Cabinet lashes out at ‘disloyal’ Michael Gove for rebellion threat

One senior member of Liz Truss’s top team likened him to a scorpion whose only job is to sting, even if it means taking himself down as well as the party. Before the U-turn on the 45p top rate tax cut, Mr Gove had provoked Tory fury by calling for the Prime Minister and Kwasi Kwarteng to ditch the measure in a series of incendiary interviews.

Emotions boiled over with one Cabinet Secretary telling the Daily Express they weren’t surprised by Mr Gove’s actions because he is a “disloyal ****”.

They compared the former minister to the deadly eight-legged creature in the Scorpion and the Frog – a fable which teaches that vicious people cannot resist hurting others, even when it is not in their own interests.

When told about Mr Gove’s remarks another senior Cabinet Minister used the same four-letter expletive.

The row and the fallout from the change in policy has overshadowed the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday called Mr Gove “the Tory Party’s version of Peter

Mandelson” in reference to the former Labour MP’s reputation in the “dark arts” of politics.

Asked at a fringe event if Mr Gove is a thorn in the side of the Government, the Business Secretary replied: “No, no. He’s too polite to be a thorn. He’s a very elegant thorn if he is a thorn, no, no, no.

“Michael is one of the cleverest men in politics, a very amiable figure, who loves the art of politics. He’s the sort of Tory Party’s version of Peter Mandelson.”

Meanwhile, at a separate event at the conference, Mr Gove said the atmosphere this year was a bit “different”.

He added: “There is a different atmosphere, but that is because we have a different Prime Minister and also because the world faces a set of crises even more acute in this autumn than it did last.

“We are operating against that backdrop.”

It is not the first time Mr Gove has been likened to a predatory animal, with allies of former PM Boris Johnson branding him a “snake” earlier this year.

The description dates back to when he blew up Mr Johnson’s 2016 leadership bid and then stood in the contest himself.

Mr Johnson sacked him from the Cabinet in the final hours of the ministerial revolt he faced in July.

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  • 1 час, 31 минута назад 01.12.2022Politics
    Sunak pledges crack down on ‘guerrilla protests’ as PM braced to hand more power to police

    Rishi Sunak has pledged to crack down on “guerilla protests” saying that “more must be done” to stop demonstrations causing disruption to people’s daily lives. Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Policing Minister Chris Philp are meeting police leaders in Downing Street this afternoon to discuss the police response to recent protests.

    The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said the Government wants to “discuss with police leaders if they require more powers or more guidance about how to further address these guerilla tactics we’ve seen”.

    While the Downing Street official stressed that “fundamentally the right to protest will always be something we protect in this country”, he said this should not “stray into trying to disrupt people’s lives”.

    He claimed that the recent protests have been “preventing people from doing their jobs, getting to school or indeed trying to save people’s lives”, adding that “more must be done” to tackle them.

    The spokesperson added: “We note there have been some new tactics attempted in recent days.

    “We are very conscious that the public wants us to deal with this and so it’s right that we speak to those in charge of our police forces about how they plan to address it.”

    Increasingly disruptive protests have caused chaos in a number of major UK cities over recent months.

    Just this week, activists from the campaign group Just Stop Oil brought central London traffic to a standstill with a slow march.

    The activists’ campaign for the government to end all new oil and gas has included blocking roads and targeting famous works of art.

    The group’s spokesperson confirmed that more disruption is planned in the lead-up to Christmas.

    The Government is currently in the process of scrutinising the Public Order Bill, which will limit peoples’ right to protest.

    The legislation has already been cleared by MPs and is currently being scrutinised by the Lords.

    The draft legislation intends to combat “guerrilla tactics” employed by climate groups such as Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil, according to Home Office minister Lord Sharpe of Epsom.

    It includes a new offence of locking on – for example, glueing yourself to the road – as well as tunnelling, obstructing major transport networks and interfering with key national infrastructure, such as railways, roads and printing presses.

    It also proposes to hand police new stop-and-search powers related to these offences.

    Lord Sharpe said the bill gives police “proactive powers” to help curb disruption, claiming that perpetrators are “too often acquitted on a technicality”.

