Boris Johnson resigns as MP with immediate effect and says he is ‘bewildered and appalled’ at being ‘forced out’ – as it happened

Last modified: 11: 03 PM GMT+0

Former prime minister to be suspended for 10 days and will not stand again in Uxbridge and South Ruislip

Here is a summary of this evening's most important political developments

  • Boris Johnson is stepping down as an MP with immediate effect and says he is ‘bewildered and appalled’ at being ‘forced out’. He took the move after the Privileges Committee of the House of Commons found he misled Parliament and recommended sanctions of more than 10 days.

  • The Privileges Committee to meet on Monday to conclude inquiry into whether Johnson misled MPs.

  • Johnson claims attempt to reverse Brexit behind his being found to have misled parliament.

  • ‘Good riddance’ was how some opposition MPs reacted to Johnson’s resignation.

  • Johnson said there was ‘not a shred of evidence’ he misled Commons as he steps down and that the Tories must ‘recapture momentum’ in a stinging resignation rebuke to the Sunak government.

The Guardian has created a timeline of alleged lockdown parties and UK deaths, what Covid rules were in place at the time and what Boris Johnson said.

The Partygate scandal has been thrown back into the spotlight after Boris Johnson quit as an MP in anger at an investigation which found he misled parliament over lockdown-breaking events in Downing Street.

With more than 220,000 Covid deaths to date, the Guardian plots the UK death toll against dates on which the staff parties are alleged to have occurred, as well as other alleged breaches of lockdown rules and Johnson’s comments on the gatherings.

Boris Johnson is going to be a “thorn” in Rishi Sunak’s side “forever”, the former prime minister’s biographer has said.

Sonia Purnell gave her view on why Johnson resigned to BBC Newsnight. “He was keeping the grievance thing going, which is what he needs.

“But I think also there is a money thing here too. He is earning a lot of money, we know that. But that would become more difficult if he had lost the vote on the floor of the house.

“I think that would have been part of his calculation, but that grievance thing, he never wants to give up.

“He’s not really going off into the sunset. He’s going to be a thorn in Sunak’s side forever.”

"He’s not really going off into the sunset. He’s going to be a thorn in Sunak’s side forever"

Boris Johnson’s biographer, Sonia Purnell, gives her take on the former Prime Minister stepping down as an MP#Newsnight |

— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 9, 2023

Have I Got News For You was doomed to be a step behind today, having recorded their latest episode the day before Boris Johnson’s resignation.

The topical news comedy show joked it needs to start recording episodes on Fridays.

This week’s episode featured comedian Harry Hill as host - his first ever appearance on the show - and was recorded on Thursday.

Johnson’s surprise announcement came shortly after 8pm, with Have I Got New For You set to air at 9pm.

My thoughts and prayers with everyone who had to record 'Have I Got News For You' last night.

— Richard Osman (@richardosman) June 9, 2023

Shortly after the news, the show’s Twitter account wrote: “Perhaps we need to start recording the show on a Friday...”

Comedian Richard Osman, who has previously guest hosted the show, expressed sympathy with those involved.

“My thoughts and prayers with everyone who had to record ‘Have I Got News For You’ last night,” he said.

Johnson has appeared several times on Have I Got News For You, both as guest panellist and host.


When Boris Johnson sat down to draft his resignation statement after learning the privileges committee had concluded that he lied to MPs over Partygate, he was determined to leave his enemies – on both sides of the Commons – a clear message.

It is very sad to be leaving parliament,” he wrote. “At least for now …” That he still harbours hopes of a comeback – despite the damage that he has done to his own reputation, the Conservative party brand and to the country more widely – should surprise nobody.

Since he announced in July 2022 that he was quitting as prime minister, Johnson has made no secret of the fact that he felt he had nothing wrong and so had been treated unfairly. “I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out,” he said.

Boris Johnson “impugned the integrity of the House” by his furious resignation statement, a spokesperson for the Privileges Committee said

Responding to Johnson’s resignation, the spokesperson said: “The Committee has followed the procedures and the mandate of the House at all times and will continue to do so.

“Mr Johnson has departed from the processes of the House and has impugned the integrity of the House by his statement. The Committee will meet on Monday to conclude the inquiry and to publish its report promptly.”

Shadow secretary of state for health and social care Wes Streeting defended Privileges Committee chairwoman Harriet Harman after Johnson’s accusations of “bias”.

“@HarrietHarman has more integrity in one little finger than all her detractors combined,” Mr Streeting tweeted.

“The Conservative Party is an ungovernable rabble and their time is up.”


Privileges Committee to meet on Monday to conclude inquiry into whether Johnson misled MPs

The Privileges Committee will meet on Monday to conclude its inquiry into
whether Boris Johnson misled MPs and plans to “publish its report promptly”
following the former prime minister’s resignation from the Commons, a spokesman


George Osborne, the former Chancellor, and not one of Boris Johnson’s biggest supporters, has tweeted.

What a lovely evening 🙂

— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) June 9, 2023

Boris Johnson gave evidence in March during a a tetchy three-and-a-half-hour evidence session in which he repeatedly claimed No 10 parties, with alcohol and little social distancing, had been “necessary” for work purposes despite the Covid guidance in place at the time.

It’s worth revisiting the highlights of his evidence session as he insisted ‘hand on heart’ he had not lied to the Commons over workplace gatherings in Downing Street during the pandemic. In his resignation letter today, he again insists “I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the Committee know it.”

Priti Patel, who served under Boris Johnson as home secretary and was nominated for a damehood in the former prime minister’s long-awaited resignation honours list, tweeted a message of support for Johnson, describing him as “a political titan”.

She tweeted: “Boris Johnson has served our country and his constituency with distinction. He led world in supporting Ukraine, got Brexit done, and was our most electorally successful prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. Boris is a political titan whose legacy will stand the test of time.”

Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland compares Johnson’s resignation letter to the rhetoric of Donald Trump.

The casual willingness to destroy public trust in institutions, the denial of all personal responsibility, the claiming of a bogus victimhood — every word
is pure, undiluted Trump

— Jonathan Freedland (@Freedland) June 9, 2023

Boris Johnson’s resignation letter makes it clear he sees his departure as temporary. “It is very sad to be leaving parliament – at least for now,” he writes. It echoes the reference to Cincinnatus he made when standing down as prime minister in which he, slightly less obviously, suggested he viewed his exit as less than permanent.

The Guardian’s political editor Pippa Crerar says Johnson’s move today took many by surprise – and may have been because he wanted to walk on his own terms rather than be forced out by MPs or constituents. But, she argues, this time a comeback may be beyond him but warns of his ability to cause chaos from the sidelines.

There is no sign that Johnson is planning to go quietly, and every indication that he will continue lobbing political hand grenades from the sidelines, even as he tours the globe making millions from speaking engagements.

