Emmanuel Macron has warned Boris Johnson that Britain’s economy will be downgraded and plunged into turmoil if the UK withholds the £39 billion Brexit divorce payment from Brussels. Mr Johnson used his first interview of the Tory leadership campaign to warn that he would “retain” the divorce bill until he got a better deal with the EU. He said in an interview with The Sunday Times that the money would be a “great lubricant” to persuade European nations to reopen talks on the Irish backstop and the terms of a future trade deal. However a source close to Mr Macron, the French President, said the failure to pay the divorce bill would represent the equivalent of a “sovereign debt default”.
Michael Gove’s leadership campaign has suffered a further blow in the wake of his admission that he snorted cocaine after it emerged that Amber Rudd is backing Jeremy Hunt for Conservative leader. Ms Rudd, whom Mr Gove had been attempting to win round as part of his bid to appeal to One Nation Tories, will instead endorse Mr Hunt on Monday and attend the official launch of his leadership campaign.
Michael Gove was fighting last night to save his campaign to become prime minister as he faced charges of hypocrisy over his use of cocaine before he entered politics. The environment secretary pleaded for a second chance, admitting that his past “mistake” was a crime for which he could have gone to prison. He faced suggestions of double standards after it was recalled that as education secretary he oversaw government regulations under which teachers could be banned from the profession for life if they were convicted of similar Class A drug abuse.
Michael Gove vowed to fight on last night despite suffering a second blow in 48 hours when Amber Rudd backed his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt. Mr Gove, whose campaign to succeed Theresa May has been rocked by the Daily Mail’s revelations of his past cocaine use, will today insist he is ‘undaunted’ and ready to lead the country. At his campaign launch the embattled Environment Secretary will say he is the ‘serious leader’ needed for ‘a serious time’.
Leadership rivals Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and Dominic Raab are today launching their campaigns as fellow contender Michael Gove fights to get his bid back on track. Launching his campaign on the first formal day of the contest, Mr Gove will say that he is “a serious leader” who is “ready to serve, ready to unite, ready to deliver and more than anything else, ready to lead”.
Matt Hancock today vows to end the scandal of pensioners being forced to sell their home to pay for old-age care. Launching one of the first major policy initiatives of the Tory leadership campaign, the Health Secretary calls for a state-backed insurance scheme. This would cover potentially ruinous care costs and remove the risk of being unable to pass on the family home.
Amber Rudd says that Conservative MPs should not put their faith in Boris Johnson’s blind Brexit “optimism” and backs Jeremy Hunt today to become the party’s next leader and prime minister. Giving her critical and much sought-after endorsement in The Times, Ms Rudd contrasts Mr Johnson with his successor at the Foreign Office, arguing that Mr Hunt is a “serious leader” for “serious times”.
The Conservative leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has claimed Angela Merkel would be willing to renegotiate the UK’s Brexit deal and possibly the Irish border arrangements opposed by Eurosceptics. The foreign secretary said he had spoken to the German chancellor on the sidelines of D-day commemorations last week and she had indicated that the EU was “willing to negotiate on the package” if a new prime minister had the “right approach”.
Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt has sparked fury after repeating his belief that the abortion limit should be halved to 12 weeks. The Foreign Secretary was asked on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday whether he stuck to previous comments made in 2012 saying he supported the move. ‘These are matters of conscience, yes, my view hasn’t changed on that,’ he said.
Tory leadership hopeful Sajid Javid today predicted it could take just ‘a couple of years’ for alternative arrangements to be put in place on the Irish border as he suggested his status as an ‘outsider’ made him the best candidate for PM. Mr Javid said he would offer to pay for the cost of technological solutions to prevent a hard border to convince the Irish government back the plan.
HOME Secretary Sajid Javid pledged to end austerity if he becomes PM — and pump billions more into education. He said delaying balancing the books would free £25billion a year. And he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I want to see a multi-year, multibillion-pound boost in investment and spending in schools, and really change the life chances of so many young people.”
Boris Johnson is planning to slash income tax for more than three million people by increasing the threshold for the 40p rate to £80,000 if he becomes Prime Minister. Mr Johnson has drawn up radical plans to increase the point at which people start paying the higher rate of income tax from £50,000 to £80,000, pulling hundreds of thousands of people out of the 40p band entirely. The move, which will cost an estimated £9.6 billion a year, will save people thousands of pounds on their tax bill.
Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to raise the 40p income tax threshold to £80,000 at a cost of almost £10 billion. The higher rate of income tax currently applies on earnings over £50,000 in England and the move could benefit more than three million people. Mr Johnson claims that someone earning around £60,000-a-year would see their personal tax bill fall by an estimated £1,000. The former foreign secretary believes the cost of the policy could be met through some of the cash set aside for No Deal Brexit planning and increasing national insurance payments made by workers.
