28.09.2022
‘We’ll just change the rules!’ Rebel Tory MPs double down amid revolt against Liz Truss

Tom Newton Dunn has discussed the backlash from Tory MPs against the leadership of Liz Truss after the pound collapsed sparking panic in the Conservative party. It comes after Tory backbencher Sir Graham Brady confirmed that Liz Truss can’t be challenged during her first year as Tory Party leader.

Mr Newton Dunn told TalkTV: “Well the backlash from nervous Tory MPs against their new Prime Minister and Chancellor continues today.

“One prominent Rishi Sunak supporter the Commons Transport Committee chair Hugh Merriman accused Liz Truss of ‘losing our voters with policies we warned against.’

“And there are also reports of some Tory MPs even submitting letters of no confidence against Ms Truss to trigger yeah, you’ve got it yet another Tory leadership contest, but she can rest easy on that, at least for the moment.

“For there is a little known Tory Party rule confirmed to this programme by the rules guardian of the 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady on your screens now that there can be no leadership challenge to any new leader during their first 12 months.”

He added: “Small graces, while I do have to tell you that I tweeted that a few minutes ago, and it was messaged to me by another Tory MP ‘we’ll just change the rules.'”

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has said he is “confident” his tax-cutting strategy to drive economic growth will work despite the turmoil on the financial markets.

In talks with City investors in the wake of Friday’s mini-budget, Mr Kwarteng insisted he was committed to “fiscal discipline” and that he had a “credible plan” to start to bring down the UK debt.

He also emphasised the importance of the “supply side” reforms ministers will be setting out in the coming weeks, including his “Big Bang 2.0” reforms of the financial market regulations, in supporting growth.

“We are confident in our long-term strategy to drive economic growth through tax cuts and supply side reform. Supply side reforms are critical – increasing capacity brings down prices,” he said, according to a Treasury readout of the meeting.

“Cabinet ministers will set out more supply side measures over the coming weeks to make meaningful change. Right across government, departments have to be focused on this.

“As I said on Friday, every department will be a growth department.

“We are committed to fiscal discipline, and won’t re-open the spending review. We have a medium-term fiscal plan coming on November 23, alongside an OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) forecast. That will be a credible plan to get debt to GDP falling.

“We have responded in the immediate term with an expansionary fiscal stance on energy because we had to. With two exogenous shocks – Covid-19 and Ukraine – we had to intervene. Our 70-year-high tax burden was also unsustainable.

“I’m confident that with our growth plan and the upcoming medium term fiscal plan – with close cooperation with the Bank – our approach will work.”

His comments came after the pound plunged to a record low on Monday in the wake of his Commons statement last week setting out his plan for £45 billion of tax cuts.

In an attempt to calm the markets, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey issued a statement insisting they would raise interest rates by “as much as as is needed” to shore up the pound and keep the lid on inflation.

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08.12.2022
Rebel MPs back call to save free cash machines
Former Cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel and David Mundell were among 21 Tories demanding government action. They backed…
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08.12.2022
Gillian Keegan admits ‘local’ antibiotic shortages as Strep A spreads through schools
Gillian Keegan has admitted the UK is facing “local” antibiotics shortages, describing the spread of Strep A as “your worst…
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  • 17 минут назад 08.12.2022Politics
    Rebel MPs back call to save free cash machines

    Former Cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel and David Mundell were among 21 Tories demanding government action.

    They backed an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill that would oblige the government to create a “minimum level” of access to machines that do not charge.

    The rebellion, although unsuccessful, is another warning shot for Rishi Sunak after he was forced into successive U-turns on planning and wind farms. It comes as the Daily Express battles to save Britain’s struggling high streets.

    A staggering 12,599 free-to-use ATMs have been lost in the UK since 2018 – a fall of nearly 24 percent – and the situation is getting worse.

    Many are being replaced by machines which charge a transaction fee. Labour’s Siobhain McDonagh, who tabled the amendment, called on the Government to ensure free access to cash machines, telling MPs: “Surely it cannot be right in 2022 that almost a quarter of our cash machines charge people to access their own money. The facts are stark but simple.”

    During the Commons debate, former minister David Mundell said: “We cannot just simply move in an unstructured way to a cashless society.

    “There are about eight million people – whether rural dwellers or those in deprived areas – who rely on cash and will continue to rely on it.”

