Boris Johnson latest news: Patel pulls out of committee grilling over ‘changes in government’


Jacob Rees-Mogg says he would refuse position in Rishi Sunak cabinet due to ‘disloyalty’

Priti Patel has refused to be questioned by MPs today over her policies including the controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The home secretary was due to be grilled at 10am, but she had “declined” to attend the session – the home affairs committee said.

The committee was due to also ask her about public confidence in policing, justice for rape victims, and rising crime.

But, on Tuesday, she emailed at 5pm to cancel and cited “recent changes in government” as a reason – according to SNP committee member Stuart McDonald.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced his resignation and changes were made to Cabinet positions last week.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper accused the government of being in “total chaos”.

She added: “Why has Priti Patel refused at the last minute to go to the Commons Home Affairs Committee so MPs can ask her about passport delays, asylum delays, rising crime, falling prosecutions, record low rape charges, record-high fraud and more?”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael MP said: “If Priti Patel is so afraid to answer for her disastrous policies, maybe it’s time she dropped them.”


Ditching net zero would be ‘road to nowhere’, says Cop26 president

Alok Sharma, the former business minister who acted as president of the Cop26 climate conference, has warned Tory leadership hopefuls not to backslide on the net zero.

“Economically, environmentally and electorally it would be a retrograde step for us to resile from this policy. It’s a road to nowhere,” he told the i newspaper.

Asked if frontrunner Rishi Sunak is fully behind policies aimed at achieving net zero emissions by 2050, he said: “I will wait to see what all the candidates say on this particular issue, which is very important for me.

”Contender Kemi Badenoch branded the net zero target “unilateral economic disarmament”, while rival Suella Braverman said the Tories should “suspend the all-consuming desire to achieve net zero by 2050”.


What’s happening today in the leadership contest?

The first round of ballot papers will be handed out today to eliminate the least-favoured candidates.

Voting will take place at about lunchtime and will last for a few hours until a result is announced at 5pm.

Any of the eight candidates with fewer than 30 votes will be eliminated from the contest.

The process is set to be repeated on Thursday.


Priti Patel pulls out of questioning by home affairs committee

Home secretary Priti Patel was due to be questioned by MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Committee today but has pulled out.

The committee said in a tweet: “This morning at 10.00am we were due to be questioning the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. She has declined to attend our session.”


Watch: Zahawi says he would give Boris Johnson a Cabinet job

Tory leadership hopeful Nadhim Zahawi has said he would “certainly” give Boris Johnson a Cabinet role if he became PM.

The chancellor insisted he remained loyal to Mr Johnson, despite publicly urging him to stand down last week.

Nadhim Zahawi says he would ‘certainly’ give Boris Johnson job in cabinet

“Boris Johnson is a friend of mine for 30 years,” Mr Zahawi told LBC this morning.

“If he wishes to serve in Cabinet then I would certainly offer him a job.”

Read the full story here by Adam Forrest


Watch: Shapps says he’s backing Sunak as he has the ‘right policy’

Grant Shapps dropped out of the leadership contest and backed “another candidate [that] had the right policy”, he said this morning.

The transport secretary is supporting former chancellor Rishi Sunak to become prime minister.

Shapps says he pulled out of leadership race as ‘another candidate had the right policy’

Yesterday, candidates needed at least 20 nominations to get through to the first round of ballot voting to take place today.

Mr Shapps told Sky News that he would have received enough nominations under the old rules, but that he was unlikely to under the new rules.


ERG chairman Mark Francois backing Liz Truss for PM

The European Research Group (ERG) chairman Mark Francois is reportedly backing foreign secretary Liz Truss to become prime minister.

The group of Brexit-supporting Tory MPs will be meeting at midday today to decide who to back, according to The Daily Telegraph.


Levelling up ‘dead’ if Sunak becomes PM – Burnham

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said the government’s “levelling up” plan “will be dead” if Rishi Sunak becomes prime minister.

It comes after former chancellor Mr Sunak pledged to run the economy like Margaret Thatcher.

But Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn’t think Mr Sunak is conservative enough, dubbing him the “socialist chancellor”.

(Yui Mok/PA)

Asked if Mr Sunak is a “socialist”, former Labour MP Mr Burnham told Sky News: “No, certainly not. He is in the newspapers today saying that he will govern like Margaret Thatcher if he is elected leader.

“Margaret Thatcher laid the North of England low when she was in government so I think we could confidently say that levelling up will be dead if he is elected and continues to put that kind of approach forward.”


Watch: Rees-Mogg refuses to be in Sunak government

Jacob Rees-Mogg has explained why he’s backing Liz Truss for the leadership, Adam Forrest writes.

“I cabinet Liz was the most supportive cabinet minister in getting Brexit opportunities,” he told Sky News.

The Brexit opportunities minister added: “She also opposed the endless tax rises of the former chancellor, which I think have been economically damaging.”

In another dig at Mr Sunak, Mr Rees-Mogg said loyalty was “extremely important” to him.

Jacob Rees-Mogg says he would refuse position in Rishi Sunak cabinet due to ‘disloyalty’

Asked how long Ms Truss had been planning a leadership campaign, he responded: “She may have had drinks with MPs and meetings, but that’s the routine business of cabinet ministers. Even I had drinks parties with other MPs – when I was allowed to.”

Referring to Mr Sunak registering his campaign website back in December – as first reported by The Independent – he added: “It’s not setting up a website, it’s not getting ready in December … that’s a different order of magnitude.”

Asked if he would take a cabinet post from Mr Sunak if became PM, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “No, of course I wouldn’t. I believe his behaviour towards Boris Johnson, his disloyalty, means I could not possibly support him.”


Nadhim Zahawi says he didn’t want PM ‘humiliated’

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has explained why he called for Boris Johnson to resign last week.

It comes as many Tory MPs loyal to the embattled prime minister have accused ministers of having “betrayed” him.

Mr Zahawi told the BBC that he had accepted the role of chancellor two days before urging Mr Johnson to resign because he wanted to “put country first”.


But, he said, he realised the following day that “we couldn’t realistically have a functioning government”.

“I went to Boris Johnson and explained he was in danger of being humiliated, and I didn’t want to see him being put through that,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“He’s a friend of 30 years. The next morning. I felt the only thing I could do was write a letter to him, to remind of our conversation and ask him to do the right thing. And I think he did the right thing ultimately.”


Shapps denies Sunak’s campaign used ‘dirty tricks’

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has denied Rishi Sunak’s Tory leadership campaign has engaged in “dirty tricks”.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries, a Boris Johnson loyalist, accused the former chancellor’s team of using the “dark arts”.

Her criticism came following claims that Mr Sunak’s team tried to “siphon off” votes to ensure Jeremy Hunt got through because they believed Mr Sunak would beat him in a final vote of party members.


Speaking on Sky News, Mr Shapps, who dropped out of the race to support Mr Sunak, rejected Ms Dorries’ claim.

He said: “Simply, in this case it just didn’t happen. Jeremy Hunt himself has said everybody on his nomination paper is somebody who is very close to his campaign. So even he has rubbished it.”

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