Nadhim Zahawi under fresh pressure to quit as senior Tory says he should ‘stand aside’ – UK politics live | Politics

Nadhim Zahawi under fresh pressure to quit as senior Tory says he should ‘stand aside’

Good morning. Ever since it won plaudits for its coverage of the demise of the Liz Truss administration, some Westminster insiders have taken the view that the news organisation providing the most incisive and astute coverage of British politics (apart from the Guardian, of course) is the Daily Star. And this morning it has delivered its verdict on Nadhim Zahawi – not lettuce, but toast.

Tuesday's Star: You don't need a Star lettuce to see how this one ends #TomorrowsPapersToday #DailyStar #Star pic.twitter.com/trwTUAH2R4

— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) January 23, 2023

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It is hard to disagree. Last night Caroline Nokes, a former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, became the first Tory MP to call for Zahawi to “stand aside” from his job as Conservative party chair while his tax affairs are being investigated by the No 10 ethics adviser.

“The challenge for Nadhim is look at the front pages, he's leading too many of them.”

Tory MP Caroline Nokes says Nadhim Zahawi “should stand aside” before the investigation into the handling of his tax affairs finishes.
@carolinenokes | @tnewtondunn pic.twitter.com/0vKt0Wx5YL

— First Edition (@FirstEdition) January 23, 2023

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This morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, was doing a media round on behalf of the government, and it was two hours of his life that he will probably be keen to forget.

'Which is more embarrassing a former Prime Minister using the chairman of the BBC as a financial fixer or a former Chancellor who can't get his tax sums right?'@NickFerrariLBC puts Home Office Minister Chris Philp on the spot. pic.twitter.com/GCBOsbrgmR

— LBC (@LBC) January 24, 2023

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Philp defended Rishi Sunak, arguing that the PM deserved credit for ordering an investigation into what happened. But he did not try to defend Zahawi, repeatedly saying that he did not know the full facts about Zahawi’s tax arrangements.

On the Today programme Mishal Husain, the presenter, put it to him that Zahawi has admitted being careless with his tax affairs and that the government’s own website says that “carelessness” with tax affairs can be likened to the “longstanding concept in the general law of negligence”.

Asked whether Sunak found it acceptable for a cabinet minster to be “negligent in their tax affairs”, Philp told the programme:

We’ve got this word ‘careless’ that has been put into the public domain.

We don’t know exactly what it was that that carelessness represents.”

After further questions, the minister added:

You’re effectively inviting me to speculate on exactly what happened.

I don’t know exactly what happened, I don’t know what form that carelessness took and nor probably does anybody else apart from HMRC and Mr Zahawi. So let’s find out the facts.

As my colleague Peter Walker points out, this argument is rather feeble.

The Chris Philp interview on R4 saw him repeatedly insist that we “don’t know” what happened with Nadhim Zahawi’s tax penalty and thus it’s impossible to take action without a full investigation. That’s a slightly curious line in that they could just… ask Zahawi.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) January 24, 2023

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The Chris Philp interview on R4 saw him repeatedly insist that we “don’t know” what happened with Nadhim Zahawi’s tax penalty and thus it’s impossible to take action without a full investigation. That’s a slightly curious line in that they could just… ask Zahawi.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) January 24, 2023

Here is the agenda for the day.

10am: Dr Adrian Boyle, president, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, gives evidence to the Commons health committee about the situation in A&E departments. At 10.45am three NHS England executives, Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates, give evidence.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

11.30am: Steve Barclay, the health secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

12pm: David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, gives a speech at Chatham House.

After 12.30pm: The Conservative MP Bob Seely introduces a 10-minute rule bill to tackle Slapps (strategic lawsuits against public participation).

I’ll try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

Holyrood’s equalities committee is sitting this morning, but without two invited guests – Scottish secretary Alister Jack and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch – who both declined to discuss with MSPs the UK government’s decision to use a section 35 order to block the Scottish parliament’s gender recognition bill.

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As I discuss in this morning’s Today in Focus podcast, the row over the bill is symptomatic of an ongoing breakdown in communication between the UK and Scottish, but the use of this hitherto untested order takes us into uncharted territory. governments.