Johnson has already taken parting shots at Sunak, telling him the party needs “urgently to recapture its sense of momentum”, make the most of Brexit, cut business and personal taxes, push for a free trade deal with the US and in essence “not be afraid to be a properly Conservative government”.

The former prime minister has long relished comparisons with his historical and political hero, Winston Churchill, who was returned to office in 1951 despite losing the 1950 election, and went on to serve as prime minister for another four years.

But despite his reputation for staging gravity-defying political comebacks, both Tory MPs and others from across Westminster really do believe that it is over for Boris Johnson this time.

Andrea Jenkyns, the Tory MP for Morley and Outwood who was nominated for a damehood by Boris Johnson, has said she will not resign in the wake of the former prime minister’s resignation.

She tweeted: “To the journalists calling me tonight, just to clarify I am certainly not resigning. It’s a great honour to serve my constituents & our great country. The unjust events & BorisJohnson resignation tonight has made me more determined to stand up to the blob wherever they reside.”

Earlier today, the Cabinet Office released a letter telling the Covid inquiry that Boris Johnson’s diaries from his time as prime minister are their property and exist to record his engagement.

They say they are not personal diaries. The letter says that they are working with security services in regards to turning on Johnson’s old phone so that the inquiry can investigate his WhatsApp messages.

ITV News’s deputy political editor Anushka Asthana shared this tweet

MEANWHILE Cabinet office put out this letter today- telling the Covid inquiry that Boris Johnson’s diaries are govt property/ and not his. And they won’t hand over unredacted while the judicial review is still underway. It’s due on June 30 👇

— Anushka Asthana (@AnushkaAsthana) June 9, 2023

Guardian columnist Hugh Muir has written about Boris Johnson’s honours list, saying it is shoddy. disheartening but undeniably him.

If nothing became Boris Johnson more than the manner of his leaving No 10, nothing says more about the political rot he accelerated than the honours list that trails behind him and his announcement tonight that he will quit parliament having been told he faces ignominious suspension.

To scan the list that was perhaps his final act in frontline politics is to relive the era of cronyism and maladministration that he inflicted on the country. It redefined the very idea of honours as a reward for public service, replacing it with the sort of cheap favour you bestow on friends by buying them a seaside hat or a round in the pub.

The SNP’s leader in Westminster Stephen Flynn has joined the criticism of Boris Johnson. He said: “Good riddance. No one in Scotland will shed a tear to see the back of Boris Johnson.

“The SNP will be working hard for every vote at the next election, so Scotland can get rid of these rotten Tory governments for good with independence.”

Conservative MPs loyal to Boris Johnson have reportedly been commiserating over his in a group WhatsApp chat.

A message apparently sent by Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, reads “the blob has won, Boris the best PM since Thatcher”.

Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington, replied: “There will be few smug faces tonight, I’m sure, but we’ll rue the day we started this nonsense.”

Jenkyns appears to add: “Well done Rishi for starting this nonsense”.

The Conservative MPs’ WhatsApp doesn’t make great reading for Rishi Sunak tonight.

— Kevin Schofield (@KevinASchofield) June 9, 2023

Boris Johnson has been described as “outstanding” by the chairman of the local Conservative Association in his constituency, after announcing his decision to step down as an MP.

He held his Uxbridge seat with a majority of 7,200 votes at the 2019 contest, with Labour his closest rival.

The by-election is likely to be tricky for Mr Sunak’s party, with Labour more than 10 points ahead of the Tories in most opinion polls.

Richard Mills, chairman of the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Association, said Mr Johnson had been an “outstanding” advocate for the community “contrary to external perception”.

He said the local party respected “his decision to stand down” in response to what Mr Mills called a “co-ordinated campaign against him” by the Privileges Committee.

MPs have begun scrapping on social media as opposition politicians react to the news that Boris Johnson has stepped down.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavillion and former leader of the Green party, tweeted: “Everyone knew he was not fit to hold public office before he was even an MP. Yet Tories made him their leader & look what happened. Evading scrutiny to the last & choosing to quit just hours after gifting gongs & peerages in atrocious act of patronage & sleaze.

“Entirely predictable that Johnson making baseless accusations that he’s been forced out - he even uses the word “witch-hunt”. Trumpian rubbish. Privileges Cttee has Tory majority. He lied about the most serious of things & was held to account for treating us all with contempt.”

Christian Wakeford, Labour MP for Bury South, bid farwell to Johnson, but tweeted “I can’t say you’ll be missed much.”

Mark Jenkinson, MP for Workington, responded to Wakeford’s tweet by saying: “You literally owe your seat to him you traitorous twerp.”

Wakeford won his seat in 2019 as a Conservative, but defected to Labour in January 2022, over what he called then-PM Johnson’s “disgraceful” conduct.

Karl Turner, East Hull Labour MP, told Jenkinson to “stop crying” in a mocking response.

Stop crying Mark lad.

— Karl Turner MP (@KarlTurnerMP) June 9, 2023


'Good riddance': opposition MPs react to Boris Johnson's resignation

Opposition politicians began reacting to the news Boris Johnson is to stand down, triggering a by-election.

Angela Rayner, Labour Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “The British public are sick to the back teeth of this never ending Tory soap opera played out at their expense.

“After thirteen years of Conservative chaos, enough is enough.

“It’s time to turn the page with a fresh start for Britain with a Labour Government focused on the people’s priorities of tackling the cost of living crisis and building a better future.”

John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington and former shadow chancellor, tweeted: “Good riddance”.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP also said: “Good riddance.” Her colleague Layla Moran added: “During his time in office Boris Johnson treated my constituents and the nation with utter contempt. Good riddance.”

Mhairi Black, SNP deputy Westminster leader, said the former No 10 incumbent “jumped before he was pushed”.

Meanwhile, the Guardian’s political editor Pippa Crerar said friends of Boris Johnson said “he still thinks he can make a comeback to the top job”.

Friends of Boris Johnson tell me that he still thinks he can make a comeback to the top job, so this is not beyond the realms of possibility...

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) June 9, 2023


Boris Johnson added the Privileges Committee had a “very important job” and should not be using their powers to mount “a political hitjob on someone they oppose”.

He said he was resigning because “it is in no one’s interest” that the process of the privileges committee “should continue for a single day further”.

But I am proud that after what is cumulatively a 15 year stint I have helped to deliver among other things a vast new railway in the Elizabeth Line and full funding for a wonderful new state of the art hospital for Hillingdon, where enabling works have already begun.

Johnson said he remained “hugely proud” of all that he said had been achieved during his time in office as Prime Minister.

He said they included “getting Brexit done, winning the biggest majority for 40 years and delivering the fastest vaccine roll out of any major European country, as well as leading global support for Ukraine.”

Boris Johnson said the privileges committee finding against him set a “dangerous and unsettling precedent”.

“I am now being forced out of parliament by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions, and without the approval even of Conservative party members let alone the wider electorate.”

