From Daily Mirror: Theresa May’s claim to be “ending austerity” was blown apart today in a damning expert verdict on the 2018 Budget.
From The Independent: A leading economist has accused Theresa May of “lying” during Prime Minister’s Questions, claiming she deliberately misquoted him.
From Daily Mirror: Theresa May’s boast that she has ended austerity is a sham, experts have warned.
Tory Matt Hancock boasts he’s had ‘no letters’ about Universal Credit – just 3 days after mum’s e-mail
From Daily Mirror: A Tory minister who boasted he’s had “no letters at all” about Universal Credit was sent an e-mail about it by a desperate single mum just three days ago.
Treasury minister Liz Truss falsely claims government is not making cuts to councils, in BBC Newsnight interview
From The Independent: Treasury minister Liz Truss has falsely claimed that local councils are not facing cuts.
From Channel 4 News Fact Check: Boris Johnson wrote: “If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists — when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government — then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.”
The problem is, Mr Johnson is wrong.
From The Guardian: Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has been forced to apologise to parliament after making misleading statements about the government’s faltering welfare changes.
The MP for Tatton’s statement followed the release of a damning letter from Sir Amyas Morse, who told the minister she had misinterpreted a report by the National Audit Office on Universal Credit to make it look as if the new welfare system was working well.
McVey should not have claimed universal credit was being rolled out too slowly when the NAO had said the DWP should ensure it was working properly before transferring any more people on to it from previous benefits, she was told.
She should not have said universal credit was working when the report said this was not proven, Morse said. She should not have claimed that the report had not taken into account recent improvements in welfare, when it was signed off days earlier by her department, he added.
From the Guardian: Amber Rudd’s insistence that she knew nothing of Home Office targets for immigration removals risks unravelling following the leak of a secret internal document prepared for her and other senior ministers.
The six-page memo, passed to the Guardian, says the department has set “a target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18” and boasts that “we have exceeded our target of assisted returns”.
The document was prepared by Hugh Ind, the director general of the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement agency, in June last year and copied to Rudd and Brandon Lewis, the then immigration minister, as well as several senior civil servants and special advisers.
The leak will raise questions about Rudd’s public position on what she knew about the setting of targets for the enforced removal of migrants.
The issue has become particularly toxic because of coverage of the Windrush generation – many of whom have been made destitute, homeless and denied benefits and healthcare because of the Home Office’s “hostile environment” policy towards those it deems to be lacking appropriate documentation to be in the UK.
From LabourList: Today Andrew Neil used Tory MP Steve Baker’s spot on the BBC’s Daily Politics to slam the claims of Conservative MPs that Jeremy Corbyn “sold British secrets” and “betrayed his country”.
Following the Sun‘s “Commie Corbyn” story, which claimed the Labour leader met with a communist spy in the 1980s and suggested he briefed them on British politics and matters of state security, defence secretary Gavin Williamson said Corbyn “cannot be trusted” and accused him of “betrayal of this country”.
Neil repeatedly asked Steve Baker, “do you think he has betrayed his country?”. Steve Baker repeatedly refused to answer the question.
Tory vice-chair Ben Bradley was forced to delete his tweet stating “Corbyn sold British secrets to communist spies” after the leader of the opposition threatened legal action. On Twitter security minister Ben Wallace compared Corbyn to Soviet spy Kim Philby.
“Your security minister has compared Mr Corbyn to Kim Philby. Kim Philby was a traitor – at the time if he’d been found guilty he would have been hanged! That’s an outrageous smear to say of the leader of the opposition,” said Neil.
He concluded: “The real scandal, Mr Baker, isn’t what Mr Corbyn has supposedly done or not done. It’s the outright lies and disinformation that your fellow Tories are spreading.”
From BBC News: Damian Green, one of Theresa May’s closest allies, has been sacked from the cabinet after an inquiry found he had breached the ministerial code.
He was “asked to quit” after he was found to have made “inaccurate and misleading” statements over what he knew about claims pornography was found on his office computer in 2008.
He also apologised for making writer Kate Maltby feel uncomfortable in 2015.
From Daily Mirror: Theresa May has used a brazenly misleading statistic to suggest homelessness fell under the Tories.
From Channel 4 News: The Tory health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been forced to re-write parliamentary records after making a false claim about mental health.
Speaking on World Mental Health Day, he told MPs: “We’ve got 30,000 more people working in mental health today than we had when [Labour] left office.”
He repeated this again, saying: “We have 30,000 more professionals working in mental health than when my Government came into office.”
But when questioned by FactCheck, the Department for Health admitted that Mr Hunt’s figure includes all professionally qualified clinical NHS staff in England – not just those working in mental health.