- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Nicola Sturgeon has warned a trade war with the EU could "tip" the UK into a recession as she criticised the Government’s plan to unilaterally make changes to post-Brexit border rules in Northern Ireland.
The Scottish First Minister discussed the Northern Ireland Protocol with Michelle O'Neill, the Vice President of Sinn Fein, during talks in Edinburgh today.
She said in a statement issued after the meeting that Downing Street’s plan to bring forward a law to allow ministers to make changes to the protocol without seeking the permission of the EU is “extremely concerning”.
The EU has warned unilateral action could put the UK in breach of international law and trigger a trade war.
Ms Sturgeon said: “In a cost of living crisis and teetering on the edge of recession, pitching us into a trade dispute with the EU could be what tips us over."
The Government has insisted its proposals will be lawful while ministers have poured cold water on the suggestion of a trade war.
Follow the latest updates below.
That is all for today...
Thank you for following today's politics live blog.
I will be back early on Monday morning to guide you through another week in Westminster. Have a great weekend.
Nicola Sturgeon: Trade war with EU could 'tip' UK into recession
Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, has claimed Downing Street's plan to unilaterally make changes to post-Brexit border rules in Northern Ireland could start a trade war with the EU which could then 'tip' the UK into a recession.
Ms Sturgeon discussed the Northern Ireland Protocol with Michelle O'Neill, the Vice President of Sinn Fein, during talks in Edinburgh today.
She said in a statement issued afterwards: "We also discussed the Northern Ireland Protocol – most notably the extremely concerning announcement by the UK Government that they intend to legislate to enable unilateral action to dis-apply parts of the protocol – and the incredibly damaging effects this would have in communities right across the UK.
"In a cost of living crisis and teetering on the edge of recession, pitching us into a trade dispute with the EU could be what tips us over."
Committee chairman criticises No 10 for blocking Simon Case evidence session
Willian Wragg, the Conservative chairman of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said the decision by No 10 to cancel an evidence session with Simon Case "puts government transparency in a poor light" (see the post below at 15.22).
Mr Wragg said in a statement: “The session with the Cabinet Secretary was an important one considering the number of propriety and ethics issues on the agenda. We had also hoped to get clarity on the Government’s plans for civil service reform, public scrutiny of which was much needed after they were briefed to the press last weekend.
“The intervention to pull the session at such short notice evades timely parliamentary scrutiny of these plans and puts government transparency in a poor light.”
Simon Case evidence session blocked by No 10
Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, will no longer be giving evidence to one of Parliament's select committees next week after the Government blocked his appearance amid concerns it could clash with the publication of the Sue Gray report.
Mr Case and the Government ethics chief, Darren Tierney, were due to appear in front of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on Tuesday next week.
The session was confirmed several weeks ago as part of the Committee’s inquiry into the propriety of governance in light of Greensill.
Ministerial approval for Mr Case to give evidence next week has now been pulled. The session has been rescheduled for June 28.
Sinn Fein welcomes Nancy Pelosi Brexit warning
Michelle O’Neill, the Vice President of Sinn Fein, has said she “very much welcomes” US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s intervention in a row over the Northern Ireland Protocol (see the post below at 12.32).
Ms Pelosi said the US Congress will not support a free trade agreement with the UK if the Government persists with “deeply concerning” plans to “unilaterally discard” parts of the protocol.
Ms O'Neill said: “They’ve [US Congress] made it very clear that there will be no trade deal with Britain if they undermine the Good Friday Agreement. Those statements are very, very important because we have to protect the Good Friday Agreement.
“The protocol provides us some mitigation against the worst impact of Brexit – the hardest possible Brexit that’s been delivered by Boris Johnson in London and the DUP partners in Belfast.”
Pictured: Michelle O'Neill meets Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh
Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill is visiting Edinburgh today for talks with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
They are expected to discuss shared areas of interest between Scotland and Northern Ireland. The meeting took place at Bute House, Ms Sturgeon’s official residence.
