Chris Philp's migrant remarks 'shocking and callous', say Lib Dems

Chris Philp, the minister for policing, is pictured in Downing Street on October 25 - Tolga Akmen/Shutterstock
Chris Philp, the minister for policing, is pictured in Downing Street on October 25 - Tolga Akmen/Shutterstock

A Home Office minister face backlash on Friday after saying it was "a bit of a cheek" for illegal migrants to complain about the conditions in which they are held.

Downing Street appeared to distance itself from the comments by Chris Philp, the policing minister, while the Liberal Democrats described them as callous.

It comes after a row over overcrowding and unsanitary conditions at the Manston asylum processing centre in Kent.

Mr Philp, a former immigration minister, said the UK’s asylum accommodation was better than most European countries, with the UK housing 27,000 asylum seekers in hotels and a further 60,000 in other Home Office funded accommodation.

Speaking on Times Radio, he said: "If people choose to enter a country illegally, and unnecessarily, it is a bit, you know, it's a bit of a cheek to then start complaining about the conditions when you've illegally entered a country without necessity."

'Overwhelming'

He added that people who had passed through other countries in Europe "don't even have to come here", and described the numbers as "overwhelming".

"We're spending something like two or three billion pounds a year looking after people who have entered the country illegally and unnecessarily," he said. "I think, frankly, that is pretty generous, actually... our asylum accommodation is better than most European countries."

When asked if Mr Philp was speaking for the Government, Rishi Sunak's official spokesman simply repeated that the Government’s position was that migrants deserved to be treated with compassion and respect.

"I haven't spoken to the Prime Minister about that specifically. Certainly it is true that Home Office Border Force officials and many others are working hard to provide safe, secure accommodation for those individuals that come via these routes," he said.

"As we've been clear, those individuals deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.

"Obviously the current approach is not working and it is placing huge pressures - both in terms of on the Government and on the local area - and that is presenting significant challenges, which is why we continue to work both with French colleagues and more broadly to try and resolve this issue."

'Shocking and callous'

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesman, said: "Chris Philp's comments reveal a shocking and callous complacency over the disaster unfolding at Manston. It is unbelievable that as we hear reports of sexual assaults, disease, and chronic overcrowding, his response is to accuse those who complain of 'cheek'."

Sir Roger Gale, North Thanet MP whose constituency covers Manston, said he could see where Mr Philp was "coming from". But he said in his opinion it was not a "cheek" to say children and women should be "treated humanely".

The number of migrants in Manston has halved to 2,000 since the weekend, when there were 4,100 held in a centre that was originally designed for 1,500. It is understood Home Office officials hope to bring it down to 1,500 by the end of the weekend, with migrants transferred to hotels or other accommodation.

Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, also wrote to MPs to update them on £340 million plans to open two new immigration removal centres in Hampshire and Oxfordshire that will allow 1,000 more migrants to be detained.

He also met local councillors and residents in Dover with the local Tory MP Natalie Elphicke to hear their concerns about the impact of the influx of migrants on over-stretched services and beach landings by migrants.

04:00 PM

That is all for today...

Thank you for joining me for today's politics live blog.

I will be back early on Monday morning.

03:49 PM

RMT suspends rail strikes planned to start tomorrow

Rail strikes set to take place from tomorrow have been suspended after unions said they had agreed to enter "intensive negotiations" with train companies.

The RMT said it was suspending strikes, which had been due to take place on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.

You can follow the latest updates on The Telegraph's business live blog here.

03:35 PM

Weekly politics quiz: Test your knowledge

02:56 PM

PM promises 'global leadership' on climate change will continue

Rishi Sunak has promised the UK's "global leadership" on tackling climate change will continue even as its presidency of the UN's COP ends. The UK hosted COP26 in Glasgow last November and COP27 will take place in Egypt next week.

The Prime Minister told a reception at Buckingham Palace this afternoon: "As Her Late Majesty the Queen said in her address to COP26, it is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit, written in history books yet to be printed, will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity and that you answered the call of those future generations.