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And while the focus this morning has been on Caroline Nokes’s views on Zahawi, she was also asked on BBC Radio Scotland about her views on the gender recognition bill, given her role as chair of Westminster’s women and equalities committee.

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She pointed out that the recommendations made by that committee in 2021 into gender recognition reform were not that different from the Scottish bill, aside from the drop in age of application, and that it was “worthwhile looking at ways in which the Westminster government could make the whole gender recognition certificate process simpler, more straightforward”.

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She added that a section 35 order “should not have been done” and that there was “room for compromise” between both governments.

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At the health committee three NHS England executives – Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates – are now giving evidence about A&E delays and excess deaths.

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NHS England has said it does not endorse the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s claim that there are between 300 and 500 excess deaths per week because of delays in A&E. (See 10.22am.)

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Hopson said that he accepted that A&E departments were under considerable pressure. And he accepted that the excess death figures are particularly high.

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But he said it was not clear what the explanation for the high excess death numbers were.

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He said it was not unusual for to see high excess deaths in the winter. He said flu, the cold weather, and Covid could all be factors.

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The RCEM figure was based on a study that “suggests a link” between A&E waits and excess deaths, he said.

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But he said that research “cannot be definitive and does not give a full and certain figure”.

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However, he also stressed that he was acknowledging the system was under extreme pressure.

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Richard Sharp, the BBC chair, has told the BBC that he believes there was no conflict of interest when he was appointed by Boris Johnson – despite the revelation that he played a role in linking the businessman willing to offer Johnson a £800,000 loan guarantee to the cabinet secretary, Simon Case, who needed to approve the arrangement.

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In an interview Sharp said:

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n

Having had a discussion with the cabinet secretary about avoiding conflict, and the perception of conflict, I felt comfortable and I still feel there was no conflict, because at that stage what I was seeking to do was ensure that the process was followed exactly by the book and that the process hadn’t started, of any kind, in terms of any support that Sam [Blyth] was going to provide to the prime minister.

n

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Sharp set out his account of the affair in a long message to BBC staff yesterday.

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At the health committee Steve Brine, the chair, asks Dr Adrian Boyle about the claim he made at the start of the year that between 300 and 500 people are dying every week because of treatment delays in A&E.

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Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, says this is based on a peer-reviewed study published in an emergency medicine journal. It was based on data from all NHS England A&E patients.

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It looked at mortality rates within 30 days of attending A&E.

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It found that, if people have to wait more than five hours for treatment, they are more likely to die within the next 30 days. The death rates go up in a linear fashion, he says. He says the study only looked at waits up to 12 hours, because at that point very few people were waiting longer than that.

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The results showed that, for every 72 people who waited more than eight to 12 hours, there was one excess death, he says.

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And he says for every 82 people who waited between six to eight hours, there was one excess death.

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Boyle says he produced the figure of between 300 and 500 excess deaths per week by applying the one in 72 formula to the number of people waiting in A&E departments.

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He says this estimate was a “conservative estimate”, because it did not apply a higher death rate to people waiting more than 12 hours. For that group, he just used the one in 72 ratio, he says.

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Caroline Nokes, the Tory former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, told TalkTV last night that, if Nadhim Zahawi were to step aside now, he could return to government later. (See 9.31am.) She said:

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n

There are countless examples of good, competent cabinet colleagues who have got themselves in a mess who have resigned quickly and come back, really in some instances, just a few months later and I think in order to get this cleared up Nadhim should stand aside and let the investigation run its course.

n

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Lord Hayward, a Conservative peer, made a similar argument when he appeared on Andrew Marr’s LBC show last night.