In a tweet, Ms O'Neill said she was “delighted” to meet Ms Sturgeon: "The historic bonds between Scotland & the island of Ireland go back centuries. We enjoy a long & enduring affinity as neighbours & friends.
“Moving forward we will strengthen the bonds that tie us,” Ms O’Neill said.
UK Brexit law expected to be published in 'early June'
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, said he expects the Government to bring forward its new Brexit law in "early June".
The Government has not put a firm timetable on publishing the draft law which, when passed, will allow ministers to unilaterally make changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Sir Jeffrey said: “My understanding is that the Government will bring forward the legislation early in June. We will note what the legislation says and we will take decisions based on the progress that is made."
DUP not interested in 'sticking plaster' Brexit solution
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, has told Micheal Martin, the Irish Taoiseach that his party is not interested in a "sticking plaster" for post-Brexit border problems caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Speaking following a meeting with Mr Martin in Belfast today, Sir Jeffrey said: "We have had what I would describe as a useful meeting with the Taoiseach, we spelled it out very clearly to him the problems with the protocol, the harm it is doing to Northern Ireland and that we need a solution, we need decisive action to deal with these problems.
“We are not interested in a sticking plaster approach, or tinkering around the edges, it has to be fundamental change which respects Northern Ireland’s place within the UK internal market and nothing short of that will suffice.
“I think when the EU talk about proposals, they have a very limited mandate and that mandate is to bring forward ideas within the context of operating the current protocol, but that doesn’t deal with any of the issues that we have in respect of our relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom.”
Boris Johnson attacks Labour on defence
Boris Johnson launched an attack against the Labour frontbench as he told Tory activists: "Can I just ask you, do you think at this juncture, when Putin is muttering recklessly about using his nuclear arsenal, do we really want our defence policy handed over to a bunch of semi-repentant, Corbynista loons, to put it mildly.
"Never forget, eight of the shadow frontbench, including the shadow foreign secretary, voted to scrap this country's independent nuclear deterrent.
"Is that the right thing for our country now? Is that the right thing for Nato now? Is that the right thing for the world? For Ukraine? Absolutely not."
Boris Johnson: 'This Government takes the big decisions'
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, told the Welsh Conservative conference that "this Government takes the big decisions, the tough decisions that have been shirked for a generation".
"Let us get on with the job, uniting and levelling up across Wales and across the whole country," he said.
Wales has 'boundless potential for clean energy'
Boris Johnson said that as well as helping people with the cost of living crisis in the coming months, the Government will also "fix the underlying problems, just as we did with Covid".
The Prime Minister said that Wales "will be at the heart of our mission now to fix the underlying issues in our energy market".
He said the country has "boundless potential for clean energy of every kind".
'We all know how tough it is and how tough it can be'
The Prime Minister has promised the Government will do more to address the cost of living crisis as he told Tory activists: "We all know how tough it is and how tough it can be".
Mr Johnson said: "Just as we got the most difficult challenges of Covid right and got the big calls right, we will get this country through the big challenges now and the post-Covid aftershocks, the pressures caused in particular by the rise in the cost of living."
Pointing to the impact on grain prices caused by the war in Ukraine, the PM said: "Of course we are going to get through this and the markets will eventually adjust and new supply will come on and prices will come down again.
"In the months ahead we are going to have to do what we did before, we are going to use our fiscal firepower that we have to help. We are going to put our arms around the British people, again, as we did during Covid."
Boris Johnson applauded by Tory activists over Ukraine support
Boris Johnson told Tory activists at the Welsh Conservative conference: "The Ukrainian people needed our help to protect them against the vicious aggression of Vladimir Putin and we were the first European country to send those heroic Ukrainians the assistance they needed."
Mr Johnson received sustained applause after making the comment.
PM hails UK unemployment rate
Boris Johnson asked Tory activists to cast their minds back to 1974 - but he joked he could see "rows of young thrusters" at the Welsh Conservative conference who may not be able to remember back that far.
