Boris Johnson news – live: No 10 rejects call for emergency cost of living budget

·27-min read

Boris Johnson has rejected calls to introduce an emergency cost-of-living budget, reinstate regular Cobra meetings and recall parliament amid mouting pleas for urgent intervention.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson said such matters would instead be up to “a future prime minister to decide”, adding that the outgoing PM has “no plans” to sit down with leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to discuss emergency measures.

It comes after former prime minister Gordon Brown claimed there was a “vacuum” at the centre of government which has stopped it tackling the financial crisis bearing down on families.

The ex Labour leader told Good Morning Britain: “There’s got to be someone in charge. And it’s not just that they’re asleep at the wheel - there’s nobody at the wheel at the moment.”

And speaking on Sky News this morning, Mr Brown warned that children will be forced to attend school “ill-clad and undernourished” if the government does not act to support people before 1 September.

Key points

  • Boris Johnson won’t act on cost of living crisis as he rejects pleas for emergency budget

  • Nobody at wheel amid cost of living crisis, says Gordon Brown

  • Gordon Brown warns Tories children will go ‘ill-clad, under-fed’ this winter

  • Liz Truss backs away from rejection of cost of living crisis ‘handouts’

  • Sunak camp hits out at Truss for 'U-turn' on cost of living

  • Truss misinterpreted over ‘handouts’ remark, says Mordaunt

Monday 8 August 2022 04:37 , Namita Singh

Welcome to The Independent’s UK politics blog for 8 August 2022 where we provide the latest on the Tory leadership race and everything that is buzzing in Westminster.

Liz Truss backs away from rejection of cost of living crisis ‘handouts’

Monday 8 August 2022 05:03 , Namita Singh

Liz Truss has been forced to back away from her rejection of cost of living “handouts” amid growing calls for an emergency budget to help families facing a “financial timebomb” this winter.

For the second time in a week – following her earlier U-turn on regional pay – supporters claimed that the Tory leadership frontrunner’s comments had been “misinterpreted”.

But leadership rival Rishi Sunak said the foreign secretary was “simply wrong” to rely on tax cuts rather than direct payments to help the millions of people struggling to pay energy bills.

He signalled that he planned another multibillion package of assistance if he were to become prime minister in September.

More in this report from our political editor Andrew Woodcock:

Liz Truss backs away from rejection of cost of living crisis ‘handouts’

Truss misinterpreted over ‘handouts’ remark, says Mordaunt

Monday 8 August 2022 05:19 , Namita Singh

Trade minister Penny Mordaunt put her weight behind Liz Truss as she denied that the foreign secretary ruled out expanding direct payments.

Claiming that the comments were misinterpreted, the former Tory leadership candidate said: “It’s not that she’s ruling out all future help; that’s a misinterpretation of what she said.”

“What she is looking at, though, is enabling people to keep more of the money that they earn. It makes no sense to take money off of people and then to give it back in very, very complicated ways. We need to simplify this and we need to ensure that households are as resilient as possible, and stopping taking large sums of tax from people is one way of doing that,” she said

Penny Mordaunt speaks during the second Conservative party membership hustings on 01  August 2022 in Exeter, England (Getty Images)
Penny Mordaunt speaks during the second Conservative party membership hustings on 01 August 2022 in Exeter, England (Getty Images)

Sunak camp hits out at Truss for 'U-turn' on cost of living

Monday 8 August 2022 05:30 , Namita Singh

Liz Truss’s rival Rishi Sunak hit out at the foreign secretary for saying that she would help tackle the cost of living crisis by “lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts”.

Slamming the remarks, he said: “It’s simply wrong to rule out further direct support at this time as Liz Truss has done. And, what’s more, her tax proposals are not going to help very significantly people like pensioners or those on low incomes who are exactly the kind of families that are going to need help.”

Supporters of Mr Sunak accused his rival of another U-turn after she last week rowed back on proposals to cut public sector pay outside London.

