04.10.2022
Kwasi Kwarteng admits tax cuts sparked ‘turbulence’ over past 10 days

Kwasi Kwarteng urged Tories to “focus on the task in hand” as he battled to restore his authority as Chancellor after a dramatic U-turn over tax cuts for the rich. Just hours before his set piece speech at the Conservative Party conference Mr Kwarteng abandoned his plan to scrap the 45p income tax rate for people earning more than £150,000 to stave off a mounting Tory revolt. Addressing the audience in Birmingham he acknowledged it had been a “tough” day but promised there would be no more distractions.

Downing Street said Prime Minister Liz Truss – who was in the audience for the speech – continues to have confidence in Mr Kwarteng, despite the humiliating decision to drop the tax cut.

Mr Kwarteng told activists: “What a day. It has been tough but we need to focus on the job in hand.

“We need to move forward, no more distractions, we have a plan and we need to get on and deliver it.”

He acknowledged “the plan put forward only 10 days ago has caused a little turbulence”.

The Chancellor’s mini-budget triggered turmoil in the City, was criticised by the International Monetary Fund and resulted in a £65 billion emergency intervention by the Bank of England to restore order.

But it was the 45p rate which attracted the biggest political backlash, with the Tories viewed as offering help to the rich while the country faced a cost-of-living crisis.

“I get it. I get it,” Mr Kwarteng said.

“We are listening and have listened, and now I want to focus on delivering the major parts of our growth package.”

Mr Kwarteng used his speech to defend the Government’s plan to cut taxes in the search for economic growth.

Despite the U-turn on the 45p rate, Mr Kwarteng is still committed to taking 1p off the basic rate of income tax, reversing April’s increase in national insurance and scrapping the planned increase in corporation tax.

The Chancellor told the conference: “While we all believe in growth, we as Conservatives also believe that it is an important principle that people should keep more of the money they earn.

“I don’t need to tell you that. That isn’t radical, that isn’t irresponsible. It is a deeply held belief that we all share as Conservatives.

“We were faced with a 70-year high tax burden. We were confronted with low growth and the path we were on was clearly unsustainable. So that’s why we’re cutting taxes for working people.”

He earlier acknowledged that the Government’s desire to borrow billions to axe the 45p rate on earnings over £150,000 had become a “terrible distraction” amid widespread criticism.

Shortly before he had been due to tell the conference they must “stay the course” on the plans, he issued a statement saying: “We are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate.”

“We get it, and we have listened,” he added, in language echoed in a tweet from the Prime Minister less than 24 hours after she said she remained absolutely committed to the cut.

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01.12.2022
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…
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01.12.2022
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…
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  • 1 час, 53 минуты 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.

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  • 3 часа, 53 минуты 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.”

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  • 3 часа, 53 минуты 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.”

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    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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  • 3 часа, 53 минуты назад 01.12.2022Politics
    ‘Naive’ John Bolton lifts lid on life inside Trump’s ‘undisciplined’ White House

    Ex-White House official John Bolton says he was “naive” to ever take up his post in Donald Trump’s administration, accusing the former President of a complete lack of “discipline” who only made decisions based on how they would benefit him. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the former National Security Advisor peeled back the curtain on his 17-month stint in the Trump White House and said he believes he was naive to think the former President could change.

    Asked about his decision to take on the role in 2018, Bolton replied: “I get criticised for a lot of things, I rarely get criticised for being naive. I have to say knowing everything I knew about Trump, I saw the same thing everyone else did. I had met him before the 2016 campaign and watched him in office for a year.

    “(But) I still thought that the pressures of dealing with national security on a day-to-day basis would bring the kind of discipline which would apply to every other president. And I thought if I could get in there, I could make this happen.

    “I turned out to be completely wrong because he had no discipline.”

    At the heart of the problem, he said, was Trump’s erratic decision making and lack of genuine political conviction. Key decisions made in the morning could be radically overhauled by lunch time, he claimed.

    “It was like working inside a pinball machine,” he said. “He (Trump) doesn’t have a philosophy, he doesn’t think in policy terms, his decisions are transactional one time decisions seen through the prism of how does this benefit Donald Trump.

    “People say ‘his policy on this, his policy on that’ – he didn’t have a policy.

    “His decisions are like an archipelago of dots. You can try and draw lines between them and people do it all the time – but he couldn’t draw lines between them.

    “The decision he made in the morning might not hold until the afternoon. It was hard to put together strategic thinking on a whole range of things.”