    But Tory MP Kit Malthouse said cash payments had plunged between 2010 and 2020 and had fallen further during the pandemic.

    He added: “There are significant advantages to cashless transactions, not least in the elimination of crime.”

    During Prime Minister’s Questions earlier yesterday Rishi Sunak promised to “safeguard access to cash”.

    He added: “This Government is indeed legislating to safeguard access to cash and that’s what the Financial Services and Markets Bill this afternoon will do through a very significant intervention.”

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  • 17 минут назад 08.12.2022Politics
    Gillian Keegan admits ‘local’ antibiotic shortages as Strep A spreads through schools

    Gillian Keegan has admitted the UK is facing “local” antibiotics shortages, describing the spread of Strep A as “your worst nightmare”. She denied that there is a “national shortage of supply”, but admitted that there are “some spikes locally”. The Education Secretary said the NHS are “working their way through” the issue at the moment, admitting that it is “worrying for parents”.

    Ms Keegan told GB News: “It’s your worst nightmare. Our massive sympathies go out to the families who have been impacted by this. It’s really every parent’s worst nightmare.”

    She stressed that the illness is “extremely rare still” but urged parents to “keep vigilant” and “look for the symptoms”, which include fever, headache, sore throat and a rash on the skin.

    When pressed over shortages of antibiotics, with GB News presenter Isabel Webster saying that some parents were unable to get their hands on the drugs, Ms Keegan said: “I think that’s what the NHS is working through. You do sometimes get this surge in specific spots but there is no national shortage of supply, that’s what we’re being told.

    “There are also supply chains that are being set up. So we’d just urge people to let the NHS work this through.”

    She said the UKHSA is “monitoring very closely the situation”.

    So far, nine children have died after contracting Strep A.

    Typically, Strep A infections are mild and treated easily with the antibiotic amoxicillin, but an invasive form of the bacteria, known as iGAS, has increased this year, particularly in those under the age of 10.

    Pharmacists have reported UK-wide shortages of the antibiotics used to treat the illness, as demand for both penicillin and amoxicillin has increased in recent days.

    But Health Secretary Steve Barclay said in areas where there had been a sharp rise in demand, there are “well-established procedures in terms of moving stock around between our wholesale depots”.

    He added: “We have a dedicated team permanently in the department who do this day in, day out, and they have reassured me – I checked with them again last night, knowing that I was coming out on the media this morning – and they said they are not aware of any shortages, but sometimes obviously you get the peaks of demand in a particular area and stock has moved around accordingly.”

    Kieran Sharrock, the GP committee acting chair for the British Medical Association, said anxiety over the spread of Strep A and medicine shortages “can cause increased workload and disruption for GPs as they have to find alternative treatment options or prioritise those most in need”.

    He continued: “While the government insists there are sufficient supplies of antibiotics nationally, this will be little comfort to pharmacists, GPs and patients who are experiencing shortages locally, and therefore those responsible for supply chains must double down on efforts to ensure there are enough medicines to meet demand.”

    A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “There are antibiotics available to treat strep A and your GP will be able to prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

    “Strep A usually causes a mild infection producing sore throats or scarlet fever that can be easily treated with antibiotics.

    “However, it is important that parents are on the lookout for symptoms and see a doctor as quickly as possible so that their child can be treated.

    “Make sure you talk to a health professional if your child is showing signs of deteriorating after a bout of scarlet fever, a sore throat, or a respiratory infection.”

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  • 17 минут назад 08.12.2022Politics
    Labour vows to make it easier for unions to strike as walk outs already set to cripple UK

    Labour has vowed to make it easier for workers to go on strike if Sir Keir Starmer wins the next general election.

    The party – which receives millions of pounds in funding from trade unions a year – said it would repeal the 2016 Trade Union Act if in power.

    The legislation included several stipulations aimed at ensuring strike action was more legitimate and to give employers more time to prepare for industrial action.

    Measures include requiring ballots on walkouts to have at least a 50 percent turnout in order for the result to be legally valid and for those working in public services to have an additional 40 percent support for striking among those eligible to vote.

    Yesterday, Labour described the legislation as “archaic” and pledged to axe it if in Government.

    They added other “unnecessary elements” of trade union legislation would be ripped.

    “One example would be online balloting, not allowing online balloting, we don’t think that’s practical, we think it’s costly and we think that’s unnecessary,” the spokesman said.

    Labour confirmed its plans as trade unions prepare to plunge Britain into chaos over the coming weeks.

