Boris Johnson news – live: Sturgeon sets date for second Scottish independence referendum

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·32-min read
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Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has set a date for the second proposed Scottish independence referendum.

She told MSPs it will be held on October 19 2023, with the question to be asked the same as in the 2014 vote “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Ms Sturgeon said she would be writing to Boris Johnson to inform him of her plans.

She added she would make clear she is “ready and willing” to negotiate the terms of a Section 30 order with him, which would give Holyrood the power to hold a referendum. Mr Johnson has previously refused her calls for another referendum to be held.

Meanwhile, the Conservative MP who organised the campaign that toppled Theresa May is running in party elections to prepare for a fresh push to bring down Boris Johnson.

Steve Baker hopes a seat on the executive of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbenchers will allow him to change the rules to allow another no-confidence vote – if necessary.

The serial rebel described the prime minister’s position as “intolerable” if he is found to have lied to parliament over the scandal of the No 10 parties, many of which he attended.

Key Points

  • Nicola Sturgeon sets date for proposed Scottish independence referendum

  • Tory MP who toppled Theresa May to run in party elections and ready to ‘remove’ Boris Johnson

  • Boris Johnson set to ditch Tory manifesto promise on increased defence spending

  • Exclusive: Boris Johnson ‘shredding trust’ with three breaches of international law, former top diplomat warns

  • Chris Philp says PM ‘did not intentionally mislead parliament’

  • Junior technology minister says changes to the Northern Ireland protocol are legal

  • Current rise in inflation is only ‘transitory’, technology minister says

PM announces launch of Covid-19 public inquiry

17:13 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson has announced the launch of the coronavirus public inquiry and set out its terms of reference, days after bereaved families warned they could take legal action against the government over delays.

“The UK inquiry into Covid-19 is now formally established and able to begin its important work,” the prime minister said in a written statement on Tuesday.

“The Inquiry will examine, consider and report on preparations and the response to the pandemic in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, up to and including the Inquiry’s formal setting-up date, 28 June 2022.”

It comes more than six months after Mr Johnson appointed Baroness Hallett to chair the probe in December 2021, and after he previously said the inquiry would start in spring this year.

On Sunday, the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group threatened to bring a judicial review over the failure to provide a setting up date for the inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

Following Tuesday’s launch, the group tweeted that it could finally “begin the process of learning lessons from the awful suffering we’ve endured...

“However it is pitiful that after six months of inexplicable delays, the Government has finally decided to act just two days after we announced that we were considering a judicial review over their time wasting.

“It goes to show that they were simply delaying the process for as long as they could get away with, and there are going to have to be serious consequences if valuable evidence has been lost as a result.

“Baroness (Hallett) is now going to have to get the process moving as quickly as possible so that lessons can be learned ahead of future waves.”

Tory MPs fear defection could strengthen Boris Johnson’s leadership

16:58 , Joe Middleton

Rebel Tory MPs fear defections to Labour could strengthen Boris Johnson’s hand in the battle to oust him from Downing Street.

Three MPs are reported to be considering crossing the floor to Sir Keir Starmer’s party.

In January red wall Tory MP Christian Wakeford defected to Labour just weeks after the partygate scandal erupted. As he did so he publicly called on the prime minister to resign and leave No 10.

Kate Devlin reports.

Tory MPs fear defection could strengthen Boris Johnson’s leadership

Metropolitan Police placed in special measures by watchdog

16:40 , Joe Middleton

The Metropolitan Police has been placed in special measures by a watchdog.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said the force was now being monitored through a process that “provides additional scrutiny and support to help it make improvements”.

The full report detailing the watchdog’s reason for the rare step has not been published, but it follows several scandals over crimes committed by officers, including the murder of Sarah Everard.

Metropolitan Police placed in special measures by watchdog

PM will ‘take time to carefully consider’ how to fill Lord Geidt’s ethics adviser role

16:19 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson believes it is “right to take time to carefully consider” how to fill the role of ethics adviser after Lord Geidt’s resignation, Downing Street has said.

A No 10 spokesman said there was no update on the recruitment process.

“We’re aware of the issues that Lord Geidt himself raised, as did Pacac (Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee) with regard to that role, and the PM continues to try to take time to look at those issues carefully before any final decision’s made, but to emphasise that we remain fully committed to making sure all ministers including the Prime Minister are held to account for maintaining high standards,” the official said.

