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Latest from Boris Johnson: Impossible to know if Brexit was bad for the economy, says Lord Frost

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Boris Johnson doesn’t deny offering Carrie Symonds top job

We may never get evidence to show one way or another whether Brexit was bad for the economy, Lord David Forst has argued.

The former Brexit minister said it will probably never be clear whether leaving the EU succeeded or failed for economic reasons because too much was going on.

Speaking at an event organized by Changing Europe, he said: A proof of failure would be if we were still debating it in five or six years in the same way.

If it is to be successful, it needs to settle into British politics and there needs to be a broad consensus that this is how we go forward. I don’t think were quite there yet.

He added: I’m not sure we’ll ever get economic evidence one way or another that will prove that. The tests are broader, the tests relate to democracy as much as to the economy.

Elsewhere, voters head to the polls today in two crucial by-elections where defeat for the Tories could mean fresh problems for the Prime Minister of Boris Johnson.

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SNP MP cleared of sexual harassment

Scottish MP Patricia Gibson has been cleared of sexually harassing an SNP staff member in a parliament bar.

Ms Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran and SNP Spokesperson for Housing and Communities, had appealed a ruling by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that her behavior at Parliament’s Strangers Bar constituted sexual misconduct.

An independent appeals committee concluded that the investigation into the allegations against Ms Gibson had been “substantially flawed”, but did not conclude that the complaint had been vexatious or made in bad faith.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 11:47 a.m.

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Frost on Johnson: I wish he would stop saying factually incorrect things

Lord Frost said he wanted the Prime Minister to stop saying “factually incorrect” things, but it was up to Tory MPs to decide his fate.

Asked about Boris Johnson’s claims that there were more people at work now than before the pandemic, which has been criticized by the Office for National Statistics, the former Brexit minister said: ‘I wish ‘He doesn’t say things like that that are obviously not true, making factually incorrect statements.

“But ultimately it’s up to the Prime Minister’s own party and MPs to decide how they want to do things or not.”

Lord Frost also denied that Brexit had caused a breakdown in confidence in British politics.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 11:28 a.m.

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Unclear if Brexit was bad for the economy, says Frost

We may never get evidence to show one way or another whether Brexit was bad for the economy, Lord David Forst has argued.

The former Brexit minister said it will probably never be clear whether leaving the EU succeeded or failed for economic reasons because too much was going on.

Speaking at an event organized by Changing Europe, he said: A proof of failure would be if we were still debating it in five or six years in the same way.

If it is to be successful, it needs to settle into British politics and there needs to be a broad consensus that this is how we go forward. I don’t think were quite there yet.

He added: I’m not sure we’ll ever get economic evidence one way or another that will prove that. The tests are broader, the tests relate to democracy as much as to the economy.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 10:51 a.m.

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US concerned about ‘tiered’ protocol bill

The US has raised concerns on “multiple levels” with the UK over its plan to override parts of Northern Ireland’s Brexit Protocol, it has been reported.

A senior Biden administration official told The Irish Times his general view was that any changes to the protocol should be the product of a negotiated deal with Brussels that would be passed into UK law.

London recently published a bill to scrap post-Brexit trade deals, which critics say breach international law.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 10:33 a.m.

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Julian Assange was strip searched and transferred to a bare cell on the day the extradition was announced, his wife says

Stella Assange said the WikiLeaks founder was told he was being moved to a bare cell for his own protection.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 10:18 a.m.

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What an exciting time to be here in Rwanda’

Boris Johnson exchanged pleasantries with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

As we reported earlier, the Prime Minister is attending a Commonwealth Leaders Summit in Kigali.

Mr Johnson arrived at Mr Kagame’s office by car, then climbed red-carpeted stairs to meet the Rwandan leader.

At the top, the two men met with a relaxed handshake.

Boris Johnson (L) and his wife Carrie Johnson get off a plane before heading to the president’s office

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

They then proceeded to the President’s meeting room next door where they sat in white armchairs in front of a Union flag and a Rwandan flag.

Mr Johnson said: “How are you? Very good to see you. What an exciting time to be here in Rwanda. Congratulations on taking on the office chair. It will be absolutely superb.”

Mr. Kagame said, “It is a pleasure. Thank you.”

The media were then asked to leave the room.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 9:45 a.m.

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Truss – Putin arms hunger

Vladimir Putin is weaponizing hunger, Foreign Minister says as Russia denounces Ukrainian grain blockade.

Liz Truss was speaking at a press conference alongside her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.

She said the UK and Turkey were working “closely together”, including to get the “grain out of Ukraine”.

“(Vladimir) Putin is weaponizing hunger. He is using food security as a ruthless tool of war. He has blocked Ukrainian ports and is preventing the export of 20 million tons of grain across the world, holding the world to ransom” , she said. .

“I am here in Turkey to discuss the grain movement plan, supported by the United Nations. We are clear that commercial vessels must have safe passage to be able to leave Ukrainian ports, and that Ukrainian ports must be protected from Russian attacks.

“We support the UN talks, but Russia cannot be allowed to delay and prevaricate. There is an urgent need for action in the next month ahead of the new harvest. And we are committed to working with our allies to achieve this.”

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the full report:

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 9:06 a.m.

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Rwanda ready to welcome thousands of asylum seekers

Rwanda is ready to take in thousands of asylum seekers deported from the UK, a Kigali government spokeswoman has said.

Yolande Makolo made the comments last night on ITVs Peston To display.

When asked how much per asylum seeker the UK government would pay in Rwanda, she added: These figures are still being worked out.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has landed in Kigali in recent hours, where he is traveling for a Commonwealth leaders’ summit alongside Prince Charles.

Matt MatherJune 23, 2022 8:50 a.m.

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Martin Lewis says he was kicked out of the House of Lords because he was honest in an interview

Consumer expert Martin Lewis has revealed he was turned down after applying to become a member of the House of Lords.

Mr Lewis, founder and chairman of MoneySavingExpert.com, said he believed his application for an interbank peerage had been rejected because he was honest about the limited time he could devote to the role.

In an interview with the BBC Political Thinking podcast, Mr Lewis expressed his desire for more consensual and cooperative politics.

Mr Lewis has been increasingly vocal in recent months on behalf of financially strained consumers and households amid runaway inflation and a cost of living crisis, writes Dominic McGrath.

Maryam Zakir-HussainJune 23, 2022 8:22 a.m.

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Government borrowing hit a record high in May as inflation soars

Government borrowing amounted to 14 billion, higher than expected last month, as soaring inflation pushed interest on debt to a record high in May, official figures showed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said government borrowing was 4 billion lower than in May last year, but was still the third highest borrowing in May since the start of the monthly records in 1993 and 8.5 billion more than in May 2019, before the pandemic hit.

The data revealed that soaring inflation levels pushed interest payments on the public debt to a record $7.6 billion, $3.1 billion more than a year earlier.

The ONS said the rise in interest payments on UK debt was due to the recent spike in the retail price index (RPI) of inflation, which determines payments on pegged gilts.

So far this financial year, debt interest payments have totaled 14.1 billion, up 4.7 billion year-on-year, the ONS said.

June figures are expected to show the worst of inflation’s impact on public debt interest payments, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicting 19.7 billion – the largest on record.

Maryam Zakir-HussainJune 23, 2022 8:07 a.m.

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