Home Trending Liz Truss phone hack sparks calls for urgent investigation – live

Liz Truss phone hack sparks calls for urgent investigation – live

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Liz Truss phone hack sparks calls for urgent investigation – live

Thousands take to streets of London to protest childcare reform

An urgent investigation has been demanded after reports emerged that Liz Truss’s mobile phone was hacked by agents presumed to be working for Russia’s Vladimir Putin during the Tory leadership race.

Opposition parties seek to know whether the then foreign secretary’s phone was breached by Russian spies this summer and, if so, why the matter was kept from the public.

In his position at the time as outgoing prime minister, Boris Johnson is alleged to have been informed of the hack immediately and agreed with his cabinet secretary Simon Case on a “total news blackout”.

The hackers are claimed to have gained access to sensitive information, including discussions with foreign officials about the war in Ukraine and details about arms shipments.

Meanwhile, the Resolution Foundation has warned that many public services would be stripped back to levels seen in the 2010s era of austerity if Rishi Sunak freezes public service spending.

Ahead of their autumn budget, the prime minister and chancellor Jeremy Hunt are considering up to £50 billion of spending cuts and tax hikes.

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Stormont leader says DUP ‘hiding behind protocol’

Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill said she believes the DUP is not comfortable entering a new executive led by her party.

“I don’t think it’s lost on the wider public that the DUP don’t like the May election result, I don’t think it’s lost on the wider public that they have difficulty in forming a government to be a deputy first minister to my mandate which is to be the first minister given the recent election results,” she told Sky.

“I think it’s not lost on people that that’s the real motivation here.

“The DUP hide behind the issues of the protocol, they hide behind all of that.

“What I want to see in the time ahead is very mature, sensible political discussion between both the British Government and the EU side.

“Let’s find an agreed way to solve the issues around the protocol, and I would make this case again to disagree with Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP, the protocol is a necessity and it is here to stay. There are things that can be smoothed out, there are things that can be made to work better, and I’m up for that and hope that’s what we achieve in the coming weeks and months.”

Ms O’Neill also urged for efforts to be ramped up to find an agreed way forward, saying that will provide certainty and stability as well as “remove any pretence by the DUP in terms of forming an executive” with Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein’s leader at Stormont Michelle O’Neill

(PA)

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 10:30

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Gove denies Braverman rejected legal advice on asylum overcrowding

Michael Gove denied that Ms Braverman had rejected legal advice from top officials on overcrowding at an asylum processing centre in Manston in Kent and the need to transfer people to hotels.

The home secretary was advised weeks ago that migrants were being held for unlawfully long periods at the centre because of the failure to transfer them, multiple sources told the Sunday Times.

Charities told The Independent that asylum seekers were held at the facility for several weeks when it was only intended to hold people for 24 hours, with outbreaks of diphtheria and scabies reported amid the “inhumane” conditions.

“The situation at Manston is not what it should be,” Mr Gove told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday. “But it’s important to stress that the home secretary did not ignore or dismiss legal advice. The home secretary was balancing a number of competing imperatives.”

Suella Braverman back into the Cabinet despite her resignation (Victoria Jones/PA)

(PA Wire)

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 10:18

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Braverman email ‘adds to list of questions’, says Labour

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the “delete and ignore” email “adds to the serious list of questions we have about this reckless reappointment of Suella Braverman”.

She told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “There was obviously the initially breach of the ministerial code, the security lapses involved, but now questions about whether she gave an accurate description of what happened. She said she reported it straight away.

“There are other reports that no she didn’t and was confronted on this.”

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 10:17

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Greens say Sunak not attending Cop27 is “disgraceful”.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has said Rishi Sunak’s decision not to attend the Cop27 climate summit is “disgraceful”.

Asked about reports Boris Johnson could attend the summit, she told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I think this is probably about the first decision that Boris Johnson has made that I might support.

“If it embarrasses Rishi Sunak to reverse his disgraceful decision and actually get there himself, all and good.

“I’m not suggesting necessarily that Boris Johnson is doing it for the good of the planet, I suspect a great deal of self-promotion is going in there as well, but let’s take it, let’s have him go there.

“It is absolutely so wrong that Rishi Sunak is not going because the UK is still the holder of the Cop presidency, symbols matter.

