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Good Monday morning. This is Rosa Prince — I’ll be back Tuesday too.
DRIVING THE DAY
BORIS FIGHTBACK BEGINS: Boris Johnson’s capacity for dominating the agenda shows no sign of fading as he today launches an audacious preemptive strike ahead of his live televised grilling in front of the privileges committee on Wednesday. A dossier drawn up by lawyers setting out his side of the Partygate story is expected to be made public this afternoon, according to a person familiar with the investigation. The 60-page document is described as “a convincing and compelling statement of his case as to why he did not knowingly mislead parliament” when he told the Commons lockdown rules were not broken.
Case for the defense: Johnson’s spokesperson said: “The privileges committee will vindicate Boris Johnson’s position. The evidence will show that Boris Johnson did not knowingly mislead parliament.” In the dossier, Johnson will argue that the committee’s probe into whether he knowingly misled parliament over parties at No. 10 during lockdown is both biased and illegal.
Only following orders: The dossier is said to include WhatsApp messages suggesting that Johnson was acting on the advice of officials when he told the Commons that rules were followed at all times. He will offer evidence that he was advised a “workplace exemption” was in place, covering the parties. He will stress that none of the two dozen witnesses who gave written evidence have said they knew the parties were illegal.
A reminder: The committee isn’t ruling on whether the parties broke lockdown rules — they did— but whether Johnson misled parliament when he said the rules were followed. The Telegraph carries a quote from a member of the legal team saying: “People will be surprised by the quantity and quality of the evidence in his favour.”
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Grab your popcorn: Johnson is due to submit to four hours of questioning before the privileges committee from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Both sides have held mock sessions ahead of the event, several papers report, with acting Labour Chair Harriet Harman and Tory Bernard Jenkin, two of the Commons’ most experienced and long-standing MPs, leading the questioning.
No fair: Johnson allies have variously described the probe as a “witch hunt,” (Tory peer Stephen Greenhalgh) and a “kangaroo court” (Jacob Rees-Mogg). Rishi Sunak has been subject to grumbles for granting MPs a free vote on any sanction recommended by the committee — something that is common practice (although not under Johnson himself). His legal team will accuse the committee of “moving the goalposts” by deciding to judge whether Johnson “recklessly” misled parliament rather than the harder-to-prove “knowingly” stated something untrue.
Behave yourself: Things have got rather heated in the run-up to the big day, with the Tories on the committee in particular coming under intense pressure, amid conflicting reports that they had even been asked to withdraw from the inquiry altogether. Johnson will accuse Harman of pre-judging the inquiry over tweets she sent about the case, and will claim the committee is basing its findings on a report by civil servant Sue Gray, who, he will say, is irrevocably tainted because she is now seeking to work for the opposition Labour Party.
Burn: On the Westminster Hour last night, and fresh from his wince-inducing interview with Decca Aitkenhead, Johnson ally Conor Burns said: “The concern that some of us have is that it appears that some members of that committee have pre-determined their view.” Burns also disclosed that he had spoken to Johnson Sunday afternoon, saying: “He is looking forward to the opportunity to getting his case out there, to putting his case to the committee on Wednesday, to answering their questions.”
Shades of Gray: Talking of Gray, the Mail’s Jason Groves hears the civil servant was in talks with Labour about joining the party in November, while she was still advising the government over the inquiry. A Whitehall official tells him: “You don’t have to be Boris Johnson’s biggest fan to think it’s a bit dodgy to be secretly speaking to the Leader of the Opposition while still being intimately involved in such a highly sensitive and political matter.”
Out, out, out: The Independent has a poll suggesting two-thirds of voters believe Johnson should stand down as an MP if he is found to have misled parliament. The Mirror has spoken to families who lost loved ones to COVID who also urge him to step down should the committee find against him. Perhaps a more plausible route to the exit is if the Commons, acting on the committee’s recommendation, votes to suspend Johnson for 10 days or more. This would trigger a recall ballot, followed by a by-election if 10 percent of registered voters in his Uxbridge constituency back one.
