Boris Johnson news – live: Tory ministers face embarrassment over spending plan figures, as 'scruff' PM and Corbyn under fire for Remembrance Day wreath laying

UK UK News

Boris Johnson news – live: Latest updates as Tories and Labour clash over spending plans

Log in using your social
network account


Want an ad-free experience?
Subscribe to Independent Premium.

View offers

Hi {{fullName}}

As it happened Ended Sunday 10 November 2019 20:32

All the latest updates from Westminster and beyond as they happened

Kwasi Kwarteng attacks Labour spending plans but can’t say how much Conservative pledges would cost

Business minister Kwasi Kwarteng refused to say how much Boris Johnson’s election pledges would cost – despite attacking Labour’s “reckless” spending plans.

The Conservative MP dodged the question during a TV interview after repeating his party’s claim that Jeremy Corbyn’s plans amounted to £1.2 trillion over five years.

In what was quickly described as a “car crash interview”, Mr Kwarteng told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I’m not going to bandy around figures.” Ms Ridge replied: “But that’s what you’ve been doing for Labour.”

Download the new Indpendent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Meanwhile both the prime minister and the Labour leader faced criticism over their handling of the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, as the election campaign geared up for a second week.

Follow the latest developments in our liveblog below:


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s politics liveblog on the day election campaigning takes a back seat to the Remembrance Sunday commemorations. Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson are all attending the traditional wreath-laying at the cenotaph in Whitehall, along with members of the Royal Family.


As Big Ben strikes 11am, a two minutes silence will be observed, with its beginning and end marked by the firing of a gun by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Buglers of the Royal Marines will sound the Last Post before wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph by members of the royal family, politicians, foreign representatives and senior armed forces personnel.

The Prince of Wales will lay the first wreath on behalf of the Queen, who will watch the service from a nearby balcony.

An equerry is due to lay a wreath for the Duke of Edinburgh who is not expected to be present after retiring from royal duties two years ago.

The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will follow their father in laying wreaths, while their wives will also watch the ceremony from balconies.

Five former prime ministers – Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May – are also due to be in attendance.


Meanwhile the Conservatives have launched the second week of the general election campaign by attacking Labour’s spending plans – which they say will cost £1.2 trillion over five years.

Chancellor Sajid Javid, suggested Jeremy Corbyn’s party is committed to spending £650 million a day, telling The Sunday Times that the country “cannot afford Corbyn’s spending spree”.



However business minister Kwasi Kwarteng was unable to say how much the Conservative Party’s own pledges would cost.

“I’m not going to bandy figures around,” he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday

“But that’s what you’ve just done for Labour,” points out Ms Ridge.

Mr Kwarteng tries to bluster through it: “It’s absolutely right for us to say this is what the opposition are saying and this is how much it is going to cost.”

It has already been described as a “car crash interview”.


As you can see, Mr Kwarteng repeatedly attempted to dodge questions about how much Conservative spending plans would cost.


The business minister also attempted to defend Boris Johnson’s claim that there will be “no forms” or barriers to trade crossing the Irish sea after Brexit – which led to accusations the prime minister was reneging on the terms of his own Brexit deal.

Mr Kwarteng told Sky: “The Prime Minister is absolutely right: I think that the whole point of the deal is that we want to have a frictionless border but at the same time we want to leave the EU…

“From our side we want to have as little bureaucratic interference as possible and I think what the Prime Minister said is absolutely on the money.”



And in his final contribution to the campaign this morning, Mr Kwarteng acknowledged that comparing Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin was not 100 per cent accurate.

He said: “The comparison was about the philosophy and the Marxism. Nobody is suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn is going to line people up and shoot them, nobody is suggesting that.”


Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith has dismissed the Tories’ £1.2 trillion figure as “absolutely ludicrous”.

Ms Griffith told Sky: “We’re not going to be implementing every single thing that was in our conference in this manifesto…

“You can only do a certain amount at once, can’t you?”

Labour’s shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne also told BBC’s Andrew Marr that he is unable to say how much Labour’s spending plans would cost because the manifesto hasn’t been agreed yet. 


The Conservatives have not enjoyed a great first week of the election campaign, with rows over Islamophobia in the party, the resignation of Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns and a series of gaffes including Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments about the Grenfell Tower fire.
Now another Tory candidate has been forced to step down over his racist and sexist posts on Facebook.



Green MP Caroline Lucas has told BBC’s Andrew Marr that this election is a “climate election” after facing questions about her own contributions to carbon emissions.


Chancellor Sajid Javid says that Jeremy Corbyn’s pledges “will leave this country with an economic crisis within months”.

Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr, he insisted that his claim that Labour will spend £1.2 trillion over five years is accurate.

“This is the true cost of Corbyn’s Labour… these are eye-watering levels of spending,” he says.


Sajid Javid has also refused to say how much Brexit will cost the UK economy.

He denies that there will be a “£72bn hit”, in the form of extra borrowing, as a result of Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement.

Asked why the government has not published any analysis of the effect of the PM’s negotiated deal, Mr Javid replies: “We have been very clear that the way to move forward is to get a Brexit deal done. What is holding the economy back is the uncertainty.”



The chancellor has promised that the Conservative Party will start an inquiry into Islamophobia “this year”.

“It will look at all types of prejudice of any form,” he says. “This would be an inquiry into this important issue but it is also right that you look into other types of prejudice.”


“Are you sure that no Russian money is pulling strings in this election?”, asks Andrew Marr, referring to claims that Downing Street is suppressing an intelligence report on threats to UK democracy – which names nine Russian Tory donors.

Sajid Javid replies: “I am sure as I can be, I am very confident about how we are funded.”


The claims about Labour spending hitting £1.2 trillion over five years has been described as a “ludicrous piece of Tory fake news” by shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

He said: “This ludicrous piece of Tory fake news is an incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths cooked up because they know Labour’s plans for real change are popular.

“Labour will tax the rich to pay for things everyone needs and deserves, like decent housing, healthcare and support for our children. We will also use the power of the state to invest to grow our economy, create good jobs in every region and nation and tackle the climate emergency.

“The Conservatives will be able to read all about these plans – and how much they actually cost – when we publish our fully costed manifesto.”



Could we see a TV debate between chancellor Sajid Javid and shadow chancellor John McDonnell? Apparently Labour is keen on a head-to-head contest.

The pair have clashed this morning over the Conservatives’ analysis of Labour’s spending plans, which is set out on a new website “” asking for people to give the Tories their email addresses.


Labour’s shadow secretary for communities and local government has refused to say whether a Labour government’s Brexit deal would end freedom of movement.

Andrew Gwynne said his party wants to negotiate an arrangement where UK citizens can continue to live and work in the European Union and EU citizens can continue to live and work in the UK.

However he would not comment on whether the Labour Party’s manifesto would repeat the line from its 2017 manifesto which said “freedom of movement will end”.

Pushed on whether the Labour Party’s 2019 manifesto will pledge that freedom of movement will end, Mr Gwynne added: “I’ll be able to answer more clearly this time next week”.


Boris Johnson‘s pledge to use the election to “get Brexit done” is failing to convince voters, according to a new poll which shows the majority think a Christmas poll will not resolve the deadlock.

The same poll put the Tories on 37 per cent, Labour on 29 per cent, the Liberal Democrats at 16 per cent and the Brexit Party on 9 per cent.

Here’s Lizzy Buchan with more:



Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds leave Downing Street to walk to the Cenotaph in Whitehall

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are among the politicians laying wreaths at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday.

Here’s a reminder that four years ago the Labour leader was criticised for not bowing enough.

The independent

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: