Grant Shapps described on shore wind farms as an ‘eyesore’ for communities
Former Whitehall ethics chief Helen MacNamara has been reportedly been fined in connection with a party held during lockdown.
Ms MacNamara, an ex-deputy cabinet secretary, is said to be among the first wave of people to be dealt a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) by the Metropolitan Police as part of its investigation into the Partygate scandal.
It has also been reported that prime minister Boris Johnson will not be interviewed by the police as part of their investigation. According to ITV News, this is because the force is not interviewing those who have received questionnaires as part of the inquiries, and could potentially be fined.
The Met is investigating 12 events, including as many as six Mr Johnson is said to have attended, and has sent out more than 100 questionnaires.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson’s cabinet remains split on how to move forward with energy plans, with the transport secretary expressing his opposing views publicly.
Grant Shapps has said the government’s upcoming energy security strategy will not include plans to increase onshore wind farms.
Shadow education secretary says childcare costs are higher than rent or mortgage
Speaking on Good Morning Britain Labour’s Bridget Phillipson said: “The last thing you should be doing is putting up taxes on working families who are in such a difficult position.
“We’ve also seen the cost of childcare continuing to go up.
“That’s why Labour has set up a children’s recovery plan that would deliver extra funding to children who need it, most of those on free school meals and plug that funding gap.
“Because for many parents, […] they’ll be aware that the cost of childcare is actually more than you would spend on your rent or mortgage.
“What Labour is saying is that we need action to tackle that now because prices are just continuing to soar.
“That means that many parents, and it’s usually women, are having to cut back their hours and it’s not what they want and it’s completely counter productive as well.
Watch the full clip here:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 April 2022 08:29
“We did everything we could to protect the economy as well as public health,” Welsh secretary on the government’s response to Covid-19
MP Simon Hart tells Sky News that he thinks the UK and Welsh government will be “judged better” than what people expect, saying: “We reacted very fast to a very rapidly changing situation.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 April 2022 08:16
David Warburton affair: MP Simon Hart says ‘it is insulting’ to suggest that MPs cannot hire their spouses
The Welsh secretary also commented on the David Warburton scandal as Mr Warburton’s wife’s position has drawn questions due to sexual harassment allegations from two members of parliamentary staff, according to the Sunday Times, which reported the staff members had to leave his office because Mrs Warburton handled HR.
Simon Hart – who also employs his wife – was asked on Times Radio whether MPs should be allowed to give family members jobs.
He said: “I think that’s actually pretty insulting towards so many husbands wives and partners who do a really good job in Parliament, work bloody hard, and provide the taxpayer real value for money.”
He likened the situation to family businesses and added: “As far as every circumstance that I know where an MP works closely with or pays a family member, whether it’s in this Parliament or others, actually the relationship – the professional relationship – is really productive, if anything that taxpayer gets more bang for their buck than they (would) do anyway because it’s a 24/7 arrangement.”
He said there was “nothing new about this” and added: “Ever since I’ve been an MP I’ve been a staunch defender of this particular situation, I continue to be so, I think it’s a lot of nonsense to suggest that there’s something wrong with it or say it doesn’t provide value for money. I think that is demonstrably untrue.”
The Welsh Secretary said he was a “staunch defender” of MPs being able to employ their spouses after the wife of Tory MP David Warburton – who works in his office – said she was standing by him after allegations of drug taking and sexual harassment.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 April 2022 08:06
‘People are going to die,’ Labour’s former Director of Policy warns as cold-related deaths expected to rise amidst soaring energy prices
Andrew Fisher, Labour’s former Director of Policy, warned of the bleak future that awaits households in the cost of living crisis.
He told LBC this morning: “The reality is that this is as bad as the pandemic people, this is going to get bad.
“People are going to, frankly, die.
“We have poorly-insulated homes which the government hasn’t really done anything about.
“We’ve got huge rises in cost of living. It’s not just energy bills because of course fuel prices go up.
“People are going to see a big hit to their incomes and that will mean more destitution, more poverty, more hunger, more people at food banks, more people being evicted from their homes as well because they can’t afford to pay the rent.”
Watch the full clip here:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 April 2022 07:54
MP Simon Hart says ‘the world has moved on a considerable distance’ from partygate
Speaking to Sky News presenter Kay Burley this morning about whether the Prime Minister should resign over partygate, the Welsh secretary said: “I have 65,000 constituents in west Wales where I represent, and they are not shy in coming out and expressing a view about this and a number of subjects.
“And throughout all of this saga of Downing Street parties they have said one thing very clearly.
“They said they want contrition and an apology but they don’t want the resignation.
“As I’ve said before we’ve all made judgments which if we have time to reflect on we wish we made them differently.
“For me, personally speaking, the world has moved a considerable distance.
“But the idea that every politician, or indeed every journalist for that matter, that makes a misjudgment along the way should automatically be sacked is not something I subscribe to.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 April 2022 07:39
ICYMI- Former Whitehall ethics chief reportedly fined in connection with a party held during lockdown
A former Whitehall ethics chief has reportedly been fined in connection with a party held during lockdown.
Helen MacNamara, an ex-deputy cabinet secretary, is said to be among the first wave of people to be dealt a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) by the Metropolitan Police as part of its investigation into the Partygate scandal.
My colleague Emily Atkinson has more:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain4 April 2022 07:24
People find it reassuring that Tories care only about power: Tony Blair
Former prime minister Tony Blair, when asked how he would win an election for Labour today, said: “The first thing is to realise that the psychology of the country towards Labour and the Conservatives is different”.
“Unfortunately, if you look back on, what, 120 years of Labour’s existence, we’ve been in power for less than a third, roughly a quarter, of that time. And half of it was New Labour, and there are parts of the Labour Party that are not too keen on remembering that part”.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar4 April 2022 06:56
ICYMI | How much will Downing Street staff be fined by Met Police?
The Metropolitan Police has announced that 20 cases of lockdown breaches in Downing Street and Whitehall will be made the subject of fixed penalty notices, the first tranche of fines to be issued over the “Partygate” scandal that rocked Boris Johnson’s government.
Although the Met said it would not disclose the identities of the recipients of the fines, officers were working through a “significant amount of investigative material” as part of its probe into 12 social events.
The recipient of a fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid restrictions will be fined £100 for a first offence, rising to £200 if they fail to pay it within 14 days.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar4 April 2022 06:36
Prepare to ration oil and gas, Labour tells government
The Labour party is urging the British government to prepare to ration oil and gas as the energy crisis deepens following Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are among the European countries considering restrictions on supplies because of their heavy dependence on Russian energy.
Asked if the UK should “do the same”, Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary, replied: “We should be making those plans.”
“The government should be preparing, not necessarily in public, for that situation. There’s a lot of complacency in this country about the relative lower exposure to Russian gas that we have,” he told BBC.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar4 April 2022 06:04
PM condemns ‘despicable attacks’ by Russian troops on Ukrainians
Prime minister Boris Johnson has condemned Russia’s “despicable attacks” against civilians in Irpin and Bucha after Ukrainian authorities said dead civilians were found on the streets.
The prime minister said “no denial or disinformation from the Kremlin” can conceal that president Vladimir Putin is “desperate” and “his invasion is failing”. In a statement, Mr Johnson said the UK is “stepping up” its sanctions and military support, and “bolstering” humanitarian help for those on the ground.
He said: “Russia’s despicable attacks against innocent civilians in Irpin and Bucha are yet more evidence that Putin and his army are committing war crimes in Ukraine.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar4 April 2022 05:45