Getting on with it: And what does Rishi Sunak make of all this? One Downing Street official told Playbook the current PM “had his head down” and was “just getting on with it,” and would not be distracted by the Boris Johnson “soap opera.” But the i claims No. 10 has had to shelve announcements on pensions, crime and energy to avoid being overshadowed by Johnson and his dossier.
What No. 10 wants to be getting on with: The Windsor Framework — Sunak’s nifty solution to the problematic Northern Ireland protocol, which faces its first vote in the Commons on Wednesday, the same day Johnson appears before the committee. Whether the ex-PM votes for the framework — and he has indicated he will not — will be of less concern to Downing Street than the actions of the DUP and ERG.
DUP verdict: The DUP meets today to decide whether it’s a thumbs up or down to the framework, PolHome’s well-sourced Adam Payne reports. Of the party’s eight MPs, Ian Paisley Jr and Sammy Wilson have already publicly rejected the deal, and Payne reckons Jim Shannon, Gregory Campbell and Paul Girvan are leaning towards voting against it. The Times’ Steven Swinford hears leader Jeffrey Donaldson and some of his MPs may abstain, effectively splitting the group.
Next the ERG: Meanwhile, the ERG will hold a press conference Tuesday to announce the verdict of its so-called star chamber of legal advisers who have been examining the detail of the deal. Downing Street is hoping the warm noises in the days after the framework was agreed from senior Brexiteers including Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom, Steve Baker and David Davis, will be enough to limit the scale of the rebellion.
But, but, but: The Independent says a number of Tories are peeved that Wednesday’s vote will take the form of a statutory instrument on the so-called Stormont brake, which gives unionists in the power-sharing assembly at Stormont the right to halt new EU regulations. There are further concerns over suggestions that Wednesday’s debate could be as short as 90 minutes. The Times reports claims that ministers fear Sunak may have “over-promised,” and that the brake may be unworkable in practice.
My way or the highway: Downing Street has already warned Tory backbenchers and Northern Ireland unionists that the bill will proceed with or without their backing, according to the Telegraph. Sunak is said to be content that the bill would pass as it “removes the threat of any ratchet of EU law.” Given Labour has already confirmed it will back the legislation required to implement the framework, this was never really in doubt. But a sizeable rebellion would be an embarrassment, and rejection by the DUP makes the restoration of power-sharing an ever more fanciful dream.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING: The Asian markets opened down after Swiss officials scrambled to prevent a global banking meltdown by forcing the takeover of the troubled Credit Suisse bank by its larger rival, UBS, for £2.65 billion, considerably short of its market value. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt spoke by phone to Swiss finance chiefs as the race to secure a deal before the markets opened in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai went to the wire. Central banks including the Bank of England will now ramp up currency trading known as “swap lines” from weekly to daily to ensure sufficient currency flows. The drama in the financial markets splashes the FT, Telegraph and City AM. The FT’s write-up is as comprehensive as you would expect.
Yikes: The bailout followed fears that Credit Suisse could fail within days, and came just a week after HSBC took over the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank’s U.K. arm. The fate of 10,000 staff working for Credit Suisse in Canary Wharf and the City remains unclear, while billions have been wiped off the bank’s value. As commentators have pointed out, the UBS takeover means Credit Suisse has effectively ceased to exist.
All is well: At 7.33 p.m. Sunday evening, the Bank of England issued a statement reading: “We welcome the comprehensive set of actions set out by the Swiss authorities today in order to support financial stability. We have been engaging closely with international counterparts throughout the preparations for today’s announcements and will continue to support their implementation. The U.K. banking system is well capitalised and funded, and remains safe and sound.” So that’s OK then.
What went wrong?: The trouble began last week, when Credit Suisse asked the Swiss National Bank for an emergency credit line to ensure it could keep up with withdrawals. When panicking customers continued to remove their cash, the central bank had no choice but to step in to prevent a collapse, which would have had major implications for the entire global banking system.