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But in his interviews this morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, said it was “reasonable” for Nadhim Zahawi to stay in his job while he is being investigated. Philp told BBC Breakfast:

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n

I think it is reasonable that where there is an investigation, the person concerned is allowed to continue serving while that investigation continues.

n

We do have a principle, don’t we in this country, innocent until proven guilty. That applies to a whole range of different circumstances.

n

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says it is ‘reasonable’ for Zahawi to stay in post while No 10 ethics adviser carries out inquiry”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 24 Jan 2023 06.13 EST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 24 Jan 2023 04.31 EST”},{“id”:”63cfa68f8f0835c8bc1ca157″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, was Labour’s representative on the morning broadcast shows. He restated the party’s call for Nadhim Zahawi to be sacked. He told Sky News:

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n

When you’ve been chancellor of the exchequer and you said you’ve been careless despite the fact that offshore trusts have been set up in Gibraltar, I’m sorry you really ought to resign or be sacked.

n

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He also criticised the government for letting this drag on.

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n

What we’ve seen time and time again over the last 13 years is that when they’ve done wrong, government ministers remain in office, they hold on.

n

It goes on and on for days, dominates the news when we should be dealing with far more serious issues and I’m afraid we’re here again.

n

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Good morning. Ever since it won plaudits for its coverage of the demise of the Liz Truss administration, some Westminster insiders have taken the view that the news organisation providing the most incisive and astute coverage of British politics (apart from the Guardian, of course) is the Daily Star. And this morning it has delivered its verdict on Nadhim Zahawi – not lettuce, but toast.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/TmorrowsPapers/status/1617645859537125379″,”id”:”1617645859537125379″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”12afa3d5-ac81-4926-9561-c6bb9d88c628″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

It is hard to disagree. Last night Caroline Nokes, a former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, became the first Tory MP to call for Zahawi to “stand aside” from his job as Conservative party chair while his tax affairs are being investigated by the No 10 ethics adviser.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FirstEdition/status/1617654472771084295″,”id”:”1617654472771084295″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”2f329b95-2556-4e5c-b5a4-6880e63ca3d1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

This morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, was doing a media round on behalf of the government, and it was two hours of his life that he will probably be keen to forget.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1617794917631229952″,”id”:”1617794917631229952″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”f8216d26-cadd-4137-ac4c-18032534bba2″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Philp defended Rishi Sunak, arguing that the PM deserved credit for ordering an investigation into what happened. But he did not try to defend Zahawi, repeatedly saying that he did not know the full facts about Zahawi’s tax arrangements.

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On the Today programme Mishal Husain, the presenter, put it to him that Zahawi has admitted being careless with his tax affairs and that the government’s own website says that “carelessness” with tax affairs can be likened to the “longstanding concept in the general law of negligence”.

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Asked whether Sunak found it acceptable for a cabinet minster to be “negligent in their tax affairs”, Philp told the programme:

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n

We’ve got this word ‘careless’ that has been put into the public domain.

n

We don’t know exactly what it was that that carelessness represents.”

n

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After further questions, the minister added:

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n

You’re effectively inviting me to speculate on exactly what happened.

n

I don’t know exactly what happened, I don’t know what form that carelessness took and nor probably does anybody else apart from HMRC and Mr Zahawi. So let’s find out the facts.

n

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As my colleague Peter Walker points out, this argument is rather feeble.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/peterwalker99/status/1617803322286804992″,”id”:”1617803322286804992″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”9ce78da3-e9b3-4a93-9942-048b8aaa55c7″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here is the agenda for the day.

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10am: Dr Adrian Boyle, president, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, gives evidence to the Commons health committee about the situation in A&E departments. At 10.45am three NHS England executives, Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates, give evidence.

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11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

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11.30am: Steve Barclay, the health secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

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12pm: David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, gives a speech at Chatham House.

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After 12.30pm: The Conservative MP Bob Seely introduces a 10-minute rule bill to tackle Slapps (strategic lawsuits against public participation).

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I’ll try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

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If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

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Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

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Key events

Holyrood’s equalities committee is sitting this morning, but without two invited guests – Scottish secretary Alister Jack and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch – who both declined to discuss with MSPs the UK government’s decision to use a section 35 order to block the Scottish parliament’s gender recognition bill.

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As I discuss in this morning’s Today in Focus podcast, the row over the bill is symptomatic of an ongoing breakdown in communication between the UK and Scottish, but the use of this hitherto untested order takes us into uncharted territory. governments.

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And while the focus this morning has been on Caroline Nokes’s views on Zahawi, she was also asked on BBC Radio Scotland about her views on the gender recognition bill, given her role as chair of Westminster’s women and equalities committee.