BORIS Johnson launches his pitch for power today by revealing he will hold EU chiefs to ransom to clinch a better Brexit deal. The Tory leadership favourite vowed to hold on to the £39billion payoff demanded by Brussels until they agree more favourable terms. He said: “Our friends and partners need to understand that the money is going to be retained until such time as we have greater clarity about the way forward.
Boris Johnson is pulling ahead in the Conservative leadership race after a series of senior MPs publicly backed his campaign for the top job. The former Foreign Secretary is well ahead of his nearest rival and has more than half the endorsements to guarantee a place in the run-off between the top two candidates. In his first major intervention of the campaign, he declared that he would deliver Brexit by refusing to pay the £39bn exit payment agreed by Theresa May until Brussels agrees a better deal. Mr Johnson’s vow received a cool response from Paris, which warned that failing to honour the agreement would leave Britain in breach of its “international commitments”.
Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson plans to raise the level at which people pay 40% income tax from £50,000 to £80,000 at an estimated cost of £10bn. The former foreign secretary revealed his proposal in his weekly Daily Telegraph column, with the newspaper reporting the action will cut income tax for three million people and be part-funded by cash currently reserved for a no-deal Brexit. It will also be financed by increasing employee national insurance payments in line with the new income tax threshold.
Boris Johnson has alluded to Nigel Farage as a threat to the UK, putting him in the same category as known Marxist Jeremy Corbyn, and said that only he can save the country. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: “I truly believe only I can steer the country between the Scylla and Charybdis of Corbyn and Farage and onto calmer water. This can only be achieved by delivering Brexit as promised on October 31 and delivering a One Nation Tory agenda.”
Staunch pro-Brexit Conservative MPs Steve Baker and Priti Patel are backing Boris Johnson for the leadership of the Tory Party. The double endorsement is significant given both are among the relatively few Brexiteer MPs who held out and voted down Theresa May’s bad EU deal at the third time of asking. Baker has said: “Boris has been crystal clear with me that we would leave the EU by October 31st, with or without a deal.
Tory leadership hopeful Esther McVey has accused MPs trying to prevent Brexit of ‘tearing up 400 years of history’, as she defended her right to prorogue Parliament to leave the EU without a deal if she became Prime Minister. The former work and pensions secretary said it would not be her ‘priority’ to suspend sittings in the House of Commons in the run-up to the October 31 deadline, but said she would be willing to ‘use all the tools at our disposal’ if she won the race to replace Theresa May.
Conservative leadership contender Esther McVey has said she would be ready to ask the Queen to suspend parliament to stop MPs blocking Brexit. Ms McVey said that the move – known as “prorogation” – would not be her preferred option as prime minister if it looked likely that the Commons was planning to stop a no-deal withdrawal in October. But asked on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show whether she would be ready to do so if necessary, she said: “I wouldn’t be looking to do that. I have said I would use every tool at my disposal, so that would include that.
Dominic Raab will try to reinvigorate his stuttering leadership campaign today after losing the support of hardline Tory Brexiteers to Boris Johnson. At a campaign event the former Brexit secretary will set out his vision for Britain to become a world leader in tackling climate change rather than focus on his plan to take Britain out of the EU. His move comes after a weekend in which a string of high-profile Brexiteers, including the former cabinet ministers Owen Paterson and Priti Patel, announced that they would support Mr Johnson rather than Mr Raab.
Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart may have become a minor social media sensation for his videos of ‘walks’ meeting members of the public, but not every encounter goes entirely as planned. In the latest clip posted on his Twitter feed, the international development secretary, 46, bumps into three men who walk off upon learning who he is, with one saying he doesn’t ‘f*** with politics’. But the encounter was uploaded by Mr Stewart nonetheless, with the self-effacing caption: ‘You can’t win ‘em all… Brick Lane.’
THE BREXIT Party has put former British Chambers of Commerce boss John Longworth in charge of drawing up a manifesto as it gears up to fight the next general election. In the six weeks since it was set up under Nigel Farage’s leadership, the party has redefined British politics and hopes to keep up that momentum. Mr Longworth, a newly-elected MEP for Yorkshire, was forced to resign from the BCC because of his support for Brexit. He said the manifesto would be used to shape a post-Brexit future for Britain. Mr Longworth said yesterday: “Nothing is decided yet but my personal view is that we need to have a country that has a dynamic economy with low business and personal taxation.”
