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Suella Braverman has told police officers to focus on tackling crime rather than "debating gender on Twitter" as she called for a return to "good old fashioned policing".
The Home Secretary told a National Police Chiefs’ Council conference in London this afternoon: "Our police officers’ time is precious and the public want the police to be tackling crime, not debating gender on Twitter.
"I have asked my officials to revisit the issue of non-crime hate incidents as a first step, as I want to be sure that we are allowing you to prioritise your time to deal with threats to people and their property."
Ms Braverman said that the way to "ensure public confidence in the police is to focus on getting the basics right" which means conducting "common sense policing".
"No politically correct distractions, just good old fashioned policing with a relentless focus on making our streets, homes and transport networks safer," she said.
Thank you for joining me for today’s politics live blog.
I will be back early tomorrow morning.
Rishi Sunak told Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg there is “lots for us to talk about” as he welcomed him to 10 Downing Street.
The Prime Minister said Nato is a “cornerstone” of the UK’s security: "It’s wonderful to welcome you to the UK but also to Downing Street. Thank you for being here.
"You’ll know that the Nato alliance is a cornerstone of the UK’s security, we’re proud to be the second-largest contributor, and we remain extremely committed to the alliance."
Mr Stoltenberg thanked Mr Sunak for the UK’s “strong support” of Nato.
Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, has arrived in Downing Street for a meeting with Rishi Sunak.
He is the first international leader to visit No10 since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister, in a sign of the concerns over the situation in Ukraine and the importance of the Nato alliance.
Earlier Mr Stoltenberg was hosted by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace at Lydd army camp in Kent, where Ukrainian volunteers are being trained to fight in the war against Russia.
Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow health secretary, accused the Government of "dodging calls and requests for meetings" from the Royal College of Nursing as he responded to the announcement of strike action.
He said: "There were no strikes in the NHS during 13 years when Labour was last in government. If we were in office today, we would be talking with the RCN and doing everything we can to prevent these strikes going ahead.
"Government ministers spent the summer dodging calls and requests for meetings from the Royal College of Nursing. It is unacceptable negligence.
"The Conservatives have stopped governing and it is nurses and patients who will be made to pay the price."
Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, has responded to the Royal College of Nursing announcing strike action (See the post below at 15.06).
He said: "We are all hugely grateful for the hard work and dedication of NHS staff, including nurses, and deeply regret that some union members have voted for industrial action.
"These are challenging times, which is why we accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body in full and have given over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year. This is on top of a three per cent pay increase last year when public sector pay was frozen and wider government support with the cost of living.
"Our priority is keeping patients safe during any strikes. The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to minimise disruption and ensure emergency services continue to operate."
Nurses have voted to strike in the majority of NHS employers in a row over pay, the Royal College of Nursing has announced.
The organisation represents close to half a million nurses. It is its first UK-wide strike action in its 106-year history.
The Department of Health said the RCN is asking for a 17.6 per cent pay rise which would cost an extra £9billion – approximately six per cent of the total NHS budget.
Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign affairs minister, welcomed Chris Heaton-Harris’s decision to extend a deadline for calling fresh assembly elections in Northern Ireland (see the post below at 13.46).
He said the decision will provide "further space for early substantive progress in discussions between the EU and UK on the issues of most concern to people and business in NI".
Here is the statement in full:
Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, @simoncoveney following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the House of Commons today. pic.twitter.com/oJgutKa7Lq
Sinn Fein vice-president Michelle O’Neill said the uncertainty over whether fresh Assembly elections will be held in Northern Ireland is not good enough as she responded to Chris Heaton-Harris’s announcement this afternoon (see the post below at 13.46).
She told reporters at Stormont: "What we now have are new deadlines, multiple deadlines, in which he may or may not call an election.
"So this is not a good enough space for people to be in and I think the fundamental question today has to be around what’s next? What do the British Government intend to do to find an agreed way forward on the protocol?"
Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris told MPs there is "legitimate and deep concern about the functioning of the Northern Ireland Protocol”.