"I hear that call repeatedly from my own young daughters too and I am sure you hear that call the same.

"So let me finish by saying this. The UK's COP presidency may be coming to an end but our global leadership will continue. Together we will write that chapter in history and bequeath our children and grandchildren a legacy to be proud of."

02:51 PM

Rishi Sunak: 'Much further to go' to tackle climate change

Rishi Sunak said the world must do more to deliver on climate change pledges today or "we will risk leaving an ever more desperate inheritance for our children tomorrow".

Addressing a reception at Buckingham Palace this afternoon, the Prime Minister said: "Of course as we all know there is much further to go, that as recent events have shown, delivering on the promise of Glasgow is more important than ever.

Rishi Sunak delivers a speech at a Buckingham Palace reception this afternoon - Jonathan Brady/AFP
Rishi Sunak delivers a speech at a Buckingham Palace reception this afternoon - Jonathan Brady/AFP

"More important because as we have seen so starkly with the war in Ukraine, it is vital to invest in secure renewable sources of energy and sustainable food production. More important because every moment we allow climate change to ravage our planet, we will see more human suffering, like the devatsting floods in Pakistan.

"And more important because if we do not act today we will risk leaving an ever more desperate inheritance for our children tomorrow."

02:47 PM

'We are turning the fight against climate change into a fantastic source of new green jobs'

Rishi Sunak said businesses are helping to turn "the fight against climate change into a fantastic source of new green jobs" as he addressed a reception of business leaders at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.

He said: "As a result of what many of you here are doing today, we are turning the fight against climate change into a fantastic source of new green jobs and growth.

"By using public/private partnerships you are helping us to create whole new green industries in areas like offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

"And we are not just doing that here together in the UK, we are enabling developing countries to build the green infrastructure that can fasttrack their own way to clean, green growth."

02:43 PM

Rishi Sunak: 'Easy to feel daunted' by climate crisis

Rishi Sunak addressed a climate change reception at Buckingham Palace this afternoon. The event was held ahead of the start of the UN COP27 summit in Egypt next week (see the post below at 13.23).

He told business leaders: "His Majesty has been working to help find pratical solutions to climate change and bioversity loss for more than 50 years. Long before COP One, let alone COP27.

"And when you look at the challenge before us it is easy to feel daunted. But I believe the agreements we reached in Glasgow are a source of hope for the world."

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured delivering a speech at a reception at Buckingham Palace this afternoon - Jonathan Brady/AFP
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured delivering a speech at a reception at Buckingham Palace this afternoon - Jonathan Brady/AFP

02:36 PM

Watch: Moment Liz Truss realised her time as PM was over - from the man in the room

02:13 PM

Chris Philp declines to answer questions

Chris Philp, the policing minister, remained silent when he was doorstepped by a television reporter in Westminster earlier today as he was asked if he stood by the comments he made this morning about asylum seekers (see the post below at 08.06).

Footage broadcast by Sky News this afternoon showed Mr Philp was asked a series of questions on the issue as he walked towards a waiting Government car.

But he did not respond.

01:49 PM

Schools have 'run out of places for local children amid influx of migrants'

Schools have run out of places for local children in entire year groups owing to the influx of migrants, councils and MPs have warned.

Families in Kent have been told there are no school places for 11 and 13-year-olds in Canterbury and Ashford because of the “unexpected” and “unplanned” arrival of migrant children in the two areas.

You can read the full story here.

01:25 PM

Pictured: Suella Braverman leaves Downing Street today

Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, is pictured leaving Downing Street today - Tayfun Salci/Avalon
Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, is pictured leaving Downing Street today - Tayfun Salci/Avalon

01:23 PM

Pictured: King Charles and Rishi Sunak chat at Buckingham Palace reception

The King has welcomed world leaders, business figures, environmentalists and NGOs to Buckingham Palace for a reception ahead of the UN climate summit COP27.