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She pointed out that the recommendations made by that committee in 2021 into gender recognition reform were not that different from the Scottish bill, aside from the drop in age of application, and that it was “worthwhile looking at ways in which the Westminster government could make the whole gender recognition certificate process simpler, more straightforward”.

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She added that a section 35 order “should not have been done” and that there was “room for compromise” between both governments.

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At the health committee three NHS England executives – Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates – are now giving evidence about A&E delays and excess deaths.

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NHS England has said it does not endorse the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s claim that there are between 300 and 500 excess deaths per week because of delays in A&E. (See 10.22am.)

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Hopson said that he accepted that A&E departments were under considerable pressure. And he accepted that the excess death figures are particularly high.

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But he said it was not clear what the explanation for the high excess death numbers were.

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He said it was not unusual for to see high excess deaths in the winter. He said flu, the cold weather, and Covid could all be factors.

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The RCEM figure was based on a study that “suggests a link” between A&E waits and excess deaths, he said.

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But he said that research “cannot be definitive and does not give a full and certain figure”.

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However, he also stressed that he was acknowledging the system was under extreme pressure.

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Richard Sharp, the BBC chair, has told the BBC that he believes there was no conflict of interest when he was appointed by Boris Johnson – despite the revelation that he played a role in linking the businessman willing to offer Johnson a £800,000 loan guarantee to the cabinet secretary, Simon Case, who needed to approve the arrangement.

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In an interview Sharp said:

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n

Having had a discussion with the cabinet secretary about avoiding conflict, and the perception of conflict, I felt comfortable and I still feel there was no conflict, because at that stage what I was seeking to do was ensure that the process was followed exactly by the book and that the process hadn’t started, of any kind, in terms of any support that Sam [Blyth] was going to provide to the prime minister.

n

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Sharp set out his account of the affair in a long message to BBC staff yesterday.

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At the health committee Steve Brine, the chair, asks Dr Adrian Boyle about the claim he made at the start of the year that between 300 and 500 people are dying every week because of treatment delays in A&E.

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Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, says this is based on a peer-reviewed study published in an emergency medicine journal. It was based on data from all NHS England A&E patients.

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It looked at mortality rates within 30 days of attending A&E.

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It found that, if people have to wait more than five hours for treatment, they are more likely to die within the next 30 days. The death rates go up in a linear fashion, he says. He says the study only looked at waits up to 12 hours, because at that point very few people were waiting longer than that.

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The results showed that, for every 72 people who waited more than eight to 12 hours, there was one excess death, he says.

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And he says for every 82 people who waited between six to eight hours, there was one excess death.

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Boyle says he produced the figure of between 300 and 500 excess deaths per week by applying the one in 72 formula to the number of people waiting in A&E departments.

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He says this estimate was a “conservative estimate”, because it did not apply a higher death rate to people waiting more than 12 hours. For that group, he just used the one in 72 ratio, he says.

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Caroline Nokes, the Tory former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, told TalkTV last night that, if Nadhim Zahawi were to step aside now, he could return to government later. (See 9.31am.) She said:

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n

There are countless examples of good, competent cabinet colleagues who have got themselves in a mess who have resigned quickly and come back, really in some instances, just a few months later and I think in order to get this cleared up Nadhim should stand aside and let the investigation run its course.

n

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Lord Hayward, a Conservative peer, made a similar argument when he appeared on Andrew Marr’s LBC show last night.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1617590281083260928″,”id”:”1617590281083260928″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”2804b400-1baf-43d5-864d-653983dd6676″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

But in his interviews this morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, said it was “reasonable” for Nadhim Zahawi to stay in his job while he is being investigated. Philp told BBC Breakfast:

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n

I think it is reasonable that where there is an investigation, the person concerned is allowed to continue serving while that investigation continues.

n

We do have a principle, don’t we in this country, innocent until proven guilty. That applies to a whole range of different circumstances.

n

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says it is ‘reasonable’ for Zahawi to stay in post while No 10 ethics adviser carries out inquiry”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 24 Jan 2023 06.13 EST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 24 Jan 2023 04.31 EST”},{“id”:”63cfa68f8f0835c8bc1ca157″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, was Labour’s representative on the morning broadcast shows. He restated the party’s call for Nadhim Zahawi to be sacked. He told Sky News:

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n

When you’ve been chancellor of the exchequer and you said you’ve been careless despite the fact that offshore trusts have been set up in Gibraltar, I’m sorry you really ought to resign or be sacked.

n

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He also criticised the government for letting this drag on.