Conservative leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak visits Scotland for the first time during the Conservative Party leadership campaign on 6 August 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland (Getty Images)
Conservative leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak visits Scotland for the first time during the Conservative Party leadership campaign on 6 August 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland (Getty Images)

Former chief whip Mark Harper tweeted: “Stop blaming journalists (again) - reporting what you actually say isn’t ‘misinterpreted’.

“2nd time in just 5 days. This kind of thing happened under the current PM & hugely damaged trust in us all.

“So just what does ‘not giving out handouts’ mean then?”

The former chancellor’s camp also rounded on Ms Truss’s plans to use a September emergency budget to immediately reverse the national insurance rate rise brought in by Mr Sunak when he was chancellor.

Former PM Gordon Brown demands emergency fund before ‘financial timebomb’

Monday 8 August 2022 05:53 , Namita Singh

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has demanded the government come up with an emergency budget before a “financial timebomb” in October “pushes millions over the edge”.

A report commissioned by the former Labour prime minister found that families will be up to £1,600 worse off this year, even after existing government support of up to £1,200 per household has been paid out.

The new report, carried out by Professor Donald Hirsch at Loughborough University, found that 13 million households – a fraction under half of the country – are at risk of fuel poverty after the next hike in the energy price cap to £3,700 or more in October.

“A financial timebomb will explode for families in October as the second round of fuel price rises in six months sends shockwaves through every household and pushes millions over the edge,” said Mr Brown.

If the prime minister and the contenders to replace him refused to put forward an emergency package, he said, “parliament should be recalled to force them to do so”.

More in this report:

Former PM Gordon Brown demands emergency budget before ‘financial timebomb’

Existing package not enough in ‘extraordinarily difficult times’ concedes Tory MP

Monday 8 August 2022 06:05 , Namita Singh

Tory MP Damian Hinds conceded the existing package was not enough in these “extraordinarily difficult times”.

He told Sky News: “Things have been getting worse even since that was put into place in terms of projections for energy bills... and he’s been clear that more may well be needed and he is ready to do that as required.”

Pensioners to spend one pound out of every five on energy bills, warns Labour

Monday 8 August 2022 06:20 , Namita Singh

One pound in every five spent by pensioners this winter will go on energy bills, Labour has warned.

With rises in the energy price cap forecast to push typical annual bills above £3,700 in October and as high as £4,400 in January and £4,700 in April, keeping warm will cost the elderly eye-watering sums.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves is understood to be finalising a package of support that Labour will propose as a means of staving off the worst hardship.

Without further support, the party calculates that pensioners’ spending on electricity and gas will this year be almost triple the figure for 2020/21, as a proportion of their outgoings.

Read the details in this report from our political editor Andrew Woodcock:

Pensioners to spend one pound out of every five on energy bills, Labour warns

Thousands of infected blood victims to receive £100,000 compensation ‘as soon as possible’

Monday 8 August 2022 06:35 , Namita Singh

Thousands of victims of the infected blood scandal will receive £100,000 interim payments in compensation “as soon as possible”, the government is to announce.

The Infected Blood Inquiry was established to examine how thousands of patients in the UK were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

There are believed to be more than 4,000 surviving victims from what has been labelled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, during which about 2,400 people died.

Sir Brian Langstaff, chairman of the inquiry, last month called for the compensation to be paid “without delay” to all infected blood victims and bereaved partners.

Read the details in this report by Chiara Giordano:

Thousands of infected blood victims to receive £100,000 compensation

Thatcher’s energy secretary says Tory leadership contenders’ response to price spike ‘inadequate’

Monday 8 August 2022 06:50 , Namita Singh

Margaret Thatcher’s former energy secretary has denounced the plans of the two candidates for the Tory leadership to deal with the power price crisis as “completely inadequate”.

David Howell said that the expected hike in the energy price cap to an average £3,700 or more will “paralyse” the lives of huge numbers of Britons.

