Boris Johnson must resign if he broke ministerial code, Scottish Tory leader says.mp4
Boris Johnson should resign if he broke the ministerial code over the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat, the Scottish Tory leader has said, amid a growing list of allegations of Conservative “sleaze”.
It came as the Tories’ lead at the polls appeared to take a dive this weekend following a month of scandals for Mr Johnson’s governemnt.
In a new poll conducted for The Observer, the Tory lead fell from 11 points to five points with just days to go before this week’s local and devolved elections.
Among the latest allegations of “sleaze” are claims that Conservative donors were asked to pay for questionable costs including the fees for Mr Johnson’s nanny, as well as for his personal trainer.
According to The Sunday Times, one unidentified Tory MP received a complaint from a supporter who said they were asked to pay for childcare for Mr Johnson’s one-year-old son, Wilfred.
The donor was reported to have told the MP: “I don’t mind paying for leaflets but I resent being asked to pay to literally wipe the prime minister’s baby’s bottom.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has defended the Government’s decision to slash aid in response to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Mr Raab said the government needed to “find savings” to cope with the impact of Covid-19.
“We’ve had to make this extremely difficult decision to reduce and find savings in the aid budget, that’s because of the impact Covid has had,” he said, adding: “I’ve found the process of making those savings very difficult but, of course, you’d expect that.”
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog tracking the latest in UK politics as the Tory lead at the polls appears to take a hit following ‘sleaze’ allegations.
Chantal Da Silva2 May 2021 07:48
Tory donors reportedly asked to pay for Boris Johnson’s nanny
Conservative donors were asked to cover the costs of a nanny for Boris Johnson’s young son Wilfred, it has been reported.
According to The Sunday Times, an unidentified Tory MP received a complaint from a supporter who has been asked to pay for childcare for the one-year-old child.
The donor was said to have told the MP: “I don’t mind paying for leaflets but I resent being asked to pay to literally wipe the prime minister’s baby’s bottom.”
The claim is one of the latest allegations in a string of claims of Conservative “sleaze”.
Chantal Da Silva2 May 2021 07:55
Tories poll lead sinks amid ‘sleaze’ allegations
The Conservatives lead at the polls appears to have taken a hit in recent days as Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces allegations of Tory “sleaze”.
In new figures from pollsters Opinium, the Conservative Party saw its lead over Labour slashed from 11 points to just five points, with the Tories on 42 per cent compared to 37 per cent for Labour.
Chantal Da Silva2 May 2021 08:07
PM ‘considering new national flagship costing up to £200m’
Boris Johnson is understood to be considering plans for a new national flagship that could cost as much as £200m.
The ship, which is expected to be named HMS Prince Philip, could be announced within weeks and will be tasked with boosting British trade, according to The Telegraph.
It would reportedly be tasked with promoting British businesses overseas by mooring near international trade fairs, as well as hosting trade negotiations.
Downing Street did not rule out claims that the price tag for the ship could be as high as £200m.
“The prime minister has an exciting vision for shipbuilding in this country and is committed to making the UK a shipbuilding superpower,” a No 10 spokesperson said.
“We are always looking for new ways to promote Global Britain around the world, driving investment back to the UK and delivering value for money for the British people.”
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 08:17
The Sunday politics shows are kicking off in a few minutes, starting with Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday. You can find a list of who will be appearing on them below:
Sophy Ridge On Sunday: Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy, Scottish Lib Dems leader Willie Rennie, Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge.
The Andrew Marr Show: Mr Raab, Ms Nandy, Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross, Mr Rennie.
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 08:29
Priti Patel accuses Extinction Rebellion of using ‘dangerous tactics’
Home secretary Priti Patel has vowed to take action against Extinction Rebellion (XR), claiming that the climate activism group is using “dangerous tactics in the name of environmentalism”.
Members of the group staged “protest of one” road blocks on Saturday to demonstrate against the government’s lack of action on climate change.
Ms Patel criticised XR just days after six Extinction Rebellion protesters were cleared of causing criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters, despite the judge directing jurors that they had no defence in law.
“I would not be delivering on my promise to the law-abiding majority if I stood by as Extinction Rebellion deployed dangerous tactics in the name of environmentalism,” she told The Sun on Sunday.
Saturday’s protests coincided with a number of demonstrations against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which was drafted partly in response to disruptive protests by XR and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The proposed legislation would give police in England and Wales more powers to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance, prompting concern from human rights groups.
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 08:38
Johnson’s approval rating among Tory members plummets, survey shows
Boris Johnson’s approval rating among Tory Party members has dropped by nearly 30 per cent amid allegations of sleaze and cronyism within his government, according to the latest survey from ConservativeHome.
The prime minister is down from 61 per cent approval in April to 34 per cent, putting him in the bottom third of politicians in the Cabinet.
You can find the results below:
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 08:50
Raab says he has ‘no idea’ about claims PM sought Tory donor to pay for childcare
Dominic Raab has said he has “no idea” if Boris Johnson sought a Tory donor to pay his childcare bills or if his flat makeover cost as much as £200,000.
The foreign secretary told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge that he was not going to offer commentary on recent allegations of Tory “sleaze” as there were a number of reviews into the PM’s conduct in relation to the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.
“I have no idea, you don’t have conversations like that with the PM,” the foreign secretary said, when asked about the childcare claim.
“I can’t comment on every little bit of gossip that’s in the newspapers Sophy, I’ve had a pretty full schedule this week and next week… so forgive me if I don’t know the ins-and-outs of the prime minister’s private life and I wouldn’t comment on them even if I did.”
When asked if there was a second invoice for refurbishments of the Downing Street flat settled directly with a supplier, Mr Raab said: “As the prime minister has set out this week, he covered the cost himself, he’s followed all the relevant codes of conduct at all relevant times, he took official advice all along the way.
“There are three reviews now, I think, into this and I think the right thing for me to do is not add political commentary that could otherwise prejudice those reviews, but to respect the integrity of them, so I’m not going to offer you, I’m afraid, any more commentary, or if you like chatter, on the various different reports and speculation that I see in the Sunday papers.”
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 09:07
Johnson under pressure as British voters back second independence referendum
Boris Johnson is facing pressure to allow a second Scottish independence referendum if the SNP win a majority at Holyrood this month as a new poll shows British voters believe he would be wrong to deny a fresh ballot.
A BMG poll for The Independent found that 41 per cent of those asked said Mr Johnson should allow another vote within four years if pro-independence parties win a majority in the Scottish parliament, compared to just 33 per cent who opposed the move.
Our Whitehall editor, Kate Devlin, has the full story below:
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 09:19
Raab defends cuts to foreign aid budget amid mounting criticism
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said that making cuts to the international aid budget has been “very difficult” but insisted the move was necessary despite mounting criticism.
“We’ve had to make this extremely difficult decision to reduce and find savings in the aid budget, that’s because of the impact Covid has had, the biggest contraction we’ve seen in the economy for 300 years, a budget deficit double what we saw in the peak of the financial crisis in 2008/2009,” Mr Raab told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
“I’ve found the process of making those savings very difficult but, of course, you’d expect that.”
Conrad Duncan2 May 2021 09:23