oris Johnson told the House of Commons that “nothing and no one” will stop him carrying on as Prime Minister after facing down a no confidence vote on Monday night.
In a fiery clash with Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson insisted he was “getting on with the job” following a revolt among his own MPs.
But Sir Keir mocked Mr Johnson’s damaged standing among his own MPs, saying he was not sure whether he had heard “cheers or boos” from the Tory benches as he took to the despatch box.
Although Mr Johnson survived, by 211 votes to 148, critics warned that he had been severely wounded by the scale of the rebellion and could be gone before the end of the year.
After Mr Johnson insisted on Tuesday it remained a “fundamental Conservative instinct” to cut taxes, Chancellor Rishi Sunak used a speech to the Onward think tank to reaffirm his intention to reduce taxes for business in the autumn.
It followed a call from former Brexit minister Lord Frost for previously announced rises to national insurance and corporation tax to be reversed, warning they were “not Conservative” and were “undermining growth and prosperity”.
His view that the Government needs to move on to a tax cutting agenda in order to shore up Mr Johnson’s leadership is reportedly shared by some in the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph reported that allies of the Prime Minister were urging him to replace Mr Sunak with former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt – who was runner-up to Mr Johnson in the 2019 leadership election and is expected to stand again if there is another contest.
‘I haven’t met Priti Patel in all my time here’, says UK Border chief
The government’s borders inspector has spoken out about his “frustration” at not being able to meet home secretary Priti Patel once since his appointment more than 14 months ago.
David Neal – appointed the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration last March – told MPs that he was “disappointed” to have had five or six meetings cancelled.
“I’ve not met the home secretary yet,” he told the home affairs select committee. “I’ve asked to speak to her on a number occasions, and pre-arranged meetings have been cancelled on maybe five or six occasions now.”
Asked if the apparent snub was different from previous dealings with other departments, Mr Neal said: “It is – I’m disappointed I haven’t spoken to the home secretary, and frustrated, because I think I’ve got things to offer from the position I hold.”
Nuclear test veterans demand recognition at first meeting with Prime Minister
People affected by Britain’s atomic experiments have asked for formal recognition for nuclear test veterans in their first ever official meeting with a prime minister.
A group including a nuclear bomb test veteran, a widow and four descendants told Boris Johnson about their experiences of the tests and the debilitating health problems they suffered as a consequence.
Mr Johnson said the veterans should be recognised for their service and ministers will explore how to mark their dedication.
Alan Owen, founder of the Labrats International charity for atomic test survivors, told the PA news agency: “We met with him and he looked us in the eye and we told him why these men deserve recognition.
“We’re the only country in the world that has not given formal recognition.”
Planning reforms send ‘conflicting signals’, Conservative MPs warn Government
The Government is sending “conflicting signals” with its plans to reform house building, ministers have been warned.
Conservative former minister Dr Liam Fox said local councils needed “more realistic housing targets” set out in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, as previous targets could lead to overdevelopment.
Senior Tories joined Dr Fox in raising concerns about the planned new law, with former minister Theresa Villiers claiming the Government’s rhetoric on handing councils more power over planning decisions was not matched by its actions in the Bill.
The Bill is aimed at spreading opportunity across the UK, with reforms to the planning system in England aimed at making new developments more attractive, and to ensure developers fund new road links, schools, and surgeries.
Members of Unite to strike alongside RMT
Members of Unite at Transport for London and London Underground will strike on June 21, the same day as a walkout by the RMT on the Tube and railways, the union announced.
Chancellor’s package ‘won’t result in higher inflation’, says economist
A leading economist has told MPs at the Treasury Select Committee that he does not believe the Chancellor’s recent cost-of-living support package for households will result in higher inflation.
Stephen Millard, deputy director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), said: “There is certainly tension with prices in theory but to be honest I’m not that worried about that – I do not think it will be inflationary.
“Why not? This is money to help the poorest people in society to buy stuff, food, to pay for their energy, precisely because they were not able to and would go other sources, such as borrowing or food banks.
“This is just enabling them to pay for something they would have bought anyway.
“In terms of creating excess demand, it’s not a big deal.”