He called for immediate action to relieve suffering this winter, both through grants and loans to those most vulnerable and through international diplomacy to open up more supplies of gas and oil.

Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have said they are ready to look at means of easing pressure on families facing a cost-of-living crisis, with inflation forecast by the Bank of England to hit 13 per cent this year.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

Thatcher’s energy secretary says Tory rivals’ response to price spike ‘inadequate’

Major campaign bids to boost green investment in London

Monday 8 August 2022 07:05 , Namita Singh

A major campaign aimed at boosting green investment across communities in London is being fronted by celebrities and sports stars.

The £500k Opportunity London Project is backed and partially funded by London mayor Sadiq Khan, the cross-party group London Councils, which represents the capital’s 32 boroughs, and the City of London Corporation.

A group of London Ambassadors, which will include recognisable names from the sporting and cultural worlds, will become the faces of the campaign, representing what London is about as a city.

The ambassadors will be selected and appointed over the next few months and will come from all backgrounds, including property, with some drawn from supporter organisations.

Their mission will be to showcase London as one of the best places in the world to invest - particularly in real estate, regeneration and green infrastructure.

Mr Khan said: “To maintain London’s place as a leading global city we need to compete for investment in sustainable growth with other leading cities.

Opportunity London is a great platform to do that, and I am delighted to be working with our partners to attract investment which will help us to build a better London for everyone, supporting good growth in our industries, jobs and communities.

Sadiq Khan

Labour slams Raab for ‘considering changes to ministerial accountability in judicial reviews'

Monday 8 August 2022 07:20 , Emily Atkinson

The Justice Secretary is reportedly considering introducing changes that could limit ministers’ accountability in judicial reviews.

According to a leaked Ministry of Justice (MoJ) paper, reportedly seen by The Guardian, Dominic Raab is weighing up a move that would likely make it more difficult for claimants who have concerns about decisions taken by public bodies to bring successful legal challenges against the Government.

The document reportedly states: “You (Mr Raab) have indicated that you are minded to consult on further reforms to judicial review.”

 (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Proposed changes in the document reportedly range from dictating the criteria judges must apply in cases, to increasing the cost burden if parties are found not to have standing.

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed said the reported changes showed the government thinks “the law only applies to the little people”.

The Labour MP said: “This leak is yet more proof that the Lord Chancellor and this arrogant Conservative government thinks that the law only applies to the little people.”

Met Police subjected 650 children to ‘traumatising’ strip-searches

Monday 8 August 2022 07:40 , Emily Atkinson

More than six hundred children were forced to endure “intrusive and traumatising” strip-searches by the Metropolitan Police over a two-year period, with Black boys disproportionately targeted, figures show.

Some 650 aged between 10 and 17 were strip-searched by the force’s officers between 2018 and 2020, according to data obtained from Scotland Yard by the Children’s Commissioner.

Of these children, 58 per cent were described by the officer as being Black, and more than 95 per cent were boys.

My colleague Maryam Zakir-Hussain has more:

Met Police subjected 650 children to ‘traumatising’ strip-searches

Gordon Brown warns Tories children will go ‘ill-clad, under-fed’ this winter

Monday 8 August 2022 08:03 , Emily Atkinson

Gordon Brown has warned that children will be forced to attend school “ill-clad and undernourished” if the government does not act to support people through the cost of living crisis now.

Mr Brown urged the government to prioritise putting foward a fresh package of help for families before the winter arrives “no matter what’s happening in the leadership programme.”

Speaking on Sky News this morning, the former Labour prime minister said there is “no doubt people will go hungry in October”, warning that if the government were to leave its intervention to November or December, “pensioners will have to choose between feeding their gas meters or feeding themselves.”

Dowden does not take ‘lessons’ in economics from Gordon Brown: ‘He’s not got a great record on this sort of thing’

Monday 8 August 2022 08:14 , Emily Atkinson

Former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Oliver Dowden has said he does not take lessons on the economy from Gordon Brown after he yesterday warned that families were to encounter “a financial timebomb” come October.

