Watch live as Boris Johnson faces MPs after Partygate ends apology
Boris Johnson has refused to withdraw his attack on the Church of England, following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s criticism of the government’s new immigration policy.
At a private meeting with Tory MPs on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Johnson said the plans to send lone male asylum-seekers to Rwanda was a “good policy” despite some “criticism on the BBC and from senior members of the clergy”.
I have added that they both “had been less vociferous in their condemnation on Easter Sunday of Putin than they were on our policy of illegal immigrants”.
John Bingham, head of media at the Church of England, said if the reports from the meeting were true they were “a disgraceful slur”.
Meanwhile, Tory MPs will be facing a three line whip to vote on Thursday to vote for a government amendment that – if passed – would delay Labour’s motion about Partygate.
MPs will vote on whether PM Mr Johnson should be referred to the Commons Privileges Committee over allegations he was untruthful when he assured the Commons that coronavirus regulations were followed in Downing Street during the pandemic.
Ukraine peace talks doomed because Putin cannot be trusted, says Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson said that the peace talks to end the war in Ukraine are doomed as the Russian president cannot be trusted.
He accused Vladimir Putin of a complete failure to approach talks in good faith and said that it was clear the Russian president was seeking to grab territory to use as leverage in talks – and could even launch another assault on capital Kyiv for that purpose.
He asked: “How can you negotiate with a crocodile when it’s got your leg in its jaws? That is the difficulty that the Ukrainians face.”
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Maroosha Muzaffar21 April 2022 05:23
Boris Johnson faces calls to apology for colonial-era massacre
Boris Johnson is facing calls to apologize for a colonial-era massacre in which as many as 1,200 people were killed.
Last month, Gujarat — which is UK PM’s first spot on his two-day itinerary — commemorated 100 years of the Pal-Dadhvav massacre.
More than 2000 people, led by a social reformer Motilal Tejawat, protested against exploitation and forced labor by the British.
Tejawat’s grandson is now demanding that Mr Johnson apologise. “It was the British rule at the time when these killings happened so, if the British PM is coming here, he must apologise,” 77-year-old Mahendra Tejawat told AFP.
During the massacre, British major HG Sutton ordered his troops to open fire. The government remembers the episode as “like a battlefield, the entire area was filled with corpses.” It says two wells were “overflowing with bodies.”
“My grandfather was only running a campaign for the poor, harmless and illiterate tribals,” Mr Tejawat said.
“I have [Johnson] must express regret if he feels what happened to the defenceless tribals was wrong.” Mr Johnson has arrived in Gujarat in India.
Maroosha Muzaffar21 April 2022 04:58
Tory MPs reject bid to give parliament say over asylum offshoring amid backlash to Rwanda deal
Conservative MPs have voted down a law aimed at forcing the government to put schemes like the Rwanda deal to parliament – and disclose the costs.
The House of Lords created an amendment to the Nationality and Borders Bill meaning that MPs and peers must approve any offshoring agreements before they come into force.
The clause, which was defeated by 303 votes to 234, would also force the government to provide “estimated costs for at least the first two years”.
Tom Batchelor20 April 2022 21:53
Police did not quiz Cummings in order to stay ‘apolitical’
Police did not question Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to Boris Johnson, about his violation of coronavirus pandemic lockdown laws because of the need to remain “apolitical”, an officer said.
Jo Farrell, who is Durham Police’s first female chief constable in the force’s 183-year history, told the Mirror why Mr Cummings was not interviewed by police over his 260-mile trip to Durham from London or his day out to Barnard Castle to “test his eyesight”.
Ms Farrell told the newspaper: “Because of his character, because of who he was, he divided political lines.
“We police without fear or favour. We are apolitical, so it was my job to make sure that there was a proportionate line. Had we stopped him when he was driving to Barnard Castle, we would have told him to turn around and go back.
“Thousands of people have lost their lives in the pandemic so, yes, we never took any of this lightly. But we could not be influenced by the huge political feeling about him as an individual and his role within the Government.”
Lamiat Sabin20 April 2022 21:30
Motion tabled to delay probe into whether PM misled Parliament
Tory MPs will be facing a three line whip to vote for a government amendment that would “kick tomorrow’s partygate motion into the long grass”, as phrased by ITV’s UK editor Paul Brand.
Boris Johnson’s government has tabled an amendment to Labour’s motion for an investigation into whether the PM misled Parliament over the Downing Street parties held during coronavirus lockdown.
The amendment states that Mr Johnson has “accepted mistakes were made” but that the matter should not be considered until the police inquiry has concluded and the Sue Gray report has been published.
A government spokesperson said: “The government has tabled an amendment to Labour’s motion which says that consideration of this matter should take place after the conclusion of the police investigation, and the publication of the Cabinet Office report, allowing MPs to have all the facts at their disposal.”
Lamiat Sabin20 April 2022 21:00
Boris Johnson to get street named after him in Ukraine, MP says
Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko said streets in Ukraine with names connected to Russia will be changed.
British PM Boris Johnson will have a street named after him in a town in Odessa, she said.
Ms Vasylenko tweeted: “Derussification is spreading fast across #Ukraine. All Moscow and Pushkin streets are getting new names.
“A town in Odessa region will soon get a @BorisJohnson street, for example. All I can say: #SupportUkraine”
Lamiat Sabin20 April 2022 20:30
Committee faces unenviable task if MPs back investigation
The motion on whether to refer the PM for an investigation over partygate allows for the case to be looked at only after the various other reviews and investigations are completed – removing a key objection. Sean O’Grady looks at the detail:
Jane Dalton20 April 2022 20:00
MPs reject bid to let asylum seekers work
MPs have voted 294 to 242 to reject a Lords amendment linked to allowing asylum-seekers to work if no decision had been taken on their claim after six months.
Eleven Conservative MPs rebelled in a bid to retain the amendment, including Steve Baker, Sir Peter Bottomley and Sir Robert Buckland.
Jane Dalton20 April 2022 19:23
Opinion: Talk of more ‘safe and legal’ asylum routes is empty words
Current resettlement schemes do little to help those embarking on dangerous journeys across the Channel: Home Office data show that only 134 refugees from the top three nationalities arriving on small boats were brought to the UK via the resettlement route last year, writes May Bulman:
Jane Dalton20 April 2022 19:10
Sturgeon says her mask ‘error’ not the same as No 10’s partygate
Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is a “very, very clear difference” between her face mask “error” and the apparent “serial culture of lawbreaking” at Downing Street lockdown parties.
The Scottish First Minister has already apologized after she was filmed not wearing a face covering while campaigning in a barbers shop in East Kilbride.
Footage shared on social media showed the SNP leader without her mask on after she went inside Iconic Gents Hair on Saturday.
The incident took place before laws requiring face masks to be worn in indoor public places were lifted in Scotland on Monday, and the First Minister was spoken to by Police Scotland.
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Lamiat Sabin20 April 2022 18:20