STOP THE BOATS
SUELLA ON TOUR: Suella Braverman lands back in the U.K. round about now following her weekend jaunt to Rwanda. The mini-pack of reporters from friendly outlets who accompanied her have a scoop from the trip: the home secretary told them ministers have already held constructive talks with officials at the European Court of Human Rights to reform the legal injunction known as “section 39 orders” which grounded the Rwanda deportation flights in June. She hopes the flights can take off this summer. The development splashes the Mail and Express and gets a prominent slot on the front of the Telegraph.
Making a mark: The Illegal Migration Bill, which the Rwanda deportation scheme is at the heart of, is back in the Commons next week, and the on-message hacks say that if the negotiations are unsuccessful, the legislation includes a “marker” giving the U.K. government the power to ignore future orders.
Groundbreaking: The home sec has a joint op ed in the Telegraph with Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta in which they hail their “groundbreaking approach” to tackling the global migration crisis. “The scheme will create a thriving hub of opportunity for migrants so they can build new lives safely and legally in Rwanda,” they write.
Small boats deadline: With ministers proving somewhat cagey about the exact timetable for fulfilling Sunak’s pledge to “stop the boats,” ITV managed to pin Cabinet Office Secretary Oliver Dowden down a little. He told correspondent Harry Horton the government was “committed to doing it by the end of this parliament.”
Also in the in-tray: Awaiting Braverman on her return is the independent report by crossbench peer Louise Casey into failings at the Metropolitan Police, to be published Tuesday. The Times splashes on a leaked preview suggesting that Casey will recommend breaking the force up if a radical overhaul of all aspects of policing in the capital cannot be achieved. The report was commissioned in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens.
Break it up: The Mail suggests Braverman has indicated that in response to the report she is minded to make it easier to dismiss misogynistic, racist or corrupt officers. The Telegraph hears chief constables will have the authority to fire officers guilty of misconduct as well as gross misconduct, as at present. Among the other recommendations in the 300-page review is a call for the disbanding of the elite parliamentary and diplomatic protection (PaDP) unit, where both Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick worked.
FINAL WARNING: A landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to deliver a scientific “final warning” on the climate emergency today. Ahead of publication, the Guardian says the report will warn that the world has only a few years to shift to a low-carbon economy or see catastrophic outcomes including rising sea levels, extreme drought, flash flooding and intense heatwaves.
Don’t look up: In their report, to be published here, the group of top scientists will set out how world leaders can avoid a calamity by keeping global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
Already too late? This is the sixth assessment to be published by the IPCC since 1988, and has been produced in three parts. This final part, known as the “synthesis report,” will summarize previous warnings. The next report is not due until 2030, by which time the world may already have breached the 1.5C figure. COP President Alok Sharma tells the paper: “While we are seeing some progress, frankly, we are moving far too slowly in decarbonizing our economies and adapting to the changing climate.”
IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO TODAY … that George Bush and Tony Blair ordered the invasion of Iraq, with results that would be both far-reaching and enduring. Official commemorations will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where Defense Minister Alex Chalk will lay a wreath at the Basra Memorial Wall in honor of the 179 British personnel who lost their lives in the war. A bugler from the British Army Band will play The Last Post to commence a minute’s silence.
Lest we forget: In London, fellow Defense Minister Andrew Murrison, who served in Operation Telic, the code name for British military operations in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, will lay a wreath at the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial on the Victoria Embankment.
Wallace words: In words issued overnight, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Marking 20 years since the start of Operation Telic, we remember the 179 British personnel who lost their lives and pay tribute to them and their families. We remain committed to the close and enduring partnership the U.K. and Iraq have today, working together to address shared global security challenges.”
Getting the band back together: Their names were on everyone’s lips 20 years ago, and former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency will mark the anniversary of the invasion at a panel discussion at the Chatham House think tank. The event is both online and in person from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. — contact Chatham House to reserve a place.
Damning: In a damning leader, the Times describes the war as a “hubristic act of overreach,” adding: “The true costs of this folly are immeasurable and the consequences reverberate to this day.”