    Rail workers, ambulance drivers, border force staff and others are all set to walk out later this month.

    They are demanding massive pay increases and improved working conditions.

    No10 has warned the industrial action is set to cause “misery” for ordinary Britons up and down the country in the build-up to Christmas.

    Reacting with fury last night to Labour’s plans to water down trade union laws, Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi said: “It beggars belief that Labour wants to relax laws to make it easier for their union paymasters to strike”.

    He told The Telegraph: “The 2016 Trade Union Act introduced minimum turnout thresholds for strike action and Starmer’s plan to scrap it would be a green light for Labour’s militant union backers to hold the country to ransom.

    “Once again Sir Keir reveals he thinks his bosses are the union barons and not the great British public.”

    Speaking this morning, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan added the Government was approaching unions’ pay demands in a “fair and balanced way”.

    She urged the country to “pull together” in the face of ongoing strikes.

    Asked if the country is on the verge of a general strike, Gillian Keegan told Sky News: “The reality is we have a number of people who are striking and it’s really disappointing.

    “We have to pull together as a country.

    “We’ve been through an awful lot.

    “All we can do is try to react to them in a fair and balanced way.”

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  • 2 часа, 17 минут назад 08.12.2022Politics
    Brussels vows to ‘keep pressure high on Kremlin’ as Putin accused of ‘escalating’ war

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen Moscow take advantage of the cold weather by weaponizing energy supplies and attacking power systems to freeze out Ukrainians. Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of once again “escalating the war”.

    He said: “He has been weaponizing food and hunger and Putin now has decided to weaponize the winter, throwing Ukrainian people into the cold and darkness.

    “He sent rockets to destroy Ukrainian power plants, to disrupt electricity, heating and water supplies for millions of civilians across Ukraine.

    “He wants to freeze the Ukrainian people.”

    Mr Borrell called Putin’s actions in Ukraine “barbaric”, “inhuman” and “unacceptable” as he announced the ninth package of sanctions against Russia.

    He said: “We have been saying all along that we would respond to Putin’s escalation and his brutal war against Ukrainian people.

    “And this is why we are responding today, putting forward the ninth package of sanctions.”

    Von der Leyen supported the statements and reiterated the EU’s support of Ukraine as Russia hoped Western allies would begin to bore and falter in its aid.

    The President of the European Commission tweeted: “Russia’s economy is increasingly in shambles.

    “We will keep the pressure high on the Kremlin.

    “And we will stand by Ukraine – today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.”

    Her comments come just days after Von der Leyen was criticised for likening Ukrainian freedom fighters to the IRA.

    The European Commission President spoke to Irish MPs as the UK and EU continue arguments over the Northern Ireland protocol.

    Ms Von der Leyen said: “This country knows what it means to struggle for the right to exist.

    “Today, another European nation is fighting for independence. Of course, Ireland is far away from the front line in Ukraine.

    “Ukraine is fighting for freedom itself; for self-rule; for the rules-based global order. And Ireland has gone above and beyond in its support to Ukrainians.”

    Baroness Hoey from Northern Ireland and former Labour Europe minister said: “She may not have directly mentioned the IRA but she did not condemn terrorist who killed so many innocent Protestant and Catholic people in Northern Ireland all in the name of Irish freedom.

    “How dare she equate their violence with the struggle of the Ukrainian people against Putin.”

    Meanwhile, the UK has continued its staunch support of Ukraine with a new £229million deal to replenish their stocks of Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons.

    Ukrainian recruits are also set to participate in a five-week training programme led by the UK to ensure they continue to be prepared to defend their country and become a “lethal force”, the MoD said.

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  • 6 часов, 17 минут назад 08.12.2022Politics
    Senior Tory MP Julian Knight suspended following complaint made to police

    It is not publicly known what the nature of the complaint is as the spokeswoman refused to comment. However, the police have now launched an investigation into the grievance against the Solihull MP.

    The whip has been removed “with immediate effect” which sees Knight become the fifth MP to currently have the Conservative whip removed.

    Former health secretary Matt Hancock had the whip removed after he entered the I’m a Celebrity jungle.

    The West Suffolk MP was expelled from his party and had to sit as an independent candidate unless the whip was returned.

    However, Mr Hancock announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down as MP amid local criticism.

    Now Mr Knight, who is also the chair of the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee will have to sit as an independent candidate.

