Labour MPs voice support for strikes as Starmer rules out joining picket line during conference – UK politics live | Politics

Connect with us

Labour MPs express solidarity with striking workers

Labour MPs are expressing solidarity with Royal Mail, BT, and media workers striking across the country.

It comes after weeks of pressure on the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to back recent strikes and allow his frontbenchers to appear on picket lines.

Andy McDonald, a former shadow employment minister, tweeted photos of himself on two picket lines, writing: “Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.”

Sharon Hodgson, who serves as Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary, wrote that journalists striking at media company Reach PLC “deserve fair recognition”.

“Reach should return to the table to resolve this dispute,” she said.

Karl Turner retweeted photos of a picket line of journalists from Reach outlet Hull Live.

“Solidarity with striking Journalists, sorry I couldn’t attend in person,” he wrote.

Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.

As bosses make billions, working people are saying #EnoughIsEnough@DaveWardGS is right – it's time for a redistribution of wealth.

#StandByYourPost pic.twitter.com/yHKCpx8spf

— Andy McDonald MP (@AndyMcDonaldMP) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/AndyMcDonaldMP/status/1564967844525268994?s=20&t=ZEyAnOh2OvH3K2B_KySNrg”,”id”:”1564967844525268994″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”526b7901-78dc-4e7e-8d2d-cb5dfda6ac38″}}”/>

The UK’s Covid-19 alert level has been downgraded from level three to level two.

“,”elementId”:”3a205b65-e452-4dd9-a91f-ea8b82a175f8″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Department of Health and Social Care said the move was jointly recommended by the chief medical officers of the four UK nations.

“,”elementId”:”70526ecf-7971-47e2-a877-946387547770″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The alert level is determined by how many Covid cases there are at a given point in time and how fast it is spreading.

“,”elementId”:”1a5ef728-25c5-4172-8ca3-2939670c08b7″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The system ranges from level one, indicating Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK, to level five, indicating a risk that health services will be overwhelmed.

“,”elementId”:”470e46a7-67b4-4cb9-9dce-bfccb543eda4″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

A level two alert means that “Covid-19 is in general circulation but direct Covid-19 healthcare pressures and transmission are declining or stable”.

“,”elementId”:”647f849c-9f58-4388-a598-8e5f1399d44a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The alert level was moved down to level three from level four in May.

“,”elementId”:”5b2437c4-79c5-4c02-aad2-29c4d84e1c5f”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661957426000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”10.50 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661958005000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”11.00 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661958005000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”11.00 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”11.00″,”title”:”UK’s Covid alert level downgraded”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f70a28f08fb7d69ffeb86″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Labour MPs are expressing solidarity with Royal Mail, BT, and media workers striking across the country.

“,”elementId”:”e417c79b-4a7f-4676-902f-6d1204273bef”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

It comes after weeks of pressure on the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to back recent strikes and allow his frontbenchers to appear on picket lines.

“,”elementId”:”6a86da87-79cb-4c98-9352-0d2fa4bb0f73″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Andy McDonald, a former shadow employment minister, tweeted photos of himself on two picket lines, writing: “Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.”

“,”elementId”:”07e82363-91ef-4a88-81d3-72c77d85af05″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Sharon Hodgson, who serves as Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary, wrote that journalists striking at media company Reach PLC “deserve fair recognition”.

“,”elementId”:”04ec8ec9-cbf9-4e84-bff5-4cfb15edab76″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Reach should return to the table to resolve this dispute,” she said.

“,”elementId”:”10299828-799d-41be-8ef6-35c7e597582f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Karl Turner retweeted photos of a picket line of journalists from Reach outlet Hull Live.

“,”elementId”:”85b5a8d8-4d70-4159-89ad-83641138e220″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Solidarity with striking Journalists, sorry I couldn’t attend in person,” he wrote.

“,”elementId”:”e4282306-a49d-4953-9d12-699480a8b87b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.

As bosses make billions, working people are saying #EnoughIsEnough@DaveWardGS is right – it's time for a redistribution of wealth.

#StandByYourPost pic.twitter.com/yHKCpx8spf

— Andy McDonald MP (@AndyMcDonaldMP) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/AndyMcDonaldMP/status/1564967844525268994?s=20&t=ZEyAnOh2OvH3K2B_KySNrg”,”id”:”1564967844525268994″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”cc023bf2-9e34-4041-8a46-59f6997f4502″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:true,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661956259000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”10.30 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661957284000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”10.48 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661957207000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”10.46 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”10.46″,”title”:”Labour MPs express solidarity with striking workers”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f4ff78f087b6858318b81″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Two leaders of the Conservative party in the UK’s devolved parliaments have called on the next prime minister to announce significant packages of support to help businesses cover rising energy costs.

“,”elementId”:”a80a1b02-475a-4c84-86d4-05fb9510236d”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Douglas Ross and Andrew Davies, the Tory leaders in Scotland and Wales respectively, were both speaking to Times Radio before the announcement of their party’s new national leader on Monday.

“,”elementId”:”13311a44-a396-491f-812a-df9abd63f733″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Ross said businesses were facing an “extremely difficult time” and would need similar support to that provided during the Covid pandemic.

“,”elementId”:”bf5be559-8823-4464-a2e1-b2164e8ddf85″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“I know businesses are looking at whether they close for the winter and whether they’ll even reopen again,” he said.

