Partygate: Johnson faces no additional motion as police investigation concludes
Downing Street staff who obtained fines for attending the identical lockdown events as Boris Johnson have reacted with fury after the prime minister escaped additional sanctions.
“It’s a joke,” one No 10 supply instructed The Independent, saying that the prime minister had “told people to ‘let their hair down’ and enjoy their drinks which they’d earned for ‘beating back the virus’”, including: “He’s a man of little or no integrity.”
Announcing the conclusion of their Operation Hillman probe on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police mentioned a complete of 126 fines had been issued to 83 folks, over occasions spanning eight dates between May 2020 and April 2021.
A number one knowledgeable on Covid legal guidelines, barrister Adam Wagner, additionally questioned the “inconsistency” of the fines, after it emerged some junior staff have amassed as many as 5 fines whereas the PM and different senior figures prevented contemporary motion.
It is now anticipated that Sue Gray, the senior civil servant finishing up a wider report into the scandal, will publish her findings as quickly as subsequent week.
Boris Johnson ‘has acted on’ Sue Gray’s report, Raab says
Dominic Raab has mentioned he welcomes the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police probe into the Partygate scandal, and insisted that Boris Johnson “has acted on” Sue Gray’s interim report.
“We welcome the conclusion of the police investigation, or at least the Metropolitan Police investigation. I think it’s important to have the transparency and accountability that goes with that,” the justice secretary instructed Times Radio.
“I can’t comment on the relationship between the Met and Sue Gray. That would be wrong for me to do, particularly as Justice Secretary. All I can say is that we wait to get a final report. Obviously we’ve already had the interim report, and the prime minister has acted on it – the overhaul at number 10.
“We will, at the minute we get the final report, publish it as soon as possible. And the prime minister said he will come to the House of Commons and take questions so that we get have that additional tier of transparency and accountability.”
Andy Gregory20 May 2022 07:57
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty make first look in Sunday Times Rich List
The chancellor and his spouse have made the Sunday Times Rich List for the primary time with their joint forecast at £730m, as Russian billionaires tumbled down this year’s rankings.
On Friday morning, they emerged at 222 within the record, largely on account of Ms Murty’s £690m stake in Infosys.
It comes after the Chancellor and his spouse’s funds have come beneath intense scrutiny in latest months, after The Independent revealed Ms Murty’s non-dom tax standing, which had doubtlessly saved her thousands and thousands in taxes.
She later agreed to pay overseas taxes on her UK earnings and Mr Sunak was cleared of breaching the ministerial code by Boris Johnson’s requirements adviser after contemplating the tax affairs.
Andy Gregory20 May 2022 07:27
Iceland to introduce 10 per cent low cost for senior Brits
Iceland is ready to introduce 10 per cent for seniors as Britons wrestle with the rising price of residing, making it the primary UK grocery store to introduce such a reduction.
The company introduced it was giving discounted charges to clients aged over 60 from 24 May, with the low cost to use each Tuesday with no minimal spending.
Customers might want to present proof of age to have the ability to redeem the low cost, which might be out there in-store at Iceland and The Food Warehouse branches.
The company can be exploring a nationwide rollout of £30 vouchers to these receiving state pension, following a regional trial over Christmas.
Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, mentioned: “We have a protracted historical past of supporting our over 60s clients, equivalent to once we launched ‘Elderly Hour’ on the peak of the pandemic.
Namita Singh20 May 2022 07:03
MPs involved by ‘backlog’ of complaints over NHS and authorities providers
MPs are involved a couple of “significant backlog” on the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), an unbiased physique performing because the “last resort” for people’ complaints about NHS and authorities providers, a brand new report warns.
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) attributed the disruption to the Covid pandemic, because it reviewed the efficiency of PHSO from 2020-2021.
As of March 2021, the physique is confronted with an unallocated backlog of over 3,000 instances, discovered the committee because it added that the influence of the pandemic on the NHS and its personal staff “resulted in a queue of cases waiting to be considered at the end of year”.
While the PHSO has requested additional resources to spice up the variety of case staff, the MPs on the committee mentioned they “remain concerned” concerning the influence of delays on these utilizing the ombudsman’s providers.
Namita Singh20 May 2022 06:44
Irish premier to carry talks with Stormont leaders
His go to comes within the wake of the UK authorities’s controversial transfer to behave unilaterally to scrap components of the protocol.
While welcoming overseas secretary Liz Truss’s announcement on Tuesday to legislate to override components of the Brexit withdrawal treaty it struck with the EU, the DUP has mentioned it won’t instantly carry its powersharing boycott.
Namita Singh20 May 2022 06:21
Johnson overhauls No 10 as he awaits Sue Gray report
The prime minister has overhauled his Downing Street operations following the conclusion of Metropolitan Police inquiry into lockdown-busting events.
Boris Johnson’s bid to revive order at No 10 noticed the federal government announce adjustments that may “enhance the support that is offered to the prime minister and to the cabinet”.
The shake-up will contain making a streamlined staff of officers working for the prime minister beneath the management of his everlasting secretary.
A UK authorities spokesman mentioned: “As we set out earlier in the year, steps are being taken to further strengthen the operation of both No 10 and the Cabinet Office so they are best placed to deliver for the public now and in the future.
“Work to deliver these plans is ongoing.”
It comes forward of the publication of Sue Gray’s separate report into Covid lockdown gatherings, anticipated subsequent week.
Namita Singh20 May 2022 06:10
‘US won’t comply with UK commerce deal if Johnson discards protocol’
The chief of the US House of Representatives mentioned it was “deeply concerning” the British authorities was planning to unilaterally finish protocol checks beforehand agreed with the EU.
Ms Pelosi mentioned she had beforehand instructed Mr Johnson and overseas secretary Liz Truss that in the event that they select to “undermine” the Good Friday Agreement, then Congress “cannot and will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the UK”.
You can discover the small print on this report by Adam Forrest:
Namita Singh20 May 2022 05:55
Legal knowledgeable questions ‘odd’ fines for junior No 10
A number one knowledgeable on Covid legal guidelines has questioned the “inconsistency” of the Metropolitan Police fines handed out to Downing Street staff whereas Boris Johnson escaped additional punishment.
Describing the end result of the Partygate inquiry as a “bit odd”, barrister Adam Wagner mentioned it appeared that Mr Johnson had prevented fines regardless of attending unlawful leaving drink occasions.
“I would be pretty peeved if I was an official who got an FPN for participating in what the Met clearly deemed to be an illegal gathering … but others who participated didn’t,” the knowledgeable tweeted.
My colleague Adam Forrest has the small print:
Namita Singh20 May 2022 05:40
Downing Street staff livid as Johnson escapes Partygate fines
Downing Street staff who obtained fines for attending the identical lockdown events as Boris Johnson have reacted with fury after the prime minister escaped additional sanctions on Thursday.
“It’s a joke,” one No 10 supply instructed The Independent. “He told people to ‘let their hair down’ and enjoy their drinks which they’d earned for ‘beating back the virus’.”
They mentioned the prime minister had participated in socialising with officers and advisers in a way that had been considered an endorsement of partying after work.
“He’s a man of little or no integrity,” they added, referring to his dealing with of the Partygate affair.
Read the small print on this joint report by Anna Isaac, Adam Forrest and Lizzie Dearden:
Namita Singh20 May 2022 05:27
Welcome to The Independent’s stay weblog on UK politics for Friday, 20 May 2022.
Namita Singh20 May 2022 04:53