A 'large and untargeted fiscal package' was the scathing verdict of the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) on Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-Budget last week: an extraordinary intervention from a body normally charged with rescuing basket-case economies in Latin America. Ministers were furious. And sources tell me there is a strong suspicion among senior government figures that allies of the ousted Treasury mandarin Sir Tom Scholar might have had something to do with it. One of Kwarteng's first acts as Chancellor was to sack Scholar, the Permanent Secretary at the Treasury since 2016. An arch-Remainer who previously served as David Cameron 's 'Adviser for Europe', Scholar epitomised the stuffy economic orthodoxy that Kwarteng and Liz Truss are seeking to overthrow. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva (pictured in March). A 'large and untargeted fiscal package' was the scathing verdict of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Kwasi … [Read more...] about ANDREW PIERCE: Was IMF attack over sacking of Sir Humphrey?
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Sign up for the View from Westminster email for expert analysis straight to your inbox Get our free View from Westminster email Before the chancellor’s speech, the police put the Tory party conference on lockdown. There’d been a “potential security incident”, apparently. Perhaps they’d been tipped off that a man was about to go on the main stage and not merely s*** himself but then seek to scoop it all up and cram it back up his own arse in the hope that no one would notice. But they needn’t have worried because it didn’t happen – well, not the second bit, anyway. Kwasi Kwarteng wandered out into a hell of his own making, and just styled it out as if it wasn’t there. It would be wrong to describe what he’s done as the mother of all U-turns , because it’s so much more than a U-turn, and so much worse. Late on Sunday night, the chancellor sent out extracts from his speech. It included the line “we must stay the course”. The Daily Express … [Read more...] about It’s been a tough day for Kwasi Kwarteng and his planet-sized ego
Three Remain ministers quit the Government on Monday night as 30 Tory MPs mounted a rebellion by backing a cross-bench bid to force a softer Brexit . Richard Harrington, a business minister, Alistair Burt, a foreign minister, and Steve Brine, a health minister, all quit the Government to support an amendment that allows "indicative" votes on Brexit. It comes despite stark warnings at Cabinet that the move could trigger a General Election if MPs opt to support staying in a Customs Union or the Single Market afer Britain leaves the European Union. Mr Harrington, who spent the day seeking reassurances from the Government, accused the Prime Minister of playing "roulette" with people's lives over no deal in his resignation letter. He said: "At this critical moment in our country's history, I regret that the Government's approach to Brexit is playing roulette with the lives and livelihoods of the vast majority of people in this country. "I fear no deal would be part of a giant … [Read more...] about How Theresa May lost control as three ministers quit to help Parliament force softer Brexit
Jacob Rees-Mogg gives update on Brexit to the Commons SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info South Carolina governor Nikki Haley told the Policy Exchange that Brexit will be a "positive game-changer for the future of Europe" and should be strongly supported by the United States. She stressed the importance of a united western front in response to Russian aggression. She explained: "This is a clash of civilizations — a classic struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong. We need look no further than the streets of Mariupol, Hong Kong, and Tehran for proof." The former US Ambassador to the UN added: "Our challenges are steep, but they are not too steep to overcome, so long as we believe in ourselves and our fight … [Read more...] about Brexit: ‘Game-changer’ US governor throws weight behind Britain in stirring speech
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) said it will deliver an “independent” forecast of the Government’s controversial economic plan following a meeting with the Prime Minister and Chancellor . The unusual meeting between Liz Truss , Kwasi Kwarteng and the independent spending watchdog, which appeared to last under 50 minutes, came amid market turmoil following last week’s mini-budget. Richard Hughes, Andy King and Professor David Miles CBE – all members of the OBR’s budget responsibility committee – arrived at 11 Downing Street at 9.45am on Friday. In a statement published shortly after the meeting, the OBR said it will deliver an initial forecast – which “will, as always, be based on our independent judgment about economic and fiscal prospects and the impact of the Government’s policies” – to the … [Read more...] about OBR to deliver forecast in coming weeks after meeting with PM and Chancellor
The Walk-In is ITV’s new crime drama starring multi-award-winning actor and all-round national treasure Stephen Graham. The first episode is set to premiere on Monday (October 3) and will air for five consecutive weeks. The series has been described as an ‘explosive state-of-the-world’ show that explores some of the most critical and relevant issues of modern times including racism, freedom of speech, and terrorism. Here’s everything you need to know about what The Walk-In is based on. Is The Walk-In based on a true story? The Walk-In is written by acclaimed screenwriter Jeff Pope and is based on a true story of how a Neo-Nazi plan to kill an MP was foiled by an inside man. Stephen Graham takes on the leading role of activist Matthew Collins, a reformed Neo-Nazi, now working as a bona fide journalist for the anti-racist organisation, Hope Not Hate. In his formative years, Collins was the South London organiser for the National Front, a volunteer for the … [Read more...] about Is Stephen Graham ITV drama The Walk-In based on a true story?