He told the House of Commons this afternoon: "For six months the parties have not come together and on October 28 the deadline to form an Executive set down in law passed… this is hugely disappointing.
"As a result, I am bound by law to call new elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly as set out in the New Decade, New Approach agreement, that have to take place within 12 weeks of 28 October.”
He added: “There is also legitimate and deep concern about the functioning of the Northern Ireland Protocol and this is felt across Northern Ireland and very strongly indeed in the Unionist community.”
Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, said she wants to simplify the way in which crime is recorded amid fears it currently takes up too much of police offciers’ time.
Addressing a National Police Chiefs Council conference, Ms Braverman said: "I am concerned that crime recording requirements can be seen as too complex and burdensome.
"I am committed to working with the police to see how recording can be simplified without compromising on putting victims first."
Suella Braverman told the National Police Chiefs Council conference that officers should focus on tackling crime and not "debating gender on Twitter".
She said: "Our police officers’ time is precious and the public want the police to be tackling crime, not debating gender on Twitter.
"I have asked my officials to revisit the issue of non-crime hate incidents as a first step, as I want to be sure that we are allowing you to prioritise your time to deal with threats to people and their property."
Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, is addressing the National Police Chiefs Council conference in London this afternoon.
She said: "The way to ensure public confidence in the police is to focus on getting the basics right. What I call common sense policing, the kind of policing that the law-abiding patriotic majority of British people deserves and expects.
"No politically correct distractions, just good old fashioned policing with a relentless focus on making our streets, homes and transport networks safer."
She added: "I know that if police officers are properly empowered to do the job for which they signed up they can really drive down crime."
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP, has responded to Chris Heaton-Harris’s announcement that he is delaying calling fresh Assembly elections in Northern Ireland (see the post below at 13.46).
He told the House of Commons: "Words like courage, understanding and compromise are fine and good words but what the people of Northern Ireland need now, and the sooner the better, is a solution that sees the institutions restored on the basis that Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom in line with article one of the Belfast Agreement and in line with the Act of Union itself."
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, has announced he intends to reduce the pay of Northern Ireland Assembly members while the Executive at Stormont remains unformed.
He told the House of Commons: "People across Northern Ireland are frustrated that their members of the legislative assembly continue to draw a full salary whilst not performing all of the duties they were elected to do.
"I will thus be asking for this House’s support to enable me to reduce MLA’s salaries appropriately."
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, has announced that he is delaying the calling of fresh Assembly elections in Northern Ireland.
He has a legal duty to call elections after the failure to restore powersharing at Stormont but he said he will push back the deadline for doing so.
Delivering a statement in the House of Commons, he said that the Government strongly believes that the "people of Northern Ireland deserve a functioning Assembly and Executive".
He said: "The one thing that everyone agrees on is that we must try and find a way through this current impasse, where I have a legal duty to call an election that few want and everyone tells me will change nothing.
"Thus I will be introducing legislation to provide a short, straight forward extension to the period for Executive formation, extending the current period by six weeks to the 8th of December with a potential for a further six week extension to the 19th of January if necessary."
Mr Heaton-Harris said that he hopes the move will create "time and space" for the UK and EU to find a way forward on the Northern Ireland Protocol and to allow political parties in Northern Ireland to "work together to restore the devolved institutions as soon as possible".
The Prime Minister’s press secretary said no decisions have been made on who might replace Sir Gavin Williamson in the Cabinet Office, if the role remains.
Asked if there will be a like-for-like replacement for the role, she said: “Yeah. The PM is considering (a) replacement for the role. No decisions have been taken.”
Pressed on whether Rishi Sunak is considering who fills the role or whether the role continues to exist, she said: “He’s considering the role and whether that is taken on by someone already in the Cabinet Office or someone who would replace Gavin Williamson. No decisions have been made.”
On whether that means Sir Gavin might not be replaced, she said: “No decisions have been taken.”
Theresa May, the former prime minister, welcomed Rishi Sunak’s "continued commitment that he and the Government are showing to Net Zero by 2050".
