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Boris Johnson claims he is not worried about Tory MPs plotting against him because leadership issue ‘settled’ – UK politics live


Johnson claims he is not worried about Tory MPs plotting against him because leadership issue now ‘settled’

Boris Johnson has said that he considers the Conservative party leadership issue now “settled”. Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in Germany this morning, he was asked if he was worried about Tory MPs plotting to remove him. He replied:

No. We settled that a couple of weeks ago.

What I’m focused on, and what we’re doing is getting on with, number one, all the stuff we’re doing to help people with the cost of living in the short term, using the fiscal firepower we have, with £1,200 for eight million of the most vulnerable households, £400 to help everybody, £300 for pensioners, cutting council tax – all the things that we’re doing in cash terms to help people through the current inflationary spike in the cost of, particularly, energy.

But also getting on with the agenda for our plan for a stronger economy, reforming our supply side in energy, transport, housing, all the things that matter to people. And then the general government agenda, levelling up the country and delivering on our programme.

Is the PM concerned about MPs plotting against him while he is abroad?

“We settled that a couple of weeks ago… what we’re doing is getting on with all the stuff we’re doing to help people with the cost of living in the short term,” says Boris Johnsonhttps://t.co/f8l1d8F155 pic.twitter.com/V7fGsVHGnm

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 27, 2022

G7 leaders having dinner at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last night
G7 leaders having dinner at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last night.
Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Westminster taking ‘wrecking ball’ to idea of UK as voluntary partnership of nations, Sturgeon says

Westminster is “taking a wrecking ball” to the idea of the United Kingdom as a voluntary partnership of nations, Nicola Sturgeon has said. As PA Media reports, Scotland’s first minister said the Conservative government is trying to deny the “democratic right” of people in Scotland to choose their future. Sturgeon made the comment ahead of a statement she will make to the Scottish parliament tomorrow setting out her plans for a second referendum on Scotland’s future in the UK.

Sturgeon said:

Westminster is taking a wrecking ball to the idea of the United Kingdom as a voluntary partnership of nations.

A Tory government with just six MPs from Scotland, supported on this issue by Labour, is seeking to deny the democratic right of the people of Scotland to choose their own future.

In doing so, they are demonstrating beyond doubt that, in place of a voluntary partnership, they believe the UK is instead defined by Westminster control.

The case for a referendum is therefore now as much a Scottish democracy movement as a Scottish independence movement.

Boris Johnson (left) sitting between President Joe Biden (reading a paper) and the Japanese PM Fumio Kishida at the G7 summit this morning, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel also in view.
Boris Johnson (left) sitting between President Joe Biden (reading a paper) and the Japanese PM Fumio Kishida at the G7 summit this morning, with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel also in view. Photograph: Kenny Holston/AFP/Getty Images

Johnson claims Northern Ireland protocol bill could become law by end of year

This afternoon MPs will debate the second reading of the Northern Ireland protocol bill. In his BBC News interview, Boris Johnson claimed the legislation – that will allow the UK government to abandon large parts of the protocol, in what critics argue is a clear breach of international law – could become law by the end of the year.

Asked if the measures could be in place this year, he replied: “Yes, I think we could do it very fast, parliament willing.”

Johnson claimed it would be “even better” if the European Union agreed to the changes to the protocol requested by the UK, which would make the legislation unnecessary.

Many parliamentarians believe it will take much longer to pass the Northern Ireland protocol bill because it could be blocked by the House of Lords, where the government does not have a majority and where peers (who see themselves as guardians of the constitution) are particularly alarmed about the way the legislation contravenes an international treaty the UK signed. (The government claims an emergency opt-out in international law makes this justified, but most independent lawyers believe this argument is bogus.)

Normally the House of Lords accepts legislation passed by the Commons, and there is a convention saying it should never vote down a measure included in the governing party’s election manifesto. But in this case peers would feel justified in rejecting the bill because the Northern Ireland protocol (which the bill rips up) was part of the “oven-ready” Brexit deal at the heart of Johnson’s election offer in 2019.

If the Lords were to vote down the bill, the government would have to pass it using the Parliament Act, which would hold it up for another year.

In his interview Johnson also said the bill was not generating a row at the G7 summit.

EU leaders all believe the bill is against international law, and is a breach of faith by the UK, and Washington has serious concerns about it too. But Johnson said: “The interesting thing is how little this conversation [about the NI protocol] is being had, certainly here.”

Johnson welcomes ‘amazing consistency’ of G7’s resolve to support Ukraine

Peter Walker

Peter Walker

Boris Johnson has reiterated his warnings at the G7 summit about “Ukraine fatigue”, while insisting that he believes the gathering of world leaders will remain united on the issue.

In an interview with BBC News, Johnson said there had been concern about “the anxieties of other countries around the world about the continuing war, the effect on food prices, on energy prices”. He continued:

And what’s really struck me in the last couple of days has been the amazing consistency of our resolve, the continuing unity of the G7 – that has really shone through in the conversations.

