Boris Johnson News live: Tories ‘hopelessly distracted by sordid’, says Starmer
Daily political briefing today
Sir Keir Starmer, of Labor, said the Conservative Party was “hopelessly distracted by anger and scandal” ahead of the final campaign weekend for local elections across the UK.
The opposition leader’s comments follow a string of scandals involving the Tories – including concerns about the lobbying activities of former Prime Minister David Cameron and allegations that apartment renovations undertaken by Boris Johnson were funded by a loan from the Conservative Party.
Write in the Echo of the NorthSir Keir said: “The Prime Minister may not know the value of the pound in his pocket, but we know you do. The least people should be able to expect from their government is for taxpayer dollars to be spent wisely. “
Conservative Party staff have been told they have one week to pass on all communications related to renovations to the Prime Minister’s apartment at 11 Downing Street or face criminal consequences, according to reports.
The weather and the sun reported that all Conservative Party staff had received an email from Human Resources about the Election Commission investigation into how the redecoration work was funded, which said, “You are being warned that this is a criminal investigation. ”
It comes as Nicola Sturgeon criticized a ‘Brexit fishing betrayal’ after anger over access to Norwegian seas talks failed.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer also said fishing communities were ‘betrayed by the Prime Minister’ after talks broke down earlier this week.
Failure to strike a deal means fish and chip shops will sell arctic cod imported from Norway rather than landed in Britain, UK Fisheries has said.
Hello and welcome to our continued coverage of UK politics.
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 8:01 AM
Conservative staff ‘say to deliver flat communications’
First, reports suggest that Conservative Party staff were given a week to hand over all communications related to the renovations to Boris Johnson’s apartment at 11 Downing Street or face criminal consequences.
Separate inquiries into how the redecoration work was funded are being carried out by Civil Service Chief Simon Case, Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests Lord Geidt and the Election Commission.
Time and The sun reported that all Conservative Party staff received an email from Human Resources on behalf of Alan Mabbutt, a senior official and registered lawyer, about the Commission investigation who told them: “You have been warned that this is a criminal investigation.
The email indicated that all communications must be provided to the investigation by May 7.
Time added that Mr Mabbutt said that if staff “falsify, conceal, destroy or knowingly eliminate information” they “could commit a criminal offense of perverting the course of justice”.
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 8:02 AM
Fishing communities ‘betrayed’ after collapse of post-Brexit talks
Elsewhere, the collapse of post-Brexit fisheries talks has sparked anger.
Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy said The independent the failure of the talks was a “devastating” blow to jobs and incomes in the city, while Sir Keir Starmer said the fishing communities had been “betrayed by the Prime Minister”.
The collapse of discussions over access to Norwegian seas spelled the end of the British distant water fishing industry after hundreds of years.
Andrew Woodcock and Emily goddard report:
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 8:20 AM
‘Brexit betrayal of fishing’ – Sturgeon
Sharing The independentOn the front page of the collapse of the fisheries talks, Nicola Sturgeon said there had been ‘Brexit betrayal of the fishery’:
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 8:40 AM
Tory lead drops amid boring controversy
the Daily mail conducted a poll which found the Tories had seen their lead over Labor drop to a point, with the newspaper’s political editor saying the Prime Minister’s popularity was “suffering as a result of the Downing Street apartments affair “:
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 9:08 AM
PM meets postmasters
Boris Johnson said he spoke to postmasters yesterday “about the terrible impact the Post Office Horizon IT dispute has had on their lives.”
He tweeted an image from their virtual meeting:
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 9:41 AM
‘Farrago of nonsense’
The Prime Minister is facing multiple inquiries about how he funded the renovation of his Downing Street apartment – including one that allegedly ordered Tory staff members to turn over all communications on the matter within one week.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson called the controversy over his lavish apartment makeover a “farrago of nonsense.”
Rob merrick, our deputy political editor, has more on the Prime Minister’s comments on the case:
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 10:02 AM
Boris Johnson’s scores drop in poll on who would make the best PM
A new survey from Survation suggests Boris Johnson’s popularity has plummeted in recent weeks – which has seen boring controversy, as well as one over text swapping with James Dyson.
However, he was still placed above Sir Keir Starmer by respondents who asked him who would make the best prime minister.
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 10:20 AM
Hundreds of crew members out of work
Here’s a reminder of what UK Fisheries said earlier this week, after the Brexit fisheries negotiations collapsed:
“The UK government failed to secure a fisheries access agreement with Norway that would have allowed the UK’s distant water fleet to continue operating.
“As a result, the UK has no rights to fish in Norwegian subarctic waters in 2021 and hundreds of crew members are out of work.”
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 11:01 AM
What were the discussions about fishing about?
The breakdown in post-Brexit fisheries talks – which has been dubbed a “betrayal” – implied access to Norwegian seas.
Britain was forced by Brexit to renegotiate its access deal with Oslo, which was previously guaranteed by an EU-Norway deal as part of the Commons fisheries policy.
The failure of talks on Thursday means British vessels are barred from fishing in Norwegian subarctic waters in 2021.
Hundreds of fishermen and support staff are at risk of being left out of work, and fish and chip shops across Britain will sell Arctic cod imported from Norway rather than landed by British vessels.
Andrew Woodcock and Emily goddard have more information:
Zoe tidmanMay 1, 2021 11:24 AM