But she said: "He is absolutely right to talk about the creation of high-skill, high-wage green jobs as we green our economy.
"But people need to have the training and the skills and education to be able to take on those jobs. What are the Government’s plans in relation to education and training for green skills?"
Mr Sunak pointed to the Government’s "record investment in apprenticeships" and commitment to rolling out lifelong learning programmes.
Russia has been an "active adversary" of the UK for a number of years, the Defence Secretary has said as he insisted Britain will continue to "stand up" to Moscow.
Speaking during a visit to the Lydd Army camp in Kent where Ukrainian volunteers are being trained to fight in the war against Russia, Ben Wallace said: "Russia has been an active adversary of Britain for many years – many will remember the Salisbury poisoning, where they deployed nerve agents.
“Russia has been regularly behind cyber attacks in this country. Of course Russia doesn’t like the fact the United Kingdom is standing up against it – we’re standing up for the values of freedom, democracy and human rights, but that isn’t going to put us off.
"We’re going to continue to support Ukraine, to defend its sovereign territory against an illegal invasion, and we’ll just carry on doing it. Britain stands for more than a small moment in time, Britain stands for those enduring human rights."
Rishi Sunak said it is "pie in the sky" to pretend fossil fuels will not be part of the UK’s energy mix as it transitions to low carbon sources as part of the push to hit Net Zero emissions by 2050.
The Prime Minister, replying to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, told the Commons: "He talked about oil and gas, again, he needs to live in the real world. Oil and gas are going to be a part of our energy mix in the transition for several years ahead and it’s simply pie in the sky to pretend otherwise.
"The independent Committee on Climate Change has even recognised that and the carbon footprint of having homegrown gas is half the footprint of importing it from abroad, so it’s a sensible thing to do."
Responding to Rishi Sunak’s statement in the House of Commons on attending the Cop27 climate change summit, Sir Keir Starmer said "it is right that the Prime Minister eventually went" to Egypt as he criticised the PM’s initial decision not to go.
The Labour leader said that rising temperatures will mean "mass flooding" and "untold damage to lives and livelihoods" and "we must prevent that".
He continued: "And that is why it was inexplicable that he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to even get on the plane. Britian should be leading on the world stage, helping the world confront the greatest challenge of our time, but his snub… was a terrible error of judgment and sent a clear message that if you are looking for leadership from this Prime Minister, look elsewhere…"
Rishi Sunak said that the "UK is delivering on our commitment of £11.6 billion" on climate finance and to support the most vulnerable nations "we will triple our funding on adaptation to reach £1.5billion a year in 2025".
The Prime Minister said attending the Cop27 summit in Egyptthis week had enabled him to meet "many of my counterparts for the first time".
He said he had discussed the issue of illegal migration with a number of European leaders, including the French President Emmanuel Macron.
The PM said that "we are all facing the same shared challenge and we agreed to solve it together".
Following the conclusion of PMQs, Rishi Sunak is now delivering a statement in the House of Commons on his attendance at the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt on Monday.
The Prime Minister said the question in Sharm El Sheikh was "whether countries would deliver on their promises".
"I am pleased to say that our nation will," he said.
The PM said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should not distract from Net Zero efforts but should instead "catalyse them".
Sir Keir Starmer claimed that "there is only one party that crashed the economy and they are all sitting there" as he clased with Rishi Sunak over the economy.
The Labour leader said: "It is a pattern with this Prime Minister. Too weak to sack the security threat sat around the Cabinet table. Too weak to take part in a leadership contest after he last the first one.
"Too weak to stand up for working people. He spent weeks flirting with the climate change deniers in his party then scuttled off to Cop at the last minute. In the Budget next week he will be too weak to end his oil and gas giveaway, scrap the non-dom tax breaks and end the ffarce of taxpayers subsidising private schools. That is what Labour would do, a proper plan for working people."
Mr Sunak replied: "The honourable gentleman has said a lot today but it is clear that he isn’t focused on the serious issues that are confronting our country. We are strengthening our economy, he is backing the strikers. We are supporting people with energy bills, he is supporting the protesters.
