September 29, 2022
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Tory leadership: Priti Patel resigns as home secretary after Liz Truss wins battle to become next prime minister – live | Politics

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Patel quits as home secretary and returning to backbenches by choice

Andrew Sparrow

Andrew Sparrow

Priti Patel is resigning as home secretary. In a letter to Boris Johnson she says that it is her choice to return to the backbenches and that she will formally quit once a new home secretary is appointed. Steven Swinford from the Times has her resignation letter.

It has been widely reported that Liz Truss intends to appoint Suella Braverman, the attorney general, as home secretary and so staying on as home secretary was almost certainly not an option for Patel anyway. But there had been speculation that she might get another post in a Truss administration.

That is all from me for today. My colleague Tom Ambrose is now taking over.

Key events

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Education secretary James Cleverly has dismissed suggestions Liz Truss will take the Conservatives to the right.

Cleverly, who is tipped to be the next foreign secretary, told Channel 4 News:

I have heard that accusation at the formation of every government that had a Conservative at the head.

Liz is going to be focused on growing economy, she is going to make sure we support people that need help, both domestically and internationally, she is going to work with countries around the world that believe in freedom and openness.

That strikes me as a political agenda that everyone should be able to rally around.

Cleverly said he believed the government would continue its support for Ukraine, despite the impact of the war on energy prices.

“If we signal to the world that we are willing to allow the pressure to defeat democracy, then all of the concerns we are currently experiencing will pale into insignificance,” he said.

“We have absolutely got to stand by our commitment to Ukraine. I have no doubt we will.”

French president Emmanuel Macron has congratulated Liz Truss on winning the battle to become the next UK prime minister, stating that “the British nation is our ally”.

Truss told Tory members at a leadership hustings in Norwich in August that she was undecided as to whether the French leader was “friend or foe”.

“Congratulations to Liz Truss on her election,” Macron tweeted.

“The British people are our friends, the British nation is our ally. Let us continue working together to defend our shared interests.”

Congratulations to Liz Truss on her election. The British people are our friends, the British nation is our ally. Let us continue working together to defend our shared interests.

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 5, 2022

Aubrey Allegretti

The Conservative MP Christopher Chope has been tipped to join the committee investigating claims Boris Johnson misled parliament about his knowledge of Covid law-breaking parties, sources have told the Guardian.

Chope would replace Laura Farris, who announced over the summer that she was stepping down from the body that scrutinises complaints about MPs’ behaviour.

The nomination would need to be passed by the Commons in order for him to be appointed to the privileges committee.

Normally, the vote is done as a “nod or nothing” – meaning that if there were one dissenting voice, it would fall.

Chope’s appointment is likely to prove controversial given his history of blocking laws, including attempts to outlaw “upskirting”.

A source said he was well-versed in parliamentary procedure. Chope also sat for two years on the privileges committee from October 2017 until November 2019.

The government did not respond to a request for comment.

Jennifer Rankin

Jennifer Rankin

Liz Truss’s imminent arrival in Downing Street as British prime minister has been greeted with scorn and scarcely veiled condescension from the Kremlin, but an outpouring of praise in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, expressed concerns that relations might deteriorate in comments to reporters shortly before Truss was announced as the winner of the Tory leadership race.

“I wouldn’t like to say that things can change for the worse, because it’s hard to imagine anything worse,” Peskov said when asked if Moscow expected any shift in relations with Britain. “But unfortunately, this cannot be ruled out.”

The Kremlin has openly mocked and belittled Truss since she went to Moscow in February for talks with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. In the meeting, a fortnight before the Russian invasion, Truss challenged Lavrov on the buildup of 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, which Moscow denied was preparation for an attack. Lavrov complained that her interventions were “just slogans shouted from the tribunes”.

Aubrey Allegretti

Rishi Sunak has vowed to carry on as an MP despite losing out in the Conservative leadership race, with supporters suggesting his better than expected performance means he could run again if Liz Truss loses the next general election.

The Guardian understands he told party donors at an event the day before voting closed last week that he would remain in frontline politics regardless of the result.