Asked if there was a need amid the rising cost of living for daily emergency Cobra meetings, Mr Dowden told Sky News: “Of course we need to be on top of this situation and we need to be realistic and honest with people about the scale of the challenge that we’re facing.

“Both with the scale of inflation that’s coming down the line, something we haven’t seen for almost 40 years and with the fact that energy bills are going to go up, possibly towards £4,000.

“I would say though I don’t take enormous lessons from Gordon Brown, remember this was a man who gave us a 75p rise for pensioners, so he’s not really got a great record on this sort of thing.”

Brandon Lewis defends Truss’ 'handout’ remark

Monday 8 August 2022 08:30 , Emily Atkinson

Conservative former Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis has defended Liz Truss for suggesting there would be no “handouts” amid the spiralling cost of living.

Ms Truss had told the Financial Times: “The way I would do things is in a Conservative way of lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts”.

Speaking about her comments, Mr Lewis told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We will look to do whatever we can to help people - that’s what an emergency budget is about.

 (PA)
(PA)

“She’s (Ms Truss) willing to do more to help people but her focus is around doing it in a way that puts more money in people’s pockets, creating a high-growth economy with higher wages, more people in work.

“So rather than having handouts, what we do is have a low-tax economy that’s driving growth and therefore with people having more money in their pockets, they’re better placed to deal with some of the challenges that we see.”

‘People will be going hungry’: Gordon Brown calls for urgent action on cost of living crisis - watch

Monday 8 August 2022 08:43 , Emily Atkinson

‘Intervention of considerable scale’ needed to combat cost of living, says Dowden

Monday 8 August 2022 09:15 , Emily Atkinson

Former Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden said “there is no doubt that we do need an intervention of a considerable scale” amid the rising cost of living.

On the energy price cap, he told Sky News: “Let’s see when we know the exact level of the price cap, but if it looks like it’s going to be at that kind of scale then of course we’ll need further intervention.”

 (AP)
(AP)

He added: “Rishi Sunak accepts the need for these bold, big interventions. Liz Truss has put her emphasis on this tax cut.”

On funding distribution, Mr Dowden said: “It needs to be in the most needing places and that doesn’t just have to be in urban, inner city areas, and I see that my own constituency.”

Dorries calls Partygate probe a 'Machiavellian enquiry’

Monday 8 August 2022 09:43 , Emily Atkinson

Nadine Dorries has twice in 24 hours taken aim at the inquiry into whether Boris Johnson misled the Commons them over Partygate.

Taking to Twitter, Ms Dorries shared two articles - one from the Daily Mail and the second from Mail+, the newspaper’s premium digital wing - which cites an ally of the outgoing prime minister as calling the probe “a rigged investigation by a vengeful committee, which is dressing up a witch hunt in the clothes of a reputable inquiry.”

Ms Dorries, famed Johnson super-loyalist, reiterated those remarks in her post, writing on Sunday: “If this witch hunt continues, it will be the most egregious abuse of power witnessed in Westminster. It will cast serious doubt not only on the reputation of individual MPs sitting on the committee, but on the processes of Parliament and democracy itself.”

In a second tweet shared this morning, the culture secretary added: “Collective hatred of Labour MPs towards ⁦@BorisJohnson⁩ for delivering Brexit and 80 seat maj for Gov taking traditional Labour seats, knows no bounds. This Machiavellian enquiry is the means to a by-election and Con MPs should have no part in it.”

Minister insists government not absent from economic crisis

Monday 8 August 2022 10:14 , Emily Atkinson

The sports minister has batted away criticisms that key members of government are absent during an economic crisis.

It comes after it emerged that both the prime minister and chancellor were on holiday last week as the Bank of England raised interest rates from 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent.

Interviewed on Good Morning Britain, Nigel Huddleston said: “I wouldn’t say it’s in limbo actually, there’s still a lot of ministers still doing their job.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“It’s summertime, a lot of the people are on holiday, a lot of people work very, very hard.”

