Boris Johnson latest news: Sue Gray meeting with PM was about release of partygate names and photos, minister claims




  • In World
  • 2022-05-22 21:56:30Z
  • By The Telegraph
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case sit together at a Cabinet meeting - Getty
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case sit together at a Cabinet meeting - Getty  
  • Simon Case expected to bear 'ultimate responsibility' for partygate

  • Rising immigration 'undeniably undermines' Brexit promises

  • Nicola Sturgeon is using independence as a 'political shield'

  • Comment: Windfall taxes are a betrayal of Conservatism

  • Russia-Ukraine latest news: More than 100m people displaced

A "secret" meeting between Boris Johnson and Sue Gray was held to discuss "practical questions" relating to the publication of the partygate report, a minister has claimed.

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, suggested the meeting had taken place to hammer out issues like who could be named and whether photographs would be included.

Mr Clarke insisted the private meeting had not damaged the integrity of the report, telling Sky News: "There are lots of practical questions here which need to be bottomed out in terms of for example who can be named in this report and the extent to which photographic evidence can be included.

"It is important that those practical dimensions are resolved. Do I think in any way that the integrity of this report should be questioned? No, because as I say Sue Gray has a reputation which dates back decades in terms of her ability to make judgements without fear or favour and I think she will absolutely deliver on that basis."

He added: "I do not believe that this meeting was anything other than a discussion of the technicalities of the process."

Mr Johnson is under growing pressure to explain the circumstances of the meeting and to set out what was discussed, with Labour arguing that "people deserve to know the truth". The report is widely expected to be published this week.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

08:30 AM

Minister rules out return of Universal Credit uplift

A £20 a week increase in the value of Universal Credit will not be reinstated to help families struggling with the cost of living crisis, a minister has said.

The extra cash was put in place to help people during the coronavirus pandemic but it was removed in October 2021. Some Tory MPs have urged the Government to increase the value of Universal Credit now to help families cope with rising food and energy prices.

But Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has ruled out bringing the uplift back, telling the BBC: "On that question, we were always explicitly clear that was a temporary response to the pandemic.

"That is not going to return. The question is how we best now look at the next range of solutions to deal with the challenges we're facing."

08:21 AM

Government won't 'rush into' decision on windfall tax

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has insisted the Government is "not going to rush into" making  a decision over imposing a possible windfall tax on energy firms.

Asked when Rishi Sunak might decide on the matter, Mr Clarke told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "That is a question for the Chancellor. We obviously recognise that we are in a situation which is fast developing and we want to make sure that we are supporting people ahead of what will likely be a challenging autumn and winter ahead."

Mr Clarke said the Chancellor is looking at the cost of living situation "with real urgency and intent" and people can be reassured that the Government is "on the case".

"We are not going to rush into action, but at the same time nor are we going to sit here and not provide the support that is needed given the severity of the situation," he said.

08:06 AM

Senior Tory MP: Even Margaret Thatcher imposed a windfall tax

Jesse Norman, the former Treasury minister, said it is "perfectly clear" the Government is going to need to do more to support people in the next few months.

Mr Norman said governments treat taxes with "extreme caution", particularly windfall taxes as they tend to be "unexpected responses to situations",

But he said the country is "not in ordinary times" and is actually facing "absolutely extraordinary times at the moment".

He said his fellow Tory MPs needed to recognise that "even Mrs Thatcher passed a couple of windfall taxes quite early on in her time in office, in her more pragmatic, less ideological phase, because she recognised that she needed to raise the money and that there were some sectors that in particular could afford to make a contribution to the wider public good".

08:00 AM

Minister: Energy firms must 'step up to the plate'

More on a potential windfall tax from Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (see the post below at 08.47).

Mr Clarke told Sky News: "The Chancellor is very clear. We are not philosophically attracted to this but if the situation doesn't improve in terms of them stepping up to the plate, we can't rule it out."

Many in Westminster - and in the industry - are likely to pore over the reference to oil and gas giants needing to "improve" their investment plans for new UK energy sources. That would suggest the Government has some kind of metric for determining what is a sufficient level of investment and what is not.

07:47 AM

'We are certainly not ruling it out'

There is a growing feeling in Westminster that the Government will eventually change tack and impose a tax on the excess profits of oil and gas giants to address the cost of living crisis amid mounting political pressure.

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, today gave the firmest hint yet that the Government may be reconsidering its position as he said the nation is facing "extraordinary circumstances".

He told Sky News: "We are certainly not ruling it out. What I would say is obviously I am not ever instinctively drawn to increasing taxes insofar as it risks deterring investment in new capacity and new jobs.

"But look, these are extraordinary circumstances. We recognise there are extraordinary pressures on family finances and the industry needs to hear the message loud and clear: If investment doesn't go in, we can't rule out having to do a windfall tax."