“If we’re really saying that in the sixth richest country in the world that our Prime Minister can’t be bothered to get there because he’s busy, what about all of those prime ministers in countries that are absolutely on the front edge of the climate emergency right now?”

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 10:15

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300,000 a year housing target ‘still the Government’s aim’

Michael Gove has said the 300,000 a year housing target from the 2019 Tory manifesto is still the Government’s aim.

But the Levelling Up Secretary told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “No-one can deny that it is going to be made more difficult because of the economic circumstances that we face.

“As Rishi (Sunak) said, we need to be straight with people: the cost of materials has increased because of the problems with global supply chains and also a very tight labour market means that the capacity to build those homes at the rate we want is constrained.”

When pressed further on whether the 300,000 a year housing target is “absolutely part of your programme” given housing minister Lee Rowley said in the summer that Liz Truss would abolish top-down housing targets, Mr Gove said: “The first thing is that the top-down housing targets that Lee was referring to and indeed Liz was referring to are part of a broader and different calculation from the 300,000 in the manifesto.

“We are talking two different things here. But my view is that what we do need is a fair way of allocating housing need that takes account of changes in population.”

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 10:10

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Students ‘struggling to survive’ as loans fall short of soaring cost of living

Students are “struggling to survive” as government support is failing to keep pace with the soaring cost of living, it is claimed.

Universities have raised concerns growing financial pressures will impact their studies as they are forced to take on more paid work this year to try and meet rocketing living prices.

The Independent has spoken to students struggling to fit in academic work as they try and fund their way through university in the economic crisis.

Tana Randle says she does not want to quit university – but worries it could come to this in the worst-case scenario

(Supplied)

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 10:00

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Gove confronted with Braverman’s ‘delete and ignore’ email

Suella Braverman has claimed she told officials about her security breach after sharing a sensitive government document via her personal email.

Appearing on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Michael Gove was confronted with a leaked email showing Ms Braverman had asking a recipient to “delete the message and ignore”, sent hours before officials were eventually told.

Mr Gove said the request to “ignore and delete” the email is “standard practice” and would be “quite proper” – going on to claim that Ms Braverman is “absolutely” a politician of integrity.

He added: “I am satisfied, more than satisfied, that in resigning, accepting responsibility, apologising, and then in being assured by the cabinet secretary and the prime minister that Suella coming back into office was the right thing, that Suella is now in a position to do the work that she is dedicated to doing.”

Michael Gove confronted with Suella Braverman’s ‘delete and ignore’ email

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 09:55

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Gove apologies for selecting Liz Truss as Conservative leader

Michael Gove apologises for selecting Liz Truss as Conservative Party leader

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 09:51

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Former Tory chancellor says Sunak needs to focus on growth

Former Conservative chancellor Philip Hammond said growth must be Rishi Sunak’s “relentless focus” now that Liz Truss’s plan is “dead in the water”.

Mr Hammond told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “They’re going to have to come up with a growth plan.

“Without growth we’re not going to be able to solve the problems our public services are facing and solve this conundrum that people don’t want to pay higher taxes but they do want better public services – the only way you can resolve that is higher growth.

Former chancellor Lord Hammond

(PA Archive)

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 09:45

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Bank of England expected to annouce biggest interest rate hike in 33 years

The Bank of England is poised to unveil the biggest hike in interest rates for 33 years next week as the central bank continues its efforts to tame inflation.

The key Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting comes amid warnings that spending cuts and tax hikes under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could lead to a deeper and more enduring recession.

Most economists think that the MPC is likely to rise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points to 3% at the meeting on Thursday November 3.

It will be the eighth consecutive jump in interest rates by the Bank but will represent the biggest increase since 1989.

Earlier this month, markets had predicted the interest rate increase could be as much as one percentage point but sentiment has calmed somewhat after the change of Chancellor and Prime Minister and Bank of England bond purchases pushed down on the cost of borrowing.

Markets have also witnessed a decreased appetite for large hikes globally, with the Bank of Canada increasing its interest rate by 0.5 percentage points, below the 0.75 percentage point rise which had been widely predicted.

Nevertheless, earlier this month, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said it was likely the hike in interest rates could be bigger than the 0.5 percentage point increase to 2.25% seen at the previous meeting.

He said on October 15: “As things stand today, my best guess is that inflationary pressures will require a stronger response than we perhaps thought in August.”

Sam Rkaina30 October 2022 09:30

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