Speaking from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, he added: “There’s a lot of ministers doing their jobs, many of them have come and visited here, and met with dignitaries, supported trade and investment programmes, worked on foreign relations and so on.

“So there’s a lot of work going on.”

Nobody at wheel amid cost of living crisis, says Gordon Brown

Monday 8 August 2022 10:35 , Emily Atkinson

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has claimed there is a “vacuum” at the centre of government which has stopped it tackling the financial crisis bearing down on families.

The former Labour leader told Good Morning Britain: “There’s got to be someone in charge. And it’s not just that they’re asleep at the wheel - there’s nobody at the wheel at the moment.

“You’ve got Boris and his chancellor who have been on holiday, and then you’ve got the two leadership candidates on the campaign trail.

“What’s happening at the centre of government is there is a vacuum and it’s got to be filled immediately if we’re going to protect people by October.

“I know from my own experience, you’ve got to act quickly to deal with the benefits and tax issues if you’re going to get the changes in by the time you want them to be in.”

September ‘too late’ to introduce emergency winter budget, says Brown

Monday 8 August 2022 11:01 , Emily Atkinson

Gordon Brown said waiting until September to introduce an emergency budget to tackle the cost of living crisis will be “too late” for those facing “unpayable” bills in October.

The former prime minister told Good Morning Britain: “If you don’t act now, you cannot get the benefits to people by 1 October.

“If you wait until after the new prime minister is selected, that will be too late to get benefits to people by 1 October.

 (PA)
(PA)

“It’s too late because people will be experiencing great hardship, an unbearable burden of unpayable bills in October.

“So that’s why I want Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson, they may disagree on things but they should get together, agree that they are in charge of delivering an emergency budget.

“Parliament should be recalled if necessary. We can let this crisis develop so that we have an emergency we cannot deal with properly in October.”

Dowden says he has had no contact with Boris Johnson since resignation

Monday 8 August 2022 11:25 , Emily Atkinson

Former Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden revealed he had not had any contact with Boris Johnson since his resignation in the wake of the two by-election defeats in June.

He said: “I hadn’t actually had any contact with Boris since my resignation, but perhaps that’s unsurprising.”

He added: “I’m sure we’ll speak to each other again once all this is through.”

 (EPA/ Reuters)
(EPA/ Reuters)

Martin Lewis calls for end of post-Brexit EU roaming rip-offs by mobile operators

Monday 8 August 2022 11:46 , Emily Atkinson

UK mobile phone operators should be forced to make their rules around data roaming in the EU clearer, Martin Lewis has said.

Consumer group MoneySavingExpert.com, led by consumer rights champion Mr Lewis, has called on telecoms regulator Ofcom and the government to tighten the rules after some post-Brexit consumer protections expired.

In a new report, Mr Lewis warned that because a range of legal obligations for operators around roaming ended on 30 June this year, firms no longer have to send customers a text message with pricing details when they begin roaming; operate a monthly cap on data roaming fees; or provide protections against inadvertent roaming.

Read more on the report here:

Martin Lewis calls for end of post-Brexit EU roaming rip-offs by mobile operators

Voters want government to get inflation under control before cutting tax, poll reveals

Monday 8 August 2022 12:10 , Emily Atkinson

Two thirds of Britons think the government should prioritise tackling the soaring rate of inflation before introducing tax cuts, a poll has found.

Casting an unfavourable shadow over the plans of frontrunner Liz Truss, a YouGov poll found that 64 per cent of voters thought the next prime minister should first battle the rising cost of living, while 17 per cent favoured tax cuts.

The poll for The Times appears to stand in stark contrast to the beliefs of Conservative Party members, who will elect the next British leader.

Voters want Tories to get inflation under control before cutting tax, poll reveals

Dominic Raab’s proposal to change judicial reviews dubbed ‘chilling’ by torture survivors’ charity

Monday 8 August 2022 12:30 , Emily Atkinson

Leaked proposals which suggest the government is considering changes that could limit ministers’ accountability in judicial reviews have been branded “chilling” by a torture survivors’ charity.