    But human rights group Amnesty International hit out at the new laws, saying: “Amnesty has long held the view that Police have a very broad range of existing powers at their disposal to deal with offences that may take place during a protest.

    “We are concerned that the breadth of those powers already give scope for subjective over policing and potential abuse of those powers.

    “For example, in a chilling suppression of the rights of a free press, in November 2022, Hertfordshire Police arrested and detained three journalists for reporting on a number of environmental protests taking place. One female reporter from LBC radio was reportedly held in a police cell for five hours.

    “The arrest of journalists for reporting in these circumstances is a fundamental breach of universally held rights, which should serve as a chilling warning of the The Public Order Bill – Committee Stage Briefing, Lords dangers of increasing police powers in these areas and further undermines the credibility of the UK as a champion of media freedoms on the world stage.”

  • 1 час, 31 минута назад 01.12.2022Politics
    Rishi Sunak vows to close migration ‘loopholes’ as PM holds crunch talks with Albania

    Rishi Sunak has vowed to “close loopholes” in the asylum system after holding crunch talks with the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama. The two leaders spoke this afternoon, amid mounting concern over the number of Albanian migrants coming to the UK. This came after Official statistics in the UK showed that Albanians are now the largest single group making small-boat crossings of the Channel.

    Mr Sunak’s official spokesperson said: “The leaders welcomed the longstanding close partnership between the UK and Albania and committed to strengthening collaboration on trade, investment and defence, including cyber security.

    “The Prime Minister acknowledged the positive contribution of the Albanian community to life in the UK, but both leaders agreed that more needed to be done to address illegal migration and tackle organised crime together.

    “They discussed plans to step up cooperation to address shared challenges, including closing loopholes that are preventing the rapid return of failed asylum seekers.

    “The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Rama looked forward to working together to deal with those issues and deepen the broader UK-Albania relationship.”

    In November, month, British MPs were told that 12,000 Albanians had arrived in the country so far this year after crossing the Channel. Just 20 Albanians made the journey in 2020.

    Albanian organised crime gang groups are believed to be among the main players in smuggling migrants across the Channel to Britain from northern Europe.

    Earlier this week, British and Belgian law enforcement officers said they had arrested three people suspected of being part of an Albanian people-smuggling ring.

    But the UK government faced criticism from the Albanian president after Ms Braverman last month alleged that there is an “invasion” of England by migrants, pointing the finger at Albanian asylum seekers.

    She claimed that many Albanian adult males who seek asylum in the UK have posed as children, a practice she intended to “clamp down” on.

    Mr Rama hit back at the Government on Twitter, accusing it of “discrimination” against Albanians to “excuse policy failures”.

    He said: “Targeting Albanians (as some shamefully did when fighting for Brexit) as the cause of Britain’s crime and border problems makes for easy rhetoric but ignores hard fact.

    “Albanians in the UK work hard and pay tax. UK should fight the crime gangs of all nationalities and stop discriminating … to excuse policy failures.”

    Earlier this month, net migration figures soared above pre-Brexit levels, rising to 504,000 in the year to June 2022.

    Net migration for the year ending June 2015 – the year before the UK voted to leave the EU – was 336,000.

    This came just one day after Home Secretary Suella Braverman admitted that the UK has “failed to control our borders”.

    The Home Secretary said she is “absolutely determined to fix this problem.”

    The statistics published earlier this month also show that there are still 9,242 Afghan refugees in hotels – 15 months after the evacuation.

  • 1 час, 31 минута назад 01.12.2022Politics
    ‘We must confront it’: Rishi Sunak breaks silence on Buckingham Palace racism row

    Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has weighed in on the allegations of racism made against Buckingham Palace, commenting that the “job is never done” when tackling racial abuse.

    While Mr Sunak refused to comment directly on the incident or the monarchy itself, the Prime Minister said that despite the country’s “incredible progress” in dealing with racism, we must continue to “confront it” whenever we see it.

    He added: “It’s right that we continually learn the lessons and move to a better future.”