“We think it’s right to take time to carefully consider how best to fulfil the role, given what I’ve said about the Prime Minister’s emphasis to ensure that high standards of behaviour are maintained”.

Sturgeon says she will not allow Scottish democracy to be a 'prisoner' of Johnson

16:10 , Joe Middleton

Civil service chief says PM’s decision on Partygate inquiry put Sue Gray in ‘genuinely difficult’ position

15:42 , Joe Middleton

The head of the civil service has said that putting officials like Sue Gray in a position of judging on the behaviour of ministers including Boris Johnson is a “challenge” and should be “avoided whenever possible”.

Simon Case told a Commons committee that Ms Gray was put “in a genuinely difficult position” when Mr Johnson chose her to head the Partygate inquiry.

He said that the post of independent adviser to the prime minister – held by Christopher Geidt until his resignation this month – was created precisely to avoid the “tension” which saw the career civil servant put under intense pressure ahead of the publication of her bombshell report in May.

Andrew Woodcock reports.

PM’s decision on Partygate inquiry put Sue Gray in ‘genuinely difficult’ position

Nicola Sturgeon sets date for proposed Scottish independence referendum

15:21 , Joe Middleton

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs the Bill will set out for a referendum to be held on October 19 2023, with the question to be asked the same as in the 2014 vote “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Ms Sturgeon said she would be writing to Boris Johnson to inform him of her plans.

She added she would make clear she is “ready and willing” to negotiate the terms of a Section 30 order with him, which would give Holyrood the power to hold a referendum.

But with the prime minister having repeatedly refused her calls for another referendum to be held, Ms Sturgeon added “What I am not willing to do, what I will never do is allow Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any prime minister.”

The First Minister stated: “My determination is to secure a process that allows the people of Scotland, whether yes, no or yet to be decided, to express their views in a legal, constitutional referendum so the majority view can be established fairly and democratically.

“The steps I am setting out today seek to achieve that.”

Nicola Sturgeon sets date for proposed Scottish independence referendum

Boris Johnson says he does not expect direct war with Russia

14:59 , Joe Middleton

Government under investigation over ‘appalling’ handling of sewage dumped in rivers

14:10 , Joe Middleton

An environmental watchdog has announced it is to carry out an investigation into the enforcement of rules on untreated sewage being pumped into rivers and seas in England.

The recently formed Office for Environmental Protection will investigate the environment secretary George Eustice, as well as the Environment Agency and Ofwat – the water services regulation authority – in how they regulate the use of combined sewer overflows (CSOs), as concerns about deteriorating water quality mount.

The investigation will seek “to determine whether these authorities have failed to comply with their respective duties in relation to the regulation, including the monitoring and enforcement, of water companies’ own duties to manage sewage”, the OEP said in a statement.

Harry Cockburn reports.

Government under investigation over sewage being dumped in rivers

Liz Truss can't name single occasion she has raised human rights with a Gulf state

13:40 , Joe Middleton

Sunak will consider calls for ‘more substantial’ fuel duty cut

13:18 , Joe Middleton

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has insisted he will carefully consider calls for a “more substantial” fuel duty cut.

Tory MP Philip Davies, who is married to party colleague Esther McVey, who represents Tatton, said: “Further to the question from my right honourable friend, the member for Tatton, can I urge the chancellor to think again about the cut in fuel duty?

“Although the one he introduced was welcome, it hasn’t really been noticed by many people and therefore can I urge him to think again about a much more substantial cut in fuel duty, on a temporary basis, just as they’ve done in Germany?”

Mr Sunak replied in the Commons: “I thank my honourable friend for supporting the right honourable member for Tatton, and I’m glad he did.

“What I will say to him is of course I will take all his recommendations under advisement. It is, as my honourable friend pointed out, a £5 billion cut to go with the freeze in fuel duty so it is significant, but we appreciate it is not being felt at the pumps because of the rise in wholesale prices.

“I want to reassure him that the Energy Secretary is in dialogue with the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) to make sure that fuel duty cut is being passed on as well.”

Boris Johnson set to ditch Tory manifesto promise on increased defence spending

13:10 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson is set to ditch a manifesto promise to increase the annual defence budget above inflation, putting the PM on a collision course with his defence secretary Ben Wallace.

A senior government source admitted that the Conservative commitment to hike annual military spending by 0.5 per cent above inflation could no longer be met because of the Covid pandemic.

In their 2019 Tory manifesto, the party pledged to exceed the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence, and increase the budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation every year.

