Today’s Political Headlines include clean air, scrapping NHS reforms, Ken Livingstone resigning and Grenfell Tower.
Clean air strategy to be launched
The Daily Telegraph says that Michael Gove, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the Health and Social Care Secretary, are to announce a new clean air strategy today. Wood burning stoves are to be targeted, having been identified as the ‘UK’s biggest environmental threat to human health’. Writing in the paper, the ministers claim that the UK will set a ‘gold standard’ for air quality after Brexit, going ‘further and faster’ than proposed changes to EU regulations.
Government considers scrapping some of the 2012 NHS reforms
The BBC claims that the Government is considering scrapping some of the controversial reform to the NHS in England introduced in 2012. The Prime Minister has committed to a better deal for the health service, but the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, has been told that extra funding would come with more reform attached.
Ken Livingstone resigns from Labour
As The Guardian reports, Ken Livingstone has announced his resignation from the Labour Party. He said that issues surrounding his suspension for antisemitism had become ‘a distraction from the key political issues of our time’ and that he would continue to work towards achieving a Corbyn-led Government.
Grenfell Tower inquiry opens with tributes to victims
The Times reports on the opening of the inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower. Families of six of the 72 victims paid tributes, with the remainder to follow over the next two weeks. The inquiry’s chair, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, said that the tributes were an ‘integral part of evidence for this inquiry’.
Gove in gaffe at thinktank launch event
The Daily Mirror says that Michael Gove made a gaffe at the launch event for the new thinktank Onward, aimed at attracting young people to the Conservatives. He compared himself to Ike Turner (described by the paper as an ‘infamous wife-beater’) and joked about Meghan Markle’s ‘exotic’ heritage. The Sun adds that Ruth Davidson used the event to call on the Conservatives to ‘speak to the entire nation’.
Theresa May: customs union backstop would only apply in ‘very limited’ circumstances
The Guardian says that Theresa May has claimed that her backstop plan to keep the UK aligned to the customs union post-2020 would only apply in a ‘very limited’ set of circumstances and that ‘nobody wants this to be the solution that is achieved’. The Financial Times reports that the Government has published a plan to be implemented if there is disruption at channel ports after Brexit, involving closing 13 miles of the M20 to hold lorries.
Nuclear defence programme will cost £50.8bn over next decade
The Financial Times reports that the National Audit Office has assessed the cost of the nuclear defence programme over the next decade for the first time. The total cost is £50.8bn from 2018 to 2028, with a £2.9bn shortfall predicted if cost-cutting is delivered.
Northern Ireland Secretary urged to ‘redouble’ efforts to restore devolution
The BBC carries details of a new report by the Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which calls on Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley to ‘redouble’ her efforts to restore devolution. It also calls on her to outline how ‘urgent’ decisions will be made in the interim.