Politics news - latest: People can 'come to own conclusions' over Truss claim - Shapps; Labour spokesperson facing questions on Sophy Ridge on Sunday (2023)

Key points
  • People can 'come to their own conclusions' over Truss comments- Shapps
  • Met Police in 'bad place' and there is 'reluctance to accept' scale of problems- watchdog
  • Delete TikTok to protect yourself, says Foreign committee chair
  • Govt must negotiate on strikes - shadow bus sec
  • Ex-Tory chairman calls for Raab to be suspended over bullying claims
  • Rob Powell: Downing Street response has striking similarities to handling of Nadhim Zahawi affair
  • What you need to know about the Raab controversy|Who is Cabinet Secretary Simon Case?


That's all for today

That's all for our politics coverage today.

We'll be back tomorrow with the latest.


'This isn't a fight Number 10 can risk having too aggressively'

Sky's deputy political editor Sam Coates has offered his analysis following the comments made by Grant Shapps this morning.

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, he says: "It was quite tepid in terms of hitting back and defending or attacking Liz Truss in the way that she attacked the prime minister."

He says in early October Mr Shapps was "at the forefront" of "laying in to MsTruss".

"But this is the same guy that sort of has very this morning done a 'on the one hand on the other' attempt to deal with Liz Truss," he says.

"And that's because the divisions that we talk about every week in the Conservative Party can't go away and it's very much still there."

Sam says Ms Truss now has "more fuel in the can" and she "still has some fans in the Tory Party".

"This isn't a fight Number 10 can risk having too aggressively," he says.


Met Police in a 'bad place' and there is 'reluctance to accept' scale of problems

HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr is speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge.

He says the force is in a "bad place" and there has been a "reluctance to accept" the scale of its problems.

Mr Parr says: "It is well documented that public trust in the Met is at a low and we've got the Met in quote, special measures, as it sometimes called.

"So I think there is widespread recognition there is an awful lot to be done."

Asked what had gone wrong with the Met, he says: "In the past I've described it as complacent, arrogant and defensive. I think that's been a reluctance to accept the scale of the the problems.

"It's hit some lower level leadership. It's a culture across the Met and perhaps wider policing as well."


Delete TikTok to protect yourself

After China threatened "further actions" in response to America's serious overreaction" in the downing of a suspected spy balloon, Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns has been speaking on the matter.

She tells Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: "The American government made clear they see this to be an intelligence capability. It's the size of three buses. It was flying at 60,000ft high. That's not really where you normally get your weather detail from.

"And also, they've said that this is part of a pattern where they have seen this happening time and time again. So I think there's no question that this is definite intelligence capability.

"Now, they've shot it down the US will be able to work out exactly what intelligence capabilities it had on board."

She goes on to urge people to remove TikTok from their phones.

She says: "TikTok gave evidence to my committee where they said that there was no way that individuals working in China could get access to the data of Britons.

"But what we've now seen is that people working at China for TikTok hacked into European data so they could track down the source of a journalist.

"Because what TikTok does is it gives away the data that makes you most vulnerable. Who are you friends with? What are your interests?

"What are the interests you have that you may not publicly disclose? Who are having private conversations with ? The locations you go to?

"Our data is a key vulnerability."

"It is not worth having that data vulnerability on your phone," she adds.


Government 'must negotiate' with those striking

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds is speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday and says "the government must negotiate" with those going on strike.

He says: "My dad was a fireman for 30 years. So I know from personal experience exactly what those members are experiencing and why they are going on strike.

"We have to only say the government must negotiate. I can't give a figure for any individual pay dispute, the same way the people negotiating on television cannot because that's part of the negotiation."

He says the reason people are striking is because they have seen living standards "diminish" over the last 13 years.

Asked why he cannot give a figure on what pay rise Labour would give, he adds there are "different issues" with each group.

Looking ahead to the strikes next week and if was worried, he adds: "I think any family does, anyone in the country does.

"But I've got to say I feel worried now at the state of the NHS every day.

"I sometimes joke to the kids, 'you've got to behave we haven't got time to go to A&E under a Tory government'. That's the kind of thing we'll say in our house because we the pressures that it's under."


