Blog: Brexit news – live: Minister defends Cameron lobbying, as Sturgeon says Salmond must apologise to women – The Independent

Today’s daily politics briefing

David Cameron did “absolutely nothing wrong” by lobbying the Treasury on behalf of his employer Greensill Capital, a Tory minister has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng’s defence of the former Tory leader comes after Labour called for an inquiry into his relationship with the scandal-hit bank.

This follows a report in the Sunday Times suggesting that its owner Lex Greensill had “privileged access” to government departments during Mr Cameron’s time in Downing Street.

Labour has suggested that his company Greensill would not have recently collapsed, putting thousands of steel jobs at risk, if the Tories had backed its proposed changes to the Lobbying Act in 2014.

Speaking on Monday, Keir Starmer said “there’s got to be an inquiry, we need to get to the bottom of what happened, who spoke to who and what effect did it have”.

Up in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said she could only consider working with her predecessor Alex Salmond if he apologised to the women “he behaved inappropriately towards” during his time in office.

In an interview with the Daily Record, the first minister added that Mr Salmond had returned to Scottish politics not to advance the independence cause but rather because he “loves the limelight”.

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The latest news on Brexit, politics and beyond direct to your inbox every weekday


Morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling politics coverage. 

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 08:02


Labour urges inquiry into David Cameron’s relationship with Greensill

Labour has called for an inquiry into former prime minister David Cameron’s links to the collapsed financial services firm Greensill Capital.

Keir Starmer said “we need to get to the bottom of what happened, who spoke to who and what effect did it have”, following allegations that Lex Greensill was given “privileged access” to government during his friend Mr Cameron’s time in No 10.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:

Labour says PM wrote rules that he now benefits from

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 08:08


Minister says former PM did ‘absolutely nothing wrong’ over Greensill lobbying

David Cameron did “absolutely nothing wrong” by lobbying the Treasury for state-backed loans for his employer Greensill Capital, a Tory minister has said.

Greensill later collapsed, leaving thousands of steel jobs at risk.

Kwasi Kwarteng defended Mr Cameron on Tuesday against Labour’s calls for an inquiry, claiming that a lack of transparency was “not a problem in this case”.

Greensill Capital later collapsed, leaving taxpayer potentially on the hook for loans

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 08:21


Starmer to campaign in Hartlepool on Tuesday

Labour leader Keir Starmer will travel to Hartlepool on Tuesday to lend his support to Paul Williams, his party’s candidate in the upcoming by-election there.

The vote on 6 May will be a litmus test  for the strength of the party in its former industrial heartlands, following the collapse of the so-called “red wall” in the last general election.

Mike Hill, the Hartlepool Labour MP who left parliament earlier this month, was first elected with a majority of 7,650 in 2017. However, this margin shrank to 3,600 votes in 2019.

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 08:40


Thousands of European children in UK face care ‘cliff edge’

Thousands of European children living in care in the UK face being left with no legal post-Brexit status, the Children’s Society has warned.

The warning comes after it was revealed that 2,500 EU nationals in the children’s care system – around 28 per cent – have not been granted settled status yet.

Mark Russell, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said: “No child should ever have to face the uncertainty and limbo that comes with being undocumented but it seems thousands of EU children, who are supposed to be in the care of their local authority, could very soon face this cliff edge. This is simply unacceptable.”

Our social affairs correspondent May Bulman reports:

Three-quarters of EU nationals in local authority care yet to be granted settled status, figures show

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 09:00


No 10 says PM acted with ‘honesty and integrity’ amid Arcuri claims

Boris Johnson’s press secretary has maintained that he conducted himself with “honesty and integrity” in his relations with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri during his time as London mayor.

Ms Arcuri, who recently made fresh allegations about the pair’s supposed four-year affair, went on three taxpayer-funded trade missions with Mr Johnson and her companies received £126,000 in public funding.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has the details:

Greater London Authority to look into whether former mayor acted with honesty and integrity

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 09:20


Inside Politics

In our daily politics round-up, Adam Forrest looks at the return of Barnard Castle into public view.

Last year, the County Durham town became forever linked to Dominic Cummings’ lockdown-breaching escapades. Now, it will be where millions of doses of the Novavax vaccine are bottled after they are manufactured in Stockton-on-Tees.

Agreement with US giant to produce jab in UK is sure to raise eyebrows in Brussels, writes Adam Forrest

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 09:40


David Lammy praised for handling of radio caller

David Lammy has been widely praised for his handling of a radio caller on LBC who told him he was African-Caribbean and not English.

The Labour MP gave a short history of British colonialism before saying “it’s a myth there’s one English ethnicity” and adding that he is English since he grew up in England and had its sensibilities.

Following the exchange, Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, tweeted that it was “disgraceful” how black Britons are made to justify their Britishness or Englishness.

“Solidarity with David Lammy who dealt with this impeccably. David is just as British or English as I am and he’s the best of Britain and the best of England,” she wrote.

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 10:00


Opportunities missed to tackle sex abuse in schools, MPs say

An opportunity to root out sex abuse in schools was missed after an urgent report on the issue five years ago, MPs have warned.

Their message comes after more than 9,000 young people gave testimony to the Everyone’s Invited website about their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse at school.

Report warned five years ago of need for ‘urgent’ action on levels of harassment by pupils

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 10:20


Ten EU countries ban post-Brexit extraditions to UK

Ten EU member states have confirmed they will no longer extradite their citizens to the UK following Brexit, according to the Home Office.

This was a policy required by the European Arrest Warrant, which the UK left at the end of the transition period.

Countries including France, Germany, Poland and Sweden will no longer send citizens wanted in connection with crimes to the UK to stand trial.

The Home Office said states would have to refer the cases to their own prosecution services if extradition was refused.

Rory Sullivan30 March 2021 10:40

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