Blog: Boris Johnson news – live: No 10 Partygate fines ‘rule-breaking on record scale’ – The Independent

Boris Johnson promises ‘compassion’ to get people through cost of living crisis

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, responding to the Met Police issuing 50 more fines over law-breaking parties in Downing Street, said the government had “now reached a century of fixed penalty notices for their partying”.

She added: “They have racked up the dubious distinction of receiving more fines on the prime minister’s watch than any other location.”

Boris Johnson made the rules, and then broke them at record-breaking scale. Britain deserves better.”

The Met police said today its Operation Hillman team had now recommended 100 fines and the investiagation into 12 separate events is ongoing. The prime minister was not included in today’s round of fines.

It comes as European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said it was “simply not acceptable” for the UK to threaten to unilaterally suspend parts of the Northern Ireland protocol.

In a statement following his call with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Mr Sefcovic said: “It continues to be of serious concern that the UK government intends to embark on the path of unilateral action.”

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Rishi Sunak says he wishes food banks did not exist

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been challenged on Tory MP Lee Anderson’s controversial claim that there is “no massive” need for food banks – just lessons to teach poor families to cook properly.

“Food banks are, I think, a slightly complicated issue,” Sunak told Channel 4 News.

“I don’t want to see food banks. I don’t want people to have to rely on them. And part of my job is to help people so they don’t have to. On the other hand, I commend people’s public spiritedness in providing them to support people.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has ducked a question on Anderson’s comments, telling reporters: “We’ve don’t want to see any kid, any family going hungry … kids going hungry totally unacceptable.”

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 15:24

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The so-called ‘Beergate’ scandal appears to have had very little impact on the public’s opinion of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Durham Police had already confirmed the leader of the opposition had not broken lockdown rules when he was filmed through a window while holding a beer by Ivo Delingpole, the son of former Breitbart London executive editor James Delingpole.

It was then shared by Laurence Fox, the actor who received so few votes that he lost his deposit when he stood as London mayor last year, on social media.

However, police announced it would reinvestigate the case after two weeks of relentless campaigning by rightwing media outlets, including most notably the Daily Mail.

Despite the continued media coverage in Tory-supporting newspapers, the public seems to have not shifted significantly in their view of Sir Keir.

The polling company YouGov tweeted: “Beergate seems to have had no negative impact on Keir Starmer’s reputation. % of Britons who now consider him to be…

“Weak: 43% (no change from mid April) Indecisive: 38% (-3) Dislikeable: 37% (-2) Untrustworthy: 36% (n/c) Incompetent: 32% (n/c)”.

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 15:14

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No 10: Windfall tax ‘not the right approach’

Downing Street has said that neither Boris Johnson nor Chancellor Rishi Sunak believe a windfall tax was the “right approach”, but that it was important to keep all options on the table.

“We do keep options on the table – rightly so,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“But, as the Prime Minister has set out, as the Chancellor has said, we do not think this is the right approach.

“We want these companies that are making profits to make further investments. But we are simply not cutting off options given the circumstances that we find.”

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 14:57

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Trade war would make cost of living crisis worse, says ex-Tory minister

The cost-of-living crisis could get “much worse” if the UK ends up in a trade war with the EU over its plan to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol, according to former Tory minister.

David Gaulke told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme: “I … don’t think we can shy away from the fact that the economic consequences of Brexit are … being felt, and that has contributed to some of the inflationary pressures and is likely to continue to contribute to inflationary pressures.”

He added: “And, of course, we could make things much worse if we end up with a trade war with the European Union.”

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 14:34

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Government urged to stop ‘culture war’ against civil servants

A union leader is calling on the Prime Minister and other members of the Government to stop the “culture war” against civil servants following attacks against their working arrangements.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, which represents senior staff in the service, attacked the Government for “going to war” with the very people he said were delivering its agenda.