**On March 28 at 4:00 p.m. CEST, POLITICO Live is hosting an online event on “Protecting Europe: How the war in Ukraine changed Europe’s thinking on defense?”. Join CSIS Director Max Bergamnn, Ambassadors to NATO of France and United Kingdom Muriel Domenach and David Quarrey as they deep dive into Europe’s thinking on how to best arm itself and where allies should focus their defense priorities in the coming years. Register today.**
WAR CRIMES: Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself (via video link) will open a timely gathering of international justice ministers hosted by Dominic Raab at Lancaster House this morning to discuss how best to prosecute war crimes in Ukraine. Coming a few days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the gathering of ministers from 40 nations will pledge extra support for war crimes investigators, with the U.K. promising more in the way of financial and practical support. The conference opens at 10.30 a.m. and Sky will provide pool shots of the opening and closing remarks, and a presser from 5.30 p.m.
Scene of the crime: The conference comes after Putin paid a surprise visit to the devastated town of Mariupol, where he was filmed driving himself around the town in scenes likened by Vadym Boychenko, Mariupol’s exiled mayor, as like a murderer returning to the scene of the crime.
Meanwhile, in Moscow: China’s President Xi Jinping today starts a three-day visit to Moscow. My POLITICO colleague Stuart Lau considers why Xi is still Putin’s best friend. “For a start, Beijing’s worldview requires it to stay strategically close to Russia: As Beijing’s leaders see it, the U.S. is blocking China’s path to global leadership, aided by European governments, while most of its own geographical neighbors — from Japan and South Korea to Vietnam and India — are increasingly skeptical rather than supportive,” Stuart writes.
Now read this: In Russia, an anti-war drawing can cost you your daughter, reports Eva Hartog in this story for POLITICO about Alexei Moskalyov and his 12-year-old daughter Masha, who attracted the attention of the authorities when she drew a pro-Ukraine picture at school last April. Alexei is now facing two legal cases, while Masha is in state custody.
THE 1 PERCENT: Five days on from the budget, and Jeremy Hunt’s first financial settlement has yet to completely fall apart at the seems, which in these volatile times definitely counts as a win. The Mirror and Guardian do have a joint scoop suggesting that Hunt’s centerpiece rabbit of scrapping the cap on pension savings could stop the equivalent of only 100 doctors retiring a year.
How many? The papers uncovered stats released by Health Minister Will Quince last year showing that 105 doctors took early retirement in 2021/22 and so might plausibly have been persuaded by a change in the rules. They suggest this means Hunt’s move to scrap the 55 percent tax on lifetime pension pots over £1 million would not have an appreciable impact on staff retention.
SHOULDA KEPT MUM: Former Environment Secretary George Eustice has ruffled a few feathers after claiming the childcare measures in the budget extending free nursery care to toddlers would have the effect of undermining stay-at-home mothers. His suggestion that women have a particular bond with their children that should be nurtured with support to remain out of the workplace was criticized by groups including Pregnant Then Screwed. The Guardian has the story.
AS SEEN IN THE SUN: It says a lot about Labour’s view of the electoral picture when it chooses the Sun to launch a policy — and a lot about how the Sun views Labour. The paper reports the party would introduce criminal sanctions on tech giants such as Amazon which allow the sale of deadly weapons including so-called zombie knives.
Mission, crime: The article acts as a curtain-raiser for what will be a major speech by leader Keir Starmer on Thursday to set out the latest of Labour’s “missions” for government, this time on crime. He will draw on his own background as a former director of public prosecutions to say that “bringing down crime is personal” to him. Of his plans to get tough on the sale of ornate but deadly weapons named after zombie horror films, he will say: “If you make money from the sale of weapons or the radicalization of people online, then you should be held accountable, just as you would be if you did the same on the streets.”
Bed blockers: Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall is on the morning round to talk about NHS stats obtained by the party showing there are now more patients stuck in hospital waiting to be discharged than when the government announced a £750 million scheme to help prevent bed-blocking four months ago. There were 13,363 patients awaiting release on March 12, 2023 compared to 13,359 patients on November 17, 2022, when details of the fund were unveiled. That means one in seven NHS beds is currently occupied by someone waiting to be discharged.