“,”elementId”:”53867edd-ec11-4018-88f3-b6cabb512913″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“I know speaking to both candidates that their government will look at that extremely closely because we need to do an awful lot to support … businesses through this crisis”.

“,”elementId”:”d453da78-7e98-438c-a428-33630e0069fd”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

David said he would like to see the interventions made by government during the 2008 crash used as a model.

“,”elementId”:”a717b18b-90fd-4fd0-aa17-592af3e39d3b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“In effect, there wasn’t an effective lending market,” he said. “There wasn’t an effective financial services market to support businesses and support the country.

“,”elementId”:”bcefe6fb-0f92-4bf7-86e2-4d539dfba67a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“That’s where the government next week needs to be positive and proactive.”

“,”elementId”:”f1227859-2527-4f3e-aafd-dca86c1a95d5″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661947895000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”08.11 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661956659000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”10.37 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661950399000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”08.53 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”08.53″,”title”:”Tory leaders in Scotland and Wales urge next PM to announce significant support on bills”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f533d8f08fb7d69ffea47″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Mikhail Gorbachev, saying Vladimir Putin is undoing the good work he did for the countries of the former Soviet Union.

“,”elementId”:”e63d0e7f-4f35-4690-9dba-45250ca12a63″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Speaking while on a visit to a police station in south-east London, Johnson said: “Mikhail Gorbachev is one of those people who changed the world and unquestionably changed it for the better.

“,”elementId”:”9f47479b-cc05-40af-989c-38b83803772a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“When you look at what he did to make Europe whole, free, to give freedom to the countries of the former Soviet Union, it was a quite extraordinary thing.

“,”elementId”:”4e376e3f-4230-4101-82bb-1bbad1a79741″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“What I worry about today is that the current leadership in Moscow is intent on undoing the good that Mikhail Gorbachev did, and is intent on a revenge-driven attempt to recreate that Soviet empire.

“,”elementId”:”373effde-0c1f-4283-a728-43a1cb036466″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“And that’s the tragedy, something that I think Mikhail Gorbachev would have thought was absolutely unthinkable, unwarranted, and irrational.”

“,”elementId”:”0c958082-a924-4952-be64-19e030ab1932″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Prime Minister remembers Mikhail Gorbachev. pic.twitter.com/2h3ljKQWoR

— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/10DowningStreet/status/1564931504295256065?s=20&t=cE16_gjqxwan_J5BGOeiHw”,”id”:”1564931504295256065″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d7aeb190-1c49-4c8a-9d2e-2ee4a182d870″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661948733000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”08.25 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661956213000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”10.30 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661949261000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”08.34 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”08.34″,”title”:”Putin undoing Gorbachev’s good work, says prime minister”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f49618f08fa7e6340ce47″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Sir Keir Starmer has defended choosing not to join rail workers who will strike during Labour’s annual party conference next month, and hit back at accusations he is “spineless”.

“,”elementId”:”39a0b856-310a-43b7-b8c6-725d11e3f58f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Labour leader said running a trade union and trying to become prime minister were “different jobs” and he did not want to “lose that focus on getting into power”.

“,”elementId”:”e675991a-0258-4d26-9d67-b7be4a1941a9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Having been branded spineless by Sharon Graham, the head of Unite, for his opposition to standing on picket lines during a series of industrial disputes earlier this summer, Starmer insisted: “I do support unions, I support the right to strike.”

“,”elementId”:”5b922b05-08ac-4bd7-bb49-4f088b2de605″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

However, he told the Jeremy Vine show on Channel 5: “I respect Sharon, she’s doing her job. Her job as a trade union leader is to stick up for her members and to ensure they get the best possible deal.

“,”elementId”:”bc7ab323-04db-4916-b3f8-a907d1ca423e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“My job is leader of the Labour party, I want a Labour government, I want to be a Labour prime minister.

“,”elementId”:”8ffda341-0dc4-4c27-a021-1bec15e79dd2″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Starmer said he was “not focused” on the criticism levied at him by critics on the left but “focused intently on winning the next general election, because we can talk about what we’re going to do up hill and down dale – but until we win an election, we won’t do it”.

“,”elementId”:”737a5431-5040-4d72-ac4c-e369f3cd3405″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

He said those who were a “cheerleader” for Jeremy Cobyn had failed by leading Labour to its worst defeat since 1935 and added: “If we carry on like that, we are letting millions of people down.”

“,”elementId”:”cdc799c4-0a41-4d81-9477-345946f08bd9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Starmer also said oil and gas companies who had made “really excessive profits” should be hit with a fresh windfall tax to pay for Labour’s plan for stopping the energy price cap rising by 80% in October.

“,”elementId”:”03e36f2f-94b8-4c98-a7cb-2713d3ec83a7″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

When bills rise again in April, Starmer said “we’ll have to put in place another plan” but a major long-term goal should be to increase the insulation of homes.

“,”elementId”:”08e57de9-4604-4a29-9238-d6dce2362bb4″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“We can’t keep saying: ‘Well it takes too long, so it can’t get started’,” Starmer added.

“,”elementId”:”ae148f87-11f0-439c-9255-77eea548961e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

A caller who complained about the tariffs faced by those on prepayment metres was also told by Starmer the premium was “outrageous”. “It can’t be justified and it’s got to go,” Starmer said.

