Grant Shapps gives update to MPs about cyber-attack on database containing details of armed forces personnel – UK politics live

Grant Shapps gives update to MPs about cyber-attack on database containing details of armed forces personnel – UK politics live

on the early day motion list.

It would be different if the official opposition tabled a no confidence motion. By convention, they do have to be debated. But Labour is the official opposition.

The Liberal Democrats cannot even be sure of using an opposition day debate to get this debated. There are 20 days set aside per session for opposition day debates, but Labour chooses the motion on 17 of those days, and the other three days are allocated to the third largest party in the Commons, the SNP. In theory the SNP is supposed to share that time with other, smaller parties, but the Lib Dems are not guaranteed anything.


Hunt said:

The biggest single thing we can do to help with cost of living pressures is to bring down inflation. And that seems to be something that escaped the shadow chancellor this morning when she said it wasn’t a big deal to get inflation down to its target.

It’s a very, very big deal for families facing a cost of living crisis, and she needs to know that inflation falls by design and not by accident.

Reeves did not quite put it like that in her speech. Her argument was that people did not feel better off, partly because “this is forecast to be the first parliament on record with living standards actually lower at its end than at the start”.

Scotland, whatever our specific role happens to be”. And he promised to listen not just to people who voted for pro-independence parties, but also to people who didn’t.

Scotland – and of any European country

I’m grateful for the trust that [his predecessors] put in me over the years because a young Humza Yousaf could never have imagined that he would be able to lead this country.

I was six years old when I was first told to go home, and I’m afraid since then it has been a regular occurrence, in fact almost daily if you look at my social media feeds. And I won’t lie – it is that racial slur that probably hurts me the most.

On Nicola Sturgeon, his predecessor, and John Swinney, his successor

John is one of the most empathetic, kind, compassionate people that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing over the years.

Such qualities are crucial in life, they are absolutely necessary as first minister.

I remember Nicola Sturgeon saying to me that as first minister, you get to make someone’s day every single day in office. I’m also quite possibly making somebody’s day by leaving office, I suspect, too.

However, I can testify that Nicola Sturgeon was absolutely right. You can make someone’s day through the smallest act of kindness – stopping for a selfie with someone, or through transformative policy like the Scottish Child Payment.

The privilege of serving the people of Scotland through this office never gets tiring. I know John will do his family proud, he’ll do our party proud and he will do our nation proud as he dedicates his life to the service of Scotland, the country we are all proud to call home and that we all love so dearly.

The vote to elect John Swinney as first minister was a foregone conclusion given the parliamentary arithmetic and the fact that the Scottish Greens had agreed to abstain, but it is traditional for opposition leaders to put themselves forward.

Their speeches today were fairly lacklustre – perhaps everyone has been worn out by the chaos of the past few weeks. Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross accused the SNP of “replacing one continuity candidate with another “ while Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar called for a Holyrood election.

Swinney struck a more ameliorative tone, noting the 25th anniversary of the Scottish parliament and praising other parties for their contribution over the years.

Swinney, of course, won the vote and will now be sworn in at the court of session in Edinburgh tomorrow.


Reeves, the shadow chancellor, asked Hunt if he accepted analysis saying that, if the government decided to get rid of national insurance by merging it with income tax, income tax could have to got up by 8p in the pound. Hunt replied:

Which is why it is not our policy.

In response, Reeves said that Hunt himself spoke about the possibility of merging income tax with national insurance in an interview after the budget. And she pointed out that Nigel Lawson, chancellor under Margaret Thatcher, himself said that merging income tax with national insurance would create many losers, espcially amongst the elderly.

Hunt said that his party’s policy was to abolish national insurance completely. He went on:

If Labour’s strategy is to win the election by frightening pensions with fake news stories, then I would just say that Britain deserves better.

Outgoing first minister Humza Yousaf made his final statement to the Holyrood chamber this afternoon, thanking colleagues across the chamber for their kindnesses since he was first elected as a nervous 26-year-old.

His voice choked with emotion as he thanked MSPs for the opportunity “to defy the far right, bigots and racists” in serving as first minister “an honour I didn’t think was for people who looked like me”.