    Trump had long-admired Republican veteran Bolton – describing him as a “tough cookie” – but their relationship soured during the tenure amid clashes on issues such as North Korea and Iran.

    Bolton, who has worked for Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidents, wrote a best-selling book about his tumultuous spell in Trump’s White House, The Room Where It Happened.

    In June 2016, the Trump administration unsuccessfully sought to block the release of the memoir, alleging Bolton had breached nondisclosure agreements and that it endangered national security. It was released a week later.

    There has been no love lost between the pair since.

    However, Bolton, who has been in the UK this week, told Express.co.uk that Trump did many things which pleased Republicans like him in the early days of his presidency.

    Bolton noted that he appointed conservatives to key posts including the judiciary, cut taxes and tackled immigration problems, especially on the southern border with Mexico.

    But he added: “These are also all things that any sensible Republican candidate would do as well.”

    He said the recent revelation that the former President held a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate with Kanye West, who has been accused of anti-semitism, and Nick Fuentes, a notorious white supremacist, underline the former president’s lack of judgment and discipline.

    “It has been disputed how he got in but this is a former President who doesn’t screen who he has come in (for dinner),” Bolton said. “If you believe he didn’t know – and he does have a loose relationship with the truth.

    “He didn’t say I made a mistake and I am sorry because he doesn’t say I made a mistake and I’m sorry.”

    Bolton also claimed the former President has selective memory on issues when it suits him. He raised an example of how he and former Secretary of State Dan Pompeo had met opposition from Trump over Russian sanctions, forced him to agree to them and then Trump had used the policy as part of his own defence.

    “We imposed a lot of sanctions on Russia which he opposed and, what would happen, [is] Pompeo and I – and others – would go and say this is what we want to do,” Bolton said.

    “He would grumble and mull over Ukraine and conspiracy and then he would finally sign.

    “He would complain about it later too.

    “Then he would be criticised for being too friendly to Putin and he would say ‘my government has put more sanctions on Russia than anyone else’.

    “He remembered what was convenient to remember.”

    “In my book I said that it was like working inside a pinball machine.

    “He doesn’t have a philosophy, he doesn’t think in policy terms, his decisions are transactional one time decisions seen through the prism of how does this benefit Donald Trump.

    “People say his policy on this, his policy on that, he didn’t have a policy.

    “His decisions are like an archipelago of dots. You can try and draw lines between them and people do it all the time, he couldn’t draw lines between them.

    “Besides the decision he made in the morning might not hold until the afternoon. It was hard to put together strategic thinking on a whole range of things.”

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  • 3 часа, 53 минуты назад 01.12.2022Politics
    EU approves new law to punish UK with Brexit sanctions in latest blow to Sunak

    New legislation first proposed by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Constitutional Affairs Committees in October, has now received the full approval of the European Parliament. MEPs voted on Wednesday to finalise the legislation that would allow the EU Commission to sanction the UK if London fails to comply with the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

    The proposal was first put together by European People’s Party MEPs Seán Kelly and Christophe Hansen.

    Mr Kelly said: “Politically, this Regulation is a strong statement of EU unity and readiness to take action if the UK were to breach either agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. Especially if the British government was refuse to participate in the dispute resolution mechanisms provided for.

    “Of course, we would prefer if the enforcement mechanisms were not needed. However, while we welcome the more constructive and positive approach from the UK towards the EU under Prime Minister Sunak, we have yet to see that translated into action.

    “The mood music is much better, and while I think we are going in the direction, the reality is the legal situation remains the same.”

    He added: “From an Irish perspective, this Regulation is also essential to protect the all-Ireland economy. There have been positive indications that the UK government wants to repair some of the damage done to its relations with the Irish government.

    The proposal was first put together by European People’s Party MEPs Seán Kelly and Christophe Hansen.

    “It is in everyone’s interests to make the Northern Ireland Protocol work as the only solution to the hard Brexit chosen by the UK.

    “The Protocol’s main goal is to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland and to preserve peace.”

    The law will come into force early next year.

    Negotiations between UK and EU officials restarted last month but the two parties are still locking horns over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    On Thursday, Ursula von der Leyen has said she is “very confident” a solution will be found on the Protocol, if there is the political will in the UK Government.

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    Arriving in Dublin for a two-day visit on Thursday, the European Commission president said the EU and Ireland have always been in “very close co-operation” on Brexit matters.

    “It was ironclad and is ironclad, and this is so important,” she said.

