Today’s Political Headlines include Newsnight’s bullying investigation in Parliament, the full spectrum response to Russia, NHS staff offered a pay rise and ministers rejecting the latte levy.
Investigation into bullying in Parliament accuses three MPs, including John Bercow
An investigation by BBC Newsnight into harassment and bullying of clerks in Parliament has made accusations against three MPs. Those accused are Labour’s Paul Farrelly, the Conservative Mark Pritchard, and the Speaker, John Bercow. All three deny the allegations, but Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson has called for a ‘thorough independent investigation.’
May draws up ‘full spectrum’ response to Russia
In an exclusive, The Sun reports that Theresa May is drawing up a ‘full spectrum’ response to alleged Russian involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy. Measures will include expelling diplomats, cancelling visas, freezing assets, a joint international statement of condemnation, and increased military deployments in Eastern Europe.
NHS staff to be offered pay rise in return for losing holiday
According to The Guardian, the Government is to offer NHS staff a 6.5% pay rise over the next three years, so long as they give up a day’s holiday. This would be the first ‘meaningful’ pay rise since 2010, the paper claims, with unions ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the deal.
Ministers reject ‘latte levy’
The Government has rejected calls from the Environmental Audit Committee to introduce a ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups. The BBC says that ministers have instead suggested shops introduce their own voluntary charges, annoying committee chair Mary Creagh.
Johnson promises ‘very, very minimal controls’ on Irish border
Speaking at an event held by The Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson promised ‘very, very minimal controls’ at the Irish border and that a no deal Brexit would have no ‘terrors’ for the UK. The Financial Times says that Donald Tusk, the European Council President, has said that Ireland must be dealt with ‘first’ in talks. The Daily Telegraph also reports that the Government is to go ahead with its proposals for devolution after Brexit, despite failing to secure approval from the devolved administrations.
Tories ‘clamouring’ for public spending increase
The Financial Times says that Conservative MPs are ‘clamouring’ for the Chancellor to increase public spending at the Spring Statement. The Daily Mirror reports that John McDonnell is to say the Conservatives are ‘blind’ to the ‘pain and misery’ of austerity.
Government to publish ‘humiliating’ Universal Credit reviews
The Daily Mirror says the Government confirmed yesterday that it was to give up its two-year battle to keep its ‘humiliating’ reviews of Universal Credit secret. The Government had been due to defend the non-publication of the reviews at a forthcoming tribunal.
Government considers fines for motorists who pass too close to cyclists
The Times reports that the Government is to publish a call for evidence as part of a review of cyclist and pedestrian safety, including possible fines for drivers who pass cyclists too closely. Legal advice advocating a new offence of dangerous cycling will also be published.
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