The monarch will miss the gathering of world figures in Egypt next week but is likely to discuss issues around COP27 and climate change with those invited to his royal residence this afternoon.

Rishi Sunak was among a small group of guests who met the King in a separate room before the main reception was held in the ballroom and the Prime Minister gave a short address to those invited.

King Charles III speaks with, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Cop26 President Alok Sharma (left) and Stella McCartney, during a reception at Buckingham Palace today - Jonathan Brady/PA
King Charles III speaks with, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Cop26 President Alok Sharma (left) and Stella McCartney, during a reception at Buckingham Palace today - Jonathan Brady/PA

01:16 PM

Lib Dems pledge to give people 'legal right' to see GP within a week

Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has unveiled plans to give patients a "legal right" to see their GP within a week, or within 24 hours if they are in urgent need of an appointment.

He said: "Far too many people are struggling to get a GP appointment when they need one, leaving them waiting anxiously for the care they deserve.

"This can lead to missed or delayed diagnoses, or people turning in desperation to our overstretched A&E departments instead.

"Patients are suffering from years of neglect under the Conservatives, who have repeatedly broken their promise to recruit more GPs.

"Liberal Democrats would guarantee people a right to a GP appointment within one week, or within 24 hours if they are in urgent need. This would reduce pressure on our hospitals and paramedics, saving crucial time and money elsewhere in the NHS."

12:28 PM

1,200 people removed from Manston over four days

The number of people at the Manston migrant centre in Kent has fallen to 2,600, with 1,200 people taken off site in the last four days, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "My understanding is there are currently 2,600 people on the site, so over 1,200 people have been removed over the last four days."

Asked if he expects this to drop to 1,600 over the next four days, the spokesman said: "I’d defer to Home Office if they’re putting a particular timescale on it. Obviously that does depend slightly on some of the variables such as the level of crossings we see."

12:25 PM

Immigration minister writes to MPs

Home Office minister Robert Jenrick has written to local MPs to update on the next steps for delivering new immigration removal centres in Hampshire and Oxfordshire, No 10 said.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “The immigration minister has written to local MPs to update on the next steps for delivering new immigration removal centres at Haslar, which is (in) Hampshire, and Campsfield in Oxford.

“These new facilities will provide safe, secure accommodation with dedicated health facilities on site and will play an important role in efforts to control our borders, process cases and remove those with no right to be in the UK, while ensuring those going through our asylum system are treated with compassion, dignity and respect.”

12:20 PM

No10 distances itself from Chris Philp migrant comments

Downing Street said all asylum seekers must be "treated with compassion and respect" as it appeared to distance itself from comments made by Chris Philp.

No10 was asked if the policing minister was speaking for the Government when he said asylum seekers who came to the UK illegally have got a "bit of a cheek" to complain about their living conditions.

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: “I haven’t spoken to the Prime Minister about that specifically.

“Certainly it is true that Home Office, Border Force officials, and many others are working hard to provide safe and secure accommodation for those individuals that come via these routes.

“As we have been clear those individuals deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. Obviously the current approach is not working and it is placing huge pressures both in terms of on the Government and on the local area and that is presenting significant challenges which is why we continue to work both with Frenchy colleagues and more broadly to try and resolve this issue at source.”

12:09 PM

Downing Street's full comments on Sizewell C

Asked if the Government intends to scrap the new Sizewell C nuclear plant, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: “No. I have seen some reporting on that but it is not accurate to say that we are scrapping it. Our position on Sizewell C has not changed.

“It remains crucial to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, increasing our energy security and meeting our Net Zero ambitions.”

Asked if there was any chance of the project being delayed, the spokesman said: “No, as I say, we hope to get a deal over the line as soon as possible. There are negotiations ongoing, I can’t get into the detail of those, but negotiations have been constructive.”

The spokesman added: "I think as you know we have committed £700 million for the deal as part of the £1.7 billion commitment. That was committed to in the 2021 Budget."