He said that he personally was "boinging around on a space hopper at the age of 10" in 1974.
Coming to the point he wished to make, Mr Johnson said: "You have to go all the way back to 1974 to find a time when unemployment was as low in the UK as it is today."
Boris Johnson addresses Welsh Conservative conference
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, is addressing the Welsh Conservative conference in Newtown, Powys, this afternoon.
He kicked off his speech by telling Tory activists: "Why did God spend lockdown in Wales? He was working from home."
Windfall tax is not a 'panacea'
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Government's efficiency minister, said a windfall tax would not be a "panacea" for solving the cost of living crisis.
Mr Rees-Mogg told Sky News: “So I think the idea that a windfall tax as a panacea to the inflation problem is wrong. The issue we’ve got to grapple with is how to get inflation back down.”
'Honeypot of business' does not exist, says Jacob Rees-Mogg
There isn’t a “honeypot of business” that the Government can raid whenever it feels like, Jacob Rees-Mogg has said.
The Brexit opportunities and Government efficiency minister refused to rule out that there could be a windfall tax in the next Budget.
“No, I’m not commenting on what the Chancellor will do, that’s a matter for him and his budgets”, he told Sky News.
“I’m merely saying that the idea that there’s a honeypot of business that you can just raid whenever you feel like it is not true. All taxation ultimately falls on individuals.
“So when you’re calling for windfall tax, you’re saying you want to pay more tax, and that’s an important thing to raise to remember.”
PM vows to avoid repeat of energy crisis
Boris Johnson said the UK must "make sure that we don’t run into this kind of problem again" as he vowed to improve the country's energy security.
The Prime Minister blamed the "short termism" of the last Labour government for failing to ensure the UK has a "dependable energy supply".
He said: "I care deeply about the crunch now but what we have to avoid also is future crunches and future spikes in the cost of energy.
“It is insane that this country is piping in electricity from the continent, from France, crazy when we have got hydrocarbons of our own and we are continuing to take them from Putin’s Russia.”
PM slams UK's 'crazy' energy supply situation
It is "crazy" that the cost of low carbon energy in the UK is "so much more" than in other comparable countries, Boris Johnson has said.
Speaking during a visit to Powys in Wales, the Prime Minister said: “The issue that we have to tackle is not only the help for the immediate costs, the costs of people’s energy, the cost of food.
“What you have got to fix is the supply of energy in this country, it is crazy that we are paying so much more than some other countries for dependable low carbon energy.”
PM cannot 'magic away' the cost of living crisis
Boris Johnson has promised the Government will "put our arms around people just as we did during the pandemic" - but insisted he cannot "magic away" the cost of living crisis.
Speaking in Powys, Wales, the Prime Minister said: "I understand completely that people are facing a very tough time and that is why - many, many people are facing a very tough time - and that is why we have put £22 billion already into tackling people’s costs, particularly on energy.
“I think one thing that people haven’t focused on perhaps is that there is another big cut in people’s taxes coming, everybody on National Insurance contributions in July… an average cut of £330.
“I am not going to pretend to you that we can magic away every single expense that people are going to face as a result of the global spike in energy prices but be in no doubt that this will come down, we will get people through it, we will use the fire power that we have built up to put our arms around people just as we did during the pandemic.”
Boris Johnson: Contents of partygate report 'entirely up to Sue Gray'
Boris Johnson has just spoken publicly for the first time since the Metropolitan Police announced the conclusion of the partygate probe yesterday.
The Prime Minister was asked during a visit to Powys in Wales if he will apologise over rule-breaking in No 10 and he said: "Well, I am very grateful to the Met for their work. I thank them for everything that they have done.
“I think that we just need to wait for Sue Gray to report and then, as I have said I will be, fingers crossed that will be very soon, and I will be saying some more next week.”
Asked if No 10 will try to block Sue Gray from naming names in her report, Mr Johnson said: “That will be entirely up to Sue Gray and I will be looking forward very much to seeing what she has to say and fingers crossed that will be pretty soon next week.”