IN THE HOUSE: In an in-depth interview with the House magazine’s Tali Fraser, Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds criticizes SNP leadership candidate and fellow Christian Kate Forbes over what he describes as her “old fashioned” views on sexuality and the family.
HAPPY MEALS: Labour should provide nutritious school meals and healthy eating classes, according to a Fabian Society report by Labour MP Kim Leadbeater. She calls for the party to incorporate physical, mental and social wellbeing into a holistic strategy. It comes as former food czar Henry Dimbleby criticized the government for its “insane” inaction on tackling obesity.
ROH OH: Just when you thought it was safe to stick your finger in a plug socket or push a lego brick up your nose, the Guardian reports that members of some of the biggest health unions are organizing an unofficial campaign to reject the pay agreement recommended by their leaders.
All out: The paper’s splash says that a cross-union group called NHS Workers Say No is phoning, leafleting and WhatsApping members urging them to reject the 5 percent pay deal negotiated by union leaders last week. The group, which is said to have 90,000 Facebook members, is urging more strikes to bring the government to the table with an improved offer.
Back to work: The RMT ballot on a 9 percent Network Rail offer for rail workers closes at midday today, with an announcement following soon after. Workers are widely expected to accept the deal.
All out again: University staff begin three days of industrial action.
**Tomorrow, join us at 4:30 p.m. at POLITICO Live’s event “Telecoms drumbeat for the future of connectivity” . Hear from our line-up and tech reporter Mathieu Pollet on how new technologies will impact investments in telecoms infrastructure. Register now!**
TODAY IN WESTMINSTER
LOST THEIR MARBLES: The Elgin Marbles should remain in the British Museum and not be transferred to Greece, a new Policy Exchange report argues. The plea comes ahead of a meeting of British Museum trustees later this week, following speculation an agreement with Greece is being negotiated over a long-term loan of the marbles. Separate Policy Exchange polling reveals 11 percent of the public think the marbles will return to London at the end of any loan period if sent to Greece.
INDIA TRADE DEAL: U.K.-India trade talks continue with the two sides facing pressure to budge on key sticking points. My POLITICO colleague Graham Lanktree reports a culture clash is partially to blame for the impasse, with the U.K. resistant to signing a deal which looks half-finished and does not fully deliver for its key sector of services. Negotiations have also been made difficult by big trade-offs remaining on visas, mobility for Indian professionals and market access.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: More than 70 cultural organizations across the U.K. will share £58.8 million of government support to improve access to the arts and support local economic growth through culture.
MET IN CRISIS: More than 100 Metropolitan police officers are still working on the frontline while under investigation for sexual or domestic abuse, a Lib Dem Freedom of Information request revealed. The Times reports 144 officers under investigation for these offences are still carrying out their normal duties. Lib Dem MP and former police officer Wendy Chamberlain said: “This is horrifying. The fact that it’s business as usual for dozens of officers under investigation for sexual abuse is a betrayal of survivors everywhere.”
ANCIENT EQUIPMENT: More Lib Dem research found four in 10 NHS hospitals were using outdated medical equipment, with some X-ray machines up to 37 years old.
ROCK THE BOAT: The government should invest in new maritime technology, cleaner fuels and workforce training, a new transport committee report argues. The report states 95 percent of goods by weight arrive in the U.K. by ship with the DBT predicting maritime cargo volumes tripling by 2050.
STURGEON’S LAST HURRAH: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at RSA House at 2.30 p.m. about her life and career, in what is her final public event in the role. Registration details here.
BUDGET BRIEFING: The Centre for Policy Studies hosts a budget panel at 4 p.m. at iNHouse Communications which includes the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Chair Richard Hughes. Registration details to attend the event are here.
HOUSE OF COMMONS: Sits from 2.30 p.m. with Home Office questions followed by a 10-minute rule bill from Independent MP Rob Roberts on immigration and nationality fees. The main business is a debate on the budget … and Labour’s Dan Jarvis has the adjournment debate on commemorating Operation Telic.
