A round-up of the latest political headlines, including the big Budget day stories, Brexit divorce agreement deadline and Kezia Dugdale on ‘I’m a Celebrity’.
Budget: Last minute briefing as Downing Street takes control
This morning’s Daily Telegraph reports that 10 Downing Street took control of a last minute Budget briefing, as it is worried that the statement will ‘fall flat’. The paper quotes a Cabinet source who described it as ‘the worst Budget build-up in history’, as the Treasury first issued an ‘uninspiring’ statement and claimed that no policy announcements would be made, before performing a U-turn over two hours later. According to The Sun, May cannot sack Philip Hammond as Chancellor as ‘she fears she is too weak’.
Budget: More funding for schools and house-building measures
The Times reports that schools are to be paid £600 for each extra pupil they persuade to sits Maths A-level, with teachers in poorly-performing areas to benefit from £1,000 career development grants. The paper also expects measures to increase house-building, including direct state intervention (including a land-buying programme) and loosened borrowing restrictions for councils.
Budget: Veterans to get funding from LIBOR fines
In an exclusive, The Sun says that the Chancellor is to announce that veterans will benefit from £4.5m of fines from bankers as a result of the LIBOR scandal. £1.5m will be allocated to fund a new support programme by the charity Help For Heroes, whilst the Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research will be given £2.95m. In total, over £30m in funding from the fines will be allocated today.
EU and UK aim to reach Brexit divorce deal within three weeks
The UK and the EU are aiming to reach a Brexit divorce deal within three weeks, according to the Financial Times. Negotiators have apparently pencilled in the week of December 4 as a breakthrough moment, with senior EU diplomats suggesting that there is ‘now a better than even chance of agreement’ on ‘sufficient progress’ at the EU summit in December.
Kezia Dugdale avoids ‘I’m a Celebrity’ suspension
Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has avoided being suspended by her party, according to an article in The Daily Telegraph. The party’s MSP group ruled that Dugdale would not be suspended despite taking ‘an unauthorised leave of absence’ to appear on the TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and would instead be interviewed on her return.
Hinkley Point power station deal to hit poorest hardest, report says
The Guardian carries details of a report by the Public Accounts Committee, which has found that the price the Government has promised to pay for power from the new Hinckley Point C power station will add £10-15 to the average household energy bill, hitting the poorest households the hardest.
Brexit rebels force Government climbdown
The Times reports on the progress of the EU Withdrawal Bill through Parliament yesterday. Conservative rebels, led by Dominic Grieve, forced the Government to announce that it would attempt to find a compromise on plans to remove the right of citizens to sue the Government, and on protecting citizens’ rights outlined in the EU’s charter of fundamental rights.
Conservative claims over police budget protection ‘a lie’ says Mirror
The Mirror claims that Theresa May’s boast that the Government had ‘protected’ police budgets is ‘a lie’. It reports research by the House of Commons showing a £413m cut in police force funding. Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh said the cuts were ‘a threat to public safety’, whilst the Government did not deny the accuracy of the figures.
Find out more about Vuelio political services?