Allies close to the former chancellor confirmed he planned to fulfil that pledge and not quit parliament, which would have triggered an early and potentially embarrassing byelection for Truss in his Yorkshire constituency of Richmond.

Sunak received 43% of the vote from Tory members and sources on his campaign claimed they had won over a high proportion of members who remained undecided until the final weeks of the contest.

The former chancellor is will not be offered a cabinet job after he declined to say last month whether he would vote for an emergency Truss budget.

Tory sources also said he would likely have rejected the offer of running a “poisoned chalice” department, such as the Department of Health and Social Care, for which the Sun previously reported that he was being lined up.

Cabinet minister Nigel Adams resigns following Truss victory

Nigel Adams, who has served as minister of state without portfolio at the Cabinet Office since 2021, is the latest Tory to resign from the government following Liz Truss’s election as party leader.

In a resignation letter to the outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson, Adams said “there has never been a dull moment” and that he is “honoured” to have Johnson as a friend.

The Yorkshire Post’s Westminster correspondent Mason Boycott-Owen has tweeted the full letter.

Truss will not offer Sunak a job in her new cabinet

Jessica Elgot

Jessica Elgot

Rishi Sunak will not be offered a role in Liz Truss’s cabinet, as her team put the final touches to job offers to be made on Tuesday afternoon.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Truss’s closest cabinet ally, will become her chancellor and she is also expected to confirm the appointments of Suella Braverman as home secretary and James Cleverly as foreign secretary. Those appointments will mean that, for the first time, there will be no white men in the four great offices of state.

Thérèse Coffey, a longtime friend of Truss, is expected to become health secretary and Ben Wallace has asked to stay on as defence secretary.

Sources close to Truss told the Guardian Sunak would not be offered a post, a break from the tradition where most unsuccessful leadership contenders have been offered posts. Sunak told the BBC on Monday that the cabinet was “not something I’m thinking about”.

Senior Tories have warned there is a pressing need to unite the party in the post-Boris Johnson era, though Truss is keener to prioritise loyalty. Truss received a lower share of the vote than any previous Tory leader chosen by members, as well as fewer MP backers in the first rounds of the leadership race. Fewer than half of eligible Conservative members backed Truss.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has said he hopes incoming prime minister Liz Truss “puts aside the culture wars” which have been key topics of debate during the Tory leadership contest.

Speaking at College Green in Westminster, Khan told the PA news agency:

On a personal basis, and I mean it sincerely, I congratulate Liz Truss for winning the Conservative election contest today, and for tomorrow becoming the prime minister of our country.

I think although we come from different political traditions, I think we share surely the same common desire to see our capital city succeeding and our country succeeding.

So I’m hoping that she puts aside some of this anti-London nonsense that we’ve seen over the last two to three years, that she puts aside some of the culture wars that we’ve seen engaged in over the last few years – pitting one part of the country against the other, pitting one community against another – and working together during this national crisis to respond to some of the big challenges we’re facing.

Khan added that the government must lay out a “comprehensive plan” to alleviate the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, including freezing rents paid to private landlords in the capital.

The mayor said:

I think we’re facing a national crisis that I’ve not seen in my lifetime, with soaring inflation we’ve not seen in 40 years, and energy prices rising to record levels.

What we need from the prime minister this week is a comprehensive plan that deals with the scale of the crisis we’re facing: freezing energy bills, giving targeted support to businesses and families, business rates reform.

The home secretary Priti Patel told opposition MPs to “shut up” in the Commons after they heckled her as she paid tribute to the outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson.

Patel said she was proud to have served in Johnson’s government, and defended her record including the controversial policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Priti Patel tells MPs to ‘shut up’ after tribute to Johnson heckled – video

Priti Patel has confirmed her plan to resign as home secretary and return to the backbenches in a tweet.

“I congratulate Liz Truss on being elected our new leader, and will give her my support as our new prime minister,” her letter to Boris Johnson said.

“It is my choice to continue my public service to the country and the Witham constituency from the backbenches, once Liz formally assumes office and a new home secretary is appointed.”

It has been the honour of my life to serve as Home Secretary for the last three years.

I am proud of our work to back the police, reform our immigration system and protect our country.