12:01 PM

Downing Street insists Government still committed to Sizewell C

Downing Street has rubbished reports that the new Sizewell C nuclear plant is under review (see the post below at 08.18).

No 10 said it is "not accurate to say we are scrapping it” and that there is no delay to the project. No 10 said the project is not being reviewed, as was claimed overnight.

Downing Street said its position on the project "has not changed".

11:48 AM

Rishi Sunak holds talks with Japanese PM

Rishi Sunak held a call with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida this morning.

Downing Street said the two leaders "agreed the UK and Japan were incredibly important allies, who played a vital role in ensuring global stability and prosperity".

Rishi Sunak talks to the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, from his offices in Downing Street this morning - Simon Walker/No10 Downing Street
Rishi Sunak talks to the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, from his offices in Downing Street this morning - Simon Walker/No10 Downing Street

A No10 spokesman said: "Reiterating the importance of ensuring a free and independent Indo-Pacific, the Prime Minister said that the UK was aligned with Japan on the challenges in the region.

"Both leaders condemned the recent North Korean missile launches, and the Prime Minister said it was vital the international community remained closely coordinated on the best way forward."

11:25 AM

Workers at BEIS to strike

Caterers, cleaners and other staff based at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are to strike in disputes over pay and health and safety.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working at the department in Whitehall will walk out for five days in the coming weeks.

Caterers employed by Aramark and cleaners, security guards, reception workers, post and porterage staff employed by ISS will take action on November 16, 23 and 30, and December 7 and 14.

11:18 AM

Ed Miliband warns Government against 'undermining' nuclear industry

Ed Miliband, Labour's shadow climate secretary, said the Government will be "undermining our vital nuclear industry" if it pulls the plug on the new Sizewell C plant (see the post below at 08.18).

He said: "If the Government turns its back on this project, they will be breaking all of the promises they have made, and undermining our vital nuclear industry.

"One of the reasons we are facing an energy bills crisis is twelve years of failed Conservative energy policy, including a decade of drift and delay on new nuclear power.

"Their short-sightedness has been staggering - from closing storage facilities, to failing to insulate houses, to delaying on nuclear, and to blocking cheap, homegrown renewable power."

11:07 AM

Rishi Sunak holds call with Polish PM

Rishi Sunak held a phone call with Polish prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki this morning to discuss how the UK and Poland could "continue to bolster the security of NATO’s eastern flank", Downing Street said.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister said Poland’s leadership in Europe following the invasion of Ukraine had stood out, and underlined the close alignment between the UK and Poland on international security and many other issues.

“Discussing the situation in Belarus, the Prime Minister said the UK was keeping a close watch on developments and stood by Poland in the face of continued Russian aggression.

“As part of deterrence efforts across the eastern flank, the UK was increasing the capability of its forces, and had increased activity with the Joint Expeditionary Force in the Baltic region, the Prime Minister added."

10:48 AM

Labour: Government approach to migrants 'lacks compassion'

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour's shadow business secretary, said the Government's entire approach to tackling illegal migration "lacks any sense of basic competence or compassion".

He labelled the Rwanda migrant policy an "expensive gimmick".

He told Sky News: "It is getting worse, year on year. The longer the Conservatives are in power, the worse this problem gets."

10:37 AM

Sinn Fein criticises Chris Heaton-Harris over election announcement

Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein's leader at Stormont, has accused Chris Heaton-Harris of "fuelling" political instability in Northern Ireland after he announced Assembly elections will not take place before Christmas (see the post below at 08.14).

Ms O'Neill said the announcement represented "more dithering and indecision from the British Secretary of State and a continuation of the Tory chaos in London that is now paralysing our politics".

“The British government are fuelling the political instability caused by the DUP’s failure to recognise the result of the May election when the people voted for change," she said.

“The British government and the DUP are leaving us in a prolonged state of political limbo with no Assembly, Executive or caretaker ministers.

