‘It’s a joke’ PM avoids more Partygate fines, says 10 staff absent – live

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Partygate: Johnson faces no further action as police investigation ends

Downing Street workers who were fined for participating in the same isolation parties as Boris Johnson reacted angrily after the prime minister evaded further sanctions.

“It’s a joke,” said a #10 source Independent“He’s a man with little to no integrity,” he said, adding that the prime minister “tells people to ‘let their hair down’ and enjoy their hard-won drink to ‘beat the virus’.”

Announcing the conclusion of the Operation Hillman investigation on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said 83 people were fined a total of 126 in incidents spanning eight dates between May 2020 and April 2021.

Attorney Adam Wagner, a leading expert on Covid law, has also questioned the “inconsistency” of the fines after it emerged that some junior staff had collected five fines, while the Prime Minister and other senior figures avoided new action.

Senior officer Sue Gray, who has prepared a broader report on the scandal, is expected to publish her findings as soon as next week.

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Offshore oil and gas industry responds to unexpected tax calls

As pressure on Boris Johnson mounts for an unexpected tax on oil and gas firms’ profits to help households weather the cost of the crisis of life, one energy industry body insisted that the current tax system remain unchanged.

Deirdre Michie, CEO of Offshore Energies, which represents the UK offshore oil and gas industry, told Times Radio that the Treasury will take £8bn from the sector and another £5bn next year. paid in the last ten years.

“The thing is, the tax regime works,” Michie said. “The government can use these funds to help consumers. We recognize that the crisis is a big and important one that needs to be addressed.”

“We need these companies to continue investing in oil and gas for the security of energy supply, but we also need them to invest in the energy transition,” he added.

“We have identified investment opportunities of up to £250 billion across all energies, but only a third of it has been approved so if people start to think this is not a good place to invest they will take their investment elsewhere.”

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 09:13

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DUP claims Nancy Pelosi ‘should have recognized’ NI protocol undermined Belfast deal

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has responded to a threat from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the US Congress could block a free trade agreement with the UK if Boris Johnson acts unilaterally to amend parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The union leader told the BBC: “Nancy Pelosi says she is worried that the Good Friday Agreement may be undermined, but because protocol undermines the agreement. This is certainly evident.

“The protocol changed some of the core principles of the Belfast Agreement and made it impossible for consensus-based power-sharing to occur, as not a single trade unionist MLA elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in the last election supported it.

“If Nancy Pelosi wants to see the treaty preserved, she has to accept that protocol is what’s destroying and undermining the treaty, and so we have to deal with it.”

Sir Jeffery insisted that his party would not fully re-enter the power-sharing arrangement in Stormont “until we see decisive action being taken on the protocol,” adding: “This is the mandate I have come to expect from the people of Northern Ireland and with regard to power. From the votes we have received it is clear to the government that decisive action must be taken.” We specified.”

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 09:04

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Partygate’s ‘opacity’ ‘depletes public trust’

A former attorney general’s office said the “incomprehension” surrounding Partygate “has undermined public confidence”.

“I think it’s very difficult for us to work out exactly how the police investigation went and how fair it was without knowing who got the fixed fines,” Lord Macdonald told BBC Radio 4. Today program.

“As you said, it’s remarkable that the head of the civil service partied and went unpunished, but there were younger colleagues who joined them.

“I think this surrounding opacity is somehow draining the public’s trust, and I think it’s very unfortunate.”

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 08:50

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Analysis | Three reasons why Boris Johnson is now in a much stronger position

Our chief political commentator John Rentoul He argued that Boris Johnson’s political future is better than before for three reasons: there is no “oven-ready alternative”; The opposition leader “does not want to talk about the isolation law; local elections and national opinion polls are “not bad enough”.

You can read his analysis with Independent Premium here:

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 08:42

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Former DPP says public ‘very dark’ on Partygate

A former attorney general’s office said the public was “very much in the dark” about the details of who was involved in Partygate.

