Live Policy Update: Foreign Secretary reacts to Germany spat; MPs speak in the Commons for the first time since the suspension (2023)

central point
  • 'Coming soon' report on appointment of BBC chairman amid Johnson row
  • Chancellor to settle the dispute in Germany
  • The Conservative MP is speaking in the Commons for the first time since his suspension
  • The rules of the game are getting stricter: What are the main changes in the White Paper?
  • The government wins the Supreme Court's bid to stop the nurses' strike day
  • RCN chief apologizes for 'darkest day' in pay dispute
  • Ashish Joshi: Nurses never win. Why do unions take cases to court?
  • The machinists' union announces another three-day strike
  • Tamara Cohen:How a minister hopes to change the international aid debate
  • Faith Ridler reports from the scene


New rail strikes are planned for Eurovision Day

The RMT union has confirmed there will be a further rail strike on May 13, the day of the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool.

The latest comes after union leaders rejected a salary offer from the Rail Delivery Group.

Next month's strike is the latest in a long-running pay dispute and will involve workers at 14 rail operators.

In March, the RMT said Network Rail union members voted to accept revised pay proposals of up to 14.4 per cent for the minimum and 9.2 per cent for the maximum.

But the union said today that "following further discussions between the union and the RDG, the employer has provided clarification on proposals that have been considered by the RMT."

Presumably, the Rail Delivery Group now says that "if the union terminates its industrial mandate, it will only enforce 5% of the first year's wages."

This means that there will be no more strikes.

The proposal was formally rejected today.


Record numbers of doctors and nurses working in the NHS to reduce waiting lists

There are more doctors and nurses working in the NHS than ever before, according to new figures released by the Department of Health.

The figures also show that more doctors work in general practitioners and the number of face-to-face appointments is increasing.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday confirmed it had met its 2019 manifesto pledge to hire an additional 20,000 police officers by March 2023.

There are more than 1.27 million full-time staff working in NHS trusts and trustees in the UK, an increase of more than 51,500 or 4.2% from a year ago.

Other figures showed more than 25,000 new hires in primary care as the government remains on track to meet its target of an additional 26,000 primary care workers by March 2024.

(Video) 'Bloomberg Surveillance: Early Edition' Full (04/21/23)

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the figures "show the NHS is making clear progress in terms of training and recruitment".

"We will soon release a long-term workforce plan focused on recruiting and training additional staff to help address the backlog and improve patient care," he said.


What new gambling laws have been proposed?

The government's long-awaited white paper on gambling has been published.

But what do these laws really mean to people?

In the next extract, ourpolitical reporter liz beatesexplain...


Sky News understands release of Sharpe report 'imminent'

Sky News has been told that a report on Richard Sharp's appointment as BBC chairman is expected to be released "immediately", but not today.

It will consider whether Sharp properly disclosed details of any alleged involvement in an £800,000 loan to then prime minister Boris Johnson.

He has so far denied any involvement in the relationship.


Government living in 'fantasy world' of education funding: NEU boss

(Video) King Charles delivers historic speech to German parliament

The assistant general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) said Downing Street appeared to be living in a "fantasy world" about school funding.

Dr. Mary Bousted said the striking teachers were "sensible people" who wanted a "long-term adjustment to teachers' pay" as NEU members went on strike on Thursday.

He added: “What this government wants is a magic wand where they can have well-equipped schools, school buildings that don't fall down ... healthy recruitment and retention of industry without spending money.

"Well, that's the fantasy world they live in. I'd like to live there too, but we don't."

Dr. Bousted joined hundreds of striking teachers on the streets of Oxford as their long-running dispute over pay continues.

Protesters carried signs that read "I'd rather teach, but it's important" and "I have 99 problems and education funding cuts have caused them all."

The NEU rejected a recent proposal for a one-off payment of £1,000 for the current academic year (2022/23) and an average pay rise of 4.5% for staff next year, sparking Thursday's strike.

Another strike is planned for next week.


UK ambassador pushes for Sudan ceasefire extension - Issue 10

Downing Street said the British ambassador continued to speak with Sudan's warring parties and pressed for an extension to the ceasefire.

Asked if there was any "direct British involvement" in trying to extend the ceasefire, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "Yes."

He added: “The British ambassador continues to speak to the warring parties in Sudan as part of an intergovernmental diplomatic effort.

"As part of that, we obviously support an extension of the ceasefire, and we're pushing for that."

Two flights from Sudan landed in Cyprus on Thursday and more flights are expected later in the day, the spokesman added.

"Another plane landed today. Six planes landed yesterday, two planes landed today and more are expected later today."

Downing Street said anyone who wanted to leave the country and was eligible to come to Britain "must" do so as soon as possible.


Nurses unions will never win. Why did you take this case to court?

Analysis by Health Correspondent Ashish Joshi

It shouldn't have come this far. No complicated legal wrangling. Laws are inflexible and so are calendars.