“This is totally unacceptable at a time when workers, families and small businesses are struggling through the cost-of-living crisis and a cold winter, and when our health service needs immediate investment.”

10:32 AM

Sir Lindsay Hoyle: Hancock 'will have to answer to his constituents'

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, said Matt Hancock "will have to answer to his constituents" over his decision to travel to Australia to appear on I'm a Celebrity.

He told Sky News: "It's not what I think. It's what his constituents tjhink because they're the people that matter. We're elected to represent those people, they voted for him and they will have the answer.

"They have the answer for politicians. If they don't like it, they'll get rid of us. And that's where he will be answerable. He will come back and he will have to answer to his constituents. He's made that decision."

He added: "It's not what I think about him. Would I do it, I think is a better question and the answer is I'm a member of Parliament, am I going to go running around a jungle eating kangaroos testicles? Absolutely not. No, no is the answer. I wouldn't do it."

10:09 AM

Simon Coveney welcomes decision on Northern Ireland election

Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney welcomed the decision not told hold elections in Northern Ireland before Christmas (see the post below at 08.14).

Mr Coveney tweeted: “Fully share the Secretary of State’s objective; restoration of functioning institutions in NI.

“We had a good discussion this week, including on legal obligations under NDNA (New Decade New Approach).

“No election pre Christmas is welcome and creates space for progress on other matters. We remain in contact.”

09:57 AM

DUP responds to election announcement

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said there is "no solid basis" to restore powersharing at Stormont until problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol have been resolved as he responded to Chris Heaton-Harris's election announcement (see the post below at 08.14).

Sir Jeffrey called for a “razor-sharp focus” on getting a solution by negotiation or legislation to unionist concerns around post-Brexit border rules.

“There is no solid basis for a fully functioning Stormont until NIP is replaced with arrangements that unionists can support. Progress in NI only made when unionists & nationalists are aboard,” he tweeted.

09:28 AM

Lib Dems criticise Chris Philp over 'cheek' comments

Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman, has criticised Chris Philp after the policing minister said asylum seekers who come to the UK illegally have got a "bit of a cheek" to complain about their living conditions.

Mr Carmichael said: "Chris Philp's comments reveal a shocking and callous complacency over the disaster unfolding at Manston."

He added: "Rather than dismissing the problem he should start to show some leadership. People have had enough of the endless evasion, chaos and incompetence we have seen from the government on this issue."

09:23 AM

Mark Carney weighs in on Sizewell C speculation

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, said if the Government pulls the plug on the Sizewell C project (see the post below at 08.18) then ministers will have to explain how else they intend to boost production of clean, zero emission energy.

Asked if the Government should fund the nuclear plant in Suffolk, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Well, let's put it this way, if they are not going to finance a new nuclear power plant they have to answer what else they are going to do for zero emission, so-called baseload energy, to meet the needs of the UK economy in the future."

09:06 AM

Lib Dems criticise Chris Philp over failure to apologise for mini-Budget

The Liberal Democrats have criticised Chris Philp after the policing minister this morning declined to apologise for his roile in the mini-Budget (see the post below at 08.27).

Sarah Olney, the party's Treasury spokeswoman, said: "Chris Philp has shown huge arrogance by refusing to recognise his role in crashing the economy while second in command at the treasury. His legacy will be higher taxes and cuts to public services for years to come.

"The British public deserve an apology for the pain he and his colleagues put them through. That he refuses to give one shows the contempt with which he holds us all."

08:58 AM

'She had come to the same conclusion'

Sir Graham Brady has revealed the contents of the conversation he had with Liz Truss in 10 Downing Street on the day that she announced her resignation as prime minister.

He told BBC North West Tonight: "I was reaching for my phone when I got a message saying that the prime minister had asked to see me. So when I went into see her with her chief of staff Mark Fullbrook she asked me the question, she said 'it is pretty bad, isn't it' to which I replied 'yes, it is pretty bad'.