He said the Conservative Party had time to “recover its mojo and its ambition and to win the next election” and that he had been looking forward to providing “enthusiastic support” from the backbenches.

“Harriet Harman’s committee has set out to make that objective completely untenable”, he said.

“The Committee’s report is riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice but under their absurd and unjust process I have no formal ability to challenge anything they say.”

Johnson claims attempt to reverse Brexit behind his being found to have misled parliament

Boris Johnson claimed it was an attempt to reverse Brexit lay behind the Privileges Committee finding he had misled parliament.

He said it was his “faith in the impartiality of our systems” which led him to commissioner the former civil servant Sue Gray to investigate parties in Downing Street.

“It is clear that my faith has been misplaced”, Johnson said. “Of course, it suits the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the SNP to do whatever they can to remove me from parliament.

“Sadly, as we saw in July last year, there are currently some Tory MPs who share that view. I am not alone in thinking that there is a witch hunt underway, to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result.

“My removal is the necessary first step, and I believe there has been a concerted attempt to bring it about. I am afraid I no longer believe that it is any coincidence that Sue Gray - who investigated gatherings in Number 10 - is now the chief of staff designate of the Labour leader.

“Nor do I believe that it is any coincidence that her supposedly impartial chief counsel, Daniel Stilitz KC, turned out to be a strong Labour supporter who repeatedly tweeted personal attacks on me and the government.”


Boris Johnson added he thought the Privileges Committe members knew “in their hearts” he did not lie.

In his statement, he added: “They know perfectly well that when I spoke in the Commons I was saying what I believed sincerely to be true and what I had been briefed to say, like any other minister.

“They know that I corrected the record as soon as possible; and they know that I and every other senior official and minister - including the current Prime Minister and then occupant of the same building, Rishi Sunak - believed that we were working lawfully together.

“I have been an MP since 2001. I take my responsibilities seriously. I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the Committee know it. But they have wilfully chosen to ignore the truth because from the outset their purpose has not been to discover the truth, or genuinely to understand what was in my mind when I spoke in the Commons.”


Johnson says 'not a shred of evidence' he misled Commons as he steps down

Boris Johnson accused the Standards Committee, led by Labour’s Harriet Harman but including Tory MPs, of having “still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons”.

“Their purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts. This is the very definition of a kangaroo court,” he wrote.

“Most members of the Committee - especially the chair - had already expressed deeply prejudicial remarks about my guilt before they had even seen the evidence. They should have recused themselves.

“In retrospect it was naïve and trusting of me to think that these proceedings could be remotely useful or fair. But I was determined to believe in the system, and in justice, and to vindicate what I knew to be the truth.”


Boris Johnson says Tories must 'recapture momentum' in stinging resignation rebuke to Sunak government

In a rallying call to his followers, Boris Johnson used his resignation statement to deliver a stinging attack on Rishi Sunak’s government.

“When I left office last year the government was only a handful of points behind in the polls. That gap has now massively widened,” he said.

“Just a few years after winning the biggest majority in almost half a century, that majority is now clearly at risk. Our party needs urgently to recapture its sense of momentum and its belief in what this country can do.

“We need to show how we are making the most of Brexit and we need in the next months to be setting out a pro-growth and pro-investment agenda. We need to cut business and personal taxes - and not just as pre-election gimmicks - rather than endlessly putting them up. We must not be afraid to be a properly Conservative government.

“Why have we so passively abandoned the prospect of a Free Trade Deal with the US? Why have we junked measures to help people into housing or to scrap EU directives or to promote animal welfare?

“We need to deliver on the 2019 manifesto, which was endorsed by 14 million people. We should remember that more than 17 million voted for Brexit. “


Boris Johnson said he had received a letter from the committee which is investigating whether he lied to MPs over Partygate “making it clear, much to my amazement, that they are determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of Parliament”.

He said: “I have today written to my association in Uxbridge and South Ruislip to say that I am stepping down forthwith and triggering an immediate by-election.

“I am very sorry to leave my wonderful constituency. It has been a huge honour to serve them, both as mayor and MP.”


Boris Johnson stepping down as an MP with immediate effect and says he is 'bewildered and appalled' at being 'forced out'

Boris Johnson is standing down as the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, it has been reported.

The move by the former prime minister will trigger an immediate by-election.

He took the move after the Privileges Committee of the House of Commons reportedly found he misled Parliament & recommended sanction of more than 10 days.

Johnson told the Times: “It is very sad to be leaving parliament - at least for now - but above all I am bewildered and appalled that I can be forced out, anti-democratically, by a committee chaired and managed, by Harriet Harman, with such egregious bias”


Boris Johnson is standing down as the Tory MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, triggering an immediate by-election

Comes after Privileges Committee recommended suspension of more than 10 days

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 9, 2023


Jacob Rees-Mogg has said “Tony Blair is a Knight of the Garter” in response to criticisms people named in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list were implicated in partygate.

The North East Somerset MP, who will receive a knighthood from the list, said: “People who are involved in political life don’t get everything right. They inevitably make mistakes”.

Speaking to GB News, a channel on which he presents a show, he was asked about the inclusion of Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary under Johnson, who ITV News revealed last February had invited dozens of Downing Street staff to “socially distanced drinks” in the No 10 garden in May 2020, saying: “Bring your own booze!”

Rees-Mogg told fellow presenter Michelle Dewberry: “The individual you mention worked extremely hard in his role as private secretary to the prime minister, will have spent many, many hours devoted to the public service.

“I think it’s a perfectly reasonable recognition of his overall service. That’s not denying that in one email he may have made a mistake.”

'I’m obviously delighted and very honoured, and flattered that Boris Johnson put me on his list!'

Jacob Rees-Mogg reacts to receiving a knighthood as part of Boris Johnson's resignation honour's list.

— GB News (@GBNEWS) June 9, 2023


Rishi Sunak has been warned he risks losing Tory “red wall” voters en masse, as northern MPs called on him to cut taxes, build more homes and extend devolution.

Pressure is mounting on the prime minister to move on from his initial phase of leadership, which was designed to steady the party, and press ahead with offering a more inspiring vision to voters before the next election.

Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley mayor who is a poster boy for the party’s success in northern England and was awarded a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, said those who voted Tory in 2019 wanted to vote for the party again.

Tory health minister Will Quince to stand down at next election to 'put family first'

Health minister Will Quince has announced he will step down at the next election so he can “put my family and daughters first”.

Mr Quince said he had informed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who he supported during last summer’s Conservative leadership contest, and his local Tory association of his decision not to put himself forward to contest the election, expected to take place next year.

In a statement on his website, he said he was “incredibly proud” of what he had achieved in Parliament but that he felt he had been “neglecting” his role as a father.

The Colchester MP joins a long list of parliamentarians to announce they will bring a close to their Commons careers at the next national poll, with almost 50 declaring that this term will be their last.