UK and Mexico target new trade deal
The UK and Mexico today announced they are kickstarting talks on a new trade deal.
Officials said UK negotiators would be looking to go “further and deeper” in terms of integrating ties in a relationship already worth more than £4 billion.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary, said: “This enhanced deal would transform our relationship with Mexico, making the most of the immense opportunities its dynamic business landscape and young, growing population offer."
Jacob Rees-Mogg: It would be a 'mistake' for Keir Starmer to resign
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Government's efficiency minister, has said it would be a "mistake" for Sir Keir Starmer to resign as Labour leader if he is fined over “beergate”.
It was put to Mr Rees-Mogg on Sky News that, unlike Boris Johnson, the Labour leader has said he will resign if he is fined over any breaches of coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: "Well, that’s a matter for him. I think that is a mistake. I don’t actually think that these are resigning matters, I think people make mistakes.”
UK refuses to cave to US pressure over Northern Ireland Protocol
Britain will never cave to US pressure over the Northern Ireland Protocol and negotiations over post-Brexit trading arrangements for the country, even if it costs the UK a free trade deal with Washington, the Government has warned.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, had said Congress would not support a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK if London ripped up the Brexit treaty that created the Irish Sea Border.
Conor Burns, a Northern Ireland minister, said there could be no link between trade talks with the US and the negotiations with Brussels over the Protocol, which means border checks have to be carried out on British goods entering Northern Ireland.
You can read the full story here.
Simon Coveney challenges Liz Truss over Northern Ireland plan
Simon Coveney, Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister, has held talks with Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, today as they both attended a Council of Europe summit in Turin, Italy.
Mr Coveney tweeted that he had "made clear Ireland’s opposition to the UK breaching international law" over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He said the UK "needs to get back to talks with the EU" to agree solutions to post-Brexit border problems.
The UK is bringing forward a law to allow ministers to unilaterally make changes to trading arrangements. The EU believes this will put Britain in breach of the Brexit treaty it signed but the Government is adamant its proposals will be lawful.
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) May 20, 2022
Boris Johnson has not spoken to Sue Gray since Met update
Boris Johnson has not spoken to Sue Gray since the Metropolitan Police announced it had concluded its partygate investigation, Downing Street has said.
Asked if the pair had spoken, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said: “No, not that I’m aware of.”
Asked if that included written communication, the spokesman said: "Not that I am aware of.”
'Sue Gray is compiling the report independently'
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman was asked what Boris Johnson's view is on Sue Gray potentially naming civil servants in her report.
But the spokesman refused to be drawn, telling journalists: "Again, the important point is Sue Gray is compiling the report independently. It is a matter for her.”
He added: “It is a matter for Sue Gray to decide what she wants to include in the report and how she presents that report and we have said that our intention is to publish it as we receive it.”
No 10: 'It is for Sue Gray to decide what information she includes'
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman has just been answering questions from journalists at the daily lobby briefing.
He was asked if he was aware of people in No 10 being contacted by Sue Gray's team over them potentially being named in her report (see the post below at 11.55).
He refused to be drawn and said: "I have obviously seen the reports overnight and this morning but it remains the case that it is for Sue Gray to decide what information she includes in her report.
“I can’t preempt its contents or presentation. As with the interim report, it is purely a matter for Sue Gray how she wants to present the report and what it includes.”
Sue Gray ‘contacting officials she intends to name’
Sue Gray is contacting the senior civil servants who she wants to name in her report for breaking Covid rules, according to the BBC.
The broadcaster said those due to be named are being given until 5pm on Sunday to respond to what she wants to say about them.
Pictured: Liz Truss attends Council of Europe summit in Turin
Education Secretary urges students to seek refunds
Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, has encouraged students to seek refunds if they paid for university accommodation during the Covid crisis and had a "sub-optimal" experience.
He told Times Radio: “If they think they have had a sub-optimal experience then they absolutely should do.