The Royal College of Nursing's strike mandate began on 2 November and lasted six months. A simple calculation would show that May 2 is not in the period.

NHS employers are asking the government to take this legal action. They described the nurse's performance as deplorable.

So did Health Minister Steve Barclay. Given his role in the dispute, one would expect him to say so.

But the judges of the High Court are independent. They don't take sides, they just enforce the rule of law. Judge Lyndon said the union had shown "a high degree of irrationality" and that the outcome was "inevitable" and that "it would be better to go to court than to make concessions against the odds".

Pat Cullen didn't hear him say that. She and her supporters outside the High Court. In fact, RCN had no legal representation to present its case to Court No. 15.

Instead, Mrs. Karen presented a witness statement. The judge said it was probably "written for a different audience" and that "although she didn't dare say it, she probably thought the Secretary of State's legal interpretation of the planned strike date was correct."

In other words, nobody expected the RCN to win in court today. So why are they insisting on a lawsuit?

The strike date was announced shortly after the union rejected the government's pay proposal. There are deadlines for reporting planned industrial action, so that will increase the pressure.

Once the date is announced and the possibility of illegality raised, the RCN may decide it is too late to back down. It certainly helps play out the RCN narrative of nurses against "terrorizing the government".

The RCN has been ordered to pay court costs, money that could have been used to supplement strike funding in an increasingly bitter battle that appears to have no end in sight.

(Video) Budget 2023: Financial Statement and Budget Report - Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt MP BSL


Britain and Italy 'very much in line', Sunak says as he welcomes the Italian Prime Minister to Downing Street

Rishi Sunak and his Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, are expected to discuss the fight against illegal immigration when they meet in London this afternoon.

Ahead of the 10th session, Sunak said the values ​​of the UK and Italy were "very much aligned", allowing both countries to work together to tackle shared challenges.

"Whether it's responding to Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine, and I salute his leadership again, or fighting illegal immigration, that's what we both have in common," he said.

The memorandum of understanding to be signed by the two leaders "will strengthen our cooperation in these areas and beyond," he said.

Sunak, like his right-wing Italian counterpart, is expected to head to Westminster Abbey after the meeting this afternoon.

Meloni said Britain was doing "very well" in cracking down on illegal immigration.

"As you say, our countries have had a strong partnership decades ago, but I think we can do more on many issues where we are on the same side: national defense, Ukraine," he said.

(Video) PM Insults Me But...: Rahul Gandhi On Parliament Speech Being Edited

He hailed Mr Sunak as "a very strong leader" who had opened a "new beginning" for cooperation between the two countries.


Minister of Science retires on maternity leave

Michelle Donelan is temporarily stepping down as science minister at the end of today as the minister is on maternity leave.

Confirming the timing on social media, she said: "Today is my last day as Secretary of State while I am on maternity leave and I have been reflecting on the department's incredible achievements in recent months."

Ms Donelan then shared a list of her office's achievements, such as establishing a new "science and technology framework" for the UK.

During this time, she will be replaced by Chloe Smith.


Northern Ireland's budget is set, but why is Westminster describing it?

The Government offered "flexibility" over a £300m overspend at Stormont as it presented the Northern Ireland Budget today.

The 2023/24 funding plan was outlined in a ministerial statement written by Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris in Westminster.

But why did Heaton-Harris decide on Stormont's budget?

In short, it is the responsibility of the NI Minister to develop the Stormont Budget in the absence of the appointed Minister in Belfast.

Stormont's return has been put on hold as the DUP boycotts institutions in protest at a post-Brexit trade deal.

Officials responsible for the public service in Northern Ireland have braced themselves for a potentially brutal deal.

A major cause for concern is the need for the Treasury to recover the £297m advance it gave last year to help close a financial black hole in Stormont's finances.

This is expected to be taken out of this year's budget.

Heaton-Harris said the money would be withdrawn in various ways and potentially spread over two years.

(Video) CBC News: The National | MP Han Dong, Population surge, Ukrainian children

He said it could be repaid using future annual funding allocated to Northern Ireland by the government through the Barnett system process in 2023/24 and if it was not enough to cover the cost, the rest could be taken from another government. Planned items of expenditure for Northern Ireland may be withdrawn from the budget in the next financial year.


1. House China committee holds hearing on Chinese Communist Party's threat to America — 2/28/23
(CNBC Television)
2. Islam and "LGBTQ" with Sheikh Danish in conversation with Paul Williams in Istanbul
(Blogging Theology)
3. The Queen's sense of humour remembered: from off-mic quips to tea with Paddington
(Guardian News)
4. MPs hold emergency debate on COVID-19 protests – February 7, 2022
5. TES4: Oblivion Analysis | A Quick Retrospective
6. CBC News: The National | Health-care demands, Gift card scams, Ukraine’s lost children
(CBC News: The National)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated: 08/17/2023

Views: 6177

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.