Boris Johnson rewards aides implicated in Partygate

A number of aides who were implicated in the Partygate scandal have been honoured in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

These include Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary under Johnson, who ITV News revealed last February had invited dozens of Downing Street staff to “socially distanced drinks” in the No 10 garden in May 2020, saying: “Bring your own booze!”

Shelley Williams-Walker, who was Downing Street’s head of operations under Johnson and went on to run his office was dubbed “DJ SWW” at a No 10 party held the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.

Jack Doyle, was the Downing Street director of communications from April 2021 to February 2022. He was in charge of the Downing Street response when the Mirror first contacted No 10 with allegations about a party in the prime minister’s flat, known as the “Abba party”. He told another official at the time: “I don’t know what we say about the flat … Ignore the Xmas quiz bullshit, who cares. Just be robust and they’ll get bored.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, has called the honours list “sickening”:

“Instead of tackling the cost-of-living crisis, the Tories are spending their time doling out rewards for those who tried to cover up rule-breaking and toadied to a disgraced former prime minister.

“It’s a sickening insult that those who planned Covid parties and held boozy lockdown bashes while families were unable to mourn loved ones are now set to be handed gongs by Rishi Sunak.

“As Boris Johnson faces yet more allegations and investigations about his conduct, the privilege of an honours list is spectacularly ill-judged and wholly undeserved.”


The Times reported last November that four sitting Conservative MPs, Nadine Dorries, Alok Sharma, Alister Jack and Nigel Adams were all offered peerages by Johnson. None of them are on the former prime minister’s resignation honours list.

Pippa Crerar, our political editor, says the House of Lords Appointments Commission insisted on them having byelections first.

Four sitting MPs - Nadine Dorries, Alok Sharma, Alister Jack, Nigel Adams - all offered peerages by Johnson.

HOLAC insisted on by-elections first, so Jack & Adams decided to wait, with benefit of avoiding polls.

Dorries decided to quit anyway (Sharma tbc).

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) June 9, 2023

Rishi Sunak had 'no involvement or input' into Johnson's honours list, says press secretary

Rishi Sunak’s press secretary says he had “no involvement or input” into Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

The prime minister’s press secretary said: “As is convention, the prime minister forwarded the former prime minister’s peerage list to House of Lords Appointments Commission unaltered.

“Holac then passed back their approved list. The prime minister then accepted Holac’s approved list and forwarded it unamended to the sovereign for their approval. He had no involvement or input into the approved list.

“It is a point of fact that it is made public by the commission if a prime minister overrules the commission’s advice.”


Andrea Jenkyns, the Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood who served as parliamentary undersecretary of state for skills between July and October 2022, has reacted to her newly awarded damehood on Twitter.

She made headlines shortly after being appointed parliamentary undersecretary for putting her middle finger up at protesters.

I am deeply honoured to have been awarded a Damehood (DBE) for public and political services, having been nominated by our Nation's greatest Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher, the Rt Hon. @BorisJohnson, it was an honour to serve in his Government as a Minister & a Whip 🇬🇧

— Andrea Jenkyns MP 🇬🇧 (@andreajenkyns) June 9, 2023


Boris Johnson rewards aides implicated in Partygate scandal

Pippa Crerar, our political editor, notes some of those on the list were implicated in the Partygate scandal.

Among those honoured are Jack Doyle, who served as Downing Street director of communications from April 2021 to February 2022, and Rosie Bate-Williams, the former prime minister’s press secretary.

BREAKING: Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list finally published.

Includes host of former Tory aides, some implicated in Partygate scandal.

Several former City Hall advisors. And friends of his wife Carrie.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) June 9, 2023


Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel receive a knighthood and damehood in Boris Johnson honours list

Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list has just been published. He has awarded seven peerages. Among the names are former Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, current Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and former special adviser to Johnson Charlotte Owen. Nadine Dorries is not on the list.

Also on the list are former cabinet ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel who will receive a knighthood and a damehood respectively.


Earlier today, just hours before resigning and prompting a byelection, Dorries said “the last thing I would want to do would be to cause a byelection in my constituency”.

Nadine Dorries, five hours before she resigned, triggering a by-election

— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 9, 2023

Brutal efficiency of Tory WhatsApp group on display:

Nadine Dorries has been removed from the WhatsApp group

— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) June 9, 2023

She said she “loves” Boris and Carrie Johnson “to bits” but is not tempted to tour the world with the former prime minister, as suggested by Talk TV presenter Vanessa Feltz.

Nadine Dorries claims there are people in the House of Lords without her 'record of achievement' but that they did go to Oxbridge

Nadine Dorries said there are people sitting in the House of Lords who do not have her “record of achievement” but that “they did go to Oxford or Cambridge”.

She told Talk TV: “There are many people sitting in the house of lords who do not have the record of achievement that I have but they did go to Oxford or Cambridge and they do move in slightly different circles to me.”

She says she was born on the “poorest street in Britain” and that it would have been “unusual for someone from my background” to be ennobled in the House of Lords.

One of the reasons she hung on was because it would have been “amazing” for somebody from her background to be a peer, she said.

She has had “a number of conversations over the last 24 hours” with Boris Johnson but that she has already started leaving Tory WhatsApp groups.


Nadine Dorries says 'something significant' prompted her to stand down

Speaking minutes after announcing her resignation, Nadine Dorries has said that “something significant” prompted her to change her mind about sparking a byelection but will not reveal what that was.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire told Talk TV, where she also has a show, that she had changed her mind on the issue this morning but that: “I can’t reveal everything”.

Admitting that “the House of Lords thing was on the cards” she said that in the course of the day “something significant did happen to change my mind”.

She added: “I didn’t want to cause a byelection but I got over myself frankly and it’s time to do the right thing.”

She said later in the interview that she was “relieved” and that she is not happy with the way her party has conducted itself over the last year.

She said she will continue presenting her TV show and writing her Daily Mail column without the “guilt” she had been bearing.



Here’s the full story on Nadine Dorries’ resignation, from Aubrey Allegretti:


In the 2019 general election, Nadine Dorries won 60% of the vote in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency. The Labour candidate, who came in second, was well behind on 22% and the Liberal Democrats won 13% of the vote. The Greens were on 4%.

Dorries increased her majority from 20,983 in 2017 to 24,664 in 2019, with a swing of 2.4% from Labour to the Conservatives.

Nadine Dorries applauding Boris Johnson alongside his wife, Carrie, and their daughter, Romy, after he read his resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street.
Nadine Dorries applauding Boris Johnson alongside his wife, Carrie, and their daughter, Romy, after he read his resignation statement outside 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA


Dorries’ resignation comes after the Times reported overnight that the staunch Johnson ally had been removed from Johnson’s honours list – along with Alok Sharma – to avoid potential byelections.

But now, no matter what the contents of the former prime minister’s soon to be published list, a byelection in Mid Bedfordshire is a certainty.


