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Gordon Brown calls for tougher lobbying rules in wake of David Cameron-Greensill row

Downing Street has announced an investigation into David Cameron‘s lobbying of ministers while working for the collapsed financial firm Greensill capital.

The former prime minister had contact with chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Matt Hancock but has accepted he should have communicated with the government “through only the most formal of channels”.

There is no suggestion Mr Cameron broke any rules while lobbying for the firm, although he has faced heavy criticism for allegedly giving Lex Greensill, the firm’s boss, far-reaching access to his government.

Elsewhere, talks are underway aimed at resolving problems related to the Northern Ireland protocol after disorder and violence blighted the region throughout much of the last week.

UK and EU officials are said to be examining how issues related to the post-Brexit agreement, which has drawn a de facto border down the Irish sea, can be addressed, Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE reported.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal with the EU has put the future of many exporting businesses at risk, with 41 per cent reporting decreased overseas sales in the first three months of the new arrangements, according to a new survey by one of the UK’s leading business organisations.

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No 10 orders investigation into David Cameron’s lobbying of ministers

Our deputy politics editor, Rob Merrick and Whitehall editor, Kate Devlin, have more details on this developing story:

Matt Mathers12 April 2021 13:35

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Lords will be paid £162 ‘attendance allowance’ for making video call tributes to Prince Philip

Peers in the House of Lords will be able to claim a £162 “attendance allowance” if they make a remote tribute to Prince Philip over video call, parliamentary authorities have confirmed.

Our policy correspondent Jon Stone has more on this story:

Matt Mathers12 April 2021 13:31

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Probe will examine Cameron’s contacts with ‘ministers, officials and SpAds’

Downing Street’s probe into Mr Cameron’s lobbying activities will examine the former PM’s contacts with ministers, officials and SpAds (special advisers) Sky News’s Darren McCaffrey reports:

Matt Mathers12 April 2021 13:21

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Government to announce investigation into Cameron lobbying – report

The government is expected to launch an investigation into lobbying efforts by David Cameron, the BBC has reported.

It comes a day after the former prime minister responded to allegations relating to his work with failed finance firm Greensill, insisting he broke no rules but admitting he should have communicated with the government “through only the most formal of channels”.

We will bring you more on this as we get it.

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 12:32

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Stormont pledges to pay for Troubles pensions, court told

Stormont’s Executive Office has pledged to pay for a Troubles pension scheme, a court has been told.

The declaration concludes a lengthy legal battle over who should cover the £1.2bn cost.

In a letter to Belfast High Court, the Department of Finance said the payments will be made.

The guarantee will allow thousands of victims who suffered physical or mental trauma to apply for up to £10,000 a year.

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 12:14

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Labour MP calls on government to maintain foreign aid funding for sexual health

Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi has called on the government to maintain foreign aid budget funding for sexual and reproductive health to guard against the negative impacts of the pandemic.

The shadow international development minsiter said the coronavirus outbreak had disrupted contraceptive use for 12 million women and had caused one-and-a-half million unintended pregnancies.

“As part of my role in the @LabourDfID team, I have called on the government to maintain the same levels of funding for 2021-22 to support these women,” she tweeted.

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 11:53

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Gordon Brown calls for five-year ban on ex-ministers lobbying

Here is Gordon Brown proposing a five-year ban on former members of government lobbying in the wake of the allegations against David Cameron.

Gordon Brown calls for tougher lobbying rules in wake of David Cameron-Greensill row

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 11:37

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MSPs pay tributes to Prince Philip

MSPs, led by Nicola Sturgeon, have begun paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh in Holyrood.

The first minister described the Queen and her late husband as a “true partnership”.

There will be more of the same from political representatives throughout the day.

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 11:26

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Just how bad are the opinion polls for Keir Starmer?

Two new opinion polls over the weekend, from Opinium and Deltapoll, put the Conservatives nine percentage points ahead of Labour, by 45 per cent to 36 per cent. This suggests that Keir Starmer has made some progress since Jeremy Corbyn recorded the worst defeat for Labour since 1935, but not much.

Indeed, because the constituency boundaries are likely to be redrawn by the time of the next election, removing the bias in the system that benefited Labour last time, a nine-point Tory lead would probably result in another majority of about 80 seats for the government.

However, the picture is not necessarily as gloomy as it seems for the leader of the opposition, who has just marked his first year in post.

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 10:57

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MPs to spend more time giving tributes to Prince Philip than they got to scrutinise final Brexit deal

MPs will dedicate a whole day of work to a marathon session of tributes to Prince Philip, parliamentary authorities have confirmed.

No other Commons business will be conducted on Monday, with MPs set to spend seven and a half hours praising the Royal until 10 o’clock at night.

Significantly more parliamentary time is being allocated to the occasion than to debating Boris Johnson’s final Brexit trade deal – which was given just five hours in December.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, said at the time that the five-hour debate for the Brexit deal was appropriate because “we have now been discussing this subject for four, five, six or perhaps nearly 50 years”.

Tom Batchelor12 April 2021 10:45

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