"And we are tackling illehgal migration, he is opposing every measure. The British people want real leadership on the serious global challenges we face and that is what they will get from this Government."
One opposition MP could be heard shouting "bring the lettuce back" when Mr Sunak spoke.
Addressing Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons, Sir Keir Starmer said: "The problem is, he can’t stand up to a run of the mill bully. So he has no chance of standing up to vested interests on behalf of working people.
"Take Shell. They made record profits this year, £26 billion, how much have they paid under his so-called windfall tax."
Mr Sunak hit back and said: "I was chancellor who introduced an extra tax on the oil and gas companies."
Sir Keir Starmer told the House of Commons: "The truth is simple, he [Sir Gavin Williamson] is a pathetic bully but he would never get away with it if people like the Prime Minister didn’t hand him power.
"So does he regret his decision to make him a Government minister?"
Rishi Sunak replied: "I obviously regret appointing someone who has had to resign in these circumstances but I think what the British people would like to know is when situations like this arise, that they will be dealt with properly."
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, raised a bullying claim made against Sir Gavin Williamson and asked Rishi Sunak: "How does the Prime Minister think the victim of that bullying felt when he expressed great sadness at his resignation?"
Mr Sunak replied: "Unequivocally the behaviour complained of was unacceptable and it is absolutely right that the right honourable gentleman has resigned.
"For the record, I did not know about any of the specific concerns relating to his conduct as secretary of state or chief whip which date back some years. I believe that people in public life should treat others with consideration and respect and those are the principles that this government will stand by."
PMQs is now underway in the House of Commons.
Rishi Sunak started by inviting MPs to join him in "remembering those who have lost their lives in the service of this country" ahead of Armistice Day on Friday.
Today marks Rishi Sunak’s third appearance as Prime Minister at PMQs and today’s edition is easily the most significant so far for the premier.
Mr Sunak can expect a series of bruising questions from Sir Keir Starmer over the resignation of Sir Gavin Williamson and he will be keen to try to close the book on the row, stabilise his premiership and move on.
The first two PMQs have arguably been draws, with neither man able to deliver a knockout blow. Both leaders will be keen to get the better of their counterpart at today’s showdown.
Christopher Hope, The Telegraph’s associate editor, writes:
Rishi Sunak might come to regret not fighting harder to keep Gavin Williamson around his ministerial top table.
The Prime Minister knew he needed someone like Williamson – a figure modelled on the scheming Francis Urquhart from the House of Cards TV series – to make up for his own lack of political skills.
Williamson was one of five – count ’em – former chief whips appointed to the Cabinet. The idea was that these grey beards were there to help the PM deliver the 2019 manifesto ahead of the next election in two years’ time.
Instead Sunak has lost one of the practitioners of Westminster’s dark arts, who had made his name as being David Cameron’s eyes and ears as his Parliamentary aide when he was in 10 Downing Street.
You can read the full piece here.
Russia is “losing slowly” in the war against Ukraine, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said to Ukrainian troops training with British forces in Lydd, Kent.
Sir Gavin Williamson should have his knighthood taken away if bullying allegations made against him are upheld, the Liberal Democrats have said.
The party has written to the Forfeiture Committee which “considers cases put to it when the holder of an honour has brought the honours system into disrepute” to ask that it consider the matter.
Wendy Chamberlain, the Lib Dems’ chief whip, said: “The complaints being made about Gavin Williamson are extremely serious and suggest a bullying culture at the very top of the Conservative Party. If these complaints are upheld he should be stripped of his knighthood, or else the whole honours system risks being brought into disrepute.”
Baroness Morgan, the Tory former education secretary, has claimed Sir Gavin Williamson “revelled” in making prime ministers feel that they had to appoint him to their Cabinet.
The former Conservative MP told Times Radio: “In the heat of the moment, there are going to be times when people do get very, very exercised, and they will say things…the question then is actually, how do you handle the aftermath, do you apologise? Do you say that I’m sorry, that was unacceptable, I was totally stressed out, I shouldn’t have done that.