“,”elementId”:”2e23e341-86e6-4827-88e8-5a057cad2f90″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661946209000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”07.43 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661947176000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”07.59 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661946450000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”07.47 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”07.47″,”title”:”I won’t join striking rail workers during Labour conference, says Starmer”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Aubrey Allegretti”}],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f3ec88f08fb7d69ffe926″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association has announced a countrywide 24-hour strike as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, job security, and working conditions.

“,”elementId”:”18396bcc-5ba4-4fc8-8016-ecaaf5cfb47c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The union said that staff at nine train operating companies as well as Network Rail would strike from midday on Monday 26 September until midday the following day.

“,”elementId”:”03969567-f002-4ee1-97fc-dd1f1fe9c042″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The action will coincide with the Labour party conference, scheduled to take place in Liverpool between 25 and 28 September.

“,”elementId”:”58eb722c-b172-4736-98ed-53b4b346c82e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has faced criticism in recent weeks over a decision not to allow his frontbenchers to join striking workers on picket lines.

“,”elementId”:”a6ffcfef-504d-42ed-b278-efd170573a21″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The TSSA union leader, Manuel Cortes, said: “I will be standing on our picket line in Liverpool and will be encouraging fellow delegates and Labour MPs to do likewise, so they can rightly show they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those fighting the Tories’ cost of living crisis.”

“,”elementId”:”c9fbe8cb-91f2-4f7d-a4f0-a5c2fa4eb00d”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661943496000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”06.58 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661944730000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”07.18 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661944091000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”07.08 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”07.08″,”title”:”Rail union announces strike to coincide with Labour conferece”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f32318f08fa7e6340ccfc”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Queen will receive the prime minister, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday 6 September before holding an audience with the new prime minister, Buckingham Palace has said.

“,”elementId”:”684e37f6-dffe-45b4-9134-0bad25c0c979″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Voting in the Tory leadership contest will close on Friday, with the result to be announced on Monday.

“,”elementId”:”a2f250be-208e-400c-be50-070080e37e3d”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The 96-year-old monarch, who has faced ongoing mobility issues, traditionally holds audiences with outgoing and incoming premiers at Buckingham Palace.

“,”elementId”:”06e48471-4737-4252-ad8d-50d747da3844″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661940273000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”06.04 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661941116000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”06.18 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661940396000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”06.06 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”06.06″,”title”:”Queen to receive Boris Johnson and new prime minister at Balmoral on Tuesday”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f22868f087b68583188e3″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Prime ministerial hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will be in London tonight for the final hustings of the Tory leadership race.

“,”elementId”:”49273043-ba81-4fa7-ae43-71a1d6482d44″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Voting among members will close at 5pm on Friday, with a final result to be announced on Monday and Truss still looking overwhelmingly likely to emerge as the winner.

“,”elementId”:”0782628b-2c91-48ed-bd69-bb3ede694af0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Ahead of the event, Truss tweeted her thanks to those members who have backed her to “unite our party, deliver for our country and win the next election”.

“,”elementId”:”34b68a4c-d731-479f-b1af-dd223dc5723c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Sunak said he was “so grateful to all the people who turned up, signed up and helped us get our message out”.

“,”elementId”:”92a9b60b-832c-4e18-aa45-7a06b4c4dc24″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“We’re in the final days and every vote counts,” he said.

“,”elementId”:”9403e160-d777-4178-84e3-af1fc9731427″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661936262000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”04.57 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661937223000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”05.13 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661937064000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”05.11 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”05.11″,”title”:”Candidates prepare for final hustings”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f1b358f087b68583188ba”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Good morning and welcome to the politics live blog.

“,”elementId”:”59efa934-95aa-4c26-a361-b846430dce97″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Boris Johnson has said Britain is “absolutely not” broken at the end of his premiership, and claimed that “this country has got an incredible future and has everything going for it”.

“,”elementId”:”308071f2-3bd6-4799-8cb3-fccc576af27b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Asked outside a police station in Lewisham, south London, whether Britain “was broken” in the final days of his leadership, he responded: “Absolutely not. This country has got an incredible future and has everything going for it.

“,”elementId”:”8db7e8da-9d9c-42d3-886f-1ebd2f34d38a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Look at the place that people want to invest in. Which is the country that attracts more venture capital investment now than China? It’s the United Kingdom.

“,”elementId”:”2674702d-b0f0-4678-9e02-c6f1d4ab78b1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Which country has, I think, more billion-pound start-up tech companies than France, than Germany, than Israel put together? It is the United Kingdom.

“,”elementId”:”878ca7c2-b0c0-49de-af28-fb4fabc6f9ae”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Why do people want to come here? Because it is the place to be.

“,”elementId”:”a8c71160-29a6-4407-a712-0eefd7cc2ab9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“What we’re doing now, and what I’m proud that we’ve done over the last three years or so, is put in a lot of things that will make this country fit for the future.”

“,”elementId”:”60b2598a-24b6-41b4-96bc-876519e78dbf”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661934578000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”04.29 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661934835000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”04.33 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661934578000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”04.29 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”04.29″,”title”:”Britain ‘absolutely not’ broken, says Boris Johnson”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”format”:{“display”:0,”theme”:0,”design”:10},”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Key events

The UK’s Covid-19 alert level has been downgraded from level three to level two.

“,”elementId”:”3a205b65-e452-4dd9-a91f-ea8b82a175f8″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Department of Health and Social Care said the move was jointly recommended by the chief medical officers of the four UK nations.