Adam Forrest reports.

Boris Johnson set to Tory ditch manifesto promise on increased defence spending

Boris Johnson says he ‘doesn’t think’ Britain is facing war with Russia

12:57 , Joe Middleton

Boris Johnson has poured cold water on the prospect of a significant hike in military spending, as he insisted he does not believe that the UK is heading towards war with Russia.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace is understood to have asked the prime minister for an increase in the defence budget from around 2 to 2.5 per cent of GDP – the equivalent of an additional 20 per cent per year.

The call came as the head of the British Army warned that Britain and its Nato allies are facing a “1937 moment” and must be “unequivocally prepared to fight” if Russia attacks any of their territory.

Andrew Woodcock reports.

Boris Johnson says he ‘doesn’t think’ Britain is facing war with Russia

Keir Starmer says he is scrapping Labour’s manifesto and ‘starting from scratch’ on policy

12:41 , Joe Middleton

Keir Starmer has said he will scrap Labour‘s last election manifesto and is “starting from scratch” on policies.

Speaking on Tuesday the Labour leader said he was putting the existing set of policies “to one side” and that “the slate is wiped clean”.

His comments represent a reversal of a previous pledge. During the 2019 leadership election Sir Keir described the 2017 election manifesto as Labour’s “foundational document”, praised its “radicalism” and said: “We have to hang on to that as we go forward”.

Jon Stone reports.

Keir Starmer says he is scrapping Labour’s manifesto and ‘starting from scratch’

No 10 defends government’s record on defence spending amid reports Ben Wallace calls for 20 per cent increase in funding

12:33 , Joe Middleton

No 10 has defended the government’s record on defence spending saying it was responsible for the biggest increase since the end of the Cold War.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has reportedly written to Boris Johnson calling for a 20 per cent increase in defence spending to meet shortfalls in military capabilities.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “In 2022, the PM announced the largest increase in defence spending since the Cold War. That cemented our position as the biggest defence spender in Europe.

“That was a £16.5 billion increase over four years. That meant we could continue to provide crucial military support to Ukraine as well as allowing us to invest in a range of capabilities such as vehicles and drones and other areas of defence capability.

“Departmental spending on matters like that are for the Chancellor and are part of fiscal events. The Prime Minister has always said we would respond to any changes in terms of threat which is why we announced the extra funding for the Ministry of Defence.”

Lisa Nandy points out Michael Gove was on strike in 1989

12:22 , Joe Middleton

Liz Truss unable to name any occasion she has challenged a Gulf state on human rights

12:12 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Liz Truss has failed to name a single occasion when she challenged a Gulf state on human rights abuses – despite promising to hold its leaders “to account”.

Challenged by MPs – as the UK seeks a controversial trade deal with a six-nation bloc including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – the foreign secretary was unable to back up a claim that she raises concerns.

Ms Truss told the foreign affairs committee she would have to provide details later of the “precise timing” of when Gulf leaders have been challenged about human rights violations.

Rob Merrick has more:

Liz Truss fails to name any occasion she has challenged a Gulf state on human rights

Truss defends Britain’s links to Saudi Arabia

12:02 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has declined to criticise Saudi Arabia, as she defended British links to the state by stressing that the world is not “perfect”.

Foreign affairs committee member Chris Bryant asked Ms Truss how she would describe the Gulf States.

“I would describe the Gulf States as partners of the United Kingdom,” she said.

“Is every country that we work with exactly in line with United Kingdom policy on everything? No, they are not,” she continued.

“But they are important allies of the United Kingdom.”

Migrant crossings continue despite choppy seas

11:39 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

More people have risked choppy seas in the English Channel to reach the UK by small boats.

A total of 153 migrants on four boats were intercepted by the UK authorities on Monday June 27, according to figures released by the MoD.

And more boats are expected to arrive on Tuesday despite strong winds in the region.

The recent crossings bring the total of people reaching the UK so far this year to 12,312 compared to 5,654 by this point in 2021 and 2,449 in 2020.

At the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to give a figure by which Channel crossings needed to come down before the Government’s Rwanda migrant policy could be declared a success.

The first flight to Rwanda, planned for June 14, was cancelled at the last minute following an order from the European Court of Human Rights.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously described the court’s decision as politically motivated while Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said it was wrong for the injunction to be granted.