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n

What we’ve seen time and time again over the last 13 years is that when they’ve done wrong, government ministers remain in office, they hold on.

n

It goes on and on for days, dominates the news when we should be dealing with far more serious issues and I’m afraid we’re here again.

n

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Good morning. Ever since it won plaudits for its coverage of the demise of the Liz Truss administration, some Westminster insiders have taken the view that the news organisation providing the most incisive and astute coverage of British politics (apart from the Guardian, of course) is the Daily Star. And this morning it has delivered its verdict on Nadhim Zahawi – not lettuce, but toast.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/TmorrowsPapers/status/1617645859537125379″,”id”:”1617645859537125379″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”12afa3d5-ac81-4926-9561-c6bb9d88c628″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

It is hard to disagree. Last night Caroline Nokes, a former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, became the first Tory MP to call for Zahawi to “stand aside” from his job as Conservative party chair while his tax affairs are being investigated by the No 10 ethics adviser.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FirstEdition/status/1617654472771084295″,”id”:”1617654472771084295″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”2f329b95-2556-4e5c-b5a4-6880e63ca3d1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

This morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, was doing a media round on behalf of the government, and it was two hours of his life that he will probably be keen to forget.

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1617794917631229952″,”id”:”1617794917631229952″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”f8216d26-cadd-4137-ac4c-18032534bba2″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Philp defended Rishi Sunak, arguing that the PM deserved credit for ordering an investigation into what happened. But he did not try to defend Zahawi, repeatedly saying that he did not know the full facts about Zahawi’s tax arrangements.

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On the Today programme Mishal Husain, the presenter, put it to him that Zahawi has admitted being careless with his tax affairs and that the government’s own website says that “carelessness” with tax affairs can be likened to the “longstanding concept in the general law of negligence”.

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Asked whether Sunak found it acceptable for a cabinet minster to be “negligent in their tax affairs”, Philp told the programme:

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n

We’ve got this word ‘careless’ that has been put into the public domain.

n

We don’t know exactly what it was that that carelessness represents.”

n

“,”elementId”:”7c46f686-9c0a-48ba-8bcf-3e5c75f7d542″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

After further questions, the minister added:

“,”elementId”:”715028ee-a900-4027-8641-1c83fd845572″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

n

You’re effectively inviting me to speculate on exactly what happened.

n

I don’t know exactly what happened, I don’t know what form that carelessness took and nor probably does anybody else apart from HMRC and Mr Zahawi. So let’s find out the facts.

n

“,”elementId”:”17511127-04d5-424c-86f1-12c64b6cba6b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

As my colleague Peter Walker points out, this argument is rather feeble.

“,”elementId”:”5a8a89b5-82ac-473a-af30-035e7aad70ef”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/peterwalker99/status/1617803322286804992″,”id”:”1617803322286804992″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”9ce78da3-e9b3-4a93-9942-048b8aaa55c7″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here is the agenda for the day.

“,”elementId”:”d703b6ed-2022-49ba-8eec-ae41f0f070ec”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

10am: Dr Adrian Boyle, president, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, gives evidence to the Commons health committee about the situation in A&E departments. At 10.45am three NHS England executives, Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates, give evidence.

“,”elementId”:”8c6d3a7b-1c60-4b9f-82ba-50cea291de54″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

“,”elementId”:”d60a7451-172b-4bdf-952d-be4f8796987c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

11.30am: Steve Barclay, the health secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

“,”elementId”:”776194a2-9be9-4356-919d-53cf47807529″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

12pm: David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, gives a speech at Chatham House.