Truss admits she didn’t discuss scrapping top rate with cabinet SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng have made a major U-turn on their plans to scrap the 45p tax rate after outrage from Tory MPs. The Chancellor said "we get it, and we have listened" as he confirmed he was ditching the policy less than two weeks after it was announced. Related articles Liz Truss rips up more EU red tape as she aims for a Brexit boom Dorries attacks Truss for 'throwing Chancellor under the bus' "It is clear that the abolition of the 45p tax rate has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our country," he said this morning. "As a result, I'm … [Read more...] about Liz Truss drops plan to abolish 45p top tax rate in massive U-turn after Tory backlash
VIEWERS of The Walk-In have been left "feeling sick" after the new drama kicked off with a "gruesome" scene. Actor Stephen Graham stars in the new five-part series as a reformed right-wing extremist set against the backdrop of the EU Referendum. His character, Matthew Collins - now an anti-fascist activist journalist - is seen working in the investigations department of an anti-racism and anti-fascism organisation. Based on true events , the first episode left viewers in shock within the first few minutes of The Walk-In being on air. It showed a reenactment of the attempted murder of Dr Sarandev Bhambra, a dentist who was set upon by a Nazi-obsessed loner as he shopped in a Tesco Express. Dr Bhambra almost died in the 2015 racist attack, which saw him butchered with a claw hammer and a 30cm-long machete. READ MORE ON ITV inside job The Walk-In cast - from Stephen Graham to Leanne Best DAVIDE'S DECISION Love … [Read more...] about The Walk-In viewers left “feeling sick” after the ITV drama’s traumatic opening scene
Starmer pledges state-owned energy firm in conference speech SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Rocketing energy bills have exacerbated a long-standing and perilous financial situation where many sites are forced to rely on cake sales and raffles to stay afloat. Hospice budgets will be decimated by rising energy costs (Image: Andy Commins) Officials are now warning of the imminent closure of some of the nation's 200 facilities, which care for more than 200,000 adults and children every year. David Smith, chief executive of St Teresa's Hospice in Darlington, County Durham, said that without urgent intervention the emergency will "devastate hospice care". He added: "While the NHS has always contributed some … [Read more...] about Energy price rises ‘will devastate hospice care’
A former Cabinet minister sees Liz Truss as a ‘dead woman walking’ who has ‘lost all credibility’, according to a report. In one of the most high-profile attacks from within her own party, the prime minister was warned her days at No 10 were numbered due to internal anger over her controversial economic plans. A number of independent think-tanks and economists have accused the government of ‘gambling’ with the country’s finances by funding tax cuts with debt which it insists pay for itself in the long run through higher growth. The cuts included a 1p reduction in the basic income tax rate and a 5p fall in the top rate of income tax, which would mean those earning more than £150,000 a year pay the same proportion as those on £50,000 a year. Tories began to fear a rout at the next election, which worsened when it emerged that the government was not ruling out scrapping a planned rise in benefits to help keep payments in line with inflation. The pressure climaxed … [Read more...] about Liz Truss is a ‘dead woman walking’, says ex-Cabinet minister