“,”elementId”:”70526ecf-7971-47e2-a877-946387547770″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The alert level is determined by how many Covid cases there are at a given point in time and how fast it is spreading.

“,”elementId”:”1a5ef728-25c5-4172-8ca3-2939670c08b7″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The system ranges from level one, indicating Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK, to level five, indicating a risk that health services will be overwhelmed.

“,”elementId”:”470e46a7-67b4-4cb9-9dce-bfccb543eda4″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

A level two alert means that “Covid-19 is in general circulation but direct Covid-19 healthcare pressures and transmission are declining or stable”.

“,”elementId”:”647f849c-9f58-4388-a598-8e5f1399d44a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The alert level was moved down to level three from level four in May.

“,”elementId”:”5b2437c4-79c5-4c02-aad2-29c4d84e1c5f”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661957426000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”10.50 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661958005000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”11.00 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661958005000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”11.00 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”11.00″,”title”:”UK’s Covid alert level downgraded”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f70a28f08fb7d69ffeb86″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Labour MPs are expressing solidarity with Royal Mail, BT, and media workers striking across the country.

“,”elementId”:”e417c79b-4a7f-4676-902f-6d1204273bef”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

It comes after weeks of pressure on the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to back recent strikes and allow his frontbenchers to appear on picket lines.

“,”elementId”:”6a86da87-79cb-4c98-9352-0d2fa4bb0f73″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Andy McDonald, a former shadow employment minister, tweeted photos of himself on two picket lines, writing: “Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.”

“,”elementId”:”07e82363-91ef-4a88-81d3-72c77d85af05″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Sharon Hodgson, who serves as Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary, wrote that journalists striking at media company Reach PLC “deserve fair recognition”.

“,”elementId”:”04ec8ec9-cbf9-4e84-bff5-4cfb15edab76″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Reach should return to the table to resolve this dispute,” she said.

“,”elementId”:”10299828-799d-41be-8ef6-35c7e597582f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Karl Turner retweeted photos of a picket line of journalists from Reach outlet Hull Live.

“,”elementId”:”85b5a8d8-4d70-4159-89ad-83641138e220″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Solidarity with striking Journalists, sorry I couldn’t attend in person,” he wrote.

“,”elementId”:”e4282306-a49d-4953-9d12-699480a8b87b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.

As bosses make billions, working people are saying #EnoughIsEnough@DaveWardGS is right – it's time for a redistribution of wealth.

#StandByYourPost pic.twitter.com/yHKCpx8spf

— Andy McDonald MP (@AndyMcDonaldMP) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/AndyMcDonaldMP/status/1564967844525268994?s=20&t=ZEyAnOh2OvH3K2B_KySNrg”,”id”:”1564967844525268994″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”cc023bf2-9e34-4041-8a46-59f6997f4502″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:true,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661956259000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”10.30 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661957284000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”10.48 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661957207000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”10.46 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”10.46″,”title”:”Labour MPs express solidarity with striking workers”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f4ff78f087b6858318b81″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Two leaders of the Conservative party in the UK’s devolved parliaments have called on the next prime minister to announce significant packages of support to help businesses cover rising energy costs.

“,”elementId”:”a80a1b02-475a-4c84-86d4-05fb9510236d”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Douglas Ross and Andrew Davies, the Tory leaders in Scotland and Wales respectively, were both speaking to Times Radio before the announcement of their party’s new national leader on Monday.

“,”elementId”:”13311a44-a396-491f-812a-df9abd63f733″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Ross said businesses were facing an “extremely difficult time” and would need similar support to that provided during the Covid pandemic.

“,”elementId”:”bf5be559-8823-4464-a2e1-b2164e8ddf85″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“I know businesses are looking at whether they close for the winter and whether they’ll even reopen again,” he said.

“,”elementId”:”53867edd-ec11-4018-88f3-b6cabb512913″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“I know speaking to both candidates that their government will look at that extremely closely because we need to do an awful lot to support … businesses through this crisis”.

“,”elementId”:”d453da78-7e98-438c-a428-33630e0069fd”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

David said he would like to see the interventions made by government during the 2008 crash used as a model.

“,”elementId”:”a717b18b-90fd-4fd0-aa17-592af3e39d3b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“In effect, there wasn’t an effective lending market,” he said. “There wasn’t an effective financial services market to support businesses and support the country.

“,”elementId”:”bcefe6fb-0f92-4bf7-86e2-4d539dfba67a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“That’s where the government next week needs to be positive and proactive.”

“,”elementId”:”f1227859-2527-4f3e-aafd-dca86c1a95d5″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661947895000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”08.11 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661956659000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”10.37 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661950399000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”08.53 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”08.53″,”title”:”Tory leaders in Scotland and Wales urge next PM to announce significant support on bills”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f533d8f08fb7d69ffea47″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Mikhail Gorbachev, saying Vladimir Putin is undoing the good work he did for the countries of the former Soviet Union.

“,”elementId”:”e63d0e7f-4f35-4690-9dba-45250ca12a63″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Speaking while on a visit to a police station in south-east London, Johnson said: “Mikhail Gorbachev is one of those people who changed the world and unquestionably changed it for the better.

“,”elementId”:”9f47479b-cc05-40af-989c-38b83803772a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“When you look at what he did to make Europe whole, free, to give freedom to the countries of the former Soviet Union, it was a quite extraordinary thing.

“,”elementId”:”4e376e3f-4230-4101-82bb-1bbad1a79741″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“What I worry about today is that the current leadership in Moscow is intent on undoing the good that Mikhail Gorbachev did, and is intent on a revenge-driven attempt to recreate that Soviet empire.

“,”elementId”:”373effde-0c1f-4283-a728-43a1cb036466″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“And that’s the tragedy, something that I think Mikhail Gorbachev would have thought was absolutely unthinkable, unwarranted, and irrational.”

“,”elementId”:”0c958082-a924-4952-be64-19e030ab1932″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Prime Minister remembers Mikhail Gorbachev. pic.twitter.com/2h3ljKQWoR

— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/10DowningStreet/status/1564931504295256065?s=20&t=cE16_gjqxwan_J5BGOeiHw”,”id”:”1564931504295256065″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d7aeb190-1c49-4c8a-9d2e-2ee4a182d870″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661948733000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”08.25 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661956213000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”10.30 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661949261000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”08.34 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”08.34″,”title”:”Putin undoing Gorbachev’s good work, says prime minister”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f49618f08fa7e6340ce47″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Sir Keir Starmer has defended choosing not to join rail workers who will strike during Labour’s annual party conference next month, and hit back at accusations he is “spineless”.

“,”elementId”:”39a0b856-310a-43b7-b8c6-725d11e3f58f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Labour leader said running a trade union and trying to become prime minister were “different jobs” and he did not want to “lose that focus on getting into power”.

“,”elementId”:”e675991a-0258-4d26-9d67-b7be4a1941a9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Having been branded spineless by Sharon Graham, the head of Unite, for his opposition to standing on picket lines during a series of industrial disputes earlier this summer, Starmer insisted: “I do support unions, I support the right to strike.”

“,”elementId”:”5b922b05-08ac-4bd7-bb49-4f088b2de605″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

However, he told the Jeremy Vine show on Channel 5: “I respect Sharon, she’s doing her job. Her job as a trade union leader is to stick up for her members and to ensure they get the best possible deal.

“,”elementId”:”bc7ab323-04db-4916-b3f8-a907d1ca423e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“My job is leader of the Labour party, I want a Labour government, I want to be a Labour prime minister.

“,”elementId”:”8ffda341-0dc4-4c27-a021-1bec15e79dd2″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Starmer said he was “not focused” on the criticism levied at him by critics on the left but “focused intently on winning the next general election, because we can talk about what we’re going to do up hill and down dale – but until we win an election, we won’t do it”.

“,”elementId”:”737a5431-5040-4d72-ac4c-e369f3cd3405″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

He said those who were a “cheerleader” for Jeremy Cobyn had failed by leading Labour to its worst defeat since 1935 and added: “If we carry on like that, we are letting millions of people down.”

“,”elementId”:”cdc799c4-0a41-4d81-9477-345946f08bd9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Starmer also said oil and gas companies who had made “really excessive profits” should be hit with a fresh windfall tax to pay for Labour’s plan for stopping the energy price cap rising by 80% in October.

“,”elementId”:”03e36f2f-94b8-4c98-a7cb-2713d3ec83a7″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

When bills rise again in April, Starmer said “we’ll have to put in place another plan” but a major long-term goal should be to increase the insulation of homes.

“,”elementId”:”08e57de9-4604-4a29-9238-d6dce2362bb4″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“We can’t keep saying: ‘Well it takes too long, so it can’t get started’,” Starmer added.

“,”elementId”:”ae148f87-11f0-439c-9255-77eea548961e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

A caller who complained about the tariffs faced by those on prepayment metres was also told by Starmer the premium was “outrageous”. “It can’t be justified and it’s got to go,” Starmer said.

“,”elementId”:”2e23e341-86e6-4827-88e8-5a057cad2f90″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661946209000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”07.43 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661947176000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”07.59 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661946450000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”07.47 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”07.47″,”title”:”I won’t join striking rail workers during Labour conference, says Starmer”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Aubrey Allegretti”}],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f3ec88f08fb7d69ffe926″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association has announced a countrywide 24-hour strike as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, job security, and working conditions.

“,”elementId”:”18396bcc-5ba4-4fc8-8016-ecaaf5cfb47c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The union said that staff at nine train operating companies as well as Network Rail would strike from midday on Monday 26 September until midday the following day.

“,”elementId”:”03969567-f002-4ee1-97fc-dd1f1fe9c042″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The action will coincide with the Labour party conference, scheduled to take place in Liverpool between 25 and 28 September.

“,”elementId”:”58eb722c-b172-4736-98ed-53b4b346c82e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has faced criticism in recent weeks over a decision not to allow his frontbenchers to join striking workers on picket lines.

“,”elementId”:”a6ffcfef-504d-42ed-b278-efd170573a21″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The TSSA union leader, Manuel Cortes, said: “I will be standing on our picket line in Liverpool and will be encouraging fellow delegates and Labour MPs to do likewise, so they can rightly show they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those fighting the Tories’ cost of living crisis.”

“,”elementId”:”c9fbe8cb-91f2-4f7d-a4f0-a5c2fa4eb00d”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661943496000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”06.58 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661944730000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”07.18 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661944091000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”07.08 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”07.08″,”title”:”Rail union announces strike to coincide with Labour conferece”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f32318f08fa7e6340ccfc”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Queen will receive the prime minister, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday 6 September before holding an audience with the new prime minister, Buckingham Palace has said.