Ongoing court battles have created uncertainty over when any further attempts to fly asylum seekers to the African country will be made, although Ms Patel has said the Government “will not be deterred from doing the right thing, we will not be put off by the inevitable last-minute legal challenges”.

Universal Credit has increased crime rate, landmark study finds

11:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The government’s flagship Universal Credit benefits system has driven an increase in the crime rate across Britain, a new study has found.

Researchers at University College London studying the roll-out of the new system found there was “salient and plausible evidence linking UC to an increase in recorded crime”.

The peer-reviewed findings, published in the British Journal of Criminology, are the latest piece of evidence adding to a growing body of work suggesting less generous social security systems drive increases in lawbreaking.

My colleague Jon Stone reports:

Universal Credit has increased crime rate, landmark study finds

‘Authoritarian’ police powers to restrict noisy protests come into force

11:04 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

“Authoritarian” laws allowing police to restrict protests deemed to be too noisy or disruptive have come into force in England and Wales.

Legal conditions can now be imposed on demonstrations if the noise generated “may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation which are carried on in the vicinity”, or has a “significant impact” on anyone nearby.

The power to impose restrictions has been extended from moving processions to static assemblies and protests by a lone person.

‘Authoritarian’ police powers to restrict noisy protests come into force

Exclusive: Head of wildlife charity that employs Carrie Johnson ‘asked by Charity Commission to step down

10:52 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The head of the wildlife charity that employs Carrie Johnson has been asked by the Charity Commission to step down as chairman and trustee after an inquiry into its finances, The Independent has been told.

It is understood that Aspinall Foundation chairman Damian Aspinall has requested and been granted time to question the ruling before an official announcement by the Commission in the coming weeks.

The Charity Commission launched an investigation into the Aspinall Foundation’s ‘financial management and wider governance’ in March last year.

Read more from Simon Walters here:

Charity boss who employs Carrie Johnson is ‘asked to step down’

Home Office to reopen ‘dangerous’ immigration removal centre as part of Rwanda plan

10:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

An immigration removal centre that was closed by the government four years ago amid mounting concern about conditions is set to re-open, in what critics have described as a “backward step”.

The Home Office has announced that Campsfield House, in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, will be redeveloped in order to create a 400-bed removal centre for men.

In a letter to Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran on Tuesday, immigration minister Tom Pursglove said the reopening of the centre would “support” the government’s controversial plan to ship asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Our social affairs correspondent May Bulman reports:

Home Office to reopen ‘dangerous’ immigration removal centre as part of Rwanda plan

Junior technology minister says changes to the Northern Ireland protocol is legal

10:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Chris Philp has said making changes to the Northern Ireland protocol is legal and doesn’t break international law because treaties can be broken if “a state’s vital interests are threatened”.

Watch the full clip here:

Technology minister defends government plans to scrap parts of NI Protocol

10:08 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Chris Philp, the minister for technology and the digital economy, defended the government plans to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the face of criticism from opposition MPs and some Tory backbenchers.

The Government’s plan to effectively tear up parts of the post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland cleared its first Commons hurdle on Monday night, with MPs voting to give the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill a second reading.

The move was criticised by several prominent Tory MPs, including former prime minister Theresa May, amid concerns about the legality of the Bill.

Mr Philp said that he disagreed with her reservations over the Bill, which he said was “legally justified” and rejected claims that the UK could not rely on a “doctrine of necessity” to justify the measures.

“If entering into a treaty yourself at the beginning automatically meant you contributed to the problem, then you would never be able to invoke this clause to change a treaty, a set of treaty obligations.”

“I think it quite clearly is necessary. We’ve the powersharing agreement which is broken down, trade across the Irish Sea is being adversely impacted by this. The protocol was supposed to respect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, which it is not doing.”

He said that the protocol was being applied in an “unreasonable” way.

“We’re still hoping that a negotiated settlement is possible.”

09:46 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Downing Street said Boris Johnson thanked his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, for his support over the Ukraine crisis as they met at the G7 summit in Germany.

“The Prime Minister praised Prime Minister Kishida for his staunch support for the Ukrainian people in opposition to (Vladimir) Putin’s barbarism in Ukraine,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

“They agreed that the unity of thought between G7 leaders on this issue has strengthened Ukraine’s hand in the war and will continue to do so.

“The Prime Minister underlined the UK’s support for rule of law and sovereignty everywhere in the world.

