Boris Johnson considers not replacing ethics adviser after Lord Geidt’s departure
Boris Johnson risked angering northern Tories by canceling an appearance at a conference they are holding in Yorkshire on Friday afternoon.
Tory MP Jake Berry, chairman of the Northern Research Group, said he had been told by No 10 that some government business had “popped up”.
“It’s really disappointing,” Mr. Berry said. “It’s an unfortunate thing, but at the end of the day he’s the prime minister of this country and things happen. It’s up to number 10 to explain what happened. It was later announced that Mr Johnson was on a surprise visit to Kyiv.
The canceled visit comes after Tory MPs from the North warned the Prime Minister that his ‘race up’ plan would fail unless the North is given devolved tax powers and more funding.
Meanwhile, the government has faced a backlash over reports it will not appoint a new ethics adviser following Lord Geidt’s resignation.
John Penrose, who resigned as anti-corruption czar earlier this month following the Prime Minister’s response to the Partygate scandal, said: “You can’t just pretend it doesn’t matter and that there is no work to be done.
Boris Johnson on surprise visit to Ukraine for talks with Zelensky
We now understand why the Prime Minister canceled his trip to Doncaster on Friday afternoon…
Boris Johnson is in Kyiv for an unannounced visit to Ukraine for talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Prime Minister’s second trip to the war-torn country comes a day after a joint visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 4:20 p.m.
Ministers said to increase funding for school meals as children ‘get smaller portions’
Children are being fed less at school as the cost of food soars, The Independent has learned.
Anne Longfield, the former children’s commissioner for England, has called on the government to increase the amount spent on each meal.
Talk to The Independentshe said: “Schools must be given the resources they need to meet the growing demand for free school meals, so they don’t have to reduce the quality or quantity of the food they provide.
“Children growing up in poverty should not be the victims of a lack of planning for the inevitable impact on school budgets of the cost of living crisis.”
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 3:40 p.m.
UK among countries to sign first-ever declaration imposing limits on bombing of urban areas
The UK, US, France and Japan are among signatories to a new political declaration to avoid bombing and bombing of populated cities.
The decision “will save countless lives”, Emily Tripp, director of Airwars, a UK-based watchdog group.
“We welcome the UK’s announcement of its intention to sign the political declaration, we urge the UK to uphold its commitment, for other states to follow suit and to clarify how states plan to implement it,” said Tripps. The Independent.
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 3:20 p.m.
Campaigners slam UK block on move to improve access to Covid vaccine in developing world
The UK’s involvement in blocking a waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines is “totally shameful”, campaigners have said.
A compromised deal was reached at the WTO in Geneva on Friday, but it did not give developing countries the freedom to produce their own stings.
The People’s Vaccine Alliance described it as “a technocratic gimmick aimed at saving reputations, not lives”, while Oxfam’s Max Lawson said the behavior of rich countries at the WTO was “totally shameful”.
Our political editor Andre Bécasse reports:
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 3:00 p.m.
Resignation of Lord Geidt: A Brief History of Government Ethics Advisers
After Lord Geidt’s resignation, Boris Johnson indicated he might not replace him.
Here is Joe Sommerlad with a history of government ethics advisers:
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 2:40 p.m.
Assange will ‘fight back’ against extradition order, says wife
Earlier today the Home Office confirmed that Priti Patel had signed the order for Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he faces espionage charges for some of his revelations about WikiLeaks.
Responding to the announcement, Stella Assange, his wife, said: “It’s extremely difficult when your life is decided by third parties – making life or death decisions based on politics.
“He is very strong…we have to fight back.
“His instinct is to fight and so is mine.
“We will fight harder.”
Mr Assange has two weeks to launch a challenge against Ms Patel’s order.
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 2:21 p.m.
Senior Tory MP ‘really disappointed’ as PM skips conference
Boris Johnson will not travel to Doncaster for the Northern Research Group (NRG) conference, despite telling the group of Red Wall Tory MPs he will appear on Friday afternoon.
Tory MP Jake Berry, chair of the NRG, said he had been told by No 10 that some government business had ‘arose’.
“It’s really disappointing,” Mr. Berry said. “It’s an unfortunate thing, but at the end of the day he’s the prime minister of this country and things happen. It’s up to number 10 to explain what happened.
“I wish he had come. We were all ready with a set of policies too ready… We’ll make sure he hears everything that’s said today. I’m going to phone him tomorrow.
Adam ForestJune 17, 2022 2:00 p.m.
Downing Street defends PM over ethics counselor debacle
Downing Street has said Boris Johnson does not have to appoint a new ethics counsellor.
“He (the Prime Minister) will take advice from advisers to No 10 and other experts in this area and it may be that the Prime Minister decides to make an identical replacement, or we may put in places a different body performing the same functions.
“But the Prime Minister thinks it is right to take the time to reflect on these issues which are well highlighted.”
Lord Evans, the chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, vehemently disagrees, warning that ‘removing this independent voice on standards issues at the heart of government would risk further damaging the public perception of standards’ .
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 1:42 p.m.
Priti Patel has agreed to extradite Julian Assange
Priti Patel agrees to extradite Julian Assange
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 1:22 p.m.
Here’s today’s policy roundup, courtesy of my colleague Matt Mather:
Inside Politics: Collapse of Ethics
Boris Johnson plans not to replace outgoing ethics counselor as Bank of England warns inflation will rise to 11%, writes Matt Mathers
RorySullivanJune 17, 2022 1:04 p.m.