"She asked the second question 'do you think it is retrievable' and I said 'no, I don't think it is' and she replied that she didn't either.

"I have had the unique distinction of having these conversations with three prime ministers now. In many ways it was the easiest and most straight forward because she had come to the same conclusion."

Asked if it was as easy when Boris Johnson resigned, the chairman of the 1922 Committee said: "When I saw Boris the evening before he announced his resignation he was at that point still determined to go on and he mulled it over after that and he called me early the next morning to say that he had changed his mind."

08:50 AM

Sir Graham Brady confirms Boris Johnson had the numbers to make the leadership ballot

Sir Graham Brady has confirmed former prime minister Boris Johnson’s claim that he had the backing of enough Tory MPs to mount a challenge to Rishi Sunak in last month’s leadership contest.

Mr Johnson dropped out of the Tory leadership race, claiming he had the nominations needed to make it on to the ballot paper but could not unite the party.

Speaking to the BBC, Sir Graham, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, said “two candidates” had reached the 100 MP threshold, and “one of them decided not to then submit his nomination”.

08:42 AM

Numbers at Manston 'have very substantially reduced'

Chris Philp, the policing minister, said the number of people in the Manston asylum processing centre has "very substantially reduced".

Asked how many people have left the overcrowded site in recent weeks, Mr Philp told Sky News: “Over 1,000 people have been moved out in the last week or so, so a substantial number.

“Since the beginning of September when the current Home Secretary took office I think a total of 9,000 people… have left. I think numbers have very substantially reduced in the course of the last week.”

08:36 AM

'The Treasury will be making their plans'

Jeremy Hunt is preparing a raid on entrepreneurs, savers and landlords to help plug the £50billion hole in Britain’s public finances, The Telegraph revealed today.

The Chancellor is considering an increase in the headline rate of capital gains tax (CGT) and taxes on dividends at the Autumn Statement (you can read the full story here).

Chris Philp, the policing minister, was asked if he could confirm the plans this morning but he said: “I’m afraid I just don’t know. The Treasury will be making their plans. I don’t know what those are and we will just have to wait and see what gets announced on [November] 17th.”

08:33 AM

'I really just don't know'

Chris Philp was asked if he could confirm the report that the Sizewell C nuclear plant is now under review (see the post below at 08.18).

The minister for policing said he could not say anything either way, telling Sky News: “No, I’m afraid I don’t know anything about whether that it is or is not under consideration.

“My job in the Home Office is looking after policing so I can’t comment on that at all. I really just don’t know. We will find out on November 17 what the plans are.”

08:27 AM

Chris Philp declines to apologise over mini-Budget

Chris Philp, who was chief secretary to the Treasury at the time of the mini-Budget, has declined to apologise for his involvement in rolling out Liz Truss's economic plans.

He told Sky News: "I think Liz Truss has already apologised… although I, along with other people, was a minister in that government at the time, those decisions were taken principally by the former prime minister, to a lesser extent by the former chancellor, and she has apologised for that and neither of them are in office any longer.”

08:22 AM

Minister blames Liz Truss for mini-Budget chaos

Policing minister Chris Philp suggested Liz Truss was most to blame for the chaos unleashed by the mini-Budget.

Mr Philp, who was chief secretary to the Treasury when Ms Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng were in office, told BBC Breakfast: “The decisions around the mini-Budget were taken principally by the then-prime minister and to a lesser extent the then-chancellor.”

08:19 AM

Grant Shapps hints rail projects could be scaled back

Grant Shapps, the Business Secretary, has hinted that spending commitments such as Northern Powerhouse Rail are likely to be scaled back.

He told the BBC: “The line itself can deliver a 33-minute journey from Manchester to Leeds, quadruple nearly the capacity of that line, and do so without having to wait an extra 20 years beyond the delivery of what the upgrade can do.

“There wasn’t really much point in going and blasting new tunnels through the Pennines. It’s not true to say we’re not delivering on what we said we would do on levelling up the north.”

