Liz Truss says ‘high-paid jobs’ answer to cost of living crisis
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said that the government was willing to sit and watch people “financially drown” as the cost of living crisis continues.
Meanwhile, Keir Starmer repeatedly asked Boris Johnson at PMQs to commit to a windfall tax on the massive profits of energy companies, the Labour leader added said ordinary families were being crippled by the cost of living crisis
Elsewhere, prime minister has “dithered” over a windfall tax and will end up supporting it in an “inevitable U-turn”, Sir Keir said. Mr Johnson accused Labour of being too keen to bring taxes on business.
Meanwhile, a Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault over historic allegations was released on bail.
The unnamed MP, who is in his fifties, was asked by his party’s whips not to attend parliament while a police investigation is ongoing. Liz Truss said she was “very, very concerned about the reports.”
The arrest comes just weeks after Westminster was rocked by another round of “Pestminster” allegations against sitting MPs – which led Tory MP Neil Parish to resign for watching porn in parliament.
Jamaican deportation flight takes off with just seven people aboard
A deportation flight to Jamaica left the UK with seven people on board after dozens of others were granted a last-minute legal reprieve, it has been estimated.
The charter flight, which was initially due to carry 112 people, is understood to have taken off in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Campaigners had been trying to halt the flight amid concerns over the legality of the government’s attempt to remove Jamaica nationals from the country, following claims that the majority of people came to the UK at a very young age and some may have a right to British citizenship.
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 14:51
Women in hazmat suits surround Parliament to offer ‘Pestminster Control’ services
Following the shocking news that an unnamed Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, campaigners from the Women’s Equality Party, dressed as pest controllers, lined the entrance to Parliament to highlight the shocking number of MPs facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
Launching the action just ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions, activists handed out leaflets which read: ‘WANTED – have you seen this MP? Last seen in Parliament.
Beware, alleged rapist making laws.’ The picture on the leaflet was left blank to highlight the fact that the alleged rapist could be any number of MPs and that people are being put at risk.
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 14:32
The Prime Minister has said the civil service will be ‘more efficient’ if workers get back to their desks.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour MP Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall) said: “The Home Office… and others now regularly take six months to respond to letters to ministers. Immigration cases waiting years to hear anything at all.
“But instead of putting resources into fixing this unacceptable problem, the Prime Minister is choosing to fire thousands of civil servants and his ministers wander around Whitehall putting post-it notes on desks he thinks looks too empty.
“Will the Prime Minister personally look into this issue and instruct his ministers and civil servants to give our constituents the attention they deserve?”
Boris Johnson replied: “I have to say that I must respectfully disagree with the implication that for the civil service that working from home is everywhere as productive as being in the office.
“I simply don’t accept that. I do think that we will become more productive and more efficient if on the whole we find ways to get back to our desks.”
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 14:13
Young adults ‘fear they’ll never start a family’ due to cost-of-living crisis
One-quarter of young adults say the cost-of-living crisis is the leading cause of anxiety in their life, forcing them to reduce pension contributions and even to fear they may never start a family.
A survey of 1,000 young UK adults aged between 18 and 25 found rising energy bills (46 per cent), petrol (44 per cent) and food prices (43 per cent) hit their finances the hardest.
More than three-quarters (76 per cent) said they had been forced to change their spending habits to navigate the current financial landscape.
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 13:54
Labour calls for suspension of Tory whip from MP facing rape investigation
Labour have called on Boris Johnson to immediately suspend the Conservative whip from a Tory MP arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of offences including rape.
Eleanor Sly18 May 2022 13:30
Starmer taunts Boris Johnson that he ‘can’t make his mind up’ on windfall tax
Here is a round-up of this afternoon’s PMQs from The Independent’s deputy political editor Rob Merrick:
Liam James18 May 2022 13:20
Most people in Commons ‘not misbehaving’, says PM
The vast majority of people who work in the House of Commons are doing a “very good job” and “are not misbehaving”, Boris Johnson said when asked about MPs acting outside of the ministerial code.
Westminster has been rocked by revelations of misconduct in recent months, from former speaker John Bercow being banned for bullying to Tory MP Neil Parish resigning for having watched porn in the Commons chamber.
During PMQs, SNP MP Hannah Bardell asked: “The precious principles of public life enshrined in this document must must be honoured at all time. Those are the prime minister’s own words from the ministerial code.
“So, can the prime minister tell me on a scale of one to 10, how is he doing with keeping to those principles?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I think 10 out of 10.
“We believe in this government in adhering to the principles of the ministerial code … And I think it is always worth stressing that the vast majority of people who work in the House of Commons and members of parliament are doing a very good job and working very hard and are not misbehaving.”
Liam James18 May 2022 13:05
Tory MP booed for Beergate question
Conservative MP Richard Holden faced boos from the opposition benches for a question over Beergate.
The North West Durham MP asked if Boris Johnson agreed his constituency was “more than just a place for a social evening of beer and takeaway curry”.
This came in the middle of a lengthy question and led opposition MPs to jeer at him.
Mr Holden asked: “Would he more broadly agree with me that education is a cornerstone of levelling up and ensuring more good jobs are available locally in County Durham too, so that it is more than just a place to bring friend for a social evening of beer and takeaway curry and is a pleasant place to live, work and bring up a family?”
Mr Johnson replied that Mr Holden was a “massive champion for his constituency”.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:55
Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in Westminster, asked if Boris Johnson supported “his chancellor’s insulting statement that acting now, in this cost of living emergency, would just be silly”.
Mr Blackford said: “People didn’t need to see this morning’s official statistics to know that we’re experiencing the highest inflation in 40 years, they know it because they’re living with it … Does the prime minister still support his Chancellor’s insulting statement that acting now, in this cost-of-living emergency, would just be silly.”
Mr Johnson said he supported the chancellor and pointed to the rise in living wage, cuts to taxes for people on benefits and energy bill relief.
He added: “And above all I support what he has done to deliver a strong economic foundation which makes all that possible.”
Liam James18 May 2022 12:48
Rees-Mogg an ‘oversized prefect’ says Starmer
Starmer takes aim at Jacob Rees-Mogg for his opposition to a windfall tax. He lists the Conservatives in favour of a windfall tax, along with business leaders and cites the head of BP’s recent remark that the levy would not harm investment.
“And on the other side: The member for North East Somerset. When he’s not sticking notes on people’s desks like some overgrown prefect is dead set against. When is he finally gonna get a grip?”
Boris Johnson, in reply, again hits at Labour’s taste for the tax rise.
Liam James18 May 2022 12:34