Tracy Doig, head of international advocacy at Freedom From Torture, said: “The Justice Secretary’s proposed reforms are the latest in a series of attacks on the rights of the public to hold the powerful to account.

“Efforts to curb the power of judges have nothing to do with ‘lefty’ or ‘righty’ lawyers but with the very centrality of the rule of law, which judges represent.

“The independence of the judiciary from government influence is a cornerstone of democracy in this country, based on hundreds of years of legal precedence.

“(Dominic) Raab’s chilling vision of a Government above the law is a threat to the rights that protect every one of us.”

Tax cuts won’t ‘fully solve’ cost of living crisis, admits top Liz Truss ally

Monday 8 August 2022 12:49 , Emily Atkinson

Tax cuts promised by Conservative leader favourite Liz Truss will not “fully solve” the cost of living crisis, a senior ally had admitted.

Rishi Sunak has seized on Truss’s rejection of cost of living “handouts” – arguing her tax cuts “won’t touch the sides” for families on low incomes, amid growing calls for an emergency budget.

Truss backer Brandon Lewis, the former Northern Ireland secretary, conceded that her promised tax cuts would not on their own “fully solve” the spiralling living costs.

Adam Forrest reports:

Tax cuts won’t ‘fully solve’ cost of living crisis, admits Liz Truss ally

Boris Johnson won’t act on cost of living crisis as he rejects pleas for emergency budget

Monday 8 August 2022 12:58 , Emily Atkinson

Boris Johnson has rejected pleas to intervene on the cost of living crisis, refusing calls for an emergency budget, regular Cobra meetings and the recall of parliament.

Gordon Brown has warned that children will be forced to attend school “ill-clad and undernourished” if the government does not act now to support people through the inflation crisis.

But No 10 dismissed the former Labour prime minister’s demand for Cobra crisis meetings on the economy – saying it was up to “a future prime minister to decide whether or what measures are required”.

Adam Forrest has more on this breaking story:

Boris Johnson rejects pleas for emergency budget over cost of living crisis

Watch: Who are Don’t Pay UK and what do they do?

Monday 8 August 2022 13:11 , Emily Atkinson

NHS crisis cannot wait for new PM, admits health secretary

Monday 8 August 2022 13:43 , Emily Atkinson

The NHS in England cannot wait for a new prime minister to tackle “very serious challenges” it faces in the autumn and winter, the health secretary has said.

Steve Barclay said key decisions – including whether to hire more staff from overseas – had not be made before the outcome of the Conservative leadership contest.

The recently-appointed health secretary said a “real sprint” will be needed before winter to protect the NHS ahead of an expected influx of patients.

“We have very real challenges coming down the track in the autumn and winter, and as far as I’m concerned there needs to be a real sprint within Whitehall, and particularly in the Department of Health, to get ready for September,” Mr Barclay told The Telegraph.

Adam Forrest has more:

NHS crisis cannot wait for new PM, admits health secretary

PM accused of ‘shrugging his shoulders’ on cost of living

Monday 8 August 2022 14:11 , Adam Forrest

Labour accused Johnson of “shrugging his shoulders” in the face of the mounting cost of living crisis.

Rachel Reeves MP, shadow chancellor, said: “People are worried sick about how they’ll pay their bills and do their weekly food shop, and all this Tory prime minister does is shrug his shoulders.

She added: “An economic crisis like this requires strong leadership and urgent action – but instead we have a Tory party that’s lost control and are stuck with two continuity candidates who can only offer more of the same.”

Labour has also attacked the “zombie” Tory government, as Johnson arrived back at work on Monday from holiday.

The caretaker PM and his wife reportedly enjoyed the “soothing energies” of a mountain villa in Slovenia last week.

