Cost of living – live: ‘Options ready’ for next PM to choose from, Zahawi says – The Independent

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The FDA boss which represents civil servants said the foreign secretary’s comments are ‘inflammatory’
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Sunak and Truss are ‘fighting each other like rats in a sack’, says shadow justice secretary
Liz Truss‘s claims that she will tackle “woke” Civil Service culture that “strays into antisemitism” are “inflammatory” and will be viewed as “insulting and abhorrent”, a union leader has warned.
The foreign secretary was blasted by the head of the FDA, which represents civil servants, for providing “no evidence for her accusation”, which he said “goes further than the usual dog-whistle politics” of the leadership election.
It comes after the Truss campaign said she would “change woke Civil Service culture that strays into antisemitism”.
In response, FDA general secretary Dave Penman said: “The Conservatives have been in Government for more than 12 years now and, for most of that time, Liz Truss has been a minister.
“A prime minister is also minister for the Civil Service, and throwing around such unfounded inflammatory accusations illustrates a lack of leadership, the very thing that she claims to be demonstrating.”
MPs increasingly fear the party leader has swallowed whole a New Labour playbook 25 years out of date, writes Andrew Grice.
Read Andrew’s full piece below:
MPs increasingly fear the party leader has swallowed whole a New Labour playbook 25 years out of date, writes Andrew Grice
Welcome to The Independent’s UK politics blog for 12 August 2022 where we provide the latest on the Tory leadership race and all that’s buzzing in Westminster. Stay tuned!
Rishi Sunak has warned his rival’s cost-of-living plans could put vulnerable people at risk of “real destitution”, as economic policy once again drove a wedge between the Tory leadership hopefuls.
As the pair took to the stage for the latest hustings for party members, the former chancellor claimed that without further direct payments, pensioners and those on very low incomes could face serious hardship.
But Liz Truss stood by her tax-cutting plans, warning against “Gordon Brown economics” where “you take money off people in taxes and give it back in benefits”.
Read the key highlights from yesterday’s sixth husting:
Foreign Secretary insists cutting taxes is key, but former chancellor say his rival’s plan won’t help pensioners and those on very low incomes.
Speaking at the latest hustings in Cheltenham, former chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the prime minister has been ignoring his calls since he resigned from cabinet.
Mr Sunak sparked Boris Johnson’s downfall by being one of the first ministers to abandon their post in early July, alongside former Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
I’ve messaged and called, but unsurprisingly he hasn’t returned my calls.
Read what more the former chancellor said:
Rishi Sunak spoke about his relationship with Boris Johnson on Thursday night.
A liveblog poll running during yesterday’s Cheltenham hustings hosted by The Telegraph saw Rishi Sunak get more votes than his contender Liz Truss, who is otherwise seen as leading the race.
The poll, only carried out on the website among readers visiting the live feed does not have a varied sample like surveys to represent the mood of the public but with over 70,000 votes, it was enough for supporters of the former chancellor to celebrate that he is still very much in the race.
Mel Stride, chair of the treasury select committee, declared quoting the poll results: “This race is only half way through, wide open and it is @RishiSunak who has the momentum.”
Tory leadership contender Liz Truss yesterday evening appeared to forget where she was, as she told the audience at Cheltenham hustings that they were in Derbyshire, writes Andrew Woodcock.
There was no response from the Tory members attending the event at the Gloucestershire town’s famous racecourse, and Ms Truss ploughed on with her comments without correcting herself.
Read more:
Foreign secretary tells Cheltenham audience they are in Derbyshire
Boris Johnson has said he will continue to press the energy sector to “work on ways” to help ease the cost of living crisis – but announced no new government support after crunch talks.
Resisting pressure to act immediately, the outgoing prime minister said after a meeting with the electricity sector in Downing Street that it will be for his successor in No 10 to make “significant fiscal decisions”.
Ashley Cowburn has more:
‘They agreed to work with us to do more to help the people who most need it,’ Nadhim Zahawi says
Nicola Sturgeon has said Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss asked her about how to get into Vogue, writes Neil Pooran.
The first minister said Ms Truss “looked a little bit as if she’d swallowed a wasp” after Ms Sturgeon told her she had been in Vogue twice.
Read more:
First minister says she told Liz Truss she had been in Vogue twice
This video explains what inflation is and its effect on economies:
The UK’s economy contracted in the last three months, new data show, further stoking fears that a recession might be around the corner.
Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.1% during the three months to the end of June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It is a big step down from the first quarter of the year, when GDP rose 0.8%.
The service sector was particularly badly hit, falling by 0.4% over the quarter, ONS experts said. A large part of this was in health and social work, and came as less money was spent on the fight against Covid-19.
GDP fell 0.6% in June, and the ONS revised its May estimate from growth of 0.5% to just 0.4%.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “With May’s growth revised down a little and June showing a notable fall, overall the economy shrank slightly in the second quarter.
“Health was the biggest reason the economy contracted as both the test and trace and vaccine programmes were wound down, while many retailers also had a tough quarter.
“These were partially offset by growth in hotels, bars, hairdressers and outdoor events across the quarter, partly as a result of people celebrating the Platinum Jubilee.”
The Bank of England has warned that the UK might enter recession later this year.
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