“Ultimately what we want to make sure is students get value for money. They are borrowing this money, they have to pay this money back. If they end up with a sub-optimal experience and never earn enough money to be able to pay it back, that is harmful to the taxpayer and to the student.”
Nadhim Zahawi declines to grade his performance
Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, has given an interview to Times Radio in which he was asked how he would grade his performance in the role which he has been in since last September.
But he declined to do so. He said: “What grade? Judge me by my outcomes would be my grade. I have focused the department, we are focused on skills, schools and family.”
'Hundreds' of asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda every year
Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, has said he expects hundreds rather than thousands of asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda each year.
Mr Raab told the BBC that he would be "careful about managing expectations" and it is "not going to deal with the whole problem".
Asked if hundreds or thousands of people who arrive in the UK illegally would be removed every year, Mr Raab said: “I would have thought it was more likely to be in the hundreds."
Minister responds to Pelosi's Brexit warning
Conor Burns, the Northern Ireland minister, has responded to Nancy Pelosi’s Brexit trade deal warning (see the post below at 09.40).
The House speaker has said the US Congress will not support a free trade agreement with the UK if the Government persists with "deeply concerning" plans to "unilaterally discard" the Northern Ireland Protocol.
But Mr Burns said that while the UK wants an “ambitious” trade deal with the US “there can be no connection between that and doing the right thing for NI”.
The absolute priority of the UK Government is protecting the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the institutions that spring from it. As @SpeakerPelosi knows we seek an ambitious FTA with the US. But there can be no connection between that and doing the right thing for NI. None.
— Conor Burns (@ConorBurnsUK) May 20, 2022
Sinn Fein accuses DUP of 'denying democracy'
Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill is due to meet Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin in Belfast for talks today (see the post below at 09.44).
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms O'Neill accused the DUP of "denying democracy" over the party's refusal to nominate ministers to the new Stormont Executive.
She said: "At a time where democracy is being denied, at a time where the DUP are continuing to prevent the facilitation of an Executive being formed, an Executive that could start to deliver for the public, I think it is important that he [Micheal Martin] is here to assert his role and to listen to all of the parties."
Dublin accuses UK of failing to act in spirit of Good Friday Agreement
Micheal Martin, the Irish Taoiseach, has accused the UK of not acting in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement by threatening to take unilateral action over post-Brexit border rules in Northern Ireland.
He said the British Government had moved “too far in a unilateral way” over its approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He said: “Professional, serious negotiations between the United Kingdom Government and the European Union is the only way to resolve this.
“I believe that the current UK Government has moved too far in a unilateral way on issues, be it legacy, be it the protocol. In my view that is not fully in accordance with the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement which involves collaboration, working together.”
'UK did not respond in any meaningful way'
Micheal Martin, the Irish Taoiseach, has accused the UK of failing to engage with EU proposals put forward last year which were designed to resolve problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He said: "Decisive action was taken by the European Union last October, significant advances on a whole range of issues as the basis for further discussions.
“The British Government did not respond in any meaningful way to the proposals that were put forward by the European Commission. The challenge that I see here is that the goalposts keep on changing in respect of the protocol, or where the landing zone for a resolution of the legitimate issues that have been raised by people are.”
Irish Taoiseach criticises DUP
Micheal Martin, the Irish Taoiseach, is in Belfast today to hold talks with Northern Ireland political leaders.
Speaking to the BBC before the meeting, Mr Martin criticised the DUP for blocking the election of a Speaker to the new Stormont Assembly which means it cannot function.
He said: “I think most people would agree that in the democratic world when people vote for their representatives and vote to elect a parliament, the first thing that happens is that parliament should convene. It is unheard of in a democratic world that that Parliament would not convene in the aftermath of an election.
“We can’t have a situation where one political party determines that the other political parties can’t convene in a parliament. I understand there are legitimate issues that have been issued in respect of the protocol. We have accepted that for quite some time.”