“,”elementId”:”fc46c37c-cff7-4d57-9f22-cda134a44ff0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

After 12.30pm: The Conservative MP Bob Seely introduces a 10-minute rule bill to tackle Slapps (strategic lawsuits against public participation).

“,”elementId”:”8fcd77a0-8d56-4553-8b24-f349d9ee9b0f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

I’ll try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

“,”elementId”:”26abb33e-a032-4fc4-9480-a00618f8a463″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

“,”elementId”:”e7dc1bd3-8985-46f1-91bf-b7af4f4d385b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

“,”elementId”:”506e6b9a-d8ae-42f4-af20-e1bd7b6e09ea”}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:true,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1674552696000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”04.31 EST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1674557494000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”05.51 EST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1674552696000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”04.31 EST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”04.31″,”title”:”Nadhim Zahawi under fresh pressure to quit as senior Tory says he should ‘stand aside’”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 24 Jan 2023 06.13 EST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 24 Jan 2023 04.31 EST”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Filters BETA

Tory chair of Commons women’s committee says Westminster should not have blocked Scotland’s gender recognition bill

Libby Brooks

Libby Brooks

Holyrood’s equalities committee is sitting this morning, but without two invited guests – Scottish secretary Alister Jack and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch – who both declined to discuss with MSPs the UK government’s decision to use a section 35 order to block the Scottish parliament’s gender recognition bill.

As I discuss in this morning’s Today in Focus podcast, the row over the bill is symptomatic of an ongoing breakdown in communication between the UK and Scottish, but the use of this hitherto untested order takes us into uncharted territory. governments.

And while the focus this morning has been on Caroline Nokes’s views on Zahawi, she was also asked on BBC Radio Scotland about her views on the gender recognition bill, given her role as chair of Westminster’s women and equalities committee.

She pointed out that the recommendations made by that committee in 2021 into gender recognition reform were not that different from the Scottish bill, aside from the drop in age of application, and that it was “worthwhile looking at ways in which the Westminster government could make the whole gender recognition certificate process simpler, more straightforward”.

She added that a section 35 order “should not have been done” and that there was “room for compromise” between both governments.

NHS England says research suggesting A&E delays causing up to 500 excess deaths per week not ‘definitive’

At the health committee three NHS England executives – Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates – are now giving evidence about A&E delays and excess deaths.

NHS England has said it does not endorse the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s claim that there are between 300 and 500 excess deaths per week because of delays in A&E. (See 10.22am.)

Hopson said that he accepted that A&E departments were under considerable pressure. And he accepted that the excess death figures are particularly high.

But he said it was not clear what the explanation for the high excess death numbers were.

He said it was not unusual for to see high excess deaths in the winter. He said flu, the cold weather, and Covid could all be factors.

The RCEM figure was based on a study that “suggests a link” between A&E waits and excess deaths, he said.

But he said that research “cannot be definitive and does not give a full and certain figure”.

However, he also stressed that he was acknowledging the system was under extreme pressure.

In his BBC interview, Richard Sharp, the corporation’s chair, rejected suggestions that he misled the advisory committee that recommended his appointment, or the Commons select committee that considered it.

Speaking about his involvement with Sam Blyth, the businessman who offered Boris Johnson a £800,000 loan guarantee, Sharp said:

I had clarified and agreed with the cabinet secretary, both of us had the judgment that I’d avoided a conflict or a perception of conflict.

Asked if it undermined BBC efforts to prove itself impartial, he said he saw attacks on the BBC all the time in the media and on social media.

They attack our impartiality and I think the governance we have put in place is extremely strong on impartiality.

Precisely because we should be judged by our output. I think the governance is world-class at the BBC and so I feel comfortable that the BBC brand is strong, and that I support it.

BBC chair Richard Sharp says he still thinks there was no conflict of interest in his appointment by Boris Johnson

Richard Sharp, the BBC chair, has told the BBC that he believes there was no conflict of interest when he was appointed by Boris Johnson – despite the revelation that he played a role in linking the businessman willing to offer Johnson a £800,000 loan guarantee to the cabinet secretary, Simon Case, who needed to approve the arrangement.