“Democratic leaders must stand together in opposition to challenges to our values. The leaders agreed to continue to work to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Kishida agreed that the work the UK and Japan are doing together to develop the next generation of fighter planes is hugely valuable to our countries and will form the basis of UK-Japan co-operation for a generation to come.

“They agreed to explore ways of deepening the UK-Japan relationship further, harnessing our shared global leadership in areas like science and technology.”

Exclusive: Boris Johnson ‘shredding trust’ with three breaches of international law, former top diplomat warns

09:25 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

One of the UK’s most respected diplomats has accused Boris Johnson of planning three separate breaches of international law, warning that trust in the UK abroad is being shredded.

Kim Darroch, a former national security adviser and US ambassador, has attacked plans to neuter commitments to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), arguing they will violate the Good Friday Agreement.

In an interview with The Independent, he said the threat sits alongside moves to tear up the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland and to deport refugees to Rwanda, breaking the Geneva Convention.

Rob Merrick reports:

PM ‘shredding trust’ with three breaches of international law, ex-top diplomat warns

Tory MP who toppled Theresa May to run in party elections and ready to ‘remove’ Boris Johnson

09:11 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Conservative MP who organised the campaign that toppled Theresa May is running in party elections to prepare for a fresh push to bring down Boris Johnson.

Steve Baker hopes a seat on the executive of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbenchers will allow him to change the rules to allow another no-confidence vote – if necessary.

The serial rebel described the prime minister’s position as “intolerable” if he is found to have lied to parliament over the scandal of the No 10 parties, many of which he attended.

Our deputy political editor, Rob Merrick, reports:

Senior Tory MP to run in party elections and ready to ‘remove’ Boris Johnson

PM has early morning swim in lake ahead of G7 summit

08:58 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Boris Johnson had an early-morning swim in the lake at the G7 summit venue in the Bavarian Alps before a meeting with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.

The prime minister said: “Thank you very much for meeting so early, it’s great to see you. Actually, I’ve already been for a swim in the lake.”

He told the Japanese leader: “This is a relationship that’s going from strength to strength under your leadership, Fumio.

“Two great island democracies, united in our values, determined to stand up together against autocracies and the dangers of drifting backwards in the world, but also wanting to do more together on technology, on security, on trade, and of course I’m delighted that tomorrow - finally - we are able to have Fukushima-origin products all over the shops in the UK.”

Products from Fukushima, the site of a nuclear accident in 2011, had been restricted due to concerns about radiation contamination.

Chris Philp says PM ‘did not intentionally mislead parliament’

08:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Chris Philp, the minister for technology and the digital economy, was asked on Times Radio whether the prime minister would resign if the Commons Privileges Committee found that he misled MPs with his reassurances that Covid rules were followed in No 10.

The junior minister said he was not going to speculate on any upcoming report from the committee, amid a turbulent few days for the leadership of Boris Johnson.

“The PM has been clear that he did not intentionally mislead parliament and everything he said to parliament at different times he believed at the time, based on the information he had available.

“The prime minister is getting on with things like dealing with the very serious Ukraine situation, fixing the Northern Ireland Protocol and making sure our economy is doing as well as it can,” Mr Philp added.

Current rise in inflation is only ‘transitory’, technology minister says

08:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Technology minister Chris Philp said that he believed the current inflationary spike is only a “transitory phenomenon”.

He said it was driven by the war in Ukraine and the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic

“We are expecting this to be something which is transitory,” he said.

“If we have a series of across-the-board pay increases for everybody, then what is going to happen is that is just going to see even more inflation.”

He told Sky News that there are no “easy fixes” to inflation, but said the Government was doing what it could to support the poorest households.

SNP’s Fiona Hyslop says Scotland’s referendum will be lawful

08:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

SNP’s Fiona Hyslop has said Scotland will have a “lawful referendum on independence”.

“We are respecting democracy, we are respecting the will of the people of Scotland.”

She added: “Businesses in Scotland want to have access to the biggest single market in the world with the EU’s single market.

“Why are they denying the people and businesses of Scotland the opportunity to be successful?”

Technology minister says Nicola Sturgeon should honour the 2014 referendum

08:03 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Technology minister Chris Philp told Sky News that Nicola Sturgeon should “respect the will of the Scottish people” and stick to the result of 2014 referendum.

The MP for Croydon South said “there are more important issues facing Scotland” than re-running another referendum which was supposed to be a “once in a generation” vote.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace ‘asks Boris Johnson for 20% hike in military spending’

07:48 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Defence secretary Ben Wallace is set to issue a call for a hike in government spending on the UK’s armed forces in the face of Russian aggression.