“,”elementId”:”684e37f6-dffe-45b4-9134-0bad25c0c979″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Voting in the Tory leadership contest will close on Friday, with the result to be announced on Monday.

“,”elementId”:”a2f250be-208e-400c-be50-070080e37e3d”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The 96-year-old monarch, who has faced ongoing mobility issues, traditionally holds audiences with outgoing and incoming premiers at Buckingham Palace.

“,”elementId”:”06e48471-4737-4252-ad8d-50d747da3844″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661940273000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”06.04 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661941116000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”06.18 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661940396000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”06.06 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”06.06″,”title”:”Queen to receive Boris Johnson and new prime minister at Balmoral on Tuesday”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f22868f087b68583188e3″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Prime ministerial hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will be in London tonight for the final hustings of the Tory leadership race.

“,”elementId”:”49273043-ba81-4fa7-ae43-71a1d6482d44″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Voting among members will close at 5pm on Friday, with a final result to be announced on Monday and Truss still looking overwhelmingly likely to emerge as the winner.

“,”elementId”:”0782628b-2c91-48ed-bd69-bb3ede694af0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Ahead of the event, Truss tweeted her thanks to those members who have backed her to “unite our party, deliver for our country and win the next election”.

“,”elementId”:”34b68a4c-d731-479f-b1af-dd223dc5723c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Sunak said he was “so grateful to all the people who turned up, signed up and helped us get our message out”.

“,”elementId”:”92a9b60b-832c-4e18-aa45-7a06b4c4dc24″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“We’re in the final days and every vote counts,” he said.

“,”elementId”:”9403e160-d777-4178-84e3-af1fc9731427″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661936262000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”04.57 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661937223000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”05.13 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661937064000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”05.11 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”05.11″,”title”:”Candidates prepare for final hustings”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”},{“id”:”630f1b358f087b68583188ba”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Good morning and welcome to the politics live blog.

“,”elementId”:”59efa934-95aa-4c26-a361-b846430dce97″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Boris Johnson has said Britain is “absolutely not” broken at the end of his premiership, and claimed that “this country has got an incredible future and has everything going for it”.

“,”elementId”:”308071f2-3bd6-4799-8cb3-fccc576af27b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Asked outside a police station in Lewisham, south London, whether Britain “was broken” in the final days of his leadership, he responded: “Absolutely not. This country has got an incredible future and has everything going for it.

“,”elementId”:”8db7e8da-9d9c-42d3-886f-1ebd2f34d38a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Look at the place that people want to invest in. Which is the country that attracts more venture capital investment now than China? It’s the United Kingdom.

“,”elementId”:”2674702d-b0f0-4678-9e02-c6f1d4ab78b1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Which country has, I think, more billion-pound start-up tech companies than France, than Germany, than Israel put together? It is the United Kingdom.

“,”elementId”:”878ca7c2-b0c0-49de-af28-fb4fabc6f9ae”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“Why do people want to come here? Because it is the place to be.

“,”elementId”:”a8c71160-29a6-4407-a712-0eefd7cc2ab9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“What we’re doing now, and what I’m proud that we’ve done over the last three years or so, is put in a lot of things that will make this country fit for the future.”

“,”elementId”:”60b2598a-24b6-41b4-96bc-876519e78dbf”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1661934578000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”04.29 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1661934835000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”04.33 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1661934578000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”04.29 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”04.29″,”title”:”Britain ‘absolutely not’ broken, says Boris Johnson”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Wed 31 Aug 2022 11.22 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Wed 31 Aug 2022 04.29 EDT”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Filters BETA

Ditching the UK’s green and social regulations in the bonfire of red tape that both Tory leadership candidates have promised would risk irreparable damage to the natural environment, people’s health, and workers’ rights, a group of 40 organisations has warned.

The organisations, which include the National Consumer Federation, the British Safety Council, the RSPB, and the Wildlife Trusts, have signed a letter to Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak calling on them to keep what they say are vital regulations.

“This is real stuff affecting people’s everyday lives,” said Emma Rose, director of Unchecked, a coalition of organisations making the case for strong public protection. “Strong protections and rules are part of Britain’s success story. They uphold high standards across public life, protect the vulnerable, underpin trust between businesses and consumers, and create a level playing field for businesses.”

Real the full story here:

UK’s Covid alert level downgraded

The UK’s Covid-19 alert level has been downgraded from level three to level two.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the move was jointly recommended by the chief medical officers of the four UK nations.

The alert level is determined by how many Covid cases there are at a given point in time and how fast it is spreading.

The system ranges from level one, indicating Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK, to level five, indicating a risk that health services will be overwhelmed.

A level two alert means that “Covid-19 is in general circulation but direct Covid-19 healthcare pressures and transmission are declining or stable”.

The alert level was moved down to level three from level four in May.

Labour MPs express solidarity with striking workers

Labour MPs are expressing solidarity with Royal Mail, BT, and media workers striking across the country.

It comes after weeks of pressure on the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to back recent strikes and allow his frontbenchers to appear on picket lines.

Andy McDonald, a former shadow employment minister, tweeted photos of himself on two picket lines, writing: “Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.”

Sharon Hodgson, who serves as Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary, wrote that journalists striking at media company Reach PLC “deserve fair recognition”.

“Reach should return to the table to resolve this dispute,” she said.

Karl Turner retweeted photos of a picket line of journalists from Reach outlet Hull Live.