    “I know that Brexit meant a lot of adaptation for Ireland, but you have done this very successfully as far as I can see it.”

    The protocol, a post-Brexit trading arrangement for Northern Ireland designed to avoid a border, has caused some trading issues since its implementation.

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    It has resulted in tension between the EU, the UK and Ireland on how to resolve them, particularly after a Bill was introduced at Westminster to unilaterally remove some trading rules currently in place.

    There has been some hope that the new British Government will provide an opportunity to solve the stalemate over the remaining bureaucratic and trading issues.

    Ms von der Leyen said on Thursday: “We, the European Union has been listening very carefully to the concerns of people and businesses in Northern Ireland…

    “We have always shown flexibility, we will always have a constructive approach to these issues.

    “If there is the political will in the UK, I am very confident that we can reach a positive conclusion.”

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  • 3 часа, 53 минуты назад 01.12.2022Politics
    EU gearing up to retaliate over hated Brexit deal as VDL says bloc ‘confident’ of solution

    The EU is gearing up to retaliate over the hated Northern Ireland Protocol but Ursula von der Leyen has said she is “very confident” a solution will be found. However, she said it will only be found if there is political will from the UK Government. Meanwhile, the bloc is planning to enhance its powers to enforce its post-Brexit agreement with Britain through retaliatory tariffs.

    The new legislation will allow the EU to revoke free trade arrangements with Britain and impose restrictions on investment or other activities if the UK breaches its side of deals signed with Brussels.

    Maros Sefcovic said the measures would allow the EU to, “if needed, to enforce our agreements with the UK”, describing it as “continued unity in action”.

    But speaking on arrival in Dublin, ahead of a two-day visit, Ms Von der Leyen said: “We, the European Union has been listening very carefully to the concerns of people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

    “We have always shown flexibility, we will always have a constructive approach to these issues.

    “If there is the political will in the UK, I am very confident that we can reach a positive conclusion.”

    The European Commission President said the EU and Ireland have always been in “very close cooperation” on Brexit matters.

    She added: “It was ironclad and is ironclad, and this is so important.

    “I know that Brexit meant a lot of adaptation for Ireland, but you have done this very successfully as far as I can see it.”

    Ms von der Leyen is set to address the Irish parliament this afternoon after meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin in Dublin.

    Negotiations are continuing between London and Brussels aimed at securing changes to the protocol to the satisfaction of both sides.

    According to a draft copy of the latest EU legislation, new measures would ensure the EU is able to “act in a timely and effective manner to protect its interests in implementing and enforcing both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Co-operation Agreement”.

    This comes amid mounting tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    The UK has been locked in talks with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol – which was agreed as part of the withdrawal agreement to avoid a hard border in Ireland post-Brexit – since October 2021.

    It allows Northern Ireland to remain within the EU’s single market for goods but it has faced criticism because a border was effectively created between Great Britain and Northern Ireland down the Irish Sea.

    The border has led to delays, supermarket shortages and increased costs for businesses in Northern Ireland.

    There has been no functioning government in Stormont since the elections last May, as the DUP has refused to restore powersharing unless the Northern Ireland Protocol is scrapped.

    An election was triggered in Stormont in October after the executive was blocked from meeting due to the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Earlier this week, a bill extending the deadline for fresh elections to be held in Northern Ireland passed its third reading in the Commons.

    The bill – introduced by Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris last week – is being fast-tracked through Parliament, passing all three stages in one day.

    It will extend the deadline for the Northern Ireland Assembly to be formed until December 8, with the possibility of a further six-week extension to 19 January.

    There has been no functioning government in Stormont since the elections last May, as the DUP has refused to restore powersharing unless the Northern Ireland Protocol is scrapped.

    If the DUP does not end its boycott of the Stormont assembly by 8 December, the bill will give Mr Heaton-Harris the option to either call an election or extend the deadline by six weeks to 19 January.

    If nothing changes by then, an election could take place by 13 April.

    The new legislation also allows the Northern Ireland Secretary to slash Stormont politicians’ salaries and enables civil servants to have limited decision-making powers to ensure public services can still be delivered.

    The bill could see wages cut by 27 percent, or just over £14,000, reducing their incomes from £51,500 to £37,337.

    Mr Heaton-Harris said it is “not acceptable” that Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) continue to draw full salaries during a cost-of-living crisis despite not sitting.

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Politics Kwasi Kwarteng admits tax cuts sparked 'turbulence' over past 10 days