Speaking at the union’s annual conference in London, Mr Penman singled out the Minister for Government Efficiency, Jacob Rees-Mogg, for his “crass, condescending, passive-aggressive little notes for people who were actually delivering vital public services”.

The minister, who has said civil servants should stop working from home, left a note for civil servants, saying “sorry you were out when I visited”.

The note, printed on government paper with Mr Rees-Mogg’s title, was left at empty desks and read “I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg accused of being ‘crass and condescending’ for leaving notes in offices.

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 14:18

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Why has Boris Johnson taken his cabinet to Stoke-on-Trent for ‘away day’?

Adam Forrest examines the prime minister’s decision to take his cabinet on a 300-mile round trip for an otherwise ordinary cabinet meeting:

Ministers will try to ‘bring Queen’s Speech to life’ with 300-mile round trip to Staffordshire

Liam James12 May 2022 13:55

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Government broke rules ‘at record breaking scale’, says Labour

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, responding to the Met Police issuing 50 more fines over law-breaking parties in Downing Street, said the government had “now reached a century of fixed penalty notices for their partying”.

She added: “They have racked up the dubious distinction of receiving more fines on the prime minister’s watch than any other location.”

“Boris Johnson made the rules, and then broke them at record-breaking scale. Britain deserves better.”

The Met police said today its Operation Hillman team had now recommended 100 fines and the investiagation into 12 separate events is ongoing.

The prime minister was not included in today’s round of fines, but he was last month fined for his 2020 birthday party.

Liam James12 May 2022 13:36

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Windfall tax on energy giants a ‘no-brainer’ – Nandy

Lisa Nandy said it was a “no-brainer” to bring in a windfall tax on energy giants that have made record profits as oil and gas surge while household bills have risen by hundreds of pounds.

Asked on LBC about her position on the tax, which would place a levy on the profits of the affected companies, the shadow levelling up secretary said she would support it, adding it “could knock up to £600” off household energy bills.

She added: “It’s a no-brainer to put a windfall tax on companies that have made record profits. We could do that today adn we could start getting money into people’s pockets very quickly.”

She also noted that Boris Johnson today did not rule out bringing a levy. Elsewhere, Rishi Sunak said he was “pragmatic” about the idea and also did not rule it out.

Energy giants Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported a collective $27.3bn (£22bn) profit in the first three months of the year. BP chief Bernard Looney recently said his firm’s investment plans would not be affected by a windfall tax.

Liam James12 May 2022 13:18

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Chancellor ‘ready’ to do more to help households pay energy bills

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he “stands ready” to do more to help households with their energy bills when the price cap is increased again in October.

“I’ve always said I stand ready to do more as we learn more about the situation,” he told Sky News.

“On energy prices in particular, the price cap protects people for some months to come.

“But I’ve said when we have a clearer picture about what happens with energy bills, we stand ready and I stand ready to support people further.”

Pushed on why he is waiting, Mr Sunak said the Government announced £150 of council tax rebate for many households in February, and £200 off energy bills in October – a sum that will need to be paid back.

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 12:59

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No 10 denies Johnson planning emergency budget

Downing Street has denied that ministers are preparing an emergency budget to deal with the cost-of-living crisis after the Prime Minister suggested in the Queen’s Speech debate on Tuesday that there would be more help in the days to come.

However, in an LBC interview, Mr Johnson indicated there would be additional support over the summer rather than waiting for the Budget in the autumn to act.

“There is more coming down the track. July and so on,” he said.

“But what we will do is use all the ingenuity and compassion that we have and the fiscal firepower that we have as a result of the strong economic growth we had coming out of the pandemic.

“Our growth will return very strongly in the next couple of years.”

His comments follow the first meeting this week of the Government’s cost-of-living committee, where he instructed ministers to come forward with proposals to ease pressure on household budgets.

In a statement ahead of the Cabinet meeting, Downing Street said the Government “will continue examining what more we can do to ease the pressures on hard-working people and families” over the “coming months”.

Tom Ambrose12 May 2022 12:39

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