08:18 AM

Sizewell C nuclear plant 'under review'

A potentially major story broke overnight as the BBC reported that the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk is under review and could be delayed or scrapped as the Government looks to save money.

The new reactor, located some 30 miles north-east of Ipswich, was expected to be built by energy firm EDF. Boris Johnson promised £700 million of taxpayers’ money to the project in his final policy speech in early September as he sought to make energy security part of his legacy as prime minister.

But a Government official has since told the BBC: “We are reviewing every major project – including Sizewell C.”

The total cost of the Sizewell C project could be around £20 billion.

The apparent decision to review Sizewell is likely to prompt questions over what other major infrastructure projects could be on the chopping block.

08:14 AM

No Christmas election in Northern Ireland

Fresh Northern Ireland Assembly elections will not be held before Christmas, the Northern Ireland Secretary has announced.

The failure to form a powersharing executive at Stormont following elections in May means there now has to be another vote.

But Chris Heaton-Harris said this morning that it will not happen this year. He issued the following statement:

“At midnight on 28 October, I came under a duty to call an Assembly election. Since then, my engagement with the political parties has continued. I have had valuable conversations with people across Northern Ireland, including business and community representatives. I have listened to their sincere concerns about the impact and cost of an election at this time.

“I can now confirm that no Assembly election will take place in December, or ahead of the festive season. Current legislation requires me to name a date for an election to take place within 12 weeks of 28 October and next week, I will make a statement in Parliament to lay out my next steps.

“My objective, what the people of Northern Ireland deserve, is the restoration of a strong devolved government. My duty is to create the right environment for the parties in Northern Ireland to work together to restore the devolved institutions and deliver on crucial issues impacting Northern Ireland’s people.

“I do not take this duty lightly, nor do I overlook the very real concerns people have around their cost of living.”

08:11 AM

Chris Philp defends Home Secretary over use of Chinook helicopter

Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, travelled by Chinook helicopter yesterday as she visited the Manston processing centre in Kent.

Chris Philp, the policing minister, said Ms Braverman "was inspecting operations in the Channel and it is obviously easier to do that from the air".

He told Times Radio: "There is no need to do it for protection reasons. I have been round these camps myself as immigration minister and it is absolutely fine.

"The reason I think the Home Secretary was in a Chinook helicopter was she wasn't just visiting Manston, she was inspecting operations in the Channel and it is obviously easier to do that from the air.

"When I was immigration minister the French authorities took me in a helicopter across the beaches in France so it is fairly standard practice."

Suella Braverman arrives in a Chinook helicopter for a visit to the Manston asylum processing centre yesterday - Gareth Fuller /PA
Suella Braverman arrives in a Chinook helicopter for a visit to the Manston asylum processing centre yesterday - Gareth Fuller /PA

08:06 AM

Minister: Illegal migrants have a 'cheek' to complain about living conditions

Chris Philp, the minister for policing, said asylum seekers who come to the UK illegally have got a "bit of a cheek" to complain about their living conditions.

He told Times Radio: “On this point about human rights, I mean look, it is very, very difficult to accommodate 40,000 people who turn up illegally in a very short space of time.

“Obviously the Home Office is doing its best to try and accommodate them but if people choose to enter a country illegally and unnecessarily it is a bit of a cheek to then start complaining about the conditions when you have illegally entered a country without necessity.

“They didn’t have to come here, they were in France already and previously often passed through Belgium, Germany and many other countries on the way.

“So we are doing our best but the numbers are just overwhelming and that is why we need to do more work with the French government to stop these crossings and also look at reforming the way that some of these international treaties are getting applied domestically because it is making it very hard, basically impossible, to properly police our borders.”

08:04 AM

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog.

There are two main issues in Westminster this morning: The Government's handling of the ongoing migrants crisis and what is likely to be in the Autumn Statement on November 17.

Chris Philp, the minister for policing, is on the morning media round for the Government so let's kick things off by looking at what he has been saying.