No 10 won’t say if PM paid for summer holiday

Monday 8 August 2022 14:36 , Emily Atkinson

Downing Street would not confirm whether Boris Johnson paid for his summer holiday out of his own pocket.

The caretaker PM and his wife reportedly enjoyed the “soothing energies” of a mountain villa in Slovenia last week.

Asked if Johnson paid for the trip himself, his official spokesperson said “no taxpayers’ money was used for this”, adding that it was a private matter.

Asked if this meant if Johnson had paid for it himself, the No 10 spokesperson said he was not aware of how the holiday was paid for.

But any declarations would be made in the appropriate way if Johnson has to register the trip as a gift.

‘Enough is enough’: Mick Lynch leads campaign to fight cost-of-living crisis - watch

Monday 8 August 2022 15:07 , Emily Atkinson

Johnson will ‘abide’ by Partygate inquiry process

Monday 8 August 2022 15:32 , Emily Atkinson

No 10 refused to back Nadine Dorries’ calls for the privileges committee inquiry into claims he lied to parliament about Partygate to be scrapped.

Dorries has called on the four Tory MPs on the committee to withdraw from “this Machievellian process”, with allies of the PM reportedly calling the probe a “witch hunt” and a “kangaroo court”.

Asked if Johnson wanted to see the inquiry halted, his official spokesperson said No 10 wanted to “abide by the process”, adding: “We will assist the committee in their inquiries.”

Rishi Sunak video vowing to shred EU rules branded ‘absurdly stupid and irresponsible’

Monday 8 August 2022 16:02 , Emily Atkinson

A campaign video for Rishi Sunak’s Tory leadership bid which vows to shred thousands of EU rules and regulations has been branded “absurdly stupid and irresponsible”.

The former chancellor has vowed to repeal or replace more than 2,000 laws before the next general election as part of an anti-Brussels “arms race” with rival Liz Truss.

The foreign secretary promised to ditch or replace all the regulations even faster, by the end of 2023, despite warnings of disruptive “chaos” from lawyers, business leaders and union bosses.

In an attempt to get one up on Truss on Brexit policy, Sunak has now shared a video showing dummy documents being put through a shredding machine to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the EU anthem.

Adam Forrest reports:

Rishi Sunak video vowing to shred EU rules branded ‘absurdly stupid’

Liz Truss U-turns: All the times her policies have been ‘misinterpreted’

Monday 8 August 2022 16:30 , Emily Atkinson

Liz Truss‘s team has again claimed her policies have been “misinterpreted”, opening the doors to another U-turn.

The Tory leadership favourite has form, with a theme that policies are put forward and then ditched after their implications become clear.

Ms Truss has been called out for flip-flopping on a range of policies from Brexit to abolishing the monarchy.

Here Jon Stone takes a closer look at where she stands:

No 10 to assist Partygate probe

Monday 8 August 2022 17:01 , Emily Atkinson

Downing Street has signalled that it remains committed to assisting a parliamentary inquiry into whether Boris Johnson lied to MPs over lockdown parties in No 10.

Leading allies of the prime minister, including culture secretary Nadine Dorries, have attacked the investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee denouncing it as a “witch hunt”.

But the PM’s official spokesman said No 10 stood ready to assist the committee in its inquiries - and could continue to do so after Mr Johnson leaves office next month.

“There is a process for this. We will respond to the Privileges Committee in their work in due course. We want to look at this properly and abide by the process,” the spokesman said.

“This is something Parliament voted for. We will assist the committee in their inquiries so they can bring it to a conclusion.

“We would expect the committee to abide by the rules in that circumstance.”

Watch: Rishi Sunak vows to put EU laws 'through shredder' in new campaign video

Monday 8 August 2022 17:29 , Emily Atkinson

Boris Johnson did pay for his ‘wonderful’ holiday in Slovenia, says No 10

Monday 8 August 2022 18:03 , Emily Atkinson

Monday 8 August 2022 18:34 , Lamiat Sabin

That’s all for today’s liveblog on UK politics. Thanks for following.