07:38 AM

PM meeting with Sue Gray discussed 'technicalities'

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has insisted no political pressure has been put on Sue Gray over the contents of the partygate report.

He told Sky News: "I do not believe that this meeting was anything other than a discussion of the technicalities of the process.

"As I say, it would be genuinely wrong to impugn that there has been any pressure put on the nature of this report, in any way."

07:34 AM

Minister: Would have been 'churlish' for PM to turn down meeting

It would have been "churlish" for Boris Johnson to turn down a meeting with Sue Gray, a minister argued this morning.

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was asked why Mr Johnson would attend a meeting with Ms Gray before the publication of the partygate report.

Told that the PM could have turned down an invitation, Mr Clarke said: "Ultimately he could have done. But look, the point here is, I don't think that in any way it would have been improper, indeed it would have been somewhat churlish I think to have declined to have met."

07:26 AM

'It is important that those practical dimensions are resolved'

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, suggested the meeting between Boris Johnson and Sue Gray had taken place to examine "practical questions" relating to the partygate report.

Asked about the meeting, he told Sky News: "There are lots of practical questions here which need to be bottomed out in terms of for example who can be named in this report and the extent to which photographic evidence can be included.

"It is important that those practical dimensions are resolved. Do I think in any way that the integrity of this report should be questioned? No, because as I say Sue Gray has a reputation which dates back decades in terms of her ability to make judgements without fear or favour and I think she will absolutely deliver on that basis."

07:21 AM

Minister claims 'secret' meeting was 'instigated' by Sue Gray

There have been conflicting accounts over the circumstances that led to the meeting between Boris Johnson and Sue Gray.

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, claimed this morning that the meeting had been "instigated" by Ms Gray.

He told Sky News: "My understanding is that the meeting was instigated by Ms Gray but… it matters only insofar as that explains that he [Boris Johnson] wasn't the one instigating it."

07:17 AM

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to today's politics live blog.

We are expecting the Sue Gray report on partygate to be published at some point this week and Westminster is braced for what will be a major moment.

A "secret" meeting between Boris Johnson and Ms Gray is dominating the agenda this morning as the PM faces growing pressure to set out why the meeting took place and what was discussed.

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is on the morning media round and has been setting out the Government position. Let's start with his key quotes.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Johnson
Johnson's Tories Embroiled in Sleaze Again as Pincher Resigns
  • World
  • 2022-07-01 12:06:06Z

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson is facing another backlash over sleaze and misconduct in his Conservative Party, after one of his political enforcers resigned...

Politics latest news: Chris Pincher should lose whip over groping allegations, Cabinet minister hints
Politics latest news: Chris Pincher should lose whip over groping allegations, Cabinet minister hints
  • World
  • 2022-07-01 08:57:17Z

Deputy chief whip quits over grope claims Zahawi seeking 9pc pay rise for teachers to avert strike threat Brexit won't be overturned for a generation, says...

Vladimir Putin: Topless Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau would be
Vladimir Putin: Topless Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau would be 'disgusting sight'
  • World
  • 2022-06-30 16:05:40Z

Boris Johnson's war of words with Vladimir Putin reached new heights as the Russian president said that he would be a "disgusting sight" with his top off.

Putin Boasts Other World Leaders Look
Putin Boasts Other World Leaders Look 'Disgusting' Fully Naked, Not Hot Like Him
  • World
  • 2022-06-30 13:08:11Z

ReutersWhile his soldiers were busy slaughtering civilians in Ukraine this week, Russia's Vladimir Putin ruminated on what Western leaders would look like...

Politics latest news: Liz Truss rejects
Politics latest news: Liz Truss rejects 'kangaroo court' fears despite No10 anxiety over MPs' partygate probe
  • World
  • 2022-06-30 08:44:21Z

PM faces 'kangaroo court' over inquiry into partygate 'lies' PM at odds with Army chief as he defends cuts to troop numbers Signing nuclear deal with Iran...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • window repair near me
    (2022-05-23 18:54:26Z)

    If you're looking to fix your window that has cracked, call a window repair
    near me. These professionals have the necessary
    tools to fix even the most minor cracks and holes in windows.

    They will first clean the area to get rid of any debris.

    REPLY
  • window.repair near me
    (2022-05-23 19:04:58Z)

    While you may not be able to afford spending
    money on windows that are new, you should consider having it
    replaced or repaired.

    REPLY
  • Window Repair Near.Me
    (2022-05-23 19:30:33Z)

    Search online to find a window repair service close
    to you. It is essential to know the extent of damage your windows
    suffer before you contact any repair service.
    Wood windows are the most sought-after however, there are vinyl and aluminium windows.

    REPLY

Top News: World