiate Boris Johnson’s protocol
EU ambassador warns unilateral action over Northern Ireland Protocol will provoke response from Brussels
The EU’s ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida warned unilateral action by Boris Johnson’s government over the Northern Ireland Protocol would provoke a response from Brussels.
“There is still potential in the proposals that we’ve made, we would like to focus on that instead of going unilateral,” 他说.
“Unilateral calls for unilateral. Action calls for reaction.
“And is that what we want, an escalation around Northern Ireland at this present point in time? I don’t think so.”
Starmer condemns ‘industrial scale lawbreaking’ at No 10
Sir Keir Starmer is standing by his call for Boris Johnson to resign, as he condemned the PM for setting a culture of “industrial-scale law-breaking” in No 10.
The Labour leader told reporters in Leeds: “What I want to see now is the full Sue Gray report published, there’s no further hiding places for the prime minister on that.”
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said it “beggars belief that Conservative MPs are allowing our great country to be run by a prime minister who broke the law then repeatedly lied about it”.
Time to ‘move on’ from Partygate, says Home Office minister
Home Office minister Kit Malthouse has said it is time to “move on” from Partygate.
“I’m pleased that it’s done, thankful to the police for conducting themselves efficiently,” he told the BBC’s World at One.
“I hope now we can now move on to the really pressing issues.”
Asked if understood why the PM received only one fine, Malthouse said: “You’d have to discuss that with the police. My job is to look at the results and be relieved that it’s done, and get on with the really important stuff that we need to focus on.”
同时, environment secretary George Eustice told the BBC: “The prime minister has apologised for everything that’s happened at No 10.
“Obviously there’s been a very thorough investigation and rightly so. There were failings, and we acknowledge that. We acknowledge the angry that some people will feel.”
法律专家质疑初中学生的“奇怪”罚款 10 PM逃跑时的工作人员
A leading expert on Covid laws has questioned the “inconsistency” of the Metropolitan Police fines handed out to Downing Street staff while Boris Johnson escaped further punishment.
Junior staff at No 10 are reportedly angry at being given fixed penalty notices – in some cases receiving multiple fines – while the PM and other senior figures avoided fresh action from Scotland Yard.
My colleague Adam Forrest has the full story:
Staff entitled to feel ‘pretty peeved’ at inconsistency, says Adam Wagner
Police ‘rightly able to use their discretion’ over shoplifters stealing food out of desperation, 说不 10
Downing Street said the law does need to be enforced, but police officers are “rightly able to use their discretion”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman was asked for Boris Johnson’s view on officers turning a blind eye to shoplifters stealing food out of desperation, after a police watchdog suggested discretion should be used during the cost-of-living crisis.
He replied: “I think that the police minister talked about this this morning. Obviously the law does need to be enforced. At the same time police officers are rightly able to use their discretion.”
Beyond that, he said he would not seek to say anything that could be perceived as treading on the police’s operational independence.
Pressed on whether that meant police should be able to turn a blind eye in some cases, 他说: “I’m just talking in broad terms about the long-standing principle where police officers are able to use discretion.
“But I think you’ll know the policing minister challenged the premise of this question this morning … the financial pressures people (是) facing don’t necessarily mean they are going to turn to crime.”