    The palace was accused of “institutional racism” by black domestic violence campaigner Ngozi Fulani, who claimed she was repeatedly interrogated about where she “really came from” by Lady Susan Hussey, an old friend of the late Queen’s, at a charity event hosted by Queen Consort Camilla.

    The PM told broadcasters: “It wouldn’t be right for me to comment on matters to do with the royal palace. As we’ve all seen, they’ve acknowledged what’s happened and made an apology for it.”

    “As I’ve talked about in the past, I have experienced racism in my life.

    “But what I am pleased to say is some of the things that I experienced when I was a kid and a young person I don’t think would happen today because our country has made incredible progress in tackling racism. But the job is never done and that’s why when whenever we see it we must confront it.”

    Lady Susan has apologised and resigned following the incident, with Buckingham Palace stating her comments were “unacceptable and deeply regrettable.”

    Ms Fulani is the founder and chief executive of Sistah Space, a charity that supports black women suffering from domestic violence. She had been invited to Buckingham Palace for an event which focused on preventing violence against women.

    She said Lady Susan repeatedly asked her: “Where are you from?”

    The charity boss added that even when Ms Fulani stated she was from Hackney, the household staff member kept challenging her, even saying: “What part of Africa are you from?”

  • 3 часа, 31 минута назад 01.12.2022Politics
    Boris was thrown out by MPs because the Conservative Party is not conservative says Bolton

    Boris Johnson and Liz Truss were ditched by the Conservative Party because its MPs are not really conservative, a leading Republican has told Express.co.uk. John Bolton, who served in the White House for George W. Bush and Donald Trump, believes the former prime ministers were both victims to the “London establishment”.

    Mr Bolton knew New York-born Boris Johnson from previous roles – and got to know Ms Truss as International Trade Secretary seeking a deal with the US post-Brexit.

    He was full of praise for Mr Johnson who he considers to have achieved the most significant change in recent British history: getting Brexit done.

    The former national security adviser for Mr Trump said: “I think Boris accomplished the most significant thing that needed to be accomplished, which was to take Brexit to its conclusion almost and break the gridlock.

    “That is what he was elected to do and that’s what he did.”

    But he was less complimentary about Tory MPs.

    Mr Bolton said: “Both within the Conservative Party and the London establishment there is a lot of resistance to doing the things which he needed to do.

    “It is a reality in the British political system that power is concentrated in the parliamentary party.

    “The Conservative Party in the UK is not as conservative as its name would imply and I think that is ultimately what caused it to happen.

    “It is the same problem that led to Liz Truss’ fall too.”

    Mr Johnson eventually left office after months of criticism over Partygate accusations in September. Ms Truss then won the leadership election against Rishi Sunak over the summer.

    But after just 44 days, Ms Truss’ premiership came to an end. Despite a short-lived attempt by Mr Johnson to return to office, Rishi Sunak was installed as the new leader.

    The coup to remove Ms Truss came about after her tax cutting mini budget led to a temporary collapse in the value of the pound and shares.

    Since Mr Sunak was installed, his government has ushered in a series of tax rises to the fury of many Tory MPs.

    Mr Bolton suggested the Conservative Party might benefit from the US system of primaries where candidates are selected in their states and districts by party members rather than centrally.

    He said: “If you had primaries in the UK like we do and people vote for who they wanted in the Conservative Party, it would be different.

    “If the US was run primarily by people who live in New York and Washington – some say it is – it would look very different from the system where constituencies were distributed geographically.”

    His words will echo with critics of CCHQ over the way candidates are selected and controlled centrally by the candidate office – with very little say to constituency parties.

  • 5 часов, 31 минута назад 01.12.2022Politics
    Boris Johnson leaves door open for leadership run as he unveils plans for next election

    Boris Johnson has announced he will stand again as an MP at the next general election, leaving the door open for the former Prime Minister to take part in another leadership race. He informed his local Conservative Party of his decision before Monday’s deadline, ahead of which MPs were required to inform the party whether they wish to contest the election, expected to be held in 2024. This shows that Mr Johnson is committed to a long-term political future, despite having made a return to the backbenches after his resignation in July.

