Labour says early general election leaves many government commitments ‘in the bin’ – as it happened

Estimated read time 9 min read


She said that MPs were due to pass the finance bill, the digital markets, competition and consumers bill., and the Post Office (Horizon system) offences bill today. And she said tomorrow the victims and prisoners bill is due to get rushed through.

Lucy Powell, the shadow leader of the Commons, said that Mordaunt seemed to be suggesting that the government would not be passing Martyn’s law, the legislation to tighten venue security named in honour of one of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing. But she suggested that, if Labour won the election, they would introduced Martyn’s law “as soon as possible”.

Powell said other government promises were being left “in the bin” too. She said:

[Rishi Sunak’s] abrupt dissolution of parliament means that he’ll start the campaign leaving many government commitments and bills up in the air or in the bin: his pledge on a smoke-free generation, plans for a football regulator [see 11.51am], promises to renters and leaseholders, and protections for our broadcasters now all at risk.

I’m pleased that very important commitments to the victims of the Post Office and infected blood scandals will be honoured in our final business this week.

here and please join us tomorrow for further developments.Scotland confirmed that they have submitted their report on Peter Murrell, who was charged last month in connection with embezzlement of funds from the SNP, to the Crown Office.

This was trailed by chief constable Jo Farrell a few weeks ago, so comes as little surprise – it’s a standard procedural development – but it reminds the SNP how hard they will have to work in this election campaign to escape the long shadow of the police investigation, and how much pleasure their opposition opponents will take in reminding the electorate of it at every turn.

A Crown Office spokesperson confirmed that related investigations into Nicola Sturgeon and Colin Beatty, former SNP treasurer, remains ongoing.

Professional prosecutors will now review the report and decide on the next steps. The spokesperson insisted that prosecutors “are not influenced by political events”.

seemed to accept. But this morning he said flights would not leave before polling day. (See 8.21am and 10.37am.)

Dear Prime Minister @RishiSunak @10DowningStreet .. following your admission today that no flights will take off to Rwanda before the election, please send £1000 to @BritishRedCross
– Kind regards, Piers

new measures in response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on the graduate visa route, the Home Office said it would begin “cracking down on rogue recruitment agents” by requiring universities sign up to a code of conduct, as recommended by the MAC.

Other measures are to require international applicants to have more financial support before coming to the UK. But the Home Office didn’t confirm reports that graduate visa applicants would face mandatory language tests, merely that the government was “reviewing English language assessments”.

James Cleverly, the home secretary, said:

We have taken decisive and necessary action to deliver the largest cut in legal migration in our country’s history. Applications are already falling sharply, down by almost a quarter on key routes in the first four months of this year compared to last, with the full impact of our package still to be seen.

But we must go further to make sure our immigration routes aren’t abused. That’s why we are cracking down on rogue international agents and, building on work across government, to ensure international students are coming here to study, not work.

The announcement will come as a relief to the higher education sector, which feared that international recruitment would be greatly damaged by restrictions on the graduate visa route.

Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russell Group of leading research universities, said:

We welcome the news that the graduate route remains in place. As recognised by the MAC’s recent report, international students bring huge value to our universities, our communities and our economy.

The actions that the government has laid out today, such as additional regulations on agents, will help to protect the quality and integrity of the UK’s education offer and we are ready to work with government and colleagues across the sector to implement these. Stability is now needed in student migration policy to enable universities to plan for a long-term, sustainable future and protect quality and choice for all students.

a delightfully waspish write-up, Mosalski says she hardly got any time with him anyway.

We asked [Sunak], quite simply: “Why should people bother to vote for your party?” He replied: “Because we’re living in the most uncertain and challenging times our country has seen in decades and that’s clear to everyone around the world. And the impact that’s having here at home, on our bills, on our streets, that’s why this election is important. This election is about ensuring we have a secure future for everyone, their families, and our country and that’s what I’ll deliver. I’m able to deliver that because I’m able to do bold things.”

But what about Wales?” I interjected. Given that he had made the effort to come here I felt he should at least mention it.