DUP responds to Nancy Pelosi Brexit warning
The US Congress will not support a free trade agreement with the UK if the Government persists with "deeply concerning" plans to "unilaterally discard" the Northern Ireland Protocol, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said (you can read the full story here).
Ms Pelosi cited concerns about damage being done to the Good Friday Agreement.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP has now responded to Ms Pelosi and said that if she wants to see the Good Friday Agreement protected then “she needs to recognise that it is the protocol that is harming and undermining the agreement and that is why we need to deal with it”.
He told the BBC: “We will not re-enter the political institutions in full until we see decisive action taken on the protocol, that is the mandate I sought from the people of Northern Ireland and on the strength of the votes that we received we have made clear to the Government that decisive action is required.”
'We remain very much in the dark about who was involved'
Lord Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions and a crossbench peer, said the nation is still "very much in the dark about who was involved" in the partygate scandal and that is "not good enough".
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "We don’t know who these people are, and I do feel for the junior civil servants and I quite see why they would be distressed by their names being given, but there’s a wider public interest here.
“This was a major scandal at the heart of Government, at the heart of the civil service, and we remain very much in the dark about who was involved, who organised the parties, and who was responsible.
“Of course the Prime Minister and the head of the civil service are ultimately responsible, but there plainly were other people as well who were involved in this and we simply don’t know who they are, and I think that’s not good enough.”
Labour: Tories 'unable to take basic decisions'
The "dysfunction" at the heart of the Conservative Party will continue until the Tories get rid of Boris Johnson as leader, the chair of the Labour Party claimed this morning.
Anneliese Dodds told Sky News: “The major consequence of this, and it will continue for as long as Boris Johnson leads the Conservative Party, is that that party seems to be unable to take pretty basic decisions.
“Labour has been calling for that windfall tax to get people’s bills down for many, many months. We have been calling for VAT to be taken off energy bills, again, for many months, and yet the Conservatives don’t seem to be able to take that very basic decision.
“There is dysfunction at the heart of the Conservatives now and it seems like that is going to continue until they get rid of their leader.”
Labour: Tories are 'paralysed' by partygate
Anneliese Dodds, the chair of the Labour Party, was asked during an interview on Sky News this morning if it is still Labour's position that Boris Johnson should quit after the police partygate investigation concluded and the PM finished with one fine.
Ms Dodds said: "Our response has been the Prime Minister should resign because he has continually failed to take any responsibility over this and because he has lied repeatedly to Parliament, time and time again.
“He didn’t just say that he didn’t know that he was breaking the rules, he actually said… that there were definitely no parties, that none of this took place and just month after month we have seen those attempts at justification, at blaming other people and meanwhile, while his party has been focused relentlessly on trying to protect Boris Johnson, it should have been focused relentlessly on dealing with the cost of living crisis.
“The Conservatives just seem to be totally paralysed right now.”
Early increase to Universal Credit not 'off the table'
Dominic Raab was grilled this morning on what more the Government could do to help combat the cost-of-living crisis.
He was asked specifically if an early uplift to the value of Universal Credit or a windfall tax are actively on the table and he replied: “Well, nothing is off the table but if you are asking what we are doing as opposed to what we have already done, and there is a £20 billion package of support to address those cost of living challenges, so in July there will be an around £300 tax cut by National Insurance for 30 million workers.
“In October there will be extra relief on energy bills… about to the tune of £200. That is on top of the national living wage, the UC changes we have already made and the council tax relief we have already provided.”
Soaring inflation 'will be with us for a year or so'
Elevated levels of inflation in the UK are likely to last for "a year or so", according to Dominic Raab.
The Deputy Prime Minister told BBC Breakfast: “CPI inflation is at nine per cent but how it hits different families different backgrounds, different income, will depend on the basket of shopping or the bills that they have week-by-week.
“What I will tell you is it is high, it will be with us for a year or so, according to the forecasts, and we are doing everything that we can [to help on the cost of living crisis]..."