He praised the new SNP leader John Swinney as “one of the most empathetic, kind and compassionate people I have known” and used his final remarks as first minister to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, a return of all hostages and an end to arms sales to Israel.

His statement was met with warm applause and hugs from the SNP benches, including former FM Nicola Sturgeon and Swinney, who will now ask the chamber for its backing to become the next FM.

an article for the Guardian today, Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, says he is committing to building 10,000 council homes in his next mayoral term. He set out some details of how this would be achieved, as well as other housing policies, in a press announcement this morning.

In his article Burnham says this is an example of how metro mayors are repairing damage caused by policies introduced by the Thatcher government. He explains:

As it becomes more established, a theme is developing with English devolution: fixing the fundamentals of life – housing, utilities, transport – means reversing things that went wrong in the 1980s. So, just as Greater Manchester was first to end deregulation of buses, we now want to see the suspension of the right-to-buy policy from any new council homes that we build in our city-region. To be clear: there is no honest solution to the housing crisis as long as it stays in its current form.

This is how English devolution is beginning to change politics for the better. For too long, the Westminster consensus has been that you can’t challenge some of the dogma of the Thatcher era. But, since the arrival of the Labour mayors, trains and buses have started to go back under public control and there is a much greater focus on issues like homelessness.

Slowly but surely, we are freeing ourselves from the suffocating effects of the 1980s. We now have the real prospect of a Labour prime minister working with Labour mayors to fix the housing crisis and deliver true levelling up.

here. All MPs can vote in the election tomorrow, and the result will be announced in the afternoon.

The vacancy, which is only open to the Tories because this is one of the committee chair posts reserved for them, was created by the resignation of William Wragg after he admitted disclosing the phone numbers of colleagues to a stranger engaged in sexting “spear-phishing”.

a news release for the £64m pilot, covering 15 areas, the Department for Work and Pensions said

The WorkWell pilots … will connect 59,000 people from October to local support services including physiotherapy and counselling so they can get the tailored help they need to stay in or return to work.

The WorkWell service provides a single, joined-up assessment and gateway into both employment support and health services locally to help people manage their conditions and to identify workplace adjustments or support that would enable them to stay in work or return sooner.

Participants do not need to be claiming any government benefits and will receive personalised support from a work and health coach to understand their current health and social barriers to work and draw up a plan to help them overcome them. Evidence shows that work is an effective way to improve wellbeing – reducing the risk of depression, improving physical health, and building self-confidence and financial independence.

In response, Sandi Wassmer, CEO at the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei), said that, although it was good to see the government recognise that some people need support to return to work, she was concerned that it was not mandatory for employers.

Alison McGovern, the acting shadow work and pensions secretary, said:

Labour will look closely at any programme supporting people into work. But, with a record number of people out of work due to sickness and millions of people on spiralling NHS and mental health waiting lists, we need a long-term plan to fix our NHS and get Britain working, not more pilots skirting around the edges.

Rishi Sunak opened cabinet this morning by saying there had been an “unacceptable rise in antisemitism on our university campuses” and vice-chancellors would be meeting to discuss “the need for our universities to be safe for our Jewish students”.

The spokesperson said:

Our university campuses should be places of rigorous debate, but they should also be tolerant places where people of all communities, particularly Jewish students at this time, are treated with respect …

The right to free speech does not include the right to harass people or incite violence.

We expect university leaders to take robust action in dealing with that kind of behaviour and that will be the subject of the conversation in No 10 later this week to ensure a zero-tolerance approach to this sort of behaviour is adopted on all campuses.

Asked if the police should be called in to clear protest camps at British universities, as as been happening in the US, the spokesman said: “We want to see university leaders taking a robust approach to unacceptable behaviour.”

Rishi Sunak has said he is “deeply concerned” about the consequences of Israel attacking Rafah. Asked about the situation in Gaza, Sunak told broadcasters:

We’ve been consistent in saying that we want to see an immediate humanitarian pause in this conflict so that we can crucially release the hostages, get them back to their families and get more aid in to Gaza, people desperately need it, and then use that pause to build a more lasting and sustainable ceasefire.

When it comes to the question of Rafah, again I’ve been clear that we are deeply concerned about the full military incursion of Rafah, given the humanitarian consequences of that.

I’ve made that point specifically to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu whenever I’ve spoken to him.