    But another term as an MP would leave the door open to a future leadership campaign if a vacancy were to emerge.

    One Tory MP told Express.co.uk that another run at the party leadership “might well be on the cards”.

    But Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the decision simply shows he is “serious about the job”.

    He told Express.co.uk: “We came here to be MPs first and whatever jobs he got in government – from Prime Minister to secretary of state – are a privilege.

    “But our job, first and foremost, is to be in Parliament.”

    In October, Mr Johnson passed the threshold of 100 nominations from his parliamentary colleagues – the required number for a run to replace Liz Truss.

    But he withdrew from the race just hours before the deadline.

    Mr Johnson, who has been the MP for the west London constituency since 2015, told local party chiefs of his intention to stand for a fourth time.

    The chairman of his local Conservative association, Richard Mills, told the Telegraph Mr Johnson has their full support.

    He said: “Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Association fully support Boris Johnson as our local MP and candidate at any future election.

    “Since his re-election in 2019, he has delivered on his plans for redevelopment and modernisation of Hillingdon Hospital as well as increasing police numbers across Uxbridge.

    “We look forward to continuing to work alongside him to deliver for the residents and communities within the constituency, where he has strong connections and involvement.”

  • 5 часов, 31 минута назад 01.12.2022Politics
    Drone submarine to guard UK internet cables from Russian underwater attacks

    An unnamed British drone submarine is set to protect the UK from underwater attacks on internet cables. It will cover 1,000 miles over seven days and will be deployed by the Royal Navy as part of Project Cetus. The submarine is currently being built in Plymouth.

    UK Defence Secretary Mr Wallace said: “In order to meet the growing threats to our underwater infrastructure, the Royal Navy needs to be ahead of the competition with cutting-edge capabilities.”

    The submarine will be 12 metres long and will be battery-powered.

    First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key called the project “a capability step-change in our mission to dominate the underwater battlespace”.

    UK armed forces chief Admiral Tony Radakin said Russian submarine threats to internet cables would be seen as an “act of war”.

    It comes as the first of the Royal Navy’s new frigates, HMS Glasgow, sailed down the River Clyde for the first time on Wednesday. She was escorted by Military of Defence Police from Clyde Marine Unit where she will eventually be lowered into the water for the first time.

    Scottish shipyards have orders to build 13 frigates, with the type 31 vessels being built by Babcock at Rosyth on the east coast and the Type 26 ships being constructed by BAE Systems on the Clyde.

    When HMS Glasgow touches water for the first time, she will be towed back up the Clyde to BAE Systems’ yard at Scotstoun where the work to fit the warship will be completed.

    Last week, Mr Wallace visited the vessel in Glasgow while it was being rolled on to the barge.

    He told the PA news agency: “I think it’s a remarkable achievement by the workforce here, who’ve built basically the world’s leading anti-submarine warfare ship.”

    READ MORE: Ukraine hits Russian troops in Donetsk using British M777 Howitzers

    Mr Wallace said the first Type 26 ship was coming out of the shipyard late but not “catastrophically” so, saying he is confident HMS Glasgow and the other frigates will enter service in time.

    He continued: “The one thing (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is going to have left after his illegal invasion is a navy and an air force.

    “He uses his submarines – and they are good submarines – very well to intimidate.

    “We’ve seen worries about critical national infrastructure, gas pipelines, internet cables. We need ships that are going to hunt those submarines or deter them, and that’s the role the ships are going to take.”


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    Both the HMS Cardiff and the HMS Belfast are still under construction in Glasgow and are the Royal Navy’s second and third vessels.

    It comes as Australia will announce in March what type of submarine powered with US nuclear technology it wants to build under a deal with the United States and Britain revealed in September last year.

    UK Secretary for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she expects the three nations to work closely together to deliver a fleet of eight submarines.

    “It’s going to be a really exciting project and really importantly will assure, I think, not only for Australia, but for the Indo-Pacific region, for those Pacific islands that assurance that Australia’s commitment to their security is unassailable,” Ms Trevelyan told the National Press Club.

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