“I’m working to a clear plan and that’s how you deliver a secure future for everyone in Wales by being willing to do bold things, by having a clear plan, and security right now is important in an insecure world – whether that’s financial security for families, energy security, and not [being] held hostage by dictators like Putin” …

He came to Wales for 90 minutes. We got our 90 seconds. I’m sure someone somewhere considers that a good use of everyone’s time.

Liberal Democrats claim.

They were responding to the prime minister’s interview on BBC Breakfast in which he insisted that the 40 new hospitals in England would be completed on time as promised by 2030.

Daisy Cooper, the Lib Dem deputy leader, said:

It’s day one of this campaign and already Rishi Sunak is lying like Boris Johnson.

People will see right through this swindle. The Conservatives promised 40 new hospitals five years ago and instead we’ve seen them left to crumble.

It’s an insult to voters that some of these supposed new hospitals don’t even have planning permission yet, let alone spades in the ground.

In his interview Sunak seemed unaware that in recent weeks two NHS trusts have confirmed that the new hospitals they hope to get will not after all be finished by 2030.

Barts Health trust admitted at its recent board meeting that repeated delays to the plan to rebuild Whipps Cross hospital in east London mean that “our previous assumptions, of beginning construction on the new hospital in 2025 and completing it before the end of the decade are now highly unlikely”.

A week later the Princess Alexandra Hospitals trust in Essex said () that its planned new hospital in Harlow would also not be built by the 2030 deadline. Finishing it by 2032 appears “more achievable”, it said.

The Health Service Journal first reported both these delays to key schemes in the government’s new hospitals programme, which crystallised Johnson’s pledge – which he often repeated during the 2019 general election campaign – to build “40 new hospitals” by 2030.

A report last November by the Commons public accounts committee also shows that Sunak’s claim today is inaccurate.

In an unusually strongly-worded report the PAC voiced “extreme concern at the new hospitals programme’s lack of progress, given the prominence and importance of the 2020 commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030”.

The committee also highlighted that the department of health and social care had abandoned last May the commitment to have finished all 40 projects by 2030, a fact the PM also seemed unaware of.

Labour to stand aside in seats where it has no chance of winning.

Responding to a LabourList report saying Labour has still not selected candidates in around 100 seats, a Compass spokesperson said:

In delaying selection for up to 100 seats until the last minute, Labour has given the game away: under first past the post, some seats are simply unwinnable and Labour votes don’t count.

If Labour HQ thought it had a chance of winning in these constituencies, it would have fast-tracked selections and begun campaigning already, as it has elsewhere in the country.

Now, it should go one step further and stand aside in seats where other progressive candidates are the only party that can beat the Tories to prevent possible progressive tragedies and ensure a progressive government after the next election.

12.53pm and 1.44pm.) But they said they hoped it would get passed after the election.

Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Asthma + Lung UK, a lung charity, said:

It’s incredibly disappointing that the tobacco and vapes bill is not currently on the agenda for parliament before the general election. The potential benefits to the health of future generations are too great to let this bill slip through our fingers now.

And Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) said:

While the tobacco and vapes bill appears to be a victim of a snap election, all is not lost. This bill has the strong support of the chief medical officers of all four nations in the United Kingdom, as well as the overwhelming majority of the public.

We are confident that whoever forms the next government this bill will return, and its passage will be expedited.

Labour at the last election, and the seat is expected to stay Conservative on 4 July.

on his X feed.

Here is his story about the evidence from the morning.

And here are some of his more recent tweets.

NEW: Simon Case says he knew nothing about Rishi Sunak’s ‘eat out to help out’ Covid hospitality scheme until the day it was announced – despite being both permanent secretary and the head of the government’s taskforce.

Case says he also had no idea about the public health worries until August 2020, when it was already running.

Hugo Keith: “Barnard Castle….

“ Simon Case, off-screen: *loud sigh*

Simon Case says both the Dominic Cummings/Barnard Castle jaunt and No 10 parties would “feel like a terrible insult” to bereaved families. He says government polling at the time showed Barnard Castle badly damaged public confidence in abiding by Covid rules.

Blimey – Hugo Keith says Simon Case’s witness statement says some failings under Boris Johnson and his team amounted to “the worst governing ever seen”. Asked about this, Case again becomes emotional: “There were some dark days when it felt that we just couldn’t get it right.”


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