I think there’s a reason for that. The logic of the position is still so clear – there is no deal that President Zelenskiy can really do. In those circumstances, the G7 supporters of Ukraine around the world have to continue to help the Ukrainians to rebuild their economy, to get their grain out. And of course, we have to help them to protect themselves. And that’s what we’re going to continue to do.

Zelenskiy is to address the G7 virtually later on Monday while Johnson, for whom the summit is something of a respite from political woes at home, will push the same message again at the Nato summit in Madrid, which begins on Wednesday.

Eustice claims PM’s third term comment was his way of saying ‘he’s got a lot he wants to do’

George Eustice, the environment secretary, has been giving interviews this morning, and he has defended Boris Johnson’s comment at the weekend about planning for his third term in office. Using a formula often wheeled out by politicians expected to perform gaffe repair on behalf of a colleague, Eustice claimed that what Johnson actually meant to say was something a bit different. He told Times Radio:

I think what the prime minister was really saying is he’s got a lot that he wants to do. There’s a lot going on in the world that he’s focused on, and he doesn’t want to get distracted by these sorts of discussions.

Yes, he’d like to go on and on. But to be honest, we also understand that we’ve got a lot of hurdles to clear before we get to that point.

Johnson claims he is not worried about Tory MPs plotting against him because leadership issue now ‘settled’

Boris Johnson has said that he considers the Conservative party leadership issue now “settled”. Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in Germany this morning, he was asked if he was worried about Tory MPs plotting to remove him. He replied:

No. We settled that a couple of weeks ago.

What I’m focused on, and what we’re doing is getting on with, number one, all the stuff we’re doing to help people with the cost of living in the short term, using the fiscal firepower we have, with £1,200 for eight million of the most vulnerable households, £400 to help everybody, £300 for pensioners, cutting council tax – all the things that we’re doing in cash terms to help people through the current inflationary spike in the cost of, particularly, energy.

But also getting on with the agenda for our plan for a stronger economy, reforming our supply side in energy, transport, housing, all the things that matter to people. And then the general government agenda, levelling up the country and delivering on our programme.

Is the PM concerned about MPs plotting against him while he is abroad?

“We settled that a couple of weeks ago… what we’re doing is getting on with all the stuff we’re doing to help people with the cost of living in the short term,” says Boris Johnsonhttps://t.co/f8l1d8F155 pic.twitter.com/V7fGsVHGnm

— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 27, 2022

G7 leaders having dinner at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last night
G7 leaders having dinner at Castle Elmau in Kruen, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last night.
Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

David Davis urges fellow anti-Johnson Tories to let PM stay for a year to avoid paralysing government

Good morning. Boris Johnson has been out of the country now for most of the last week but, as is often the case when a PM goes abroad to focus on international affairs, a domestic crisis remains a distraction. The two byelection defeats last week turbocharged (as they would say in No 10) Conservative party opposition to Johnson and his critics have been working on plans to get a slate of MPs elected to the executive of the 1922 Committee before the summer recess so they can change the rules, and allow a second no confidence vote to go ahead before next year.

But there was good news this morning for Johnson when David Davis, the former Brexit secretary who has already publicly called for Johnson to quit, declared that he was opposed to the rules being changed. Having won the confidence vote, Johnson should be allowed to remain in office unchallenged for another year, Davis said.

Davis stressed that he had not changed his mind about Johnson’s performance as PM. But a rule changing would set a bad precedent, because it would paralyse government decision making, he said.

Whether it’s Boris or anybody else, dealing with stagflation is going [to require] some really difficult decisions. Do you want a leader, whoever it is, looking over his shoulder every month at this tax increase or whatever?

So no, I don’t want the rules changed. I don’t think they will change either.

Davis said that meant Johnson had a year to show that he could deliver on the promises he had made, and he said the key requirement was for the government to start cutting taxes.

I campaigned in 16 rebel seats and in Wakefield. I got the same thing coming at me every time. ‘We expect you to be a low tax party. We are not seeing that any more.’ We got to the highest tax take in history last year.

When it was put to Davis that the government did not have an agreed post-Brexit economic plan, he replied.

We don’t really have an agreed economic plan full stop.

I have people, working-class voters in council estates, saying you’re not behaving like a Conservative government. You’re not Conservative. That is a terrible thing to have to face down if you are running the country.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9am: The G7 summit in Germany, which Boris Johnson is attending, starts with an address from Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president. During the day, as well as attending sessions on climate, energy and health policy, and on food security and gender equality, Johnson is recording an interview with the BBC’s Chris Mason, and holding a meeting with the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

12.15pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, holds a summit on setting up abortion buffer zones outside abortion clinics.

1.30pm: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

2.30pm: Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

3pm: Kate Forbes, the Scottish government’s finance minister, gives evidence to the Commons Scottish affairs committee.

After 3.30pm: Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, opens the second reading debate on the Northern Ireland protocol bill.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

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