Dorries’ resignation means the Conservatives will be braced for a byelection in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency.

Byelection incoming!

— Aubrey Allegretti (@breeallegretti) June 9, 2023


Nadine Dorries has resigned as Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire

As The Times reported this morning, she's no longer on Boris Johnson resignation honours list

She was expected to stand down as an MP and get a peerage but are claims she needs vetting by Holac first

— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 9, 2023


Nadine Dorries to stand down as MP immediately

Nadine Dorries has announced she is standing down with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour to serve as the MP for such a wonderful constituency but it is now time for someone younger to take the reins,” she tweeted.

I have today informed the chief whip that I am standing down as the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, with immediate effect.
It has been an honour to serve as the MP for such a wonderful constituency but it is now time for someone younger to take the reins.

— Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP (@NadineDorries) June 9, 2023

Dorries, a key ally of Boris Johnson, is among the names who have been tipped to appear in the former prime minister’s honours list, expected later this afternoon. But it was reported overnight that her name had been removed to avoid a byelection. Now, whether or not she is featured on the list, there will be a byelection in her Mid Bedfordshire constituency anyway.


With Sunak having exited the stage to modest applause, here are some excerpts:

We’ve averted the predicted recession, but my ambition goes further than that. We need to grow the economy and I want the north to be at the heart of our economic growth. We will use our post-Brexit freedoms to create the most pro-innovation and pro-enterprise regulatory system on earth. That will help us as we step up our efforts to attract businesses from around the world.

This government is meeting the infrastructure needs of the north as we speak … If you want to change how Whitehall thinks about a place, send the prime minister there every month.

And again referring to Starmer as “Sir Softie”:

Now Sir Softie might not be Jeremy Corbyn, but we should be in no doubt about the dangers that a Labour government poses … a Starmer government would be a disaster for Britain and for the north.


The Guardian’s Aubrey Allegretti tweets from the conference:

Rishi Sunak makes it to the Northern Research Group conference in Doncaster - he’s introduced as having come “from red eye to red wall”.

— Aubrey Allegretti (@breeallegretti) June 9, 2023

Rishi Sunak admits "things aren't easy right now" as people struggle with the cost of living.

He says that's because of "two economic shocks" - the pandemic and war in Ukraine.

He neglects to mention a third... 😶

— Aubrey Allegretti (@breeallegretti) June 9, 2023

Who is Rishi Sunak talking about here..?

"Our opponents want to drag us down rabbit holes into old arguments, to distract us by trying to turn politics back into a soap opera."

— Aubrey Allegretti (@breeallegretti) June 9, 2023

Starmer's vision for Britain is 'a blank sheet of paper', claims Sunak

Sunak hits out at his Labour rival Keir Starmer, saying he “doesn’t have any ideas”, mocking his cancelled plan to write a book, and adding, to laughs: “Turns out his vision for Britain is a blank sheet of paper.”


Sunak says he plans to support the NHS and “stop the boats” in the Channel.

“If you come here illegally you will be detained and removed,” he says.

He claims Albanian small boat arrivals have fallen by almost 90% since the introduction of the return system.

“Things are tough right now,” he says. “People are frustrated. But I know people are willing to give us the credit if and when we get results.”


'I want the north to be at the heart of our economic growth,' says Sunak

“We need to grow the economy and I want the north to be at the heart of our economic growth,” says Sunak.


Many voters in the north “lent us their vote”, he says. His party must show them that the Conservatives are worthy of their support by delivering for them, he adds, before going on to outline “the people’s priorities”.

A total of 45 towns in the north have received £1bn funding, he says.

“As we did during the pandemic, we are supporting people,” he adds.


'There is no route to electoral success without you,' Sunak tells Northern Research Group conference

“There is no route to electoral success without you,” Sunak tells the conference attendees.

“I am a prime minister for the north,” he says, describing himself as uniquely placed to understand the region.


The north of England is key to Britain’s security, he says, citing a future combat system being developed in Lancashire and submarines in Barrow.


“Red eye to red wall, I love it,” Sunak says, praising the introduction he has received, having just arrived back from Washington.


Sunak enters the stage…

The process to decide the final political fate of the Covid rule-breaking MP Margaret Ferrier has begun, as the local council published notice of the petition to decide whether she should lose her seat.

If enough people sign it, a byelection will be held to decide who would be the MP for her constituency of Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The petitions officer for South Lanarkshire council confirmed on Friday afternoon that a recall petition will be open for constituents to sign from 9am on Tuesday 20 June to 5pm on Monday 31 July at seven different local amenities including leisure centres and the town hall.

On Tuesday, MPs voted to suspend the former SNP MP from parliament for 30 days for breaching Covid-19 regulation. She was found to have damaged the reputation of the house and put people at risk after taking part in a Commons debate and travelling by train between London and Glasgow while she had Covid in September 2020.

If 10% of eligible voters sign the petition by the end of July, this will trigger a byelection, which is seen as a crucial test for both Scottish Labour and the SNP.

It is likely to be the last byelection before the general election, and Labour sees it as a way to send a message to voters UK-wide about its electability, while for the SNP it is a way to prove it remains popular despite a tumultuous few months.


Rishi Sunak is due to address the Northern Research Group conference in Doncaster soon. You can follow the prime minister’s speech here on the blog which will be covering it and on the livestream link, also on the blog.

Unite announces new wave of NHS strikes

Unite has announced a fresh wave of strikes by health workers in the ongoing dispute over NHS pay.

The union said members at the West Midlands ambulance service will strike on Monday 2 June. On Wednesday 4 June members at Christie hospital in Manchester and City hospital in Birmingham will also strike, to coincide with the British Medical Association junior doctors’ strike.

Members at the Yorkshire ambulance service will strike on Friday 23 June and Monday 26 June.

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said:

Unite will continue to escalate its industrial action until the government returns to the negotiating table and makes NHS workers a fair pay offer.

Our members are clear that a decade of real-terms pay cuts and under-investment is undermining the future of the NHS.

The pay offer put forward by the government does nothing to address the recruitment and retention crisis of staff which is promoting the current staff exodus. Ministers must know that.


Dale Vince, a Labour donor and climate activist, has said the party’s delay to its green borrowing plan – announced this morning (see also 9.24am) – “made good sense” and “didn’t trouble me at all”.

“We’re talking about a delay of two or three years before spending hits the £28bn level. I don’t think that’s such a big deal,” he added.

“I think that the context is really important. The Conservatives did cause incredible harm to our economy in just one month last year under Liz Truss.”


Louise Casey, the cross-bench peer who led a review into the Metropolitan police, has said she would work as a Labour minister under Keir Starmer if there was a role where she “could get something done”.

She told the BBC’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast she supported his five “missions” for the country – which cover growth, clean energy, the NHS, justice system and education – but said she doubted he would make her a minister.

