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‘It won’t do a blind bit of good’: Boris Johnson rejects full inquiry into Greensill scandal

Sir Keir Starmer said the David Cameron lobbying scandal is just “the tip of the iceberg” and there was “sleaze” at the heart of government, as Boris Johnson rejected the Labour leader’s call for a parliamentary inquiry.

Sir Keir insisted an “overhaul of the whole broken system” was needed during a fiery PMQs encounter. Mr Johnson claimed “we’re having a proper independent review” – and said he “cannot remember” when he last spoke to Mr Cameron.

MPs are today set to vote on whether to establish a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry into Mr Cameron’s dealings with Greensill, giving a new select committee the power to summon witnesses.

It follows the shock development that one of Mr Cameron’s top civil servants, Bill Crothers, was given permission to work part-time at Greensill while still working for the government.

It comes as the EU parliament has once again refused to set a date to ratify the Brexit trade deal. Group leaders want reassurances from Mr Johnson’s government the deal is being implemented appropriately.

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Tory MPs vote down Labour’s attempt to force parliamentary inquiry into Greensill lobbying scandal

Conservative MPs have voted down an attempt by Labour to force a parliamentary inquiry into the Greensill lobbying scandal.

More below:

Vincent Wood14 April 2021 16:18

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Labour’s lobbying committee motion voted down

The Labour motion on a committee to investigate government lobbying has been voted down with 262 in favour and 357 opposed

Vincent Wood14 April 2021 16:13

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Liverpool Council domestic abuse chief probed over ‘misogynistic’ mother-in-law tweet

A senior Liverpool City Council director who leads the authority’s domestic abuse strategy is being investigated after posting a “misogynistic” tweet joking about his mother-in-law drowning.

Steve Reddy, who is in charge of children’s services, has faced calls to stand down after he joked about his partner’s mum dying and ordering a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt.

The Independent’s north of England correspondent Colin Drury reports

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:59

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No10 defends film about UK’s vaccine roll-out

Downing Street has defended the production of a film about the UK’s vaccine programme.

Last month a trailer was posted online on March 10 for the film, called A Beacon Of Hope: The UK Vaccine Story. No10 has refused to say how much the film cost or how much was paid for the music in the trailer.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “the documentary will be published” and insisted “this was produced entirely in house by No 10 staff as part of their work” and within the existing budget for the digital communications team.

Any costs for the musical soundtrack would have come from within that budget, the spokesman said.

Asked whether it was right that taxpayers’ money was spent on a promotional film, the spokesman said: “It’s important that the public are able to understand this important public health issue about the vaccine rollout.”

The 51-second trailer features interviews with familiar faces including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and the full version is thought to be around 30 minutes long.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:27

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‘We don’t know who is meeting whom’: What David Cameron said about lobbying in 2010

In 2010 prior to becoming prime minister, David Cameron used a speech to predict that “the next big scandal” would involve corporate lobbying.

Just 10 years later his relationship with Greensill Capital and role in lobbying ministers has come under intense scrutiny, with MPs set to vote on establishing a wider-parliamentary inquiry into the allegations this afternoon.

Matt Mathers has the details.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:17

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Head of lobbying inquiry is paid as a non-executive director at BEIS

In a new twist to the saga of the supposedly “independent” head of the Greensill lobbying inquiry, it has now been revealed that he is paid as a non-executive director of the business department.

The appointment of top lawyer Nigel Boardman – the son of a former Tory Cabinet minister – was already under fire because his legal firm previously lobbied against limited curbs to lobbying rules.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said he would not be a director while the inquiry was carried out, but agreed that meant he was not being paid “from now onwards”.

It leaves open the likelihood that he will once again be paid by the government once his work is completed – further fuelling criticism that he is not an independent figure.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 15:02

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Care home staff could be required to get Covid jab, say government

Care home staff in England could be required to get a coronavirus vaccine as a condition of deployment to protect elderly residents, the Government has said.

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment for care home staff.

The five-week consultation will seek views on the proposal, any potential impact it could have on staffing and safety, how it could be implemented and who could be exempt.

Staff, care providers, residents and their families and other stakeholders are being urged to take part. A decision is expected to be made this summer.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 14:40

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Liverpool councillor apologies after calling Prince Philip ‘inbred s**t’ in Facebook post

A councillor in Liverpool has apologised after reportedly calling Prince Philip a “fascist piece of inbred s**t” following his death on Friday.

Sarah Morton, who represents Labour in the city’s Clubmoor ward, fired off a foul-mouthed Facebook post soon after news broke that the Duke of Edinburgh had died aged 99, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Independent’s north of England correspondent Colin Drury has the details

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 14:28

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Who won PMQs today?

PMQs was back this week after the brief Easter recess as Prime Minister Boris Johnson once again faced off against Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Kate Plummer at Indy100 has rated all the juicy barbs, jokes and withering put-downs to assess who won this week’s PMQs.

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 14:11

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The scope of this lobbying inquiry has got to be bigger, says Labour MP

Labour MP Rachel Reeves has called for a full parliamentary inquiry to look at lobbying amid the ongoing row over David Cameron and Greenshill Capital.

She told MPs today: “The scope of this inquiry has got to be bigger than supply chain financing. It’s got to be about lobbying too, and bigger than what rules were broken.

“If the existing lobbying rules were not breached then that is a big part of the problem surely? Had the Conservatives backed Labour’s amendments for the lobbying bill back in 2014 then there would have been much more transparency, but they didn’t.

“David Cameron and his government voted them down, and boy are they exploiting them now. We need public service in the national interest.”

Joe Middleton14 April 2021 14:01

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