Firefighters 'have had 12 years of endless attacks on their pay', union boss says

General secretary of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack is now speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

Asked what could be expected next week after the Fire Brigades Union voted to strike, he says: "We will be meeting our employers, not the government actually - they don't have a role directly in our pay negotiations.

"We can negotiate with our employers and we hope we can resolve this dispute.

"I'd like to say something about why we're even in this position.

"Firefighters have voted in huge numbers, an overwhelming vote for strike action, but they don't do that lightly. They've done that because they've had 12 years of endless attacks on their pay."

He adds: "No matter how much you love your job and want to serve the community, at the end of the day, people have bills to pay, rent to pay, mortgage to pay, and families to look after."

Asked how much firefighters are paid, he says the average salary is £32,000 a year.

He says going on strike is "not easy" and is a "struggle" and his members would be weighing up "all sorts of things".

Asked if lives will be at risk, he says in terms of says the union "does not underestimate the seriousness of what it is doing".

"At the end of the day firefighters have families to look after," he adds.


Shapps 'concerned' lives will be at risk ahead of nurses and ambulance workers strikes

Business Secretary Grant Shapps is asked if the lives will be put at risk when nurses and ambulances workers strike next week.

Mr Shapps says: "I'm concerned if you have a situation where you don't have cooperation between the backup services, typically the army, and the people who are striking.

"So we've seen a situation where the Royal College of Nursing have very responsibly before the strikes take place, told the employer, the NHS, this is where we're going to be striking and they're able to put the emergency cover in place.

"Unfortunately, we've been seeing a situation with the ambulance unions where they refuse to provide that information.

"That leaves the army who are driving the backups here in a very difficult position, a postcode lottery when it comes to you having a heart attack or a stroke, when there's a strike on.

"We cannot have that situation. And that's why I'm introducing laws for minimum safety levels."


Forced installation of pre-payment meters 'disgraceful' and 'outrageous'

Looking at a recent piece in The Times which showed what was happening to people when companies forcibly imposed pre-payment meters, Business Secretary Grant Shapps says it is "absolutely disgraceful".

He says Ofgem have had "the wool pulled over their eyes".

"I had already made clear to them that they needed to be making sure the energy providers weren't carrying out this sort of outrageous behaviour," he says.

"I mean, it literally involves, as you described, invading somebody's home and forcibly changing the meter to a pre-payment meter. That's not right at all."

He says he has called on energy companies to stop this behaviour.

"It's absolutely disgraceful no one should have their home invaded like that," he adds.


People can 'come to their own conclusions' with Truss comments, Shapps says

People can "come to their own conclusions" when it comes to the latest article written by former prime minister Liz Truss,Business Secretary Grant Shapps says.

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Mr Shapps says the latest article by Ms Truss in the Sunday Telegraph included "things that people knew all along".

Asked about comments by Ms Truss in which she said she was brought down by the "left-wing establishment", he continues: "She describes it in the article.

"But what I was going to say is, and she says it herself, the most important thing that we can do for the British people is make sure that the economy is stable."

Mr Shapps adds: "I think anybody who has served in public office has a right to put across their arguments. That's what we do as politicians. You say you believe and you put them across.

"As I say people can read it and come to their own conclusions."

He says that he is "focused on Rishi Sunak" and on winning the next general election.

The minister also says the government needs to tackle inflation before cutting taxes.

Asked about airbrushing former prime minister Boris Johnson outof a photo celebrating a space launch, he says: "It was complete screw up.

"Somebody had screwed around with the picture. It was somebody with a pixel phone."


Truss may be no Messiah but her political comeback has rattled some MPs

By Ali Fortescue, political correspondent

It is perhaps no surprise that Liz Truss has been keeping a low profile.

After being accused of economic irresponsibility and seeing the man she beat wheeled in to clean up the mess, any rare sighting of Britain's shortest-serving prime minister on the parliamentary estate has been met with a flurry of excitement.

The former PM though has quietly been making waves from the shadows: old Truss-backing WhatsApp groups are kicking back into action, her closest allies are rallying support for a growth focused agenda.

Now Liz Truss has surfaced, with a public PR push including her first TV interview since resigning.

Read more here...

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