She said:

Whether you employ people like me to be a sort of tsar figure or whether you get a minister to do the job they’re doing, what we need is high quality people.

And, you know, there are plenty of people younger than me that could do it as well.

Lady Casey, who is a former deputy director of the homelessness charity Shelter, has worked in several high profile roles advising Labour- and Conservative-led governments, the latest of which was the Met report after the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.


John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington and former shadow chancellor under Jeremy Corbyn, said on Twitter it was “pretty clear that some in the Labour party are trying to sabotage the Green Prosperity Plan.”

Writing in the Guardian, McDonnell said the “argument being put forward is that the bond markets will react to Labour’s borrowing in the same way they responded to Liz Truss’s fantasy budget. This would make the necessary borrowing too expensive to deal with, and anyway, it’s impractical to spend on that scale in the early years of a government.

“Both of these arguments need exposing for what they really are: attempts to sabotage the central plank of the next Labour government.”


Nick Fletcher MP, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan and Miriam Cates MP on stage during the Northern Research Group conference.
Nick Fletcher MP, the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, and Miriam Cates MP on stage during the Northern Research Group conference. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Media


Wes Streeting, the shadow health and social care secretary, has said the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, was “absolutely right” to delay Labour’s plans to borrow £28bn a year for a green prosperity fund owing to a poor economic outlook.

The party initially said it would spend £28bn a year on green investment until 2030 from its first year of coming to power, but Reeves said this morning it would “ramp up” to this figure by the halfway point of its first term in government.

Streeting, considered to be on the right of the Labour party, said on Twitter: “Rachel is absolutely right to put the public finances first. The Tories showed what happens if you ignore economic reality.”

Rachel is absolutely right to put the public finances first. The Tories showed what happens if you ignore economic reality.

Our plan will be built on solid economic foundations and deliver lower bills, energy security, and the jobs of the future.

— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) June 9, 2023


Rishi Sunak is also due to speak at the Northern Research Group conference in Doncaster (see also 12.4pm) this afternoon, back in Britain from his US trip.

As well as the prime minister and George Osborne, senior Conservatives former party chair Jake Berry and education secretary Gillian Keegan will also attend the event to discuss devolution, healthcare and energy.

Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, was met with cheers when he spoke about tax cuts.

He said:

As Jeremy Hunt said at the dinner last night, I think he’s said it publicly before... the state is growing at over 2%, growth is at 1.6%, that is not fiscally responsible. So we need to grow the economy and make sure the economy is growing faster than the size of the state.
I think we will be rewarded... I think we will reap the benefits of that very sensible fiscal position.

Levelling up minister, Dehenna Davison, said backing tax cuts was a “no brainer” for any Conservative.

John Stevenson, president of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the conference at Doncaster Racecourse.
John Stevenson, president of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the conference at Doncaster Racecourse. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
Dehenna Davison, parliamentary under secretary of state for Levelling Up and Ben Houchen, mayor of the Tees Valley, at the Northern Research Group conference at Doncaster Racecourse.
Dehenna Davison, parliamentary under secretary of state for Levelling Up and Ben Houchen, mayor of the Tees Valley, at the Northern Research Group conference at Doncaster Racecourse. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Labour and the Lib Dems have criticised the government’s plan to drop windfall tax if oil and gas prices fall (see also 12.07pm), with Ed Davey claiming it is one of Rishi Sunak’s “biggest personal failures”.

The Lib Dem leader said:

The families and businesses still suffering so much from high energy bills will not forget the failure of the Conservatives to tax the windfall profits of the oil and gas companies properly.

This out of touch government has shown yet again that it doesn’t care about people struggling just to get by, or the small business clinging on. This energy tax failure ranks as one of Rishi Sunak’s biggest personal failures as chancellor and prime minister.

A Labour spokesperson said:

It’s right that as oil and gas producers are making historically high profits that they are asked to contribute more. We need a proper windfall tax on the enormous profits of oil and gas giants to help ease the cost of living crisis.

We will look at the detail of this change. Of course if the windfalls of war disappear then we’ll look at what the right long-term tax position should be for the North Sea.

The Green party, meanwhile, said it was “beyond comprehension”.

The government seems happy to allow these huge corporations to not only wreck the climate but to profit off the back of the cost of living crisis which they themselves have contributed to.


Meanwhile, Sky News reports that the advisory firm where George Osborne is a partner has been enlisted to work on the $75bn takeover by Microsoft of Activision Blizzard, the maker of Call of Duty.

Robey Warshaw, which the former chancellor joined as a partner in 2021, has reportedly been privately involved in the takeover for some time.


Environmental and business experts at the University of Oxford have criticised Labour’s announcement to delay green investment plans (see also 9.24am).

Anupama Sen, head of policy at the university’s Smith school of enterprise and the environment, said:

Policymakers shouldn’t be hesitant about or delay investing in technologies that speed up the transition to clean energy. Renewable energy technologies are inherently capital intensive, and require significant amounts of upfront capital investment, but have very low running costs once they are up and running.

The savings from this could go towards lowering energy bills and improving our energy security in the medium to longer-term. Research at Oxford [Joule] shows that the faster we decarbonise, the faster the costs of clean energy will fall, and the sooner savings can be realised for UK consumers.

We also have a good idea of what the policy challenges are required, and what needs to happen for us to get to a completely decarbonised energy system. Delaying the transition will not necessarily change things and in fact may increase costs as uncertainties increase.

George Osborne tells Tories to stop blaming civil servants 'if we don't get things right'

The former chancellor George Osborne has told his party to stop blaming “the blob” and to be “much more ambitious on devolution”.

Speaking at the Northern Research Group conference in Doncaster, he said:

Whitehall is very against devolution, as an orthodoxy. There are some Conservatives who blame ‘the blob’ and the civil servants and the establishment. We’ve been in office since 2010, we’re in charge of our country’s destiny, and we should stop blaming others if we don’t get things right.

He acknowledged worry about whether central government will have to step in to bail out devolved authorities in case of problems.

But if you take that attitude, you won’t also let parts of the country take responsibility for their own future.

And I think the Conservatives can afford to approach this by being much more ambitious on devolution. We should now be looking, as we fire up Northern Powerhouse 2.0, to give more power to local elected bodies, including metro mayors.


Downing Street claims windfall tax suspension will 'safeguard thousands of jobs'

The government has claimed that its plan to suspend the windfall tax on oil and gas companies if energy prices fall (see also 9.37am) will “safeguard thousands of jobs”.

A No 10 spokesperson said:

You’ll remember that the energy profits levy was introduced last year to respond to exceptionally high prices that meant that oil and gas companies were benefiting from extraordinary profits.

To protect domestic energy supply and safeguard thousands of jobs reliant on that sector, we’ve introduced the energy security investment mechanism, and that means that if oil and gas prices consistently fall back to normal levels before March 2028, which is when it would end anyway, the energy profits levy would be switched off.