    The spokeswoman for Chief Whip Simon Hart said: “Following a complaint made to the Metropolitan Police this evening, we have removed the whip from Julian Knight MP with immediate effect.”

    The former Tory minister Conor Burns had the whip removed in October following allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” and “serious misconduct”.

    Mr Burns was sacked from his position as trade minister by former Prime Minister Liz Truss after a witness reported allegedly seeing Burns touch the thigh of a young man in a hotel bar in Birmingham at the time of the Tory party conference to which Burns denied any wrongdoing.

    However, the 50-year-old Dorset MP has now had the Tory whip restored after being cleared of misconduct at the party conference in October.

    The Conservative Party released a statement on Saturday saying that after reviewing all of the evidence, there was “no basis on which to investigate further” and the matter was closed.

    A party spokesperson said: “The party received a complaint and investigated, in line with its code of conduct.

    “After undertaking appropriate inquiries and reviewing all of the evidence available to establish the facts, the party concluded that there was no basis on which to investigate further.

    “The matter is now closed and Mr Burns’s membership will be reinstated at the nearest possible opportunity.”

    Rishi Sunak’s Government is being cautious to try and separate itself from the scandals which ended up plaguing the Boris Johnson era.

    Upon becoming Prime Minister, Mr Sunak vowed to ensure that his party reflected the value of integrity as public distrust for Conservative Party figures grew in the fallout of Partygate.

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  • 12 часов, 17 минут назад 08.12.2022Politics
    Tory MPs demand Jeremy Hunt slashes £12 million woke Whitehall diversity bill to taxpayer

    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is facing a furious backlansh after a new report revealed that £12 million is being spent each year on diversity and inclusion officer in Whitehall and associated agencies at a time when the economic crisis has forced tax rises and spending cuts. The figures in the Conservative Way Forward (CWF) report only include Whitehall departments in Westminster but not the public sector as a whole.

    Dudley North MP Mrco Longhi, one of the MPs to help sweep Labour’s Red Wall in 2019, said: “The scary thing about this report is that this £12m is what is spent on Civil Service only woke jobs.

    “What about all the NHS diversity jobs at £80k a year when we don’t spend training and recruiting our own doctors and nurses, but import them instead?

    “What about our Police forces employing officers to monitor social media so they can pursue people offending other’s feelings, when they won’t attend armed robberies?

    “All these public services now want to go on strike but when money is given to them they spend it on woke agendas rather than delivering on the front line.

    “Taxpayers are being penalised at the highest levels in several generations while watching the woke mobs across all areas of national and local government being given what they want. It couldn’t be more wrong.”

    South Dorset MP Richard Drax added: “When the country’s going through a cost of living crisis, people need to see every penny they hand over to the government in taxes spent wisely. The state has got to live within its means and stop squandering our money on divisive and pointless roles like these.”

    According to the CWF report ministerial and non-ministerial departments accountable to Parliament, and public sector agencies, are spending at least £12 million a year on 300 civil service roles that are “exclusively focused on issues of equality, diversity or inclusivity (EDI)”.

    The 60 organisations questioned have 286 EDI roles between them, an average of four EDI officers per role. These come a combined annual cost to the taxpayer of £12.1million, and the average salary of each role is £42,300.

    Example role titles include: “Director of Diversity”, “Diversity Officer”, a Senior Manager of “Policy and Research (Diversity), and a “Relationship Manager (Diversity)”.

    This comes as the nation prepares for a series of strikes by members of the Public and Commercial Services Union over unmet demands for a 10 percent pay increase and after Mr Hunt used his Autumn statement last month to increase income tax and a range of other taxes and duties to fill the spending black hole.

    He also announced a series of spending cuts by 2028 including to defence.

    According to the report Arts Council England as 9.9 EDI roles at a cost of £352,000 to the taxpayer while UK Research and Innovation has 22 roles at £1,047,000.

    The Crown Prosecution Service has 21 roles costing the taxpayer £945,000 and Sport England has seven at an annual bill to the taxpayer of £280,000.

    Meanwhile, Valuation Office Agency has four roles at £120,000 a year while the Civil Aviation Authority has the same number of roles but at £250,088 annually.

    Diversity and inclusion officers promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals, including people of different ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, religions, cultures and sexual orientations.

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Politics 'We'll just change the rules!' Rebel Tory MPs double down amid revolt against Liz Truss