Boris Johnson promises ‘compassion’ to get people through cost of living crisis
The government has been warned that plans to slash tens of thousands of civil service jobs could trigger a national strike.
Boris Johnson has tasked his cabinet with cutting around 90,000 civil service jobs, with the prime minister telling colleagues on Thursday that the workforce should be slashed by a fifth, as he moved to free up cash for measures to ease the cost of living crisis with possible tax cuts.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which represents workers in the public sector, is to hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss its response.
General Secretary Mark Serwotka condemned the plans and said: “Our members will not be the scapegoats for a failing government. We have our conference in 10 days’ time: taking national strike action is very much on the table.”
He added: “Let’s be clear, this is not about efficiency. This is about the prime minister trying to create a smokescreen to detract from his utter shambles of a government.”
Johnson threatened with national strike over civil service cuts
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union is to hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss its response to government plans to cut jobs in the civil service, warning that “national strike action is very much on the table”.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka condemned the plans and said: “Cuts have consequences. Not just on those whose jobs are being sacrificed to throw red meat to the dwindling number of Conservative voters, but on everyone who relies on the services our members provide.
“The government complains about longer delays for passports and driving licenses at the same time as sacking the people who are working so hard to clear the backlog.
“Let’s be clear, this is not about efficiency. This is about the prime minister trying to create a smokescreen to detract from his utter shambles of a government.
“He has chosen to cause our cost-of-living crisis and is desperate to point the blame somewhere – and he has chosen to point the finger at hard working PCS members who kept the country running throughout the pandemic.
“Our members will not be the scapegoats for a failing government. We have our conference in 10 days’ time: taking national strike action is very much on the table.”
Tom Batchelor13 May 2022 14:13
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at Downing Street for meeting with PM
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has arrived at Downing Street with her family and MP Tulip Siddiq for a meeting with Boris Johnson.
Asked how they were, her husband Richard told the media: “Much better times.”
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe did not respond to reporters’ questions on what she would talk to the Prime Minister about.
The family and Tulip Siddiq posed for photos outside the front door with their seven-year-old daughter Gabriella joking to reporters: “You can only take one photo.”
Tom Batchelor13 May 2022 13:52
Wakefield local Labor committee resigns en masse over by-election selection process row
The executive committee of Wakefield’s local Labor Party has resigned en masse in protest over the national party’s handling of the selection of a candidate in a forthcoming by-election.
In a major bust-up with Labor HQ , the 16-strong body hit out at the lack of a “local candidate” on the shortlist, and decided to quit their positions during a meeting on Thursday evening.
Here is the full story from my colleague, Ashley Cowburn,
Tom Batchelor13 May 2022 13:38
No 10 fails to rule out compulsory redundancies under plan to cut civil service
Downing Street has failed to rule out compulsory redundancies under Boris Johnson’s plans to slash tens of thousands of jobs from the Civil Service.
A No 10 said: “I’m not going to pre-empt specific measures.”
But he added that a lot of the cuts are expected to be done through “natural wastage”.
Tom Batchelor13 May 2022 13:25
ICYMI: Boris Johnson plans to cut 90,000 civil service jobs to help fund tax cuts
The government could cut as many as 90,000 civil service jobs in a cost-saving exercise touted by Boris Johnson, as ministers come under increasing pressure to help ease the cost of living crisis with possible tax cuts.
my colleague Tom Batchelor reports on the story that has been making a splash today:
Matt Mathers13 May 2022 13:15
Do MPs understand what the cost of living crisis means for people?
Conservative MP Lee Anderson caused uproar this week when he claimed there wasn’t ‘this massive use’ for food banks in the UK and that people could really do with a few cooking lessons instead, writes Cathy Newman,
Read Cathy’s piece here:
Matt Mathers13 May 2022 12:50
ICYMI: Boris Johnson is heading for a double drubbing in by-elections
The prime minister’s unpopularity is about to be brought home to Conservative MPs in dramatic fashion, writes John Rentoul.
Read John’s full piece here:
Matt Mathers13 May 2022 12:29
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to demand answers on slow release in meeting with PM
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will meet with Boris Johnson today and demand answers as to why it took the government so long to secure her release from detention in Iran.
She will be joined by her local Tulip Siddiq. Ms Siddiq said her constituent “deserves to hear directly” from the prime minister.
She said: “We will use the meeting as an opportunity to raise the plight of British citizens like Morad Tahbaz who are still being held hostage in Iran and push the Prime Minister to do much more to secure their release.
“He has a responsibility to ensure that others do not have to endure the six years of torment that Nazanin was put through.
She added: “I will also be submitting evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry on hostage taking, which I hope will get the bottom of the Government’s abject failure in handling cases like Nazanin’s.
“Never again must the government allow British citizens to be taken hostage with so little done to secure their release and so few reprisals for those responsible.”
Matt Mathers13 May 2022 12:13
Former MP Neil Parish could stand in by-election triggered by own resignation
Former Tory MP Neil Parish who admitted watching pornography in the Commons chamber is taking “soundings” on standing in a by-election triggered by his own resignation.
It comes after Mr Parish stood aside in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency in April after becoming the focus of a political storm when two female MPs reported him to party whips.
Our politics correspondent Ashley Cowburn reports:
Matt Mathers13 May 2022 11:55
Foreign Office issues further sanctions against Russia
The Foreign Office has announced further Russian sanctions, with President Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, family members and inner circle hit in the latest tranche of measures designed to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss said: “We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle.
“We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”
Mr Putin’s official assets are modest, according to the Foreign Office, with his lifestyle “funded by a cabal of family, friends and elites”.
Matt Mathers13 May 2022 11:40