September 25, 2022
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Queen to meet new PM at Balmoral as Boris Johnson says UK ‘absolutely not’ broken after his premiership – UK politics live | Politics

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Queen to receive Boris Johnson and new prime minister at Balmoral on Tuesday

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.

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

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

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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 Number Ten 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 Guardian, 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.

Rail union announces strike to coincide with Labour conferece

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.

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.

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

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.

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.”

Liz Truss has set out plans to “deliver for London” ahead of the final hustings of the Tory leadership race in the capital this evening.

The current frontrunner said she wanted to “put an end to union barons’ stronghold on the capital’s vital services” and cut crime by delivering on a 2019 manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 more police officers.

She also claimed London’s businesses remained “restrained by EU regulations that hold the City, and its contribution to the entire country, back” and that she would “make the most of Brexit to really unshackle the City of London”.

“When London does well, the UK does too,” she said. “We were elected in 2019 to make sure every corner of the UK succeeds and has access to the best opportunities.

“Delivering for every part of London and allowing this great global city to thrive is vital to achieving this, and as prime minister I will endeavour to do so.”

Appointing the next prime minister at Balmoral will need some “nifty coordination” by the Cabinet Office, according to one constitutional expert.

Dr Catherine Haddon, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government, said the change would lengthen the new prime minister’s journey back to Downing Street and delay the customary speech on the steps of Number Ten.

“New PM being appointed at Balmoral has some implications for the transition that will need nifty coordination by the Cabinet Office,” she wrote on Twitter.

“All transitions are a sort of managed chaos, so this is just a new dimension… but will prob change usual timings on gov formation.

“Though formally announced today, this has been known for a while, so Cab Office will have had some time to prepare, and leadership teams to plan for it also.”

New PM being appointed at Balmoral has some implications for the transition that will need nifty coordination by the Cabinet Office. All transitions are a sort of managed chaos, so this is just a new dimension… but will prob change usual timings on gov formation.

— Dr Catherine Haddon (@cath_haddon) August 31, 2022

Queen to receive Boris Johnson and new prime minister at Balmoral on Tuesday

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.

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

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

Mikhail Gorbachev was sincere in his desire to see communism reformed, one of Margaret Thatcher’s key foreign policy advisers has said.

Charles Powell, who served as Thatcher’s private secretary for foreign affairs from 1983 until 1991, was responding to the news of the former Soviet leader’s death at the age of 91.

“Gorbachev has to bear some share of responsibility for the way the communist system performed. At least up until the time he became leader. After all, he was a rising functionary,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.

“But I think he was definitely sincere in wanting to reform communism. I doubt he ever really wanted to abolish it, but he wanted to make it more efficient, to serve the people better.

“And that was despite Margaret Thatcher telling him repeatedly and very bluntly that it was a waste of time, that communism would never work, that he would be better to aim at moving slowly towards a market-based system.”

Asked whether western leaders could have done more to help Gorbachev to introduce his reforms, Powell added: “The view was taken that that was for Mr Gorbachev to sort out within the system.

“We could advise him as to what seemed to us to be in his best interests, but at the end of the day he had to make his own future there.”

The latest survey from polling company Delta has shown a small increase in Labour support.

Asked their current voting intention, 44% of respondents said they would vote Labour, up from 43% in last week’s poll.

That compared with 31% who said they would vote Conservative and 12% who currently back the Liberal Democrats.

Westminster Voting Intention:

LAB: 44% (+1)
CON: 31% (=)
LDM: 12% (+1)

Via @DeltapollUK, On 26-30 August,
Changes w/ 22 August.

— British Electoral Politics (@electpoliticsuk) August 31, 2022

Labour’s pledge to freeze the energy price cap would save Scottish households £2.6bn, the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, has said.

The party’s plan would keep the cap at its current level of £1,971, meaning an expected 80% rise in October would not go ahead. The measure would be funded with a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

Speaking ahead of a visit to an offshore renewable energy research centre in Fife, Reeves said: “Families across Scotland are scared about how they’ll get through the winter with bills through the roof.

“Scotland is being failed by two absent governments. The Tories are missing in action while the SNP are acting more like commentators than a government.

“Labour’s plan to save households in Scotland £1,000 this winter and invest in sustainable British energy to bring bills down in the long-term is a direct response to the national economic emergency that is leaving families fearing for the future.”

Candidates prepare for final hustings

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

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.

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”.

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

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

Sir Keir Starmer has said his job is different to that of a trade union leader and that he doesn’t want to “lose focus” on getting his party elected.

It comes after weeks of pressure on the Labour leader to allow his frontbenchers to appear on picket lines.

Speaking on Jeremy Vine on 5, Starmer said: “I completely understand why people are voting to go on strike. I understand why they’re struggling. Wages have been stagnant for the best part of 10 years.

“But my job is different. My job is to get a Labour government elected. The single best thing I could do for [the people striking] is to get a Labour government elected.

“I want to be the Labour prime minister. You can’t sit around a cabinet table resolving issues and then walk on to a picket line. They’re different jobs.

“That is the thing that is going to change millions of lives for the better. I can’t lose that focus.”

Britain ‘absolutely not’ broken, says Boris Johnson

Good morning and welcome to the politics live blog.

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”.

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.

“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.

“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.

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

“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.”





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