My letter to Prime Minister @BorisJohnson 👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/seTx6ikX25

— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) September 5, 2022

Patel quits as home secretary and returning to backbenches by choice

Andrew Sparrow

Andrew Sparrow

Priti Patel is resigning as home secretary. In a letter to Boris Johnson she says that it is her choice to return to the backbenches and that she will formally quit once a new home secretary is appointed. Steven Swinford from the Times has her resignation letter.

It has been widely reported that Liz Truss intends to appoint Suella Braverman, the attorney general, as home secretary and so staying on as home secretary was almost certainly not an option for Patel anyway. But there had been speculation that she might get another post in a Truss administration.

That is all from me for today. My colleague Tom Ambrose is now taking over.

Two thirds of people have little or no confidence in Truss to tackle cost of living crisis, poll suggests

Britons are not enthusiastic about the election of Liz Truss as the new Conservative leader, making her the next prime minister, new polling from YouGov suggests.

Two thirds of Britons have little or no confidence in her to tackle the cost of living crisis, the poll suggests – and more than half of Conservative voters have little or no confidence in her on this issue.

By more than two to one, Britons are disappointed rather than pleased to see her as the new PM.

And only 14% of Britons – and only 17% of Conservative voters – think she will be an improvement on Boris Johnson.

B

Two thirds of Britons – and most Conservative voters – have little to no confidence in Liz Truss to tackle the cost of living crisis

All Britons
Lot/some confidence: 19%
Not very much/no confidence: 67%

Con voters
Lot/some: 35%
Not very much/none: 54%https://t.co/cQEVXDNOEd pic.twitter.com/YE4qHfS7rh

— YouGov (@YouGov) September 5, 2022

These are dire figures, but they could change dramatically if Truss announces a bold cost of living plan that confounds and persuades people that they should have confidence in her to tackle the cost of living crisis. This means that what happens over the next week will be crucial for the Truss premiership. If her ratings are still this poor this time next week, it gets much harder to imagine how she could recover.

Rishi Sunak has refused to say whether or not he would accept a job from Liz Truss. In an interview with the BBC’s Chris Mason, when asked if he would accept a job from Truss, he replied: “It is just not something I’m thinking about.”

At one point during the Tory leadership contest Sunak signalled he would not be able to accept a ministerial post in a Truss administration because he could not support her economic policies. But as the campaign drew to a close Sunak adopted a more conciliatory tone, stressing the need for the party to unite behind the new leader.

Sunak also told Mason that he would stand again as an MP at the next election.

Sunak is only 42, and there is speculation that if the Conservatives lose the next election, he might stand again in another leadership contest. One of the factors that damaged him most in this contest was the perception that he was disloyal to Boris Johnson. Sunak may be keen to ensure that is not a problem again in the future.

Liz Truss looking at Rishi Sunak at the QEII Centre at lunchtime, shortly before the result of the leadership election was announced.
Liz Truss looking at Rishi Sunak at the QEII Centre at lunchtime, shortly before the result of the leadership election was announced. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/AP

Boris Johnson will give his final speech to the nation from No 10 at 7.30am tomorrow, my colleague Pippa Crerar reports.

⏰Boris Johnson will now give his final address to the nation at 7.30am tomorrow because poor weather means trip up to Balmoral to see Queen will take longer.

☔️ No 10 has contingency plans for Liz Truss to give her own address at 4pm from inside Downing Street in case of rain.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) September 5, 2022

Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister who has been a prominent advocate for low-tax Conservatism since he resigned from Boris Johnson’s government, had been tipped for a job in Liz Truss’s administration. But, according to the Sun’s Harry Cole, he is now unlikely to take the CDL (chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster) post because he did not want to be a mere “fixer”.

NEW: Lord Frost now not expected to join Liz Truss’s government.

Understand the talks over him being CDL hit a dead end over the nature of the role being limited to a Whitehall ‘fixer’ rather than a broader job.

— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) September 5, 2022

A newspaper in France has described Liz Truss as the Iron weathervane (or weathercock), in a reference to her Thatcherite pretensions and changing position on Brexit, according to a BBC report rounding up international reaction to Truss’s victory in the Tory leadership contest.





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