Home Radio codes Boris Johnson news – live: Lord Geidt warns Ministerial code risks ‘ridicule’

Boris Johnson news – live: Lord Geidt warns Ministerial code risks ‘ridicule’

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Donkey-led video recounts times Boris Johnson told people to ‘follow the rules’

Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser Lord Geidt has warned the Ministerial Code is at risk of ‘ridicule’ as he urges the Prime Minister to explain in public why he does not believe his Partygate fine was a breach .

Mr Johnson insisted in response that he ‘did not break’ the code, citing ‘past precedents’ of ministerial offenses ‘where there was no intent to break the law’, his public apologies and the fact that he had “corrected the parliamentary record”.

It comes as Andrea Leadsom has become the latest Tory MP to turn against Boris Johnson amid the fallout from Sue Gray’s damning report into Downing Street’s breach of Covid rules.

The former business secretary, an ally of the Prime Minister, said it lay in ‘unacceptable flaws in leadership’, adding that now was the time for Tory MPs to decide on the ‘right course of action’ to restore trust in government.

Former Tory leader William Hague has also warned that Boris Johnson could face a vote of no confidence ‘next week’.

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That’s it for our live coverage tonight. Check back tomorrow for more updates.

Katy CliftonMay 31, 2022 9:36 p.m.

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Exclusive: Extend free school meals in time for summer vacation, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is under pressure to extend the free school meals scheme ahead of the summer holidays amid warnings that more than a million children are at risk of going hungry due to the cost of living crisis.

Former Labor and Conservative education secretaries, along with the Mayor of London, unions and charities have urged the government to act as it has done during the Covid pandemic.

Kate Devlin and Zoe Tidman get the exclusive story here:

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 8:45 p.m.

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Rebels set ahead of Queen’s Jubilee, says Tory peer

A Tory peer has suggested rebel Tory MPs are ‘putting their own thoughts ahead’ of the country’s desire to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

Asked about LBC if he thought it was ‘offensive’ for the Tories to declare their opposition to Boris Johnson ahead of this weekend’s celebrations, Lord Jonathan Marland said: ‘I think they are putting their own thoughts across before what the British people are really thinking.

“And the British people are really thinking, ‘I look forward to this weekend, I want to celebrate the Queen’s magnificent achievement as the head of the Commonwealth… and her leadership of this country’.

“Let’s enjoy it, let’s celebrate it. We’ve had very difficult times, and we’re going to have very difficult times. Let’s stop the noise and focus on her.

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 8:16 p.m.

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Jean Rentoul | Prime Minister’s defenses are crumbling – but one thing could still save him

In his latest analysis, our chief political commentator John Rentoul writes that “Boris Johnson’s defenses are falling, one by one”.

But he suggests that there is “an argument that could well slow the advance of the guerrilla army that swarms on the barricades”:

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 7:50 p.m.

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Boris Johnson’s ‘clearly p***** off’ ethics adviser hints he may quit

Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser appeared to hint he could resign over the Prime Minister’s response to the Partygate scandal if the Prime Minister rejects his advice.

‘I have attempted to avoid… advising a prime minister on a prime minister’s obligations under his own ministerial code,’ Lord Geidt said in a letter to Mr Johnson.

“If the judgment of a Prime Minister is that there is nothing to investigate or no case to answer, he would be bound to reject such advice, thus forcing the resignation of the Independent Adviser.”

Although Mr Johnson’s response to Lord Geidt’s letter is likely to reduce the chances of this happening, it would mark the second such exit during his tenure, with the adviser’s predecessor Sir Alex Allan stepping down in 2020 after that Mr Johnson rejected his conclusion that Priti Patel was guilty. intimidation of officials.

The I The paper’s chief political commentator suggests Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser is ‘clearly p***** with him’.

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 7:25 p.m.

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Breakup: Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner received police questionnaires, Labor says

Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner received questionnaires from Durham Police, Labor said.

The force is investigating a rally at Labor Party offices in April last year when lockdown rules were in place.

The Labor leader – who was pictured drinking a beer through a window – and his deputy have both said they would quit if fined by police over the event.