Lord Macdonald told BBC Radio 4 that Boris Johnson had a question about fining young workers for incidents that were not fined. Today program: “I think it’s very difficult for us to understand why they came to such a conclusion without the police providing an explanation for it.”

“We don’t know who these people are and I feel for young officers and I totally understand why they would be offended by their names being given, but there is a broader public interest here.

“This was a huge scandal at the heart of government, at the heart of civil service, and we are left in a lot of darkness about who was involved, who organized the parties, and who was responsible.

“Of course the prime minister and head of civil service are ultimately responsible, but there were clearly other people involved and we don’t know who they are and I think that’s not good enough.”

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 08:30

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Raab says Sue Gray report should provide ‘transparency’ about any fines Partigate will impose on ministers

Dominic Raab said there should be “transparency” about any minister fined in Sue Gray’s Partygate report.

The justice minister asked if Downing Street was trying to prevent the senior official from publishing individual names in his report on events in Downing Street during the coronavirus quarantines. BBC Breakfast He said it was an issue for the police and Mrs. Gray.

“I think these are issues of who gets spotted for Sue Gray and the Met,” he said. “What we say is true, if there is a minister who has been fined, it must be transparent as well. I think that’s true.”

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 08:22

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Former Downing Street official ‘suffocated’ by No 10 Partygate’s denials

A former number 10 official who worked there during the pandemic said: Independent As soon as an official line was sent to the deniers, “I was breathless at the audacity of the lie”.

You can read more about the anger among the No. 10 staff in our front-page news today after Boris Johnson escaped further Partygate fines. Anna Isaac, Adam Forrest and Lizzie Dearden:

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 08:12

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Raab says Boris Johnson acted on Sue Gray’s report

Dominic Raab said he welcomed the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the Partygate scandal and insisted that Boris Johnson was “acting” according to Sue Gray’s interim report.

“We welcome the conclusion of the police investigation, or at least the Metropolitan Police investigation. I think it’s important to have the transparency and accountability that comes with that, the justice secretary told Times Radio.

“I cannot comment on the relationship between Met and Sue Gray. It would be wrong for me to do so, especially as Minister of Justice. All I can say is we’ll wait for a final report. Obviously we have already received the interim report and the prime minister acted accordingly – revision number 10.

“As soon as we receive the final report, we will publish it as soon as possible. And the prime minister said he would come to the House of Commons and take questions so that we have an added layer of transparency and accountability.”

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 07:57

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Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty debut on Sunday Times Rich List

The Chancellor and his wife are on the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time, with their joint estimate of £730m as Russian billionaires plummet this year’s rankings.

They were ranked 222nd on Friday morning, largely as a result of Ms Murty’s £690m stake in Infosys.

This comes after the finances of the Chancellor and his wife have come under intense scrutiny in recent months. Independent It uncovered Miss Murty’s out-of-home tax situation that had potentially saved her millions in taxes.

He later agreed to pay foreign taxes on his UK income, and Mr. Sunak was cleared of violating ministry law by Boris Johnson’s standards adviser after considering his tax affairs.

Andy Gregory20 May 2022 07:27

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Iceland to offer 10 percent discount to senior Brits

As Britons struggle with the rising cost of living, Iceland is set to offer 10 per cent for seniors, making it the first UK supermarket to offer such a discount.

The company announced that from May 24, it will offer discounted prices to its customers over the age of 60, with a discount to be applied every Tuesday, with no minimum spending.

Customers will need to show proof of age to take advantage of the in-store discount at Icelandic and The Food Warehouse branches.

The company is also looking into issuing a £30 national voucher to those on state pensions following a regional trial at Christmas.

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, said: “We have a long history of supporting our customers in their 60s, for example when we launched the ‘Old Clock’ at the height of the pandemic.

The cost of living crisis has made support even more important for these customers; therefore, I am proud that we have found new ways to support them, including the launch of this sale. We hope it will help everyone in this age category keep costs down as much as they can.

Richard Walker

Namita Singh20 May 2022 07:03