Moment Nadine Dorries interview goes off air after incident behind camera
Senior Conservatives have criticised Nadine Dorries’ claim that Boris Johnson was ousted in a “ruthless coup” – with one Tory MP labelling her comments “plain stupid”.
Warning that the prime minster’s removal had “unleashed the hounds of hell”, the culture secretary claimed that his “defenestration” had been “largely led” by Rishi Sunak, and defended recently mocking the ex-chancellor’s expensive attire given that “judgment is a huge issue” in the current leadership race.
As the contest to replace the PM continued, the remaining two candidates embarked upon tours of the nation, both unveiling plans to crack down violence against women and girls. Mr Sunak proposed a new “down-blousing” offence, while Liz Truss offered a law against misogynistic street harassment.
The ex-chancellor also said he would create a new emergency task force to hunt down grooming gangs, as well as tighten the law to ensure perpetrators remain behind bars for longer, while the foreign secretary announced that she would create a new stand-alone criminal offence for street harrassment.
Starmer: Labour will take ‘each case as it comes’ on shadow ministers joining picket lines
Labour is taking “each case as it comes” on shadow ministers joining picket lines, Sir Keir Starmer has said – claiming that Sam Tarry was sacked yesterday for having booked media appearances without permission and “made up policy on the hoof”.
Speaking in Birmingham, Sir Keir said: “We take each case as it comes. I want to see these issues resolved.
He added: “Of course, as far as the industrial action is concerned, I completely understand the frustration of so many working people who’ve seen the prices go up, seen inflation through the roof, and their wages haven’t gone up.
“So the Labour Party will always be on the side of working people, but we need collective responsibility, as any organisation does.”
Sir Keir continued: “Obviously, the Labour Party’s relationship with the trade unions is historic. They’re part of our movement. They always have been, always will be.”
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 13:25
UK car production slumps by a fifth as firms hit by parts shortages
In news that will trouble ministers, UK car production slumped by a fifth in the first six months of 2022 – as manufacturers battled with upheaval in global supply chains, soaring costs and a shortage of skilled workers and microchips.
Almost 100,000 fewer vehicles rolled of production lines between January and June compared to the same period a year earlier, new industry figures show – leaving production lower than during Covid lockdowns in 2020 and in the 2009 global financial crisis.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said parts shortages had put supply chains under “extreme pressures”, impacting production more severely than expected.
Our business reporter Ben Chapman has more details here:
UK car production slumps by a fifth as firms hit by parts shortages
Almost 100,000 fewer vehicles rolled of production lines between January and June
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 13:21
Senior Tories reject Nadine Dorries’ claim of a ‘coup’ against Boris Johnson
Senior Conservatives have contested Nadine Dorries’ claim this morning that Boris Johnson was the victim of a “coup”, which she claimed was largely led by Rishi Sunak.
Describing the culture secretary as having “an exuberant range of language”, Victoria Atkins – who resigned as justice minister during the implosion of Mr Johnson’s government – told Sky News: “I wouldn’t use language like that.”
Tory grandee Sir Roger Gale said: “Loyalty is a fine thing Nadine Dorries but Mr Johnson was not removed by ‘a coup’.”
And Simon Hoare MP said it was “plain stupid” to label Mr Johnson’s democratic removal a “coup”, adding: “As I’ve said before: it was, unfortunately, suicide, not homicide.”
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 12:48
Watch: Labour’s Sam Tarry speaks out after sacking by Starmer
Here is what Sam Tarry told broadcasters after being sacked from his role as shadow transport minister by Sir Keir Starmer for joining striking rail workers on the RMT’s picket line at London Euston yesterday.
“The decision today for people to go on strike was a massive one,” he said, adding: “I want to be part of a Labour Party – and always stand up for a Labour Party – that always stands in solidarity with workers in their disputes wherever that may be in this country.
“I think that we are going to really struggle to win the faith of the British people over the next few months and into general election when doctors go on strike, when nurses go on strike, when barristers and university lecturers.”
Labour minister sacked for appearing on picket line speaks out
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 12:33
Johnson takes swipe at Sunak VAT cut pledge
Boris Johnson has taken a thinly veiled swipe at his former chancellor Rishi Sunak for announcing he would cut VAT on energy bills.
In a speech to the Commonwealth Business Forum in Birmingham, the outgoing prime minister said: “We come now to the next stage in the great relay race of politics. I didn’t think it was meant to be a relay race, by the way, when I started.
“I can assure you that the baton is going to be passed seamlessly and invisibly to the hand of somebody else.”
He added: “I’ll give you this assurance – they will continue with the same programme, cutting taxes, simplifying regulation as much as possible, taking advantage of all our new regulatory freedoms, getting rid of every encumbrance from solvency to MiFID to VAT on fuel.”