In an interview Sharp said:

Having had a discussion with the cabinet secretary about avoiding conflict, and the perception of conflict, I felt comfortable and I still feel there was no conflict, because at that stage what I was seeking to do was ensure that the process was followed exactly by the book and that the process hadn’t started, of any kind, in terms of any support that Sam [Blyth] was going to provide to the prime minister.

Sharp set out his account of the affair in a long message to BBC staff yesterday.

Royal College of Emergency Medicine president defends claim A&E delays causing up to 500 excess deaths per week

At the health committee Steve Brine, the chair, asks Dr Adrian Boyle about the claim he made at the start of the year that between 300 and 500 people are dying every week because of treatment delays in A&E.

Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, says this is based on a peer-reviewed study published in an emergency medicine journal. It was based on data from all NHS England A&E patients.

It looked at mortality rates within 30 days of attending A&E.

It found that, if people have to wait more than five hours for treatment, they are more likely to die within the next 30 days. The death rates go up in a linear fashion, he says. He says the study only looked at waits up to 12 hours, because at that point very few people were waiting longer than that.

The results showed that, for every 72 people who waited more than eight to 12 hours, there was one excess death, he says.

And he says for every 82 people who waited between six to eight hours, there was one excess death.

Boyle says he produced the figure of between 300 and 500 excess deaths per week by applying the one in 72 formula to the number of people waiting in A&E departments.

He says this estimate was a “conservative estimate”, because it did not apply a higher death rate to people waiting more than 12 hours. For that group, he just used the one in 72 ratio, he says.

The Commons health committee has just started taking evidence from Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, about the situation in A&E departments.

Steve Brine (Con), the committee chair, starts by pointing out that there was a 15.1% increase in attendance at emergency departments between December 2021 and December 2022. He suggests the increase demand is a factor in the current problems.

Boyle says demand has gone up. But he says that is not the cause of the current problems.

Minister says it is ‘reasonable’ for Zahawi to stay in post while No 10 ethics adviser carries out inquiry

Caroline Nokes, the Tory former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, told TalkTV last night that, if Nadhim Zahawi were to step aside now, he could return to government later. (See 9.31am.) She said:

There are countless examples of good, competent cabinet colleagues who have got themselves in a mess who have resigned quickly and come back, really in some instances, just a few months later and I think in order to get this cleared up Nadhim should stand aside and let the investigation run its course.

Lord Hayward, a Conservative peer, made a similar argument when he appeared on Andrew Marr’s LBC show last night.

'Zahawi should stand to one side!'

Polling expert Lord Robert Hayward says at this point Nadhim Zahawi should leave his position 'vacant' until all the facts are right.@andrewmarr1 pic.twitter.com/wUFKuSodnQ

— LBC (@LBC) January 23, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1617590281083260928″,”id”:”1617590281083260928″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”ab89a936-897e-436c-86dd-f341d4d50dc0″}}”/>

But in his interviews this morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, said it was “reasonable” for Nadhim Zahawi to stay in his job while he is being investigated. Philp told BBC Breakfast:

I think it is reasonable that where there is an investigation, the person concerned is allowed to continue serving while that investigation continues.

We do have a principle, don’t we in this country, innocent until proven guilty. That applies to a whole range of different circumstances.

Chris Philp.
Chris Philp. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Labour restates call for Zahawi to resign, or be sacked

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, was Labour’s representative on the morning broadcast shows. He restated the party’s call for Nadhim Zahawi to be sacked. He told Sky News:

When you’ve been chancellor of the exchequer and you said you’ve been careless despite the fact that offshore trusts have been set up in Gibraltar, I’m sorry you really ought to resign or be sacked.

He also criticised the government for letting this drag on.

What we’ve seen time and time again over the last 13 years is that when they’ve done wrong, government ministers remain in office, they hold on.

It goes on and on for days, dominates the news when we should be dealing with far more serious issues and I’m afraid we’re here again.

Nadhim Zahawi under fresh pressure to quit as senior Tory says he should ‘stand aside’

Good morning. Ever since it won plaudits for its coverage of the demise of the Liz Truss administration, some Westminster insiders have taken the view that the news organisation providing the most incisive and astute coverage of British politics (apart from the Guardian, of course) is the Daily Star. And this morning it has delivered its verdict on Nadhim Zahawi – not lettuce, but toast.