Labour’s narrow victory in the Peterborough by-election was marred last night by claims that a convicted vote rigger was at the centre of their campaign. Jeremy Corbyn faced claims that an ex-Labour member jailed for a postal vote scam had provided vital help in fighting off Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party by just 683 votes. Ex-local Labour branch secretary Tariq Mahmood received a 15-month prison sentence in 2008 for his part in a scheme to fabricate votes for a Peterborough council election. But local Tories claimed Mahmood, pictured sporting a red rosette at the by-election count, was ‘front and centre’ of Labour’s bid to mobilise the Muslim vote.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry faces losing her post in a frontbench reshuffle as ‘punishment’ for insisting Labour must back a second EU referendum, according to several senior figures. Deputy leader Tom Watson could also be under threat as some union leaders close to Mr Corbyn’s office push for a new contest in an effort to replace him as leader because of his backing for another Brexit vote. Sources in Mr Corbyn’s office said yesterday there were ‘all sorts of mischievous rumours’ being circulated but did not rule out changes to the frontbench team.
Brits could work for just 10 hours a week and take home up to 75 per cent less pay under a radical scheme to tackle climate change being discussed by Labour. The report by the Autonomy think-tank called for ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ to cut carbon emissions, including dramatically limiting how long people spend at work. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said of the document: ‘This is a vital contribution to the growing debate around free time and reducing the working week.’
Chuka Umunna has said he is “keeping all options open” on his political future, amid intense speculation about a move to the Liberal Democrats following the dramatic split of Change UK. Lib Dem leadership contender Ed Davey has said he would welcome the former Labour frontbencher as a member, while his rival in the race to succeed Vince Cable, Jo Swinson, says the party’s “doors are open” to those who share its values. But speaking to The Independent, Mr Umunna made clear that, after quitting two parties in little over three months, his immediate focus is less on finding a new political home than on developing his vision for a Momentum-style movement to push forward centre-ground politics.
A new one-off prostate cancer test at the age of 55 promises to give men “peace of mind” that they will never develop the disease, scientists have revealed. The 10-minute scan, which could be rolled out in supermarkets and shopping centres, detects dangerous cancers years before they cause any harm while ignoring growths that do not pose a threat. Subject to a government-funded trial beginning this summer, the new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technique should enable the world’s first universal screening programme for prostate cancer. All women in England are invited for a mammogram to check for breast cancer every three years from the age of 50 to 70.
A “once in a lifetime” test for prostate cancer could be offered to men at the age of 55 under plans being investigated in a trial at UCL. Scientists think it may be possible to give men a one-off MRI scan in late middle age that will either result in an all-clear — indicating no real likelihood of them ever developing a clinically relevant prostate cancer — or show that they need regular follow-ups. Traditional prostate screening, which looks for markers in the blood, is notoriously unreliable and is now not offered in most health services as standard. It is available in Britain at GP surgeries but there is no national screening programme.
A ten-minute scan in a supermarket car park could soon form the basis of the UK’s first prostate cancer screening programme. The test for healthy men aged 55 to 60 detects the cancer before any symptoms appear, similar to mammograms offered to women for breast cancer. It could offer men peace of mind for a decade, with one expert saying it might reassure them that they will never get prostate cancer. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for prostate cancer has already been offered to 450 men, with another 350 set to be screened in London this summer as part of a University College London trial. If successful in larger trials, it could pave the way for healthy men to be screened nationally.
Collapsed construction giant Carillion botched Liverpool’s new hospital so badly that experts must now strip out entire floors to insert hundreds of tons of extra steel and concrete to stop it falling down. The project to build the new £429million Royal Liverpool University Hospital stalled overnight when the building firm went under in January last year. But when surveyors were brought into assess the build they uncovered a host of problems, including cracked concrete posts and unsafe cladding, which does not meet fire regulations, on the exterior.
Health bosses have been accused of repeatedly ignoring warnings over the deadly risks of contaminated sandwiches. Three patients have died and another three remain seriously ill after eating sandwiches infected with listeria – a deadly foodborne bacteria – at two hospitals in the North West. But research by the Government’s own health agency had previously warned that one in 40 hospital and care home sandwiches may be contaminated.
Terrorists linked to Iran were caught stockpiling tonnes of explosive materials on the outskirts of London in a secret British bomb factory, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. Radicals linked to Hizbollah, the Lebanese militant group, stashed thousands of disposable ice packs containing ammonium nitrate – a common ingredient in homemade bombs. The plot was uncovered by MI5 and the Metropolitan Police in the autumn of 2015, just months after the UK signed up to the Iran nuclear deal. Three metric tonnes of ammonium nitrate was discovered – more than was used in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and damaged hundreds of buildings.
The BBC has been accused of ‘sanitising’ terrorism under plans for an effective ban on journalists using the word ‘terror’. Reporters will be told to avoid using the word to describe any terror attack, unless they are quoting someone else. Instead, they will refer to terror attacks by naming specific details, such as the location and the method of slaughter used. The controversial edict means that the BBC will no longer use the phrase ‘terror attack’ to describe the massacres at London Bridge or Manchester Arena, as the corporation did when the atrocities occurred. Reporters would describe them as the London Bridge van attack or the Manchester Arena bomb attack instead.