This “turns out to be easier than we thought”, Mr Johnson remarked.
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 12:16
John McDonnell implies inconsistencies in Labour stance on sacking of Sam Tarry
Rachel Reeves did not get sacked for making up policy on rail nationalisation, John McDonnell has said – highlighting the contrast with Sam Tarry, who was sacked from the Labour front bench yesterday after defying Sir Keir Starmer to join the RMT picket line.
Put to him that Mr Tarry was sacked “because he was making up policy on the fly”, Mr McDonnell told Sky News: “Well, he’s expressed a view about the dispute, which I think is the correct view. That’s the first thing.
“But you know, Rachael Reeves went on an interview last week and made up policy on rail nationalisation, which had to be contradicted by the shadow spokesperson on transport within hours. I didn’t see Rachel Reeves being sacked.
“I just think this is an unnecessary division when we should be united.”
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 12:01
Truss says she will not commit to restoring plans for Leeds leg of HS2
Liz Truss has said she will not commit to restoring plans for the HS2 line to Leeds, claiming she is “prepared to take on the Whitehall orthodoxy” and “challenge the groupthink”.
“What I’m committing to today is Northern Powerhouse Rail,” the foreign secretary told reporters in the city. “I grew up in Leeds, I know how poor the local transport is. What people need is good routes to commute into work. That is where there is a real issue for people getting into work around West Yorkshire.”
She added: “I will immediately, upon becoming prime minister, work with my new transport secretary, bring all the local groups together – the councils, the mayor, the MPs to create the plan to move forward with this really import project, but I’m clear it is absolutely crucial for the future of the north of England.”
Asked whether Rishi Sunak was as committed to the project, Ms Truss said: “The thing about me is I’m prepared to take on the Whitehall orthodoxy, I’m prepared to challenge the groupthink that has, over decades, not put enough investment into this part of the country.
“I’m the person who can challenge Whitehall to get on with it and really deliver over the next decade.”
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 11:44
Truss denies her Foreign Office lacked expertise on Russia
Liz Truss said accusations that, under her leadership, the Foreign Office lacks expertise on Russia were “completely untrue”.
She told reporters in Leeds: “We have led the world in standing up to Russia. We were the first country to send weapons to Ukraine in Europe, we put the toughest sanctions on Russia of any country, and we’re also making sure that nobody is allowing Ukraine’s sovereign territory to be given up, and we’ve worked with our allies to achieve that.
“I’m proud of our record, but we need to do more, and one of the key areas in bringing down the cost of living is dealing with Russia – making sure they can’t hold the world to ransom over their gas supplies – and I will be tough in standing up to Putin.”
It comes after a report by the influential Institute for Government think-tank found that staff morale at the Foreign Office is low following its supposedly troubled merger with the Department for International Development – with just 20 staff posted in Moscow, and fewer than 60 advanced-level Russian speakers as of February.
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 11:30
Sunak to ‘protect precious green belt’ in brownfield housing pledge
Rishi Sunak has pledged to protect the “precious” green belt as he said his housing planning policy would be “brownfield, brownfield, brownfield”.
The former chancellor said: “Over the last few years we’ve seen too many examples of local councils circumventing the views of residents by taking land out of the green belt for development, but I will put a stop to it. Under my plans, if a local community has clearly judged a development to be inappropriate, there are no circumstances in which planning permission should be granted.
“More homes can be built while protecting the green belt and our most precious landscapes. Data shows that well over a million homes could be built across the country on brownfield sites, with particularly high capacity in the North West, Yorkshire, and the West Midlands.
“These places are crying out for new homes and a combination of building here, and more inner-city densification, will help us provide the housing that the UK needs, whilst protecting the countryside around our towns and cities.”
His campaign team insisted the announcement is a huge contrast to Liz Truss, who in 2019 pledged to build one million homes on green belt land – but in the current campaign has decried what she called “Stalinist” housing targets.
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 11:14
Sunak more popular than Truss with swing voters, polling finds
Although both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are considerably unpopular with the public as a whole, the ex-chancellor has a significant edge over the foreign secretary among swing voters, according to new YouGov polling of almost 5,000 people.
With net favourability scores of -30 and -32 respectively, Mr Sunak and Ms Truss are considerably less unpopular than Boris Johnson (-45), but are more unpopular than Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer.
However, Mr Sunak enjoys a more commanding lead over Ms Truss in the eyes of swing voters.
The responses from those who voted Conservative in 2019 but now tell YouGove they plan to vote Labour gave net favourability scores of -25 for Sunak and -45 for Truss, while scores among those who voted Labour in 2017 but Conservative in 2019 registered at -6 for Sunak and -19 for Truss.
Andy Gregory28 July 2022 10:34