WESTMINSTER HALL: Debates e-petitions from 4.30 p.m. relating to the acceptance of cash (led by SNP MP Martyn Day).
On committee corridor: The Lords’ liaison committee hears from local government representatives about regenerating seaside towns and communities (3.05 p.m.) … DHSC Permanent Secretary Chris Wormald is among those giving evidence to the public accounts committee about the department’s annual report and accounts (3.30 p.m.) … The Scottish government’s constitution, external affairs and culture sec Angus Robertson gives evidence to the Scottish affairs committee about promoting Scotland internationally (3.45 p.m.) … and the leveling-up, housing and communities committee hears from Leveling-Up Minister Lee Rowley about building safety remediation and funding (4 p.m.).
HOUSE OF LORDS: Sits from 2.30 p.m. with oral questions on community pharmacies, opposition to the use of the death penalty and the impact of cost pressures on the supply of medical equipment … and then the main business is the third reading of the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill, the sixth day at committee stage of the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill and the second reading and all remaining stages of the Social Security (Additional Payments) (No. 2) Bill.
BEYOND THE M25
YOU’VE BEEN TRUMPED: Former U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to have criminal charges bought against him by the Manhattan district attorney over his role in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The Guardian highlights a message Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social saying he expects to be arrested Tuesday, with some Republicans including former veep Mike Pence framing it as a politically motivated witch-hunt.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: A Tory councillor has been suspended after saying she did not want “Pride sex flags along my high street.” The Telegraph reports Angela Kilmartin, a councillor on Braintree District Council in Essex, wrote she did not want “sex flags” on the high street in Witham and that “sex is for the bedroom and private life, not for displaying preferences in public.” Kilmartin has been suspended for 21 days, pending further investigation.
**A message from Roche: There is a capacity crisis in eye care. Over 600,000 people are waiting for consultant-led ophthalmology treatment in England, and research has found that the delays to identification and treatment of eye disease caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to an estimated 2,986 people losing vision by 2021. The Eyes Have It is shining a spotlight on eye health, and calling for urgent action to improve eye care and reduce avoidable sight loss. Take The Eyes Have It challenge and learn more about the impact of sight loss here. The Eyes Have It is a partnership of Macular Society, Fight for Sight, RNIB, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Association of Optometrists and Roche. Roche has funded the creation of this website and advertising in Politico, with no control over Politico’s editorial content. References available on request from [email protected] M-GB-00011668 | Date of Preparation: March 2023**
Shadow Social Care Minister Liz Kendall broadcast round: Times Radio (7.50 a.m.) … Sky News (8.05 a.m.) … LBC News (8.40 a.m.).
Also on Kay Burley: Former U.K. Permanent Representative to NATO Peter Ricketts (7.30 a.m.) … Former Tory MP Dominic Grieve (7.45 a.m.) … Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (8.20 a.m.) … Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton (8.30 a.m.).
Also on Times Radio Breakfast: Conservative Post Editor Claire Bullivant (7.05 a.m.) … National Board Member of the Police Federation Sue Honeywell (8.05 a.m.) … Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond (8.35 a.m.).
TalkTV Breakfast: Former Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Sergiy Petukhov (7.32 a.m.) … Reform Party leader Richard Tice (8.05 a.m.) … Defense committee Chair Tobias Ellwood (9.05 a.m.).
Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: Keir Starmer’s former director of comms Ben Nunn (7.10 a.m.) … Former Downing Street SpAd Rory Geoghegan (8.20 a.m.) … Former CIA Director David Petraeus (9.10 a.m.) … Former British Army officer Tim Collins (9.15 a.m.).
GB News Breakfast: Conservatives Against Racism co-founder Albie Amankona (8 a.m. and 9 a.m.).
Good Morning Britain: International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan (8.10 a.m.).
