Oliver Dowden admits Sunak is aware of Gavin Williamson bullying complaint
On Sky News, Oliver Dowden was asked five times whether the prime minister – as Jake Berry, a former party chair, has claimed – was told about the complaint lodged by Wendy Morton, the former chief whip.
He ducked the question, saying Mr Sunak was not aware of the expletive texts, before eventually acknowledging Mr Berry had “highlighted” her protest to the prime minister, thereby provoking a fresh crisis for the Conservative government.
Brandon Lewis, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, said bullying should never be seen as “an inevitable part of our political life”, after Mr Dowden attempted to brush off Sir Gavin’s expletive-laden texts to the former Tory chief whip messages as a “heat of the moment” mistake.
In the texts, revealed by The Sunday Times, Sir Gavin told Ms Morton “you f*** us all over” in anger at being excluded from the Queen’s funeral, adding: “There is a price for everything.”
Sunak promises to raise case of Briton on water strike in Egypt jail
Rishi Sunak has pledged to fight for the release of a UK citizen who has started a water strike in jail in Egypt, saying it is “a priority for the British government” that he be freed.
Mr Sunak is travelling to the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday to attend Cop27, in his first major international visit as premier.
There he said he will meet the Egyptian president and raise the case of Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a British-Egyptian writer and software developer who rights groups say is unlawfully detained for his activism.
Our international correspondent Bel Trew reports:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 05:40
How much money is Matt Hancock getting paid for I’m a Celebrity?
A new report has claimed that Matt Hancock will be paid a fee of £400,000 to appear on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The Conservative MP, who resigned as health secretary last year after he was caught kissing his aide Gina Coladangelo, announced earlier this week that he would be featuring on the forthcoming series of the hit ITV reality show.
A report in The Sun quotes an inside source on the show as saying: “[Hancock’s] pay deal with I’m A Celebrity is around £400,000 which is one of the largest ever show fees to have been paid out.”
Namita Singh7 November 2022 05:30
‘Millions of dogs and cats could be put down or abandoned’ due to cost of living crisis
Campaigners are warning that without government intervention, swathes of Britain’s 20 million companion animals are at risk of being euthanised or will suffer from a lack of veterinary care because of the cost.
Ministers are being urged to set up a “cost of living pet crisis fund” to limit the damage and to help owners, many of whom are heartbroken at having to give away their animals.
Read the details in this exclusive from my colleague Jane Dalton:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 05:20
Billions spent on ‘refugees and migrants’ in UK to be counted as foreign aid
Billions of pounds of government spending in Britain is to be counted as foreign aid.
Under Treasury rules, as much as £3.5 billion for refugees and migrants in the UK will be considered part of Britain’s contribution to international development, The Times reported.
It means the government is in line to spend almost half of the foreign aid budget in Britain, leaving 0.3 per cent of gross national income to go on projects overseas – below the government target of 0.5 per cent.
Namita Singh7 November 2022 05:10
‘Disappointed’ Rishi Sunak says Matt Hancock ‘letting down voters’ by joining I’m a Celeb
The prime minister said he was “very disappointed” in the former health secretary and said that MPs should be “working hard for their constituents”.
In comments reported by The Sun while on his way to the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, he added: “I think his constituents have expressed their view.”
Namita Singh7 November 2022 05:00
ICYMI: Fears UK will break climate crisis pledge for poor nations after failure to reveal funding
As the crucial Cop27 summit opens, the government is refusing to set out its recent contributions to a crucial global fund – despite Boris Johnson pledging to boost spending to an average of £2.3bn a year.
Read the details in this exclusive from our deputy political editor Rob Merrick:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:58
Jeremy Hunt plans £35bn spending cut amid recession warning
Some of the tax rises being considered include freezing income tax thresholds, targeting dividend tax relief, a raid on capital gains allowances and the 40 per cent pensions tax relief on pension savings for those earning more than £50,270, The Guardian reports.
My colleague Lamiat Sabin reports:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:40
Sunak accused of ‘vacuum of leadership’ as climate summit gets underway
As he left for Egypt, for one night only, Mr Sunak argued it is still possible to “limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees”, the point above which runaway climate change will be unstoppable.
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:30
Rishi Sunak ally admits he knew of bullying claim against Gavin Williamson
The Cabinet Office minister also claimed the former education and defence secretary regretted the language he used, although he initially denied doing anything wrong.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:
Namita Singh7 November 2022 04:23
Welcome to The Independent’s blog on UK politics for Monday, 07 November 2022 where we provide the latest on everything that’s buzzing in Westminster.
Namita Singh7 November 2022 03:57