Tuesday's Star: You don't need a Star lettuce to see how this one ends #TomorrowsPapersToday #DailyStar #Star pic.twitter.com/trwTUAH2R4

— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) January 23, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/TmorrowsPapers/status/1617645859537125379″,”id”:”1617645859537125379″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”6b5de200-c6b3-4896-9c1e-4aec5c563208″}}”/>

It is hard to disagree. Last night Caroline Nokes, a former minister who now chairs the women and equalities committee, became the first Tory MP to call for Zahawi to “stand aside” from his job as Conservative party chair while his tax affairs are being investigated by the No 10 ethics adviser.

“The challenge for Nadhim is look at the front pages, he's leading too many of them.”

Tory MP Caroline Nokes says Nadhim Zahawi “should stand aside” before the investigation into the handling of his tax affairs finishes.
@carolinenokes | @tnewtondunn pic.twitter.com/0vKt0Wx5YL

— First Edition (@FirstEdition) January 23, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FirstEdition/status/1617654472771084295″,”id”:”1617654472771084295″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”a0b84ce0-0113-4e2a-a64a-d7e4b374d3c7″}}”/>

This morning Chris Philp, the policing minister, was doing a media round on behalf of the government, and it was two hours of his life that he will probably be keen to forget.

'Which is more embarrassing a former Prime Minister using the chairman of the BBC as a financial fixer or a former Chancellor who can't get his tax sums right?'@NickFerrariLBC puts Home Office Minister Chris Philp on the spot. pic.twitter.com/GCBOsbrgmR

— LBC (@LBC) January 24, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1617794917631229952″,”id”:”1617794917631229952″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”13e72969-c5f8-4669-83d9-bffa8e50ea40″}}”/>

Philp defended Rishi Sunak, arguing that the PM deserved credit for ordering an investigation into what happened. But he did not try to defend Zahawi, repeatedly saying that he did not know the full facts about Zahawi’s tax arrangements.

On the Today programme Mishal Husain, the presenter, put it to him that Zahawi has admitted being careless with his tax affairs and that the government’s own website says that “carelessness” with tax affairs can be likened to the “longstanding concept in the general law of negligence”.

Asked whether Sunak found it acceptable for a cabinet minster to be “negligent in their tax affairs”, Philp told the programme:

We’ve got this word ‘careless’ that has been put into the public domain.

We don’t know exactly what it was that that carelessness represents.”

After further questions, the minister added:

You’re effectively inviting me to speculate on exactly what happened.

I don’t know exactly what happened, I don’t know what form that carelessness took and nor probably does anybody else apart from HMRC and Mr Zahawi. So let’s find out the facts.

As my colleague Peter Walker points out, this argument is rather feeble.

The Chris Philp interview on R4 saw him repeatedly insist that we “don’t know” what happened with Nadhim Zahawi’s tax penalty and thus it’s impossible to take action without a full investigation. That’s a slightly curious line in that they could just… ask Zahawi.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) January 24, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/peterwalker99/status/1617803322286804992″,”id”:”1617803322286804992″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”3a8132e4-4257-4d9f-b71a-64f45b4d79b2″}}”>

The Chris Philp interview on R4 saw him repeatedly insist that we “don’t know” what happened with Nadhim Zahawi’s tax penalty and thus it’s impossible to take action without a full investigation. That’s a slightly curious line in that they could just… ask Zahawi.

— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) January 24, 2023

Here is the agenda for the day.

10am: Dr Adrian Boyle, president, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, gives evidence to the Commons health committee about the situation in A&E departments. At 10.45am three NHS England executives, Chris Hopson, the chief strategy officer, Prof Julian Redhead, national clinical director for urgent and emergency care, and Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director national transformation and medical directorates, give evidence.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

11.30am: Steve Barclay, the health secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

12pm: David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, gives a speech at Chatham House.

After 12.30pm: The Conservative MP Bob Seely introduces a 10-minute rule bill to tackle Slapps (strategic lawsuits against public participation).

I’ll try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com

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