“Solidarity with striking Journalists, sorry I couldn’t attend in person,” he wrote.

Proud to be out with @CWUnews on the Royal Mail & BT pickets today in solidarity with their struggle for proper pay.

As bosses make billions, working people are saying #EnoughIsEnough@DaveWardGS is right – it's time for a redistribution of wealth.

#StandByYourPost pic.twitter.com/yHKCpx8spf

— Andy McDonald MP (@AndyMcDonaldMP) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/AndyMcDonaldMP/status/1564967844525268994?s=20&t=ZEyAnOh2OvH3K2B_KySNrg”,”id”:”1564967844525268994″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”dca1aebc-890f-4a09-9d35-780725420da8″}}”/>

The UK and Australia must build on a new trade deal to “stand up for liberty”, the international trade secretary is expected to say as she visits the Commonwealth country.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan is the first cabinet minister to visit Australia since it elected a new government in May, and is meeting with counterparts and business leaders to promote the UK-Australia trade deal signed at the end of last year.

In a speech to the Australian-British Chamber of Commerce, Trevelyan is expected to say the UK’s friendship with Australia is “more important than ever”.

“Together, we show the world that we will stand up for liberty, that we fight back against tyranny, and we will defend our societies’ shared values.

“Our free trade agreement opens the doors to even greater collaboration and we welcome Australia’s ongoing commitment to a free, stable and open Indo-Pacific region.”

Official estimates have previously suggested the trade deal will produce an increase of between 0.01% and 0.02% of GDP over the long run.

Critics have expressed doubt as to whether it will produce any noticeable fall in prices, as the government has claimed, and also that UK farmers could struggle to compete with Australian producers.

Dozens of bishops from drought-ravaged east Africa have appealed to the UK government to urgently get more funding to those in need, warning that Britain’s rapid response to the Ukraine crisis must not come at the expense of lives elsewhere.

As the worst drought for four decades tightens its grip on Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, with millions facing acute hunger, the group of 44 Anglican bishops criticised the international community for not paying attention to early warnings or backing up rhetoric with sufficient funds.

“This must change,” write the faith leaders in an open letter seen by the Guardian. “Every day, more lives are lost, and more are at risk.”

Read the full story here.

Somalis escaping drought-stricken areas carry their belongings at a makeshift camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Mogadishu
Somalis escaping drought-stricken areas carry their belongings at a makeshift camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Mogadishu Photograph: Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP
Phillip Inman

Phillip Inman

Fears over the British economy falling into a long recession and the likelihood of higher public spending to cope with the cost of living crisis have sent the interest rate on Britain’s debts soaring towards its biggest monthly rise in almost 40 years.

Ten-year UK government bond yields, which are a proxy for the effective interest rate on public borrowing – were on course on Wednesday for the biggest monthly rise since September 1986 after an increase to 2.78%.

Heaping pressure on the incoming prime minister to address the Treasury’s worsening financial outlook, some analysts predicted the yield would increase before the end of the year to at least 3%.

It comes as Rishi Sunak warned there were growing risks of financial markets losing faith in the British economy amid soaring inflation and elevated levels of government debt, in an attack on his Conservative leadership rival Liz Truss’s tax and spending plans.

Read more here:

During a visit to Barrow-in-Furness, Boris Johnson was questioned on reports that the former British citizen Shamima Begum was smuggled into Syria for Islamic State by a Canadian spy whose role was covered up by security services.

Johnson told reporters:

We never discuss intelligence issues. You wouldn’t expect me to comment on that.

Ottawa is accused of withholding information about Begum’s whereabouts while the Metropolitan police scrambled an international search for her.

However, it is stated that Canadian intelligence did not learn that Begum had been recruited until four days after she left Britain, when she had already crossed the border into Syria.

The Begum family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, argues that the teenager was trafficked out of the country. The suggestion that a western intelligence asset may have been involved, including organising bus tickets for the schoolgirl, will reignite the debate over the removal of her British citizenship.

Geneva Abdul

The official public inquiry into Covid-19 will now begin scrutinising how Boris Johnson and his government handled the pandemic, it was announced on Wednesday.

The delayed investigation has been broken into modules, with teams investigating and commissioning research on different issues.

The second module will have a particular focus on early 2020 and the decisions taken by Johnson and the cabinet, as well as decisions taken in the devolved institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“My team and I will establish what was understood about Covid-19 at the time, what information was available in each of the four UK nations and how and why key decisions were made, especially early in the pandemic,” said its chair, Lady Hallett, first appointed to the position in December 2021.

Read more here:

A funding deal for Transport for London will prompt further strike action, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has warned.

The announcement of a long-term funding arrangement by the government and TfL on Tuesday would “attack” tube workers pay and conditions, the leading rail union said, according to PA news.

The RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said:

This deal negotiated in secret by TfL and government ministers will likely see our members pensions attacked and further pay restraint in the future, coupled with driverless trains. Grant Shapps’ attack on tube workers would be unacceptable at any time but in an escalating, cost-of-living crisis it is shameful and will be resisted through further strike action.

This evening, the RMT and other transport unions are holding a rally, with US senator Bernie Sanders in attendance.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said:

This deal more than delivers for Londoners and even matches the mayor’s own pre-pandemic spending plans, but for this to work, the mayor must follow through on his promises to get TfL back on a steady financial footing, stop relying on government bailouts and take responsibility for his actions.

