Boris Johnson news live: Keir Starmer launches Labour reshuffle as Angela Rayner gives Tory sleaze speech

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Angela Rayner claims she ‘doesn’t know details’ of Labour reshuffle

Sir Keir Starmer has launched a reshuffle of MPs on Labour’s frontbench, his spokesperson has confirmed.

His deputy Angela Rayner is claiming, through her spokesperson, that Sir Keir began a shake-up of the shadow cabinet without consulting her.

It comes as frontbencher Cat Smith announced her resignation after taking a call from Sir Keir regarding his reshuffle plans this morning.

The MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, shadow minister for democracy, said Sir Keir had invited her to carry on in her role but that she decided to step down to focus on her constituency.

In her resignation letter, she warned Sir Keir that the ongoing exclusion of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) is causing “damage” to ordinary members.

Mr Corbyn, the socialist MP for Islington North, who was succeeded by Sir Keir as leader last year, had the whip withdrawn by his successor amid a row over anti-semitism allegations within the party.

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MP second job contracts should ban lobbying, watchdog says

MPs with second jobs could be made to sign contracts that ban them from lobbying or political consultancy work, under proposals backed by the standards watchdog.

A new draft report drawn up by the parliamentary standards committee backs a call by Boris Johnson for an outright ban on any MPs providing paid parliamentary advice, consultancy or strategy services.

To enforce this, the committee says all second jobs must have a written contract outlining an MPs’ duties – and explicitly banning them from “lobbying Ministers, Members or public officials on behalf of that employer”.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 18:30

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Maskless Tory MPs come under fire as Omicron variant sees measures stepped-up

A group of Conservative MPs have continued to shun mask-wearing in the House of Commons, despite tougher measures for the public in response to the new Omicron variant.

Face coverings will be compulsory on public transport and in shops in England from Tuesday.

But a handful of backbench Tories appeared maskless in the Commons chamber on Monday, with one openly shouting his opposition to pleas from Labour MPs to put one on.

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 18:20

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Sajid Javid refuses to rule out return to lockdown in response to Omicron variant of Covid

Health secretary Sajid Javid has refused to rule out a new lockdown in England in response to the threat of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, writes Andrew Woodcock.

Mr Javid told MPs than no-one wanted to see a return to measures of the sort deployed when the coronavirus first emerged last year.

But he was unable to give a positive response to Tory MP Richard Drax’s plea for a pledge “that he will never ever go back to locking this country down”.

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 18:10

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MP James Cleverly shares positive lateral flow test for Covid-19

The minister for Middle East & North Africa has posted an image of a positive Covid-19 lateral flow test on Twitter.

As a result, he also said he will no longer be able to attend the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) oral questions taking place tomorrow.

It comes as the third known English case of the new and potentially troublesome omicron variant was discovered in someone who had spent time in the Westminster area.

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 18:00

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MPs could face investigation for launching “excessive” personal attacks online

Rules around ministers’ gifts and hospitality could also be tightened under a package of reforms put forward to clean up Westminster.

The Commons Standards Committee also set out plans to ban MPs from providing paid parliamentary advice, consultancy or strategic services – echoing recommendations made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in recent weeks.

The committee’s report will be the subject of a consultation before a final set of recommendations is published in the new year.

The proposals would add a new rule to the code of conduct banning MPs from subjecting anyone to “unreasonable and excessive personal attack” in any medium.

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 17:50

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Exclusive: Dying patients go without care as community nurses ‘on their knees’

Dying patients are going without care in their own homes because of a collapse in community nursing services, new data shared with The Independent reveals.

Across England a third of district nurses say they are now being forced to delay visits to end of life care patients because of surging demand and a lack of staff. This is up from just 2 per cent in 2015.

Health correspondent Shaun Lintern has the story:

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 17:40

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Vienna talks last opportunity for Iran to revive nuclear deal, says Liz Truss

International negotiations in Vienna mark the “last opportunity” for Iran to revive its original nuclear deal, the Foreign Secretary has warned, saying Britain will “work flat out” to prevent the Iranian regime from gaining access to such weapons.

It came as indirect talks to resuscitate Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, began in the Austrian capital.

Ms Truss told reporters at a Foreign Office press conference: “We are absolutely determined to prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapon, and all options are on the table.

“Talks are starting in Vienna today. We want Iran to agree to the original JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal) – that is very important.

“And we want those talks to work. But if they don’t work, all options are on the table.”

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 17:30

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France says UK ‘not taking its share’ of asylum seekers and Channel push-backs will not be accepted

France will not accept planned operations to force migrant boats out of British waters, its interior minister has said.

Talks between the two governments have soured in the days since at least 27 people drowned off the coast of Calais in the worst disaster of its kind.

Our home affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden reports:

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 17:20

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Boris Johnson and two cabinet ministers attended event linked to Covid cases

Boris Johnson and two cabinet ministers attended a conference in central London last week, several attendees of which have since developed Covid infections and been contacted by NHS test and trace.

Last Monday, the prime minister addressed business leaders and trade experts at think tank the Centre for Policy Studies’ (CPS) Margaret Thatcher Conference on Trade. The majority of attendees and the prime minister did not wear a face mask.

The NHS recommends wearing a “face covering when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places.”

The Prime Minister arrived at the Guildhall at around 7pm on Monday evening before giving a speech at a dinner organised in order to wrap up the conference.

Anna Isaac has the story:

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 17:10

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Funding to be offered to allow GPs to make more appointments in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £30 million fund to help GPs offer more appointments as part of a “significant down payment” of extra money for the Scottish NHS.

The First Minister used her SNP conference speech to set out funding aimed at helping GPs hold more surgeries and face-to-face appointments during the winter months.

Support totalling £30 million will be spread over two payments and can be used to schedule more appointments or pay practice nurses and external locum GPs for additional hours.

She said: “GPs will be able to use this funding – which will be delivered in December and April, in two equal instalments – in ways they judge will deliver the greatest impact for patients.

“That might be through extra GP sessions or additional practice nurse time.

“In short, it will allow practices to target investment where it is most needed to improve access to primary care and help ensure patients get the care they need as close to home as possible.”

She added: “Just as the National Health Service became in the aftermath of the Second World War, this new National Care Service, if we get it right – as we must – will be a fitting legacy from the trauma of Covid.”

Emily Atkinson29 November 2021 17:00

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