Award-winning journalist currently working as Political Correspondent at PA Media (formerly the Press Association), based in London. Previously Westminster Correspondent at The Yorkshire Post, and Health and Political Correspondent at the Eastern Daily Press.

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‘Balance to be struck’ to protect domestic industries in trade deals

Environment Secretary George Eustice has said the Government wants to do trade deals with other countries “but obviously on the right terms” amid reports of a rift in the Cabinet over negotiations with Australia. The Financial Times reported that Mr Eustice and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove were at loggerheads with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Brexit minister Lord Frost over granting tariff-free access to Australian farmers under any proposed deal. Ms Truss is understood

Civil servants with ‘right accent’ get top jobs while disadvantaged left behind

The route to the top of the Civil Service has been described as a “velvet drainpipe” with those from vastly under-represented disadvantaged backgrounds having to master “unwritten rules” in order to progress. A report from the Social Mobility Commission has revealed nearly three-quarters (72%) of senior officials came from privileged backgrounds, with a quarter of those holding the top jobs having attended an independent school. And analysis of more than 300,000 civil servants showed that just

Raab points finger at Russia over Belarus ‘hijack’ and arrest of journalist

It is “very difficult to believe” the arrest of a prominent critic of the Belarus regime from a Ryanair flight could have taken place “without at least the acquiescence of the authorities in Moscow”, the Foreign Secretary has said. Aircraft have been instructed to avoid Belarusian air space following the “state-sponsored hijack” of the flight on Sunday. Dominic Raab said that although the situation was not yet clear, the relationship between Minsk and Moscow suggested Russian leaders may have

Boris Johnson calls for new international treaty on pandemic preparedness

Boris Johnson has said the world was “just as disunited as Achilles and Agamemnon” before the coronavirus pandemic as he called for a new international treaty to tackle not just this global threat, but any in the future too. Addressing the Global Health Summit hosted by Italy and the EU in Rome, the Prime Minister referenced the Iliad as he drew comparisons between the plague in the ancient Greek epic and the coronavirus outbreak. Speaking virtually at the event, Mr Johnson said: “I would like

‘There are no local lockdowns’, say public health directors in variant hotspots

Residents in eight Indian variant hotspot areas have been told “there are no local lockdowns” after the Government was accused of bringing in new Covid-19 restrictions “by stealth”. uidance urging people in areas with high levels of the strain to restrict their socialising and travel was added to the Government website on Friday, but local leaders said they had not been made aware. In a joint statement on Tuesday the directors of public health in Burnley, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton

Government ‘must have plan B for steel industry’ in wake of Liberty sale

The Government must ensure a steel plant on the outskirts of Sheffield will remain open, Labour has said, after Liberty Steel announced it was looking for a buyer for a number of sites. Liberty Steel announced on Monday that it is looking for a buyer for its aerospace and steel business in Stocksbridge as part of a major restructuring in the wake of its main financial backer, Greensill Capital, in March. The company has also started a formal sale process for Coventry’s Liberty Pressing Solutio

Labour MP accuses Jeremy Corbyn of failure to declare full legal funding

A Labour MP has reported former party leader Jeremy Corbyn to parliamentary authorities over allegations he had not properly declared financial support given to him for legal disputes involving anti-Semitism. Sky News reported that Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle had written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on Monday regarding financial and in-kind support for legal disputes the former leader has been involved in. In the letter, seen by the PA news agency, Mr Coyle –

New guidance for Covid-19 hotspots after mixed messages on local lockdowns

People in Dewsbury in Kirklees after local leaders in eight Indian variant hotspots have criticised the Government’s quietly-announced changes to advice on coronavirus controls (Danny Lawson/PA) Guidance for eight areas considered hotspots for the Indian variant of coronavirus is to be updated to make clear there are no local lockdowns imposed, the Government has said. he Department of Health and Social Care said it would instead be issuing advice to those living in Burnley, Bedford, Blackburn

Dominic Cummings expected to land more blows on Government in session with MPs

Downing Street is braced for more explosive revelations from the Prime Minister’s former chief advisor Dominic Cummings as he makes a much-anticipated appearance before MPs on Wednesday. Mr Cummings has been vocal in his condemnation of Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and others since leaving Government after a behind-the-scenes power struggle in November. Ahead of giving evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care and Science and Technology Committees, Mr Cummings set out his

Keir Starmer: I’d knock Boris Johnson over on the football pitch

Sir Keir Starmer has said he would be “chucked out” of the Commons if he took his personality from the football pitch into Parliament. n a wide-ranging interview with Piers Morgan, the Labour leader spoke about his childhood, the death of his mother and his strained relationship with his father. And he pledged: “I will be different with my kids.” But politically, he said now was a “pivotal moment” for both him personally and his party. Journalist Mr Morgan told Sir Keir, in an episode of Lif

Eustice criticises ‘bonkers’ sausage situation in call to EU on Brexit rules

Boris Johnson holds up a string of sausages around his neck during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire. (Darren Staples/PA) Environment Secretary George Eustice has branded as “bonkers” a situation in which British-made sausages could not be sold in Northern Ireland amid continuing rows over post-Brexit border arrangements. r Eustice said the EU had been “slow to engage” with efforts to iron out difficulties ahead of the ending of a grace period in the agreem

Patience ‘very thin’ as EU threatens retaliation over Northern Ireland Protocol

The EU has warned it is at “a crossroads in our relationship with the UK” and “patience is very, very, very thin” as the two sides failed to make any breakthroughs on issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol. alks between European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic and Brexit minister Lord Frost, aimed at ending the deadlock over the implementation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in Northern Ireland, ended without significant progress on Wednesday. At a press conference afterw

‘Smoke thrown up’ around decisions to award charity Covid cash

The level of influence of special advisers when deciding which charities would receive Covid support money “appears to go beyond” what would be expected and there was no clear rationale on why consultants were paid £2 million to assess the bids, MPs have said. A Commons committee has found it was unclear why some charities were bumped up from the lowest priority for funding after involvement from special advisers, who hold a political role. It also questioned why some organisations received mo

Keir Starmer dines with Batley and Spen candidate Kim Leadbeater at West Yorkshire restaurant

They dined at the Healds Hall Hotel in Liversedge on Wednesday. The Labour leader travelled to Yorkshire to show his support for Ms Leadbeater as bookies backed the Tories to take the lead in the forthcoming by-election. Sorry, there seem to be some issues. Please try again later. The poll has been triggered by former Labour MP Tracy Brabin becoming West Yorkshire mayor last month. Ms Leadbeater has an emotional tie to the seat as the sister of former MP Jo Cox, who was killed in the constit

Joining trans-Pacific trade agreement ‘highlights UK’s entrepreneurial spirit’

Boris Johnson has said the UK joining a trans-Pacific free trade agreement would unlock “unparalleled opportunities” as the Foreign Secretary begins three days of talks underpinning the Government’s “tilt” towards the Indo-Pacific region. The Prime Minister said there was an “exciting opportunity to build on this country’s entrepreneurial spirit and free-trading history” as negotiations will formally launch on Tuesday over the UK becoming part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for

Sajid Javid ‘honoured’ to be new Health Secretary after Matt Hancock resignation

Sajid Javid has said he was “honoured” to be asked to be Health Secretary following the resignation of Matt Hancock amid intense pressure for breaching social-distancing rules by kissing an aide. ormer chancellor and home secretary Mr Javid was appointed to the prominent role just 90 minutes after Downing Street announced Mr Hancock had resigned on Saturday evening. It came the day after video footage emerged of the married then Health Secretary kissing an aide in his ministerial office in a b
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