Tory leaders in Scotland and Wales urge next PM to announce significant support on bills

Two leaders of the Conservative party in the UK’s devolved parliaments have called on the next prime minister to announce significant packages of support to help businesses cover rising energy costs.

Douglas Ross and Andrew Davies, the Tory leaders in Scotland and Wales respectively, were both speaking to Times Radio before the announcement of their party’s new national leader on Monday.

Ross said businesses were facing an “extremely difficult time” and would need similar support to that provided during the Covid pandemic.

“I know businesses are looking at whether they close for the winter and whether they’ll even reopen again,” he said.

“I know speaking to both candidates that their government will look at that extremely closely because we need to do an awful lot to support … businesses through this crisis”.

David said he would like to see the interventions made by government during the 2008 crash used as a model.

“In effect, there wasn’t an effective lending market,” he said. “There wasn’t an effective financial services market to support businesses and support the country.

“That’s where the government next week needs to be positive and proactive.”

Putin undoing Gorbachev’s good work, says prime minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Mikhail Gorbachev, saying Vladimir Putin is undoing the good work he did for the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Speaking while on a visit to a police station in south-east London, Johnson said: “Mikhail Gorbachev is one of those people who changed the world and unquestionably changed it for the better.

“When you look at what he did to make Europe whole, free, to give freedom to the countries of the former Soviet Union, it was a quite extraordinary thing.

“What I worry about today is that the current leadership in Moscow is intent on undoing the good that Mikhail Gorbachev did, and is intent on a revenge-driven attempt to recreate that Soviet empire.

“And that’s the tragedy, something that I think Mikhail Gorbachev would have thought was absolutely unthinkable, unwarranted, and irrational.”

The Prime Minister remembers Mikhail Gorbachev. pic.twitter.com/2h3ljKQWoR

— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) August 31, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/10DowningStreet/status/1564931504295256065?s=20&t=cE16_gjqxwan_J5BGOeiHw”,”id”:”1564931504295256065″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”5ee49ca7-3bd8-4844-a5e5-82c568b49e15″}}”/>

A former political strategist and speechwriter to Tony Blair is joining the Labour leader’s office as the party begins to plan for its next general election campaign, Politico reports.

Peter Hyman served as a political strategist and speechwriter in No 10 between 1997 and 2003 before leaving to retrain as a teacher, and has since founded a school and a number of education-based organisations.

He has previously been critical of both Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn, who preceded Sir Keir Starmer as party leaders, for being unwilling to defend the record of the New Labour government.

In a 2015 essay for the Observer, he said there was a “gaping hole in the centre and centre-left of British politics that has been left unfilled for several years”.

“The idea of New Labour was not to be a good opposition party, to protest loudly or have an ‘influence’ over events, but, rather, to take and hold on to the levers of power,” he wrote.

“Today, there is a need more than ever before for a modern, progressive, values-driven party: a new ‘project’ that does not try to recreate New Labour, because the world has moved on, but learns from it. It would have those three ingredients for success.”

I won’t join striking rail workers during Labour conference, says Starmer

Aubrey Allegretti

Sir Keir Starmer has defended choosing not to join rail workers who will strike during Labour’s annual party conference next month, and hit back at accusations he is “spineless”.

The Labour leader said running a trade union and trying to become prime minister were “different jobs” and he did not want to “lose that focus on getting into power”.

Having been branded spineless by Sharon Graham, the head of Unite, for his opposition to standing on picket lines during a series of industrial disputes earlier this summer, Starmer insisted: “I do support unions, I support the right to strike.”

However, he told the Jeremy Vine show on Channel 5: “I respect Sharon, she’s doing her job. Her job as a trade union leader is to stick up for her members and to ensure they get the best possible deal.

“My job is leader of the Labour party, I want a Labour government, I want to be a Labour prime minister.

Starmer said he was “not focused” on the criticism levied at him by critics on the left but “focused intently on winning the next general election, because we can talk about what we’re going to do up hill and down dale – but until we win an election, we won’t do it”.

He said those who were a “cheerleader” for Jeremy Cobyn had failed by leading Labour to its worst defeat since 1935 and added: “If we carry on like that, we are letting millions of people down.”

Starmer also said oil and gas companies who had made “really excessive profits” should be hit with a fresh windfall tax to pay for Labour’s plan for stopping the energy price cap rising by 80% in October.

When bills rise again in April, Starmer said “we’ll have to put in place another plan” but a major long-term goal should be to increase the insulation of homes.

“We can’t keep saying: ‘Well it takes too long, so it can’t get started’,” Starmer added.

A caller who complained about the tariffs faced by those on prepayment metres was also told by Starmer the premium was “outrageous”. “It can’t be justified and it’s got to go,” Starmer said.

The Liberal Democrats are rushing through plans to confirm a candidate for Michael Gove’s Surrey seat amid speculation that the former levelling up secretary is considering quitting parliament, which would spark a by-election.

The party’s application window for selection for the seat, held by Gove since 2005, closes on Wednesday evening and the selection process is expected to take two weeks.

Lib Dem officials are planning for a possibly imminent campaign in which the party would fight on issues including the state of local hospitals and plans to drill for gas locally.

Speculation that Gove might step down has intensified since he backed Rishi Sunak to be prime minister and said he didn’t expect to be in government again, although a Conservative source said it was not true Gove planned to quit.

Read the full story here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.