Boris Johnson pledges ‘compassion’ to help people through living costs
The government could cut as many as 90,000 civil service jobs in a cost-cutting exercise touted by Boris Johnson as ministers come under increasing pressure to help alleviate the cost of living crisis with potential tax cuts.
The prime minister is said to have told his cabinet on Thursday to cut government staff numbers by a fifth, which would save more than £3 billion.
The plan was discussed with cabinet colleagues on a trip in Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday.
Sources familiar with the talks said he told ministers to bring the civil service back to 2016 levels in the coming years.
The workforce has increased since then, as the impact of Brexit on government and public life has increased the need for civil servants.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s lead negotiator in the row over the Northern Ireland protocol has urged the British government to stop threatening unilateral action and start negotiating a new post-Brexit settlement.
EU officials have also questioned the timing of the UK’s threat to give up parts of the protocol, warning that this jeopardizes the unity of the international alliance against Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.
Northern Ireland Protocol action is ‘painfully necessary’, says Attorney General
Action against the Northern Ireland protocol is “painful, apparently necessary”, the attorney general has said in a key hint that the government will set aside parts of the post-Brexit deal.
Suella Braverman, the government’s chief legal adviser, has not denied that she has agreed to scrap large parts of the deal involving emergency legislation.
European leaders have warned the UK not to make the incendiary move, fearing it could spark a trade war with Britain’s largest trading partner.
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 06:50
Johnson not included in new round of Partygate fines
Boris Johnson has not been included in the list of 50 new Partygate sanctions announced Thursday for violations of the No. 10 lockdown, Downing Street has said.
Scotland Yard announced today that the number of fines handed out to government employees for law-breaking parties held during the Covid pandemic has surpassed 100.
Johnson has already been fined for attending a number 10 event for his birthday. He apologized to MPs but refused to resign, saying he “implicitly believed this was a work event”.
Read more from Adam Forrest and Andrew Woodcock here:
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 06:30
Northern Ireland protocol dispute threatens united stance against Putin, EU says
Members of the European Union have questioned the timing of the UK’s threat to give up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, warning that doing so would jeopardize the unity of the international alliance against Vladimir Putin.
Two unnamed EU insiders told the guard that officials in Brussels were “bewildered” at the timing of the threats from the UK, calling it “irresponsible”.
A diplomat described Liz Truss’ threat of unilateral action as “highly risky, even irresponsible,” the paper reported.
“I don’t see how” [unilateral action] would solve everything in the short term and it would only worsen the position of the west as a whole vis-à-vis Putin in these fragile times.”
Another source said: “The EU, all member states, are fully united and a little baffled that the UK would want to do this now.”
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 06:11
‘We in the EU never work with threats’, warns Brexit chief negotiator
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned that Brussels will not yield to threats or blackmail as the furious row over the Northern Ireland border comes one step closer to unleashing a trade war.
He urged the bloc of 27 countries to be united in rejecting Britain’s demands to rewrite the controversial Northern Ireland protocol, sending a stark message to London: “We in the EU never work with threats, we never work with threats.” with blackmail, we try to work together with constructive engagement and I advocate that.”
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more details here:
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 05:50
Cannot rule out leadership contest before 2024 elections, says Hunt
Former Conservative Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out a top job contest before the 2024 election, warning that the Tories have “a big mountain to climb” to win another term.
While he says it was not the “right time” for a leadership change due to the war in Ukraine, he added, “I would be very open with you that I wouldn’t rule out a return in the future.”
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 05:28
Johnson cuts 90,000 civil servant jobs to help fund tax cuts
More than 90,000 civil servants are likely to lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting exercise touted by Boris Johnson amid mounting pressure to help alleviate the cost of living crisis.
The prime minister is said to have told his cabinet on Thursday to cut staff by a fifth, with the aim of freeing up more than £3 billion.
Tom Batchelor has more details here:
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 05:11
Welcome to The Independent’s live blog on the latest updates on British politics for Friday 13 May.
Stuti MishraMay 13, 2022 04:40