Asked whether the government’s concerns came from firms, the spokesperson said:

Obviously, we continue to have conversations with energy companies as we do with all business sectors.


Green party accuses Labour of rowing back on green promises at the 'first sign of any difficulty'

Adrian Ramsay, the co-leader of the Greens, has accused Labour of rowing back at “the first sign of any difficulty” and claimed doubt over its £28bn green plan strengthened his party’s chances of winning more seats at the next election.

In response to Rachel Reeves’s comments this morning (see also 9.24am), he said:

This highlights more than ever why it is necessary to have more Green MPs elected at the next general election.

We are witnessing environmental breakdown at an increasingly alarming rate, so you would have thought the Labour party would understand that we need to see a transformational change if we are going to tackle the climate emergency along with the cost of living crisis that is causing so much harm in our society.

Yet once again we see them offer a policy that does not go far enough, and then row back at the first sign of any difficulty.


The Conservative party chair, Greg Hands, has also weighed in on Rachel Reeves’s comments, claiming Labour’s “main economic policy is in tatters”.

He added:

It doesn’t matter if they try and pretend otherwise, Labour’s plan remains to stick £28bn of borrowing on the government credit card which will lead to higher inflation and higher interest rates.

Jess Ralston, the head of energy at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), claimed the UK is “stuck in the mud”:

Since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed nearly a year ago, spades have hit the ground in the US, but the UK’s been stuck in the mud.

Whichever party is in charge in the coming years will have to prove why organisations should invest here compared to the US or EU, and with the global race heating up, there’s really no time to lose.

Sue Ferns, tje deputy general secretary of Prospect, a trade union representing engineers and scientists, said:

It is not only just about the total investment, which of course is important, but also about giving investors, companies and the workforce long-term certainty. This is something which the current government have failed to do.

Any proper plan must put developing the skilled workforce that we need, and making sure that no communities are left behind as we transition to clean energy, front and centre.


More reaction to Labour’s green prosperity announcement:

James Murray, editor of Business Green, said:

I suspect this is going to be one of those days on here, but this is really not a case of Labour 'ditching' or 'scrapping' its Green Prosperity Plan.

— James Murray (@James_BG) June 9, 2023

Fatima-Zahra Ibrahim, co-director of Green New Deal Rising campaign group, said:

1) Anyone who spends a second thinking about it knows that 28bn will need to be ramped up.

2) But we're losing the fiscal debate. To think we can win transformation, but not take on the economic orthodoxy will inevitably lead to failure, and make hard-won commitments precarious

— Fatima-Zahra Ibrahim (@fortuashla) June 9, 2023

Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty said:

“In a choice between planetary life and sone bullshit notion of fiscal credibility, we will always choose the latter.”

— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) June 9, 2023

Will McCallum, co-executive director of Greenpeace, said:

Two of the world's biggest oil companies are headquartered in the UK, and yet today @UKLabour are dithering on confirming £28bn a year for what was, until hours ago, looking like a credible climate plan.

Still time to turn this back around @RachelReevesMP.

— will mccallum (@WillGreenpeace) June 9, 2023

Greenpeace says Labour plans to water down £28bn green prosperity promise 'huge mistake'

Responding to Rachel Reeves’s comments about Labour’s green investment on the Today programme (see also 9.24am and 9.45am) Rebecca Newsom, Greenpeace UK’s head of politics, said:

Any U-turn would be a huge mistake. Without the necessary immediate investment, we will lose out on the creation of thousands of jobs needed as we phase out fossil fuels, and we will lose out on the opportunity to put green tech industries at the centre of our economy.

Rachel Reeves rightly cites the opportunities of green growth, but this prevarication on confirming the scale of investment needed from the start of a new Labour government risks throwing in the towel on the global race in green tech, with the US, China and the EU already far ahead.

It would be simply bad economics to say that we can’t afford this now when it would pay for itself. Green infrastructure investment is now one of the best economic growth generators, and with it the opportunity to lower bills and tackle the climate crisis. Labour mustn’t let this go.


England's largest teaching union threatens strikes before summer

England’s largest teaching union is threatening to hold strikes before the end of the school term this summer unless the government restarts talks over pay, school funding and working conditions.

In a letter to the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, the National Education Union’s general secretaries give the government until 17 June to resume negotiations or risk further school closures.

The NEU said:

Should this letter be ignored, and negotiations are not in place by the 17 June the NEU national executive will be discussing our next steps. This will include the consideration of NEU teacher members in England taking further strike action in the week beginning 3 July.

The NEU’s letter notes that Keegan has not responded to an earlier request to publish the recommendations of the independent School Teacher Review Body (STRB), which are said to advise a 6.5% pay rise.

The NEU’s letter to Keegan states:

There are six school term weeks until the summer holiday. Up and down the country, head teachers are trying to plan their school budgets for next year and trying to cope with the rapidly growing problem of recruiting enough teachers to fill their classrooms.

By not publishing the STRB report, your department is withholding vital information about what proposals that body has made on teacher pay, which may or may not help with the recruitment difficulties. It is also withholding vital information about the funding of pay rises.


The levelling up minister Dehenna Davison has called for the creation of “new towns” and garden cities.

Speaking at the Northern Research Group conference, the MP for Bishop Auckland said:

I would certainly like new towns, garden cities - I would like to see us be bold and brave. I don’t see why we can’t be building new towns and garden cities that we would see as big commuter hubs.

She also suggested that it would result in Britain “nicking jobs from all over the world” and “keeping people in parts of the country that we want to see people in”.


PM urged to block Boris Johnson's honours list amid reports it will be published today

Rishi Sunak has been urged to step in to block the former prime minister Boris Johnson from handing honours to a “carousel of cronies”.

The prime minister is reportedly set to sign off Johnson’s honours list, which is understood to include about 50 names and could lead to two byelections, within weeks.

Labour has renewed its calls for the list to be stopped. It comes amid reports that the list is likely to be made public today.

BBC political editor @ChrisMasonBBC reporting that Boris Johnson’s honours list will be published today.

— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) June 9, 2023

Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister, said Sunak had “caved in” to appease his divided party, accusing the prime minister of being “too weak” to block them.

“Some of the people on that list, it just looks like a carousel of Boris Johnson’s cronies and, frankly, the prime minister has caved in yet again because there’s warring factions in the Conservative party.

“They’re so divided and fragmented and the prime minister realises that if he wants to keep the sort of Johnson wing of his party quiet he’ll need to ... Some of the names on there are very, very dubious indeed and the prime minister should not be accepting them.”


Fresh from the US, where he and Joe Biden signed the Atlantic declaration, Rishi Sunak is expected to address a conference of Conservatives in the north of England later today.

The prime minister is to appear in Doncaster this afternoon for the Northern Research Group conference.

Among those also expected to attend are the former Conservative party chair Jake Berry, the education secretary, Gillian Keegan, and the former chancellor George Osborne.

Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley mayor, said the event was aimed at making sure ministers do not backtrack on the levelling-up agenda.

He told Times Radio it was about “making sure we get more powers and making sure we can create better communities and opportunities and jobs for local people.”


Responding to Rachel Reeves’ comments this morning – and an article in the Times – Ed Miliband, shadow climate and net zero secretary, has shared his support for the reneged green prosperity plans (see also 9.24am).

He tweeted:

Rachel, Keir and I are determined to deliver our Green Prosperity Plan, ramping up to £28bn a year in investment in the second half of the parliament at the latest. This plan will transform Britain to cut bills, create jobs, and lead on climate.

— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) June 9, 2023

Some people don’t want Britain to borrow to invest in the green economy. They want us to back down.

But Keir, Rachel and I will never let that happen. Britain needs this £28bn a year plan and that is what we are committed to.

— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) June 9, 2023

Jeremy Hunt offers 'get-out' clause from windfall tax

Meanwhile, the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has offered the North Sea oil and gas industry a “get-out” clause from the windfall tax on fossil fuel profits if wholesale energy market prices fall back to normal levels.

Jillian Ambrose reports:

The chancellor hopes to boost investment in the North Sea by agreeing to suspend the windfall tax on oil profits if the market price for Brent crude falls below $71.40 a barrel, and gas prices fall below 54p a therm, for a period of six months. The global oil price is now about $75 a barrel, and the UK’s gas price is about 64 p/th.

The Treasury has put forward the change a little over six months after raising the energy profits levy from 25% to 35%, on top of the usual 40% rate of tax, and extending the regime by two years until 2028. It is expected to raise tens of billions of pounds to help cover the cost of the government’s support for energy bills.

The government said its levy had raised about £2.8bn to date, and it did not expect the new changes to have an impact on the tax receipts based on current forecasts for energy market prices.

The levy attracted fierce criticism from the North Sea industry, which claimed it could put the brakes on new investment in oil and gas projects at a time when the government hopes to increase domestic fossil fuel production.


Today’s admission from the shadow chancellor (see 9.24am) comes less than two years after Rachel Reeves pledged £28bn a year in climate measures until 2030 to protect Britain from disaster and told Labour’s party conference that she would be “the first green chancellor”.

Labour said in September 2021 that the amount would quadruple the government’s current capital investment. In total the party said it would commit £224bn on climate measures over the next eight years.

Targets for spending were planned to include gigafactories to build batteries for electric vehicles, the hydrogen industry, offshore wind turbines made in Britain, cycle paths and flood defences, Jessica Elgot reported at the time.

Here’s the full story from our Whitehall editor, Rowena Mason:


Labour says £28bn green prosperity plan in doubt

Labour has admitted that its £28bn green prosperity plan may have to be watered down.

Blaming the Tories, who she said had “crashed our economy”, Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, this morning said she could not supply a “final set of numbers” on spending until a further fiscal statement from the government.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

The other thing that has happened in last two years is the Tories have crashed our economy, and as a result interest rates have gone up 12 times, inflation is now at 8.7% and I’ve always said our fiscal rules are non-negotiable.
Economic stability, financial stability, always has to come first and it will do with Labour. That’s why it’s important to ramp up and phase up our plans to get to the investment we need to secure these jobs so that it is also consistent with those fiscal rules to get debt down as a share of GDP and to balance day-to-day spending.

The £28bn figure, previously given by Labour, would instead be a target to work towards, she said, rather than the initial sum allocated for the plan in the first year of government, as the party had previously pledged.

She also said she is “staggered” that the prime minister has returned from the US with “no industrial plan” for Britain after Rishi Sunak and the US president, Joe Biden, announced the Atlantic declaration:

I’m staggered, frankly, that he’s come back with no industrial plan for Britain to seize the opportunities that they are seizing in the US.

I’ll be looking after the politics blog today. Please get in touch with any tips or suggestions:



Charlie Moloney (now); Tom Bryant, Sammy Gecsoyler and Miranda Bryant (earlier)

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Boris Johnson claims publication of Covid inquiry ruling unfairly implies he is holding back documents – as it happened
Boris Johnson letter complains process is ‘unfair’ towards him and confirms he is asking new lawyers to represent him

Andrew Sparrow

24, May, 2023 @5:04 PM

Article image
Rishi Sunak says he is ‘totally, 100% on it’ in battle against inflation – as it happened
Prime minister says he knows people will be anxious about rate rise but ‘it is going to be OK’

Andrew Sparrow

22, Jun, 2023 @4:51 PM

Article image
Matt Hancock says he is ‘profoundly sorry’ for ‘huge error’ in UK’s pandemic planning – as it happened
Former health secretary says he is ‘profoundly sorry’ for every death and says he knows an apology from him will be ‘hard to take’

Andrew Sparrow

27, Jun, 2023 @4:30 PM

Article image
Scottish junior doctors call off strike after getting 12.4% pay rise offer – as it happened
Scottish government says deal amounts to £61.3m investment in junior doctors’ pay, the best offer for this group in UK

Andrew Sparrow

07, Jul, 2023 @4:13 PM

Article image
Boris Johnson says ‘Putin must fail’ after Cobra meeting – as it happened
UK prime minister also says he has urged fellow leaders to remove Russia from Swift as he announces larges set of sanctions ever

Nadeem Badshah (now); Andrew Sparrow (earlier)

24, Feb, 2022 @11:37 PM

Article image
MPs vote to approve Boris Johnson Partygate report – as it happened
Former prime minister censured in his absence, with 354 MPs voting to approve and just seven voting against

Tom Ambrose (now) and Andrew Sparrow (earlier)

19, Jun, 2023 @9:46 PM

Article image
Rishi Sunak breaks silence with ‘unreserved apology’; Boris Johnson says he has paid Partygate fine – as it happened
Latest updates: Chancellor and PM’s wife, Carrie Johnson, also said to have paid fines for lockdown breaches

Tom Ambrose (now) and Andrew Sparrow (earlier)

12, Apr, 2022 @9:05 PM

Article image
Justice minister resigns over No 10 Covid fines and PM’s ‘official response’ – as it happened
Latest updates: Lord Wolfson says he cannot serve in the government because of its disregard for the rule of law

Nadeem Badshah and Andrew Sparrow

13, Apr, 2022 @7:25 PM

Article image
Tory plans for anti-strike law covering NHS and teachers ‘wrong and illegal’, says TUC – as it happened
The proposed legislation aims to enforce ‘minimum service levels’ in six key public services

Andrew Sparrow

05, Jan, 2023 @6:29 PM

Article image
Sue Gray will become Starmer’s chief of staff no matter how long the delay, says Labour – as it happened
Latest updates: Labour also accused the Tories of trying to ‘politicise’ the process

Andrew Sparrow

03, May, 2023 @4:53 PM