“Or do you just carry on and build up a reputation? One of the things I think that Gavin did was he made various prime ministers feel that they couldn’t not appoint him and that they needed him inside their camps."
Asked if she believed Sir Gavin “revelled” in that, she said: “He did, he revelled in it. He built up a sort of reputation and an impression.”
She also claimed that Sir Gavin has a “reputation as a rather heavy handed enforcer” which is “well known in Westminster”.
Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, has defended Suella Braverman and said the situation at the Manston asylum processing centre in Kent is now "completely under control".
Ms Keegan told BBC Breakfast: "I think Suella’s got a really difficult job. I mean, anybody trying to handle the small boat crisis with the massive increase in numbers and this market – this organised crime, actually, that is building this market of people and selling dreams and delivering nightmares to people – anyone having to deal with that is going to face challenges.
"Now, obviously, you know, there was a situation at Manston, there was a facility that had to be closed. That was all top of the headlines a couple of days ago.
"Now she’s got it completely under control. Manston has now got about less than 1,600 – about 1,000 people in there. That won’t be reported, but, you know, that’s what she’s achieved."
Matt Hancock has appeared to concede that his frontbench political career is over after his decision to take part in "I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!".
Speaking ahead of his arrival in camp in the Australian jungle, the former health secretary said: "I don’t expect to serve in Government again but there are lots of ways you can communicate and engage with people.
"When I got approached to take part, I did think long and hard about it but one of the reasons that I felt able to say yes was because the IAC team have put in place a system so I can be reached at any point on any urgent constituency matters.
"Lots of people have a view on me from being health secretary in the pandemic dealing with some very difficult issues, but that’s not the whole story.
"I am looking forward to throwing myself into it all like I do everything in life. You can’t hide anything in the jungle, you see somebody warts and all."
The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of “rank hypocrisy” after the re-emergence of an anti-bullying video made by Sir Gavin Williamson when he was education secretary.
In the video posted on Twitter by the Department for Education to mark anti-bullying week in November 2020, Sir Gavin said that “bullying is never acceptable”.
Munira Wilson, the Lib Dems’ education spokeswoman, said: “This exposes the rank hypocrisy and double standards at the heart of this Conservative government.
"Gavin Williamson himself admitted that bullying is never acceptable. Schools rightly have a zero tolerance approach to bullying. But once again it seems it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else."
Sir Gavin has denied the bullying allegations made against him and has vowed to “clear my name of any wrongdoing” now that he has left the Government.
All children should feel safe in school and at home. Education Secretary @GavinWilliamson talks about the importance of protecting our children and young people from bullying. #AntiBullyingWeek pic.twitter.com/eELhmsvm48
A Cabinet minister has suggested nurses only attend food banks when they are in an "emergency situation" like after a relationship breakdown or a problem with their boiler.
Asked if she was "comfortable" with nurses using foodbanks because they don’t get paid enough, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan told Sky News: "I go to my foodbanks quite a lot and ask, why is it, what is it, what is the reason why people are there at food banks and quite often when you go to food banks it will be people, something will have happened, something will have broken down, either a relationship or a boiler or anything.
"They are usually there in an emergency situation. I know there was a lot of focus on increasing the starting salary for nurses, there was a lot of focus on making sure that lower paid people in the nursing profession were also increased.
"But there is no doubt that people are worried, very worried, about inflation."
The Royal College of Nursing is expected to announce industrial action today as it sets out the results of a strike ballot. The organisation represents close to half a million nurses. The expected walkout over pay would be the organisation’s first UK-wide strike in its 106 year history.
Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, today urged nurses not to go on strike as she said the Government cannot spend its way out of inflation.
She told Sky News: "Well, of course nobody wants the nurses to go on strike and we would urge the nurses not to go on strike."
She added: "We do understand why it is difficult but there is a key message I think which is you cannot spend your way out of inflation, you really can’t, and the number one thing we have to do is tackle inflation otherwise whatever we do it will all be eaten up by inflation."