The senior cabinet minister has reportedly asked Boris Johnson to increase the country’s military spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP – an additional 20 per cent a year.

In a letter, Mr Wallace urged him to call on fellow Nato leaders to raise their own spending from the current minimum target of 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent of national income, according to Talk TV.

Read more from Adam Forrest here:

Ben Wallace ‘asks Boris Johnson for 20% hike in defence spending’

Ukraine is UK’s new ‘1937 moment’, British army chief says

07:35 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Britain is facing a new “1937 moment” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and must be prepared to “fight and win” to prevent the spread of war in Europe, the new head of the army General Sir Patrick Sanders has said.

The chief of the general staff, is expected to tell the annual army conference on Tuesday he will focus on mobilising the army to prevent the spread of war in Europe.

“This is our 1937 moment. We are not at war – but must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion.”

Aisha Rimi has more:

Ukraine is our ‘1937 moment’, British army chief says

Plan to rip up Northern Ireland Protocol could become law ‘very fast’, says Boris Johnson

07:20 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Boris Johnson has said his bill to tear up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol could become law “very fast”, insisting his plan could be implemented by the end of 2022.

Mr Johnson told reporters at the sidelines of the G7 summit that he expected his plan to unilaterally scrap GB-NI checks could be carried out “fairly rapidly” – despite expectations that peers will block it for up to 12 months.

Asked at the summit if the protocol override measures could be in place this year, he said: “Yes, I think we could do it very fast, parliament willing.”

Adam Forrest reports:

Plan to rip up protocol could become law ‘very fast’, says Boris Johnson

The price of freedom is worth paying, says Boris Johnson

07:05 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Boris Johnson has said that the “price of freedom” is worth paying when asked about the cost of helping defend Ukraine and the rising cost of living crisis.

The Prime Minister told the BBC at the summit in the Bavarian Alps: “I think that the economic impacts on the UK will start to abate, we’ll find ways around things and some of the cost pressures will start to come down.

“But just in terms of staying the course, imagine if you didn’t. Imagine if we allowed Putin to get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country, a sovereign, independent territory – the lessons for that would be absolutely chilling in all of the countries of the former Soviet Union, you can see what’s happening in the Baltic countries already.“But the read across would also be felt in east Asia, as well.

“So, in terms of the economic effects of that, that would mean long-term instability, it would mean anxiety across the world.”

“The point I would make to people is, I think that sometimes the price of freedom is worth paying,” he added.

David Hughes reports:

Johnson insists cost of Ukraine support is price worth paying

Johnson to join world leaders as G7 summit draws to a close

06:55 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Boris Johnson and his fellow world leaders will gather for the final day of a G7 summit which has been overshadowed by atrocities in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister and the leaders of the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy condemned the “abominable attack” by Russian forces on Ukraine.

“We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

David Hughes reports:

G7 summit draws to close with condemnation of Putin’s ‘war crime’ mall massacre

Can the Liberal Democrats build on recent successes?

06:45 , Sravasti Dasgupta

“The real bonus, however, the rich fertiliser needed for more Lib Dem breakthroughs is the return of anti-Tory tactical voting, which turbo-charged their efforts in the recent by-elections – just as it did in the 1997 and 2001 general elections.

In fact, today it feels to be very much a tactical anti-Boris Johnson vote. Take Johnson away and the chances of a Lib Dem resurgence and an eventual say in a progressive Starmer-led government might be much reduced.

Ed Davey, a bruised survivor of the Cameron-Clegg cabinet, spends a lot of time calling for Johnson to quit.He should be careful what he wishes for. Even Japanese knotweed can wither if the weather changes.”

Sean O’Grady writes for The Independent:

Analysis: What does the future hold for the Lib Dems – electoral promise or pain?

Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine if Tory 1922 committee was ‘on his case’, claims Johnson

06:35 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Boris Johnson has suggested that Vladimir Putin would have not invaded Ukraine earlier this year if he had the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers “on his case”.

“I’m very happy ... I got a higher percentage of the parliamentary votes than I did the first time. So, I’m very happy, we will move forward,” he said on the challenge by Tory rebels while speaking at the G7 summit to CNN.