My colleague Adam Forest has more details here:

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 6:59 p.m.

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Boris Johnson insists he ‘did not break’ the ‘ministerial code’

Boris Johnson has insisted he ‘did not break’ the Ministerial Code after receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking his own coronavirus rules.

Mr Johnson’s ethics adviser, Lord Geidt, has written to him urging the Prime Minister to set out “in public” why he believes his police fine was not a breach of the code.

In his letter to Lord Geidt, Mr Johnson said: ‘In coming to this conclusion, (a) I have given due consideration to past precedents of Ministers who have unwittingly breached regulations with no intent to break the law; (b) I have been fully responsible to Parliament and the British people and have rightly apologized for the error; (c) I have corrected the parliamentary record with respect to past statements; and (d) I followed the principles of leadership and accountability in doing so.

“In my opinion, the same principles apply to the notice of fixed penalty paid by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

Earlier in his letter, Mr Johnson reiterated that there was ‘no intention to breach regulations’, adding: ‘I have not considered that the circumstances in which I received notice of fixed fine were contrary to the regulations.

“I accepted the result and paid it in accordance with legal requirements. The payment of a fixed fine is not a criminal conviction.

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 6:47 p.m.

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Ministerial code risks ‘ridicule’ on Partygate, warns Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser

Our political editor Andre Bécasse has this breakup report:

Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser has warned that the ministerial code of conduct risks being ‘ridiculed’ after the Prime Minister ignored his advice on Partygate.

In his annual report, Christopher Geidt revealed he had repeatedly urged the Prime Minister to make a public statement to clarify whether he felt he had personally breached the code with the police fine he had received in relation with illegal lockdown-breaking gatherings at No 10.

But Lord Geidt said the advice – intended ‘simply to ensure that the Prime Minister is publicly seen as taking responsibility for his own conduct – was not followed by Mr Johnson.

Mr Johnson published an update to the Ministerial Code last week which gave the independent adviser the power to reveal whether a Prime Minister had blocked an inquiry into ministers’ misconduct, but refrained from granting him the power that he had asked to launch investigations by himself. initiative.

Lord Geidt said this left him in a position where if he felt an inquiry into the Prime Minister’s own conduct was deserved, he would have to seek the Prime Minister’s permission and would be forced to resign if refused.

“Such a circular process could only risk placing the ministerial code in a place of ridicule,” he warned.

You can refresh the story below for updates:

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 6:35 p.m.

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The Cabinet is ‘very, very poor’, says Dominic Cummings

Here’s more from Dominic Cummings’ interview with Suzanne Moore.

Asked if he thought Boris Johnson would stay at No 10, his former chief political aide said: ‘As far as we [his Vote Leave team] to know.

“The fact that Rishi blew himself up makes it much more likely that Boris will somehow survive. I don’t mean ‘no chance’, but I think Rishi is out of the running. They’re gonna wonder who can win the next election.

“Whatever you think of Michael Gove’s abilities, he’s not a beloved character. There are some very junior people that I like, that I won’t curse by naming them – if I name them, everyone But it’s a very, very poor Cabinet.

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 6:08 p.m.

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Interior Ministry announces plans for first flights in Rwanda

The Interior Ministry has started issuing official removal instructions to asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda, with the first deportation flight due to leave in two weeks on June 14.

The government described the move as the ‘final administrative step’ in its partnership with the East African nation, whereby those deemed to have entered the UK illegally will be encouraged to rebuild their lives thousands of miles away .

“Our leading partnership with Rwanda is a key part of our strategy to overhaul the broken asylum system and break the perverse business model of human smugglers,” said Priti Patel.

“Today’s announcement is another crucial step towards realizing this partnership and while we know that attempts will now be made to thwart the process and delay referrals, I will not be discouraged and remain fully committed. meet the expectations of the British public.”

Several journalists reacted by drawing links to the growing crisis of confidence in Boris Johnson, including The mirrorby Kevin Maguire and Tom Harwood UK News.

My colleague Liam James has more details here.

Andy GregoireMay 31, 2022 5:51 p.m.