David Lammy, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, claimed Rishi Sunak’s appointment of Sir Gavin Williamson was “weak” and “unacceptable”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “I think this raises real questions about the Prime Minister’s judgment.
“The behaviour that we’ve heard about in the last few days is repellent, it’s odious and it’s quite, quite unacceptable.
“The Prime Minister knew much of this, it was reported to him, why did he appoint Gavin Williamson to the Government in the first place? Why did it even take 10 days to understand what Gavin Williamson would be doing?
“He appointed him as some sort of enforcer, apparently, because this is the way he behaves. This is weak. It’s unacceptable. We really should have an account of why he came back into Government.”
Rishi Sunak only knew about a “disagreement” but not “any specific allegations” against Sir Gavin Williamson when he appointed his Cabinet, Gillian Keegan has said.
The Education Secretary told LBC Radio: “He didn’t know about any specific allegations, he hadn’t seen any text messages or anything like that.
“He was aware that there’d been a disagreement between two former chief whips, which is Wendy Morton and Gavin, so he had been told that…
“Gavin’s resigned, he is denying some of the allegations as he will go to the back benches to dispute those and to engage fully in the independent process.”
However, the Prime Minister had been informed of a complaint against Sir Gavin when he gave him a senior ministerial role.
Ms Keegan added that Sir Gavin had recognised “quite rightly” that claims about his conduct had become an “unwelcome distraction” from the big challenges the Government is facing.
A Cabinet minister suggested allegations of bullying made against Sir Gavin Williamson likely “won’t be discussed any further” in public now that he has resigned from the Government.
“I think Rishi has the highest degree of integrity and judgment,” the Education Secretary told Times Radio.
“We saw it all over the summer, he was prepared to tell the hard truths. That’s real leadership.”
She added: “I mean, the reality is you appoint people and, you know, the only thing you can do if things don’t work out or things go wrong or things come to light afterwards is act quickly.
“Gavin’s acted quickly, he’s removed the distraction. I would expect after today that it won’t be discussed any further.”
Gillian Keegan said Sir Gavin Williamson, who stepped down after bullying claims, had “never threatened her”.
The Education Secretary told Sky News: “I’ve worked with him several times and I haven’t seen any of that.
“He’s never threatened me, or he’s only only ever been supportive actually, personally, to me.”
She added: “I barely have meetings with the chief whip, which is probably a good thing.
“I know that there are some quite robust conversations.”
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said Sir Gavin Williamson did "the right thing" by resigning from the Cabinet.
Asked if Rishi Sunak should have sacked him, she told Sky News: "I think Gavin did the right thing by resigning.
"It’s had the same impact, you know, he’s now going to be on the back benches and he’s going to be fighting the allegations, as he says, which he disputes."
Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, is on the broadcast round for the Government this morning.
She was told during an interview on Sky News that the appointment of Sir Gavin Williamson to the Cabinet brings into question Rishi Sunak’s judgment.
But she said: "I think the whole country saw Rishi Sunak’s judgement on display all over the summer when he very clearly… told everybody what they didn’t want to hear but what was the right thing which was basically what we need to do to navigate these difficult times and he was giving those hard messages, people didn’t want to hear them, but that I think showed his judgement."
Asked if she believed Mr Sunak was right to give Sir Gavin a job in his first Cabinet, Ms Keegan said: "Well, of course he wanted to bring in all the different talents, he wanted to bring in a mix of experience, new faces."
Good morning and welcome to today’s politics live blog.
Rishi Sunak’s premiership suffered its first major moment of instability last night with the resignation of Sir Gavin Williamson from the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister’s critics have questioned his judgment over the decision to appoint Sir Gavin and the premier can expect a grilling on the subject from Sir Keir Starmer during PMQs at noon.
We are also expecting an announcement from the Government on what happens next on powersharing in Northern Ireland while the PM is due to welcome Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg to No10 for talks this afternoon.
I will guide you through the key developments.
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Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glance