Ministers could ‘name and shame’ petrol retailers
Ministers could “name and shame” petrol retailers who fail to pass on the fuel duty cut to motorists, Downing Street indicated.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said there is continued concern in Government that the 5p cut announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Spring Statement is still not being passed on at all filling stations.
The spokesman said the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has the power to launch an investigation and “transparency” could play a part in ensuring the cut is passed on.
“We know that there has been variation in that and we do want to see it passed on at all petrol stations. We are not confident that that is happening across the board,” the spokesman said.
“The CMA have said that if they find evidence that the cut is not being passed on that would mean competition is not working and they could launch a formal investigation. Obviously we would whole-heartedly support them.
“We are continuing to look at all possible options. Transparency may have an important role to play.
“It is important the public understand what actions each of the fuel retailers are taking and so we are considering what further options we can take in this area.”
Government will cut taxes when time is right, insists No 10
The Government is committed to cutting taxes but will only act when it is “responsible” to do so, the Prime Minister’s press secretary has insisted.
Boris Johnson has renewed calls from his own MPs to cut tax after Monday’s wounding confidence vote.
The press secretary said: “We have been clear we want to cut taxes but we are in a very difficult position following the global pandemic so as soon as it is responsible we will set out plans for doing that.”
The press secretary dismissed reports that Mr Johnson could replace Rishi Sunak as Chancellor with former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in a post-vote reshuffle.
She also played down reports the Prime Minister could seek to root out ministers who failed to publicly back him in the run up to the vote and said she was “not aware” of the Prime Minister sanctioning comments by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries attacking Mr Hunt.
“There were various things that were said before the vote took place and now is the time for us to unite and focus entirely on our job, which is delivering for the British public,” she said.
Tory MP: Boris needs to get ‘on front foot’ after confidence vote
Backbench Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake has called for Boris Johnson to “get on the front foot” and lower taxes.
While he said he would not “directly connect” calls for tax cuts with this week’s confidence ballot, he told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme that “clearly the Prime Minister wants to get on the front foot and our party has always believed in lower taxes”.
He said: “And I think in contrast to the Opposition, we believe in lower taxes. It’s not simply cuts in taxes on business, to be fair, it’s taxes on investment, which is a slightly different thing.
“And that’s hugely important in terms of getting the economy firing on all cylinders.”
Mr Hollinrake, who is the MP for Thirsk and Malton and sits on the Commons Treasury Committee, said the planned reduction in income tax should be brought forward, probably to later this year or early next year.
Labour says strikes ‘shouldn’t go ahead’
Labour said the proposed rail strikes should not go ahead and called for the Government to take a more active role in resolving the dispute.
A Labour spokesman said: “We have been clear in the position that the strikes shouldn’t go ahead.
“There is still time for there to be a resolution and we would encourage the Government to play a more active role in working with Network Rail and the unions to ensure they don’t go ahead.”
The spokesman said unions “have got a role to play in representing their workforces but equally nobody wants to see industrial action that is going to be disruptive to the country and we would encourage all the parties involved to get together”.
NHS staff ‘lions led by donkeys’, says Labour
Under the Conservative Government, NHS staff are “lions” led by “donkeys”, Labour has said.
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting told the Commons he is pleased Sajid Javid has already committed to implementing the recommendations of the review, but given “this is a rare example of decisiveness” from the Health Secretary’s part, he asked: “Can he tell us when he intends to publish his implementation plan?”
Mr Streeting went on: “All too often, senior leadership of the NHS is in a place where it still doesn’t represent the diversity of the population it serves.
“So, instead of throwing red meat to his own backbenchers, for reasons I think will probably be obvious to everyone, I’d like to hear how in particular, he intends to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion will be improved so we get the best leaders, incentivised into the most challenging roles and able to provide inclusive health care for the breadth of diversity of our great country.”
Criticising the fact that despite Mr Javid’s “best efforts, there are still 9,000 people waiting more than two years for treatment”, Mr Streeting concluded his speech saying: “Isn’t it the case, that he knows, I know, NHS staff know and the public know that with this Government NHS staff are lions led by donkeys, wanting and inadequate?”