Politics Live (BBC Two 12.15 p.m.): Tory MP Conor Burns … Mayor of the North of Tyne Jamie Driscoll … The Guardian’s Pippa Crerar … Political strategist Jo Tanner.
TODAY’S FRONT PAGES
(Click on the publication’s name to see its front page):
POLITICO UK: Crunch time for multi-billion UK-India deal as elections loom.
Daily Express: Rwanda plan — is Euro court backing down?
Daily Mail: Euro judges ‘set to back down’ on Rwanda flights.
Daily Mirror: For Mum and all those who died alone.
Daily Star: Polar scare.
Financial Times: UBS to acquire Credit Suisse for $3.25 billion after frantic talks.
i: Sunak delays key policies as Johnson takes centre stage.
Metro: Boris’s deadly dossier.
The Daily Telegraph: Cut-price Credit Suisse sale to stave off meltdown.
The Guardian: Health union members in push to reject NHS pay deal.
The Independent: Boris braces for Partygate showdown.
The Times: ‘Toxic’ Met faces being broken up.
WESTMINSTER WEATHER: Light rain throughout the day with a gentle breeze. Highs of 13C.
A WARM WELCOME … to John Johnston, who today joins POLITICO as London influence reporter and will anchor the weekly London Influence newsletter on lobbying, campaigning and think tanks in Westminster. John joins from PoliticsHome, where he built a reputation for challenging scoops on money in politics, deep scrutiny of public sector spending and party appointments, and interviews with leading politicians for the U.K. parliament’s House magazine.
HOW MPs SPENT MOTHER’S DAY: Sunday saw a national celebration of mothers present and past, with MPs sharing some touching memories: Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab revealed his sons had written cards and bought presents … Tory MP James Daly posed with the “two most important women” in his life at a train station … Shadow Business Minister Seema Malhotra paid tribute to her late mother, with a photo of them both in red … Labour MP Wayne David remembered his late mother Edna celebrating her 80th birthday in 2005 … Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited his mother’s home town in Sierra Leone earlier this month … Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh focused on “all the mums, those who’ve lost mums, who long to be mums and have missed out on being mums” … Shadow Schools Minister Stephen Morgan’s mother posed with Labour’s “new deal for women and mums” … DWP Minister Mims Davies reveals her mother’s best advice was “to always to remember to brush my hair” … SNP MP Anne McLaughlin highlighted a Glasgow charity’s photoshoot of mothers with their children … Shadow Armed Forces Minister Luke Pollard gave his mother flowers and chocolate … Foreign affairs committee Chair Alicia Kearns gave her “utmost love” to mothers from Ukraine separated from male relatives … Labour MP Barry Sheerman reflected on how his mother protected him “through thick [and] thin” … Tory MP Caroline Dinenage posted two Instagram photos showing her and her mother in the past and present … Labour leader Keir Starmer remembered his mother, who was “an inspiration” to him growing up … and Welsh Labour’s deputy leader Carolyn Harris said she was “sending flowers to the heavens” in memory of her mother and child.
BULLSEYE: Foreign Secretary James Cleverly took to Instagram to display his undoubtedly impressive archery skills, with the target of “strengthening U.K.-Kazakh relations.”
CULTURE FIX: Comedian Matt Forde interviews Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy at the Duchess Theatre today at 7.30 p.m. — tickets are available here.
LISTEN TO THIS: Missed Ash Bhardwaj’s Radio 4 documentary about Ukraine’s information war in Britain last month? It’s repeated today at 11 a.m. and available here.
PAY SQUEEZE: Despite union negotiations taking place, the BBC’s Ros Atkins investigates why people feel so poor in Panorama tonight at 8 p.m. on BBC One.
BIRTHDAYS: Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper … SNP Commons Cabinet Office spokesperson Kirsty Blackman … SNP Commons Leveling-Up Spokesperson Chris Stephens turns 50 … Labour peer and former EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton … Unaffiliated peer Peter Truscott … Former Daily Express Editor Hugh Whittow.
PLAYBOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT: My editor Zoya Sheftalovich, reporter Noah Keate and producer Grace Stranger.
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