Dominic Raab praises Rishi Sunak after he makes rich list
Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, has praised Rishi Sunak after the Chancellor joined The Sunday Times Rich List.
Mr Raab told Times Radio: “He’s a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business, who’s coming to make a big impact in public service.
“I think we want more of those people. I think it’s fantastic that you’ve got someone of British-Indian origin, showing all people in our country that you can get to the top of politics.
“And frankly, I think if I understood correctly, The Sunday Times Rich List was a reflection of not just him but his wife. His wife is an incredibly successful entrepreneur in her own right."
Dominic Raab clashes with TV presenter over cost of fuel
Dominic Raab clashed with BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt this morning after he was asked if he knew the current price of unleaded and diesel.
The Justice Secretary said he only buys unleaded and the last time he visited a petrol station it was at approximately 1.65-1.67 per litre. Mr Stayt said that it had “gone up” recently.
Mr Raab asked Mr Stayt "well you tell me, what’s a litre of unleaded today?" and the presenter said he had seen 1.99 for diesel at a service station on the M6.
Mr Raab pressed again on the price of unleaded: “I’m just checking how in touch you are, because last time I filled up it was 165-167.”
Mr Stayt said that 168 was the latest price that he had seen for unleaded and Mr Raab replied: "So I was right."
'The Government is getting on with the job'
Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the Government is "getting on with the job" as it awaits the final Sue Gray report.
He told BBC Breakfast: "I think he [Boris Johnson] has been clear in relation to things that happened at No 10 Downing Street, mistakes were made and lessons have been learned, and from the interim Sue Gray report to now he has taken a series of actions to overhaul No 10, staff changes and the like.
“And we are getting on, whilst we await the final Sue Gray report, he is getting on with the job, the Government is getting on with the job on Ukraine, on the cost of living, on fighting crime.”
Dominic Raab labels Labour call for windfall tax a 'populist trick'
Labour's calls for a windfall tax to be imposed on oil and gas giants to help tackle the cost of living crisis is a "populist trick", Dominic Raab has suggested.
The Deputy Prime Minister argued Labour had failed to assess the impact such a move would have on the energy industry and on tax revenues.
He told Times Radio: "The middle ground is, and I think this is the approach the Chancellor is taking, going and talking to those big energy companies, recognising the enormous amount of tax revenue that a company like BP will pay this year alone, billions of pounds, recognising the enormous amount of investment that they have already announced, and checking whether if we increase tax that goes up or down.
“That is the due diligence that you would expect from the Chancellor on energy but also across the board and frankly it is easy to say 'take this or that measure'. You have got to look at those fundamentals and that is why only this Government compared to Labour who will go for any populist trick to get in the newspapers, we are the ones looking at the fundamentals.”
No 10 will publish Sue Gray report 'as soon as possible'
Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, said No 10 will publish the Sue Gray report "as soon as possible" after it has been received. He also confirmed the PM will address the House of Commons once it has been published.
He told Times Radio: “We await the Sue Gray final report. Obviously we have already had the interim report and the Prime Minister has acted on it, the overhaul of No 10.
“The minute we get the final report we will 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 again have that additional tier of transparency and accountability.”
Dominic Raab: 'Question for Sue Gray' if she names names in partygate report
Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, insisted it is up to Sue Gray whether she names senior officials who have been fined over the partygate scandal in her report.
Asked if he would support naming the officials, Mr Raab told Times Radio: “That is a matter for the police and for Sue Gray. Again, I think it is really important, I have said this all along, allow those independent processes to come to their conclusions in the right way.”
Told that it could be helpful for transparency for names to be named, Mr Raab said: "With the greatest respect of course if it is a politician or a minister that already happens.
“Whether it is right in relation to civil servants I think is a question for Sue Gray and the Metropolitan Police.”
Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog.
Westminster is still reacting to the Metropolitan Police announcing the conclusion of its partygate investigation as all eyes now turn to the publication of the Sue Gray report next week.
Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, is on the broadcast round for the Government this morning, so let's start by looking at what he has said.