Keir Starmer calls Boris Johnson the ‘Comical Ali’ of the cost of living crisis
Rishi Sunak hinted considering a windfall tax on the oil and gas companies if they don’t do enough to invest in country’s energy security.
“If we don’t see that type of investment coming forward, if companies aren’t going to make investments in our energy security, of course that’s something I’d look at,” the chancellor said in an interview with Mumsnet.
He however, added it would be “silly” for the government to consider more help for families feeling the cost of living squeeze right now despite soaring energy bills.
Brits are facing an average £700 increase in their gas and electricity bills after the energy price cap rise in April – with another 50 per cent spike expected in October.
The Chancellor rejected the idea of further help in the immediate months ahead – saying he was willing to make himself unpopular by sticking by his spending plans.
Meanwhile, the Tories are facing another controversy with The Independent’s exclusive report that health minister Sajid Javid used an offshore trust while working as an MP to the chancellor George Osborne in 2011 – but did not declare it in the register of members’ interests.
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Dorries vows to press ahead with Channel 4 privatisation
Nadine Dorries has vowed to press ahead with contentious plans to privatise Channel 4 while hitting out at the “completely outdated” BBC licence fee model.
Despite senior Tories voicing “profound scepticism”, the culture secretary is today publishing a broadcasting white paper confirming the government’s intentions to sell-off C4.
The cabinet minister claimed the overall reforms – forming part of next month’s Queens speech – will revamp decades-old law and “usher in a new golden age” for British television and radio.
Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the details:
Namita Singh28 April 2022 06:40
Rishi Sunak hints at windfall tax for energy firms
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted at introducing a windfall tax on energy companies, despite previously dismissing the policy.
He said he was considering the move if the oil and gas companies don’t do enough to invest in energy security in the country.
If we don’t see that type of investment coming forward, if companies aren’t going to make investments in our energy security, of course that’s something I’d look at
Rishi Sunak in an interview with Mumsnet
Mr Sunak said he had rejected the opposition call for a windfall tax on fossil fuel giants because the government did not want to put off investment in new oil and gas extraction in the North Sea. But he added: “Nothing is ever off the table in these things.”
There is no temporary reprieve in sight for families struggling with energy bills, meanwhile, as the chancellor said that it would be “silly” for the government to provide more help.
Asked by one disabled user whether he could do more on energy bills, the chancellor said he had already provided support through his £200 “energy rebate” loan and £150 council tax rebate.
Mr Sunak said: “We’ve said we’ll see what happens with the price cap in the autumn. I know people are anxious about this and wondering if they are going to go up even more.”
My colleague Adam Forrest reports:
Namita Singh28 April 2022 06:24
Javid used offshore trust while working at Treasury
Sajid Javid used an offshore trust while working as an MP in the heart of the Treasury – but did not declare it in the register of members’ interests, The Independent can reveal.
As the then-chancellor George Osborne’s parliamentary private secretary (PPS) in 2011, Mr Javid – now health secretary – played a key role in selling the Coalition government’s austerity policies to MPs.
But at the same time, Mr Javid was using a trust, understood to have been located in a tax haven, to cut his personal tax burden. He also served in the Treasury while the government launched a consultation on policies covering non-doms and overseas trusts in December 2011.
Earlier this month, Mr Javid admitted he had used non-dom status before entering politics and to having had an offshore trust, but it is only now that it has been revealed that he did not declare the trust as an MP and PPS.
The ministerial code states that while PPSs, who act as ministerial aides, are not technically members of the government “they must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their role as a parliamentary private secretary, and their private interests”.
Read the details in the exclusive by my colleague Anna Isaac.
Namita Singh28 April 2022 06:00
Allies must ‘double down’ and send tanks and jets to Ukraine, says Truss
Liz Truss on Wednesday called for western allies to send tanks, warplanes and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, saying that fears of an escalation of the conflict were misplaced and “inaction would be the greatest provocation”.
This is time for courage not caution.
“Heavy weapons, tanks, airplanes — digging deep into our inventories, ramping up production. We need to do all of this,” Ms Truss said during an annual foreign policy speech at Mansion House.
While Nato nations have supplied Ukraine with weapons and gear, they have been reluctant to send fighter planes out of fear that it might escalate the war further.
Ms Truss said that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a wake-up call for international organisations that failed to prevent the invasion.
“The architecture that was designed to guarantee peace and prosperity has failed Ukraine,” she said. “The economic and security structures developed after the Second World War and then the Cold War have been bent out of shape so far that they have enabled rather than contained aggression.”
Namita Singh28 April 2022 05:16
Tory MP watching porn in Commons chamber ‘should face expulsion’
A Tory MP allegedly watching porn in the House of Commons chamber should be expelled from the party if the claims are found to be correct, said a Home Office minister.
The alleged behavior was “shocking and unacceptable,” said Rachel Maclean, the minister responsible for safeguarding women. She added that there should be no place for it in the party or the parliament.
Government chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris launched an investigation after the allegation surfaced against an unnamed MP during a meeting of Tory MPs at Westminster.
Home Office minister Rachel Maclean has called the alleged behaviour ‘gruesome’
“It’s just gruesome,” Ms Maclean, who was present in the meeting, told Sky News.
“I’m the minister responsible for safeguarding women and for creating laws which protect women against sexual harassment and violence against women and girls so it is deeply sickening and disgusting to hear that a male MP is watching porn.
Action needs to be taken and I very much hope … we will see him out of Parliament, out of the party. I hope that’s where we get to.
She added that “we have to hear the full facts of the case, we’ve only heard one side of the story, but that is already starting to happen.”
Namita Singh28 April 2022 05:01
About 200 local authorities to hold elections in May
Every council seat in Scotland, Wales and London is up for grabs as a total of 200 local authorities across Britain go for polls on Thursday, 5 May.
Many of the seats contested this year last went to elections in 2017 and 2018, when the UK was a part of the European Union and was under the premiership of Theresa May.
The political landscape has undergone huge change since. Many, however, feel that the issues of the local elections may remain the same, including bins collections, the state of parks and pavements and access to libraries and hospitals.
The elections are also believed to be a verdict on prime minister Boris Johnson and his handling of national issues such as Covid-19 and the cost of living.
Read the article to find details about the key contests in each region:
Namita Singh28 April 2022 04:43
Watch: Girls don’t choose A-level physics because they dislike ‘hard maths’, claims social mobility tsar
Girls don’t choose A-level physics because they dislike ‘hard maths’, claims social mobility tsar
Emily Atkinson28 April 2022 04:30
Government refuses to say how many sanctioned Russians have non-dom status
The government has refused to say how many Russians sanctioned because of their links to the Kremlin benefit from UK non-dom tax status, as calls grow to scrap the perk.
Ministers claimed they were trying to “protect taxpayers money” by not revealing the extent of the breaks, an excuse opposition MPs described as “absurd”.
Opposition MPs have sent a series of parliamentary written questions to ministers but were told it would be too much work to provide an answer.
Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has the story:
Emily Atkinson28 April 2022 03:30
Watch: Dominic Raab condemns Labour’s plan for windfall tax on energy companies
Dominic Raab condemns Labour’s plan for windfall tax on energy companies
Emily Atkinson28 April 2022 02:30
Rishi Sunak says cost of living help would leave ‘our kids’ picking up the bill
Emily Atkinson28 April 2022 01:30