Boris Johnson shouldn’t attend emergency sleaze debate, minister says
Mr Johnson’s party were down four points to 35 per cent while Labour remains unchained on 36 per cent, according to the poll carried out for The Evening Standard. And for the first time since he entered No 10, a majority of British adults disagree Mr Johnson has what it takes to be a good PM.
Despite the grim findings for the Tories, though, Sir Keir Starmer does not yet appear to have made a significant breakthrough in winning over voters.
It comes as trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan suggested her boss would not attend an emergency Commons debate on standards and sleaze this afternoon, called in response to the Owen Paterson paid lobbying scandal.
While Sir Keir insisted that a no-show by the PM would demonstrate he was “either too arrogant or too cowardly to take responsibility” for his actions, Ms Trevelyan told Sky News: “My opinion would be that no, he shouldn’t be there, he will no doubt – as we all do – have the Commons on in his office as he’s dealing with many, many other issues that only a prime minister that can deal with.”
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Davey’s consultancy work potential ‘conflict of interest’ – Lib Dems
Ed Davey’s outside work as a consultant is a potential “conflict of interest,” a Liberal Democrat MP has acknowledged, ahead of a Commons debate on sleaze.
The Lib Dem leader earns an extra £78,000 a year, on top of his £81,932 salary as an MP, advising an international law firm and an energy firm – for working just 10 hours a month, reports our deputy political editor Rob Merrick.
Sir Ed is one of only 2 non-Conservatives among around 30 MPs with second jobs as consultants, a role thrown into the spotlight by the Owen Paterson scandal. He claims the money is used to “benefit my disabled son”, who he cares for.
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 11:40
Tories behind Labour in latest opinion poll since sleaze scandal
The Tories have lost their lead over Labour, according to a new Ipsos Mori poll, as Boris Johnson’s “good prime minister” rating plummeted to its lowest since he entered No10.
Mr Johnson’s party were down four points to 35 per cent while Labour remains unchained on 36 per cent, according to the poll carried out for The Evening Standard. It also shows the Greens up by five points to 11 per cent and the Lib Dems unchanged on nine per cent.
A majority of adults in Britain also disagree that Mr Johnson has what it takes to be a good prime minister, for the first time since he entered office in 2019.
However, despite the grim findings for the Tories, Sir Keir Starmer and Labour do not appear yet to have made any dramatic breakthrough in winning over voters – something the Labour leader appears to be trying desperately to do amid grumblings in Westminster after the Owen Paterson row.
The poll was largely conducted before the Owen Paterson sleaze scandal exploded at Westminster, the Standard notes, and it also shows growing unease around the government’s handling of Covid.
It is thought the Greens saw such gains due to the party’s work in the lead up to Cop26.
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 11:22
What did Paterson do? Everything you need to know
ICYMI, Boris Johnson’s government is mired in sleaze claims after No 10 tried to save Conservative Party MP Owen Paterson from suspension while seeking to rip up the Commons disciplinary process.
So, what was the Tory MP found to have done wrong? Why did the government U-turn? And how do the parties now agree on a disciplinary procedure following the saga described by Labour as a “sleazy mess”?
My colleague Adam Forrest takes a closer look.
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 11:07
No ‘wider problem’ with corruption in politics, trade secretary says
No ‘wider problem’ with corruption in politics, trade secretary says
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 10:55
Minister defends peerage system amid sleaze claims
Anne-Marie Trevelyan has defended the UK’s peerages system, saying those in the House of Lords had “usually done enormously good work”.
It comes after a Sunday Times report showed 15 of the last 16 Conservative Party treasurers have been offered a seat in the Lords, having each donated more than £3m to the party. However, the trade secretary said it was key to have a “rich mix” in the upper chamber.
The Tories have denied any link between the donations and the nominations to sit in the Lords, in the latest twist in ongoing allegations of sleaze.
On Monday, Ms Trevelyan said “many business people, who have donated to their parties – Lord Sugar is one for the Labour Party, we have some on our side – do so because they believe in political activity”.
“We have an incredible system in the UK where we don’t ask the state to fund our political parties and if we didn’t have the private donations that come through from donors large and small – in my constituency, people donate £25 a year and donors who can provide more, do more – if we didn’t do that the taxpayer would be funding political activity,” she told Sky News.
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 10:37
‘Let’s call this what it is – corruption,’ says Labour about Paterson lobbying
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner is tweeting about the figures attached to Owen Paterson’s lobbying, which led to him resigning as an MP.
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 10:20
Row over MPs having second lobbying job intensifies
The rule that says MPs are allowed to hold jobs involving lobbying should be “looked at again”, a Cabinet minister has said.
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan was asked on Sky News whether MPs should be allowed to have second jobs. She replied:
“I think the question of whether MPs having jobs that involve lobbying, I think, perhaps should be looked at again.
“Across the board, I don’t think we should have a removal of the ability to maintain or have a second job because it brings a richness to our role as Members of Parliament as well as the work we do day to day with our constituents.”
Some critics are not so sure. The journalist Sirin Kale tweeted this earlier:
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 10:00
Watch: Kathryn Stone has ‘done a magnificent job’, says committee chair
Tory MP says independent standards commissioner has ‘done a magnificent job’
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 09:50
PM told there are ‘consequences’ for his ‘unkept promises’
On that note, Richard Ratcliffe spoke to The Independent exclusively last week from his camp outside the Foreign Office.
During the conversation, he denounced the prime minister for showing a “real lack of leadership” in the fight to get his wife home, accusing Boris Johnson’s government of “unconscionable” inaction.
Mr Ratcliffe said his family is “angry” at the lack of progress ministers have made since his wife’s detention in Iran in 2016, on jumped up espionage charges, and that the “idea the government has sat around for five-and-a-half years, not solving our case, is unconscionable”.
“Let’s be honest, we are a prime ministerial issue,” he continued, “but the last time I met with [Mr] Johnson was January – that’s not good enough. He promised he’d fix this and he hasn’t.”
Read the full report here, when Mr Ratcliffe was on day 10:
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 09:39
Ratcliffe still on hunger strike as Iran arrives at Cop26
The husband of British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said he will “probably” end his hunger strike when the Iranian delegation leaves Cop26.
Richard Ratcliffe told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he will also have to listen to his body when deciding when to end his strike.
“At this point I will have to start listening to my body,” he said. “Over the weekend I spent most of the day sitting down. The batteries were really flat.
“One of the things with a hunger strike is you get more stubborn the longer things go on, so you become less able to flexibly let go.”
Mr Ratcliffe is on day 16 of his hunger strike outside the Foreign Office, in his latest bid to get the government to secure his wife’s release. Iran will be at Cop26 from today.
Sam Hancock8 November 2021 09:36
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