The PM added: “Do you really think that Vladimir Putin would have launched an invasion of another sovereign country if he’d had people to listen to properly ... arguing, if he’d had a committee of backbenchers, the 1922 Committee, on his case?”

Adam Forrest reports:

No Ukraine invasion if Putin had Tory 1922 committee ‘on his case’, claims PM

Falklands’ sovereignty is not in question, Boris Johnson tells Argentina

06:25 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Boris Johnson told Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez that the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands is “not in question” as the two leaders met in the margins of the G7 summit in Germany on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “President Fernandez raised the Falkland Islands.“The Prime Minister was firm that their sovereignty is not in question.“

The Prime Minister stressed that the Falkland Islanders, like all people, have a right to self-determination.”

David Hughes reports:

Boris Johnson tells Argentina Falklands’ sovereignty is not in question

British aid pledge ‘nowhere near enough’

06:10 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Boris Johnson’s commitment to help developing countries facing an unprecedented hunger crisis is “nowhere near enough”, Bond, an umbrella group representing 70 UK charities has said.

The prime minister, attending the G7 summit in Germany this week, announced a £372m support package to help countries hardest hit by soaring food costs and fertiliser shortages.

Stephanie Draper, chief executive of Bond, said it was “nowhere near what’s needed”, adding that the package “must be the seed of a bigger plan to address the causes and consequences of the global food crisis”.

The UN has warned that 49 million people are now at risk of famine as a Russian blockade of grain from Ukraine pushes up prices around the globe.

Adam Forrest reports:

Aid pledge ‘nowhere near enough’ as UN says 49 million at risk of famine

Nicola Sturgeon promises abortion buffer zones around clinics

05:55 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Nicola Sturgeon has backed establishing buffer zones around abortion clinics in Scotland so women can access services “free of harassment and intimidation”.

Ms Sturgeon said that the proper focus for anyone protesting against abortion should be Parliament and lawmakers, not hospitals or sexual health clinics.

“Gatherings of this kind create additional stress for anyone using these facilities, for any purpose, and for those who work in them. But for women accessing abortion services the upset, distress and fear that they cause can be profound.”

The first minister was speaking at the abortion summit in Edinburgh which aims to ensure that women can access abortion services.

“There are issues that we need to solve to establish buffer zones through legislation but if we work together in a spirit of solidarity, I am confident we can find a way,” she added

.Aisha Rimi reports:

Nicola Sturgeon commits to establishing abortion buffer zones around Scottish clinics

Theresa May lashes out at PM's bid to override Northern Ireland Protocol

05:40 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Theresa May has called Boris Johnson’s patriotism into question as she declared she will not support his bid to override the Northern Ireland protocol which he agreed with the EU as part of his Brexit withdrawal deal in 2019.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms May told MPs: “The UK’s standing in the world – our ability to convene and encourage others in the defence of our shared values – depends on the respect others have for us as a country, a country that keeps its word and displays those shared values in its actions.

“As a patriot, I would not want to do anything that would diminish this country in the eyes of the world.”

Andrew Woodcock has the details:

Theresa May blasts Boris Johnson’s bid to override Northern Ireland protocol

Nicola Sturgeon to lay out “route map” for second Scottish referendum

05:25 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will lay out a “route map” statement on the second vote on independence on Tuesday.

“It is time to give people the democratic choice they have voted for, and then with independence to build a more prosperous, fairer country in a true partnership of equals between Scotland and our friends in the rest of the UK,” she said.

The 2014 referendum, which saw voters north of the border opt to stay in the UK by 55% to 45%, took place after then prime minister David Cameron agreed a section 30 order.

Katrine Bussey reports:

Scots must have ‘democratic choice’, Sturgeon says ahead of key indyref update

Tory rebels ready to act ‘lightning fast’ to remove Boris Johnson

05:13 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Conservative rebels will act “lightning fast” to oust the prime minister when a powerful Commons committee publishes its findings on whether he lied to parliament over Partygate, a former minister said to The Independent.

“When it happens, it has to be lightning-fast and it has to be at a moment when his position is irrecoverable,” the minister said.

The comments came as cabinet ministers faced growing calls to follow Oliver Dowden, who quit his government post and the chairmanship of the Tory Party after the devastating byelection defeats.

Andrew Woodcock reports:

Tory rebels to act ‘lightning fast’ if PM found to have lied to Commons

04:37 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Welcome to the UK politics blog for Monday, 28 June 2022 where we bring you the latest news and analysis from the heart of Westminster.

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